My journey to this point had been somewhat different that what I originally envisioned (isn't that usually how life goes though?), but I am excited and ready for this surgery. After consulting with another PS in town who found that I had an incisional hernia (you can find my related posts here on Real Self about all that) I felt that it was important to find a surgeon who was current and board certified in both plastics and general surgery.
I met with Dr. B on 1/23/12 and could not have been more pleased. After checking in, updating paperwork, and watching a short video that outlined the surgery and recovery from my procedure, Dr. B came in and met with me in the consultation "lounge." It is wonderful (and less intimidating) to speak with your surgeon as a person who is fully clothed- it truly is a conversation rather than the typical consult and exam where you're half naked in some paper getup. Kudos to him and the office staff for adding that extra step in!
Of course across the hall is where I got undressed and put on the wonderful surgical undies...as the nurse put it, "one size fits none." and Dr. B came back in to examine my abdomen and thoroughly checked out the herniated area. I do have a diastasis (after two big baby boys that's not all that surprising) so he will perform muscle repair with the TT- and best part is that the hernia is almost exactly along the midline of my abdomen, so the MR will majorly reinforce that repaired area and he won't use mesh or anything on the hernia site. Another plus to having him as my surgeon...he only performs surgery in a hospital based-OR setting and makes all his patients stay overnight.
As an RN this is important to me because 1) working in the ER and ICU I have seen a lot of cases of patients that got into trouble in "outpatient" surgery settings where only limited life saving resources were available, and 2) the first 24 hours post-surgery are rough for a lot of people as far as nausea, pain management, mobility, etc. Definitely something that factors big with me...just because you "can" send someone home as an outpatient doesn't always mean that you "should." And, for the record, even with the overnight stay factored into my total cost, this procedure is less expensive than the first surgeon I saw. But really...if you're pinching pennies when it comes to your health and safety....maybe it's time to ask if you're really ready for plastic surgery.
Anyway, I was so relieved and excited after meeting with him (even after posing for those terrible "before" photos, haha) that I booked my surgery before leaving the office! Bright and early on March 6th I am going to be having the biggest surgery of my life, and while I am mentally and physically preparing for a slow and easy recovery, I can't help but be excited for the major changes that will be taking place! I have worked really hard with diet and exercise to get my body where it needs to be for me to be healthy and strong, and so for me, having the TT is like putting a period on the end of that sentence. The next six weeks are going to be more intensive core and cardio training at the gym, and meticulous diet at home with lots of lean protein, iron, and vitamin supplements to help get my body ready for the major stress that surgery and recovery will create. I meet with Dr. B again on February 6th so will update then with more details. In the meantime I am posting a list of pre- and post-surgery items (I know there are a few out there, but I spent most of last night looking and didn't find one that had EVERYTHING in one place) that hopefully will be helpful to y'all. So glad I found RealSelf and this wonderful community of support, laughter, and information:)