Body By Wanzel: Time For The Arms - Toronto, ON

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I am almost two weeks out of my tummy tuck, muscle...

I am almost two weeks out of my tummy tuck, muscle repair, breast lift and augmentation surgery with Dr. Wanzel and am already looking forward to getting my arms done.

I have lost over 180 pounds over the last 23 months and my arms have always been the enemy. I desperately want to wear a t-shirt or tank top as an adult.

My stomach/torso really bounced back after the weight loss, my boobs were a lost cause, but my arms are phenomenally fascinating. The skin, the wrinkles, the armpit fat, the quadriboobs....simply incredible and in desperate need of help.

I am hoping to book my consult at my next follow up with Dr. Wanzel for the TT on October 18th. I would like to have surgery around March and I am hoping that is enough time for him in between the lift/implant surgery.

I will add pictures soon. :)


I updated my TT/BL pics today (13 days post op) and thought I should take my arm pics to share...

Booked my date!!

I saw Dr. Wanzel today, for follow up on my first surgery, and we also discussed the plan for my arms.

I won't have the standard elbow to armpit incision as I have a lot of excess skin in my armpit as well. So I will get what he called the "hockey stick" where it curves through the armpit.

He explained that the scar won't be a thin line, but rather a spread scar. I don't care, this excess skin hurts me physically (and probably emotionally), and I said several times I am not seeking perfection, I just want to feel better.

There is a bit of skin, I call it my third and fourth boob, that may not go away completely with this surgery. He said if I don't like the result in that area, he could just cut it out, resulting in a scar in that spot (covered by bra strap anyway) and probably with a local anesthesia. We will see what happens.

I did my paperwork and booked my date, March 12, 2014, almost six months after my last one. :)

I can't wait!!!

It's time....

I'm sitting in my beautiful suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It's day four of my husbands business trip. He works, I play. We do this yearly and it's a great escape from the brutal Canadian winter. It's good for my mental health to get warm sunshine too. And Vegas is delivering!!

My surgery is coming up, March 12. I have done no research about what I should buy or what I will need post-op. Hoping even though I don't post much, someone can help me out with suggestions.

I also wonder how long it is before you can drive again. After my last surgery I was cleared to drive after ten days. But I don't use my belly or boobs to drive. I do use my arms. :)


Brachioplasty in FIVE days!!!

My brachioplasty is on the 12th. I don't feel prepared, probably because aside from paying for the surgery (this one is all paid for already), I haven't been in touch with the surgeons office. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get some sort of compression garment. I wasn't told to like I was for the TT. Some people have said they will just use tensor bandages and that will do the trick. I have a bunch of random questions that pop in to my head though.

Like when will I be able to drive again? And do I need to wait ten days for a real shower if I don't have drains? In surgery, how do they monitor the BP? And where does the IV go? Please don't say the foot. Pleasedontsaythefoot. ;)

I am the first surgery at 7:30am. I need to be at the hospital at 6:00. In Toronto. An hour away. At least I can sleep during surgery. ;)

I'm looking forward to this one, for sure. That hasn't stopped the anxiety though.

All done!!

So, it seems as though I took my arms for granted. What a fun lesson.

It was a rough night with limited sleeping positions. Prescribed meds aren't as effective as simple old Motrin.

Dr. Amazeballs did great once again. Good news, I woke up much better from this surgery, but it was half the time of the last one. Also good, he didn't have to take the incision as far as initially thought. It goes from elbow, and into the armpit instead of from elbow, through the armpit.

I'm not vain but I would like to honestly admit that the vain part of me is glad to see my "quadriboobs" also appear to be gone. Those little pockets of fat between the arm and boob on the front.

Aside from that, I had this done for my comfort, not for looks. I'm proud of my choices and my scars. I won't hide them, there's a heck of a good story behind them.

Crazy pain and swelling

But only in the left side. I wonder why that is. IV in the left hand? More lipo on that side? I did have an extra pocket of fat there I wanted gone. Who knows.

I sent a whack of questions to the doctor on Thursday and didn't get a response. Now it's the weekend and I see the surgeon Monday anyway.

Still just taking ibuprofen for pain but my back went in to spasm a couple days ago too so I have taken cyclobenzaprine which makes me a zombie.

Going to the bathroom has been more difficult this time around too, I think because of my back spasms.

I'm feeling the blues too.

I have been getting sharp pinching pain in my armpits, funny tingling feelings that feel like bugs under my bandages, and my bandages are slipping, which naturally upsets the drama queen within me. Oy.

Five Days Post-Op, Unwrapped.

Everything is going well. No more bandages for me, no compression. I just have to be careful, but I can be normal. No weights for a long time. No problem. My back was in spasm during this visit and I think Dr. Wanzel thought my reactions were to seeing my arms. Not the case at all, I had to email Helen to tell her to tell him I love them so far!!!! Here are some pics....yes, I let my son play with an implant. :)

One week after...

