Crystal Alexis On Having Liposculpture: “This Journey Has Truly Been A Beautiful One…”
Growing up in Cocoa, Florida Crystal Alexis has always had a healthy appetite for fashion and entertainment. She began taking center stage and appearing in pageants as young as one year old. As she got older, she noticed a shift in the way that she looked at her body. “As you get older you become more self-conscious of your body and when I was attending high school, I started being super critical of my look,” shared Crystal.
Despite being critical of her body during her teen years, Crystal’s love for fashion led her to receive several certifications in modeling, image development and makeup artistry. Her love for life has always been evident in everything she did, but her decision to undergo Liposculpture (of the abdomen, back, flanks, waist and armpits) was a personal one. It was her final step on her journey self-love.
Deciding to have any type of weight loss or cosmetic surgery is a personal decision. Instead of judging her for the decision to do something considered drastic, we reached out to Crystal to get the details of her surgery, concerns she may have had during the process and to find out what types of results she hopes to have.
DailyVenusDiva.com: Tell me about the procedure you had. What’s the name of it. What’s the typical recovery time and why did you have it?
Crystal Alexis: The procedures that I underwent were Liposculpture (of the abdomen, back, flanks, waist, and armpits), a tummy tuck, and a Brazilian butt lift via fat grafting which is when they remove fat from one part of your body and inject it into another part.
The recovery time really just depends on each individual and varies depending on the speed that your body heals, the food that you eat, and the way that you care for yourself, etc. I had A LOT of work done at one time, so my recovery time will be different from someone else who only had one or two procedures done. I was, however, given a tentative recovery time of 90 days minimum. In those 90 days I’m required to wear a compression garment so that everything stays in place and heals properly. A lot of ladies find wearing the garment uncomfortable, but having been a big girl all my life I’m used to wearing garments under my clothes and I’m quite comfortable in it! I’m 4 weeks post op right now and I am able to engage in regular daily activities. Driving has become difficult… Bending is still hard for me due to the stiffness and soreness from the Lipo but other than that, I have no issues.
I’ve ALWAYS been into fashion! I started off at the age of one year old, being on stages and in pageants. As you get older you become more self-conscious of your body and when I was attending high school, I started being super critical of my look, wanting to wear certain types of clothing that just did NOT fit my body type. I promised myself that one day I would be able to wear those clothes! When I graduated high school my wheels in my head started turning and I began researching different procedures and surgeons.
The question that I’ve come across the most is why not just eat right and exercise. My answer is this.. I DO exercise and I’m totally healthy! After the skin has lost its elasticity, there’s nothing that eating right and exercising can do for that loose skin… Absolutely nothing.
Every woman wants to feel sexy and confident. Many people have the outer beauty, but empty on the inside. I’m the exact opposite. I LOVE the person that Crystal is on the inside and I known that my personality and character has carried me a long way and has gained me the respect that I get from people, and I truly thank God for that. But I felt like in order to have the total package and in order to be able to look in the mirror and love that person in the mirror, I needed to make some changes. I didn’t want to continue to live life and not love myself completely. This surgery was my final step on my journey to self-love.
What types of concerns did you have going into the surgery and how did the staff make it easy for you to relax?
I actually had a bunch of concerns. First off, I went to another country… one that some consider to be an underdeveloped or third-world country. So there were times when people’s opinions would get to me a little, but I was however confident in the many years of research that I had done. People would often bring up the incident with Kanye West’s mother. I wondered at times if I would be healthy enough (mentally and physically) to endure such a procedure. I knew that there was a chance that I may not wake up off the operating table, but I went into this with the understanding that there are consequences, good and bad, for every action that we take. I made a conscious decision to take that risk. There’s risks in anything that we do, but I did take preventative measures to make sure that I avoided any unnecessary complications.
Throughout this process, I dealt with about three different sets of people: The recovery house staff, the surgeon and her assistants, and the actual hospital staff. I arrived to the recovery house two days prior to having my surgery. These people were angels! They welcomed me (in Spanish of course) to their country and to their home, and they made sure that myself and my guest were very comfortable. We had full meals cooked for us about every four hours, with snacks of fresh fruits and juices in between. They allowed us access to the entire house as well as waited on us hand and foot and catered to us completely! This really helped to relax me and kinda settle my nerves to prepare for my procedure. Now the hospital was different. The culture over there is different from ours, plus you have a language barrier to deal with so my experience at the hospital was ok but nothing special. The nurses are easily mistaken for being rude and insensitive, but again, I just think it’s the culture. They are there to conduct business and that’s their mindsets. There’s no time to cater to each individual when you’re racing the clock. They did offer full explanations regarding the procedure and they took the time to make sure that I understood everything that was going on. They are very straight forward with you regarding your expectations verses.
How supportive were your friends and family?
My friends and family have been AWESOME supporters of my journey and I’m not sure that I would have been able to get through this process without their support. To my surprise, I had tons of support from my followers on social media sites as well. Support is critical because the entire process, from beginning to end can be very stressful if you allow it to be. I actually didn’t involve many people in my decision making prior to my surgery because I decided that I was going to do this regardless of what anybody else thought. I didn’t want anyone else’s opinion and I didn’t want anyone trying to talk me out of it. I felt like this was the best thing for ME. I’ve joked about buying a butt for years LOL but I don’t think anyone knew that I was actually serious. I went for my procedure in December and I didn’t start telling my family about it until August. I didn’t really go into many details about the particulars of it, but I did let them know that I needed their support. By the facial expressions, I could tell that some of my family weren’t too thrilled about the whole idea of me having the surgery in another country, but after I hand them my flight information, they knew that I was serious and there was no turning back. I didn’t really tell any of my (Facebook) friends until the day that I was leaving. I actually made a short video to announce my “big news”. I truly thought that I would get a lot of backlash, especially from the plus community so I was a little reluctant to share my story but everyone has been nothing but encouraging! I got so many messages in my inbox from people sharing very personal things with me, some of which had nothing to do with the surgery. There were people who had given up on life, people who had given up on God, and those that just needed a friend. The more messages that I received saying that I had inspired them with my story, the more I wanted to share. So in a sense, we helped each other. This journey has truly been a beautiful one…
What types of results were you promised and what types of results have you seen?
