48 Year Old Male Lower Body Lift After Large Weight Loss. - Golden, CO

I am a 48 year old 5'6" male that led a fairly...

I am a 48 year old 5'6" male that led a fairly sedative life style coupled with terrible eating habits for most of my adult life. About 7 years ago I saw a picture of myself at my heaviest which was 230 pounds, and could not believe how large I had allowed myself to get. Through college I was very active and that along with my young age, resulted in a metabolism that allowed me to get away with poor eating habits. Through an increase in activity levels, coupled with a much improved set of eating habits, I began a long slow decline in weight and about a year ago found myself at what I consider a good weight of 145 pounds. As I guess can be expected after such a weight loss at my age, I am left with significant amount of loose skin around my midsection, which I know can not be fixed in the gym. I live in Colorado and met with a couple of surgeons before deciding to go with Dr. Steven Vath at the Center for Cosmetic Surgery. I was really impressed with Dr. Vath's willingness to answer all my questions and his experience with tummy tucks/body lifts seems really extensive. I was initially drawn to him as he uses the "no-drain" technique with tummy tucks. We discussed both a tummy tuck and a body lift and I ultimately decided to go with the body lift surgery. I keep joking with my wife that I am "cutting myself in half", which of course she doesn't find funny. I've decided to document my experience here as there are just not a lot of men's stories. I am 12 days out and will post some "before pictures" in the next couple days.

10 days out. Here are some "before" photos.

Having some fairly regular freak out moments when I start thinking about the surgery.

One week to go!!

Well I’m one week out. I’ve posted a few more before pictures. I’ve read a few people say to take lots of before pictures. Dr. Vath’s office called this morning to tell me they wanted to put me on a blood clotting medicine post-surgery because of some clotting issues in my family history. It’s nice to know they are taking every precaution to keep me safe.

Needless to say I am still very nervous. My wife is being supportive, and I’d really like to get some input from the community here on Real Self. I plan to document my journey for other men considering having this surgery. With that said, I’d like input support from anyone in the community (realizing it is largely made of women, and that men are much less apt to contribute).
Besides making it though the surgery safe and sound, my biggest concern is being able to find a comfortable position to sleep in the evening. I plan on moving a recliner into my bedroom and using pillows. My bedroom is upstairs, but , and I have read some people say they have not been able to deal with stairs for a while. At my pre-op they told me I can probably get up the stairs the evening of my surgery, but it might be a day or two before I can come back downstairs! The thought of being trapped upstairs for a couple of days has me a bit concerned.

So far Dr. Vath’s staff has been great. I called in once just to have them talk me off the ledge of nervousness, which they did quite well. In my pre-op appointment I never felt rushed and they answered all my questions. I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I picked Dr. Vath is because he uses the “no-drain” tummy tuck procedure, and the thought of not having to deal with drains is great. When we switched gears to the LBL surgery the plan is to still do it with no-drains. It will be great not having to deal with drains if he ultimately decides he does not need them.

Well that’s today’s posting, again I’d really appreciate some comments/support from the community here.

1 day post op, all is well so far

So I made it though safe and sound. I felt really good right when I was waking up. I actually walked to the bathroom on my own in the surgery center. When I got home I was able to get up the stairs to my bedroom that I had set up with a recliner. While I not able to stand up straight yet, I do feel the recovery so far is going much better then I had thought. I've been sleeping a lot for the past 22 hours. Except for getting in and out of my recliner I am feeling well. Dr. Vath called to check in on me last night, but I was up on one of my walks around the house (no stairs only), so I didn't speak with him. As Jackbee noted the most pain seems to be in my stomach muscles where they were pulled tight. Hoping that goes away in a couple days. I also don't have an issue getting comfortable in my recliner which was a big concern. One great think is that Dr. Vath felt that no drains were necessary, So I am hoping to take a shower later this afternoon. I also say enough for the nursing staff, they were all so awesome. As for the scar placement, I have no idea yet as I have had my binder on at least until I take it off temporarily when I take a shower. Anyway that is my 1 day post op comment. Well I am a bit concerned that I might be on a narcotic induced ramble so I will end my update now.

One weeek Post Opp, so far so good!

Well I thought I posted an update yesterday but I don’t see it here so I’m guessing the pain drugs maid it disappear?. Anyway I am now a week out and things are going quite well. The pain is very manageable, and as everyone has suggested it is important to stay ahead of the pain. Twice I have cut the dose in ½ and ended up hurting after about 2 hours. I don’t consider myself to have a high pain threshold, and at worst I would characterize my pain to be no higher than a level 7. I have been sleeping in a recliner which works perfectly for me. I can’t believe the number of hours of sleep that I am getting each day (seems at least 16 hours per day). I have made a point to do small walks every time I get up for a bathroom break, and after 2 days I was able to venture downstairs to extend my walk. Yesterday we all went out for my son’s 18th birthday (not that was 6 days post op). Today my wife and I have a few errands to run and I am starting to think about easing back into normal life.
I couldn’t be happier with the procedure so far. My only complaint is that I really wished my scars on my flanks were lower. I do a lot of surfing, and my shorts typically ride lower then where my scar is. With that said, it is certainly something I can live with. I go in for my first post op visit tomorrow. Feeling confident that life will return to normal even quicker than I was hoping for.
Bottom line is, so far so good!!!!

