Lower Body / Leg Lift in 2012

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Since I have had 2 procedures I am posting on both...

Since I have had 2 procedures I am posting on both topics. The titles are the same for both and the other blog is under Arm Lift. Also, on my arm blog I have before and some arm after pictures.

I had my lower body lift 13 days ago. Briefly, I lost a lot of weight slowly and steadily for no apparent reason other than I was getting full quickly. As a result, after a hysterectomy in 2008 which coincided with the weight loss, my skin had lost so much elasticity that I was left with hanging skin on my arms, stomach and legs. After much contemplation and soul searching I decided to go for a consultation and have the procedures.

My arms and breast look great! I am happy with my legs too. I am a little unsure about the circumference incision. I did go see my doctor today and he was very nice to explain my reservations. I seem to have a flat butt and I feel as if I have a wedgie all the time. I have to remember that I am only 13 days out of surgery though. After my torso is not so swollen is when I will know more how it will be. After our discussion today, the only way I will have a round butt is if I get a small implant. I don't think I can get fat transferring because there isn't enough fat to transfer. So...I may be looking at that procedure down the road. I didn't want to hear that answer so we'll see. You know, I felt that I asked a lot of questions but one thing I've learned is that you cannot ask about the unknown. My doctor said that he didn't know how my body would look after everything was lifted until he was into the surgery. Everything else looks great! My silhouette is beautiful, my stomach is nice and tight, my legs arent' droopy, my arms and breast are pretty. This is why I have to say that it was worth it.

I'm wearing a compression garment that is a below the breast overall down to below my knees as well as a breast garment. It's comfortable. I had 6 drains initially and had 4 removed. The remaining 2 were still draining more than my doctor wanted so I'm hoping they will come out this week! Then I will start to feel a little more normal.

For the first 3 days after surgery my husband and I slept on our sectional sofa. It's plenty big for 2 adults to sleep on and pretty comfortable. I was propped up with lots of pillows and one under my knees and I slept pretty well surprisingly. I took my pain meds around the clock for about 4 days then weaned down to 1/2 a pill around the clock and now I only take one at bedtime. Once I became more mobile, which I highly suggest to do early and as often as possible, I found I hurt less. I tried to change my positions from laying down to sitting up so I could relieve pressure at my tail bone. My circumference incision was very tight and walking upright didn't come until this week and only after I am moving around more.

One thing I found very helpful was to have a basket by me which held my pain meds, hand lotion, chap stick, remotes, nail file, cell phone...stuff that I found I was asking my husband for. In the middle of the night this came in handy!

I was instructed to have a couple of protein shakes a day prior to my surgeries. I continued to have at least one a day after as well. It really helps our bodies to recover. I use Greek yogurt and a low carb protein powder with frozen fruit.

Also very helpful to me and my family was making food for them and myself beforehand. I made a really good veggie soup and used my hand-held mixer to puree it so it was more like a broth but had all the nutrients. Then I made seasoned turkey meat that my husband could add to the broth. I didn't really have an appetite for much and the soup was good.

I am going to start walking on my treadmill...

I am going to start walking on my treadmill tomorrow. I feel well enough after my LBL to do so. I will also start some light, LIGHT, weight lifting for my upper body/arms. I want my new arms to be nice and defined. I will not overdo it and I'm sure I'll probably know where I stand after tomorrow and will adjust accordingly. I have to remember that I've had 2 major surgeries and even though I may feel up to doing something doesn't necessarily mean I should without plenty of rest as well.

Well, today I did walk on my treadmill and did a...

Well, today I did walk on my treadmill and did a few arm things using a 5 lb weight. OK, definitely a case of mind vs body. Mentally I was fully prepared to walk however physically I was not as ready as I thought I'd be. I am an exerciser both running and walking or gym equipment so I thought I'd just walk at a slow pace at 3.0 (20 min mile). Ha! That was too much for my body. My stomach tightened up after a couple of minutes. I took it down to 2.0 and walked for 30 minutes (1 mile). I never hurt and the tightening didn't get worse so I felt OK. It felt good to at least do something.

I still have 2 drains in place. One in particular has drained more than the other and I'm waiting until they are a combined 30cc or less. Then I can get them out! I'm so ready to not have "my little friends" as I call them.

Happy New Year!

