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42 Year Old with 2 Kids. It's now or never for tummy tuck - Colorado, CO

I have contemplated a tummy tuck for years because...

I have contemplated a tummy tuck for years because of the wrinkly skin about my belly button and the notion that I feel 3 months pregnant after every time I eat a meal. I have tried VelaShape with no luck and have been told liposuction would just make my tummy look worse. I have had two appointments with a board certified plastic surgeon, and he says I would have a typical tummy tuck with NO muscle repair and a scar hip to hip with a vertical scar as well from the old belly button. After looking at my photos.. is this just fat I need to continue to burn off or is there truly excess skin too? The surgeon said NO muscle repair needed twice but that he would do it if he found that I needed it once in surgery. I don't work out as much as I should but I am still in good shape overall. I'm pretty happy with the way my stomach looks in the morning but looks worse as the ay goes. I am 5'4 and 136 lbs. Am I crazy?? Is a tummy tuck not right for me??? Should I just live with the muffin top and be happy with what I have? Thanks for any advice!!!

Interesting how no two doctors are alike...

I went for my second consultation with Dr. Vath, and I thought it was interesting, informational and worth the long drive. Dr. Vath showed me several pictures of before and afters and discussed his philosophy and reasoning for how he handles his procedures. I let him know that my first doctor said I didn't need muscle repair. Even without examining me he suggested that I would not be happy with my results without proper muscle repair and would be very surprised if I didn't need it. After he examined me, he confirmed that I would need muscle repair mostly from the bowing of the muscles... not the separation of muscles. How interesting. He couldn't believe that the first doc would not have repaired my muscles. He then showed me a pic of a woman who had not had her muscles repaired... and then the after when he had fixed them. Scary how opinions can be so different from two reputable doctors. Now... I am in a holding pattern because I'm nervous to go through such a major surgery with muscles repaired and be back at work in about two and half weeks. Is that even reasonable? My timeline is short.. meaning I only have a small window this summer to make it all happen. If not.. I have to wait until next summer. UGH! I don't even feel I can tell many people because my friends and family would think I am crazy for wanting to go through this procedure. When I have mentioned it to three people that I trust, they just say I'm more fit than most people so I don't need it. Am I too vain for wanting this? Would I really not see must of a result because I don't have lot of loose skin? I suppose I can only make this decision but it's SOOOO hard! Plus... curious.. and I know this is a vain question... but did anyone else start questioning other parts of their body... what about the buldge above my bra on my back? What about that extra buldge above the knee... are my breasts needing a lift. Seriously.. this questioning can be maddening. So, I am ready to just make up my mind, schedule the surgery, prep for going back to work and never look back. Thanks for letting me vent here.

I have a new surgery date

Although I'm still on the fence if this is what I should go through this summer, I have actually scheduled my TT surgery for July 17th with Dr. Vath. Crazy!! I sooo appreciate reading everyone's journey as it brings me comfort and reality. I appreciate your honestly with pain, swelling, sleeping (or lack there of), mood swings, infections... all that can wrong and can go right. Bottom line... I'm still scared to bits.


Whoops.. the surgery is July 16th!

Doubt kicking in....

Okay ladies I don't really want to post this to doctors... I just really want a female perspective. this is a photo of me first thing in the morning and my stomach just doesn't look that bad of course by the end of the day I look at least three months pregnant but is that enough to go through with a tummy tuck?? I just can't ask my female friends as they would think I am crazy but of course you all would understand. I welcome honest opinions and really appreciate your thoughts. I know this is such a personal decision but I really feel like I need to get over 75% confident that this is the right decision for me. Thank you again.

The count down continues...

Although we have had some emotional set backs as of late, I still believe that I will have the tummy tuck on July 16th. I am in SUPER denial that it is less than a month away as we will be doing a lot of traveling before I take the plunge. My family (mom, dad, etc..., who does not know that I am going through with the procedure) will be staying with us up until two days before surgery. WOW... calling it close here! I just fear I won't have everything ready or be in a zen place before the big day. It may sound funny... but I am most worried about... what do I eat after surgery? Do the herbs or pineapple drinks really help with swelling? What do I absolutely must have for recovery? Some women post a mile long list. Do I really need a walker? Will going to the bathroom hurt that much... and can I not use my stomach muscles for anything? I practiced getting in and out of our recliner and that seemed so much more difficult than the couch or our bed. Our bed is pretty high though so not so sure that's the best place to camp out either. I tested out all of our beds in the house to see what would work best for me without using my stomach muscles. HA! Well the journey continues and I feel blessed to read about everyone's recovery as it gives me hope that this will be worth it someday.

