CTGirl74

Considering Plastic Surgery and Not Sure Where to Start

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Well, surgery is slightly more than a week away and I'm getting quite anxious. I know it's going to be a lot of pain afterwards, and the whole idea of 3+ hours in surgery is weird to me. I mean, I've had surgery before, but this is my longest one. I guess it's just weird to me to know that they're doing all these things to me and I won't know it. I'll just go to sleep and wake up like 5 minutes later.

I got my compression garment. I ended up getting two sizes just in case one didn't fit. That way I wouldn't have to wait for another to be shipped. They're so close in terms of what the compression feels like, I'm not sure which one to bring with me to the surgical center. Maybe both.

Anyone know if dilaudid comes in liquid? I'm nervous about overdosing myself, or not taking enough and being in too much pain. I can never tell how something will affect me. With the roxicet after GB it was such a fine line between too much and just right.

Anyone know if stairs are allowed the first night? Wondering if I should sleep in the recliner downstairs, or try to get up to my bed.

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So my experience is that it wasn't the pain that I was expecting- discomfort yes, pain no.  I did sleep in a different bed only because my bed is quite high off the ground and I couldn't imagine getting up in it.  Also our recliner goes back a little too far and I had to remain bent at the waist.  I used two wedges to keep me in an upright position. 

My surgeon didn't allow me to wear a compression garment until after drains came out. I went home in a binder. I did take two different sized bras (I had a lift only) and they picked the one I woke up in. You may want to take both. 

My hubby stayed with me for a week. The first couple times we transferred in and out of bed were tough but you'll get the hang. 

It was also nice to have him standby during showers. I used a small shower bench. It was a godsend. We purchased it when he had foot/ankle reconstruction a couple years ago. 

You will do fine! I'm excited to hear how it goes!!

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On 1/23/2016 at 8:41 AM, CTGirl74 said:

I'm about 35 pounds away from my goal weight.  I was closer, but regained about 20 pounds.  I'm now back on the right track.  

At my last two follow-up appointments (1.5 yrs and 2 yrs) my surgeon suggested checking out a few plastic surgeons.  I, of course, didn't think to ask him any questions, but now that I'm home, I've been thinking more about it and have a few questions.

  • When is the right time to start scheduling consultations?  
  • Should I wait until I'm at my goal, or should I go now so I can establish a relationship and know what I need to do to prepare?
  • Do all plastic surgeons charge for a consultation?  I'm seeing 50.00-100.00 on a few websites.
  • Is it tough to get insurance to recognize skin removal as medically necessary?  

I'm sure there are lots of other questions I'm not thinking of, but I'll start here.  Thanks!

  • When is the right time to start scheduling consultations?  My surgeon recommended waiting until I was at goal wait for one year. He said you want to be at a stable weight for one year so you know your skins won't be expanding and loosening again. 
  • Should I wait until I'm at my goal, or should I go now so I can establish a relationship and know what I need to do to prepare? You can research and meet with surgeons so you can find the one you like for future surgeries. Have all your questions written down as I forget to ask questions as well as soon as the doctor walks in the door :)
  • Do all plastic surgeons charge for a consultation?  I'm seeing 50.00-100.00 on a few websites. I looked for surgeons within my network of my insurance. The visits were covered under my deductible. 
  • Is it tough to get insurance to recognize skin removal as medically necessary?  I was planning on doing arms, legs, and tummy tuck. I have had multiple infections due to the excess skin. After an appeal and personally written letters from my doctors, documentation of each visit  when I went in, failed treatments, etc. the insurance said they will cover the surgeries. I had my arms and legs done three weeks ago. 

Hope this helps

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Just wanted to report that I had my full abdominoplasty with lipo on Monday, 02/27. It was done on an outpatient basis and I was home 2 1/2 hours after I woke up. It absolutely amazes me that they can do something this big as outpatient. But I guess since they're not doing a deep dive into the body and organs, it makes sense. 

Hubby stayed home from work last week, and my cousin came in from PA to stay with me a few days after surgery and goes home Sunday. It's been great having someone to pick up all the stuff I drop (Murphy's Law has kicked in big time. LOL), do the things I can't quite do yet, and just have company in general. 

