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A Dream Coming True - Tale of a Tummy Tuck! - Hagerstown, MD

I am 27 and I've had 2 c-sections. My stomach...

I am 27 and I've had 2 c-sections. My stomach went from a six pack to drooping skin and stretch marks... Oh and a belly button is in there SOMEWHERE! Every morning when I look in the mirror and get dressed I am sad. Evervsingle day for the past five years I look down and ask.... Where did MY belly go, I dont recognize this one, this isnt ME! A lot of people see me in clothes and say it can't be that bad, it's not worth the money, there are more important things. The very few times I've showed anyone my stomach there is a look of horror in their eyes for a split second before they choke out, oh it's not THAT bad. YES, YES IT IS!

So... For once ever, I'm being selfish and doing this for ME and only me, and only with the ones who are supportive. It's as terrifying as it is exciting! This is my number one dream and its coming true!

I went in for surgery today! Thanks to the staff,...

I went in for surgery today! Thanks to the staff, I was not near as nervous as I expected! We joked, we laughed, they comforted me, and were excellent to the person whom came along with me to help! I was given an I.v. After dr. Garazo drew his lines and went over the process again, and next... I woke up lol! I was in a little more pain than I expected, about a 7, as soon as I voiced so, meds to bring it to a 2 or 3 were given IMMEDIATELY! Very impressive. Once home, I did take nausea meds, an antibiotic, and a percocet. Just one percocet has been enough so far. I've had to empty 2 drains a little early but I am up and walking slow and hunched... Not too bad! I will post before pics within the next few days!

You are not being selfish at all.  You are worth it and deserve it so keep your chin up and be proud.

Well today is your day so we are all sending happy thoughts your way.  Update us as soon as you are able to do so.

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Thank you for your support. Those that have been hesitant around me have come around. I think they dismissed how severe the surgery is simply because it's "voluntary" (which those In the same boat know different). My husband has been my #1 supporter, along with most of my family and friends, and I even had about 6 neighbors stop by last night to wish me luck! I'm a lucky lady and I hope this will help anyone who is undecided, nervous, or who, like me, is privileged to get one and have a million questions!
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Day 2 ... HELL! I was in a lot of pain today so I...

Day 2 ... HELL! I was in a lot of pain today so I took a percocet instead of a vicodin... Terrible mistake! Commonly, percocet makes people vomit... Apparently I'm one of them. I threw up 3 separate times. I was on my hands and knees on the floor, drenched in a cold sweat, very close to passing out! The pain was so extreme that all I could do was scream with every heave! I felt two huge pops inside (assuming those were bursting sutures). Nerve wrenching feeling and sound. I almost wished death upon myself and began to ask why I did this to myself?! Dr. G called me back promptly and even though I had to hang up on him to vomit, he called back to talk me through it. He said each stitch was done separate so the torn ones should be ok. Stick to the vicodin. This was the most frightening, painful night of my life (even after 2 c sections and a complicated wisdom tooth surgery - trust me, I am no wimp)

Day 3 - given how terrible last night was, today I...

Day 3 - given how terrible last night was, today I felt a world of better! Dr G, his nurse, and the anesthesiologist all called to check on me and comfort me! This is a painful process but besides the percocet incident, everything else is going quite nicely! I would sugg investing in a cane or walker prior to the surgery because of back pain from walking hunched over. I hate hate hate these terrible drains. Theyre bulky and I tuck them into my waist band... They also burn where they go into my skin as anything would. Can't wait to see em go! Overall... Today was good, I even went to olive garden wearing a hoodie!

Day 4 - feeling better everyday, pain pump out at...

