My Bariatric Life 1-yr Post Tummy Tuck. Dr. Joseph F. Capella Changed My Life at 49yo! Results Are So Much More Than Expected!

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Across the decades I have been every size, from a...

Across the decades I have been every size, from a junior size 7 to a women’s size 24. As of this writing, 4-1/2 months post tummy tuck I am a perfect misses’ size 8 jean. I never thought I could have a body like this at age 49.

I lost 18 inches and 20-lbs. Here's the big reveal: 8” from my waist, 6” from my lower abdomen, and 4” from my hips. I went from my size 14 jeans being tight pre-op to size 8 jeans fitting just fine at only 3-1/2 months post-op. That's a good size for my 5'7" frame and I do not want to get any smaller. As for the weight loss, 6-lbs. was removed during the tummy tuck and the rest I lost afterwards. Thanks to the tightening of my lax abdominal muscle fascia I am no longer able to eat as much as I could pre-tummy tuck.

I feel that my body now matches my personality. And at my 3-mos post op, I completely enjoyed having my “after” photos taken. Seeing my “before” photo on my surgeon’s computer reminded me how ashamed I had been of my body just 3-months earlier and how difficult it had been to have nude photos taken. I am amazed at the remarkable difference a tummy tuck and mons lift can make, both physically and emotionally, when done by the hands of a highly-skilled surgeon.

What's Next?

I am going for a total body transformation on October 10th! Dr. Capella will revise my tummy tuck to a lower body lift to shape my buttocks and thighs and back, and he will further tighten my mons. He also will be performing an inner thigh lift/medial thigh lift, arm lift, flankplasty, and breast lift. You can follow my journey on RealSelf

My Results 5-mos after Tummy Tuck

At 5-mos post op I have lost 19.5":
8.5 inches from waist, 6 inches from tummy, 4 inches from hips, 1 inch from bust
21-lbs (6-lbs removed during surgery)
I began an ab circuit and interval sprinting one week ago and already lost 1/2-inch from my waist! Plus I can see my abdo beginning to sculpt. I do not want 6-pack abs but a little definition will be nice.

2-weeks from today: Upper and Lower Body Lift, Medial Thigh Lift

I just found out that I am 1 of 6 people to be featured in a photo shoot. My shoot will take place on Oct 8th! Then I will undergo my second round of plastics on October 10th! Read more here: Super excited how my life has changed!!!

My photo shoot

As I mentioned above, I was featured in a photo shoot that took place today. The biotech company will use my photos and share my story in their promotional materials for patients and professionals and internally for employees, because I am someone who has defeated diabetes for more than a decade.

Ooops pressed the "save changes" button too soon

So we shot a ton of photos at the Point Pleasant Beach and Jecnkinson's Boardwalk. They let me pick the location and it was super fun. They did shots of me in the pink sports bra and black capris work out gear that I am wearing in my pix above, with me doing planks, side planks, sprints, and meditation on the beach. Then they did pix of me in a navy and white dress on the boardwalk with me looking out over the water and sitting on a bench. I cannot wait to see the photos!

Thinking what has led me here...

Getting a Dx of diabetes was such a turning point in my life. It was a wake-up call that I answered. Had I not gotten diabetes, then I likely would not have gotten bariatric surgery and turned my health and my life around. Today I'm a size medium and living life larger than ever!

'Twas the night before my total body transformation

In 12 hours I will be at HUMC getting marked up for my

ASPS Shows Weight Loss, Decreased Appetite After Tummy Tuck

I lost 25-lbs following my tummy tuck surgery last April. My surgeon removed 6-lbs. and I lost an additional 19-lbs, which I believe is due to the restriction of the muscle plication. I simply felt full after eating a small amount of food. It was as if the restriction of my gastric bypass had been renewed by the abdominoplasty.

Now the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) has announced that a new pilot study published in the February issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that patients who had a tummy tuck reported increased satiety, especially those patients who were overweight or obese. Satiety is the measure of how full you feel after eating a certain amount of food during a meal. Just like me, these patients felt full when eating less after their abdominoplasty.

In addition to feeling full faster after their tummy tuck, the study showed that patients who had more fat removed during their procedures continued to lose weight post-surgery. The removal of fatty tissue, which can contain hormones that drive your appetite up, resulted in less of an appetite. The more fat tissue removed during the procedure the more the patients reported feeling less of an appetite post-surgery. Researchers believe the removal of this tissue is responsible for the decrease in appetite and the increase in satiety.

