I feel like there were two main contributing motivations for me deciding to go ahead with my surgery. The first motivation was that I didn’t like what I saw in mirror. I hated looking at myself and felt horrified of what my husband must think when he looked at me. I deeply wanted to love and admire my body, as I feel everyone should, but I found myself struggling to love my body as I didn’t like what I saw and I was always trying to hide it. I know people say, that you should love the body that you’ve got, but when you don’t even like looking at it, how are you supposed to love it. That was a concept I struggled with, because I really did want to love my body.

I found that the more weight I lost, the worse my body looked. I had lost 20kg over 2 years which was a gradual thing, and I’m very proud my of results, but the extra skin, and rolls just looked awful.
The other main motivation was when my family and I would go to a water park and I would look at some of the other ladies and see them playing with their children, and the ladies would have a smoking hot body and wearing a bikini, and look better than I did, yet they were clearly older than me. This puzzled me, and I hated that they looked better than me, even though I was younger. So I started to look at their bodies more, and it became clear that they had surgical help. Once I figured this out, I felt like I had solved the puzzle. Then I started to question my own personal beliefs and ideas regarding plastic surgery. I thought that it was only something that Hollywood people did; or at least the very rich or famous. But yet, there were clearly other ladies here in Perth, WA, who had plastic surgery done on their bodies, and they were normal Mums just like me. I still wanted to be me, but I wanted to get the same help that they did. My initial consultation was for a Mummy Makeover. I wanted a tummy tuck and my breasts done.

Amy's Belt Lipectomy

Amy loves her results from her lower body lift with Dr Mark Hanikeri in Perth WA

During my initial consultation it was suggested that perhaps I would consider a Belt Lipectomy. I had never even heard of such a thing, but my surgeon described it as a lower body lift, which I then understood a little bit of what he was talking about. He advised that I would probably gain a much better result of we targeted more of my midrift area, rather than less of it. It was an interesting consult as leading up to the consult I was wondering if I needed a regular tummy tuck, or maybe could I get away with a mini tummy tuck. To my surprise looking back at that consult I think I began to realise how bad my mid rift condition actually was; if a mini tummy tuck, and even a regular tuck were not going to fix my problem, and my condition was that bad that I needed a lower body lift. This outcome did not scare me, but it really put things into perspective into how much help I would actually need. it also made it pretty clear that in my current condition I did need some kind of surgery to help me. This problem was not going away by itself.
Due to a Belt Lipectomy surgery taking anywhere around 5 hours, it was suggested to do my breast job at another time, and focus on the Belt Lipectomy first, so that’s the decision I made, to wait to do the breast lift at another time.

My Belt Lipectomy surgery was set for Nov 2018, but I wanted to lose more weight before my surgery so that I got the best result. I also was nervous about the surgery and I think I freaked myself out a bit my researching it too much, so that made me hesitant about it too. However I still very much wanted to have the surgery done, but I felt like I needed to give myself a little bit more time. I reset the surgery date for Feb 2019.

Amy's Belt Lipectomy

Amy says she feels so much more confident with her body now

I was advised that the length of my surgery was long- approx. 5 hours. This did not worry me at all, as I absolutely 100% had all the confidence in the world of my surgeon. My procedure ran very smoothly. There were no issues, and we weren’t expecting there to be any issues. I am young (38) and healthy and have no health issues.

The only thing I would change is that I wish I had done this wayyyyyyyy sooner. I went years and years hiding and not liking my body. looking back now, I realise I didn’t have to put up with those feelings nor that body. There is help and options available. If you are considering getting a procedure done, I suggest, making a first appointment- just make a consult and see where it goes.

I did a lot of research on the internet, regarding surgeons and their results, the different procedures, and the surgeries themselves, and recovery stories. All of this helped me to understand what I was asking for. It also made me realise things that I did want, for example; a certain look of belly button, and things I did not want; a high butt scar. So many people focus on the surgery, but to me, that was my surgeon’s job, he was in control of that. I could let him know how I wanted my results to look, but the surgery was out of my control, so I tended too focus on what I could control, like getting to my goal weight for the surgery to get the best result.

I found out in October 2018 (a month before my initial scheduled surgery date) that a friend of mine had a Belt Lipectomy done several years ago. I had done plenty of research on line, but had never seen first hand the results of a Belt surgery. While I thought she looked great, I have to admit, she didn’t have the absolute stunning body which I thought the result would be. She said that she had put on a few kilos since the surgery, and while she still looked great, and probably had a better body than most of the ladies around us, she was not super hot; which was what I was expecting. It made me realise that even after all the effort and cost of the surgery, a person could end up with, what I thought was an average result. I then started to understand more, that your actual natural body shape of course has a massive effect on the result. if you naturally have a straight body, with no waist, then that is probably similar to the result you will end up with. One of my main surgery objectives that I wanted was a small waist. My surgeon kept telling me that because I naturally have large hips and a slim rib cage that I would probably end up with a slim waist as I naturally have curves, and not a straight waist. I also began to understand that all “before and after” photos are just a snapshot in time. Those people still need to watch what they eat and exercise properly otherwise they can end up back like their “before” photo. While the surgery was definitely going to help tremendously, I would still need to watch my diet and exercise for the rest of my life.

I am sooooo proud to advise that my surgeon was Dr Mark Hanikeri. I believe there were 2 students helping on the day. I chose my surgeon from a prior medical procedure I had completed by him, which saw him remove a suspicious mole from my face. He did such a great surgery on my face, and left such a little scar that I could see his quality of work was incredibly high. From this prior procedure I already felt comfortable in his presence and he had already gained my trust. For me, there was never any other other surgeon I was going to consider.

