PO Day 28: WOW - Love My Mommy Makeover Results! - Newport Beach, CA

I am 36 years old, 5'6" and a very...

I am 36 years old, 5'6" and a very athletic 143 pounds. After breastfeeding both of my kids, my former B cup breasts are now so small and saggy that they barely fill my bra. The skin on my stomach is loose and wrinkly, and my stomach walls push out like a bowl.

I've exercised my body down to 21% body fat, so by now it's pretty clear that this "potbelly" look I've got is permanent without surgical intervention. At first, I was planning to have a breast augmentation only. However, after 3 consultations, I learned that I need a mastopexy (aka a breast lift) as well.

I was thinking about doing the abdominoplasty (aka tummy tuck) in the future, but I found out that doing them at the same time would save me at least a week in recovery time. If it takes ~7 days to heal the BA and ~14 days to heal the TT, I figured why not do them both at once and minimize the amount of time I needed to take off work? I consulted with 3 doctors and was surprised at how different each one was in terms of technique, philosophy, office staff, etc.

The first doctor had by far the best office staff. He did beautiful breasts and tummy tucks, and I was ready to sign right then! The second doctor had even more impressive tummy tucks, but I thought his breasts looked more like round-balls-under-chest vs. natural. I considered having one doctor do my breasts and the other do my tummy tuck, but that meant I'd have to deal with recovery from 2 different surgeries. Ummm... Not what I had in mind.

Finally, I consulted with the 3rd doctor. His office was the least organized (He was 50 minutes late for my appointment!), but I was very impressed by him, his credentials, his testimonials, and his explanations. When he explained his breast augmentation and lift approach, I felt that his technique was comparable to the first doctor. However, when he explained to me why he suggested an extended tummy tuck with some liposuction vs. a regular tummy tuck with no lipo, I was convinced that his method would give me a better result. He suggested liposuction for my inner thighs as well (something I would like but hadn't realized could be done all at the same time), and after thinking about it, I realized that while I felt confident about both my first and third surgeons, I would probably be happiest with the more complete package of procedures. So, I paid my deposit today ($2400) and locked in my surgery date: Monday, March 26, 2012.

Here we go!


Whew. Now that I have set a date and moved from...

Whew. Now that I have set a date and moved from research mode into reality, I can't stop thinking about worst case scenarios! I am amazed that this surgery is going to take 7 hours. 7 hours!! Sure, I am healthy and all, but that just seems like a long time! I called my doctor's office and one of the staff members pointed out that her 72-year-old grandmother had a facelift that took even longer than that. Ok, so it's not the longest of the long, but still... I'm going to do a little more reading up on typical surgery durations. I wonder if 7 hours is typical of a Mommy Makeover...? I think I will feel more calm once I get more data re: how/whether the length of surgery impacts a person's risk profile. !

Wow! My girlfriends are so supportive! We had a...

Wow! My girlfriends are so supportive! We had a mom's night out dinner and I told them that I was going to have a mommy makeover. They were all so positive and caring and excited for me, asking if they could do anything to help post-op. Aww! I was touched. Turns out several of my friends are planning mommy makeovers once they stop breastfeeding, too! After reading other Real Self reviews where women are forced to struggle in secret, I am so thankful that I don't have to hide my surgery from my friends and family. I feel fortunate to have a big support network. Interesting that there is no stigma here against plastic surgery - is it really so commonplace? Guess that's one benefit of living in Orange County, California! :P

It's Sunday, February 26th today - exactly 1...

It's Sunday, February 26th today - exactly 1 month until my surgery day!

I called my plastic surgeon on Friday to ask for a new quote. I've been thinking a lot about the 7 hours of surgery I have planned and finally decided that it was longer than I'd like it to be from a risk perspective. I've decided not to do the inner thigh liposuction in an effort to bring down my surgery time. I'm also asking him if I really need an extended tummy tuck vs. a regular tummy tuck. He was the only doctor out of 3 that thought that an extended tummy tuck might be best, and now I'm wondering whether it's really necessary. Doing a regular tummy tuck would certainly reduce the number of sutures and thus reduce time in the OR, too. We'll see what he says about all this tomorrow.

