I consulted with Dr. Kortesis and he recommended the lower body lift without lipo- my surgery was scheduled for January 6th 2016 and I will be blogging my experience here! I lost 150lbs between 2008-2010 and have remained at a stable weight since then time. I will be continuing to workout and prepare for my surgery, and I am currently reading recovery reviews to get an idea of what to expect!
Circumferential LBL with Fleur De Lis
I consulted with Dr. Kortesis and he recommended...
Less than two months Pre-Op!
But in all seriousness, I have waited for this surgery for over 3 years and I know I will be so much happier when all this extra skin and loose fat is gone! I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic and my thoughts positive.
I am still actively working out and trying to maintain the best level of fitness I can to prepare for the big day- I'll post some before pictures as we get closer.
Me at my heaviest
What I look like today
Nerves are setting in.....
I've been trying like hell to lose any weight I can before surgery and it just won't budge, although I get told all the time I'm looking smaller. Anyone else experience these bouts of anxiety before your pre-op?
30 Day Challenge!
My husband is a total couch potato, so it means everything to me that he's doing this with me! Plus it helps to take my mind off my nerves, and I know he's got my back. He's been so supportive of my decision to have these surgeries and I know I'm in good hands at home :)
I like having a good workout to look forward to every day as I count down this last month! I hope everyone else is well as you count down to your surgeries!
Went to Pre-Op today
I do feel bad for the staff though since I'm really terrible when it comes to having my blood drawn...I don't understand how I can sit through tattoos and still pass out when it comes to something so quick and simple. They did a great job calming me down though and let me listen to music on my cell phone to distract myself. I can't speak highly enough of the staff!
I'm really nervous, and my surgery is just over two weeks away but I feel prepared and informed, and I have complete confidence in Dr. K. I'll be posting my preop photos when the time comes...not long now!
Less than a week!
Tomorrow I go to the flat side!
I'll be posting pics from mark-up as my before pics, and afters as well- good luck everyone!
I made it to the flat side!!
The pain is real, and when they say this hurts please believe them. But it's worth it- I saw my flat tummy and literally couldn't stop crying happy tears!
Luckily I haven't had any nausea from anesthesia either, it just hurts really badly to move this early or get out of bed. I'm still in the recovery wing writing this.
They removed 26 surgical pounds from me, and I have never imagined these kinds of results.
I'll update more later, and post pics once the doctor sends them to me. I did it!!!
Post op & itchy!!
Drains are slowing down to the point where I'm wondering if I'm really just healing that well, as I know for most they should be filling fairly quickly the first few days, but they think I'll have at least one removed Monday.
The biggest source of pain for me is the burning I feel in different areas- I can't tell if it's the sutures or the few spots he did the lipo, but every time I feel it I get scared I've popped a stitch or torn myself...it's quite a bit to adjust to. I'm also starting to get itchy everywhere, not just at my incisions but all over. My mom has been taking such good care of me and my friends have been coming by to visit me too.
I'm drinking tons of protein and eating well, and walking as much as I can stand it whenever I take bathroom breaks. Still haven't managed to clear a gallon of water or have a BM, but I'm working on it!
I sent in for my before and after pics from the doc so I will post those when I have them!
Binder off- FLAT
The good and the bad
Still swollen but day by day it's getting easier. I'm eating well and I should be off pain meds completely by tomorrow. Hope everyone else is doing well!!
Second post-op appointment
I'm walking around now without my walker; I only use it when I've reached a point of total exhaustion and that's usually after I've been walking around for quite some time or having to stand for an extended period of time. Pain wise I'm getting better and better every day and I'm really looking forward to seeing the swelling continue to go down. The doctor decided to remove the foam from under my compression garment as it was causing me to itch really badly and my skin was turning red and breaking out from it, so now I wear a tank top or tight shirt under my binder instead. I'm still very swollen, but that's to be expected.
I will continue to update! I hope everyone is doing well in their journeys as well!
Size 18/20 to Size 11/13
So I had a really intense crying jag this afternoon because my mother bought me some house pants that are size 11/13, and for fun I went and tried to put them on.....not only do they fit, but they're loose! I can't even begin to tell you how I'm feeling emotionally....I have never, ever in my entire adult life been below a size 16 and to fit into an 11/13 just absolutely blows my mind.
I can't imagine what I'll fit into when my swelling is gone, and I just couldn't be any happier than I am right now. I hope everyone out there is well in RealSelf world!
