7 weeks tmrw: no picnic!

I'm 40 yrs old and have no kids. I've been...

I'm 40 yrs old and have no kids. I've been overweight my whole life - 150-160 on a 5'5" small frame. I've tried various diets over the years - I've always been an athlete so never worried much about the lbs. About 2 years ago I stopped eating anything that comes from a package, just about anything with preservatives - really changed my diet around.

About 40 lbs just melted off in no time. It's been so easy. I've been 115-120 since. Now I have a lot of skin on my upper and lower abdomen, and my upper thighs sag. I'd like to wear a bikini again, and hip-hugging jeans without 'muffin top'. I'm an ER doc, so I'm mostly worried about the risks of elective anesthesia and surgical complications (DVT/PE) even though I know I'm at very low risk. I see DVT/PE every day (not from PS) so I know it happens to people. Photos coming!

A bit about my thigh lift: I have sagging skin on...

A bit about my thigh lift: I have sagging skin on the top/ inner thigh, but lower thighs around the knees are ok. Back of thighs have cellulite but skin isn't too droopy. I have hardly any butt left - however, my real priorities were my abdomen and front of my thighs, and I have seen so many photos of "butt lift gone wrong" that I'm not willing to consider that for myself yet.

My PS told me BEFORE examining me that most thigh lifts are disappointing if the loose skin is at the bottom of the thigh. I said, "well, examine me and see what you think". Once he did, he felt that I could get some improvement in the contour of my inner and anterior thighs.

I feel very comfortable with him. He is giving me a sizable discount, which is really nice. I will have to stay overnight at an outpatient 23 hour obs type of facility which is fine. I've had major orthopedic surgery before so I'm not worried about the pain, just the possibility of complications. My SO is on board, not thrilled but on board, but it's my body and my money, so...

Can anyone tell me if I can buy Bio Oil at retail stores? I'm set on Vitamins, Arnica, Bromelain, CG, but haven't seen Bio Oil anywhere. I guess I can get it online.

Okay, a few pictures. For reference I am very...

Okay, a few pictures. For reference I am very petite, size 0-2. Have been size 10-12 most of my life until about 3 years ago. In the photos I'm wearing VS undies size small and 34C bra. I am having lipo of upper abs - they're uneven - I have a fat pad on the right. Also lipo of hips to give me a nicer contour. Full TT, I have ab muscles but they'll never be really tight since I lost so much intra-abdominal fat. And anterior-medial thigh lift, you can see where I used to have a lot of fat in upper middle thighs, they're just pockets now.

One day, I might think about bringing my rear end back up to where it used to be... it's gotten a little too friendly with the backs of my thighs... but this is enough surgery for this time around, I think.
I promise I'm not judging - I know we all have things that bother us. I just think you're being too hard on yourself, and you might end up hating the hip to hip scar more than the small bulge that you're describing. You are the only one that can make the decision, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck!
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Thank you! I thought a lot about the scar. I'm okay with it. I have a 5 inch low transverse scar, and three laparoscopy scars as well. Also had 2 huge shoulder surgeries which left me with long scars that have faded to white lines. My PS has assured me that he can keep it low and straight, which is how I want it. And if it works out that it curls up or isn't even, well, I'll deal with it.
In my day-to-day I see a lot of scars. Honestly, I'd rather be able to be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt or a bathing suit again. And my SO would like for me to start taking the initiative again, in the bedroom. He's tired of doing all the work. But gravity works and I am not about to let all this bounce around!
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I was sort of reluctant to post the pictures, just for that kind of reaction - that I don't need it. A 40 pound weight loss is significant though, and I'm not comfortable in this body. When I bend over, my abs look like a big donut with a hole in the middle that is my belly button. I live in sunny FL, where it is warm for eleven months of the year and although I never leave the house without sunscreen, I'd like to be able to wear a cute tank top or a bathing suit without being self conscious. I never was so self conscious when I was heavier, probably because my skin fit!
When I went for my consults (plural), all three doctors met me and said,"I'm not sure you need a full TT, maybe just a mini TT." Then when they examined me, they all agreed, I have so much loose skin above the navel, a mini won't give me a good result. I don't need lipo - I don't have any fat except around my hips and that weird patch on my right upper abdomen/ribs.
Please don't judge me. I have never had any cosmetic surgery except teeth whitening. No breast aug, no lipo, no nothing. I appreciate the comments that I look good but we all have to live in our own bodies, right? I have seen some photos that I thought hmmm, I don't think that would have bothered me enough to have surgery for it... but, it's not my burden to bear.
I'll try to post pics of my donut belly tomorrow so all can have a better idea of what I'm talking about.
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Donut belly photo posted. Hopefully this will...

Donut belly photo posted. Hopefully this will better illustrate what I'm unhappy with.
Airbus- Good for you! I must say that 1 side view does look more like an after than a before! Closer look, though, it is obvious why you want the tuck. Had mine Nov 2, staph scrub Nov 18, reverse shoulder replacement Dec 14. Even though I've gained some weight after 4 months on the couch, I LOVE my tummy tuck!! Glad to see your description of your pale shoulder scars-mine is looking pretty good at 10 weeks, but it sure made me forget about the arm lift scars. I know some folks swear by the arnica, scar sheets, bio oils, etc, but others on this site say they did nothing with comparable results. I think the Vit C my dr recommends before a after surgery has helped my healing. I do massage with Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil (not the Moisturizing Skin Oil). I bought topical arnica, but it smelled so bad even after washing my hands, I quit it pretty quickly. At any rate the bruising resolves in a couple of weeks anyway. Just saying, I bought an awful lot of stuff I didn't use! BTW, saw an 85 year old getting breast aug on 20/20 last night, so good for us. (and I'm only 64!). I'll be following your story-know you'll do great.
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Thanks Pottery Granny! What a journey you have had! I really appreciate the advice on the Palmer's Oil. I do take Vitamin C daily, and eat a lot of foods that have Vitamin C. I know of some studies that have shown benefit to giving IV Vitamin C during surgery!

