68yrs Old - Am I Being Vain in Wanting a Tummy Tuck? Adelaide, AU

I have always been the biggest kid at school and...

I have always been the biggest kid at school and was heavy when I was married 43 years ago. I had a surgery 3yrs ago to repair a faulty valve in the Small Intestine (possible birth defect), and the surgeon strongly suggested that I lose weight as it made the Laproscopic procedure difficult. I followed the diet and have lost 35kg and kept it off for 2 years. I look gross. Recently I approached my Doctor and was referred to a Plastic Surgeon who has given me much needed confidence. I have lost 10" off my waist and 6" off my chest, but the excess skin is bothersome. My wife says I am being vain at my age and wants the same amount of money to spend on an overseas trip!
I know I will feel better, have improved movement (be able to touch my toes) and probably eliminate lower back pain and be fitter, but am I doing the right thing. I am actually excited at the prospect.

Surgeon's Photos

Tomorrow is the big day with the Surgeon to set the date to get things in motion.

The Big Day Looms

The Surgeon will confirm tomorrow if it will be the 18th September (morning), or 25th September (afternoon surgery). It was going to be in October, so this will be excellent. Wish me luck!!

Two weeks !!

It is confirmed for the procedure to be on the 18th September, 2014. Check in at the Hospital is to be 7am!
Nervous but excited.

One Week to go

I'm climbing up the wall. I have mown my lawn (almost did it 2 days in a row), done my daughters lawns, done my neighbours lawns, even mowed the grass 'down there' again. I'm done with mowing. Started to polish the car, helped a neighbour erect a verandah on his house yesterday. Still days to go and I am not nervous, but so excited. I'm jealous of my RS'Harem' who have just had their procedures and I wish them all the best and will be following the progress with keen interest. The Hospital won't allow my laptop in the room as they claim it only gets in the way of things and the risk of damage (through falling) is too great, so it means that I won't be able to report in real time. I will be making notes (old fashioned way, - pen and paper) and will copy them when I get home. My PS also says that he may keep me in Hospital at least 3 days to eliminate the possibility of DVT9Blood clots), mainly because of my age and the fact I did have a DVT post-operatively six years ago following a Hip replacement. In that case, I will soak up all the help I can before I get home, as I think I will be mainly on my own as my wife really still isn't happy that I spent the money on the op. Good luck to all the other 18th Girls, I hope you are finding plenty of ways to keep busy. Thanks to all your comments of support, it really does lift the spirits. Till next time.

3 More Days of Waiting

I am still climbing up the wall with anticipation, but I am following all the 'Septembet TT ' girls experiences with interest. You are all so positive that I am sure your outcomes are going to be fabulous. At the moment, I am avoiding contact with my neighbours on both sides of me as the all have the 'Flu-like dreaded lurgi' and I definitely don't want to catch anything. I will follow some of 'the Girls' advice and start to flush out the bowels tonight and start a liquid diet for the last 2 days before surgery.
I had a weird dream the other night, with all the re-alignment of skin during the surgery, I wonder if my Belly Button will now have a Moustache or a Beard??? I am not a hairy male, so this thought is weird! Wish me luck and I will post when I can.

Lost my umbilical cord

Well it's only 2 more days until the big day, but disaster struck. My modem died. It was like my umbilical cord to the world was broken. After nearly an hour on the phone to the provider, it wasdecided that the modem had an intermmitant fault, so needed to be replaced. Purchased a new one and spent another hour on the phone getting it installed. Lucky it didn't happen next week .I also bought a small tablet to take to Hospital to keep checking in on you all.

It feels like Christmas Eve...

Tomorrow is the big day. I have to check in at 7am, so it will be an early start. Today was interesting, I went looking for my PJ's, as I haven't worn any for 43 years and the ones I bought for surgery 6 years ago are so big it was silly. Purchased two types, an over the head T-Shirt style, but I couldn't recall anyone commenting if they are able to lift their arms so far to put them on, so I bought another pair with a shirt button front. While I was rummaging in the wardrobe, I noticed my 'wedding suit' (yes, only worn once). I decided to try it on, and was shocked, it was soo large that I couldn't hold the trousers up. I showed my wife, who looked and then said, "Bummer, that was going to be your Cremation Suit". Charming.
Bag all packed, moved my recliner into the bedroom, covered it with a wool underlay in case of any leakages, and as it is mid-afternoon on the 17th here already, I have nothing to do. I will have a shower later this evening and use the anti-bacterial soap, and have a blade shave (face) so I won't look too rough after a couple of days. The Hospital rang this morning to see if I was still coming, but couldn't tell me what time the Surgery was going to be. Still excited, not nervous as I know what to expect and just hope I do as well as my RS Harem of supporters have done. I feel like a small child waiting on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas to arrive.

Thursday ; D-Day, 18th SEPT.

Booked in at the Hospital at 7am and taken to a private room with a nice park- view. No sleep last night, but a another weird thought. I wonder what music the PS and Crew will be playing in surgery:- some tracks come to mind, The Surgeon's song,"The first cut is the deepest", the psplinter song,"I've got you under my skin", Mack the knife, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down", " I did it my way". Weird eh! 8-30am, fitted with compression stockings, gown and off we went. PS then drew all over me (and took a photo for me), then hopped up on to the table - lights out!
In recovery at noon, a Nurse said "Welcome back, how are you feeling" and before I could answer, "Not you, STAN" (Sore, tender about now), and you too. We are going to get along famously.
My PS also retook a leftovers photo for me as well, it was 2kg (4.4lb) and Stan now has 2drains close by and a very low incision. Trussed up in my CG, sohaven't seen anything yet, but the PS was very pleased with it all.
No pain at all, probably the Theater meds still in effect. Very sleepy for the rest of the day and evening.

Post Op Day1 Friday 19th Sept.

Very uncomfortable last night, not from the surgery, just couldn't pee. Nurses took me for a wLk to clear the lungs, but after a short time I became light headed and fainted. A few minutes back in my room and I just made it to the toilet and vomited for some time.
Very painful in the bladder area, and after an ultrasound, it was decided to insert a catheter. Poor STAN, I thought "this is going to make my eyes water". It did. Immediately filled 2 bottles with much relief. Caused by incision swelling on the bladder and pressure from CG.
I can concur with 'my girls' reports of swollen and sore 'girly bits' as STAN is starting to turn yellow with bruising, and his 2 mates are already swollen and bruised.
I still have the vertigo problem and am very giddy. Still no incision pain, even when a sneaky cough occurred. Only taking normal painkillers at 4hourly intervals.
The PS commented that he tightened my stomach muscles slightly as they weren't as bad as most women who have stretched theirs beyond the elastic limit during childbirth. He also repaired 2 hernias.
I haven't seen anything yet as it is under the CG.
I am also in awe of the RS girls who went home the same day as their surgery. I definitely couldn't do that.
PS popped in this evening and asked for all dressings to be changed as they were all messy, so I had one of them take a photo for me. Looks nice and flat and low.

Post Op Day 2, Sat 20th Sept.

PS came in at breakfast time and announced that today was shower day. Still light headed with vertigo problems, and nearly blacked walking the 10 ft to the bathroom. Shower was magic, but by the time I made it back to bed, I. Was covered in perspiration and it took nearly 2hrs to recover.
Had my first look without the binder this morning and was thrilled. The incision is so low and flat and neat, and for the first time since I was a teenager, when I look down I saw poor bruised STAN and my FEET!! Dead flat tummy, can't wait to get home and share my photos. Be here until possibly Wednesday.
Dizzyness is gone, hooray! Next trial - Constipation. Dreading this, all your reports are frightening. My Nurse, (Mother of 5), came in with what she referred too as "Nurses Revenge", a suppository with a reaction time of 0-5mins. Mine was almost zero, having just made it to the toilet. That made everyone happy, and if the Hospital had a newspaper, it would have made headlines.
Still have 2 enormous drain bottles of 500ml each which do not have to be emptied.
Today was a landmark day, feeling really great, and looking forward to a walk tomorrow. I can get in and out of bed by myself.

Post Op Day 3, Sun 21st

A actually hungry for the first time. Today is going to be 'wallies day' now that the vertigo has gone (BP was good, but probably low on blood). No pain yet, but I have not moved around much. I have a sleeve attached to each leg which is attached to a pump and allows sections to inflate/deflate and massage my calves to prevent blood clots. Hope to get rid of them today as my legs are getting sore.
A nice shower on my own. STAN and his mates are now completely bruised black, not funny. I didn't see anything about that side effect in any of your comments.
Change of clothes and ready for my walk. Surprised at how vertical I am, but today's Nurse wanted me to walk hunched over and take things gradually. Managed several 50 ft walks and even went outside and sat in the sunshine. Resting and walking is the pattern so far. Can't believe how good I feel. One drain has almost stopped, but the other has reached the 300ml mark.
Really missing following all your journeys, but it gave me a real lift to read your support responses.

