Full Body Lift - Dr. Joseph Capella /Hackensack, NJ - A New Body!

Hi everyone, I came across this site a while ago...

Hi everyone,

I came across this site a while ago while I was looking up reviews of Dr. Capella’s surgeries. I absolutely loved all the support and feedback people give each other on here therefore decided to share my story.

My name is Cat and I am 48 years old. I was overweight most of my life but being 5 foot 10 inches tall I would always give myself the excuse that I was tall and “I could get away with it”. I have lost weight a lot of times and yes tried every diet in creation, only to gain it all back and then some. Food was always my friend, my comfort… it always made me feel better.

Not even cancer stopped me from losing weight. I had uterine cancer 11 years ago, lost my father to cancer 11 years ago and lost my mother to cancer 5 years ago. I took care of my parents the entire time but not myself.
My highest weight was 410 pounds. I was diabetic, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, GURD and several other problems – all due to my weight. But that all changed about 2 years ago when I realized I wanted a life. I started my diet and stuck to it this time… it was life or death!

I am happy to say that as of today I have lost 217 pounds (so far) and I am now 193 pounds! I am discovering bones I never knew I had! Sometimes I feel a bone and think… “is that a tumor?” ?

I am scheduled to have my full body lift with Dr. Joseph Capella on Tuesday, April 8, 2014!!
I AM BEYOND EXCITED!! I was referred to him through a good friend of mine.
I researched him and think he is absolutely amazing!

My initial consultation was in November of 2013. He was the nicest man. Made me feel so comfortable and explained everything to me in detail. I originally planned my surgery for February 28, 2014 but had to postpone it because of some other problems I have.

I got MERSA and Pseudomonas infections after my cancer surgery and several other infections including a hernia repair. Needless to say I have to be very careful and take precautions before my surgery. I also have to have temporary mesh put in my lower abdomen as I have an infiltration of my fascia.. basically no lower abdominal wall because of all the years being overweight. It looks like a huge hernia. I would love to have permanent mesh put in so my lower abdomen would be flat but I am told it could get infected. If that happens it could be deadly.

I met with a infectious disease doctor at Hackensack Hospital – Dr. Bindu Balani. She will be at the hospital during my surgery. As they remove tissue from my body they will test it to see what type of bacteria (if any) the tissue contains and give me specific antibiotics … again if needed.

Dr. Roxana Kline will perform the surgery to fix the infiltration simultaneously as my body lift with Dr. Capella. Both doctors were referred to me by Dr. Capella.

After 3 months I will have the second part of my breast augmentation (implants) and if needed a medial thigh lift. Hopefully I won't need it as Dr. Capella wil lift up a lot of my skin with my initial body lift. I also want to get a chin or face lift as the skin under my chin is sagging. I always looked at least 10-15 years younger than my age but now the sagging skin under my chin is making me feel self-conscious. Anyhow, this is my story in a nutshell.

The countdown begins… 2 weeks from today my life will change forever … and I cannot wait!
I have a 100% faith in Dr. Capella!

I will post photos of myself in the next week or so. Until my next update! ?

