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What questions should I be asking the surgeon?



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I just booked my first consultation for plastic surgery for July 31st. I'm feeling a bit scared and confused by the whole idea of this but I know I'm never going to be truly happy with the new me until I do this. I could really use some advice on what sort of questions I should be asking the surgeon at the consult from some of you that have already been down this road.

A little background on my journey so far: I'm 47 years old and I had a gastric bypass on July 2nd 2016. My highest weight was 326 and surgery weight was 320. Everything went well and I've had no complications. Since then I have lost a total of 144lbs and my current weight is 176. My goal weight is 140 so I only have 36lbs to go. I go to the gym 5 days a week and walk several miles a day on top of that most days. I'm overjoyed at finally having my life back and I'm determined to make the most of it.

I am completely self funding the plastic surgery part of this journey, though the bypass was done on the NHS (I'm American but I've lived in the UK for 18 years), so I can't afford to get it wrong. The procedures I'm looking into having are neck, arms, Tummy Tuck, and breast lift.

I would be really grateful for any advice or suggestions anyone can offer as I get ready to cross the finish line. Thanks.

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How many of 'whatever surgery' have you done before?

Do you have before and after pics?

(If you have doctors name - google it and see what previous patients have to say)

Are you in the UK now? If you are - If you wanna PM me your area - If you are close to where I went - I can tell you if you are in the area of my plastic surgeon - He is faaabulous! If you click on my name and look through you will see some of my surgeries - And my results.... I am extremely happy!

http://www.bapras.org.uk/public/patient-information/cosmetic-surgery/what-to-ask-your-surgeon

Good luck :)

Edited by Scamp

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Hi Scamp, thanks very much for the reply. That link looks very helpful, I'll have a good read through it and make some notes. I'm in South East London and the consultation I've booked is at the Spire hospital in Cheam where I had my bypass. The staff and bariatric surgeon there were wonderful so I thought it would be a good place to start. I'm always open to suggestions or recommendations though. I've been to the website for the surgeon I'm seeing at the consult, but I hadn't thought about googling his name to see what sort of independent information there might be out there. I'll do that, thanks.

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To be honest I saw two surgeons and spoke to one other by email - The one I chose just gave me the feeling of security

I remember one of his very first sentences for me to have 'Realistic expectations' and then he gave me the world - And more!

I still have a couple of bits of me I do not like - But you cannot fix everything, lol But he was so great and I am so grateful for every thing he did to help me to change my whole life.

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I met with several surgeons before finding one that I clicked with. The biggest thing about plastics is after care. Having had now 3 major plastics, I have learned a lot and the most critical thing is after care.

I had a Brachioplasty done last July, a full abdominalplasty, breast lift and breast augmentation done in January and just 3 weeks ago I had a deep plane face/neck lift, endoscopic brow lift, lower eyelid lift and fat graphting.

All of my surgeries were very successful with minimal complications. Apparently I was allergic to the surgical glue/tape use to close my arm lift incisions. That made my arm lift the most painful of all of them.

Doctors always short sell the amount of time that it truly takes to recover. In fact, I joke with both my surgeons about that. Many times they tell you that a couple weeks and everything is back to normal. that is not true....most of the bruising and swelling may be much improved but it takes a while to get used to how your body feels, and how you even carry yourself. For example....my facial plastic surgeon who is masterful told me he would expect my bruising and swelling to be gone at 2 weeks. Everyone is different.....I have had BBL treatements twice per week for the last 3 weeks and I still have bruises under my eyes. When he saw me at two weeks he was disappointed that my eyes were still bruised. It's not a huge deal, a good plastic surgeon will provide treatments to reduce it more quickly, provide the right makeup to cover it up and even tutorials on how to do that.

That is great after care......

So, make sure you aske exactly what is included and for how long. All of my treatments have been 100% included as are all follow ups.

When I had my breast lift done, I had two small openings where the two scars come together under the breast. This issue is very common and not a big deal but when it first happens it can freak you out. My Body plastic surgeon took such great care of me and called regularly and would come in to meet me at the office if I needed her.

My gastric bypass was the best thing that ever happened to me.....now plastics has been. It is scary and painful and worth every penny if you choose a surgeon that you feel very comfortable with and has a good record of successful procedures. When it comes to plastics, don't focus on a bargain, focus on the team. If you find a good one, they will work out proposals that give you a good deal anyway.

I have spent a lot of money on my procedures and they have been worth every single penny.

Having plastics is so exciting and I am excited for you!!!

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Thanks so much for telling me about your experience. My first consultation is tomorrow morning and I must admit I'm starting to feel a bit nervous about the whole thing. I'm not afraid of the surgeries. I've had enough of those over the years to know what to expect. It's the "What if it all goes wrong and I mess up what was essentially just a saggy body?" thoughts that keep going through my head. It helps to hear from people who've done it and report how much happier it made them. If I can get through the panic attack stage I'll be fine. :-D

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Your nerves are completely normal! I think the one I was most scared about was my face. The best you can do is shop for a surgeon that you are comfortable with. Make sure they are board certified. Ask to see pictures of previous surgeries like the one you are shopping for. Ask how many this surgeon has performed and also if they have worked with many weight loss patients.

Best of luck to you!

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I met with the surgeon and it went very well. I was able to ask the questions I had prepared thanks to you two. It was only supposed to be a 15 minute mini consult but he took the time to explain everything to me in detail and it ended up being nearer 40 minutes. This surgeon actually specialises in working with bariatric surgery patients and he seemed to think I could get everything I want done into two surgeries spaced a few months apart. I'm just waiting for his office to come back to me with a quote for the cost.

One final question if anyone would like to weigh in with an opinion. Would it be stupid of me to go with the first surgeon I've met even though it was such a positive experience? Or would it be smarter to meet with one or two more for comparison?

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The first real surgeon I saw and talked to (I saw one for 5 mins before but that was not a true PS consult, just an NHS thing) I went with this PS I really spoke to in the first true consult about this - He understood what I wanted and at that time I did not know what I know now so I had the surgeries I could hide away if it did not go well - It went very well and I remained with him for the whole lot.

I do believe that you will never 100% know the out come for a few reasons.

No1 - They will (Some of them) just say what they think you wanna hear.

No2 - Every body's body is different and nothing is a given that it will 1000% be fantastic.

I just had the feeling with this surgeon and i am very glad I chose him as all my surgeries totally changed me - Not just cosmetically - But in my head also. When I first saw him he asked if I needed to see a psychiatrist (I did not see one lol) I think that had I NOT had the surgeries I would need one by now as the skin was suffocating me emotionally.

I just got that feeling - And I am glad I went with my gut and all went well :-)

Edited by Scamp

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I only had one surgical consult. He also specialized in post bariatric patients. I had 3 surgeries (360 LBL w/fleur de lis, breast lift & vertical thigh lift), & I'm super happy with the results. If you're comfortable, go for it!


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That is very reassuring. Thank you both. I'm still waiting for the quote from his office, but the more I research the better I feel and the more excited I am to get started. [emoji4]

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