February 26, 2011

My Procedures…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:29 pm by myjourneytoskinny

First off is the full tummy tuck, which features an incision from hip-to-hip.  My surgeon, Dr. Donaldson, will cut an initial incision around my belly button to release it from the surrounding skin.  Then he will cut a line from hip to hip (as low down on the stomach as possible to try and keep the scar hidden underneath of panties, swimsuit bottoms, and low rise jeans) and separate the skin and fat from the muscle underneath.  If there is muscle damage (often caused during obesity and pregnancy, the abdominal muscles should have a tight ridge down the center but can get stretched out), he will stitch the center line back together.  Then he’ll pull and pull and pull my skin down, cut off as much excess as he can, and sew me back up.  One of the reasons I love my plastic surgeon so much is that following the tuck, he’ll perform as-needed lipo on my flanks and the front of my stomach to make sure I don’t have any odd fat pockets making my stomach look funny.

This is the procedure that I’m super excited about.  I took a picture today (a sexy one for Joe, lucky man) of my side and it looks like I don’t need surgery at all.  My stomach looks great.  And I love that picture.  But it’s unrealistic.  The way I was holding my body is not a natural pose (it doesn’t look unnatural in the photo, of course, but I can’t hold the leg and shoulder position for hours a day to make myself look good).  And standing really isn’t the problem, which is why the few people who are against me having the procedure keep claiming that I don’t need it.  The problem is sitting.  Soon there will be an album full of pre-op photos and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

My other procedure, a breast lift, is basically like a tummy tuck for the breasts.  Unfortunately when I lost all of my weight and my stomach skin couldn’t recover, my breasts suffered the same fate.  They’re very loose and hang low and my nipples point downward… not at all what you should see on a 25 year old girl in great shape!  I decided to add the breast lift this past Monday when I went in for my last appointment prior to my operation.  I had Dr. Donaldson look at them.  He said my breasts are very healthy and in great shape, but that they could definitely be lifted higher.

There are three possible incisions for breast lifts.  Donut incisions only go around the nipples, lollipop incisions are around the nipples and then straight down from the nipple to the fold of the breast, and then anchors are nipples, straight down, and across the fold underneath.  I’ll be getting the lollipop incision.  Luckily for me Dr. Donaldson doesn’t like the anchor incision and finds it unnecessary, so I won’t have to deal with that incision underneath.  He’ll remove loose skin from underneath and from the nipples so that the firm breast tissue that I do have will be back in the correct spot.

I had initially thought that if I still wanted to fix my breasts, I’d do so after the tummy tuck.  Never having had stitches, gone through anesthesia, etc., I thought it might be too much for right out of the gate.  Plus when I went for my first consultation back in November, I was too afraid at the idea of a tummy tuck to even ask the doctor about my breasts.  But talking with Joe extensively and reading my forum (MakeMeHeal… best support place ever for tummy tucks (and other cosmetic procedures, but the tummy tuck is the most popular), and most girls have breast work done at the same exact time) made me realize that now is the best time.  Dr. Donaldson has said that a breast lift is so minor in comparison to the tummy tuck that I’ll barely notice my breasts during recovery, plus I have the advantage of only going under general anesthesia once as compared to twice, and I only have to take the work sick days once.  Plus I save money on the operating room and anesthesiologist this way, which is always a plus.

While I’m scared of the scarring, I’ve seen the after photos of Dr. Donaldson’s work.  At three months out from the breast lift, the scars are so light and faded, and they just continue to improve from there on out.  The tummy tuck scar, on the other hand, will get worse before it gets better, but will also be fully faded by a year.

So there you have it… a girl who once balked at the idea of plastic surgery, at the idea of being fake… is having two procedures done completely for the sake of vanity.  I justify it to myself because I’m not having anything added.  I’m not getting implants, I’m not just doing lipo to try and be thin when I’m not.  I’ve lost the weight.  My body has changed, mostly for the better, but there are some things that I can’t take care of on my own.

As my friend Ann wonderfully said, “You’ve already done the work.  These are just the finishing touches.”

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