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Old 07-20-2010, 07:55 PM   #31
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I told a friend today (we were talking about weight loss) that I looked like a sharpei underneath. Without missing a beat, and with perfect seriousness, he replied..."Well, keep your clothes on then." and kept chatting. It was funny that he didn't see a problem I kind of LIKE his attitude
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:30 AM   #32
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I always wondered if I lost all my weight whether I'd need such a procedure (I need to lose 80 lbs, but already have some excess skin from my pregnancies 5 and 7 yrs ago) 11k is a scary number....thats more then a year of college! I wonder if they set up payment plans?
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:33 AM   #33
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Hi All,

Great advice, I am scared of the surgery (I am a RN) but have a hard time living with current results. Cheri, thanks for sharing, you are my hero and I appreciate your sincere recount.
I am 17 months from RNY and down 160 pounds, I am 5'5" and am bottom-heavy, I too feel like a Shar-Pei with much loose abdominal skin and a "double layer" down lower (mons)....I have circled the same ten for the last six months , so I will press on and see what happens. Melissa(SnowWhite) is a good example of getting the system to work, good documentation, pictures will probably get covered procedures. Will see in days ahead.

Thanks all for sharing.

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Old 08-01-2010, 09:31 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Kalania View Post
I always wondered if I lost all my weight whether I'd need such a procedure (I need to lose 80 lbs, but already have some excess skin from my pregnancies 5 and 7 yrs ago) 11k is a scary number....thats more then a year of college! I wonder if they set up payment plans?
People spend more than 11grand on a car! An investment in ourselves is worth more than that. That's how I look at things now. I'd rather invest on myself than the stock market, IRA's etc. Every dime I've spent on my surgery 12 yrs ago(I was a self pay)has been made back wether in actual dollars(by getting a better job)or improved quality of life.
I'm still not sure about this surgery though, the money part is scary, but the actual surgery is even more so. The RNY didn't scare me at all, I did my research and the procedure was the procedure. I think cosmetic surgery just seems to have more variables.
No rush- I guess I'm still hoping exercise may help I just can't seem to stick with any program. I walk, I ride my bike, but I think for the tightening I need I need to get into some serious weight training. I guess I feel until I've really given that a real shot I just don't feel right about the cosmetic procedure.
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:44 AM   #35
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People spend more than 11grand on a car! An investment in ourselves is worth more than that. That's how I look at things now. I'd rather invest on myself than the stock market, IRA's etc. Every dime I've spent on my surgery 12 yrs ago(I was a self pay)has been made back wether in actual dollars(by getting a better job)or improved quality of life.
I'm still not sure about this surgery though, the money part is scary, but the actual surgery is even more so. The RNY didn't scare me at all, I did my research and the procedure was the procedure. I think cosmetic surgery just seems to have more variables.
No rush- I guess I'm still hoping exercise may help I just can't seem to stick with any program. I walk, I ride my bike, but I think for the tightening I need I need to get into some serious weight training. I guess I feel until I've really given that a real shot I just don't feel right about the cosmetic procedure.

Weight training will not tighten loose and damaged skin unfortunately. It will build muscle that will hopefully show under the loose skin.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:04 PM   #36
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I had an abdominoplasty last year to fix muscle damage from pregnancies, although I honestly don't ever remember my lower abdomen being flat, even as a 125-pound teenager, so some of it was probably hereditary. Everyone I knew IRL and online said it would be horribly painful, but to be quite honest, I was shocked at how little discomfort I had. The first 24 hours were the worst, but with Percocet every 4-6 hours I was up shuffling around the house and sitting watching TV (ok, and dozing off in a drug-induced stupor...haha) without much trouble.

It was SOOOOO worth it. Even with the extra 8 pounds I stupidly gained over the past year I look so much better than before and my clothes all fit better.

As far as cost, Care Credit is running 18 months with no interest now. (It used to be 12 months was the max at 0%) It's a great option if you can get it paid off in the 18 months or when it's a month or two out transfer the balance to another 0% or low-rate credit card. My husband is having his abdominoplasty later this week after losing 80 pounds. He too has had the droopiness in that area since he was a teen (many years of yo-yo dieting didn't help either) so he's really looking forward to it. The payment on the Care Credit card will only be around $325 a month for those 18 months, so that's not bad as far as major expenses go.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:18 PM   #37
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I want to thank everyone for posting their stories - so inspirational to see what you can do when you put your mind to it... I have a long road ahead of me and know I, too, have most likely a lower-body lift and a breast lift/boob job of some sort in my future plans. What I did want to mention is how important that abdominal compression garment is! I had an emergency c-section in 2003 for my twins. I weighed around 350 pounds when I had them. The incision was vertical. No one told me why I was wearing it and when I complained it was warm I was told I could take it off. Two days later I had managed to rip the entire incision open and spent the next 8 weeks with a nurse coming to my home each day to clean and dress the incision, wrap me in the "too warm" wrap garment...and I was attempting to take care of twins! Wear it!!! Please!!!
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #38
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Wow..... Thanks for that advice!!!!!

