I had a mini TT just over five months ago with...
I had a mini TT just over five months ago with very good results. I feel that my results could have been even better if I had had "the works"--a FULL TT!! Almost immediately post op I suspected that I didn't have a FULL TT (the STANDARD TT that I had paid for) because my BB was left untouched and I had a shorter than usual horizontal scar. My surgical report confirmed this. A FULL TT will address the excess redundant skin in my upper abdomen that is my biggest problem area. At my appointment today my surgeon agreed that he could have pulled me tighter and agreed to do a revision at no charge to me! Although I'm not thrilled about another recovery I have booked the revision and hope it will make better even better and probably WORTH IT!!
Some times surgeons change their game plan during surgery
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. I will be posting side by side photos to compare.
Not a chance of winning the HOT BIKE BABE contest with rolls like this!
I LOVE my flat tummy but I really, REALLY, want these rolls gone AND I'd love the have a slimmer waist! I'm confident it's going to happen!
Tummy showing the black lines that cover scars from previous surgeries
After my upcoming TT I will be taking some selfies showing these scars and I'm hoping they will all be about two inches lower. If that happens I should be as flat as a pancake and hopefully I'll have a generous six pack showing through! LOL!
Debating should I or shouldn't I get my upper rectus abdominals tightened
I still have two more months to decide whether or not to ask my surgeon to tighten my upper rectus abdominal fascia. If I do my waistline might become an inch or two smaller but I'm wondering whether it will be worth the extra pain and recovery time? I think I might just forget about that and just have my skin tightened. Then I'll hopefully have a very quick recovery and I'll be able to participate in my favourite activities sooner rather than later. At my age there's no hope in hell of looking like a barby doll and if the rolls are minimized (if not completely gone) then I'll be happy. Just want to look good in the spandex I wear when cycling and when attending yoga classes.
Tummy Tuck without muscle tightening
I have been researching recovery after muscle tightening versus no muscle tightening and here is what one surgeon has to say about it:
(The recovery from a skin only abdominoplasty is much less compared to the abdominoplasty with muscle tightening. The recovery is centered around the necessary skin tightness created by the surgery. This takes a while to lessen and for you to get used to it. Patients have to be bent over in most cases in order to tighten the abdominal skin appropriately. It usually takes a few days for the patient to be able to become upright. There are exceptions to every rule, but I quote recovery based on what 95% of my patients experience. (2 standard deviations from the norm) With that in mind, most of my patients are doing well in 10 days although they are probably not back to full energy for 4 to 6 weeks. That is true for regular tummy tucks with muscle tightening as well except with muscle tightening the pain is much more intense the first 3 days and return to work is more like 3 weeks on average instead of 10 days to 2 weeks with skin only surgery.
Finally, you may find that if you are athletic and your only issue is fat removal then liposuction may be a good option for you. Tummy tucks are indicated for skin excess and looseness primarily. It usually takes liposuction in addition or primarily to address the fat excess.) END OF SURGEON'S COMMENT
I was also reading that liposuction is a procedure that is most successful on people who have skin with good elasticity, usually younger people. For someone like myself who apparently has poor skin elasticity the liposuction done to my upper abdomen might not have been such a good idea as my skin has not shrunk. This is probably why I still have so much skin in my upper abdomen. It will be interesting to see if I will be so tight that I, like so many others on RealSelf will be walking hunched over after my next tummy tuck. I definitely did not AT ANY TIME feel that I had to walk hunched over after my first tummy tuck, another indication that I wasn't pulled tight enough. So here's hoping that I'll have the NEED to walk hunched over (even if only for a few days) after my upcoming tummy tuck as it will make me feel confident that I'm as tight as a trampoline. In two more months I'll know.
I'm leaning towards having the muscle plication of my upper abs
Having asked the surgeons on this site about whether or not to have the muscle plication I'm now leaning towards getting the muscle plication done even though it will mean a longer recovery. I'll probably end up regretting it if I don't. I will have to ask my surgeon whether or not I have any muscle separation but, even if I don't, it still might be worth it just to have a narrower waist. I sure don't want to end up with regrets about my decision and having disappointing results again.
Will let the surgeon decide whether I NEED the muscle plication
Not having had children and having never been overweight I might not have any muscle separation in my upper abs. I know that my LOWER abs needed it as four previous pelvic surgeries with cutting through the muscles did a number on those muscles. When I look at the photos of my profile my upper abs do not seem to protrude more than my lower abs--in fact I have more roundness to my lower abs. So the next time I see my surgeon which probably won't be until the day of surgery I'm going to let him make the decision. I SO worry about any UNNECESSARY pain and would like to be almost fully recovered and back to hiking and cycling a month after the TT. For each day that I'm sedentary I'll be losing muscle mass and strength and with all my plans for the summer I need to be as strong as I can possibly be.
Five more weeks until my second tummy tuck
I can't stop thinking about my upcoming SECOND tummy tuck and the closer I get to the date of surgery the more sleepless nights I have! I must say though, that having gone through this before AND living to tell about it I'm not worried about actually dying on the operating table which was my biggest fear last time. I'm working hard at getting as fit as possible and have been doing some kind of cardio every day, (mostly cycling since the weather has warmed up). I'm training for an 1100 mile bike ride planned for September. I'm going to Hawaii next week and a vacation there should take my mind off the upcoming TT.
