Mikimi had open gastric bypass surgery in 2008 at Poriya Hospital in Tiberius Israel. Following her massive weight loss, she underwent body contouring plastic surgeries in 2011 and 2012. Her plastic surgery journey is one of triumph over challenges - from fighting for HMO coverage to battling wound healing issues to again fighting for HMO coverage for revisions.
My Bariatric Life: Mikimi, why did you decide to undergo body contouring plastic surgery after gastric bypass surgery?
Mikimi: I couldn’t stand suffering the constant rashes in the folds under my belly and under my sagging breasts. I also really needed to feel the success of weight loss by seeing the physical difference in my body.
My Bariatric Life: Please tell me what body contouring procedures you wanted to get and which of these procedures were covered by your health insurance plan.
Mikimi: At first I applied and fought for the tummy tuck; after appeals my HMO approved the Apronectomy. In spite of issues of gangrene and dehiscence, I imagined myself slimmer and dreamed of not having hanging pendulous breasts. So I applied and appealed until I won.
My Bariatric Life: How were you successful in getting your health insurance plan to cover the cost of the plastic surgery? Did you have any expenses?
Mikimi: I had to fight and appeal to get the Apronectomy and breast lift with reduction. My breasts were left with dog ears and here the HMO absolutely refused to cover the costs even after appeals. I worked night shifts to earn the money to pay $1000 for each side, in separate Day Surgery procedures three months apart to benefit healing, and to be done with local anesthetic.
My Bariatric Life: Please tell me about your recovery and the wound healing issues you experienced.
Mikimi: Shortly after I was home, I felt weird bumps in my incision. I saw my general practitioner and he talked my plastic surgeon and it was decided that I travel to see my plastic surgeon. I left the next morning not knowing I would end up being hospitalized for almost seven weeks. I had debridement in the operating room, thinking that after two days the plastic surgeon would take me back into the operating room. But then it was decided to treat me with a would vac. As I live alone and 3.5-hours away from the hospital by public transportation, it was decided I would stay in patient as long as the HMO would allow, in my case, almost seven weeks.
Skin dehiscence and gangrene.
My Bariatric Life: Did you get the results that you wanted from plastic surgery after weight loss?
Mikimi: I can’t compare my results to anyone else as my plastics were not shown to me on a computer for me to see what I might look like, but my body is now a better appearance than it was.
My Bariatric Life: How do you feel about yourself today?
Mikimi: I feel slimmer and feel that every scar on my body is a badge if honor as I know the pain involved to get to where I am now.
My Bariatric Life: Please tell me about your favorite WOW moment after your transformation.
Mikimi: The next day after the breast surgery while I was still in the hospital, during Doctors Rounds, as the plastic surgeon removed the drains, one of the other plastic surgeons said I had the "breasts of a 17 year old." For me, I always feel my flatter tummy was my absolute best WOW.
Through all of this Mikimi’s attitude remains phenomenal. And she continues to be an inspiration to the obesity community and to me, actively participating on the ObesityHelp.com forum under the avatar Godzilla.
Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. 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 also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.