I booked my Tummy Tuck procedure today for June 5,...
I booked my Tummy Tuck procedure today for June 5, 2014 and I'm so excited, scared, nervous and relieved at the same time! At 44, my dream was always to have this done after having back to back children 13 years ago. I've always been moderately active and have recently taken up yoga. As of October 2013, I've relieved my 5'2 frame of 30 unnecessary pounds. I could stand to lose more, but obviously my belly and the saggy skin, fat around it won't budge no matter what. I cannot drop a jean size due to waist size alone. Excuse the picture quality but these are a few photos of what I deal with daily. Looking forward to sharing as I have read many of your stories and been inspired!
Weight Lost Post TT
Wondering if anyone might share how many pounds were taken off during their standard TT procedure?
Had My Pre-Op Today
So, I had my pre-op appointment today. Everything went well, except the camera wasn't responding and I will have to take my before photos before the day of surgery. Yes, I broke the camera! LOL. I was able to address the questions that concern me most. Of course the nurse was adamant that everyone heals differently and at their own rate. They cannot stress enough that it's best if you do some form of exercise, eat right and are physically fit. You will heal better and with better results. Realistically speaking, I'm just wanting to drop this pouch that's been hanging down my middle for several years now. I used to have three rolls on my tummy, now it's down to one. I just envision myself with a tighter, flatter tummy, so I can go down one more size in pants. I love my curves! Having a flatter stomach will accentuate that. When I get the all clear from the doctor, I plan to tone up my abs the way I've always dreamed of doing, but never quite got the results I was working for before. Since my lipo will be minimal and concentrated to the abdomen area, I won't be wearing a compression suit...just a compression binder, which I was relieved to hear. Texas can get pretty hot in June :) I am also making the added expense of having the surgeon use Exparel, on the incision site. Anything that will numb you for 3-5 days is a plus in my opinion. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but as I get older a lot of things are changing, so we'll see if it's worth it. Since my surgery isn't until 3:30 in the afternoon, I can't eat after the midnight before. THAT should be fun! All in all, I feel so much better about this journey and my nerves have settled into just focusing on pre-planning to get my house in order, and be able to come home to rest and heal up. I'm thinking about all of you as well. Praying your surgery goals and healing go well with wonderful results, always. Two more weeks to go!!
Got Prescriptions Today
So I picked up all my 'scrips today, and am thankful that Dr. Basu's office conveniently called those in ahead of time to do that. Let's see, I have vicodin, valium, a pill for nausea and a patch that I'll wear the day of surgery. Not sure I'll really need to pill, but it can't hurt. Part of the reason I'm opting to use Exparel, is to hopefully decrease the need to use the pain pills. Narcotics make me very sick to my stomach, so we'll see how that goes. I already have a recliner I'll be using to sleep in, downstairs. I have several pairs of baggy pajama bottoms from when I was heavier, to accommodate the drains and fit loosely. I plan to juice during the beginning of my recovery, to help keep me regular and hopefully not constipated (tmi) Aunt Flow came yesterday, (more tmi!) so I'm grateful that will be one less thing to deal with during recovery. I used part of this weekend to explain to my parents what to expect. They're understandably concerned, they are parents....I'm their only child. But they support me, which means the world to me because they are usually quite anxious and over-protective (yes, even though I'm 44, lol!) My husband will care for me the first week, and then my parents have agreed to help me after he goes back to work. My sons are 12 & 13, so though they still need supervision, their care is easy. My husband and sons support me, so I feel like my little circle is all I have to really tell about this procedure. I am not ashamed or embarrassed at all....I just never really talk to people about my personal injuries or health/medical issues. Never have. So it's the same with this tummy tuck. I mentioned it briefly to my best friend about a month ago, that I was planning and she honestly told me she wouldn't do it....that having stretch marks and a baby pooch were all a part of being a mother. I respect her opinion, but it's not the one I share and that's one of the great things I love about our friendship, is being able to be honest without getting hurt. So, I have chosen to stay mum on the subject. I personally think it's rude to ask if anyone has had "work" done...why not just tell the person you think they look beautiful or great? Just my two cents....Enjoy your Memorial Day everyone! If there are any military families or veterans who read this, thank you for your service! I do not take it for granted.
