My brief story:
I lost about 50 lbs, slowly and steadily, 5 years ago. There was really no explanation for it. I had a lot of tests done but nothing conclusive. I just couldn't eat very much without feeling extremely full. I have been heavy my entire life and have done numerous weight loss plans but always seemed to go up and down so losing weight without trying was not in my vocabulary. I have maintained the weight loss since.
As a result of the way I lost the weight I have a lot of excess skin. I always exercised but during the loss I quit because I was afraid to lose faster. So I have had to rebuild muscle but my skin tone is horrible.
I am having an arm lift and breast augmentation tomorrow and in two weeks a lower body lift.
In preparation for my surgeries, my doctor wanted me to eat more protein. I have done this by incorporating a couple of protein smoothies using Greek yogurt and frozen fruit. I try to eat a pretty healthy diet anyway but chose this opportunity to really focus on eating foods that aren't processed. I think it'll help the healing process. In my lost blog I'd included a link to a book that I had found here on this forum. It was very informative about pre/post op nutrition. I wish I could find my other blog to post it again.
As surgery comes up I am a nervous but excited. We recently were in Mexico for 2 weeks and I found I was looking forward to not being embarrassed in my bathing suit. In the past I tolerated myself and tried not to notice other people looking at my hanging skin but this time, knowing I would be having surgery to correct it, I was really disgusted with my skin.
I am nervous more about my healing/recovery. I imagine that I will be limited in motion for a while so I am trying to cook, clean and get all my supplies ready in the 5 days since returning from out trip.
Here we go again...ONE YEAR OUT! Arm Lift/Breast Lift
My brief story: I lost about 50 lbs, slowly and...
My brief story:
Today I am 3 days post-op. I cannot believe how...
My arms look 100% better even all wrapped up and swollen so I am happy already. I cannot wait to see them unwrapped tomorrow.
I had a breast augmentation/lift as well. They wrapped me up pretty tightly and I am ready for that constriction to be off. It makes my ribs hurt sometimes. Because my breasts were unevenly sized and my skin was so stretched the doctor told me that the size of the implants would be determined by how they fit in my breasts. He said that if he only put a certain size in and it didn't fit well that the skin would sag over it. I have a bigger size that I really wanted but I understand why. I am really eager to see them!
I am slightly worried about my recovery of my upcoming body lift surgery. I am really hoping that the incisions are like my arms and don't really hurt. Getting out of bed, using the toilet and walking are going to be a challenge. I think I'll go back to review some of the other blogs for any tips/suggestions about it.
I have already asked myself what the hell I am doing? But...the result is what matters. I waited so long to do this surgery because I didn't do anything to lose the weight I felt that the excess skin was my cross to bear. Losing the weight was a gift from God for me so I really felt selfish to do anything about the skin. Now, I will have scars and these will be my cross.
Today I had my post-op appointment at 4 days out....
I'd pre-bought a compression garment and chose one that was for arm and breast combined. I could barely get it on today. I did try it on when it came to me and it fit. Today my left fingers were turning a little blue. It seemed to fit perfectly everywhere except the arms. Now I'm out $80 because there is blood on it. I'm not sure if anyone else had this problem but the web site recommended measuring myself and ordering based on those measurements. They said I should order a size S which I did but also got a M just in case. When they arrived I tried them on. I could barely get the S on and when I did it felt like I was being squeezed to death. The M seemed fine...until today. Now I need to order another one and get something for my upcoming LBL. I will go with a larger one than I think unless someone reads this and tells me differently.
So far I am very pleased with my decision. I still cannot believe how pain free I have been.
I just have to add this: I spoke to the company...
I spoke to the company that supplies the compression garments. I needed to ask them about my vest and also get a recommendation for a lower body suit size. I was just out of the 30 day requirement for returns and also when I had squeezed into the size M the incision for my drain bled a little and it got on the garment. I lamented that part to the girl and she said that they would refund my money because they had recommended the size to me even though it was just past the 30 days. She also gave me 10% off. If you'd like the name of the company please message me because I highly recommend them and the garments.
