Can't lift forever with muscle repair????

Hi all, I am scheduled for surgery in a few...

Hi all,
I am scheduled for surgery in a few weeks and am starting to freak out!

My main reason for having the surgery is to get some core strength back. I carried pretty big twin girls full term (7 lbs & 6.5 lbs). They are now 3.5 years old. But it's my 7 year old son that I'm trying to get stronger for.... he has multiple disabilities and is not mobile (although if you hold most of his weight for him he can take steps). That means lifting, positioning, moving him around, putting him in various equipment, etc. Since my stomach muscles are so separated, it seems I take the brunt of this physical activity on my lower back. He's only going to get bigger (57 lbs now) so I needed to finally take action now that my girls are old enough to do most things for themselves.

While I'm excited for the flatter tummy, I probably wouldn't be doing this if not for the strength issue. Plus my umbilical hernia needs to be fixed anyway.

I don't expect amazing cosmetic results - I am 5'7" and 200 lbs. I've never been thin, but I never really lost the baby weight from either pregnancy and my body shape now makes me still look 6 months pregnant!!

I guess my initial thoughts/questions are these:
- how do you explain mommy's tummy boo-boo and not being able to lift kids or have them climb on you? My twins are very attached to me and want me to do most everything with them even though my husband offers and my mom lives with us too
- honestly speaking, what kind of cosmetic results can you expect when you go in overweight?
- how the heck do you get through those first few days of intense pain???
- how long does the swelling really last? Seems that a lot of pictures show more swelling at 6 weeks than at 2 weeks! :)

Thanks all - I hope to go through this journey with you wonderful ladies by my side!!

I posted my initial review a few weeks ago but...

I posted my initial review a few weeks ago but since then, lots of things have changed so I have postponed my surgery (no new date yet). First, my babysitter gave notice and with twin 3 year olds and a 7 year old who doesn't walk or talk, I need reliable and familiar help around the house, and to get them ready/drive them to school, put my son in his wheelchair, etc.

But the big question mark for me is that once I had to cancel, I made another appointment for a consult with a different PS I had heard about. He told me that with an intensive muscle repair, I wouldn't be able to lift my son (57 lbs) for at least 6 months and maybe forever!! If he pulled the muscles less tightly, then it would be at least 4 months, if ever. He said that the instructions to not lift for 6-8 weeks is up to 30-40 lbs, but for heavier than that, it could be forever.

Have you ever heard this?????????? YIKES!!!

I made another consultation for tomorrow morning to try to confirm or refute what this last dr said.

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Comments (3)

Thanks for your reply. Did the full swelling last that long or just the last remnants? I keep reading about people who couldn't even fit into their pre-surgery pants for a few months... that seems counter-intuitive!! Have all of that fat and skin removed and then need BIGGER clothes! :)

Did you have the On-Q pain pump? My surgeon said his colleagues do but since he doesn't want the patient to overdo activity because they think they feel okay, he does not. I'm hoping to change his mind!
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The swelling was horrible for the first two months but then eased up after that point.  It did get better and better each month and most of it would depend on my activity level and diet.  Watch out for the high sodium foods because they are the devil.

I wore my stretchy capri pants for the first month and then was able to start into my regular clothing for work.  I tried to stick with very comfy clothing for the first 8 weeks.  By mid to late day from weeks 3-8 I would swell up like a balloon.  I looked as though I had a tire around my middle.  It is all a process and just takes time. 

My surgeon did not offer the pain pump and to be honest not sure I would have wanted it.  That would have been one more thing hanging from my body.  I already felt like a walking IV pole with tubes every where. 

Just plan to be a hot mess for the first week..roll with it!    Do take pictures because I promise you will look back and laugh.  I looked like something the cat had drug in, run over by the car and then tossed back under a semi..LOL

But my tummy was flat:)

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Hi Bear,

Oh my goodness you have your hands full with the children.  Now you are a Wonder Woman:)

Kids are amazing when you are hurting or recovering.  Since they are so small tell them just that "you have a boo boo" and are sore.  Have them be your little helpers doing little things for you.  They love to help at that age are are so darn cute when doing so. 

You definitely will need help for at least the first 4-6 weeks with the lifting.  You will need to be very careful so that you do not tear any of the internal stitches out.  The more you rest the first six weeks the quicker you will heal in the long run.

Each person is different with the healing time and swelling.  It does hang around for a while so just be prepared and patient.  The swelling can last anywhere from 1 week to 1 year.  Each person is so different.  Personally mine lasted 7 months...blahh.

As far as the cosmetic results go a lot of that depends on several things.  Most doctors say that they want you within 15-20 pounds of your ideal weight before surgery in order to obtain the best results.   I am not sure what that weight is for you?   You may not end up with a completely flat tummy if you are far over that.  But the hanging skin will most likely be gone and your ab muscles will be back together.  Sounds like that is your goal right?

You will get through the first two weeks of pain one day at a time while keeping up on your pain meds.  They will not totally take the pain away but will dull it.  After the first week it improves each day. 

This is all very exciting for you :)  I look forward to reading your posts but please ask any questions that come to mind. 

You have some good help lined up for after surgery so you will do just fine.  Just keep telling yourself that the pain and swelling are all temporary and you will get through this.

Stick with all of the amazing women on the site:)
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