Cannot wait to be on the flat side! At age 54 I...
Cannot wait to be on the flat side! At age 54 I wish I could have done it 19 years ago after my third child's birth. Happy to be doing it now! I found a great doctor close to where I live. I loved his staff, no one was snooty. I liked that only half of his work is optional cosmetic surgeries like tummy tucks and breast augmentations. His staff says he's a perfectionist!
As an older candidate I have different issues than a younger candidate with firmer skin. Being post menopausal my body an skin have changed dramatically over the last several years. I have more fat around my middle and back than I did when per menapause and my skin is thinner as well. I am hoping the added lipo to the back will help bring back my waist.
Here are my before pics. I'm glad to gave a place to record my before and afters. I hope someone else will be helped along their journey with the addition of my pictures and words.
I'm having Full TT with lipo to hip and back. I really hope I lose some inches from my waist. I'm short waisted with long legs, even so I hope the waist goes down at least 3-4 inches.
Here are my stats:
Fattest part of belly above hip 38
Ya, my belly is fatter than my butt!
Pre Op appointment today
I went for my pre op appointment today and now I'm super excited for November 12 to come. My PS was very reassuring. I believe my outcome will be excellent. The staff says that he is a perfectionist. I was worried that he wouldn't get enough fat with the liposuction, but he said he would get every bit he could and it's better not to over due it on the lipo. You can always go back and touch it up.
Per op today , TT Nov. 12
A tummy tuck only flattens the front half of the stomach. Most of us need liposuction to really give us the nice curvy shape we are truly looking for. My PS is doing my back and flanks, which I am paying extra for, and he doing my upper stomach and mons as needed as part of my TT. I'm very excited that I chose a talented PS.
One week to go
I'm really looking forward to Tuesday next week. I will be on the flat side and living through the pain and fatigue of the recovery process. I'm so nervous that I dropped a few pounds. The PS said I would be 5 lbs lighter after the surgery. I'm don't really want to loose more.
This is post op day three for me. I have so much swelling. I had no idea that it would be this bad. I'm feeling so much better today, only had one nap. I've been spreading out my pain relief to every 5 to 6 hours and hoping that I won't need anything in a couple more days. My PS does not use drains so I feel like I can't see any improvement yet with all of the swelling. I'm taking bromelain and arnica. I feel so pale and weak that I added a second iron supplement to my daily pill routine. My head feels less cloudy today and I like that.
Swelling getting slightly better
I slept the entire night in my bed last night! My body feels good but my head was throbbing this morning. I did not keep up on my Tylenol and paid for it. I have so much bruising. I would really like to fast forward three months right now and get a glimpse of the future body. I hate this swell hell I'm going through.
Bruising the worst I've seen!
These pictures are for all you ladies who didn't bruise much, so that you all can be very thankful on your journey. And for those of you who did bruise a lot, join the club! This to shall pass.
I have been taking Bromelain tablets twice a day, which I think helps and using arnica jell on the areas, which I don't think helps.
I'm down 5 lbs of edema today and felt I could actually take some pictures that didn't make my belly look so fat. Forgive the bed head, I got up an hour ago and haven't even had my coffee yet.
Feeling mostly normal
I started walking upright yesterday and feel great. My midsection back and front is still numb. I'm able to move a bit more normally each day. Getting up from a sitting position is slow going. I'm having a friend over for lunch tomorrow then getting my hair cut, going to slowly clean my house today. It feels great to have energy!
Moving better everyday
I went shopping for 4 hours yesterday with my friend. We had a great time and I felt good after I got home. Each day I'm seeing improvements in my stamina and swelling. I have a wedding to attend just befor Christmas and I can't wait to go dress shopping. I really want to show off my neat little figure!
9 day post OP photos
These are from day 9, I'll post my stitches out pictures tomorrow. I just wanted a place to record my progress and get these pictures off my iPad so non of my kids will tease me for taking pictures of my progress.
Swelling down, spirits up!
I love where I'm at right now and so happy that I can expect my results to be even better! I have all of my old energy back, my swelling is way down, and I'm feeling happy about my results. I can't wait to buy some new figure flattering clothes, nothing fits!
