Panniculectomy & Hernia repair....46 yr old

I had gastric bypass back in 2000. I have...

I had gastric bypass back in 2000. I have maintained a 150+ lb weight loss and now need hernia repair and a panniculectomy. Been having issues with my pannus since a hysterectomy in 2012 leaving me unable to get much physical activity in. I have platued at my current weight for over a year and would love to loose at least 70 more lbs. Hoping the panniculectomy will help me reach my next goal.

More hoops to jump through.

I got a call yesterday from my local hospital that I am being referred to a different kind of specialist in St. Paul MN. I guess with the general surgeon and the cosmetic surgeon got together to iron out the details it ended up being a bit more complicated than they first thought. Nothing can be simple for me. Feeling a bit discouraged.

I just can't get a break!

Well, I was supposed to meet with the plastic surgeon from this new group tomorrow. The office called yesterday to inform me that the receptionist scheduled me with a doctor who does not to panni's. Not sure why the hernia specialist aked to be scheduled with him...but they got me reschuled with a PS who does do Panni's. Thank goodness it is only a week out....i was panicking that it would be another month to get it. I was about to give up and just have the hernia repair is causing so much pain I can't take it much longer.

Is it just me that keeps getting all these weird scheduling and doctor issues?

more pics

just some more pictures with the tummy exposed to show the before. hope to get in and get a new "after" soon! :-)

Panni surgery consult in 3days.

3 days until I meet the plastic surgeon for this new clinic. I am anxious and nervous. I would love to be 40 lbs lighter, but can't if I want insurance to cover the procedure. And that fact scares me that the surgeon won't want to do until I loose more...but I have a hernia that is killing me and it needs to be repaired now. If I don't get the panni at the same time it may make recovery harder....why fix a hernia only to have 20+ lbs of skin and fat pulling on it? Shoot, I can't even walk around the block right now because of the pain from the hernia.....I just need some help here. :(

feeling heard.

today I met with the new plastic surgeon and for the first time in over 4 years I feel like I was really listened to. I panicked a bit at first as the nurse said the dr will meet with me and IF she decides to do it pictures will be taken after for insurance. That comment sent my heart plummeting! The Dr came in and she was super nice and listened to me. Asked about sores, abcesses, rashes etc. Asked about the hernia. About my heightest known weight, and how much I have lost and kept it off for 14 yrs.

She did an exam and showed me where she will be cutting and lifted the panni and saw the one area that happened to be very irritated today (that probably helped my case) and showed me where she can visually see a hernia over the belly button. Told me she will cut up above the belly button and I will probably loose the belly button. I told her I didn't care...a lot of my infections are in the belly button. She was actually relieved and said that will make thing so much easier and help with healing. SO....i will be bellybutton less. But again, not a concern of mine.

She pretty much guarenteed I would have dog ears but that they can probably be taken care of in clinic down the road if needed. She also suspects that I might have a few other smaller hernias not picked up since she has me on the table wide open they will look and correct/fix anything they see.

I am feeling so much better now.

Got the call this morning

The hospital called with surgery date. The hernia specialist wants to do her part robotically to avoid having a second large incision we they had to coordinate two surgeons and the robot!

Date set is a ways out...but I am fine with that...I have a date! Sept 10th.!!!!!!!

I am going to work hard at loosing about 15 lbs between now and then...the plastic surgeon said she is fine with a 10-15 lb loss but anything more than that she would want to wait till I platued a bit more. I tend to loose about 15 lbs in the summer...just because we are usually a bit busier. This year though, with the hernia I don't think I will be very active.

This also give us time because my boyfriend is facing a repair of a partially torn achielles tendon. The big problem with his case is that he only has one leg to start with ( lost a leg to cancer as a child) . So if they can get in him beginning of July this may just time out perfectly.

OMG!!!! I have a date!

time is moving slow!

This count down to Sept 10th is taking forever! I had a bit of a scare over the past two weeks....with an appointment for pain (I have fibromyligia) and needing some new pain meds but discussing that my lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen for over a month the Dr got very concerned. Blood work taken, urine tests done, throat swabs etc. No infection found.

