Body Lift - in Process (Haven't Had It Yet)

I had my first consultation with a highly...

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!

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...

Anxiety...

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!

Second Consultation

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!

259 days!

Lab work...

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!

So angry...

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?

Thank you!!

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!

Girls too!!

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!
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Sorry I got here late. You were concerned about your 2nd consultation. My name is Peter Fisher. I specialize in post massive weight loss. Done so for 15 years and in practice for 25 years. May review my web site www.mybariatricplasticsurgery.com . Wanted to say that a well performed lower body lift which in my hands incudes a tt, mons lift strong lateral thigh lift, buttocks lift and auto-augmentation of the buttocks and hips to retain or gain a curvy look, takes about 6 hours. I will usually do a breast procedure at the same time. The recovery in general especially if you are acting is at least 6 weeks and could be longer. A small percentage of patients do really well and at 2 weeks are very mobile even though I discourage even moderate activity for 6 weeks. Good luck with your surgery. Peter Fisher M.D.
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Congratulations on setting a date. You will feel so much better mentally and physically once you have it done.
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My Lift with butt augmentation via fat transfer, and hernia repair took 9 hours and 39 minutes yesterday so it doesn't seem impossible. Those fees are astronomical.
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My surgery was long too, but so worth it. Last year my surgeries were much shorter and the outcome really showed it with sloppy sewing. This new surgeon took a long time sewing making sure my cuts were perfect, this is a surgery you don't want to rush. I had a twilight sedation which is one thing I really went looking for. I woke up a few hours after this very long surgery feeling great...no joking
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My price was under $10,000....If you read my review you will see why my surgery was longer than most, all do to something I did...ugh poor surgeon...
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35k - That is a REALLY high price tag though! I think my surgeon charged $14k for the LBL?? (sorry it is hard to separate as the hospital and surgeon fees and anesthesia fees and hospital fees - some were broken out by procedure and some were combined....) My advice on the surgeons is this: go to someone who has a LARGE practice in Massive Weight loss patients. Even some "top" plastic surgeons may not know what to do when it comes to these types of surgeries - esp. since you were less than blown away! Keep looking is my advice ;-) And sorry i just noticed you said 10-12 hours for LBL ALONE - yes that is a lot.
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My Surgery was 13.5 hours and included the LBL, Arm Lift, and whole leg lipo. A good surgeon will take longer (sorry....i just think this...) - the surgeons i respect often say 6-7 hours LBL alone.
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I had my surgery done in Minneapolis, MN. Lower body lift with lipo (of anterior thighs and knees). It took 7.5 hours and was around $17,000. The lipo was extra-the lower body lift only would have been around $14,000. My surgeon, the nurses and the CRNA were all awesome. My incision is so perfect and healed really well. You can tell by looking at the incision that he took great pride in his work-it is meticulous. The only thing I don't like about the lower body lift is my rear-end is slightly flat-LOL after being overweight all my life I'll take a smaller rear!
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A lot of surgeons won't do the lower body and breasts at the same time because you need your upper body muscles to lift yourself up because your lower body muscles will be recovering from surgery. The price does seem excessive but keep in mind he has posh office space too pay for so not only are you paying for his expertise you are also paying for the location. The time he quoted also seems excessive for lower body work - mine took closer to 4-5 hours. Be very careful when picking a surgeon - mine did an okay job but I am considering having a revision this summer with another plastic surgeon that was recommended by someone on this site. It is better to have the procedures done right the first time then to have to go back and spend money having the same thing done again.
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That seems really high! I had mine done in GA, so the cost is lower then other places in the country. My LBL surgery and lipo took 3 hours and cost 11,000.
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I really liked the surgeon, and I respect that he is considered in the top 1% in the country, but for $35k, I better be blown away with his before & afters and get the most unbelievable post-op care in the business! That wasn't the case - his before & afters were, IMHO, average in comparison to the other work I've seen, and there was ZERO special post-op care aside from a few scheduled office visits. I'm just stumped! I knew going in to this what the price range was, and I have done an abnormal amount of research on the procedure, so I was truly shocked (and it probably showed) when he said 10-12 hours in surgery and wouldn't even do the BL w/AUG same-day because it would be a 16-hr surgery!!! WTH? I'll go under for 16 hours for major, life-saving surgery when absolutely necessary, but not for this.
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I agree about only going under for that long if it was for a life saving surgery. The risk is just too high. Even 10-12 hours under anesthesia I would be nervous. Trust your instincts! Just because he is on of the top 1% plastic surgeons still does not mean he is the perfect doctor for you. Find someone you are confident and comfortable with. You have plenty of time to shop around!