One month from today I'll be having my FULL tummy tuck
Not much has changed since my last update other than being a little closer to the surgery date. I go for a pre-op appointment on April 29th but unfortunately my surgeon won't be there so it should be a short appointment with the nurse telling me stuff that I already know and she'll give me the required prescriptions. I won't actually see my surgeon again until the day of surgery when I will tell him again exactly what my expectations are. I'll be sure to point out the hands full of skin that I can grab while slightly bending over in a sitting position because as soon as I lie down on that operating table it will look like there's NO work to be done!! I don't imagine that there will be much more than a pound of extra skin to cut off but that one pound can make a BIG difference to the size of my waist roll! I'm going to ask him to put my BB back to it's original location as it was pulled down about an inch last time he operated on me. I'm so glad he didn't do an umbilical float!!! I have many fun things to do this summer on my agenda so here's hoping the recovery will be even quicker than last time. (This being a bigger surgery it probably won't be though).
Stretch marks post pregnancy
I've just returned from a get together with three of my sisters in Hawaii and noticed that none of them have ANY stretch marks on their abs from pregnancy. My two other sisters don't have stretch marks either. So apparently there are some good genes in my family which is encouraging for me. This has me thinking that my skin elasticity which my surgeon says is poor might not be as bad as he thinks. So I'm hoping my skin is stretchy enough to be pulled all the way down to the horizontal incision line and that I won't be needing a vertical incision. In just sixteen days I'll know.
Pre-surgical consult today
I had my pre-surgical consult with a nurse at my surgeon's clinic today. The surgeon was absent. She basically told me everything that I already knew...what supplements and drugs to avoid pre-surgery. She also took my AFTER photos which now will also become BEFORE photos. I was almost embarrassed to reveal my near-perfect abdomen for the photo shoot as the nurse might have been thinking "what is she thinking, getting a revision!" as, standing up I don't look like I need any work. She said "Stan, did a very good job". Yup, he sure did! Great job for a mini tummy tuck! I give him all the credit for that! Here's hoping that I'll become as tight as a drum. I'm down to 146 pounds and hope to lose another one or two pounds in the next week with the hope that there will be as much loose skin as possible. Have to do lots of cardio and eat minimally! Eight more days. until surgery day. Hope I can do it. I have frequent thoughts of cancelling as occasionally I'm overcome with fear of complications and even death. The closer I get to surgery day, the more nervous I become as I still fear that I might be punished for my vanity. Time for lots of prayers.
Photos taken this week, five days pre op
These will be my last PRE OP photos which I hope to use for side by side photos three or four weeks from now. What do you think real self gals--would you consider a revision if you had a muffin top like this?
1. Do NOT cancel upcoming revision surgery!
2. Pick up prescriptions from surgeon's office
3. Do NOT cancel upcoming revision surgery!
4. Fill prescriptions for antibiotic and analgesic
5. Do NOT cancel upcoming revision surgery!
6. Eat minimally to achieve goal weight of 145 pounds on surgery day.
7. Do NOT cancel upcoming revision surgery!
8. Make soup for first few post op days
9. Do NOT cancel upcoming revision surgery!
10. Clean the house
Hips-- 38" (40" before first TT) Liposuction made the difference
Abdomen at the level of my BB--35.5" (same as before first TT--BB was pulled down about an inch)
Waist at narrowest point 32" (same as before first TT).
Multiple surgeries over the years
I've been under general anaesthesia probably 15 times previously and up until I was scheduled for my first tummy tuck I NEVER worried about it. I've never had complications although once, many years ago, while I was under MILD anaesthesia I could hear the surgeons talking but was unable to speak myself to let them no that I was awake. That was a little scary and hopefully that will never happen again. Hopefully I'll never need general anaesthesia again AFTER tomorrow's procedure. I have a bit of a dry cough (especially at night) but I'm not phoning the clinic to let them know as my research here on RS tells me that most surgeon's wouldn't cancel surgery when the cough is UNPRODUCTIVE and the patient is otherwise feeling well. I just want to get this done and over with, although coughing post TT is not exactly my favourite thing to do! I'll be drinking lots of ginger tea today.
For lack of better things to do....
8 May 2014
Day of treatment
I thought I better remeasure myself on this BIG day. Today's THE day!
Waist at BB: 35"
Waist at narrowest point: 31"
Weight 144.8 pounds!! (Not quite my ORIGINAL goal weight of 140 lbs but it's still a good number)
I thought I looked pretty skinny this morning and it seemed I didn't have as much excess skin (standing up). I CONSIDERED cancelling surgery. BUT.....then I sat down at my computer and there it was again, that muffin top!
It's currently 8AM, another three hours before I phone the surgical centre for my time to be there.
I took some benedryl last night to help me sleep. Now I'm almost ready to take a lorazepam as my anxiety is peaking! It's going to be LONG morning!
Will post tonight. Good luck to all you tummy tuckers who are having surgery today! Wishing you all fabulous results!!
I DID it!! All done!
