Tummy Tuck, Excited! - Colts Neck, NJ

I am the Mom of 3 amazing boys ages, 1 1/2, 6, and...

I am the Mom of 3 amazing boys ages, 1 1/2, 6, and 8 hence the reason for my tummy tuck!! I am short waisted, so when I got pregnant each time my belly got so big that people always thought I was carrying twins!(not fun to hear!) or they would think I was 9 months when I was only 5!! I knew after my first son I would need this procedure one day. I have so much hanging skin, it actually folds over like an apron. I use to be a size 6 and weigh 135lbs (I am 5'6) and now I am a size 10 and I weigh 145lbs. I am happy with my weight for the most part, but not my waist line. I am hoping to at least go down to a size 8, but most of all I want to get rid of the extra skin. I am tired of the muffin top, and the belly bulge!

Change in surgery date!!

My PS office called and asked if I wanted to change my surgery to a week earlier! I agreed immediately! But then I sort of freaked out! New surgery day is 1/2/14, only 11 days away!! I am making all of my post op arrangements now. I am doing a full TT with lipo of my love handles. I am getting very excited and trying to think positive.

Before photos

Pre-op done!

Had my pre-op last Monday, was so busy with Christmas I didn't update! It was a crazy pre-op too! My PS told me at my initial visit that I seemed to have an umbilical hernia, he recommended me to see a general surgeon to have it fixed at the same time and told me that a large portion of the cost would be covered by insurance due to the hernia repair. I got lucky and was able to see the general surgeon that same day as my pre-op! And everything fell into place.

SO I will be having my full TT with lipo to hips and hernia repair all at the same time!

Pre-Surgery Supplements/plans

To help speed my recovery I have started my pre-surgical diet and supplement program: lean protein, lists of veggies, and very little breads or white flour products. Tons of lemon water to help clean my liver and get it ready for the anesthesia/pain meds. Supplements: pure vitamin C, organic multi with low amount of vitamin E. I stopped taking fish oils over 2 weeks ago. CoQ10, and probiotics. I also purchased an electric recliner so I don't need to use my stomach muscles to open and close it every time I need to pee! I plan on drinking quite a bit of water post op so I know I will be making frequent trips to the bathroom. Today I am going to make my list of all the shopping and chores I need to get done before surgery.

I am also scheduling family to be here for my kids and myself for at least 1 week post op. My baby sitter will be caring for my 1 year old while my Mom, Mother inlay or husband care for me. Lucily my older boys 6,8 are awesome kids so between the sitter and other family member I am sure we will all manage while I am recovering.

3 days to go!!!!

I am sooooo excited!! I am trying not to get nervous anymore and just staying positive. I am a control freak so this TT is WAY out of my comfort zone! So I am making sure I am preparing everything that I CAN control exactly the way I want it, so all the other curve balls that come my way will not be so frustrating for me. I was worrying a bit about the anesthesia, but I know that my risks are very very small. I am also putting my trust in God and letting him watch over me throughout this process.

My prep thus far: I purchased new towels, wash cloths, zip up tops, comfy socks, and sweatpants...oh granny cotton panties and I washed them in HOT water and have them all ready for my big day. I also have been using antibacterial soap for the past week(liquid) even though I typically only use organic soaps, I read that by using a dial antibacterial liquid soap on your skin will decrease the chances of infection! I told you I am a control freak!

I am staying hydrated with water only, eating home cooked food and freezing the left overs for my recovery. I also am going to purchase a raised toilet seat tomorrow, I am sure this will make things much more comfortable the first few days.

Trying to soak up every ounce of time with my kids especially my baby (1 1/2 years old) because I know I will be taking a break from being Mommy for a week or 2 or maybe 3. I am hoping to be somewhat normal by week 3! But if not, my hubby has been great and I know he will do everything he can to make sure I heal.

2 days to go!!!! Surgery time 6am!!!

