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Acworthmom's Tummy Tuck Experience 2/10/11 - Marietta, GA

I am a 50 year of mother of two adult daughters....

I am a 50 year of mother of two adult daughters. After gaining 45 lbs. with each of my pregnancies I always had a little pooch and the belly button looked like a frown. The past 3-4 years it seemed to get bigger and more wrinkled and I decided it had to go. I scheduled a consultation 2 years ago and chickened out, so this time I was determined not to deal with this one more day. I believe in growing old gracefully, but as a beach lover I was starting to dread putting on a swimsuit and decided that I really only had one choice. I was absolutely terrified, but now that I am day 11 post op - I know it was the best decision ever!

Wow....I can't believe it has been 5 months...

Wow....I can't believe it has been 5 months since my TT. It has been so full of ups and downs, but I think I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had so many weeks of extreme thightness, trouble breathing, and swelling that I was beginning to think I had made a terrible mistake. At 5 months I'm still not really flat, partly because of my sway back posture, and partly because my abdominal wall is weak from the muscle being separated for so many years. I guess now I will just have to practice holding in my abs and doing some strengthening exercises to try to get it flatter. I guess I thought because I was very small to begin with, that I would end up looking amazingly flat and tones after the surgery, but I guess my expectations were just too high. All in all I am still glad I did it, but I am looking forward to seeing how everything looks at the 1 year mark. I doubt right now my PS would put me at the front of his before and after portfolio. I am posting some new pics now so you can see what I mean.

Okay....so I am adding some pics right now of my...

Okay....so I am adding some pics right now of my belly bulge to show the indention at the vertical scar. See there...... Hopefully, it is a scar tissue issue that will resolve over time and massage. This pic was taken mid day. The scars look purple in the pic, but they really look o.k. in real life. Now if the bulge will just go away!!!

So here I am at almost 8 month post-op and I am...

So here I am at almost 8 month post-op and I am officially changing my worth it rating to NOT WORTH IT! My pre-op appt. is on Friday, and I will have revision surgery on Oct. 13th. Between all the healing issues along with the length of recovery time, followed by who knows what the future holds on my recovery from the revision....it just isn't worth it. I definitely have buyer's remorse!! I feel that if you have a major weight loss issue, then the tummy tuck would surely be a just reward to remove the loose skin after a massive weight loss, but if you are a thin person with loose skin - it just don't seem to be a great option. I know everyone talks about being able to wear a bikini on the beach, but I can spot a tummy tuck from a mile away, and don't believe anyone regardless of the quality of their tummy tuck, can wear a bikini without it being detected. I am sorry to sound so negative, but for those thinking of this surgery, I think it's important to understand that if you're unhappy with the results, it can be devastating, and you can't undo it! If you look at my pics, it appears to be a good tummy tuck, but it started to change at about 3-4 months. Now I am having difficulties with scar tissue, and the muscle loosening up, causing my abdomen to be distended. I measure 2 inches larger in my waist than I did 2 months ago, and that just seems crazy. Anyway, buyer beware, and after my revision I will come back and hopefully change my rating and my opinion of the whole process, but for now, I would would advise anyone considering this surgery to be happy with what you have and not risk your health in hopes of a flatter tummy...just wear a girdle and be done with it.

Just dropping in to give a quick update and post...

Just dropping in to give a quick update and post some pictures of my Tummy tuck revision surgery. My original surgery was Feb. 20, 2011 and 3 days ago I had a revision to remove the vertical scar that had attached to the underlying muscle, and to improve the overall contour to my abdomen. It looked fine in the beginning, but over a few months it began to bulge and had a shelf like deformity above the horizontal scar. It was a combination of fatty tissue, scar tissue, and whatever. My PS did a revision where he pretty much opened up the previous horizontal scar, removed the scar tissue, and additional skin and did Lipo to the abs and flanks. He had to harvest fat to put beneath the old vertical scar to keep it from attaching again. The first 3 days were quite painful from the lipo. It wasn't as bad as the first surgery, because there was no muscle work, and there was not drain, but there is still a significant recovery period. I am going to leave my approval rating at not worth it, even if I end up looking amazing in the end, because it has been a year of pain and uncertainty, and I wish every day I could just go back in time and not have this surgery. It is finally almost over, and I for one will NEVER have another elective surgery. If anyone is facing a revision, I will be glad to help you out in any way I can. Even with the best surgeons, there are still no guarantees as to how each of us will heal or how much improvement we will see in our own individual bodies. I will post some new pics as soon as I have healed, so everyone can see the final results of my revision. Best of luck to everyone.

