Massive weight loss patient's testimonial
Body Tayloring: Plastic surgery after weight loss
I am a 38 year old woman. I own my own business as a computer consultant working for small boutique hotels. I'm no supermodel in looks, I have always been the attractive side of average. I have struggled with my weight my whole life, but it really got out of hand due to a rare disease I have and I ballooned up to a whopping 365 lbs at my heaviest. After having a gastric bypass and dieting for 4 years, I have now lost 210 lbs and this is where my journey began.
After losing the weight, I was left with excess skin sagging to the point that I couldn't do basic things. For example, I could never ever buy something as simple as a dress. While that might sound bizarre to you, no dress I could buy would fit me in the arms. The excess skin made my arms too large to fit into anything. It was the same story with jackets. Here I had lost all of the weight down to a size 10/12, yet was still unable to even buy a wedding dress when I got married.
My stomach had what they call an apron on the bottom, basically a roll of excess skin that just hung from the bottom of it (which no amount of exercise would ever fix) making me always have to wear special extremely uncomfortable tight fitting garments to hold that in. In the summer time, the skin under that apron of skin would sweat and rub together and make blisters that were very painful.
The decision to make a change
I don't have a movie star income. I am comfortable but I would never consider myself rich or well off, so the thought of spending substantial money on my body never even occurred to me.
I really struggled and considered having the surgery done for over 4 years before even finding out the costs involved. I kept thinking to myself Am I vain? And I came to the realization that it wasn't about being vain, it was about having the freedom to live a normal life. I spoke with many friends, and listened to many points of view. Everyone could see how difficult my life was with the body I had even after losing all of the weight, and I have to say that surprisingly every single person I spoke to had positive things to say to encourage me to take the steps I needed. One day, I was speaking to a friend about this subject and she looked at me and said look Think about it this way, you are investing in your body. You'd spend that money on a car or a home or other things that are temporary, but your body you have your entire life. If you amortize the cost of the surgery over the rest of your life you will find that it's the best investment you can make the investment in yourself! That was my turning point. It was the thing that made sense to me.
Choosing the right doctor
Being a computer geek, I decided to do my research with the tool I knew, the internet. I looked at countless websites, watched countless newsgroups about plastic surgery and read every single thing I could get my hands on the subject. I looked at all of the before and after pictures and dreamed about what I could look like.
I happened to sign up for Dr. Corbin's newsletter in my search. The thing I kept seeing was one beautiful woman after another beauty a normal person could never attain, talking about how Dr. Corbin did this procedure or that procedure for them and how happy they were with his work. Well I just couldn't relate their situation to mine. Then call it what you may, something happened. I noticed one of the newsletter emails from him which talked about an upcoming special he was going to do on the Discovery Channel. And the surgery was the exact one that I was going to have! The only thing was that I was going to be traveling and was unable to see the show for myself. I basically forgot about it and went along with my life.
One small note here is that I NEVER watch television. It is not part of my life at all. However, several weeks later I was visiting my mother and she had the television on. While she was flipping through the channels she stopped on the Discovery Channel by chance, pausing to see the operation. I stood there for a moment and realized that it was in fact Dr. Corbin on the TV! They did a repeat of the show. I was immediately glued to the set and watched carefully. The girl was very similar to me who was having the work done. She too had lost a great deal of weight and was ready to shed that skin. I said to my mother in that minute, this is a sign. I need to see Dr. Corbin!
I made appointments with Dr. Corbin and two other well known plastic surgeons. I am not the type of person who believes in making snap decisions with only one quote or option. So I went to all three surgeons and listened carefully to their plans for me.
I walked into Dr. Corbin's Beverly Hills office and nearly walked right back out. I was so intimidated by all of the women who were so beautiful there. I thought, this isn't the place for someone normal and average. This is for supermodels and movie stars. However, within moments, I was greeted by his kind professional staff who put me at ease.
When I met Dr. Corbin I felt a sense of calm wash over me. He's not the Hollywood type of surgeon you see splashed all over the TV and movies. He's very down to earth, and he allowed me all the time I needed to ask every question I could think of. He also impressed me how thorough he was and how he was concerned about my thinking and what my expectations were. We even discussed what would happen if I wasn't satisfied with the outcome in our first meeting. I left his office, feeling confident and peaceful about choosing him as the man who would change my life.
I originally asked about having my arms and breast lifted and a tummy tuck. When I heard the total price it was less than I had expected it to be. At the same time, I felt doubts about spending that kind of money on myself. Still, my family and friends all supported me and encouraged my decision to take the plunge and do it. I wouldn't think twice about spending it for others.. why not me?
Leading up to surgery number one
Dr. Corbin decided that I needed to have the procedures done in two stages both for my safety and just for time. Brachioplasty is an extremely long process with hundreds and hundreds of stitches involved. So he decided that the first surgery would be both my arms, and my breasts. Also the Abdominalplasty or tummy tuck I was going to have wasn't the normal one, it was much more involved as I had to be cut down the center as well as the normal from hip to hip.
Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous. I really didn't feel nervous at all, in fact I kept wishing it would be over with sooner! I couldn't wait to start my new life!
There were a few embarrassing things like having my before pictures taken, and being marked up for the surgery, but the staff was so friendly, efficient and professional that it made it all easy to handle.
The First Surgery
I arrived at the Brea Surgery Center at 7:30 a.m. I was greeted and taken into one of the examining rooms. The nurse who came in to help me was Melody. All I can say about her is WOW. Melody was so soothing, just like I was a member of her own family. She hugged me and was so kind. She kept telling me how beautiful I was going to look when he was done all the way through getting ready. As I was falling to sleep on the operating table I felt her hand rubbing my shoulder reassuringly.
The next thing I know, I hear her voice waking me gently telling me it was all over and how great I did. I felt a little bit queasy and disoriented, but once I woke, I felt quite alert and anxious to see what the changes were. Of course I was bandaged, but I was amazed how little pain was there. I figured it was just the drugs. Melody chatted to my mother, keeping her calm and reassuring her with her wonderful soft way until I was strong enough to get up and go home.
I got home at approximately 8:30 p.m. that night. I had been in surgery for nearly 9 hours. My mother put me to bed and I went directly to sleep.
I awoke the next morning with a throbbing in my arms. It wasn't the horrible pain that I had expected, more like a really really hard work out and every muscle was sore. I also felt pressure and tightness. Other than that I was amazed. I again figured it was the meds still in my body. By that afternoon I was up and moving around gently but able to fully function for myself. To be honest, there was zero pain and everyone kept saying how amazing I was doing. I figured ok Im in for it the following day. Day 2, and still no big pain. I didn't even need the pain medication. I got up and went for a short walk to the store with my Mom. I couldn't believe it. Day 3 I felt very constricted by the compression bandage that was on me. It was squeezing me to the point I felt more uncomfortable from that than my surgery. Each day passed with me feeling stronger and less discomfort. Before I knew it, my stitches were removed and I was doing most of my normal daily routine. I made small compensations for myself to help the healing. By week 2 when I went back to see Dr. Corbin, my breasts looked so healed none of the staff could believe it!