Only 2 more days to go!!! Can't believe next week at this time I will be recovering and no more saggy belly!! The surge center called me at work today and gave me my surgery time, 6am I have to be there which means I am first!! I am happy to be first. I want to be home before my kids get home from school. My oldest son is a bit of a worrier and he has been a little nervous for me. He is my Mamma's boy:) I just don't want him to worry.

I am recovering downstairs on my main floor for the first 4-6 days(depending on how I feel). I really would prefer to be in my bedroom, but I have 13 stairs to climb and I know it may be too much the first few days. SO my wonderful husband has promised me he will move the recliner up stairs as soon as I feel I can make it up there.

I am getting over my fears, and feeling good about this surgery. I am ready!!

Day before!!!!

Tomorrow at this time, my PS will be giving me the tummy I use to have before I had kids!! Can't wait!! I am in "nesting" mode!! Cleaning, cooking, eating healthy, playing w kids, just staying busy!! I doubt I will sleep tonight!!!!

LESS THAN 12 HOURS!!

Last night with my flabby belly. I was in and out of excited and nervous all day. Tonight was the hardest so far. I hated saying goodnight to my babies. My older kids know and they both were so sweet to me. Both were a little scared for me and worried. But I told them not to worry at all because I will be just fine! And I know deep down inside I will be. I know I will be so happy I did this.

Another curve ball is my period is late!! Not preggo tho, my husband got snipped almost a year ago. Probably from stressing over the surgery! However I feel the period cramps and headache now, so I am sure it will start tomorrow morning or just after my surgery.

I had hoped it was going to be almost over by now, because I usually feel crapy first 2-3 days. Having my period during the recovery is definitely not going to be fun.

Other than the emotional roller coaster, I truly do feel ready. I will pst update as soon as I can tomorrow! Wish me luck. xoxo to all of you on here, This forum has helped me so much!!

I made it to the flat side!

Had my surgery yesterday at 7 am. Told the anesthesiologist not to give me any morphine or fentanyl because I get severely hypotensive for hours after. Learned this from previous surgery. Well they have it to me so I was transferred to ER for 6 hours because my BP kept plummeting and surgi center closed at 5.

Made it home by 6 am in a snow storm. Had a really rough 24 hours but feeling so much better now that I'm home.

The good news my doc says I look amazing. I still haven't peeked! I am happy to be sitting up, eating, drinking, and peeing on my own!! Walking around isn't that great. And I coughed a little and yowza that hurt!!! Will post pics as soon as I tAke the CG off. Yay!!!! I did it!!! Thank you everyone for your support!! Btw: only taking Tylenol.

Pain ups and downs

I am doing ok, still not very comfortable. Slept a few hours here and there but nothing solid. I have my recliner but I am a side sleeper for sure, so its hard to get comfortable.

Still haven't peeked yet. Only took 1/2 vicodin and it made me feel worse actually. I'm sticking with my tylenol. Can't wait till I can just take ibuprofen. I feel the most comfortable sitting upright on the toilet or in my recliner. Still trying to figure out how to sleep in this darn chair.

I know that everyday it will get better. My Mother in law has been wonderful taking care of the kids and hubby is the best. I am so lucky to have such a great support system.

day 2

took 2 vicodins last night because the pain was pretty bad. slept for 5 hours, then up to pee and had some soup at 2am! fell back asleep till 9. woke up feeling very woosy from the vicodins. my PS said it was ok to take advil. i don't like feeling "out of it" pain is not as bad today.

End of day 2

Started out the day very weak, lots of pain, felt very faint. I have a very hard time with anesthesia and pain meds. They make my BP drop which is no good especially after surgery! I took 2 vicodins throughout the night and apparently it was too much, plus I wasn't drinking as much because I was finally sleeping! I decided that I would try today without any pain meds, so far so good. It definitely hurts but it is no where near as unbearable as it was the first day.I feel tightness and burning sensation where the muscle repair was done. I honestly do not have any pain from the lipo. I was most scared about that too.MY back is achy from picking up the slack from my abs, but overall without all the heavy meds in my system I mentally feel much clearer. I also think my anxiety makes my pain worse. To try to keep this from happening, I took 0.5mg of ativan and it really took the edge of the mental stress of the recovery and made the pain seem more manageable.