I figured if there was some infection it is from the constant rashes or infections under the belly or in my belly button (again....loosing the belly button, sick of those infections!) Well, when all the tests came back with no answer...the term ultrasound with biopsy was used. Terrified me! Not only for a needle being jammed into my neck..but for the fear that something like Cancer could now be keeping me from having this hernia repair and Panni. Not after 5 yrs of trying to get a panni....this is not happening!!! Thank goodness the ultrasound looked fine and nothing suspisious found. (insert large sigh here) Now the Dr wants more blood work thinking auto immune...which I already have I am not stressing it so much anymore. I am actually thinking of switching up my allergy meds to see if this years allergies may just be the culprit behind all this...and go from there.

Anyway...I digress, I spoke with the plastic surgeons office today. I called to make sure i schedule any appts (pre and post op) and was told none to be made. She won't be marking me up prior only because they are doing the hernia repair first. I am good with she already generally showed me where she will be cutting. At this really is a straght lipo or anything. The surgery scheduler assured me everything is all set for Sept 10 and post op appt will be made before I leave the hospital since I am going to be admitted.

It was nice to hear her say those words again...everything is all set up. Sept 10th can'tget here fast enough!

5 more weeks!

OK...5 more weeks to go and I can not say this enough...time is going so slow! I am trying to keep busy...but when I don't work outside of the house, keeping busy is still limited. I have a little hand- made beaded jewelry and repurposed items business I have been trying to get going...and I have my first craft show this coming week-end. That has helped me in the past week with inventory and pricing etc. I am gratelful for the newest pain meds and muscle relaxers I was given..the hernia only minimally bothers me now. Biggest problem is the anti-inflammitory is causing major gas and nausea/vomiting. And I am not loosing the 15 lbs I wanted to before surgery. I think I need to go ahead and stop taking this anti-inflamitory! I have just 5 weeks to loose this 15 lbs. I can do it! I can do it! I can do it! Lots and lots of water and lean meats, fruits and veggies. Any other advice from those of you who have had surgery....what do I need to have prior to surgery. I have been thinking about clothes to wear home....most of my loose fitting comfy pants probably will fall right off without the "tire" to hold them up. I have a pair of yoga pants that might work..but those tend to "cling" and I am guess clinging clothes will be extremely uncomfy? I have a sundress..but it is white...that kinda frightens me it will get blood or something on it. LOL We have an electric reclining chair I will prob be doing my sleeping in for a few days. I am a tummy sleeper, so the idea of not being able to sleep on my tummy for a while is kinda freaking me out! Any advice for stuff I will need is appreciated.

3 weeks to go

Yesterday I had an appointment at the Hospital Wound Care clinic. I was asked to come in to make sure all rashes, infections on the underside of the belly and in the belly button are cleared up. Ironically that on the day I have to go in to have them looked at, that all rashes and infections are non existing. Thank goodness I have had taken pictures to document some of the infections over the past few months. I was very pleased to hear that both specialists thought my skin under the belly was beautiful and will heal nicely after surgery. I was given some antimicrobial material to keep in my belly fold between now and the surgery and a special cleanser to use in the belly button daily with a special material I have to put in (kinda like a stick) to keep infections away and keep the skin in there dry and hostile towards germs. LOL I have been instructed to just relax, sit back and take it very easy for the next three weeks prior to surgery.

two weeks and counting

well, one week of not doing much of anything other than sitting around and not working out. I am still doing housework...which helps pass the pass a little bit. I had my pre-op two days ago and was cleared for surgery. I was given an EKG since between the hernia and the panni it is a long time under anesthesia. The cardiologist found what they call an incomplete right bundle branch block and pulled the records from an EKG two years ago and have determined it is new. So tomorrow I have to go for an echocardiogram. At first I was extremely freaked that this was dangerous and would keep me from surgery. My physicians has assured me it is minor and I am still cleared for surgery. The echocardiogram is mainly precautionary and to find an possible reason for the change. I was literally in tears for about an hour thinking after all this I was going to be denied surgery. On the good news side...I have dropped 6 lbs and am happy I am getting closer to the "new me"

One week!!!!

