Tummy Tuck: StoriesWrite a Review
5 1/2 months post op and going back for revisions. New pics
I am 41 years old and have an 18 year old leaving...
- 1 May 2012
- 1 month pre
I am 41 years old and have an 18 year old leaving home soon. I have struggled with my weight for most of my life and at my absolute highest weighed in at 260. I'm 5'6 and over the past 8 months have lost about 45 pounds. My current weight is 196. I hope to be down to 185 by surgery day. I'm very active and over the past couple of years have really tried to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. I run, bike, swim, I even did an international distance triathlon last year and have plans for another one this summer right before my surgery. I also rock wall climb, box, do latin dance and hip hop and spin classes. I try to eat healthy most of the time. I have always felt though that for someone who is so active and fit my body just doesn't reflect who I truly am; most specifically my abs and midsection. After my son and years of sitting on the couch doing very little I have stretch marks on top of stretch marks and a hanging, ugly pooch that I have tried and tried to get rid of for years with absolutely no success.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted a tummy tuck but never had the nerve or the money to do it. Now I am finally ready to do this for myself so that my body on the outside will match how I see me on the inside and maybe I can finally look like a real athlete. Yesterday I scheduled my surgery and paid my deposit. I will be having a TT with Vaser lipo of my abs and flank area on June 14th. 6 weeks and counting!! I am so excited and nervous already. I did my homework and I consulted with 4 surgeons who came highly recommended to me. All were very different. The doctor I decided on is fabulous and I have complete faith in what he can do. I have seen his work first hand and it is beautiful. He is truly an artist and I know he will give me a fabulous result! He is one of the best in the field and I feel very safe in his hands. We clicked right away and he and his staff have been wonderful. June 14th can't get here soon enough for me! Finding this site has been such a blessing to me. I have spent hours reading other people's experiences and I have learned so much already about what to expect and how to prepare for what is to come. I'm very grateful to everyone here for sharing their stories to help the rest of us. Hopefully my story can help someone else too. I will post some before pictures tomorrow, but it's really late here and it's been a very long day. Time for bed now.
I got brave this morning and took some before...
- 2 May 2012
- 1 month pre
I had my pre-op appointment today. It went fine...
- 29 May 2012
- 13 days pre
I also found out today that my PS wants me to stop taking my Premarin the week before surgery. That will not be good. Hot flashes and mood swings here I come! My PS promises me that it will all be worth it in the end. I am gonna spend some time researching what natural remedies I can use for the probable hot flashes and crazy mood swings. Can anyone give suggestions for things to try to help reduce the nasty discomforts of not taking my Premarin? I had a full hysterectomy a year and a half ago, so there is nothing left to help prevent the worst post menopausal symptoms.
I can't believe I am down to only 12 days to surgery. It's coming fast but not fast enough for me.
Tomorrow I am going to take before bikini pics and post them for comparison after surgery.
I can't believe I am actually less than 1 week...
- 5 Jun 2012
- 6 days pre
I've been trying to make sure I have everything I need for pre and post op. I need to find that list of necessities I have seen posted here and make sure I have it all. I stopped my Premarin 6 days ago as ordered by my PS and the hot flashes are crazy! I can't wait to get back on it after surgery.
I took pics today in some of the bikinis I have picked up to wear after surgery is all done. I wanted to have before pics to compare with after. These pics are awful, but I am sharing them for anyone who may have a belly similar to mine and wondering what they will look like after surgery. I plan to post after pics as soon as I am able to get up and get it done. I think seeing everyone else's pics has been the most helpful and interesting part of this site for me. That and all the info from those who are and have already gone through this. I hope my pics will be helpful to someone else here.
I can not believe tomorrow really is the big day! ...
- 10 Jun 2012
- 1 day pre
Waiting for check-in now at the surgery center. ...
- 11 Jun 2012
- Day of treatment
Post op day 2. I tried to post yesterday but was...
- 13 Jun 2012
- 2 days post
I have a pain pump in but I am still not sure it is working. The nurse who was my nurse when I woke up was in a rush to get me out. I think her shift was ending and she was acting like she just wanted to go. I felt very rushed. She got me up to go pee, gave me some ginger ale and some liquid tylenol. Then she helped me get dressed and before I knew it I was in a wheelchair and on my way home. The ride was bumpy and by the time we made it home the pain was even worse. I was surprised by how bad the pain was. I have had a C-section. a hysterectomy and a major open abdominal surgery, so I figured this surgery would be a piece of cake. I was wrong! This pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced. Thank God that now, on day 2 post op it is getting better. I've been taking pain meds and muscle relaxers around the clock, which has been making me very drowsy. But drowsy is better than extreme pain.
