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I have been thinking about/wishing for a tummy...

I have been thinking about/wishing for a tummy tuck for a few years. The other night, it was an epiphany. I bolted straight out of bed and thought "Hey....I can DO IT, why don't I DO IT?!" I am coming into a rather substantial amount of money in a few weeks from my divorce and had been thinking maybe I'd buy some new clothes and go on a vacation for a little treat to myself when I realize--the hell with that, I'm fixing my stomach!

Please note that the $6,000 figure for the cost of this is only an estimate as this site makes it a requirement to post. I have not had my consultation yet, but that is a safe guess. I am going to see two specialists.

I have never (and by that, I do mean NEVER) been completely naked with a lover. I pretend it's just because I don't like being naked in general, but it's really because I'm carrying around this shame about my stomach inside of me. Like a slow poison, it is the one thing about my body I not only dislike, but loathe. I don't mind a little giggle on my thighs, or my little flappy arms, double chin, or even the fold of fat on my back. It's the stomach. Always has been. I remember being in 5th grade and being teased by other girls who just couldn't fathom how or why my stomach was like that--on an otherwise nice figure.

I am tired of the "bump". I am tired of it ruining dresses. I am tired of wearing girdles and crossbody bags to mask it. I am tired of meeting a man I am interested in, going for some fun luvin, and excusing myself to go put on some sort of piece of sexy lingerie to hide the fact that I won't get naked. I realized today if my stomach were just normal sized--I would be *fine* about being naked. I don't care about a scar, I don't care about an imperfect. I just want this low hanging, inner tube off of my body!

I am recently divorced, and I think this is going to feel like the best thing I could do for myself. I worry sometimes I am too overweight at 5'7" and 215 lbs. But I have seen some stories from this site that have inspired me. I have seen some women here with a build like myself and I am going to do it come heck or high water! I only wish I wasn't moving both my home and business in the next couple of months so that I could do it now instead of having to wait. But I will get it done. And I will show my progress here! My goal is to wear a bikini in public. Even if it's not an itty bitty one. But to tan and show off my tummy for the first time in my life? Yes, please!

Had my consultation!

I loved Dr. Frank Campanile in Cherry Creek Denver! His staff and office made me feel immediately at ease and comfortable. I am going to get his CLASS Tummy Tuck, which leaves a smaller incision, front flank lipo, and the best part--there are no drains to contend with afterward! I am also going to add in back and back flank lipo to make this procedure more complete and well rounded.

Right now I am shooting to be able to make my appointment for Sept 2nd, but I have to wait until I finish getting my money together in the next month before I can set it in stone with him. But I AM doing this, and I can't wait!

Oh, so very impatient!

I am obsessing on this surgery. Hours spent staring at before and after photos! I keep looking for women who have bellies like mine so that I can predict my end result. Sometimes I get a little nervous it will still be very round, not flat or near flat. But really, I just don't see how it could be worse than what I have been living with, so that puts me at ease a bit. The doctor told me that I wouldn't be totally flat because I had underlying fat and wasn't just loose skin from weight loss or pregnancy (even though I did have a baby 17 years ago). I see pictures of women with tummies just as big or way bigger than mine and their results are fantastic. I hope I am one of the lucky ones and that my results come out better than expected. It seems so far away now--the surgery. Everyone says it will come up on me quickly. I guess it's because I have so much to do before the surgery--moving and getting settled into a new place closing on my house, etc.

I am wishing I could just do this now now now! lol, like a little spoiled brat.

Also just realized my 20 year reunion is two months after my surgery! I hope I can wear a fantastic, more fitted, sexy no plus size dress. Regular size dresses are so much cuter than plus size ones!

Okay, rant over. One day at a time. In the big picture it's 6 weeks away.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock......

Surgery date sooner than planned! Yay!

My surgery will be August 28th. I just got my divorce, sold my house, and moved into my new cute little house that looks like a Thomas Kincaid painting. I have all month to tidy and perfect my new home and get ready for my one mont recovery. My mom is flying out to be with me for a couple of weeks and I am pretty excited! This truly is a new portal opening up. My new life and new tummy beckon and I can't wait!

