So, Consultation accomplished.
Having been reading everything I could get my hot little hands on about this subject for a few months, I am not shocked to say that I only learned ONE new fact about plastic surgery at the seminar / consultation yesterday.
(That is – plastic surgery to fix “deforming skin” – which this falls under – is tax deductible! – who knew? It’s also, it seems, an audit trigger, so that’s less useful)
But – I went to the thing. The Dr. talked about surgery for massive weight loss folks. He talked about outcomes, risks, etc. He showed pictures of people who I must say, I would NEVER have thought they could get from where they were, with that amount of skin, fat, etc, to quite reasonable looking.
He also showed some scary pictures of wounds, etc that didn’t close right, and talked about how that kind of thing is dealt with. He talked about the riss / benefits of out-patient vs. hospitalization. He talked about how long he’s been working with massive weight loss people. He talked about the different things MWL people tend to get, and the patterns of problems they tend to have, etc. etc. etc.
I probably would have found it more enlightening had I not already read a bunch of stories, etc. from people who’ve had surgery for this kind of thing.
Then after that, came the consultation part.
I’ve been to doctors before, of course, and know they are always clinical (because, hey, they are doctors) but I will admit, it was a little disconcerting to have someone sizing you up in the same way a contractor would size up a kitchen prior to a remodel. Tape measures and all.
Still, he was very nice, and explained everything.
He ended up recommending exactly what I thought he would recommend, given what I have read about this stuff and what my concerns are. (Extended abdominoplasty, which is bascially a tummy tuck that goes a little way around the sides as well, but is not nearly as complicated and invasive as one of those “around the world” circumferential things)
The cost of such a thing is $8,800… pretty much in line with other quotes I have heard about in the area. That’s not a small chunk outta savings… but cheaper than a kitchen remodel!
So – there’s that – information gathered.
From here, though, it’s not all sunshine and roses and “let’s get some surgery!”
For one thing. That’s a lot of money. On the one hand, this is something that I’ll have for the next 50-some years until I die. On the other hand, that’s a lot of money. On the one hand, I would not hesitate to invest double that in a car that would only last me 8 to 10 years. On the other hand, that’s a lot of money. (you see where I’m gong with this).
Other things to consider…
1) General anesthesia. There’s risk there. I’ve had it before for two surgeries as a teen, so I know I’m not allergic, but still. I know there are risks. This is something I think I shall research, because all I really have is anecdotal information on this, not actual statistics.
2) What if it doesn’t come out right? Yeah – this guy’s been doing these things for 10 years. But still… what if it doesn’t? It’s a small chance, but there none-the-less.
3) The SB is wildly uncomfortable with the whole thing. He hates doctors and hospitals anyway… I am fairly sure that if a piano fell on him, he’d probably try to convince himself that his arm was perfectly fine bent like that in the middle rather than have to see a physician. He could be bleeding out of his eyeballs, and I’d probably have to wait until he passed out to get him to the emergency room (yes, OK, I am exaggerating, but not by much!)
So it is his position that if I go through with this I will die, or at least be horribly disfigured for life. These are very legitimate concerns (see items 1 and 2 above), but my level of concern on them is not quite as high as his is. Still, they are his concerns and I am taking them seriously.
So the long and the sort of it is that all surgery-related plans are now on hold pending SB comfort levels. I will not move forward on this as long as he is so very uncomfortable with it. And, if that means never, well, then, that means never. But, in the mean time, I shall attempt to gather more facts, figures, and information in an attempt to lower the SB security alert level from red to at least yellow. I myself don’t think I could get my concern level down to green, but proceed with caution isn’t a bad place to be.