Turning Back Time - Houston, TX

I have been dreaming of having a tummy tuck ever...

I have been dreaming of having a tummy tuck ever since I had my second child four years ago. Before I had kids, I was very athletic and extremely fit. Although I took care to not gain too much weight while pregnant and was able to return to my pre-pregnancy weight after each child, my stomach would alter with each pregnancy. After my second pregnancy, I noticed that the skin on my stomach was not at tight and would hang a little when I would bend over. After my third baby, I had a bulge under my belly button that was firm and made me look like I was about 3 months pregnant complete with skin that was not taunt anymore.

As it ends up, I had a diastasis recti tear of about 3 inches. There was no way I was going to get rid of the lower bulge without surgery. Tired of working out, and eating a perfectly healthy diet only to still dislike my stomach and constantly wear tank tops under every shirt to smooth out and hold in my stomach, I decided to look into a tummy tuck. I will write more details on my consult later as I'm 1dpo and a bit groggy still lol. So far I'm in love with my results! I know I'm still swollen but I feel like I turned back time and got my stomach back! I need to find pre-op pictures to post but the following are 1dpo. I would recommend a TT to anyone...it was worth every penny and moment of discomfort so far. i know it's just going to get better and better!

I should have taken before pictures but for some...

I should have taken before pictures but for some odd reason, I was afraid that if took them and got too excited...maybe my surgery would be cancelled and I'd have to face what I really looked like lol. I avoided pictures of my naked stomach for that reason. I just could not believe it was truly happening until I was being wheeled to the OR lol I just added a picture that I took when I found out that I was pregnant with baby #3 (she is now 10 mo. old). I was only 5 weeks so the pooch/bugle you see is from the torn abs and most def. not the baby. After I had my last baby, I had that same bowing out of my abs plus my skin was even more loose and would just hang pitifully when i would bend over. With the aid of sucking in and yummy tummy tanktops, I was able to give the illusion of a flat stomach..but I knew the truth lol I also included a pregnancy pic with my last baby to illustrate the amount of stretching that went on lol

Well, I'm now 3dpo and feeling much better than I...

Well, I'm now 3dpo and feeling much better than I was at 1dpo. I'm no longer dizzy or nauseated when I get up and I've figured out ways to adapt so that I use my abs as little as possible. I'm standing up about 80 percent straight now and since moving to a bed (from the couch), my back has improved tremendously. I'm still in pain and taking my medication around the clock, but I know that is to be expected the first week or so. By week two, I plan to taper down my medication to as little as I can take while keeping the pain at bay. I'm starting back to school next week so i certainly don't want a lot of medication on board while trying to study. I had thought before I had the surgery that the scar might bother me a little bit. While I have not seen the actual incision line as I'm still taped up, I can honestly say that the scar does not bother me AT ALL! When I look down and see a flat and taunt stomach, its worth everything that I've gone through. I'm so grateful that I was able to get this done. I'll be glad to have the drain and tape removed soon.

Well today is day 6po and I'm feeling much much...

Well today is day 6po and I'm feeling much much better than yesterday. For some unknown reason day 5po was a really rough day. I think the healing stages are cyclical and that it's normal to have an "off" day every once in a while. Well, yesterday was indeed my off day. I was nauseated, in pain, sore back and neck, and extremely light headed/dizzy. There was however one moment where it was all worth it. I was sitting on a chair in my bra and underwear in my bathroom after taking a shower. I was light headed and felt too weak to even attempt to pick up my blow dryer. My husband walked in and out of instinct I quickly sucked in while strategically looking for a towel to drape over my stomach...oh the games we play lol. I took a quick glance down at my stomach expecting to see the overhang I was so accustomed to and it was then that I realized that my stomach was wonderfully flat. I could care less about the incision or drain...my stomach is flat! Even thought I'm in the not so fun initial healing stages, I have to say that this is one of the best things I've ever done for myself and I'd encourage anyone who has some insecurity about their stomach to look into having it done.

I am 12 days post op now and feeling more like...

