Victoria Castañeda-Vargas
Episode 2

Botched Tummy Tuck in Peru

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas

This episode includes topics about

Episode Two of the Plastic Surgeon Podcast delves into the story of Dr. Sajan’s patient, Victoria Castañeda Vargas. Victoria underwent a tummy tuck in Peru that left her botched and unhappy with her body. Not only did the surgery leave her unhappy, but she experienced intense complications that left her in pain even a year after surgery.

Prior to her botched tummy tuck, Victoria had liposuction from the same Peruvian surgeon. Years later,  after having children, she needed a tummy tuck to correct the trauma pregnancy and childbirth put the body through. She chose to go back to the same surgeon for her tummy tuck surgery. Victoria’s journey includes botched surgery, personal confidence, and the way a Latin American woman’s body is viewed in the United States.

Learn about Victoria’s botched plastic surgery experience and the revision tummy tuck Dr. Sajan performed in this savory new episode of the Plastic Surgeon Podcast. Subscribe to The Plastic Surgeon Podcast for more plastic surgery stories from real patients and providers. Follow Dr. Sajan and The Plastic Surgeon Podcast on social media @realdrseattle.

Learn more about Dr. Sajan’s plastic surgery at: allureesthetic.com.

Transcription pending. Check back soon!

Transcription

Dr. Javad Sajan  00:00

Ever wondered what motivates people to get plastic surgery? Did they regret it? What can we learn from the stories of plastic surgery patients? I’m Dr. Javad Sajan and this is the Plastic Surgeon Podcast. Welcome to the Plastic Surgeon Podcast where we listen to real plastic surgery stories of triumph and pain from real patients and providers to further understand the motivations of why they would risk their life under the knife. I’m Dr. Javad Sajan. This is episode number two. My guest today is Victoria Castañeda Vargas. She is such an amazing patient. I’ve had the privilege to serve her with surgery. Victoria, how’s it going?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  00:53

Fabulous. How are you?

Dr. Javad Sajan  00:54

Thank you so much for being with me today. I’m so excited to chat with you. I’m so excited to share your story. And, what I’m really excited about today is to share with all of our amazing fans, your experience so they can learn something and take something away from us today.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  01:07

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  01:08

So, Victoria is my amazing patient. She actually had surgery done outside the country. She then came to me for revision surgery. And, what we’re going to chat about today is her experience from having a plastic surgery procedure done outside the USA, then having to manage that afterwards herself, and then coming to me and having surgery with me. We’re going to start with that. So Victoria, tell me about your journey. What--What country do you have surgery in?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  01:37

Okay, so, long story, but I’ll make as shortest as possible.

Dr. Javad Sajan  01:43

We got time.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  01:43

Okay, well it all started. So, I had lipo first when I was in my 20s in Peru. And, it was fabulous.

Dr. Javad Sajan  01:54

Are you from Peru, Victoria?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  01:55

I am from Peru.

Dr. Javad Sajan  01:55

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  01:56

Try our food it’s amazing. Um, and the tamales as awesome. But, I I love my results the first time around. It was a great surgeon. My cousin did all that research. It was great. Again, I was in my 20s. Then, I had a baby.

Dr. Javad Sajan  02:12

And Victoria, when you had that liposuction there in your 20s, did the doctor tell you what kind of lipo was done? I know it was a long time ago. Do you remember what kind? Was it laser? Was it ultrasound? Was it traditional suction liposuction?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  02:26

Okay, so first things first, it wasn’t that long ago. I am not that old. This doesn’t  just happened, baby. It’s work. And, to, no. My cousin did the research for me, which means she visited with them and everything. And, then when I went in for my consultation, it was nothing like our consultation, where you took the time to talk to me about exactly what you were going to do. He was kind of bless his heart. My surgeon was kind of like, “What do you want?” “Like Well, I think I want to be flatter here.” And, he’s like, “Okay, that’s it.” “And, then tomorrow, draw some blood and then they after you’re done with surgery.” And I was like, “Sure, let’s do that.” So no, there was not that much conversation about what kind of lipo it was going to be or anything like that.

Dr. Javad Sajan  03:19

And, when you had that surgery done, did they do like a preoperative appointment? Like you did with us where you meet with the nurse, they go through your instructions, consents, procedures, they tell you about the recovery?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  03:29

No, he was kind of all in one. And that was the lipo, that was not even the tummy tuck. That was the firstthing that I did.  Yeah, how was that recovery? Do you remember? The recovery was easy. Um, again, I was in my 20s. I’m 35 now. I know. Don’t look like it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  03:50

Not at all.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  03:50

But, so I was in my early 20s. I think that that has something to do with the fact that my recovery was just like, I woke up and I love what I looked at. And, I took my things and I went to the market to have some juice. Like I was like, “Let’s go.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:07

That’s awesome. Now, were you asleep for that surgery?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:09

Yes, I was.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:10

They had an anesthesia person there from what you remember?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:13

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:13

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:14

And, I didn’t meet with them. Like, you want us to show all this?

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:18

Yeah. Patrick.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:20

Oh my god. Patrick is awesome. He’s great.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:23

And, did they tell you not to eat before surgery? NPO like not eating 12 hours before surgery? So all that you were prepared for?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:31

That part, yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:31

And, then after surgery, did they give you like a faja or a body garment?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:36

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:36

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:36

The faja was amazing.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:37

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:38

And yeah, so I did that.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:40

That went well?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:41

That went well.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:42

You were happy?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:42

I was happy.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:43

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:44

And then, you know, I you went through grad school and then--

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:48

What was your grad school in?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:50

I’m a social worker. So, social work.

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:52

Yeah, that’s so cool. So you got a master’s in social work? Where did you go to grad school?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:55

UW. Woo!

Dr. Javad Sajan  04:56

That’s awesome.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  04:57

Yeah,  so um, and I mentioned that because grad school, especially for me, for a person of color was stressful. I dealt with it as many do. And, so there was a lot of, you know, and also just I love working out like I actually do like that. So, that was my way of coping with the stress of grad school.

Dr. Javad Sajan  05:17

Why do you say it’s more stressful for a person of color?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  05:20

To go to grad school? Oh, Lord Jesus. Well, academia is not a place that has been built for folks like me. And, um, you know, in grad school, even before that in undergrad, I would walk into classes and that was maybe the only Latina there. And, in grad school, it was better because I have lived life and I knew who I was. And, the UW School of Social Work is pretty comparatively diverse to other schools. So, I wasn’t the only one but still, um, I will do my practicum and it was obvious that you know, folks, folks were not ready to see someone like me being a social worker.

Dr. Javad Sajan  06:17

Really? Like the patients or your colleagues?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  06:20

Um, both I did my practicum, I won’t give that away, but I did my practicum in a couple of places. And, in my first placement, one of the folks, mind you, I was there for like months, but one of the folks you know, there would make comments like, you know, like, “Oh, that’s great. You’re getting a Master’s, but it wasn’t hard for you to get in.” And I’m like, “It was really hard, you know, actually was really hard. Um, why would you say that?” And, I love to ask questions. I just love like, “What do you mean about that?” And people get very like uncomfortable “Well, I  think you know?” “Why? What? Why? Why?”

Dr. Javad Sajan  07:06

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  07:07

You know, um, and you just call that out until they’re able to say like, “Oh yeah, I cannot say what I’m really thinking.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  07:15

Exactly.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  07:15

You know more like, “Oh, cuz maybe your thing is racist?” “Yeah, so maybe you shouldn’t do that.” You know, so, I also had people, now even, you know, I mean, I’ve been working at a place I worked at for a while. And, I also work at a hospital. and at the place I work at, you know, my accent is--I love my accent. I love your accent like yourself. And, I’ve had people ask me to interpret for them. When I’m like, “No, we’re supposed to lose the language line. I am a professional who speaks Spanish, among two other languages. So total four, but I’m not a Spanish interpreter. Not right now. You know, I’m a professional speaker of Spanish. I’m not a Sp--you know, like so it was interesting. Um, people would do that often. The people at my work sometimes would be like, “Oh, you only help Latinos right?” And I’m like, “Number one, I don’t help people. I am a social worker. If I’m a good social worker, then my goal is to let you know that you have what you need to arrive to your goals.

Dr. Javad Sajan  08:12

Do you? Did people make fun of your body shape or your style? Do they make comments because you were Latin? Or, did you get anything like that?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  08:41

Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Javad Sajan  08:42

Like, what?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  08:43

All the time, um, I love my butt. Like, it’s pretty. You know, but, um, folks would just make comments like, you know, “Oh, you have a big butt that’s a good thing because you’re Latin.” You know, like.

