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PRAIRELAKELADY's Photo PRAIRELAKELADY Posts: 83
11/6/12 6:35 P

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You asked about whether there is a reason to have the surgery now rather than later. I can't think of one. I am on a breast health online site, and they say people even in their 70's can have surgery done, if they are healthy and don't have some other reason they shouldn't have it done-such as some other health problem that would make it too high of a risk

Actually, I think after a person is retired, they have an easier time with some of the healing, as they don't have a job to be pressured into going back to before they should. Also they don't have to worry about breastfeeding, small children to pick up, etc. etc. And I know I don't care as much nowadays if my house is a little dirtier or more cluttered.

I know my skin is much less elastic than it was even 5 years ago, but otherwise this has been a fairly easy surgery.

I don't think you should do any surgery like this unless you really really want it. There is nothing wrong with waiting. I waited for 30 years for this breast reduction surgery!!

I agree with the last post, we shouldn't have to justify anything-if we can do it, we want it, our doctor agrees, and we can afford it, then why should we not do it?

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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (203,671)
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11/6/12 5:24 P

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I want to weigh in on this. I am scheduled for facial surgery in a couple of weeks. Time to get rid of some folds. And of course, I have to listen to the people who think I should accept the sags of age and sun, and wear it proudly. Whatever that means.

I, too, have read pieces on this site from people who seem to think there is some kind of "honorable" way to look the way you want. That kind of judgement drives me nuts. The ONLY opinions that count are yours and that of the doctor you choose. It doesn't matter why you elect surgery, you don't have to justify it to anyone. If you want it, are healthy enough for it, and can afford it, they why not? You aren't cheating yourself, anymore than a woman accepting an epidural is cheating herself of the "glorious agony" of natural childbirth.

Good for all of you!! Don't ever let someone who hasn't lived in your skin tell you what to do!

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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AEBROWNSON's Photo AEBROWNSON Posts: 408
11/4/12 1:17 P

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I don't feel like I cheated either...sounds like you and I have been through a lot of the same things!

Thanks to all my SparkFriends who have supported me through this journey to health!


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PRAIRELAKELADY's Photo PRAIRELAKELADY Posts: 83
11/4/12 7:41 A

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Someone asked if we felt like we cheated, since they take a lot of pride in eating right and exercising. I also take a lot of pride in eating right and exercising and leading a very active life.
I first lost 40 pounds, and still looked 6 months pregnant. I had cysts and a prolapsed uterus, but they were not from being heavy or losing weight. Since I had to have a hysterectomy and some other repairs, I looked into if it was possible to have the extra skin removed during the surgery. My gyn was very helpful-he said that excess skin would not go away, and he would work with a plastic surgeon to do that part. Insurance didn't pay for that part, they considered it cosmetic, but since they paid for everything else, it was much less expensive.

After I healed I was able to wear jeans and pants again that had zippers and snaps, I didn't need to wear only elastic waists.

I had a breast reduction 3 weeks ago (Oct 15, 2012). When I went for the consult to see if I was a candidate, my neck, upper back hurt all the time, no clothes fit, I felt like someone was sitting on my chest when I laid down, and one arm was numb all the way to the elbow. As I have gotten older, those muscles had stretched out due to the large out of proportion breast tissue hanging off the front. It also kept me from many exercise groups, as I could never get any kind of bra to keep them from flopping. The plastic surgeon said my breasts were 10 inches below where they should be. When he told me that I was a great candidate and he was sure insurance would cover it, and it was not a huge surgery or very painful, I cried through the rest of the consult. It was such a relief to know that someone really understood what I had been going through since I was a teen.

Now that I had had the surgery, I put on clothes that I had that looked terrible on me, and they fit. I look normal, not trying to look sexy or anything, just normal. When I look in the mirror, now I notice my face, not my breast shelf. Before surgery, the only time it didn't hurt was if I sat at the kitchen table, resting my breasts on the table while I had my coffee. Now I can have coffee sitting anywhere, standing up, anything and it doesn't hurt. It is so amazing, I don't have words for it.

