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Was Super Nervous but Am 1 Wk Post-op and Am *super* Happy! - Birmingham, AL

I'm 35', 5'3", weighed 144 lbs on...

I'm 35', 5'3", weighed 144 lbs on day of surgery, work out regularly and am physically fit, had 2 c-sections after gaining 60-80 lbs during pregnancies. I have wanted a tummy tuck since my first child was born 12 years ago. During both pregnancies, I ate whatever I wanted because I knew I could lose weight; however, no one warned me that while you can lose weight, your skin doesn't shrink!

So I had what I referred to as a "hang down belly." It was so bad I couldn't even see my privates when standing in front of the mirror. Aesthetically, the skin made me look like a weeble in jeans, and the only jeans that could accommodate my belly were what I call "mom jeans" (I.e., as opposite of Seven or other trendy jeans in every way!). However, the physical concerns I had with regard to the belly were more serious. For example, I love high-impact aerobics, but being that no one has invented a belly bra, I had to wear 4 pairs of undies to (unsuccessfully) support the skin because it bounces, and that hurts!! In addition, the area under the skin flap itched and it sweated, and let me just say that's neither hygienic nor sexy!

I had my consultation with the doctor I ended up choosing, who I chose after he was recommended to me by my ob/gyn (i figured she sees it all and would be a good authority on good work). I decided to get a little "breezeway" (inner thigh lipo) and the doctor offered to do a little contouring to my "high hips" area via lipo as well. I saw before and after pics of work he'd performed, and I could tell he is a perfectionist.

I had the surgery eight days ago, and I would have never imagined I could look this great. For the first time in my life, my bottom half is in proportion to my top half. No more size 6 top / size 10-12 bottom for me!

During the days leading up to surgery, I was sooooo nervous. Seriously my number one concern was just mere survival... I just wanted to wake up. I realize this way of thinking was kind of morbid and seriously over the top drama-wise, especially when you consider just driving a car is statistically more dangerous than surgery! But you normalize the risk of driving, and for me the perceived risk of surgery was scary to the mom in me. The nurses were all very sweet and reassuring, and they put on the compression knee-highs (sexy mama), hooked up the iv line, got something calming going in (versed) put on a motion sickness patch to aid the iv anti-nausea drug (I was petrified at the thought of vomiting after this surgery), and the next thing I knew, I was groggily looking up at the nurse after the surgery. Pain wise, at this point only my inner thighs were bothering me from the lipo. It was a burning sensation, but not too terrible. I eventually went to a recovery room and rested some more. Getting up the first time wasn't so bad. It was a little weird in the tummy area, kind of like extra gravity making things in your middle feel heavy. I found it strange, but not a big deal. I was shocked that sitting on the toilet did not bother my thighs after the lipo. I was texting friends by late afternoon.

I stayed overnight and was grateful for the nurses help getting me out of bed and checking my temperature, vitals, and so on. Everyone is different, but my stomach couldn't tolerate codeine so I went home with darvocet. A week later, I'm taking half a lortab and tolerating the pain, which is more bothersome at the end of the day.

Regarding the depression so many of the women here have mentioned, I didn't think I'd have any, but days 3 and 4 were down for me. I cried a lot, which wasn't super pleasant. The nurse said a lot of this is due to the effects of the anesthesia. Day 5 was a big improvement for me this way, and I am feeling pretty much back to normal. I try to remind myself what I've been through, which is major really, and I consider the fact that I am in some pain, am on narcotics (downers), can do little without help, and just had major surgery. Those are pretty legitimate reasons to not feel like yourself!!

My drains are still in. Not thrilled about that but I understand the doctor's concern about taking them out before a holiday weekend and not having anyone there at the office to help if I developed a seroma. I think I'm partly to blame for still having the two drains. At the hospital, the nurses showed me how to strip the tubing, and the pressure change that created in my belly just did not feel good! So I just didn't do it, shame on me. I'm doing it now, just making myself tolerate it, and I have no doubt they will come out in four days when I go back in. I still seem to need the pain medicine, especially by the end of the day. Oh, also I need the milk of magnesia. Thank you ladies who've suggested that. You will have to cough, you'll have to use your muscles to help stand and walk, but bearing down is seriously no fun!

The only "concern" I have at this point, and I use the term loosely, is my abs are very taut and though I am standing mostly upright, i look like I have very poor posture. I just can't seem to get up those couple last inches it takes to stand tall and proud. My doctor believes I should be able to stand straight, and I am hoping to do so asap!!

I'm trying to think of everything... I have 3 weeks of care. I am lucky to have this, as I do believe I need the help, especially with my 3yo.

My tummy and hips and thighs look amazing. I think I actually look better than I did before kids, which I guess I should for $8k!! I have lost 6 pounds since the surgery, and this is even with the bit of swelling i have. (I didn't think to ask how much poundage he removed.) I will post before and after pics when I figure out how to add fig leaves to the images for my privacy!

Thank you to everyone who reviewed the surgery here on Realself. I read everything you all wrote in the months before my surgery and in these days after, and and I kept so much that I read in these reviews close to me during this process. You ladies just don't know what a support your words have provided me!

I am absolutely thrilled that I had the courage to have this surgery. It really did take a lot of courage for me! It is amazing how the body heals; the amount of improvement and healing increases exponentially each day. When I am hurting or wondering why did I do this, the truth of this healing gives me hope and comfort.

I went on and on here, but bottom line is -- YES, so worth it!

I added two before pics--after coming tomorrow...

I added two before pics--after coming tomorrow when I no longer have the drains!

