Cassie’s Journey Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Part 1: The Long Road to Plastic Surgery

October 18, 2022


“I am very grateful to Dr. Andrews and his incredible staff for my tummy tuck and lipo surgery! They helped me remove a part of me that caused severe emotional, mental, and physical anguish. Their staff took amazing care of me and went above and beyond when my body needed more time to heal. I truly feel like family!”
– Cassie P.

A Quick Introduction to Cassie

Cassie is a 37-year-old wife and mother of three living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She enjoys spending time with her husband, teenage stepdaughter and son, 5-year-old daughter and their two dogs. She does project management for an aerospace engineering company and is highly involved with her church as a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader. Cassie loves planning, organizing and, more recently, interior design and home projects like refinishing furniture.

A Lifelong Battle With Her Self-image

Cassie struggled with her weight for most of her life. While she wasn’t significantly overweight, she didn’t fit the “skinny girl” profile and what society said was thin. Her size caused her to battle with self-esteem issues for years.

“Even as an adolescent, I never felt happy with my body size. I never met the standards for being ‘thin,’ which ultimately caused self-hatred to become a huge demon of mine.”

Pregnancy and Stretched Skin Created the Dreaded “Hang”

When Cassie was pregnant with her son, she carried him low on her short torso, which dramatically stretched out her lower abdomen. After her emergency C-section to deliver him, her skin never returned to normal. She was left with what she called her “hang” — loose skin that hung down from her lower belly.

Rude Strangers Were a Detriment to Her Self-esteem

For years after having her first child, strangers would look at her stomach and ask Cassie when her baby was due. Some of these people were ignorant of the bodily changes pregnancy can cause, but some were downright rude. Repeatedly having to tell these people she wasn’t pregnant further brought down Cassie’s already low self-esteem and brought her to tears on many occasions.

One incident in particular will be forever etched into Cassie’s memory. On a busy Saturday at David’s Bridal where Cassie worked as a consultant, she was helping the sisters of the groom choose their bridesmaid dresses. These girls had an offensive air of superiority in their tone from the start, and as Cassie was asking for their dress sizes, one of them asked, “When are you due?” Cassie, wanting to make sure she heard her correctly, said, “Excuse me?” to which the girl coarsely repeated herself, emphasizing and pausing after each word, “When. Are. You. Due?” When Cassie replied that she wasn’t pregnant, the girl looked her up and down and responded snarkily, “Oh, that’s embarrassing.”

That was one of the first times Cassie remembers being completely devastated by a stranger judging her appearance. She burst into tears once she got home and was inconsolable despite her husband’s best efforts. Incidents like these continued to push Cassie into a depression, and she didn’t feel strong enough to deal with the continued judgment from others and, worst of all, herself.

Avoiding the Camera Like the Plague

Cassie hated seeing herself in photos, so she avoided the camera whenever someone took a picture. She would take photos of her children, but she was never in them, especially if they were at the pool. Cassie worried that she would regret not documenting those experiences with her kids and being absent from the photos they would look back on, but she still couldn’t bring herself to be in the pictures.

She Wasn’t Able to Express Herself or Feel Comfortable in Her Clothing

Cassie tried various clothing styles to cover her belly and improve her confidence, but nothing worked. Her abdomen always seemed to get in the way of her clothing, and it was very noticeable in certain styles she wanted to wear.

“I really love the style of a tucked-in shirt, but I could never wear my tops like that because it would emphasize my stomach. I felt like I couldn’t express myself with my clothing style and, instead, wore long shirts that gave me no shape.”

Cassie’s “Hang” Caused Physical Irritation Too

Cassie’s excess abdominal skin not only affected her emotionally but was also physically agonizing. The loose skin would rub against her clothing and cause irritation, and the “hang” folding over on itself would cause painful sores to develop.

This was frustrating, especially since Cassie and her husband are avid hikers with the goal of hiking as many trails at as many national parks as they can. Even going on casual walks with her family would lead to irritation in the area. Cassie was also carrying excess weight in the form of this loose skin and some stubborn fat deposits, which caused her to feel more fatigued on hikes and walks and during other types of exercise.

No Amount of Weight Loss or Exercise Would Help

Despite exercising, eating healthy and losing weight, nothing Cassie did would improve her belly skin. Even after losing 30 pounds and being in great shape, her “hang” of excess skin always remained. She felt helpless in her struggle to eliminate her lower belly pooch that caused her so much distress.

The Option to Get Plastic Surgery Gave Her Hope

As an avid watcher of television shows about plastic surgery, Cassie knew about tummy tuck surgery and saw the fantastic results it could provide. She had been thinking it could help her for a long time and always saw herself getting the procedure at some point.

She Deserved Better Than Her Body Holding Her Back

Although her friends and family always told her she looked fine and didn’t need plastic surgery, Cassie felt it was the one thing that could finally allow her to have the body and confidence she had wanted for so long. Those who told her plastic surgery wouldn’t solve her problems or allow her to develop self-love had never experienced her issues and didn’t understand the depth of her struggles. Cassie only felt the depression from being unable to look and feel how she wanted, and deep down, she knew she deserved better. She knew she needed to listen to herself and what was best for her personally, not what others thought she did or didn’t need.