I continue to feel stronger and have more movement...
I'm still working on my right breast. It has dropped a bit but not like the other. I am also still getting used to the size. I've hit them on tables at least 3 times and they are just in the way. LOL Big Chested Girl Problems I guess. They are still hard and sensitive and it reminds me of when I was breastfeeding and they would become engorged.
The day before yesterday I decided to walk on my treadmill. I walked for 30 min (1 1/2 miles at 3.0 or a 20 min mile). That pretty much wiped me out. I took a 2 hour nap after that. Yesterday I drove for the first time and went to Target. It felt good to get out in real clothes and with make-up on. Today I am going to try walking again and nap if I have to.
Overall, I am feeling great at 1 week out of surgery. Exactly 1 week until my lower body lift. Kind of nervous but I am hoping to be pain free like my arms are.
I FOUND MY FIRST POST! Not Sure “Arm Lift...
“Arm Lift with Breast Augmentation (1st Procedure) Lower Body Lift, Thigh Lift (2nd Procedure 12/13/12) - Chicago, IL”
cirella Posted 6 Nov 2012 | Updated 8 Nov 2012
A brief story about what brought me here:
53 year old female with a life-long history of being overweight. Tried all the usual diets. Always exercised since teens. In 2007 I began to feel very full after eating just a few bites. Had every test done to find reason. Between 2007 and 2009 I lost about 60 lbs. slowly and steadily. I thought I was dying. I've maintained the weight and have been left with saggy skin. After thinking about this surgery for 4 years, I have decided to do it. My first procedure will be an arm lift with a breast augmentation.
I am nervous and excited. Seeing the before and after pictures made the excited feeling outweigh the nervous feeling.
I have begun my preparation by eating more protein and am using this month to focus on eating a clean diet, meaning no or low sugar, processed foods. I am eating high quality proteins and carbohydrates and fats.
I found this site while I was looking for my compression garments. I am so glad I have been able to read about other's experiences. I have been doing homework about the procedures but also want to find tips or read about advice for recovery. As much as I can, I will try to post my experience.
I am so glad that my husband and I are going on a trip to Los Cabos for 2 weeks. I get home and will have my first surgery 5 days later. I hope to just relax and have some fun and not worry.
I will take my "before" pictures and add them before I leave.
Updated on 8 Nov 2012:
A recommended book, which I found on another user's blog, is Encyclopedia of Body Sculpting after Massive Weight Loss - Google Books
It can be technical because I believe it is a physician's book but the parts I wanted to read about were the nutrition before and after surgery. My doctor wanted me to start a protein supplement every day for 2 weeks prior to surgery. I had a protein powder already and I highly recommend it because it is high protein, low fat and low carbs.
Right now I make a smoothie with 1 cup N/F Plain Greek Yogurt, 1 cup frozen strawberries and 1 scoop protein powder every day. VERY high protein and delicious. I plan to use 2 scoops protein powder a day for the 2 weeks prior to surgery. It is the only way I will be able to get in the protein requirement. The protein powder I use is Simply Right Whey Protein, Vanilla. I get it a Sam's Club. To switch it up, in place of the strawberries, I also use frozen triple berry mix or frozen mixed fruit. I buy all of it at Sam's because it is a big bag and my family also loves the smoothies.
I've been thinking a lot about the scars I will have. I went into this decision saying that I'd rather have scars than wings. I still believe that. After looking at some of the before/after pictures on this site I am still excited although I have to say that some of the less fortunate outcomes scare me. If anything, seeing the good and the bad helps me to bring questions to the doctor that I may have not thought of before. Today I woke up wondering how I will wipe myself after surgery. : / LOL
Yesterday I had a little emotional setback. I had...
I have to do a lot this week in preparation for my lower body lift on Thursday.
Tomorrow is my lower body lift. I'm a little...
I go today for my markings and for my 2nd post op for my arms/breasts. My left implant will need some revision. I'm hoping minimal. I will post a small update after my appointment. I am so pleased with my arms. One of the coverings fell off while I was showering. The line is so clean except for my elbow. I'll ask him about that. I hope I didn't accidentally pull it when bending.
