Pulmonary Embolism after Tummy Tuck, Lipo, Breast Lift - Denver, CO

I put on 65 lbs during my second pregnancy and my...

I put on 65 lbs during my second pregnancy and my body has never recovered. My youngest is almost 3 and I'm ready for a Mommy Makeover. I am getting a breast lift without implants because I have enough breast tissue. I'm currently a "D" and will probably go down to a "C".

I am tired of crying every time I try on a pair of pants so I'm getting a tummy tuck to help with excess skin and tighten the laxed-muscles, as well as lipo to my outer thighs. I'm sooo scared about the recovery, scarring and bruising. I'm trying to be realistic that it will take months to see optimal results. I hope that by next summer I can confidently take my kids to the pool.


I should mention that I freaked out about two...

I should mention that I freaked out about two weeks ago about the scars and recovery time. I called my doctor's office and he saw me the same day. He alleviated all my fears. Now I'm feeling pretty calm, although it's still difficult to wrap my mind around the procedure.

I will be leaving for the surgery center at...

I will be leaving for the surgery center at 5:30am! I'm a bundle of nervous energy so I spent the day cleaning and getting ready. Also snuggled my kids as much as possible, it's going to be hard not to hold them for awhile.

I rented an SCD machine to prevent blood clots, medical wedges to help with positioning, a shower chair, and a "toilet assist". My wonderful hubby is taking a couple weeks off work to help out.

I have been reading a lot of blogs on realself and the stories are helping me try to figure out what to expect. All I know is that it's going to hurt, but it will be worth it!

Day 3 Post Op. I think it would have been easier...

Day 3 Post Op. I think it would have been easier to recover if I hadn't done the lipo on my legs. The combination of the TT and Lipo makes it impossible to move. At the beginning the Lipo pain was the worst, but has subsided in the first two days. Now the TT pain is the worst. I'm just wondering when all this pain is going to come to an end.

Day 3 Post Op Continued..... All I've...

Day 3 Post Op Continued.....

All I've been doing is sleeping. I'll post some pics once I'm able to take a shower.

Post Op Day 4- I've managed to get around...

Post Op Day 4-

I've managed to get around a bit easier with the use of a walker. The pain from both the Lipo and TT are still pretty bad, but I'm managing it with my meds. I think this recovery would have been much easier if I hadn't had the Lipo done.

I posted a picture of the results of my Lipo. The dark red area was a blister (originally about the size of a baseball) that has popped. There's quite a bit of swelling but I can already see an improvement.

I see the Dr. in two days for my first post-op appointment. I'll post pics of the TT and breast lift after that.

Thanks for the encouraging comments...keep them coming!!!

Post Op Day 6- So today started off pretty...

Post Op Day 6-

So today started off pretty rough. It was probably a good thing that I had my post op appointment with the PS today, because it forced me to get up and move around a lot. The trip to and from the appointment, along with the time there was all really painful, but the PS says that everything looks great. I got my first good look at my tummy and even with the swelling it is skinnier than I ever hoped for.

As far as the lipo, as the PS put it, my body is very angry with me about the lipo, and my skin is really aggravated. No signs of any infection so that's a relief.

I took some advice and switched back to percocet for pain, which works much better for me than vicodin. No reason to punish myself if I don't have to!

My husband went out after we got home and bought me a couple of really soft cami's to wear under my binder, which has made it MUCH more comfortable to wear.

I know that I've got more days of a lot of pain ahead of me, but I'm starting to see the light at the end.

I'll try and take some post-op pics tomorrow and get them posted.

PO Day 7- I'll add a comment later, but...

PO Day 7-

I'll add a comment later, but here's the first pic of my new tummy!

Post Op Day 9- The last two days have been...

Post Op Day 9-

The last two days have been BAD. About 11:00 Thursday night I arrived at our local ER with a fever, chest pain and shortness of breath. Two hours later I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. They admitted me to the hospital and started me on meds to break up the clot. The pain I was in from the TT and Lipo is nothing compared to this pain. Hope to be out of the hospital in a couple of days.

Post Op Day 12- Still in the hospital....