I get teary eyed just thinking about it. Why did I let my idea of having to do it all myself, and being a tough feminist get in the way of my medical treatment? I had yeast infections, rashes under my breasts, and scarring from that for years. They were totally in my way during golf, hiking, kayaking, bike riding, swimming, aerobics, yoga, and cross country skiing. I spent so much money trying to get a sports bra or any bra that would help support and contain them so I could move more easily. I never found a bra that fit or didn't hurt, even after going to countless "fittings" by professionals. One woman said, "I just can't find one that fits you".
I can't wait for the rest of the healing so I can do all those things without the bowling balls in front of me swinging back and forth or up and down.

I just want to emphasize one thing-do not feel guilty, do not feel like you have to wait to lose all the weight you need to-the plastic surgeon said it is much easier to lose weight after a breast reduction because you can do things without pain. I am even standing up straighter and walking upright now because the extra tissue is off the front. Go to three consults at least before you decide. I am thrilled thrilled thrilled, and I feel and look normal now. :)

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PRAIRELAKELADY's Photo PRAIRELAKELADY Posts: 83
10/21/12 9:30 A

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I don't have any regrets at all. I had an abdominoplasty as part of my total hysterectomy, so I only had to pay for the plastic surgeon. Insurance paid for the hospital and all other surgery stuff. I had to give the hospital 4500 before surgery that was supposed to cover the room, anestheiologics, etc for that part of time I was having the abdominoplasty. But the hospital sent it back, as they were not allowed to keep it because the rest of the surgery was medically necessary.
So it only cost me the plastic surgeon's fee, which 7 or 8 years ago was about 4500$

It took about 2 years for the feeling to come back into one spot on my stomach, but after a few months, I didn't even notice that spot anyhow.

The only regret I have so far about the breast reduction is that I didn't do it 20 years ago. I had it done 6 days ago, and the weight is falling off me-I feel so normal.
The surgeon told me at my intital consultation that most women find it much easier to lose weight after this procedure because they can move better, and exercise is easier and more fun.
When he told me that, I still had 2 months to go until surgery, but the new hope it gave me helped me eat better, and I lost 13 pounds before surgery.

I don't think it matters how much weight you lose, my breast tissue and breast size did not go down-only my band size, which made my cup size go up!!

They are still funny shaped, but another site says it takes 3 months before the size and shape are really set and visible. emoticon

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PATAROONY's Photo PATAROONY Posts: 22
9/10/12 12:25 P

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How long ago did you have the surgery? August 6 and 13, 2012

- Do you have any regrets about anything? Is there something you might have done differently, now that you've been through the process? Not really - I had between 2 and 3 plastic surgeons working on me at once so first operation was 8.5 hours and second was 5.5 hours. I paid for transfusions after each to keep strength up. There was a fire at the place I was staying, across from me and I panicked and ran up a long driveway carrying some heavy stuff and that opened up my breast lift incisions...I forgive myself for that but wish I hadn't done it. I almost went to a doctor in LA and that would have me recovering in a hotel...I would have regretted that. I stayed in a recovery center in Costa Rica for 4 weeks with lots of help and hospital bed...made a world of difference. Once home, 5th week, I cleaned daughers room to look for lost textbook and all the bending over pulled my scar on my right hip wider...don't do that!

- Is there anything you definitely think you did rigjavascript:void(0)ht? Staying in a recovery center for 4 weeks so I could receive nursing help with dressing changes, help bathing and dressing, meals provided, hospital bed...couldn't imagine going through what I did without the professional help.

- How visible are the scars? only 5 weeks post so visible. Location-wise, my tummy scar is higher, above my belly button due to a large horizontal gallbladder scar there, which they removed...I will likely wear a tankini to cover it.

- How much neurological effect have you noticed? Did it go away with time? I am just now having numbness dissappear as the swelling goes down. Main areas are around scars. Nipples still have intact sensation. Was already numb in lower abdomen from C-sections.

- How has your quality of life changed, after doing this? Still recovering so not back to where I should be yet. Quality of life plusses is that I can give up obsessing about my imperfections...fit into teenaged daughters' clothes...fun and practical as 3 daughters have lots of clothes. It's a relief to go to the closet and not worry about what will fit large arms or too tight on waist band/loose on hips.

