Tummy Tuck: StoriesWrite a Review
Joined the Ranks of the Tummy Tuckers : 16 weeks PO
- Robyn in Sunny SA
- posted 1 year ago
- updated 1 year ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $6,300
- KZN, South Africa
Hi everyone. Just signed up with RealSelf. I am 40...
- 6 Jul 2011
- 5 days pre
Hi everyone. Just signed up with RealSelf. I am 40 years old, have two children aged 15 and 12. I weigh 70kg and have been between 68 and 70kg for the past 2 years. I am not really a huge exercise bunny but enjoy the outdoors, hiking and ocassional cycle. Not sure of my height but I think it's around 5ft8 ?
I had pretty big babies, 3.950kg and 4.240kg and my boy especially contributed to my lovely stretch marks. I have always been self concious of my post pregnancy scars and rarely expose my tum in a bikini. Also squirm at the sight of my muffin top over my jeans etc. The rest of my body is in pretty good shape so I think having a Tummy Tuck will really improve my overall look.
I first consulted my PS in April 2010 and got really scared after hearing about the surgery and the risks involved. It took me a year and a few months to gather my nerves again and approached my PS again last month. I wanted to go ahead with the surgery ASAP so I am scheduled for Tuesday next week. Eeeek !
My hubby has been very supportive as well as a couple of my friends who have had elective surgery. I have not really told too many people about it so it is great to have this forum to gather support from people who are experiencing the same hopes, fears, dreams, etc. My sister is freaking out ..... so I am trying not to listen to her too much :) I think she is just scared for me....
Will post some "Before" pics later today or 2moro. I am going on a little vacation 2moro to relax and prepare for my surgery next week. I have had a pre op check and my GP is happy with everything so all there is to do is wait .............
Thanks to those who have offered their advice and pics on this forum........ it has been very helpful and a positive experience for me so I hope that I can reciprocate by sharing my experience with the rest of you.
Sitting in the Airport in Port Elizabeth after...
- 10 Jul 2011
- 2 days pre
What amazes me about the stories and reviews I have read here is that most if not all of those who have had tummy tucks leave the hospital or treatment centre the same day ?!?!?! In South Africa we would never be allowed to do that. I have to spend three nights in the Hospital after my procedure to ensure there is no post op bleeding or complications !!! If my PS is happy with my progress and there is no risk of infection, I may leave the hospital on Friday afternoon. I will have 24 hr care in the hospital, physiotherapy and nurse care for 3 days post op. After reading how you other ladies have coped walking out of the hospital 1 hour after coming out of theatre, climbing into cars and sometimes driving 2 or 3 hours, having to cope on your own without any nursing care is amazing ..........my hat goes off to you... Wow.
Posting some pics today :) more to follow.
Please bear in mind that I will not be able to communicate with you all once I go into hospital on Tuesday morning as I will not have access to the internet or a computer until I get home on Friday (post op day 3)but I will make mental notes of how each day goes post op and fill you in as soon as I can.
Will also keep you updated as to whether I can go ahead on Tuesday - really hope this cold goes away :(
Whoop Whoop, my PS says I should be able to go...
- 11 Jul 2011
- 1 day pre
My children are on school holidays so they have been taken up to the mountains for a week while I am in hospital. They left this afternoon. I have told them about my surgery but I don't really think they know how big it is or exactly what changesare about to happen to my body. All is I know they are going to be proud of their "new" mom without her flabby tummy :)
I will try and post in the morning just before I leave for the hospital ...... eeeek one more sleep :D
Post Op day 3.............. YES, I made it :D I...
- 15 Jul 2011
- 3 days post
My PS says the op went very well and she managed to stretch the skin right down to below the bikini line so I was very pleased about that. I haven't been able to see anything as yet but can say that the pain has really been very bearable....... I do have a high pain threshold and was expecting the worst so really it hasn't been too excruciating. I do however stick to the four hourly painkillers and will continue to do so at least for the first week post op.
