Excitedly Anticipating Posterior Body Lift/flankplasty with a Medial Thigh Lift - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sort by:
*Treatment results may vary

Three years ago after having lost 55 lbs, I had a...

Three years ago after having lost 55 lbs, I had a 'mommy makeover' - tummy tuck, lipo to flanks and outer thighs, breast lift and augmentation. My surgeon was incredible (Dr. Robert Cohen in Scottsdale) and I'd recommend him to anyone for these procedures. I was ecstatic with the results and it truly changed my life. However, this also seemed to make my lower body worse by comparison! I felt as though I looked 30 something from my neck to my tummy tuck scar, but like a 90 yr old woman from the scar on down. I knew I wanted a posterior body lift within a couple weeks of my original surgery.

Here it is, 3 yrs later and I've finally found a doctor I trust to do all he can to help me achieve the results I'm hoping for. I live in AZ, but had two consults in CA, one here and a 'virtual' consultation with the doctor I've chosen in FL. As I've yet to meet him or have surgery yet, obviously I can't comment on that part of my experience yet. What I can say is I sent him photos and an email describing what I felt I wanted done and to my surprise, he emailed back within a couple of hours! He told me what procedures he felt I needed based on my photos, assured me nearly half of his patients come to him from out of state and out of the country, so he was adept at making recommendations this way. He also sent me the quote for the procedures, told me what all that included (basically everything except pre-op testing and prescription meds), told me he performs all his surgeries in a fully accredited hospital with doctor anesthesiologists. I liked him immediately.

Then I began sending emails asking SO many questions, telling him my fears with potential outcome (esp. thigh lift) and he answered every question in every email very patiently and thoroughly - usually within a couple hours of them being sent. I told him of my other two consultations and their recommendations (the very first consult doesn't count - that doctor advised I work out with weights and wouldn't do any surgery on me. It's my belief he really doesn't perform the surgeries I need and mainly concentrates his practice on his "shrink wrap" liposuction, because every other surgeon I've seen has said - you don't have a 'fat' issue - you have a skin issue and that is surgical. You need to excise the skin). Dr. Revis encouraged me to keep these consults, saying I may find a local doctor that is a great fit and that it's certainly easier to recover at home. To be honest, at that point, any surgeon I'd consult would have to blow me away with his mad skill! I questioned him on techniques he used, results he expected, exact placement of the incisions, sent photos of patients that had bad outcomes to see what his opinion on them was. I'm telling you, I've sent him probably 20 emails already (or more) and he's been patient and understanding throughout.

I had a tough decision to make. I really liked the surgeon in CA, too. He was willing to do the surgeries I wanted, I know he's a top doc, I know he's very skilled at surgeries. His price was quite a bit higher, although I didn't know it at the time yet, but I didn't feel super confident that he performs enough of that particular type of surgery as I'd thought - especially the medial thigh lift as from all accounts, this is one of the trickiest surgeries to perform well. I also really liked the surgeon I saw here in AZ. I felt he really knows his stuff and surgery after major weight loss is one of his specialties. I'd already had my virtual consultation with Dr. Revis by that point and had asked and had answered tons of questions already. My biggest hesitation with going with the surgeon here was he doesn't use the flap from the incision in the back and use that fat/tissue removed to augment the butt. I already have a flat butt and know this surgery has a tendency to make it even more flat. He said in his experience, the fat just doesn't survive- that it looks good immediately post op because of swelling, but once that's gone, so is the new butt. And that it didn't justify adding time to the surgery and expense to the patient. Again, I trust his surgical skills and know he knows what he's talking about, but that is also his own personal experience, but obviously the auto augmentation using the flap must work for a lot of surgeons as it seems more do it than not. I think that played a lot into my decision to go with Dr. Revis, but what tipped it over the edge was his saying something to the effect of my being his art project for the day... As silly as that may sound - I feel it shows not only his enthusiasm for his work, but that he approaches each patient as an individual and aims to sculpt them into a 'masterpiece'. Lol.

So, decision made, deposit paid, found a place to rent for a month (day before surgery until almost four weeks after), and we bought our airline tickets last night. So now the clock is ticking and it seems so long until Valentine's Day!! Thank God we have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up as that always makes time seem to fly. I am scheduled for medial thigh lift, posterior body lift/flankplasty and lipo of the inner and outer thighs, sculpting of the flanks, lipo of inner knees. Excited!!! I will add before photos, but only after the surgery is done. Lol. I

Minor freakout...

I guess I should have posted this here rather in the comments section! lol... it's a learning process. These thoughts probably don't have any bearing on anything or anyone but me - sort of a therapy thing for me, I guess. But possibly others can relate to the things our minds do when we make such huge decisions that can impact the rest of our lives.

I really appreciate this site - so much information here! But I have to wonder if there is a point at which there is too much information... or maybe it's just reading the stories of procedures you plan on having done. When you read someone's great outcome, you feel good about your decision, but when you start reading some of the 'horror stories' of bad outcomes or disappointing ones - it starts to gnaw at you. Well, at me. lol. There's no doubt in my mind that I "need" a medial thigh lift if I have any hopes of wearing clothes I'd like to wear again. That's not the issue. But I have to admit - I'm SO nervous and afraid of this procedure. By all accounts - it's painful and prone to complications of all sorts. At least one of the doctors I consulted with said, "I'm not gonna lie to you - it's a bitch to heal!" When I read stories about scar migration, infections, painful, long-term swelling, poor scarring, incisions opening up... just freaks me out some. Okay... a LOT. I'm just venting here. Anyone care to try to talk me down? hahaha. I know I have four months to go yet - can't imagine how many emotions I'll experience regarding this aspect of surgery in that amount of time.

Already love my surgeon!

After reading more stories here, seeing more photos, etc. I ended up emailing my surgeon once again. I'm not kidding when I say there have been DOZENS exchanged so far! What a patient, patient man. And thank God - he has a sense of humor, as well.

I emailed him once again today. I sent a photo that was posted here of a medial thigh lift - fresh scars. Looks scary and didn't know if that's what to expect and he assures me that's expected and fine. I sent another of another photo posted here of an incision from the medial thigh lift surgery that shows the incision extends around to the gluteal fold. (her scars were uneven and of unequal length) I realized I didn't know where the incisions would 'end'. He told me the furthest it would extend was represented by the shorter of the two scars - no further, but that would be determined during surgery depending on my anatomy.

We've been having a discussion regarding post- surgical garments. As I'm having lipo done on my inner and outer thighs, as well as my knees, I was concerned that he uses an abdominal binder only until the drains come out, no garment. I asked if he'd consider one if it's altered to accommodate drains, avoids the groin incisions and is crotchless. (hoping not to have him throw his hands up in exasperation!). He said I could bring the one I have, and my compression stockings (his concession to me for no garments on my lower body) and that he has garments in stock, so it would be available if he felt I could wear one immediately. That'd we'd figure it out. :)

I mentioned that some women complain about having an elongated butt crack following surgery and asked if that was expected. He assures me his usually end up about the same length as pre-op. (whew! I like my short butt crack as I'm 'short-waisted and wear low rise jeans... didn't want my butt crack showing if my top pulls up!)

I also asked about the scar placement/shape in the back. Some are straight across, some are like an inverted 'v', and some are heart-shaped. Some are placed high in the back and would show regardless of the bathing suit worn if it's two pieces. He replied that they are custom - not dependent upon anatomy, but on preference.

After one of my (many) earlier emails, I thought he might be getting sick of me asking for so many details as he replied something about me not stressing so much about the minor details. I jokingly asked if I'd just been sent to time out. He laughed and said no, but he did have three young kids. (sense of humor)

And you want to know one of the most amazing thing? He replied in less than half an hour after I sent the email! He's so great with all the questions and so quick and thorough with all the answers. I replied to thank him and said, Whew! Quick and painless...thought I'd be sent to time out again ;). Sent that and a minute later he responds - No woodshed today - take care!

I mean.... how great is THAT? lol So happy he's open to all questions and concerns. Now... if only someone could make time go faster!!!! 128 days until I wake up in recovery!

13 weeks until I am released from the hospital

Three months...still a long way away, but the last month has gone by rather quickly. I've made a new friend thru this site, a wonderful woman with a great outlook. She did not have a great outcome from the medial thigh lift surgery and we've exchanged several emails and texts. What I appreciate is she hasn't tried to talk me out of the surgery- realizing what happened with her had more to do with the surgeon than the surgery. Anyway, our friendship has extended beyond surgery details and that pretty cool.

That said, I'll admit I went thru another controlled panic during the early couple of weeks of our email exchanges. I held off emailing my surgeon for as long as I could...hahaha...maybe a couple of weeks at best. Finally I faced the fact that I was operating day-to-day with this feeling of generalized anxiety. I thought, screw it...I'll email again and hope he's not ready to dismiss me as a patient. :) Again he responded quickly. I emailed on a friday evening and had a reply Saturday morning. He assured me he has never seen a single result like the photo I sent, added his thoughts on incision placement and sutures and somehow set my mind at ease once again. It's not that he's trying to talk me into anything- its definitely reassurance. And it's not that he's cocky, but his confidence in his own surgical skills is apparent. I just find that very comforting.

I thanked him and asked yet another question to which he responded almost immediately. I thanked him again and said I think I could take a deep breath once again to which he replied, breeeaaattthhh deeeeeeeepppp....ommmmmmm, something to that effect. I had to laugh aloud at that point and felt all residual anxiety and tension drain away. I say, thanks, Doc- I think that did it! He responds, my pleasure - part comedian, part therapist, all plastic surgeon.

I mean seriously- I really feel I've chosen the best surgeon for me! Admittedly, I'm not thrilled with going thru recovery 2300 miles from home and only two of the four weeks with my husband, but this is a one-time thing (hopefully) and worth it if he's as good as I think he is.

I'm sure anxiety remains - I had been stress eating for a time. Now I'm trying to get back in the habit of NOT eating all the time. Ugh...put on 8lbs over the last two months. :( So time to buckle down, pay attention to healthy eating once again, and getting back into some sort of regular exercise again. My husband is sick right now, so no hiking for us this weekend. I'll need to put in one of my (dozens and dozens) of workout videos. I want to see these next three months as a sort of training period- to be healthy and strong and fit, which I know will help me tremendously during both the surgery and the recovery period.

I wish the body lift forum was even half as active as the breast augmentation board! It's a bit lonely here. :)

12 weeks and counting

So time does seem to be going by quickly. I had a feeling it would as this time of year always seems to fly by. I am still stress eating and that's bugging me. How could I have such motivation and control for four years and suddenly feel I have none? I'm sure the stress over surgery and knowing the recovery may be difficult and uncomfortable- more so as I won't be in the comfort of my own home- has added to this feeling of being out of control. But I've gotta get a handle on this. I'm having thanksgiving here and already planning on sending the majority of the leftovers home with our guests. It would also help to find that motivation again for regular workouts!

Last post I'd mentioned that it feels lonely on this board with relatively few people having similar procedures. But then somehow a shit-storm erupted- and frankly didn't mind at first. At least people were talking, I felt maybe someone read my drivel and cared enough to respond. But seriously, I have to wonder about just how supportive some of these people are. I think....I HOPE people mean well and when they say they wish you well, I'd like to believe that's true. But when the negative comments come about as a sort of twisting of your words, or take a comment you made that was a positive thing about your proposed surgery or surgeon, and then make that comment sound like it should have been a red flag instead of comforting (my original comment about my surgeon approaching this surgery as his art project for the day....I felt was a positive thing) ....well....just makes me question some people's motives. Misunderstanding something I've written is understandable- lol...that's for sure. My plea to be "talked down" - yes, totally meant as a plea for reassurance, calm my fears and anxiety. But I can see how someone could misunderstand that. It's the other stuff...I don't know. Somehow some of the well wishes just don't ring true. Not after using my own words as .... I don't know how to put it. Yes, bullying, in a way. Between the artist comment and then using what I've been told by a few plastic surgeons (it's a skin issue, not a fat/exercise issue) and having a poster try to tell me it's the people that have skin issues, not fat issues that have the worst outcomes- cosmetically and pain and health problems. Ah, c'mon. Can we be any LESS supportive? Besides, all research I've read (and that's a fairly substantial amount) supports the fact that the closer a person is to their ideal body weight, the better the body contouring surgery results are and with the fewest complications. So I'm not sure where such a statement comes from because the research certainly doesn't support that claim.

If I've truly misread a couple of these comments/poster's intentions, then I apologize. What I can say, unequivocally, is that it FEELS a bit like someone is trying to bully me, or at the very least, try to somehow persuade me what a horrible decision I've made. Again - this is how it FEELS. I'm not saying this is absolutely the case.

Who knows? Maybe lonely is better.

Less than 10 weeks now!!!

Well, less than 10 weeks away now! Time is really going so quickly. I hope it doesn't come to a screeching halt come Jan.

I have to get a handle on this stress eating, though. I thought I had, but can't seem to actually drop these 8+ lbs I've put on recently. I'll drop 1 - 2 and then the next day, there they are again. It's been SO long since this has been the case. Ever since my tt surgery over three years ago, the minute my weight crept up to the 130 mark, I'd panic and drop it right away. This time? Uh-uh, not happening. At this point, I'd almost break down and cry to see 120 ANYTHING on my scale. let alone 125. I'm sure stress and cortisol are playing a part. Not too much else has changed over the last couple of months. Ironically enough - this started practically the minute I'd been able to make the decision to go forward with surgery. I think that's another reason I'm thinking excess cortisol is playing a part in this.

Anyway, a few things have come up over the last two weeks that I'm still trying to reconcile in my head. I've hesitated expressing it here as there are just a couple of people on the board that seem a bit less than supportive, but disguised as concern. And maybe I'm not being fair to them, either. Maybe they really do have good intentions. But it seems once a decision is made, the option should be to support that person or shut the hell up. Not try to convince them what a mistake they're making and try to instill fear and anxiety instead of support. But you know what? This is MY blog, my story and this board is for us to express our concerns and to support one another. I mean, I'm sure there is a lot to learn here from others' experiences, too, I'm not saying that's not a part of it. But if I let a couple of people prevent me from expressing myself here - whether it's joy or concern or questions or any random thing, then what's the point? Why censor myself in case I don't like what someone has to say? So...

