After Much Hard Work, A Panni and Hernia Repair for Me! - Exeter, NH

I had Gastric Bypass in 2003 at the age of 23. I...

I had Gastric Bypass in 2003 at the age of 23. I lost over 120 lbs or so. I was left with a lot of loose skin but by the time I was able to get the skin removed I had lost my insurance. So I waited. And soon life became too hectic to even think about getting it done. I was already a mom of toddler twins and after the surgery I fell in love with the man who is now my husband. I gave birth to our son in 2012. Because of the fact that I simply can't relax I gave myself a hernia along the c-section scar line. I discovered it a year later. But again, insurance was an issue so I put it off. It progressively became larger and affected how I moved each day. I had lost all of my baby weight through diet and exercise but the hernia kept me from continuing the active lifestyle. I gained about ten lbs back.

Finally with insurance I contacted my PCP about hernia repair. And I brought up the possibility of having the excess skin removed at the same time. The combo procedure is fairly common. So I was referred to two drs at Exeter Hospital. My PS was to be Kimberly Marble and my hernia surgeon was Dr. Leefmans.

Both were very wonderful. Dr. Marble's office and her staff went above and beyond for me. After my insurance initially denied my panni they helped me appeal and win. The entire staff is friendly, sweet, funny and makes you feel very comfortable.

I went in for surgery June 9th 2014 and spent one night in the hospital recovering. The recovery has been harder than I expected. I'm sore and swollen most of the time. When I was sent home I was instructed to wear two binders and place a towel under them for additional compression. This proved to be difficult for me. It was hard to move and I felt super uncomfortable constantly. I also had three drains coming out near my lady bits. Those were terrible to deal with. Made it hard to move, but a necessary evil.

I had lots of help at home between my teen twin daughters and my husband who took a week off to help me. My toddler was tough. He didn't quite understand why he couldn't jump on mommy anymore, but he's doing much better now.

I'll be three weeks post op on Monday (in three days). I'm still sore, am down to one binder and I swell easily when I push myself too far.

Very much looking forward to this fall when I am looking/feeling better.

4 Comments

Congrats on the initial weight loss and hard work to get where you are today! I have not had my surgery yet but can only imagine what you are going through is pretty typical for this kind of surgery. I am sorry you are having such a difficult time with it. Think positive thoughts and how wonderful you are going to feel by the end of the summer. I have had online friends that have told me how miserable they were after surgery so I guess I am expecting the worst. I have tried to get this done for 5 yrs now. When I was out in NH I had a pain specialist who was going to give me a referal to a surgeon..but then we ended up moving to Northern WI and I saw a surgeon in Duluth MN who was game to do the surgery...but put the wrong billing codes in for preauth...then a month later I lost my insurance (I was out of work on Workers comp...it was a very complicated case and after being out of work for a year I was fired....loosing my private insurance) I now live in Western WI about an hour from St Paul MN..and I am on Social Security Disability. I had been working with one local PS and they seemed to be a bit "iffy" because of the Medicare. I also need hernia repair and the two surgeons ended up referring me to specialists in ST Paul and I finally have a date set. I am mad it took this long...but at the same time so grateful for my Internal Medicine Doctor who has been 100% behind me with this journey. And I have only been seeing her for barely under 2 yrs! Keep your spirits up! You are doing awesome and look great!
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Wow...congrats on your surgery. You look great and given some time you'll feel like yourself again. The swelling is a royal pain, but it gets better.
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Your before picture looks a lot like I did before I had my surgery (many years ago). You look great - it takes a good six weeks for you to feel like yourself again. And it is an emotional roller coaster ride (like losing weight was). You will be very happy you made the decision once your body recovers. Don't push yourself too hard and make sure you continue to wear the compression garment even though it can be uncomfortable - especially during the summer months. I am considering a revision on my skin removal because my surgeon was not able to take off a lot of the excess skin above my mid-section.
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Almost One Month Later

The swelling is still prominent and of course all around my scar line is numb. But overall things seem to be healing rather well. I no longer have to wear the binder but am required to wear Spanx/Flexees all the time to hold everything in and add compression. I'm done with all medication and am able to drive and move around fairly well now. I still get really tired easily, too. One thing I've noticed is that if I overdo it I'll feel some discomfort where my hernia was repaired. That's when I know to stop what I'm doing and go lay down with an ice pack.

I'm pretty happy with the way things look. The only exception being that my belly button is definitely off-center. But from what I read that is a possibility during pannis. Besides, I'm not too concerned. It's a small price to pay for getting rid of the extra skin I've been hanging on to for so long.

At 3 weeks post-op I went on my first big outing. My younger sister and I went to see Fall Out Boy and Paramore on their Monumentour in NH. We paid extra for club seating so I could sit the entire time and have waitstaff bring me what I wanted. We also paid extra for premium parking so I didn't have to walk too far. Best money I've ever spent! I was able to enjoy the show without much discomfort. I did swell quite a bit by the end of the night, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting. I did allow myself three Angry Orchard ciders, which might have been overkill but man were they wonderful!

Now, my next follow up appointment with Dr. Marble is on the 15th of July. Hopefully she'll tell me that everything is going swimmingly and that the rest will get easier. :) I really need to ask her when I can have sex again, though, because I'm truly longing for some nookie! Haha.

Thank you guys for the encouragement you've given me so far. It's really wonderful to be able to get feedback and hear from those going through similar journeys. Much love to you all.

5 Comments

I had my panning July 11 2014. My drains are out but still lots of swelling. Can only wear maxi dresses to look normal. I will be glad when the swelling goes down.
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Lol glad to hear you are doing good!!
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I wish you SO MUCH luck on your journey! Sounds like you've put in a lot of hard work so far. I'm sure that the payoff will be that much sweeter. I'll be looking for your updates. :)
Portsmouth Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Kimberly Marble and Dr. Leefmans

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