Write a review

8 weeks with updated pictures - Des Moines, IA

I am 32 and have 3 kids (all in 4 years). My...

I am 32 and have 3 kids (all in 4 years). My middle child was 10 lbs and a c-section and my youngest resulted in an emergency c-section/hysterectomy. I have been wanting a tummy tuck for 5 years since I had my last baby.

Over the last year I have lost 46 lbs. I am down to 157. I am comfortable with my body except my hideous stomach. i have stretchmarks almost to my bra. I have to lumps. the area above my belly button and the big flabby pouch below my belly button. and my belly button.....hideous. I want my body to match how I feel inside. I am so nervous and excited. I go for my pre op next week. So far I have learned a recliner is a must. I am going to try to have meals prepared a head of time so I can eat healthy. my mom is going to stay with me at least the first week. I am trying to picture what I will look like but I just cant. its been so long since I had a flat stomach. I would to have any tips or advice.

SO I have 2.5 week til surgery. i have been doing...

SO I have 2.5 week til surgery. i have been doing a lot of reading. i am so concerned about the swelling. I am also worried because I have IBS and for the past week or so I have not felt good. i have been bloated and going between not going to the bathroom and going too much. I am worried the surgery will just make it worse. I am still going go through with it. I have waited too long. I would appreciate any tips on swelling or dealing with IBS.

2 weeks to go. I am getting so anxious and nervous...

2 weeks to go. I am getting so anxious and nervous. I am excited but I am not excited about the pain. I have really been focused on the swelling. I am freaking out about.

2 weeks til surgery. I have my pre op tomorrrow. I...

2 weeks til surgery. I have my pre op tomorrrow. I getting nervous. I took some pre pics. so gross.

I had my pre op with Dr Robbins yesterday. I have...

I had my pre op with Dr Robbins yesterday. I have been researching tummy tucks like crazy. The husband will take the laptop from me eventually. So I have been spazzing out in Kati style. Nothing new I am a bit of s spaz.
I am metally preparing myself for it to be a bad recovery s that way if its not too bad hey its will be a bonus. I have been freaking making sure those that help me have it easy as possible. I have a feeling I will end filling my freezer with enough food to feed an army. I guess I have to focus on one thing or my excitement and nerves get the best of me. I mean in a week I will be able to look at the lady bits without holding up my front butt. gross I know, but the reality of bad genetics (thanks mom), 3 kids, 2 c-sections and a hysterectomy.
Ok I have wondered off from what I was posting about, pre op with Dr Robbins. I took my mom with me. They gave me the pre surgical info (all the bad things that could ever happen). If you have has surgery you have probably read. To those who take your mom with you, pretend you are reading the daily funnies. I am pretty sure she was totally freaked out with some of the stuff.
He really didn't go over much and to be honest after i left I was wandering why I had to drive over and hour with my mom backseat driving to be there 30 min. My surgery is Wed. the 20th at 7 am. i will be in surgery 2 to 2.5 hours with 30 mins in recovery. I think I will be in recovery a little longer unless they plan to wheel me out to the car semi conscious. The anesthesiologist will talk to me day of surgery. They will go over the drains day of surgery. I have to have them for 7 days and have my follow up a week after surgery. I need to eat crackers with the painmeds. Vicodin will be my new best friend. I will have a patch behind my ear to help with nausea. I am pretty sure throwing up after they have moved my abs around could be one of the worse pains ever. Just a guess.
My mom did fins out he has never been sued and chance of infection is super low (told you she sorta freaked out). My plan is for the first week is to be a vicodin coma. hopefully my 3 children will for once leave mommy a lone when she doesn't feel well. I don't like my chances. My mother in law will cart my kids around (I think only because I forced a detailed after school schedule on her). My mom is the main person I am relying on. Not only will she have to look after my whinny butt but she will have to make sure my family doesn't bury my house in laundry and dishes. He made it seem like compared to me emergency c-section/hysterectomy this shouldn't be much worse. I should be feeling pretty good after a week or two. BONUS!!!! I don't even remember much of my recovery from that.

