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Full Tummy Tuck Scheduled for March 10th - I Am Excited and Nervous!! - Cleveland, OH

I am soon to be 50 and this is my present to...

I am soon to be 50 and this is my present to myself after having 4 children, putting two of them (so far) through college and paying for one wedding. I have lost 42 pounds over the past 3 or so years and have kept it off for over a year now. I run 4 miles and do this 4 times/wk so I feel I am in pretty good shape and at 5'1" and 110 lbs. I don't think losing anymore weight will rid me of my sagging belly skin.

My procedure is on Thursday and as it gets closer I get more nervous because I know there are risks with major surgery. I am hoping the recovery goes well and the pain is not too bad. This site has been extremely useful in helping me prepare and know what to expect. You are all wonderful women and I especially loved Kimmers' chronicals!! Wish me luck! I will try to post before and after pics!

One more day before surgery...I am going out to...

One more day before surgery...I am going out to dinner with my best girlfriends tomorrow night before my big day. I call tomorrow afternoon to find out the scheduled time for my surgery - and my hospital bed was delivered today. I had it set up in the family room so I can be in the middle of the action - not sure if that will be a good decision or a bad one :) I will have my youngest daughter take my before pics tomorrow night and get them posted.

Hi everyone! I am 6 days post-op and am feeling...

Hi everyone! I am 6 days post-op and am feeling pretty great. I stayed overnight in the hospital so they could monitor my pain and was glad I did so. I had the pain pump which definitely numbed up my entire stomach area and therefore didn't feel too much pain. I had a pain around my lower left lung area which was what bothered me the most the afternoon following the surgery. The took out the tube on that side for the pain pump just in case it was a contributing factor. I don't think it was, but rather I was just really sore in that area (almost bruised internally). I have been taking Percocet every 4-6 hours for pain and it has been pretty effective in helping me manage. I have been getting up and around since the day after the surgery and when I get up I try to mill around for an hour or so. I think this activity has helped. I am sooooo glad I rented a hospital bed - it is great being able to shift your positions and has made sleeping pretty good - sleeping on my back is the only option with the drainage tubes in. Those are a pain and am looking forward to getting those out - the fluid level has definitely decreased and I hope Friday they can come out. Today is the first time I have attempted a bowel movement and there was some discomfort with that! I have been taking the stool softener per the doc, and took my first dose of Milk of Magnesium this morning to help relieve this issue! My stomach muscles definitely feel 'tight' inside but there really isn't too much pain from the incisions...I walk slightly slumped over, but overall I don't think the pain and recovery has been as bad as it could have been. I actually cooked dinner on Monday night but was careful not to lift or stoop or generally overdo it. Everyday gets a little better - I took 2 weeks off work and will work from home for a few days so am hoping on the 28th I will be okay to go back to the office. There is definitely still a lot of swelling but from what I can tell so far, my tummy is definitely flatter!! Can't wait to see how the results progress...I will keep everyone posted!

Finally getting around to posting some...

Finally getting around to posting some before/after pics...

I am now 10 days post-op and things are...

I am now 10 days post-op and things are progressing pretty well. I still have some pain and discomfort and am down to just a few pain pills per day. I was still producing about 30 cc of fluid in my drains on Friday so I decided to wait until Monday to go have them removed - which is tomorrow - can't wait! They are a pain to deal with and the one side bothers me where it is inserted. Still much numbness in my general abdominal area. If I am up and around too much, my back definitely starts to hurt from the strain which reminds me to take a rest. Oh, and the bowels started working again pretty well after 2 days of Milk of Magnesia and I would say things are back to normal as of now. I am glad I still have this week off work to continue my recovery and still have some swelling.

I went back to work on 3/24 which was about 2-1/2...