I am 12 days post op now and feeling more like "me" everyday. I can say that there is a dramatic difference in swelling when I'm able to rest vs being more active. When I wake up, my stomach looks awesome and by the end of the day, I feel quite like a tick. However, a tick with taunt skin so I'm ok with that lol. Before my TT, I read a lot so I knew to expect swelling. I don't love it, but on the other hand, it does not concern me either. I would totally advise anyone considering a TT to have it done in the winter/fall. It takes a good 6mo. for the swelling to resolve so don't do it 2 months before a cruise. You'll not have the results that you want by then. A second piece of advice would be to set aside money for supportive care afterwards if you have young children. I only had help until 7 days past surgery and that was not enough. Luckily, I am having someone come clean my house this week so that a huge relief. I would advise to make sure you have help for up to 4 weeks with your children and budget in someone to clean your house. Of course, if you have family to do all of this for you, all the better! If I did not have children, I would be fine with having help for a week max (not including someone to go grocery shopping...that will take a few weeks).

Well, it has been almost a month since my surgery!...

Well, it has been almost a month since my surgery! In retrospect, I can say that thus far, week 2 was the most difficult. Life returns to normal (ie...responsibility), and yet you are far from normal lol. Add to that the emotions that are very normal after having such a large surgery, and it's just rough. Now, at 27 days post-op, I feel way more like myself mentally. Physically, I still get tired easy, but I'm walking faster, able to do so much more, and have more independence. My husband works 6 days a week and I'm able to take care of the kids, house, and keep up with my school work (to give those who are thinking of having the surgery an idea of what they might be able to do at 4 weeks). However, my stamina is crummy still, but I expected that. I don't have strong pain (except for the day I jumped a curb when driving lol), but more stiffness and intense soreness (think of the day after a hard workout). I prepare myself for it so it's not upsetting or shocking. I wish I could do more because I have a young family....but, I know my body is healing and that eventually, I will be "me" again...but with my pre-baby tight stomach...woo-hooo! There has not been a moment that I'd say it's not been worth it. There have been difficult moments or moments that I feel down, swollen, tired of being tired...but never ever have I regretted it. If you're thinking of doing this...don't let pain scare you. Honestly, the first few days hurt...but not out of this world pain. The pain meds work so it's all good. After that, it's just a matter of your body recovering/healing and that takes a few months. What's a few months though? The time will pass anyway and might as well have something fun to look forward to at the end of it vs still being unhappy about something that 2 hours in an OR could change...for the rest of your life :-)

Hello all! Well, it has been almost 6 weeks since...

Hello all! Well, it has been almost 6 weeks since my surgery. Things are much the same as my last review-I'm feeling so much better and more like "me" in many ways, but my body is still healing so I have to be very careful to not push it too far. I've had a few issues with spitting stitches, but that is pretty common and no way to avoid it. It's possible that the one on the top of my BB will cause a slight scar. If so, I'll have a scar revision...it's not biggie. My TT incision if healing really nicely and I can cover it with most underwear, so I'm stoked! Beyond this, I don't have acute pain (expect for when I did something to irritate my healing the other day while putting up dishes) just more sore/burning muscle feeling. It's nothing that NSAID's and Tylenol can't take care of. However, when I did flare things up the other day, I was back on pain meds for a few days. I think that has more to do with my activity level though. I think if I were to be able to get off my feet for a few days and rest, the pain meds would maybe only be needed for a day(after I flared things up). However, as many of you likely can relate to, when you have young children...there is no "me time." lol My PS had originally put me in Spanx at 2 weeks out. However, after the flare up, I bought a CG from his office. I LOVE this thing! It is a stage 1 from Veronique. I'd say my swelling has reduced by about 50 percent, and I feel more support, and thus less back pain. I'd highly recommend it. I wish this review allowed me to do "bullets," but I wanted to list a few things I recommend to future Tummy Tuckers. Before my surgery, I was clueless as to what to buy to wear around the house after so I bought some VS Pink Fitted Flare Loungewear in one size up. Um, not so much at first lol. Just to give you an idea of what is comfortable. I wear and XS normally, and the most comfy things ever have been my DH's Old Navy drawstring (do NOT do elastic anything at first) flannel PJ pants in XL. They are heaven. My second fav. are my VS Pink boyfriend pants in size S (my size up). When I go out, and want to look a little more pulled together, I wear my VS fitted flare in S and a VS Pink hoodie in S (I usually wear XS for a fitted look and S for comfy). I can now wear my pre-op jeans but I'm in my one size up jeggings to accommodate swelling. My old shirts fit perfectly fine. It's important to note that I did not try my regular clothes until 4 weeks out. Up unitl then, it was various forms of lounge wear. I would not push it before you had to. At about 2 weeks out, I went out to Homegoods to shop a bit. I wore my VS fitted flare lounge pants and the band hit right about at bellybutton level. Guess what? I came home to a bleeding BB. Learn from me, and go as relaxed fit as possible. You'll have years to wear tight "hot" clothes ;) Another piece of advice I would give is to cook before surgery and freeze meals. It does not have to be complicated at all. The best thing has been various soups with fresh veggies and low sodium broths. They are low sodium, healthy, and very nutrient dense. That's all I can think of for now...happy healing all and good luck!

