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150 Pounds of Weight-loss: Extended Abdominoplasty with Public Lift; Panniculectomy

I have lost over 100 pounds in the last 19 months...

I have lost over 100 pounds in the last 19 months (down 150 pounds since 2004). I have been morbidly obese my entire life and I have a huge amount of excess skin. I am one week away from four procedures: extended abdominoplasty with public lift; panniculectomy, buttocks lift and lateral thigh lift.

I'm anxious, but excited to see what the next stage of my weight loss journey looks like.

Adding photos

Two more sleeps until the big day

I'm surprisingly calm, haven't taken any of the prescribed Ativan yet, but I think my boyfriend needs to! I'm sure ill need to take it tomorrow night. I'm worried most about the pain and discomfort of recovery. Since I've lost all of this weight, I've become a very active person. I cannot wrap my head around so much downtime.

The plan

On Tuesday, February 4th, I am having four plastic surgical procedures to remove excess skin. This is one of the final stages of my weight loss story that started August 13, 2012 (Dad's birthday) when I started Weight Watchers. The surgery will be about sixhours long and will be in the doctor's surgical suite in
Marina Del Rey.

Immediately after the surgery, I will be in an after-care facility in Santa Monica for two to three days. After that, I will be at the parental recovery
for another 5-7 days. Mom and Dad are leaving for a trip on Feb 14, so
I will then be home

I'll probably be off of work for two or three weeks.

I'm nervous and excited about this next part of my journey but know it will be great after the healing is complete.

I have so much love and support over the past few years of evolution. I've
got the best support team in the business!

Pre op butt lift

Forgot to say

I'm 5'2, 130 pounds

POSTPONED

Surgery has been postponed due to another medical issue. Will be rescheduled soon, hopefully. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes.

Rescheduled for Monday

Fingers crossed it happens!

Now two procedures instead of four

taking a more conservative approach for safety reasons. Disappointing, but wisest way to go.

Day four post-op

Quick update. Leaving after care for parents home. Pain is manageable, moving around on my own well. Day 3 was the worst. Weak, tired, two scary dizzy spells. Had follow-up with dr yesterday, said everything was fine.

Day four, post-op

Day two and three were the hardest. Tired, weak, almost fainted twice. By the end of day three I was feeling much more like myself. I am recovering at my parents place now, after three wonderful nights at Serenity After Care.
The pain is not bad. I've mostly switched to Tylonol except took the percoset at night. Ambien is my friend. Slept well with that as an assist. Pain has been manageable.

Will probably get drains out Monday. Fingers crossed.

Won't post photos till after drains are out.

Everything is progressing well

Pain is minimal, just managing with Tylonol. Drains are a pain, compression garment is annoying, but I'd better get used to it since it will be around for awhile!

In the morning, I will call the surgeon with the drain log information and see if they are ready to come out. I'm prepared for them to say not yet.

I have great parents who are caring for me. I'm not weak anymore and not overly tired. Using Ambien to help with sleep. Trying to get in a nap per day.

The days my boyfriend visits are liquid gold. He makes every bit of fear and anxiety just disappear while he's here.

I haven't gotten a good look at my torso yet. Being a good girl and leaving the garment on. It seems like I'm still very swollen, like I have no waist, which is odd!

Slight communication failure

There's no one in the office today to take out my drains, even though they are ready to come out! Appointment set for tomorrow, 10am.

Drains out!

Just wearing a long, thin camisole between my skin and the binder. Feels amazing. Will post photo later.

Eight days post-op

Yes, I'm pleased. I am still swollen, but now that the padding and drains are out, I get a better sense of what the results look like. I don't have a great photo. Every time I try to take a photo, everything looks crooked and the lighting is bad. I will work on some better ones once I get home tomorrow.

Of course, now that my tummy is flatter, I really want to get my legs done. All in good time!

BTW!

It's really frustrating that you can't change your surgery date because it's wrong, due to the postponement I had.

home alone

I'm home alone. I've spent a lot of time trying on clothing and looking at myself in the mirror.
I am still very swollen and the compression garment adds a reasonable amount of bulk. I tried on the petite 12 jeans and they fit properly.