I had my surgery yesterday. Man. This one is worse...
Some tips: fill a little basket with some necessities like chap stick, glasses, pain pills, Kleenex. Anything that you find yourself asking your caregiver for. Keep it all at arm length. More later.
Today is 6 days post op. Well, this has been...
Well, this has been rough. I had no idea what to expect physically or emotionally. I am trying to think positively and look forward to what my result will be. I had a reaction to the tape that covered my incisions. I developed blisters and when I peeled the tape off the bandage that was covering my belly button the skin that was had blistered and then popped/oozed peeled off. I have never experienced such searing pain. I had found some gauze like bandages that are anti stick. Works wonders. I sat in the shower yesterday for probably close to an hour to soften the paper tape on all the incision sites. I had to get it off because I could see that I was developing blisters and didn't want to deal with them all over. I got the tape off and got everything all cleaned. So much better!
I wasn't able to get the drains out at my first post op visit. The doctor said probably at my next one on Friday. I hope so. I think getting them removed makes a big difference in recovery as it is progress.
I've been taking my pain pills around the clock but want to try taking half a pill around the clock along with advil/tylenol. I've been sleeping OK being propped up with a couple of pillows and one under my knees. Both my husband and I slept on our sectional couch, which is downstairs, for 3 nights. I made it up the stairs so we both moved up there. I sleep better in my bed but it is harder to get out of it.
My husband has been a gem through all this. I mostly want my protein smoothies and toast. One thing I did before surgery is to make some veggie soup and also ground turkey meat. This has been so helpful to both of us. I think that making food for the family beforehand AND food for you beforehand is a great idea.
Overall, I am doing well. I think I put unrealistic expectations on myself. I don't like to be sitting around and being waited on so when I see I can go downstairs to get something I think that I should be doing more for myself. Then I may do too much and really feel it the following day.
About the compression garment, I ended up just ordering a compression bra without sleeves. Even the large arm/breast combo wasn't right as it was still too tight in the arm and too big in the breast. The bra only one is perfect in a size medium.
I ordered a body suit that ends just below the knee. It has a suspender top. After I shower today I will put it on.
I had another post op appointment today. He...
He recommended Mederma for my arm scars. Everything looks great. I'm getting around better. I will need to stretch my arms up and massage under my arm so that the skin will loosen. I am able to lift my arms up straight above my head but it does hurt a bit.
I finally had a bowel movement a couple of days ago. I wish I'd started taking a tsp of milk of magnesia from the get go. Frankly, I was afraid to have a bowel movement after the lower body lift. I'm taking a little MoM a couple of times a day because I'm still taking pain pills although I've cut down on them and only take 1/2 a pill every 3 hours or so.
Overall, feeling good.
I'm a little over 4 weeks post op for my...
I had to have sutures below my left breast because where the pocket that was created for the implant was a little low and the implant slipped a bit causing it to look like a little bubble. The incisions will make the tissue grow together and keep the implant in place. Now, my breasts are even, the nipples are level and in the same spot. They look great. My daughter got me a bra from Victoria Secret and I had to go exchange it. Frankly, I don't know what size I am and whatever I am today it may change after I soften out. If you haven't been to VS lately they've revised their measuring guide. According to them I am a 32DDD. There is no way I am that and would never have given my Dr permission to make me that big. But...I got a bra at VS in that size and it looks fab!
I am continuing to use my Mederma. I switched from the 3-4 times a day formula to the 1x a day. Remembering to do it was just too difficult. Plus...I'd be spending a small fortune on the stuff.
I am going to start walking on my treadmill tomorrow. I feel well enough after my LBL to do so. I will also start some light, LIGHT, weight lifting for my upper body/arms. I want my new arms to be nice and defined. I will not overdo it and I'm sure I'll probably know where I stand after tomorrow and will adjust accordingly. I have to remember that I've had 2 major surgeries and even though I may feel up to doing something doesn't necessarily mean I should without plenty of rest as well.
Finally! I was able to have the 2 remaining drains...
