Saturday, January 21, 2012


Man I'm good, I worked on this last night.....

Ok, here goes:

Why: I had 6 babies over a ten year period, lots of stretch marks and saggy skin, biggest babies were 10 pound 12 ounces and 10 pound 4 ounces. No excuses there really, cos AFTER I had the babies I put on over 60 kilos ! Was firstly too happy (it's possible) and then I got very depressed... on anti depressants for 5 years.

I finally lost the weight over a 19 month period, but always kinda knew that the belly from hell was not going anywhere! So after the loss, went and saw a plastic surgeon... after looking on the net at hundreds of before and after photos and stories of others' surgeries, so I could make an informed decision. I researched all the plastic surgeons in New Zealand, and made my choice after e-mailing 3 with pertinent questions on their qualifications, experience, etc.

The Day I met the Surgeon: I was nervous as hell, knowing I would have to stand there with just my underwear on in front of not only my husband (who hadn't seen my body in years without clothes) and a strange man and nurse.. Well, John Masters was the most gentle, kind and compassionate man I could have hoped for. He never made me feel like an ugly freak, or fat ... he was amazing... and answered all my questions without hesitation, he was honest and up front about EVERYTHING, I left there knowing I could and would put my life in his hands.... because let's be honest here, it was major surgery and anything could happen.

Surgery Day, February 21st, 2005: I was soooo nervous I felt like crying, not because of the surgery itself, I was only too happy to go through with it and get on to the recovery, I didn't care about the pain to come, I was ready for it.... I looked forward to it, cos it meant my belly would be gone forever! I was scared shitless about having a needle put in my hand the most! So, wah lah, the anethetist said "Not a problem, we shall gas you to sleep and put the needle in after you are alseep", man I could have kissed him !

Waking up after surgery, I can remember John leaning over me and saying "Hi Chris, you had us worried there!" Seems I was the first person ever to hemorrage (sp?) on the operating table for John, and I was in a pretty bad way for a while.... I had to have several blood transfusions to stabilise me....and my operation took over 8 and a half hours, a bit longer than anticipated. Poor Stew was sooo worried!

The Operation Itself: I was cut just above the pubes,all the way around the hips and across the top of my buttocks, so totally "ringbarked", then all my skin and flabby bits were peeled away from my muscle walls (front and back) and then hauled down, the excess skin and blubber was cut off, then John took some flesh from my hips and transplanted it with it's blood supply and nerves intact, into my bum, kinda like a butt implant.... I needed it, my bum was non existent after all the weight loss. I also had all my abdominal muscles hauled back together and stitched in place, I had major seperation due to having had so many babies and the weight gain too. I got a new tummy button too, and lost probably 85% of my stretch marks!

After Surgery: To be totally honest, I felt like I was going to die! John likened it to being run over by a huge 18 wheel truck, and as the days wore on the "vehicle" got smaller and smaller, and as John said, when I felt like I'd only been run over by a pushbike I would be nearly better! It took weeks and weeks to feel ok again, but I would do it all again in a HEARTBEAT, it was sooooo worth it. I have a fairly good tolerance to pain, but I sure needed those painkillers in the first 2 weeks. I had two drains running out of me, they were positioned in my groin (friggin painful !) and they were held in place with stitches... so every time I tried to move or walk they pulled.... that was bloody awful! Everyone is different when it comes to where the drains are positioned, I was just unfortunate there!

The first time the nurses got me to stand up after the operation, like the next day, I nearly passed out, it was soooo painful, like a million bee stings all at once and all over my body! After that first time, it slowly got better, but not much! It took months for me to feel "normal" again. And the butt enhancement took even longer.

After care: I had no external stitches! I was superglued on the outside, with a medical tape over the actual incision.... which we changed ourselves every other day... it was easy to do with my husband's help... and Steve my son even did it a few times when Stew was out of town... imagine that! The drains stayed in for about 10 days, then I had them taken out at our local hospital, John would have done it, but I saved myself from going down to Wellington by just getting a doctor here to do it. That hurt like hell too! In fact it was goddam bloody awful ! But over in less than 5 minutes, so still worth it ! John Masters rang me on numerous ocassions to check on how I was doing, and I went down for about 3 Post Operative check ups with him too. John and his wife are both really lovely, caring people, who made me feel totally confident in their expertise and care of me.

Cost: Going back 2 years.... the whole operation cost $16,500. Today it costs a fair bit more, like $20 - 25,000 for what I had done. I would recommend this for anyone who has had a massive weight loss and is left with lots of saggy skin. You know the problem with saggy skin... the skin under the overhang keeps getting infected, it hurts like hell and it stinks! If you are concerned about the cost and are thinking of going overseas to say, Thailand, for the operation.... think very carefully! You could be asking for major problems, no come back if anything goes wrong, no after care, etc. I would NOT recommend you go this way. But, that is only my opinion. This type of surgery is pretty much never covered by Insurance.. in fact I'm sure it never is, unless you are badly injured in an accident and the skin is tightened as part of the repair work?

Well, I hope this covers most of the questions.... Remembered something else.... I am left with a flat tummy (yee haa) and some permanent numb patches... low down on my belly is completely numb and the tops of my outer thighs, everywhere else is pretty much normal. A small price to pay to get the body I wanted again.