I am also out of my recliner as it was just so uncomfortable. I am up stairs in my bed with pillows propping me up. Looking forward to getting better and better everyday!!!

Day 3

Slept ok. Woke up at 2 to pee and then I was up agsin at 6. For some reason I feel worse in the mornings. Takes about an hour to get me going. I feel weak, faint, and my anxiety kicks in. So I've been taking my anti anxiety med and seems to help me through the rough mornings.

End of day 3

Ok, so I am totally off all pain meds, didn't even take any tylenol today. I stayed in bed most of the day, watching TV and resting. Took a brief nap, walked a bit, sat in the bathroom while my 1 1/2 year played in the tub. Snuggled with my older boys and felt more like me again.

My pain is manageable but now I feel this hot itchy feeling under the CG. I really want to rip this thing off and the drains!! I am hoping that my PS pulls my right drain tomorrow because it is only putting out like 20cc and it is a clear yellow color. Hopefully I will have some post op photos tomorrow! Happy healing everyone!!!

Day 4

Each day starts out a little better but again for some reason mornings seemed to be my worst time. It's like my body isn't ready to wake up, but my brain is...it's weird and then I get anxious about the strange feeling. SO I just take my ativan and then all those worries subside.

I am still feeling guilty for putting myself in this situation. It's one thing if you have necessary surgery, but I still struggle with the fact that I did this to myself!! And now I am ignoring my children, my husband, my house, and my business.

I know, there are ups and downs with this process and I know in the end it will be very happy. But day 4 is kinda a bummer day for me so far. Pain is manageable, no meds taken at all except the antibiotic and anti-anxiety. I had my 2nd BM today, yay me! That hasn't been a problem at all because I'm not taking any pain meds!

I am waiting for my husband to get home from the office and help me in the shower before I go to my first post op! Hopefully that will make the day seem better. Although I'm kinda nervous to see my results!! I don't know why either!!

1st Post op appt, and end of day 4

Ok, so today started our kinda crappy but I took it easy, husband gave me a nice shower(with a garbage bag covering my binder) But I will take what I can. Walked around a bit, standing up almost straight now, got in the car and headed to see my kind PS.

SO I finally got to see my belly! It was weird honestly, because there was NO stretch marks!!!!!!! It is very swollen, my hips are bruised from the lipo and swollen. I had no feeling when he removed my bandages(I was glad about that) My incision was nice and low and looked really good, no s/s of infection. My doc said I'm healing really well and fast! YAY, guess all the prep vitamins helped. Starting my recovery vitamin tomorrow. I wanted to give my body a few days of rest before I started back with my supplements. I figured my liver got hit hard with all the meds, didn't want to inundate with supplements too.

I was so excited about seeing my new belly, I forgot to take pics!! I will try to snap some on my own tomorrow now that I know what to do. My next apt is Friday. Doc says he will take my right drain out, yikes! I'm excited but nervous about that!!! And most likely he will take the left one out on Monday because I am putting out so little.

I really think the low salt diet has helped in this area. OK so that's my update for today, hope all me fellow Tuckers on here are doing well!!

Day 6

Today I woke up feeling ok, went number 2(yay me)! No pain meds still, but then my hubby had to drive my older kids into school because they missed the bus. So I went downstairs for 20 minutes, sat on the couch and watched my 1 1/2 year old. I didn't do anything, just sat there and talked with him while he played. And I am exhausted! I was hoping that by day 6 I would be able to handle little stuff like this better.

Luckily the babysitter came to my rescue and back to bed I went. I am recovering with pillows in bed, for me the recliner was not comfortable.

My drains are both still in:(:( which I really dislike. But I know they are keeping the swelling down.

My tummy area where the muscle repair is feeling much better, more of an ache now instead of pain. My hips are very swollen and they are more sore today than any other day from the lipo. I am icing them intermittently to help.

I think I am hitting that depressing state of this journey. I'm tired of laying around, tired of the swelling, tired of the hunch back, tired of the drains, mostly tired of being tired!!! Ok just had to vent!! I know this is all normal, so ladies if you are feeling the same, just know you are not alone.

