It is T-minus three weeks before my scheduled post bariatric skin removal surgery! I’ve been waiting for the “right” time to have these procedures. I am admittedly devoted to my work and never seem to have found the timing to work for me. For so many reasons, I do feel an unbelievable responsibility to make sure my work unit can survive my absence and that my patients are well taken care of. The stress of my job on a daily basis is up there, WAAAAY up there and me entrusting someone else to assist is just not in my controlling nature. But, I need to have this surgery.
Typically, your bariatric team recommends skin removal surgery around 18 – 24 months post op. I would have LOVED to have had these procedures around that time frame as it was my peak weight loss. However, I moved across the country for my job, I battled a few skin breakdown and infection issues, adjusting to the Ohio Valley allergies from hell, hormonal issues associated with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), weight gain, stress of a new job/environment, loss of critical staffing, etc.
On September 22, 2016 (4 days before my 35th birthday), I met with my chosen plastic surgeon Dr. Chet Mays of Calobrace & Mizuguchi in Louisville, Kentucky. I researched many options but I was looking for a plastic surgical team that showed their patients care, had plenty of experience, held the proper credentials, and would accept insurance. I attended the consultation alone and was a little nervous of being judged or misunderstood, but the staff gave me an amazing customer service experience. I was so comfortable with my decision that I was willing to accept the cost of my portion for the “cosmetic” procedures we determined would provide me with the desired results. We decided on the Fleur de Lis abdominoplasty and hernia repair with eventual brachioplasty.
Dr. Mays submitted my paperwork for approval and we waited. Finally in December I received my approval letter for the panniculectomy and the hernia repairs. My parents were visiting me from Washington state at the time and were completely overjoyed for me. Over the next few months I had to contemplate the added cost, length of recovery, time away from work, and the additional cost to add the brachioplasty. Not to mention that I only have my roommate here to assist me, Dr. Mays would need to be agreeable to my recovery plan. I have the best support system in my roommate, a.k.a. Mini Vagabond, she’s been with me through so many journeys and has always been one of my biggest cheerleaders. After much contemplation, I decided that I would pursue the brachioplasty at the same time as the other procedures. I had to make financial decisions, I hired my new assistant for work whom I trust to hold down the fort, and secured my surgery date of May 11, 2017.
Over the last few weeks I, along with Mini Vagabond, have been doing a lot of research regarding pre-op, post-op and expectations. I’ve watched episodes of Botched, Skin Tight, Youtube channels, Instagram videos, read blogs, and decided to just stop all of that and enjoy MY particular journey.
To better assist you on your skin removal journey, I’ve created two downloads for you (linked below). One is meant to be taken to your pre-op consultation so you can ask your surgical team ALL the questions, and the other is a list of items to purchase up to the day of your surgery. I hope you find these items helpful and that they ease your mind a bit. We are on this road together.