Dr. Javad Sajan  08:57

Really? Just like random?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  08:58

Just random! And, I’m like, “Number one, that’s great that you feel like you can comment on my body. And, indeed it’s beautiful. But, I am working right now. Right like.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:09

Was it men or women or both?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:11

Both.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:11

Really?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:11

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:12

Anyone ever touch you or grab you anywhere?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:17

Yeah, actually yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:24

Really?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:25

Yeah, that’s uncomfortable. You know? Because like, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:31

I’m sorry.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:34

I was gonna say it’s okay, but, no,  it’s not okay.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:36

It’s not okay. No, don’t say that.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:37

I know. So yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:39

You don’t have to tell me more. I don’t have to ask more about it. But was it men, women or both who you felt would grab you or touch you inappropriately during your education?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:49

During my education?

Dr. Javad Sajan  09:51

Or at work?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  09:52

I don’t work. I don’t work which is crazy because then I’m like, “Y’all know there’s HR, right?” Like you’re not with it. Yeah, but HR also, you know, has you know, anyway but um, at work is both and the thing is this right like, I, I am 35 years old and I love the vessel in which I am in right now. And, and nothing about me is just for chance. I wear hoops for a reason. I wear loud colors for a reason. I wear heels for a reason. I do all these for a reason. Nothing is left by chance. So, if you have a question, right? If you want to know where I got my hoops, or if you want to touch them or if you want to, like ask me about you know, like my butt or, or ask me or anything like that, of course ask the question. Why not? But, do not ask the question and just grab. That’s when I’m like, what makes you believe like they autonomy. I have autonomy on my own body. But, we live in a society that has taught folks that, you know, I don’t deserve the question. So, um, that was--that is--still annoying.

Dr. Javad Sajan  11:11

So, people have certain impressions of the body shape, physique, of Latin women?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  11:16

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  11:17

And, people made comments, they inappropriately touched. And as you were going through grad school in your in your work, you thought about having more surgery?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  11:26

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  11:27

After your son, correct?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  11:28

Yeah. My daughter.

Dr. Javad Sajan  11:29

Your daughter?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  11:29

Yes. Yes. So I had so I went to grad school. I had my daughter after that. And I, I always worked out I love CrossFit.

Dr. Javad Sajan  11:41

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  11:42

Its problematic. Um, but and I felt very comfortable with my weight. Like my weight was not an issue. It’s never has been, but it was my shape. And, the fact that I’ve, you know, my my body thinks that I’m still in 1500’s highlands of Peru picking up potatoes because that’s what most people did. Right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:06

Were you born in Peru?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:07

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:08

How long did you live there?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:09

Until I was 15.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:10

Wow. Yeah, so you said you worked in agriculture there, or no?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:14

No no, my body thinks--

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:15

Ahh

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:16

My body’s like this is you know, like this is what we’re supposed to be doing among many other things. So, my my body shape and I’m a thick person and I like that I like I love that about myself because it says something right? Um, so but what I didn’t like was like when I was doing cleans or when I was doing certain movements my lower belly has had extra skin.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:45

After pregnancy?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:46

After pregnancy, even before the pregnancy.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:48

Was it more after?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:49

Oh my god. Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:50

You know, a lot of people don’t know this. But when women have pregnancy, they get many things that happen that aren’t correctable by diet and exercise.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  12:58

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  12:58

One thing is you get separation of your abdominal muscles. Your rectus abdominal muscles are the muscles that make that six pack, with pregnancy they separate. In the middle, you have a thin fascia attachment and it widens and separates. And, you get what’s called diastasis recti. And, that muscle separation is really not fixable by any diet, by any exercise. The way that’s corrected is with surgery. And, a lot of people feel on women after pregnancy, trying to do what’s called a mommy makeover, or restore some of that pre- pregnancy physique is wrong and it’s vain. And, I would say you know what, if you try going through pregnancy have that sequelae and then say what you’re saying. Don’t you think so?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  13:45

Oh my god, yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  13:46

Because it is not removable. Extra skin, skin will contract after pregnancy, but it’s limited in everybody and you always have loose skin leftover.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  13:57

Oh my god. Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  13:57

And, a lot of women when they wear more fitted clothes, you can see that pouch, that lower abdominal pouch and that’s not gonna go away by any form of physical therapy in the way that’s removed. The only way is surgery. And, you were you were seeing that and feeling more and more.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  14:14

Mhm. Mhm. And, the thing is right if you love that, awesome baby, do you, right? But, in my case, I didn’t like it. I legit could put my whole hand and like hold my belly, like the whole the extra belly. And I could like, fit like up to four of my fingers could fit in there.

Dr. Javad Sajan  14:32

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  14:34

My baby was nine pounds when she was born.

Dr. Javad Sajan  14:36

Wow.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  14:37

I know. So, you know, I’d like to eat and she did too. She’s fine now.

Dr. Javad Sajan  14:43

Yeah, how much weight did you gain with your pregnancy, do you remember?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  14:47

42.  42 pounds.

Dr. Javad Sajan  14:48

That’s amazing.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  14:49

Yeah. It was great. And, the thing is, I like the fact that you mentioned you know, like how people have ideas about like, Oh, this vein or la di da. Because, yes, like, I see so many of my friends even, that, you know, have ideas and comments about the fact that I did a tummy tuck and a couple of things, right? Like, I don’t know what bill they’re paying this month because unless they’re paying my bills, they have no opinion. Like, splish splash...

Dr. Javad Sajan  15:19

Yeah

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  15:20

...your opinion is trash. So, um, I don’t care. And number two, you know, do whatever it is you’re comfortable with. And, I love working out. That wasn’t an issue. The issue was I have, okay, this is a little bit like self love and self care whenever I had a shitty day, right? Um, I used to love to dance in front of the mirror, you know, like, and not clothed. And just like, and, and I don’t know that really, you know, I would dance to like salsa or like, hip hop or whatever. And that will make me feel so good, you know, and then after having my kiddo and postpartum depression hit and hit bad, and I didn’t even notice. I work in mental health, and they beat in. I could. I am, I promise I’m a good social worker. And, I could diagnose people day and night. But, with myself, I was running, running, running. I never, you know, like, took the time to like, “Whoa, no, Victoria, you’re not okay.” So I felt, really, I couldn’t do my dance. You know, when I had a shitty day. I couldn’t go home and take off my clothes. And that’s because I didn’t like what I see. And, so that’s when I decided, you know what, I’m gonna do something about it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  16:44

And before surgery, were you able to lose some of that pregnancy weight?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  16:48

Yeah, oh yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  16:49

Pretty much all of it?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  16:50

No.

Dr. Javad Sajan  16:51

A lot of it?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  16:52

Um, I think a lot of the weight and this is a wonderful thing about having my--. Well, I don’t think it’s just my daughter. I think it’s like my jeans or something, like, I love my legs and I can dead weight like a lot of weight. I love lifting weights. But, after my pregnancy I noticed my my legs got thicker. And, I love that. So, I think that I didn’t lose all the weight because a lot of that went to places I enjoyed. You know, like my legs and my booty and and I didn’t mind that at all. So I didn’t I think I might have lost and even to today I think I lost maybe 30 pounds of that 42.

Dr. Javad Sajan  17:43

Yeah, pretty close and then you decided to do something surgical about it, correct?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  17:47

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  17:48

How did that journey start? Did you look in the US? Did you automatically think back to go to Peru?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  17:55

The US was not even an option.

Dr. Javad Sajan  17:57

Why?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  17:58

Cost. Yeah. And, you know have all my family back home so I decided I’m just gonna go back home to the same surgeon because he was such a great experience the first time.

Dr. Javad Sajan  18:14

How many years after your first surgery was that?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  18:18

10 years later.

Dr. Javad Sajan  18:19

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  18:21

Um, I did do research on one more doctor and and the way I did it because the way it works back home is if you tell them that you’re coming from the US or any other country, suddenly the costs will increase. So, I talked to my cousin back home, and my friends back home and told him, “Hey, go ahead and make an appointment for me.” And, kind of explained to them what’s going on blah, blah, blah. And they were fine with that. So, I just showed up and my I had to work on my accent mate. I, unfortunately really, I now have been in the US longer than I have been back home.

