August 26, 2011

Tummy Tuck Consult!

So today was the big day--I had my tummy tuck consult this morning. I was anticipating and dreading it (out of nerves). I don't know why I was so nervous, because it was JUST a consult, after all. I woke up at 5:15 (!!!) and couldn't go back to sleep because of my nerves, so I just got out of bed and ran 4 miles on the dreadmill instead of waiting to run outside when it was light out. I did my strength training after that, then showered and dressed for my appointment. Jerry got home from work at 6:30, so he just stayed awake and went to my appointment with me. The kids were at my mom's.

Jerry missed the exit in Detroit, so we ended up going about 10 minutes out of the way, but we left early enough that it didn't matter. Dropped the car off for valet, and then headed up to the Plastic Surgery floor. I paid my co-pay ($134) and since I was the second appointment of the day, we didn't have to wait long. The nurse who took me to the room was super nice. She took my blood pressure and asked me a bunch of medical questions. She gave me a gown to put on, and said I could leave my bra on. The doctor, her surgical assistant, and the nurse were all in the room while I was talking to the doctor.

First, she asked me some questions about why I wanted a tummy tuck and questions about the medical issues it was causing me. She asked about my insurance, and said that the insurance I have is very likely to cover the cost because I met the requirements:  1) Had to have lost 100+ pounds; 2) Had to have kept it off for at least 6 months; and 3) Had to have problems with skin rashes from the excess skin.

The doctor was VERY confident that it will be covered, which kind of surprised me. I guess I was expecting her to tell me that it's rare and I shouldn't count on it; then I could just put the whole issue to rest because there is no way I can afford to pay for this out of pocket.

The doctor checked out my belly and she suggested that I would be much happier with a lower body lift instead of just the tummy tuck. With a tummy tuck, your incision goes from hip to hip. With the lower body life, the incision goes completely around, like a belt. I'm terrified of the thought of the lower body lift, and I told her I don't think I'm interested. She wanted to give me all my options, though, to be thorough.

Yes, my hips, thighs, and butt would look much better with the lower body lift--but it's purely cosmetic, so I would have to pay extra for that, which she quoted at $2900. I'm going to think about it and research the lower body lift some more before I make a decision.

I asked her about recovery time, and she said I can't do heavy lifting for 6 weeks, but other than that, I can listen to my body as far as exercise goes. Obviously, I'm not going to be running my way home from the hospital, but I can do light, easy running when I feel up to it, and if it feels too hard, then I should back off. With the lower body lift, I won't be able to SIT for a week or so--I'll have to either stand or lie down, because she doesn't want me to put pressure on the incision on my back. I can't imagine not being able to sit!

So as of right now, I need to wait to hear back from the insurance company. They told me it usually takes 4-6 weeks to get approved, and the doctor would like to schedule the surgery within a month of that. So I'm thinking the end of October for surgery, if all goes as planned. I still don't want to get my hopes up, but it sounds so promising. You all will be the first to know when I hear anything about the insurance.


  1. It looks and sounds so scary.

    I am glad you posting everything as I might be interested later on down the road. Cosmetically I would like to go for the lower body lift, never heard of it until you posted, but it just seems scarier!

  2. Sounds like it went well! I hope everything goes smoothly with the insurance. I know this is something I definitely want to get done as well in the future.

  3. Yay! I think I would be hesitant to do the lower body lift, but I'm crossing everything for the insurance to go through. What a relief to be rid of the apron and everything that goes with it. Have a great day, Katie!


  4. Just found your blog and I'm glad I did. I love reading success stories as it gives me hope. You look fantastic by the way. If I saw you on the street, I would never guess that you ever had a weight problem. I know that skin removal surgery will be in my future someday too. I'm not looking forward to it. For now though, I have to concentrate on the fat removal process.

    Good luck with whichever type of surgery you decide on. I hope the insurance responds favorably and soon.