Since surgery my swelling is noticeably going down. My waist was 4 inches bigger than before surgery and now it's 2 inches down. I can see my muscles peeking out. My abdomen is still quite swollen and my circumference incision is still healing. All the scabs are not off yet. Overall, things are going well. I just have to slow down a bit.
I started walking on my treadmill and yesterday I thought since I was only walking at a 2.0 pace that I'd up the incline. OK...I put it at a 9% uphill grade. If felt OK and I didn't do that for the entire 45 minutes however, by 6 pm I was a mess. That also happened the day I only walked so I know my body is telling me that I'm overdoing it. My plan is to take a short nap each day even if it's only for an hour.
Well, I had to take a little step back as far as...
Actually, I'm feeling very well. Yesterday I got back on the treadmill and walked 3 miles at a little faster pace. I will take that slowly but I would LOVE to be able to run again but I know that won't happen for a while. One day at a time.
Well, it looks as if I will have to have a little...
Everything else is going well. I feel great. My swelling has gone down. I stepped on the scale and I'm down 7 pounds and am actually at my goal weight. = )
Almost 12 weeks post op this week for my LBL and...
I find I am shopping a little bit more and am choosing sleeveless shirts but I am afraid to wear them. I have no problem telling people I got a boob job but have only told a select few about my other surgeries. I'm trying to figure out why that is. I definitely did it all for myself because my body didn't reflect how I felt inside and there was no way I could exercise the hanging skin away. I have to admit that I have always proud of the fact that I could alter my body (with diet and exercise) without any extreme measures so I think I am embarrassed that I have done this even though I wanted to do it. I guess that I feel I'll have to explain why I have scars like this at some point and I don't want to see people's faces when I tell them. I would absolutely tell anyone to do this surgery because I feel it completes a journey. And, although I have had a lifetime of my own journey, I didn't lose such a significant amount of weight like so many people here. Maybe I am struggling with the 'why couldn't I have just been happy the way I was' question.
One thing that I need to remember is that I HAVE to continue to take it easy. I know I am pushing it too much because I feel good but at the end of the day I feel wiped out and hurting. I didn't realize that my PS anchored something to my hip bones and this will explain why my hips feel so tight and hurt when I wear a belt or something. All this time I have said that it feels as if he pulled me too tight there but I think it's just the sensation of a bruised bone/starting to wake up, etc. I think I would have not lifted things or done things that I have done if I had known this! So...slow down people! It's major surgery and we don't always know what really happened inside our bodies to make our outsides look great. BTW, the PS said that he did this to help keep the nice, smooth look of my outer thighs. It does look good.
This Thursday I am having my left breast revision. I am really ready for this. I have to wear a bra of some sort 24/7 to keep the implant up. My PS will anchor (oh no...more pain) to my rib. I'm glad I'm doing it but after going through all of the other stuff and feeling good/relatively pain free for a while I am dreading it as well. Plus, our house will go up for sale next Monday and of course my first thought was how will I vacuum?? haha
Still, after everything, I can absolutely say I am glad I have done this. My brain just has to get over the fact that I may have some 'splaining to do, Lucy.
I had my revision done on Feb 28. I expected it...
As soon as the nurse removed the ace and gravity took over I just started bawling. OMG did it hurt! When the PS came in he had a shocked look on his face. He thought I was there to start my laser treatments! He was very nice and calmed me down. Things did shift a little in the 2 hours I had the bra on but he re-wrapped me and sent me off. I go back in tomorrow.
I am allergic to the surgical tape so this is why I was wrapped pretty well in the ace bandage. Throughout the day yesterday it slipped or loosened a bit so I have put an undershirt over it and I also found my elastic band that I'd used when I first had the boobs done. I positioned it under my breast so that it keeps the bandage from slipping. What a relief when things are in place. Gravity is NOT my friend at this point.
I really hope this last surgery works!
I am excited to start laser treatments around my arm/leg/torso scars. It will tighten the skin around them. They are looking so good. I really need to take some more pictures.
So I went in to see the PS for my post op visit....