It's been busy set of days, as my countdown draws the surgery date closer! I've pretty much stocked up on everything I need (I hope) except for fresh fruits & veggies that will be purchased fresh. My youngest has been down with a stomach virus and I am hoping I don't catch it nor any other family members. Caring for him these past two days has brought back all the old feelings of guilt and why am I doing this, kind of feelings. I just want to get through this and focus on getting my old self back. This constant rain doesn't help my mood either. What a dreary set of days. How has everyone else been lately? Any updates?
Paid And Ready For Lift Off
Made my full payment, so I'm IN this!! LOL....I'm still a little nervous, but also excited and ready. The staff at Basu Plastic Surgery really work as a team, they've accommodated me so much through all this planning, etc. I cannot say enough great things about their professionalism and caring attitude. My son is feeling better and next week is the last week of school for them so the frantic activity of before, is all winding down. I know I won't see full results for several weeks, maybe even a few months but I'm prepared for that. I've been juicing and detoxing my body to prepare for the surgery. Looking forward to reviewing and rating the pain relief drug, Exparel that I've opted to let my surgeon use, just to see if it really makes a difference. I've always had a high pain tolerance, but I never had c-sections with my kids so I don't have much to compare pain to in my ab region. Keep up with me, I read your updates when you all post, so it helps me feel like I'm not alone :)
The Final Countdown!!
The final countdown indeed, just like that song by Europe, lol....I've been giddy with nerves the last week. I cannot believe my TT surgery is tomorrow. I've been eating light since yesterday, soups, salads and fruit. I've had a nervous stomach all day this morning. Soooo, I will try to update tomorrow up until I cannot post and probably not until the next day after surgery. I think I have everything I will need, if not, oh well. I'm going to get my mani/pedi in today. Time goes so quickly! Good luck to all of you and will talk soon.
And I'm off...
5 Jun 2014
Day of treatment
I've showered with antibacterial soap, washed my hair. They told me to remove my toe nail polish only because it was red. Something about the chemicals in that color that may prevent the machine from reading my pulse? So I did that. I cringe that I cannot put on any deodorant, or lotion or balm on my face, but it's only temporary. So ready to get this going and over with. My husband has my bag packed, just in case. It's got a few snacks for him and extra clothing for me, coconut water, books, pillow. Check in soon. I prayed with my sons last night. Today is there last day at school. Deep breathe...see you on the flat side!
Last photos before TT
5 Jun 2014
Day of treatment
Got home around 8 pm last night. First I have to say Dr. Basu's facility is inside the Memorial Healthcare building in the Houston Medical Center. I felt really good knowing that is something happened, the hospital is right downstairs. His beautiful office is fully staffed with people who are coordinated and knew about my case. These folks truly work as a team! Can't say enough about how at ease they make you feel. Onto the surgery. I packed the lowest sweat pants I own, a tee I wore there and my zip front hoodie. Dark colors are best in case you seep blood. They gave me a gown, head over, compression socks and non skid socks for surgery. Charlotte took a few pics, preg test, medical overview and put my IV in. They were precise and ON TIME ! Love that. Dr. Basu met my husband, wore the appropriate Houston Texans O/R hat (lol) and was friendly & upbeat. Shannon helped prep to be marked up. He took off ALOT! I was kinda glad :) My husband got a little emotional when we said goodbye. I urged him to get some dinner as they walked me to the OR. Two nurses, the anesthiologist and of course doc were there. The anesthiologist was so sweet, making jokes that he was mixing up my cocktails! The first was too relax me, I recall seeing overhead lights and next I knew I was waking up, teeth shattering from being put under. My husband said he noticed a difference immediately. I was bandaged and corested so tight idk how he could tell. Don't remember much of the drive home, except I began to cry not from pain, but relief it was all over. Exparel!! While a God send, because I don't feel my incision at all, you do feel anything else you've had done, in my case, lipo of the hips and flanks. Lipo pain IS A MOTHER!!!! Started vicodin and valium immediately when I got home because OMG! Lipo/belly button pain is no joke!!!
