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Journal of a Journey ~ My Tummy Tuck Adventure - Cleveland, OH ~ July 9th 2013

WOW I am so EXCITED!!! I have been stalking...

WOW I am so EXCITED!!! I have been stalking realself since 2011. I really enjoy reading about the experiences and stories of the women on this site. I have dreamed of having a tt for a long time but never thought I would. Now its actually happening!!!!

ABOUT ME:
I am a veteran turned military wife and stay at home mom to 3 beautiful babies (3,4, and 9). I am 5' 7" and weigh 155. I carry all my weight in my stomach. I attribute my excess weight (about 10lbs) to these huge 36DDD fun bags on my chest. hehehe I run 3 miles about 3x/week. Plus rollerblading and biking with my kiddos and hubby very often. We are a very active military family.

ABOUT MY FEELINGS:
I know I can feel beautiful and be happy without a TT because I have been doing it for years. I never let my stomach bother me. Like many women of the generations before me I didn't think the damage caused by pregnancy could be fixed. So I tried to embrace it. I referred to my extra skin and stretch marks as "badges of honor". Whenever a negitive thought about my stomach would try to creep into my head I would tell myself that I had a girls body before and now my new after kids body was a "real" woman's body. LOL! I pretended to be so proud of it! I would say sacrificing my body was a "small price to pay" to have my beautiful healthy babies. Plus I have mad skillz and could camouflage my stomach under layers of clothes ;) Even though deep down I still felt hideous.

MY SITUATION:
One month after turning 31 in 2009 I gave birth to my 3rd baby. My hubby and I decided that was the last "surprise" we wanted to have so he got snipped. It is final, I am done having children. That chapter in my life is closed!

THE JOURNEY BEGINS:
Fast forward to july 2012 ~ The most amazing unthinkable thing happened!!!!.......My father offered to pay for me to have TT!!! The only thing was I would have to wait until Sept 2013 to have it done so he could save up the money. WOW! So that is when I started to let myself notice how much my stomach bothered me. Once my mind acknowledged how uncomfortable I really am in my own skin the years of denial came crashing down over me like a huge wave washing away all the blinders I had put up. Blinders that were there to protect my feelings from my own negitive thoughts about my body. I had acknowledged to myself my true feelings toward my "mom" body and there was no turning it off. I let my stomach bother me every minute of every day because now, with the help of my dad, I could something about it!!!!!!! I am so thankful to live in a day and age where I can have surgery to correct my damaged stomach!!!!


THE JOURNEY TAKES A BREAK:
Fast forward Nov 2012~ My dad was hospitalized for many weeks and endured many surgeries and recoveries. He will never be able to work again. It was never said out loud but my hubby and I both knew the offer to pay for my TT was off the table, he has his own medical bills to worry about now. There is no way I could turn my mind back now that I knew something could be done but I also knew financially there is no way we could afford it. As a stay at home mom I make many sacrifices and most of the time I sacrifice my "wants" for the greater good of the family. I feel that it is a "small" price to pay to be able to stay at home and raise my kids for the short time before they start school full time. I figured in a few years when they are all in school and I can have time for a job I will start saving up for a TT. I wasn't extremely happy about waiting but I felt that waiting 5-10 years was my only option and it was acceptable.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES:
Fast forward March 2013~ I could tell something was weighing very heavy on my hubby's mind for a couple of weeks. I didn't ask him about it cause I knew he would open up when he was ready to talk about it. Then he came to me and said he had thought long and hard about it and that he wanted me to go ahead and get the TT now. I'll admit I was hesitant to accept his offer because I knew all the sacrifices the family would have to make. I really didn't want to get excited about it until I knew he was totally sure and cool with it. So for the next week I asked him over and over again if he was sure. I hate to admit it but I even started a few fights so he could "take it back", but even red hot mad he still wouldn't change his mind. He said that this was something HE WANTED to do for me. So I made the consultation appointment with Dr. Donaldson.

THE CONSULTATION:
April 2013~The consult went very smoothly. Dr. Donaldson and his staff are very polished and proficient at what they do. He said he usually does some lipo as part of the tummy tuck at no extra charge (this was awesome news to me)!!! He said that he was excited to do my TT since most of my excess fat and skin is below the belly button I would have excellent results. He showed me some pics of TT he had done and pointed out how he used lipo to sculpt feminine curves. Which I was so happy to hear cause I really wanted an artist and not just a skilled surgeon. I then got the $$$$ Quote and booked my surgery date!!!! SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!

