Wow 2 months already!

Well I made it through surgery today. I should...

Well I made it through surgery today. I should probably mention that I a, 5'10", 200# and 45. I am fit and feel happy at this weight which i have maintained for well over a year following weightloss. i have had 3 pregnancies Things went very well. I am significantly more comfortable than I had anticipated. I am beginning to feel a little burning here & there maybe at my incision, but just in little spots. It seems like the ouch is much higher than where the incision is though...so I'm not too sure.


What I am sure of is that I have good meds and the pain pump is very helpful.


This has been the first time i have awakened after surgery & haven't been completely nauseous and I can hardly describe how happy I am about that! I did have a little queasiness when I took my pain meds a couple of hours ago, but the sublingual zofran took care of it.


My pain is about a 3 with spots of 4 that are transient.
I am looking forward to my lift recliner tomorrow, as getting up is the most challenging right now. Once up though, I have been able to walk (slowly & in kind of a skiers position) down the hall twice in the last 4 hours or so. (50 feet or so) I tried to be up for 10 minutes but I got a little woozy or queasy since I had just had meds...made it 8 or nine though :)

PO Day 3 and things are going very well. I am...

PO Day 3 and things are going very well. I am still walking up & down the hallway ( probably scaring other patrons staying here, lol) but doing so much more upright than before. I am trying to stretch my med doses to 6 hours but that last half hour gets a little challenging. My first post op visit (Tuesday, 2/5) went well, but it was uncomfortable to be in the office chair and I was pretty well wiped out afterward...the swelling hit and oh my, that's uncomfortable.
However, I would still say I am much more comfortable than I had anticipated being prior to surgery. TMI ALERT...Today I had my second successful bm, not fun but glad to have it done. I also had a bit too much sodium at lunchtime and boom. More swelling! It's a steep learning curve. Mostly I have been eating whole foods, low sodium home made soups and protein shakes. I feel pretty darn good. As a tall girl, I love my toilet riser and my lift recliner, they make all the difference. I have been experiencing weird twinges and tinglies around my bell. They don't hurt but they feel sort of odd. I believe my little pain pump is empty now. It will be removed at my second post op tomorrow and I will be very glad to lose the little fanny pack, I'm looking forward to nothing hanging around my middle. My left drain is a super producer compared to the right. I have no fantasies about losing either of them very soon. So far they are tolerable. I am not down with the super swollen lady parts, but my incision is very low and I know it's just temporary.
Well...happy healing to all. Be well

Well today I had my second post op appointment. It...

Well today I had my second post op appointment. It went well. Dressing change, questions answered and empty pain pump removed. We had the only little glitch with recovery so far. When we got back to our room and I opted to get back into my jammies...I began to bleed from the site where they pulled my pain pump...which is a teeny tiny tube of barely any consequence but was located with the drains (of which I lost neither). I suddenly had fresh red blood running down my legs which alarmed my husband pretty efficiently. However. Thanks to RS, another member had described something similar to Niagara falls when she had her drains pulled. (Thank you!)
We called the nurse & doc had us apply some pressure (which I had already done) & it stopped right away. So everything is right back on track and now we know things are real clean there...it's all good
Here are a couple of pix. I am walking much more upright than before.

Ok, TMI ALERT So...my swelling has been variable,...

Ok, TMI ALERT So...my swelling has been variable, except where the drains exit my mons area. I have read enlighten to know that swelling in this area is pretty common and it makes sense...the edge of the binder, gravity and all that. But when does it go down? Will it be like this until the drains come out...will it stay swollen post drain? Oh my goodness....we have renamed my vjj THE VAGIANT! It's still pretty numb up front there, so its not too uncomfortable but I am ready for this to go away. (I'm po day 6) and you up and comers should know it can happen. Anybody else sporting the vagiant out there?

Got my drains out yesterday! Had a little melt...

