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Get Ready - Date Set - Go! - Bellevue, WA

Today I attended my pre-op so I'm 2 weeks out from...

Today I attended my pre-op so I'm 2 weeks out from my procedures; Tummy Tuck, MR & lypo to the flanks. I'm 32, a mom of 2 children, age 12 & 5. At 4' 11" and both kids being 9lbs & 8.4lbs at birth, they did a number to my size 2 figure. Hovering now at a sz 8 to 10 (not attractive for a shortie!) because of my mid-section, it's been one major downer to shopping, getting dressed everyday & just overall feeling good....forget even thinking about a swimsuit. The skin on my stomach made that all but impossible, with the exception of while I was pregnant with my daughter. After years of researching, taking care of the family, & prepping (financially & professionally) the time is finally here. I started out with a list of 10 doctors and easily eliminated all but 3, (Gottlieb, Salemy, Wortham). I wasn't comfortable with Wortham's board certifications, even though he came recommended by a friend. Dr. Salemy & Gottlieb were equals but it was came down to Dr. Gottlieb's experience that sealed the decision for me. Today I met with my nurses & Dr. Gottlieb and we walked through all the details for day of. Lindsey was very thorough and she & Dr. Gottlieb discussed in depth what to expect during recovery. We took another set of before photos and walked through the surgical center and recovery rooms again. Going into the appointment I was a nervous bundle of knots. But now I'm more nervous excited if that makes any sense. I've been poking around this site for about 2 weeks now. I can't tell you how helpful and amazing it is to see all the support on here. The tips and advice here has been invaluable thus far and have made it super easy to prepare my recovery area.

6 days away from my big day!

I'm 6 days away from my big day and we're spending it on the beautiful WA coast! I'm trying my best to relax but it's not always easy. We left home last night and should be back Sunday for last minute prep. I have all my bedside supplies that you lovely ladies have recommended. We've arranged for the kids to stay here at the beach house with the grandparents until 3 days post op. Its hard knowing I won't see them 2 day prior to the surgery but I know it's in the best interest for all of us. My husband and I will be able to do a final prep of the house and arrange my bedside without little hands moving things! Sunday I pick up my prescriptions and a couple extra maxi dresses to round out my post-op wardrobe. My friend calls them 'fancy sweatpants' because they're super easy & comfortable to wear. I love 'em. I'll post a photo a list later of everything we got when we return. For now, I'll just post a few rolls that I've smuggled into my patriot inspired out fit! Blech! ;)

36 Hour countdown begins...can you say Anxiety?!

I don't even know where to begin this update. 36 hours (maybe less by the time I finish my thoughts) and counting down to a flatter me! Yesterday we came back from WA coast which was a fabulous distraction from prepping and everything from work to home..............ready or not this chic is tossing in the work towel at 3pm tomorrow. The only downside to the end of the weekend was having to say goodbye to my son (12) and daughter (5). It was a hard decision to admit to myself that it would be best to have the kids stay with the grandparents at the beach house than to be here around all the activity that's coming. The mommy in me was torn between sneaking in those last hugs and kisses in the early morning before we head out for checking in but thanks to a super supportive family to talk me through it all, it didn't take long for common sense to sink in. It will be the longest stint of time that I've been away from my babies. I tear up thinking about it.

With that out of the way it really cleared up today to organize my team at work for my 3 week departure at the office - nothing like a little last minute office drama, ugh - done someone else please, deal with it! ;o) I made a quick stop at the mall to pick up some maxis I round out my after procedure/swell hell camouflage - mission accomplished. I picked my prescriptions today. It was quite amusing to talk over the side effects with the pharmacist - drowsy, drowsy, drowsy oh & drowsy. We need to bring them with us the day of surgery so I'll have to tuck those in my day of bag. I'm glad to have a patch for nausea, the suppositories for additional nausea relief not so much. While I'm planning on staying ahead of the pain for the first few days, I'm hoping to be able to reduce my doses as soon as possible. But I know, one day at a time.

I just got off the phone with my RN anesthetist and we had a great 20 min chat about the day of surgery. She's very experienced and knowledgeable and I was grateful to have her talk in depth about each step. She's worked with my Dr.'s practice for years and is from one of the most reputable hospitals here in Seattle. She mentioned I'd be given dialaudid instead of morphine. She likes to use it because she felt it was less harsh but lasted longer than morphine. I'm assuming she was talking about how your body metabolizes it. I feel so much calmer and at ease having talked with her.