Finally! I was able to have the 2 remaining...

Finally! I was able to have the 2 remaining drains removed. I feel as if I can get going on feeling more like myself. I still have 5 staple-like sutures under my left breast and once those come out...next Friday I'm hoping...I will be so happy. They are really uncomfortable. OK...When I had the 4 drains removed a couple of weeks ago I didn't look. I didn't look today either but my daughter was with me (she's 18) she was standing by me and mentioned how long the internal part of the drains were. The nurse said they were 9...NINE...inches long. I had no idea! Kind of made me squeamish. But, they're out now!

Since surgery my swelling is noticeably going down. My waist was 4 inches bigger than before surgery and now it's 2 inches down. I can see my muscles peeking out. My abdomen is still quite swollen and my circumference incision is still healing. All the scabs are not off yet. Overall, things are going well. I just have to slow down a bit.

I started walking on my treadmill and yesterday I thought since I was only walking at a 2.0 pace that I'd up the incline. OK...I put it at a 9% uphill grade. If felt OK and I didn't do that for the entire 45 minutes however, by 6 pm I was a mess. That also happened the day I only walked so I know my body is telling me that I'm overdoing it. My plan is to take a short nap each day even if it's only for an hour.

I've added new photos today. Wow, I am amazed at...

I've added new photos today. Wow, I am amazed at the difference between the Before and After pictures. I'm so glad I took before pictures because at times I have gotten discouraged or I have focused on the things that aren't quite right. I hate that I do that. Overall, I am very please with all the procedures I have done.

Well, it looks as if I will have to have a little...

Well, it looks as if I will have to have a little fix-it on my left breast. It had been a little too dissected and the implant was slipping too low. At my lower body lift the PS placed 6 heavy sutures in hopes that the tissue would grow together and hold it up. It was very painful and then it didn't work. So...he will have to make an incision under my breast, in the fold, and place internal heavy sutures that will do the trick. I really wish he'd done this initially. I just want it fixed. I've had to wear a bra 24/7 and at night it's uncomfortable to be wearing an underwire.

My left upper thigh seems to look a little relaxed. At my last post op on Friday he said that he could do a little lipo and pull the skin just a bit if needed. I need to wait until I am more healed. It has been 5 weeks.

I can walk and do light lifting but no running. Don't want to pound and make the tissues loosen. He said I can walk til my heart's content though! Yay!

Everything else is going well. I feel great. My swelling has gone down. I stepped on the scale and I'm down 7 pounds and am actually at my goal weight. = )

Almost 12 weeks post op this week for my LBL and...

Almost 12 weeks post op this week for my LBL and 14 weeks post op for my arm/breast. Time has flown by. Each day is a different day that's for sure. My arms are doing great and they look wonderful. My scars are really looking good. I am continuing to use my Mederma, the advanced scar get one.

I find I am shopping a little bit more and am choosing sleeveless shirts but I am afraid to wear them. I have no problem telling people I got a boob job but have only told a select few about my other surgeries. I'm trying to figure out why that is. I definitely did it all for myself because my body didn't reflect how I felt inside and there was no way I could exercise the hanging skin away. I have to admit that I have always proud of the fact that I could alter my body (with diet and exercise) without any extreme measures so I think I am embarrassed that I have done this even though I wanted to do it. I guess that I feel I'll have to explain why I have scars like this at some point and I don't want to see people's faces when I tell them. I would absolutely tell anyone to do this surgery because I feel it completes a journey. And, although I have had a lifetime of my own journey, I didn't lose such a significant amount of weight like so many people here. Maybe I am struggling with the 'why couldn't I have just been happy the way I was' question.

One thing that I need to remember is that I HAVE to continue to take it easy. I know I am pushing it too much because I feel good but at the end of the day I feel wiped out and hurting. I didn't realize that my PS anchored something to my hip bones and this will explain why my hips feel so tight and hurt when I wear a belt or something. All this time I have said that it feels as if he pulled me too tight there but I think it's just the sensation of a bruised bone/starting to wake up, etc. I think I would have not lifted things or done things that I have done if I had known this! So...slow down people! It's major surgery and we don't always know what really happened inside our bodies to make our outsides look great. BTW, the PS said that he did this to help keep the nice, smooth look of my outer thighs. It does look good.

