The "Next Step" in my Journey
Friday, December 28, 2012
I figured now would be a good time to add a blog as I haven't posted in a while and because a lot has been going on with me recently. As you all know, I was banded in August of 2010, and have lost approximately 70-75 lbs. I am 24 years old, am a grad student, and I am pretty happy with how life has been since being banded. A few months ago, I hit a plateau where I basically fluctuated between 142-147 on any given day. Being a broad person, and someone who couldn't get any more fills (as I'm pretty tight to begin with), I decided that this was my actual goal (instead of the goal of 130), and that I was ready to move on to the next step.
Every once in a while at the NYU support groups for Lap-Band Patients, they have a plastic surgeon come in and speak about cosmetic body contouring following bariatric surgery. I have always considered it, but it wasn't really until earlier this year that I decided that it was time. When I think of plastic surgery, the first thing that pops into my head is boob and nose jobs...I never thought of it as kind of an art form. I met with two plastic surgeons in NYC, both of whom specialize in doing cosmetic reconstructive surgery on bariatric surgery patients. It is important to go to a plastic surgeon like this, if you are banded and want plastic surgery, as they know the anatomy of the band and can reposition the port as necessary.
The first surgeon's initial consultation came and went, and I left the appointment really nervous and not convinced that this was what I wanted. I had one of those vibes that the surgeon and I were not a good match, so I decided I would do more research on doctors. For the next few months, I asked around my lap-band surgeon's office and got the name of another plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Sterry. I went to see him about 2 months ago. He was wonderful in every way. For my initial consultation, he sat with my mom and I for almost 2 hours, going over as much as he could about anything you could think of. As I babysit for elementary aged school kids, and I knew they would be on break for the holidays, I decided that I would schedule a date then and there...Dec.21.2012.
Those two months flew by and last Friday, I had a tummy tuck, an arm lift and liposuction of the flanks (love handles). I had spoken to lots of people who had procedures like this, both bariatric patients and not, to get as much advice as possible. The surgery was performed at a surgical center in NYC, where I was the only patient, so my family had a nice place to wait while I was in surgery. I went in around 10am (about 30 minutes late), went over all the information on the paperwork to make sure it was correct, and then the surgeon came in to mark me. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of him doing this, but basically he used different colored sharpies to mark where he was going to make incisions, or lipo, etc. I was then taken to the OR, where the nurse and the surgeon stayed right by my side until I was asleep.
7 hours later, I was awake and in the recovery chair. I have very little recollection of the hours following that as I was so filled with pain medications. I luckily did not have to stay the night, so I got home, walked very carefully upstairs, and went straight to the recliner (which has become our recovery chair). I was upstairs in that recliner up until yesterday when I had my first follow up appointment. For the surgery, I had two drains inserted into my abdomen, which the surgeon took out yesterday. I am feeling pretty good for being a week out of surgery although, it is still kind of hard to do a lot of things as my arms and abdomen are sore.
I will be adding some pictures to my profile These after pictures are only as of today, a week post-op, so as the swelling goes down I will add more.
Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years!