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Going to do this for myself!

I am a 32 yr old married mother of an 10 yr old. ...

I am a 32 yr old married mother of an 10 yr old. I never remember having a flat stomach...EVER. I am 5'2 about 175lbs. My son was not a small baby coming in at just under 10 lbs & 22", which is a third of my height. I have an ultrasound pic with his foot by his eye, he was completely bent in half! Needless to say the pregnancy did a number on my already not flat tummy. I run 3 or 4 times a week and watch what I eat but just can't seem to take any weight off. My husband lost close to 50lbs in the last year and I feel like a disgusting slob next to him! I have an amazing husband who loves me just the way I am but I hate my stomach! He is constantly telling me I am beautiful but it doesn't make me feel any better about myself! Since he lost weight my flabby stomach has really become a problem for ME. It is constantly bothering me! I don't shop because its depressing and I avoid cameras like the plague! My son loves to swim but I refuse to go with him because it would require me to wear a bathing suit! I'm done with feeling ashamed and hiding! Enough of my life has passed by while I "hide" on the sidelines! I have done lots of research and have scheduled a consultation with two PS in Madison for next week! Hoping to schedule surgery for sometime in September! Fingers crossed that I am a good candidate! I am starting this journey for ME and with the support of my husband I am hoping to make it to the flat side!

First consult this morning

Did my first consult with Dr. Bartell today. He seems nice as does his office staff. Had lots of before & after photos and explained the process and procedure to my satisfaction. I am not one to ask lots of questions as I do alot of research before so I go in armed with lots of information. Gave me cost of $8300 for the surgery which includes everything pre/post op. Would need full TT with lipo of upper abs, flanks & hips. Only negative was that the appointment went very fast and seemed rushed, was really only with the doc for about 10 minutes but I didn't have any questions. I have another consult scheduled for Thursday with a different Madison area doctor so I will see what he asks/does during the consult before I make any decisions.

Second consult finished and I've made up my mind!

Felt much more comfortable with the second doctor. Dr. Hamacher and staff were very informative and friendly! He gave me lots of information and then took me to see Terry his surgery coordinator. She was great! Lots of info given with a smile! This actually felt like a doctor appointment rather than the meeting I had with the previous doctor. I didn't feel rushed and the doctor was NOT in a hurry! He happily sat and talked about the surgery & recovery for much longer than the first consult! This was a no brainer! I've already put the request in to take off of work and have a date that he is available in early September. Once my time off request is approved I will be putting down my deposit and will start operation lose as much weight as possibly (in a healthy way) prior to surgery! Another thing I like about this doc was that he was honest, said the more weight I lose the better my results will be but that either way I may still have to come back for a little lipo in a few months just because he doesn't want to damage the blood supply and do too much lipo during the initial surgery. I'd rather know that going in than be told I will be in a two piece bathing suit shortly after surgery (which the first doctor told me multiple times) and be disappointed. Super excited to be one step closer to the flat side!!!

Now I wait

Time off request has been approved!!! Scheduled my surgery for Sept 6th and paid my deposit! Its Official, I will be crossing over to the flat side. Now the waiting begins...

Trying to keep my mind off of the surgery

Only 17 more days until surgery! I am super excited to get rid of this belly and finally be able to take my clothes off and not feel like I have to hide from my husband! I think he is excited but very nervous since he can't stand seeing me in pain. I think we will both be happy when its all behind us! I do have my days though that I second guess my choice to do this! I feel guilty about spending the money and can't believe I am actually going to do this! Never in a million years did I think I was someone who would have plastic surgery! Most days I am very excited but the negative days seems to be coming more often as the surgery gets closer! My husband is the only person who knows I am going to have surgery and he is extremely supportive. My family is VERY opinionated (which is a lot of the reason for my self esteem issues) and I just don't want to hear what they have to say! Working through the bad days and trying to remember that I am doing this for me and only me...and that it is OK to do something just for myself!

OMG...almost there!

Just about one week left before surgery! Can't believe its almost time!! Four more days of work plus a four day weekend and then my day will have arrived! A little nervous but not anywhere as nervous as my hubby. Been crazy with work and getting the family ready for school to start next week. Have some basic supplies and am hoping to pick up everything else I will need over the weekend. Just want the next week to fly by so I can begin my recovery and so my mind can stop coming up with horrible things that could go wrong during surgery.

I made it!

