Thursday, 4 May 2017

Fact or Fiction: You can stretch your stomach.

In my case...fact.

I have had concerns for some time now that I may have stretched my sleeve as I have slowly gained weight.  Thus the barium swallow last week to assess things.

My fears were confirmed today when I went to see my sleeve surgeon for a five year "check up".  I last saw him three years ago and as things were going well, I didn't need to see him again.

Whilst waiting to see him, his receptionist called me and lead me towards the dreaded scales.  I was too scared to look exactly how much I have gained.  I'm ashamed to admit that I've gained close to 10kg, weighing 89.5kg.

When I had my tummy tuck in 2014, my weight on day of surgery was 73kg.  I saw the images of the swallow test and my surgeon said that I have a pouch at the top of my stomach and it's slightly folded over, which he stated is common, but to make sure there's nothing more sinister going on, he's booked me in for a gastroscope, which I will have done on 23 May.

He did outline two options to "fix" things, one being a re-sleeve and the other a bypass, the ladder of which I flat out refused.

If I really wanted to, I could get re-sleeved but I'm no longer covered for sleeve surgery on my PHI.

Unfortunately at the moment, my back issues is top priority as I could be facing a spinal fusion but this surgery is an absolute last resort.

I feel like I've failed myself and everyone else but myself more, as I never made it to my goal weight of 68kg.  The sleeve is just a tool, we still have to bust our arses and do the hard yards.

My weight was a constant battle pre-sleeve and even more so now to maintain.

Need to get my shit sorted and fix things.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Denial and the million dollar question...have I stretched my stomach?

I am coming up to five years post sleeve, three years since I last saw my amazing surgeon.
Ongoing review was not necessary, as I was progressing well and there were no complications, though he did say to me that I can return at any time should I have issues or concerns.  Well, I've finally plucked up the courage (and at the insistence of my fellow sleeve friends) to make an appointment and talk about what is going on.

I know I have gained weight but I refuse to admit it to anyone, even my own family, even though they can clearly see I have gained weight.  Thing is, my clothes fit the same, albeit it slightly snug (depends what I'm wearing), plus I'm putting it down to muscle gain from the gym (yeah right!).  I have a feeling that I've put in between 5 and 10kg since my tummy tuck in 2014, with my weight on day of surgery being 73kg.  Every scale provides a different reading, even my ones at home (step on them three times, get three different readings).

So I finally made an appointment and will be seeing him this coming Wednesday 3/5.  The first stepping stone was getting a new referral from my GP and I was expecting to get the third degree from her....got nothing, no questions, no issues.  In all honesty, I do want to see if my stomach has stretched but again, I didn't want to admit that to her either.

Prior to seeing him, I was to have a barium swallow, which I had done yesterday.  As I work for my GP, I'll be able to see the result before I see my surgeon.  I got to see some of the images of the scan being performed due to the angle I was placed in.  Was weird watching a "live video" of my skeleton LOL.  Could actually see the barium going down my esophagus into my stomach.  Hopefully I can get a DVD of the images/video, if not, at least some screenshots when I see the surgeon.

Why am I so scared about going back?  Firstly, not only I have let myself and my family down, I also feel as though I'll be letting my surgeon down, in that I have failed to maintain my weight loss after everything I have gone through in getting the sleeve then having the tummy tuck and breast reduction/lift...a lot of money spent on three procedures which I don't want to see go down the drain.

I know I need to lose weight but I just can't get motivated.  Even my upcoming trip to Canada in five weeks time isn't enough to motivate me.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Three months post reduction and lift.

Today I had my three month post BR/BL...and I'm wearing a 34DDD!  WTF?!?!?!  I said to the surgeon that I bounce between a C and now DDD.  All has healed as it should, scars are looking good and I'm still perky!  Next review in nine months, which will take me to one year post op.  My surgeon was very happy with how everything has gone.

For shits and giggles, I thought I'd try on my old bra...12F.  Bloody thing still fits perfectly.

Then again, I'm just rapt I can still wear my Victoria's Secret bras 👍🏻


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Day 2 post BBR/BL...and first look.

Today was the first time I had a proper look at my new boobs.  They're...perky and small.  I'm not used to them.  It'll take me some time to adjust to them.

Regrets? Dunno yet.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Day 1 post bilateral breast reduction/lift

Yesterday I underwent bilateral breast reduction and lift, taking me from anywhere between a DDD to an F cup to now down to a full C or D cup.  It'll take some months to see the full result.  At the moment, I look small.  I've only seen my boobs lying down when the nurses checked how things are looking.  Too scared to look in the mirror.

