Mini Tummy Tuck (No Lipo) - Madison, WI

After having two kids and gaining about 65 lbs...

After having two kids and gaining about 65 lbs each time (eek!), my skin was very stretched out. I lost all of the weight plus an extra 22 pounds through diet and exercise. I exercise 5-6x per week doing (and teaching) high intensity interval training & kettlebell strength classes. I am 5'4" and 122 lbs (with LOTS of muscle) and a size two, but yet I was still super embarrassed to show my stomach. I did Tough Mudder recently and all of these girls (most of them heavier than me) were running around in just shorts and a sports bra, but I was way to embarrassed to do so. I finally did some research into local plastic surgeons. The ps I chose got fantastic, pretty much perfect reviews from others. During my consult, my ps recommended a mini tummy tuck with no lipo. I don't have much, if any, loose skin above my belly button, and I didn't have any fat to lipo (according to my ps, and I agreed).

Day of Surgery: Got lots of wonderful info from the staff and they were very warm and reassuring. Not *too* nervous. Never been under anesthesia before. Surgery only took an hour. Woke up in no pain, just a little nauseous. Took a prescribed anti-nausea med and felt better. Took the Vicodin around the clock like I was told to. Pain was minimal, though getting out of a chair was rough. My appetite was already back by the afternoon.

PO Day 1: Still taking Vicodin around the clock, but feel fine. I feel a little sleepy from the meds but that's it. I hate sleeping on the chair, so I'm going to try the couch tonight.

PO Day 2: Feel better already. A little less painful. Sleeping on the couch propped up was much better. No pain meds today.

PO Day 5: First post-op appt. Got my drain out - OWW! But, I'm glad to have it gone. I'm very swollen, so it's hard to picture the final results. My skin is definitely tight though!

PO Day 7: Every day I feel a little better. Going up and down stairs, sitting up and down, even picking up my three year old doesn't hurt! Stretching my abs, sneezing, or coughing hard still definitely hurts though! Swelling seems a little better today, but I'm reminding myself that it might get worse so that I'm prepared :) I love to exercise, so I'm getting anxious about when I can do that again. My next post-op is in five days, so I'm hoping to learn more then.

PO Day 8 - I am really starting to feel like this...

PO Day 8 - I am really starting to feel like this was all worth it! I hate not being able to work out, but my stomach looks a little better every single day! I also feel less sore each day. I'm in a very good mood about it today :)

12 Days PO - Had my second post-op today. He took...

12 Days PO - Had my second post-op today. He took the tape off of the incision and recommended starting Mederma. He also noted the puffiness at the ends of my incision and said it was too early to tell if it would resolve itself or require a little work. I know that "dog ears" are possible with shorter incisions, so I was not surprised, or worried. It is easily fixed if necessary, and already looks much improved from a week ago. I can start slowly returning to normal activity. At my next appt (three weeks post-op), I will be cleared for all activity! So happy since I've missed working out! I'll start very slowly, no high impact or ab stuff.

PO Day 19: I have been using my elliptical machine...

PO Day 19: I have been using my elliptical machine since PO Day 12. I was allowed to start light exercise that day, and I consider the elliptical to be light exercise. The first couple of days I felt some discomfort when I would use my abs while breathing heavy. That discomfort very suddenly went away on PO Day 14. Very strange, but happy! Slowly weaned myself off of my binder which I was told I no longer needed to wear at my last post op. I still wear it at night for comfort though. I went to a college football game and was out and about all weekend - it felt just fine! Finally doesn't hurt to laugh or cough, but I do think I've learned to hold back, so I don't know how it'd feel to cough really hard. I am going to start back with my workout class tomorrow morning. It's a very intense, difficult class, but I'm going to just not go 100% right away. My next post-op is at PO Day 23, and I'm supposed to be cleared for everything at that point. My incision is looking better and I'm happy with my results so far. I do get some swelling by the end of the day, mostly in the few inches above the incision.

23 Days PO - Had my three week post-op appt today....

23 Days PO - Had my three week post-op appt today. He pulled a couple of stitches that were poking out. Didn't hurt at all. He noted my dog ears and said that 50% of the time they go away on their own, so we'll wait until my 3 month appt to decide if he needs to fix them. I only have minor swelling in the area above my incision, but that will go away slowly. I'm cleared for all exercise provided I resume gradually.

5 Weeks PO: It's been a month and a couple of days...

5 Weeks PO: It's been a month and a couple of days now, and I feel totally back to normal! I have been exercising at normal intensity, including heavy weights and core exercises. Nothing hurts, and I'm getting close to the same fitness I was at before my surgery. I'm happy with my results. There is definitely still some swelling above my incision, but my ps said it could be 3 full months before that's gone. It's not at all noticeable under clothes, so I don't mind too much. At times I feel like the contouring gave me love handles, which I didn't have before. I haven't gained any weight, so I think it's just me being paranoid. I used to have a very straight waist, so now that I have a more defined abdomen, I think I'm confusing curves for fat :) At least I hope so! I still have slight dog ears, but they're getting better and better. Hard to tell if they'll need to be revised, or if they'll just go away.

Dr. Thomas Bartell

He is a fantastic surgeon. The only deductions I gave were because my post-op was VERY rushed. There was no time for any questions. I tend to have quite a few, so I was bummed about that. Hoping for more time in my second post-op. Surgery was quick with very little pain afterward. The staff were so kind and reassuring before my surgery! Couldn't have asked for better!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
1 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 times
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