Before I get started I would like to commend and...
Before I get started I would like to commend and applaud the ladies and gentleman on this site! I have been reading most of your TT stories/journeys since March of this year and I cannot begin to tell you how much each one of your stories has meant to me, as I too begin with God’s strength my tummy tuck journey. Kimmers25 and the Community staff, I TRULY thank you for this platform that has giving so many phenomenal people the strength to share their stories and feel so much better about themselves.
And so my Tummy Tuck journey begins, I am 44, with a twelve year old little missy, just kidding..she is my JOY! I had her via last minute C-section, I gained roughly about 35 pounds throughout the pregnancy bringing my weight to 160 lbs, which did not look well with my 5’1” height after I had her. A year after I had her I hired a personal trainer, and with 3 months of weight training and diet I was able to lose about 20 pounds. I then just followed the diet plan he gave me and figured I can do the exercise on my own, I did lose more weight here and there BUT also gain some here and there especially during the holidays! Currently I weigh 134 lbs and I have been going to the gym 5 days week for the past year and doing ZUMBA in the evenings, and could not for the life of me understand WHY the lower half of my stomach would not improve with exercise. So while watching a YouTube video of a young lady who had Smart Lipo done, I built up enough courage to schedule a consult with Dr. Daniel Careaga. I did ALL my research on Smart Lipo and loved the fact that it was a procedure that the recovery was not bad. So the day of my consult I met with the Dr (with my folder full of research and questions), and explained what I wanted, he took a look at my area and told me NO MATTERHOW MANY sit-ups, crunches, etc.. that I do NOTHING is going to take that extra skin I gained after pregnancy away, but a tummy tuck. I was not prepared to hear that, NOT AT ALL! I am such a baby for anything that requires a needle or surgery and my C-section recovery was no walk in the park. The Dr.’s assistant gave me the quote for the procedure (TT, MR and lipo to my flanks) and I then began to research the details of the procedure and found this site. I have two more consults next week Wednesday with Dr. Salama and Dr. Hochstein and will make my decision then. I embrace your wisdom, experience and look forward to all the help I can get from everyone as I move forward to loving me more!
I had my consults with Dr. Hochstein and Dr. Salama on July 17 and really had a hard time choosing between the three of them. So after comparing all of my mental notes and the ones I wrote down during the consults, I finally made my decision to go with the first doctor. I was impressed by him, he took his time to explain all the pro and cons, answered all of my concerns and made me fell the job would be done right, his entire staff is fantastic!, loved the office, the cost and he had my targeted date available. I did get to see his before and after photos, got to speak with a tt patient that was waiting to be seen about her experience with him and she had nothing but good things to say, I was also given the phone number of two other patients who had the procedure done with him, which I promptly called. So my date is set and I am now in the TRUE mental and physical preparing stage!
I included office pics of the other consults I had…. enjoy
Is it too early to start preparing?
Can I get advice on which one would be most comfortable to recover from the procedure in....
My bed with lots of pillows or a couple of body pillows
or I the Back Max Body Wedge(pictured).
I placed a order for the following, but would welcome any experience, advice, etc on if I need anything more or different... Thanks!
I figure I would be at-least two weeks in the binder issued from the doctor
Then after two weeks I can start wearing the Marena compression garment
Then once I'm able to start exercising and going back to my normal activities and can wear the Maidenform Control It Firm Control Nipper Tube
Post Op Lymphatic Massage
How soon are these done after a Tummy Tuck?
How many should be done?
Time off APPROVED!
Well, I have put in for four weeks off and happy to say I HAVE BEEN APPROVED! From reading the other stories four weeks should be sufficient...nerves don't fail me now!
Maidenform $9.99 Sale THIS WEEKEND ONLY!
Check this sale out! Flexees Sensual Shapewear, reg price is $38-$44.
oops! the link..
Pre Op Meds
I asked my patient coordinator about the meds I will be given to fill right before the surgery and she replied: You will be given a prescription for Zolfran, Vicodin and Cephalexin…along with a prescription for a patch that prevents nausea.
Not sure how I will do with the Vicodon as I have been reading it causes bad headaches, any advice on the above meds, should I ask for something different at my pre-op?
Thank you in advance for all your responses! You guys are the Bomb Diggity!!!!
Research, Trial Run and a early after surgery gift to myself!
Please tell me I am not the only one who has/had a folder similar to this of research?! This is what you lovely people on this site have done to help me along and to prepare for this journey and I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!! Each day I gain more and more knowledge about what is needed and what to expect. As I get closer to my date I will do my best to return the favor.
I decided to do a trial run on the protein shakes (I purchased the Premier Protein), I am lactose intolerant and read on this site that protein shakes good to drink during your recovery, so I thought that can cover two things at once by drinking the shakes which would also help me in the “Poo” department. Well guess what??? I have been drinking them for the past 5 days and it DID NOT affect the lactose problem, Dang it! Maybe I should count my blessings on that one, because that bloated feeling would have probably made me feel even worse. Oh well back to the original plan of Colace and MOM…….. Oh and from my personal opinion they are tasty, I’ve only tried the vanilla, but I will be purchasing the chocolate also for the recovery.
I am trying my darnedest to stay out of Victoria Secret (buying those cute panties), so I purchased this after sx gift to myself, Zumba Core, I love Zumba! So I will be looking forward to using this once I get the OKAY from the doctor to exercise and then Victoria Secret HERE I COME!
Crazy dreams already!!!??
My surgery is a couple of months away and I had a dream last night that my BFF came to pick me up for the surgery and I had overslept and forgotten the day and time of my surgery!
Is it just me? Or have anyone else had weird dreams leading up to surgery?