I have my surgical consultation in a week and a half and they are going to take pics to submit to insurance and they are thinking that a full body lift would most likely be covered, but I have to wait and see what insurance will cover and how much anything extra would cost before I decide what to do first. It's scary, I am soooo nervous! I know it needs to be done and I can't wait for the extra skin to be gone and be recovered from the surgery. I am just not looking forward to the surgery it's self.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #39
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Yes, if your extra skin hangs down enough to cover your genital area for both men and women then insurance will usually cover it, but it might not cover all areas that you need skin removed from. You don't actually have to have a full blown infection but if they see the skin is irritated enough it shows there is a risk of infection. They have to approve it on a case by case basis which is why your doctor has to take pictures of you and submit them. My consultation is in 5 days, getting very nervous!
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #40
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congrats, Dovelette! I am thinking i will need a neck lift too, i have some shrinkles at the top of my neck and my muscles stick out in a weird way there which i read is because of loose neck muscles from the obesity and they can tighten them.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:55 PM   #41
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congrats, Dovelette! I am thinking i will need a neck lift too, i have some shrinkles at the top of my neck and my muscles stick out in a weird way there which i read is because of loose neck muscles from the obesity and they can tighten them.
I blame mine on my mom LOL. I have the same neck as her, I'm sure it wasn't helped by being obese and losing weight, but I think I would have had it any way. Now that I'm 31, it's making me look my age or older, where before I always looked a lot younger.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #42
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I blame mine on my mom LOL. I have the same neck as her, I'm sure it wasn't helped by being obese and losing weight, but I think I would have had it any way. Now that I'm 31, it's making me look my age or older, where before I always looked a lot younger.
i can pretty much say ditto to this whole post! except that i am 32 lol
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #43
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My neck bugs me sometimes, but only really if I put my head down, or turn my head a certain way and look to the side.

Right now it is the belly and thigh skin that bugs me the most. Then upper arms and on my back by my armpits and under my arms that are really bugging me. And something kind of odd happened, as I was losing weight half of my breasts split off and went under my arms..... apparently that can happen. Before I gained weight I was a DD and I am still a DD even with half of my breasts being under my arms. So who knows how big they really got with the weight gain. lol

Since you ladies are sharing your age I guess I will share too..... I just turned 33 a couple weeks ago. lol But you know, I feel better now then I did when I was 19/20 and a lot of people have thought I was 27/28 and say I look younger now then I use to. So I am more ok with my age then I use to be. My 30's are going to be much better then my 20's were!

I am getting super nervous about the consultation and what insurance will say and what will actually be able to get done and when it will be and I am really dreading standing there naked while they take pictures of all the extra skin...... I was told that I could wear a small thong or g-string but if it covered too much then I would have to take it off too. At least it is a female doctor and all female staff, but still..... it just creeps me out that someone at the insurance company gets these pictures sent to them. But this really needs to be done, I have lost more then some people weigh.... and for inches lost well....

Neck -8" lost
Left Arm -15" lost
Left Forearm -3.5" lost
Bust -30" lost
Band -24" lost
Abs -46" lost
Waist -38" lost
Hips -37" lost
Left Thigh - 19" lost
Left Calf -5.5" lost

That makes for a lot of extra skin.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:53 PM   #44
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I don't have an "apron" so I didn't even bother with insurance honestly. They rarely do anything except skin removal on the abdomen or a full tummy tuck (there is a difference) and I never had rashes etc. My whole surgery is being financed. Fortunately, it's being financed by my mother lol, so we agreed that I would pay her the same interest she would have gotten if she put the amount into a CD for two years, which is like 1.5%.

My total surgery cost, for tummy tuck, breast lift (with implants) and neck lift is $16,750. Fortunately we live very much BELOW our means (Peace Corps will teach ya that!) so spread out over 2 years it wasn't that bad.

I may go back after we pay this off and complete the lower body lift, basically cutting the rest of the way around my waist and lifting the thighs and butt. We'll see...

BTW my dr is Don Revis from South Florida Plastic Surgery, you guys should check out his photos, they are amazing. I'm from Upstate NY and am flying down because I loved his stuff so much.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #45
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My neck bugs me sometimes, but only really if I put my head down, or turn my head a certain way and look to the side.

