13 wks Post Op-new pics

I've been considering a Tummy Tuck for at least 10...

I've been considering a Tummy Tuck for at least 10 years. Immediately after my second child (10lb baby), I had these weird knots from my belly button down...I call them my balls, they drive me INSANE! I sit around at home and just pull on them and roll them around. Considering how large my son was, I really don't have as much loose skin or stretch marks as I maybe should, but it's enough to bother me. During my pregnancy, I also had my first ever back pain, and since then have had a continuous problem with a rotated pelvis resulting in back pain.

After I started getting help for my back, I decided to try Pilates for one year. It was the ONLY thing that helped me, so I became a HUGE proponent of Pilates! I went through a year process of certification, and worked very hard at getting core strength back! This eventually resulted in opening a pilates studio with my best friend 5 years ago. I've also been a bellydancer hobbyist for 16 years, but decided to get more seriously invoved in that about 8 years ago. When we opened the studio, I began teaching Bellydance, and went through an intensive certification program for that, as well. So, I dance professionally now.

I have done everything I could for the past several years to live a healthy life, I even took up running two years ago, and ran two marathons last year. That being said, I still am aggravated by the "balls", stretch marks, and loose skin, and missing breast tissue. I spend so much money on my bellydance costumes and education, and it's a shame that I don't FEEL like a million bucks after so much time, energy, and practice invested in my profession.

I had my first consultation 5 years ago, and was scared that my dance would be effected. I found ONE bellydancer online suing a plastic surgeon because she could no longer perform some of the movements. That scared me so much, I just said, I can't do it, and thought I'd be able to get past my imperfections and move on.

Here I am 5 years later. Every time I perform, Im worried about someone capturing the "stretch mark/loose skin" photo and posting it, or a video. You can't really control where your photos show up when you perform in public places with today's technology.

Finally, I decided this year, I'm never going to get past this, life is short, and I want to FEEL like my dance looks as good as it can.

I've often wondered if the diastasis recti repair would help my pelvic instablility. Even though the PS suggested a mini, I want the full TT, just in case the muscle repair helps the pelvic instability and back pain even MORE!

I'm scared, yet hopeful, and have thoroughly enjoyed everyone else sharing their stories! Just a couple of days. Can't WAIT!

Just READY for Jan 22!!! I'm so tired of thinking...

Just READY for Jan 22!!!
I'm so tired of thinking about it and worrying about it! This site is great for someone like me who doesn't do well with surprises, but I'm kinda consumed with surgery right now! A few days ago, I decided I shouldn't get the implants, then I finally calmed down and said, okay, why not? Then I decided NOT to do the lipo yesterday, and now I'm undecided on that with surgery in less than 48 hours! LOL.
No question, I want the TT.. My PS suggested only a mini, but I want a full...I just hope I'm doing the right thing. What I REALLY need is something done to my thighs, but OH well, they've looked like that forever, so I'll just try to get back what I had before babies. I want those stretch marks GONE, and my breasts not to look SO deflated!
Been trying to do all the laundry, and making a million lists of all the things I don't want to forget. Goin to work, getting my gray hair covered tomorrow, so I don't have to be depressed about that, too when i'm laying there recovering! I doubt I'll get much sleep the next two nights even though I really need it! Can't wait. can't wait, can't wait!!!

It's Thursday and my surgery was Tuesday. I've...

It's Thursday and my surgery was Tuesday. I've been in good spirits, not as painful as I had expected. I've very excited about seeing the results, and have been happy with progress so far! I'm so excited;) I think renting the hospital bed is the best decision I've ever made...can not imagine doing this without it! My husband and children have been wonderful!

4 days post op. finally had a BM, not bad at all....

