3 week PO - Update, new pics: TT Post Weight Loss, No Children - Colorado

I was overweight from childhood to age 18. Once I...

I was overweight from childhood to age 18. Once I left home to attend college, I lost about 60 pounds through changing my diet and exercise.

I've kept that weight off for almost 12 years now, but the loose skin on my belly is a constant reminder.

My frown belly button and crepe-paper skin have kept me from a lot, unfortunately, and I'm finally ready to shed them.

My PS confirmed that my muscles don't need tightening, so I'm doing a skin/fat removal only - and I'd like to share that experience here.Updated on 15 Dec 2011:My doctor recommends renting a walker and an electric bed to make recovery as easy as possible.

Has anyone out there done this? It seems like most everyone gets by with a recliner, and I've got one of those!

Thank you.Updated on 18 Dec 2011:Alright, I added some before pics... whoa.

More about me. I'm about to turn 30. I'm 5'8" 150lbs. At my heaviest I was just over 200 lbs.

TT is day after tomorrow!!!

I'm off to pick up prescriptions and groceries for the week.

I thought I saw a post somewhere about all the things you should have/would love to have for TT recovery, but now I can't find it... or maybe I made it up?

Either way - if you have any must haves, please send 'em my way. Thank you!Updated on 20 Dec 2011:Alright, TODAY is the day!

Surgery is at 1130am, and I am STARVING. :)

I feel ready. I've been fueling myself with some great visualizations of how I know I will look post-surgery, and more importantly, how I know I will feel.

For example, I can't wait to return to working out and doing plyos. Jumping without my loose skin flopping around and making my pants move down. Or worse, a roll flying out! TMI, I know.

Or even the simple act of being able to lift my shirt to wipe sweat of my face, without turning to face a corner.

It's the little things...:)

Alright, I'll update more this afternoon.

Your thoughts and prayers are with me!Updated on 20 Dec 2011:Hi everyone,

I'm back at home & I feel great. I've already eaten, peed twice, talked to my mother for hours, and walked around. I'm sure some of this is do to the local anesthesia still being there?

Either way, I'll take it... knowing the next 2 days could be different (i.e. harder).

As for the surgery, here's the update:

Per my decision, my surgical team used local anesthesia and IV sedation and I as very comfortable, breathing on my own, and woke up feeling normal and not nauseous, or at least not yet...

Turns out my lower abs WERE separated by an inch or so :( , so my PS went ahead and repaired them (per my permission/our discussion prior to surgery.) I'm grateful for that.

As for the rest, sounds like they removed quite a slice of skin/fat (NY pizza sized! eww?) and are thrilled with the result. PS told my friend I was in phenomenal shape :) ! so he thinks I'll be thrilled with the result. Fingers crossed... WOO!

Another important thing I wanted to mention. I have NO DRAINS.

My PS uses the quilting stitch method to eliminate the vacuous space and, ideally, the need for drains. Also, I have really no binder on. Just gauze and a gauze wrap... so my experience seems different from the majority?

Hmm... okay that's it for now. I'm going to eat more soup, I'm STARVING still.

I hope all my fellow Tuesday TTers are doing well, my thoughts are with you.

More soon.Updated on 20 Dec 2011:* * *

Quick update before bed. Surgery was at 1pm, actually. Around about 930pm I could tell my local anesthesia wore off. Nothing too shocking, just mild pain all over by tummy more or less, like I had just had the best core workout of my life.

I took a crushed up vicodin in apple sauce and felt better in 15 mins. There is bleeding around my new belly button, but not too bad. I have a post op tomorrow, so hoping to get a glimpse then.

Should be memorable!Updated on 21 Dec 2011:* * * *

Alright. 1 day post op.

I feel great.

I've already had 2 BMs. I credit 2 cups of Smooth Move tea (Traditional Medicinal brand), dried prunes and lots of water. Oh, and a healthy appetite. :)

I also went for a nice slow walk with the dog.

My only complaint is not being able to stand up straight. I'm very tight, but it's okay.

Other than that, I feel much better than I could have hoped. I am so so grateful, there are no words.

I also had my post-of appointment today. They changed the bandages and I saw everything. Looked good to me...

Here are some pics.Updated on 21 Dec 2011:Well, by "some pics" I meant one pic. Ha!

Anyways, I should add, I didn't sleep much last night. Not for pain, but for excitement! I just sat there thinking, I can't believe it. I did it. Wow.

Might have been the steriods I'm on too, they tend to make folks wired...

* * * Day 2. Not too much to report...

* * *

Day 2. Not too much to report today. Another BM, another walk, some gift wrapping, finally some good napping! That was the best part.

I can stand up a little straighter today, but still not straight. My back muscles are super sore but the heating pad is miraculous. My tummy is very tight and I am getting some swelling on my lower right side. All to be expected.

I think that is it for now. Oh, I took a shower too, felt great.

another post op mtg tomorrow. Last one until the new year, so i'll have to make sure I ask about everything... like how come I don't need to wear a binder?

