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"Specialty Plastic Surgeon" too far?



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I want to go to the plastic surgeon that did my breast reduction because he did an awesome job and is 30 min away. My bariatric office said I should see someone that focuses on bariatric patients and skin removal, and referred me to someone 2 hours away (longer during rush-hour - DC traffic UGH). I tried calling them twice and no one calls back, which is VERY discouraging. Also, after every surgery I've had (including the two plastics), I've had complications. I don't want to have to drive 2 hours for check-ups and emergencies??? I called several other plastic surgeons a bit closer and none do arm lifts, EXCEPT my plastic surgeon. My bariatric office says they like my guy personally, but his interest is on breast reconstruction so they refer people to this other person who is far away.

I haven't consulted yet with my guy, but his office says that yes, they do them. Does it truly matter if I go to a "specialist" surgeon? The distance is very scary to me, given my history... and I already know my guy does awesome work. Did you go to someone that focuses on bariatric patients?

Edited by mousecat88

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I feel you on driving far for surgery. My endocrinologist's rec for a bariatric surgeon was an hour away - so I choose a different one.

Before you decide, maybe ask your PS a few questions. Does your PS have a few references for the arm lift? Maybe before/after pics? How many has he done and how often? "I do them" and "I do them well" are two different things.

If you go to your surgeon's support group, maybe ask around to see who people go to?

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I ended up going with a surgeon who has an extensive resume in "post-bariatric body contouring". The fact that he has done so many of these types of surgeries makes me feel more at ease. I saw endless before and after pics. He was able to advise me on aspects of the different surgeries that the other 3 surgeons I consulted with did not even mention. And he was the only one who advised me of a program on how I can apply to have insurance to cover a portion of the surgeries. The others only told me that my surgery was not covered by any insurance. So yeah, I think it's a good thing to go with someone who's been around the block a few times.

I had actually already decided on another surgeon because this one didn't have a consult available until end of July. But then a space opened up and I decided to take it, and am glad I did. Going with this surgeon actually meant I had to push my date to December (his earliest opening), from my original plan of August, but I'm okay with it. I believe I'll be in better hands.

Edited by ms.sss

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7 minutes ago, notmyname said:

Before you decide, maybe ask your PS a few questions. Does your PS have a few references for the arm lift? Maybe before/after pics? How many has he done and how often? "I do them" and "I do them well" are two different things.

This.

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I didn't know there were those who specialize in bariataric plastic surgery. I was just going to check out a couple of the top local plastic surgeons when I get to that point, about a year from now.

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2 hours ago, ms.sss said:

I had actually already decided on another surgeon because this one didn't have a consult available until end of July. But then a space opened up and I decided to take it, and am glad I did. Going with this surgeon actually meant I had to push my date to December (his earliest opening), from my original plan of August, but I'm okay with it. I believe I'll be in better hands.

Holy crap! I need to schedule some consultations! I have a very small window for surgery, so have to get my dates!

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Isn’t it a bit early to be looking at this. Isn’t one of the requirements that your weight has been stable for xxxxxx no of months? Surely you are still in the losing phase

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2 hours ago, sillykitty said:

Holy crap! I need to schedule some consultations! I have a very small window for surgery, so have to get my dates!

Yes. The good ones are booked up far in advance, apparently. My surgeon's office originally gave me a March 2020 date! The patient co-ordinator told me they were actually contemplating opening up a few more days in December that morning, and would put me on the first opened up day if one did. On the day I called in to place my deposit, 4 more days were opened up in December and I was able to get in on one. I really lucked out on the appointment front with this surgeon. 🤞🏼

P.S. I also asked to be put on a cancellation list if by chance anyone cancels/postpones their surgery, I would be offered it.

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2 hours ago, elcee said:

Isn’t it a bit early to be looking at this. Isn’t one of the requirements that your weight has been stable for xxxxxx no of months? Surely you are still in the losing phase

Speaking for me, I'm done with the losing (I'm currently in an attempts to STOP the weight loss). And since my surgery is still months away, I hopefully and getting a built-in "stable" period, which btw, none of those I spoke to had any requirement of.