Right now it is the belly and thigh skin that bugs me the most. Then upper arms and on my back by my armpits and under my arms that are really bugging me. And something kind of odd happened, as I was losing weight half of my breasts split off and went under my arms..... apparently that can happen. Before I gained weight I was a DD and I am still a DD even with half of my breasts being under my arms. So who knows how big they really got with the weight gain. lol

Since you ladies are sharing your age I guess I will share too..... I just turned 33 a couple weeks ago. lol But you know, I feel better now then I did when I was 19/20 and a lot of people have thought I was 27/28 and say I look younger now then I use to. So I am more ok with my age then I use to be. My 30's are going to be much better then my 20's were!

I am getting super nervous about the consultation and what insurance will say and what will actually be able to get done and when it will be and I am really dreading standing there naked while they take pictures of all the extra skin...... I was told that I could wear a small thong or g-string but if it covered too much then I would have to take it off too. At least it is a female doctor and all female staff, but still..... it just creeps me out that someone at the insurance company gets these pictures sent to them. But this really needs to be done, I have lost more then some people weigh.... and for inches lost well....

Neck -8" lost
Left Arm -15" lost
Left Forearm -3.5" lost
Bust -30" lost
Band -24" lost
Abs -46" lost
Waist -38" lost
Hips -37" lost
Left Thigh - 19" lost
Left Calf -5.5" lost

That makes for a lot of extra skin.
Ya, if i really get all i want done, it will be an upper body lift with redistribution of back fat into my breasts and buttocks, lower body lift and a neck lift.... this coming from someone who once said she would never get plastic surgery I guess that's why they say 'never say never' hahahaha

I have been noticing that my lower arm which used to feel solid now feels flabby and soft As I lose more weight the loose skin seems to be coming on rather suddenly... i had absolutely no signs of lose skin until I had lost 110lb or so. now, in the last 20lb, boy do i have some shrinkles!!!
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:02 PM   #46
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I am actually ok with my butt, it feels pretty firm to me.

The nurse said that I need a full body lift and she thinks that insurance will cover most of it, but we won't know for sure until they send the approval back. I would not have considered surgery if it wasn't for how much the extra skin pulls and pinches and seriously rubs and is just so uncomfortable. I hate surgery and I am very scared of it, but it needs to be done. I'm just afraid that I won't wake up......
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Dovelette View Post
I don't have an "apron" so I didn't even bother with insurance honestly. They rarely do anything except skin removal on the abdomen or a full tummy tuck (there is a difference) and I never had rashes etc. My whole surgery is being financed. Fortunately, it's being financed by my mother lol, so we agreed that I would pay her the same interest she would have gotten if she put the amount into a CD for two years, which is like 1.5%.

My total surgery cost, for tummy tuck, breast lift (with implants) and neck lift is $16,750. Fortunately we live very much BELOW our means (Peace Corps will teach ya that!) so spread out over 2 years it wasn't that bad.

I may go back after we pay this off and complete the lower body lift, basically cutting the rest of the way around my waist and lifting the thighs and butt. We'll see...

BTW my dr is Don Revis from South Florida Plastic Surgery, you guys should check out his photos, they are amazing. I'm from Upstate NY and am flying down because I loved his stuff so much.
That's great! I am considering Dr. Katzen, 99% of his business is post WLS! or Dr. Agha, who has some cool ideas for post WL
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:09 PM   #48
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Well I was just reading this whole thread again and realized I posted in July. Maryposa and Dovelette, CJ, actually all of you have done so well, you all have given me a wealth of information.

I have been "putting up" with this...you all are soooo blessed that you have done this at such young ages, I am so much older than y'all. Wish I would have done this 30 years ago....The weight of the excess pannus pulls on the area over my hips and I have had to watch for skin tears,rashes, overlying skin .....I saw a urogynecologist and wonders can be done....I feel like a 'empty sack'....I will sort it out and press forward soon....

Dovelette, I have thought of you often, glad to read about what you are doing. You were a big help to me in the months right after my RNY, I am now 18 months out, have had a myraid of other issues, so plodding along, even with the complications I had am so glad I had it done.

Keep posting, I will try to get here more often.

