I am a 37 year old mother of my seven year old son...

I am a 37 year old mother of my seven year old son. I have been married for almost 15 years to a man who loved me at my largest, 350.8 pounds. I have lost almost 170 pounds and am gearing up for plastic surgery to fix what I did to my body by abusing it with food.

The first surgery I am getting is breast lift and augmentation (extended breast feeding did a number, weight loss did them in) and a tummy tuck (excess skin removed and muscle repair). The second one I am planning is an arm lift, so that for the first time in my adult life I can wear a short sleeved shirt. The last surgery is butt and thigh lift. I am sure I will need this however my body is still showing gradual change in those areas.

I chose Dr. Kyle Wanzel in Toronto for two reasons. His reviews are near perfect, also, my friend went to med school with him briefly and recommended him. I did meet with a surgeon closer to where I live, but didn't like the idea he does his surgeries out of his clinic versus a hospital.

I had my first consult with Dr. Wanzel in March and really liked him. His assistant Helen is wonderful and patient also. I was slightly uncomfortable standing in front of the doctor in such a way I haven't even let my own husband see me, but it wasn't as awkward as I thought because he was so professional about it. He has a calming demeanor and a sense of humor. He was very thorough. A that time we agreed I should lose about 30 more pounds before the surgery. I've done that so I am now going to see him again July 18th to put my deposit in and book the surgery. It's obvious he takes pride in his work and this isn't just about money to him. He wants me to look good and natural.

I am hoping that I can use this site as a way to meet others and get advice and all that fun stuff as I can be a bundle of nerves at times. I have done so much research using this site already, I'm glad I found it. :)
Congrats on your weight loss. What a great story. I know you are looking forward to your surgery. I know I am!!
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Thank you so much!
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Date secured!

So I saw the surgeon on Thursday and we have a plan and a date.

The breast lift and augmentation: he has decided to go under the muscle for me. He said he was on the fence and I guess after a little bit of back and forth ultimately decided this would be the best route. I am happy about this, even though I was good either way. Reading a lot more now that this will be best for me. I don't recall the exact size, but the odd number of 347cc is standing out. He recommended that for the most natural look. I'm easy. My husband was probably hoping for much larger but I want natural. ;)

The tummy tuck and muscle repair I guess is just going to be typical. I had a c-section seven years ago without complication and have a nice faded scar so he thinks I will do well with this.

My surgery is scheduled for September 25th. I am freaking out about not waking up or having dire consequences of doing this. I guess that's a normal reaction? I'm worried about having a panic attack before too.

We are staying in a hotel the night of my surgery as the hospital will charge me $1200 to stay. Hotels are cheaper and I will have hubby with me. Doing this because we are an hour plus away from the hospital.

I may post pictures this week. I've got lots and I am almost brave enough to take the nudie ones, since the surgeon took his before pictures Thursday. Mortifying! ;)

A few pictures....

These aren't the "skin" pictures, I still have to take those. My surgeon took the before pictures already. Since then I have lost another ten pounds. These are at various stages during my journey. The before picture I use, I was at my heaviest. I was holding a baby that wasn't mine and I was not pregnant. In fact, this was taken around the time we were told we couldn't have kids. Yes, my son is a true miracle. :)

I figured I should start adding pics though...perhaps that will get me on top of updating.
Does anyone know Dr Dickie from Barrie? I am finding that I am loosing sleep over this procedure and it is consuming my thoughts. It seems as though thousands of women have this proceedure done and is becoming the norm! Regardless, I'm still freaking out about it. Im trying to prepare myself for mega pain!
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I'm sure you've seen this? He has good reviews and a good rating. :) http://www.ratemds.com/doctor-ratings/955826/Dr-Kenneth-Dickie-Barrie-ON.html
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Awesome story! Best of luck
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Half of me is gone, and I did it on my own.

Now that I have lost over half of myself, I wanted to share this picture we took to show what five weeks of serious planking (and similar exercises) can do to the love handles. I can't believe I look like this before my surgery, when I weighed over 350 pounds. I'm boggling my own mind....finally. :)
Countdown is on! Fear and excitement! Tummy tuck aug 27th! Freaking out that I'm gonna wake up in agony! Nurse told me that ain't gonna happen! Freaking out anyway ! :).
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Good luck!!
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Hey Sara, I'm scheduled in Barrie! Surgery starts at ten thirty! Yes, I have thought about doing the same thing (letters)! I've also had this fear of standing up too quickly and ripping my stitches wide open. I've also had a continuous fear of my cat pouncing on my stomach during recovery and I end up in excruciating pain!!! On and on its goes! Lets keep in touch!! We can help each other through!
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Scary old pictures.

This was just over one year ago. I haven't seen them since they were taken. I have never felt so horrified, but I needed to see them when I did. When I was that big, I didn't "see" it like that. And now that I have lost 177 pounds, I still see myself this way, in my head. I'll add another, taken today, of me and my son. What a difference taking some selfish time to look after me can make. :)

I am having a hard time reaching my surgeons office about my down payment. I think she secured. My date, she gave it to me, without a down payment. She didn't take the payment because she was going to try to get me an earlier date. Now I am panicking that my date isn't really secured because I didn't put a payment down. This is the first time I've had a communication problem with them. I'd drive to the office but it's an hour away. Grr.
Wow you accomplished a lot of weight loss! You look great now and the surgery is going to give you amazing results! good luck with your surgery. Great pics
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Ha! I was. Reading your story when you commented on mine. :) Thanks!
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Stupid ipad inserting periods where they aren't needed. ;)
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A few more weeks....

I hope they fly by, because I am anxious and my back is killing me, I suspect from the stress I am putting on myself. I wish I could just relax. I can easily say that I am looking forward to this and know I will be fine but mentally I am reacting much differently. Blah.

I have been overwhelmed reading about all the little tips to help. I think to help my back a little we are going to rent a walker. I feel like I am 90, I may as well play. The part. :)

I already have the Total Body Pillow from Hammacher Schlemmer (never used it but it feels awesome!) and a binder and bras (pics attached). Apparently they will provide those to me as well, but I know you need at least two for cleaning purposes.

I feel like I should make a list or something because every little detail I am afraid to miss overwhelms me even more. If I put stuff on paper maybe it won't look so bad.

Please, tell me to lighten up. :)

Do I have to drink colon blow the night before? Do I need a pre-op with my family doc? When I secured my date, all I got was general day of surgery "rules" (no earrings, remove nail polish, etc.) and directions for where to go once I arrive at the hospital. I guess I will contact my PS office this week to ask these silly questions.

And I was so worked up about getting my period since I track them and it was to arrive the day of my surgery (not allowed tampons, ugh) but last month I started early (!!!) so that altered the projected date for this month. Hopefully it will come on time which means it will be done by surgery day. Pleaseohplease.

I'm ridiculous. :)
Inspiring weightloss!!!!!!! Wish u all the very best! U will rock it!
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Thank you so much! :)
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Hey beansie thanks for the update! That pillow looks incredible!!! I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before!!! Pls don't stress too much over the surgery! I know that's easier said than done! Everything will be just fine! I know sometimes reading people's posts before hand can be a positive thing and sometimes a negative! All of us have good and bad things to say, but it really truly is not that bad! The first two days you are pretty much down and out (sleeping a lot)! But after that each day gets better, just know there are little bumps along the way and we all have them and we get through them! Everyone mentions their little bumps in all their posts! It is these bumps that get us down and out but at the end of it all I have yet to read one post that's says they regret it! The ladies on this site are so incredible! You can reach out for help and they will be there for you! You will do just fine!!! You look so incredible already and soon you will reap the rewards from all your hard work with a slim sexy belly!!! Can't wait to see you on the flat side!! :)
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Skin and Nipples and Undies, Oh My!

