Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tell Me What You (Don't) Like About Yourself

Every time I think about my first plastic surgery consult, I think of the show "Nip/Tuck" and their tagline, "Tell me what you don't like about yourself." Sheila over at This One Body got me thinking about it this week, for two reasons: one, I had promised a six-month post-tummy tuck update with pictures here; and two, she has just recently gone for her own consult. Go read!

Before my tummy tuck on 11/11/12, I had two plastic surgery consults. The first one left me in tears. It was so awful. The doctor was seemingly kind, but I left there feeling like a POS (piece o' isht) about myself and my body; much, much worse than I had before the appointment. He tried to sell me a $20K facelift: pointing out my droopy corners of my mouth, my jowly cheeks, my turkey wattle. Things I knew about already, but didn't feel all that terribly about. I did by the time I left the office. He didn't do lower body lifts, but made me feel terrible about how extensive of a tummy tuck I would need.

It was an emotionally devastating appointment. Untold thousands of dollars in proposed work. Money I would *never* be able to spend. Hell, money I'll never *have*!

Sometime later, I saw my weight loss surgeon for a follow-up appointment. He urged me to go see his friend, another plastic surgeon. I declined. I had had enough of the emotional beat down! But I really wanted that tummy tuck: all that floppy skin was resulting in mind-ufckery related to knowing I was at my goal weight, but *seeing* all that excess weight every time I looked in the mirror.

I can't tell you how glad I am I went for that second consult. My doctor, the one who ultimately did the surgery, was so sweet. He made me feel GOOD about my body. He didn't try to upsell me. In fact, he talked me out of a couple things I had been mulling (arm/thigh lift, etc). He was very kind about my body, and he was very congratulatory about all my hard work to get there.

I was so thrilled to book the surgery with him, and so excited about the upcoming results. The doctor made all the difference! By the way,  I found the first doctor by googling "Best plastic surgeon Bellevue Washington." He is very talented and very expensive. He was warm and friendly. He was seemingly "helpful." He really broke my heart. "Best" does not mean the same thing to everyone, haha.

Well - the rest is history. I had that tummy tuck (which cost about $9K) last November, six+ months ago now. And I give semi-nekky body:

Before. Ha! Wouldn't that suck if it was the "after"?

Six-ish months post-op.
Testosterone is taking over  my house, as you can see in the background. And foreground, haha.
Side view.

Ah, I love the results! The scars aren't great, but they aren't terrible. As you see, I had the fleur de lis cut, grabbing all that loose skin and tightening it around my torso, too. I am glad I had that done, scars and all. Do you see that thickening of the scar just below my bra-line? The skin pulled a little too tight and the scar got thicker. I'm having that redone (no charge) in early June, just a quick in-office procedure.

I'm about 10 pounds heavier than the day I had my surgery. I feel it in my boobs, upper arms and my thighs. OH, MY THIGHS! So much more muscle-y from all the biking, but jeans that always fit well are snug on my thighs now. I am displeased, but not traumatized. I accept that I may well never finish my goal list on the right hand margin of this blog. I guess my body is just not ever going to be waif-like. :)

The doctor says the redness will be gone from my scars in six months to a year. I have a couple other significant scars (spinal fusion and broken ankle) and both of them are colorless. I'm not terribly worried about it - the scars bother me far less than the loose skin!

In short, I am so glad I had that surgery, even though I will be paying on it for a long time. I would love to have a breast lift and ugh, maybe augmentation (see, with all the weight loss, I guess to get a fuller look, you really need implants). My plastic surgeon said he would do the breasts in two procedures: lift/reduction followed by implants after I heal. I told him after the lift/augmentation, I may well decide not to go farther. I get squee'd out about things inside me...I really have never wanted implants and all the resultant maintenance and worry. We'll see. It's far, far down the road, if it happens at all. The tummy tuck was a giant financial splurge for this mama.


  1. I never honestly thought that a plastic surgeon would be that much of a dick in a consult. Then again, I know that doctors are trained to be...well...basically inhuman. It's sad though. I'm happy you found a good doc who treated you right! He did a fabulous job, too.

    It was your blog that first made me think about plastic surgery when I get to goal. I probably won't be able to afford it either, but I may try a consult or two for my lower half. I need lipo or something on my thighs/hips/butt because I'm obnoxiously disproportionate and I need it...mentally and physically (it hurts when I run...all the excess skin jiggling around).

    I appreciate you sharing this with us so that we kind of know what to expect. You are awesome!

  2. I am so glad you found your doc. That 1st guy is a jerk and should not be practicing. Imagine how many unnecessary procedures women have been talked into by him. Ugh! You look great!

  3. I'm pretty sure I'd walk around naked all day if I had your abs! I'm flabby, but am too chicken to go through the surgery.
    I'm glad you made the decision and that you're happy with the result! Looking good mama :-)

  4. Your belly looks awesome! Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! I think I am more upset about my deflated breasts than my belly, but I have that frowning belly button that you had in your "before" pictures.

  5. LOL loved the comment on the before. Laughed out loud for real. Haha So glad for you that you went in for consult with someone else. He did a great job.

  6. Oh my gosh, somehow I *missed* the post about the consult with the first PS. THANKS FOR THE LINK!

    First of all, Julie, your stomach looks amazing!!! Thank you so much for some updated photos. I agree this went a long way in helping get Fat Julie out of your mind when you look in the mirror! :)

    Secondly, I've been babbling to everyone and their dog about what to do about the "damage" I've done by being obese for, oh the last 20+ years. And the best analogy I got was that a plastic surgeon is MUCH like a car salesman. Their JOB is to point out what sort of whiz-bang features you need, and in order to do that they have to point out all the flaws so that they can swoop in to fix them. Which totally makes sense to me. (I did get a small comment on the face...that looks great, no need to do anything there...but it was really a side-comment from him after he pointed out the back fat, the side fat, the under-the-arm-boob fat, the tummy get the picture. "Oh but your face looks great." Thanks for the side compliment dude.)

    But anyway, someone ELSE also pointed out to me that this dr. may not be MY GUY. Sigh. So I'm probably back to the drawing board and need at least another consult with someone else. Soooooo looking forward to the pretty blue triangle with the blue background. NOT!