Cat
I just saw your story now -- I have been looking forward to reading it for a long time! I had no idea how much you have been through and I am so proud of you for turning your health and your life around. And massive weight loss through diet alone is impressive! As for your surgery, you are so very brave to move forward with the surgery given all that has to take place to keep you safe. I also am impressed that Dr. Capella will handle such a difficult case. Many plastic surgeons would not. I have always felt so safe in his OR and in his care afterwards. I am confident he will keep you safe, but I will be holding my breath on April 8th while you are in surgery. Please post as soon as you can to let me know you are OK. I have heard the permanent mesh can be bad, so it is good that they can use temporary mesh. So are you getting both the upper and lower body lift done (breast lift, flankplasty, and body lift)? With regard to the thigh lift, my thighs actually got flabbier after my tummy tuck so don't be surprised if you end up doing your thighs. Dr. C does awesome thighs! I love mine! Congrats again on all of your success and wishing you continued success with your plastics journey!
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Thanks again! I am so excited to get everything done...just hope my lower belly will look decent considering they can't use the permanent mesh... hopefully the temporary mesh will cause enough scar tissue (without it looking bad and getting infected) to make my tummy as flat as possible. Sometimes I think I have not lost enough weight. I assume after the surgery I can start to strength train and lose some additional weight but have tone to my body. My legs are so thin at this point. I am taking pictures of my body and will post them later this weekend (IF I get the courage!) I am very embarrassed but I feel this will help me mentally... strange I know... Thanks for all your support! You look AMAZING!!!
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Thank you! I feel amazing. Plastic surgery is very freeing. I was very timid about my body before because I was so a ashamed of it. But you obviously saw my photo shoot and know that I am no longer timid about my body. I am considering doing a nude shoot after my final surgery and/or a painting. So go ahead and post those,before photos because you will change a whole lot in the months ahead and be very happy to show everyone your transformation. Actually, Dr. Capella encouraged me to post my before pictures in the interview article that he and I did together. He told me, "Oh you have to! Otherwise people cannot appreciate the transformation."
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6 days to go! Full Body life with Dr. Joseph Capella

I can't believe my surgery is only 6 days away! Had my pre-op appointment with Dr. Capella and Kimberly yesterday. Dr. Capella went through every part of my surgery with a tooth comb, explaining everything in detail and answering all my questions! He made me feel so comfortable. He said I would be in the hospital for 2 days instead of one day. Better safe than sorry considering my infection history. My 2 fears are 1) infection and 2) that they will not be able to fully fix my fascia which has the big infiltration. All my tests came back amazing (bloodwork etc) so super happy about that as well. I know I said I would post pre-surgery pictures... I will .. Just building up the courage because they are just horrible!! Dressed I look great.. without clothes... that's another story!
Anyhow, wanted to send a quick note to everyone... I am getting super nervous but very excited!
I am glad that your tests came back so healthy! You sound very calm and excited for your surgery - I am impressed! Good luck Tuesday!!!
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I hope the next few days fly by for you!! How exciting:) good luck and we are all thinking good thoughts
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3 days to go to my full body lift with Dr. Capella - bloodwork problem

I still cannot believe I will finally have my full body lift with Dr. Capella on Tuesday. It is starting to become real! I worked so hard towards this. I wanted to be about 190 for the surgery and right now I am 192.5 pounds! My weight seems to go up a few pounds then back down .. pretty frustrating but at least it keeps going down. Dr. Capella told me that he would probably take off 10-15 pounds of skin... who knows maybe more. Guess we will see what happens. At 180 and 5 foot 10 I think I would look great. I got a call from Dr. Capella's office last night though that put me in a bit of a panic. Kimberly told me that the anesthesiologist said my liver enzymes were high and I needed to repeat them before the surgery. I was so happy when I saw my bloodwork since all my numbers looked perfect. I did see that my ALT and AST were a bit high. I contributed this to all the meds I stil take and I was taking a lot of Advil for body aches. Has anyone on here had to repeat these particular tests before their surgery? I am pretty worried since I don't want anything to delay my surgery. I got my blood drawn again this morning and Dr. Capella should have the results by Monday. Keeping fingers crossed! Would love to hear if any of you had this problem as well. Please let me know... ps. still debating whether or not to post pre-op pics. Until next update :-)
Good luck with the test result!
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My full body lift with Dr. Capella - Tomorrow is the day!

I can't believe tomorrow at this time I will be in my room recovering from my surgery. I didn't get the results of the ALT/AST tests but I guess no news is good news! I got the call that I have to be in the hospital at 5:45am per both Dr. Capella and Dr. Kline. Let's hope all goes well and I will finally have the body I want ... or at least close to it. I took some pre-surgery photos of my entire body tonight and will post them together with my post-surgery pictures... too horrible to show at this time... I will have to build up a bit of courage to do so.
Anyhow, wish me luck everyone... see you on the other side! :-)
How are you doing? I hope you're as comfortable as possible and recovering!
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Thinking of you today!
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Sending you healing prayers for an easy recovery. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
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Day 2

