Much needed MM complete!

Hi ladies! I've been looking at your pics and...

Hi ladies! I've been looking at your pics and reading your stories for the last year, at least. Well, I finally have the courage to share my pics and have scheduled my surgery for 1/27/16. I'm terrified! I have had many surgeries throughout my life, but for some reason (maybe it's becoming a mom and having someone else's well-being to think about other than my one) I'm scared to death of not coming out of this.
Short back story, I've been married for almost 10 year (this November!). I'm 43. I had my only son at 35. About a year after having my son, my body went crazy. I began gaining and losing 40+ pounds over and over again. My boobs grew huge (I had a BA about 10 yrs ago but the girls doubled in size). I started have pitting edema on my lower extremities. I became terribly depressed. I saw many doctors who all told me it was all in my head, I had post-partum depression, etc. I knew my body and something wasn't right. (I am a former ER nurse and was pissed when no one was listening to me!) I was pretty much written off as crazy. One day I started lactating. I thought, enough. I went to Cedars Sinai, saw a specialist and one visit and an MRI later, was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. It's been a roller coaster since. But I've been stable for a couple years. My boobs never went back down and my belly is a disaster.
I am scheduled for a full TT, breast lift plus implant replacement (smaller and silicone), and some light lipo of flanks. I'm going back to the same PS who did my implants years ago. He did a great job the first time and I love his staff so I figured, why waste my time looking elsewhere.
Anyway, here's my body in it's sad current condition. I have had numerous abdominal surgeries starting at age 12, including exploratory laparoscopies, open laparotomies, and one c/s; hence the disfigured way my belly hangs due to incisions. I used to have a perfectly flat tummy, never did ab work. Those days are long gone, but hopefully not for long!

Surgery Date moved up to 1/15/16. Oh Em Gee!

I wanted to push this surgery out as far as possible but at the same time I want it done as soon as possible. Work is pulling me in a direction to have it done sooner rather than later. I've been trying to lose weight, keeping a food journal, exercising daily, but my body is fighting against me every day. It just doesn't want to drop weight. So, I'm going to move forward with surgery and accept whatever comes with it. Hopefully with my midsection returning to something more normal for me, the rest of my body will follow. With years of hormonal issues plaguing my weight, I may have to accept that I have a new normal. I may never get back to my weight pre-pregnancy, but I will make the best of what I have now. I will look better after surgery than I do now, and I could use a good dose of confidence moving into the new year. You ladies inspire me every day and I sincerely thank you for sharing your journeys. I've given up on miracles but I'm happy with vast improvement. :-)

Going for it, no matter what.

I've been super strict on my eating and exercising. I have exactly a 7 pound loss to show for it. Not very impressive but age and hormone issues are no joke. The struggle is real! My goal is to lose at least another 10 before surgery on 1/15. Not going to be easy with so many holiday parties, lunches, and dinners this month. Ugh! But I can do it!!!

Pre-Op TOMORROW!

I'm down more than 17 pounds and my boobs and belly look exactly the same as my initial posted pics. This is precisely why I'm having this surgery! Keeping my expectations realistic but secretly hoping that my mid-section turns out amazing! If I can confidently rock a bikini this summer, it will be the first time in almost 10 yrs! It is my goal. I can do it! If not, there's always full body lipo! =)~

Went to bank for cashier's check and this happened....

Yesterday evening I went by my bank to get my cashier's check for surgery. I had it made out to LJCSC. Pretty obscure, so I thought. The bank teller proceeds to say loudly, "I know this place! I get emails from them all the time. My friend had her nose butchered by Dr. Brahme there. Do you mind if I ask what you are having done?" I was seriously shocked! There were several people in line behind me. Very audible conversation to anyone within 15 feet. Then she said the manager needed to approve the amount. The manager started chiming in about what kind of plastic surgery I'm having, etc. I am not a shy person. I don't really care if the world knows what I'm doing. But I did find it entirely unprofessional for the bankers to say a word out loud about it! If she recognized the facility, she really should have kept her mouth shut or talked quietly. I'm sorry that happened to her friend, I'm pretty sure her friend is the one who has bashed Dr. Brahme all over the internet. But I am 100% confident in what he's doing to me, so I couldn't care less what their opinions are. Still rattled me a bit!

Pre-Op Done!

Blood drawn-check. Meds: Keflex-check. Phenergan suppositories-check. Valium-check. Percocet-check. Fragmin-check. Has anyone else been prescribed Fragmin? I've never even heard of it, but it's an anticoagulant that I will inject x 5 days post-op to prevent blood clots. I was very happy to hear that my PS uses exparel so I'm hoping I won't need so much of the narcotics. Need to pick up the arnica and some more pillows and I'll be good to go. Stripping down and having pictures taken from every angle was loads of fun. OMG. Not. Mortifying moment. "Do you mind taking off your panties?" (for pics) I had to force myself to stay put and do what I was told! I told the office about my experience at the bank yesterday and reiterated that I totally defended them. So now I just sit and wait, in exactly 10 days I will be on the flat side. I can't believe it. We talked a lot about my boobs. He will see if just a lift and explant removal will achieve what I want, but most likely a small (200ish cc) implant will be placed so I get the upper pole perkiness I want. I'll be sent home w/ a foley catheter and will have a f/u appt the very next day (Saturday) to make sure blood flow is re-established. If anything looks weird, like necrosis setting in, they use nitroglycerin to dilate the vessels and get things moving. That was news to me, but glad they are vigilant about that. I love this office. Everyone is so nice. Countdown is on! Oh, and at least I started my period yesterday so I won't have to worry about that come surgery day!

