Excitedly Anticipating Posterior Body Lift/flankplasty with a Medial Thigh Lift - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- updated 4 days ago
Three years ago after having lost 55 lbs, I had a...
- 2 Oct 2013
- 4 months pre
Here it is, 3 yrs later and I've finally found a doctor I trust to do all he can to help me achieve the results I'm hoping for. I live in AZ, but had two consults in CA, one here and a 'virtual' consultation with the doctor I've chosen in FL. As I've yet to meet him or have surgery yet, obviously I can't comment on that part of my experience yet. What I can say is I sent him photos and an email describing what I felt I wanted done and to my surprise, he emailed back within a couple of hours! He told me what procedures he felt I needed based on my photos, assured me nearly half of his patients come to him from out of state and out of the country, so he was adept at making recommendations this way. He also sent me the quote for the procedures, told me what all that included (basically everything except pre-op testing and prescription meds), told me he performs all his surgeries in a fully accredited hospital with doctor anesthesiologists. I liked him immediately.
Then I began sending emails asking SO many questions, telling him my fears with potential outcome (esp. thigh lift) and he answered every question in every email very patiently and thoroughly - usually within a couple hours of them being sent. I told him of my other two consultations and their recommendations (the very first consult doesn't count - that doctor advised I work out with weights and wouldn't do any surgery on me. It's my belief he really doesn't perform the surgeries I need and mainly concentrates his practice on his "shrink wrap" liposuction, because every other surgeon I've seen has said - you don't have a 'fat' issue - you have a skin issue and that is surgical. You need to excise the skin). Dr. Revis encouraged me to keep these consults, saying I may find a local doctor that is a great fit and that it's certainly easier to recover at home. To be honest, at that point, any surgeon I'd consult would have to blow me away with his mad skill! I questioned him on techniques he used, results he expected, exact placement of the incisions, sent photos of patients that had bad outcomes to see what his opinion on them was. I'm telling you, I've sent him probably 20 emails already (or more) and he's been patient and understanding throughout.
I had a tough decision to make. I really liked the surgeon in CA, too. He was willing to do the surgeries I wanted, I know he's a top doc, I know he's very skilled at surgeries. His price was quite a bit higher, although I didn't know it at the time yet, but I didn't feel super confident that he performs enough of that particular type of surgery as I'd thought - especially the medial thigh lift as from all accounts, this is one of the trickiest surgeries to perform well. I also really liked the surgeon I saw here in AZ. I felt he really knows his stuff and surgery after major weight loss is one of his specialties. I'd already had my virtual consultation with Dr. Revis by that point and had asked and had answered tons of questions already. My biggest hesitation with going with the surgeon here was he doesn't use the flap from the incision in the back and use that fat/tissue removed to augment the butt. I already have a flat butt and know this surgery has a tendency to make it even more flat. He said in his experience, the fat just doesn't survive- that it looks good immediately post op because of swelling, but once that's gone, so is the new butt. And that it didn't justify adding time to the surgery and expense to the patient. Again, I trust his surgical skills and know he knows what he's talking about, but that is also his own personal experience, but obviously the auto augmentation using the flap must work for a lot of surgeons as it seems more do it than not. I think that played a lot into my decision to go with Dr. Revis, but what tipped it over the edge was his saying something to the effect of my being his art project for the day... As silly as that may sound - I feel it shows not only his enthusiasm for his work, but that he approaches each patient as an individual and aims to sculpt them into a 'masterpiece'. Lol.
So, decision made, deposit paid, found a place to rent for a month (day before surgery until almost four weeks after), and we bought our airline tickets last night. So now the clock is ticking and it seems so long until Valentine's Day!! Thank God we have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up as that always makes time seem to fly. I am scheduled for medial thigh lift, posterior body lift/flankplasty and lipo of the inner and outer thighs, sculpting of the flanks, lipo of inner knees. Excited!!! I will add before photos, but only after the surgery is done. Lol. I
- 7 Oct 2013
- 4 months pre
I really appreciate this site - so much information here! But I have to wonder if there is a point at which there is too much information... or maybe it's just reading the stories of procedures you plan on having done. When you read someone's great outcome, you feel good about your decision, but when you start reading some of the 'horror stories' of bad outcomes or disappointing ones - it starts to gnaw at you. Well, at me. lol. There's no doubt in my mind that I "need" a medial thigh lift if I have any hopes of wearing clothes I'd like to wear again. That's not the issue. But I have to admit - I'm SO nervous and afraid of this procedure. By all accounts - it's painful and prone to complications of all sorts. At least one of the doctors I consulted with said, "I'm not gonna lie to you - it's a bitch to heal!" When I read stories about scar migration, infections, painful, long-term swelling, poor scarring, incisions opening up... just freaks me out some. Okay... a LOT. I'm just venting here. Anyone care to try to talk me down? hahaha. I know I have four months to go yet - can't imagine how many emotions I'll experience regarding this aspect of surgery in that amount of time.
