I'm 40 yrs old and have no kids. I've been...
I'm 40 yrs old and have no kids. I've been overweight my whole life - 150-160 on a 5'5" small frame. I've tried various diets over the years - I've always been an athlete so never worried much about the lbs. About 2 years ago I stopped eating anything that comes from a package, just about anything with preservatives - really changed my diet around.
About 40 lbs just melted off in no time. It's been so easy. I've been 115-120 since. Now I have a lot of skin on my upper and lower abdomen, and my upper thighs sag. I'd like to wear a bikini again, and hip-hugging jeans without 'muffin top'. I'm an ER doc, so I'm mostly worried about the risks of elective anesthesia and surgical complications (DVT/PE) even though I know I'm at very low risk. I see DVT/PE every day (not from PS) so I know it happens to people. Photos coming!
A bit about my thigh lift: I have sagging skin on...
A bit about my thigh lift: I have sagging skin on the top/ inner thigh, but lower thighs around the knees are ok. Back of thighs have cellulite but skin isn't too droopy. I have hardly any butt left - however, my real priorities were my abdomen and front of my thighs, and I have seen so many photos of "butt lift gone wrong" that I'm not willing to consider that for myself yet.
My PS told me BEFORE examining me that most thigh lifts are disappointing if the loose skin is at the bottom of the thigh. I said, "well, examine me and see what you think". Once he did, he felt that I could get some improvement in the contour of my inner and anterior thighs.
I feel very comfortable with him. He is giving me a sizable discount, which is really nice. I will have to stay overnight at an outpatient 23 hour obs type of facility which is fine. I've had major orthopedic surgery before so I'm not worried about the pain, just the possibility of complications. My SO is on board, not thrilled but on board, but it's my body and my money, so...
Can anyone tell me if I can buy Bio Oil at retail stores? I'm set on Vitamins, Arnica, Bromelain, CG, but haven't seen Bio Oil anywhere. I guess I can get it online.
Okay, a few pictures. For reference I am very...
Okay, a few pictures. For reference I am very petite, size 0-2. Have been size 10-12 most of my life until about 3 years ago. In the photos I'm wearing VS undies size small and 34C bra. I am having lipo of upper abs - they're uneven - I have a fat pad on the right. Also lipo of hips to give me a nicer contour. Full TT, I have ab muscles but they'll never be really tight since I lost so much intra-abdominal fat. And anterior-medial thigh lift, you can see where I used to have a lot of fat in upper middle thighs, they're just pockets now.
One day, I might think about bringing my rear end back up to where it used to be... it's gotten a little too friendly with the backs of my thighs... but this is enough surgery for this time around, I think.
Donut belly photo posted. Hopefully this will...
Donut belly photo posted. Hopefully this will better illustrate what I'm unhappy with.
Went shopping today for yoga pants and pajamas......
Went shopping today for yoga pants and pajamas... figured if I'm going to be spending a couple of weeks around the house, I might as well be really comfy, and I don't want to have to do laundry that first week. My SO can't do laundry to save his life, everything else he is great, but if I want to be able to wear the clothes ever again, can't let him near the laundry.
I accidentally discovered how comfortable my living room chair is for sleeping - I tried it out for a nap, with a bunch of pillows from the bed. Chair+pillows+ottoman=zzzz. I may never sleep in my bed again!
Have been following all the early March-ers on...
Have been following all the early March-ers on here and am looking forward to seeing how everyone does. I have been super hyperactive lately because I am so worried about re-gaining the weight I lost since I will be inactive for a couple of weeks. I never go to the gym... I do 45-60 minutes of yoga a day (tough, break-a-sweat yoga) and do a lot of outdoor activities, sports, etc.
Past few shifts at work I don't sit down at all. I stand up to make phone calls, do anything on the computer, etc. I feel like I need to get out and run around the block or up and down the stairs, all the time like I have too much energy, but I think I'm just nervous, and excited.
I think I am going to be terrible at following doctor's orders as far as activity goes, maybe I should just get some sedatives and sleep for a couple of weeks LOL.
Totally reconsidering the whole thing today.......