Name not provided

My doctor was highly recommended to me by my ob/gyn, whose opinion I respect. He answered my many questions with confidence and professionalism. His nurses were compassionate and caring.

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Hi Birmingham how are you doing these days?
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Think of how much money could be made by the invention of a bra for it! It's like a pornstar boob with none of the benefits! Buy no more!! Btw you look awesome! Hope I look like you when I'm not swollen! You must be thrilled with your doctor!!!
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Now that is funny..pornstar boob...LOL  None of the benefits is right!

I am so completely happy with my results.  It is better than I ever expected it to be and I could not be any happier.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my doctor :)  He is the best and such a good man.  He has these magic hands and is such a perfectionist. I trust him with my life!

You are going to look wonderful when the swelling is all gone.  You will notice improvements month after month and be so excited!  When I went into surgery I was wearing a muffin top size 10 and now today I am wearing size 4/6 or a petite small.  I never in my dreams thought I would ever be this small again.  I just wish I had met my doctor 10 years ago and done this sooner. 

I am excited to watch your changes as you go :)
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Wow Kimmers that is a dramatic clothing size change! I've been a size 10-Muffin forever and am wearing same old jeans two weeks out from the surgery. however the jeans look a heck of a lot better now than they did, so I'm not too depressed about it.

Just wondering.... Did it take a long time to shrink down to your ultimate size 4/6? I had inner thigh lipo and am trying to convince myself that for now it's the gift that keeps giving, because though there's a small bit of improvement (dr said he removed a lot of fat...) I'm kind of wondering when there's going to be some space between my legs! Funny though, I can totally tell about the lipo to my upper hips. Maybe that is not a place that swells as bad as thighs? It's definitely not a place that bruises as tender as the thighs, that's for sure!

Another question for you: do you remember how soon you were sleeping on your side rather than back at night? Maybe I'm just being fearful and tentative about it. I honestly haven't tried because I imagine some "puckering" effect and that wigs me out.
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After the surgery it took me about five months to get to the smallest size so it didn't come quickly.  Be patient because you will notice improvement month after month.  I didn't turn that bog corner until just after six months.  It will come:)

I had to sleep on my back for the first 4-5 weeks after surgery.  I absolutely hated that because I am a tummy and side sleeper.  Seemed like ti took forever!  Give it a try but put a pillow between your knees and that will help with some of the hip pressure.   You will have to squirm around in the bed a bit to find that "just right" position but you will get there.  Hang on girl!!
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Before my surgery I would put my jeans on and end up with a double muffin top! 
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WOW what a great post!   Thank you for sharing your story and experiences.  It is very helpful for others to read posts like this in order to help them in their prep work.  As you know personally:)  Thanks for paying it back to all the ladies out here waiting for surgery.  And I am so glad we were all a great help to you. 

Keep posting and let us all know how you are doing....oh yes pictures too! 

I love your comment about the Breezeway..too funny!  I am really glad you are coming along so well and that you love your results.  We all like to help each other celebrate victories on RealSelf.

Congratulations and look forward to reading more of your posts.
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Thanks for saying that! I was petrified about the surgery and hung onto every word on Realself. The site was such a comfort to me along the way.

Lol, I like the "breezeway" too! Hahahaha

I will post pics for sure. Thanks again :-)
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Hi Birmingham4, I have my surgery next week (Dec 9th) and I CAN TOTALLY RELATE to how scared you were about not waking up. I am a single mother of 2 wonderful kids. My husband passed away in 2004 and I am soooo scared of leaving them alone =( So glad to hear you woke up !!! Thanks for all the info you posted on here as well, its VERY helpful. I can't see your after pics on here for some reason, only before. Glad you are doing well. Any last minute advice??
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Nancy - it it totally natural to be scared but you will do just fine.  Keep reading through the site and everyone out here will comfort you and help you through.
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Hey Nancy! Oh the mom fear is awful, I know it! Everyone kept talking about post surgery stuff, and I was like -- whatever... I can handle anything as long as I just wake up, but that is as far ahead as I'm thinking in this whole thing. Everyone kept telling me this surgery just wouldn't be performed if the risk was as big as it felt to me, but you know, surgery is something you rarely (if ever) need to normalize the way we have to normalize other "risks" we take every day, like driving for example. It really will be ok. When you get to the surgery center or hospital where you're having the procedure done, I think you will feel better, because nurses and doctors are so competent and trained in just how to do all of this the right way. They make you feel very safe. I just kind of let the tide of what all was going on to prepare me (compression hose, meeting the nurse anesthetist, the anesthetist, etc) kind of move me along, and then literally the next thing you know you are gently waking up and someone sweet is caring for you.

Thanks for saying you found my post helpful! :-)

Well I have been planning on putting up my after pics but I'm kind of embarrassed by how unkempt and swollen I look in the areas down south and am procrastinating! I can tell you though that for as much money as we spend on this, it will indeed show! I kept peeking under the sheet in the recovery room like how is that really ME?? Omg but it is me, woohooo!

Hmmmm last minute advice, well... I know it is hard, but I would try to be proud of yourself for facing your fears and having the courage to do this. And I'd focus on the truths you know and the amazing power of healing, because each morning when you wake up after your surgery, it will feel better. You seriously will NOT believe how close to normal you will be after two weeks. And the time flies thanks to narcotics. Also, just FYI, just found this out last night, you may feel mental clarity when you're on painkillers, but you won't remember a darn thing later, including any movies you might have watched or texts you may have sent. ;-)
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Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
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