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About Squishy

  • Birthday 07/15/1961

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location


  • Surgeon
    Dr. Frederick Harris in Sioux Falls, SD
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass
  • Surgeon
    Dr. Frederick Harris

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  1. I have to share a funny story... I had a post-op today. I mentioned that my abdomen was still "really hard" and asked "should I be concerned?" He felt my belly and laughed and said "That's your abdominal muscles Mike". LOL! Who knew I had any? I've certainly never felt one before.
  2. Hello Tink! Forgive my ignorance about the UK Health Care system, but is surgical removal an option for you? If you don't mind sharing... 1. Would you want the surgery? 2. If so, who would need to approve it? 3. Have you pursued it? If you would rather not answer, I understand. Here in the U.S., typically, private insurance is involved unless you can afford to pay for it yourself. Most insurance companies here deny these procedures unless/until you can prove the "medical necessity". That can be challenging. I tried to get insurance coverage, on and off, for 12 years before finally getting it approved. Just had the surgery a couple weeks ago and am very happy that I did for many reasons. If you need approval from some organization, government or private insurance, and have or want to seek approval, I may have a couple suggestions for you. -Mike-
  3. Sorry to hear that. For me it has been injuries rather than health conditions. About the time I get one fixed and healed, I injur something else. At least my issues are self-inflicted. I just need to realize, I'm not 20-30 years old anymore.
  4. Just a quick update... I had my first post-op yesterday and everything is going well. I am still retaining a lot of fluid and have a lot of swelling, so the drains need to stay in and the surgeon tightened my compression garments to help squeeze it out. My chest area is obviously swollen and puffy. My abdomen is flat, but very hard. Tapping on it is very much like tapping on a ripe watermelon. I weighed myself this morning and, even with the excess fluid, I weigh 14 pounds less than before the surgery. We know that he removed just under 10 pounds of skin, and I have really been focusing on high protein, low carb eating since surgery, so I know I have been losing weight as well. I'm very curious to see what my weight will be when all this fluid is gone. Still feeling good and plan to return to work on Monday.
  5. Ha Ha! Sorry Aussiebear. Didn't mean to creep anyone out. I had my first post-op yesterday and, unfortunately, still too much fluid retention and drainage to remove the drains, so at least another week. Since this area of the forum does not get much traffic, I will share my experience in case it might be helpful to others. I have not found any great tricks to improve management of the drains, but I will say that, like most things, I am getting more used to them as time passes. If you can sleep on your back you can get into a fairly comfortable position. I am a side sleeper, which is more challenging. I found that putting a pillow between my thighs is very helpful to keep the pressure off the drain tubes where they enter my body. Also, the elastic belt they cave me to hold the drains has four velcro tabs on which you can attach the drains. I found that using three of the velcro tabs has worked best. I center one of the three on my body and route the tubes through it. I attach the drains to the two on either side. Crude drawing inserted. Having the tubes go through the center seems to control them better and keeps them from being jostled by by my legs. Placing the drains where I do, gets them as close to my center-line as possible so I can sleep on my side without worrying about laying on one. (That would certainly defeat the suction-purpose of the drain and "could" force the plug out resulting emptying the drain in bed, which would be a mess.) Yesterday, I was 9 days post-op and was still draining about 3ccs per drain per hour or about 144 ccs per day. I understand that drains are typically removed when drainage decreases to around 30 ccs per day. The surgeon tightened my compression garments, which should force the fluid out. Next appointment in 7 days.
  6. Good Morning! Reaching out to reconstructed TT Peeps who have had drains and anyone with experience with surgical drains. I have two surgical drains that will be in place for at least 5 more days and could be in place for 19 more days depending on drainage. From the attached, crude drawing you can see that the drains enter my body in a delicate area. I am seeking any advice on how to manage these tubes to be as comfortable as possible. This is not terrible, but if I can make this "better" I would like to do so. If you have anything you learned that made it easier, please share. Issues: 1. I need to walk to remain healthy, prevent DVT, etc., but what I walk, my legs drag against the tubes and irritate the entry points into my body. Any suggestions for how to prevent this? 2. When I sit, stand, lay down, shift position, the tubes get tugged and, at worst, I am worried that I am going to pull them out and, at best, it is very uncomfortable until I readjust them. 3. I frequently accidentally grab a tube when pulling clothing on or off and unintentionally yank a tube. It is surprisingly easy to do! They gave me an elastic belt with four velcro tabs. Two tabs hold the drain bulbs. The other two can hold the tubes, but those are not enough to avoid these issues. Thanks on advance for any suggestions!. -Mike-
  7. LOL! I had not thought about it that way. But... Yeah I guess I get a bonus of putting down that gallon of milk too! TammyP, Thank you and I an still doing great. Very little pain. I stopped the narcotic pain pills around noon on Wednesday (48 hours post) and am just taking Tylenol. That has prevented any pain and feels no different than I did with the narcotics. The only real discomfort is from the compression garments. I'm not used to them and they always feel like they are digging in somewhere and are itchy. I know some itching is from healing, but there is a lot that is just from the garments. I just got a second set so I can wash and rotate and the new one is a different design that looks like it might be more comfortable. I'll need to wear them for 6 weeks. I'm going to post a new topic about drains, so I won't put that here. Thank you both for the responses! -Mike-
  8. Thank you, and Yes!... Just under 10 pounds of skin went in the bucket!
