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Booked my Mini for May 19th - Missouri

Well, I'm 9 days away from my surgery, and I have...

Well, I'm 9 days away from my surgery, and I have to say, I'm not nervous at all yet. I have a pretty significant amount of loose skin from my two 9 and 10lb babies. I lost all of the baby weight within a year of having them. (They were 16 months apart.) And ever since then, I'm just left with what I call "the bag they came in"!

My skin stretched terribly, and despite my slender figure, I've been wearing loose clothing for 11 years to cover it. (I just turned 30.) Aside from the obvious vanity issue, it's been a major annoyance to have the extra skin always sticking to me, and always trying to tuck it into pants. It's something that bothers me every day of my life. I've finally decided to do something about it as other health issues arise in my life.

I have pretty advanced endometriosis, a condition I'm stuck with until I decide to have a hysterectomy, which is something I won't be considering before 40. I also had to have my gallbladder out because it was being strangled by endo, and unfortunately the doctor made a mistake which almost killed me. I luckily made it through, but it's left me with a low/no fat diet for life. I'm at a point where to improve my quality of life, I need to fix the things that ARE fixable, and this is my final hurdle.

Aside from being able to comfortably dressed without worrying about the skin, I'm most excited to go for a run. Even with the most supportive clothing, having this skin bouncing around makes it impossible to run comfortably for more than a minute. I work out over an hour a day, strictly on the eliptical/weight training/pilates. I really can't wait to change it up.

I'm not out to look like a swimsuit model, I just want to feel good, and learn to love my body again after it's done me wrong.

My doctor is awesome, and really understands the simple results I'm looking for. No lipo or shaping of any kind, just the loose skin snipped. He didn't try to sell me on anything beyond what I'm looking for, and it was easy for me to book with him immediatly after my consult at the end of March.

Well, I've been a bit wordy here, and I know how important photos are, and I will be adding them soon. Updates to follow!


Added photos of my "before". That was HARD to do.

Added photos of my "before". That was HARD to do.

Well, tomorrow is coming fast! I'm pretty nervous,...

Well, tomorrow is coming fast! I'm pretty nervous, and I'm just in this house cleaning frenzy right now. Trying to make sure the kids have everything they need to survive a week of minimal mommy-care. Laundry and all of that. They finish school next week, so this was a crazy time to schedule this, but the only time that worked. I have a 90mile drive to and from my surgeon (anyone else go that far?)so I'm worried about the long ride home. Hopefully my next update will be a good one. I'll take photos as soon as I'm able. My follow up appt is May 25th, so I'm hoping any drains I have will come out then. We'll see.

Well, I'm about 6 hours post-op, and feeling SO...

Well, I'm about 6 hours post-op, and feeling SO releived. I'm uncomfortable, but the worst part was the nausea when I got out. Went on for hours and I could't get out of recovery for hours. Pretty sore now, but managable. Hard to walk, hopefully in a few days I can pick up my pace. Binder is super tight, and I have one drain. I won't see what anything looks like for a few days, but just knowing that huge fold isn't there anymore is enough to get by on until then. Thanks for all of the well wishes, I will post pics in a few days and keep up to date with progress. Luckily I came home to a mailbox full of magazines!

One Day Post-Op, so far so good. Pain is managable...

One Day Post-Op, so far so good. Pain is managable. Itchy under my binder. Hard o get up and down, and sleeping was difficult last night since we don't have a recliner (I slept propped up in bed, which is not a position that is easy to get into or out of!) I keep a little bag of all of my things with me wherever I am, pills; celphone with alarm (to wake me to take the pills)and a little notepad and pen to keep track of when I'm supposed to take my pills and record dranage. I'm trying not to sit for too-long periods to prevent clots, but I may be doing a little too much getting up and down and shuffling around the house. I havn't found the right balance of rest and moving yet. Other than that, still not too bad. I'm just so glad it's done!

