What Life Is Like Two Years After Bariatric Surgery

by Cheryl Ann Borne Patient Advocate

I've written extensively about my tummy tuck experience in a series of posts entitled
My Bariatric Life Tells All About Her Tummy Tuck I describe how I prepared for recovery, the the emotional roller coaster of my experience, as well as my amazing transformation from the tummy tuck. I thought I'd post one last time, on my two-year tummy tuck anniversary, to inspire readers that lasting dramatic change really is possible through plastic surgery after massive weight loss. View My Bariatric Life before and after gallery on flickr for time lapsed photos of my transformation (warning graphic content).

my bariatric life, dr. joseph f. capella, capella plastic surgery

My Bariatric Life before and after tummy tuck after massive weight loss. I went from a size 14 to a size 8 in 3.5-months.
astric Bypass Saved My Life

Unfortunately with diets and medication, I was unble to lose weight. I developed eating disorders and was a binge eater and bulimic at times. While suffering from obesity, I also developed high blood pressure and diabetes type 2, as well as conditions such as asthma and GERD to name a few. After being hospitalized and on close to nine prescription medications, I went through with the gastric bypass bariatric surgery - which I had contemplated for years. But without question this surgery saved my life.

I defeated obesity and obesity-related diseases, and got off all but one of my prescriptions. But the extra skin from the weight loss didn't go away. The hanging pannus of abdominal skin and excess fat, as well as back pain, kept me from exercising to stay healthy.

Plastic Surgery Let Me Live Life

Two years ago I had abdominoplasty, a plastic surgery commonly called a tummy tuck, after weight loss. At that time I was 10 years post gastric bypass weight-loss surgery and had gone from a size 24W to a size 14 having lost about 100 pounds. With the tummy tuck I lost 25-lbs: my plastic surgeon removed 6-pounds and I lost an additional 19-pounds.

As I described in my interview with BariatricPal, I was delighted with my plastic surgeon and the results of my tummy tuck, so I decided to go further.

I went from a size 14 jeans being tight to a perfect size 8 in just 4-months. I was so thrilled with the transformation that I decided to do work on "all of me." In October 2013, Dr. Joseph F. Capella revised the tummy tuck to a lower body lift, and performed a medial thigh lift, extended arm lift, and breast lift. From the two surgeries Dr. Capella removed a total of 11 pounds of skin and one liter of fat. This enabled me to get active in ways that I was unable to with my hanging pannus and inner thighs that rubbed together. I ran my first 3k with my daughter and granddaughter and eventually I was running 5k. What's more, the muscle plication from the tummy tuck placed renewed constriction on my pouch,which means I am full with less food. As well, I tightened up on my diet by doing Whole30 [a strict 30-day low-carb diet] and going Paleo. In total, I lost 50 inches and 50 pounds after my body contouring plastic surgery. Today, I am a size 2, down from a 24W before my gastric bypass surgery.

You may read about my decision to get total body contouring after my tummy tuck.

I Saved My Soul

It took a long time for me to grow responsible for myself and take on the challenge of my obesity. The weight-loss surgery was not a magic cure-all. It took dedication and perseverance in the face of adversity for me to change my habits from unhealthy to healthy.

Lasting change is a process. Growth for me is an evolution through transfiguration that includes mind, body, and spirit It involves how I think, what I eat, getting and staying active, being in control of my emotions and positive attitude, having unconditional love and gratitude, knowing and being secure in who I am. The plastic surgery was the completion of removing the remaining physical traces of my former obesity. But it turned out to be more than that. The plastic surgery was just the impetus for personal and spiritual growth, and fully living my life. I have walked through fire and rainbows on my journey and coming through it I am a far better person.
And it all began with a simple tummy tuck surgery. Never could I have anticipated the profound ripple effect of my decision to undergo abdominoplasty surgery.

I now credit my transformation first and foremost to myself. What I mean by that is that is I realized that change starts with ME. I alone am responsible for my life! And I thank God and Spirit for sending me the people and resources to make these lasting changes. I am ever grateful to my very highly skilled and talented plastic surgeons, Joseph F. Capella MD (Capella Plastic Surgery) and Catherine Winslow MD (Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery), to my bariatric surgeon Vishal Mehta MD (Mehta Obesity Center), to lifestyle changes such as Paleo diet and mind-body exercises and modalities, to my many teachers and patients who've helped me to grow, as well as for my faith.

my bariatric life, dr. joseph f. capella, capella plastic surgery
Cheryl Ann Borne
Meet Our Writer
Cheryl Ann Borne

Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org, and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl is also writing her first book and working on a second website.