Two weeks post medial thigh lift.

karen C.
on 9/4/11 7:37 pm, edited 9/5/11 1:59 am - Kennewick, WA

This recovery knocked my feet out from under me. On Aug 23, two weeks ago today, I had a medial thigh lift at U of Washington. I live 200 miles east of Seattle in southeastern Washington. Surgery took 6 hours instead of 4. Still waiting to see if I get an extra bill for that. My surgeon said he was a bit like a tailor. He starts out with a pattern but sometimes alters it when he gets going. Guess that's what happened. Surgical team (Dr. Otway Louie) and all staff at U of W were great. There are nurses and there are nurses. These were professinal and very caring as it should be but sometimes is not.

I thought I was more than ready for this surgery having had bilateral  knee replacements and a lower body lift during the past 10 years. I was told by the surgeon that did my lower body lift that thigh lift would be easy compared to body lift. Don't know what he was thinking as that was not the case. Recovery was much more difficult probably because of the location of the incisions.

The first thing I was told was to "be sure to keep your gauze dry when going to the bathroom."  Right! Can't sit down all of the way: incisions from knee to groin each leg and then out in groin area at least 7 inches each side. Worry about infection. I've used a ton of baby wipes. Figure if they are okay for a baby they should be okay for me.

Spent one night in the hospital then the next 2 nights at my son's in Kirkland. On 2nd night I showered with incisions covered but still got a bit wet. At 48 hours post op we were told to remove gauze. Mike took care of this so I didn't see  that area until we got back to Kennewick Friday afternoon.

So we get home on Friday afternoon. Made the trip fine and figure we'll both get better rest at home. Have to return for a followup up on Tuesday.

Friday evening we clean everything up, redress a couple of areas and discover that the "steristrips" from  the left side mostly gone. These need to be there more than 24 hours I am sure. Now I'm worried: will the incisions open up, will they get infected? I'm 200 miles from doctor. Mike goes out and buys new steristrips, gauze and butterfly bandages. All looks much better until I go to the bathroom and again. . . wet. Everything comes loose. Frustrating and expensive.

Mike says it looks like someone took a meat cleaver to the inside of my thighs.Probably about right! I call the nurse and she is reassurring saying that "surgical cement" is holding everything in place.

Not supposed to spread legs, so hard getting in and out of vehicles etc.

So last Monday we head back over for followup. Everything looking good, drains are removed .YAY! With lower body lift I had 3 drains in for almost 3 weeks. Told to just keep doing what I'm dong.

I'm watching as closely as possible with hubby's help. With lower body lift I had an incision on each hip that looked great. They were "healed" over but I found out when I went in that they were not healed inside and were all infected. Doctor had to "make them bigger to make them better" and they took literally months to heal. I had to pack them with some kind of seaweed gauze that drew the "gunk" out.

Day by day I'm getting better. Just read another post about complicatons. So far I do not seem to be experiencing any of those, but it's so hard to get a good look. Hard to trust my husband as he's the one *****moved anything that was loose which involved steri strips that were supposed to stay put.

I did learn a few things that I'd like to pass on for anyone else getting ready for this proceedure.

1. Practice peeing standing up. It's very difficult. After soaking myself and my gauze bandages a couple of times I invented something that I do NOT want my name on but it sure helped for a few days. I cut the bottom out a disposable water bottle. We have a walk in shower. I got in the shower, straddled the drain, put the upside down bottle in place and let it fly. Then I sprayed the drain and took a shower. I did that for a couple of days.

2. I couldn't stand for my incisions to touch each other. A pair of soft cotton knee length Walmart shorts ($6.00) fit loose enough to not irritate and are soothing.

3. Dug around and found a couple of old pairs of "big girl panties" when I was at least 100 lbs heavier. These also fit loosely but are comfortable and help me to feel like I am keeping the area as clean as possible.

This may be too much info but like I said I THOUGHT I was more than prepared. This recovery was right up there with my bi lateral knee replacements which was a trip to HELL.

Also, I didn't think to take old, clean towels along and extra loose sundress. The old towels are needed to cover chairs, bathroom floor, areas where you might "drain " a bit on things.

I will gladly answer any questions regarding this proceedure, but prefer to do the person stuff via messages rather than open posts here. PM me and I'll give out my email address.

Oh almost forgot. They removed 8 lbs of excess skin and fat. At 2 weeks post op I still weigh almost 4 pounds more than the day I entered the hospital. My legs from groin to toes are still very swollen. I keep them elevated as much as possible.

