I'm an "older" tummy tuck candidate. I'm 5'10"...
I'm an "older" tummy tuck candidate. I'm 5'10" and weigh 150 pounds and 62 years old. I'm relatively slim but have had a bit of a blubber belly for almost as long as I can remember. I have not had children so I can't even blame my protruding abdomen on childbirth. I've had my weight down to 138 pounds put even then I had a pit of a pooch. I've had four pelvic surgeries and my pooch slightly hangs over my horizontal scar from the previous surgeries. I hate my profile and even by "sucking in my stomach" I'm still not flat. As I've always wanted a flat abdomen I've decided to go ahead with the tummy tuck even though my husband likes me the way I am and doesn't want me to do it. I saw a my PS a year ago and have been trying to decide this whole time whether to go ahead as the PS said I'm a perfect candidate for the procedure. I'm healthy and relatively fit. I don't want to make my husband angry but I think I will have to if I want to be on the flat side! I earn my own money and can justify the cost. So I've booked the surgery for Sept. 19th and I intend to tell my husband on the morning of the surgery (and hope his anger will have subsided later in the day when I need to be picked up from the clinic). Another reason that I've waited a whole year to make the final decision is my fear of dying of complications (even though I've had no side effects of anaesthetics previously). I have this underlying fear that because I'm doing this against my husbands wishes that I will be punished with death. It's such a scary thought. I've researched the mortality rated of TT and there are not many who actually don't survive the procedure. The trick is to be mobile asap post operatively. I haven't told any except one of my friends (who I trust not to tell anyone else) and I haven't told any of my siblings. The reason I want to keep it quiet is because of the negative feedback I had a year ago when I joked that I was considering a TT. Some of the comments were "Are you crazy! You don't need a tummy tuck!". "You look fine just as you are!" I will be seeing the PS again on August 27th and have to pay by Sept. 7. I have a large list of questions to ask him. I'm concerned about not being active for a couple of weeks post op and about how I'm going to explain my sedentary lifestyle to my friends who I usually see while doing something active. I'm going to have to lie through my teeth and make up something such as being sick with a cold etc. I'll be discouraging having any company. The countdown has begun.
Blubber for real! I can't believe I'm sharing these disgusting images with the world!
I just read that tall people can get a more defined waistline post TT than shorter people. So here's hoping that will prove to be true for me because I'm sure wishing for an hour-glass figure.
My husband now knows
My plastic surgeon's office phone number showed up on my call display several days ago and my husband asked me why a doctor would be phoning me. So I told him I had booked a TT for September 19th after having seriously thought about it for the last year (since a consultation with a PS a year ago) even though the thought of a TT has occurred to me MANY times over about 40 years! He took the news surprisingly well even though he'd rather I spend almost $10K on something else. I guess he realizes that this is very important to me and can't talk me out of it (as he tried to do when I discussed it with him about a year ago). It's good to get it off my chest. Now I just hope he won't share "the news" with anybody else.
One more month! Suggestions on what to tell my friends while recovering.
My surgery date is September 19th. I'm both worried and excited. I'm not sure what I'm going to tell all my friends who I go cycling or hiking with on a regular basis what's the matter with me while I'm recovering from the surgery. I don't want anyone to know. Perhaps the "bad back ache" excuse will work and hopefully they'll believe it for a month or two (or for whatever time it takes for me to get back to my normal activities). Any suggestions?
Pre-surgical consult today
I had my pre-surgical consult with a nurse and with the ps today. I was there for a whole two hours. Glad to know that I won't be on any narcotics for pain post op. The surgeon really took his time (even though he was obviously running behind schedule) and answered all my questions. He made me feel very confident that the procedure will go well. 22 more days!
I've reached the point of no return
Yesterday I paid in full for my upcoming surgery so I'm now at the point of no return even though there hasn't been a day in the last year when I've struggled to decide whether to have the TT or not. Some days I've thought "I don't look THAT bad and I can live with these bulges" but most days after seeing the blubber in the mirror I KNOW that I have to do it. I've postponed this for a whole year since my first consult with the surgeon because no time is convenient. I know this surgery will have me tied down for at least a month and I don't like the thought of being inactive for that long. Additionally, I constantly worry about post-op complications. I try to remain positive and remind myself that all my previous surgeries have been rather uneventful with quick recoveries so here's hoping that this too shall go well. Two more weeks!
Tomorrow Is THE day!
My time to be at the clinic is 7:15 AM. I'm so happy that its not later in the day. I can hardly wait to get it over with but I'm very, very nervous!
15 more minutes before I'm at the clinic!
18 Sep 2013
Day of treatment
Thankfully, I had a good night's sleep. I'm ready to go! Thanks all of you for your well wishes!