During my consults, my surgeon kept asking me about my expectations from the surgery. He would ask me this often. It was really helpful, as it made me think about what I really wanted. It made me think about why I was actually doing this, and was my thoughts and expectations aligned with reality. I kept telling him, that I was not after a Hollywood sexy body, but rather just after an improvement and I wanted a body I could love. I felt that was reasonable as I would go home and look at myself in the mirror and know how big a task was already being set. I just wanted to love myself again.
My surgeon did an incredible job. He did everything he said he was going to do, and also created a phenomenal result for me. He is truly a master of his works, and i am forever grateful for how he has positively changed my life.

Prior to my surgery, the recovery was one of the things which scared me most. I knew that recovery was only going to be a temporary thing, before my life went back to normal, so I tried to keep it in perspective. One of the most memorable things which my surgeon said to me, was that during my recovery, I would not be in much pain, as the pain meds would take care of that, but rather that I would feel like I’d just been hit by a truck. It took me a while to fully appreciate what he was saying, and it turns out he knows what he was talking about. Lol. I never really felt in much pain, but rather felt very uncomfortable and irritable when the pain meds were wearing off. However I did feel tired, and sore, and like something big had pretty much flattened me.

There are lots of awesome websites to check out for advice and I strongly recommend that you do all the research on this that you can. My advice to assist with recovery is actually to get a shared hospital room. It goes against what I initially wanted; I wanted a room by myself, so I could heal by myself, and just be by myself. But lets not kid ourselves, and this is something I didn’t not grasp before my surgery; you wont be active much after the surgery… you wont be walking around, you wont really want to move. without guests visiting you, I think it could be quite lonely and also depressive in a room by yourself especially considering how much you are trying to cope with mentally after a surgery like this. It turns out I was placed in a shared room with another young lady whom had a surgery similar to mine, also done on the same day as me. As neither of us could move, we quickly struck up a friendship from behind the separator curtains in the room. Having her in the room with me was one of the best things as I never felt alone even during the night. Don’t under estimate how big a surgery this is. At 2am when you can’t sleep, and can’t move because you physically can’t move your body, it was a blessing to have someone else with me who understood completely what I was going through. She made the whole process easier for me too, to talk through our common shared surgeries. We are still friends to this day.

I feel alive. I feel like I am re-energized and I feel like I am whole, and like I love all of myself. I am not ashamed of any part of my body and I can parade around in a gstring I know that I look hot! That was not my intended result, but it is absolutely an added bonus. I never in a million years would have walked around comfortably in just a gstring ever before in my life.

This surgery has completely opended up my life again and allowed me to be free, of my past body demons. I’m so happy and confident. I was confident before my surgery, but I can clearly see looking back, that I wasn’t real happy. Again I wasn’t expecting this added feeling of being alive and this extra happiness; I was just after an improvement in my body, but this surgery has absolutely brought me so much more of a fulfilling life.

Amy's Belt LipectomyResult wise, I have the waist I thought was always there! It is no longer hiding. I wasn’t expecting my butt to also be lifted and to look so good, but I’m stoked to say that even looks hot. My biggest joy is that my hip fat & rolls are gone! To me I thought I was always going to have them, and it has changed my world to have hips that I actually now like.

I’m naturally a quite shy person and I don’t like being talked or gossiped about. I also didn’t want any of my adult decisions having an impact on my children should their friends parents make a comment about me or my surgery decisions. So, it was for that reason, that I didn’t want most of my family or friends knowing about my surgery. I told my husband, my parents and my brother only. I didn’t even tell my best friends as this is such a personal and private decision to me to have this surgery done, that I had to make sure I looked after my number one priority my children and I didn’t want any impact of my surgery having in any way a negative impact on them. My mother came to look after my kids for 2 weeks and I let my kids know that I was on a work training course. When I returned from my surgery, I told my kids I just had a sore back. Over the next few weeks, my kids saw my size difference and they were happy for me. They were young enough 8 & 10, to not figure out anything of my surgery. They see my scar when I’m in the shower, but they have never asked about it, and I think they just accept it somehow.

I’m absolutely happy with my decision to keep my surgery private and not as a conversation piece. Too often I felt that people were being judged about their surgeries, and I 100% didn’t want that for me. I didn’t want to know and still don’t want to know other opinions of my surgery. I wholy and solely did this surgery for me, and for an improvement in myself. it was never about what other people thought.
Incidentally, my family and friends did notice a significant change in my body shape though! I did receive a bunch of prying questions and that even moreso made me want to hold onto my privacy and to keep my surgery to myself. I was lucky to be able to say that I had just lost more weight recently and the change that they were now seeing was that I had bought new clothes which actually fit better. They seemed to accept that, but honestly i didn’t care as I just wanted to be left out of the gossip.

It is difficult to describe the profound positive impact which this surgery and particularly my surgeon has made to my life. He has done such an amazing job with my surgery and I couldn’t have asked for a better result.

My happiness, esteem, and aliveness is positively off the chart!!! 🙂 I can’t strongly recommend enough going ahead with changing something that has been holding you down. for me it was my negative body image. Now that has changed, I feel like I can see and enjoy everything else which life has of offer without the hangup of an ugly body. Everyday we spend so much time and energy and money looking after our kids, our spouses, working and investing in our homes and our cars, but when do we stop and invest in ourselves. When do we stop and actually fix ourselves, when do we put our bodies in for an oil change? when do our bodies go to the panel beaters? When do our bodies go in for their half life tune up? Lol, I know that must sound strange, but its how I look at my surgery. Its my way of investing in myself and I just gave myself a half life tune up. I feel so free and haven’t felt this alive in a very long time. It is such a beautiful thing.

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