One more week to go!

Just realized today that my surgery is NEXT WEDNESDAY! That's exactly one week from today. For some reason in the back of my mind I kept thinking it was going to be next Thursday. Pretty excited it will be here sooner than I think. I am bursting at the seams! Sometimes I find myself dancing around the house the last couple of days feeling so good and ready! I have to hold myself back from throwing out all my clothes, lol. I actually got a slight wee bit stressed when I thought about it. I totally forgot I am going to have to buy a ton of new things! Oh well.

Another thing weighing on me is that I am opening a new hair salon Nov. 1st. In October, just 4 weeks after surgery I am going to be setting up my new salon. I have lots of help and friends who are going to show up for me and help me get everything together, but it's still a difficult to imagine. I will take it easy though.

Whew, I am so excited, not nervous at all!!

surgery complete!

Just a quick note to let you all know I did have my tummy tuck and lipo yesterday! I am pretty rough right now, ended up being under for 7 hours. It hasn't been easy but I think it's going to be lovely! I am all bound up and definitely on pain meds around the clock. I will post some pics tomorrow! For some reason real self won't allow me to post pics from my phone so I will post sime pictures from my laptop. I can tell you right now though, NONE if my clothes are going to fit!

feeling a little disappointed

I know it's crazy but I had hoped for a better immediate result. I am all lumpy and lopsided and floppy still. So many girls I see look so amazing right out of surgery before the swelling begins. I see there is a difference, but I was surprised. My belly button is huge and cavernous and I still have all this meat around my midsection. I did have a drainless technique though, am thinking maybe that fluid just has nowhere to go immediately except for out. doesn't look as promising as I had wanted. Any words of encouragement are very welcome!

Pics!

More optimistic.

My PS office called and told me they removed just under ONE GALLON of fat from me during the lipo of my back, hips, waist, and flanks and that I am experiencing swelling more than just regular TT patient because of that. Looking at these pictures, it doesn't look so bad I guess. I had a shower today and yowz, I doubt there is anything that has ever felt better in the history of the world!

My advice is do not try to impress yourself and do this without your pain meds. Stay on top of them before the pain gets on top of you. Also, just buy suppositories for the constipation. 10 minutes after getting mine, a sweet, glorious bowel movement followed! lots and lots of swelling, lipo stiffness, and muscle soreness but as they say, the 3 rd day is he worst and it's all downhill from here!

My advice in hindsight to others

Rent or borrow a walker or cane. Your back gets soooo sore holding yourself upright but haunched over. I would walk and do more if I had a walker. It feels so good to be able to lean on something stable and stretch out the lower back. I would probably also put more thought into foods I would eat after. I would kill for a simple hot pocket! lol. But definitely a walker or cane!

5 days PO

Looks like I swallowed a watermelon but looks like I'll have a nice even scar. My friend said I looked like an autopsy photo! And silly me thought I would get encouragement sharing the pic with her, lol. Only other TT'ers can understand I guess!

More pics

It's coming together slowly and surely. Midsection still feels meaty though. Hard to tell what's swelling and what's just left over fat/skin. Time will tell though.

Looking better

These pics taken 11 days post op after first nights sleeping in my bed (with pillow under my knees. Swelling was down and was feeling great! a couple of hours later I was swollen again but I felt pretty good about the potential results after seeing these. One day at a time!

Getting better!

My mom is leaving tomorrow after staying with me for three weeks to help care for me. I was thinking today that some others at 3 weeks post op seem to be able/willing to do more. I have been so spoiled, being waited on hand and foot by the best nurse in the world!

Last night I put on a pair of real pants for the first time (still size 18, but looks a lot better than they did before). I am still in my binder with my bandages on over my incision. I went to my son's football game for a couple of hours and saw him in marching band. I am glad that I forced myself to go no matter what I felt like.