Made it to the flat side.

Wow. Waking up yesterday was brutal. One of the unlucky ones where pain was so bad they almost put me in the hospital. Not sure why since I've had plenty of surgeries and none were as tough as this The staff was amazing. I made it home around 7:30pm and finally got pain semi under control around 2am. Saw surgeon this morning and my hubs snapped this shot. Got a better pain med prescription and am moving around a little better. Decided to keep foley in until this evening. So nice to not have to get up to pee. Majority of pain was from breast lift, barely any from stomach. I've had a breast aug before so not sure why this turned out so incredibly painful. Again, much better today. Now most pain in stomach muscles. Hope things keep getting better from here!

Flat side.

A little better pic

Going to shower today. I'm sure that will feel great. Drains not putting out much. Removed foley last night. Trying to remind myself it's only day 2 post op. I can feel the muscle repair the most. When I sneezed I thought I might explode so I totally feel for you ladies that had coughing fits! Will post pics of new boobs after shower. Love them already!

Girls before and after

Shower was nice but not easy. Hubs has been a gem.

4 days post op. Already bored to pieces but thrilled when I look at these pics. What a difference!!!!

Today has been good. I think I got all my sadness, regret, depression, etc out on days 1-2. Today I'm home alone. Showered, dressed, snapped a pic, and am watching Game of Thrones from the beginning since I have nada else to do. Hope you ladies are recovering well!

Post op day 6-Drains out!!!!

I feel amazing today. No more pain meds. Drains out. Nurses said I'm doing far better than most at this stage. It definitely made the first two days of pure hell worth it to be progressing so quickly now. I sent an edible arrangement to my PS office to thank them for taking impeccable care of me. Belly button is looking great and it's so wonderful not being a slave to the drains. Felt no pain when they came out. I expected the worse so that was a pleasant surprise. Next post op appt in one week for belly button sutures to come out. Hope things continue to heal and no steps backwards from here on out! Happy day RS sisters!!! Oh, I had hip/flank lipo and despite a lot of bruising, I've had zero pain from it.

7 days post

I can't believe this is my body in a tank top! Anyone considering this surgery, I say go for it! I am so excited to be able to wear a fitted shirt with confidence again. It's been way too long, too many years wasted being so insecure about my stomach and giant boobs. I weighed myself. Down 5 lbs from surgery day. Not trying to lose weight at this point but can't eat very much. Protein shakes are key post-op.

Feeling good

Have some swelling but nothing major. Starting to see where a little lipo revision might be necessary just on left flank. Might just be swelling. My belly button still oozes a lot. Have f/u appt tomorrow so they will check it out. Drove for first time this morning. It was no big deal so I'm confident I'll return to work on Monday. Can't wait to get all the tape removed and see my scars. The pics I added are with no bra or binder and wearing same shirt pre and post for comparison. So glad to have my ginormous boobs gone and nice flat tummy to go with my new appropriately sized boobs!

To return to work or not. Maybe 1/2 time for another week?

Hi RS sisters. Saw PS today. I'm healing great. Tape removed. A few sutures removed. I feel pretty good at least until about 1pm and then I'm wiped out for the rest of the day. For those who had MM like me, how were your energy levels? When did you go back to work? I have a desk job so it's not physically demanding but it is mentally demanding. My brain feels like mush by the afternoon and I'm not even doing anything! Hmmm...Maybe that's why...perhaps going back to work will make me feel better. I'm so confused!

Pity party, period, and swelling.

Ladies, please remind me that this shall pass. Started my period today and my abdomen looks like I'm 4 months preggo. This sucks. I know this is part of the process but damn I'm having a hard day. Not to mention my in laws are visiting today and my step MIL is driving me crazy!!!! She never stops talking about her weight. Says inappropriate/rude things all the time. I've been told recently she has early Alzheimer's but she's been this way for ten years so I don't know. For example, when I was 8 months pregnant with my son, she said "wow are you having twins?! How are you going to lose all that weight?!" (She had been to my ultrasound and knew full well I wasn't having twins. I gained 40 lbs, excessive but not horrible) Shit like that comes out of her mouth and today I am just not in the mood to take it. So I'm venting here instead of saying something I will regret later. End rant. Thank you. Better now. I think I'm more bummed because I've had minimal swelling until now. I guess this is the infamous swell hell?!?! Ok. Rant over for real. :-)

21 days!

