Nervous and Excited-long Journey to This Point! - Saskatchewan, SK

Over the last 9 years or so I have changed my...

Over the last 9 years or so I have changed my lifestyle completely and have lost 145 lbs from my heaviest (I could have weighed more at some time but honestly never used to weigh myself because I didn't want to know how bad it was). I was 349 lbs at my 6 week check up after my first son was born-heavier than when I was pregnant! I decided it was time to make some changes....
My son is now 10 and I am now 204. I can run 10 km and just recently became a certified Zumba instructor. I run 3 times a week and walk or do Zumba or the elliptical the other days. I eat well and have an athletes heart rate.
BUT I have this skin and flab that just gets worse not better as I have lost weight. I was referred by my doctor about 2 1/2 years ago here in Saskatchewan )I live in a small town). It took a good 9 months to get in to see the surgeon who then told me if I lost 30,40,50 more pounds it would be better - well wouldn't that be nice ?! My journey won't end with the surgery but life also has to be a out balance as well. I tend to go to extremes one way or the other. Anyway he took the pics and sent them on to the powers that be who decide whether I will be considered medically necessary and therefore covered by the government. That was then another 4 months to hear back and boy did I cry when I was told I would be approved!!! The skin and flab and flesh that I have hangs down and my belly button gets red and angry and sore when I sit too much like travelling for instance and when I work out I have to powder underneath it etc. I also wear a bodysuit to hold it all in place when I run or exercise. Needless to say this surgery will change my life in many ways!!! I was then told it would be a year to a year and a half wait but closer to the longer end and it ended up being a year and two months before I got the call.
So the surgeon called it a tummy tuck but from my understanding its not really as they are not cutting any muscle, just removing skin and tissue and flab. Although from what I read on here it's not just a pani either because I do remember him saying they will go up and loosen tissue etc and then pull down and cut off. So I am not sure what my procedure is actually called! That would be a complaint of mine right now is they don't give you that much detail and I assumed I would see or talk to him again before but I won't until that morning right before the surgery. The nurse that works for him was less than helpful really. I like to be prepared ad knowledgeable and I am finding this aspect very frustrating.
I have before pics that I will post on here.

Before pics

I am 204 lbs here, one week before my surgery.

34 hours to go!!

I am a day and a half away and I am having trouble wrapping my mind around how my body may look when I am done. I can't imagine not having that hanging there, not having to lift it to wash and powder under it when I work out. To not have an irritated and red and raw bellybutton when I am sitting too much (like a long car ride) and not have it flap up and down when I exercise and be so self conscious about it....I am ready! Getting a little anxious about the recovery but very ready!

3 days post op

My surgery went well, I was very groggy and nauseous the first day, but by the next day felt so much better.
I am doubting I will need pain meds again except for the days they remove the drains. I have home care coming daily to change my dressing, and the drainage from my drains is getting so low that I am guessing Wednesday they will remove one drain and thursday the other. I go to see my surgeon for a follow up appointment tomorrow, and will ask him some questions.
They told me they removed 2.3 kg which is about 5.06 lbs. I thought it might be more than that but am happy none the less. The doctor did tell me when he marked me that day that he would not do the incision as low as my overhang was on the elft side as that would border on a thigh lift (and since my surgery is covered by the government I guess they don't do any extra). So that has left me a little curious as to how it will look on that side since I think I may have a bump of fat/tissue/skin there, but it's only 3 days in so I have been reminding myself I cannot judge anything yet.
The incision looks good according to my home care nurse and the edges are puckery and purple looking but the middle is nice, this is typical apparently. I have only seen myself laying down when she changes my dressings, not standing up yet so hard to judge anything. It is weird to see my belly be fairly flat and not two separate peices so to speak like it was before. My belly button is now a long slit, very weird in a good way!
My pain has not been bad at all my only complaint is that my back is sore from always being in the same position for sleeping and sitting etc. I would give anything to lay on my side lol! I also look forward to having a real shower, they tell me I can do that 2 days after my last drain is removed.
All in all I am feeling pretty darn good, and I hope if anyone has any questions they ask me! I figure I can then answer things specifically instead of writing it all out here.

