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I'm a 33 year old mom to 3 (15, 11, and 4). I am...

I'm a 33 year old mom to 3 (15, 11, and 4). I am 5'2" and weight 130. Last year I lost 40 pounds with diet and exercise. The more I lost the more oddly shaped my stomach appeared. I showed some friends at work and they told me I had a hernia. I went to a surgeon and was told I had two hernias and severe diastasis. He wanted to make a vertical incision from my sternum to my belly button and use mesh to repair the hernias. He recommended that I get a tummy tuck after this to fix the diastasis. I called around and found plastic surgeons who do both. I started an online business to raise money for the surgery. I worked very hard and will be able to pay for the surgery completely on my own. I am really proud of this! I went to 2 different doctors and ultimately chose the one that was less expensive. I know that this isn't something that i want to bargain shop for, but his before and afters looked good. I am so scared of the procedure! I have not been in a bikini since I was a teenager. I am not looking for super body. I am more interested in fixing these hernias so that I can workout without pain. I have stretch marks alk the way up to my boobs so they will still be around. I have tons of extra skin. It really grosses me out when I am doing push-ups. Nasty! Working out makes my stomach hurt. I often go to bed with a heating pad when I do too much. When I reach up really high it is very painful. The general surgeon that I saw told me not to lift anything heavy or do anything strenuous until this was fixed. He said that my muscles are so stretched, that I am likely to end up with back and bladder problems because I have such poor core strength and a lack of internal support. I really want this fixed but the idea of a hip to hip incision freaks me out! I am going to take 4 weeks of of work. The first week I am staying at my mom's house and my mother-in-law will be with my kids. The second week, my kids are going to stay with my mom and I am going to be gone with my husband. I think I will manage with kids the third week. I can't believe I am doing this to my body! I see pictures of ladies on here who look amazing! I can't imagine that this is even possible for me. I can't imagine not having the tummy. Seems surreal at this point.

Less than a month...

A month is a long tim, but not really! Only you ladies can understand how exciting and scary the waiting is. I see so many pictures that look amazing and some that look so painful! I think I am going to hire a cleaning lady just before my surgery and maybe two weeks after. I think it will make me feel relaxed and pampered to be in a clean house. I am anxious to buy things for my recovery. My mom keeps telling me to wait for the list from the Dr. so I don't waste my money on stuff I won't need or use. I have purchased a night gown that buttons up the front, a package of wife beater tanktops, fuzzy socks, throat lozenges, and chapstick. Not too much so far. I was thinking of getting a toilet raiser and a walker. Is this worth the money? Should I be super dieting before my surgery? If so, now is the time! 29 days and counting! I would hate to get super trim and then gain back to a "normal" weight for me and have a strange muffin top. Does that make sense? I am currently 130 and that weight is easy for me to maintain. I can watch what I eat and exercise and easily lose 5-10 pounds before surgery. Does it help to be skinnier or is it like- if you have the fat, let them suck it out! Looking at all the pix on here makes me wish I was getting more work done! Too funny! Thanks so much to everyone who left me kind comments. That was nice to read. Good luck everyone! - Autumn

Pre-Op DONE!!!

I was so excited and nervous for my pre-op appointment. I have read lots of reviews but did not know what to expect. My mom came with me and we waited for over an hour when at last they called my name. I went into an office and a receptionist handed me a packet full of info and perscriptions. She asked if I had any questions. I asked her if I was going to see the doctor and she told me no. This was a little bit of a let down. I had some questions specific to my surgery that just seemed odd to ask her. I want to know where on my body I can expect the scar, how much skin will be taken off, things like that. I guess it does not really matter if I know this stuff before my surgery. I just really like to know what to expect so that I can kind of get myself used to the idea. She said Dr. would meet with me the morning of surgery and go over all that stuff. After we left, my mom pointed out that at that point I will probably be too nervous to remember my questions and after I probably won't care what the answers were. Is this normal to not see the doctor at the pre-op appointment? I am scheduled for the first surgery of the day so that is good. I have to go get some blood work done next week. This is starting to feel a littel more real. YIKES! I am going to have my daughter help me take some nasty before pictures. I will post them soon.

pre op photos- so gross

I tried to get the nasty view of how my tummy looks when I am bending over. Just taking this pictures made my stomach hurt. I can't wait to get these hernias fixed!

