I really did not want to do this! However, when...
I am trying on my oldest dearest favorite bikini and hoping.......
I have had the good fortune to have connected with a woman on this site who had this surgery last january.We correspond and talk via phone and she has guided me well!
In addition, I am a planner and organizer and i would really like to give everyone the benefit of the combination of her input and mine to help people prepare both pre and post-op.
I will post an itemized list of items to get before,depending on your situation, and why they are necessary or helpful.
One thing I am planning to do for PAIN is very exciting to me!
I work with a hypnotist who has agreed to help me greatly lower pain levels without medication. It is important to note that one must not completely eliminate pain, for if we did, we might forget and make a move very detrimental to ourselves.
I urge patients to learn to meditate. It facilitates the process.
Also,meditation daily lowers blood pressure, keeping you more peaceful and resulting in decreased dosage of anesthesia during surgery. There are surgical meditation tapes pre made (even Mayo clinic sells one) and if you google it, you will find tapes or even custom and over the phone meditations designed for your own needs.
i intend to list EXPECTATIONS. I have read some reviews here in which people are freaked out over certain events - such as swelling. I am going to go over this with you.
I will be going over the preparation of your body BEFORE surgery and that is not just losing weight - it involves your health and your intestinal tract.
I am in a medical field that fortunately enables me to have some experience that I am hoping will be beneficial to many. So stay posted - I will add to this bit by bit,and then after surgery i will post more on my own use of these items.I really want to help women and men prepare properly and have a calm and easier journey. To hear my personal story would be just another story, so i decided to share and give back in this manner.
Talk to you soon!
A Bit About ME
what to get /do before TT surgery.
I just ordered it, after comparing to many.
Do not bother with the upper torso wedge, they are too hard at an inexpensive price and pillows can do better.i saw one very pricey upper body wedge with down filling.
2--FOOD: low sodium soups and other foods to keep down swelling. Health valley organic soups at Sprouts market has low sodium that tastes DELICIOUS when you add oregano or basil to minestrone , and add basil to potato leek. There are others.Stock up and place at easy reaching level in the kitchen. Use electric can opener.You cannot squeeze your hand because it works abdominals.
3--Reduced sugar foods. Sure, get something to munch on for fun, but keep it down generally, because reducing sugar of all types also reduces bloating.Generally, if the sugar is listed 5th or more down the ingredients list, it is ok to have it.
4--Meds: Include zofran and/or phenergan for anti-nausea. Zofran is non drowsy and Phenergan makes you sleepy. Muscle relaxers are a must and make you sleepy. Antibiotics ....and whatever else your PS prescribes for pain.
as you know, stop all blood thinners, even omega3s 2 weeks prior to surgery.
5_ a heating pad for your back or behind knees and feet is nice. But heat inflames so be careful where you put it.
5--GERD: for those who tend to have acid reflux or acid tendency, note that this often results in a dry cough similar to seasonal allergies. It will be so painful to cough! To prevent this, just as precaution, you can start taking something like 20 mg prilosec about two weeks
pre op, either via prescription (generic omeprazole) or over counter, take it half hour before breakfast daily, or can take before bed instead.It will not prevent dry allergy cough that tears your abdomen with pain, but at least the acid part is gone.Allergies can always use allegra 180 mg daytime and zyrtec 10 mg nights with flonase nasal spray.
4--Intestinal info pre and post op will be separate on next update.
Note - PHOTOS will be posted from the caregivers house with my progress. Since I walk the halls in a clinic and sit off and on typing notes at my desk, i should be able to go back in 2 weeks,
INTESTINAL PREPARATION BEFORE TT SURGERY
i will give you some choices. one involves miralax, the other involves
site to order a box of 3 products called colonix.
read about colonix on the site. Store bought items do not hold a candle to this one that i found years ago. ( i am a customer of that site, and have nothing to do with them. i suggest this product, but get no kickback from it.)i buy several boxes at once, because my friends use it, and if you call the 800 number, you get a better deal than online ordering 3 at one time.
okay, so you take this powder daily, and i like to use 6oz room temp water to 2 oz of grape juice or other.i shake it in shaker cup or use my hand blender.then drink one glass of water afterward right away!.
i suggest also buying their probiotics, or your favorite, and using 2 caps per night.
