Four months out, still happy! - New Orleans, LA

I wish I could blame my stomach issues completely...

I wish I could blame my stomach issues completely on my triplets, who were born in 2007 weighing 13.5 pounds total. But alas, I've had this "apron" of flab for far longer than that. As long as I can remember, in fact. I'm fairly tall (5'10") and have a very long torso, so even as stretched out as I was, I don't believe I have any muscle separation.

Over the past year, I've lost between 30-40 lbs, but I'm still about 35 pounds from my goal weight. While my waist and hip measurements have gone down, my "apron" has just gotten droopier and more deflated. I'll never have a flat stomach no matter how much weight I lose.

I run (I love to do half marathons, and in my younger years I completed two full marathons) but the excess flab slows me down and frankly just looks disgusting. I'm tired of thinking I need to lose all this weight before I can get a tummy tuck. I know I probably should, and I'll certainly try to lose more before the procedure, but I want to hear what the doctor says about it.

I haven't done much except start saving some money, but I have my first consult on Thursday. It took all my nerve just to call to set that up! My goal is to have it done this summer, when my kids are out of school and in camp (my husband drives them to/from camp, so it will make childcare much easier.) I work at a desk job full-time, and I shouldn't have any trouble taking time off at that time of year, since it's the slow time there.

So after spending countless hours here reading stories and looking at photos, I think what I want is a tummy tuck and lipo on my inner thighs at the very least. Maybe more. We'll see what the doctor says on Thursday!

2 Comments

Thank you for joining and sharing with us:)

  • Reply
Its not fat its stretched skin. I had twins and recently finally got my tummy tuck!! I am so happy I did bye bye twin skin hello brand new me!! You should do it if it make u feel better! Your worth it!
  • Reply

So I met with a PS this morning, and I really...

So I met with a PS this morning, and I really loved her. If I could have, I would have booked the surgery right then. But, even after all the research I've done, I'm suffering some sticker shock. The total would be $18,700! That includes the tummy tuck, some lipo, and a thigh lift for those nasty inner thigh fat pockets. That would be $7500 alone! So I think I would have to forego that part of it. Anyone have any experience with a thigh lift? Couldn't lipo take care of that?

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Wanted to add some more notes about today's...

Wanted to add some more notes about today's consultation, so I don't forget.
- There would be an overnight stay at a hospital
- She uses the pain pump
- Compression garments for 4 weeks
- Drains (2) for a week. If I did the thigh lift, there would be two for that too, but those would likely come out in the hospital, she said

Hmm, that's all I can remember for now. The cost breakdown was $9200 for the abdominoplasty, $2000 for lipo to my hips (flanks?), and $7500 for the thigh lift. That includes all operation costs, post op visits, one compression garment, hospital stay. Doesn't include labwork, pathology (if needed), medications.

I am going to book at least one more consultation, just to see. But if I could, I'd try to schedule a date tomorrow and put my deposit down!

7 Comments

Hi- good luck to you! I went on a number of consults over a 3 year period until I found my dr. I am so glad because the dr I ultimately chose is amazing. Hope you find your right fit soon. $9200 for just the abdominoplasty sounds high. Mine included an overnight stay as well and was $7500 all in. Definitely shop around
  • Reply
Your front and side shots look like me a week before my tt. I mean we could change out pictures and you couldn't tell who was who. I know of a lady here that got a second opinion and found one cost a whole lot less! Just a suggestion. You may be able to get it done for less. I am sure the lady I am talking about has a ps just as good as the one that was going to charge her so much more. Anyway check out my posts. I have my before and after pictures posted. You may find it weird how much our tummys were alike before my tt.
  • Reply
Oooh, I can't wait to go look! Gotta get the kids in bed first...

So I have another consultation booked on Monday. I...

So I have another consultation booked on Monday. I have a feeling he's going to be expensive too, but we'll see.

I have a question...I made an appointment a few weeks ago to get my yearly(ish) physical with my primary care doctor. I assume she'll be doing bloodwork as usual. I'm wondering if it might be smarter to put off that appointment until closer to my surgery date, so maybe the bloodwork results can be used for that? And does anyone know how much the bloodwork costs out of pocket?

