Lost 80lb from Diet and Exercise - Tummy Tuck, Breast Lift and Augmentation Was Worth It!
- updated 4 years ago
I got my abdominoplasty and breast lift/...
- 9 Aug 2009
I got my abdominoplasty and breast lift/ augmentation/ reduction on 7/31/09. It was worth it. A few years ago I lost 80 pounds with diet and exercise but although I was normal weight I still had tons of flab. A muffin top that stuck out farther than my chest. Rolls under my breasts that looked like a extra set. Bulges on my back below my bra strap which I refered to as my "back boobs". And my chest, it was awful. Both breasts were saggy but I was also very asymetrical which got much worse when I lost weight. On one side I had a saggy large C/small D (maybe) and on the other side I had a long floppy gigantic DDD.
I got this surgery because I wanted to be in proportion and not have funny bulges you could see through my clothes. The rest of my body (head,arms,legs,butt) was in proportion except for my torso. No clothes fit, I have never had a bra that fit and I constantly worried about how I looked. I'm 24 and I had figured my skin would stretch back when I lost weight and it didn't.
The abdominoplasty was pretty straighforward. I also got lipo all over my sides and muscle repair. My scar is very low and it turned out really well. They took off 5 1/2 lbs of skin and the piece they took off measured 12 inches vertically.
My breasts were more complicated though. The small one got a lift and an implant. There is a scar around the nipple and a vertical one from the nipple to the crease. The larger one got a lift, a huge reduction and then an implant. There is a scar around the nipple, a vertical scar from the nipple to the crease and a long one the horizontally which is the length of the crease. I guess they couldn't put an implant in only one because it would look weird so they had to basically make the large one the size of the small one first and then put implants in both. This required taking off a lot of breast tissue. I can definately say that having a lot of tissue removed with a lift and implant is much more painful than just a lift and implant. There were a few things that the Dr. said he really couldn't really get around. The breast that used to be larger had much thinner skin from being as large as it was and would heal slower than the other. Also the one which used to be larger was wider to begin with which he really couldn't change. It's not really noticable though. I used to have very large areolas but my doctor made them smaller. My sister says they look like pieces of pepperoni (I hope she is talking about the size and shape) Although I am still a bit swollen I think I will be a DD.
I had alot of pain with my surgery but don't judge my expirienece as average. I smoked for 11 years and although I did quit before, it probably made a difference. Also I have a very low tolerance to pain and a high tolerance to pain killers. When I was still there I was maxed out and not only was I awake, I was very grouchy. For the first 3 1/2 days I was taking Percocet which didn't really work too well for me so needless to say I was horrible to be around. When I saw the Dr. on the 4th day he switched me over to dilaudid which worked alot better for me.
Things got markedly better on day 5. On day 8 I got one of my 3 drains out. I think the drains are the most obnoxious thing ever. I was worried the whole time they would fall out but I didn't realize how long they were. They looked atleast 10 inches on the inside. It hurt a little bit but they pull them out pretty quickly and as soon as they are out it doesn't hurt anymore. Nothing to worry about. Today is day 10 and I am going to get the other 2 out tomorrow. Then I can start wearing pants.
So far everything is going quite well. The pain I expirienced in the first 4 days was unusual according to my Dr. Since then it has ranged from uncomfortable to mild on occasion. My breast that used to be larger
Before this my expectations were pretty good and it turned out even better than I thought it would. I just wanted to be not lumpy or lopsided but it came out way better than I thought. I'm still very swollen but I swear I get thinner every day. It was totally worth it, even when I was in the most pain I still didn't regret it. Its the best thing I have ever done for myself.
Day 12- I didn't get my drains out yet. I went in...
- 11 Aug 2009
Day 12- I didn't get my drains out yet. I went in yesterday and my Doctor said that it was close but he didn't want to take the chance that I would get fluid build up. So I am probaby going to get them out tommorrow. The hole where my other drain was closed up already and its only been 5 days. I did get my belly button stitch out. I didn't realize that it went in a circle around my belly button. That was kind of strange but I didn't even feel it because my stomach was pretty numb still.
I'm going to take more pictures tommorrow after I get my drains out because its pretty difficult to take pictures of yourself and hold your drains at the same time.
Day 18- I am in much less pain in general. I now...
- 17 Aug 2009
Day 18- I am in much less pain in general. I now take aleve. I switched to tylenol but it didn't seem to do anything so my doctor said it was ok to take aleve, this was at about 2 weeks and my incisions had healed over already .
I got the last two drains out on the 13th day. It seemed for 2 days after I was more swollen than usual but that seemed to go away. It was still not as bad as having them in though. I hated that part. Everytime I moved I could feel them and I was constantly worried I would accidentally pull on one.
Now I wear the compression garment part of the time and the binder part of the time. The garment is more comfortable than the binder, but the binder is tighter and helps with the swelling more. I don't really like either all that much but they are necessary. I find that the garments that don't have legs and end in the underwear style are more pinchy than the ones with legs. I bought these shape wear tank tops from walmart I like to wear under my binder. It gives a little bit more compression and puts a barrier between the binder, which can be itchy, and your skin.
