Tummy Tuck: StoriesWrite a Review
My Tummy Tuck/Lipo Experience - 200+ Lbs. - Folsom, CA
- updated 2 years ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $8,000
- Christa Clark, MD, FACS (Folsom, CA)
Ever since Extreme Makeover was first on TV I...
- 4 Nov 2010
Ever since Extreme Makeover was first on TV I wanted a tummy tuck and lipsuction on my thighs. I'm 5'3" with an athletic build. Thanks to heredity, I've always had the pooch in front and shelf butt. Between the Freshman 15+ 20 extra and having two babies over the past 15 years, I've bounced between 150 and 225. Before the tummy tuck I weighed in at 208. I knew even if I lost the weight, I'd still have the pooch and the butt and my saddle bag thighs which was demotivating. I finally decided to get a tummy tuck to get in a better mind frame. Now I want to protect my investment!
I made appointments for two consultations, but I cancelled the second one after meeting my PS at the first consultation. I spoke with a her nursing assistant first who explained a lot about the procedure. She had me put on a robe and then my PS came in. She immediately put me at ease. I was so afraid she would tell me to lose weight first but she took one look and feel and said I was an excellent candidate. She also asked if I was interested in liposuction on my thighs (she does the flanks as part of the tummy tuck and includes it in the cost) and I said "yes, please!" I also decided to get a breast lift. I met with the office assistant and scheduled the tummy tuck for two weeks later! The breast lift was scheduled for a week after that. My PS said with the lipo I would be under anesthesia for a while and felt it was safer to do the breast lift separate but I wouldn't be charged for the extra costs of having anesthesia again. I was so excited!
The day of the procedure I was nothing but excited. My PS has an OR right in her practice which was great! So I went in and they had me put on a gown and my PS marked me up with a Sharpie. A nurse started the IV and had me take an anti-nausea pill. They really don't want you to throw up after a tummy tuck! The anesthesiologist put an oxygen mask over my face and said he was starting me on some oxygen and that's the last thing I remember.
I was really groggy when I woke up. The surgery took about 5 1/2 hours. My PS said she took about 6 lbs of skin/fat from my stomach and 7 liters of fat from my thighs (front, exterior and interior) for the lipo. She said she did more lipo on me then she ever did on anyone else. lol They gave me another anti-nausea pill and some water then wheeled me out to my husband's car in a wheelchair. I had two drains and a pain pump. The drains made me crazy but I know they were a necessity. I lived in the recliner for the next two weeks which brings us to today - two weeks post-op from the tummy tuck and one week post-op from the breast lift. I'm going to sleep in bed tonight for the first time! Yeah!
The first couple days after the tummy tuck were hard! It was painful. You really don't want to cough, sneeze or do anything that involves using your stomach muscles. I coughed once, involuntarily, and thought I would die. Even trying to clear my throat hurt. I also had a really hard time peeing the first two days. It was hard to sit on the toilet and relax. I took me about an hour the first time I had to go. I've never read that anyone else having trouble and even my PS said that she hadn't heard that before. The first couple days I ate scrambled eggs, 1/2 tuna sandwich and a little of whatever my mother made for dinner. I was very thankful that my mom stayed with us the first week to help me and my husband. He still had to work and my daughters still had to get to and from school so she was a huge help with the household stuff. I dozed most of the first two or three days and was just really uncomfortable. Thank you Percocet!
My PS had me remove the pain pump myself on day 3 which was weird to do, but simple and painless. I took my first shower the night of the day 3 when the pain pump was gone. My PS suggested using the bag the pain pump came was held in, which was like a little fanny pack with an adjustable strap, to put the drains in while I showered. It worked perfect. Showering was really uncomfortable for me. I needed desperately to wash my hair and it hurt to lean back but I finally got it done. I was a little dizzy since it was my first time out of the compression garment but my husband stood guard outside the shower in case I needed him. It felt great to be clean, even it was a pain to do.
Day 5 was probably the worst. I was so swollen and uncomfortable. I felt like I would pop if someone stuck me with a pin. I couldn't breathe well, I could barely walk. I went to take another shower and broke down on the bed, sobbing. At that moment, I regretted it. Thankfully my husband talked me through it and just rubbbed my back, reminding me how this will all be worth it in the end. He's really great!
After a week, I finally felt human again, at least, mentally, and then it was time for the breast lift. After I was under anesthesia again, they took out the drains and stitches from the incision and lipo holes so I can't speak to how it felt to have them removed. After the tummy tuck, the breast lift recovery has been breeze! Minimal pain day one and almost no pain since.
I went back to work 11 days post-op from the tummy tuck and 3 days post-op from the breast lift. A little early, I know. I probably should have taken at least a full two weeks off after the tummy tuck, but I was out of vacation time and was getting really behind on paperwork. I'm a hotel manager, so while I don't really have a "desk job", I can sit at my desk for a majority of the day if I need to. The first two days I was still a little hunched over and everyone said I walked like an old woman, but they could tell an immediate difference in my shape even though I was wearing the same clothes size (16) because of the swelling, which will start to go away in about 2-3 months from what I've been told. Can't wait! I have size 12 pants in my closest that I love with the tags still on them from 5 years ago! lol My feet were swollen the first couple days after work but they were better after I put them up.
Anyway, so here we are 2 weeks post-op and I'm feeling great. Walking straight up, swelling slowly going down. I accidentally let a sneeze out for the first time yesterday and it was a little uncomfortable but not painful. I even managed to empty & load the dishwasher for the first time since the surgery. Oh and I did a load of laundry. It's taking a little longer then usual but it feels good to not have to depend on someone else to do it. My husband scolded me when he saw me at the dishwasher but I know it's because he doesn't want me to over do it.
Oh, another annoying thing, my thighs and lower stomach area still numb so even thoguh I feel like I have an itch, I can't feel the scratch. I hate that! I guess it takes some time for the numbness to go away too.
Anyway, I'll update more if there's more to tell. Or at least update pictures.
If anyone has questions, I'll be happy to answer them!
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My Doctor: Christa Clark, MD, FACS
Dr. C and her team are really great! They are patient and answer all questions knowledgably. I never felt rushed. They have a separate waiting room for people going into surgery or who are post-op and not comfortable waiting in the main waiting room, which is awesome. She gave my husband her cell phone number and said to call anytime, 24/7, if I needed anything. She and her partner also volunteer around the world to help repair cleft palates and other things requiring a PS. Excellent people, excellent doctors.