6 Comments

Hey, I live in Slidell...just had TT on Jan 10th with dr. William Kelley in Covington... Awesome dr...he's been doing this for 30 yrs....my friend is having the same surgery in 2 wks with him....sch a consult with him
  • Reply
thanks so much for the tip! i will look into it!
No prob

Okay, so today I went for my second consult....

Okay, so today I went for my second consult. Another great doctor, and then I was hit with a huge cost estimate. This time, for the tummy tuck and lipo it would be $15,100! About half of the cost is just the operating room and anesthesiologist. I really thought since he does it outpatient, it'd be a little less expensive than the other doctor, but apparently not.

I really did love this doctor, though. He was very thorough. He said I had diastasis recti from my pregnancy and possibly an umblical hernia, but he wouldn't know until he got in there. So I don't know if insurance would help because of that or not. Hmm. Anyway, this time I had to wear the paper undies and completely disrobe. Gaah! He was measuring and poking and prodding and all that good stuff. Poor guy. Ha ha! I guess that's why he makes the big bucks!

So now I have yet another consult set for next week. Thankfully, the next one is free.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Ouch! This morning, when I was about to get in the...

Ouch! This morning, when I was about to get in the shower, I did what I usually do (lift up the flabby flap of flab and envision what I'll look like after my TT) and noticed a line of blood at the underside crease of my FFoF. The doctor yesterday was kind of rough with me, pulling it up and measuring and poking and prodding that he actually ripped the skin a little! Now I feel a bit protective of my FFoF.

Also, remembered some things for our meeting that I want to keep note of.
- mentioned bowel prep before surgery, because of possible umbilical hernia. ick!
- gives the option of the pain pump or an injection of some long-lasting local anesthetic

Of course, this is all a moot point since there's no way I can pay $15k for this surgery. Have two more consults scheduled - one for next week and one for the week after. Fingers crossed one of those will work out!

8 Comments

hey i was reading your story that is high...i read about a dr at ejgh in met..and heard about a place called surgitrim have you checked out those places?
  • Reply
I hadn't heard of Surgitrim before, will have to check it out. The doctor I'm seeing in two weeks is near EJ, so we'll see. Thanks for the tip!
keep me updated im a mom of twins and have really been considering this i work with someone who has had if but the travel out of the country for a reasonable price and had their whole body done but im chicken shit on that note. i have a counsltation after mardi gras at surgitrim im hoping that its reasonable...im just not thrilled with going home after wards seeing as i would not know what to expect my aunt had it done and develop clots..i have been reading and i have not heard anyone say u need to get up and move after dont just lay around. this site is really helpful

Had my third consult today. Liked this guy, it was...

Had my third consult today. Liked this guy, it was in a more hospital setting, and in what I thought was a less expensive area of the city. But no, his quote for TT, MR, and lipo to flanks, hips, and upper thighs was $13,075. Who are these people getting quotes of under $10k for this??? I'm not willing to travel very far for this, and I wouldn't think I'd have to. New Orleans is a low COL city!

7 Comments

Try Dr. Calvin Williams (Surgitrim) in New Orleans, he's pretty reasonable
  • Reply
I have a hernia that is being repaired along with the TT and it is saving me some $$ as insurance will cover the hernia repair portion. Also...just a thought...if you have skin irritation, etc. underneath your "mama apron" (that's what I call mine, lol) sometimes they can get insurance to cover a portion of that surgery, too. Good luck with everything- all you NOLA girls on here make me miss it terribly!
  • Reply
Thanks! I guess it's good that carrying triplets didn't cause any major damage, but it sure would be nice if insurance would cover something!!

Oooh! So excited! I may be trying to do my TT...

Oooh! So excited! I may be trying to do my TT around Easter, rather than this summer. And not just because I'm impatient. I actually have some good reasons for it.