4 days post op. finally had a BM, not bad at all. I've been taking stool softeners since surgery. Still in good spirits. Pain is decreasing every day, but today has been the hardest in other ways. Kinda hard to explain since I'm feeling much better. I'm pretty swollen. Ran out of demorral and started Percocet...wish I had asked for more demorral.
Things got weird when I had to take off the CG, it made me itch all night, so I thought it was going to be awesome, but it was not. Of course, Admittedly, I forgot to take my pain mess before the shower and I think I should have, but, I was getting nauseous in the shower, lightheaded...couldn't wait to get that back on. My whole middle felt like jello, like my organs had no support, it was freaky deaky to me! Couldn't wait to get my CG on!!! By then it was in the wash, so I laid there and waited with wet hair...Mistake #2.... I should have combed and dried my hair, even on a normal day I feel yuk laying down with wet hair! Wth was I thinking????
My husband has waited on me hand and foot, no way I was going to ask him to fix my hair. He was trying to juggle me, taking my son to my mom's house, and getting my daughter ready for a volleyball game today. Mercy! He's a saint...I'm blessed!
Still it's been better than I thought it would be, I'm just ready to get up and down on my own...looking forward to tomorrow...another new day:)

Today is day 6 Post OP I want to document surgery...

Today is day 6 Post OP
I want to document surgery day before I forget it! I went in at 6:45 am, and had not yet told the PS that I didn't want the lipo any more. Each time someone walked in the room I said, "Good morning, how are you feeling today? Did you get a good night's sleep last night? Any arguments this morning? Are you feeling at the top of your game?" I was dead serious! I didn't want anyone messing with me unless they felt great! So, everyone was very kinda, and I was a nervous wreck. PS came in and I said, "you actually didn't even suggest lipo, and now that I thought about it, lets skip it, please!"
She took plenty of time talking to me, and said, she never thought I needed it anyway, so she was happy with my decision! I don't even remember the PS leaving the room, or them starting anesthesia, or anything? All I remember was waking up, feeling like ghost, hearing a nurse talking to my husband and telling him I wouldn't get the drains out for 3 weeks? 3 weeks? wth? I hope that's not right. I kept hearing talking and talking and I remember feeling like I couldn't get anything out but a whisper of "I REALLY want to go home"...a few minutes later, a little louder this time "I really just wanna go home", third time is a charm... " I really, REALLY just want to go home!" Finally I heard my nurse, say, "Yes, Yes. we're just giving your husband instructions and you will be going home very soon, sweetie"
I vaguely remember getting in the car, and walking in my house, then I remember NOTHING! FOR HOURS AND HOURS! YAY! I was on my way to recovery! Thank you, Lord...I knew I was, at the VERY least...alive! First time I had to sit up, well, I definitely felt it, but not as bad as I thought. I describe it as the ring of fire....all the way down my rectus abdominus! YOWZA. I had a nearly 10 lb baby...all natural, and I have for years said the worst part was that big head coming out...my best description... a RING OF FIRE!!!!! This felt the same except from my sternum to the incision line. Still, not as bad as I thought. I had a full TT, Muscle Repair, and BA....
The next few days, I was very thankful for demorral! Love that stuff. I had the best sleep I've had in years, and my husband was an angel waiting on my hand and foot. Even slept on the couch next to me because he was afraid I'd screw up my meds! After two or three nights, I finally convinced him to go upstairs to bed, and I'd call him to get me up everytime I needed to P! Best thing I did was rent a hospital bed...Keeping it in the family room so I'm not so isolated! I am a people person and I knew I'd get severely depressed if I was upstairs, alone in a room for weeks!
So, here I am. Surgery day is over. I had one shower. oops. 2...because I took one again today!
Yesterday PO day 5 was my best day. I had lots of visitors, was finally able to get up and down on my own, and last night, got my 10 yr old son to hold my hand and walk me down the driveway and back. A full 5 minute walk outside! LOL
This morning, I decided I'm sick and tired of laying here...useless! I got up and took a shower around lunchtime. I walked a full 8 minutes twice today! Hilarious! after the first walk, I slept for an hour to recover. This is ridiculous!
So far, I don't regret the surgery. BUT, My breasts are much larger than what I wanted. I'm really aggravated about it because I wanted small breasts! desperately didn't want to be much larger, just fuller in the top, but I'm most definitley hugely large for ME...boooooo, I'm actually going to ask about pulling them out and putting smaller implants in when I go back in two days.
I was a 32C to start, but that was a C that was very full at the bottom and completely deflated at the top. I really just wanted to be full again, but NO LARGER! I asked for 150 or 180 cc's, but was told that the diameter wasn't big enough to even fill the top out. A few days before surgery, I finally asked the PS what she thought I should do...She's very small, so I thought....surely she "gets" that I don't want to look like I have implants,and I don't want a drastic change...she said she would definitley do 240 cc....still smaller than anyone that I know that I had this done, so I decided to trust her.
I'm pretty sure I'm a D now, and, though it looks real because I didn't get a lift. I'm really too big for my taste. My husband got aggravated with me today for saying it's just too big, and he said you need to get over it and be happy...but, I'm still going to ask about pulling them out. I might as well do it while I'm already out of work? right?
We'll see. My sister said there isn't too much swelling, she had BA a few months ago and was hoping she was just big from swelling, but she said they "settled" but didn't really get smaller;( That makes me sad, but...it will be nice to see everything in a few months.
I am ready to get back to LIFE!!!! I knew the patience thing would be the hardest part for me...and YES. it most certainly is....I'm ready to get back to work...work, and be normal again! So my goal is to walk 10 minutes by the end of the week. I'm still hunched over a LOT, so the walking only hurts my back, nothing else.
This site has been wonderful from beginning to end, and I'm so grateful for all the women on here willing to share their stories!

