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SUSIEMT's Photo SUSIEMT Posts: 8,732
1/8/14 10:20 P

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Doing it out of country is really kind of scary for me! Good luck with that! I guess if you speak the language it would be okay. Do your homework!

Susie South Central WI
�There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.�
Kenneth Blanchard

Paul the SparkPeople programmer says:
When you break down goals into smaller steps, it isn't even that hard. All you have to do is say "yes" to the right thing!

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1/8/14 6:31 P

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Oh, don't get me wrong Susie. I don't have anything against people who have the WLS. My issue was only that the people who lose their weight on their own don't get the same perks. Shouldn't our plastic surgery be free as well? We worked for it and earned it.

The panniculectomy is a 'medical' procedure where they simply remove the excess skin - no extras. The abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) is a 'cosmetic' procedure where they will make it look nice by tightening, smoothing, and quite often lipo suctioning any left over fat. The panny is definitely covered by insurance IF it's deemed medically necessary, which in my case, it would have been. I had a pannus overhang (or apron) and it would get sweaty and smelly under that area, and become irritated, red, itchy, and sore. It will always be like that. There is nothing I can do about it unless that skin is removed, and that's why the plastic surgeon would be able to justify doing the surgery and billing the health insurance for it.The surgeon also quoted me a price ($9,000) for an abdominoplasty too and explained the differences between the 2 procedures. I would really like to have the tightening, but not having to pay for it would be nice too. If I had the panny, I would still have my other issues to deal with (i.e. thighs, etc.), so that would mean another surgery for them. And, that's where I left it after my consult with the surgeon... undecided.

The circumferential abdominoplasty sounds a lot like the belt lipectomy. What is the difference between the 2? I think the belt lipectomy is also called a lower body lift if I'm not mistaken. Is that right?

Sorry for asking a million questions. For the inner thigh lift, how was that done? Was it a vertical incision down the inner thigh, and then pulled together?

I'm trying to determine what procedures I'm going to need, so I know which ones I should get quotes for, as I will probably be getting some of the quotes via email and such because I'm looking into out of country options.

Just the thought of having the plastic surgery gives me hope. My depression is not as bad as it was. It's still there, but it is at least manageable now. I think that if I could get the surgery, it would open a new chapter in my life because I wouldn't have that constant reminder all the time when I looked in the mirror and saw the loose, hanging skin. It would be like a second chance at life, so to speak.

Thanks so much Susie for all the information you've given me. You've been so helpful.

SUSIEMT's Photo SUSIEMT Posts: 8,732
1/5/14 4:12 P

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Hey Tanya,
I understand the rant, believe me! I went through it myself. However, you must realize that those that have the WLS must need it or they wouldn't go through it. Especially when they find out about what they can no longer have. I know I couldn't go through with something like that! In fact back in 1999 I was trying to get approved for it but couldn't lose the 35 lbs the doctor needed me to lose. At that point I realized I had a bigger problem that I needed to take care of before I bothered to lose weight.

I had to google panniculectomy. Never heard of it before. Believe me I am no expert at this. In the definition it explains that the Abdominoplasty tightens the abdominal muscle and removes excess skin and fat, while a panniculectomy only removes excess skin and fat (also called pannus). A panniculectomy may also be performed with another abdominal surgery, such as a hysterectomy, or with a repair of the abdominal wall or a belly button hernia.
So, that explains why I have such a tight feeling across my abdomen. He tightened my muscles! The surgeon had told me that from doing all the core exercises I actually had some good muscle tone. He had made the comment that so many women that came in for consults especially after having babies had not done the work so. I can't remember the whole explanation.

In the circumferential abdominoplasty an incision is made around the entire trunk of the body. they pull up the skin from the lower part of the body and pull down the skin from the upper part of the body make a new belly button and sew it all together. When they say you will experience numbness along the scar believe me that is the truth! You will probably not regain any feeling in that area again. I am still waiting. I had what I felt was a lot of excess skin on my back the circumferential part took care of the excess skin on my back! Yea!! the following is an exert from a google search I did.. (many of these individuals have excessive amounts of hanging fat or flab (pannus) which extends to their sides or back. (That was me) These patients may be better candidates for another procedure called extended tummy tuck, also known as a circumferential belt lipectomy or "around the world" tummy tuck.)
I had an inner thigh lift. The sagging skin I had was on the inner thigh. As far as I know they did not liposuction. Who knows I was out for the long count.

I just want you to understand that any doctor can bill your insurance company for anything but that does not guarantee that your insurance company will pay for it. Remember it has to be pre-approved. Don't take his word for it get it in writing from your insurance co. The circumferential part cost $11,000. The inner thigh lift was approx. $6000. Maybe a bit more.
I used a surgeon from my insurance company. So it was local. I had seen another surgeon a year before and then when I made my decision to go ahead with it I saw this other doctor that I was very impressed with. I went to see a third just to be sure and he told me he no longer did these types of operations but he told me that he had worked with both of the doctors I had consulted with and said he was extremely confident with the one I chose.