Wow, looking back on how awful my body was 6-mos ago

I am looking through all the old photographs that Dr. Capella took of my body pre-operatively and already I have forgotten just how awful I looked before my tummy tuck. I've asked him to send the 6-mos post op photos to me and will post those as soon as I get them.

It is hard to look at these photos and reflect back on how I abused my body for so long. But it is a wonderful dose of reality to see how far I have come and reminder that I must now and forever take excellent care of my body. And tonight my feelings of gratitude to Dr. Capella for his brilliant surgical skills are renewed. He is a very gifted person.

This is what I looked like before my tummy tuck

Wow, I had really let myself go. Now you can really appreciate what a remarkable transformation this has been for me!

To date, and mind you I am only 1-mos post upper and lower body lift (no TT), and inner thigh lift, and 7-mos post tummy tuck, I have lost 30lbs and more than 30in since this photo was taken in April 2013. I was probably a size 16 jeans at the time. I certainly know my 14s were tight on me. Now I am a size 6 jeans. I can even wear juniors. And I am still swollen!

And the way that Dr. Capella is sculpting my gobs of fat into a beautiful tight youthful body is remarkable. I knew that he would work wonders with my body. He is a very gifted surgeon and I am ever so happy to be in his care. Thank you, Dr. Capella!

This is me 3-mos after my tummy tuck

This is me 7-mos after my tummy tuck, 1-mos after u/l body lift, thigh lift

Before and after: Granny panties to thong

My granny panties from pre-tummy tuck with my post tummy-tuck thong layered on top...

The final results of my tummy tuck: Before and 6-mos post op

At the beginning of my plastic surgery journey, my body looked pretty bad. At that point in time I had let myself gain 13 pounds and it made a world of a difference. Not only physically, but also I stopped caring about myself. So I'd throw on whatever baggy clothes and forgo hair and makeup. Here were my stats pre op in April 2013:
Weight 198
Size 14 tight, barely fit, probably really a size 16
Bust 45" 38 DD
Waist 41"
Tummy 44"
Hips and FUPA 44"

6-mos post op my stats were:
Weight 177
Size 8
Bust 43" 38 D
Waist 32.5"
Tummy 38"
Hips/FUPA 40"

I lost 21 pounds, 6 of which were removed during surgery and the rest I lost because the abdominal muscle plication made it so I could not eat that much owing to the tightening and constriction it placed on my stomach/pouch.

I lost 20.5 inches: 2" from bust, 8.5" from waist, 6" from tummy, 4" from ships/FUPA

Never did I imagine in my wildest dreams that I would have such a dramatic transformation from a 2-hr surgery. It was the best $7k that I ever spent. If you are considering this procedure, especially after massive weight loss, I recommend that you run, don't walk, to Dr. Joseph F. Capella. A word to the wise: You are not buying a procedure. You are buying a surgeon! Most plastic surgeons would not be able to deliver the results he was able to give me.

This will likely be my last post on this thread. Because Dr. Capella did such an amazing job on my tummy tuck, I went back to him for an entire body lift when I ws 6-mos post tummy tuck. I have been writing extensively about that experience and you can learn all about it here:

Good luck to everyone and thanks to those who left so many wonderful comments! I wish you well on your journey.

I dreamed to have a body like Anna Nicole

I am taking a trip down memory lane tonight, reading my old blog posts about my plastic surgery. It began with a tumy tuck and ended with a total body transformation in 2013. It was an incredible journey.

I had been considering plastic surgery for a long time, since 2006 in fact. I finally had abdominoplasty - commonly known as a tummy tuck - and liposuction on April 18, 2013. It was exactly one month past my 49th birthday. I blogged extensively about my experience.

Back in 2006, I had dreamed of undergoing extensive reconstructive surgery following my massive weight loss. I envisioned a figure like Anna Nicole Smith and "googled" her measurements, thereby establishing 36DD-26-38 as my goal for the "new me. "

Jump forward to today and after my stage 2 plastic surgery I am very near those measurements: 36D-32-38.5 yes, I know the waist is far off. I would be happy to get to 30 and thrilled to get to 29 inches waist circumference. To that end, I am working out at the gym and looking to tighten my core and lose the intraabdominal fat. But I love love love my body as it is. Never did I expect to have a figure this wonderful after having been morbidly obese for most of my adult life.

