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Ready for This Journey!- Leawood, KS

I'm what you might call a "planner"... I started...

I'm what you might call a "planner"... I started thinking about the idea of a Tummy Tuck about a week before my first daughter was born.

I remember it like it was yesterday, I was HUGE and MISERABLE and could not wait to get her out of me. Then, as I looked back down at my huge belly I panicked and didn't want her to come out at all. I just kept thinking, "how am I ever going to get my stomach back to normal? Where does all that extra skin go?" Well, a week later my perfect daughter was born and I started busting my butt to get back in shape. I dropped the weight relatively quickly and managed to get most of my figure back. For the time being, I put the tummy tuck behind me. Three years later I got pregnant again...and again gained far too much weight...and again looked down at my belly and could not imagine it ever being normal. I was optimistic, but this time around things weren't so easy. I went back into high gear the second I was cleared...but nothing happened. I mean sure, I lost weight, almost all of it in fact. But this stubborn belly will not go anywhere. So once again I found myself thinking of the tummy tuck. That's when I got serious and started my research.

I have scoured the internet and books in order to be as informed as possible. I've consulted with three doctors and then scoured the internet for their background. In January, I decided to go with Dr. Swanson in Leawood, Kansas. Him and his staff have been fantastic, so far. They are very friendly and answer all of my questions. He sat with me for a half hour going over every last detail of the procedure. One thing I did not feel comfortable with was when he recommended additional procedures on top of the tummy tuck. I understand that is his job but it caught me a little off guard. He won out in the end, however, when I added arm lipo. Ideally, I'd love to do it on my inner thighs to get rid of those fat pockets but don't want to spend the extra $1,000.

Today, I find myself making lists upon lists for supplies, what to expect, freezer friendly recipes, etc. I think my poor husband is so sick of hearing me talk about it at this point.

I'm very nervous and extremely excited!

Today I went to the store to start my "supply...

Today I went to the store to start my "supply caddy" - still have more coming in the mail but it's starting to feel real! My good friend and next door neighbor is an OR nurse who will be hanging with me the first few days. She helped me with some stuff to get...here's what I have so far:

Hibiclens
Dial Soap
Latex gloves (for my friend who will be handling the drains)
Arnica topical gel
Ouch-free gauze
MOM tablets
Wisp disposable toothbrushes
Reusable cold compress

In the mail is the VitaMedica Plastic Surgery Pre & Post Op nutrition kit - it's a bit pricy but has absolutely everything I need from a vitamin standpoint. My hospital bed will be here the day before my surgery as well.

I still have other things to get but doing a little at a time is helping me quiet my nerves. If anyone has suggestions on other things I may need/want please let me know!

Well - some things have changed in the last 24...

Well - some things have changed in the last 24 hours! My husband came home last night and told me that he will be leaving for a JRTC rotation with the Army on the 28th of May. That was cutting it far too close for me with my surgery date of the 16th. Although I have plenty of help and support from friends, I was most concerned with getting my kids too and from school. So I called today and had to move my surgery to the 7th - YIKES!! Wicked nervous and excited at the same time...I've had the 16th in my head for so long.

Had my pre op today, prescriptions filled and...

Had my pre op today, prescriptions filled and before photos taken. They offered me surgery on the second instead but I couldn't do that. Still set for the 7th!

Oh my gosh - tomorrow is the big day!! I still...

Oh my gosh - tomorrow is the big day!! I still have no idea how all this time has gone by. I'm shockingly calm although I can't promise I will be tomorrow. Today's to do involves last minute errands and helpful lists for my husband who will be home with the kiddos for two weeks. I'm also still working to try and finish up some stuff before tomorrow. I hate taking so much time away from my cases and dread the thought of playing catch up but I'll get through it. I deserve this :)

On the way to my doctor's surgical center. Ill...

On the way to my doctor's surgical center. Ill post as soon as I am able. Please send lots of prayer and positive energy my way!

Well, I made it through! Surgery was supposed to...

