My decision to do a full tummy tuck is decidedly...
FYI: Anyone considering Smart Lipo should read my review and story which I won't repeat here.
At any rate, I tried anything and everything over the last 6 yrs to fix my abdomen . . . nothing really worked although some things provided a little relief. I went and interviewed a few doctors last year about a Tummy Tuck but was just not interested in a hip-to-hip scar . . . vain I know. I discussed the mini-tuck and tried to persuade several docs that it would work but they all resoundingly said, "No, it won't work for you - the mini-tuck gives mini results." I consulted several docs and reviews on RealSelf over the last year and a half and still could not bring myself to pull the trigger.
Recently, I ran into a good friend that had just had a TT. She has the same frame as me (although she is 15 yrs younger) and she was willing to offer me support, guidance, and a peek at her scar. We spoke at least 50 times about the procedure, her doctor, the recovery, etc. I finally agreed, 6 months later, to go and have a consult with her doctor, Dr. Michael J. Brucker located in La Jolla.
When I met with Dr. B, I shared with him that I was very nervous and certain that I did not want to have that big, ugly TT scar. I have never had kids and felt betrayed by my first doctor and angry that this was the final straw to fix the appearance of my abdomen. I have always had a bikini body and at one point was a bikini and sportswear model. Dr. B showed me tons of photos and went over the entire procedure in detail. He answered all of my questions patiently explained how the procedure is performed, what kind of results I could expect, and how the recovery would go. Dr. B also poo-pooed the mini-tuck. ;D What he did do was explain exactly how he would attempt to get my scar very low but also plainly stated what he could not do for me due to limitations of available skin. Dr. Brucker agreed with me that I am very fit and needed NO muscle repair - something that delays recovery in most patients. I was very grateful to have met him and for the consult.
Dr. Brucker was very thorough and at the end he held my hand and told me, "most women think the outcome is worth the scar." He went on to say that he COULD fix my abdomen and help me feel whole about my body again.
You know what? I believed him. And, having seen my friends scar, I knew he meant what he said. So, on my way out I booked my surgery for the following week. I could not believe it . . . Me? TT? How did I get here? I looked at my aweful tummy every day and realized how traumatized I've been over the last 6 yrs . . . even in clothes. The dents, scars, ripples, and generally ugly appearance had made me completely,self-conscious and depressed.
The office staff was very kind. Everyone took their time with me and helped me through the process patiently. I had my pre-op by phone and the anaesthesiologist was great - he even came to see me on one of the follow-up appts just to ask how I my recovery was going.
The day before surgery, I was bitten by a spider and it almost derailed my procedure (see photo). Fortunately, I talked the doc into going ahead b/c the bite was on a section of skin that would be removed anyway. He was nervous but finally relented.
On surgery day, my hubby delivered me to the doctor. Hubby took 5 days off to take care of me ;D The surgery took about 3 hours and I awoke with really no complications or nausea. My friend, the one that referred me, offered to care for me so I stayed with her. I had my hubby by me some supplies, juice, raspberries, etc. The next day, my post-op visit was simple and I got to see my smooth tummy for the first time - I developed tears of elation. They changed the tape, checked the drain, redressed the compression garment and away I went.
I took pain meds for the first three days only. Sitting in a recliner all day is boring but I managed to get to bed and that was comforting. Sleep was rare and LMN movie boredom set in. All I could think about was what I looked like under that CG. 3 days later, another check-up and all continued to look great. Same routine again . . . but hating that ridiculous recliner. . . and hungry and cannot go potty. Frustrated!!! I took Ducolax to get some relief. More fruit, prune juice, water, water, water. ;D
Today I am 11 days post-op and feeling great. I have zero pain or discomfort and looking forward to getting back to work and sleeping normally. I am so happy I did this procedure. My post-op went perfectly today and I was able to have my drain removed, stitches out, and get a looksie at my tummy. Shockingly, I'm NOT swollen . . . who'd have guessed? It looks great so far. I would recommend this procedure to anyone who wants to feel better about themselves following any trauma to the abdomen or childbirth. As Dr. B stated, "most women feel the outcome is worth the scar." I could not agree more - I am so happy I finally did it and kinda sad that I waited so long . . . I wish I had done this 5 yrs ago.
I really never thought the TT would do as much as it did for my self-confidence . . . I could not be happier with the procedure and will be happy to offer guidance or answer questions.
Day 13 belly button
Never thought I'd see the day . . .
Almost three weeks
3 weeks post op
Minor setback as swelling subsides
Scar is fine - healing nicely.
Felt well enough to dress and do my hair today!
It's smoothing out again . . . boy that was horrifying to go through . . .
PRE-TT photo . . . just found this . . . ugh.
Recovery from this procedure sucks - putting it bluntly. But WORTH it.
More seromas drained and new compression piece
This recovery leaves a lot to be desired but I would not change a thing about my TT decision even if I could go back in time. I am very happy with my doctor for sure.
Epi-foam sheets ordered
Bad news - surgery needed to close up seroma.
Trying again - day 1
Day 3 months from first and 1 of rev.
4 days out after TT revision
Side by Side - June 2013 before - and Dec 2013 after 2nd full TT
I've met only a few doctors like Dr. Brucker. He is kind, patient, honest and genuinely interested in his patient's success. I would refer anyone to this doctor for any procedure.