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Glad That my Fear Didn't Get in the Way of my Dream!

On 3/10/09 I had breast augmentation and a full...

On 3/10/09 I had breast augmentation and a full tummy tuck, with repair to an umbilical hernia.  I was petrified about the pain that I would endure after my surgery, that I almost didn't go through with it.  But I was so sick of having to hide my "muffin top".  I was always skinny and in shape and my two pregnancies totally stretched out my stomach, beyond self-repair.  I looked as if I was three months pregnant, even though I weighed 113 lbs.

I woke up from surgery feeling excellent.  There was no initial pain and the bindings were not too constricting.  Over the next 24 hours, I stayed in my dr.s office, with a nurse who montitored my blood pressure, heart beat and i had constant stimulation of my calves to avoid blood clots.  I was given percocets and xanax as often as needed to keep me comfortable.

On day two, getting out of the bed was tough, but once I did it, I knew that the worst was behind me.  Every day I feel better, I walk a little taller.  Today I showered and felt amazing.  I have one drain, which is totally manageable.  I thought it would be horrible to have one, but it's really no big deal.  My nurse told me to clip the drain to a long necklace while I showered so that I wouldn't need help and it totally worked!  What a great tip.

The best part of my recovery has been that my kids are staying with my parents for four days- if this is possible for you, it is an amazing gift. I'm so excited for them to come home tomorrow and plan on telling them that I hurt my back, and nothing else.  I'm still taking pain meds every 3 hours- I don't wait to feel pain, I'm staying ahead of it.  My worst pain right now is honestly a sore throat from being intebated for the anesthesia.  Totally tolerable stuff.

Anyone who is considering this surgery- do it! Just make sure you have the right doctor for you!  My dr. gave me a low, very neat incision and took extra special care of my belly button.  I know that within the upcoming weeks I will finally have the confidence in my body that i've been missing and will gain the energy that I need to be a full time Mom again.

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Just went for my 6 month post-op appt. this week. My dr. was really happy with my results thus far. I had a lot of scar tissue built up in my belly button, so he gave me a cortisone shot to break up the scar tissue. He said it would take up to 6 weeks, but after 5 days it already looks so much better. It wasn't painful at all, I think because I still have some numbness in that area. My TT scar has dropped a little which is great, because I was ready to give away my old bathing suits, but now most of them work, covering the scar. I can't believe its been 6 months, I feel like a new person, and I have a body that I love. Cutting out carbs and sugar as much as possible and I'm about 4 pounds away from my perfect weight.
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You look so good! And super skinny = )! I'm glad to see your results. Thanks for sharing your pics!
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Just posted 6 month post-op pics. Can't believe it's been 6 months. Will head to the dr. soon for my official before and after pic comparison, should be fun! Still one of the greatest decisions I've ever had the guts to go through with! My confidence level is so much higher, I love dressing up to go out, and I'm no longer ashamed to pass by my closet mirror naked. Still have a lot of healing to do in terms of the redness of my scar, but it's almost completely flat and my inner stomach muscles almost feel completely normal. I have almost full feeling back in my stomach and about 80% feeling in my boobs. Can't believe that I could barely walk or hold my children 6 months ago, right after surgery... now I have more energy than ever!!
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Stay Young... my doc told me to wear my compression gear at least for 6 weeks and has stated he has some patients that have worn them much longer than that. He recommended a product similar to spanx for good overall compression and that got me out of the regular velcro compression bindings which just kept rolling up on me down in the lower areas. I am at 3 weeks post-op. I still struggle to stand fully upright and often bend my right leg because it feels like my skin is going to rip apart some times because it is so tight. I had drainage out of drain holes after drains were removed. The drain holes healed over (scab) and then the draining started coming through a tiny spot along my incision line. Doc says draining has something to do with NOT having lipo down there and having fat cells liquify.... or something like that. That spot is now a small hole almost the diameter of pencil eraser. Doc says this is not unusual. I am still draining but not as much (still going through gauze pads a lot daily though to protect clothing and the area). I'm looking forward to the day when my skin doesn't feel as tight so that I can be more flexible and do more normal walking and reaching. How long did it take for you to get to that point? My lipo areas near arm pits are still red and sore/itchy. I don't have much feeling in belly and arm pit area... very numb still. Have not gotten to the point of picking up 25 lb son much yet. I feel like I have been living in this half way zone for months. I just want to feel normal again (not be draining, be able to move again as I used to, etc.) Thinking I should look into acupuncture..... if it helps it would be worth it!
