Surgery performed 12/30/2015.
Surgery performed 12/30/2015.
After losing weight, had loose skin I needed to get rid of. Maybe 'wanted' is a better word. When running, I had jiggly bits that felt like "waves" no matter what compression garment/material I used. :)
Last year on 12/26/2014, I had a lower body lift (TT w/muscle repair) and BA w/lift and was hoping it would give me the complete results I was looking for but after a year I could see the thighs were going to need their own work. (I have posted a review on Real Self for those procedures).
I will post some "before" pictures for the thighs in a separate post.
October 2015/pre-op pics
Here are a few pics from the surgeon's office of the thigh areas.
Hoping for the lift and get inner skin removed. You lnow....the skin where it all spreads apart when you sit? That stuff is what really needs to go.
Be back later to update.
personal before pics
So here are my personal "before" pics - definitely showing the areas I like the least.
6 days post op - healing and observations
Here I am, 6 days post op.
One word: swelling
I remember the swelling from last year this time with the tummy tuck and BA, but it seems so distant. Just a vague memory. Well, it made a screaming entrance. I had a lift in the back to remove some of the excess skin to get a better lift for my thighs and then the line down each inner thigh. The center of gravity is the "lady bits."
And by all that is holy....it's huge. The swelling seems like it has turned it wrong side out or something. I dunno. Makes me walk bow-legged? I don't know how to describe it. It's really more comical, than anything else. It's not an unbearable pain, just awkward.
As far as overall pain? Really not bad at all. I was taking 1 pain med every 6 hours and then on day 5 switched to over-the-counter. (Prescription was "take 1-2, every 4-6 hours"). Last night I took a pain med before sleep.
Had one of the drains removed on Monday and still have the other. Will probably call tomorrow to have it removed, it's not producing much. I know most people hate the drains. I'm ok with them - I'd rather have the stuff out than in. A necessary by-product.
Keeping my diet pretty bland. A couple of eggs in the am for breakfast (no salt at all), soup for lunch (I made some pre-op and froze in personal size), and chicken w/salad for dinner. Keeping protein above 100 gr daily. (Drinking protein/whey isolate shakes as needed to get there)
I'll attempt to take some photos of post surgery so you can see the healing process.
pre-op marking photo
This is about 20 mins before surgery.
Markings to show what will be removed.
photos 7 days post-op surgery info
Here are a couple of pics taken at 7 days post op. The swelling is quite a bit, to be honest. This was around mid day and I had been walking around the house.
You can see some bruising, which is normal. I'll be excited to see the changes in the next couple of weeks as the swelling decreases. Right now, my thighs are actually bigger post op than they were pre-op. Lol. But, a necessary by product.
There does not seem to be very many reviews for thigh lifts on here (Real Self). I think maybe that is because people get them "in addition" to whatever other procedures they are getting.
As far as cost, you would have to check with your geographical location. I can drive 1 hour and cross the state line and save a couple of thousand. Just Google local plastic surgeons in your area to get base pricing. Each area is different. The procedure itself is around $4000 and that may or may not include hospital fee and the anesthesia fee. Now the total with both of those added may bring it up to $7000. It's a large gap, but always ask the PS if that includes the hospital and the anesthesia.
I left the hospital the same day. Checked in, markings and prep, surgery, then woke up in recovery. I hung out a little bit and then was released to come home. No problems whatsoever.
day 7 & 8 -- turning point!!
Ok...here's the good news: Day 8 seems to be the turning point. I technically think 7 days post op as not counting the day of surgery. Real self counts it and that's weird. There is pre-op, op, and post op. Lol. Doesn't matter, I suppose
So, really, day 7/8 is the turning point here. Swelling ("swell hell") and things become more manageable.
Walking laps around the home
drinking water to keep the body flushed
protein intake high - I am around 100 gr to 120gr daily
inflammation fighting foods
compression garments on
pain meds (taking 1 before bed)
frozen peas on extremely swollen areas
I took my first shower on day 4. Be sure to have assistance for at least your first shower.
I can not bend all of the way over. The tension on the inner thigh/close to the groin feels very taut.
I got my 2nd and final drain out today.
Now I get to watch the healing and the thighs with less skin take shape!!
day 9: work and progress pics
Goodness...healing is fabulous now. Love the days after the "swell hell!"
Return to work on Saturday, 9 days post op. Not too bad at all. I opted for a half day, sat between clients. Everything went smooth. Got home, showered, and propped my legs right up. Lol. It was only 5 hours and it was a trial run for me. The good news, now I'm off for 3 days. Then back to work.