Am I doing this???

I think I have had a bad perspective about this surgery. This started for me as hernia repair. I was referred to a PS by a general surgeon. I never had TT in my mind! I am kind of a conservative, mousy mom. I would NEVER wear a bikini. My stretch marks have been a part of me since I was a mommy at 18. I never considered getting them cut off! I just know that I need my muscles sewn back together. I need my hernias fixed. This is what I need. The idea of looking better or being slimmer after this does not seem real or possible at all. Now it is less than two weeks away. I need to realize this is really what I am doing. It's totally unreal to me.

All paid for!

I just made my final payment! I am so proud of myself that I raised all of the money for this surgery on my own. Yay me! :)

What to expect when you're expecting a TT!

For any ladies who have already been tucked, I have a few questions.
1) how long before I can expect to think clearly enough to work on my computer? I have a computer business that I run from my home. I don't want to be loopy on pain meds and think I can work when I can't. I also don't want to miss very many days.
2) I hate being stuck in the house. I get cabin fever and get depressed quickly. I want to avoid this by planning outings (even if it is just a quick ride around the block). Is it realistic to hope to go to the movies on day 4 or 5? I am really worried about being stuck at my mom's house for a week. I need a plan!
3) I am taking 4 weeks off of my "real" job as a school teacher. My kids hug me everyday. They are little guys and hug right at my belly. Will that be safe at 4 weeks or should I tell them no more hugging?
4) how long were you too swollen to wear your real clothes? Will I fit in my dress pants after 4 weeks or would you recommend I try to find some bigger or stretchy ones for when I go back to work?
That is all I can think of for now! I might think of more later. Thanks ladies! :)

Done with work! Holy cow!

I am just leaving work for the last time. I will return to my classroom on December 2nd. It was so weird saying bye to my kiddos knowing that when I are them again this will alk be over. It really is getting SO CLOSE! I am kind of freaking out here!

Anesthesiologist just called me!

I was driving home from school feeling a little bummed and nervous about not returning to my classroom for a month, when my anesthesiologist called me! I was not expecting this! He said he just wanted to check-in and see if I had any questions. He told me everything was going to go really well and I had a great surgeon so I should just enjoy my weekend and not worry. He asked lots of questions about my hernias (where they were, how long I have been aware of them, seen other doctors for them, do they cause me pain, etc.) It was a really nice surprise. He was actually much more informative than my pre-op (which was just paper work). He told me what to wear Monday (loose pants, slip-on shoes, zip up shirt, hair on top of head.) He said to drink about twice as much water as normal on Sunday as this would help them find good veins. He also told me no nail polish on my right big toe. Kind of strange, huh? I guess I will add "take off nail polish" to my current to-do list. It made me feel a lot better and more excited about the surgery. I have so much to do before I leave on Sunday. My mother-in-law is coming and my house is a wreck. Ugggh!

24 hour count down!

I just slept in my bed for the last time for a while. My in laws are here to help with the kids. I have a few more things to pack Ana I am ready to leave for Vegas. I am not sure if I should drive my car or have my husband take me. I think that the quiet time in the car driving up my myself sounds nice. I just don't know when I will feel well enough to drive home myself. I just want to get it over with!

Good sign!

I just finished all the pre-op grocery shopping and saw this magazine next to the check out. This must be a good sign, right? :)

Just a few hours to go!

I woke up early and can't go back to sleep. On the bright side, I slept great last night. I need to leave in about an hour. I can't drink or eat anything. I can't put on make up and don't plan on fixing my hair. Not much to do to get ready. I think I am currently in denial about what is about to be done to me. I am not that nervous or scared or excited. Kind of blah.

on the flat side!