I hope tomorrow I will have more energy:) And a nice shower would be nice!

Oh also, my appetite is still not so great, which is not like me. I am still eating high protein to help me help, started my vitamins yesterday. Hopefully it will help!

almost upright on day 6

I stayed in bed all day pretty much except for potty breaks and stretching. This morning I wasn't feeling so hot, and looked awful(very pale) but once I rested I perked up. Watched a movie, did some computer work, just a lay day in bed.

side view

What a difference a week makes!! 7 days post op

Ok so I woke up a little slow today, but once I had my giant cup of decaf green tea and slowly got up. I realized I felt pretty darn good! I changed my sheets, and now I am waiting for my husband to help me get into the shower!

I still have both my drains. the Right one is putting out 30cc in 24 hrs and the L is at 25cc, so I am very hopeful that I can get both removed tomorrow! I am pretty sure he will take at least one out and then I will feel a zillion times better!!

After my shower, I plan to rest for the remainder of the day. I know everyone on here says to be careful not to overdo it. I am just happy to see some light at the end of the tunnel!! Feels great, makes me feel like this process was worth it!

My results: I took binder off yesterday and checked it out. I am very happy with my tummy results, looks nice and flat and I honestly could not see any stretch marks! It was weird and my belly button resembles something of a belly button, its just so different than what I am use to seeing. My only disappointment so far is my hips. My doc said he did a lot of lipo to both sides and they are very swollen, they look much bigger than they did before my surgery. I know the swelling will go down, so it really isn't a disappointment, just need more time to get rid of swelling.

My incision looks great, no s/s of infection. I feel stinging and pulling still all around my belly area but nothing painful. I haven't had a pain med in days. I am very itchy everywhere, and sometimes it feels like I am being tickled. It is hard to get comfortable, but once I do, I usually sleep pretty well.

Feeling good!!

Front

Still very swollen

Side view

Not very happy yet. I know it takes time

Hips

My hips are so swollen from lipo. Going for a post op today. I pray that I get at least 1 drain out.

Holy Itch!!!

I am getting very nosey these days and I am constantly peeking under my CG and readjusting etc... At my 3rd PO apt yesterday, my PS said it looked like I had a heat rash or fungal infection ONLY in the area where my CG garment is. He asked if I was sweating a lot. The answer is NO, I am usually always cold! I am super sensitive and allergic to lots of things! I realized that I was having a skin allergy to the CG!!! I have to wash all new clothes before wearing them otherwise I get a rash. Well I am sure they didnt wash my CG before squeezing me into it! It made my skin so itchy and flaky, and red. I did some research and from what I have read the CG isn't actually necessary. There is no proven study that shows CG to produce better outcomes. And those doctors who do not use them at all all say their patients heal just as well and suffer less post op complications such as pneumonia or lung problems. SO I took matters into my own hands and decided to ditch the CG last night. WHAT a difference!!! I felt a zillion times better!!! My skin just needs to heal, it is so irritated and itchy that I am actually more uncomfortable from that then the TT!!!

During the day I plan in wearing my old spanx to keep things in place, but I am not putting that CG back on until it is fully washed. And I plan to keep it much looser. I am a firm believer in listening to your body and your intuition. My intuition was telling me that the CG was doing more harm than good at this point.

Forgot to mention that I got 1 drain out yesterday too!! I probably could have got both out, but my PS wanted to wait until Monday before he pulled the last one. I am so happy to get that sucker out!!! It feels weird coming out, not as bad as I anticipated. Overall he said I am healing great! Glad to be heading out of the woods of early post op. I am hoping things continue to go well.

Day 10 Feeling better each day!

Getting back to my old self! I have learned that I just need to rest frequently. I slept really good for the first time last night. I was actually, dare I say...comfortable! I am wearing my CG during the day but at night I remove it, and it really helps the swelling to drain and my rash has started to dissipate which feels so much better. Through my research the CG has it's pros and cons. So I am trying to make friends with it, by using it during the day while I am active and removing it at night and letting my skin rest and heal! Since starting this routine I have noticed a huge improvement in everything!! Maybe it's just a coincidence because I am just healing regardless but I wanted other real self friends to know that this system seems to be working well for me.