I commend anyone who can afford to handle it all over their body. Hubby helped with drains. They safety pinned them to my garment so they dont drag. I could barely eat but had to for pain meds or I get nausea. Had two sips of soup, crackers then pineapple later. Tons of water because I was so parched! Slept on my recliner covered with pillows and kept waking up to pee. Getting up has been easy so far. Exparel makes you believe you're invincible. I'm having trouble remembering to walk hunched over! Must. Try. Lipo pain being managed with pain killers. All I can see so Far thru corset is the beginnings of
an hourglass shape. Otherwise I'm swollen. He said he removed a total of 4lbs of skin (!) & almost a full liter of lipo-ed fat...can you imagine? He also said I was very strong in my legs, upper abs and back, which is going to help my recovery so I can use those muscles to bear weight...not my abs. All in all on a pain scale? This is more painful than childbirth, my miscarriages and hernia surgery I had as a child. It can be managed though. I just went to pee byself. Walked slowly and bent over. Cant wait to post better pics soon. Best thing anyone could do for themselves, in my opinion. You will all do fine! Dr. Basu and his team, is the best!
So it's Day 2 & I'm already itching like crazy ! My upper abs are still very swollen but I can feel itching inside there. I just lightly pass my fingers and gently rub (no major scratching) and its the nicest relief. Anyone going thru this? Also felt really nauseous today, so couldnt eat much. Just sipped on my fav fresh juicing, pineapple and also pure coconut water. Slowly but surely the swelling is going down. Later lovelies !
I have never slept so much in my life it seems! Still feel a little groggy at times. I've been very emotional too. Felt pain from the incision a little tiny bit today AND from where the drains are connected to. One of the sutures popped and I bled a little. Doc said it was normal as long as the drains were still in place. My back & bottom hurt from walking hunched over. I'm super swollen I almost feel pregnant. Lipo and this TT procedure are no joke! Cant really see any contouring yet in this pic. How's everyone holding up?
Well here I am! I can move around faster and walk a bit better today. I don't know why they make you walk hunched over, as it hurts more to do that than walk normal. I have muscle spasms, and minimal pain from the incision. What hurts and is still tender are my hips and sides from lipo. This TT business is NO JOKE!!! What a major surgery and recovery period. My appetite has been so-so but I'm more uncomfortable from sleeping in my easy chair than anything else. The swelling is what keeps me from really enjoying this part of the process. It comes on suddenly without warning and I can feel my binder feel so tight like I can barely breathe. Then it goes away. Pineapple and coconut water are my favs right now. Since I'd been eating soup and fruits since before surgery, constipation has never been an issue, thankfully. Although swollen, I love the shape I see in the mirror before bath. I'm curvy like Jessica Rabbit lol! No more wrinkly pouch. No more little hanging bags of fat. I have a new belly button too. The incision is nice and low. Having a walker has helped. When you bathe, make sure your helper has all the stuff ready in advance, even bandages so you can change dressings. The drains are cumbersome but not horrible. I just safety pin them to a laynyard I hang around my neck. See doc today at 2 so I hope he takes them out. Be ready to pee alot afterwards!! I must've gotten up every 30 min it seems. Pain meds do help. I havent taken a pain pill since yestrday morning. Exparel is THE BEST!!! And totally worth it, imo. An open front robe and going commando have worked more for me while the drain lines are still in, just fyi. I didnt get my boobs done yet so just a comfy sports bra works. More later.
