I'm one of the few guys on here :) Over the...
I'm one of the few guys on here :) Over the last five years I've lost 90 lbs....I'm 33, 5'11" and down to 171 lbs now. The weight loss left me with saggy, mushy skin at my belly. After working so hard to get into shape, I feel like this is the last hurdle for me. I want to be comfortable in my own skin.
Here's some more background info:
Back in 2005,...
Here's some more background info:
Back in 2005, I was at my heaviest - I weighed 260 lbs and felt miserable. Over the last 5 years, through diet and exercise, I've been able to get down to 171... about the ideal weight for my body frame. However, as I mentioned before, my belly and chest areas now look deflated... probably because that's exactly what happened :) I lost over 8 inches from my belly.
After much contemplation, I felt the last hurdle to ultimately reach my goal and reward myself for all the hard work was to get the extra skin removed. They say timing is everything, and now seemed like timing was perfect. I don't have tons of extra skin, but enough. I'll share a picture here.
I found my doctor by researching online and by reading patient reviews. I knew I wanted someone who was board certified and had many years of experience. The initial consultation went well and I was able to ask lots of questions and see lots of pictures of past patients.
I ended up deciding to go for a tummy tuck (with muscle repair, if needed). I also asked my PS about the fat on my chest... I was worried that a flatter stomach would accentuate what was left of my "man boobs". He said that lipo would be the best option for me and that it could be combined in the same procedure. So I am going to have lipo in my chest and the abdominoplasty together. The entire cost including the surgery center was $13,500.
I was told the procedure would take about 5 hours. Two drains would be put in along with the numbing pump. I'll also be put in a full body compression garment... looks like a tank top with crotchless shorts (not sure how I feel about that)... but the nurse said previous guys found it more comfortable than a separate chest/stomach garments. They said I could remove the pain pump drains myself after two to three days, but they would take out the drains in a post-op appointment when appropriate.
I was prescribed Tylox for pain, along with a naseau med, sleeping med, and SinEcch for swelling.
For the guys - I was also told that because of gravity and swelling, our man parts can become really swollen. Scary! So they told me to stock up on frozen peas and some tight underwear in case that happens. Also, I'm nervous about the catheter... if I can't pee after surgery they will put one back in until I can. I plan to drink a gallon of water afterwards because hell no I don't want to experience that. At least I'm knocked out when they use one for surgery!
I'm very very nervous, as many of you can relate. My parents will be staying with me for a couple of weeks (I'm a single guy so I need the help). Also, since my condo is 20 steps up on the second floor of my building, I'll be staying in the hotel with my folks for the first couple weeks. That should be interesting.
Sept 2 is coming up fast! I will post some "after" pics when I can.... I just want to get this over with.. lol.
3 days and counting! I'm really starting to become...
3 days and counting! I'm really starting to become obsessed with the surgery now. I can't get it off my mind. I purchased a 12" x 24" x 24" wedge pillow and under leg cushion for my bed. Since I'll be staying at a hotel for the first couple weeks, it's the best I can do. I've been tempted to see if any local medical stores could rent out a lifting recliner... but I may just see how a bed with the pillows goes.
Since I'm self-employed and work mostly from home, I don't have to worry much about time away from work. I quit my full-time job a couple of months ago to start my own business...and that is part of why I'm doing it now. It's nice to be my own boss and not worry about 'asking' for time away from work.
So my surgery is scheduled for 8am tomorrow...
So my surgery is scheduled for 8am tomorrow morning. I hope I can get some sleep tonight. I just keep thinking positive thoughts! Hope to be good enough to give a same-day surgery update... here goes nuthin'!
Posted a new pic today after shaving! Side view of me leaning over... even more motivation to do this! I look like a shrunken balloon.... guess 90 lbs ago there was stuff in there :)
Got back from surgery today. All is well! Not a...
2 Sep 2011
Day of treatment
Got back from surgery today. All is well! Not a ton of pain.... yet. Just soreness around muscle repair. Will report back later. Thx for all the support! Can't believe it's over !
1 day post-op: things are going ok. Made it thru...
1 day post-op: things are going ok. Made it thru the night and actually slept ok. Got up to pee about every three hours so getting in and out of bed sucks. I definitely feel more pain in my ab muscles today! Plus the incision burns a bit. Everything has been bearable. I've had the munchies alot so I'm snacking alot on crackers, soup, and watermelon.... Goes down pretty well so far. I don't have my first dr Appt until Tuesday morning, so I don't know what anything looks like. I'll have to remove my compression garment to pull out my numbing pump lines probably tomorrow, not sure how that will go!
