I am so pleased I found this site! Have been...

I am so pleased I found this site! Have been reading all the stories of everyone on here. I have never had surgery and am uber scared about the prospect of doing so! However, I had my pre-op yesterday and now feel like I'm just going to plough through the inevitable anxiety and use sites like this to help me along my way!

I am 39, 5ft 8 and weigh about 200lbs at the moment. I exercise regularly, and play lots of tennis, but have not always been disciplined enough with what I eat (I have willpower, but not staying power - lol!), and have a belly that is full of stretch marks and makes me look continually six months pregnant.

I went for a consultation in January just because I was curious about pricing and what I could get done. I went to the same surgeon that did my sister's tummy tuck in 2001. Anyway, he suggestd the hip lift and lip along with the tummy tuck.

I procrastinated since that time - worried about the money, worried about the surgery, worried about the recovery - yes, I'm a worrier! And then two weeks ago I thought, I'm going to do this - now or never kind of thing. So, I am now booked in for the three procedures on 11/26 - surgery should last about 4 hours.

I am frightened of the surgery and what the recovery holds, but guess I've reached a point where I want the results more than those emotions. So Iook forward to posting on here, and sharing my journey with those that have been before me, and those yet to come!

So today I have started nesting! Clearing out...

So today I have started nesting! Clearing out cupboards etc. Found lots of sexy underwear I bought ages ago in the hope of loosing weight and am hoping I get to wear that once I have healed! Am also going out today to buy aftercare supplies; sheets, sweatpants etc. Also, is it TMI to say that my period is due the week of surgery so I'm likely to be contending with that during recovery. Anyone had that? Am wondering if I should use sanitary towels or tampons (as I would usually do)? Husband has sent the morning reading all the information provided by my doctor. He is so supportive - I am very lucky. Anyway, nerves are still definitely present but I'm trying not tom listen to those. Have also had to basically stop smoking - have had a sneaky one here and there - and so that's nit helping!!! I guess I need to be brave enough to post some "before" pics too - yikes!

So this time next week I will be on my way to my...

So this time next week I will be on my way to my surgery. I am soooo incredibly nervous about the whole thing. Have never had surgery of any kind before, am freaking out about the cost, am wondering if I'm being really shallow and superficial in have plastic surgery - I mean its something I used to say I'd never do! This morning I just wanna call the whole thing off. Can't imagine being out into my gown, marked up and wheeled off to the OR without feeling incredibly anxious! Could not sleep last night - just lay awake reading things on here! Anyway, I just wanted to share :)

Just made my final payment - OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!!! ...

Just made my final payment - OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!!! I had to do it so that I don't back out as I'm seriously freaking out right about now! Team at the surgeyr have been so lovely. I sent them a loooooooooong "scardy cat" email yesterday and they were great at comforting me and explaining that the nerves etc are usual and I shouldn't think I'm strange for having them! Am so pleased we have a long weeked with Thanksgiving. As I'm a Brit who lives in the US, I do eat lots on the Thursday to celebrate, but other than that I don't really have major plans for the holiday so I'm able to use it getting myself ready. Planning on cleaning the house and making my bedroom as sterile as possible. Going to put my recliner in there (its upstairs at the mo), and get all my bits organized. Also going to write all my Christmas cards and get them sent out! Figured I might not be in the mood to do that OR that I might be too drugged up to write anything sensible - lol. Anyway, I am completely feeling like this is not real - like I'm going to back out at the last minute and that it's not really happening. So strange!

So today I feel like I've been somewhat...

So today I feel like I've been somewhat deconstructed! Acrylic nails removed - didn't need to remove them entirely according to doc but I wanted to feel as "fresh" as I could so I took them off. Nail polish off my toes. I also wear hair extensions and I got those taken out too as they have metal things on the tips so they had to come out. Am feeling quite naked!

Am definitely cranky too. I know that's the anxiety. Am trying to keep busy. Went out tonight to get some supplies: mattress cover to go over my recliner, two fitted sheets to go over that so they can be alternated each day, a mattress cover for my bed for when I can sleep in that, PJs as I'm not sure if I need them for my overnight stay, two pairs of cheap jogging bottoms, some disgustingly grosss but cheap knickers - lol - some baby wipes as im not sure when theyll let me shower, and a cover for my car seat for when I'm picked up the next day. Also filled my prescriptions today.

My plan is to go food shopping on Friday and to cook some small protein based meals for if I get hungry as I can freeze them, some soup and crackers and some snacky buts like nuts and fruit. Oh and some energy drinks although some of those are high in sodium so need to esearch that one a bit.

Still can't believe I'm doing it on Monday. It's thanksgiving here in the US and although I'm a Brit we do celebrate with family - we call it our dry run for Christmas day!

Anyway, look out for more posts over the next few days. I have a feeling they may get more and more anxious as the date gets nearer!

Just thought I'd share that today is th first time...

just thought I'd share that today is th first time excitement has overtaken the sheer fear I've been feeling! I'm sure it will readjust over the coming days but hey ho, I'll take it while I can! Happy thanksgiving everyone.

Hi ladies I have a strange sense of calm today....

Hi ladies

I have a strange sense of calm today. I felt it starting last night - before I took a Xanax so I know it's not down to that!! Can't explain it really - I'm the biggest scardy cat going - and now I'm wondering why I'm not feeling panic today! I guess I should embrace it as this is far nicer than feeling jittery.

This time tomorrow I will be at the facility. Yikes! It's suddenly here.

What a horrible experience to have my hubby take...

What a horrible experience to have my hubby take these pics and then to know they're on the internet!!!!! LOL.

Wow ladies I'm in the room waiting for doc! Pre...

