PO End of Day 4

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I am 40 yrs old, 5'3" currently 215 lbs. I wear a...

I am 40 yrs old, 5'3" currently 215 lbs. I wear a size 18/20 in pants and 2x (more for length) in tops. I have lost over 100 lbs in the past 14 months after finally being diagnosed with sleep apnea. In school, I was always a curvy but petite girl but unfortunately most of my friends were just plain tiny. 3 c-sections within a 5 year span, 2 abusive relationships, stressful accountant career and a lifetime of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise led to weighing over 320 lbs.
My stomach disgusts me and always has even when I weighed 115 lbs as even then I had a small roll. In the past 2-3 months and approx 20 lbs lost, I haven't any real inches in my waist or hips. My hips actually mainly consist of the blob of fat that hangs down and hides my panties.
My mom is the only one not really supportive of the surgery which is fine because quite frankly I blame her for some of this as we grew up on soda, fast food, frozen pizzas and IF she "cooked" it was fried. Luckily as a child, I was pretty active so the unhealthy eating was overshadowed but we were somewhat neglected and never shown how to truly cook anything.
Now life is about me, staying healthy and doing what I need to do to continue to increase my happiness. I have great support from my sister, my adult kids and my best friend.
I don't expect to be a size 5 but I want my pants to not gap at the waist just because I have to get pants 2 sizes larger just to fit the hanging fat apron. I have a huge love for lingerie and I want to see the lace panties that I love wearing but can't find under the grossness.

Any advice on what specific questions to ask? I...

Any advice on what specific questions to ask? I have done extensive research on the PS' backgrounds/reviews/etc. so that information I feel pretty confident about and still leaning towards PS #2 unless something just creeps me out next week. RealSelf has been loaded with information which is truly a Godsend...thanks Ladies!!
Plus, learned last night that my Dad knows PS #2 which is favorable. Also, the office mgr for PS #2 highly recommended I keep appt w/#1 at the very least for comparison which meant a lot to me. Even over the phone I felt comfortable in talking to her & sharing that beyond the actual surgery, my main concern is post-op care. I am fiercely independent and it is hard to ask for help so I have to feel really comfortable in case there are issues.
I will ask if waiting even longer and losing more weight beyond the 15-20 that I should lose by then would be hugely beneficial. Waiting much longer would be difficult for me, 1-out of impatience; 2-at work we get a summer helper so being off for an unknown amount of time would be ideal; 3-once at my own home my teenage niece will stay with me for a bit; and other less significant timing reasons.
What days of the week they will be able to do surgery? I am hoping for a Wed/Thur as I am doing my best to have the least amount of time away from work and 2 full weekends would help even if I only come back part-time after 11-12 days.
How much follow up care is normal for them beyond any unforeseen complications?
What is covered in their quote and what additional expenses are not listed?
If there needs to be revisions ie dogears, addt'l lipo, etc. how they charge for that?

My 1st doctor recommends a body lift and I am not...

My 1st doctor recommends a body lift and I am not sure that I agree. I don't have issues with my backside. His comment was "if I don't go all the way around, you will end up with dogears." I think it concerned me because I wouldn't think that a doctor should knowingly expect dogears.
I think it was hard to to hear "yes, you have an issue that a tummy tuck will most definitely fix but if you don't fix your backside, the TT will make your backside look really bad." Personally, I don't have mental issues w/my backside. I have always been wide-hipped and had a squeezable butt so it has never really concerned me.
I don't think either one of the doctors will do lipo at the same time due to blood flow. I am looking forward to meeting with Dr. #2 Wed at 8:00 am. I have always leaned his way once I begin my research and his 2nd opinion will be invaluable. He has much better overall reviews, no negative professional marks and I have felt more comfortable w/his staff's responses to email, telephone conversations, etc.

Dr. #2's consult was completely opposite of #1's...

Dr. #2's consult was completely opposite of #1's in almost every aspect. So I am going for #3 on Friday. Dr. #2 didn't recommend a body lift as for my weight, it would be a lot of surgery & healing and he agreed that my backside is not that bad especially because I know that through exercise, it is still being tightened. Neither does lipo at the same time as a tummy tuck.
Dr. #2 did recommend a continuation of weight loss & strength training which I would do regardless and would like me to be under 200 prior to surgery. He did comment that I would lose a good amount of weight w/surgery due to all the excess being removed.
He also stated that I would most likely need touch-up surgery about 8 months later to further tighten the skin especially around/above the incision. HAS ANYONE heard of above incision "puffiness or permanent swelling" which is what he stated is the reason for touch-up surgery??
The only differences with him that concerns me is unless there are complications, he doesn't see me PO until a week later. He does not do a catheter nor pain pump. He also mentioned 20-40% of his patients have small separations of the incision due to loss of blood flow to the nerves.
So a lot of info to sort through my mind and research.

I love Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele! He was easy to...