We went to the doctor around 8am and I went back to a room to get changed into robe, disposable undies, compression socks, booties, and cap. They had trouble getting an iv in my arm (this is always difficult for me). The anesthesiologist gave me laughing gas and I was out. Woke up in recovery and went home shortly after. I was really nauseas. I probably threw up at least a dozen times. I went back to the doctor and got a shot of demeral and fenergan (sp?). This really helped my get some sleep. Before that I had no meds because I couldn't keep them down. This morning I am feeling so much better! I can get up and sit down on my own. I am very hopeful that I will have a great recovery. Thanks for all the kind words of support!

Can't sleep!

It is 2am. I just woke up to walk, use the bathroom, and take a pain pill. I am quite awake so hopefully the pill will knock me out soon. I am really swollen which causes pain in my tummy. When I sit to pee, I can see that my incision is bleeding right over my lady parts. I am not too worried about this. Something I am taking is making me really itchy too.

Feelin' good!

Today I felt great. I took a few naps, went for a very short walk to the end of my street and back. I have only been able to eat little bits at a time so I am eating lot of small meals all day long. I have not had a BM yet and have taken MOM three times. I don't feel at all bloated - just trying to prevent that. My DR said do not get the incision wet at all. No showers for a week! I have been doing sponge baths and don't even want to open my compression garment. Is there a reason why I should? I don't want to mess with it! I only have one drain - it comes out of the incision on my right hip. It has not been bothering me too much yet. I think tomorrow I might go to lunch. I love getting out of the house and I am walking almost completely upright. When the dr took my CG off yesterday, my stomach looked really dented in the middle. I think this is normal at this point though, right? I hope everybody else is having a happy recovery!

Over dosed on the poop meds!

My mom had me talking two stool softeners a day- morning and night. My doctor had me taking MOM morning and night. My sister made me use a laxative suppository yesterday. My stomach is so gurgly and crampy. I had a lot of major gas yesterday and some diarrhea. I am not taking all that stuff anymore! I will continue with one still softener each night. I don't feel constipated. I am drinking tons of water. All day I felt like I was on the verge of pooping my pants. Not the best feeling! My drain put out 25(?) In the last 12 hours. It is definitely getting lighter and less. Hopefully it will be ready to come out on Monday. I snuck a peek at the hole it's coming out of today and it totally grossed me out! I am cutting my pain pills in half to avoid the constipation and get a clear head to work.

ugggh!

I am super swollen. Even my hips are huge. I wasn't expecting that. My drain hole is getting really sore. I am sure it will come out on Monday at my appointment because I am not draining much anymore. I want a shower so badly! My doctor said nor for a week. Yuck! I miss my family. It had been nice recovering at my mom's house, but I miss my kids so much! I am also not having regular bm so I may go back to all the laxatives I was taking a few days ago. :( what a bummer!

getting bigger instead of smaller!

I think I may need a new compression garment. I am so swollen and it puts so much pressure on my stomach. I feel like I can't take deep breaths. I don't want to eat because I feel like nothing else can possibly fit inside of me. I am thinking of looking for a different style and a bigger size. Hadsthis happened to any body else?

on my way to post-op!

Hoping to get drain out! I am nervous about it!

No more drains! :)

Just finished my one week post-op. I almost fainted when they took my garment off. I didn't really look at my stomach because I get so grossed out by stuff like this. The nurse said my incision looks great and I am healing really well. Getting the drain out burned but it was over really fast and I feel so much better without it.

weight is down!

I just stepped on the scale and am 3 pounds less fullydressed than I was before surgery in only undies. That is pretty exciting. I have not been able to eat much since surgery so I am sure that is the cause. I have to apply antibiotic ointment to my incision twice a day for the next the weeks. I am nervous about this because I have never taken my garment off except at the Dr office. Getting it back on has been a two person job.

waiting for shower

Today is the first day I am allowed to shower. I feel so nasty! This is by far the longest I have ever been without a shower. My hubby is a fireman and works 48 hour shifts so I would have to wait another 2 days! Luckily his Captain is letting him run home for an hour to help me shower. He says I should feel pretty special because most firemen are not given time of to shower with their wives. I told him not to have high hopes. ;)

It is so ugly!