Wow ladies I'm in the room waiting for doc! Pre op nurses says I'm really calm. She obviously can't hear the voices screaming in my head! Actually I do feel kinda calm. Must be the Xanax from last night. Angry at a friend who hasn't even bothered to wish me luck. She doesn't agree with th surgery and as my closest friend has obviously decided to take a stand in not contacting me. Nice. Anyway, keep me in your thoughts. See you on the flat side :)

Am 1 day post op. Pretty high on meds! Pain is...

am 1 day post op. Pretty high on meds! Pain is present but bare able. Thighs are really swollen. Wth is that all about. Anyway will write again soon.

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a...

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a proper update now, even though I'd managed to get online at least to say I'd made it through surgery! I have been so luck in that I have not had any nausea, and I would say the pain has never really got above a 5 out of 10 - it's uncomfortable yes, but not painful as such. I am taking my meds every four hours religiously - 2 tablets - and inbetween that if I feel like it I'm taking Tylenol too - I am deteremined not to be in pain!

Have been getting up every few hours to shuffle to the restroom - husband has been a fantastic nurse so far. I cooked up a lot of meals last week so I've been having small portions of food.

The surgery day itself was a breeze. I took a Xanax the night before and that obviously calmed me. Arrived at the facility for 7am and was due to go into OR at 8. There was a forty minute delay, so they gave me valium - not that I'd asked for it - they offered so I took it! Remember walking into the OR and being scrubbed down as I stood up by two nurses with warm water and soap. Remember lying down on the table and them saying they were going to put some monitors on me and that's my last memory!

Woke up to find my sister and hubby at my bed side - I didn't remember the recovery room - nada. I had been soooooo nervous about going under general etc and am so relieved I had such a great experience. Seriously, if I can do it anyone can.

I can't stand up straight - at a 45 degree angle currently. The incision on my back is more sore than the one on my front but I guess that's because I'm sitting on it. Am using a recliner which is a help. Sleeping in this. Been told to drink plenty of water, which I'm doing and am sleeping as and when I need to - which is alot at the moment!

Excuse the nakedness of the photos - lol - I had just got out of the shower and was waiting for the nurse to come and visit me to rewrap etc. Hope everyone that is about to go under, or who is in recovery is doing good!

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a...

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a proper update now, even though I'd managed to get online at least to say I'd made it through surgery! I have been so luck in that I have not had any nausea, and I would say the pain has never really got above a 5 out of 10 - it's uncomfortable yes, but not painful as such. I am taking my meds every four hours religiously - 2 tablets - and inbetween that if I feel like it I'm taking Tylenol too - I am deteremined not to be in pain!

Have been getting up every few hours to shuffle to the restroom - husband has been a fantastic nurse so far. I cooked up a lot of meals last week so I've been having small portions of food.

The surgery day itself was a breeze. I took a Xanax the night before and that obviously calmed me. Arrived at the facility for 7am and was due to go into OR at 8. There was a forty minute delay, so they gave me valium - not that I'd asked for it - they offered so I took it! Remember walking into the OR and being scrubbed down as I stood up by two nurses with warm water and soap. Remember lying down on the table and them saying they were going to put some monitors on me and that's my last memory!

Woke up to find my sister and hubby at my bed side - I didn't remember the recovery room - nada. I had been soooooo nervous about going under general etc and am so relieved I had such a great experience. Seriously, if I can do it anyone can.

I can't stand up straight - at a 45 degree angle currently. The incision on my back is more sore than the one on my front but I guess that's because I'm sitting on it. Am using a recliner which is a help. Sleeping in this. Been told to drink plenty of water, which I'm doing and am sleeping as and when I need to - which is alot at the moment!

Excuse the nakedness of the photos - lol - I had just got out of the shower and was waiting for the nurse to come and visit me to rewrap etc. Hope everyone that is about to go under, or who is in recovery is doing good!

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a...

Well hello ladies. I am with it enough to post a proper update now, even though I'd managed to get online at least to say I'd made it through surgery! I have been so luck in that I have not had any nausea, and I would say the pain has never really got above a 5 out of 10 - it's uncomfortable yes, but not painful as such. I am taking my meds every four hours religiously - 2 tablets - and inbetween that if I feel like it I'm taking Tylenol too - I am deteremined not to be in pain!

Have been getting up every few hours to shuffle to the restroom - husband has been a fantastic nurse so far. I cooked up a lot of meals last week so I've been having small portions of food.

The surgery day itself was a breeze. I took a Xanax the night before and that obviously calmed me. Arrived at the facility for 7am and was due to go into OR at 8. There was a forty minute delay, so they gave me valium - not that I'd asked for it - they offered so I took it! Remember walking into the OR and being scrubbed down as I stood up by two nurses with warm water and soap. Remember lying down on the table and them saying they were going to put some monitors on me and that's my last memory!

Woke up to find my sister and hubby at my bed side - I didn't remember the recovery room - nada. I had been soooooo nervous about going under general etc and am so relieved I had such a great experience. Seriously, if I can do it anyone can.

I can't stand up straight - at a 45 degree angle currently. The incision on my back is more sore than the one on my front but I guess that's because I'm sitting on it. Am using a recliner which is a help. Sleeping in this. Been told to drink plenty of water, which I'm doing and am sleeping as and when I need to - which is alot at the moment!

Excuse the nakedness of the photos - lol - I had just got out of the shower and was waiting for the nurse to come and visit me to rewrap etc. Hope everyone that is about to go under, or who is in recovery is doing good!

So had been progressing quite nicely. Minimal...