Post Op Day 4, Mon 22nd

Disaster last night, the shift of Nurses just changed and my Nurse decided to change one of my drain bottles as it was full (500ml). Suddenly it slipped from her hand and splattered all over the floor, the walls, bedding, furniture, the Nurse and just missed me. It looked like a CSI crime scene. What a mess.
Having to follow my own advice today and take things slowly. I went for long walks yesterday and last night lay the bed down flat and slept on my side for some of the night. Well, I am paying for it this morning with lower back pain. Still no incision pain at all and just feels like a bruise, and yes, I can feel the wounds if I over reach and pain would be at a nuisance 1.
The sneaky sneeze came from nowhere a few minutes ago, and OMG, it suddenly went to a 10!
My PS came in just as lunch was delivered (naturally), and instructed that the dressings be changed, catheter removed, and both drains to stay in.
I had my Nurse take wound photos, and then complete the dressings. Then it was STAN's (shrunken, terrified about now) turn, as she deflated the securing balloon, then said, "Deep breath", and just ripped the tube out. A life changing moment that.
My wife popped in with a clean binder and a supply of blood free clothes.
I notice that I have over 60 responses to reply to, but IIT will have to wait until I get home.
I apologize for the spelling mistakes as I am not used to typing on a 'tablet' touchscreen. Will catch up soon, so keep positive.

Post Op Day 5, Tues 23rd

A restless night last night with'waterworks' problems again. After drinking a full jug of water, I couldn't pee. Very painful. Never mind.
Drains did nothing overnight, so I am hopeful they can come out tonight or Wed morning. The plan for today is to drink up to 2 jugs of water and if nothing has improved by 6pm, then a bladder scan and another ' eye-watering catheter. I'm not telling STAN.
Pain is close to zero, but a lot of multi colored bruising is coming out. The man 'giblets' are completely black now which is apparently blood accumulation and will disappear in time. No mention of ice yet, but it is only 5 days.
My Nurses say I will be happy with my result as my PS is well known for his "embroidery". I will get a new side profile photo tommorow. I am still positive and excited.
A note about this Hospital. Probably built in the 1930's, today it is a Private Surgical Hospital. This means that all the patients here are in for planned surgical procedures from various Specialist Surgeons. Many of the Nursing Staff have advanced training in such fields as Theatre, Anesthetic, Cardiac, Chemotherapy and Cancer treatments. As most of us are not sick, but recovering from surgery, many of the nasty super-bugs are not common either.
I keep looking at all " the girls" updates, and I am really proud ofyou.

Day 6 Post Op, 24th Sept.

It will be a nothing day in Hospital as my Surgeon is performing surgery in a Country Town today and won't be coming in.
Waterworks behaved last night, so maybe the end is in sight.
My daughter came in last night, and after showing her my incisions, she commented " Gee, it looks like you have been gutted! Great Post Mortem scar". Er, thanks,I think.
I find I can sleep comfortably on my side at night, but that is in an electric bed, may take a while at home to find the right setup. I practiced going up and down stairs here yesterday as there are 4 steps back and front to get into my house. Went well.
Hopefully tomorrow the drains will come out and I can go home. I sttarrtedd writing down a 1 week report on expectations vs outcomes. I will post later, but the outcomes come out way in front. Can't wait to send my photos.

Post Op Day 6, 24th Sept. Going Home

Achievements for the First Week.
SURVIVED: Well, at my age there is always a risk over which I have no control.
PAIN LEVEL: Virtually Zero, only taking an antibiotic and 1-2 pain tablets a day.
MOBILITY: Up walking 3hrs after recovery to clear anaesthetic residue in my lungs. Very pleased how well I did, until I fainted (unrelated). Everyday the walking is getting longer and more often.
BATHROOM: Showering upright (lovely), no riser needed for toilet.
WOUNDS: Swollen and bruising coming out, looks worse than it is. Not sore to touch, and only one numb spot so far.
WEIGHT: Even though you all told me not to get on the scales, I couldn't help myself. I am 84kg, an increase of 1Kg, (expect to be about 80Kg after swelling goes down)
SIDE EFFECTS: STAN and the 'Twins', taking the brunt of swelling and accumulated blood in that area, (now Black).
Vertigo, probably caused by more than usual blood loss during surgery.
Bladder, Incision pressure from swelling putting pressure on my bladder plus the effect of the pressure from the Compression Garment, caused an inability to pee (painful).
BINDER: As has been pointed out to me, buy 3, one to wear and 2 drying or being washed. My PS supplied one, 12" wide, and I find this the most comfortable as it covers the hole of the 'T' incision. The others that I bought are only 9" wide and are still comfortable. You will learn that you don't do anything without the binder support. They let you know how far you can reach, twist, or rollover, safely.
PHOTOS: Not being gross, but I find them calming and allow reflection on how far I have come so far. All the Nurses have been great at taking the shots for me, and my PS was thrilled at being asked, so don't be shy in asking, enjoy the experience.
SLEEPING: Day 5, attempted to rollover on my side and found a comfy spot and at almost at full stretch and had a goo sleep. My own bed last night was heaven, crashed about 8-30pm and didn't wake until 7am this morning.
DRAINS: Lunchtime yesterday, the Nurse came in and said "The drains are to come out and then you are going Home". My pulse rate immediately raced and reminded of other 'Girls' experiences, was not looking forward to this. A few minutes later, now ready, she says "Lie back and think od England" . I closed my eyes, expecting the worst, then realised the first one was out and she was applying a dressing. I didn't feel anything. Same for the other one.
TRAVELLING IN THE CAR: Yes use a pillow against your stomach for support. I have a SUV, so I didn't have to lower myself into a seat, but do it slowly and do not 'plop' down on to the seat. Road bumps are magnified as is hard braking, so the whole experience was not fun.
OUTCOME: Really thrilled with the whole experience so far. Anyone still waiting and nervous about making the decision, - don't be, look forward with confidence that you can do this and keep a positive attitude. You will be glad you did it (for yourself first, then family).
Thanks to this Forum and my 'Harem of RS Girls' , I couldn't, and wouldn't have gone through this without your help. Would I do it again, - in a blink. Part two of my journey is to get rid of my ugly 'Man-Boobs' in the New Year, I can't wait.

I Popped !!!

Firstly, I must apologise for the photo of STAN (posted yesterday). I did it to educate (not titillate) the possible side effect to other males following my progress.
Last night, in the middle of the night, I felt my CG rripp itself open and let go! I thought, 'what was that', is it life threatening, is there any pain, am I comfortable, can it wait till morning?
It could wait till morning. I got up, looked in the mirror and was shocked. I thought, "I've created Medical History, - I'm Pregnant"! No kidding, my waist has increased by 3" overnight! There is no increased pain, discomfort, fluid or any obvious cause. 'My girls' comment on their swellings and feeling bloated, so I guess it is my turn.
What it does mean is that my spare CG's will no longer fit until the swelling goes down. The PS charged my Health Fund $100 for the big 12" wide one, but I won't be paying that for another one.
Feeling great, great to be home, and went out to my shed today to see if I could get into one of my old cars to start it. Mission Impossible at the moment, too much twisting and stretching, maybe in another week.
I am really excited to catch up on my 'Harem' supporters progress and feel really proud of you all.
Not many of you have commented on your partners reactions, but you all look so good so far.

First Check up Day 12 Post Op.

Well the drive into the City for my appointment wasn't too bad, I think my wife only missed two potholes, but I am sure we will find more on the return trip.
The Nurse looked at me and said " Why are you walking so straight?". Er, because I can and it is comfortable. It is still not 2wks yet and I still feel like a fraud for feeling so well and able. She ripped (literally) off the old dressings like a Brazilian without the wax, sacrificing 2wks of body hair in the process. Ouch!!
She was pleased and told me to clean out my new BB, which up until that point, I had never seen. Mind you, I haven't seen my BB since I was a teenager. A drain exit is still weeping, but no infection anywhere.
A repeat appointment is planned for next week with my PS.
See Photo :- it looks nice and flat and neat. The Nurse reminded me to go easy over the next week as all the dissolving sutures will be dissolving from now on. I had forgotten about that.

TWO WEEK Update

What a journey over the last 2wks. I still have a leaky drain exit (messy), no pain whatsoever except when I sit or stand because of the binder pressure. No medication for about a week either. Sleeping normally on my side at full stretch. My BB has to be cleaned everyday still, (makes me queasy), but it is nothing really. I am going for a walk this morning to see how I go, on uneven terrain as we live on top of a hill, but I feeling that confident. I appreciate all your thoughts and comments, all I get at home is "Well it is self inflicted!!". I'm bigger than that to respond.
Those of you that a couple of weeks ahead of me are giving me little targets to achieve and I am enjoying the challenge. I have started driving today so I can pick my own potholes. I know they are old photos, but it does show the change. I told my wife that I am going to broach the subject of 'Stage 2, The Boob Job' next week with the Surgeon, with the resulting comment "Not more Money". Tough.