I feel like I'm back to my natural body shape - relieved, relaxed, comfortable.


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AEBROWNSON's Photo AEBROWNSON Posts: 408
8/24/12 12:44 P

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After my breast reduction I was religious about using the silicone sheets to minimize scarring and those scars really are minimal. I got lazy about doing the same thing after the abdominoplasty and those scars are more noticeable...not bad, but more noticeable. You can get the silicone sheets at the drugstore. They're kind of expensive, but you can cut them to size to make them go a bit further.

Thanks to all my SparkFriends who have supported me through this journey to health!


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JUTAN-SAN's Photo JUTAN-SAN Posts: 8,567
8/24/12 11:19 A

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No, the doctors I interviewed never gave me the impression that I "had to do it now" and that if I didn't then it "can never be done" and if any doctor does pushes that then you should probably avoid that doctor. I think the only exception to that rule would be if you had a lot of rashes or other serious medical issue due to the excess skin.

I did about a good 6 months of research and interviews with doctors before I made my final decision as to the surgeries and doctor performing them and then the surgeries were several months after that. I never felt rushed or pressured into doing things faster than I was okay with.

I am addicted to diet soda. I know my bones will dissolve; that's why god gave me big ones.



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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Photo 4A-HEALTHY-BMI Posts: 5,926
8/23/12 9:30 P

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Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, everyone!

I really appreciate it.

The skin doesn't really seem to be much in the way for most of my activities; I've shared a bikini pic with GEE-KNEE to ask how what I've got compares, and it sounds like I have somehow ended up with less.

I totally get the whole thing about seeing the crepe hang down when doing a plank or a down dog, though. I am not loving how that part looks!

And as I mentioned, I'm a chicken when it comes to surgeries, especially elective ones. But I know it's something people often do after losing more than half of themselves, and I do wonder about it and whether I'd like my body more if I did it.

One more question - did any of you ever get the impression that surgery would not be an option for you later down the road? I mean, did you get a sense that there was any urgency to go through with it from the doctors?

I'm kind of thinking I'd like to wait some more and see how I feel in another year or so. But if there's some medical reason I should consider it sooner rather than later (such as maybe it would heal differently or be less involved or something) then it would be good to know...

Thanks again. You guys have no idea how awesome it's been to be able to ask all of you about this in one place.



Never, ever, EVER give up!

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JUTAN-SAN's Photo JUTAN-SAN Posts: 8,567
8/23/12 7:41 P

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Do I feel I "cheated"?

Not a chance!! If anything I felt cheated by the fact that I had busted my ass to loose 130+ lbs and couldn't show off what I had accomplished because I still had to wear big clothes to mask all the extra skin hanging off of me. Before the surgeries I would look in the mirror and hated what I saw.

I am addicted to diet soda. I know my bones will dissolve; that's why god gave me big ones.



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SLIMKATIE's Photo SLIMKATIE Posts: 312
8/23/12 9:35 A

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I'd love to weigh in on this topic! I had a lower body lift (basically like a tummy tuck, but the scar goes all the way around--removing skin from my belly and back).

- How long ago did you have the surgery?
I had the surgery in November 2011, so it's been a little over 9 months.

- Do you have any regrets about anything? Is there something you might have done differently, now that you've been through the process?
I don't have a single regret. I chose my surgeon wisely, completely trusted her, and followed her instructions to the letter. I didn't have any complications, and I'm healing very well.

- Is there anything you definitely think you did right?
My surgeon told me to eat TONS of protein for the 6 weeks following surgery. I was never a huge protein person, and I didn't like meat much... but I did what she said. I loaded up on protein, and healed quickly.

- How visible are the scars?
The scar can actually be covered with a g-string (not that I wear those or anything... ;) ). It's just a thin line all the way around. It was dark red, then pink, and now it's faded enough to were you can barely see it in some spots.

- How much neurological effect have you noticed? Did it go away with time?
This is the only thing that is somewhat bothersome to me. I am numb just above and below my scar, mostly on my hips. It's gotten better since surgery, and my doctor said it could take years to feel "normal". But I still think the surgery results outweigh the numbness.