I think a lot of the way skin heals - just from my observation of dozens of people a day - has so much to do with general health, smoking, and sun exposure. My shoulder scars are really barely visible, even in a sleeveless top, hardly anyone ever notices them.

Good for that 85 year-old. If she felt like she needed/ wanted it, hurray for her!
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My PS gives me mine, it is Boiron Arnicare Procedure Recovery kit, arnica montana 12 c, I take 5 pills 3x day
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Went shopping today for yoga pants and pajamas......

Went shopping today for yoga pants and pajamas... figured if I'm going to be spending a couple of weeks around the house, I might as well be really comfy, and I don't want to have to do laundry that first week. My SO can't do laundry to save his life, everything else he is great, but if I want to be able to wear the clothes ever again, can't let him near the laundry.

I accidentally discovered how comfortable my living room chair is for sleeping - I tried it out for a nap, with a bunch of pillows from the bed. Chair+pillows+ottoman=zzzz. I may never sleep in my bed again!

Have been following all the early March-ers on...

Have been following all the early March-ers on here and am looking forward to seeing how everyone does. I have been super hyperactive lately because I am so worried about re-gaining the weight I lost since I will be inactive for a couple of weeks. I never go to the gym... I do 45-60 minutes of yoga a day (tough, break-a-sweat yoga) and do a lot of outdoor activities, sports, etc.

Past few shifts at work I don't sit down at all. I stand up to make phone calls, do anything on the computer, etc. I feel like I need to get out and run around the block or up and down the stairs, all the time like I have too much energy, but I think I'm just nervous, and excited.

I think I am going to be terrible at following doctor's orders as far as activity goes, maybe I should just get some sedatives and sleep for a couple of weeks LOL.
My philosophy on"what other people think" comes from Dr. Phil: "You wouldn't be so concerned about what other people think about you if you knew how rarely they did!!!"
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Airbus - I am so happy that you are doing what feels right for you!! If you need support, message me:) Do I know how you feel! I actually went to therapy because of my image issues. In the end, it is what we feel that matters! What we decide we can and can not live with, what compromises we feel we will be happy with.
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Thank you for your support :). I've never had significant body images, not any worse than anyone I know, anyway. I don't think I'm odd or weird or pathologic, I've never felt that I needed any PS before, not thinking I'll need anymore, although as I age I will leave all options open... Generally I feel okay with my life and I told my surgeon my expectations, and he seemed to think they were reasonable.
I know that my life isn't going to *change*, but maybe I'll be a little less self-conscious. I'm not trying to be 21 again, or get a man, right?!? Just wanna feel good about my belly LOL! But vbmedic, being in the medical field, you know how quick ppl will label you, "oh, she's had this-and-that, must be some ISSUES." Since when does wanting to feel good about ourselves make us mentally ill? And if we are depressed or anxious or stressed out, does that make our desire to have flatter bellies any less real?
Don't get me started LOL. I'm cool with my decision but love to come here to follow everyone's stories and get hints and tips.
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Totally reconsidering the whole thing today.......

Totally reconsidering the whole thing today.... Having all those second thoughts that everyone does and I know it's completely normal and I'll probably have more days like this. I keep thinking, I'm healthy now, what if something goes wrong... I could use that $$ for so many other things... What If I have complications... it doesn't help that I take care of sick people all day long.
Thank you all. I know I want to do this, have no qualms about it. I'm excited, I asked one of my friends if she could pick me up postop and she said she'd be glad to do it.
I think like so many people, I don't want to inconvenience anyone. Issues!
We will see how the SO handles it. I think you're right Pottery Granny, once he figures out that it's going down with or without him, he'll get with the program. Or not. Either way, it's go time!
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Good for you. I'm so glad you are staying your course. It would be so hard to come this close & then delay, as some of the gals on this site have reported. I know always playing the elderly card, but at 64 & thrice married, I can certainly relate to relationship changes.!! Since you joined pretty far into my process, I'll repeat old information. My hubby has ALWAYS been opposed to"cosmetic" procedures. Once he accepted that I was GOING TO DO IT, he climbed on board & supported me in every way (except financing, lol). Seeing how happy my surgeries have made me has completely changed his point of view. I hope your man will come around after he doesn't have to worry anymore about your safety!
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Airbus- I knew you would figure it out!! I am glad you are holding off on the thigh lift!! You know you can do it any time you want, but honestly this tummy is enough to deal with!!!
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Woke up this AM feeling really good about my...

Woke up this AM feeling really good about my decision. I met with PS yesterday for my preop and felt really comfortable with him, still, figured that was a good sign. I was so nervous/ excited that I kind of bounced all over the room while he sat and talked and wrote. When I got to the "patient coordinator" at the end of the appointment, I told her that I might have to reschedule for a different day and basically almost had a meltdown. She was very understanding and said it happens, don't worry, we want you to be comfortable. So I went home and started rallying my troops, I guess. I am going on the 29th as scheduled!

These days everybody works at least full-time and most of my friends work two jobs. I just plain hate to ask anyone to take a day off to help me. I guess sometimes we just have to suck it up and ask for help!
Can't wait to see you results you already look great in the pictures of you in the black. If it wasn't for the one donut belly pic I thought they were afters.
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Whoa, really starting to feel real now. Seventeen...

Whoa, really starting to feel real now. Seventeen days to go. I picked up a few things I knew I would want for postop, magazines, things like that. I also (gulp) PAID for the procedure so it's a lot more real. I'm glad I decided against the thigh lift, I haven't had any hesitation since I changed my mind about that.

SO has gotten a bit less pouty about the whole thing. Of course he hasn't seen the bank statement yet. But, he knows I'm going through with it.

