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Five weeks post op! - Atlanta, GA

So my surgery is about 3 weeks away. I can't...

So my surgery is about 3 weeks away. I can't believe it's really going to happen. What a strange mix of fear and excitement! I can remember being an adolescent and wearing big t-shirts over my bathing suit (even in the water) to cover my stomach. And it has bothered me ever since. I'm 5'6" and currently weigh about 162 lbs. And I'm 44 years old. My weight most of my adult life was about 135. It's crept up ever since I got pregnant and had my son 9 years ago. My body is very proportionate (sp?). I've always been happy with it but even when I've been in the best shape of my life, my stomach is still there! I can be in awesome shape and still be unable to wear the kinds of clothes I want thanks to my gut. It's like it's not even a part of me. It's like wearing a Baby Bjorn full of fat that I should just be able to take off. Sigh.

Anywho, it was about a year ago that I started considering a TT. Most of the women in my husband's family have had some kind of work done so that made me realize that it's possible, not so frowned upon, and maybe even worth the money. I have a friend who is very well connected in town and knows her stuff when it comes to medical issues. I knew she had some work done and asked her who did her surgery. I went to her doctor for a consultation last May. Even doing that was a big step for me! I loved him and I knew if my friend went to him and was satisfied that he was top notch. He said I would need lipo but propably no muscle repair. Of course, once you decide you want to do something like that, the body part that bothers you does so even more! It's all I've thought about since then but I knew financially it wasn't the right time. My grandmother passed away a few months ago and left me an inheritance. I decided the TT would be my one splurge and then I'd save the rest. So when I made the appointment a few weeks ago and put down a deposit I knew it was real!

I'm so nervous about anesthesia (which I've only had once before). The concept of being put to sleep freaks me out. What if I don't wake up? What if I'm not asleep ENOUGH? I know these thoughts are pretty irrational. But still! And then there's the recovery. The only time I've been in lots of pain like that was when I was in labor and that only lasted a few hours -- it was a vaginal birth with no epidural because I progressed so fast. So naturally I'm nervous about that. And since every person's experience is different, I don't know what to really expect.

I'm trying to figure out now what I need to do to prepare. I'm going to freeze some meals. My husband is taking the day of my surgery (Monday) off work. I'll spend 1 night in the hospital and he will bring me home the next day. My mom will come that day and help out so he can go back to work. I thought about renting a recliner. I assume one that will help me stand up. Do I get that at a medical supply store? What else will I need? I hope the more prepared I feel, the less anxious I'll be.

This site has been great. I'll post some pics later. In the meantime, I would appreciate any practical suggestions to get ready for this thing!

So my surgery is 2 weeks from today. Still nervous...

So my surgery is 2 weeks from today. Still nervous and excited. I think there's a good chance I'll freak out on the actual morning of the procedure. I may try to meditate or do some visualization to help prepare.

I had an appointment with my surgeon last week. He says I'm a perfect candidate for the surgery. Yay! He predicts he could remove about 3 lbs or so of tissue. I can't decide if I was hoping for more or not! When I look at my stomach, it sure looks like I could get rid of more that that! Anywho, he went over a lot of details and logistics with me. Some anesthesia, type of painkillers used, etc. I'm very confident in him. He really put any fears I had to rest. I have to be at the hospital that morning at 5:30 am! Thank goodness I only live about a mile from the hospital. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30. I wonder if most surgeries actually start on time. Any feedback on that? This Friday I go for my pre-op at the hospital. I'm sure I'll learn more stuff then. All the paperwork (consent forms, things to do and not do) make me nervous!

I'm still in preparation mode and worried about having all the things I need to make recovery as easy as possible. I think I need to get a thing that raises your toilet seat (per a friend's suggestion) and I still want to rent a recliner (eventhough my sister-in-law laughed at me)! What else do I need. I need to be doing something to prepare. I think it eases my anxiety. Help!

Thank goodness the Oscars are on tonight because...

Thank goodness the Oscars are on tonight because it's distracting me from the fact that my surgery is at 7:30am tomorrow. Ugh. I'm so nervous. I wish I had a fast forward on my life right now. So last night I had to take a laxative for the first time of my life (per my doctors instructions). Can I just say if this surgery is half as painful as the cramps I had from the laxative then I'm in trouble! No alcohol for a few days and a liquid only diet today. No fun. I wonder if I'll wig out in the morning. Gotta be there at 5:30am. Sigh. Sorry I'm not saying anything of substance. Yikes.

I don't know where to begin. Overall, I must say...