Still healing well and drinking protein to the max!
Post Op Tomorrow and Pain Management
I'm down to just antibiotics and pain management as I still have all three of my drains, but they have slowed down significantly. I'm hopeful they'll remove one of them tomorrow but I am keeping my expectations realistic that it may not happen. I had hoped to be completely off the pain medication but I find that it is just too exhausting to go the entire day without anything, so I've taken to using one valium and one percocet in the middle of the day when the stiffness and pain starts making me cranky, and that usually carries me until I can go to sleep at night.
Sleeping much better, and I only wake up to use the restroom which is good. I really miss my husband as I've been at my mother's house this whole time, and I think I'm going to try and lay down in her bed tomorrow with pillows and see if its something I can manage- if so then I'd like to go home and be with my hubby finally!
I've had a really good support group here- my friends and husband have all come to visit me and I feel really lucky to have the support that I have had. I can't imagine doing all this on my own, so my hat's off to those of you that have. I hope everyone healing is doing well, and for those of you still about to start your journey, good luck and you can do it! More updates tomorrow!
One drain gone, two to go!!!
I have another post op appointment Monday and I can already tell they'll be taking another drain out, and dare I say, possibly both as Drain #1 has slowed down to 20cc overnight and Drain #3 is at 40....so hopefully by Monday Drain #1 can come out as well and I'll be down to one. I'm ready to be off these antibiotics!
My nurse practitioner met with me during this post op and she had nothing but rave reviews as far as my scarring and swelling- she said my scars at 9 days post op look like they're weeks old and should fade absolutely gorgeously. She did also say I still have a LOT of swelling, and she wouldn't be surprised at all if by summer I was in size 8/10 pants......you guys I am so tired of crying but at least it's happy tears! I just feel like a blubbering happy idiot at this point. The other good news was that my T junction is still healing beautifully, with no signs of wound breakdown or infection and I was told that almost always, if there's an issue with the T junction its within the first two to three days so I'm out of the woods there too. Nothing but good news on this visit which is so relieving.
I'm still taking my pain meds but the best news yet is I was able to sleep in my bed last night! It took a lot of pillows, and getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night was tougher than I expected, but I did it! I can't tell you how good it felt to be in my own bed.
I have to take a trip back to my mothers to get the rest of my stuff out of her house today but when I get back I'll take the binder off and take another pic so you guys can see where I'm at- all that lumpiness and fluid buildup seems to be settling and my stomach is SO FLAT! I can't believe this is my body.
Hope everyone is doing good! More to come :)
Curiosity is killing me
They took off 26lbs which would put me at 213lbs....I know I'm still swollen, I know I still have lots of time to go and the fact that I can exercise yet or do anything strenuous doesn't help, but I'm curious. For those of you that have had this kind of procedure, how long did it take before your weight stabilized and your fluid retention wore off? Is this really just fluid retention? 18lbs seems like a lot.....
I trust my doctor and I'm continuing to eat as healthy as I possibly can- lots of protein shakes, veggies, and lean meats. I guess I'm having a "down" day- I want the scale to show the new number instead of the old. But when I look in the mirror, I smile and I know all of this was worth it, regardless of the number on the scale. But I just can't help but wonder.
Dress Up Fun
Hope everyone is doing well!
Washing my binder- more photos
But I do think my stomach looks tons better than the first photo I posted after surgery.
Stripping Drains and more Postop
So let me tell you- stripping your drains is addictive as hell, especially if you enjoy popping your pimples or other semi-gross but satisfying stuff. The clot that she got out of my right drain was INSANE.....and fortunately normal because that was my next thought after seeing it.
I have another post op tomorrow and while I'm still hopeful I'll get my left drain removed, I'm keeping myself prepared for disappointment.....I'm so ready for these suckers to come out!!!
Itchy as hell, getting cabin fever, and dare I say I saw some of my swelling go down as it seems now that I'm as swollen at night as I am when I wake up in the morning, which is amazing! I seriously can't wait to see what I will look like when this swelling is gone.
The only bad news is they're scared I might have a small seroma on my front left abdomen, and I really hope it isn't because the process of aspiration freaks me out so hard. You'd think after a surgery like this nothing would phase you, but when they pull out those giant needles to pull fluid I just get wobbly in the knees.
Hope everyone is doing good in their countdowns and recoveries!
