Tummy Tuck/lipo to Flank and Hernia Repair - Maryland

I've always been self conscious of my tummy...

I've always been self conscious of my tummy but managed to hide it pretty well in clothes. After having two wonderful children, I was left with 2 hernias ( umbililical and epigastric) and it became clear, I needed them repaired. I was able to ignore them for years but since turning 40, they appeared to be getting larger. I completed my first triathlon last August and I was shocked at how I looked in pictures...as I was crossing the finish line and smiling ear to ear...I had this bulging, awful tummy! There I was in the best shape I will ever be in and my tummy looked horrible. After finding out that the hernia repairs were easier to fix during a tummy tuck, I made my decision. I need abdominal surgery anyway and the downtime is the same! I signed up for my next triathalon in may, but this surgery is happening first!

Tomorrow is my big day! I'm nervous but more...

Tomorrow is my big day! I'm nervous but more eager to see how this is going to go. As a nurse, I'm not used to being a patient. I'm the one who is the caregiver, not receiver. I think this will be the worst part, especially for my family. My kids have been told what to expect but we'll see. Went to Target and bought a few new games, puzzles, and crafts for them to work on over the weekend. Stocked up on groceries and plan on lots of crock pot meals. Guess I will eat light today and drink lots of fluids to prevent nausea tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Well...fast forward 2 1/2 weeks and here we are. ...