End of Day 6
Today I felt better than ever! Went to my post op visit yesterday & they decided to keep drains in until Friday. I'm a little scared to get them out. They say it hurts but I'm tired of having them in. My swelling has gone down just a bit and the itching is getting better. I took my first full shower and husband washed my hair. Thankful for the help I have. Dr. Basu was very pleased at ny incision progress, I just cry at the drop of a hat lately! They said it was normal. I haven't taken anymore pain pills since two days. Exparel bought me that healing time for the incision not to feel so sore. I'm so pleased when I see the difference in my shape already even though there is swelling that needs to go down. It's only been a week and I get up and walk around, take my rests but it's all in all the best thing I could've done! Fresh juices, salads and soups have been great. If you get muscle repair like I needed, you do feel "tight" inside your belly, so I get full faster. We'll see how Friday goes tomorrow and what they decide about drains. Dr. Basu and his staff is simply amazing! They have called or emailed to check up daily.
One Drain Removed Today
Got my most bothersome drain removed this morning, yay! I appreciate how prudent they are about removing drains and avoiding a possible seroma as much as possible. So my last drain should come out next Tuesday. It DOESN'T HURT! I over prepared by taking a vicodin an hour before and on an empty stomach too :( Turns out it just felt like a wet noodle being pulled out and no pain. She cleaned both drain openings and put Neosporin. I felt so much better! The drain they took out had been pinching and pulling on a little scab that had formed at the base....painful, everytime I got up. I'm amazed that those drains have been more uncomfortable than my actual hip to hip incision! So, they advised me to wear my compression garment a few more weeks, and as often as I can, even at night. So that's basically it so far. I rest when I get tired and walk around the house a bit but have to remember to take it easy as it's only been a week. My husband goes back to work tomorrow but my parents will step in to help so we'll see how that goes. I'm excited for more pics, just trying to make time to photograph my progess. Still swollen, but its gone down a bit, I love the difference in my shape that I already see. Can't wait for those of you who are pending your MM or TT's!
Day 9 Pictures
I know I'm still very swollen. The bruising is gradually decreasing. The hardest part of recovery is being patient and letting people do things for you. But I remind myself this is what I wanted and it's what was necessary to get me closer to my goals. To keep our spirits up, laughter is really the best medicine. I use a pillow to stifle laughs and honestly am still so numb, it doesn't hurt much. Yay for Exparel!! The word "mons" send my husband and I into barrels of laughter...don't know why. Since they removed one drain yesterday, my mons is super swollen, it almost doesn't look human. My butt is less swollen...I'm a mess but I do see the beginnings of the curvy shape I wanted and of course, no wrinkly stretched out skin. I'm tired today :(
Today was kind of a boo day...thumbs down, whatever you want to call it. Summer activities have begun for my boys and I cannot help them with any of it. I'm tired from not sleeping well in the recliner. I'm sore and anxious to get the last drain removed tomorrow. Everytime I move, the little tube rubs the opening and pulls. ...ouch! Still swollen, but it's getting there. My shape changes daily and so far, I'm pleased with it. I'm my harshest critic so that says a lot. My appetite is affected because my stomach feels so tight inside. My incision usually starts stinging a little in the evening. I'm just tired of being limited but I knew this was part of the sacrifice. My husband is pulling double time getting boys ready for camp and my parents are shuttling them to appointments and so on. I feel useless. And fat. End of rant....we'll see what doc says tomorrow about what activity or instructions have changed for me at almost two weeks out.
Free At Last!
What a difference a day makes...officially drain free today! Oh my....this last drain felt a little more intense upon removing it. But so glad it's out! They removed my stitches as well. I feel a little picked over but still better than yesterday. Dr. Basu says everything is coming along nicely. Now I can pull my corset tighter without those drain tubes. Still swollen but my expectations are realistic and there will be good and bad days. Will post pic later. Will see them in two weeks. Can't say enough about this amazing office and doctor! They just make you feel so at home and are so informative, I trust Dr. Basu completely! For those of you who are scheduled with him, you are in good hands my friends. More later, gonna restup a bit.