- If I do it in the summer, my kids will have to wait until the end of summer to have swimming lessons. (I get in the water during the lessons to help.) And since my husband doesn't swim, they wouldn't get to go swimming for the six weeks I wouldn't be able to swim. So if I do it at easter, by the time June rolls around, I'd be cleared to get in the pool.

- My kids have a week off after Easter, so I wouldn't have to drive them to school and they could stay with my mom or my in-laws for a few days here and there.

- It wouldn't be as hot! I live in a very hot, humid city, and one of my reservations about doing the procedure in the summertime is the prospect of wearing the CG in the hottest months of the year.

- Okay, THIS is more of a vain reason, but my 20th high school reunion is at the end of May. Enough said. :)

So now I just need to figure out fast WHO I want to do it. I'm leaning towards the first doctor I met, since I really loved her, and she is the least expensive (not counting the thigh lift, which I wouldn't do.)

Fingers crossed!

10 Comments

I'm not in your area, but mine seemed "cheaper" because I choose to have a BA along with the TT, so there was a "discount". I'm very happy with the results. Good luck!
  • Reply
yeah im going get a consultation there myself...fingers cross hes in my budget! have u tried him before
I'm schedule to have my tummy tuck with butt augmentation by Dr. Williams on February 21, I'm soooo excited!!!

Just booked my surgery for March 28! My husband's...

Just booked my surgery for March 28! My husband's ankle is healing great, and I talked to the PS's patient coordinator and she confirmed that the lipo involved will get everything on the sides.

So excited!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Put my deposit down today, so it's really...

Put my deposit down today, so it's really officially official! I also found out I have to be available for jury duty from March 4-15, and the only appointment I could get with my primary care doctor (for bloodwork and stuff) is on March 15. So hopefully I don't have to serve on a jury that day!

For my records: need CBC, CMP, EKG and written clearance for anesthesia from my PCP. Pre-op appointment is on the 20th.

Trying to figure out a few details...rent a recliner? We don't really have room for one. And those memory foam wedge systems look so expensive and I don't really have room to store it after I'm done with it. Wonder if just a ton of pillows will suffice. When I was pregnant with my triplets, I just made a nest of pillows every night. Surely it can't be more uncomfortable than the late stages of a triplet pregnancy! Ha ha!

5 Comments

I rented a loft recliner & it was a lifesaver!!! I would have been miserable without it! If it were just the sleeping part...pillows would be fine...but it's the getting up & down part that's a killer! I started sleeping in my bed at 2 weeks & even then, had a HARD time getting in & out of bed (my bed is above waist high). I recommend renting a lift recliner to everyone!!
  • Reply
How much did that cost?
$130+ at rent a center for a month, that's the minimum rental time at mine

Today marks six weeks til my TT. Feels like...

Today marks six weeks til my TT. Feels like forever, but I'm trying to stay super busy until then to make the time go faster. Not hard with three five year olds!

My best friend is flying in on the Monday after surgery (which is on a Thursday) and will stay for a week. Hopefully between my ILs and my mom, someone will be taking my kids for the first few days so they don't have to see me at my worst.

I've been working on strengthening my back at the gym as much as possible before surgery, hopefully I can avoid or lessen the back pain. I had back surgery two years ago for a massively herniated disc, and I don't want to go through anything like that again anytime soon!

Debating "going public" on my blog, but we'll see. I'm a pretty open book, but I don't want anyone stumbling across my before pics. Bad enough that they're here! Anyone who knows me would have an easy time recognizing me from this. Hmmm.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Thinking this morning about what I will wear to...

Thinking this morning about what I will wear to work after the TT. Office is not formal, but not casual either. I guess pants are out? Should I stick up on skirts, flowy dresses, etc.? I will be returning to work approx two weeks post surgery.

4 Comments

Hi Nola! Glad you picked a date and not with the guy who was rough and scratched/tore you! We will be recovering at the same time! I am scheduled 3/29!
  • Reply
Good luck with everything! Really like how thorough your journal and updates are :-). I'm also considering renting a recliner.
  • Reply
Flowy dresses will work... Especially if you have drains... And then you won't have to worry about swell hell... That's the worst... And then when you think your all fine and dandy... The dump truck effect kicks in about week 6 so again... Swelling is worse again when you just started to feel better...
  • Reply

I really don't have much to add today, I'm just...

