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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?

Uh oh

Figures I have no issues until I see Dr. Wanzel on Monday and he says "see you in four months"

Left armpit, right at the end of my scar, I have a huge, hard, painful lump. I know about the pimple like bumps that resolve themselves, but I never had one this big or painful with the other surgeries. And this is less like a pimple and more like a boil. A big boil. As in it probably has it's own digestive and circulatory system. I think it waved at me.

I've attached pics so you all can laugh at the drama queen within me. Maybe this just seems huge to me because it looks like it's breathing, when in reality (which I am rarely in touch with) it's just a teeny nuisance.

13 weeks post op

Thirteen weeks post op. Overdue update on the arms, requested by many. Sorry. :(

The epic swelling remains in the left arm, which I believe was done by the student doctor. I also have new swelling in both armpits. You can see it in the pictures. Also on the left arm, down near the elbow I continue to have problems with, I think, a stitch. Very sore spot.

No more forearm pain, that went away in both arms a couple of weeks ago, so about ten weeks post op. I do still have pain on touch in both upper arms and along the scar line especially. I also have new pins and needles type pain all along the scar line. It's random and grabs my attention when it happens.

I am still frequently checking for openings, ripping, blood, because the pain I feel sometimes make me think something grody is going on.

I am training (cardio) like crazy for this marathon in November. Also lifting every other day, we are gradually increasing weight as my pain levels allow.

Even with all the fear and discomfort, I'd do this one over and over again if I have to. I just wish my armpit skin wasn't so crepe-like and he could have removed more in that area.

PS: that mother in my armpit started draining and settled down on it's own. It was vile. Lol.
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 (59)

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Do you have any updated pics? Arms look good. Congrats
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The pics were so helpful. You are a very courageous woman to do all that work. Kudos!
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You are amazing!! Makes me 2nd guess wanting my arms done. Wow. I'm glad you think it is worth it even though, it has been painful. You must be so proud of yourself for losing the weight and getting skin removed. Amazing. I want to be like you one day!!! Please post updated pics when you get a chance.
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How are you doing now? We all would like to see new posts!
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How's your healing going with your arms??
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What does it cost to get the fat cut off of your arms. How long are you laid up? See where other people are talking about next your skin and armpit. Does everyone have that? What is your telephone number please.
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Hi Beth - your arms look amazing! I am 2 weeks post-op (my arms were huge and hanging very low as a result of a 100lb weight loss). My left arm still seems big and fat. did you experience that as well? My right arm is a work of art and if it stayed this size forever I would be thrilled. I can't believe it will get thinner once the swelling reduces. I just hope the left one does too. Getting nervous!
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You're so awesome!! I can't wait to get mine done! It def looks worth it to me!!! You go girl!!
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You look great `So of all the procedures which was the easiest recovery in your opinion and personal experience pain wise etc.
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Thanks. :) So far, I have to go with the first one I had. The boobs and tummy. Had them at the same time, no pain or issues with the breasts, or maybe what I felt with the ab repair distracted me from the breasts. I think it was easier because we really take our arms for granted. That's why the arms were bad for me. :)
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Thanks Beth...I am doing Arms and Tummy on the the 11th and then my breast reduction and lift on the 18th in November. I am staying at a recovery retreat and am taking as long as needed to recover fully I know a luxury. I asked this question because my pain tolerance seems to have lessened with age. :)
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That's so exciting! It's hard, but take all the time you need to recover. It is major surgery. You will do great. I have a high tolerance for pain and used very little meds post-op. Use what you need, don't be a hero, rest your body, listen to your body, and you may surprise yourself. :)
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Owch that looks sore. Feel better soon. I have a question about your breast implants. How many cc did u go with. Dr. Wanzel wants to go with 335cc for me and I'm afraid that I'm going to think they are to small. He says bigger would be to heavy for my skin and nights sag. Surgery in 6 days I kinda starting to panic about it
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365cc. He chose for me. I didn't know and I just trusted him to know what he is doing since he is a boob expert. I wanted a natural proportioned look and long term success (meaning no sag). I'd trust his judgement. :)
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Wow, your arms looks amazing, and damn, check out those muscles! Also, I wanted to thank you, because I kinda sorta stole your PS. 'Dr Amazeballs' sure is right, he did an amazing job on my breast lift/aug 3 months ago!
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Your arms and breast look so good. Sorry to hear about the paid you have. Sometimes I wonder reading all the posts from people who have multiple surgeries if the amount of surgeries on the same day have to do with some of the results in pain, etc. I can imagine that a doctor must get tired and arms can take longer than expected and they need to get both of them as equal as possible. My arm lift took longer than expected and I got an additional bill from the hospital for $ 200 for the additional time the doctor needed the room for surgery and I was informed that could happen. the doctor didn't charge me additional since that was a flat fee. I was back at work within days and the most uncomfortable I was ended after the 3 stitches were taken out and the swelling went down and later the garment became my best friend. I'm now 3.5 month post OP and I couldn't be more happy with the result. Only now and then I feel a tiny thing but that might be something that without a surgery I would also would have felt but I don't remember. I'm still using the biocorneum twice daily. I understand the benefit of combining surgeries for recovery time and saving on money but in the end I have the feeling that doing one at the time might be better unless they are small surgeries but arms and breast (if put behind the muscle) can be intensive. You look good and hopefully you feel better soon.
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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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That's interesting I'll have to research why that happens. But it's always different because so much is taken off. But it must have caused nerve damage to cause so much pain. Nerve damage always refers it self to other areas. Like back often go down legs and feet and sciatic. Keep in touch and let me know how you do. Hopefully it will stop. But you look really good.
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I am glad to read your post , I too took my arms for granted , I am 5 weeks post arm lift and face lift.thought my face would cause me the most pain , boy was I wrong, the first few days forget pulling my own under wear up lol .even eating was a challenge. Back to work in 2 week's and drive a lot got used to using my thighs to help steer. My incisions are so sore and my arms just feel tender and hate to say it make me feel grumpy. Wondering when do they feel normal again? Any advice to speed up recovery.
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