As a first time user of colonix, you might react as i did, (but i have no reaction now) and you might have some early morning cramps, not too bad, or get headache early morning, but the minute you expel, it is gone. you never cannot hold it in, you can wait to go.The stool eventually becomes one piece of soft stool, the way nature intended,and eventually has no odor at all! it is buoyant. it is brown. not black. it is healthy stool. And you hardly need toilet paper. It is clean stool! crazy huh?
i do not take this of course the day of surgery, and if your surgery is after lunch, you might take it the day before, but if not, omit the day before surgery.
if you have time and are scheduled months before, start right away, so your body is well adjusted ad cleaned out from the top of the intestinal tract al the way to the bottom.
as for the kleritea, that comes inthe box of colonix, experiment. at first i needed 2 minutes only, but now i use 4 minutes. me friend needed 12 minutes! that is the time to steep it,no microwave, pour boilng water over bag.this makes all the difference in how your next morning goes!!
miralax: this can be used for 6 days before surgery, it does work in 1-3 days.it is very natural, just softens, more thick, more ready, but you clean out.
of course these are continued right after surgery. i would take the miralax as soon as i could after surgery, since you cannot wake up, and say "nurse please go mix up my coloniix and get me a jug of water!" but you can swallow miralax.
note for colonix, you fill a huge jug of water, and you must drink 8 glasses per day,by the end of the day, the jug must be empty.the initial glass after swallowing the power is glass #1.
WHY do this? you want your intestinal tract as empty as possible, and want all the black crud that has collected and hardened over your lifetime,on the side walls of the intestine, to empty, so that you will heal better, feel better, absorb good food better etc etc
YOUR BODY WILL BE MORE RESPONSIVE TO HEALING.
i cannot go into details of aloe vera here, because i use a special type, but it will help healing if you take daily about one oz of aloe vera gel,, about 3 times daily, before meals-Lily of the Desert has one. gel.-- only gel. not drink. --- it is only one ounce, so put a speck of juice in it if you cannot handle it. one gulp. gone!
please let me know if this helps you!
PREPARATION FOR MUSCLE TRAUMA IN TT--BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY
the surgeon was astounded when he saw my face 2 days later. he had a photo taken ! they do not do that 2 days later.! my face had no bruises,no swelling, but the fat was there!i looked amazing. the breasts had no bruising.
okay here it is. i cant wait to see how much this works with TT. i do not expect to be all clear,especially with some hip liposuction, but i know this works to help!
e.g i was in fabulous shape, going on a hard full day hike, with a very out of shape friend, and i was sore the next day, and she was not!!! every hour while hiking she took this product!! She said she did not offer it to me since i was in such great shape. !!!!
here is my pre and post op regime:
traumeel concentrated liquid
arnica 30x is fine (some is in traumeel)
pineapple or bromelein tablets.
all week before surgery i took the tablets of trammel and arnica, and conc. liquid many times per day,----lets say 3 times.
on the day before surgery i ate half fresh pineapple, and the rest as soon as i could after surgery.
on the day of surgery, i used the tablets and conc. liquid because it simply absorbs through the mouth mucosal membranes,into your system, never touching your stomach.
my PS allowed me to bring all this and my traumeel cream into surgery,maybe because it was done in his own surgical center. but if not, you can bring it, and the nurses will be told-----they did it for me---they applied the cream to my face and hips(for the lipo done for fat)--and then when i woke. i reached for it,beside me, they put it there, and i took the conc. liquid and tablets and cream as well.
i used it daily at home also.
this IS VERY VALUABLE . traumeel works best if used asap after trauma. it works okay later, but much better if applied on the spot!! and i used it just before wheeling into surgery, i said wait, don't let the IV go yet,i have to do something. we put it away with my things ...Then, ok...go!...
ok so that was for my face, but see below.
you don't have to be as nuts as i am about it, but do whatever you can.
i even put the conc. liquid ion my face, dried,then cream afterward.
