I had my gastric bypass surgery in 2003 and lost over 100 lbs.
It certainly saved my health and my life, but silly as this sounds, I always felt gipped because I did not have the weight loss that I had anticipated. However, now with my tummy tuck I feel like I hit the jackpot. I never thought that at age 49 I could have a body like this, especially when I was once morbidly obese. I am amazed at the remarkable difference a tummy tuck can make, both physically and emotionally, when done by the hands of a highly-skilled surgeon.
I am delighted with the expertise of my plastic surgeon. He excels at sculpting beauty from gobs of fat. My tummy tuck results are more than I ever expected. I lost 19 inches and 25 lbs: 9" from my waist, 6" from my lower abdomen, and 4" from my hips. I went from my size 14 jeans being tight pre-op to a perfect size 8 jeans. My surgeon removed 6 lbs. of skin and fat and I dieted to lose the rest. Thanks to the tightening of my lax abdominal muscle fascia, I am no longer able to eat as much as I could pre-tummy tuck. Earlier this month I began sprinting-walking intervals and an ab circuit to whittle my middle.
I feel that my body now matches my personality. And at my three-mos and six-mos post-op appointments, I completely enjoyed having my "after" photos taken. Seeing my transformation alongside the "before" photos on my surgeon's computer showed how far I have come. The change across six months has been remarkable. I had been ashamed of my body before. Now I love my body and feel much more feminine, physically and emotionally.
I am so thrilled with my life after my tummy tuck that I've decided to follow through with my plan to get "all of me" done. If you read chapter 1 of my tummy tuck story, then you will recall that I had dreamed of getting a total body transformation. This included a lower body lift (tummy tuck, mons lift, outer thigh lift, and buttock lift), upper body lift (arm lift, breast lift, and flankplasty), inner thigh lift, breast augmentation, and face and neck lift.
However in chapter 2 of my tummy tuck story, I discussed that I decided to start with a tummy tuck rather than get all of those surgeries on my wish list. I decided that I would judge the results of my tummy tuck and weigh this against the potential results, pain, scars, and cost of the additional procedures. From there, I would determine if I would undergo additional body contouring.
I had many consults with my surgeon to fully understand what my results and my scars would look like. That was the biggest decision for me - was I willing to trade off some excess skin and cellulite for scars? By this time, I was not too concerned with the pain of recovery or the cost associated with body contouring. My surgeon pulled my skin to show me how my body and face would look tightened. He showed me where my incisions would be and pointed to my old gastric bypass scar and told me that my incisions would look like that over time. It was clear to me what I wanted to do.
I will undergo an upper and lower body lift and thigh lift on October 10th! My surgeon will revise my tummy tuck to a lower body lift to shape my buttocks and thighs and back, and he will further tighten my abdomen and mons. He will perform an upper body lift to shape my arms and breasts.
And he will do a medial (inner) thigh lift. It will be a six-hour surgery performed in the hospital and then I will be in a Care Center for four days. I can't imagine what it will be like to wake up the morning after surgery and be small all over my body.
A final surgery is planned for next year for the breast augmentation and face and neck lift. My total medical expenses, covering the surgeon's fee, anesthesiologist, operating room, and care center will be around $37,000. That is a good price, especially for such a highly qualified surgeon. My surgeon has the largest experience in the world with body contouring after massive weight loss. I have seen lesser skilled surgeons charging more than $50,000 for the body work alone, not including facelift. I could not afford that.
I am super excited for this life-changing transformation. After my third surgery I will be done with body contouring. My goal is to restore my body to a normal appearance by removing the last traces of my former obesity. I will continue my healthy lifestyle and grow old slowly, gracefully, and naturally.
Read the final chapter in my tummy tuck "tell all," Ch. 25 Reflections One-Year Post Tummy Tuck Plastic Surgery."