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Old 04-18-2010, 06:00 AM   #1  
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Default People who are still very overweight getting plastic surgery...

Can we discuss this? I was researching my options for a tummy tuck. My son destroyed my stomach and I know I'll need some work to get all the muscles etc back where they need to be. I won't even consider it until I'm at goal, though. Or at least near it. It just doesn't make sense to do it before then. But I'm seeing before/after pictures of people who are bigger than I am now. Why do doctors do this? Is money that important to them? It's kind of sad...
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:35 AM   #2  
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I've often wondered the same thing. I thought that I would maybe be interested in PS while I was losing weight and DH was supportive of the idea if that's what I wanted. But honestly, at 47, I don't think it really matters anymore. I'm at goal and my body continues to change and improve over time. I'm sure that a surgeon would have many "suggestions" for me. But clothed I look pretty good. I think I look better than alot of my peers.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #3  
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the docs do the surgery because the people come in and want it done. i can imagine the backlash if the doc said i think you should wait until you lose weight. omg people would be so mad over the doc being honest
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #4  
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People want it done because they're looking for a quick fix. They want something they don't have to work at that will make them feel better about themselves. I mean, I understand it. It crossed my mind when I was at my highest weight....I'd think "oh maybe if I got a tummy tuck or something I'd look so much better"...and thank god I decided to do it the right way and save that for after I reach my goal. I'm just saying I understand it. Some people who are overweight are just so scared of all the work you have to put into yourself to lose any weight that they just want some surgeon to come in and cut them apart and "fix" them, even though there is nothing wrong.

I'm probably rambling, but you can get the idea. lol
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #5  
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Ugh, I always wonder the same thing! But surgeons do need to work and people are very stubborn. If they have something in their head they are probably hard to discourage.

I too have looked into PS, I've actually had a consultation with a PS but told him I wasn't interested in going through with it until I was within 10-15lbs of my goal weight. Which he very much agreed and recommended with.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:40 PM   #6  
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I too have had a consult, twice. Both surgeons recommended that I obtain a healthy bmi prior to surgery, as there are more risks with more overweight patinets. Neither will do surgery unless the patient has a bmi of 35 or less. But, I know there are docs out there who do it regardless.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #7  
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Right, only thin and beautiful people should get plastic surgery, it's just a waste on anyone else.

(Yes, I'm being sarcastic).

Many morbidly obese people get a panniculectomy (an extreme form of tummy tuck) to remove the fatty "apron" of skin (the -panniculus), because the skin in the area (or under it) is repeatedly becoming irritated, rubbed raw, and infected.

It's generally a medically necessary procedure, not primarily a cosmetic one (it's also one of the few plastic surgery options that are covered by most medical insurances, because it is medically necessary not cosmetic). "Waiting" isn't really an option.


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...7/ai_99983139/


Even if there isn't a medical reason, some people may need the confidence boost now, not 40 lbs from now. Or they may not intend to lose more weight - so they're at the lowest weight they intend to be. I think doctor's should judge each case on it's own merits.


I had a coworker friend who seemed to be significantly overweight. She decided to have breast reduction surgery. There was so much gossip flying about her, it was ridiculous - most people saying how she shoud "wait" until she lost weight - and that if she lost weight, she wouldn't "need" the surgery. Wow, turns out that the only place she was fat was in her chest. She always wore tops (not tucked in) that came past her hips. They were so loose they made her look like her waist, stomach and hips were fat too. She'd lost 20 lbs of breast tissue, but it looked like she'd lost 50 lbs. Even then people gossiped about how she must have had liposuction in her waist and hips (I pointed out that she had a pair of jeans that were very distinctive, and she was still wearing those. If she'd had liposuction in her waist and hips the old jeans wouldn't have fit).

I have a lipoma on my upper arm, caused by scar tissue from where the seat belt cut into my arm during a car accident fifteen years or so ago. My doctor at the time told me that it probably would either become less noticeable as I lost weight, or it could become much more noticeable, but in either case I should wait until I'm closer to goal weight, unless it starts to hurt or interfere with range-of-movement. I've tried to lose weight over the years since, but have yoyo'd a lot, and have never lost this much before.

I can already see that the lipoma is becoming more obvious, not less (from what I've read, it depends on whether the scar tissue fully or only partially encapsulates the fat, which can prevent the body from accessing the fat in the lipoma to use as fuel).