Pre-Op tomorrow

The day keeps getting closer and closer. Thoughts that run through my head... I sneeze about 4 times a day due to allergies while on medication... yikes! I need to stop drinking a diet pepsi a day as this will probably cause my swelling after surgery to be worse. Still haven't figured out the sleeping arrangements or how my family will fair with not having mom up and running around the next day. I hope to get a chance to ask the doc about if I do need lipo or not... and if I should just be working out more to slim the thighs or if I need lipo in that area too. Unfortunately, I have been eating a lot more than normal due to traveling a lot before the surgery. I just can't resist those delicious meals out there when I know I won't want to visit restaurant for awhile. I kind of wish I would have worked my butt off to see what my body would really look like after some hard work... but then again that's not very realistic for me either as it's not a daily practice in my life. I'll post before surgery bikini pics soon so to compare results. Best to all of you!

Still at Pre-Op

Had another consult with Dr Vath. Such a nice and reassuring doctor. I am now considering getting a Breast lift while under so I get it all done. No implant and no lipo on flanks or legs. Anyone have both done at same time... Breast lift and TT AND be back at work in two weeks???? I'll look at others reviews when I get a chance as I'm sure there are plenty women out there.

Breast Lift with Tummy Tuck???

Well... I have been so anxious about his upcoming surgery and just happened to ask the doctor about lipo which he still says I don't need. Basically, I discussed the notion that I didn't want to go through this again so wanted to get everything done. I mentioned that down the road I would probably like a breast lift. I am not unhappy with my breasts but have heard that some women can feel unhappy about their breasts after their tummys are nice and tight. Does this resonate with anyone? So.. the breast lift topic came up.. I showed him (so embarrassed!) and he showed me what mine would look like with a lift. I thought... hmmmm... that doesn't look so bad. Since I have not researched breast lifts AT ALL.. I am in new territory. I was reassured that this does not add to my TT recovery and the procedure is so easy compared to the TT recovery. Hmmm... not sure I am convinced. Well... I have to make the decision by tomorrow as this ups the cost and time for the surgery. Thoughts out there? Those that "know" me by now.. you know I need a lot of female input for those who can understand. My dear friends and husband are supportive but have no clue about this process or journey. Best to all of you.

Less than a week to go. Hello nerves!

Surgery is next Wed. I'm going forward with a full TT and Breast Lift. Yikes! Excitement has not set in at all... Only nerves and second guesses. Thank you to everyone who has reassured and calmed my worst fears. We have family in town who don't know about my upcoming surgery so in a way I'm not thinking about all that's to come. Last night I asked my husband to look at some scars to prep him. He was not that interested but I showed him in my body where the breast lift scars would be. He was a little shocked but still supportive of whatever I wish to do. He's mostly scared of the long surgery time... 4.5 hours. On another note I bought a raised toiled seat but it sinks when you sit so I'll be taking that one back!! I'm still not sure where I'll sleep so prepping a recliner and the bed. May have husband sleep in guest room but then again I'll need him
In the middle of the night. Here are some before pics in bathing suit so I can compare results. Best to all of you!!

Serious Cold Feet.... Surgery Tomorrow

Well I know it's very common to feel super anxious but I am SO nervous right now. Even my husband is nervous and asked when is the latest I could cancel!! I am so thankful to all my real self buddies as you continue to calm my nerves and reassure me everything will be okay. I keep rereading those when I get those butterflies in my stomach. Bottom line I didn't find a raised toilet that I liked, I only have one meal prepared, and my recliner and bed are set. Other than that I'm pretty much clueless as to how I'm going to get through this. My husband is awesome so I know he can take of me but I'm just really having those typical doubt, fears, questions right now. I will be getting my nails done with a friend today but I just need to keep very busy to keep my mind off of all this!!