18 Sep 2013
Day of treatment
I'm home again just seven hours after entering the surgical centre. My surgery started at 8 AM. I'm a little sore whenever I move but overal I'm feeling GREAT! Much better than I had anticipated. The surgeon said he liposuctioned about a liter of fat from my upper abdomen but I forgot to ask how many pounds of blubber he cut off my belly. I'll be asking him that when I go for my first post-op appointment on September 24th. Because I'm all covered up with a CG I haven't seen my incision yet but I'm confident that it's perfect. Prior to the surgery, I asked the surgeon to look me in the eye and say "I'm going to do the best abdominoplasty on you that I have ever done!". He didn't hesitate to do so and I was completely calm when I transferred to the operating table! I woke up on a stretcher in the recovery room around 11am, felt rather uncomfortable, so I had the nurse help get me up and onto a recliner where I rested until my husband picked me up around 2 PM. I'm now resting on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table having my "morning" coffee that I missed this morning! I will drink lota of apple juice when I'm done with the coffee! Life is good!!
Feeling great on day 1 post pop
Didn't get a wink of sleep last night even though I had very little pain and was actually able to sleep on my side in bed. Anaesthetics have done this to me in the past where I'm awake for two days. Most people I know who've been "under" are drowsier than ever and can sleep all day and more after surgery but not this old gal! I'm thankful that I don't have to go to work today and can rest on the couch all day! I have only one drain which hangs in the middle of my CG. With the T-shirt over top it the bulge looks like I've had a addadictomy (add-a-dick-to-me). If anybody was to visit me unexpectedly and notice I'd just say that I was tired of being a woman and had some male parts added! I was told to walk bent over for two days but I can actually straighten out quite well without too much discomfort. I'm amazed that I have so little pain without taking the Tramadol/Acetaminophen. I have been using a diclofenac supp so maybe that's doing the trick in keeping me this comfortable. I have had absolutely NO nausea. Here's hoping that every day of my recovery get even easier because I'm going to want to be actively involved in my usual outdoor activities as soon as possible. I'm not quite so eager to return to work!
Bruising and drain
Here are just a few photos taken almost 24 hours since coming home from the clinic. I'm assuming that the bruising is from lipo although I didn't expect or need any lipo to my butt. I'm not complaining though as it doesn't look bad at all! those bruises will probably be gone in a week! Now I'm wishing more than anything to sleep a while as I'm totally wired and have not slept in over 24 hours.q
Feeling somewhat "sick" today
I'm not feeling as great this morning as I did yesterday even though I finally slept for much of the night. I'm having more pain than yesterday and feeling a little nauseated. I guess that means I won't be eating much this morning so I'll stick with the clear fluid diet. I ended up taking a pain pill at bed time and again at 4 AM as I was finding it more painful to move around in bed. I've run out of the Voltaren suppositories that I was advised to use for incision pain. My drain has drained less in the last 24 hours than on day one so here's hoping that it will come out on Tuesday when I see the PS.
Nauseated again today
I took a tramadol for pain at bedtime and at 5:00AM and feel about the same as yesterday morning. Nausea is a common side effect of taking this drug so I won't be taking any more of that and will start using regular tylenol instead. I still had trouble moving around in bed but do manage to sleep mostly on my side rather than on my back. I woke up many times during the night and got up to walk a bit each time. I'm not walking hunched over. The surgeon said that after 48 hours post opp I'm good to walk more upright and that's fine with me as I'm not a fan of back pain, something a lot of you seem to be experiencing from walking hunched over and being on their backs. I'm getting very itchy underneath my CG and today I'm allowed to take it off and have my first shower!! Yay! I'm so excited as it will be my first peek of the surgical site! I will post some pictures later today. Happy healing every one!
I've got a waist, I've got a waist after all that blubber went to waste!
I just had my first peek of my new belly and am very, very, pleased! All the bruising from the lipo is just concrete evidence that my surgeon did some aggressive suctioning. I had my first shower today and I feel like a new woman! I AM truly a new woman and so far loving my new body!!! While my CG is being washed I'm resting in bed and can't stop looking at my new, flat belly. It's simply amazing! There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of swelling but I know that might change (having read a lot about the swell hell some gals experience). So far I have absolutely NO regrets. If I was to run into my surgeon today I would probably kiss him!
Increased swelling today but no more fat rolls! Not missing those rolls!
I took my binder off again to wash it and wore a "girdle-like" granny pantie that pulls up to my boobs (purchased at Costco.) It's not as easy to put on as the CG but offers some compression and is quite comfortable. I purchased it to wear under a dress that I bought for a wedding that I went to recently in an attempt to minimize my fat rolls. Now even with the swelling, there are NO rolls!
I haven't taken anything for pain except Tylenol (500mg every six hours) for the last 24 hours. It still hurts to move from a lying down to sitting position and vice versa and when I cough or laugh. I'm feeling stronger every day. My drainage amount is decreasing daily and changing to a more yellowy color. I don't have much of an appetite yet and am eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and yogurt.