8 May 2014
Day of treatment
I called the clinic at 11 and they asked me to come right away. I live nearby and was there within five minutes. At exactly 12 o'clock I was on the OR table and within seconds of giving me "something to relax" through the IV I was "gone to lala land". I woke up with lots of pain around 2 PM and it took until 4 PM to get that under control. Hubby picked me up at 4:30. I definitely didn't have as much pain while still in PAR last time and I was cursing myself for doing this to myself! Stan talked to me briefly before surgery and marked me up. I asked him to move my BB up an inch as it was pulled down that much last time and I figured it should be back in its natural position. I asked him to tighten my muscles IF needed! He said he would do his
best and said "you'll do just fine" when I told him how anxious I was feeling. Right now I'm not feeling too bad, just groggy from the gravol they gave me for nausea. Im ready to lie down for awhile now. I'm feeling totally relaxed right now and I'm sure my blood pressure has gone down significantly since this morning when I was feeling super anxious! I'm so happy that it's done! Thank you all you TT sisters for all your encouragement and healing vibes! I needed that! Will keep you posted! Hugs to you all!
What a bloody mess!!
8 May 2014
Day of treatment
Sure didn't think I'd be doing any cleaning on surgery day but hey shit happens, or rather BLOOD happens! I was trying to empty my drain into the toilet bowl but a large clot was clogging the opening of the drain. So I gave that bulb a really hard squeeze and whoosh, 80cc's of blood EXPLODED all over the bathroom!! Blood spatters were as far as three yards away all over the toilet, walls, mirror and floor. (Gosh, I forgot to check out the ceiling and might still have to wash it tonight!) I called downstairs to hubby to bring me the lysol wipes so I could clean it up and when he saw that bloody mess he practically passed out! He doesn't like the look of blood. So here I was on my hands and knees cleaning up the mess while hubby watched! I'm glad he didn't offer to help because then he might have actually passed out and I didn't want such a "medical emergency" on my hands already having enough "problems" of my own! It's almost 11PM and I've been trying to sleep but I'm feeling totally wired as per usual post anaesthesia so I figured I might as well share the latest "news". I'm sure you were all extremely eager to hear all the gory details about my drain! LOL!!
I should have taken a picture of the bloody mess but I would have needed a camera with a very wide angled lens to capture it all!
So far, so good,
Judging by how I'm feeling and how easily and almost painlessly that I'm moving, I don't think any muscles were tightened. I had a LOT more pain and moved VERY slowly after my last surgery when I had my abs below my BB tightened. Then my abs hurt even from as simple a movement as adjusting a pillow under my neck and every little move needed to be calculated. I also felt really tight then but this time I'm not feeling that. Last time I was very sore all over my torso and hips too due to liposuction. Stan didn't talk to me after the surgery. I'll ask him in four days when I see him for a follow up appt. I will also be asking for a copy of the surgical report. I think this recovery will be a walk in the park! It is so far! I haven't had a wink of sleep since I woke up in PAR yesterday but I'm feeling good. I'm very tired and do hope to nod off soon.
Almost painless on post op day two
I probably slept about six hours all night and don't feel as "spacey" as I did yesterday. I was able to move around in bed almost normally and actually woke up once lying flat on my back although I tried to remain on my side in a fetal position. I don't have that tight feeling nor the twinges and burning pains in my lower abs and groins that I had after TT#1. I basically just feel a little sore at my surgical sites and don't need any pain killers. Last pain killer was twelve hours ago. Can't wait for the reveal of my scar(s) tomorrow. Will be taking it easy today but I know it's going to be a boring day. I'm missing my daily bike ride already.
Liking my little midline indent
I just took off my CG so I could take another peek at my uncovered upper abdomen. Notice the bruise along the midline and that nice little indent! I'm quite swollen so I think ill ice it every ten minutes while awake like I should have since OR day. Looking good so far. More to come tomorrow!
First real peak at my results. Dressings and tape removed.
I was supposed to wait until 72 hours post op to remove my dressings and to have a shower but I jumped the gun by about six hours. I simply couldn't wait any longer to take a peek! I'm VERY swollen so all that excess fluid is not being drained properly. My drain had less than an ounce of fluid over 24 hours and the nurse who called me this morning said it can probably come out tomorrow. I'm not sure that's such a good idea considering how swollen I am! I am happy to see that I don't have a very long vertical scar, From what I can see through the steristrips it's only about an inch long and will hardly be noticeable. Clearly I still had some skin elasticity and excess loose skin to make this possible! My new BB looks really weird and is really deep--like a big crater!! Hopefully, when my swelling subsides it will look better. My horizontal scar is only 12" across, no longer than before! I'm confident that it will heal as well as after TT#1!! No dog ears! Pain is minimal and I'm able to move around with ease! I'm definitely not missing the pulling, burning and stabbing pain that I had last time! I'm feeling so good that I'll probably try to go for just a short walk around my neighbourhood. This recovery will be a breeze!
