200 Pounds Lost - Male Tummy Tuck W/ Flank Lipo - Memphis, TN

Preop/Background: There I was, after a long and...

There I was, after a long and treacherous journey, I was finally at the top to take the deep plunge into the abyss. After narrowly surviving the steep fall, I have little choice but to go on. Suddenly, with sharp twists and turns, I hold on for my life and can only scream, and then...the ride was over and I was on my way to the next thriller-ride.

That past episode, which was from a month ago at an amusement park, would have been impossible as recent as a little over a year ago. Being over 400 pounds, I was literally too big to fit on the rides. To make a long story short, I learned the importance of self-reliance and personal responsibility and lost over 200 pounds through diet and exercise coupled with sheer motivation. I’ve reenrolled in school, primarily at the University of Memphis, to follow my passion to help others as a nurse. After graduating with my BSN, I hope to travel the country and perhaps even the world as a travel nurse. After a few years of that, I plan to go back to school and get my Doctorate to become either a researcher or nurse anesthetist. Either way, I hope to leave an impact on this world.

Anyways, some more information: 22, male, 6'3", 200 pounds. I've always been big most of my life, only recently losing 200 pounds (~14 months).

Jan. 17 - The Day Before

So, I started to get nervous the night before. This message from one of my aunts really helped me out
"...you've been heavy just about all of your life except this past year or so since you've lost all of the weight. You have never really been able to live life as a kid/teenager without being self concious about your weight... so you felt uncomfortable doing alot of things that many people can do easily without thinking twice about it. Well, my dear Andrew... after this surgery... you too will be in that category :) It will be a whole new feeling :) I'm SOOOOO HAPPY for you!!! :D

your on the final stretch to your ultimate goal! And just like some people say... your the most tired when you are close to the end of the marathon :) dont give up now"

I love her!

Jan. 18 - Surgery day!

So my surgery was today at 8:30 am this morning (lasted around 3.5 hours). After the surgery, I slept for about 5 hours. I had a tummy tuck and liposuction on the flanks. I have the option of getting a touch up (lipo) in about 3-4 weeks if I heal well.

Speaking of healing, the pain is not as bad as I thought (maybe my age helps?). In fact, I barely notice it (stomach area) but my back does it - this is the main pain. I'm still here at the clinic with a lovely nurse taking care of me. I have been sitting here, talking and facebooking, watching a little television - I don't feel the need to sleep or anything like how I thought I'd be. I'm still bandaged up so I won't see how it is till the morning. Anyways, I'll post again tomorrow!

Jan. 19 - The Day After! (EDIT: the surgery was...

Jan. 19 - The Day After!
(EDIT: the surgery was 4 hours, not 3.5)

I am feeling better today, especially in my back area. My stomach was a little upset this morning but they gave me some TUMS, which took care of that problem. I'm still at the clinic (the nurse actually stays in the room with me overnight and are so very nice/helpful) with the IV still in. I've just been talking a lot today to family members and having visitors. I'm not sure if this is bad but it's just so boring for me to just lay down and sleep. In fact, I've been up since 7am and am just now going to bed at 11pm. It felt good to get up and walk around a bit - I had to insist to walk outside (: But before that oh-so-delicious breath of fresh air, I had the worst part of this experience so far...

My catheter was taken out - ouch! I don't remember being warned about that haha ;)

I'm sure I forgot some things and will do another update tomorrow - thanks everyone for the support!

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Whao! I LOVE your pictures. Thanks for sharing your story. Please add updated pics!

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UAOOOOO..... it's great. it is amazing the change that you made. I'm Vincy, I live in Italy. I too would like do the tummy tuck when I reach my ideal body weight. For years I try to lose weight, but nothing. I'd like to know how you did. congratulations again for the change. thank you ....
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I have to echo what everyone else has said: WOW! What an amazing story - you look great! Can't wait to see your "after" pics. :) (My best friend lives in Memphis & graduated from U of M, BTW, very nice place!).
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200 lost: Your story is inspiring! And you have a gift for writing. Would you be interested in writing your story for a book? If so let me know and I will send the details.
So glad you took these actions at your young age. Send us an update on how you are doing when you can.
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I know right....he has done a fantastic job and looks wonderful!  What a great kid :)

All of your RealSelf Mama's will cheer you on:)
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Wow! Congratulations!! You deserve this journey probably more than any of us. Best of luck on a speedy recovery and a GREAT new stomach!!
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All I can say is WOW... That's what you are WOW.... Wishing you the best recovery ever...
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Such maturity! I'm agog at your story. It's wonderful. Thank you so much for posting here on RealSelf. I'm truly looking forward to your updates.

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Congrats on your weight loss. You're truly an inspiration. :)

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I am so proud of you!  You have come so far and you are almost there!  What an accomplishment you have made in all areas of your life!   I would be very proud to call you my son :)

Rest, take the pain meds and enjoy this final ride!!  You are young and healthy and will spring back very nicely. 

Now as far as the Nurse Traveler idea...e-mail me privately.  I just happen to have some very good information and connections for you:) 

Hold your head high, smile and be proud of all you have done.

Hugs to you!
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That is very nice of you (: That really does lift my mood. I will post an update this evening!

And I will definitely take you up on your generous offer in regards to travel nursing - I'll be starting nursing school this fall and hope to graduate next December if all goes well.
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You look wonderful!!   Hang in there and you will feel better soon. 

I sure hope your back is feeling better tonight.  It just takes time...

We can talk later about the travel nursing and nursing school.  I have a couple of other suggestions for you as well.   Contract nursing and new grads are my passion!  I am a recruiter for a large University Healthcare system :)
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