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Old 06-11-2010, 10:35 PM   #1
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Excess Skin Removal Surgery?

I didn't have my stomach stapled or anything, but I lost 236 lbs on my own just doing low carb and exercising. I have lost a lot of the weight quickly and I am going to have to have surgery to remove the extra skin. Has anyone else had this surgery? How much did it hurt? How long was your recovery time? How long were you on the strong pain meds so you couldn't drive/work etc.? And also how much weight had you lost prior to the skin removal? I ask because I am told that the more skin you have to be removed that the more it hurts and the longer recovery time there is. Just trying to see if this is really true or not.

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:07 AM   #2
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Skin

I'm curious also.I went to an esthatologist thinking maybe lipo was what I needed but he told me fat wasn't really the problem it was skin and there wasn't much he could do. There was a plastic surgery thread a while back but I can't seem to find it.Price wise it was in the high teens and twenties so foreign plastic surgery options were mentioned. There are a number of people(someone named Maryposa comes to mind) that had wls in Mexico and can't speak well enough about treatment there. I've also heard insurance can pay under certain conditions.
Is the battle ever over?I just started seeing a personal trainer, I'm hoping to build some muscle under that skin in the hopes of tightening things up a little, but seriously, I am considering Costa Rica or Brazil(I at least have family there)
As far as you needing to lose more weight, could it just be the excess? I have always needed to lose 20 more but when I had the consultation the doctor told me that the excess skin and the subsequent tightening would take care of it.
Good luck, and good job, it's quite an accomplishment!
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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Mine will be covered by insurance because of the volume of extra skin. You would have to see me naked or near naked to fully understand.... and I am not gonna post pics of that! In clothes you can't tell, but there is so much extra skin that it will never shrink back. Some has shrunk back but when I first started low carb I lost 108 lbs within a 4 month period and that was in 2003, and I am fairly young so it should have shrunk as much as it is going to shrink at this point. I have a lot of muscle, I go to the gym a lot, so I have tightened as much skin by building muscle as possible too. I haven't seen a plastic surgeon yet, but my normal doctor thinks there is about 40lbs worth of extra skin and what I would need is called a body lift. It isn't just my tummy, it is my upper arms and thighs and even extra skin on my back, shoulders and above my breasts and even though I still fill up a DD cup, half of my breasts separated and went under my arms, so I can't comfortably put my arms straight down at my sides. I use skin firming lotions every day, this is just too much skin to shrink on it's own, I don't have an option except surgery.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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For me the worst part about losing the weight is the skin, before I lost 210 lbs, I thought I would rather have saggy skin and be able to live, than to be 325 lbs (at 5'2" tall) and dieing. All the working out and lotion may help, but for me my skin was too stretched out and surgery was my only option.

The reality is the skin makes you feel like a deformed person. I was lucky enough to have my lower body lift covered by insurance because I had so much skin.

My case is not the norm, but I woke up in HORRIBLE pain, I was on drugs/had to have help getting to the bathroom for almost 6 weeks, I would have to take my Percocet and wait for 30 min so it would kick in before I could even get out of bed to go pee.

It was horrible but the best surgery I have ever had. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had issues and needed blood, and got an infection in one of my drains in my left leg so that made recovery really really hard.

Here are some of my before the weight loss..........




This is 7 years later, please do not make fun of the second picture as I was working in the garden and have NO makeup on....But it is the only full body picture I could find on this computer.




It was the worst pain ever but sooooo worth it as I did not have an apron I had a mini skirt of skin all around me. Do it if you can you wont regret it!
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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I have talked to a few other ladies who lost over 200 lbs and also had severe pain and pretty much was on bed rest for 6 to 8 weeks. The ones who say it wasn't that bad seem to have lost about 75-100 or so, from what I have been hearing anyway. Since I have lost 236 lbs and not totally done, I am fearing mine will be bad as well. There is a lot of extra skin, and I agree it does make you feel deformed.

Here are some pics, I was trying to post a signature with pics and it won't work right.






