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Confessions of a Lurker - Fort Lauderdale, FL

I was not planning to share my story, but i found...

i was not planning to share my story, but i found everyone else's so inspirational that i decided to throw mine into the mix as well. i'm 5'3.5 (that half inch is very important), 128 lbs (my steady weight was 138 pre-surgery but i've had a few issues with my appetite and lost weight in the exact place i wanted to keep it once again - my breast friends).

anywho, my surgery was on september 19th, 2012. i had consultants from 3 physicians and they all seemed about the same so i went with one from a large practice fairly close to my home. honestly, it was the rep who sold me - the same physician had performed her surgery & she did a show and tell w/details on her surgery, recovery and everything. i scheduled my procedure about 10 days after my consultation. i've been thinking about either a tummy tuck or lipo for a few years. i lost about 45 lbs...i swear 10 of them came from my breast friends but nothing from my stomach, love handles or inner thighs. i'm pretty active and have been for years - weight training, spinning, yoga, pilates, cardio...i have a treadmill at home. but even with a trainer kicking my butt & doing 2 a days (hiit cardio & long sessions after weight training), the gut still plagued me.

all of the consultants i had gave me the same report - lipo would do nothing for my abdomen because i only had fat pockets on the sides and the rest was loose skin.

my recovery was uneventful...except for the vomiting (life altering expulsions that scared my animals), loss of appetite and probably doing too much. i live alone & boarded my dogs for 3 days and was back to their schedule on the saturday after my procedure. luckily, they smelled illness upon me and took mercy on me so i wouldn't have to walk them as much or as far...all this for some kisses & allowing them in my bed again.

i had my 1 month post-op visit today and have been cleared to exercise. i'm concerned that i still have no appetite and feel a little weak occasionally (i know this is because i'm not eating enough).

advice i wish i'd heeded:
1 - ixnay on the altsay (just say no to sodium)...i'm very swollen & i think this may be part of the cause
2 - no bending over...hard to do when you have to scoop after 2 little dogs

i will provide additional pic's after my swelling subsides. the only other issue i have is the scar/incision. i know it will fade and recede, but damn that thing is a scary beast. and i am itching like crazy. i've taken benadryl a few times and used cortisone. oops, i forgot - while i was on pain med's i had the craziest dreams...i was tending to my garden (just watering) and that nite i dreamed a giant mosquito sprayed me in the face with something toxic. a night or so later, i dreamed i looked out my bedroom window and frankenstein was walking by very very slowly.

the next phase for me is maintenance - returning to my workouts, tending to my scar (my doctor recommended biocorneum but i forgot to get it from the pharmacy today)...i am going to try the palmers oil and burts bees belly creme. i also purchased a gelzone wrap (it's silicone and supposed to help with scars...and also a compression garment). i received it a few days ago and love it as compared to the old antiquated CG.

October 20th, 2012 i had my 1st session of...

october 20th, 2012
i had my 1st session of lymphatic massage. they call it lipo-ex and said it could help with other things as well (i.e. the thighs) but i tried mesotherapy on my stomach a few years ago before i had the loose skin and it did NOTHING for me. that was a $2000 or so mistake so i am very leery of topical treatments.

the tech warned me that the treatment may hurt, but it only felt uncomfortable in one spot (my right side where the incision is a bit high was a little tender. other than that, it was easy breezy.

I had my 2nd session of lymphatic massage today....

i had my 2nd session of lymphatic massage today. my lower abdomen is still swollen and numb - i asked if the swelling should be puffy (caz it's hard) and she said it was scar tissue. i can tell from the previous pic's that the swelling has gone down a bit.

i also asked her about the wrinkle in time (that's attached to a little bit of left over fat/chubb) on my right side. she said it's dog ears and that's pretty common with tummy tucks and there's no way to predict them. she also said what i referred to as the chubb on my right side is only a little fat but mostly skin...damn you 48. i love being my age, but apparently the bit of remaining elasticity of my skin does not share the love. can't we all just get along?

anywho, that the hell are dog ears ( already browsed some pic's, which completely freaking horrified me)? why do they call them that? and how long do i have to wait to get it fixed....i'm a little discouraged because this will interfere with my plans to skip down the beach in belly baring bikinis this winter, but i'm still happy that i did it - the sad face all that skin & chubb made before is gone.

