This next surgery will be for a tummy tuck and breast lift and possibly some more excision of my cholesterol deposits. They could not all be done in one procedure for wound healing reasons. The surgeon was going to do them separately about 12 weeks after my facial surgery. The Mommy Makeover surgery is 11 weeks and 2 days after that surgery so he may do some of the cholesterol deposits at that time. We'll talk more about that during the pre-op.
Right now, I am just 3 1/2 weeks post-op from the facial surgery so it is sort of hard to even think about doing anything else. But, I wanted to get the rest done as soon as safely possible so I could get finished with it all.
I had one biological child when I was 40 and I spent a lot of my adulthood overweight. During my mid-30s I lost from 168 pounds (my high until then had been about 180 pounds when I was in my mid-20s) down to my goal weight of 125 pounds at Weight Watchers (actually my low weight was 119 pounds). I couldn't sustain that weight loss. When I weighed about 148 pounds I got married (in my late 30s) and gained a few pounds as I tried to keep up with my husband in eating. When I became pregnant at 39 I was at 163 pounds. Flash forward 9 months and I was now 40 and had a son and weighed 180 pounds, equal to my highest adult weight. For the next 15 years or so, I went up and down on my weight. My lowest was about 155 pounds. And, eventually, I hit my high weight of 207.4 pounds. I finally realized I couldn't blame it on baby weight any longer (my son was a teenager). I went back to WW and started losing weight again. I had some ups and downs but in July of 2015 got to my goal weight of 146 pounds (the top of the normal BMI range for someone my height).
That was great, but my body wasn't. My husband went to WW with me and he lost over 75 pounds and his skin went right back into place. Me? Not so much. I'm posting some photos to show just how bad it is. I did exercise and spent the last year working with a personal trainer. Nothing helped in terms of the abdomen. So, I started thinking about a tummy tuck. I was also discouraged about my face. I had a real turkey neck and horrible loose skin around my eyes. So, I started thinking about doing something about that and having a tummy tuck.
I started reading read and following stories and finally found two surgeons that I wanted to consult with. Both of them were able to do both the facial surgery and the tummy tuck. I was open, however, to splitting my surgery between them as I would pick the one that I felt was best for each set of procedures.
Just as I got close to scheduling consultations, I started thinking about my breasts. They sag a lot. I mean a lot. I am not posting bare pictures of my breasts since I have a facial review on here, but I am posting pics in a shirt (where I am braless) that will give the idea. When I was overweight I was a DD at my heaviest. At my thinnest, I was a C. Most of my adult life (overweight), I was a D.
I am not someone who ever wanted larger breasts. I was one of those people who envied people who could wear those pretty bras rather than have to wear the ugliest monstrosities that were so uncomfortable. So, when I was home I was usually braless (which didn't help the sagging I'm sure). And, as I lost weight the breasts just seemed to deflate. Sort of like a pair of tube socks stuck to my chest that I all but rolled up into my bra. So, I started thinking about a breast lift. It added quite a bit to the cost and I was uncertain about it. My husband later told me that he thought I would be unhappy if I didn't do the breast lift. Every time I looked in the mirror, I would be happy I did the tummy tuck and would wish I had done the breast lift.
When I went to my consultations, I liked both surgeons. They gave similar recommendations particularly with regard to the tummy tuck and breast lift. They both wanted to do a breast lift with anchor incision and no implant. I was told I would lose half a cup size or so. I should end up as a smallish C. They both agreed that as bad as my abdomen looked it was mostly loose skin. I will have muscle repair and some lipo done.
I decided to do the facial surgery first. There were two reasons for this. First, I thought the recovery from it would be easier than from the Mommy Makeover and I would be ready sooner to have another surgery. (In retrospect, I am not sure really that the recovery is easier. I think it may be different...but I'm not sure it is easier). Second, my facial surgery had things that had to be done in stages. The excision of cholesterol deposits could not all be done at the same time as the facial surgery (both surgeons agreed) and work would need to be done 3 months later so that was another reason to go first with the facial stuff. Also, my ears will need to be pierced again and that would take at least 3 months to wait.
