On May 9, 2011 I had plastic surgery to remove my excess skin that I developed after losing 170 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. I have so much to share and will try my hardest to be a succinct as possible.
~ Exercise- After 2 weeks I was given the OK to return to walking. I had to wear my binder from weeks 2-7 during exercise. If I didn't wear my binder there was a lot of pressure on my stomach incisions. I was given clearance at 6 weeks post-op to return to normal exercise. Vacations have hindered me from totally returning to normal routine, but I have been able to take several classes at the gym and have returned to running. Pre-op I was able to run nearly all of my 3-mile runs and yesterday I ran 2/3 or the way. Not too bad! I love running and not feeling my stomach bounce against my legs.
~ Clothing- This is a tricky one! Before surgery I was rocking my size 14 pants. Now the 14's are falling off of me, but the 12's are uncomfortable. I am confident that once I get back into regular exercise that I will be good in the 12's. I love how my shirts fit now. I actually have room in my arm pits! Dresses also have a much more flattering fit now since I don't have an extra thickness hanging near my hips.
~ Arms- My stitches are healing nicely. When I first had my surgery the skin was really tight near my arm pit. That has loosened up quite a bit and I no longer have discomfort when stretching or reaching for something on the top shelf. They are white and thick- probably about the thickness of a permanent marker. I have a spot near my elbow that is poking me every once and a while. I think that I have a stitch that is waiting to come out. Later this week I'll call my PS's office if the poking feeling doesn't go away. My scar is long, but it is not really noticeable when my arms are at my side. I have to remember to always keep sunscreen on so that I don't burn my new skin. I lost a lot of muscle during recovery and look forward to rebuilding my arm strength.
~Stomach- I love my arms. I can't really say that about my stomach. My stomach looks good, but not great. The big issue (excess hanging skin) has been corrected. I would need to get that vertical cut to make the corrections that I think I need for my stomach to look great. At this time there are no plans to have any additional surgeries. I am hoping to return to weight lifting and work on developing some definition in my abs. I've always had a big mental block when it has come to core work. Pushing through this block is an immediate goal of mine. I've also put on a few pounds since the surgery and I am sure that once I drop those that I will notice a difference in my abs.
I am so glad that I had this surgery! It's not perfect, but it is so much better. Some people have the arm lift and are really self conscious about the scar. The scar really doesn't bother me. To me it's a badge of honor! When people ask about it I see that as an opportunity to tell them about my weight loss experience. Recovery has gone quickly and I really do feel pretty much back to normal. Overall there is still some tightness and puckering of skin around the incision sites, but it seems to be getting better every day.
Whew! I think that's it. Feel free to ask any questions. :)