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Saying Good Bye to my Twin Skin - Emporia, VA

30 years old, 3 pregnancies, and lapbad later... I...

30 years old, 3 pregnancies, and lapbad later... I am getting my tummy tucked! I am having surgery October 14th!

I have been working toward this goal for a while now, and even though I workout and eat right... this belly just isn't going away. So, I made choice to have this done. Even at my lowest weight, I have always had a "pooch" on my lower abdominal.

I am really getting nervous about the surgery, but I would never back out! I know in the end, as bad as it might hurt...it will be worth it in the end! I will also be having a breast reduction in December!

I had a tummy tuck with lipo on the hips and sides...

I had a tummy tuck with lipo on the hips and sides and full muscle repair on October 14, 2011. It is 8 weeks later and I am STILL in pain and STILL don't really know what is going on with my body. I had a drain in each of my hips for about 3 weeks after my surgery. They were miserable!! Once I got them out, I swelled to the size of the good year blimp...what I thought was going to be a nice flat stomach looked worse than it had after having 3 babies and lap band! I started to develop a fever in the evenings that I thought was odd. It started out low grade, nothing over 99.9. I told my doctor about it and he said it was fine, just do some deep breathing and take some tylenol. Well, a little over a week later, the fever was up to 103.8 and my husband took me to the emergency room here in our town. I had developed a squishy area just below my navel that was red and covered from the navel to the incision about the size of a slice of bread. The ER doctor called my surgeon who is in a town about 60 miles from me to notify him of my problem. Apparently, he wasn't too concerned or there was a mis-communication between the two doctors...because the ER doctor whom I have known my whole life (he's a member of my church...) came back and told me that my surgeon informed him that he wasn't interested unless I had a surgical need. So, I was admitted and started on Vancomycin which I was informed is the equivalent of battery acid in antibiotic terms. This all happened 4 weeks after my surgery. I was in the hospital for 8 days. Once the fever went away I was discharged. Two days after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to see my surgeon. I was still massively swollen and had also developed a spot on my lower stomach the size of a dime that looked like a clear watery blister. I had no idea what that was from...but thought maybe it was from the tape they had used to cover my opened areas of my incision while I was in the hospital. When I was in my surgeon's office, he said I needed a new drain. So, he cut a small area of my incision (numbed it first...) and I felt a huge rush of hot fluid come out. He collected a culture of the fluid and sent it off to see what was going on. Then, he put in a soft rubbery tube and sutured it in place. I had to keep the area bandaged to catch the fluid and change it about 3 times a day. The culture came back a few days later saying I had STAPH. Awesome. I had the drain in until 4 days after Thanksgiving. The fluid had stopped coming out and I was flat again. Well, that didn't last. 4 days after I had the drain taken out, I was once again swollen so much that I had the over hang belly again and was so tight and hurting that my incision was splitting open. I called my surgeon (who I am certain at this point is sick of me...) and he says I have to come in to see him. When the little spots began to open, I noticed a mucusy looking fluid coming out of them. I went to the office, and had to have ANOTHER drain put in. He says it will have to stay there for 4 to 6 weeks. This time I wasn't numbed before he cut the area to insert the drain and felt ever little stitch he did to hold it in. OUCH. The next day, the stitches popped and came out. I haven't called to tell him yet either. He says if this doesn't work, he may have to go back in and clean the area out and remove the stretched skin. I have noticed that there are several perfectly round masses in my lower abdomen where I had the staph infection and I wonder if they will go away? I am still in pain with every breath, every step, every movement I make. I am no longer on any type of pain medication because my surgeon says I should be at the over the counter stage by now. I understand that for a person who is not having all these problems. I am rotting from the inside out though!! Motrin just isn't doing the trick! He kinda' acts like i'm an id**t too, which I don't appreciate. I know my body well enough to know when something isn't right with it. I mean, I've been using it for 31 years now...I think I should know when it's messed up! I don't know what to do at this point...I am lost. I feel like an id**t when I try to ask questions about it and I feel like I am going to just have to learn to live with all this. That is, if it doesn't kill me!!!!
Richmond Plastic Surgeon

Updated on 12 Dec 2011:
*UPDATE*: I now have a NEW surgeon with a different practice and will be getting everything fixed. I will have to be re-opened and cleaned so the infection is totally gone. I am also going to be seeing an infectious disease doctor to be certain that everything is cleared up. Dr. DeConti's staff is great, but his bedside manner is totally lacking. I felt like a huge idiot when I questioned things...even though I'm a nursing student! He was very non-chelant about my very serious problems. His approach to pain management left something to be desired as well. Maybe Tummy tucks just aren't his forte...I don't know. At any rate, I was left with a miserable feeling abdomen and another surgery to face to fix the mess that has been made!