I don't know how long I'm going to be able to wait to have this thing removed. It looks horrible, and as I'm getting smaller, it's becoming more aggravating (itching, acheing - because now as my arms are getting smaller, the spot now rubs on my bra).

Last edited by kaplods; 04-18-2010 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:31 PM   #8  
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I don't think OP is referring to necessary plastic surgery, but elective PS. There's a difference in getting a breast reduction when you are crippled by them and having an elective tummy tuck and it's not something I understand entirely myself. Even when I was over 200 pounds I knew my stomach would be my point of contention, but I still always feel like I could work a little harder- chase that carrot, so to speak. Now, does it cause me pain? No. It's not painful or itchy so any surgery at this point would be purely elective, but I've always felt like I should give it my all in making aestetic improvements before delving into surgery, regardless of weight.

Thinking about it, I probably have hit my personal best. I've done all I can do with exercise and if I really wanted the abs of my dreams then surgery is the best option, but I just don't think it's for me- at least right now. It probably all boils down to personal preference. Some folks shy away from that route and others do not. I'm sure some people with my stomach would have mortgaged their first born to pay for surgery a loooong tome ago, but I guess I don't care all that much in the end.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junebug41 View Post
I don't think OP is referring to necessary plastic surgery, but elective PS. There's a difference in getting a breast reduction when you are crippled by them and having an elective tummy tuck and it's not something I understand entirely myself.
There may be a difference mentally, but my point was that an observer (even when they know the person, personally) cannot tell by the before and after pictures which surgeries were for elective procedures and which were for medically necessary ones.

It's possible that every single photo that OP looked at was for a medically necessary procedure. After all, even most of the people who personally KNEW the friend getting the breast reduction THOUGHT it was elective, not necessary. They judged her based on their perception of the necessity of the procedure (and easy for them to say, because they weren't the ones with the backaches and neck pain).

The infection and irritated skin that justify (to those who need justification) the panniculectomy would not necessarily be visible in the photos. The person might be in between infections (they'd pretty much have to be, because the doctor would want the infection cleared up before the surgery) or the signs of infection, irritation, and scarring may be on the underside of the skin, not shown in the photo.

My point was and is that when you judge people based on what you think is going on with them, and what you think their priorities are and SHOULD be, you're often wrong.


When I choose to get my lipoma removed, it's probably going to be an entirely elective procedure. Even the itching and rubbing isn't severe enough to make removal medically necessary. It's annoying more than anything else, and to be honest I think I'll end up getting it removed when I can't stand the visual discrepancy between my left arm and my right arm. Most people will probably say that it wasn't necessary, but they don't have to live with a baseball sized lump on their arm. I do - so I get to say when it gets removed, and only I get to say when and whether it was worth it.

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Old 04-18-2010, 06:37 PM   #10  
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I do understand the need for these medically necessary procedures. I've had several friends get breast reductions and their was no argument that they needed them! It's kind of hard to exercise when your boobs are literally smacking you in the face. I understand the need for panis removal as well...

I'm talking about people who are just plain overweight. Even at 257 lbs I didn't have a panis but I was overweight... kwim? I'm looking at pictures of people that look exactly like I looked at my high weight, are getting tummy tucks or body lifts and still not looking that great IMHO. I just don't see the point. It feels like a waste, kwim?
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:54 PM   #11  
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Maybe they are happy at the weight they are, but just want some things tightened up? Why shouldn't they get it done? I mean, it doesn't make sense if you're in the middle of losing a large amount of weight - but if you're where you plan to be (whether you're happy there or not), why is does getting surgery make any less sense at 250 lbs than it does at 120 lbs?
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:09 AM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Maybe they are happy at the weight they are, but just want some things tightened up? Why shouldn't they get it done? I mean, it doesn't make sense if you're in the middle of losing a large amount of weight - but if you're where you plan to be (whether you're happy there or not), why is does getting surgery make any less sense at 250 lbs than it does at 120 lbs?

Yes! The idea that plastic surgery is pointless unless it creates virtual perfection, makes no sense to me (and explains why some people can get addicted to cosmetic surgery, especially if they've got dismorphic syndrome).

There've been a few studies that have found that relatively minor cosmetic improvements (breast augmentation or reduction, tummy tucks, liposuction, even rhinoplasty, botox, ear pinning, teeth whitening....) can actually increase a persons motivation for weight loss. Seeing a significant improvement can boost the incentive for further weight loss. Change can often seem hopeless, but experiencing one change can help motivate you for more.

