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! ?


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!

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 :-)

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! :-)

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.


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

before and after groin

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

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!

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

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

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! :)

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!


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. :-)
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Comments (105)

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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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Im a little over a week out of surgery with Dr Capella and he is every bit the wonderful doctor you described. You've gone thru so much and came out stronger. I cant wait to stand up straight, get the least two drains removed and then plan my inner thigh lift. My prayers and thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery.
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Definitely saying prayers for you. You have been so strong and through so much. You WILL get through this!!!! Hugs to you . Keep us updated on how you are feeling.
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After reading this, I almost feel guilty for how well I'm doing and feeling three days post-op. However, I hope my experience is an encouragement to you considering that you have had to endure so much more. The most important thing is that you have taken control of your life and, after having gone through so much, decided that it's your time now...Kudos to you. As others have said you have had a lot of surgeries so give your body time to heal at which time your mind will also be healed and you will feel better.
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I am praying and sending positive energy your way!
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OMG! Prayers for you! So glad they found it and removed it even if the whole kidney had to go. You are a very strong woman!
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Oh my goodness! You've been thru a LOT! I pray they got all the cancer and you'll have a full recovery! Please keep us posted.
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Wow glad you are doing well
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Ummm, am I understanding that if you did not request the CT Scan then your kidney cancer would have gone undetected? This is just so chilling.
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Oh, wow, baby, I have been following your journey intently. I actually missed the update you posted in June. But now to read your July update, I just gasped. Again, I am in complete awe of your courage. You may be the most courageous woman I have come across. I am dealing with a complication but it seems so small compared to what you are facing/have faced. Many blessing to you, dear woman, for smooth saying from here on in. And congratulations on how far you have come already! I don't know if this would help you, but one surgeon on OH told me that he oversews a weakened fascia. Also, I know Alloderm is used for making internal slings -- no idea if this is something that could help you. I suggest that you may want to check with some of the chiefs of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the leading hospitals for help with your repair. There is Dr. Grant at Columbia near you. He has quite the resume and credentials although I do not know him personally. Wishing you well! Stay strong!!! We are all cheering for you!!!
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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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Wow! I just read your entire blog and just want to say thanks for the play by play. I will be having my surgery July 24th and this is so informative. I am also having it done by Dr. Capella whose Dad, not retired, did my gastric bypass 17 yrs ago. How are you doing now two months later?
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Well done and congrats on taking the step. Please keep posting photos and updates on your progress. My LBL and arm lift is in 3 days. Still in the excited phase but know the nerves will kick in soon enough. I look forward to watching your progress.
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I am cheering you on, woman. People say I am strong but you make me pale by comparison. The dry gauze really does work -- I have had lots of experience with THAT. BUT go to the ER immediately if you develop a fever, especially with your MRSA history. You are still early-on in recovery and it will take time for your body to heal. I began my plastic surgery last year at the same weight as you and I am a size 2 now. So hang in there - you will have a new body new life but it will take some time. Wishing you well!
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You look wonderful and I'm glad to hear that you are recovering - recovery is harder than it looks! I had my LBL about a week before you did and I'm just getting back into my usual routine. I am amazed at how much free-er I feel (that is, in the beginning of the day, before my belly blows up like a balloon.) How do your breasts feel? I definitely need a lift and am will be talking to Dr. C about that later this month.
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Thanks for the update, I think your stomach looks flatter than it did before. I'm still so admiring of your amazing achievement despite all the hard times you've had. I really hope I'll be brave enough to have a lift, assuming the NHS in the UK do it for free, I feel kind of scared that I'll lose all the weight and still feel terrible about myself. But I'm putting the cart ahead of the horse, I have to lose it first!!
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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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Hey there, would love to get an update from you and see how you are doing. Recovery can be hard physically and emotionally. I hope all is well!
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Reading through your story again - you are so strong!
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:-) We are all strong!!!
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