This Thursday I am having my left breast revision. I am really ready for this. I have to wear a bra of some sort 24/7 to keep the implant up. My PS will anchor (oh no...more pain) to my rib. I'm glad I'm doing it but after going through all of the other stuff and feeling good/relatively pain free for a while I am dreading it as well. Plus, our house will go up for sale next Monday and of course my first thought was how will I vacuum?? haha

Still, after everything, I can absolutely say I am glad I have done this. My brain just has to get over the fact that I may have some 'splaining to do, Lucy.

I had my revision done on Feb 28. I expected it...

I had my revision done on Feb 28. I expected it to hurt because my PS had already tried an external version of what this current surgery was for. Day 1 was brutal. Then, like an idiot, I misread the instructions. I thought it read to start wearing a good underwire bra 24/7 so the day after surgery I removed the ace bandage and put on an underwire. As the morning went on it progressively got more painful and I tried re-wrapping the ace back on myself. Then I called the PS office and asked if there was a wrong way to do it and his nurse said yes and that I'd better come in so he could re-wrap it. Sigh...I was feeling very dumb, hurting a lot and feeling a little helpless because I couldn't drive and no one was home to help me. Fortunately my neighbor was able to get me there.

As soon as the nurse removed the ace and gravity took over I just started bawling. OMG did it hurt! When the PS came in he had a shocked look on his face. He thought I was there to start my laser treatments! He was very nice and calmed me down. Things did shift a little in the 2 hours I had the bra on but he re-wrapped me and sent me off. I go back in tomorrow.

I am allergic to the surgical tape so this is why I was wrapped pretty well in the ace bandage. Throughout the day yesterday it slipped or loosened a bit so I have put an undershirt over it and I also found my elastic band that I'd used when I first had the boobs done. I positioned it under my breast so that it keeps the bandage from slipping. What a relief when things are in place. Gravity is NOT my friend at this point.

I really hope this last surgery works!

I am excited to start laser treatments around my arm/leg/torso scars. It will tighten the skin around them. They are looking so good. I really need to take some more pictures.

So I went in to see the PS for my post op visit. ...

So I went in to see the PS for my post op visit. Gosh...I wonder just how badly I looked and sounded when I had to go in the day after surgery??? Everyone kind of treated me with kid gloves. LOL Oh well...you know what...I hurt like hell so there! The PS took a look. All looked good and he re-wrapped me. He did tell me, as I disappointingly suspected, that my right breast will look a little lower until my left one (the one that was revised) relaxes a bit. And, he said that in 5 years or so I *may* have to have them bolstered again. My response was that the next time I do anything to them I will get the boobs that I wanted.

** to explain my comment**
My husband didn't want me to have a scar on my breasts. I didn't really want that either but after finding out that the only way to get the breast that I REALLY wanted I would have had to have a lift which would require an incision under each of my breasts and moving the nipples. This would have given me the rounder on the underside breasts that I wanted. Confession time...I did my breast surgery the way I did for my husband. Personally I don't think I would have cared about the scar. My breasts would have been higher and rounder on the underside.

My PS and I talked about this before my last surgery and I told him all of that. He told me that he learned a lesson from my experience. I think (and I wish he had) he would have been more of an influence for me and what I wanted had he known my reasons. To his credit, he did everything that I asked him to and has been so very nice to do these fixes.

Right before the last surgery he told me that he would do anything I wanted him to do. At this point, I wish I would have asked him to bolster up the right breast just like he was doing for the left. Sigh...

I go back on Friday. I will need to wear a good underwire or sports bra all the time for a while. No problem with that...even people who don't get boob jobs should have that support all the time because their breasts will not tend to droop over time.

One day at a time...

Friday I got that darn ace bandage wrap off! It...

Friday I got that darn ace bandage wrap off! It was so uncomfortable and wouldn't stay in place. I had to take partial showers for over a week because I couldn't take the wrapping off. I think someone could have scratched my back for an entire day after getting the dressing off. LOL

So, the boob looks good. Now I wear something 24/7 unless showering. It's not as painful as I thought it would be. I really thought having an underwire rub on the incision would be bad but I think the incision sits just above the underwire.