So back to my day thus far, I woke up at 8am, made myself my tea, and made breakfast for the family. Cleaned the kitchen which felt sooooo good because although my husband is awesome, he cleans like a man!! Then I spent some time with my boys in the playroom. Around 1130 I got tired and although I defiantly could have done more, cleaned, etc... I decided to go back to resting and have been here ever since. I really want this drain out tomorrow so I am going to rest and take it easy for the rest of the day or at least until my baby wakes from his nap!

My mood is also much better, things are looking up!! Thanks everyone for your continued support. This has been quite a journey and I know every time I look at my before pictures that it will be worth it!!

Last pic w drain!

11days post

Before shot

Actually 4 days before surgery

12 days post op!

Doing pretty good so far. I would say I'm about 65% back to normal. I still get tired easily and I'm only doing spurts of activity and work. Still trying to take it easy. But that's hard to do owning a business, having 3 kids and a husband who is very eager for me to return to all my usual activities!!

I got my last drain removed yesterday which btw did not hurt at all. Just feels odd for a few seconds. I was happy because I could finally shower today without a plastic bag wrapped around me. However, I didn't because my drain site is still oozing a little. Not a lot but enough for me to have to put a thick gauze there.

My doc says this occurs sometimes and it can last for a few days. I'm waiting to see if I can shower. So for now I will tape that area up just to be safe. I also am continuing my antibiotic for 3 more days as well.

Other thank that, today was pretty good. I am almost standing up straight. I would say I am about 90% straight. I am sleeping on my back still but I lay flat. I am pooping and peeing without any issues. My appetite is back, but I get full very quick. And too much carbs or salt makes me bloat. The swelling in my abdomen is about the same, not much better but not getting worse. The swelling on my hips/thighs is much better. Let's see, I can cough and sneeze with only minor discomfort. Andy pain is pretty much gone. Just tightness, and achy at times. That raw pain thankfully is just a distant memory!

I will say this now, I am HAPPY I did this!!!!

17 days post op

I still can't believe I have zero stretch marks!! Here is my newest photo!

tomorrow is my 3 week anniversary!

WOW! I can't believe how fast this recovery has gone. DOn't get me wrong it wasn't the most pleasant experience of my life and I definitely would not want to do it again anytime soon!!! But overall it has been what I expected. Ups and downs emotionally, pain that comes and goes, swelling that comes and goes, tired and then energetic, I am getting there.

At 3 weeks I would say that I am about:
65% physically healed
80% energy returned to normal
70% normal activities
80% mentally feeling better
90% standing up straight
80% appetite returned
80% back to work(I own my own business, so I get to make my own hours:)
still cannot sleep on my side or stomach
sleeping in my bed with pillows for support in certain areas but I lay mostly flat now
showers are my favorite part of the day!
still cannot lift my almost 2 year old son(although I did a few times) not a good idea yet!
able to do light house cleaning slowly
I am driving everywhere now
still take it slow when getting in and out of the car
still no sex, which is making my husband cranky and nasty!

SO as you can see, I am definitely over the worst part in my opinion. Now I have to be patient with my body to heal. I heal hitting the 3 week mark really improves everything. I feel like I had the surgery forever ago, I have to keep reminding myself it's only been 20 days! That isn't that long considering what a major surgery this is.

As a Mom of 3 active boys and a business owner, this was quite a challenge but I will tell anyone who is in my shoes that it is nothing to be afraid of and to go for it! I love my results!!!

Belly button not centered

I am healing well, unfortunately my belly button is not midline. It is about a 1/4 of an once off. I don't think it is very noticeable unless you really look. But it is definitely not centered. I don't believe there is anything that I can do about it. Oh well, I guess it could have been worse!!