Still dealing with swell hell and dual drains
I can definitely tell my swelling is starting to subside and gravity is taking hold- some days I'm tough as a rock and others I'm a little more pliable to the touch, but everything is moving south. I'm excited to start endomologie which is their lymphatic massage; I'm scheduled to begin that next month and I hope that helps to resolve some of the unevenness from the swelling. Overall I think my results will be fantastic but time will tell. I'm just really over these drains and ready for them to be gone.
I sold my house so my second surgery is definitely happening! I am so beyond excited and now I just have to heal enough to schedule my next consultation. I'm over the moon this is all finally coming together, and soon I won't have armpit rash or thigh rub issues!
I have blurred out the "nudity" in these photos, but I post them in the genuine hope that they help others. This is not an easy thing to share with the world, but because so many others before me shared their stories, I was able to make my decision a little easier.
I LOVE how low he placed my scars, and you would not believe how well my vertical incision looks just after two weeks! I did my best to get a photo of the back but I'll try to get my husband to help me later. All these are from today, exactly two weeks post op.
I hope everyone is well! I would love to hear from you!
The waiting game
I showered again today and had my husband help me change my tape dressings- my incisions look amazing. I'm so beyond pleased with how I'm healing, and other than the swelling and the issues with gravity pulling the fluids down and making me look lumpy in some places, I have absolutely no complaints. Just ready for these drains to be out and for my swelling to go down.....I also REALLY want to get to the point where I can start going back to the gym. I miss working out, and it's driving me nuts not being able to take care of my self physically.
Otherwise, I feel good...keeping my attitude positive and continuing to drink 100g of protein daily and trying to eat as well as I can.
I have decided on Tuesday I'm doing a three day green juice reset in addition to my protein shakes- I want to give my digestive system a break after all the medications as well as helping to flush my body of extra sodium. I asked the nurses how many calories I need to be consuming and they said as long as I'm over 1000 cals a day I'm fine, which my protein shakes alone are 680 calories, and the Suja green juice is 420 calories putting me at an even 1100 calories of pure protein and leafy green cold press juice nutrition. I'll be adding in my morning oatmeal to ensure I get good fiber and that will put me at 1260 calories for the day- keep in mind, this is only for three days, so I'm not starving myself.
My cycle came today which was surprisingly nice to see since my body just went through an amazing amount of trauma- it's good to know everything is on track and working appropriately. Another reason I'm excited to do my juice reset, monthly cycle bloating SUCKS.
I hope everyone is well! It seems like activity drops off on here but I love hearing from everyone so drop me a line if you have questions or just feel like chatting.
I feel bloated, and I always feel better after doing a "reset" as I like to call it. I never use the sugar filled juices that are fruit heavy, I only use the actual green juices that are primarily kale, celery, spinach, wheat grass, etc....I officially go back to the office Monday so I'm excited to get back into my daily routine.
I'll post more pictures next week when I hit my three week post op mark!
Next PostOp is Friday
Planning on taking another walk today when I get home from work, and they lowered my binder to help continue moving the swelling down. Water game is strong, I hit my gallon + daily, and I will begin my protein/green juice reset tomorrow for four full days.
Today was good food wise- I had my oatmeal in the morning, my protein shakes, a yogurt, and a tuna wrap for dinner. The temptation to weigh myself daily continues to haunt me- old habits die hard so they say :)
Hope everyone is doing good!!! I'll post more pictures Wednesday when I hit my 3 week post op mark with no tape this time!
All drains out!!!
Thankfully everything is fine, no infection, no seromas, and no issues! I went to the doctor the next day (Wednesday) and they removed my last drain as well since the output was so low so I'm officially DRAIN FREE!!! I feel like a whole new woman, it really does make all the difference having the drains gone. I can't explain it, you just start feeling more normal.
I have another post op tomorrow that was originally for drain removal but now they're just going to be checking my incisions and making sure that I don't develop any seromas, but considering my drains were in for three weeks, I doubt that will happen. Fingers crossed though! I would hate to develop a seroma!
Still drinking my protein, eating as healthy as possible, and massaging when I itch now instead of scratching- apparently it's better to massage the area that itches instead of scratching to help stimulate the nerves and lymphatic system for healing. I start endermologie treatments next month too, which should help a lot with the swelling and the minor unevenness I still have in my abdominal area.
