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.
So it's been a little over six months since my surgery. The time has flown by! At this point I almost feel like I have never had surgery. I am still numb....so that part is what is different, but everything else is great. I think numb is the new normal, so I'm not really bothered by that at all. I haven't returned to crossfit yet, but I have been running since about week 8 or 9. I wore a compression garment while running until about month 4. I wore it because I think I thought something was going to move out of place. Lol. When I finally stopped wearing it, I realized my abs and skin are so tight....nothing is moving out of place. My scars are healed well, but are a little darker than I would like at this point. They will lighten...it just takes longer with my olive skin. I did have the little scar from my old BB lasered and it made it smaller and completely smooth (no indentions). My stretch marks have remained at minimum since having them lasered.
Was this review helpful? 4 others found this helpful