Totally reconsidering the whole thing today.... Having all those second thoughts that everyone does and I know it's completely normal and I'll probably have more days like this. I keep thinking, I'm healthy now, what if something goes wrong... I could use that $$ for so many other things... What If I have complications... it doesn't help that I take care of sick people all day long.
Woke up this AM feeling really good about my...
Woke up this AM feeling really good about my decision. I met with PS yesterday for my preop and felt really comfortable with him, still, figured that was a good sign. I was so nervous/ excited that I kind of bounced all over the room while he sat and talked and wrote. When I got to the "patient coordinator" at the end of the appointment, I told her that I might have to reschedule for a different day and basically almost had a meltdown. She was very understanding and said it happens, don't worry, we want you to be comfortable. So I went home and started rallying my troops, I guess. I am going on the 29th as scheduled!
These days everybody works at least full-time and most of my friends work two jobs. I just plain hate to ask anyone to take a day off to help me. I guess sometimes we just have to suck it up and ask for help!
Whoa, really starting to feel real now. Seventeen...
Whoa, really starting to feel real now. Seventeen days to go. I picked up a few things I knew I would want for postop, magazines, things like that. I also (gulp) PAID for the procedure so it's a lot more real. I'm glad I decided against the thigh lift, I haven't had any hesitation since I changed my mind about that.
SO has gotten a bit less pouty about the whole thing. Of course he hasn't seen the bank statement yet. But, he knows I'm going through with it.
I have been looking at bikinis online... I'm going to take a little vacation at the end of the summer, think I'm gonna have to pick up something cute!
Two weeks from tomorrow! I can't wait! A side...
Two weeks from tomorrow! I can't wait! A side effect of this excitement and anxiety is I have been working out like crazy because I know I won't be able to afterward, climbing trees, paddle boarding, etc. And guess what, my stomach is NOT flatter lol! Maybe my muscles are a little stronger but I still have a lot of skin!
11 days away and feeling really good... I have...
11 days away and feeling really good... I have been paying very close attention to everyone's posts about what they are eating and drinking, oddly I am terrified about having gas/constipation pain after surgery. (And I can't stand Activia, I eat yogurt but ick that stuff I cannot tolerate) Not worried at all about the slicing, sucking and suturing, just the possibility that my gut will want to stay asleep... I never have a problem with it because I don't eat anything that doesn't crunch. Weird how I can get so focused on something trivial and it takes over...
Having alternating bouts of OMG what am I doing and total peace with my decision.
So it's one week from tomorrow! Anxious and...
So it's one week from tomorrow! Anxious and excited. I think I have all the necessary supplies. Really, I think I could survive a zombie holocaust with everything I have amassed. There is more food/drink/supplementation than I will need for months, and I won't go shopping for the FRESH fruits/vegs until next week... Everything is clean and I obviously have access to medical supplies so I have enough dressing/ wound care to outfit a small mobile disaster hospital.
I am just ready to get it done.
Super excited and sooooo nervous. Having a...
Super excited and sooooo nervous. Having a terrible week with trying to get things done, work, and on top of that my refrigerator broke! ACK! It's okay, this too shall pass and all that, the saying is true, when it rains it pours!
Okay, I guess there's no turning back now... not...
Okay, I guess there's no turning back now... not that I want to! I've been relaxing today and trying to fill my head with positive thoughts. The nurse called this morning to go over the instructions (nothing after midnight, etc) and she confused me! So I thought about it for a couple of hours and finally just called the office back and asked my questions, I felt like an idiot.
I won't be posting tomorrow cause I won't take my laptop with me, but I'll post when I get home (and am awake enough) on Friday. Excited!
Last night went really well. Not much pain, I...
Last night went really well. Not much pain, I asked the nurse to d/c the Foley catheter early and was able to get up and go to the bathroom just fine. I took one pain pill about every 5 hours so I felt like I was doing okay... got up and walked around the facility a couple of times.
This morning I went to see my doctor and he said he pulled me really tight side to side. My incision looked low and symmetric, so I was happy! No idea what my bb looks like but that's ok.
I've been more comfortable this afternoon - burning in the abs like everyone says. Also had lipo on my hips so that feels weird but altogether I feel better than I thought I would. I'm super tired though - did not get much rest last night because they came in every other hour or so.
Best news of all is my tummy is FLAT!
All I can say is, thank goodness I did not do the...
