June 19th TT w/MR & Lipo of flanks- 6 Months and Feeling Great! New pics! - Draper, UT

I'm 5'4", 135 lbs., 31 year old mother of 3 (all...

I'm 5'4", 135 lbs., 31 year old mother of 3 (all c-sections.) On June 19th I had a full TT with muscle tightening and lipo of my back flanks.

My story: I gained 70 lbs. with my first pregnancy and was basically one big stretch mark from my thighs to my breasts. #1 weighed over 10 lbs. (was an emergency c-sec). My body was never the same after that. After #3 turned 1 year, I still had another 40 lbs I wanted to lose so I signed up at a local gym, hired a personal trainer, and started eating better. After about 7 months I had lost the 40 lbs., went from a size 14 to a size 6, and had ran a 5K, 10K, and a half marathon. Exercise and eating right are now a way of life for me. I love sweating and pushing my body hard. Two years ago I was training for my first full marathon and was having some breathing issues. I thought it was just asthma or bronchitis. 3 x-rays and a CT scan later I found out I had a cancerous tumor in my right lung. 13 days later I was in the hospital and had 70% of my right lung removed. The surgery got rid of the cancer and I've been cancer-free since then. I go in every 6 months to check and make sure it isn't coming back and so far so good! After my surgery I was more determined than ever to keep working out, get my body used to my new lung capacity, and just do my best to stay healthy and fit. I've done that (ran another half marathon last summer and just finished a Ragnar relay race 3 days before my TT.) Despite working out and getting down to my goal weight, I still had not been able to get rid of that loose skin and had been saving my pennies for this surgery.

In May we found out my husband was getting a check from work that we had not planned on. My husband was sweet enough to suggest we use the money for my TT and I was ecstatic. The next day I made 3 consult appts. I ended up going with my first consult and I have no regrets. My decision was mostly based on time and money. I needed a dr who could do the surgery right after my relay race. Also, my mom (who lives in OR) could come out and help me but she only had from the June 18-July 1, then had to go back. I also am planning on running another relay race at the end of August so wanted to do the surgery as close to the 18th as I could, to give me more time to recover and heal. The dr I chose was perfect. I had 3 people who raved about his work he had performed on them, he was so patient and answered all my questions, gave me a big discount on lipo of my flanks, and worked the surgery around my schedule.

I was never nervous about the surgery. I had done my research and knew what I was getting into. After 3 c-sections and lung surgery, I felt I could handle this no problem. I was so excited! I had been wanting this for years and the time had finally come! June 19th I got to the surgical center around 6:30am. Surgery started around 8:15am and lasted about 4 1/2 hours. After I woke up I spent about 30 minutes in the recovery room and then my husband took me home. I remember not being able to keep my eyes open because I was so sleepy. I was pretty drugged up and didn't feel too much pain, everything just felt very tight. Overall this first week hasn't been that bad. The pain and discomfort is definitely worse than my c-sections, but the fact I don't have to take care of a newborn AND recover from surgery helps immensely. I have an abdominal binder I got from my dr that holds me in pretty tight. My drains came out yesterday and that made me feel a lot better. Still can't stand completely straight up but getting there. Just going slow and taking it easy. Loving my new stomach already and it's only the first week. I told my husband how excited I was to go to the bathroom and not have my loose skin touch my thighs, or not have to clean out my belly button after a shower to make sure it doesn't stink because the skin hangs over it. (Gross, I know!) Not going to miss any of that! My lower back is still swollen and bruised from the lipo but in time I know it's all going to get better. I'm off dilaudad now and just take the occasional Aleve or Tylenol for the aches and pains. I'm very pleased though with my results and how the whole past 9 days have gone. So thankful my mom has been here to help out with the kids, laundry, dishes, dinner, etc. I know that has really helped my recovery, being able to take it easy while my mom takes care of me and my family. She leaves to go back home on Sunday and we will all miss her.

Overall this has been a great decision and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love my new, flat stomach and can't wait to feel 100%!

So I'm 12 days PO. I've been feeling pretty dang...

So I'm 12 days PO. I've been feeling pretty dang good except for this pain in my neck and left shoulder. I noticed it a few days after surgery, after sleeping a lot in my la-z-boy recliner and walking around hunched over. Now I stand pretty much straight up. My stomach and muscles feel pretty good, no pain at my incision site, my back isn't very bruised anymore, but this shooting pain down my neck and shoulder is driving me crazy! It has woken me up from my sleep the past 3 nights. I started taking dilaudid again even though I really don't want to be taking any more pills. Any idea what I can do to get rid of this pain?

Other than the neck/shoulder pain, I really am doing very well. Yesterday I cleaned my bathrooms, vacuumed the house, went to my 9 year old's 5K and cheered him on, then went to a 4th of July celebration with my husband's family and was out for 7 hours. Felt totally fine.

So on Thursday I got a bill from my surgical center for $85. I was confused as to why I would be getting this bill (it wasn't itemized so had no clue what it was for.) I called the center on Friday and was told my dr had quoted 4 1/2 hours for the surgery and that's what I pre-paid but he went over that time by 3 minutes so that kicked us over into the next pay bracket. Thankfully though, I was told if the dr goes over by 5 minutes or less they write it off so it was a mistake and I don't have to pay it, but still I thought that was pretty crazy. 6 minutes over time and you pay another 85 bucks. I guess it's not a huge deal when I figure I have paid $6400 already but every little bit I can save helps!

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!

My recovery has been pretty smooth these past 6...