So had been progressing quite nicely. Minimal pain, able to move around, all in all feeling ok. Then last night - wham - gas like you wouldn't believe!!!!!! It fel like I was having a heartattack it was so painful. Took as many meds as I could and still struggled. Have managed to pass gas this morning - thank the lord Jesus! - so feel abundantly better :). Last night was my first "what the he'll have I done" moment. Hubby was great again - staying upmwith me, reassuring me etc. Now all I need to do is master a bowel movement. Lol! Nurse will be visiting again today so I'll be showering and getting redressed. I did take off the compression top I'm wearing last night when the pain was bad. I have a kind of bolero jacket on as well as the binder wrapped around my lower half. Hope everyone is doing ok. Ill post mote oics today when out of shower. Happy healing!

Am tyring to document my photos as much as...

Am tyring to document my photos as much as possible for all of you ladies that are yet to have your procedures! I know I was fascinated by them when I was looking on the site, so I want to return the favour! Also, it's a great way for me to see the progress etc. If you take a look at the before front pic, and the after front pic, you'll see two moles that I have on my upper torso, kinda central between/below my boobs - on the after pick, they are right at the bottom of my belly! Shows how much it was stretched! Same on some of the side pics, you can see moles that were higher up - kinda rib cage level, and are now down by my groin. Strange huh?

Been a good day so far. Am not going to take the Dulcolax again tonight as I did last night as I'm worried that was what set my pain off last night, have managed to reduce the pain meds to one every four hours, rather than two. Although my plan will be to take two at my bedtime (10pm), as well as a Xanax so that I'm guaranteed a good nights' sleep.

Still feeling really tired - little bit of walking completey knackers me. Am determined to listen to my body and give it exactly the rest it needs at the moment.

Morning ladies. Last night was my best nights...

morning ladies. Last night was my best nights sleep yet :). Still on the recliner. Took Xanax at 9.30 and then 2 of my prescribed pain meds at 10am. Didn't wake up until 4am at which point I took 2 Tylenol. Not because I was in pain but because it was the longest I'd gone without taking anything and I didn't want to be playing catch up this morning. So woke again at 5.15am and was so stiff! Had obviously slept really well but because of that had not moved around alot. Woke up hubby so ge could heave me out of the recliner. That was funny. Him half asleep and me literally as stiff as a plank of wood! Walked around for a bit which felt really good. Took two prescribed pain meds and a, mow back in recliner. Really need to try and have a bowel movement today. Been passing gas constantly - tmi??!! - but nothing else. Will make that my missing for the day!

Wow what a horrible day yesterday. Nothing to do...

wow what a horrible day yesterday. Nothing to do with pain as such. Just sooooo down in the dumps. Cried my eyes out yesterday afternoon. Born out of frustration I guess. I don't feel like I'm standing any straighter. Everything is tight. And I feel like a complete waste of space just sitting around in a recliner. All to be expected on a logical basis I kno, I just didn't feel logical yesterday!!!

As for practicalities of recovery my hip lift incision is giving me way more soreness than my tummy tuck. It feels tight and stretched and the lipo I had included some on my sides under my armpits - not in the armpit itself but pretty high up - and that is swollen and aching. It really isn't unbearable pain at all. It just all adds up to making me feel cranky! Just want to do something normal - go for a coffee, sit in my back garden with my dogs, visit with a friend etc. My natural impatience is not a good trait for this recovery!

Am going to shower this morning and sit for 20 mins or so on my recliner with nothing on. I'll sit on medical pads so nothing sticks - ewww - but I just need to feel my skin breathe for a moment or two. Pain meds are being changed this morning too so will see how that goes.

Ok rant over. Hope you are all doing ok. Thanks to Michtrif for responding to my email yesterday :)

Firstly - thank you ladies for everyone who...

Firstly - thank you ladies for everyone who responded to my "down in the dumps" posting earlier. I'm confused as to what day I'm on - in fact what planet I'm on right now. I thougth yesterday was Post Op 6 but in fact today is! Anyhoo yesterday SUCKED. Today has been a million times better. Not only because of the advice I've had on here, but physically I seem to feel a little better today.
Have posted some new photos - sorry for the nakedness! I'm LMAO most of the time that I'm posting nude photos of all my bits online and doing it willingly!!! The one of me in the recliner shows some swelling in my opinion - not alot at all - but just a litlte more than the recliner one from days 3 and 4. You'll note there are no pictures from yesterday - that's because I was in freak out hell and wouldn't let hubby take any - lol!
So, no pain meds thus far today - and feel really good. A little sore, but not in pain. Have not slept during the day today either so hoping that will bode well for sleeping tonight. Still in recliner. Have been up and about more today - only for five minutes at a time, but have done that probably half a dozen times today which is good. Feel a little straighter - just a little - but am trying to celebrate the small victories given my freak out previously!
I have zero appetite and I still haven't had a POO!!! Again, not only posting naked pictures, but sharing my bowel movements too - what a journey! Have started taking Milk of Magnesia today - fingers crossed. Not in pain with it yet, and I guess I'm not really eating alot but I don't want to get into trouble/pain by not having a BM soon.
Still have both drains in - they are pumping out about 25cc over 24 hours each at the mo. First pre-op with doc is on Tuesday morning and I have no idea what his thoughts are on whether they stay in or not. They are not bothering me at this stage so I have no thoughts either way. Perhaps by that point I'll want the buggers out.
Oh, I've developed a tickly cough - fantastic - holding stomach and trying not to cough, whilst simultaneously trying to sit up to reduce impact of said cough is NOT FUN. And I sneezed three times today - thought my belly button was going to blow off - when I told my husband that he said "which one? the old or new one?" Thank god he's kept his sense of humour!
Anyway ladies, today was made better by all of you so thank you. I hope you are all doing well.

Hi there ladies. Well the last couple of days have...