It is getting closer! I went today and got supplies for the hospital stay ( face and body wipes, new slippers, travel size tooth paste). Got baby spinach, cottage cheese, yogurt, blueberries, protein bars, and individually frozen chicken breasts for protein packed meals for the next week. Not to mention I still want to loose 9 more lbs!!!! My lack of activity really has made weight loss hard! AND these insta dry sheets of material under my belly are starting to irritate me. I better not get any rashes from the irritation. Thinking I should start taking Benadryl so the irritating of them might lesson? It is hard to explain....almost like my panties have rolled down and under the belly kinda feeling. My echocardiogram came back normal, so that stress is gone :-). To think that at this time next Weds I will be done and on the road to recovery! Woot woot!!!!

question about post op personal care I just realized that I won't be able to bathe and probably wont be able to shower for a bit after surgery. While I can pick up some dry shampoo...that stuff really only works for one day on me. My hair is so thick and long and gets greasy very quickly. Any suggestions?

wow..I am again truly amazed by the hospital and surgeons I was referred to!

So my boyfriend and I are sitting here chatting watching tv when the Fed Ex truck pulls up. We both look at each other like "who is that for?". I received a package with a note from the hospital and the wound care dept along with a note from the hernia surgeon. She send out a case of Impact Advanced Recovery Nutritional drink. I am to drink 3 a day for the next 5 days and adjust any other daily meals to make sure I get these. Again, I am very impressed by this team of care givers and medical professionals I am working with. Feeling very blessed today.

4 days and a wake up to go!

Getting very excited for Weds. I took a couple pictures to compare to the past ones...8 lbs lighter but the only difference I see in the pictures is that the gut seems to be hanging just a little bit lower now. I also got some pictures of the belly as I am laying I can compare the after. You can see in the pictures the belly button is packed and the material in under the belly fold. As far as I know I will not be getting marked up the morning of surgery because the Hernia specialist is doing the hernia repair first then Dr Heinrich will do the panni.

1 day!

Didn't sleep much last night. I am bloated and a bit uncomfy from these nutritional shakes but I am following Dr's orders. Tonight I get to also drink a Clearfast and one tomorrow morning when I wake. It will help with hunger pains in the morning (along with the medical benefits), but at the same time it kinda makes me nervous as all my life with surgery and procedures they tell you not to eat or drink after midnight. Again...going to follow Drs orders and I know it will be fine. :-)

It's Here!

I have been up...after about an hours sleep! Showered and drinking my carb water I was told to drink. YUCK! Though I have had to drink I won't complain. I was nervous and a bit emotional yesterday, but this morning I woke up ready to do this! I will try to get on and update later today.

Post surg

Hurting big time...guessing more from hernia reair. Beendosing in and out. Will better update when feeling better. Hugs to all

Had some complications

The hernia actually attached itself tomy small intestines..yesterday's pain levels were off the chart. My blood pressure kept dropping and my hemogglobins too . Got 2units of blood. Still very out of it today.


Here are a couple of pictures from yesterday. It's nice to sit in a chair without my belly roll over the edge of the chair.


Ok....this morning I am up16lbs from surgery date. Dr Heinrich removed 18 lbs of pants. Meaning I am 33 lbs swollen? That seems a lot. Plastics was already I before they(the nurse) weighed me (on the bed). My nurse said no to go by that scale since my home scale is what I use.... Just curious if that much weight is typical. It seems a lot. Pain is manageable,my upper shoulders seem to be the worse, from using the walker I am guessing. Thank you all for all your encouragement and kind words

So upset!

Today I sent who I thought was my best friend an email that I would probably be released tomorrow. I have explained to her numerous times that I was getting rashes, infections, abscesses on my tummy and in the skin folds. That I was not having this surgery for cosmetic reasons. (Not that there is anything wrong for doing so! I fully understand that aspect of it too). She didn't ask about the complications that came up , only that she hopes I get the results I am looking for. Nothing about a hernia repair, nothing about , here's to no more infections. Just worried about the physical look outcome. Maybe I am over reacting? I have been extremely emotional today :-/
So, it looks like tomorrow is release day and I can't wait to get home. It will be kinda nice not being disturbed every hour for blood pressure etc! Lol
Dr Cherrie Heinrich

