First, you guys are awesome and wise. I appreciate the thoughts concerning my last post about my niece and modeling good body image-- it gave me lots of food for thought.
I tell you that the plastic surgery consult this morning was relatively pleasant, considering I had to get (nearly) naked and show off my body to a complete stranger who also happens to be male. This was an information only consult in my mind, because I have to pay out of pocket and I have to do it in the summer because I can't take time off for recovery during the school year. Because of that, I knew this summer is out, which leaves next summer or later. But, I wanted to have the information on costs NOW, so I can save and plan.
Here's how it went for those of you who are curious:
I strip down to my panties only and put on a paper gown that opens in the front. The doc comes in and introduces himself. He asks me about my weight loss surgery and how much I've lost, and then tells me I look GREAT and NORMAL and that he would never know I ever was obese. That felt good, but I laugh and tell him he hasn't seen under the robe yet. That's the cue to stand up and open my robe so he can first look at my stomach and then my breasts. He said I'm in pretty good shape (for a massive weight loss patient, of course) and that my lower belly isn't big enough to qualify for insurance, and that the tummy tuck will take care of my issue with my mons. He did suggest that I could benefit from a circumferential body lift because of my love handle fat pockets, but I told him I'm not looking for perfection and really just want my upper stomach pouch gone (I could give a rats ass about my sides, honestly), along with the lower apron. He seemed to think he could get very good results with a basic tummy tuck and didn't really try to push the cbl after the first suggestion. In fact, he kept saying I'm closer to the "normal ps" side of things than the typical massive weight loss patient and that a tuck would remove about 4 lbs of skin/tissue.
For my breasts, he said I need a lift not a reduction (he'd remove about 100 grams per breast or whatever unit of measurement they use, which is not enough to call it a reduction- so again, no insurance), but that I had enough tissue that he wouldn't need to add an implant. He suggested a procedure that only uses a horizontal cut (no vertical scar) that would allow him to also get at the fatty part between my breast and my armpit easily. He would reduce my areola size as well.
I told him that I want to lose 30 more lbs and first he gave me a funny look and basically asked "really, why?"-- which, by the way, is the same reaction my lapband surgeon had when I said the same thing. I told him that I still had a lot of fat-- it's not just hanging skin in my belly but still a lot of fat-- and he warned me that losing 30 more lbs probably wouldn't significantly change my belly in any way; he suggested that I'd be more likely to see it on my back and thighs (fine!). He did say he would like to wait until I've lost it to do the surgery, especially for the breasts because he can't guarantee that losing it after the surgery wouldn't drastically alter the appearance of my breasts or make them lopsided.
I asked him about how many weight loss patients he's done and the answer was a vague "tons", which was irritating. He did receive training at one of the major weight loss surgery centers in Louisville, which is why I chose him to do the initial consult and he spoke with confidence about the different needs of someone with a port, etc. He said both surgeries together would take up to 5 hours and he would have his partner assist to cut down the time I'm under. He said it would be outpatient and that he'd prefer to do it in his surgery center rather than the hospital because "you're young and fit and you'll be fine as an outpatient".
At this point, I'm like "Dude, we should run away together and you can tell me how pretty and "small framed" I am every day".
Ok, so the price tag: $6,000 per surgery if I do them separately, or $11,000 for both at the same time. This was about what I expected, so no happy or sad surprises there. To have it in writing, though, makes it much more real and I'm sort of glad that there is NO WAY I can fit it in before next summer so that I have time to live with my body for a year and really decide if I really need both and also what the priority is. This summer, my breasts have really started to bug me a lot, but to be honest, they look good clothed now that I have found my correct bra size. My stomach does NOT look good in clothes-- even Spanx doesn't flatten me out and I do think I'll get more bang for my buck going that route if I only do one. I know my husband is very reluctant to spend that kind of money (on anything, really), so I'm going to have to figure out a way to make some extra cash over the next year or so to cover costs.
Anyway, it's good to have the info and I walked out feeling better about myself strangely enough.