Well, I am approximately 7 weeks postop now. I can...

Well, I am approximately 7 weeks postop now. I can say that this past week has been much better in terms of energy level, and I definitely can see improvement in the way I feel overall. Also, swelling is a little bit better. All of this being said, I'm still having issues with infections secondary to spitting stitches. I don't love having to deal with them, but I know they are normal and if treated properly, will not affect my final result. :-) I think the most surprising thing for me has been really how long the recovery is. I would do this surgery 100 times over, and have absolutely no regrets. Still, I am surprised that it still difficult to get up in some positions, hurts when I sneeze, tire so easily, and feel so much weaker in abdominals. I am not lifting anything heavy by any means, but normal little 5 pound items definitely causes strain on the internal repair. This is not to deter anybody from having the surgery. It is still completely worth it and I don't know how one can put a price on the sheer happiness of seeing your stomach restored to the way it was before certain life events such as pregnancy or weight loss. However, I think it's really important to know what to expect so that you don't push yourself too hard, feel like somethings wrong with you, or become discouraged. I have learned that it really is a healing in terms of quarters. With the three, six, nine, and 12 months being important milestones. I genuinely think if I did not have a very young baby, it would be a completely different experience. Because of lifting restrictions, I am not able to leave the house quite as easily, and I go stir crazy. Without that lifting restriction, or not needing to lift a young child, I would be able to drive at a few weeks postop, and have that sense of normalcy back sooner. At least on that level LOL. I still know that I would tire more easily, and have restrictions. Technically, I was allowed to try to lift her at four weeks. However, I had a complication due to lifting a cast iron pan the wrong way, and that set me back by couple of weeks. I really believe it was the form that put the strain on my repair and caused the complication more than the actual weight. Still, I don't regret having done this now. I think in retrospect, I just might have lined up more help with my baby in the aftercare. As it was, my husband was able to take a couple of days off of work, and I only had a babysitter for two or three days after that. I cannot recall the exact number of days. All in all, I had help for a total of about six days. Looking back, I think I was crazy LOL. Most definitely get help for two weeks. I am proud of myself for having been able to do it, but there's no prize or metal for putting yourself through more than you should lol I really believe the success's or ease of your recovery can hinge on having the proper support afterwords and not having to push yourself too hard. Happy healing lovelies!

Hello all! Well, it has been 12 weeks since my...

