The following post from our forum is from a man who lost 145 lbs. and is considering having a tummy tuck but has many questions.
Date: 02/21/2011 Submitted by: ChrisConsidering A Tummy Tuck But Has Many Questions
I just came across your website today when I did a search for “drainage tubes after tummy tuck”. I’m seriously considering this operation as well so I have many questions and I found your site to be very helpful. 10 years ago I lost 145 lbs. but I was not happy with all the sagging skin and it eventually took its toll on me emotionally and I gained every bit of the weight I had lost, back again. So 3 years ago I decided to lose the weight again, but in addition to modifying my diet I started exercising every day. I’ve kept the weight off this time for a year and a half now and I think this surgery is the final step for me. I’ve already met with a few different surgeons and I’ve got one picked out, it’s just a matter of making that final commitment. I’ve never had any kind of surgery before so I’m a little nervous about the operation as well as the recovery. In addition to the tummy tuck I’d also be having my chest reduced. It doesn’t appear to me that you had to have that procedure which is very nice for you. Anyway, just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading over your site and viewing your pictures.
Date: 02/21/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Response – Christopher,
I never had any type of surgery before my tummy tuck/body lift either.
I found that the worrying, anticipation and decision making process before the operation was much worse than the operation itself (and the recovery). Once I made a commitment and gave them my AMEX to pay for the operation (in advance of course) I felt relieved of a burden. The remaining time before the operation went by quickly and was filled with preparations, pre-operation testing and a little excitement.
After it’s over (assuming no complications) you will be happy to go out in public and not have to worry about that bulge hanging over your belt. It’s a good feeling.
No, I didn’t have surgery on my chest area (gynecomastia surgery) even though I probably could have used one but I am old and that was not the area that I was concerned with.
Good luck with your decision and operation. Let me know if you have any questions.
Follow-up Message #1
Please…call me Chris. I was just looking over your site again, doing so more reading. I’m 36 now and I have two daughters, ages 9 and 10. I used to love to swim when I was a kid but I haven’t been able to take my shirt off in public for over 20 years. They are now swimmers and last summer they kept asking me to get in the pool with them. Even though the weight is gone, I didn’t want to remove my shirt for everyone to see. And last spring I started running. I can’t believe that I actually enjoy it as much as I do. But I always feel my loose skin bouncing around and I feel like people are staring at me. They’re probably not, but I’m sure you can relate. I was just reading the part you wrote about waking up clear-headed and it seemed as if you were just given the anesthesia. That’s exactly what I wanted to see! I don’t handle pain and blood very well so I was curious about the drainage tubes which is why I was doing the search yesterday. I think I’ve finally made the decision in my head to go through with the surgery. I just miss swimming and playing basketball too much. For some reason the fat guy is always on the skins team. Thanks again for the wonderful information. I’ll continue to read through it all little by little. Did you have much discomfort after the surgery?
Response – Chris,
After all the research that I did and I was expecting a lot of discomfort after the surgery but was surprised to find my recovery was pain free. I was never (that I can remember) even uncomfortable. Since I had the body lift as well as the tummy tuck my entire midsection was numb, thus no pain. The numbness, together with the tight compression garment strapped around me made me feel like I was wearing a suit of armor around my midsection. It restricted my motion and made me walk and move really slow but it kept everything in place.
I did communicate with another guy who said his operation and recovery was also pain free. Others said it was painful. I personally think much of it depends on the person’s attitude, physical condition and expectations. If they expect it to be painful then they will probably find a way of making it come true.
Note – you may want to buy a compression garment even before the surgery. You can wear it while running to keep things from flopping around.
I can relate about the swimming. Having excess skin flopping around is much attention drawing than just being overweight. Even after the operation you may have some time adjusting to public swimming because of your scars, but the scars will be much less noticeable and they will more a self-image problem for you than others around you. Give me the scars any day.
The anesthesia was great stuff. Jus like I wrote in the website. One second I was in the operating room and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room and the whole thing was over with. It did take a two or three seconds for my head to clear but after that I was alert and totally aware of where I was and what was going on.
Suggestion – If you haven’t already you might want to visit the forum page and read about other’s experiences and concerns.
Follow-up Message #2
Thanks so much for all your insight and responses. You’ve put my mind at ease a great deal. I’m looking forward to just getting it over with and moving on with my life. I’m on my 5th round of P90X in the last 2 years so I’m in excellent shape and health with the exception of the skin. And I think I’ll take your advise and pick up a compression garment. Thanks again. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me soon.