I was very numb around my entire core, around lipo sites on my flanks too and have found the lipo sites very sore to touch or lie on. It was wonderful to have the 3 days in hospital post op, I honestly don't know how they allow women in the US to go home the same day after such major surgery. I was constantly monitored and my blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels were monitored every 4 to six hours....... when I came out of surgery they placed electrocnic "Pump Socks" onto my feet which pumped my feet at 10 second intervals to keep the blood flowing through my legs to my upper body and to prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). I was also surprised to see that they hadn't fitted a binder to my waist. My PS said that they only do that about a week post op as it has since been discovered that the squeezing of the binder can contribute to DVT and restrict blood flow from the legs to the upper body - makes sense to me !!!! Only thing is that it will take some getting used to after being so loose and comfortable the last couple of days to being strapped up in a corset. That part is essential tho in the recovery process and to assist the skin in reattaching itself to the abdomen and in the right place.
My second day post op, my lower back took strain and I am having more back pain from being hunched over than pain from the surgery. Actually I expected to be more hunched over than I am considering how far my skin has been stretched. I got up and about on my 1st morning post op. Walked down the passage in the hospital. I was still attached to a drip, catheter and had two drains as well so getting around was a pit of a mission with all the bits and pieces hanging from me.
They removed the catheter and drip after my first meal and the drains were removed on day 3 before I was discharged to come home.
I am not able to shower until Monday !!!! So have been trying to wash over the basin and sitting on the edge of the bath. My dressing is still the original that was fitted in the sterile theatre and the PS is reluctant to change it until monday so I am not able to get it wet just yet. The one over my belly button has been cleaned and changed twice and I have no feeling at all in that area but I am sure that will come in time.
So I am now tucked up in bed at home. For those of you still waiting for your procedure, it really has been a positive experience for me and I am so grateful for all your messages, prayers and thoughts. It will be so worth it. I can't wait to see the results. I will post some pics after my appointment on Monday. Will hopefully get to take a pic or two before my new dressings are applied. Apparently my stiches are internal and dissolving so my scar should be very neat :)
All the best to those in theatre today and those who are going in the next couple of days, it really is not that bad and if you listen to all the advice here and to your doctors, take your pain meds and get mobile as soon as you can ......... you will be fine.
Ciao until 2moro x
Post Op Day 4 - Pain level 5/10 My first night...
- 16 Jul 2011
- 4 days post
My first night at home went pretty well. Took my pain meds and a sleeping tablet before bed and slept through most of the night despite not being very comfortable. After having an electic bed in hospital that could recline the feet and head in various positions and a recliner to sit in during the day, being home has been quite another story !!! My bed is not the most comfortable and having to rely on stacks of pillows is not quite the same as having a recliner. In fact none of the chairs in the house are very comfortable to sit in normally nevermind after having major abdominal surgery.
Took a couple of photos this morning which I will post shortly. I am very swollen and bruising beginning to appear around the lipo sites. I can't see much difference in size of my waist but I can see that I have no stretch marks anymore which was the most motivating factor in having this procedure :) I am sure once I have the binder fitted next week, I will start to take shape.
Unlike a lot of the woman on RealSelf I have maintained my apetite and have not really been affected by gas. I am trying to eat smaller portions tho and have Ensure Protein Shake which I am having mid morning instead of snacking. Craving a lot of fruit too so had some pineapple for breakfast........
So far so good ..... know I did the right thing and look forward to summer time to show of my new tum !!!
Post Op day 5 - pain was 7/10 when woke up this...
- 17 Jul 2011
- 5 days post
The most pain and discomfort is coming from my Lipo sites and my back. I cannot lie on my side at all and my thighs are even sore to the touch.... My belly button is still pretty numb as well as my sides/hips. Belly button is looking good tho, nice and pink which means it is getting enough blood supply etc.
Still not able to shower but got in a shallow bath this morning on all fours and had a wash like that. It is pretty easy to wash this way instead of trying to do it over a basin and you can at least get to your lower bits too. Felt a lot better after that, and a change of PJ's.
