His Tummy Tuck

The decision to proceed with a tummy tuck is not...

The decision to proceed with a tummy tuck is not something that I've taken lightly. It is however something that I've had on my mind for some time, as I always knew it might be the only option.

See, almost 2 years ago now I set about losing a considerable amount of weight. Weight that had crept on through years of eating whatever I liked and using food as an emotional tool when I felt happy and when I felt sad. Regardless of the emotion, food was there.

The result was a final figure of 116kg, and a very unhappy man.

So here I am a number of years later, and after a lot of hard work and a new mindset, I'm now 30kg lighter and enjoying my new found freedom.

I can now buy clothes anywhere and they just fit. Jeans are no longer a nightmare to try on, and I can order a standard medium in almost anything and it fits perfectly.

However, despite this new found freedom there is still a part of me that is not quite right. I look in the mirror and even though the weight is considerably reduced, there are still the telltale signs of a bigger man - a man whose skin was stretched beyond capacity. Hence the tummy tuck.

When I started on this journey, it was always my greatest fear that my mid-section would not bounce back as well as I would like. And for many years, it was one of the main reasons that I wouldn't even consider really trying to lose weight because I'd always think, what will I be left with.

I'm sure this is something that many larger people struggle with. The eternal questions of 'is it better to be fat with taught skin, or thinner with a bit of loose skin'?

According to the medical profession, the latter is the best, but when you're the one dealing with this dilemma, commonsense doesn't always prevail.

However, luckily these days there are options at the end. There is liposuction and surgery to assist in the cleanup process. But of course, procedures themselves aren't without risk. More on my thoughts on that later.

For those that have made it to the end of this post, welcome. I'll be updating regularly in the lead up to and post surgery. This blog won't go into detail about my surgeon, where I'm having the surgery done of anything like that. It's just a place for me to share my journey, as reading other people's stories has also helped me.

Welcome to RealSelf and thank you for sharing your journey.  I am happy you joined the community and I look forward to following your blogs.

You will love the results!!  

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Days to surgery: 29 Here I am on the eve of 28...

Days to surgery: 29

Here I am on the eve of 28 days to surgery, and I still can't wait for the actual day

There are still times when I have doubts about the extent of such surgery, but I know deep down that it's the only way to finish off my journey.

I find sometimes that I end up thinking about the procedure more at night when I'm getting ready to go to sleep. I think about post procedure and wonder how it will look? Will the pain outweigh the result? I find it's the small things that make me think, like the idea of having my belly button removed and a new one installed. It's quite surreal when you think about it. But then, all it really takes is a look in the mirror to remind myself about why I'm doing all of this again.

Yes, I could put up with what I have and just be happy with it, but then again, I'm come so far.

Is there anyone out there that has any regrets about proceeding with their surgery? If so, please feel free to comment or provide suggestions on how best to deal with the aftermath, both emotionally and physically.
Good luck for Thursday. So close for you. I could have had mine done on Friday of last week, but unfortunately work couldn't do without me, so here we are 4 weeks away. If I had a choice I'd bring the whole thing forward so there is less time to think about it.

Last night I found myself looking at before and after pics again. Same old pics and sad bad jobs out there, but I'm trying not to let that put me off. One pic of a woman with really bad dog ears almost had me thinking about cancellation. But once again, less thinking for me is better.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts post surgery.
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I read one dude's post under "not worth it." It's just my impression and opinion that the author was/is in a different world: his. I too am open to hearing from people who wish they hadn't done it. When I start to think about all of this at night I do this mental thing I created when I dropped a large piece of iron across my toes a couple years ago. The pain was excruciating and there was nothing I could do to stop it. So I took part of a scene from the movie THE GREEN MILE where death row prisoner John Coffey absorbs something bad from another person and exhales this cloud of small black flies. I use that mental imagery for all sorts of injury and have already started visualizing this cloud of black flies leaving my abdomen as it heals. This is just a preparation for surgery and recovery; which is this Thursday July 19, 2012. As of the moment I am in the "gathering" phase of the process, getting stuff I might need for recovery to make sure it's on hand.
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Days to surgery: 22 Another week over, and now...

Days to surgery: 22

Another week over, and now just over 3 weeks until surgery.

Not much has changed, in that that I wish I could just bring the whole thing forward. I did however find myself contacting my PS during the week to make enquiries about dog ears and how common they are in male patients. I knew I shouldn't have spent so much time researching last weekend.

Regardless, everything is still going ahead as planned and I'll deal with the adjustments (dog ears) if and when they happen. I still have those moments where I think it should never have come to this and I think about how much of this is my fault. But regret is not going to get my far by way of healing, so will just go with the flow.

