Tag Archives: loose skin

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck

10 Jun

The following was written by a patient who had undergone abdominoplasty. She is 40 years old, and had extreme weight loss resulting in extra skin. I think it’s also an important point to mention that she is recently divorced (which is stressful for anyone), and has been thinking about dating again (which is stressful for EVERYONE!). I am very thankful for her to share her story. There are tons of women who want to know more about this procedure.

Abdominoplasty

AKA “Tummy Tuck” is a surgical procedure used to make the abdomen more firm by removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. The wall is then stitched together making the abdomen more “tight” in appearance. This procedure is great for women who have had kids (they say you never can get your body back after children—”they” clearly haven’t heard of a good surgeon!) and for individuals who have lots of sagging, excess skin after major weight loss.


This procedure is sometimes also done in conjunction with liposuction of the abdomen. But not always. J

Why I chose to have a tummy tuck

I first considered getting a tummy tuck 2 years ago when I was going through a tough time in my life, thinking it might boost my spirits.  My weight had gone up and down for about 20 years and I had maintained a pretty substantial amount of weight for the latter part of those years.  I had just started to lose some weight due to stress and had talked casually to a surgeon about having it done.  He recommended I have a consult and that was as far as I got with it at the time.   

I thought I had made up my mind when I overheard a friend tell another friend that I was planning surgery for all the wrong reasons.  Something in me snapped and I decided against surgery.  I contacted a personal trainer and started on a plan to lose weight and get in shape.  It was not easy.  I had never been one to exercise and it took me a long time to start choosing the right foods.  The same patterns continued where I would lose some weight, but then put it back on.  I was getting frustrated and knew I had no one to blame but myself.  I continued to work out and eat better but I just couldn’t seem to move forward.

A few months ago I saw the same surgeon who told me I should have the tummy tuck.  He knew I had been working out and eating better and I didn’t look much different.  I took his advice this time and had a consult.  What I learned was that I had loose skin that was never going to get smaller with diet and exercise.  On the contrary, the more weight I lost the more loose skin I had.  It got to the point where I felt like it was both mentally and physically holding me back.  I decided to do the surgery.  The hardest part of my decision was telling my personal trainer.  I was afraid he would think I was taking the easy way out and I respect his opinion.  He was great!  He didn’t realize I was dealing with excess skin and he was very supportive.  He asked me a lot of thought provoking questions to verify that I was doing it for the right reasons and he gave me his blessing.  I thanked him and told him I would see him 6 weeks after surgery.

A week before surgery I had a pre-op where they took photos and went over my health history.  Other than the excess weight I was extremely healthy and a good candidate for surgery.  I was a little nervous, but mostly about the recovery.  I wasn’t nervous about the surgery, just about how I would feel afterward.

The morning of surgery I got up early and went to the hospital.  I was greeted by the wonderful nursing staff and then by my surgeon.  Lastly, I was introduced to my anesthesiologist, and that’s where it all becomes fuzzy.  The next thing I know I was waking up and the nurse said hello to me.  My response: Am I skinny now?  She laughed and told me I was.  I was in the recovery room for a short period of time and then two nurses wheeled me to my room.  My only discomfort at this point was bladder pressure (they adjusted my catheter and all was fine) and my back was sore.  Once I was able to adjust myself on the bed I had no discomfort. 

I opted to stay overnight in the hospital and I am glad that I did.  The nursing staff made sure I got meds on a regular schedule and I felt comfortable knowing I had round the clock care.  I had a few visitors who came and made sure I ate and that I was recovering well.  When the nurse came to give me pain meds I asked for Motrin instead.  I had zero pain, which was unexpected, so I didn’t feel the need to take narcotics.  I spent exactly 24 hours in my hospital bed and barely moved a muscle.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with movement so I decided to wait until the next day to move around.

The next morning the nursing staff asked me if I wanted to get out of bed and walk around.  I had them remove my catheter but told them I wanted to wait to get out of bed.  As soon as they left I got up on my own.  I don’t know why.  I think maybe I wanted to know I could do it on my own.  I walked to the bathroom and washed my face and brushed my teeth.  I walked back to the bed for a half hour and then got back up to get dressed in anticipation of going home.  Imagine the surprise the nurses experienced when thy came to check on me and I was dressed and ready to go!  No discomfort!  My only thought was to stay hunched so I wouldn’t compromise my stitches.

My friend, coincidentally a nurse, came to pick me up around noon.  They wheeled me in a wheelchair to the car and I very carefully climbed in.  I was tired but otherwise felt good.  The ride home was uneventful.  I got home and slowly walked upstairs to my bedroom, knowing I would be staying there for a few days while I recovered.  The doctor had told me to get up and walk around a little bit, but only as needed.  I had 2 drains that would let him know if I did too much activity.  I had another nurse friend stay with me the first night home but after that I felt like I could manage on my own.