  9. Just a quick note here... I did not receive instructions to avoid standing upright, so I asked. He said that I could stand up as straight as I could comfortably. I actually have better posture without the excess baggage pulling me forward. One thing I am learning here is that, when it comes to this type of surgery, everyone's experience is very different.
  10. 48 Hours post-op. (I got to shower so I had my wife take a photo.) Not showing the stitches here, but I am very happy with the outcome so far. (I had a LOT of skin hanging. So I think this is amazing after only 48 hours.)
  11. I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this! I cannot imagine. I am not qualified to tell you what is normal, but I am fairly certain that what you are describing is not. I just had surgery yesterday and I can stand up straight with no problems. I know hematomas can happen and that part is not too disturbing. Messy, but generally easy to deal with. The pain, shortness of breath, and inability to stand up are very troubling. Forgive the ignorant question, but can you clarify the hiatal hernia situation? Did you have a gastric bypass? If so, there really would not be a stomach attached to invert into your esophagus. Did you have a lap-band? Then I suppose you would have a stomach to turn inside out, but I'm trying to envision that with a lap-band in place. That sure seems like it would cause the pain you described. I suggest you go back to your bariatric surgeon and seek his or her advice. I suspect that this is incidental to the Tummy Tuck and the plastic surgeon is not the best resource to resolve your problem. If nothing else, consider it a second opinion. I would not waste time or worry about hurting your plastic surgeon's feelings. You need someone who specializes in your modified internal configuration. Best wishes! -Mike-
  12. Just thought I would check back in to let you all know that I had my surgery yesterday! Everything went well and I am home recovering. The surgeon said he removed just under 9 pounds of skin. He did a fleur de lis abdominiplasty and male breast reduction using the donut method. (The donut method leaves the nipple attached and removes a donut-shaped section of skin around it. The only scar is around the nipple, which should not be visible.) The fleur de lis abdominiplasty scars will mostly be covered by a swimsuit or underwear. The center-line scar will be visible, but I already had that from the Gastric Bypass. I awoke wearing a compression garment around my abdomen and a compression vest. I have two drains in place. I asked how many stitches they put in and he said they don't really count stitches, but they count needles (which are pre-threaded) and by estimating how many stitches per needle, he figures he put in somewhere around 400 stitches. The surgeon injected some long-acting numbing medication so my pain is minimal. I can remove the compression garments to shower after 2 days, so I have not seen myself uncompressed yet. Hard to say what the final results will be but I have an inch or so of bandages and compression garments added now. I used to look down and see my moobs, then my abdominal skin, then the floor. Right now, when I look down, I see, well... my... um... man parts and my feet on the floor. (Before, even if the abdominal skin were not there, the excess skin on my mons area would have obscured my man-parts.) All of that appears to be gone. When I remove the compression garments, I'm sure some will expand, but I am very optimistic based on what I can tell so far!! I will need to wear them for at least four weeks. This has actually inspired me to do more muscle-building exercises. It seemed so pointless before. It will also allow me to do more aerobic exercise comfortably. Feels like a new beginning!!! -Mike-
  13. Thank you. I was guessing that was the case, but was hoping someone would confirm. So, no jumping-jacks for a while. Ha Ha! Hey wait... "Jumping"... When I am healed up I will be able to jump without all this skin flapping! I had not thought about that. Not that I do a "lot" of jumping, but I might have to put on that House of Pain song and "Jump Around" in a few months just to celebrate! -Mike-
  14. I've read several comments about people having back pain from having to be hunched over or unable to stand up straight following their tummy tucks, abdominoplasty, or panniculectomy. I am curious if this is simply because it is uncomfortable to do so, or if this is a post-op requirement that you do not do so while the incisions are healing. Of course, I know that my surgeon will provide the instructions that I will need to follow, but I have read those comments enough times, that I am very curious. Thanks in advance for any responses. -Mike-
  15. Yes!! March 22nd, 7:45 AM. He is going to do it all at once. I am pleasantly surprised by that. No overnight stay. I have to make sure they have one of those smile to frown pain charts in the recovery room. I have a long, but funny, but also nearly Michael Jacksonesque, story about a double hernia surgery I had last year. The recovery nurse asked me how my pain was.. "severe... moderate... mild?" Moderate sounded like... " I have some pain, but nothing I can't handle." So I went with "moderate". Apparently, that means "a lot" of pain to them and they kept giving me pain meds. They kept asking "How's your pain Mike? Still moderate?" Again, thinking that meant "not bad" I kept agreeing. After a while they told me: "We can't give me any more of that pain medicine so we are switching you to a different one." Me enthusiastically: "MODERATE!" At one point, I remember hearing an alarm and multiple nurses telling me I had to breathe. I didn't want to breathe. I was soooo... relaxed, but I did it for them. A bit later that alarm went off again and again they told me I had to breathe. That seemed like a lot of effort for no reason... I didn't need to breathe... I was fine. But, I did it because they seemed pretty insistent. This happened three or four times. At one point they went and talked to Jane in the waiting room and told her that the surgery went well but I was in a lot of pain and kept asking for pain medicine. As far as I remember, I never asked for pain medicine, but I definitely agreed to "moderate" repeatedly. Ha Ha! I can definitely see how Michael Jackson died. It would have been so easy, peaceful even, to just... stop being. BUT! I'm going to bring my own pain chart, just in case they don't have one this time. Be careful people, these people are well-meaning saints, but miscommunication can always happen. I guess you got more than you asked for there. Ha Ha!! I always feel, if nothing else, my life should serve as a warning to others, though. LOL!!. Thanks again for the support!
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