Tracey: The Plastic Surgery Debate

Some friends and I were discussing getting older, losing weight, getting fit, changing bodies and inevitably, plastic surgery.

I know many people who have lost a significant amount of weight and made the decision to have some plastic surgery to remove excess skin or just to do a final polishing of their hard work with a little nip and tuck.

Right after the birth of my first daughter, I started talking about the future tummy tuck I would be planning.  Then, after c-section #2, I was pretty certain that my stomach would never, ever, go back to any sort of flat surface.  When you must have a vacuum, forceps and then several pairs of hands trying to wedge a tight baby out (yes, in a c-section!) it’s a foregone conclusion that your stomach isn’t going to just bounce back!

The plan was to get to my goal weight and revisit that conversation.

Some of my friends and acquaintances have had various procedures done, from liposuction to breast lifts to tummy tucks to well, “just” Botox.  We’ve had some open discussion and debate about the whole “going under the knife” question.

One of my good friends is studying to be a nurse, and she asked, “Why would you willingly put yourself through major surgery, risking infection and even DEATH just to have a flat stomach?”

That’s a good question.

I’ve always maintained that I would never do Botox or Restylane or anything to my face. That whole frozen face thing creeps me out, and I find most people end up looking like scared clown versions of their old selves. That’s just me.

But, would I go for the tummy tuck, after all?

I’m not really sure at this point. I know people who just live with their excess skin and have no surgery plans to remove it. I know others who opted to lose it as soon as possible. My stomach area is my problem area, and to have it flat and not be in the way in terms of clothes shopping, or just in terms of increased confidence and self-esteem? I’m not sure.

I admit to scouring before and after pictures from local surgeons. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos following people along who have had the procedure. On one hand it makes me feel excited to have the same result, on the other it terrifies me.

I’m not quite at goal weight just yet and while I’m pretty happy overall, my stomach, I’m not gonna lie….still gives me pause.

I’m a total believer in embracing ourselves and loving ourselves just as we are, conceptually. Yet, I still struggle with this desire to have the flat tummy of my long ago dreams.

What are your thoughts on the plastic surgery debate? Is it a Hollywood created craze seeking unattainable perfection, or do you land in the “to each their own” camp? I’d love to hear some thoughts from the trenches on this one!

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13 Responses to Tracey: The Plastic Surgery Debate

  1. Allee says:

    I am having the same debate, sagging boobs and excess tummy skin due to weight loss, not sure yet. I did have plastic surgery to have a facial mole removed and am so happy I did. I hate the way it looked and am much happier now.

  2. Shona says:

    I was just at a plastic surgeon’s to have a bump removed from my shoulder – was totally worth it. While I was there I asked him about having a boob lift/reduction after I was finished with children and he said after taxes the hospital and everything it would be 9 -12 thousand dollars. I was totally interested in it when I thought it would cost less than that… but that amount of money seems a lot to spend on vanity… all I can think is that is almost a new car! I would love to have gorgeous boobs and was seriously considering it when I thought it would cost more around 5-6K…. Personally, I think if it is something that really bothers you and will change the way you feel about yourself, give you confidence, it could be worth it.

    • Tracey says:

      I looked into the tummy tuck and the pricing was similar-close to 9,000 or more. When you put that into perspective like a vehicle, as you said, that certainly seems over the top to spend on what is arguably vanity. Hmm.

  3. Trace – if you’d asked me this question 7 or 8 years ago – even 5 years ago – I’d have said absolutely not. I was all hung up on the idea of the importance of setting a good example for my teenage daughter. If I wasn’t happy with myself and chose to do surgery, why should I expect HER to be happy with herself? I felt I needed to set a good example.

    If you asked me today, however, I’d say yes – I’d do plastic surgery in some cases, the most immediate one coming to mind would be to remove excess skin remaining after losing a large amount of weight.