I love Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele! He was easy to talk but still really professional. I didn't like Dr. #1 at all and Dr. #2 and Dr. Vijay (his preference on what his patients call him) were pretty close w/procedure. Dr. Vijay definitely had a much better Post-Op plan, uses a pain pump, does lipo & muscle repair as necessary and was $2000 less expensive. The surgery will actually take place at the facility that my RN friend works at, which is very comforting!
My step-mom is totally supportive and excited for me. July 11th seems so far away but my vacation time restarts in June, it gives me more time to continue working out, lose weight and become even healthier! My blood pressure was "perfect" according to the assistant and Dr. Vijay loved that I make cardio an important part of my daily workout.
I feel very comforted in the decision I made! He laughed when I told him that I already have started a grocery list (based on everything that ya'll have shared) I think every potential patient should be referred to this site.

Is there a such website (message board, forum, etc...

Is there a such website (message board, forum, etc.) that combines all the great suggestions from the Expert Tummy Tuckers patients? I keep envisioning sections such
Research 1. what questions to ask 2. how to "rate" a PS
Pre-op 1. what to avoid week before 2. shopping lists 3. Product reviews such as shower chairs, etc.
Post-op 1. dietary advice such as avoid sodium & eat pineapple 2. how to cope with the pain

Less than 10 lbs to goal

When I started my journey over 16 months ago my "goal" was to get in the 100s. A tummy tuck wasn't even something I thought about as I just wanted to lose weight.
I had no idea what I would gain from this journey. Random thoughts hit me daily...when I unconsciously run up the stairs when I would have taken the elevator, when I bend over to pick up something when it would have winded me. What I have gained is health and feeling good inside has made me feel better about my outside. The naysayers have turned around and become more supportive and I love my PS and feel confident that I will be in great hands.
I am slightly struggling with the number that the scale shows as my PS wanted me to be under 200 as well. And being an accountant, I have always used the scale to mark progress even with the understanding that it fluctuates. I know I am gaining muscle mass, it is apparent, but trying to convince myself that it why the scale hasn't moved much in 2 months is difficult. 7 weeks to showtime and all I can do is keep doing what I am doing.

Pre-Op Done, Pre-Registration Scheduled & 3 weeks until Flat!

Pre-Op went ok...step mom was moody so it dampened my spirits and caused unnecessary anxiety. Her concerning comment to me was "I don't know what you are going to eat while you are at my house as your Dad & me are on different schedules and we eat differently than you do." I already planned to shop the weekend before and then for fresh foods 2 days before. My friend is making a healthy chicken noodle soup to cover the first couple of days. I am stressed because I already have major issues with asking for help, with anything, and being somewhat incapacitated and relying on someone will be really freaking tough. The truth boils down to, I have no one else available and so I have no options.
Then on top of all, that I still have 6 lbs to lose and my PS said (if I understood right) that he won't do any lipo if I am not under 200 lbs. What kills me is that I have been strength training for over 3 months and I know I have gained significant muscle which battles the freaking scale. He did comment that he was happy that I had lost 10 lbs since I saw him the end of March. I know lipo is very helpful to "mold" the body, zap more fat cells, etc. and I don't understand why just a couple of lbs will prevent that from happening. I know it doesn't help that both times I have seen him has been in the late afternoon & I am about 4 or 5 lbs heavier than in the morning + I am wearing clothes.
Beyond all that, I am pretty satisfied with my preparations and just can't wait until it is all said and done.

10 More Days

I am very excited and most things seem to be slowly falling into place. I am within 5 lbs of what was my original goal weight (in the 100s) and am truly looking at my TT as a bonus. As much as I wanted to be at or below my goal weight, I can honestly say that I have done the best that I can do and I refuse to take dietary supplements. I know realistically I probably should wait until I lose a little more but summer is the only time I can do this and there is no way that I can mentally wait another year.
Still working on the step mom issue and she is my #1 concern as I am not confrontational, assume I will be emotional, and praying she will be nice. I have my required pre-registration hospital testing next Monday but not too worried about it. And my first post-op was rescheduled from Tuesday afternoon to Monday morning which makes me feel better as I didn't want to leave in the pain pump longer than necessary.

PO 1 - Feeling Good So Far

Went into surgery yesterday at 12:30 - 3:45. No MR or lipo but removed 8.5 lbs and told me he gave me a cute new belly button. I am so much thinner and nothing sits on my lap!!!
Very little pain but trying to stay on top of Lortab every 4 and took a Valium last night before bed. Didn't sleep much & i'm not really tired. I need help getting in & out of recliner but using a walker which is very helpful. I'm had no real pain but definitely more uncomfortable as it gets closer to another dose of Lortab. I think some of it is gas pains...I can pass it on the toilet but harder to pass it reclined.
So far my step mom has sucked with giving me my meds. She is totally pissing me off but my Dad has been awesome.
I called him 3x last night to help me to the bathroom & at 5:10 cuz she didn't bring me my 5 am Lortab. She did get up at 1 but got mad that Dad put it next to me at 12 and I took it at 12:45 before I dozed off. Each time he refills my water glass. Just asked her for the 3rd time for my 9:00 Lortab. I made a spreadsheet for all my meds.
I am beyond thrilled and so far doing 100% better than I thought. Update & will post pics soon