With TT, because it will involve removed fat and skin, i think applying a coat when you arrive at surgery wiill give it time to absorb into the muscle region.
and you can take the oral as well at that time.
i hope this helps!!i will let you know how it works with TT! i have 10 days to go.
bye for now cuz i am going to meditate.
additional ITEMS to get BEFORE surgery
1) lanyard or narrow ace wrap to hold drains while showering. no pull.
2) wax pubic hair area if drains will be in pubic area. if PS outs drains in hip, no need to do that. shaving causes new hairs to grow back maybe into opening.
3)set up area at home with outlets,extension cords, tv movies, etc whatever you need while in bed.
Tattoos--temporary ones---to cover scars eventually
i will be transferring much later on , i will let you know how many weeks out,to a
spanx one piece with thighs. I will also have a large waist cinched available for later, like 3 months,when i want to go out socially in certain situations.
swelling can last 6 months, or longer, it takes a year to heal fully. I think if we know in advance what to expect, then we just take it in our stride when it happens.
clothes will fit anyhow, and others will not know.
i have long "no waist" dresses to wear out the second week.
10 DAYS TO GO UNTIL TT !!!
Right now I am admiring my temporary tattoo over the imaginary incision line!
tattoos to cover TT incision---especially for....
Tattoos to cover TT incision,especially for sex with new boyfriend. :)
I LOVE IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
GREAT SITE - TT INFORMATION
i just came across this:
it has info on many procedures, but if you click on Abdominoplasty it will give you abdundant information on everything from where incisions are made for various types of TT to splitting sutures, etc.
i think you will find it try valuable information.
It will also help to give you ideas on what to ask your surgeon, and also on what questions you might want to ask for consults. Hope it helps to read it!
washing before surgery--further clarifcation
you could apply the concentrated liquid to the abdomen at home if you like,then wait until it absorbs, then wash and go to surgery.but that concentrated liquid always goes under your tongue,
i will do that, but at the surgical center, i will place the conc. liquid in my mouth,tablets as well.
most probably will not apply conc. liquid at the center before surgery.it really would not matter, since they scrub with betadine, but most people will not do it.
when the surgery is complete, the cream can also be applied but not close to incisions.it rubs in well. wash your hands.
it is not just for bruising, but it is for muscle soreness.
Miscellaneous stuff to do before:
MORE!!!!! :) :) :)
1) using lanyards
2) using physical therapy rubber exercise bands
3) using ace wraps with velcro closure
they can be wrapped around body, or around neck and placed thru.
I am using ace.
every PS is different. some measure 25 cc and they are out!
mine removes one in one week usually. the next usually one week later, but if last few days are too productive, he waits a couple more days. it is not exact with him.
but as a general rule if you have 40-50cc, the drains stay in. if regular 25, they come out.
i will wear my long no waist sleeveless loose dresses, and ace wrap them in place while i walk around.i am in hot climate.
in cooler weather, some wear hoodie type jackets out to hide the bulge.
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT WASHNG BEFORE SURGERY
i asked her why they bother to tell us to wash with antibacterial soap beforehand, then dress in nonsterile clothes and sit in car and nonsterile environment, and then get truly scrubbed before anyhow in the OR with betadine. She said they do it because there are actually patients who do not bathe before surgery, some are pretty gross! so to make everyone shower,they tell you to do it and you have to do it as part f the regime, and take responsibility. i thought so, but i just thought I would ask. So that is it! thursday is my turn!