Hi again, Day 3 PO. Feel better. Much easier to...

Hi again,

Day 3 PO. Feel better. Much easier to walk, although definitely not upright.

Saw my surgeon today, says everything is looking great.

I'm headed out to buy spanks or some sort of compression garment from the store.

Send your favorite brands if you have them.

The tenting from being pulled so tight (plus the swelling) has definitely given me extra inches in the waist. I'm posting a picture to show this. Can't wait to see this go down, but hey - day 3, not bad.

Alright, today is 8 days PO. I feel great. I can...

Alright, today is 8 days PO.
I feel great. I can pretty much function normally with day to day stuff with the exception of:
I still can't stand up straight
I'm still sleeping in the recliner

I had the stitches removed from my new bb yesterday, it was super easy and painless. And I love it. OMG, I love it. I cannot remember ever having an actual belly button and not just a belly... roll, I guess. I still can't get over it.

My side view is not as amazing. I'm so tight that I really see a LOT of tenting. The angle of the skin coming down from my rib cage is soooooo different than it was. It juts away from me. And I'm wider... but FLAT. So the battle to stand up straight continues. As does the battle against swelling.

To that point, I am going to try lymphatic massage tomorrow with someone who works with my PS. Has anyone out there done this? I'm excited.

To all my fellow swollen sufferers, have you tried...

To all my fellow swollen sufferers, have you tried lymphatic drainage massage?!
My PS's office recommended a couple of folks, I went to one and O.M.G. what a difference. I literally got off the table with over an inch of swelling gone!
The idea is that unlike our circulatory system which as a pump (our heard) our lymphatic system uses muscle contraction (and gravity) to move lymph around. Since we all can't get too much muscle contraction, this massage helped move it manually and HOLY MOLY did it ever. I am so much less swollen. Look into it, I bet you could Google search your town and lymphatic drainage massage and get something...
I'll post new pics soon.

Alright, I posted a picture to try to show how...

Alright, I posted a picture to try to show how much the swelling below my navel went down post massage.
Still not up straight, but almost... :)
I also finally slept in a bed last night, with a ton of pillows, but a bed nonetheless.
The only other update is that I had a bit of a reaction around the steristrips(the tape over my incision). Went to my PS, they removed them and there was some areas of blistering. They gave me some cream and it's much better, almost gone already. I'll post close ups of my incision too, in case any of you have or get this.
Hope you are all doing well. Wishing us all the best in 2012.

Just past the 3 day PO mark,and I feel...

Just past the 3 day PO mark,and I feel GREAT!
Sorry I've fallen so behind on updating. Here's my recap.
I returned to work (desk job) after 2 weeks, and around the same time I returned to working out daily.
I couldn't stand up straight for almost 15 days, and then it took about 3 days after that to make it through the day straight up. I still get tight after sitting too long, but that's about it.
As for working out, I got the go ahead from my PS to do non-high-impact WOs, so I started off slow on the recumbant bike, built up to walking on the treadmill at an incline, then the raised bike and stairmaster. I also do some light body work like calf raised, etc - no twisting and no heavy upper body lifting.
I also work out in a Target brand version of spanx, and I have to say - working out has seemed to make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. The very next morning after my first WO, I had SO much less swelling. I've kept it up and increased it a little every day and I think it's working. Oh, but again - I do workout in spanx and I do ice for 20 mins after I am done, just to send some extra love to the TT.
I've also tried to maintain a pretty good diet, and I do feel able to eat less at each sitting, which has been helpful.
My only lingering "issues", if you can even call them that, is that I still have tightness, especially in my hip flexors (hip crease area,) and I still have a pretty red ring around my BB. Oh, and I still have a pretty significant ridge on my left side at the incision. I think that all this will continue to subside with time, though.
Oh, and right around 2.5 weeks, I was finally able to sleep in really any position.

That's it for now.
My advice,
get moving and keep moving
start slow and take extra precautions
ice afterwards, even if you're not sore
sleep, nap, send positive love your way
lots of visualizations of how you'll know you'll look soon.

Okay, good luck to all of you out there. I'll update again next week.

Er, that post was meant to say just past the 3...

er, that post was meant to say just past the 3 WEEK PO mark.
Denver Plastic Surgeon

So far, Dr. Z has WONDERFUL! He is so great, spends as much time as I want sitting with me, answering my questions, showing me where the incision will be, even letting me try on my panties to see if I'll like where the incision will be! He is extremely competent and seems to be so invested in me and my outcome. When my friend wheeled me out to the car, he even ran out to say goodbye and shake my hand again. I'll see him tomorrow to see about post-op care, but so far 2 enthusiastic thumbs up! UPDATE: I've visited the office 3 times since my TT and every time it is a pleasure. Super friendly and helpful staff, super attentive, simply the best!