Got my drains out yesterday! Had a little melt down in the middle of my super great day (see long post in tummy tuck forum)
My gratitude at having such a smooth recovery so far is so high. I know there are many hurdles ahead and that I have just begun this recovery journey. I am just amazed that a week later I feel we'll enough to walk to lunch down the road...then take a long long nap! The human body amazes me. It's plain crazy. If you are considering this procedure, I say go for it! But choose an expert! I think it's key that my board certified surgeon also specializes in the body lift (especially post weight loss) be picky!

P.O. Day 10 I woke up feeling well again today,...

P.O. Day 10 I woke up feeling well again today, although I was a bit more stiff until ingot moving a little. I do spend quite a bit of time reclining...but it gets a little bit boring, ya know? So I ventured out again today, which was going well until I ate restaurant food, which clearly had more sodium than I had anticipated...so POOF... swell hell, back to my room I went. Now that I've had me feet up for a few hours and dozed some, I feel better. I can feel my incision more now. It seems raised up more on the right than the left and my bob seems a little too high.I'm going to assume 2 things regarding this, 1. It's the swelling and 2. I am hitting that stage of hyper critical assessment of details that my doctors literature, and so many of you have mentioned. I keep thinning silly things like...uh oh, my butt crack is so much higher/longer now, but really, so what if it is? My husband says it may be a tiny bit but it looks normal and natural...it will be nice when this nit picky stage passes because in fact I am delighted with my results, even with all the swelling.
I am a bit nervous about heading home in a couple of days. Jumping back into my crazy life will be challenging enough of course, but I have only seen one sister and one friend (who already knew) since surgery...I'm a little apprehensive about the comments and all that. I have kept this mostly private and would like to keep it that way. It turns out another sister may be in town when I get home...so much for a margin of a few months. I guess I had better just take my own advice/mantra and trust my journey. It will be what it will be.
Tomorrow I have a post-op apt. I am going to ask about how to detect a seroma...especially with my walking, walking about is supposed to be ok, I just don't want to over do it. I will be 5 hours away from my doctor, so I will need to be in the know for this seroma watching.i can't believe it's already been 10 days. I'm excited to see my kids and a little sad to only have a couple of days left alone with my husband. He's been just great with this adventure, but come Monday...back to real life. Wish me luck

PO 2 weeks, and I've made it home. I have to say,...

PO 2 weeks, and I've made it home. I have to say, the 4-5 hour drive from Seattle was just plain uncomfortable and probably the most difficult thing I had done all week, even though I had been walking up to 4 miles in a day (cumulative, without getting my heart rate over 100). I was a little car sick for the first half, then remembered I had a. Little zofran left. That helped, with a little pain med & Valium. I was able to doze. So apparently road trips are just not he thing right now. I feel like I could do errands or a little driving because I am ok without the pain meds for most of the day yet. We'll see soon I am sure. It was great to see my kids, most of them were heresy sweet daughter had made a special dinner for me and our best friend (+his gf) arrived, and of course, like magic...consistent magic...the our college boys who live in their own home across town arrived. I'm not sure how, but they can smell their favorite meals from miles away and magically appear with amazing regularity. LOL so we had a house full (have I mentioned we have 10 kids.) anywho, then the sister I had not wanted to tell, came by for a few, on her way home to Seattle. I threw on a baggy sweatshirt and it was so busy, she didn't even notice a thing. All that worry for nothing. I was pretty wiped out, but I managed to rally. And the big news is that I also managed to sleep in my own bed! I do kind of miss that recliner I rented. It had 6 buttons, so you could really adjust yourself. And 2 of those buttons were memory program, so you could go right back to a sweet spot once you set it. If you are considering renting a recliner, it's the one! www.AccessMedicalEquipment.com the LC Relaxer M
Otherwise things are going well. I'm still just so amazed at how mobile I am just two weeks after such major surgery. I think my PS is amazing. I had a question on Saturday and left a message, he called me back...we had a slightly rough phone connection, which he quickly explained was due to the fact that he was on a mountain! (Really, who wouldn't be...it was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest!) but I was impressed at his prompt mountain attention. I will make the trip back over the mountains for my one month follow up on March 1. I'm sure driving it will be fine by then.
We need to change out the Steri Strips weekly, and massage my bb with a marble and keep walking. The area of incision above my vagiant has been left without steri strips because it looked a little different (slightly wider, more dried blood, and a greater degree of difference between where the upper skin meets what it is sewn to, (topographically, if that makes sense) so the doc said to leave that 3-4 inches without strips, but i forgot to ask for how long. i have read here that the keeping scars taped helps keep them thin, so i want to get them covered back up whenever I can. The holes from my drains have healed nicely, the one that bled is not as far along as the other, which is pretty much healed up already. so thats good. the swelling there is residing, but is by no means gone. Hopefully soon, but I know I am not alone in sporting that look and that it usually goes away eventually.
Of course my real life (return to work) is much more crazy, chaotic and active than my 2 weeks 'vacation' but I am excited to be home, and I hope my recover keeps up as well as it has been so far. Happy healing every one.

