-by a 43-year-old patient of Dr. Ashley N. Amalfi, board-certified plastic surgeon
My story begins with the natural birth of my 10-pound son. Several months after giving birth, I noticed I had severe pelvic instability and lower back pain. I was told by several doctors it was “normal” for this to happen to women who were small in stature (I am 5’4” and weigh 120 pounds) that had big babies and was told to be “grateful” for my son and deal with the pain.
Trying Various Treatments to Alleviate the Pain
After 10 years of physical therapy, sciatica that only responded to injections, radiofrequency ablation (a very painful procedure where they cauterize the nerves in your back to possibly relieve the pain – it didn’t), wearing a pelvic “belt” to hold my pelvis together, and excruciating lower back pain, I began to research articles in medical journals to see if there was anything that could relieve my pain.
I was desperate. My day-to-day life was severely impacted, and my son and husband became used to me saying, “Mommy can’t do this because it might hurt her back or pelvis.” I was sick and tired of being in pain. I had never considered plastic surgery but kept reading studies that showed women who had abdominoplasty with muscle repair reported their lower back pain and pelvic instability were greatly improved.
Taking a Step in a New Direction
I took a leap of faith and scheduled a consultation with Dr. Amalfi in February of 2023. After looking at my photos, she came into the room and told me not only that my stomach wall was completely separated, but that I also had a hernia that needed to be repaired. I asked her if the stomach wall separation contributed to my lower back pain/pelvic instability, and she said it could certainly be a root cause. After 10 years of hopelessness, Dr. Amalfi held my hand, assured me I would benefit greatly from the abdominoplasty with muscle repair, and I scheduled my surgery for March 2023.
I elected to have the abdominoplasty with muscle repair and a breast lift with fat grafting because my breasts were wrecked from breastfeeding. Dr. Amalfi was so reassuring and confident, I went into the surgery with absolutely NO anxiety. After 3 ½ hours of surgery, I was ready to go to my hotel room and sleep. I would not describe the sensation after the procedure as “pain;” it was more a tightness in my stomach and soreness from the liposuction they did for the fat grafting of my breasts.
New Normal, Pain Free
After a few days of rest at home, I noticed I had no back pain. At my follow-ups, I kept asking if I was just numb or if the surgery relieved that much of my back/pelvis pain. Dr. Amalfi explained that because my stomach was so separated, nothing else could be held in place regardless of the stability work and exercise I was doing. Both of our eyes filled with tears when she told me most likely the pain would not come back.
I have now been healed for over 4 months. I have NO BACK PAIN, no pelvic instability, and I am back to working out and running. I have a new lease on life because I am not in chronic pain. I can enjoy activities with my son without wondering if it will leave me in excruciating pain. At 43 years old, I am the most confident I have ever been in my body and am stronger than ever.
Dr. Amalfi and the team at the Quatela Center changed my life. I will forever hold a special place in my heart for them. I would encourage ANYONE considering plastic surgery to schedule a consultation with Dr. Amalfi. It just might change your whole life too.
*Experience and opinion is that of this particular patient. Individual results vary.