- How has your quality of life changed, after doing this?
I LOVE that I am able to run without having to wear compression clothes on my stomach! It was really painful to run with the loose skin, because it would flop up and down (if you can imagine running without a sports bra, that's exactly what it felt like--only on my stomach).

Do I feel I "cheated"?
NO WAY!! I worked my ass off to lose 125 pounds! The surgeon only removed 2-3 pounds of skin, and my jean size stayed the same after surgery. No way do I think having loose skin removed after a large weight loss is cheating.

(I wrote a whole series detailing my surgery on my blog, just in case someone is interested in possibly having the surgery and wants to know more... http://www.runsforcookies.com/p/plastic-su
rgery.html

"If God simply handed us everything we wanted, he would be taking from us our greatest prize--the joy of achievement."

My weight loss/maintenance blog: www.runsforcookies.com


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AEBROWNSON's Photo AEBROWNSON Posts: 408
8/22/12 5:27 P

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Do I feel I cheated?
Absolutely not! Being in my 50s, and having yo-yo dieted for many years, there was NO WAY that skin was going to get tighter on its own. Before the surgery I did a couple of years of Pilates twice a week...rock hard abs except for the skin on top of it that made me look several months pregnant and hung down seven or eight inches when I was on my hands and knees. There was NO fat. And being near my goal weight for nearly 2 years tells me that about the areas that HAVEN'T had surgery. And after the surgery, I only went down one size in my pants. And I don't have skin health issues like yeast infections and sores anymore. And the big ol' flap of skin doesn't fly up and hit me in the chest when I run! LOL.
As far as the breast reduction...Can you say NO SHOULDER/BACK PAIN? And I'm working on improving my posture which was horrid after years of carrying many many pounds of breast tissue.

Thanks to all my SparkFriends who have supported me through this journey to health!


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SWEETINDY500's Photo SWEETINDY500 Posts: 14,058
8/22/12 4:17 P

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How long ago did you have the surgery? - Bariatric surgery - 2007, stomach skin removed - 2010

- Do you have any regrets about anything? Is there something you might have done differently, now that you've been through the process? - Well, #1 -Medicare covered my surgery, because of the rashes under the belly skin, but they only would cover a removal not an actual "tummy tuck." So my scar is not real neat looking. It is just above my pubic line, but it's crooked and each hip has a little point on it. The crooked doesn't bother me, but I wear hipster panties now and they barely cover the points on the hips. It's a little embarrassing if I'm in my underwear in front of someone. This isn't really a regret, as I had no control over what Medicare would cover, and no money to pay for it myself. Just wish it was a little neater. I also have a little "poochie" spot right above my pubic line.

#2 - I was told not to lift anything over 10 lbs. post surgery; however, I babysat my 1 year old granddaughter (at the time) and she weighed 20 lbs. But you know how the little ones come to you and hold their arms up and say, "Up, Mamaw", so I picked her up, not thinking. I felt something snap inside me, then excruciating pain. I had broken a major blood vessel and blood was hemmoraghing into my abdomen. By the time my daughter got me to the hospital I had lost 4 units of blood and they had to get me into surgery 10 mins. after I arrived in the ER. I almost died on the table and ended up losing 5 units of blood, but have lived to tell about it. So DO WHAT YOUR DOCTOR TELLS YOU!!

- Is there anything you definitely think you did right? - Everything except lifting my granddaughter.

- How visible are the scars? - Just the slight points on the hips, but they don't show through clothing or a swimsuit.

- How much neurological effect have you noticed? Did it go away with time? - No, it's all still numb, but the outside of my left thigh is also numb, so he cut another nerve somewhere.

- How has your quality of life changed, after doing this? - Well, I left a 30 yr. bad marriage and I've been in the dating scene the last 2 years. My quality of life has changed 360 degrees. Being able to wear the proper size clothing, after the skin was removed, made me feel so much better about myself. I was confident enough to leave the bad marriage and even more confident to enter the dating scene.

I wouldn't change a thing!

