Much Needed Abdominoplasty After Weight Loss - Ann Arbor, MI

I want to preface this by saying I am a transman...

I want to preface this by saying I am a transman and although I am fairly open about my transition, please keep questions/comments/etc, related to the specific surgeries I am reviewing. I will mention a few things in my past that led to these surgeries however if need be.

After an 80lb weight loss I was in need of an abdominoplasty which I had done at the same time as FTM double mastectomy. I went to Dr Kuzon in Ann Arbor MI at U of M because I knew of their gender program and was hoping to get top surgery covered by my insurance.

I live in Grand Rapids which makes Ann Arbor almost a two hour drive away. My first appointment with Kuzon was in February '15. My waiting time for him(my appointment was roughly around 2-3 o'clock in the afternoon) was close to two hours and this was me sitting in the exam room.

The first person I met with was a resident(or assistant, I can't remember). Being a modest and shy person, I was very weary about this person, who was not the doctor, coming in and poking and prodding at me. After the basic health questions, I was left alone in the freezing exam room. (Seemed to be a thing with U of M and cold exam rooms) After my two hour wait(not exaggerating) Kuzon finally came in. He pulled his seat up so he was seated directly in front of me and literally between my knees and proceeded to talk to me at this close range.

He checked me over and after told me my stomach could be taken care of with a fleur de lis incision and that my top surgery would be done with double incisions with a nipple graph. After the exam I left and went home.

I'll fast forward to after surgery. When I was out of surgery I had fully expected to be wearing a surgical binder since that's what I was accustomed to seeing. This wasn't the case. I had my incisions covered with pads and tape and was always hyper aware that the middle of my stomach was protruding out more than before the surgery. I had remembered hearing the recovery nurse telling my mom that it was just swelling and it would go down(my mom was kind of shocked at the sight I guess). When I went for my post op and drain removal I couldn't even rejoice in the fact that I'd finally had top surgery because my upper "stomach pooch" was all I could focus on. When the drains were out I was instructed that I could wear my binder now but I still had stitches along my pubic area and up and around my belly button and stomach.

I had to wait another week or so before the stitches would come out by this time they were getting kind of gross and would make a mess on the inside of my binder. Now I'm not sure why this happened but a few days after the stitches were removed the incision started ripping open around my belly button. First under my belly button and when that healed, above my belly button would start tearing open. Once that would heal, under my bb would start to open again. This happened a total of four times, twice above my bb and twice below. I was still wearing my binder, even to bed because I wasn't instructed otherwise. When I woke in the morning the fabric of my binder would be stuck to my wounds and it was a great deal of pain trying to pull it off. My bb also ended up very dilated because of this(you can see in the closeup pic) and there is heavy scarring and numbness all around it. As for my stomach pooch, I was told it could have been fluid and one of Kuzon's assistants/residents ended up sticking me with a huge syringe to see if it was fluid. Turns out it wasn't.

After a few more months of waiting, just this past April '16 I was told that Kuzon's office would offer to fix my bb scars and my pooch in office for free. As tempting as this offer was, I can no longer deal with them. His fix was to make another horizontal incision across my stomach, basically just trimming the skin off. I don't even remember how he said he would fix my bb though.

Where I stand now: I went for a consult with Dr Dodde in Holland MI and just dealing with him and his staff is like a breath of fresh air. He says he can fix my pooch the right way and even do a pubic lift(which was one of my concerns before but was difficult to bring up to Kuzon).

(I will make a new review about my experiences with Dr Dodde)

One week post op with Dr Dodde

It's been a week and almost two days since my surgery on June 22 2016. I got my drains removed yesterday, June 30. Was able to see a little bit of my results as Dr Dodde had me lying on the exam table to remove the drains and sutures around my belly button. However from what I could see, I'm pretty pleased with his work! He was able to remove all of the scarring around my belly button by "sliding" all that extra saggy skin down. My belly button is no longer open and dilated and he also did a lift and lipo on my pubic area- something that was also a concern of mine. When I had met with him for my consult, the one before my surgery date, he had mentioned not being able to lipo my flanks which made me a little depressed. My flanks were a cause of great discomfort and annoyance since the fat made it difficult to keep my pants up. The day of the surgery I was going to give one last ditch effort and ask about lipo-ing my sides. Dr Dodde came in and was explaining everything he was going to do and mentioned lipo of my flanks which made me extremely happy! However, he said that whatever he could do was going to be restricted by the bed and not being able to move me much. Didn't matter much to me since it was better than nothing.

The surgery was, I want to say, roughly four hours. While I was in post op, Dr Dodde came in to tell me that he'd removed the entire scar and was able to lipo my flanks pretty aggressively too, which I was pleased to hear.

I was pretty alert the entire car ride home since it was roughly a 25 minute drive home this time. I took my meds as needed but didn't have much pain honestly. Nausea this time around was pretty much nonexistent due to the scope patch the nurse put on before surgery. (I took this off Friday but was told that I could keep it on until Saturday. Upon removing it, I did feel a little queasy but nothing like I'd experienced with the first surgeries.)

Overall, I've been extremely pleased with Dr Dodde and his wonderful staff and I highly recommend going to him for any surgery needs. My only regret is that I didn't have him do these two surgeries in the first place. It would have saved me a lot of money and struggles in the long run.

July 1, 2016. One week post op abdominoplasty revision w/ Dr Dodde

Here are my one week post op photos. (I hope they load correctly)

Two weeks post op abdominoplasty revision with Dr Dodde.

(Apparently I'm not able to create a new review dedicated solely to Dr Dodde so I have to resort to updating this one)

I had my two week post op with Dr Dodde on July 7th. Everything looks good and I started using Bio Oil on my scars. I took these pics the day of the appointment so I still had the steri strips on but Dr Dodde removed them in office.

There is still a little bit of sagging skin above my belly button but I'm hoping that with exercise and being able to stand up straighter as I heal more, that skin will go away. If not, I hope it's an easy fix and is covered under my initial payment. I was also told that I could stop wearing my binder as well.
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon

The majority of the staff at U of M were OK and I use that term loosely. I was never made aware of the fact that med students would be who I would be dealing with the majority of the time. Because of this I felt too uncomfortable to voice a lot of my major concerns. Dr Kuzon himself didn't come across as very personable. My first meeting with him he kind of intruded my personal space even before he started examining me. I felt he was a little condescending in the way he would talk to me(could have just been me since I get that a lot.) I only saw him at my initial consult and then dealt with an assistant for the rest of visits and didn't see Dr Kuzon until I was about to be wheeled into the OR and then when I went to see him about the revision. Overall, I would not recommend Dr Kuzon or the U of M for cosmetic surgery. May just be my personal experience but I honestly wish I had listened to my gut when it said to go elsewhere.

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