Hello all! Well, it has been 12 weeks since my surgery. So far, I am very happy with my results in regards to the muscle repair, and overall aesthetic. The only exception to that is the scar around my belly button. The scar is a obvious red flag indicating that I had the surgery done. My surgeon is very good, and I trust that he had his reason for doing that particular incision. I have seen pictures of his other patients, and they have different incisional lines around the belly button, so possibly it was an issue with me anatomically. All of that being said, bellybutton revisions are fairly common, and I know there are various treatments for the scar if needed. All in all, I am not overly worried about it as I think it will be a relatively minor fix. I am very happy that the overall result is great, and I can deal with this little hiccup ;-). In terms of how I am actually feeling three months out, I would say I see huge difference versus two months out. I am able to lift without much discomfort, and have started working out again. I will definitely feel it if I lift anything over 20# and/or don't use proper body mechanics. I am not up to a full run, but do more interval training with a light jog/brisk walk, etc. I plan to add and weights next week following proper body mechanics, and limiting core engagement. One residual thing that I do still notice is that I don't feel that my stamina is quite where it was before surgery. I have read over and over that full recovery is closer to six months to year, and I certainly see how that can be true. However, the positive is that improvement is seen every few weeks more or less. My stomach still feels tight near the sternum area, and after a more vigorous workout last night, I was in a bit of pain and had to take muscle relaxers. I am really having to work on my posture once again as these months of flexion have done nothing for me in that regard. The one thing that still remains is swelling. I would definitely say that it is better than a month ago, but no where near normal yet. I don't think others notice it, and as we know our bodies minutely, of course we notice it. Typically, I can see my rib outline quite well as well as my abdominals. So although my stomach may appear flat, when I can't see my ribs or a trace of my abdominals, I know there is some swelling going on. I am quite curious as to how much swelling I have in terms of fluid retention and the scale. I am back to wearing my presurgery clothing. I could likely wear a size smaller, as I noticed that my rib circumference appears to be a lot smaller due to the muscle repair. Yay!! I have lost about 5 pounds give or take since the surgery, but that's not the norm. I believe most people gain weight, but not true body fat, rather fluid. I think the only reason that I lost weight was because when I had the surgery, I still had about 5 pounds of baby weight to lose so that likely accounts for that. Even though I could possibly go down a size, I don't want to. The thought of anything tight or binding right now is a huge turnoff. I already wear my clothes pretty fitted, and see no reason to throw myself into a torture device right now. lol while this review is more of a dry outline of what I'm experiencing at three months. I am doing my best to be candid so that whoever goes into this surgery experience fully knows what to expect and so therefore give their body plenty of time to heal. That being said, any negative that I may list is not a true negative. The positives from having had this surgery are a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the negatives are a one at most :-).

Around 4 mo after. Swelling is much better. It...

Around 4 mo after. Swelling is much better. It got bad 2 weeks ago after my BA but better now :-)

Belly button woes

Hi all! Well, it is been about five months since my surgery. All in all, my recovery is going really well. However, it looks like I will need a belly button revision. It appears that I have an umbilical hernia now, and my scar is too far outside the perimeter. My current surgeon is pretending all is fine. My new PS (BA revision), quickly identified the issue and can fix it. Unfortunately, I will need to hold off until next year. After the tummy tuck, last year's augmentation, and having to have a implant revision, I need to save up a little bit. On a positive note, except for days I still have bloating, my stomach is really flat. Once I get the belly button revision, everything will be great! Well, I say that now, but the only seems to be something that I could get a bit tweaked lol

Bellybutton ring

Hello all! well, Ifinally took the plunge and had my belly button pierced. My thought is that with the piercing, derma blend, and a self tanner, the bellybutton really won't be that noticeable. My new surgeon inspected the area and gave me the green light for it. The piercer I went to is one that I've gone to in the past for some of my inner ear piercings. He is very knowledgeable, and has a lot of experience. That is incredibly important to this process. He did tell me that women with a TT sometimes have decreased blood flow in the abdominal area from having the abdominal flap lifted. The biggest risk with having a piercing is that due to the surgery in the area, your body can actually reject the piercing. He gave me signs to watch out for, and I basically crossed my fingers LOL. The piercing itself did not really hurt at all which is awesome. I am still decently numb at that level. I did feel a little sting but oddly, the only discomfort I had was a stinging near my right ribs. Odd how the pain was referred by that. It was about 10% of what my piercings have felt like in the past. He said I did bleed a little bit which is actually a good sign indicating vascularization near the area :-). I'm being vigilant with my cleaning and so far really love it. The picture I attached is with a decent amount of derma blend and cover-up. I still have a noticeable circular scar, but I think it all in all looks tremendously better. The scar will fade eventually. I might still at some point have the repair, but I would get it re-pierced after that. I really like how it looks personally. He also mentioned a tattoo to cover up the abdominal hip line star. My scar is a really low so it would just be something for me personally. I told him I did not like it when women have a tattoo over that line and made it incredibly obviously had a tummy tuck (No offense to those who decide to go that route, it's just not personally for me ).He told me not to do what most all women do and get a vine across that scar with one or two flowers lol. He said to instead do a really pretty intricate design that goes up a bit and in the bottom happens to incorporate the scar so it does not look like I'm trying to cover something up. I might do that in the future. :-)

