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A year and a half later after surgery...

Hello everyone! Please allow me to introduce...

Hello everyone!

Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kelly and I am scheduled for abdominoplasty and lipo contouring on December 22nd! A little background about me, I am 22 years old and I spent four years of high school and three years of college being overweight. I have lost 100 lbs over the past two years thanks to some help from the Lap Band, but mostly from my commitment to exercise and watching what I eat. Needless to say, the excessive weight stretched out the skin on my stomach terribly and the weight loss has left my stomach decorated in stretch marks, sagging over itself and looking generally unappealing. Additionally, I have a ridiculous scar on my belly button from where there was once a piercing that left my belly button looking kind of disfigured [thankfully, my PS said the scar would be gone after surgery!]. The rest of my body looks relatively normal, my legs and arms all came back without any problem, my boobs are much smaller, which has been an adjustment, but I can deal with it. I feel like my stomach is the only thing that really needs help. This is a big life decision for me right now because its an expensive surgery, for one, and I'm a poor college student. Also, I haven't had babies yet so some day it'll have to stretch out again, but thats fine by me… I'll cross that bridge when I get there, and that won't be for a long time. I think after all of my hard work I deserve to have a normal looking body while I'm still young.

With only about 10 days left to go before surgery, I'm very excited to have a normal looking body and see the results, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about the pain I'll be in the first few days following surgery and horrific weeks of recovery I've read so much about. I'm expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. I probably won't post my before pictures until after my surgery because I don't have the nerve to do that until my ugly, sagging belly is a distant memory. Its pretty difficult to focus on anything right now when I have all of these thoughts playing through my mind on a reel, like what I'm going to look like after surgery, or in 6 months time. I guess I'll know soon enough =) ! Im just hoping that I can focus on school for one more week so I can finish my work and get through finals (my last exam is Monday the 19th, I think 2 days should be sufficient time to worry about all of the details of my surgery lol).

10 days and counting!

4 more days until surgery. I'm obsessing about...

4 more days until surgery. I'm obsessing about what I'm going to look like after, I keep looking at everyone's before and after pictures trying to figure out what to expect for myself.

I should be obsessing about the final exam I have to take tomorrow. lol

Hello everyone. I went in for surgery...

Hello everyone.

I went in for surgery yesterday morning at 9:00 am. Got to the surgery center and they took me in almost immediately. I had to change into a gown, take a pregnancy test and then the surgeon came in and marked me up. Starting up the IV was horrible… I had no fluids in me so finding a good vein in my hand was difficult, and it hurts like hell getting it in your hand. I was pale and then green in no time, seeing starts and ready to pass out, it caused a lot of commotion… had to have the nurse put oxygen on me and a cold cloth for my head. I finally came around and they started giving me antibiotics and then wheeled me into the surgery room. I don't remember falling asleep, but I remember crying when I got on the operating table.

Before I knew it I was in recovery waking up to terrible cramping pains in my belly. Unlike everyone else that I read about, my first day out of surgery was not all sleeping and unconsciousness, I was wide awake for most of it and the Vicodin barely takes the edge off my pain, even though I'm taking 2 every 4 hours. Getting up the stairs was much easier than I anticipated. The worst part is getting up and down, which I have to do every hour to pee since I'm drinking so much.

My first post-op was this morning. They took off my binder and all of the bandages. It was so painful! I don't think I was prepared for that at all. Its still hurting pretty bad from all of that. I have to get these shots in my belly all week to reduce the risk of a blood clot, so its probably a good thing I'm so numb. My belly button looks pretty silly right now, which is to be expected. My incision is longer than I had imagined, but very low and nice and straight so I'm happy about that. Hopefully some of this swelling goes down and the pain won't be so bad so I might be able to enjoy my Christmas a little bit.

I'll post more pictures when I can.

So my spirits are way up today, but I'm sure thats...

