I have found all of the stories and photos on this...
I have found all of the stories and photos on this site to be so inspirational and informative. I applaud the bravery of the women who have bared all to provide an honest look at what the rest of us have in store. The good, the bad, and the infected! Lol
I just turned 60 and live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and was referred to Dr Hunstad in Charlotte by my Dermatologist, who studied under him in Medical School at Michigan State. Last October Dr Hunstad did my face lift. Overall I am happy with the results but I will go into more detail on that another time. Mine is a cautionary tale. Lets just say, be aware that the release you sign permits a trainee or Fellow to operate on you! So half of your face could be done by each doctor! But I digress....
In September of this year (2016) I am going back to Charlotte for a revision of a Tummy Tuck I had performed up here in Ohio 3 years ago along with thigh lipo. While the TT was life altering and I am grateful to be able to wear nice clothes again, my body did not turn out as contoured as I would have liked. In all fairness to my doctor up here, he was trying to work around a lapband and port which I have since had taken out.
After losing 150 lbs over the last decade, I decided to treat myself to a new body, face and breasts/arms... or an attempt to be more like my previously slim younger body. In September, Dr Hunstad is going to go back through my previous TT incision and cinch up my separated muscle from sternum to pubic area, hopefully creating a nice flat continuous stomach instead of this weird "barrel chested" thing I have going on now. Doc told me to drink only liquids for 4 days prior to the surgery so I am really empty and he get get me "nice and tight." He also promised to sculpt my waistline back to the curvy shape I once had and give me back my cute little swayback, which I miss. I feel very "squarish" and "boyishly" shaped now without the feminine curves I had as a younger woman. He also promised to sculpt out an area around the belly button to make it look more natural. I'm trying to get another 20 lbs off to make sure I am really tight!
At the same time, he plans to do a thigh lift and butt lift and will sculpt my "cankles" and calves with lipo. He said to expect that part to be VERY painful. I remember my thigh lipo was also very painful when I had the first Tummy Tuck so I am braced for the pain. I'm very nervous about how far down the scar will have to go, especially after we see how much laxity the lipo will cause. He showed me in a mirror how he plans to pull my entire leg skin up about 6 inches, giving me a simultaneous butt lift. (think of a droopy pair of pantyhose that someone pulls up) Then he will add some fat to the butt to make it look more natural....but hopefully not like a Kardashian! Lol.
I am a Realtor and plan to take off 3 weeks while I recover in Charlotte, close to the HK Center, should any complications arise. I doubt my husband can take 3 weeks off so he will stay for the first week and then go back home while I continue to heal. If I drive they want me to stay 3 weeks but only 2 weeks if I muster the courage to fly.
I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Having had a previous TT and the thigh Lipo, I know just enough about the pain to be anxious.
I will have my husband take some before photos to upload. Let me just say the unspoken heroes are our significant others who help us bathe, dress our wounds and in my case, hold my hair back while I vomit from the anesthetic. We plan to get to Charlotte a couple days early to have a little personal time before the surgery kills the mood. haha
3 Days to Surgery
The doctor told me to go on a liquid diet for 4 days prior to surgery so he can cinch me tightly. Getting very tired of soup and Slimfast but I want to get it right. I had to search to find a hotel with a "Roll-in" shower. I don't need to actually "roll" but I also don't want to have to step into a bathtub in order to take a shower. Seems like hotels have only one or two of this type of handicap room. We got to Charlotte two days early to settle in before my pre-op appointment and surgery the next day. Hope to have a little fun before the big day. No alcohol 48 hours before surgery, plus no solids......fun fun!
Tomorrow is the big day
I had my pre-op appointment with Dr Hunstad today. My original surgery was scheduled for 8 hours. The anesthesiologist suggested we defer the lower leg lipo until the springs which will reduce my time under an anesthetic to a safer 6 hours. Since I am insisting ONLY Dr Hunstad do the work on me, I would prefer to split it up this way. I'm still nervous but prepared. More frightened about the anesthetic than the recovery. I remember the pain of the TT from before. So here is what he is doing: First lipo of the thighs and back oh knee as well as the back going up to the armpit. Then a Purse string glutioplasty which he developed. He will pull up the leg and but and use my existing circumfrential incision. He will take some harvested fat to round out the butt above and below the site. Then he will roll me on my back and do Lipo through the old TT incision all the way up to the armpit on the front. He will cinch up my abdominal muscles from sternum to pubic bone fixing any hernias. He will carve an indentation for a "jewel" bellybutton. After the thigh lift he will cinch up the abdominal incision, removing fat and tissue from my flabby FUPA area (Fat Under Pubic Area). This should tighten the area and get rid of my dreaded camel toe. haha
The final thing he will do is BBL on my hands and dermabrasion around my nose to remove some scar tissue from a lip lift last Spring. Then Fractional CO2 laser on face, neck and chest to get rid of some pre-cancers and improve skin texture. I will spend 1 night in the clinic and will go back to my hotel the following day. I will be using a walker because I will be too tight to stand straight. I will need to walk around and drink lots of water in order to draw avoid a clot. I will have my husband take a couple pics after the surgery
5 days out from full body lift, butt and thigh lift
These photos are from over a couple of days between Day 4 and Day 5. I am definitely happy so far with the results.