All I can say is, thank goodness I did not do the thigh lift! I am feeling okay, pain level about a 4/10. I stopped the pain pills last night, I am sure they are constipating me and I'd rather have the discomfort so now I'm on to ibuprofen and it's manageable. Plus I didn't like the way the Percocet made me feel, lightheaded and a little nauseated.
I chinned my dressings this AM, meant to take a picture but left my phone on the other side of the house. Happy with the flatness, bb looks weird (I'm sure it will be fine once I get used to it). It just doesn't look like me so I think I'm a little freaked out, but watching everyone's progress on here helps.
Also made the mistake of getting on the scale this AM lol - 126 lbs! I was 117 that morning! Totally unconcerned, just amazed!
DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR EASILY...
DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR EASILY NAUSEATED!
Postop day three, 10 AM: I had a terrible night last night, up and down with the constipation. The pain in the front and hips wasn't too bad but I was suffering to have a BM. Had taken fiber supplements, maxed out on stool softener, prunes, drank more water than I thought I ever could, and still had only very little results. I really didn't want to resort to MOM or mag citrate or other stimulants, I just don't do well with chemicals in my body generally.
So last night I got up and walked around the house about every 90 minutes or so, would try to go, unable to. About 5:00 I realized I had an impaction - this is where there is hard stool in the rectum that just can't come out. So as I was NOT planning a trip to an ER or doctor's office for disimpaction - I did what any self-respecting doctor would do and mechanically removed it myself. Gloves, K-Y jelly, all I had to do was get it started. And then this, I realize I'm having a vagal response - where you start to feel queasy and sweaty, heart rate and blood pressure drop... and I'm thinking "no way am I going to pass out here and have EMS come in and find me like this" so I pulled down the towels from the rack and laid down on the bathroom floor for a few minutes. Once you put your head down, the body usually rights itself. I did this several time, up on the toilet, push and go a little, back down on the floor as soon as I get sweaty and nauseated. Fortunately was successful.
Mind everyone all this is going on while SO sleeps peacefully across the house. I had my cell phone with me, but it was still a really stupid thing to do. Have taken only Ibuprofen since postop night #1, that is how sensitive my system is.
THIS PART IS SAFE:
Feel so much better this AM. Yogurt and fruit for breakfast, I emptied the dishwasher and have done a little laundry. My pain tolerance is super-high, always has been, a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I push myself too hard and wind up with a bad injury, like what happened with my shoulders. I'm going to take a shower, wash this filthy garment, and take some pics!
Postop day 4... much better. Yesterday I took a...
Postop day 4... much better. Yesterday I took a shower with the drains and the pain pump in, what a major PITA! Then I washed my hair in the sink, by the time I dried it and was done I was exhausted! One of the sites where the pain pump went in was starting to get really irritated and red, and the pump was empty, so I just went ahead and had SO pull it last night.
Spent most of the day cleaning the house and doing laundry, at about half normal speed. No heavy lifting and I really took it easy but if I don't do it, it doesn't get done, that's the way it is. I couldn't sweep the tile floors, that hurt too much, but found that I could push the vacuum very slowly if I didn't move my arm too much, just walked with it. I'm not recommending that anyone do this (THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE lol) but for those of you who have little or no support at home, it can be done. I went to PS appt this PM and he pulled one drain, left the other because it was still draining a significant amount. He says probably wednesday it can come out, I will call the office and give them the numbers.
He watched me hop up on the table and saw that I wasn't all stooped over and commented on how well I was doing and that it was kind of unusual. I told him "I don't have the time to be sick or in pain" and that led to a conversation about how much a patient's attitude determines their outcome. Everyone heals differently of course and has different limitations but if the patient approaches the situation thinking "oh it's gonna be so painful", it is guaranteed to be painful. If they go in thinking "I'm going to have some discomfort but nothing unmanagable", they usually do ok. I just thought it was interesting that even though we work with different types of patients, the idea is the same.
Soooo, BMs have been fine since taking stool softener twice daily, eating five prunes a day, and taking fiber supplement, in addition to my already healthy diet. I have also been drinking green tea like crazy for the diuretic effect, I am a little lighter today - four pounds off. Can't wait to post photos in the AM I am too exhausted tonight.