Yesterday I went to the PS office for my post op visit. He said I had a "phenomenal" amount of surgery done and the pain was to be expected and he reassured me that the pain pump was working. I am glad I got the pain pump because I can't imagine what I would have done without it. He said he took about 5 liters of fat from me and a large amount of skin. I was hoping to get to see the incision and my belly but my PS said he wont unwrap me until my next visit in a week, (next Tuesday). He said he got me very flat and promised me I will love the results. I can't wait to see how it looks. My mom and friend say they can definitely see the difference. I am very flat, I can see that even with all the swelling and bulky dressings on right now. I will try to take some pics and post them later in the week. I am already able to stand up straight. I didn't think that would happen for a while but my PS said that because of the way he sutures his patients are usually able to stand up straight quickly.
My pain meds are kicking in again and making me sleepy so I am going to cut this short and take another nap. Happy healing ladies!
So this morning I finally got to remove my cg and...
- 14 Jun 2012
- 3 days post
Today was my very first look at my new body. I am very, very swollen and bruised but flat. No more hanging kangaroo pouch! Yay!!! My incision is super low and very thin. I can't wait to start scar therapy and see how it will fade and diminish. So far I am very happy with my results. The pain is much better today. Very tolerable. I am still taking my pain pill and muscle relaxant every 4 hours but I think today I will see if I can take them every 6 hours.
I know everyone including my PS warned me not to get on the scale because it would most likely be up but I just couldn't resist. My PS took 5 liters of fat out of me and a lot of hanging skin. I couldn't resist stepping on the scale to see where I was at. I was expecting to be up at least a few pounds due to all the swelling and fluid retention, but instead I am down 10 pounds from where I was at the day of my surgery!!! I am amazed. I can only image how much I will be down when all the fluid and swelling are gone. This just motivates me to get my diet right and really step up my exercise routine as soon as my PS gives me the go ahead.
Today is day 5 post op and I woke up feeling...
- 16 Jun 2012
- 5 days post
One of the drains stopped working. It wont stay compressed after I empty it. It reinflates immediately and I think on that side it feels harder than on the other side. Hopefully I am not forming a seroma because the fluid isn't draining.
I am down 10 pounds from the day before surgery but I swear I think I look bigger! How long until all this swelling goes down? I look just as big as I did before surgery only without the awful kangaroo pouch on the front and with a lot of bruising.
As soon as I am able to get back to the gym I am gonna hit it hard and try to drop the last 30 pounds that need to go. I am sure that will make my results better. So far I am on the fence about the procedure. I am not 100% sure it was worth it. I have a lot more visible stretch marks than I thought I would. I will start scar therapy and see what I can find to help with the stretch marks as soon as my PS gives the me go ahead. I didn't go into surgery expecting to come out looking like a supermodel but I do hope the final result will be much better than it is right now. Has anyone else out there had similar experience? Anyone with second thoughts after it's done? Did everyone love their results immediately?
Yesterday was by far the worst day for me...
- 17 Jun 2012
- 6 days post
Yesterday was my 1 week follow up visit with my PS...
- 20 Jun 2012
- 9 days post
Yesterday's office visit was my first since the day after surgery and I was surprisingly better. That is until I left the office and had my son drive me to Walmart. Normally I am up and down the isle at Wally World like nothing. I can browse for a couple of hours sometime and not even notice. I usually go after spending a couple of hours at the gym in the mornings. Yesterday I was pooped out after 20 minutes and had to turn the cart over to my son and have him pay while I headed back to the car to try to catch my breath. I was exhausted and my back was killing me. It was a little more than I bargained for, but overall I was happy for the chance to get out and stretch my legs.