AND if the drains are going to be in the pubic area, you might want to wax. it is easier for the growing out, the hairs do not interfere as shaving can. but if PS puts drains in the hip,you can opt to not shave at all,do a little or a lot - it does not matter.
TODAY I FEEL FRESH AND CLEAN AND READY WITH TOENAILS DONE, HAIR COLOR,CUT. FINGERNAIL GEL CLEAR COLOR FOR THE SURGERY. I USED SCRUB ON MY BODY, AND ALL THAT GOOD STUFF.
I AM READY TO GO FOR SURGERY TOMORROW!
I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT. I AM FOCUSING ONTHE POSITIVE OUTCOME. IT WORKS!
POST OP BEGINNING DAY 3
PHOTOS POST OP DAY 2
update on getting comfortable,PO DAY 4
UPDATE ON DAYS 1-4 RE MEDS, BATHROOM, ETC
MEDS: i find the abdominal pain is bothersome with movement, but not just lying here. yes once in a while i get the most sharp RUQ pain where hernia was repaired, and it is awful. but the incision does not bother me at all. the CG presses in and wrinkles and bugs me along the upper band. i took either percocet or vicodin with zofran or phenergan ,but it was spacing out longer and longer. finally day 4 decided to just try one tramadol(ultram) straight pain killer, with zofran for nausea potential, and it is now 3 pm and do not feel the need to take it again. i do not think we can totally block pain in movement,
this is so subjective. we all have our own pain tolerances.
FOOD; no appetite until day 3. i will stick to the low sodium and all i mentioned before, but have my treats, like the ice cream today!!!
SWELLING:my labia are two big fat engorged chunks of meat!!! they are in the way of wiping, and i can only think of a guy's 3 piece set!!!
also purple bruised,,,,,if it were not my labia, i would take a photo! tee hee
forgot to say...
well day 3 seems to be turning point.
and, on day 2 my fever of 100.7 and chiils with it did not help. no infection, just the body response to surgery, but immune system kicks in.
HIDING DRAIN/POUCHES FOR OUTINGS OR VISITORS
post-op appointment day 6
i was not draining much but the fluid was very red due to the lipo, so he decided to keep the drains in. Next week at my second appt, he will remove at least one. I really do not care, except that i cannot shower and must continue to sponge bathe until at least one drain is out.
He removed the cling covering the incision, and left the clear barely perceptible tape over it. i took photos and posting them shortly. I am pleased with how low he made the incision line, and when i eventually put a temporary tattoo over it, i will be very happy. i can tell it is already flat. the removal of the bulge ,which was a large lipoma, in the right upper quadrant really helped to flatten out that area over the hernia repair.The thing that kills me right now is BACK PAIN!
I am taking tramadol and some tylenol and zofran and using ice packs in the ace wrap, which helps!
He said if i stand up slowly i can, i do not have to hunch over, just do not move fast.
But it is hard to do so. if i can, my back would hurt far less.
I am keeping up with miralax, kleri or smooth move tea, prunes, apricots, and it just drops out daily.
I am happy i did this!!!
Incision Photos!!! take a peek!!!!!
ADDED MISCELLANEOUS ON HOW TO PREPARE.
1) numbness in central abdomen, especially central below bellybutton. it can take one year for nerves that have been lifted and moved,etc ..to regenerate, and some might never. so it could be permanent but not as numb.
2) i mentioned long kitchen tongs. but you might also need a log picker-upper for items on the floor. i can do ballet grands plies and also use my toes well, but if you cannot do that, you might need something.
3) the AUTO recliner is essential in my opinion. it also stands you upright as a lift. it is very helpful to use it nights either all night or to do half night bed with knee wedge and half night recliner with knee bolster pillow - the positional change so needed that cannot be explained until you are there! i did not rent the auto recliner until after surgery. at that point i just wanted it and i did not care what it cost - i had to have it!!! so be proactive.
a cane for balance on narcotics.
a walker is nice, but my caregiver's walker could not get thru the doorways, so we ditched it.