Before I had the lipoma, I didn't understand plastic surgery for anything but disfiguring and crippling conditions. If you weren't hideously disfigured or incapacitated in some way (experiencing pain or other medical infirmity), I didn't see the point. Of course, I liked my nose, my ears, my lips, my breasts and even my proportions (I've always had a defined waist, so whereas I wanted to be smaller I was overall happy with the general underlying shape of my body).

Now that I have the lipoma (and also a recurrent autoimmune skin disorder that causes swelling especially of the chin and nose, skin flaking, and a sometimes disfiguring weepy, crusty rash) I understand what it feels like to have a perceived defect that overshadows everything else. That feels not just like a flaw, but like a major disfigurement. Even when I can "camouflage" them with a loose sleeve (for the lipoma) and makeup (for mild cases of the rash), I still know they're there, and it can feel like everyone MUST be staring at me. And if anyone unmistakenly does notice, I feel almost more self-conscious than if I was completely naked. I think I would rather walk around town naked (even in this body) than be seen when my nose is swollen to twice it's size. The skin is inflamed and looks like bright red orange skin, and there's an oozing and crusting rash around the nostrils. My husband calls it face rot, and that's what it feels like to me.

You may not see the point of someone's concern about what you see as a "minor" flaw in the scheme of things, but it may seem a huge disfigurement to them. Even a mild improvement may help them feel better about themselves, not just in a static sense, but in terms of encouraging them to make more changes too.

Last edited by kaplods; 04-19-2010 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:47 AM   #13  
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Lightbulb Maybe I can shed some light...

Wow, I am one of "Those" people who wanted to have my panis removed even though I was hovering 200lbs. I had that thing there since I was 8 years old, and no, I was not THAT big as a kid. I didn't get over 170lbs until after I had graduated high school.
Simple fact: Genetics play a huge role in how our body look. My mom, at a size 6, having been in the military, never weighing over 170 had a huge flab apron that she had removed when I was very young. I know women that at 300+ lbs don't have a panis, and women who never got over 200 that do have the flab apron. So if you never got one, consider yourself Lucky.
None the less, on to me and my fat self wanting a surgery even though I am no where close to "Goal Weight"
Ever try to sleep with a pillow under your lower stomach? You know those neck roll pillows? lay with one of those under your stomach, just below the belly button area and decide for yourself if it is comfortable. I couldn't even roll in bed. I had to lift, let the flab drop and then lower my body. It was so loose and flabby that it would just try and stay where it was even if my body was turning. Hard to describe, but horrible none the less.
Ever jump during a workout and have your stomach clap so loud that an entire room can hear it? How about have a 10lb bag of lard attached to you between your belly button and hips? My entire body had gotten smaller, but not that.
After loosing 100lbs, I was still dealing with the nightmare of this thing that would not get smaller. Made everything I wore look like crap- because it was sticking out farther than the rest of my stomach. Made it so that jeans would slip off of my butt constantly. The panis is what would hold my pants up. I can't even begin to describe how horrible dealing with that thing was. I'm at 179lbs, my goal is 137 (to hit 150lbs lost total), and I am SO HAPPY that I went through with the surgery. I feel Normal. I look a ton better. That 7lbs of flab made me look 30lbs lighter. Do I plan on getting the rest of the skin and flab removed once I reach Goal? Absolutely! But this one thing, I couldn't keep waiting. It affected everything about my life. I didn't even have a lap.. it was full of flab every time I set down. Half way down my thighs would be covered by flab every time I set down... does that sound right for someone that is 180? Why carry that until I reach goal weight? Why continue to be ashamed and embarrassed no matter how much clean eating and working out I was doing?
Is it a quick fix? Not in my opinion. Surgery sucks. Period. I went into surgery knowing that I would come out in horrible amounts of pain. I have a neurological pain disease that causes my entire body to spasm, cramp and fire off nerve pain signals after surgery. My entire body spasms, very literally. Freaked a few nurses and doctors out more than once.. It takes me twice as long to recover from the pain from surgery than is does normal people. On top of that, I experience all over pain, all of the time, just period. Trauma just makes the pain tons worse..
See, I'm very well aware of what surgery does to me. I've had several over the years (that was the ONLY plastic surgery), had back surgery last April and had to deal with the insane pain then, so I knew months later in Dec exactly what I was in for.
I spent so many hours in front of the mirror lifting it, feeling how heavy it was, crying about how I looked so gross and no amount of busting my butt was helping. I felt uncomfortable for my husband to look at me. I've been married to him for ever 10 years, and just in the last couple of months actually have the confidence to Not hide from his eyes when I'm not dressed. That is HUGE!! Did I need to wait months, or maybe even years to loose the rest of the weight before I had surgery? I don't think so. I'm happy with my body in a way I've never been before- that is priceless at any weight. I'm so excited and anxious to continue on my weight loss journey just to see how I look as I get smaller now.. now that "IT" is Gone.

