My 1st Bikini EVER!!!! (Chicago, IL)

I had lapband surgery 4 years ago and have since...

I had lapband surgery 4 years ago and have since lost 100lbs. I knew that eventually I would have a tummy tuck but I did not want to have it done until I was closer to my goal weight. The last 25lbs were the hardest to lose, but I made it!

I know the recovery will be long. The recovery is what I am worried about the most as I am a single mom of 2 boys ages 8 and 14. I thought I could do this on my own but I've realized that I am going to need a little help this time. My mother will be flying in next week to help me and she will be staying with me for a week. Now I am feeling more at ease about the surgery and recovery.

My insurance is paying for the panniculectomy then I will be having a full tummy tuck with lipo of abdomen and flank. We also discussed the possibility of needing a vertical t-incision. I trust my surgeon's knowledge and expertise so I left this at his discretion. If he doesn't think it will make much of a difference he will not do the t-incision.

9 days until my surgery date and I am very anxious and excited!

3 days before surgery and my thoughts are running...

3 days before surgery and my thoughts are running rapid. I have been reading reviews on some TTers who have had an easy recovery and some who have had a hard recovery. I am hoping and praying that my recovery will be easy.

I feel a little guilty because my 8yr old baby keeps telling me not to get rid of my stomach. And he keeps asking me why do I want to be skinny? I told him I don't want to be skinny, I just want to look nice when I wear my jeans or a nice dress. I don't think he understands because of course he likes me the way I am. I also think he's gonna miss his pillow on my midsection because I'm sure it is very soft and comfy to him when we cuddle.

I went to the gym this morning probably for the last time for awhile. I am really going to miss going to my Body Pump class. It took some time for my body to get used to the class, but overtime I worked my way up to going 4 times a week and also doubled the weights on my bar. The class has really done wonders for my health and my strength. Now I'm afraid my body will turn into mush by the time I am able to workout again. It will be like starting all over again :(

I will be cleaning house, doing laundry, and cooking meals to freeze for the rest of the day. And my mom will be here on Tuesday!

I am just ready to get the surgery behind me and on the road to healing and a flat tummy!

TT is complete! Surgery lasted 4 hours. Very...

TT is complete! Surgery lasted 4 hours. Very little pain. A little discomfort, but overall I am feeling great. Stayed overnight still waiting to be discharged. Took a peek at belly and I am very pleased. My mom took a pic w/ my phone. I will try to upload it. If not I will post pics soon. Thank you all for all the thoughts prayers and good vibes!

2 days post op - My first night at home went well....

2 days post op - My first night at home went well. I was able to sleep in bed fairly comfortably w/ bed wedge and only woke up once. Still on pain meds every 4 hrs, but I will try to stretch meds to every six hours today. I am moving around really well and don't need much help going to the bathroom, etc. I really don't have much of an appetite, but I am eating fiber rich foods and drinking lots of fluids to get things moving. I gotta say that I am soooo ecstatic about my new tummy! All of this discomfort and pain is well worth it! Posting more pics...

4 days post op - I woke up feeling very energized....

4 days post op - I woke up feeling very energized. I showered for the first time this morning and that felt really good.

I haven't taken any pain meds since 8pm last night and I don't really feel that I need it right now. I am happy about that because I am not a fan of popping pills so I am trying to wean myself off of them sooner rather than later.

I still haven't had a BM yet. Taking docqlace twice a day and eating a lot of fiber, but nothing yet.

I am looking forward to my first post op appt with my PS on Thursday. He said the drains will come out then. I hope, but from reading other experiences it seems that will depend on how much I am draining. I am emptying about 75cc from each drain each day so about 150cc total and that seems like a lot.

I am still in awe when I look at myself in the mirror. I can't believe it's me! I am looking forward to being fully healed, but for now I am taking it easy.

Another update - 3 days post op (counted wrong in...

Another update - 3 days post op (counted wrong in earlier post). Still feeling great and still no pain meds since last night. I also went to my son's football game this afternoon. I just couldn't yell during the game like I usually do lol!

Now I'm about to take my first nap of the day. Day 1 and 2 I was taking 2-3 naps a day so I am getting some of my energy back. I am in no hurry, but I am very glad to be recovering so quickly.

Oh and I finally had my 1st BM today...yeah lol!

Scar pics posted and I can see more swelling.

Scar pics posted and I can see more swelling.

4 days post op - Feeling the same today, but I...

4 days post op - Feeling the same today, but I have noticed a bit more swelling. Started taking bromelain along with my usual pineapple to combat the swelling.

Also, this is for blondebomb and any other lapbanders concerned about the port placement. It just dawned on me this morning to feel for my port and my PS definitely moved it. He moved it from under my left breast to almost centered under my breasts. It is a lot less noticeable and a little bit harder to find. I will ask him more about it at my follow-up visit on Thursday. And hopefully my band doc will not have a problem accessing it when needed.

I plan on resting for most of the day today. Have an easy day everyone!