Through the magic of Amazon, I've started ordering all the supplies that people have been suggesting on the forums. I bought a 12" wedge shaped pillow and a bunch of mattress protectors for my bed. I'm not sure how much liquid actually escapes from your body, but I'm going to have drains so I figure that it must be a significant amount. Certainly enough for me not to want it staining my bedding! If anyone has any suggestions for must-have items, please let me know! I've got Amazon Prime with free 2-day shipping and I am ready to get whatever is going to be needed!

Also, 2 days ago, I started the 60-day INSANITY workout DVD's. Since I only have 29 days til my surgery, I jumped right in at Day 30. My calves are sore right now, so I guess it's doing something! I had a 9-site caliper test on Friday and found out I am down to 18.6% body fat. I'm trying to get my body fat percentage down as low as I can so that I have some buffer room to gain weight during that post-surgery no-intense-workouts period. I'm worried that I'm going to lose all my lean mass during that time! I am carrying 116 pounds of lean mass right now, so it'll be interesting to see what happens during the rest period. Will it all just disappear into thin air? Or, will all that muscle turn into fat? I hope I'm worrying about nothing!

Well, time to read a few mommy makeover reviews and comments before I go to bed. Good night!

I talked to the surgery coordinator about wanting...

I talked to the surgery coordinator about wanting to drop the inner thigh lipo and do a normal vs. extended tummy tuck. She said we could sort out what procedures we would be doing at my pre-op appointment and not to worry about it. Whew! That made me feel much better! I was trying to get a new quote so I'd know what amount of money to bring to pre-op, but she said I could always bring the cashier's check by the following week.

Today I threw away all the junk food in my house. I am trying to eat clean this month in preparation for my surgery, but these Girl Scout cookies are making a mess of my eating plans! I am lifting weights in an effort to turn as many of those calories into muscle as possible. My foodie cousins are coming to town this weekend and we have a ton of yummy restaurants lined up. Hopefully I can keep my clean eating plan together while I eat out. It's hard when food is a big part of your social activities!

I went on the Victoria's Secret web site today to look for a before-and-after bikini and realized that I have no idea what size top to buy! Oh well. Guess that can wait til after I am healed and can actually try them on in person.

I am trying to focus on the outcome and on my personal health and fitness in an effort to keep myself calm and relaxed, but every now and then I remember that some people die in surgery. I keep thinking about that movie "Clueless" - remember how Cher's mom died in a "routine liposuction" ? That line seemed funny at the time, but not so much now! :p Gotta focus on the positive!

My pre-op appointment is today! I am ready to go...

My pre-op appointment is today! I am ready to go with the look book of "what I want my breasts to look like" photos on http://mylookbook.com - a really helpful tool for communicating my desired outcome! I am going to spend this weekend getting the last of my supplies so that I can be done and just focus on relaxing, family time and getting my projects at work in a good place before I am out of commission for a while. Off to the gym for a run on the treadmill and some weights!

My pre-op appointment was surprising: no implant...

My pre-op appointment was surprising: no implant size selection at all! I showed my doctor some photos I liked and he is going to choose whatever gets me to a full C and still looks natural. I was told by his coordinator that this was due to the fact that I am having a lollipop lift, so the doctor just has to see what works best once that part is complete. That's fine by me - he is way more qualified than I am to pick the implant size. I just know what I'd like in the end. :) I picked up all my prescriptions today along with some of the supplies my doctor asked me to get. I purchased 2 Fleet enemas, anti-bacterial soap for showering the week before surgery, and Colace for constipation, but I could not find the bromelain or arnica montana. I guess I will try CVS and Whole Foods tomorrow. I was surprised by all the things I need to cut out of my diet, esp green tea and flax seeds! Also, my doctor convinced me that the extended tummy tuck was the way to go. I am not willing to risk having a muffin top in back after all this, and apparently I have a lot of loose skin on my hips that I thought was fat but turns out is just skin. Ever since my doctor pointed that out yesterday, I keep grabbing my hip skin amazed that I had never picked up on that! I am not sure if I mentioned this, but I got up to 210 pounds with each of my pregnancies. So, hopefully my big hip-to-hip scar can be hidden! 15 days to go...

