All of you who have posted your experiences have...
All of you who have posted your experiences have helped me more than you will ever know!! I've had elective procedures in the past but never was I as terrified as I was this morning when I checked in for my full Abdominoplasty procedure to be performed at my plastic surgeon's office.
My doctor and his nurses, who I have known for 15 years, told me they had not received a lot of pain complaints from their patients. Although I trust them, it was hard to believe because of all the super-duper pain comments I've read online.
Please realize I've only been home for 5 hours so the residual anesthesia and Tylox I took a few hours ago are dulling the pain, HOWEVER, I'm amazed at how little pain I have right now. I've been to the bathroom 3 times already, ate lunch, drank 2 bottles of water, and my husband brought my little Yorkie to keep me company in my private recovery room!
I'm 49 years old, 5'9", weigh 162 pounds, and have minimal body fat. The rolls of skin from under my breasts all the way to my pubis made me feel unattractive. Unlike a lot of cases, I've never had children nor major weight loss/gain. My doctor said my skin just turned loose from the muscle and there was no amount of diet or exercise that would have resolved the issue.
I promise to let you know how I'm feeling in the next few days. I expect the second and third days to be uncomfortable but I'm hoping to avoid the excruciating pain I thought I would have.
77 hours later and I've just had my first peek at...
77 hours later and I've just had my first peek at my new belly! There is still a lot of gauze over the incision so I can't see the lower belly but when I took off the binder to wash it I was able to see my upper abs! So far, so good! It's flat & tight! Well, that's what I paid for, right?
The discomfort is subsiding quickly and I'm down to pain pills every 8 hours. I'll see the doctor Tuesday and, hopefully, have the drain removed. Then I can post some pictures of my incision. Thanks again to everyone for the support and understanding.
YIPPEE!!! The dreaded drain was removed when...
YIPPEE!!! The dreaded drain was removed when I made my first post-op visit with the doctor. He looked at my stomach as the nurse was taking the tube out of my groin and said, "Damn, that look good, doesn't it?" I said, "I think it will later" to which he replied, "I think it looks great right now!"
I don't have much swelling and will continue to wear the binder for at least a month. Doc said I may experience some swelling now that the drain is gone. My pain level is minimal. The pubis is most uncomfortable due to blood and fluids settling there. Ice pack at night helps!
Will I be happy with the results? I believe I'm going to be ecstatic unless something changes drastically. Right now, my stomach is flatter than it has ever been in my life, including when I was a teenager. Doc says there is no way to get around genetics except cosmetic surgery :) Gotta love him!
Well, I keep waiting for something negative to...
Well, I keep waiting for something negative to report because of all the unfortunate stories I've read.........the only thing I can say is I have a small amount of swelling, lower belly and pubis, since the drain was removed last week. I had my belly button stiches removed on Friday and my husband and I moved to our lake house. Of course I did more unpacking, cleaning, and organizing than I should have, including entertaining people on Saturday night who knew nothing of my surgery. In fact, I have chosen not to let most people know....my husband and one girlfriend were my caretakers and noone else knew.
As you can see from these 10 day post-op pictures, there is swelling in the lower areas, my incision site is just beginning to shed scabs, most of my bruising is resolved, the belly button is healing nicely (but slower), the dreaded drain site is less irritated. The creases are from my binder...just couldn't leave it off long enough for them to go away! It really does become a friend!
I've requested my 'Before' pictures from the nurse because I forgot to take any at home. I will post them when I receive them. I had four small/medium rolls of skin above my navel and a large, sagging roll below. Also, I had a vertical scar from just below my navel all the way to the hairline. Just over two pounds of skin was removed during my procedure. The large mole you see on my rib cage was just under my breast pre-op.
Overall, I am pleased at this point, although anxious for the swelling to reduce and my mandated recovery period to be over. This board has been so helpful to me and I hope others who are considering this surgery will research their options and reach out to those of us who have been through the surgery.....talk to people with both good and bad experiences....so you can make an informed decision and have realistic expectations!
I will post three week pictures in a couple days....
I will post three week pictures in a couple days. The difference in the scar is phenomenal since my 10 day pics! I've been using a lot of cream....Vitamin E, cocoa butter, but recently, shea butter! It is a natural remedy for healing and has affected a huge improvement. I've ordered ScarAway silicone strips and will begin using them in a couple days.
Otherwise, I'm almost back to normal activity level just 20 days post-op. Still wearing the binder 24/7 but feeling more and more confident without it for short periods. I'll have a difficult time wearing it for two more weeks.
There is still a 'kangaroo pouch' in my lower belly and pubic area. It swells during the day and goes down at night. My pants fit tightly with the binder underneath so I expect them to fit well, or loosely, when the binder goes in the trash.
Today I hit the four week mark and I'm almost 100%...
Today I hit the four week mark and I'm almost 100% physically back to normal. Worked in the yard yesterday and need to start exercising to get my stamina back because I still get exhausted by the end of the day.
It's hard to see the improvement in my pictures from 10 days to 4 weeks but most of my 'kangaroo pouch' swelling has subsided. The scar is improving daily with only a small section in the center that hasn't laid flat yet. The color is still very pronounced but I expect it to take months to recede. My belly is f-l-a-t and I feel like a new woman!!! I have a waist again and my clothes fit so, so much better.
One huge suggestion for post-op is to buy a different compression garment within a couple weeks. I chose the Squeem Illusion Camisole and it is SO much more comfortable than the medical, velcro garment plus it fit under clothes a lot better.
UPDATE - May 9, 2009
Six weeks post-op with no swelling and back to normal activity. If I didn't have this huge scar plus look & feel a thousand times better, I wouldn't even know I'd had surgery!! I started exercising again a couple days ago which made me feel even better. I still wear the camisole compression garmet for a few hours each day but it's becoming more uncomfortable than helpful.
It's difficult to see the improvement from the pictures but my scar is almost flat except for a 1/4 inch indentation in the middle. The color hasn't changed much even though I've been wearing silicone scar strips. Most of the 'lumpiness' is gone from the incision site.
I don't know how I could be happier with my decision, surgeon, & recovery! Now I wish my flanks, hips, & thighs matched my new tummy! At 49 years old, I can't expect perfection so I will continue to exercise and watch my diet.
Good luck to all of you considering this procedure!
NEW DISCOVERY - I'm 11 weeks post-op &...
NEW DISCOVERY - I'm 11 weeks post-op & thrilled about the results of my tummy tuck experience. I feel so much better. I've posted my progress along the way so if you are considering this procedure, please read my entire story.
After 6 weeks I was ready to start exercising again but didn't feel I could perform aerobics, kick boxing, or jogging so I researched Pilates & Yoga. I'm interested in core strengthing due to scoliosis in my spine. I live in a remote area of the SC mountains so could not join a club or take classes. Ultimately, I purchased a Pilates chair & have been using it for the past 3 weeks. It was slow at first because you really have to use your abdominals but now I feel incredible. It has reduced my back pain, improved my posture and helped me lose another size.
I've never tried Pilates before and just wanted to share this with all of you who may be wondering what type exercise suits you best after having a tummy tuck.
UPDATE - 08/08/09
4 1/2 months after full TT w/muscle repair, no liposuction
The incision site is still not a thing of beauty to behold but it's MUCH improved after wearing silicone strips the past 3 months. I try not to look at it too often & wearing the strips helps. I guess one day I'll wake up & forget to put new strips on and that will be the day the scar quits glaring at me :) The overall experience & outcome are absolutely worth a hip-to-hip scar that noone except my husband sees!! Tanning in a bikini is the BOMB!!