Dr. Javad Sajan  19:00

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  19:00

So, in my Spanish, from time to time, I’ll drop the “Oh” in, and people will be like, “Oh, you’re from somewhere else?” You know? So, I’m like, “Don’t say oh, don’t say oh, don’t say oh.” Um, so yeah, I went I that’s, that’s how, and I went to that other surgeon. And, he was also very rash. And I didn’t like that. And I said, I’m just gonna go with these others.

Dr. Javad Sajan  19:23

You had a similar consultations with both?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  19:25

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  19:26

You know, it’s so funny. It’s the same thing in my culture. So yeah, I grew up in East Africa. Ethnically, I’m Indian. Whenever I go back, India or Africa, when they hear my accent, all the prices go up for anything, any market, anything. And I don’t know why people do that. It’s so funny. You know, it’s like sometimes you own people go after you the most.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  19:45

Well, I think that is also because they know that you know, our ability to pay also has increased, right? And I’ve also seen like in markets, right? And, in markets, I don’t even try. I just go like, “How much is this?” “$50? I’ll give you sixty.” You know? Because I because I know also, you know, my people are working so hard to like make this sweater. And I know that you know, I come to the US I’ll sell it for 150, or people will you know? And but like the time and energy and love that they have put into making these and then I also see other tourists who take advantage of the whole culture of like, you know, of like, “Okay, twenty, ten, five.” You know? So, I don’t even try. I’m like, “How much do you want for this? I’ll pay you more.” Like because I noticed like people the way they go about you know, doing their products. They put so much love into it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  20:36

That’s true. Yeah, it’s very different. Different, different thought of mind.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  20:37

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  20:39

You know? Much more group versus individualistic. What we have here.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  20:42

Oh my god, yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  20:44

And, so you had the consultation? It felt like a rush, but you had a good experience. So, you thought why not?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  20:48

Exactly.

Dr. Javad Sajan  20:49

Okay, so how many days before surgery did you meet the doctor?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  20:53

I was about--Oh, God, there’s a whole thing about that too.

Dr. Javad Sajan  20:56

Yeah. Tell us.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  20:57

Um, I met the doctor. Maybe...maybe five days before surgery.

Dr. Javad Sajan  21:03

He had openings in five days for surgery?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  21:04

Yeah. That should be a red flag, right? But no. So five days before, and the thing that was interesting and again, this should have been--this, this was Jesus talking to me and I was like, “No, it’s okay.” Um, after the rushed consultation, Doctor says, you know, the typical we have to take your blood, blood count, that we did here too. And the blood count comes back and they say its too low. And instead of being like, “Okay, maybe this is not the time.” I was asked to do infusion? Iron or something? I don’t even know.

Dr. Javad Sajan  21:05

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  21:45

Did they give you blood or did they give you iron? No, it was, yeah. And I did that.

Dr. Javad Sajan  21:49

So, typically, when we do liposuction, tummy tuck, or high volume surgeries, we need the hemoglobin to be at a certain level. Now, if a patient has a low hemoglobin, if you give iron whether you give it by mouth, or IV, it takes several weeks for that blood level to get up. Because the bone marrow makes the red blood cells. The bone marrow doesn’t make it overnight. So, when you have a low hemoglobin, you have two ways, two options for surgery. Option one, you delay about four to six weeks, have the patient eat iron, so the hemoglobin goes up. Or, option two, you do a lesser surgery. You remove less fat you remove less skin, because when you remove less you impact the hemoglobin. So the hemoglobin level is an indicator of, how much can I remove? If someone has a high good hemoglobin like I require for my surgery, I can remove a lot of fat because when that fat comes out, blood comes with that fat. So if your hemoglobin is low, your options are delay or do very conservative, do less surgery, leave extra skin, leave fat behind because you don’t jeopardize the patient. waking up from anesthesia. Does that make sense?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:02

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:03

Even if they gave you iron--it wasn’t blood they gave you, right?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:06

No.

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:06

Okay, if they gave you blood. That’s a different story. But, if they gave you iron that doesn’t do much.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:12

And, you know, what’s the funny thing? Not so funny. Again, this is like a red flag. Okay. I did the iron.

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:20

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:20

And, then they took my blood again the next day. And now, you’re telling me that of course it would effect that, but not to the level where you need it effected. And, and lo and behold, of course. It’s still low.

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:36

It was the same problem.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:37

It was the same problem, right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:38

And they told you it was still low?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:39

Yeah.So, I had another one done and another, another--.

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:44

Iron infusion.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:45

Yes. So I had I think like three of those. Okay. And, then at the end of the third one, they’re like, “Oh, finally you’re good. So we’re gonna have surgery now. Two days from now.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  23:54

Wow.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  23:55

And I feel “Hey, the doctor’s telling me that this is happening. I guess this is fine.” Not so fine. Yeah, so that was my pre op.

Dr. Javad Sajan  24:07

And what did he tell you? The provider? What was he going to do for you? Did you guys go over what it was?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  24:13

Um, as much as he could, as much as he could tell me. I guess he was busy that day.

Dr. Javad Sajan  24:18

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  24:18

These are all red flags that after--

Dr. Javad Sajan  24:20

That’s good! You’re seeing this because when you’re in it, you don’t see it, Victoria. You’re just like, “Oh, this is how it goes.” Patients, when they’re in the process or having something done, they usually want it done so bad, they will overlook everything. And I’ve seen it a million times, even with my patients. I sometimes tell them, “Stop. Surgery is not the answer today. Maybe down the road.” And what you did is very normal. You did nothing wrong because people are in that mindset. “I want to get this done. I want to look better. I want to feel better.” You know what, Victoria? When I do surgery, people often ask me, “Hey, Doc, you’re changing how I look?” And I tell them, “Yes, but I’m doing something more.” And they’re like, “What is that?” “I’m not really changing how you look. I’m doing that, but that’s not the real thing that we’re really doing. What we’re really doing is we’re changing how you feel, how you look, will get there.” But the real thing people come to me for is a change in how they feel. And the physical change is a part of it. Absolutely. But when you really think about it, that’s what makes people sometimes overlook the little things when we’re going through procedures, and try to get it done. You know, you were seeing all these things, but you were just telling yourself telling yourself, “Hey, that’s what it is. That’s what it is. It’s gonna be fine. The lipo went great. Why not?”

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  25:35

Exactly.

Dr. Javad Sajan  25:36

Yeah. So, did he tell you, that provider, if he’s going to do just a tummy tuck, if he’s going to do lipo, or bbl, or the goal was “We’re doing tummy tuck.”

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  25:44

The goal was tummy tuck.

Dr. Javad Sajan  25:46

Okay. Do you mind sharing with us how much it cost? You don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  25:50

I wanna say-- You can give us a range. Yeah, I want to say it was maybe $3,000. Something like that.

Dr. Javad Sajan  25:56

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  25:58

Yes, I think it was $3,000.

Dr. Javad Sajan  26:00

And to give people a reference, a tummy tuck in the US, depending on where you go, very low end, you know, Miami, high volume place might do it around $8,000 up to $25,000 is the range that you’ll see.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  26:14

Yeah. Oh, yeah. And they--Another thing is that when I met with the provider again, right? He didn’t really explain to me, like I explained to him like, “Hey, um, you know, I had a baby. I used to work out a lot. Never have I ever had a six pack. I mean, it’s there. It’s just that my body’s not made to have a six pack. And, that’s fine, right? Like, I’m strong, I promise you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  26:39

I know.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  26:39

I can, I can, I can lift you maybe. I don’t know. Let’s try it later. Um, but I, I just I just wanted to be able to not have this extra skin, you know? So I explained that to him. I’m like, “Hey, I am healthy, right?” Like “I had a baby. I just have this extra skin.” So I think so, tummy. This is a thing that I remember telling him.

Dr. Javad Sajan  26:41

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  26:45

I think it’s a tummy tuck, you know? And he said, “Yeah, yeah, that’s what is is, that’s what it is.” So he measured me and all that. And, you know, like the regular don’t eat blah, blah, blah. Don’t eat you know, before the surgery. All that stuff, you know? So, I assumed, right? I’m telling you that this is what I want. And you’re telling me that this is a procedure I should have. Awesome. When he said tummy tuck, I figured he’s gonna hopefully loosen the skin. So he could pull the skin.

Dr. Javad Sajan  27:35

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  27:35

And make that extra skin go away.