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Melbel28, Thanks for the info. I was thinking about acupuncture and if it might help. I started massages but only twice a week. How often do you get acupuncture and how long after surgery did you start? Also.. I am @ 6 wks and if I do any menimal exercise (which really is just picking up my kids, swiming with them, & just living my life more normal). I get little cramps.. Small pain, almost like a menstral cramp. Did you experience this problem when you started exercise?
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Hi Stay Young... ugh, just when you thought you were out of the woods! I've heard that lipo produces a lot more swelling than anything else (which I didn't have). My advice to you would be a couple of things: 1)buy massage oil and start massaging your scars twice a day. my dr. told me that rigorous massage was necessary to keep scar tissue from forming and will probably reduce swelling. 2)I've been seeing an acupuncturist for an unrelated issue, but once she saw my scar, she said that she could make drastic improvements, and I think it has helped. I've been going for the past 8 weeks and my scar is a lot lighter, my feeling in that area is returning and I have almost no swelling. Also, (and excuse my graphic account)...last week, about three hours after an appointment I emptied my entire stomach in a matter of 6 hours. I called her the next day and asked if it had something to do with the treatment. She told me that sometimes as the inner scars heal, the skin can attach to the intestines and it may have been that the treatments finally released that fusion. Since then I've felt a lot less pressure in my stomach... so I am a total fan of acupuncture!! I hope that you find some relief soon. Oh, and about the compression garments, my dr. advised me to wear them as long as I needed to, to feel comfortable. I know women who wore them for 12 weeks!! So I wouldn't put too much emphasis on your doc telling you that you didn't need it. Good luck, I'm no doctor, but I hope that my advice helps!! :-) Keep us posted.
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Hello again... I have a question for you in reffence to the swelling in lower abdomen area. I had a TT, lipo on inner/outer thigh 6 weeks ago. I am still swollen slightly in lower back, thighs & all over ab area. I wore the compression garment the hole time and was just told by Dr. that I did not have too. Well.. My question to you?? Is I still have fluid pockets in lower ab/gutt area. He says it is hard to drain cuz it is now in pockets due to skin had re-connect in spots. Therefore he would have to guess or just poke around alot hoping to drain it. Did you have this problem? I just wondering if this is normal? Thanks
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hey Karen MB, not sure if you meant to post this to my site... but just in case you needed to vent to someone who went through the same thing, I would be happy to reply :-) I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going thru with the steristrips... a lot of woman on this site talk about them, but I only had them for about two days. When my drain was pulled, the incision area closed up immediately. Maybe try going to a surgical store and seeing if they have certain bandages for people with allergies to adhesive?? In terms of your healing progress, just keep positive, I'm almost 5 months from my surgery date, and aside from some slight numbness I feel 100% myself. You'll be there before you know it!! This may sound silly, but what if you bought a silk slip and placed it between your bindings and your skin?? My doctor said that the bindings are super important. I had some chaffing under my arm pits from the breast band, I used aquafor to quickly fix that issue. Keep the faith!! 6 months from now when you can wear a tight fitting tee, you'll know it was all worth it! Good luck. I keep meaning to post some updated pics, hopefully this week.
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Thanks for the comments! Doc had suggested a camisole or slip... I don't have any that I was able to put on and hadn't been out and about until very recently. I have irritation in arm pit area as well. I wear my bindings pretty much all the time... down time for a back rub when the pain was that bad and down time for showers and washings of my bindings. But other than that... I wear them so I don't mess up the expensive surgery or potential results. Irritations are improving. It's 2 weeks post-op today. Order a product (not sure I can say the name here) as rec by my doc and can start wearing that as soon as it arrives and ditch the current bindings... so that should be an improvement. Doc keeps saying I'm doing great/ahead of schedule so I am thankful for that. Every day is an improvement. :) I hope to feel closer to myself when I have to fly with toddler in less than 3 weeks for older chid's college graduation in another state. And planning to go shopping this weekend for some new clothes just to give me more options than what I currently have. :) Thanks again for your response.