I really don't have much to add today, I'm just excited. :) Got my surgery time, it'll be at 9:00 am, and I'll have to be at the hospital at 7am. Gotta figure out how to get the kids to school that day - beforecare doesn't start until 7:15. Ah well, we'll figure something out!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

I can't believe my TT is 16 days away! The longest...

I can't believe my TT is 16 days away! The longest 16 days ever, I'm sure, but hopefully it will go fast. This Friday I have a checkup with my PCP, and I'll be getting my bloodwork done at that point. Next Wednesday is my preop appointment, and then 8 days after that is my surgery!

Just found out today that a friend is going to lend me her recliner, so now I don't have to stress out about that anymore. :)

I decided to "out" myself on my blog, but no one seems to be very interested. That's a good thing! I was worried I'd get negative feedback. Here's my blog:

http://www.pyjammy.com

16 Comments

Wow....are u serious ...my thoughts were that these local dr here in th n.o were not aggressive enough ...some of these ppl stories i read i wonder if they will be satisified with the outcome...and that they were expensive....I read a girls post who got an infection from her surgery there at surgitrim....how did he rip u off
  • Reply
Just had a bbl at Surgitrim and my sister and I look the same he ripped us off please dont waist your time
  • Reply
Please post pic

I'm seven days out! Woo hoo! Yesterday I went for...

I'm seven days out! Woo hoo! Yesterday I went for my pre-op appointment. Friday I had all the tests done with my PCP, and those were fine, but when my PS was listening to my heart, she heard a murmur, so today I had to go for an echocardiogram (even though I had an EKG Friday.) Fingers crossed all is well. I've had other surgeries that went fine, so I am not really worried, but still...

I still owe $100 (I got the wrong amount out of the bank) so Monday I'll get all the paperwork from the doctor and meet with the anesthesiologist at the hospital. I wish I hadn't forgotten the shopping list from the PS. Let's see, I think I need to get Hibiclens (already ordered from Amazon), hydrogen peroxide (for blood stains on my clothes, NOT for my body), pads for the drain holes (not exactly sure how this will work), um...hmmm...can't remember what else. Baby shampoo? Can't remember what that was for. Baby powder for getting compression garment back on. Hmmm.... it'll come to me!

3 Comments

Cough drops and chapstick. I didn't have cough drops but I really wish I had them, well, I got them after awhile, but the first few days after surgery, I wish I had had them! Your throat is very raw for a few days. Crackers for nibbling when you have to take a pain pill. Milk of magnesia perhaps for after a few days if you need help with a bm, stool softener may help too. I'm sure the ps will give you another list! I'm so excited for you!
  • Reply
Hi, Nola! I hear the drum rolling! Almost time! Did you find a smoothie you like? I am hoping those smoothies are going to help with the dreaded constipation everyone keeps talking about! My favorite is: one banana, fresh pineapple, two cups baby spinach (with 1/8 cup water and ice cubes). Looks digusting but tastes great!
  • Reply
Oh yeah, I haven't been measuring really, but I basically fill the blender 2/3 with spinach (it's a normal sized blender), then put in about a cup or so of mixed frozen fruit (berries and pineapple, mostly), about half a cup of plain nonfat greek yogurt and a cup or so of almond milk. Pretty good!

Tomorrow's the day! I'm so excited. I'm at work...

Tomorrow's the day! I'm so excited. I'm at work today, but can hardly concentrate. Still a bunch to do at home. Wash sheets, pack bags for the kids (they're staying with the grandparents for a week), pack MY bag, buy a few more supplies, pick up prescriptions.

Got a recliner yesterday. Borrowed it from a friend who had her TT two weeks ago. :)

It's a weird feeling to know that THIS body, the one that has caused me so much grief (but has done so much for me) is going to be gone tomorrow. I feel so defined by my shape, and that's going to change. So weird.