Being in good physical shape helps accelerate recovery time
Having read many TT review since beginning this journey almost two years ago I've learned that many of you preparing for a tummy tuck go out and buy all kinds of health aids to help you get around. Many of you have purchased shower chairs, toilet seat risers, walkers, recliners and many other items! I personally haven't needed any such items. I've slept in my bed since day one, always had a shower standing up, and done all my activities of daily living the same way as before but just a little more slowly. I attribute this ability to being in overall good health and physical shape. So those of you considering having a tummy tuck in the near future my advice is to do what you can to become physically more active. Get your core stronger as that is really going to help you move around more easily. Do some cardiovascular exercises to strengthen your heart and your lungs. I'm 63 years old and I'm in better physical shape than many much younger people hence my tummy tuck recoveries both times have been relatively uneventful. (I don't think I'm speaking to soon about this second TT recovery as here it's only day four post op and I'm feeling great--just a little sore). I take turmeric and large doses of vitamin C too and I'm convinced that helps the healing process. Happy healing all you tuckers!
Drain is easy to hide under baggy capris
I will be seeing my surgeons nurse in about an hour as she wants to take out my drain. After TT#1 I had to wait until day 9 before the drain came out so I'm thinking that with all the lipo and lower ab plication that was done then that that surgery was more invasive and caused more trauma to the tissues. My attached photo shows that my drain is easily concealed under my baggy pants! Hey I could go to work looking like this and no one would ever know.
My drain is out
My drain is out. It wasn't draining more than a few CCs each day for the last two days. Although it didn't really bother me I feel better about having it out as it was pinching a bit at it's exit site. I'm very swollen but that could be tissue swelling. The nurse didn't think I have a hematoma or seroma. She also thinks that I might have had some liposuction done on account of all the bruising. Tomorrow I'll ask Stan and he'll be able to tell me all the details about my surgery. I'm still feeling great although I tire very quickly (from doing nothing!). Hope all you recent tummy tuckers are feeling as great as me!
Looking pregnant but I don't care
I'm very swollen, more so on my right side than my left. Even with all this swelling I definitely look better than before (without swelling). No more muffin top right now! I don't think it's coming back either later when my skin isn't quite so tight. Hey, if I didn't have the bruises (just the swelling alone) I would visit the nearby beach wearing my sexiest bikini doing a little happy dance!!! Might even wear a sign around my neck saying: Tired of your pot belly?? Wanna be flat?? Want a belly like mine??? It CAN be done! RUSH over to see Stan, cosmetic surgeon, TODAY!!
And Stan said.....
Stan said "I can't believe how much skin I was able to pull down". Basically he pulled down from where my BB is now to the top of my vertical scar where the "old" BB opening was. He did not plicate my upper abdominal muscles as there was "very little" muscle separation. He did not do any liposuction. He noted how swollen I am and tried to aspirate some fluid but managed to get out just a few cc's. The needle going in didn't feel too great!! He wants to see me again next week to rule out hematoma or seroma. I asked him for some Flexeril for back pain. I asked the receptionist for the surgical report but she said she hadn't typed it out yet. So I will be asking her again next week. The scale in his office is very friendly and had me at 145 pounds today! Good news as, having done basically nothing physical for six days now I feared that I had gained some weight. It's all good!
It's been a week already since I had TT#2
Here it is a week since I had TT#2. I actually feel a lot better this morning than I did exactly a week ago when I was counting the minutes until I could phone the surgical clinic for my time of surgery AND still debating whether or not to cancel and just be happy with how I look. My anxiety then was overwhelming! I'm so happy I proceeded with the surgery!
I have been walking hunched over and look like an old woman who has just been tucked. My skin feels really tight but I worry about my incision coming apart if I walk completely upright. This causes a bit of a back ache so telling my friends that I have a backache isn't a lie! I had a friend stop by unexpectedly last night. When she arrived I forgot that I had just taken off my "outer" layer of clothes revealing my CG over my camisole. (It was a hot day and I had just had a hot flash) I told her it was my back brace! Thankfully she's not the brightest light on the planet on believed me! This is my little secret that very few other people know about and they will probably never know. I do live in a small town where juicy gossip travels quickly! Most people I know have always said that I look skinny and to find out that I had not just one but TWO tummy tucks would surely get their tongues wagging!!
Anyway, I'm feeling great, just a little sore when moving around. The right side of my abdomen is still very swollen but not really much worse than two days ago when I saw Stan in his office. I look about the same as the last time I posted photos so I will wait a few more days before posting pictures again.
May is probably not the best time of year to get tucked for someone like me who loves the outdoors. We're having beautiful, warm, sunny spring weather. This recovery has me missing out on participating in some fabulous hikes and bike rides with an outdoor club that I belong to! I hope to go for a short walk around the neighbourhood today with one of my tummy tuck friends.
I'm being good and taking it easy as I should. I did ask Stan the other day if it would be okay to ride my bike to the end of a certain road (approximately 20 miles) and he said "Hey, that's MY job on a Sunday morning so don't even THINK of it!" (I was of course just kidding). I have strict instructions to "not overdo it", which basically means "sit around and do nothing". Oh well,.....that to shall pass!
It's going to be another great day! Sending healing vibes to all you recent tummy tuckers!
BBNM (soon to be BBN---BIKE BABE NOW!)
