Breast cancer survivor that gained a lot of weight...

Breast cancer survivor that gained a lot of weight during treatments. Successfully lost the weight and have kept it off (and maintained my weight) for over a year. All areas have toned up nicely...except the flabby belly! Want to do something for myself and finally committed to the surgery.

I am 5'3" and 130 lbs.

I am 5'3" and 130 lbs.

This is Day 1 post surgery. Had to go in for my...

This is Day 1 post surgery. Had to go in for my first follow up appointment. They laid me down and opened my binder to see how things were healing. The doctor and nurse were very surprised to see practically NO bruising. My husband was in awe that all my stretchmarks were gone!! YAY!

Today is day 3 post surgery. I have two pics from...

Today is day 3 post surgery. I have two pics from when I went to the doctor's and they removed the pain pump.

Today is March 5th, 4th day post surgery. Finally...

Today is March 5th, 4th day post surgery. Finally got the pain pump removed yesterday and had my first BM last night...HUGE RELIEF!! I've already tapered down my pain meds to 1 pill, instead of 2, each time and I actually went 7 hours between doses this time. Pain is pretty much non-existent, just some tweaks and pangs depending on how I move. Most pain I have at this point is in my lower back from sitting and walking hunched over. Heating pad is working over time right now but it seems to be helping. I'm super excited to be on the mend and to keep this healing process moving. Monday (in 2 days) will be my first really big day - first drain and stitches will be removed. YAY!!


Today I had another post-op appointment. I was...

Today I had another post-op appointment. I was terrified of what was going to happen today, so much that I got nauseated. I ended up taking a phenergan as I was so scared I was gonna puke on the hour long car ride. Took 1000mg of tylenol too. Got to the appointment and laid down. Such a huge relief when the nurse removed my binder!! I had all tummy sutures removed (yeah, that sucked) and all but 4 belly button stitches taken out. My belly button stitches were all individual sutures so they left in 1 at the 12 o'clock, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. And then the nurse removed the first of four drains. Yep that sucked too, but thankfully it was over with super quickly. I'm not to use my cane anymore and as each drain is removed, can stand up straighter. I'm back home, had some lunch and am ready for a nap now. So glad today's appointment is over with! Created a lot of anxiety for me!

Today marks 10 days post op! Had a great follow-up...

Today marks 10 days post op! Had a great follow-up appointment today. Went and had my 3rd of 4 drains pulled today and it didn't hurt this time! The doctor was very pleased with my progress and said due to only putting out about 15 cc's of fluid that they were gonna pull the 4th drain today (instead of Monday)!! I was so excited I didn't know what to do! The fourth drain was a bit harder/painful coming out but I AM NOW DRAIN FREE and can shower!! Holy moly! That's just an awesome feeling!

Today is 18 days post op! Had a pretty good last...

Today is 18 days post op! Had a pretty good last 24 hours. I slept in my bed for the first time since the surgery! Couldn't get comfortable on my back with the pillows, so I shifted to my side and was out like a baby!!! I slept without my binder, as I have taken it off periodically. I swear I feel better without it. Today I wore a pair of my own pants (not sweats/yoga pants!) and actually wore a pair of underwear! LOL! That's also a first since the surgery! I managed to go to the grocery store and about 3 other stores today and felt fairly well. Took care of some chores at home and cooked dinner tonight! My back is killing me now, but my stomach feels great. I know I should have the binder on...

It feels great to finally start feeling better. I have 11 days left before I have to go back to work and am confident I'll feel even better come that time! I'm really happy with my results thus far and know they will just keep getting better!

Update: 3 weeks 2 days post op!...

Update:

3 weeks 2 days post op! YaY!

Last night, I was brushing my teeth. I was in my sweatpants and sports bra and as I was leaning over the sink, I looked up into the mirror and yelled!! I was yelling for my husband to come see what I was seeing!! I said "LOOK! When I bend over to rinse, there's NO BELLY HANGING OVER MY PANTS!"!! So monumental in my mind!

Must admit, I haven't worn my binder in a week. My PS is probably not gonna be happy when I see him tomorrow. I've honestly felt so much better without it! I did relent and put it back on today and actually slipped into a pair of jeans!! I was able to put them on and button them even with my binder on! Another huge step!!

I still have swelling, but hey, it's to be expected. What I'm most tickled about is being able to stand up!! I still don't have the curve in my lower back like I used to, but it's slowly coming back! YAY!

My weight is about 2 lbs less than it was before - which is baffling to me considering how INACTIVE I've been and the stuff I've been eating (pretty much anything I want!) Can't wait to get back to my workouts and running!!

