I'm currently recovering from an extended Arm Lift...
I'm currently recovering from an extended Arm Lift (1/17/14) and thought that I would plan a breast lift next. However, the skin tightening under the arms has pulled my chest up a little and I think I would prefer to wait on the lift until my upper body is fully healed.
My PS will not combine procedures and I doubt that I can handle too much pain/risk of complications since I'm in my mid fifties and don't recover as well as I used to. I lost 150 pounds a few years ago, had a TT and then went on to lose another 35 pounds. My weight has been stable for a long time but I only recently have the time to devote to recovering from a series of procedures.
I need to have a Thigh Lift and will eventually have the TT revised to a full body lift to pull up the outside of my hips, but removing the excess from my inner thighs (just like removing the excess from my upper arms) is a priority.
By scheduling in early April, I'll have my daughter home from school for a week to help me and I should be past the worst first weeks before the weather improves and my garden needs me.
Adding a photo to show how bad it is. I'm 5'6, 134lbs and wear 2's and 4's but it involves a lot of compression to make these thighs look slim.
This will be the test
I bought this garment:
Because it was so inexpensive and it looks like I will need it after the Thigh lift and again after I revise my TT into a Body lift (probably in October).
The garment came quickly and even though I'm close to a small by measurements, the medium will not go on because all my extra thigh skin pushes up into my hip/crotch.
I'm not worried though, I bet it will fit once I'm a few weeks post op.
To see what your thighs could look like without the sagging skin, lie down with your feet in the air, take a photo and then rotate the image to put your feet on the ground.
I will be pleased with anything close to this.
6 weeks to go
My preop appointments will be on 3/28 and 4/2/14 for medical clearance followed by mark up with my PS on the day before surgery.
I've gotten my compression garments and a few pairs cheap knit pants to wear during recovery, but I don't think I need anything else right now. I'm healing nicely from last month's arm lift, finally back to the gym this week.
Preop at hospital tomorrow
I will have preop clearance at the hospital tomorrow and see my PCP next week. I am now ten weeks post op on my arm lift and very pleased with those results and impressed at my body's ability to heal.
My weight is holding at 134, I'm wearing xs and size 2 jeans with a little wiggle room but the hanging skin is horrid. I cannot wait to get this behind me.
I have decided that my next procedure will be the body lift to pull up what this operation won't cover and then probably a BL and neck lift at the end of the year.
One week to go
I'm all clear for next Fridays surgery, my PCP said my labs looked even better than they did in January when I had my Arm Lift.
I've ordered a second CG - this one without the zippers and in black so I will have one to wash and one to wear. The upcoming week will include a lot of house cleaning, grocery shopping, protein, sleep and anything that will distract me from the waiting. I'm a little apprehensive about the first few post op days, but I have faith in my PS and my body's ability to mend. I will update once I'm "lifted".
Bust after extended Arm lift : 35, 32 at bra band
Waist : 27.5
Thighs at fullest: 21
I'm hoping the thighs lose an inch when everything heals.
All marked up
Saw my PS today for mark up. He is not sure if he will be able to take this much skin, but as long as the wrinkles improve, I'll be better.
I did find out that I will have drains for at least the first week, I'm ok with that since it will help with the fluid build up.
I will try to update once I'm home tomorrow evening.
Day of surgery
11 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
I've been home for about four hours. The surgery went well, it's always reassuring to hear that the hospital staff endorse your surgeon and a few of them are patients.
The surgery took about 3 hours, I'm cut from groin to knee although the cut in the groin is not as extensive as some I've seen in other reviews.
I have a drain in each crease and they will stay until follow up on the 17th. I'm wrapped from ankle to thigh but will be able to wear a CG after the drains are out.
The swelling is pretty bad right now but I was on my feet more than I should have been after coming home and I just had to reward myself because things were slipping.
The incisions look good and are closed with absorbable staples, absorbable sutures and glue.
The PS said he removed just over a pound of skin from each side, my initial impression before the swelling was that they looked very smooth.
Pain wise, I'm planning on staying on top of the Norcos every four hours for tonight and then see how I'm doing. I need the sleep.
I'm also drinking a lot of water, that should help.
This really hurts sometimes, but I'm moving around better and the swelling is also better. I have had to rewrap the bandages a few times because they want to slip down my thighs. My incisions are not oozing and the drain out put is evening out.
