I'd talked for over a year with my wife about the option to have the redundant skin surgically removed from my belly, but had no overwhelming urge to do so given a general state of contentment with life. But in the summer (worst time of year for the fat man!) I noticed the opportunity through my insurance for a free consultation with a plastic surgeon - that was a useful kick start for me and from it things happened pretty quick.
I visited the consultant (Mr Townley) and after a conversation about my motivations and examination, he outlined the possible procedures. If I was to go ahead it would certainly involve an abdominoplasty (the tummy tuck), given the majority of my loose skin hung redundant around the belly. For the chest there was still some fatty tissue and the possibility that the skin would retract - I didn't wish to risk unnecessary scarring in this area so chose a less invasive gynaecomastia to remove the tissue and a tad of skin about the nipples. I understood this might mean a later op if things still weren't right, but I was happy with the decision.
In totality the decision to go or not mainly revolved around how much more I could do with the training regime. This will still going well and it was explained to me that I would be out of action for 6 weeks following the surgery. It had taken me 10 years to find a healthy routine and 6 weeks off was just the sort of timeframe the natural laziness in me would exploit. However, the decision to go ahead was the flip of that argument - I knew that I would become increasingly frustrated with an apparent lack of result from training, given its masking by unsightly skin. I wanted to go ahead with the surgery and only waited an additional few months until October due to a new job and booked holiday.
The procedure itself, at Weymouth Street Hospital in London, was fine and went just as was explained. There was some pain in the immediacy after the op, but absolutely nowhere near the level that should turn anyone off from having similar done. It has now been two weeks, during which I've been mainly relaxing at home, but I was up and about almost immediately. The scars have been easy to care for and whilst difficult to sleep in one position and a slightly itchy protective vest, I really have found the recovery remarkably simple. I've had my wife at home for the two weeks too, which has made things even easier - I would certainly recommend having someone around for the first week if possible.
It terms of the outcome: I'm chuffed thus far. It is still too early to make a final assessment and Mr T tells me the swelling will continue to come down for a few months yet, with the skin continuing to tighten over the same period. Before the op I did not pre-occupy my thoughts with worries about things going wrong, nor lofty ambitions for how great things could be - I was confident things would be better and even if it was a small improvement, that would go a long way. But, I was surprised by the results, in a good way, especially around the chest, which is a good deal more flat than I would ever have hoped. The scar across the belly is big, no bones about it, but the slab is gone and the scar will be under the waistline.
Overall, I'm pleased and I know it was worth it. Things have been smooth and I'm more motivated than ever to get back in the gym.