All in all so far for being just one day post-op I feel pretty good. I'm not gonna lie - it hurts! Muscle repair is the worst part. Feels like getting stabbed with a hundred needles! But nothing excruciating.... Just gotta hang in there, so far nothing super horrible! Fingers crossed it stays that way.
Whoa, just had the WORST bout of gas pain ever. It...
Whoa, just had the WORST bout of gas pain ever. It was horrible. All I could do is sit on the edge of the bed holding a pillow to my stomach. Piercing pain like every 30 seconds. Startin the Colace and switching to Extra Strength Tylenol from now on! The Tylox pain meds are not worth the havoc on my bowels! I felt like I was goon to pass out. Eventually with lots of pacing around the room I was able to pass some gas and finally relief. Thank God. Also, my bum is so bruised from being in the same position on my bed.... Gotta switch around alot now. Hopefully tomorrow is better!
3rd day post-op: got thru the day ok today! My...
3rd day post-op: got thru the day ok today! My appetite seems to be getting better but I'm still being careful since I still haven't had my first BM yet. That's my next biggest obstacle despite the Colace and all prunes! Pain much more tolerable. I would say some burning around the drains and in my abs. The muscle repair is the culprit to this whole dang thing. I coughed in my sleep last night and it instantly woke me up with a knife piercing pain in my belly! Horrible. I keep cough drops and water at my bedside and nearby always. I'm able to get in and out of bed on my own! Also, my stance is already much straighter. I found my favorite position is sitting in a chair with a pillow in my lap. I get up to walk often. Sleeping is horrible for me mainly because I got bad sores on the top of my bum from the first couple days propped up in bed. Can't wait to sleep on my side some day!
My first Dr appt is in the morning, hope that goes well!
This is definitely NO walk in the park. Wish I could say I love how I look but it's all swell hell now... Gonna stay positive....
4th day post-op: Been a pretty good day so far. I...
4th day post-op: Been a pretty good day so far. I had my first Dr appt this morning since the operation four days ago. Took like 5 minutes... all the doc did was look things over and check on my swelling. He said so far so good... actually called me "superman" since everyone in the office was commenting on how well I was doing. I'm bumpy and swollen though. My right side above my incision line is puffy and feels really "hard" to the touch... not sore though. Dr said it could be because I was sitting so much...bent over forward in a chair. I admit, my bottom is so sore from being propped up in bed, sitting is least painful and I have been passing a lot of time up in a chair. The nurse said it happens sometimes and not to freak out but just give it time. (also, for the few guys here - the man parts do swell...not horribly, but look out for it. I was nervous about it but it hasn't been too much of a problem)
Also, I found it so very nice... my Doctor and his staff gave me a really nice plant (looks like orchids) as a get well gift... very cool of them!
I think the key to today getting off to a good start - had my first BM! Ah, the little things in life. Sooo happy to pass that milestone... I felt like a new man after that! I thank the prunes and Colace for that. And lots of water. Then the trip to the doctor's office was a breeze... felt good to be out and about. I've had very little to no pain today! I stopped my pain meds the day after surgery and now I'm doing to a couple Tylenol every 5 hrs or so. I still take things very slow and easy. The tightness around my muscle repair is still bothersome but now I can do much more. I actually think I could probably almost stand up straight if it wasn't for this damn full body compression garment. Now all I'm really looking forward to doing away with the drains... not sure when that will happen. I'm still getting at least 25 cc by the end of the day in each one. Changing the gauze at the drain sites sucks... doing that daily. Other than that, I'm slowly trying to add more solid foods to my diet... this journey is full of speed bumps! Good luck to everyone else out there!
11 days post-op today: Got my second drain out...
11 days post-op today: Got my second drain out this morning! The first one came out 6 days after surgery. It feels great to be rid of all the tubes hanging around. There is no pain at this point... only hurts to cough... but even that pain is less than the early days. I still avoid it at all cost though. I can pretty much stand up straight already, but I haven't tried sleeping flat yet... I still need a slight incline... otherwise it feels like my skin is stretched so tight.
The only complication remaining so far at least is the swelling on my right side. The Doc said I had some bleeding under the incision and that is why I have this swollen area there... it raised and firm...looks like a big ugly love handle. He said it should subside over the next several weeks... I hope so because it freaks me out.
