Tummy Tuck: StoriesWrite a Review
6 weeks PO! - North Carolina
- updated 1 year ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $7,600
- Edward J. Ricciardelli, MD (North Carolina)
I am 39 years old, married for 16 years with 2...
- 22 Sep 2011
- 1 month pre
I am 39 years old, married for 16 years with 2 beautiful boys ... 12 and 5. I had gastric bypass surgery 5 years ago and lost 140 pounds. With such a big weight loss, I naturally have loose skin in the stomach area. I have loose skin in the thigh/butt area as well but it's no where near as bad as my stomach. Ideally I would of loved to have a TT, thigh lift and breast lift/aug. but a girl has to prioritize and my stomach is my biggest concern.
I started consultations about a month ago and finally decided on a doctor. I just paid my deposit and received a surgery date of Oct. 24th. Can't wait!!! I'm so excited. I feel like this is the final step in my weight loss journey.
Totally having a fat day ... or should I say fat...
- 28 Sep 2011
- 26 days pre
Went to the health clinic at work earlier this...
- 30 Sep 2011
- 24 days pre
I got on the scale today. I haven't been weighing every day ... maybe every other week. I weighed 156.5. Pretty good! I've been really stressed at work and didn't get great news today at work so I feel like I haven't been eating the best. So I expected my weight to be higher. I guess I haven't been doing as bad as I thought. I need to start exercising again. Much better to work the stress out exercising rather than eating. Of course easier said than done.
Birthday is Sunday. We ended up cancelling dinner out and opted for a nice family dinner with husband and kids. I actually prefer it that way so I'm really looking forward to it. Tomorrow is Oct 1st ... surgery date is coming up fast!!!
I was trying to update more often but the days...
- 7 Oct 2011
- 17 days pre
Work got absolutely crazy on Monday ... lots of office politics ... company merger ... crazy clients. It's been pretty stressful. Of course when I get stressed, I eat. So now I'm not feeling that great because I've been eating like crap. But I did get my cycle, so I think that's also why I feel like crap. I'm glad I got it before surgery but I wish it was a little closer to my surgery date. Now it looks like my next cycle will be right around the 1st week of recovery. Yuck!
I'm compiling my list of questions for my pre-op. I also started doing more searching on the internet to see what else I need to have to make things easier. It looks like maybe I should get another compression garment. At least for the first couple of weeks. I'm not sure what kind to get. I know the doctor will give me one and maybe I should just wait until my pre-op to see what he thinks. Also trying to figure out what is going to be the best thing for scars ... silicone sheets, gel, cream, etc. I think I'll research on here and see what everyone's been using.
Ok, pre-op appt. is Friday. Still adding to my...
- 10 Oct 2011
- 14 days pre
What a crazy day today!!!! My youngest (age 5)...
- 11 Oct 2011
- 13 days pre
I had my pre-op today! It went really well but...
- 14 Oct 2011
- 10 days pre
I was also told to wear comfortable clothing, like pajama bottoms and a button shirt. I guess because you don't want to be putting your arms over your head, etc. Anyone have info. on what they wore to surgery? I was thinking sweats since I tend to sleep in a night shirt.
I'll post later tonight once the kids are in bed. I'm so excited now!!! Can't wait!
I filled my prescriptions today ... hydrocodone,...
- 15 Oct 2011
- 9 days pre
I need to arrive at 7:45am on Monday 10/24. My husband can stay with me until they take me back to the OR and then they'll call him when I'm in the recovery room. Doctor said about 2-3 hours. I was told no jewelry, no makeup (including no mascara or moisturizer) and to wear comfortable clothing, slip on shoes and a button or zipper shirt because I won't feel like lifting my arms, etc. Also, no fingernail polish.
Starting immediately no aspirin, herbal teas or supplements, no Ibuprofen, Advil, Vit. E or garlic pills. Can't eat or drink after midnight before surgery.
He said I'd be wearing a binder for about 2 weeks and to use ice packs for 10 minutes every hour for 48 hours - except when sleeping. No heat.
Sleep with back and knees elevated. I was going back and forth about sleeping in the recliner or the bed. I'm opting for the bed and going to buy a wedge and some additional pillows tomorrow.
I can shower after 48 hours and to leave the steri-strips on. He said just let them fall off on their own. I asked about scar treatment and maybe using silicone sheeting. He said not to use anything at all. He felt that stuff doesn't help much. But we could talk about it more and post-op appointments.
I can keep my incisions clean with a mixture of half peroxide and half water solution. Pat dry and apply Bacitracin ointment twice a day to prevent drying the incision sites.