Well...fast forward 2 1/2 weeks and here we are. I am feeling great about my results and not regretting anything. I will be honest, if I had posted any earlier, I wouldn't have said that. It is true what I've read...the first week is an emotional roller coaster and the second week is a 'what have I done?' feeling. Now, I'm able to walk in the neighborhood for exercise, my swelling is disappearing daily, and my incision looks amazing!
My PS is obviously a fantastic surgeon so that is great. I'm not able to forgive him, tho, for being so unavailable when I was most in need. The first few days were really bad (pain pump not working, not able to eat, scared to death, and constipated). He was totally unhelpful. Crazy but true...he has yet to see me. I won't see him until 4 weeks post op. I can't believe a surgeon wouldn't want to see his patient for an entire month after such involved surgery. I've only seen the nurse.
As far as energy level, it's coming back more each day. I wear my binder still with only small breaks. My abdomen is flatter than its been since my 20's. I tried on my bikini and I felt great...and I'm still swollen! I'm thrilled to think how it'll look in a few months.
It's been a wild experience and it's not over yet...but I feel happy and confident I made the right decision. Worth it!!!!
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Very skilled surgeon. Very happy with results. Problem is, he is very uninvolved after surgery. Never spoke to me or my husband after surgery. I called him twice during the post-op period with problems. Took him more than 6-7 hours to return my calls and he was unable to help me. Won't even see him until I'm 4 weeks post op. Wish his bedside manor was as remarkable as his surgical skills! Guess you can't have it all.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hi mominMD! We had our surgeries on the same day. Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing! Read your post, I'm still sitting around, doing nothing. Hubby travels next week, so I will be back in the swing of things whether it's good or not?.. Hope you get back to feeling like you soon!
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Hi Zoomzoom. It's great to hear from someone who had surgery the same day. Read your post and saw your pics. You look great!!! Made me think I should've done my boobs too. Sounds like we had a similar post op period. I had some serious ups and downs, but I'm finally thru the woods. The pain is no joke! I had flank lipo as well- that pain still kicks my butt. It's bruising like I've never felt. Anyway, took a 20 min walk in the neighborhood yesterday and it felt fabulous. I think that is the key to feeling normal. Gonna try to do more walks this week. Also, the glue that was on my incision has peeled off and I can't believe how great it looks underneath! Did you have glue? It was so gross looking I thought it was what my incision was gonna look like...but wow! I keep showing it to my husband (and he's officially had enough). My confidence in my body increases every day now. It's amazing how all those years I worked out and it never changed my loose tummy. Now, in the span of less than 2 1/2 weeks, my tummy is flat. My body finally looks proportioned! Yahoo!
Good luck w/ your hubby gone. Mine was gone last week...it was rough at first but got easier every day. You'll do great :)
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It's been three weeks for me and I just started on the treadmil but could only do 20mins on level 2. I just didn't want to over do it! I feel much better but at times I stand up but can't stand all the way up straight and i feel sore all over. I think to myself this was not worth it. My friend and I went to the mall and every bikini I tried on my scars hung out in one way or another. Guess I'll stick with a one piece. Just really let down by the whole process and my belly button is a mess! Plus before I'd wear a bikini and now no way. And boy do i miss a bath or relaxin in my hot tub. Oh well! Lesson learned
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Hope you are feeling good. Got my drains out, yahoo. Not feeling that great tho. I'm driving, shopping, and trying to get on w/ life. But, I totally get the 'let-down' feeling I read I might have.
My husband had to travel this week so I am forced to get back to normal function. I feel so disappointed that I'm having a hard time with that! I went to the grocery store, to school, and to basketball and I feel like crap. By the time we got home, I hurt all over. Not just a little...but the kind of pain you can't ignore. I was short tempered w/ my kids and dog. I feel kinda freaked out how long recovery is really taking. I'm not quite 2 weeks post op and I never acknowledged to myself that I would be feeling this bad so far out from surgery. I just want to be me again. Maybe a pudgy tummy wasn't so bad.
Please tell me it gets better! I never had plastic surgery and I'm concerned I never should have. It just hurts and sucks and I don't feel like me.
Thanks for listening. Your posts have been so helpful!
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I had my surgery Feb3 and I still haven't seen the surgeon! Definitely makes you feel like just a paycheck when all these other women are being seen several times by their surgeon b4 we are even seen once!
Nurse told me to put bacitracin on it that neosporin is too hash/strong. Well I need something more. Guess I will call tomorrow but I just hate to and really hate going into that office after how the nurse treated me last time! I made an appt with my primary care dr and tomorrow I'll ask her to look at my belly button and hopefully give me something if not then I'll be off to see the rude nurse! Lol
I'm not feeling like a brand new women! My stomach it tight and swells and my back is swollen and sore from wearing this binder all the time. I've lost like 15lbs but that is bc I got the step throat and couldn't eat or drink for days. Since then I have lost anything I'm starting to gain it back...lol However I can fit into my jeans again even wearing my binder. I'm with you on feeling my worst in the morning.
Good luck getting the drains out by the weekend! It defiantly feels a lot better and makes wearing clothes easier. Are you driving the kids to school yet?
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Well-I'm post op day 6 and I'm feeling pretty good. The pain seems worse in the morning after laying in one position all night. Had a little leakage from my drain insertion site & I'm keeping an eye on that. I want these damn things out!
Went for my post op check and only saw the nurse! Sounds like that's what happened to you, too. It's really hard to believe that any surgeon wouldn't want to see his patient after such a serious procedure. I hate feeling regret, so I won't go that far, but I'm very disappointed with cohens bedside manor. He seems totally disinterested. Like he could care less. Wish I would've checked out a few more docs before choosing him.
Anyway, how are you feeling about your results? Are you feeling lie a brand new woman? I get little waves of seeing some improvement but so far I'm so swollen, I look the exact same...just firmer and more bloated.
Have an appt thurs to get one drain out. Hopefully, the other will stop draining by then too. I want to be drain free by the weekend!
I think you should call if you think belly button is infected. Have you put antbx ointment on it? Who cares about inconveniencing them!
Have a gret day!
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Wow sorry ur having it rough! Really wish ur pain pump would of worked. Are you Feeling any better after a nights sleep? Can't say it gets better I'm two weeks ahead of you and I still haven't seen Dr Cohen since surgery. I have no clue what I should be doing? No advice what so every. Nurse said do whatever you body let's you! Really so I can start ab workouts and back to the gym? Hmm.. Just doesn't seem right! This is frustrating and I feel your pain. They definitely need to step up their follow up care. They only put me in a white binder and never any compression garment! I have no clue if and when to stop wearing this binder. Oh and my belly button looks gross too but I hear a lot of people say that at first so I'm giving it a month to see how it looks. I think mine might be infected but I hate to call dr cohen's office bc they make you feel like your in convincing them! Do you get that feeling? This is definitely not the treatment I expected from the plastic surgeon ranked #1 by Baltimores Magazine. Makes me wonder if that spot is paid for like advertisement! Hang in there I feel your pain and I'm sorry ur feeling this way but it will get better! Just sucks I had to use my primary care dr for after care help.
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Sorry your having ups and downs. I feel the same way that the aftercare provided by Dr. Cohen's office sucks! You don't even see him into almost a month after your surgery. His nurses can be darn right rude and there has been times I've called in the morning bc I've had issues come up and the nurses check their voicemails I guess at the end of the day bc I did not get return calls till like 5:30pm. I do not feel like that good business especially if a patient feels they are having a problem. I've had to go see my primary care dr twice for advice bc of lack of follow up from his office staff.
Glad your husband has stepped up and helped you I'm sure that takes a big burden off you! Hope your recovery gets better! Keep us informed.
Does he have you in just the white binder or are you in a compression garment too?
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Yes! I finally got a call back today after almost 6 hours. Dr Cohen said he couldn't call in a Percocet refill b/c it was such a strong medication. He said he thought I should be ok on Motrin now. At the time, I was alright, but now I'm just in pain and angry. I'm post op day 3! I just had major abdominal surgery and hernias repaired. I know I'm emotional but I feel I am being totally ignored by him. And...I checked out my new belly button and it looks horrible. It is literally a perfect triangle. It looks freakish...it better not be like that permanently.
Wow-it helps to vent these frustrations! I'm sure I'll feel better after a good nights sleep.
Oh! Did I tell you my pain pump is out? It didn't seem to be working at all but then I accidentally clipped the tubing when I was changing my dressing. Some gauze was stuck to the incision so I cut it so it wouldn't pull, but I the pump tubing was caught in there. Whoops! But, I felt no different after so it proved my point that it had never worked to begin with!
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I am thinking about you and anxiously waiting to hear from you:)