3 months pre-op ~ I know I am going to go through all kinds of thoughts and emotions in the next 3 months. Everyone I know is very supportive and encouraging. I think this makes a huge difference for me mentally. Whenever I start having second thoughts my mom (hubby, mother-in-law, dad and friends) set my mind straight. The other night I was voicing some concern to my mom and she said "Everyone is in agreement, you need this!"
I am beginning to wonder if they think my stomach is more hideous than I do! LOL

2 Comments

Sooo happy for you! What caught my eye about your story is your surgery date... July 11th! That's my Birthday... *smile* so I know that will be an awesome day for you! My surgery date is July 16th so I feel your anxiety on the wait...I look forward to seeing your after pics. Good luck, and be blessed!
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YAY I picked a winning date!! LOL, 7/11 convient store should so give you a free big gulp that day! LOL It feels like forever away so I am just trying to fill up the calendar in hopes it helps the time pass but honestly having my new slim waist line is all I can think about!

2 1/2 months pre-op~So today I read an article...

2 1/2 months pre-op~So today I read an article that said people who have extra weight in their stomach area get hotter and sweatier in cooler temperatures. I am always hot. It could be 20 below and I would still be outside in a t-shirt and feel fine. So I was wondering if I will have to buy a warmer winter coat after the surgery!!! I sure hope so!

5 Comments

Hey there! Your follow button is there! Hope your doing well and stay positive. That's to funny your doctor and first kiss has the same last name. Girl your started early with the boys. Hehe only joking! Have you started to purchase anything for your tummy tuck?
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Not yet. It's so mind boggling that I don't even know where to start, well actually I am going to pickup a walker I found on craigslist saturday. I heard that it would be a lifesaver to my back while I am hunched over. The kiss was pure pressure!!!! LOL and the quickest peck ever but you never forget your first, LMAO!
Oh my I just realized I put the kiss was pure pressure instead of peer pressure, whoops! LOL

I am getting so excited! My mom booked her plane...

I am getting so excited! My mom booked her plane tickets so she can come take care of me during my recovery....she booked to stay for 6 weeks!!! That way she can help with the kiddos too so my hubby doesn't have to take so much time off work. I had my first TT nightmare last night! It was so awesome and even though it was a nightmare it made me so excited and anxious for july 16th!

3 Comments

Best of luck to you. How awesome you have such great support!
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Hi, sorry its been a couple of days. Hope all is well! My surgeon gave me Botanical to take three days prior and Arnica to take after. The b12,c,d is something I saw on a forum for after surgery. I was in dollar tree (everything is a $1 lol) buying a birthday bag for my sons friend and saw them so I picked them up. I purchased compression socks from target last night for the hour n 1/2 ride home. Also picked up alcohol pads and gloves. I have thought about buying another compression garment from Leonisa. But I've read a lot of ladies buy online from kohls so they can take it back to the store if it doesn't fit. I'll let you know if I come across a good one. I believe my surgeon starts medical grade gel strips. You are one luck lady to have all the support you do!!!
Sounds like you are ready!!! I need to add alcohol pads and compression socks to my growing list, lol! I'm so excited for you!!!!

Today I feel super scared! A friend told me she...

Today I feel super scared! A friend told me she didn't think I should get a TT. It got me thinking really hard about all the possible complications and how intense this is. I've never had any surgery so the whole process feels really foreign. But I just think this is a great big opportunity my hubby and family is giving to me and I don't want to back out but somedays I wonder if I can really go through with this????

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Question....but first let me say that this site...

Question....but first let me say that this site has been a real help at relieving my nerves and its great to be able to feed off the courage of the ladies on here who have posted their stories!
So at my consultation appt I told the patient coordinator I wanted the pain pump. She looked at me with a strange look on her face and so I clarified that a friend of mine had a tummy tuck and had one. She said, was it over 10 years ago?, we don't use those anymore. I thought she was right cause my friend had a tt 8 years ago. Anyway she said they use a "tap block" which the anesthesiologist would give me injections to the nerves in the somach while I was open and they would deaden the nerves for 24-48 hours so I wouldn't feel anything. But from reading the stories many women still get a pain pump. I was wondering if anyone else had the tap block??????? How well does it work??????

1 Comments

Wish you the best for your surgery!
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WOW I just came across the most amazingly...

WOW I just came across the most amazingly informative website EVER!!! It explains all the options and factors a doctor looks at in deciding your specific tummtuck. If you are getting a tummy tuck or are disappointed in your tummy tuck results I would encourage you to check it out!
http://www.liposuction-tummy-tucks.com/tummy-tuck/#Top

15 Comments

Hi MiraMira, I too thought of my stretch marks as a badge of honor for being privileged to have 2 healthy pregnancies. Glad you put that out there :). What resulted with the pain pump question? I went for my first consult a week ago and this PS uses a pain pump as well as injecting the muscles with something to numb them for 24-48hrs. I'm glad since I have gastritis my stomach is very sensitive to pain meds.
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Well I decided to go for another consult because I want to see what another ps has to say about the pain pump and also because there was one question I asked about dog ears and I did not like the answer I got so I am going to ask the next ps that too. That appt isn't until the end of May so I will let you know what the next one says....If he says pain pump and injections I will def go with the 2nd one!!!
Good for you for seeking other consults. What did PS1 say about dog ears? When are you planning to have your TT?