I got a real good look last night in the shower and it just looks so ugly! My scar is so ropey and bumpy. My stomach is smashed and it almost looks like a buttcrack line from BB to incision. My husband thought that it was an incision line, but it is just smashed that way. Dr said it was from swelling and CG and will go away. I think I may have a dog ear on my left hip. I know it is too soon to be worried about this stuff, but I am worried! I keep seeing beautiful pictures on here and mine just isn't looking like that! :(

icky bb!

I took a couple pictures of my bb this morning after lubing it up with Bactracin. My bb looks icky and there is a large crease that goes from bb to incision. I hope these will fix in time. I am only 12 days today (I think! ).

Arms falling asleep???

I am 2 weeks post op tomorrow and for the past week every night I wake up with one or both arms really numb. They are even cold. Sometimes they are so asleep that they hurt. I thought this was from my sleeping position - propped with a wedge and pilliow behind my back and a pillow under my knees. I am starting to worry that this may be a sign of a blood clot! Has this happend to anyone else? So strange!

2 weeks post op!

2 weeks today! I am starting to feel more normal. I went to target and Kohls with my daughters today. We shopped for two and a half hours! I got a couple outfits that I can wear while I am healing. The jogging suits are getting old! :) I also got a new cg from target. It feels great on and I can get into it myself. I just took a shower home alone. It feels good to know that I can do it all myself. I am down 5 pounds. I measured with cg on and my waist was 2 inches smaller. I measured with it off and my waist was the same as before. That is okay though. I have plenty of time to shrink. The crease in the center of my stomach is still concerning but I guess time will tell how that works itself out.

CG

I have been wearing a nice spanx garment all the time except when I shower. Yesterday I wore my binder over it and was surprised how much smaller I was at night. Mystomach was the flattest I have ever seen it. The scar was smoother. The possible dog ear was smaller. I am going to start wearing this over my spanx everyday and sleeping in just the spanx. The binder does bother my incision and my belly button. It is rough and does not bend well when I sit down. My bb is still ooey gooey and so is my drain hole. The rest of the incision is almost completely healed. In mylastpost I mentioned measuring and being larger without cg on. I have now been measuring in the morning and at night and I can be 3 inches larger at night than in the morning. Wow! I didn't even realize I was swelling. Hopefully wearing the binder will help with that. Hope you all are healing well!

Oh no! TMI!

So this is SO embarrassing, but... yesterday I found a large painful knot in my labia. (I told you embarrassing!) I thought it was a boil or am ingrown hair. There is no head on it so I couldn't pop it. Today I have several more really swollen and painful spots on both sides. I am not sure what this is. It hurts to walk and sit. I have never experienced anything like this before. Could this be swelling? I am 18 days. What the heck?

improvements!

I am quite sure that my latest problem is just swelling. I have been icing the area and the is remarkable improvement. My mons is now very swollen also. I think this change is because I was not wearing my binder (just spanx) for a week then stayed wearing binder over spanx. I noticed so much less selling on my tummy. I think I pushed it all South. The other good news is I went shopping today and bought 2 pairs of pants in size 4. I also started cleaning out my closet and have lots to give away because they are way too big. I am down 7 pounds but feel like my hips and thighs are much bigger than usual. I think it may be swelling or just lack of exercise these pay few weeks. I am not worried about that because I know I am able to tone that up soon.

forgot to mention...

I read one post where a girl had so much swelling that her labia ruptured! Holy cow! No more feeling sorry for myself!

3 week update!

3 weeks already! I am starting to have more energy and feel a little more secure when I am not wearing compression garment. I am down 7 pounds. A big motivator not to eat much is this darn binder. It is so tight that I don't want to gain an ounce! Sleeping is tough since I am on my back and so darn itchy. Sometimes I take off my binder and just wear spanx to bed. I am anxious to go back to the doctor next week to see what he says about the crease in my belly.