Hi there ladies. Well the last couple of days have seen some definite improvements. Firstly I'm sure you're all dying to know that I have now had a BM. In fact two :). Small round of applause please. Was pleased to get that all working again.

Secondly, I'm definitely more upright - about 90% straight I would say - although I can't stay that way for too long. And walking is ok but it's definitely more of a shuffle in that I usually take long strides when I walk and I kinda just put one foot slightly in front of the other at the moment! I also seem to kind of shift my weight side to side as I do that but that feels as though it's more down to my body lift incision than my TT one.

Sleeping has been a bit hit and miss the last couple of nights. Am completely off pain meds. Have had a few Tylenol but that's actually been due to headaches I'm getting (which I think is down to the removal of the strong meds I was on), rather than procedure related pain. I am feeling much more mentally alert and physically stronger and I guess that means I'm not tired at the end of the day - didn't sleep during the day the last two days either - because I haven't used any of that energy. Rather annoying. Although am now very good at solitaire on my iPad!

Today I left the house for the first time. My big sis busted me out for a starbucks. Was lovely but I did then sleep for two hours when I came home. Feel like I need to move around more today but am seriously fed up of doing laps of the inside of my house! Am thinking I'm going to walk around the block when it gets dark tonight - hopefully avoiding neighbors stares!

I have my first post op tmrw morning. Am 50/50 on wanting my drains out. I don't want to suddenly start swelling because I don't have them and they really are not bothering mr as such. However without them I would be able to put more normal looking clothes on which would make me feel better.

Re the CG - do people replace this with the spans type things? The CG seems so tight - in a good way - that I'm not sure I'd feel the same support from a spans type deal. Advice?

My drains are out! I would like to scream...

My drains are out! I would like to scream thisnfrom the rooftops!!!! Feel one million times better - although I'll come back to you on that if I start to swell up now over the next few days! Apt went reallywell. They are happy with the incision, the BB, and the lipo areas. Said my mobility was good and that my care of the scar area now changes. Stitches were removed too. Drains weren't painful at all - 2 seconds of feeling like a scab was being picked and that was it! As for scar care there are now steristrips on it. These stay on for two to three days and then I replace them. Feels weird not to have it wrapped. Also I can see some blood now on my CG - which must have seeped through from my scar - only a little area, like a dime but anyone know if thats normal when going from wrapped in gauze to steristrips?
Said I have to wear CG (this is fine) and lipo jacket thing (which I hate hate hate) for 6 weeks. Hmmm that's a pain but I'll do as I'm told. Well I will kinda, am gonna look online for different lipo compression garments. This one has arms and a really high neck which I don't need. I need a vest type one which would also make putting clothes over it a little more flexible.
Last night had the best nights sleep I've had so far - still in the recliner. He said I can move to my bed when I'm ready and just to keep my back slight elevated and pillows under knees. Think
I'll try that tonight.
Think that's it for now. Happy continued surgeries and healing everyone :)

So, it seems that each day brings small victories...

So, it seems that each day brings small victories now - which I am determined to celebrate! Whether it is getting out of a chair a little easier, being able to sit on the couch in a different position, or having a little more energy - whatever it is, I'm celebrating it! Tomorrow I actually went into work for three hours - I have a desk job - and it was nice to go in and see everyone and do a little bit of what my "real" life usually involves. I was extremely tired at the end of that though (with the thirty minute journey each way as well), so came home and slept for two and a half hours! Was also nice to get the reactions of the ladies I work with - all of whom know what I've done - we are a small team of five. They were so complimentary already, even though I still have my padding and am obviously still swollen etc. I guess living with it each day means I'm used to what I'm seeing and not necessarily seeing the good stuff - to see their reactions so positively was definitely a boost.

Found myself swollen in the lower abdomen last night too - nothing drastic, but swollen nonetheless. Driving is becoming easier each day - I'm not driving so much like a grandma now - was going soooooooooo slow the first couple of days as I was nervous! I managed to sleep in my bed last night too! That was bliss. Not only to be back in bed with my husband - but to just be doing something that again is part of my "real/normal" existence. Huge psychological advantage. it was quite comfortable - even managed to get onto my side for little parts of the night too - see, small victories!

On the whole I would say that since day 6 there has been improvements each day - again, they can be small, but they are improvements however you look at them. My incision is looking good - steristrips on it now only. Was nervous about taking them off last night as it was the first time Id done that and they were still really well stuck on! I showered, and kept the shower on them, taking them off really really really slowly! It is nicer to just have the strips rather than the gauze as it's easier to wear clothes - although I am still living in yoga pants and sports trousers.

Think that's it for now! Happy healing everyone!

Hi ladies, sorry to post pictures that have puss...

Hi ladies, sorry to post pictures that have puss on them! But I noticed this after my shower tonight, so am looking to see if any of your scars have had this and what the issue was. I've emailed them to my PS office too, and have a follow-up with him on Tuesday morning so am not overly concerned, just want to see if anyone else has had this. The area on my left hip does not feel hot but has been stinging/burning over the last 24 hours. I just presumed it was part of things coming back to life. The stuff on the front right groin area is not stinging/burning at all and is not hot either. Anyone with any thoughts/experience would be appreciated. Thanks!

Well thankfully there doesn't seem to be any...

