62 Years Old, Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck/Breast Lift After 65 Pound Weight Loss, Woodlands, TX

Since I have now scheduled my Tummy Tuck and...

Since I have now scheduled my Tummy Tuck and Breast lift I thought it was time to go ahead and start my review. I am scheduled for surgery on 7/27 with a pre-op on 7/14. Right now I am currently recovering from facial surgery on 5/9. I had a facelift, necklift, temporal browlift, quad blephoraplasty, fat grafting to the cheeks, ear lobe repair and some excision of facial cholesterol deposits.

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.

Dreaming

So the other night I had a vivid dream. In my dream, I was leaving the hospital with my husband after having had my tummy tuck and breast lift. This was on the same days as the procedures (in actuality, I am staying overnight).

We are in the car and start talking and I ask him about what my post-op instructions are. He said no one told him and that he thought they were given to me. I said they hadn't been and I thought they were given to him. He asked me what Dr. Lyos told me and I told him I hadn't seen him.

Now, of course, all of that won't happen. I had facial surgery in May and stayed all night. Instructions were given to both my husband and me and I saw Dr. Lyos the morning after surgery. So, I am sure it will be the same for this.

But, in this dream, I had no instructions and we were driving home. My husband suggests we go by Dr. Lyos office to try to get instructions. We stop by there and the person at the reception desk keeps telling us that they should have given us instructions at the hospital. We kept saying that they didn't. She kept saying that they were supposed to.... And, then I woke up.

I guess that was just almost a nightmare.

In reality, I haven't been thinking too much about the Mommy Makeover procedures. I am 5 1/2 weeks post facial plastic surgery so have been mostly focused on that. I had to sleep on my back in my recliner until this week so I am enjoying being able to now sleep in bed on my back. I had so much difficulty sleeping on my back. I am not looking forward to going through that again.

Right now, though, I am getting much better sleep than I was while I was in the recliner so I am finally not as tired as I was and I feel mostly normal now (my ears and chin mostly still feel a little odd, but it isn't painful). Based upon how I feel now, I think I'll be ready for the next round of surgery in 6 weeks.

Pre-Op Appointment

I went in for my pre-op with surgery scheduled for July 27. I am 9 1/2 weeks post-op for a facelift so a lot of the instructions were similar. I had less questions for this surgery since a lot of the general stuff I have gone through already with the prior surgery.

I did focus on most of the questions that I had which were specific to the tummy tuck and breast lift. I'll list what was discussed.

1. After my facelift I had a terrible time sleeping on my back in the recliner. It was comfortable but I'm a side sleeper. I was told that for this I probably won't want to sleep on my side for at least 4 weeks. I dread having to sleep on my back again. With the last surgery, I took valium to help me sleep. It did help and I was glad to have it. But, it tended to make me groggy the next day. This time I've been prescribed Ambien (which I have never had) so we will see how that works.

2. I reminded them that I reacted adversely to the adhesive used on some of my incisions during my facelift. So this time, they won't use adhesive.

3. I should start a soft diet 2 days before surgery, and go all liquid the day before. I am to use a Fleet's enema the night before (ugh).

4. I am going to be doing Exparel, but it was stressed that this surgery is more painful than with my face.

5. I am ordering 2 compression garments. I don't really like them since they come down to my mid-thigh. But, they like this kind because it goes up high almost under my breasts. I was told to get the beige because that material has a better texture than the black. Also, there is a bra that I will start using about a week after surgery.

6. I will have 2 drains for the tummy tuck which will be in for about 7 to 10 days. I will have a drain for the breast which will probably be removed the next morning (I am staying overnight). Possibly it might stay in there another day.

7. When he does the surgery everything that is removed will be weighed. I will be weighed before surgery so I will know after what my new baseline is (that is, what I weighed less what is removed). I am up about 5 pounds from where I was when I had my face lift in early May. With the lack of activity and usual exercise it has been hard for me to maintain my normal weight. My goal weight at Weight Watchers is 146 pounds. I've been at goal for a year now. And, in early May I was a couple of pounds below goal. Right now I am a couple of pounds over. Want to at least get back to 146 by the day of surgery.

8. He is going to do an extended incision for the abdominoplasty so he can get rid of more on the side. Also, he will be doing some liposuction. I know that there is a limit to what can be done during this procedure and I stressed that I only want him to do what is safe. Which, of course, was what he wanted as well.