Progress is slow but is expected from what I have read here and I am in no rush to hurry up the recovery as my body will tell me when it's ready to do more. I am getting up often, making tea and sitting up for longer periods each time and hopefullly getting a little straighter day by day. Tummy is tight and beginning to itch !!! Scratching the itches feels weird tho because it's numb but get the odd tingling and burning sensation but like to think that is all part of the healing process.
Posting a few pics post op today :)
1 week post op - pain level 4/10. Morning...
- 19 Jul 2011
- 7 days post
Yesterday I visited the PS in the morning for a change of dressings and removal of the couple of stitches around the lipo sites. Was a little disappointed that my cut was not as low as I had hoped but I am sure I will get a better idea once I am able to put my jeans back on. My belly button is looking good and the nurse advised me to, in a few more days, stick my finger into my belly button to press it in but I did read here on one of the reviews of someone sticking a marble in their bb and taping it down to get a nice shape ??? I am a bit freaked out by sticking my finger in there and as it is numb - it feels really weird and squishy !!
I was also measured up for my compression suit which appears to come from a company in the US (Marena.com) They specialise in medical compression suits. I should have mine by next week - hopefully because since I have my first dressings removed, I feel like my insides are rolling around and my cut is unstable so to be binded up will be great. Having the extra support it gives will also be welcome. I tried to lie on my side last night but my thighs are still very tender and my stomach felt like it was falling to the side as well so was soon lying on my back again.
Is anyone else suffering from headaches ??? I think it is a side effect from the anaesthetic or its emanating from my back and neck pain from lying on my back ??? I woke up at 2am this morning with a throbbing head and also having a few dizzy spells.....
I get weepy and have my ups and downs but they are mostly ups. Usually when I am tired or the meds are wearing off I have a bit of a wobbly. Nothing a little sleep can't fix :)
Posting a few more pics today
Day 10 Post Op - pain 0/10 :) Off the pain meds ....
- 22 Jul 2011
- 10 days post
The binder from Marena.com is awesome, the fabric is so soft and very comfortable. They are from the U.S of A of so if you are looking for comfortable good quality take a look at their website. I am feeling much more stable and supported in the binder. Sleeping with it on is weird but it does help when lying on my side to hold everything together and in place.
My belly button was still a little Oozy yesterday but nothing to worry about. Changing the dressing every couple of days and putting some Bactroban on to keep any germs out.
I am up and about a lot more now, getting back into the kitchen and getting dressed everyday. Must say a shower and getting dressed does take it out of me so it little tasks at a time.
My sister is flying back to her home tomorrow so that is very depressing. It has been so lovely having her here to help out.
I am going into the office on Sunday to do the Salaries. I think I am up to going back to work for a couple of hours a day to start with and will probably be back full time from 1 August.
Still No regrets ......... looking and feeling good. Will post pics in a week or so when the swelling has come down a bit more and there is hopefully a noticeable difference since the last pics taken on day 6.
Post Op Day 12 - PAIN LEVEL ZERO :) Still no pain...
- 24 Jul 2011
- 12 days post
Feeling really good about my flat tum and keep looking at myself in the mirror - it's so good to be able to wear tight fitting tops and T-shirts again without having to hide my muffin top :) The rewards are going to be great and I am looking forward to getting active again. Will probably start walking on the treadmill this week - still having lower back pain when I am up and about for too long so will take it slow to start.
Posted a Post Op Day 12 pic - loving the new me. ...
- 25 Jul 2011
- 13 days post
Two Weeks and 1 day Post Op - still on the upside...
- 27 Jul 2011
- 15 days post
I managed to put my Micropore strips on a bit tight on Sunday so felt really uncomfortable and pulled at until I changed them again Monday night. I am trying to leave them undisturbed for as long as possible - specially while there are still scabs along the scar line... my PS said to try and leave them, as everytime you pull the tape off, it stresses the scar and one should allow the scabs to fall off when they are ready too and not pick at them .... dying to see what it will look like once it has healed completely and scab free.