One of the things I'd believed from the moment of making this decision until just two weeks ago was that all my sutures would be internal. Well - except my surgeon had told me weeks ago there would be a few to be removed in the groin area. He said in his experience, buried sutures in that area had a tendency to become infected more easily and also more spitting of stitches, so he preferred to avoid the possible complications and use sutures to be removed. And the ones for the drains, of course. I was okay with that - though do NOT like the idea of having to have sutures removed from that area... that just can't not hurt some. lol. But then I came across some photos here of medial thigh lifts with groin incisions and saw all these staples. I sort of shuddered at the idea and my initial thought was - how archaic. So just to satisfy my curiosity and as I had a few more questions, I emailed the patient coordinator for my surgeon. I have literally exchanged dozens of emails with my surgeon and thought I should leave him alone as I'm sure his office personnel would know the answers to these questions.

Well, I got the answers to all my questions and was completely shocked to find out I will have staples in the groin incision. Staples. So of course I had to Google that, and wasn't thrilled with what I'd read. I mean, it makes sense to use them in that area as it's a high tension area subject to a lot of movement. But they seem to be prone to scarring a bit more if left in longer than a week. Mine will be in approx. 2 weeks, so that didn't thrill me. But after doing a search here, I came across a woman's blog that had a list of reasons her surgeon chooses to use staples in areas such as this. I wish I'd noted where I read it because it made me feel a lot better. And her surgeon disagreed with the idea they left more scars than sutures. But anyway - I went from thinking I'd have almost no external sutures to accepting there'd be some in the groin area, to finding out the sutures were staples rather than stitches. I started questioning myself - WHY had I believed they'd all be inside? Was it only because that's how my first surgery was? So I went back through my surgeon's extensive website and read a lot of the articles he's written and had links to on his site. And then I found it under the individual procedures information - it said the incisions would be closed in layers under the skin and found patient satisfaction was higher and less anxiety without stitches to be removed. Something to that effect. So I thought about it for a while and decided to email my surgeon after all - I mean, why not go directly to the source and find out?

He responded fairly quickly once again. After a couple more questions to him it does make sense. And he pointed out the information on the website is more for 'cookie cutter' surgeries like breast augmentation, tummy tucks, etc. That body contouring surgery entails a much more individualized approach and that he's found that one never knows until actually working on the person how their skin will react to various methods of closure, and that areas of differing tension require different methods of closure. And also pointed out that I'm trusting him to perform this huge surgery on me, but seem to be questioning him on his ability to choose the best method of closure. But wanted me to know that it depended on the skin quality/location/tension while still striving to leave the best possible scar. He said it way better than I did here - just didn't feel like going back to my email to check. Either way, I feel much better about it once again. Not thrilled with staples, but I can understand his use of them. OH! That was one of the things on the other woman's blog - her surgeon explained that staples hold the skin better with less tension on the wound, so he found he could pull the skin tighter, have a better result, without compromising the end result of the scar as there was less tension on the wound. Again - my own words there - not said as well as I'd read.

Regardless, it's been a while coming to accept this as it was not at all what I'd expected and apparently, I don't adjust to surprises very well. Lol. The other thing that's happened over the last couple of weeks is I got in touch with a former patient of my surgeon's. She'd had four surgeries with him over a 2 1/2 yr period about six years ago, and though she says he's an artist, and that she loves the results of her surgeries, due to a number of things that occurred, she'd not have him do the surgeries had she had it to do over. Some had to do with the surgeon, some with a variety of other circumstances. I really appreciate her honesty and openness with this, but as you can imagine, it's really given me anxiety, as well. What really matters, however, is that he's double board certified, has a great reputation, used to do this surgeries routinely as about half of his practice, loves what he does and has many, many very happy patients. But as you can imagine, even ONE person with issues against the surgeon you've chosen can add to one's anxiety. I found this person sort of by accident - just researching his name on other websites similar to realself. I took a chance, sent an email to the address given (from several years ago) and fortunately she still has the same address. We actually ended up speaking on the phone for over an hour and a half! She wasn't crazy, wasn't trying to convince me not to have the surgery with him, but merely told me her story - all the little things that added up to her coming to the decision that had she had it to do over, she'd have gone elsewhere.

So........how does that make me feel? Hmmm... I really have no idea. I mean, I believe the things she shared with me, and I also believe the things I've learned about my surgeon - both from his website, email exchanges with him, articles he's written, and other internet searches I've done. I still believe he's highly skilled, still feel at this point he's the best surgeon for me, and still feel he will give me the optimal results. But does it mean I have no fears or doubts? No, doesn't mean that at all. Any second thoughts whatsoever? Yes, of course. But when I look back at my previous surgeries, I also had fears and doubts. And looking back, I actually knew far less about my first surgeon that I do this one. But not to put any less importance on a tummy tuck or augmentation or breast lift - because I believe all of those surgeries require a great deal of skill to perform correctly and have beautiful results, but I think the level of skill might be a bit more for a surgery such as the ones I'm planning on in Feb. From all accounts, a thigh lift alone requires a great deal of surgical skill. Contouring itself might require as much of an artistic eye - sort of removing all that remains between the surface of the skin and the beauty of the human body underneath - and then to do so while leaving the best possible scars on areas prone to much tension and greater chance of infection. I'd think an arm lift would be up there with that part, too. Maybe not the difficulty level - but certainly the healing and tension aspect of it.

So - that's some of what's been going on in my head these last couple of weeks. I will say there are a couple of GREAT people on this board who've been ultra supportive and have offered a great deal of support and input and I'm SO appreciative of them. And I really hope I haven't dissuaded anyone from commenting on my stuff - just please try to keep it more positive and supportive rather than adding fuel to the insecurities. Anyone that's undergone any plastic surgery must understand there is always a certain amount of uncertainty when it comes to this. After all - it's not "necessary" for living - it's something we want for our own mental well-being. And sometimes for physical well-being.

TWO MONTHS to go!!!!

Two months from now I'll probably be tossing and turning, unable to sleep before my surgery. We'll be taking a red-eye flight, arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, getting the car, meeting the owner of the home we're renting for the month - all before my pre-op appt. on the 13th. I'm sure I won't have had any sleep on the plane - especially as we have a stopover in Dallas. I wish I'd have timed it better - at least to be able to get a good night's rest, but maybe it'll work to my advantage and I'll sleep the night before surgery out of sheer exhaustion. We'll also have to run to the store and stock up on some food and supplies after the pre-op appointment, so it'll be a whirlwind of activity. I might just be busy enough to forget to be nervous ;).

I don't think a day goes by that I don't look in the mirror, grab a couple handfuls of flesh and pull up on it, wondering if I'll truly look like that post surgery. If so, it'll be a dream come true.

Another thing I've been thinking about a lot lately, too. When I had my first surgery - although I didn't broadcast it, it gave obvious results. I mean - the boobs were obvious. But it changed the contours of my tummy, too, and I had both a flat tummy and a nice definition to my waist that wasn't apparent prior to surgery. There was a lot of ... idk how to put it... outside recognition? I swear I was treated differently and I still feel that way. People look at me differently than prior to surgery - mostly for the better. There are sometimes "those looks" from some, but I can deal with that! lol.. Kind of flattering in a way. And I'm sure a little bit of that is also from the way I carry myself now and the way I view myself - I think people pick up on self-confidence. But with this surgery? Really won't be noticeable to others - I mean, my clothes will mostly look the same on me (although I'm hoping the tushy looks better in jeans after). I might look as though I've lost a couple of pounds - assuming he lipos my icky thighs enough before. I'm not even sure what I'm trying to convey here - something about how the pain was easy to take for the most part knowing the benefits were so darn obvious. I guess like a face lift maybe? Most people probably wouldn't assume you had a face lift, but would more than likely notice how healthy and vibrant you're looking. But with this surgery, for the most part the results won't be 'seen' by others so it's just a little different somehow. Not in a bad way, just different, if that makes any sense whatsoever. lol

The other thing I wanted to talk about is a scar treatment I've just discovered and wondered if anyone has used it - bioCorneum. My surgeon recommends ScarGuard MD and I did buy some already, but after reading up on this stuff, I was convinced I need to give this a shot. It's pricier than the ScarGuard, that's for sure. I think it was $120 for 50g. I had contacted the company after reading some stuff on this product and wanted to find out what the ingredients were. I knew it was silicone and I knew there were sunscreens in it (not so critical for my particular surgery - at least if my doc does his job well and all scars are within the bikini lines), but didn't know if there were other ingredients and what the percentage of silicone is. ScarGuard MD is 12% silicone. It also has hydrocortisone and Vit. E in it. But it's also something like $23 for .5 oz.

So get this - the COO of the company actually was the one to respond to my email. Lol. It turns out it's 88% silicone - the balance being three sunscreen ingredients. Okay - that would also explain a bit of the price difference. Plus a 50g bottle is 1.76 oz., so it would take 3 1/2 bottles of the ScarGuard MD's to make up one of the bioCorneum. So that's about $80 instead of the $120, but I'm hoping the percentage of silicone makes the difference. It would be difficult to use silicone strips in some of the areas for my incisions - almost impossible to keep them on the groin incisions w/o tape or something, I'd think. That's why I'll be using the gel. The company has published clinical studies with over 2,000 patients that used this product and it's the only scar treatment with FDA approval, as far as I know. I know research studies are expensive and the approval process for the FDA is also hugely expensive, so it makes sense the product costs more. I will probably need 2 of the bottles to complete treatment for the suggested three months - but I also have silicone strips that I'll probably use on the incision going around my pelvis to my butt. Once I can begin using scar treatments, I think I'll use the ScarGuard MD once a day and the bioCorneum once a day at first as bioCorneum doesn't have the hydrocortisone for itching and redness. I realize I might seem overly concerned about scarring here - it's just if I had massive amounts of excess skin - the trade off to be rid of all of that would be worth any scar. But since I have a 'relatively small' amount of excess skin compared to most body lift patients, I'm hoping for really nice scars since my goal is to not only look better in shorts or dresses or a bathing suit, but frankly I want to look better naked, too. I hope that doesn't come across as rude or ... idk... I just hope it makes sense.

As for the health aspect - I'm now trying to really start taking better care of myself again. I'm upping my protein a bit already and am trying to make sure I eat lots of veggies again. Strange how I seem to get away from that and don't realize how crappy I'm starting to feel until I start eating better again and immediately start feeling better. lol. And I've managed three weight lifting workouts this week so far and already feel a difference in my body. Right now it just feels heavier and .... idk... just like all the cells are all filled up. I'd say 'solid', but that's not right as I'm flabby as ever. I'm sure I'm retaining water - that always happens when I begin an intense exercise regime. If that's the case, I should be feeling less heavy and bloated within days. But it's amazing how optimistic you start feeling once you start working out again. So those damn 8 lbs? They WILL be history. (I hope!!!)

Wow. I just realized I'd made the decision to go forward with this surgery on Aug. 15th, so four months has already passed since that day! Now it's down to 2 months left!!

8 weeks!

Well, in 8 weeks I'll have just finished my pre-op exam and actually meet my surgeon for the first time. That seems so weird. Lol. Then it'll be rush, rush, rush to get things done and set up, ready for recovery. Today I set up my surgical clearance appt to be done here- medical clearance, EKG and blood work. Getting real! Lol.

Before my tt/bl/ba, I had a really difficult time picturing my breasts being full, perky and round. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. Funny though- I could picture my tummy pulled tight. Now I'm having the same inability to picture having thighs I like or imagining a butt I can stand looking at. I can't even imagine what it would be like to catch a glimpse of my backside in a mirror and not automatically shuddering at the sight. My husband is a big Alabama fan. I was online shopping for gear and saw a cute pair of women's shorts. Immediately I thought- how cute. Too bad I'll never be able to wear something like that. And a few minutes later I thought- well....maybe one day! I'm still doubting that, but hell. You never know!

The nicest people!

I just wanted to say that I've 'met' some of the nicest people since being on this site! One in person, a few thru messages, a couple thru texts. Just amazing how cool these people are that I've met, how easy it is to connect, how quickly I feel I care about another person. So anyone just happening upon this update - know there are AMAZING people here. And if you're one that I've managed to connect with in such a short time - know how much I appreciate you.

And Merry Christmas to those of us that celebrate. Happy holidays to those that celebrate other things! :D

Unbelievable!!! And with 7 weeks to go, too :(

OMG. So I go to my pcp's today for my pre-op testing.... background medical info, blood work and EKG. Now I'm a healthy woman - no longer a smoker, try to eat fairly well, try to get regular exercise (though not as good at that as in the past), no regular meds other than all hormonal related - bioidentical hormone pellets, progesterone and naturally desiccated thyroid medication. The tech does the EKG, doc comes in and is going over the stuff. He keeps looking at the EKG and making a few faces. Now I don't know this doc - first time I've ever seen him before, so I have no idea what he's like. Finally I just come out and say - uh... doc? What's the problem there? And he says, I don't know... it looks like there are artifacts on the EKG. I don't know if you moved, or if a lead wasn't right... I tell him I had to pull my jeans up over my calves and they're skinny jeans and cutting off the circulation - would that do it? He says no. Leaves the room for a minute, comes back and says he wants to have them repeat the EKG, but this time take off the jeans. Okay, great. And of course I already have 'white coat' hypertension as it is, so when I find I need a second EKG I suddenly feel my heart doing all kinds of funny things. :( So another tech runs this test, then the doc comes back and is studying it and says - there are definitely things here, especially when compared to your EKG from three years ago. I need you to see a cardiologist. OMG.

So I'm understandably upset. I mean, yes, I don't wanna die on the operating table or anything, but damn. And I'm really hoping the major stresses we've just had over the last week or so contributed to this. Won't go into details right now, but suffice it to say this Christmas had a few really great highs and some really deep, deep lows with a lot of stress and tension thrown in for good measure. And the partying and staying up til 4:00am a few nights. Anyway, I'm scared (more that I can't have surgery than anything is seriously wrong with my heart), upset, depressed, anxious... all kinds of stuff rolling around in my head. I mean, how is it others can drop a couple hundred pounds, some people not even exercising, and no issues with health. Me? A mere 55 lbs, decent diet and exercise - and hell, we just did a 9 mile desert hike last weekend and going again tomorrow. But I may not be healthy enough for surgery? Wow. As if that doesn't add to the stress level.

