Write a review

37 Yr Old, Married Mother of 3 with MUCH NEEDED Tummy Tuck - Brooklyn, NY

Right now I a 2 days post-op from my tummy tuck...

Right now I a 2 days post-op from my tummy tuck and I'm able to stand up right and move around. After 3 children (10lbs, 9lbs, and 8.5lbs), my abdominal muscles were completely separated and i had a ton of excess skin. I had started working out prior to surgery and spent 2 yrs researching doctors and looking at YouTube videos before finally deciding on the surgery and going with the surgeon i did. I live in NYC but travelled to Elizabeth,NJ to have Dr. Joseph Alkon do the surgery. I would recommend him to anyone interested who lives in NY or NJ. My pain has been well controlled in the hospital and at home and the cost was $6,655.

Day 3 PO

so last night i looked at my tummy with the compression band off for a couple of minutes and thought to myself "what is that flap of skin next to my new belly button?" I kinda got worried that I was compressed too tight in the garment. This afternoon, I wanted to get another look at it because maybe it's the meds that have me thinking something is wrong. Sure enough, it was me. It was't that the garment was too compressed is that there is a significant amount of swelling on the left side of the new BB as apposed to the right, even though there's more fluid coming out of the drain on the right than the left. As of now, its just swelling that's going down. I'm still able to move around pain free and stand up straight. I go back to see him tomorrow and find out how much longer do I wear this compression garment before i transition into another one. I also want to know how much longer do i have to wait until I can go back to the gym.

First post op appointment

This morning I had my first post op appointment with Dr Alkon. He removed the drains from the Q-ball since i had already cut them (the medication finished Wednesday). He was amazed at the considerable difference in my before and what I look like right now, so much so he printed out my before photos he took in the office 2 weeks before surgery. He's pleased with how well i'm healing. I'm a little more swollen on the left side of my new belly button than the right but that is normal. I stated that the only pain i feel is some soreness where the incision is and where the hernia repair is and that's only when I cough. He also said that he did a combination TT/ high tension TT because of how much excess skin there was after the MR, how the skin flapped down over my hips and because i opted not to have lipo. This may eliminate the need for lipo down the line once all the swelling goes away. The drains will stay in and he will remove one of them on Monday. The only bad news is that he said I can't go back to the gym for another 4 weeks (UUGHH!!). He told me to continue what i'm doing and not to overdue it.

Another Photo

Here is the side by side......thanks to little sis

Binder Troubles

So I took off the binder for a few minutes because i wanted to see if there was any difference in the swelling and to scratch my back. What i've noticed is that on my right side, because the binder kept riding up there, i have more of an indent on that side and it's darker. My husband helped me re-apply the binder in the opposite direction with the velcro on the left side to see if I will fill out there and look a little more uniform. I really think it's the binder that causing that and since the doctor is suppose to remove one of the drains on Monday, I can go into a compression garment instead of this binder. Other than that, still not in any pain. My lower back aches but that is from sleeping on the sofa and the binder. The swelling looks like it's gone down significantly in my stomach.

1 week post op

So I saw my PS today. He removed the drain on the left and......IT DIDN'T HURT AT ALL. I was pleasantly surprised by that. I asked him about the indent and darken line on my right side. He said it was a combination of the binder and the fact that the darken line is actually the back roll i had prior to my TT. He said that it may not go away completely but once all the swelling goes away, it really wouldn't be noticeable. He also suggested that I wear a tank top under the binder for now so that it won't irritate my skin and make the darken section darker and the indent more prominent. He did say that now I can shower like normal people since one drain has been removed. If the other drain has less than 20 ml today and tomorrow, I can have the drain removed on Wednesday. If not, then he'll remove it Monday and then into the compression garment. He also said that the large amount of scar tissue that was removed was a lump in the center, below my old belly button. I finally purchased a dress in a large and it will take some getting used to. I'm so accustom to seeing a belly trying on clothes and now i don't have one.

P.S.

Last night a friend of mine hit me up on FB and said that she saw some of the photos here on my personal FB page. I told her I posted them there also because some people are not on the private page that we belong to. I'm also a FDNY Paramedic and there is a page for those of us, who are on the the job and are mother trying to get back in shape. I told her that I wasn't ashamed of having this done. There are quite a few women on the job who've had plastic surgery and act like they didn't. There are some who hate on people like us who have, knowing if they had the money to do so, they'd have some too. I told her people are gonna talk because i had a huge belly before and i'm coming back to work with a flat one. I'm not gonna be able to hid it so might as well be up front about it. Plus, the main reason why i'm posting the photos of my progress is for informational purposes, so people know what my journey and my truth is. As far as the haters go, they're gonna hate. What they should do is sit down next to me. They might just like the view. :-D

Learning to love the compression garment

Finally got the last drain out today!! WOOP WOOP! It wasn't the drain that hurt, it was the stitch holding the drain in place. Just like the other drain removal, this one didn't hurt either. He also removed the remaining tape and sterry strips and i was finally put in my compression garment. It has the shoulder straps and goes all the way down to my knees. This sucker feels just as tight as the binder did the first 2 days P.O. I have to go back to see him in one week to remove one or two stitches from my belly button. My doctor is AMAZED at how well I'm doing and how much different i look, even with the swelling. He said he's never had a patient who's recovery has gone as well as mine and who's moving around as well as me. I told him I was surprised too. Here are some pics of me in the compression garment, in the garment with just jeans on and in a tank top and jeans.