So my spirits are way up today, but I'm sure thats party do to the fact that today is my single most favorite day of the whole year! But, I also got to sleep through the night, finally; my back is paying the price for that right now though lol. I would love to stretch out on my belly to sleep like I usually do, can't wait for that night to come. My drains are definitely slowing down and the fluid is getting clearer. My mom said the one on my left side is probably going to be the first to come out, and she knows best, shes the nurse afterall. I'm not looking forward to getting this shot in my belly again today, which is probably happening at about 12:00. Yikes.

Swelling is still pretty bad and I feel kind of bloated today. The pain is less intense than it was yesterday, but I keep getting sharp pains when I try to move around. Don't worry guys, I'm absolutely not one of those people that tries to over-do it too soon, I'll be laying in my bed all day and relaxing some more. Its Christmas eve and theres nothing I'd rather be doing than having a pajama party with my family! Merry Christmas Eve everyone :)

I got one drain out today. It was pretty...

I got one drain out today. It was pretty terrible, honestly. It hurt a lot more than I was lead to believe, but it feels better now that its out. I'm standing up straighter and moving around easier. I'm posting the picture from this morning when I got my bandages off. A little concerned about my belly button, it looks like a little vagina or something. Not too appealing. The Dr said it'll get more round and sink in, but for now it looks ridiculous. Anyone else's belly button look like mine? Im a little worried about it, honestly.

I'm 2 weeks post-op today. I went to see the...

I'm 2 weeks post-op today. I went to see the Doctor yesterday and found out the front of my incision opened up. It looks godawful, and of course this was my biggest fear. Even though I was pumped about being able to take my very first shower last night, that turned out to be pretty bittersweet. I had to make sure to wash this awful opening good so it doesn't get any worse, but after washing my belly with antibacterial soap I was seeing stars and had to get out of the shower and sit down on the toilet so avoid collapsing. I'm going back tomorrow morning and then again on Monday so the doctor can take a look at it. He said on a scale from 1 to 10 this isnt even a 1, so I shouldn't worry, and that it will close up nicely because its just on the surface and there is no infection. Its all very scary though. I'm sad I couldn't just heal up normally and I hope it'll start looking better soon. My belly button is looking ok now, at least. But then again, in comparison to this disgusting opening right below it, of course it would look good.

I just got a job as the head preschool teacher at...

I just got a job as the head preschool teacher at a school right down the street from my house. I've been working Monday-Friday 6 hours a day with 12-15 kids a day that are between the ages of 2 and 5. Thankfully, I get to sit down a lot and they're very well behaved for the most part, so I havent been over-doing it too much. I'm still wearing the binder day and night, but Im going to start wearing it less this week. Swelling is going down and my belly button is starting to sink in. I'm still completely numb under my belly button/above my incision. The hole is finally starting to close. I can't wait for it to be gone! I still havent really been able to lay on my side too much to sleep, but thats starting to get better too.

Can't wait to see what I'll look like in another 3 weeks...

I'm 6 weeks post op today. I can't wait to get...

I'm 6 weeks post op today. I can't wait to get back to the gym, I still have another 2 weeks to go because of the lipo. I feel like I've been eating like a beast the past few weeks, I would really love the satisfaction of some cardio to rid me of my fat kid guilt for all the doughnuts and various terrible choices. Belly is looking good, for the most part. Its still pretty swollen, but much less than it was. I get to see glimpses of it looking flat in the morning for a very brief hour or two before it starts getting puffy again. The doctor said thats normal though, so I'm not worried about it.

The opening in the front of my belly has healed a lot. Its not too much smaller, but its a little bit smaller, not "gooey" like a healing scab anymore, but more like scar tissue. Im starting to get feeling back to my belly button and on my hips, even where the incision is on the far sides of my hips. Aside from this awful cold I have right now, I'm feeling pretty good.

So its been about 4 months since my surgery and I...