So I have great helpers but, whew, I've needed...

So I have great helpers but, whew, I've needed some more frequent breaks. Lots of stairs at my house and people...it's just a different kind of busy, but it's going great still and my dear friend is making dinner every night this week, since I am likely to be wiped out by that time of day...the trick will be not gaining weight, because she is a phenomenal cook!
I feel so fortunate. I do have one part of my incision near my vagiant, that is left without steri strips and a bit uglier. They say it is healthy,and it doesn't hurt. But today I am applying a touch of the Manuka Honey to it under the gauze, hoping to give it a little boost. It's not open. The rest of my incision seems pretty awesome so far. I worry most about where it meets above my butt crack, as this is the most common area of separation. Just keeping my fingers crossed.

Well it will be 3 weeks tomorrow. I am still...

Well it will be 3 weeks tomorrow. I am still healing well and so grateful for how my recovery is going, but that is not to say there have been no rough spots.
I am still working to find my balance at home/work with how much to do.
I had a couple,days where I really wiped myself out, and then I seem to get a little more emotional. Like on Thursday when I had a very important meeting and wanted to have a very clear head (&drive) so no narcotics for sure. I was tired, probably not as on point (professionally) as usual, but it went pretty well. I had shared my main points with another after telling him I wasn't feeling 100% and asked him to help keep me on point. It's tough but knowing when to ask for help is a key skill in this journey (as well as a personal challenge for me),
My husband changed my steri strips on Friday, I had a little area (half inch to an inch) that looked pretty irritated, but not open. It still bugs me a little more than the rest of my incision so I am keeping a close eye on it. I still leave the incision above my vagiant just covered with gauze (& a touch of Manuka honey) rather than steri strips, as instructed. Its looking pretty good there now. My mons area (aka the vagiant) has subsided some, but i am still sporting what looks like a raised mons areas just beneath my incision along the pubic line...how long does that last???
I have another post-op appointment on Friday (3/1) hopefully it will all go well.
So my appearance includes a longer bottom now, but that may subside partial as my body settles into its new self. I know it will remain mostly and I know I hold my posture this way as well (note the crease between my shoulder blades. We giggle that at least the two haven't met for a whole back buttcrack. I would have preferred the scar on my back be a little lower than it is now, but I am still swollen so I am not sure i can make a final judgement there. Either way, it can be hidden and I a, delighted with my results. I think Dr. Egrari is a genius.

Ok, my recovery is going very, very well so I hate...

