Extended Medial Thigh Lift and Extended Brachioplasty. Kentucky, KY

This is my second review. The first was a lower...

This is my second review. The first was a lower body lift with the same surgeon. So far I love the results. For the first time in my life I have arms I won't want to hide. I'm only a week out so I'm still in compression garments, but I can't wait to start shopping for strappy halter dresses for summer. I had an extended brachioplasty that goes from elbow to the bottom of my rib cage (basically a trunkplasty too). Because of the direction of the incision I also got a bit of a breast lift out of the deal too! I will say i didn't expect it to take me down as hard as it did. Although the pain had been a lot less than the LBL. It was a lot more debilitating and I needed more help than after the LBL. It took three days before I could reach to brush my own teeth. You will need help! Thanks to my amazing husband for being such a rock star!! After a week I still can't reach or hold much. I can't even talk about my thigh lift. I had such awful saggy skin on my thighs that I cried when the bandages came off. I can't believe this is my body. I'm so excited for the rest of my life!!

Before photos

Just a few before pictures.

"Recovery for this surgery (thigh lift part) is less predictable"

Note: this applies to the thigh lift for those looking for arm lift info it's a breeze in comparison.
Arm lift things to know.
1. Range of motion is incredibly limited. The first few days you'll need help eating, brushing your teeth, and scratching your nose. I was able to take care of my bathroom needs on my own though.
2. You know how it feels when you have a bad sunburn and you get goosebumps? That's how my arms have felt... Constant sunburn goosebumps.
3. Range of motion is limited. I still can't reach straight up. It's close and I expect I'll be able to reach straight up in another week, but I'm not there yet.
Now, onto thigh lift...

The title were the words from my doctor before surgery. Boy, is she right. I had surgery on 2/25 and returned to work on 3/7. I have a desk job so I was able to keep my feet elevated. I was supposed to return for half a day 3/4 and 3/5, but I just wasn't ready. Brilliant me decided to cut off pain meds at night the evening before I returned to work (Sunday 3/6). That lasted four days. I think life would have been much easier if I hadn't stopped the pain meds, but I had such terrible constipation with LBL I was in a hurry to get off them. I saw the surgeon on Tuesday (2 days shy of two wks post op) and my incisions looked great, swelling was normal, two drains from thigh lift were still producing too much to remove (I had all four drains removed from arms and chest at 5 days past surgery). At this point, I had hairy legs, I wasn't sleeping well, I had no cloths that I could wear with drains, I'd gained weight from swelling (Be prepared, your feet will look like Flinstone feet), and I found out I also needed to wrap to my ankle rather than just to my calf. I'm usually such a positive person, but with last surgery I had three weeks of, my semester of grad school had ended, the kids were out of school, and all I had to focus on was kid snuggles and feeling better. For this surgery nothing stopped or even paused, I was just feeling overwhelmed despite amazing support from my husband. The emotional stuff is just as real as the physical and I think they play off each other.
I share this not for sympathy, but so other won't feel so crazy when they feel crazy, lol.
Onto issue #1
The day following my appt (one day shy of 2 wks post op, I had an incision open. Very small and thankfully a week later it appears to be healing. The surgeon hasn't seen it yet, but it's smaller, not red at all, and barely drains. I'm treating it with soap and water once a day, gauze bandage with paper tape, and a thin layer of bacitracin after the soap and water.
Issue #2
I believe my drain site is infected. Last night my hubby and I went to dinner and I became uncomfortable from sitting during the meal. I got home and unwrapped and my leg to the left of the knee, near the drain site was swollen, red, very painful, and warm to the touch. The drainage has gone from s pale yellow to a reddish pink and had increased. After unwrapping the drain picked up significantly. I thought perhaps I had wrapped too tight. Fast forward to today and the drain site has a little pus coming from it, throbs when I stand, and is swollen and red. I called the on call and he called in a 3 day round of Bactrim to hold me until I follow up with my doctor on Tuesday. I said I preferred not to go to the ER since I'll have to pay out of pocket. Since I don't have a fever he agreed. He did say, " you know we'll have to extract all that pus on Tuesday." Oh boy, that doesn't sound fun.

Here's hoping it won't be terrible and will get better quickly. I have such high hopes of a cute sun dress in two weeks for Easter. It's beginning to look like that won't happen, sigh.

Real quick

Despite these set backs I am so excited to see the final outcome. As the swelling disappears I am so excited to see my new arms and legs emerge. My skin no longer resembles an elephant and I love the new shape! As a bonus the brachioplasty gave me a bit of a breast lift too. My girls are nicer now than they were at 18, lol

Pics!

Hi there! Thought it was time for some pics.

Infection update and more pics

I went to the surgeon today. She suspects a cellulitis infection. I'll take Keflex four times a day for seven days, but she'll see me tomorrow during my originally scheduled appointment to make sure it's improving. If it isn't any better or is worse we'll switch antiobiotics to something that will fight MRSA. She doesn't think that is the case though.
Already the drainage isn't as red or cloudy and the redness is receding. You can see it in the one pic. At this point the infection doesn't feel like anything she will need to clean out, thankfully!! I'll know more over the next few days. I'll keep my drains for another week and then these tentacles go bye bye regardless of what they're producing.
Usually I stay wrapped, but I unwrapped to jump in the shower and then got sidetracked with the kids. I'm just getting off my feet for a few minutes and thought I'd snap a few pics.