It's taken me long enough...and I am so freaked out about posting these here "allllll over the internet" but what the heck. I have little shame left. If my family or friends happen upon these, they don't have to look.

I will post descriptions with the pics.....
Hey! Let me just say, your post weight loss body is impressive! You really DID spring back! Your post OP body is gonna be off the hook!!!
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Thanks!! Lots of hard work and plenty of luck too. :)
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You are amazing!!!! Good for you! I am always interested in posts from fellow Canadian's because we have the same health care system. I am going on Sept 13 for a TT and BA, I will let you know how I make out and hopefully that will put your mind at ease
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As I said, "I feel like I am 90, I may as well play the part"...

Today we rented a walker and a reclining lift chair for the post op period. Now all I need is some Ben Gay and a box of Depends and I will have my senior citizen status. :P
Your jouney is incredible!!!! I can't wait to see you after pix! What a true inspiration you are! Losing all that weight is a reward in itself. What's next is simply icing on the cake. :)
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Yummmm, icing....cake.... Heh. Thank you. I am so thankful that I hit my rock bottom and had my lightbulb moment at the same time. I've changed my life. And now it's almost time to help others do the same.
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Great pics cant wait to see your after pics because you have a great body already!
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Things are coming together, less than two weeks to go!

Talked to the surgeon this morning. Got the okay for Arnica....for my back pain (since I can't take meds now), said the added bonus is it helps with surgery swelling. I sort of knew that from here. I'm just not sure how much to take. I have a little bottle of tabs. I also have massage oil that my hubby has been putting on my back.

I have to be at the hospital for 9:30 as my surgery is at 11:30. I'm still slightly anxious but feeling more calm as Inge fall in to place. I have my last appointments lined up with my chiro, I'm seeing my family doc next week (she hasn't seen me since I lost this 182 pounds!) to see about some anxiety meds to keep me calm and something to keep me from feeling pukey after, as well as a good muscle relaxant for post surgery, since going in to it my back is already a mess.

I am overly dramatic but I am starting to accept that what will be, will be. I can't change or prevent anything, I can only deal with it and I am fortunate to have resources, tools and people to help me through it all.

I am having a bit of mommy guilt as my surgery isn't until a Wednesday but I'm having my mom and dad take my son for the week starting the Sunday before. That gives me a couple of stress free days before the surgery (he is seven and very stressful to me right now, LOL) without me having to say goodbye to him the night before or the day of. This way I can say my goodbyes but have many more chances to see him before that final one, should I need it. Or I can just call him.

I told you, I'm ridiculous. :)

All is well. All is well. All is well.....
I also have lower back pain and am worried how worse it's going to feel after surgery. I'm going to get a walker to assist or I don't think I'll be able to function at all.
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When is your surgery? If I am before you, I will keep you posted. I am such a hot mess, I can be toast for six weeks just putting on a pair of socks or rolling over the wrong way. Coughing or sneezing blows it out too. So I think if I can be that bad and survive this, you may not have much to worry about. :)
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I'm the same way. My back can go out from bending over while brushing my teeth, sleeping on my back, getting out of bed. You name it! I'll keep a supply of muscle relaxers on hand too. My surgery is December 20, so I'm trying to do more exercises to strengthen my back by then. And I've never been to a chiro, I know I should give it a try.
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Random blatherings...

Let's start with a TMI for your reading pleasure. I was so worried about my period coming on the 25th, surgery day, because my tracker was predicting that. But I got it this morning, perfect 28 day cycle. I have/had (?) PCOS and now that I have lost weight seemed to have reversed those problems. :) Now I don't have to deal with a gross maxi pad on the day of surgery. Thank goodness!!!

My son has a cold and I have been fighting it off for a couple of weeks, faithfully drinking my organic apple cider vinegar every day (it works), but I am still waking up kind of grungy every morning. Will they still do surgery if I get a cold?

We went to the US today to do some shopping so I picked up a whack of things there (cheaper, better selection) for post op. I'm feeling much more calm and excited about this coming up now that things are coming together. :)

Ten more days....
btw, I got my period day 1 post op that was wonderful ... and then, more TMI since you're throwing it around .... I got a yeast infection from the antibiotics UGH... if you're prone to that (which I have always been with antibiotics) I hear (although I heard too late) that you can ask for something in advance to prevent it (live and learn) I survived though! all of that! lol
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Good Lord, that blows! I'm not prone, but I heard yogurt after surgery can help. I will be on that just in case. :)
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I am SOOOOO excited for you!!!! I cannot WAIT to see your results!! tick tock tick tock... ;)
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One more week!

One week from now I will be getting ready to leave for the hospital. I have to be there at 9:30 and my surgery is at 11:30. I am surprisingly calm and excited to just get it over with so I can deal with all my irrational fears.

I went to my family doctor yesterday. I haven't seen her in about nine months. Since then I have had the biggest changes in my body and face from the weight loss, and her reaction was priceless. Definitely the best one I've had thus far. She walked in the room and did a double take and stared at me as if she was trying to process who the heck I was. Of course that all happened in about two seconds. It was funny. She gave me a prescription for Ativan for possible anxiety and Flexeril, a muscle relaxant.

I have a busy week ahead of me, I am very in demand socially right now. I guess all my friends want to see me before I go in....so do I, just in case. ;) I will be fine though. I know this. :)

Good luck to everyone coming up and happy healing to those who have recently been done!
Hi Beth C It's so ironic that you follow my postings, when I first started discovered RealSelf, this past August and prepared for my own TummyTuck, I read what you we're writing. My thoughts then were that of our bodies and how forgiving they are, your hard work shows, your spirit shines....Your tremendous weight loss, truly amazing. Your body has responded to the love & caring you've put into yourself girl...you've truly learned to LOVE YOURSELF....YOU lost the weight, nobody else ...YOU ...and on your own ( I'm sure you have lots of support from friends and family.....) embrace your your accomplishments..... Now your preparing your mind....be positive and move forward.....YOU are a beautiful young woman blessed with a handsome loving husband & an adorable young son..FYI ( your 7 year old son will be fine with Mom and Dad) Put that to rest.....you know they'll spoil him a bit more, that's what I do with my Grandkids ;) ****Damn,I'm preaching again**** I am just so happy for you...... I am glad that you are Preparing your mind, you are positive, your spirit is peaceful, you've done your homework....... as it should be.....before surgery.....all this will help heal your body after surgery...(laughter really helps too...... ) YOU want this change so damn bad your can taste it, I feel it!!!!!! September 25th how exciting.....no longer a dream to the FLAT SIDE BABY!!!!! You did the hard work, your surgeon will sculpt your body....with the skill of a great artist. Your beautiful on the inside, the outside just needs a few adjustments smooth out the rough edges .. OH MAN, can I babble on and on and on or what?.....have to tell ya I think it's the OXYCODONE thats making me go on and on....HEHEHE I've had a long day and a bit more pain this evening and I still can't take a dump, oh now that wasn't nice sorry LOL :) I've wanted to write to you a while now..... I chose a night I'm in pain and on drugs Hope I make sense LOL. If not my apologies ... (((((Hugs))))
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YOU....are the sweetest!! Thank you. :))
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I'm too prone to yeast infection but my doctor gave me a prescription for one pill that will prevent that from happening or stop it . Life saver for me
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Uh-oh.

Someone please tell me they won't cancel my surgery if I am sick. Three weeks, maybe more, my body has fought off all the germs, my son has been sick, I've been around sick people, I've been trying to be so careful. I think my body got tired of fighting it. I got a sore throat yesterday and I'm icky this morning.