I had a consult with Dr. Leedy of Cleveland, Ohio....

I had a consult with Dr. Leedy of Cleveland, Ohio. I could compare the differences in these 2 PS's for days! Overall I was inclined to change my choice of ps because Dr. Leedy spent about a hour with me one on one, I saw no less than 30 before and after photos and he explained his personal techniques and why he does things the way he does. He was over the top awesome! With Dr. Donaldson I did not leave his office with a feeling that my results would be worth the pain or the price. But with Dr. Leedy I am very confident my results will be totallly worth it! Dr. Leedy does not use a pain pump or tap block his reason is because there are potential side effects that effect 1 out of 10 people with both these and to him 24-48 hours of numbness is not worth the risk of side effects. The price is about $1000.00 more than Dr. Donaldson but Dr. Leedy is doing an extended tummy tuck cause there is so much extra that my scare will be longer. In reguard to dog ears he said he does everything to avoid them and its an issue of redraping the skin correctly and having the incision long enough. Dr. Donaldson said it would take 2 1/2 hours but Dr. Leedy said 3 1/2 so this is a big difference to me and says to me that he takes his time and does things right the first time.........Sold!!!! LOL

4 Comments

Yay happy you found a PS that gave you "that feeling" where you just knew he was the one.
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How did the#2 consult go??
I'm going to update my review hopefully later tonight when I have more time but I will say it was a completely differnt experince and ended with sticker shock! LOL Right now we have to go to a party at my daughters school, fun fun!

Well since I took my 3 month pre-op pics I have...

Well since I took my 3 month pre-op pics I have lost 8lbs!!! Just by stopping drinking diet Coke 3 weeks ago. I think that is amazing considering Diet Coke has 0 calories....hmmmm maybe someone on here can shed some light on that for me? So here are my new pre-op pics!

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WOW its nice for me to see the photos side by side...

WOW its nice for me to see the photos side by side...I can see my waistline cinching in a little and the lower belly hanging more...

4 Comments

I have seen in the news that diet sodas are worse than regular, they all are basically the same, there is no "no weight gain sodas"
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I'm going to have to remember that, there are no no weight gain sodas....I had heard that too but refused to believe it and now I believe it! LOL
I just read your posts and I'm excited for you. It sounds like you are ready and happy to be on this journey. I booked my surgery 3 months in advance and thought wow that is so far away but now I am only 8 days away and time flew by! I think you are going to look great afterward. Good luck with everything.
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Change of date

The ps's office called today to reschedule my TT for the 9th! 3 days sooner works for me, so today its exactly 7 weeks away!

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Awesome 3 days less to wait :)
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Letting the whole world know

I am very open about getting a TT and tell anyone and everyone who will listen, partly because I am so excited I can't hold it in. I was asked how people respond when I tell them so I decided to post my response on my review just in case someone else is curious about others reactions too. People who know me really well are very supportive and are all "good for you"! Most of my oldest daughters friends parents are curious about the process and have alot of questions but I don't really feel they are judging me cause it doesn't effect them at all. Complete strangers are the ones that are the harshest. I think there are 2 kinds of TTers. The first being people who want to look better in a bikini and its more about vanity (cosmetic TT) and people who want to just feel normal (corrective TT). You can tell by people's reactions which catagory they think you fall in. LOL But by far the most common response is, Lucky you or I want one too, who's your doctor. I am a very blunt kind of person so I just put myself out there, if someone has something negitive to say you can believe I will have something positive to say right back. I have never cared what other people think of me and I prefer to live my life by my rules not by society's rules or anyone else's. I def march to the beat of my own drum! So in hindsite maybe the people close to me are so supportive cause they know that is their only choice, LOL! But if other people's opinions about your life have the power to make you second guess yourself it may be better to keep the TT on the DL, cause people will talk and it won't be all good! (but it won't be all bad either).......One more thing I hear alot it is "there is no way I could ever spend that kind of money on myself." My response is that it's like a car payment and I could either have a new car or a TT and I chose a TT. It's all about priorities and I couldn't care less what kind of car I drive as long as it runs!!

2 Comments

MiraMira, I booked today!!! July 8th is my day!!! I'll post an update on my profile but I immediately thought of you. I needed to tell you :)
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YAY!!! Your going to be one day ahead of me!!! Can't wait to read your update!