I have been looking at bikinis online... I'm going to take a little vacation at the end of the summer, think I'm gonna have to pick up something cute!
Oh hun your day is coming! Today is day 12 and the first one I woke up without that burning down my core and I could walk better it was finally my day to turn a corner, thank God!! I have always bounced back from surgeries so easily I just was not ready for this one! I think maybe that Mobic pill is helping, I am just taking one of them now it has been 2 days it is either time or that not sure and dont care, just glad I feel better!!!! Ok never having an opportunity to think of bikini's never heard of them, OMG I just looked at those bikini's they are gorgeous!!! Which one did you get? Oh I love those prints and coverups, I will never pork into one of them with this old bod but man they are killer!!! That was a good purchase!!! I think by 5 months you will be fine!!! I am thinking of you it is getting closer!!!
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I'm so glad you're turning the corner! Maybe the Mobic is helping you, like you said it doesn't matter, just glad you're feeling more human now. I'm learning from your experience for sure, even though I eat really well, tons of fruits and veggies I've already started taking fiber supplement and increased water as well, don't think I want to deal with constipation... Luli Fama was a huge splurge but ever since I saw someone in that rushed bikini bottom I thought hmmm... maybe one day... The prints are gorgeous but I just got the lipstick solid Cosita Buena with the ballet top and the full bottom, it's amazing what a bikini represents to people who have never worn them!
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B- glad you're feeling better. That Mobic is a miracle drug! 18 months ago my knee doc prescribed it; I could barely walk & was eating IBUPROFEN like peanuts. The day after starting mobic, I walked up my stairs without holding on. The next day I was able to paint a room, moldings & all. Like I said, MIRACLE DRUG!!!!!)
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Two weeks from tomorrow! I can't wait! A side...

Two weeks from tomorrow! I can't wait! A side effect of this excitement and anxiety is I have been working out like crazy because I know I won't be able to afterward, climbing trees, paddle boarding, etc. And guess what, my stomach is NOT flatter lol! Maybe my muscles are a little stronger but I still have a lot of skin!
Hi Air, good luck to u. March 29th is right around the corner!
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Thanks msbeas! I'm soooo excited! Today I'm cleaning this house with a vengeance! I know I'll need to clean again before surgery but today is like taking things out of cabinets, moving furniture, scrubbing grout. If i have to sit around this house for a few days and can't push a vacuum there better not be any dirt!
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Yeah no kidding it seems like an eternity! LOL Well darn drain still has too much fluid so looks like it will be tagging along for the weekend! Lovely! I really think things will improve when that comes out! My recovery was rough but keep in mind I had a lot removed, I think that was the issue, man my incision looks super though, some of the glue is starting to lift and it looks great, he did a super job closing everything, the baboon is retreating! Everyday is getting better! You will be fine in a few days! You dont have a lot to remove and your incision will be small!
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11 days away and feeling really good... I have...

11 days away and feeling really good... I have been paying very close attention to everyone's posts about what they are eating and drinking, oddly I am terrified about having gas/constipation pain after surgery. (And I can't stand Activia, I eat yogurt but ick that stuff I cannot tolerate) Not worried at all about the slicing, sucking and suturing, just the possibility that my gut will want to stay asleep... I never have a problem with it because I don't eat anything that doesn't crunch. Weird how I can get so focused on something trivial and it takes over...

Having alternating bouts of OMG what am I doing and total peace with my decision.
You are going to look amazing! Best thing I ever did:)
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So it's one week from tomorrow! Anxious and...

So it's one week from tomorrow! Anxious and excited. I think I have all the necessary supplies. Really, I think I could survive a zombie holocaust with everything I have amassed. There is more food/drink/supplementation than I will need for months, and I won't go shopping for the FRESH fruits/vegs until next week... Everything is clean and I obviously have access to medical supplies so I have enough dressing/ wound care to outfit a small mobile disaster hospital.
I am just ready to get it done.
I'm so happy for you!! I'm ready to order a bikini to hang on my door:) I'm so glad that you have a bunch of time off after. I'm wishing I would have taken more...lots of support coming your way!!
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Hi everyone, I have been working like crazy the past few days so I could get the time off. I am super excited and a little nervous... SO is very blasé' about the whole thing, he actually totally forgot it was this week :/ whatever. I'm still completely motivated and ready to go!

I appreciate all thoughts and prayers and know that mine are with you flatsiders and those to come!

Bambi, just so you know, I was never upset, just wanted to be understood. Thanks for your good wishes, they are much appreciated!

Beje, I ordered something on line, the company name starts with an L, I can't remember. It was like Spanx but specifically stage 2 post-surgical CG. Spanx didn't look like they were going to fit me! And that bikini is hanging on the back of my bedroom door!
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Airbus- the countdown is on, how are you feeling these last few days? I will be thinking and praying for you!
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Super excited and sooooo nervous. Having a...

Super excited and sooooo nervous. Having a terrible week with trying to get things done, work, and on top of that my refrigerator broke! ACK! It's okay, this too shall pass and all that, the saying is true, when it rains it pours!
Been watching your updates, glad things are moving forward positively. :) Will be thinking of you Thursday.
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Good Luck, you look fantastic, and will look even better after the surgery. I'm going in on the 19th, keeping my fingers crossed...the recovery is freaking me out
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Yeah for SO helping out, sorry to hear about the fridge, oh geez, well new belly new fridge, LOL There is always something, right? Get it fixed now so you dont have to worry about it, everything will work out. Saw the endocrinologist this morning, she was shocked wit my weight loss, he said all my sugar stuff is fine going to test my thyroid and hormones, and see if there are any issues there. She was so funny she made me feel really good, a tiny little thing like you and she was patting me saying oh come and talk to my patients, so I told her if she does a class I would come and try to inspire people, I needed something to make me feel good and that sort of idd it this morning.
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Okay, I guess there's no turning back now... not...

Okay, I guess there's no turning back now... not that I want to! I've been relaxing today and trying to fill my head with positive thoughts. The nurse called this morning to go over the instructions (nothing after midnight, etc) and she confused me! So I thought about it for a couple of hours and finally just called the office back and asked my questions, I felt like an idiot.