9 days post op and feeling pretty good today! I'm...

9 days post op and feeling pretty good today! I'm straightening even more, thanks to a tip someone posted on here that suggested using sleep time to make subtle transitions to more flat. I lay around almost all day, and just keep lower the incline on the bed to stretch it a little more. Just ONE day of trying this has already made a difference. I'm beginning to really like the changes. It doesn't hurt that my mom saw me and was very supportive and thought I looked great, and she was NOT happy about me wanting to do it, so hearing her say how nice it looked was wonderful!
I walked a full mile today in 20 minutes, which was much better than yesterday it took me 16 minutes to walk a half mile. I'm just trying to slowly increase the length of time or distance, and then I up my goal for the next day, but I certainly wasn't expecting to be able to complete a mile today!
I know I'm swelling still because I don't see the upper ab indentations that are usually there, but I haven't been very careful with my food either;( I better get a handle on that. I tried on bathing suits, and am realizing that I will need to retire a few of them and start finding a style a little higher than those.
Now my concerns are that the scar will rise as my posture improves. I've read some on here say it rises and some say it fall. I actually laid crooked for many hours today, and I SWEAR it made the scar crooked...even my husband noticed.
Luckily, I am learning to be more comfortable with the implants. Mostly because I do NOT like the big round, super high look that I know I would have gotten with a lift...it does look natural to me to already be dropped, and yet I still get the fullness that I wanted, so I actually think MAYBE this is right for me, even though I'd like them just a little smaller. I've been happy that they still fit in any of my normal clothes that I wear every day. In fact, my family hasn't even NOTICED in clothes that I did that part, at all. Of course, I've always worn padded bras, and always pad my bathing suits, so it probably looks about the same. I didn't pad my pre op photos in a bathing suit, but believe me I NEVER wore them around other people without padding!
Even put on my formal gown, and yay! it fits...the only thing not working are my costumes, so I'll have to figure that out.
I'm torn between being ready to get my life back, and REALLY enjoying getting attention and down time, and not being expected to do ANYTHING! This is pretty darn awesome!!!
This site has helped me so much. I hope to keep hearing from everyone and hearing their amazing journey's as well!

I know I've had a little swelling ,but oh MY today...