4 more days! I can't believe it. I've...

4 more days! I can't believe it. I've intentionally made this week as busy as possible in an effort to keep myself from getting too anxious about my upcoming surgery: hosting a dinner at my house tonight, planning my kids' birthday party this weekend, focusing on a bunch of big projects at work... I don't think I could get more busy right now if I tried! :P I am seeing a nutritionist today to get a meal plan for the 6 week period that I can't work out like I normally do. I am dreading seeing all my hard work at the gym disintegrate, so I figure I'd better get REALLY clean with my diet to minimize the impact. I lift weights 3x a week, so I don't know where all that muscle mass is going to go. Ugh. Hope it's not going to be come fat instead! Tomorrow I start taking the Bromelain, then Sunday I start taking the Arnica pills. I've been washing with anti-bacterial soap all week, avoiding alcohol, green tea and flaxseeds and basically following all the directions that my PS gave me. Kinda bummed that I'm hosting a "fiesta" dinner tonight with tacos, enchiladas, tortilla soup and the works but can't have a margarita with it! As for supplies, I am completely set, thanks to Walgreens and Amazon. I just need to wash the new zip-front robes that arrived in the mail the other day and pack my overnight bag, as I'll be staying in an aftercare facility on Monday night. I am considering staying at the aftercare facility for a second night, but at $700/night, I'm only going to do it if I'm really an absolute mess on the medical front. They are letting me play it by ear, thankfully. Well, time for work! Have a great day everyone!

It's 1:16am and I can't sleep! I am...

It's 1:16am and I can't sleep! I am scheduled to be at the surgery center tomorrow at 7am. My bag is packed and I am ready to go now! I am considering just staying up and getting some work done. I figure I'll be so messed up from the anesthesia that missing a good night's rest probably won't make much difference! I packed my cell phone, all my medicines, some toiletries, a book, and this iPad. My husband is going to drive me there, then the recovery center will pick me up afterwards and take me away to a medically monitored night of rest. It's raining outside. I wonder if they've ever had a power outage while a surgery was in progress? I'm going to ask about that tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

Day 1 PO: I did it! I arrived at the surgery...

Day 1 PO: I did it! I arrived at the surgery center at 7am yesterday (Mon 3/26). I chatted with the anesthesiologist, had lines drawn all over my body, and was knocked out. When I woke up, it was 10pm! They finished at 6pm, but I was still delirious from the anesthesia. I finally was given a drug to counteract the anesthesia and started to come back to normal. The aftercare nurse brought me to the recovery center, and I got cozy in a nice, adjustable bed. I had these massagers attached to my calf to help me avoid getting a pulmonary embolism. I was so thirsty and I was feeling panicky. I couldn't sleep at all even with 2 Xanax and 1 Ambien! Then my heart started beating fast - like 173 bpm. My nurse called my doctor, and he said that I needed to sleep. Otherwise, I might need to go to the emergency room. Eeek! Well, maybe that scared me to sleep, because next thing I know, I was passed out. I kept waking up every hour needing water, needing the window opened because I was too hot, needing a cough drop. I finally figured out that my bra strap was causing my pain because it was way too small for me. I opened a few hooks and felt so much better I was able to sleep a real sleep finally! I had Kashi cereal and milk with blueberries for breakfast, then went to my post op appointment at 11am. By then, I was feeling really good and in no pain. My aftercare nurse drove me to my appointment, and my husband met me at the office. Then, we went home and I camped out on the couch all day. Whew! I had a good 1st day. No pain really, except when I was getting off the couch to walk laps around the living room. My advice: buy a walker, wedge pillow and a raised toilet seat! Those saved me today! Time for bed now. Hopefully tomorrow is as good as today!

Day 2 PO: This has been a pretty good day! I'm...