As far as activity .. he talked about walking bent over for a couple of days to a week. No heavy aerobics or sports for 6 weeks. No swimming for at least 2 weeks and to talk to him about starting any strenuous sports or exercises. No lifting more than 5 pounds for at least 14 days.
I was told when I'm ready to eat/drink to start with sips of water or clear carbonated beverages. Gradually increase and progress to soup then a light meal. He said he recommends eating like I was not feeling well or recovering from the flu. But typically most resume eating normally the next day or two.
Ok, that's what I remember so far. Of course they gave me all this paperwork to refer to later. Thank goodness because I'm sure I won't remember all of this once I'm home.
I picked up some ice packs today, some sweat pants, bigger underwear and a couple of button shirts. Tomorrow I'll look for the pillows, wedges and get the medical stuff (peroxide, etc.)
I'm getting really excited!! I hope the days go by fast! :-)
I went back to the PS office to take the before...
- 17 Oct 2011
- 7 days pre
I did ask the nurse about hydrocodone. I tend to get a little hyper on hydrocodone so I'm concerned about taking it at night and not being able to sleep. She said she'd talk to the doctor today and get back to me. Last time I was on hydrocodone for a shoulder injury I ended up cleaning my closet and my "junk" drawer. But I don't think I want to be cleaning after surgery. ;-)
The PS office called and they're giving me...
- 20 Oct 2011
- 4 days pre
I'm going to post before pictures soon. I hated taking the pictures at the PS office and have always done whatever I could to cover up my stomach. So I can't believe I'm going to post pictures. But I figured it's a good thing to see where I was at before and how far I've come. Plus I know seeing all the pictures totally helped me when I was doing research.
Tomorrow is my last day at work. I'm taking a full 7 days off and then work from home for two weeks. Luckily I work on the computer and my job is pretty flexible. If I feel OK, I may try and do 1/2 days at the office and 1/2 at home after the first week. We'll see. I'm not going to rush it. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through tomorrow ... I just know the day is going to go by so slow. It seems like I can only think about the surgery. It's tough to concentrate at work. ;-)
Ok, I just posted pictures. Yuck!! I'm so ready...
- 21 Oct 2011
- 3 days pre
Today was my last day at work. Hopefully things will go smoothly at work and I won't get any calls to log on early. Tomorrow is a full day. Trying to finalize everything ... groceries, laundry, cleaning, etc.
Ok, this is it. Surgery is tomorrow. Starting to...
- 23 Oct 2011
- 1 day pre
Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers! Please send the same to NewMe1024! I'll post when I can.
Just a quick update to say all went well. I'm...
- 24 Oct 2011
- Day of treatment
I'll post more when not feeling so sick. Glad to hear things went really well NewMe! So excited you and I are on the recovery side now.
1 day PO and feeling pretty good. The sickness...
- 25 Oct 2011
- 1 day post
I only had one drain put in. He said I didn't have a lot of blood loss so I only needed one. We drained about 21cc around 10:30pm last night. I'm still on pain meds ... muscle relaxant and oxycodone but I'm starting to stretch them further apart now. I'm thinking I probably can reduce to Tylenol Extra Strength some time today. I don't have a lot of pain at the incision site. I feel pain in my ab muscle ... towards the upper right side (my right). It hurts when I get up and get down. Almost like a sharp stabbing pain. I've been concentrating the ice packs on that side. My pub area feels swollen and a little tender. So I probably should concentrate on putting ice more towards the lower end as well. I do walk hunched over when going to the bathroom but it's not too bad.
Overall, I would say I'm doing pretty darn good. I haven't seen the results yet. PS told me to wait to take the compression garment off until my post-op on Wed (9:30am). But my mother-in-law says she can tell already. I can't wait to check it out.
NewMe, so glad to hear you're doing well now that you're off the Vicodin. When's your post-op?
2 day PO and just got back from PS office. I got...
- 26 Oct 2011
- 2 days post
I can shower now but because they just changed everything, I'm going to wait until tomorrow. She said when I get out of the shower to use the hair dryer on the cool setting and dry the area before putting on the ointment, gauze and compression garment.
Still on pain meds. I slept for 6 hours until the pain woke me up. It was in the lower area and my pubic area still feels swollen. I still have the stinging sensation at the belly button and ab muscle area. I am able to get in and out of the recliner a little bit easier and I'm also walking a little bit straighter.
I'll update a little later about the actual surgery day. A couple of funny things happened.
Today has been a weird day. I slept pretty good...
