I was morbidly obese for my entire adult life and I truly thought my destiny was to be ugly and uncomfortable in my own body. I felt like a grotesque human being who was not a real woman. But about two years ago, at the age of 43, I began an amazing, surprising, and joyous transformation. I renewed my faith, discovered my love of hardcore fitness, ran a MARATHON, and lost 110 pounds. I had taut skin and muscles in my arms and legs, but my stomach and breasts were an unholy, sagging mess! My stomach looked and felt like yeasty pizza dough, and I could gather it into a ball and twist it around in disturbing ways! Despite my beautiful new chest muscles, the weight loss in my breasts was extreme. I was grateful the disfiguring flab was gone, but unfortunately I was left with drooping bags that hung over my bra as side boobs. But worst, worst, worst of all was the lower belly/pubic area. It was swollen and sagging in an indecent way, and it basically made wearing pants an impossibility. I had worked so hard-would I ever be normal?
After meeting with Dr. Lawton for a consult, I started to have a glimmer of hope. She was confidant and firm about what she could do for me. She walked me through the entire process, explained all the ups and downs, ins and outs. I was struck immediately by her look of dreamy concentration and soft-spoken manner. Her office takes on her demeanor, clearly. It has a very chill-yet-friendly vibe. It's literally the only doc's office that I have ever looked FORWARD to visiting! The staff is very personable. They really took an interest in me as an individual and walked me through any moments of panic or concern that I went through along the way. Erin was extremely helpful during our pre-op meeting. She told me exactly what to expect and answered my many questions. She was such a pro, but also such a sweetheart!
My surgery was rather extensive-breast lipo, breast implants, abdominoplasty (the extensive one with the cut from chest to pubic bone), and a lower body reconstruction. The day of my surgery, I remember that Dr. Lawton had just gotten through a five-hour emergency surgery. Yet she immediately gave me her piercing-yet-warm attention and set me at ease as she marked me up with her pen. A very strange experience, but she had such a practiced eye and confident hand that I was able to relax and trust her. I came through it with flying colors and the next day she showed me a picture of what had been removed from my stomach and lower body. I was flabbergasted-I could actually SEE the shape of the distended stomach that I had lived with for 25 years-and it was lying on a table NOT attached to me!!! And then she undid my garment and told me to look down and I saw my new breasts. Totally reconstructed. Round, erect as soldiers. I was in love! Really! I tell my girlfriends to this day that they are the two most beautiful things that I own, ha ha!
It takes a bit of a while to recover from such an extensive surgery, and Dr. Lawton and her team were there for me every step of the way. Because my stomach skin removal was so extreme, my drains didn't quite do the job despite being kept in for 17 days. As a result I had to come in to the office once a week for about a month so that the fluid could be aspirated by Dr. Lawton. I know this sounds strange, but I enjoyed it! She was always extremely professional and to the point, and yet I felt that she treated me as a real friend. It's been five months now and when I look in the mirror with my clothes off my eyes ALWAYS do a double-take! My stomach and my hips meet in a lovely, feminine curve-there is no distended hanging "apron" of flab. And my pubic area is no longer disfigured. My breasts-have I mentioned???-are gorgeous! It's a dream come true. No. Actually, I really NEVER DREAMED that my body could look like this! During a recent check-up Dr. Lawton and I were discussing my body and I realized that I had been standing in front of her stark naked for at least five minutes and I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE. Why? Because I feel COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN!!!! I feel beautiful. This surgery changed my life. Dr. Lawton changed my life. I will be forever grateful.