TWO WEEKS (Part 2)

I forgot to mention how STAN and his two mates are going. They have changed colour from black to Indigo, to Navy Blue, to Lavender at the moment, but are terribly swollen still and sooo painful to touch or for clothing to rub on. Will get the PS to check them out next week. They have been the worst side effect so far. My incisions are at zero pain level, getting in and out of bed and lounge chairs is OK, walking up stairs and getting in and out the car is OK. I pruned my 140 Rose Bushes awhile ago so that they would be in full bloom in time for a function that the Daughter is planning in 12 days time where they will be table decorations for a dinner for 300 people. They are just breaking forth now and the bees and aroma is incredible. I actually went out with my snips and bucket this morning and 'dead-headed' them all to bring on the new flowers. Felt really good, no bending or much stretching, but there was no pain either.
My lunch with my 'old guys' went well yesterday. They all suggested that this procedure is something that they would never do - voluntarily. Sore from sitting so long by the time I got home was the only consequence, so I am happy I did it.
I went for my undulating walk to 'supervise' the new house being built nearby this morning, and was pleased with my effort. My fitness has dropped a little as I was a little out of breath after walking upright at my normal walking pace. No pulling sensation or pain anywhere, so I will repeat it each day to get better at it. I'm not silly, I know it is 'everything in moderation 'at this stage, but it did feel good.
The 'waterworks' that caused me so much grief post-op have settled down, but are still very concentrated in colour (you weren't eating lunch were you?), so I will see what the PS says about the next step. My Nurse neighbour across the road says it is still probably effects from the anaesthetic as it can take up to 1 month to work its way out. She says with most of her TT patients, waterworks is the No1 problem area.

Back in Hospital Day 15 PO

Appàrently when "I Popped", it was life threatening. After my morning shower, my BB started to leak under some pressure, a yucky brown substance. It took 2hrs to get it to stop and I then went for a ride while my wife did some shopping, big mistake. Without any warning it started gushing again. All my clothes were drowned. Home to change and ring the PS office. Come on in now!

An hour later, again covered in yuck, I am scaring everyone in the waiting room, and a Nurse led me to an Operating Theater. Not a good sign I thought, and after cleaning the mess, left the room and came back with another PS in the Practice who poked and prodded me and said " You have had a big bleed internally and we need to get it out to reduce the risk of Blood Poisoning".This doesn't sound good, and off he went to ring my PS. Next thing, the Nurses arrive with trays and implements and he comes at me with a scalpel. This is going to ruin my afternoon. With that in his hand, I wasn't going to mention STAN and the 'Blue Boys'. He proceeded to give me a couple of local injections and then I decided I wasn't going to watch anymore as he proceeded to cut a large hole on my left side and fit a tiny funnel in the hole and stitch it in place. As he is doing this, I can hear the rush of liquid pouring into a dish. They appear pleased with themselves and cover the area with a large sanitary pad and tape me all up. Then, as I was the ccolor of the walls, they gave me an iced water to drink.
The PS went out to ring my PS again and said that I was not going home but back to Memorial Hospital where I maybe operated on again this evening. It was intended to open me up again and wash out the interior and fix the 'bleeder'.
So, here I sit waiting for my PS to arrive and decide my fate. He decided to let it drain into the pads overnight and see how much can drain on its own and he would see me again on Saturday. I am still waiting.
Last night after 3 dressing changes and drowning me and the bed with the leakage I didn't get much sleep. It is a public holiday weekend over here, so I could be sitting here until Tuesday before anything happens.

The 'Big Slash - Mk2'

Sunday 5th Oct Day 17 PO.
Surgery is planned for around 5pm this evening. He is going to make an incision on each side and flush everything out and then stitch up leaving a tube in each side connected to a vacuum pump to assist drainage. He says that it won't be like going back to square one, but slow me down a couple of days.
I am really touched by all the support, even the threats of tying me to a chair, and respect all your advice, but this isn't my fault.
The PS says that it is a MALE thing coupled with the Clexane injections that I was given to thin my blood to prevent DVT's, and my old blood vessels. One of these vessels obviously has aweakness which the thinned blood found and took a messy exit.
I asked if it had anything to do with my walking, and he said that was rubbish and I ccould increase my range as I got fitter. I asked about Sexy's squat classes, and was told to leave that for 6-8 weeks, but sounded like a good thing.
He also says he doesn't like my BB as it is too small and may get infected in the future. There will be a slight revision and a bit of skin tidy up when he gets rid of my boobs in the New Year. He is so confident of my outcome that I feel inspired. He wants me to look good in a T-shirt with no tummy or boobs, not the "Charles Atlas- kick sand" physique. My goal exactly.

Once again, I will acede to my peers and "Hurry up and wait". Love you all.

Survived- again, Monday, 6th Oct.

It all went well and took just over an hour and removed about 1L of yuck trapped inside the surgery area. I now have an open wound (part of the RH incision, and a tube inserted in it attached to a vacuum pump sucking up anything that pools. I will take a photo when my wife turns up with stuff and my camera. I am back to my normal self with no pain and up dressed and pounding the Hospital corridors.
My 'Harem' of friends, can we step back and take a deep breath. I feel as if I met you all in a dark alley, that you would permanently separate STAN and his 2 mates!!
This was a 1in 10 chance of happening anyway and not of my making. Love your concerns and I am already saying to myself, "l wonder what Rose would say if I did that", or Mummypet would kill me if I even thought about it. You are all getting the message through to me, hasten slowly.
It really is a comfort and uplifting to read your own updates and know you are heading to the 'Fabulous side'.

The problem has been found. PO Day 18, 5th Oct.

MY BELLY BUTTON DIED!!!
My PS has just been in to see me (on a holiday) and said that when he opened me up again in a couple of spots, he could immediately tell what had happened. The skin end had died and the stalk flesh had also died back to the stomach muscle whereit found a larger blood supply, hence the large 'bleeder'. Now I don't have any BB, but he was going to modify it later on when he does my chest anyway, so now he says I can change it's position as well as it's shape.
I will probably go home tomorrow with my battery powered pump 'handbag' and he will leave it connected to make sure everything is sound, then I will go to his office where he will remove the tubing and re-stich everything back up by local aan aesthetic. That's the plan. I hope you aren't eating while reading this. See, it wasn't my fault !
I will get a neighbor to shift my recliner back into the TV room because even thinking about doing it myself will have Tammi (and Myrtle) nailing me to the doorframe!
I'm happy that a cause was found and a solution planned. A bit of a lost week to No3 though wasn't it. Never mind, thanks for your support as it is uplifting.up pitting the

Home Again Day 19 PO 7th Oct

Well that was a lost weekend. Surgery went fine, no pain or tablets, only antibacterial capsules. Tender to touch, so I don't touch it. I have to cart my 'handbag' vacuum pump (named Hoover) around for another week when I next see the PS and he will remove it and sew me back up again. That's something to look forward too - I think?
I was in a different Ward this time, but previous Nurses had seen me pounding the hallways and today came to my room to wish me all the best. I don't have to wear my binder at the moment as it was explained to me that the vac pump in sucking the two faces together to allow them to heal together. There are only a few bubbles of stuff every now and then, so it is anticipated that it will dry up in another week.
You will all be pleased to know that as there are 2 unstitched wounds at the moment, walking is a tender experience, so they will have to finish the house without me for the present.
I will download some photos, one of which shows the start of the end of the BB.
Stan and the 'blue boys' are still swollen, but the PS says 'they will come good, think yourself glad it wasn't a Heart Bypass Op, they swell to the size of Cantaloupe!!!' That's a cheery thought and enough to get your cholesterol checked.

Week 3 Review

What a week! I must admit to you all that it knocked me about more than I thought. Probably because I didn't know what was happening or why and the stress of not knowing when anything was going to happen. Bouncing back now, and am probably back at week 2 status. 'Little Hoover' is still sucking away, but there is very little to show for it, (a good sign). That's the negative for the week, now the Positives.
No pain whatsoever, no pain tablets for over 10 days (even last week).
Laughing, coughing, sneezing and toilet straining - all back to normal with no reaction. Bouncing in the car is still painful for last week's surgery. I am still walking around quite a bit, but I am not about to incur the wrath of 'my Harem' and do anything stupid.
I have to tell you about the funny 'following Doctor's Orders' each morning in Hospital. At 6am wake-up time, my Nurse would come in with an antibiotic tablet, a Clexane/Heprin Injection and inspect my Scrotum, (Blue Boys Container), for swelling and any dry blood lumps. This turned out to be good fun for all concerned. Statements such as "I have been waiting for hours for you to wake me up" and similar were normal. The young Nurses (20's) were embarrassed but I think they learnt something out of it, the married Mum Nurses were very gentle (experienced?), and the older Grandma's, well they just enjoyed it. They all had their revenge by giving me my injection before they left. Prognosis:- "You'll survive". The young Nurse who checked me out of Hospital wished me well and I replied, "I'll think of you tomorrow morning". She blushed bright red, and a queer look from my wife followed.
Fine day today (85F), so I will 'deadhead the Roses' this morning and maybe go for a short walk. I know, Hasten Slowly.
I enjoy reading of your progress via the updates, and also the insight into some of your more intimate moments. I as a MM (Mere Male) had never occurred that you may have different symptoms ( as probably unaware as your partners as well) and do appreciate your sharing those thoughts. I know I am becoming a more understanding and caring person for it .

