33 Year Old Mom of 2, Lost 140 Pounds and Have Finished 3 Ironman Triathlons, Not a Good Tummy Tuck

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Bear with me as I am finally writing about my...

Bear with me as I am finally writing about my experience, and it hasn't been pleasant. I had gastric bypass November 2009, in 8 months I had lost 140 pounds and have kept it off ever since. I was scared to have plastics, so I put it off. In that time I became an accomplished triathlon. I've done over 60 triathlons to include 3 Ironman triathlons (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). I am a 3 time state triathlon champion for my age group, I have been invited to triathlon national championships 5 years in a row, and I have a few overall female triathlon wins. The extra skin on my abdomen was really starting to bother me and give me issues. I told my primary care doctor as my annual post gastric bypass exam, and she put in a referral for me to have a tummy tuck.

I met with the plastic surgeon and he seemed great. He is board certified, and assured me that I was a perfect candidate and he could make me flat. I was excited, I had lived with the extra skin for so long and now it was going to be gone, and I could actually look good in my triathlon suits. I trusted him. My insurance approved me.

Recovery was hell to me. It was extremely rough and I was only given enough narcotic pain meds for 2 days. I had 2 drains, 1 in each hip. My left drain, the pain was horendous, just that drain had me in tears daily. My right drain, on day 3, dark red blood started coming out. Turns out I had a large hemotoma. At my 1 week appointment my left drain was taken out because the pain was just too much to bear. The right drain was kept in for 3.5 weeks because of the hematoma. I noticed the skin above the incision began protruding and I was getting worried. I knew this was all normal swelling. After 2,200 ccs of dark red blood coming out of the drain over the course of 3 weeks, my hematoma finally resolved.

The bulge above my incision began protruding even more, I contacted my surgeon's office who told me to take a pic and text it to him. I did and his reply was to come in right away as it looks like I am full of fluid. I did as he said. Got to his office where he examined it and told me it was fat and that I would need to either spent a few hundred dollars on fat blaster injections, or $4000 on lipo in a few months. I was devastated. It also did not make a whole lot of sense to me, I was flat the first few days out of surgery, and I very lean. I am only 19% bodyfat. I asked around in my medical community, to include my RN-BSN friend who used to work as a plastic surgeon's assistant. Across the board, my colleagues believe I was botched.

2 days ago, I went to see my primary care doctor about this who agreed with me. He put in a referral for me to see another plastic surgeon, about an hour away, who specializes in massive weight loss patients, for a second opinion and possible revision in the future. I see the new surgeon on October 10th.

I still can't believe this happened to me. I just wanted to do this, recover, and get back to training and racing. Even worse my husband, who was my angel during the rough recovery, will be deployed for the possible revision. My mother in law is willing to come down to help if I need a revision, so I won't be alone.

I am hoping for a revision, I am so unhappy and so depressed with what I see, I think I've cried so much my tear ducts are dried up.

Went to a new surgeon for a second opinion

My insurance covered a consult with another plastic surgeon who agreed too much extra skin was left and that it could look much better. My new surgeon is not only board certified, but even certified by the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons, which is something I should have looked for the first time around. He took the time to answer all my question, and explain everything, and I had a really good feeling about him. He has worked with many massive weight loss patients. My first surgeon gave me a bit of an unsure feeling from the beginning, which I should have trusted my gut and ran. He will not do the revision until at least February so I have awhile to wait. My insurance covered my initial botch job and we are unsure if they will cover the revision, we'll just have to wait and see. If not I will be self pay, as I am very unhappy with how I look right now

Insurance Approved Revision

Wow, I'm speechless, I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas, my insurance is going to pay for my revision! I have to wait until at least mid February as my new surgeon wants to wait until I am 6 months post op from original procedure. But I am so grateful and thrilled

Revision scheduled for February 22nd

Today my tummy tuck revision was scheduled for February 22nd. That is step 1 of 2. I found out my insurance actually approve a full lower body lift, my surgeon just prefers to do them in 2 surgeries. So 6-8 weeks after the tummy tuck revision he will be doing the back as well. I am so happy that this nightmare will be over and I have faith everything will look great in the end.
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