Methinks i'm a slow healer. when i took these...

methinks i'm a slow healer. when i took these photos today, i felt bloated & slightly obsessed over the dog ear on my right side. then once i saw the older pic's, i realized the swelling has gone down a bit. so yeaaa!!! now, i just have to be patient & wait for a few months before i can have the dog ears on my right side repaired. and speaking of that, i have to call my doctor's office tomorrow to see who is responsible for what and my estimated out of pocket costs.

anyway, i am still happy i did this - even though i was planning to not ever have anything else done again. not that the pain was so bad...more like not being able to do my thing (sorry, i'm spoiled. my motto is 'whateva, i'll do what i want!' and yes, i did poach the line from a cartoon commercial).

the bit of flabby i have above the dog ear is a pain in the petuttie, but since it's going to be repaired, i plan to have it removed if i can't work it off in spinning over the next couple months. also, a couple things ladies considering a TT should consider are age & skin elasticity. my 48 year old (and fabulous) self forgot all about those things.

A few new pics. a little less swelling. minor...

a few new pics. a little less swelling. minor disconcerting news from my PS, but apparently he does not yet realize that i specialize in getting what i want.

the issue is my right side. there's a little bit of flabby left there and some stitches that appear they may never lay flat. i think it's a dog ear. he told me today that it was to avoid making my incision line extend all the way around to my boom bomm.

my plan is to work out and try to demolish that little bit of fatty cakes with spinning and weight training. however, i forgot that i had been trying to do that for years before i had the tummy tuck. soo what's a girl to do? happy new year lipo?

the very idea of it makes me sad. i was not planning to continue my plastic surgery journey unless it was a dire necessity.

my physician recommended lipo so if i can't rid myself of the extra by january, lipo here i come.

also, i had my 1st session of spinning since before my surgery in september and it was rocking. i hate to work out (even though i make myself do it) but i LURVE spinning. hopefully, my legs will not betray me and be sore tomorrow.

stay sexy, my friends. stay sexy.

Just a few photo updates. the dog ear situation is...

just a few photo updates. the dog ear situation is really getting me down, but there's nothing i can do until the swelling goes away...hahaha and as you can see from my pic's, i am still very swollen.

but no worries. i am still happy with my decision but not so happy that i have to return for another procedure (lipo) but it is what it is...and i just have to wait it out.

Still struggling with strax regarding the dog ear...

still struggling with strax regarding the dog ear repair.

meanwhile, i had consultants with doctors stratt & hochstein regarding my situation. they have separate practices. my appointments with azurin and his name begins with an s____ (escaping me at the moment).

anywho, the dr's i've seen so far think i was butchered (the incision line is way too high and i have a huge dog ear on my right side...strax is still trying to say it's not a dog ear and stated that my body was asymmetrical - more fat on the right than the left). per hochstein, i may never be able to wear a 2 piece again because of this debauchery. he didn't seem the least bit interested in taking my case but did tell me the scar on my right would have to be elongated to my back due to hamm's uncertain incision line and my own loose skin). hochstein also noted that lipo on my right side would have to be nill/minimal due to loose skin...but his prognosis was not at all optimistic.

stratt (who i saw before hochstein) seems to believe lipo would help. i asked about the skin myself (due to my age and weight loss). he thought it would be more of a concern if i wanted lipo of the inner thighs. my most immediate concern is the ridge on my side that appears to be a deformity and must be hidden with and without clothes/swimwear.

i am now almost 18 weeks post op (a little over 4 months). i have to admit i haven't been monitoring my sodium intake in food consumed outside my home - this was torture during my vacation - i could feel the salt swell afterwards.

also, i was wondering about filing a malpractice suit (though i know the physician himself does not have malpractice insurance, does this mean i cannot sue)?

soooo many questions. but i should have definitely done more research and stayed away from strax (even though their doctor gave me the same spiel as the others i saw before my procedure).

ps - i've been lazy. the holidays and a few vacations right afterwards swayed me from my normal 4 day a week workout schedule.

And so the story continues. One word of caution,...

And so the story continues. One word of caution, ladies...well a few words. When considering a tummy tuck, don't forget about your back (or your sides). I had my dog ear repaired (right side). The issue was that I was asymmetrical...most people are, but I had more fat on my right side than the left. And all I needed was to extend the tummy tuck on that side.