5 Comments

good luck on your transformation
  • Reply
Good luck tomorrow. Will be praying for you. You'll do great. Just take it easy afterwards, no matter how good you feel.
  • Reply
I will be thinking of you tomorrow! Good luck!
  • Reply

Here I am, on the flat side! The pain yesterday...

Here I am, on the flat side! The pain yesterday was pretty bad, but this morning already seems a bit better. Haven't seen under the binder yet, but seems pretty flat under there!

Got four drains, which seems like a lot, but it's fine. Get that fluid out!

Can't wait to get home, but not looking forward to standing up again. Made me nauseated yesterday.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Post op, day 1. Or is it two? Hmm. I say 1. Man,...

Post op, day 1. Or is it two? Hmm. I say 1. Man, these percosets are strong!

Got home from the hospital a few hours ago. MH helped while I emptied the bulbs. One of them had a big mass of congealed blood. Ick.

Pain still intense, but better than yesterday.

Saw my new tummy this morning. Very surreal. I didn't get nauseated or dizzy from standing or having binder off. May get two drains and pain pump out on Monday. That should make everything more bearable.

Okay, gotta go...the perc is pulling me under...

2 Comments

Congratulations!! Get plenty of rest.
  • Reply
Good luck! Hoping for a fast recovery for ya!
  • Reply

It's 3:45am and I had to get up to take Percoset....

It's 3:45am and I had to get up to take Percoset. Pain is getting better, but still very much there. As everyone says, the drains are the worst! Having four tubes coming out of my hoo makes peeing tricky. Forget about pooping, how would I even manage that? We shall see.

One of my drains is oozing blood but seems ok. I think one of them has a clot I can't get out. Will see PS Monday so hopefully she can do something about it.

Took measurements yesterday before my shower. Down several inches everywhere, can't wait to see what they end up being when the swelling goes down.

2 Comments

Glad you are doing well. Tummy looks great! Yes, the drains are definitely the worst. I went back to work after a week with mine. :( Luckily I only had one. Get lots of rest and plenty of fluids. Take care.
  • Reply
Wow! Your tummy looks great even with swelling!
  • Reply

Post op, day 4. Every day, the pain gets more...

Post op, day 4. Every day, the pain gets more manageable. Took no meds overnight and only one Percoset today. Was hoping I'd get a drain or two out today, but alas, she wants to wait another day. Fingers crossed that tomorrow I get a couple out!

Also, I pooped today. Hurrah!

No new pics, not much change since the last one.

5 lbs down from surgery day, and that's after breakfast, clothed and with drains. And swelling. Woo!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Today is post op day 6. Only on Tylenol today, but...

Today is post op day 6. Only on Tylenol today, but so ready to have some of these drains out! Tomorrow is my first post op visit with my PS, fingers crossed!

Just for shits & giggles, I weighed myself today. Down 11 lbs! And still swollen!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Today marks two weeks since my surgery. It's flown...

Today marks two weeks since my surgery. It's flown by! I am feeling pretty good, but I still have two of my drains. I am SOOO ready for them to come out. I talk to a nurse at the PS office every morning, but I haven't heard back from them today if they're going to pull them. I really hope I hear back soon. This is by far the worst part.

I'm sleeping okay. I can sleep on my sides now, but not all night. I wake up in the middle of the night in pain. I'm off all painkillers, but maybe I should reconsider for nighttime. :)

I've been back at work since Tuesday, and that's going fine. I have a desk job and an understanding boss.

I JUST WANT THESE DRAINS OUT!!!

2 Comments

How much are you draining per day? I know they usually want you to be under a certain amount. Hang in there, they can't be in forever! You're results are great! You must be thrilled! I was off meds by the middle of the second week, but did take some at night to be able to get some sleep sometimes. You seem like you are doing great! Take care!
  • Reply
Under 25 each, so it's time! :)

Still happy, drains are out, but swelling is...

Still happy, drains are out, but swelling is driving me nuts. Not that I didn't expect it, but it really messes with your head. I went to try on clothes at the mall and discovered I'm in the same size pants! How can that be? I need to wait until the swelling is done before I attempt that again!