- 27 Oct 2011
- 3 days post
But ever since the shower I feel weird. I don't think my binder is on quite right. The drain site is bothering me more. And I feel more swollen/bloated with a heavy feeling down below. Plus now I think I didn't get all the shampoo out of my hair and I'm having heat flashes or something. I just feel yucky. I'm hoping just maybe I over did it or something and I need to rest up. I've got ice packs on my stomach now so hopefully that will help some.
I have another appt. tomorrow and I'm supposed to get my drain out. I think once the drain is out things will start to get better. I also need to ask her how to make sure this binder is on right. And at what point do we switch to something else? Mine feels a little itchy. I've been shoving my shirt into the top of it so I don't itch.
I'll post again tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a better day.
4 day PO. Had another appointment this morning...
- 28 Oct 2011
- 4 days post
He said everything looked a little wet so he wanted me to start airing out my incisions. I think maybe I was putting too much ointment on my incisions. He also said I didn't need to use the antibiotic ointment anymore. Just on the drain site. Use moisturizer ... like Cetaphil ... at least twice a day. He said I looked really good and some of the parts that looked like puckering won't be like that. I guess that will resolve over time.
As he was looking at my stomach he asked me if I was itching. He said that I had developed a rash from the binder. The rash is towards the top and goes all around to my back. He called in the Dermatologist (it's a PS and Derm office) and she gave me a prescription for the rash. Then he tells me not to wear the binder anymore. What??! I was supposed to wear it for at least 2 weeks. But he said he did this new suturing (can't remember what he called it) and this is why I only had one drain and not a lot of swelling. So he felt it was fine to do without the binder. Now I'm binder free and it feels kind of weird. I'm so used to everything feeling snug and now it all feels loose. I'm still hunched over some and I almost feel like I have to hold my stomach while walking. I think I'll start looking into other types of compression garments. But I guess if he's saying not to wear one then maybe I shouldn't. I don't know ... I'll give it a couple of days.
We grabbed some lunch on the way home and once home I took a shower. Finally got all the shampoo out of my hair and I feel so much better. I patted dry my incisions, applied moisturizer, applied the cream to my rash and now I'm back in my recliner. I feel exhausted. Not really any pain, just tired. And my back hurts a little from being hunched over. He said I'll straighten up a little each day.
So I guess I'll just take it easy for the next couple of days. My youngest has a soccer game tomorrow. I want to try and go but I'm not sure if I can make it. It will be the first game I would miss so I have mixed emotions about it.
I'll post again later after I catch up on some rest. Glad to hear things went well NewMe! I'm jealous you can stand straight! ;-)
Day 6 PO. Slept in the bed last night. Whoo hoo!...
- 30 Oct 2011
- 6 days post
I did get some blisters on each side. I think it's from the glue from the steri-strips. I remember them putting extra glue during my first po appointment. And it seems like where they did that is where I have blisters. The blisters on the left popped last night and they are tinged a little with blood. So I put some bactracin on it to make sure it doesn't get infected. I do have 2 small blisters on the left side that haven't popped. I guess I must have sensitive skin or something. I developed the rash from the compression garment and blisters from the glue.
Just on Tylenol now. I am still finishing up the antibiotic and the muscle relaxant. The muscle relaxant should be done today and a couple more days for the antibiotic. Overall not much pain except for back. I do get this kind of full/heavy sensation in the belly area (lower belly). Not sure if that's normal or maybe it's gas or something? It doesn't hurt just feels full/heavy for a bit and then kind of goes away.
Family coming over tonight and mother-in-law bringing dinner. Awesome! Carving pumpkins today with the kids. My plan is to get up a lot more today without overdoing it. As long as my back holds up, I think I can do it!
1 Week PO! One week ago today I had my surgery. ...
- 31 Oct 2011
- 7 days post
I overdid it a bit yesterday. It really took a toll on my back and I was so swollen by the evening. I ended up trying to ice my stomach a bit to ease the swelling. Family came over with dinner and it was awesome! My sister-in-law took care of me and my youngest while hubby and family went to the haunted house. Greatly appreciated all her help. I was trying not to rely too much on anyone other than hubby but I was pretty swollen so I truly appreciated all the help.
Slept in the bed last night again with my wedge pillow and pillows under my knees. Couldn't get to sleep, kept looking at clock and wondering why the heck my back was still killing me. It was throbbing so bad and started to get some muscle spasms. Finally around 2am I decided to take a stronger pain medicine and then I realized the pillow wedge was upside down in the bed. I totally had NO back support while laying in bed. I flipped the wedge around and it felt so good. I couldn't believe what a difference. But now I have the stronger med in my system and it kept me awake, so I ended up watching the clock all night long. That and every time hubby rolled over he took all the covers with him. I had to keep pulling them back. So I don't think I actually went to sleep until around 4am. Hubby gets up at 6:30am and then comes and wakes me up at 8am. Needless to say, I'm a little tired today.
