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Body By Wanzel: Time For The Arms - Toronto, ON

I am almost two weeks out of my tummy tuck, muscle...

I am almost two weeks out of my tummy tuck, muscle repair, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr. Wanzel and am already looking forward to getting my arms done.

I have lost over 180 pounds over the last 23 months and my arms have always been the enemy. I desperately want to wear a t-shirt or tank top as an adult.

My stomach/torso really bounced back after the weight loss, my boobs were a lost cause, but my arms are phenomenally fascinating. The skin, the wrinkles, the armpit fat, the quadriboobs....simply incredible and in desperate need of help.

I am hoping to book my consult at my next follow up with Dr. Wanzel for the TT on October 18th. I would like to have surgery around March and I am hoping that is enough time for him in between the lift/implant surgery.

I will add pictures soon. :)

Pictures

I updated my TT/BL pics today (13 days post op) and thought I should take my arm pics to share...

Booked my date!!

I saw Dr. Wanzel today, for follow up on my first surgery, and we also discussed the plan for my arms.

I won't have the standard elbow to armpit incision as I have a lot of excess skin in my armpit as well. So I will get what he called the "hockey stick" where it curves through the armpit.

He explained that the scar won't be a thin line, but rather a spread scar. I don't care, this excess skin hurts me physically (and probably emotionally), and I said several times I am not seeking perfection, I just want to feel better.

There is a bit of skin, I call it my third and fourth boob, that may not go away completely with this surgery. He said if I don't like the result in that area, he could just cut it out, resulting in a scar in that spot (covered by bra strap anyway) and probably with a local anesthesia. We will see what happens.

I did my paperwork and booked my date, March 12, 2014, almost six months after my last one. :)

I can't wait!!!

It's time....

I'm sitting in my beautiful suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It's day four of my husbands business trip. He works, I play. We do this yearly and it's a great escape from the brutal Canadian winter. It's good for my mental health to get warm sunshine too. And Vegas is delivering!!

My surgery is coming up, March 12. I have done no research about what I should buy or what I will need post-op. Hoping even though I don't post much, someone can help me out with suggestions.

I also wonder how long it is before you can drive again. After my last surgery I was cleared to drive after ten days. But I don't use my belly or boobs to drive. I do use my arms. :)

Thanks!!

Brachioplasty in FIVE days!!!

My brachioplasty is on the 12th. I don't feel prepared, probably because aside from paying for the surgery (this one is all paid for already), I haven't been in touch with the surgeons office. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get some sort of compression garment. I wasn't told to like I was for the TT. Some people have said they will just use tensor bandages and that will do the trick. I have a bunch of random questions that pop in to my head though.

Like when will I be able to drive again? And do I need to wait ten days for a real shower if I don't have drains? In surgery, how do they monitor the BP? And where does the IV go? Please don't say the foot. Pleasedontsaythefoot. ;)

I am the first surgery at 7:30am. I need to be at the hospital at 6:00. In Toronto. An hour away. At least I can sleep during surgery. ;)

I'm looking forward to this one, for sure. That hasn't stopped the anxiety though.

All done!!

So, it seems as though I took my arms for granted. What a fun lesson.

It was a rough night with limited sleeping positions. Prescribed meds aren't as effective as simple old Motrin.

Dr. Amazeballs did great once again. Good news, I woke up much better from this surgery, but it was half the time of the last one. Also good, he didn't have to take the incision as far as initially thought. It goes from elbow, and into the armpit instead of from elbow, through the armpit.

I'm not vain but I would like to honestly admit that the vain part of me is glad to see my "quadriboobs" also appear to be gone. Those little pockets of fat between the arm and boob on the front.

Aside from that, I had this done for my comfort, not for looks. I'm proud of my choices and my scars. I won't hide them, there's a heck of a good story behind them.

Crazy pain and swelling

But only in the left side. I wonder why that is. IV in the left hand? More lipo on that side? I did have an extra pocket of fat there I wanted gone. Who knows.

I sent a whack of questions to the doctor on Thursday and didn't get a response. Now it's the weekend and I see the surgeon Monday anyway.

Still just taking ibuprofen for pain but my back went in to spasm a couple days ago too so I have taken cyclobenzaprine which makes me a zombie.

