Hi, I am a 48 year old woman who gained 50+ pounds with each of my 3 pregnancies. My youngest daugher was 10 lbs! I am 5'7" and weigh 135 lbs. I have a slim build, but my stomach had lost all it's muscle tone and had so much loose skin and stretch marks. And it seemed to be getting worse with age! Every pound I gain, goes directly to my stomach. Buying clothes -things would fit in the butt, hip and thighs, but my stomach would just hang over all my pants. It was getting so uncomfortable. I have thought about this procedure for 8 years, but always chickened out.
I am so glad I found this site!! I was obsessed with everyone's stories before my surgery and so thankful for all the great information. But I am just now posting my story - sorry for the delay!! I kept a journal, but couldn't figure out how to post on the computer - duh!
Also, my camera broke just before my surgery and I lost all my pictures, so I don't have any Before pictures yet - the nurse said that she will send me the ones the doctor took soon.
My surgery was Tuesday, August 30th - I am now 3 weeks p/o. I had a full tt, muscle repair and lipo to my flanks. I think the 3 most positive aspects of my experience that helped so much with my recovery are the: Overnight stay with personal nurse, pain pump and my followup visits. These are not extra, but included in all my doctor's TT procedures
FIRST DAYS: My surgery was scheduled for 12:00. I arrived at 11:00, but the doctor was running late from the previous surgery - they assured me that this was OK because he is a perfectionist and needs to get every surgery just right! I was so nervous about the anesthesia, but really that was a great experience (Very Vivid dreams!) And I wore a patch behind my ear for nausea, so I never got sick or felt sick. My nurse kept me very comfortable (drugged!)at the surgical facility overnight. I really had no pain. I had a catheter in so I didn't have to get up for the bathroom until the following day (they had compression pumps around my ankels to keep blood flowing.) That first time getting up, is quite intense - the nurse and doctor helped me! You want to be fully medicated. I walked around a bit, and drank so much water and juice, but still could not go the bathroom, so finally they emptied my bladder and sent me home with the catheter in. Definitely not planning on that, but the only positive was I could drink and drink and not have to get up every minute to go the bathroom - so I took advantage of getting really hydrated! NOTE: GETING UP IS HARD! You really need your arm muscles those first 5-6 days. I would highly recommend getting your arms in great shape before surgery!! I am sleeping/staying on the big chair in our family room. Got the remote, and medications right next to me. Walking very hunched over.
I went back to the doctor the next day (Thursday)and he took out the pain pump and catheter and re-dressed my BB. Got to see my stomach for the first time - it's sooo flat! He kept the tape on the incision. Lipo areas don't look too bad, as far as bruising. Taking stool softener, but no BM, so he told me to start with MOM. Very gassy and bloated that night. Had a BM the next day, just ate alittle and walked around the house, taking about 6 Vicodin per day, and 1/2 Xanax to help sleep.
On Saturday (4 days p/o) I saw the doctor again - couldn't get my drains out yet. Have a rash from the binder, so will start putting cami's on underneath, and taking some Benadryl to help with itch. I can start to stand up straighter now. Watched alot of Football that day! Walking alittle more, and taking a Vicodin every 6 hours for pain. Trying to eat healthy - protein, fruit, and lots of water. On Sunday, I'm trying to wean off the Vicodin, but the itch is driving me crazy!! Hope the Benadryl will kick in better! I keep my binder on 24/7 though! On Memorial Day (6 days p/o)I washed my hair and shaved my legs...no shower until drains are out.... felt like a human being again.
Tuesday, September 6 - 1 week post op - Got one drain removed - took a deep breathe, closed my eyes and didn't feel a thing when the nurse took it out. NOTE: I took a pain pill beforehand, just in case! Also, felt like I needed to sneeze alot today...just keep plugging my nose to make it stop. This seems to work! My cleaning lady came today! My husband surprised me and is having her come weekly this month, nice to have the house clean and not worry about it.
Wednesday - Only taking ES Tylenol now. Wathcing too much TV and getting alittle depressed. Still eating well - fish, chx, yogurt, eggs, pineapple, blueberries and lots of water. Couldn't sleep well because of itching.
Thursday, Sept. 8 -Saw the doctor again, but no drain to come out. :( Too much output. He cut my binder down alittle bit, it kept creeping up my ribcage. My incision is still taped up - haven't seen it yet. Got a sleep prescription, to help with the night time - that's when the itching kicks in. Just taking 1/2 an Ambien at night, and ES Tylenol thruout the day. I drove for the first time today - 9 days P/O. Went to a friends house for lunch on Friday. Only about 3 of my friends know about the surgery. I was able to put on spanx and wear a long dress to cover the drain. It felt so good to get out of the house. Shaved and Showered again too. Slept in the Bed last night. Doctor still wants me on my back (not side) with 2 pillows under my legs. (So I don't stretch my incision accidently)
Saturday, September 10 - Another doctors appt -- Got my drain out! He told me to take it extra easy for the next 2 days, to avoid swelling since both drains are out now.
I can shower tomorrow! Just taking 2 ES Tylenol and 1/2 ambien at night. Took it easy all day, and went to a Football watching party that night, but sat most of the night.
Monday, September 12 (13 days p/o)- Driving my daughter to school again. Drove to my doctors appt for the first time. He took off the tape on my incision - it looks good! Very thin. My bruising from Lipo is gone.
I bought some ScarGuard from him ($60) and I'm suppose to use it twice a day now. He wants me standing up fully straight.
Monday, September 19 - Saw the doctor again, and got a new binder. This one is thinner, but it makes me sweat - will wear this for another 3 weeks. He still wants me on my back sleeping for at least another week. I can walk on the treadmill now, and do some cardio, and leg/arm excercises. I had a busy week last week - dinners with friends, meetings and Teacher Nights at my girls school, so I tried to take it easy during the day, and save up for the night time activities. But I could really feel it after those nights. And I would swell. I wore pants for the first time last Friday (it's been hot in Texas, so I wear dresses everywhere) Got into them, but by the end of the night - couldn't wait to get my nightshirt and heavy binder back on!
So far things are going great! My doctor says I'm about a week ahead of schedule.
I will keep you posted on my progess. I know that starting back to my pre-surgery routine and having to realize I can only do so much will be the most difficult part. Already this week, I feel more swelling than I have before.
Thanks again to all of you for your stories. It has been so helpful.