I know I've had a little swelling ,but oh MY today it REALLY hit!!!! I"m 10 days PO, I laid around until 12 today, then walked 1.75 miles, had a protein shake, and laid around until 4. I had friends that begged me to go to dinner for a birthday celebration, so I got ready slowly, had to find clothes to hide my drain,and that's when I realized I must be swollen, I could BARELY squeeze into my pants...not jeans, dress pants, and I thought...GREAT! I just went through this and I can't fit in my clothes at all! Well I was almost exhausted just from getting ready, but decided to go anyway, thought it might do me good to just pretend I was normal. The longer we sat the more tired I was feeling, and when I finally got home, I took off my pants, and it was like a busted can of biscuits. Yeah. that swelling is nasty and I look like the dough mushing out of a busted can of biscuits. Ok, I'm depressed now;( And super duper exhausted...hoping I get some good Zzzzzz's tonight!

I'm 2 weeks PO. I'm hoping the first two weeks...

I'm 2 weeks PO. I'm hoping the first two weeks feel the longest. But in two weeks there has been a lot of progress. I'm getting around, did a little laundry and dishes yesterday, moved to MY bed 3 nights ago, but haven't walked in a a few days.
I'm mostly bummed out because I weigh the same as I did before surgery. That is SO depressing!
I'm supposed to get my last drain out tomorrow, but I'm stressing because it's about 25 the past two days for a full 24 hours, but I was thinking it had to be less than that. When I went in at PO week 1 appt, I had less than 20 in each one, so they took one, and almost took both, but I'm glad they left one, if this fluid would have just made me weigh even more!
I can't WAIT until this drain is out! It keeps me from doing so many things, not to mention it actually is a tad painful, and certainly GROSS! I spilled that nasty fluid all over me one day trying to put on pants. EWWWW!
I've been sleeping well in my bed, but I guess I've been cheating to do that. I've taken Benadryl for the past 3 nights because I was worried about not being able to sleep when I moved back into my own bed.
Well, everyone keeps saying what a long journey this will be, and so it is. I'm ready to go back to work, but not sure if I have the energy to train clients on my feet all day. We shall see!

Felt great yesterday, exact opposite today! My...

Felt great yesterday, exact opposite today! My daughter has had strep since Mondau, and maybe I'm getting it? I was so excited for my appt today, until I woke up with 50cc's in my remaining drain! I've never had that much! The drain site hurts, and this disgusting purpley, blue tissue had to be carefully milked out of the drain. It was so disgusting and it hurt!!!
They told me last week, I'd probably get the drains out today, but I knew when I saw that fluid, chances would be slim.
More than just the draining, I hurt all over, I was walking almost straight and now I'm extremely hunched over again! Geez Louise!
Zero energy whatsoever!
So, got to the dr, and within an hour I had already drained another 20 cc's. I went from feeling like a million bucks, to feeling like something I should scrape off the bottom of my shoe.
I wasn't expecting THIS!!!!
So, she asked what I had done. I said I lay around most of the day, but I did unload some dishes, wash some dishes, put one load of laundry from washer to dryer, and walk a mile. She said...what? That's way too much! I was shocked. I thought she said I could walk as long as I felt okay. I was walking a half mile at one week, and I guess I had told her how many minutes I had walked and she said that was fine and I could walk more. So, instead of measuring minutes, I started measuring mileage. I realized I had already walked a half, so during the week, I had increased to a mile and a half one day, and I wasn't exhausted. Apparently, I'm walking to fast, too! I really really thought I WAS keeping activity low!!!
So, she said we need to discuss what I mean by low activity, and she did, and she lectured me a tiny but about patience, and taking it easy for the long term good! I just burst into tears, she said I couldn't even consider going back to work, And my Max walk should be .5 mile.
Even though it was a mental blow, I did get a good report! She said the scars are looking good, swelling isn't too bad, but I have to keep the drain or I would be in there getting aspirated....needle? Oh hells no! No, thank you!!!!
So, when she found out my daughter had strep, and I complained about the drain site, so she gave me a precautionary prescription for an antibiotic!
I came home completely wiped out, and went straight to bed! Haven't done much since, and I'm pretty sure I have a fever! Oh MY! We can definitely logically know what to expect, but experiencing the mental aspect is tough! I vow to just rest at least another week in hopes of great improvement! Lesson learned....even though I truly thought I was being a good patient! And now, looking at my drain, I've drained about 75 cc's in about 9.5 hours! I'm keeping the faith, and just getting my lesson in patience! Wow!
Don't mean to be a downer. I've heard do many of you experience this, and somehow, I thought I was immune! Right there with you all, ladies! I'll cherish the great days, but careful limit myself!