3 Days Post-Op: Pretty bloated and swollen. I...

3 Days Post-Op:
Pretty bloated and swollen. I was expecting that though. It's really uncomfortable with the binder being so tight. (After I swelled, I loosened it up about an inch, which is still tight, but now it's not hurting my back and ribs as much. I am still very much walking like an old lady! I don't see that improving for a while. I get up and walk every 1-2 hours. (Which means pacing around my living room and kitchen.) The drain annoys me, as I'm sure it would anyone. I keep checking to make sure it's not slipping out (which is just bored paranoia I think!) I never miss a pain pill, I set my blackberry alarm to my pills schedule. (I actually have a high pain tolerance and was sure I wouldn't need much as far as heavy painkillers, but boy was I wrong! When they start to wear off, I can really feel it. Other than that, so far, so good. Washed my hair over the tub, and made one call to the doc on call to let them know my legs and ankles were very swollen. (I hadn't expected that. She said that's pretty normal and would last a few days.) So tommorow I'm hoping to have a more normal day, maybe a little less sitting in the recliner and a little more keeping busy. I go back to the doc on Wednesday, which will probably be when I get my drain out. All discomfort aside, I can't believe I really finally did this. It's pretty surreal. Still feel like I am going to wake up from a dream. I know I still have a bunch of recovering to do, but it's such a relief already.

As of now, I'm inclined to say that this wasn't...

As of now, I'm inclined to say that this wasn't worth it. It kind of feel like a bad dream I can't wake up from. The pain has been off the charts, and the pain pills started making me sick yesterday so I had to stop taking them. I wound up hyperventilating last night through all the crying and yelling for help, which made my draining blood red again. It's been really awful. Meanwhile, having screwed up my healing last night with my little jag, I don't know if this awful drain will be coming out tomorrow or not. I can hardly fathom the 90 mile drive and coming home with it still in. I'm really questioning why I did this. So I had loose skin, who cared? People have flaws. It's not like this makes me perfect anyway. I had the binder off to adjust things this morning, and I was just completely underwhelmed by my flat belly. I just didn't care. I wasn't excited. It just made me want to cry. It wasn't worth this, not for what I've been through or what I've put my family through the past few days. I feel like I'm never going to feel better. For the few minutes at a time I can stand to move, I'm just pacing the living room like the hunchback of Notre Shame. If there is a light at the tunnel, I feel like seeing this flat belly is just going to remind me of a really bad experience in my life. I hope that feeling goes away. Right now, I just wish I never did this.

Had my drain out today. (Holy SH*T.) Feeling...

Had my drain out today. (Holy SH*T.) Feeling somewhat human again. Saw my incision for the first time (8 days later! It's been covered.) and it's pretty hideous. It's completely uneven, very high, and my belly button is unnaturally low. (like, REALLY low.) Plus it still hangs above the scar! I'm hoping it doesn't stay that way, but I really have minimal swelling today, and I can't imagine it firming up any more. I compared my 8 day out incision to everyone elses on here and mine still looks like a bad before. What gives? I'm pretty worried. There's definatly no hope of a two piece suit in my future, which wasn't the goal anyway, but still. Did anyone else have a major lip over their incision over a week later?

Okay, FINALLY added some after pics. I'm still...

Okay, FINALLY added some after pics. I'm still pretty swollen. I'll be 3 weeks PO tomorrow. The arc of the scar and the new REALLY low belly button (not a fan) do give the illusion of a "gut" from the front, so that's not my fave. Under clothes it's fine though. Flat. The scar is really high on the sides, wasn't expecting that. I was expecting hip to hip, and got low waist to low waist. We'll see how it fades over time. I will never put myself through unnecessary surgery again, so whatever is, will be. I can't wait to start working out again, it's hard not doing that.

Dr. Hawes, Springfield Plastic Surgery Center

I'm really happy with my results. I havn't updated with final photos, but I've come a long way. Dr. Hawes and his staff are amazing. I just had a 6-month visit, where he trimmed off a tiny dog ear on the end of my incision. (Which was quick and painless!)I couldn't be happier. I would recommend Dr. Hawes to anyone. They all seem genuinely happy to be a part of your experience.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (27)

