10 Days to Surgery!

FrederickMama
on 7/31/17 7:20 pm

So I'm at the 10 mark before my lower body lift and arm lift. I'm super excited and nervous. I have some questions I'm hoping someone who's gone though it can give some insight to. So at my pre-op appointment my doctors office recommended getting a power lift reclining chair. I thought "nah I don't need that." Now I'm second guessing. Did anyone else rent one? Am I crazy to think I'll be able to walk the stairs and get in and out of my bed? My bed has an adjustable frame so I can sit upright to sleep. One more question - for those of you that had a stay overnight in the hospital - anything extra I should pack? I have coming home clothes, tooth brush, soap, lotion, chapstick and maxi pads (yay my period is due surgery day ?). Anything else I'm missing? Thanks!

Gwen M.
on 8/1/17 6:15 am
VSG on 03/13/14

Heya :)

As you know, I also did the LBL + brachioplasty combo with Dr. Michaels.

I did not get a power lift chair. I used an anti-gravity lawn chair at the recommendation of NYMom and that worked out really well for me. I DID need help getting in and out of it, but I always had help, so this wasn't a problem. My partner would put a wide strap around my back, above my LBL incision, to give me enough forward lift to be able to get up without using my abdomen or arms.

If you DON'T have help, I would definitely consider a lift chair. I've got one lined up for my last surgery (medial thighs) because I have an amazing friend who offered to lend me the one that she's got.

I slept in my chair for about two weeks, getting in and out of bed would have been too challenging for me. Getting in and out of bed in the hospital was REALLY hard. A chair is much better because you just have to go straight forward to get out of it, where as, with a bed, you have to get upright AND turned to a side to swing your legs over. (The first time you have to get out of the hospital bed, do NOT let them put you back into you - move to the recliner in the room instead and make sure to put a pillow or two down to sit on because the recliner seat will be LOW.) Even with an adjustable frame, you'd still need to swing your legs over and that wasn't good for me right away.

I don't know about stairs - I don't have them in my home. I'd want to minimize them to once a day for sure, but the first few days you might not be able to even do that. (Hopefully someone with stairs can chime in!)

For the hospital - I wore the same clothes home that I wore to the hospital. For me this was a sleeveless dress that buttons up the front because stepping into things or pulling things over my head was NOT possible. (I made a post recently about the things I'd bought for surgery, the dress link is in there.) I didn't shower, I didn't brush my teeth, I didn't even use chapstick. I was 100% out of it. I took my Kindle and didn't touch it.

I recommend that you have pillows for the car ride home. I think I had 3-4 throw pillows for propping up my arms, protecting my stomach, etc. The hospital gave me a pillow and a taped up towel for my stomach as well. I think I sat on the pillow they gave me? Sitting down on low surfaces was challenging initially.

I also recommend a toilet seat riser due to the low surface issue. If you don't have a counter near the toilet that you can use to hold on to, consider a toilet riser with arms.

I hope this helps! I was NOT prepared for the difficulties of recovery from this surgery. In retrospect, only the first 10 days or so truly sucked, but they sucked a lot.

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial thigh lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

Dcgirl
on 8/1/17 7:09 am, edited 8/1/17 12:09 am - DC
RNY on 12/16/13

Are you going to Dr. Michaels? He is the BEST. He did mine too! I didn't have a reclining chair or a shower chair. I just did things slowly those first few days. So, below is the document I wrote out after surgery (it was 2 years ago that I had my LBL and BL with him, then six months later my arms). I knew I would forget pretty much everything. It's lengthy but perhaps will be helpful. Good luck! You're in great hands with him!!!

So I went to Dr. Michaels with the intent to have a tummy tuck and breast lift. As he pulled and prodded my skin it became clear that if he did a tummy tuck, it would make my saggy backside that much more pronounced and I realized I needed an entire lower body lift.

This freaked me out to no end - I would be cut in half! I would look like Frankenstein! I would be in serious pain! I would walk like a hunchback! I might die! I would be under anesthesia for 10 hours! I had a million scared and anxious thoughts that ran through my mind in the months leading up to surgery.

In actuality, I had two terrible and painful days, and was great as of day 3. Although some people take off weeks and weeks, I was back working (from home) on day 4 post op. Surgery was Friday and I was online answering emails Tuesday afternoon and worked all day Wednesday. I took a total of 2.5 days off. I do have a flexible job where I can take a nap between meetings, so if you have a physical job or have to get dressed and commute to a job, you will likely need more time.