Swelling remains on post op day 8
The swelling I've had since surgery remains about the same each day, no better and no worse. it doesn't seem to be seroma as it's not wavy, waterbed-like. The right side is worse than the left and feels quite firm and tender to touch but as long as it doesn't get any worse I won't worry about it. In only five more days Stan will have a look at it. I look like I'm pregnant even though I'm wearing my Flexee compression garment, but not nearly as pregnant-looking as before TT#1! No more jiggly rolls! Yahooo!!
Coughing has become less painful
I've noticed in the last 24 hours that it's becoming less painful to cough or laugh hard and I no longer need to support my abdomen when doing so. So far the worst part of the recovery has been the fatigue I'm feeling. I've been needing and having a nap every day, something that I normally never do. I appreciate not having young children around me or having to work full time shortly after a procedure such as this! Great to be my own boss too so I can decide myself when and how much I want to work. Sure missing my exercise and the friends I go with. But, it's all part of the process and soon my life will be back on track.
No change to my abdomen since yesterday. The skin over the right-side bump is VERY tight, so much so that my skin there seems extra thin! I'm supposed to wear my CG for at least two weeks post pop but I've been taking it off from time to time, feeling much more comfortable without it. It doesn't seem to reduce the swelling. I've been walking more hunched over than I did after my first TT and I consider that a good sign that I've been pulled down tight enough. Enough said!
Happy healing to all you recent tummy tuckers! Wishing you all a smooth and uneventful recovery!
I've been doing some research about hematomas (a localized swelling filled with blood) and am somewhat concerned that the bulge I have to the right of my belly button could be a hematoma, not seroma. I read that often hematomas require another little surgery with reopening of the incision to get rid of them. That scares me a little.
I was happy to see that my weight this morning was 144lb. That's the lightest I have been in about ten years. I wonder if our bodies burn more calories when healing? I'm eating as much as before surgery but considering that I'm not exercising I have been expecting to gain some weight. Works for me!!
Getting stronger day by day
Yesterday I wrote that fatigue was my biggest issue. Today I have felt great all day. I went for a reasonably paced 45 minute walk which had me feeling quite energized! Only a week ago the nurse from the surgical clinic told me "please do Not walk FAST if you decide to go walking or you will cause some swelling". After my walk today I had no increased swelling! This tells me that I'm ready for more physical activity! I'm able to walk quite upright today but do feel a tightness from my sternum and down to my incision. There's no indication that my incision is coming apart. I'm feeling particularly sore on my right (possibly hematoma) side. I hope that's not indicative of an infection brewing underneath. Oh well, time will tell. Most important is that overall I'm feeling great!
Back to work today
I've decided to work for a couple of hours todays so I don't get too behind. Yesterday I rode my bike for about 15 minutes and that was easy enough. Will probably go for a longer walk after work today as that will make me feel energized. I'm really quite sore on the right side of my belly but it's reassuring for me to know that Stan will have a look at it tomorrow. I'm hoping that he can just vacuum out whatever is in there with his liposuctioning equipment if an ordinary syringe won't do it!! My belly is definitely not very symmetrical right now. The bruises are slowly fading. Every day I feel a bit stronger and it won't be long now before my life is totally back to normal.
My incision revealed
The steristrips covering my incision were looking rather yucky (dried blood underneath) so I removed them. I was eager to have a look at the incision and I must say it's looking great, even better than my previous incision looked at this stage of recovery. It's bit wrinkled here and there but it will flatten out eventually. It's also very light, almost no redness! The vertical incision (the hole where my BB used to be) is only ¾" long. It's a little bumpy but that's okay. It will always be covered and no one will see. I'm so lucky that I didn't need a long vertical scar!
Bump is gone!
The bump to the right of my BB was a hematoma. My surgeon aspirated about 110CCs (almost 4 ounces) of brownish (old) blood. So now my belly is symmetrical again. I might take some new photos tomorrow. I have just walked for 40 minutes and am probably more swollen now than I'll be tomorrow morning, a better time to take photos. I still feel stiff and tight from my chest down to my pubis and that should last a while.
Photos taken two weeks post op
Hard to believe it's been two weeks already since my second tummy tuck! I have gotten some additional bruises just above my incision which may have been caused by wearing my CG too tight. One of the nurses at the surgeons office told me that compression is needed for only two weeks so I'm ditching all compression (until I feel that I'm coming undone without it). I expect all the bruises to be gone in about another two weeks.
Tummy not quite symmetrical
The day my hematoma was aspirated I said that my tummy was symmetrical again but yesterday I noticed a new bulge on my right side. Not as big as the previous one though. If it's another hematoma I'm a bit concerned that it might not be aspirated until June 4th when I have my next appointment with my surgeon. I read that hematomas can become infected if not removed so I'm watching closely for signs of infection. I had some increased pain on that affected side yesterday but that's gone today. I've decided to take it VERY easy and not walk too far. I might have been overdoing it already by walking to and from the clinic the other day. A friend came over yesterday and commented on how I was walking a bit hunched over and asked if my back was sore. I told her I've had a weak back since about a week back and told her it's probably due to old age and that I'm not too worried about it. Seeing my own reflection in some large store windows yesterday I noticed that I'm walking more hunched over than I thought. I take that as a good sign that I was pulled down tight enough. Never felt I had to walk hunched over after TT#1! My skin does feel very tight. By afternoon my whole midriff feels very sore but not so much that I need any pain killers. Hope all you recent tummy tuckers are having a great recovery!