I Forgot ....

I reached a milestone today - I am down to a target weight of 80KG. I was 84kg at TT surgery, so all this sucking is getting rid of something. Even my Sister cannot remember me ever being only 80kg.
That is a weight loss of 38kg, my ultimate goal (by Christmas) is 40kg which will put me in reach of my ideal (BMI) weight of 76kg. I am really pleased. I am keen to proceed with Part 2 Surgery ASAP, but I know he won't do it until the New Year. My ultimate Journey end is the Family Re-union in Sydney for Christmas 2015! Working hard to look good for that.

A Vote of Thanks

Firstly, I have posted a couple of photos of my Roses for Rose.
Secondly, I wish to heap praise on my Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Darren Molony. His personal interest in my well being has been outstanding. I know I am not his only patient, but his manner makes you think you are. With the hiccup last weekend, he was in to check on things everyday (on a holiday weekend) and give precise orders to the Nursing Staff, which they appreciate. Even when trying to round up a Surgical Team on a Sunday Night, he kept me informed as to what was going to happen, (as if I wasn't going to turn up).
On discharge morning, he was ringing his Personal Assistant at 7-30am with various instructions, (Sorry Rhonda), for appointments, hiring 'Little Hoover' etc. He was then off to perform Surgery for the day.
Back in his Offie on the initial Emergency Day, his Nursing Staff were very professional and kept me informed. The Building that the Group operate from is called the Day Surgery Clinic, a 4-storey block that is the base for about 8 Plastic Surgeons who conduct all types of Plastic Surgery, including Dental with a couple of floors of Operating Theatres and Treatment Rooms.
I have all the contact numbers for himself and his Staff for 24hr contact if needed and that is reassuring. I am most impressed.

4 WEEK REVIEW

I went back to see my PS this morning for a check up and dressing change for the 'bleeder' surgery and hopefully say goodbye to 'little Hoover'. As soon as he started to 'rip off' (painfully) the old dressing and tube connection, all hell broke loose. There was stuff gushing from everywhere - again! It appears the fine filter at the sucking end of the tube was blocked and not much was getting out. After drowning his bed and cloths, all order was restored and another huge rectangular sticky plaster was fitted, (see photo) and surrounded with a waterproof tape. I have to keep 'little Hoover' for another week.
On a brighter not, the TT surgery scars look fabulous, (see Photo), for 4wks, but I can't start any treatment until the other wound has healed. I have been given carte blanche to do anything I want, including my 3/4mile round the block walk, kneeling to do garden weeding, reaching to pick things up from the floor and mowing the lawns, but not yet able to ride my bike or have a great soak in my spa bath (until other wound has healed). That's not a bad result for 4wks though.
I celebrated my 80kg target by buying myself a block of good chocolate and limiting myself to only 3 squares (moderation), and buying myself a set of new digital Bathroom Scales!! I am already down to 79kg, so the 78kg and 40kg loss targets are in sight. I still cannot believe I was 259pounds 4yrs ago and now am 174pounds.
Can't wait to get rid of the machine, and get on with life.
I posted a new Forum yesterday, wanting help and advice to help a friend who has had a mental breakdown after a traumatic accident. If anyone has had experience in helping someone, I would appreciate a response as I feel so helpless.

FYI - Pee Bottles

Hi, I have been asked what I mean when I suggest you purchase a Female Pee Bottle, is it a bedpan?
NO, it is a plastic flat bottomed bottle with and extended neck and a shaped end (for a Female) and incorporates a handle moulded into it as well. The Male one just has a round opening, but the Female one has a more triangular shape to fit your anatomy.
The are about 11" long X 4" wide X 6" high at the neck. Imagine you have just got comfy (day or night) and just want to relax, then, you have to pee. It is usually when your help has just popped down to the shops or just gone to bed and you know it is going to involve pain and discomfort to move. This is where it becomes invaluable. It is discreet, meaning you can leave it 'plugged in' so you don't have to move or even if you have visitors, no-one will ever know it is there. See the photos attached. I have seen them at Walgreens when I have been in the USA, but they are only about $8 here in Australia, so they are not expensive, and are easily cleaned by rinsing.
Hope this will help you to know what you are looking for.

1 Month Today

I have a WAIST!!! Having been barrel shaped all my life, I now have a waist. Unbelievable. As I was walking down the passage after returning home from the PS visit, I had the 'Hoover 'case in one hand (I thought I was getting rid of it), and wheeling my Hospital Case (I was prepared this time) in the other, and my 3mth old jeans fell down to my knees! My wife, following behind me said "Not more new clothes". That is about as close to a compliment as I can expect. Anyway, I measured my new waist, and I will now fit into a 36" size. I haven't been that size since I was a heavy 13yr old, - 55years ago!!

Free At Last

Well after 4 1/2 weeks, I am finally free of tubes and machines. Yesterday morning, (Sunday, naturally), 'Little Hoover' started beeping alarms at me saying it had a loss of vacuum (a leak), so after examining all the tubing and sleeving, I thought I had found the problem area, so bound the tubing with electrical insulation tape. No good, so the family told me to ring my PS, who said to turn it off but not to wait until my appointment next Tuesday, but to come in Monday morning at 9am and he would check it out. Duly arrived this morning, and the Nurse had a quick look and said it looked good with no fluid or infection, and went to find my PS. He got all excited at how well it looked and placed a smaller dressing over the wound. I asked to see it as I hadn't been able to see anything up to that point. I was rather shocked actually, as he showed me via a mirror that the original incision was re-opened about 4" long and he opened it wider to show me my stomach muscle (which was the 'bleeder') and how it had healed. I'm betting that you didn't want a photo of that! Anyway, he explained that he wasn't going to stitch it up as he wanted it to heal from the inside to the outside which would prevent any void inside to start any infection. It would require a daily dressing change and should be all healed in about a week. He also said that instead of me travelling an hour each way to his office, that he would get the District Nurse to call in each day and change the dressing (covered by my Health Coverage).
So, free of tubes and machines at last, a great feeling as I am back on track to a full recovery. To celebrate, I called in to a Department Store on the way home and bought another 2pr of Jeans, size 36". I was a heavy 13yr old the last time I was that small. It was hard tearing myself away from the fitting room mirrors, I couldn't believe I had come so far.
I know I have to take it easy until this gash heals, (didn't expect to see such an open wound), but know it will bee a fabulous result. He did point out to me that the 'Hoover' side of the incision was noticeably flatter than the otherside, but that by Christmas it will have evened out and the swelling would have disappeared. Can't wait.
You can tell I'm excited, and have that 'wound up spring' feeling again, just waiting to get going again.
I have started working on my Life Plan for the next 10years, (while I think I have another 10years), and it is a sobering process. Try it yourself, I am making notes on Health, Family, Bucket List, my Committee activities, Social (friends) etc. It is actually quite hard.
I have posted today's photo showing the scars, patch and BB as well as the just visible drain incision.

6 Weeks, 3rd Time Lucky

Well it's 6wks on Thursday, and guess what, - I'm back in Hospital on Friday (31st). Don't panic, it is only because it will be easier for my PS to do a better job on my wound.
Since 'Hoover' was removed last week, I have had a Nursing Service call in home everyday to change the dressing on the open wound. At the start of that week, the wound was 29mm (! 1/4") deep unhealed, and today it had healed to within 15mm (5/8"), and it was decided that it was looking very healthy and could now be stitched closed. My PS is operating at a Hospital about 30mins away, so I will go in for Day Surgery where he wants to 'knock' me out and do it properly instead of trying to do it under local anaesthetic injections. I don't want to watch anyway. (I hope you are not having a meal while reading this). You know how positive I am, so I will support the PS decision.
The PS said to me today what I had already thought about, that if it wasn't for the BB 'hiccup', I would have been over the TT in 3 weeks!!! The scars look amazing and he commented that I am one of the lucky ones who heal quickly, (After my Hip replacement, I was back at work climbing ladders etc after only 4wks). I am lucky also that I am not a Female and have to contend with M&M's, (Monthly's and Menopause) symptoms. I will start scar treatment soon.
General health after 6wks:- I am walking around the Block of 2km most days and don't even raise a sweat, started wearing my binder now that most things will now allow me to wear it, the swelling will go down in time and I am not fretting about my temporary 'love handles', even though the side that didn't have Hoover sucking on it is much larger than the otherside. STAN and his 'Mates' are 90% back to normal (Now a deep Maroon colour) and the 'Waterworks are back to normal (for an old guy). I still have the 'wound spring' excitement at being able to do so much more and am becoming fitter as a result. The whole journey has been life changing for me and now being to buy clothes in a size that I haven't been since a teenager is amazing. I also found out that my wedding ring now fits my finger and is actually loose. I had to stop wearing it 40 years ago as it was painfully tight.
I am still fully supportive of my RS 'Harem' and look forward to reading of your progress and realise some of you are struggling a bit, but you will be proud of yourselves in the long run, hang in there.
I have posted my 'skinny me' photos for you.

