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Tummy Tuck Count Down Begins! - El Paso, TX

I've been thinking about having a tummy tuck since...

I've been thinking about having a tummy tuck since the birth of my daughter. When my son was born 2 years ago I was certain. I'm 34 yrs. old, 5'3" & 138 lbs. I recently dropped 12 lbs. & though I continue to exercise & eat well my stomach will never be "normal" without the surgery. My skin sags & my belly bulges out especially on top of my navel. I always wear a garment over my belly to reduce the bulge even during sex with my husband. I feel better after the weight loss but my skin sags even more now.

My PS is offering a "recovery package" for $500. They don't specify what it is except that they are vitamins, creams & stuff. The surgery has been a financial burden as it is. Are there any suggestions in easing the recovery? I've read about some people taking Arnica & Tumeric. Also, the pain pump is another $500. If you didn't have a pain pump, how long did it take before you were no longer in excruciating pain?

Did everyone have lipo as well?

Thanks everyone! It puts me at ease to know many of you have managed without the pain pump. My 2nd c-section was much more painful than the 1st & I survived it obviously. I'm sure I can survive this.

3 weeks away!

It turns out I do have an umbilical hernia that will be repaired during my tummy tuck. Good news is insurance may cover the pain pump. My husband will be unemployed the Friday before my surgery so he'll be able to take care of me. Unfortunately we had to pull the kids out of day care so he'll also have to watch a 2 & a 4 yr. old. I'm nervous about having the kids home all day the 1st week after surgery. I purchased a compression garment, Scarguard MD, and a supplement surgical package from Vitamedica which includes, vitamins, Arnica, and bromelain. Will get my labs done in 2 weeks. I'm so ready!

Day 2

My phone was not letting me update so I'm just getting to it. Post survey I was at a constant level 8 in pain. I had to stay the night at the hospital bc I was not able to pee on my own when the catheter was removed. While at the hospital the nurse woke me up at 3am so I could walk. So freaking painful! I was given morphine at the hospital which helped ease the pain. However, once I got home I was taking hydrocodone which helped for about 3hrs. then the pain returned about level6. I had to wait 3 more hrs. before I could take more pain meds. oh & did I mention I also have a pain pump? Called the dr. who said he would call in a stronger prescription but the pharmacy never received it. I took a shower day 2 & it felt good but I did begin to feel nauseous. I would suggest shaving everywhere prior to surgery even your but b/c you never know where the dr. will place tape. Can help avoid unnecessary pain.

Day 4

Day 3 pain level fluctuated between 4&6. Definitely feeling much better. I am walking straighter. I notice I hunch over more as the pain increases. Day 3 was pretty boring & the kids are getting pretty bored as well. Day 4 pain is at a level 4 so far. My shoulder & neck muscles are feeling pretty tight from sleeping in a sitting position. I feel a burning sensation on my left side around the lower hip area below the incision.

Day 5 post op

Got to shower again, clean dressings, and take pcs of my belly. I find I'm not as sore, I'm able to do more things like crouch down. I'm pretty tired of being cooped up at home but so far no winter blues. My belly feels & looks more swollen than before. I'm still saying away from sodium & "bad" food, i.e. sugars, fried food. Eating low carb high protein but I am eating small meals compared to only a couple bites two days ago. Still my belly is flatter & smaller than it was before so I'm super happy. The hardest thing is not being able to hold my kids in my arms when their upset but they seem to understand more than I thought they would. My husband has been great. He is a neat freak so he keeps the house clean. Actually doing a better job than I normally do. I have to remind him to slow down bc then he's not as patient with our 2 & 4 yr. Old. Other than my 2 yr. Old's tantrums it was a good day today. I'm only on Ibuprofen now. Can't wait to have the drains out.

Drains Out!

My drains came out yesterday! So liberating! The one on the left was pulling & becoming increasingly painful. Most discomfort is felt at night. I keep having to readjust & wake up achy & sore. I finally got to sleep in my bed last night which was nice. Didn't want my husband getting used to sleeping without me ????. I went to the grocery store for the 1st time after my appt. I missed shopping. Day 7 was rough emotionally. I was very sensitive & felt blue. I think feeling better but not able to do much got to me. Every time I tried doing something with the kids or around the house I felt exhausted.

