Christmas Tummy Tuck and Mini-Facelift - Gold Coast, Australia

I am 45 years old and have two beautiful children...

I am 45 years old and have two beautiful children (11 & 5). I was 40 when I had my last and had a cesarean. Both my children were large although I bounced back after my first (probably because I was younger) but did not bounce back so quickly with my second. Even though I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight 3 months after giving birth I was left with a diastasis of approximately 2 finger breadths and loose wrinkly skin. When my youngest was one I went and saw a PS who said a full tummy tuck was required with MR but after thinking about it I decided against surgery and thought I could put up with my wrinkly tummy.

My marriage has since broken down and I once again have enquired about another tummy tuck (different surgeon as I have moved interstate). I have already cancelled two of my surgeries (both due to unexpected health issues and am due to go on the 20th December 2011).

I am terrified of the GA and of not waking up and of ever seeing my children again. My ex-husband lives 2000km away and I think, if something happens to me he will take them away from their home and how will they cope without me.

My PS had told me I should get a wonderful result and has told me that my TT with full MR should only take 1 hour and my mini facelift should also only take 1 hour. So 2 hours of surgery all up.

My tummy tuck was only $7,000 and my mini-facelift is close to $9,000. (I would have thought it would be the other way around, as the TT is a much bigger procedure).

Anyway I will be staying in hospital overnight with a pain pump. I will have two drains and he wants me to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks. He told me that everyone swells differently and that the usual time for swelling to subside is 6 weeks.

My kids will be on school holidays when I have my procedures but I live with my dad has helped me out with the kids since my separation and he will take a week off work to help me a home. I feel sad that I won't be 100% on xmas day and won't be able to leave the house for approximately 2 weeks (apparently my face will be pretty swollen) but its the only time I have holidays). I go back to uni (I am a 4th year med student) and I actually start a surgical rotation on the 16th January). Sometimes I think it would have been better if I did my surgical rotation before my procedure so that it would put my mind at ease). LOL

I will need all of your lovely ladies support over the next 10 weeks as I keep having days where I am happy to go ahead and then I have days when I think, no I'm not going to do this. I am not scared of the pain or the recovery I am scared of something going terribly wrong).

Being in the hospitals as a med student, I see people who are genuinely very sick and it makes me feel bad that I am having an elective procedure due to vanity alone.

Does anyone else share these thoughts and feelings??

I will try and post some photos.

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Thanks newmeat30. I have cancelled my TT due to concerns over complications effecting my career. I am going ahead with the min-facelift but will reschedule TT for December next year when I have close to 8 weeks off. I will keep up to date with all you December tummy tuckers. You will get a great result newmeat30. You already look good in your pictures, you will look awesome after your surgery.
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Hi! I just wanted to let you know that we have a great group of girls on the Forum page and I'd love for you to join us. Check for the sticky at the top of the forum page for December Tummy Tuckers. You can find a lot of support there and several other gals that are going through the same thing. :)
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Scared mum - so glad you have decided to go ahead with the tt!!!! You are going to look so awesome - you already do! and your results will be amazing, I'm sure. I think the allotted time you have is plenty (especially because you'll know to take it easy, drink plenty of fluids, and wear your garments). Looking forward to reading about your process!!
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room2improve, you look fantastic. I hope my results and recovery are as good as yours. I am so happy that you have no regrets.
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Thanks so much Kathe I am feeling much better about the whole thing. I am hoping you won't have much muscle repair. My PS said that the less the diastasis the less pain. I can't see yours being really wide. Mine is two finger breadths which he said isn't that bad either. So heres praying for an easy recovery.
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Ok everyone. Im sick of being so negative and thinking there will be complications. I am definitely going ahead with this thanks to the feedback from you lovely ladies and the advice you have given me. Heres to a great New Year and a new tummy!!!!
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You are so skinny...a TT is going to look awesome on you!!! Don't worry about the swelling. It won't be like a big bump in your belly but more like the entire area just feeling like you are retaining water. Under clothing, it's not very noticeable. Look at the photos where people say they are swollen, and you'll probably agree that they still look terrific.
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Well ladies, I went and saw the medical co-ordinator today and told her I had to undergo a medical procedure in December. I told her that full recovery would take approx 6 weeks and I asked her what the university's policy was if we could not attend clinical rotations. She told me that they would allow two weeks leave for any illness but after that the board would have to review my circumstances. I have already completed 3 years of full time study and I can't jeopardise my future if there are complications with my TT. I have 6 weeks off next December if my tummy absolutely annoys the crap out of me over the next 12 months. My medical degree ensures a future for both myself and my two children. (I am a single mum). Thankyou everyone for all your advice. It is very much appreciated. I am still going ahead with the mine facelift. Granny I will be reading your posts and I will keep in touch whilst you have your shoulder reconstruction and Kathe I will also be following your TT journey.
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Scared mum, that's wonderful that you'll have two weeks' leave in case you're still feeling under the weather after your allotted time off after the tt.