Ok, my recovery is going very, very well so I hate to complain but I'm gonna (& apparently its going to include poor grammar too)
this binder & these steri strips...UHG!!!
the stupid binder either needs to be wider or more narrow for this tall girl. It curls under my ribcage and if i pull it up to avoid this, it doesn't cover my incision. I'm thrilled that my swelling is subsiding (more in the morning than evening of course) but this thing also irritates one of my hips and tugs a number of my steri strips around or off. I just can't seem be comfy in it very easily except when walking upright. Its fine when i am standing or walking. I am hoping I can move to a stage 2 garment after my appointment on Friday, (3/1). The literature from my PS says 4 weeks of binder and that will be March 4. we'll see. Im not feeling very patient (does it show?) I have a sneaking suspicion that if the binder were not being moved around every time I use the ladies room or adjust it's fit, the couple inches of incision irritation at/behind my hip would not be there. It's very frustrating and it burns. I think the full on stage one compression garment may have been better at my height, but I have heard (read) that some shorter gals loath it. Oh, this too shall pass. Thanks for the opportunity to gripe a little. I recognize that in the scheme of things this is really a pretty minor irritation or discomfort that will probably be fixed by a good night's sleep.
I hope the rest of you are doing well today. That you are comfortable tonight LoLo and that Belle's procedure went really well.
Blessings to all.

Well I have pretty effectively worn myself out. I...

Well I have pretty effectively worn myself out. I had my post op on Friday (drove to Seattle (4-5hours) Thursday, home Friday, Nd we had my daughter's beautiful wedding today (Saturday). Right now I am considering sleeping through the remainder of the weekend. LOL
My post op appointment went mostly well. It was decided that the area above my vagiant could use a short dose of antibiotic, which already seems to be improving. It had begun to get a little gucky Thursday night, so I guess it worked out that I had the appointment on Friday. My PS said I could loose the binder but I doubled up on the foundation wear (spans + Bali slimmer) and that seemed to help. I slept in my binder last night though, and I put it back on after the wedding, for the nap I am about to embark upon. I just wanted to check in and share that I CAN. Skip the binder now if I want to. I bought a stage 2 compression garment which I think I will appreciate.
I was hoping to be healed enough to get in the pool shortly,but it looks like we have to get that one area managed first; maybe in a week or two. I'llhave this waiting period regarding the scar therapy as well. my PS does notnthink there will be any long term issue with the slower healing there! That it will catch up and scare as well as the rest, which I think will be very thin..
I sure miss swimming. I was told I could do a little yoga but to listen to my body and go slowly. I'm excited about that.
Best healing to all. be well

So it was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest...

So it was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest today...took a few pictures, went on a mile walk with my grand daughter & 1 son, then the dentist...ended up needing a crown, 2:15 in the chair! Yuck! At least there was nitrous. Celebrated my one month/4 week mark with a nice walk along the river...gorgeous! Feeling good. Wore my binder for the walk. It was my first real walk in the woods so I kept it relatively mellow. Then at home a couple of hours later my son with autism bolted out the door (non-verbal, very involved & diabetic) down the block and INTO a neighbor's home! This is classic autism, so not so unusual in our world. (a few of our kiddos require line of sight sort of supervision, it's what we do) ..BUT on auto pilot, this girl jumps right up and bolts after him...RAN right down the road, in my socks! I literally didn't even have the 'oh shit, I'm not supposed to run!' Moment until we were all safely settled back home. Fortunately I had opted to wear my binder on that earlier walk & hadn't had time to remove it yet...I hope I didn't do any damage. I'd be so dang mad! My mid back is a bit tight, but I feel fine, so I am just going with that. I'm strong, it'll be ok.
Or what? Lol
Here's a couple pix
Cheers,I need a glass of wine...to swell or not to swell...that is the question!

Well this week flew by! Some ups and downs. I...