** to explain my comment**
My husband didn't want me to have a scar on my breasts. I didn't really want that either but after finding out that the only way to get the breast that I REALLY wanted I would have had to have a lift which would require an incision under each of my breasts and moving the nipples. This would have given me the rounder on the underside breasts that I wanted. Confession time...I did my breast surgery the way I did for my husband. Personally I don't think I would have cared about the scar. My breasts would have been higher and rounder on the underside.
My PS and I talked about this before my last surgery and I told him all of that. He told me that he learned a lesson from my experience. I think (and I wish he had) he would have been more of an influence for me and what I wanted had he known my reasons. To his credit, he did everything that I asked him to and has been so very nice to do these fixes.
Right before the last surgery he told me that he would do anything I wanted him to do. At this point, I wish I would have asked him to bolster up the right breast just like he was doing for the left. Sigh...
I go back on Friday. I will need to wear a good underwire or sports bra all the time for a while. No problem with that...even people who don't get boob jobs should have that support all the time because their breasts will not tend to droop over time.
One day at a time...
Friday I got that darn ace bandage wrap off! It...
So, the boob looks good. Now I wear something 24/7 unless showering. It's not as painful as I thought it would be. I really thought having an underwire rub on the incision would be bad but I think the incision hits just above the underwire.
I'm going in next week to get a little laser hair removal for my underarm. He removed pretty much all of that skin and my sweat glands from under my arm. There are, however, a few hairs poking out from my scar. It looks kind of funny but doesn't bother me. I think it bothers my PS more. The laser is no charge. A really cool thing, too, is that I do not need deodorant! I haven't worn it since my surgery in Nov.
Just a little over 4 months post-op for my...
After my breast revision the left breast implant seems to be staying in place. This is purely me (I like symmetry) but I wish I'd had him do the same procedure to my right breast. The left just looks tucked up more but I think over time it will relax and they will be good. My nipples are on the same plane so that is good.
Overall, I am so happy with both my arms and breasts. I am grateful that my PS is such a perfectionist. He cares and I just cannot say enough good about him.
6 Months Post Op
The boobs. This is purely cosmetic and preference for me but they are very low. I always had a long chest and lower breasts but I think that now they are bigger and it's so much more noticeable. I really don't like them this way. I've talked with my PS and it looks as if it'll be a whole new surgery! I didn't expect that. My plan is to just wait and see if I can get used to them.
What is a problem about them being so low is that no bathing suits fit properly. It looks like I have an underboob. The straps end up doing the work, which they shouldn't. I have found a couple of bras that are doing well. I am wearing a bra 24/7, only to take it off for showering and...you know...personal stuff. ; ) The feeling I get when I take the bra off is a sinking, gravity pull. Overall they look good. My nipples are in the same plane horizontally. They look the same size. All those are good things, I know. It's just they are too low.
Now...I did go in saying I didn't want scars on the boobs. What my PS should have insisted on was the fact that they would be low, as my natural breasts were low, and asked me if I'd be OK with that. I think he tried too hard to accomodate my wishes and didn't go with his professional gut. Just a little information to take with you...ASK the PS if what you want is the absolute right thing to do!
I plan to take more pictures soon. I'm in the middle of a move to Nevada from IL. Sigh...That's enough to take a person's mind off anything! = )
Been a While. New Comparison Pictures.
I'm hoping that what my body looks like now will be it. There has been some relaxing in areas. I don't like this because my clothes fit funny in my saddle bag area. My implants have dropped so much that I cannot find a bathing suit top to properly fit and my bras cannot fully support them.
I hate the way my boobs look in clothes because to me they look like an old woman's breasts that drop down so low that the bra cannot support them. Mine don't droop but they start out so low and an underwire does not lift them at all. Bra straps dig into my shoulders and make them red.
Most importantly, I cannot go without a bra, day or night. There is so much pressure under my left breast, the one that was revised, that it feels as if my internal suture will come out. I do plan to have them fixed in Nevada. I am very self conscious about them.