I did not have my arms done at the same time as the LBL and thank god, since the abdominal tightening made it so hard to do something basic like sit up. I had to use my arms to push my body to a sitting position (the first few days I had to hug someone while they lifted me to a sitting position). However, I opted to have an arm lift six months after my LBL and BL.

Now, there are people *****nt reclining chairs and shop for 100 new things for after surgery, but it?s really not necessary. Here is my comprehensive list.

Things I needed:

  • A wedge pillow (I don't have a recliner, the wedge pillow was perfect). I got this one online http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009HHLBKK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • A stepstool next to my bed to put a water bottle on, my cell phone, my OxyCodone for the middle of the night, a magazine, chapstick, etc.
  • Someone to stay with me for a week, to help fetch me food and drinks and pills, to empty my drains, to just sit next to me while I felt crappy
  • Pantiliners, to put over your incisions before you put a tank top on and then a binder over that
  • A crappy tank top or t-shirt that can get bloody to wear under the binder and unsexy bra
  • The abdominal binder that the doc sent me home from the hospital with
  • The weird front closure non-underwire bra that Dr. Michaels sent me home from the hospital with
  • All of my prescriptions filled and ready BEFORE surgery (I had zofran for nausea, OxyCodone for pain, Valium for muscle spasms, an antibiotic to fend off infection, Lovanox to thin my blood)
  • Non-prescription meds like Tylenol (I had a few headaches), Colace (stool softener), Senno (laxative)
  • Neosporin or bacatracin for your belly button and any random skin rubs you have
  • Gentle lotion like Eucerin because your skin (the skin without incisions) gets itchy being all wrapped up tightly.
  • A lanyard to wear around your neck and hook your drains to while you are in the shower.
  • A clean apartment and clean sheets on the bed and clean towels. You don't want to have to worry about that after surgery, and you don't want to get infections either!
  • Protein, protein, protein. Some bars, some chicken, some fish...whatever your favorite protein is...protein helps you heal so have your fridge and freezer stocked.

Things I wish I had known:

  • I felt like I couldn't breathe the first few nights. The binder is tight but also if your doc tightens your abdominal muscles, it literally leaves you breathless.
  • The importance of butt augmentation. Some docs do it, some don't. Mine does and thank god. Rather than have that flat "I have been pulled up and pulled down and then sewn together" look, I could be a distant Kardashian cousin. I am still LOVING it.
  • The LBL helps the outer thigh sag, but not the inner thigh sag. I sort of knew this, but now I really know this.
  • I was swollen. I was also up 10 lbs. As WLS patients, we are trained to have a good day when the scale is down and a bad day when the scale is up. Well my scale was up 10 lbs right after surgery. Kind of demoralizing. But I knew it was swelling and water weight so I forced myself to not obsess over this. Don't be shocked!
  • There is definitely an emotional component to this. Night 2 I was hyperventilating from the pain and super regretful. I got into a thought pattern of "why am I here? Why did I get so fat that I needed surgery to get normal, and then now I am not even normal, I had to have another surgery to cut skin off my body, I can't believe I did this to myself, I'm such an asshole". Luckily this was short-lived. But I definitely had some self-hating moments!

Would I do this again? Twice today, and twice tomorrow. Even despite the pain and regret on the second night, the pain greatly diminished within the first week and I managed well with painkillers. Almost two years after my LBL, my body looks amazing. Dr. Michaels? techniques are hands-down, the best I have come across while researching plastics. He is Type A about stitching, and my scars are so minimal. The buttock augmentation looks amazing. And he did such a good job with the abdominal muscle tightening that I still have semi-defined abs (I do go to the gym 4+ days a week so I contribute to that, but he formed them for me!).

I told Dr. Michaels that I want to be his best ever before and after picture. I plan to keep up his great work!

   

        
FrederickMama
on 8/1/17 7:20 am

Thank you so much for your input! I'm glad I decided on the butt augmentation too. I wasn't so sure I wanted it at first, but your experience is reassuring. Did you have lipo to your thighs? I decided on that in my pre-op appointment and I'm hoping I don't regret it.

Gwen M.
on 8/1/17 7:26 am
VSG on 03/13/14

I had lipo on my thighs. If I wasn't planning on getting a thigh lift later, I wouldn't have done it because my thigh skin looks worse now. (Less fat to fill it out.) Since I have always planned on the thigh lift, though, it was an easy choice.