7 Weeks, Healing at last.

Warning:- Graphic Photos
Hi, Happy Halloween (foreign to us 'downunder').
Today started early by picking several hundred Rose blooms for the big Dinner tonight and then delivering them, then checking in at the Hospital for Day Surgery to finally close up my incision.
Naturally, I took my camera along as my PS is getting very good at taking photos for me.
This will be my 3rd anaesthetic in 7weeks, and although I do not have any after effects, at my age, the odds of something happening must be getting shorter. My S explained that as the wound had been open for so long, to make it look pretty, he would have to rough up and trim the top edges to allow it to heal quickly. You aren't eating while reading this? It only took 40mins and I was back in the Observation room having something to eat and drink. Absolutely no pain, but sensitive to touch, so I don't touch it. Back on antibiotics again and no showers until I see him next Tuesday. It is going to be in the 80's here all next week, so I think the 'Gladwrap' trick might be in order.
Other than this episode, I am still excited and waiting to be able to start riding my bike again and teaching myself to do a 'Sexy Squat'.

No More Drama's

I had my weekly visit to my PS this morning, fearing another visit to Hospital but was relieved to find all he wanted to do was look at last Friday's healing handiwork.
I remarked to his Nurse, "We will have to stop meeting like this, every time I see you, I feel the need to drop my trousers". After she stopped laughing, she said, "I don't know what I'm going to do with you". She had her revenge by ripping off another weeks growth of body hair in one fast pull, ouch.
For only 3 days healing, the finally closed wound looked nice and pink and only a few shades of red darker than the rest of the incisions. When he arrived to take a look, I thought he was going to pat himself on the back and take the the credit for the nice healing. I was rather surprised at the amount of bruising that is coming out, poor old STAN and his mates are once again a delicate shade of yellow and blue to red as is the area below the scar line. It must have been a very rough 20mins in there while this procedure was taking place. After a further 20mins in recovery, they made me walk back to the waiting lounge and everything felt fine. Over the weekend, this stitched area was far more sore than the whole TT event. It was probably a 2/10, but it is right on the body bend line which made sitting or standing very painful, so I spent most of the time lying down.
I now have a narrow strip sticky plaster which is there mainly to prevent clothing rubbing on the healing area and in about 2wks, I can remove the strip altogether and start massaging the scar line. I don't have to go back to see him until the middle of January, when we will talk about Stage 2, the Gynecomastia Op (Man Boob removal). I can't wait.

2 Months PO today - Hooray!!

How time flies. A few weeks ago I was recovering from the 3rd Anaesthetic trip to Hospital, and now it is a distant memory. The final result for me was about 95% of what I was expecting. When you look at the gross before shot and compare it to todays photo, I have no cause for complaint t there is some 'extra skin' still left around the missing BB area. My PS has promised to tidy it up when he replaces by BB next year, along with removing my 'boobs'. Then I will be ecstatic.
I still wake up with a RH lower back muscle soreness until I massage it for a few minutes and then it is OK. It may be the way I sleep. My fitness is improving as I easily cover my 2km walk each morning, which is something I was unable to do beforehand. The biggest change is in my confidence in myself. My PS told me to stay positive (who - me?) and noted my increased confidence and outlook on life. Much of that credit must go to my PS'Harem' who kept me sane and on track. Being a male on this site is a bit like being a 'Lone Petunia in an Onion Patch', but it has been so helpful.
New philosophy on life:- "I intend to live forever, - so far, so good!!"

It's 10 Weeks Post Op Already

Time flies on this marathon, I can see the finish line and hope it isn't a mirage.
I am feeling great, and finding out that things I could never imagine doing are now possible. My lower back still protests at some of these activities but a slight massage and off we go again. My 2km walking is getting quicker, so my fitness must be improving, but it isn't to the stage of tackling a 'Sexy Squat' yet. I tried one while watching her video the other day and it nearly killed me, my hamstrings were protesting so much that I couldn't stand for a while, and my 'Glute' muscles (Bum) were as sore as hell the next day. More exercise required in those areas before attempting that again. I can almost touch my toes which was never possible in my life before and more lower back exercises will achieve this aim.
Last week I was near the Hospital that started this journey 4yrs ago, so I popped in and went to see if the Dietician was still working there. She was, so un-announced I asked to see her for a few minutes and soon she appeared. I didn't expect her to remember me, but after I explained my story and told her it started with her diet plan, she was quite chuffed with my outcome and pleased that I had followed through on her advice.
Just down the road was the Surgeon's Office. On a roll, I decided to show him the 'new me' that he started 4yrs ago as well. After waiting a few minutes, he appeared and his Receptionist had told him that he did the 'Nissen Fundaplication' procedure on me 4yrs ago. Hid first statement was ' Is there a problem with the Operation? No, just the opposite, I then reminded him of his post op statement to me, 'There is too much belly fat and you need to lose weight as it was touch and go whether I could do this procedure Laporascopically or have to go fore the big slash'. He just laughed. I then showed him my photos and he was blown away at the change that has occurred. He was also thrilled that someone actually took his advice and said that it has probably added years to my life as well. At my age, that is something you want to hear.
That procedure is done to eliminate the effects of Reflux or GORD as it is sometimes called. Over the years, the constant reflux has reduced the thickness in the lining of my oesophagus (throat) and the op was necessary. It only took 45mins (they use part of the stomach lining and wrap it around the valve in the small intestine to make it work properly) and is usually a Day Surgery procedure. That visit really made his day and I am glad I called in.
I am preparing myself mentally to see my PS in Jan '15 to discuss my 'Boob removal' procedure. I think this is going to be more painful that the TT as for me there really wasn't any pain, just a discomfort. The more Reviews I read and watch YouTube Surgery videos, the more confused I am getting. I know the end result I want to achieve, so I will have to trust my PS to do his best to succeed in meeting my aims. I also have no idea of cost at this stage, so I am not going to even guess if my wife asks, (She bought a $5000 sewing machine because I had the TT, and wants to go fabric shopping in the USA after my Boob job).
I am still encouraging my 'RS Harem' as they achieve their own goals and consider this site as a lifesaver, it has helped countless people (including me), long may it continue.

3 Months Today Post Op - Wow!!

I feel my marathon is run.
The whole experience has changed me forever in many ways, physically, (I now love my new body), and even more so, mentally.
Growing up in the 1950's and 60's, I was always the fattest kid in school, at sport or in a social group which had a great deal of embarrassment, shyness and total lack of self worth and confidence. This was despite participating in sport such as Lacrosse (District level), Cricket (High School), Aussie Rules Football (High School and District), and Table Tennis (District Level). I always had bigger 'boobs' than my Mother and caused me to hate them to this day (not for much longer I hope). So you can see the amount of 'baggage' that has been stored up for so long. That has now gone. I am self confident, fitter each day, have so much more energy and libido it is dangerous and get excited to greet each day and love life.
Physically, my swelling around my 'love handles' has reduced to an extent now that it is loose skin around my backside that is floatin around but I can live with that. What it does mean is that my new 36" Jeans of which I am so proud, are now loose at the waist (I am not going to tell you know who about that!). There is no meat left on my hips so they will never get smaller, so I may have to shop around for a different type of trouser or Jean (maybe stretch type) to hold my pants up without a tight belt giving me a sack tied in the middle look. I still can't get used to looking down and seeing STAN (Special Thrills Available Now) and my FEET! Mirrors are now a vanity hazard also.
All of this journey started with willpower to lose weight and then with this RS site that gave me the knowledge to know what I was getting into. The helpful advice and encouragement I received once I posted my original review was phenominal. My original 'RS Harem' of supporters gave me the courage to make the decision to see a PS and get a date (the hardest part of this exercise). I am sure those approx. 15 'girls' are responsible for my excellent recovery to date, and I know that had we ever met, we would be life long good friends. My eternal gratitude to you all. Since I am now so well, I have made it my challenge to help many others of you wishing to start your own marathon. I love it when I 'meet' a new Girl who is so nervous, then become confident, help her through recovery (and everyone is different) and then almost see her continuous smile and a fabulous new body and attitude. To me it is uplifting to watch. There are about 30 of you that I am supporting at the moment and I am so grateful that you allow me into your lives to help.
One comment:- growing up there was no Sex Education in School, so boys/young men never had explained to them the effect that Women's 'problems' had on their daily life and body clocks. Even married for 43 years, it had never occurred to me as my wife never told me of any inconvenience during these times. From this site and all you girls, I now have a more compassionate understanding of these effects and their implications during recovery. Thank you.
What is next for me, my part2 surgery in the new year to give me back a new BB, tidy up a bit of loose skin around my midriff area and get rid of my 'boobs'. I can't wait.
Now I have to check up on my 'girls'.