I'm still sleeping on the recliner. I just can't get comfortable on the bed. I sit on the bed and watch tv and stuff but I just can't sleep flat yet. I am alot more mobile than before especially since the last drains came out. I can do most stuff now except for carrying or lifting heavy things.
Throughout this whole process I have had a variety of different feelings. For the first 4 days I was in alot of pain mostly from the tummy tuck incision. I still didn't regret it though. At day 5 it got better and leveled out. When I got my drains out at 13 days it felt alot better that day but the next two days after were swell hell. For the last 3 days though the tummy tuck pain is very little, more swelling and tightness than anything. On my tummy I had alot of discomfort where the scar crossed with my hip bones. My Dr. said that is a very common spot and is completely normal. Even that is getting better with time.
I got the breasts done at the same time as the tummy tuck which is completely worth doing because the tummy tuck pain completely overshadowed the breast pain for the first 2 weeks. It is much cheaper, faster and less painful to get both at once if you are planning on getting both. In fact, if someone asked, I couldn't even really say what the pain is like for a breast augmentation because frankly I didn't notice it because my tummy hurt.
Now that the tummy tuck pain is becoming less, the breast soreness is more noticable to me. It feels like a soreness and a slight burning sensation around the nipples. The doctor said that its normal because the nerves are healing and it makes it super sensitive. I wear a firm bra and put a flat piece of gauze in their so it doesn't rub. On the side where I had a reduction I still have soreness and swelling under my armpit whereas the side that was not reduced does not have that type of soreness. Don't worry though, it's not unbearable or anything.
I had spots on all of my scars that were thicker than other parts. The spot where I have the thickest scar is on the under part of my breast which had a large amount of tissue taken out. My Dr. looked at it and reassured me its normal and will become less hard over time. It freaked me out at first because I didn't expect it but I'm not too worried anymore.
My breast implant on the side where I didn't have a reduction dropped a few days after surgery and the other one which had much more extensive work on it has not. It looks a little bit wider and higher and is still more swollen than the other. I think the amount of swelling on that breast and under my armpit on that side has something to do with it and when that goes away it will drop.
The amount of bruising from the liposuction has became much less. Before I was all purple and yellow which was very mentally distressing to me. It was hard for me to look in the mirror at first. I looked like I had been beaten with a stick and all cut up. I couldn't help but think at that time "Am I nuts for doing this?" After about a week though I looked way less purple and I felt much better.
I have some advice for people who are getting these surgeries:
Get a back scratcher- Because its hard to bend and if your legs or feet itch you will need the backscratcher to get to them. Also the binder is itchy so you need it for your back too.
Buy lots of unscented baby wipes- Because being in a reclined position and eating you will inevitably get crumbs on you. Also they come in handy for wiping off your face if you can't take a shower yet or if your drains are leaking.
This may be TMI but I feel its worth mentioning. Pain meds make you constipated. Don't wait until it happens to do something about it. Take fiber or eat prunes or whatever you do BEFORE it happens.
Have someone around who can do stuff for you- That way you won't have to get up every time you need something. You will get thirsty, drop the remote, get hungry etc. and you will wear yourself out if you have to keep getting up all of the time.
I will take more pictures and give an update soon.
Today is 4 weeks exactly- It been about 2 weeks...
- 28 Aug 2009
Today is 4 weeks exactly- It been about 2 weeks since I updated so this is what happened since then.
At 3 weeks I was able to sleep in the bed. Yay! I took longer than most people to get back to the bed though because of my breast surgery and the swelling under my arms because of it. If it had just been the tummy tuck I would have been in bed sooner. I didn't anticipate this but it was sad sleeping in a recliner when you can see your honey just a few feet away hogging up the entire bed. I didn't get the post op depression like some people get but I was sad because I couldn't give anyone a good hug for about 2 weeks and even still I have to be careful not to hug too tightly. Maybe I'm just kind of a touchy feely person, hugs are important to me.
Liposuction burns, that the only way I can describe it. Sometimes when I lay on my side and I shift and my weight is on a spot I got lipo it burns. It is totally worth it because it makes you look good but it sucks! Literally!
I am still swollen but to a much lesser degree. At one point I thought that one side was becoming more swollen and sticking out but then I realized it was actually the swelling on the other side going down sooner.
One thing you will notice once the swelling starts to go down is that you can feel some of the underlying scar tissue spots sutures around the scar etc and some of it feels pretty weird. You start to think that maybe there is something in there that is not supposed to be but its normal. I checked. I went to my Dr. and started asking "Whats this?" "Whats that?" and he reasured me it was ok.
At the last update I wrote about the big lump of scar tissue on my reduction breast and how it freaked me out because it was large and very hard. Well now it is much smaller and less firm. Yet another thing the doctor says is normal.
Right after you get the tummy tuck, especially if you get it combination with other surgery, it's going to seem like an eternity to you can do anything. Stick with it it will only get better with time.
My Dr. specializes in people who have lost alot of weight or who have had kids. He is also very skilled and super nice.