I won't be posting tomorrow cause I won't take my laptop with me, but I'll post when I get home (and am awake enough) on Friday. Excited!
Airbus...I hope your surgery was successful and that the pain is manageable. Take care of yourself.
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I hope u are feeling good. Mine was today too. Pain is so so. Prayersand hugs.
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I hope you are doing well Candyp7 Take care of yourself. We are both recovering now...finally.
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Last night went really well. Not much pain, I...

Last night went really well. Not much pain, I asked the nurse to d/c the Foley catheter early and was able to get up and go to the bathroom just fine. I took one pain pill about every 5 hours so I felt like I was doing okay... got up and walked around the facility a couple of times.
This morning I went to see my doctor and he said he pulled me really tight side to side. My incision looked low and symmetric, so I was happy! No idea what my bb looks like but that's ok.
I've been more comfortable this afternoon - burning in the abs like everyone says. Also had lipo on my hips so that feels weird but altogether I feel better than I thought I would. I'm super tired though - did not get much rest last night because they came in every other hour or so.
Best news of all is my tummy is FLAT!
So glad you're doing well! Can't wait to see your results! I'll post my month post op soon! I'd do it all over again! I hope you feel the same! Relax and heal!!
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Happy dance (well, virtual one for now)! Congrats, and glad to hear all's well. :)
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Congratulations! I knew you'd do well. Nope- can't rest in a hospital! After shoulder replacement in Dec, I made them discharge me 23 hrs after surgery. Rest well!
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All I can say is, thank goodness I did not do the...

All I can say is, thank goodness I did not do the thigh lift! I am feeling okay, pain level about a 4/10. I stopped the pain pills last night, I am sure they are constipating me and I'd rather have the discomfort so now I'm on to ibuprofen and it's manageable. Plus I didn't like the way the Percocet made me feel, lightheaded and a little nauseated.

I chinned my dressings this AM, meant to take a picture but left my phone on the other side of the house. Happy with the flatness, bb looks weird (I'm sure it will be fine once I get used to it). It just doesn't look like me so I think I'm a little freaked out, but watching everyone's progress on here helps.

Also made the mistake of getting on the scale this AM lol - 126 lbs! I was 117 that morning! Totally unconcerned, just amazed!
Don't be freaked out by the flatness, embrace it! I am sure your body is looking amazing. Rest up :-)
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Dude, my stomach was 6" down my thighs when I sat that to me is the most amazing thing ever, to look down and see my bb and crotch, its nuts!!! This is kick ass surgery but it gives a big bang after, it is totally worth it!!!
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Hey beje, I keep reminding myself, actually yesterday I sat down and had no gut in my lap, I was amazed! I'll take pics in the AM, hopefully it will still look flat and not too swollen. I do have a pain pump with marcaine in it but it's connected to two teeny catheters that are supposed to go in the skin, one of them had pulled out already by the time I got to my doctor's appt yesterday.

And I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did not do the thigh lift! I will remember every bit of this pain and think long and hard before I consider it again... Thanks for your encouragement!
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DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR EASILY...

DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR EASILY NAUSEATED!
Postop day three, 10 AM: I had a terrible night last night, up and down with the constipation. The pain in the front and hips wasn't too bad but I was suffering to have a BM. Had taken fiber supplements, maxed out on stool softener, prunes, drank more water than I thought I ever could, and still had only very little results. I really didn't want to resort to MOM or mag citrate or other stimulants, I just don't do well with chemicals in my body generally.
So last night I got up and walked around the house about every 90 minutes or so, would try to go, unable to. About 5:00 I realized I had an impaction - this is where there is hard stool in the rectum that just can't come out. So as I was NOT planning a trip to an ER or doctor's office for disimpaction - I did what any self-respecting doctor would do and mechanically removed it myself. Gloves, K-Y jelly, all I had to do was get it started. And then this, I realize I'm having a vagal response - where you start to feel queasy and sweaty, heart rate and blood pressure drop... and I'm thinking "no way am I going to pass out here and have EMS come in and find me like this" so I pulled down the towels from the rack and laid down on the bathroom floor for a few minutes. Once you put your head down, the body usually rights itself. I did this several time, up on the toilet, push and go a little, back down on the floor as soon as I get sweaty and nauseated. Fortunately was successful.
Mind everyone all this is going on while SO sleeps peacefully across the house. I had my cell phone with me, but it was still a really stupid thing to do. Have taken only Ibuprofen since postop night #1, that is how sensitive my system is.

THIS PART IS SAFE:
Feel so much better this AM. Yogurt and fruit for breakfast, I emptied the dishwasher and have done a little laundry. My pain tolerance is super-high, always has been, a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I push myself too hard and wind up with a bad injury, like what happened with my shoulders. I'm going to take a shower, wash this filthy garment, and take some pics!
Thanks for the warning - not about the TMI but about the situation. Wonder if this will even be an issue, my constitution usually runs the other direction, a couple of pieces of pepper jack cheese and I'm cleaned out for a couple of days (but need to find something less aggressive, response to pepper jack cheese is one of those things you need to be able to jump up and run for the bathroom for, y'know?). Will figure something out. Glad you got things done, and things are still working out for you. Looking forward to pics when you get to it. :)
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I can feel for you had the same thing sweating whole nine yards felt like i was going to die
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Hey, gotta do what you gotta do! I am happy for you to get things going in regards to BM. I am glad you feel better. Continue to take care of yourself.
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Postop day 4... much better. Yesterday I took a...