Down a size
I went shopping for dress pants yesterday and none of the 8's fit. Ha! Not only am I down a size, but I look so good in clothes now! My only regret about the TT is that the surgeon did not place my scar an inch lower in the middle. I have a vast area of mons now and cannot wear a low cut bikini bottom.
Three week and everything is going great
Went for my lymphatic massage at my PS office today and the massage therapist said my swelling was remarkable for three weeks. I have very little swelling overall. By evening I'm up a pound or two from my morning weight, I feel tight, but not like the first week! I went back to work today too. I made it through just fine, not too tired. The nerves in my skin over my tummy have started to wake up and I hate the way it feels. Any time I move the compression garment feels like it's rubbing or moving slightly over my skin and my nerves feel over stimulated, I can't really explain it, it's not really burning or hurting, but I just hate it. Overall I feel pretty darn good. I'm wearing a size smaller pants and they look darn good over my flat tummy. No lower belly protruding out! My skinny jeans are a bit large around the waist. I love them because I have long legs and paired with some cut boots I feel kick ass good!
I hate going out in the cold
My tummy skin feels like it shrinks and feels like someone super glued it over my tummy area every time I go outside. It feels so hard when the chilled air hits me I just tense up and hunch over.
4 weeks today
I'm so glad I had a drainless TT. I believe my PS did a great job of quilting down my skin. I have had very little swelling since day 9. My lipo spots are still hard, but softening with massage. I think it's too early to consider my results, but here are my stats. I did lose 4 lbs of skin and fat during surgery.
Here are my stats:
Weight 136.5 131.5
Waist 33.5" 29.5"
Hip 37.5" 37"
belly above hip 38" 36"
Ugh! My stats got run together
7 weeks Yay!
Well it has been 7 weeks and I survived the holidays! I have good days and not so good days. This week I've had off from work but spent the time helping my daughter and son in law paint their new house. After the first day do painting I thought my lipo areas were going to burst with swelling! Not really, but I hadn't hurt this much before. Today was day four of painting and I spent 8 hours at her house working and feel fine tonight. Go figure. I have begun to do short twenty minute aerobic workouts and they feel good. I haven't exercised regularly in years. The stretching feels really good when my lipo areas are bothering me. Next week it's back to work again. I really got depressed this week over my scar placement. I think it's too high in the middle. I'm very short waisted and have only 5.75" between the center of my BB and the top of my clitoral hood. The PS only gave me 2.25" from my belly button to my scar, not even a handful of flat tummy skin. My mons looks disproportionately large because of this. My PS said we would discuss the issue at 6 months. Of course I'm obsessing on it. I only want 1.25" more inches! You'll see all in my pictures. Sorry if there is too much of me in them. Overall I have more energy at 7 weeks but I haven't posted any updates because I don't have much change going on in my body shape. The tissue is still a bit hard under my BB. The lipo areas on my sides still hurt at times. My belly tissue from navel down is waking up and the nerves feel raw. The tissue above my scar that is dark is softening up a little. My upper abs skin is loose now. I'm just moving along in the healing process!
Lipo spots still swelling
19 Jan 2014
2 months post
At 10 weeks I have some improvement in my nerve pain. Most of the pain I've been having from my nerves waking up is going away, FINALLY! Last week I had a terrible bout of swelling in my liposuctioned areas, especially my right side. I called the PS office and the nurse said to gently massage the area, which I've been doing all along, and call back in a week if it's not better. She also said to make sure I'm drinking plenty of water, which I usually do. So I've been wearing my CG all week and watching my fluid intake carefully. I do feel better, but the swelling is still there by the end of the day, only not so bad as a week ago. I think too that my feeling is coming back to more of those liposuction areas. I didn't feel the pain before because it was still numb.
On a happier note I went shopping yesterday and I now fit into 4's and 6's. Since star thing this journey in March of last year I have changed my eating habits. I dropped 2.5 lbs this week without trying. I was upset over the holidays for gaining 2 lbs from eating poorly and now I weigh less than before Christmas! I will be careful. I think where I'm at is plenty thin for me.
