Pictures will come in an update. Please be patient.
I have been overweight all my life. As an adult I have lost 100lbs twice and now a third time at 49. Needless to say, all this weight and weight loss took a toll on my body and I wanted to live my next 50 years differently than my first 50 and chose reconstructive surgery with Dr. Kaufman in Folsom, CA.
Lower Body Lift 11-21-14:
First off, cosmetic surgery is hard for most of us. I wanted to be sure to mention this since there are some individuals who appear superhuman after major surgery.
It was hard for me to breathe deeply after surgery and found that mindful breathing while sitting or lying still really helped to not only prove it’s possible but also loosen up that tightness over time. That being said, I did have problems for the first three weeks when I walked other than in my home. I had to learn to stop, slow down and concentrate.
I also had a problem with dizziness but it was NOT upon rising. It just happened suddenly and it was usually with activity. Couple with that, my stomach muscles when I was active sometimes spasmed making it hard to breath. In fact, I went to the ER thinking that I had a blood clot. I was fine and a bit too active. It was a combination of dizziness, spasms and overdoing as well as anxiety.
I found that I was overwhelmed after my LBL. It was a combination of pain/discomfort, pain meds, drains, lack of mobility, dealing with colitis and constipation after surgery, leaking from incisions and a lot of time spent trying to get comfortable. I also experience an abundance of different kinds of pain and sensations all due to the surgery and healing. I was prepared for the itching and the electrical types of pains, but not for the crawling sensation, painful pinching, pressure, needle like pain as well as tightness of the incision.
If you are like me and unprepared for the totality of a LBL (even though you read everything you can get your hands on), it can be anxiety producing!!!
I had my drains removed within a week after surgery. It was fine for my right side but not my left. My left was slower to drain. When the site closed 4 days later, I began to develop a painful hard lump in my groin. I went in to the clinic and found out it was hardened blood. Thus started 10 days of round the clock warm packs. It worked. But… What also happened is that I developed swelling in my lower abdomen. It was firm, not painful but lots of pressure type discomfort. I waited almost 10 days to see my doctor (I didn’t tell him about this issue until I couldn’t take the discomfort anymore). He was very concerned. It could be several things… some serious and some not so much. Turns out I had a huge hematoma (My drain on the left came out too soon and though it was slow it was in no way done draining). The first draining of the hematoma, he removed 180 ccs of black blood. The next week we drained 100 cc and week after also 100cc.
I waited 10 more days until my next surgery where my doctor, opened up and drained the pocket (which he mentioned was large) and inserted another drain. This drain was removed a week later. So far, so good. I liked that this complication didn’t mean another surgery; it was done with my second scheduled surgery. Originally, I shied away from staging my surgeries and now thankful that I did.
A mistake I made, however, that exacerbated the hematoma, was taking walks after my drains were pulled. Here is why I made this mistake. I had a hard time being still. Sometimes, all’s I could think is that I am sitting on the couch getting soft and fat. I have not heard many talk about this. After concentrating so long on weight loss, having surgery returned me to a former state that contributed being fat and it made me anxious.
A raised toilet seat really helped for the first week, but that is all. The vital thing was a recliner. I just cannot say this enough. Use old linens and towels because no matter how careful you are, you will leak on something.
I am six weeks out and scar tape loosened the tightness of my scar within a week. I continue to use it to treat redness and minimize scaring.
Unlike most LBLs, I lost weight right after surgery: 8lbs. The reason is most of what was removed was a lot of skin, not fat. That being said, swelling in my stomach, butt and thighs are considerable. I saw a dramatic improvement in 2 weeks and more each week. Until I had my chest reconstruction and arm reduction; then the swelling returned to worse than after the LBL. Remember, swelling responds to gravity it will travel to the lowest spot and in this case, it was my butt, stomach and thighs.
After two weeks of stage 1 compression, I turned to athletic compression garments to help control swelling. I have spent a lot of money getting compression garments that fit correctly, are comfortable that provides compression without forcing the swelling to one point.
CHIN IMPLANT/Neck Lipo
I woke up with a great chin and I could not open my mouth, chew well, my bottom lip was thinner and my speech changed. The whole way my mouth set and teeth met had changed. I had an intra oral incision. I decide to do mouth exercises (a, e , I, o u, oo) and did so too soon. Bleeding on each edge of the implant became hard /swollen/painful and I needed to treat with hot packs.
Each week, things changed: my lip thickness returned, speech improved, it was easier to chew and my mouth returned to its usual.
TIME, Patience and not over doing is my lesson and mantra.
I was given a chin sling that consisted of a pad and Velcro straps. It was totally uncomfortable. It pulled out my hair and made me feel like I was choking. I tolerated it for two weeks until I bought another. This new one was made out of a thinner material (was not as hot), had a flexible support and was easy put on and take off. It is the style that wraps around the neck and top of head. I highly recommend it.
Please see my update for my chest reconstruction/ arm reduction post.
Medial Thighs surgery is on Jan 21st.