Heading to surgery now

Well my husband and I didn't sleep a wink last night. We both just felt nervous and worried. Our kids stayed at the neighbors and I hated the fact they were not in the house... Even though I set it up that way so they could sleep in. I'm still not excited yet because fear, guilt and why the hell am I doing this is clouding everything else!!!! Surgery at 9. I welcome all prayers :). Thank you all for your well wishes. You veterans have been so much part of any reassurement that I'm hoping for

Day 2 and doing just fine

Hey Everyone, I couldn't write the day of surgery because I was so out of it... so here is a recap. I was so nervous driving to the center on Wed. As soon I was in a gown and realized that I was about to go into surgery, the tears just flowed and flowed. There was even a point when I said to the nurse and my husband that I couldn't do it. They were able to give me some valum and then the next thing I knew I woke up with my husband next to my side and the surgery was over. I did not feel pain when I woke up. I felt "out of it" but good and relieved that it was over. I stayed in recovery for an hour and then it was time to go. I really didn't feel much discomfort the entire way home and fell in and out of sleep. At home, with my husband's help, I was able to walk up the stairs to my bedroom, got comfortable in the recliner and fell back asleep. My husband was so great keeping me on top of my meds and again I just felt tiny burning or tight feelings but not in pain. After a couple of hours.... I sat up and threw up pretty badly. That was VERY painful!!! The pain took awhile to subside but by nighttime, I fell asleep just fine. I haven't had a chance to look at the incision but I will after my shower later today. I am still out of it because of the drugs but I'm alert enough that I walked downstairs and only feeling slight discomfort. Most of the discomfort comes from the top of the sternum and a bit at the incision sight. As for Breast Lift... I have felt no pain or discomfort at all in that area. I have to actually remind myself that I had something done up there :) What I did love is that Dr. Vath called me today to check in... as well as one of the nurses. LOVE that! I didn't have pictures taken right after surgery but I'll try to take some of my tummy after I shower. I probably won't take any of my breasts. Take care everyone and thank you again for you kind thoughts, prayers and hugs. It meant the world to me. One more thought... a raised toilet seat is nice but was definitely not needed.

Just took a shower!

Shower felt great but I was super tired afterwards. I didn't feel lightheaded or faint as some have felt. Perhaps my binder is not tight enough?? I see the beginning of some swelling but I do see a difference from my beginning photos so far. Staying on meds 2 Percocet every 4 hours and a Valium every 6. Thanks meadowlark for that suggestion and I'm wearing a tank top under the binder for comfort. Thanks jan40 for that suggestion. I will say its hard to eat but I get in nibbles as much as I can. By the way the staff at dr vath center were awesome. Here is one pic

I am so tired and soar

I'm not sure if it's the percocet, valium or the surgery.... but I am soooo tired all the time! I feel pretty out it meaning I can't really hold a conversation. I'm trying to go down to one percocet every 4 hours and keep the valum at every 6.. but I must admit I feel little tingles and pulling at the incision line. I've been getting up on a regular basis but get wiped out fast. I can almost stand up straight but hard to get comfortable once I'm sitting down again. I put some ice on my lower back and that has helped but my bum sue is soar. Any tips for comfort or meds? Thanks all!!

Day 5

I felt like serious crap the last two or three days. It all seems a blur. I'm off the vicatin and Percocet as I just felt like I was in a constant fog. I'm just taking Tylenol and hope that will be enough. I finally had my first BM this morning. That took quite some time but so glad it happened. Giuse so should keep on the colace and Metamucil or I should have my uh by get the mom. The binder sucks. I hate how tight it is especially around my sternum. I usually just leave it open there do I can breathe. Sitting or sleeping is not that fun either. I want to be doing my normal routine and am sooooo clueless how I'll be able to go back to work in another week or so. Please please tell me it all gets better each day!!!! I just hate the foggy feeling and of course the tightness. I'm know I'm Being really down now.... Just not sure what j should eat or drink at this point. I havenit looked at my a
Tummy again since the first picture. Perhaps when some swelling goes down I feel up to that. Thanks everyone for your well thoughts and advise. The worst part do far was throwing up so hopefully that will not be the case with most if you. Hugs to all

A bit better today

I was up and walking around the house quite a bit and even took a mini stroll with my husband outside. A neighbor asked if I was okay because I looked terrible and was hunched over.. and I said my back was hurting. I wasn't lying as my back has been flaring up from the walking. I'm only Tylenol and wish I could have a tad bit more for when I get those rumbles, tingles and such in my belly. The swelling is definitely there!!! Oh man... I think my belly will explode. I haven't really felt my breast lift at all as the tummy tuck definitely takes over with pain. The binder is a pain! I am constantly pulling it tighter, loosing it, adjusting, pulling down, etc.... never a comfortable spot for that. Thank you for everyone's advise and well wishes... those meds just didn't sit well with me and made me very out of it! I took at least two long naps today and have no problem going to sleep at night. I'm eating a bit more food but with the swelling... there is little desire to eat. I really want my coffemocha in the morning but really worried how it will make me feel. Hope everyone is doing well!! I will post pictures as soon as I get a couple,... keep in mind I'm in swell hell :)

Feeling pretty good...

Since the first day was the surgery day... I guess this is day 6. Yesterday was a much better day but uncomfortable back pains in the afternoon. I was able to walk around the house quite a bit but definitely had a hunch. Unfortunately, I had a terrible cough and then laughed.... that pained my left side and didn't really subside for the rest of the day. My husband thinks he's lightening the mood... but it just makes me laugh and of how that hurts. I suppose that's the body's way of saying... hey I had major muscle repair!!! Today... I feel more alert, have walked around outside and inside the house more often with a slight hunch. I know it will get worse in the afternoon so I take a lot of breaks and just sit and read. I only took one nap yesterday.... we'll see what today brings. Dr. Vath's nurse called and let me know my binder was riding way to high and that's why I was having trouble breathing, Since I cannot keep it from riding up when I sit down I may graduate to spanx after my first week post-op. I'm starting to find the little pins and needles feelings already which is a good sign for nerves but can catch me off guard. Luckily, my bowels are remembering what to do as well. The swelling is there but not too overwhelming. I'll take pics tomorrow so you can see the swelling from the front and side. I won't show bare breast but you'll get the idea. I can REALLY tell a difference in that area! I would post but I don't know how to put stickers on the private areas :) I'm wishing you all well!!! I go back to work first week of August so I do hope I'll have more energy and comfort at that time. I will try to take it slow but it is not a slow type of job. I can take a shower on my own now but can't imagine having the strength to style my hair, put on make-up, etc.... My husband and kids have been great. I can tell my husband is worn out but he is trying so hard not to show me that he is pooped! Thanks for all the great advise and support... especially when i felt SO rotten from the meds. Funny when I re-read some of my old posts that I wrote on my phone.... whoo... you can definitely tell I was on something!! Best to all of you
Dr. Vath

So far... everyone at Dr. Vath's center has been wonderful!

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (115)

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Hope you get the Spanx soon. I had the same issue and I was able to get a Spanx after the first week.
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Did u get one that was underwear with the high top or just for the waist??? Thanks!!
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My PS gave it to me, so I just took what I was given...but it was underwear with a high top. I liked it a lot. So much at 5 months I was still wearing it to run long distances.
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You are turning the corner and each day you'll feel better and better. Keep walking and then resting. Evenings you'll be wiped out. But each day you'll notice improvement. Can't wait to see your pics! Your binder rides up because you have the tiniest waist ever!! :)
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Thanks so much!! You my friend have the tiny waist. I just can't eat anything yet without feeling like my stomach will burst
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I love your story! I'm so glad you decided to go w the lift. I think you did great! Keep getting better and take care of you. I hope every day gets easier. Keep us updated!
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You look great.
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I'm sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I hope you start to feel better very soon. I'm now getting a lil excited to get my tt on Wed but still so much to do. Keep posting your updates. It will help me to know what to expect. Hope you start feeling better very soon! Hugs!
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Tomorrow will be better, truly day 5 is a turning point - the drug haze will lift & you'll feel better. You're still going to get wiped out for a few more days, but you'll feel much better. In general each day is better than the one before - just be prepared for your body to throw in a random crappy day where you can't do what you were able to just the day prior. Day 11 I really started moving around (I'd make my husband take me out & about for 4-5 hours), walking helps a lot! My doc told me to slouch (shoulders slouched, butt tucked in), not hunch mid-back. I think this helped with back pain. Stick to water, up your protein & eat as much fresh veggies & fruits as possible. I was all about the yogurt, fish, chicken, almonds, pineapple, peanut butter, whole grain, strawberries, bananas, oatmeal, veggies & other fruits. It's a process! You'll feel much better before its time to return to work. :). We all hate the binders with a passion, little torture devices. Lol! For me, laying in a bed w/pillows under my knees hurts my back far worse than laying back in a recliner w/a neck pillow & a pillow under the knees. Your aches will improve greatly once you have the strength for walking around for an extended period of time. You're almost there!!!! :). Hope you're feeling better soon!!
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All great advice!
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Thank you. Oh to cough is a joke. Feels like its sets me back awhile. I hope taking Tylenol 1000 mg every 6 hrs cause I need it!! So when did both of you actually start walking and eating normal without the pains?? I know it's only day 6 but it's hard to sit so long and hard to walk too long. Should my legs be elevated all the time that I'm sitting?? Thanks for ALL the advise
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Oh and is it normal to have the binder over my scar. Hate when it rubs!!!
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Hi Hon, sorry you are having a rough couple days. I think this is to be expected, that emotional roller coaster post op day 4-7 seems to be the regular emotion. So hang in there and be patient with yourself, and caring for yourself. Seems like once you get through the first week everything picks up from that point. For sure eat though, or drink some protein, Naked makes a few varieties. Applesauce is good post op, and chicken noodle soup (low sodium) is always good to help you feel better. Thanks for continuing to share your ups and downs, and soon it will be all uphill!
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I'm so sorry you are having a rough time. Are you able to get up and walk around at all? Have you been out of the house or anything? What is the binder like? Is it just a velcro thing or is there any way to loosen it? I hope you are feeling better soon!
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Hang in there! I wish you were feeling better ;((. Prayers being sent your way for an easier go of it and, quick healing ;)). Also for a clear head....that can't feel go either. Take care !
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Thank you. I think I just need to be patient!! I get tired often and must remember to rest or sleep when my body wants that. I'm still nervous what to eat but know I need something. Then under at the top of my sternum is the most uncomfortable so I just keep it loose most of the time. Thanks again!!!!
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Hi! I thought I posted a comment last night but I don't see it. I just wanted to check in on you and see how you are doing. Are you getting any sleep? Sorry the meds are making you sick. I am sure once they are out of your system you will stop being so sick. My sister had an allergy to percocet and when she had foot surgery it was awful. Maybe you could call the docs office and see if they will switch you to something else? Take care!!
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Thx. I'm hoping just Tylenol will do the trick now. Bum on 1000mg every 6 hrs. Hope that's okay. Just want to stay awake a little longer throughout the day. I'm actually nervous to eat now but know I need too. The binder is getting uncomfortable because I'm starting to swell
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Hang in there! You're almost through the worst of it. I bet tomorrow Tylenol will only be needed during the day. Watch out, your mood might take a dip when you come off your meds. I was crying pretty regularly come day 4dpo! :) but that'll clear too. I'm sorry your bum is hurting. I had that too. Just keep shifting around but I know it is super sore to move at all. It's crazy how much we use our abs and don't even know it until you go through a TT!! Your results are soooo good!!! You look so amazing!
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I just threw up again. I'm not sure if it's the Percocet and Valium I took last night or something g else. I'm stopping taking the drugs and switched to 1000 mg Of Tylenol. I'm just so nautious and want to just sleep. This part sucks!! Nod u think being off the hard core meds will help? Barely taking sips of water now so afraid I'll throw up again
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Did Vath give you Zofran? That helps big time with nausea. But it can also make you tired. Percocet makes my DH throw up too. Switching to Tylenol will be good. Drink ginger ale or whatever calms your tummy. Hang in there!!! You're through the worst of it! I know it's super sore. The MR hurts! But it's necessary to get that flatness. It'll lesson soon.
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For sure you have to have food with Percocet. It makes most people sick, and we always make them have crackers at least with the Percocet. And do try and drink. The Valium is used as a muscle relaxant, so if you can manage the pain with Tylenol and use the Valium sparingly am sure you will fell better. Zofran works well for the nausea also. Your results are beautiful!
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Oh my goodness.... You look absolutely amazing!!! I was glad to read that you didn't have too much pain ;)). I'm going in on Tuesday July 22nd with Dr Vath right after ceraboo42 for arm lift and tummy tuck. Your post is calming my nerves a LOT! Thank you!! Sounds like you have a pretty wonderful husband...kudos to him. ;)) Here's to a speedy recovery.
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Hang in there! I remember having to make a donut shape with pillows while propped in bed, so my tail bone wouldn't ache so bad. I remember the chronic fatigue. Try to eat as much protein as you can. It seemed to help me bounce back. : )
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Good advice!! I did both too.
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