It's really hard for me to get a good opinion of my results so far. I looks so swollen and lumpy and bumpy that I truly can't say that I'm super duper excited with how I look. My belly button looks good though. I try not to think about it too much because it could get be a little depressed... I think it's best to stay positive and get through at least the first month knowing things will "normalize" soon enough.
I'm about 17 days post-op now... time is flying,...
I'm about 17 days post-op now... time is flying, thankfully. I had my 3rd doctor's appointment today and it went well. My right side is still swollen and firm from some bleeding under the incision, but the dr said it is starting to soften up a bit. I got the green light to start sleeping on my stomach! I tried for the first time earlier today and it felt a bit weird... but I'm a stomach sleep so I can't wait to finally do it. He also said I can ease my way back into the gym in 3 weeks! I'm still wearing this full body garment... it's a pain but they encouraged me to keep it on until my next appointment in 4 weeks. I also noticed that coughing isn't nearly as painful as a couple weeks ago! So these little signs of recovery are inspiring. I'm dealing with swell hell still (it looks like I got love handle implants...I hate it) but I know it's still early for me... so I have to be patient at least for a couple more months before I make any real judgements.
Added a couple of post-op pictures... swelling is...
Added a couple of post-op pictures... swelling is giving me love handles but doc says they should subside along with the general swelling...not sure how long that will take though. My stomach is flatter and it feels great to be rid of the extra skin. My chest swelling from the lipo is a little less as well.
27 days post-op now. I'm still feeling better each...
27 days post-op now. I'm still feeling better each day. The swelling is slowly getting better...although it's not really looking too different yet. It does feel "softer" as some areas were really firm a couple weeks ago. Getting in and out of bed is a breeze... no pain at all. However, I do randomly get a pressure/very light pain in muscles below my belly button... the skin there is still completely numb.
I'll add some pictures as well. Oh yah, I'm down a few pounds... to 167... about five pounds less than pre-op.
So this is very interesting - last night was my...
So this is very interesting - last night was my friends birthday party... It was a night on the town... drinking and clubbing... The whole works. I was a bit worried about how I would last throughout the night but my friend and his friends are all doctors, so I did feel more at ease :) I decided to let loose a bit and see how it would affect me. Well, I felt good... Enjoyed some drinks... and danced most the night! Haha. The compression garment gave me some more bounce LOL. Also, it was the first time I dressed up since the surgery.... size 30 jeans and a slim fitting medium polo... something I would NEVER wear at my old 260 lbs. I got so many compliments and it felt great. I even had an old college friend that I hadn't seen in years completely walk by me because he didnt recognize me... it was a fun night ... helped make me feel good about my decisions. And to top it off... when I woke up this morning my swelling was the best I'd ever seen it! The firmness on my right side is completely soft and gone down considerably... not that I condone that go out and party, but I was quite shocked. Maybe all the movement helped to flush things out :)
Tomorrow I'll be eight weeks PO. Time is flying! I...
Tomorrow I'll be eight weeks PO. Time is flying! I feel overall really good. I had a dr appt earlier this week and he cleared me to stop using compression garments and I can now do weight training again. The only issue left is swelling. Now my left side is more "puffy" than my right side... when it was always the other way around. If I stay looking this way, I would definitely not be happy... flat stomach and love handles... no thank you. But my doctor reassured me that my body is still healing and we'll do another checkpoint at the end of January. I hope the swelling does go down because I don't want any revisions... finger's crossed.
Haven't updated in a while... it's been 10 months!...
12 Jul 2012
10 months post
Haven't updated in a while... it's been 10 months! I can hardly believe that... especially since I have so many vivid memories about worrying about the surgery and wondering what the whole experience would be like for me. Well, I had my last post-op appointment a couple of months ago... I still have a noticeable 'bump' or love handles above my incision line. The doctor said it was looking ok but then he offered to do a reduced fee liposuction procedure ($1750) and it would minimize it. Hmm, I'm not interested at the moment. I'm still trying to pay down the original costs! I'm hitting the gym harder and trying to see where the gym gets me over the next several months... especially since I know feel back to 'normal' (although I do sometimes still feel tightness in my abs from the muscle repair. No pain though).
My scar is still quite dark as well. However I feel absolutely great... I even went shirtless for the first time in my life kayaking down the river...haha. I've been able to maintain my weight loss with regular exercise and a decent diet. My new goal is to step up weight resistance training to develop some more muscle tone and get my bf% lower.