Updated Pic Today
It's still rough looking, I know. But here's my progression at 1 week and 4 days...drain free (look at those little vampire bites, lol) swollen everything. Feeling a bit bruised tonight but otherwise good!
Well I'm officially in swell hell since yesterday. It starts around 1 pm and lasts FOREVER! My binder was so tight yesterday even loosening it didn't help. On top of that, the incision/opening where the last drain was, doesn't want to scab and keeps reopening because either the binder rubs in it or I get up and pull something. I woke up with my mons area bleeding this morning but managed to clean the wound and gauze it up. I also had a period this past week, which suprised me since I'd had one only 2 weeks ago, lol. I'm a mess! I fit into smaller pants and underpants, even with the swelling...but feel so blah and bloated that I favor my loose clothing. Could I be retaining water? I notice my shape has definitely changed, which is exactly what I wanted but I have a long way to go to get through this swelling thing. My doctor told me it can take 2-3 months, maybe more, to see final results, so I'm going to be patient. My bras are too tight (they were loose before the TT) so I feel a bit unsure in this new body. I feel ok otherwise. The fatigue has decreased and I'm taking it easy. Still sleeping in my recliner. Tried the bed and it wasn't comfortable. I also get swollen where my hips and sides were lipo'd. I don't feel comfortable with my binder on or off! I'm hungry but I'm not hungry. Still snack on pineapple daily, bathroom/digestion stuff is great & regular.....I know I'm only starting my third week. Whew!
I've been feeling better these past two days. More like my old self. The swelling is it's own monster. Some days are good. Some days are not. Anyone have issues with old drain incision sites? I'm a week from having mine removed & it refuses to close and heal. The other did just fine. Also there seems to be a small lump underneath it and one coin size bruise around the area. The hole is about the size of a sesame seed...tiny. I don't think it's infected but no scab will form! My mons area is finally, finally starting to look human again. I don't know about you all, but my swelling is concentrated to a triangle shaped area starting at my belly button and going south. It feels hard there. My rubs still have minor bruising from the lipo. Most times, I can't eat as much as I'd like (not a complaint! Lol) because it feels really tight inside my upper tummy where they repaired the ab separation. I get muscle spasms that feels similar to baby kicks....no lie! Lol....and I KNOW I'm not prego, haha. Anyone relate to any of these symptoms? How is everyone feeling. I can't believe I'm in my 3rd week! Still very pleased with the results I see already and know the swelling will subside hopefully by summer end.
This is a testament to the excellent care of Basu Plastic Surgery, Houston Tx. I'm posting this because though it's graphic and a nuisance, maybe it'll help patients know what to look for. A week after I've been drain free, (yesterday) I noticed the swelling was concentrated to one area. The swell was hard to photograph. But it rose from right on top and bottom of my TT incision. No pain, just discomfort because this was like swelling on top of swelling. After last night's shower, it looked like one of my sutures was trying to open. I contacted the main office number and immediately a nurse got on the line with me. She wanted to see me as soon as possible, in case it was a seroma or abscess. Went in today a little early and she saw me right then. The "tapping" where they poke you is not fun. She numbed me with a local and went to work, talking to me to keep me calm. Nothing drained! So she said it looked like if I'd had a seroma, it may have drained on it's own. The suture is intact, and no infection present..just a little drain smear on my gauze or underpants since Sun morning. She made me feel so reassured and fitted me for a tighter CG to express the swelling around my mons. It's like the tightest scub suit ever! We laughed about fitting me...now I know how Marie Antoinette must have felt, lol. So I'm wearing this torture device for as long as I can stand. It's uncomfortable but bearable. We'll see what happens when the numbness wears off! I've sworn off salty foods and will watch my fat intake, at her advice. Thank God I'm within driving distance to the Medical Center. Just woke up from a nap and ate a little salad with tuna. I can see a difference already. Will see them for a check up next week. Hope the pics are easy to decipher. Whew! Listen to your bodies ladies. Thankful for a staff that listens to their patient concerns!
