Tummy Tuck on 2/16/12 - Kenosha, WI

I have three wonderful children and with them came...

I have three wonderful children and with them came these wonderful stretch marks and loose skin. The Children keep getting better and my stomach keeps getting worse. So finally, after much encouragement from my husband, I thought, why not. Too new to list pros and cons yet.


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7 days PO. Had my 2nd drain removed. Didn't...

7 days PO. Had my 2nd drain removed. Didn't feel a thing. I'm still swollen and very tight. I can't stand straight yet either. I'm undecided if I feel this was worth the pain and the money.

Firstly, my scar is high on the sides - which will keep me from wearing a regular 2 piece swim suit. Sure I can get a high waisted suit, but that's not what I was wanting. Secondly, stretch marks remain around my new belly button and they don't look flat or tight. I have no idea what that will look like when the swelling goes down. Which today, my PS said I was pretty flat and he didn't think I was all that swollen. OMG?!

To back track to the begining, I discussed this with my PS and I was informed that I didn't have enough skin on my upper abs to pull down. I understood and knew that I would have a small vertical scar with my horizontal incision. (This was also the same information I received during another consultation). But I thought that I would get rid of the extra skin, stretch marks, and have a low scar. A low scar - to mean right on the top of the pubic hair line. Ok, I have that but it seems to me that my pubic area has been lifted too high (unless that's the swelling - I hope!)

I guess my BEST advise at this time is: Spend A LOT of time talking to your PS before you sign on the dotted line.

I'm trying to get my "before" picture up and I'll take an "after" tomorrow and attempt to post that as well.

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Give this some time to heal and settle.  Things look completely different each week so hang on.

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Welcome and thank you for sharing your story with us.  When did you have this done?

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Ok, I've just added some "after" pics. I'm so...

Ok, I've just added some "after" pics. I'm so upset. And this helped me "how"? I need to calm down.

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I know you are right, it's just very disheartening at this time. I sure hope i improve a lot, because i only have one more week off of work.
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The swelling takes a while to go down.  By noon each day I looked like I had a spare tire around my middle.  This went on for months.

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I understand your frustrations. I am so swollen that I am concerned my skin will be stretched out and I don't feel like I am going to end up as flat as my PS led me to believe. This is nothing against her, it's just that she said I had a huge muscle seperation and that I would be really flat. Can't really see that happening based on how I look now, I am 3 weeks PO on Monday.
But, back to you...you already look a lot better and of coarse you are still swollen...maybe what your PS meant when he said he didn't think you were very swollen was compared to others who swell like crazy. Final results take so damn long that it is easy to get down while we wait. From what I understand, I think if a person has stretch marks above the belly button then they will still have some after tt, they will just be lower. Your scar will lower a little as swelling goes down. And yes, I think almost everyone gets a little lift of their private area whether they want that or not..remember PS has to reattach skin from above and below the section he cut out so there is going to be some pulling up.
You are only a week out. Hang in there. I hated my pics so much I waited until 2 weeks PO to post and I still think they suck..just thought it was time to start to chronicle the progress so we will see.
I feel you so much, I am still in the phase of not knowing yet whether or not this was worth the stress, the money, the pain and long road of recovery, the boredom of not being able to do a damn thing and knowing it will be a very long time before I feel like myself again...and I have 2 young kids I have to start taking care of again in a week...yikes. :)
I promise you that you do look much better and it is only just the beginning.
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9 days po Ok, things are getting better. I still...

9 days po
Ok, things are getting better. I still have crazy swelling, but not until the afternoon. I'm happy about that. Every day i think of questions for my ps, i really need to make a list of them. Currently, i have no idea when my belly buttom stitches will be removed. Also i wonder if i will need one of the little ball things to put inside it? I need to spend sometime trying to stand up straight, i don't want to be bent over much longer- it is really hard on my back.

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9 days PO
Ok, things are getting better. I still have crazy swelling, but not until the afternoon. I'm happy about that. Every day i think of questions for my ps, i really need to make a list of them. Currently, i have no idea when my belly buttom stitches will be removed. Also i wonder if i will need one of the little ball things to put inside it? I need to spend sometime trying to stand up straight, i don't want to be bent over much longer- it is really hard on my lower back.
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I did a lot of crying this past weekend. I know...

I did a lot of crying this past weekend. I know that's part of this, well that's what I've read anyway. I've also had a lot of difficulty falling asleep at night. I'm more uncomfortable at night and my mind seems to race at that time. Why, I don't know.

I really am getting better though. I notice some of the numbness is getting better - in spots anyway. I also have noticed that I'm moving around faster, easier, and standing a little straighter. I don't tire as fast either.

So no pain pills since, the first couple days, but I have taken 600mg of ibuprophen 2 or 3 times over the last 5 days. Swelling is there and tends to get worse in the afternoon (which is commonly reported). Salty foods is also a big culprit.

I've been able to wear my jeans for the past 4 days - of course, with compression garment or binder on. I've found that I prefer certain compression garments. The "pant" type is my least favorite. I don't like that tight tight feeling under my bra and it tends to slide down my back. The "panty" body suit type bothers me around the leg openings. I should say that I DO NOT like anything tight ever. So the long camisole type works best for me. So I'm going back to get another one of those. I bought my garments from walmart. I also like the binder but it's really not tight enough at times. Ok, more photos to come on a not so "swollen" day.

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Today I over did it a bit. I ended up shopping...