So its been about 4 months since my surgery and I am doing well. I still don't love the way my belly button looks, but its better than it was in the beginning (and before surgery for that matter). I am going for scar revision the day after tomorrow. The scar in the middle of my belly where I had an opening is about the size of a quarter still, so he is going to remove it. Also, my right hip has a little too much skin still and it bulges out, so he said he's going to fix that too. Kind of excited to see what it'll look like once its all touched up. I guess this isn't always a one shot kind of deal lol. After surgery, I can't go to the gym for another 2 weeks. womp :(

Hello friends, Just a quick update. I had...

Hello friends,

Just a quick update. I had scar revision done about about 2 months ago on the front of my belly where the incision opened up and scarred over (see photos), and my right hip where it was bulging out. The bulge was due to the sides being uneven, not swelling like my Dr originally thought, so he said he had to take extra tissue and that it looks like I could use a little more lipo. Thats not going to happen any time soon though, unless he's going to pay for it bc I certainly can't afford any corrective surgery. The scar in the front and on the side where I was re-opened and re-stitched is much darker than the rest of the scar, naturally, because it hasn't had as much time to heal. I still notice my right side bulges out much more than my left side. I don't love the fact that the fat distribution is uneven like that, it's pretty noticeable in clothes. The scar on my belly button shows a lot more than other people's I've seen; mine is dark and looks like a purple circle was drawn around my actual belly button, plus there is a keeiloid on the side which adds to the weirdness of its shape and appearance. I also don't love the two fat pockets that were left at the top of my abdomen right over my rib cage; it turns into a roll when I sit down and in pictures it is very noticeable. I guess wearing a bikini is still out of the question lol.

Overall, I am very happy with my decision to have the skin removed from my belly. I wish maybe my doctor had paid a little more attention to detail with regard to symmetry, but it is what it is. I'll take a flat belly over that old hanging belly any day of the week.

My weight is down to 169 lbs, so I've officially lost 106 lbs to date! This is the lowest I've ever been. Still wearing size 12 pants mostly, but I was able to get into a few 10's. Im okay with that :) It probably would have made me feel better when I was heavier to know that even if I was of a healthy, average weight my hips would always be too wide to ever be a "small size".

Check out my new pictures =)

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at...

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at my lowest. I am shooting for 147 lbs as my final goal weight though. Im happy I have been able to maintain my weight for so long and that Im still in this healthy frame of mind. Once this semester is finally over and I have more time, I am going to head back to the gym 5 days a week and start up weight loss mode again. Can't wait :)

Bought my first bikini ever!

Ok, so maybe its not the ideal "Bikini Body", but I don't think I've ever been happier with myself. I had gained a little bit of weight over the last few months, but I knew I really wanted to rock a 2 piece this summer. I have been going to a local MMA class and busting my ass to lose some blubber for the summer. I really couldn't be happier with the results from my surgery but the toning from class has made all the difference. It's a good thing I took before and after pictures in this bathing suit or I never would have realized what a huge difference there is in my body.

If you notice. the top is a "midkini" and comes down about 1.5 inches from the bust line. I had to get a top like this to cover my upper abdomen because the Dr who did my Tummy Tuck left a very noticeable and embarrassing roll of fat right under my breasts, on top of my rib cage- which has made getting rid of it nearly impossible. The next adventure I am planning is going to happen this December when I get a breast lift and augmentation, and Vaser Lipo to correct the stubborn fatty deposit on my upper abdomen that was never addressed during the TT surgery. Despite a few imperfections, still the best decision I have ever made.
Dr. Elkwood