Anyway, found a cardiologist nearby that can see me Monday. I know they'll repeat the EKG and probably perform an echocardiogram. But other than that, I'm not sure what tests they'll run, and how long it may take for results. I'm just freaking out about this. I'm SO prepared for surgery - already asked and had answered a million questions, bought tons of supplies, scar remedies, vitamedica vitamin pack, gelzone, a couple of compression garments, couple pairs of compression hose... not to mention having paid for a month of living in Ft. Lauderdale at the beginning of high season, bought and paid for our flights, paid my 25% deposit for surgery (which is refundable under this circumstance)... but still. UGH. So please pray for me? Send good juju out there, do whatever it is to send good thoughts to someone for me.... please?

Thank God!

Had my appointment with the cardiologist today. I was so thankful I was able to get in so quickly after a funky EKG at my PCP's office on Friday. One - the anxiety was killing me and two - we finally met our massive medical deductible just a few weeks ago. Lol. Anyway - nervous as hell thinking this appointment could determine whether or not I can go forward with surgery. Wasn't even concerned it could be something life threatening - just that I'd have to live the rest of my life with this lumpy sagging butt and thighs. Kinda pathetic in a way, huh?

Anyway.... the great news is I PASSED!!! The doctor was pretty cool, too. He comes in, introduces himself, asks some questions, asked why I was there. When I answer no to all the questions like - any dizziness, heart palpitations, etc. He says, I'm sure you're fine! I think it's RIDICULOUS your doctor sent you here. You have NO symptoms, you're obviously pretty healthy, active, you took a 10 mile hike a couple days ago .... just crazy. I said yeah, I agree. I think he just wanted to cover his ass. The doc says yeah, but you know I could clear you and you could still drop dead on the operating table. Lol... I said yes, I was aware of that. He looked at the EKG the nurse had just performed a few minutes before and said - you're free to go. And good luck with your surgery! Then walked me out - talked about the surgery being in Florida and that he loves Disneyworld and I should go. hahahaha... I said I doubted I'd be in any shape to do something like that, but thanks anyway.

I walked out of there feeling 20 lbs lighter! OMG. It's like I can suddenly breath again. I started imagining and feeling all sorts of things. I even took my bra off before I left for the appointment because I felt like I couldn't breath, like my chest was a big barrel. I know I do suffer from anxiety and Lord knows, it's been pretty crazy around here for a while. But still... all I have left are the results from the blood work done today and I'm cleared for surgery. IT'S GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 1/2 weeks to go!!!

Thanks to some very, very special people here on RealSelf!!! Love you all!

Still loving my doc!

45 days from now... Doc should be finishing up surgery on me (FL time). I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by. Who knew? I feel like I've got a lot of work to do in 45 days - starting with eating healthier again and keeping to a good, steady exercise routine. And dropping these stupid pounds I piled on. I went back to original thyroid med dosage this morning - hopefully that had something to do with this, too. Holidays are over almost, temptation out of the house for the most part.

I wanted to say once again how much I just love my doctor. I sure hope I can say that once I'm on the other side! Lol. I'd emailed him last week after the crappy EKG results and told him about being referred to a cardiologist and asked if he was a praying man and if so, would he pray for me. He reassured me that I was probably fine, not to worry about it and then said he IS a praying man and he prays for his patients daily. :D I just found that so reassuring! I emailed him once again yesterday after the appointment to let him know the cardiologist said I'm fine and good to go as far as he is concerned and minutes later he responded with Fantastic!! (must have caught him between surgeries or at the end of his surgical day) I've gotta say, as much as I love my first surgeon- both demeanor and skill - I can say I've only talked to him on the phone once and pretty sure his office manager answered any emails I sent. I do love this about my chosen surgeon - he definitely gives you the impression he's invested in you and your care and concerns.

How can you get such GREAT news and such CRAPPY news in the same day???

Got the all clear from my blood work today! So yes, it is definitely ON!!! And as exciting and thrilled about it as I am (and I AM), that joy has been overshadowed by some devastating (to me) news. No deaths, no diagnosis of cancer, etc. in the family - nothing like that. But I finally went back to my original dermatologist today. I've avoided her since my other doc screwed up my skin so badly with the CO2 procedure I had (on my profile there's a link for a question I asked regarding this damage and has a picture of my skin - very disfiguring... and to add insult to injury - not ONE doctor has offered anything up. This picture, btw, is the reason I won't post before and after photos here. After posting here, I saw it when I Googled images of damage from CO2)

Anyway... long story short, my dermatologist - one of the most highly respected in the state, said she was sorry this had happened, but she didn't know of one thing she could offer to try to treat it. That she'd have to think long and hard. She took out her magnifying thing and looked closely and said - yes, I'm sorry. You have both hypopigmentation and scarring. There's a slight chance the hypo areas may re-pigment... when was this? I tell her a year and a half ago. Her face falls. She says, I'm sorry - there's not a lot of hope that will re-pigment, either, then. And the scar tissue can't.

You know... I think I KNEW all of this. None of this was really a surprise to me - it's what I've felt from the beginning when it started to appear. But to get confirmation from a doctor I trust, one that is highly respected in her field... well, it's just a little all too real for me at the moment. So damn.... super HIGHS... Yay!!!! Going forth with surgery!!!! Then realizing I'll still have to try to cover my skin as much as possible. The only makeup I've tried so far that even comes close to masking it a BIT is Dermablend. But that stuff gets on all of my clothes - regardless of setting powder. And it would be almost okay to deal with that aspect, IF it covered it! But it doesn't. So anyway. Like I said. Highs and lows and it's a damn roller coaster ride that I just hate. Sorry for the downer post here.

And a BIG shout out to Alexa at Dr. Revis' office

So all the things I've mentioned along the way here, I realized I have not given credit to any of the staff of my chosen surgeon's office. I have only had dealings with Alexa so far, but I have to say - she's been amazing. I asked her questions when I felt I was 'harassing' my surgeon a little too often and she very kindly and completely address my questions and encouraged me to ask anything I wanted answers to. More than once! And when I've had trouble getting my own family physicians' office to supply them with the necessary forms and clearances, she has gone above and beyond to get the information for me. I hope/assume the rest of his staff is as helpful and generous with their time and attention. But in the meantime I just wanted to say THANK YOU ALEXA for all your patience, understanding and motivation in addressing my issues. I totally appreciate you. :D (just in case they monitor these sites, thought I should address it to her) lol. I will give another 'update' on Friday ... being just FIVE weeks out at that point. OMG... FIVE!!! I can hardly believe it!

FIVE weeks and I'll be waking up in recovery!!

Five weeks.... I'm both excited and feel like puking when I see it on the calendar. lol. I know pretty much what I'm in for and know I don't handle pain very well, either. I know it'll be worth it and I know I'll get thru it, but doesn't mean I'm looking forward to the pain aspect. :) Other than the pain, I have to admit I'm worried - about results, about healing, about spending the last part of my stay in FL alone. About the possibility of having sutures removed after my husband has gone home and having to do that without pain meds as I'll be driving. Worried about driving - being able to sit well enough to drive, even though it's less than 5 miles. Scarring - I worry about how bad it'll be, am I really ready to deal with almost four more feet of fresh scars on my body? Will I regret having the scars in my groin? I realize only a couple of people will even see those scars, but one of them is really important to me! lol And what if I go thru this, have all these scars and am not happy with the results? Then what?! All this sounds like I'm wavering, like I'm not sure this is what I want. But I don't think so - I think I'm being honest about all the things that run through one's mind when facing a surgery like this.

I know I wasn't very nervous about my first surgery, but some of that was just ignorance. Lol. I really had no idea all of the possible outcomes and possible issues from the surgery. It wasn't until later that I realized how fortunate I was to have found the surgeon I went to (Robert Cohen in Scottsdale). I hadn't seen a lot of bad tummy tucks and worse breast lifts, and belly buttons that end up looking like a bull's eye (Google images - both my friend and my enemy!). Another reason I wasn't that nervous is because I didn't already know what to expect as far as pain goes. I know I was utterly shocked when the pain meds/anesthesia wore off those first two days - couldn't believe a person could feel pain like that outside of childbirth, maybe. I have probably researched a bit TOO much for this surgery. I know it's a very complicated surgery to perform well. It takes a completely different set of skills than a tummy tuck or a breast lift does. The possibility of wound/healing issues is much greater. Patient satisfaction is lower. The potential for worse scarring is higher. There is a very fine line between a 'perfect' correction and pulling or cutting too much. This is a surgery you want your surgeon to err on the side of caution - yet by doing so, you risk not getting the best possible outcome. I know most of this applies to the medial thigh lift - that is definitely what has me most concerned. I'm really not that worried about the posterior lift or flankoplasty as my surgeon calls it. I'm concerned about the scar, of course, but not so much the procedure or outcome for that part of it, other than figuring out how to do things without stressing the incision. The thighs... that is where my concern is.

Now, the upside! I'm really excited that I get this opportunity to fix an area of my body that has always been a problem area. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to do this and I really hope and look forward to having good results. I feel I've established a good rapport with my surgeon and his 'go-to' person in the office. I feel we communicate well and he is aware of my expectations and feels he can meet those. Although it's nearly impossible for me to imagine, I look forward to being able to wear a pair of shorts in this extreme heat of the summers here. There are company sponsored trips to beach locations every couple of years and I look forward to being able to go on the next one and not dread being seen in a bathing suit by my husband's co-workers. I look forward to wearing dresses again! Mostly I look forward to catching a glimpse of myself from behind and not grimacing or walking away from my husband nude and feeling confident, rather than trying to back out of a room! hahaha. He is SO sweet and so loving and swears he only sees what my issues are when I point them out. He thinks I'm gorgeous and hot and I couldn't ask for a better husband - and this is after 26 yrs of marriage. So I know I'm a LUCKY, LUCKY woman. And somehow just ranting here about my deepest fears to my most grateful parts, I've managed to quell some anxiety.

Four weeks to go!

Four weeks from now I should be getting things set up in the place we'll be staying, prepping for surgery and praying. That's going to be a hectic day - fly all night, drive to the place we're staying to meet w/owner, keys, stuff like that. Get to my doctor's office for the pre-op... and hahaha... actually MEET the guy that'll be slicing and dicing the following day. Four weeks. Wow - I swear I can't believe how quickly time has gone by.

So I have had all my tests - the surgical clearance exam with family physician (story there!), sent to cardiologist because of a funky EKG. Got cleared there (with a laugh from the doc who wanted to know WHY I'd been sent there as I'm obviously healthy enough to hike 11 miles). Lol. Went for my blood draw. I was told all lab work came back within normal parameters. Yah! Set for surgery - now just cough up the big bucks, right?

So I know the family physician's office is ...uh... S L O W..... and .... well, the office staff is probably among the worst I've come across for any medical establishment. We generally like the doctors and PA's there, but the staff... ugh. So when Alexa from my surgeon's office told me she hadn't received the medical clearance form from the family physician's office yet, but had from the cardiologist's office, we each contacted the office to ask for clearance to be sent over. I'm not a big doctor-going kind of person other than for female stuff/hormones/etc. I just rarely need to see a doctor. I really am pretty damn healthy overall. So I've only seen the same doctor maybe twice the entire time we've been going there - prob 15 yrs or so - you get who's available. So when I went for the surgical clearance, it was with a new doctor to their practice (but older than I am) that I'd never seen before. He's the one that sent me to the cardiologist's office.

I had to contact Alexa regarding payment and forms and stuff, and asked if she'd gotten the clearance from the doctor's office yet (assuming, of course, she had as the appointment was in late Dec. She emails back and get this... " We received cardiac clearance which will be fine; the family doctor's notes indicated that while he would not provide clearance the cardiologist's would suffice." Can you believe that shit?? Uh.... WHY would this family physician refuse to send over a clearance form??? UGH... I really feel like giving them a piece of my mind. At the very least, find out what the basis for this was. At least, thank God, the cardiologist's clearance will suffice. WTH??

Other than that, I'm still gathering information and supplies and trying to decide what to pack and take and what to buy there and what/when I'll order my stuff from Amazon. The owner is super cool and said to have my stuff sent ahead to his warehouse and he'll put it aside and bring it when we meet for keys and stuff. So I'm gathering as much info as possible and trying to get organized - one of my biggest downfalls. I'm a crazy anal list maker, but unorganized as hell. lol For instance, I'm sure there was a reason I was updating this today rather than tomorrow... but can't remember why! So if I update again tomorrow, you'll understand.

25 DAYS! Days... counting in DAYS now.

And as I typed that I felt my tummy do flip-flops. The anxiety is really getting to me. I know much of that is that I'm not sure I'll be utterly thrilled with the results. I'm not sure I'll be absolutely fine with the resulting scars - placement/location, how it may scar...the fact that I'm adding another 4' of scars to this body. Well, since some will overlap the tummy tuck scar on either side, probably closer to 3' of new scars.

I remember having times - still occasionally today - of looking in the mirror following my tummy tuck, breast lift and augmentation and feeling I look as if I've been patched back together again. I needed a full lift- so I have the lolipop scar on my breasts. I had my nipple size reduced when I had one of my implants switched out a few months post op, so there's a scar around my nipples (that honestly, you'd have to really be looking for it to even notice at all). I had the full tummy tuck with the hip bone to hip bone incision... and because I didn't get to the point of morbid obesity, my skin wasn't as stretched out as most women having a tummy tuck. He could only pull my skin down so far. I have a vertical scar from the tummy tuck that's about 1 1/2" long, and about the same distance below my belly button. Of all the scars I have from surgery - that little 1 1/2" long one is the one that draws my eye most. Makes me feel more "patched back together" again. When I cover it with my finger, I don't feel the same way. I know... it's SILLY. And the fact is, I actually scar pretty well from a surgeon's standpoint, and Dr. Cohen's scar placement and skill is impeccable.

I know some women view these scars as badges of victory, of conquering the weight issue. Those same women generally seem very comfortable sharing pictures of their former 'fatty' self, too. I look at my fat pictures with shame, with .... almost loathing. And NOT for simply 'being fat'. For wasting precious, precious time and energy and YEARS of my life being fat, feeling miserable in my own skin, hating getting dressed in the morning trying to find something to hide my rolls, cover my arms, feeling self-conscious when naked, avoiding situations where skin exposure would come into play, avoiding social situations when I felt particularly fat - hell, even getting out of a free trip to Hawaii because I was too ashamed to be seen in a bathing suit.

I AM proud of myself for being where I am today and realize that it's an accomplishment. It's simply that I ask myself - was I ASLEEP for all those years?? Was I even conscious as I moved through the days, through my life? Who ELSE did I cheat by being heavy and miserable. PLEASE note - I said heavy AND miserable. I know there are many people who can be heavy and NOT be miserable, NOT feel ashamed or self-conscious. And you know what? I see that as More Power to Them! Really. Because they didn't let their self-image mess with their self-esteem. Maybe I'm not as strong. Maybe many of you think I'm 'wrong' to feel this way. But I think feelings are just that - feelings, not right or wrong, just feelings. Of course, how we react or respond is quite another thing altogether.