2 days after surgery

This pic is me laying down, 2 days after surgery

2 weeks, 1 day after surgery

These pics show my body about 2 weeks after. I was not feeling very positive about my progress but it's the darn girdle! It makes everything smooshed and I definitely like the look of things without it on much better. I know it's good for me to wear and I do wear it, but when I have my shower I tend to like to stand in front of the mirror and look at myself haha!! You will see the ones a week after this the swelling and round belly of the top part has gone down quite a bit in that week. Patience is not a strong suit of mine but I am trying!! I haven't been eating all that healthy lately either.

3 weeks, 1 day after surgery

Okay these pics I am by far the happiest with so far. You can see there's less roundness in my belly. I have not been eating very healthy lately but I return to work tomorrow and I am sure that being in routine will make a huge difference in my eating habits. I was getting restless and bored at home.
I have one spot on my incision that is weeping a little, but the home care nurses say it's not too concerning and in fact they are very impressed with how well everything looks and is healing.

Almost 9 weeks later

Things are going really well. I am back to normal in terms of activity and have been teaching umbra class for 3 weeks now. I saw my surgeon last Thursday and he is eased with everything. I asked him about the pocket he left on my left side (you can see the incision runs right through it instead I under it and he explained because y crease extends around my side on that side it is more like doing a body lift. It makes more sense to me now. Anyway he told me to get a product called Kelo-Cote for my scar and apply it morning and night. It's a tiny little tube and it cost almost $60!! I have been getting it on about once a day. I have had two infections almost side by side one after the other with about a week and a half in between once they cleared up. You can see on my right side there's a dark purple area. That's where the infections were. Otherwise all is good!! I gained a little weight post surgery and am not quite to where I was before I went in which makes me disappointed in myself but I have a new confidence that's for sure. I still have quite a muffin top since yet don't do anything much able the belly button but that's not the end of the world. As I continue to work on myself I hope that will decrease.
I find not having the hanging flab so wonderful when I exercise and just in daily life. No sweaty underneath it and not having to powder it and wash under it - the sensation in the shower is so different as the water runs right down my front and over my privates - never experienced that before!

6 months later

I am feeling very good, I haven't spit any stitches for almost 2 months so I think that's finally done.
I am happy with almost all of my
Outcome except the "pocket" he left on the left side which he said he couldn't remove because the crease went too far around my side and bordered on a body lift so I am not even. Other than that it's great! My outside finally matches more the work I have put in to lose this weight! My confidence has increased. In terms of weight I am only a few pounds less but feeling great none the less. Here's some pics from today.

8 1/2 months

Just some recent pics - I feel much more confident and it's made such a difference in my demeanour as well as when I work out I don't have this big hang there that sweats and is in the way. I notice a difference in odour and irritation - there isn't any!

Some new pics

Just posting some new pics from a day I was feeling quite flat and slim lol. It varies day to day especially depending on what I have eaten. Still muffin top and on my left side you can see that pesky flab pocket as I like to call it that he left because he said it bordered on a body lift. I really for like it it makes me uneven
Dr. Kristopher Ledding

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (25)