Well, I made it through! Surgery was supposed to take 3 hrs and only took 1.5. II'm not going to lie, getting up and moving is excruciating and I have been in and out of sleep but am happy it's over! Doc says I did great even tho I passed out when they gave me the iv. :) I'm going to ask for a stronger pain medication tomorrow, the vicodin isnt doing much. I have one drain and it's still filling up fast. I'm nervous that its blood but my husband said nurse told him only to worry if its bright red blood. Okay, falling asleep again!

It's been a little over 24 hours, and the...

It's been a little over 24 hours, and the stiffness is by far the worst part.

Renting a hospital bed was a great decision, it makes getting in and out of bed so much easier. Even though I'd love to just take my pain meds and sleep through recovery, the stiffness and brushing in my back is a constant reminder to get up and move. My goal is to walk to the bathroom every 1.5 hrs. My husband has been amazing, he's doing his very best to make it go as smooth as possible.

I am still so grateful to have the support of this community!

Doctor warned me today would be the peek of...

Doctor warned me today would be the peek of swelling and man was he right. I look like the marshmallow man from ghost busters!

I'm also exhausted still. Between the surgery and my period all I want to do is sleep. If it weren't for the fear of blood clots I probably would!

If there is anyone on the fence about the hospital bed...get it. It's helped me immensely.

I'm eating chia seeds on everything and popping MOM pills but still no luck in that department.

Today's big task: take a shower. Never thought I'd be so afraid of showering. Wish me luck.

Okay ladies, I'm in need of some encouraging words...

Okay ladies, I'm in need of some encouraging words. I finally looked at my tummy and took a picture. There is a crease running down from my belly button to my scar. The day after surgery the nurse noticed it and told my husband it was completely normal. My doctor said all looks great. But I haven't seen anyone else on here have the same issue. I go tomorrow to get my drain removed and will ask again but wanted to share it with you all.

On my way home from the doctor. Day 3 and my drain...

On my way home from the doctor. Day 3 and my drain is out! It felt so weird and definitely burned when they pulled it out but I'm glad it's over. The doctor is very impressed with my progress but was not thrilled I stopped the narcotics yesterday. He told me not to be a hero and to listen to my body. I've started ibuprofen today and am thrilled to have help with the soreness in my back. My arms are HUGE thanks to the swelling. The crease I was concerned about has gone down a ton. The nurse explained it had been caused by the vertical muscle repair.

PO4 and feeling very very good! Still have a sore...

PO4 and feeling very very good! Still have a sore back from hunching over but other then that I'm great. I've been up and about a lot over the last two days and my body is reminding me to slow down by getting nice and puffy. I was able to make it to my four year old's first ballet recital which was fantastic. Bruising is better. Love watching the progress every day!

I woke up today with my left arm feeling a bit...

I woke up today with my left arm feeling a bit funny. It's more swollen than the right and has a bump on it right above the elbow that is very sore and I've been getting tingling in the entire arm. I had liposuction done on both arms but the left has always been a bit more bruised.

I'm thinking of putting a call into my Dr. to ask if I should be concerned. I hate to do that on a Sunday - especially Mother's Day - but it would put my mind at ease. I've read a lot about blood clots and seromas so I'm probably making it worse in my head but I'm trying to listen to my body.

I think I will ask my friend to come take a look to see what she thinks first before calling the doctor. My poor friend, I'm sure she regrets ever becoming an OR nurse because I've been directing all my questions to her!

I'll update when I know more. I also added a new photo, looking better but still a little Frankenstein-ish.

Okay, all is well in the arm. The bruising has...

Okay, all is well in the arm. The bruising has been so bad that it basically clogged circulation which was the issue. All is well today!

Feeling great but tire very quickly. The belly crease looks better each day. Belly button is a bit oozy and funny looking but for just under a week I have no complaints!

Steri strips off today. Time for neosporin and I...

Steri strips off today. Time for neosporin and I get to wash the incision.

Mons pubis still soooo swollen. I feel like a ken doll! Ready for it to go away. Ps says totally normal. He thinks I'm healing faster than average so I'm feeling good!

Bb stitches come out next week.