So no new wardrobe until the swelling goes down and probably until I recover from the upper body work, which might be the next procedure.

But for now, concentrating on healing from this one!

Follow-up, Day 11 post-op

Steri-strips removed. Stitches from belly button removed. There is scabbing all over the incisions with a little bit of blood oozing. Wearing camisole between me and the compression garment. Doctor took a few pics and said everything is healing fine. Have f/u appointment in three weeks.

Going to go back to work next week, but not work full days.

Recovery has gone so much better than I thought it would. The body is a remarkable thing. I love the result thus far and it's just going to get better with healing and time.

More photos - from Doctor

Here's a new set of before and afters

Here's a new set of before and afters

After is taken 11 days post-op

Compression garment

Soooo tired of wearing this! And tired of not being able to be active with my regular yoga and hiking! Just a minor pity party this morning and then I was over it.

Healing is progressing

I'm anxious to get back to exercising. I'm seeing my weight bounce around all over the place even though I am still on my Weight Watchers 26 points per day plan. I am seeing swelling going down, but I still think my torso looks very square (like I'm missing the contour of a waist). Have f/u next Friday, so will talk to Dr. about that.

Already scheduled second procedure (upper body) for late April.

One month since surgery

It's exactly one month. I'm not a patient person, so this feel like the longest month I've ever lived.

I'm feeling pretty good, but still experiencing some soreness. It took awhile for sleeping patterns to resume. This morning I'm feeling like crap, but I think it's the time change and a bit of depression about the end of the weekend and heading back to work. I was back to work at the beginning of the third week of recovery.

Swelling is visibly down. Energy is mostly good. I'd say I'm 80% myself.

Tucked in shirt with belt

I cannot even remember the last time I did this.

Something I've been thinking about in relation to this type of procedure

If you aren't close to or at your ideal weight, you probably aren't going to be happy with your results. I waited until I was close to goal and I'm glad I waited. I started having consults at around 140 pounds, figuring I would be at about 130 when i had the surgery, and that exactly how it turned out. I'm about five pounds away from my goal of 120 (I'm 5'2). I think it's irresponsible of doctors to recommend these procedures to people who are still very overweight. Not trying to sounds elitist or sizeist but I've seen some other peoples reviews and those who are unhappy with their result still seem to need to lose weight.

End of the fifth week follow-up appointment

I had a follow-up appointment on Friday. Dr. Stoker said everything was healing well. He suggested one more week until I return to exercise and wants me to wear the compression garment for another month. I was really surprised at this, to the point where I forgot to ask WHY?!

He said if it was really bothering me I could skip it, but recommended I continue to wear it. I'm not going to question his wisdom, why would I go against his wishes at this point?!

Am I disappointed? Yes. Will I get over it? Already am.

A few new photos and update

Had a f/u appointment on the 4th, which was about the end of week seven I think. It was actually a pre-op appointment for the next surgery I am doing on the 29th of April, but he looked at the incisions etc. Everything is a-OK. Got permission to stop the compression garment, but I'm still wearing it around the house, just in case.

I'm attaching a picture from last month that also includes my BEFORE pic, and in this case, the before is before I lost 108 pounds, not before the surgery.

I am really struggling with the last four pounds I want to lose. It's really frustrating. I've been at the same weight for the past month or so.

clarification

the before and after picture above: the before is prior to losing weight. The after is after losing weight and the plastic surgery.
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

I interviewed several different surgeons but Dr. Stoker was hands down the most qualified and confident. He seemed sincerely excited to work on my case and cares about the final aesthetic more than anyone else I spoke with.