Day 2 PO: This has been a pretty good day! I'm taking percocet and feeling pretty in control of the pain. 2 of my girlfriends came by and brought dinner for my whole family, so my mom and my husband didn't have to cook tonight. I think the only thing I'm still waiting for is a bowel movement (ok, TMI! But didn't want you guys thinking I was sitting here 100% cozy and comfortable :). I spent all day hanging out on the couch and taking a nap here and there. Every hour or two, I'd get up and do a few laps around the kitchen and living room with my walker. I also have to blow into an apparatus 10x per hour to help re-expand my lungs after surgery. Did anyone else have to use this? I'm icing the tops of my chest for 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. Most of all, I'm just wondering when the swelling is going to kick in. Smooth sailing so far. Is this the calm before the storm?

Day 3 PO: I had another good day of recovery. I...

Day 3 PO: I had another good day of recovery. I spaced my percocet out last night so I took it at 1am and again at 7am and got a nice restful sleep as a result. I was taking it every 4 hours before, but I moved to an every 6 hour schedule instead. 3 of my girlfriends came over with their 2-year-old daughters and we had a playdate for a couple hours before lunch. It was so nice to have company and my daughter had fun playing with all her friends. :) I guess my walker has really been saving my back. Either that, or the percocet has really been doing its job! My only issue now is that I have yet to have a BM (Colace still NOT doing it's job!). My drains look a lot less full today. I had outputs of 50ml the last 2 days, but today I have around 30ml. They aren't scheduled to come out til next Wednesday, though. Sigh. Still no swelling going on... I feel like I am waiting for a tornado to strike, so just enjoying my good luck so far. My husband, mom, dad and friends have all been keeping my spirits up, watching the kids, and getting stuff done around the house. Thankful for all the support!!

Day 4 PO: I am feeling better and better every day...

Day 4 PO: I am feeling better and better every day. Today I spent my time napping on the couch, reading books to my daughter, and writing thank you cards for the kids' birthday party gifts. I finally had a BM (yay!) and decided to take colase morning and evening for a while longer til things get back on track completely. My drains had a total volume of 38cc's today: 25 on the left and only 13 on the right. I wonder why that left side is so much more productive! My patient coordinator at my ps's office said that was normal. Hopefully this downward trend of drain output continues. ! My stomach is very achy whenever I laugh or cough. I noticed that my compression garment is not as tight as it was before, so I am planning to insert this foam rectangle into the front to make it more snug tomorrow. My back is still feeling A-OK, which I attribute to the use of my walker. When I get tired, my walker has a seat built in that lets me scoot around using just my feet. It's pretty handy! I was able to straighten up the kitchen and living room by using it as a wheeled seat. That made me feel kind of productive. :) One of my girlfriends came over tonight and brought me matcha green tea frozen yogurt - my favorite! She's having a BA on Friday next week, so we had a good chat about how things have been going and compared notes on pre-op protocols. I think my experience helped put her mind at ease a bit, which made me happy. :) I switch from Percocet to Vicodin tomorrow. Hopefully I have less drowsiness and more clarity of thought. I'm going back to work on Monday for an all day meeting and need to be on point for that! Happy healing everyone!

One last note: I wanted to share what I've been...

One last note: I wanted to share what I've been eating this week. I think it's really helped minimize swelling and kept me feeling healthy and comfortable this whole week:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, a splash of nonfat milk, cinnamon, 2 egg whites
Mid-Morning: 3 egg whites, 1/2 a grapefruit, 1 scoop Protein powder mixed with water
Lunch: 4oz low sodium turkey meat, 2 cups of broccoli and cauliflower boiled in low sodium chicken broth
Mid-Afternoon: 3oz chicken breast, salad
Dinner: 4oz unsalted turkey meatballs, 1 cup chard or other green veggies
Plus lots of water, green tea, and sometimes 2 oz of Gatorade Fruit Punch if I want something sweet during the day.
Hopefully all this protein helps me retain my lean mass during the 6 week gym hiatus of healing! We shall see...

Day 5 PO: Doing better and better. I switched from...