Well this week flew by! Some ups and downs. I managed a few trail walks of a few miles each which was really really nice. Today I walked a more challenging trail and found myself pretty ready to put my feet up for a spell afterward (& here I am).
I still don't have complete closure on that bit of incision above my vagiant, but is is less than one inch now and I hope it's close ...mostly because I miss swimming and my hot tub!! It has been our usual nightly routine to meet in the
Hot tub for a bit before bed and I miss this ritual. I know I could just go out and keep my husband company, but the few times I've done so, I've about frozen, not so fun.
I am definitely feeling more like myself and my flexibility is returning. I have exercise clearance & instructions to just listen to my body, I was excited that I can pull my knees to my chest while prone, although not as strongly as I normally would in yoga and one leg at a time is tougher than both. I can lay on either of my sides for a little longer now too.
I seem much more able to do my everyday activity...I never noticed how much dipping to the floor I did before this, or pulling and pushing. After a month of gradually taking on more its fun to have that, "oh, that wasn't easy last week and it was just now, cool" moment.
I saw my regular doctor today. (Unrelated reasons) He was a good cheerleader and very impressed with my results which was nice to hear.
My next follow up with my PS is in 2 weeks. Hopefully I will have full closure up front by then. I'm a little frustrated with it, but I know it's minor.
Happy healing everybody.

Hi everybody. I can't believe more than two weeks...

Hi everybody.
I can't believe more than two weeks have flown past since I updated. I don't even have any new pictures to share today. I will work on that. Aside from "swell hell" I feel really well. I do still have my little opening in front, above my vagiant. It is not infected and has been watched very closely. At about 4 weeks I was cleared to exercise as long as I listened to my body. The day after I 'exercised ' a little with my husband it got a little wider, so we have to be a little more creative about that now. The nurse recently told me that it probably wasn't the cause. Rather, it is likely that the tissue underneath just there wasn't as healed up as the surface. this little irritation is quite preferable to an abscess. Eewww! so I'll take it. It is about an inch wide across and just more than .5 inch top to bottom. The PS had me use a wet dressing for a number of days prior to an appointment then he cleaned out the gook/softened scab (painless) so that it could continue to heal from the inside out. All of which makes perfect sense. That made it look uglier but it is healthy tissue and it does not hurt. They have me packing the wound with something called a calcium alginate dressing that is derived from seaweed. Very interesting stuff. It looks kind of like a thin felt. It's very fibrous and dry & I pull it apart a bit so that it is loose enough not to hold the wound edges open too much. It's like putting a flattened bit of cotton candy in there. It sticks easily. i cover it with a bandaid pr gauze and it soaks up any wound moisture (exudate) and turns gel like. I change this a couple of times per day. I can cover this with a standard size bandaid, so again, it's not very big. But it does keep me out of the pool and that's inconvenient. The rest of my scar looks pretty phenomenal and I am excited about my results.
This 7th week has brought on some more significant swelling especially above my navel (that the PS called a work of art on Monday). I know swelling like this commonly happens. It is more likely when I do more of course.
The good news is, I am back to walking 3-6 miles per day, usually on trails and I swell more when it's a more challenging trek. Sometimes I wear my binder for a little added support. My back pain has returned a little so I know I need to work on that core ASAP....however, even the slightest indirect ab work leaves me well aware of my limitations and I swell even more! That's a little discouraging but quite consistent with my own lack of patience, to be honest.
The other big swelling contributer is wine, especially when paired with anything salty...but really? Skipping wine completely is just not gonna happen sometimes. LOL a girl has to have some priorities!
Life has predominantly returned to normal and busy. I was able to relieve my daughter of her morning assistant role a couple of weeks ago as I am able to manage the more physical parts of my job independently now.
I had a great time at a couple of parties recently. It was flattering and a little uncomfortable getting the attention, but most people seemed to assume I had just lost some more weight. The one friend who seemed a little focused, especially post hug, had a quizzical look. This friend happens to be a surgeon though, so even if he did guess something he would be too respectful/professional to mention it...interesting behavior to observe.
All in all things are fabulous and I would definitely do it again! I believe firmly that it comes down to choosing a great surgeon, and knowing what you are getting into as well as preparing physically, emotionally and nutritionally. Im still consuming extra protein and trying (struggling some) to eat clean.
I have to have more frequent follow up appointments which are inconvenient due to living 4-5 hours away. However,I appreciate the quality of care even though I gripe about the drive a little.
I hope everyone else is doing well too. I think of you often.
Cheers

Well, I made the two month Mark yesterday. The...

