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Thanks! I need to take some better pictures - and include one that shows the front post-op! I can still see the swelling and though it doesn't bother me physically, I can't wait to see what it looks like once the swelling is gone. I am delighted with the scar - it's so thin and already looking so much better. I feel certain that a year from now, it's going to blend right in.
Two things - first, my butt and legs are not improved (try not to look at them ) and, I realize that you can't really see the scar/details on the "after" pics. I'll try to get a better perspective next time.
These are from the day before the panniculectomy and 4 weeks post-op (the day after the drain came out).
I opted not to keep my belly button. The surgeon said I'd get a smoother result without it. When I was looking at photos online, I didn't love the look of a lot of post-panni belly buttons, so I told him I was fine with getting rid of mine. Honestly, not a single person who has seen my bare belly has noticed that I don't have one. I still try to wash it in the shower occassionally, but I don't miss it. Plus, when it's that lovely time of the month when I get a little bloated, you won't be able to see my donut hole!
I am paying out of pocket. I got denied by the insurance company for the panniculectomy (never expected them to cover the boobs), though I know many others have had theirs covered by insurance. It just depends on your plan and your medical problems related to excess skin. The total cost out of pocket for panniculectomy, breast augmentation, thighlift and arm lift will be right around $26,000 (of course that varies based on your location/market). At the end of the day, we decided that we'd spend more than that on a new car, so we'll just drive the one we have for two extra years while we're paying for surgeries.
Now I want to try massage! Is it normal that you're still weeping from the scar?
After four weeks, I got my drain out yesterday (YAY!!) and I can tell today that I've got some extra swelling low in my belly. They warned me that it would happen, but now I want it massaged away. I push on it myself all the time, since the surgeon told me to knead it, but it seems like a real massage would be way better!
I alternate between spanx (a body suit and the shorts) and the binder. I like the spanx shorts the best in terms of comfort, but I can only wear them once and then I have to wash them or they're too stretched out to compress enough. The body suit, which is what my surgeon suggested, provides good compression, especially in the crotch area (where I'm most swollen today), but it's pretty uncomfortable and you can see it under most of my clothes...well, you can't see it, but you can see the line it cuts across the tops of my thighs (it's like a reverse muffin top). Once I get home from work and it doesn't matter what I wear/look like, I put the binder on and wear it all evening and overnight. The crotch compression flap (yes, that's actually what it's called) that they gave me with the binder doesn't offer enough compression for all-day use. I guess I need to just commit to the body suit and get over the discomfort of it. I've only got two more weeks, and I'd rather have good long-term results than immediate comfort in my compression garments.
I'm still really early out from mine, but I will say, it's probably unreasonable to expect 2 sizes and 12 pounds (I was sure they'd take a massive amount off me, but it was just under 6 lbs, which really, 6 pounds from a concentrated area is a lot, but it's not what it was in my head). I'm thinking I will just fit better into my same size clothes. Of course, if I go down a size when all is said and done, I'll be happy, but I won't be dissapointed if I don't. I have a flat tummy now, which I've NEVER had (well, maybe when I was 3 years old I did), and it's totally worth it.
After hearing how bruised and swollen Julie is, I decided to quit complaining about the drain...I have swelling, but not too much, and I have no bruising at all. I don't like the drain, but it's doing what it's supposed to do!
I can already tell how much better I look. I don't think I've ever had this sort of shape before, and I love it! And you're right, the recovery is a small price to pay. Even with the huge scar (and nasty drain), I feel pretty for the first time in my life.
I *still* have the drain (now 12 days post-op). Today was my goal to get it removed, but they're not taking it out until the fluid is clear, and I can tell it's not coming out today. I seriously hope this thing comes out before I have to go back to work.