Interestingly, all 4 of them seemed to be more concerned (if anything) with continued weight loss rather than potential weight gain as something that would affect the results of the procedure.

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19 minutes ago, ms.sss said:

Yes. The good ones are booked up far in advance, apparently. My surgeon's office originally gave me a March 2020 date! The patient co-ordinator told me they were actually contemplating opening up a few more days in December that morning, and would put me on the first opened up day if one did. On the day I called in to place my deposit, 4 more days were opened up in December and I was able to get in on one. I really lucked out on the appointment front with this surgeon. 🤞🏼

P.S. I also asked to be put on a cancellation list if by chance anyone cancels/postpones their surgery, I would be offered it.

Well this just increased my stress level 😧 😟

Maybe being in LA, the overabundance of plastic surgeons will work in my favor? I'm hoping at least!

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8 minutes ago, sillykitty said:

Maybe being in LA, the overabundance of plastic surgeons will work in my favor?

Good point. I would also assume that there are a lot more plastic surgeons per capita in L.A than Toronto...

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42 minutes ago, sillykitty said:

Well this just increased my stress level 😧 😟

Maybe being in LA, the overabundance of plastic surgeons will work in my favor? I'm hoping at least!

Walk down Wilshire Blvd and you can't help but run into a few of them!

7 hours ago, mousecat88 said:

I haven't consulted yet with my guy, but his office says that yes, they do them. Does it truly matter if I go to a "specialist" surgeon? The distance is very scary to me, given my history... and I already know my guy does awesome work. Did you go to someone that focuses on bariatric patients?

As with everything, it is a trade off. PS certainly has a higher risk of mild to moderate complications - some of which can be handled with email and selfies while others need a hands-on office exam, so being close is a big help. The compromise is on what you need to have done and how much experience the PS has with the extensive reconstruction that is often needed after massive weight loss. There can be a big difference between an Abdominoplasty or lower body lift after losing 100-200lb and a "mommy make over". If all you need is an arm lift or maybe a minor Tummy Tuck, a "regular" PS that you know and trust may be just fine. Talk to him and see what he says.

My bariatric surgeon has gotten into doing the post bariatric reconstruction, but for some of the more "artistic" jobs like the breast implants and reconstruction he brings in a breast guy to do that part of the job.

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15 hours ago, elcee said:

Isn’t it a bit early to be looking at this. Isn’t one of the requirements that your weight has been stable for xxxxxx no of months? Surely you are still in the losing phase

I am scheduling the arm lift at 13 months post-op. Very end of November. Not scheduling a consult until September. I am not having insurance involved so there's no required waiting period. I am only having it if I meet my goal weight.

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12 hours ago, RickM said:

Walk down Wilshire Blvd and you can't help but run into a few of them!

As with everything, it is a trade off. PS certainly has a higher risk of mild to moderate complications - some of which can be handled with email and selfies while others need a hands-on office exam, so being close is a big help. The compromise is on what you need to have done and how much experience the PS has with the extensive reconstruction that is often needed after massive weight loss. There can be a big difference between an Abdominoplasty or lower body lift after losing 100-200lb and a "mommy make over". If all you need is an arm lift or maybe a minor Tummy Tuck, a "regular" PS that you know and trust may be just fine. Talk to him and see what he says.

My bariatric surgeon has gotten into doing the post bariatric reconstruction, but for some of the more "artistic" jobs like the breast implants and reconstruction he brings in a breast guy to do that part of the job.

Yeah, I think I only need a "mini" Tummy Tuck and the arm lift. The arms are really the only very noticeable issue. My stomach just looks like any average mom who gave birth, basically. I never carried my weight there so it's a vanity thing for me.

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It's truly the distance that bothers me... and the fact this office never returned either of my calls! What if there WAS an emergency or I needed to get a hold of them? Scary thoughts. I dunno - I'm going to consult with "my guy" and see how comfortable I feel after that visit. I would highlyyyy prefer to go to someone local. I live in West Virginia so my options are extremely limited, lol. I'd also be able to stay at the hospital I had my bariatric surgery at, which is wonderful. When I had Lipo in 2009 in Baltimore I stayed at the world's worst hospital and it was a nightmare, so I know how important that part can be, too.

Edited by mousecat88

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