5 months post-op

Belly button scarring improving :-). These pics are without Dermablend. Really pleased with my results!
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You look amazing! Love the piercing :)
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You look awesome! So skinny!
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Oh Lourdes, I love it! It is so cute! I just might have to get one. Crossing fingers it heals perfectly!
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Thank you Wildberry! You were after all the inspiration for the idea ;-). I think it would look awesome on you, and you would totally love it! You are very healthy, and I really think it would heal with no problems. Are you still somewhat numb in the abdominal region? If so, that will actually work for you with the piercing ;-)
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Your results are fantastic, all in all. But I understand where you are coming from with the BB. My scars are on the inside of the BB, so you really can't see them. I will say though, that you still look cute as a button and don't let it stop you from showing off that tummy this summer! Do a henna tattoo or get temporary tattoo's to go around it for the time being. I wish I was as flat as you are, but I can't quit snacking. My saving grace is that I work out like a mad woman! LOL!
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That you Dragonfly! The temp tattoo idea is great! That would be much easier than perfectly applying concealer each time. Lol. Your results are awesome and your stomach is very flat! I can't wait until I can work out again. I have to wait four more weeks due to my augmentation, and then I'm going to get after it :-). I snack more when I work out. They pretty much balance each other out lol
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You have great results. I'm glad you gave the tips about the clothing sizes. I've been buying size large yoga pants when I normally wear either XS or S. They all seem so big right now but I know there will be swelling.
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Thank you, Nichole! I remember thinking the larges seemed so huge, too. I was so happy to have them after my surgery. You will be swollen so that's a component. The biggest reason that you will like them large is that you do not want anything touching your incision, or pressing on your stomach. It's really uncomfortable. Also, you will have a drain so the tubing is going to need to be able to out and over of the waistband. I'm not sure what style you got, but my favorite by far were the drawstring. :-). Pair that with loose comfy shirts and it's heaven!!! When is your surgery scheduled?
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I'm schedules for June 20th. I'm a teacher so I had to wait for school to be out for the summer. I tried to find people who were close to their ideal weight but just had excess skin to try and see what results I might expect. Again...you look great.
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I can't wait I hear how your breast revision went, I am interested to see how things are the second time around.
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Hi Jeni! I started a new review for the revision about two days ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be on my profile :-( I will get another one up this weekend. So far, I am beyond thrilled with my results!! Thank god because physically and financially I really did not want to have to do another one anytime soon lol
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You look great and I love seeing how much your swelling has gone down !
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Thank you! It is really amazing how the swelling improves right around the 3mo mark. I now only really swell after I workout, PMS, etc. I can still see swelling above the incision line but I know that last little bit takes the 6mo-1 year to get better. I just looked at your profile and you look FABULOUS!!! You have the most perfect result already :-). Bikini shopping is going to be so fun for you this year! If you don't mind me asking, how many CC's did you get? I'm swapping out my implants soon due to CC and want to go bigger (getting greedy lol). Your size looks perfect. I have 495 now but started out as a 34A so not much to work with lol
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you are looking fabulous!
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Thank you! I just looked at your updated photos and WOW! You look awesome! Your stomach is so flat and your BB is wonderful :-D
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Wow your 12 weeks looks amazing !! Cannot wait to be there!!!
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you look great
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Looking great!
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Thankyou sheeney, you too!
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More perfect words of wisdom. Thank you, once again. I really wish you didn't have to deal with the spitting sutures. I hope that ends soon for you.
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Thank you positive one, how are you doing?
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I'm knocking on wood as I type this. I'm doing really well!!!! Still a little swelling (but nothing out of the ordinary it seems) more energy, no pops & burning and I seem to be losing a few pounds. Going to attempt running stairs tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Thanks for asking! I hope all is well with you!!!
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YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!
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Thank you frenchyy! Those words are always nice to hear when going through this up/down process lol
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what are the main things that helped you to walk around? what helped you feel comfortable? What did you used to put the drains comfortable or up to shower? Sorry, this has been begging me just worrying about it.
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