I don't know where to begin. Overall, I must say this process has been easier than I expected. I realize, however, that could change. I don't want to get cocky! I'm taking Toradol (a turbo anti-inflammatory) and Percocet for pain. They're to be taken every 6 hours so I just alternate them and take one or the other every 3 hours. I got behind yesterday after coming home from the hospital and started getting really sore mid/late afternoon. I think my biggest piece of advice would be to stay ahead of the pain. Take the pain meds whether you think you need them or not! The Percocet does make me kinda light headed and groggy but it's a lot better than the pain. I've decided the pain feels like having menstrual cramps, eating a huge meal, and then putting on a tight corset. Not fun.

I'm draining the drains regularly which is very easy and I'm also taking an antibiotic. I have a great set-up at home. I rented a recliner with a remote control and I have a little table on each side of me with my meds, TV remote, things to drink, paper to keep track of when I take my meds and the amount of drainage, reading material, etc. I'm in front of the TV, fireplace, and the living room window so I can see out. I gotta say, it's heavenly! I slept in the recliner last night and it was very comfortable. The Percocet must make me sleep like a baby. I set the alarm on my cell phone to wake me to take my meds in the middle of the night. Totally worth waking myself up for. I'd also recommend getting one of those toilet seats that raises the height about 5 inches. I'm drinking a lot of fluids and peeing a lot. It's a godsend!

I haven't really gotten a good look at my tummy yet. I'm going to give myself a sponge bath shortly and will give it a look. Overall, I'm very psyched. But it almost seems too good to be true. I'm waiting for my recovery to take a temporary turn for the worst or something. This seems too easy so far. I'll post some pics too!

Oh, and I meant to add that the doc took out a...

Oh, and I meant to add that the doc took out a liter of fat through lipo and removed another 2.5 lbs of fat and skin. He only had to do 5 stitches worth of muscle repair -- like 2 at the top of my abs and 3 at the bottom or something like that. Can't wait to get a peek!

Still day 2 after surgery. I got really sore this...

Still day 2 after surgery. I got really sore this afternoon. I think part of it was gas of all things. It felt like gas pains anyway. I haven't had a BM but don't feel like I need to have one either. Took a stool softener today though just to prepare. This "girdle," bandages, and drains are getting on my nerves! I feel like I have duct tape wrapped around my waist. And when I think about how I have to deal with this stuff for 5 more days until I see the doc again, well, I get kinda down. I need to get over it!

Funny how things change during this recovery...

Funny how things change during this recovery process. My stomach feels super tight and the bandages are bugging me. My back is really sore too. However, these things don't really both me too much unless I'm up moving around. I love laying with a heating pad on my back but it makes me hot. I've cut back on my meds. Just trying to do the Tramadol (anti-inflammatory) every 6 hours instead of alternating it with Percocet and taking something every 3 hours.

I did make the mistake of -- gasp! -- weighing myself. I know I probably shouldn't do that until all the swelling goes down. I weighed 164 eventhough I weighed 160 the morning of surgery. Sigh. Oh well, this isn't about losing weight. My stomach already looks so much better than it did before. I just wish I could tell what it will look like after all is said and done. Thanks to everyone for letting me vent!

So today is Friday and I had surgery on Monday. I...

So today is Friday and I had surgery on Monday. I so want to feel like going out and stuff like a regular Friday night but I just don't. I managed a really good sponge bath and even washed and dried my hair but that's about the extent of it. My doc says I can't take a "real" shower until I have my bandages and drains removed. I can't believe I don't have cabin fever but I really don't! I would kill for time like this under normal circumstances so I better milk it!

I took Tylenol PM last night and didn't take anything else until about 3pm today and then I took an anti-inflammatory (Tramadol). My draining is almost down to nothing. It was weird that I think yesterday I mentioned that my bandages were tight and bugging me. Well, I realized it was really my skin!! It feels really tight when I'm standing upright. And, I guess from the bending over, my back is so sore. When I'm lying or sitting down, especially on a heating pad, I feel fine. I realize the thing you need the most on this journey is PATIENCE! And that's tough.

I look great from what I can tell but it's tough to know what is swelling and how differently I'll look in a few weeks. I hope it's a LOT of swelling (ha ha)! Anyway, it was my 3rd day of taking stool softener and no BM. I don't even have the urge. Not sure when I should start worrying about that. Hmmm.

I can finally see the light at the end of the...

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with all this crap attached to me. I'll have a follow-up on Tuesday (today is Sunday). Can't wait to get the drains removed and bandages off! I'm upright all the time now and the tightness is somewhat better. I even went to the grocery store today! That's the first time I've been out of the house since I got home from the hospital. I really dreaded it and was convinced it would kill my back and would be a horrible experience. But as I sat in my car in the parking lot, I did a little deep breathing and just adjusted my thinking some. I think it made a huge difference. I survived. Of course, I was pooped by the time I got home, put away groceries, and made myself some lunch.

