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360/belt/lower body lift experiences- how was your recovery?


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I am beginning to explore my options for reconstructive surgery and am curious to hear about experiences from those of you who have had a 360/belt/lower body lift. I definitely qualify for this but am trying to decide whether to do this all at once, or split it over 2 separate surgeries.

 

A friend recently had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy.  She said that for the first several days post surgery she walked somewhat hunched over. She said it was a natural response to trying to protect the area and that the area felt tight as though she was pulled in in that direction (hope that makes sense). She also said she cannot imagine having had the 360 procedure – she imagines the pain would have been unbearable being pulled in both directions, essentially forcing her to stand upright. Sitting and maneuvering around in general she imagines would have been much more painful and difficult, and  she doesn't know how she would have handled that natural instinct to hunch over to protect the incisions.

 

Personally I would rather get it all over with in one surgery. But her first hand experience has caused me to have some serious doubts. I have an appointment next week for a consultation with a surgeon and this is one of my questions I have for him, but I am very interested in hearing from those of you who have had the 360 and what your experiences were like. How were your first several days after surgery? If you had it to do over again would you do it the same or split it into two separate surgeries, front and back?

 

Thanks......Looking forward to any input you may have!

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I had a 360 body lift and my recovery was a piece of cake.  I was in some pain the first few days, but all in all I didn't think it was near as bad as my RNY, but I had complications with that.   I have also had an arm lift, boob lift, and a thigh lift.  Of all of these the thigh lift was the worse for me.  I did the body lift in one operation and can't imagine doing it any other way.  I also had an extended tummy tuck with the same body lift procedure.  My Dr. said he had to do the tummy tuck to get the results that he knew I wanted and he said I would not have been happy otherwise.  He and my daughter made this decision cause I was out cold.  lol

To answer your question of would I have done it in two surgeries.  No way.and I don't see how you would get good results without doing it all at once. 

Edited by AboutTime
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Thanks for your response AboutTime! It's encouraging to hear you had such a good experience! Can I ask, what is an extended tummy tuck?

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Obviously everyone is different, but I'm with your friend - I cannot Imagine having it all done at once!

My wls was pretty in uneventful, especially compared to my tummy tuck/penny experience. My ps did what an incision that went from the back of one hip to the other - as far as she could go without having to roll me over.

I'm a month into it and still on pain meds and lots of swelling. Going today for a ct scan to see if there is a pooling of fluid.

I'm still not walking completely upright and have back pain.

I still sleep on my back most of the time - I don't know How you would sleep if you we're cut 360.

Good luck on you decision.

Edited by WorkinProcess
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Thanks for your response AboutTime! It's encouraging to hear you had such a good experience! Can I ask, what is an extended tummy tuck?

I must have just had a really good Dr. or maybe I can handle the pain better, but I didn't think it was all that bad.  I was only out of work 2 weeks.  I was cut all the around my body and up from the pelvis to just under my bra line.  The Dr. had to do this because I had so much loose skin.  See my post with pictures, you will be amazed.

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I must have just had a really good Dr. or maybe I can handle the pain better, but I didn't think it was all that bad.  I was only out of work 2 weeks.  I was cut all the around my body and up from the pelvis to just under my bra line.  The Dr. had to do this because I had so much loose skin.  See my post with pictures, you will be amazed.

I can't find your pictures!

 

Do you have the link?

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AboutTime, your extended tummy tuck sounds to be the same as my friend's fleur de leis, probably just a different name. That is what I am hoping to do as well.

 

You bring up a good point WorkinProcess with the sleeping. It sounds as though your incision does go around the back a little bit on each side. I suppose that since many people get the 360 done it is doable. You have to sleep somehow, right ? lol But when I think through the logistics of it I am probably more concerned about getting up from a sleeping position, or getting up from a sitting position. I would imagine that with trying to protect the incisions, as well as not being able to use your stomach muscles to get up from these positions must have required help? This probably concerns me more than the actual sleeping. I will be staying with my parents who will certainly help me. But I have a bad back to begin with and am not sure they are strong or steady enough to make me feel secure about this. My boyfriend will be there after work and I feel secure about him helping, but he won't be there during the day or at night. How did you all handle getting up and down those first few days? And how long before you were able to handle going up and down stairs?