Serious Nerve Pain - depressed

So, everything had been going wonderfully. I had a little nerve pain the day of and after surgery but it went away with no issues. Then two days ago it came back in full force. I'm talking unable to walk, stand, or sit - pretty much any movement with my left leg sends an excruciating burning/stabbing pain in my left thigh. It has brought me to tears and buckled my knee on more than one occasion and I'm feeling pretty depressed about it. I'm paranoid that this is going to be a problem for the rest of my life.

I asked the doctor the first time it happened and he said sometimes nerves get nicked during the surgery and it will usually resolve on its own. Well it did, the first time but it is worse now and I'm miserable. I've been drinking tons of water to try and shift the fluids/swelling to see if that helps. I go to the doctor tomorrow to get my BB stitches out and will ask again what to do. I have heard of this happening during other surgeries and am not sure how the femoral nerve could get nicked bc it is so deep in the tissue.

I'm just not in a very good place right now. I have zero pain with the exception of this nerve pain. I've been walking upright, feeling great, healing at such a great pace I even amazed myself. I think that is why I am so depressed about this leg pain. It makes me feel like I am 95. I literally limp everywhere. Has anyone else gone through this??

BB stitches out!

BB stitches out and it already looks better. The pain in my leg has subsided for now. PS said nerve entrapment that will heal itself over time. I'm starting to get more swollen by the end of the day. I'm doing more and more which is likely the culprit. It's hard to remember to take it easy when I feel so good!

BB stitches out

PO 19 swelling continues

Nothing really new to report except that the swelling has gotten worse. It's frustrating but I know it's all part of the healing process. I'm continuing to take my vitamins and will need to pay closer attention to salt intake. Fortunately the pain in my thigh has subsided for now! The photos show just how swollen I am. It's a little scary so brace yourselves lol.

PO 26

A couple of minor issues to report:

I think my belly button may be shrinking and its scar is getting worse. I'm going to try the trick with the wax/silicone ear plugs. I'll report back on whether that fixes shrinking!

I think I may have a dog ear - I'll post pics in the morning

My "Ken Doll" is still so bad! Everyday I look hoping it will get better but no luck so far. The only improvement I've noticed is that I can sort of push it down which makes be believe some of the fluid has gone down.

Other than that, I feel great. I'm in full swing with my mommy and work duties now that my husband has left for a month for a training rotation. I've been having to lift and carry my one year old, not to mention by crazy stressful job - so swelling is to be expected.

My hard work pre-op is finally visible!

I was putting some bacitracin on my BB today and realized something awesome: I have muscle tone!! I have a personal trainer who was busting my butt before surgery and I knew my abs were getting stronger but I couldn't actually see anything under all the skin. Well that changed today. I am so encouraged. I still have a long way to go but this feels great.

One month PO apt

Went great! Dr says the rippling on the sides will go away and that I look fantastic for one month. He also said not to even look at my arms for another month at least.

Back to the Gym

Started back at the Gym Wednesday after my one month PO check in with the doctor. Feels fantastic to be working out again, but I have lost a lot of strength during my 5 week hiatus. My trainer assured me it'd come back quickly but is going VERY easy on me. My last two workouts were only a half our and I had to stop leg curls because it pulled on my stomach too much. I'm not really sure how that was painful but the seated row didn't bother me one bit. I trust my trainer immensely and know he has had many clients who have gone through TT/MR as well. I'm still swollen after workouts of course but all in all very happy to see how it improves my results.

Putting a call into the PS

I have a bump just to the right of my BB - when I work out the pain is localized in that area. I'm paranoid that the sutures on the muscle repair came out. I noticed it about two weeks ago but it is bothering me more and more. Calling my PS tomorrow. I've been acting as though I never got surgery so this is probably all brought on by me. It's hard to remember I had a major surgery two months ago when I feel great....

3 months PO before and after

So I went back and re read my previous posts and it's amazing how far I've come! The things I posted about like the nerve pain totally consumed my world at the time I posted but I'm hard pressed to remember it now. I've continued to work with my trainer and just started back on core exercises. Still have lots of weight to lose but feeling great. Don't get me wrong, I'm still not 100%! My "ken doll" is still with me. Dr. Will recheck at 6 months. Some small dog ear and fat transfer on the sides that will settle out.