I am drinking my organic apple cider vinegar and will amp up the fruits. I wanted to go in to this strong. My back was finally starting to feel better. I have literally not coughed or sneezed since the morning of February 16th, the day I sneezed and threw my back out, six hours before leaving for Las Vegas. Almost didn't get on the plane. That's how I remember the date. It scared me so much I have been afraid to sneeze since.

What is the universe trying to tell me? Or is it just that I am getting all these bad things out of the way so I can focus on healing next week? Yeah, that's gotta be it....this is a good thing. All is well....right?
In your corner (((hugs))) just thinkin' of you tonight!!!!
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If you're sneezing and coughing you will not want to do the surgery as it hurts your abs sooooo much to sneeze or cough. Fingers crossed that you knock it out before! Good luck
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Congratulations on your weight loss, I have my finger and toes crossed that you don't have to cancel your surgery. I would ask if you can take Oregano Oil. It's nasty but it works like a charm.
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What, me worry?

Never in my life have I wanted a cold to stay in my head more than I do now. Email from my surgeon...

"To be honest the hospital will only cancel your surgery if you have a high fever, or chest congestion, and if you have a bad cough. They have to insert the breathing tube....so not good if you're coughing."

Everything will be messed up if they cancel. Please stay in my head, or better yet, GO AWAY!!!!!
Oh no! Maybe do a sinus flush and take your vitamin C. I got a cold 5 days before my surgery. It was still hanging around a little by the morning of. I just drink lots of water and hot chicken broth, oh and I clear my throat a lot so I don't get enough build up to make me cough. I've been staying away from dairy and chocolate to keep the mucus under control.
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Dairy and chocolate, good tip!!! Thanks. :)
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Hope you're feeling better this morning...
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Saying goodbye

My husband and I took our son to Niagara Falls today to spend some time having fun, just the three of us. We live midway between Niagara Falls and Toronto and take the beauty of Niagara for granted since we see it often.

We walked around, went on the Sky Wheel and went to Margaritaville for lunch. Then it was time to take my son to my parents for the week. We visited for a bit and then I had the gut-wrenching task of saying goodbye. I know I will be fine, but he is very scared, just like I am, and it was serious business for both of us. Hubby snapped some pictures....because we are super dramatic that way. I thought I would share.
Thinking of you BethC! You will be ok! And before you know it you'll be back up and at it going about your daily routine and this process will be a piece of your past! I look forward to hearing from you! Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and take in 50 grams of protein shakes per day! Vital for muscle repair! And stay on top of your meds! I'm sure you have heard all this before! Just know that you have a very large cheer leading team routing for you! Your not alone....we are with you and you'll do great!! xo
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I understand but stay positive u will see your son very soon... are day is near for u to be on the flat side an girl with that weight loss you deserve to be flat..
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Good luck!! You will do great!! Congrats on your awesome weight loss!!! I lost some but nothing like you, you go girl!! I am almost 10 weeks post op and even though I have had highs and lows its been so worth it!!! It's amazing!!!! Just get lots of rest and let people take care of you!!
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Not looking good.

You wouldn't know it from the outside, but inside, I am having the meltdown of the century. I have never hated a cough and cold more than I do now. Calling the surgeon's office when they open.

Every surgeon on here in the Q&A say cancel (when someone else asked). I feel like I can't. I want it over with. We have rented medical equipment, taken time off work, my back pain and period worked out, I can't wait months again. We have a trip planned in February. Wednesday was the perfect date. And a cold, a stupid little cold, will ruin it all.

I made my body healthy and now it is letting me down when I need it strong the most. :(
I hope u feel better and everything will turn out fine and I send my prayers to you.
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I am going thru the same thing. About to call my ps now due to sore throat. Hopefully we both get cleared. Good luck!
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I hope it works out for you!!
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Thank you all....

I called and left a message. Haven't heard back yet. I'm going back and forth between "nothing I can do but roll with it" and "why meeeee?" Heh.
Hi Beth... Any word on weather or not your surgery is going ahead? I haven't stopped thinking about you..... Keep us posted!
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Prayers to u :( I totally understand an I am sure all the TT gals do. We spend a lot of time preparing our homes, lives an bodies that it would be hard to have to reschedule. Hope u feel better soon an keep is posted
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You are in my thoughts and prayers (((hugs)))
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So far, I assume I'm still on for tomorrow.

Instead of replying individually, I thought I'd update here.

I just posted my Facebook status...."Dry toast and Ativan, breakfast of champions". Not hearing from the surgeon yesterday made me feel we may still be on. Of course that can change once I drive all the way into the hospital. But I don't think it will. I'm not coughing. I don't have mucus in my lungs. If there was a chance they would cancel, they would have called me back because they would want to fill that OR time. I talk like I know how it all works. I don't. I'm making stuff up so I can feel more in control. Ugh.

So yes, I will say I am not cancelled. Hence the Ativan. ;)

"Kathy is ready", I learned how to eat properly. I also started making exercise my passionate and priority. It really is a science that is constantly changing. I wanted to never diet again because diets fail. I wanted to learn how to eat everything, even the yummy treats, and still lose because if I just dieted, eventually if would want that brownie. I share a lot more detail on Facebook, if anyone wants to friend me there, feel free: www.facebook.com/forensicsgal

I will update later if I hear anything, otherwise expect to hear from me after my surgery. Good luck to everyone sharing the date, everyone coming up and thanks to all for your support. :)
Congrats on the weight loss! I've lost 83 lbs and I agree with your doctor your body really did spring back! Your results with be fantastic! Good luck!!
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Wow…. incredible. I commend you on a job VERY well done! the best to you on your surgery day and long after. Keep us updated. you're going to look beautiful!
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Best of luck let us know what happened and how everything went
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Heard from the surgeon

We are moving forward!! Now it feels surreal. And I have hit the phase of feeling selfish, putting myself at risk, risking my son losing his mother....and for what? Meh, I will get over it. :)

My medical rentals just arrived. My stunning power lift recliner and a super handy dandy wheeled walker. Has anyone seen my Ben Gay?
Can't wait to see how you are doing!!! So excited for you!!! What time is the flat side
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11:30 if all goes well. :)
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All will go well!!!! I will keep u in my prayers to keep you calm n relaxed :-)
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Today

The day is here. I'm a bundle of nerves, I feel sick, I didn't sleep well and my back is already killing me. Hopefully I have no regrets. I going to try to turn my thinking around. I need to.

Here is one last shot, from a different angle. I realized I have a cute little freckle on my tummy I won't have anymore. Weird. :)
Beth C Resting is healing ,that's all good.... Sending (((strength)) ((((good vibes)))) ((((healing)))) LiveLoveBelieve
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Hope all went well !!! You in my prayers today
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Warm and fuzzy,Healing hugs!!!!! You've been in our thoughts and prayers all day.... All your dreams have come true welcome to the rest of your life... Hang in there girl the worst is over :-)
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Day after

I have a high tolerance for pain but this is unreal. I'm having a lot of episodes blacking out. Still trying to get home soon. :(
blacking out? do you have a pain pump? I didn't have any pain after I woke up with the pain pump and the percocets i was good to go just moving slowly and adjusting to being hunched over. please tell your doctor if your blacking out :)
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I have had a couple of those episodes remember lots of water, take the pain Meds, rest, if u get up walk slow an I walked slow but not enough an I get very light headed ...
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Can someone tell me how to cough? Ugh

Surgery was five hours, I was in recovery for one, then in the family visiting area. They rushed me around there getting me mobile and peeing and I think that was when I had my first blackout episode. Chaos everywhere, my eyes were spinning weird, i was dry heaving. They were going to make me leave but then after that first episode they put me in the short stay unit where I slept until around 9 and they had to kick me out.

I see Kyle next Thursday and that will be my first reveal. No showers until then. My hair is already a disaster.