Day 5 PO: Doing better and better. I switched from Percocet to Vicodin today and felt much less sleepy. My husband took both kids to a birthday party, then to play at their cousins' house, so I had a very quiet day of rest at home with my parents. Yay! Before hubby left, he made a big pot of veggie soup. So good! I ate that and turkey meatballs all day long. I figured out a way to get back onto the couch into a reclined/legs elevated position without using my core muscles to lift my legs. I had been getting help previously, but now I use one of my kids' little chairs to log roll my way back to position. That means I am pretty much 100% independent for the first time (though I still can't wash my own back). Before, I would get up to use the bathroom at night, but I would need help getting back into bed again. This was a huge relief, as my parents are leaving tomorrow and I start work again Monday. Eek! On a positive note, my drains produced 10cc's on the left and 11cc's on the right: my lowest total ever! I noticed the fluid draining is more yellow in color vs. Red like before. I wonder if my ps would pull the drains earlier than Wed...?

Day 6 PO: This is it - my last real rest day. I'm going back to work tomorrow, though thankfully I will be working from home. Today I woke up and had some oatmeal and egg whites with green tea. I am so glad to be back drinking tea again! It was on the no go list pre-op. I hung out with the kids and had a mid-morning nap. Then, my hubby surprised us with a ton of dim sum, my favorite Chinese brunch food. I ate too much and worried that all the soy sauce would make me swell up, but so far so good! I then moved my entire home base upstairs into my son's bedroom. That was the first time I had gone upstairs since leaving for surgery almost a week ago! It was actually no big deal - I went really slow and basically climbed up on all fours. We moved this leather bench from the foot of my bed to the side of my son's bed. Then, I moved a small Ikea step stool next to the bench. This makes a sort of staircase for me to climb into and out of bed up here. I didn't have this issue before because our couch was so much lower, so all I needed to do was roll in and out all week. I moved my high rise toilet seat to my son's bathroom (so thankful the bathroom is right by my bed up here now!), and my walker is now parked at the base of the staircase for use downstairs. I'm feeling pretty good right now! Looks like tonight is gonna have my smallest amount of drain output yet. :) I had a BM today, so I'm doing great on all fronts. If only my parents could've stayed one more week! They left tonight, so this week will likely test the limits of my husband's sanity! He usually cooks dinner, but I usually do baths, PJ's, tooth brushing, bedtime stories, and tuck ins for the kids. I was glad I could do the bed time stories tonight at least. Wish me luck with my return to work tomorrow! Needless to say, I won't be turning on the video conference feature like I usually do for my work meetings. :)

Day 7 PO: I worked a full day today from 8:30am to...

Day 7 PO: I worked a full day today from 8:30am to 6pm. My husband helped get me situated at the kitchen table with my work laptop, my phones, my prescriptions, and some water. I had a funny moment when I got locked out of our pantry because the child locks are up high where the adults can reach it, but not kids and people who are hunched over a walker. Oops. Tomorrow I'm going to put all my food out for the whole day so I can reach it without assistance. By 12pm, I was a little achy from sitting hunched over my laptop all morning and went to eat lunch lying down on the couch to rest my back. By 1pm, I was back up again and fine for the rest of the day. I finished off my antibiotics this afternoon and my bromelain and arnica montana tonight. My ps said I don't need to keep taking anything else except pain meds as needed, so I'm going to buy some Tylenol and see if I can alternate Vicodin with Tylenol starting tomorrow. I think I've lost some weight this week with my appetite practically nonexistent - my arms look super lean, especially now that I am not working out, either. I think my thighs look smaller, too, even with the foam inserts. I know this sounds like good news, but I don't even want to know if this weight loss is being fueled by lost muscle (my favorite thing to focus on!). Can I just say that I am REALLY looking forward to showering!? And when do people start walking fully upright again? I'm afraid to stand straight and feel the tug on the incisions. I use my walker during the day to walk around the house still. My drains output 10cc's left and 11 cc's right tonight, so 21 cc's total for the last 24 hours again. I was hoping for less fluid, but its supposedly low enough for me to still get the drains out in 2 days. Time for my last round of Vicodin before bed. Good night, everyone!