The following day was the worst of the pain, specifically in the morning since all the tightness had set in and the hospital drugs wore off. I had dilaudid, but found that it didn't do very well that particular morning. I couldn't fathom having to get myself out of the house to my doctor for my first followup.  My saving grace was when the surgical center called to check up on me. The nurse reminded me to take Tylenol with the dilaudid, as it enhances the effect of the narcotics. Ahhhhhh...sweet relief! These first two to three days were rough for getting up and down, but hubby was there to help. We got the logistics figured out and it was smooth from then on. Oddly, I found it easy and almost painless to get up and down from the toilet. Maybe because it's more solid leverage? Plus we installed an ADA-height toilet in prep for this. (We planned to install one anyway, as we live in a really old house and we're both very tall, so it felt like we were sitting on the floor to pee!) I just sat a little to the side rather than totally face-front, and braced myself on the tank to push myself up. I'm guessing all the body squats and lunges helped, too--strong quads. :) I don't have any pain now, although I've noticed some twinges, kind of like pin pricks, on either side maybe halfway between the belly button and my hips. I see a tiny bit of yellowing, so maybe it's just some late blooming residual bruising.

Got my first drain out on that Friday, so I had one for less than a week. The second came out this past Tuesday, so a little more than a week with that one. I'd worked myself up about having them out, because I've read so many varying accounts on here and another couple sites:  some people said they didn't feel it, others said it hurt like hell, and still others said it just felt weird.  I finally stopped myself and let logic take over:  I was getting all worked up about literally two seconds of possible pain when I just went through a major surgery that cut me from hip to hip.  That's just stupid!  (My experience was that it didn't hurt. All I felt was the tiniest of twinges and I wouldn't even call it mild discomfort.) Doc was thrilled at how fast I was healing and I had pretty minimal bruising, so she was happy about that. The only thing I didn't like during my visit Tuesday was when she peeled off the industrial strength band aid (you know the kind!) she had placed over the first drain hole after the drain removal.  Several pubic hairs came along for the ride. Ouch!

I had my first outing after the doc on Tuesday, which was really just a stop at the grocery store for a couple things and some bacitracin for the belly button. I had to sit twice while my cousin grabbed a few things and checked out, and I used the carriage to lean on throughout the store. Thought it was funny that all the elderly people were passing me. And I was in my pajamas, so that was an interesting look. I went shopping with my cousin twice this week, as I have absolutely nothing that is comfortable enough right now and I'm really tired of pajama pants. I'm hoping I'm able to wear my stretchier pants by March 20, which is when I go back to the office.

If you want to check out my blog, I have some posts there about my surgery experience. Plus I have "before" pics and one "after" pic. I'll take more "after" pics (the graphic ones) probably this weekend.

 

 

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Congrats!!  You look fantastic and seem to be well on your way to healed!

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On 3/10/2017 at 9:18 PM, TentativeMe said:

Congrats!!  You look fantastic and seem to be well on your way to healed!

Thanks! 

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I was 208 on the day of my TT and I'm happy to report that I'm 200.6 pounds today...less than ONE POUND from being in the 100s!!  I haven't been there since...I don't even remember. I was something like 216 when I first went to the OB-GYN at age 16 (i'm now 42), so I'm guessing I was maybe 14 when I was under 200 pounds. 

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If you want to check out my "after" pictures, here they are! http://itjustdawned.blogspot.com/2017/03/tummy-tuck-after-pictures.html#.WM54-fkrKUk

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Looks great! Believe me the puckering will start releasing. I still have bruising along my line especially on my right hip. The scar is very soft now but still pretty purple. I'm just religiously massaging it. It looks great and you belly button looks great too!

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Thanks! It will be 5 weeks tomorrow and I'm almost back to normal. I'm walking upright, although I'm a bit hunched over after sitting for long periods. I try to get up more often, but I have a desk job so it's tough. I have an area on my incision that isn't 100% closed yet. I had a bit of separation starting the middle of week three. It's about 5 inches long, but it's shallow. Internal stitches have held tight, so it's just the surface that separated a bit. I think it was because of excess swelling that week. My dad died earlier that week and I had to take a 3 hour road trip to his house twice that week, so I think it was the resulting swelling that did it. And I have lots of dead white blood cells surfacing. I've started using Aquafor on my whole mid section (other than the separated area) to help with the dryness, which is probably from wearing the compression garment all the time. She wants me to massage my belly button to start smoothing the edges, but that makes me a little...squeamish...since I now have feeling there. I'm doing it though! My hips still feel a little bruised, as do my sides near my ribs. Pants are tough so that's a pain in the a$$ right now.

Edited by CTGirl74

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