Above: 127.7kgs.................. 70 kgs...................... 67 kgs
the total weight of the removed belly.... 5.6 kilos if I remember right!

Haa ha, photo in white underwear, I was sucking it in!!! If I relaxed my belly it hung so low you couldn't tell if I was a girl or a boy "down there", I couldn't even see me fanny ! Can now! lol... Scars... a tiny thin line all the way around me, within my bikini line, so no one can ever see it.... not that it's ugly even!

The look on my face says it all, I was terrified! Kinda like a zombie....see the lines drawn on me body? The CUT LINES ! He went right up to the top line too!

I was in hospital (private one) for 4 days, then home in bed predominantly for about week. Can you see the drains? And ain't me tights sexy? lol I was also in a very tight body suit.. from under the boobs to thighs... to help with the swelling, etc. It was lovely to wear, made me feel like everything was staying "in place".

Here I am totally recovered, with THE MAN: John Masters, the Plastic Surgeon, PlasticSurgicalMasters, Wellington, New Zealand. Shameless plug for him, but he deserves it.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story about your tummy tuck. It's a little scary, I mean the surgery and complications that can come from it. You look great and can't believe how big a difference it is. You've come a long way and are inspiring to me.

    I don't know if I would do it, my tummy does bother me now but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to a normal weight and see if I can live with any extra skin.

    Nice pics of your vacation too!

  2. Wow, wow ... wow!!

    I knew you'd had this surgery done but never found out the details. Was so great to read! Thankyou!

    I had considered this surgery after I lost my weight last time but was too chicken. After being through surgery with my ankle I may consider it this time (I know it would be far more painful than that operation) Food for thought. I also thought I would have too many scars for it to be worthwhile, but not true in your case.

    Thankyou so much for posting your story, has answered alot of my questions.

  3. Chris - what an interesting post and thanks so much for sharing that with us all out here in blogland. I'm sure that honest straightforward information will help a lot of people who are considering/wondering about tummy tucks. You're just a wee legend!

  4. Very scary and I think you are incredibly brave. Well worth it though when you see the result you got - it blew me away! Must say as well that even though you are a bit heavier now than you would like to be - you look very toned and not overweight at all if that makes sense.

  5. Wow, brave brave brave. I think I would be far too chicken to ever consider having such a procedure. Firstly I remember the horrific pain when they cut and diced me to remove my spleen. (boo hoo, my scars are BIG. Breast bone to pubic bone and about 1/2cm in width) That feeling of being run over by a Mack truck and spending 10 days in intensive care thinking I was going to die was tooooo scary for me to repeat (I think). Although, never say never. I have to get the weight off first and am praying my skin will spring back. LOL LOL LOL... (wishful thinking)

  6. Wow hun... I am so glad you let us in on your surgery. OMG I am so so so too chicken to go through it not matter what.. I am a wuss.

    But I can see how happy you were after it and it was an amazing change hun.

    Thank you

  7. wow chirs thanks for sharing your story. YOu are one brave women.good on you for doing something for you. you inspire me every day since i found your blog. your an amazing and I must say in good humour crazy lady. you make me laugh chris.

  8. That was a great read. Thanks for being so open ;o).

    Although I have not yet had any kids I am already cruising for a tummy skin flap and as much as everyone say it's going to snap back into place, I am dubious! I'll wait and see until after kids are out of the way, but would definately not rule a tummy tuck out, especially after hearing your story and seeing the results. That and a boob lift.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  9. Thanks for sharing .... this is something that I have always considered. $20 - 25,000 is a lot of money .... may have to stick to the support briefs for a while .... lol!!
    You look fantastic by the way!!

  10. Thanks for sharing this I found it extremely interesting.Yes, I can definately see and understand it was worth it. I'm jealous you can now see "your fanny", mine's been "missing in action" for a long,long time!!! rofl

  11. Gawd I cantttttttttt wait! Roll on 3 September! :)

  12. Wowzers hris, you are such an amazing woman, just look how far you've come! your such an inspiration.

    Thankyou for sharing sweets *mwah*

  13. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Everytime I read your blog I get a little more admiration for you, but reading this... wow. Not the going through with the op itself, but being brave enough to post photos of it all.


  14. You are one hell of a lady Chris. The fact that you put it all out there for us all to pick through is great. That is a lot of money, I am so glad you thought it was worth it.

  15. Wow, you are very brave and honest to share that story. It is definitely a major surgery.

    You look great, and you are very lucky not to have any thick scars, as I had seen this surgery done in a TV show (Discovery Channel?) and the guy who had the surgery ended up with a very visible scar down his chest and around his waist.

  16. Anonymous3:13 PM

    this is amazing chris..

    can i tell you a secret - don't blog about it ok? hehe.. i am getting a breast reduction in 15 days and i am SHITTING myself hehe but you just made me feel better!

    whooooooo! hopefully no one from MY blog reads this and the secret is ruined hehe.

    i have been chatting to lynda about it, we met through a plastic surgery msg board funnily enough!

    d x


Thanks if you leave a comment. Comment moderation is ON... so if your comment is not published immediately, rest assured it will be eventually. As long as it's not intentionally mean, nasty, controversial, or just trying to incite negativity or a response from me or my other author (Steve).