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Could you put up new pictures of your stomach? Just curious to see how it looks now.
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Hi! I'm in the Waynesville area too! The length actually has nothing to do with whether it's a full or a mini (mine's a mini) it has to do with where the loose skin falls from. The difference between full and mini is whether or not they take out the belly button and do muscle work underneath. (I did neither.) You'll definately have a large scar, no matter which you go with. Your chance of infection has nothing to do with the length, it's all about where you go and how well you care for yourself afterward. (Take those antibiotics afterward! They make you feel like hell, but they are your little insurance policy. I considered a medi-spa at the lake, too, but in the end I wanted the big hospital comfort of Springfield. (They were amazing. I HIGHLY recommend them!)
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Quick question, I am in waynesville, mo. and went to Dr. Whang at the lake and want a mini tt. Is that what you had cause your scar is as big as a full tt? Just want the flab gone, w/o a huge scar and scared about pain, and infection.
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Thanks so much for your response. I've had three consultations... two recommended a mini and the last recommended a full. So I've been debating which I should go with. I have a lot of lax skin below my belly button from two pregnancies. I'm in fairly good shape otherwise. Not in perfect shape but I guess who is?? All Drs have recommended lipo but from all that I've read about it I'm leaning towards not doing it. Sounds very painful and hard to recover from.
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Hi! Now that time has passed, I'm SO GLAD I did this. It has been life changing. The hard part is over, and I've been able to move on. Of course, I wouldn't want to do it twice! :) I definately need to update my photos. My "afters" were taken while I was still swollen and mishapen. My current shape is nothing like the one above. I'm really happy with it. Having this experience, I hope you'll let me give you some advice. If you just have slack skin, don't do a full. It's not what you need, and it will change your shape to something unnatural. A mini was quite an experience, but your body forgives you quickly when it's just skin you mess with. Once you go deeper and get into the muscles, you're signing up for something very difficult, with a long and hard recovery. I'm SO GLAD I didn't do a full. I'd probably still be miserable, and likely unhappy with the results since they wouldn't have suited my shape. If you have any questions, ask away. Nothing is too invasive when you're trying to make this decision. I wish you the best!
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So I am debating having a full or mini and researching others' real life experiences. I see one of your posts says that you wouldn't do this again. Do you feel differently now that some time has passed? Thanks for posting your story. This helps others tremendously.
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So sorry to read about your struggles, I hope you are feeling much better today :). I think we all go through some depression, so chalk it up to being totally normal. I am sure you will love the changes to come!
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I am so sorry that you have been dealing with so much pain, and the nausea from the meds. must be awful. I hope your dr can call you in a script for something to counteract the nausea. I know that you will be happy with your results, just give yourself time to recover. There are tons of sites and blogs that discuss the physical changes your body goes through when you embark on a journey like ours but not much about all of the emotional ups and downs you will face. Just know that we are here going through it with you(-:
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Mantragirl, that really helped. :) I'm going to take this one day (one hour!) at a time, and eventually it will be over. I really needed that. I'm really glad I posted that update. Thank you!!
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Hey there..I'm soo sorry you feel this way. Why not go back and read your story of why you did this. Like all moments in life, this moment will end. You will be back to feeling yourself again, soon and that is a fact. Your body is healing and you need to sit back and allow it to. After my first week everyday I felt better, at 2 weeks I was walking around soo much better, 3 weeks walking fast and now today I am 4 weeks post op and feel perfect, even a light jog. It's hard being the mom and feeling like you are not taking care of what you usually do. But taking care of yourself will make you better at everything. I watched movies, read books, relaxed. Now I am back to being supermom and look back at that moment of healing and appreciate it. Take Care, it will be worth it, bottom line is wrinkled skin is gone, feel great about it!! good luck!
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I am so glad your surgery went well. I hope you recover quickly(-:
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Thank you!!!!!
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Today's your big day. Thinking about you and hoping it's relatively smooth sailing!