So I go into this surgery knowing that I will most likely have issues dealing with my scars. They don't look bad at all and I'd share them if they wouldn't end up on Google images! lol. But I know that's me - that I see these scars and about 99% of the time, I know and FEEL the trade off is more than worth it. Seriously. I wouldn't take back that surgery for anything in the world. That 1% of the time? When I look at myself and my scars and feel despair? That sucks. This surgery? I can only hope and pray the results will be good - really good. Because having to deal with the scars this surgery will leave me with would really, really suck if the results were not as hoped for ... as expected. My biggest fear (after a distorted labia issue! lol... regardless of the reassurance my PS has given me on that issue, it's STILL a major concern!) is that I will have this surgery, the recovery, the pain, the expense, the fact that my (overworked) husband is using his vacation time to tend to me, the aggravations of the medial thigh lift, hopefully avoiding as many of the issues that happen with this surgery as possible, the being alone about the time when depression might be setting in, alone when wound issues seem to occur - to get through all of that - and be disappointed with the results. To still have a 'buck-shot' ass and lumpy, cellulite ridden thighs with excess skin issue and have that groin scar which I'm SO not thrilled about. Yet I'm educated enough on the subject to NOT expect perfection. But when I'm being honest with myself, the closer to 'perfection' the results end up being, the less misgivings I know I'll have. In the end, if I feel happy about the decision, about the scars about 80% of the time, I think I'll view this surgery as a success.

REALLY???!!!!!! REALLY???!!!!! Supposed to leave here in 16 days and now THIS??

Ok. So I started to write an update earlier today - talking about how nervous I am, the anxiety this is causing, etc. Got side-tracked, had to do some errands, etc. So I'm at the store and crouching down to see a bottom row of panties (looking for the perfect boy shorts that won't irritate a groin incision). Okay, wait... gotta back up. I'm on bioidentical hormone replacement pellets and since my last insertion right before Christmas Eve, I've been bleeding ever since. It started off as spotting and gradually progressed more to light bleeding. I haven't had a period in close to two years, I think and never had this issue with the pellets. I also had a pap scheduled for earlier this month. We discussed all the issues going on (he also does my pellets), did some blood work, and sent me for a sonohysterogram. Ah fun... this getting older shit.. Anyway, not sure yet of blood results, but all the rest were fine. Pap was fine, endometrial biopsy fine, sonohysterogram showed nice, thin uterine lining, no polyps, no fibroids, nothing out of the ordinary. Doc said some women just bleed, even if all hormone levels are fine and no issues in the uterus. And if it doesn't stop and is a problem, we could do a uterine ablation. I thought, oh, okay... we'll see. And he upped my progesterone to see if that would do it.

Okay.. so I knew I was bleeding before I left, but assumed it was similar to before. And I'm pantie shopping, squat down to see the ones on the lower row and suddenly feel a gush of blood. (I'm assuming 99% of people reading these blogs are female) Ok, not so good. And of course I have no tampons or pads with me. In fact I used one of the two I had in the house that I begged off my visiting daughter. So I decide pantie shopping was going to have to be postponed for a bit. So I run over to the grocery store to pick up the few necessities I needed for dinner and rush home. And find I'm a bloody mess. So (I realize... TMI... but I'm going somewhere with this) clean myself up, thank God I bought tampons at grocery store, start fresh and wonder what the hell that was about. 90 min. later I was glad I also had a pad on. WTH??? An hour later... same thing all over again.

In the meantime, I'd emailed my PS and mentioned this and he emails back that it'd be better for me to have the uterine ablation now and to keep having levels tested. And that I need to have my hematocrit at 30 or above or we'd have to postpone surgery. OMG. Okay, our airline tickets are non-refundable, the house we're leasing for a month is paid for, vacation time cleared for hubby for work, payments made, etc. Everything is set. So this... well dammit to hell. This sucks. So over a span of four hours, I went thru as many tampons and overflowed onto pads. That's damn near hemorrhage worthy. So I put in a call to my gynecologist and reach the answering service. I tell the operator (male.. of course) the nature of my emergency and say I'm near- hemorrhaging and he takes my info and says the doctor on call will return my call within 40 min. A couple minutes later my phone rings and it's the answering service. He says, The doctor on call said if you are near hemorrhaging, you need to go to the ER. I said - are you kidding? I'm NOT going to the ER for NEAR hemorrhaging... that's ridiculous. He said, Then you are to call first thing in the morning.

I have to admit - I'm pretty damn pissed that a DOCTOR ON CALL wouldn't call me himself and ask a few questions. What's the point of having a doctor on call?! So hmm.. Guess I'll call first thing in the morning and find out if I can get in ASAP and have this damn ablation. I started taking iron supplements tonight, too. Not something most post-menopausal women w/o bariatric surgery would normally have to do.

This friggin' drama and tension. Good Lord I wish I had some Xanax.

If this is the kind of freak out I have NOW... omg... what's it gonna be like AFTER??

Okay. BREATHE. ooohhhhhhmmmmmm............ I called the doc's office this morning and said I wanted to schedule the ablation, that I was bleeding very heavily the night/afternoon before and I'm scheduled for a major surgery on the 14th. The woman says okay, and has the scheduler, Brenda, call me back. An hour or more later she calls and says, okay, we have you set up for surgery on Feb. 7th at 2:15, its'a 30 min. procedure. I say, uh... okay, but I'm having a 7 hr procedure just a week later. Between anesthesia twice so close together and the fact that I'm losing a lot of blood, I may not even qualify for surgery by the 7th. If I continue bleeding at this rate, my hematocrit will fall below the critical 30 that my doc requires. So she says she'll talk to the doc, that he only does surgeries every other Friday (he's an ob/gyn), but she'd see what she could do. A little while later Brenda calls and says, How about Thursday morning at 7am, arrive by 6am? She said the doc said he'd make an exception in this case. Whew!! Then she set up my pre-op appt. with the nurse-practitioner, Debbie. Just saw Debbie last week for the sonohysterogram, and have seen her for other things, as well. The appt. was for 1:30 and had plenty of time to get there.

I get to my doc's office... always nervous for ANY doctor appt. Lol. Blood pressure always high and lord knows, with all the crap that's gone on recently, I knew it would be. Fortunately they used my measurement I'd taken at home (and had pics to prove it! lol). Debbie hands me some forms to go read, says she'll be back in a few and I look at the forms and think, what the HELL are they signing me up for? It's at the surgical center, all the rigamaro about hair/skin products, to wear certain clothing, etc. etc. And Debbie walks in and I say, Uh... I think you guys have me signed up for something I wasn't asking for. I tell her this was supposed to be an in-office procedure, I was under the impression it was a 5 - 10 min procedure for the actual surgery part of it, etc. She says, hmm... hold on then, I'll go call the doc and ask him. But that was after I'd already pretty much blown it and was losing it emotionally and saying this isn't what I was expecting, etc. I said, if it's in the surgical center then I also have the anesthesiologist fees there (and in his office if there, but probably cost more in surgical center?) and the surgical center fees. I just had to cough up $1300 for the procedure and had assumed that covered everything. Nope. Just the surgery - not anesthesia/center fees. I'm freaking. First of all, it's a lot of cash when you're just paying for the balance of an expensive surgery the same week. Secondly, it was pretty much a rash decision - like made last night! I'd not had bleeding issues at all prior and then this. And the truth is, if I were not about to have this surgery on the 14th, I'd probably wait a bit to see if the bleeding resolved itself. But I can't take chances that it'll continue and compromise my blood levels so decision made. Debbie leaves the room to make the call to the doctor.

I try to calm myself down and realize I'm going to cry. I HATE crying - at least in front of anyone. And then I realized how freakin' crazy I must be coming across, etc. I try to calm myself and I start looking at the little bit of paperwork there. First thing says to take Motrin every 6 hrs for two days prior to procedure. THAT makes me start to cry. I can't take anything like that 2 weeks prior to surgery. I read something about heavy bleeding following, not really seeing it says menses. I read limit physical activity for first 48 hrs - dammit, there goes hiking. At least for Sat. That's been my sanity. And THEN I see no swimming (ok), no bathing (ok), no intercourse for 2 weeks. WHAT????? No sex for the TWO WEEKS prior to my surgery when I'm fully expecting to have no sex for 8 weeks minimum following... possibly up to three months because of the location of those incisions. Okay... NOW I'm crying and trying to fight back the tears. I already had been dreading that part of having surgery. Seems silly, but our sex life is such a big part of our lives... empty nest and all that finally after 26 years! We take advantage of that opportunity whenever/wherever we want knowing an adult child isn't about to walk in the door. Lol. So Debbie comes back in, asks if I'm better now and can she explain what's going on. I say yes, and apologize for my craziness, but that it's just been too much - all the things that have been going on and then this on top of everything else. AND I don't take well to surprises - even good ones, so I know I reacted poorly. So she said she talked to the doctor and he said he'd do it in the office if the anesthesiologist would agree to come in (not his scheduled time/day) and that Brenda was contacting him now and we'd know in a few minutes. Well praise God! Anesthesiologist agreed, surgery set up for Thursday at 7:30, arrive at 7:15. So as much as I hate losing it and becoming an emotional mess - this time it actually worked in my favor.

I again apologize to her and we talk a few minutes. I hold out my arms for a hug and she accepts and hugs me pretty good. Said she's on my side here and to please, please please relax before surgery. Doesn't want my blood pressure thru the roof on Thursday when I get here. Hands me two scripts - one for nausea and one for Norco. But she said she'll have the doctor write a prescription for Percocet that morning and fill it if the Norco isn't strong enough. She said most people combine the Norco with the Motrin, but since I can't have Motrin she'll ask doc to write it.

So again - I seem to start really freaking about having the surgery and shortly thereafter something comes up that could prevent it and then I realize how badly I want to have it! Geez. The human mind (at least MY human mind!!!) Can you IMAGINE the freak outs I'll have POST SURGERY??!!! lol


Couldn't update yesterday, so I'll do it today. Surgery is two weeks from today. Yesterday I had to have a surgery before my surgery. As Cookie calls it - a firedrill surgery! lol. With all the sudden heavy bleeding less than three weeks before my big day I pretty much had to make a quick decision. Typically I'm one who has to think about things, weigh the options, the pros and cons.. and generally give the human body time to do what it seems to do well - heal itself. But in this case, I didn't feel I had that option. The bleeding HAD slowed down considerably, but no guarantees it wouldn't start up once again in full force and compromise my iron levels - hemoglobin and hematocrit levels that are critical for both a major surgery and for healing from it. So uterine ablation seemed to be the only real 'option'. My ob/gyn had mentioned it as a possibility at my pap just a couple weeks prior, in the event the bleeding got heavier or annoying (oh boy did it get heavier), but I just tucked it away in my mind to think about 'later'. Until the damn near hemorrhaging began in earnest.

Typically they have you take Motrin every 6 hrs for 48 hrs prior to the surgery, give you a shot of Toradol at the time of surgery (and knock you out briefly with Propofol) , and you continue taking Motrin for two to three days along with pain meds. They offer Norco, which I didn't realize was hydrocodone (Vicadin) until I went to pick it up the evening before surgery. That shit gives me nausea and horrific nightmares. And Betsy, the nurse, also said since most people are on Motrin and have the injection of Toradol, that's usually sufficient pain management with Norco. But said without those, I'll need Percocet.

Now when I'd seen Debbie (melt-down) for pre-op, she warned me I'd have a LOT of cramping after this. I said, oh, that's okay... I'm ALREADY cramping. And she said, uh.... no honey, hate to tell you this, but it'll be a LOT more cramping and pain. But we'll give you meds. She's the one that had told me the sonohysterogram wasn't a big deal (some women say it's horribly painful) and for me, it wasn't. Slightly uncomfortable, one sharp pain actually due to the wand and not the rest of it. So I thought... this MAY hurt. So we get there bright and early and the girl at the desk says - you need to leave a urine sample. OMG. Whatever (uh... just had sonogram). Then I'm called back, strip down, the anesthesiologist comes in, introduces himself and asks if his student can observe the sedation process. Ok, I'll be asleep. In walks this CHILD. hahaha.. Okay, she was probably 20, but still. The doc comes in, explains everything again, I tell him about the hydrocodone and he says he'll write it for Percocet. IV is started, I got that nice little relaxing feel and that's all I remember. It's a short procedure... like 15 - 20 min. Then I'm being wheeled into this little waiting/recovery area with a recliner. And a pregnant woman on a monitor, which was kinda cool... listening to her baby's heartbeat. Betsy says she'll go get my husband and all of a sudden the pain hits. Like pretty hard. And coming on in waves. And soon I'm moaning... and I apologize to the pregnant woman for disturbing her. She's nice about it. Husband comes in and I tell him - honey - I'm really hurting here.. like more by the second. Please see if they can give me something? Just then my doc walks in and I tell him I'm feeling a good amount of pain and getting worse. Can he give me something? He says, we don't have Percocet here. I'm sorry - we knew without the Torodol injection and the Motrin it was going to be worse. The Percocet will help. So I say, okay - can I go home NOW? He smiles and says, sure, you seem pretty lucid. (pain will do that) They take me out to the truck in a wheelchair and by now I'm fighting real tears. Gave up the fight a minute later and cried and moaned and rocked and tried everything I could think of to get less uncomfortable. It's a 25 - 35 min. drive without traffic and hubby drove at 75 mph most of the way home. I seriously thought I was gonna die. Thank GOD I had a few Percs at home left over from previous surgeries. Took two of them. Hubby ran to pharmacy and came back with more and with some anti-nausea pills. What was most surprising to me, other than the sheer intensity of the pain, was that the pain in my thighs, the quadracepts was KILLING me. My uterus hurt - for sure!!! but the legs?! Wasn't expecting that at all. And getting worse by the second. I stood, I lay down, I crouched, I tried leaning over the bed, the sofa, walking, rocking, curling up in a ball, stretching and unstretching my legs and body. Full on crying and sobbing and the kind of short, sharp breaths you seem to take when you can't breath without pain. And with each exhalation was a moan. I mean... it was ridiculous! If it didn't hurt so f---ing much it could have been comical. Or sound like a cheesy porn movie.