Loving my scale today
I know I shouldn't be weighing myself but I'm a little bored of doing basically nothing but "exercising" my fingers on a keyboard so I simply couldn't resist! Down to 147 pounds, three pounds down since surgery date. I think it's safe to assume that I'm not retaining too much fluid! Yippee!!!! Life is good!
Lots of burning and tugging pain at incision and a little bit of swelling just above the incision.
It's about 4:30 AM and I'm so uncomfortable and finding it so difficult to get comfortable in bed that I just got up to take some ketorolac, a drug that was prescribed for me back in February when I had severe pain due to kidney stones! I'll put my binder back on later to give my incision some support. Anyone else experience a burning and tugging pain at their incision site?
Blubberbelly NO MORE will be my new name from now on!
I no longer qualify to be called blubberbelly so I'm changing it to Blubberbelly No More! I had planned on postponing this but no, I just can't. I first considered making my new name Blubberlessbelly but it doesn't sound as good.
Went to work for an hour today!
I drove my car for the first time in the five days since my surgery to make a few home visits to my clients. It went very well but I did need a nap as soon as I got home. I definitely tire easily so I must listen to my body and not overdo it. This old body needs lots of rest!
First post op visit to surgeon
Had a quick visit to the surgeon's office today. The nurse was very impressed with my results and how well I'm moving. She was particularly impressed with the fact that I have NO swelling at all!
My drain has drained 50CCs, down from 80CCs the previous 24 hours but the surgeon felt that it should be in for a few more days "or your tummy can start looking like you're pregnant". He doesn't like to remove drains "too early". Well, that's fine with me as I've looked pregnant for the last 40 years and I don't ever want to look like that again! I'm able to hide the drain well by wearing a bulky enough jacket that has pockets right where the "bulge" is so it's unlikely that anyone would notice anything unusual. It just looks like I have a pocket full of tissues. Tomorrow will be my first outing out in public as I'm meeting some friends for lunch and I'm confident that none of them will notice anything peculiar!
The TT procedure did entail a muscle tightening and he tightened my abs. by about two inches! No wonder I now have a waist!!! He didn't have to cut out the whole belly button and just basically moved it down about an inch by stretching it and pulling it down. My BB seems to have only one little internal suture on the upper part of it, not a whole circle of sutures that I've seen a lot of on REALSELF. Darn, I forgot to ask him how much it weighed that chunk of blubber that he removed below my BB! As of this morning I weigh two pounds less than six days ago when I had my surgery but two pounds up from yesterday. I'm just happy that I haven't gained any weight since the surgery, something I had feared due to being so sedentary during this recovery process.
The nurse suggested that I purchase some arnica gel to rub on my bruises so that they'll disappear more quickly but quite frankly I couldn't care less about my bruises. Nobody except myself and my husband will see them and they'll go away eventually. I will not be seen on a beach and in a bathing suit or in a locker room displaying my naked body any time soon.
The nurse removed and replaced the steri-strips covering my incision and said that I don't need to wear the CG if I don't want to. She said I could start using Spanx or a similar product. Well, I've got my cheep flexees from Costco that I can use and if I don't use anything that's okay too. Right now the CG feel quite comfortable and I'm leaving it on just in case of coughing spells.
I had a lot of tugging, burning pain in one groin during the night and several unproductive coughing spells which were a "killer". Apparently the tube that's placed down the throat for anaesthesia causes the throat to dry and post op coughing is not unusual nor is it unusual that it causes the worst pain ever, even when pushing down on the incision. I was told to continue to drink lots of fluids as that will help with the coughing. I'm taking a pain pill about every twelve hours which allows me to move more easily.
Although I'm tired both due to the healing process and sleep deprivation, overall I'm feeling pretty darn good! I might even go for a walk around the block today as it's a beautiful, cool but sunny day. I haven't been out for any fresh air in a week and it will be refreshing to be outside for a while.
So ladies, that's my latest update. Looking forward to reading all yours!
It's been a week and I feel great!
Although I'm not completely pain-free yet I have to say that this recovery has gone extremely well. I do have some intermittent pinching, burning and tugging pain at my incision site and, when standing or walking, my midsection seems really stiff (probably from the muscle tightening). I'm able to walk completely upright and I don't think anyone would notice anything different about me than a week ago. But just wait until I don those spandex biking shorts---there might be a few people commenting "you look like you've lost weight". My drain is still putting out an ounce and half a day so now I'm a little concerned that having it out in two days might be a bit to early. I'll leave that decision up to the surgeon because he's a genius and I trust his decision completely. Will post more photos after the drain is out and when the bruising has subsided somewhat. Happy healing every one!
Beautiful bruises on post op day 7 but swell hell has not arrived!
Some might say, "look at those ugly bruises!" But they don't bother me at all. I'm not using any products to get rid of them sooner because I know they'll go away soon enough. Hey, I'm not performing at the local belly dancing or strip club tonight! After 40 years of focusing on the unwanted fat I'm just overjoyed to be FLAT. I am so lucky!
