Sharon S's Story
“This note is regarding my experience with plastic surgery and Dr. Katzen and his terrific office staff. All my life, I was morbidly obese and had literally tried everything to lose weight but was never successful long term. Finally, I was looking at being wheel chair bound because my feet could no longer hold my weight. In desperation, January, 2004 at the weight of 334 lbs, I had stomach stapling and thus my whole life changed.I lost 110 lbs and was indeed smaller but left with an enormous sagging apron of fat around my waist, severe stretch marks on my abdomen and multiple unsightly, old, and long, well healed surgical scars. My thighs remained large, flabby and out of proportion to my lower legs. I had lost weight, was remarkably healthier but looked even worse than before.I then met Dr. Katzen and had the lower body lift and liposuction February 2007. Twenty seven pounds of skin and fat were removed, along with my old scars. I had a new body. I had never imagined that kind of “instant” weight loss and as thrilled as I was, it was also disturbing to my body image. All of a sudden, I had no huge stomach, my clothes hung well and no longer did I have to wear shirts on the outside to hide my belly. It took a while to absorb the change.
But, although life is fabulous now, it wasn’t right after surgery. I went home after surgery but continued to have pain and did not heal. I knew something wasn’t right but didn’t want to be “a bother” and thought I could get through it. After three weeks of misery, I called Dr. Katzen’s office, explained how I was feeling and they had me immediately come in. Dr. Katzen just happened to be out of town that day, but Dr. Eby saw me immediately and even faster, put me back in the hospital. I had developed a massive infection and wasn’t healing.
I went directly to surgery again to clean out the infection and then days of IV antibiotics. I went home wearing a Wound Vac machine- a state-of-the -art something to create negative pressure to make the wound heal faster from the inside out. It was like a Whoopee cushion but not as fun. I became a frequent visitor to Dr. Katzen for awhile and he was just wonderful, patient and so very knowledgeable. It was a long process but I healed very well and now am so totally pleased with the results!!
My story is about how nice it is when things go as planed. More important is what happens when they don’t. I was in pain, afraid, not adjusting quickly to my new size mentally and miserable. Dr. Katzen and his entire office staff were supportive, up beat, ALWAYS professional and caring. I was never made to wait or feel rushed. I was followed at both offices over the weeks and they were organized and did whatever they could to help my discomfort. As a bonus, they were funny and told me jokes. It worked! I healed just fine!
Now I will have the upper body lift in two months. I am so very pleased with the way I look from the waist down and now will complete the job. I am looking to get rid of the excess skin on my arms and upper torso. No matter what happens, I know Dr. Katzen will do whatever is needed to help me be successful as he has already proven his integrity and character in adverse situations. By the way, I am a registered nurse and advanced nurse practitioner with a background in surgery, so I think I am a pretty good judge.”