My scar looks red, but that's the way it's supposed to look at this stage. I'm using a long silicone strip over it for 12 hours a day. It's feeling flatter and softer. I was using ScarguardMD but I didn't like the way it peeled and flaked everywhere. The silicone strip has made my scar softer and flatter. I guess it really won't matter in the end it will fade. I like to think I'm more in control, and using something gives me that sense that I am.
I wish I would have taken "before" pics of my back to show the difference the body contouring has made. At 54 everything starts to sag, so my results aren't what someone younger could expect, but I'm happy!
Above hip where the fat role used to be 35"
I've shrunk enough, except for my waist which I wish was 28"!
Forgot to add...
19 Jan 2014
2 months post
I haven't had much swelling from the TT itself, it's been the liposuction that has been the hardest part to heal from for me. Some of that is beginning to resolve too. More of my numb areas are waking up and my skin has become much softer since the edema has begun to resolve itself in the tissue over my belly. I still have a dark area that is quite firm above my incision. It's starting to soften up to. I'm only 10 weeks out and I know that I have a ways to go yet.
17 Feb 2014
3 months post
Not much new to report. I'm weened from my CG and Spanx. I'm still numb on my back and sides from the liposuction. Still numb just above my scar. The scar is looking a little better. I have all of my energy back. I'm not swelling as much as I was even two weeks ago. The pain from the nerves healing is gone. The nerve pain was really quite painful and uncomfortable for me. I think getting past this has enables me to feel comfortable without my CG or Spanx. I can comfortably wear any clothes now. I won't see my PS for another month, but I'm starting to compile a list of concerns. My biggest concern is lowering my scar in the middle by at least an inch. Second concern is the fat hip bumps just beyond the ends of my scar. This could be my anatomy. Third concern, the dimpling of the cannula entry points for my liposuction. I heard these scars could be released. Fourth, a small fat role on the left side of my back. I'm hoping or a small touch up to make my back look more symmetrical. I'll update after my appointment at the end of March. My pics don't show any real change at this point.
16 weeks, I have hip bones!
I saw my hip bones for the first time in many years! I can't believe at 16 weeks I'm still seeing changes! It was a nice surprise since I was feeling a bit bloated from the party I went to the night before.
So far this past month :
- I've been itchy in the lipo areas where the feeling is coming back
- I have my energy and stamina back 100%
- I've been exercising more and it helps with healing, swelling, everything!
- my skin has softened up around above my scar a bit more
- my scar dropped 1/4"
I see my PS at the end of this month and have started a list of questions to ask.
Sitting pictures. Not sure why I'm posting these!
Once your skin softens up, you go back to having a bit of flab around the middle.
4 1/2 Months Doctor visit today and great news
27 Mar 2014
4 months post
I'm back from a visit to my PS today. He said my scar was a little hypertrophic. Not so much that I needed any steroid injections. He suggested to keep using the ScarGaurd MD that I purchased at his office. He said that I still have swelling above my scar and that I should be massaging it to help resolve the swelling. The sooner the swelling is resolved the sooner I will heal. I asked him about lowering my scar and he said he can, but I need to finish healing first. YAY! He wants me to be ecstatically happy with my results! This was great news for me today!
5 months, nearly
I'm adding pics of my hypertrophic scar. It doesn't look as red as the pictures make it look. I will be getting it lowered in the future.
More 5 month pics
For these pics I tried different lighting. These are morning pics. I only feel a little swollen by evening most days and it's in the liposuctioned areas of my sides and back. I don't see much change in the photos over the last few months. however I did loose a few more pounds and my measurements went down a bit. My old clothes are all too loose, even my tops. I'm wearing 4's in pants and small tops mostly. Weight today is 127 # and waist measures 28.5" this morning. I'm 5'7" and a medium build, my short torso and long legs make me a bit thicker through the middle than others.