This morning I woke up feeling amazing! I actually had energy and felt almost like my old self. A much slower, achy, swollen and stiff version of myself, but still better than I have felt since the day before surgery. I got up, dressed in workout clothes and went for a walk. It was already 85 degrees here by 10am but I was determined to get in some kind of exercise while I was feeling good. I was only able to walk a slow mile before I had to stop but it did feel good to be moving. My back was a bit achy and I was surprised by how tight and achy my hips were, considering that I had absolutely no work done to them, but overall it felt so good to be moving. I am used to running 5 miles through my neighborhood. It was odd to be exhausted after doing so little. But tomorrow I will try to go for longer. I may even get adventurous later this evening and walk again when it cools down some. I have a feeling it will be a while before I am back to running 5 miles, 3 days a week. I hope all of my June TT sisters are healing well and looking fabulous. Happy Healing ladies!
I am 12 days po today and feeling sooooo much...
- 23 Jun 2012
- 12 days post
I am still so swollen but as the swelling in my flanks and back start to subside a little bit I am really taking on a shape! An hourglass shape! My waist is starting to look so tiny in clothes! And the thing that I love most about that and that I am still shocked everytime I notice it is, the fact that I have absolutely no belly rolls whatsoever! I went and got a pedicure yesterday and sitting in the chair I realized there was no overhang. And no kangaroo pouch to get in the way. That is a first after nearly 20 years! I love my PS! Today when I dressed and took a few pics I also noticed something else I haven't seen in at least 20 years. A bit of muscle definition at the very top of my abs! Shocking!! I knew there had to be some in there somewhere. I workout a lot. And finally I am starting to feel that my body will actually be able to reflect that fact. So far I think I am down about 12-14 pounds from where I was the day of surgery and I am hopeful that when all the swelling finally goes away I may be down close to 20 pounds. I am hoping to be able to drop another 20-25 pounds at the gym and tone it all up with weight lifting. I am so very excited to see what I can sculpt my body into. This surgery was exactly the jumpstart I think I needed. Now I am well on my way and today very much feeling it was well worth it!
Not sure how it happened but this morning my 1 remaining drain fell out. I was not to excited and in fact even a little relieved. That thing was a pain in the butt! And it was really hurting anytime I moved. Just taking the cg off was enough to make it pinch me and it was feeling kinda raw. There had only been about 20cc of drainage from it the past 2 days so I know it was due to come out anyway at my next doctor's visit on Tuesday. Unless some issue arises over the weekend I will just watch it and let my PS know on Monday.
My incision is healing beautifully. It's very thin and already pretty light. I think with scar therapy it will be nearly invisible and because of where my PS placed it I can wear absolutely anything I like. Did I say I love my PS?? LOL.
I am posting 12 day po pics and did include a back shot for those who had been requesting to see how that is looking. I think as the swelling continues to come down in my flanks and back I will really be happy to have spent the extra money on the lipo there. At first I could not see any difference at all in the back but today I can definitely see the change. Well worth the extra expense for any of you who are undecided about back/flank lipo with your TT.
I hope everyone else is healing well and feeling great. Happy healing ladies!
Today was my 2 week post op visit. Yesterday was...
- 26 Jun 2012
- 15 days post
He released me back to work in another week, (the 3 week mark), but unfortunately my job as a nurse does not have any light duty. My boss said I can not come back until I am able to lift 50 pounds on my own. So that means at least another 2 weeks off. This is both good and bad. I love having my summer to enjoy but someone has to pay the bills. I am just praying that I will be more than ready for back to work at the end of that extra 2 weeks.
I picked up some arnica montana from Whole Foods after my appointment today and I am hoping that it along with some gentle lymphatic drainage massage will help bring this swelling down. Also maybe it will help with that burning nerve pain I have been experiencing down the center of my abs where he lifted and pulled things down. My PS suggested I switch from ibuprofen to naproxen, which I did, but hopefully the arnica montana will help too.
Well that is all for today. Happy healing ladies!
I took week 2 po pics a couple of days ago and...
- 28 Jun 2012
- 17 days post
I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my surgery...
- 2 Jul 2012
- 21 days post
My biggest concern right now is finding out what this lump is on my lower abdomen on the right just below my BB. I have an appointment to see my PS tomorrow so he can figure out what it is. I hope it's not a seroma. It does not hurt but it is red and hard and it's gotten bigger since I first noticed it almost a week ago. I am very anxious to see the PS and find out what it is. Aside from that everything else is good.
The swelling is down a bit more today but I am still so very swollen. I can't wait to see what it will look like when the swelling is finally gone and I can see my true results. My flank and lower back are coming along nicely but I am not so sure about my upper back. I think my PS should have taken more out. I was hoping for a perfectly smooth flat back with no bra rolls at all. I guess I will have to work them off at the gym the old fashioned way.
