I had my first consultation with a highly...
23 Mar 2014
10 months pre
I had my first consultation with a highly recommended weight loss plastic surgeon in my hometown. He has over 13 years experience with body lift and post-weight loss surgery, and has a stunning office only thirty minutes from my home. My initial consultation was on 3/17/14, and I was greeted and seen quickly. I was also treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity, as dealing with issues of the body is quite personal.
Let me rewind a bit...I lost 105 pounds on Weight Watchers, I was 250 pounds, and I'm now 145. I have been at my goal weight since 8/9/09, and I am active, fit, and healthy. I am 32 years old with no serious medical history as well. I gave myself a few years to see what would happen, if anything with my skin...of course, nothing has tightened up, in fact, because we all tend to age (even me), my skin situation has become worse, I believe. I also have, what I perceive to be, very heavy fatty skin/tissue deposits on my hips and butt. My stomach skin is extremely loose and saggy, and the fat deposits on my side make it nearly impossible to find clothes...my waist is itty-bitty, and my butt is very large.
Aside from the sheer terror of going under the knife, I'm really ready and desperate to see these unnecessary saggy, fatty pieces of me go away for good.
I am uploading a video and several photos...you can see my weight loss transformation as well as my current skin situation.
I would really appreciate any feedback from medical professionals or those who have had the Body Lift procedure. I deal with extreme anxiety, so my fear of surgery is probably more pronounced and unreasonable than most. Hearing from real people in the community will definitely help me!
Also, I work a high-end retail job and will have plenty of time off work (at least three weeks)...that said, what can I expect when I return to work? I am on my feet most of the time, but my job will be more than accommodating for me to sit on a stool with clients (I sell high-end, designer jewelry and diamonds).
Second consult and financing options!
26 Mar 2014
10 months pre
So, just a quick update...I've been emailing back and forth with the AWESOME patient coordinator at my surgeon's office (at least the one I'm most likely to use at this point), and I'm feeling better mentally better about this process and the procedure. I think that, once I finally come to grips with the fact that I'm doing this for ME, I'm taking time away from work for ME, and I'm going to take as much time as I need to heal properly, everything will become easier - I'm really getting there. I'm one of those weirdos (or lucky ones) who absolutely LOVES work - I love my job, and I'm kind of attached to it, so being away from my clients and co-workers will be hard.
That said, my patient coordinator has helped alleviate so many of my fears and concerns, and, while I won't be pain-free or superwoman, I am feeling SO much better about the healing process and the incredible post-operative care this practice provides.
Also, my parents, wonderful and amazing people, are covering a HUGE portion of the cost of my surgery. While this wasn't necessary, it sure does help alleviate financial stresses - they are just so proud that I've lost the weight AND kept it off for nearly five years!
I don't think anyone ever WANTS to go under the knife, but I want and deserve the body I've worked so hard for...most people who are naturally thin who have never lost any significant amount of weight don't even work out and eat right the way I do, and they look great - I deserve it too!
More to come...
28 Mar 2014
10 months pre
Does anyone out there who has had a LBL deal with extreme anxiety? Normally mine is really quite tame, but considering this surgery and the actual procedure has really heightened my senses and made me freak out a little bit. Any advice or calming words would help! Thanks so much!
I had my second consultation with my surgeon yesterday - it went SO well, and I'm so excited! This is starting to become more and more real...it's hard to believe, and still a little bit scary...but mostly exciting.
I was so impressed with how my doc answered all of my questions, took so much time with me, and really addressed all my concerns with understanding and support. I have two more consults next month just to shore up loose ends and make sure I'm getting the necessary, professional evaluations.
At first I really wasn't thinking about doing breast work because I didn't want to be under or deal with extra pain, but, after thinking and stewing on it for a while and finally coming to grips with the reality of anesthesia and pain, I'm pretty sure I am on board with a breast lift and slight augmentation now. Obviously, everything comes down to money and recovery, but my surgeon is beyond confident that he can safely perform both surgeries at once with very little added recovery time...I guess breast work is relatively simple - I'd sure appreciate any feedback on that subject.