4 weeks update

I am still sore at times, I swell worse at night, but I am back to myself. Doing all my regular chores etc... No more rest for this Momma! Love my results, my only complaint is that my belly button is definitely about 1/4 of inch off centered. I am not planning on doing anything surgically. I hope that when the swelling goes down more in the coming months it becomes less obvious.

6 months post op

I haven't updated since week 4 and I wanted others to know that after week 4 things improve dramatically BUT!!! there's a big BUT! It takes a really long time to heal. I am still in the healing process. Although I got all my energy back by 12 weeks post op, I wasn't able to work out until about 3-4 months post op and even at 6 months I still have sweeping every evening, pain at times and I still wear my compression garment when I am feeling twinges or notice extra swelling. I like wearing it during exercise. My hips(had lipo) are still somewhat sore nothing bad only when I am massaging or rubbing the area, My stomach feels great some days and others it is noticeably uncomfortable at times. I know all this is normal and everyone heals differently. Just wanted others to know that even at 6 months, I definitely still know my body is healing.
Colts Neck Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Iorio was kind and compassionate. He listened to my requests and payed attention to my concerns.

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Comments (131)

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I am actually relieved to read this. I too have same issues. Nothing terrible, just that it can take longer than we think to get completely thru this. I've read up to a year before we feel all the way normal. I also didn't start regularly exercising til 4 months PO. I was ready around 3 months, but my mm got sick and passed away. Kinda knocked me back a bit. Anyway, things...LIFE...can get slow us down, just gotta be patient, eh? Hang in there, before we know it, we'll be at the year mark :-DSuzy
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You are looking really good. It could seem off, if there is swelling, but I think it looks great either way.
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Thanks!! I really am happy even if it is off. I am still swollen so who knows!
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Seriously can not see it in your pic. Think your being hard on youself.
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Thanks! Maybe, but I'm still happy!
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Thats all that matters. Im happy your happy!
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GORGEOUS! Love your new belly, it's your friend ;-)
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Thank you!!
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You are looking great!! I'm glad you are going better now. Just keep taking it one day at a time. I still get tired too when I do too much. I love my lunch time naps.
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Thanks JoyD!
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Good for you. I can tell you are very happy and so you should be!
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Thank you!
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Sounds like you are doing very well. I've been pondering the CG issue too. I think that the CG makes the swelling in my hips more pronounced and painful. I wore regular spanx for a couple of hours while I washed and dried my CG and my hips felt much better. I have also noticed that doctors are mixed in their recommendations on the CG. I have been wondering if there's a difference in the methods used by those who recommend vs don't recommend. Have you read anything about that?
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I read a little about the compression garment vs no garment. From what I read, it seems that some PS use a different technique when doing a TT and they are able to allow their patients no garments. But overall, it seems to be up the PS. Mine wasn't horrified when I told him I was removing it during the night to sleep. He said it was fine to do it. I like the safety of it during the day, but by 4 or 5pm I'm ready to rip it off!!
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No kidding!
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You look great! I just had mine yesterday. Wish I could fast forward a week or two!
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Just stay positive! It goes quick!
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Nice and flat, outstanding! Nice comparison to the before. Makes you realize how far you've come, and so SOON. Happy for you, hope I am as lucky. Continued great healing and (((HUGS)))
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Thank you! You will do great! My advice is to listen to your body. Don't be a hero, don't over do it. And you will do great!
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Enjoyed reading your review. I will be following your progress. So glad things are much better now for you. Congratulations on your new body. Your results look great now, I could only imagine later on !
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Thank you!
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Im sure you will feel even better when you can get rid of the drain
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Yes! I acan;t wait, I am really hoping it happens today at my appt! Thank you!!
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Hallelujah! Sounds like things are going well. I like the idea of wearing the CG in the day, and off at nite. When did you start doing that?
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I started this at about day 6 or 7 post op. It was mainly because of this awful rash I got, but I realized that it really helped my swelling! I think when lying flat or semi flat without the compression, the fluid from the swelling has an easier tim of finding it's way into the functioning lymphatic system because there is nothing squeezing it tight. Just my theory and so far it seems to be working really well.
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