I'm going in next week to get a little laser hair removal for my underarm. He removed pretty much all of that skin and my sweat glands from under my arm. There are, however, a few hairs poking out from my scar. It looks kind of funny but doesn't bother me. I think it bothers my PS more. The laser is no charge. A really cool thing, too, is that I do not need deodorant! I haven't worn it since my surgery in Nov.

Yesterday I had to have a couple of small, in...

Yesterday I had to have a couple of small, in office, procedures. There was a spot on my hip incision that kept opening a bit. A suture kept trying to come out and was creating a sore. Also, at the top of my leg incision, the scar was a little bunchy and I could feel some sutures close to the surface.

The PS had to numb me up in both places, cut the scar, remove the sutures and then clean up the scar. OK, having a needle inserted in the crease between the thigh and vaginal area is freaking painful. I know it was the numbing med but it takes a little bit for that to kick in. I dug little fingernail prints into my hand. It finally got numb enough for him to begin and honestly, the numbing part took longer than the actual procedure! Then he moved on to my hip. That didn't hurt so much. He did the same for that area and I now have a nice even line.

The numbness wore off about 5 pm (procedure was at 8:30 am) and wow...I hurt. All will be well soon though.

Just goes to prove that having the initial surgeries is never a one-time deal. There is no way to know what little "things" will pop up and need addressing. FYI...there's more involved, time-wise, and more money spent than you think so a good idea is to plan accordingly for the what-if's.

New Comparison Pictures

Laser Day

Today I'm going in to have arm, lower body and leg scars lasered. I go in an hour early to have numbing cream put on them as it takes about 45 minutes to set up. I am excited about it. The scars are already looking better. It's been 8 months for the arms and 8 1/2 months for the lower body and legs. I got a dermal roller (Acuhealing) and have been rolling the scars every day while showering. I also am using a body tonic that contains hyaluronic acid. = )

Just a small rant

I went to see the PS for laser on my arms and legs. He said my scars look really good. I am very happy with them as well. I guess my rant is about the laxation that has happened to my upper thighs. This was a fear of mine, that my hips would be one size and my legs another. I can buy size 4 P pants/shorts and they fit great everywhere except my upper thighs. I really don't like what I look like from behind. My shorts look tight in that area. I'm back to wearing my size 6 P and they are big around the waist and hip and bag in the crotch but then they fit in the leg. My PS said that I should look into Thermage or something. I am moving out of State so I will have to find another PS. Not sure what I'd like to do but I will definitely ask about it. I don't understand how this could happen. I had the LBL and my thighs done (no lipo) so where the heck is this fat/skin coming from?? As I have said, overall I am happy with my results. I guess having this area feel tight in pants/shorts makes me feel like I've gained weight. The lifelong and apparently never-ending struggle doesn't go away so easily. = /

One Year And Doing Great

Wow...has it really been a full year since my arm/breast lift and in a few short weeks my year anniversary of my lower body lift? It has been a year of challenges and a year of great changes for me personally, emotionally and physically. It seems as if all at once my husband and I had 3 of the 5 major stressor events happen in our lives. We decided to move to a new state which meant a new job, had one daughter move to MA and another went to college in IL which means that we are newly empty nesters. All of this happened in September. I'm still standing though!

My year of recovery after a 2 major surgeries has been at times a roller coaster ride. After all is said and done I can say that it was all worth it and I will be forever happy that I went through with it. Taking pictures along the way is one of the smartest things I did. There are days when it seems that I "look the same as I did" but then I go back and look at my progress and see how my body looks and my scars are healing I know that is not true. Do I see some relaxation? Yes. But, I did not have these surgeries to look perfect. I did them to feel better about myself and to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. I am a young and active 54 year old and I wanted my body to reflect that. Now it does.

I gave myself a year off from running. Now I am back at it and it feels wonderful. When we moved to NV my husband and I started working out at our gym and I'd been doing some cardio there but had not run outside in a year. Saturday I ran 7 miles in 1 hour 19 min. Working out with weights has been so empowering. My arms have never...ever...looked so toned and muscular. I love them.

As a side note about my breasts: I will be needing a revision at some point. My left one is still so uncomfortable and when I don't wear a bra it is painful. I want to get settled in our new home and then I will begin the process of finding a good PS here in Las Vegas.

Thank you all for the encouragement you've given me along my journey.
Rockford Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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