Already love my surgeon!
- 9 Oct 2013
- 4 months pre
I emailed him once again today. I sent a photo that was posted here of a medial thigh lift - fresh scars. Looks scary and didn't know if that's what to expect and he assures me that's expected and fine. I sent another of another photo posted here of an incision from the medial thigh lift surgery that shows the incision extends around to the gluteal fold. (her scars were uneven and of unequal length) I realized I didn't know where the incisions would 'end'. He told me the furthest it would extend was represented by the shorter of the two scars - no further, but that would be determined during surgery depending on my anatomy.
We've been having a discussion regarding post- surgical garments. As I'm having lipo done on my inner and outer thighs, as well as my knees, I was concerned that he uses an abdominal binder only until the drains come out, no garment. I asked if he'd consider one if it's altered to accommodate drains, avoids the groin incisions and is crotchless. (hoping not to have him throw his hands up in exasperation!). He said I could bring the one I have, and my compression stockings (his concession to me for no garments on my lower body) and that he has garments in stock, so it would be available if he felt I could wear one immediately. That'd we'd figure it out. :)
I mentioned that some women complain about having an elongated butt crack following surgery and asked if that was expected. He assures me his usually end up about the same length as pre-op. (whew! I like my short butt crack as I'm 'short-waisted and wear low rise jeans... didn't want my butt crack showing if my top pulls up!)
I also asked about the scar placement/shape in the back. Some are straight across, some are like an inverted 'v', and some are heart-shaped. Some are placed high in the back and would show regardless of the bathing suit worn if it's two pieces. He replied that they are custom - not dependent upon anatomy, but on preference.
After one of my (many) earlier emails, I thought he might be getting sick of me asking for so many details as he replied something about me not stressing so much about the minor details. I jokingly asked if I'd just been sent to time out. He laughed and said no, but he did have three young kids. (sense of humor)
And you want to know one of the most amazing thing? He replied in less than half an hour after I sent the email! He's so great with all the questions and so quick and thorough with all the answers. I replied to thank him and said, Whew! Quick and painless...thought I'd be sent to time out again ;). Sent that and a minute later he responds - No woodshed today - take care!
I mean.... how great is THAT? lol So happy he's open to all questions and concerns. Now... if only someone could make time go faster!!!! 128 days until I wake up in recovery!
13 weeks until I am released from the hospital
- 16 Nov 2013
- 3 months pre
That said, I'll admit I went thru another controlled panic during the early couple of weeks of our email exchanges. I held off emailing my surgeon for as long as I could...hahaha...maybe a couple of weeks at best. Finally I faced the fact that I was operating day-to-day with this feeling of generalized anxiety. I thought, screw it...I'll email again and hope he's not ready to dismiss me as a patient. :) Again he responded quickly. I emailed on a friday evening and had a reply Saturday morning. He assured me he has never seen a single result like the photo I sent, added his thoughts on incision placement and sutures and somehow set my mind at ease once again. It's not that he's trying to talk me into anything- its definitely reassurance. And it's not that he's cocky, but his confidence in his own surgical skills is apparent. I just find that very comforting.
I thanked him and asked yet another question to which he responded almost immediately. I thanked him again and said I think I could take a deep breath once again to which he replied, breeeaaattthhh deeeeeeeepppp....ommmmmmm, something to that effect. I had to laugh aloud at that point and felt all residual anxiety and tension drain away. I say, thanks, Doc- I think that did it! He responds, my pleasure - part comedian, part therapist, all plastic surgeon.
I mean seriously- I really feel I've chosen the best surgeon for me! Admittedly, I'm not thrilled with going thru recovery 2300 miles from home and only two of the four weeks with my husband, but this is a one-time thing (hopefully) and worth it if he's as good as I think he is.
I'm sure anxiety remains - I had been stress eating for a time. Now I'm trying to get back in the habit of NOT eating all the time. Ugh...put on 8lbs over the last two months. :( So time to buckle down, pay attention to healthy eating once again, and getting back into some sort of regular exercise again. My husband is sick right now, so no hiking for us this weekend. I'll need to put in one of my (dozens and dozens) of workout videos. I want to see these next three months as a sort of training period- to be healthy and strong and fit, which I know will help me tremendously during both the surgery and the recovery period.