After about an hour, hour and a half of this wracking, intense... unbelievably intense pain, two Percs... maybe I'd taken a third by then... my husband called the doctor's office and asked about getting the Toradol injection now - that he's never seen me in this much pain. They said to call my plastic surgeon first, if he cleared it, they'd administer it.

Let me digress a bit. I know I do NOT handle pain well. But I HAVE had my share of it. I've had four miscarriages, 3 D & C's, emergency gallbladder removal, two children - both home births without anesthesia. And my previous plastic surgery which included the tummy tuck (that I found excruciating). As far as intensity of pain goes, the ER's doc arm up my whoohaa trying to manually remove pieces of a stuck placenta was WAY up there. And I'd had so much blood loss that the morphine they'd injected did very little if anything for the pain as my blood was barely circulating. (Hematocrit had dropped from 32 to 12 during hemorrhage, BP was 40/0 at one point). So that probably hurt a bit more than this... but I was about to be completely anesthetized, so wasn't laying in pain for hours on end. Gallbladder hurt like hell, but was kind of like labor contractions where it's intense as hell, followed by moments of absolutely no pain. Not this. This was unrelenting and escalating.

So hubby calls PS, he says no problem, let them do it, and that means getting BACK in the car to drive another 30 min. in absolute pain and unable to hold still. And crying. My poor, poor husband... I felt so bad for him. Nothing he could do for me, though God knows, he tried. We get there and thank God only wait about 2 min. when Betsy takes me back. Says, I'm sorry... I knew it was going to hurt a lot more without the Toradol and no Motrin, but you said you couldn't have them. I said, I know, Betsy. But this?? I feel like there's something WRONG. (you know when you have that feeling) She assured me nothing happened during surgery, my doctor had told me in recovery it had gone well (Oh, and I knew I have a tipped uterus, but didn't know it is also heart-shaped :) but I just couldn't imagine this pain was 'normal'. She says, I'm sorry... it's gonna sting. I lean over and she gives it to me and I just stayed leaned over for a second. The pain... omg... NOT from the injection. Just the pain. She looks at me and says, Did it sting? I'm sorry. I said I don't even care right now... as long as it does SOMETHING for this pain. How long will it take to work? And she said, oh.. probably 15 - 20 min. Unfortunately, we are now trying to play catch-up with the pain meds. So we drive back home (I've now spent an hour and a half in the car while in incredible pain, plus however long between). Pain actually is worse by the time we get home. I take another percocet, and then an hour later, another. I think by this time I've had either 5 or 6 Percs (5 mg... not Cookie's horsepill 10 mg ones), the shot of Toradol, two aspirin and finally take a Xanax, too. And about 40 min. after the Xanax, I finally fall into a sleep - heating pad on thighs, hot water bottle on belly. And wake up an hour and 40 min. later and text my husband (downstairs doing work from home unexpectedly - we thought he'd drop me off and go to work) and ask if it's been 2 hrs. yet. We'd decided I'd take one Percocet every 2 hrs instead of 2 every four hours once they'd finally kicked in. That seemed to work fairly well. He asked if I could hang on 20 min. and it wasn't that bad. Nothing like earlier, for sure. So I just stayed as medicated as possible all day and night and actually started feeling like I wanted to live again by last night. And no longer wanted someone to at least cut off my legs. (ironic, isn't it?? lol)

So... that's my update and thank God I feel SO much better today than yesterday. And hopefully be 100% by Sunday or Monday. Did it scare me that THIS procedure hurt THIS much, knowing what I'll be facing in two weeks? Oh HELL yeah. But I have to keep in mind I've had the other surgery and though parts of it were hell, I was kept fairly well medicated at the beginning. It's SO much easier to keep pain at bay than to remove it once it's started. I'm more worried that my husband is already dreading taking care of me again in a couple of weeks. I know it's so hard for him to see me in that kind of pain and not really be able to do much to alleviate it. This stuff just ain't easy!

My Bloody Valentine ... (thanks, Cookie!)

Eleven whole days left before surgery. That is not many and suddenly I'm realizing how unprepared I am. haha. Oh well, I seem to do better under pressure anyway. So this update is more about my fascination with all things hearts. I've always had that - collected anything in a heart shape. Jewelry, candles, even a coffee mug at one point. But for the past few years I seem to just pick up and collect heart-shaped rocks. lol. The heart shape is aesthetically pleasing to me.

I knew when I wanted this surgery that I also wanted the heart-shaped incision across the top of the butt. I think it helps make it look 'rounder' or fuller or something than a straight across incision or a a V incision. I also chose to have the surgery done on Valentine's Day. lol. Figured I'd always remember what I got for Valentine's Day from my sweetheart that way and the timing just worked well. And well enough time for recovery before it gets hot here. My surgeon has also assured me I will have his undivided attention that day. :D

As I mentioned in previous post, I had a lot of sudden bleeding issues. Not a good thing in a post-menopausal woman, so had that investigated. All was fine but the bleeding didn't resolve and I had the surgery (from hell!). When my ob/gyn came in to tell me about the surgery, he said he hoped they'd been able to reach all sides, but that my uterus was heart-shaped (making it difficult for a balloon to fill out entire uterus completely). I said oh, wow. When I was pregnant with my son I told my doctor that it felt like I was pregnant "on one side". He just sort of nodded and finished his remarks on the surgery.

Once I'd finally gotten the pain under control and felt like a human being who actually desired to live again, I Googled "heart-shaped uterus". For the hell of it. And sure enough, it's a bicornuate uterus! lol... The dip in the top heart acts as a sort of division in the uterus. Mine isn't completely divided, apparently. But I just thought it was funny as it fits in with the heart-shaped fascination. When the bleeding started (day before surgery and finding out it's heart shaped), Cookie mentions something to the effect of hoping I don't wake up in a pool of blood the next morning. She's imagining a scene from My Bloody Valentine. Lol! As Onedimsim (my Cookie) has pointed out - there seems to be a theme here! Tomorrow I may add a picture of some of the heart-shaped rocks I've picked up on various hikes (cause I KNOW y'all can't wait to see 'em). Some are tiny, some are a bit bigger. I'll point them out to my husband as we're hiking and say, Look, honey! It's heart-shaped!! And half the time he'll just shrug and pick it up. Other times he'll tell me that no...it looks like Texas! (hahaha). A couple of weeks ago I found a beautiful one, pretty large. Probably a good 5 lbs or so. I point it out, he looks around and says, REALLY?? You have to find a rock at the absolute FURTHEST point in the hike?! The man makes me laugh (we actually left that one behind... he was too funny).

We hiked today - actually did 8 miles. Wasn't expecting to even be able to (and yes... I asked my doc on Thurs if I'd be able to hike on Sun). No heart-shaped rocks worthy of carrying back home, but it was nice. Crampy here and there, but not much different than the last couple of weeks. No sex for 10 days - gotta have SOME of life's pleasures to enjoy, right? I need my stress relievers!

So the next several days I'll go over my lists of things to bring with me, gather as much together as possible, probably place a couple of Amazon orders to be delivered once we arrive, and finalize my questions for the doc. Any input on questions?

Heart shaped rocks. And an interestingly shaped rock I couldn't resist.

Supplies (so far)

I'm a BIT of an over-planner, not to mention a tad anal. I took pictures of my supplies. Keep in mind all this needs to be packed, along with my toiletries, clothing and electronic devices. I'm so high-maintenance as it is, then the added supplies plus the goodies I'll have delivered there (two grabbers so I may be able to get dressed on my own, Cookie's toilet seat riser... Not HERS... one like it, Isopure protein powder and Arginine supplement... so far). Crazy. Good thing I didn't have a year to plan-imagine the amount of things I would realize I "need"!

A week from now...

... We'll be on a plane headed to FL. I wish it were a non-stop. I'd take a pill and try to sleep. It's going to be so busy one we get there I probably won't have time to be nervous. I'm getting it all in now ;)

Nearly 19 years....

I lost my kitty during the night. I knew she would most likely be gone by morning when I went to bed. I wish I would have stayed with her, but she seemed so agitated and I didn't feel she wanted me around, like she wanted her privacy. I had lay down next to her for a while before I went up to bed the first time. She'd stopped purring by this point so I knew she didn't have long. Poor baby was so uncomfortable, trying hard to get comfortable (wow, I know that feeling). At one point she sort of arched her neck and head back toward me and sort of pressed her head into my face. At first I wondered if she'd done it on accident, but then she did it again. Looking back I really think maybe she was saying goodbye to me.

We've had this kitty since she was a old enough to be adopted. My youngest daughter was about to begin kindergarten. That daughter is now a college graduate and has since moved on into her own apartment. Our son the same and has begun his career with Boeing in Huntsville. Other than our children's babyhood, this kitty has been her with us every step of the way. Amazing.

I'm sad, very sad. But she was so ill and obviously not doing well at all for quite some time and recently began to go downhill fairly rapidly. Too old and too sick to board somewhere and I knew we really needed to put her down, anyway. No way could I ask a friend to take care of and clean up after her - I won't go into the kinds of messes she made here towards the end. But I hated the idea of putting her down and feeling like it was for my own convenience since I didn't have anyone to take care of her. Finally I asked my daughter if I could take her over there while we are away (no pet policy) and she agreed. Almost from that moment I felt a freedom to actually decide if it was time for her to go - instead of feeling guilty about it. Yesterday I realized how bad she was and that if she was still here on Monday we would take her in. She has given me so much love and comfort over all these years and even now, she somehow managed to take care of her own death and relieve me of the guilt involved. Some might think this is horrible timing - days before major surgery. But I see it as one last gift to me. I'll miss her so much, but I know she is in a far better place now. Rest in peace, Ali-girl


Yup. Other than the whole packing, what can I bring, what will I forget... etc. I think I'm kind of numb. Not really numb so much as just not focusing on what's ahead other than getting there intact with everything I think I'll need. It's so strange - this whole time thing and how quickly it's gone and yet, I still feel totally unprepared. I've gone over a hundred lists a million times and yet I'm sure I'm forgetting something major. I've pack my suitcase but will need my hubby's suitcase for all my toiletries! Good thing he's so low-maintenance. So we'll be on our way to the airport in just over 48 hrs. Okay.. NOW I felt a moment of sheer terror!! lol

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Wow. It's just about here! We'll be boarding the plane in less than 12 hrs. now. After that it'll just be mad rush. I hope I can sleep a little on the plane, at least. Arrive in Ft. Lauderdale around 9:45am, pick up rental car, head to duplex to meet owner and get instructions, hopefully clean up some, go to pre-op and actually MEET the surgeon. hahaha. Then drop off prescriptions, head to Costco and the grocery store for supplies, then a shower, Xanax (hopefully!), bed, shower again and be at hospital by 5:30am. See? Whirlwind and hopefully not enough time to get too nervous. Sure hope the 'poops' (as my Chica refers to them as) doesn't hit just as we're leaving for the hospital, but that's about par for the course for me. :D

I do believe I'm nearly ready. About to go shower now so I can then pack those items, too and say I'm good to go. House is somewhat clean... hahaha... if you stay downstairs that is! Attached a note to my visiting kitty's new collar. She's been visiting me for months and months - she's my 'other' kitty. I know she's got a real home because she's HUGE. Unless she just hops from house to house and finds willing people like me to feed her, comb her, play laser tag with her and give her water. :D So I bought a collar and taped a note to it, wrapped around the collar - Your beautiful kitty has been cheating on you with me for months now. I'll be out of town for a while and doubt my husband will feed her, in case you wonder why she's suddenly so hungry. ~ a neighbor. This cat is gorgeous. So much fur that even her tail looks about 2" longer than it should be. lol.. She's a lover. Anyway, hopefully the owner sees the collar (left the stupid bell attached because the collar absolutely disappears in her fur), finds the attached note and reads it. lol

Now it's just last minute stuff - make sure we have our chargers for all our devices, turn the water off to the house (always have plumbing issues here!), make sure I have my lists/notes/etc. boarding passes... all the crap that goes with having this surgery 2300 miles from home. Sure hope it's worth the inconvenience!! Got the call from Revis' office confirming my pre-op appt. tomorrow, then a call from the hospital as a sort of pre-admittance things. Just a bunch of health history, emergency contact #, directions, things like that. I'm even taking my Bromelain already - that's three days before so thank God I remembered to start it yesterday! .. Think I'm good to go!

I'm not actually nervous at the moment at all. That weird sort of calm that I halfway expected to feel, but think I feel that way now because of all the travel considerations. No time to focus. I'm sure I'll get nervous once we're on the way to meet the surgeon. And then those damn 'before' pictures that so many of you don't feel uncomfortable with but I sure do! I guess I feel that if I was THAT comfortable with my body that I didn't mind naked photos being taken of it, then maybe I wouldn't feel such a 'need' for surgery! lol.. That's MY take on it, anyway. I don't think I'm necessarily shy with my body - just don't like what I see! God knows, if this surgery works as well as I know in my head I hope it will, then I'd probably be a damn exhibitionist! ;)

Wish me luck, people. I can't express how incredibly important this site has been to me for months now. I love the people I've met, the incredible friendships already formed, the sharing of feelings, fears, knowledge, questions... It's truly been invaluable. So to those of you that have read my crap and encouraged me along the way, THANK YOU!! Say a few prayers for Friday morning for me, too, if you would! I'll update as soon as I can. I'll have hubby text a couple of people and they can post I'm alive and well for me if I'm too loopy to type. Which, I pray to God, I AM!!! I don't want to have any sort of PTSD crap from the pain I had a couple of weeks ago. Right now I think that's my biggest fear - that by doing that surgery w/o anti-inflammatories, it somehow triggered a weird pain response. I just don't want to wake up in pain freaking out and looking for relief. Fingers crossed, okay?? xoxo

this is it!!

On my way to the hospital. Just over two hours before I'm knocked out. Not nervous other than knowing I'll need to poop someone between now and markup! Met Dr. Revis yesterday and felt like I just hadn't seen him for awhile, rather than a first meeting. Very much at ease and he actually seemed to be looking forward to doing my surgery. Pray for me.

I'm alive (and swollen)

I won't write much just yet, but wanted to affirm I am, indeed, alive. I went into surgery a bit late, but think I got out earlier than expected.

I can't give any impression on how I may look as I'm so swollen. I'm hunched over like a tummy tuck, though. In fact, I feel more hunched over after this surgery than I did after the other one. In not sure why. And my ass feels huge, but sure that's the swelling.

