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!

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Hey Nana...I just sent you a private message.
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Hi AC- I know I've read your bio before but I can't believe I haven't commented yet. You look so awesome--You have the skin of a 20 year old. I'm jealous. The breathing issue only came up right after surgery for me, until last week when my massage therapist started working on my stomach trying to release some tension. Oh my gosh--I had to have her stop just so I could get some air. She must have done some good though, cuz yesterday she worked on them again & I had no problems.

If you are still having issues with reflux, try DGL (deglycerized licorice root). My husband has issues with it & I buy his DGL at the Vitamin Shoppe. The chewable capsules are German Chocolate Cake flavored. I accidently bought the sugar-free ones last time, and he said they tasted horrible, so go with the regular ones.
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Thanks Nana! Yea, I was worried about how my 50 year old skin would stretch enough for this to actually work. The breathing was definitely scary. About 2 weeks ago it finally started to loosen up, which helped the acid reflux and made it where I could start wearing regular bras again. I started to worry that it was going to be a long term issue. According to my PS it was because of my small frame. I'm still a bit tight through my ribs, but feel sooooo much better. I will try the DGL! Thanks for your advise. I looked at your pics and you look amazing. Not bad for us wiser, more mature girls huh?

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.

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You look awesome!!! More like 20 than 50! You do look totally flat from the side - I don't see it sticking out! I also had the restricted breathing thing for the first 6 weeks & it was so scary & made me regret it then. I am so happy now. I am still puffy, but not bad at all at over 3 months post op.
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Thanks Madison! Well, I'm not bulging quite as much as a couple of weeks ago, as I have started strengthing my muscle a bit. I was flat until about 4 months and then as everything started to loosen up a bit and I guess my abdominal muscles just weren't tight enough at my age to hold it all in, so toward the end of the day I would just let it all hang out there. On the bright side, I ate a normal size meal last night without feeling too full. It really is just a matter of patience with this surgery for sure. As you know....the breathing was flippin scary, so after that I can deal with everything else. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks are like. You look really great, and to think you are not even past the swelling stage. Just imagine what you have to look forward to.
I actually had the one and only panic attack I've ever had the week before my surgery. I thought I was having a heart attack. It was the week of all the snow, and the surgeons office called to tell me what to do if the surgery had to be re-scheduled. I got lucky and the weather held out, but I freaked out. My favorite drug during this whole thing was the muscle relaxer. I have been plagued with muscle spasms every morning because my muscle preferred not to be put back together, and the muscle relaxers have been a life saver. Do you have someone with a strong stomach that will be able to handle your drains for you the first couple of day? My husband surprised me with how good he did with this. I would not do that for anyone. LOL. My daughter came in while he was empyting my drain, and she said "Now that's Love!" Don't worry, you really will do fine. Just get all your supplies set up and then try not to worry. I will tell you something funny though....I wore my husbands underwear with my drains because mine were too tight....funny stuff!
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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!!!

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High Nana. My PS calls it tethering, and it is just where the scar tissue attaches to the underlying muscle. I kind of feel a buzzing feeling around mine, like little muscle spasms. Mine sinks in in the middle of the scar, especially when I sit down. I did post a question to the Dr.'s on here like you suggested, and you can look at my answers I got from them. Also, you can look at Mom2four as she is having the same issue. Hopefully your's won't be that, but if it is, I think you have to be at least 6 months post op to get it fixed. If it continues to get worse as mine did, maybe you could get your ps to see you sooner. I really looked perfectly normal the first few months and then I guess this happened in the healing process.
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Thanks AC. I'll be 6 months Oct. 5. I'll check out your questions.
AC, I may have the same issue as you in my TT scar. Right in center is big knot that is more noticeable when sitting down. I also wonder if this is part of the reason I get really tight when driving. Don't go to ps though until mid October.
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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.

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Thinking of you and hoping you are recovering well from your revision. Looking forward to an update!
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I just looked at your pics on the Q&A to the Drs. I see what you mean. I could not see that in the photos here. Again, good luck & can't wait until you are on the recovery end!
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I think you look awesome - your side view is beautiful & flatter than mine! I also have been eating too much. Your front view looks beautiful as well. But, you have to be the one who is happy with your results. I totally understand.

I agree, the not breathing part was the worst part of this whole procedure in my opinion. I am also small - 5'3" & around 110 - 115 lbs. I really panicked with the not breathing part. That was way worse than any pain (which wasn't bad at all - thanks to meds!) Thankfully, it is back to normal now - I will be 6 months post op in a week.

I am very happy with my results, I am not perfectly flat, but I also noticed that even teenagers on the beach who have never had kids had a little pooch. They still looked beautiful. I do not regret my decision at all. I was in great shape before tt, just had loose skin & some muscle separation.

What are you getting revised? The dent & the bulging muscles? Good luck & let us know how it goes.
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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.

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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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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.

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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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