I'm dealing with a little bit of push back from work regarding taking time off, which is frustrating and disappointing...on top of the fact that my personal medical records have been disclosed without my consent (not good), but I'm working directly with my manager to get things squared away and make sure we're doing what's right for me and for the business - I freaking love my job and the company I work for, so my health AND my career matter!
My surgeon is pretty confident that I'll want to return to work (part time) after about two weeks - I would really appreciate anyone shedding some light on that. My gut is telling me that I'll want/need three weeks, but if I can work shorter shifts after week two, that would be great! I work retail, but I have the option to sit and take breaks as needed. Any advice?
I'm still hoping to have my procedure done late August/early September. We'll see! I'm functioning on very little sleep after so much excitement yesterday, so it's hard to think straight!
Anyway, more to come as things progress...
Putting on my Patience Pants
So, I got some pretty major pushback at work for taking time off for my surgery, despite the fact that at least three HIPAA laws were violated. That said, it looks like we may have compromised on a January surgery date. I work for a high-end retailer, and Q4 is vital for the company and my paycheck. As much as I don't want to wait 8.5 months to get this done, I will gladly take the month of January off to avoid the post-Christmas returns!!
Also, I'm an actress/singer, and I was recently cast in a local production that will consume the next three months of my life, so really, the wait isn't that long!
I think I've always secretly wished to take January off, so it really is a blessing. I will just have to really focus on occupying my time elsewhere in the meantime!
I had a physical with my PCP about two weeks ago to have some preliminary blood work done. My iron is seriously low, as usual. I'm really working on boosting my iron levels with Bariatric Advantage chewable iron tabs and boosting my protein, calcium, and B12 as a pre-op precuation (per Doctor's orders). Even though I'm still planning on having my procedure in January, 2015, there's certainly no harm in getting things where they should be now and going in to surgery as fit and healthy as humanly possible!
Has anyone had experience with Anemia or B12 deficient pre-surery? I'd appreciate any advice!
Thanks so much!
Has anyone else out there struggled with getting time off for their LBL approved through work? I work for a very small company with an unclear set of policies and procedures, so I'd sure appreciate your advice! At this point, my GM is only approving 15 consecutive days off...obviously not enough. Help! I'm so angry and discouraged!
Second Surgeon Consult
So, I went to a second surgeon for another opinion, and I was blown away, and not in a great way. This surgeon comes HIGHLY recommended and is considered to be in the top 1% of surgeons in the country. He has an office in Denver & Beverly Hills. I was extremely impressed with his bedside manner, knowledge, explanations, and his entire staff.
The thing that is boggling my mind, and maybe some if you can chime in on this...this surgeon is saying my LBL (tummy tuck, outer thigh lift, butt lift) will take 10-12 hours!!!!! That seems crazy and excessive to me - under anesthesia for 10-12 hours??! Also, he won't even do a breast lift at the same time, as that will add another 6-7 hours! On top of that, the LBL alone was priced at $35k.
Folks, help me out here. This seems absolutely nuts and excessive. I loved everything about the surgeon as far as bedside manner, knowledge, & thoroughness was concerned, but I cannot wrap my head around the amount of time he quoted or the whopping bill. Not to mention, his before & after gallery is not mind-blowingly impressive. I'm so confused!!
How long were you all under for this procedure, and what did you pay?
Got my surgery date!
So, as many of you might remember, I was having an extremely difficult time with my employer regarding this surgery request. Despite the fact that I've been a top-performing, loyal, reliable employee for the past four years, my request for time off had been denied...until the beginning of August. I finally had a heart to heart with the GM of my company, and I was nothing but honest about what and why...when I'm fully clothed, no one would ever guess I deal with the skin issues that I do. Needless to say, my GM was shocked and I could see the tears welling up in her eyes...she knew at that moment that this was something extremely important to me, and she made an exception. I feel extremely grateful.
My surgery date is set for January 13th, 2015, and I will have a full three weeks off, if necessary, and possibly more depending on whether or not I have any complications. Feeling like I was HAD to go back to work after two weeks was very stressful for me, so I'm relieved to have the time I believe I will need to recover.