Postop day 5. My drain put out zero last night so...
Postop day 5. My drain put out zero last night so I asked my PS to pull it and he did. Hallelujah! It's like being let off a leash! I understand that I am at increased risk of seroma formation but it was getting really irritated at the site, I feel so much better. I asked the PS about activity and he said housework was okay but no working out for three weeks and no heavy lifting and no strenuous yoga for six weeks. I asked what the danger was if I "overdid it" would I undo the repair or mess something up? He said he only had that happen once in thirty years, when someone got pneumonia and coughed like crazy after surgery and undid the plication.
The pics are shadowy, but I think you can make out the bruises, and it's easy to see the swelling. I have weird tingly feeling in my belly and sides, and my belly is of course numb. I'm back to ten pounds over preop weight. I'm so glad I kept some clothes from when I was losing the weight, no way I am getting into my regular clothes now!
Postop day 6. I am still taking ibuprofen every 8...
Postop day 6. I am still taking ibuprofen every 8 hours. Now I just feel tugging, and really sore like a really sore workout. The rest of my body is turning to jelly. Bad news - I am up about 12 pounds - pretty sure it's all swelling- from preop. Good news - it makes my thighs look much better.
I have been taking it easy yesterday and today. I am still doing laundry and yes I ran the vacuum today, but with more sitting down time than standing up time. So today I decided to try on my bikinis, 2 new ones and ones from years past. My scar is low enough to be hidden under all but one of the new ones. Oh well, guess that one will have to wait for next summer when the scar is faded and better healed. I asked the PS about my scar being higher than I thought it would be and he explained that I didn't have much skin to pull downward so to get a new BB in the right place the scar would have to be higher. That's ok, I'll take the trade. I'm pretty sure it's lower than any pair of jeans I wear and now I can wear cute tops too!
Postop day 7: Went to see PS and got my teeny...
Postop day 7: Went to see PS and got my teeny little lipo stitches out. So the rest is just healing, nothing else to be removed, yay! He said I have a lot of swelling which is normal and he usually sees it 75% resolved at 3 weeks. 95% resolved at 3 months. I can live with that.
Thanks all for book suggestions! Got a couple of the authors you all suggested and have also gotten some movies from netflix. Went to lunch with some friends - who did not know I had this surgery - and if they noticed anything unusual, they weren't saying! i can walk like a human being today, no more hunching over like the missing link...
Postop day 9 - Ok don't hate me, i know my...
Postop day 9 - Ok don't hate me, i know my recovery has gone really well. I think half of it is that I take super good care of myself all the time (organic vegetarian, meditation, vitamins etc) and half of it is that I have a very positive attitude, I think positive thoughts and positive things come back to me. It's part of my whole belief system.
So today I was out shopping for a new CG. Could not find one small/tight enough. That's ok, I started looking at bathing suits. Could not stop. Decided what the heck, I'm gonna try them on. Guess what, in the terrible green light of the dressing room, my bruising looks more like a tan! And even though yes I have swelling, I have a flat tummy! It was like a party in there! The saleslady came to the door, "Any luck?" and I was like "Omigosh, I love all of them!" When I came out (fully dressed, cg on under my clothes) she said I was the first person who ever said that.
Sooo, didn't buy one, just wanted to see how they looked. Told saleslady I had to think about it ;) I have always work tankinis because they hide the belly the best. I tried on every all kinds of bikinis. It just made me really happy. Weird! I am still up about 6 or 7 pounds from preop weight. Swelling swelling swelling but I have clothes I can wear cause I kept the next size or two up, not believing that my weight loss was going to 'stick'.
PO day 10 Measurements!
With swelling, today my...
PO day 10 Measurements!
With swelling, today my measurements are 34-24-35. Oh.My.Gosh. I have not had anything near a 24 inch waist since junior high school.
Think I overdid it a little bit yesterday. When I got home I really noticed the swelling in my legs and feet. No one else would have looked at them and thought they were swollen but I could tell. I laid with my feet up for a few hours which is like chinese water torture for me. Still super swollen. Finally I decided to take off cg for a while and see what happened. I actually slept last night out of cg and swelling must have re-distributed over my whole body. Today I am still 6 pounds over surgery weight but generally feel less swollen. Put cg back on this AM - all the dents from the seams were gone and everything looked so smooth, so that's when I took the measurements.
