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August 17th TT and MR - 1 Year Later!!

I have wanted a tummy tuck for years - since the...

I have wanted a tummy tuck for years - since the birth of my second daughter 10 years ago. I have two girls, ages 10 and 12, and I am 33 years old. I am have been single for many years. I love to participate in triathlons, though I am still very overweight.. I don't mind my curves, but I could not stand the extra skin and fat on my stomach. My self confidence has been very low because I can get over my belly. Otherwise, I know I am intelligent and strong - so the belly had to go!

First 48 hours - I can't believe that so many of you had an easy time the first few days. I was in pain and I was very ill. I have never had anesthesia, and I don't think that my body responded to it very well. My friend who was taking care of me was a saint. It was the worst 48 hours of my life. I stopped vicodin the day after the tt because I was throwing up. Also, i somehow pulled out one of my three drains.

My doctor removed 3.5lbs of skin. He told me after the surgery that it was mostly skin.

The next two days were ok. The pain was bearable on the tylenol alone. I didn't have a toilet raiser, but my legs are very strong from triathlon and P90X, so it wasn't an issue at all. I had my first shower 3 days PO.

After day 5, I was feeling great. I got my second drain out day 7 and third one out day 10. I feel better every day. My TT was on the 17th and I went back to work on the 27th. I have a desk job, so it is not so bad.

I am dealing with a lot of swelling now - it can be seen in my first after phtotos taken on the 28th. My sides seem so much wider then the first few days post. The apparent love handles are due to swelling. I love my results. I look so much better in my clothes. My scar is very low!

Tomorrow will be two weeks since my TT! This week...

Tomorrow will be two weeks since my TT! This week has been really good. I tried to wear jeans today though, and I ended up getting uncomfortable. I can't wait until the swell hell gets better! I looked amazing compared to before though :) My confidence is already so much better - this surgery was like the missing piece of the puzzle for me.

Although I am new to posting on this site, I have been reading stories for a while. I was kind of chicken to post, and I am so grateful for everyone who has shared their stories and experiences. I don't actually know if I would have went through with the surgery if this site wasn't here. It has been so helpful for me!

I can't wait to start working out, but I realize it is a process. I worry so much about gaining weight. I am also going a little stir-crazy. I am not the most patient person in the world!

I posted one more picture taken day 12 PO.

I am so happy that I did this! My self confidence...

I am so happy that I did this! My self confidence is so much higher. I do not automatically grab a pillow when I sit down to hid my tummy, and I don't hide behind papers or my laptop when I am talking to co-workers. It feels like freedom :). The two days of hell that I went through in the beginning were so worth it now (though I wasn't so sure while I was in the middle of it) ;). I do have some swelling, but it hasn't been too unbearable besides the one day that I was uncomfortable in my jeans. I feel for you ladies that have a lot of swelling!

I had my 2 week check up yesterday, and I am doing really well. My PS said that I could start walking (as much as feels good to me). I was so happy to get the "ok" to increase my activity. I walked a mile with my daughters yesterday, and today I did a 3-mile loop around one of our lovely little Minnesota lakes. It is really funny - I don't think I have ever taken a walk by myself before. Since I compete in several running races and triathlons during the year, I always have some kind of goal in mind when I go out to run - faster, harder, longer....etc. I have walked with friends and family, but when I go out alone, I run. Well, walking is so different. I didn't wear my heart rate monitor/sports watch. I noticed the trees and lake and birds. I saw a blue-jay and a bald eagle. I even walked out onto the fishing dock and looked out at the lake. I have been running around that lake for three years, and I have never been out on the dock, and I had never even thought about it before. I also noticed that the people walking are smiley, and the people running are so serious...lol... Though the little competitive part of my brain wanted me to yell out to the runners that passed me, "I just had surgery, so that is why I am walking!" Ha Ha! I did really enjoy the slower pace. I am not sure how long I will be patient with the "stop and smell the roses" lifestyle, but today it made me very happy.

Good luck to all who have upcoming surgery, and Happy Healing to those of you who are on the "Flat Side!"