Can't seem to get the pain under control. The surgery went perfect and they did put in the dissolvable mesh. I just in extreme pain. They had me in the recovery room all day yesterday and most of today. I was just moved to isolation because of my MERSA issue. I am in so much pain and honestly I keep thinking I am ripping my stitches open with every move. I cannot get comfortable at all and now top it all off I am gassy. I meant to post something yesterday just couldn't. Wanted to send out a note tonight. Thank you all for your thoughts.. starting to think doing the whole thing at once was a mistake... let's hope tomorrow will be better.
I hope tomorrow is better for you too. I had what seemed to be an exaggerated pain response after my surgery in Feb. I really don't think it was under control until about the fourth or fifth day in my case. I ended up taking 10mg Percocet (10/325) and a Cyclobenzaprine every 4 hrs around the clock. After about 24 hrs of this I felt like it was finally under control. Oh wait, I was also told to take 4 Motrin every 6 hrs for 5 days. I'd forgotten that part until just now. Maybe ask your doc if he can tailor pain relief to your needs? I was really glad I did. Good luck.
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That his much percoset I am on right now. The night was horrific and I am very good with pain. Today my left arm is oosing. I only have a few pics which I sill try to post . I cannot stand up yet although he would like for me to shower and walk around.
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Belly

Can't believe I am posting this not sure how to post multiple pics

before and after groin

my drains are oosing watery blood right now... the nurse said it's Normal .. just so worried. I am so grateful to have a place to vent my worries and frustrations.. let alone post pix of my body!
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Welcome to the flat side! You look fantastic! You are so brave going through all this and will be so so worth it. Wishing you an easy healing journey. I had a morphine pump for my tummy tuck and still felt pain so I relate. Be a good patient and get your rest. Healing takes place very quickly and in a day or so it will get better. Keep your faith close. Hugs
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Oh, you look so incredible! I am so happy for you! Your thighs look amazing and it is so hard to believe that you did not get a thigh lift! Your belly and mons look so youthful and tight now. I cannot wait to see the rest of you. Good healing to you. It is hard to get it all done at once but at least you have only one recovery period and saved a few thousand dollars!
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Pre-op photos and 3 day post op photos

can't believe I am doing this but here I go

arms can't get arm pits but just you get the idea

You look AMAZING!!! I'm just so happy for you
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day 3 after full body lift

Dr Capella just came and saw me.. amazes me he is always dressed to a T when he shows up at the crack of dawn! He told me that I was doing great! The leakage from the drain is a lot but he said normal as are the burning sensations on my outter thighs . The swelling in my arms and hands has gone down tremendously. One of the nurses said I look like a different person to like I lost about 30 pounds ... even y face was swollen. I am still very very swollen though especially my body obviously ! i addresses my flanks on my back.. he said he will fix them in Jul when he does my inner thighs, neck /facelift. It was not possible to take it all off or I would have had go have another vertical scar . So all in all good news and getting better !!! Talk soon my friends!
How are your arms feeling?
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They feel ok .. a little more sore today but that's to be expected. Very swollen as well but I know it will go down. Hopefully I will be able to go home tomorrow ;)
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Looking good
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First night at home post-op Full Body lift w/Dr. Capella