90 Days to go as of today!!! Is it too early to start counting down?
I have been preparing and researching everything I could possibly find about the TT sx, but my main fear is the PAIN. I remember what I experienced with my C-section, sliding of the feet to walk, needing a step-stool to get in and out of bed, etc. I have purchased a walker and I am going to try the rope at the end of the bed technique (read from another RS review) to assist with getting out of bed. Also with the C-section I did also experience the separation on the incision in one area because I was trying to do much too soon, so that will be priority for me this time, to take it slow and allow myself to heal properly. So please keep the updates coming it helps me more than you know!
Watching and Waiting......
Well I have been reading and watching everyone's progress on here DAILY, I am addicted to this site! And it is helping me is so many ways... I have just under 59 days to go, I set my pre-op for Dec 16th, and I also set an appt to meet with the doc with my list of questions. I picked up a Zero Gravity chair from walmart today, I've read that some ladies have used this instead of the recliner and it worked out, so I hoping for the same, if not, plan B will be my eight pillows and the couch!
Getting Closer !!!
I hope everyone had a very “Thankful” Thanksgiving. I spent mine with family on our annual week long resort vacation and with vacations comes the food and Thanksgiving didn’t make it any better for me not to resist all the delicious food but it did help me take my mind off of the nerves associated with my upcoming sx. I have 14 more days until my pre-op and then 30 day countdown from there begins!
A lot of "Reading" catching up to do!
I decided to save these magazines to read during the first couple of days post op, just looking at the covers now keeps me smiling and looking forward to January 16th!
Keeping busy to keep my nerves at bay
Did a little shopping for the wardrobe portion of my sx, picked up some things during the black friday sales. I am now starting to really get prepared, even though I still have some time before my date, staying busy kinda takes my mind off of the crazy what if thoughts.
Final meeting before surgery
Today I had my final meeting with the doctor to get all my pre op questions answered. On my way there I was pretty calm and wondered in my head will I have this same feeling the day of sx. Monday I will have my labs done get my prescriptions. I have brought everything under the sun thanks to my real self family, but I rather be prepared then to need something and not be in a position to get it because of my temporary immobility. The doctor stated that i could wax about five days before the surgery, I can start the Lymphatic Massages as soon as the next day ( I don't think I will be in any shape to do that), I can start the arnica two days before and continue the bottle until it'r gone through my recovery. For scar therapy recommended silicone sheets ( Scar Fx) and gave me an idea an to were the scar which I was happy about! All in all the meeting went VERY well, he is a very personable doctor, I never felt rushed in my Q & A and he even offered more information than I asked! My nerves are out the window...at the moment
Pre Op Done! The day is drawing near
I had my pre-op appt today, with the very nice Diana! I signed all the needed forms for the surgery and got my prescriptions. Took care of my balance with Desiree who has been super duper nice in quickly answering the numerous email I've sent to her, Doctor Careaga should be very proud of the staff that represents him, they are great! So at this point all I can do now is really get all my preparation in order, pray and wait for January 16th, seems like just yesterday when I was making my deposit for the surgery and now it's getting real......whoa nelly!!!
So far so good!
Check on the results of my labs today and was told everything check out well and the doctor has signed off on my surgery. I was happy to hear that! I am continuing to workout 5 days a week with hopes that this will help my strength on the post op side.
Preparing, Praying and Keeping Busy
I have been taking advantage of the holiday sales and purchasing my items that I have read on this site that are/my needed for the surgery and after the surgery. I may have overdid it a bit, but I prefer to have all the necessary items available, which will allow me to sit my behind down and focus on my recovery.............I hope
Neck pillow and a matching throw
Bucket - For the car ride home just in case of nausea(I will line it with a plastic bag)
Drain Chart and Medications time chart
Maidenform Torsette (Walmart)
Toilet seat riser
Icy Hot patch
Arnica Pills 30C
Allery Relief - for the itching
Publix brand of Tylenol
Phillips Milk of Magnesia
Disposable bed mats
Disposable underwear aka my "Granny panties"
Maxi Pads - works the same as gauze
Extra Binder - As I've read some ladies are wearing then months later because of the comfort it gives
Epi-foam pads - Mimimizes folds and creases that the compression garment my give
Scar Fx silicone sheets - recommend by my doctor
Palmer's Skin Therapy oil
What's going in my bag so far on day of surgery
Small bottles of apple juice
Napkins or puffs tissue
Plastic pouch to carry my prescription meds in
Disposable underwear for after surgery
Important contact info and pharmacy phone number, just in case of medicine changes or addition...I know I won't be in any shape mentally to remember that information.
Thank you cards and gifts for my BFF, who is taking me!
Setting up movie time
I was surfing the movie stations trying to add more movies to my DVR to watch during the recovery and I came across Katt Williams Kattpacalypse and I hit record, not sure if that will be a good idea(heard hurts to laugh) but I figured on those down days this might come in handy…..wish me luck!
What I am expecting during the recovery vs. What I will experience……
First and Foremost! God to bless my surgery and allow a smooth recovery, but I am realistic and expect:
An overall rough first couple of days, then improvement after
Pain once I wake up in recovery
Dry mouth or Sore throat
Feeling tired and groggy
Feeling lightheaded with the first couple of showers
Swelling and tightness
Trying to find a comfortable sleeping position
Very slow movement to bathroom trips and every two hour walks
Challenges in the BM department
Maybe a love/hate relationship with the binder
Lots of sleeping the first couple of days
Some bruising from the lipo
That fact that I have to rely on someone to help, I’m so use doing things on my own and being a go-getter
To be able to do things for myself, at least by day 3(A girl can wish, right?..)