9. He is also going to extend the breast lift incision (it will be an anchor type incision) a little to the side to get more of the excess skin under my arm. That was optional, but I think it will give me the best result. My left breast is a little larger than the right so he will remove a bit more on that breast to try to even them out some. Also, years ago, I had a breast biopsy on my right breast which required removal of a fair amount of tissue. The result is that my right breast has a little bit of a dent in it. He is also going to try to improve the appearance of that.

10. I had read some about visceral fat (the fat inside around your organs). I know surgery won't fix that. I had read that one way to test that was to lay flat on your back and see if your tummy flattens out or if it protrudes above the rib cage. When I lay down mine flattens out. But, I was curious what my doctor felt about how much visceral fat I have. One of the things he had me do during the examination was to suck in my stomach as much as I could and then he grasped the loose skin and fat. He said that from that he felt that my visceral fat was average to a little below average. So, that was good to know.

11. One of my major concerns -- actually my biggest concern -- about this surgery is the risk of blood clots. He said that I would have the compression machine on my legs and they would put the compression hose on as well. Also, he would give me medication the day after surgery. However, he also offered that I could take Lovenox for 10 days before surgery. He said that it might cause me to have more bruising. Given the higher risk of blood clots with tummy tucks I decided that I would do this. I will need to give myself an injection for 10 days.

12. I asked what to wear at hospital to go home. I was wearing some fairly loose elastic waistband pants at the time and was told that would be fine. Also, a blouse that buttons up the front. I bought two of those for my facelift so I will use them for this also.

Typo Correction

Oops! Sure wish I could edit here. In item 11, I should have said I will take the Lovenox for 10 days after surgery.

In the Morning

In the morning, (Wednesday 7-27), I'm having my surgery. I have to get there at 5:30. Today has been difficult because I was on a liquid diet. I'm hungry. It was OK I guess but I'll be glad when I am through surgery. Hope to post in a couple of days.

OK, But Rough Start To Recovery

I had my tummy tuck and breast lift Wednesday. He also removed some cholesterol deposits around my eyes and explored around a bump near my eye (it was a cyst). I think all is going to be great but I had really rough start to recovery after I got home.. Wednesday actually went pretty. I remember waking up in recovery and talking to my husband, neither of which I remembered when I did my facelift.

I was scheduled to spend the night at the hospital and I'm glad I was there. I will say that it I had more pain than expected given that I had Exparel. I can't imagine who it would have been without that. The hardest thing the first night in the hospital was that they woke me every hour. Some if it was emptying drains. I had 2 for the breasts and 2 for the tummy. Also, I was allowed to eat anything and I was starving as I was on a liquid diet the day before surgery.

Thursday morning they came in and removed catheter and they gave scrambled eggs and bread. It was great to eat. Dr. Lyos came in and looked at everything and said it all looked fine. I especially liked how the breasts looked and the lower abdomen. The upper looked huge though. He said that was swelling, a lot of it caused by the liposuction. He did do liposuction of the abdomen being very careful in doing so. I was able after that to get up and go to the bathroom. A little later one of his nurses came in and changed my dressings and removed my breast drain. I will post a few pics ( but not bare breasts). About 11:15 or so, we left to go home. Then my husband got a call and he was going to have to go somewhere and be away for about 3 hours. I knew it was out of the question for me to be alone. Our son is a college student and is taking a summer course about an hour away.
So our son came to stay with me while my husband left. By then, it was evening.

I settled in at home fine. Moving was hard and I hated being hunched over. The neck pain from that is what bothers me the most. I did use a walker and that does help but there is still a lot of neck and back pain.

I wasn't really hungry but would eat when I needed to take medication. I was prescribed the same antinausea drug and pain medication was when I had my facelift. I am very sensitive to getting sick when I take pain medication but this had been fine when I had my facelift. Anyway, in the evening, I tried to get up with the walker and just walk around for a few minutes every hour or two. One of the times I just started throwing. Since I was standing up at the time, it actually wasn't that painful, but it seemed to just go on and on. Thank goodness my son was there. He was very helpful and didn't complain at all (like me, other people's vomit tends to make him nauseated but he held it together).

Then my husband got home. A few hours later I took my medicine then got up to go to the restroom. While on the toilet, I threw up again. I did call the doctor at that point and he said that it isn't unusual. Also, my fever was almost 102 and I had instructions to call if it was over 102. THen, a few hours later, in the recliner I threw up again. What alarmed me thought was that my hands and arms looked like sausages. Also my legs and feet looked real swollen. I still had the fever. I called the doctor again. He said that that tend to be the peak period of swelling and that everything seemed to normal. But, he suggested that I come by his office Friday morning (I had been set for a Tuesday appointment).