Prep

I have decided to do everything I can to prepare my upper abdominal skin for stretching and to give my body all the nutrients it needs to heal quickly as possible. I was not going to order vitamins but after a second thought I did. Mostly because I know I am a very slow healer. So I have started putting Palmer's tummy butter on my upper abdominal skin 3x a day. It feels awesome! (I wish I would of used it during pregnancy, I could of avoided a few of these stretch marks). I just ordered the Recovery Support Pack and Arnica Blister pack from www.vitamedica.com ($88.00). The recovery support pack is started 2 weeks before surgery and is taken until 14 days after surgery. Just to support the immune system and give the body what it needs to heal. I figure if I loose my appitite I will need the vitamins. Plus I have read reviews where people get the cold/flu after surgery and it sounds awful so I want to try and do everything I can to avoid that! And the Arnica to help keep the bruising and swelling down in the lipo areas. Also my hubby has this elongated funnel he got from the autobody shop that I am going to use to pee so I don't have to sit on the toilet and I can just stand and pee like a man!!! LOL I will post a pic of it when I get it. Cost $3.00 If anyone has used the recovery vitamins let me know what you thought of them.

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I'm just like you as far as telling everyone. I just can't help it lol. I have never been good at keeping things to myself when I'm excited. Some if the responses make me wish I could just keep it to myself but oh well. I look forward to following your journey. I think you will have awesome results! Good luck!!
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Thanks! The countdown is on!
I'm set for a tummy tuck July 8! Good luck to you! Can't wait to see your results.
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Pre-op testing booked!

Called the hospital and booked my pre-op physical today, the same day as my pre-op appt with my ps!! It becomes less of a dream and more of a reality with every step forward I take. I have this nasty thought in the back of my mind that I may get in a car accident or some other physical accident and not be able to get the surgery. I hope these kinds of unfounded fears are normal! For now I will ignore them no need to worry about things I can't control.

23 Comments

How was your preop appt?
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Hi I thought that I was the only one with those unfounded fears.My surgery is 7/06/13.Everything is going to be fine.I wish you the best.
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I LOVE your review!!! I kept my TT on the DL just because I didn't want to hear negative comments...not that I care what people think either I just didn't want to hear them...people know now and I'm pretty open about what I had done...I'm so proud of my body. I actually love it now. I hated my "mom" body forever! A TT was something I knew I could have done but financially was not attainable so that really depressed me a lot. When I remarried almost 3 years ago my finances changed and was able to plan a TT. I am so happy I did it. Can't wait to see your before and after pics! You will love it so much. As far as the pain...its not bad at all. I have a very high pain threshold though...4 babies deprived vaginally no pain meds...ouch ;-) I honestly didn't find this bad. The worse pain was the back pain. Sure it was uncomfortable to move and get up and down for a few days but the more you do it the easier you feel. Honestly if you rest for your first 1 week then gradually start moving around frequently after that with rests in between some walks around the house you will soon feel like yourself again. Congrats on the upcoming makeover :-) love every minute of it! Your husband will love the "lift" you get ;-)
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Pre-op!!!!

I am so excited to get this show on the road!! My dr said I am not to take the vitamedica recovery vitamins including the arnica and bromelin because he said they are not FDA regulated and he doesn't know what fillers are used in them. Some fillers can interfer with anethesia but he gave me the okay to start taking them the day after surgery. I am to start taking miralax 3 days before surgery and he prescribed a supository

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Whoops didn't realize pushing enter would post the update LOL

Anyway....a suppository just in case I have stool pain. I got percocet, an antibiotic and a stool softener. One thing he said that surprised me was that they just put a binder around my tummy after surgery and it is really just so the drains have something to hook to. He said there is so much stress on the blood supply and he doesn't want to restrict the skins ability to get blood delivered to it. But I will get a CG in a week or two after the drains are out. He really stressed that the binder should not be tight. I will have 2 drains coming out the sides of the incision. He took pictures and showed me how far back the scar will go. Got all my pre-op instructions and then went to the hospital for my blood work...still waiting for the results. I had to have an ekg, which came back normal. Medical history and surgery day instructions were given. And then..what I anticipate to be the most painful part of the process....payment! I will still be dealing with the payment pain long after the physical pain is gone, LOL. Thats really all I can remember right now but I got so scared last night and was really thinking I couldn't go through with it. Then I got on RS and was uplifted!! Thank You girls!!! Here are the last before photos I will post. Then its after photos!!!!

1 Comments

So exciting!!! You will be SMOKING hot!!!
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Supplies

Here are the supplies I think I need but probably don't, lol!
Sterile gloves, prosthetic penis (funnel), pads, milk of magnesia, recovery vitamins, heating pad, 2 pair of mens button down pj's, tank tops for under binder, mens boxer brief (instead of granny panties), body wipes, antibacterial soap, dry shampoo, throw up container (it got cut off from the photo but its a large folgers container with lid) and just need to pick up prescriptions!!! I am feeling very ready. If I am missing anything please let me know!