Becoming a temporary couch/bed/chair potato
Buyer's remorse and some emotional days
Low and well hidden scar (hope you are reading this Dr. Careaga!)
To continue to get valuable help and advice from the wonderful people on this site!
I will update what I experienced and or experiencing around the end of week one…….
Merry Christmas everyone!
Mirror Mirror on the wall, what will this look like in a couple of weeks?
Been eyeing this for a while, finally made the purchase
I've been reading and hearing great things about the fitbit. Looking forward loving this purchase along with my new tummy, 18 more days!
What to wear???
I have been going back and forth about what to wear on the day of surgery, know it's not that serious, but I am trying to make it easier for everyone involved: The recovery nurse that will have to help me get dress, and when I come home those helping me won't have much to take off/change before I get into my recovery spot. So here's what I came up with(this might change), please don't laugh....
A breakfast robe that zips opens down the front
A tank shirt or men's A-shirt underneath
TMI - Tena Women's underwear AKA Depends (My granny panties and I'll ask that they put these on me to go home in) just in case there is any leaks around the tummy or trying to make it to the potty accidents, I can just change into a fresh pair.
Step-In slippers or Step-In sandals
I have a couple of track/warm-up suits and a pair of PJ's(pictured earlier in my review)
What did you wear or are going to wear to surgery?
I have spent the last five days DEEP cleaning and prepare my house for my upcoming sx and going with the old saying "clearing out the old to bring in the new". I am literately worn out! As the hours creep upon it becomes VERY real that my date is not a month away, but TWO weeks! sigh..... I hope everyone has a very safe and happy NEW YEAR! January TT's this is our month! Let's do this!!!!
Food Post-Op List
Although I’ve read you will not have much of an appetite immediately following the surgery here are some of the food items I purchased/will be purchasing to aid in my recovery along the way.
Cases of bottled water
Small bottles of apple juice
Small bottles of cranberry juice
Soup – Low sodium and non cream based
Items to make a nice salad
Quaker Oatmeal with High Fiber
Canned Pineapple Chunks
Frozen Pineapple bars – Edy’s Outshine
Frozen yogurt- live cultures will help re-populate the friendly bacteria that can be stripped away by the antibiotics
Ginger Ale – in case of queasiness
Peanuts = protein
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Eggs – For the days when I prefer a balled egg
Turkey and Cheese
Lemons to put in the water - lemons acts as a mild diuretic to reduce swelling
Fresh Fruits – Apples, Grapes, Clementines
Silk Milk – I'm Lactose intolerance
Oh how I wish I could add this to my list!
Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup = Sodium 1180mg (That amount of sodium is a BIG no-no, super SWELL HELL)
Protein after surgery can help healing
2 weeks until the day!
Per internet research and Doctor's order, two weeks prior to surgery, the following should be stopped/avoided:
• Aspirin, (like Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, etc....Tylenol is ok)
• Vitamin E Capsules
• Omega/Fish Oil Capsules
I have as of today stopped taking my Fish Oil, increased the amount of my vitamin C and still taking my daily multi-vitamin. I will be drinking a protein shake everyday and countinung throughout my recovery.
What the HECK??!
For the past couple of days I have been sneezing, feeling a slight sore throat and today the nose is a bit runny.... On top of that Aunt Fran somehow has not shown up on her expected date!! (nope not pregnant....LOL). Don't know if nerves/stress are to blame for this, but it needs to EXIT STAGE LEFT!
Wrapping things up
Been a little busy today, took down all the holiday decor and put it away. Then I brought out most of my post op recovery nest items and walker. Purchasing a chair for the shower, getting the rest of the grocery items and deciding on the pre made meals this week.
8 Days and It's getting REAL
I filled my prescriptions today and also picked some Hibiclens Skin Cleanser that the doctor asked the I use the night before and the morning of surgery. I got a tentative time that I have to arrive at the surgery center of 6am (will get the final time the day before). I have a few more little odds and ends to take of (waxing, bills, etc) and then just really mentally prepare myself for Thursday morning......
7 Days ....
Still sleeping good, haven't had second thoughts, still worried about the pain, still scared...
6 Days and counting...
My PS office called today to schedule my follow up appts and Lymphatic massage appts. I have a massage scheduled for the NEXT DAY after surgery! How I will pull that one off only God knows!!! I was told it good to start them right after as it will help with the drainage and swelling. I will definitely report back on my experience with that first massage...Ekkk! Day 6 and the number is lessening.
5 Days to go
This time next week I will be on the recovery side and hopefully doing well along with all of my Jan 16th surgery buddies and the ladies already on the flat side! Finalizing all on my to-do things this weekend, had my waxing done today as my doc said it should be done about four to five days before surgery. I will be starting the Arnica on Monday. 5 more days!!!!
Sleepless nights HAS BEGUN!
Last night I kept tossing and turning and just could not sleep well, each time I woke my mind would instantly think about surgery. Thoughts of: Do I have everything together that I may need? have I done everything I need to do? will the recovery for me be REALLY bad? praying I don't have any complications that I need to be hospitalized for, etc.... I was a mess last night. My BFF texted me before I went to bed and asked me if I was ok, I told her I was scared, she texted back: "No fear..Just results!" I gotta keep saying that and praying.....72 hours until the day.
I'm Done.....well almost!
