I had a full TT with umbilical hernia and abdominal muscle repair on February 4th, so it's been exactly 10 weeks. I am 5'3" and weigh 100 pounds. Basically, my small frame wasn't meant for having children as my first child pretty much did all of the damage. I had severe separation of abdominal muscles, so a full TT was the only option to repair. Prior to the surgery I was an avid crossfitter training 4 days a week (I was a competitive gymnast my entire child/ adolescent life). I was in extremely good fitness going into the surgery.
I mention my fitness level, because the surgery itself and immediate recovery was very easy. One of the reasons I wanted to share my experience was because it was extremely good and I myself had put the surgery off for years due to fear. During the actual surgery, I was given a shot of Exparel directly into the abdominal area. This is a 72-96 hour nerve block. As a result, I had the surgery...stayed in the hospital one night...came home and never had ANY pain. In fact, I never took any of my pain meds because I didn't need them. I did take an occasional muscle relaxer to sleep better. I consulted with a few plastic surgeons and only found one practice actively using Exparel. In the end, that's why I selected my practice....it is a total game changer!
Another notable piece of information is that most of the time when umbilical hernias are present with muscle separation the need for a "fake belly button" (floating belly button) is pretty much unavoidable. It is important to select a PS that can create a natural looking "fake belly button" (ask for pictures...etc). This was a huge deciding factor on selecting a plastic surgeon. I love my new belly button. : ). While I have a few stretch marks that could not be removed in surgery, I am very pleased with my result. I am currently in the process of having a series of 1540 Lux laser treatments to minimize the appearance of the stretch marks. I will create a separate blog for that later.
Now - jumping to the present. It's been 10 weeks today and I still have significant limitations. The immediate recovery was a breeze - I was driving at 2-3 weeks and walking 100% upright around 4 weeks. My scar is healing beautifully (I continue to keep covered with the tan micro tape), but I am still extremely tight. When I move I still feel tugging sensations. I'm assuming this is a result of the severe muscle separation and abdominal plication. I can walk for exercise, but there is no way that I am even ready for light running. Coming from my athletic back ground, this is limiting. Now is where I realize that everyone's recovery is different depending on how much internal damage was repaired (muscle repair and hernias). I also feel compelled to say that my umbilical hernia was a result of my first pregnancy....not crossfit (as some have suggested).
While I have no intentions of returning to crossfit until at least 6 months....I am wondering when I will be able to be active ( according to my standards) again? I would love for anyone to weigh in on this for me. : )
I had a full TT with umbilical hernia and...
Progress at 15 weeks
The above picture was taken around 10 weeks. This is also after having one laser treatment to smooth stretch marks. I am about 15 weeks out now and doing great! I am running about 3 times a week (3-4 miles). Still a little stiff. My arms won't quite reach 100% overhead yet, so no pull ups/ hanging on a bar or barbell work yet.
So this is a 15 week update. I have had 2 fraxel laser treatments to minimize residual stretch marks. In terms of overall healing, I am doing great! Just trying to improve the outcome as much as I can. : )
4 months PO
So I never thought I would ever wear a bikini again.....and then this happened....4 months to the date....I put it on and went to the pool! I think it takes a full 4-6 months to get a good picture of final results. 95% of the swelling is gone and non-ablative lasering has done wonders for any residual stretch marks.
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