Cassie P. had struggled with her self-image and post-pregnancy belly “hang,” as she called it, for over 10 years. Her many self-improvement efforts were never enough to get rid of her dreaded lower abdominal skin; no matter how healthy she got or how much weight she lost, her belly remained and always pulled her back into a depression.
After discussing plastic surgery with her husband, weighing the pros and cons, and praying about it, Cassie decided it was finally time to move forward with getting the procedure she’d wanted for so long.
Cassie had discussed with her primary care doctor the possibility of getting a tummy tuck for years. In January of 2022, she finally told him it was time and asked for a referral to a plastic surgeon. Dr. Andrews was one of the two plastic surgeons in the area her doctor recommended, and when she called his office, the staff was friendly and prepared to answer all of her questions. Even though they hadn’t met Cassie yet, the way they spoke to her made her feel like they truly cared about her and her well-being. Cassie called the office of the other plastic surgeon and got their voicemail, and she decided to move forward with booking her consultation with Dr. Andrews rather than waiting to hear back from the other practice.
Cassie visited Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery for her consultation in March of 2022. When she arrived at the modern yet welcoming Coralville practice, she was greeted by the friendly face of Ericka Ruhl, the office manager, who checked her in and showed her to a private room. Dr. Andrews came in shortly after, dressed in his scrubs, and listened to her concerns, reviewed her medical history and examined her midsection.
Dr. Andrews described the tummy tuck procedure to Cassie in detail and recommended combining it with liposuction to achieve the best body contouring results possible. Since Cassie had some stubborn fat deposits on her back and abdomen, Dr. Andrews felt that two separate liposuction and tummy tuck procedures would be best for removing the maximum amount of fat possible and achieving the most ideal results for her. Cassie trusted in the expert opinion of Dr. Andrews, and he answered all of her questions and made sure she felt completely comfortable with the plan for her procedures.
Emily Tams, the patient care coordinator, then came in to take pictures of Cassie and review the costs of her surgeries. She asked Cassie if she had any questions, but Dr. Andrews had already covered everything she needed to know.
When Dr. Andrews returned, he was in a full suit and tie. Cassie could tell he was a busy man, but she appreciated that he took his time to thoroughly explain everything and answer her questions, and she never felt rushed at any point by him or his staff.
At the end of her consultation, Cassie was told she’d receive an email with images simulating what she would look like after her procedures. Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery does this type of imaging for all cosmetic consultations to help patients see their “before” images compared to their proposed results.
Cassie couldn’t believe how amazing her “after” images looked — when she saw what her body could look like, it felt like one of those heavenly moments from a movie where angels sing and doves fly in the background. It was the body she had been dreaming of for over a decade, and it was finally going to become a reality.
“Seeing what my body could look like after these procedures gave me all the confidence to know that this was the right choice for me.”
Cassie’s first procedure was liposuction on her abdomen in March of 2022.
When Cassie woke up on the day of her procedure, she felt the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. Although she’s not typically a morning person, she woke up easily and was ready to go. She was eager to get to her surgery and had no nerves or worries on her mind.
“I was so excited about my procedure that I could hardly sleep the night before. The next morning, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, or how you feel when you know you’re going to Disneyland (as a kid or an adult, because who doesn’t love Disneyland?!).”
When Cassie and her husband arrived at the practice’s on-site surgical clinic, everything was arranged for them to have a private, relaxing experience. Cassie was the only patient there, all of the staff members knew who she was and they were all there to care for her. Everyone on the team, from the nurses to the anesthesiologist, came in and introduced themselves to Cassie and explained the details of what they would be doing.
“Everyone was so down to Earth and spoke to me as an equal. They treated me like I was family; I felt so comfortable and cared for.”
After her liposuction surgery, Cassie was monitored in a recovery room for about an hour and a half, and then she was able to return home. She was wrapped with a compression garment to help her heal and provide support throughout her recovery, which was comfortable and made her feel secure with everything held together.
Cassie took a couple of days off work after her procedure and then continued relaxing and recovering throughout the weekend. She had some discomfort during the first three days of recovery and then was strong enough to return to work and gradually incorporate more movement into her routine.
Within weeks, Cassie already saw significant results in the form of a more slender belly.
Cassie had her second procedure, tummy tuck surgery and liposuction of her back, in April of 2022, about one month after her first procedure.
On the day of her second surgery, she woke up with the same excitement she had with her first procedure. She was also met with the same personalized care and attention from her surgical team at Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery.
“Every time I go there, I feel like I’m going to hang out with my friends. Everyone there knows who you are and truly cares about you and how you’re doing. Dr. Andrews also makes homemade candles he has lit at the office, which adds a nice touch of the comfort of home.”
During her tummy tuck surgery, Cassie’s abdominal muscles were tightened, and her “hang” of loose skin was removed. Many women don’t realize that pregnancy can cause the abdominal muscles to separate, which contributes to a “belly pooch” in postpartum women. Cassie’s liposuction procedure removed unwanted fat from her back to create balanced, proportional results and an overall more slender and toned midsection.
Every body is unique, and everyone heals differently. Cassie understood this going into her procedures, and she knew the team at Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery would be there to get her through any difficulties.
Unfortunately, Cassie’s recovery from her second procedure was more arduous than most. She got sick with a fever a couple of times, and her tummy tuck incision was not healing well. Because of this, she had a lot of follow-up appointments with the team, at which she received exceptional care. Everyone came in to see how she was doing and genuinely cared about her recovery, and it gave her ease knowing that they had experience dealing with the issues she was having.
“I had a bit of an extreme recovery, and it took me a while to heal. But it was still an overall amazing experience that I would do over again in a heartbeat. I’m beyond happy with my results.”
Now that Cassie has healed and is able to enjoy her results, she’s no longer haunted by her belly “hang” and doesn’t worry about people mistaking her for being pregnant. She jumps in pictures with her family and is happy with the reflection she sees in the mirror.
Cassie enjoys trying on clothes and wearing styles she wasn’t able to before. She feels confident being able to show her true style without her body shape holding her back, and she often rocks her shirts tucked in like she’d always wanted to.
Without the excess skin on her abdomen, Cassie doesn’t have to worry about getting sores or her skin becoming irritated. Even just sitting is more comfortable without her belly in the way, and she is able to hold her young daughter more easily. She also has more stamina when going for hikes on her and her husband’s many adventures to national parks now that the weight of her excess skin and stubborn fat deposits has been lifted.
One of the greatest benefits of this procedure for Cassie is being able to talk about her body in a positive way and genuinely mean it. Before her tummy tuck and liposuction, Cassie did her best not to make negative comments about how she looked, but her overwhelming depression caused her to slip up on occasion. She always felt guilty when she realized her kids were listening and didn’t want them to have similar critical thoughts about themselves. Now, she doesn’t have those negative feelings about herself and is able to set a good example of self-love and body positivity for her children.
“Dr. Andrews and the incredible staff at his practice helped break me out of a depression caused by a part of my body I felt I had no control over. After my tummy tuck and liposuction, I finally feel good about myself and have the confidence I’ve always wanted. I highly recommend Dr. Andrews and his team to anyone interested in improving their life with plastic surgery.”