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I feel really great about the first surgeon I met with - I even put a hold on my tentative surgery date in January. Getting other opinions has been helpful though. Before I went to the consult with Mr. Spendy, I called to get a very rough estimate, and the cost blew me away. I went anyway because I wanted to be blown away and see results I hadn't seen before. That didn't happen, so I'm just perplexed! It was such a drastic difference in time/price that it made me question surgeon #1 for a minute...it seems that Mr. Spendy is definitely the exception not the rule.
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I am glad the consultation with Dr Spendy made you more confident in your original choice! It's better to go and see what the fuss is about then have those lingering doubts in your head!
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Are you sure that you want to have the breast work done at the same time as lbl? I may have read this too quickly but you will need your arm strength w the lbl. I have had face lift neck upper eyes in one surgery then a second for beasts then a third for lbl. My md would not do both at the same time. I also had lipo 2 yrs ago. If you do then you will really need those 3 weeks is my personal advice.
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My surgeon didn't think it would present too much more difficulty recovering, and I've known several people who have done breast and LBL at the same time, but it's definitely food for thought. Honestly, it's another chunk of change that I'm not sure I'm ready to part with all at once, so that's the biggest issue. One of my girlfriends, and support people through this, had LBL, breast lift/aug, inner thigh, and arms done in one sitting and was traveling across country the same week - that sounds like my definition of hell, and I would NEVER do that much at once, but she has recovered beautifully. I think everyone's different, but I'd rather not find out the hard way if it was too much for me to take on. I've still got plenty of time to decide, so I'll just follow my gut and the advice from my doctors, surgeon, and people like you!
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That does seem like an excessively high quote for just a LBL. While prices due tend to vary, that is on the extreme end of the spectrum. In the NYC are, a LBL is probably in the $11, 000-$20, 000 range. I paid about $14, 000 and my surgery was close to 8 hours. Keep looking, you will know when you meet the Surgeon that is right for you!
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I am not even remotely comfortable being under anesthesia for 10-12 hours for this procedure! I'm only "shopping" around because I don't feel line it's wise to only meet with one surgeon. The first surgeon I met with is fantastic, quoted me 4.5 hrs for my LBL, 6 hrs if I add the breast aug, and the price is $16,500 for the LBL - $25k if I add BL w/implants. Even the national average for this surgery is $12k-$25k. I'm just stumped at what I found out yesterday...and I was in the consult for three hours!
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Hi did you have a breast aug and an upper abdominalplasty at the same time with your NYC surgeon ?
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No...I had the LBL, and 3 months later I had a brachioplasty, as well as breast lift, implant exchange, and a little fat transfer for the final shaping. There was NO way I could have done it in one setting.
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That price is very high I had a lower body lift 2 months ago in NYC and it was my 4th surgery with my ps . I think I paid all in including nurses, anesthesia and ambulatory transport and hotel post surgery 20. Maybe less. My ps is very slow and precise in the OR and I from entering hospital to hotel room 6 hrs. It took 8 hrs to do breast augmentation with fat transfer months earlier in comparison due to the fat transfer aspect. I suggest another opinion
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I went back to work at 12 days. I did have wound separation, which may or may not have been caused by the stresses of work and commuting. At 7 weeks and counting my wound separation is still healing, but I have been able to work continuously since that 12 day mark. It has been a long slow path, and work still takes everything I have in me, but it is doable, AND the result is so worth it! I have my new body AND my job, both so very important.
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Also I would add, I am in my 50's, you are so much younger. It will be tough, but it is doable. Work hard at getting yourself in the best possible pre-surgery condition you can, that will help to shorten the recovery time. Perhaps with time, your boss will soften on this issue, retail is about image, and you are making a big investment in your personal image, that does help sell their product. Perhaps some photos of exactly what you hope to get rid of might help?
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How severe is your wound separation? That seems to be the most common complication. I'm glad to hear you're healing!
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At it's worst it was about 2 inches long, located at the joint of my butt checks and of course it goes all the way to the muscle. Depending on position the opening went up to 1 1/2 inches wide. Of course I also lost skin that simply died back in the period before the healing process started. It just turned white and died, not that awful black color I have seen photos of. Once we were able to remove the interior sutures in the muscle that were exposed it really accelerated the closure process, until then no real healing seemed to take place. The RN just kept cleaning out the dead tissue (doesn't hurt too bad, remember the area around the incision is numb) and re bandaging. She used a calcium alginate pad, it's a fiber impregnated with algae that is super absorptant and has natural antibiotic tendencies. That was covered with plain guaze that allowed it to breath. I separated at week 2, and I am now at week 7 1/2, at the rate this is healing I expect full closure at about 10 weeks. The scarring will mostly be hidden, and I could choose to have a revision done. I doubt I will just because I am tired of not being able to sit down, always on my side, stomach, or one cheek to avoid pressure which causes it to separate which does not promote healing. At this point, the irritation of my skin around the wound from always having tape on it is the worst part.
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