Dr. Javad Sajan  27:38

Exactly.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  27:38

Like that makes sense to me.  Was there a consent you had to sign or something?  Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  27:42

Okay. All that was there?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  27:43

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, I read it. And it you know, he just said there like, tummy tuck, you know? Like so. Yeah, he was. I mean, that part of it was, um, I trusted him because I had been on his table before.

Dr. Javad Sajan  27:59

Yes. Yeah, how did the surgery go?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:03

Okay, this is good. It was the Sunday where Peru y Brazil were playing. I remember this clearly.

Dr. Javad Sajan  28:11

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:11

And because--

Dr. Javad Sajan  28:13

Was it World Cup?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:13

It was World Cup.

Dr. Javad Sajan  28:15

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:15

Um, and I remember this because as I was getting ready, I kept on saying, you know, like, “Oh, when am I’m going to see the doctor?” Because right before surgery, right like they come in and they they mark you and all that stuff and then you look like a crusher map, you know? And great. And I remember the nurse saying, “Oh, he’s a little bit busy right now, but he’s coming.” You know, like, “Okay, no problem.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  28:41

So they hadn’t marked you? Or the nurse marked you?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:44

No, they hadn’t marked me yet. But when I got to the OR, right? Um, the doctor came in. And he said, “Oh, we’re gonna do your tummy tuck. And I’m like, “Oh, yay! He knows what he’s doing.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  28:57

He hadn’t marked you until you got in the OR?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  28:59

Yeah. He marked me in the OR.

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:01

In the OR?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:01

In the OR. Yeah. And I remember Peru and Brazil were playing because, um, he kept on saying like, “Oh, have you been watching the game?” And in my head I’m like, “Wait, I thought you were busy? How come you were watching the game?”

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:15

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:16

And I could hear the game still going cause I think he was like meet, you know, like in meet time, you know?

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:22

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:23

Um, and then the second half had started and he’s like, “Okay, I’ll be right back.” And I’m like, “Okay.” You know?

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:31

Who were you in the OR--Who were you in the OR with when he left?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:34

The nurse and the person who--.

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:38

The anesthesia provider?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:39

Anesthesia. Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  29:40

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  29:40

Yeah. Um, but I remember clearly it was a soccer game because as I was laying there, right? Um, they said, you know, “Count from 10 back.” And I’m like, um, I could hear the the game going on and I kept on thinking like, one goal, two goals, three goals. And, then they were like, “No backwards.” And I’m like, 10 goals...

Dr. Javad Sajan  30:02

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  30:03

Nine goals and! And all of that to say is, and the reason why I make a point of talking about it is because, I, after I woke up, it was obvious or something was wrong. And the first thing in my head, I don’t know, the first thing in my head, it was like, “The doctor didn’t do my surgery.” But that was my first thing.

Dr. Javad Sajan  30:03

Why?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  30:06

And to this day, I could swear by it. I don’t know, this is just, I think someone else did it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  30:30

Why do you say that?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  30:32

Because, well, because there was so many surgeries done that day, you know?

Dr. Javad Sajan  30:40

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  30:41

And I don’t think like, “This is a really good doctor, like models and Miss Peru or whatever goes to him, you know?” No way, Jose, that I ended up looking like this from this doctor, you know? So, I think that maybe he marked me and maybe somebody else did the surgery.

Dr. Javad Sajan  31:01

Sure.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  31:02

Which is another reason why I chose you. Because my friend who did all the research for you, haha!. You know, kept on telling me like this doctor, you know, like, shows what he’s doing. And I’m like, oh, that will be something I would have wanted. So yeah, the first thing I did when I woke up, yeah, um, I woke up and I feel weird. And I’m like, Oh, God, and I never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever and I’ve had surgery, you know, I my daughter was born through C section. So being in anesthesia--under anesthesia before and then the light bulb before, right and I’ve had other you know, just health stuff where I’ve had to be asleep.  Um, I every time I wake up from anesthesia, I’m fine. Yeah, you know, I know a lot of people have the shakes. Or, or, or, or are nauseous. Not me, I wake up and I’m like, do-do-do, you know? I woke up and I knew something was wrong immediately. And the first thought was, “The doctor didn’t do my surgery.” Second thought was, “Oh my god, I’m gonna throw up.”  And the nurse was there. And there was another nurse, and I’m laying there. And I’m thinking, “I’m gonna throw up” and I’m telling her, “Ma’am, I’m gonna throw up.” And the nurse was like, “No, no, no, you’re fine.” And I’m laying here and I go to the other nurse. So this is--this is the bed.

Dr. Javad Sajan  32:27

You’re, you’re in the recovery area?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  32:29

I’m in the recovery area. I’m waking up from surgery.

Dr. Javad Sajan  32:32

So we’re they gonna send you home? Were they keeping you there?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  32:34

They were keeping me there.

Dr. Javad Sajan  32:35

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  32:35

Yeah. And nurse number one, is like, “No, you’re fine.” Nurse number two, I look at her and I’m like, “I’m going to throw up”  Nurse number two says, like, “You’re fine.” Then turns to nurse number one under start talking about dinner. What they’re gonna eat and all that. And I’m like, “I don’t think you’re me. Because now you’re talking about food and I’m about to throw up.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  32:52

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  32:54

And, they were not listening to me. And I’m like, “Well, I guess I’m just gonna have to prove it to you.” So I threw up on her.

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:00

No way.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:01

Oh yeah, I did. I aimed it. Cause I’m like, “I told you! We had this conversation!” So I aimed it and it looked horrible. My--I’ve never seen that color come out of my mouth.

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:14

Was it green?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:16

It was green. It was like, but he was like--

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:18

It was bile.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:19

It was all--

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:20

Green and black.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:21

Yes, it was. It was disgust. It was like, it was just, it was disgusting.

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:26

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:26

So I--and then she’s like, “Oh, you throw up on me.” And I’m like, “I told you I was going to.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:32

She was mad at you because you threw up?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:33

Yeah, yeah. And and then I told her, “Can you please give me something? Because I think I’m gonna keep on throwing up.” Her response was-- I’m back home. Um, it’s not like here, you know, you have to buy all of your stuff. And you come into the OR with all your stuff. IV fluid, antibiotics, everything that they’re gonna need you, you bring with you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  33:56

You bring your IV bag?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  33:57

Yes. Everything you know. And this, you know, this was a clinic and there were many floors and different specialties in each floor. I’m in the OR. The pharmacies on the first floor. You could go get something for me. You know and I asked her like, “Can you please go get something for me? Please get I am gonna keep on throwing up I feel it.” And, then she said to me, “Well no, because you you know, you need to pay before I can get to that.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  34:24

Oh my god.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  34:25

My response was like, “Well, let me see if I have something in my crack.” You know? Like, “I don’t think I have any meals up there. So, um, yeah, no. Can you you front me that?” I’m having this conversation.

Dr. Javad Sajan  34:37

Unbelievable.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  34:38

Like I couldn’t do it either. It was bad. Um, finally they call me for my family who were waiting. And, then, of course my family rushes to get the medication. And by this time I keep on throwing up. And I asked them like--

Dr. Javad Sajan  34:51

You know, you know,  we give a nausea patch.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  34:53

Yes!

Dr. Javad Sajan  34:53

Did they have a patch for you?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  34:54

Yeah, no! And, and, and, I remember asking her, “Can you get a pillow? Because I’ve seen--I used to interpret before, you know. And I’ve seen people waking up from surgery and having that nauseous feeling. And they give them a little pillow, so you can press on that so it doesn’t hurt so much when you throw up, right? Like, that makes sense to me.

Dr. Javad Sajan  35:16

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  35:16

You know, um, and, and she was like, “No, I don’t have any more pillows.” So I remember reaching for my own pillow and trying to put it on top of me and she’s like, “No, don’t fight with yourself.” And I’m like, “I’m trying to take care of myself! You won’t do it.” It was bad. It was bad. Finally, they got my medication, they put it in the IV. I felt a bit better.

Dr. Javad Sajan  35:40

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  35:41

And, then I went to my recovery room.