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Wow! This has been a wild couple of days. I'm post op day 3 and feeling pretty good right now. The thing is, I have hours of feeling fabulous, then hours of feeling more pain than I thought humanly possible. I am running out of my pain meds and can't go poo, so I called the doc on call. So far, no return call.
That's been an unexpected change as well. My doctor, who seemed very supportive before surgery, is now very uninvolved. He didn't even talk to me after surgery so I called him the next day and it took him all day to call me back. When he did, he was on his car phone and breaking in and out. I thought it was customary for a doc to call and touch base after such a major procedure!
As far as my results, I'm so gassy and bloated, it's hard to see a drastic improvement. I feel like that is why my pain level can get so high! If only my GI track would get back on track!
My family has been wonderful. My husband has been better than I ever dreamt he would be. He's mr. Mom and it's adorable! This is a side of him I rarely see.
That's where I'm at...some good, some bad, some painful, but all in all, it's quite a ride!
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Congratulations you've made it to surgery time! You will do fine! Once it's over you will laugh that you got so nervous!
I had my final drain out yesterday and was cleared to drive. Today 24hrs after last drain out I was cleared to shower! Yay it felt great but as I was trying to wash the shampoo out my hair I started sweating and felt sick like I was going to throw up! I definitely recommend shower chair or stool until ur strength comes back but you have plenty of time to be that. Best of luck I'm thinking about you and praying for you!!
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Welcome!  Your day is almost here and I am very excited for you.  I look forward to following your journey and will be watching for your updates.

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