16 days PO for me! Some advice that may be...

16 days PO for me!

Some advice that may be helpful for people experiencing "swell hell": Try laying flat on your back for an hour or so partway through the day with pillows under the knees. Lymphatic circulation, the fluid from the cells in our body, only moves one direction up toward the neck, and I am assuming that it is easier for it to move up if I am lying down. Even in a recliner, there is still in incline for the fluid to move up. I do this every day in the afternoon, and it seems to make the swelling more bearable for me in the evening. The only night when I did not do this because my sister came over right after I got home from work and we went out to dinner was the worst swelling day that I experienced.


Sleep has been difficult for me the past few nights. I was taking ativan (same class as valium and xanax) at night for the first two weeks, and I was sleeping well, but I don't want to depend on something to help me sleep. I decided to go off the ativan over the long weekend, so if I was sleep deprived, it wouldn't matter so much (I am a notorious insomniac). It hasn't been fun. I am a side sleeper, and I can spend short periods of time on my side now, but I am just very restless.

I added on new photo. I am loving my results!

It has been 3 weeks and 3 days since surgery. I...

It has been 3 weeks and 3 days since surgery. I feel mostly normal now except for morning soreness and some evening swelling. I am trying to be super patient, but this walking only for exercise is getting old. And I have learned that when you walk, bugs can keep up with you - so I am adding another side effect/complication to tummy tucks (at least in Minnesota) - bug bites!

My scar looks pretty thin right now, but I feel like it probably gets thicker before it starts to fade. Can anyone comment on this? I just am not sure what to expect. Also, my skin on my stomach feels kind of like it is sunburned, though I think this is common when the nerves start to repair themselves. It is not bad, but interesting. Also, my tape came off of my incision yesterday. I have been thinking of replacing with paper tape, but I am wondering what works well for everyone at this point in healing.

I love the new me! Although I honestly can't imaging going through this again, it has been very worth it. I was kind of stir crazy Friday, so I went out for a little while. I don't know if it was my new found confidence or my new tummy, but I got more male attention in just a few hours than I think I did all of last year... ha ha! One guy even said "Oh my God!" when I walked by, and wanted to buy me drinks. I have never been the girl that men looked at like that. So confidence, new tummy, or a little of both - it was a lot of fun and a little overwhelming! Sometimes when I get dressed I almost cry because I can't believe that it is me in the mirror. I am so happy.

I will try to post a photo of my scar tomorrow. Happy healing and good luck to everyone!

I am just over 5 weeks since my surgery, and it...

I am just over 5 weeks since my surgery, and it has honestly been life changing for me. For the first time in my life, I am excited about fashion. I have a small amount of swelling still, but it is barely noticeable. I only wear my compression garment now when I work out. I started running again (slowly) on Tuesday, and it was better than expected. I have no real pain anymore.

Unfortunately, I have a bad cold. I feel so bad for those of you that had colds in the first four weeks post op, Until this last week, sneezing was PAIN! I am sneezing many, many times an hour now, and I am so glad that all I feel is some tightness.

My PS likes to keep tape on the scar until 2 months PO. I did take one photo of the scar before I had the tape changed at 4 weeks which I am posting.

It is a common theme in the reviews and for me personally to feel guilty or vain for having surgery. I have been thinking though that some women bounce back after babies and still look good. Why should those of us that have different genes that do not allow our bodies to heal like that feel bad for wanting to look good? I am so happy for this site! I never realized that there are so many women out there that are similar to me. I am also very thankful that I was able to make this surgery happen. I am so excited that for my next run race or triathlon, I will actually look like an athlete and not feel my extra skin pull up and down and I sprint at the finish.

My area under my bra seems to curve out a little, but it has been like that since the beginning. I don't really mind. My PS did say that I have a large rib cage (I am a large framed person) so he was going to be careful that the surgery would not make that area look odd. Also, I didn't really have lipo on my tummy (though I did have a little lipo on other areas), I do have a wonderful hourglass figure now. Well, I always had the shape, but now I don't have to hide the loose skin and protrusion below my waist with clothes or body shapers. Now that I have had the surgery, I notice my large thighs a lot more now - isn't that how it goes!