The rest of tonight is organizing my nightstand, doing a double check of my day of bag and laying out clothes I'll need the first few days. Don't want my husband succumbing to any cranky, drug induced whining. He's been so sweet and attentive - he even set up my raised toilet seat. I'm super blessed. I had someone ask about my prep list so here's the link: http://tummytuckinfocentral.com/preparation.htm Between this site and using the info from y fellow July TT's I'm feeling great about what I have to start with.

Last day/Day of Update (July 10th)

I was hoping to get time to do this soon but no such luck!

Day prior was filled with mostly work prep. I wanted to make sure I left my staff with enough guidance & resources to set them up for success; it was weight to take off my shoulders to concentrate on the next day. With everything put together at home, I went to a concert, don't laugh...Boys II Men, 98 Degrees & NKOTB! It was just what I needed ahead of surgery. We went to dinner, had dessert in Hello Cupcake (yum) and danced to every song! It was the perfect distraction. All the anxiety that had been building up over the last week was gone. Non-TT related...but NKOTB puts on one heck of a show, Boys II Men sounded amazing, and Nick Lachey is so HOT! I got very little sleep the night before but I wouldn't trade that night for anything. My friends are amazingly supportive and I love them for it.

I got home and was in bed by 12:30 after a shower...last night sleeping on my jelly belly and didn't sleep very well. Didn't take a Valium that night or the next morning. My anxiety was surprisingly under control. I talked to my mom & left a message for my kiddos. That made me a little emotional but that subsided quickly. I took with me a pillow, travel pillow, a snap lid container. hand towel, unsalted crackers & ice water which we left in the car. I also brought cough drops but haven't needed them. My throat was sore but not as bad as I had thought it would be -- and clearing my throat has been mostly easy.

When I got into the office, they dressed me in a cozy robe, those sexy compression stockings (white) and the softest socks ever. Its ultimately what I came home in because it was so comfortable. Shortly thereafter, I met with Dr. Gottlieb and one of my nurses, Julie. We chatted for a moment and then he marked me up. I didn't take pictures, the exam room was so cold. Next I met with Sheila my RN anesthetist. That was quick couple of questions before I said goodbye to my husband and went straight into the operating room.

The last things I remember were putting on the blood pressure cuff, the cuffs around my calves and them starting my IV. When I woke I was in recovery. Lindsey my other nurse was with me. I drank some water, ate a couple crackers & took some oxy. Compression garment went on and I sat up to get dressed. My CG is extends from just below my itty bitty's down to just below my knees. Its black, has an embroidered flower on the chest area, kinda like a decorative cami and the legs have lace bands. My husband joked that I would have something sorta fashionable...lol. I was out of recovery after 1.5 hours. Getting out to the car wasn't so bad, neither was the car ride. When we got home it was up the stairs and into bed after we got the base adjusted to my liking. My husband has been amazing - from emptying drains, to refilling water & helping me to the bathroom. He's a blessing. I mentioned in a previous update that I got a toilet seat raiser...it's working perfect for me. I've been slowly increasing my walking distances/pace. Not all at the same time though. I'm just trying to let my body guide me. I have been eating crackers, drinking 8 oz of juice a day, ate some jello. I've gotten nauseated twice so far. But through super strong concentration and combinations of slow & deep breaths (and choking down a few crackers & water) I was able to stave it off and not throw up. Same with sneezing. I'm thankful that hasn't happened yet - prayers must be working!!

Hardest part so far is getting in & out of bed. But that's been getting easier as we have developed a routine. All in all I was in amazing spirits yesterday. Still feeling super positive today. Pain level seems higher and I think I can feel a small burn where I think my incision is. Must be all the numbing meds wearing off? No pics to post since I can't see anything yet. I can feel my meds start to kick in so I'm going to wrap this up. I'll update again tonight with today's activities. Happy recovery ladies!!

PO Day 1

Yesterday was officially PO Day 1. And for the most part it went well. My activity level is slowly increasing and I was able to go down a flight if stairs & return. But by late afternoon the onset of swelling came on fast. I've had a light appetite; lots of crackers, water & even a fruit bar and a small cup of soup. I've had to stay on too of my nausea suppositories. They seem to be helping a lot. I'm still wearing the nausea patch they gave me the day of surgery. We cleanedy drain holes. So I was able to take down my compression garment & photos are attached. My swelling in the upper abs appears to be greater than the lower waste. The pain in my back is increasing. I've been icing it but can't remember if Tylenol is ok to take?? Hoping all is well with all my July TTs! Hoping to have more energy today to post & send some well wishes to you ladies!