Not quite as active today as planned
I continue to heal nicely just 8 days after surgery. Went to work for two hours early this afternoon which entailed about a half hour of driving and an hour and half of work. Hubby carried my tool box for me as I don't want to risk lifting anything that's too heavy. By 2 PM I was ready to have a nap and did. Had great intentions of going for a walk around the block but that didn't happen and I don't feel up to it now at 6:30 PM either. Pain is minimal--with movement only. I have some weird sharp, shooting pains in my one groin and some tugging pain in my incision but it's tolerable. Haven't taken a pain pill in twelve hours and don't plan to until bedtime. Still no swelling but think that might start tomorrow if the drain comes out. Happy healing everyone!
Drain is out and I'm ready to go shopping!
Saw the surgeon today who said everything is looking good and the drain was taken out. He said "I see that there's a little bit of swelling and to be prepared for more swelling which may last up to six months. ( I haven't noticed ANY swelling!) At least I'm not bulging out like before the surgery and already my yoga pants look so much better on me! I've got my freedom back and now perhaps I'll be able to sleep on my tummy tonight! AND---I can go shopping and not have to worry about a drain being in the way. Maybe I'm jumping the gun but I don't think I'm going to get much smaller. Loved the scale at the doc's office. 145 pounds today! (probably something wrong with it). Went to work for two hours and walked for half an hour. Graduated to wearing my flexees from Costco instead of my CG. All is well! Happy healing to you you all!
My scar revealed!
Well gals here's another great moment in history, one that in trying to keep up with the Joneses (LLB) required a shopping trip to purchase the perfect attire for this momentous occasion! I walked into the Ross discount store and stated to a young Asian chap of about 19 working there that I needed some assistance finding "just the perfect panties for the unveiling of a very special surgical scar". I said they MUST have a picture of a pussy and not pull up to high!!! I said it was very important that they be absolutely PERFECT because I would be modelling them for the whole world to see--on the internet! Wonder why this young man ran as fast as he could????? A woman "in my condition" needs all the help she can get! Well, I think these panties are perfect but I am a little disappointed that the Asian chap didn't stick around to translate the foreign text above that cat, errrr...pussy!
On a more serious note (need I mention that my encounter with the 19 year old is pure fiction?) I'm very happy with the appearance of my scar. There seems to be a little swelling at the time these photos were taken, about three hours after getting up this morning. Prior to getting up this morning my tummy was actually concave and I could see my hip bones. Woo hoo!!! I've got hip bones!!!!
I rolled over onto my tummy last night but didn't stay in that position for long. Too uncomfortable. Painful to roll back onto my side! Happy to be able to sleep on my side as well as stretch out onto my back. I'm sleeping quite well now and am thankful for that. I'm also so thankful to be healing so quickly and know that I'll soon be doing everything I did before the surgery.
Wishing all you other gals out there a successful outcome and speedy recovery!
Oh, oh!!! I overdid it today!!
Was feeling so energetic today that I decided to increase my walk around the block to "a bit further". I walked along a creek not far from home and was enjoying myself so much that I just kept on going. After about an hour of walking I began to feel some rather intense burning pain just below the one side of my incision and I think...OMG has my incision split wide open??? Silly, me I had forgotten my cell phone or I would have called my husband to pick me up!!! So I continued to walk, now at a snail pace and somewhat hunched over and looking like a REAL old lady who has just been TUCKED!!!! Thought I'd never make it home, all the while thinking....TUCK!!!!! What have I done!!! So as soon as I got home I gave the NURSE ON CALL a call just to confirm that I should be rethinking just how much activity I should be engaging in at this stage of my recovery. Mostly, I needed some reassurance that I hadn't done any damage. The nurse told me that by tomorrow I might notice some increased swelling due to OVERDOING it today. So, I'll be kind to myself and NOT attempt to run a marathon later today, apply an ice pack to my belly and basically allow myself to heal by exercising only my fingers (on this keyboard--and hope that's NOT overdoing it too!).
Should have listened to LIveLoveBelieve, her lecture about taking baby steps etc. I'm living, loving, believing and now LEARNING not to do too much!!!! But darn, my memory's shot so here's hoping that I'll. REMEMBER!!!!!
Happy healing and DONT do what I did today if you're less than three weeks post op!!!!
Some unwelcome, unexpected pain!
I figured I could handle walking about half a mile today (after walking 3 miles the day before yesterday before I felt any pain), but NO, this old body started screaming "NO! NO! NO!" I got this BURNING pain in my groin which felt like a red hot coal!!! I don't know if this was referred nerve pain from the incision and I just might call the doctor on call tomorrow. After sitting down for a while the pain slowly subsided but I seem to have to be very careful about how I move my right leg. Any abrupt movement can bring it on (and walking a short distance brings it on). Oh well,I'm guessing it's just part of the journey soon to pass! Unfortunately this is a set back for me because this is telling me that I'm just not ready to return to my pre-surgery activities and I'm going to have to take it easy for hopefully just a few more weeks! Has anyone else felt this kind of pain?????