I am mostly posting these pics for myself. I want to see the progress every week and it's not easy to notice by looking at yourself. My pics are in the same grey tank for reference. I think I look pretty much the same. Added an under boob shot so ladies can see the scars from the lift if interested. Feeling better than I was last weekend. Back to work 3/4 time this week. Sitting at a desk sucks. Makes me super stiff. Guess I should get up more through the day. Definitely really swollen at the end of each day. Patience is not my strong suit.

21 days!

I am mostly posting these pics for myself. I want to see the progress every week and it's not easy to notice by looking at yourself. My pics are in the same grey tank for reference. I think I look pretty much the same. Added an under boob shot so ladies can see the scars from the lift if interested. Feeling better than I was last weekend. Back to work 3/4 time this week. Sitting at a desk sucks. Makes me super stiff. Guess I should get up more through the day. Definitely really swollen at the end of each day. Patience is not my strong suit.

Pics day 21

Trying to upload pics AGAIN! Grrrr!

1 month post

Nothing exciting to report. I'm super swollen by the end of the day. My ab muscles are really tight. And I'm pretty convinced I will need some lipo revision on my left flank. Nothing major. Scars are healing well. Ready to be a little further down the road but happy each day I feel better. I hate the abdominal binder. My PS doesn't use CG's as far as I know. The binder is pretty thrashed and causes wrinkly indentations all over my core from bunching up. They said I can go to spanx in another week or two.

5 weeks and feeling good!

I had a f/u visit w/ my PS yesterday. I got rave reviews and don't have to see him again for 4 months! Yay! I'm very impressed with how well my breast incisions look. You can barely see them. The TT incision is not looking quite as good but I'm sure it will get there. I have to wear the dreaded binder for 2 more weeks but can use Spanx if preferred. Yes, that is preferred! My clothes, bras especially, no longer fit so I'm going shopping this weekend! I have been instructed to wear underwire bras from now on so the ladies don't go south again. Green light to exercise, minus ab work. The painful swelling is definitely gone but still have some swelling, more so on the left side than the right. Hoping that resolves as the lymphatic channels heal. I'm sure it will. No biggie. I'm just being a picky PITA right now! Oh, and PS said to start massaging my BB to keep it from closing up. This just creeps me out. Any suggestions? He said to use a little vaseline and massage it/stretch it out. Ugh, is this really necessary? Happy Friday sisters!

6 weeks

Almost back to normal. Still feel REALLY tight when I stand/sit up straight. When did this start feeling normal for you ladies?

6 weeks!

Positives: I look way better than before. My belly button is finally looking happier. My clothes are all mostly too big. I'm finally back to the gym for the most part (no ab work).
Negatives: My ab scar seems to be lagging behind in the fading department. I realize it's only been 6 weeks but I usually heal much faster. I still have swelling and the tightness, OMG, the tightness. It feels like it will never feel normal. I'm still wearing my binder most of the day for comfort reasons.

Also, I feel like my boobs look much bigger naked than they do in clothes. I actually really like the way they look in tanks and tops but when I look at a naked pic of myself I'm surprised at how big they look. They feel great and totally natural. I used to be able to feel my saline water balloons and hated them. Even with these silicone implants, these boobs feel totally natural.

Now I must get my ass back in shape! Happy Friday ladies!

Every week is better and better!

I stopped wearing my binder except at night. I think it's helped allow my muscles to loosen up a bit.

Coming up on 6 months!

I wish I could say I've done better regarding my fitness program, but life has sure gotten in the way the last few months. Regardless, I'm very happy with my MM. I wanted to show my updated scars as they really have come a long way. I've never used any scar therapy and I think they are looking really good considering just a few months ago, it was still very red. My stomach definitely has loosened up but I think only I can tell. I still have moments where it feels really tight and ab work is not easy. Good thing my stomach is hard as a rock even w/out sit-ups! I had my last PS visit about a month ago. No more follow ups needed. I might have a small revision done to one side that seems to still bulge very slightly more than the other. It's only noticeably when I wear jeans and a fitted t-shirt, and probably only I notice it! My PS not to even consider it until 1 yr post. That's all ! I hope you ladies are all doing well!

6 months post MM-In a bikini at 44 yrs old!

This will probably be my final MM update unless something extraordinary happens. But honestly, after about the 3 month mark, nothing really worth mentioning happens. You look and feel like a different person, clothes that you would have never worn before drape your body perfectly, and yes, you just might rock a bikini for the first time in decades! (I'm still a pretty modest person so no string bikinis for me. But no more one pieces EVER!) For anyone on the fence, just do it. Do your research first, find a great board certified PS, don't go for the cheapest! That is basically asking for trouble. I could not be happier, just like many of my RS sisters who had this done around the same time!
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

I couldn't have asked for anything more than I was given. Treated with the utmost respect and kindness from entire staff. So happy with my results and can't say enough amazing things about this office and the surgical center. I was not an easy post-op patient and they never judged and did what was necessary to take great care of me. So incredibly happy!

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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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