My wish list of plastic surgery procedures to achieve this fantastic body included: a lower body lift, arm lift (brachioplasty), breast augmentation and lift (mastopexy), and an inner thigh lift (thighplasty). The surgeon also would fix my mons pubis (in common jargon called a camel toe or FUPA - fat upper "pubic" area). Additionally, I would get a facelift to resolve my "marionette lines" and double chin.

Everything on my wish list has been completed except the breast augmentation, which I plan to get in June of 2014. It is wonderful to make a dream come true and I am so glad that I finally did this.

If you click thru to my profile, you may read about the other surgeries I have had and see photographs of my results.

Dr. Capella truly did change my life

I just wanted to share a selfie that I snapped during my road trip to NJ. I want morbidly obese people to know what is possible for them. I once weighed 285 pounds and was on 10 prescription medications for obesity related diseases.

Now look at the person I have become. I eat very healthy - no processed foods, no grains (that includes corn), no red meat, no sugar sweetened beverages, no "diet" beverages or foods, no artificial sweeteners, no potatoes. I eat everything fresh, and organic as much as possible.

I workout. I love planks and squats and HIIT and lifting weights and sprints with my dog blue and BodyCombat class. I hate yoga and BodyJam class and cycling and Burpees and just about any cardio machine.

Today I am a size 4 and living larger than ever! Never could I have done this without my gastric bypass and body contouring. But they aren't the easy way out. It took dedication to change the behaviors that led me to be morbidly obese in the first place. I am grateful that I persisted in doing that. I am thankful that I had insurance coverage for my weight loss surgery. I am blessed to have had the money for body contouring. Most of all, I am so very happy to be the person I am today.

You Have Within You What It Takes to Succeed!

I received a lovely message from a WLS patient thanking me for inspiring her. She told me that she realize that she could do this and was not a complete failure.

We have the strength within us that it takes to succeed. We just have to find it. It took a long time for me to grow up and take on the challenge of my obesity. I have been free of obesity and my obesity related illnesses for more than a decade. The plastic surgery was the completion of erasing the sins of my past, getting rid of the telltale skin that was a constant reminder that I was a failure with regard to respecting my body for so long.

Not only did it shame me to look at my naked body in the mirror, but also it kept me from fully being present to living a life I love. I am so stinking happy nowadays. And I take such good care of my body, working out several times a week and eating super healthy. I know that I can fall back into old patterns of behavior so easily and ruin all the wonderful things I have achieved. I never want to backslide.

My Bariatric Life 1-yr Post Tummy Tuck, Dr. Capella, Ramsey NJ

My tummy tuck was what started my plastic surgery journey. I loved my results and plunged head on to get everything done. I know that if I waited that I would never do it. For goodness sake it took me years after my consult to have Dr. Capella actually perform my tummy tuck. I am so glad that I did "all of me."

Recently I did a photo shoot in NYC for my 50th birthday. I am 1-yr post tummy tuck and 5-mos post stage 2 body contouring with Dr. Joseph F. Capella in Ramsey, NJ, and 3-mos post facelift with Dr. Catherine Winslow in Carmel, IN. Plastic surgery truly did give me so much more than I expected.

I do not look or feel 50. I still cannot believe I did all this and how extremely I have changed physically and emotionally. I am so glad I found Dr. Capella and Dr. Winslow and so glad I followed through on my long held dreams. The journey was at times very difficult and at times very amazing. In the end it was worth it as the destination is unbelievably good.

Last year, I was a size 14 jeans before my tummy tuck and I was ashamed of my body. Before my stage 2 body contouring I was a size 8 jeans and still very timid about my body. I am now a size 2 jeans and I am not at all timid anymore.

Plastic surgery was extremely freeing for me. It awoke in me the daring and sensual and happy person that I used to be when I was young and thin. Being nude so many times, writing openly about my experience, and posting photos all over the Internet broke me free from what was holding me back from living life fully, from being my real self.

My life has changed in many ways that I never would have imagined from plastic surgery. It truly had a profound impact - physically, sexually, career-wise, psychologically, and emotionally. I am so freaking over the moon happy that I did this.

A Few More Pix...

I loved loved loved doing the photo shoot. When my transformation is complete I would like to do a nude shoot.

My Bariatric Life "before" and "after" plastic surgery - yes, this is really me!