Also, you're very slim, and probably quite fit, and you're heaps younger than I am, so the chances are much better that you'll be just fine, and pretty quickly too.

I've had friends who had tts. Here are a few stories about them:

A 70-something friend of mine in Miami, had a tt, lipo and a breast lift all at the same time about a year ago. She is a fan of ocean cruises, and since the surgery she met a man on one of those musical cruises (I think it was rock and roll or something).

Another friend from Miami, who is very, very short and in her high 60s in age, had a full body lift about 6 months ago and she and her husband are currently riding their His-and-Hers Harleys through several states.

A 40-something friend (also from Miami) who suffers from epilepsy and fibromyalgia, and had uterine fibroids, had a hysterectomy about two years ago for something akin to a teratoma and other problems. She had a tt at the same time. She's feeling so much more attractive now (from what she tells me), and has dared to wear a bikini. She's practically jumping for joy. :)
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Thanks buttercup. I think I am losing confidence because everyone is saying don't risk having surgery when there are so many big changes coming up for me the following year. I have just finished all my theory at university and we start our clinical years at a hospital. Apparently its a gruelling day, running around after consultants, doing ward rounds, as a junior med student we get all the crappy running around jobs. I have heard that it is quite stressful, however I truly thought a four week break would have been enough to do it. I will still be wearing my garment as my PS likes us to wear it for 6 weeks. I am worried about the fatigue factor because when I go home I have two young children to look after as well. Its lovely to get everyones aspect on things. Thankyou!!
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Well I am having a dilemma about this goddamn TT. I start my surgical rotations in the hospital on the 16th January and my family is concerned that if I have a complication with the TT it will jeopardise my career. They have rallied together and advised me to have the mini facelift but not the TT as the risk of complications is so much higher with the TT. I have to admit I am sick and tired of not knowing what to do. One minute I am positive about it and the next minute I am not. I have always been decisive but for some reason in this situation I am not. The time is getting closer and I have to make a decision soon. My PS said it shouldn't be a problem as it will be 4 weeks after my surgery before I start back at work. Although I will be on my feet all day. I hope the swelling won't be too much of a problem. I also found out that my PS uses blood thinners after surgery as a prophylaxis for DVT's. My total surgery time if I get both procedures done with be between 3 and 3.5 hours. If I only had the facelift done I would only be under for 1.5 hours. AAAGGhhhhhh I wish something would enlighten me to allow this decision to come easily.
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Hmm... your career is just starting? I'd say if you had to choose one, and you absolutely couldn't do both, I'd go for the face lift, then do the tt after my career is blooming and secure. The tt is definitely more complex and the amount of time needed to regain energy varies by the individual. Some people on RealSelf feel great almost immediately, and others are still tired 6 weeks down, and so on. Of course, the one that ultimately has to make the choice is you.
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Which procedure will make you feel better about yourself? Do you heal quickly? Are you very healthy? I am a very healthy person. I really never get sick at all. I had a tt with muscle repair on Sept. 22nd. I took 12 days off, and was back to work on the 13th day. I have a desk job so it wasn't that bad. The ONLY complication I had was not being able to stand straight up till week 5. I didn't expect complications, and I didn't have any. I read about swell hell, but I don't know what everyone is talking about. My lower abdomen does swell beginning in the afternoon, but it doesn't affect me at all. I still have a little tightness in the ab muscles.But that's it. I just had my 7 week checkup, and my ps told me I could go back to life as normal. I even asked about jogging and crunches, and she said go ahead. Maybe I have been an unusual case, but after the 1st 2 weeks, it was normal life for me (except walking hunchback). Also, I don't have the loss of energy in the evening either. I don't know if I could do both procedures at once, so do which ever one will make you the happiest. Don't expect complications. If you do expect them, get a new ps.
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I don't remember much about the 1st couple of days after surgery. I remember leaving the surgery center the morning after & going to my post-op. Just bits & pieces. Main thing was that I wanted anti-nauseau drugs so I wouldn't be throwing up. I was on Percocet for pain & Phenegran for anti-nauseau. Always took Phenegran 20-30 minutes before I took my pain pill. I didn't have any side effects from the anesthesia. I took my own crackers with me (I have to eat gluten free) so I knew I would have something to eat whenever I felt like it. My hubby took care of me overnight at the surgery center (the nurses were more of a pain). Any other questions, feel free to ask. I will be out of pocket for a while but I'll try to check back in with you.
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NanaMakeover thanks so much for referring me to your blog. You must be over the moon with your results. You look fantastic!!! You were right about the length of time I would be under. Its 1.5 hours for TT with MR and 1.5-2 hours for mini -facelift. How did you feel coming out of anaesthesia? You are so right about emotions running high. I will be glad when this is over so I can put this anxiety behind me.
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Feel free to check out my blog. I've communicated with ACworth through both of our procedures. I too was worried about the anesthesia. (The day of my surgery I told my husband, that if I did die during surgery, not to be mad at me.) My 60 yr old cousin is a nurse anesthetist that is highly sought after all over the country. I consulted with him asking if I should break up my surgeries since I would be under for 6-7 hours. He said the real danger is going under & coming out of the GA, and the time inbetween wasn't to be considered as much. He said it's better to combine so that you only have 1 recovery time, and are only going under/out once.