I'm swelling but not terribly. I only have a gauze on my belly button being held by a tape. I removed the film over the BB b/c it started looking moist like it needed to be aired out. My doc said I was healing well. The nurse removed the stitches on the back where I had lipo. It didn't hurt having them removed only a small pinch. The feeling of having the drains removed I would describe more as a discomfort than pain. Not bad at all though & it only took a few seconds. I go back next week to have the stitches on my BB removed. I've attached new pics. Though the pics look very similar I can see the difference in the mirror. Swelling is decreasing & though the bruises still look bad they're minimally sore.

2 weeks out!

My mood keeps fluctuating with the weather. On cold & cloudy days I'm more sensitive. On day 11 I was freaking out because my belly button was gunky. I called my dr office but since it was the day after Thanksgiving I couldn't get a hold of anyone. Thank goodness for nurse friends! She put me at ease. Day 12 my husband & I got a sitter. I so needed to get out of the house. As I was getting ready I felt this intense pain in my inner thigh. Sort of felt like nerve pain. The pain eased up the following day. Day 13 I went to the mall & after an hour & a half of shopping I was exhausted. I'm surprised how quickly I get tired. I would say I feel discomfort most of the time but not pain at the incision site. At the end of the day or while I sleep I feel pain on my left hip. Also the sides of my waist get hard & feel sore though massaging the area seems to help. Speaking of sleep I went back to sleeping on the sofa. Apparently since I can't sleep on my belly like I'm used to my snoring is keeping my husband awake & I still need him to function for the kids.

Day 14 I went to my 2nd post op visit. Had the stitches removed from my bb. I was nervous it would hurt but it didn't hurt at all. I felt some discomfort when the nurse applied pressure to my bb to stop the bleeding. I also had the incision tape removed so I'm happy to see my scar is not as bad as it seemed. It was not painful to have the tape removed. Doc says I'm healing well & the swelling will continue to go down. He also the bb gunk was normal. He suggested I start applying BioCorneum to the incision to minimize the scar. It was $50 for 20g. It was surprisingly cheaper at the office than on Amazon.

one more pic

Feeling Awesome!

Though I'm still a bit swollen & sore I'm so happy with the results already. I haven't felt this good about my body since college. The morning of the surgery I weighed 137 lbs today I weigh 130 lbs. I can't wait to start working out.

I saw my Dr yesterday & he said I can ease into my normal physical activity but no heavy lifting. He mentioned my belly button opened a bit but would scar over. He told me it was better that it did bc it will look more natural/normal when it heals. I hope so. I'm not too worried about it. My lower back continues to ache. I tire quickly but I feel better every day.

I'm not good at taking "selfies" but I wanted to add a pic with clothes on. I also added a pre op picture.

Not quite ready...

I'm 25 days post op. I tried going for a jog today which turned into a brisk walk. I tried to stretch as best as I could before as my abs still feel pretty tight. I warmed up with a brisk walk but as I attempted to jog I felt pressure down the muscle repaired area & across the incision. Below the incision site it felt weird as if things were still loose in there. That's where I'm most swollen so maybe that is why it feels "loose". I'll just keep going on daily walks & see how I feel each day till I can jog. Feeling determined!

One step forward

So I've been going for brisk walks since Friday & today I was able to jog. Today is a 1 month exactly after my surgery. The jog was slow & gentle. My tummy still feels tight but not uncomfortably so. My strides were very short otherwise I felt too much tugging of the abs. I'm excited that I'm making progress & hopefully can resume crossfit sooner than later ;-). I just realized today that I haven't taken Tylenol the last couple of days. My lower back does not ache as much & other than my kids waking me up I'm sleeping much better. Been sleeping in my own bed for about a week now. Also, today is the last day I'm required to wear a garment though like a lot of you I feel more secure with it. I'm not scheduled to see my PS until next month. Yay to normalcy returning well... except for the ugly belly!

Shaping up!

I'm 6.5 weeks post op and though I was nervous I started crossfit once again. I felt better than I thought and my endurance had not decreased too much. I didn't lift any weights and refrained from doing sit ups. I felt pain down my muscle repaired incisions when I tried to do a crunch. I started lifting my 2 yr old son, he's 35 lbs. I won't carry him for longer than a minute.

I still get swollen above the navel and the pubic area. The lipo'd area appears less swollen and I'm beginning to see my waist curve in. I wish I had taken measurements throughout but I know I'm smaller bc I've had to get rid of a couple of jeans bc they're too BIG! At night while asleep I still feel a burning sensation on my lower back where I had lipo. The TT incision area is sensitive and towards the end of the day any clothing (jeans, undies) rubbing on it bother me. It either makes the incision itch or ache.