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Comments (146)

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Wow!!! Boy do I LOVE an amazing transformation! You look fantastic, and I KNOW you are loving your results! I too underwent a total body transformation after weight loss and could not be happier! Congratulations on an amazing journey!
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Thanks and congrats to you too!
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BREATHTAKING transformation! You are such an amazing and strong woman...inspirational is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Thank you for sharing so generously. When is your next surgery? What is it gonna be? I'm watching you so closely, cause you amaze and motivate me. :-DSuzy
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Suzy, thank you so much, that's very sweet. My next surgery is 4/29. Arm lift, breast lift without implants and bra line back lift. I started a new review for that one, but it hasn't gotten a lot of activity. I'm finding the bra line back lift is a less common procedure here on RS so I haven't been able to find a lot of reviews on it, and I haven't been able to find anyone who's done the three procedures i'm doing. The next surgery also includes getting rid of the side boobs, I'm really looking forward to wearing bras and not having that side fat hanging over.
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PS: Yes, my ps also agrees we must wear our compression garment for several months! He recommends up to 6 months. However, it can be one of those comfy Fleexzies, which I've been wearing for years just to hide mine! It supports you, but also helps the continued healing and attaching of the skin, all of which help the nerve regeneration, etc. etc.
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Thanks! That helps too. I have a few Spanx types things that I think I will switch to on certain occasions.
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When I had my pre-op on Monday, my ps reminded me how long to wear the Flexzies. Since I hope to be recovered by June (op is mid-April), so I say to him "oh, I guess I could wear it under a one-piece swim suit..." My ps says "no, silly! You should wear your new bikini! Just wear the Fleexies when you don't wear the bikini" ha ha!!
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Hi Luckiest, I can't help but agree with your comment on finding a good or ideal weight, but we also have to maintain it too. I have a friend who had her tummy tuck 5 years ago. At the time, she was at her ideal weight (also 5'2", 120 pounds), and she looked great and was thrilled. Now she is dissatisfied with her TT, but she has gained weight over the years. I am also 5'2", and I cannot get lower than 130 no matter what, but my PS told me I don't need any lipo at all because its all just skin, so the TT itself should bring me closer to 120. You look great!! Congratulations on coming to the thin and flat side!! Give yourself a big hug for me!
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Thanks. I thought I'd lose more weight due to the skin removal, I also had an Panniculectomy. One doctor thought I had 10-15 pounds of excess skin, another said 6-8 pounds, but my weight really only went down by about five pounds. So do use a bit of caution about over-promises in terms of what they tell you. Hopefully it motivates us to keep going in the right direction. I think it does.
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Ya, I have to say, I agree with the doc. I think it's good to support the new tummy, and I think it supports the muscles so they can heal more easily. I am 7 weeks PO, and plan on wearing my firm Spanx garment til at least 3 months. My tummy feels tender and sensitive by the end of each day, even with the garment on, so I don't feel ready to not wear it. Just my thoughts. :-DSuzy
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad I'm not alone!
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Glad everything looked well. The month will fly by. Everything goes faster in the spring!
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ur right ! i agree!
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I think it is hard to generalize about what other people ought to do. I had my tummy tuck 12 days ago after a 60-65 pound weight loss that I have maintained for 3 years. It was all due to lifestyle changes -- better eating and a good exercise program. Ideally I would lose 20 or 30 more pounds, but at age 62 it has become very difficult to get the scale to budge. So, I went for the tt, thinking that if I waited to be at my ideal weight I might never get to have it done. The flopping spare tire that was hanging around my lower abdomen made me sad and angry and embarrassed. Now it is gone and I am thrilled. I am very happy for those of you who have managed to achieve your goal weight, but please recognize that what has worked for you may not apply to everyone else. It may be more important to be at a stable weight than at a perfect weight. Congratulations to everyone who has made it to the flat side and best wishes to those of you who are about the take the journey.
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Fair enough point. I should have shared what I thought was right for me, not generalized across everyone else's experience.