I wore my CG for about six hours today from the time I got up until just after I experienced the pain described above... I was afraid that perhaps the CG had something to do with it but actually I don't think it did. I do have some increased swelling to my upper abdomen today. I think I'll refrain from wearing the CG from now on unless I see some obvious swelling! I'm just more comfortable without it.
I took out my measuring tape tonight and measured myself and was a little shocked to see that all my measurements are almost identical to my pre-surgery measurements!!! But hey, I LOOK BETTER and I'm FLAT and that was my GOAL so I'm still happy!!! HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!!!!
Maybe I'm retaining more fluids than I think??? I had lots of liposuction done so perhaps that's causing swelling that causing my measurements to remain the same???? Only time will tell!!!
Feeling tired so off to bed I go even though it's only 8:30PM!
Happy healing my REALSELF sisters!!!
Quick visit to the surgeon yesterday
Yesterday it was two weeks since the surgery and because I was having increased pain (worse than last week) I thought I'd better get it checked out.
Apparently I have a couple of internal stitches below by scar that are probably pulling with movement. I also had a small pocket of fluid which the surgeon aspirated. He aspirated about an ounce of fluid....in other words, not much!
I needed some reassurance that all was well and that my recovery is progressing as it should.
I take about 600 Mg of Advil at bedtime just to make it a little less painful to move around in bed, which gets easier day by day.
I'll be going to work for about three hours today and tomorrow so, except for getting no exercise my life is almost back to normal.
Still loving my flat tummy and having no regrets.
LIfe is good!
Happy Healing to all!!!
Comparing the blubberbelly to the blubberlessbelly.
I found this little app at the apple store that allows me to view my photos side by side. All these photos were taken in the early evening when my belly is at its largest. So far I've had only minimal swelling (I think). I could be swollen more so than I think
judging by my measurements being exactly the same as before surgery. I'll know for sure six months from now when I should be completely healed up. My belly is a crater belly early in the morning when lying down. Nice and concave! LOVE it!!!
I am SERIOUSLY debating becoming a surgeon!!! I would be making so many people happy (like me). But....that will have to happen in my next life!!! For now I m just too busy STUDYING all the other surgeons' amazing work!!! (MOST of them do an excellent job). So I'm having a toast to all those wonderful surgeons who truly make such a positive difference to how we look and feel!!
What a difference a week makes! 18 Days Post Op
A week ago today I walked almost five miles which resulted in pain that required a visit to the surgeon. Today, a week later I figured I could easily walk three miles. No problem at all. I feel a little more tender in my entire abdominal area and actually am a little more swollen than usual but other than that I'm perfectly fine. I'm able to sleep on my abdomen now and can move around very easily without pain. Not taking any more pain killers, not even ibuprofen or tylenol. The bruising is completely gone and the incision is healing nicely. Belly button is a non issue as it was never excised. Tomorrow I'll be working about five hours. All is well. Wishing all you others out there an equally speedy recovery!
Out of the woods
How time does fly! Today it's been exactly three weeks since my surgery and I think it's safe to state that I'm now officially "out of the woods" with minimal chance of complications. Apparently it's during the first three days post op that there's the biggest risk of getting blood clots (particularly among those who don't move around enough). When I asked my surgeon prior to the surgery for how long I would be at risk of complications he said THREE WEEKS. Well, I'm one lucky old gal. It hasn't happened (no complications) so I think it's safe to say that I'm officially a HEALED woman. I'm back to business as usual. I had some increased swelling yesterday so I'm forcing myself to wear my CG during the day. My next appointment with the surgeon is not until November 1st. He'll probably give me the go ahead to proceed with my pre surgical activities. I'm hoping I'll be allowed to do some cardio by climbing some hills as I'm worried about losing muscle mass and endurance. I still tire more quickly than BEFORE so there's still some healing going on. Overall though I'm doing just GREAT and I advise anyone considering the TT to GO FOR IT!!! It's so worth it!!
A conversation with the surgeon's nurse has me thinking.....
My belly has been a bit of a waterbed by the end of the afternoon, both yesterday and today so I thought I had better call the nurse at the PS office to find out if I need to come in and have some fluid aspirated. Early this morning I seemed to have reabsorbed most of the fluid and my belly was relatively flat. Apparently I'm overdoing it by working up to five hours a day (even though my job is by no means strenuous). I SHOULD be TAKING IT EASY by taking frequent rests on the couch with my feet up is what the nurse said. Well, I just haven't had too much time for that and I feel so good!!! It's so difficult to do next to nothing when used to being busy most of the time. The nurse said to come in on Friday (in two days) if my belly is like a waterbed again and the surgeon will bring out his syringe and deal with it!!! I won't be working on Friday so I can TRY to take it easy. I'll have to return to spending hours and hours on REALSELF reading all your latest reviews!!! Yup, that's always a great pastime and an easy way to kill a few hours!!! The nurse said absolutely NO CARDIO for another three weeks, so NO uphill hiking!!! Oh well.....I guess I'm just NOT a totally healed woman yet!!! So I had better be good and do what the nurse said...take it as easy as you possibly can. Okay, end of story. Happy healing all of you!!!