My surgery was Tuesday and I got home last night (Saturday). I am pretty sore but to be expected. I am also very very swollen (also to be expected. When I got home last night my legs started swelling as well , guessing from the ride home. Sleeping in a recliner /lift chair for the next month... can't wait to see what my body will look like after this swelling does go down and what else wil need to be addressed . I definitely will need the inner thigh lift and more of my back (flanks) removed in July. Dr. Capella said it was just too much to do all at once since I had a lot of skin. He seems so positive that I will look amazing when all done! Guess right now I need some of that confidence since I cannot see it. my boobs seem very far apart and small. I will definitely need the saline implant in July as well as well as the chin /face lift. So I have a lot of work ahead of me! I can't wait until some of this swelling subsides so I can see what is going on .. I don't have a waist and cleavage.. obviously I look a thousand times better than what my body looked like before .. just need patience (and to be able to stand up fully lol!)
My first post op is on Tuesday to remove 2 of the drains ... cannot wait.. ok back to bed.. 5 am... the visiting nurse is coming at 10:30am. trying to figure out why I am so itchy. some kind of allergic reaction... until next time! Enjoy your Sunday my friends ... Posting some more pics later today. w
My tummy looked ugly swollen for a while after my tuck but it became tight as a drum after a few months. After my stage 2 surgery I was not happy with all the areas of my body and wondered if I had made a mistake. But after a few months my body was rocking and I love it. I have no idea what your final results will be but I can tell you that your body will change a whole lot once you are 4-mos out. It is sooooooo exciting that you are doing your entire body and face. I did, too, and it was an amazing thing to go through. Good healing to you and keep thinking positive thoughts.
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U had 2 surgeries on your stomach area "my bariatric life"??
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Not exactly. I had. Full tummy tuck. That was killer. Then 6-mos later I had the TT converted to a body lift, realizing that is what I should have gotten in the first place. It really was a butt lift, but he did remove a little bit of skin from the front when he reopened the incision.
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Tomorrow first post-op with Dr Capella

I know a lot of you on here understand exactly how I am feeling... I have so many emotions and doubts. I hope it doesn't bother anyone that I use this site as a sounding board...
Going to see Dr. C tomorrow at 9am. I have sooo many questions! I am so very very swollen. My body doesn't even look normal at this point. I have so much work ahead of me. Or Dr. C does should I say. I got home Saturday after my surgery on Tuesday. So tomorrow is exactly 1 week post-op.
I don't have a waist. My boobs are far apart and sort of to the sides. My inner thighs def need the medial thigh lift! My body looks square at this point lol!
Granted I lost 218 pounds so a lot had to be removed... I just expected results faster I guess! I actually gained more weight because I am so swollen! Of course I attribute it to adding 6 more ounces of protein to my daily diet! But I need the extra protein! I am so frustrated and embarrassed by my body ! I am also in pain and uncomfortable... Doesn't hurt that I wasn't able to have a bowl movement until late last night! Prob ripped the Mesh doing so!
With clothes on pre-surgery everyone thought I looked great. Nice D boobs and a waist just when you got to the belly hip area and all the scars from previous surgeries it just didn't look right.. Forget about being naked!
I just want to look beautiful naked.. Not saying perfect just beautiful... I worked hard to get to this place...
Will post some pics in a few... They are not pretty but I feel no shame in sharing this with all of you... Maybe it will help!

Photos - swollen pulled skin.. Square body

Putting all my faith in Dr. Capella !

Last set of photos April 15, 2014

Oh sweetie, you did work hard to get to this place, and it took time to get here, it will also take time to see the final results of your surgery. You will look beautiful nude, I am sure of that! My body has continued to change for the better for at least 6 months after surgery, especially my breasts. Hang in there and just keep believing this will only get better!
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10 days post-op Full Body lift - Dr. Capella

I can't believe it has been 10 days already! Time does fly!
Got my first 2 drains removed this past Tuesday (day 7). Dr. C and Scott said I am doing great although I have to say I feel like a Mac truck hit me! They said this is normal only one week out. I do have a lot of work coming up.
He said they did so much work on me. My flanks will have to be done in July. They just couldn't take the whole thing since it would pull my nipples too far too the side. So in July I will do the flanks, inner thigh lift (right now I have pleads in the front - although my outer thighs and butt look great), breast implants and facelift.
EVERYTHING is sooooo tight! I still cannot stand up straight and when I try to I pull my breast down! I do not like where my breasts are now. Too far too the side, too low as well and very far apart.. I am told the implants will fix this. I definitely want to go on the bigger side. I was a D cup before and don't want anything smaller. I want to feel voluptuous .. Right now I feel like a boy!!! Right now I lost about 11 pounds of fluid.. Down to 183 (5 foot 10). My body still looks "square" no waist , no shape at all ... And extremely bloated...
I haven't had that oh my god moment of seeing that flat tummy ... I hope I will see that one day. I know it's only 10 days out buta girl can dream.
My appetite is not that great but I am making sure I get 6 ounces of protein for lunch and dinner and getting my water in.
Wondering if I should start taking walks around the block.. Will that help the bloating? Getting cabin fever at this point. So afraid I will rip the hernia repairs or anything else for that matter. My drains are leaking every day as are my armpits. Dr. C said just to put gauze on it...
Guess this is my update.. Wishing all of you a good holiday! I am not sure what to wear on Sunday as nothing fits lol.... Hope to hear from some of you! :)
Hope you are doing well. I know from experience (I lost 170 pounds) that the more skin that needs to be removed the harder it is to get everything just right. My surgeon told me that I was one of this most difficult cases. I know it is also hard just having half the work done but once you have the second procedure you will feel much better (after the healing process). I know the recovery process is full of a roller coaster of emotions. I wish you the best of luck.
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Just checking in....How is the recovery going?
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Hi! Doing ok... Thanks for checking in on me :-) I just got back to work yesterday so I has been a bit tough. Today is 5 weeks since my surgery and I have a few separations under my breasts and in my armpits.. although Dr. C says just to keep it dry... A few other things going on but I will post an update later tonight when I get back home. Wanted to say hello! :-)
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8 week update