Frig is stocked, meals are 90% planned for about a week, (a few of those days will probably be fast food, but oh well…) house is cleaned, bills are taking care of, etc… I will use tomorrow to get my mani/pedi and facial done. Today will be my last full day of working out, which I know I will TRULY miss, I did the 24 day arm challenge back in December and started it again for the this month but it fell apart these last couple of days because I’ve been sooo busy getting everything in order. Once the doctor gives the okay to start back I know I will be good and ready. I ordered a spirometer and a shower chair and they both arrived yesterday. I need to install the toilet riser and pack my bag, and narrow down my outfit as the weather channel states it’s gonna be a cool morning on Thursday. Thank you soo much to all the TT’s that have gone before me and shared their experiences, must-have-items and great tips along the way YOU have been a blessing! Won’t be long now…..2 more days
Ready or not...it's about to happen!
Counting down the hours now! The PS office called on yesterday and I have to arrive at 7am so I'm the first one in sx (doing the happy dance!). Ladies please please say a prayer for me. My updates may be brief in nature for the next couple of days as I know I will need to rest, But I will try my best to be as detailed as I can about my journey after my sx once I can. I will try to take lots of pictures but I will probably not post them until about 7 days or so, my lovely tablet is being repaired and I thought I would have it back before surgery but I have not, it is soo much easier to do my updates from the tablet than my cell phone or trying to hold a heavy laptop in my lap. Thank you so much to everyone that has interacted with me and supported me through my journey thus far. See ya on the flat side!
I'm going in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
I lift up myself to you. Remove any anxiety or fear from my mind and heart, and let me rest in the knowledge that you are with me. Prepare the surgical room to be a place of peace. Touch and bless the Dr. Careaga and the surgical staff. May their minds be alert, and their hands skillful.
Please hold me your hands through the entire procedure. And may the best be done according to your wisdom and love and that everything goes smoothly with this surgery during and after.
I did this!
16 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Released around 1:30, surgery went well. Felt nausea/faint a couple of times. Taking a pain pill, I am not ahead of pain this go round, but will be ahead of the next and the time after that! The staff was. phenomenal, I can't even put words on how awesome doctor Careaga, but I will update about him when I can also about my day...Thank yo
Day one on the flat side..
I was most of the night, up using the restroom and taking my walks. The nausea is the worst I gaged four and OMG that didn't feel good at all. I am just a little better today, still a bit of discomfort and it hurts initially to get up from the laying / sitting position. I have my first post op today along with a massage. My throat is somewhat sore and I have been trying to clear it. I will post more pics when I can because I am dosing of into one my many 20 minute naps..Lol!
Day 2 post op
I slept a little better last night, each time I woke up I thought I was on my bed the it dawned on me were I was. The chair I purchase for the recovery is doing the trick all with pillows behind my neck and under my knees, but oh how I miss my bed! My nurse/daughter has really been taking care of all my needs when I ring my bell she responds right away but in the middle of the night I think she wishes that bell would break...LOL. I had my first follow up appointment and massage yesterday. The massage was great and I was standing pretty much straight when she finished. She used a hand vibrating tool on the lipo areas and her hands on my tummy and down each side. She did use a warm gel, but I didn't get the name, maybe the gel form of arnica, I was focusing in on the pain to even ask her anything but I will find out what it was at my next massage appointment. The doctor came in to do the examination, and he has the incision tape so good that I can barely see the incision right now, he did point out where it's at and I super please with the location he said everything looks good and to continue with the Arnica pills for the next tens days to help with the swelling . My next PO is Tuesday and the drains should be removed. He told me to remain bent over until the drains are out. TMI: I have the gas thingy going on too but I just can't get it to come out, I'll be popping open so gas-x for relief soon, because it's a very uncomfortable feeling. I will get some pics up as soon as he removes tape.
Day of surgery......
Okay from what I remembered here's what went down: I was up at about 4:30 am making sure I had everything truly in order before I left the house. My BFF arrived on time and we were ready to roll, so talked most of the way there about other things which kinda took my nerves off of what was about to happen and it really kept me calm. As we pulled up to the building the parking lot was EMPTY, which puzzled both of us, but I was told to arrive at 7am so I'm sure someone was in the office. Sure enough the young lady rechecks your pressure, pregnancy test was there and greeted us with "a everything will be fine smile", took me into a room and asked me to changed into their version of Victoria Secret sleepwear and panties. Once the tests checked out good, the doctor came in the room and took my fabulous before photos, marked the sections and we went over any last minute questions. From there the anesthesiologist came in the room told me a little bit of his history, how long he had been doing this, etc and then I was asked to walk in the operating room. The room had nice relaxing music playing and everyone was busy prepare me for the surgery as I laid on the table. The doctor came in with a nice cup of coffee, which smelt soooo good! He ask a few things about my line of work and the next thing I remember was opening my eyes, the nurse saying my name and telling the surgery went well! I requested she bring in my BFF, and the first thing I asked her was what the time was because I couldn't believe how fast it was over (I was talking and thinking through the anesthesia at that moment). I stayed in the recovery area for about an hour and a half before I was released to go home. Once I got home I had a couple of rounds with the nausea which were not fun AT ALL, but all in all I am truly happy with the level of service and compassion I received from the staff their, they truly go out of there way to make sure that you are okay and happy.
Day 3, small changes..
A noticeable burning pain at my left drain site upon stranding
I switched from the prescription pain killer, to Tylenol and I have not been nauseous(doing the happy dance!)
My appetite is improving
I am more mobil, was able to fix a bowl of oatmeal and grab some juice and bring it back to my chair this morning
And I am walking a bit faster and I catch myself sometimes standing a little straighter, but I quickly hunch back over as I was told not to attempt straightness until the drains are out
Also what the heck is up with these crazy/weird dreams? Should I blame it on the meds?...
Day 4, it's getting better!
I like to thank God for allowing my body to begin properly healing at day 1 and continued improvements in the days to come. All the info I've gotten/will continue to get from this site prepared me for whats to be expected and that has been such a blessing, instead of going into this blindfolded.