I was fortunate enough that it was approved as medically necessary because of nerve pain running through my leg that the back surgery didn't relieve. *over years of heavy lifting, hard working and just not taking care of myself in that respect, I had pretty much crushed my lower spine. The discs and vertebra from my L2 through S1 all had to be worked on*
Since a lot of my pain was coming from my hips, it stood to chance that the panis was making the pain a lot worse. Luckily, I was approved for the surgery, and even more luckily it actually did help the nerve pain, even if it didn't relieve it.
Did I want the surgery for my back? A tiny bit, but I didn't expect much relief from it.
Did I want the surgery so I would feel better about myself and less embarrassed of my body? Absolutely!
Would I change it and wait to loose 50 more lbs? No.

You may have some loose skin, but you don't have heavy flab hanging around your middle that will Never Go Away Without Surgery. No amount of diet and exercise would have changed that. None. If you did have that, you would not need to ask the question, because you would know the answer.
Every doctor I talked to told me the same thing. Even doctors that had ZERO interest or financial gain in me having the surgery. The doctor that did the surgery had nothing to gain but experience from doing the surgery. He didn't get paid extra for it, made nothing extra for it, had to be there either way. My surgery was performed by a military doctor at a military hospital. His pay grade doesn't change based on surgeries. Rank is all that matters to his pay check. He felt it was bad enough to put his neck on the line to push for the surgery for me. He could see how small my body was beneath it. He knew it would be there no matter how small the rest of me got. So, was he just doing it to make money? Was it really just a paycheck for him? I don't see how.

Sorry, I ramble. Badly.
This is my first post here, and oddly enough I found this site because I was looking around for the correct spelling of the procedure and saw the first post in this thread on a google result (pretty high in the list, the site owners might be happy to know)
I figured I would go ahead and check it out, and reply to this since I am one of the people you speak of- maybe shed some light on it?
I have before the surgery pictures that I look back on and they blow my mind. Then I reach down and feel my hip bones, something I was just able to start doing since the surgery, and I can't help but feel relief and joy.
How can anyone put a "should be at this size or weight" on that?
I finally, after 30 years of feeling like a freak because of this massive roll of fat on my stomach, feel normal. Still overweight- yes. But I feel like a normal over weight person now. Not a gross thing like I felt like before.

I have no words to truly describe the difference in how I feel now compared to then, or how big of an impact having 7 lbs of flab removed would have on my self image.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #14  
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I think the part that amazes me is that people would rather go under the knife than eat less and move more. same with weight loss surgeries. That the idea of dieting and exercise seems harder than recovering from major surgery... Not passing judgement - just realizing HOW HARD this mental struggle of weight loss is.

Actually physical ability to lose weight is simply - we all know it. But doing the mental work is what gets people.

I can see for some people that going through all that pain and seeing physical results might be the jump start they need. - same with WLS because even with WLS they tell you to eat right and exercise, well, if they could do that, most of them wouldn't need the WLS in the first place! And it's why so many regain what they lost initially - going back to bad habits.

Sometimes our minds are our worst enemies!

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #15  
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I would want to wait to be near goal weight before having PS, unless it was for something extreme. You don't always know where you'll lose the weight from, even if you've been at a lower weight before..age can change things.

I did read an article once about a young woman(early 30's I think) who got a tummy tuck because of what a pregnancy had done to her. She said she researched the procedure extensively, spent thousands to get it done, and then ended up pregnant again less than a year later. That made no sense to me.

If I were going to do anything, it would be a mini tummy tuck(my stomach above the waist is fine, but I've got a pooch that never goes away) and a breast lift. But I'm a chicken, so I rely on good bras and spanx..and a husband who is happy to see me naked no matter what I weigh.
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