Going to the bathroom has been more difficult this time around too, I think because of my back spasms.

I'm feeling the blues too.

I have been getting sharp pinching pain in my armpits, funny tingling feelings that feel like bugs under my bandages, and my bandages are slipping, which naturally upsets the drama queen within me. Oy.

Five Days Post-Op, Unwrapped.

Everything is going well. No more bandages for me, no compression. I just have to be careful, but I can be normal. No weights for a long time. No problem. My back was in spasm during this visit and I think Dr. Wanzel thought my reactions were to seeing my arms. Not the case at all, I had to email Helen to tell her to tell him I love them so far!!!! Here are some pics....yes, I let my son play with an implant. :)

One week after...

7 days post-op, lots of bruising and swelling remains. When my arms are down, it feels like I have softballs in my armpits. I am able to do a little more with my arms now, but there is lots of pulling and tugging, especially in the armpit. I think I will be one of the 25% that has an armpit that won't close. I had my first real shower today, it went better than I expected. I am still sleeping all night in one position, on my back, legs and arms elevated. It only helps with the swelling a little. I'm a side sleeper, this is getting annoying too. Patience, Beth. Patience.

Two weeks post-op

My Steri-Strips are coming off and I'm starting to get wigged out because I can see the scar now. I am petrified of the armpit ones coming off the most. Open armpits...no thanks. I'm ridiculous. I think everything looks okay so far. My left arm scar is more flat and my right is "ropey"....bulgy. I have pain and tightness down the inside of my forearms. Still sleeping on my back, on the foam wedge. My back is a mess. I want to sleep on my sides again. Seeing Dr. Wanzel tomorrow. Wonder if he's going to yank all the strips. Yikes!!

Saw Dr. Wanzel

He is pleased with how things are going so far. He removed the steri-strips and stitches and gave me the preparation just in case my armpits don't really like what is going on in them ("the body doesn't like corners") :)

I go back to see him in a month, but in the meantime I get to start the massage of the scars.

I am having crazy pain in my forearms still but for the most part my movement is good. No weights for at least six weeks, the longer the better. I told him I am petrified of these things opening so I will hold off. I also have pinching feelings in my armpit but they aren't constant. It all wigs me out. :)

I also asked about the extra skin in my armpits. Because it is "crepe-y" it has to stay. I'll deal with it. I trust him.

I am posting updated pics of my tummy and breasts on my other review. I can't believe that has been six months already!

Pics are good

When you're feeling a little critical of what you're seeing in the mirror, questioning just how much was done, a little perspective snaps you back in to reality and makes you thankful. My surgeon is brilliant!!

Four weeks post op

Late update, this is last week, four weeks post.

"Four weeks post op. Uncontrollable swelling, and new, non-stop pain all along the scar. Excruciating forearm pain also continues. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Sorry the first pic is blurry."

Five weeks, late again

No change in pain or swelling, visible bruising again....huh?
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Wanzel is an amazing and talented surgeon. He takes pride in his work and does not make promises he isn't sure he can keep. I think it works well that I don't seek perfection (though his work is pretty perfect) and he doesn't want his patients to look unnatural. He explains everything thoroughly, right down to the little things that can be expected. I am so happy I chose him to do my surgeries. Helen is also wonderful. She is very friendly and helpful with returning phone calls and emails.

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Comments (40)