Ok, yesterday evening my legs started swelling more then they were, it felt so tight! I got scared and around 8:45pm I phoned the doc and asked about, he said it was normal and was from the fluids and meds they me through the IV, it should recede in a couple of days normally through the body..whew! I think I got about two hours of sleep last night for the uncomfortable swelling in my legs and also in my incision area, it's okay I kinda knew sleepless nights were to be expected. NOW THIS MORNING! TMI, I had a BM!!! I wasn't expecting it because I had not taken my stool softner yet..YES YES I know shame on me.., but I when I started passing gas around day 2 I was so afraid, if I took the stool softner I would get the feeling of passing gas mixed up with really needing to go and boy what a mess that would be! But last night I slow made it over to my meds box and got my MM and placed it on my recovery table and said I would take it a soon as I have my breakfast, WELL this morning I went to do my normal morning pee pee and some gas followed then the feeling of needing to go, I stayed there for about 30 minutes and allowed whatever muscles that were working to do there thing, I did not put any force into it. I can't say it was enough to satisfy my normal output BUT enough to say that things are kinda looking up! I will take the MM to help the rest safely along to keep everything else working as it should. After that I got a burst of energy and made myself two eggs with a english muffin and a glass of orange juice, that burst if energy quickly left and I was even to tired to bring it back to my chair, I had to call for help. Tomorrow is my second post op appt with a massage. Pain has been about a 2, I have switched to Tylenol and hopefully can wean myself to start taking those whenever needed, I not keen on taking meds if they are reallu not needed... Going to catch up on some movies and missed sleep...TTYL
Day 5.... Celebrate each moment!
Today I woke up about 4 am from a cough! DEAR SWEET JESUS! I said "That's it!" I slowly got myself up, made it to the restroom and made a decision( another BM too by the way)! I have had enough of that chair, so I took all the pillows off and brought them to my bed and found a way to get comfortable sleeping on my side, with these drains that were now burning(from the lose movement) and leaking a bit, until it was time to get my daughter off to school. The alarm on my phone rang at 6:30am and it was time to move to improve! I clear off the medical tray I had step-up next to the chair, put all the important things needed on my dresser in my bedroom, had her fold up that darn chair and put it away! Got her off the school and I had a bowl of cereal and waited until my appt time of 11am. I headed about a hour before my scheduled appt because I had to drive myself, I KNOW, I KNOW...but I took my time, drove the speed limit(something I haven't done since driver's ed) and allowed everyone to go around me blowing their horns, giving me the mean side-eye, etc. I made it 15 mins early! was promptly taken into and had my massage done, this time around it felt even better, I was able to move around on the table to most of her commands(roll to your side, the other side, etc.) She told me if I wanted to do some massaging at home to use the Arnica cream not the gel, and of course I have the gel...SMH! From there I saw the doctor and I am HAPPY TO REPORT I am drain free!!! When he took out the first drain I felt a little wiggly under the skin feeling then a slight sting, NOW the second one I really felt the burn/sting, the pain latest for about 5 mins, then it was a distant memory. He told me I could shower with soap and water, not to put anything on the drain openings, pat dry the tape and take a hair dryer on cold setting and blow dry the tape until dry. I left the office with a smile on my face and proceeded back home, enjoying the beautiful day that it is and arrive home safely....."Celebrate the small things in life"
I pray my recovery continues to be a celebration!
Day 6 in pictures...
I snapped a few pics before the drains were removed yesterday, I didn't have a program on my phone to edit out the "cookie" but I installed on today and was able to do my editing. The scar is taped well for now, but from the looks of it I think I will be pleased with the placement.
The magic number 7! One Week! and supplies...
A week ago today I was just entering the surgery center and getting prepared for surgery. Looking back on that day don't remember feeling to nervous, JUST ready to get it over with and start the healing. My recovery hasn't been as bad as I put it in my mind to be which to me is kinda a good thing, because I was thinking the worse and got a little less the what I had in mind, THANK GOD! AS the saying goes on this site EACH DAY DOES GET BETTER! At the one week mark, based on my experience and what truly helped me was being prepared, which allowed me to just focus on rest and letting my body recover. Don't get me wrong I am a go-getter it is really really hard for me to JUST sit down and relax but this site has helped me tremendously prepare for what to expect both psychically and mentally. I purchased a good amount of things for this surgery, which I'm sure I'll probably need at some stage, if not it will just good in my first aid kit...no loss!
At week one here are the things I have needed:
Walker - this has helped lessen the back pain, middle of the night walks, just makes it easier to get around.
Shower seat - now I was not going to purchase this, but made the decision at the last minute to get one thanks to Beauty30 and boy do I need it! Once your allowed to take a shower the back pain has really set in and having this shower seat made that first shower everybody talks about AMAZING!
Men's - A-shirts
Disposable bed mats - I went bottomless it was MUCH easier! and these protect the different areas I was resting
Hand Sanitizer - kept handy for drain emptying
Gaz-X - I had it ready on my table, but the Gas kinda work itself out own it's own...I know TMI, sorry
Colace and Phillips Milk of Magnesia - took the Colace to keep everything moving along, no issues so far, another counted blessing!
Flushable wipes - I'll spare the details, LOL
Arnica Pills 30C - I have not noticed MAJOR bruising, minor tender spots when the lipo was done but no black and blues....I will continue to keep this in my first aid kit along with the cream, love it!
Publix brand of Tylenol - YES! The Hydrocodone was making me nauseous, it stop once I made the switch
Drain Chart, Medications time chart and Pill Organizer - The time chart DID help, the pill organizer I didn't use as I only had a pain and antibiotic pill to take. I briefly stop all my other vitamins out of fear of interaction.