Enjoying hearing updates from Abscape who had his surgery just this past week. Great to see others on here willing to share their journey.

BTW - I do have before photos, so plan to publish the before and afters sometime in the future.
Thanks Abscape.

Like everyone else, I'm enjoying reading your account of everything post surgery.

I'm doing my surgery in secret, so only have a few people that know about it as a necessity. However, I was at a movie the other night and it featured someone going into surgery and all their friends around them. Unfortunately it got me thinking about my own big day and arriving at hospital in a taxi, and going it all alone. I'm sure I'll be fine when it actually gets to that point, but nonetheless, sometimes those situations call for a little love...hehe.

How long did you spend in hospital post surgery? Here in Australia, we spend 4-5 days in hospital before we're allowed to go home. I hate the thought of being in hospital for that long, but at least I'll have ongoing care while I adjust to everything. Then getting home will be the real test.

Anyway, glad to hear that you're coming along well.
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Most of the time patients go home the day of surgery. Thank God my surgeon insisted on an overnight stay.
I was very comfortable, relaxed, and pampered by nursing staff who are used to taking care of PS patients. I felt guilty asking for this, that, help me here, etc. until one nurse grinned and said "sir, if you and others like you had not chosen to have this surgery, there are four of us who wouldn't be working tonight!"

They told me about and taught me about all the things a patient like me would need to know.
One overnight was plenty though. I am a believer in the philosophy that the longer you stay in a hospital the sicker you get. I had a Ziplock bag filled with sanitary wipes and when no one was in the room I sanitized every surface and device I came in contact with.

I did have some pain of course, I had my gut amputated; and hospitals really know IV pain mgt.
I stayed at a friends house and it was great being able to ask someone to fill the water jug, fix food, etc. if push came to shove I could have handled it by myself; since the dr. Required me to get up and walk around every two hours, plus I was pissing like a kid in a pub (unlike in the hospital my bladder was full, all the way full and I couldn't piss. I didn't want to tell the nurse or they'd shove a rubber hose up my wanker.
I just got that little jug, relaxed,visual imagery, all that and started off loading pee a little at a time. Pretty soon (couple hours) it was "nurse, the jug's full again").

Anyway, I'm PO day 11 now and the mirror used to be my enemy is now my friend. Everything is healing nicely, progressing quicker than I expected. I can only attribute this speedy recovery to 3 things: Gods grace and blessings are abundant, Dr. John L. Williams the surgeon of Scottsdale is excellent, and I went into this thing hot out of a year in the gym (not fresh off a sofa).
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You can check out my day 4 PO post; here's a couple things I haven't added.

I WORRIED ABOUT:
...pain I couldn't handle. It was all pain I could handle but pushed the tolerable level when I coughed, laughed, and god forbid sneezed.
...a catheter I never got.
...nausea I didn't have.
...rude medical staff who were more gracious than I ever deserved.
...long term drains that were removed in 4 days.
...having the right supplies to discover regular household stuff is sufficient.
... Constipation which was QUICKLY alleviated with a $2.00 bottle of magnesium citrate.
...an uncomfortable binder that is actually easy to wear.
...being a burden on friends to discover there' more help than I need.
...not being able to sleep on my back, to discover my body adapted to the necessity of the situation.
...the total cost and hidden fees to discover the price is exactly what I paid in cash up front.
...swelling that hasn't happened (still time for that).

Any way, after looking at my abs today...NO REGRETS.
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Days to surgery: 7 Well here I am, just 7 days...

Days to surgery: 7

Well here I am, just 7 days away from surgery and still it can't come soon enough.

Today I purchased a few necessities for my stay in hospital, including some loose tracksuit pants and zip up cardigans. Also on the list was a very cheap stool for the shower....a 'just in case' requirement I'm hoping.

By this time next Sunday I'm assuming I'll be quite nervous. However, at the moment all I can think is that this week is going to be a long week. I guess I'm lucky that I anticipate it being a busy week at work, so it will just be work and gym each night.

My biggest concern at present is how to keep weight gain to a minimum while recovering. I'm reading other forums for suggestions, and some say it's normal to gain a little weight while recovering. Any suggestions on how to avoid (apart from not eating at all) would be welcome.

Until next Sunday....
It's been great to hear everything you're going through ABSCAPE. I feel much more prepared and also helps to hear of other men going through this. Like yourself, mine has been almost 2 years of exercise, good food and positivity. Now I get to finish it off so that I can look in the mirror and be proud. Went for a run today and thought, soon that jiggly feeling won't be there.
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Youll do great. I have actually enjoyed this whole process so far. This experience is a "life experience" coping with expectations, realistic outcomes, positive change, effort/reward, following orders, goal realization, delayed gratification, and a new sense of self. Just think, people pay good money for self-help retreats and seminars. We get all that and actually have something to show for it!
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Days to surgery: 24 hrs Well here I am - less...