My body is changing every day. My waist is starting to cinch inward finally. I still have a lot of numbness in my mid back and lower back, but each day I can feel my sensations coming back inch by inch. It's getting flatter and flatter. I am not the best about eating all the right foods to fight swelling and whatnot though, so progress is probably a bit slower for me.

Also, I am really impressed with how my vagina looks. As I said, as my PS was marking me for surgery, he said very casually, "I'm also going to go ahead and lipo your mons while we're at it, to give you a little boost and to give us a nicer end result." Firstly--a lot of people don't know what a "mons" is--it's the mound of flesh above your vagina). Second, I could have kissed him full on the lips when he said that! My mons has always been so fatty and heavy. Now it's so tight and light an I can actually SEE my labias! My vagina looks beautiful to me now. I never put much thought into it before. So, I *highly* recommend you get this done in addition to your TT. Luckily, Dr. Campanile just threw it in and didn't charge me extra. He just seems to really care about giving you as best an end result as he can give you. I so highly recommend him!

Anyway just wanted to say, things are looking up for me. I'm starting to look at myself naked every day and sort of marvel. So is my mother.

I will post some more pics soon.

Trouble

Well, a tiny part of my incision opened up a little. About the size of an eraserhead on a pencil. Just saw about a silver dollar size amount of pus and blood on my incision bandage a few days ago. Called my ps office immediately and they called in some antibiotics for me to startbtaking immediately. My ps today and he opened it further to clean it ou, and pack it with a little guaze. He also took a culture to be sent to the lab to make sure that the bugs in my infection are the kinds of kinds of bugs my antibiotics will kill So needless to say I am pretty buyummed out about this setback. I would advise everyone 2-3 weeks out from surgery to just not overdo it and take it easy!

ugh

Sorry for all the typos and mushed up words and sentences in my previous post. Real self doesn't work real well when you are posting an update on your phone!

Random pics and info

Here are some pics I took in random order, captioned according to post op days.

My new fave pic!

Taken Sept 19th, three weeks p.o. Wow!

Emotional!

haha yes it has hit me. I am moved to tears pretty easily. This is a life changing surgery and you start to see yourself in a new light and remember all the times your belly got in the way or let you down and to be free of it all.....it's just amazing. It makes you quite vulnerable and sensitive. Especially if this comes on the heels of getting a divorce. Dont underestimate your healing time or your pain and swelling. The daily pain, while manageable without pain meds at this 3 week point, is very annoying. It's all a big waiting game.Can' wait to get beyond the next few months.

Intimacy

Last night the guy I have been seeing came over. He is an ICU nurse so what I am going through has been of interest to him and thankfully, doesn't freak him out or scare him at all.

We got a little intimate. We didn't go "all the way" or anything, but I stood in front of him naked and he touched me and looked at me and talked to me and told me how great I looked and was going to look.Then things got a little personal and deeper and I started crying. He didn't really understand why I was crying and I didn't really tell him. There was such a freedom to letting someone see me and be a part of what I've done. Remembering all the years of trying to hide my stomach and now, having nothing to hide. I was overwhelmed. So life changing.

5 week check in!

So, I haven't posted any pictures of it because it's gross, but part my incision is currently open. It's a pretty sad setback! I'd be feeling awesome if it weren't for that. I have to pack it with gauze twice a day, the doc had to scrape out all the infection, I took antibiotics. Packing with guaze is really hard for me emotionally. Having a hole in my body is foreign and it flat out gives me the willies every time I have to change the gauze out. I use a lot of antiseptic spray, flush the wound with saline solution, put Silver antimicrobacterial ointment (to keep a new infection from starting--bacteria can't grow where silver is present. My ICU nurse boyfriend told me this) and triple antibiotic ointment to take care of any residual infection/bugs that may be in there. the I pack it with a 3 inch skinny strip of gauze padding, cover it with more gauze, then cover my entire incision with wound care pads and tape it all together.

Do NOT touch your incision, or let your animals sleep in your bed with you while you heal--they have fecal matter all over their bodies and it gets on the sheets. Use antibacterial soap constantly as well as santizier gel on your hands any time you get anywhere near your incision. Even if your like me and rarely ever to cuts get infected, be more careful than you ever thought you should with your incision. I will probably have to have a scar revision later. But the infection is one and I am on the mend.