Shower day!!

I woke up feeling great today. So we thought it would be a great time to take a shower. I didn't get as dizzy as I thought it would so that was a relief. I didn't realize it would take so long but it actually worked out great because we were able to wash the CG. Hubby even washed my hair in the sink. That was a good move to keep the water off my drain holes & incisions. Best part was having lotion in my skin again....seriously bliss!

Last PO Day 2 post

Woke up from my nap to see that my babies are back home!! Talk about a boost to my groggy spirits!! I could tell they were worried and tryin to be gentle when hugging me. My quiet house is silent no more! This mama is happy.

PO Day 3 - Getting a little more independent!

Guess who can get out of bed on their own?! This girl! I was able to do it once last night using a pillow as a brace and then again three times so far. All were for bathroom breaks and a really nice taste of independence during this process. I've not had to battle any nausea since early PO Day 2 so that's also been progress. I've reduced meds down to 1 Oxy every 4 hours. Day one I was on 1-2 Oxy & 1 Valium every 2 - 3 hours. I'm also more awake/aware which makes me feel more normal.

We cleaned drains again today and they looked pretty much the same. I did see some bruising from the lypo but that appears to be a lot nmilder that I had anticipated. Not sure if that's normal or if I was just expecting too much...either way happy to see that I don't completely look like I came out of a fighting ring. Pics are posted.

My appetite is up, nausea hasn't shown it's ugly face today but still no BM. That's hasn't bothered me and it may be due to my diet which has still been pretty light. Activity today included a walk down the stairs, out around my cul-de-sac to the mailbox. Energy level feels higher today but I went straight back to bed to relax. I'm committed to resting.

PO Day 3 Photos

Forgot to attach these to my previous review....

PO Day 5 - Drains out!!

Woot woot! I have to celebrate...those drains are out!

Today was my first PO appt with Dr. Gottlieb, scheduled for 345pm. I spent most of the day relaxing, went for a walk early on and then a shower and my drains(even though I had been milking them the last 2 days) were collecting really low amounts. My nurses removed my incision surgi strips and the bandages from my bb. I got a sneak peak at my incisions but I was so nervous for those tubes to come out that I didn't ask to ask to take a picture(sorry!).

Tubes: Worst part ever. The right tube came out and with out much warning and probably with good cause. Holy Mutha .........short lived relief before my nurse asked me to take a deep breath and BAM! 2nd tube was removed. I've seen lots of reports of it feeling weird or awkward. This just straight hurt. A sharp burning sensation that is bearable (duh, I'm alive typing this) but ugh.....totally exhausting. After getting dressed and getting hugs from all my nurses who had been with me since day one, I was out the private back door and home for a nap. My husband caught me smiling sitting in the passenger seat and ask what I was thinking. He caught me right at the moment when I realized there wasn't a buldge sitting under my maxi skirt where my lap belt crossed my body. Day 5 is a good day. Cheers TT ladies. Wishing you all a good night!

PO DAY 6- out & about

I woke up this morning with a 101.6 temp. Ate some breakfast & took it easy and luckily it came down. First night sleeping without the drains was awesome. My mobility without them is so much better. I noticed some swelling under my incision but its gone down a bit. Feeling really good; heading out with the family for my afternoon walk.

PO Day 6 - Out & About

Walk wasn't a total success. I made it just a little under 3/4 the distance and my body said no more. The hubby had to swoop in to pick me up. I was ok to kick the soccer ball around for a few minutes and now I'm in bed, sipping iced tea watching Jeff Lewis. mmmhmm, downtime with my snuggle buddy

PO Day 7 - Small set back

So update to PO day 6 --- last night I had a temperature that hit 102.4. I talked with my nurse and set an appt to come in to see Dr. Gottlieb today. No other symptoms, appetite, activity and pain levels were all normal. My drain holes are healing nicely, no drainage or bleeding so I'm please with that. Only strange thing is that my swelling looks a little lop-sided? Is that normal? My guess is we'll come back with an antibiotic. :)

PO Day 12 - Land of the living!