Deciding to Have Another Baby

Cassie had talked with her husband for years about having a tummy tuck, and he knew how much she wanted it and always supported her. But Cassie knew that getting pregnant after a tummy tuck surgery would likely reverse the results, so they decided to have another baby first. After having their beautiful daughter, Cassie took the time to let her body recover, but she was left with an even more noticeable belly “hang.”

Making a Decision That Was Right for Her

Five years after having her daughter, Cassie was still dealing with the same issues with her “hang.” She felt judgment from others and wasn’t happy with herself. Her belly would get in the way when she would try on clothes and would prevent her from wearing the styles she wanted, and it still caused painful sores and irritation when she was active.

Cassie prayed about whether she should get tummy tuck surgery, something she had now wanted for over 10 years. Her children were no longer babies, and Cassie and her husband were in a good place financially to move forward with the surgery of her dreams. They finally decided it was time to pull the trigger on making Cassie’s tummy tuck dreams a reality.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Cassie’s Journey to Tummy Tuck and Liposuction: Getting Rid of the “Hang”

January 11, 2017

Dear Dr. Andrews,
Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me and my family. You are trustworthy, kind and personable. We really appreciate you and your talent. Thank you!*
5.0
2017-01-11T13:02:59-06:00
Dear Dr. Andrews, Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me and my family. You are trustworthy, kind and personable. We really appreciate you and your talent. Thank you!*

Everything is great!!

Just had my surgery from Dr. Andrews and everything is great!! He is the most kindest Dr. ever!*
5.0
2017-01-22T15:30:46-06:00
Just had my surgery from Dr. Andrews and everything is great!! He is the most kindest Dr. ever!*

You change peoples’ lives!

You change peoples’ lives! Words cannot express how much I love my new girls! Thank you so much for giving me exactly what I wanted. You are amazing!*
5.0
2017-02-24T14:28:06-06:00
You change peoples’ lives! Words cannot express how much I love my new girls! Thank you so much for giving me exactly what I wanted. You are amazing!*

I am a patient at Dr. Andrews!

I am a patient at Dr. Andrews! I highly recommend utilizing their services. Very thorough consultations, educational and informative. They give you lots of options to fit your needs and guide you through it. Amazing staff that is highly trained with the most up to date procedures and tools. I can't say enough about Dr. Andrews and his amazing staff!*
5.0
2016-09-28T15:22:01-05:00
I am a patient at Dr. Andrews! I highly recommend utilizing their services. Very thorough consultations, educational and informative. They give you lots of options to fit your needs and guide you through it. Amazing staff that is highly trained with the most up to date procedures and tools. I can't say enough about Dr. Andrews and his amazing staff!*

June 26th, 2013

Dr. Andrews is an artist. His academic credentials are second to none. You can see that sensibility in every aspect of his practice, and his life. His outcomes are exceptional, and there isn’t a surgeon anywhere that I trust more.*
2015-02-10T19:25:22-06:00
Dr. Andrews is an artist. His academic credentials are second to none. You can see that sensibility in every aspect of his practice, and his life. His outcomes are exceptional, and there isn’t a surgeon anywhere that I trust more.*

May 27th, 2013

I am beyond happy with my results. I had extra skin hanging from my abdomen after gaining weight from pregnancies. Dr. Andrews was compassionate and understanding about how this affected me and my self-esteem.*
2015-02-10T19:25:46-06:00
I am beyond happy with my results. I had extra skin hanging from my abdomen after gaining weight from pregnancies. Dr. Andrews was compassionate and understanding about how this affected me and my self-esteem.*

May 27th, 2013

I can now wear bikinis! I continue to work out and can finally see the results of my hard work. Thank you Dr. Andrews – a California gem in the midwest!*
2015-02-10T19:26:11-06:00
I can now wear bikinis! I continue to work out and can finally see the results of my hard work. Thank you Dr. Andrews – a California gem in the midwest!*

June 1st, 2013

Dr. Andrews is one of the best plastic surgeons I’ve worked with! His patients are very pleased with their results. I highly recommend him!*
2015-02-10T19:26:35-06:00
Dr. Andrews is one of the best plastic surgeons I’ve worked with! His patients are very pleased with their results. I highly recommend him!*

Jan 24th, 2013

Dr Andrews was wonderful!! Great Guy… awesome job on my reconstruction!!*
2015-02-10T19:26:55-06:00
Dr Andrews was wonderful!! Great Guy… awesome job on my reconstruction!!*

Nov 2nd, 2012

I had suffered debilitating Hidradenitis. He gave me the ability to have a normal life again. My scars look amazing and he was able to close with the most beautiful lines! He was such a caring doctor who is so gifted. I hope to follow his practice wherever he may go!*
2015-02-10T19:27:28-06:00
I had suffered debilitating Hidradenitis. He gave me the ability to have a normal life again. My scars look amazing and he was able to close with the most beautiful lines! He was such a caring doctor who is so gifted. I hope to follow his practice wherever he may go!*

Oct 29th, 2012

Dr. Andrews was the absolute best doctor for me - very informative, sensitive, and caring with just the right amount of humor during the appointments.*
2015-02-10T19:27:54-06:00
Dr. Andrews was the absolute best doctor for me - very informative, sensitive, and caring with just the right amount of humor during the appointments.*

Extraordinary doctor

Before saying that you are an extraordinary doctor, I want to tell you that you are an extraordinary human being. Thanks for showing me so much care and concern.*
2015-03-30T12:00:04-05:00
Before saying that you are an extraordinary doctor, I want to tell you that you are an extraordinary human being. Thanks for showing me so much care and concern.*

You Rock!!