Almost 6 weeks

This recovery ain't no joke! I wonder if I willl ever get the feeling back in my mid/lower back and hips! Sometimes the swelling around my hips is so annoying. Just soft, roomy underwear causes ridges around the hem around my back and hips. Anything against it and I swell all around whatever is touching it. My roomiest comfiest yoga pants just having the waistband against my hips and back causes thick, hard ridges of pouffing and swelling. I don't do so well with drinking enough water though. I thouht I would have the feeling in my back returned to me by now. Sigh. I have about 50% of feeling back. WHen I got out of surgery, the back of my neck to the bottom of my bum was numb/sore/in pain. Gradually it comes back but still here quite significantly.

I wear my CG every day, all day, only take it off to change the packing in my wound, which is doing better by the way. I FINALLY just now got my little routine down and am handling packing it a little better. but it still gives me the creeps! My vagina/mons seems super swollen and meaty, but it may be because my tummy is starting to flatten. My belly button looks good, the scar is bright pink, the pleating is starting to go away. On my left side though, I have a little roll that I don't like. I feel like it's there to stay, not going to go away because it's there even when I am least swollen.

Anyway, that's my update. I'll post some more pics this week!

random pics of the process

pics

new me!

Wow

Keep on keeping on!

As I set up my new hair salon, I realized today I no longer have to hold my belly away from the chair so that it doesn't touch the client. The ways in which this surgery liberates is like a ripple that you feel the effects of over and over. Happy happy happy

pics

Update

I went to a check up, things are healing well. However on my left hip I have a pocket/pooch that I think is a dog ear. We are going to wait until the 6 month mark (February) and see if we need a revision. I feel great, lots of hardness and swelling on my mons and lower abdomen. Some days are better than others but I feel like a trillion bucks!

Clothes I can wear now that I coul NEVER wear before

The little red dress that could.

Swelling is pretty consistent every day and comes and goes all over my stomach

3 months post op and swell hell has begun! lop sidedness, hardness....arg.

no more mom jeans!

More Swelling Issues

It's really odd. For a couple of weeks there, things were going along great then BOOM. I did start my period and I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But the center of my incicion/stomach is just hard and bulging. It's sad. I can't wear my body hugging dresses these last few days and am back to roomier clothes. I know it will go down and in the morning it is closer to normal. But it really does feel like I am 4 months pregnant! Swelling, hardness, tenderness. I really thought I was over the hump and underestimated this swelling stuff! Keepin' my head up.

Exhibit A, B, and C

LOL. Soooooooo swooooooollllllllen!

Stitch Rejection, Oh Joy

So the fluid build u and swelling these last couple days is apparently the storm brewing for stitch rejection! I'm past 3 months post op and apparently there are two stitches in the front of my abdomen that are being pushed out. But it doesn't necessarily mean they will come out, just the body is building up around it. Called a stitch abscess. It is very tender and sore, very annoying, and extremely depressing! lo. Naaa, I'll be okay but it looks like I'm pregnant with a demon baby with two horn nubs sticking out of the front of my stomach!

Holy COW.

So the two bumps on my tummy yesterday pretty much knocked me out of commission. An abscess by name is an infection. Even though I didn't have a fever and the bumps weren't hot to the touch, I knew there was an infection brewing in there. It was a stabbing, burning pain in my whole midsection that by the end of the day, had only gotten worse. I have had a lot of experience (A LOT) with a recurrent cyst in my lady parts that kept turning into an abscess for over 14 years until I just had that area removed entirely. So I knew the feeling all too well.

