I'm 5'7" and was about 250 when I got pregnant in 2008, and then almost 290 when I went in to give birth. I maxed out at almost 270 for a non-pregnant weight. I started loosing weight in 2012 and dropped almost 100lbs by walking and doing the protein first, no starches/added sugars food plan. I've maintained at 170-175 for a year +. I don't have great skin quality and have lots of stretch marks (arms, thighs, abdomen/trunk/boobs) but my stomach was what bothered me most. I could stand up straight and hold in my abs and still have a little flap hanging over my c-section scar that wasn't going anywhere because all that skin was broken. I looked decent in clothes but wanted to feel decent out of them as well.
I had an insurance-paid panniculectomy and paid out of pocket for my belly-button fix which is considered cosmetic. I was amazed they got my insurance to pay for part and will just say THANK YOU! I chose not to have abdominal plication/abdominal stitching and am very pleased with the outcome so far. It's been just over three weeks.
I paid about $250 for insurance co-pay and then $3750 for the plastics but I think that will come down because I didn't do the ab plication. I don't have final numbers yet.
I'm attaching some pictures. There is a before with horrible posture letting it all "hang out", a morning after surgery, one from one week post op, two from about two weeks post op and the last one is three weeks post op. The last picture looks funny because I'm sitting here in my regular non-stretch jeans with a spanks tank top and it all leaves lines on me.
I went in at 6:30 on 12/23 and was heading out to a hotel by about 12:30 pm the same day. I didn't have to have a catheter and was able to go to the bathroom before I left the surgery center. I checked in the next morning and had the drains checked and went home. My drains came out from the ends of the incisions on the sides of my hips. I took the pain meds every four hours for the day of surgery and 12/24. The last pain pill I took was Christmas morning when I got up. I don't like what Vicodin does to my digestive system so I'd rather deal with a little discomfort. My pain was minimal. The most uncomfortable area was high up on my abs where I figured they stopped lifting the skin off the ab wall and started really tugging.
The drains and belly button stitches came out six days post-op and he peeled off the steri-strips from the big incision. I checked in at two weeks and when Dr. Askren looked at everything he thought it had been three weeks already! I take that as a sign that I'm healing well. I check in again at 4 weeks and hope to be given the ok to drive and exercise normally except for lifting any weights.
There are no stitch marks in my belly button and the incision is somehow sort-of inside. I don't know how he does that but I'm really happy to have my real belly button re-attached and in the right place. I have lots of stretch marks around my hips where my incisions end and am pretty amazed at what he was able to do given the condition my skin was/is in. I no longer have any stretch marks above my belly button and my stomach hasn't been this tight... maybe ever!
I would do this again in a heart-beat. It is worth every penny!