Not to scare anyone off of this surgery, but so far I'd say it hurts more. Getting up hurts more than I can say. So does sitting back down. we ended up buying a recliner from Costco. There's no way I could get up and down on the bed. It's on this low platform... Can't do that.

I'll update tomorrow probably, but one thing I would say is- do not have surgery at Broward General Hospital. They totally sucked and treated me (ignored me) far differently than they treated other patients. And I was stuck in recovery for 7 hrs because they didn't have my bed. More later.


So now it's Day 5 after surgery. I actually feel human once again. I still love my surgeon- maybe more so now. I know it was posted below, but needs repeating. My surgeon did not use ANY staples on me at all!! I'm fairly certain he would have had I not made such a big deal about. I think he didn't tell me there would be a chance to use only sutures, just in case he needed staples because of condition of the skin. That makes me SO happy. He also seems to think I"ll be happy with my results. My legs feel so swollen, but measuring them yesterday, they are roughly the same. So I hope there will be a good 2 - 2 1/2" lost when swelling goes down. My knees already look better, maybe there is a bit of swelling there, too. I'm swollen in my entire torso area so look huge compared to prior to surgery.

At the hospital I had to ask for pain relief and most took their sweet time bringing it. I'll save my issues with the hospital for later. In short, more than half of the time I was in pain. Once released I found the dosing schedule too far apart to keep pain at bay. Finally emailed my surgeon and he agreed to more frequent dosing for back spasms and suggested 800mg ibuprofen every 8 hrs for five days. So finally - between 4 hr dosing for pain/muscle and the ibuprofen I woke up knowing I'd had surgery, but not completely wracked with pain. Idk why I seem to burn thru the meds, but this schedule helps so much! I see my doc tomorrow and am hoping to get a couple of the (six) drains out. I have two super producers, two with small output and two with negligible output.

I'll update more later.

finally feeling human

I had the remaining five (of six) drains taken out Tues! So happy about that. The drains weren't all that bad, but I'd hang them around my neck instead of pinning on my garment as I changed back and forth between old garment with Velco and the icky abdominal binder and it got to be a pain pinning and unpinning six drains. But I wanted them out mostly as I wanted to get into a real post surgery compression garment.

I cannot believe the swelling. A good 10 lbs worth. My waist is now 2" larger than pre-surgery, hips 2"+, Lord knows abdomen... probably more than 3", thighs are bigger by a good half an inch. So what all that meant is my garment is a medium instead of the small I was expecting to fit into. And it is tight!

It's been a kind of rough recovery. First catching up with the pain that the assholes at the hospital refused to really respond to in a timely manner. I actually ended up needing 10 mg percocet and some muscle relaxers every four hours for a number of days just to stay somewhat comfortable. A lot of times it felt as though my thighs were in a tourniquet at the torso. And the skin feels stretched to the max. I think it's the lower back pain and the inability to lay down on anything other than a recliner that have really been aggravating. Good thing my husband insisted on buying that recliner from Costco! I'd have never made it to the bed as low as it is.

About a week ago, my husband and I kept smelling something ... off whenever I had to sit on the toilet. Honestly, I thought it was the toilet or the bathroom or ... I don't know. Finally realized the smell was ME. Omg. Had appt. with my doctor the following day. My husband and I assumed it was a vaginal infection since I'd been on antibiotics and recently had the uterine ablation.Yeast infection sounded most likely. My doc gave me a prescription for Fluconozole - one pill immediately and the other one 48 hrs later. The smell didn't go away. I took a few pictures of the area, close ups and saw...infection in the groin incision! ;( I know the area isn't considered 'clean' from a surgical standpoint and now I understand why. The labia swell up to about the size of an index finger (each)! And they are smashed together so the vagina feels fuzed together (haha), but what also happens is the outer portion of these huge labia are now touching the (swollen) inner thighs. So that leaves a narrow, dark and moist channel - perfect breeding ground for infection! I'd swear if it weren't for the lips being so swollen and touching the thighs, the area wouldn't be that moist or that dark.

The following day I had another follow up appt. (Tues) and showed the doc the infection. This was the appt. where he pulled the drains. Weird feeling, but one stung for a second and I said I think that has some tissue attached, and another one (outer thigh) burned like hell for a few seconds. Otherwise, pretty non-eventful. He took me off the antibiotics I'd been on since the day before surgery (due to drains, he said) and then put me on another antibiotic to try to treat this infection. I had one dose last night, checked this morning and it's actually worse than it was before. Sent pic to my doc and he said I'm already doing what I can do for infection - I wash the area with antibacterial soap every time I use the bathroom, pat it dry, then blow dry the entire area, put a piece of rolled up gauze in the 'channels' and am on antibiotics. So... guess it's a wait and see game. Ugh. Then my doc sent another email and said he hadn't tried it before, but if I was willing to try it, to go ahead. There is a polysporin powder that he said to sprinkle a little here and there to try to keep the area a bit drier. Willing to try anything but turns out this is difficult to get your hands on. Finally Walgreen's said they'd order it for me and hopefully it'll be there by Friday or Sat. This morning it looks slightly better, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll knock this infection out.

Other than that, I think I'm healing pretty well. Tried to go without pain meds yesterday. We'd planned on driving to the beach and getting out and walking a bit, but wanted to fill the prescription for the powder first. After two Walgreen's and standing forever there waiting, I said I couldn't make it to the beach. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple of things and I was hurting so much by the time we got back. Popped a pain pill and a muscle relaxer and took a nap. Won't try that again for awhile!

This morning when I got up to pee (and the long ordeal after of washing, drying, blow drying, etc..) I felt 'thinner'. Took my measurements and no :( Waist is still a couple inches larger, hips too. My thighs are just about the size of pre-surgery now, so hoping they'll shrink a couple of inches from here. I still have a lot of swelling in thighs and back and abdomen. I can't wait to see where it ends up though.

My biggest complaint (other than pain and swelling) is there is a weird folded area at the top portion of my butt crack. It freaks me out - but my doctor swears it will all fill out over time and most likely by the three month mark (!) Of all things going on, this is my biggest fear. I don't know how to describe it other than maybe a puppy's docked tail. It's not like pleating or piecrust incision as it's more like the butt crack, itself at the top. Before I leave here for home I will ask him again what happens if it doesn't flatten out...is this a surgical thing? I hope not - hope it just disappears. He said a lot of 'his' butts look that way right after surgery.

I have a few 'on the table' shots my surgeon took and they're pretty cool. I might actually post a couple of them. I really hope I look like the one of me on my back all sewn up once all the swelling is done. I like the hips/waist contour and love the fact that my thigh fat isn't sitting down next to me! lol I'm trying to keep that picture in mind when I look at my currently bloated and swollen self.

Just cause I think they're cool...

Some pictures my doctor kindly took during surgery.

A pretty good day!

Today I feel.... human! I hope I didn't overdo it. My husband and I went to the beach. Drove down to Miami to check out a beach there. It was a lovely day. Sometimes overcast, even sprinkled on us for about 5 min. at one point, and beautifully sunny at times. The water was so gorgeous and clean it was so difficult to keep myself from just jumping in! Lol. That would have been a HUGE mistake. I also only wore Spanx under a tank top and longer shorts. I ended up being out of my garment far too long and am so swollen now! But it really seems worth it to me - at least right now. I'm swollen down to my feet. I only took 1 1/2 percs today, too, though I'll probably take another tonight.

When we got back I grabbed my bikini (I guess I brought it thinking I would wear it for the mark up to see if the incisions would be covered) and put it on after I showered. Just wanted to see if it would cover and it did! I had to make sure the back was pulled high enough. My doc says all incisions have a tendency to drop a bit from gravity anyway, so this one may settle where I was hoping it to be. Regardless, the bikini worked and my husband was so very complimentary! I was actually blushing. lol. He grabbed his phone and took some pictures. I know no one knows my husband, but if you did, you'd realize how out-of-character this seems. He seemed genuinely happy with the results and said, Now I can say this surgery is worth it! That'll make ANY day a good day, huh?

I think my infection just might be getting a little better! I don't want to get too excited about it yet just in case I'm wrong, but this is definitely the first day since it started that I know it didn't actually get worse than the day before. Progress! Too bad I'm pretty sure it's messed up my chances of having some nice scars along the front of my body. The way parts seemed to open with infection makes them look a bit more like they're the tops of my thighs in areas rather than in the groin crease. I hope I'm wrong and I'll heal nicely...but I doubt it. Right now the important thing is to heal and get those sutures out as soon as I can. Hopefully BEFORE I return to AZ. I have no idea who would tend to them otherwise. Anyway, all things considered, today was a really good day overall. :D

And now it's a waiting game

..and I HATE waiting! lol. I know at this point in my recovery I would be all sealed up and ready for scar treatment soon had it not been for this damn infection! And I see several places that just can't possibly scar well, regardless of what scar treatment I use or for how long. This does upset me. I know a scar revision is possible. This is another case where having chosen a surgeon so far from home can be an issue. Even if the revision were free, the flight, accomodations, car rental, hospital and anesthesia charges would still apply. And damn if I want to go back to that same hospital.

The good stuff:

1. If this is really swelling and I end up looking like the table shot, I'll count this surgery as a major success.

2. At this point, my legs are tight and smooth, but I don't want to put too much in store there as I know with swelling, these imperfections are hidden.

3. According to my surgeon, he cut off about 7" or 8" in the back! That may not seem huge to some, but for someone who 'only' lost 55 lbs, that is a lot of excess skin that was hanging down.

4. He also said he removed something like 8 cm from my inner thigh skin. That's just over 3"!

5. My surgeon removed the stitches today - one of my fears of returning home with stitches still there no longer a concern :D.

6. He did NOT use any staples which I think was really cool of him as he knew how much I really didn't want to have staples.

7. I am feeling human once again. My husband and I went to the beach a few times and actually felt like a vacation. (well... a vacation that included major surgery and massive pain and aggravation! lol)

8. I still don't know the cc's of fat my surgeon removed, but he said he lipo'd the front of the thighs from about halfway point, around to side/saddlebags, to the back where he had to leave areas so there would be healthy, strong tissue to sew together. He did my inner thighs (I think...but if so, lower...maybe mid thigh down to knees) and said he lipo'd my flanks. I'm excited about all of that and still am hoping this will result in a 2" loss in each thigh eventually, and it'd be awesome if I lost that much in my waist, but I'm not counting on it! Lol. With that 1 1/2" gap between rib cage and hip bones, that would be a tough thing to accomplish.

9. My surgeon is very compassionate when it comes to pain. I asked for another refill of my meds, even though I know I'm feeling better, but I still have pain after being up and about too long. And at night - assuming because I'm tired. I'm still in a recliner and this makes my back tight and ache, but he refilled the muscle relaxers for me, as well.

10. At this point, I still love my surgeon! I pray I will say that in a couple of months when the healing and swelling have run their course. He'd teased me the other day in an email about working the application of polysporin ointment into my "OCD routine". lol. Today he mentioned he is OCD, himself. You know? I think that is a GOOD quality in a plastic surgeon since I think it contributes to being meticulous.

The bad:

1. The potential for some pretty bad scarring. I believe I would have scarred fairly well had this infection not occured. This does bum me out a great deal.

2.Probably up there with my biggest disappointment is the feeling the two fat pockets I have just above the mid inner thigh area (the MAIN reason I accepted the inner thigh incisions to begin with). They have been the bane of my existence since I lost the weight 3 1/2 years ago. Nothing seems to make it go away - squats, lunges, cardio, weight training, hiking... I was SURE the surgery would take care of that. The other day they showed up :( Maybe not quite as defined as before, nor as full... but there. Disappointed as I know I'm still swollen and if that's the case, will it look worse again once the swelling goes down? And for this I suffered the nasty infection and scarring - now probably not good scarring. :( Major disappointment.

3. I'm not loving my butt. I think it's mostly the strange folds at the upper part of the butt crease which I think may actually be flattening out some. I guess I'd also hoped for a perkier ass and damn... pulling up 8" you'd think would do it! Of course I still have to fluff and drop and the swelling on my lower back doesn't help the shape aspect.

4. I still have NO idea what I'll look like as I'm sure I still have those 10+ lbs on me from surgery. I'm hoping this is because my body is still battling infection, thinking it will try to hang onto the extra fluid to protect itself - much like muscles do when you begin a new workout. At this point I can't imagine fitting into the couple pairs of 'inspiration jeans' I have at home. Both were way too small in the thigh area for me. Maybe? Hopefully?

Other than the things mentioned above, I'm doing really quite well, all things considered. The beach has been lovely. Unfortunately antibiotics make you very sun-sensitive and I have a pretty funny looking sunburn. My husband would dig a hole for me to stand in and then lower me onto a sand chair. I love his ingenuity! But as I can't lay down, and the sun is where it is in the sky this time of year, my right leg got the brunt of it. Normally I tan ... a little TOO easily. I've ruined my skin with all the years of sun exposure. Sometimes I'd get a light sunburn, just sort of pink but would look tan the following day. Not this one! lol

That's all for now. My husband left for home yesterday early evening and I'm alone until Friday when Cookie comes for three days! :D Really looking forward to that. Too bad Chica couldn't make it also. Anyway, it's about 7am and I have not been to sleep since 7am yesterday. Probably a combination of all the sleep from the first ten days or so of recovery (than God for that!) and my mind running a thousand miles an hour as I reflect on the surgery and wonder about the outcome. I have a feeling the Percocets also end up messing up sleep patterns, too. Strange thing is I took a 10 mg. one before going to bed, AND a muscle relaxer since we had such a long day. And not one bit of sleep. I finally got out of the chair around 4am and made coffee. Now I'm sleepy and may try to nap a bit.

What a day!

Woke up feeling pretty good (Thursday). Felt less swollen and looked less swollen too. So I peeled off my garment and sure enough - I saw a bit of my shape! Turned sideways and even some of my swollen lower back looked better. :D I grabbed my tape measure and saw my waist and hips had both gone down an inch! Ok, that's still an inch more than pre surgery, but I'll take it. Measured my thighs and they're barely larger than pre surgery. I'm so excited because I know I'm still swollen, just under three weeks post!

