Today is my only day to get this nest ready for me to be back in surgical recovery mode. Lots to do cuz I don’t live my life in the house is always clean zone. I choose that, I know. Did the shopping yesterday, I’m stocked with: jello, apple sauce, Gatorade, protein shakes, saltines, chicken noodle soup, pineapple juice, protein water, collagen powder, prunes (yeah, I’m that old!) My Amazon order arrives today: Bruizex, telfa pads, arnica. I picked up all the meds: colace, amoxicillin, Percocet. Already had: Tylenol, Motrin, milk of mag (thx, Kristi!), chux (for the first day lipo ooze), multivitamins. Got my wedge pillow and neck pillow re’to’go.
Can you tell I have done this before?
So today it’s the nesting. Laundry, clean sheets, clean bathrooms, locate all remotes, do all the shaving and chlorhexidine showering, take an ambien and set the alarm for the butt-crack-of-dawn to arrive at Dr. Wayne Yamahata’s surgery center for my 2-hour procedure: removal of bilateral “dogears” under my arms left over from the breast reduction and some minor liposuction to my right side to correct some asymmetry left from my tummy tuck. This is considered a minor revision in the plastics world, and quite common. Dr. Yamahata has been a wonderful doctor and skilled surgeon throughout this journey. I am incredibly grateful for his impact on my life. You must understand that not all plastic surgeons take on cases like mine. Most plastic surgeons are still stuck on the BMI as their main criterion in taking a case to the OR. Most do not look at the big picture and consider the latest data in determining if a patient is a safe candidate for plastic surgery. If the benefits outweigh the risks. Dr. Yamahata, with >35 years experience, may be “old school” in many ways and closer to retirement than I am, but he is also on the cutting edge amongst his peers.
On the day of my first surgery, an Extended Tummy Tuck with Repair of the Diastasis Recti and Liposuction to the flanks, I weighed 245 lbs. My BMI was 41. He safely removed 17 lbs of skin and subcutaneous fat, and 2200 mLs of fat via liposuction that day. That’s a lot for one surgery. When he did my breast reduction, he took off 1L of tissue from each breast and like 250mLs of fat via lipo to the bra line, on each side. Which is also a lot for that area. He told me repeatedly, “we took quite a bit off the sides.” One thing is for certain, you can’t take less skin after the fact, but you can always take more at a later date. The body is dynamic and ever changing, you have to get through the healing process to see how it all plays out. Your surgeon has to play a guessing game, predicting how each individual’s skin will heal and respond to the nips and tucks, to the sutures. How it will lay on the frame that is yours forever. The surgeon cannot alter the bones and can only make artistic decisions in the moment. Dogears are when the skin doesn’t lay flat at the end of an incision, usually because more skin needs to be removed. With swelling and all the fluids used and lost during surgery, the surgeon has to leave enough skin to close you safely and allow for the breasts to take their shape after the “drop and fluff.” Sometimes, after the swelling goes down and the lymphatic system repairs itself (which can take a year or more) the dogears become obvious and can no longer be chalked up to “let’s see how your body heals.” Most plastic surgeons can remove dogears under local anesthesia in their office. With the combination of me losing 40 lbs after my surgery (today the scale says 185!) I probably have a little more skin to remove than I would have, so he needs to extend my incisions more than what he would usually do, because I asked him to get it all. I’m done with it. My huge boobs used to hide the side boob/underarm action from my view in the mirror. I couldn’t really see what was going on over there. Now that my boobs are normal sized and sit where they are supposed to, I can see it and I want it gone. I don’t want to have to tuck it into my bra anymore. And although I could live with the asymmetry of my right side, near my rib cage, and still know that my body is hugely improved after my tummy tuck, and no body is 100% symmetrical, I never had that when I was younger, before and/or after I was fat. It also wasn’t immediately evident at the time of my surgery. My body had to heal and the swelling had to go down to see it. That can be fixed and camouflaged and sculpted with a little bit of lipo, and Dr. Yamahata wants me to love my results. He’s doing me a favor. And he stands by his work and he respects his patients. He made the conversations easy and he’s taking me back to the OR at no further cost to me. Again, I am so very thankful I chose him.
He forever altered the shape of my body and forever changed my self image, self esteem, and my quality of life has skyrocketed! My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. My physical form is new and improved and my mental state along with it. You can’t do 50 as fabulously as I am today, as I was prior to surgery. Not only was my body going downhill fast, my head was, too. He, like so many of the people I surround myself with these days, saved my life in a hundred ways. I am so grateful for Dr. Yamahata’s vision and his skill and willingness to see the big picture. To see that although I was morbidly obese, that was my only risk factor. By cutting all of that off, he launched me into a journey of consistent exercise and smaller portions. Today my BMI is 31.8! I may possibly get it under 30 and then I will no longer be considered obese! It wasn’t technically weight loss surgery, but it has proven to be more effective and lasting than any gastric surgery would have been, for someone like me.
So let’s fucking go!
I’m going to be bruised and in pain for awhile. I’m going to be swollen and likely lopsided for awhile. My lymphatic system will take another hit and I won’t see the complete result for another year. But in 6-8 weeks I will be back in a bikini and ready for HOT MOM/OLD LADY SUMMER by the pool, sipping Limoncello Spritzers with my dog and my homegirls cuz that’s how I do 50.
Now I got to get off my blogger ass cuz I got some shit to do! 🤗😘🖤💪🏼