Day 4 - feeling better everyday, pain pump out at the office today - tweeked a couple nerves, felt very different but not painful. I am nervous for monday when the stitches and drain 1 comes out :/ However, it's starting to hit me that I had a tuck and this skinny little belly is now mine forever - starting to feel anxious but in an excited way! Kelly in the office gave me some flowers as a thank you for choosing them for surgery. She's so sweet as is all the staff! Still think I made the best choice in dr's!
Hey lady! Hope that check up went well, as i'm sure it did. So did mine, got that pump out. Here are those pics :)
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YAY!!! I swear your after pics could be me laying there! Today's appointment went well. Still have to massage my belly button a bit as a small amount of fluid is trapped in around the scar, causing it to be a bit puffy. No biggie though. I go back Sept 12th to have a small revision (tiny dog ear removed). I'm really excited and can't believe I'm 6 months post op! Having the drains removed - to be honest - sucks! Although when 1 of them was removed - it was very smooth and didn't hurt at all. The other 3, it felt like she was ripping out from all the way up to my eyeballs! Hahahah! However, it was over in a few seconds and then everything was fine. So liberating to have them removed! I'm glad to hear you are doing well and love the pics! It's an amazing journey and yes, this new, flat belly is ALL YOURS!! Congrats!
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I can't believe you went out in public on day 3!!! You are so brave! I, too, had the vomiting, but it was from the cipro - way too harsh for me. I was in the car when it hit. My husband was driving me to my day 3 post follow up visit. I know the vomiting pain all too well and wished death upon myself too! The popping sutures is the most excruciating pain I've EVER felt!! I cried (not too hard though cause that hurt the belly too!). I was convinced my insides were gonna pop out when Stacey removed my binder that day! Was relieved to know that I was still stitched shut but know that I definitely popped some internal sutures during that bout. I'm sooooo excited to see your pictures! Dr. G and his staff do amazing work! I get to visit them in 5 hrs for my SIX MONTH follow up! Where has the time gone?!
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Day 5 ... Mobility is significantly easier! Washed...

Day 5 ... Mobility is significantly easier! Washed my own hair today! First BM ... Woah! But good! After tomorrow a.m. I'm on my own with the 2 kids and puppy... I've got this (I think)! Sleeping very well and using icy hot stickies on my lower back. Pain meds not necessary since yesterday morning!
I hope so! I've only been putting abt 1cc in 3 of 4 drains... And abt 5-10 in one. I feel great! Tired a lot!
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Thank you! Stitches and one drain out on mon... Kinda scared!
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Don't be scared.  It really doesn't hurt because you are numb in the areas.  

You feel a little pinch but no pain.  Mine felt a little like a big worm crawling around under my skin.  Creepy but no pain at all.  

 

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6 days post op (ive been off by a day) ... Went in...

6 days post op (ive been off by a day) ... Went in to the office today to get stitches and 1 drain out today. Cake! I didn't feel the stitches just the scissors pressing against my skin and I was TERRIFIED if the drain being pulled... Felt nothing! Such a relief! Dr garazo wanted pics and sounded very excited over the fact that I have no bruising and very little swelling. The office is so upbeat when I come in, its so encouraging, probably helps that I'm always smiling ear to ear as well! I'm taking care if the kids and puppy alone, I'm doing great, I feel great! I can only feel the surgery when I cough and ill be walking upright more and more as drains are pulled. I'm barely hunched now! I feel on top of the world and glad I'm healing!
I love reading your updates! I'm really glad that things are going so well for you. I think that the fact that we didn't have lipo helped in the whole not bruising situation. I bruise sooooo easily and was amazed that I didn't. You are recovering by leaps and bounds and already have gotten rid of the pain pump and one drain...you're getting there! I bet your hubby can't wait to see the new you! Bless you and him for his service to our country. Keep taking care of yourself and taking pictures (I love seeing the progress you make!).
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The tired feeling will go away with time.  It's just your body's way of telling you to rest.

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8 days post-op: Drain #2 pulled and...

8 days post-op:
Drain #2 pulled and the last 4 belly button stitches! Again, didn't feel a thing! Still no swelling barely! I've been up and running my household almost single handedly... Doing good. I wake up a little stiff and depressed every morning but over a few hours, I'm walking around fine and I'm not sad anymore. By night I'm extremely tired and a little cranky. They say the emotional roller coaster is completely normal! I think they may pull the last 2 drains on fri! Will upload pics soon!
Thank you! He's def excited, he's amazed at how nice it looks, I think he was secretly skeptical at first. Also, when looking at the before and after pics of others, you tend to forget that you'll still look like YOU, not them! I think I'll get the last 2 drains out on Friday, ecstatic! I've felt no pain during their removal (thank goodness - but I'm sill scared every time). I'm going to get new pics up after Fridays appt... I can't wait to see you 6 MONTH pics! So exciting!
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10 days post op Drain 3 removed. Pain free...