I have one more week off of work - go back next Thursday. I got my Oleeva silicone strip in the mail too and will start wearing that soon - still have a couple little scabs left and have to wait until they're gone before I use it.

Overall, I'm super excited about my progress and how things are turning out. I'm really glad to finally be getting some of my energy back (never thought I'd be able to shower without being exhausted!!)

Day 26 Post Op. Feel amazing!! Able to stand...

Day 26 Post Op. Feel amazing!! Able to stand upright - no more back pain! I did confess to my doctor that I went sans binder for 1 week. He reprimanded me, but it's ok. Suggested that I wear it 12 hrs on, 12 off. I can do that. Been using the Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil on my belly several times a day (thanks, Kimmers!). Will begin using the Oleeva silicone strip here shortly - just a couple more scabs and you have to be completely scab free because the strip is super sticky!

I'm just so thrilled at how much better I've felt this past week. Getting my energy back and able to help around the house (did laundry and have been cooking dinners again!)

I go back to work in 4 days and think I'll be ready. I can't believe it's almost been a month since I had this done! Time has flown!

Today marks 4 weeks 4 days post op. I finally...

Today marks 4 weeks 4 days post op.

I finally went back to work yesterday (I work 3 - 12 hr overnight shifts each week).

Thankfully, my first night back was very gentle and I did wonderfully. Hardest part is getting used to my reversed sleep schedule again! LOL!

Tonight, I've had to exert myself a bit more and have a bit of muscle soreness, but still fairing well.

I'm loving that my scar is healing nicely - flat and smooth. I do, however, think I may end up with a very small dog-ear on the right side. Maybe not, but we'll see.

I'm at least able to sneeze now and it's not painful!! Overall, everything is going absolutely awesome! I'm really glad that I was able to take off the full month before coming back to work. I made a great deal of improvement in my recovery from week 3 to week 4.

Still haven't started back running or weight lifting, but will in due time. I'm determined (as hard as it is) to NOT rush things.

I've been slathering on the Palmer's Skin Therapy oil and will begin using my Oleeva skin therapy strip in a few more days. Have one small scab left to rid myself of first.

Will take pictures in a few more days to mark 5 weeks PO.

FIVE WEEKS POST-OP!!! Very happy to be able...

FIVE WEEKS POST-OP!!!

Very happy to be able to say that today marks 5 weeks post op! I can't believe how time has flown!

Although I feel great and everything has healed nicely, I still haven't resumed running or working out. I have given myself one more week to relax and then I'll slowly start back in to my workouts.

I vacuumed for the first time yesterday too and tried to use more of my arms than my core. It was a bit tricky, but I was able to get the work done.

I've been slathering on the Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil and I love it!! My tummy and scar are super soft and smooth! Still waiting for two very small stubborn scabs to be gone before I get to use the Oleeva strip.

Overall, I'm really happy that I went on this journey. I can't wait to see how my tummy continues to improve!!

Just a short update that I finally got rid of my...

Just a short update that I finally got rid of my last little scab and was able to begin using my Oleeva silicon strip!!

It was rather comical getting it on the first time, as it was like I was a fly stuck on flypaper! Took a little creativity to get it to stick where I needed it to and get it off of my fingers!

It's a little weird not being able to see it and I miss being able to slather my belly in the Palmer's Oil...but the strip cost me $90 so I'm gonna give it a shot!

Almost to the 6 week post op mark! I can't believe it!!

Yesterday marked 8 weeks post op!!!! Doing...

Yesterday marked 8 weeks post op!!!!

Doing very well and enjoying my new flatter belly. I still have the numbness and swell a little by the end of the day, mainly below the belly button. It gets really hard!

Had my 8 wk follow up with my PS and all looked well. I still may need to get a tiny little dog ear nipped off my right side (I think it looks more like a nipple!). We'll determine that on my next visit in 3 months. I don't like how it looks! Sometimes it lays flat, other times it sticks out.

Until then, I will continue using my Oleeva silicone strip, as well as massaging my belly with Palmer's lotion all throughout the day.

Even though I received the all clear from my PS to resume any and all activity/working out, I still haven't gone back full force. Part is me being a bit lazy, part is my body not being ready just yet. Been easing back into running and some light weights, but nothing regimented just yet. I'm getting there. I still nap during the day if I can and just do what my body tells me it needs.

Very excited that I'm 2 months post op (where does the time go?!) and look forward to my results getting better and better!

Also meant to add that at my 8 week check up, my...

Also meant to add that at my 8 week check up, my PS and staff surprised me with a $25 Victoria's Secret gift card!! How awesome is that??!!

I promptly went and purchased the new Miraculous bra (adds up to 2 cup sizes) and I love the bra and the boost it gives my boobies!! Nice treat!