My recovery has been pretty smooth these past 6 weeks. I feel really lucky! My back is still a little tender from the lipo and my stomach has the typical off and on swelling, but other than that everything is great! I was told to wear my binder for 4-6 weeks but I still wear it occasionally when I over-do it and feel swollen. I started back at the gym at 4 weeks, alternating a fast walk/light jog on the treadmill. I felt like there was a hard rock in my stomach as I ran. Those new tight tummy muscles are going to take some getting used to. Last week (5 weeks PO) I could push myself a little harder and longer. 3 miles at a light jog on the treadmill and felt pretty good. I even attempted some zumba classes and light strength training (all machines, no free weights). I have a 5K this weekend at 6 1/2 weeks PO. Going to take it easy and just run to finish, not for time. At 9 1/2 weeks PO I'll be running in the Hood To Coast relay. I think I'll be ready. I'm running a 4.5 mile leg, then 5.7, then 4.1. Not too bad. Definitely won't be my fastest runs, but that's ok. My team will understand. :) Can't wait until I'm 100% and can push my body even more!

I love how my clothes fit now. I'm not hesitant about wearing tight tops. My husband loves my body and confidence and can't keep his hands off me. lol I bought a new bikini last week (first time in 12 years!) I'm SO happy. No regrets about the surgery. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Figured I would check in since it has been a few...

Figured I would check in since it has been a few months. I'm 6 1/2 months PO and feeling amazing. Still absolutely ZERO regrets. The few weeks of pain, discomfort, scar... all worth it! By the 3 month mark I felt back to my normal self (except with no saggy skin. YAY!) I did run in the Hood To Coast relay 9 1/2 weeks PO and I did fine. Wasn't my fastest runs ever but I made it. Lol

I love my new body and really enjoy buying new clothes now, something I don't remember liking for years! I have some hefty fitness goals this year. I'm running my first full marathon on my birthday in 5 months, and also running in the Wasatch Back relay race again. I'm excited for 2013 and plan to really take care of my body and make this my healthiest year yet!
Michael Self

Dr. Self is an excellent doctor. He had performed my personal trainer's BA, and my boss had 2 friends who had him do their TTs. All were really happy with their results so I felt I was in good hands when I decided to go with him. He gave me 50% off on the lipo and worked the surgery around my schedule. He has been great about following up and is just a very sweet man. So glad I chose him to perform my surgery!

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 times
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What did you do to get rid of the shooting pain in your shoulder/neck?
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Heating pad kind of helped. Thoight sleeping in different places might help since I spent a lot of time in my recliner, in the same position. Really time was what made it go away. Something I know you don't want to hear. It was probably 3 or 4 days of intense pain, and then it started getting better. Be tough. Hang in there! The results are so worth it!! :)
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Thanks, it actually got better on its own already and I have no idea what made it feel better. Im just glad the pain is relieved.
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Just brilliant absolutley brilliant! You look ace! And great to see someone at 6 months PO to see it'll all be worth while. You look AMAZING :) X
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Thank you so much! It definitely is worth it! Absolutely no regrets!
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Perfect ending!
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Thank you!
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Hi there :). So happy for you! You are looking great!
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I'm 2 days post op and I too have terrible neck pain. I am sure mine is from being in a reclined position but holding me head forward all the time has pulled muscles in my neck. I don't know but I'm pretty sure that's what it is. Could that be the case with you? :)
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Yes, I think between the recliner and walking hunched for a week my neck and back didn't like it. The pain was horrible for a week but Day 13 the pain was basically gone. I'm at Day 16 now and haven't had any back or neck pain (besides where I was lipo'ed in my flanks.) So glad that pain is gone! It was awful. Hopefully your pain goes away soon too!
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I had a La-Z Boy recliner which was really helpful that first week. I bought some Colace to help with my bowel movements and I was glad I had that. I also took someone's advice about having drinking straws. That helped the first few days when I needed to swallow pills. Glad I was stocked up on jello and pudding because that's about all I ate the first 2 or 3 days. My biggest "must haves" were oversized underwear (by 2 or 3 sizes) and scrubs. I bought the scrubs at Walmart for $15. I wore them basically the first week. I bought my normal size (medium) and they worked great, especially with my drains in. Nice to have an expandable waist and they were lightweight so didn't make me too hot. Good luck!
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Were there any recovery supplies you bought and were glad you had? Any recovery supplies you wish you'd known before you got home from the surgery center? Thank you for your story, I'm scheduled for July 19, 2012. Since I'm not married and live alone I want to have my ducks in a row.
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Congratulations. You seem AWESOME! I had my surgery 5 days ago and these drain tubes are killing me, how long did you have yours in?
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My drains came out on day 8. Hopefully not much longer for you either!
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I must tell you, I had my surgery on May 31st and one drain came out two days later however, I STILL HAVE THE OTHER DRAIN! Sorry, had to vent. :)
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REALLY????? Oh my gosh, that is a long time, but better then a seroma I guess right?
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Being in a univalve study, I've had a home health nurse come to me every day since surgery for drain care. TODAY WAS THE DAY! I'm drain free. :)
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Yay! How do you feel?
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I also have a pain in my neck and my lower back. Started yesterday. I think it is due to the fact that I had been sleeping propped up on one of those pillows with the arms on them and 3 other pillows but now have switched back to my regular sleeping position. Maybe you are out of wack from your body being in positions it normally isn't in? I had my hubby rub my neck with Bio-freeze this am and it feels much better. The massage therapists at the salon I work at use it and I LOVE it. Also maybe ice 20 min. on 20 min. off? This helped my lipo pain so much.
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I'll have to look into some Bio-freeze. I've been icing and it does help, but not for very long. Hope the pain goes away for the both of us soon!
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You are so inspiring on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray my recovery is as smooth as yours.
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Thank you so much! Good luck!
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What an amazing story. You are so inspiring. Hubby sounds awesome :). I really love the drains picture. That is so cool to see them before you were closed up. Thank you for sharing your story. Oh and you look incredible! Show off that tummy!!
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