My "waterbed" revealed...today's photos
Here are a few photos showing the swelling to my lower abdomen early this morning just after I got up. Usually my belly is flatter at that time of day but I guess swell hell has arrived at last. So I wore my CG for 7 hours and it didn't make any difference. Can't really see it when wearing clothing and I'm definitely not bulging out like BEFORE! It's ONLY fluid and not fat!!! It will get better eventually. I will not be too self conscious to wear a bathing suit on the beach even if I still look like this two months from now.
The previous title should have been waterbed belly
My belly jiggles like jello and makes small waves when touching it, just like a waterbed. If there's more swelling tomorrow I will phone the surgeon's office and have it aspirated.
My waterbed belly comes and goes
Here I am at 24 days post op. I wore my CG for much of the day yesterday (even though I took it easy for the most part) and by the end of the afternoon I had as much swelling as I did on a day when I didn't wear it. So I'm kissing the CG goodbye for good. Kimmers25 did not ever use a CG and she ended up with the most awesome results anyway. I didn't bother to bother the surgeon for a fluid aspiration yesterday as I was counting on the fluid disappearing on it's own. It's not looking too bad this morning. If I bend down too abruptly or turn over in bed too quickly I still have this feeling of stitches pulling BELOW my incision so I'm sure the surgeon really tightened those lower ab muscles well. Also, my midriff still feels like I've done a million crunches yesterday. My energy level is really good but I do still tire more quickly than BEFORE. Can't wait to hike up some hills!
One month update
Today it's exactly a month since I had my tummy tuck and the swelling by late afternoon is worse than ever. I'm back to my regular working schedule and although my job requires me to sit for the most part I still do a fair amount of walking. The whole area between my boobs and my mons is usually very sore and I still seem much more tired than usual by dinner time. The attached photos were taken today right after work. An area above my scar particularly on my left side is somewhat discoloured and almost looks slightly bruised. It's not from wearing a CG as I have kissed all compression goodbye. It's not painful so I'm not worried about it. My incision is looking better every day.
Six week update
Had a follow up appointment with my surgeon today. He noticed that I had a bit of swelling and aspirated about an ounce of fluid. He said everything is looking very good. He said to come by in about four months "more for my sake as I like to see how my patients are doing". I was given the go ahead to do some uphill hiking but he said to wait another couple of weeks before doing any abdominal exercises.
While at the surgeon's office today I requested a copy of the surgical report. My preoperative diagnosis was ABDOMINAL REDUNDANCY!! Love it! Yup, all that blubber was definitely REDUNDANT!! The operation proposed was STANDARD ABDOMINOPLASTY WITH FEATHERING LIPOSUCTION OF THE HIPS. The reason he left my BB intact was due to my upper abdominal skin having poor elasticity. "The umbilical stalk was left attached as the upper abdominal skin had poor elasticity and I did not think I would get it to drift downward sufficiently to have an acceptable umbilical donor site scar." I found it quite interesting to read the full surgical report. I will do another update at eight weeks unless there is something unusual to report. Tomorrow I intend to do some cardio by hiking up some steep hills. Life is good!!
Seven weeks post op update
I'm writing this blog to use as my own journal as well as to inform others about how this journey has gone for me. Today it's been seven weeks and two days since my surgery and I think I've healed completely. My surgeon said NOT to do any abdominal exercises until I've reached the eight week mark but other than that I'm allowed to lift 20 pounds, go cycling (unless it's mountain biking), and hike as much as I want. I'm not posting any photos this time as my scar hasn't changed since last week. It's a very fine line, completely flat and light on my left side but still a dark colour and slightly elevated on my right side. It's so low that all my undies cover it so I really can't be bothered to spend any money on scar therapy products. Occasionally I'll feel a little tightness in my lower abdomen but most of the time I feel like I did before my surgery. Actually I feel BETTER, because I know I look a lot better. Looking better makes a person feel better! So glad I did this!!!
8 Weeks Post Op
13 Nov 2013
2 months post
Today it's been 8 weeks since I had my TT! My life is totally back to normal. I was able to do a long three hour hike a couple of days ago (much of it uphill). I thought I would really feel my legs afterwards but I actually did NOT so those leg muscles evidently hadn't atrophied much from my sedentary life since having this procedure done! Swelling is very minimal, usually only by late afternoon. I stay clear of processed food and foods high in sodium and cook almost everything from scratch using whole foods. My incision has not changed since my last update. I can still feel my lower abdomen occasionally but it's just a somewhat tight feeling and I never have pain. I'm afraid to do any plank poses or any other ab work. I'll wait a bit longer before I do that. I still have NO regrets and don't think I ever will!