I sat with warm compresses most of the afternoon and decided to just take a load off and let my body work on the problem while I rested. I eventually wanted to get very aggressive with it, and plugged in my electric hot pad and laid it across my stomach for 3 hours. earlier I had noticed the bumps seem to be coming to a head (like when a pimple becomes ready to be popped) and I wondered what was going to happen. Then I read my realself profile here, and someone mentioned she had the nurse pop it and drain it, and the other she did herself at home. I have some nursing training, I have popped these before, and most importantly, I know how to do the operation so that it is sterile. I even had a doctor's scalpel, fresh in sterile packaging. So I went in the bathroom, set up (although I was SO not prepared for what was about to happen), and stood near/ over the bathroom sink. Before I was totally ready, I decided to just touch the tip of the scalpel on the large bump to see if I would feel anything to guage if it would be painful.

Holy mother of god and baby Jesus himself.

This thing absolutely EXPLODED. Dark brown fluid stars violently squirting out three feet in front of me all over the mirror, all over the bathroom sink and counter and I'm trying to aim it into the sink and simultaneously catch what I can in my hand (so gross) and my stomach starts to deflate like a hot air balloon that has hit the ground without fire. I am amazed, grossed out, in shock, and relieved (pain instantly left my body) all at once. This thing squirts fluid out of my stomach 2 to 3 solid minutes without stopping. I'm catching it all in the sink and some in toilet paper and I probably flushed 15 rounds of toilet paper full of blood and pus. It didn't smell bad so I knew the infection wasn't too far progressed, but holy cow!

I spent 20 minutes draining my stomach and the stuff just keeps coming out of me. My entire stomach must have been full of this stuff! Not only that, I think it has been full all this time I have been healing. My mons has been rock hard and swollen (as you can see in basically all of my pictures) and I thought it was unusual that it has never gone down. All of the swelling I thought was just normal and day to day healing (which I am sure some of it was) ended up being FLUID in my stomach! I'm sure my body has been absorbing it as much as it could, but it couldn't keep up with all of this. Just when I think that all the fluid was out, I push on a new part of my stomach or on my mon, and more and more kept coming. It too over a half an hour by the end of it to drain my stomach!

I bandaged myself up and went to bed feeling like a million bucks. I looked smaller, felt smaller and wondered if I didn"t just lose a couple more lbs. When I got up this morning, I realized I had continued to drain throughout the night and had soaked the bed (ewwww) where I was sleeping on my side. My bandages were soaked, my clothes,and my bed. So I got up and drained it more and re bandaged it. It's still leaking, my new bandage is already almost soaked again. WOW.

So then guess what? I lost an extra 3 lbs according to the scale and am now at 193. I was 223 when I started this whole ordeal and have been holding fast at 195 for the last two months. I got out of bed and started going through what's left of my wardrobe (already got rid of 80% of everything!) and go rid of one thing after another that now no longer even comes close to fitting me! Even my pretty red sweater dress hangs instead of hugs now! I had only gone down to a size 16 after all of this and I was sad. This morning---I am a size 12!!! A size freakin' 12! I only have ONE DRESS that is a size 12! The jeans I just bought are 16's--one of them is a size 15 junior and that is the one that fits.

Could it be all this time, I had this swelling due to the fluid build up around the internal stitches? I am wondering if a drainless tummy tuck was worth it.I think drains would have helped. Other girls I know my shape who had this down have very little swelling (compared to what I have been going through) and for the most part, feel pretty normal.

My vagina is soft again, all the hardness is gone. Wow. just wow. I will post pictures once I am done with this mess!
Denver Plastic Surgeon

His staff, Erin and Alisha (there is a new girl but I can't remember her name) were always beyond professional and courteous. Each time I went to the office I felt like I was their only client. I hardly waited at all between seeing his staff and waiting for Dr. C. He is very laid back, relaxed professional and calm. The morning of my surgery he came into see me privately to make his markings on me just one on one--which I really appreciated. Once he lifted my apron, he remarked that he was also going to go ahead and lipo my mons for me which filled me with relief. I really could not have gotten a better experience than the one that I got with Dr. Campanile and his staff. His C.L.A.S.S. tummy tuck technique he developed is far superior to a standard one, and his perfectionism and thoroughness and comforting at every turn. Even in my post op exam I just never felt rushed even for a moment. He answered all of my questions, reassured me left and right and gave me realistic results and expectations. I would recommend him for a tummy tuck to anyone. He is a wonderful person and surgeon.