My belly button is still protrusive and tender to the touch. Was a bit red on Sunday but I put some Bactroban on and redressed it and it seems to be getting less sensitive.
Yesterday I took the plunge and watched a video of the tummy tuck procedure on YouTube. I did not want to see anything before the procedure for fear of being put off. My advice would be to all those who are Post Op to watch one ...... mainly to see exactly what was done and for you all to realise that this is a MAJOR surgery and our bodies have been subjected to huge manipulation and shock especially with LIPO having been done too. We tend to think it's a case of being cut open and stapled closed again. So NOT THE CASE .... and we rush to get back to normal and think that once the surface area has closed and the scar is healing that we are good to go ...... We MUST REMEMBER that there is so much more to heal under that scar and it takes time for our skin to reattach itself to the muscle underneath. There are nerve endings and blood vessels to repair and the area where this all has to happen is from directly under the rib cage all the way down to our pubic area.
You all probably thinking .........what does this chick know only 15 days post op ??? LOL well I have been reading a lot of reviews and have got rather despondent and depressed reading them and anxious about the months of recovery ahead !!! So many woman complain of 3 or 4 months down the line suddenly having wounds split open or healing lopsided, suddenly out of the blue swelling up again, and experiencing tightening. Well my opinion is that a lot of these people have forgotten that it takes 6 - 12 months for a full recovery and we should not be rushing back to the gym, doing ab excercises and picking up stuff for at least 6 months. I am not talking no exercise at all but taking it easy and gradually introducing physical activity back into our bodies. I have made a promise to myself that I am going to "listen" to my PS and my body, prepare myself for a long recovery and take one day at a time. I am a "balls to the wall" kinda girl and if I put my mind to something, I can usually stick to it. Sometimes it is to my detriment, I have started diets (Body 4 Life) and excercise regimes and done nothing in "half measures" and have ended up having seizures and body breakdowns due to the stress I put myself through. So over the years, I have learnt that I can't push myself too far or too quickly.
I joined Weighless about 6 years ago as I was 8kg overweight. Over 4 months I reached my goal weight and lost 2kg extra just for good measure. I managed to stay at my goal weight right up until a year ago and then I started to climb 2 or 3 kg's over - that was when I decided to get my surgery and kick my ass back into gear. There is NO WAY I am gonna put my body through this traumatic surgery only to put the weight back on and start all over again so "watch this space" ....
Apologies for rambling on ... just wanted to get my feelings out there on paper and to share my thoughts with all of you here on Realself. My hubby can't understand why I spend so much time on here LOL .... He also asked why I keep taking photos of my progress etc ... one day I will have to tell him, I have recorded my progess on the internet for all and sundry to see ;) I know how much these reviews and personal accounts have inspired me and I just want to give something back to the Realself Community. Have a kickass day all and those going through surgery today goodluck and hang in there !
Day 17 Post Op - Plodding along and it's...
- 29 Jul 2011
- 17 days post
Okay enough of the weather, I am feeling good today. Definitely an up and down rollercoaster this recovery process..... after my last post I had a down day, felt really tight and swollen and hadn't done any excessive anything... my routine hasn't changed at all so it is frustrating to think you are getting better and WHAM you get hit with some swelling and pulling. The emotions were also running high and you couldn't say boo to me without me breaking down in tears LOL - one can only laugh when you look back at how ridiculous it is :)
One thing I also forgot to mention in my last post when I was rambling on about recovery and how we need to realise that there is no quick fix, is how importanat our Binders are and exactly what their function is. I read in a lot of reviews that Post Op TT'ers toss their binders anywhere from 3 weeks Post Op. That is INSANE ....... Like I said if you watch a video on the Tummy Tuck procedure you will see how your entire torso is lifted,scraped out, lippoed, stretched and then sewn back together. The outside incision starts to close and heal within a couple of weeks after surgery but the layers underneath, as you can imagine have to knit back and the skin has to reattach itself to the muscle underneath.