I really need to cough. The pillow trick doesn't work, I had some pretty good muscle repair, I feel like I'm going to blow out stitches if I cough too hard. I can't worry abut that, right?

My drains are huge and obtrusive.

Nothing seems to be touching any of my pain. :(
Hi Beth! We made it :).... My pain is manageable but drains are a pain. I can not cough as well... Feels as if everything will burst apart. My temp as been up slightly because of my lack of deep breathing and coughing. Bp is low. I stayed in hospital an extra night and going home in the morning. Saw my belly with dressing change this morning...looks all wrinkled but my surgeon was pleased and said it will settle when swelling goes down. How are you doing ?
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I'm glad you did so good. :). I haven't seen anything yet except where the binder rode up I see my tube stitched in. I can't see anything until next Thursday!!!
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first of all congrats on that amazing weight loss!!! cant wait to see your after photos. just take it easy and drink lots of water. hope your pain gets better.
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Can we talk poop? And pics...

My tummy is gurgling down low. I'm not sure I can go to the washroom (peeing is fine) and have been told no pushing or straining. Uh, I can't do that on a good day. It doesn't fall out of me. Sheesh. Is it too soon to try? Is it too soon to start my daily dose of Benefibre? I don't want to get any more uncomfortable than I already am.

My drains are huge, not those cute little bulb things everyone else seems to have. Hubby is clearing them for me. He's the best. My upper body pain from the lift and implants is no worse today than after an arm day workout. However I do feel I am being harpooned square in the nipples.

The ab repair was extensive and the pain indescribable. The incision line is no worse than my c-section, just wider. The binder is rolling up on to my drain incision (he has them on my hips) and that is freaking me out.

I cannot take the binder off or the bra off until I see the doc next Thursday. No showers, just sponge baths. I feel I'm going to stink when he removes the binder next week. I hope the drains will come out then. I want to feel normal again.

I'm not as hunched over as I thought I'd be, that's a small blessing. My cooter and thighs sure look different....will that last? ;)

I really thought I'd be tougher than this. The cough is making things really bad though. The mucus is thick like gelatin. Sorry, only brutal honesty from this girl.
Grrrrrrrrrr.... I got an email…… That said it was from you. It was empty there was nothing written .....i know we had this happen before........grrrrrrrrr I'm glad you still have your sense of humor... Humor helps heal... I'm brutally honest as well.. I just put a spin to it....(((Hugs))). LiveLoveBelieve. Xxoxx
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I also came out of surgery with a busted fat lip. Whassupwiththat??
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Wow!!!! Well I have a huge blister on my back for some reason with. Long red mark :(
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I feel so bad

My binder feels like it's cutting off my circulation. Surgeon says I am not to remove it. I saw where one of my drains comes out because the binder is rolling up and pushing. There is just a stitch there, no covering. Will it get all infected? My tailbone is killing me, I have so much gas but can't push it out. The coughing is out.of.control. Burning, searing pain. Gah.
Ahhhh hope your pain level gets better :((((. Wonder if the binder is too tight. Should feel snug, but not so tight where it is pinching.
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I hope you improve over the next few days. Im 3 days post op and did not anticipate the pain being so bad.. I guess I underestimated all of the recovery pain and how hard it is to get around and get comfy... :( hopefully its all worth it...
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Update, three days post op

Is this supposed to be the worst day?

I had a rough night with back pain, lower and upper, shoulder and neck pain too. Sleeping in a recliner is brutal.

I decided today it's time to get my act together. My son comes home, I don't want to scare him. I need to move more. I need to get this gas out. The coughing is still happening. It feels like my intestines are coming out my incision.

I'm still so tired.

My boobs are starting to burn at the sides too. I've stopped Percocet (hoping to get my bowels moving) and am taking Tylenol back pain, hoping to help my back too. I am not sure if this has been a wise move or not. I'm hurting.

My drains are still producing stuff but less each day.

Hubby loosened my compression garment a little. In the one pic I am sharing, you can see the line the nurse drew on it for where the doctor had it. It's about an inch away now. I feel a little better, but at the same time not so great about it.

The other pic, the drains are in the way but you can kind of see how flat I am. In case you aren't sure what you're looking at, I'm facing left in the picture and have my hand on my belly. My left arm is behind my back.

Still thankful for the help here...
Hang in there Hun ever day it gets better
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You will need to take some laxative because yo have been on pain meds. - take the pain meds and the laxative - there's no need to stress your body out. Pain makes your body produce cortisol (stress hormones) and that is not good to have for prolonged periods. Stopping the pain meds may not be enough, you will need help to go so dulcolax or MOM is great.
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Hi Beth! I can't believe it's already day 3 for you! That's awesome! Time flies by so quickly! It is a long journey to recovery so just take it one day at a time! We can all give you advise (which don't gets wrong, I think it's fabulous that we can help each other and learn from each other) but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you! The body is incredible so please listen to it and know your limitations! It will guide you through the healing process! And what works for some may not work for others! It can be a trial and error thing at times because not every remedy works the same for everyone! Just remember, you are 3 days po and that itself is FANTASTIC!!! Be proud you have made it! Find something positive to focus on today and seek strength in loved ones and of course your Realself friends! Sending positive healing thoughts your way! :)
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Keeping It Real....The Ugly Truth

I've been hit by the tsunami of pain. Completely unexpected and devastating. I had the one good day after several bad that gave me hope I was improving and have taken a million steps back. No gradual pain increase, just hit suddenly. I am back on the narcotics. The trade offs aren't worth it. I can't care.

I've also been hit by post operative depression. It's common, especially after this surgery. But it is not acknowledged, talked about and worst of all not treated. There is no treatment. The treatment is to not have the surgery at all. Adding extra stress and drama didn't help. I should have told the world before my surgery to just be kind to me after. Or I should have just shut the world out. I can't tell if it's my fault. It probably is. I have to blame someone.

I can't laugh at anything. I want to laugh. It's the best medicine, right? My insides feel they are being ripped apart. The searing pain all through my body just laying still is enough to make me want to die. Even narcotics provide little relief. I have been in this binder since surgery. It is tighter than the grip of an anaconda. I cannot remove it. I don't know what is happening to me underneath it. Is my skin healing? Are my intestines hanging out like I feel they are? My guts are feeling crushed, my ribs feel broken. I am not breathing right. I am itchy everywhere. I will get no relief until at least Thursday. At that point I'm sure I will be ready to rip all my skin off. The binder rolls up at the sides and up my back. It digs in at exactly the spot the drains are stitched in to my hips. Those spots are no longer covered by bandages. It's raw and exposed. Nerve endings. Burning pain. I don't know if I ever had bandages there. I probably should have. I wonder about infection. Yet still, the surgeon says keep the binder on.

It's not like I want to remove it anyway. I feel it's holding everything together inside. Getting up and walking hunched like I have to, I get such a tired burning pain from my boobs to my crotch. I can't stand or walk for long. My flank muscles have completely seized up. I have been on my back since surgery. Always on my back. My tailbone hurts. I have to sleep elevated, on my back. There is no relief until the drains come out. Praying for Thursday.

I am hot. I am cold. I am tense. I am sad. I want to shower. I feel like if I could just clean my hair (dry shampoo does jack shit in case you are wondering) and make my face not feel like leather and put on a little mascara I would be a different person. Not until at least Thursday. Damn you Thursday, where are you?

All of this I chose. And why? I don't know anymore. I'm told some day I will know and I will be so grateful. But right now, I think I am certifiably batshit insane for paying $13,000 to feel like this.
So glad today is going so much better for you!!! :((((hugs)))) to you
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Oh my Beth... Sure seems as if you are having a difficult time. I just want to hug you and tell you that this will pass. Your review is so honest and real....love it. chin up girlfriend...brighter days ahead
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This a few days (weeks) of misery for a life time of looking like the athletic woman warrior you are...take the drugs and go to a salon for a wash and blow out....tell them you had an appendectomy -or not. Hang in there !
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Better day....