So, Friday morning I went in and his nurse changed the bandages and he looked at everything and he said everything was OK. But he changed my antinausea medication and my pain medication. That apparently did the trick since I haven't been sick since then. He said the new pain medication wasn't as stong but so far it has been fine.

The new antinausea medication is Phenergan which really makes me sleep. I think tomorrow I will trying taking the original one again. Everything seems to be going fine but the back and neck are so sore. I still haven't had a bowel movement. I started taking Milk of Magnesia pills today so I hope I will get some action tomorrow. But, I haven't really eaten much as I just haven't been very hungry.

Oh, I weighed Saturday morning with my dressing and drains on. I did this so I could keep track of my swelling. I weighed 159.7. The morning of surgery I weighed 147 pounds. Also, he said removed a lot of skin. He didn't know the exact amount but I will find out when I go see him Tuesday. This morning I was down to 156.5 pounds. So, you see that I still have a lot of swelling.

I will post some more pics in a few days, but just doing this post has really tired me out.

Swelling

Just to give an idea of how much swelling I have. I measure my natural waist (about midway between ribs and belly button the night before surgery. I am now 4" larger! I know it is all swelling, but it makes it hard for me to see the tummy tuck results.

Right now my abdominal pain is better and is OK (as long as I take pain meds). However, my neck pain from being hunched over while walking is awful.

Post-Op Visit

Pics attached are from Monday except for one the day after surgery. I had a post-op visit on Tuesday. Everything is going fine, but I am having a lot of swelling which you can see in the pics.

For the breasts, everything is going file. Very little pain, incisions are healing well. Drains were removed day after surgery. I have a little drainage on the left breast but I think it is coming from the huge swelling in the abdomen. I was having a breast lift and no enhancement. He also removed about 100cc from left breast which was larger than the right. He also did some lipo under my arms. So far I am really happy with the breasts. I think I will end up a C which is what I wanted.

Doctor told me yesterday that he removed 6.362 pounds total including the breast. Most of it was loose skin from the abdomen plus the liposuction. In doing the lipo, he injected fluid so that is one reason I am so swollen.

Based upon what I weighed before surgery and what he removed I should weigh 140 pounds. Yesterday morning I weighed 157 pounds! As I mentioned in my last post my natural waist is 4" bigger than it was before surgery. That is the bulge in the pics and it is all the fluid that will come out eventually. He said that it will take about 3 months to go away entirely but most will be gone in about 3 weeks. I was down a couple of pounds this morning. In about a week or so I will also take a Diuretic to help, but it is too soon to do that yet.

I was having a lot of neck pain from hunching over so he gave me a precription for muscle relaxant which has helped.

I still have the tummy drains. I have a tentative appointment to go back on Friday to take them out if the output is less than 20 per 24 hours. Right now it is about twice that so I suspect I won't be getting drains out until next week.

Still haven't gone to the bathroom yet. I've been take milk of magnesia caps. Starting tomorrow I will take Dulculox suppositories to see if that will help.

Pain is much better than it was and have more of my energy back. Although I am still spending most of of my time in the recliner. Right now I am at my desktop computer with a pillow behind my back.

Doing Much Better

It is 11 days post op and I am doing much better. I went back to the doctor on Friday and I still had enough output that he didn't remove the drains. I have lost a lot of the swelling. This morning I weighed 146.5 which is about what I weighed right before surgery. So, since 6.362 pounds was removed I still have about that much swelling. But, it is a lot better. I started using Dulcolux suppositories a few days ago and finally that got things moving in the bathroom department which was a great relief.

At this point I really don't have much pain except from the drains. Getting up and down doesn't bother me at all. I actually don't have any pain from the tummy tuck at all any more (and never had any from the breast lift). It feels like it pulls when I walk but that isn't painful. I am almost standing totally upright so I'm not getting the neck pain any more. I still don't have a lot of energy but I'm doing much better. Basically I feel good enough that I am bored just sitting around, but I don't have enough energy to do much more and I'm still hampered by not having the drains out. I am supposed to go back on Tuesday to see about getting my drains out.

4 1/2 weeks doing well

Overall at 4 1/2 weeks I am doing well. Surgery removed 6.18 pounds and I am now down 8.2 pounds so a couple of pounds is real loss, mostly because I just haven't been hungry until lately.