My PS explained that the binder's (which should fit nice and snug and even a little tight) main function is to assist the body, skin and muscle to "glue" back together and in the "right place". This of course takes time and here in SA we are encouraged and advised to wear a binder 24hrs a day for at least 6 months post op !!!!!!!! You can imagine that if you toss your binder away after a month or so, the body has not healed completely underneath your scar and if you start getting active and moving about, you risk unattaching what is trying to set underneath and can result in "lopsided" healing and swelling on one side or in one area. Basically we want an even incision and for everything to fit back in the right place so I urge everyone to persist with their binders and buy the right one for you. Mine is so comfy it feels like a second skin so I have no prob wearing it all day and sleeping in it too. If the swelling subsides and your binder is getting loose, then you should get a smaller to keep your tummy nice and tight and secure. It just makes sense to take this advice....... Use it or Lose It :)
Okay all, have a great weekend. Happy Recoveries !!! Will post some more pics this weekend if my swelling improves.
Day 19 Post Op - Good Morning Peeps - well it's...
- 31 Jul 2011
- 19 days post
Belly button is looking better, think I am going to do the marble thing now to help "deepen" the hole (I read on someone's review that they stuck a marble in their BB and then taped it up and it helped to form a nice suncken hole"). Honestly I would prefer mine to have been more verticle than round in appearance but I guess we can't have it all !!! At least the scab has fallen off and is nice and pinkish in colour so it's a good sign of healing in progress.
I haven't taken off my strips on the main incision yet as I have a check up with my PS 2moro and don't want to have to manhandle it too much beforehand. Will try get a pic of that 2moro and I am hoping more of the scabs will have fallen off. In general I am very happy with the way it looked on day 12.
So tonight we get to go out for dinner and a show with some friends. I am so looking forward to it as I've been kinda home bound besides work, since the surgery. We are going to "Madame Zingara" which is an adult circus /fantasy show. Google it if you like :) We went a couple of years ago and it was awesome..... Not sure what to wear tho as my clothes are still a little too tight around the waist and it feels weird with the numbness too. I am not doing too much today so that tonight I am not too tired or swollen.
As I have mentioned before, my binder is like a second skin and available from Marena.com which I think is based in the States ? It is really comfortable and soft against the skin and what's great is the side hooks and eyes and the zippers too... you don't have to pull the garment up over your incision like so many of the other corsets/shapewear on the market. You do it up alternating one hook at a time so it is really easy and painless to put on. I tried to put on one of my own corsets I had prior to surgery and it was too tight and difficult to get over my waist without pulling at the incision site. I was so keen to start wearing something that would help with the swelling and compression before my proper binder arrived but found it just too painful to put on.
Enjoy what's left of the weekend ladies. Take care.
Hey Hey 3 weeks post op today and feeling like I...
- 2 Aug 2011
- 21 days post
Need to ask a question, if anyone can answer, I have been looking up the silicone strips for scar treatment ?? They don't seem to be available in South Africa and I would have to order them online. With the exchange rate, the places on the web I have looked at, these things are pricey man !!!! The websites I have looked at also don't really say how long the strips last, whether you can bath/shower/swim etc. Can you skin breathe under them ?? Do they work like Micropore or better ?? I can get Micropore here and am busy using a product called Hyperfix and wonder whether I should even bother with the Silicone strips ?? Some advice in this area would be great.
Yikes, my lipo sites are still tender !!! Even tho I can sleep on my sides, when I turn over, my thighs burn like hell as if to say "well thanks for that pressure" LOL .... The bruising is 98 % gone on the surface but clearly they are still pissed at me for abusing them inside. So I will just grimace quietly and be patient. Can almost lie flat on my bed, have reduced the pillows under my legs from 2 to 1 so we'll see how that goes.