The weather was kind of grey and humid...no beach for me. I decided to go to Walmart to pick up a few things. Also the first time I've driven since surgery so it seemed a bit of an accomplishment. I ended up spending probably two hours there! I went by the clothing thinking I should pick up some panties and ended up browsing thru all the racks. Now I know it's Walmart, but thought I'd find a t-shirt or something. I saw a pair of shorts that look like the foldover yoga pants I love. Hesitated, thinking why bother? I haven't worn shorts in probably 10 years. But hell, they were black with a hot pink leopard print foldover waist band...and only $5. Why not, right? Then saw a pair of pj shorts that looked cute, so I threw those in the cart, along with two pairs of lacy boy shorts/cheeky style panties, a black cami, a hot pink lace racer back tank and even a cheap pink bikini. Didn't try anything on- the compression garment makes that a pain in the ass. Did the rest of the shopping and went out to see it had poured rain while I was there. Found my way home, unloaded the bags and put things away.

Decided to wash my garment again (daily!) so I grabbed the shorts to try on in front of the mirrored sliding doors. And.....OMG! I had "A MOMENT"! I looked at my reflexion and almost cried! From JOY!!! I looked OKAY! I mean seriously okay! Won't win any contests here, but my thought was - I could wear these shorts! I can join the rest of the shorts-wearing public and not stand out! My legs look fairly smooth and acceptable. You have to realize what an incredible moment this was for me! I live in AZ. For probably 9 months of the year it's either hot or unbearably hot. Yet I wouldn't put on shorts - even in the comfort of my own home...even when the temperature exceeded 115 degrees! THAT'S how much I've hated my legs. This was .... simply ... incredible. I wanted to cry, to laugh, to sing!!

I texted my hubby and a few close friends and then I wrote an email to my surgeon. My subject line was, I'm having a moment... Now, as I've mentioned, I've emailed my doctor dozens and dozens of times over the months. And he's got a pretty good handle on my personality by now. So I say something like- hold on...this is a GOOD moment (he's so used to my anxiety about this or that and asking hundreds of questions. I told him I wanted to share that experience with him and told him what happened. And thanked him for being able to practically perform miracles. I did mention that I hope the lumps and bumps don't reappear once the swelling goes down, but to be prepared for a giant hug next week. He's such a cool guy and ALWAYS responds to emails. Sure enough, not long after he replied thanking me for sharing "my moment" with him. And said that makes him feel good for both of us! I just thought it was cool for him to recognize my absolute joy of the moment.

I really hope this bubble doesn't burst. Hope like hell the crappy stuff doesn't show up when the swelling goes down. What a day!

Feeling SO good... with the exception of...

.... this damn infection from hell! lol. I'd thought it was getting better but not so sure anymore. I don't think it's getting worse but as I get closer and closer to actually leaving FL, the more uncertainty I feel. If it was just improve - once and for all, I could relax a bit. The scarring is most likely to be FAR from optimal from this. I'm already 90% sure I will need a scar revision. Something strange about the way healthy skin seems to retract and almost curl away from the infected areas. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have a couple of areas that will finally heal and be on the upper thigh rather than in the groin crease. It upsets me but I can't concentrate on that aspect too much right now.

The good part is I feel pretty damn good! I'm sore when I get up from one position for too long and my butt is often killing me, but it's nothing compared to way I felt a couple of weeks ago. I'm still not able to lay down on the bed here, but I'm driving and moving about fairly well now.

The great part is a few days after my husband returned home, Cookie arrived! By then I was beginning to drive and was on the mend. My husband and I had been to the beach probably four times - no swimming for me, though ;( . But I absolutely love the beach and enjoyed it much more than I thought possible. Then Cookie arrived and we've had an absolute blast. We've talked about everything under the sun, laughed our asses off (she's the one that pointed out just how very funny 'plastics' are with all the weird shit and the strange indignities we all endure to some extent or another. We've gone to the beach, had dinner and drinks out, followed by a total chat session that didn't end until 7:30 in the morning! We've walked along the Hollywood Broadwalk, met up with an old friend of hers for dinner and drinks and I have to say - her visit has really helped make this recovery process seem more like a vacation with some painful surgery done, than simply a trip to another part of the country for surgery. It's been great. The only thing that could have added to the fun was if Chica had been able to join us as well. Girl's Weekend planning must commence! lol

Oh. And yes. Wearing a bathing suit in public, wearing SHORTS in public and not being totally humiliated has also been quite the experience! ALMOST makes the scar situation not quite as traumatic. I know this sounds rather understated, but the fact is this 'thing' has left me all verklempt!

One month post op

Hard to believe it's been a month since my surgery. Seems I posted every few days prior and not much since. I'm blaming it on the pain at the beginning, and the fact that I seemed to have little energy for quite a while. I admire all of you that somehow manage to post even while in the midst of all of this!

I'm not even sure where to start and already know this will be too long to keep anyone's attention for very long, so I'll view it more as a sort of diary of what I'm going thru for myself, as much as for anyone else's reading.

In no particular order: CC's and lb removal now:.... I'm still quite sore on my thighs and am sure it's from the lipo. I'm not exactly positive of the numbers but am fairly sure my doc told me he lipo'd 475 cc's from each thigh and I think 50 cc's from the inner knee fat pockets. I'm thinking he must have lipo'd some along my flanks, but will ask him about that. I have a SHAPE! At least in the am. It's mostly the swelling above and below the back incision that makes a difference in how I look from the side. To put the cc's into perspective for me, that's over a liter combined. When I had my mommy makeover surgery three years ago, my surgeon lipo'd my flanks to give me a waist from the hip up, and "some" on the outer thighs. He didn't want to make the sagging, lumpy situation worse and was very conservative - only about 400 cc's combined for all of that! So that thrills me.

I can't imagine it can't impact the measurements of my thighs, although it was a lot of sculpting of the entire thigh, not just saddlebags, etc., where the difference in size would be easily measured. I'm still hoping for a good 1 1/2" difference when all is said and done. Two inches would be awesome. A liter of fat weighs about a kilo and I read that weight loss part of the fat removal may take up to three full months to see. I believe he told me he removed about 5- 5 1/2 lbs of skin... just need to clarify if that weight was the combination of skin and fat (lipo) removed, or if that was for skin only. It'd be nice to think I'd lost 7 1/2 lbs of fat and skin! If that's the case I should be able to maintain my weight at closer to 120 lbs rather than the usual 126 for three years. But I did put on weight prior - think at the time of surgery I was 131. I still think that was all stress and that my hormone levels were all messed up - mostly my thyroid. I know it's not about the weight, but about the size and fitness, but to be honest, I've wanted to be about that weight for years and years. Lol. Maybe this will give me that chance.

How it feels now:

The actual pain is minimal. It does hurt if someone hits my lipo'd outer thighs in particular. There is that weird numbness around the incisions and on my thighs. Cookie touched my back incision the other day and I can only describe it as it feels like someone IS touching you - but through a padding of clothes or something. More like a slight pressure than an actual touch.

After sitting for any real length of time, there is a strange sort of tingling, numbness, strange feeling along my upper thighs. It feels like... hmmm.... been trying to put words to it for a while but they escape me. At the tops of my thighs all the way around it feels like... maybe panty hose that suddenly bind all the way around the top of the thighs. Like a band of something that I'm sure is the incisions on the inside of the groin and sides of the mons, but weirdly feels like it extends around the sides like where the legs openings would be in a pair of panties. Since the incision isn't there, but higher where it meets up with my tummy tuck incision, it's strange to feel it that way. Again - not pain necessarily. Discomfort and strange, yes.

Emotional: That's a hard one. As the swelling has been subsiding, I can see more and more laxness. The upper knee wrinkles are back and that really shouldn't surprise me in the least. The medial thigh lift and lower body lift loses it's pull the further down the upper thigh it goes. The long incision would have taken care of that, but the resulting scar wouldn't have been worth it considering both my starting point and the amount of laxness that remains. I can deal with it. It WAS difficult to see this reappear, I won't lie about that. It's like Chica said when you see yourself without any, it's amazing. You KNOW it's swelling, you KNOW some will return, but it's hard to get that picture of smoothness out of your head and deal with reality when it comes barging in. I'm not thrilled with the shape of my ass. I'm sure that will change over the next couple of months, too. But right now it's more of a ... Idk.. it's like the lower gluteal fold should curve like the lower part of a circle, but it's closer to a straight line. Guess it's better than a v-shape, though. But that and the fact that it looks like if you grab the top of the backs of my thighs and lift up onto my ass, I'd have a much better shape. It's amazing to think there's that much flab there considering the massive amount of pull he got on someone my size and will as how little as I lost by comparison to massive weight loss patients.

The resulting emotions from this range from extreme happiness that I am in a damn BIKINI on a beach in FL and not feeling like I stand out in a bad way. lol. I actually went to a restaurant wearing shorts... I mean short-shorts! Please remember I was in FL and it's a resort area where bikinis and shorts are pretty common regardless of where you go. There was such a freedom about this I can't really describe. Cookie and I discussed this several times - the FREEDOM. The not looking for something to cover it all up, the being able to stand up, take off your cover-up, walk down to the water and even stand with your back to the shore knowing it doesn't look that bad. Trust me, although I undoubtedly saw many, many better looking bodies, I also saw many, many with worse issues than mine. So I didn't stand out. THAT is freedom.

I've also experienced the disappointment in the laxity as I mentioned previously. In a perfect world this wouldn't be the case. And I even think it's possible that in another surgeon's hands, I may have been pulled tighter. But the risk he would have taken in order to do so would only have been worth it if I had no ill effects. My biggest fear was the labial spreading and the possibility of a huge, widened scar across the back. Neither of those two issues ARE issues. I'm still very much happy with my choice of surgeons.

I had one day of extreme disappointment and fear and sadness. Ugh. I think I was just over two weeks out - it was about day 16. And though I expected to feel it, I still believe about 75% of this was due to the infection and the knowledge that this will affect the long-term scarring. I truly believe the scarring would have been optimal had that not occurred and that really, really depressed me. Thank God it really lasted only a day or two. I'm sure I'll still have many days in the future like this. At this point I'm still waiting for the healing, the scabbing to go away and until that happens, it's a waiting game and I'll not know what I'm truly dealing with in terms of scarring.

Yesterday I finally began scar treatment - but only along the healed back portion of my scars. I don't think any of the rest is quite ready for that until the scabs fall off. I still have a lot of the ropiness to my incisions - especially the groin and mons areas. The back is fairly smooth and I think I'm finally losing my demon spawn tail. Don't know if I mentioned that, but with all the pull and weird folding and pleating of skin, I was left with what looked a bit like a docked tail on a puppy! lol. Or as i jokingly told Cookie - had I been a baby born in Mexico with this demon spawn of a tail, I'd have been drowned at birth. We had a few laughs over that one. It's definitely improving. Thank GOD.

Started this update a couple of days ago - will post now. Lol. Still absent-minded. Or...as Cookie says - I saw a squirrel. ;)

measurements so far

Okay, took them a day or two ago, so I'll call it one month post-op numbers.
Bust 37 3/4"
Waist 26 3/4"
Hips 36 1/2"

I hesitate putting thigh measurement here as I know we all measure differently. I have this tape measure called a MyoTape (http://www.amazon.com/AccuFitness-MT05-MyoTape-Body-Measure/dp/B000G7YW7Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395017452&sr=8-1&keywords=measure+tape+body). It locks in place so I find the biggest part of whatever body part (except waist and I do smallest part), lock it in place and then slide it slowly up and down in a straight line to see if I actually got the largest part of me. Doing it this way, my thighs are 21 3/8". Measuring where probably the majority of us measure our upper thighs it's 20 3/4". I'm seriously hoping when all is said and done my thighs will be 20" and waist 25 1/2". Lol.. I don't hope for much, do I???!!!

33 Days post op

I'm not quite at five weeks post yet, but had time and issues to talk about. I'm still very, very happy with the surgery. I have to admit the sagging in my lower thighs has definitely become more noticeable over time. Some improvement may be possible with exercise, but without the long incision, there is only so much that can be accomplished with a medial thigh lift. I certainly don't regret not having that incision, however. Had I had more to deal with, more laxity in both "vectors", and worse lower thigh sagging it may have been worth the scar. So all things considered, I'm happy with my decision and the outcome. Oh, incidentally, consulting with four or five surgeons prior, not one suggested the long incision anyway.

Issues I'm still dealing with - I still have a few openings on my incisions. From what I can tell I have two rather small openings on the inner groin incisions - one on each side. But having taken a good look this morning I'm fairly pleased. It's possible that scar may not actually bother me as I'd originally feared. That would be awesome!

The surprising issues are actually the higher incisions on either side of the mons. My left side still has a great deal of scabbing - that surprises me. I still feel I may end up with a bit of the scar on my upper thigh as a result of the infection, but I guess time will tell. My right side is looking much better (though both sides are still ropey but are definitely flattening slowly), but I have a nasty opening where one of the drains came out on my outer hip. It had been fine, was scabbed over as it was supposed to do, then apparently stuck to my garment a couple of weeks ago and pulled right off. :( The opening doesn't look great and I'm pretty sure it won't scar well there, either. I don't know yet, of course, but this may be a scar revision down the line. I had put the silicone tape along the back incision on the 15th, but within two days I had two small openings along the back incision. Apparently the entire incision wasn't actually healed as I had believed. So that's on hold for a few more days, too. A scar revision will depend upon how it all ultimately heals and how important the resulting scar is to me.

A very weird sort of thing developed or surfaced or something about two days ago ... three at most. On my left hip, maybe an inch or so above the incision at the drain site (all my drains came out of the incision, itself) I have a very, very painful spot. With the garment markings it's difficult to see, but it looks slightly discolored like a bruise, but it's depressed unlike a bruise. When touched it hurts, if bumped or rubbed it practically sends me into orbit. It's right along the outer hip area just where the hooks and zippers are on my garment. I don't think the garment caused this depression, but it sure hurts like hell when I'm putting it on and taking it off. My fear/concern is I've developed a fat necrosis. I ran the idea by my surgeon and he doesn't believe it is, although he did say it could be. He feels it's just a pain from surgery and I'll have lots off and on over various areas of my body from the surgery. The thing is - I think I can recognize the pains from surgery. I definitely can feel where the permanent sutures are placed a lot of times. I can feel where I had lipo, I can feel various sensations as nerve endings are coming back to life, I feel the areas of numbness and tingling associated with the surgery and incisions. But this? This is a totally different kind of pain. It's a ... idk.. seems so DEEP. And sharp, and so very painful to the touch. That's why I think it could be a fat necrosis. From what I've been able to Google so far, though, it's not of major concern unless it develops into a hardened mass that is either visible or if it's in an area where it would be constantly irritated or otherwise give you pain. Supposedly they don't 'spread' or get worse than they become, so that does help me feel a bit better about it. Unfortunately, it could very well be an area that is constantly irritated as it's just about the level my jeans hit on the side (I'm not wearing jeans yet, but have tried some on). Hopefully it's nothing, maybe some indention from where the garment hits and bends. I've put some foam padding there and a few squares of gauze folded up over the area and that helps some.