I went back to work on 3/24 which was about 2-1/2 weeks post op. By the end of that first day back to work I noticed some new swelling right below my breastbone. It was almost like an egg of fluid. From day 1 I had much bruising and swelling only on my left side and I had noticed a hard ridge forming at 12 days post-op when I had my drains removed. Well, I waited about a week after this new 'egg' formed to see if it would go down on its own and when it didn't I decided to call my doc. He had me come in right away, which was yesterday, and he concluded I had a hematoma. While I was hoping this large ridge of blood/fluid was something that he could drain in the office, I was wrong. I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning (Wed) - he is going to make an incision on my left side and suction the blood out and irrigate the area. He will send me home with a drain which he estimates I will have for a week - ugh - back to that. I will have to undergo anesthesia again but the procedure should only take about an hour and I will come home. Not sure how the recovery will be from this, but hopefully it won't be bad. I will be glad to get rid of this swollen ridge and he said it shouldn't affect my final results. I don't this is common to get a hematoma, but it is one of the risks. I will post another update after this additional surgery.

I had surgery this morning to drain the hematoma I...

I had surgery this morning to drain the hematoma I developed and it looks like everything went fine. I was scheduled for 7:30 am this morning and was home shortly after noon. I have some pain at the new incision site - I haven't seen it yet but I think is 3-4 inches long on my side according to the doc. The yucky part is I have a new drain which I will likely have for week. The great thing is that my large ridge of swelling looks like it is gone! I expect some discomfort over the next few days but expect to be back at work on Monday. I see the doc in 1 week and hopefully the drain will come out then and I won't have any additional complications. He says this shouldn't affect my final results and I am really looking forward to see how I look without the swelling from the hematoma. I took a few pics last night and will post them shortly so you can see how protrusive this hematoma was! Otherwise, feeling pretty good and will post updates over the next several days to let you know how this progresses! Thanks to everyone for your continued support in my journey to a flat tummy!

Photo Update

Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Armand Lucas from the Cleveland Clinic was my doc - he was excellent from the beginning consultation through the surgery. He made me feel comfortable and took his time to explain the procedure to me in detail so I could understand.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 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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Comments (47)