Duh. So simple, yet it sent me down a path of frustration that I would not wish on anyone. I would recommend that you work with your surgeon to create the body you desire.

I was concerned about being over sold services so when lipo & other services were mentioned to me, I shut it down really fast. I was determined to just get a tummy tuck ONLY. But, i should have listened. But shoulda woulda coulda. It's fixed & I'm recuperating. Pic's later.

Ooh and please someone recommend a binder that...

Ooh and please someone recommend a binder that doesn't ride up. The plain Jane wrap around version is my sworn enemy (even though it swaddled me like a baby when the nurse wrapped me in it).

1 month post dog ear revision (new pics)

...7.5 months post tummy tuck.

ok, here's the skinny. i actually needed an extended tummy tuck due to the flabby roll of skin on my right side. if i had done further research, i could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

anywho, the bits are gone, but i am horrified by the scar (and pain). somehow i thought the revision (aka removal of excess skin) would be a walk in the park as compared to the tummy tuck. i don't know if my bod forgot about the pain, but i still have some twinges of pain. but it's gone. i have the silhouette i wanted.

BUT the scar is horrible. it is nothing like the original tt scar. my issue post tt was swelling (and possibly sodium from too much processed food). the new scar extends to almost the center of my back...which destroys my bikini frolicking dreams (unless i get fraxel or use makeup to cover it). this is a bummer because i am a beach baby.

has anyone with dark skin tried fraxel to remedy scars? i'm waiting a week or so to spit out my last stitch before i use belly butter or the palmers cocoa butter oil to try & soothe it out.

Booty Pop

one thing i have noticed since getting rid of the gut (and the dog ear) is that my little bum is kinda rocking! hahaha!

Gelzone Anyone?

I go my 2nd gel zone wrap a few days ago and am now cleared to use it. Does anyone know how long they last? I know the instructions say approximately 3 weeks but I used my last one for about 3 months.
Name not provided

timing, the rep, proximity to my home

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (35)