Days to surgery: 24 hrs

Well here I am - less than 24 hours from admission and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super nervous and anxious.

I've almost done everything I can to prep my apartment for my return. Everything is super clean, as I don't want annoyances where I'm recuperating and thinking I really should dust that or clean that.

From my admission time, I can safely say that mine will be an afternoon procedure so I expect that I'll be out for most of Monday evening.

Other than that, I feel like I know some of what to expect thanks to people like ABSCAPE posting regular updates, and others on here that have been sharing their stories and tips on what to do pre and post surgery.

Next update with be post-op. Wish me luck.
Hope you remembered to take before photos. I had two large freckles that we're side by side under my left pectoral and I photographed them. After surgery they are now just to the left of my bb; pretty cool. I had no idea skin could stretch that much, about eight inches! Without the pic of the freckles I doubt I would have believed it.
Keep us posted.
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Well here I am on the other side of it all and...

Well here I am on the other side of it all and feeling as expected.

My rest last night was minimal with sleep for an hour on and off, but at least I managed to get some sleep. Although I did have the tv on all night for company.

I've got another 3 days in hospital ahead of me but comfort levels should improve in the coming days. At present im on a drip, oxygen and compression machines on my legs... Not to mention the caffita. However I believe tomorrow will be the day for caffita removal. Bring it on I say.

Overall I'm ok. Expecting some visitors today along with my surgeon. From what I can remember of recovery yesterday, all went well.
Cool. Wow 4 days in hospital, don't know if I could handle that, but then again hanging out is hanging out.
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4 days post surgery Here I am 4 days post...

4 days post surgery

Here I am 4 days post surgery and I'm doing ok.

I checked out of hospital yesterday and have never been so excited to be going home. I can't complain about my treatment in hospital as the staff were all lovely, but there is a sense of independence that it lost when in hospital.

Anyway, yesterday I was able to have a decent shower and wash my hair. Although, regular rests were required.

I tried to put myself to bed after having a shower, but soon realised that my normal bed was just too flat even with pillows behind my next and under my knees. Luckily I have a lounge with recliners, so the move out onto the lounge into the reclined position was the best. And for bed, I placed myself in the single recliner which was quite a nice bed (based on currently limitations).

Today will just be more lazing about. Getting up first thing in the morning is always the hardest as everything has tightened overnight. However, I am noticing that each day I'm straightening out a little more. I think the key is for frequent rests. Make a coffee, get some breakfast and then rest. Have a shower, get dressed and then rest.

I haven't been able to look at myself in the mirror as yet - not with all the stitches in. I think this is more in case I freak out, but it will all come eventually.

Yes lots of rest now is what's needed!   Baby steps and go slow!

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Well it's been 7 days since surgery now, and...

Well it's been 7 days since surgery now, and everything is getting better each day.

I'm still walking a little hunched over, but I think I've mastered the art of showering and getting dressed in a decent amount of time. The first few days were quite the chore.

At present I'm still sleeping on both a recliner and on the lounge. Tonight I will try the bed, however will move back out into the lounge room if it proves to be still too hard.

All in all, I have nothing to complain about at present. I've even stopped taking pain medication and haven't hadn't any issues with sudden pain or anything as yet (touch wood).

I'm a week out from my first followup with my Doctor, so hopefully all will continue to just come along nicely. Though, I still haven't had a good look at everything in the mirror. I've seen it in hospital and seen glimpses before, but I'm yet to do the full mirror view. I'm sure I'll get there eventually.
Hey NPKD,

Nice to hear from you.

I will post some pictures in the future, once everything settles down a little. I'm 15 days post op now and have hit the wall a little after having my stitches out yesterday. Just have to keep telling myself that it's very early days and there is a lot fo swelling going on.

Dog ears are my biggest concern at the moment and I've been doing way too much research on them and looking at photos online. Apparently they happen in 20% of cases and even to the best of surgeons, but I guess I'll just have to be patient.

You've done a great job with the weight loss. Your lucky that you didn't have big love handles like I did. The fat just wouldn't go from some places.

Anyway, sorry about the life story. Good luck with your surgery.
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Thanks for responding HisTT - sorry to hear about the dog ears, but you are right - they are pretty common and easily corrected... Glad it has gone well for you in all other areas and hope you continue to have a great recovery.
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Thanks for sharing! Would love to see the before and afters if you are happy to share. I am having my TT in 24 days, and getting pretty excited/nervous! (I am in Aus too!).
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