On the plus side, I am walking a little bit straighter. Still a little hunched and still hurts back, but just a little straighter than yesterday. Blister on left side hurts but other than that so far not much else. Hoping I can rest up today. Tomorrow I'm supposed to start back at work by working from home. I may try and take one more day off before working from home. We'll see how the day goes.
I'm feeling really worn out this evening. Checked...
- 31 Oct 2011
- 7 days post
Anyway, taking it easy in the recliner while the kids went trick-or-treating with the hubby. In-laws are staying with me to hand out candy.
9 day PO: Yesterday was a tough day. My back was...
- 2 Nov 2011
- 9 days post
Went to the PS today and they removed the BB stitches.
He said I had a little fluid build up but nothing to be concerned about at this time. He'd like to see me back next week to monitor the fluid. If it's increased then he'll drain it. He said it was to be expected since I haven't been wearing the CG since day 3 PO because of the rash I got from the CG. If I wanted to wear the CG I could wear it over a tank top or shirt during the day and take it off at night. So I came home and put the CG on and I feel a lot better! I feel like I can stand up a little straighter and my back doesn't hurt as much. So I'm going to try and wear it until I see him next Wed. and see if that helps with any fluid.
We talked about the low-grade fever and if I was taking it easy, etc. I'm supposed to continue with my breathing exercises and to not overdo it. He said if my fever goes over 100 to call immediately. But nothing looks infected. In fact everything looks good.
PO day 11: I wore my binder all day yesterday and...
- 4 Nov 2011
- 11 days post
Today I wore the binder again all day but this time I wore it as tight as I can (thanks Bella!) and I feel even better. Again still a little hunched but a little bit straighter. I just took it off for the night and my BB is red again. I think it will just be like that because it's confined all day. I am itching again so I don't think I'm allergic to the binder but maybe just heat rash or something. So when I take the binder off I put on the cream the dermatologist prescribed and all is good.
I did drive today for the first time. It was raining so I picked up my son from school so he didn't have to walk in the rain. It wasn't very far and it felt fine. So I guess I'm good to drive. PS told me I could drive to my appt. next week but didn't really say I could start driving now. I remember him saying as long as I was off the pain meds. Which I am ... only taking Tyelenol XS now.
Tomorrow is my youngest's last soccer name. I'm going to go. This will be my first outing since surgery (besides po appt's). PS did say I should start venturing out but to not do any marathon grocery shopping or anything too long or strenous. So tomorrow it is. Now I just need to figure out what I can wear that will cover the binder. I seriously doubt I'll be able to get into any of my jeans because of this swelling. I am down in weight since surgery ... about 4 pounds ... but you all know how the swelling gets.
Oh, tmi ... but I got my cycle today. Ughhh! Glad it came after surgery but I always have really bad cramps and back pain with my cycle. So this is not going to be fun since my back is already hurting.
Well, off to ice and take it easy for the night. Thanks everyone for the well wishes and glad everyone's doing better (NewMe!!).
PO day 12: Well I made it to my son's soccer game...
- 5 Nov 2011
- 12 days post
13 day PO: Went out to breakfast this morning and...
- 6 Nov 2011
- 13 days post
Other than the swelling, everything else is good. Slightly straighter, pain is minimal, BB is just a little red, nothing looks like it's draining. I get weird twinges here and there at the incision site and a little stinging like sensation in my abs once in a while. Oh ... and I sneezed twice today. Holy cow does that hurt! I've since tried to not sneeze and that almost hurts just as much. So I'd say I'm doing pretty darn good. I'm extremely happy that I did this and can't wait until things settle and I can really tell how good things look!
I had an appointment with my PS today. He said...
- 9 Nov 2011
- 16 days post
CG: I can stop wearing my CG but if it feels better to wear it that's fine too. But I should at least take it off at night and try to start going without it more and more. I can switch to another type of CG as well.
Sleep: I should continue to sleep slightly elevated but I could start to sleep a little more flat. But to not do anything that didn't feel comfortable.
Incision/BB: Continue to moisturize at least twice a day and make sure I'm moisturizing my entire belly. No need to put anything else on it at this point.
Work: I told him I've been working from home for the past week and a half and asked if it was OK to go back to the office full-time. He asked me about my energy level and I said I get pretty tired around 1-2pm. So he said he would recommend a maximum of 1/2 days at work and that he would write a note for it if needed. He reminded me that I'm slightly over 2 weeks PO and that my body needs time to heal which includes resting.