Scar at 6 months
14 May 2014
6 months post
My scar is starting to lighten up a little bit. I've been giving the scar some aggressive massaging since The last time I saw my PS and I'm still using ScarguardMD. I think the massaging has really made a difference in how much it has softened up. At 6 months PO I can still feel some swelling in my sides and back. I don't really swell in my belly area. It's the liposuctioned areas that have always bothered me. Not much change there. I've been keeping my weight around 128 and I'm loving the attention my little middle is getting!
19 Jun 2014
7 months post
I still can feel a little swelling toward evening in my sides and back where I had lipo done. Much of the numbness has gone away, a little does remain. I think I'll have full feeling back everywhere in the future. My scar is starting to fade slowly. It still itches at times. I've stopped putting the ScarGaurd MD and the silicone strip on it. I put Aquaphor on it everyday to keep it moisturized. I think there are dissolvable stitches under the skin that haven't dissolved yet. I think these are causing the itching and redness that remains. The scar itself is turning white. I have continue to massage it daily. I believe massaging helps more than anything. It keeps the scar soft and the adhesions aren't so bad beneath.
I see my PS on July 17 and I hope to plan a revision for sometime in the fall to lower my scar a bit. I'm hoping he will do a touch-up lipo on my back left side. It bulges just a little and I'd it to match the right side.
I haven't regretted one moment having done this surgery, on the contrary, I LOVE my belly for the first time in my life. I'm thankful everyday for my flat belly! What other skinny, flat bellied women take for granted I could only have achieved through surgery and I'm so glad I did it!
20 Jul 2014
8 months post
I had a tummy check with my PS last week. Nothing new to report. My skin is to taunt to do a revision at this time. I'll see him in November. He looked at my scar and didn't like the large scares near my hip bones. He called his assistant in to have a look and discussed doing the stitching a different way. He did not offer to revise them. I don't think my doctor wrote down in my chat that I want a revision because after he showed the other doc my scar he acted like everything was fine and we were done. I told him I wanted a revision, again for the third time, and he said that he would do it to make me happy. There's no laxity in my skin what so ever. He said to massage the skin. It's really what I expected. I don't think there will be much change in 4 months, but you can bet I will be massaging that area like crazy! I've been working at my scar everyday to keep it pliable.
I'll update with pictures later. Not much change. I've been busy this summer and dropped a few more pounds, not on purpose. I'll gain them back when the daylight savings time goes away and there's less daylight to play in!
I really do like and trust my surgeon, enough that I recommended my daughter to him. She's looking to get a breast augmentation, a rhinoplasty, and otoplasty in November. Yikes! She'll be a new woman!
One year! Very happy with my flat tummy!
It's been a fabulous year on the flat side! I love how flat I am. I'm amazed everyday that my surgeon could coax such an improvement out of my body. I NEVER had a flat stomach at any point in my life. BTW, I Love my BB too!
My only negative is my high scar placement. My PS says he'll revise it when my skin loosens up. This could take years. Seriously, I'm still very taunt below my belly button. If it never happens I'm still very satisfied with my results!
Waist 28 1/4", before 33.5"
Above hip 34.5", before 38"
Hips 35.5", before 37.5"
Weight 124 (a bit low for me, but I've had a stressful couple of weeks), weight on surgery date 136.5 lbs, PS removed 4.5 lbs.
Scar revision date set
Went for a follow up visit to my PS today and he finally said I was ready for the scar revision! Yay! I have a date of December 9th set barring any surgeries that might run over time, and an alternative date of January 21. He will lower my scar and fix a couple of lipo entry points where the scars have puckered during healing. I'm also going for massage on my right upper back to relieve scar tissue that has adhered to my muscle. When I flex my upper, back, side muscle my skin looks really strange. I'm Very happy he's fixing all the little things that have bothered me.
Revision done! I'm feeling loads of pain
My PS did the scar revision in his office yesterday. I never had this much pain with the original TT, muscle repair, and lipo. I've taken more pain killers to this point than I did with the first surgery. I'm hoping it will be worth it. I'm swollen and wearing my compression garment. I had no idea it would be like this.