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 (24)

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Looking awesome!! Your swelling has gone down on the sides - yay! You keep looking tinier and tinier.
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you look awesome!! Please keep updating!!
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Hi Never Owned! Wow-looking really really good& at 1 wk. to boot-you must be VERY happy can't wait to see your updates!! Happy New Year to you! :)
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Wow! Look at your one week pic! You look amazing and you still have such a long way to go to see your final results!!!
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You look great, gives me hope!!!!!!
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Thank you so much for you comments everyone. I so truly appreciate the support!
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You look great!! You won't walk upright for a while yet. Don't stress about it. Keep resting and healing. You are on the other side now :)
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Wow that's pretty crazy that you didn't have drains. They are one of the worst parts of the tummy tuck. I hated them utterly and completely. And I still ended up with fluid accumulation! Hopefully you do alright without them.
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@ Neverowned, girl your tummy looks awesome! Your PS did an amazing job! No drains? You are so lucky on that end, I had 2 -one was removed on Monday and hopefully the other will be removed this coming Monday-keeping my fingers crossed though! Happy Holidays! ;o)
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You look awesome!! Your incision is nice and low and your belly button is perfect ;-)
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Your belly button looks awesome! I hope mine looks that good.
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So glad everything went well! I can't wait to see your after photos, you are gonna look great ;-) I know you said you don't have a binder so I would suggest you get some kind of compression garment because it helps soooo much. Happy Healing!
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I felt compelled to write you and wish you well. I have almost an identical story and specs! Considering a tummy tuck, breast implant combo.... intrigued to see your results.
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Thank you, Bella!
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Saying a prayer for you....
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Thank you all so much for your comments and advice. My surgery is scheduled for 1130am TODAY! EEEK! :)
I'll post more soon...
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Hi NOa2P-I'm PO day 3 now. Doing great. I know the lists you're looking for. They are under the Forum Tab. Select December TTer check in here. You'll have to do a ton of scrolling but it's worth it because you'll pick up lots of other information along the way. I did not want or use a walker at all. For me it would have been way more bother than it was worth (I was very fit and athletic before the surgery). My sweetie guided me the first day, then I wanted to do it myself. I agree about the recliner. I could not sleep on the bed because the muscles between my shoulder blades would spasm. The recliner was a life saver. Good luck!
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I think you are going to have a great result! And w/ no muscle repair it should be even easier on you. It is still surgery so you need to give yourself time to heal.

I had both a hospital bed and a walker. My dr recommends all his patiences get a walker because he wanted us to walk bent over and the walker does help w/ that. Your back can get pretty sore. I'm betting the recliner will be just fine for you though. Not many use a walker but I was so glad I had one. I had an extended TT so my incision goes all the way around. I could not stand the recliner as it put me on my back so much. I've had a rough recovery because of my back. If I had no incision back there a recliner would have been just fine.

The only thing I'd really like to stress is to make sure you eat/drink lots of protein & take Vit C to help you heal. I didn't realize going in just how important it is to do that and I did have many issues because of it. You may not feel like eating afterwards so try and have some protein shakes handy.
My experience is far from the norm though and you look like you will do just fine.

I'll be thinking of you and checking out your progress. Good luck!
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Good luck on your tummy tuck tomorrow! You are tiny so you should have great results ;-) My belly button was a frown like yours and now it's not - yay! I can't wait to see your afters. Think positive, drink lots of water after surgery and the weeks to follow, get active as soon as you can, and get off the pain medications as soon as you can tolerate it. This is all stuff that helped me so maybe it will help you too ;-) Water is going to help with swelling and it will help with flushing your system of the drugs that were given during surgery. Pain meds can cause depressed feelings and also make you constipated - both of which are not pleasant to experience after surgery. However, expect to feel a little depressed at about 3 days and on and off in the weeks to come. You will find that this is totally normal. As for things that are a necessity, my recliner was totally needed until about a week and a half post-op. Other than that, I also had my lap top, books, and a huge cup of water at my side. I also had prunes on hand and never had an issue with constipation. I'm 8 weeks now and I look back and it all seems like a blur. I'm so happy I had a good recovery and I'm so happy that I did this. Update us as soon as you feel up to it ;-)
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A walker would be pretty awesome I bet, but yeah, I think most ladies do fine with a recliner!

Thanks so much for sharing your journey here! Please let us know how you feel as you get closer and how your recovery goes.

And congrats on the weight loss!!

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I don't really think that you will need an electric bed or walker! That would probably just be unnecessary expense for you. Maybe if you have back problems or some other complication that might make it difficult to walk. Yes you will be hunched over for a little while, but since your muscles will be left alone, recovery shouldn't be too bad. Personally I would have felt very strange using a walker, but if you trust your doctor and feel that you want to have all bases covered, than maybe you should get them.
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Woo! Please let me know how it goes, Exuberant.
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You bet! BTW, I just posted a review too!
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Welcome NOa2P! Your story is similar to mine although I started blowing up at puberty. I'm scheduled for tomorrow morning and my PS said he won't know if I need muscle repair until he gets in there to see. We don't expect it because I never had kids, but I was 100 lbs overweight for a long time. We'll see!
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