I officially have one week left til surgery. I...

I officially have one week left til surgery. I think reading everyone stories has messed with my head a bit. i am only getting a tt, no lipo. my doctor didn't push me to get it. yeah I have some love handles but I don't have the extra dough to fork out for lip and I truly believe with a little hard work I an get rid of them. they don't really bother me. i have been really tired lately. not sure why. at this point I am just ready for the surgery to be over with.

My surgery is tomorrow. I am so anxious and...

My surgery is tomorrow. I am so anxious and nervous. I just want to be done and start recovering. Wish me luck.

Today was surgery day. I had surgery about 745 and...

Today was surgery day. I had surgery about 745 and went home around 11. Everything went very well. They took 4 lbs off my abdomen and repaired my abdominal muscles. My pain has not been very manageable. I am in quite a bit of pain. Hopefully taking a muscle relaxer and main pill together will help. I don't feel to bad as long as I don't move at all. I didn't realize how much you use your abdominal muscles. Just getting up to use the bathroom is a workout. Plus I walked hunched over like a little old lady. I have been dozing off and on today. Only staying awake for 30 min at a time. Sleeping in my recliner is not comfortable (it wont stayed reclined) and I am sporting a pretty big headache. I know this first week will be the roughest. I just have to get through it. Dr Robbins said I could shower tomorrow if I want, but if I could wait 48 hours to take off the binder that would be best, so I think I will wait till Friday. I haven't seen what I look like yet. I am excited and nervous at the same time. The drains aren't too bad, more annoying than anything.My awesome husband took off the next few days to help me. The main source of pain is my muscle repair, the muscles are so tight and I keep having muscles spasms. Dr Robbins called a little while ago to check on me. Not many doctors call the patients themselves. I will try to take a picture of my binder and drains tomorrow to give an idea o what it looks like. Hopefully this all makes sense since I am doing this after taking a muscle relaxer and a pain pill.

I survived my first day. I developed a killer...

I survived my first day. I developed a killer headache yesterday.Not sure if it is from falling asleep sitting up or a caffeine headache. I decided to attempt to sleep in my bed last night instead of the recliner. I think I slept for 4 straight hours. not too bad. My main thing I am focusing on is staying on top of my pain meds. My pain today so far has been manageable if I take the muscle relaxer and pain pill. I don't like the feeling of being helpless, but I can barely make it to the bathroom. I have great people taking care of me, my husband and mom. Do I think it was worth it, Absolutely.

SO I have had a huge headache since surgery. it...

SO I have had a huge headache since surgery. it will get a little better for awhile then it will be migraine level. I called my PS and they said I could be dehydrated or it could be the anesthesia. I have stepped up the water and it hasn't helped so i think its just the anesthesia. I will be glad when it is out of my system. I get to shower and look at my new tummy for the first time. I am excited.

SO I have had a huge headache since surgery. it...

SO I have had a huge headache since surgery. it will get a little better for awhile then it will be migraine level. I called my PS and they said I could be dehydrated or it could be the anesthesia. I have stepped up the water and it hasn't helped so i think its just the anesthesia. I will be glad when it is out of my system. I get to shower and look at my new tummy for the first time. I am excited.

I just took my first shower and saw my new tummy...

I just took my first shower and saw my new tummy for the first time. It looks better than I could imagine. I still have stretch marks but I dont care. I was so happy I almost cried.

PO day 4. So I took the stool softeners a little...

PO day 4. So I took the stool softeners a little too far. I was taking ducolax, milk of magnesia and smooth move tea. Now I am in the bathroom A LOT. at least I am not straining to go. but darn does it suck to get in and out of my recliner.

Pain is good. No worse than my c-sections. My mood...

Pain is good. No worse than my c-sections. My mood is another story. I am just getting down stuck sitting so much with nothing to do. My kids are wrecking my house and I can't do a darn thing about it. I am tired but cant sleep. My mom and hubby are great but oh my am I bored. I know poor Kati is stuck being bored but boy is it not good on the mood. I just want to be able to get up and do my normal stuff. i want to be able to go couponing or hang out with friends or even put on clothes that aren't stretch pants. Maybe I will get some visitors and calls or something. Anything to lift my mood would be awesome. i hear its normal to have this down time so I just have to wait and let it pass.