Linda a/k/a "Twiggy"
SW 377 lbs. -1/3/07
CW 202.6 lbs. - 5/22/11
TL 174.4 lbs. - 5/22/11
Inches lost to date: 121" - 5/22/11



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THECRAZYMANGO's Photo THECRAZYMANGO Posts: 6,451
8/22/12 2:31 P

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Another question I would like to hear more about is this. I take alot of pride in knowing I lost weight by exercise and eating right. Do you feel you cheated?

-Savannah

Not worth having is easy!




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JUTAN-SAN's Photo JUTAN-SAN Posts: 8,567
8/22/12 2:28 P

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My first surgery (lower body lift) was in October of 2011 and the second (Gynecomastia and Mastopexy) was in March of 2012. Due to the amount of work being done, my doctor did not feel comfortable with doing both at the same time. The first surgery alone was almost 12 hours so doing both together would have really heightened the risk factors.

I think my biggest regret is possibly that I didn't do this sooner. I had lost the weight but felt bad about myself because of how I looked with all that extra skin just hanging off of me.

Lots of research; I researched plastic surgeons (how long they have practiced, any lawsuits, their current certifications and licenses, ect.), procedures, possible side effects of the medicines used during the procedures, and possible complications so that I would have a better picture of everything.

For the lower body lift, the only way you would see the scars is if I was in my birthday suit. For the chest surgery, the scar is minimally visible, if I am not wearing a shirt, but more visible if I were to lift my arms, again sans shirt, since the scar line goes into my armpit.

I am still a little numb just below my belly button and chances are that will stay that way for an extended period of time.

Mentally, I feel a lot better about how I look and have gained a decent amount of confidence because of it. Physically, I don't have to wear big baggy clothes to hide the extra skin so that is great.

I am addicted to diet soda. I know my bones will dissolve; that's why god gave me big ones.



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THECRAZYMANGO's Photo THECRAZYMANGO Posts: 6,451
8/22/12 12:25 P

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I wonder about this question as well! Thanks for replying!

-Savannah

Not worth having is easy!




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AEBROWNSON's Photo AEBROWNSON Posts: 408
8/22/12 12:11 P

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Oops, didn't answer all the questions. Yes, my lower abdomen is still numb. Probably always will be. I have gotten a small amount of sensation back, but not a lot. As far as nipple sensitivity, I didn't have a lot before the surgery (often the case with very large-breasted women). I do have some sensitivity in both breasts...about the same as before.
Quality of life...about the same, don't have to contend with the belly folds and their health and hygiene issues (sweat, smell, yeast infections, skin breakdown) which I guess is pretty substantial. And I don't ALWAYS have to wear a bra...They're still perky LOL.

Edited by: AEBROWNSON at: 8/22/2012 (13:21)
Thanks to all my SparkFriends who have supported me through this journey to health!


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AEBROWNSON's Photo AEBROWNSON Posts: 408
8/22/12 12:09 P

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The only regret I have is that I didn't go a little farther with the abdominoplasty. I just had the one where you end up with a scar from hipbone to hipbone. There is an option for them to go vertically up to your sternum and pull in the skin from the sides as well. There would have been a large scar, (but it would have completely eliminated my gall bladder surgery scar :-) ) After a year, my lower abdomen is still tight, but my upper abdomen is pretty jiggly (of course, I've gained back 30 pounds, too...yes, I'm back on the wagon and trying to lose them again...they keep finding me!!! I thought I'd be wearing a two piece swimsuit. Yeah, right. I'm 56 years old.

Edited by: AEBROWNSON at: 8/22/2012 (13:22)
Thanks to all my SparkFriends who have supported me through this journey to health!


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Photo 4A-HEALTHY-BMI Posts: 5,926
8/21/12 11:26 P

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I'd love to hear from those who have Been There on this...

I'd rather ask you guys because I think you'll tell me like it is.

- How long ago did you have the surgery?

- Do you have any regrets about anything? Is there something you might have done differently, now that you've been through the process?

- Is there anything you definitely think you did right?

- How visible are the scars?

- How much neurological effect have you noticed? Did it go away with time?

- How has your quality of life changed, after doing this?

Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

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