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I going to have arms done in the nx month along with a thigh lift. How long until you could lift light things and drive? Do you still have pain? How bad was it after surgery? Why did you have back spasms? I would appreciate anything you can tell me. Your arms look great
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I'm still not lifting anything over five pounds, more by choice. I haven't been cleared to lift weights yet anyway. I tried driving around three weeks post, the tightness and pain held me back a lot though. I have pain just along the incision and the back of my arms. From elbow to wrist on the underside of my forearm is where the pain is absolutely insane. I am no baby, I don't even need meds post op, but this borders on intolerable. I don't know what it is, I'm told swelling. It feels like horrible bruising that I am continuously punching. Lol. The back spasms are from a decades old back injury and flare up, and the ability that I rely on my arms where I have no back strength. Not using my arms right after surgery meant I was doomed. :). It's still worth it. I can't complain too much. I'm not really complaining, I'm just telling it like it is. Yes, it's sore, but it could be worse, it will only get better. :)
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Okay, autocorrect made some of that not make sense, and I can't even figure out what I was trying to say about my back spasms. Ugh.
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I'm wondering if your pain is nerve pain. That's awful you hurt so bad. I would expect tightness and soreness but not pain in for arms. I'm a RN and want to know as much as possible before I have the surgery. Would you do it again?
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Oh yeah, for sure I would. All the excess skin I had was uncomfortable too, and not getting better. It's a different pain but will get better. The sensitivity I feel along the incision is nerve pain for sure. I compare it to the pain I had and still occasionally have in my boobs. The other odd thing about the forearm pain is that when I do stretch them straight I have visible lines of ligament or something (I can feel it too, it's like wires under the skin), and that is where the pain travels down to the wrist. I didn't have that before surgery. I guess there is just so much trauma to the arms.
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It does sound like ligament. Thanks for your help. You look great. I hope the pain goes away for you.
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You look wonderful, great job on the arms
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He did a really nice job with your arms!
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Hahaha the Drama queen within you!! At least you have kept your sense of humor!!
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Good luck today!! Can't wait to see your results!!
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Thanks. I'll be updating soon. He actually told me today that he met you Monday. :)
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Really! I put your name on the form that I filled out. I booked my surgery today. It's April 30th!
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Awesome!!!!!
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I started driving a little bit about two weeks after my arm lift. The doctors rule was no pain meds and when I was able to fully control the car. Driving was a little rough so I stayed close to home, but we've had a lot of winter here. After surgery, I was wrapped up tight for the first week and then into a compression garment with sleeves. I would suggest that you have 2-3 of them on hand (unless you PS provides them) especially because the incision thru the armpit and down needs to be protected 24/7 for awhile. My doctor wants me to keep wearing mine until the 8 week mark to keep the swelling down and I have found I am most comfortable wearing them. Also, post op you will need a few days of drinking thru a straw, not being able to lift anything and wearing loose clothing, pretty standard post op stuff.
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Thanks. I was going to use tensor bandages but I guess I should get a garment since my incisions will go down my chest too. I will have to ask the med company I buy from how their fit is. I won't know if it will be tight on my arms until my arms are done, right?
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The assistant at my PS said that I should go by bust size since the "new" arms would be in proportion to the rest of me. I bought a medium and was able to move it to the smallest hooks after a few days. My arms went from 16" around to 10". I did get a garment with full sleeves - that one is most comfortable for sleeping but a pain any other time. And the bandages were always slipping and digging into things, as much as the garments are expensive, they are worth it to me.
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I totally agree, and thanks for the tip. :)
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I am so glad I came across your profile the other day. I have lost 130lbs and I have been researching like mad trying to find at good but reasonably priced surgeon. I called Dr. Wanzel's office today and spoke with Helen. I have scheduled a consultation for tummy tuck breast lift with implants for. March 10th. I am so excited. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
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Absolutely!! :)
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So excited for you!! Totally a brand new woman after all this!!!
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I'm scheduled to have a TT and arm lift on jan 14 at the same time. Considering you has a TT, would you say that there is no way you would if had the TT and arms done at the same time???
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I would have done it at the same time. I couldn't do my arms because I had the lift and implants. The doc said something about blood supply, plus I'd have discomfort in the chest and would need my arms to help me get "up". Now that I've been through it, I can't think of any reason a tuck and brachioplasty at the same time would be troublesome. Good luck!!
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So you don't think me trying to get out of a chair with arm lift and TT would be a big problem ?? I should still be able to move my arms?
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That I don't know, not having had the arms done. I also had a lift chair that I rented post op so I didn't have to lift myself out of the chair. The reason I had discomfort in my chest is we went under muscle with the implant. Any surgery messing with muscle is uncomfortable. Brachioplasty is just skin, my understanding, from my surgeon, is it won't be as uncomfortable.
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Yay Beth, congrats on booking your surgery, you're gonna look so amazing! On another note, I just noticed that I'm on my surgeon's page: http://www.realself.com/find/Ontario/Toronto/Plastic-Surgeon/martin-jugenburg-md#photo-1153530
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