6 days post op - This is where I am getting tired...

6 days post op - This is where I am getting tired of laying around and wish I could get out of this house. I have been sleeping well every night since surgery, but last night was miserable. Constantly waking up to use the bathroom, then gas pains on top of that. Ugghhh!!! The swelling has subsided a little. I am glad that it has not gotten worse. My 1st post-op appt is in two days so looking forward to that. I would like both drains removed but I would rather leave one in if it will help with the swelling. Right now I am emptying around 75cc per day which is still a significant amount I think. I'll see how it goes on Thursday.

1 week post op - I am feeling extra good today! I...

1 week post op - I am feeling extra good today! I drove my mom to the airport this morning. I probably should not have been driving, but I'm not on pain meds anymore only extra strength tylenol so all went well. Even though I promised my mom I would go straight home, I stopped by Whole Foods and Walgreens to pick up a few things. I only spent about 10 minutes in each store. I am still hunched over so that's all I could tolerate before my back started hurting. I just hope all this activity doesn't make me feel bad later.

I was able to sleep on my side last night...yeah! But I woke up 5 times last night to go pee in a 9 hour period. And not just a little pee, each time was like a faucet. Not sure why that is, but I was told it's a good thing. I just hope it's over soon.

1st post-op appt is tomorrow...can't wait!

8 days post op - Well I just returned from my 1st...

8 days post op - Well I just returned from my 1st post-op visit with one drain still attached :-/ I am still draining about 40cc per day so I guess it's better to leave one in to avoid fluid build up. I did not feel her remove the drain at all! I was really surprised. I looked away while she did it and when I looked back it was out. I was expecting the worst, but it was a piece of cake. It is a little freeing to have at least one of the drains removed, but I am sooo looking forward to next Thursday to get rid of the other one.

The PA kept calling me skinny and said look how good you look and you are still swollen so that felt good! :-D

I also got the okay to have a glass of wine....yipee!

9 days post op - My PS did an awesome job on my BB...

9 days post op - My PS did an awesome job on my BB. I think it is super cute! When the PA cleaned me up at my appt yesterday she picked at it a little and now it feels funny. I had no feeling in my BB at all before this. It feels really weird now :-/

The tape is starting to roll off the ends of my incision so now I can see part of the actual incision. My PS was right, my incision is very thin and not as wide as the tape even though is looks that way because the tape is clear. They will be taking the tape off next Thursday at my next appt...can't wait to see!

12 days post op - Let me tell you I am getting so...

12 days post op - Let me tell you I am getting so darn sick of this drain! I just don't feel normal with this thing attached to me. I was okay with it the first week, but now it's just down right annoying. And I still have 3 more days with this thing...grrrr!

I am happy that I am getting some of my energy back, but I get tired very easily. I got out of the house quite a bit over the weekend. I did some shopping Sat morning and attended a networking event for a couple hours that afternoon. Sun morning, I went to my son's football game and lunch with a friend that afternoon. So I moved around quite a bit, but I didn't notice a lot of swelling at the end of the day. I'm wondering if it's because I still have the drain. I hear that the swelling gets worse after the drains are removed.

I am not taking anything for pain anymore, not even tylenol. Everything is very manageable without it. However, my tummy has been very itchy lately. I take my binder off here and there to give my tummy a light scratching. It feels weird but kinda good lol!

I will be getting back to my normal routine starting this week. I am a loctician and will be taking my first client since surgery on Wed. It is a maintenance appt which normally takes me about 3 hours. I'm a little worried that my back might bother me. I do have a chair, but I work faster standing up. My client knows that I am recovering from surgery so I will just have to take breaks when needed even it that means extending the appt. I am praying for strength!

Have a great week everyone!

Time is really flying by. I can't believe I am...

Time is really flying by. I can't believe I am already 2 weeks post op. My experience was not as hard as I expected and I don't regret my decision one bit.

I took a last minute client last night (5 hour job). I was on my feet most of the time, but my mind was so focused on what I was doing that I didn't feel any pain or discomfort while working. However, the back pain started to surface when I went to bed, and I am still a little sore this morning. I had another appt scheduled for today, but my client rescheduled to next week so I am glad about that. I need to rest.

I have been so fortunate not to have a lot of swelling. I had some for a few days the first week, but now I hardly have any swelling at all not even after a day of activity. I am flat and tight in the morning and flat and tight at the end of the day. That's a good thing, but then I wonder why no swelling? I assumed it was part of the process.

Tomorrow is my 2 week follow up appt and I will finally have my last drain removed. Yeah!!!

16 days post op - My appt went very well yesterday...

16 days post op - My appt went very well yesterday. My last drain was removed and again I didn't feel anything. I made the mistake of looking this time and it kind of freaked me out seeing this long tube being pulled out of my body...eeek!