Thanks, Hubby. A picture. He washed my hair. What a difference. No makeup but earrings! And satin on my skin. Little things make a day better.
I was just remembering that I not only took my pain pills around the clock, my doctor prescribed Xanax as well and I took it when I had anxiety, which I did have a few times that first week. Soon I was just using it every night to sleep well, it's so relaxing. When the bottle was empty, no worries, no addiction...and I was on the other side of all this! Good luck!
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Oh sweety, I'm with you. I am postop day 6. tomorrow will be one week. I am so sorry you are hurting so bad. That's exactly how I felt the first time I went through this last year. I told my husband why, why, why did I do this. It's not worth it. Agh! I cried and cried out of frustration and pain. I would have bet a million dollars that I wouldn't have done this again in less than 16 months! So as a tuck pro I'm telling you there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Some tunnels are just longer than others. Keep on top of your pain meds and don't be bashful about it. You are a beautiful lady and you will love your result. In time the pain will be a distant memory like childbirth pain.
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Beth, We all promise you, you will forget this part down the road. The depression, thoughts of why did I do this, those bad days will not supersede the good ones. Keep medicated, and rest. Your hair looks beautiful, as do the earrings!
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Someone tell me this is okay....please.

Freaking out this morning, my drain fluid has turned green. That is a sign of infection, I've heard. Keeping drains in too long can also cause infection and I feel, based on the output I have been having, they should have come out days ago. My surgeon is in the OR today, I hope I don't end up in a filthy germ infested ER for this. And I hope I don't have an infection. I don't want a set back now. :(((
Blahhhhh... typos work through them Sorry! LLB
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Hi Beth just because I haven't written much, Doesn't mean you haven't been in my thoughts... When I was reading your entry the ugly truth, It brought tears.... you're strong.... Being able to express everything that you're going through, Releases some of that burden.... I'm sure your surgery was more extensive, And a lot of ours..Therefore making your Recovery a bit more complicated... I never really had a huge compression Get up like yours... You must feel like An apprentice for Houdini... And Houdini left the building... Okay Beth I'm not here to make you laugh, Just to let you know we're here... As you're walking this path.... So great, Hubby was able to wash your hair.... Keep using that puffer For your lungs.... Needless to say to say when I used my Puffer I blew the top off it..... Totally broke the damn thing! Just kidding!!!! I think you Know that I'm full hot air.... (Wait a minute did I see a little smirk). Don't laugh now... I don't want you to hurt yourself LOL. Yes I continue to post lengthy entries.... Sharing all sorts of whimsical things that come into my brain.... My brain is a scary place to go.... It's a place I can escape from .... I live near the beach in New Jersey, Today my wizard and I are going, picnic, Play backgammon, And get some much-needed fresh air... I say I'm 91% Flat I still have swelling... Can't lay on my side.. And can't do jumping jacks! LOL Jumping jacks really are not high up on my priority list! Hahaha Can you have someone In your surgeons office Look at your Drains When My drains started to lose the redness.... It was a sort of Clear yellowish/ pale greenish discharge If you're able to try to sit Outside in the sun.. It some fresh air might help you clear your mind... If you're able to play game or watch a movie with your son... Anything to get your mind off yourself...(How is your son doing? ) Okay girl just know I'm sending my best..... Be proud of yourself.... Definitely your future is flat. :-) (((Hugs))) (((Smiles))) (((Warm fuzzy feelings))) LiveLoveBelieve
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Thank you. I have good news. Just like that, today I can laugh and cough with little to no pain. Still loving your posts and encouragement. It's the people here who really help us get through this because of the firsthand experiences. :) In 2011, my husband and I, our then 5 year old and my parents all piled in to my Ford Edge and made a road trip from home here near Toronto all the way to Wildwood NJ for a week. LOVED it. Envious that you live near the beach in NJ. I can't wait to get more healing fresh air. I feel so limited with these huge drains. For Canada, we are having beautiful summer like weather right now and I want to get out and enjoy it before it gets cold again. :)
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Drain pics....

Here is what the stuff looks like in the drain tubes....perfectly normal I think. So would it change color once it's been sitting in the actual reservoir after a while? It's so bizarre to me. I should just focus on how it looks in the tubs and once it's in the cup, just the quantity, right? (unless it gets funky) :)
Are you taking pain pills? You really should this is the time you should. How any days po are you beth? This is very scary. there are so many things that come up that we question is this normal? Communicate with your surgeon but I'm sure you are fine.
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I don't need them. I'm not hurting, just back issues related to sleeping in the recliner. That's a lie, I have the burning sensation in my boobs but it's tolerable. I'm not trying to be a hero, I will take them if I need them, but I just don't feel I do. I am one week out right now. Seeing the surgeon tomorrow, hoping he will yank the drains. :)
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I hope so too good luck Hun
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I can't believe this is me.

I am free of the drains. Everything is going great. My nipples weren't dead and black under the tape like I convinced myself. Drama queen extraordinaire.

This is me. Me with swelling. I'm going to get even better, but I'm willing to take THIS. Unreal. Totally.

The boobs will settle as time goes on as well, they are under the muscle and still high up there.

It feels surreal.

I go back the 18th for stitch removal and to talk scar therapy.

My surgeon is amazing.
You look amazing!!!! Every day will get better and better! Super happy for you!
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You look great! Thank you for sharing your story.
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You look AWESOME Beth!!!! Congrats getting your drains out so quickly too!! happy healing :)
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Hope this doesn't last.

Binder induced swell hell. I haven't been this hippy....ever. It's like my upper legs are shoulders. Please go away.
You look fantastic already! It's all downhill from here. Every day gets better! Congratulations on such a monumental weight loss!!! Hey, the most weight I've ever lost was 16 pounds over three months and I thought that was a BIG deal!!! You're obviously a very determined woman!!!
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Swelling is Crazy isn't it??? Besides that your . Looking good gal Rest & Heal..... I am still swelling... (((Hugs $))
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You look AMAZING! We are on similar paths, and are experiencing similar emotions. I did not have any boob work done though. :)
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Thank you all for your comments.

I apologize for not always responding directly but know that I appreciate the and am thankful for all my friends here.

Drawback Of Major Surgery #8637: Just had my first actual shower and now I need a nap.

The perk: I smell fantastic!!
WOW....you are one amazing woman! And it sounds like you have a pretty amazing husband as well. Good luck as you continue your journey and thanks for sharing with us!
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Ahh a shower I can not wait to have one of those again!!! So jelly but enjoy the perk!!!!
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You look great. Make me wish I would have went with a lift.
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Ouch!!!

Anyone else getting the Charlie horse type spasms in their abdomen while sleeping? I assume this has something to do both muscle repair, it sucks (when you already have an unstable back) to have your whole torso seize up in the night. It is like my body wants to stretch, but I am still in the recliner position, either in the chair or in the bed, with my knees elevated.