Nine weeks Post Op
21 Nov 2013
2 months post
I'm able to do 30 minutes of cardio on my elliptical now with no difficulty. Actually, I'm lying! This is the MOST difficult thing I do each day because I hate working up a sweat INDOORS! It's the longest half hour of my day. That's why I hate going to a gym!!! It's getting cold out and sometimes I have a hard time getting motivated to go outdoors especially later in the day when I seem to have more enjoyable things to do. After work I don't always feel like driving to the nearest trailhead to do an uphill hike. A half hour of cardio is what I must do to keep my legs strong and to burn a little fat earlier in the day. Some experts recommend that we all need just a half hour of exercise each and every day. Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo
Ten weeks post op
28 Nov 2013
2 months post
It was ten weeks yesterday since I had my tummy tuck, lipo of the upper abdomen, flanks and hips. I've got my stamina back and am back to doing pretty much everything that I did before the surgery. I'm still hesitant to do any abdominal exercises but have done a few crunches and plank poses without any subsequent pain. I read somewhere on this site that it's not recommended to do any "ab work" until six months post op so I'm being careful not to do too much (not that I EVER did much ab work!). I work out for half an hour either on my elliptical or recumbent indoor bike to get some cardio at least three times a week and on other days I walk outdoors for at least an hour. I seem to be swollen by the end of the day and when I bend over I have a bit of a roll around my waist where there is clearly some skin laxity. NOT in the morning though!! First thing in the morning there is almost no skin to pinch. I did have a lot of lipo to my upper abdomen and my skin there is a bit dimply but hey, with clothes on I look pretty good for an old broad! I never did strut my stuff in a bikini. I'll be in Mexico soaking up the sun in a couple of days but will probably not be showing too much skin! My waist measurement is the same as it was before and I'm actually wondering if my surgeon did indeed tighten my abdominal muscles all the way from my chest down to my pubis. I'm having a hard time visualizing how he managed that with my umbilical stalk left intact so I've asked about it on this site and maybe a surgeon out there can explain it. Whatever my surgeon did I'm very pleased with my results and have no regrets. My scar still looks the same as it did two weeks ago with one side being light and the other side still being a dark purple so I'm not adding any new photos. Happy healing everyone!!!
Twelve weeks post op
11 Dec 2013
3 months post
Today it has been exactly twelve weeks since my tummy tuck. My surgical report states that I had a "standard abdominoplasty" but I think I actually had a mini tummy tuck as my belly button was pulled down an inch and no new hole was made to sew it into ("due to poor skin elasticity"). I had about 600cc of fat sucked out of my upper abdomen and this has resulted in my skin there being a little dimply and loose. When I bend over I have a bit of a spare tire although it's not nearly as inflated as it was before my surgery. This "tire" is only there later in the day probably due to some fluid accumulation. I think I'll ask the surgeons on this site about it as I have no further follow up appointments with my surgeon. My dimples aren't too visible from a distance and I felt quite comfortable suntanning in a two piece bathing suit while in Mexico last week. In fact I showed more skin while walking around on the beach and while hanging out at the pool than I have ever done while on vacation! I'm still numb below my belly button and after doing lots of walking I still feel a stiffness in my lower abdomen. Every now and then I'll feel a bit of a twinge at my incision. My incision has not changed at this last month and it might take a year before it lightens up! I'm still very happy with my results and have no regrets. Will update again in another month.
Three months post op
18 Dec 2013
3 months post
Today it has been exactly three months since my TT surgery and not much has changed since my last update a week ago. From now on I will try to update on the eighteenth of every month until it's been a year. I still feel a tightness in my lower abdomen and I'm still somewhat numb below my navel. Apparently this numbness doesn't always go away. I have a friend who had a TT four years ago and she still has numbness in that same area. I have been lazy since returning from Mexico just over a week ago and due to the cold weather I haven't been walking or exercising much. I did go for my first snowshoe of the season this past weekend and snowshoed for about two and a half hours. MUST get back to my elliptical and stationary bike!!! That minimum half hour of exercise each day is a MUST. YES…..today I'm going to get back on track!!!
Four months post op
18 Jan 2014
4 months post
Today it's been four months since my TT. Except for doing any abdominal exercises I'm pretty much back to doing everything that I did before. Today I went for a three hour hike (almost 10 kilometers) and can feel only a little bit of tightness in my lower abdomen. I'm still numb below my BB and in my left groin. My incision, although completely flat seems to be slow to lighten up and on my left side it's a much finer and lighter line than in the middle and right hand side. I don't seem to have much swelling anymore. Except for the one plank pose picture taken a few weeks before surgery all these photos were taken today. The bikini has never been worn on a beach and probably never will be. My energy level is completely back to normal and I feel like my recovery is complete. Happy healing to all you recent tummy tuckers!
Closeup of incision
18 Jan 2014
4 months post
I forgot to include this photo which shows that my incision still needs to lighten up a lot.