I am so sorry that you had to undergo such a depression. I got my life going in the right direction after seeing a psychologist as well. Now I know why they get paid the big bucks. Or at least the man I saw. He was good! But it took me until 2008 before I found spark and got sparked!

You can find my blogs at this link


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
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Good luck with your decision.

Susie South Central WI
�There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.�
Kenneth Blanchard

Paul the SparkPeople programmer says:
When you break down goals into smaller steps, it isn't even that hard. All you have to do is say "yes" to the right thing!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark
/groups_individual.as


 current weight: 146.1 
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TANYAEGELAND's Photo TANYAEGELAND SparkPoints: (0)
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1/5/14 6:08 A

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Thank you for your reply Susie. I really appreciate your input. WOW! That was a great weight loss! Good for you!

When you mentioned the fact that if you had lost your weight via WRS, the cost of the surgery would be covered, it brought back some resentment issues all over again that I have had with a friend (actually, it's her daughter that had the weight loss surgery). And, she too will be getting her surgeries all paid for (just as that nurse told you). This is a real sore spot for me because I just find it incredibly unfair that the people who have lost weight through working hard, dieting, eating right, exercising, counting calories, etc., have to pay the full cost of these post weight loss surgeries, yet someone who doesn't have to put in near the same amount of effort and sweat, gets theirs paid for! Sorry about the rant.

Could you tell me what is included in a circumferential abdominoplasty or kind of describe it for me. I know what an abdominoplasty is (tummy tuck), but I'm not sure about the circumferential part. For your thighs, did you have inner AND outer done? Do they liposuction them? At one time, I had considered getting the lower body lift, but I'm not sure now if that's the best way to do it. I really need to go for another consult or 2 to get some feedback/advice.

I have only met with 1 surgeon so far, just for a consult. He was one of the few surgeons (from what I've heard) that would've been willing to do a panniculectomy (and bill it to health insurance) because he said that he had admiration for those of us who had struggled to lose weight on their own and he felt they deserved a break. Of course, any further cosmetic alterations would've been at my expense. Otherwise, if I wanted the tummy tuck, it would've cost $9,000.

Where did you go to have your surgery done? (i.e. locally? overseas?)

Your cousin is definitely right the way she put it. That's exactly the way I'm thinking about it. I AM definitely worth it! You see, I have suffered from major depressive disorder for the past 12 years. In fact, my massive weight gain came from a combination of the antidepressants I was on as well as the depression. It was not a fun time in my life. Three years ago, it resulted in me having a breakdown at work, going on disability, eventually losing my job. I slept 18 hrs/day because of the meds, frequently had suicidal ideations, isolated myself from everyone, and was angry all the time. I had literally hit rock bottom. I must've tried just about every antidepressant out there. When I ran out of options, I had 14 treatments of electroconvulsive therapy, which didn't help either, but left me with long-term memory problems. It wasn't until I was finally sent to see a psychologist that I actually noticed any improvement in my condition. That is when I began to make some changes in my life and my weight loss journey commenced. I only started feeling better about myself when the weight began to come off. It was like I had lost 12 years of my life, so now I feel like I deserve to be paid back for it. During my time with depression, I could've ended my life, and would never have got to spend my retirement money. What good would it have done me then? I worked hard to take the weight off so I feel I have earned the corrective plastic surgery, I certainly am worth it! Regardless of the price and what the hubby thinks, I will go through with it. He will just have to get used to the idea and maybe he'll eventually understand what this means to me. I don't want to go through the next 12 years feeling the same way. In fact, I know I won't make it that long if I have to. That isn't living.

Yes, I would be interested in reading your blogs about your experience. Can you send me the links please?

It sounds like you were lucky to have such a good caregiver looking after you. My husband isn't squeamish at all, as he's into hunting and fishing, so he guts deer and fillets fish with no problem, but I don't know if he'd be much of caregiver or nurse though. ;-)

I'm not looking for perfection either, but it sure would be nice to have a nice tight flat tummy! Besides, it's amazing what you can do with a little self-tanning lotion. It can make all sorts of flaws disappear. ;-)

Fully clothed, I am quite happy with my appearance. It's when I start removing clothes, or putting summer clothes on, that it becomes an issue. I would like to be able to wear a pair of cutoff shorts or a bathing suit without feeling self conscious about the nasty flapping/saggy/hanging skin on my inner thighs, or wear a pair of low-rise jeans without being embarrassed about the flabby/saggy skin hanging over the top of the waist band (how disgusting!). Anything will be an improvement over what I have now.