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Prothetic penis

I drink alot of water and pee very often and I know after surgery I won't want to get up every 20-30mins to pee so my hubby made me a prothetic funnel penis so I don't have to get outta bed to pee and will just funnel it into a milk jug. I don't know if this is going to be a good idea but I will let you know! LOL

17 Comments

What a neat contraption! I have been using my champion boy shorts from target and love them. I think men's boxers will be the same. Do you have a big water bottle? Tervis makes a good water bottle that stays cold. You are going to look smokin! Other than your belly the rest of your body looks toned and small!
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That's an awesome pee funnel. You said it's just from the auto parts store? Glad to hear all went well with preop. We're almost in the single digit day countdown. Just noticed how small your waist is! You're going to have amazing results. Interesting and good point from your ps on his thoughts with the CG immed after surgery. I'm not a fan of spanx, wore for a wedding i was in but took it off in the limo immed after the ceremony - I just couldn't breathe in it. Scary to think how tight the CG will be.
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I hate spanx too...so uncomfy! But my dr said the cg will not be tight untilt I get the drains out, relief! The funnel is from the auto parts store and then he cut the top to make it fit nicely between my legs and melted the side to make it nice and smooth! I just want to be able to drink as much water as possible without getting up every 10 mins! LOL

Forgot to give my stats!

In my review I think I forgot to say I am 5'7" and now 152lbs. All my weight is in my stomach and chest. I wear a dress size 12 and size 10 jeans (which are super baggy in the butt and hips and super tight around my stomach)
I am having a TT w/muscle repair and lipo of the flanks. I haven't talk to the ps about the lipo I just told him to do what he thinks is best and surprise me!! I love surprises so lets hope I am not disappointed :~)

20 Comments

I wonder why ps's vary so much. I wonder why some people get the whole CG and some of us just have a binder.....guess we just have to trust that the surgeon knows what is best for us! At this point I guess that's all I can do!
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I will get a call the day before from the hospital and they will tell me what time I should arrive....but my surgery is booked for 7:30am!!! I am getting so excited to just experience this whole process! What time do you go in?
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hey girl how are ya?! almost your day cant wait to meet up! oh and is hubby still making me a penis lol?! my kids heard me say something about that and they were like mom you are crazy!!!
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Last update before surgery!

Tomorrow the hospital is calling me to tell me what time to be there on Tuesday! After I get the phone call my hubby and I are going to the hotel cause its an hour and a half away. I will get the hotel room all set up and try to get some sleep. I know my surgery is scheduled for 7:30am so I won't have to wait long on tuesday to go I just have to get some sleep! My hubby said "theres no turning back now" and I thought I have never thought about turning back as an option at any point I just want to be on the flat side already!! Anyway I am excited and this is so surreal for me. Here are my pre-op measurements
Weight 153
Natural waist 35 1/4"
Lower Waist (around belly button) 41"
Hips 41 1/2"
ribs 34"

So these are not fun to post at all! Can't wait to see how much these numbers change!!! After surgery I will go back to the hotel and stay the night. Wednesday is my 24 hour post-op appt and then home! Thank you ladies for all the support and encouragement and next time I post I will be on the flat side!!!

30 Comments

Hope you are doing well. Thinking of you :)
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Hi Mira, Hope you're doing well. Please update us when you get a chance :). Been thinking about you.
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Seenher Tonight and she is doing really well! I hope I'm as strong as her!
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I have arrived on The Flat Side!!!

Whoa I feel like I am dreaming! Here's how suregery day went. Got to the hospital and was in my gown with IV hookup in no time at all. Anethesia came in and went over a few thing with me. Everyone pre-op was super happy that day. The nurses were great! Then the ps came in and marked me up...he was also super happy. I wasn't nervous at all then all of a sudden I am on the operating table with the anethesia mask on me and I am screaming "wait is it to late to back out!!!" In my head of course and that was my last thought and I was out! When I woke up my mind and my body came to at the same time so I thought it was time for me to go back to the hotel. So I told the nurse to take the cathiter out, get my hubby and give me my clothes. She was a rookie nurse (very very young) so she did what I told her to....oh wow...I got up to go to the bathroom with my clothes to change into (this is less than 5mins after waking up) and I start hallucinating! I saw shapes unrolling like carpet and clowns laughing. I saw dogs dancing and even my mom was there! I knew I was seeing things but didn't want to tell anyone so I didn't. That was alot of unexpected fun! Once I was changed and came out of the bathroom I am moved to a room with a chair and thats where I eat and feel a little naucious but don't throw-up. I am not sure how long I am out of surgery before I went home but Dr. Leedy was awesome. He came and checked on me every 45mins or so..which I didn't expect but really appreciated. They gave me pain meds in my iv and 2 percocet but it wasn't taking the edge off or helping with the pain so my ps gave me morphine in the pill form! Works like a charm! Except now I can't tell weather there is really little pain or if I am just have a high pain tolerance or if the drug is that good, lol ;) He took 4.5lbs of extra skin and lipo'ed my flanks but said that he didn't lipo enough to measure it. I went back to the hotel and slept for a long time and then....
Noodles86 came to visit me! We had planned to meet up cause our surgeries are 2 days apart and in the same area. It was nice to have a visitor and then I went back to sleep.
This morning I had my first post-op. The ps said my skin looked green yesterday! But he said today I look much better. I have coughed, laughed and thrown-up but I was expecting it to hurt much worse than it did so I was pleasently surprised. I had a little freak out moment when I was sitting down and noticed there was no stomach on my lap....it was awesomely surreal! I go back Monday to get my drains out! EEEK my pain meds are starting to kick in and so is the mom so I better end this and get my booty to the bathroom!