The day before my surgery, I had a final consultation with my surgeon at the hospital at which time I showed her what is known as “wish pics.” These are example pictures the ideal look that someone is going for. I also explained that I didn’t want to get too aggressive with the Lipo because of my thick frame, I still wanted to look natural and proportionate. She was very honest with me about my expectations versus the results that she would be able to produce.
I am EXTREMELY satisfied with my results… my waistline is sickening!!! I went from a 38” waist to a 32” waist with the tummy tuck and I LOVE IT!!! I don’t have official measurements for the rest of my body because everything has not set in completely, but I do wear a 14/16 in pants now (down from a size 18/20), and also went from a 2X shirt down to a Medium. And again, these are not my final results. I’ve read that some people see final results within eight months while others don’t see them for eighteen months.
You went to the Domincan Republic to have the surgery, right? Could it have been performed in the U.S.?
I did go to the Dominican for my surgery, and yes, it absolutely could have been done here in the states as there are plenty of very skilled surgeons here. I chose to go over there because after years of research I found that the surgeons over there have amazing sculpting skills. The issues with my skin became a huge issue for me on my quest to become a healthier me and I knew that if the procedure wasn’t performed right, I wouldn’t be happy with it so I HAD to go with a surgeon who I felt could handle such a task. The waist to hip ratio is different there, their technique is different, and the results that I’ve seen are definitely noticeable in comparison to the results I’ve seen from American surgeons. It was honestly just a matter of personal preference for me and who was capable of handling my body type.
What stood out about this particular doctor?
Oh My Gosh, sooo much! For starters, my surgeon was a woman who goes by the name of Yily De Los Santos. Amongst all of the other absolutely amazing surgeons in the Dominican, she’s a wonderful person and just a brilliant artist when it comes to the art of body sculpting. I stalked her social media pages forever as well as girls that had already had experiences with her. I heard and read nothing but awesome things about her and the post-op pics that I saw were just to die for! I also noticed that most of the “thicker” girls were going to her so I felt like she was definitely the one for me, having dealt with other people with the same frame as I had. Anybody can take a skinny girl, throw some boobs and butt on her and voila! But it takes a very talented and skillful surgeon to be able to take all your extra junk, re-sculpt it, shape it and make it look natural. Another plus was that there was nothing artificial (i.e. implants, saline, silicone) used in my sculpting, just my own fats and fluids which makes the procedure safer and less likely that your body will reject it.
What advice do you have for other women thinking of having the surgery?
Prepare! Research, research, research, research, research, research!!! I can’t say that enough. I met girls over in D.R. that had no clue what was going on, they were just there to spend money. The only thing that they knew is that when they woke up off that table, they were going to have big butts. They didn’t know ANYTHING regarding the processes and procedures, pre-op, post-op, supplies, nothing! They had no clue! I found this really sad. Already you’re in a foreign country where there’s a major language barrier, you’re alone and your body is going through all kinds of changes. That can be dangerous! The research does become a sort of an addiction and can be all consuming if you let it. But it’s better to be informed. I had to literally MAKE myself step back from researching at times. So it’s important to set limits, step away, and then come back to it in a day or two. Sift through every piece of information that you come across, look through pictures, talk to the girls that have already had surgery, ask questions and communicate any concerns with your surgeon. I spoke to the girls that had surgery from all over the world as I found that they offered key information that truly helped me in the long run. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them because most girls will be thrilled to share their journey and answer your questions. In physically preparing, you MUST mentally prepare as well. I did a lot of meditating in my quiet time and talking to God. I prayed about it for a while and I knew that once everything started coming together…. This was meant! Consider the pros and cons of the procedure as well as consequences, both good and bad. Know that everything that you do in life involves some sort of risk, and understand those risks can sometimes be fatal. Seems a little extreme but it happens so these are the things that you have to think about because it’s real life.
I know we all want what we want, when we want it, but please don’t feel pressured to rush into this. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS! Once you have decided that this is the best thing for you, talk to your family about your plans because you WILL need a strong support system to get through this.
Never go alone, take SOMEBODY with you! Regardless of where you have your surgery, you will need someone there. These procedures are very traumatizing and having someone there with you helps a lot.
The better your health is going in, the better your health is going to be coming out. Guaranteed! I ate clean, exercised, took vitamins and supplements for months prior to my surgery. This helped me out immensely! The nurses and doctors were shocked at my speed of recovery and how I was able to function with ease the day after my surgery and they kept calling me “strong girl”. Lol! I’m convinced that this was a direct effect of my preparation.
Lastly, please make sure that you are not trying to fix internal issues by having cosmetic procedures. That’s the worst thing that you can do to yourself and could ultimately end up being detrimental to your mental health. Face those demons head on and fix yourself internally FIRST, then work on the external. These surgeries will change your attitude and if you are weak minded or weak willed the surgery will go straight to your head. Be confident in who you are and have a clear and concise, objective for why you are having the surgery… and not just because you want a big butt.
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