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Hope you are healing well.
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Oh my gosh - I just read your latest post - I am so sorry that you have to go back for surgery. You will be fine. Good luck & get plenty of rest.
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Wow you look really great for 5 days post op!! Cute belly button!
You must be so happy!
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your bellybutton is so cute!
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Have you taken any arnica? i heard it works wonders for bruising and swelling. i am 5 days pre-op and i started taking it as my PS advised...and i take it also after surgery.
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but anyways you still look amazing!
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I take that and a pineapple enzyme called Bromelain. Before and after as well. I'm not sure how much it helped but I had some brusing and swelling but my swelling wasn't too bad. Still a little lopsided, 3 weeks postop. I had a full tt, muscle repair and lipo. Make sure you have your pain meds and help for the first week. take care
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Hi when i woke from surgery, i was in a lot of discomfort , but was giving morphine, i was pretty much doped up for 12 hours , i had a full tummy tuck with lipo, and bodytite to inner and outter thighs , and love handles , i think i might of had to much done all in one go , but decided i would rather get it all over and done with, i was stooped over for 5 days but they dont want u to stand straight , i was able to control the pain with paracetomol, and the odd diclofenic. the garment was ok by day but sent me nuts sleeping in it ,i would never want to wear it in the summer months, i am glad i had it done ,i still get pain if i over do things , like a pile of ironing! i really think it takes at least 4months to feel normal. hope this helps .the results are instant and amazing to have a flat tummy .
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Hi. I would luv to know how your tummy tuck went. Please b homest with me. Would luv to know exactly they did. On a scale give me a number from 1-10 how after the surgery did u feel and so on. I know it will TK A WHILE FOR THE RESULTS TO SHOW. ALSO HOW IS WEARING THE CORSET 24 hours. Think I will go crazy but it's a must. Well hope all is well. Keep in touch. :). Pattycakes
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Today is my 6 week mark. I am glad I don't have to go to work. Although I am better, there are to many things I can't do. I still can't be on my feet for very long, if I stand for an hour I am doing good. I am still in alot of pain and I still need a nap during the day, even though I am sleeping better at night. Going into this you never think about not healing well, hence having to have my tummy cut open to drain. I have to tell you it is much more pain than I ever thought it would be and it will more than likely be at least 2 more weeks before I can bend without pain and be able to stand for any lenght of time. I hope I have been helpful to some. I wanted to let those that are having this done know that things can put you behind in your healing but it is worth it. I can't shop either, I used a riding cart last Friday at WalMart and was not in there long and I payed for it. That shows how much a set back can do for your healing process. That was my first trip to drive and shop by myself. When I am in the car (passenger) it is so helpful to have a pillow to hold onto your tummy when you hit a bump. Good luck to all.
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I'm at 3 weeks and did too much a couple of days ago. I had a full tt with lipo and lipo of the flanks or sides of tummy. I hope this is worth it. I have a "dog ear" on one side and more swelling on that side too. So something will have to be done with that. nothibg can be easy. thanks for the info!
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hi , yes got swelling on the right side, u also had a fair bit done , it do take it out of you, the thing is everytime i feel good i start catching up on all the house work, and then i hurt again the nxt day, got to learn to relax more x
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I'm 3 weeks post op. Down to one vicodin a day. I have been doing some light cleaning and cooking here and there and lots of resting. But Monday I decided to mop floors etc and boy am I paying for it today! And this is when I was suppose to go back to work cooking at a restaurant. Thank heavens I took 3 more weeks. It will be my 6 week point when I go back. I had to take more pain meds today, I feel like i regressed. I am definately taking it easy for a few days. I hope the lady from Cleveland is doing well after her surgery. I hope everyone is feeling better! Let me know.
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One thing I didn't tell you or anyone that is having a tt done buy a walker or rent one if you can. That is the best $60.00 dollars I spent. My guy told me to get one and boy you talk about a life saver if there ever was one. I used it to get up out of the chair, I used it to get to the bathroom or anywhere else I had to go. My Doc. told me to stay bent over for quite some time and the walker also helped to remind me not to try to stand up striaght. I will hit my 6 weeks mark March 15 and I am doing better but because I didn't drain good and the doc had to cut the hole in my tummy I am still in pain and I can't pick up anything with any weight to it. My guy says he can see a difference each day even though I can't. He is the one who told me to get the walker. He had prostate surgery las year and we wish we had thought to buy him one. Also I never thought of the cost for the medications I would have to pay for so you have to figure that in your out of pocket also. I look forward to the day that I will be able to be back to doing everything as before. I can already (even with having the binder on) wear clothes that I couldn't wear before the surgery.
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very refreshing to read someone who has been more realistic, i had my tt on the 12th of feb, and like you there is still so many things can not do ,it took me about a week to stand upright, did manage the pain with paracetomol and diclofenic, i aslo got very low,due to being inactive, there were so many things i wanted to do, then i sorted put it all behind me , and decided to take each day as it comes, i devoleped an infection in the scar , that took 3 weeks to clear using iodine patches, they told me to cange daily , but it wasnt drying uo , my daughter is a nurse and she said to leave iodine on for 2-3 days b4 changing and then use antiseptic wipes , and this did work , i am sure we will all be happy in the summer with are new flat tums x
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Be prepared, you need at least 3 binders so you can wash often. I had mine done Feb. 1 and I am still not able to do much. I also had a breast lift and that part went great. My tt did not drain good on one side and the doc had to cut a hole in my tummy so it could drain properly. It isn't the size of a quarter like he said, it;s more like 3 or 4 q. The pain is no fun. It may take longer for you to heel so be ready. I got a rash from the bedadine he had me using in the begining and then I got a rash from the tape I was using to hold the guaze in place over my hole. I got kotex and they work great. I had a nurse come out and show me what to do. At first I was so grossed out by how it looked I couldn't look at it, but then for me to heal like I should I needed to clean it 2 and 3 times a day. I hope you have a lot of help because you will need it. I didn't realize how many pain pills that I was taking until the doc said he couldn't give me any more. This is something I have wanted all of my life because even as a little girl I had a pot belly and I've always hated it. Even with the binder on I can see how good this will look when it heals. I had to stay one more day in the hospital, because the pain was so bad. The worst part was getting up the first time to walk. We set pillows on the chair I sit in so I don't have to sit real low, and we slept in the chairs for about a week. I also had some depression about 2 or 3 weeks out. I couldn't do any thing and I had someone going to the store for me and I just broke down and cried. I had not been really down that day but just know it will get better. Also I got 3 different oppions from 3 docs and went from bad to better to best. I knew the first day when we met the doc I used he was the one. I hope all goes well for you. Also I wanted to tell you to use a pillow to hold on your tummy when you ride in the car, I have a long one that goes with my chair and I put a towl on it and use it to prop my book on and my plate when I eat, and one important thing be sure you have some myarlax or some laxative at home.
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Hey! Tomorrow is your day. It will be over by the time you know it! All the best! I'm booked April 4 :-)
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Hi ! I am 53 year old and a mother of three daughters. I had a full tt on 2/23. I only needed the pain meds for four days. It was not bad at all. It felt like I got punched in the stomach.....the worst part was the one drain that was put in, it was just a pain to deal with and the back ache. I am so glad I did it. Loved my ps too,