Dr. Javad Sajan  35:43

So, you know, sometimes we’re giving patients IV fluids and you need more than what you plan. So they wouldn’t have given you more fluids if you were dehydrating? If you didn’t buy it? Is that right?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  35:52

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  35:53

Wow.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  35:54

Which is again, right? Red Flag number, like, 15.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:00

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:00

No, yeah. So I went to the recovery room. Um, and my family had paid extra to one of the nurses so she could watch extra for me.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:10

A little tip?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:11

Yeah. And she came in she helped me to the bathroom, I guess Otherwise, I would have had to go to the bathroom by myself.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:18

How was the room? Was it nice?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:21

The room was nice.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:22

Clean?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:23

Clean. The bathroom was clean. I had my own bathroom.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:25

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:26

You know, all that good stuff. My friend came to see me and she--I could see in her face that I did not look good. Ah, it was bad.Um, and I remember the next day, the assistant of the doctor came in to see my incision.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:43

Was it another doctor? Or nurse? Or what kind of provider? Do you remember?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:46

I think it was a nurse. Yeah, it was a nurse.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:48

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  36:49

Um, and she came to see my incision. And that’s the first time I saw it. To be quite honest, I was excited about the front part because I no longer saw the extra skin.

Dr. Javad Sajan  36:59

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  37:00

But then the scar was like a smiley face. Like you could have put like two little dots in my belly and it was like a smiley face.

Dr. Javad Sajan  37:09

The ends were very high.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  37:10

The ends were very high and in the front, you know? I mean, it looked bad. And I told her, I’m like, “Oh, what’s going on here? You know” And her, her answer was, “Oh, you’re gonna have a little bit of what we call doggy ears. You can just come back and get that done.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  37:28

Come back to Peru?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  37:29

Mhm. And she said, “Get it done.” I’m like, “I’m sorry?”

Dr. Javad Sajan  37:36

This is one day after surgery.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  37:37

Yeah. So--

Dr. Javad Sajan  37:40

Did you ask why didn’t fix that when they did the surgery?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  37:43

No. I--at that point, I was like, I guess this is my head. I’m like, “I guess this is, this is what’s gonna be.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  37:51

So a dog, a dog ear. The medical word is a standing cutaneous deformity. It happens when you leave extra skin on the side and you don’t tailor all the skin. A lot of plastic surgery is tailoring. And, what that means is you have to re-drape what you create in a way that’s smooth. And, when you don’t take the extra time and energy to put the ends together well, you end up with puffy ends that stick out and poke out. It looks sort of like dog ears. That’s why people call them that. And, if you plan appropriately, you really shouldn’t have it. They usually happen when you’re rushed. You’re trying to get it done, get in and get out. And, then you say, “Oh, it’ll settle.” They never settle. They always stay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  38:36

Yeah. And she was honest about it from the beginning. Like, “Oh, yeah, that’s not gonna get better. He’s gonna have to come back for that. You know, it’s just a little bit of dog ears. You know, and after that, I went to visit my family.

Dr. Javad Sajan  38:51

How long were you in the hospital?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  38:52

One night.

Dr. Javad Sajan  38:53

Did the doctor see you after surgery at all?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  38:55

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  38:55

Okay, when did he come see you?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  38:57

Um, right before I got discharged.

Dr. Javad Sajan  38:58

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  38:59

And, now--And, I asked him again like, “How come?” You know? Like, “This looks like a smiley face. It’s not like--because, you know--

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:05

It was too high? Is that what caused the dog ears? Leftover skin.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  39:09

Yes, leftover skin. The day after surgery, right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:12

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  39:13

And, the scar looked like a smiley face.

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:17

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  39:18

Like so in the front. It wasn’t around. It was in the front.

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:21

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  39:21

Like legit, like you could see a smiley face there, you know? And, and, the doctor was like, “Oh, it’s gonna get better and your scars gonna disappear.” This is, this is, this is me being in Seattle for 20 plus years. I’m a dark skinned indigenous woman.

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:42

Yes.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  39:43

My scars are going to be a little bit darker than--you know? Like it is not gonna go away.

Dr. Javad Sajan  39:50

A lot of people ask me, Victoria, why do I scar differently? So, the number one factor for scarring is the person’s ethnicity. People who are ethnic have more pigment in them. On average, their body makes thicker and darker scars. Now, how you do the stitching is a second most important factor. Because if you don’t stitch it with low tension and very precisely and you don’t have the end of one edge, touch the end of the other edge very well and overlap called eversion, you get very thick scars. And, in people like me and you who have brown skin, you can get what’s called the hypertrophic scar. A hypertrophic scar is a scar that stays within the line, but it’s thick.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  40:35

Mm hmm.

Dr. Javad Sajan  40:36

Worse than that you can get a keloid. A keloid, believe it or not, is a form of a tumor almost. It’s a scar that grows beyond the incision. And, the usual reason that happens is: Number one, the predisposition is the person’s ethnicity. Number two, the incision often may not have been closed properly. It was closed and pulled too tight without lifting up the skin. Now, one of the ways to get good scars from tummy tucks is you lift the skin up appropriately, and you loosen it above. So, when it--when you bring it down, it’s not being covered by the attachments. If we don’t do that nicely, it doesn’t work. The other factor is when you stitch skin back together. To prevent thick scars, you have to do it in layers. When you have a tight closure like a tummy tuck, you have to put deep stitches in. So the skin is at the surface and below the skin, you have a white area called dermis. It looks white, and that area has to be put together very nicely. And if you skip out on that, and you just put the top layer together, you get very ugly scars.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  41:39

And that’s another thing that I could see was wrong from the beginning. At the beginning, like day two of surgery. I asked him because I was born in Lima which is the capital, right? But my family were from the highlands we’re from, from Cusco. We’re indigenous from there. I had to take a 45 minute flight to go see the rest of my family. So, I asked the doctor, “Can I fly?” “Yes, you can fly.” Second day of surgery or something. I know right!

Dr. Javad Sajan  42:10

Did they keep you hunched over after a tummy tuck?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  42:12

No, nothing!

Dr. Javad Sajan  42:12

Not at all?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  42:15

Um, I went to see the rest of my family. And they knew I had had surgery. So they were, you know, we do different things like our diet changes whenever and whatever, whatever surgery you have, my folks we like we change everything like where you sleep, what kind of, you know, like so they treat me like, I’m the queen that I am.

Dr. Javad Sajan  42:34

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  42:34

And, you know, and they were lovely. And then after that I had to come back to the US, right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  42:39

How long did you stay in recovery in Peru?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  42:42

I think I was there for two weeks. Two weeks. Yeah. Um, and on my way back, but this is the thing. The faja they gave me right? While pretty and beautiful--

Dr. Javad Sajan  42:52

Faja or a body suit like a surgical post surgical garment? Like a Spanx basically?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  42:56

Yeah, yeah. Um, and the one that they gave me was great. But I could feel that there was some times where like something would pull, you know from from especially from my left side like something would pull on I was like “Oh, maybe I’m just fresh off.” You know, like whatever? Um, I came to the States kept on healing or as much as healing as I could do and I started noticing that and I thought the scars were just thick but on my left side and I don’t know if I know I have pictures of them. But the, the scar on my left and I remember that he was like super

Dr. Javad Sajan  43:39

Very wide.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  43:40

Yeah. And, and I thought maybe like it opened. Like something happened there. It was bad

Dr. Javad Sajan  43:48

How long after did you notice, were you noticing the difference in the left side?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  43:54

Even when I was in Peru, I remember feeling like that tight like, oof, like something was pulling. You know? Um and I came back. Oh god, I come back and I come back to work. They told me was fine to work after two weeks.

Dr. Javad Sajan  44:08

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  44:09

Not fine. I remember driving to work and um a squirrel went through the road. So I slammed on my brakes. And I cried. So I said, “No, I’ll go home.” I went home. Cause I don’t cry at work. So I went home. Not that you can’t cry. You can cry. You should cry if you want to but it’s just personal color at work. Especially a woman of color at work should not. Okay, because then you’re either angry or emotional. Long story. Anyway, so um yeah. My recovery was bad and long. And I remember at the beginning, right? Because you’re with this faja I like the way I looked with a faja, right? But when you came took it out when I could take take it out. My upper belly was kind of swollen.