Non-stick gauze and paper tape - once the drains were removed, the gauze and paper tape protected the opening caught the additional leaking.
Clothing: Warm ups/track suits have been the easiest to wear post-op (can hide drains well) to appts, I've had three appts so far and wearing these were great! I ironed everything up before the surgery which made it easier to just throw on an go!
Pre-made meals: Were a blessing ..!
Where I slept: I purchased a Zero Gravity chair(mentioned above in my review) and pillows. The chair worked for a bit, not the most comfortable but it did the job, I tried to retreat to my bed with the pillows and ended up on my couch where I have gotten the BEST sleep so far. I guess the chair will look nice with me laying in my new bikini! again no loss.....
Foods: I've eaten salads with low sodium dressing, low sodium soups, fruits, wheat thins, plenty of water and juices..personal treats: were my Edy’s Outshine pineapple bars or a small cup of non-fat yogurt.
Lymphatic Massages: Today will be my third one, I am standing about 80% straight, I notice some drainage as I must use the restroom once she is done, it breaks up some of that hardness in the lipo areas I was feeling initially and it overall FEELS SOO GOOD!
Well I hope my one week experience/needs helps those heading to the flat side, I truly understand everyone needs are different but this is what has helped me thus far, I have a doctor's appt today for a dressing change and my first look at the scar...feels like Christmas again!!!
I will update my Dec 24th post tomorrow, as promised.....Happy Healing!
Third post op visit!
Christmas came again and Santa brought me just what I was hoping for a nice low and straight incision placement from Dr Careaga! Anyone that is curious about using him here's photo proof of his talented work! He said the incision is healing well, so far there is no fluid build up and I'll give credit to the onsite massage therapist and her hands for helping work it out. He said I should start wearing the compression garment after my next visit which is the two week mark. During surgery he lipoed 400 cc from my flanks which is about half a liter. He did show me a pic of the skin removed...ekk! Well so far so good and I am going to continue to do my part to mark sure this is a successful recovery I am very happy my decision to use Dr Careaga, this guy knows his stuff!
What I expected during the recovery vs. What I experienced REVISITED
As promised here is What I expected during the recovery vs. What I experienced:
An overall rough first couple of days, then improvement after – Needing help getting up, nausea and back pain was the worse for me the first couple of days.
Pain once I wake up in recovery – very minimal pain in recovery
Dry mouth – slight dry mouth
Feeling tired and groggy – I did experience that upon waking in recovery, but once rehydrated at home the feeling started wearing off
Feeling lightheaded with the first couple of showers – didn't experience that
Swelling and tightness – experienced swelling from my knee down after day 3, once the drains were removed the swelling went away. Tightness all around by the end of the day, I think that came from trying to push myself beyond my limits
Trying to find a comfortable sleeping position - There was none! Only sleeping on your back and I am a side sleeper…ugh!
Very slow movement to bathroom trips and every two hour walks – the first couple of days I was very slow in my movement getting to the bathroom and the walker helped a lot with the every two hour walks
Back pain – Oh YES! The walker helped a lot and once I sat down it went away, haven’t used the icy hot I purchased just yet.
Challenges in the BM department – No problems there, thank God!
No appetite – Initially, couple of days later it returned
Maybe a love/hate relationship with the binder – Love the support it gives, hate the poking and Velcro digging into the skin at times
Lots of sleeping the first couple of days – Yes, sleeping off and on the first couple of days
Some bruising from the lipo – I took the Arnica 30c pellets a couple of days before sx and had very minor bruising.
That fact that I have to rely on someone to help, I’m so use doing things on my own and being a go getter – help was needed the first couple of days, but it got better each day, so I was able to kinda to a lot more myself with the help of the walker.
To be able to do things for myself at least by day 3(A girl can wish, right?..) Still needed assistance at day 3, but I tired but best to do it on my own before requesting help. I do suggest to norm of having someone to help at least for a week
Becoming a temporary couch/bed/chair potato – THIS WILL HAPPEN!
Buyer's remorse and some emotional days – Maybe a little early to answer this one, I’ll revisit it further along.
Drain annoyance – started for me around day 4, burning and sting pain, the incision also burned upon standing at times.
Low and well hidden scar(hope you are reading this Dr. Careaga!) – saw the scar on yesterday, satisfied and pleased!
2 Weeks Post Op!
Wow! Pre-surgery, my mind always wondered what I would be feeling at different stages in the recovery. I did so much research and watched numerous YouTube videos that I expected the worse! Well that for me was a good thing that I went in with that mindset and prepared for the worse, because as I look back over these last 14 days, my only bad days were my first couple of days and the nausea was the WORSE of it for me! I did have pain but it was not bone chilling pain, more of an uncomfortable pain that Tylenol did the job for.
At my 2 week Post Op mark here are the things I have experienced:
Itchiness – nothing that a tender scratch with my nails doesn't cure, I haven’t had to use a cream or take anything YET…
Hard sides were the lipo was done – rock hard, very tender, but it feels good when I rub it.
Numbness – Still around the BB area, I can feel at the top, sides and the bottom.
Standing- I am about 90% straight midday, and back down to about 70% in the evening
Walking – no longer using the walker at all, back still aches after a while but it’s nothing that sitting for a bit won’t cure.
Sleeping – I AM NOW SLEEPING IN MY BED! Oh how I missed that, still on my back most of the night, I have attempted to get on my side but only made it slightly when I started feeling pain or a burning feeling at the incision, I know will get there, it just takes more time.
Cravings/Appetite – Should I be having those? I have been wanting french fries BAD!