7 week follow up

Had a follow up appt. With my ps. All looks well. Most of the swelling appears atop the navel area. He said it was normal but if at the 6 month mark there's no improvement he can lipo the area. It's not too bad but would to have the tummy as perfect as possible after all the pain & $. I've been worried about going to hard in my workouts BC I wouldn't want to pop a stitch or have the umbilical hernia again. He reassured me I was okay to do so as long as I felt okay during the workouts.

I have added a picture wearing the same top @2 weeks, 7 weeks & pre op. It's a good comparison & reminder that it was all worth it.

BB trouble

My belly button is disappearing! I liked my bb initially but it opened up & then as it's been healing it's getting tiny. Too tiny I think. My Ps had mentioned I appeared to form hypertrophic scars (raised & red). I wasn't worried about with the incision but my bb is more visible & doesn't look pretty right now. I know I still have some healing to do but I can't imagine it getting bigger ????. I've posted a pic of it. I'm going on 9 weeks post op & I've experienced swelling like I hadn't in the past. Guess I still have to watch my sodium intake. Other than that I feel back to normal ????.

13 weeks out

Not much has changed in the past month. I continue to feel an occasional burn on my flanks where lipo was done. My bb stopped shrinking but hasn't improved much in appearance. My Ps did steroid shots on the bb about a month ago. The area did get softer. He said he would do another round of steroid shots & then revise it. I've been reading on hypertrophic scars and will be trying it out. Below is the least invasive. I found the information on the website: http://www.primehealthchannel.com/hypertrophic-scar-causes-treatment-removal-and-healing.html

(Hypertrophic Scar Home Remedy

Want to try out hypertrophic scar home treatment methods? The following ways can be used for Hypertrophic Scar remedy at home.

Bromelain

Take 500 gm Bromelain capsules twice every day between meals. Bromelain is an enzyme obtained from Pineapple trees that reduces inflammation and decomposes excess materials surrounding the scars.

Calendula

Application of a calendula ointment twice a day over the scar helps it heal quickly. Calendula has anti-inflammatory properties and it helps reduce swelling in a Hypertrophic Scar.

Cottonwood

Combine 3 tsp Calendula Oil, 2 ½ tsp Cottonwood Oil and 6 tbsp. Petroleum Jelly. Apply this mixture over your scar at least twice a day. Regular application will shrink the scar in a month or two)

I started taking the Bromelain again & using the Calendula oil but I haven't found the Cottonwood oil locally so I'm going to search online. I continue to use BioCorneum as well. The website also suggest a diet low in fat & grease which I try to do anyways. Another RS friend suggested I try silicone earplugs BC it helps with the hardness on the bb & to give it the shape I want. I'm also trying this out, as you can see from the picture with the orange plug. I have to place tape on it to keep it in place since I don't have much of a bb. I purchased the earplugs at Walmart. They're child size. The nice thing about them is they can be cut to size and shaped. The adult ones are clear and larger. I'm wondering if they're a bit harder which I think I would prefer. Will buy them the next time I go shopping.

Despite the bb troubles I am so happy with the results. I feel great, my clothes fit great and I get compliments on how well I look. Before the tt no matter how much weight I lost how "fit" the rest of my body looked my belly bulge made me look out of shape & chunky.

Belly Button Revised

My bb was revised 4 days ago. Dr. Agullo used a local anesthetic & removed the dark skin on my bb & resutered. It was done in the office & took no longer than 15 minutes. The procedure did not hurt at all. I'm nervous about developing a hypertrophic scar again. This time I will be using silicone sheets (I'm hoping the sheets will apply pressure to the wound which is supposed to prevent the hypertrophic scar from forming), massaging once healed enough, & using a new oil I purchased from Gillian"s Herbs. I purchased some Cottonwood Oil & another one called Ultimate Skin Food Facial Oil recommended by Gillian for scars. I had read that cottonwood oil was good for scars & her website was the only one selling it. It was $10 for 125 ml's. The shipping was $13 but it came from Canada, i couldn't find it elsewhere & still cheaper than the BioCorneum which is supposed to be high quality stuff. I've used the BioCorneum for at least 2 months with no visible to my TT scar. After a week of using the Ultimate Skin Food Facial Oil I've already seen the difference! My TT scar is getting lighter. This one is more expensive than the cottonwood oil but so worth it. It is $15 for 30 ml's but still cheaper than a lot of stuff I've seen out there. I haven't tried the cottonwood bc I wanted to do one at a time & measure their effectiveness.

