A Long Time Coming... - Boston/Worcester, MA
- updated 1 year ago
Reading these reviews have been helpful for me in...
- 21 Nov 2012
Reading these reviews have been helpful for me in figuring out what to expect from the tummy tuck experience. I felt it was only fair that I add my experiences, especially since as a 25 year old male, African American (we tend to scar differently) my experience may be a little different from the norm.
I am three days post-op. I had both a tummy tuck and a gynecomastia repair (male chest reconstruction). I lost over 150lbs through diet and exercise starting when I was 16 years old. Initially I would walk up and down the steps during the Soap Operas I would watch after school.
I guess I'd first want to tell people not to give up. When I initially looked into cosmetic surgery, it was during a period in which I had gained a good deal of weight back. The Doctor encouraged me to go ahead with the surgery anyway because in his experience, people never lost the weight again. My insurance company also approved a panniculectomy (a more limited version of the tummy tuck) but I decided that I could lose the weight and put off the surgery for several years until I was back to a healthy body weight.
Unfortunately, I was on my mother's insurance plan and it had switched to one that had an exclusion for "procedures to remove fatty tissue, including panniculectomies..." Despite this I applied and was denied. In my appeal I argued that the exclusion did not apply because it was excess skin and not fatty tissue that I would be having removed. I also sent in a video showing them the loose skin, and wrote very personally about how it affected my life.
Long story short, it took nearly a year but the insurance company did approve the procedure. My doctor agreed to do a full tummy tuck for no extra cost, since people are generally unhappy with just having a panniculectomy.
I had my procedure November 19 and I'm still recovering. I was hoping that the experience would be painless but unfortunately there has been some discomfort. The hospital provided morphine which kept it from becoming unbearable. Even so at it's worse, the pain resembles having had a full body workout. There is a lot of muscle soreness but around the incision I feel almost no discomfort. I haven't had to take my pain meds that often and since I've been home have only used it once or twice a day.
Between the two procedures I am bound up pretty tightly. This makes getting off furniture especially difficult. If I use my arms too much, I can feel it pulling at the stitches from the gynecomastia repair. I have not yet seen my incisions. Several residents and nurses have remarked however, that it is the best work they've seen. I have a couple drains in me but they should be ready to come out on Friday. Moving around has been somewhat of an ordeal but I am walking much better today, I am not hunched over as much as I expected but it still makes for a sore back.
Without seeing the results, it's hard to believe that the body I've grown so used to is gone. I am trying to keep my expectations reasonable, especially since I don't know how I will scar. The surgery, however, could not have gone better and that gives me hope for the long term results.
I will add before and after photos as soon as I am able.
Day 4 Post-Op-It's Black Friday and I almost felt...
- 23 Nov 2012
I also went to the bathroom for the first time last night (#2) not pleasant to talk about about but believe me, an important milestone after you've had surgery.
I guess my recovery may be progressing a little faster as I did not have my muscles tightened, as they do in some tummy tucks. My abdominals were still pretty much where they should be and that was part of the procedure was unnecessary so it was purely skin removal. The areas are so numb (it felt really weird when the doctor touched them) that I hardly feel any discomfort around the incisions. So far I'm very pleased. I haven't seen the scars and that may give me a little bit of a wake up call. I, however, like what I see so far.
It's been two weeks since my surgery and things...
- 3 Dec 2012
When I visited the Doctor on Thursday, about ten days out, he said I was good to start back to the gym. I still haven't gone yet but since my surgery was approved by insurance, liposuction wasn't included, and I'm growing increasingly annoyed by my stomach. Before I had so much lose skin it ward hard to tell how much excess fat I had. Now that my skin has been tightened, however, I feel like I have a tired around my waist and my skin feels as if it's about to burst. I guess I'm not used to having skin that actually fits my body. When I saw my Doctor he suspected that I might have accumulated fluid but after sticking needles in both sides he concluded that it was just "flab" -___- It is a weird feeling. I am thrilled with the results but somehow I feel heavier than I did before. I definitely see the value of liposuction and wish I could have afforded that as well but having the extra skin gone is a great feeling and for now I don't mind a little extra fat. Losing weight is what I do best and without all the skin obscuring my results I know exactly what I need to do. At least now I have some control over my body and if I have a stomach, it's well-earned.
I am thrilled with the tummy tuck scars. I'm a little surprised at how quickly they've formed. I removed the tape today and already I can barely see them. I think if I had a flatter stomach they might be slightly more noticeable but not by much. I'm crossing my fingers that they won't get any worse than this and that they'll only improve with time. If so, I expect that they'll be barely visible a year or two from now. the incisions on my chest are more noticeable but they have only just started to scar so I think they will also improve.
I will keep you updated.
After looking at the photos immediately after the...
- 4 Dec 2012
It's been five days since my last post and 19 days...
- 8 Dec 2012
It has been a month since the surgery and it seems...
- 19 Dec 2012
He also made me realize that a mass under my arm that I assumed was my rib cage was actually probably a hematoma. He suggested I massaged the area but said that I didn't have to return until February. It seems that he wants to see if the mass might resolve on its own. I'm of course sensitive to anything that might affect the final results but I'm not sure how noticeable the hematoma is given that I didn't even realize it was there. Still upon being made aware of it, it feels quite large. There is a smaller area of swelling/puffiness under the other arm that I mentioned before. This too may be the result of a hematoma. Given the amount of skin that was removed from those areas it's not surprising that I might have such an issue in those areas. I've got my fingers crossed though that heat and massage will help resolve them and that by the summer time they will be gone.