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial thigh lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

Dcgirl
on 8/1/17 9:16 am, edited 8/1/17 2:17 am - DC
RNY on 12/16/13

I can't remember if I had lipo on my thighs to be honest - my outer thighs look pretty smooth but my inner are a wrinkly mess - I figure it's only visible at the beach though :) And my butt augmentation makes me very happy - otherwise you can end up being flat as a board in the back once they pull your upper body down and your lower body up!

I am so very excited for you - just get through the first week or so, and then you will be thrilled with your results! I almost forgot - I posted recent post-op pics last month, here: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/plasticsurgery/6022374/Pics-2-years-post-op-lower-body-lift-breast-lift-and-1-5/

   

        
Erin T.
on 8/2/17 8:47 am
VSG on 01/17/17

I am really torn over having an LBL vs an extended TT. I see Dr. M to talk to him about it in person on 8/10 so I hope we can come to a consensus. I've always had a flat butt and it doesn't bother me, and in general my butt looks ok (I have a bit of loose skin at the very bottom). During my online consult, he said I would have good results with either. The augmentation would be nice, but I'm not sure I need it.

VSG: 1/17/17

HW: 283 SW: 229 CW: 140.9 GW: 145

Goal Reached 7/31/17!!!

M1: 22 M2: 12 M3: 12 M4: 8 M5: 10 M6: 11 M7: 5

TrendWeight

Dcgirl
on 8/2/17 9:06 am - DC
RNY on 12/16/13

I was hell bent on just having a tummy tuck (the least surgery, the better, in theory, right?) and when I went in and disrobed (ugh), he was sort of adjusting my skin to show me what results I would have, and it was very clear that tightening up the front would make the back look even WORSE. So LBL it was! I shouldn't make it seem like I am super bootylicious - I just think my butt fits my new frame and am thrilled with it!

I personally opted for no implants, so I can avoid having repeat surgeries every 10-15 years to replace them. But I had enough tissue to create C-cups which fit my new frame too :)

You're in awesome awesome awesome hands with him. He will outline all of your options and make sure you are comfortable with your decision. I'm so excited for you!

   

        
Erin T.
on 8/2/17 9:09 am
VSG on 01/17/17

Ugh, I have this feeling that's how I'm going to feel. But, I'd really love the easier recovery and the money...oh the money. It's the difference between "No big deal" and "Well, I'd have to figure that out" when it comes to cost.

I'm not planning on implants either and he thinks I have enough breast tissue to make me happy, but we'll see what he says in person. I feel like there's nothing there but he assures me (from pictures) that there is.

VSG: 1/17/17

HW: 283 SW: 229 CW: 140.9 GW: 145

Goal Reached 7/31/17!!!

M1: 22 M2: 12 M3: 12 M4: 8 M5: 10 M6: 11 M7: 5

TrendWeight

Dcgirl
on 8/2/17 9:41 am - DC
RNY on 12/16/13

Hmmm, since I never got a quote for an extended tummy tuck, I don't know the price difference. However, I didn't feel like recovery of my rear incision was any big deal at all - honestly the incisions never hurt - the pain, all the pain and nothing but the pain was from the muscle tightening in the abdomen! So don't worry as much about it being so much harder to recover from an LBL - trust me, once he works his magic on your ab muscles, that is the only thing you will feel (I didn't have an ounce of pain in my breasts either! Or my arms, come to think of it! It's that muscle tightening that is a BEATCH!).

On a side note, am I meeting you and Cynthia and Gwen next week for lunch? I know I am meeting them but I think you may be coming too? That would be great! I joked that we can enjoy lunch and all show each other our scars. I think I used to be modest but after WLS and PS, I bare all for just about anyone considering surgery LOL!

   

        
Most Active
Plastic Surgery in Mexico??
samiamiam · 4 replies · 174 views
Five Days Post-Op UBL/Mastopexy
Gwen M. · 4 replies · 122 views
Compression garment
Renren · 1 replies · 39 views
Recent Topics
Compression garment
Renren · 1 replies · 39 views
Five Days Post-Op UBL/Mastopexy
Gwen M. · 4 replies · 122 views
Plastic Surgery in Mexico??
samiamiam · 4 replies · 174 views
UBL and Mastopexy yesterday!
Gwen M. · 8 replies · 158 views
×