Progress at 17 days

Still have a drain. Off all pain meds except occasional Tylenol (like at night). Weight is around 196. Still super swollen. Fairly uncomfortable due to the swelling and drain, and itchy at the incision sites. Nipples are super sensitive, although better every day.

Transformative

For most of my adult life I have not been able to wear regular women’s underwear because my mons area was too big. I had to wear boxer-type underwear. As a feminine person, this always made me feel like an alien, like not-a-woman.

This morning I put on a size 7 pair of briefs. Not only did they fit, but they completely covered my newly lifted mons area.

I cried.

Plastics after a couple of weeks

The first week was bad, on big pain meds and badly constipated, slept a lot. Second week more mobile, started taking short walks. After 2 weeks I started sleeping in my bed again. Still uncomfortable. Feels like I have a heavy, warm stone strapped to my lower abdomen. But better every day.

Surprised at how it feels

I guess I never really asked what it would feel like to have a whole bunch of skin cut off my body, so now I’m finding myself surprised. It feels like I have a huge burning stone strapped tightly to my midsection, one that itches and occasionally hurts more. Additionally my nipples are incredibly sensitive and I itch all around.

Journey

Interesting journey…

HW: 320

SW: 281 (sleeve 6/7/21)

Got down to about 207 and pretty much stopped losing. I decided I was ok with my body even at that size so decided to look into plastics, especially since my huge belly overhang and mons got in the way of so much physical activity. On 11/9/22 i had an extended panniculectomy and extended maxopexy (breast and side lift) where they removed 17 lbs of skin.

9 days post-op I now weigh about 196. I’m terribly uncomfortable from the surgery and nauseous/constipated. But better every day. No idea where the next step in this journey will take me, but it’s been a wild ride!

Here are a couple of pictures: close to my high weight a few years ago, and at my wedding a few weeks ago.

Here is my drivers license picture versus Halloween this year.

One week out – impatient!

I had plastics a week ago: extended panni and breast lift. The experience hasn’t been bad: I have pretty good movement and I’m now only on Tylenol for pain. But I feel like I’m barely smaller! Saw the doctor a couple of days ago and he says I’m doing fine, but I’m so swollen! They took off 17 lbs of skin and I can still wear the same bra and pants! How long does the swelling last? When am I likely to get anywhere near my final size? I’ve been waiting so long to buy clothes…I’m impatient!

Plastic Surgery

Today I had an extended panniculectomy and an extended breast lift. A panniculectomy removes the “pannus”, the belly overhang. Mine was quite substantial even before weight loss, and really extensive afterwards. This included. “mons lift” which greatly reduced the size of my “mons’, or external pubic area. The breast lift was to remove extra skin which caused my breasts to hang very low. “Extended” because both surgeries also wrapped around the sides to remove skin there.

I had a total of 17 pounds of skin removed.

Happier?

Today Rio said I seemed happier since losing weight. I had to think about that.

The fact of losing weight, by itself, is not making me happier. I don’t care about weight, and know that being thin does not equal being happy. But she’s right, I am happier. Well, perhaps not “happier”, but less stressed.

Being super fat adds a level of stress to most activities. Just being out in public is stressful because of the amount of disapproval I’ve gotten, like stares, cat-calls, and overtly hostile comments. The medical community judged me. I was stressed about whether I could walk between two tables in a restaurant, or sit in a booth. I was stressed about chairs not holding me, and what clothes to wear because there are few cute clothes in super plus sizes. I was stressed about being seen eating in public. The list goes on and on.

And now, still fat but definitely not super-fat, I am not feeling those stressors the way I used to. So I am less stressed.

Happier? Maybe, but I don’t actually think so. I’m just less stressed.

Plastic Surgery Consult

Had my first consult on Monday with Dr. Bermudez in San Francisco. He came highly recommended by another WLS patient. He was great! He is in network with my insurance and is submitting right away for a panniculectomy, and the mons lift is included. I’ll also have a hernia repair at the same time. He recommended against a tummy tuck because I have a lot of subcutaneous fat in my upper belly and he thinks it won’t heal well, especially at my higher BMI (currently 35). Depending on how I feel about the result and how well I heal, that could be dealt with later.

Assuming all goes well I might go back for my arms and a breast lift (no implants), which includes all of the loose skin on the sides too. He quoted $26K for that. It’s definitely higher than I’ve seen elsewhere but this is SF and everything is more expensive.

I’m on a Facebook group for people who’ve had plastic surgery after weight loss, and it’s been great in terms of understanding the procedures and what to ask the surgeon. I went through all of the questions and he took lots of time to make sure I understood everything.

Can’t wait!