Good Luck/Happy Healing everyone!

6 weeks since my tummy tuck. I feel like myself...

6 weeks since my tummy tuck. I feel like myself again, but better. I have had a really bad experience with the friend who helped me the first two days after surgery. She felt like she had to tell me that I need to learn how to help myself better. There was an incident the morning after surgery where I decided to take out my catheter myself because I didn't want her to have to deal with that. when I took it out, I managed to get some urine on the floor and I became a bit hysterical. I barely remember this because I was nauseous and in pain. I was less than 24 hours PO. Then later when I had to go to the bathroom, I felt like I couldn't go. I was crying and it took me 15 minutes to go. She felt like I overreacted and that I should have been more calm and worked on breathing through it. I couldn't believe that she was being critical of me when I was in that state. Well she did tell me that it isn't just this incident that made her think this. I escaped an abusive relationship 3 years ago, and for quite some time, I was very mean and hard on men that would hit on me because I was not trusting of men. I have been working through this and have had some positive results over the past 6 months or so. She hasn't been out with me much in the past half year, and so she was bringing this up as evidence of my issues. It was completely devastating. I know that I have flaws, but this was someone I trusted to see me at my most vulnerable. I wish now that I had hired a nurse because I think that I may have expected too much from her. I didn't really expect those first two days to be as bad as they were, and I feel badly that she had to help me through this. I really didn't know that she felt this way about me, and it came out in a half hour lecture where every time I tried to defend myself she said that I was making excuses. I am sorry for the paragraph, but I had to vent somehow. I feel like having this tummy tuck has cost me my relationship with my best friend. It will not be the same between us anymore because I know that she believes that I am not a calm, rational person like she is, and it feels like it is more like a parent/child type of relationship now. I am not blameless in this; I have relied on her very much to help me through my difficult times. I never knew how she thought of me.

Physically I am doing great. I am back to my pre op level of activity. A positive side effect that I have noticed is that I used to have near constant low back pain, and it is completely gone. It amazes me that there are still people that think that exercise can fix a saggy tummy. I had a super strong core. I could get through Ab Ripper X on P90X, but my separated tummy muscles were still not going back together. Since I have been stitched back together, it seems like my back is better supported as well! Yay for tummy tucks!

7 weeks last Friday! I look the same as I did at...

7 weeks last Friday! I look the same as I did at 14 days (and I still have tape on the scar), so I will share a belly button photo only. It actually looks better in person - cameras do not show the contours well. The scar doesn't look bad at all. I went in the hot tub with my friends a week ago. I borrowed shorts and a sports bra because I didn't have a suit, and I was worried about the scar. I asked my friend that knew about the surgery if my BB was ok before I joined everyone, and she didn't know what I was talking about. She had forgotten that the surgery includes the BB.

I would say that life is back to normal, but I have a concussion from a sports accident, and it has been a rough week. I feel like I have been sick, injured, or recovering forever now! I have never had a concussion before, and it is almost worse than the surgery recovery. I can't think straight. I am usually a funny person (well I think so anyway...) but my sense is humor is hiding on me! I am restricted from working out because of the concussion now, and I am getting very impatient.

As for the actual Tummy Tuck: It is still the best thing ever! Except for the first two days, my recovery was thankfully very easy. I love my clothes now. I see my PS this week and should get the tape off for good. I actually like the tape though. It feels like protection on that sensitive skin. I haven't really worn the compression garment for weeks. Thank you to everyone for sharing their support and stories on this site. I read stories every day leading up to my surgery. I hope that those of you who are still waiting are finding value in all of our stories from PO. There are so many different people on this site, and all the information is so very valuable. I can't imagine having to go through this surgery 20 years ago without all of the information and personal experiences to help us understand what we can expect.

I can't believe it has been almost 4 months! When...