Postop day 4... much better. Yesterday I took a shower with the drains and the pain pump in, what a major PITA! Then I washed my hair in the sink, by the time I dried it and was done I was exhausted! One of the sites where the pain pump went in was starting to get really irritated and red, and the pump was empty, so I just went ahead and had SO pull it last night.
Spent most of the day cleaning the house and doing laundry, at about half normal speed. No heavy lifting and I really took it easy but if I don't do it, it doesn't get done, that's the way it is. I couldn't sweep the tile floors, that hurt too much, but found that I could push the vacuum very slowly if I didn't move my arm too much, just walked with it. I'm not recommending that anyone do this (THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE lol) but for those of you who have little or no support at home, it can be done. I went to PS appt this PM and he pulled one drain, left the other because it was still draining a significant amount. He says probably wednesday it can come out, I will call the office and give them the numbers.
He watched me hop up on the table and saw that I wasn't all stooped over and commented on how well I was doing and that it was kind of unusual. I told him "I don't have the time to be sick or in pain" and that led to a conversation about how much a patient's attitude determines their outcome. Everyone heals differently of course and has different limitations but if the patient approaches the situation thinking "oh it's gonna be so painful", it is guaranteed to be painful. If they go in thinking "I'm going to have some discomfort but nothing unmanagable", they usually do ok. I just thought it was interesting that even though we work with different types of patients, the idea is the same.
Soooo, BMs have been fine since taking stool softener twice daily, eating five prunes a day, and taking fiber supplement, in addition to my already healthy diet. I have also been drinking green tea like crazy for the diuretic effect, I am a little lighter today - four pounds off. Can't wait to post photos in the AM I am too exhausted tonight.
Oh God! I remember having to do that a few times - all related to either being pregnant and stopped up or fresh from a c-section. Glad you were able to avert the EMS finding you passed out during a ... ahem ... self treatment ;) I know how relieved you must feel, literally.
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Right?! How embarrassing could that be? Have these people I know find me naked on the bathroom floor, covered in poop? I've played out the whole scene in my head...
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Oh hun, those first BM's are just crazy with this surgery, I know that sweaty pass out response I had that a lot, in fact last week I had it 3 morning, now I open the binder and lay there a few minutes before getting up, I think all the blood was rushing to my stomach and away from my brain! You be careful and ask SO for help if you need it, don't be super woman and end up hurting yourself or setting yourself back!!!
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Postop day 5. My drain put out zero last night so...

Postop day 5. My drain put out zero last night so I asked my PS to pull it and he did. Hallelujah! It's like being let off a leash! I understand that I am at increased risk of seroma formation but it was getting really irritated at the site, I feel so much better. I asked the PS about activity and he said housework was okay but no working out for three weeks and no heavy lifting and no strenuous yoga for six weeks. I asked what the danger was if I "overdid it" would I undo the repair or mess something up? He said he only had that happen once in thirty years, when someone got pneumonia and coughed like crazy after surgery and undid the plication.
The pics are shadowy, but I think you can make out the bruises, and it's easy to see the swelling. I have weird tingly feeling in my belly and sides, and my belly is of course numb. I'm back to ten pounds over preop weight. I'm so glad I kept some clothes from when I was losing the weight, no way I am getting into my regular clothes now!
You look fabulous!!!! Tiny little waist, you can see what a difference already! Just please be careful!!!! I had all these books to read and I could not read a thing after surgery! LOL We just watched the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, that was a good movie I want to read those books now. I love the Janet Evanovich books, the Stephanie Plumb ones if you never read those they are entertaining, not sure what you like??
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WOW!! Airbus-REALLY GREAT results already!! You can rock that bikini for sure!!! Congrats! :)
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Wow looks great. So flat
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Postop day 6. I am still taking ibuprofen every 8...

Postop day 6. I am still taking ibuprofen every 8 hours. Now I just feel tugging, and really sore like a really sore workout. The rest of my body is turning to jelly. Bad news - I am up about 12 pounds - pretty sure it's all swelling- from preop. Good news - it makes my thighs look much better.
I have been taking it easy yesterday and today. I am still doing laundry and yes I ran the vacuum today, but with more sitting down time than standing up time. So today I decided to try on my bikinis, 2 new ones and ones from years past. My scar is low enough to be hidden under all but one of the new ones. Oh well, guess that one will have to wait for next summer when the scar is faded and better healed. I asked the PS about my scar being higher than I thought it would be and he explained that I didn't have much skin to pull downward so to get a new BB in the right place the scar would have to be higher. That's ok, I'll take the trade. I'm pretty sure it's lower than any pair of jeans I wear and now I can wear cute tops too!
You know what yu might find that scar drops enough to wear that suit after some of the swelling goes down! Go get some cheesy books to pass the time, I know all I read are diet books, like if I read to eat a dog turd to lose a pound I would do it, LOL That is all I ever read anymore, I am loving losing with this surgery, you still have all that fluid in, I am thinking it was like Day 15 or so that the scale really moved from the surgery. You are doing all that housework, but I am glad to hear you are resting more!
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IM over it somewhat. I just was not expecting that. I feel so much better today. I know what to expect so as long as i look good. Ill leave it at that. IM going today so ill see how it goes. Happy reading.
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IM over it somewhat. I just was not expecting that. I feel so much better today. I know what to expect so as long as i look good. Ill leave it at that. IM going today so ill see how it goes. Happy reading.
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Postop day 7: Went to see PS and got my teeny...

Postop day 7: Went to see PS and got my teeny little lipo stitches out. So the rest is just healing, nothing else to be removed, yay! He said I have a lot of swelling which is normal and he usually sees it 75% resolved at 3 weeks. 95% resolved at 3 months. I can live with that.
Thanks all for book suggestions! Got a couple of the authors you all suggested and have also gotten some movies from netflix. Went to lunch with some friends - who did not know I had this surgery - and if they noticed anything unusual, they weren't saying! i can walk like a human being today, no more hunching over like the missing link...
You know what beje, PS said the same thing about the scar "dropping down" a little bit. I wasn't unhappy with it but as he was looking at it and telling me how swelling would resolve he said that scar would drop down as swelling went down. To be honest, once scar is healed I really won't care if it sticks out a little from that bikini. Next summer I'm gonna slather it with SPF A Billion and wear that bikini with pride. I have never looked at someone at the beach and thought ooh, they should not wear that because of that scar. If someone thinks that of me, well, they can always look somewhere else! I'm already really happy with my results and when the swelling and bruising are gone, I'm gonna be thrilled!
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I love it! Love the positive attitude! You will look fabulous!
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Her attitude *is* fantastic... doncha just wish you could surround yourself with people with this attitude (if you haven't already)? I know I do. Very pleased for you things are going so well, AB320! :)
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Postop day 9 - Ok don't hate me, i know my...