Hi everyone,

Sorry it took so long to update my recovery status. I went back to work 3 weeks ago and I am starting to feel a bit normal now.
I am pretty bloated by the end of the day still – I assume that will get better as the weeks progress.. I am 8 weeks out today! Can’t believe how fast time flies! My incisions are finally healing. I had problems with the incisions underneath my breasts which finally closed up this weekend. I kept bleeding and scabbing up, it was so frustrating. I still have a bit of wound separation on my back, right in the middle where the incision meets. I can’t seem to get it to heal all the way. It is a small hole which I keep pulling apart when I move. Did it again this morning getting in the car! Dr. C said just to keep gauze on it and keep it dry… not really working but I trust he knows best. My incisions are still sore, which I know is normal, especially on my lower back and underneath my arms and armpits.

My belly is still looks pretty big to me. I assume part of it is that I am still swollen, especially at night. I know a big part of it is the fascia which Dr. Klein, the surgeon that fixed my 2 hernias and fascia tried to fix with temporary mesh is not holding me in.
The mesh is supposed to dissolve in about 3 months, however the left side of my lower belly is already sticking out and it looks horrible. I wish I could put in permanent mesh to hold in my intestines and flatten my lower belly but I am told that I could get infected because of my previous MERSA infection. I am meeting with Dr. Kline, , in the beginning of July so I will discuss this with her then. It is so very frustrating and upsetting. When I lay down, especially in the morning my belly is completely flat! It amazes me sometimes! Then I sit up and everything shifts and falls and I have a belly again… standing up it looks worse. They told me I might never have a flat belly.

My breasts are finally starting to show a little shape but I definitely need implants! My left breast is uneven underneath and when I lay down they completely flatten out! I am very frustrated but know I need to be patient with this whole process. Dr. C still needs to do the vertical torsoplasty on me and the inner thigh lift – hopefully late July. I was 196 pounds the day of surgery, he removed 12.5 pounds of skin and now I am about 171 pounds. At 5 foot 10 I look pretty slim at this weight, especially my legs! However this is when I am fully dressed. My legs have lost all muscle tone and the skin on my inner thighs has become worse. So definitely need the thigh lift. Naked I just look huge all over – and I feel huge! L

Hopefully the next surgery will help tremendously and I can start to feel like a woman with a normal body. I guess that’s it for now. I have attached a few pictures. Not too much of a difference except for the one laying down. Until next update!
Wow! *round of applause* you look great! you and I are so alike. I too am 5'10 and my maximum weight was 400lbs. I would like to see how all of your scars are healing, and would you still say you are not sure if it was worth it?
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I had my surgery yesterday and I am home now. No Joke...it is painful but I find most of the pain is from the muscle repair rather than the incision. It was well worth it...he took off 15lbs of skin just from my stomach area.
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Really?! There's hope! I am scale obsessed and numbers mean a lot to me. I am 170 but ideally I would like to be 140-145. Hoping to get my total body lift done within the next 2 months. Thanks for the update. Send pictures anything. We'll be in touch :)
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Update