UUGGHHH!

Had my follow up with my PS today. He took the stitches out of my belly button. It was crazy looking before he took them out. I've also had some splitting of the scab where the incision was so I have some sterry strips in two spots on my stomach. Still not in any pain from the surgery but i now have a URI/bronchitis which has caused night time coughing fits, so much so that doc gave me a board to wear underneath the compression garment on the left side. I now have soreness and a little more swelling on the left side because of the coughing at night and now we're not sure if i popped a stitch from the hernia repair or if it's muscle strain. I just want this URI to go away.

Got new compression wear and shorts!!!!

Went shopping for some more compression wear today. I found a kiosk in the Kings Plaza mall in Brooklyn that sells them. It's between Aerosoles and Pink. One of these pieces fits but the other one doesn't and will have to be exchanged for a duplicate of the one that does fit. One of the things i did to day, for the first time in 16 yrs, was buy a pair of shorts. Not just any shorts; shorts that actually have a dress size in them. So i walk into Old Navy because i love their tank tops and they were on sale for $4. They had shorts on sale for $8, so I grabbed a pair in a size 14 because i figured they would fit. I also grabbed a pair in a size 12 for laughs, knowing that i'm still swollen. Not only did the 14 fit, with room in the back, but the 12 fit perfectly. I was not only able to put them on, but i was able to zip and button them. I almost cried! So I purchased 2 pair in a 14 for comfort and 1 pair in a 12. Of course i had my compression garment on, so I tried them on again without the garment and they still fit. I gingerly put them on since my hips are sore and my belly button and parts of the incision are still tender. Here are the pictures.

Belly Button

One of the things I've been super paranoid about is how my belly button is healing. I am a type 2 diabetic. My diabetes has been very well managed with medication and diet. I had to get cleared by my endocrinologist before i had the surgery. I just wanted to know if my belly button should look like it does 21 days post op. I know it can take up to 6 months for it to completely heal. I'm just worried since the belly button is one of the few areas where blood flow can easily be cut off. Diabetics are notorious for poor healing but i've been blessed with no surgical complications in the past. I'm using Neosporin and cleaning it twice a day. Am I worrying too much or do I need to go back and see him before my appointment next Monday?

Belly Button....Part 2

I did not realize how popular this site was and how many people know each other. I posted a question about my belly button along with photos and someone passed them on to my surgeon. He had his assistant call and reschedule my Monday appointment to yesterday. I showed him where my concerns lied and he went into detail about what was going on with my belly button and how the hernia was repaired. The heavy duty stitches for the hernia and those used to repair my diastasis recti have caused my umbilical stalk to be pulled in and down, hence the retraction. He stated he's seen this before and that none of his patients needed a revision. He did say that it would take a little longer since I am a diabetic. He wasn't offended that i posted the photos and questions because he realizes how paranoid i am about my belly button. He also stated that the repair of my hernia took a little longer because the other surgeon went behind the blood supply to my belly button. The pain I feel on the left side is where he went to repair the hernia and there are heavy duty stitches there. The other surgeon didn't use mesh because it has an increased chance of infection and in a diabetic, that's not good. He also said that the coughing fit from my cold caused me to pull a muscle and not pop a stitch. All in all, my scar is healing nicely as is my belly button. It's all just a wait and see process.

Hey everyone!!

I know it's been a while since I last updated here but there really hasn't been much to report. I recently gave all my size 14 and 16, x-large and size 14/16 clothes away. This is motivation to never go back to that size again. I finally saw my surgeon who repaired my hernia. He said that I can start working out again, but no heavy weight lifting and no ab work until September. I also saw my PS yesterday for a follow up. He's truly amazed at the dramatic difference from the before photos. My belly button looks really good with no signs of infection. My incision is completely closed and I only have 2 small spots where there is still scabs. He also said that the majority of the swelling has gone down and if I want to start wearing regular underwear, I can. I've worn the garments so much that I'm used to wearing them. He did say that I could go down to a smaller size to get rid of the remaining swelling around my tummy. The 3x garments now feel like regular underwear so I think I'll get a 2x this weekend. He wants to see me again in a month. I've also started working out again. I'm so happy I did this.
Newark Plastic Surgeon