I can't believe it has been almost 4 months! When I was preparing for surgery or just post op, I would always get frustrated that most people do not update after the first few months, but now I understand. When you are preparing for surgery or still having a lot of side effects, it is constantly on your mind. Then life becomes normal (or new normal) again.

I have been lucky as I had no complications from surgery yet. I don't even have much swelling anymore. I still have trouble with push ups because I can feel a little pulling/pain after a few reps, so I have had to take it easy with that. I don't even think about the surgery most days though. I have not yet recovered all of the sensation in my mid abdomen and near the incision, but it is not numb. It doesn't bother me at all. And living in Minnesota, I can warm my hands on my belly without too much discomfort!

I can wear clothes that I love now without assistance from Spanx! Also, I gained a lot of confidence from this procedure. Confidence is amazing. I am dating someone now (an attractive younger someone ;) ) and I have a lot of options. It isn't just because I look better though. It is also very much about confidence. I was very lucky to be able to make this TT happen for me, but I believe at this point that if I had been able to feel good about myself even with my tummy flaws, my life would not be that different even without the surgery. Don't get me wrong, I am not sure if I would have ever achieved that goal, and I love my results! I am not sure if I would have ever been self assured and confident with that tummy, and I would do it all over again in an instant. I love my tummy now. I accept my other imperfections. I love being curvy. I love being strong.

I don't like my scar, but it will fade in time. I have one very small spot in the middle that is thicker and raised. I think it is where I accidentally ripped out the drain the first day post op. If it doesn't improve soon, I will contact my PS to see about a little revision or some sort of injection. I have been using Bio Oil. I keep thinking about silicone sheets, but I haven't purchased any yet.

Overall, this has been one of the most positive decisions that I have made. Best Wishes to my fellow Tummy Tuckers!

Hello Everyone! It has been a while since I have...

Hello Everyone! It has been a while since I have been on this site, and it great to see all of the updates!

Tummy Tuck was the best decision for me. I am basically back to normal. I still have trouble doing full push ups due to tightness in my abs, but I do about 10 the standard way and then switch to my knees. I am positive this will get better.I can do everything else though. I do not do ab specific work yet.

I have gained 8 pounds due to my concussion, the holidays, and the flu, but this is temporary. All the weight went to my boobs and thighs. I would take the boobs, but not the thighs!

The pain I went through in the first two days seems like a distant fuzzy memory. For anyone that is in the middle of it: It does get so much better, and it is very much worth it!

I made a comment in a previous post about confidence. Although I do very much believe in confidence, I do think this TT changed my life. I have had people tell me that they can tell I have been working out hard. It is funny because I was always a hard core athlete, but now people can see this. One of the managers at my work told me he has never seen me so happy and confident as I have been the last few months. He does not know about the surgery. Only five people in my life know about the surgery. I took a week and a day off of work. I actually went back to work a day early because of a work emergency. I told people I was taking time off for vacation to spend time with my daughters. It was summer, and everyone knows we like to spend all day at the pool. One guy noticed I was walking slower when I got back, and I said my lower back pain was flaring up. I wore loose clothing the first week or so (I still had a drain my first day back which I hid between my boobs). I also told people for over a month before my surgery that I had started P90X, which was true, so they attributed my change in form to P90X. I am not ashamed of my surgery. I do know that I would never have had this result on my own, but people at my work and some of my family would have judged me nonetheless. I was also blessed with an easy recovery after day 2, and that made it easy to hide the surgery from people. For those of you that want to hide the surgery, hopefully you can find some tips in my story to help you.

I love that I can wear almost anything now. I have never in my adult life been able to shop for nice clothes that made me comfortable. I don't have to hide my bulge! It has been so wonderful. The tummy tuck stretched my budget uncomfortably, and I have to work two jobs to pay my bills, but I have zero regrets.

My belly button is amazing! I think it is better than the original I had before kids. I had my daughters so young that it is hard to remember though... My scar is softening. It is also fading on the right side. I have only used bio oil. I still have a few stretch marks but I am ok with them. I am so happy to be rid of my belly.

I hope everyone is doing well. In the beginning, I...