10 days post op
Drain 3 removed. Pain free just like the rest. The dr said he can't believe how fast my body is healing and that i'm WAY ahead of schedule! I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm not getting tired anymore, back is fine, standing up straight as of 2 days ago, sleeping straight and can sleep on my sides for about 5 days now, it no longer hurts to laugh (coughing is a little uneasy), I have little swelling, and barely any bruising. I dont wake up sore and i'm no longer emotional lol.
You are looking great! So glad you are feeling great too!
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18 days post op All drains have been...

18 days post op

All drains have been out since Monday last week! Life severely improved with that one little factor! I still can't wear jeans or Jean shorts due to it aggravating my scar area. Drain 4's hole is still quite ugly and is taking a lot longer to heal, prob cuz it was in the longest. For about 3 days I started out great in the morning and got bloated by night. Now, as long as I don't drink any soda... No bloaty swelling! I am LOVING my results so far, I wear summer dresses a lot, they're most comfortable... But the other day I sat down and for the first time didn't have to use my arm to cover my belly! Instead of being sad everyday when I look in the mirror, I'm no longer sad, instead I'm impressed w how tight my tummy is. GREAT feeling!
I cant get over your tummy! It really looks like thats how you should have looked all along. Just beautiful, hope all is well and dont do too much. this is your chance to recover well. what you do know will be with you forever so as long as you feel a wee bit guilty from time to time might as well just lay with it! It's worth doing it up right.
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Thank you!
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22 days post op Yep, swell hell! Well...

22 days post op

Yep, swell hell! Well maybe hell is a bit of an over kill but you get it! My love handles seem out of control when I put jeans on, even in the back! I'm a size 4 and I can't even do up size 6! Victorias secret sweatsuits it is. I'm "spitting stitches" from my incision. That's when your body rejects your internal sutures and they slowly exit out of your incision. Havent called the dr, it says it's normal online and fine unless getting infected. Started with 1 and now have 4. I just clean the areas w antibacterial soup, dab alcohol, and slap a clump of neosporin on them. It's keeping the sites infection free and uninflamed! Got that oleeva strip on... It helps pants to not irritate my incision also! Loving my flat tummy... I feel "normal" again! Oh and I had a muscle randomly stretch on it's own, kinda sorta like a spasm, and a stitch popped. Sounded like and felt like ripping a sales tag off clothes. No pain. A little muscle sensitivity and paranoia to not let it happen again is all. Feeling pretty good though!
Thank u for the info! I'm looking forward to Ur new pics.
I know it'll be quite an ordeal but I know once I'm recovered I'll b so glad I did it. I'm so anxious! I know once it's over it'll b a huge relieve.
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P.s. I will be updating w new pics tomorrow
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So u had th pain pump & pain pills? I never realized they gave u both I thot it was one or the other. U look great! Mines in feb & I'm so excited & anxious!
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* Just to clarify thanks to a few messages ... I...

* Just to clarify thanks to a few messages ... I had a full tummy tuck and a 4 cm muscle gap corrected but did not have lipo. A lot of my lack of bruising and swelling is due to that, I believe it also made the surgery cheaper. To prep for this surgery I worked out 5 days a week for 6 months and lost 25 lbs. The thinner and more toned I got, the worse the skin got. The muscle repair alone helps you become more able to tighten your love handles through exercise also. *
I didnt take anything... The not having lipo i think is what was to thank.for my lack of swelling. Before the surgery, even though it was very frustrating and discouraging, i really worked hard on building ab muscle which is another reason i think i healed so fast. The dr office staff alwaya seemed astonished at how fast i came along. Im 4 months out (5 if u count by weeks) now, ive been doing heavy ab workout for a good six weeks now. It started out excruciating and very awkward feeling since those muscles had to relearn proper movement all over sinve they were working split for 5 years! 6 weeks later i can hang w the toughest on ab exercises... Still get pretty sore, more than if i had no surgery but it goes away, i work through it, ice packs! Ill post pics soon, those abs are toning right up! I unfortunately cant ever wear a bikin.because my scar is a bit too high on one side, i am going to discuss that w my surgeon on jan 16th. I also have a dog ear on each end of my scar that need to be taken in. Those little spots are noticeable and bulge over my jeans (not too serious and theyre common, easy fix). I LOVE my body EVERYDAY now instead of hating it... To me... It is priceless!
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You were talking about not bruising or swelling much I was wondering
If by chance you are taking juice plus? I had hernia surgery & I'm on JP & didn't swell or bruise. I'm having mine done in feb. You look amazing! I see you didn't have lipo & you look great so I don't plan on having it either. He doesn't really think I need it anyway.
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You look great, thanks for sharing! Gives us tummy tuck dreamers hope! :)

I look forward to seeing your process!
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6 months out... just bought a bikini for Jamiaca...