Taking it VERY easy and being very sedentary and getting more restless every day.
It's been 18 days since my surgery and I'm taking it very easy, much easier than I would like to. I seem to be energetic enough but I don't dare exert myself very much because of the hematoma. If there's a ruptured blood vessel that is still slowly bleeding into the dead space then I don't want to aggravate it as on my last visit to the surgeon he DID say to take it very easy because of it. I read that sometimes the incision has to be opened again to find out where the bleed is with subsequent cauterizing of the affected blood vessel. That's scary! I've also read that sometimes hematomas can calcify and harden under the skin and leave a permanent mass. While seromas after tummy tucks are quite common, hematomas are not! I was given IV toradol for pain while in PAR and I did cough a few times then so that could have caused a blood vessel to rupture. Toradol is a NSAID and does thin the blood somewhat. I've had more swelling on my right side than on my left ever since my first peek at my tummy a few days after the surgery and it might have been there all along. I'm counting the days until I can have it looked at by the surgeon again. It's reassuring to know that in the event of infection or my abdomen ballooning out significantly I can always call the surgeon on call. On another note, I'm now able to turn over onto my abdomen although I can't comfortably lie that way for more than a few minutes. The soreness to my entire abdomen seems to increase as the day progresses even after sitting. I'm back to working two to three hours a day but my job is basically a sit down job. Hope all you healers are healing well and that you're getting stronger every day!
Bruises are almost gone
My bruises are almost all gone. I haven't used any products on them as they haven't bothered me and it's not like I've been strutting my stuff wearing a bikini on a public beach! This morning I feel almost totally normal with almost no tightness or soreness. I'm definitely ready to increase my activity although I'm not sure I dare to until I've seen my surgeon next week. My hematoma bulge remains the same as it was a week ago and I hope it doesn't become a hardened permanent mass. I'm getting used to my new, deep belly button. I seem to be over the fatigued stage!
Able to sleep on my abdomen now
Yesterday I forgot to mention that I can now roll around in bed and onto my abdomen without any difficulty and remain sleeping on my abdomen too. I think that took at least a month after I had my first TT with lower abdominal muscle plication so this is without a doubt a faster and easier recovery. This time I don't seem to have as much of an appetite and have actually lost four pounds since surgery day 22 days ago. Current weight 142.4 pounds! Hope I can keep it off. When I'm back to cycling daily that shouldn't be a problem. My bulge seems a little smaller today than yesterday so perhaps it's being absorbed. Maybe it will be gone on June 4th when I'm supposed to see Dr. Stan!
The bulge seems to have shrunk!
I'm excited about the fact that my right sided bulge seems to have shrunk since yesterday and is hardly palpable now! Obviously it's being absorbed! I still plan on keeping my upcoming appointment with Dr. Stan so I can ask him a few questions.
Went for my first hike since surgery. Stamina is back!
The bulge is almost gone so I'm no longer afraid to "do too much" and I really NEEDED to go for a hike. So I hiked 7 kilometres which included a good half hour of steep climbing. I wasn't even sore afterwards although just a tad swollen in my UPPER abdomen. NO swelling at all to my lower abs! Waist measured 31" this morning and 33" after the hike! I'm going for a long bike ride tomorrow. Clearly I've got my stamina back! Life is good!
Some photos taken 25 days post op
I took these photos three days ago, on June 2nd when I was 25 days post op. I usually take my photos using my iPad but thought I'd experiment with my camera.
It's been four weeks since my second tummy tuck
Today it's been four weeks since my TT revision and I'm ecstatic about my results. I'm definitely so much tighter than I was last time. I'm not able to pinch any skin in my upper abdomen when standing. Yes, I still have a tiny bit of excess when sitting but I expected that. I"m definitely MUCH improved and I wouldn't be ashamed to wear a two piece bathing suit now. I was in to see Dr. Stan yesterday and he said its all looking good. He aspirated about an ounce of blood from my bulge that I was so worried about just a few days ago. So now I'm pretty much symmetrical. My BB is looking good and I'm happy with it. I'm sure it will be perfect once all the swelling has subsided. The photos I'm posting were taken first thing in the morning.
Wearing my tightest biker babe spandex
My original title of this review contained "Wanna be a biker babe". Although I'll never look like a true BABE, I FEEL like one now! I certainly feel a lot more comfortable wearing spandex than I did before I ever had a tummy tuck! All these photos were taken yesterday, four weeks after my revision.
My incisions exactly a month post op
My incisions seem to have improved almost overnight. I noticed this morning that the upper part of my vertical scar which previously was a little bump is now completely flat and smooth! It's almost invisible. My horizontal scar has lost all the little bumps caused my those small skin pleats that remained a couple of days ago and also feels very smooth. Due to some redness at the midline in the first photo it looks like there is a vertical scar there but not so. My incision after TT#1 was a little wider and the right side still had not faded much even after 7 months. Im very happy with the way it all looks. I have almost fully recovered. Did a six mile hike yesterday and could have easily walked for a few more hours. I still feel a little tight and sore occasionally but never uncomfortably so! I'm very happy!!