Hi everyone,

I know i haven't been on here in a while. Been going through a few more set backs. Last time I posted an update I had a few separations under my breasts and my armpits. Those have all closed up by now. My fascia definitely has to be repaired somehow since my belly is sticking out big time... especially on my left side. When i lay down however I am completely flat. Something to be happy about :-) Wish I could walk around laying down :-)

So in preparation for my 3 month follow up with Dr. Capella and Dr. Roxanna Kline (the general surgeon who repaired my hernias and tried to repair my fascia) I requested a catscan of my abdomen. I wanted to make sure they could see how bad my fascia had become.

As I expected my hernias returned and my fascia is definitely worse - a wide mouthed hernia as they put it. My other 2 hernia are back as well.

Unfortunately that is not the only thing they found. I apparently had a solid mass in my left kidney now. Yes, kidney cancer....
As I sit here 4 days post-op writing all of you about this i still cannot believe this happened. I consulted several doctors at Sloan Kettering right away (it's good to have some connections) but decided to go with a wonderful doctor at Hackensack Hospital ( Dr. Munver) to remove the tumor. Per Dr. Capella - it is not the hospital doing the surgery it is the doctor.... and he is absolutely right. My infectious disease doctor is there as is my general surgeon and of course Dr. Capella. I felt most comfortable doing this at Hackensack. As it turns out both doctors I consulted with graduated from the same class but just ended up at different hospitals. So I decided to go with Dr. Munver who specializes in laparascopic/robotic surgery of the kidneys/urology/ oncology.

Dr. Munver tried to just do a partial nefrectomy (remove the diseased part of the kidney while sparing the rest of the kidney) but unfortunately the tumor was pretty big , right in the center of my kidney and growing around the arteries. There was no way to remove the tumor without taking the whole kidney out. He removed the whole left kidney. It was a pretty long operation as I had a lot of scar tissue he had to deal with.

But the good news is that he removed my cancer. 95% sure all of it is gone he said. Let's pray it is. My right kidney is healthy they say.. .however there is a lesion too small to characterize yet and some calcification as well. They will have to keep a close eye on me and test regularly to make sure I stay healthy.

I sit here swollen, in pain and a bit nausious tonight from all the gas put in me and not being able to go to the bathroom since the surgery but grateful that my cancer is once again gone. The pain I know will eventually go away (the gas gives you pain in your shoulders, ribs, belly, back ... just everywhere)... The fear probably never but I just have to keep going. What else can I do.
I have a 6-8 week recovery from this surgery.

I still need to have 3 more surgeries. My vertical torsoplasty and inner thigh lift, then my implants to correct my breasts and my chin lift to remove the loose skin under my neck. And I then also need to find a doctor that can address my fascia and at the same time fix the other hernias. That will be the most difficult to fix. If any of you know of any plastic surgeon who specializes in fixing fascias that are weakened (therefore not able to be fixed with mesh) please email me. I could have the hernias fixed by doctor Kline but then still would have to find someone to address the fascia...
Tryng to keep my surgeries to a minimum at this point.

I will get all of this done eventually and hope to be done by spring of next year. The thought of all this tires me.. especially now going through my second cancer scare. Life is crazy my friends.. Wish me luck, say a prayer for me, light a candle, make a wish... anything at this point will help.
I remain positive that all this shall pass and I will eventually have a body I can be proud of. Scarred yes but I consider these scars just a roadmap of my life. I think we all do.
For now I will concentrate on getting stronger and staying healthy.
Until my next update. Enjoy your summer my friends. :-)
Please let us know that you are ok. I am worried about you.
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Hi there. I just read through your story and wanted to offer you a virtual hug and word of encouragement. You have been through so much and are so strong and inspiring. Please know I'm thinking of you and praying for you, and I know that before long you're going to have that beautiful voluptuous body you deserve after all this. I hope your next update is some good news - until then you have everyone here cheering you on!!
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I wanted you to know I am praying for your complete healing, with many, many years ahead to enjoy that new body which will only get better...
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