Hi everyone! I just downloaded new pics 6 weeks...

Hi everyone! I just downloaded new pics 6 weeks after my TT revision surgery. Except for a little swelling above the belly button I think everything is definitely looking much better than before the revision. I know I was a bit negative in m last post, but I was going through so much anxiety about the revison and what my final outcome would be. My revision removed the old vertical scar from my previous belly button, and my ps did lipo in the abs and flanks to get rid of the rounded bulge look. I'm almost to a point where I can say it's worth it, but anyone haveing a tummy tuck should be aware that a fair number of women do have to have some type of revision to get optimal result, and you have to make sure you can accomodate that as far as time off work and additional expenses. My surgeon waived his fee, but I did have to pay an additional $1600 for the operating room and anesthesiologist. I don't believe the doctors so much make mistakes as much as that each of our bodies just respond differently. The main thing is to know your ps's revision policy, so if needed there won't be an issue. It has been 10 months since my original tt and 6 weeks since my revision. It has been a difficult year, but I am glad to have it behind me and be on the road to getting the results I pictured in the first place. I will post more pics in a few months after the swelling has completely gone down. Best of luck to anyone with an upcoming surgery, and thanks to all the girls that have helped me through this.
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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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Just wondering what your thoughts are now three years later? Are you happy?
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You look awesome!
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Great results!
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Hello again. Just letting you know I cancelled my surgery. I am going to go ahead with the mini-facelift but not the TT. I have 7 weeks off next xmas so I will see how I feel at that time. Thanks so much for your honesty about your experience. I do hope you are now happy with your decision. At this time I just don't feel the long recovery is worth me gaining a wrinkle free belly, and of course there is always the risk of a complication. Hope you have a lovely xmas and a great new year.
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Hi Scaredmum! Well, I think you made a good decision based on the fact that you said you weren't totally unhappy with your tummy the way it is now. Why risk it? In clothes I look good, but I don't like the way it looks otherwise, and definitely feel that the past year has been more than I bargained for. I was just telling Cleveland that almost all the ladies I talk to on here that had surgery near the time that I had mine, has had to have some type of revision, or will have to in the future. It would be ashamed to jeopordize your career if in fact you had complications. I would only do it if you are absolutely miserable with the way you look now. Good luck with your mini-facelift, and let me know how it goes.
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Was just looking again at your pictures and think you have finally turned the corner. You look simply perfect now and even though it didn't all go as planned the first time, you were smart enough not to settle for less than what you originally invisioned.
My new revision scar is still pretty dark, but starting to slowly fade. The indentation I had was removed and the annoying spots where the scar opened are gone. I had no idea it would take this long but think once and for all I am going to be happy with my new tummy! Anything else new with you?
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Thanks Cleveland! Well....not quite what I originally envisioned, but better than before the revision. Glad to hear your healing is going well. I went to my ps yesterday, and he seemed to think everything looked good, but I still complain to him that I am having trouble with bulging just above my belly button. He says it's probably just laxiity in the muscle by the end of the day. They seem to have a way to act like they have a good answer, when in fact I don't think they really have a clue. He is going to check it again in 4 weeks and then see if he needs to do anything different. This has definitely been a heck of a year, and I hope we both end up happy with our final result after we heal from the revision. Almost everyone that had surgery near the time that I had mine has had to have some type of revision, yet they say it is rare to have to have a revision. Keep me posted on your progress, and post some new pics when you get a chance.
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Acworthmom...damn you look good! Can I just say you really have come a long way and it really is much more complicated of a surgery than I could ever have imagined, having had a revision done as well. Hopefully by our one year TT anniversary we will both happy we did this! Thanks for the update.
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Thanks Cleveland.....Yes, it has been much more than I bargained for. I changed my rating to worth-it because I felt like I was giving negative vibes to everyone by changing it to not-worth-it, but the truth is....if I knew what I know now, I would not choose a year of this. I just looked at your pics and your revision is amazing. Are you having any swelling? I was really flat right after my revision, but now I am swelling a little above the incision. I was cut hip to hip again, so maybe my healing is a little different. At our one year anniversary we will have to buy a bottle of champagne and have a cyber toast.