Five week update
Today it's been five weeks since my tummy tuck revision and my life is pretty much back to normal. I'm back to working my usual 20 to 25 hours a week--a sit down job. After several hours of sitting my lower abdomen swells and feels a bit sore. My skin all over my abdomen is still very tender to touch and sometimes it's itchy deep inside where I can't scratch to relieve it. My BB gets quite red inside which could be a reaction to the tea tree oil that I've been putting on it. My surgeon suggested that I put an anti-fungal ointment on it (instead of polysporin) but I haven't gotten around to getting some yet. My incisions are completely smooth now (the pleats are gone) and first thing in the morning they are very light. They become more red as the day progresses. I'm posting side by side photos that show how much further down my scars from previous laparoscopic
surgeries are and how my incisions look in the evening as compared to in the early morning.
Six week update
It's amazing how fast time seem to fly AFTER surgery. The waiting game before surgery seems to take forever but once done every day seems to run quickly into the next. I'm feeling great but not quite as energetic as I was before surgery. I've noticed on my bike rides that I tire much more quickly and I don't have my endurance back. I still haven't done a very difficult bike ride and that's to say no LONG steep hills. I need to be in top notch physical condition in three weeks and now I'm not sure that is going to happen. I plan to do some rather difficult hikes, one long hike each day for a week with three other women (all of whom are very fit). We just might end up doing the easy and moderate hikes and spend more time than planned hanging out at the pool of the hotel. I still swell even after just sitting at my computer for an hour and by the end of the day I definitely have a bit of a lower abdominal bulge. I wouldn't call it swell hell though. My skin all over my abdomen still feels quite tender to touch but I don't feel as tight anymore as I did even last week. My vertical incision has faded more than the horizontal incision. There seems to be a bit more fat to the right of my BB than to the left. I guess it's pretty difficult for surgeons to get it all looking perfectly symmetrical. My midline indentation that I was so excited about right after the surgery seems to be disappearing! Still I'm happy with my results and have no regrets about having the revision.
Seven week update
Nothing has really changed since my last update a week ago. I find myself obsessing about a vertical crease just above the right side of my BB which seems to be caused by more fat to the right of my BB. When liposuction was done during my first tummy tuck more fat was suctioned on my left than on my right side of the upper abdomen and naturally, by pulling all that skin down second time around I now have more fat lower down on that side. I'm pretty sure it's fat and not fluid (seroma or hematoma). My BB seems a little crooked and a bit deeper on the right than on the left but it has healed completely. I know I'm being exceedingly critical and if I were to wear a bikini it's highly unlikely that anyone other than a "tummy tucker" would even notice. I still have some areas of discolouration of my skin that looks like bruising and this has remained the same for weeks. Sometimes I wonder if that will ever change. I need to stop analyzing all the small flaws! I didn't expect perfection before I ever had a tummy tuck and I AM truly happy with my results overall. My skin is so much tighter than after TT#1 and I will soon be posting a side by side picture that demonstrates the difference. The tenderness to my skin is getting much better as is that tight feeling. In fact I'm not feeling any tightness this morning. I'm still numb in a small area just below my BB. Most of the time I still have minor "tummy tuck symptoms" when I'm hiking or cycling. In other words I'm not completely back to feeling completely normal and usually feel a slight soreness to my abdomen. I have been doing a four mile hike about three times a week. A few days ago I did a 7 mile, very steep hike and did not feel at all exhausted afterwards so I might be ready for longer hikes at my upcoming vacation in July. The plan then is to do an all-day hike every day for six days. I have managed to keep my weight down to 144 pounds for several weeks, almost a pound less than I weighed on surgery day. My measurements remain the same and are really not much different than before I ever had a tummy tuck. I've lost an inch around my waist and a couple of inches around my hips. The above photos were all taken today.
Eight week update
I still have minor post tummy tuck sensations--minor soreness, tightness, numbness and swelling. I don't look any different than last week. My stamina has returned to the point where I'm able to cycle 32 miles in one stretch and hike five to six hours. Life is good!! The photos above we're all taken this morning just after completing a two hour hike when I'm only slightly swollen.
Two month update
Yesterday it was exactly two months since I had my revision and all is well. My abdomen was quite swollen yesterday after I hiked almost 15 miles--a hike with over a 1000 meter elevation gain (over 3000 feet). My abdomen didn't feel particularly sore though but that may have been because my feet hurt like hell after about five hours of hiking, taking the focus off my tummy!! Today I'll be hiking again but doing a much shorter hike! I might be ready to do some ab work soon. I'll be seeing my surgeon in about two weeks and will be asking him about doing ab work. Life is good!
Ten week update
17 Jul 2014
2 months post
I'm feeling pretty much completely normal again. Still have a bit of tightness and I still have some slight swelling by the end of the day. I'm able to do all the things that I did before except for abdominal crunches. Last week I went hiking every day for six days, up to seven hours a day and that went well. My feet hurt more than my abdomen afterwards! I still have numbness below my BB which will probably last forever. I still had the numbness almost eight months after my first tuck. I have what seems to be a permanent dent on my lower right side and occasionally where my vertical scar is. Still have the pleat just above the right side of my BB where there is more fat. It must be difficult for surgeons to achieve perfect symmetry. It really doesn't matter to me as with clothes on nobody would ever notice. I see my surgeon next week and it will probably be my last follow up visit. I do not regret having the revision as I'm definitely flatter than before and no longer have the muffin top.