Not sure whats that all about, but I have not giving into the temptation(too much sodium right now). My appetite feels about normal, I get full half way through whatever I’m eating, whether it is a salad, soup, sandwich, etc..I only make it way half way through
Weight Loss – This probably explains the above(not being able to complete a meal), I weighed myself yesterday and I am down 6 pounds since sx
Swelling – OH YEAH swelling in still noticeable, I know I am still very early in my recovery so I expect it
Bending/Twisting – At a proud 5’1” I still can not reach down to dry the lower part of my legs after a shower, I have to ask for assistance. If I drop something I slowly lower myself into a squat position and that seems to be working pain free. Twisting during bathroom trips has gotten a little easier, I’m not there completely because I feel pain with I've reached my twist limit. (hope that makes sense)
Chores – Light chores, sweep, dishes, wiping the counter-top, things like that, nothing that requires pulling or a lot of bending and trying to stay within my lifting limit (5 pounds and under)
Naps – Still taking them, feels good to just rest and knowing that it’s helping me recovery I welcome them.
Wanting to workout – I can’t wait to start doing that again!
Yawns/Laughing/Sneeze/Stretching/Cough/Deep Breaths – I did attempt to do a normal cough at about 8 days PO, and MAN I felt it in every part of my core area!! SO all the rest I have not done because I have been afraid too! I try stop my sneezes before that come and that has helped, but I know I gotta cross that bridge, just not ready for it yet – God be with me when it happens!
Winded/Shortness of breath – I still get winded after talking for a while
Muscle Spasm – Feeling those, no pain, feels like those flutter kicks felt during pregnancy
The Famous Aunt Flo – arrived yesterday, combined with the swelling is not making the bloating noticeable, still got my normal cramping but no biggie!
I have reached for the following items at 2 weeks PO
My extra binder – while washing the other the second one came in handy, feels odd to be without it right now
Soap – I tried to continue washing with the Hibiclens just to air on the side of caution for germs, but found it to be too drying on my skin, so I switched over to the antibacterial soap and will continue to use that for a while until the incision and drain opening are completely closed.
Shower chair – This really helped my back in the shower, money well spent!
Waist Nipper – I had a party to go to with my daughter and I could not wear my fashionable binder and the waist nipper gave me the same support and did not ride up on the sides
I am have been completely off of the pain meds since about day 7, the pain has not been that bad were I need them, still drinking a protein shake a day, plenty of water, taking my multi vitamin, fish oil, vit C and just consuming foods low in sodium and beverages rich in vit C. I did purchase other vitamins and will inquire at my 2 week post appt which ones are needed at this point in the recovery.
Well I hope I didn't send you into a reading bore, just trying to include as much info of my experience as possible. I have my 2 week Post op today and I’m suppose to graduate to the compression garment..Lovely! At the two week mark I thank God everyday for my healing progress and I am just taking it easy and doing what I hear a lot of on the site “Listening to my body”, as this temporary adjustment will be nothing compared to the enjoyment I’m looking forward to! I will try to get some photos up after the appt.
Today's Follow-up Appt
Back from my 2 week appt, and my PS removed the tape and examined the scar, he said it is healing nicely there is still swelling on my sides, hips and the bottom of my stomach. He checked for fluid build-up and did not find any so far, I was happy to hear that! There is some pleating on the bottom of my stomach that he said would eventually smooth out. He also said it was OK to use a cream or oil on my stomach for the dry stretched skin, I had already purchased bio oil and Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil so I will be using those. I have to start wearing the compression garment which should help with the swelling and molding of the waist. I will be able to start scar therapy in two weeks.
I also had another massage today, she really focused on the lipo hard areas and hopefully those areas will show some improvement, I am adding in a few pics I took before the appt and once I came back home, I didn’t get any scar pics this time because he re-taped the scar. So far so good….Thank God!
Let the fun begin!
I went out this morning on the hunt for the Arnica cream my massage therapist suggested and to work on walking a little straighter. Well I'm quite sure everyone has experienced this, you go in looking for one thing a come out with more then just that item. I did find the cream at whole foods, but ended up finding the swimsuit with the sides out that I had been drooling over before my TT and would not buy because of way my stomach looked, BUT NOW....OMG! Ladies do me a favor, savour that feeling when you buy that first swimsuit after your TT it feels just that good!!
Not a lot has changed since my last update, I have been continuing to rest and not over do it because I feel good. I did take a nice amount of time off from work so that I could get the needed rest during recovery and to allow for any complications. So far God has blessed me to be recovering better and better each day. I am on this site everyday(addicted) and reading all the ladies stories that are yet to cross over the the "flat side" and remembering when I was in their shoes, all the what-if's and fears. I knew there was a chance that something could go wrong and I was not exempt from that, I still continue to pray as I am not outta the woods yet, but as I walk past a mirror and look at myself, still swollen and all (being a little vain here), I am REALLY happy with the choice "I" made to do this for me! Life is full of choices....I choose Happiness
This needs to be added...
There is a saying that goes " there are two things you cannot avoid, death and taxes...well "a sneeze after a tummy tuck" should definitely be added to that list. I have been trying to avoid sneezing by all means since the sx because I read how painful it was. While today that devil of a sneeze caught me unguarded AND OMG the pain that is told on this site is nothing further from the truth! It is truly painful and I won't be caught off guard again.
To all the ladies that are not subjective to this torture chamber that's called a compression garment, know that you are blessed! This thing is no joke!!
I am loving the feel and wear of this CG! It feels so much better than the torture chamber and gives so much firmness but yet it is so soft and smooth, I can definitely wear all day without complaints, I think I will be purchasing another one just for back up. The name and brand is mentioned further up in my review under my supply list. Love it!!!