I'm dissapointed that the PS did not tell me how to prepare for this surgery or what it would be like after. He took off a crescent shaped piece of skin, about an inch at the widest, that went all the way down to the facia. He removed the Perminent anchoring stitches from the first time around and placed new ones on the lower pubic edge. Talk about pain throughout the whole procedure. He kept injecting me with lidocaine as he went deeper and deeper. Then he stitched together the top edges. He revised the entire length of the scar.
I should have taken a week off, but I had no idea it was going to be this involved.
I wished he would have told me! I see him for a follow up on December 22. I'll post pictures then.
Day three post op, going much better!
I'm doing much better today. I was really ticked that someone, anyone, from the office did not tell me what I should have expected afterwards so that I could have taken time off work. I was going to drive myself to and from the appointment, but my friend insisted that she would drive. Really glad she did.
I found it really odd that neither the doctor or the surgical nurse wore a mask. The doctor did the surgery in his dress shirt and tie with his sleeves rolled up. I guess he was confident that he wasn't going to get anything on himself! The PS did not charge me a dime! Probably why he didn't put me out. I'm sure it's lots cheaper to inject the lidocaine.
I was quite happy to be able to look down and watch a bit of what he was doing. I know I'm probably kind of weird that way. The worse part was the repeated injections of lidocaine throughout the entire process. He started out by injecting the lidocaine, and once he went deeper he had to reinject the stuff, especially with each stitch he made to secure the lower edge of the skin to the facia. It took about 1.5 to 2 hours. I feel shooting pains into where my leg creases when I get up after sleeping or sitting a long time. I'm guessing it's from the lower line of perminent stitches he sunk into the facia. It's nerve pain that extends beyond the original pain site. There is a name for it. But really all I can say is Ouch!
I called his office yesterday and complained about not getting pre or post surgical instructions. I talked to one of the nurses and she helped direct me to some pain management that seems to be working better. I was taking Norco and I think it was keeping me awake at night, I could be wrong. I switched to naproxen and it's working much better for me.
I hope the area under the BB to the scar stretches, because right now it's the same as before the surgery. He said I gained a half inch. He's wrong. I now have an inch less skin between my scar and the vulvar commissure! But nothing gained above the scar. I asked him if he was going to use skin expander and he said no. So I hope in a year the skin will stretch enough, but right now I see no improvement. Having no improvement was one of my fears that I told him pre op.
I've been walking bent over and telling everyone that I'm having back spasms. They're all believing it! LOL! The surgical nurse told me to walk bent over, but when I called his office the other nurse said I didn't need to. Very confusing! I had her check twice with the PS and at first he said no, I didn't need to walk stooped over, but then he said that if I was feeling any tension in the area that I should. The surgical nurse also told me to use my compression garment and I've been wearing it 24/7 in hopes of keeping the swelling down. I have a bit f numbness on my right side below my scar where my leg crease is. It's also where I get the shooting, stabbing, burning pane when I get up each morning. Odd that your skin can be numb, but you can get pain in the same area only deeper!
I also asked the PS if this was going to pull my BB down. He said no, but I can't see how it won't. This was another worry I expressed pre op!
I go back a week from Monday. By then I hope to see a little improvement. I'm sure I'll be feeling much better too!
2 weeks post revision, stitches out
I have been angry for two weeks since my scar revision surgery. I felt really bad that my plastic surgeon did not give me any postoperative instructions prior to the surgery date. So I was pretty mad today when I went to see him. I nearly broke down crying I was so upset. I told him that I was really mad that I didn't get any preop or postop instructions, he said he was sorry, but then he got defensive. He said that he did give me post operative instructions? I said yes, the day of surgery! He said that since I already had had a surgery that I should've known what to expect. And furthermore he asked, how many more ways could he say he was sorry. I wasn't looking for more apologies. I think this will be one of those situations where he and I will need to agree to disagree!
