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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Comments (23)

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Hello, did you have any muscle repair done?
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I have an appt with your PS in a couple days. Thanks for posting this I was really glad to find someone who has been to a PS I am going for a consult for. How many PS did u consult before you choose yr PS??
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Checking back to see your progress. I finally went for a consult and he said absolutely NO to the full TT. Also doesn't want to do lipo. Which concerns me as I would like a flat tummy out of this. You look great!
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Hello, could u Plz post a current pic of ur scar.i wanna see how much obvious it the scar after surgery pics look so obvious to me? I wanna get a mini tuck done but dunno how will da scar look.thnks in advance:)
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I added some new pics :) The scar is still very red, but that's totally normal. I've had melanoma, so I have quite a few scars from that. They do flatten out and turn skin-colored eventually, but it can take months to a full year. Plastic surgeons definitely give you better scars than other doctors (I can say that from experience!).
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Thanks. That is why o was worried about did your lower bulge after eating before? That's what mine does now. I had a consult but it was 3 years ago my daughter was just almost 2 and so i decided to wait and I just keep thinking I want to do it but I chicken out cause I'm afraid of dvt -blood clots, etc. Thanks for all your info. U look great. I'm thinking about going for another consult soon. I need to pull the trigger!
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U look great! Thanks for posting new pics. I need to get my nerve up to go through with this. I afraid of two things 1. Anesthesia and PE 2. That I won't b happy with the results. I have same issues as u and I don't think a full tummy tuck would work for me as then I would have a large and high scar--hence the Mini. But, I do worry that I would then have upper an bulge. I don't now--my tummy gets big on bottom after eating etc but o have read posts where it switches to the top after a mini. What to do??
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I was very nervous about the anesthesia - I had never been under before! I went from talking to the nurses to totally out, and I woke up a little groggy and nauseous. I took my anti-nausea pill and felt better shortly. I was a *little* worried about the upper ab bulge that I had read about, but my diastasis wasn't very bad, so my abs are holding my guts in just fine :) I could take a photo after eating (probably won't be very flattering!), but my upper abs don't bulge then either. Have you had any consultations yet?
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MomofthreeZ - I am very happy with the results :) My tummy is definitely flat! I still have some minor swelling right above the incision, but my ps said that is the last of the swelling to subside, and it may be a few more weeks to totally disappear. I can already tell my tummy will be very flat though. I still have some laxity in my upper abdomen when I bend at a 90 degree angle, but it's not that bad, and I knew that wouldn't change with a mini. My concern was the wrinkles and bad laxity below my bb. That is definitely fixed and doesn't even wrinkle when I sit down! The diastasis below my bb was less than one inch, and I have no bulging in my upper abs, so if I have any diastasis up there, it's minimal. I do have some dog ears that he said we will wait on until my 3 month appt. He said it's 50/50 whether they'll resolve on their own, but that it's an easy fix if they don't. I will try to take some pics tomorrow morning and post :)
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Are you happy with the results? Do u feel your tummy looks flat? Love to see current pics.
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I honestly don't eat any particular way. I *try* to choose healthy items, but I certainly indulge too. As for kettlebells, it depends on the exercise. I use 12k's for double snatches (16's if I'm going heavy & fewer reps), 20's or 24's for double cleans, 12's for true renegade rows, 16's (20's for fewer reps) for back presses & push presses. I typically max out at 24's for Turkish Get-ups. There are many more exercises we do, so it all depends. The kettlebells at my gym are in kilos, so 12k's = 26lbs, 16k's = 35lbs, 20's = 44lbs, 24's = 53lbs, etc. We also utilize a lot of bodyweight exercises, ie - pushups (many kinds - Hindu, divebombers, plyometric, etc), body rows, pullups.
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*Oh, and all of those exercises use two kettlebells, so the weight is per arm.
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this is crazy!!! 53 lb??? wow
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what do you eat? and kettlebells> how heavy are we talking about
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Sorry you're still sore, lovinmylife! I'm really happy with my progress so far. I'm anxious for the day when I stop swelling up after exercise and activity, but I'm sure it'll come soon! Thanks, TinaMatheson! Honestly, I don't focus a ton on my abs. I use heavy kettlebells during the classes I take & teach. Women are often afraid of using heavy weights because they think they'll get "bulky." It's so not true. Unless you're really training for bodybuilding, it's just not going to happen. The women I know who lift heavy are very tone and fit, but definitely not bulky. Heavy lifting requires you to use your core, so almost every exercise I do uses my core to some extent. With my post-op swelling, I haven't been able to see my abs as well and it's making me a little sad :/
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That's so good your feeling good. I'm post op day 23 and I still am so sore. I went back to work yesterday and it about killed me after an hour of work. I wish I was where you are at. Your tummy looks great!
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Thanks, Angel1981! I initially lost the weight and got in shape before I made the decision to get a mini tt, but I'm so glad I did because I think my outcome is much better and my recovery much faster than if I was a little overweight or not fit. My diastasis was less than one inch and I had nothing to lipo, so I think that made for a much quicker recovery. Sunnyalex - "dog ears" are puffy areas of skin at the ends of the incision because of the skin being brought together there. If the incision is too short, dog ears can develop, but they are very easily fixed later. The puffiness at the ends of my incision have already gone down, so they may go away totally on their own.
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Same here! My recovery was so easy, I was up the next day and back to light exercising by the following week. I didnt need lipo either...I barely had enough skin for the mini. I am glad you like the outcome.
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whats dog ears?
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Very nice, and you look great. You did exactly what I did...lost as much weight as you could beforehand. Nicely done and you are going to look amazing!
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MomofthreeZ - My tummy looks a ton better bending over! I can try to post a pic soon (I get more swelling as the day goes on, so I prefer to take pictures in the morning). I noticed a few vertical lines/wrinkles when I bend over at a full 90 degrees. After poking around this site awhile, I noticed a few docs say that this is normal while the skin is readhering and contracting in the first several weeks. If they go away totally or partially, awesome! If not, I'm still super happy with the improvement! I know full tummy tucks give better results, but I didn't have enough loose skin for one.
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U look good. How do u feel it looks when u bend over? That's what drives me crazy the most. I want to get my nerve up for a mini tt so bad but I'm a scaredy cat and also my husband not crazy about the idea.
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Welcome to the community.  

You are looking good so just hang in there and soon you will be back to normal.  

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