Postop day 9 - Ok don't hate me, i know my recovery has gone really well. I think half of it is that I take super good care of myself all the time (organic vegetarian, meditation, vitamins etc) and half of it is that I have a very positive attitude, I think positive thoughts and positive things come back to me. It's part of my whole belief system.

So today I was out shopping for a new CG. Could not find one small/tight enough. That's ok, I started looking at bathing suits. Could not stop. Decided what the heck, I'm gonna try them on. Guess what, in the terrible green light of the dressing room, my bruising looks more like a tan! And even though yes I have swelling, I have a flat tummy! It was like a party in there! The saleslady came to the door, "Any luck?" and I was like "Omigosh, I love all of them!" When I came out (fully dressed, cg on under my clothes) she said I was the first person who ever said that.

Sooo, didn't buy one, just wanted to see how they looked. Told saleslady I had to think about it ;) I have always work tankinis because they hide the belly the best. I tried on every all kinds of bikinis. It just made me really happy. Weird! I am still up about 6 or 7 pounds from preop weight. Swelling swelling swelling but I have clothes I can wear cause I kept the next size or two up, not believing that my weight loss was going to 'stick'.
Men are like little babies. He decided yesterday he was off duty. I did not say anything. I just let my kids fall asleep whenever. I did not want to start a fight. Not worth it.. soon it will be over. Keep the positive attitude. And sharing bathing suit stories. I can't get out. So IM living through everyone else. Once i get it off my chest. Keep shopping. IM surprised they did not have a spanx in a small. They r pretty tight.
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Thanks all for comments. I have not always been such a positive person. A long time ago I realized that life is what we make it. I can only control how I respond to everything happening around me. So I try to maintain a positive outlook. It has really helped in times like these.
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Airbus- I couldn't agree more-I'm a big believer in making lemonade! You look great. Enjoy the bikinis!
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PO day 10 Measurements! With swelling, today my...

PO day 10 Measurements!
With swelling, today my measurements are 34-24-35. Oh.My.Gosh. I have not had anything near a 24 inch waist since junior high school.

Think I overdid it a little bit yesterday. When I got home I really noticed the swelling in my legs and feet. No one else would have looked at them and thought they were swollen but I could tell. I laid with my feet up for a few hours which is like chinese water torture for me. Still super swollen. Finally I decided to take off cg for a while and see what happened. I actually slept last night out of cg and swelling must have re-distributed over my whole body. Today I am still 6 pounds over surgery weight but generally feel less swollen. Put cg back on this AM - all the dents from the seams were gone and everything looked so smooth, so that's when I took the measurements.

There is one place right in the middle of my incision about 1 inch long that is a little bit red, no drainage or redness around it but it is at the very middle, where the most tension is on it. I showered over it today and reapplied new steristrips (the ones PS put on last week came off). My cg is too loose and I pull it up often during the day so I think the friction might be hurting it. Gonna address this with PS, I don't want this to become an issue.
nice measuerments!!! thats so great! too happy for you =)
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Try to take it easy. Your body will definitely tell you, you have over done it. Hope the swelling is better by now. :-)
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Oh and my husband like that if i ignore it he settles down and act normal. When i can't or font it winds up being a huge ridiculous blow out. It usually is about sex or that he doesn't feel i put him first. His problem i say. We have been together 24 years. I almost canceled my surgery because he was stomping around before i had to pay. Men
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Postop day 11 and I didn't need any ibuprofen all...

postop day 11 and I didn't need any ibuprofen all day! I ran a few errands, nothing too strenuous. Realized this evening that I didn't need any ibuprofen all day. PS told me last week I could take it every 8 hours, with food.
I have mentioned that generally I don't like using meds if I don't have to. Have had astritis/ stomach irritation so I try not to use anti-inflammatories if possible. And since I have weird sensations and tugging in my upper abdomen, I wouldn't be able to tell if it was from the surgery or irritation from the meds, right? So I won't get the anti-inflammatory effects of the medication, but I won't get the side effects either. I have been careful to take an anti-inflammatory diet and noticed today that I have only a trace of bruising left. Hurray for small victories!
Yeah honestly I could care less about this scar since only hubby and I and all of the internet are the only ones seeing it, LOL Like my arms you can see so I fussed and mussed over them I am so done, I am now a human experiment in scar remedies, I have enough to fill an ambulance I swear! So now I have the silicone strips on I do think they make a world of difference, I am going to take pics tomorrow and then at 2 weeks of 4 different products so we can see what happens! How you feeling otherwise? When do you go back to work? Make sure you are ready or I would say work 1/2 days the first few days if possible that would have been ideal. Cant wait to see ya in your new bikini, you know I am swollen but I swear it is getting better like all of a sudden I see my shape changing even though I am so bloated up with the swelling, it is an amazing process! I see more of my waist coming even from 2 weeks ago, so that is what is keeping me going, I figure the first 40 years were spent with flab the next 40 I am protecting my expensive flat belly! LOL
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Airbus what are the steristrips for, like my doc uses glue so is that why I dont have them? I debated putting that 3M micropore tape on I feel like my incision is getting stretched form the darn swelling and now where that seroma is I have like 25 holes from getting drained it is looking ragged, I really am not too concerned but I know I have an area on my arm that pulled apart from doing too much. I keep thinking all this swelling is going to stretch it all out! It is so cray Monday I woke up the flattest ever, today I feel like I am swelling by the second, it is such a PIA, I had a piece of string cheese I guess the sodium in that, ughg, Anyways hope you are having a good day when must you go back to work? I forgot to pick up the flexerel refill I probably dont need it it is more of a crutch --guess I will find out tonight, I hate meds too, I like my vitamins!!!
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Hey beje, the steristrips are just butterfly-typs bandages, they just protect the wound and give it a little additional tensile strength while it's healing. I'll often cover sutures with steristrips, they peel off after a few days. They're not very useful after the first few days though.
That little area in the middle of my incision has separated very slightly - I think it might heal with a little ridge. I go back to PS tmrw and will see what he says. I'm not too worried, I'm so happy that I have a flat tummy, I just can't be upset about the scar.
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Postop day 17 and I wish I could say my stellar...