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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You look great!
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Thank you! I saw your profile, congrats on your weight loss and new body :) I just had a breast lift and augmentation 3 weeks ago today. How are your scars looking?
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You are looking good, congrats!
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It really is good to see pics and hear stories at your stage! Kinda gives me hope that all this swelling and discomfort will be more than worth it. Thank you for the update - you look amazing! And congrats on the continuing weight loss... keep up the good work! =]
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Wow, you look great! I suppose to went for a BR consult last week with Dr. Elkwood but had to cancel. I've been also considering a TT. I will be calling back tomorrow to reschedule. So just maybe I'll see if I can add on a TT consultation as well. Keep up the good work on the new you!
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Hi, I am currently dealing with the opening on my inscission and it makes me want to cry! It's painful and gross.. Every time I have to clean it I get anxious and feel sick. I'm glad to see I'm not alone and that yours healed and you didn't turn into a zombie. I think I may need a revision too after.. Anywho your results are amazing!!
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Oh no, Im sorry to hear that! Its not an easy thing, thats for sure. I have never been so upset in my life as the day I saw the opening on the front of my belly. It got easier as time went on though, especially as you see it start to heal and get smaller and less ugly lol. It helped me to take pictures of it every day or at least every few days because then I was able to really see the progress of it healing, rather than just wondering if I was imagining things. Good luck with everything. I'm sure you'll look great in a few months when it's all better :)
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You are gorgeous!!
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Congrats to you onthe your weight loss and TT. I see your in Monmouth county , who was your Dr. I live in monmonth county and getting my tt on 6/27/12
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Dr. Elkwood in Shrewsbury. Hes a very nice man.
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Oh ok never heard of him. I used Dr Lombardi in Eatotown. He is great and nice man also. I called both my regular ps and obgyn and ask who they would recommend. they both gave me Dr Lombardi . Then i found someone who went to him also and loved him.
Well you look GREAT.... I am 15days po feel perfect going back to work on Monday. I just have swelling by the incision, but i am hearing it could be months before it goes away!
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Awe, thank you so much! Yeah, it takes a long time lol. I still notice swelling some nights… you can notice such a difference in the morning when its flat and in the evening if its swollen. It gets better though. I started getting impatient at around 3 1/2 months, but months 4 and 5 were better with swelling and the appearance of the scar. The scar on my belly button is my biggest complaint really.

I have heard of Dr. Lombardi also. My mom works for a doctor in Eatontown and he is friends with my PS, so we just thought it would be a good idea to go to him.
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looking good.
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Good to see you are doing well at the 6 week mark!!!! I'm week 2 and looking forward to being where you are!

Congrats on the weight loss, I've just won that battle too but took me 15 years!!! I know how hard the journey is... So congrats to you!!!
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How you doing? Hope all is well.
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Keep updating girly! I hope your healing is progressing well! Your gonna look so good!
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Hi Kelita I had a bump in the road too. My hole is now about the size of a qtip. You will be fine. It's just slows down the recovery and it's pretty gross. Happy Healing!!
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You'll be fine! The skin in the front, especially by our lady parts is super delicate. You'll heal up no problem, though - I'm sure.
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how are you doing? just read that you had little bump in the road?? hope your ok...
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Im doing ok. Its starting to look less gooey and yellow/green and more red/pink. It looks a tiny bit smaller than it did last week too, and it didn't get infected or get any deeper. The doctor said its typical and it probably just wasnt getting enough blood flow. Hopefully Ill be better soon!
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Hang in there. Openings are common and they do heal up just fine. Sounds like yours will be easy to get to close.

I know what you mean about showering post op. I was allowed to shower for 10 weeks but even then it was a tough job. I had a seat in the shower and used a hand held shower head. That really helped w/ dizziness.
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You are doing great! I lost almost 100 lbs since August of this year. Bad thyroid and food choices...I exercise 6 days a week and have cut my portions way down. I also had 3 kids. As many crunches I do, my belly giggle doesn't move...My question, with all you have been through, is it worth it? I realize you are still in the early stages, but would you recommend it?
Thanks and keep up the great work!!
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Ahhh Sweetie you will be ok keep it clean. 1 out of 10 is nothing!
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Hi Kelly! Honestly, I hated my belly button for a while but it will continue to change in appearance so don't worry too much just yet. You are swollen. Mine was like an outy at first but tucked in some as my swelling went down. Yours will probably do the same ;-) You look great!
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