REAL skin rolls revealed
24 Jan 2014
4 months post
I'm so happy with my flat belly when standing up straight but when bending forward while sitting or when bending over at about a 90degree angle I wonder if I should have this much loose skin. All these photos were taken today just over four months post op.
My abs don't like me doing crunches yet
24 Jan 2014
4 months post
I forgot to mention that I did about fifty ab crunches today which had me feeling a little sore especially in my lower abs. This has me thinking that even though it's been over four months since my TT that I shouldn't overdo it!
Of course, not having done ANY ab workouts for so long I SHOULD be feeling something! I also went for a two hour hike today and feel a little tightness at my incision. No swelling though.
MIGHT have a revision, or I might not.....big decision ahead
I had emailed my surgeon a couple of days ago and sent him a few photos of me sitting down when my waist rolls are very prominent and this is what he replied:
The laxity of the upper abdominal skin is dependent on the inherent elasticity. The skin has to have the ability to stretch to the point that you can arch your back. As you then flex forward the skin will contract like a rubber band. At some point the elasticity will run out and the skin will buckle, much as a rubber band would. Intrinsic elasticity is dependent on genetics primarily and age/sun/smoking secondarily. We tightened the skin as much as possible without the incision coming apart in the first few weeks and with maintenance of a natural umbilical position and opening.
There is the possibility of redoing the surgery and either a) lowering the umbilical position by a few centimetres or b) releasing the skin around the umbilicus to pull it down maximally but then having both a visible vertical scar on the lower abdomen where the original umbilical opening existed as well as a scar around the belly button itself. Both are tradeoffs and in the end might not lead to much improvement given the existing elasticity of your skin.
I would be happy to see you in the office and discuss both options so you can decide which way you want to go with this.
I have made an appointment to see him two weeks from today. Will keep you all posted.
Five months post op
18 Feb 2014
5 months post
On September 18, 2013 I had a "standard" tummy tuck which I assumed would be a full tummy tuck with "the works" (making a new BB hole and pulling my abdominal skin all the way down from my breast bone down to my pubis). I now understand that I actually had a mini TT due to having poor skin elasticity. I am very happy with my results overall and I would do it again in a heartbeat but I am disappointed that I still have too much loose skin at my midriff. I'm still very aware of a "changed"/tight feeling in my lower abdomen and I still have a bit of numbness in the triangular area below my belly button. The biggest "pain" for me is my unwanted upper abdominal rolls that are still visible when I wear tight tank tops (not very attractive). I wish I wasn't so darn nit picky and could just be okay with my results. I will be seeing my PS at the end of this week to discuss a possible revision. Back to those thoughts of should I or shouldn't I???? My scar is looking great, perhaps just a little lighter than a month ago. Will post a photo of it in a month. Thank you all my RealSelf sisters for all your kind words and support!
Five months post op scar
18 Feb 2014
5 months post
Thought I should show you what my incision looks like today instead of waiting another month. It's always been darkest on my right side.
TT Revision Booked for May 8, 2014
21 Feb 2014
5 months post
Was in to see my surgeon today. He examined me and said that I have enough skin elasticity left to fix my redundant skin rolls. He took "full responsibility" for my surgical outcome and apologized. He wants to fix this and offered to do it at NO charge to me! I am truly impressed and delighted that better is about to become even better! Hey, I just might become a BEACH BABE yet!!! I have started a new review which will be showing up once it's been approved by the RS "judges".
Some times surgeons change their game plan during surgery
23 Feb 2014 3 months pre
We must always trust our chosen surgeon to to the best surgery possible. However, surgeons are human too and some times decisions are made during surgery that the patient has no control over. Sometimes they make decisions that are not in the patient's best interest even though they mean well. When I was having my first tummy tuck five months ago my surgeon thought I was a swimmer and therefore my belly button was left untouched, looking natural as before. He also thought that due to poor skin elasticity it was better to leave my upper abdomen alone. While examining my skin again yesterday he came to the conclusion that there was in fact enough skin elasticity to redo the surgery but this time my skin will be pulled down maximally and I will get a new belly button position. I will also be getting a short vertical scar just below my BB. I think I should get my upper abdominal fascia tightened some more to hopefully give me a smaller waist. I have taken several selfies today with black marks/ lines that show where my scars from previous laparoscopic surgeries are located and it will be interesting to see how much lower these scars will be after my full TT.
Photos taken five months post op
I haven't seen many photos of other people who have waist rolls like this after a tummy tuck. I realize that most of us prefer to post the "perfect" photos and don't like to show any "ugliness" to the world AFTER their tummy tucks. All those awaiting surgery need to tell their surgeon BEFORE their surgeries about their expectations. I just ASSUMED that my waist rolls would disappear in addition to having a flat abdomen. In retrospect I should have showed my surgeon the size of my waist rolls on the morning of surgery. I should have told my surgeon "I NEED this to be gone!" But, apparently while lying down all that flab didn't look too bad to him.