So the pics are after the shower and you can see there is some bruising and swelling but it's not too bad at all. I already like them better now, even if I am swollen. The black looking stuff is dried blood and glue.
The last picture is today (24 hours later) and it's funny how when we're healing the bruising is darker. Husband even commented I'm walking pretty normal.
Energy is definitely better yesterday and today. No pain meds needed at all. Meal prepped for myself for the week and baked and cooked tonight's dinner.
I'll be back to update soon!
day 11 post op: jeans, ugly cry, & pics
Still healing fantastic. Itching with the healing/dryness.
Took shower and got some of the glue off. Not forcefully, just the pieces that were ready. Lightly rubbing and it just flakes off.
Drove around and did errands: grocery shopping, business supplies, nails and feet done.
Best part of the day?? I was feeling pretty good after my shower, clean hair, make-up and the works and decided I would just ATTEMPT to get my jeans on. Now, after surgery if you have ever experienced "swell hell" you know this is a cautionary idea. Do you try and the realization just destroys you when you can't get them up over your knees? Uugghh.....well, I did!! And they did!! At 11 days post op those suckers slid right up and I did NOT, in any form or fashion have to tug, yank, pull, or adjust the material in my thighs at all!!
Can I just say right now, that in my life's memories, can I tell you of a time that has ever happened? I know there is still swelling. The point I am making: I will be able to buy jeans/pants that fit me in the waist AND the thighs. I will not have to size up to accomodate my thunder thighs!!!
I seriously just stood there and ugly cried in my bathroom.
But I was wearing jeans.
day 14 post op, measurements, FYI
Still healing nicely. Bruising isnt too bad. Swelling is definitely more noticeable in the evening. :)
I wore a more firm compression garment this a.m. and by the time I got home I swear I was in a vice. That sucker had to come off and I put the one the surgeon's office had given me. It feels a little more loose, but I think that's because swelling has gone down so in the morning it feels bigger. Right now, it feels compressed enough. Hahaha I don't feel like my boobs are popping out and my knees are exploding out the bottom.
I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to measure my thighs. I truly didn't want to set myself up for failure or disappointment, but I wanted to see. Yes, it's only been 2 weeks...BUT I did get my jeans up without feeling like they were in a tourniquet so, just maybe.....they were smaller!!! Seriously, by a few inches - even with the pm swelling! I'm going to measure again in the morning just so I can see again and to see the difference between the swelling. But, as of this moment right now, WITH SWELLING, there is a difference of a couple of inches.
I also finally got a mirror out and looked at the back of my legs/thighs. :) had another ugly cry right there in the bathroom. Dimpling appears to be reduced. i don't know if that's because of the swelling and I am hoping that with the swelling going down, the dimple/cottage cheese thighs do not re-appear.
Just a few FYI's for a point of reference/expectations for those intetested:
I haven't started working out/running/ etc. 2 weeks isn't near enough time for that. I do walk around stores just fine for grocery shopping or whatever. I'm not breaking any records on time spent doing these things. (On Monday, post op day 10.)
Tonight went to the movies and wasn't a struggle.
I have been driving since post op day 9. Entering and exiting the vehicle are the slowest aspects.
Using toilets - I do use the handicap stall because I need the handrail. Toilets are a little too low to bend the knees at that 90 degrees or less.
For healing, I am still avoiding sodium to help minimize swelling. All food I eat is prepared at home to avoid how foods are prepared in restaurants (sodium).
I just thought of those off the top of my head. Let me know if there is anything I can answer regarding my experience so far.
day 17 post op, pics, details
Here are some pics for comparison.
Healing is moving along well. Worked all day yesterday (Saturday). Swelling was noticeable in the evening, from the knees up. I've starting wrapping the knees with ace bandages in the evening to compress and maybe get some of the fluid out. My compression garment ends a couple of inches above the knee, whereas the incision line comes to the inside of the knee.
Regular household chores/duties are ok. Can't really bend over and if I need to it's more of hinge at the hips and very slow.
Definitely no squatting down.
Not sitting on toilet. At home I have a toilet seat riser in one of the restrooms and it does make things easier.
Drinking lots of water. :)
I sleep in the recliner so to keep the legs elevated some and the legs slightly apart.
So, there it is for last couple of days.
18 fays post op, what swelling looks like, comforts
I know when I was looking for surgery, I wanted a thorough idea of what I was getting into. When you hear (read) us talking about swelling, I thought a picture would help for comparison. I should have done this in earlier posts, but "swell hell" is pretty rough the first several days.
