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Skin Only Tummy Tuck (No Muscle Repair) - Nashville, TN

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.

Day 4 Update

First Follow-Up

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.

1 Week Post Op!

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!
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Comments (24)

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You look fabulous already! Wow! I am also a candidate for a tummy tuck with no muscle repair; although I have had three children I have been very fortunate with my muscles but the lax skin isn't such a good look! Very interested to read your recovery reports - would you have said a fortnight was enough recovery time before going back to work (moderate hours, rather more sitting than standing, no lifting)? I have the option of grabbing an earlier surgery time with a 2 week recovery period or waiting till the end of the year and getting a 6 week recovery period. Your experienced advice will be much appreciated :-)
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Glad I can help! I expected to go back to work at 2 weeks, but it took me a bit longer before I could. I was completely off all painkillers (even Tylenol) by the end of week 1 and by week 2 most of my soreness was gone, but I still got tired very quickly. I still had one of my drains in and could not have been on my feet all day. Also, my doctor won't take a drain out until your output is less than 25 mL. I really tried to rest/stay off my feet to reduce my output, because I did not want to return to work with a drain. If you have a job where you can sit and not lift anything, you may be able to. I'm a preschool teacher and a grad student, and I was able to go back to grad school at the 2 week point with no problems, but there is no way I would've been able to stand on my feet all day to teach or lift any children. I went back to work at 3 weeks, and the first day was difficult, but manageable for sure. By the end of the week though, I was pretty much back to my normal activities.
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You are looking really good. I found that taping my drain tube near the drain hole, helped with the irritation I would feel when moving. Keep taking it easy!! Happy Healing:)
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Thanks! I think I'm going to try that!
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You are looking awesome!
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Thank you! :)
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You look awesome! Congratulations on the weight loss and happy healing!
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Thank you so much!
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Wow you look great!! Happy healing!
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Thanks! :)
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It's amazing how straight your standing already I'm 2 weeks post op and still hunched =/
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I didn't have any muscle repair done, so I'm sure that's why. You look great!
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That makes sense ! Soon you will b summer ready!:) are you still swollen? I'm so swollen still (lower back and lower abdomen right on top of my incision ) I need it to go away !
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I have a ton of swelling! Not so much in my upper abdomen, but like you, in the lower half especially beneath the incision. My binder definitely helps a lot, but it's still really frustrating.
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I wear my binder 24/7 pretty much it just comes off when I shower. But it doesn't seem like it's going away.!
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I've noticed a huge difference in my swelling just over the last couple of by taking it easier (I tend to want to be up doing something always) and reducing my salt intake. I can actually see a little more definition in my stomach now. They also accidentally gave me a pediatric binder by mistake, so I think my binder is a little tighter than normal. haha
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You look awesome in such a short period of time! Congrats! You'll be ready for this summer, Woo hoo!!! :-)
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I hope so! Thank you so much!
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Congrats!! U are standing awfully straight
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Thanks! :)
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Happy healing!
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Thank you!
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Congrats on the weight loss and your results look amazing. I'm shocked to see how straight you are standing cause I have seen so many other members on here hunched at your stage. Good healing!
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Thanks! I didn't have any muscle repair done, so I think that has A LOT to do with how fast I'm recovering. :)
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