Abdominoplasty Was The Right Decision For Me! Gainesville, GA

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this is...

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this is really going to happen.I have hidden and despised my abdomen for 26 years I am not expecting a miracle, but hope for great improvement.
This forum has given me the necessary information to make an educated decision about this life-altering journey.
I will post my "before" pics a day before my procedure. I am very timid about revealing this very personal, embarrassing part of myself.

Just 4 more days...

I am a bit conflicted. I feel guilty about feeling nervous. Seems such a silly thing to be worried about something I am choosing to do.
Nobody ever died from having an ugly abdomen - right?
So, guess I'm going to swallow my guilt, and get on with it.
Posting my "before" pics today.
I'm looking forward to the posting the "afters."


Today is the day.

It's about 8:30 a.m.; and boy am I thirsty! I don't go in intil 10:00. I was hoping to sleep more to avoid this tiny discomfort.
My darling husband is being so incredibly supportive. I'm a very fortunate girl.
We've also got friends who will keep my husband company while he waits (we're An hour and a half from home).
Nervous and excited.

Holy Moly this hurts.

I could bounce a quarter off my tummy, IF I had the gumption because this hurts baby.

3 Days Post-Op

I awoke yesterday morning with serious doubts that I'd be able to make my 24 hour post-op appointment.
So I sucked it up and got on with it.
Today things are soooo much better.
I've learned how to minimize the pain when getting up and sitting down.
I am very excited by the results. Beyond my expectations.

Days 6-11

I saw my PS on Day 6 post-op. Everything looked splendid. He asked that I not shower for several more days ( the pains of having drains! More on that later).

Despite the fact that I've fastidiously taken fiber and mild laxatives, days 7&8 were unabridged misery resulting from constipation. I was very afraid that my internal sutures would rupture.

I have since increased my daily intake of fiber and laxatives. Problem solved? So far so good.

I've been using a variety of dry shampoo, dry conditioner, and waterless foaming body wash. They work well enough, but will never surpass the real thing.

Days 7-10 I began to notice that the extreme sides of my incision began to curl over and inward forming the unmistakable "dog ears"; I will speak to my PS when I see him again on Day 12. I realize that it is very early in my recovery, but I'm quite sure this will require surgical revision (@ additional cost to me). Still very pleased this far.

On a crucial side note, I quickly and painfully learned that I could not simply lie backward when getting into bed; nor could I lean forward when attempting to sit up. Both required that I first roll to one side and gradually roll to my back, or sit upright. My Husband has been an angel and has patiently and gently helped me especially in this area.

The use of a wedge pillow (with extra pillows on top) and a rolled up long body pillow (for placement under my knees) has made my bed a haven.

Since Day 9, I've been able to ambulated, dress, climb stairs, get into and out of bed without assistance.

I'm liking my belly button.

Drains are a Pain, AKA Dealing With Drains

Day 11: I am feeling almost normal again. However, I hate my drains!

The left drain must be emptied no less than 3 times daily; while the right drain needs attention once (I'm sure it could have safely been removed 4-5 days ago). I hope both are removed tomorrow.

The bulbs at the end of each drain resemble a lager version of a plastic squeaker that's been removed from the average plush toy. As such, my crazy little dog is convinced that I'm trying to torture him by withholding access to my new "squeakers".

I've found numerous ways to hang my drains, but invariably one or both get snagged, crimped or painfully tugged every day!

Drains, drains go away! Never come again I say !

Drain Bane

I made the right choice.

I had a follow up visit with Dr. Campbell & his staff yesterday. I had one drain removed. I will have the stitches roved from my VERY adorable belly button and the remaining drain removed next week (Yay!).
I am so impressed with the dedication and attention to every detail shown by the good folks at The Aesthetic Center of Gainesville.
They've been considerate, patient, and compassionate.
I've never been left waiting in the lobby or examination room.
Dr. Campbell is prompt, professional, and has put me at ease each step of this process.
I highly recommend this team to anyone. I drive 1.5 hours one way to this office, and it's worth every minute.
I still have a long road to travel. I am so happy to be making this journey with the most amazing Husband that God put on this green earth; and the wonderful team of doctors and staff from The Aesthetic Center of Gainesville.

Day 17

Feeling stronger day by day.
I am going back to work tomorrow.
I am getting the stitches out of my belly button this Wednesday. I anticipate having the remaining drain removed. Then I won't have to make the 3 hour round trip weekly.
I tried on several outfits and I absolutely love the way I look. I feel like I've gotten a new lease on life.

5+ weeks post op

Both drains are long gone.
I returned to work full time last week, which resulted in one hasty trip to see Dr. Campbell to confirm my swelling was normal tissue swelling and not serous related.
I was chagrined to see Dr. Campbell, as just two days before he told me to slow down and take it easy. I thought, "how can I take you seriously Dr. StudMuffin? What a cute smile." Hello. Suffice it to say, I take him very seriously now. Not one word out of his mouth has failed. But for his insane hours, his Wife is a fortunate gal. As far as that goes, my husband has been an angel. He is so supportive. He goes to every appointment with me; has held my hand when I need it, and made himself scarce when I needed to be alone. Since my surgery he has been chief cook and bottle washer. He's as invested in my recovery as I am. I am a fortunate woman.
I digress; on very hectic days I have more swelling. The pain is very manageable with plain Tylenol.
Most of my clothes are much too large now. The clothing that does fit looks fabulous.
I am still sleeping on a large wedge pillow with three bed pillows on top, and one large pillow under my legs. I am resting quite well and am very accustomed to my rather static sleeping position.
Just as I was assured by Dr. Campbell and his staff, and all the lovely women here on Real Self, every day is better and better.
I immersed in happy healing.


My body looks so different that some thought I had bariatric surgery!
My belly button is still irritated, but it's healing wonderfully.

Dr. Campbell was right...again

Dr. Campbell told me the "edges" above my hips would smoothe and even out. And, lo and behold, he was right again.
I can walk much further and more quickly than just 2 weeks ago.
I wear foundation garments when I know I'm going to have a long day. It makes me much more comfortable.
I have also purchased silicone strips which are helping to minimize my already minimal incision scar.
The area below my belly button extending in both directions to my hips is still numb on the surface, but much less tender inside.
Loving my transformation. I find myself petting my taught abdomen
Loving life.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

Just when I felt strong enough for real exercise I came down with a dreadful bout of bronchitis. I suffered miserably for 3 wretched, painful weeks despite the powerful cough suppressants I was prescribed by my primary care physician. But that's behind me now and I am endeavoring to buy out some time for hiking.
I am so much more confident.
My abdominal muscles remain weak (lack of exercise) to the point that I continue a meager regimen of laxatives to keep me regular. I anticipate that a schedule of walking and swimming will remedy that.
I would have this surgery again without hesitation. I am deeply grateful, resolutely hopeful, and so very happy.
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Campbell and his staff were professional, without being cold; they've been encouraging without being pushy. The staff is consistently kind and compassionate. Thanks to The Aesthetic Center of Gainesville (Georgia) I have a new lease on life. Dr. Campbell and his amazing staff have worked a miracle in my life.

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
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 4 others found this helpful

Comments (33)

Sort by

You look absolutely beautiful! You're stomach is so flat! My friend who also used him didn't take care of herself the way you did. She didn't go to her follow up appointments either, so she doesn't look that great. I know you can't wait to get into Lake Lanier with that bikini on! Have a great summer!
  • Reply
You look soooo good!! Congrats on the new belly. I just had mine done today I'm so excited I love it already!
  • Reply
Looking good, congrats on your result, you gotta be thrilled. Continued good progress and take care. :-DSuzy
  • Reply
Thanks. I've been off this site for too long; I am happy to report that my absence is the result of my complete immersion in my ridiculously busy life. This procedure has changed my life for the lasting good. I am so thankful for this site and for all the encouragement I have received.
  • Reply
I never wore a compression garment. At week 4 I purchased several styles of shaping/foundation garments, but only because I went back to work. And now I only wear such on long days when I have to do a lot of running around. Arnica gel and arnica pills helped tremendously with swelling and bruising. Make sure you get a large, wedge pillow. This will save you from having to sleep in a recliner. A firm, large pillow to place under your legs is a life saver too. I used a walker to help me to stand up when getting out of bed. I only had to do this for a few days. Take a lot of fiber. Your abdominal muscles will be weak and your pain reliever will make you constipated. If it gets bad, get some magnesium citrate (cheap and very effective). I also stocked up on waterless shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Accept any and all assistance offered you. When getting out of bed the first week, roll to your side, ease your legs off the bed as you push yourself slowly upright. When returning to bed, gently sit, and slowly lean on your side whole carefully easing your legs onto the bed. Then carefully roll onto your back. Don't stress too much about your discovery - it flys by. I'm looking forward to hearing about your journey into your new life!
  • Reply
*recovery (not discovery)
  • Reply
Thank you thank you for your posts! They helped ease a little of my anxiety and confirmed my excitement all at once! (If that makes any sense). What supplies did you need after surgery? I didn't hear you talk much about a stage 2 cg.. did you only wear the compression garment the doc gave you? I so want to make sure I have everything. Thanks again with sharing. I can't wait to join you on the flat side here in Georgia!!!
  • Reply
Thanks for your pictures! I want a Tummy Tuck so bad I can't hardly stand it. My hubby just found out he can't work anymore, so I will have to put this on hold. You look SOOOO good. I am jealous!
  • Reply
You look great! I'm also from Gainesville and although I did not have my surgery with Dr. Campbell, one of my close friends had her TT with him, and she looks great too. It looks like he is very skilled. I hope you continue to heal well, best wishes!
  • Reply
One glance at your pic shows you are a beautiful gal with a great doc yourself.
  • Reply
Awesome results. Congratulations!
  • Reply
Thanks. I am sailing through my recovery.
  • Reply
U look great. Happy healing!
  • Reply
Very nice, looking great. Continued good recovery.
  • Reply
Nice results
  • Reply
You look wonderful...so happy for you!
  • Reply
Thank you! I feel wonderful. I haven't felt this positive for over a decade.
  • Reply
Every day gets easier! I can't wait to look at my tummy every morning to see the changes. Congrats and hang in there!
  • Reply
It is very intimidating posting pics of yourself! (I felt the same way). But the reviews with the pics are the ones that I find the most helpful. Happy Healing! Thanks for the updates. I'm scheduled for January 13. Wish me luck!
  • Reply
I'm feeling a little nervous as well I'm scheduled for January 21st. Best wishes to you!! thanks to everyone for the post. they are so encouraging,
  • Reply
Thinking of you...best wishes for a safe and speedy surgery. See ya on the other side.
  • Reply
Brave girl, posting pics. But seriously, I think it's a little "freeing"...helps you let go of the fear a little and prepare yourself for your new bod. You're gonna do fine and I think you'll have good results. Best wishes for a safe surgery and speedy recovery.
  • Reply
Thanks HappySuzy! You're right - posting the pics was liberating. Surgery is day after tomorrow. Concentrating on distraction.
  • Reply
You got this...you're gonna do GREAT! I'm here for ya sweetie, (((HUGS)))
  • Reply