Had my surgery about 14 hours ago and I feel amazingly well! Not anywhere near as much pain as I was expecting. Arrived at the clinic this morning and went through all the usually stuff. Had an IV put in my hand and the doc marked up my belly with the infamous purple marker plus took the dreaded pre op photos! They did put antibiotics in my IV I guess for a jump start. :o) The nurses measured me for compression socks that go almost all the way up my thigh. Not comfy at first but I love them now! Once in the operating room I was out in less than 5 minutes and don't remember a thing until I woke up in recovery. Recovery room was slightly different than anything I had seen before. About 5 recliners lined the outside of the room and had curtains that gave privacy. Once it was time to go they put in a wheelchair, we picked up my husband in the waiting area and headed for the car. I started getting nauseous once we were moving in the wheelchair. They pulled over and gave me one ondansetron and feeling vanished almost immediately. When we got to my car and they started to help me up I passed out! Turned into a ragdoll and went down for the count. Thank God the nurse was behind me with her arms under mine. Again no memory until another nurse arrived with smelling salts, which are horribly smelling but had me awake in no time! I was laying in my husbands lap in the parking lot! Great for the confidence! Nurses said that was a first for them! Once home my wonderful hubby drove right onto the yard and literally parked at the front door so I wouldn't have to walk far. When it was time to take my first walk and bathroom break I again passed out! This time my husband caught me. Decided to take the pain pills after walking & going to the bathroom to see if that helped. I also think I was slightly dehydrated but I have gone walking every two hours since then and have not had any issues. Other than passing out this day has been way easier than expected. There is a constant ache in my belly region which is similar to what you feel after doing a hard ab workout. Not bad at all, maybe about a 3 or 4 at its worst. When I get to walk is when I feel the incision and that hurts much more but still only a 6 at its worst. There is a little leaking around the lipo sights but I only have one drain instead of two. Thank God! Tried to add a photo but it won't work so will try again tomorrow. Thus far this is so totally worth it and I have not even seen myself yet with out all the padding, gauze and binder. Go back to the doc for my first post op appointment tomorrow morning and will get to see my new belly then! Can't wait! :o) Will try to get photos and post tomorrow! Writing this has sucked all of my energy so I'm going to take a nap!

A few pics

More pics

Sore today but slowly moving around a little better. Horrible caffeine headache has been my biggest problem today. Finally gave in and had some coffee. All in all feeling really good and new tummy looks pretty good!

Good and Bad news

Had another post op appointment this morning. What an exhausting experience!! Took forever to get there because of traffic! Bad news is they said I have to keep my drain in until Thursday! :o( I hate that thing and I really wanted to take a shower today!! The numbers were low enough but what was coming out was still too dark in color so they want me to wait until Thursday. Nurse said sorry but its better than taking it too early and having to come in everyday to have fluid drained with a needle. I wasn't happy but agreed with that statement! Good news is I finally went to the bathroom this morning. Never thought I would be so excited to do that! Feeling much better without the cramping! Overall I feel pretty great! Getting around better but everything makes me tired. Just getting up to brush my teeth make me want to sleep. Have not taken a prescribed pain pill since Sunday (had surgery on Friday) I think it was Sunday anyway. The pain really is very minimal! Pain from the lipo is by far the worst. Don't really notice the incision except where the drain is coming out. I do look like I got hit by a truck though, the bruising is really bad!! Still don't have much of an appetite. Usually being reminded to eat by my husband because I'm just no that hungry. Try to get down two protein shakes a day and eat a spinach salad and some toast throughout the day. I have not been on a scale but my face looks like I may have lost some weight but I'm just not hungry. I'm sure my appetite will come back full force soon so I'm not worried about it. Sending well wishes to those recovering and good luck to those yet to cross over to flat side.

It's a great day today

Had my drains removed...not fun! Feel much better without the drain and I get to take a shower! Pretty tired from the doctor visit since everything is still exhausting so I'm going to wait until this afternoon to attempt the shower. Plus I'm alone and don't think its a great idea to be alone for the first shower! Feel pretty good overall, moving around a little better but still pretty slow. Think the results are amazing and its not even been a full week. Thank you Dr Hamacher! You are an amazing surgeon!

HI HO HI HO It's off to work I go!