There is one place right in the middle of my incision about 1 inch long that is a little bit red, no drainage or redness around it but it is at the very middle, where the most tension is on it. I showered over it today and reapplied new steristrips (the ones PS put on last week came off). My cg is too loose and I pull it up often during the day so I think the friction might be hurting it. Gonna address this with PS, I don't want this to become an issue.
Postop day 11 and I didn't need any ibuprofen all...
postop day 11 and I didn't need any ibuprofen all day! I ran a few errands, nothing too strenuous. Realized this evening that I didn't need any ibuprofen all day. PS told me last week I could take it every 8 hours, with food.
I have mentioned that generally I don't like using meds if I don't have to. Have had astritis/ stomach irritation so I try not to use anti-inflammatories if possible. And since I have weird sensations and tugging in my upper abdomen, I wouldn't be able to tell if it was from the surgery or irritation from the meds, right? So I won't get the anti-inflammatory effects of the medication, but I won't get the side effects either. I have been careful to take an anti-inflammatory diet and noticed today that I have only a trace of bruising left. Hurray for small victories!
Postop day 17 and I wish I could say my stellar...
postop day 17 and I wish I could say my stellar recovery is continuing with no bumps in the road. On 4/9 got some devastating family news, had to travel and take care of things. Was on my feet, not able to rest or care for myself as I should. You use a lot of ab muscles when you are really crying.
So I saw a PS back home, an old friend actually, I had developed a small seroma, he drained 12 cc from it. Then my PS made time to see me yesterday and drained 5 cc. So it's barely there. The middle part of the incision opened up a tiny bit so the skin will fill in and the scar will be wider there. It's about a quarter inch wide and the area is about an inch long. I'm a little disappointed that it's not perfect but I was not perfect to start with, so it's ok. I just want to heal.
I don't have to go back to work for two more weeks, thank goodness. I went into this thinking I would take two weeks off and then would go back early. Looks like I am going to need the whole month.
So I try to look at the bright side. When I went back home, everyone did tell me how thin I looked and of course when something bad happens people's reaction is to feed you.
I just got back yesterday and just feel very tired. I think I will have a good result, I will post pictures tomorrow so everyone can see what the separation looks like - a potential 'complication' - really it is just a delay in wound healing but one of the things anyone should consider before having this surgery. Always keep in mind "the trade"!
Three weeks today. The first 12 days or so weren't...
Three weeks today. The first 12 days or so weren't too bad, but then got a seroma, incision opened up a little bit... I have been mostly lying on my back with feet up for the past week or so. The area around my BB has been very swollen... today it looks like the skin is starting to split there a little bit as well. No pus or anything, so I decided to keep an eye on it until tomorrow. I was going to have SO take a look at it but he is completely uninterested in my recovery whatsoever.
I did get my Spanx - the kind that have straps that I can wear with any bra. It's much better for my incision, the cg they put me in had a seam that would rub because I kept having to pull it up. I can already tell that it's better just in the past two days, I'm still using the binder, all the time. I can't tell if the swelling's gone down any because I'm just in dresses for the past few days. Weight has not budged at all, still up five pounds from preop.
Today is postop 21. I FINALLY see some improvement...
Today is postop 21. I FINALLY see some improvement where my incision opened up a little bit. Wearing the spanx during the day instead of the cg has made a big difference. Still have the seroma - ugh- but it doesn't seem to have gotten any worse. Swellling is okay- a little better than yesterday. I am just so encouraged to see my incision finally starting to heal in the middle. All this inactivity is paying off lol!
Postop day 25 I have had the seroma for about 9...
Postop day 25 I have had the seroma for about 9 days, drained 10 cc from it yesterday. I really didn't think I had that much fluid in there, it didn't look like as much as when I first got it. The area of my incision that opened up is healing so slowly. A tiny little bit everyday. BB looks much better. I have tried to take pics of the open area and my belly button but they just don't show up that well.
I have tried to stay off RS because it's so easy to get wrapped up, I could easily spend hours on here. But everybody has a different experience and it is so helpful to know I'm not alone.