I wish the body lift forum was even half as active as the breast augmentation board! It's a bit lonely here. :)
12 weeks and counting
- 23 Nov 2013
- 3 months pre
Last post I'd mentioned that it feels lonely on this board with relatively few people having similar procedures. But then somehow a shit-storm erupted- and frankly didn't mind at first. At least people were talking, I felt maybe someone read my drivel and cared enough to respond. But seriously, I have to wonder about just how supportive some of these people are. I think....I HOPE people mean well and when they say they wish you well, I'd like to believe that's true. But when the negative comments come about as a sort of twisting of your words, or take a comment you made that was a positive thing about your proposed surgery or surgeon, and then make that comment sound like it should have been a red flag instead of comforting (my original comment about my surgeon approaching this surgery as his art project for the day....I felt was a positive thing) ....well....just makes me question some people's motives. Misunderstanding something I've written is understandable- lol...that's for sure. My plea to be "talked down" - yes, totally meant as a plea for reassurance, calm my fears and anxiety. But I can see how someone could misunderstand that. It's the other stuff...I don't know. Somehow some of the well wishes just don't ring true. Not after using my own words as .... I don't know how to put it. Yes, bullying, in a way. Between the artist comment and then using what I've been told by a few plastic surgeons (it's a skin issue, not a fat/exercise issue) and having a poster try to tell me it's the people that have skin issues, not fat issues that have the worst outcomes- cosmetically and pain and health problems. Ah, c'mon. Can we be any LESS supportive? Besides, all research I've read (and that's a fairly substantial amount) supports the fact that the closer a person is to their ideal body weight, the better the body contouring surgery results are and with the fewest complications. So I'm not sure where such a statement comes from because the research certainly doesn't support that claim.
If I've truly misread a couple of these comments/poster's intentions, then I apologize. What I can say, unequivocally, is that it FEELS a bit like someone is trying to bully me, or at the very least, try to somehow persuade me what a horrible decision I've made. Again - this is how it FEELS. I'm not saying this is absolutely the case.
Who knows? Maybe lonely is better.
Less than 10 weeks now!!!
- 7 Dec 2013
- 2 months pre
I have to get a handle on this stress eating, though. I thought I had, but can't seem to actually drop these 8+ lbs I've put on recently. I'll drop 1 - 2 and then the next day, there they are again. It's been SO long since this has been the case. Ever since my tt surgery over three years ago, the minute my weight crept up to the 130 mark, I'd panic and drop it right away. This time? Uh-uh, not happening. At this point, I'd almost break down and cry to see 120 ANYTHING on my scale. let alone 125. I'm sure stress and cortisol are playing a part. Not too much else has changed over the last couple of months. Ironically enough - this started practically the minute I'd been able to make the decision to go forward with surgery. I think that's another reason I'm thinking excess cortisol is playing a part in this.
Anyway, a few things have come up over the last two weeks that I'm still trying to reconcile in my head. I've hesitated expressing it here as there are just a couple of people on the board that seem a bit less than supportive, but disguised as concern. And maybe I'm not being fair to them, either. Maybe they really do have good intentions. But it seems once a decision is made, the option should be to support that person or shut the hell up. Not try to convince them what a mistake they're making and try to instill fear and anxiety instead of support. But you know what? This is MY blog, my story and this board is for us to express our concerns and to support one another. I mean, I'm sure there is a lot to learn here from others' experiences, too, I'm not saying that's not a part of it. But if I let a couple of people prevent me from expressing myself here - whether it's joy or concern or questions or any random thing, then what's the point? Why censor myself in case I don't like what someone has to say? So...
One of the things I'd believed from the moment of making this decision until just two weeks ago was that all my sutures would be internal. Well - except my surgeon had told me weeks ago there would be a few to be removed in the groin area. He said in his experience, buried sutures in that area had a tendency to become infected more easily and also more spitting of stitches, so he preferred to avoid the possible complications and use sutures to be removed. And the ones for the drains, of course. I was okay with that - though do NOT like the idea of having to have sutures removed from that area... that just can't not hurt some. lol. But then I came across some photos here of medial thigh lifts with groin incisions and saw all these staples. I sort of shuddered at the idea and my initial thought was - how archaic. So just to satisfy my curiosity and as I had a few more questions, I emailed the patient coordinator for my surgeon. I have literally exchanged dozens of emails with my surgeon and thought I should leave him alone as I'm sure his office personnel would know the answers to these questions.
Well, I got the answers to all my questions and was completely shocked to find out I will have staples in the groin incision. Staples. So of course I had to Google that, and wasn't thrilled with what I'd read. I mean, it makes sense to use them in that area as it's a high tension area subject to a lot of movement. But they seem to be prone to scarring a bit more if left in longer than a week. Mine will be in approx. 2 weeks, so that didn't thrill me. But after doing a search here, I came across a woman's blog that had a list of reasons her surgeon chooses to use staples in areas such as this. I wish I'd noted where I read it because it made me feel a lot better. And her surgeon disagreed with the idea they left more scars than sutures. But anyway - I went from thinking I'd have almost no external sutures to accepting there'd be some in the groin area, to finding out the sutures were staples rather than stitches. I started questioning myself - WHY had I believed they'd all be inside? Was it only because that's how my first surgery was? So I went back through my surgeon's extensive website and read a lot of the articles he's written and had links to on his site. And then I found it under the individual procedures information - it said the incisions would be closed in layers under the skin and found patient satisfaction was higher and less anxiety without stitches to be removed. Something to that effect. So I thought about it for a while and decided to email my surgeon after all - I mean, why not go directly to the source and find out?