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I had TT with muscle repair, breast aug., and some minor lipo 10 days ago. Sore throat was unexpected but I think I finally sounded like myself today. I was able to stand fully upright by today for chunks of time. At 1 week post op my 2 drains were pulled as very little was draining by that point. At day 5 my husband pulled pain wires (at doc instruction) because pain med was gone by then. I was taking oral pain meds as well. Issue of concern for me... adhesive bothers my skin big time. If I wear a band aid I get all red/inflammed at any area where adhesive was (would have small circles of normal color skin where the band aid holes were). I spoke of this in advance... as was usually the case with any doc I told this to, it was breezed by with not so much of a plan to prevent or reduce the issue. Sure enough.... steri strips and everything else with any sort of adhesive caused my skin to swell up, turn very red, and be very sore and itchy. At the 1 week post op doc immediately pulled all strips off of me (with an apparent look of "gee... I guess she was right about the adhesive thing") So now I am battling those issues.... anything that touches those areas seems to irritate them... including bindings. I take my bindings off for daily shower and enjoy my shower. I wash bindings every couple of days and take a breather then. I walk around nude or nearly nude as much as I can. I know the bindings are very important but I am finding they are so intolerable with the irritation that has occurred. I still wear them. Oh... but I do take a break out of bindings once a day for a back rub from my husband. Back pain was terrible. I slept mostly on the glider chair that I nursed my son in... easier to get up when I needed to go to the bathroom and such. Alway used pillows under my knees and had a stool for my feet. Tried a bed 2 nights but it was very hard to get into and I couldn't get out of it... very high up. Husband sleeps soundly. Getting myself eventually up to go to the restroom made me feel like I was tearing my stomach up. I went back to the glider. Then to the couch, which also worked well. Showered using my father in law's shower chair (unfortunately he had passed away a week prior to my surgery date.) I slept in his room when not on the couch, as I couldn't take the stairs. But the shower chair was a big help. Prior to having pain lines pulled by husband I would set my bag down on the floor outside of the shower and it worked out fine. At my 1 week appointment I was able to walk all the way to the office and they were surprised to see me doing so well. But right after that I suddenly was dealing with chills to feeling very hot bounching back and forth between the two quickly. Low grade fever. Lethargic. Sleeping almost constantly. Called concerned about potential infection issue. Doc was home with the flu (this was just 2 days after my appointment with him)... they called doc and he said it sounded like I might be fighting what he had. Dealt with it for a few days which was a total pain in the butt. I started to feel more like myself today... but with very irritated, raised, swollen red areas from the adhesive previously. And the bindings are bothering those areas big time, as is my clothes. So I am hoping that starts to clear up soon. Can't comment yet on my feelings about if I would do this again if given the chance... depends on how well I actually heal and how long it takes to get there.
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You look amazing! I have really saggy belly skin and stretch marks after my son. I am only 19 and want a tt real bad. Husband is not supportive because of danger involved, i am also scared to death of everything involved. I wondered how you like your belly button? I am very peculiar about my bb and don't want it to look fake. What do i do with no support from hubby, i am scared!
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Hi Stay Young, when is your surgery scheduled for? I didn't use a recliner, or hospital chair, etc. I slept in my bed with an extra pillow under my head and two under my knees. Seemed to do fine with just that. No matter where I was, in bed, or on couch, always needed pillows under my knees. As far as other things you'll need- I went to Macy's on day 10 and bought new bras :-) (NO UNDERWIRE!!) and compression garments. Being that compression garments are usually for heavier women, I could not find and "smalls" but the mediums wound up being perfect for me. I wore them every day until I felt comfortable. At night, I wore the bands that my dr. gave me to go home in. I would put them in the wash for a quick wash & dry while I showered. If your dr. is willing to give you two, that would be very helpful!! Also, all of us on this website seem to be using some sort of scar cream, etc. I use a combination of pure vitamin E oil, a product called ScarGo, and vaseline intensive care lotion. My dr. was big on massaging my scars to keep scar tissue down as early as week 3, and I must say that it has helped. One side note... I wound up with a very sore throat from being intubated, so I used a lot of chloroseptic spray and cepacol numbing throat losengers. Other than that, you're good to go! Keep me posted. I'm so excited for you. I am 5 weeks out today and feeling amazing! No regrets, just pure happiness.
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Melbell, Thanks for info.. Did you need anything 2 home like maxi pads for drain areas, or trash can (throwing up/dumping drains), or did you sleep on a shower curtain, potty breaks. I know it sounds crazy, but these are the things I am finding on the net. ;-) My surgery is sched for 6-23. I am getting very nervous.... I only have help for 10 days and I have a 5 yr old and 2 yr old. I have had 2 c-sections that were not too bad, but I hear the TT is brutal.. The BA I am having @ same time I know I wont feel. Thanks for info on what you told your daughter great excuse I love it. Also... Did you find the garment hot or uncomfortable outside in the heat? Any other info or advice? If you don't mind me asking how much did you way prior to surgery (you mention your 115 now)?
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Did not need any of those things. Sometimes the internet can be a little overwhelming! My stitches/scar were very neat- no oozing, or anything that would require a maxipad... no trashcan, dumped my drain collections in the toilet like 12 hours after I got home. No throwing up :-) I stayed overnight the first night and they gave me anti-nausea medication. I never felt sick. Also doc prescribed me xanax, so I took one the night before surgery and one the morning of- it really helped with my anxiety. Of course I had my surgery in March, so it was a bit colder in NY than it would be in June, but the compression garments are a little sweaty. I was definitely happy to take them off when I got home after being out! But, the extra skin that I was carrying around was much more annoying than the garments! Regarding how much I weighed, I was 118 before surgery. I have a feeling that the hanging skin that I lost is probably equivelent to the implants?? but who knows? Having help for 10 days will be wonderful! If you really take that time to rest and sleep, I see no reason why you shouldn't be just fine on your own when the help leaves. Carrying your two year old will feel like torture in the beginning. I got tired really quickly and was very frustrated by my lack of strength and energy, but each day would get better and better. Now I'm fully functioning. I'm working out and back to my normal routines. I still have slight numbness around my TT scar and in certain areas of my boobs. I'm actually seeing an acupuncturist who is helping me heal faster and reducing my scars. I'm willing to try anything! Good luck! I know it's a nervous time. You'll be counting down the days! But, it really is such a gift and I can't believe how happy I feel in my clothing now. If you have any other questions, definitely let me know!
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Hey Stay- young, How exciting that you are almost to your surgery date! Stay possitive & dont believe everything your read, there will always be those with complications, but they are in the low minority, i promise. My TT& BA W/BL was jan '09- i have never made a better decsion in my life & i was as scared as they come. i just wanted to say hi & give you my support, i taked to alot of veteran TT patients & it really calmed my fears, The only things i bought prior to surgery was a raised toliet seat $29 at rite-aid in handicap section- (loved it for 1st 5 days, after that i was fine. Also one of the best tips my friend told me was to have a styaform cup with the bottom cut out, this was a must- when you go potty after hold up the cup & pee through it this will prevent you from trickling on your adominal binder, you cant take the binder off- so keep it clean- i would then rinse off the cup put in back in a zip-lock & reuse-(even took to my appointments 2 weeks)I really liked this tip, you will see why if you dont use it. Even with all my MR- the tummy-tuck is not brutal like your thinking, i bet it is just as a c-section, sore the 1st week, way better every week after, i never had 1 bit of pain, just sore & discomfort from being in 1 position the 1st 5-7 days after that it ws smooth sailing, i was upright by day 10& went on outings---Use the garment they provide my was great. i was 132 post opt & now 122. Everything is great if you give me your personal email i will forward pics of how i look now 18weeks later- ido also have older pics on this website- Best wishes & i know you'll do great dont hesitate to ask us a thing! love, leeannp
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Hi again... You look great.. Congrats... I have sched my surgery too. (tt and breast aug). I am wondering if you have any advice on things you might want or need at home. (ex: lounger chair, ect.) I have help for my kids, I am just trying to plan in advance. ;-)
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Hi mommy20829, when are you planning on having your surgery? i had a 3,5,6&15 yr old at time of surgery. i really had my mom help with things for 5 days, then i participated throughout the day from then on with rest&naps ect.All along you must be up every few hours to walk around house for circulation, so sure you can get your kids things by day 3, you'll just want lots of rest 1st week. i drove to get a few thing at day 10, but wasnt out for long, i looked good & stood straight, but tired real easy.It will be very difficult on you if you only have help for 2 days, but is possible, maybe you could get a friends help too? Its not the "pain" it just hard to find a comfortable postion to be in the first week & you need your naps! KIT!
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I had my tt on a thursday,and my husband was off from work until monday, I did nothingfor those 4 days except go to bathroom and walk around (in the house) then would have to do sit again. I couldn push my recliner up when sitting in it!!! On the monday i was able to make dinner but it took me all afternoon, cause i would do a little than have to sit again.......oh and nap again...Each day it gets a little better it just takes you a long time to do things. I didnt drive until about 10 days. Believe me you will need help with the kids for the first week, i thought i would go back to work after 1 week, I stayed of for 3 weeks!!!! and I am a very determind woman!!!!