I wanted to write you a thank you letter because I would never be able to find the words to say how much I appreciate everything you did for me. Thanks to you I can feel normal and not always worry if people will find out about my problem. I can’t even begin to say thank you enough or to show my gratitude. You’re an amazing person, wonderful doctor, and my hero. All in all, you ROCK!!!*
2015-03-30T12:00:42-05:00
I wanted to write you a thank you letter because I would never be able to find the words to say how much I appreciate everything you did for me. Thanks to you I can feel normal and not always worry if people will find out about my problem. I can’t even begin to say thank you enough or to show my gratitude. You’re an amazing person, wonderful doctor, and my hero. All in all, you ROCK!!!*

You all are the best!

Thank you so much for ALL of your help in my recovery thru “sometimes emotional” journey with my cancer. You all were always professional and took the time with my long list of questions. I can n0t thank you enough! Easter is my favorite time of the year and I pray God will continue to strengthen your gift and skills in healing because you all are the best!*
2015-03-30T12:02:02-05:00
Thank you so much for ALL of your help in my recovery thru “sometimes emotional” journey with my cancer. You all were always professional and took the time with my long list of questions. I can n0t thank you enough! Easter is my favorite time of the year and I pray God will continue to strengthen your gift and skills in healing because you all are the best!*

Amazing!

I’m ecstatic with my new body. It is PERFECT! I can’t even put in wordshow we feel, You are so compassionate unlike any Doctor I’ve met. I realize I’ve been a needy patient and you handled me well. You’ve gone above and beyond with me after hours for medications and issues. Also more quotes than necessary, but you did it! Your work ad attentiveness to my expectations I can’t say enough!! Now to pu the finale pictures in your gallery to show how complete I am now! You are AMAZING! Thank You! It’s been a very long, hard journey! Now to live life with the new ME!*
2015-03-30T12:02:20-05:00
I’m ecstatic with my new body. It is PERFECT! I can’t even put in wordshow we feel, You are so compassionate unlike any Doctor I’ve met. I realize I’ve been a needy patient and you handled me well. You’ve gone above and beyond with me after hours for medications and issues. Also more quotes than necessary, but you did it! Your work ad attentiveness to my expectations I can’t say enough!! Now to pu the finale pictures in your gallery to show how complete I am now! You are AMAZING! Thank You! It’s been a very long, hard journey! Now to live life with the new ME!*

With appreciation

With appreciation for putting me back together!*
2015-03-30T12:02:40-05:00
With appreciation for putting me back together!*

I am forever grateful

I consider myself blessed to be under your care as I navigated the stormy sea of breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, reconstruction, and recovery. I cannot thank you enough and am so pleased with the results! You have all been wonderful, and I will miss seeing you even though I am thrilled to be healed and moving on! The impact you have on patients who are scared and overwhelmed cannot be overstated...and I am forever grateful.*
2015-03-30T12:03:02-05:00
I consider myself blessed to be under your care as I navigated the stormy sea of breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, reconstruction, and recovery. I cannot thank you enough and am so pleased with the results! You have all been wonderful, and I will miss seeing you even though I am thrilled to be healed and moving on! The impact you have on patients who are scared and overwhelmed cannot be overstated...and I am forever grateful.*

Thank You

Thank you. For me, you are as similar as God because you created me again. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel my earlier life back again. Once again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.*
2015-03-30T12:03:24-05:00
Thank you. For me, you are as similar as God because you created me again. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel my earlier life back again. Once again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.*

April 12, 2016

Since my hysterectomy, sex has been extremely painful. I suffered from extreme dryness and discomfort. I had no sex drive and was no longer able to experience an orgasm. Until, recently, when a friend told me about Courtney Albritton and the ThermiVa treatment. I have had 2 of the 3 treatments and immediately experienced positive results. I am still in awe of the results I have experienced. The procedure was painless. Until ThermiVa, I had come to the realization that my sex life would no longer be what it once was pre-hysterectomy. I highly recommend this procedure.*
2016-05-05T11:40:35-05:00
Since my hysterectomy, sex has been extremely painful. I suffered from extreme dryness and discomfort. I had no sex drive and was no longer able to experience an orgasm. Until, recently, when a friend told me about Courtney Albritton and the ThermiVa treatment. I have had 2 of the 3 treatments and immediately experienced positive results. I am still in awe of the results I have experienced. The procedure was painless. Until ThermiVa, I had come to the realization that my sex life would no longer be what it once was pre-hysterectomy. I highly recommend this procedure.*
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