Dr. Javad Sajan  45:03

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  45:03

And, and, I thought, “Oh, it’ll go down, right?” Then, it never went down. And, um, and it was very tight in the, in the bottom, you know. So that happened for a while, I thought “Just fine, I’ll just you’ll get a better.” You know, um a lot of things change from my surgery till the time I chose to, to to, to to go with you. And, some of those things was my mental health got way better because a lot of things in my in you know I finally said something needs to change. And I started seeing someone you know like mental health wise and I started with antidepressants and in my community you know like, we don’t talk about it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  45:48

You can’t talk it no. Or, even mine, if people think they’ll ask you what’s wrong with you? Why are you telling your problems to somebody else? Fix it yourself.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  45:56

Yeah, and the thing is, I work with teenagers. I’m a social worker in high school, and I tell my babies all the time. Like, you know, it’s it’s not, it’s not because you’re weird. It’s not because you’re, you know, like, weak or anything like that. It’s just, you know, in our communities, right? Like, what do you do when you’re having a problem back home? “Oh, I go to my vecina or you know, to my neighbor and talk it out. Or, I go to my grandma, or I go to my cousin and I talk it out.” We sometimes as immigrants here don’t have that network. So guess what, in the US sometimes we call it counseling, you know, so I started doing that and I and I did it. I started with my antidepressants. I think that that really kind of like took--I started seeing things differently. And, I decided like, “Wow, this is not just messing with my body. This is really messing with my self esteem.” And, because I didn’t like the way I looked, it was painful. I, um, I would wear jeans, pants. Whatever. In a way that it would hit the scar. It was painful. It was a year later and it was painful.

Dr. Javad Sajan  47:04

Did you reach out to the doctor in Peru during all of this conveying your issues?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  47:08

No.

Dr. Javad Sajan  47:08

Why not?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  47:09

Um, because number one, I would have to then say, you know, I live in the US. That’s why I cannot go see you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  47:17

So he didn’t know you live in the US? Ahhh.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  47:20

No, no, no. Um, and, and number two, I am still upset. You know, because I, in my practice, I’m not perfect. I know, I mess up, you know. And when I messed up with my babies, I tell them like, “Hey, I’m sorry. I said this, and I shouldn’t have. Hey, I’m sorry. I assumed this. And I shouldn’t have. Hey, I’m sorry--” You know, but and that, that willingness to be vulnerable, has allowed me to grow. It has allowed me for my babies to believe when I tell them something is true, right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  47:59

I couldn’t agree with you more you went in what I do.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  48:02

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  48:02

I, every time I do a procedure, I learn something and I get better every single time. And a lot of providers, they can’t do that. They can only do things the way they’ve been trained. And that’s one thing I really try to focus on. The way I do surgery now, after years of experience, is completely different than when I started. And the main reason for that is, I think when you’re in art, in a procedure, that’s a science or a combination, which is what I think surgery is, you have to constantly keep evolving. And, the ones who evolve like you and your profession, are the ones that succeed and keep doing well. The ones that keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. They’re the they’re the people who just aren’t around 5-10 years from now.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  48:49

Mhm. I mean, we can see it now, right? Just because something has been done previously. It doesn’t make a right.

Dr. Javad Sajan  48:55

Exactly. You’re so right. So yeah, so, so then you were having pain? You don’t want to talk to the doctor again. Now, I’m just curious, do you think one of the reasons you didn’t want to talk to the doctor is because--did you feel embarrassed? Or do you say--

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  49:08

Absolutely.

Dr. Javad Sajan  49:09

Tell me more about that. Well, how did you feel embarrassed?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  49:12

I felt like I should have known better, right? After and the reason why I was talking about my mental health was because after addressing my mental health, and addressing a couple more things with my family, now, we were in a stable place. I bought a house. And you know, so we--

Dr. Javad Sajan  49:31

Congrats. Congrats on that.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  49:33

Thank you. And, um, my partner’s super supportive. My mom is super supportive. Um, you know, um, my mom lives with me, because that’s the way it is, you know, and she helps me my daughter. Things are falling into place, you know, everything like that. And I am, I am responsible for my mom, you know, and they’re responsible for this child and I’m responsible from seven to whenever I stop working, I work way too much. You know, just like I love my babies, when you--. Um, but whenever I’m on, right, I’m responsible for these folks. And I try when--I don’t make decisions lightly. If I’m going to call CPS, it’s not because I just thought about it, you know. I wait, you know, and I’m on Monday to report it, for example, right? So I need to like, wait, like, what’s the, you know, all of these things, I make decisions with all of the information provided to me, and then I make decisions. And this is in my personal life, in my professional life with my friends, everywhere. How could I have done this to myself? It was a lot of shame, a lot of shame. And a lot of folks right like in, in my community in Latin community. You know, like, there’s this stereotype of the Latina right? Having to look like hourglass and all these things. And, number one, we come in all shapes and colors. And, and, what we don’t talk about a lot? Although back home, you know, you get things done. And that’s the most normal thing in your family. But you don’t tell nobody, you know?

Dr. Javad Sajan  49:40

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  49:41

Because “Oh no, soy natural, soy natural.” Like maybe like, you pay for it then it’s yours, baby. That is yours. So you grew it for you bought it, whatever. Do you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  51:31

Yeah. Yes.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  51:31

Um, and, and it was difficult to even talk about like, “Yeah, I did a tummy tuck and it was messed up.” You know? Because again, there’s that shame. That stigma. Um, so that’s why I also didn’t reach out. I also didn’t reach out to any of my cousins. Hey, can-- do you know, where I could fix this?” Nothing, you know, I was ashamed and one of my co-workers who was looking into getting some stuff done. Mentioned me--mentioned to me about this wonderful doctor, right? And, and in my head, I’m like, “I’m not doing this stuff anymore. And if I’m doing anything, I’m having all of the information.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  52:12

Yes.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  52:12

And then making an educated, you know, choice. So I did some research. No, let’s take that back. I don’t--I am horrible at that. I let other folks make the research and then take their top topics, like their top choices. And, them make an educated choice, so that’s what I did. Um, I followed you, you know,

Dr. Javad Sajan  52:33

On Snapchat or Instagram?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  52:36

At--in Snap and Insta.

Dr. Javad Sajan  52:38

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  52:39

Yeah, yeah, on both. Snap was awesome. Um, and I did also search another doctor that I don’t even remember his name, In Seattle area?  Seattle area.

Dr. Javad Sajan  52:50

And, do you want to go back to another country again?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  52:52

No, that was, that was no. A friend of mine got, a friend of mine got her BBL, tummy tuck, and lipo in Dominican Republic. And she loved it. And she gave me the name of the person who had done it. And I said a quick no. Because again, right? Number one, I don’t live in the country. I mean again, do you. Do whatever you want to do. You know, like, if if you’re if if God is telling you that’s chill, awesome. If your own self says that’s chill, awesome. Me, myself, and I, I don’t want to because I live close to here. Close-ish. If something happens, I know I can come and call you and say like, “Hey, this is happening.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  53:44

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  53:45

And, I’ll be taken care of, right? Um, which you cannot do with someone in the DR. Or someone in Peru if you’re like live in the Northwest. You know, it’s like a whole um, yeah. So a lot of time zones, man.

Dr. Javad Sajan  53:59

Yeah. So then you started following me. And what did you like? Did you--what, what did you like? What did you not like? And then how did you decide to come see me?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  54:08

Um, I’m trying to think about what I didn’t like, I don’t think--

Dr. Javad Sajan  54:15

I stream my surgeries live on Instagram.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  54:19

Speaking about the food, you eat a lot of food. And, I’m like, “I wanna eat all the food. How come you’re showing me this food?” It doesn’t appear like, um--  I snap--my wife and I snap all of our outings. And what I did like a lot was the fact that you were, you know, you would, you would record this surgery. Or, you know, see them.   Yeah. And that was wonderful. Because my thing was, Okay, this doctor is doing the surgery.” Right? Um, and you were gentle. And that was very important to me. I mean, y’all have seen, like lipo is not gentle at all.

Dr. Javad Sajan  54:43

Yeah. No, it’s not.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  55:02

But, like the way you come across, the way you take care of bodies is gentle.

Dr. Javad Sajan  55:09

Thank you. I really pay attention to that.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  55:12

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  55:12

I watch all the other doctors actually on Snapchat, Instagram, too. And I’m not gonna name any names. But the way it’s almost seems like some people are groping the body.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  55:22

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  55:23

They’re doing the work or when they’re talking about it. And when I do surgery on somebody, I asked myself, “If this was my sister, if this was my mom, if this was my brother, how would I want them treated?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  55:33

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  55:33

And, that’s something that resonates along my whole staff. You know, I’ve trained at many institutions, and I’m not going to name anybody in particular. But there was one place where I trained where, the doctor when he did the BBL long time ago, many years ago, he’s been in practice anymore, but he used to slap the patient’s buttock.  Oh, hell, no.  While they were asleep.And, that was a culture there.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  55:56

See--yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  55:56

That’s something I--it made me sick. It made me sick and I--I couldn’t say anything because I was a very junior person there. I had to go along with it. But I told myself when I saw that, and I was like, “I’m never going to do that.” And when he left the OR, all the staff used to talk bad about him. Like, “Who is he? Who does he think he is? What is he doing?” He thought he was a cool guy. Oh, it’s mine. I created it, I’m slapping it. And, you know, it was just disgusting.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  56:21

And I think that that it comes across in the way--in your Snaps, you know. Like the way you you respect the body, you know? And, and that’s difficult to find, especially, you know, we live in a classist society.