The amount of time that your doc says it will take seems a little short. My full TT was scheduled at 3 hrs so probably took 2 1/2. And only an hour for the mini-facelift seems short as well. Have you researched the amount of times these procedures average?

At any rate, emotions run high trying to decide what to do, and your mind will change 100's of times. If you've done your homework, and are 100% comfortable with your PS, then I say go for it. Get it done while you are young enough to enjoy it. Don't worry about what if's to the point that it drives you crazy. You could be killed in a car wreck tomorrow but that's not going to stop you from getting out of bed in the morning. Best wishes to you.
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Scared mum - Wow, I just looked at your pics. You look pretty good already, you're going to have a high fashion model's body after the surgery! It's wonderful that your dad will be available to help you out after the surgery. Regarding the panic attacks, I have a feeling you and I might be a teensy bit anxious until the procedure is over, since we're both concerned about the GA. (I obsess about it). I'm the procedure before you (11/30/11), so I'll let you know how it goes. :)
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Oh dear. I had an absolute panic attack today thinking about my upcoming surgery. Those negative thoughts like "OMG what if I die?" "What about my children?" How am I going to kiss them goodbye when I leave for surgery on that morning. I actually thought about cancelling the whole thing (again!!). I am seeing my PS on Thursday morning as I have some questions I need to ask him. Please give me some encouragement ladies. I hate it when I feel those panic attacks. They are absolutely horrid!!
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Thank you for posting your story and photos.  I am looking forward to following your journey:)

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Just read looked at your review Buttercup74. Your results are fantastic. I bet you are so happy with your results. Thanks for the warm welcome Angiemcc, so glad you understand my dilemma. People think I'm crazy but, hey its about how I feel about my tummy.
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Welcome to RealSelf! My tummy looks a lot like yours and I understand your dilemma. It's not terrible at all, but not exactly what you want, either, right? You're going to do great through this and I'm so looking forward to seeing your results when you come out the other side!

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I shared the same feelings as you Scaredmum. I knew I could handle a tt, but I was afraid of not coming out of it from the anesthesia. I had 100% faith in my ps, and I never, ever get sick; I'm pretty healthy. I have had anesthesia before and came out of it just fine.
One day I just realized that I wasn't getting any younger and I didn't want to waste anymore time being miserable with my stomach. I just wanted to look normal. Everyone has fears going into it, don't cancel it. You will always regret it.
You will look fabulous when you are done. They say then less fat you have to take away the easier the healing process is. I won't lie, it is uncomfortable, but that's what they give you pain meds for. I only took them for 2 days, then took nothing at all. Just make sure you have someone that can help you 24/7 for at least 4 to 5 days.
P.S. when I realized I was going to go through with it, I scheduled it as soon as I could, so I wouldn't chicken out :)lol
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Thanks so much for your support BellaBelly. It is very much appreciated.
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Oh Scared mum,
I just read your story & saw your pics and I say you are going to have fantastic results just by looking at you! Don't feel bad about having elective surgery...This is a celebration of your soon to be new body. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. You're willing to take the risk for it, that's how much you want it. Keep your chin up & congratulations on making your decision!
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