I hope everyone is doing well. In the beginning, I was on this site every day, and now it has been months! I want to update with my experience at this amount of time past surgery.

One crazy thing - I somehow in the first few weeks after surgery developed some new tiny stretch marks. I am assuming from the swelling - I have such lovely skin... They are tiny and horizontal rather than vertical like normal. At first I thought they were irritated marks from where a button on my pants rubs, but a few months months ago I realized they were stretch marks. It is crazy how some women go through multiple pregnancies with no marks on their skin at all, and some of us can almost get damaged skin from leaning the wrong way!

I still have reduced sensation in near the scar area, but it isn't really bothersome at all. I do still swell a little still after too much salty foods, but I don't even really notice usually. My scar is fading, but it is still a little pink. I used bio oil at first, but have been lazy lately. Also, every once in a while I still feel an itch that is internal - kind of irritating, but getting rare. I am pretty much back to my full activities. There is kind of a slight stretchy feeling internal when I do certain exercises. I do not think about the surgery very often anymore. I do when I see the scar, and when I try on something I never ever would have been able to wear before.

I am so happy with my results. I was thinking about how last year I had made it to my lowest weight since I was 16. One particular memory comes to mind: It was Friday in the beginning of April. It was a beautiful day, and I had just completed a 6 mile run. I felt fantastic. I went to shower, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was at my lowest weight in so long, I was fit and healthy, and all I could see was my saggy tummy. Although I know my self worth should not be so tied to my body, it crushed me. I gained about 10 pounds in that month after because I stopped caring. I felt that no matter how fit and slim I was, I was never going to be able to wear a bikini, or even a form fitting triathlon suit for my races. I would always have to hide my tummy in my clothes. Even though it meant I would have to continue to work two jobs, I started looking for a surgeon at the end of May. This surgery has been the best decision for me. I have ZERO regrets.

I have also lost the pounds I gained over the holidays. This is the first year ever I have looked forward to shopping for a swim suit. I will post pictures when I get one!

Cheers everyone!

August 17th TT and MR - Edina, MN 1 year review!!

It has been a year since my TT, and my life has changed. I am comfortable in clothes and jeans (jeans!), and I don't even think about it anymore. I still can feel a little stretching in my abs during exercise, but it isn't bad at all. I am so happy. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to feel my extra tummy skin pulling up and down in my races as I sprinted toward the finish line this summer. Being completely unconscious in my triathlon clothes is an amazing feeling. It has also changed my dating life in a wonderful way. I think the most surprising effect has been at my job. Since I am not hiding my tummy with my laptop or papers constantly, I believe that confidence has translated to my work. I have been promoted, and I have a lot of responsibility in my position now.

I am including a picture of my scar. It is definitely fading. I probably should have done scar care, but I just don't think about it very often.

Happy Tummy Tucks all!

1.5 years later!

My tummy tuck changed my life! I used to pick clothes that would best hide my stomach. I had to try everything on, and I rarely found clothes I liked. Now, I can order clothes online!

My TT has also made a huge impact on my social life. I used to be so self conscious about my belly. I would even find myself explaining my ruined tummy to men that I was in relationships with before we got intimate - not the best idea! I don't even think about it anymore, and the confidence I have gained has done incredible things to change the type of men I attract.

The scar is fading nicely. I wish I had done more scar care, but I only used a single bottle of bio oil. I had one boyfriend ask about it, but it didn't really bother him at all. I look amazing! Life is good. As much as I paid for this procedure, I would have paid twice as much (or more) had I known the huge impact it would have on my life. Even my career has moved fast forward because I have lost my insecurity. I don't sit in meetings trying to cover my belly with notebooks and in certain poses... Part of me feels bad that I couldn't fully embrace my body and appreciate the wonderful gifts it had given me to get to the state it was in. Some people have good skin genetics though, and some do not. I also realize that my disgust of my past stomach was a massive distortion based on comments from my ex and others that I internalized when I was very young, and I wish I could see that it wasn't so bad. Still, I have no regrets!