The really great part of this surgery is the freedom, as I've talked about before. That and wearing dresses and shorts in public!!! I wore a dress that hit a few inches above the knee and had side slits the other night while out with my husband. My legs look very passable (at least in that lighting! lol). My husband thinks I look amazing and is constantly telling me that which also helps. I went shopping yesterday and picked up two more dresses - both above the knee! And I know I'll wear them. So very exciting! As for now, at least, I'm still wearing a size 3 for the most part. I did buy some jeans the other day in a size 2 that mostly fit (too tight along the incision line, but that area is still swollen most of the time) and I'm sure will fit great in a few weeks. I didn't expect to go down in size anyway. I'm not a tiny person - I have a medium frame. I still hope my thighs decrease some in size over the next several weeks - as long as I don't get more laxity along with that! lol. I can put on a pair of my "inspiration jeans" I bought several months ago (again - too tight along the incision line right now). I wasn't able to get them all the way up my thighs before, so that's exciting. Once the swelling goes down I'll try them on again and the other two pairs of jeans I bought months ago hoping to one day fit into. I'm pretty confident they'll fit!

This is also the first year in at least ten when I'm not absolutely dreading the brutally hot summers here. I'm not looking forward to it - but I can wear my shorts and sundresses and even a bikini and feel pretty okay about that. :D I'm also looking forward to being able to hike wearing shorts when it's still pretty warm, but by the time I'm physically able to hike again, it'll probably be too hot here and will have to wait until the Fall.

Six week update

Still dealing with two areas that don't seem to want to actually heal. They are on my outer hips and where a set of drains came out of the incision. One side had this large scab forever and I finally decided it may go away if I cover it and use a silver based cream, so I covered it two days ago. The other side had a scab that pulled off on my garment or the gauze a couple of weeks ago. I know these areas won't scar nicely. The rest is healing well. I'm still ropey from the pie crust stitching in some areas and the back incision is healing nicely. The interesting thing here is my right front and left rear seem to be healing with better scars. Makes me wonder if it's the angle of the surgeon....

As far as the emotional part, I'm good. I had that one day that was really bad and a few that were so-so. I see some sagging and dimpling on my lower ass and thighs and some loose skin above my knees. The sagging ass part bugs me more. It just seems that if he lipo'd the upper thighs and pulled as much as he said he did, that part wouldn't still be sagging. I think it'd be okay if I had more fat above that, but I don't. Regardless, I'm still happy with the outcome.

I think if I had it to do over, I would consider having my thighs lipo'd first, wait the 4-6 months, then the LBL and medial thigh lift. Even though I only had about a liter of fat removed, had it been done first I think it would have taken the fat out of the areas that bug me the most. Since the incision I had goes from just behind the butt cheeks, thru the groin and up at top of thighs and meets at tummy tuck incision, that's a lot of area that couldn't be lipo'd. My doc said you can't lipo where you'll have an incision because you need healthy tissue on both sides of the cut to stitch together. It makes sense to me, but had I realized that beforehand, I may have had lipo first.

I'm really getting my shape back and thanks to Dr. Revis, I've lost much of my "square butt" look. Thank god!

Measurements this morning:
37 1/4"
26 1/4"
36 1/4"

Thighs are about the same as last week. I'm still hoping that I'll see that miracle at 3 months and they'll drop an inch...or inch and a half.


Recap: In Feb. 2014 I had a posterior body lift along with a medial thigh lift and some lipo. ( I'd had a TT, BL and BA in '10). When I awoke in recovery the pain became excruciating. I was parched and begged for water and pain meds, both of which were ignored for long stretches of time. Although I'd prepaid for a private suite, I was in a curtained off area (along with several others) for 8 hrs after I'd been ready to leave recovery. At that point, the nurses claimed my surgeon didn't leave orders for pain meds! Whether it was simply more incompetency on the part of the hospital, or my surgeon truly didn't think to leave orders is beyond me. It took hours, but I finally had pain relief. When the morphine would hit I would fall into a blessed sleep. When it wore off I would wake up crying in pain. It was, by far, the worst hospital experience I'd ever had.

The following day I began the recovery process in our temporary home. I cried for four solid days every waking moment (my poor husband!). By day four I begged Revis to figure out how to better manage the pain and he did. I stayed in Ft. Lauderdale four weeks, three of which were mandated by the surgeon. My incredible husband took care of me nonstop for three of those weeks. Two days after he left, my sweet CookieCakes showed up and stayed the remaining time with me. Admittedly, that last week was party week. We stayed up all night a couple times talking like school girls and spent long days at the beach together. It turned into a truly magical time.....

...Except I noticed some laxity returning by about 3 weeks. I'd also been dealing with pretty nasty groin incision infection and also I hated the way my surgeon had stitched me up. The incisions were great, but I looked like I'd been sewn together by a five year old. At my first follow up appt. I pointed out the two fat pockets on my mid inner thighs that we'd specifically addressed prior and had been assured would be taken care of. He sort of poo-polo'd my concern and said to wait as I was swollen. I knew even then it would only look worse once the swelling dissipated. Soon I became depressed. I knew part of it was simply something to expect with these types of surgery. Also, and not to minimize the post massive weight loss woman's issues, but I feel the extensive scarring left from these procedures may be an easier pill to swallow when you begin with a body that borders "almost unrecognizable" (as one post massive weight loss woman described herself) than a woman who is dealing with sagging skin, a dimpling butt and thighs and in desperate need of some contouring. For the former, sometimes any scar may be a happy trade off to yards of hanging skin and fat. The point is, I had given it a lot of thought and was willing to accept the amount of scarring involved as a trade off to having a body I could put into a sundress, or a pair of this shorts, and even a bathing suit.

My surgeon claimed he did an auto aug procedure, yet my ass was as flat as ever. My legs and torso weren't contoured as hoped, I still had a flat square butt, and the scarring was ugly. I had a hole on one hip from one of the six drains he used that took six months to heal, finally closing after I found some "magic" cream online. I was depressed, unhappy with the results and felt like a pre body lift patient who somehow had all the scars already. And guilt.... Lots of guilt. When all was said and done between the surgery, the airfare, the car rental and the place we rented for a month, I'd cost my dear hubby 22K. And very poor results. So lots of guilt.

I knew I didn't want to just accept all this. I'd begun saving for a facelift as soon as we'd paid for my body lift surgery, but I realized I'd be miserable if I just accepted these poor results and explored my options. I rejected the idea of having my original surgeon do the revision. My thought was if he did such a poor job the first time around and was paid for it, why would I expect better results if he wasn't going to be compensated the second time? He also told me my butt would become even more flat if he did a revision. He said he'd waive his fee, but between the hospital costs, anesthesia, airfare, car rental, and a place to stay for three weeks...that "free REVISion" would cost upwards of $8,000, possibly $9,000. Not to mention I no longer trusted him. To be honest, I no longer trusted myself or my own judgement, either. I'd invested a great deal of time and effort researching surgeons, poring over galleries, researching various methods of performing body lifts. I had dozens of questions over that time period and my surgeon quickly answered each and every email. In retrospect I did have some reservations about him. I questioned why his gallery seemed to be slightly out of focus. I'd read his website thoroughly and was quite shocked when, only by accident, I found he wasn't performing the surgery as laid out in his website. And honestly, his extensive gallery on extremely large breast implants set off some bells. I spoke with a prior patient of his that is now a motivational speaker. She tried to give me a heads up and had some interesting stories I somehow managed to ignore. By that time I'd paid my deposit, paid for our rental for a month and paid for our plane tickets. So I ignored those feelings. If anyone reads this that is contemplating a body lift procedure, I implore you to look elsewhere for a surgeon.

That confidence in him and in my own ability to make well-informed choices had been shattered with the shoddy results I ended up with. I questioned everything I thought now....if I could be THAT wrong about my surgeon - who I'd researched and formed a relationship with - a sort of partnership- then what else was I wrong about? I've always felt I am an intuitive person, that I am a good judge of character and feel I am smart enough to find out answers and therefore be able to make an educated decision. All came into question. I asked myself over and over- how on earth will I know I've made the right choice THIS time around?

My husband, God love him, knew how unhappy I was and told me to find someone, that we'd figure out how to pay for it. But again, the GUILT! And then the fear, What if I choose another surgeon who turns out to be just mediocre? Granted, he has somehow figured out how to stuff a 2,000 cc implant into a 110 lb woman, but as far as a body lift surgeon? Mediocre is being generous.

A RealSelf friend in my area went to a surgeon in Tijuana and seemed happy with her results. She asked me if I wanted to accompany her on her 6 week follow up and have a consultation. Admittedly, I liked the guy. But there was that little voice inside, a distant alarm I knew I should to listen to. But I also felt boxed in. We could afford the surgery if done there, but I really hated the idea of having surgery in Mexico (I lived in Acapulco for a year and a half previously, so it's not all biased) He didn't have much of a photo gallery and a couple things seemed a little "off". I'd taken a packet of papers detailing different types of auto augmentations which he read with interest and asked if he could take photocopies. This also alarmed me - these are basic augmentation procedures. I'd think he'd have been very familiar with them. He said he did his "differently", his own procedure. I sent a few emails, one of which was answered. I'd had a list of several questions I wanted answers to, but that one seemed to be overlooked. We secured the funds for the surgery, but I put off sending my deposit and booking a surgical date. He'd given me a quote and I wanted confirmation of a few things. I wanted to clarify he'd be doing some contouring...lipo. We'd discussed the indented areas on my outer butt area and talked about my saddlebags. When he finally responded to that email he informed me I "wasn't a candidate" for lipo! His reason? I'm over 50. Omg. That's ridiculous. He said there would be no contouring, the surgery wouldn't affect the muffin top area, no fat transfer and apparently from his email, no auto augmentation of my butt (?). Basically it appeared he would be doing was a scar revision with potentially some skin tightening.

Although my friend was generally happy with the outcome of her surgery with Gutierrez, she didn't like the placement of the front portion of her body lift incision. It sort of goes up in an inverted "v" shape below her belly button. She was also disappointed that once she was there for her surgery, he told her he couldn't do the very much needed long thigh lift on her. His reason? She had too many veins and it would be dangerous to do. I've heard from reputable surgeons this, too, is nonsense. That most morbidly obese people form lots of extra veins in the legs and that vein stripping is often part and parcel to this procedure on formerly obese patients. It makes sense- all that extra skin and fat had to have a blood supply. These things gave me great pause, but again, I felt this surgery done by Gutierrez might be my only opportunity.

In the meantime, my dear CookieCakes had just had her second stage surgery with Dr. Peter Fisher in San Antonio, TX. She was doing extremely well soon after surgery and asked if she could just talk to him about me, show him my pics. I thanked her but actually pleaded with her not to. I knew she meant well, I knew she was doing it out of love for me, but I explained it to her like this - please don't bother, I KNOW I'd want him to do my surgery. That's not the point. The point is I can't afford him and hearing that he could possibly fix this mess, but it being out of reach, it would just hurt all that much more. She said she understood, but was sad because she only wanted the best for me. (I already knew that about her) And she was over-the-top pleased and excited about all he'd done for her. Check out onedimsim's blog and you'll understand why!

A couple days later she called me. I love hearing happiness in her voice and she was just about bubbling over. Said she'd just had her follow up appointment and she was healing really well. Both doctor and patient were thrilled with the outcome of this second stage surgery. I was thrilled for her! She's come SO far and has put in all the work and found a great surgeon able to tackle her specific problems. And we'd become such close friends over the months that I am absolutely and truly happy for her. Finally she could contain herself no longer and burst out- aren't you going to ask why I'm so happy?! I said I know why. She'd just had a great follow up and I knew she was overwhelmed with the success of her surgeries. They'd exceeded every expectation. She said no....I talked to Dr. Fisher about you (and I'm about to beat her down thru the phone) and he feels he can help you. And it's not as much as you feared and besides, we can work it out. I'm sending you a ticket to come see me in San Antonio this week and I'll set up a consult for you!

Omg! I was thrilled! I'd get to see my CookieCakes and have a consult with her magician. I mean her surgeon. I didn't want to get my hopes up TOO high about him being able to fix this, but there was a weird ray of hope I hadn't felt when I believed I was going out of the country for this. Even if her surgeon underestimated the damage, even if the fees were out of reach, I was still thrilled to hang out with my girl again! If I turned out to be disappointed with the consult, it'd be worth it just to be able to spend time together again. And I couldn't be mad at My Cookie because she acted out of love - even if she'd totally disregarded my "wishes"!

I will be making a new review of my very successful revision with Dr. Peter Fisher soon. In short - he is an AMAZING surgeon who goes far above and beyond! I am so happy with the results this gifted surgeon has managed to give me. This man somehow fashioned a bit of a butt for me, sculpted my legs and torso, given me a waist, tightened a lot of the sagging skin and made all my scars already look so much better. I will be forever in his debt. I cannot accurately describe what he has "given" me. My surgery was in mid Sept. and I can't believe what a difference there is! If anyone at all is reading this and not made a decision as far as WHO will do this surgery, you really owe it to yourself to contact Dr. Fisher. He is highly approachable, very dedicated to both his patients and his art (it really is an art form and he is extraordinarily gifted) and well worth traveling to San Antonio. These are highly specialized surgeries that really should only be performed by surgeons with a particular skill set. The thigh lift possibly even more so. PLEASE go to a reputable surgeon with a great deal of ongoing experience performing these surgeries. Even more so if you are a post massive weight loss patient. They have different issues that many others seeking body and thigh lift procedures. Dr. Fisher is the BEST!!!
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

One year update: my husband didn't like him on first meeting. I wish I'd have had an in person consult prior to booking him. As a surgeon, I assume he's good at the giant breast augmentations he performs (though I'm curious as to his revision rates on those, too), but he should stick to those and leave body and thigh lifts to the professionals. My results were absolutely horrible under his hands. Thank God I was able to go to a highly skilled, reputable surgeon (Dr. Peter Fisher, San Antonio, TX) to fix Revis's crappy surgery. Stay away from Revis unless you're looking for oversized boobs. I'm renaming him Dr. Revision because if you have a body lift with him, you'd better be saving for the inevitable revision.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful