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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...

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

Oh that binder....

Wrapped up first week post op. All is well except that I've been wearing that darn binder wrong. The nurse really didn't think it was doing much if anything for me the way I was wearing it. She showed me the 'right' way and wow! My back didn't hurt as much but... I could barely breathe. I'll have to get use to this or find more comfortable spanx. If people have suggestions please let me know. So in about a week I'll wash off the steri-strips and begin to do a bit more normal life. I made pumpkin pancakes for my family this morning and had to sit down and almost take a nap. I looked at my before body shots with the nurse and I don't see a huge difference in the belly... Hopefully just from swelling. Anyone else feel that way?? Maybe I should have taken before pics wearing tight jeans sitting down. My stretch marks are still VERY much there but hope my eye won't stare at those every morning. I'll take a look at my new belly button after a shower and take pics tomorrow. I must say I did see a HUGE difference in the Breast area. So glad I added that at the last minute. Not sure if ill try a scar therapy. Not sure once I go back to work that I can keep on top of that. I'll post new pics soon. Best!!

Sore with binder on incision

I couldn't get comfortable last night because the binder (aka.. My nemesis) was super tight like the nurse suggested and just felt like it was putting too much pressure on my hip incision. I kind of don't get it... I'm told to go with my comfort level but also that I need a tight squeeze against the incision. My belly button has a stitch that is looping out... Thinking I should just cut it. May try to put neosporin on it too. The belly button is sooooo super tiny. Hope it doesn't look weird???? Maybe when swelling goes down it will feel more natural. Speaking if swelling.... Swell he'll continues. Just look at my before and after photos and there is not much difference. I have a huge stretch mark right at the bottom of my belly button. Doubt you can see it. Don't mean to be a downer as I knew I would still have them and I didn't have a lot of excess to skin to work with. Sooooo. I may try arnica pills for swelling and just deal with binder for another week while looking for some sort of spanx that opens at the crotch. I can't imagine pulling something so tight up and down a million times a day. On the flip side.... Happy with Breast lift! We'll.... I've been trying to upload pics with no luck. I'll try again in a bit

Pics at one week

Binder Obsession...

Doing well these days. I am moving out and about and can walk upright MOST of the time. Mid afternoon is when the hunching kicks in a bit.... as well as more swelling. I cannot feel sensations below my belly button but am still sore above belly button and on my sides. I cannot walk fast at all and getting into the car is still difficult! I wake up with a flatter tummy... not flat... but less pregnant looking. I'm still not sure about my belly button... I have moles/freckles larger than my BB... it kind of looks like a hole punch in my stomach. Yes, I am being critical right now. I am not taking any Tylenol as it didn't seem like it was making a big difference. I'm not experiencing pain as much as slight discomforts from time to time.. but when I laugh... ohhh watch out! My breasts are becoming a bit more itchy at the incision sites. I need to look up when I can/should start scar therapy. Is it right after steri-strips are removed? Is it when scabbing is gone? Wearing clothes outside of the home is my biggest obstacle these days. I am bigger than when I went into surgery (hopefully that's just swelling) so nothing fits.... and I have to fit that big binder underneath as well. I go back to work next Monday, so I must figure something out!!! Speaking of binders.... I shopped at three different stores over the weekend on the lookout for the holy grail compression garment/support. I bought some and can't say I like anything! They all make me feel huge, restricted, and rub on the incision. The ones with the leg support just ride and squeeze and I just want to throw it all off of me! The big binder still rubs on my incision.. even with a tank top underneath. When I sit, I have to pull it down over my incision area and that just won't be able to work when I'm at work next week when I have people sitting with me at periods at a time. I seriously tried so many and am VERY discouraged. The ones that I tried on just squeezed my ribs so much that they leave indents and it's hard to breathe. It took me so long to get them off/on... and I would be so happy if I could find one with a zipper. I saw one more specialized for tummy tuck recovery on line and may look into that... but then again do I want to spend $100 for two weeks of wearing something? Being patient.. but I'm a little bored and have read all my books, etc... so I find myself eating a bit more than usual (sweets, the forbidden salty foods, etc..). I will update two week photos at the end of the week. Hope everyone is doing well!! Any binder wisdom... send my way. Plus... I don't even know what strength I need at this time in recovery. Guess it's time to call the nurse.

Two Week Mark!!!

It's so nice to finally hit the two week mark! I am feeling great and can do sooo much more now. I am able to run multiple errands, clean the house, I went into work for a couple of hours to see how I would do, and feel less pain and discomfort everyday. What is still very much a part of my healing is the swelling. It really doesn't matter if I take a nap or am out and about for a couple of hours... the swelling is there. Since I cannot feel below my belly button, I can't tighten my muscles to make it less noticeable as well. Even my younger son said that I looked pregnant. Lovely! I love that I can finally sleep on my side for short periods of time and get in and out of bed with little problem. I finally found a Maidenform high waste brief that I wear outside of the house. It's the best I could find for comfort and support, but I still hate wearing it. When I'm home, I take off the CG and put my binder on over a long tank top. There are times when I take it all off, including my bra, and just let me skin breathe. I know I still need to wear everything, but I feel better when I'm not wearing any of the garments. I have bloating from PMS and my boobs just feel huge and uncomfortable. I still have the steri-stips on and will probably wash them off this weekend. My scars are still sore and raised and pinches on the end sites of my TT with the CG garments. I actually put an ACE bandage over my scar before I put on the CG and that gives more comfort then lining everything with the maxi pads that were suggested. Does anyone know... once the steri-strips are gone... can I put lotion over the scars to help sooth the scabbing? Here are some pics and you can see the swelling getting a bit better but still there! I'm sure I need to eat more protein.. but staying away from all that has sodium is REALLY hard. Hope everyone is doing well!

Two week photos. Bad lighting

Pic of breasts

Crankiness kicked in this weekend

I suppose at this point I would find myself excited about my progress... Not so much. I feel pregnant and forever swelling. I have not had a morning of "flatness". Just less swelling. I had a scare on Friday as the nurse thought I might have a seroma based on photos I sent. I actually called about how I cannot find any CG garment that doesn't irritate my incision and asked for suggestions. That led to my swelling which led to possible seroma. Luckily I didn't have one as they poked a needle in my incision to check for fluid. I didn't feel the needle but thought I was going to pass out just from being nervous. The doctors office is a long way for me to drive but I'm glad I went just in case. I'm pretty uncomfortable from swelling and not finding anything that feels good on my body. Garments are tight and rub along the incision for me. One that is decent actually leaves a huge indent alongside sides after a couple of hours. I go back to work tomorrow so I have no idea how this is going to work. I can also tell there is swelling into hips and thighs from the CG being a brief... Meaning the swelling is traveling lower too?? I was warned that this may happen with briefs the CG garments with boy shorts are just so uncomfortable. Oh well.... Only two more weeks of the CG right??? I'll post new pics at my 3 week. Here is one pic of me in CG from side. You can see the fun swelling all over. I was very cranky this weekend and not very nice toy hubby. I'm just ready to be back to my old self.

CG garment with swelling!!!!

Three Weeks Post-Op

Another week down and my feelings about the TT are still on a roller coaster. There are times when I see some of the results and other times when I still question if I should have taken such drastic measures. I'm back at work full time and I'm feeling good with energy and recovery. I still feel pinches, tugs, dull aches and tightness in both my tummy and breasts... but it does seem to get better and better as the days go by. Every once in a while I will get a pulling/pinching feeling in my breast. and tummy incision.. not sure if that's a stitch moving around in there or just swelling. I still wear jog bras that are not flattering, but I plan to get fitted in another week or so for a more accurate sizing for new bras. As for my tummy... I see some definition in the morning above the belly button... but none below the belly button. It almost feels as if it's just not my stomach below the belly button... like it's fake. I can feel the rippling of my stretch marks and that just makes me so sad. My tummy is definitely uneven right now from all the swelling (at least I hope it's still swelling). I look at before pics and see that there is a difference in the elasticity of my skin...meaning no muffin top, but I'm still struggling with the overall look and lack of feeling like my tummy is just not part of me. I just really hope to get sensation down there again! The binders and CGs are still not my friends, and I think I'm just more sensitive than others with incision discomfort rubbing. I have literally lined my entire CG garments with maxi pads so I don't have indentations and rubbing on my skin at the end of the day... oh if anyone actually knew that I was wearing those!!! At home, I have to peel the CG garment and bra off and give my skin a break. Now that I am back at work, I find that I need to take Advil more often and my body is just done in the evenings. I know I'm still very early in the process... but I keep thinking my swollen belly above my incision will never go away. Thank you to all who keep reassuring me that it will get better.. but it's hard to be patient. I can't wait for the day when I can post about "low" or "little" swelling. I'm amazed at others who I read about on this site that say they have hardly any swelling at 3 weeks.... I'm like reallly ??? how???? Oh well, I know everyone is different. Posting some pics... not much has changed. I'm posting a close up of my stretch marks under my belly button so you can see my frustration. I WILL get over it... just still adjusting. Best to all of you!

3rd week pics

I'll post with better lighting next week

Questions for veterans

I will have my month post op
In two weeks but I am curious. My incision and sides by the hip areas feel more tender and sore now that I have returned to work. I actually can't stand anything to touch the incision or by my hip bones. Did this happen to anyone?? I can't tell if it's because my CG garment is just too restricting in that area because I'm sitting a lot or perhaps I'm not wearing it tight enough which creates more swelling which created more tenderness. My muscles above BB are sore as well so I try to stretch them here and there. Any ideas??? Still a big pooch! Thighs and bum are getting very jiggly with lack of exercise but I just can't have anything rub against those areas. BTW. The incision near those areas are not more red than any other areas. Still taking ADVIL 600 mg three times a day just because of this rubbing and irritation. Thanks everyone. Swelling still a big concern

One more thing

At night I still wear my binder... Wondering if I should give my skin and incision a break by not wearing anything at night. Even light night shorts hurt the skin all over my belly and sides

4 Week Post-Op

Hmmm... I am 4 weeks today and still have a ton of swelling all over the tummy... above and below belly button. I have called the nurse to make sure this is normal, and she reassured me that it's part of the process and now time is really the healing magic. It does seem that since I have started back at work and expelling more energy throughout the day... I am swelling more and probably not eating the best. I will have a little chocolate now and then and a little diet soda each day to combat the stress of being back at work. I feel tons of pulling still because I am moving all over the place, bending, and acting like nothing is wrong with me. I can walk upright with no problem but will feel stiff in the upper abs if I've been sitting for awhile. My scar line feels so tight like I need to put something on it to relieve the tension. I have posted on a couple people's sights about scar gel, strips, etc... to see what will work. My PS thinks they are mostly worthless as I will get the final result the same with or without scar treatment. Perhaps it will just help me mentally get through this. I'm not wearing a binder or CG at night.. in fact I hate to feel anything on my belly skin. I'm still wearing a comfortable bra from Bali that I love... I still feel pins and needles in the breasts but not really uncomfortable. Patience is difficult for me and again the nurse reassured me that because I had a thinner frame to begin with... I won't see the results I'm hoping for until much later. Right now, I miss my old stomach!!! I'll post pics this weekend... not much change though. Best to all of you

4 weeks. Hope this is still swollen!!

Although swelling has gone down a bit... It is still very much there... I hope. I see my PS next week so hope to get good news. I'm still sore on my sides , edges of incision and above bully button if I sit too long. I went binder and CG free today and I loved and hated it. Feels good to be free but not exactly comfortable. I have much more energy and can walk, bend, etc with pretty much no pain.. Just a little discomfort. I do see improvement in some ways before pre op and still waiting for improvement in others. I can't button any of my shorts or pants but I don't have the rolls when I sit. Each week hoping for more progress. In the meantime, I'm still not exercising regularly and my diet is good but a couple more sweets now that I'm back at work. I'm worried about putting on weight as I did hop on the scale today. Two pounds over what pre-op weight was.... Yikes! Hope all is well.

5 Weeks and Post Op Appt

I will post more pics this weekend, but I took this one this morning to see the side shot of my tummy. I was hoping to hear that this is major swelling, but my PS thinks its still a little bit of swelling and will improve somewhat overtime. If I heard him correctly, I am not to expect a dramatic improvement as he believes that the curve under the belly button is how I will be shaped now... that I will never be "flat". He knows I wasn't thrilled, and said we could always talk revision and lipo at another time once we see the final result free of charge. He would tighten up the lower muscles even more if necessary. He saw the "baby" bump look from the side and downward angle that I see and understood my concerns. I do NOT want to go through this again. I don't blame my PS.. he did exactly what I had asked... loose the skin and tighten the muscles. I guess my expectations were that I would go back to my tummy before kids... flat!!! As I sit here typing I just feel big and uncomfortable. He said to ditch the spanx and I can start working out when I feel up to it. My sides and my hips are very tender by the end of the day, and I just don't want anything on my skin. Soooo... only time will tell... but I will be very sad if this is the majority of the end result as I still can't fit into my pre-op anything. My PS even checked to see how much space between my skin and muscles... and there was hardly anything in between... meaning probably not that much swelling to loose. Perhaps there's some internal swelling going on that we can't see? I do hope so. I will see him at 4 months to see where things are at. He was very compassionate, sincere and didn't throw any ego in the ring when talking about disappointments. I truly appreciated that. Other than that, I sleep ok but it still stings to lay on my side for too long. My incision feels pulled so tight in the morning and takes me awhile for the skin to loosen up a bit and feel movable. I have not been on walks as it hurts too much to have anything rubbing on my hips. I have started biocornium just to help with hydration on the incisions. My boobs are deflating a bit now that swelling has gone down there... but still happy with those results. I'm still wearing a sports bra (not sexy) as I fear how an underwire will feel all day. In other news, I have been sooo busy with work and kids starting school that I haven't been able to comment on people's posts... but I am reading them :) Wishing you all well!!!

5 week pic in the morning

Is the pooch here to stay??? Sounds like that might be the case

Swelling ranges

Showing you a photo of morning and evening range of swelling on the same day. Yikes!!! Hugs to all

Two Months... flew by

I'll post pics this weekend but here I am at two months post op! The journey definitely is not over as I still experience ups and downs with my procedure. Overall, husband and friend (who I have showed my tummy too) think that my swelling has gone down quite a bit over the couple of weeks. I still feel the tight feeling of the scar area in the morning and at night. Some tugging continues at the end of the scar line as well. I feel that there is a ridge from the scar that dips down into the pubis area. I'm not sure why this is such a shock to me as I was cut across my lower stomach. I guess I just thought it would be a smooth transition from scar to skin... perhaps it will be that way one day. It's still tough to wear some clothing... such as jeans are anything tight long my stomach. I can get a swelling bump above my belly button after wearing such items... especially at night. The worst past is that I have been sick this week and the coughing and sneezing have been so painful on my stomach muscles. I still get that feeling that something is ripping inside me. A little bit of coughing is not bad... but this non stop stuff has been really hard on me. I do think this will be worth it in the end... it's just weird how I thought I would be further along with healing. I thought I would be able to lie on my side without discomfort or even on my stomach... but no way. What I can do is walk perfectly normal.. jog a bit.. twist.. etc... If I squeeze my stomach in my skin crinkles a bit below the belly button so it's just me getting used to a new visual. I am happy with my breast lift but I still don't like any tension on the scars for too long. Wire bras feel uncomfortable too... but overall I think there's a big difference. Hope everyone is doing well. Now that I'm so busy with work and kid activities I sometimes forget about my procedures unless something feels too snug, pulls because I overstretch or I glance in the mirror at my still red scars. Hope everyone is healing well!!!

9 weeks and still swollen

I'm uploading pics. Super happy in the morning and finally feel the flat feeling.... But I feel swollen or bloated after breakfast thru the night. I think I do feel the bloating more than people see it though. I notice it above and below the belly button. My scar us still deep red and feels hard. In fact my entire stomach feels really hard. I hope that's normal and I'm wondering if I'm having some tough scar tissue internally as well.
Maybe everything will soften soon. I'm using biocornium for the scars and can't say I see a dramatic difference.

Morning at 9 weeks

Side view only in morning

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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Awesome results!!!
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Thank you!! Such a work in progress. Wishing you the best!!
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You look awesome! Your belly is super FLAT! Wow. You have such a narrow waist too. I'm jealous of those skinny hips. Amazing results. Congrats!
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I just wish it lasted past breakfast but it never does:). I'm working on eating better and walking more but I still get very sore fast with my stomach muscles. How are you?? Have your results changes in the last month? I've always thought you look amazing!!
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Looking flat to me, but then I am not you... And imagine you feel it as much as you see it. Thanks for the update and pics. Tomorrow is my day!
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OMGoodness!!!! Best to you and you WILL look and feel amazing!!! It's finally your day sweet lady. I'll be thinking and sending positive vibes your way!!
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You look terrific! I'm right at 9 weeks myself and I'm still really swollen too, so know you're not alone. I guess some of us just take a little longer to deflate. :) I am bursting out of my clothes by the end of the day. I feel good but my pre-op jeans still won't button. I have some spots on my scar that are harder than others but I have found that spending a few minutes just massaging it every night has really helped break up some of that hard scar tissue.
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Thanks so much. I'll try massage but it just never feels good. Hmmmm. I see the doc in another month so I'll ask about more suggestions as well. How are you feeling most of the day?? I wonder if the swelling or bloating ever truly goes away. Before my tuck I always bloated. Perhaps I need to change my diet habits. Any suggestions out there except eat protein and less carbs and sugar?? It just takes me being disciplined and just taking it one day at a time.
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Hi, you look fantastic!! With those last 2 pics, the first one is what your end result will look like. That's what Dr. V told me and I have to say he was right. But I am 8 months post op now and I thought I was way over the swelling. I have found that I'm nice and super flat in the morning, but by nighttime I end up feeling swollen. I can see it but my hubby says he can't tell (guys just don't notice these things apparently). It feels lightly tender to the touch. The good news is it's 100 times better than the early days, I have been told it takes a solid year to see the final results. Try and stay positive. This whole recovery thing is definitely a roller coaster ride that continues on, seemingly forever. Happy thoughts your way!
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Wow -- your tummy is FLAT! It looks like the swelling is going down more and more. I know you still feel like you have a pooch. I hope you get the results you want. While I would never go through this again voluntarily, you paid serious $ and if Vath needs to redo it -- then redo it when you are ready. But I suspect in time, you'll be pleased with the results. I really hope so! I am thrilled with mine but it's been impossible to shed the 5 lbs I've gained since the surgery. Sigh...at least I am back to full throttle working out now and I hope in the next few weeks, I'll see the results of my hard work.
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Thank you!! It doesn't feel like the swelling is ever really down but I'm always on my feet and running around most of the night as well. I'm 6 weeks today so happy to reach that milestone but still get pinching feelings and sore muscle pulls. It almost feels like I have internal stitches causing some irritation. Have you started to see less fluctuation in your swelling? So happy to hear that you love your results and I hope to be there one day as well since I still don't have feeling in my stomach still feels like it's just not a part of me yet. You said you have gained 5 pounds from the surgery where do you see it or is it just muscle from all your working out??
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My stomach is still numb. And sometimes I feel that weird stretching pull sensations still. And those internal stitches feel weird at time too. Sept 2nd will be 4 months dpo. I also still swell when I work out and eat too much salt and when I have PMS/period. Other than that, the swelling is pretty much gone. I wish I gained 5 lbs muscle! :) Oh it's NOT muscle. It's fat for sure. I really didn't start working out with gusto until a couple weeks ago (10 day vacation in August definitely didn't help either -- wine and ice cream!) so I'm just getting back to my normal routines. I think it'll come off in time. It's hard to be patient! I figure this whole thing take a year to kind of settle back to a new normal.
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Hi Meadowlark I just had another massage and Pam did say when I start using our eliptical that I may hear or feel a tight stretching/ popping sensation. If you want her number to discuss that with her just private message me ...she's a wealth of knowledge. Just a thought ;))
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That is considerable swelling by the end of the day. Reason to keep hoping because the first pic is soooo flat. I have read that it may take up to 4-6 months for all the swelling to go down. Thanks for following my journey, and for posting!
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Yes it is very uneven swelling. Bunch poochier on one side of the vertical scar. I'm on my feet a lot so hope to give my body some rest this weekend!! Keep up your awesome attitude about surgery. Wish I had your determination with self control. Since I've been back at work I've definitely consumed more caffeine and goodies
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Hahn... I could never give up my caffeine. Lucky I am so sensitive to it though, only in the am...but that is it for the day. Keep us posted on the pouch, and rest this weekend....lots of resting and naps. Netflix weekend maybe?
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Thanks for letting us know how you have been. And I am going to stay positive and hope that the pouch is swelling. It was very nice of Dr Vath to offer a revision if needed later. Your waist looks skinny, hope you get some energy soon and feel like walking, working out and being active. Have been thinking of you lately and wondering how your recovery has been progressing. Great Big Hugs!
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Thanks Dream Cruiser and I've been following your journey. Sounds like you are doing awesome!! I have tons of energy just my skin is so hypersensitive!! Best to you
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I wonder why the skin is so sensitive. BTW....who at the office has been your contact, Kari left and they now have me with a new girl (lady?). Loved Kari.
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I really don't have a contact now post surgery it's really the nurses that you have more conversations with making sure things are right or normal. They are great and really take the time to make you feel like you're on the right track. As for the sensitivity I think it's just my body. I am not wearing the spanx today and already my skin feels that much better. I did show Dr Vath how I have a couple broken blood vessel's or spider veins or something that was taking place on my upper abdomen he said will keep an eye on it and may have to do some sclerotherapy on it if it gets worse. Of course I'm the first patient that he is seen with this go figure
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Sounds like a great recovery! One day at a time with a new result! wonderful! Thanks so very much for sharing your journey with all of us RS chica's.
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Looking great!! :)
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Thx. You too! Sounds like your healing and recovering very well :)
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I'm right there with you, coming up on my 4 week mark and still incredibly swollen...at least I hope it's swelling! Still unable to fit into any of my pre-op clothes and I've unfortunately started eating more sugar, too. Hopefully when you see Dr. V next week he can put your mind at ease that it's still just the normal swelling doing its thing. It's different for everyone but I've heard the 4-6 week mark is when the worst of the swelling subsides. Here's hoping!
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Thx for the hopeful news and glad to know I'm not alone!!! I'm just impatient but really want to fit in my clothes again. I'm just waiting for the are you pregnant questions since so much swelling is down below. I have swelling or scar tissue above the bb as well. Hoping it was all relax and smooth out!!! Good luck to you!
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