Medical Compression Garment
4 Weeks Today
I can report that the last 3 days have been a roller coaster set of emotions. I miss yoga and I miss being able to really do the things that I was used to. Some days I'm full of energy. Some days I'm just zapped. On a lighter note, I've lost 9 lbs but I know that is largely fluid and water retention from swelling and what not. They did take off 5 lbs of fat/loose skin so the rest is probably water. I'm not complaining but I've never felt more fat in my life. I'm trying to stay off pain meds, but now my abs are no longer as numb as they were, and I can feel the bruisy, achey feeling at the top of my abs everyday. My incision still concerns me. Some days, there is quite a bit of drainage that is totally gross on the gauze. I'm still wearing a gauze patch because I don't want to leak on my clothing. The swelling gets worse when I'm upright for hours at a time or especially at night before bedtime. My brain feels foggy and I've been most forgetful lately, which is why I missed my follow up appt this past Tuesday. I looked at the wrong appt card and was 1 1/2 hrs late. I couldn't reschedule until next Fri, the 11th because they are so swamped. I cry at the drop of a hat, feel moody and just truly not myself. I'm pleased with the results of my ever changing body but still cannot fit into my old jeans (they were big size) it seems my hips have grown. It's like the swelling is traveling downward. My latest concern is the swelling accumulating above the mons area and below my belly button *see picture. This is what it looked like after the shower this morning. It's red and puffy but doesn't hurt. There is no draining today for whatever reason. I'm able to wear my CG even tighter than before but it doesn't help...it just gives me more support to carry around this little pooch that makes me feel about 4 mo pregnant. I'm not gonna lie and say I don't feel the best ever. I'm eating right when I do have an appetite but still cannot sleep in my bed comfortably. I emailed Linnea the nurse this morning with photos and am waiting for their consult. I just called the office to make sure she got them. I know they're super busy and tomorrow's the holiday but they assured me they will get back with me as soon as they review them. I look for signs of infection but I have no pus, no odor (gross huh?) and no fever. Other than the way it looks, the redness is what concerns me. I asked myself this morning did I regret this? Ummmm, no. I just don't think even with all the research, I anticipated feeling this helpless at home. I have a son with special needs who has cerebral palsy and needs to be transferred in and out of his chair. I have my husband, and my Dad who help immensely, but my son looks for me because he's so used to me doing it. He knows something is different about mama. Everyone here just tells me to do little things that I can, and then take a rest and so on. It just takes some getting used to. I think we can all identify with that. Just started arnica cream and arnica tablets I found at the health food store. It feels better on my tummy but I have yet to notice any swelling go down significantly. Just want it to be next month already so I can hopefully be beyond all this worrisome part. So, will keep you posted if the nurse calls with instructions.
Ok, just got back from the doctor because they called me in after seeing my photo. I don't have a seroma but just a little fluid build up and potential infection. So they prescribed an antibiotic and told me to call Monday if there's no change. But Doc really felt like it'll be taken care of with the antibiotic. Whew! Let the healing begin and maybe this is why I've been feeling so blah. Happy 4th of July everybody!
Almost 5 Weeks Pics
Just recent pics from today. Still a bit swollen.
Seems like not that long ago I was planning for this TT. Check up last Thursday and all looks good except for that little pocket of swelling around my mons area. No excercising yet....kind of bummed but she said it would make me swell more. Swelling comes on at night and depends on how active I was. Binder is still comfy for me but I love my Leonisa binder/cg I got last week.
Love my shape, swelling and all. Mostly just try not to stress. Bb scab fell off and is healing. Scar care started and I'm trying Kel..something gel and silicone strips on my incision. Still feel sore on upper abs sometimes. They said that was normal. Hopefully they'll clear me to start working out in 3 wks. Draining seems to have stopped, which is probably why I swell but they want to make sure everything is healed. I cannot use silicone strips above mons, where incision drains a little. Otherwise, I have a sinus migraine today but cannot complain. This is the best thing I have ever done for myself. How are all of you?