Well thankfully there doesn't seem to be any infection in the areas of my incision I posted on Sunday that were showing some pus. Doc didn't seem overly concerned at all. But has changed the care of my incision. I have to leave the steristrips off the areas that are looking ok, and on the areas where there is pus/inflammation, I have to clean them as I was the first few days - with a peroxide lotion and water, and then apply an anti-bacterial cream, and then cover them with gauze. If it becomes irritated over the next few days I need to let him know. He's basically trying to get it to dry up. Doesn't think there's any stitching issues and said he doesn't want to "delve into" (sounds horrid!) the incision to find that - would rather treat it this way at the moment.
On another front, he's given me a Medrol Dose Pack steriod course for 5 days as he says I'm quite swollen in the lower part of my abdomen. I would agree, but it wasn't giving me any grief and is nowhere near the "swell hell" I've seen on a number of reports on here so I hadn't been taking any notice of it! Will let you know how that goes. So, I have to go back and see him in another two weeks unless I am concerned within anything in the meantime.
Another thing I forgot to mention before was that my armpits had become all lumpy, bumpy and really sore - I asked him about that today (even though they'd significantly gone down over the last few day) and he said that was own to the lipo I had. I hadn't realize that could be an effect of it, so thought I'd share that for anyone else that is going through the recovery from that procedure who hadn't realized that like me! Happy surgeries and healing everyone!

Started the Medrol Dose Pack this morning -...

Started the Medrol Dose Pack this morning - interesting. I have to take a number of tablets over the course of the next 5 days - the number decreases each day. Let's see if this helps with the swelling/inflammation. Took some new pics to post on here - the swelling is actually obvious in these at the lower part of my abdomen - I really hadn't taken any notice of it!

So it's Post Op Day 20 for me and I'm a bit fed...

So it's Post Op Day 20 for me and I'm a bit fed up! Still feel swollen around my incision which is making me feel fat. Things are coming back to life so I'm def getting aches, pains and zaps. I don't feel as though I'd be able to fit into anything at the moment Pre op let alone anything smaller - not that I've tried - I can't face th disappointment. And now my appetite has returned with a vengeance! So im now panicking that im going to stuff my face - and i still cant exercise - and im gonna end up fat before Ive even recovered. So I'm fed up! Please provide me with some virtual slaps around the face please ladies.

So I have flu :(. Blurgh. It's actually not as bad...

So I have flu :(. Blurgh. It's actually not as bad as I imagined flu would be - guessing I have a mild strain. Don't get me wrong, I have felt dreadful - chills and fever like you wouldn't believe - but the tamiflu has quickly lessened the intensity of all the symptoms so now it just feels like a heavy cold with lots of tiredness.

As for the healing from surgery, I still have the two spots on my incision, which I'd posted pics of, that are not healing. Am stressing a bit about them now. One of them - the fatter one rather than the long line one - was bleeding a little last night too. I have a doc visit tmrw and I'm nervous what they ate going to do about them. But am also nervous they're just gonna leave them and then I'll be nervous about how long they're going to take to heal!!!! I can't win!

Everything else is going well. I am walking normally now and at a better pace. I'm pretty much upright although still experience pulling st the end of the day. Am being very good and wearing binder and CG almost 24/7. I allow myself a two or three hour break each evening when I'm just sitting on the couch. Just o have some freedom. Zings and zaps are happening all the time - am putting that down to internal healing.

I have a little muffin top over my incision line now when I sit down. Others have posted in this too. Seems to be a fluid build up and as everything flows downwards - with the incision now creating a kind of dam effect (lol) it stops just north of it - hence the muffin top!

On the whole it's been a good experience - the psychological side has been WAY harder than I thought - the impatience, worrying about what end results will look like, frustration over how slow it feels (and I stress how it "feels" as in reality it is not!) to get back to normal, buyers remorse over all the money I've spent when trying to figure out what to buy kids foe Christmas with limited funds. The list goes on. And I just wasn't prepare for that impact.

On a really good note some people visited my office on Tuesday and said to my colleague "wow, how much weight has she lost? She looks great". That made my day as I am still feeling fat nd trussed up in my CG and binder!

Happy surgeries and healing everyone!

Timarie - the pics of the lipo holes are for you! ...

Timarie - the pics of the lipo holes are for you! Thought you'd like to see them.
Had my third post op appointment on Friday at day 25. Still have parts of incision that are not healing - I know have to leave all cream off them and just put gauze on them after they've dried each time I shower to see if they will dry out. He's not concerned about them and so neither am I. I am actually now lying on my bed, with them completely exposed and in the hour or so I've been doing this I can see they are starting to dry up. So am going to see what I can do to leave them uncovered - I just don't want them sticking to anything! Anyway, will try and figure that one out. Am definitely swollen at the moment. Have my period too which is not helping, but my lower abdomen is, like many of you, where the swelling loves to come up. PS said I'm going to love the results once this swelling subsides! My energy levels are pretty much back to normal now, and I'm walking straight and at the same pace I normally would do. Can't wait to start playing tennis again. He said I'm ready for massage now so I'm going to book that, and he also gave me a prescription - which I haven't had time to pick up yet! - for a moisturizer, which he said I can put on my whole torso as it's dry, and also onto the incision itself. Will let you know how that goes. I bought a vest thing from sonoma intimates the other day, which I am planning on wearing instead of my cg and binder when I go out new years eve - tried it out yesterday and it worked well for a few hours. Aditionally, I cut the arms off my CG! That way I can wear t-shirts with it. I did check with the docs first that I could o that without compromising the support and they said it was fine. Anyway, that's it for now. Happy Christmas everyone!

Hi everyone. I wanted to ask some questions about...

