Tummy Tuck, Breast Augmentation, and Hernia Repair - with Multiple Sclerosis
I had my surgeries on the same day 3 weeks ago,...
- 13 Oct 2009
I had my surgeries on the same day 3 weeks ago, and am very pleased with the results so far. I have had 5 pregnancies, and breast fed all 5 for at least 10 months, which left me wearing a bra smaller than my 13 year old daughter's, and a huge gap between my muscles, plus an umbilical hernia that my 4 year old enjoyed poking back in as if it were a game. I also have Multiple Sclerosis, was diagnosed 9 years ago. I'm pretty fit and trim, 5'5" 116 lbs, but I had a persistent "pooch" right above my waistline that actually protruded further than my breasts!
My surgeon said my body was ideal for the surgeries, and that in a healthy woman I would be a perfect candidate. However, she was concerned about any possible complications that could arise from my MS. She asked me to consult with my Neurologist myself, and got my permission to write him a letter detailing the procedures before going ahead with anything. I did, and he said that it should be just fine as far as any healing, anesthesia, and drug interaction possibilities, but he did caution me regarding the simple evil of "stress," which for people with MS is like poison. He insisted that I take extra precautions regarding at-home help, and that I prepare my family for it being necessary that they assist me for 6 weeks, not just a week or two.
As a bit of a side note, I should mention that I had feelings just like most people who are considering this type of surgery - "am I being vain?" and "what makes me think I deserve this?" - but for me, there was an added, nagging thought in my head regarding the logic of having cosmetic surgery on a flawed body. To put it simply, "putting lipstick on a pig." My Neuro actually addressed this without my bringing it up, and said he thought my considering doing this said good things about my mental health, and that it was clear that I was one of those people who knew the value of positive thinking.
The day of the actual procedure, I was nervous and anxious, but excited. The anesthesiologist came in and discussed my MS with me, as it does exacerbate the complications that can arise from general anesthetic. He was very helpful and kind, explaining that they would use some extra monitoring and the least drugs that they could. He also ensured that the operating staff would keep me cooler than a normal patient, as being too warm is a guaranteed trouble-starter in MS.
After I woke from the 5 hour surgery, my husband took me home. I had a drain tube, a medical sport bra thing, and a huge, hard wrap around my middle. That first night was definitely the worst, as it hurt every single time I took a breath. I had no pain or sensation in my midsection, and my husband religiously kept up my pain medicine. The next morning he took me back to the surgeon's office, where a nurse fitted me with a compression girdle that was a god-send! I could move! It was a medical-grade bodysuit that pulled up and went on like a swimsuit, with snaps at the crotch, no breast area, just bra-type straps that held it up.
My drain tube was definitely that most bothersome part of that first week, but really only because I hated the knowledge it was there, not because it hurt or caused my any trouble. I had about 15-20cc of drainage each 24 hours between that 2nd day and about five days later, so my surgeon had me come in to have it removed. Never having had one before, I didn't know what to expect, but it was completely and utterly painless, plus took about 30 seconds.
Overall, at this point, I'm very pleased with the results of my surgery, and I have to say my husband is extremely pleased - he says it's the best 12k he ever spent, just for the fact that I've been ordered by my doctor to wear this girdle that makes my figure look like an hourglass, for the next two months. I've not had any problems whatsoever because of my MS and this, either.
The scars on my breasts (which are underneath each breast) have healed up incredibly well, and are small, thin red lines at this point. The scars on my abdomen are larger on the ends than I was thinking, and sort of odd in that they pull my skin into them, sort of making little folds, but after all I've read, I know I have to just wait and see how they will turn out. I had two c-sections and kidney surgery (as a toddler) previously, and my surgeon was able to use that scar instead of making a new one, although it's significantly longer (from hip bone to hip bone.)
I went out yesterday and shopped for new bras! My surgeon said that I can buy whatever type I prefer (underwire vs. wireless), because with my body type she wasn't concerned about the underwire causing trouble for me. It was liberating to give my 34AA bras to my daughter and find that now I'm a 34D. The women at Victoria's Secret were extremely helpful and patient with me, and made what I used to dread (bra shopping) into a very fun activity.
My intention is to report here again in a month, after my surgeon gives the ok to go without the girdle, and share my thoughts at that time. So far, so good!!
Dr. was incredibly thorough, explained absolutely everything regarding the surgeries, her theories and experience, recovery, and expectations. She truly cared about having me make the best decision for me, not at all about me being a "customer."