Day 9 and getting better every day
1 of 2 drains out. I expect in 2 days to have the final drain removed. Bruising from all lipo amazingly low. Must be his "Hunstad System" of Tumescent Anesthetic Lipo. Pain is manageable with Alieve during the day and the strong stuff at night. Definitely worth the drive and week in Charlotte, NC. He went under breasts to lipo all the way to the armpit to ready me for final arm and breast lift next spring. He did same on upper back. no more bra fat! While very swollen, I can tell my thighs will look much better. full circumferential lipo plus lift. the lipo on calves and ankles will wait till Spring. I adore this doctor. He is an artist and seems to trully enjoy his work. I will probably be released on Mpnday providing the draining is nearly gone. then my goal will me to get stronger and lose 30 to 40 lbs and tone arms. this will allow the doc to properly scale my implant to my ideal body weight and surprisingly small shoulders. I also don't want to stretch out my arm lift incision so will want to have whatever muscle development completed ahead of time. i will take scar treatment very seriously. Scar cream, silicone strips, even laser to minimise the scars. one day at a time. this was a ver tough surgery. my dear husband has been my nurse for a week. make sure you have good help lined up for 7-10 days. Drink water by the clock, try to walk with a $29 Amazon walker. buy a $30 leg wedge for swelling. take your clot meds and use the tight muscles and corset to get back on your Weight Watchers or Atkins plan!
I'll take more photos as things progress! Don't cheap out on your doctor. your life depends on it! So worth it! Love Love Love Joseph Hunstad and his top notch staff!
Leg Lift day 9
Still very swollen but soooooo much better than before. Already beginning to see some contour come back.
Rear View of Body Lift Incision 10 Days Post Op
Still a LOT of swelling but finally beginning to see a waistline! The redness is a combo of bruising and irritation, not an infection. Two times a day, saline-soaked gauze is placed over this line and gently covered with pads and tape. This saline method has been drawing out inflammation and drying out the would. Sounds "Old School" but works like magic. The same concept is being used on the delicate area on upper thigh near crotch. In spite of keeping the area very dry and clean, I am told the location in the crotch area where gravity creates a climate for fluid build-up which slows healing. This saline-soaked gauze method used in that area is drying it up nicely as the holes in the upper, inner thigh heal and fill in. Most bruising is right at the incision site and not in the many areas of lipo on the torso, butt, and thighs. I'm convinced it is the Dr.'s genius use of his "Hunstad System." Surprisingly little incision or lipo pain, mostly muscle tightness and ache. I use Alieve during day and Percocet and Valium that was provided at night. I set alarm to take it on schedule.
A few spots opened up in week 2-3
Now at week 3. I did not expect to be so exhausted. I have been advised to up my protein by 100 grams over my usual diet. That is 5 Hi-Pro Slim Fast shakes at 7 Weight Watcher points each. This protein should help with healing. I had several places open up. 3 small holes high on inner thigh. I was instructed to put sterile, saline soaked, gauze pads over wounds and then a larger pad to hold it all in place. It seems to be working slowly. The redness is subsiding and the deep holes seem to be gradually filling in. Dr. H promises he can easily correct any scar deformities the next time around. Then a couple days ago, a REALLY scary, quarter sized hole opened up on my flank. It looks quite deep and scary but photos to the doctor gave the same advice, saline gauze packs 2 times a day. This one stings quite a bit with the salt on it.
I've been working from bed but just showering and getting all of my wounds treated and incisions treated with cream, makes me want to crawl back into bed for !nap
4 Weeks Post Op
I switched to Protein supplement called "New Whey" to help with my protein deficiency which was slowing down my wound healing. Looking back, I did several weeks of the HCG (shots) diet in order to take off a few extra lbs before surgery. I must have become protein deficient during that time. I have had several small and 2 larger holes open up. Very disconcerting but now that the supplemental protein is kicking in, I feel more optimistic. Dr H said he could fix any deformities in the scar next year at my final surgery on breasts and arms. My surgery was a pretty big one for a 60 yr old. Between being low on iron, and protein I have been exhausted. I am just now able to stand up relatively straight due to my (very tight) full body lift. I'm sure I will appreciate being tight soon but right now, I walk hunched over. My goal for this weekend is to go for a gentle walk without the walker.
Week 6 photos
15 Nov 2016
2 months post
Still swollen and puffy but I am beginning to see a bit of a waist begin to take shape. I'd still like to lose 25 or 30 lbs before my breast and arm lift next year but my doc says "This is a time for healing not dieting." I'm on 120 EXTRA grams of protein a day to correct wound issues which have been slow to heal.
Open Wound on Hip Due to Protein Deficiency
15 Nov 2016
2 months post
This picture is after a month of healing. Unfortunately, it was taken sideways. It opened up after a couple of weeks on my back incision on flank. I know this is gross but don't make the mistake I did and diet before surgery. I created healing complications. 3 of these wounds opened up after 2 weeks where stitches were under the surface. This one was as big as a walnut (Yes, in the shell!) to start. No bottom on the wound so doctor had us pack it with gauze soaked in sterile saline, then a large bandaid. My dear husband did this twice a day! When it finally formed a bottom, the doc had us put Idosorb on the gauze pad instead of water. Slowly it is closing up. It heals from the outside of the circle in, and from the bottom of the wound up. I don't know why they can't just stitch it but they cant. I will probably need scar revision when it heals if it looks really bad.
So DON'T DIET, and EAT EXTRA PROTEIN!
You can go on Amazon and order several boxes ($20) of "New Whey" vials. Mix with ice and water and slug 2-3 of these down in addition to healthy meals. (40 grams of protein in each one!) Start a couple weeks before surgery and continue until completely healed 3-4 months. Remember healing is going on under the skin too. The stuff is like sweet, thick syrup. So cut it with ice water and pretend it is kool-aid. Gulp. If you lose your resolve just print off this photo to remind yourself!