This website really helped me prepare for the procedure!
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DONT stop taking the STOOL Softener. Ask the doctor how you can minimize the pain of having a bowel movement. Some doctor's I have read, recommend a liquid diet, etc.

I had a horrible experience with this one...other than that...CONGRATULATIONS
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good luck for tomorrow ! i am 8 weeke post op, aged 55 full, tt, lipo body tite onlove handles and inner and outter thighs, oh and muscle repair, i agree with the lady who said 2 weeks is much to soon to go back to work, prepare yourself mentally , and look forward to your new tummy, the pain can be easily controlled by paracetomol,but you do need support at home, i am 5ft 3" 122LB , wish i done it years ago. but i think the surgeons should be more truthful with the recovery time, now i am post op , i get told it can take months to recover.
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Yes,anon1674, I'm 2 weeks postop and had a checkup yesterday. They, said all of a sudden the color went out of my face and gave me a glass of water. then i felt better. I was trying not to take anymore vicodins but I took one when I went home. My results are great they said, I have my binder on and my skinny jeans levis size 4 and they are big in the waist area. But I wish I would have looked into this more and just tried lipo. I have a very tight feeling like a corset inside that's driving me nuts. I have a physical job, i cook in a restaurant so I'm telling them 6 weeks but its so tight I don't know if I can move around enough to do it. We do catering, lift heavy trays etc. Also a question for you ladies, It seems my pubic area is pulled slightly up to the incision and I had no idea that was happening. The lower "area" feels okay but definately pulled at the top. It's been so nice seeing everyone's comments.
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i still have that pulling feeling in the pubic area , and ightness in the tummy , as far up as the navel, if i had a physical job like yours i know i would not be able to do it, i have a friend who had a tt last year it took her 4 mths to feel relatively normal, i know you get women on here saying they were fine after 2 weeks , but i find it hard to believe, listen 2 your body and not the medics and other people, you will know when you are ready to resume normal activity . sylvia from uk.
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Thank you soo much, I really appreciated your response, I was feeling so isolated! thanks again. :)
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you are wellcome, i also felt a bit lonely , i have not told many people i have had it done, only one friend and family , x
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I only told one friend and my family as well! I told work i had bladder surgery again. i had that 4 years ago with a hysterectomy. I feel terrible but it was just easier.
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