That's right. I have no kids. I did, however,...
Next Thursday, I'm having a mini tummy tuck w/no muscle repair, lipo on love handles, breast lift with implant (I'm a 34D and want to keep my size. All PS (plastic surgeons) I've consulted said that I need an implant because the skin below my boobs doesn't have the right amount of elasticity, so if I do a lift without an implant they would likely fall bank again.)
I'm nervous about the recovery. I'm nervous about the scaring, the swelling and the depression everyone talks about. I'm also concerned that I have family here to help me. Staying overnight at the hospital and then friends will come by to help but... Is it enough???
I hope the fact that I'm fit and healthy helps in my recovery.
4 days to op.
The pain and discomfort is freaking me out. Well maybe not the pain but the fact that I don't have any live in support. Friends have all offered to come check on me but is it enough? Has anyone done this alone before?
Surgery is in 8 hours. Sheesh
Had my last pre-op today. Did all sorts of measurements, markings etc... Doctor said my upper body will look so much smaller when I heal. I can't wait. Grant it, I've totally gone off diet since deciding to do this. My body is now completely 'inflated'. I look forward to seeing the change.
In the meantime, I solicit your prayers. Please pray not only for me but for the plastic surgeon and the surgical team, for friends who all volunteered to help me after the fact.
I'll share updates tomorrow afternoon.
Surgery complete. Day 1 Lots of surprises and unexpected things. Didn't get what I paid for.
I was schedule for and paid for a mini tummy tuck without muscle repair, lypo on flanks, breast lift with implant.
I woke up with:
- lypo on abdomen & flanks
- breast lift with implant
- lipo on thighs (which PS had mentioned that if there was enough time in operating room, he would do it. I told him to go ahead but my priority were my tits and stomach. So thighs ONLY if he had time. He did it anyways.) We'll address ethics later.
Since I'm staying the night, PS came to see me about an hour later. I, of course, asked what happened and he said: the mini TT was 'just not necessary', there was no need to remove any skin, he could achieve same results with lipo, I'm young (Erm, I'm 37. Yes it's young, but not THAT young)... Which bewilders me because I've had 4 separate pre-op appointments with him and he never said any of this before. We 'worked together' and planned a mini TT.
Anyways. I could be irate about the whole things but truth is: he's right. I look at my stomach (and yes it's too early to tell) but I love what I'm looking at. I can see my vag for crying out loud. I haven't been able to do that without sucking in until I almost pass out before. Also, I did a lot of praying before the surgery and asked God to give the surgical team the wisdom to do what's best... So I accept that this was the best thing to do.
Doctor also said that if he didn't have to leave a scar, he wouldn't. So... Ok! I surrender and accept what was done.
On a recovery note: I'm surprised that I have as much range of motion with my arms and upper body. I can move my arms and can lift them enough to scratch my head which I didn't expect. I'm soar. Right noob hurts more than the left. Pain is at about a 5 out of 10. Some movements hurt more that others.
Biggest shock is that it doesn't hurt to touch my boobs. They are tender, don't get me wrong but I was expecting to scream in pain if I touched them. It's actually ok to the touch.
Another surprise is that I left the catheter in until tomorrow. #gross.
Finally, drugs aren't making me as loopy as some people report. A little sleepy but I'm alert enough to have conversations.
Day 2 - soar, tight, compressed
I am sleeping a lot but welcome the rest.
Overall feels like I went way too hard at the gym. Like I added to much weight when doing chest and abs.
Day 3 - the swell is on
The compression garment is on 24/7. Doctor says I have to keep it on for the first week. The good thing about it is that it suppresses my appetite.
No bowl movement yet but gassy. Odd (read that other women we're struggling with this. Not a problem yet but should I start taking the dulcolex?
Was hoping to make it to church tomorrow but now that I look like a marshmallow, forget it.
Day 3 or 4 post surgery... Depending on how you look at it. Doing better
A few lessons learned:
- careful what you eat. the compression garment compresses your tummy so you feel full fast and are generally constipated because of the meds. Made me feel a little queasy at times, until I had a bowel movement.
- tone your legs. Squats and lunges are part of my normal workout routine now and thank God because getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom etc... will require leg strength since you can't bend at the hip.
- move. No matter what, walk around, wiggles your toes, flex your legs.
- pineapple. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and is used for reducing swelling (inflammation), after surgery or injury. I can't tell if it's helping but I'm eating pineapple till I'm blue in the face.
I feel well enough to leave the house. Wanted to go to church this morning but the friend who's nursing me is being mother hen and won't let me out. Lol God bless her.
