7 Weeks Post op (TT/MR June 14th) - Updated Pic

I am 43 years old and have had one child - who...

I am 43 years old and have had one child - who will be 21 this year. I am 5'7 and weigh 168 lbs. I was 225 at my highest weight about 8 years ago.

I am not a little girl - I enjoy my curves. What I do not enjoy is my stomach. I have had a hysterectomy and a herniated belly button repaired. I was in a car accident in 2003 that caused the seatbelt to "divide" my lower stomach even more.

I have heard all of the same responses when I tell people I am having a tummy tuck:
1. You don't need one.
2. You are losing weight, why not lose more?

No one understands what masters women are at camaflauging our stomachs....lol I have always, no matter what I weighed, had more stomach than the rest of my body. I always felt like I was lying to everyone about how I look. Right now, I am happy with my body - except my stomach (and my breasts which I will get done in a year or two).

The doctor I chose does not do Lipo with the tummy tuck. He feels that it damages the nerves that supply blood to the tummy area. I am hoping this will make my recovery a little bit easier. I will have the full tummy tuck with muscle repair.

I am very excited and just can't wait for it to be over, so I can get through the recovery!

Tomorrow is the day! I am home today getting...

Tomorrow is the day! I am home today getting everything ready. Finishing up laundry, cooking some meals, stocking my refrigerator.

I am still waiting for a call from the hospital to see what time my surgery will be tomorrow.

I will update as soon as I am able :)

Well, I did it! Pain Hasn't been too bad, but...

Well, I did it! Pain Hasn't been too bad, but i am staying up on my pain meds. I was nausiated for the first 24 hours - glad that has passed.

I go for my first post-op appt thursday. Today, i got to see my tummy for the time, not too bad :)

I think i Could sleep for hours

I will post more tomorrow and i will try to get some after shots posted

I went to my first post-op appt yesterday. Doctor...

I went to my first post-op appt yesterday. Doctor says things are looking good. He said he was able to take off more skin than he anticipated, so my stomach is really tight. He said that some of the area he did the muscle repair was pretty large - so that should make a big difference. I was in surgery 4.5 hours.

The pain hasnt been horrible, my back really hurts from being hunched over. Doctor said i will feel a lot better today, just dont push it - and that i can take a shower!!

8 days post op - the first 5 days were pretty...

8 days post op - the first 5 days were pretty rough. I mostly slept. My back was killing me - i found ot impossible to remain bent over when walking. Day 6 made a big difference - i am up and walking. Today i washed my hair on my own. Its good gaining back some of my independence.

I go to my 2nd follow-up visit today. I am hoping they will remove at least 1 of the drains. They both have been less than 20 for 2 days now.

I am still swollen - and i am down about 3 lbs since sugery. I figure there is some muscle loss going on. I will post some pics soon.

I had my 2nd follow-up visit yesterday. Doc says...

I had my 2nd follow-up visit yesterday. Doc says my incision and my belly button look good. He was, however, not happy that i was walking too upright- so he would not remove either of my drains. He is afraid i am setting myself up for a seroma. It hurts my back pretty bad to walk as flexed as he wants me to. He said he was surprised i had as little drainage as i did - less than 20 for the last 2 days. So, i promised the doc i will walk more flexed and asked him to refill my flexeril for the back pain.

Wow - what a difference a few days can make. This...

Wow - what a difference a few days can make. This is day 12 post-op. I feel so much better today. It felt like a normal day. I got up, dressed myself, put my own shes and socks on - and tied my own shoes! I realize a lot of you have already been doing those things, but it has come much slower for me. I am guessing it has something to do with the muscle repair being so extensive.

I go back to the doctor wednesday - i am sure he will remove at least one drain. I have been walking flexed per his request, so hopefully he doesn't scold me this time, lol. I am actually considering going back to work the 5th. I have a desk job, so it is doable. The only thing i can do at home is eat!!! So, going back to work might be a good option. I just have to see if i have any clothes that fit.

Today is day 15 post op. Doctor appointment went...

Today is day 15 post op. Doctor appointment went good. He removed 1 of my drains - no pain involved there, just feels a little funny coming out.

He said my incision and belly button both look great. I asked about going back to work, but he said he doesn't allow you to go back to work if you have a drain or an open wound. Hopefully next week he will remove the 2nd drain. I am still under the same restrictions - no driving, no lifting over 5 lbs, no reaching, stooping, twisting and I am still supposed to walk flexed over. Evidentally he is the kind of doctor who believes in NO ACTIVITY until you are well on your way. I believe this will be good for my incision, but is really crappy on my mental state! I am hanging in there and will be fine - just so ready to do anything!

I added a couple of pics from 12 days post op.

Day 19 - My first outing that wasn't to my...

Day 19 - My first outing that wasn't to my doctor's office. It was awesome!! I went out to eat with my husband and to Walmart for a little shopping. It was great. At Walmart, I leaned on the cart the whole time, so I didn't look too hunched over.

I couldn't eat my meal - must have been the salad and 2 rolls! I knew I didn't need the 2nd roll, but it was soooo good. I have been living on bland food and really havent enjoyed anything. So, I brought my dinner home and will eat on it tomorrow. :)

My swelling is going down nicely. My doctor doesn't allow me to be too active, so that must be the reason that I am not having quite as much swelling as some others. But, I do expect it once he finally lets me do something...lol

3 week post-op appointment today. It was good...