I've posted a few new pics.
So today I had an appointment with my PS to check...
- 3 Jul 2012
- 22 days post
He is very happy with my progress and even he was impressed with my before and after pics. I showed him my most recent bikini pics. He said that in 3-6 months I will be amazed at what I will look like. I can't wait. He is fine with me walking on the treadmill and doing light weights but said no classes or serious workouts for at least 3-4 more weeks. I am itching to get back to the gym. I need to tone and work on the areas that my PS did not.
I woke up this morning and was a alot less swollen...
- 6 Jul 2012
- 25 days post
I'll be 4 weeks post op tomorrow. The time has...
- 8 Jul 2012
- 27 days post
I have started to increase my workouts at the gym little by little. My PS wants me to wait a few more weeks before I go back to my full workout schedule and classes and I am ok with that, but I do miss my spin classes and dance classes and I have been itching to get back to rock wall climbing but that takes a lot of core strength and I know it's way too soon for that yet, but I am doing the treadmill and stairmaster at the gym and back to strength training with relatively light weights. I think this week I will start running on the treadmill again and see how that goes. I am really anxious to get back to full workouts and see if I can get the last 20-25 pounds off and improve on my results even more.
For anyone on the fence about this surgery, I say absolutely go for it! It is worth the cost and the pain without a doubt!
I bought 2 new bikinis, and posted new pics.
So yesterday was 4 weeks post op. The day started...
- 10 Jul 2012
- 29 days post
I went for my morning walk planning to just walk 4 miles but when I hit the 2 mile mark I decided it was time to try running. I found I really missed running although it isn't my favorite thing to do. So I ran the last 2 miles. I had my cg on and it gives me a lot of support and nothing was moving in that thing. It was nice to be able to run and not have anything wiggling or jiggling all around. It actually felt fine except for a little sore feeling in my flanks area from the running and I always feel my abs contracting when I walk a long distance or do anything that involves the core muscles. They contract really, really tight like someone is cinching a really tight corset around my middle. It doesn't exactly hurt but it is a weird, kind of uncomfortable sort of feeling. Does anyone else ever have that sensation with walking or running?? Anyhoo, it was a good workout and I finished in 48 minutes. Not great but since I walked the first half, not terrible either. I need to get back on schedule training for my half marathon in October.
I was running late for an appointment in the morning so I didn't get to take pics like I had planned. I wish I would have now because after my appointment I decided to stop and get some lunch. I haven't had real fast food in weeks and since I was feeling so good I thought I could chance it and have a little bit of Panda Express and I would be fine. Well let me tell you, that was a MAJOR mistake! I got the angus steak with mixed veggies and by the time I had finished it I was already getting uncomfortable. Within 30 minutes after finishing I was so swollen and tight and uncomfortable it was unreal. It was actually painful. I looked like I was about 4 months pregnant! I was miserable for the rest of the day. So so much for taking progress pics. All I could do was take my arnica and drink water and wait for the misery to end. It was so bad that I thought about taking a pain pill but decided to just ride it out. This morning I am feeling much better. No pain, but I am still more swollen than usual. So lesson learned, no salty fast food for me. I paid way too much money for a TT to walk around looking 4 months pregnant! Hopefully all the swelling will be down tomorrow and I can take my 4 week update pics.
Yesterday was 5 weeks post op for me. Today I saw...
- 17 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
There are a couple of areas that my PS does feel will need to be addressed in a few months. The area on the left side of my abs that isn't smooth may need a little touch up lipo, as well as, I have a slight dog ear on the right side that may need a bit of lipo and small revision to make it better. My incision is low and thin but it is slightly uneven and he said he may want to revise it to even it out more. It's not that uneven and really doesn't bother me so I am fine if he doesn't do anything to the scar. It is actually healing very nicely I think. The one area that I am unhappy with is my back, just above and below my bra line on the right side. It still has some rolls, even though they are a lot less than before surgery. But my PS did say that in a few months when more swelling has had time to subside he may go back and do more lipo to get a better looking result. I am very happy with that. Overall I am so pleased with how things are looking. It really is more than I ever imagined it would be.