Day 8 PO: Tuesday was my 2nd day back at work. I...

Day 8 PO: Tuesday was my 2nd day back at work. I don't know what I was worried about- I was more than well enough to sit at the kitchen table or, when my back needed a rest, on the couch and type on my laptop. At the end of the day, I had about 14cc's of fluid in my drains and knew it would be ok. :) I meant to switch to Tylenol full time and cut out the vicodin altogether, but I got busy with meetings and ended up skipping all my pain meds for several hours. Was surprised to find out it wasn't that bad after all!

Day 9 PO: Wednesday was my 3rd day back at work. It was also the last day I'd need to use my walker - another post-op appointment and time to get my drains out! I had been instructed to walk hunched over in the days following my surgery, but supposedly once the drains came out, I was free to stand upright again. Well, easier said than done! My skin on my stomach is so tight that it feels like it's pulling me into a hunched over position. Either that, or my back just got used to that posture after 9 days of hunched walking. Well, I am no longer walking with a walker, but wow it's still not the same posture-wise yet. My doctor replaced all my tapes and put fresh steri-strips on all of my sutures. Then, he told me that I could take a shower tonight. Yay!! I need to go to Nordstrom's tomorrow and pick up some Spanx to wear. I'm supposed to wear Spanx every single day for the next month or so to provide compression from just below my bra down to my thighs. Today I moved to extra strength Tylenol and Motrin, alternating every 6 hours. I saw myself in the mirror today at my doctor's appointment and am REALLY happy with how my breasts and stomach are looking so far. My breast implants still need to drop fully, but they look very natural already. My stomach looks super flat right now, too - not sure if that's because it was wrapped in a compression garment for 9 days, though! Well, kids are finally in bed and it's time for my much anticipated shower. :) Happy healing to everyone!

One last note: when you take that first shower,...

One last note: when you take that first shower, you might want to bring a shower chair, a plastic chair, or have some kind of built-in bench in your shower. By the time I got around to conditioning my hair, I was a little dizzy and needed a seat! Also, I hadn't noticed this til tonight, but my stomach and the skin under my breasts is numb. I made sure to sit with my back to the shower so I didn't burn myself accidentally. I could see me doing that with my skin unable to detect heat. Wow, love having freshly washed hair! :)

Day 10 PO: Thursday - my 4th day back at work. I...

Day 10 PO: Thursday - my 4th day back at work. I had my usual breakfast of oatmeal and egg whites, but my husband made fresh blackberry and blueberry muffins, so I had those for my mid-morning snack. I am not used to eating so many carbs, so I feel a lot more bloated than usual. Oh well! Gotta admit that those muffins were worth it. :) I woke up and went all the way til 12pm before I realized that I had forgotten to take Tylenol today. I think that's just me: when I am busy at work, I don't always remember to take meds unless the pain is screaming. Now the only thing uncomfortable is the fact that I can't stand up 100% straight. My tummy skin just feels too tight to allow it and my back is sore from walking hunched over without a walker. At Chuck E. Cheese tonight, 2 people asked me if I had thrown out my back. I called my doctor's office and asked if this is normal, and they told me that the skin would stretch and my back would feel normal again after a few days. This is all part of recovery. I guess I don't recall any other Day 10 PO folks having a hard time standing straight. Is anyone else having an issue? Other than that, everything looks good! I bought 2 pairs of Spanx to wear, so that gives me 3 Spanx and a compression garment to wear for the next month. These particular Spanx came with butt shapers to pad my butt. Hehe! Umm, that is about the last thing I need on this butt! Also, last night I slept in some Spanx while i wahed my CG (finally!) and went to pee in the morning. Guess what? That hole at the bottom was not quite big enough! I ended up peeing all over my Spanx and having to change and wear the CG all day today again. Has anyone got a trick for making the Spanx crotch opening work? Good thing I laundered my CG the night before! This had never happened to me even after 9 days straight of wearing that CG. Not looking forward to pulling the Spanx up and down over my incision every time I have to pee, but they sure do take up less room under my clothes compared to the CG and all the foam pieces that go with it! At $82/Spanx super duper compression body suit, I'm not at all surprised that the founder of Spanx is a billionaire now!