Other thing I was prepared for but still not fun. The pain pills really constipate me. Almost 5 days before first bm. Another 4 before the next one. I'm taking stool softeners, eating prunes, drinking water. Now that I'm down to one pain pill every 5-6 hours that problem is resolving itself.

I know that the end result with be worth it, but about a week ago I was saying to myself: "And you worked all last year subbing as an aide with middle schoolers, to save enough to pay for this torture???"

Time to head back to bed.

Karen C

Laura in Texas
on 9/4/11 10:31 pm
RNY on 09/17/08 with
Wow. Thanks for sharing! Your post was very helpful. I always heard thighs were the worst, which is why I'll probably never get them done. I hope you feel better soon!!

Laura

Laura in Texas

52 years old; 5'7" tall; HW: 339 (BMI=53); GW: 140 CW: 150 (BMI=24)

RNY: 09-17-08 Dr. Garth Davis

brachioplasty: 12-18-09 Dr. Wainwright; lbl/bl: 06-28-11 Dr. LoMonaco

"If what you're doing doesn't work, change what you're doing - don't complain that it doesn't work."

philliesphan
on 9/5/11 12:41 am
Thank you so much for posting about your experience.  I'm thinking about this as part of "phase II" - like many others have said, now that I've had TT/LBL my thighs look extra wrinkly, kind of like I aged about 20 years with no exercise (and I DO exercise)...  I've never read a personal experience about the medial thigh lift so rich with detail - good and bad - because it will get better and rest is good I cracked up when I read about peeing in the shower because I've actually done that when I had back problems.  Also about the baby wipes I use them all the time to "shower" during recovery from TT/LBL.  Please continue to post about your recovery.  I wish you all the best! --Carolyn  


                                            (-32 before RNY)                                 GOAL !

 
  
karen C.
on 9/5/11 1:43 am - Kennewick, WA
Carolyn, After WLS of almst 200 lbs I started thinking about the LBL. Had that done then the thighs looked even worse. While I was grousing about this my older brother who has a rather dry sense of humor said, "Kind of like painting one room in the house isn't it?" How true.

Karen C

Laura in Texas
on 9/5/11 2:10 am, edited 9/5/11 2:11 am
RNY on 09/17/08 with
"Kind of like painting one room in the house isn't it?"

lol....so true!! 205 pounds lost here, so I can definitely relate!!

Laura

Laura in Texas

52 years old; 5'7" tall; HW: 339 (BMI=53); GW: 140 CW: 150 (BMI=24)

RNY: 09-17-08 Dr. Garth Davis

brachioplasty: 12-18-09 Dr. Wainwright; lbl/bl: 06-28-11 Dr. LoMonaco

"If what you're doing doesn't work, change what you're doing - don't complain that it doesn't work."

philliesphan
on 9/5/11 4:55 am
SO TRUE !!!  Even after losing a mere 145 lol...  When heavy I just avoided mirrors!  I'm so much happier with the changes from weightloss and TT/LBL plastics than obesessed with the imperfections although when I was still losing, the more I lost the WORSE I looked.  Phase II will be a boob lift and would LOVE to have any type of butt augmentation whatsoever.  The thighs...  still unsure @ this point.  I guess the age old question is how do you know where to draw the line???


                                            (-32 before RNY)                                 GOAL !

 
  
Montysmom
on 9/5/11 5:00 am - St Thomas, Canada
I love your post I am having a t.t and thigh lift in sept and want to know all the dirty stuff and what to take
Can I get your e.mail?
I am in Canada
debtfree
on 9/5/11 6:50 am - OK
 I thank you so much for sharing all of this!!!  I am planning on the thighs next year and already trying to wrap my mind around it. I think I saved it for last becasue it scares me to death!  I'm sure it will be a bugger to get through.  Thanks for your advice.

190 lbs lost
VSG 07/2008
lower body lift 10/2010
upper body lift 11/2011

karen C.
on 9/5/11 7:09 am - Kennewick, WA

I thought I was so prepared. . . Not enough. But at 2 weeks post op I'm feeling much better. I think just being better prepared would help a lot. So much of it isn't more actual pain than the Lower Body Lift but the location of the incisions and the logistics of daily life. I just tried on some pants that were so tight in the thighs two weeks ago. And get this I have 13 lbs of excess fluid yet to lose. Not wanting to scare anyone; just get as prepared as you can!

Karen C

(deactivated member)
on 9/6/11 2:03 am - TX
Thanks for sharing. I still have 25 lbs to lose, but my thighs look worse than any part of my body and I'd really like to have them done, but I am afraid. The painting one room in the house comment cracked me up!! So true.
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