I've been drinking a lot of water, walking a little every hour and have stretched out the pain meds to every 6-7 hours.
I was able to get outside for a few minutes this afternoon but that made me dizzy so it's mostly the couch for me. I am sleeping well with pillows under my knees.
I'm vowing not to weigh myself for the first week because everything looks swollen from the IV fluids. My appetite is not so good but I'm eating a little when I need to take a pill.
Although I can't shower with the drains, I plan to wash my hair in the morning. I think that will improve my outlook a bunch.
Day 3 PO
I am doing so much better! I am totally off the pain meds, the swelling is going down and the only discomfort is when I move from standing to sitting or vice versa.
The drain output is slowing so I'm hopeful that they will come out on Thursday and I will be able to wear clothing more comfortably.
The biggest issue is keeping the ace bandages in place as they want to slide down. I have already thrown out some of the gauze pads because they wouldn't stay put (my PS did not use adhesives or steri strips because I am now sensitive to them) and I need to rewrap every few hours.
My incisions look good - they are sealed with glue and only hurt a little at the groin crease. I'm looking forward to switching to the CG and being able to move around more.
These photos were taken yesterday morning and still show a lot of swelling, especially near the knees, but that has already improved. I will update the photos in a few days.
First post op visit
I saw my PS today and have been freed from the drains and those ACE bandages. I'm in a CG that covers from waist to calves but it's not that bad.
My drain sites were getting a little funky yesterday so I have to keep an eye on them and swap with peroxide every few hours, but I think they will be fine.
The incisions look good, there is a bit of bruising near the knees and most of the swelling is on the inner knees. The outer sides of my thighs look so much better than I thought they ever could, when is it, I no longer have a pool of empty skin next to me.
I will take photos in the morning, I'm too tired now for that. I will see my PS again in a few weeks and will talk about the next step.
One week out
Very swollen but no pain or restriction to moving or sitting. I think I was on my feet too much yesterday and I did have a few trips up and down stairs.
I am very pleased with the progress, this recovery seems easier than my recent arm lift and I was told it would be worse.
The incisions still have a lot of glue covering them, hence the dark lines.
3 1/2 weeks post op
I'm healing well. I have very little discomfort and no issues except swelling that is mostly concentrated at the inside of my knees.
My PS said that a little heat on these areas will help and it has been much better after a few days of using moist heat 3 times a day.
My thighs are so much better than they were. The sagging skin is gone except for a little above the knees and that skin could probably be revised at some later date, however I'm very pleased.
My thighs are now about 20" around at the fullest and I think they may be a tiny bit smaller once the swelling fully resolves.
I have been back at the gym for a few days and it's nice to have less jiggle when I run ands it great to be able to work on firming the muscle back up. I do take it slow, but I'm not worried about the incisions, they are flattening and show no sign of separation.
I had thought that I would want a posterior lift eventually, but it may not be worth it to get just a little bit of the back of my thighs pulled up.
I have hesitated to update until I had a happy ending
29 Jul 2014
3 months post
At about 5 weeks PO, I developed a horrible infection in the lower portion of my left thigh incision. This section swelled up, became red and hot and finally burst open.
My PS managed the infection well, I was on antibiotics for weeks and in the office every few days until the infection settled down. Because this type of infection (along an incision) causes a tunneling wound, there was extensive drainage.
The leg is now nearly closed, but the right leg still has a lump of collected fluid at the base of that incision that will either absorb on it's own or require surgical removal. It is not painful, but it leaves me with uneven knees for now.
I was warned by my PS that thighs are tricky and often have complications, especially after such major weight loss and after age 50. I also have bad veins in my legs so the circulation is not the best. However, I am still very happy with the surgery as a whole and having less draping skin on my thighs.
I had a revision to my years ago TT a few weeks ago and have had no healing issues. In a few months, I will have the outer thighs lifted when my PS completes my body lift. At that point, we may revise the thigh incisions.
I was hesitant to update while this was going on because I was disappointed but did not want to warn off anyone who might be considering this surgery. My other procedures have gone so well that I feel this was a blip and not anything that could not be handled, although when I was changing bandages 4 times a day, I was really down.
I'm adding a photo of the current state of the wound opening, I will add photos of my thighs soon.