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Today is your day, sending warm wishes and hopes of a speedy recovery(-:
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Thanks everybody! I'm starting to get nervous. This time tomorrow it'll be all done. I havn't been sleeping well because I keep having bizzarre dreams about it being done.
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Good luck with your surgery tomorrow!
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Awesome, many blessings to you for tomorrow!! I am now 3 weeks post op and it looks awesome!! swelling went down a lot and there is no 'flap' hanging over. You are going to feel fabulous!!!!! remind them to put that scar as low as possible, feel mine could have been lower.
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It sounds like you really have had a rough road (medically) up to this point. I hope this surgery gives you that little boost you need to make you feel like the amazing person you are on the inside. I am a mom of 3 and my first two babies were relatively average (8lb 8oz and 8lb 1oz) but my third was a huge 10lb 13oz. So I can relate to the same problem areas as you. My body was very traumatized from the pregnancy and natural birth of such a huge baby and it took months (actually more like 2 years) for everything to go back to it's final resting place. I feel like a Picasso painting everything looks like it's melting, some spots are uneven and lumpy, I have stretchmarks in places I didn't know could get them, but I still love the me on the inside, I just want to look better on the outside. I get a lot of raised eyebrows and "You don't need surgery." comments but when they say those things I say "You don't have to see me naked." and they shut up pretty quick. I am so happy that you did this for yourself. You will look and feel amazing I am sure, and you will be running (jiggle free) in no time at all(-: Keep us posted on your recovery(-:
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You are going to LOVE your results. Thanks so very much for posting photos. Only a few more days until you get this done.

I just opened up the Mini Tummy Tuck forums, so if you'd like to be the very first one to check in as a May/June/July Mini Tummy Tucker, head over there.

I've also started a Facebook page called Moms Who Want Their Bodies Back where we discuss exercise, diet, plastic surgery, and beauty.

I'll be thinking about you on the 19th!

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Hey - My belly button seems fine. I told my PS I didn't want a new 'donut' shaped belly button, the fact is I had three kids in 4 years won't be perfect! I am still swollen and seems like the belly button is changing as the swelling decreases. I think time will tell. I have a little bit of saggy skin on top that of course didnt' go away. But the trade off for hoping to bend down at the waist to pick things up vs. bending at the knees so my skin doesn't hang out is good enough for me. I will post some pics this weekend. I agree doing this for ourselves, I don't need approval from people and didn't tell so I wouldn't have to explain myself. And that is OK!! FYI for me, 2 days after was super flat and firm, one week started to swell.. know that we have to swell for our body to heal! ~blessings~
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Thanks!! Like I said, still wrinkly when I bend but I knew that going into it without getting a full and removing ALL the damaged skin.........I feel the same way as you, only a handful know because I totally got the "your crazy" and "vain", also i've gotten the "shallow" one too, which really ticked me off!! yep, it's especially tough i think when you are a thin person and have lost all your weight and there is nothing else you can do, it feels hopeless, working out just made me mad because of the "roll" that was never going to leave anyways......I love what you said about being miserable for other people's approval, glad you finally are doing this for yourself and not for others, i couldn't take it anymore and couldn't imagine waiting 10 years like some people suggested...why wait? You will look awesome awesome awesome and will be so happy!!! I love your skirt by the way, those are my favorite skirts to wear ;)!!!
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Thanks! Ashley, you look fantastic! I've been following your review. I know EXACTLY what you mean with hearing people tell you that you look so thin. I've only told a few people that I'm doing this, and anyone who hasn't seen what I've been hiding usually has a "your crazy! Your perfect! How vain are you?!" kind of response. This is just something people don't understand unless they've been through it. That's one of the biggest reasons I've kept it for over a decade. Now I've realized I can't be miserable just so that other people can nod in approval. So ridiculous!
You look like your doing really well, I hope mine goes as reat as yours!
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Wow congrats, I think you will have great results!! Your before pics look very much like me (if you look at my pics it was way worse in person)......especially the first where you have it "tucked in", I would get compliments all the time on how thin I was, all the while thinking in my head "yeah you haven't seen me naked, I just hide it well"!! I can't wait to see your results, I had mine done on May 5th and I do notice that when I bend the skin is still wrinkly but I DO NOT care as long as that flap is gone I am going to rock a bikini, like you, I wasn't looking to be perfect, just to have the comfort of not having a jiggly flap to "tuck in".....good luck I seriously can't wait to see your results!!
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P.S. I love your diagram LOL!!
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Good luck with your surgery!
I am sure it will go smoothly.
Keep us posted
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