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Qs to Ask Self When Considering Plastic Surgery



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Hello all,

If anyone has either had cosmetic surgery after bariatric surgery, or has seriously considered it, what questions did you ask yourself as you weighed your decision? How did you go about finding a surgeon? Are all surgeons capable of any kind of cosmetic surgery, or do they specialize (lower body, breasts, face, etc...?) I have been reading, but it’s hard to get a feel, there is so much information out there. Some former bariatric patients have even gone to another country for surgery! That idea frightens me! But I’d love to know more if anyone wants to share. Please feel free to give me as much information and detail as you’d like. I am very appreciative of any and all help. Thank you! 😊

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Ask yourself if you can handle a good month of fairly high level pain. Ask yourself if you can handle another couple of months of discomfort and not feeling like yourself/feeling tired, out of sorts, back aches from not standing up fully, and if you're ok with wearing body compression garments and all the hassle that entails.

Ask yourself if you can be patient and not over-do for the 2-4 months while you heal without ripping sutures from over-doing.

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That just sounds scary. I had an employee do it once and she was out of work for 6 weeks and then still wasn't herself.

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Thank you for the feedback! The (negative) realities are definitely something I would weigh above and beyond any potential positives.

For clarity, I’m considering a panniculectomy. I just have this horrible sagging bunch of skin that is, honestly, disgusting. I really feel like I need to do something. Would the same pain/recovery/time to heal apply for this as would the full tummy tuck/muscle rebuilding, etc..? I’ve got a consult with one surgeon, but I know that won’t be enough information for me. Plus, he’s in the business of selling this (or any) cosmetic procedure to me, so I am wary of getting all the bells and whistles but none of the brutal truth, you know?

Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, CarmenP said:

anyone has either had cosmetic surgery after bariatric surgery

@CarmenP

as always - everyone is different with their healing/pain

I always had a double chin/neck - i finally said to myself " i am worth it" (having the surgery)

i didn't do as much research as i probably should have.i talked to my bariatric center,

they recommended the dr. they only heard good things. I discussed surgery with him,

done deal!! and PS told me that i would get a little face lift too, since the skin goes up with

the neck. PO in recovery room was terrible - my face was realllly hurting!! I had 2 drains, low

each side of my face (about 2 weeks) semi-pain lasted around one week. Very pleased with neck

lift - ummmm - not much improvement with face, can only do so much with what they have to

work with LOL😉

good luck

kathy

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The best relative pain guide would be how many inches of incisions do they need to do, as it is the skin that has the most nerves; the interior work like for muscle tightening would be less noticeable. So, a basic panniculectomy to cut off the excess skirt would not be greatly different than a full tummy tuck/abdominoplasty.

You do want to find a surgeon who specializes in reconstruction after massive weight loss, as there can be a lot of difference between a basic mommy makeover and a person who has lost 1-200 or more pounds. They usually specialize (at least for our typical need) by patient type rather than body part, though some of the bariatric surgeons who get into plastics as a sideline for their patients will often leave the more "artistic" aspects (like breast implants or facial work) to a specialist PS, though that can sometimes be combined into one procedure if they work in a team effort.

People do go to Mexico or other countries for PS as, with the bariatrics, the cost can be much less. The downside is that PS procedures have a much higher chance of mild to moderate complications - incisions that don't heal promptly, or open again, Fluid build up not caught by the drains, seromas, etc. Much of this can be handled by taking selfies and email instructions on treatment, but sometimes it takes an office visit, so dealing with someone local is a big plus.

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It is such a personal decision.
Myself, I waited years after wls, and was happy to see that pouch flap taken off.
As above, it hurt like hell, but after a month or so, I never looked back .
Ps i was in my sixties when I flattened my stomach and mom’s pubis.

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7 hours ago, FluffyChix said:

Ask yourself if you can handle a good month of fairly high level pain. Ask yourself if you can handle another couple of months of discomfort and not feeling like yourself/feeling tired, out of sorts, back aches from not standing up fully, and if you're ok with wearing body compression garments and all the hassle that entails.

Ask yourself if you can be patient and not over-do for the 2-4 months while you heal without ripping sutures from over-doing.

My intention is for you to be realistic, but not dissuade you from doing plastics! I've had 3 very very serious plastic reconstructive surgeries and each time I severely underestimated my tolerance for the pain, exhaustion and inconvenience that was part of the process. I'm about to undergo my 4th and I hope last reconstruction. And I've had to ask myself about this over and over again. I was seriously into month 4 before I "turned the corner" and was at 6 months before I felt like myself.

Not intending to be negative but it was the most painful stuff I've ever experienced. I could just be unique in it though. I just wished someone had warned me about the freight train heading my way each time.

Edited by FluffyChix

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I had extensive skin removal surgery following RNY. I did it in two rounds (upper / front, then lower / back), two years ago. Aside from RNY itself, it's the best decision I ever made.

It's nearly impossible to find useful information about cosmetic surgery online. The majority is either advertisement or scare-mongering, and most of it is not relevant to a bariatric patient. The only way to learn is to schedule consultations with local surgeons, get an assessment and quote, and - most importantly - look at their book. All of these consultations should be free of charge. If they're not, skip to the next option. They will all have photo albums of similar procedures they've done on past clients, and can talk you through the similarities and differences between yourself and those other people. They all have different techniques and different experience, and the good ones will want to make sure you have a realistic assessment of what you can expect in terms of final outcome. Don't assume that the first surgeon you meet is going to be the right one for you. Shop around.

In terms of finding good candidates, I would start by asking the team that did your bariatrics surgery. They likely know which surgeons in the area do a lot of post-weight loss surgeries and can make a recommendation.

Good luck!

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Thank you, anaxila! I’ve got one consult already scheduled, and do plan a few more. That was very helpful! 😊

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I'm so glad you started this topic as I've been wondering some of these things, too! Keep us posted on your progress towards this goal, please. Good luck.

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Agree with Rick Fluffy Julie Journey and all. I use a PS locally who specializes in weight loss folks. Researched the heck out of PS - many PS and hospitals. It hurts - really bad. Also down time from work is a consideration - I can say taking 3 to 5 weeks off from work twice has dented any build of sick time. I just booked what hope is my third and final round. My body will have loose skin in spots and scars but my skin will fit rather than be a few sizes too big. It is also the best thing I did physically not including WLS. An aside is research correlates sustained weight loss positively with individuals who pursue plastics. All that and not one mention as to cost. 🤠

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I had the panniculectomy done 7 weeks ago , the results are amazing but the recovery was rough I would recommend the surgery but just realize it will be painful. The hardest part for me was the drains I had for 2 weeks.

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