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Old 06-12-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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I don't know anything about this, but wanted to tell you both what an awesome job you've done! You both are truly an inspiration!!!
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Thank you
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:43 PM   #8
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WOW!!!! ladies, you have come SO far!! what a huge difference

i'm also curious about this surgery. i've lost 136lbs so far with lc'ing and have a fair bit of loose skin on my stomach. i'm not sure what will happen because i need to lose a little more and i've heard you're supposed to wait at least a year after losing for your skin to adjust has anyone heard anything like this or had experience with it?
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CJ:) View Post
I didn't have my stomach stapled or anything, but I lost 236 lbs on my own just doing low carb and exercising. I have lost a lot of the weight quickly and I am going to have to have surgery to remove the extra skin. Has anyone else had this surgery? How much did it hurt? How long was your recovery time? How long were you on the strong pain meds so you couldn't drive/work etc.? And also how much weight had you lost prior to the skin removal? I ask because I am told that the more skin you have to be removed that the more it hurts and the longer recovery time there is. Just trying to see if this is really true or not.

Thanks!
Hi! I don't know about the surgery but I just wanted to say well well done on the loss. That is amazing and you are truly inspirational!
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:12 PM   #10
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Hazel and Marcella you are my heroes! You both did fantastic and neither of you look like the same person.

I have lost 124 lbs. and it has been over 2 years and my skin is like a deflated balloon on my inner thighs, abdomen and stomach. I won't even talk about the breasts. I cannot imagine how much extra skin you both have or did have. Mine is bad but I only lost a little over half of what you both did. I am so happy for you Hazel as you look so amazing! Marcella you look amazing also and wow what a difference it will be when you get the extra skin removed.

Thank you for posting this to help others!
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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A deflated balloon is an excellent example of what that skin is like!!
I hadn't thought of that before. I am nervous about surgery, but gonna get it done, I know I need to and I will feel better after a few months, just kinda scare of having it done. But it is pretty hard to lose 236 lbs and not need the skin removal.... I have it all over
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:59 PM   #12
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A deflated balloon is an excellent example of what that skin is like!!
I hadn't thought of that before. I am nervous about surgery, but gonna get it done, I know I need to and I will feel better after a few months, just kinda scare of having it done. But it is pretty hard to lose 236 lbs and not need the skin removal.... I have it all over
oh man...i can believe it!! i've lost 136 and i look like an empty bag of skin in some places, it looks terrible! i can't even imagine how hard it must be for you
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:57 PM   #13
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You girls have done amazing! Very inspirational. Bravo!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:37 PM   #14
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Well I lost 155 pounds and in December I had the Lower body lift, it took 6 hours and they removed about 15 pounds of skin. They did not really take off enough so in April I had a breast lift and more removed from my stomach. I was on pain pills in December for about 5 days and took 3 weeks off work. It was He11 that first week back to work but I made it through. I felt better after about 3 months.

My April surgery was not bad at all I think the most came from the implants. Yes I wore a 36DD but a lift only corrects the lower half of the breast and the implant corrects the top half. I took 1 week off work and went back sore but not to bad. I am now 8 weeks out and still sore every once in a while but I would do both surgeries again in a heart beat. I do know I will still need my inner thighs done but just want to enjoy life for a little while.

Please PM me and I will gladly share my pictures with you and gladly talk on the phone with anyone who really would like more info.
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:04 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing! A 6 hour surgery is pretty long. I will have to ask if they will need to do mine in sections, meaning longer recovery times or if they were going to try and do it all at once. I wasn't thinking about that possibility of having longer recoveries. I don't have family near me so my Mom was going to fly in and stay with me for 6 weeks or so. I also have the complication of being between jobs which would give me recovery time, but if I had the surgery after getting a new job they might not want to hold my job for me while I was gone recovering. Maybe I need to make an initial appointment with the surgeon quicker then I thought....
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bdladie View Post
Well I lost 155 pounds and in December I had the Lower body lift, it took 6 hours and they removed about 15 pounds of skin. They did not really take off enough so in April I had a breast lift and more removed from my stomach. I was on pain pills in December for about 5 days and took 3 weeks off work. It was He11 that first week back to work but I made it through. I felt better after about 3 months.