He will never force you into a surgery you are not comfortable with or that you cannot afford. If he thinks you'll have a better result if you loose more weight, he will tell you so and won't allow you to schedule a surgery until you've done so. He does a through physical exam and will answer any questions you have.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (41)

Sort by

Yes, this site is wonderful indeed! Happy healing to you :-)
  • Reply
You look so good! I'm so happy for you. YEAH!
  • Reply
You look awesome! How long do you have to take off from work? How long did the dr say before you can sit on your buttocks and lay down on your stomach?
  • Reply
Thank you. I'm actually still home on extended child care leave. I had my last child 14 months ago and she destroyed my stomach. I don't plan on returning to work until September but if I need more time, I can ask for an extension if i need it. I'm allowed 3 yrs unpaid leave. They're only required to hold my job. I only had a tummy tuck. I didn't have the complete mommy makeover (TT, BBL, lipo). I have a butt so i wasn't worried about that. I didn't have lipo because i knew i had curves underneath all the excess skin and hernia.
  • Reply
You look great! !!
  • Reply
Yes this binder is a pain with all the riding up. I will purchase me a full garment soon. You have a very detailed review. Thanks for that. I had purchased sterile strips from Amazon. My doc didn't suggest anything but I'm glad u had them so now I feel better about using them now
  • Reply
No problem, Nikki. The only way that this is going to be an informative review is to put it all out there, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The only thing that i'm not liking is how my belly button looks right now but in know it will get better in time. I'm just so happy to be out of the binder. The compression garment is crotchless, i don't have to take it off to use the bathroom. I do wear underwear over it because i don't like that "commando" feeling in pants and shorts.
  • Reply
Well from the pics u have up, your belly button looks perfect. I finally purchased garment today. It's a lil similar to yours except it doesn't have leg compression. Is yours fitting tight or is it just nice and comfortable. I don't believe i can walk and talk with this garment on. Right now im just sleeping in it.
  • Reply
The one my doctor put me in was tight but i understand that it has to be to keep the swelling down. I also have a similar garment that hooks on the side that i purchased last year after my C-section. I couldn't fit into it, let alone do the hooks. Now, I can wear it. Wore it yesterday with a dress i purchased to wear to my 5 yr olds kindergarten graduation. What i need is another compression like the one he gave me that doesn't have legs that come all the way down to my knees and an open crotch. Thank you on the complement on my belly button. It was still weeping yesterday but doc told me to use Neosporin or A & D ointment. This morning it looks a lot better. I can really see how it's healing up nicely.
  • Reply
The post c-section panty is comfy but that probably means i need to have it hooked into the middle row of hooks. Because i'm only 2 weeks p.o., I've been sleeping in the garment. The only time i take it off when i'm going to take a shower. The first two days in the garment were uncomfortable but I've gotten used to it so it doesn't bother me anymore.
  • Reply
Girl let them HATE!!!!! Trust if they could they would!!! U look amazing..... Keep pushing through lady.
  • Reply
I know. There are some who've had the tummy tuck and let themselves go after and you can't tell they've had one because of the weight gain. That will not be me.
  • Reply
Wow you look amazing !!!
  • Reply
Thank you so much. Years in the making.
  • Reply
Awesome !!!
  • Reply
Hello. U look awesome. I'm from linden nj but had my surgery in NY on June 10. I'll be posting pics soon. Just in a little more pain than expected. Not standing fully up just yet and as per the dr he doesn't want me to fully stand straight up until tomorrow (pos op day 6)
  • Reply
Thank you. I can't wait to get these drains out. Then i can shower because i don't like bird baths and start the lymphatic massage to promote faster healing . It also means i can start wearing a stage one compression garment.
  • Reply
Yes I know the feeling. I had mine taking out Friday. They hurted so bad ! I'm in my stage one garment now been in it since friday. Still very swollen !
  • Reply
Misinfo12, thanks for the heads up. I'll be sure to take a pain pill prior to going. had one in 2007 and it hurt like hell when they removed it. It was a horrible abdominal cramp across the lower part of my belly, i got sweaty and pale but it subsided after 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Reply
The pain wasn't so intense and the doctors didn't have a problem with me standing up straight so long as i didn't overdue it.
  • Reply
How are you feeling? Are your drains in Pubic area or hips? Mine were in hips and hurt horribly when they came out, but pain only lasted 10-15 seconds. Keep us posted!! :-)
  • Reply
my are in my pubic area. i had a drain when i had my gall bladder removed and it hurt like hell when they removed that but my PS assures me that the removal of these drains won't hurt
  • Reply
Did your drain removal hurt?
  • Reply
I'm told that it's painless but I had one in when I had my gall bladder removed in July 2007. That drain removal hurt like hell. Apparently, there is a numbing medication on the gauze and the drain tubes so that, along with the fact that i have no feeling right now to my tummy should make the removal painless. I let yo know how it goes on Monday.
  • Reply