Finally update! 5 weeks PO

I went to the doctor last week and bought the stuff for scar therapy. I got a silicone sheet that was $60 and silicone gel that was $90. Yikes! Hope it works! The doc said my incision looks good. He still days crease in middle is selling and will go away.I guess time will tell. He also said my bb will round out as swelling goes away. He said to wear binder for 2 more months because I had severe muscle repair. My stomach really goes in at the bb. It is not flat. It is concave. My binder has been squishing my middle and pushing swelling to the ribs and lower tummy. I have started wearing binder with it unhooked in the center and that seems to be helping. I did am hour on my elliptical tonight but did not use arms because doctor said that would work abs and he doesn't want them stressed at all until they are fully healed. I am anxious to see what is swelling and what is fat. It will be nice when I can really workout. For now I just have to try to watch my diet.

swell whine

Does the swelling ever go down from pubic area? I am almost 7 weeks and still so swollen. I wonder if this is just my new shape. Today I didn't wear my binder- just spanx. I am way more swollen than usual tonight. It is just crazy to me that I could have this much swelling so long after surgery. When does this go away?

new pics of problem areas

I wear a spanx tank top with a binder over it 24/7. The binder really squishes me in the middle and is making me look like one of those circus freaks with the itty bitty waists. I have been not buttoning it in the center for the past few weeks and that seems to be helping. It ends right at my mons and pushes the swelling down to that area. I am swollen very crooked down there. The right side is always much bigger than the left. I am considering buying a new garment but don't want to spend the money if it is to late to make a difference. 7 weeks post op. What do you think?

new cg!

Thanks for the advice, ladies! I just ordered a new cg. I hope it solves all of my little problems and that I don't pee on it. :) those big ones worry me!

8 week update!

I can't believe it has been 8 weeks! This week I have new pain in my ab muscles when I laugh and sneeze. I am not sure if I did something to hurt myself or if I am just getting more feeling back. Laughing and sneezing are excruciating. Before now, these things barely affected me. It feels like I have done a thousand sit ups only when I laugh or sneeze. Seconds later I am fine again. I got my new compression garment. Small is SMALL! My daughter helped me get it zipped up and I almost thought I couldn't sleep in it last night. I wore it for almost 24 hours. It was really tight around my middle which is what I was hoping to avoid. I loved how tight it was on my lower belt and mons area. When I took it off tonight I was so happy with how that flattened out. I threw it in the wash and am wearing my old binder tonight. I think I will wear the new cg during the days and old binder at night for a while. I am anxious to exercise but doc says not for 3 months due to severe muscle repairs. I did use my elliptical for an hour tonight. If I don't go top fast, I think I will be okay.

Finally an update!

Sorry I have not updated for so long. Not a whole lot has changed. My crease is smoother but still there. I have a dog ear on my left hip. I stopped wearing change about 3 weeks ago and have swelling on one side of mons. I feel like the hunchback of Notre dom when I look down. Not a great look! I go for my 3 month post op visit tomorrow. I will see what doc says. I have a feeling I will need some revision work, although it is much better than it was so maybe it will continue to improve? I will post some pictures right now so you can tell me what you think.
Lane Smith

Dr. Smith and all of his staff have been so wonderful to work with! I had a few consults and went with him because he seemed very confident and capable to giving me the results I was hoping for. Since he owns his own surgical suite, his price was much less than other doctors in the area. His before and after work looks great. He answered all of my questions and never made me feel rushed. I am only one week post-op but am happy with results so far and know that they will only get better. I would definitely recommend him and will use him if I ever decide to have future work done.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (151)