Almost 2 weeks now

Well it's been 11 days and I'm doing pretty well. I'm not talking any pain meds except for Tylenol. I still find sleeping in either the recliner or couch is more comfortable then lying flat on my bed. My incision is healing well; there is one spot that is a little sorer then the rest. My belly is quite flat (which is awesome) and then I have a pouch where the incision is, but I'm thinking that is just swelling. I'm struggling to find my appetite, so in addition to what I am eating I am drinking a few bottles of ensure every day. Today was the first day I tried to do some real work (and by real I mean sitting at a desk and doing paperwork). Sitting upright is the toughest position for me. I worked for about 3 or 4 hours and found myself completely exhausted, so I laid down and fell asleep for 3 hours! Then took the dog for a short walk. I also ordered some GelBands yesterday and am looking forward to something a little more comfortable then the binder (which I wear 100% of the time). I am so thankful that Dr. Vath was able to do the surgery with NO DRAINS, because my morning shower is probably my favorite time of the day. So bottom line is I am quite happy with my progress, though some days are slower than others. I can hardly wait to get back in the pool to start swimming laps, which will really make me feel like I am getting back to normal.

2 weeks with some new photos

Well today marks 2 weeks. I can’t believe the transformation. Someone gave some good advice to make sure you take a lot of before pictures which I did. I’m almost 50 and I think my midsection look better than it did when I was 20. The recovery has been good/as expected. The only surprising thing is the fatigue that sets in so quickly. I have started to try and eat more and more to get my energy, taking some short walks, running errands. What really zaps me is sitting at my desk, which unfortunately is what my job calls for. I’ve set up a sort of recliner position on a couch and work from a laptop. I was a little concerned with the swelling at the incision right above my groin, but I took some pictures and sent them to Dr. Vath’s office and they got back to me quickly and assured me that this was normal swelling. So far, I continue to be happy with my decision, anxious to get back in the pool, and then back on my surfboard. Thanks everyone for your support.

3 weeks and a minor set back

Well here I am at 3 weeks, and I’ve had my first minor setback (at least I hope it turns out to be minor). I had been getting a little more active and I “sprung a leak” right in the middle of my belly. I sent some pictures to the nurses at my PS’s office and they asked me to come in. They said it was not the result of activity but rather a small area where the skin was not getting good blood flow and unfortunately the opening was likely to get a grow and continue “leaking” for a while before it got better. By today (the next day) I can tell you they are correct. It has grown to about a ¼” opening, and there are two other spots on the incision line near the area that look like they can break open soon. The nurses assured me that it was not a result of my activity but rather just a somewhat normal occurrence because the skin was pulled so tight that there are small areas not getting good blood flow. They gave me an antibiotic cream and some gauze to dress the area and change out each day. The leakage is small; it results in about a dime size area of blood after 8-10 hours. This area also remains swollen, but the nurses felt it was all going to flatten out. It’s a bit frustrating because my recovery was going absolutely so easily, and it feels like a setback. I was hoping to start swimming laps and now that I have an open wound that is a big no, so I just need to let my body do its thing and recover. I have a trip planned in a couple weeks and was hoping to do a little surfing the first week of April and golf the second week of April….come on body, do your thing and heal so I can have some fun.
On the good side of things, I can’t even feel the incision line along my back and before my surgery that is what I was most worried about. I’m also sleeping in my bed and can even sleep on my side like I normally do, pain is being managed by just a few Advil per day. Normal life will return soon enough, can’t let myself get frustrated by a somewhat normal setback…
Denver Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (10)

You look great. The difference is awesome. So glad to hear your recovery is going so smoothly. I am scheduled for an LBL on Wednesday and I am hoping to return to work in two weeks. Reading your story I actually believe that might be possible.
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My biggest issue is sitting up straight for long period of times. For me, I need to get up and move around every so often. If I sit upright for more then an hour at a time I end up hurting. With that said recovery has been in-line with what my PS said t would be but much better then what I expected. Good luck with your procedure.
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I appreciate your followup post. Today marks 48 hours for me, I am trying Vicoden instead of Percoset this morning and I can actually take small steps instead of shuffle. Sounds like I need to calm down a bit and I needed to hear that from someone who has been there. Thank you
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Wow what a transformation! You must be so happy! Great work! I hope you will be so happy from here on out at what you will be able to wear etc and how your confidence has changed. :)
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Sounds like you are doing everything right! And yes, don't try to skimp on the pain meds too early....if you "get behind" on them, it is harder to get your pain under control again. The women all understand the "want low scar" concept...with any luck in a year it will fade to your skin tone quite nicely and be barely noticeable! I have read on the guys, they tend to cut higher just to get more control of the waist area, and for women, it can be lower to get more control of hips and thighs - (addressing the typical "problem" areas on each body type). You already look great...and....it only gets better as the swelling goes down!
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Hey great to see another man posting.. I am sure you are glad its over. Your body looks similar to mine, and In your first set of pics it doesn't look like you would have needed anything more than a normal tuck. But I am thinking as well that if I Am going to get cut then might as well get it done perfectly and make sure there are no love handles, etc Would love to see post-op pics and hear about the progress. I get my surgery in about 6 weeks.
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Hey man, good luck. Just had mine done in September. Are you getting muscle repair done? If yes, prepare for a rough 48 hours, then its all downhill. If not, it won't be too hard at all.
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Not sure what you mean by "muscle repair" but Dr. Vath is planning on tightening my stomach muscles. Less then 48 hours to go.... starting to arrange my room.
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Yes, that is what I mean, the ab work is responsible for 80% of the discomfort in my experience, but after 48 hours, it goes down significantly, just make sure to take the muscle relaxant and pain pill regularly
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Hi there, welcome and thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

Congratulations on your weight loss and good luck with your surgery. I hope it all goes well and you have a smooth recovery. Please do keep us updated on your progress! :-)
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