My April surgery was not bad at all I think the most came from the implants. Yes I wore a 36DD but a lift only corrects the lower half of the breast and the implant corrects the top half. I took 1 week off work and went back sore but not to bad. I am now 8 weeks out and still sore every once in a while but I would do both surgeries again in a heart beat. I do know I will still need my inner thighs done but just want to enjoy life for a little while.

Please PM me and I will gladly share my pictures with you and gladly talk on the phone with anyone who really would like more info.
Hi bdladie, our stats are similar so I KNOW your skin issues. How did you finally come to the decision to have surgery? How did you pick your medical staff? Did your insurance fund the process? I'm glad you are satisfied. Is it too soon for you to know how the scarring looks?

Happy clothes shopping to you!
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:32 PM   #17
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I have no input for you, just wanted to say congrats and subscribe to this thread because I am curious too.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:55 AM   #18
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I am scheduled to have a tummy tuck and butt lift in TWO WEEKS!! I had RNY gastric bypass 22 months ago and have lost 110 pounds and maintained almost a year. I also have the saggy arms and inner thighs, but the midriff and belly roll and my saggy, wrinkled butt are what bother me most. I checked on surgeons and the one I chose has his own center and was recommended by three of my doctors. It is supposed to be a six hour surgery and I will go home the same day.

Two other ladies I know had the same surgery and they claim they never had any pain... just discomfort for a few days. I hope that is how I am.

I'm very excited and nervous about any surgery.

YOU TWO LADIES ROCK ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS!!

Also, my surgery will cost $11,500 and I'm paying.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #19
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Check out threads by Snow White-she posted pics of her plastic surgery. She lost 213 lbs had 20 lbs of excess skin removed.

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...l-graphic.html

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Old 06-14-2010, 09:16 PM   #20
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Wow....you ladies look awesome. Best of luck with your surgery.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:07 AM   #21
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CJ... . everyones pain threshold is different so even if someone says it was very painful or didn't hurt at all you will never know how it is going to affect you until you have it done. I had my hernia plus tummy tuck procedure April 6th. Unfortunately my incision opened up 2-3 weeks later.. We are packing it with gauze every day and it is slowly closing up even now. It is taking forever but I can tell its going to be well worth it. I can't imagine going home the day of surgery.. I didn't have too since I had the hernia but the day after surgery they got me up and it about killed me to walk (I was in a lot of pain and in tears the first day of movement) because I have somewhat long incision since it is hipbone to hipbone. I do not regret my doing it however.. I can tell I am going to have a great result once this incision closes the rest of the way up.. I am not the normal outcome.. its something that happens now and then.. The biggest pain right now is missing out on some things.. We have a family reunion next week and I have a class reunion the week after that and might not make it to either.. I have to be completely closed in order to travel so far.. (Its 1000 miles away).

Make sure you ask your doctor everything you can think of.. write your questions down so you do not forget.. Ask what type of surgery you will get.. My insurance paid for basic skin removal but I paid an extra 2800 to pay to make it a tummy tuck.. Otherwise they would of just pulled everything down and cut and sewn me up.. It wouldn't of done anything for my upper stomachs loose skin.. plus my belly button would of probably been cut off... so make sure you know what procedures you are going to be getting.. you may be able to get your insurance to cover it as well.. I worked with my doctors sending letters and pictures along with other symptoms of why I needed to have skin removal.. If you need any suggestions on that.. please ask.. I had a lot of help from my doctors.. plus snowwhite let me know what she did to get it approved as well.. and if it gets denied.. keep bugging them.. it took me three requests when they finally said yes.

To answer your specific questions.. I was on pain killers until my drains were removed (about 10 days later).. then when the incision opened and we had to pack it with gauze I started to take some pain killers 1/2 hour before packing because some of my feeling already was coming back in some areas.. but I am sure I would of been off meds for good had the incision stayed together.. I haven't taken any pain meds in a few weeks however as I found it wasn't hurting that bad anymore.. I had lost a little over 150 pounds before doing the surgery.. of course I am only 4' 11" so you can imagine what that might look like on someone so short.. They took off 8 pounds of skin.. I wish my legs looked better.. From right above the knee down I looks really little.. my thighs looks like cottage cheeze because of extra skin but I am not sure I want to have a lift in those areas (I will be talking to my plastic surgeon about it later if it doesn't shrink up with time) I am going to have some lipo done eventually on my hips/saddlebag area.. I think once I am more contoured I will be happy with what I see in the mirror.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #22
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CONGRATS TO YOU GIRLS!

