Having a Panniculectomy 45 Year Old Mother of 3. 3 C-sections. After Losing Half of Me! (230lbs) East Syracuse, NY

After five years of diet and exercise I've gone...

After five years of diet and exercise I've gone from 435lbs down to 215lbs. I feel amazing, except for back pain. Although the pain is more manageable now, it's still persistent. I carry a large pannus around me like a worn out deflated tire. The flap is heave and strains my lower back. The more active I am in a day the more pain I have.
At 5ft 3, I could barely walk under the strain. Now I love pushing myself physically. I'm stronger than I have been in my life. All aspects of my life! I hike, ride bike and swim. As you can imagine, exercising correctly is very difficult and restricting if you are doing it with an inner tube stuck to you.
I went to see a PS at Upstate Medical. He described the Panniculectomy procedure to me. He explained, because I have a low belly button, he will have to cut my pannus above my belly button leaving me, well, belly buttonless! He also said I won't have any drains. I'm happy about that, I guess?? I thought it was a package deal Panniculectomy , drains??
I thought about it and prayed and did a lot of research and prayed, and threw a little worry in, too!
After I had my thoughts in order, my fiancé and I had a meeting of our thoughts... And......I scheduled my surgery for June 25, 2014. Yikes!!
I'm excited and nervous! I don't want to look funny. But, the thing is, I can't in my mind picture what I will look like. (I don't have the funds for the "upgrades." ) Even though the Doc. had me look in the mirror while he showed me the area he would be removing. Still I can't picture it. Strange??? Not sure :)
To me, I look funny already. I'm thinking, trading looking funny for another looking funny, without back pain, is a good deal. If God's willing, one day I'll have a real tummy tuck, thigh lift, breast lift, and get rid of my bat wings. Those of us that have them know just what il talking about! ;-)
Wish me luck and pray for me. Ill post some pictures before and after.
Thanks for any comments or words of encouragement.

11 days to go!

My PS's office called to tell me my surgery is pushed back from 9am until 11:15. They also told me I won't be having my surgery done at Upstate community General hospital. Because of schedule issues ill now be at the bigger teaching hospital. I'm ok with the changes, I think.. I have a busy day today. I'll think on it later.

Almost there!

Just a few days to go. Any last minute tips or suggestions for a more comfortable recovery?
Feeling confident! :)

So close...

Almost there. The final count down. I'm feeling nervous and excited. More nervous. Does anyone know if it's a good idea to ask my PS for something to help me sleep the night before. Someone told me it might hamper healing. The day after tomorrow... Breathe breathe, I keep telling myself.
Happy healing...

Canceled until August

Family emergency had to cancel. So sad

August 6 is my new date!

Hi RS friends...
I've rescheduled my panniculetomy for August 6.
I'm having that rush of all those emotions that come right after making the final arrangements.
Let's do this! Ha
I have gotten my confidence to move on from reading so many profiles of beautiful woman that are now WOW beautiful.

Today is the day

In about an hour I will be on my way to surgery. A lil more nervous than excited today. Hate the waiting.

I made it!

Just got home from the hospital. I'm very sore and tired. I will post a few pics later maybe tomorrow. My Doc gave me a mini tummy tuck and a new belly button in addition to the panni. I'm very happy! Didn't expect it. It was the greatest happiness to find out he is a perfectionist and had to finish the job! Yay need sleep


Wow, this is a lot more intense than I had prepared for.
I don't have any drains or garmet on. I am attached to a wound vac machine. It keeps suction on my wound. It goes almost all the way around me, from hip to hip. This machine keeps the site dry and together with suction.
So very tired. Ill post more when I feel a lil' better. I'm praying for comfort and a complication free recovery...

Very rough 24 hours after Vac removed

Doc took off the wound vac for a peak at my Dr appt yesterday. More pain yesterday and today that day 1,2,3 post op. I'm swelled from my knees to right under my breast. Didn't sleep all night. Called Dic this am waitin for a call back from my PS. Praying for strength...

3 weeks 3 days PO

I'm feeling better every day. A little incision opening because of swelling. Some evenings I'm so swelled up nothing eases the discomfort. I feel great in the morning before I start to bloat.
Besides that I like the way I look in the morning. Flat tummy! Yay!! never had a flat tummy before!
Pain, comes mostly with the swelling. Some soreness where the incision has opened. My Doc started me on an antibiotic, incision was red and angry with bloody drainage. I was thinking about getting my arms done. Losing 230lbs leaves a lot of hanging skin. But I think I'm gonna learn to love my skin. The main reason is it doesn't hurt. I told my family when I can get back in the gym I'm going to build muscle to fill in some of the sag on my arms and legs. Plus, my saggy skin is a reminder that I never want to gain weight again. It's kinda like my battle scars. Ha! It was a battle to get here and healthy, that I WON!

