TP1210

Starting the removal

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I didn't throw up with the last 2 I took, so it seems to be okay now.

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Sounds like you're doing great and glad the med decided to agree with you finally! Bet you're super anxious to see what you look like when the bandages are off and drains are gone. Rest well and heal, so you can get out of your lounge pants and into your skinny jeans!

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2 hours ago, TP1210 said:

I didn't throw up with the last 2 I took, so it seems to be okay now.

Oh good. Maybe it was from the anesthesia.

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Pretty sure it was. I feel pretty good today. No real pain, just some discomfort mostly due to the binder they have me in.

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Wow, I'm surprised, and relieved for you. Was expecting the pain/recovery to be worse.

Drains, PITA. I had two after after my RNY, for a stupid week. Glad when they were gone. Five would drive me bonkers.

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Worst thing right now is the itchy arms from these stupid pain meds.Time for some Benedryl. Which will make me sleep. My drains have slowed significantly. Yesterday morning, they drained around 40ml. This morning, they are at about 10. So, if they continue to slow, they will be removed Tuesday. Not much pain, at all. I must say, I went into this with the brave face, expecting to grin and bear it, but it has been pretty easy compared to what I was expecting.

As many of you know, I followed a friend in this journey. He was 6'7" and almost 600 pounds. I am about 1-1/2 years behind him. He went first. He had all 4 of the plastic surgeries in one sitting and wound up in hospital for quite a while. He almost didn't make it. SO, I was expecting a lot more difficulty. Today, he is right at 220 pounds. 

I thank God every day that I am alive and in the condition I am in, considering my doctor gave up on me at one point before the bypass surgery. Diabetes, vision complications, sleep apnea, joint complications, diabetic nerve pain and overall poor health/outlook. Gone. All of it. I am different now, more confident and the person I should have been for all those years.

Every day is a gift when you have this powerful tool at your disposal. Use it wisely and you can make the most of this life.

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Had a little incident with a leaking drain tube. Luckily, I have an RN (my awesome sister) at home who happened to have drain sponges in her bag and fixed it right up. I cannot wait to get this abdominal binder off. I have been using hydro-cortisone cream on my arms and shoulders to keep the itching at bay, so far it is working.

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Tom, so glad to hear it was better than expect.  You are such a trooper anyway, but it sounds like you're doing phenomenal!  Ready for the next surgery yet? 

When does the binder come off?  On Tuesday or does it have to stay on a lot longer?

It is awesome to hear of all the things gone in your life/health/body!!!  And now to add to that list 8# of extra skin!  You sound like another poster child for surgery giving you a new chance at life!!! (glad your buddy did survive and is at a healthy weight now!)

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Binder should come off Tuesday morning, the drains have slowed to the point that they will be removed. I want nothing more than to get this off and wear some normal clothes..lol. I am really curious to see what the doctor did to make me a bellybutton. He said he couldn't save my original one since there was so much excess skin and it would have been over 6 inches long. That and nipples. Sounds weird, but I had to have nipple grafts because of the skin. Should be interesting.

Next round of surgery will be next winter, and I will get the bicep and thigh work done, then I am finished.

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Bet you're really looking forward to tomorrow then!  When I had laproscopic surgery (gallbladder removed), my surgeon when in through (technically just above) my belly button which made them have to stitch it at the top of it and it made this awful cavern of belly button hole that everything collects in (and it is so narrow now to fish out a piece of lint is a 5 min ordeal). so I asked at my post op appt why is my bellybutton so weird and inaccessible now and she said "I like to hide the scars so they aren't visible so I like to go in where the belly button is so it will hide at least that scar"....to which I thought, WHY, do you think I am going to go wear a bikini at this weight??!?!  haha!  I wish she'd have left well enough alone!   So, it will be interesting that they gave you a new navel rather than try to rearrange the old one (which is weird to think 6 inches long!!!).  I was watching a skin removal show and the guy said "I don't care if you don't give me a belly button" and the dr said you WILL care eventually so I am going to give you one!  (he had to do the same thing, they wouldn't have been able to save his original, but the dr said he would look pretty odd w/o one and he wanted to make him look as natural as possible).  

Good luck w/ the appt and getting the drains out and the binder off!  I hope you end up very pleased with the results!