CHERI: Do you know why your incision opened back up? Did you do something too strenuous? Did you wear a midriff/adominal compression binding thing for a while?

Today is day six and I'm in the office. Things went well I think. Doctor said my ab muscles were a mess from a surgery I had about 4 or 5 years ago. He repaired them and repaired the incisional hernia in the same area. He said I should have lots more core strength as I improve.

He could not find as much fat in my belly as he thought he would to put into my butt. He put about 250CCs in each cheek. It looked HUGE on Friday and I panicked, but has gone down and will probably go down more. He removed 3 pounds of skin from each the front and my hanging butt, so a total of 6 pounds of skin. I am extremely sore in my abs and feel very tight all over. It wasn't really pain as much as discomfort. I am hoping for a really nice outcome.

The girls at his office told me I was standing up really straight yesterday compared to most women who have the surgery, but I feel like my shoulders are turning forward and it makes my back ache.

I will wear a velcro closing compression garment for two or three weeks and it really feels like a security blanket around my midriff. I sure don't want anything to open back up!

I'm doing lots of protein and taking my vitamins to help with healing.

I was at 155 last week before surgery and weighed 145.5 this morning. Of course, he removed six pounds of skin and I have not had much of an appetite since surgery, but am sure it will come back soon.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #23
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Cheri- I had the opening and yes it is still worth it. In time you will look back at this and be so glad you did it. I know I am!

I had about 15 pounds of skin removed in my first surgery and another 4 in the second one. I am not down that much though and my surgeon says nobody normally is when you have that much done.

I am glad I did this but it has been over 6 months from the first surgery and almost 3 from this last one and I still have stitches being spit out. I can't wait for that to end.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:11 AM   #24
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CONGRATS TO YOU GIRLS!

CHERI: Do you know why your incision opened back up? Did you do something too strenuous? Did you wear a midriff/adominal compression binding thing for a while?

Today is day six and I'm in the office. Things went well I think. Doctor said my ab muscles were a mess from a surgery I had about 4 or 5 years ago. He repaired them and repaired the incisional hernia in the same area. He said I should have lots more core strength as I improve.

He could not find as much fat in my belly as he thought he would to put into my butt. He put about 250CCs in each cheek. It looked HUGE on Friday and I panicked, but has gone down and will probably go down more. He removed 3 pounds of skin from each the front and my hanging butt, so a total of 6 pounds of skin. I am extremely sore in my abs and feel very tight all over. It wasn't really pain as much as discomfort. I am hoping for a really nice outcome.

The girls at his office told me I was standing up really straight yesterday compared to most women who have the surgery, but I feel like my shoulders are turning forward and it makes my back ache.

I will wear a velcro closing compression garment for two or three weeks and it really feels like a security blanket around my midriff. I sure don't want anything to open back up!

I'm doing lots of protein and taking my vitamins to help with healing.

I was at 155 last week before surgery and weighed 145.5 this morning. Of course, he removed six pounds of skin and I have not had much of an appetite since surgery, but am sure it will come back soon.
My doctor told me she might of pulled the skin too tight and that is why it opened up... I didnt' do anything strenuous like lifting something to heavy.. My bloodwork wasn't the best when I had this done either but my doctor says that wouldn't have anything to do with it.. she still thinks it was too tight but in the end I will have a great result... I had an appointment with the doctor who fixed the hernia yesterday and he said it is more common then you think. I am still wearing my compression bandage (3 months so far)... I had taken it off for 2 days and my incision seemed to open up a little more so I think wearing it is better then not.. plus I feel good in it... I am still swollen so it just feels like a nice hug keeping everything in place. MY garment hooks in several spots down the side (like a bra strap) and then it has a zipper that zips over the hooks and then it hooks on the bottom crotch area... I have to fold the top part of it down because I am so short however lol...