My PS would not admit that he over dissected them. He offered to remove the implant. Right...my skin tone would make my breasts look like 2 balloons deflated. He said that to fix them would be a major surgery and cost a lot. I am done with him as far as this issue goes. I am upset with him. I guess I think that if a person goes to the length to pay for major surgeries such as the ones I had that the surgeon should hear the patient. All my concerns were met with 'I think they look great' and words to that effect. All that said to me was that I was wrong to feel the way I did.
Overall, I know I look so much better than before surgery. I feel better. I am still happy that I did this. I am wearing sleeveless shirts in public. I am still careful to hold my arms a certain way but sometimes I honestly forget that the scars are there. If anyone has noticed no one has said a word.
Because of our move I haven't been able to shop for new clothes. I got rid of so many things that didn't fit me that my entire wardrobe fits into a carry on bag. I'm not joking.
Some things I wish someone would have told me before surgery are:
I would not be able to lay on my stomach after getting implants.
Wait a good 6 months before investing in clothes, especially with a LBL.
Be prepared to spend a lot more money than the initial estimate.
Ask yourself if scars will bother you.
How do you really expect to look and what are you willing to live with?
There's more I'm sure...
One Year And Doing Great
My year of recovery after a 2 major surgeries has been at times a roller coaster ride. After all is said and done I can say that it was all worth it and I will be forever happy that I went through with it. Taking pictures along the way is one of the smartest things I did. There are days when it seems that I "look the same as I did" but then I go back and look at my progress and see how my body looks and my scars are healing I know that is not true. Do I see some relaxation? Yes. But, I did not have these surgeries to look perfect. I did them to feel better about myself and to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. I am a young and active 54 year old and I wanted my body to reflect that. Now it does.
I gave myself a year off from running. Now I am back at it and it feels wonderful. When we moved to NV my husband and I started working out at our gym and I'd been doing some cardio there but had not run outside in a year. Saturday I ran 7 miles in 1 hour 19 min. Working out with weights has been so empowering. My arms have never...ever...looked so toned and muscular. I love them.
As a side note about my breasts: I will be needing a revision at some point. My left one is still so uncomfortable and when I don't wear a bra it is painful. I want to get settled in our new home and then I will begin the process of finding a good PS here in Las Vegas.
Thank you all for the encouragement you've given me along my journey.
New Home, New Surgeon
Day One post explant
So, yesterday I had the implants removed. I had been so nervous not knowing what to expect. It really wasn't that bad. Dr Hankins numbed me up pretty well and they gave me a Valium. I only felt sensations. When Bambi, Dr. H's nurse showed me my breasts before wrapping me up I thought it didn't look so bad. When the numbness wore off I was sore and today I am too. Not sure how to describe the pain. It kind of feels like muscle soreness in addition to the incision. I was able to put on the little sport bra they gave me and then wrap the Ace bandage around that. I think the band to the bra is sitting on the incision. Also, the area right below, where the bulk of my implants were, is a little hard. I've got a call into the office to ask if that's OK. I have 2 drains.
I have more mobility than I thought I would. I guess I was expecting it to be like when I got the implants in. Of course, I had the arm lift at the same time so I'm sure both those procedures prevented me from lifting my arms up. I can take off/put on my shirts alright.
I was so ready to get the implants out. I feel like myself now...even though I'm flat as a pancake!
I go in for my post op next week.
So far so good but...
One week post explant...drains out!
Ugh...I can't do any strenuous cardio for at least a month, possibly 6 weeks. And, no lifting over 5 pounds. I didn't expect to hear that. I can walk and that's what I'll do. I know it is so my INSIDE can heal. I have to remind myself that just because I may feel better my insides are healing and that is the point of my experience here.
I signed up to run in the Las Vegas 1/2 marathon which will be in November. So, I need to train for it and I know that if I were to replace my implants before then I would not be able to. My decision is to wait until after the 1/2 marathon. That extra time to heal will only be to my benefit. My PS said that about a month before the time I would like to schedule I should come in to discuss options.
I feel good with this decision. Weight training is getting my arms in good form and I've been running and increasing my distance. I've had a slight setback. My heel has been hurting so I'm doing other forms of cardio while I let that heal.