Another thing I wondered about, there is so much said about the binder, "don't wear it too tight", "but don't wear it too loose". How do you know? I can't believe I am 11 days out and feeling so out of the loop.
You look fabulous!!! Binder: when you put it on it needs to be snug- meaning fitting firmly but able to slip two fingers between it and your skin. :) hope it helps!! Also drinking some sports drinks each day will refinish you electrolytes and fluid balance (May help with the cramping) and will perk you up :) congratulations!!! Your boobies are amazing too- they will heal wonderfully!!
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Yup! Had the spasms too! It wasn't painful but uncomfortable and very weird! Haven't had any for a while though! Here's hoping yours goes away soon too!
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Girl! I was going to write something similar ... I kept waking up withy body wanting to stretch an it scared me !!!!! I didn't sleep good :(
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LLB Inspired, Side By Side

The ab work brought my waist in a lot. I didn't even realize it until I put them side by side. The one side shot isn't accurate, I had to flip the post-op one since I was facing the other way. Oops. :)
Looking great btw :)
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How are you feeling?
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Looking good girl!!! Ya sessy thang
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Pics at 13 days post op

I started a new review over in the brachioplasty area because I am hoping to get my arms done in March. I took pics of my arms for that so instead of waiting for tomorrow did the pics of my tummy and boobage today. :)

Had a good couple of days. Nights are still rough finding a comfortable way to sleep. My tailbone is begging for mercy, my shoulders and neck are a mess. I saw my chiro tonight and he did a modified adjustment on me. I feel so much better.

Not much else to report, next appointment with Dr. Wanzel is the 18th. Getting wiggy about my belly button. I have not been given any info for care, in the shower I do nothing but let water run over it, get out, pat dry and use the hairdryer on all surgical sites for 2-3 minutes. That's it. I don't know if it's getting gunky or smelly or anything. And I can't touch it. Even though I can't feel it externally, I feel it internally and it makes me all woozy. :)
I been thinking about you girl .... I see you're shifting gears... Already planning for your next adventure.... The amazing transformation of BethC (You should be so proud of yourself ) Your pictures are amazing you look wonderful!!! I too am planning To continue my transformation, After the first of the year I'm thinking about having a breast lift & reduction... I already know I have a wonderful surgeon Since my tummy tuck my girls have totally gone south... They used to sit nicely on my belly, Now When I take off my bra it's like bungee boobs hmmmmmm right to the basement... Not a pretty picture LOL Keep me posted let me know how you Are doing Beth... I still have a bit of swelling and my tummy is tight as can be, But who's complaining haha (((Hugs))) LiveLoveBelieve
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Bungee boobs!! Awesome!! I love my breasticles now. But my right one is squeaking at me today. I understand that is not permanent. Thankful for that. :)
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Hey Beth!!!! Hope u are doing well ... Haven't seen a post in the last few days!!
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Sleep, Cramps, Exercise

Hey everyone! I guess I've been really quiet. I don't know why, maybe because this has been a new week of new routines. My husband went back to work, my son was at school, I was doing things totally alone and I did well.

I've been to the chiropractor a few times this week for modified adjustments. Those have been good. In fact I have been able to sleep in my bed since Tuesday (we have a Tempurpedic mattress that I neeeeed), on my side and stay in bed until morning. I'm sleeping better than on the recliner but still not great. I've been using rolled up socks between my boobs and the pain there has lessened. I feel more comfortable with each night.

However......every single night I am still getting these involuntary muscle spasms in my abdomen. Last night was the worst, I think I had six. I can feel them coming on in my sleep and it wakes me up. It's like a Charlie horse or a stretch you can't control. They are very uncomfortable and making me worried I am doing internal damage to the muscle repair (which I understand in the whole cause of these). I'm also concerned because they affect the muscles of my back as well, so I struggle with back discomfort. I've been having these since early days and thought they would subside once I got in the bed and out of that ridiculous position I was stuck in. I see the surgeon on the 18th and will discuss with him. These aren't avoided with muscle relaxants or anything before bed.

On the plus side, I am walking my five miles every day again but it is broken up in to two walks. I am hoping to transition to one walk every day next week. I feel good doing it but I am still listening to my body.

Most of the steri strips came off my tummy. I still have the horizontal ones across the middle. I'm having trouble with the drain site on the left side still being goopy. I also have a strange area that sticks out on the left side. I'm not sure if it's normal swelling, fat, my new shape or ugh, seroma. I don't have the waterbed effect, my stomach is pretty flat and taut. My belly button is also kind of icky. The surgeon suggested I put polysporin on it and my drain site until he sees me but if things change he will call in another script for antibiotics.

I still have all steri strips on my boobs. I'm letting them all come off on their own. Not safe to pull them. :)

The swelling has gone down in my saddlebags since I have started moving. I had been measuring with a tape measure. I had gained almost five inches around that area from pre-surgery. I'm down three, so about two to go to get where I was.

I still have monster crotch.

Busy weekend this weekend. It's thanksgiving here in Canada. Today is also my dads 70th birthday and tomorrow is my birthday. I'm also trying to catch up with some friends I haven't seen.

Hope everyone is doing well. Admittedly I haven't been reading (I suck) but will try to find some time to do that today or this weekend. :)

Couple more pics

Tonight's daily massage of the Frankenbelly. The one pic where I'm angled off sideways you can see this suspicious lump that concerns me. It's not ripply like a waterbed, it's firm, so I think it's normal swelling. It's annoying. You can see it in the front shot too. It's on my left side, your right. :)
Did you get your CG yet!!! Anxious to hear if you like it an if the size worked?!?! I'm hoping it's a little tighter as my binder is ripping....
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Hasn't even been shipped yet. Grrr. :)
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Got my CG tonight!!! I wore it for a couple hours an boy taking it doesn't seem right... Def don't think u need a binder with that!! XL works for now but l or med will be down the road ... You will love it!!!!
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No more steri strips!!!

Exhausting week. Still quite swollen. The last steri-strip on the belly came off today. My belly button is improving, it still looks like a little heart. The strips on my boobs are still fully stuck, not letting go. Appointment with the surgeon tomorrow, he will probably yank them. Pics and update to follow. :)
I *loved* reading your journey! You are so inspiring! You look SO amazing and beautiful! God Bless
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Thanks :)
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Wow ! if that's swollen sign me up ! you look amazing. You go girl !
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Saw my hero....er, I mean my surgeon

Took a few pics of the appointment, also sharing a pic of my new compression garment for when I don't have to wear the binder. I love it, it is so much more comfortable than the binder is.

The surgeon removed stitches and strips today, checked for seroma (nope) and says I am doing awesome and looking wonderful for three weeks out. I love this man!!!

More pics with close ups of my lollipop scars!

I'm told the puckering will diminish. All puckering, boobs and belly. :)

I'm quite swollen tonight. I didn't get as much walking in today. Grr..
I love your waist! I am 10 days post op and feel like a tree trunk! I am wondering about your boobs, what kind of implants did you get? What size were you pre op and what size are you know (cup size). I am so torn if I want to go C, D, DD. Thanks!
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I'd have to check my cards they gave me to know the kind, they are silicone though. Pre-op, pre-pancake, I was a c-cup. They deflated, and while I still wore a c-cup my boobs didn't fit. I wore shaped and padded bras so I still had the shape, but the cups were essentially empty. The surgeon suggested (for a natural look) I go for the 365g implant on both sides. He says when everything has settled and the swelling is gone I will still be a c-cup. I tried on an old bra, it fits nicely, but measurements tell me I am a DD-DDD. I will have a proper bra fitting done when I'm healed. :)
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I didn't want to look too funny, I wanted to look proportioned. He is the expert so I trusted everything he suggested. For reference, I am 5'8" and pre-op weighed 168 pounds. I have a very large bone structure. Huge hands, as you can see in some of those pics. ;)
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Silicone scar sheets

These babies make everything look so tidy. :)

The Mepiform silicone strips were recommended. That's what I am trying. I'm only using them on part of the belly as you can't out them on scabby or raw sites. I am not using them on the boobs....yet.

I stopped using polysporin (that was recommended by the surgeon for the belly button and drain sites) and they are finally starting to heal. I would never have believed it if someone told me a product I believed in would DELAY my healing.

I posted a pic....

But it didn't show up. Grr.