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Melbell28 & Leeannp i went for a consult yesterday and am very comfortable with the dr. I'm having trouble with the recoup part. my husband is very supportive, but he's not going to be able to take more than a day or two off work and i have a 5 and 2.5 yr old to take care of. 5 yr old is self sufficient. I I know i will most likely be down&out for 7-10dys, but when were you comfortable to be with the kids by yourself? dr. said not to lift anything over 10# for 4 weeks and I can handle that, I'm just trying to figure out when I might feel well enough to do the small daily things like get drinks, meals, crayons, maybe be outside while they play, go to the store, etc. Stuff that I can get, then sit back down.
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Three weeks out today! Today I had a drs visit and he said that I'm almost being too cautious. I have a lot of scar tissue under my incisions and he said I really have to massage them and start doing some easy walking to get myself going. As far as the recoup until this point- I think anything is possible if you want it to be. Mommy20829- you will not be a happy camper to be taking care of the kiddies on day 3, but if your kids are easy-going, then it shouldn't be a big problem. Will you have time to nap? Are they in school at all? If not, I would say that you need to have some sort of mother's helper or babysitter come over and help for a while each day until you feel better. I would stick with really easy meals, buy some juice boxes, that they can get themselves, etc. Sitting outside while they play will be tough, i found it hard to stand for a long time and unless you have a cozy couch outside, sitting will be uncomfortable. I know that this probably isn't what you want to hear, but I believe in speaking the truth. Can you do it? Of course, you're a Mom... we can do anything that we set our minds to. But, I would be prepared for a bit of a struggle in the beginning and call in all reinforcements for support. Good luck! p.s. it's been 3 weeks for me and I've been lifting my 22 lb. daughter for a week now.- see, anything is possible :-)
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P.S. CMomara- so sorry for what you went through with your last labor. That must have been so difficult, I can't even imagine! You're a tough cookie, surely this will be an easier procedure for you! You've been through the worst of it, in my opinion! Glad that you are doing this for yourself.
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LeeannP- thanks for the compliment. I hope I won't need any work on my vertical scar. I'm anxious to go out and try on bathing suits to see which kind will look best (top and bottom)!! My body type is so different now. I was barely an a cup before, so I had 350 cc silicone under the muscle. I'm so happy with them! Keep me posted on your situation, I like having your input, since you are a number of weeks ahead of me. Thanks for taking the time to write!
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Hey all, well, I'm 17 days out. I felt fully functional today! Wore my skinny jeans and held my 18 month old for about an hour at a party. I'm definitely tired now and my scar is more swollen than it was this morning, but just can't baby myself anymore. time to get on with life. This healing process is definitely a gradual one. A friend of mine told me it took a full year (I thought she was joking) but I'm realizing that it will take a pretty long time to feel 100% better, although I would say I'm at about 75% now. to CMomara and Mikki72, I would do this surgery again in a heartbeat! You are making a great decision for yourself... probably the first selfish thing you've done since the early 1990's!! As far as lipo, was told that I didn't need it. My waist is pretty much where I want it to be. It was my gut, and now my butt that need work! As far as healing time... here's my genuine perspective: days 1-6: very little pain, adjusting to difficulty performing daily activities, like going to the bathroom and getting out of bed. days 7-12: anesthesia is wearing off, more pulling and pinching. frustration with swelling, over-critical of self. coming off of pain meds, but not feeling great. Drain(s) come out, so showering is easier and feel more mobile. days 13-17 (today): each morning wake up a little bit better, walk a little straighter, more tired at night than normal, but each day feeling a little more energy. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! There's a great network of ladies on this site!!
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HELLO MELBEL28! you commented on my pics & now i wanna comment on yours!-- You look super! & i know you must be feeling great! Your photos remind me of my photos,i also had the small vertical line/stiching above my inscion line, which is my old belly button he couldnt pull down any tighter- it is fading well & i scar well, i am 8 weeks & at my 6 week post opt , my doctor said that if it still bothered me he could remove it this winter, but skin needs to relax atleast 6 months first- then he will be able to pull it down under incision line- (just wanted you to know in case yours bothered you too) my scar is low-this vertical fold im talking about is the only thing stoping me from wearing a "low" bikkini i had to buy a higher waisted/ hipster style one. i have no regrets at all!!i also had a BA- I didnt mention this in my review. I had 275cc silicon unders- what did you have?- You look so good ! im happy for you! KIT-
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Hi there, can you tell me how long recovery took after your procedre (tummy tuck) im going to be having one soon and would like information from someone thats had this surgery done. thankyou michelle
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