Also, when I had blood drawn back in the spring, I was severely anemic. I have been for years, and nothing has worked to correct it, until now! I started taking my husband's bariatric advantage iron & b12 supplements, and my levels are now off the charts! I'm so excited...the coolest thing about getting good lab results for me was that my surgeon gave me a personal phone call the day he got the labs. I was ecstatic to hear his voice on the other line - it was just so personal and reassuring.
I'm beyond confident that I have chosen an excellent surgeon for this procedure, and I'm very, very excited for my big day...albeit a bit terrified as well.
I'm still debating having the girls done as well - I'd really love to do it all at once, but it's all a matter of finances.
Anyway, that's the scoop...I'll be posting more as things progress!
Hey all! So, I'm 99% sure I'm going to do the breast work at the same time as my LBL. I'd really appreciate any advice or recovery information from people who have done both. Thank you so much!
Date booked and down payment PAID!!!
I had my third and final consult with my surgeon yesterday, and I'm so excited!!! I'm doing the breast work as well - they only say about a week recovery for breast work anyway, so it's minor when combining it with the lower body lift. I will also have LOTS of help post-op. I will have a nurse with me around the clock for the first two days, in addition to my wonderful husband and mom! My brother will also be coming down from the mountains to make sure I'm okay (he's a paramedic/EMT/firefighter). I have the BEST care team on the planet, and I believe I have the best surgeon around!!!
This process has taken quite a bit longer than I anticipated going in to everything in March...I apologized to my surgeon and the patient coordinator (who have been unbelievable through all of this), and Dr. Nick gave me a big hug and said we just want to make sure it's right! He's a doctor, very matter of fact, but he has a soft side and understands that some of us crazy women need that!
Also, the patient coordinator and I were playing with implant sizers before Dr. Nick came in the room - I was feeling really awesome about the size I chose, and snapped a few photos. When Dr. Nick came in, he looked at me with a big smile on his face and said, "Are you stuffing your bra?" Having a great sense of humor is also tremendously important to me. I was so pleased with yesterday's appointment!
My surgery date is set for January 6th, 2015! I'm counting down the days!
Pre & Post Op Instructions!!
I got a huge packet in the mail detailing my procedures and my pre & post-op care. This is happening! I'm so excited and a bit scared. Thanks for all the support! I love this site!
So, ladies, what can I anticipate as far as post-op clothing is concerned. I'm having a LBL and BL with augmentation, so am I correct in assuming that I won't be able to pull things over my head for a while? Should I buy a size bigger than usual to compensate for swelling? I'm planning on wearing cozy loungewear (albeit stylish, because that's how I roll) and a hat because I won't be able to wash my hair for at least a few days. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!
Also, I rented a lift chair for the first month post-op - should I purchase additional pillows for comfort? Do I need an elevated toilet seat?
I can't believe how quickly this is coming...I'm so excited, albeit a bit nervous!
Well, I've started my protein boost, I've purchased a few recommended items (coccyx pillow, go girl female urinal, extra pillows, neck pillow, medical lift chair (rental), water bottle with straw, meditation music, movies, books, etc.), and I'm counting down the days until my big day!! I had a dream last night about my procedure and that I healed very quickly, despite initial discomfort. I'm hoping this comes to be...I'm not nervous about anything but the recovery - I'm an impatient workaholic, so being down for a while will be tough.
My official pre-op appointment is December 15th, and I couldn't be more excited! I have a few lingering questions, but nothing major.
Ladies, I need your advice...
So, I've got my surgery and all my pre & post-op necessities covered financially. For those of you who have gone through this procedure, what "surprise" expenses did you have? Is there a budget I should prepare for after the surgery? Obviously I'm hoping and expecting that all will go well, and I won't have issues that end up costing more, but that's always a possibility. That said, if all goes well, what advice do you all have for post-op expenses? Thank you so much for your help! Surgery is exactly one month from today!!!
Friends, I'm not sleeping...certainly it's a combination of nerves, excitement, and fear, but it's making me dysfunctional at work and in my personal relationships. I haven't slept more than five hours a night in over two weeks. Help!