The area that is bothering me the most is where my...

The area that is bothering me the most is where my drains are at. that area aches and is very tender. I am trying some ice. I am also starting pineapple juice and eating pineapple as I hear it help swith the swelling.I am swollen in that area. my front isn't swollen too much. my belly button loos kinda gross. its scabby. I am sure it will look great once it heals. Ignore the messy mirror in my pictures. I have 3 small children. Over all physically I am feeling pretty well. my muscle repair just feels like really sore muscles. I am counting down the days till Wednesday when I go for my 1 week post op so I can hopefully get my drains out.

So I made it a week post op. I went for mt post op...

So I made it a week post op. I went for mt post op appointment today. Dr Robbins took my drains out. It was so weird. I could feel the drains move inside me. My left side hurt to take out but that side has been sore. It wasn't too bad. it was over quickly. My dr. said I am looking good, obviously I have tons of swelling but that is normal. I am avoiding salt, minimizing my caffeine and eating pineapple to to help with swelling. The compression garment I got didn't fit right and was not firm enough so now i am on the hunt for a new one. I have to wear one for 4 weeks. I would like to find one that is more comfortable and less bulky that what I have. I took some new pics. Some of how I look in my clothes with my compression garment. My swelling without my drains. I am feeling pretty good. I wear out easily and still need a lot of help with household things. Overall I feel like I am doing really well. its going to be another 4-5 weeks before I can exercise, do much lifting ext. I am able to take my binder of for a little while each day while I rest in my chair. MY belly button is slowly healing. I am supposed to peroxide it and then take a shower right away. i am looking forward to hopefully shaving my legs soon lol, In 3 days I can start scar therapy (I got some scar treatment at the surgeons) and will use coconut oil. This surgery was totally worth it to me. I am so glad I got this done.

SO I am po day 8.I feel like my doctor didn't give...

SO I am po day 8.I feel like my doctor didn't give me a lot info for over the next 3 weeks. He gave me a sheet way before surgery so I guess that is what I go by. I hate my binder. its comfy enough its just so bulky. I really don't want to spend the next 3 weeks in bulky sweats and t shirts.I would like to find something else to wear that isn't going to cost me and arm and a leg. i am a little down today. I was naughty and weighed myself. I am at my pre surgery weight. I want to loose about 20 more lbs. I am bummed the 4 lbs he took off me are not showing. IS being down normal?

YAY I am 9 days post op. I am in total swell hell,...

YAY I am 9 days post op. I am in total swell hell, nut still chugging along. Hubby took me to the store today. I drove the electric cart. I was a horrible driver it was really jerky so I sorta made myself very nauseous. I was so surprised how much a 30 min trip to the store wore me out. I had to go lay down when I got home. Baby steps. So hard for me though because I am not patient at all. One day at a time. I can start my scar therapy tomorrow. I am going slather myself in coconut oil. its the little things that excite me now lol. I even threw in a picture of me rocking the electronic cart. My daughter took the pics l look mad (I am not just green around the gills)

I have doing pretty good. I am the middle in what...

I have doing pretty good. I am the middle in what fellow tummy tuckers call swell hell. I started wearing two compression garment. The one thing I can't believe is my lack of energy. I do anything and I am just wiped out. I went to the store Friday and rode in the electric cart. We were gone less than an hour. I felt horrible when I got home. Today I had breakfast with friends. I literally sat in a restaurant for 2 hours and talked. that's it. bye time I got home I was super hunched over and had to take pains pills. I would take a nap if I didn't have 3 kids running around. I hope i get some energy back soon. I used to going going going.
Another thing I started was scar therapy. Let me back up to my 1 week post op visit. i have been super happy with my doctor but my 1 week follow up was disappointed. He seemed hurried through my follow up and didn't really give me a lot of information.Which brings me back to scar therapy. He said to start it yesterday. I using coconut oil and some scar treatment I got at the doctors office. I know i am supposed to message my scar but I was not told anything about how to do it. I do have a lot of numbness around my my incision. very similar to when you have a c-section.I wont lie its hurts to touch my scar. so messaging it seems like torture but its a big scar and I want it to be smooth. Its berry thin so that is mice and he got it nice and low on my hips. honestly a scar doesn't bother me, its will always be covered anyways. So now I have to do research and figure the best way to do scar message. I would take some updated pics of my scar and swelling but honestly i am in my recliner and so tired I am not getting up anytime soon. I will try to get some later.