Today I over did it a bit. I ended up shopping for about 3 hours and it was too much. I was really swollen and still am now. I ate healthy but did have some salt.
I purchased some additional compression garments - the tanks - as they are the most comfortable but still hold me tight around the tummy.
I'm seeing my PS tomorrow and I have some questions about my swelling and my belly button. I am pretty sure the stitches used for my bb were disolvable but I want my PS to check it out anyway. I also had some numbness in my left leg and I'm concerned about that. Well tomorrow I plan to rest more and keep my legs up. So off to bed now and hopefully I will fall asleep without problems.

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I hope you are doing better now!   You will feel like a totally new woman by week 4 post op.

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Ok, it's now 17 days PO. I feel real good. I'm...

Ok, it's now 17 days PO. I feel real good. I'm still swollen and tight. I am able to wear my jeans - they are loose with my compression garment or binder on. I am not totally upright yet - I feel pulling as I try to stand straighter - that's a strange, scary feeling. I keep working at it.
I won't be wearing a swimsuit any time soon and that's good - as I don't think I'll look good at all in my tankini . My lower abs look strange to me - protuding? I hope it's just swelling.
I'm trying hard not to over indulge with salt, it's hard though, as I guess you could say I'm a salt lover.
The tape(steri- strips) placed over my incision is peeling off in spots, some spots are smooth with a very think line, and healed over. However, I do feel a ridge under the incision - I can't wait to start massaging the areas. The mid spot of my incision - where I have a small vertical scar - is scabbed and I'm concerned about this. I've been covering it lightly with a very loose bandaid, I think I'm going to just put gauze over it instead. The sides of my incision are still "stuck" to the steri tape(strips) and I'm careful not to pull at these areas.
I was not cleared to lift light handweights or do any "working out". So I will wait on that. I really would like to get back to exercise though.
I don't see my PS for 2 more weeks, although, I was told to call with any questions or concerns.
So for now - everyday I feel better and notice improvements.

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You will feel the tightness and pulling for a long while.  This takes time to settle and ease up.  All part of the healing process.  Try laying flat on your back and stretch out at a very slow pace.  Do this 2-3 times a day and lay flat for 3-5 minutes at a time.  

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3 weeks post op. I was doing really good and I...

3 weeks post op. I was doing really good and I think I may have over done it. I feel a burning sensation and a very sore feeling on my upper abs (starting under the boobs). It also feels swollen. This began during the day while at work. I sit most of the day but I go to meetings, meet with clients, etc. I noticed that the upper abs were hanging over - almost forming a slight "roll". I haven't had this before. I sure hope that all I need is rest because i'm very sore and I don't like the swelling.
An update: All my steri-strips (tape) has come off so I can now can see my scar. My left side is higher up than my right side. I know I mentioned this before but I want to say it hasn't dropped at all. Sadly, I really don't expect it to. I massaged it twice with bio-oil. I really want to talk to PS about the silicone strips or the liquid silicone. My belly button is healing but seems a little droopy. I'm sceduled to see PS next week. I look forward to that.
Ok - we'll see how I feel tomorrow. I have to take some pictures too!

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I noticed this week that I feel staples under my...

I noticed this week that I feel staples under my skin. My PS said they are disolvable and that I shouldn't be alarmed if one pokes through the skin. I 've also noticed that I feel them a lot when I bend down or sit in a certain way. I sure hope they disolve soon as I really don't like the feel of them.
Also at my PS visit this past week, my PS gave the ok to work out - not running/jogging though. I just don't know if I have the energy to do too much. I'll start slow.
He also said that I don't have to wear the spanx garb if I don't want to. I'm tired of the struggle to get the thing on and off ( I wear a camisole style cg). But I probably will still wear it for a awhile as it does help with swelling. I really don't think I swell too much but I do have more swelling in the evening.
More and more I'm thinking this was worth it. I just wish my scar wasn't so high on the sides.

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Janna, would you mind posting updated pics? I am glad you are doing better. I am still struggling with my lower abs. Your day 8 post op pic is STILL how I look and I am almost 6 weeks post po. I am wondering if your swelling went down and how much. I would love to see a side pic if you don't mind.
Did your belly button stitches finish dissolving or did he have to pull them? I still have 5-6 hard, little stitches poking out of my belly button. I called her and she said this is normal???
I see my PS this Tuesday and can not wait to ask more questions and see if I am still swollen or is this my final result. :(
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I will take some pics with my phone and see if I can get them on here. I can't find the battery charger for my camera?!. I might have to wait till tomorrow as I just shopped for 3 hours without any cg on. I don't feel bad, but I can feel swelling on the upper abs.
All my belly button stitches dissolved already. Mine were sticking out hard like that too. I kept oiling myself and they finally dissolved.
I just wish I knew if there was something I could do to get the inside staples to dissolve.

It's been a while since I checked in. I've been...

It's been a while since I checked in. I've been doing great. I stopped wearing the spanx tanks and I'm not missing them. It feels strange though as my stomach is still numb. I'm careful not to bump into anything too. I'm all healed up yet I can still feel all the dissolvable staples under my skin. Although they are much smaller and not as stiff, so I guess they are dissolving. I do feel stretching and some muscle soreness at times, but it's usually when I'm in an odd position or moving quickly. I'm back on my treadmill and lifting light weights (DVD's). I don't look majorly different but I have a flat stomach, something I haven't seen since ???? I went to the PS last week and he was impressed with my progress. I don't see him again until August - for final check up and "after" pictures.
I've taken new photos a few times now. I just need to get them posted. I will do it soon. (I've said that before too).
So I am pleased with the results, wish my scar was a bit lower, but still pleased!

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Wisconsin Plastic Surgeon

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