Hi everyone. I wanted to ask some questions about getting back into exercise after your procedures. Prior to my surgery I played tennis three to four times a week - decent tennis too! - lots of cardio involved and stamina for the games that would be between 1.5 to 3 hours depending on scoring etc. I also used to do BodyPump (lifting weights in a class environment) and Bodyflow (a mix of yoga, tai chi and pilates) twice a week. Since my surgery I've done nada! Well, I say that, I've walked my dogs, but seriously that started off as a hobble at the end of week three, and has now progressed to me walking normally and at a decent pacce - but it's not exercise as such. So, for those of you that have eased back in, or jumped back in, how did you do it? Did you continue to wear your binder or cg as you exercised, or did you not weat it while exercising and then put it back on afterwards? Did you pace yourself a certain amount of time each day? Did you do one day off and one day on? I'm desperate to get back to doing something! Number one because it makes me feel better and is a big part of my social circle BUT more importantly so I don't get fat having just gone through this!
As for continued recovery, I am still really swollen at the lower end of my abdomen, just above my scar - doc keeps saying it will go down and how please I will be when it does. I can't say it's freaking me out, as it's sooooooooooo much better than what used to be there, I still feel uber flat! Still a couple of bits on my incision not drying/healing as quickly as every other part. Have now been given a moisturizer mix by my doc - a mix of lubriderm and some steriod - that I have to apply to my whole torso twice a day -my skin is so dry - I feel like a lizard! I have steri strips back on the healing parts of my scar and for the most part it's just looking like a red felt tip line around my lower half now - most of it is flat although it has areas of bumpiness. BB is doing nicely - still has it's ear plug in! Am going to ask about that at my next post op on 01/04/13. Anyway, any advice re exercising would be appreciated! Thanks.

Haven't taken pics in over two weeks! So figured...

Haven't taken pics in over two weeks! So figured I should do that and upload them. Interesting as now that I look at them I don't feel like I look as swollen as I did on Day 15 pics, but if I hadn't seen it I would have said I"m worse now than I was then! Anyhoo, all looking good - like the definition I'm seeing on my waist, and love my BB! Incision openings seem to be getting better too - as seen by comparing previous pics, but are still annoying me that they're not dried out completely yet! Patience, patience, patience. Have spent most of the day WITHOUT my binder today - so let's see what that does. Will sleep in it and my CG tonight. Tried on lots of clothes today - mainly tennis outfits (two pics shown), that have been too small for me or rather have fitted, but showed every bulge I had - now I don't have the bulges!!!! YAY! I can fit into a smaller size in most things now - US size 10 now - other than jeans and some pants - that's because my thighs and hips are so swollen still I can't get them up! That was a little bit of a bummer when I was doing my clothes trying on today (btw it's the first time I've gone through my clothes like that - I made myself wait!), but I know I'm still swollen so I need to be realistic about that. Anyway, thought the pics would help those a little bit behind me in recovery, or those still contemplating having the procedure(s) done.

Soooooooo went out and partied last night without...

Soooooooo went out and partied last night without my binder or CG! What a rebel. I didn't wear it all evening AND I slept naked as well. It was bliss. Considering I danced the night away I felt great and also feel good today too. I think I am ready not to wear my binder 24/7 now. I've been mentally ready not to do that for weeks! But I actually think I'm physically there too.

I have my next post op apt on Friday and I'm going to ask lots of questions about getting back into exercising so I'll post any advice I'm given by my doc on that.

Happy 2013 ladies!

Dammit! Definitely paying today for not wearing...

Dammit! Definitely paying today for not wearing my binder since NYE. I have that nice little build up of swelling just above my incision line that is most definitely more pronounced today. I guess I might have to put the dreaded binder on for a couple of hours tonight and see how that goes. Bummer!

So just had my latest post op. Doc is pleased with...

So just had my latest post op. Doc is pleased with how everything is looking. No longer need to use steristrips. The two parts of the incision that have taken the longest to heal finally seem to be drying up although they are still very fragile so I don't think I'm out of the woods with them just yet. I have been given scar treatment: Skin Medica (the brand) scar recovery gel with centerline and Prosil which is a silicone treatment. I have to apply them both morning and night. They would usually also suggest an exfoliating treatment but because of the areas still aggravated they don't want me doing that to start with.

As for exercise, I think I'm going to rebel on the advice! He said no tennis for another two weeks. I was playing three to four times a week Pre op. I'm thinking I might try a very gentle session with my sister for 30 mins next week and see how I feel. No running for another two weeks but fast walking ok - have been doing that anyway! I'm ok to do yoga altho no specific ab work within that. Light cardio ok now. It seems each doctor has differing views on exercise. I read reviews on here where some ladies are back to full exercise routines at the post op point I'm at now. Thats why I'm thinking I may try something this coming week. I feel good and have been so obedient throughout recovery thus far!

He also said he still wants me to compress with binder and CG "on and off" for next couple of weeks. And I have to keep the ear plug in my belly button every other day.

It was a very positive visit and I continue to feel blessed that I've had a good recovery 90% of the way both mentally and physically. I will post some scar pics later and will then update them as I use the treatment to show how that goes.

So now that I have the scar treatment to start, I...

So now that I have the scar treatment to start, I thought I would take photos of the scar, so that I can chart the progress with this particular treatment for both you lot and me to see! I have also decided I am going to play tennis for 30 minutes tomorrow - what a rebel. i am going to use a ball machine, which for those of you that have no clue about tennis, is ultimately a machine that "throws" balls at you to hit - it means I will be stationary - no need to be running around - as the machine can be set to basically throw the balls right to me. So it will be interesting to see how it feels just to swing at a ball. My hubby is going to come with me, jjust in case for any reason I feel funny/quezy doing exercise for the first time. So I shall report back tomorrow! Happy Saturday!

OMG how awesome did it feel to do something...

OMG how awesome did it feel to do something physical that I love and have missed so much??!!! It was great. Had the ball machine throwing balls to me for thirty minutes. That's about 200 balls I hit! Did not feel stiff while doing so. Felt twinge in my groin on the right side and also my buttocks felt a little tender! That shouldn't affect those of you who just had TTs tho - think that's from my hip lift. I knew I was ready for this. However, of course I don't know what affect it might have on me later today - I might swell unlike a balloon or tighten up so I can't move or both! We shall wait and see and I will report back. The experience itself though was AWESOME :)

Well, it doesn't appear that hitting tennis balls...