So I made it a month. It has been a long month....

So I made it a month. It has been a long month. There are so many thing I haven't been able to do. I can't be on my feet for long periods of time without fatigue and swelling. I can't lift more than 10lbs, or exercise. I am pretty much standing straight up. My main issue now is the swelling. I took my pictures in the morning because swelling is less. I have lost 7-8 lbs. On an average day where i am up and running around for a few hours I will swell and put on about 2 lbs. Its painful but I take ibuprofen. I made a lotion mixture of coconut oil, vitamin e and lavender oil. I rub that on my stomach, hips and thighs. Most of my swelling is in the hips and thighs. My belly button is healing nicely. it is the last place to heal. In my pictures you can see marks on me that is from wearing my binder at night. I can take the big white binder off. I am more comfortable in my tan compression garment when I am out and about. I see mt surgeon next week. He will redefine what I can and cant do. I go back to work tomorrow. I am nervous, just because I can't lift a lot and I will need to sit often. I was so excited. I was able to start wearing jeans yesterday...finally, no more yoga pants. I put them on and they were huge. So off to Maurices I went. I was able to go down a size. those are the tan shorts in the picture. I am excited for Dr Robbins to hopefully clear me for exercise soon. My scar looks really good. I am pale so it will show up more red. it is very thin and will continue to fade. I still have some numbness in the area and it hurts less to rub the scar. I muscle repair is feeling good. My back hurts sometimes if I over do it but nothing like it did before the surgery. Once again I will post a side by side before and after pic. Let me know if you have any questions. I love comments.

I had my 5 weeks check up today. Dr Robbins said...

I had my 5 weeks check up today. Dr Robbins said my scar looks great and keep using what I am using. I can ditch the binder and compression garments for good. YAY!!! I may still wear my cg to work to help with the swelling. I have had some burning in my upper abdomen. HE said that's my nerves and muscles coming back to life. I can start exercising. No core workouts. He said whatever I want just to start slow. I am thinking some water aerobics and yoga. I still am in swell hell and have some pain when I swell. I am just trying not to dwell on it. It will get better eventually. I am down 4 lbs and a pant size. time for some shopping.

SO I haven't updated in awhile. I am almost 7...

SO I haven't updated in awhile. I am almost 7 weeks. I have been back to work for 3. Luckily I work 5 hour shift so its not too long. I do stand on my feet the entire time so that sucks. Last week I started yoga 2x a weeks with a friend of mine who teaches it. She is building t around the weak abdominal muscles and my bad knee. i was so sore the first day, everywhere but my tummy. The 2nd day I over did and my stomach tightened but up and was super tender. Last night I noticed that it looks like my bellybutton is shrinking. I can stick my pinky finger in it. Is this normal. I am concerned. I am going to call the PS Monday. I received in the mail my before and after pics from the doctor. OH my. i wish now I could have afford lypo but not much i can do about it now. Just some serious working out for me.

I am at my 2 month mark. It feels like it should...

