This will likely be my last Panniculectomy surgery update for quite some time because there’s not much left to say. As of yesterday, Thursday April 27th, I am 5 weeks post-op. I saw my surgeon for a check up on Tuesday, and everything is well. The splitting in the middle is almost all the way healed, and the splitting on my side/hip is still open and rather deep, but healing at a fairly quick rate. The doc said it looked good, and to just keep it clean and dry. I am officially off of all antibiotics and doing well. Very little pain, if any. Just the occasional zing of nerve pain from having a big portion of skin removed which is totally bearable, some muscle aches and pains if I sit still for too long at a time, and phantom itching for the part of my skin that is gone. But besides that I feel mostly normal again. I have to continue to wear my compression garments for a few more months, which I am comfortable with since I have some swelling and a lot of scarring at this time.
The garments I have are probly about as comfortable as they can get, so I don’t mind wearing them most of the time. I don’t have to see the doctor again for another 4 months, and that’s just for another routine checkup. Plus my belly looks slightly lop-sided, and we just want to make sure that’s going away and looking great by that time in my recovery. If not, I may discuss a repair, but I’m hoping we won’t need to go down that road.
I am going to continue to see my nutritionist so that I can continue down my healthy path and proceed with documentation in support of a breast reduction. I will be eligible as soon as October for that surgery, but I think I will likely wait until at least January just to give myself a break from all the surgery recovery pains, to make sure I’ve lost the weight I want to lose and firm things up a bit, and to make sure I’m not going to miss half of next summer in recovery.
Once that surgery is complete, I will be done with surgeries in regards to loose skin. For one, I don’t have insurance that will cover anything more. And for another, I do believe I can firm things up from here with some vigorous exercise and willpower to keep at it. Since the Panniculectomy I have been slowly losing more weight, even being sedentary. I think it changed my metabolism a bit, and I look forward to taking advantage of that soon. At my 6 week mark, which is next Thursday, my activity restriction is lifted and I will be riding my bike and hitting the gym at least a couple times per week. I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually looked forward to exercising. But without that embarrassing belly flap, I have nothing to fear. I am currently at 209 pounds, and my overall goal is 175 (though government BMI standards say I should be around 135, I think I would look anorexic if I got down to that weight…. I still want some curves!). I know I can accomplish 175 with more hard work.
Thanks for reading along with my surgery journey. I hope I have helped those of you who were trying to decide if this surgery was right for them. I hope I have given you what you need for information if you were going through struggles with the recovery. I hope I have provided support or encouragement for those of you also on a weight loss journey. Good luck to you all, and thanks again!