POST OP DAY 7
it is because my BACK does not hurt!!! i have been diligent about 2 things:
1) gel ice packs stuffed into the 6 inch ace or the garment or whatever you use!!!
2) nopalea cactus drink in large amounts, sold by try-vita.com, and which reduces inflammation. i swear both these things helped since i stepped it up.
3) i also steppped up the tri-vita adaptuit drink for stress.
( i am simply a customer of tri-vita, no other interests)
as for meds, i am taking tramadol mostly, with 2 tylenol, and zofran since i am one of these highly nauseous people on anything.
i feel, because of the decreased back pain, like i have turned the corner.
SUBSTITUTE MEDS FOR NARCOTICS--TRANSITION MEDS
as an analgesic, a pain med, without anti-inflammatory effects, here are two choices, both non-narcotics. many of my patients love them, no nausea, can work on them and drive, but others (like me) need zofran for nausea.
i will write below the maximum dosage, then you can adjust.
note the contraindication to taking these is if you have had seizures, ask your doctor, and never use them with an nsaid together.
1) ultram (tramadol) 50 mg
one-two tablets every 6 hours with food
2) ultracet 37.5mg/325 mg (combo tramadol 37.5 with tylenol 325)
one-two tablets every 6 hours with food
i never use two tablets.
i sometimes take it twice daily.
if i use 50 mg tramadol i sometimes add a tylenol or 2.
that is a good transition medicine from narcotics to plain tylenol.
UPDATE 13 DAYS POST OP
i am feeling so good now. it seems 2 weeks is a good turning point. i move around so much easier. and since my back has stopped hurting, when i began icing it last week with the gel packs, i am able to walk quite straight.
i will go back to seeing patients on saturday in the clinic, but i will decline to do anything very positionally stressful.
i can see where it is going to be quite a while before i get into smaller clothes. but i expected that, and so glad i have 4 waistless long dresses to keep interchanging.
my family left today (son, etc) so now i can go back to being more diligent in my foods,(so hard when my son is a gourmet chef)---and having more nap time, so necessary for healing.
i still take a tramadol if i need it with tylenol.
PS says now that the left drain is out, that area that bothered me where the hernia was and which is where he re-sutured the hernia area as he did the muscle plication, and where the excision of the lipoma was, should not bother me as much.
I had a lot of different work in that spot.
okay, back to my CG which is soaking in suds, and which he said i could change to the in-power spans at 6 weeks (maybe 4..he will let me know)!
let's see if i swell more now that one drain is out - i will know in about 3 days!!
Drinking the anti-swelling recipe---the dandelion tea, cranberry juice, lemon, water, stevia It is said it reduces swelling about 30%. i'll take it!!
ANTI- SWELLING TEA RECIPE
TASTING" IT, SO CONSIDERING WHAT I DID.........
I AM POST OP DAY 14.
IT IS SUPPOSED TO REDUCE IT BY ABOUT 30%
sweetener...stevia or other...
16 oz water
2 tbsp pure cranberry juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
make dandelion tea, cool off, add other ingredients.
post op appt day #18
He wants compresson on it 24/7 except for washing the CG. He removed the clear plastic tape from incision line, and said to just let shower water run over it, but no sudsing, and let scabs come off as they will. on my next appt in 2 weeks,he said we might discuss scar treatment.
he inspected me for possible need for aspiration, but no sign was there, for i was firmly swollen, not wavy. if drains come out too son, that could happen.
i told him the hernia pain is horrific when tramadol wears off, but he said it was ok, no complication . to conclude, the hernia portion of surgery is what is so difficult for me.
he removed 2.3 lb total of skin and fat from my body, not counting hip lipo.
that seems about right for me. the rest will come from tightening the muscle.'
i worked saturday first time and it as awful. i had to take meds mid-day and i never did before! my second day i was proactive and took meds in advance of pain. it went well. i should have had one more week of home rest. if not for hernia pain, i would be so fine,just tightness.
so if you have a hernia repair, think about waiting extra time before working.!