Otherwise, healing has been fine. Scar looks great (under the tape PS put on it), lipo pain is mostly gone, some sensation is returning, etc.

Added more pics!

5 Comments

I'm so happy to see your pics! Settles my worries a bit about my TT. My fave part is your facial expression in the mirror. Reminds me of me, ha!
  • Reply
Hey neighbor. You look great!! Congratulations!
  • Reply
You look fantastic! The swelling is awful for us, the way I deal with it is by looking at my before pictures and marveling at how great my tummy looks now! And you should do the same, your tummy looks beautiful!
  • Reply

I honestly don't have a ton to add, but just...

I honestly don't have a ton to add, but just wanted to update with a pic. Feeling even better, but still swelling a lot. Down only one pants size, but really can't wear pants yet. I did wear some jeans last night for the first time and I look much better than before!

2 Comments

Looking awesome!!!
  • Reply
Hey!! We were the same day. Glad things are moving right along for you. Patience is best with this endeavor I am finding. Have a good weekend.
  • Reply

Yesterday, I went for my 6 week post-op visit, and...

Yesterday, I went for my 6 week post-op visit, and my doctor was concerned about my swelling below my belly button. It was firm and not ripply, so I just figured it was good old-fashioned swelling, but she was able to pull out 92ccs of fluid! Four weeks after my drains were removed!

At least my tummy is flatter now, but I'm worried about this seroma coming back and jeopardizing my recovery. Ack! And now I have to keep wearing my spanx. Ah well.

4 Comments

I worry about seromas too......glad she caught it and was able to drain it.
  • Reply
Hey....you're looking good. Hope everything continues to go well. You look so good in those clothes.......work it girl!
  • Reply
Have you been wearing your CG this whole time ?
  • Reply

My seroma is gone! 2 months post TT

So I'm now 2 months out and feeling good. My seroma is gone so I'm able to not wear my binder or spanx constantly. I go back for a recheck next week, fingers crossed its really resolved.

I'm still somewhat swollen, but otherwise feel great. Well, except that I've gained a few pounds post-surgery and I need to get back on track. At least I still weigh less than I did on surgery day!

I have been back at the gym, running two miles at a time, and doing some arm and leg exercises.

Wearing scar tape still (will wear for 12 weeks total) so not entirely sure what it looks like. But this morning a length of it on my left side came off and it looks like I have a very tiny dog ear there. Not at all worried about it, my doctor is fabulous and will take care of it if necessary.

5 Comments

Glad you are doing well. Take care.
  • Reply
I just had a small amount drained today at 9weeks po! I think if i wore my cg longer and especially when exercising it wouldnt have happened but who really knows for sure? I was told no exercise for 2 more weeks. =(
  • Reply
So crazy! I had two visits a week apart with no fluid to drain, so I hope it's really and truly gone. Ugh. I have been wearing my binder when I exercise (that's an attractive sight!) and my doctor said it was fine, so we'll see... Hope yours goes away soon!

3 months post surgery...

Things are going well here....my swelling is going down some. Exercising some, just started WW again to get rid of some of the other fat on my body. ;)

Scar tape has started to come off, scar looks good. Flat and smooth, but pink.

My only regret is not getting lipo on my inner thighs. Oh well. Next time. ;)

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

4 months (almost) post

So I had my last visit with my PS until DECEMBER! Gaah! I'm healing fine, so no need. I'll take my official "after" pics then.

Had to put back on Spanx due to some swelling, just to see if it helps. If not, time will, I'm sure. Not too worried about it.

Started back doing abs at the gym yesterday. Just light, but I'm not sore today so maybe I'll add a few pounds to the machine next time.

As mentioned before, I'm doing WW to try to lose some of the other fat on my body. Want to look extra good in those after pics! :)

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Dr. Cynthia Mizgala

I really clicked with Dr Mizgala. We were chatting like old friends within a few minutes of my consultation. I like that she does her procedures outpatient, and her credentials are exceptional.

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
4 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
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful