Been discussing Abdominoplasty, arm lift for...
Been discussing Abdominoplasty, arm lift for several months when a friend suggests I look at this site for people who had major procedures post weight loss. The reviews have been very helpful, and I hope my review will others too.
I've had weight problems off and on for years, finding myself on 3 occasions needing to lose 100 pounds or more. Most recently 4 years ago I lost 90 pounds, and was pretty stable for nearly three years, and regained about half of it in a very short time period as a result of coping with several major stressors. It's back under control, and I'm ready to do something about all this baggy skin and fat deposits and lack of fat these major body changes have left.
I have virtually no waist line, basically am bigger at boobs- partly because of back boobs and underarm skin and fat. Waist is large due to skin rolls. And hips have saggy skin but no butt left!
I've gat bat wings and creepy and crepey arm skin and some la. Thigh skin as well. Boobs are somewhat saggy, and would benefit by going to a higher latitude.
There's much work to do here, and likely will take two long procedures to get everything in order.
I've seen three plastic surgeons, Dr Agha, Dr Fisher, and Dr Shifrin. Honestly, I think any of the three is confident in handling my case. There were similar, but not identical recommendations. All three have excellent training and experience. I eliminated Dr Agha primarily because of the timing and the much higher price point. Dr Shifrin is a very good listener and his staff are great, but while he does post-weight loss cases, it is not a major focus for him. I finally decided on Dr Fisher, as I was impressed with his experience level with cases like mine. About 80% of his cases are post -MWL cases, and his website shares a good number of cases showing some of these. His plan of attack on these various regions wax made with my most troublesome, annoying features in mind. He's been easy to communicate with, and his staff have been helpful and communicative.
Surgery date set for November 8!
Pre-op Pics: back boobs, bat wings and oceanic ripples on the belly
Oh, look! A lava flow! On the back- a pleated drapery! I really am not sure why I can't fly with those bat wings!!
Like packing for a camping trip...
Now 5 weeks from my mark-up appointment! Been collecting supplies for post -op while I'm in San Antonio. Based upon my read of others reviews and Dr Fisher's instructions I've got this list:
FOR THE HOUSE:
Toilet seat riser
Several different poop fairy products, colace, bisacodyl, miralax, and magnesium citrate.
Gauze and tape
Pair of long tongs (for grabbing nearby items, and scratching itchy spots)
Protein shakes and blender
Back up batteries for phone and iPad.
Marena 3/4 sleeve and Capri length body suit (this should be interesting...)
Long waisted vest with 3/4 sleeves- thinking I might buy short waisted one as well
And a pair of Capri high waist pants with suspenders
FOR THE HOSPITAL:
MIO water flavors
Zip front no-wire bra
Zip front shirts and hoodie
Pull- on pants
get all medicine refills in
Any other ideas?
So I find as the date gets closer (4 weeks away now) that I get more and more self conscious of the bat wings and back boobs. It's like when you buy a car, all you see is that car... I find myself looking at every lump, bump, sag and bag with great scrutiny!
I was digging through my clothes finding stuff to take that are shapeless and non-Binding to go over massively compressing bodywear. Irony! Holy moly, my husband was laughing his ass off watching me put this contraption on. I feel sorry for the women of a certain age that actually wore girdles like every single day. One thing for sure I am discouraged from wavering from my tight nutrition a millimeter- I can't imagine those things fitting any tighter! I'm hoping I've bought the right sizes since I'm trying to balance the expected swelling with the whacking off of large amounts of skin.
I'm also obsessed with the poop fairy. I have enough issue with that, little terrified what the pain meds will do. I'll be dumping Miralax in every water bottle I drink...
Not working out for 1, 2 or maybe even 3 months terrifies me in a few different ways. Exercise doesn't replace good nutrition but it keeps me on track with my nutrition. It keeps my arthritis and back problems under good control. And it's a huge stress relief for me. I'm a hyper person who constantly has to do, do, do. Trying to figure out how to rest for days and not go bat shit crazy. Looking for lots of good books, some handcraft projects, who knows, maybe I'll even get Christmas cards out this year!
21 days To go and I'm already packed!
Yep, got several boxes of supplies and garments and a toilet seat and protein shakes, water bottle, lip balm, and baggy front zip shirts and yoga pants. The house we are renting is super close to a drug store and WalMart so will be easy to pick up anything I've forgotten. Right now the living room looks like I'm preparing for a trek to Mt Everest with so many boxes of stuff and little bags for hospital, bedside, lift chair, car, toilet...
The hilarious part is is I'm NEVER this organized or pre-plan so much. I'm surprised I haven't packed ice packs- LOL. I think this is my way of handling the fact I won't be able to go to the store,I'm making sure I've got everything I could possibly want. My way of trying to remain as independent as possible I think!
I'm mentally prepared for the possibility things won't go smoothly, but doing everything possible that I can do to avoid it. In a month I'm sure at least 80% of this prep will feel ridiculous! In the meantime it's also getting me to clean up a lot of clutter in the house since that won't be happening for a good long time! Side benefit to this surgery...
This community so inspiring! And... I'm impatiently waiting for the big day
Just want to send a big shout out to the members of this community, it's so amazing that many here generously share their story and struggles. It's incredibly helpful to have your advice and input. I'm 14 days away from the big day. Knowing how helpful it's been for me I'll be sure to document my progress and my experiences through recovery.
A few more before pics
Decided I should rake a few more befores. If Dr Fisher can fix this he really is a magician, wizard, savant.10 days to go! To give you a perspective, I'm actually 5'11", 168, and wearing size 8 pants and size 12 tops due to the side boobs/back boobs etc. I run, lift, kick box, do barre, and eat healthy. Just too much skin stretched out over the years from massive weight fluctuations. Now that I've been pretty stable for several years time to hack off these skin appendages!
3. More. Days!
In the car on the way to San Antonio- planning on a great dinner tonight as its liquids only tomorrow and clear liquids on Mark-up Monday. Got the car fully loaded with all kinds of supplies for post-op and to make the 2 weeks of doing very little more tolerable.
I know the time will come when I'll be able to wear underwear that look feminine instead of giant granny panties that cover my crazy stretched out mons-zilla. Certain that I will be able to stop designing a bra that has cups in front AND back for the breasts and back boobs. "Pardon me, you have your bra on backward". "No, that's the backbra" . And wearing a form fitting dress without the lava texture skin adding another dimension to the fabric. Soon...
All that said I realize one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. And I believe I've find the best tailor possible for my set of problem areas (AKA EVERYTHING BUT MY ANKLES). Just reducing the redundant skin I know will be very helpful in improving the way clothes hang and fit, and improve my happiness level with my body (and actually I'm not morbidly depressed or particularly self-conscious about all this). I think what my hope is that my appearance better reflects the body that's there under the crazy skin sack.
I was putting a bunch of pre- weight loss pictures together and progress pics. I mean , ya, I can see a change from 50 pounds ago, 90 pounds ago. And ya my clothing is a totally different wardrobe. But if I look at the pictures all side by side what I see is various states of inflation and deflation of redundant skin, and no loss of skin rolls. Pretty obvious the surgery is necessary !
I'll post again Mark-up Monday- I'm excited to see those marks and how much real estate will be sold to the highest bidder.
Thank you for reading and all your comments and messages and input thus far. I'm very grateful to have so many of you encouraging me and keeping me optimistic!
Wow what a great day. I'm so very glad Dr Fisher will be doing my surgery in the morning. Pre-op today was awesome, just awesome. He is so patient, knowledgeable, reassuring, and approachable.
Got my markings, ready to do this!
Things to do to prep: I really felt prepared for tomorrow, but in retrospect a couple things that have been a little stressful, minor annoyances:
Not having my electronic devices and chargers packed till early tomorrow AM. Necessary evil.
A sense of lack of control or independence if I've forgotten something. Duh. I tell husband I need something, he goes to store. I'm a fiercely independent person so it is fucking with me.
Working up to the last minute. Unavoidable and maybe helpful distraction, but nonetheless stressful.
Dr Fisher has his patients do clear liquids day before surgery to make it a little easier during the procedures. The moment when you want to ease your anxiety with junk food not an option. Very minor complaint- ????????????
Pre-op feeling is mostly excited, a deep sense of gratitude for the many people who supported me through my weight loss efforts, and my family for their loving patience. My dear husband is sooo very anxious, he's been a wreck all day.
Will hope to post Wednesday, surgery will be 8-10 hours tomorrow so will check in Wednesday!
130 AM wide awake!
Hi all, up at 1 am, feeling pretty decent. I am glad he has you in the hospital 2 night, as I don't foresee hopping right of bed an option.
Dr fisher seemed pleased when he talked to my husband last night, and though I'm still rapped like a mummy and swollen I can see the bat wings are gone
Pain is occasional and moderate at worse.
Got a brief peek at areas. Bat
Bat wings look gone, and belly flat!
Few after pics and ... post op comments
Here are a few post op pics. Dr was able to avoid a full circumference on LBL which has been awesome. You can see major reconstruction of underarm area, and belly flattening out. Very pleased with results even this early in the game.
My surgery lasted about 8.5 hours, in recovery for 2.5 hours. First night I was basically just spaced out on pain meds. Thank you and hallelujah for Foley Cath.
Day 2- up in chair for 3 hours, on PCA morphine. Mostly sleeping. Clear liquids only, the pain Med pump is awesome. Yes, a lot of swelling!
Day 3- foley cath out, success - I peed! Advanced to full liquids, oral pain meds. Make sure to time your last dose of pain Med in the hospital around your discharge so you are medicated for the ride. Though the ride wasn't bad it is a challenge getting out of the car and into your chair or bed. Lift chair- I highly recommend renting this! Toilet seat riser also recommended. Other things I'd recommend- walk as often as you can stand it to keep fluids moving. Stay up on pain meds - don't try to tough it out on day 3 when the anesthesia is wearing and you feel helpless and feel like an idiot for deciding to do this. First and only time I've questioned my decision to get these procedures done.
Day 4- long day of short walks, sat outside for awhile, ate some cottage cheese, fruit protein shake and tons of fluid. Time interval between pain become longer and longer! No poop but lots of noise from down under.
Day 5- last pain pill at 9 last night. Took Tylenol this morning but no significant pain. Eating a little more - cottage cheese early this morning, and lots of fluids. Got a shower in and washed my hair- yayyyy!
So far so good. Attached are a few post op pics with preops for comparison.
Another good day!
Today I have not needed pain medication which in turn just makes everything else easier. I definitely recommend taking the medication erring on the side of more than less as it can seriously make you a little crazy to look like Frankenstein AND be miserable. But today was smooth. Walking better, step length and gait just overall much better.
I took two short walks today, like 5-6 minutes each outside, felt good afterward.
I was able To sleep in the bed last night-really I had no choice as my tail is soooo tired of the chair.
Swelling - I still feel very tight though I think some of that sensation is numbness of nerve endings cut in the incisions that are numb. You know that feeling? I wore my compression top and bottom off and on for 3 hours today and feel like it definitely is helpful in reducing that tight sensation. Still just too swollen to tolerate it much more for now, hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to wear it for the long drive home!
Actually the feeing I have of tightness and fullness are a more extreme example of how my body felt when my eating was out of control and felt miserably bloated. So if you had that prior experience you may recall it. It certainly reinforces my wish to not gain any weight while unable to exercise.
Speaking of exercise- if you have some chrominance pain issues you deal with through an exercise regimen this surgery may not be for you. I've got quite a few issues that exercising with tenacity and already feel some of the aches and pains advising me they are there. Think about that part carefully dear friends.
First appointment post op tomorrow. Drains have pretty much stopped draining so maybe I'll get some good news tomorrow on that...
Compression garment woes
So yesterday the two drains came out and was introduced to the Machiavellian device known as the compression garment. I bought several different ones being unsure which would wind up working post op. Ummm pretty much none. Within 10 minutes I had to remove lower garment, the Capri pants with suspenders, because of sharp pains. I lived with the upper piece, a sleeved long waisted corset for about 2 hours. I switched to a one piece body suit, one that has soft, noncompression material over the breasts. It's tolerable. Hoping to build my tolerance the next few days, and perhaps swelling goes down it will be less uncomfortable. Wearing a thin cotton shirt sleeve tshirt under it does lessen the discomfort.
Aside from going to the post op visit also went to target, while still wearing wayyyy too tight garment. Not fun. Going to make another stab at getting out, get hair washed and make a trip to the store.
Have a second post-op visit on Friday, then should be headed home!
Long day yesterday, and a tiny victory
So I'm sure I overdid it yesterday, and felt miserable all evening. I went to salon and had hair washed and styled, and then had neck and shoulder massage. That would have been a good time to go back to the house. But we went from there to the mall to get a couple things, and have lunch. By the time I got to the car I was a miserable bloated mess.
Learnings: when your body says stop, STOP. Be mentally prepared to plan flexibly. Buy a larger compression garment.
Tiny victory- in ordering the garment I rechecked measurements. Even with swelling my waistline is down 3" and 4" down around bust line. Excited!
Flat tummy is happening!
I got released by Dr Fisher yesterday this morning so we made the long drive home. It was surprisingly easy, the transition to the compression suit has gotten easier. Couple quick pics- stomach is getting very flat!
We got home Wednesday night, and gradually got everything unpacked and put up. Starting to get a reasonably organized way to assemble the compression outfit. I find it much more comfortable to wear it with both a snug fitting thin undershirt and underwear. The particular one I have has a non-compression breast area, do also
Need to wear a soft bra to wear as well.
Energy level improving , walked over 2 miles today. Some swelling tonight just above lower abdominal Incision. Here are a few pics taken yesterday AM, progress!
What recovery is like
Wow. Well the first thing is in no way was I prepared to have the body I have now. I've never had this body. I kinda feel like my head is attached to a foreign body. I have shared a few pics with a few close friends and they. Are. Shocked. I'm shocked. If you are reading this Nd wonder if you nreLly need/deserve/n do this, DO THIS. I cannot express in words what it is like to see a picture of my back without skin rolls, back boobs, side boobs. This weekend I made THE trip to Victoria's Secret. Girlfriends, I am ecstatic. I can actually both a) buy a bra here, but b) it fits amazingly well, and c) the underwear fit.
The dark side of recovery: I am typically a no stop till you drop person. Ummmm no. Now, granted , it's only 19 days since surgery, so really not bad. I'm driving, shopping, working, walking a few miles a day, doing holiday stuff. But. I am not the unstoppable person yet. Obviously thT will come back.
Not working out and eating healthy; well, honestly, wearing the sausage casing all the time does really prevent me from wanting to eat much. I can't imagine eating a big meal in this damn thing. Waves of nausea overcome me thinking about it....
the sausage suit- it and I have a detente. I've agreed to allow it to make me feel conscious of every inch of my skin as long as it continues to compress my scars for optimal healing. Thus far we concur. Although a suspect a coup is in the works.
Sleep: what is this sleep you speak of... I take ambien, and have since menopause a few years ago. The last two weeks of sleep primarily on my back has been not so conducive to my usual 7 hours of drug induced slumber.more like 5. I suppose this is a combination of still working out the perioperative medications, the lack of exercise, the minor aches and pains associated with the incisions, and the lack of sex.
Sex: I've not been advised about this particular topic, but having been warned sternly by a different surgeon than mine I've abstained. My spouse is not thrilled about this, but thus far is patient. Well, not quite accurate. He's kindly co-abstaining.
So. I think I've covered the complications. If you are contemplating having major body overhaul, do it. BUT- eT great nutrition at least 3 months before surgery. Get your whole body in good shape before surgery. Do your research. By that I mean, talk to a lot of people. Ask a lot of questions. Ask yourself a lot of questions. Like, when do I have a period of time I will be able to do jack shit? MKe sure you have the finances not just for the surgery but also for the post op stuff, like compression garments, new clothes, nursing assistance and other things you may not expect.
Ok, enough for now peeps. Hope your evening finds you well, happy and healthy!