3 mos PO - Scar treatments, anyone? - TT, Lipo of Flanks - Massachusetts, MA

Have been following this website for awhile,...

Have been following this website for awhile, wasn't going to comment because I don't want anyone to know I did this (don't want the whole judgement thing), but finally decided that since I have been helped so much by your stories I should share mine. I was always thin until I had twins. They weighed well over 6 lbs. each. I lost all the weight in 6 weeks, in fact when I went back to work I weighed 10 lbs. less than before I got pregnant! Great, right? Um...no. I was left with a big overhang of loose skin. Then I had a third child who weighed over 10 lbs. C-sections both times. So I was pretty sure after the twins that no amount of dieting was going to make that skin snap back in place, and in fact my OB/GYN confirmed that surgery was the only answer. This did destroy my will to keep the weight off. I work out regularly though. And I've thought about doing a TT for yrs. So why didn't I? All the usual reasons - fear of dying & leaving my children motherless (and who wants to be remembered as that selfish mom who died doing plastic surgery?), not wanting a scar that looks like somebody tried to saw me in half (although i realize now that a lot of the scars I have seen online were actually soon after surgery & would look better over time, & who am I kidding anyway? I had a c-section scar as well as a red line where my skin folded over itself, I just couldn't see them because my belly was in the way!), guilt about spending so much money on surgery to fix something that is "natural" when there are people starving in the world, not wanting to do something unneccessary that would burden my whole family during recovery (as I had already burdened them with other necessary surgery), etc.

But on the other hand, as the years went by, I just couldn't get over my frustration & depression when I tried to go shopping. I am tired of having to wear dresses with no waist, & pants with lots of stretch in the waist. And every time I try to wear something clingy, I look like a sausage. And you can dress up a sausage with lace, but it still looks like a sausage! I also thought it would motivate me to eat better. And I know a few people have mentioned the braces argument, but I think it is a good one. We've shelled out a lot of $ for braces for our kids, & I wouldn't tell them they can't have braces because people are starving in Africa, or it is "natural" to have crooked teeth.

So probably the one unique thing about me compared to most of you who write is that I am 56 years old. Waaay older than most of you. I was even embarrassed to call for a consult because of my age. But I immediately loved them when the scheduler asked my birthdate & I asked her if I was too old. She laughed (in a kind way) & said no, not at all. At the end of the conversation, she told me I had made her day with my age question. So I knew it would be okay. I did decide to go with that PS since I also loved him & his nurse. they spent as much time as I needed & were very caring. They always returned my calls right away. I can't say enough good things about them.

So now I am almost 4 wks PO. Did I survive? Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! I only wish I had done it earlier. And the whole age thing really didn't matter since I am healthy & fairly fit. I had my surgery in my PS's clinic. He told me I could go to the hospital if I would be more comfortable, but it would cost more because I'd have to stay overnight, & I'd have to have a breathing tube if I did it there but not in his office. Since I had just read an article about diseases you can pick up in a hospital, wanted an easier recovery with less intervention, felt like it was expensive enough already, & his office is just down the street from the hosp if I had a problem, I went for the office procedure.

MY PS wants you up & walking by Day 1 PO. I woke up that morning thinking that they forgot to tell me that they would be taking me outside during the surgery & letting a truck run over me a couple of times. Because that is what I felt like. I got up & promptly threw up. Things you don't want to do after a TT - throw up, cough, sneeze, blow your nose. Although for those of you who want to compare this to a C-section, I think that throwing up after a C-section is worse (I guess I am now an expert on this). Anyway that was a tough day, I was in pain. The nurse called later in the day & when I told her how I felt she said to up the pain meds. Which helped a lot. The next day was better, i couldn't decide if I hurt or itched. So I knew I was healing. But the binder about drove me crazy. I was also allowed to take a shower on Day 2 PO. I used my kids bathroom because they have a built in bench & a hose attachment but I found I could do it standing up by myself. But I did NOT tackle my legs & when I decided to shave them a few days later I did sit down on the bench. That required way more strength than I had. My back was killing me from walking bent over & from sleeping only on my back. I got off the pain meds during the day after almost a week but still took them at night for probably another week so I could sleep through the back pain. I also had the pain pump for the first few days & one drain for a week and a half. i really did not walk fully upright for about 2 wks. And at 2 wks, I gave up the yoga pants & tried on my pre-surgery jeans. They fit, but they were tight. That was kind of a downer. I was hoping I'd lose a ton of weight & drop a size or two. But I have to say that the tight pants look better on me than they did pre-surg. No longer is my gut straining & pulling at the zipper, begging for release. I was more even all around. I am also wearing a tank top & binder which adds to my waist, plus I think I am still swollen some. So I am hoping this will get better. although even now the pants still feel tight.

I did not tell anyone except my husband that I did this. Even my youngest who is still in high school only knows that I had some surgery (I was worried he might ask questions, Hubby said "He won't, he's a guy, he'll be afraid that he might stumble on something female that he doesn't want to know about," & he was right). LOL! I did tell my housecleaners ( a husband & wife) that I was having surgery becuase i needed to change the arrangemnts with them the week of my surgery. When the guy saw me last week, i was wearing jeans & a cardigan sweater, but still he said, "You look like you've lost weight!" I said well, maybe, becase I really haven't lost much of anything & he sid, "Yeah, your face looks thinner." LOL!! so I'll end on that. I'll post pics later.

Tried to post & add pics a couple of days ago &...

Tried to post & add pics a couple of days ago & when I hit submit, it all disappeared. So I'm just going to do pics now, may post later if it works

I am now 6 wks PO & trying to get back to the gym...