Overall, I'm THRILLED with my results, and I'll be scheduling my consultation for my second and final surgery on Friday when I go for my post op appointment. That will be for a brachioplasty, medial thigh lift, mastopexy, and breast augmentation. I have no doubts they'll do some liposuction on my arms, thighs, and possibly my bra line area as well.
Wish me luck!!! I hope everyone is doing great!!! I'm so glad I'm healing as well as I am!
3 weeks 2 days Post Op- Scar Cream and no more Skin Tape!
The doctor said I should stop wearing my skin tape and start using my scar cream, and they're all impressed with how well I'm healing. Posting some pics of my incisions- I can't believe how well they look for only 3 weeks old. I'll be trying out my scar cream tonight, and hopefully it doesn't dry me out too bad as it recommends you use it twice per day. As you can see, my skin is sensitive, and even just using bandaids made my skin red and irritated around my drain tubes and belly button.
They told me they're going to shoot for removing my blue hip sutures next Tuesday, and I start lymphatic massage (Endermologie) on the 18th.
I scheduled my consultation for my second and final surgery for March 10th at their new SouthPark facility- that will be for my brachioplasty, mastopexy & augmentation, medial thigh lift, and of course lipo in all the areas treated.
I'm beyond excited that I'm halfway through this journey, and I can't wait to finish healing from round one so I can get started on round two!
I hope everyone is doing well, and I'm so grateful to have found this site with so many others who have had or are considering these procedures. Knowing what to expect the last few weeks was really helpful and I feel like it really prepared me for this.
I'll be honest, the idea of having both my arms and thighs out of commission scares me a little, but if this surgery was the worst of it, I think I can handle it! Plus I really don't want to break this up into three procedures if I can just get it over and done with in two.
I'll post more as I heal! Keep in touch!
I can't believe how much the swelling has gone down in just a few day that a binder that didn't even fit all the way around me can now be stretched to fit and wear- I am so happy too because it is so much more comfortable than the smaller sectional binders. My jeans are starting to literally fall off of me and I find myself pulling them up constantly, even with all the extra clothes on underneath...I'm trying really hard to wait until at least March to go buy new bottoms but I think I might have to go sooner than that if my swelling keeps going down at this rate.
I am still wearing the sectional binders above the main binder to provide extra compression, as well as my thigh spanx around the clock to assist with the swelling moving downwards and out of my body. My next project is to completely quit drinking alcohol (I do enjoy a glass of wine or two, or a mixed drink with whiskey now and again) and start easing back into my workout routine.
I've started walking around the neighborhood again with my dog which is fantastic, but I am still anxious to get back into the gym. I know how important it is not to do too much too soon, but I really hope they clear me to start going back soon!! I want to start working on my arms and upper body strength again!
I am still drinking my protein shakes and doing my best to eat clean although I have my moments where I just want to eat junk. All in moderation I suppose-as long as a cheat meal doesn't turn into a cheat day or a cheat week I think I'm doing fine.
I close on my new home February 8th and then we're moving so wish me luck! I am so excited to move into new house with my husband I can't even begin to tell you! it's a 4 bedroom so one room will be dedicated as a workout room with my x-pole (pole fitness) and a home gym machine. I'd like to stop spending so much money on a gym membership when cardio is free (outdoor walking/running) and I can start doing my weights at home.
I hope everyone is well! My second consult is March 10th for arms/breasts/thighs/lipo and I won't lie, I'm really nervous. I am not scared of a second surgery as much as I'm scared of healing with both my arms and thighs out of commission, especially knowing how much I relied on my leg strength while healing from this circumferential abdominoplasty.....I think I can handle it though!
I'm taking my weigh and measurements every two weeks on sunday, and next sunday will be the second "recording" so I'm anxious to see how I've improved since last time.
Drop me a line- let me know how everyone is! I'm excited to see the new Southpark location for my second consultation! I've started using my scar cream so I'm waiting to see how that helps my scarring, and excited for my hip sutures to come out on Tuesday!
One more day and I'm 1 month Post-op!
My incisions continue to heal and look good and I've been applying my scar cream once daily....I did have to put some skin tape back on my incisions at my hip lines because for some reason in those areas the scars are widening just a little and looking more red and raised than everywhere else. Nothing major, but I figure putting the skin tape back on after applying the cream can't hurt as the point of the tape is to keep the scars from raising and widening to begin with.
