Getting Cosmetic Surgery, anyone have experience?complications?

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Jay and Madi
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/10/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm 28, had 2 kids at a young age, they "destroyed" my belly with stretch marks and my boobs are "blah" since I breast fed them both. I am looking into getting a "mommy makeover" (a breast lift and tummy tuck). I would like to have this done because I didn't have the chance to have a young body. I'll end up looking exactly the same with my clothes on since I'm in shape anyway but it will be what I see with the clothes off that will make all the difference in the world for me. Besides, I'll finally get to wear a bikini again tongue So anyway, my issue is that I haven't gotten any info on whether I will be able to due to the Lupus. Or if the risk is any different than any other patient. I have asked my doctor and he said "everyone is different and not only are there not so many people diagnosed with Lupus but the amount that have gone through cosmetic surgery and have documented issues is even smaller". I think he was just trying to get out of being held liable if something were to go wrong. Soooo, is there anyone who can help or give advice or let me know of their experience??

AlwaysRosie
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 3/10/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum Jay . . or, um . Madi?

I think most here will agree with your doctor. It doesn't take much to send any of us into a flare. Most of us will avoid elective surgery for that very reason. Having said that . . . its always your own personal call to be made with advice from your rheumatologist and plastic surgeon. But I would rely heavily on the input from the rheumy because the derm is not likely to have much background with lupus flares.

I'd hate to see you get all fixed up and then end up on pred and gain a lot of weight (stretching things out again). . . . oh my! that would be really sad.

But . . . welcome to the forum!! I hope you make some good friends here. Its a great bunch of people.

You must be feeling quite well at this point to be considering the cosmetic surgery . . . that's really great!!

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

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redrose77
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 3/10/2008 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had a breast reduction. Ironically a few weeks later I went into remission. I think if you have control of your disease and have a top notch surgeon you could come through OK, but I recommend against doing 2 surgeries at once. Your body will have to fight off the effects and it may trigger worse problems than doing them one at a time. You also want to be in the hospital and kept at least overnight. Sorry, but you need to have the stuff available for a worse case senario. I had my reduction done because I was a 44 G and my back is not good. The surgery left me a 44 D and has greatly improved my back. I am unsure a surgeon would be willing to do a surgery on a lupus patient just for cosmetic purposes if they are any good.

Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec


Jay and Madi
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/11/2008 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for your input. I will be staying in the hospital for 8 days and 7 nights. I will have a 24 hour nurse for the first 3 days and then I will need to call on one if needed for the days after that. I have researched many doctors for six months and checked out all qualifications and experience. I have confidence with the doctor that I have selected. I have been feeling well lately and haven't had a flare in quite some time now. I do have everyday aches and pains and the whole chronic fatigue thing goinig on but I've been that way as far back as I can remember so I doesn't bother me. I do see your concern with getting both at once. And to be honest with you, my rheumy has never come across any of his patients that opted to get cosmetic surgery. I am the youngest patient he sees and the next youngest would be in their late 50's. As far as weight gain, I have never had a weight problem. I have always been within the healthy range. I try to be as healthy as possible by eating right and excercising regularly. I am going to keep talking with my Rheumy and the "surgeon to be" for the next 3 weeks or so to make sure all will be well. I am thinking that I will be ok'd for the surgery because I have taken good care of myself despite what I feel like. But I know it's all up to my rheumy at this point. I have testing to be done soon so he can do a better evaluation of my current condition.

Aside from all this, I would like to say how happy I am to finally have communication with people that know what it's like to have Lupus and there isn't anyone telling me "it's in my head" or it's "just growing pains". I've been told that for the first 21 years of my life until I finally had enough of the pain, fatigue, etc. and demanded testing and found out I had Lupus. I "blame" it on my doctors for having me go through so much pain for so long before they decided to see why I was in pain, depressed, anxious, tired,memory loss, etc. I do have some anger with them but I know that all they could have done for me was tell me sooner.


redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 3/11/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
You need to be aware that prednisone can cause significant weight gain no matter your diet or activity level and that prednisone is one of the best ways to control lupus despite all the side effects. So if at any point you end up needing prednisone there is a very good chance you will gain weight no matter what you do to avoid it. It will all depend on the dosage and how long you need it. Also know that no matter how good the surgery is you will not have perfect results. I went into my surgery knowing the end result would not be a prefect set of breasts- actually I asked her to avoid trying for perfection because I did not want my breasts to look obviously 'done'. I was very pleased with the end result because I had a realistic idea of how things would look in the end. Actually I ended up with better than I ever hoped for results.

A psychiatric consultation is generally required by really good surgeons. I would suggest that you get a quick consult anyway so that you have somewhere to go if something drastically wrong happens from the surgery. I met a woman who got a very rare infection post surgery despite having the best care possible. It left her with severe scarring but she was able to handle it better because she had someone to talk with thanks to the initial psych consult. When I met her she was getting ready for a scar revision to help minimize the scarring but was otherwise pleased with her surgery results.

I am glad your doctor plans on a hospital stay, it is very necessary to be carefully monitored. Also the anistesiologist needs to be informed of your lupus and if you have taken prednisone in the last year. I will say that when they removed my gallbladder I ended up very weak. It may have been from how bad things got or may have been a combination of the surgery and how bad it had gotten. It was over a year before I began to regain my strength. So be prepared for the worst case senario.

BTW I was told it was all in my head from my early teens until a few months before my 29th birthday. I suggest finding a rheumy who treats younger patients. I will admit if I have a c-section I will eventually have a tummy tuck- but my stomach muscles are very seperated which causes serious back issues and have been since my first pregnancy. The only way to have them stitched back together again is a tummy tuck. If I had the money I would have it with or without the c-section because my back is actually more painful than any of my other conditions. None of my doctors know exactly what is wrong with my spine, they just know I have old fractures, disks going bad, inflammation, and a congenital deformity. The amount of pain I live with on a daily basis has been significantly reduced by enbrel but the truth is that there are still days when sitting up, standing, and/or walking cause so much pain I wish I were a horse because then they would shoot me. I don't really want to die, it is just that the pain gets so bad that nothing touches it- not even diladed. I know that strengthening my stomach muscles would help my back as much as if not more than the breast reduction did. I am not one to advocate surgery just for the sake of one's looks, but if doing this will improve your self esteem and make you a happier person better able to cope with your limitations I am all for it. I just really want you to come at this knowing what could go wrong because if you don't and something does happen then you may end up in a serious depression. Depression is our enemy. We need to avoid it because it saps our will to fight.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec

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