P.S not ready to post pictures yet but I will soon. :-)
Day 4 - so swollen and fatigued
Taking drugs much less often. Every 7-8 hours now but they still knock me out.
Other than that all is well. First post-op appointment is in the morning. Since I have no drains (since I didn't get the tummy tuck), I don't expect major suprises. Would be nice if PS gave a&e a magic pill for swelling though ;-)
Day 5 - so much better. Not AS swollen but still a blimp
Saw plastic surgeon today. All is well. Finally gave to the ok to take off suppression garment for an hour, which I did. Felt so good. My bruises are smaller as well.
Couple of takeaways:
- should have invested in exfoliation pads. Since you can scrub your body due to tenderness and soreness, you feel cleaner when bathing with exfoliation pads
- consider getting an extendable back scratcher if you don't have live in support to reach place you can't bend or twist to reach
Anyone else swelling more in the evening? Anyone else getting headaches?
Oups... Forgot to mention
Day 6 - careful what you wish for.
Almost off pain meds. Only took 1 out of 4 allowed dosages today. Feel fine, the discomfort and swelling is worst than any pain I feel; it also means I don't get knocked out all the time.. But kind wish I would sleep more since being home all day is getting quite boring.
Day 6 - sleep
Now I can't sleep. It's 2am. Slept like a baby the past 5 days but realize now that it was the drugs.
Two, I can feel every tingling sensation in my body. Not pain but it's definitely a realization that the meds numb you to certain things. Very weird.
Day 8 - recovery isn't easy.
The swelling occurs in areas not compressed by the compression garment. That is: your vagina, under arms, breast, knees, ankles.
I'm an active person. Haven't been to gym in more than a week and I can tell a difference in my body. No weight lifting, no cardio, no yoga, no stretching. Wish I could at least walk on a treadmill to flush these fluids. I see reduction in the swelling but welcome any suggestions anyone has on how to reduce swelling. Any natural remedies outside of pineapple, ginger and mint?
Call me desperate if you want, but I'm gonna try this - swelling remedy
Glad you asked! The cabbage poultice must be one of the most traditional of kitchen remedies around. Used for inflammations and swellings, particularly mastitis, it is very simple to prepare:
- Use the leaves on the outside of the cabbage and cut out the midrib.
- Cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. Apply warm but not hot. This wilts it and makes it pliable. Place the underside of the cabbage leaf over the swollen area
- Then hold it in place with a piece of cling wrap (Saran Wrap) or towel and leave on for an hour.
Now... My recommendation (I AM NOT a medical expert) is to do this AFTER you wounds are completely shut/ no bandages, dressings or anything.
Don't believe me? Ok! Here are a couple of links:
Day 9 - the Michelin man effect
Should be mentioned that some surgeries occur without drains & removeable stitches. My Plastic surgeon didn't use drains and used dissolvable stitches. I guess that makes me really lucky as I've read many women complain about the drains.
- Is anyone using diuretics to flush the fluids/ reduce swelling?
- what about a few minutes in a sauna or steam room once the wounds are closed?
- I never slept in recliner. Was comfortable in bed propped up with 4 pillows. Wondering how long I should sleep this way. Can I lay flat on my back by now?
Day 12 - improvements but no where near the finish line
Day 12- the swelling has reduced significantly but it's still there. Saw a friend today who said she can see a huge difference but it's still hard for me to tell. I see the difference on my flanks but not on my tummy.
The skin under my boobs is hard/firm. The swelling under my arm is also very hard and firm and tender to the touch. Is this to be expected?
- are you guys sleeping on your side by now?
- has anyone tried going to a sauna/steam room to reduce the swelling? Did it work?
Anyone else only doing micropore tape?
Last time I saw my scars, they were healing really well... Guess I'm just wondering when the tape will fall off...
14 days. 2 weeks. Still bloated and discouraged
Boobs look good but sides/under arms still swollen and tender. There's minor rippling of the skin which I hear will go away. I'm already seeing it diminish.
Flanks are so much better. I look "narrow" and the muffin top isn't as visible as it used to be.
Tummy. As big as it was before I think. I see difference in upper abdomens but lower abdomens is still swollen. I look like I'm in my first trimester. I could easily pass for early pregnancy.
I've seen a few people who haven't seen me since before surgery. All said I lost weight. So I guess some people see something but...
Overall still glad I did this but don't think ill get plastic surgery again. The recovery time is longer than it seems. Not sure how women go back to work after 5 days. I went out to dinner last night and the swelling and discomfort cut my evening short.