I am now 6 wks PO & trying to get back to the gym regularly so I don't just sit around here & eat & gain it all back. I have been to spin class a couple of times. It is not painful but I have to say that I am "aware" of my abs while I am spinning. And I'm not pushing as hard as I used to! But my PS said I can exercise as long as I don't do any core exercise until 3 mos. PO. Just wondering what everyone else is able to do at this point. Seems like you use your core a lot when you do any kind of exercise! (I specifically asked about spinning & he said that was fine). I can't run due to injury but need to work out more. What did you start with when you went back to the gym & how long did it take you before you were back to doing everything you did before?

So I ordered silicone strips recommended by my PS...

So I ordered silicone strips recommended by my PS for scar treatment. I didn't get around to even starting this till after the holidays since it looked too complicated & I was too busy to deal with it. Has anybody else tried these? Do you find the whole thing easier than I do? Basically you need to put these strips on over your scar. You leave them for 12 hours, then wash them & your scar in some special soap you put in a basin (which seems like runny dish soap). Then you let them air dry & put them back on. And you do this every 12 hours for 8-12 weeks!!!! Really!!?! Only the strips stick to each other & themselves. So you can really only handle them when they are very wet. You have one shot at spreading them out to dry while they are wet because if you touch them again you won't get them off your fingers. And the water forms into drops on them so it takes forever for them to dry. But if you pick them up & try to shake them, they will stick to each other & your fingers. If you try to use a blow dryer, even on low, it will blow them onto themselves & you get a sticky mess. And do you really have to wash yourself with this special soap when you are ready to get into the shower anyway? I've only been doing this for a couple of days but already the sticky stuff is picking up skin, hair, etc. & then when it stops working, you get to tape it onto yourself. You get five sets of strips that you have to make last for 8-12 wks.
And did I mention that this whole package cost over $200? Seems like a lot although I guess when you compare it to what I've spent on this already.... Just hope this really works. And I am really glad that I live in New England & did this in Sept. since I won't have to get into a bathing suit anytime soon.
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (21)

Sort by

You look great! I'm up in New England too- I am being reminded how much I hate winter :( it is handy for the surgery and bathing suits.. but i have a cruise at the end of the month.. I was nervous I wouldn't be ready for it.. but knock on wood everything has gone well... as for scar treatment- I just use loads of vitamin E three times a day... I was itching before I started using.. now the area is moisturized and feels better. :) Good luck with the strips.. they do sound complicated.. I had thought about getting them until you just explained what a PITA they are.. lol
  • Reply
Thanks, Tucker! I am at least not itchy, i guess because my tummy is still numb. So maybe that is good. But the scar is so purple, I am hoping it will get whiter. The vitamin E sounds a lot easier!
  • Reply
Just use Vaseline on the scar! It is working really well for me.
  • Reply
Thanks, 1of5! Does it soften the scar or does it also lighten it? Mine is awfully purple right now.
  • Reply
Both. Although I have to be honest and say I always wonder how much scar treatments actually do vs how much is just time. That being said I did notice a difference right away in the beginning in my much smaller drain scar when using the petroleum jelly (Valseline). I stopped using anything for awhile but now that I have been using it again I am seeing a noticeable difference in the lightening of the incision. As I said, however, I am four months out so not sure how much of that would be happening on it's own. When I first started using it I just put my medical tape over it. (It doesn't stick really well but it does stay on.) But now I just do the Vaseline all by itself. It doesn't rub completely into your skin the way lotion does; it's sticky for awhile after. So I wouldn't use it with nice clothes. Good luck!
  • Reply
Thanks! I too wonder how much is time & how much is due to all the different things we try. But the vaseline sure sounds a lot easier than these silicone strips!
  • Reply
You look fantastic!!! Do you mind mentioning who you went to? I live in MA and I'm looking for a second doctor to consult with. My first was very nice but due to him being affiliated with a teaching hospital I couldn't see before and after pictures. He is highly regarded but just want another opinion.
  • Reply
Dr. Christopher Davidson in Wellesley. I liked him & his staff a lot.
  • Reply
Hi U look GREAT!! I wouldnt be able to tell ur age!!! Well, I have been cleared to start exercising I definitely have to start. I just want to stick with a healthy workout plan for the rest of my life!!!
  • Reply
Thanks! Yeah, you & me both! I am trying to avoid the Halloween candy around here & get out.
  • Reply
I just got cleared to walk some miles but not push it too much!! I am swollen and so if I increase swelling from workouts then back off so patience is the key I am getting it I think
  • Reply
Well good luck, it is a frustrating recovery felling like you are going forward & then back all the time. did the PS give you any explanation of why so much swelling? Or is it just a natural process of healing?
  • Reply
We are about the same po I am no where near you and so swollen!! I am sad!! I have been doin too much or something ... Going to dr Monday also had major epigastric hernia and ripped facia ... Hoping that is the swelling reason !! Happy healing!!
  • Reply
Wow you had more done than I did, probably that makes you swell more. I am definitely more swollen later in the day than the morning. My PS says I don't have to wear a binder or CG anymore but I still do for at least part of the day just for the support & to try to keep the swelling down. Good luck on Monday!
  • Reply
You look great!
  • Reply
Thanks! And good luck to you on yours!
  • Reply
You are so right nothing on that body says 52!! Looking good!!
  • Reply
Well my face might give it away lol! But thanks!
  • Reply

Welcome to RealSelf and thank you for sharing your journey:)

  • Reply
What a great post, thanks for sharing. I am 52, and my surgery is in two weeks, and I am excited, and nervous at the same time. More excited I would say. I just paid my balance in full, and moving along full speed ahead.
  • Reply
Best of luck to you! I was a nervous wreck for the last week or so before I did it, couldn't think about anything else. It's not easy but I think you'll be glad you did it - and better late than never!
  • Reply