Eleven Week Update
24 Jul 2014
2 months post
Nothing has changed since last week and I'm assuming that my current results are my permanent results. I was in to see my surgeon a couple of days ago and he said everything looks good. He had a rookie surgeon following him and Dr. Stan explained to him why I had a revision, also mentioning that it was the first of its kind revision that he had done in the twenty years. I requested to have my "after" photos taken as I assumed I wouldn't need any more follow up appointments. I also requested to have all photos taken there emailed to me and he said he would. When I receive those photos (which are probably much better than my selfies) I will attempt to create a collage. So far I'm not happy with my current collage software as I'm not finding it very user friendly. Suggestions anyone?? What's a good collage program???
I've been managing to keep my weight down to between 142 and 144 and am happy about that. The only exercise I've done this past week is some cycling although not as much as I should. It's been rather hot here and I find it difficult to get out when it's too hot. I really should try to get it done very early in the morning but most days I find it hard to get moving until I've had a few cups of coffee and by then it's time to go to work. I still haven't done any ab work as I can still feel some discomfort in my abs whenever I sit up from a lying down position. The numbness below my BB remains and my scar has not faded. The attached "after" photos were taken yesterday and the "befores" were taken a month or so before my revision. Definitely proof that I should have had a full tuck the first time. As one of the doctors on RealSelf has said "Mini tucks are for those with mini expectations." My advice to those of you planning a tummy tuck is to have the FULL tuck with relocation of your belly button IF you have lots of laxity ABOVE your belly button. If, like me, you're "older" with poor skin elasticity don't go for liposuctioning of the upper abs unless it's combined with a full tummy tuck as the skin will NOT retract properly. A mini tuck is less work for the surgeon because he doesn't have to undermine the skin above the BB and he doesn't have to detach the umbilical stalk and reattach it. Also, don't let any surgeon talk you into doing an umbilical float procedure! I've seen several reviews of people who have had that done with inferior results, sometimes results that can NOT be revised!! Choose your surgeon and your procedure wisely!
Twelve week update
31 Jul 2014
2 months post
No change since last week. My incision is slowly beginning to fade and first thing in the morning it looks best. Gentle "reminders" that I had a tummy tuck remain (slight swelling, tightness, soreness with crunch-like movements -- and of course my much improved reflection in the mirror!). Life is good!!
Results of liposuction when skin has poor elasticity
31 Jul 2014
2 months post
I forgot to mention in my last post that the liposuction that was done to my upper abdomen when I had my first tuck made my abdomen match my 63 year old face--much looser! Must say that the youthful look is much preferred!
Three month update
It's been exactly three months since my revision. I intend to post a photo of my incision every month until it's completely white. I have no idea how long that will take but I'm guessing that a year from now it should have faded completely. Except for not doing abdominal exercises and back ends I can do pretty much everything that I did before I had this surgery. I still feel a bit of tightness most of the time and slight soreness with crunch-like movements. The incision is completely flat and smooth. My belly button remains unsymmetrical but I'm happy with it as there is absolutely no scarring to be seen around it. I still have a dent on my lower right side but it's below my bikini line. I'm much happier with my results from my revision than from my first tuck so all the discomfort was totally worth it!
Four month update
Today it's been exactly four months since my revision surgery. My incision is very light first thing in the morning (when the attached picture was taken) then darkens as soon as I'm up and moving around. The tightness is diminishing but numbness below my BB remains. I still don't feel comfortable doing abdominal exercises as I still feel sore with any crunch like movements. So basically nothing has changed in the last month.
Five months since my TT revision
I continue to expect my incision to fade a little more each month but I haven't really noticed much of a change since about three months ago. First thing in the morning it's almost completely white with no surrounding pinkness but as the day progresses it becomes more pink just above and below the actual incision Numbness below BB continues and I expect that will remain forever. Tightness is minimal and upper abdominal skin seems to be loosening up again.
Six months since my TT revision
Again there's very little change since a month ago. Although the actual incision line is white, the surrounding area remains pinkish. Some times it seems the lateral edges seem more faded than the middle and at other times it's the middle part that's lighter. I remain numb below my BB. One thing that has changed is that I no longer feel any pain with any crunch-like movements so I'm sure it's safe for me to finally get serious about doing regular abdominal exercises. My weight is back up to 149 pounds! Ouch! Luckily, I've noticed that my abdomen isn't any worse for it but I do intend to lose a few pounds. I do remain active and continue to hike and cycle on a regular basis.
Seven months after revision
My scar is fading very slowly but probably at a the normal rate. I do think there is a slight difference since a month ago.
Eight months after my revision
My scar is definitely fading and I do think that it's lighter than it was a month ago. I'm still numb below my BB but have "that tight feeling" only occasionally, not continuously. I haven't been as active as I should be and continue to gain weight. I've gained 10 pounds since my lowest weight about six months ago!! My plan is to work it off during an upcoming cycle vacation when I will be cycling long distances daily.