I'm just taking anti-inflammatories now and emptying my drains twice a day ('m getting about 10 ml each side, each time). I'm still taking an antibiotic and stool softeners. Another big milestone today -- my first BM! It was lovely, I gotta admit :)

I'm feeling better and better all the time. Been looking at clothes online. I can't wait to go shopping!

So I haven't updated in a few days but I guess no...

So I haven't updated in a few days but I guess no news is good news, right? I had my bandages and drains removed yesterday. Thank god! Not sure what it is about all that stuff. It's not painful. But I know everyone -- including myself -- can't wait to get everything removed. So now I have tape across my incision (nothing over my belly button). It looks great.

But it feels like I can't really enjoy the new me that much because my whole midsection still feels so weird. It's not like I'm parading around in cute skimpy clothes! I feel supertight and bloated. The doc said I was only about 10% to 15% swollen at this point but I constantly feel like I just had a huge meal. And, of course, my stomach is hard and numb. I still have bruising on my sides and my back hurts a lot. Heck, I'm even afraid to put on a pair of jeans for fear they'll be tight and I'll be disappointed. My weight hasn't really changed either eventhough he took a big chunk of skin and fat off of me. Don't get me wrong...I look awesome in the mirror and I have the flat tummy I always dreamed of. I guess I just can't enjoy it yet. Anyone else feeling that way? Guess I just need to be more patient. Thanks for letting me vent!

Ugh. Not sure what's wrong with me. I read this...

Ugh. Not sure what's wrong with me. I read this would be an emotional process but didn't really buy into it. I think it has to do with this recovery. I don't mind being out of commission as long as I'm flat-out incapacitated. This in-between stuff blows! I'm sleeping like crap (I sweat like crazy and then get chilled because I'm damp), my house is a mess, these random, fleeting pains are bugging me, etc. I'm just not used to being "not normal" this long. I rarely get sick and even if I get a bad cold or something, I'm usually get in action after 2 or 3 days. This seems worse than the first week because at least I was doped up and got to lounge, read, watch movies. Not I'm trying to do all my normal stuff, or at least feel like I should be doing all my normal stuff, and it's just not working out that way. If I try to carry on normally, I'm just wiped out by the afternoon. What the heck?

So I survived my little nervous breakdown last...

So I survived my little nervous breakdown last Thursday. The day after and every day since have gone well. I still have stitches with a thin strip of tape over the incision. It's kinda tight and all I want to do is rub and scratch my incision! I can't wait to have all that stuff removed and be able to bathe that thing in oil and lotion! I have a pucker at one end of my incision. I believe it will be at least semi permanent. Doesn't really bother me though since -- even in a bathing suit -- I think it will be covered. My bruises are gone and I've been doing the marble in the belly button trick during the day. Seems to be working and I don't even notice it's there.

My abs themselved are no longer tight (I had pretty minimal muscle repair) and my back hurts less as long as I keep my binder on. Without my binder or "girdle," my bad starts aching after about 30 minutes if I'm up moving around. I started sleeping without any binder and I slept MUCH better. I think I was getting too hot with that thing on.

My big problem right now is sciatica of all things. I've never had it but I know enough about it to recognize the symptoms. I literally work up with it last week. I have no idea if it's related to my surgery. Anyone else experience that? Anywho, it hurts worse than anything else right now. It's ok as long as I'm on anti-inflammatories, but I'm afraid if I stay on those it will tear up my stomach.

Still don't feel like I can "enjoy" the results yet. I can't wait to go shopping when the time comes!

Things are going well. From reading other posts, I...

Things are going well. From reading other posts, I get the feeling I'm doing better than average at this point after surgery. It's weird. With my binder (I'm alternating it with a shaper/Spanx-like garment) on, I feel basically normal. Within like 15 minutes of taking it off, my back starts aching and my incision and skin feel tight. My doc said I don't have to wear it anymore if I don't want but I can't imagine doing much without it. I do sleep without it because I was sweating my butt off during the night.

Also, I have a thin piece of tape covering my incision. The doc said it would come off on its own. But I'm not sure what's going on underneath. Do the stitches dissolve? Fall out on their own?

Wow, it's a been a while since I've updated. No...

Wow, it's a been a while since I've updated. No news is good news, right?! I saw my surgeon last week and he said all is going according to plan. I'd love to hear from other folks at this stage and compare notes.

I guess the biggest thing is that my back still hurts quite a bit. After a while of cooking, cleaning, showering, running errands, etc. I need to put my binder on to give me support. I must admit, my back has hurt for years. So I'm not sure how much this is related to my tummy tuck.