The tape was removed from my incision and everything looks good. Still have one little spot right in the middle that's not completely closed. I posted a pic below of my incision. You can see the hole from my last drain on the left. I was told to wait another week for that to close then I can start massaging my incision. My PS does not recommend any product and said not to spend a lot of money on creams and gels. He says massage and hydration is what diminishes scars. So I will be starting out with cocoa butter and see how that goes.

My BB was cleaned out a little and is healing well. The PA said a tell tale sign that someone has had a tummy tuck is the look of the belly button. I think I know what she means by that. She said they use a different technique and no one would ever be able to tell that I had a tummy tuck by the look of my belly button. Hey...cool beans!

I was also given the okay to wear a stage 2 garment or shapewear. I think I will still wear my compression garment at night and when I'm around the house. I posted a pic of the spanx thong I found for $6. It has really good compression in the waist. I'll be shopping for more shapewear this weekend.

I have several clients this weekend. I've been down too long and now everybody needs their hair done. I spaced out the appts enough so I have some rest periods so I think I'll be okay.

Have a great weekend everyone!

3 weeks post op - I have been working non-stop...

3 weeks post op - I have been working non-stop since Friday. I was on my feet most of the time but I did okay. No soreness or pain at all. I don't feel like I over did it, but I am tired. I did experience some swelling at the end of each day, but not much.

Today I started massage therapy on my incision. I was a little scared to apply pressure at first. There are a couple spots that are a little tender, but most of it is very well healed. I will be trying out a few products to see how they work...good old fashioned cocoa butter, dollar store scar gel, and some expensive bio-serum that the PA at the doctor's office gave me to try out and give feedback. I'm excited to see what my scar will look like after a couple of months.

3 1/2 weeks post op - I am doing great and feeling...

3 1/2 weeks post op - I am doing great and feeling about 80% like my old self. I still have some muscle soreness in my belly but I can sneeze now without the painful agony.

I have been working on my scar since Wednesday. I will post pics after 1 week of massage therapy to see if there is any difference.

I also weighed myself this morning and I am 8 lbs down since surgery.....YEAH!!!!!

I am 5 weeks post-op today and feeling like my old...

I am 5 weeks post-op today and feeling like my old self again. I even went out dancing over the weekend. It was my first time getting dressed up since surgery and it felt soooo good not to have to suck in my stomach or wear a tight undergarment to hold everything in!

Swelling is still minimal and I only wear my flexees at night now. I haven't really started a walking routine yet, but I have lost a total of 10lbs since surgery.

Still massaging my scar twice a day with cocoa butter and I started using a bleaching cream. I have not seen much of a difference, but I will post more pics of my scar soon.

Posting 5 week pics...

3 months post op - This is the milestone I was...

3 months post op - This is the milestone I was waiting for when all the swelling is supposed to cease and the end result is more evident. I must say that I am so pleased with my results and I wouldn't change a thing! I have all of my strength back but I am a little surprised that my stomach muscles are still a little tender. I am still easing into full blown ab work but other than that I am back to my regular workout routine...Body Pump and Zumba!! I am working hard on my body so the rest of my body matches my beautiful belly!

3 months post op - This is the milestone I was...

3 months post op - This is the milestone I was waiting for when all the swelling is supposed to cease and the end result is more evident. I must say that I am so pleased with my results and I wouldn't change a thing! I have all of my strength back but I am a little surprised that my stomach muscles are still a little tender. I am still easing into full blown ab work but other than that I am back to my regular workout routine...Body Pump and Zumba!! I am working hard on my body so the rest of my body matches my beautiful belly!

I am posting scar pics so you can see what NOT to...

I am posting scar pics so you can see what NOT to do if you want to diminish your scar lol. My scar looks the same as my six week pics. I guess scar therapy is an important step if you want to diminish the scar. I have been really lazy about it because I am so very thrilled about having a flat tummy that I really don't care if the scar ever goes away. But I will try to make it a habit of massaging a little more to see if it makes a difference. Other than that I am progressing very well and I love my tummy! I still have one spot on my right side where the muscles are still very sore if I sneeze or when sitting up with no support. And I am still a little scared to do full ab exercises so I have been taking it very slow.

6 months after surgery and now I'm taking a Belly...

6 months after surgery and now I'm taking a Belly Dancing Class! I love my defined waistline so I thought belly dancing would be a good way to keep the hourglass waist and keep my stomach flat. Regular ab workouts still feel a little weird but I am easing back into the routine. My stomach still looks the same but I will post 6 month pics.

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

I recently bought my very first bikini for my trip...

I recently bought my very first bikini for my trip to Puerto Rico a couple of weeks ago and I even had the nerve to wear it!!! I felt awesome!! I had a little set back and recently had to have a minor surgery for my lapband. I was not happy that my flawless TT results would be compromised by another stomach surgery, but it had to be done. I am so grateful that my lapband surgeon used the smallest cuts possible so that I am able to still show my belly. This summer is going to be a blast!!!
Dr. Michael S. DeWolfe MacNeal Hospital

Do not underestimate this young doctor! He definitely knows what he's doing and takes great pride in his work.

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
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