This site helped me SO much when I began the...
This site helped me SO much when I began the research process. Because of that, I figured I'd write a review and hopefully be able to help someone else out, especially since there aren’t a tremendous amount of skin only tummy tucks out there.
A little back story--my senior year of high school, I gained a tremendous amount of weight. I’ve lost the weight very slowly through moderate diet and exercise. It took me 3-4 years to lose 50 lbs and I still plan to lose a little more. However, with the weight loss came loose skin. I’m 5’9” and my highest weight was approximately 240 lbs. Currently, I weigh about 190 lbs. Because I’m fairly tall and have a long torso, I was able to hide my loose skin fairly well under clothes, but it made me dread summertime because there’s no way I could hide it, even in a one-piece swim suit.
I've pretty much known since I started losing weight that my stomach wouldn't ever return to "normal" because that was where I carried most of my weight. As I lost more and more weight, my skin got looser and just never would tighten up. For a while, I was almost afraid to lose anymore, because the loose skin was so bothersome to me. I was so embarrassed and actually wore compression garments for years to hide my loose skin. It was discouraging because I'm young and I was afraid I would have to carry around this burden my whole life. Granted, loose skin isn't the worst thing in the world and I really am grateful to be healthy, but my loose skin really took a toll on my self-esteem. I just wanted to look and feel my age.
After researching for over a year, I finally gathered up the nerve to make a few appointments with a few different plastic surgeons in my area. Dr. Wendel was the first doctor I saw, and after speaking with him I knew he was the doctor I wanted for my procedure. He completely put me at ease and I never felt embarrassed like I thought I would. He has a terrific bedside manner! His staff is amazingly helpful as well. Dr. Wendel listened to all of my concerns and questions, and ultimately we decided on a tummy tuck with liposuction and no muscle repair. Because I've never had a child, he felt the muscle repair was unnecessary. I was so glad he was in favor of that, because that was something I was very interested in before I even met with him.
Day 1 (1/30/14): My surgery went very smoothly and I was alert and walking around very shortly after. My surgeon even commented that I didn’t even look like I’d had surgery. I had a couple bouts of nausea and lightheadedness (especially when adjusting the binder) throughout the day, but nothing too bad. The pain isn’t as bad as I thought it would be either. I have a lot of soreness and bruising along my sides, which I’m assuming is from the liposuction, but it is easily managed.
Day 4 Update
The swelling is starting to get noticeably better, and my pain is also better. I still have a lot of soreness from the lipo. I think out of everything, the lipo hurts the worst.
I had my first follow-up today and he said everything looked great! He said I did a good job with the weight loss, as most of what he ended up removing was skin. He did remove about a liter of fat though.
I'm having a lot of pain with the drain on my left side. It's also the side that swells more and has more fluid output. I only seem to have pain when I'm changing positions (either sitting to standing or laying down to standing). It's really intense and right around where the drain is. The nurse suspected that my drain is sitting on a nerve, because I honestly have very little pain otherwise and I'm only taking Tylenol as needed now. Anyway, I go back the end of this week or beginning of next week to have one of them removed.
I feel like I have more swelling today, but I think I overdid it a little bit yesterday. Even with the swelling, I've still lost 6-7 lbs since the morning of my surgery.
Another Post Op Appointment
I finally had one of my drains taken out today and my steri strips taken off, and I already feel so much better! I'm hoping I can get the other one taken out by the end of this week. Pain is minimal at this point--I just feel like I'm sore after a hard workout. I had a couple of setbacks this week (overdoing my activity and such), but nothing big. I am completely over the moon with my results, and can't wait to see what it looks like after the majority of the swelling goes down.
2nd Drain is OUT!
So happy to have my last drain removed. I feel so much better! The swelling is continuing to go down. I'm starting to notice some more definition in my stomach, which is super exciting!
Back to Normal
Sometimes I almost forget I had surgery, because I feel pretty much back to normal. Still dealing with some major swelling, but that's to be expected at this point. I'm so excited for it to go down so I can see the final result!
21 May 2014
4 months post
I'm still incredibly happy with the results, and now I'm just trying to get back in the gym to tighten up a bit. I still have numbness around my belly button and experience a lot of tingling along my incision when I work out. It's not painful, just very strange feeling. Anyway, this was hands down the best decision I've ever made! It has done so much for my confidence!
Still loving it!
17 Sep 2014
8 months post
I'm in love with my results! I'm still a little too soft looking for my tastes, but that's my own doing and completely in my control.
6 Dec 2014
11 months post
I feel like my stomach is really starting to settle now and my belly button is looking more and more natural everyday. The scar is still fading and in some areas you can't even see it! The tingling has gone away when I workout now and most of the feeling has returned to my stomach. I have some numbness still, but it's only around my belly button.