End of PO Day 4 & Super Happy

Sorry, I haven't updated earlier but I have been tired, busy, on the phone, had visitors etc and I haven't had the chance. Here is the first look!!! I love it...I am swollen of course but PS estimates I weigh about 13lbs less than the morning I went into surgery if you minus the swelling.
These are the size 20 shorts that fit me snuggly one week ago. I literally have no bottoms to wear...I tried on everything I had that fit me tighter last week.
With the PS's estimation of me being about 190 currently...I have lost over 130 lbs since Jan 4, 2012 thru eating healthy & exercise. I was busting out of a 30/32 and 4x tops. I am beyond ecstatic!!!
PS removed one drain this morning & the other one will come out tomorrow. I have had absolutely no pain from surgery, only discomfort from the gas. I have only taken 2 Lortab since Sat am and take Tylenol ever 6-8 hours. The last one was at almost 8 hours ago but only because my back was hurting from sitting much more than I am used to.
I am walking straight and have been pretty much since Saturday w/PS approval. I am being very careful and my nieces are here helping me. I can get out of the rocking recliner myself, slowly, but if I have to pee really bad (after a nap, etc.) I call them to help me get up quicker. I don't bend over and won't reach for things and if I am scared that I may not be able to do something, I don't even attempt it.
I haven't showered yet, he said I could today, but figured it will be easier to wait until after the other drain is removed tomorrow. I have had my hair washed in the sink a couple of times & sponge bathe daily.
I am beyond happy and even with swelling, my results have been beyond my wildest dreams.
And finally the last two pictures are the morning of surgery. I can't change what it was but the fact is that the blob no longer exist and no words can describe how happy I am.

PO 5 1/2 months

It has been a whirlwind exhausting emotional life since my July 11th surgery. Staying with my bipolar step mom was a huge mistake and I begged my mom to take me home 3 days PO with my wonderful teenage nieces staying with me. Out of exhaustion both physically and emotionally, I accidentally overdosed on Lortab thinking it was Tylenol. It was insane & scary but profoundly beautiful all at the same time...I had vivid dreams of my Papa who died when I was 8 and my nephew who passed when he was 5.
I went back to work 12 days PO and worked 3 hours then was fulltime from that day forward. My boss was accommodating the first 1 1/2 days then because I was not in as much pain as expected, didn't agree with my need of putting my feet up, etc. I was swollen and my back hurt horrifically for the first 2 weeks of returning to work.
Surgery was on a Thursday and my first drain was removed on Monday and the 2nd was on Thursday. I was surprised with the low pain factor and the nurses told me that Dr Vijay had specialized training in how to cause the least amount of trauma to the body.
At my 2 week follow up, I was released for light cardio & was given permission for sex (it was amazing to show off the much slimmer me ;-) At my 6 week follow up, I was fully released to assume exercising with the promise that I would allow my body to set it's own limits.
After 2 week back at the gym which was slower going than I anticipated, my mom was hospitalized. When she is released in the next day or two, it will be a total hospitalization of 3 1/2 months. To say the least, my gym time has been sporadic as I honestly couldn't fit it in. Didn't help that I was told by my older sister (after stating that I really missed the gym) that I shouldn't be selfish and that my priority needed to be Mom.
My family hasn't really accepted my diagnosis of borderline OCD and sensory sensitivity. My need of a structure schedule and obsession with time among other things is not something they seem to understand. I had a complete meltdown one night about 6 weeks into my Mom's hospitalization because everything was too chaotic and there was no structure in my routine.
I am hoping that with my Mom finally going home that after the holidays I can get back to "being selfish." I fluctuate 3-4 lbs but thankfully haven't really gained weight even with less than perfect eating. So much more satisfaction in a 500 calorie full plate of healthy food than a 500 calorie hamburger. Unfortunately, I have lost a lot of muscle tone that I built up before surgery. I know I can get it back once I can become consistent at the gym which is why I haven't given up and still do my best to not sabotage what I eat.
I did spit stitches about 3 months PO that I removed with help from a friend. It felt like a splinter and my clothes would rub up against it causing some pain. After removing them, it took only a day or two to heal from it. I still swell especially after eating too much salt that I try to control but my gosh, salt is in everything!! And having to rely more on Lean Cuisines and not home cooked meals is not helping the sodium matter.
Originally I was a size 30/32 and 4x tops and lost 118lbs before surgery. He removed 8.5 lbs on the table and I have lost another 5 on my own for a total loss of 130 lbs in just under 2 years. Day of surgery I wore a size 20 and 2x tops more to cover my stomach. After surgery and presently, I comfortably wear 14/16 and XL tops. I love that I can walk into any store and shop...no more plus size stores!!
I did not do any scar treatments and they are slowly starting to fade. The scar line is very thin and totally hidden with panties.
Corpus Christi Plastic Surgeon

3rd consult definitely ended up being the most comforting and thorough!

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