I give up, RealSelf

It DID show up. LOL.
You look fab! What size cc's did u get?
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Thank you!! I got 365 cc's (Natrelle Inspira).
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Hey! I saw you are using silicone strips....were they recommended by your PS ? I am currently using kelo cote which is a silicone gel on my scars but I do have silicone strips that I bought prior to surgery....guess I could put the strips on my belly and the gel on boobs....still waiting for my butt lifting panties lol.
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Four Week Pics

Four weeks post op, I have silicone strips on most of the tummy scar. I have about 8-10 pounds of swelling remaining (at least it's dropping) and the boobs are "settling" nicely. ;) I do have one of those pimply things on the underside of my left breast (I was warned about it) and OMG, it hurts like nothing else!!!! And it looks so innocuous.
8 to 10 pounds of swelling??? I had no idea it would go up that much. Is that the norm? I'm happy to have the heads up.
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Brace yourself....two days post op, after not eating anything but low sodium Premium Plus crackers (and not a lot because I felt like crap...also on surgery day I ate nothing all day), I was 29 pounds heavier than the morning of surgery. My hips widened by five inches. All due to swelling. Your mileage may vary. I was warned it could be bad and it was. But my hips are down three inches and I've lost 20 pounds in fluid. It started to fly off after I became more mobile. It's discouraging but normal. And it may not even happen to you. :)
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Wow. I'm speechless. Im glad you were able to drop the first 20 quick. Think I will stay away from the scale for a bit.
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Belly button close up and silicone scar strips

My BB is looking less like a heart. I was starting to embrace the heart. Sads. I still really like it though.

I did a full week of scar strips so I thought I'd take a pic before reapplying for this week. I can't wait to see if they make a difference. :)

Hope everyone is doing well.
I am loving your results! Beautiful!
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Thanks! Me too. :)
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Strange feelings.... (in the head, not physical)

I have never had a stomach so flat or had success with weight loss (until now). I feel like if I relax my abs too much they will separate again. Or if I eat a piece of chocolate, my stomach will suddenly bulge out again. I know on some level it took a lifetime of being unhealthy to get where I was, but I have this fear. I even have bad dreams it happens to me again. I feel like if I wean off the binder (which I have been working on), I will reverse all the work the surgeon did. When I wake up in the morning I always check to make sure my tummy is still flat. Please tell me I am not the only one with irrational thoughts like this. :)
Our minds are our worse enemies. 
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True story. :) Hope you are doing well.
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Thanks Beth. It's still a slow recovery. Still very sore all over and hunched over. Sleeping continues to be an adventure each night. 
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Boobs!!

I think they are healing pretty good! I still have that sore pimple like bump on the left one, and lots of fluid in the right one (starting to concern me) but I think the scars look really good so far. :). The heat rash I got when I started sleeping in the bed (because I had to roll up socks between my boobs) is still lingering. At least it's not itchy anymore. Some peeling skin, but not a lot.
Your boobs and belly look amazing! What a transformation!!
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Thanks!
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I have surgery (labiaplasty) with Dr Wanzel coming up in a week, so I'm feeling reassured after reading your experience with him. I'm starting to feel excited now!
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Six weeks post op today....

I am now six weeks post op. The scar therapy is still going, not noticing a lot of difference. I have a good amount of swelling, especially at the end of the day (when I always take the pics, ugh). My right breast is healing a lot different, I think because I have a huge build up of fluid in that one. The scar is darker than on the left breast. Otherwise, I am doing really well now. I am anxious to get started with core exercises but can't do that for at least another six weeks. My focus has changed from what the scale says and now I am focusing on body fat percentages and fitness goals instead. Anything else I drop while doing that is a bonus. :) I still can't wait to get my arms done at the end of the winter. All that armpit fat, once removed, will also lift the breasts a little more. Or so I am told.
You look so flat, the swelling's at least not too noticeable :) Has your PS told you why there's a fluid build up, does it go away by itself?
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It's normal and will go away, he said. I see him on the 29th, he may sing a different tune then. It's quite an annoying feeling, it squeaks like wet balloon on wet balloon and makes my chest feel rattley...like I have to cough. It's no more painful than the other side, but I am noticing it healing differently. However, that one I am getting feeling back in the nipple.
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Ick, that does really annoying :/ I just googled it, and apparently it's called a seroma and is really common, I hope it goes away on it's own! Oh btw, have you gotten measured yet? You look very similar to me pre-op and I'm going crazy trying to decide on implant size, I hope to end up a DD
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Flatter in the morning...

The ripples under my scar are from swelling and the binder digging in.
You look absolutely fabulous! So excited for you!
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Thank you. :)
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Looking good!!!
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I do wear clothes.

Here I am with my little boyfriend. :)
you look awesome, i am also using mepiform strips but looking to wear in the whole 6 months, but looking for a cheaper seller i paid 70.00 for 1 4x7, how much is yours
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I got a package of five sheets for $100 from www.well.ca. I am only using them on my belly and get two full weeks use out of one sheet (each sheet cut in to four strips, two strips per application).
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ok thanks
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My old jeans

I yanked them out of my bottom drawer last night, and stepped in to ONE leg. Hubs snapped a pic. I still can't believe it. I've lost 185 pounds.
You look so good Beth
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WOW!! You must be extremely happy and proud of yourself for getting to this point!! I know it was not an easy journey but you DID IT!!
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you have got to be super happy and super proud of yourself, most of this you have done on your own, wow, I just cant believe your initial before and after photos, wishing you all the happiness in the world !
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Uh-oh....

Just in time for the weekend, I fear I have a problem. I don't know if this can wait until I see the surgeon next Friday though.

I will post two pictures. The first one was today, post shower. I noticed my pesky left side scar, right at the end, the one I had problems with, gradually turning dark. I could feel a small stitch poking through for about 2-3 weeks now. Bio oil after the shower today eased it out. It was so tiny, like an eyebrow hair.

Fast forward to half an hour ago. I'm standing in the kitchen and I feel something on my leg, like blood running down it. It is blood running down it!!! This spot has pretty much blown open and is draining reddish, clear fluid but looks black, and there is a hole. See second picture.

Freaking. Do I need to call the doc? I don't feel pain, but I am still numb there. :(
I agree. Might as well call them since ill be til monday before you can get answers. Let us know what you find out!
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Call. Never hurts to ask
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Always call the doctor for ANY concerns. You paid him the big bucks, never hesitate!! I don't think it's anything major but it's best to put your mind at rest AND address the issue sooner rather than later. Call him, even if it's 2 AM. :)
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Blargh

Office is closed for vacation, November 15th to 25th. I'm asking a nurse friend for her advice. She offered to come check me out when I was having drain problems so if it comes down to it, I know I can count on her. :)
Do you think you were spitting a suture out from the skin or the muscle repair? Nice to have reassurance from a Nurse friend. Still def harass the docs office on Monday!
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Do you have a fever?
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Nope. My nurse friend said to watch the black spot over the weekend but she wasn't too concerned. I should have updated today, it's closed right up and settled down. I think I had residual gunk in there that wanted out. The stitch coming out gave it an opening. Gross!!
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Had my follow-up

I saw Dr. Wanzel today.

It was a good appointment. He looked over everything, snipped a few threads poking out in my tummy, belly button and boobs. He cleared me to do pretty much everything exercise wise, being cautious, obviously. My trainer put together 50.15 hours of training for December, I am so excited to have been cleared to do it.

We also talked about my brachioplasty (I'm reviewing that here: http://www.realself.com/review/toronto-arm-lift-body-wanzel-time-for-the-arms) and I booked my surgery date for that. He also took "befores" of the arms.

Not much else going on here....hope everyone is doing well. :)
Glad everything is going well with your popping stitches hopefully thats, that. Good luck for your upcoming surgery!
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when is the surgery for your arms ?
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March 12th. :)
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That thing that happened in November....

Remember I randomly started bleeding from where my drain was on my left side, even though it had healed over? Yeah.