As I mentioned in my first post, I didn't really tell many people about my surgery but it is amazing how word gets around .......... LOL when I pick up my boy from school I get friends/people trying to take a peek at me without making it look obvious, but the first thing they do is look down at my tum :)
I haven't really been dressing to show off and in fact am trying to hide for now until all the swelling has gone down and I can fit into all my skinny jeans and I can walk tall and reveal all. Plastic Surgery here in SA is still quite taboo and not many people advertise they are going to go "under the knife". Yeah we have plenty boob reductions, augmentations/lifts but I know of only THREE other people who have undergone a tummy tuck !!! That is why this site has been so helpful and I get to see and hear from 100's of people who have gone through it. We also don't have a Plastic Surgeon on every street corner in every town like the US LOL..... so we have to choose wisely and "wait in line". I know my PS is fully booked up until January 2012 and that is just for an initial consult !!!! Thank the Pope, I got in early and was able to have my TT/Lipo/MR within 2 months of consulting.
Okay I am rambling again .... Artsy Girl hope your surgery is going well today and to any others on the table today, best of luck.
1 Month & 3 days PO - Okay Okay, so I admit, ...
- 12 Aug 2011
- 1 month post
So no pics at this point, cos I feel ugly and my scar is very red and "angry" looking, also looking a bit skew now ...... higher on one side than the other ??!! From a couple of other reviews, this seems to be the norm and we are all hoping and praying that this is not the "final outcome" ..... My earlier pic - I think at Day 12 looked great and now I am thinking wtf !!!! I don't look like that now ......... my hips are bigger :( The numbness is worse than before, can't feel a thing around my BB and my sides are all weird too ... I know I have been on the right track so there is no way any damage has been done !?!?! I found a disolving stitch sticking out in the middle of my incision.... when I tugged at it, it just broke away but then a spot of blood (yellowish) appeared almost immediately ......... and I was wondering like how can this ooze at this late stage of my recovery !???!! Anyway it lasted all of 10 secs and disappeared LOL ... have seen nothing since :)
Only good thing I have to say is that when I look down when I am standing up, I see boobs and then the belt of my jeans, with nothing in between, which means my tum is nice n flat and hiding like a gem :) BUT don't look at me from the side or straight on LOL ....... that shape just does not look hot to me .... I keep pushing my hips in hoping they will just stay there.......so hopefully in time they will listen !!! Have a fab weekend peeps and keep smiling :D :D :D :D
6 Weeks Post Op : Another week has gone by and I...
- 23 Aug 2011
- 1 month post
Jumped ahead of myself last week when I posted...
- 30 Aug 2011
- 1 month post
So tomorrow I am getting back on the golf course. A little nervous but even if I just get to hit a few balls and see how far I get. I am not into pushing myself too soon so will see how I go. Summer is approaching and it is 36 degrees today !!! Can't wait to get some colour on this body, I am lily white from the winter. Just wondering how I am going to sweat in this binder on the golf course 2moro !!! Will let you know ..... have a super day all
Morning everyone. 10 weeks Post Op and feeling...
- 19 Sep 2011
- 2 months post
The updates are getting further and further apart....
- 1 Nov 2011
- 4 months post
My Doctor: name not provided
Please note that my surgery was done in a Private Hospital. I had 2 consults prior to surgery with my surgeon where I was fully informed of the procedure, risks etc. I never saw my surgeon on the day of surgery until I was wheeled into theatre and was checked on by her once a day post op as is the norm here in South Africa. The staff at the hospital do all the post operative care and they were brilliant. My surgeon has given me her contact number should I have any problems or questions but 3 days post op I have not had the need to contact her. I will see her again on Monday for dressing changes etc. I found her extremely approachable and professional in every way and she is highly respected in my area. The price of private hospital care here in South Africa is very expensive and I would say that the Theatre and Hospital fees cover the bulk of the total cost. Fortunately I did not spend as much time as predicted in theatre so the total cost would be around $6200 for the TT and Lipo.