My Tummy Tuck & Liposuction Journey - Painful but Worth It!

I am a 40 year mother of two children, aged nearly...

I am a 40 year mother of two children, aged nearly 5 and 8. I exercise regularly and keep fairly fit and healthy and although I'm in reasonable shape I realised that I would never lose my loose tummy skin from putting on over 25kgs with each pregnancy and that my only option would be surgery.

I had several consultations with my surgeon (the first over a year prior to surgery) before booking my surgery which was six weeks ago.

Immediately following surgery I honestly felt pretty dreadful ...

Here’s is an entry from my diary for Day Four:

“Sleeping is very uncomfortable … I am basically sleeping “propped up” with two-three pillows behind my head and two pillows under my legs as I can’t stretch out fully. Your muscles really feel like they want to “do something” and start to spasm from lack of use. The form-fitting body suit, although as comfortable as can be, has zips down the sides with dig in to my waist and having the band around the top feels very constricting. I guess as the swelling goes down it will get easier to live with. Speaking of swelling, I have some really significant bruising on my legs from the lipo … and to be honest this is actually sorer at this stage than my tummy tuck wound. My thighs are rock hard from the brusing and this makes sitting anywhere other than a very soft seat, unbearable! I’ve been using oral and external Arnica and hope the swelling goes down soon”

Things They Don’t Tell You …

It hurts to: Laugh, cry, sneeze, cough, go number twos! Anything that uses your stomach muscles hurts!

It’s hard to hide bruising and wounds from your kids. I’m in and out of the shower in a flash as my kids are used to talking to me while I’m in the shower and I don’t want them to see me like this. I also haven’t let them see me in the compression suit. I wonder if they will notice my tummy and what I will say to them.

Sleeping was really uncomfortable and I slept with propped up with a pillow under my legs for the first month.

If you haven’t told a lot of people (as I didn’t) it can be hard to explain your extended absence from your normal activities. Think of excuses before you need them. Time the surgery for a time when you might likely be out of circulation – e.g., school holidays. Make sure you have lots of help for when you get home and plan on having at least a month off normal activities. You may not need this long but if you plan for it then you know what you’re in for. Plan for at least two weeks of very light duties – I spent the first 10 days basically doing nothing except resting. You get tired really easy and that make you feel a bit down if you’re not careful.

I actually thought that I had a fairly high pain threshold until I had this done! It is now six weeks since my surgery and I have no regrets and the pain is definitely lessened drastically. I have been back exercising for a week now and am slowly increasing what I do and am monitoring myself so as not to cause any injury. My tummy and belly button area are numb and I believe they will stay this way for some time from what I have heard. I also sustained significant bruising from my liposuction on my thighs and this still looks and feels bruised and is sore when I run – some people might say that I shouldn’t be running but I have always run and the pain actually lessens as the run goes on. I’m not about to cause myself any injury but I also want to make the most of having had surgery and get myself fit again and in the best shape possible.

If you’re contemplating surgery, my advice would be to choose your surgeon wisely – this will make all the difference to your final result. I was lucky to have such a great surgeon available to me.

Photo Update

Dr Adam Bialostocki

Incredibly patient, professional and above all very good at his job and highly thought-of in the medical community.

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Hi. I'm planning on getting a tummy tuck in the next 6 months. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years, but have not been sure. Reading your story has been really helpful - many thanks! How did you decide on your surgeon? Did you get recommendations from your GP, friends etc? Do I need to go to Auckland for the surgery, as would prefer to go locally if possible, but want a good surgeon. You are obviously v pleased with your choice.
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Your belly button looks like mine does now in these pictures (as far as I can tell). What does it look like now? I'm wondering if mine will eventually open up and look normal looks weird to me...Please look at my pictures and tell me what you think. Thanks!!
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Hi there, no it's covered in 3M Micropore Tape in the last pic. I'm supposed to leave that on for three months. I'm off to Hawaii next week so have been on the sunbed (it's the middle of winter here) and have left the tape on so now I have a big bright white line around my scar! Lol. Anyway, guess that's better than getting it sunburned. I will update my pics soon.
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Did you have laser treatment on the scar?

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You look great I looked just like that too cause I did the lipo in my thighs and it all seemed similar to mine. Except your scar curves downward and into your underwear line. You are very lucky mine is straight across and even comes up like a upside down v in the center and looks strange to me. They did a good job and you have nice results :) good luck.

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KiwiMum, Thank you so much for getting back to me. Yes, I did get your e-mail. You gave me some great advice. I am already trying to set my daughter up by telling her that I am having a surgery soon. I am hoping I get a "mommy helper" out of it. I love the chair in the shower and the "walker" (moving cane on wheeels). Do you have any pics of your surgery that you are willing to share? I understand if no.. Thanks..
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you look great! I never had a tummy tuck (yet) but have had several abdominal operations 4 Endometriosis and was cut across my belly so I know how much cutting those stomach muscles hurt....ouch* anyway glad you are thrilled with the results & am happy very happy 4 u!
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you look wonderful!! I will be 6 weeks post op this Thursday, it's amazing how each week just gets better and better! Your comments are dead on, well done!
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Thanks for your positive feedback. This isn't normally something I would share, but know how I felt after having it done ("what have I DONE to myself?!") and just wanted to share that it does get better!
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You look fabulous!!! I hope my turns out as good. I am sched. for a TT/BA/little lipo on 6-23. Do you have any advice? Like should I get anything to have at home before I do the surgery? Is there anything that you or your surgeon said or did to help your bell button or scar look so good? Any advice from anyone is helpfull. Getting nervous already!! Thanks
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Oops, meant "wouldn't share" not would share!.
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Hi Stay Young. I sent you a rather long-winded email which I hope helps you in your preparation, but here’s an abridged version for those who might be interested. As far as being prepared for surgery ... well, I was physically prepared but not mentally I don't think. It's a little like being a first time mum - no one else can really prepare you for it and everyone experiences are quite different I arranged for a friend to come and stay with me and she did everything for me for the first week. I also borrowed a "walker" - one of those things with wheels on the bottom of it that you can lean on. I found being stooped over incredibly hard on my lower back and the walker helped me heaps. I have heard that some people are standing up straight at 10 days but it honestly took me about 3 weeks before I was completely upright. Even now, at six weeks, to say lay over a Swiss ball would be very uncomfortable for me. I also put a seat in the shower to sit on while I was showering. I use a tape on my wound called Micropore Tape. Its skin coloured and really aids healing and I will use it for 3 months. I definitely think that it’s helped the appearance of my scar. I didn’t get my wound wet until they took the dressing off and put the tape on at two weeks. I wore a compression suit (came up to just below my boobs and below my knees) 24/7 for six weeks and compression "socks" (long socks that came up over my knees) for two weeks. I had two of everything - one in the wash and one on. I had two different suits, one with hooks and zips down the sides that I wore for the first four weeks and them just a plain pull -on one that I wore for a further two weeks. I didn’t drive for four weeks. I read and watch movies and didn’t do much of anything for the first two weeks – I don’t think I even ventured to the end of the driveway! Something else that happened to me, which I don’t know if it is normal or not, but I got really emotional for the first few weeks, really unlike me. Maybe it’s a combination of the general, being tired and being sore. I did spend a bit of time wondering what I’d done to myself (all in the name of vanity) but now it’s all good and I don’t regret having the surgery done at all. The most important decision you make regarding surgery is your surgeon. Mine was just fantastic – down to the little detail of making sure that I still had a mole on my belly button. In my first picture you can see a mole about two inches above my belly button and one just at the bottom of my belly button. He managed to move the top mole very near where the first one had been! I thought he did a really good job on the belly button and since is what people see a lot of if you are in a bikini or something then I think this is fairly important. All the very best with your surgery, just remember to take extra-special care of yourself and get lots of help at home.
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