I can't believe I'm at my SIX MONTH POST OP mark! ...

I can't believe I'm at my SIX MONTH POST OP mark! Where oh where has the time gone??!

I must say that everything is healing well and I massage my scar and belly button several times throughout the day. Overall, I'm tickled with my results.

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. G yesterday morning and all went well. Took more photos to document the journey and had the doctor take a look at things. We will be doing a small revision to remove my dog ears. Right side is really bad (compared to the left side), it looks more like an extra nipple. Hahaha! Didn't really realize I had a very tiny one on the left. I'll be going back in Sept 12th to have those removed.

My belly button is still trying to heal. When I stand up straight, there's a lot of tension on the belly button which pulls it really tight and gives it that "slot-like" appearance...which I don't like. However, if I'm sitting, it's super cute and looks normal. Dr. G said I really have to massage it as there's still some fluid trapped around the scar which is causing the "puffy" look to the right side of it. Time will tell. I hope it "loosens up"...if that makes any sense.

Meant to include this in my last update...but as a...

Meant to include this in my last update...but as a complete side note:

I had my annual mammogram recently and all seemed well. My breasts are very dense and my radiologist had suggested for the past two years that I should have an MRI. I already get yearly ultrasounds in conjunction with the mammos. So I finally had my first MRI. Needless to say that whole experience was terrifying. NOT the way to find out you're claustrophobic! Long story short, the radiologist found a 4 mm lesion in my "healthy" breast. The believe it to be "probably benign" and suggest having a follow up MRI in 6 months. I cried when I got the report. With my history, "probably" just doesn't sit well with me. I meet with my breast surgeon this coming Thursday and will discuss the situation with him and find out what my options are. Waiting 6 months does not sit well with me and will tear me up mentally. So point being, if it becomes an option, I may get new ta-tas for free - covered by insurance. Guess that's the only positive spin I can put on this. Not sure I'd be prepared for another major surgery though. Time will tell...

Hard to believe it's been nearly 7 months! Today...

Hard to believe it's been nearly 7 months! Today I got to go in and have my "dog ears" removed!! I was really glad to finally be rid of them - my right was much worse than the left side. Although neither side was absolutely terrible. The needle to numb both sides was a bit painful, but nothing I haven't been through before. I will tell you that it's weird to smell your own skin being cauterized! I've smelled singed flesh before...just never my own! That was a bit weird! LOL! Kinda stinks to have stitches all over again though. But this too shall heal. Over all, I am doing really well. One day I'll post more updated pictures...promise!

Doing well overall. Had both dog ears revised. ...

Doing well overall. Had both dog ears revised. Although I'm thinking I have more of one now on the left than I did to begin with. Will continue to massage, massage, massage! Feel great and happy to know my abs are there!

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! Is it really possible...

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!

Is it really possible that an entire year has passed since I had my tummy tuck?!! I'm so glad that it has though! Scar is still a bit darker in a few areas and I have another appointment to have my dog ear revision on my left side re-evaluated. It may have to be redone. Not really wanting to, but not wanting the dog ear either. I'm anxious to have get a tattoo over my scar, just trying to figure out exactly what I want. I'll add a few pics taken just this morning to celebrate one year!

This past Monday, April 9th, I went in for a...

This past Monday, April 9th, I went in for a revision of my revision on my left side. I had a teeny tiny dog ear removed and ended up with another one...lovely, huh? Only a small revision this time and four stitches which I get removed in a few hours now. NOW, I'm happy with my results. Scar is still fading and I love my flat belly! Hope everyone else is doing well too!

Camouflaging the TT scar 27 months post op

I'm over 2 years post op and happy with my results. I knew going into this that I would trade the excess skin for a rather large scar...and I was ok with that exchange. My scar is higher than I would have preferred, but hey, can't have it all, right? I've thought about having it tattooed for some time now. I just couldn't settle on a design. Well, I've made progress! The design was freelanced and at first, I wasn't sure I wanted it to be symmetrical. However, once the first half was done, I went back one week later for the other half and decided I wanted it to match. Took a bit to get it as close as we did and this is after two sessions. I still have one more to go to even things out and to add a bit more to the lower middle to camouflage it a bit more. I'm stoked and absolutely LOVE it!!

It's been THREE years!!!

It is so hard to believe three whole years have passed! I am so in love with my results and how I look now! My outside finally matches what I've felt on the inside for so long! I have been proudly sporting my bikinis on the beach and loving every minute of it! So glad I took the plunge and has this done!
Hagerstown Plastic Surgeon

Dr. G's honesty and bedside manner are unparalleled. I couldn't have found a better surgeon or a nicer, more attentive staff. Very happy with my choice!

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