Will you accept this rose?


This doctor gets it. So I gave him my rose and asked him to be mine today. Then I got naked and took those damn stomach pictures. Glad this is the last time I have to take those “before” pictures at a plastic surgery place.


This doctor is easy to talk to, understands the demands of CrossFit, and very patient with all of my questions. He was impressed that I was so organized with my typed sheet. Haha.

So why am I still sweating by the time I am done talking to him? Good grief. So intense for me.

Sounds like he is pretty confident he can keep my belly button. He said it will look different but it will be there. Done. I don’t give a shit what it looks like at this point, truly. I just want to be functional.

I told him about a problem I saw in my surgery support group that I had posted in a blog a while back. He said it was too hard to comment on what might have gone wrong there but he has fixed a lot of people’s tummys after they had their surgery done with someone else.  So, that made me feel really good! He is really aware of what works and what doesn’t. He plans to use 2 layers of sutures but 3-4 layers of sutures in some spots.

For recovery, he said that for 6 weeks I cannot pick up anything over 5 pounds. After that it will be a very slow process back to dynamic movements like a snatch. I should plan to ease back into working out with bodybuilding movements first. Damn, this guy is speaking my language. He was honest that it would be a long journey and I would have stretching and pulling for a while. So I asked if it would be about 6 months or a year for dynamic movements, and he said he suspected I wouldn’t even need 6 months given my health and athleticism. Mind you, I am in NO rush and totally focused on the end game, but I just wanted an idea. 

He told me that I am a plastic surgeon’s dream come true.

I told him “you’re welcome!” haha

We are going to use drains that would be in for around 2-3 weeks or so. I would come back post opt at 1 week, 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3-4 months.

The one thing I got super overwhelmed about was that he does want to pull my rectus muscles back together tighter than just to the edges. He said if he doesn’t do that then my stomach will not be flat since that is stretched out, too. Shit. Diane Lee said not to let a surgeon do that???!!! I would definitely rather have a stomach that isn’t perfectly flat but functional, if I had to choose. But this guy is everything I am looking for in a surgeon and totally gets CrossFit & my goals and the IAP required for that, so now what? I mean this guy is the fucking chief of plastic surgery at U of M, and the ONLY one that speaks my language.


I messaged Jamie, my new plastic surgeon buddy in Arizona, about my lingering questions and she responded with this:

“ You probably do need a little more pull on your recurs based off your photos. If it isn’t pulled enough you will still round or bulge out.”

Then I asked this:
I just worry about the IAP returning to crossfit if I am “too tight,” but I guess my body will adjust? or do I want a stomach that bulges so I can be more functional at CrossFit?

She said this:
“You’re body will adjust. It’s not uncommon for a few months to have contraction like feeling because of the new tightness. It gets better over time. If you are really freaked out they can place a IAP monitor in your foley during the case to measure.”

I messaged Antony as well and this is what he wrote back to me:

“Don’t worry, you can’t bring them together too much. I’ll bet he is talking a quarter to half an inch at the most. You will adapt ;)

Yeah - it sounds extreme but they forget the effect they can have on patients.

You'll be ok. Everything is trainable and we can make things adapt over time and with care.

You are his dream remember!? He is super confident you will get a good result. Don't worry about the pressure thing - that is trainable too!

yay!”

I just want to be able to trust someone 100%. It is so hard for me to trust my own body let alone another person, but I need to be able to come back to a middle ground. I want to believe that this extremely talented chief of surgery that teaches other surgeons along with doing research who understands CrossFit, knows what he is doing. When I write it like that, it sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? Ha.

My past experiences aren’t allowing me to do that right now, but I think I will get there with some more research and one more appointment with him in the Fall. I truly do believe he will do the best job for me in my area.

There is absolutely no way I could be doing this without my amazing TEAM---friends, doctors, physical therapists, & coaches….it has taken some time to find some of these people but DAMN, I AM GRATEFUL.


U of M
Who helps you during surgery?
What are they allowed to do?
Who does my closure?

Belly Button:
  1. What is your view on my belly button? Lose it?

2.              Make sure to tighten enough at the belly button? (Up/down suture lateral to the belly button to tighten the muscle? )


Sutures:
  1. Do they dissolve?
  2. Do I need two layers of sutures?
  3. Is there mesh? Will it dissolve?
(Non-dissolving suture? Two layers? )

Overall:
  1. What technique are you using? Is there a video I can watch?

2.              Will you include the posterior rectus sheath in approximating my DR?

3.              Do you plan to use drains?
4.              Do you fold thinned fascia over like a blanket? Grab the edges and fold it over itself?
5.              Edges of rectus muscle to meet and not overlap?
6.              Lipo? I naturally carry fat in my stomach. I don’t want to be too unnatural so what are the pros and cons?

Recovery:
  1. Specific guidelines & what will maximize recovery and strength of the abdomen?  

2.              What type of compression and for how long?
3.              What can I do to minimize risk of infection?
4.              Who does follow ups? And How often?
5.              Can I go home with a catheter - explain my history

Billing: Would it cost more to bill out even if it isn’t covered with my bad insurance?
Is there any way that might cost more?


Questions left for the Fall appointment:


  1. Lipo? Pros and Cons since I genetically carry fat in my belly.
  2. Video to watch your technique?
  3. Ask again to make sure there is no mesh being used and if there is that it will dissolve.
  4. Ask about pulling muscles in farther than the edge but NOT letting them overlap.
  5. IAP monitor use?
  6. BILLING: once I have new insurance next year I need to see the best way to go about this since hernia part will be covered but the rest will not and how that might work. Sometimes it might be cheaper to not even use the damn insurance.

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