 

Sorry for all of the questions. I tend to worry a lot about the details! lol

 

WorkinProcess - I hope your healing starts speeding up for you! How did your CT scan go?

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After many phone calls they told me 7/01 was first avail appointment it may well resolve itself by then.

I live in a split level and limited my usage of stair first weeks. They actually have me working on steps in physical therapy.

I will tell you that after this surgery I had a hard time with my balance. You may need a walker for first couple weeks.

I also urge you to get more than one binder at surgery time- they are my lifeline.

Added note - they removed 22 pounds with my tt - if yours is less it will make things a lot smoother for you.

Good luck!

Edited by WorkinProcess
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I had a lower body lift.  I had only one complication and that was some blood loss, which a transfusion took care of.  I also had a hysterectomy at the same time.  I went back to work 6 weeks after my surgery.  I was off a total of 8 weeks, because I had another small surgery 2 weeks prior to the LBL.  

Recovery was rough.  I was in hospital 5 days I think (trying to get my blood right before I could leave.)  It was painful, I won't even try to pretend like it wasn't.  I feel like my tolerance for pain is pretty high, and this was pretty rough.  My stomach muscles still hurt when I sneeze or cough, but nothing crazy.  I was off pain pills a week after I got home.  With a tummy tuck you do walk kinda hunched over, but they want you to walk more upright with the LBL.  Near impossible and they are well aware of that.  You almost have to hunch over some, those muscles are just too tight for any other position.  My husband stayed home with me until I could get out of bed alone.  I learned to roll out basically.  I couldn't use my tummy muscles to lift myself.  

Drains were about the most miserable part for me.  I had mine for 4 weeks.  It is hard to wear clothes, hard to go to the bathroom, hard to shower.  It was just difficult really.  The binder sucks too, but you need it.  Just keep in mind it is only for a few weeks.

 

All in all, I would do it again.   The pain was well worth the results.  
I'm just a little over 3 months out now.  I still have quite a bit of swelling.  I tend to swell easily anyway.  Doc says it can last up to a year.  It isn't bad enough that i won't wear a bikini, but on some days it is worse than others.  

 

I wish you the best of luck! 

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I can't find your pictures!

 

Do you have the link?

It is on page 2 of this forum.   Don't know how to link it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Lulaloo,

 

I'm a little late commenting on this thread, but I haven't been on the forum much lately. I had a lower body lift at the end of March, and while it was painful I would do it again in a second. My surgeon is Dr. Agha in Newport beach and he is at the top of his field in body contouring after major weight loss. The lower body lift is his specialty and I feel confident he wouldn't perform all the procedures at once if it wasn't wise to do so. For recovery I was positioned in bed almost upright against a stack of pillows, with pillows under my knees as well to keep me at an angle. I also used a walker and eventually a cane, walking hunched over for the first 3 weeks to "protect" those stitches in front. My incision along my back never felt pulled or tender or had any issues. I'm really happy with my decision because one of my dear friends had a tummy tuck and where the incision stops in the front on each hip, there is a visible laxity of the skin and her waistline doesn't look as great as it could. Another friend had the fleur de lys tummy tuck, and her results are pretty good, but that procedure is really intended for people with a lot of loose skin above the belly button. She has a large vertical scar on her tummy, and unless it was necessary I wouldn't go that route. 

While I was recovering I definitely had to have my family lift my upper body off my stack of pillows, on my own I was like a flipped over turtle. But once I was sitting upright I could slide off the bed and hold onto the walker to get around. I'm going back down to orange county in September for my second surgery (doing boobs, arms, and thighs) and I'm not looking forward to another long recovery, but I just keep reminding myself how worth it this has all been 

Good luck with your surgery and I hope you get the results you want!