Post Op Day 12-

Still in the hospital. I've spent the last few days working with my Dr. on being able to manage the pain from my PE. They tell me that I'm a prime candidate for developing pneumonia, so I'm doing everything I can to avoid that. Probably looking at another 2-3 days in the hospital before I get to go home.

As far as the TT, breast lift and lipo goes, they're all looking great. My tummy has been pretty swollen as I haven't been allowed to wear my binder due to how much it restricts my breathing. My PS said that was okay, as I have bigger things to worry about.

I'm looking forward to getting home to my kids and my own bed!

I'm home from the hospital. I knew there was a...

I'm home from the hospital. I knew there was a very small risk of a pulmonary embolism, but it was the scariest experience of my life. I was in the hospital for nine days. From what I hear, my results look great, but I'm not in a place mentally where I can really look at myself right now. I'm on oxygen 24/7 and using a walker. I have to visit a lab once a week to have my blood checked. It's going to take longer to heal. If you spike a fever (I was at 103) or have trouble breathing after your surgery please go to the ER right away, it could save your life.

I'll post pictures soon.

Today is three weeks post-surgery and as far as...

Today is three weeks post-surgery and as far as the surgery results, I am very happy. The lipo did hurt more than the tummy tuck. My thighs burned for about three days and then the pain started to subside. While my PS was drawing on me the day of surgery he mentioned that the right “twin” was bigger than the left and so he made them even. My right breast is still a little sore from where the tissue was removed. He also mentioned that my bellybutton sat over to the left and he would make it more central - strange all these years with my body and I had no idea about my right breast or bellybutton! My PS does a no-drain tummy tuck which is supposed to hurt less and keep excess fluid at a minimum. Maybe it’s because of all the pain killers I was on at the hospital, but the tummy, breasts and thighs were not that painful. I had spoken with my PS about the chances of a pulmonary embolism prior to the surgery and he said the risks are about 1:125000. So I’m a little bummed today because this is the week I was hoping to go to Victoria’s Secret and find something cute, but instead I am still in pain and exhausted - besides it’s hard to look cute in Victoria’s Secret with an oxygen tube, walker and compression stockings:)

I will post new photos today, I'm still swollen but can already see the results.

Back from the dead! I'm starting to recover from...

Back from the dead! I'm starting to recover from the Pulmonary Embolism, which is a 4-6 month process to full recovery. Another fact I learned is that the death rate from a PE is up to 30%. But the good news is that I am off oxygen and no longer need a walker.

I visited my Plastic Surgeon and told him my tummy muscles were sore. He explained that it's just because I pretty much stayed in bed for two weeks (at the hospital then home recovering from trauma) after surgery and the muscles are just getting a chance to start stretching out from day-to-day activities. He's right, the more I have been able to move, the less my stomach muscles ache.

I am looking sooo tiny even though I am still swollen, I can hardly believe it. I am very happy with the results of the surgery. If had I known that I would get a PE, then I would have been avoided the lipo to the thighs because blood clots usually start in the legs.

I didn't get out of bed the first 24 hours after surgery so my husband called the nurses. They were alarmed and told him to get me up to use the bathroom. I don't remember the first week post surgery. It's funny to read my post-op updates, apparently I told my husband what to type on the blog and I don't remember doing that.

I think because I was in so much pain and refused to move much, the blood clot was able to get to a dangerous place. So my advice is to get up and move asap. Also, your caretaker needs to check your mental state to see if you are truly coherent otherwise a hospital stay may be helpful for healing if you have a body like mine that HATED surgery.

Hopefully the rest of my posts continue to be about healing and some new pics!

6-month post-op. I'm feeling so much stronger. ...

6-month post-op. I'm feeling so much stronger. It's amazing what the human body can endure. I'm no longer embarassed to go swimming with my kids. My thighs are still swollen, but the doctor said it could take up to 18 months for that to go away. I need to wear my undergarment during PMS because that's when I seem to really swell. So it still feels like a waiting game to see the fiinal results, but I'm on the right track.
Denver Plastic Surgeon

Dr Wolfe has great qualifications and is highly skilled. With my unexpected pulmonary embolism, he came a visited me at the hospital. I would recommend him,

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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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