Today I'll go in for my 3 week check up! I've been...

Today I'll go in for my 3 week check up! I've been laying around way too much, ready to get back to normal, but after my 2 week check up, I've taken it pretty easy. Day before my two week, I walked a mile, did some dishes, and one load of laundry. The day of my appt, my drainage was 100 cc's, obviously they didn't take the drain out. The next day, I still drained 100, the next day 87, the next day 58, then 38, then finally 27, then my drain fell right out! I think that was Sunday! I was worried that had my drain been in the number might be up simply because I went to a Mardi Gras party Saturday night. Danced a few dances, and stayed about 2 hours. So to be careful and for fear of having to be aspirated, I've laid around and done nothing since the day the drain fell out. That was three days ago. I have very minimal swelling, and I'm getting ready to go to the doctor for my 3 week check up today.

Just came back from Dr, I was actually cleared to...

Just came back from Dr, I was actually cleared to drive short distances last week, but just drove for the first time yesterday! Drove myself today, because my son has strep now. Someone has been sick every week since my surgery. Well, my fear came true...even with all my laying around,I had to be aspirated. Good news is, it was NOTHING! I was scared for no reason whatsoever, didn't even feel it!
I was begging my PS to give me clearance to go back to work, but she said she needs to see me again next week and see how I'm doing.
I felt great today, for let's see, maybe for 51/2 hours, but now I'm beat, so I'm going to rest a little, and then get up and do some laundry, I hope!
Can't wait to get clearance to go back to work!!! I'll post pics later today!

4 weeks yesterday. Had to go get aspirated again...

4 weeks yesterday. Had to go get aspirated again today. At least it was only 40 cc's for 5 days. Back to work for the first time tomorrow, and have to be there at 6:30am! WOW. I haven't gotten up at 5:30 in almost 2 months. This will be interesting. I did more with less rest today than I have all month because DH was out of town. I'm sooooooo Swollen, it's so depressing to weigh a pound more than surgery day. YIKES. OH Well, I better get to sleep. It's about 9pm, and tomorrow morning will be here quickly. Hope to add some photos soon, but I'm so swollen it's sad to even take a picture! Can't wait to finally finally see these results!

Today is officially 5 weeks PO! I'm still a little...