I am at my 2 month mark. It feels like it should be longer. i have been back to work and exercising for 3 weeks. I am feeling pretty good. My one major issue is swelling. I still have quite a bit of swelling but I think it has to do with how active I am. I am working 10-15 hours a week on my feet and doing yoga and other exercises. Most of my swelling is in my upper abdomen, hips and thighs. i know it will eventually go away so I am ignoring it the best I can. I am really enjoying yoga and strengthening my body. I feel like i am getting stronger every day. I even was able to go play racket ball the other day which would have killed my back before my surgery. I am not really worrying about loosing weight, I am just trying to reshape my body and tone up. The love handle and hip area are my biggest areas to work on. Most people get lipo on these areas. I kinda wish I would have but I am still happy with my results. In my pictures you can see my swelling and the fact I still have stretch marks. I had to many to get rid of them all. They should fade more with time.
West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon

I found him online. I chose him because he had the best credentials and reviews. I had to change my review slightly. I think he did an awesome job on my surgery but I felt like at my 1 week post op he was half way out the door before I could ask many questions. i felt like I i didn't get a lot of info of what I should or should not do between now and my 4 weeks post op.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 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 tmes
Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful

Comments (89)

Sort by

I too am from Iowa starting to look into tt options... Keep me posted,, I'm terrified..
  • Reply
fantastic transformation ... you are looking great! I am so with you on the swelling front, really plays with your head doesn't it! My hips and thighs also feel bigger than they did... grrr! Still, we know that this won't last forever... Keep us posted!
  • Reply
Oh my gosh, your pics were so exciting for me to see! I hope my results are that awesome!!
  • Reply
YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!!
  • Reply
Transformation is not over yet but so far you have had amazing results...
  • Reply
You look great! You had an awesome transformation!
  • Reply
thank you
  • Reply
Wow you look fabulous! i am very similar to your pre-op pic and will be very happy if I look like you afterwards. Do you feel happy/different now? was it the transformation you had hoped for?
  • Reply
I feel totally different. I am happy with my results. I know the swelling will go down and my shape will get better.
  • Reply
You look so good!!
  • Reply
Ohmygosh! You look fantastic!! I only hope that my results will look half as amazing as yours!!
  • Reply
thanks. When is your surgery?
  • Reply
you look great gbu
  • Reply
Kati, ur tummy looks so good. Are you still swollen on the sides? I'm only 15 days post op and I swelled up crazy after my shower today.
  • Reply
thanks. I swell the most on my sides and outer thighs
  • Reply
You look awesome! Scar looks great! I have hope that at one month I will have my scar flatter and belly button healed and energy ;). Thanks for keeping us posted!!
  • Reply
BY THE WAY YOUR LOOK AMAZING.....I'm 2 weeks post op everything you have talked about I'm experiencing !!!! I would like Thank yOU for keeping us girls here on realself up to date This is some good stuff. Where did you get your brown binder and at what week you toss the white one it's so Bulky under clothing .
  • Reply
Looking so great!!!!
  • Reply
Hi Kati! Just wanted to say that you look fantastic!! I know what a blessing it is to be without that big ole hangin belly!! It's awesome!! I just hit my 8 week mark and the best advice I have to offer is "be patient". Trust me, the next few weeks may just blow your mind. I went through an emotional breakdown around wk 5. Was so swollen between wk 6 & 7 that I went in to see my ps to have him check me for seroma. I was SURE I had to have one. I didn't. The swelling plays tricks on you. Just ride it out. It's gonna be a good summer!
  • Reply
thanks. I feel better than I did 2 weeks ago. hopefully the next two will be better.
  • Reply
Also just get used to the idea that your stretch pants will be your best friends for awhile longer. If you maybe lower your expectations a little you won't get so upset with the swelling, etc. I'm 3 days PO and just chilling, icing, walking around the house and napping when I need it. Luckily I don't have small kids either. Try to take care of yourself....
  • Reply
Ask the women on RS for help, they can tell you so much more than your PS I'm afraid to say. Good luck and try to take it easy. Doesn't sound like you're able to rest as much as you should with kids running around. I hope someone can come and stay with you, or atleast take your kids away for awhile so you can recooperate.
  • Reply
my mom is helping me some. I just am not bouncing back fast enough for me lol. it is definelty harder with 3 small children.
  • Reply
You look great!! How is the pain now? Did your pain med helped at all?
  • Reply
I have gone off my pain meds about day 5. I am now on day 10 and the past two days have been bad. I think I am going to have to go back on them for awhile.
  • Reply