How to begin looking

JTomo08
on 7/23/17 2:52 pm
VSG on 06/29/16

Hi everybody. So i just passed my year mark and I want to start looking into plastic surgery to fix my loose skin, but I don't really know what to look for. Obviously you want someone who knows what they are doing, but as people who have gone through procedures or who have don research, do you guys have any suggestions on what exactly to look for in a surgeon?

Also, the main thing that really want to know about is cost estimates. I have a few thousand saved up already, but not enough for everything I would want. Would a surgeon allow me to come in for a consult, give me a quote and let me go? or do they see a consultation at kind of a commitment? I literally know nothing in regards to this.

AggieMae
on 7/23/17 3:26 pm
VSG on 10/25/16

Many consults are free but some surgeon do charge for the visit. You will get a treatment plan and a cost breakdown.

You should consult with at least three surgeons.

Surgery is less expensive in Mexico. You can do consults by sending photos.

Don't rely on the photos on websites, that is always the surgeons best work! Ask for references. Call the references. Work out the payment p l an before you have surgery.

Be careful about surgeons who say they can/will do everything at one go.

Gwen M.
on 7/23/17 4:21 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

Many surgeons do free consults and consults via email and Skype as well. I found my surgeon through recommendations here and my bariatric surgeon recommended him as well.

I was looking for someone who specialized in working on people after massive weight loss, was willing to answer ALL of my questions without being a jerk, and whose patients I could talk to to get first hand experience stories. Board certification, etc, also important.

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

Age 42 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

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

Gwen M.
on 7/23/17 4:47 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

It looks like you're still fairly far away from your goal. Many surgeons will want you to be at your goal and to have maintained it - so be prepared for that. You should also call your insurance company to find out what they cover and what their requirements are to qualify for that coverage.

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

Age 42 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

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

JTomo08
on 7/23/17 9:20 pm
VSG on 06/29/16

Definitely not at goal yet, but after consulting with my bariatrician at my one year follow up appointment two weeks ago I will be setting a more realistic goal for myself. I still have a little ways to go, but I want to at least know what money I should be saving for instead of just an imaginary thousand dollar mark.

As for the pictures, that was a thought I had going into this. Anyone can cherry pick what pictures they put on their website.

Laura in Texas
on 7/24/17 7:28 am

Look for plastic surgeons in your area who have experience working with people who have had weight loss surgery. Our bodies are just different and we need someone who knows what he/she is doing. If you attend any support groups, ask people there for recommendations. You can also get quotes from surgeons in Mexico by sending them pictures.

You can definitely have consults now. Some charge a fee but apply this towards your surgery costs, if you choose them. They will give you a breakdown of costs but you do not have to make a decision then. My sil got an estimate and did not go back to her surgeon until 2 years later. He still honored his quote. At my consult, my surgeon showed me pictures of people who looked like me pre-op and showed me their after pictures so I could get a better idea of how my outcome could look.

If your stats are updated and you continue to lose at this rate (it looks like you are losing 4 pounds a month), it could take you another 20 months to get to goal so you have time to save up quite a bit between now and then.

Laura in Texas

53 years old; 5'7" tall; HW: 339 (BMI=53); GW: 140 CW: 170 (BMI=27)

RNY: 09-17-08 Dr. Garth Davis

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

"May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears."

Sharon SW-267
GW-165 CW-167 S.

on 7/24/17 9:33 am, edited 7/24/17 11:06 am - PA
RNY on 12/22/14

I echo what others have replied.

A consult is a consult, not a commitment. It may take a few months to get in for a consult with a popular PS, so schedule it out a few months for your convenience. By then, you will be closer to your goal.

About the consult: the PS examined me mostly naked and lifted and tucked my skin to see what is needed. I wanted to lipo my thighs and inject the fat into my breasts for a breast lift. The PS got two handfuls of my thighs to gauge if I had enough fat to harvest for a good breast lift. (Ha, of course, I had more than needed!!!). Anyway, the exam was a bit of the dr doing origami with your skin to see what procedures will give a good outcome. BTW, I was never marked at a consult (where they draw purple lines on you to guide the surgery), only marked at pre-op.

After you see the dr, you will dress, go to another room, and an office manager goes over the quote with you. (4 consults went like this, only one did the dr and I discuss money). You take your folder and go home and think about the cost and timing and recovery timing.

Before your consult: Take body shots (no head) of yourself to help you get an objective assessment of yourself and remember that you are having surgery on your 'new' body, not your old body, so what has bothered you for 20 years may no longer be your #1 figure flaw. When I got close to goal weight, I noticed assymetry that bothered me and I wanted fixed. I had saddlebag thighs but the right was a double dose saddlebag. So, lipo on those saddlebags and evening them out moved to my #1 lit also.

Sign in for Real Self.com and study what is possible for before and after for bodies similar to yours. Yes, as someone pointed out, this is their best work, but if you don't like their best work, why go to that PS. But the more you know, the better a consult you will have.

I had my first consult for PS a year after WLS, when I had just attained 145 (20 pounds under my 165 goal). It was another 6 months until I had the Upper Body Work surgery. A reputable surgeon will tell you if it is too soon for you to have surgery.

I also looked at the PS done on My 600 Pound Life. Most of that is done to increase mobility rather than for ultimate cosmetic appearance, as when you are closer to your goal wt. It will help your define your goals.

Sharon

JTomo08
on 7/25/17 12:27 am
VSG on 06/29/16

This may be a stupid question, but what is the best way to find someone who has experience in excess skin removal for weight loss patients? I would think that any one who could do an abdominoplasty for example would be able to make it work regardless of how you lost the weight.

Gwen M.
on 7/25/17 7:15 am
VSG on 03/13/14

I'm not sure that a surgeon needs experience with weight loss surgery patients, just people who have lost massive weight. But, someone who knows what medication restrictions we have would certainly be useful!

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

Age 42 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

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

NYMom222
on 7/25/17 9:57 pm
RNY on 07/23/14

All Plastic Surgeons will say they do it, but having someone who has done many of them or specializes in it is important. The quality and the quantity of our skin is different...

First of all where are you located?

When you do a consult make sure they show you pictures of patients that look like you in their before pictures.

Obviously asking locally to other WLS patients or at support groups helps.

I chose to travel, no regrets!

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Goal reached 17 months. 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

#lifeisanadventure #fightthegoodfight #noregrets

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