An 'RS Christmas' Poem

A Merry Christmas to all my TT Friends and my apologies to those of you who can't laugh, cough or sneeze yet!!

'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibble, the chocolates I'd taste,
The holiday parties have gone to my waist.
When I got the scales there arose such a number!
So I walked to the store (less a walk, more a lumber)
And remembered the marvellous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared.
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the Brie,
And I never once said, 'No thanks, none for me'.
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt,
I said to myself, as only I can,
'You can't spend all winter disguised as a man!'
So away with the last of the sour-cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip,
Every last bit of that wonderful food.
I must strictly avoid (well it's for my own good),
It must all be dumped and totally banished
'Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie - not even a lick
And all I will chew is a celery stick.
I won't have a biscuit or fruit bread or pie.
I'll munch on a carrot and hungrily cry,
'I'm starving, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore.'
But isn't that what January's for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
So, happy New Year, and to all a good diet!

(Brings back bad memories)

4 Month Update and Part 2 Surgery

Time flies Post Op and can't really remember much about the initial TT anymore. Since recovery and the hassles with swelling etc, I have lost 5kgs (11pounds) from mainly around my middle and the vertical incision area. I feel marvellous and with so much more energy now that I have started projects around the house that I had been putting off as they were so strenuous like painting the Hallway with its 10 doorframes and doors to be painted (well underway). Other projects are lining up as well.
Thinking back on this whole episode in my life, I have come to realise that it is one of mental refurbishment as well as a physical 68yr service. Mentally I have eliminated all those years of embarrassment, low self esteem and a feeling of being an inferior person. Now, I am so much more confident in myself, know that I am no longer an embarrassment to be around and more compassionate toward others (RS Girls helped enormously here). My Men's Group that I help run have also noticed the change in me and can't believe my photos either.
Physically, there is an obvious change with all that 'blubber' gone since my weight loss and TT surgery. I still can't believe it when I walk past my vanity hazard (the mirror) and realise it is such a change. I am fully recovered now and am so well it is amazing, keeping the weight off even after Christmas Mince Pies etc and looking forward to Part 2 Surgery.
I went to see my PS last Tuesday and he was so happy with everything but pointed to my vertical scar and said, ' What happened there?". It is no longer vertical but a wavy line (see Photo) and is where all the loose skin has accumulated. He grabbed a handful in each hand and said, "Well, I was going to tidy it up anyway, there is more than I imagined as it was so tight after surgery."
He is also going to put back my Belly Button and get rid of my 'boobs'. We talked about how he was going to do it and I told him that I didn't care about any additional scars and wouldn't care if he carved a 'Noughts and Crosses' board on my chest as long as they were gone. I will go into the gory details later. My Surgery date will be March 5th in the morning so it will be a 7-30am check in.
I have no idea of cost yet as I am waiting for the paperwork etc, but I don't care - as long as they are gone. There is so much emotional baggage associated with them that has followed me all my life. I am still following many of you 'girls' as you progress along your marathon an am really pleased with the results being achieved. I asked my PS if I would need any Lipo to tidy things up and he said, maybe, and that is scaring the Hell out of me after following many of you 'girls' and your experiences. Hang in there, and happy healing to you all, it IS worth it.

One Month until Part 2 Surgery

Well, I found the right time to tell my wife when the next surgery will be and the only comment was 'How much can I have to spend this time.' I haven't told my daughter as I don't want another tirade like last time. My wife can tell her.
There is chaos here at the moment as last week, my daughter saw a nice house for sale with garaging for (8) cars nearby. Friday saw her meeting with the finance broker, Saturday she put in an offer and Sunday was Open Inspection at 2pm. At 4-30pm, the Agent rang and said her bid was accepted! Settlement Day is also March 5th, my surgery day. I am working around at her place from 7am till 9pm doing patching and painting ceilings as well as other projects that I have been putting off for some time. The Agent is coming next Sunday to give an appraisal on her house, so lots of things to do and guess what, the Air conditioner died in the middle of a near century heatwave week. Just another job to replace it.
So you can see the timing was perfect to tell them as their minds wouldn't care what I do as long as I finish my work list.
Here are the gory details of the proposed surgery:- The Gynecomastia (male breast removal) will be similar to a female Mastectomy in that he will create an incision under each breast and remove the gland tissue. This will create a great deal of loose skin. Next, each nipple and areola will be removed (and re-used) and a TT type stretch, trim and stitch procedure to flatten the chest. The PS will then replace the nipples and areola in a new position and stitch . Hopefully I won't need any Lipo, but if I do I will leave it up to him. The next stage is to do a vertical TT and remove the once tight skin around my torso (see photo) and trim and stitch again. The last procedure will be to create a new BB to replace the one that died last time (probably from some of the 'leftover' bits).
That is it. I rang my Health Fund today to see if everything was approved, but the Hospital are dragging their feet and haven't forwarded the paperwork, so another phone call to get them to play ball. Promised to be sorted out by tomorrow. I said to my PS that this all sounds more painful than the TT event. He said that as I found that to be an annoying 'paper cut', that I won't notice this either. Easy for him to say. The recovery is entirely different from a TT in that I have to be totally immobilised for 3days and no raising my arms higher than a horizontal position and definitely no rotation of the shoulder joints. Under no circumstances must I flex my pectoral muscles. Recovery should be limited movement for 3wks and no lifting anything heavier than a knife and fork. Stitches removed after 7days and compression binder to be worn 24/7 for 6wks!
I don't want to sound 'a bit Chicken' , but I think this will be more of a recovery challenge than the TT and it's 'hiccups' from last time. Once again I will be on my own through this episode.
Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for the next few weeks to pass, and am so looking forward to this day to rid myself of over 50 years of embarrassment, loathing and loss of confidence and self worth. My wife says that at my age I don't need it done, but I can't get her to see how important it is to me.
Learning from previous surgeries, I now know the early warning signs for DVT's and Seroma's, so hopefully I will be on top of things post-op. I hope poor old STAN and his mates don't take the brunt of any swelling (what's the problem?) as last time they looked like the purple colour card at the paint counter. This time things will be happening much further North so maybe he won't be affected (the symptoms took 3 1/2mths to subside last time).
Enjoy the photos.

5 Months PO TT, & 3wks to Part2 Surgery

I can't begin to pass on to you the way my health has improved post surgery. Yes, I may have felt this good by just losing the 40kg, but to lose the excess 'blubber' is a miracle. My blood pressure is regularly that of a teenager, my cholesterol is average and energy levels are through the roof. I am told to slow down and that everything doesn't need to be done right now and remember you are approaching 70, but I only feel 35yrs old.
Mind you, with the amount of work listed for me to do at my daughter's house, there is little time to get things done. The settlement date for her new house is March 12th and my surgery is March 5th, so there is a deadline. It is low 90's today and having done painting and then spread 1/2 ton of loam to top up garden beds, after 8hrs, I called it a day. Tomorrow it is forecast to be 105F, so not much happening outside, although I have 2.5 ton of gravel being delivered in the morning.
I received a call from my PS's office wanting to see me to take some photos pre op and to measure me for a Binder or a vest. The Binder fitted better and is similar to the one I used for the TT procedure.
Apparently, I will be in Hospital for 2-3 days, and was told to expect a full rainbow of bruising for about a week. I haven't told STAN yet. I don't care, I just can't wait to be rid of the emotional 'baggage' associated with my embarrassing body. It will be about 1mth before I can lift anything heavier than a knife and fork, so that should be interesting.
My out-of-pocket expense for this surgery will be about $3500, with all Hospital charges met by my Health Fund. As a consequence, we are all going on a Cruise in August, with you know who is paying. We will fly direct from Adelaide to Singapore, then board the 'Dawn Princess' to Vietnam, Thailand and Bali (Indonesia) in 14days and disembark in Perth, Western Australia. We will then hire a car for a week and head down to the South-West area to see the 'big timber' area (like the Redwoods of Oregon/ California) except these are hardwood timbers of Jarrah, Karri, Parri and Marri. It is also a large wine growing area. Then we will fly home. That should teach me to have more surgery!

A thought for you all:-
To fall down is a part of life,
To get back up is part of living.

Ponder this:- Why don't you ever see 'mouse- flavoured' cat food??

