31 Year Old, Panniculectomy W/Lipo of Abdomen & Flank Area - Detroit, MI

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After a year of being a total creeper on here...

After a year of being a total creeper on here reading about people's tummies and surgeries, I am finally making my own review. I have been obsessing over getting a tummy tuck for a little over a year now, but to honest I don't think I would be able to follow through with that procedure. I am very active, run about 5 miles a day plus strength training, but I was heavy as a teenager and I have this hanging apron of skin/fat on my lower stomach that I have had for close to a decade. Through all of my exercising and eating sensibly I have never been able to change this part of my body. I have had multiple consultations that have all resulted in me feeling scared and shaking my head thinking 'no way will I be able to do that.' I have never had children and I did have surgery on a broken arm when I was a child that was a terrible experience (woke up screaming and fainted) so there is some baggage here.

Anyways, I had my consultation with Dr. Hardaway on January 29th and while driving to the appointment I wondered why the hell I was even going through with the consultation because I didn't want a tummy tuck. The first thing I noticed that was different than the other consults is they immediately had me disrobe, put on a paper thong (sexy!), and take pictures. While the nurse was taking pictures we were chatting about why I was there, etc., and I mentioned I was there for a consult on a tummy tuck, but to be honest the idea of all that muscle work scared the crap out of me and I didn't think I was going to be able to go through that amount of pain and I didn't know why I had to have muscle plication anyways, especially because I haven't even had children (yes, I was naked and rambling). The nurse looked at my stomach while taking pictures from every angle imaginable and said, 'Your stomach is pretty flat. Actually, in your upper abdomen I can see the start of your six pack and then it gets lost in all this loose skin. I have a feeling Dr. Hardaway won't see the need for you to have muscle plication.' I was pretty shocked at this because every other consult I went to seemed to have, hands-down, one way of doing this and this is how it has to be. When Dr. Hardaway came in and we met, she was very nice and thorough. We looked at my photos and then stood in front of the mirror and looked at my stomach and then we went back to looking at my pictures. She stated that there were twos ways we could go that she would reccommend. One would be a full tummy tuck without muscle repair, because she agreed with the nurse that my muscle wall looked to be intact. The other would be to do what they call a panniculectomy which she informed me would be the removal of the pannus - the apron of skin that is hanging below my belly button (that's what it's called - never knew that), and to do Vaser Lipo of the abdomen and flanks (optional if I wanted a more hourglass shape). She informed me that this should be sufficient in getting the results I wanted but also had an easier recovery. I honestly booked the appt then and there and drove home happy as a clam finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

I will take some photos tomorrow and post so people can creep on my stuff like I creeped on many others before me. I would love to hear from people who have had a panniculectomy and or/vaser lipo, what waking up from surgery and the following days consisted of, pain level, etc., that is a major source of fear for me right now. Thanks! :)

Before pics - still haven't cancelled surgery (yay me!)

Got my info in the mail today for my Medical Clearance

So.. this is seeming to be actually happening because Dr. Hardaway's office sent me a letter with some instructions and the request for my Medical Clearance testing. I think it is also very convenient and efficient that Dr. Hardaway's office has also faxed this info to my primary care physician already. I can almost see the look on my PCP's face, I'm gonna have some 'splaining to do lol. Anyways, I had a feeling of shear panic after reading the letter, I know this is real but it made it feel so REAL. The feelings come in waves, one minute I am so excited and thankful that I have this opportunity for a 'normal' stomach, something I never thought I was going to have. The next minute I am freaking out and questioning how am I going to be able to go through with this? Do I really NEED this? Am I risking everything for vanity? Is it really that bad that I can't live with it? But then when I think of the idea of backing out, I am relieved for about 5 minutes before I am overcome with sadness of having given up.
Farmington Plastic Surgeon

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