I've included my most recent Instagram photo- My heaviest, and 27 weeks prior to LBL on the left, and the right is this morning with my single long binder on. The best part about it for me is the swelling is starting to improve, as the binder I'm wearing today they gave me last week and it would not fit around me! Now I can wear it 24/7 :)
I took some measurements last night just for fun, and I went from 56-58 inch hips pre-surgery to 45 inches today. That's absolutely unreal to me. I can't wait to see how much more I improve as the swelling continues to subside.
I'm happy to be healing. I'm excited for my second consult, and I'm happy to report I'm pain med free! My last dose was Sunday and I won't be taking anything moving forward. I continue to walk, and I'm patiently waiting to be cleared for the gym so I can keep sculpting my arms/chest and thighs for round two.
I hope everyone is well! Drop me a line if you like.
Endermologie & Weeping Incision
I'll post more after my visit- I have had physical therapy before but I don't know what to expect and I'm excited to see if it helps my swelling I'm experiencing on the left side of my body- for some reason my left thigh and that side in general is just more swollen than the right. It's strange, but normal as my doctor tells me.
More updates to come! I'll take some new pics with the next post as well.....next consult is scheduled for 3/10 and I'm hoping to schedule for mid-April if he'll let me :) I know, crazy right?
Moving & Picture update!
I'm still very swollen or so they tell me- I honestly can't tell anymore unless I'm looking at my left leg or my lady parts...I've been swollen so long it's become normal to me.
I am a little surprised that my waist is so much more prominent than my hips! I am in love with my new shape.....
I've had three endermologie treatments already and I have two more to go...I'm hoping my swelling gets better as I'm close to my "magic time" inbetween two and three months where they say you really start to see your final results.
My hips finally closed, although my scarring is pretty bad there. I think it will get better like my other scars have. I'm eating pineapple to help with swelling and wearing my binder during the day; I've stopped wearing it to bed as I literally can't stand sleeping in it anymore.
I'm more swollen in these pictures as its late at night & we just had dinner with the in laws - everyone voted Chinese so I will be paying for this in the morning....thank goodness for water!
I hope everyone is doing well!!! Drop me a line and let me know how you're doing!
13 pounds left to go......
I keep reminding myself it's fluid and it will go away, but I am a bit worried that my weight has stalled. The first month I lost steadily, around 1-3lbs per week. Went from 239 down to 226....now I'm stuck....I should be 213 at the highest, from what he took off me.
I know it's dumb, I know I'm barely 2 months postop, it is just difficult to accept when some people say most of your swelling should be gone by 3 months....I find it hard to believe i'm going to magically drop 10+lbs over the next few weeks, but we will see!
I'm not overeating or undereating, and I'm still drinking at least a gallon of water per day.....I'm just not feeling it today.
Hope everyone is good...I'm just having a down day today is all. I think it will really help when I'm scheduled to have my arms and legs done. I'm sick of not being able to wear clothes that fit because of them. Next week can't come fast enough! I'm ready for this consult!
Swell Hell and Workouts!
I took some progress pictures after my workout and to note how swollen I am....I can tell its better this morning just from last night. I'm assuming this is the swell hell they always talk about, but for some reason I thought it came sooner than this seeing as I'm almost 3 months post op.
I'll keep posting progress pics- I love how my scar looks, and I can't wait to see how it fades :)
The second phase of surgery is scheduled for June 27- arm lift, breast lift/aug, full thigh lipo & lipo to flanks. The last phase will be my thigh lift- until then, working out and staying as fit as possible!
I have a second review started for my next procedure on May 9th
I'm still doing great recovering from my body lift in January, (14 weeks post op now!) and I've started a second review for my Arm Lift/Breast Lift, BA, Thigh lipo- if you want to continue following me I would subscribe to that review. I will be posting a lot less on this one except to periodically check in on my milestones (6 months post, 1 year post, etc.).
I'm really excited to be starting phase 2 of this journey, and even more excited to be going back to Dr. Kortesis for it! May 9th is just around the corner :)
Click my username and my reviews should be there for you to follow if you like!
Hope everyone is doing well and maybe I'll hear from you soon!
Dr. Kortesis is a fantastic surgeon, and he really takes the time to understand what exactly you're looking for before making his recommendation. Surgery is a huge decision, and he makes sure you have all your questions answered and that you are comfortable in your decision. All the staff have been wonderful so far and I have no complaints. Wait times can be a little long but that is mostly because the office is so busy; that is to be expected. I couldn't be happier with my results so far, and will continue to update my review as I heal.