WOW What an experience

Hi my friends,
I am extatic and cannot believe the change in my chest area.
Checked in last Thursday at 7am and met the anesthetist who told me I was 2nd on the list today and would be ready for me about 9am. As soon as I entered the Operating room, my PS asked for my camera and then proceeded to draw all over me and take photos. Hopped up on the table and lights out. Back in recovery at 1_30pm all trussed up like a turkey. Back in my room, I had a look at the photos he took during the surgery and am surprised by the number of incisions. I have (3)drains, a new 'T' vertical scar, another one under each breast which finishes up under my armpit and my nipples repositioned and everything is so flat. My new fashion accessory, the binder is very long and goes from groin to my armpits. There is bruising coming out now (Saturday) and one nipple is numb and black but the other one is fine.
Friday was the usual (for me) wipeout with low blood pressure 80/50 even with all the fluids they were pumping in, but the drains were draining 200ml each overnight and STAN was also draining copious amounts as well. An attempt at a shower was cancelled as I almost fainted in trying to sit up on the side of the bed. My PS came in at 6-30am, I was barely awake and had a look and described everything in detail. I rthink my Nurse was looking a little green àfter that. Last night the jellco in my arm for the fluids etc decided to not work so it was removed and another one will be inserted sometime today. I had a stand8ng up shower this morning and that felt great. I will update with photos when I get home (probably Tuesday).
I am so excited with the whole event and how life changing this will mean to me.
My measurements were 46-48-38 and 119kg and now I am 38-35-38 and 77kg, I still can't believe it.

Home Tomorrow

Drains are going to be removed on Tuesday (PO Day5) and then will go home . I have lots of stories to tell you all and will be taking photos today. I have 'swell hell' as per normal and contact blisters from my binder, but we all know how to fix that. I'm like a kid with a new birthday toy, I am struggling to comprehend that this is the 'new me', permanently.
Thanks for all your support, it keeps me going.

"About there". Day 5PO

Hi, a funny thing happened in Theatre.
Back in the Middle Ages, Leonardo da Vinci wrote a Trieste on the Physiological Relationships of the Human Race which identified the relationship , for example, of your ears in respect to your eyes, nose, mouth. I thought of this book as my PS told me of an "Uh-Oh" moment in my surgery. In the usual mark-up prior to the start, I was measured and the new position of my nipples marked with a felt pen. He explained with a straight face, that when he got to that point in the surgery, the marks for my nipples had been either wiped off or cut out. So, at this stage a 'round table conference of the entire Theatre Staff became involved in determining the new position. At this point, my mind was racing with hilarious scenes of this 'about there' decision and I was really struggling to keep a straight face and eventually burst out laughing. He was serious, and the problem was that there was no BB to get a reference measurement from. Those of you observing the photos will note that I still don't have a BB!! The skin along the vertical incision was pulled so tight that it was impossible to cut a circular hole to insert one. He offered to put one in later if I wanted one, but I think I will live without it.
Once again, there was no pain for me, only the discomfort of the incision lines being pulled or stretched by the binder. I was only offered Panadol anyway. Many of the Nurses remembered me from 5mths ago and were stunned at my change. They told me it was the talk of the 'shift handover' on one day. I noted that it has taken 4days to regain my normal breathing after walking up to the 'Patient's Lounge' to check out the magazines available and was surprised to be out of breath on day2 PO, probably anaesthetic residue. I am so ecstatic with the result so far, albeit the swelling and bruising aren't fully developed yet and I have my 'love handles' back again. Emotionally, this is going to take some time for the realisation of the fact that the old body has gone and I learn to love the 'new me'.
I know I have to take things easy and have an appointment to see the PS next Tuesday, but I know the result is going to be impressive. Thank you all for your support, I will check in to see how you are all going.

Part 2 - 2weeks PO

Hi my friends,
In my excitement last time I forgot to mention about the Lipo issue during surgery. I left the decision to have/not have any Lipo up to him. As it turned out, he decided not to do any as it would have still left loose skin around my armpit area and I had told him that scars were not an issue (at my age), so if it meant a longer incision - so be it. That is what happened and I have a scar line extending from my Sternum (breast bone) to under my armpit and around the corner to my back on each side. But, I have a dead flat chest, for the first time in my life!!! I also have a modified TT set of scars from the midpoint of the TT groin area extending vertically up to the Sternum again. The midriff torso area is so tight now you could bounce a coin off it. This morning, I went for my 1wk ex Hospital visit. As soon as he walked in to the treatment room, he said, "I can tell you are still so excited, did you bring in the photos I took?" Yes and proceeded to show his Nurse as she was ripping off all the old dressings. He commented that he had not seen such a dramatic change in a person in a long time.
He then looked me over and said " You've had a small bleeder in the last week?", and proceeded to poke around. Next thing, he is coming at me with a syringe as big as a caulking gun cartridge and proceeds to try to drain any remnants of the incident (and wasn't that fun?) but said it had resolved itself (phew). Still absolutely no pain, just binder pressure on the incisions as I move about and sit/stand. I have a new appreciation of what you 'girls' go through during breast work and I sympathise with you. He poked around my nipple areas today, in particular the left one which was numb and black when I left Hospital, and is now a bruised pink one the same as the other one. He admitted he was a bit concerned about it, but it appears to be co-operating. He is happy and pleased with himself. To say that I have 'some' bruising would be an understatement. He commented that there is more than he expected to see, but I told him it wasn't tender to touch and he expected it to disappear over the next week or so. Still have to wear my binder 24/7, but I do take it off for a couple of hours if I am just lying down.
Helped move the daughter into her home last weekend, but my activities were confined to assembling the bed frames with my trusty IKEA Allen Key. There are over 200 labelled boxes whose numbers correspond to the numbers on the various drawers, doors and shelves throughout the house. Amazing attention to detail and planning that makes an old Engineer proud. I'm glad it is her though.
Well that is about it, except that I still have to stop at the mirror each morning and verify in my mind that it is actually true, I do look like that. I am holding 77-78kg or 12stone, or 170lb - unbelievable!!!

Day 19 PO, Part2 Surgery

Hi, I was nervous about going in for todays checkup as at Day 19 on the TT recovery, all
hell broke loose and I ended back in hospital. I arrived early and he saw me come in and showed me immediately into a treatment room and one of his Nurses proceeded to remove all the old dressings.
Just then he came in and before I could say anything, he said, "What is going on there", pointing to my bruised area near the TT scar. I said, "I was going to ask you that as the area is as tight as a drum skin". Deja Vu, apparently another Seroma. This time he used a smaller syringe (about 1" dia X 4" long), instead of the huge Caulking Gun size he used last time. After stabbing me with it, he proceeded to draw off (5) syringes full of almost black yuck, not blood. He seemed very happy about it all and proceeded to stab me in two other areas to make sure there weren't any 'bubbles' remaining. After prodding me all over the chest, and playing with my nipples, he said that for almost 3wks, everything has healed well with no numb spots and I was free to do anything I wanted now but only light lifting for awhile, but I have to wear my binder for another week to make sure the seroma has finished. Another appointment same time next week.
The Nurse took one photo today of the chest area without the tapes and I am so pleased with the result and the scars are almost skin colour already. I am still coming to grips mentally that this is really me, after all these years of embarrassment.

Almost free - 4wks PO

One advantage of being known as a 'SOAP' (Senile Old Age Pensioner) is that I get free Public Transport, so I make my appointments with the PS for mid-morning and catch the train and then a connecting tram which stops right outside his building in the City. Feeling my 'drum-tight' TT area, I know to be expecting the dreaded syringe again, and I wasn't disappointed. As soon as he walked in, looked at me, then reached for the cupboard and buzzed for a Nurse. This time as he said ' it will sting a bit', I thought, 'How would he know?'. Sure enough, it did sting but not too badly and he only drew off 2 syringes (110ml). That is a lot better than the 300ml last week. But it means another 2wks this time and still wearing the binder to keep pressure on the area. The positive for this week was the big unveiling, no more tape dressing. I now have to apply Bio-Oil or similar twice (two times) a day using finger or palm pressure massaging as I rub it in. I found out on the train going home without my binder (naughty) that my shirt rubbing on my chest made my nipples sore, so hopefully by massaging and the binder will help with the healing. As usual, I had the nurse take some photos for me. My PS says that in the future he will 'tidy up' the loose skin area at the chest 'T' scar junction (see photo) and do it under 'a local anaesthetic! I'm not sure I want to watch that or hold a clamp or something. One thing I am excited about is that my only colony of 52 grey chest hairs (I was bored one day), actually survived the big cut!!