In many ways everything is going great. I've had no problems front the breast lift and really no pain from. Once I got drains out of the tummy tuck that was much easier and by then I wasn't really having that much pain from the tummy tuck. I tend to have more back pain when I try to sit or stand upright for a long period of time. THat is getting better but I have to space that kind of thing out. That is I am going to be doing a lot of sitting up one day then the next I do better taking it easier. Part of that I think is my abdominal muscles just not being that strong right now and of course I don't want to stress them really the repair is still healing.

I love how everything looks. The swelling that comes and goes is disconcerting, but I short of expect it now. I took my measurements right before surgery. MY natural waist is a littl over 1n 1" smaller as is my hip measurement. The one that was notable is my measurement at my navel. It is now about 3 1/2" smaller. I have found overall that I am usually wearing a size smaller in pants although that isn't true for everything.

My bra size after the mastopexy seems the same, but bras just fit me much better and tops fit me better. I was able to wear a medium on some things where I was wearing a large.

So - 2 biggest problem issues.

I am almost at 5 weeks and get tired easily when I go out. I went clothes shopping Friday and it was very low pressure. I was looking at undergarments at one store and then went to another store for workout pants. I just got totally exhausted while going through the store and had to rest before trying on clothes. By the time I got in the car I was wiped out. Doctor says this should be better by week 6. And, I can tell it is getting better now, but it is still slower to bounce back on than I expected (I felt normal energy after about 3 weeks) when I had facial plastic surgery,

But that isn't my pressing problem now. I warned that with this type of surgery and the pain mess there is a risk of constipation. Now -- that is not a problem I ever had. I eat a high fiber diet so I just don't have problem. Well, when I still hadn't gone after a week, my doctor had my use a suppository that got things moving. I think all was well then.

Well, about a week after that I realized I had developed a couple of painful hemorrhoids. This is also not a problem I ever have. The one exception was that after I have birth to my son in the 1990s I developed terrible hemorrhoids that were surgically removed. After that no problem

Well for the last 2 weeks I seem to be in a never ending cycle. I am not taking constipation get medicine any more and I am taking daily stool softeners. But I fear the damage was done when I was still taking the pain mess and the hemorrhoids developed. When the hemorrhoids turned up I bought OTC pain remedies and I used my neck pillow as a donut pillow to remove pressure from the area. And, after a couple of days that would -- pain would go away. But, then if I hadn't BM the hemorrhoids would pop out again and be horrendously painful. (And, this is with using stool softeners). I'm back to eating a higher fiber diet -- the kind of diet I've had no problem with for year. But, what happens is that I heal up in between BMS by using OTC stuff and using the neck pillow to keep pressure off the area. That works.. Until I have to go to the bathroom and everything pops out again. At almost 5 weeks after surgery this is getting super old. I think I made need to go see a gastroenterologist (I guess that is who I would see) to see if they could use a banding procedure or something to get rid of these.

A Week later things are going well

I find that at 5 1/2 weeks I have a lot of my energy back. My back pain is lessening and I can sit up for much longer. In a few days I can start sleeping on my side again.

I am still wearing the compression garment. It helps the swelling but doesn't prevent it. This morning I measured my natural waist ( above belly button). In the evening I measured again and it was over 2" larger. All swelling.

Hemorroids are finally resolved I think. I was finally in so much pain I went to a colorectal surgeon who wanted to try med treatment before. He gave me a prescription for a cream that really helped with pain and reducing swelling. It isn't totally cured yet but I am much better.


3 month Update

Thought I would post an update at 3 months. Things are going really well. The tiredness has gone away and I don't have any pain. I still feel a stretched feeling when I stand, but it isn't painful.

The biggest issue over the last 6 weeks was the swelling. At the worst of it, I would measure my waist in the morning and then again in the evening. And, it would be as much as 3 inches larger! The swelling would usually mostly come down over night but as the day went on it would grow and grow.

At about 12 weeks, this began to get a bit better. I still have swelling, but it usually an inch or inch and a half at night instead of 3 inches. So, I finally think that will be getting better eventually.

The pics are a recent overall photo of me and a photo of me in a 2 piece swimsuit. That is my first one since I was 14! I have a little bit of upper abdomen swelling in it but it does show the huge improvement (and I posted a before photo just to show the huge difference).
Houston Plastic Surgeon

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