Well, it doesn't appear that hitting tennis balls did me any harm at this point. I don't feel stiff, or tight, or strained or anything. Am still going to give it another 24 hours before I venture out on a walk or any other form of exercise, just to be sure. I put my CG and binder on as soon as I got home from the tennis club yesterday, but didn't keep it on all day - maybe for three or four hours. Still slept naked ;-). If I'm OK tomorrow, my plan is to actually get on a court with some friends on Wednesday. They all know what I've had done so have promised to be gentle! Will keep you posted :-)

Had my first post op massage today. ...

Had my first post op massage today. Interestingly, she wondered why I hadn't gone sooner - said most people will have them within 10 to 14 days of surgery. I'm not sure why I didn't go sooner, other than each time I asked my Doc at f/u appointments, he would say "not yet". Anyhoo, I'm glad I waited as I had to lie on my tummy for some of it (remember I had the lower body/hip lift too so I have butt scars - lol!), and there's no way I would have been able to do that even two weeks ago! It was really weird to feel someone touching me, yet not really feel them, if you konw what I mean. She said she doesn't really think I'm going to need more of those massages, as my swelling is minimal. She told me how to massage the bits on the scar that feel the most lumpy. I have to confess, I don't like touching them! It freaks me out a bit, but I guess I'm gonna have to step up and just do it! I told her that, and she said "why don't you get your husband to do it"? Ewwwwwwww - that made me feel even worse. The poor guy has had to put up with enough nursing over the last few weeks (although I know he'd do it willingly as he's a sweetie), that I'm not having him knead my bumps!
As for the exercise I did on Sunday, I still feel fine - no aches, no strains etc. I even walked for thirty minutes on the treadmill yesterday, and am planning on doing so again today as soon as I get in from work.
All in all I'm feeling pretty fantastic! Happy healing/surgeries everyone :-)

So ladies, is anyone else grossed out by having to...

So ladies, is anyone else grossed out by having to massage their scar? I'm sure I might be alone on this because I guess it's weird to not want to touch your own body, but having had the post op lymphatic massage yesterday, she told me I had to massage my scar every day - when I shower, and when I'm sitting around etc. Well, ewwww is all I can say. I don't like it! It's all lumpy and bumpy and kinda feels like I have a bit worm underneath my skin on parts of it. I'm worried that my lack of wanting to do it, is going to cause me a problem with it healing properly. Is anyone else having the same ewwwness.

As for the massage - yes it was lovely but boy was I uncomfortable yesterday evening - and I'm swollen today. Particularly in the lipo areas - which I forgot to say yesterday the lady said was the most common soreness after the surgery. I said I had expected that to be the least of my problems and she said most people think like that because it's such a little hole/scar - true! But she said it's really aggressive. Kind of makes sense!

Anyway, feeling a bit beaten up today - physically due to the aches and swelling from the massaging and mentally because I'm freaking myself out about not wanting to massageimy scar, and if that means the healing won't be as good!!! Oh poop ;-)

Well hello there my fellow TTers! I have been...

Well hello there my fellow TTers! I have been remiss at updating my profile, but this is a good thing for those of you a little behind me in your recovery, as it's proof that my real life is truly and fully back to normal! So, what is there that's tangible to report: well, I've been exercising more - managed to play tennis "properly", not 100% but good enough last night and felt fine. Stretching for some shots still causes a twinge and a "whoops, probably should do that quite yet" moment, but all in all I felt good. I've also done Body Attack - a cardio based class - just modified everything as I needed to - didn't jump up and down or do any ab work, but most of it could be modified so I worked my butt off! Scar seems to be less red - responding well to the treatment I'm putting on it. Have not been religious with that - bad me! - as I'm supposed to do it morning and evening. I tend to just do it before bed. I traveled for work last week - a different location every day - traveling around the East Coast so I was on a plane every day. I was very good and took my binder, and wore that each night. I thought all the plane rides and the long days might make me swell up but actually it wasn't too bad.
I went shopping today - have still not bought any new clothes. Am going to wait on that. But I have now got all my clothes out of the spare room closet that I haven't fit into for a while! I have gone down a size on my waist definitely, but my thighs and top of my butt (lol!) are still swollen so pants/trousers can sometimes be tighter there. Not as much as they were to begin with so I know the swelling is improving, but I think I"m going to go down another size by the time the swelling goes and my exercise kicks back in. So I would say I'm about 95% back to normal now. I would do it again in a heart beat!

I can't remember whether I've shared this before,...

I can't remember whether I've shared this before, so if I have just enjoy it again!!! Had a shopping trip to Victoria's Secret the other day. I haven't bought any new clothes yet - have been really good in that respect as still swollen blah blah blah. BUT I did want to go and get new underwear as the stuff I have from pre-op is now huge (even though I have a J-Lo butt!), and looking decidedly granny-like. So, I went into Victoria's Secret, armed with gift vouchers I had been given for Christmas. There is a huge display of "one size fits all" lovely little lacy knickers. Well, believe me, that "one size fits all" would not have fit on anything I possessed pre-op! So, I was cynical, but took just one pair into the changing rooms to try the theory. Well not only did they fit, but I looked HOT ;) I bought 8 pairs - LOL! Went straight home and dumped all my granny knickers in the trash/rubbish (for the US and UK audience!), and it felt GREAT. Am working those knickers every day and feeling rather sexy as I do! Just thought I'd share.......:-)

Hello ladies. Long time no see! I'm now 11 weeks...