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One more thing Cleveland...how funny was I in a swimsuit in my pic with a Christmas tree in the background. I just got tired of taking pics in my panties and yoga pants. For one, I will never...never...never wear a bikini at our neighborhood pool because my next door neighbor is a surgeon, and I know he could take one look at me and tell I had a tummy tuck, then the whole neighborhood would know. Maybe I will get brave enough to wear one at the beach though...who knows.
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Acworthmom, thanks for your update. I am always on the look-out for you. I am STILL deciding whether to have my TT. I had my liver function tests done today and I am going to make the decision based on those. If my levels are within normal range I will have both the TT and mini facelift, if not I am just going to have the facelift. It is such a minor procedure compared to the TT and the complication rate is small. Do you think you could have gone through all this whilst working full time? What I mean is that with your complications would you have still been physically able to hold down a job. I can imagine the emotional side of things would have been terrible for you. I have a gut feeling I will end up with a vertical scar just like you. There just doesn't seem to be enough skin on my belly to pull down. I'm not too bothered about that, I am worried that any complication is going to jeopardise my career and I will have to repeat the whole year again. Financially I am not able to do that. Anyway enough rambling. Once again thanks so much for your update and keep posting.
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Scared mum ~ If I would have been given the option of having a little higher incision versus the vertical scar I have, I would have chosen a little higher incision. There's more issues with having a vertical scar (puckering in, shows in low pants or swimsuit, etc). I'd sure talk to your PS about the options. Also, I think if they remove some of the fat under the skin that's being pulled down, it can stretch down further...Just ask Acworthmom about that one! I'm having a revision soon as well and hoping to eliminate the vertical!
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Scared Mum.....Physically I could have worked a desk job at about 4 weeks because I really didn't have any pain, but since I was having issues with acid reflux and trouble getting deep breaths I don't think I could have been much good to anyone, let alone an employer. I was lucky that I didn't work and could just focus on getting better. My healing seemed amazing at first as I was out shopping the second week, but then I started having problems. I now know that the cause was the fatty tissue underneath the skin that had been pulled down, and it was pressing on my diaphram. After my revision, I have no trouble breathing, and I can eat without getting acid reflux. One big problem I had was intense muslce spasms in my abs, which I still have 10 months later, only much less intense now. It was strange....I would have them the second I would wake up in the morning. My tummy tuck looked great the first few weeks and then it just kind of morphed. The vertical scar does seem to present a problem in a lot of women, but some have it and heal perfect. You know....the whole scar thing has bothered me more than i thought it would. When I look in the mirror I am glad to be rid of the wrinkled belly, but I am not so sure the scar from hip to hip is any better. I'm sure you would do fine with the tummy tuck, but you just have to trust your gut on that one, and be 100% sure that you want it. The thing is....while the actual success rate and satisfaction rate is high, I have talked to a lot of ladies on here that have had to have some type of scar revision within the first year. Just be very clear with your ps about his revision policy, because while you probably won't need it, you sure don't want any surprises. I hope I have helped without terrifying you. Let me know what you decide to do.
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Thanks for your comments room2improve. I did have the revision, and my ps was able to get rid of the vertical scar. Unfortunately, he had to re-open the horizontal scar, which means a bit of a healing process. It has been 5 weeks and it looks pretty good overall. I know my comments seemed a bit negative, but hopefully my feelings will change once I am completely healed. The belly button did take a while, but I used maderma and it seemed to help. Best of luck to you.
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thanks for sharing your story. I think many of us would kill to look like you, but the anxiety, pain, etc. might not have made the results worth it. Your scar is super low, but I'm so sorry the vertical portion was a problem. I declined the vertical b/c I heard healing can be hard, but my scar is very high. I see another poster w/ a vertical who has a low incision scar and her vertical is almost invisible right after surgery, so I was starting to regret my decision. I've got divots that I doubt will ever go away, but I'm happy with things overall. Unlike you, I had more than skin to remove, so I feel better in clothing. It's very nice to see your belly button progress. Yours looks great, and there is hope for those of us earlier in our recovery that the pink circle in the center of our new BBs will eventually diminish!