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 tmes
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Comments (112)

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How are you healing hon? Are you ok? The last portion took my breath away. Hope all is well :)
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How are things now? Your pics and story are inspiring. Update please!
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How is it healing now? Love looking your pictures!!!
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THanks! I will post some update pics soon!
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Wow what a story, you got my adrenalin going there for a bit. well I'm so happy you got to the source of the problem and that your feeling better. other then that you look great and I cant wait to see your update. happy healing! xoxo
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Holly cow, my heart is pounding reading, but is a good thing that the liquid is out, but girl you are brave, LOL, happy healing
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WOW! What an experience. I am happy to hear you are feeling better and the cyst is draining.
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That is crazy the draining mess. Mine was not lilt that more like a pimple. You are so brave. I would have probably went to the doctor for that much. And passed out. Lol. I'm glad it workout for you
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My goodness!! I just checked up on your status last week when you wore your red dress to the salon, then I come back to this! Hopefully you'll start to see major results now.
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Wow!!! I got the chills... glad you are doing better and I agree with HappySuzy you are too brave. Have you called your doctor?
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Whoa doggies, what a brave one you are. Think I woulda passed out. I agree with others here who say, follow up with you PS to confirm everything is ok. Take care.
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wow my guess is you probably feel about 100 percent better getting rid of all that fluid build up etc, but like the other girls I think I would at least call the PS office and let them know and see if you need to do anything else, best of luck to you
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I'm very glad that you're okey..Your story always inpires me!But I think you should go to your doctor so you can learn everything is ok..Happy healing
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Hi I glad it's over. However pls go see your PS...I hope he is close by to check everything out. Happy healing!
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oMg. Girl I almost passed out reading this! I am glad you feel better, but holy cow! You are much stronger than I am.
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Oh so sorry love, it looks painful. How does the doc handle that? Sending love your way, feel better soon!
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I think you look great! Love your BB too :-)
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I had a couple of the stitch things and the nurse at the office popped it and cleaned it out. I did my second one myself. I just poked a small hole in it and all oozed out and then it healed up nicely.
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I am about to do that right now! thanks for the encouragement
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just wondered if you have called your doc about this problem, possibly they can go in there and do something to relieve this, you do look wonderful and are doing great and hoping your doc can help you out with this !
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Hang in there sweet girl. You have been thru so much and have handled beautifully. I'm sure you'll turn the corner and things will settle out. Thank you for your shares and bravery. You are inspiring to many, including me. I was also very ashamed of my body, until I met my wonderful husband (not my first) 20 years ago. He's like what I imagine your new guy to be, kind and supportive. I couldn't do anything like this without him. Had my breast reduction 8 weeks ago, heading for my TT in January. Hope I'm as strong as you! Keep hanging in there, try and stay positive, cause you have done WONDERFULLY and look AWESOME !
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Thanks for the words of encouragement, I especially needed them today!
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Hi There, I was so moved as I read your review through from beginning to end today (Dec 9th). SO many things I want to say to you. First, your courage and determination are inspirational. Second, I love that you had the epiphany to do something marvelous for yourself to reverse a lifelong monkey on your back, to say the least. Third, when you said you had NEVER allowed anyone, even your husband, to see you naked because of the shame and discomfort you had carried your entire life, I was so filled with emotion for you....then you tell us you were able to allow your new man to look, to touch, etc I was cheering for you. (YOur new guy sounds wonderful, btw! I am a widow and had my tt 18 most after my hubby died, and recently allowed the first man in 23 years besides my hubby into my life as well.) And you let us all see too....Did you even realize that? What a triumph for you. And let's talk about that HOT red dress, and those rocking jeans!!! OMG, you have become a new person, from the inside (your heart, your confidence, you feel sexy...we can see it here on your blog of the process and how your've changed) to the outside (the external changes are the obviously visual ones). I am thrilled for you. Best of luck with your new business, and with your new life!!!
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That is such a touching comment! Best of luck from me to both of you too!
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