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Old 09-07-2010, 03:50 AM   #49
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Patty... Make sure you are taking pictures.. especially when you have cracks in the skin and any bleeding.. When they bleed this actually helps in the decision on getting approval.. I remember one time I had a mole on the bottom of my back.. it was pretty rasied up.. I saw my dermatologist and she said she can't remove it because insurance doesn't cover it.... I said dang.. I wish it was because my jeans get caught on it when I yank them up and sometimes it bleeds and it bleeds a lot when that happens.. She turned to me and said.. Okay.. that is all I need to hear.. NOW it is covered and she removed it right then.. Also take pictures of any rashes and make sure the doctor documents it in the report during the appointment.. Documentation goes a long way.. Also write a letter to your insurance company telling them how this has impacted your life.. It took me 3 tires to have mine approved... but I am so glad I had it done.. even with the complication I had.. Good luck!!

During my last appointment with my plastic surgeon we talked about some lipo and a breast lift.. I asked about redistributing some of my hip fat instead of getting an implant but she tells me a lot of times that doesn't work. They get it looking good but because the tissue is so watery it ends up shrinking down afterwards so didn't recommend that for me.. She wants to do a breast lift first.. then if I need any added she will go in and do that.. She is a very cautious doctor... I do like how she is realistic and tells me that this will help but it will never be perfection.. I told her I wasn't looking for prefection.. I am in my 40's and really did a number on my body.. I just want to look more normal so she and I are on the same page. My sister got a breast lift and implants and I asked her if she is happy with it and she told me no. She wouldn't do it again because if she gains weight it all goes to her chest and she doesn't look as good.. she says it just looks like she has fat breasts.. so once you get something like this done you have to stay within the weight range and not gain because the result will change.

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Old 09-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #50
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thanks for the tips, Cheri

are "fat breasts" a bad thing? That's what naturally large breasts ARE lol

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Old 09-07-2010, 11:11 PM   #51
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CJ I'm excited for you. I'll send some good thoughts in the morning about your consultation. You so deserve to have this covered. I'm so impressed with what you've accomplished. I can't wait to see how this all turns out for you. And don't worry, you're going to be fine.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:19 PM   #52
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Wow, most of your surgeries are pretty cheap as far as cost. I thought that it would cost more. I should probably start saving.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:22 PM   #53
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Thanks, I should be sleeping, but super nervous. I have to get up early and get someone else to surgery tomorrow, check them in and secure their belongings and then drive 45 mins to my consultation and if I miss it they can't get me in until the end of October..... so I gotta make it on time! Then rush back to the other hospital and see if the person is ready to come check out of what. They won't tell us ahead of time when the surgery will be over. But it is suppose to be fairly quick, I think. It's a form of carpal tunnel but in the hand. I told the person not to schedule their surgery on the 8th, any day by the 8th and they scheduled it on the 8th then didn't have anyone else to take them. Grrrrrrrrr!!! Sometimes I am just too damn nice.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:34 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by CJ:) View Post
Thanks, I should be sleeping, but super nervous. I have to get up early and get someone else to surgery tomorrow, check them in and secure their belongings and then drive 45 mins to my consultation and if I miss it they can't get me in until the end of October..... so I gotta make it on time! Then rush back to the other hospital and see if the person is ready to come check out of what. They won't tell us ahead of time when the surgery will be over. But it is suppose to be fairly quick, I think. It's a form of carpal tunnel but in the hand. I told the person not to schedule their surgery on the 8th, any day by the 8th and they scheduled it on the 8th then didn't have anyone else to take them. Grrrrrrrrr!!! Sometimes I am just too damn nice.
I'll say a prayer for ya, CJ! Whatever happens stay calm, don't rush and get in a fender bender or get a speeding ticket or anything! Just speaking from how I know I can get when I am both nervous and trying to get to somewhere on time!
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:38 AM   #55
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Wow, most of your surgeries are pretty cheap as far as cost. I thought that it would cost more. I should probably start saving.
I was thinking the same... of course, cali is probably more expensive... isn't everything in CA and NY more expensive? lol BTW, did you know that Dr. Aceves recommends a surgeon in his same hospital (there are two and he only recommends ONE so I was less suspicious that it's JUST because they work in the same hospital) and I was told he has performed plastic surgery on many of Dr. Aceves' former WLS patients... of course, although I am all for Dr. Aceves and was totally confident going to mexico for WLS, the sleeve is a piece of cake compared to reconstructive surgery performed on most of the body.... nipping and tucking and sewing back together.... long recovery... more chance of infection (no matter where you go)... i would want frequent follow up etc etc etc
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:26 AM   #56
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too nervous to sleep, been awake all night.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:33 AM   #57
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too nervous to sleep, been awake all night.
I completely understand.
Positive vibes. I know you're nervous, but at the same time, isn't it exciting? I am excited for you.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:36 AM   #58
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I was thinking the same... of course, cali is probably more expensive... isn't everything in CA and NY more expensive? lol BTW, did you know that Dr. Aceves recommends a surgeon in his same hospital (there are two and he only recommends ONE so I was less suspicious that it's JUST because they work in the same hospital) and I was told he has performed plastic surgery on many of Dr. Aceves' former WLS patients... of course, although I am all for Dr. Aceves and was totally confident going to mexico for WLS, the sleeve is a piece of cake compared to reconstructive surgery performed on most of the body.... nipping and tucking and sewing back together.... long recovery... more chance of infection (no matter where you go)... i would want frequent follow up etc etc etc
Same here. I rather stay local. It would be a lot of cutting for a diabetic. Don't want to be over the border for that.