Day 17 PO: Thursday of the following week... Sorry...

Day 17 PO: Thursday of the following week... Sorry for the big gap in posts! I have had nothing new to report for a whole week, so I didn't want to bore everyone with more of the same "I feel great" stuff. But it's true - I really do feel like I'm back to normal, just with a bunch of steri-strips taped to my stitches, some nice boobs and a non-wrinkly tummy. Here are the highlights:

1. Independence. I'm driving again! Woohoo. I went grocery shopping yesterday morning by myself and actually enjoyed it. So nice not to have to be driven everywhere! Didn't realize how much I missed driving myself places.

2. Mommy Stuff. Last Monday my hubby left on a business trip (Day 14 and 15 PO for me) and left me with the kids by myself. My kids are 2 and 5 now, so they're pretty self-sufficient. I'm not supposed to lift them yet, so luckily I don't need to pick them up to put them in bed, potty, tub, car seats, etc. The only thing inconvenient is going out in public - I need to go with another adult because I can't lift them up to reach the toilet and the sink to wash their hands after using the bathroom.

3. Lingerie. I bought some new post-surgical bras (got fitted at Nordstrom and found out I was a 32DD right now (!). I was guessing 36D - guess I was a little off! So glad I actually had a measurement done before buying the wrong size. Also, I have been wearing the "super duper" compression Spanx every day, 24/7, except when I shower.

4. Weight Management. I haven't been cleared to exercise yet, but I'm expecting the go ahead when I see my doctor next Wednesday. I've lost some more weight and am down to 134 now. My husband says I look tiny now that I've lost so much of my muscle. I don't think my back has looked this small in a long time, but luckily I still can feel a few leg muscles left. Given my fondness for eating, I'm not happy to be losing my fat burning capabilities (especially after my Easter chocolate bonanza last weekend, hehe!). Looking forward to getting back to the gym again soon!

5. Pain. Huh. I haven't had a pain killer in over a week now. I had a few busy days at work where I forgot to take them and suddenly realized that I didn't even need them. Well, I guess that was easy. My friend suggested that perhaps I have a high pain tolerance? I don't know, to be honest, but I'm glad that the hard part appears to be behind me.

6. Swelling. Ever since my Easter pretzel M&M fest, I have been feeling a little more bloated in my stomach. It's hard to know if that's due to my diet or due to swelling from surgery. My breasts must be swollen - I'm a 32DD, so it's either that or we overshot the mark on my breast size by a couple of cup sizes! LOL. Well, they look good this way, too, so I'm fine wherever they end up.

7. Numbness. The lower part of my stomach and underside of my breasts have been sort of tingly when I touch them, but they are starting to feel a little more normal. So yay! I can tell the difference from that first shower last week, and I'm happy to say things are moving in the right direction on that front.

I am finally uploading some before/after pics. And today I'm going to switch my review from "Undecided" to "Worth It." Hope everyone is doing well! :)

Day 21 PO: Monday 4/16 - it's been 3 weeks since...

Day 21 PO: Monday 4/16 - it's been 3 weeks since my surgery and I have been feeling 100% back-to-normal for quite some time now. I bought this purple urine funnel on Amazon (the P EZ by Lady Elegance) and it has made going to the bathroom in Spanx soooo much easier. At last I know for sure that I'm not going to accidentally splash myself trying to use the crotch opening, which means I don't have to keep pulling the Spanx up and down over my hips every time I pee. I guess they sell these funnels for women who are camping or at concerts or places you might not want to sit down, but they work great for 24/7 Spanx wearers, too! I am looking forward to my post-op appointment on Wednesday. The stitches are coming out - yay! I can't believe these steri-strips have held up for 2 whole weeks. Can't wait to see what is under them and start my scar treatment. Next week I have a business trip, so hopefully there are no problems with my incisions while I am out of town. I am looking for some loose shirts to cover up my chest at work, but I work with mostly men so something tells me they are all going to notice a difference unless I am wearing a baggy fleece or a big sweater. I have been working from home for the past 2 weeks, so this is the first time anyone from the office will see me post-surgery. Btw, does anyone else have dry skin under their Spanx? I have been using cocoa butter every day after I shower, but it doesn't seem to help. I never had dry skin before - wondering why Spanx would cause this? I haven't been taking any meds for almost 2 weeks now. Gotta remember to ask my doctor about this, too. Happy healing everyone!