postop day 17 and I wish I could say my stellar recovery is continuing with no bumps in the road. On 4/9 got some devastating family news, had to travel and take care of things. Was on my feet, not able to rest or care for myself as I should. You use a lot of ab muscles when you are really crying.
So I saw a PS back home, an old friend actually, I had developed a small seroma, he drained 12 cc from it. Then my PS made time to see me yesterday and drained 5 cc. So it's barely there. The middle part of the incision opened up a tiny bit so the skin will fill in and the scar will be wider there. It's about a quarter inch wide and the area is about an inch long. I'm a little disappointed that it's not perfect but I was not perfect to start with, so it's ok. I just want to heal.
I don't have to go back to work for two more weeks, thank goodness. I went into this thinking I would take two weeks off and then would go back early. Looks like I am going to need the whole month.
So I try to look at the bright side. When I went back home, everyone did tell me how thin I looked and of course when something bad happens people's reaction is to feed you.
I just got back yesterday and just feel very tired. I think I will have a good result, I will post pictures tomorrow so everyone can see what the separation looks like - a potential 'complication' - really it is just a delay in wound healing but one of the things anyone should consider before having this surgery. Always keep in mind "the trade"!
I'm sorry to hear, but rest and feel better
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Airbus my Seroma hurt more the first few weeks I think I am just used to it now. It feels like a huge ganglion cyst if that makes sense it is as big as it was yesterday I think maybe let it go? Maybe that needle isn't helping now??? Makes no sense. I tanned and I was lol a flounder trying to sit up lol my abs still kill me the lower part.
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I am so sorry Airbus, i know set backs in the middle of your recovery are very hurtful, more emotionally than anything else, but this too shall pass, take care of yourself, i will send happy thoughts your way.
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Three weeks today. The first 12 days or so weren't...

Three weeks today. The first 12 days or so weren't too bad, but then got a seroma, incision opened up a little bit... I have been mostly lying on my back with feet up for the past week or so. The area around my BB has been very swollen... today it looks like the skin is starting to split there a little bit as well. No pus or anything, so I decided to keep an eye on it until tomorrow. I was going to have SO take a look at it but he is completely uninterested in my recovery whatsoever.
I did get my Spanx - the kind that have straps that I can wear with any bra. It's much better for my incision, the cg they put me in had a seam that would rub because I kept having to pull it up. I can already tell that it's better just in the past two days, I'm still using the binder, all the time. I can't tell if the swelling's gone down any because I'm just in dresses for the past few days. Weight has not budged at all, still up five pounds from preop.
Its so boring sitting around. I went out all day and night than couldn't sleep from overexertion. IM sorry about your so. It really puts a damper on things. Try not to let it get u down. He will come around they usually do as long as u keep yourselfin good spirits as u have and don't hold resentment towards him because of his attitude. I hope your incision heals up quick. Hows the swelling?
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Hope you get better soon... This recovery process is no walk in the park.
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Today is postop 21. I FINALLY see some improvement...

Today is postop 21. I FINALLY see some improvement where my incision opened up a little bit. Wearing the spanx during the day instead of the cg has made a big difference. Still have the seroma - ugh- but it doesn't seem to have gotten any worse. Swellling is okay- a little better than yesterday. I am just so encouraged to see my incision finally starting to heal in the middle. All this inactivity is paying off lol!
Yes this surgery is odd, every time you have surgery it seems they want you up and moving around, this one the more still the better, glad you are feeling better, the seroma's are strange, like mine only gets so big and it stays that size for going on 2 months now, I get drained Monday, I go to my GYN on Monday I am curious to see if she has any suggestions for me as well.
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Yes, that will be interesting to hear what she has to say! We need a Seroma Support Group! I had one after I had my appendix out but it wasn't like this, it lasted a day or two, drained on its own and went away.
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They is great news. Keep resting
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Postop day 25 I have had the seroma for about 9...

Postop day 25 I have had the seroma for about 9 days, drained 10 cc from it yesterday. I really didn't think I had that much fluid in there, it didn't look like as much as when I first got it. The area of my incision that opened up is healing so slowly. A tiny little bit everyday. BB looks much better. I have tried to take pics of the open area and my belly button but they just don't show up that well.
I have tried to stay off RS because it's so easy to get wrapped up, I could easily spend hours on here. But everybody has a different experience and it is so helpful to know I'm not alone.
My routine consists of moving from the bed to the big chair in the living room for most of the day, reclined with feet up. Of course, shower daily and that is the only time I am out of the CG/ binder. After shower I put Aquaphor on the incision and at the BB, use nonstick dressing over it. The rest of my incision (except for the very middle) is closed. Doc is not ready for me to use silicone strips until the whole thing is closed so I thought, well I'll put Bio-Oil on the outer edges of it. It itched like crazy all night and I had little areas of peeling skin the next morning. So, Aquaphor only! I may try the Bio-Oil again later. All day I read, watch a movie, do some education for work, get up every hour and do a little laundry, maybe some dishes. I am not complaining because I am lucky that I can stay home and heal. In the morning my abdomen is so flat. In the evenings I am crazy swollen, it looks like a different person. I am going to measure the difference tonight and post it tomorrow.
I have three rotating garments, the one they put me in after surgery, which is a little bit too big but is okay with the binder over it, one I got from Leonisa which OMG is so tight, and a Spanx that has a straps over the shoulder that I can wear with any bra. I'm ordering another one of the Spanx today just like the one I have because I love it - it has seams down the sides but none in the middle so it is not as irritating.
Technically I have one more full week off of work but I will probably take two more weeks off in addition. If I ever want to get rid of this seroma I can't be up and down on my feet for 12 hours at a shot. I'm also worried about the crazy stuff I'm exposed to at work, the last thing I need is to get sick on top of this.
Pulse check... how's it going, AB?
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U look awesome girl...I love ur results....super flat!!!!! Congrats on ur New flat tummy and happy healing!!!!
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Hey airbus...what strips are you going to use on your scar? I am currently using BioOil on it and was thinking of Mederma in a couple of weeks. Just wondering what you are going to do. I hope you heal completely very soon. You are doing the right thing...taking it easy with yourself.
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Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since the day of surgery....

Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since the day of surgery. I've had this seroma for weeks - it's gotten progressively smaller but is still there and I go twice a week to have it drained. It's frustrating but not debilitating. The worst part is that I can't get back to my usual exercise routine - presumably more activity = more likelihood of fluid collection.

I went back to work two weeks ago and it's okay. I tire easily and don't have the stamina back but I'm able to pull my 12 hours and get home and crash. I wear the spanx AND the binder under scrubs so my days are uncomfortable!

Incision is finally closed. Took weeks for it to heal where it had opened. I'm using the silicone strips and am pleased with how flat it is. Of course it is red/ darker than the rest of my skin, but it is much improved and I'm confident that it will continue to heal nicely. The incision/ scar is still a little higher than I had hoped - PS said that he had to put it there because I didn't have enough skin to pull it really low and still have BB in the right place. He says it will drop a little bit. There is only one bikini that shows the scar - and maybe I just won't wear that one this year.

Best of of all, I have a nice contour, with a real waist! I am still about 5-7 pounds above prep weight on any given day. I'm very careful with my diet and know that the weight is due to swelling. My thighs and hips/butt are swollen, and in the evenings the area below my incision is swollen, while above remains flat. It looks a little weird but it's the lymphatic system still healing, and in the morning when I get up, all is flat again. I'm not able to fit comfortably in my 0s but can wear 2s and 4s.

I have been a bit depressed for the past few weeks, mostly due to family issues but I'm sure the surgery/ inactivity has something to do with it as well. My advice to anyone considering it: be sure you have a support system in place, and if you do not, have a counselor/therapist/ psychiatrist that you can talk to if you get really down. Have things lined up to do - lots of things. I have been learning another language, doing education for work, cleaning out drawers and closets (slowly and over days). If you like crafts or painting or something like that, lay in your supplies! Be patient with yourself, and know that this surgery is worth it for most of us but won't fix problems in your life or make you feel 18 again - I think most of us are reasonable in expectations but it's easy to get carried away!

Pics later today!
I have read your review and have been thinking about you for many days. I have never commented on your blog so I didn't feel right chiming in about your relationship as I do not know you or your SO but I feel a kinship because my husband works in the ER. He is a NP at a very busy and understaffed hospital and while not a physician, still has the same dreadful schedule and hours, you know the drill, the p.m. shifts, holidays and all. Anyhow, I understand how this can lend to stress in a relationship, I assume your SO is a doc as well although it doesn't matter. There is no excuse for his lack of "interest" in your healing. I agree with you, you are getting a good look at who he really is. Will he be there for you down the road if you ever get sick?

You know how crappy the ER schedule is yet my husband took 3 weeks off ( although we do have small children so I needed help with the kids) and did so much for me. Emptied my drains each and every time (they really grossed me out), etc. I say this not to upset you but to let you know there are great guys out there. I know how hard it can be to leave a situation. I was married before for 8 yrs, no kids and the end of that marriage was very difficult but he was a selfish man and although very painful at the time, the best thing that could have happened to me. But I had a great job and knew I could take care of myself just as you do and can. I hope when you are totally healed you will reflect on what your SO has shown you about himself. While he may not be a wicked prick, he is not involved in your life and life is too short to settle for anything less. I felt alone in my first marriage and decided being alone for real would be better. I later met the most remarkable man with the most tender heart (who also happens to be super good looking, I don't know how I landed this guy ;) Anyhow, I hope you didn't mind me sticking my nose where it has no business but I think you can feel the support here and we all hope you find it in your own life.
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New mom has a valid pt will he be there if u are sick?. My husband definitely would. He was there for me for this. However if i compared it to how other men oils be or what i thought i would be completely upset miserable. I did not expect him to be overly attentive. He did extra and thats it. I wad happy with thst. But i will tell u if i went and had surgery and he did not agree. He would be cold and mean to me. I hope u figure out what u needand really want. You deserve the absolute best. Only you know how you really dwell. Maybe this surgery brought out emotions you akredy had.. or maybe you are in a very emotional state and Cabot deal with the usual. If the answer is no to that one question will he take care if you when u are really sick and old. Then u should leave. I will tell you in his mind this doesn't count as sick.
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Would be not oils. Really feel not dwells
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Almost 18 months postop, so glad I did it!

Thanks kimmers for the invite and reminder to come back and post. So much happened after my TT that I really lost track of my realself blog. A brief update, and I'll post pics in the coming week.
I love my results. Flat tummy. Size zero. Scar has healed well. It's a little higher than I would have liked but I've made my peace with it. I'm actually considering a BA in the next year or so, nothing huge, I would love to have something natural looking and be able to toss all my padded bras!

Any of you who corresponded during my TT experience will be happy to note that I left my SO after a 16 year relationship. I also put some boundaries in place with my family. I am making a career change as well, leaving clinical medicine and will be departing the East Coast for the West Coast within the next year. Lots of changes. I'm healthy and happy. Not currently in a relationship, just taking some time for myself. Hope all you tummy-tuckers are doing well!
Was really interesting to read about your journey, I have been considering a TT for a while now but haven't had the courage to do it yet! I have a question about the yoga, how long before you could practise again? I also love my yoga and live as natural as possible. That's why I guess this decision is a difficult one for me. I am really looking forward to seeing your new updated photos. Thanks for sharing. :))
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You look amazing! Make the most of this new body!
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Name not provided

I'm rating the doctor because I have to - I feel it's a bit premature to rate his after-care follow-up though. The staff at the surgery center were mostly good with a couple of exceptions - mine was the only case yesterday and I could tell they were in a hurry for me to leave recovery.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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