Today is officially 5 weeks PO! I'm still a little low energy, but I did go back to my normal working hours. Worked until 9:30 last night and back to the studio by 6:30 am, but at least I finish by lunch on Tues! YAY! I'm pretty happy to be back to somewhat normal, but certainly don't have my energy back where it was pre surgery!
Bellybutton looks a little weird, but I'm okay with that, considering I REALLY disliked my pre op belly button. I can't figure out if I'm still swollen or if I've actually put on weight, but I'm not too stressed about it. I'm sure once I get back to working out, the weight will come off. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal, and tend to eat a little better when I'm working out, too!
I have been using el cheapo silicone strips from CVS this week. It is DEFINITELY flattening out the scar, so I'm happy with that!
I go in tomorrow morning, and I'm pretty sure I'll be aspirated again, but I really think if they have to do it at all, it will be dramatically less than it has been, so I'm pretty happy with that.
I thought I'd want this CG forever, but it's actually starting to get on my nerves! One more week, and I'll happily throw it away!!!! Although, I have in my mind that my waist is going to get larger if I stop wearing it. I've never had much of a waist anyway, so I really hope I can keep the tiny bit of waist I have now.
I've ended up telling a lot more people. Mostly because it's over, and it's completely different to tell after rather than before. I have too many clients asking, so the ones I've been training for 5 years, I've basically just told them. I actually had one client say, OH, by the way, I have to take the next two weeks off, and I said oh, traveling again...she said, not really, I"m getting a facelift! It was cute! Of course, I don't think she needs one, I've always told my husband how young and beautiful I think she looks at 60, but now I know we see ourselves differently than others do!
I'm looking forward to the day I'm released to workout, although, I did dance A LOT at the Charity ball this past weekend. Granted, I was exhausted, but it was so worth it. I also did a little light arm and leg work on the reformer yesterday, and even danced a little in bellydance class last night, but nothing today. Maybe every other day, I'll do something light...I'll try to ease into my old routine. At this moment, I can't imagine ever having enough energy again to run 6 days a week, and keep up my dancing and pilates like I used to, but I'm sure it will come to fruition..ONE DAY!!!
It's been so sad to read about other of my January TTers having some problems this past week. Just breaks my heart to hear about these awful spitting stitches, infections, and cruddy after care from PS. I guess even though it seemed like a miserable process, I've been pretty blessed.
So glad I did this. Wish I had done it 10 years ago! for sure
Wish I could figure out how to do a photo collage with before and after pics side by side.

I'm sure as heck hoping I'm still having some...

I'm sure as heck hoping I'm still having some swelling. My tummy isn't flat, although, I'll admit, I look MUCH better!!! I still don't regret it in the least, but I do still have some weird indents on my right side. I can't get them to really show up in a picture, but I see my PS Wed and can't wait to ask her what the deal is.
I've been running a few weeks now, I'm back to pilates and teaching bellydance. I REALLY wish my incision line was straight, because none of my bathing suits will cover the right side. My incision does rise slightly on the right side, and it keeps every bathing suit from covering;(
I am trying on suits tonight, because next weekend will be my first beach trip. Lucky for me, it is with my BFF who knows all, and I guess I don't even care if you can see the scar, I'm only worried about covering up so I don't end up with a worse scar. I think sun exposure can make it worse.
I've been eating really clean for a month, and still way a pound more than I did pre surgery, so I'm getting very discouraged...but even with that being said. The internal balls are gone and the stretch marks are gone, and I said if those were gone, I'd be happy....and so, I am.
I am just a little surprised at how far I am from where I was as far as stamina and endurance, and I REALLY want to lose the 5 excess pounds I had gained during the holidays before surgery. GRRRRRR
All in all, it's a long recovery, but I'm still SO happy I did this. OH and the BA, I'm totally getting used to, and very happy with that, too! YAY!
Now, if the swelling would go away! (At least, I hope it's swelling!)

Here we go, hoping week 14 is the magic one;)

Here we go, hoping week 14 is the magic one;)

15 weeks PO

I miss seeing that upper abdominal definition, and keep hoping and praying it's still swelling. I STILL can't fit in some of my pants, tight on my waist and thighs...so weird. I felt more comfortable in a bikini BEFORE, even though I'm still happy I did this. I've been starving, working out, dieting, still can't lose one pound. it's weird. I was ecstatic to find bathing suits that cover the scar, at least. HURRAH!!! If the BB scar wasn't there, I'd feel a LOT better, but OH Well....its a journey. Still glad I did it!
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Third consultation. She took the time to explain everything, and even saw me two more times after to calm my fears and answer more questions before I would committ to the procedure! Actually felt equally confident with Dr. Rizzuti, whom I had an initial consultation with 5 years ago, but chickened out on the Tummy Tuck. At that time, I wasn't interested in BA, so once I decided I wanted to discuss that, too, I had to try Dr. Garrison...since I know Dr. Rizzutti and his family on a more personal level, I felt a little awkward about discussing BA, even though I'm sure it wouldn't have been strange for him.

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 times
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