22 Comments

Good to hear you made it through....I was green too...but didn't get on the move as fast as you day one! Healing will be swift no doubt!!! Take care.
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YAY thats good to hear!
You all are so awesome! I just had the worst constipation cramps going on...I was moaning like I giving birth but it was worse than labor. Then I feel asleep on the toilet and when I woke up my foot was swollen and my whole leg was asleep so I couldn't get up. It was horrible. I got my leg awake and needed some support so I got on rs and you all are like angels of all the right words and encouragment. I know I am going to go through this again before all is out but you've given me a little well of strength to pull from ;) Thanks ya'll!!!
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Feelin good!

I had a slight fever and headache last night so I switched from the morphine pills to the percocet and the headache and fever are gone this morning. I am as expected very swollen. I just had my first BM and litterally felt like my stomach had a balloon in it that was being deflated! Awesome! I keep feeling my stomach muscels spasm and twitch which I personally like that feeling cause it feels like a baby is in there doing flips (I really enjoyed my pregnancies). It kinda tickles! My appetite is good and I am eating the same as pre-op. Right now I am just focusing on taking it easy and experiencing the healing journey. I am thinking at about 2 months post op I will start to focus on the visual specifics of my results! On a side note...my dog and cat are acting very protective of me. They are curling up at my legs and laying their heads in my lap with this sympathetic look in their eyes. ~ I am just loving their company right now....its so soothing~

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Glad you had a BM! Oh i know how good it feels after a couple of days, my dog used to want to be near me too, the same when I was pregnant! So glad you are on the flat side finally! It all gets better day after day.
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Thanks! I am so happy to be on the flat side finally!
What eventually helped you go #2?
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Amazed!

I had to post today pic! I just keep looking at it thinking OMG OMG OMG that is totally amazing...I kinda want to cry tears of joy but I'm not a crier. My drain sites are not irritating me anymore. It's funny cause when other people on this site would say they felt great after a few day and were having no problems I would think that they are just showing off and it is impossible to feel great after a surgery like, LOL, but I do feel amazing!!! I just got back from the grocery store and don't feel tired or sore!!! It is def true the anticipation of having the surgery is the worst part. It probably helped that before hand I was in the best physical shape of my adult life. I forgot to post that he took 3-4lbs of skin and had 3-4 in of muscle seperation and he said he didn't have to lipo enough to measure it.

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Hi! I am 11 days post-op myself. You look incredible! I have enjoyed reading your review. You are such a positive person - that really helps inspire and motivate the rest of us! Hope the rest of your healing goes well - you are already doing awesome! Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Best wishes!
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Thanks! You made my day!
You are very welcome!

Lesson Learned

Today I have to bow down and take heed to the advice of a couple of my fellow realselfers. TAKE IT EASY OR YOU WILL SET BACK THE HEALING PROCESS....okay got it!!! LOL Not really funny though. There is a small part of my incision which has been pulled tighter than any other area and so when I started trying to stand up straighter it is that small area that feels the most strain. I felt I could try to stand up straighter because my upper abs are not sore or constricted feeling. But Now that tighter area in my incision is burning, I think I may have torn it or reopened it a bit....ops back to square one in that area of the scar. My second whoopsie was I did some semi heavy lifting and my upper abs swelled up within 10 seconds and it was painful and huge. Stayed swollen for about 10 minutes and then I just said time for a nap! Now that I am awake the swelling is completely gone but my abs feel incredibly sore like they did 1 day po. So I am taking it easy until my ps says not to...lol....lesson learned!

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How you doing
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Good! Feel Good...which is the hard part cause I feel like normal me but don't wanna push it to much!
Love reading about your journey. Good luck.
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1 week post op appt

I walked into the room and Kevin Hart's comedy act was on the T.V. oh lord that hurt!!! So in an effort not to laugh that hard again I have had to develop my fake laugh...so shallow! I had my 1 week post op visit...got my drains removed and didn't feel a thing...got the okay to start stretching my stomach and standing straight....was told to start wearing my binder very tight to prevent fluid buildup now that the drains are out and next week I will start scar therapy!!! I am not taking anything for pain during the day and just taking my percocet at night to help me sleep (I think it was giving me headaches) So far this whole journey has been a lot easier than expected...hope it stays that way!!!! I am not posting a pic cause there hasn't been any change from the last ones I posted.