The top pic is in the a.m. - I had been up and moving for a couple of hours and was getting dressed to leave.
The bottom pic is about 5 hours later, went to store and purchased 3 essential items (Walmart) and surgeon's office. - I only tell you this so you know how much movement was going on. :)
1 1/2 inches in swelling. This is the same right knee (slightly above).
The thighs get swollen as well - I was having trouble holding the tape measure with one hand and taking the pic with the other and they weren't very clear.
Anyway, it's not painful or throbbing. It's just a point of reference.
Drink water, no sodium, wear compression garments, prop legs up, take bromelain, etc.
the "why" of having this surgery/21 days post op
So, we all have our own different "why." Or - they would all be very similar. My assumption is our responses would be very similar and very personal.
I lost 146 lbs. The loose skin is a killer. You trade 1 insecurity for another. Doesn't matter if you say, "you worked hard! Be proud! Loose skin or morbidly obese." I want to believe that, I know that - but physically the eyes see that skin.
Swimming isn't going to happen.
Skin and fat float. Plain and simple. It moves and jiggle like jello in the water. It is "buoyant." I have a very ugly memory of being on vacation this past summer and one of my stepdaughters making a comment about my jiggly thighs. Yes, it was mean, yes she knows better, and yes she was being hateful. She probably doesn't even remember it.
But I certainly do.
Yes, I run. I run a lot. Skin jiggles differently than fat. Not necessarily better, either. Yes, I wear compression. The best I have found. Still jiggles.
I've touched on this before. I have to size up to accomodate my thighs. Then the waist is too big. I still have to tug and adjust the thighs and skin to get "situated."
I want to be "normal." All of the above is my normal. Doesn't make it wrong or right, just frustrating. Anyone that undergoes some type of plastic surgery wants a different version of normal. What it would feel like to... (whatever that may be for you.)
Hope you are all doing g well and will post 1 month update pics next week
4 weeks post op
Healing is going well. :)
The incisions are healed, no blood, scabs, or glue. Just the tender, pink scar. I started the Embrace scar therapy/sheets to assist in the healing. I definitely like the support the sheets/tape gives the incision. I don't know if it's because it is tender skin, or just keeping clothing from touching or rubbing against them.
There is definitely some swelling - more so in the evening. I will post pics when my husband is here to take full length pics. I will try to set the timer and take some in the a.m., but they don't seem to be as clear.
4 weeks of no exercise is brutal. Seriously. Maybe that's why the swelling seems more evident. I feel "fluffy." The thing about getting the thighs "done" is the healing process. See, tummy tuck and breasts healing in comparison to this...the pain is not near as the tummy tuck and breasts. BUT, you walk with your legs so you are limited longer. The pulling and tugging can hinder the healing process - and I want the best possible outcome so I am definitely following doctors orders! Lol. He said "a 1 mile leisurely stroll" is my max and then we will re-evaluate in 2 weeks. Well, that's all I am doing - since monday (only twice out so far). Today was actually only .53.
Small observations that may help you for recovery purposes:
If I sit on the edge of a chair, i can get my knees to touch. Sitting all the way back in the chair, they do not. :) during this healing process the knees do not come together due to tension. Be prepared to not be able to 'sit like a lady.'
Crossing legs - uhm, no. (See above)
It's easy to get frustrated with the swelling because you want to see the results!!! I just had skin removed...they should be smaller!!! Yes, they are...I know...TRUST THE PROCESS and your surgeon.
I am able to use a regular toilet with no handrail.
The compression garment I could not get on the first couple of days is now slightly too big. I would consider asking for a size down as well as the initial one. I am sure this is due to wearing and the item getting stretched as well as swelling going down. My surgeon's office was fabulous and ordered me another one at my last visit. Side note: the current one does fit by about 5 or 6 pm. (Swelling)
I can put on my socks and tennis shoes. :) My husband had to put on my socks up until about Day 21 and I just wore slip-on shoes.
So, that's about it.
I will definitely get pictures taken/posted for any who may want. Do you want incision pics? Overall pics at this stage, swelling and all?
day 28 post op pics
Well, this will be short. This my 3rd time attempting to upload.
Here are a couple of pics for comparison. I can see a difference, even with the swelling (notice the knees?).
The pics were taken at the end of the day and you can see lines from the compression garment. In the a.m., the garment is too big and then it is tight by the end of the day. :)
Have a great weekend!