The last few days, the drain site on the right side started bulging out and turning black. Today it blew out, but a lot slower. It's slowly seeping blood. This one hurts, I can feel it. At least I know it will stop and heal over again, since I now have experience. ;)

But I wonder, is that it now? I wonder if I should be concerned about blood building up and then blowing out.
Well let's hope this is the last of any openings. :-) looks like it healed well. Looking good !!!
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Boob blowout.

Oh, how fabulous. The hips are done, let's head to the boobage now.

This is on my left breast, which has healed well. The scar above the nipple started turning red two days ago. I had been keeping an eye on it and not doing anything except bio-oil. Today when I checked it, without even touching it, I watched it split open and white stringy stuff came out (with blood and pus), it looked like a can of silly string, the way it was shooting out. I am numb, so I am not sure if it hurts.

Dr. Wanzel is away but Helen suggested a visit to the doc for some meds. She thinks it's infection. Hopefully this won't go on forever. Anyone else have this happening?

I have also sinned over the holidays. I have sodium bloat and feel utterly disgusting. I can't believe in my old 350 pound life I ate like this all the time. Blech!!
I just came across your review and OMG I had the very same thing happen with the out of the blue oozing. 2 months after my breast lift surgery, I was in Seattle getting ready to board a ship for a 2 week cruise when I noticed a stain in my bra, didn't think much about it but then in the morning the hotel sheets had a pinkish yellow stain all over them. I was freaking out as we were about to board a ship. We went to a Urgent Care, spent $150 got a antibiotic, boarded the ship. Everything turned out fine, but come to find out what caused that area to open up and become irritated? The bio oil that friends, (not my PS) had told me to use. My PS told me to stop using it, as it turns out some people do not do well with it...
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My surgeon recommends BioOil but I don't use it if there are any open areas. I stick to cocoa butter or something similar. I also use arnica, but only if everything is closed up. This was not an infection. Likely a suture coming out again. It progressed just as my sides did. Next time I won't freak out. Heh.
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I have since talked with several people who have had reactions using it, I did when I was only two weeks out. It caused my breast to get bright red, as soon as I stopped it went away, so I didn't use it until I was sure everything was properly closed. That's why I didn't think it was the oil and went to the urgent care and spent the $150... It's hard not to freak out when you are sure you are all healed up and something like that happens out of the blue...
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12 Week Pics

I totally forgot about sharing my 12 week pics since that day fell on Christmas Day. Hubby took these this morning. Everything is going great, except for the occasional spitting suture which freaks me out before I realize that's all it is. :). Looking forward to my brachioplasty on March 12. Hoping to lose about ten more pounds before then. With hubby's business trip to Vegas in February it could be interesting....he goes to work, I go to play. ;)
Your looking amazing!! Such a sessy thang you are!!!! Glad to hear all is going well!! Looking forward to hearing about your arm surgery... Take care an keep rocking it
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I applaud ALL women who can achieve such massive weight loss! You look spectacular!
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You look so skinny!!! and your scars look good too!
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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.
Good luck on the big day tomorrow! Don't worry about garments and supplies, I am sure your doctor will give them to you or at least tell you what you need and you will be definitely be going home with the right garments right after surgery :) sending hugs..
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Good luck! Mybariatriclife had the same procedure. Maybe she could off some insight.
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That's exciting! I would call or email your doc with all those questions. How is your boobie doing? Didn't see an update after the boob blowout. Sending happy healing vibes!
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Brachioplasty is 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.
Wow Beth, finally! I hope you heal well and fast and that you have plenty of other people's arms to take over for you while yours heal. x
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Good luck with the arm lift recovery. I just had some in office procedures on mine. My brachio recovery was a bit of a challenge but my arms look great.
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I love your story Beth! I think what you've accomplished is truly amazing, you made life changing decisions and seeing and reading your story tells me you not only look fabulous, you ARE fabulous!
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Brachioplasty update

Lots of 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.
I am anxious to see your after photos of your arms! :) Hope you are feeling well today
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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. :)
Glad surgery went well. My surgeon did not tell me to wear compression sleeves either but when I returned home I bought some (it was like 2 weeks after) but it made all the difference, it gave me so much more support in my arms, I was no longer afraid of opening them up and everything just felt so much tighter. I wore them for a good 8 weeks, in fact I didn't want to give them up they became my security blanket...lol I truly believe they were the cause I ended up with a tiny thin scar.
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Brachioplasty update: seven days post op

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.
So glad to hear your second surgery went well!!!! You look fantabulous
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Two weeks post-op (brachioplasty)

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!!

Six months later....and saw Dr. Wanzel

I have absolutely nothing new to report on my TT/BL/BA. Everything feels normal. I do still feel the presence of my abs, but that lessens every day.

I saw Dr. Amazeballs today. 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.
YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!!! CONGRATS with everything!!!!!!
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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!!
You look freaking AWESOME!!!!!! Congrats on youre beautiful transformation!
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Brachioplasty: Four weeks later....

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."
LOL! Every time I run (or try too) I swell and feel like I have to pee. Even if I stop and go a tiny bit it always returns. I complained to dh, and he though I might have been better before the TT, "uh hell no!" Pp feeling is way better than fighting the roll that doesnt go anywhere comfortably in your clothes. And maybe i could use some cranberry! Hopefully your arm pain is nerve related. Took 5-6 Months before the sharpness in my upper right ab to go away. Happy healing!
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Brachioplasty: five weeks

No change in pain or swelling, visible bruising again....huh?
You look amazing!!!! You gave such a great story and side note: your son is adorable!
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Congratulations on your transformation!! You look amazing:))!!xoxo
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Enjoyed your story, you look amazing!
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Uh oh (brachioplasty)

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.
My belly button looks like a heart too. Is yours silly like that? It's kinda cute
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U looked so good. Keep up the good work!
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It's probably nothing but you never know. I had lumps all over my armpits because of the lipo. The lymph nodes are rebuilding and fluid tends to collect. Massage, vit. C and heat helped my lumps but they were not red. Pls. Call your PS and let him know. He may want to see it.
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Brachioplasty: 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.
Just beautiful girl!!! You are looking amazing an good luck on your marathon!!!!
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One Year!

Excuse the PJ's. I should go to Walmart or something, but I don't feel like taking my bra off. ;)

It's been one year since my tummy tuck, abdominal muscle repair, and breast lift. I had help doing some updated photos today.

I went in to this surgery at around 177 pounds. I am currently 152. Total weight loss, 198 pounds!!!

The scar has faded quite a bit, I can't even see it in a few places. I still have some numbness, and weird places where if I touch, I feel it somewhere else. I'm told that's nerves. The steroid shots in the belly button that I got a month ago have made my belly button kind of weird, but it's no longer tight and knotted. The boob scars are pretty much invisible.

I also have updated arm pics. I am just six months out of that surgery. I have swelling in my left arm still, and just a little in my right. I am thankful for a skilled surgeon who didn't pull my arms too tight, I wanted a really natural, still jiggly result. He nailed it. As I am cutting fat right now, my abs are starting to show through better, and my arms are slowly progressing as well.

I am finally embracing the stretch marks and still stick to my belief that you have to thrive, not deprive. Curves are good. So is food.

Best decision of my life.

My pics didn't show up!

Trying again....and also adding the official "before and after". :)

Oh well...

That was a fail too. I'll try from my laptop later.
It's been a pleasure reading your review : ) Inspiring and motivating....thanks for sharing your story with us : ) You look stunning!
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One Year Pics

Alright, this is my last attempt. Then I give up. :)
Goodness! You look so great! My scar is still a bit angry, but I'll be patient! I'm a year post now and had a stitch fester just this week. I still love reading your reviews.
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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.

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