  5. Man it stinks when you see that and realize you still look like the before picture. Ugh.
    But, I am sooo glad that it looks like you will be able to do this, you earned it! :)

  6. What wonderful and exciting news. The only tummy tuck I ever watched was on Jon & Kate Plus Eight, when Kate has her post pregnancy belly tucked. She was awfully sore afterwards, but healed quickly and was extremely pleased with the results. I sure wish I could have my upper arms done--they bug the heck out of me. I have this really cute yellow sleeveless top that I was wearing in that picture I took of those arms, I can't wear it without a sweater (I have a short-sleeved sweater for summer wear, even then, who wants to wear a sweater when it's 90+ degrees outside?), or today I'm thinking about wearing a yellow 3/4 sleeve t-top under it. It looks dumb though.
    Sounds like your insurance is going to be a GO. I think which ever procedure you pick, you are going to be pleased with how much better you look. I am so happy for you! Good luck Katie. You're beautiful inside and out, and this surgery will only add to that beauty!

  7. I'm so happy for you Katie! I truly hope everything will work out insurance wise for you! This is something you have earned and you need! You definitely should do your research when it comes to the lower body lift. Before and afters for that look amazing, but it's all about what would benefit you the most!

  8. Awesome update! Do the research. I know you research well, but make the right decision on which surgery you want. Because you want to do it right the first time and not have any regrets. :)

  9. That's great news Katie! I think late fall is a perfect time to have surgery because you can hide that lovely looking girdle under winter sweaters. :) Plus, you can be well healed by bathing suit season!

  10. Good Luck girl.....everything look positive and will work out in your favor!!!

  11. I hope it's covered for you! I know you will feel much better once it's done when you workout! Good luck with it all!! :)

  12. Hi!
    I have never heard of a lower body lift either..sounds like it would be a tougher recovery.

    My neighbor had a tummy tuck a couple of years ago. Honestly...She said the week after was horrible {something about drainage bags she had to empty daily? totally more than I expected} and yes, she wore one of those girdle things too...but said that it {the tightness of it} felt great and kept every thing secure. ;-)

    I am sure you have been told about it all..I wish you the best..make sure you have hubby around to help you and the kiddos!!

    As with any surgery though it gets better with time. Hers did and I know yours will too by spring you will be running like a new woman.

    You have a great blog...very personable..and real/honest...thanks!

  13. I would need a lower body lift. My tummy is actually the part of me that isn't really too loose because I never had kids.

    I hope your insurance covers it as most really don't. They might cover the lower body lift, though.

  14. This is all so exciting - I'm going to need this myself someday, and so I really appreciate reading about your experience with it.

  15. I don't have any issues with my loose skin, yet. It really is unsightly, though, and I feel bad for my husband. I think I was horribly unattractive fat and now I'm horribly unattractive thin as well! Poor Charlie. I know he doesn't care about it one bit, and I am very glad that I look good in clothes now and have so many OPTIONS as far as wardrobe goes, but I wish for his sake I felt and looked better NAKED!
    I just love the line from 'Eat, Pray, Love' when Elizabeth and her friend Sophie are eating pizza in Naples and Sophie can't eat because she has this "muffin top." Elizabeth asks her if a man has ever asked her to leave or left when he's seen her naked. Sophie says no and Elizabeth responds: "Because he doesn't care. He's in a room with a naked girl. He's won the lottery."

  16. This is so interesting, i love the pictures, I had no idea what the differences are between lifts and tucks and all that. I would go with the tuck personally. It's all about the comfort and no more rashes! I can't wait to hear more good news for you!

  17. Your blog is very inspirational. I've been through the whole thing, and I am so excited! I do have a couple of questions for you. I am on pretty much the same journey you have accomplished. The enormous amount of weight loss, and the running. I am looking to get on a health care plan that will cover some of the surgery once it is done. I am having problems finding a surgeon that will file on insurance much less a health care provider that will cover it. I am a little discouraged. Do you have any advice? -Jana

    1. I was really lucky to find a surgeon that was very helpful in getting the insurance to pay for some of it. But if your surgeons aren't willing to work with you, and give you a little of their time to help out, then chances are, they aren't going to be a great surgeon for you. You want someone that is going to make YOU a priority! Keep looking. Hope you find one!


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