Enormous debt of gratitude

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Dear Dr. Sigal,

I am writing this letter on the afternoon of my post-op visit to your office.

After I left the Austin-Weston Center today, I ended up sitting in our car and crying–not because I was upset, but because I was so deeply relieved.

With one glimpse of my “before” photos in your office, I realized just how much you had done during my surgery.

In my younger years, I had a nice figure and didn’t think much about my appearance. Then, after giving birth to two (large!) babies, one of them by Cesarean section, I had gained 60 pounds and lost any semblance of muscle tone in my stomach. I also had two abdominal surgeries over a six-year period, which left my belly even more disfigured. I was tired of spending my youth being misshapen and miserable.

When I finally summoned the courage to come to your office for a consultation, I was deeply embarrassed to have even a surgeon or nurse see me unclothed.

You can imagine how difficult it was to go to the pool in a bathing suit or, worse, have my husband see me unclothed. (This inhibition even contributed to the breakup of my six-year marriage).

While filling out the forms in your office that first day, I refused to give permission for the Austin-Weston Center to use my “before and after” photos; even though they would have been anonymous, I was too embarrassed to have them seen by anyone.

Now, three weeks after an abdominoplasty and major liposuction, I still have swelling and pain, and a large incision scar from hip to hip. Yet even with the scar and considerable swelling, I am already wearing shorts and panties that are one to two sizes smaller.

I have an actual waist now, and a much flatter belly.

I’ve already been able to enjoy appreciative looks from strangers; the relief of throwing away the “circus tent” shorts; the delight in wearing bikini underwear for the first time in seven years.

What’s more, you not only removed the ugly purple scar left on my hip from a previous operation, but also fashioned an adorable new belly button to replace the old one. What a wonderful bonus!

While it cost a handsome sum of money to have this surgery, and the recuperation was not easy, I feel that somehow I still owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.

Your skill has taken away the ravages of pregnancy, abdominal surgeries, and weight gain. You have given me back my pride, and I can’t thank you enough.

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