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Honey, somebody must be honest and straight tell you the truth. He butch you TT and belly button .Your tummy tuck looks very wired and you know that. you MUST demand on revision after all that hard earned money spent !
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Your looking good, I can see improvements for sure. :)
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YES! I do believe your skin will improve much more over time and that line will disappear and your BB look better as your skin "re-drapes" - my PS says that takes up to 12 months. When i had that deep groove in my upper belly, my doc said to stop using CG and it has slowly flattened out. the groove in the skin is gone! there is still a canal as I would describe it but that's what I'm hoping is due to the swollen muscles from the MR. and now that you are off your CG, I am sure BB and line will resolve. I was reading your very early post and your goals were really to just fix the hernia and ab muscles so that your core can get strong again. So perhaps if you give it time, you will find that you do not need a revision!
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Absolutely agree! My goals were muscle repair and hernias and those things are perfect! I couldn't be happier. When I am clothed, you would never know that my skin had those issues. Doc said wait and see what it does. He said some revision may help but it is too soon to tell for sure.
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How are you doing?
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i have a few suggestions, get a qtip with peroxide and clean your navel in a circular motion like 3 times a day, rub bio oil or coco butter on your tummy and put your pointer finger in your navel to open it up leave your finger in your navel for 10 min. 3 times a day. did you get lipo too. if so maybe it's your cg making the dent. i would wear the spanx but smooth my skin out towards the back than put on the cg that the dr gave you. for your scar mepiform is awesome take a look at my pics before using it. i hope this helps you i know it will work, take care
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Have you tried spanx vs the CG? It could be too tight ...
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I was dealing with the creasing too. And felt the CG or spanx made it worse, but felt better wearing it. So I would go some days with out here & there and it did make a difference. I still have some loose skin around my bb that can only be removed with a vertical scar. My ps said belly was stretched both vertically & horizontally ! My son was a big boy! So I'm still on the fence about a revision with a fluer de lis scar. It's a scar or a weird creasing bb ... ?? I feel the scar would be better ? I just don't know yet. But your still experiencing lots of swelling, so you do need to give it some time. It will get better. My Dr won't even consider revision until at least 6 even 12 months. I'm hoping at 6 he will at least do a little lipo to what appears to be some fat in low belly .
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Hey i think u should stop using the compression because it's making your crease worst, I went to a consult for my boobs and the doc told me to stop using the cg because it was pushing my skin in and making the fold worst, u need to keep it flat which is hard because even jeans and stuff can make it squeeze together. But the moment I stopped wearing mine it got better and it is getting better still.
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Hey, we're walking the same road. I am so sore these days. I'm glad to see someone else go through it because I was afraid I screwed something up. Hoping you feel better and solve the mini waist issue soon :-)
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I wish the rest of my tummy would shrink to match. I measured yesterdayandthe smallest part is 25 inches. Around the top was 28.5 and around the bottom was 34. That is a crazy difference!
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You look great! I think you still have some swelling and that he did some shaping. I like it! I think you'll like it better when the swelling goes down. I am shaped different on one side on one side as well.-- I wore my binder for over 2 months and when I am swelling bad I still use it. I think they do help with shaping on the sides but that's about it. - Happy healing!
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My doc re positioned my binder and the 3 part wrap, he cut off one. He puts the double wrap on lower belly and puts the single wrap,on top of the bottom part, basically the most pressure is where the incision is. He said dont worry about anything above the bb. I'll post a pic of it on my profile later.
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Try a one piece compression garment that has even compression. My binder does the same thing when I wear it.
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Yes, I'd give in and buy an new cg or 2. I'm 3 months and my ps still wants me in compression. I am uncomfortable out of it any how. He asked I stay away from the corset type and use a high waisted brief type with plenty of control in the lower ab area. I have found that they work great and are not too uncomfortable as long as they dont have any seams which make me itch. The spanx brand seems to be the best overall for me. I like the maiden form flexees to but they have some seams. But are cheaper if you think are ok for u. I alternate them. Good luck! I think the new cg will help a lot!
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I swell bad too n I hate it!! My friend is a yr post op n she still swells
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U look good, my ps told me I can a swell for up to a yr..
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Looking good! Happy healing!
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Man 2 more months of cg sucks I'm am not gna do that so my doc better not tell me too lol..,
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My results are so much like yours I feel like we r twins only your crease is way better but my scar sticks out on the sides like u too,guess we heal slow!!! Hopefully time will be on out side
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Looking good. The crease is definitely going away!
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U look good! Thx for sharing.
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My PS had me use a firm foam earplug (I bought a huge box so I could use a fresh one every day) in my bb. I guess it helps, but I see him today & will ask to stop. I'm at 17 weeks, doubt it's changing anything, now?
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I am going to wait until my appointment next week to see what doc says before I start a plug. I just checked your page out. Your bb looks nice and round.
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