SUSIEMT's Photo SUSIEMT Posts: 8,732
1/4/14 7:48 P

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Hi Tanya! I had lost 160 lbs. I started in 2008 and finally had my circumferential abdominoplasty March 2013. I also had an inner thigh lift. My surgeon did them during the same surgery. It cost just over $17,000. It was all out of pocket! Believe me I tried to get the insurance company to help out to no avail. I was told by a nurse that if I had had WRS (weight reduction surgery) they would have picked up the tab. Anyway, I digress. My surgeon told me that depending on the procedures you want done they can sometimes combine them but the longer a surgery takes the more dangerous it is for the patient. Not to mention how tiring it is for the surgeon. I guess all the standing does take a toll on them. LOL My sister told me it took 8 hours and she said the surgeon was pretty wore out. There was approx. 7 lbs of skin. He said it was stretched really thin!
I had really big thighs! I take after my father's side of the family. Thunder thighs is how I would describe them. I didn't realize how big they really were until after the surgery. He did as best he could. I don't think I have much sagging skin around my knees, But I still have some big thighs.But maybe they are not as big as I think they are. I am really happy with the circumferential abdominoplasty! I knew I would never look like a model but what I was hoping for was to have a smooth look while wearing my clothes. I achieved that look.

Of course, I do not have a family so I could spend the money on myself. I was fortunate in that my mother had left me an inheritance so I only had to kick in about $4000. of my own money. Of course they want the money upfront.

I had been going back and forth about this surgery for a few years. One day when I was talking to my cousin, she put it to me this way. Are you worth it? I pondered on that for a small while and then started checking out surgeons.

I did have a problem with my left thigh so that was some extra doctoring involved but fortunately it cleared up. I was able to have the doctor take care of it right in his office so there was no extra charge. That is a good question to keep in mind when searching for a surgeon. Will they cover things that need to be taken care of post surgery without charging you for it.
I had written a couple of blogs about my experience if you are interested. I live with my sister and her husband and Becky was my nurse during this experience. I don't know how people go it alone with this type of thing. She was a God send! If your husband is the least bit squeamish I hope you have someone that can help you.

Remember, if you are really thinking about doing this that it is easy to borrow money from peter to pay paul but a lot of people with the best intentions never get it paid back. Later on in life resentments might take hold especially if DH is reluctant about you going ahead with it. Think about it and talk it through after you have all the information.

I will say this, Without my clothes when I look in a mirror I still see flaws but they are things I can live with. I no longer see the fat girl looking back at me. The really great part is that my stomach feels pretty tight! I never knew that that was how it was supposed to feel. It feels like I have a girdle on. LOL Anyway I hope this answers some of your questions.

Susie South Central WI
�There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.�
Kenneth Blanchard

Paul the SparkPeople programmer says:
When you break down goals into smaller steps, it isn't even that hard. All you have to do is say "yes" to the right thing!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark
/groups_individual.as


 current weight: 146.1 
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TANYAEGELAND's Photo TANYAEGELAND SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/14 2:20 P

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A couple years ago, I began my weight loss journey which resulted in me dropping from 263 lbs to about 170 lbs. From there, I struggled to maintain my weight over the next year or so, but persevered and have been able to take my weight down to an acceptable 155 lbs emoticon (my goal weight being 140 lbs). But now, like many others who have experienced a tremendous reduction in their weight, I am stuck with the ugly aftermath and reminder of it all, which I would say, is probably more repulsive (when unclothed) than the obesity itself was. In addition to working out and trying to build muscle to fill out the sagging, loose skin, I have tried laser treatments for tightening the skin, but unfortunately there is just too much excess. I have consulted with my family physician, and he has advised me that no amount of exercise, dieting, or skin tightening would be able to correct my situation as there is too much skin, and that the only alternative for me would be plastic surgery. There is no question in my mind about whether I should get it done or not, although my husband isn't of the same opinion. He doesn't think it's necessary. Of course, he says he loves me just the way I am. I've tried to explain to him and make him understand how it makes me feel, but I'm still not sure that he's convinced. He's concerned about the cost of it. I haven't worked for a couple years because I'm re-training for a new career, so he's the sole provider, but we don't have children and we have a fair bit of money put away in RRSPs already. I suggested borrowing the money from our RRSP and I would pay it back when I became employed again. I also suggested that we could save some money if I had the plastic surgery overseas, as I have heard that it is considerably less expensive. I would certainly ensure that I researched the place very well and found a reputable surgeon who was highly recommended of course (as I'm sure everyone has heard at least 1 of those botched job horror stories). There are also stories of people that come back with amazing results too. In fact, some of the TOP plastic surgeons in the world are in Brazil! Anyway, over the next while I will be doing research and trying to get information, feedback, recommendations, etc. on plastic surgeons/surgery abroad. The areas that bother me the most are my thighs (inner & outer), tummy, butt, and breasts. I don't know if they would do all those areas in one surgery, or how that would work. If any of you have any information on this, I would be happy to hear from you. emoticon

Edited by: TANYAEGELAND at: 1/4/2014 (14:21)
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