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Hi Lulaloo,

 

I'm a little late commenting on this thread, but I haven't been on the forum much lately. I had a lower body lift at the end of March, and while it was painful I would do it again in a second. My surgeon is Dr. Agha in Newport beach and he is at the top of his field in body contouring after major weight loss. The lower body lift is his specialty and I feel confident he wouldn't perform all the procedures at once if it wasn't wise to do so. For recovery I was positioned in bed almost upright against a stack of pillows, with pillows under my knees as well to keep me at an angle. I also used a walker and eventually a cane, walking hunched over for the first 3 weeks to "protect" those stitches in front. My incision along my back never felt pulled or tender or had any issues. I'm really happy with my decision because one of my dear friends had a tummy tuck and where the incision stops in the front on each hip, there is a visible laxity of the skin and her waistline doesn't look as great as it could. Another friend had the fleur de lys tummy tuck, and her results are pretty good, but that procedure is really intended for people with a lot of loose skin above the belly button. She has a large vertical scar on her tummy, and unless it was necessary I wouldn't go that route. 

While I was recovering I definitely had to have my family lift my upper body off my stack of pillows, on my own I was like a flipped over turtle. But once I was sitting upright I could slide off the bed and hold onto the walker to get around. I'm going back down to orange county in September for my second surgery (doing boobs, arms, and thighs) and I'm not looking forward to another long recovery, but I just keep reminding myself how worth it this has all been 

Good luck with your surgery and I hope you get the results you want!

We need pictures or it didn't happen!  ;-)

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I will post pictures after my second surgery! I can't decide if I'm ok with a bikini picture on the internet, but my belly button turned out great so I just might! hahaha

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  • 7 years later...
On 6/18/2014 at 10:01 AM, Lulaloo said:

I am beginning to explore my options for reconstructive surgery and am curious to hear about experiences from those of you who have had a 360/belt/lower body lift. I definitely qualify for this but am trying to decide whether to do this all at once, or split it over 2 separate surgeries.

 

A friend recently had a tummy tuck and panniculectomy.  She said that for the first several days post surgery she walked somewhat hunched over. She said it was a natural response to trying to protect the area and that the area felt tight as though she was pulled in in that direction (hope that makes sense). She also said she cannot imagine having had the 360 procedure – she imagines the pain would have been unbearable being pulled in both directions, essentially forcing her to stand upright. Sitting and maneuvering around in general she imagines would have been much more painful and difficult, and  she doesn't know how she would have handled that natural instinct to hunch over to protect the incisions.

 

Personally I would rather get it all over with in one surgery. But her first hand experience has caused me to have some serious doubts. I have an appointment next week for a consultation with a surgeon and this is one of my questions I have for him, but I am very interested in hearing from those of you who have had the 360 and what your experiences were like. How were your first several days after surgery? If you had it to do over again would you do it the same or split it into two separate surgeries, front and back?

 

Thanks......Looking forward to any input you may have!

I had it the lower body lift 6 weeks ago and was afraid of tension on the incisions and mostly worried about busting something open and how j would sit and sleep. I barely felt any incision pain at all, the abdominal muscles after being repaired was the worst pain of my lift for the first three days and I’ve had gastric sleeve and two c sections done as well. Outside of abdominal pain it was mostly back pain I dealt with from having to hunch over and I had to use a walker to help take pressure off my back cause I couldn’t be up and around for more than ten minutes for the first week because the back pain would get so bad. I bought a thick foam wedge system off Amazon to sleep on my back sitting up with my legs up so you sleep in sort of a V shape. I made sure before surgery I had something  in the car floor board to sit my legs on and just reclined the seat back for my ride home. The doctor told me they do leave a little room in back for tension because they don’t want to worry about something splitting or opening up in back and they know with being hunched over that area will get more tension. I either laid in bed or sat in a recliner for the first 5 weeks and I was fine, they told me I was doing all the right things and never had any openings on my incision. In the beginning I was scared to sit on the toilet to pee so first I literally was peeing in the shower and then I got one of those camping cones that women can use to stand up and pee and it was perfect. After about two weeks I positioned the walker at the back of the toilet to lift myself on and off of it and sat back at an angle when using the restroom.

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