3 week post-op appointment today.

It was good and bad. He did remove my 2nd drain which means I am able (per my doctor) to walk a little more upright now. And I get to return to work on Monday - very happy about that.

The bad part - I have one small spot on my incision that is open pretty deep. He packed it and we get to do this at home 2 times a day for the next 7 days and I am back on antibiotics - just in case. He isn't sure if it is a stitch trying to come up or the beginning of a seroma. He is leaning toward a stitch and believes the packing will help it to heal. He also said it should heal just as good as the rest of my incision.

Other than that, he said I am healing perfectly.

I have the same restrictions...no driving, lifting over 5 lbs, twisting, reaching, etc..lol - not sure if I will even remember how to do anything until he releases me. :)

I am 4 weeks post op. I feel like yesterday i...

I am 4 weeks post op. I feel like yesterday i finally turned the proverbial corner!! I went back to work on monday. The first day i just kind of sat around..

5 Weeks Post Op - on July 15, I noticed my...

5 Weeks Post Op - on July 15, I noticed my incision was leaking. I had a small pinhole size leak at the very center of the incision. When I pushed on the skin above it, fluid squirted out of a hole on the left side of my incision. None of these issues were there before this. According to my PS, I have a couple of issues going on. Somehow fluid collected under the incision, but below the flap - which was better than it being above, per my PS. AND my body was having issues with the internal sutchers. On the 18th, my PS cut open my incision in 2 places about 3 inches long each. He opened the incision all the way to the facia and removed the dissolvable sutchers as well as 2 of the permanent sutchers. He had several ideas as to why this happen.
1. He says that diabetics can have poor healing. I HATE ever being a diabetic. It is contolled by diet and exercise, however I do not test my sugar, so it is an easy blame. I have been testing it since - and it is normal.
2. I stood up too soon.
3. I was doing something too strenuous.
4. My body just didn't handle the surgery well.

So, for now, I am eating extra careful and monitoring my protein intake. I am making sure I get over 60 grams of protein a day. Protein is what your body uses to heal. I am on another 10 days of antibiotics - LUCKILY I have not had any infection, but better safe than sorry.

He then stitched up the incision (and boy is it ugly). He gave me some locals and started cutting and pulling. I was in his office about 1 hour. He has put me back on a 5 lb weight restriction, back to the recliner and back off work for the next 2 weeks with limited activity. I am also back to my binder, as he felt the girdle would put too much pressure on the incision. He will remove the stitches in 2 weeks and if all goes well, that part of the incision should be healed. At this point, it is anyones guess.

I was very concerned with what my scar was going to look like, but he insists it will heal nicely - not at all what it looks like now.

I am still packing the hole that opened up at 3 weeks, but it is improving. Apparently holes aren't THAT uncommon, it is just that most will close up on their own.

I am looking forward to normal activity - thinking healing thoughts!

I have to state that my PS has been great during all of this - he is very kind and caring. He has called me at home to see how I am doing and told me to call him anytime with any concerns and when I have, HE is the one that calls me back.

My before pics disappeared. I will try to add...

my before pics disappeared. I will try to add them back.

I am now 6 weeks post op. I feel great. I am...

I am now 6 weeks post op. I feel great. I am still dealing with packing the hole in my incision, but I can see it is finally closing up on the inside. I go to the doctor next wednesday and get the stitches removed from the 2 places he re-opened on my incision. I am still under pretty strict restrictions - lifting no more than 5 pounds, off work and limited activity.

My weight is stable at 159-162. I have been at this weight for 4 weeks. I haven't done any exercise except for walking 2 days when I was released for one week. I feel like I am losing all of my muscle tone. I so hope everything looks good and he releases me (again) for normal, light activity next Wednesday.

The incision issues have really slowed my recovery down, but I will catch up! Also, I have had minimal swelling, maybe because of my lack of activity. My waist is down 4 inches from pre-surgery and I had NO lipo! So, that is pretty exciting for me :)

Also wanted to add - the shorts in my 6 weeks post...

Also wanted to add - the shorts in my 6 weeks post op pictures - were skin tight before the tummy tuck and now they are loose! :) Awesome!

Went to the doctor this week to have my stitches...

Went to the doctor this week to have my stitches removed from where he had to cut open my incision. He removed all but 4 on Monday and he removed 2 of those 4 today (Wednesday). It looks okay, the PS is being cautious. Can't say I blame him at this point.

The hole that I have been packing since week 3 - it appears it IS my fault it has been taking so long to close. I have been "over packing" it.....I have been putting in about 2-3x as much of the strips as I should have...so, since Monday, I began putting less in - and - like magic - it has closed about 60% in 2 days!!

I was able to go back to work on Monday, thank goodness! I was going crazy at home.
The PS gave me a new binder today, mine was falling apart. Yes, I am 7 weeks and STILL in a binder....luckily, it really isn't uncomfortable, just hard to wear normal clothes in it.

My tummy is getting a great shape to it. I have very minimal swelling, except at the incision line. Looking forward to the day when I can just get up and get dressed without thinking about my incision or the binder.
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