I was wheeled into theatre at 9.15am and woke in recovery at 2.00pm.  As I'm allergic to Morphine, they gave me OxyCodone....and guess what?  Allergy.  Became itchy so they gave me Phenergan, which made me super drowsy on top of the anaesthetic.  Endone is also a no no for me now, as its in the same group as OxyCodone, so Tramadol is my new drug.

Surgeon came late last night to check up on me and discuss the surgery.  My left breast was bigger than my right.  To me they looked the same, but he knows.  He said approx 500gm of skin and tissue was taken from the left breast and approx 350gm from the right.  I certainly didn't expect that much to be cut away.

Nurse only took three photos during the op and they're not as gory as the tummy tuck ones lol.

I go back Tuesday for my first post op review.  Until then, I shower with the supportive bra 24/7 for a week.

Once I get a proper look at my new boobs, I'll post an update...depends if they look decent though 😕


Pre op markings.


In theatre, ready to get started.


My right breast, much smaller.


Left breast yet to be reduced and lifted.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Next stage of my transformation...breast reduction.


Last week I had a consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon for another issue but decided to kill two birds with one stone and seek an opinion on getting a breast reduction and lift.

After the first part of the consult, it was time to talk reduction.  I stripped down ready to be poked, prodded, measured and photographed from various angles.  Considering I've lost 60kg, my boobs have not changed whatsoever, well, more saggy but I still fill the same cup size I was pre sleeve.  Depends on where I shop, I can be a DD/DDD/E or F cup.  I'm currently wearing 12F.

The surgeon explained the procedure to me, as well as the risks and complications.  Being on Roaccutane can inhibit wound healing, but he couldn't find any research to back this up.  If I were to get implants, then there would be issues, but he can't see there being any complications with a reduction.  He suggested I speak to my dermatologist for her opinion.  It was suggested I stop taking Roaccutane and wait six months or at least drop back to two tablets weekly.  To be honest, if I stop taking, my skin will flare up again and it's not pretty.

I asked when I could get in if I wished to proceed and was offered end of May or end of July...but first I'll wait for that quote...

...which came on Monday.  I was expecting close to $10,000 but I was quite surprised.  $5700 for surgeon, $1400 for anaesthetic, as well as $500 hospital excess.

So......with this information and discussing things with my sister and mother (can't exactly discuss this with the father...yet anyway lol), I've book myself in for 28th July!

I'd need a minimum three weeks off work, provided there are no complications.  It's only a day procedure and no drains, but I can stay overnight...why not, I'm paying enough!  Discussed sizes and even he said don't want to go too small, but I'd be happy to be a perky D.  Last time I had perky boobs was when I was born lol.

I'm scared about how the end result will look.  Maybe because they've been "saggy" for so many years, to me that is normal.  I'm excited yet at the same time, I'm freaking out.

Still on my "shopping list" are arms and thighs, but like then surgeon who did my tummy tuck said, would I want to sacrifice flabby skin for a thick scar?  I can lift weights and work out 24/7 but nothing will shrink the skin.  Maybe when I win Tattslotto I'll consider the arms and thighs, but for the time being, for the first time in my life, I want normal looking perky boobs.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Misconceptions about the Gastric Sleeve

Link to Sunrise interview:

I was a little peeved about an actual article that appeared in NewIdea and I'm yet to view this interview that was on Sunrise this morning, but from what I've been told, it did not differ much from the NewIdea article.

The article, in my opinion, painted the sleeve in a negative way. It was written as though the only thing Jessica can have is pureed food. Wrong. Post surgery, there is a 6 week transition period: 2 weeks fluids, 2 weeks puree, 2 weeks soft food before progressing to a normal diet.

I have NEVER had any issues post sleeve. No vomiting, nothing. I see a dentist 6 monthly and have never had any issues with them. In their words, they're "perfect". Bloods are always perfect, although B12 is on the low side at times, which is why I take supplements.

Excess skin. Well that just comes with drastic weight loss. Some are lucky and their skin bounces back. It helps that youth is on their side too. I was one of the unlucky ones and I knew that is what would happen.

I didn't wake up one morning and decide that I'll have the sleeve. I thought about it for quite some time and RESEARCHED, either talking to friends who have had the procedure or frequented many forums. I saw my surgeon 3-4 times pre op to discuss things and make sure I was making the right decision. I also saw a dietitian pre op to discuss diet history as well as what was expected of me post op. I continued to see both the surgeon and dietitian (if necessary) up until 2 years post sleeve.

I just wish for once that the media would put a positive spin on sleeve surgery.

I've still got my old friends and have made many new ones.

I'm happier than I was before. I'm not saying I wasn't happy, just a lot happier now, if that makes sense!


My only regret is that I did not have surgery earlier because now at the age of 38, I'm starting to enjoy my life.