My incision doesn't bother me at all with my binder on. Otherwise, it's tight (feels like a zipper almost) which I think is a good thing. I didn't expect the area underneath the scar (my pubic area, for lack of a better word) to feel so tight. But hey, it's lifted much more than before so that's another good thing. My surgeon put fresh tape over the scar. He says I can start putting cocoa butter or bio oil or the like once the tape falls off in a couple of weeks. Boy, and that whole area (even my sides where I was bruised itches). And not even really itches per se. But I just want to massage the whole thing. I'll be able to once the tape falls off.

Oh, and one last thing. My belly button is so deep! I feel like I need to clean the thing out with a Qtip or it'll just get all gross. Weird!
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

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If you feel more comfortable with your binder, it's not going to hurt you to leave it on. Maybe you could take it off and allow the air to hit your skin when you are sitting down. I've heard many people that keep wearing it because that's what they are comfortable with. You shouldn't mess with the tape over your incision. It's healing underneath and it needs to fall off on it's own otherwise it will pull on the incision. Your stitches should dissolve. I had one or two that had a piece of string remaining but the doctor's office cut them out.
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Thank you!
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You look awesome! Congrats :)
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I had my TT with MR on Monday 2/25 also at 7:30am. My recovery and emotions all sound pretty similar to yours! I could've written a lot of your reviews. I'm definitely like you in that I feel like I look way better in pics. My belly went from ROUND to FLAT. But I haven't lost weight (I know u aren't supposed to, but it would still be nice), and I feel like I can't enjoy my results yet. I haven't put any jeans or work pants on. I'm afraid. And I'm exactly the same as you in that I can be normal most of the morning. I drive my kids to school and like you I've grocery snooped, showered, made myself lunch...but the rest of the day I'm practically dead to the world exhausted. Patience patience is the hardest part.
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Oh I can sympathize and my surgery isn't until April. I'll probably feel the same way. Time will fly and you'll be so happy - feel better soon!
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Hi there...I noticed you are going to the flat side in April. I am also having mine done in April. What is your surgery date?
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Hi Suzie55, My surgery date is April 12. You can private message anytime with questions :) When's yours?
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You're right on schedule with your emotions! Many people hit that period for a day or two here and there. I spent a whole day crying one day, disappointed because I thought I would feel better....well enough to sleep, etc. I had the same thing as you....sweating at night and then freezing. I still do. And the fleeting pains are normal too. It's your body healing. I promise you will feel better! You may have another day like you are feeling today also but just know that it's completely normal! BTW, you look great!! Keep your eye on the prize :)
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Only swelling 10 to 15 % at 9 days?? Huh, that doesn't seem right.. I would think swelling would be more at that point.
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Me too. Especially as swollen as I feel. Hard to tell just by looking!
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We are same day post op. my surgery was also at 7:30am on feb 25th but I live in Florida but I'm from Warner Robins GA.. How cool!
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Very cool! How has the whole process been for you overall? I've been very pleased so far and I think it's probably easier than I thought it would be. Still, I'm glad to have survived the anxiety beforehand and the first week afterwards!
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It's been very rough on me sort of the opposite. I wasn't expecting it to be to tough especially emotionally!! I felt like you did before and after. I finally got my drains out today so big mental relief! How are you feeling now?
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Congrats!!
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Congrats!
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Congrats! It's a process. Just got one of my drains out. One step at a time : )
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How exciting! So happy to hear you are doing so well. I hope it continues. Can't wait to see pics. Take care of yourself. :)
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Glad to hear youre doing well. I'm also 2 days post, my ps said he got a liter of fat also. Dont know about the stomach because he said he doesn't weigh it, bummer! Definitely have to agree about staying on top of the pain meds or you pay for it later! Still havent seen my belly yet either. Have to clean the bb tonight so i will c it then, cant wait :) Take care!
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Glad you are doing so well. :) Mt surgery is March 4th. I am both excited and scared at the same time. Positive comments from someone has has already to gone through this helps.
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Im glad you are having an easy recovery.
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Can't wait for pics!
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Thank you! Well, the surgery went great. It was at about 8am this morning and now it's almost midnight. I have been great all day! Comfortable, laughing, joking around, watching TV, and chatting on the phone. I got up about 5 times to pee. The anesthesia made my mouth SO dry and I was gulping fluids. So I've been dozing the last couple of hours but now I can tell the pain is getting worse. I may need to go up to 2 Percocet next go around. I've been asking for it every 4 hours to "stay ahead of the pain." Right now, the thought of the trip home today doesn't sound too appealing!!
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How are you doing? Just checking on you.
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Good luck!! Rest well!
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Good luck!!!
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