Hello ladies. Long time no see! I'm now 11 weeks and continue to do well on the whole. Am back to playing tennis regularly and at post op level. Stamina is still not quite there tho - harder to recover in-between points but that's improving each time I play.

The swelling is more on my lower body lift than my TT. I so have a J-Lo butt - however it's like a water bed consistency which isn't quite as sexy as hers!!! Not sure what's caused it but the last week has seen it get worse. Thinking my diet has had too much salt in it so trying to eat better this week.

My right groin incision that took forever to heal is still nit quite right - had a huge pimple on it yesterday which I popped this morning and it wasn't pleasant!! Also my scar still looks really red and I'm not too impressed with that. I don't see doc for another 8 weeks and I'll leave it at that unless the incision looks infected or the swelling balloons anymore.

Boobs seem huge now as do my thighs but I guess that's because they were not as much of a focus when I had my huge gut - lol! I know I cam exercise to help the legs though and the boobs, well hey, if you got 'em flaunt 'em!!!

Hope everyone is doing well.
Houston Plastic Surgeon

My sister has had a tummy tuck, lipo and some work done on her face with this provider. He is very well known in our location and his facility is full of lovely staff that made me feel comfortable from the get-go.

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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You look great! You should be proud and yes flaunt it. But compression is the key. You should try being compressed at all times for a week and see how you feel. Im almost 6 months po and im compressed at all times
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Isn't it just like us to be so critical with ourselves! You look absolutely transformed from flabby to fabulous! (no insult intended!) truly, you look so great! Its only been 11 weeks and I have followed you every step! You have been through the ringer, and look at you! I see nothing but B E A U T I F U L!
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Thank you so much for sharing your story in so much detail with tons of pictures. You look awesome and your belly button rocks. I'm having a tummy tuck with Dr. Patronella on March 4th. I'm really nervous but seeing how great your results are helps me a lot. I've only found 2 other people with pictures that have had surgery with Dr. P and they don't have their afters up yet. Can't wait to see those.
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you looooooooook gre@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@t !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I hear ya my boobs and thighs havent looked bigger! But ive noticed a big improvement in my thighs now that Im working out and moving more. Have you thought of doing the laser to your scar? Are you using anything? So glad to hear from you!
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hey hey... how you doing my friend... Long time no update ?? Hope your doing fine. Suzi x
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Hi Suzi! I've not been on here too much. All still good. How's ings with you?
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Thats what this is all about! Feeling good about yourself and not having your own body make you feel badly. I recently online ordered a shirt and the minute I say the shirt was made out of thin cotton I cringed because this normally made my waist look worse but when I put it on it was perfect. Little but meaning milestones. Cheers!
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lol the victoria secret thing is awesome!!! Hope Im that lucky!
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Seriously, you make my day! Your outlook and attitude are a breath of fresh air....and you're funny! So happy for you with all you have been through and what a great result! I keep thanking you, but can't think of a better way to put it. You have helped so many of us in so many ways! So again, thank you!
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Thank you Talented. It's been therapeutic for me to share my journey and I know how much information I wanted as I was earlier in my own experience and how helpful reading stories on this site was. I'm glad I've been able to give back a little bit.
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I'm new to this site and looking for a PS in San Antonio. I'm originally from Houston and Dr. Patronella did my BA 15 years ago. I've been contemplating going to Hou to him...and I just may. I read your whole journey and feel quite inspired. You look fabulous! Thank you for sharing!
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Tidy girl tidy! Your scar looks great and thin :) X
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Thank you :-)
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oh my gosh you look great you have had a great journey i read every bit of it i could not stop until i got to the end i have not had mine as am paying payments but i should have it all paid for by the summer really enjoyed your journey and your husband was a great photo taker
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Wow - it must have taken you some time to read all my mad ramblings! Am glad you liked the commentary, and the photos. It's certainly been a journey - a great one so far (luckily!), and one that I would do again if I had to. Good luck with yours - I look forward to reading your posts!
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Hey JLo-err UK it's funny how people are disappearing on here as they progress. It means there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I'm happy rediscovering my old clothes too but like you I'm having the tight hip thing-I look like a pear to the first time in my life. Good job on the exercise I'm fast on that route too. Also I just want to add your anatomy is coming through and looking real natural now. It all looks so plastic for the first weeks. Looking awesome
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You are the definition of Inspiration! Thank you for all you have shared with us! Continued good recovery to you! And thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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Ahhhhhhhhhhh - that is the sweetest thing! Thank you so much. That is a lovely, if undeserved imho, thing to say.
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You look amazing love your pics. I look forward to feeling better. Keep us posted with your pics u look good.
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Thank you Yvette, that's very kind of you to say. I just updated on your own story, and am so sorry you had such a scare with your incision. I'd have freaked the hell out too! It seems as though it's under control now though - and I think it's more common than we realize for the incisions to remain "open" in some cases. Thankfully, I didn't have a huge issue, but I did have a few spots on mine that seemed to remain "wet" for a while. One of the annoying little pests is still clinging on rather than drying out! Anyway, hang in there - you're doing great.
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hey girl,seen you havent updated in a bit so was checking up to make sure all is well.....hope recovery is going smoothly!
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Hi there Timarie - thanks for the check in. It prompted me to update! How you feeling? Excited?!
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:) just wanted to make sure you were doing ok. Yes Im excited but so,so nervous. However seeing how awesome you are looking makes me a bit calmer knowing Im going to be in the hands of the same good dr as you.
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Gosh - I remember the nerves - yuck! You will be fine, and will do great, and will be well looked after. Take the Xanax I'm sure they've given you by this point so that you don't freak yourself out too much on the run up. I can't wait to see your new pics :-)
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