3 Weeks PO
Yesterday made 3 whole weeks since surgery, and I am feeling almost normal again, but certain movements remind me that I am not 100% yet. I’m still working on completely standing straight because the tightness feeling is still there that keeps me slightly bent. Getting out of bed is much easier and I still find sleeping with a coupe of pillows behind my head and under my legs comfy. No pain pills have been needed, just focusing on the swelling at this point. The incision has started to itch a lot, I will ask about that at my next appt. I have been experiencing dry skin at the top of my tummy and I have been applying coconut oil to combat that (Thanks Ms.Robinson for the tip).
Supplies I’ve reached for at 3 weeks PO:
Compression garments during the day and binder at night
Epi-foam pads – Helped with the folds and creases that the compression garment gave and also gave a bit more of compression for the swelling
Coconut oil and Bio oil – for the dryness
Soap – still using the antibacterial soap
Vitamins – Multi, Vit C, Turmeric
Still using some of the pillows in bed
Foods- Still drinking a lot of water, coconut water also, protein shakes, anything pinapple to help with the swelling and just trying to stick with foods that are low in sodium.
4 Weeks! Who fast forwarded the Calender! ????
Tomorrow will be four weeks PO! (doing the happy dance!!) I am feeling great, and if I don't catch myself sometimes I find myself attempting to do the things I was doing Pre-sx that I am not suppose to, like lifting past the limits, but my body quickly yells at me. I had my 4 week PO appt today and a massage, there are still some hard areas on my sides from the lipo. The doctor said I still had quite a bit of swelling and I should see a major improvement on the swelling at about month 3, the tape was removed and I can now start scar therapy because the scar is completely closed, which is the silicone strips at night and a silicone scar cream during the day. He also said the MAGIC words! I can exercise, not like I want, he said the treadmill, elliptical,bike and low cardio workouts, start off slow, at somewhat of an incline and weekly work myself up to what I was use to doing. NO sit-ups for SIX MONTHS! (sad face)...thought I would be able to work on my six pack for summer, oh well at least I'm flat! But I so ready to start back in the gym, my muscle tone in my butt and arms have suffered...not cute. I start back to work soon and he said it was okay to wear heels and I have to wear the CG for three months. I also took the 1 month photo shoot and I am looking forward to seeing the side by side comparison.
Supplies for this week kinda remain the same as last week, I am only reaching for the silicone strips and cream the doctor ask me to use during the day(gotta purchase that). Sleeping is getting much better, but the extra pillows still help with complete comfort. I haven't attempted to sleep on my stomach, just working with the sides for now and the muscle spasm, yes still feeling those!
Tried to play dress up yesterday, but everything just looked so square on me(in my opinion), so I gave up. I will attempt it again on a couple of months when I have gotten a good months workouts in.
At four weeks I still thank God daily for the progression of my healing, it was not as bad as I truly thought it would be and I am VERY happy with my results thanks to Dr, Careaga!
Love your new tummies day!
Happy love your New Tummies Day everyone!
Everything must change!
Well today is my last day home, tomorrow I return back to the workforce and back to the routine I was used to. I have truly enjoyed this time off, relaxing, healing and sharing my experience on this site. I also will start back tomorrow in the gym and attempting Zumba, looking so forward to working out and getting my firmness back in some areas! I have been wearing the silicone strips at night, I'll post pics soon on the progress on the scar. I did try and attempt the stomach sleeping and that was a NO GO for now! I still have some tender areas from the lipo and I have finished my series of massages so I have nightly been trying to massages those areas with arnica cream to loosen up the hardness. I am still wearing my addiction (binder) at night, gotta work on separating myself from it. I have not for one moment regretted the decision I made and I look forward to enjoying every moment on the flat side! Continued happy healing to those on the flat side and best of luck to those about to cross over!
5 week mark..
Started back to work on Tuesday, and so far it has been good. Day one(Tuesday) at the gym was a little rough, I did the treadmill at 2.5 for a hour and it felt like more a constant discomfort, tightness below the BB. The next day was little better, so I will be slowly easing myself back to the speed I'm used too. I feel like I am walking 100% straight, but once I get home from a days work and the gym I just want to put on my binder and nap. I still have noticable swelling and the flanks still have spots from the lipo. TMI: my mons pubis still has that "Ken" doll effect even after five weeks! I have to keep reminding myself that more results are coming.
Scar pic and scar therapy
Since my last post op visit I was given the okay to start scar therapy and I have been using the silicone strips (scar fx) that my Dr recommend, I wear them at night to sleep. To combat the dryness around my tummy I use coconut oil (pictured) and it has really helped! I did also purchase Scaraway diminishing serum which is 100% silicone to use during the day when I am not wearing the strips. I am still pretty early on in my progress with the scar but hopefully next year this time the difference can be seen.
6 Weeks Post OP
Not much to update since my last post, I've done about two weeks in the gym at a slower pace than I'm use to and just getting my body back use to working out again. Next week I will up the pace a bit, because I feel a little better and not as stiff as the first week when I started. I love the flat look I have first thing in the morning, after my workout and the remainder of the evening swell hell is in full effect! Sneezing and coughing has gotten better, I still feel pain but just not as bad BUT laughing....no comment. Sleeping has gotten better and I am down to one pillow when on my sides. Overall, I'm feeling great, loving the way I look, I cant describe how thrilled I feel to be able to sit down and not have the bulge hanging on my lap and sides. I am so ready to go "shopping" but holding off until I can stop wearing this CG. I have my 2 month PO appt in a couple of weeks and hopefully I will get the pics of my before and after photo shoot.
My Official Tummy Tuck song! Love it!!!!!!!