3wks 3 days


Dr. Prashant K Upadhyaya, MD.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (66)

Sort by

Your pics in the tank look awesome! It's too bad about the incision opening....but time will heal it. As for your arms....what I see in the pics don't show them to be that big. I am going to get my arms done...when I get the $$$ saved up. Mine are just too huge...I have to get shirts with loose sleeves or they will never fit my arms in them :-( I love to make fun of them....I call them my chicken wings...and they are just as gross as my abdomen.
  • Reply
I'm gonna learn to love my bat wings. As I affectionately call them... Ha! At this time I don't want any more pain or discomfort. I can't wait to feel normal! I miss the gym. My body craves those intense 3 hour work outs. It's so funny, I have many many nieces and nephews. Every time I see one of them they say, you're so skinny! I love it. My butt and my thighs are so swelled all of my saggy skin gets filled up with fluid and they aren't saggy any more. Sighhhh, now I want my saggy back. I remember when my thighs were that big. See I'm learning to love my saggy! Woohoo... A week n a half. It will be here in a blink! How did your appt go with the infection doc?
  • Reply
It was good...no current active infections and they gave me a special soap to use in my belly button to keep that infection free and some instra dry material to keep under the belly flab to keep it rash free. It feels weird cuz I keep thinking my panties have rolled down under my gut! LMAO I have seen lots of complaints about the swelling and I guess I understand it..i had bad swelling for a couple weeks after my hysterectomy..but now I think about it, why aren't water pills given to help with the swelling? I think I will ask about it before leaving the hospital, IF I remember. LOL Good for you for wanting to learn to love your arms. I wish I could...they are more bothersome to me than my gut is! Well, in a cosmetic way they are. The gut is a medical thing. I can't wait to see how much better my back is going to feel, and my hips. ;-)
  • Reply
I was just reading ur Dr.'s review and I am sorry u had to endure that type of treatment. I would definitely write a letter to the board of plastic surgeons, the hospital president and the BBB. Good luck
  • Reply
Hello how are u feeling today are u still having pain where they removed the wound vac
  • Reply
I'm doing much better. A lil' better every day. Thanks How are you?
  • Reply
That's wonderful , I'm doing good just itching like crazy
  • Reply
hi girl ... I am so so afraid I am suppose to do minni tummy tuck and replace my belly button place... am afraid the pain would be so terrible am so so afraid , there is no going back I must do that I am 32 and never ever tried a bikini on !!!
  • Reply
The swelling is awful I did not wear the garment for three days I weigh 5 lbs more but got garment on today peeing a lot
  • Reply
Now I see why it is called swell hell. This too shall pass, just wish it would hurry up and pass. I guess the reality is it might be this way for quite some time. How long PO are you? My doc didn't say how long I might swell. What did yours say?
  • Reply
2 months on the 23 he said 6 months to a year but see most say swelling gone by 5 months idk but the scale is up like 5 lbs since yesterday so it hurts he took off 20+ pounds but scale reflects 10 on most days so it's about 10 pounds of swelling and it hurts!!
  • Reply
Wow 10 lbs of swelling. You poor thing. He removed 12 lbs from me. I'm really not sure what kind of garmet I should be wearing. I'm just wearing a spandex tank top that is snug. Did you have a problem with your crotch swelling? It's horrible as if all the fluid from my tummy is moving down there.
  • Reply
Ouch yes my putter swells thighs feet arms everything I am so sore my doc gave me my garments they are full body down to knees and crotchless I like them but in the Texas heat they are hot
  • Reply
I wonder why u are in so much pain, I have 3 wound vacs and I have no pain. How long do u have to keep them on.
  • Reply
The pain started when the Doc took the Vac off in his office. Then the hour plus ride home. By that night I was so bloated and in pain. I'm doing better today. I felt much better with it on. I had it for 8 days. I still hurt but not nearly as bad as the night it came off. How about you, how are you feeling?
  • Reply
I'm so sorry to hear that. I am not in any pain but I do think I'm having my vacs removed on Monday and I plan to take a pain pill before bc I don't want any pain.
  • Reply
Good idea. I was just taking Tylenol for pain. It got the better of me. Are you still in the hospital?
  • Reply
No I have been home since the 13th , I was prescribed oxycodone but I have not used them I have been taking naproxen if I had any pain, but I think I may need that strong stuff on Monday. Have u been in pain while u were home
  • Reply
Before they removed the vac
  • Reply
Not a great deal of pain. I was sore. I stopped taking the Oxy and took Tylenol when I started to feel like I better take it. Now I'm taking the oxy again. It has been more painful after the vac came off. Not sure why.
  • Reply
Hope it gets better soon..
  • Reply
Thank you. I'm feeling a lil better every day. The more I swell the more pain I have. Makes sense, and I know it's the nature of the beast. I'm getting there. How about you? How are you feeling?
  • Reply
I'm feeling great just a little tired, but no pain
  • Reply
hi there first congrats on ur great step proud of u all who done it ...Tylenol is it 3 the one with codaien or codaien free !! ask ur doc for number 3
  • Reply
Congrats, my PS said he was gonna put some suction thing on me to promote quicker healing I guess this is what u have on
  • Reply