Previous post didn't show scar pic

El Paso Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Agullo is very friendly and professional. He is willing to answer any questions at any time. He did an amazing job with my tummy tuck & seems more concerned with the outcome than what he can charge for, i.e. sent me home with a larger compression garment than I had originally purchased. His staff is also very nice & professional. It is a new office so staff is still learning the process. I have and continue to feel confident in my decision to have Dr. Agullo as my surgeon. I had several consultations for my tummy tuck & as soon as I met Dr. Agullo I knew he was the best. He is confident without being arrogant, has a great bed side manner, and his medical background is impressive.

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
4 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 (99)

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Well, you are definitely flat as a board!!! I hope your new bb heals the way you want it to. After my tummy tuck, I had to have an emergency gallbladder removal and when they remove your gallbladder they have to inflate your stomach to reach it….so as you can imagine right after your tummy is pulled so tight….then expanded again….my perfect little belly button exploded and ripped right open :( So I do understand your bb drama. Belly buttons are important! haha. I used the BioCorneum too for awhile (my PS gave me a sample) but I agree it's so expensive!
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Oh no! I can't imagine having to have surgery again after a TT. How do you like your belly button now? I know I shouldn't stress over it, regardless it's a great improvement from my previous belly.
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:) glad you got it revised! I will have to buy both oils. Thanks for posting about them.
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Me too! I hope t looks better this time. It's overwhelming & expensive looking at the products out there. I realize not everything works the same on everyone but it's good to know there's some good, natural, & economical products
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You look awesome Cynthia! I take Bromelain twice a day on an empty stomach too. I was going to try the ear plug in my BB in the beginning, but never did it. Congrats to you on lookin' awesome!
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How are you doing beautiful lady? Did the injection do anything to your BB?
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Hi Lithiumflower. I'm doing well just busy getting back to normalcy. The steroid shot did soften the scar a bit & kept the bb from getting smaller. I'm trying secretdiva's advice & going to use the silicone earplugs. Hopefully it helps. Will keep you posted. How's your bb doing?
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I am going to try the ear plugs. My bb was never very deep. Lately if I don't try to shape it, it looks like a vagina I've been told lol. Shaping with a small marble makes it water drop shaped. At least it is open now lol now. I may have him look at it next time I go in if nothing changes
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Hi Cynthia, I've read a bit about silicone being good for hypertrophic scarring and that some people use a silicone swimmers earplug in their bb to both shape it and treat the area with the silicone in the plug. I used one for a whie when mine was like a slit instead of round and it definitely softened the harder tissue around the bb as well. Might be worth a try before more invasive measures? Love and hugs to you x
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Thank you for the information secretive. I purchased some silicone earplugs & started using it today. I'll keep you posted on the progress. I've been using BioCorneum which is supposed to be excellent for scarring but it still didn't prevent it.
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I meant secretdiva not secretive but autocorrect kept changing it on me.
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With the swelling it can distort your bb. I'm 4 months and still waiting for mine smooth out. Mines deep upwards, towards the swelling I have.. hang in there
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Sent my Ps a picture & it does look like a hypertrophic scar. I'm going to see him tomorrow so hopefully he can make it better.
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You look great. I love your belly button. Waiting for mine to come out of hiding again lol. Saw it a bit after surgery now it's like nope going back in. I'm sure doing exercise will be fine and help accentuate the sexy curves you have goin on. ;)
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Glad you are still doing great. Your side profile pics show such a huge difference already.
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Thank you, if it weren't for the pics I'm not sure I would recognize the difference.
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Lovely results!
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Thank you! You look great!
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You look great! I had my TT on November 6th :)
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looks like a wonderful outcome, best of luck thru the rest of your recovery
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I can't wait to undergo my surgery with the same doc. You look great and are my inspiration for going to see him. Thanks for posting. ;)
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That's awesome! I slept in my bed for the first time last night!!!
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Do you feel swollen when you have done a brisk walk? I'm just about to venture into brisker exercise and I can tell my abs don't like any type of fast movement yet, so its good to hear you say that as I'm at 1 month and still not there yet.
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I haven't noticed much swelling from the brisk walk. I typically swell bc of what I eat. It's hard when our mind & body are nor in synch but I guess we should listen to our bodies right now. I don't know about you but I'm afraid to gain weight after all the $, pain & suffering.
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You look fabulous! I can't wait to be past this first week.
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