37 Yr Old Saying Goodbye to the Scars and Skin - Australia, AU

A bit of background, I have had a Caesarian, a...

A bit of background, I have had a Caesarian, a hysterectomy and a burst appendix so I am no stranger to a bit of surgery!
I put on 25kg over 7 years and decided to get my sexy back- get fit and healthy to be able to face the impending 40's with confidence.
It took me 12 months of working hard and eating healthy to take me from 89kilos to 65kilos but no matter what I did, I couldn't get rid of my damn jelly belly.
I sought advise from a cosmetic surgeon and tried liposuction (twice) as he recommended an anchor tummy tuck which I wasn't ready for, whilst it did make a little improvement there was no way I would rock a 2 piece out in public.
On recommendation from a friend I went to see Dr Albrook and he said I was a perfect candidate for a drastic repair and Brazilian tuck but the scar would be higher up on my hips due to my excess skin and scar. I saw the remarkable job he had done on my friend and liked his honest and frank consult- no sugar coating but even better, I liked seeing the look of excitement as he described how perfect I would benefit from the procedure and his acknowledgement of how this procedure would help my sense of self esteem.

As I am now 12 days post, I will give you a brief rundown on my recovery so far...

Day of Procedure/ 1st Day
I was wheeled out of recovery at 7pm, 4 hours after I went under and hubby was waiting for me in my private room (SJOG). I was on Fentanyl self administered which provided an hour of amusement to hubby with my 10 minute sentences before visiting hour was over.
Once I came too a couple of hours later I was keen to try and use the bathroom, rang the nurse and that where the fun began. Whilst I have a fairly high pain threshold trying to deal with a lazy bladder as well as the pain makes for a harsh first night. I required a temporary catheter twice that night- at one stage I had 1100ml of urine stuck in my bladder, and then a normal catheter was placed in until the doctor saw me the next morning.
He requested that it be removed and I was to try walking, the next day consisted of temporary catheters whilst trying not to trip over them on my snail attempts at walking around the ward. This was my main concern for the day and at 9pm my bladder finally decided to do its thing- relief at last.

Day 2
I stopped using the Fentanyl at 2am as pain was very minimal. I was sleeping in a banana position and rolling myself out of bed with relative ease making sure I used a roll up towel to brace myself. At 7 am I decided I would do 10 minute walk around the ward followed by a flannel bath (flannel in a sink) and put on my day clothes. Dr Albrook came in, checked my tummy (unfortunately did not change my bandages for a sneaky peak) and asked me how I felt. I said I felt pretty good and said I wanted to go home- he gave me the thumbs up which. Add my day!
Pain at minimal, I was having panadol every 4 hours and 1 OxyContin 2 times a day. Kids were a great help and hubby propped me up in bed in a banana position and would only leave my side when I fell asleep.

Day 4-6
I decided I needed to start moving again so made hubby take me to the park for a walk, the fresh air and the change of scenery does wonders for me. I am no longer on anything expect panadol twice a day and by day 6 I am walking 2.2km in less then half an hour. Every ow and then I stop and remind myself to stand up straighter, the surgeon said this is OK as he sewed my belly flat. My back has been aching so I got hubby to cut a pool noodle in half and I roll myself up and down the wall on my lucky back parts- works wonders!

Day 7
Surgeons appointment and I got to see my incision for the first time- I was in awe.
The lines are so fine and my belly button is so pretty, I couldn't stop thanking him!
Dressings were changed and a binder was provided- phew that thing was super tight but it was explained to me that in the next week it would loosen up as the swelling comes down. It is a strange feeling of comfort though after walking everywhere with my pillow that I use for bracing myself.
Had my first sneeze and felt like my stitches had been ripped out.. No amount of bracing can prepare you for that.
I have been eating not so healthy and had a couple of wines with dinner and am now determined to get on my healthy way again effective tomorrow!

Day 12
As I am not allowed to walk on my own by my families ruling my kids have been taking me out for walks. I am now doing 2.25km in 25 mins and walking straight. No panadol required, no pain and the binder is finally loosened up enough to breathe. I started to build a bit of phlegm and a cough up after my visit to the surgeon and figured that I wasn't breathing deep enough. From past experience if you take small little breathes instead of deep breathing your lungs can't clear properly so I have been taking 4 deep breathes followed by 4 quick puffs bracing and coughing deep. This is the best way I have learnt to cough without feeling your stomach has been ripped out.
Feeling really good, even took the car for a drive around the block to see if I'm ready yet. It's a manual and although I had no problems it did feel a bit tight putting my foot on the clutch so I think I will wait another couple of days.
All up in comparison with my friend who had the same surgery I have come out freakishly well- I have not suffered any of the pain and anguish she did...so far,
My next surgeons appointment is on Friday so I will post again then with new pics but so far all I can say is that it's THE best decision I have made for me!

Any questions please feel free to ask!
Sounds like you've come out of it really well. Congratulations! So glad to hear you are happy and healthy. I'm a bit nervous and somewhat jealous as I haven't had mine yet. (Mm in nov) I'm having a bit more than you done (BA BL TT lipo to flanks and MR) so I guess my pain will be reflective of that. Did you have lipo at all? Sounds like your family are really looking after you. That's so awesome. Keep us updated. Can't wait to see your pics. Take care
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Hi NJAM, Thanks for your comments. I did have lipo on my flanks and hips, but more for contouring. I took Arnica pilules from the night before my procedure and swear by it, my bruising has been minimal- I learnt this from my last 2 lipo's. Sounds like your in for the full mummy makeover which is pretty amazing, I believe going in with a positive mindset makes the difference and being at your fittest helps speed the recovery too. Look forward to watching you on your journey :)
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Yeah, I think lipo is the finishing touch from what I've seen and read. I think we just imagine having a flat tummy will fix everything but I, like you, carry my weight around my middle. In clothes I look like a good size and weight but the ugly truth lies underneath. I would end up with a large tire around a flat board. It's a shame though as the lipo seems to cause a great deal of the pain. Your results really look great from what I've seen so far. I'm a fairly active person, I love to walk and I go to the gym for muscle strength. I'm 47 so have to try and do whatever I can to minimise the damage of time and 4 kids. I also try to keep positive. I'm expecting everything to go well as I will follow all of the advice and instructions I am given, but I'm also realistic enough to want to read about the good and the bad. If the worst happens I want to be prepared. Funny what you said about a positive mindset, I was telling another future flat sider that since I've made the decision I almost feel taller and flatter. My mind has decided it's already done (bit of a letdown when I spot reflection, but never mind) ;0) hope your taking it easy. Looking forward to progress story. X
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2 weeks 1 day

Had surgeons review today and everything is going beautifully. Had my dressings changed and got the nurse to take a couple of photos for my viewing pleasure. The. Ruse wants me to continue using the dressings for another 4 weeks to give the scar line more strength, I can now do this myself. I don't go back for another 2 weeks for my next review but I have been give. The go ahead to go back to the gym for cardio and in another week can begin weights again at a low level but no ab workouts until 3 months.
I am chuffed at being allowed back at the gym, I have been doing 5km walks now but because it is raining weather I don't get to go daily this week.

Weighed myself this morning and I am now 63.5kg, which I have t seen in the last 20 years!
I am back in my pre-op clothes but jeans still feel uncomfortable at the moment. All up, still loving it and impatiently waiting for the next lot of swelling to disperse albeit there isn't much apparently. Side on I am flat but I still feel I look heavy and thick- patience is not my forte.
Itching to get bikini ready for a swimming Christmas!
Australia Plastic Surgeon

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