Dr. Javad Sajan  56:37

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  56:37

And, we think that doctors are up here, you know? And, and I was raised in that kind of society, you know. But, the way you you talk to folks and the way you like, that’s one thing when I’m awake, and you’re a nice person, right? But then when I’m asleep, you know, my body, I’m not just meat, you know. My ancestors are there. My--I come with history. I come with all of these things. And so it’s, you know, it’s, it’s important to be treated with respect and that’s that what I came across and that’s another reason why I chose you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  57:16

And then you came for your consultation.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  57:18

And then that’s when like you sold it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  57:20

Yeah. Tell me, what did you like? And be honest, what you like and what you didn’t like? Tell me anything. How do you feel it went?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  57:26

Okay, you sold it because of the following reason. Two points. Next line, this will happen. Um, I love the fact that you were honest. You know, because you didn’t you didn’t you didn’t come into the room and I was like, “Oh, yeah, I can make you look like this and this and that.” You never told me how you think I should look. You said “How can I help you?” That’s important. You know, and, um, and again, you know, like for a lot of people the perfect body is what the perfect body is. You know, for me, it’s a completely different thing. I want to be strong, right? In, in honestly after the first tummy tuck, I couldn’t lift, I couldn’t go back to the to the box. I--because--I felt like something was breaking, you know. And, so I was not going to do another procedure until, until I felt like I was gonna be able to do what I needed to do. It’s important to me for my daughter to see her mom being strong, you know? And that’s, that’s one of the things we you know, when when I came in, you were honest, you said, “I don’t know. I’m gonna be honest with you. I don’t think I can do this, this, and this. But I’m gonna do my best.” You know, and that for me, was how you sold it because I feel I felt like it would be so easy to say “Yes, I’m gonna do this and everything’s gonna be great.” But, I just said, because he said reconstruction. You may have you you have high chance that cause--

Dr. Javad Sajan  58:59

Complications.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  59:00

Yes, yes, yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  59:01

When you do a revision surgery, Victoria, like we talked about, all of the risks are more. More scar, potentially more scarring, more blood collection, more fluid collection, more infection. And, the one thing that I was worried about the most during your surgery was skin death or necrosis. Because when you’ve had one tummy tuck the blood supply can be compromised to the skin. And, our goal with your surgery was to lipo you to get rid of, because when they looked at you--you mind if I talk about what I saw?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  59:30

Please go ahead.

Dr. Javad Sajan  59:31

So, there was there was leftover fat in the upper abdomen.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  59:34

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  59:35

The scar was way too high, the incisions on the side of your body that are called laterally were skewed way up almost into your waist. And the waist wasn’t liposuctioned at all. I could feel all the fat there. So what my concern was, how low can I get it while letting it heal? Oftentimes, people will say, “Hey, just make it really tight.” I want to make it as tight as I can, but the bigger problem is you have to heal, and when you make it too tight, it rips open and you get skin death and necrosis. So, that’s what I conveyed to you.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:06

Yep.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:00:06

I wanted you to know, I met you, you were an amazing woman. You have this fantastic life. The last thing I wanted to do, the last thing I wanted to do was to give you a problem. Right? And we talked about that. You felt comfortable. And, then you had surgery.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:20

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:00:21

How do you feel about surgery day? And after?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:24

Oh, it was great. I

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:00:27

I saw you before I did your markings. Right?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:29

Oh, yeah. You--We talked a couple of times. Like he wasn’t just like a one and done. We talked often after after I decided to go with with you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:00:38

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:39

Um, and then after that, we met for the day after operation and I had my family on hold on everything. They were like ready to pick me up and all that stuff. And, and I have people back home pray for me.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:00:52

Yeah, that’s important.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:00:53

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And yeah, and then I remembered the day of the operation. You did my markings. We talked again about like what was gonna happen exactly what was gonna happen. Um, and when I woke up, I don’t remember anything.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:13

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:15

Honestly, I don’t remember anything my family says.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:17

Were you as nauseous?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:18

Nope.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:19

Okay.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:20

Was I?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:21

No, no.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:24

Okay, there you go. Did I not like aim at nobody?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:26

No, no, no.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:27

Okay, good.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:28

If you wanted, I would’ve caught it. It’s okay. I don’t mind. It’s happened to me before.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:33

Gross!

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:01:33

But, post operative nausea or vomiting, right? Usually has--can be preventable. It happens in our practice too. You can prevent it by doing, what we do is called a scopolamine patch. We give you some steroids during surgery. We do IV zofran, which is an IV anti nausea medicine. The other thing we do is when you do the surgery, there are many drugs you can use. The older, less expensive drugs are often used in many parts of the world. And, I actually went to Colombia to do training, because I have a lot of patients for Aladdin. And, I really wanted to understand more and learn more. And where else you’re going to go than the source, right? So I was doing surgeries in Colombia. And what I saw there was not all the doctors, I worked with many doctors there, but some of the places I’m not going to name anybody. They use very old, outdated drugs that are very cheap. But, people throw up like nobody’s business.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:01:58

Mhm.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:02:30

It’d make them very nauseous. And when we do surgery here, it does cost more.  Yep. You know, you’re right. And people are right about that. And one of the reasons for that is we only use the newest and safest drugs that decrease the rate of nausea, because when you have vomiting and nausea after surgery after a tummy tuck, you can rip the internal muscle repair, you can rip the deep stitches and I bet some of that happened. That’s why your left side spread open.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:02:54

Yeah. And, and, I needed my pillow in my belly. Yeah, yeah, so I didn’t I don’t remember anything after the surgery. Whoever put on my faja, or what do call that?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:03:10

The garment. So we do that in the OR actually. There’s like while, while you’re half awake.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:03:15

Oh okay.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:03:15

Because it’s not it’s not that comfortable and while you’re getting anesthesia we try to get it, get it on so you’re not feeling it after.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:03:21

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:03:21

You’re not fighting us.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:03:22

I might have maybe half woken up for two seconds then.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:03:27

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:03:27

Or like I thought I was asleep or something. So whoever did that job I mean I think maybe you might have helped or nurses or whatever, um, God bless your soul because I know I was not an easy one. I was like, “Ah!” Um, and then after that I don’t remember anything. I remember waking up at home. I mean, like having like being conscious at home and and wanting to pee all the time. But other than that, no no pain. I didn’t feel pain like no sharp pain.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:03:59

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:04:00

Y’all gave me this or asked me to buy this certain asnica? Arnica?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:04:06

Arnica Montana.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:04:07

God, that is awesome. Because it helps with the swap that helped a lot. And this time around, I treated myself like the Queen I am. I did not leave my room.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:04:21

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:04:21

You know, again, I have community here, my friends came over. They gave me the food that I you know, like that I should be eating. My mom was with me, so she took care of the baby. My partner, you know, like, took care of the annoying me the whole time because I was like, “I want this. I want that” the whole time. So that was you know, it was wonderful.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:04:39

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:04:39

Um, and if I compare the two experiences, I mean, Jesus, you know, I feel like the second time like the revision tummy tuck, um, maybe like five days into it. I was a still, you know, like--

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:04:55

Hunched over.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:04:56

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:04:57

You were hunched over because when you do a revision, a lot of old scar that you cut away. And when you cut away old scar, the skin springs back up.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:07

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:05:07

So, the hole actually gets twice as--two to three times bigger. So, when I closed your incision, I had to flex the operating room table. You know how you lay flat?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:17

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:05:17

So I had to put up your back up and your legs up to stitch it, because there was so much scar I had to remove and work around and that’s where you were hunched over after surgery.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:25

Yeah, and so when I woke up, there was no pain. I don’t remember feeling pain because I was, you know, by like five days later. I remember. Like, Jesus.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:05:35

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:36

Like, I felt like “Oh, why? Why did I do this?”