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I'm with you lookahead... I was not at ideal weight, but stable. Also, 51 years old, menopausal, hard to get weight down. I had lost 35 pounds prior to my TT. The rest of my excess weight now resides in hips/legs and arms. Both my breast reduction and TT have given me the "help" I needed to move/exercise more easily. Now down 45 pounds, 30 to go.
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You go Suzy! Congrats on getting that scale to budge. But you also look wonderful just the way you are. We older gals may have a tough battle with weight, but hopefully we have gathered wisdom that gives us strength and perspective.
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Hey ladies, just thought I'd chime in. I think this whole topic on weight and surgery can get very controversial quickly. I think everyone has their approach. For one, I totally admire and support TheLuckiest process experience and I think she is totally doing it the right way, not just for her but across the board I think it would work for everyone. With that said, I also agree with lookahead and happysuzy that there are other paths to get to the same place. I for one took the same path as lookahead and happy Suzy bec like them, I am at an age where it is hell to lose weight after menopause and that this surgery was (at least for me) the added boost to keep me going on my fitness goals. I hope I get to my goal weight and I did get the surgery to push me along the way. Also, I don't think TheLuckiest was referring to ladies like both of as you did lose weight before the surgery. I think she ws referring to those folks who were doing this surgery as a means of looking better without making any lifestyle changes to go with ti. As we all know, maintaining a healthy body means eating and exercising and living a life of moderation and good habits (that come about through discipline). It's tough folks, even though I work out almost everyday, i still have to talk myself into it and and drag my ass to the gym or the yoga studio - it is not something I cheerfully do all the time. As for eating, that's still an ongoing struggle. I've put on 12 pounds in a year and it's been hell trying to lose it. I think I lost 5 of those from this surgery so I am doing my darnest to keep it off. happy healing ladies, peace, love and hugs.
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Amen! To EVERYTHING you said. I think you are correct on all counts. I too applaud TheLuckiest. No matter how we get there, it's work. I made the lifestyle/eating changes over the last two years, and prior to my TT. My surgeries are an added help to my "get my butt moving" effort. Gonna keep posting my journey, in hopes of helping others like me. That's the BEST part of this forum...so many stories, journeys and methods. Many can find the help they need. CHEERS TO US ALL! Happy journey to all... :-DSuzy
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Agreed-- everyone needs to do what works. It is most assuredly NOT a one-size-fits-all situation! Wishing happy healing and wonderful results to all....
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Your story is so inspiring to me :). I know I will never have a 16 year olds body again (pregnant and delivered at 16). I feel I missed out on so much in those young years, not only did I have a child I was raising by myself but my self esteem was very low because of how ruined my body was. Over the years I have obtained a Master's degree in my chosen field and I am quiet accomplished in my field. But in spite these successes, I don't feel completely satisfied. I hope my MM will add some self confidence. I realize sx will not "fix" me but I believe it sure will help.
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I totally agree with you. My GF told meabout her GF who lost about 100 lbs before her TT and then gained it all back after! So yes, this is serious business and I believe a TT ought to be a part of a permanent lifestyle change.
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I live in fear of regaining my weight. I watched my brother do this exact thing after he had gastric bypass and a Panniculectomy and TT. There are actually studies that show that people who lose a lot of weight and then go through the expense of plastic surgery are more likely to keep it off. So at least we have that in our favor.
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Yes! I have told friends I'm treating this like I had gastric bypass and I have to totally change my relationship with food (and wine). I have to say I have never lived a healthier life than I have in 2014, pre and post op.
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I miss wine. I've basically given it up, except for special occasions. I've been very strict with Weight Watchers since I started 20 months ago. Sometimes it's really hard to be so mindful about planning every single thing that goes into my mouth. It's time-consuming and sometimes joyless. But I've really enjoyed tweaking recipes to make them lower fat and fit into my eating program. Early on, I had to accept that this is how I'd be eating for the rest of my life and I'm OK with that. These last five pounds are going to be the death of me. I really hope getting the OK to return to exercise helps keep everything moving on the scale. I also have never been heathier in my adult life. I haven't weighed this little since 6th grade. I take nothing for granted and am so grateful for the team that has helped me get here. My Weight Watchers leader, my plastic surgeon, my yoga teacher, my friends and family who are so encouraging. I feel so very blessed.
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