My routine consists of moving from the bed to the big chair in the living room for most of the day, reclined with feet up. Of course, shower daily and that is the only time I am out of the CG/ binder. After shower I put Aquaphor on the incision and at the BB, use nonstick dressing over it. The rest of my incision (except for the very middle) is closed. Doc is not ready for me to use silicone strips until the whole thing is closed so I thought, well I'll put Bio-Oil on the outer edges of it. It itched like crazy all night and I had little areas of peeling skin the next morning. So, Aquaphor only! I may try the Bio-Oil again later. All day I read, watch a movie, do some education for work, get up every hour and do a little laundry, maybe some dishes. I am not complaining because I am lucky that I can stay home and heal. In the morning my abdomen is so flat. In the evenings I am crazy swollen, it looks like a different person. I am going to measure the difference tonight and post it tomorrow.
I have three rotating garments, the one they put me in after surgery, which is a little bit too big but is okay with the binder over it, one I got from Leonisa which OMG is so tight, and a Spanx that has a straps over the shoulder that I can wear with any bra. I'm ordering another one of the Spanx today just like the one I have because I love it - it has seams down the sides but none in the middle so it is not as irritating.
Technically I have one more full week off of work but I will probably take two more weeks off in addition. If I ever want to get rid of this seroma I can't be up and down on my feet for 12 hours at a shot. I'm also worried about the crazy stuff I'm exposed to at work, the last thing I need is to get sick on top of this.
Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since the day of surgery....
Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since the day of surgery. I've had this seroma for weeks - it's gotten progressively smaller but is still there and I go twice a week to have it drained. It's frustrating but not debilitating. The worst part is that I can't get back to my usual exercise routine - presumably more activity = more likelihood of fluid collection.
I went back to work two weeks ago and it's okay. I tire easily and don't have the stamina back but I'm able to pull my 12 hours and get home and crash. I wear the spanx AND the binder under scrubs so my days are uncomfortable!
Incision is finally closed. Took weeks for it to heal where it had opened. I'm using the silicone strips and am pleased with how flat it is. Of course it is red/ darker than the rest of my skin, but it is much improved and I'm confident that it will continue to heal nicely. The incision/ scar is still a little higher than I had hoped - PS said that he had to put it there because I didn't have enough skin to pull it really low and still have BB in the right place. He says it will drop a little bit. There is only one bikini that shows the scar - and maybe I just won't wear that one this year.
Best of of all, I have a nice contour, with a real waist! I am still about 5-7 pounds above prep weight on any given day. I'm very careful with my diet and know that the weight is due to swelling. My thighs and hips/butt are swollen, and in the evenings the area below my incision is swollen, while above remains flat. It looks a little weird but it's the lymphatic system still healing, and in the morning when I get up, all is flat again. I'm not able to fit comfortably in my 0s but can wear 2s and 4s.
I have been a bit depressed for the past few weeks, mostly due to family issues but I'm sure the surgery/ inactivity has something to do with it as well. My advice to anyone considering it: be sure you have a support system in place, and if you do not, have a counselor/therapist/ psychiatrist that you can talk to if you get really down. Have things lined up to do - lots of things. I have been learning another language, doing education for work, cleaning out drawers and closets (slowly and over days). If you like crafts or painting or something like that, lay in your supplies! Be patient with yourself, and know that this surgery is worth it for most of us but won't fix problems in your life or make you feel 18 again - I think most of us are reasonable in expectations but it's easy to get carried away!
Pics later today!
Almost 18 months postop, so glad I did it!
Thanks kimmers for the invite and reminder to come back and post. So much happened after my TT that I really lost track of my realself blog. A brief update, and I'll post pics in the coming week.
I love my results. Flat tummy. Size zero. Scar has healed well. It's a little higher than I would have liked but I've made my peace with it. I'm actually considering a BA in the next year or so, nothing huge, I would love to have something natural looking and be able to toss all my padded bras!
Any of you who corresponded during my TT experience will be happy to note that I left my SO after a 16 year relationship. I also put some boundaries in place with my family. I am making a career change as well, leaving clinical medicine and will be departing the East Coast for the West Coast within the next year. Lots of changes. I'm healthy and happy. Not currently in a relationship, just taking some time for myself. Hope all you tummy-tuckers are doing well!