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:05:40

That’s tough.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:40

“Why?” Um, I live in, in a townhome, right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:05:45

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:05:46

My room is in the second floor. I thought it would be a good idea. Oh, and this will say, for Christmas, because my my operation was the 19th of December. So, it was Christmas, and I thought it would be a good idea to go downstairs. You know when I was in I was in pain but and that was you know, Christmas time. Then I went back to work. January maybe 10th or something.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:06:15

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:06:17

Nothing.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:06:17

How do you feel your results are?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:06:19

Okay, so this is a thing. I remember the first tummy tuck and dreading to put on pants because of the pain right on especially on the left side. After this tummy tuck, nothing. Like my incisions are so nice. They don’t hurt and that I think I am now able to pick up my daughter. My daughter is 38 pounds.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:06:48

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:06:48

That’s a big girl. You know, and I can I lift her up and I do squats with her, you know. And she likes that too. A little bit too much after like 12 squats like “Whoops, I lied.” But, and I don’t have pain. I don’t feel like I’m ripping apart.  That’s awesome.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:07:03

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:07:05

And I like to, for my daughter to see. You know, a lot of folks are gonna say, and I’m just gonna get ahead of the whole comments of like, “Well, if you love yourself so much, do you think your dad is gonna be thinking that you can love yourself because you have to pay somebody?” Number one, what bill of mine are you paying this month?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:07:23

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:07:25

It’s splish, splash, your opinion is trash. Number two. I want my daughter and I want anybody to do whatever you want. It’s your body.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:07:39

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:07:39

But, if you’re not comfortable with a part of your body, and you think, “Well, I want surgery.” Then, who am I to say no? If my daughter grows up to--Well, if my daughter grows up to say, “Mom, I want this done.” Right? Number one, I’d be like, “Great, how you gonna pay for it?” And number two, would be like, well, I think the first question would be, “Are you doing this for you?”

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:08:05

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:08:06

Number one, you. Right?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:08:08

People who do surgery for others. They’re never happy.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:08:10

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:08:11

I saw a woman in clinic last week. She comes in for a consultation for a mommy makeover. And I was like, I get in people’s head to understand why they want what they want. And, after a 20 minute talk, she tells me, “Okay, Doc, I’m really doing this because my husband, I found out two weeks ago has a sex addiction. I went through his phone, his computer, and he’s been going out on dates on all these sexting or sex websites. And, he’s been putting up ads and going out with prostitutes.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:08:44

Aye, baby.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:08:44

And, I’m doing this now so I can look better for him. And I asked her, “You think if you fix this, he’s going to be happy? Don’t you think he’s just going to find something else?” And, I’m not saying she needed to be fixed. You know, I didn’t use that word, but she had a lot of deflation in her breasts after breastfeeding and pregnancy. And I know--

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:09:04

That happens.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:09:05

And, she didn’t have to do anything. But she said he kept picking on her breasts. And, that was the compromise. It seemed to me that they had made. And, it just struck me and I had a long talk with her. And, I told her I can’t let you book surgery. I want you to take a month and think about it and really understand what you’re doing. Because if we do this, we’re not doing it for you. We’re doing it for somebody else who’s just gonna find something else. And, I believe this, once a cheater, always a cheater.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:09:35

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:09:36

What do you think?

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:09:37

I think that honestly, like, in that case, for example, right, like, there may be many reasons why she’s staying in the relationship, whatever.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:09:45

They have kids.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:09:47

Yeah.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:09:48

Not that that’s the reason, but there’s, you know, there’s a lot to it.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:09:51

I hear all the time, people being like, “I stayed because of the children.” And I’m like, “You don’t think that kids know that number one? And you don’t think that’s gonna mess them up?” Feeling guilty that you’re staying like, they’re gonna grow up to be like 20 something and be like my mom only stay with my dad or my dad only stay with my mom all because of me. And, great,  you’re not setting them up for success emotionally anyway. But, um, yeah no, I think that whatever you do you have to do for yourself. I have a lot of friends who, you know, um, my breasts also, you know, I breastfed, and I happen to like, the way they look. But, um, and they’re not like, “Muaw!” You know, but, um, but I have friends who want them done because, you know, like, “Oh, so and so likes them. This shape, size, whatever.”

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:10:41

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:10:41

You know, and I’m like, that’s great. What do you want?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:10:45

Exactly.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:10:46

You know, um, because in that case, I mean, another thing, right? I mean, addiction is a disease. If you want to work in the relationship, great, but baby there’s nothing you need to do. He needs to work on shit. You know?

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:11:02

Addiction is a disease, but it’s not an excuse.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:11:05

No.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:11:05

Not an excuse.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:11:06

Just like, yeah, no, no. So, no, I think that it’s so important to, you know, if you have the means to do something for yourself that you have for a fraction of a second, you just think, “And, so and so would like it.” Nuh uh, okay, baby, then you’re not doing it for you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:11:07

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:11:17

You know, and that was another thing that I really wanted to be super sure of. Because when my daughter grows up, we’re gonna have this conversation, you know, and I want her to know, like, no mommy choices because mommy wanted it. And, low key mommy almost died the first time, you know. And, and, and, I want my daughter to know, you know that.The reasons behind it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:11:51

Makes sense.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:11:51

You know, and, and, and it will be a wonderful conversation to have with her. You know. There’s things that I don’t want to change about myself, right? Because they say something about where I’m from and who I am and things like that. A lot of folks like the friend things like you know, your legs to be released skinny or something. For me, my thick legs and my booty talks about where I’m from.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:12:21

Yeah.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:12:21

Talks about, you know, like how we have to pick up potatoes back home. And, and, you need that, you know. My, my broad shoulders, not shoulders, but back, you know, have a brown bag, but that’s a reason for it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:12:34

It’s you.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:12:35

It’s me, you know, and and I don’t want to change that. You know, so there’s the reasons why I chose to do this and the reason why I’m talking about it, you know, the reason why I chose to do this is because I wanted to. Because I didn’t feel I didn’t feel like now I can do my dance. I can take off my clothes and dance it off if I’m having a bad day.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:12:54

Yeah, that’s cool.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:12:55

And, the reason why I’m doing this today and talking about is because although in the Latino community, we talk a lot about like, oh, you know, looking, you know, looking a certain way, we didn’t talk about the journey to it, you know? And, so what? Again, if you were born with it, if you bought it, baby it’s yours. Good for you,

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:13:12

And such an amazing journey you’ve had and I think you’re gonna make such an impact on so many people. Victoria, if you could tell other women who are thinking about this, two things that you’ve learned from your journey. Two of the most important things--

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:13:26

Yes.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:13:29

Tell me what those two things are.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:13:31

Number one. Number one, I think it would be do your research. God, do your research. And, when you do your research and you decide for somebody, ask all the questions. If you feel like you cannot ask the question, then that’s not the right doctor for you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:13:48

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:13:48

You know. Um, number two. Do, do you.  You know, whatever you is. You know, if your perfect body is to look, you know, like, no --. Awesome, you know, good for you. But do you. If that’s not your perfect body? If that’s not what you want to do? If you’re if you’re doing this because you want this because you want, then do you. People can have whatever opinions they want until they offer to pay your mortgage Don’t worry about it.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:13:55

Mhm.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:14:26

Mhm. And, even then. Um, yeah, I think that’s what I would say do your research and really, do you.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:14:35

I agree 100% your intentions have to be in the right spot and those are the people that are the happiest after surgery.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:14:42

I’m happy!

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:14:44

Yeah, you know, you really impacted me and how I think about people and how I try to really be there for them. Surgery is not just treating a physical ailment, you are doing that, but it’s also being there for the person to support them through the journey. And, I think your words are going to support a lot of people through that. Thank you so much for being our guest today, Victoria. I learned a lot from your experience and I hope your ordeal teaches our listeners how and what to expect as they start their journey in plastic surgery. I appreciate you, your story, your time and I’m honored to have you as my good patient and friend. You really are. It’s always a pleasure when you come to clinic. Everybody knows you by first name. They’re always excited to see you and so am I even for the tamales you bring.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:15:26

Yes!

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:15:29

Thanks for listening to the Plastic Surgeon Podcast and tune in next week for my guest who has an amazing story about wanting to change their ethnicity because of discrimination and coming to me for procedures because of that.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:15:41

Oh, baby.

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:15:42

I look forward to hearing from you in next week’s Q&A. Please follow us on all social media channels @realdrseattle. Talk to you next week.

Victoria Castañeda-Vargas  1:15:53

Bye!

Dr. Javad Sajan  1:15:53

Bye! Thank you so much! Bam what!

Episode 1

Episode 3