    As you know, I lost 150+ pounds several years ago and then hit a plateau that wouldn’t move. I was devastated. I was 30-odd pounds from my goal weight and the scale refused to move for an entire year. I gave up and threw it all down the drain out of frustration…and am back to the starting line because of it.

    Would things be different today if I’d considered the plastic surgery to remove that 30-odd pounds of skin? I think they would be. I think the scale would’ve reconciled with what my body was saying and I would’ve been “happy” with where I was.

    Ask me this question again today and I will tell you unequivocally: Yes – I would have the plastic surgery to remove excess skin left over from weight loss. I wish I’d done it last time. I won’t make the same mistake twice. :)

    • Tracey says:

      Ive bern talking about getting a tummy tuck FOREVER…but its obviously a BIG procedure-financially, physically, mentally, and in terms of my family. We’ll see where im at once im at goal.

  4. Katie Squires says:

    It depends are we talking about my excess skin on my belly from losing weight…or golf balls in tube socks boobs? I am ok with the excess hang-y skin on my belly from losing 100 pounds…its not pretty, and in plank or downward dog hangs and looks funny…but its like a badge of honor! I’m ok with it. If I have clothes on I feel good and let’s face it there aren’t many places I will be going naked. My boobs are a different story…100 pounds ago they were big and full and I loved them! LOVED THEM! You should of seen me do the booby dance! They weren’t perky…they hung low but I loved them and girl they had SWING! (aka the boobie dance)…now they are a sad sad affair and I HATE THEM. I have sex with a shirt on :( I would have a boob job..YES I WOULD.

    • Lara C W says:

      I think it’s such a personal decision and one that has to be made fully informed – of all the consequences. Not just the big ones ready mentioned like infection or death but what happens when skin is cut and removed ? There is a risk to nerve tissue, fascia….will there be a risk of myofascial pain after? How will I be able to move and twist my body after? Will it pull on fascial structures and muscle that limits movement and actually creates dysfunction? I din’t think anyone should judge a person’s decision – I too feel like what message would I send to my daughter but i thinknit has to be your own personal decision that you answer to no one but yourself.

      • Tracey says:

        I think having had two c-sections and other surgery, im more aware of what this might “sort of” feel like and what recuperation and recovery and pulling all feel like. My struggle lies in cost vs vanity as well as message to my daughters, while also considering my own self-esteem. Im very much teetering on the fence.

    • Tracey says:

      I have no doubt you will one day booby dance again, Katie! :) The dance may look a lil different-but dance away! :)

  5. Lara C W says:

    And PS – Katie I understand but hate that we say (bc i say to myself too) “I HATE” my boobs, tummy, ass, whatever. I want to love my body but i wear clothing to do the deed too. I don’t have excess skin but surgeon butchered me when i had umbillical hernia repair. And while the goretex mesh i have in my tummy helped to strengthen the connective tissue between my rectus abdominus (linea alba) they are still separated, 5 fingers width, all these years later AND, the holes they cut left dimpling from actually sewing my obliques into the incision (my drug free labours have nothing on the pain of trying to twist when your obliques are sewn up in your skin! ) i feel and look great covered up but my belly actually looked BETTER when I had a 37 inch waist (its now 30). Just something to think about.

  6. Sabby says:

    I am on the fence too. I’m done having kids, and on my weight loss journey. I am going to have a pooch from two c-sections, and my boobs look like triangular pancakes with a cherry on the end. (TMI? Sorry…) However, I have found bras that make my girls look awesome, and I have found underwear that tucks away the pooch. But as for nakedness, I tend to hide away still. Perhaps when I am down to my target fitness weight, I’ll be more confident because my body is powerful so who cares if it looks a little different. But… I miss my 20-something boobs a bit. They were awesome. a chance to have that again, if I could afford it, might be tempting…

    • Tracey says:

      Im mostly good with my “parts” but my stomach, also 2 c-sections in, has long been my nemesis. I have to decide cost vs vanity vs confidence…..I struggle with the guilt of spending that on myself.

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