I was a pretty good patient, or so I thought.  I felt great so I ended up walking around more than I was supposed to.  I washed my hair every day and fed my cats.  When I went for my post op appointment 6 days after surgery I got bad news.  My drains were pulling in too much fluid which meant I couldn’t have them removed.  I was put on bed rest and told to come back in 2 days.  Lesson learned.  I stayed in bed for the full 2 days, only getting up to go to the bathroom.  It worked.  I had my drains removed 2 days later and went back to work 3 days after that.  The removal of the drains was a source of anxiety for me but I barely felt them being removed. 

For 6 weeks I kept my activity to a minimum and followed all my surgeon’s instructions.  I asked the surgeon why I had such a great experience and he said it was probably because I was in shape from working out so much.  My recovery was not exactly typical.  I was a bit tired from the anesthesia but otherwise I felt pretty good.  Physically, I looked a bit out of proportion as I had a lot of swelling but over time everything evened out.  I am now 3 1/2 months post surgery and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  I am back to the gym and I am now focusing on other areas of my body that need attention.  It’s been a long road but a trip worth taking.


Before and After

Also, check out how hot those panties are!


Before


After

A Note from Me

Sometimes I wonder if people understand that not all plastic surgery is done by super vain and “plastic” looking people. There are many different types of people who undergo the knife each year for reconstructive purposes and to fix something that has affected their self image. Case studies are the best! You should always talk to people who have done the procedure before (unfortunately most people who are elated with results from plastic surgery aren’t usually telling the world their secrets) so here’s some advice from Joan Rivers, Do Whatever You Want, If It Makes You Happy. But First Take This Quiz..

On a serious note, surgery IS serious and if you’re  Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?. you should have the list of questions printed from the blog entry to ask your doctor.

I would also like to remind patients NOT to get out of bed without assistance post-procedures. If you are on narcotics (which you probably still have in your system post-op) you are more likely to fall. And then the nurses have to fill out paperwork and it’s REALLY time consuming. Also, if you ever stand up and you feel dizzy, do NOT look down. Those are my words of wisdom for today.

Thanks!

-LK


Ulthera – Skin Tightening Ultrasound Therapy

15 Feb

Ugh. Gravity.

As an aesthetic nurse, I have found the most common complaints come from sun damage and gravity. Sun damage you can prevent (like… stay out of the tanning bed, wear sun block, and use retin-a!). But what about gravity?

I don’t think we’ll be living on the moon anytime soon (according to Ken Jennings, the guy who won Jeopardy for 6 months, the moon landing was a hoax, and I believe him… just sayin…). Therefore, we need to know our options.

I’ve done a few posts about fillers (Radiesse and Juvéderm) and I’ve talked a little about bio-enhancing agents (Sculptra). These are minimally invasive procedures that last about a year or two, have little downtime, and are great options for a lot of gravity stricken areas. But… of course, there are other options.

Ultra Sound Therapy

Ulthera. The newest in non-invasive procedures. This technique uses ultrasound (yes, like the kind of technology to see a baby) to deliver low levels of focused energy below the skin. As a response, collagen is stimulated, and a gradual tightening and firming occurs.

Visible effects include a lifting and toning of sagging skin. In FDA clinical trials, 9 out of 10 patients had a noticeable, significant lift of the brow line. See ya lata blepheroplasty (eyelid plastic surgery)! Patients reported firmer better-fitting skin in other areas of the face and neck as well. There is also an invisible result from the treatment with the creation of new collagen, which can help slow the rate of skin aging.

Treatment areas include the upper face, lower face, and neck. That’s right. No more turkey neck! It is pending FDA approval for that saggy arm skin and post-baby tummy skin. SEXY!

Feedback

Does it hurt?

Although I personally have not had an entire treatment done… I have been told it’s not the most pleasant feeling. As the energy is delivered closer to areas of bone (i.e. your forehead)… it gets a lil uncomfortable. You can receive a nerve block in some of the treatment areas (local anesthesia). It feels like burning I’m told. But, my patients claim they would do it again in a heartbeat.

Is it immediate?

There are immediate results, but the collagen stimulus continues for about 90 days.

Is it for you?

Do you have skin that has “relaxed” to the point of looking and feeling less firm? A lowered brow line or sagging skin on the eyelids? Turkey neck? Then it might be a good option for you. If you’re in your late 20’s (*cough* like me), then this might not be an appropriate treatment for you. But I think it’s a great option for older women, especially who hate their necks or who are not interested in Botox (even though Botox is AWESOME).

Before and Afters

These are from the brochure via my phone. Not the best pics… but… I kind of can’t use my actual client’s pictures. Due to HIPAA regulations. Hopefully Alexis from Image will send me her before and after pics soon so I can replace these!

**This picture is showing the skin tightening above the eye area. The pictures to the left side are before treatment and the pictures to the right side are 90 days post treatment. You can see the degree of hooding over the eye has changed drastically. These pictures are good representations of what to expect. They are just bad photography on my behalf! Sorry!!!

Alexis Before and After

Before

Immediately post treatment

24 hours later

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