I asked again today if I could walk a block and a half to and from my car at work and was told no. Hopefully next week!

Infection, wound opening update

Isn't today a wonderful day? Today, at 3 wks, 1 day I got my final two drains out, the new antibiotic (Bactrim) is working and my infection is improving dramatically. I saw the surgeon three times this week and she said she won't need to see me again until a week from Tuesday, but I'm scheduled this Tuesday for a little Botox so I'll probably see her anyway. ;-)
The wound opening has closed, I have one very small one in my arm pit, but it's so small I don't need to treat it unless it starts draining. Tonight will be my first night without pain meds in me in a while. We'll see how it goes!

We talked about a possible revision of my mons in June. It'll be really minor and under local, but it got amazing after my LBL and now it's droopy following my thigh lift. It may still be somewhat swollen. We'll see what happens, but at this point I think we'll move forward if she can get it approved.
I'll continue the bed rest over the weekend as the infection continues to dissipate and to help prevent a seroma from developing. I can get up to per and eat otherwise, I'm holding down the bed. I also need to be vigilant with my compression. Not a problem!

I've included a few arm incision pics. I can't get a good angle of my arms without my face so they'll have to wait.
Until later!

Update and random tips

I'm a little over a month po now. My legs are still in compression full time, but I have permission to unwrap today for four hours to wear a thigh grazing Easter dress for church and dinner. I shave last night and painted my toe nails for the first time since surgery. Note: careful around those incisions!
My walking and exercise are still restricted. I return to the PS on Tuesday and hope to be able to start wrapping just at night. I want to wait until I'm unwrapped for at least a week before I start buying clothes. I did buy a few Camis, a sweater, and three dresses, but haven't been able to buy other clothes yet. I haven't gone shopping since before my LBL so I'm due! I anticipate ending in a 4 or a 6. My dresses are size 4. I was wearing an 8-10 before my surgeries.
I'll post an a picture update within the next week or so.
A few tips that I've come across along the way. Forgive me if sone of these are repeats.
1. Bring pillows for when you leave the hospital. Strategically placed pillows for propping are essential.
2. Buy a pack of men's boxers . Thigh lift incisions will thank you! I haven't braved my own underwear since trying them one day and have an incision ion at 2 1/2 weeks po.
3. If buying a recliner is an option I would do it. It would be worth the expense. The most pain I had was transitioning in and out of bed.
4. Be prepared to ask others for help.
5. Ask about recovery times. I went into this surgery unprepared. This is my own fault. I'd just had an LBL and thought I understood the restrictions I'd have this time as a result. Ask questions!

That's all for now, until next time.

Update and... It's a thigh gap!

Had a follow up appt yesterday. Tomorrow will be 5 weeks post op. I can quit compression, unless I begin to swell. I'm also permitted to walk and slowly resume exercise. I cannot wait to see my legs over the next few days. The ace bandages make lumpy spots on the legs so it's hard to see what is really there. I've added a pic of the pants I wore today. Taking a pic of my arms without my face in the pic is more difficult. I return to the doctor in six weeks. This will act as a follow up and a pre procedure appt. I'll be having a small mons lift in office under local anesthesia in June.
I'm hoping to start shopping soon. Very few clothes still fit!

Until later ...

Pics!

Just a few pics. Tomorrow is 5 weeks exactly!

For my runner friend ;-)

I got these pants for compression after surgery, but they weren't quit snug enough. They make great running pants though!!

Almost three months po (pics)

I can't believe it's been almost three months. I'm back at full speed with no restrictions. Just a few weeks ago the swelling in my right knee was reduced enough that I could squat comfortably. It hasn't been visibly swollen in quite some time, but I couldn't put pressure on my knee in a squat position. If I could have done anything differently I would have asked the surgeon to go a bit past my knee, but I knew I would have a skin pucker regardless. My scars don't bother me, but I am more aware of them than I expected to be. I wasn't concerned about the scars at all and I feel so much more confident, but I can tell when someone notices them for the first time. Of course, that doesn't even compare to how much I was overlooked and ignored or stared at when I was 300 lbs. I much prefer skinny me with fading scars ... Hands down!!! I've included a number of pictures, too. Until later!!

Pics after weight loss and before any surgery

Before surgery pics

Medial thigh lift scar pics- over 4 months post op

These pics were taken today. Absolutely love my outcome!
Dr. Ashley Rawson Kerekes

Dr. Kerekes is amazing! She's a wonderful doctor and answered all of my questions. Responded to emails quickly (within 30 minutes each time) and never made me feel like I had a dumb question. Is it ridiculous that I won't get to see her any more once I'm healed? Lol The skill and care she exhibits is wonderful!

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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