I spoke to several surgeons and Gary Ross was the first, but also the one who I immediately had confidence in. As well as being located geographically close to my location, he was very pragmatic about what could be achieved and realistic about the likely outcome and also was very honest about where I could get the most impact.
In August 2011 I had a total body lift and arm lift at the same time and then had 3 weeks off work to recover. The surgery went exceptionally well and a stone (14lb/6.5kg) of skin was removed from my stomach as well as having excess skin taken from my arms. I stayed in hospital for two nights and then went home with care instructions. The only medication I was taking was paracetamol and codeine for pain and I only took the codeine for 3 days, switching to paracetamol only after this. There was no 'pain' in the traditional sense of the word as the operation had been on skin not muscle, it was just time for the wounds to heal correctly. I had follow up appointment after 1 week and then was allowed to shower and drive and so for the next 5 months I applied vitamin D cream and bio-oil to the scars to help them heal.
In February 2012 (6 months later) I then had a second operation. This had been planned immediately after the first as it was always going to need to be a two stage process. This operation was a form of abdominoplasty to 'tidy' the stomach area from the earlier skin removal, and also perform a thigh lift.
This time I had only 1 night in hospital and 2 weeks off work and again, had no issues and excellent care.
After these operations Gary Ross and I continue to discuss whether more was required. My body had healed very well and the scars were fading but there was still excess skin over my stomach. I had always known this would be the case as the body lift achieved as much as possible but had its limitations. Gary's honest understanding of what was feasible helped me appreciate my options for the future should I wish for another operation.
After three years of living with my new body and maintaining my weight in January 2015 I contacted Gary Ross again and we discussed the options for a third surgery. These included the options of a flankectomy (pulling the skin taught by removing skin at the sides of my body) or a fleur de lis abdominoplasty, but after consideration and discussion I selected the third option of a reverse adbominoplasty which was essentially similar to the body lift but with a scar line around my bra line and the excess skin pulled up to remove rather than down.
This took place on 1 July 2015 and again, I had one night in hospital and then two weeks off work.
Having had two previous surgeries I had no hesitation in returning to Gary for my third procedure, and four months after this surgery I am delighted with the results. My stomach is flatter than I anticipated and the before and after photographs really demonstrate the difference that has been achieved.
The photos attached show the original position (pre August 2011) and the latest position after my final surgery (at November 2015).
I would have no hesitation in recommending Gary Ross and his team to anyone looking for a similar full or part body approach as I have had. At all stages they have been sympathetic to my needs, respectful of my dignity and crucially they have always been pragmatic and honest to manage my expectations.
I am incredibly grateful to them all for the care and support they have provided. The surgeries I have undertaken have further changed my life - after I took steps to change it myself. They have given me back the confidence that I hoped for after my weight loss but that I hadn't originally found until the skin was removed.