Having gone through my transformation, I think that I now know how people feel having hit the lottery after decades of living in poverty. My results from body contouring plastic surgery with Dr. Joseph F. Capella and facial rejuvenation with Dr. Catherine Winslow are so good, that it is sometimes surreal. After a decade of not having achieved the body and face I wanted to achieve from weight loss surgery, there are times when I feel as if this is just a wonderful dream. And I might awaken from this wonderful dream, lying in my bed in my former puddle of flesh, and not caring much about how I looked.

Just a little more than a year ago, the "before" photo above was taken at Easter. Yes, hard to believe that the person in both images is one and the same. The "after" photo was taken this past March, just 5-mos after my stage 2 body contouring with Dr. Capella and 3-mos after my facial plastics with Dr. Winslow.

I now have the body that weight loss surgery could not give me. It has been decades since I looked this good. As of this writing, I have lost 50-inches and 40-pounds. I went from a size 14 jeans being tight to size 2 jeans in less than a year since my tummy tuck (my first plastic surgery). Never did I imagine that a simple tummy tuck would lead to this.

If it can happen to me, then it can happen to you. And it's a whole lot more possible than your chances of winning the lottery! It really can and does happen. Just checkout the ~thousand photos on Dr. Capella's website. As for Dr. Winslow, if you think her website gallery is impressive, just wait until you see the before and after photos in her practice.

I hit the lottery alright!

Oh the clothes you will wear! The things you will do!

I did an outdoor photo shoot this past week. Never did I imagine I'd bare my tummy at 50 yrs old. But I do! And I feel wonderful.

My Bariatric Life photo gallery

I am creating a photo gallery on Flickr of my before and after photos --
Before I became obese
After I became obese but before weight loss surgery
After weight loss surgery but before plastic surgery
After plastic surgery

It is a work in progress but lots of photos are up at this point. My wish is to inspire people to defeat obesity and live a life they love! I've attached a few photos from My Bariatric Life on Flickr and you may view my other reviews on RealSelf to see others.

You have within you what it takes to succeed!

Only in my widlest dreams could I have imagined life-changing results

My Bariatric Life transformation Joseph Capella MD, Catherine Winslow MD
Hi everyone - I just thought I'd share one last time to inspire you that dramatic change really is possible through plastic surgery after massive weight loss. I am about one-year out from my plastic surgeries (18-mos or so from TT). Please take a look my video to see the dramatic change in just one-year. In April 2013 I was a size 14 before my tummy tuck and afterwards I was a size 8. After my second stage body contouring in October 2013 I am down to a size 2. And I had facial plastic surgery in December 2013 to get rid of the sagging skin just as I had gotten rid of the sagging skin on my body. Massive weight gain and loss really did destroy my body. But my plastic surgeons, Joseph F. Capella MD (Capella Plastic Surgery) and Catherine Winslow MD (Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery), and Paleo diet and exercise gave me a beautiful face and body. Since my gastric bypass surgery in 2003, when I was a size 24W, I've lost 135 pounds and 11 pants sizes and look about 15 years younger! And those are just the physical changes. The emotional changes have been equally powerful and transformative.

If you are interested in the other procedures I had done, please visit my profile to access my detailed reviews on all of my procedures. It has been a labor of love to detail my experience here on RealSelf. My reviews have helped a great many patients to realize the possibilities, that they can take control of their health and their lives -- and yes, that dreams really do come true.

I hope that you will follow your dreams. Your life belongs to you and you are going to live it only once, not twice or more.

Dr. Capella is the top plastic surgeon for post-bariatric and massive weight loss patients. He is an innovator and pioneer in the field and has one of the largest experiences in the world having performed more than 10,000 body contouring procedures. He truly excels at sculpting beauty from gobs of fat – not only am I living proof of that but also check the many hundreds of patient photos on his website who are living proof, too! I promise you that if anyone can make your body look good, it is Dr. Capella. I went from a size 14/16 to a size 8 in only 3.5-mos after my tummy tuck! Then less than 6-weeks after my 2nd stage surgery upper/lower body lift and thigh lift, I was a size 4! And at 4.5-mos post op I was in size 2 jeans. You may read about my body lift experience here: It was a wild emotional roller coaster ride for me but when I had fears and concerns Dr. Capella was always gentle and calming and gave me all the time in the world, never once trying to hurry me through an exam or on a phone call. Dr. Capella has always made himself available to me, whether in the wee hours of the morning, or the weekend, and even on his lunch break. I have always felt safe in his care before, during, and after surgery. I could not go to any other plastic surgeon for my body contouring.

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
3 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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