Well, I made the two month Mark yesterday. The most remarkable part is how normal I feel. Don't get me wrong, I still have things to attend to...such as the little wound opening up front, but I don't feel like there is really anything I wouldn't consider doing in my day to day routine at this point. As far as exercising, I do swell when I work even a little harder, but I am adding back more and more as I go. I feel like my upper abs could be tighter, but that makes sense ...they haven't been worked much in 2 months after all, so that's nothing that won't improve with time.
I went to a post op yesterday...drove to Seattle 4.5 hours and back in one day...with a few kids in toe and wasn't to uncomfortable. A month ago car rides like that we're my biggest fuss.
My appointment went well and the PS 'cleaned out' the wound that I have been packing with an alginate dressing since it was last cleaned out 10 days prior. It didn't hurt at all but I would be dishonest if I don't mention that it creeped me out a little.it looks (and actually is) deeper now but the new healthy tissue is visible too and both the nurse and PS were pleased with the progress. They claim it is healing beautifully and tell me that in the end it won't look any different than the rest of my scar. I did not get asked to come back in 10 days this time, yay! on to my 3 month in May, unless things get icky. I am trying not to let this open spot discourage me much. It's a little icky to change and repack the dressing and tape on my skin is irritating...but that's the deal and really, it's pretty minor in the scope of things. It seems like I can feel things in that area a little now, but maybe just a mild itchiness. Of course this could be more psychological than physiological. The rest of my incision is pretty stinking awesome and I am still overwhelmingly delighted with my results and I feel great!
So the gelzone wrap...I like it but it makes me pretty itchy after a few hours. I am fair skinned and so somewhat sensitive. Nothing unbearable, but I ordered some scar zone this morning. I will let y'all know my preference when I can ascertain it.
I hope everyone else is healing well.
Someone asked about skin pulling and sitting afterward on another post...was not much of an issue for me, totally manageable. The pain was no where near as bad as the anticipation of it. This is totally doable! Your body is amazing and can do this with your love & support...go for it!
Blessings to all

8 months!

I can hardly believe it's been 8 months.
I feel well. I've healed well and I am back to my regular level of activity. I can challenge myself in yoga again...even back bends! However, I can feel a little swelling when I am over zealous with any sort of hard work. Mountain hiking left me a little slumped after a couple of days...but I was also camping so sleeping was not super comfy.
I also have some residual numbness which increases a little with fatigue. I hope it goes away completely someday...we'll see.
My scar is mostly smooth. I think it might not have spread a it in back if I would have been willing to hold off on stretching a bit longer, and would have worn the gel zone wrap more over the summer (kind of difficult with a bunch of kids and a pool that we basically live in all summer). I have noticed a marked improvement in my scar since getting back to the wrap, that makes me wish I had worn it all along. I am anxious for my scar to fade, but I am fair skinned, so it remains a purplish pink. This is a normal process for me...wounds heal and stay darker for what seems like a long time then fade almost completely. I told myself not to judge for at least a year.patience isn't my strong suit though, HA!
I am so glad I did this. I feel great about it, my husband feels great about it, even after his trepidation.
I will try to load up some more comprehensive pics soon
Good luck to everyone out there
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

I was pretty extensive in my research, but I began with board certification, then looked at hundreds of pictures without names to find whose scars I found most consistent and appealing. Of course it is no surprise that he specializes in post weight loss body contouring, he is dually board certified and his office is very clean, safe and beautiful. Dr. Egrari is kind, gentle, yet firm in his convictions and exceedingly respectful. It is clear that he enjoys the artistic outlet that his work provides and seems explicitly detailed in his approach. I appreciate that he provided peer reviewed research articles as well as testimonials. I had a number of consultations with board certified surgeons and knew a lot about Dr. E prior to our first meeting. His website is very informative and current. He just doesn't cut corners. My doctor has this calm, sophisticated, thorough manner that I find very pleasing, especially given the amount of info and questions we shared. I feel we'll cared for. He was very responsive to all my questions during consults and in email.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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