I've actually been thinking about surgery lately. I feel a bit stuck. A part of me wants to get rid of the loose skin, but another part of me wonders if it is worth it, since I still want to have a child in a few years. I am still young though and I don't want to carry around skin! But I also know that once I become pregnant, things (body) will change.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:46 AM   #59
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Same here. I rather stay local. It would be a lot of cutting for a diabetic. Don't want to be over the border for that.

I've actually been thinking about surgery lately. I feel a bit stuck. A part of me wants to get rid of the loose skin, but another part of me wonders if it is worth it, since I still want to have a child in a few years. I am still young though and I don't want to carry around skin! But I also know that once I become pregnant, things (body) will change.
I am gonna wait and see what happens but my stomach, in the last 30lb, has become rather shrinkley and it's still fat.... so I know I will have loose skin, but... my arms bother me more because I never once had the desire to wear a belly shirt (just not my style) but I do wanna wear sleeves that are shorter than 3/4 length and sleeveless things... also I am rather "attached" to my breasts and if they end up like the tube socks that many women describe, that would also bother me more than my stomach would. So, I might be a weirdo and do an upper body lift first.

I have had that thought too about what if I have kids but if you get pregnant and gain the recommended 30-40lb, your loose skin after that is probably not going to be as bad.. also you can request that the skin not be pulled too tight because you want to have children, then you would look and feel much more normal although you would not be AS flat as if they pulled it very tight.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:49 AM   #60
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I'm a naturally happy person but I am pretty down right now..... I was at my doctors appointment for almost 2 hours, they gave me a little pair of paper panties to wear and amazingly those little paper panties were pretty comforting vs. being totally naked. I just had to pull them down a bit for some of the pictures. All was going well, I was told insurance usually just takes 1-2 weeks and then surgery could be scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks even. Then came the bad news.... I asked about insurance coverage and how much was left that insurance doesn't usually cover. Don't be fooled by the cheap price of other people's surgery, what insurance covers doesn't work for everyone.........

The surgeon said I have a lot of stuff going on and a massive amount of extra skin and a normal tummy tuck won't do much for me, I need to be cut up and down as well as side to side. I also found out that insurance won't cover any of the other stuff that needs to be done and not even all of my tummy either. I am going to need 8k just for my tummy on top of the 6k the insurance should approve and then another 8k for my thighs and that doesn't even include my arms, under my arms next to my breasts, back or butt, but my butt doesn't really need it, but the rest does. I am just........ I don't even know the right words.....

I work my ass off losing all this weight, do it without surgery, now I have all this extra skin that is hanging, pinching, pulling, hurting, rubbing, getting sore, raw and irritated and even infected and it even pulls so much and puts pressure on my back and it hurts my lower back and I was told before that insurance should cover all of this because of how much I lost and then I get to the actual appointment and the doctor who has been doing this for 20 years tells me they never cover the other things ever.

This just sucks so much, it would be so easy to just give up right now and say F it I am gonna eat what I want, but I just can't do that. I felt so awful then and I feel so much better now even with the baggy saggy deforming skin, I hate it but I hated feeling bad all the time and being so unhealthy even more. But it just sucks so much. Then I had to go pick someone up from hand surgery and he asked me what was wrong and I told him how much I needed for surgery and his reply was, 'Well you can just get fat again and and fill the skin up!"............ I almost made him get out and walk home but he was on percocet fresh from the hospital and I felt a moral obligation to see the jerk safely home.

I don't even know what to think right now, I just arrrrggggggggggggggggg, so frustrating that people tell you stuff should be covered then you work hard to get to a point where you can get it done and you find out it isn't covered. Now I can't get the surgery because I can't afford it. I don't feel like typing anymore, I am gonna go cry into my pillow now. I'm not giving up on low carb or anything, I'm just really hurt right now and gotta accept the fact that I have to live with this skin that is causing problems. It just sucks.
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