6 months out... just bought a bikini for Jamiaca in 4 days! My 6 month appt is Jan 16th and we'll discuss getting dog ears removed. I'm going to get scolded becaue i've been tanning for Jamaica but I wear my old oleeva strip so my scar doesn't get any sun. I have chosen to tan my belly button scar which against all advice has helped disguise it (the scar made my belly button appear crooked)! Love Love Love my results EVERY SINGLE DAY! Only complaint is the scar is about an inch higher on one side which extremely limits which bikini's I can wear but i'm going to ask Dr. Garazo if that can be fixed at all!
I am much older than you but have the same tummy problems that you did and was wondering if anyone in this forum has any info on my surgeon. his name is Dr.Emmanuel Bonnecarrere. im in the DC area and other than his certs and creds, there is just one review on him. Also,I would like to know how long I have to wait to get my "fluff" after my tuck.
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I've never heard of him, personally. Dr garazo isnt too far away in Hagerstown. I began enjoying my tummy at 8 weeks, 6 months i was ecstatic with it, and now at about 8 months I've almost got my 6 pack! Best decision of my life!
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Thank you very much!
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Revisions tomorrow morning. A bit uneasy about it....

Revisions tomorrow morning. A bit uneasy about it. I have to have dog ears removed, half my scar moved down to level out, and pouches fixed on my sides which will take my scar higher and all while I'm AWAKE! I am not looking forward to all those injections in my abdomen. Will update after....
Working out was the hardest thing to stick to in the beginning. I just made myself do it and it was rough for about 3 months. If you can push yourself for 3 months your results become your motivation. I started by doing Zumba 3 times a week, then moved to weights, then free weights. It became a passion and is now just a part of my everyday life. It took about 8 months for all that. When u went in after 6 months of working out, I didn't have much fat, just skin, that's why I didn't get lipo. I thought I did but it turne out I just had THAT much skin! I you can motivate yourself to workout, it makes your recovery so much smoother. Either way, a tummy tuck can give you your life back. It did me!
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I* typo sorry
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My gosh you look aaaaaamazing! Reading that you didn't get lip truly makes me feel a bit more at ease for my surgery. Seeing how awesome you look and the difference from you before and after is inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I have to ask... over the months your abs got much more defined, are you working out with a program or just on your own?
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The procedure was not fun. The novacane shots...

The procedure was not fun. The novacane shots literally brought tears to my eyes. I came home and instantly debandaged to check things out. My right side now had an even bigger dog ear. Left side... Flawless! I cried... 1 because I know I'm going to have to have it fixed again in 6 months, and 2 I was really hoping to be done! They told me to hang in there until swelling went down before I panicked. It has been 5 weeks... Not much improvement and my scar is still very uneven. I am so very happy with the overall procedure but very unhappy with the revision. I guess we'll see what's to come at my 2 month appt. he seems to get frustrated when i express unhappiness w it's unevenness so I'm always anxious to go there now. I'm just very self conscious that my scar sticks way out of my jeans on one side.

Hang in there hun.  You look beautiful!

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You look amazing! Congrats to you for doing this big step for yourself and your strong workout ethic! It definitely shows!
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2nd revision for one side (the side I KNEW needed...

2nd revision for one side (the side I KNEW needed it the day I got done w the first revision) scheduled for dec. I'm even MORE nervous this time since I know what I'm in for. I'll have all of Xmas break to heal though and to keep me out of the gym.
I had my TT done by him also, he is AWESOME!! You look GREAT!!!
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Thank you! Yours looks great too! I like your belly button better! Seems like there is too much tension on mine when I stand straight up...but I'm still happy nonetheless! I had my scar tattooed over as well. Love it!
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Your results are awesome!
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Hagerstown Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Garazo and staff were very positive, upbeat, attentive to my direct needs, and professional yet personable! I don't feel I could've made a more educated decision than choosing his office!

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
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