I went back to work a few days ago and its going pretty good. I have a desk job and can avoid much walking and all lifting when necessary. I'm not as tired as I thought I would be and I feel like the moving around is actually helping with the recovery. When I was home last week I was being really careful and having my family do everything for me. Going back to work has forced me to get up and bend/walk and just move in general more often and seems to be helping the skin and muscles to relax and not feel painfully tight. I'm not by any means pushing it or back to normal but I fell like I have made some major jumps in the recovery since going back to work. Standing straighter and feeling stronger every day! Going to get my stitches out in two days and the bruising has gone down considerable. Swelling is bad at the end of the day but it's all totally worth it! Added a few new pics!

One month after surgery

I feel great and have never had second thoughts about the surgery. Totally worth it!! My stomach muscles are still a bit tender and I need to use my arms more than my abs to sit up same as after my c section. Also not doing much lifting or exercise except walking. Other than that I am totally back to my normal life.
Dr. Hamacher

Had a wonderful experience so far with Dr. Hamacher. All of the nurses and staff were wonderful. Everything was explained in great detail to both me and my husband. Dr. Hamacher is very friendly and easy to talk to. He doesn't talk down to you like some doctors and has lots of patience when it comes to questions. I have my first post op appointment tomorrow morning and I will get to see my new tummy then so will update on Dr. Hamacher skills once I have seen the results. Dr. Hamacher was great again today! Answered all of our questions and had some helpful tips for moving around. Oh and my stomach looks AMAZING!!!

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (37)

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You look awesome! :)
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THat is a fantastic result. You bet your hubby is pleased!!
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You look great! :)
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Looking brilliant x
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I am at 8 weeks, I had my abdominal Wall repaired and a tummy tuck. I see you are not wearing your binder anymore - what are you wearing to keep your stomach and everything healing ok? I am still wearing my binder and love it, but it is very thick and you can't tell that I had any surgery yet. I would love to move to something else. I do understand when you say, when the drains came out, boy did it hurt - YES IT DID!
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I didn't have any muscle repair just TT and lipo. I was told at about 1 week by my PS that I could switch to stage 2 type garment. I owned it before I had surgery so I don't remember where I got it. It's just a generic Spanx tank top. It is meant to smooth out rolls and make you look better in clothing. It is really tight and provides plenty of pressure but is much more comfortable than the binder. You should be able to find something at most stores. Target / Kohls / JC Penneys Good Luck!!
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U Look amazing. Your scar looks really good too. It doesn't look raised or thick.
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Thank you!
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Lookin' good!!
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Thanks!
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You look great!! just think what you'll look like 6 mos from now! It will keep getting better & better! Happy to hear you're having a great day!! :)
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You look wonderful for 6 days post op. I just hope when I have my tt done on tues that the end results are my apron being gone and a good operation ...stress free and quick and healthy.
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Wow, that looks really good!!! Did the drains hurt coming out?
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It gets better every day! The sight of my drains after the 1st 3-4 days made me feel sick. I had them for 9 days. I was about to have a meltdown in my PS's office when he said I was getting them out. That sent me into another world! I felt like I had turned another corner. I was able to shower the day after my surgery but there was NO energy so I waited for 2 more days. There was still no energy, but I HAD to do it. I sat in the chair and my daughter washed my hair with he bathing suit on and the other one put lotion on my arms, legs and feet. The lipo bruising was absolutely HORRIFIC but Arnica really helped. Good luck to you and welcome to the flat side :)
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Oh looking at your results so far I cant wait. You look great. Thank you for sharing:)
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You look great!!! I'm hoping you have a painless recovery! I'm next week ! Yikes!!
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Thanks for sharing. Please keep posting. I want to see the fantastic look that you will have (cause I hope to achieve it next year, too).
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Looks good!
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im glad you made it out ok!!!! remember that every day it gets better and you will be up and around before you know it. try to keep friends and family around if you can because I got a little lonely and it messed me a little bit. plus its nice to have people around to help you. I cant wait to see you pictures!!!
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Yeah! I had mine Sept 5. Feeling really sore and helpless but hope it will all be worth it in the end! Happy healing!
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So happy for you. Sending prayers for a speedy healing.
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Great to hear your feeling so good . Can't wait to see your pic! Congratulations, Time to heal:)
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Thanks for the update. Be good to yourself!
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Good luck GF!!!! I am anxious to hear how everything went. You story is very similar to mine. I will be crossing over Friday the 13th!!
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Good luck to you! How exciting. :)
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