After losing 115 pounds and keeping it off for the...
After losing 115 pounds and keeping it off for the last 3.5 years, I decided to look into procedures for removing excess skin. I got a tummy tuck and arm lift last March and, despite a couple of complications, have been thrilled with my results and with my surgeon, and finally decided to go ahead and close out this chapter of my life with a thigh lift.
The doctor called it a "mini thigh lift" though I'm not sure if that is an official term. The incision will be in the groin and tuck down the inner thighs by a couple of inches, so hopefully mostly hidden. However, my arm scars are visible at certain angles and still pretty red a year later, and I don't regret it whatsoever. My doctor also said he wants to do a revision of my abdominal scar to pull it down a little bit since the scar is a bit depressed on the right side. He is going to do it at the same time at no additional charge, and doesn't sound like it will increase the recovery substantially. I wouldn't do the scar revision on its own and hadn't had any problem with it, but I'll trust whatever he thinks is best.
Surgery is scheduled for 6/1. I'm excited but it's not dominating my life quite the way the TT/arm lift seemed to be in the months and weeks leading up to it. The excess thigh skin is really just an aesthetic issue rather than causing me any major problems, but it will be nice to feel comfortable in shorts and bathing suits!
Some before pics
Here are some before pics.. clearly my mirror needs to be cleaned, sorry! The biggest problem area is the upper inner thighs, but he said he would also do some lipo in the lower thigh area (though it sounds like the incision wouldn't have to go down that far). In a perfect world I'd do the outer thighs/saddlebags and butt too, but I'll be thrilled just to get the extra skin removed from the inner thighs.
9 Jun 2016
Day of treatment
I had my thigh lift and ab scar revision earlier today and it feels great to be on the other side. I got to the surgery center a little after 10, went back to get prepped around 10:30, headed into surgery within the hour, and was through recovery and on my way home by 4 or so.
I'm definitely having some soreness, more than I remember from my tummy tuck and arm lift, but I also had a "pain buster" belt thing after that one that delivered pain relief right to the stomach incision area which probably helped. And the perocets seem to be managing the pain well enough. I can take my next one in 45 minutes and I'd say pain is about a 3.5-4 out of 10.
TMI.... VERY happy that the bike shorts compression garment I'm wearing are completely crotchless or I'd for sure be peeing all over myself! I can't imagine trying to pull them off and on every time yet either so very pleased with this CG.
I guess that's about all I have to report so far but will for sure be updating regularly!
Post op day 3 - finally showered!
Early yesterday I was feeling a bit anxious about untangling myself from my compression garment (very tight crotchless bike shorts with a combo of clasps and zippers up the side), the bandages and gauze that were still on my body and drains in order to shower. I was a bit more sore and lethargic and and showering felt overwhelming.
By last night and this morning, I couldn't WAIT to finally get out of this stuff! And it felt great. I was told to leave all of the bandages and garment in place for the first 72 hours and then could take everything off to shower, but damn was I feeling grimy and swollen and ready to unstuff myself from my garment when the time finally came.
Getting all of the tape and bandages off took a bit but unhooking the shorts wasn't as bad as I thought, and showering was not hard and felt amazing. I hooked all 3 drains onto a lanyard around my neck which made things easier. I've had no trouble walking or standing and feel much better than I did 3 days after my tummy tuck/arm lift so the first shower was much better this time around.
Everything looks good from what I can see (there is still tape over the incisions). My thigh incisions go a bit less than halfway down my inner thighs which is right where we discussed they would stop. I really was only focused on the upper inner thigh area and didn't want the scars going all the way to my knees. He did some lipo in the lower thigh area but no cutting. I'm also pleased with my stomach.. that was secondary and done at the doctor's suggestion but everything looks even flatter and the incision was lowered maybe an inch or so in the middle.
I will definitely post pics soon! I didn't have my phone in the bathroom with me when I was showering today and I'll probably wait and see if I get my drains out tomorrow. I know my mood might ebb and flow throughout the day but overall feeling great right now and glad to be another day out from surgery and into recovery.
12 days post-op, with pics
I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks, and also can't believe how amazing I feel so early in the recovery process. I'm probably jinxing myself but it has been exponentially easier and smoother than the tummy tuck/arm lift recovery.
I got my drains out last Friday (8 days post-op) and was already feeling good but that made things much better and easier, especially getting the compression shorts off and on. On Saturday I was probably feeling TOO good and lured in by the nice weather and ended up out and about from about 2 pm to 1 am hanging out with friends at a couple of beer gardens and probably walking more than I should have. However, miraculously, I felt fine the next day and have continued to feel better and better. I'm not going to work out until after I go back to my doctor on July 1 and he clears it, but everything feels well enough that it actually feels doable already which I did not expect.
Yesterday was my first day back at work and the compression shorts are a bit annoying as they come down lower than some of my skirts and they feel bulky under pants, but I can deal with that. I'm sure I'll be tired by the end of the week but so far so good!
I'm attaching some pics I took this morning, and also a picture I took the morning of surgery right before I went in. I knew that this surgery would not be as drastic of a change because there was a more limited area of my thighs I was concerned with which is why I didn't have the incision go down very far. I think this picture showcases it a bit better- that upper inner thigh area where I had those lumps of extra skin. My lower thighs aren't perfect and he did lipo that area, but I don't care about or need perfect thighs, I just wanted that extra pocket of skin to go away! So I'm very pleased with the results, and will see if they continue to smooth out about as time goes on.
4 weeks post-op! Feeling good
The time has flown, and so has recovery, thankfully. It doesn't even really feel like I've been in "recovery" since the first week, because life was fortunately able to go back to normal pretty quickly. I really couldn't be happier with how smoothly everything has gone, especially since my previous procedures had some difficulties.
I decided to try easing back into working out last week with some upper body/lifting and some light core work and that felt fine, so last night I tried running, just 20 minutes on the treadmill, but felt great! My legs felt totally normal, no weird sensations or pain, and I didn't feel overly worn down afterward either.
My doctor said to keep wearing a compression garment on my legs and stomach for as long as possible, and I prefer the feeling of having something there, especially when working out. However, I bought a pair of regular bike shorts that don't come up as high (the ones I got after surgery are high waisted and zip/clasp up the sides) so I think I will start to transition into wearing other garments with a bit less compression.
I went to the pool and the beach last weekend and was excited to be in a bathing suit with the new thighs! It felt weird to go longer stretches of time without wearing the shorts, but it was also really liberating. There is a bit of a strange sensation when the inner thigh incisions touch each other but it's not painful, just weird to get used to, and I imagine that will start to subside. I think some of it is just paranoia about not wanting to mess anything up. I'm also really happy that you can't see the incisions at all, even in a bathing suit or shorts. The only time they are visible is if I actually turn my leg outward, and even then only in a bathing suit/underwear since the incisions don't come down past most shorts.
All in all, very happy! I don't have to see my doctor again for another 6 weeks (well now more like 5) unless I have any problems, so I feel like at this point - fingers crossed - I should be good to go! I do not plan to have any further procedures, at least related to excess skin, so it feels nice to have this behind me. I will post pics again soon- so far they look about the same as the last pics.