FREEDOM---4.5 WEEKS POST OP
i felt so free! i feel more in charge now. today i am tired though. i am off work today. i am researching a new multivitamin and think i found one. i tried B12 injection last week, but maybe since i take a lot of it and it must be absorbing, i did not see any difference. i have photos but cannot seem to post larger size, they turn out small, so i will retake and use a different camera. i am still swollen low down, and PS says my hips are also, but i cannot tell that part. my lower abs are firm and so tight and have a swell like a wave. that is causing the scar to be higher on one side than the other, since right is more swollen than left. he says it will all settle down and even out in time. i know it. i just have to wait it out. this whole experience is an exercise in patience and faith.! but i am happy i did this, since i see results are so good. as for work, after i took off another 5 days and rested, i went back and i was ok, but i am tired after about 6 hours and watch the clock!!
MY NEW TATTO - MY OLD BIKINI !!
now i am out of that. at 4.5 weeks when i had my appt., PS said ok to spanx, and to wear it all the time until 6 weeks then to wear it quite a bit,, especially if swelling after that. so i am downloading pics of garments.
the first are of spanx, in their Assets line, which is a different fabric from the other line which is much lighter weight.it has straps, but i am adding an extra length of elastic to it since for me the straps are a bit short. it holds well.however, with straps, living in a hot climate, and wearing lots of tanks and spaghetti straps, it does not hide, unless i wear a little shruggie or small cover up on the shoulders.
the next pics are of the other lightweight line of spanx called the "In-power" style, has extra panel of ab reinforcement, and i have not seen this one in stores, so i ordered it from the spanx site, at one size bigger than the chart said, and it was good! i hate elastic bands ( which is at the top of this)so i stretched it out over the back of chair for several days, because that band hits the area just under my breast, but now it is good.
then i have a great black maidenform style. it has nice long straps, very comfy, and it is like a short skirt. you can pull it down lower to just cover the butt or adjust it a bit higher. this can be worn with regular thong or panties OVER it, because it keeps it from sliding upward. Another version of wearing it is to make it into a piece similar to the spanx above by wearing a spanx Assets pair of shorts on top of it, thigh length. My shorts are to the waist, and one size bigger than the maiden form, and being that shiny material it slides up and down easily, --very easy to do pee and poop. so if i have not yet eliminated before leaving the house for work, i prefer the maidenform, so i can pull it down easily, in either version.
i have not worn flexees but people do like them.
kohls has good assortment at sale prices, but do not seem to carry the other lightweight line, they only carry Assets line of spanx.
i hope that helps!
added note re wearing garments.
halter...forgot to add this re garment
ACTIVITY: update at 5.5 weeks--JOY OF FREEDOM!
PHOTOS UPDATE 6 WEEKS +2 DAYS---SCAR
PROTRUDING SUTURE DETAILS-AND MY NEW STRIPS ARRIVED!
anyhow today my new scar removal method arrived. i had finished the silicone gel so after reading many reviews on scar away silicone strips, i ordered them, since i was specifically looking for something that had deep penetration power, and history of softening ropey hardness that i have midsection. it has to be used for 3 months. ok. i start tonight. i will let you know.some people swear by bio-oil and other products as well, but i had already ordered this, so this scar away will be it!
This is a PS who has learned and perfected his skills well. He is diligent and takes care that he does his work well, and does nothing that will either harm his patients or his reputation. If he does not think the job will not be perfect (as "perfect" as one can be in medicine!!!) then he will decline to do it. So he takes no chances. One thing that is critical - he stops and looks at the patient and listens and hears what the patient is saying. how often do we feel they are not listening! i highly recommend both him and his entire staff.