I am a 25 year old, stay at home mother of two, a 3 year old and a 17 month old. My first pregnancy wrecked havoc on my body. I weighed 175lbs in the beginning and I gained 55 lbs over the duration. I was blessed with a 10 lb 9.5oz baby girl. My second pregnancy, I learned from past practice and only gained 25lbs. I was given another little blessing, a 7lb 6oz baby boy. I breast fed both kids for about 6 months each, but with baby number 2, my DD's went to saggy, barely B's. My stomach was littered with stretch marks from above my navel down and I was left with extra skin. I decided that I needed to do everything in my power to get my post baby body back. I began to exercise and eat right. I knew that I couldn't undo the extra skin I had, but I continued to work hard and got down to 135lbs, which is by far the thinnest I have ever been. I researched my plastic surgery options. I wanted a tummy tuck and since I would be in surgery anyways I wanted to fix my breasts.
I scheduled consults with a few doctors locally recommended to me. I wasn't impressed with any of the doctors I met. Aside from that, no one would even consider doing a TT and BA in the same surgery which totally bummed me out. I only wanted one recovery time since I have small children at home, but I wanted to go ahead and have these surgeries while I am young so I can "bounce" back as quick as possible.
A friend of my husbands highly recommended Dr. Hunstad from a BA his girlfriend had, and so I began my research on this doctor. After looking at his impressive website and near googling him to death, I scheduled my consult. This doctor is 3.5 hours away from me, one way, and I would have driven twice that to have him perform my surgery. In addition to his credentials, his knowledge and charisma made my husband and I feel confident in his ability. We decided that I would "need" a purse string lift, a breast augmentation, a full tummy tuck with muscle repair and lipo of my hip rolls. I honestly about had a stroke when we received the quote for the surgeries $22000, so my husband and I went back home to contemplate and discuss this expenditure. The surgical quote included all the procedures listed above, 2 surgical garments, scar treatment (hybrisil), pain pump, over night stay at the center, and follow up visits. After speaking with Ashley, the Surgery Coordinator, we said no to the lipo and paid the surgery in full to discount the cost further. $17,000. Wow, that's still a lot, but my husband and I wanted the best doctor, and we found him. I booked my surgery for August 22, 7:30 a.m.
I went back to N.C., 4 weeks out, for my pre-op appointment to find that Dr. Hunstad had agreed to do the lipo at no additional cost to me! I decided on the 500 high profile gel by Mentor and had them placed subfascial. In subfascial placement, the implant is placed below a thin, but strong layer of connective tissue that covers the pectoralis muscle. My husband and I arrived bright and early, 7a.m. I was photographed, drawn on and escorted to the operating table. I had my procedures done at the Hunstad Center, the surgery lasted 6 hours, and I recovered there overnight. 3 pounds of skin was removed from my stomach and one pound of fat was removed with lipo.
The majority of my first week post-op is a blur due to medication. I do remember being awakened by my nurse to stand and walk every few hours after surgery and that was excruciatingly painful. I had both my children naturally, but trying to walk post-op, bent over, doped up, was the worse thing I've ever experienced as far as discomfort goes. I am not trying to scare anyone, but my philosophy is: if you imagine an experience will be the worse thing you have ever been through, and then you won't be surprised, you may even be pleasantly surprised by it. My husband and I stayed in a hotel local to my doctor for the first 5 days. I got my first drain out on day 3, it was gross but painless. I am so blessed to have my husband. I know he was grossed out the majority of the time, like when he had to continually dump my drain for me, and “milk” the line at times, but he didn't hesitate in taking care of me. We returned home on day 6. I had rented a hospital bed the day before my surgery so it was waiting on me when I got home. That bed was a God sent and only $125/month! It was semi electric so I could maneuver it to help with my comfort level and it helped me get up for my frequent trips to the bathroom, since I was drinking 1.5 gallons of water per day.
My wonderful mother took care of both of my children for the majority of first 14 days. If you have small children, don’t even consider lifting them before day 14. I am not saying that you are unable to lift them before that-it’s just not a wise decision. I sat on the floor and played with and held my children and I did more than I should have. You will feel like crap if you overdo. This recovery is much like the recovery process after having babies; you have to take it easy. I actually split open on one side of my tummy incision and in hind sight, I feel like it’s because I did too much in picking up my youngest. My husband returned to work on day 14. The second drain was removed on day 15, even though it was still putting out about 70cc of fluid each day from my back. The doctor was concerned that having the foreign object (the drain) in me, may be causing my body to produce excess fluid so he removed it.
On day 20, I woke up with a seroma on my lower back. I was pretty freaked. My doctor didn't hesitate to see me, even though his schedule was slammed that day. The seroma was drained, 70cc. Each week for three weeks, I returned to have the seroma drained and each week, the fluid accumulation had reduced by half. After the fluid was gone, I was sent to the MedSpa within The Hunstad Center and had Endermologie with Diane (who is amazing!). Endermologie is basically a fantastic massage of your areas, affected by surgery, done by machine and a qualified technician. This relieved all the tightness and heaviness in my abdomen and back. It was amazing and three treatments are included in my surgery price!
Now I am approaching the two month mark, post op and I feel great. I still wear a compression garment during the day (Assets high waisted panty, super compression) to help combat swelling. I am still not 100%, maybe 90-95%+ and I try to keep in mind that my body has been through a lot. This site helped me so much with my journey that I felt a duty to come back and report my experience as well. Good luck to all of you considering surgery and all of you that are in recovery. Thank you to all the women that experienced this before me and took the time to write down your experience. Thank you for unknowingly supporting and guiding me through this.