Day 23 PO: I had a post-op appointment today and...

Day 23 PO: I had a post-op appointment today and had all my stitches taken out. My doctor gave me the go ahead to start walking at the gym (yay!) and lifting biceps and triceps only. I was shocked to find out that I had a small SEROMA just below my bellybutton! He drained it easily with a needle, but still... eeeek! My tummy looked flat to me before, but once he drained the seroma, it looked even smaller - almost concave! So, now I'm going back again next week so that he can check the seroma to see if it fills up with fluid again. From what I've read, seromas can typically be managed by having your doctor use a needle to drain the fluid. This could take weeks of repeated aspiration, though! I keep wondering how long it was there. I just didn't know how to identify it. If you develop a seroma, you are supposed to go back to your doctor *immediately* to have it drained asap. If you don't, a sac could form around it and you could end up with a chronic seroma that must be removed by surgery. I am guessing I had it for about a week and just attributed it incorrectly to feeling bloated due to my eating pretzel M&M's and muffins. Oops. Well, now I know what to look for!

I just loaded a close-up before pic of my stomach....

I just loaded a close-up before pic of my stomach. This one was taken with a real camera vs. my old crappy cell phone camera. I'd almost forgotten how many wrinkles and stretch marks I really had! Plus, the more weight I lost, the worse it'd get. And now, they're all gone. :) Yay.

Day 28 PO: Monday 4/23 - I had a post-op...

Day 28 PO: Monday 4/23 - I had a post-op appointment today to have more fluid drained from my seroma. I didn't look down or ask how much fluid was removed, but I had 2 needle pricks (one on each side of my lower abdomen, above my scar line). This week I am going back tomorrow morning and Friday morning to have more fluid drained. Hopefully this week's aggressive aspiration schedule will help my abdomen layers stick together without fluid buildup. I am wearing Spanx and my binder this week to try to keep things as tight as I can to reduce fluid buildup. On the plus side, my breasts look amazing. There is hardly any scar line at all. I can't believe it. They look really natural and are even starting to soften up, which I just noticed today. Yay! As for my tummy scar, I started treating it with Biocorneum. This is a silicone gel that contains SPF 30. I put a thin layer on every morning and night. There are 3 little unhealed parts on my scar line: one right in front, one on my right hip and one at the right terminus of the scar line. I think these are the places where my Spanx and/or jeans rubbed against my skin and tore the scab away a bit. I put neosporin on those spots and a band-aid to get them to heal. Biocorneum cannot be used on open wounds, so we'll have to wait on those spots! I am feeling great - no pain, no swelling other than my seroma. Wednesday will be my first flight since the surgery, so hopefully nothing crazy happens while I am away! Be well, everyone!
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Grover is an amazing surgeon with a kind and reassuring bedside manner. My body looks fantastic and my recovery period was not only fast, but surprisingly pain-free. I was back at work after 7 days and completely off all pain meds after ~10 days. My tummy tuck scar is low and thin, my new belly button looks vertical and pretty, and my breasts - wow. They really fit my frame just right and look so natural! I am very happy with the lipo results, too. My body is very noticeably more contoured. Dr. Grover has the most friendly, positive and helpful staff. I've called in with questions several times and they are always able to give me an immediate answer. The only downside: his office is REALLY busy. I have waited ~50 minutes for some of my appointments. I really couldn't be happier with my results and strongly recommend Dr. Grover to anyone considering a mommy makeover.

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
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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