Patti, a wife and mother of two college age boys, is excited to get out in the world and do things with her family – things she just didn’t feel comfortable doing before shedding ten pounds of skin in her mid-section. “Thanks to an outpatient surgery with Dr. Judith Gurley, I can have these moments and make great memories. We can hike and travel and I feel fantastic!”
In 2015, Patti, a two-time breast cancer survivor with a double mastectomy, found herself looking in the mirror and thinking, “I feel butchered.” Not only had she lost her breasts, but she had invested in herself with diet and exercise losing more than 100 pounds. “Now I had no boobs and this big belly of extra skin.”
For nearly five years, Patti suffered the emotional consequences of not liking the way she looked. She didn’t feel nurturing as a mother should. She didn’t feel like a woman. She was finally putting the cancer behind her and was the healthiest she had been in years but could not find the happiness, joy, or confidence she desired and deserved.
Ironically, two friends recommended she visit Dr. Judith Gurley, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Patti decided she would at least have a consultation with Dr. Gurley to see if she had any advice on removing this extra skin.
“When Patti came to see me, I immediately knew I could help her,” said Gurley. “I saw a woman who did everything in her ability to get her body back after going through breast cancer and treatment – she was exercising, eating right and her weight loss transformation was amazing. She was close to her ideal body weight but the extra skin made her extremely uncomfortable and there was nothing she could do on her own that would make her feel any better or make the skin go away.”
After consulting with Dr. Gurley, Patti decided to undergo abdominoplasty also known as tummy tuck – skin removal from her abdomen. “I immediately fell in love with Dr. Gurley during our consultation,” says Patti. “She has a way of making you feel comfortable and she is a perfectionist. She’s an artist! I could see how thoughtful she was about my physical appearance- you can see the wheels turning in her head. She really wanted me to have this surgery but at the same time, she wasn’t pushing me toward something. I could feel her genuine interest in my quality of life.”
“Surgery is always a risk, but patient care and safety is our number one priority. Even with Patti’s medical history, I knew she was a good candidate for this surgery, said Gurley. Dr. Gurley takes all aspects of a patient’s life and medical history into consideration when deciding to perform surgery. “I have always been able to relate to my patients in a way that helps them get the surgery and outcomes I know will make their dreams and goals a reality,” says Gurley. “I can see what my patient should look like when they are on the operating room table and I do everything in my ability to mold and sculpt their body in a way that looks natural and flattering.”
“The results were immediate,” says Patti. “I went from a size 22 to a size 9 and lost ten pounds and five inches of skin! My husband just keeps staring at me!”
While a dramatic difference can be seen right away, Dr. Gurley cautions it still takes about three to six months to see the final results. After removing nearly ten pounds of tissue, there is swelling and healing that can take a while. Dr. Gurley was completely satisfied with the outcome. “There were no complications. Patti went home the same day and had no drains. She was able to shower the next day and she came into the office. She could walk, take stairs and drive as soon as she felt comfortable doing so. The only limitation was limited physical activity for six weeks – there were never restrictions on lifting or walking.”
When you talk to Patti, you can hear the smile in her voice. “I look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘damn girl, you’re hot’! I can bend in half now!”
“Next up – thighs!”
Dr. Gurley says, we are here for her when she’s ready!
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