I ended up choosing Dr. Andrew Lyos for my facial surgery because I felt he was a bit more thorough in his consultation and I liked his overall plan a bit better. Honestly, for the Mommy Makeover part both surgeons were very similar in what they said and when I picked Dr. Lyos for the facial surgery I wasn't sure which surgeon would pick for the Mommy Makeover.
I felt both surgeons could do a good job for that. The surgical fees for both surgeons was almost identical. Both surgeons would have me stay overnight after the surgery at a hospital. However, the total cost using Dr. Lyos was more expensive because the facility/anesthesia fee was much more expensive.
So, on the one hand, I could save quite a bit by using the other surgeon for the Mommy Makeover and I had liked him and thought he could do a good job. But, by this week I was 3 weeks post op from my facial surgery with Dr. Lyos. So I knew what he could do, knew his staff, knew how he handled stuff post-op. While I am still early in my recover and I guess things could change, as of right now, I'm very happy with the results. So, I felt that I had more confidence in him just based upon my experience to this point and decided I wouldn't let the difference in cost be the deciding factor.
So, this week I went ahead and scheduled for July 27. In a way, even thinking about another surgery right now is hard. I am still sleeping in a recliner from the facial surgery (and I find that hard to do -- I have to take medication in order to be able to do it). I just this week was cleared to do walking on the treadmill. I still tire easily. It is just this week that I am really spending most of my time thinking about things other than surgery. I am just now starting to go out and about except to the doctor's. I don't have all my energy back. But, I am feeling so much better this week and feel that I am past the worst of the healing in terms of how I heal (I still have a lot of swelling that has to go away. Just talking about how I feel).
But, when I went to schedule this surgery I scheduled it about 8 weeks away and I feel sure I will be back to normal by then. And, having gone through surgery, I have a powerful desire to get this over with and go through the recovery and get past it. I also want to get back to doing more intense exercising. I can't really do that for about 12 weeks after the facial surgery so that was another reason to go ahead and schedule this surgery at that time since I know that will also require me to stop exercising for weeks. I expect this recovery to be a more painful recovery (yes, I am spending the $300 for Exparel), but in some ways it will be easier. I had extreme eye swelling with my facial surgery (largely due to the browlift + quad bleph) and for the first several days I basically couldn't see hardly anything and it was a week or so before my reading glasses would work. That was very challenging. I basically spent all my time either laying in a recliner icing my eyes or sleeping. I couldn't do anything else.
Anyway, so I wanted to pick a time that was far enough away to be safe to do but where I could get this done and start my recovery. If I waited until I had all my energy back before scheduling then it would have been the fall before I could schedule this and I didn't want to wait that long when it wasn't necessary to do that.
I am really looking forward to this. I looked forward to the facial surgery because I hated how I looked in the mirror or any pictures. I felt my face in some ways looked worse after I lost weight because I had more loose skin. And, the facial surgery has taken care of that. But, now, I feel like my body looks fat even though I am a normal weight. As of this morning, I weigh 145.1 pounds. It is hard to find clothes that fit properly. Finding pants to wear is hard. If I wear a size 10, I have a muffin top. I keep seeing people of my height ( 5'4") and weight who wear smaller sizes than me and I can't even wear a 10. But, if I wear a size 12 then it is too big everywhere else. As for tops, they are mostly designed for people whose breasts are in the right place. It is frustrating to feel that my clothes never feel right. And, even though I am normal weight, my stomach still looks fat. After my son was born, I felt like I kept looking pregnant even during the times that I got down to a normal weight. Oh, FWIW, if I lay down on my back everything is fat so I don't think much of this is visceral fat.
Anyway, I'll post between now and the pre-op about what I am doing to prepare and will report on the pre-op on July 14.