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Just thinking about you Mira, hope you are doing well xx
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Well said! I bet you're right. I'll let you know in a few months. :-)
Oh well how are the kids being home going? Are they big helpers?

Still Amazed!

Just a quick update. I sneezed for the first time since surgery and it was an all over burning sensation like hell itself resides in my abdomen! OUCH! That so far has been the most painful experience. I am curious as to what other Realselfers ps have instructed them to do in reguards to activity. One RSer I was following was walking 2 mi a day by 3 week post op. On another note, my ps has me wearing my binder tight to prevent fluid buildup since he took the drains out. I didn't feel the binder alone was giving me the continuous all over compresion that I need so now I have a multilayered contraption going on. First I put 3 thick maxipads over my incision then put a tank top on and stuck the pads to the bottom of the top. Next I put on a compresion garmet that unbuckles in the croach (I got it from Kohl's years ago) and has shoulder straps. Then I secure the binder my ps gave me over that (really tight) and finally put a sports bra on over my tank top. (photo included) It a process to put on but I feel like the incision and drainage holes are well protected. I don't have much swelling yet. I am anticipating it though, since the drains are out. Plus from what I have read swell hell reaches it climax at 5-6 weeks post op. I am beginning to wonder if recovery has been so easy for because I was really fit or if Dr. Leedy is such a great surgeon and so knowledgable that he is able avoid some of the pitfalls many experience in recovery. Happy Healing and Cheers to taking it easy (or at least trying to)!!!

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Congrats!!!! You look AMAZING!!!!!!! I'm soooooo happy for you! : )
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Thanks!! Is is quit a shock still to look at my myself in the mirror!
Hey Mira, I didn't really start swelling until well after week one. I think there are so many variables to swelling.. genetics, how much skin you've had removed, diet. etc. I was also very fit and worked out all the time, so it's really hard to say when or how long one will swell or not. I had a friend who had over 12 pounds of skin removed in her tt and she swelled well over 6 months long. I hope all goes well and you avoid as much swell as possible :-)
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2 week post op doctor visit

I have some fluid under my belly button so I have to go back in a week to see if my body absorbs it or if it needs to be aspirated...boo....I got the tape taken off my incision and I love the scar!!! Dr. Leedy did such an awesome job. It's super low, thin and symmetrical!!!!! He said my lower stomach will be numb until around the 2 month post op mark. He gave me a new CG, some scar cream called BioCorneum and told me to take it really easy this week. I am so happy everytime I look in the mirror...this stomach is better than my pre-pregnancy stomach!!! Oh and I so love my BB!!! My overall abdomen feels super tight the only thing that is really getting to me right now is that my upper abs are so tight my diaphragm feels constricted and it makes it really hard to sing and put on a good shower performance! LOL

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You look so good!! Did you notice the fluid under your bb or did your Ps notice that? I'm concerned I might have some fluid build up as well, but unsure really. Your scar looks pretty perfect! I know that's a weird thing to type, but it's so thin and symmetrical like you said, I hope mine eventually thins out. Take care! :)
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Thanks!!! My ps noticed it...its just a small pocket about 1inch wide. He said if it got worse to come back on Thursday and have it drained but then he said I probably wouldn't even notice if it did get bigger. So I am just keeping the binder tight around my hips and hoping it goes away on its own.
U look amazing! Congrats.... I also started Biocorneum last Friday. I hope it works. Lol
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The ups and downs of healing

I have been puting the scar cream on my incision for 2 days now and I feel like it is making it irritated. Then I noticed some discomfort on my left side so I felt around a bit and there is a stitch popping through the skin. I tried to pull it out with tweezers but it refuses to come out so I am just going to try and ignore it until next Monday when I see my ps again. The seroma my ps found just 2 days ago is now 3x the size it was (think from the circumfrance of a golf ball to the circumfrance of softball) and this is really worrying me. I was healing up nicely and everything seemed to be going smoothly and then I blinked and am back to sitting in my recovery chair and pretty much being immobile....I was up and now I am down....

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Your story made me smile. I'm so happy for you and you look amazing!!!! Congratulations! He did a great job with you incisions btw
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Thank you so much! It's amazing how different I feel!! Just a couple of days before you are on the flat side too!! Goodluck and Happy Healing!!
I can imagine :) I can't wait!!! Thank you so much!

3 week post op!!!

Wow time really is flying by! I took my first shower a couple days ago cause the incision is fully healed closed, it was crazy how weak my abs felt. I also noticed that with a smaller stomach, my legs and hips look much bigger! LOL The ps said I could switch out my binder for spanx if I wanted to. He said the seroma was smaller and didn't drain it. Odds are it will disappear on its own!!! I go back in two weeks for a 5 week post op visit! Not posting any new photos cause I didn't have time and everything still looks the same!