Yesterday was a turning point for me at PO Day 11; took down my bedside supply set up. I am feeling more & more like myself so the new issue is trying not to do too much! Today was my return to the grocery store. tried to stick to my list to avoid extra isles, took my 12 yr old for help & we let the bag asst load everything. With everything put away, it was enough for a nap! My incision seems to be healing nicely. Steri strips were taken off at an appt last week and there's been very little to clean. Just maintaining keeping it covered in bacitracin ointment. Swelling seems to come and go but I've yet to have any major swell hell. And have been completely off meds since week 1. My compression garment is still on 24/7 outside of when its being washed during shower-hour. That may be why I havent noticed much swelling yet. The zippers that run up the side seem to irritate me more than anything else. Looking forward to wearing it part time come Wed and thinking of switching to a straight spanx top. The low sodium has been hardest of all for me. I'm not a sweets person so salty has always been my vice. It's been a good opportunity to kick that habit ( oh how I miss pickles!!!!). Last, my recovery couldn't be nearly as successful this far without my family; especially my husband who has been a robot! From dinner to kiddos to comforting me, he's been my strength. Super glad to be back to somewhat normal to help again!

PO Day 24 & 120lbs?! Heck Yes!

I'm PO 24 days and I'm trying to figure out where the last week went! I spent the first 2 thinking time was dragging...you get back into a normal routine and even though you're moving slow, time starts to fly! I will be at 4 weeks PO on Wed and am feeling good. Not 100% but very thankful to get around as well as I do. I have been working a little from home this past week and tomorrow I return to the office, for sure; I extended my time off by a few days. I'm hoping t make it most of the day but think I'll still work a bit from home. I've not been sleeping very well. I've been in my bed since surgery. We have an adjustable base so that's been very helpful. Sometimes I can sleep on my left side but most nights I'm still sleeping on my back with extra pillows but when I wake, my legs are so sore and I'm not sure how normal that is. I just know it doesn't feel good.

So far I'm pretty pleased with my results. It's hard to fully enjoy it with the swelling I get outside of my CG. But there's no more lumps under the yoga pants or under form fitting shirts so no complaints. My scar seems to be healing well. I've always been super sensitive so bruising is still an issue along the scar - especially on the hips. My right side contour seems to be healing better than my left side contour over my hip. I'm hoping it's just the swelling and not the need for a small revision. My PS advised that I could start massaging my abdomen & scar so I've got the Palmer's oil and will start that this week. I have a couple small scabs on my scar but they're thin and super small so I'll avoid those for now. A big positive - I'm now at 120lbs - down 12lbs from surgery day. That is totally exciting! I still fluctuate a couple pounds depending on the day but I eat healthy, still trying to drink more water but iced tea with lemon seems to be the easiest way to do that for me. Dodging sodium is still a struggle.....still miss pickles. Jeans fit great but it's been so nice here that I think it's maxi's between now & the end of summer. Let's face it, it's Seattle, summer doesn't last that long. New pics coming shortly!
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Gottlieb and his staff were the most competent, positive and informative practice I visited during my research period. From providing info to questions I didn't even think of to ensuring I had a realistic expectation of final results, they were the perfect fit. It was an instantaneous realization from the moment I walked in the front door; I just knew they were the practice for me. Viv sat with me during my first consultation and assisted me with booking my surgery. My original intent was to do a TT w/ MR and a BA. After much thought about how the TT would change the proportions of my body, I started having second thoughts on the BA. Viv and Dr. Gottlieb were very patient with me and helped me come to the conclusion that I wasn't ready for the BA. And that we could revisit that if I chose to later. My nurse Lindsey was with me for my 2 week pre op and I of course got to meet with Dr. Gottlieb to go over the day of game plan. He met my husband and took the time to ensure he understood what we would be doing once I was in the operating room. Surgery was paid in full that day, we paid our RN anesthetist day of. Sheila called me 2 nights prior to surgery and she spent 25 mins explaining everything and calming my nerves. I was blessed to have her by my side. Jamie was my post-op nurse and she was gentle and sincere. She's an amazing addition to their staff. My overall experience with Dr. Gottlieb and his staff at Naficy Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center was very positive. I would not hesitate to recommend him or to revisit him if I decide to opt for a BA or other procedures. I'm grateful for his experience and attention to detail. I know my overall results and recovery will be a direct reflection of it all. I am eternally grateful for Dr. Gottlieb's part in improving my quality of life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
4 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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