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Im so sorry you are going through this and your ps is writing you off so not fair.
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I'm sorry you're going theough this :(. Malpractice insurance just pays for him. If he doesn't have insurance, he has to cover any costs himself. You may, however, have signned an arbitration clause or some such. Go back and read all of your paperwork again. Suing is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE, so be sure that's your only alternative before you do it. The left side looks really good, then n the right, it looks like he just kept going up instead of stopping? Is that up to your rib? It's hard to see in the pics. But the scar itself looks good in the pics. And dog ears are certainly not uncommon. I have several myself.
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hi there, it's close to my ribs. i think i did sign something about malpractice and have to look thru my original paperwork. i am still trying to work with them on the dog ear repair because the general consensus from other physicians is to contact the surgeon who performed the procedure for repair/revisions. one thing that did turn me off is their medical director's attitude (until i responded with my own)...then he suggested that i have dr nees perform lipo & wait for the dog ear to possibly go down - but it's in the exact same position as when the bandages & tape were removed after my 1 month follow up visit. i've lost inches but not really any weight since then. but the dog ear remains the same. i have read that they are quite common but they didn't even want to admit that's what it was. ooooh, and back to dr nees. google him & you will see his destruction...SCARY!
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Hey girl. You look great! Hopefully you will be able to achieve what you want at the gym, if not the lipo should be minor compared to what you've already gone through.
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thanks, jen. i think the lipo & dog ear repair go hand in hand. something about the way the little bit of flabby is positioned makes me think it will not lay flat unless it's repaired. i'm already back in the gym & my favorite activity (spinning).
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Good for you. I can't wait to get back to the gym. It will probably be another month before I can do something like spinning. I've been cleared for light exercise like walking and very light weights; no abdominal.
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Hi shoulda, I had my surgery a week later than you & just started spinning again about a week ago. Have to say the first class was hard - low energy - but I am doing better now. Will start weight training this week but my PS says no core until 3 mos. But I keep looking at myself & thinking am I swollen or just getting fat from not working out? I hate this inactivity.
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hi tracey, the ladies here say that swelling can last up to 6 months. everyone;s body is different. i definitely think taking photos helps - you can really see your progress as opposed to estimating it (or looking at your bod & thinking it still looks the same or worse). my spinning class was amazing. i was planning to do low intensity but i had no problems making it thru the class.
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I am just starting week 4 of recovery. I was in good shape going into surgery and never thought it would take me so long to recover. I am no whimp, either! I planned on going back to work this week. I am not even close to ready. I think another 2 weeks off will be necessary. Still no core workout allowed so I feel like I am going to mush, even though I am walking daily. Nights are still tough. I think the dreams come from improper sleep.
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i feel the same way about working out...like my ass was getting flabbier my the day & the triceps/biceps i've worked so hard for have now disintegrated. i started spinning again today and weight training this week. how long do you have to wait for core work? 3 months or more?
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Yep, that is exactly how I feel! Had my surgery on 10/19, drain out a week later, swelling, drain put back in, out today. I was doing weights 3 days a week before surgery. Arms still look good but not like they did. He said today I could do arm weights as long as I didn't use my abdominal muscles. Itching to work out again :-( cause I don't want to lose everything I had!!!!!!!
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i couldnt wait to get back to spinning. i think my ass was getting a bit saggy on the bottom (hahaha). oddly, i thought i would be really sore when i added weights & spinning, but i wasn't. i was very careful & tried to challenge myself (but also take it easy). good thing, muscle memory is not a myth.
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Well this makes me really happy. I've always wondered because my ass is getting a bit saggy on the bottom too. I'd hate to think I lost all of that hard work.
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Thanks for your post. I am today, starting my fourth week of recovery. I have had a lot of nausea and currently have been on a liquid diet since Wednesday of last week. Reading someone else with this puts my mind at rest. I too, had very weird dreams during the first 2.5 weeks of recovery. And my witching hour has been bed time. This is when I have felt my worst through the night, so not a lot of sleep. My brain has been slowly recovering too. I am wearing a Squeam garment tonight which is helping me feel pulled in but not so squeezed in my whole self stings with pain. Zero for me on pain relievers since my intestines are swelled. I did not expect so much pain and vulnerability for this procedure. But now I know and will share with others interested in the same proceures I have had, Lipo/Mini Tummy-side of hip to side of hip. So far that looks good. I am 50 years old, non-smoker, non-drinker and very physically active. 155 the day of procedure, today, 149.6 due to swelling.
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i had a lot of nausea, too and was later told that it was due to taking medication on an empty stomach. the CG's are uncomfortable. i started the gelzone at 1 month post op and end up ripping off myself in a mad fury almost every night. other ladies on this site have worn theirs for 3 or more months.
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Congratz! U look great!
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so glad you shared your story! i too had crazy dreams! i didn't ask for any help figuring out my med schedule and for the first two days i think that was a big mistake. i was in and out of sleep and when i'd wake i'd begin again trying to figure it all out. pretty sure i was not taking it right! anyway, i understand dog ears are pretty common and easily repaired. because of all the skin i had dog ears could occur. i don't seem to have them, but my ps made it sound like a fairly common occurrence and easily repaired. you look great! the swelling will go down and the scar will fade. your belly button looks very natural too!
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thank you. i'm determined not to let the bad news about the dog ears overshadow my progress (and final results that i won't see for a few months). i was just telling a friend of mine about that frankenstein dream - she thought it was hilarious.
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How much does you ps say that repair of dog ears would run?
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i don't know yet. i have to wait a few months before i return for a follow up visit.
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Thank you so much for sharing your story. I laughed out loud at the Frankenstein dream. Heal well!!
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hahaha, no prob. i told my bf that & he thought it was hilarious (but he waited til i was off the pain med's until he said it was funny).
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Thank you for sharing your story! And to think if you hadn't posted I would have missed the chance to LOL at the Frankestien dream! I also had strange dreams on pain meds and a few nightmares also. Now you do have some serious swelling going on...I still do as well but I watch my sodium intake and it makes a huge difference! Also keep drinking water that helps also. I along with TwoPlusOne also have the curse of the shortwaist so the swelling makes you feel bigger than you actually are. But overall you look great sweetie! Happy healing!
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thank you...so i wasn't the only one who had nightmares? that's comforting. i already have a vivid imagination. i am trying to drink more water...and i also stopped drinking gatorade. i read someone else's testimonial about the sugar and sodium levels being super high.
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The nightmare have been a common side effect I've read here, however has anyone figured out which meds are causing the horror dreams?
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