I'm bummed I didn't do my thighs and think they should have taken more from my arms so chances are ill go back in for that at a later date. For now, I'm enjoying the flat side!

Almost a year!

Well, it has been almost a year since my surgery (I cannot believe it). I am so in love with my results, I cannot say it enough. People - if you are even thinking about doing it... DO IT! My incision has lightened significantly. I do have a keloid around my belly button which stinks because I have a picture on here where it looked so perfect! I'm going to touch base with my doctor to make sure that it wont close up or anything. If I don't have to be worried about that I am not at all concerned about the Keloid. The only person who will ever see it is my husband. I still have stretch marks so no bikini for this lady :)

I am still thinking about going back to get my thighs done....they warned me this might get addicting. I knew I'd regret not doing it at the same time as everything else but it felt like a lot to do at once. I did no back to the Doctor at 6 months to discuss my mons pubis. He told me that this is the last area to flatten out and he wasn't concerned because it was even still numb at that time. It has gone down but is still not what I would consider back to normal although my husband and friends say it is in my head. I am making an appointment to go back and talk to him about it further. I'm not sure if I need to lipo it or what but it seems to rise higher up on my abdomen than it did before, if that makes sense. I've decided that if he does go back to fix that I will go ahead and do my thighs at the same time.

I'll post more pictures soon and repost after I chat with him regarding my "ken doll"

Nine months!

Wow - nine months down! All continues to go well. Haven't been back to the PS yet but hope to do that this week for a consult on my thighs. I've added some new photos. I'm standing at an angle so my torso looks a little crooked but it's not :) my scar is so low I love it!
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (91)

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Damn girl, you look good!
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Thank you! I have started to focus on shedding some weight - only took me a year :)
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AMAZING transformation!
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Thank you!!
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Wow you look amazing!!
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Thank you! Lots of hard work...it's paying off :)
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you should def wear a bikini
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Thank you - those darn stretch marks wont go away though
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u look so good and will be great in bikini. why not?
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Stretch marks :(
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Did u like the result with dr Swanson? Just thinking of doing TT with him in a month but read some bad reviews so trying to get dr. Joseph cannova. U got dog ears so did he fix it at his expense! Pls let me know your experience with him and the staff.
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I absolutely love my results...and I think the pictures speak for themselves. My best friend went to him about three months after I did and she is also thrilled with his work. There are bad reviews about absolutely everyone. The bottom line is YOU need to prepare yourself with real expectations. I've seen one review about an indentation in the buttocks from lipo...If you research that you will see it is a very common result of gravity and settling. Only a butt lift would fix it. I've already met with dr swanson about going back to lipo my inner thighs...that is how confident I am in his work. He fixes any issues but you do have to pay the cost of the anesthesiologist. I knew about the articles out there regarding a bad chemical peels years and years ago...again did my own research and saw that the company who made the chemicals was sued because they were too potent. Now, this may not explain what happened w his patient. But I knew this before I went and again felt the photos speak for themselves. Do I think he is perfect? Absolutely not. His bedside manner in post op visits could definitely need some improvement. But his staff (Sarah for sure) more then makes up for whatever he lacks.
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Thanks so much for your reassurance. Did he fix the dog ear? It has been a year so the swollen is gone? Still very flat and curve in? Sorry asking too much. But just think about this...how brave and strong u r. I am whining already just thinking of th pain lol
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This review gives me hope! This is exactly what I want my results to look like!
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I am so happy to hear that! Again, I think it's all about managing expectations and taking care of yourself after surgery. You will look amazing. Good luck :)
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You look amazing!! Do you still have swelling?
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Thank you! And yes, I definitely have swelling...especially at night
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Your 3mo po pics are incredible! :D
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Thank you so much - you look fantastic too!!
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Your before and after pics are just amazing! You must be so happy!!
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I sure am! I know it's not perfect but I'm hoping w some more weight loss and swelling decrease it'll look even better. Checked out your page and you look great!!
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You look great. I love the before and after pic.
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Thank you! It was pretty crazy to look at the difference side by side.
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looks great!
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Thank you!
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