Whodathunk?! Day 14 or 15 depending on wheee you are in the world
Once my period started the swelling went down by 30% or so. It's kinda awesome!!! encouraging!!! Was beginning to wonder what was the point of it all if I was going to still look bigger or the same as before.
Loving the progress now. Still want the swelling to go down but at least now I can tell there's a difference.
Alright. Gonna keep my compression garment on for 20+ hours a day while I munch on pineapple, drink buchu tea, take bromelain and lay flat on my back to help the lymphatic fluids circulate throughout my body. #sigh...
Day 17 - Took a turn for the worst
I'm not taking meds. Only vitamins and supplements (arnica, bromelain...). Anyone else experienced this almost 3 weeks later?
Afraid to eat now...
On a lighter note, lady at church asked me what I've been doing at the gym cause I look like I've lost so much weight. Ha! Loved that!
Last face-to-face post op appointment
Anyway, still swollen and seeing an increase in swelling in late afternoon/night. According to other surgeons, going to the sauna or steam room could worsen swelling so I guess it's not an option. :-( looks like the only cure is patience.
Boob shrinkage ... Didn't see this one coming - 26 days post
But now that the swelling is subsiding, I noticed that they are more c cups than anything. Part of me is ok with it because then no one will know I had anything done but another part of me was starting to like my big tatas. Oh well.
One month!!!! Who hoo!
Massive changes this week:
1. I can almost sleep on my side comfortably. Can't wait to be able to sleep on my stomach or toss and turn.
2. Back in the gym! - Ah man that feels amazing. Only doing low impact cardio but it still feels amazing to move and sweat and get the heart rate going.
3. Swelling - still swell in the evening but you wouldn't confuse me with Santa Claus anymore. I can wear non elastic waist band pants and skirts again.
4. Bruising - only bruises left are on my inner thighs. I wore shorts the other day without looking like I'd been beaten with a baseball hat.
Things to remember 1 month post-op
1. Not because the surface is healed means that you are out of the woods. There's still a lot of internal bruising. Can't run; thigh muscles are still bruised from lipo (even if you can't see it). Still stiff when I wake up in the morning. Breast are still settling in. Some areas are still tender to the touch. Wounds are closed on the surface but not fully healed.
I look forward to the next 2 weeks and expect to see even more progress: skin contraction, softness, flexibility... Bring it on.
5 weeks - don't fool yourself
So, did a little mis-planning and laundry got the best of me, which means, compression garment (CG) and spanks needed to be washed. So I slept with spanks last night (not CG as advised by doctor) and did laundry this morning. Before I could finish laundry I had to go do some ministry work with kids, so I went 7 hours with no spanks or CG on. By 3pm my stomach was bulging out of control: unevenly swollen. It wasn't pretty. I've had the compression garment on for 6.5 hours now and I can still see my tummy bulging out. I hope I didn't reverse my results cause I was doing really good.
Also jumped on the scale yesterday and haven't lost a pound. Not to worried about it though cause I like what I see. Assuming the lack of hard exercise probably has a lot to do with it. I started light exercise a week ago. Mostly stationary bike, elliptical, walking on treadmill but I'm looking forward to stepping everything up soon.
Good news is that I can sleep on my sides all night now. Should I dare trying to sleep on my stomach? Wishful thinking?
Is impressed with my scars!!!
7 weeks. Should I get more lipo?
Anyway, not super happy with my abdomens yet. I still swell up and it's really annoying now. I've been cleared to take the compression garment off. Which is great. I don't wear the high waisted spanks during the daytime anymore but I feel insecure without them on. There's still swelling so it makes me nervous or unprotected not to have some type of shape wear on.
I do wish the swelling was completely done. It's making it hard to assess whether I need more surgery or not. My stomach is lumpy. Some areas are tender and swell more than others. Ex: around belly button.
Doctor seems happy with my results but... Giving it another month...
Those who didn't have revisions have much better results at the 2 month mark.
Be careful what you post on RealSelf
So, given the weak privacy settings, I won't be sharing anymore updates.
Best of luck
So far so good. I've bombarded him with questions and he's answered all of them. I went back and further confirmed everything he said and found that he is consistent with what other plastic surgeons are saying and feedback on this site. I wanted to schedule my surgery after my first consult with him (had already met other surgeons), he refused. Which I like. He sent me away to think about everything we discussed. In the end, he changed my surgery plan the day of. Turns out, he made the best medical decision and went above and beyond what he had to do: Revised old scars, lipped my thighs. New scars are beautiful, small, clean and neat. His assistant Brenda is awful though. Sweet but clueless.