8 Comments

Awesome that it's not major build up... I am still enduring the swell hell....but I habe been out and normal activities. ..just careful with stuff like scrubbing my car. This surgery has made me intensely aware of how much we use those abs and don't know it on a daily basis. :). take care
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Thanks!
Awesome! Was thinking about your PS visit today. Glad it went well. Will you be starting up with biocorneum again now? Ok on the everything looking bigger my dh says to me why do your boobs look bigger! Or as you refer to them fun bags hahaaa! Needless to say no complaining on his part. :)
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3 week pics

I decided to post a couple 3 week pics cause the scar is so much further along in its healing and so it the belly button!!! These pics were taking in the morning before swelling set in. By the end of the day when I am all swollen the last thing I wanna do is take pics, lol. Everything is back to normal as far as standing up straight, sleeping in my bed and my energy level. I am someone who sings and dances my way through the day and I find that I still have limitations in the range of motion in my hips...can't quite shake it like I used to but hopefully it won't be long!

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Hi MM! Just checkin in to see how you are doing? All is well here! I feel so much better this week than I did last week so that is a good thing! Swelling in the evening is the biggest draw back. :-/. XOXO
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Did you have to schedule your surgery so far in advance because he has a busy schedule or because you chose it like that? I am deff going to be checking on Dr. Leedy for my surgery, but would like to have it done pretty quickly.
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It was the date that worked best for me...he is really awesome!

4 week post op!!!!

I can't believe its been 4 weeks already!!! Sorry for the photo quality but I had to take them myself. The pics show swelling at it worst...they were taken after a very long day of running around. I noticed in some pics it looks like my BB is off center but it is not at all, must just be the way my body is turned. I am still wearing my binder 24/7. I like it better than spanx! LOL...My next appt is in one week! I feel amazing!! The fluid build up is getting less and less each day and I am hopeful it wont need drained!!!

4 Comments

You still look beautiful with swelling...
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Thanks girly! We both are coming along nicely!!
You are looking really good, as you say your scar is so nice and smooth!
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1 Month post op measurements

Its been one month and I am very swollen but my measurements make me very giddy!!!

Natural Waist: 32.5
Waist (around belly button): 36
Hips: 38.5
Ribcage 34 (the same)

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0 Comments

whoops forgot weight

Weight: 145 !!

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Okay I just realized there was a "thank you" option on reviews lol.... Thank you girl for sharing your story!!!
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Right back atcha!!!

5 1/2 week post op!!!

I went to my 5 week post op appt yesterday. The fluid "seroma" under my BB is gone and never needed to be drained! I got the all clear to start exercising again. Best of all I don't have to wear that a binder or spanx anymore!!! I haven't had it on since yesterday, so 24 hours now, and my abs feel strong and competent without it...so its going in the trash! I was getting dressed to go to the appt and realized all my pants were way to big and I didn't have a belt small enough to hold them up! So I went to get some new ones and for the first time ever in my life a pair of jeans fit tight around my butt and were loose in the waist! I am still numb and swollen under the BB. PS said to expect that for a few months. I am in love with my body!! My next appt is my final appt at 3 months post op!

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Hope all is well!!! Also what bra do you have on in your last pics? Looks like it pushes your girls together nice!!!
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LOL your too funny! The bra is by and from Cacique. I always look for a bra that pushes the girls in and as flat to my chest as possible so that they stay in place. This bra is so good and keeping them in place a smashed down that I use it as a sports bra. They are so big though that even without a bra they touch in the middle....I think you just need to give the skin some time to stretch and settle.
Hey!! How are you doing? How is your scar coming along? I know you use biocorneum and I've head mixed reviews on it, let me know!! Any new pics to update??
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12 week update!!!!! Already!!!!!

WoW time has flown by. I am completely back to my normal daily routine. I run, without my binder on. I haven't tried any ab exercises yet because they still feel a little sore when I tighten or flex them. The scar is very red but I expected it would be for a year or so because of my skin pigment being so fair. It has dropped a bit and is covered by most of my panties. I love my scar actually it is a reminder of what my body has accomplished in its time. I love my BB too! My brain has finally caught up to reality and I no longer have to remind myself that my stomach is not there and I don't need to suck in all the time, lol, it took a while! My flanks are still a little sore when they are pushed on or bear any weight on them (like resting the laundry basket on my side). Oh but there is one thing I do have....a dog ear! Its small and doesn't bother me at all (can see it in the pics on my left side). I have an appt in a week so I will see if the ps removes it or what he wants to do.

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You look awesome! I hear you on your brain catching up! I have a dog ear as well. Im hoping it will get better with time.
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Looking flat!!!! :)
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Looking great Mira, I'm so pleased your healing well xx
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Cleveland Plastic Surgeon

He was my 2nd consult and I choose him because I feel he fully understands my expectations and is able to give me the results I want. The first ps made me feel like he does things one way and you get what you get. Dr. Leedy is pricier but its worth it for a more customized procedure.

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