Loose skin and skin removal surgery is something that comes up, so I wanted to share my progress. I kind of made a long post, because Iíve gotten some of the same questions over and over again from people.
Its been a year from the 1st surgery, and I just got a flash drive from my plastic surgeon full of pictures. I just want to preface this with the fact that I don't regret my surgery one bit -- even with all the crap that happened.
I thought about this for awhile before I did it. The 100# didnít come off immediately, it took awhile, and then I was left with the loose skin. I did my research on doctors, and chose to go with someone in the middle of Missouri where I live. People always ask, so yes it was expensive, but I decided Iíd rather live my life without the anxiety and extra skin, so I decided to have a brachioplasty since thatís where my loose skin issue was the worst.
As far as cost, I know this varies a lot by state. My doctor in the middle of Missouri ran me ~$6k. I had to pay three different people though. I had ~$900 for the anesthesiologist who wanted a cashiers check. The surgery center was $1700 and I could charge that or pay cash. And the rest was for the surgeon and I did Care Credit and got 12 months with no interest to pay that off. All of the revisions are free, since I already paid, so I did not have to pay for office visits or revisions -- until I was happy with the result.
I was mostly excited for the surgery more than anything, not really nervous. I had a minor complication on the day of Ė my drain came out and I just started gushing blood Ė so we basically drove home after recovery, was home for about an hour, and then realized I was bleeding like a maniac. I was still drugged up at the time, but I remember walking back into the surgery center and saying ďI wonít stop bleeding, there is something wrongĒ really loudly in the waiting room (so I got rushed to the back ASAP).
The first week was bad, but not awful. The second week I was using my arms normally, just carefully. By the third week there wasn't really any problems and I was working out again (but not cardio Ė cardio HURT). After six weeks I started lifting small weights again. Unlike some of the surgery incisions, the arms are mostly vertical (minus the armpit), so they aren't under as much stress as a tummy tuck surgery incision which are horizontal and under more pressure/tension. This means they really don't hurt as much. Plus I had a lot of numbness from the nerves being cut. So for the first really painful week, I had enough numbness I didn't feel a lot of pain. The thing that's the most painful later is when the nerves start to grow back. That does hurt a bit, in short little zaps. It like little lightning bolts - as the nerves reconnect.
The scars ARE noticeable, if I have my arms out. They sort of run down the seam of a shirt, so unless Iím waving my arms around, no one really notices. They should lighten up a bit, and honestly who is going to be looking at my armpit?
When they took off the extra skin, they took off the layer of fat that was still attached to the skin, down to the muscle. So in total they took about 2# of skin and fat off my arms. When they did the revision it was small, just like 2oz of fat since it was mostly skin that time. I had a revision done to fix an armpit skin issue (it stuck out) and to make my left elbow thinner, to match my right elbow. Then I had issues... My right armpit incision slowly ripped open and took five months to close. Thatís the short story. I had 3-4 wet to dry bandage changes (think letting a bandage stick reeeeally good to and open wound, and then rip it off) a day for a few months. Hereís a NSFL video of one: www.youtube.com/w
It was incredibly painful. I ended up on gabapentin for awhile for pain since Percocet didnít work, and I didnít want to be on Percocet long term. I have photos in the album, but if you have questions about anything, feel free to ask.