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Thanks for sharing all of this with us Tom! It sounds like you're handling all of it great. I've heard tale of how painful it is going through this. Did insurance pay for this or are you out of pocket? If you're paying out of pocket do you mind sharing how much it cost you? I'm just curious in case I decide to go this route some day. I'm pretty certain I'd have to pay myself unless I started having complications with all the loose skin.

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Insurance paid for it all. If I would have gone out of pocket at a place like Stony Brook, it would have been about $25,000 for the procedures I had done. My advice to you is to make sure you go to your regular doctor and get prescribed medicated powder for skin rash and infection. Make sure you are seen for it. It is the only reason my insurance covered me.

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2 hours ago, TP1210 said:

Insurance paid for it all. If I would have gone out of pocket at a place like Stony Brook, it would have been about $25,000 for the procedures I had done. My advice to you is to make sure you go to your regular doctor and get prescribed medicated powder for skin rash and infection. Make sure you are seen for it. It is the only reason my insurance covered me.

Thanks, I appreciate it. My VA pcp pretty much told me the same thing. She's pretty cool and will help me any way she can I'm sure.

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I was actually denied this procedure at first, but then my surgeon in KY sent the correct info to the insurance provider here in NY and it went through.

 

Off to the followup appointment this morning. I have to be there at 9am. My sister will be driving me in, I am hoping to drive home. I want this binder off!!! It's like wearing a girdle from hell.

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Well, drains have to stay in for another week. They prescribed a different pain med, Tylenol 3 instead of the hydrocodone. I was getting a rash. I still have the abdominal binder but now I can wear a shirt under it. I have scars from hip to hip and armpit to armpit along with one from my breastbone to the abdomen and grafted nipples. Healing up well, still a bit swollen. I took a few pics, so please only look if you can deal with it..lol. 

 

 

 

image1.jpeg

image2.jpeg

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BTW, Sooooooo much more comfortable with the binder on over a shirt and the ability to actually move and take it off if I want. The drains are still a pain in the rump though.

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It looks like you are healing nicely. I bet the binder is a lot less irritating over a shirt. My surgeon made me wear one for a while after my surgery and I hated it as well. I had flashbacks to when I had a broken rib and had to wear something similar. The drains for another week suck, but doctor knows best so good luck enduring that for another week. 

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Overall, this has been fairly easy. I'll go back to work a week from tomorrow once I get cleared.

 

As for the drains...eh..I'll deal with it.

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19 minutes ago, TP1210 said:

............As for the drains...eh..I'll deal with it.

Bottom line, I doubt you have much of a choice and what's another week on the grand scale of things.  You've already shown yourself to be a real trooper. 

Your incisions look good and I can't wait to see the end product once you've had a chance to heal fully.

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Wow that was a lot of sutures. Did they say how many?!?  They'll dissolve, right? If not, it'd take a long time to get them out! It looks terrible (painful) but from a medical standpoint, it looks great! Sorry about the drains, but glad the shirt can protect your skin now! I see the rash too, if it was from the meds, it should clear up soon. 

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There are actually no sutures. It's all derma-bond mesh. Total incision line is over 6 feet. I will take a picture of the entire trunk soon. I just got done bathing and bound myself back up.

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10 hours ago, TP1210 said:

There are actually no sutures. It's all derma-bond mesh. Total incision line is over 6 feet. I will take a picture of the entire trunk soon. I just got done bathing and bound myself back up.

That's wild there are no sutures, but I guess the healing line is better, right? 

so, tongue in cheek, when you go to the beach this summer and some little kid innocently asks about the scar, do you get to tell a shark bit me story?

(Would be the very best big fish tale ever told. There is actually a book by a fly-fisherman that I was recently given called "All Fishermen Are Liars.")

More seriously, congratulations on this. Amazing. And thanks for sharing, this may help folks who need skin reduction to step forward. 

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I'll probably stick with the vicious hamster attack story I've crafted.

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5 days post-op. Still a bit swollen. I have not had a BM in almost a week thanks to the pain meds, which I stopped taking yesterday.

 

 

torso 1_17_18.jpeg

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wow, I just assumed that they were sutures! amazing! It looks good though and looks like you're healing well!  Is your sister pleased with your progress?

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