You are doing great by taking your vitamins.. it does aid in healing.. Specifically my surgeon told me to take extra vitamin C because that will help it heal.

I would walk a little more bent over at this stage.. putting pressure on your incision isn't good until it is really healed. Shoot.. when I had to lay on the table yesterday I had to have my knees bent up because my incision felt very tight and usually feels that way if I try to lay flat... even since April when I had this done.. I sleep on a recliner which keeps me in a good position.. if in bed.. put a couple pillows under your knees.. that will help.

I still think this is worth it. Yes, its been a pain healing and I am missing my summer but I am so glad its done. I am looking into getting a few other things repaired also but can't until everything else is healed.

Good luck hun.. I hope every day is a healing day!!!

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:03 AM   #25
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Cheri: Thanks for sharing so much info. I love your descripton of the binder: "it just feels like a nice hug keeping everything in place". That is so true! I slept a little longer last night and each day is getting a little better. The ab muscles is definitely the most uncomfortable part of all this, but I am so thrilled I had him repair them.

Keep us posted on your progress!
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:45 AM   #26
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I am so happy to hear you are doing so well!!!! Do you have drains in? I know what you mean about the muscles though my doctor didn't do anything with mine.. they said they were fine and didn't need any repair.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:10 AM   #27
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Hi Ladies! First of all, y'all look AMAZING!!!

I had a tummy tuck after four abdominal surgeries and weight loss of over 100 pounds. I had a huge pannus (the apron of skin) which I refer to as the "flab-o-hammock". Mine was a 7 hour surgery, hip to hip. I stayed overnight in the hospital and went home the next morning. It was no more painful than any of my other abdominal surgeries; actually, the hernia repair which was done laproscopically with mesh was much, much more painful. My dr. ordered me to stay on bedrest for three weeks, during which time I was only allowed to walk to the bathroom and kitchen. By week three, I was itching to walk around the block, get out, etc. By week four, I was able to go to the store, etc. I was very fortunate to have a recovery free of complications (my incision opened up after my hysterectomy due to a seroma, which is where fluid builds up from healing, and it blew out my incision. Like Cheri, I had to pack it every day for three weeks. Gross! But since you get drains with a tummy tuck, this is a lot more rare.)

The pain was nothing compared to the constant rashes, psychological and physical discomfort from carrying around so much extra skin. Since I had both horizontal and vertical incisions on my pannus, I pretty much looked deformed, and it really wore on me. I never regret having the tummy tuck. I am by no means a small woman, nor was I when I had the surgery done, but I am so glad I didn't wait until I got to "goal weight". I am so much more able to exercise now, move around, and feel good about myself.

Congratulations and good luck to you all!
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:12 PM   #28
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Isn't it weird how each doctor tell us to do different things. I had the two drains with my tummy tuck/butt lift/hernia repair/muscle repair and they came out after five days. My doctor told me to resume my usual activities and the more I moved around the better. Of course, I am moving lots slower, but moving. The worst pain from mine has been where he repaired the ab muscles. He said mine were spread out about five inches too wide in the center and he pulled them back to meet and sewed them together. He said it should make a huge difference in my core strength. That part will probably take the longest to heal.

This is day nine out from my surgery and I am seeing the shape of my belly and butt and I think I am going to love it. You are right about the psychological part of looking in the mirror at all that hanging skin after we have worked so hard to lose the weight. This has been a real lift in how I see myself.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #29
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Start Date: Dec 2003
I felt like I needed to wait until my goal weight for surgery because I was afraid if I lost more then my skin wouldn't shrink more. I never thought about just getting it done then working on the last 20 lbs or so..... I know I would feel better once it was over and clothes would fit me better. The extra skin pulls, pinches, rubs and hurts all the time and it is all over too. Nice to hear from someone who didn't wait and is glad they did it.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #30
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omg u guys rock..... I lost about 65 lbs and I have alot of lose skin too but wow you guys rock........ wow wow wow good luck and plz keep up to date...
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