I wish you all safe and complication free tummy tucks!
Edina Plastic Surgeon

My doctor was amazing! His sense of humor fits mine, and his previous work was very impressive. He spent so much time with me during the initial consult. His staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is very nice. He is also very experienced. I am loving my results. If I end up getting a BL in the future, I will go back to Dr. Leigh. Dr. Leigh does amazing belly buttons!

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
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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Comments (42)

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Wow! Its amazing how faded your scar looks! It looks great! You look great! So encouraging! I am only 6 weeks post op. Great review. Hope you enjoy your tt!
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Thanks! It has been an amazing journey.
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Great review!!! You look great..it actually looks like you lost weight it maybe muscle!!!
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Thank you! I have lost a little weight - about 10 pounds lower than I was after surgery. I had gained some weight in the winter, but that is gone now.
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You said: "I had just completed a 6 mile run. I felt fantastic. I went to shower, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was at my lowest weight in so long, I was fit and healthy, and all I could see was my saggy tummy." This is soooo me!! Thank you for posting and updating so much. I am really looking forward to my TT. I want that confidence you describe.
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Weight gain or not you look great! It's hard to not gain weight here during the winter since its been so cold BRRRR! FYI tour tt looks very natural. I hope my does too!! Feb 6th!!
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Thank you! Good luck to you - It will be here before you know it!
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That belly looks awesome!!! Beah ready belly!! Love that belly button!!!! You look great!
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Thanks! I can't wait for summer. I haven't shown off my belly in a bathing suit since I was 15.
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WoW....well congrats because this year is YOUR year!!
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Hi girl !! Looking great at 4 months and ur scar looks good too!!
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I'm really sorry about your friend. I hope you guys work things out! Your results are amazing!!
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Your results are amazing! Thanks for sharing! :) May I ask what your stats are... weight/height? I get lower back pain after working out so I am excited about the possibility of it being alleviated with my surgery! I have a really strong core and can't wait to see definition in my abs once my muscle repair is done.
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Thanks for your comments! I hope you have a great result too with improved back pain! I am starting to see my abs when I tense my muscles - so exciting!
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Looking great!! Sorry to hear of ur concussion, hope ur feeling better. I so agree thank goodness for this site and the incredible journeys in it.
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Thanks again Beth! You have been great support for me!
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Ditto!!!! Its like we are in this part of our journey in life together!! Sorry if Im too dramatic. LOL
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You are not dramatic at all! It is me who seems to have the drama! lol!
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I'm sorry to hear about your best friend. I decided to write and let you know I had a very similar experience. 3 years ago I lost my bf and we haven't spoken since. I miss her terribly but now that I know how she really feels it would never be the same. However...after all this time I know that some of the things she said to me were true and upon reflection, those things have made me be a better friend to others. It's the things she said that we're mean though, that have kept me from mending fences. Remember you are who you are and it should be enough. No matter what happens, life does go on. This will make you a stronger person.
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Beth- thanks for your comments! This site is so awesome. I think that only those of us that went through it know what how exactly hard it is.
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Thank you for sharing your story Taylor. I am so thankful for the support.
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I don't think a 'best friend' should hold those kinds of things in. People have a tendency to think that because you're close, they can speak to you however they want. I don't care if she's the weakest most dramatic person in the world. A 'best friend' doesn't judge or kick you when you're down. Sorry...call me dramatic, but I can just imagine how uncomfortable you were after surgery and all of the horrible judge mental things she was thinking.
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Thank you! I have not talked to her in months, and I have realized that I feel so much better about myself. I never felt positive around her. My other close friend use to always tell me that she was trying to bring me down, but I never really noticed that about her. It wasn't until the criticism after my surgery that I really started to evaluate our relationship. Live and learn :)
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Good to know ur healing well. This surgery is major surger that can have effects on both u physically and mentally. I totally know what u went through with ur friend. I had my hubby as my support and we had many meltdowns through early recovery. Pretty much everything was big fight. Hopefully you will be able to work through it with time.
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omg thanks for the tip regarding the lymphatic circulation. I love this site n my fellow tummy tuckers!!!!
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