Keep us posted on how the revision heals. I hope you are rewarded for all the mental and emotional energy you've spent on this experience.
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Hi Acworthmom, I just read your story. I had a TT in April of this year. Soon after, my scar separated and the old belly button came back out, leaving a 3" by 3" open seeping wound and a roll of fat beneath my scar. By August is was pretty much closed, but looks horrid with 2 large hard spots on either side. It seems the area around my waist that was tight and looked good after surgery is now flabby. Not sure why. Have I gained weight? I don't know if it's that or what. I go back to the PS in December to see when I will have my revision. I guess because I had a massive amount of belly fat, I am still glad I did it, but it certainly doesn't turn you into a super model! Not that I was expecting that, but I was hoping for better results. Anyone else out there have the same issues?
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I did look at Soon2banewme's pics and like yours they are sensational. Yes I know what you mean about the commitment and I realise the recovery will be huge. I am having the mini facelift with the TT. I only have a bit of jowling so I will only have a scar in front of the ear and not behind. (I call it a pony-tail friendly) face-lift. LOL. My face bothers me more than my tummy but I thought that if I was going under lets get my tummy fixed at the same time. I do have an umbilical hernia that also needs to be repaired. As I said before I think my problem is I don't want the TT really bad so hence my dilemma. I like you ackworthmom are going to look the same in clothes with our without my TT. I think if I had hanging skin and a bigger belly it would make my decision easier. Anyway, for now I am going to go ahead with both procedures. Please don't feel bad that you have been so honest. I am so very grateful that you have been, and if you had not mentioned the chance of a vertical scar I'm sure my PS would not have mentioned it to me and I could have woken after surgery and thought. "What is this?" And he did say that TT on skinny women is challenging. So I thank you for that as well. This website has been a godsend and it would be silly of me to think that everyone is going to have a great experience when that is just not possible. Once again I thank you for your honesty.
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Thanks SM. I feel bad that I've kind of talked you out of it. Did you look at Soon2banewme's pics? She was also small and had a vertical scar, but had great result and an uneventful recovery. I will say that it is a big committment, and it is a few months of recovery time. I guess what I'm saying is you have to want it really bad, and prepare yourself mentally for the journey. Go to tuckthattummy.com for some great lists and information if you decide to go for it, and look at kimmers information on real self as well. I didn't know you could have a mini facelift - when will you be getting that?
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Just looked at your last pic. I have to say your tummy looks absolutely amazing. I know you have had such a difficult journey and you would never do it again but the end result at least is sensational. I keep looking at my tummy and thinking does it really bother me that much. Hmmmmm, I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I think it would be an easier decision if I hated it. LOL. I will definitely be getting my mini-facelift but I still haven't fully decided on the TT.
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Looking awesome, AC. I like your yoga pants too. Hopefully when all is said & done, you'll think your procedure is at least a little worth it. Maybe not do it all over again, but at least glad that you recovered exceptionally.
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FIFTY years old??? You look incredible! I'm sorry to hear your experience was an unhappy one, though. Hope all is well with you and wishing you a healthy grandbaby :)
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Thanks Hunter! Yea.....50! Sounds so old, but although I think my early 40's were the best - turning 50 has kind of be enlightening!!!! I will save my anxiety about aging until my 60's, and can promise this tummy tuck was my only intervention in the aging process....no more plastic surgery in my future.
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I didn't mean kind of be. LOL.
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I'm sure you will do fine, and of course everyone don't have the vertical scar problem, although I'm glad you were able to ask him about it. It seems he is being very honest with you, and that means a lot. I guess the main thing is to be very clear on his revision policy......just in case, since as he said, the thin ladies are more of a challenge. I will post pics next week. Are you having any liposuction of your abs or just the skin and muscle repair? I couldn't believe at 5'6" and 118lbs. I ended up having to have lipo during the revision to defat the tissue in my abs. He said heavier ladies can have the fatty tissue in front of the abs, but when you are very thin, it causes a bulge underneath the skin after the skin is pulled tight over the muscle. I guess in a crazy way that makes sense. Keep me posted on how you're doing and try to relax.
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You won't believe it. I went to my PS yesterday and asked some questions. He had another look at my tummy and said I might have to have a slight vertical scar is he can't get enough skin down. Well I thought straight away of you acworthmom. He promised me that the scarring would be minimal. I then said, that the scarring wasn't my worry and that I was worried about the scar adhering to my muscle. He said that was rare but there are certain challenges in doing a TT on a thin person. He did say I would get a great result. Oh dear, I still have panic attacks thinking about this surgery. Some days I feel quite calm and others I don't, All part of the journey. I suppose. I can't wait for you to post your pics.
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