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I hope everything continues to go well for you. I know it will with pray and God's blessings. I am nervous and confused at this time. I am scheduled to have a panni on October 6, 2014. I thought I was going to have a tummy tuck to help decrease chronic back pain due to a spinal cord disease called OPLL and also to decrease infections under my belly and side folds. When I spoke with Dr. Pan's nurse she only seemed to say the only concern was the infections. I scared that I going to be left with the pain and still unable to stand up straight or walk upright. I am so upset it seems like Dr. Pan has not taken what my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Yue or pain management Dr. Marianne want to have as results from this surgery. What should I do? I don' want to aggravate Dr. Pan with a lot of questions but I wish she would consult with my other doctors. Someone is willing to pay for additional work. Please help me think of what to do.
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I am sorry....I am having a hard time following what you are tryind to ask. I an sill rather groggy from pain meds
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Ok....I am more awake and alert now. If you are discussing a TT for insurances purposes the surgeon will know what they can get approved. Most insurances will only cover a Panni not TT. My hernia Syrian and PS worked together because they work in the same hospital with each other. A removal of a large panni will prob still make a huge difference in your back pain. Good luck
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Friends this binder is killing me... need swelling to come down..
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My binder is also very irritating. Makes my skin itch like crazy. Woke this morning and feel like a blow fish all puffed arms can't even rest down on the chairs arm rest cuz I am so puffy. I can't blame this on eating chips or drinking soda last night!
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Thats awesome what they took from you... i doctor took 27.9lbs cant wait to see results...
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Do just wonderful as everyday pastes it healung and recovery is awesome. But,i do need to admit that my caregiver sister, and daugther, and sister in law are and have just dont A+ ...i hope your feeling better Amiga ... i really dooo. So amazed with my people family on the job in giving me my meds on time.trscking drains and stripping them. My deliouis healthy homemade foods. I could have asked for better care. I feeling alot
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I just love heari g those postive wods from you... we could do it...
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I am so glad that you posted about the difference between your weight post op and pre op. I weighed 229 pre op and 234 post op. I had 11 lbs removed. It's is so discouraging and I am 9 weeks post op.
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I know what you mean....but I am going to move forward and not worry about the number on the scales as much. I know I need to look at the long term. Which is why I did this, so infections will be gone, I can strart exercising again and work towards the long term. I keep telling myself how better I am going to feel, once all the healing and recovery is dine ;-)
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My doc took off 27 pounds and I am only down 10 most days I have swelling everywhere
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Wow....27 lbs. before surgery she has guessed it would be 20+ lbs....and I am happy with what was taken.
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I should clarify my PS had figured over 20lbs. So far I am thrilled....big difference and I am thankful for all the great staff at this hospital.
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I heard from others that they gained as much as 25 pounds of fluid. After my hernia operation I was 17 pounds heavier. They pump a lot of saline in when doing the surgery. Your results are amazing so far with the swelling so can you imagine how good you'll look after. Did you get the abdominoplasty or just the pani?
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25 doesn't sound bad, but 33? I have been constantly pumped with fluid...between the low blood pressure and transfusions.... Lots of fluids. I look in the mirror as I leave the bathroom and am still amazed . I know it will only get better. :-). I had panni above the belly button, they took the belly button. There was muscle repair, but not a TT....just repair of the damage in the.
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I am booked for a pani on oct 10 but I can upgrade for 6 grand for a full abdominplasty but I can't afford the cost I'm hoping I will look as good as you with just the pani done It's incredible the change in u already
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Yeah, and I haven't fully seen the whole tummy yet because of the difficulties had. Both my hernias specialist and the PS are awesome.! Getting wonderful inpatient care too. Very nice staff at this hospital
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Hang in there. It only get better from here! What a difference already! Happy healing!
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You look great!!!
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Wow what a difference already! Hope you are feeling better
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Princess native35- I hope girlfriend your doing better. I have you and all girls having a or had surgery in my prayers. Just have to let you now my TT, hernia repair, panniculectomy went very well. From a scales 1 to 10 I will say my pain is two as long as I don't move or anybody make me laugh. I do feel some pain and pressure at belly button. Eating well and lots liquids just can't use the restroom yet... Hopefully soon and it will be and relief...stay strong, don't think about the pain try to walk, and breathing for the lungs... Let's pray together our healing and recovery continue smoothly... I'll be going off pain meds today per doctors order NOMoRE than twenty four hours... Pray....
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Getting more blood today, my hemoglobin are not staying up. Having the cath removed today too.
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No more than 24 hrs on pain meds? Wow. I could not function with out the right now. Happy healing!!!
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Good thing your cath being removed... Happy to hear...things little by little care getting better...
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Wishing you a better today
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