I told him how worried I was about the scar turning hyprotrophic. Again I nearly started crying. He said that the scar looked really good and he thought it would heal really well. I can start scar therapy right away. I also told him I was exteramly worried that the surgery was all for nothing. That I'm exactly the same distance between my bb and my scar that I was before as well as having lost an inch of skin below the scar. I now have less skin than I did on a very short waisted body. He said that there must be an improvement for whatever panties or bikini I was wearing. No! Im not trying to achieve a "look" in panties! I'm trying to acheive an ascetic balance above and below the damned scar. Im thinking, doesn't he listen to what I say! I told him this at several other appointments including the last one prior to the revision.
I told him I dropped a half inch in 7 months after my original surgery. And I asked him if it was a reasonable expectation to drop another half inch in the future. Finally he said yes and that he thought id be very happy with my scar and my results. Finally he gave me a crumb of the reassurance I was looking for. Men are so difficult to communicate with! I get that surgeons don't want to create unreasonable expectations, but really can't they give a little without it being such a big ordeal. I haven't slept well since last Tuesday because I've been so worried and upset about my perceived miss treatment and my worry amout the reduction of belly skin. I'm looking forward to a good nights rest tonight!
I'm not suppose to exercise for 4 to 6 weeks since my last scar was hypertrophic. This will give more time for the scar to heal and gain strength.
Nearly 4 weeks post op from scar revision
I've been working hard to make sure my incision heals well And doesn't get hypertrophic. I've been using ScarGaurdMD on the incision line and taping it so the stuff doesn't flake off. The PS suggested the ScarGuard and I added the tape. I've read on RS that the tape will help keep it flat and protect it a little from the tension on it. So far, so good. It's healing in a thin line this time around.
I'm still numb on the right side of my mons. The PS must have caught a nerve when I was jerking around in reaction to the pain he was causing when he was operating. I think it will heal. I have some pain under the top layer of skin there.
I have a little swelling in the tissue in the area, but nothing like after the original TT.
I'm trying to be patient while healing, but that's next to impossible for me! While the skin below my BB to my scar has remained the same length, the skin below my scar has picked up 3/8". Not what I was hoping for! Everything is going well so far! At the very least I hope to have a nice thin scar in a year.
Really lost it with my Surgeon
I went for a massage therapy session at his practice last Monday. It brought back all the painful memories I had of the surgery and lack of communication that caused so much pain and worry. I was so worked up by the end of the week that I called his office and asked his office assistant to have him call me. Well he called me back on Monday. I really blew up at him. I'm not happy about holding onto anger for so long or saying many of the things I did. The lack of information really broke my trust in him, because it caused so many problems for me afterwards. He did not explain the procedure at the pre op visit and everything went down hill from there. Had I known exactly what he was going to do none of the terrible things that happened would have occurred. During our conversation he said that he did explain the procedure and that I must have forgotten! Nope, that didn't happen! I remember thinking to myself as he was marking me for the surgery that I was pleased to see that he was going to excise the entire length of the scar, because I wasn't sure before then that he would be. I didn't forget anything from that pre op encounter, not one thing. It makes me mad that he can't accept that he made a mistake. I hate egos that can't accept they can make a mistake! If he would have told me how he was going to do the surgery, I would have known how invasive it would have been, I could have arranged time off from work, reduced my work load, handled the pain during surgery a little better, and been confident and secure that my goal for surgery was being achieved.
At the end of my sobbing for 22 minutes of conversation with my PS he finally told my what he did during surgery and how it was meant to achieve my goal for the scar revision. I hate that he thinks he told me all I needed to know and I'm sure now he thinks I'm a real nut case now. I Feel so broken and disappointed that I've expended so much negative energy over something that could have been avoided with better communication form him. I have another post op visit on Feb. 9th, my BF says I should cancel it and never see him again. My scar is healing well and I don't expect any complications. I'm leaning toward taking her advice, what would you all do in my situation?
9 weeks post op
I had my second post op visit on Monday. Everything looks good and is healing well. I've been going to massage therapy every other week and my massage therapist is helping me both physically and mentally. She's a real gem. She really understands what I've been through with my PS. She is working on my scar to make it softer and keep the adhesions below the skin from forming. I'm supposed to go back to my PS in May, however I think I'm really pretty much done with seeing him again. I don't see the point in going back.