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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I did call my new surgeon's office today, but I only got to leave a message on his nurse's voice mail. She called me back this evening but I was in the shower!! We are playing phone tag. She said on my voice mail that she would call me first thing in the morning as it was 5 and the office would be closing. So, I guess I will have to wait till tomorrow morning and I will call the office back. I also now have started a fever...101.0 last time I checked it. I really wish I could post these pictures for you all to see...it's just amazing how much green stuff is pouring out!!
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That sounds awful :-( Praying that your new surgeon takes care of the problems you are having. Keep your head up! I know it must be hard.
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tonight as I was changing clothes and my dressing on my incision, I noticed a massive amount of greenish ooze. It was coming out of an open place in my incision. The area is hot and red...and now oozey! I will call my new surgeon tomorrow morning to let him know, I just hope I don't get a fever over night!! I took pictures of it, I would post them but I don't know how to post them here!
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Oh no! That definitely sounds like an infection :-( So sorry you have to go through all this. I hope it gets better for you soon.
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Did you talk to the dr? Sounds like you need some antibiotics.
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I am so sorry to hear about all of the problems you've been having :-( Good for you for listening to your body and for switching doctors. You know your body and you know when something is wrong. Don't let him or anyone else make you feel stupid for questioning how you feel. Prayers coming your way. Hope everything gets fixed and that you're on the mend asap.
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I just want to say that all my statements are based solely on my own opinion which I am entitled to. They are not meant to defame Dr. DeConti, I am just telling about my experience with this surgery. I previously wrote a negative review of him on a different website and he asked me to change it, which I did because I felt bad. But, now that I have seen another surgeon and learned how serious my situation is, I don't feel bad and I think others need to know what could happen to them...with any surgery. Staph is around us all the time and anyone can get an active infection. The important thing is to have a surgeon that acts promptly upon learning you have an infection and doesn't allow things to become worse. I paid nearly 8 grand for this surgery, only to have to pay more to fix the problems I am having and spend weeks in unnecessary pain. I hope that if the Dr. does read this, he will take it as a lesson learned and improve his bedside manner, his ability to actually *hear* his patient when they are telling him something is wrong, and the ability to be more compassionate when he is told by a patient that they are hurting. More than 10 minutes needs to be spent speaking to a patient that has just had major surgery and spent a large sum of money for a service.
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Hi Mairi - just checking in to see how you're feeling....
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Hi Mairi - looking forward to seeing your post op pics.
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Today I am 3 days post operative for my TT. It so far, has been one hell of an experience. I'm going to be perfectly honest here and not sugar coat anything...so be prepared! The first day (day of surgery) was alright...I was numb a lot and slept most of the day due to the drugs. By the morning of the second day, I was getting pretty miserable. I have been taking dialauded for pain (pain that is terrible!) And compazine for nausea. I don't know which one is making my sick, but I have thrown up probably 20 times. Let me say to you now that throwing up after a TT is NOOOOOOOT pleasent at all. Its like being torn in half! Last night my husband took my to the local ER and they said I was dehydrated and probably allergic to the pain meds. So, I'm trying to tough this all out by taking tylenol.

I can already see a difference in my shape though, I actually have a waist! No more hanging skin! I am HUGE swollen and my drainage bulbs are filling up to the tip top about ever 2 hours. It's amazing how much the color of the fluid has changed since Friday! It was thick and blood red, now its thin, greasy looking, and pinkish yellow. (Gross, right!? I know..) in all this what have I learned? I have learned my husband is a saint, my children are awesome, and I am a wuss! LOL.

I have 6 weekes till my next surgery...breast reduction! I can't even imagine what that will be like!? Kinda' scary!

I will try to post some pictures if I can figure out how to!
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Hi Mairi,

I wanted to check in and see how you are feeling now.  I am hoping your nauseous tummy has settled down and your on the up swing.  You will have to post some new pictures so we can all see your flat tummy.  

How is your swelling coming along?  

Oh my gosh what date is your breast reduction scheduled for?   You should definitely write a review over in that community for that procedure.  

Let me know how you are doing.  And BTW you are not a wimp.  This is a painful and hard procedure :(

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How are you feeling USMC_wife? I am thinking of you and praying for you today. Hope you are feeling less pain ;-)
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My doctor told me to call my lapband doc to see if he thought I should get unfilled. I called, but since I only have 4cc's in right now, he said I should be fine. I am really worried about having that much in though because even when I am swollen or bloated from "that time of the month" I have a hard time eating...when I am swollen from surgery it might be even worse! But, also I don't want to have completely no restriction because I will want to eat everything I can get my hands on! I didn't ask about moving the port or anything...though it is a good idea! Mine is on my right side just below my ribs. Awhile ago my lap band doc said he could do me a low profile port...but that cost even more money and makes more scars! I don't wanna look like I have a huge bump sticking outta my belly though...so I don't know! I will call the doc doing my TT on Monday and ask about that! I have 6 days till surgery, and I am really getting nervous now. I am so afraid I will want someone to shoot me because I won't be able to stand the pain! I am extremely impatient too, so that isn't helping! I want the next 6 days to fly by quickly!!! I can't wait!
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Congrats on your decision. I also have a lap band and that worries more than anything.....I haven't had any problems with my band and I don't want any. My consultation is on October 12th. Did your doctor say you needed to be unfilled? What about moving your port? My port is on my left side right below my ribs.

Please keep us posted on your results and pictures....love to see the after pictures! Good luck!
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Oh USMC_wife, I just looked at your pictures and boy are you going to be amazed at how your going to look after your TT. You will be so happy you did this.

I don't have much of a pain tolerance and really didn't know how I was going to do with this surgery. I had prepared myself for the worst pain I had ever been in and surprisingly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think I was so glad and relieved that it was all over that I didn't really focus on pain. Also, I took two percocet every 4 hours the first 3 days and let me tell you, that is like a miracle drug. I never really felt like I was in "pain." I was a little uncomfortable, but I wasn't in pain. I pretty much lived in a comfy recliner type chair the first week and I was very comfortable. I had great naps and slept all night in that chair. By day 3 I could get out of the chair by myself and by day 4 could get in and out of the chair by myself. I always took a little walk when I had to get up to go to the bathroom and then it was back to my chair.

Before you know it, you will be posting pictures of your new amazing flat tummy. It's going to go by fast. Hang in there.
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