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Looking good hun!
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You have done well in your weight loss and change in life style. You should be very proud of yourself because it isn't easy to lose weight.
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Thanks for your kind comments!
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It sure isn't and I am still struggling but I appreciate your positive comments!
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Your most welcome and keep up the good work. I too, am working hard in losing weight and thus far have lost 15 pounds. Would like to lose another 30 more. I climb a local mountain and then at the top I climbs stairs. One day I did 542 steps. :)
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So happy for you! You should be so proud! What an example to your family and an inspiration to all who read this or are blessed to meet you! Great job girl!!!
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Thanks so much!
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Nice to see u update. You are looking really good. I'm 1 month out myself.
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That would be awesome :)
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I will try to take some later!
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Congrats on your surgery! Do you have anymore up to date pics?
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Ive Been Thinking Of You, And Hope That You Are Doing Well! :)
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Pray you are still doing well :-)
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Congratulations on your weight loss and subsequent surgery! I have no doubt you will have amazing results! I also had MWL and had a Lower body lift, as well as an arm lift and am thrilled with the results. There surgeries are so life changing! Enjoy
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It can only get better and I am sure you loooook great can't wait to see. I can say that the ps didn't take much gym from my upper ab either and we should speak today on additional lipo. All and all I'm not JLO flat but hey I'm much better than I was and so will you be. Take care.
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Thanks! Alleyk! I have not seen myself standing up yet with everything off but I do have to admt I was disappointed a bit in how flabby the area above my belly button still is - sounds like you and I are similar lol. I think maybe I thought they would pull more/cut more off the "top half" of my belly but from what I read this doesn't usually involve much above the belly button. They used my belly button but they pull it through a new spot so essentially the old area is gone. He told me mine was naturally high and that I have a short waist (I always thought I was Long waisted and he said no it's because it hung down) so he repositioned it lower than it wanted to be so it was more balanced and esthetically pleasing so I was happy with that! He also said he lifted up a bit not just down which tightened my pubic area as a bonus so again super happy with that! Just like I said a little disappointed with how soft the upper part of my belly still is but again it's early days and that is maybe my fault for having unrealistic expectations. He reminded me before we started this that tight will meet loose.
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I am so happy to hear that you are doing well! I am excited to see what your after pics look like, my belly Is very similar to how yours was...except mine still has some fatty tissue that Im still working on reducing. So did they keep youR Origional Belly Button?
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I had what you are going to have. I had excess skin removed and new belly button but did not have the muscle repair, and your right you have to have all for it to be a tummy tuck, according to my PS. He called what I had and your about to have a modified tummy tuck. I don't know about how much muscle separation you had but I had 4 large babies, so mine is pretty big. After the fact. If I knew all I learned after my tt before I had it I would have paid extra and had the muscle repair. But let me add this too. From what I have learned from others here, the most of the pain is the muscle repair, with that in mind, know that my pain was under control from the start. I never took any perscription pain meds. For a lot of people I am sure that not having to deal with all that pain would make a huge difference. My insurance did cover the pannilectomy part of my surgery, but that was it. I had to pay for the rest. When I say my pain was maybe not as bad as some because of not having the MR, that is about the only difference. You will need just as much recovery as a regular tt. Your body will be weak and you need to rest ALL the time at first. Please do just that, rest rest and more rest...you will have such wonderful results after that you will want to look in the mirror everytime your near one. You will take a shower and NOT have to lift up the pannus to clean under it. You will not have to powder under it. You will not get rashes and infection under it. You will LOVE it I know. My pannus was smaller but still miserable. The infections were the worst. It has been close to a year for me and I still am amazed the way clothing fits and how I can now exercise with nothing bouncing around. Please look at my pictures. The difference is so huge. I can't wait for you to have your modified tt. Good Luck and take care.
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Good luck!
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Congrats on your journey!!!!! Please check out my blog.. my insurance paid for my panniculectomy and I paid the difference for abdominoplasty to tighten the muscles along with lipo. Feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to answe any questions. Take care. Nomore belly45
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how painful was the procedure???
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Honestly I didn't find it painful more uncomfortable. I only really took my pain meds the first two days to stay on top of any pain I MIGHT have but then that was it.
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You look wonderful in the pics.
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Wow! Congratulations! You've made Such Amazing life changes! Im Just Now Looking Into A Panni, So I Dont Have AnUs Advice. But I Can Only Imagine How Much More You Will Be Able To Do After Recovery! I sure Appreciate All Your info. Keep us Updated!
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Hi there, welcome and thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Congratulations on your weight loss, that's a huge achievement and you should be very proud of yourself!

Have you called your doctor to see if you can have an appointment with him before surgery? If you're not happy and you still have questions, then you definitely should get them answered before they wheel you into surgery.

Please do keep us updated with your progress!

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