I am a reasonably fit, healthy 32 year yr old who has lost 63 lbs, then gained 50 then lost it again. My weight has been around the 140 lb mark (give or take 5 lbs either side) for a few years and, as a result of all the weight gain and loss, I have the body of someone who's had a dozen kids (despite having had none)!
I am generally motivated to do this as I visit the gym 3 or 4 times a week and nothing bar surgery is going to fix my saggy tummy.
I had an initial appointment with Dr Lee a year ago, followed by several others to explore combination procedures etc etc before finally settling on a full tummy tuck. At the first consultation, he recommended I have a 2 stage body lift comprising of tummy tuck and inner thigh lifting together, followed later by extending the tummy tuck scar around the back and lifting that as well as addressing the lateral thighs. I initially got very excited about this, but then realised that I'll be the one having to go through the recovery, and based on my last experience of liposuction in Prague, combining this with another major surgical procedure would not suit me personally. I also discovered, after lots of research, that I may probably get a better aesthetic result by separating the extreme makeover desribed above into smaller manageable packages.
Simon Lee was the 4th surgeon I saw in total, after doing the rounds at Harley Medical, Transform and another independent Bristol provider. I liked his demeanour and professional approach and the fact he did not fall into the 'arrogant, self-important, pompous & god-like' category that many doctors & surgeons often unfortunately fall into. I probably had about 3 or 4 consultations with him before booking surgery, which is what I needed given the amount of questions I had and the anxiety I was experiencing and the fact that I was initially unsure of whether to have multiple procedures. I never felt rushed and felt he was giving me the best opinion possible based on his experience. A couple of my consultations overran, but I think this is typical of him as he was often running late!
I was very careful about booking a surgeon who was competent and had a air of 'attention to detail' about them. I spoke to a previous patient of his who, despite having had a complication, praised his skill as a cosmetic surgeon. I even went so far as reading reports on the hospital's mortality rates and researched the name of the anaesthetist prior to surgery. This may sound excessive, but when something is out of my control and there are potentially life threatening risks involved, I want to know everything about everything.
Surgery day was 21st November so I am only 5 days post op and already see the potential result and it's fantastic!
On the actual day of surgery, I felt unnaturally calm beforehand, right up until about half an hour before the operation commenced. I had all the necessary tests and was visited by the anaesthetist firstly, then by Dr Lee. I went off to anaesthesia at about 1.30 and remember looking at the clock in the recovery room at 4.20.
When I woke up, I was in some pain which was relieved, followed swiftly by anti nausea medication. I don't remember waking up in large amounts of pain, but aware of something major having occurred in the abdominal area. More of a muscular thing as I couldn't feel the incision site. It also felt very tight. I'd previously had images of me waking up writhing around in agony but these was not the case.
The next 2 days I spent in the Spire and found virtually all the nurses to be really attentive, kind and helpful, apart from a couple who are probably on waiting lists for personality transplant operations anyway. Overall my experience of the nursing staff was a positive one, contrary to a review placed last month.
The food was excellent. I didn't feel hungry after the op but the day after I made up for it with 3 massive meals.
The first 48 hours were not painful really, just massively uncomfortable. I did not get up for the first 24 hours so had nurse assistance with bed pans etc. I cannot believe in the States they send people home immediately after surgery!
The discomfort is greatly helped by the electric bed which you can alter to make things easier in the immediate days following surgery. I generally remember falling asleep a lot for the first 24 hours.
On the second day in hospital, I got out of bed a couple of times which was made difficult due to the presence of massive drains. The initial walking was very uncomfortable and painful. I went and sat in the chair for a bit but decided that the bed situation was a hell of a lot more relaxing. I was also secretly enjoying being able to do absolutely nothing for 2 days and spend all of it in bed without having to worry about anything! It was really quite pleasant.
On the third day, the drains were taken out-not painful but slightly unpleasant as you can fell them coming out. It was considerably easier walking around with the drains out.