I've never written a review on a public forum like this…especially for something as personal as cosmetic surgery. But I really appreciated the perspective of being able to read others' experiences, and know it helped me prepare for my own procedure, and manage my expectations and recovery once I decided to take the leap and finally just do it!
I'm 50 yrs old, weigh 155 lbs, 5'9", am a happily married mom of 4, and Mimi to 8 perfect grand babies. I have always struggled with my weight but when my last baby was 3, I lost 70 lbs. and have kept it off (give or take 10 lbs) since then. After 4 pregnancies, 1 c-section, 1 tubal pregnancy, and a hysterectomy, and in spite of my best efforts, I had a stomach that could not be exercised or dieted into submission. And like so many other reviews I've read, I thought about doing a tummy tuck for years. Finally, I decided to just look into it and found it surprisingly affordable--not cheap, by any means--but not the $25,000 I was expecting, either.
The first thing friends ask is, "Did it really hurt?", and I can honestly say the pain was entirely manageable. The best way to describe the discomfort I felt was soreness in my upper abs and the sensation of tightness. The most pleasant surprise was that there was never any discomfort whatsoever from my incision. It was completely numb along the whole incision line and around my (new!) belly button. For those who have had a c-section, it's very similar. So it took a little practice to figure out how to move in and out of bed, go the the bathroom, etc, using my arms and legs, rather than my core/stomach muscles. But it was not intolerable, and the pain medication definitely helped! Just take it as directed and you'll be fine. The combination of Percocet and Valium was a really effective way to manage my pain and I made sure I stayed on top of things by setting reminders on my phone so I'd remember when it was time for each medication rather than waiting until I was really hurting to take it. I have a tendency to be nauseated by pain medication so I was prescribed a patch for nausea to put on the morning of surgery, had Zofran (dissolving tablets) to take when I got home, and I never had any trouble, except one morning when I forgot to eat a little dry cereal before taking pain medication. I was up and around (as opposed to laying in my bed and napping off and on all day) within 3 days. I was definitely moving slowly, but felt well enough that I didn't want to lay around in bed anymore. On the day of my 1 week post-op appointment, I was really happy for the excuse to get out of the house. The gauze and over my belly button and the clear bandage over my incision (it looked like a strip of packing tape) was removed and replaced with steri-strips. I was told to gently massage my incision to promote circulation and reduce scar tissue, and I've done that each day. As the pieces of steri-strips have started to peel and come off, I've been absolutely amazed at how thin and light my scar is.
Now that I'm 4 weeks post-op, I'll still take Advil as needed, and it really helps with the soreness and swelling I sometimes feel at the end of the day. Like many others, I continue to wear the compression garment I came home in 24/7. It adds a little bulk under my clothes, but I just feel better when I wear it. I still sleep in the same position as I did the first night after my TT--a few pillows under my head, a few pillows under my knees, and a pillow on each side of my stomach. I make a little hole in the center of all the pillows for my bum, and feel very supported and comfortable. We have a queen-sized bed and even with all the pillows, there's still room for my husband.
*I had a full tummy tuck (drainless), PAL (power-assisted liposuction), muscle repair, and the fee I quoted includes above procedures, anesthesiologist fees, OR/surgicenter fee, downpayment, and all pre and post-op care.