7 days post-op, lots of bruising and swelling remains. When my arms are down, it feels like I have softballs in my armpits. I am able to do a little more with my arms now, but there is lots of pulling and tugging, especially in the armpit. I think I will be one of the 25% that has an armpit that won't close. I had my first real shower today, it went better than I expected. I am still sleeping all night in one position, on my back, legs and arms elevated. It only helps with the swelling a little. I'm a side sleeper, this is getting annoying too. Patience, Beth. Patience.

Two weeks post-op

My Steri-Strips are coming off and I'm starting to get wigged out because I can see the scar now. I am petrified of the armpit ones coming off the most. Open thanks. I'm ridiculous. I think everything looks okay so far. My left arm scar is more flat and my right is "ropey"....bulgy. I have pain and tightness down the inside of my forearms. Still sleeping on my back, on the foam wedge. My back is a mess. I want to sleep on my sides again. Seeing Dr. Wanzel tomorrow. Wonder if he's going to yank all the strips. Yikes!!

Saw Dr. Wanzel

He is pleased with how things are going so far. He removed the steri-strips and stitches and gave me the preparation just in case my armpits don't really like what is going on in them ("the body doesn't like corners") :)

I go back to see him in a month, but in the meantime I get to start the massage of the scars.

I am having crazy pain in my forearms still but for the most part my movement is good. No weights for at least six weeks, the longer the better. I told him I am petrified of these things opening so I will hold off. I also have pinching feelings in my armpit but they aren't constant. It all wigs me out. :)

I also asked about the extra skin in my armpits. Because it is "crepe-y" it has to stay. I'll deal with it. I trust him.

I am posting updated pics of my tummy and breasts on my other review. I can't believe that has been six months already!

Pics are good

When you're feeling a little critical of what you're seeing in the mirror, questioning just how much was done, a little perspective snaps you back in to reality and makes you thankful. My surgeon is brilliant!!

Four weeks post op

Late update, this is last week, four weeks post.

"Four weeks post op. Uncontrollable swelling, and new, non-stop pain all along the scar. Excruciating forearm pain also continues. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Sorry the first pic is blurry."

Five weeks, late again

No change in pain or swelling, visible bruising again....huh?

Uh oh

Figures I have no issues until I see Dr. Wanzel on Monday and he says "see you in four months"

Left armpit, right at the end of my scar, I have a huge, hard, painful lump. I know about the pimple like bumps that resolve themselves, but I never had one this big or painful with the other surgeries. And this is less like a pimple and more like a boil. A big boil. As in it probably has it's own digestive and circulatory system. I think it waved at me.

I've attached pics so you all can laugh at the drama queen within me. Maybe this just seems huge to me because it looks like it's breathing, when in reality (which I am rarely in touch with) it's just a teeny nuisance.

13 weeks post op

Thirteen weeks post op. Overdue update on the arms, requested by many. Sorry. :(

The epic swelling remains in the left arm, which I believe was done by the student doctor. I also have new swelling in both armpits. You can see it in the pictures. Also on the left arm, down near the elbow I continue to have problems with, I think, a stitch. Very sore spot.

No more forearm pain, that went away in both arms a couple of weeks ago, so about ten weeks post op. I do still have pain on touch in both upper arms and along the scar line especially. I also have new pins and needles type pain all along the scar line. It's random and grabs my attention when it happens.

I am still frequently checking for openings, ripping, blood, because the pain I feel sometimes make me think something grody is going on.

I am training (cardio) like crazy for this marathon in November. Also lifting every other day, we are gradually increasing weight as my pain levels allow.

Even with all the fear and discomfort, I'd do this one over and over again if I have to. I just wish my armpit skin wasn't so crepe-like and he could have removed more in that area.

PS: that mother in my armpit started draining and settled down on it's own. It was vile. Lol.


Thursday marked one year since having the skin on my arms removed. I made a point of not comparing my arms to how they were for the last year, because I needed to see a distinct difference, and boy, did I!

Recovery went well. I still have some things that irritate me, but I don't complain. I still get tingles from armpit to fingertips on occasion, always when I put on deodorant. And my fingers don't handle the cold so well anymore. I don't in general actually, so I just wonder if that's because I have less padding on my body. I have some swelling in my left arm, but not in my right. The scar fade is better in the right, but not in the left, and I can raise my left arm higher up my back than I can my right.

I am in the maintenance mode of my lifestyle change now. Not looking to lose too much more weight. I currently weigh about 145, putting total weight loss at 206 pounds. I am 5'8 and large boned.

Life is good, I have some interesting projects in the works....things way out of my comfort zone. But I'm finally living life. Almost 40, and I'm finally alive! I'm so thankful for having the strength to do this, the family who supported me, and the fortune of finding Dr. Wanzel.
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Wanzel is an amazing and talented surgeon. He takes pride in his work and does not make promises he isn't sure he can keep. I think it works well that I don't seek perfection (though his work is pretty perfect) and he doesn't want his patients to look unnatural. He explains everything thoroughly, right down to the little things that can be expected. I am so happy I chose him to do my surgeries. Helen is also wonderful. She is very friendly and helpful with returning phone calls and emails.

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