Handling Disappointment with Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss

Patient Expert

This sharepost is part of a series about total body contouring plastic surgery that My Bariatric Life underwent following massive weight loss.ead My Bariatric Life's Total Body Lift - Part 1: Why Did I Do This?

As you may know, I underwent total body contouring plastic surgery last year -- a decade after my gastric bypass. My results, in the words of my plastic surgeon, were "incredible, fantastic, there aren't enough adjectives to describe it." I am over the moon happy having gone from a size 14 jean to a size 2 jean. I even can wear a bikini.

my bariatric life, dr. joseph f. capella

I also had facial rejuvenation at the very end of last year with a facial plastic surgeon. She now calls me "gorgeous" rather than by my name. I am thrilled that she gave me a matured version of the face I had in high school. I am 50 years old and look like I am in my thirties.


_My Bariatric Life "before" and "after" facial plastic surgery. _

I have been extremely fortunate with my plastic surgery. I feel blessed, like I hit the jackpot, and so very grateful! However, a woman asked me how someone can cope with her surgery results if she's unsatisfied with them and can't afford additional or revisionary surgery?

Realistic Expectations

Firstly, the patient must have realistic expectations going into plastic surgery. The plastic surgeon must manage those expectations and explain to the patient her realistic outcome by way of pulling the skin and showing before and after photos of other patients with similar body types.

One patient told me a plastic surgeon said to her, "I operate with a scalpel, not a magic wand." While another patient told me her surgeon said, "Let's go for a 10!" I wonder about these statements. Does the first surgeon lack the skills to deliver the results that the patient wants? Is the second surgeon just telling the patient what she wants to hear?

It is critical that the patient and the plastic surgeon be on the same page - the same sentence - when it comes to what the patient expects from the surgery and how the surgeon will deliver that.

Be a Patient Patient

Next, the patient must understand that it takes several months to see her results. I was disappointed with my body at about one-week post-op and spent the entire day crying. I went to my plastic surgeon and he assured me he would revise me but that I needed to wait at least three months to see my ultimate results.

So be sure to get the plastic surgeon's policy on revisions at the first consult, because policies vary widely. Some revisions can be performed in the exam room under local anesthesia at no cost. Other revisions must be performed in the O.R. under general anesthesia. The surgeon typically will waive his/her fee but the patient may have to pay hospital costs, which can be in the thousands. Some plastic surgeons are very willing to do revisions while others are not.

Reality Check and Self-Acceptance

If months have passed and the patient remains unsatisfied, it is a good idea to pull out before and after photos for a reality check. Improvement is more likely than perfection for a massive weight loss person. That said, it should be significant improvement. One patient told me, "I am not looking to be Barbie or Twiggy, but rather a more compressed me if possible. I feel like a barrel even after the plastics I've been able to have via my HMO. At some point I have to just accept me for me with my bodily flaws; and every scar on my body has meaning to me!"

When I look at my before and after photos, I am amazed at what my plastic surgeons were able to do. I love my body but it has some flaws, some of that owing to the 40 pounds that I lost after plastic surgery. My surgeon is wonderfully generous with revisions and he will tweak my results during my stage 3 surgery. Will I get the waist, breasts, and buttocks of my dreams? I don't know. But I have made up my mind that this will be my last surgery and I will be over the moon happy with my ultimate results, whether I get the body of my dreams or not. Stay tuned to learn of my ultimate results from my final body contouring surgery, planned for late May 2014.

Some people no matter what will always desire more. Consider so many celebrities that ruin themselves with too much plastic surgery. It is such a shame they never find peace and contentment within themselves.

Next, read about my facial rejuvenation surgery in, "My Bariatric Life's Face Lift after Massive Weight Loss."

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