After Dramatic Weight Loss, I had a Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift and Liposuction. Here Are My Thoughts.
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Long before my plastic surgery journey started, I made the decision to have bariatric surgery. Through this process, I lost approximately 150 pounds. Yes, I lost a significant amount of weight, but I also gained a ton of confidence, friendships that I know will last a lifetime, and experiences that I never would have had at 345lbs. Unfortunately, this tremendous weight loss also left me with a lot of excess skin laxity in both my breasts and stomach area.
Around 18 months’ post-weight loss surgery, I began the process of having my extra skin removed. My major concern was my breasts. At my heaviest, I was a 48E bra size. After I had lost all my weight, I measured around the waist at 36 inches but had to wear a 38DDD bra to accommodate the amount of loose skin left behind from the weight loss. Still, I had a large amount of tissue in my breasts and it was all left hanging on the lower portion of my breasts, over 18 inches from my shoulders. This caused a horrific amount of pain for me daily. I knew that even if I didn’t have any other work done my breasts needed to be fixed.
Over the course of several weeks, I met with multiple plastic surgeons to discuss my options. Every single one had varying opinions on what I should do, but Dr. Reish was the first one to ask what I felt like I wanted out of my surgery. This was easy, I didn’t want to be in pain anymore but I also didn’t want to lose a significant amount of breast tissue. Once we discussed my options, he talked to me about the realistic outcomes available to me and urged me to consider getting a tummy tuck procedure along with my breast lift surgery to complete my transformation. He said he wanted to take me over the finish line after all of my hard work. He had also told me I didn’t need a reduction along with my lift, which made me extremely happy. I knew instantly that he was my surgeon. After my initial consultation, I chose to go with an abdominoplasty with liposuction and a breast lift (without a breast augmentation, meaning no implants, or a reduction). I scheduled my surgery with Dr. Reish on August 25, 2016.
Overall, my experience with Dr. Reish was amazing. He is one of the most thoughtful and encouraging doctors I have ever had the privilege of working with as a patient. He gives all his patients his personal cell phone number and he is reachable always to talk about any concerns before or after your procedures...and I had many. I’m not going to lie, I had a small complication with my procedure that resulted in a month’s long debacle of office visits in which he and I became very acquainted with one another. I had developed a particularly stubborn seroma -- something that can happen to anyone post-op -- and with my major weight loss it had been a very difficult one to treat. Dr. Reish was there every step of the way for me and was always a text away. I can’t say enough about how his office treated me during this time. I felt well attended to and cared for which is the most I can ask for as a patient.
In terms of my results, I couldn't be any happier. My breasts look and feel amazing. My quality of life has increased dramatically. Before my surgery, I would take off my bra at night and the sag was so terrible that I would sometimes have to hold my breasts as I slowly let them drop down with gravity. Now, I can go braless if I want. My scars are barely even noticeable. I can wear any bra or bikini that I want. It’s an amazing and freeing feeling. In terms of bra size, I am very happy where I have ended up. I can pretty much go into any store and know I will fit into a 36DD bra. This was around what he had told me in my consultation.
Honestly, when I had weight loss surgery I didn’t think that I would have cosmetic surgery after I lost the weight. I didn’t think I would want or need it. Now that I am on the other side of it, I can say that it really did change my life for the better. I feel so much more confident in (and out of) my clothes and it really was the icing on the cake. Buyer beware, though. Nothing is perfect. I still have extra skin in places and other problem areas...and I did have to go through some revisions because I had so much loose skin. In the end, I believe it’s important to have realistic expectations about what can be achieved based on your body type and what you’re looking for with your surgery. While you'll have dramatic results, don't expect miracles. I believe that Dr. Reish did a great job managing my expectations and was an amazing teammate with me through the healing process. What more can you ask for in a plastic surgery experience?