"Uh-Oh", Take 2

Hi, this morning (Thursday) I woke up and immediately knew something was wrong. I had a bloated tight abdomen along the TT line and a large lump under my left armpit. I thought, that's right, everything will be shut for the 4 days of the Easter Holiday break and I have another seroma. I rang my PS assistant at 8-30am and left a message for when she arrived at work. She rang and said 'Get in here now and don't have anything to drink or eat in case we have to admit you". Here we go again. Ten am saw me immediately ushered into a treatment room where a Nurse had a quick look and went to get a PS, (mine was in Surgery). My next appointment was in 12days time and I felt this couldn't wait that long, and after the PS saw the lumps, he said that if it happens again, don't wait, just get in here. OK, so it wasn't a false trip, but it meant more stabbing and sucking with a syringe again. He extracted another 60ml from the left side of the abdomen this time, and another 120ml from my armpit as well. He said it was still 'old blood' and not new serum (lighter in colour) and that it will come to an end soon. I was to take some vitamin supplements containing iron and zinc as I was losing those vitamins in this discharge fluid. I have an appointment for next Tuesday if I need it. Very pleased with the response and service that I am receiving (still PO free of charge), and the compassion shown by all the Staff. I was also told this morning to throw some things in a Hospital bag in case today's PS wanted to admit me back to Memorial Hospital where my PS was in Surgery all day. I always keep a bag packed these days so that was easy but thankfully not needed. I planned a relaxing Easter anyway with the only activity planned being the opening round of the Football in the City on Sunday afternoon. Here's hoping it will settle down.

On A Roll...

Hi my friends,
Today started out on a sombre note with the funeral of one of my Grumpies (Mens Group). I put on my 18mth old suit and was shocked as to how big it was and how it fitted so badly, too late to do anything about it now.
After the funeral, I had to rush into the City for my weekly 'stabbing' and it is getting better, only one spot today of 60ml. hopefully, it was the last time.
As I had that ill fitting suit on, I decided to go back to the Menswear Store and see if I could still match the suit fabric and just get another pair of trousers. Luck was with me, it is still available , and the assistant said 'what size?'. I said, 36". Tried them on and they fitted so nicely. Being opportunistic, I tried on a 34" and while they fitted nicely, it was a bit tight in the waist, Oh well, it was worth a try. On a roll, I tried on a jacket, size 40" and it fitted so sweetly that I just stared in the fitting room mirror in disbelief. That was a reduction in size of 5" in the waist and 4" in the chest - amazing. You can see why it was uncomfortable to wear. Still on a roll, I picked out a nice shirt (40") and it fitted so well that I thought I better quit while I was ahead. The old shirt was a big-cut 43" and the new one is a standard cut 40". When I got home and modelled it for my wife, she actually admitted that the old one was far too big and how much needs to come up on the trousers? At this point, I realised that I hadn't even asked the price of my suit, but just passed over the plastic. I didn't care anyway as the result is so far above my expectations of 5mths ago. The realisation that it really is the 'new me body' and even my fellow Grumpies admit that I am smaller than most of them now. I am about 95% recovered from the chest surgery 4wks ago and that has amazed me as well. Still wearing the binder until the PS says I don't need to, but without it on, any shirt rubbing on my nipples makes them very tender, so I suppose they need more healing time yet, but my chest is so flat it is unbelievable (I love it!).

I fear another 'hiccup' coming on.

Hi my friends, for the past two Tuesdays I have been seeing my PS to get 'stabbed' again and at least one syringe full of yuck being drawn off. Yesterday I went in again and after the usual stabbing, there wasn't muck yuck found, but the area to my left of the midline scar was swollen and so tight. I asked him if it felt like a hernia, and he said no, but he thought it might be a 'tissue necrosis' about the TT/ midline scar area. This means that the tissue has died and the body if creating Serum (the black yuck) to ward off any infection. Here we go again, and next Monday I have to have an Ultrasound and then go back and see him for the results and the next course of action.
I have enclosed some photos of my new suit, and unfortunately, I have another Funeral to attend, this time, my Uncle (my Dad's Brother), so the suit will get its first appearance. The only positive is that my sister will be flying over and as I was going to surprise her next Christmas, she will get to see me sooner. I haven't seen her for 5yrs.
I will keep you informed of the test result.

All is well - for now!

Hi my friends, today saw me go for an ultrasound of the swelling to the left of the midline scar on the TT scar line. It was swollen again this morning and after about 20mins of scanning with that sticky gel, the young woman went to get a doctor to make sure all the relevant area was covered. No comment on the result, so I picked up the photos and filled in time in the City until my PS appointment in the afternoon. After reading the report (by email), my PS came back with good news/bad news. There was no tissue necrosis, (Phew), but there was a pocket of tissue that has not yet bonded with the stomach lining and it is this 'cavity' which is filling up with fluid. The solution, keep on stabbing me with the syringe to encourage the tissue to heal. Another 80cctoday and another trip next Tuesday. There is no pain, soreness or other complication, just a nuisance side effect from the surgeries. He doesn't see the need for any additional surgery to fix anything (yet), so I will comply with his wishes and turn up each week until the matter is resolved.
On a lighter note, the comments from most of my extended family of cousins etc at the Funeral were amazing. As I introduced myself as I gave part of the Eulogy, I could see several people suddenly work out who I was as they could not believe the change in my size. My sister was suitably impressed and was most complimentary. Most of those at the Funeral had not seen each other since the last Family Funeral, (my Mother), over 5yrs ago, so it was a good catch up event as well.

Final Cost for Part 2 Surgery

Hi my friends, I had a couple of unexpected emails last week. One was from my anaesthetist with a refund of $700!. This was apparently a rebate due to a procedure item number was claimable from the Gov't Medicare Scheme as being an 'in-Hospital' procedure (and not cosmetic). I wasn't going to argue. So the final bill from him was $500. The second email was from my Private Health Insurance Fund telling me the final amount that they paid for my Hospital stay (5days) was $5618!. That means this surgery total was $3000 for my PS, + $500 for the anaesthetist and $5618 for Hospital stay costs. My cost was $3500 and considering that I am still receiving weekly visits and treatment some 8wks later (at no extra cost) is not bad value.
The seroma is starting to behave itself as this week only 50ml was extracted. The appointments are still planned for the next few weeks as well.
This week he commented that the loose skin at the 'T' junction of the scars at the chest line had healed nicely and that he was keen to revise that area at the 6mth PO timeframe. I was a little shocked and didn't ask him if there was a cost involved. I will next week. I wasn't intending to have anymore surgery and at my age, I don't really care if it looks a bit untidy as I as so excited at the overall result. The rest of the year is starting to get a bit crowded on my calendar as I will be on my Asian Cruise for all of August, then travelling to Sydney for Christmas with my Sister, then we have booked a 46day Cruise around the Indian Ocean to South Africa which will take up all of January and February as well, so any surgery will have to fit in from Sept to December. How did I find time to go to work!!

FREE at Last

Hi my RS friends, today after my visit to my PS, he declared that he wasn't going to 'stab ' me anymore as it looks like the seroma has finally healed. It is 10wks since the 'boob' removal and midriff tightening and I am still smiling. An interesting side effect has occurred. The TT incision that was re-opened and had the vacuum pump in the wound for 2wks is as flat and firm as can be, but the otherside that was also re-opened but didn't have the vacuum pump is swollen and flabby in comparison. The PS noticed that yesterday and after poking around in that area said that in future if someone else has the seroma there, he would place a vacuum pump in both sides. So I was a guinea pig, I am not upset about it. He did say that he would like to do a revision on that spot, tighten the loose skin at the breastbone area and tidy up the 'puckering' at the end of each armpit scar, and finally make and fit a belly button. I am not terribly fussed about all of that and I will be 70yrs next year and feel I don't need it anyway.
I am maintaining my weight at 77kg which is my aim for the future. I am 2" too short for my ideal BMI, so I will have to wear 'cuban' heeled shoes (HaHa).
Was it worth it, you bet. Would I do it all again, 'in a blink'. I am so grateful to my RS 'Harem' of supporters who kept me focused and gave me confidence along the way. I am still following quite a few of you and am astonished at some of the achievements being displayed.
This site is so non judgemental, comparative with each other and so anonymous, (lets face it, I rarely get to see your faces without a camera and have only seen you naked !!) No topic is off limits and I am sure this site is a great help to so many of you (it is addictive too).
Refer to my before and after photos to see why I am continually smiling.
Happy Memorial Day to you all.
APSA (Adelaide Plastic Surgeons Associates

Dr. Darren Molony. I am impressed with his confidence of what he can do for me and my expected outcomes. It will be a Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty with a separate 'boob job' later on. His PA is amazing, and is so supportive and enthusiastic. The surgery is planned for 18th Sept. 2014. Post Operative communication has been brilliant. Nursing Staff were ringing him at home at 10-30pm, and he welcomed that. Change the rating from not sure, to Definitely WORTH IT!!!! part2 surgery is scheduled for March 5th, 2015 for a bilateral gynecomastia, umbilicus rectification and torso skin rectification. This Gynecomastia procedure surpassed my wildest dreams and I am so happy. A Post Operative Seroma is a lingering side effect still receiving treatment by my PS for which I am so grateful. Dr Molony has been so confident and reassuring throughout my whole journey and would recommend him 'in a blink'.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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