I did forget to ask him when it would be ok to get my BB pierced. I'm in no hurry so I will just ask him at my next follow up appointment which will be in 6 weeks at the end of August. For you ladies that got yours pierced after surgery, when did you get it done? How long did you wait?
I am going back to work on Friday and I am a little nervous because my job is very physically demanding and the shifts are 12.5 hours long. Lucky for me I only work 3 days a week and then I am off the other 4 days and can recover.
I was cleared to go back to full workouts but he said to listen to my body and no core/abdominal specific work just yet. I'm so excited to be able to go back to my classes. I really miss spin and hip hop and latin dance classes. I am very anxious to get the last 25 pounds off. I did ask my PS whether he was worried that losing 25 pounds would loosen my skin or cause a problem with the tummy tuck but he said it should be fine. I'm hoping it will make my results even better in the long run.
I will be taking pics for comparison tonight or tomorrow and I will post those tomorrow. I hope everyone is healing well and sending prayers and good wishes to those going for surgery in the coming weeks.
Just posting my week 5 po pics today. My incision...
- 18 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
I went shopping for some new jeans today. Found a...
- 19 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
I am 9 weeks post op today. Wow! Time really...
- 13 Aug 2012
- 2 months post
I am truly happy with my results. the more time passes the better it looks. The incision is healing beautifully with a very thin scar. I have been using paper tape over the incision since about week 2 or 3 and I think it works amazingly well. And it's way cheaper than silicon strips. I got 4 rolls of paper tape at Walgreens for $5. I plan to use the tape until I get to 12 weeks. After that I will stop using tape because there is no evidence based research that says it's helpful for scar healing beyond that point. After I stop using the tape I will just continue to massage with my bee magic balm and hope that it continues to heal well.
My belly button is completely healed now and looks pretty good. I wish it was rounder but it's a complete inny and will look very cute pierced I think. I plan to get it done after I see my PS in 2 weeks. I just want to get the ok from him to go ahead and do it.
I still have swelling in my flanks and my lower belly below my BB, but it has gone down tremendously from what it was and it continues to improve weekly. I am nearly flat now. I still have to deal with swell hell, especially after a long work weekend and at the end of the day. I started a juice fast 8 days ago and that has helped dramatically improve the swelling. I am going to try to fast for 3 weeks. 1 down, 2 to go! I am seeing such amazing results with juicing and I have so much energy that it is keeping me motived to continue as long as I can. The 7 pounds I've lost doesn't hurt either! LOL.
I do continue to have numbness to my flanks and lower abs and when I sleep without my CG I do wake feeling more numbness that if I wear it. I am still wearing it faithfully and I am one of those that loves my CG. I would much rather wear it than not. I even wear it for working out at the gym. I sleep with it on most of the time but do occasionally go without at night but for now I will continue to wear it. Sometimes I wear spanx instead but I like the support I get with the CG better.
The areas where I had lipo to my back are improving as well. I thought I would need my PS to go back over those areas but as the swelling goes away and I drop a few pounds it is looking much better. I am very curious to see what my PS thinks when he sees me in 2 weeks. The last time I saw him he said I looked amazing and he was very happy with my progress. As of today I am down about 15-16 pounds since my surgery and am very comfortable in a size 8. I have about 20 more pounds to lose and at that point I will reevaluate where I am at and decide if I want to get any touch up work done and if I need to lose any more weight.
I hope everyone out there is healing well and enjoying their results as much as I am enjoying mine. Happy healing ladies!
Time has really flown and it's hard to believe...
- 22 Nov 2012
- 5 months post
I can definitely see the 10 pounds all over but I will say that it did not come back very much in the areas that got liposuctioned the first time around. I gained in my hips and butt and arms and I notice a small amount in my abs but I think I am the only one who really notices it there. Even with the extra 10 pounds I look dramatically different than pre-surgery and still have muscle definition in my abs! As far as I am concerned, that alone made this surgery worth every penny.
I will be going back for liposuction revision on my back and to have the extra bit of fat left behind at the areas where my incision ends touched up on Monday. I was never happy with my results in those areas and my PS, Dr. Iteld is going back to fix those areas for me. He waived his surgeon fees so I will only be responsible for the surgery center and anesthesia fees. Hopefully after this revision my back will be smooth and roll free.
I definitely would recommend this surgery to anyone who is undecided. It's been incredible for my self esteem and I have no regrets about doing it.
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