He responded fairly quickly once again. After a couple more questions to him it does make sense. And he pointed out the information on the website is more for 'cookie cutter' surgeries like breast augmentation, tummy tucks, etc. That body contouring surgery entails a much more individualized approach and that he's found that one never knows until actually working on the person how their skin will react to various methods of closure, and that areas of differing tension require different methods of closure. And also pointed out that I'm trusting him to perform this huge surgery on me, but seem to be questioning him on his ability to choose the best method of closure. But wanted me to know that it depended on the skin quality/location/tension while still striving to leave the best possible scar. He said it way better than I did here - just didn't feel like going back to my email to check. Either way, I feel much better about it once again. Not thrilled with staples, but I can understand his use of them. OH! That was one of the things on the other woman's blog - her surgeon explained that staples hold the skin better with less tension on the wound, so he found he could pull the skin tighter, have a better result, without compromising the end result of the scar as there was less tension on the wound. Again - my own words there - not said as well as I'd read.
Regardless, it's been a while coming to accept this as it was not at all what I'd expected and apparently, I don't adjust to surprises very well. Lol. The other thing that's happened over the last couple of weeks is I got in touch with a former patient of my surgeon's. She'd had four surgeries with him over a 2 1/2 yr period about six years ago, and though she says he's an artist, and that she loves the results of her surgeries, due to a number of things that occurred, she'd not have him do the surgeries had she had it to do over. Some had to do with the surgeon, some with a variety of other circumstances. I really appreciate her honesty and openness with this, but as you can imagine, it's really given me anxiety, as well. What really matters, however, is that he's double board certified, has a great reputation, used to do this surgeries routinely as about half of his practice, loves what he does and has many, many very happy patients. But as you can imagine, even ONE person with issues against the surgeon you've chosen can add to one's anxiety. I found this person sort of by accident - just researching his name on other websites similar to realself. I took a chance, sent an email to the address given (from several years ago) and fortunately she still has the same address. We actually ended up speaking on the phone for over an hour and a half! She wasn't crazy, wasn't trying to convince me not to have the surgery with him, but merely told me her story - all the little things that added up to her coming to the decision that had she had it to do over, she'd have gone elsewhere.
So........how does that make me feel? Hmmm... I really have no idea. I mean, I believe the things she shared with me, and I also believe the things I've learned about my surgeon - both from his website, email exchanges with him, articles he's written, and other internet searches I've done. I still believe he's highly skilled, still feel at this point he's the best surgeon for me, and still feel he will give me the optimal results. But does it mean I have no fears or doubts? No, doesn't mean that at all. Any second thoughts whatsoever? Yes, of course. But when I look back at my previous surgeries, I also had fears and doubts. And looking back, I actually knew far less about my first surgeon that I do this one. But not to put any less importance on a tummy tuck or augmentation or breast lift - because I believe all of those surgeries require a great deal of skill to perform correctly and have beautiful results, but I think the level of skill might be a bit more for a surgery such as the ones I'm planning on in Feb. From all accounts, a thigh lift alone requires a great deal of surgical skill. Contouring itself might require as much of an artistic eye - sort of removing all that remains between the surface of the skin and the beauty of the human body underneath - and then to do so while leaving the best possible scars on areas prone to much tension and greater chance of infection. I'd think an arm lift would be up there with that part, too. Maybe not the difficulty level - but certainly the healing and tension aspect of it.
So - that's some of what's been going on in my head these last couple of weeks. I will say there are a couple of GREAT people on this board who've been ultra supportive and have offered a great deal of support and input and I'm SO appreciative of them. And I really hope I haven't dissuaded anyone from commenting on my stuff - just please try to keep it more positive and supportive rather than adding fuel to the insecurities. Anyone that's undergone any plastic surgery must understand there is always a certain amount of uncertainty when it comes to this. After all - it's not "necessary" for living - it's something we want for our own mental well-being. And sometimes for physical well-being.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't met Dr. Revis in person yet. It feels as though I have because of the many (many) emails sent back and forth so far. He is double board certified, and though the majority of his practice is now devoted to fixing bad boob jobs, he performed hundreds of body lifts over the years. They made up roughly half of his practice until FL changed medical coverage for major weight loss patients several years ago, no longer a covered expense, and that part of his practice dropped off considerably. He assures me he still performs 1 - 2 of these surgeries per month, though.