Swelling: He said I would continue to swell so take it easy ... ice if I felt it helps, elevate feet, watch what I eat, etc.
Exercise: No heavy lifting and no exercising until he gives me the green light.
My next appointment is in one month. Which I thought was kind of a long time. But of course I can call or go in if anything comes up.
So after getting up this morning, taking a shower, dropping my youngest off at school, going to PS appointment, coming home and working from home, picking up youngest from school and making dinner ... I'm exhausted. I feel achy all over and I'm hurting on my right side. In the upper ab area and the the incision site on the right. I removed my binder and I took a look at the incision site and there was some light (and I mean really light) red colored liquid coming out of the incision. This is the one side that is a bigger incision and the same site that my husband once said he saw white stuff coming out of. So of course I start freaking out a bit that there's liquid coming out and I make my husband look it over. He said it looks like the scab was coming off because of the moving around. Which is why the PS said to keep it moisturized. He didn't see any liquid and said it just looked like it was healing from the inside out. So I guess I'm ok ... but it does ache and my abs ache. I'm sitting in the recliner with ice and wondering if I should take something a little stronger than Tylenol XS. I'm just not feeling good at all ...
I totally forgot to ask when could I get in the bathtub. I LOVE taking baths and I miss them so much. I'm guessing I need to wait until all of the incision is completely closed. Also, husband reminded me I forgot to ask about sex ... when it's "safe." lol!
3 weeks PO as of yesterday. Whoo hoo! Sorry...
- 15 Nov 2011
- 22 days post
I'm still working from home this week and so glad. I have the usual ups and downs ... feeling great in the morning, swelling down, standing almost totally straight, no pain. By the end of the day I'm swollen, tight, hunched over and my back hurts. But I just take it easy in the late afternoon/evening. Nothing that isn't manageable at this point.
Still wearing CG during the day and off at night. But my BB gets irritated so I'm slowly starting to get off of the CG. I tried my other garments and OMG I couldn't get it over my stomach. I think I can if I pull and squeeze but I'm worried about what that would do to my incision since it's still healing. So I guess I'll wait before I try those again.
Incision looks good. No separation and no leaking ... just healing. I do notice what looks like maybe a part of an internal stitch sticking out in one part. It's like a plastic thing poking out just a little. I was laughing and telling my husband it looks like one of those tags on a stuffed animal. lol! But I think it's probably a stitch that will be absorbed.
I'm going to post a couple 3 week po pics. It looks like I may have a dog ear on one side. But I'm not too worried about it at this point. PS said to wait and if needed he'll take care of it. I did try on a pair of panties that I used to look HORRIBLE in. Either I had to lift my stomach and hide it in the panties, which meant I had to wear the panties really low and uncomfortable. Or my stomach would spill out the bottom. It was disgusting. But when I put them on now ... WHOO HOO! It feels so great to wear them normally. Love it!!
Well I hope all are doing well. Take care TT'ers!
I had some time to kill today between doctor...
- 16 Nov 2011
- 23 days post
I did decide to look at some compression garments and started to try on some more of those panty or thigh/panty high-waist garments. Similar to what I got with the spanx but figured I'd try a bigger size. I so could not get any of them on. It was ridiculous ... I felt like I was a stuffed sausage. Well then I see a flexees garment that is kind of like a shirt. It had shoulder straps, goes under your bra and you hook it closed down over your stomach. Like a corset. OMG!! I totally love it. It felt so comfortable and when I put it on and then put on a pair of pants, I swear I went down a size. LOVE IT! I ended up getting one in tan and one in black because that's the only one's they had in my size. I put it on when I got home and wore it the rest of the day. It's not as tight as the CG the PS gave me but it will work great for when I go back to work, etc. I'm so glad I finally found something. Lesson learned -- do not order CG's from the internet ... go to the store and try them on. So worth it!
Yesterday was 4 weeks PO and my first full day...
- 22 Nov 2011
- 29 days post
Yesterday I wore my CG that I received from my PS all day and I feel like it really helped me out a lot. But when I took it off, there was some drainage on my CG and tank top. The bottom middle part of my incision, where I had a stitch sticking through, was leaking fluid. It looked like a big piece of scab was hanging off and when I touched it, the scab fell off and the stitch disappeared back into the incision. Almost like the CG was causing it to stick out and once I stopped the compression the stitch went back in. I ended up putting gauze over it and left it that way all night. This morning it looked a lot better. But after another full day of work and wearing my other CG, it's leaking again and this time it's a bigger hole. I've had the CG off for a couple of hours and now the area looks like it's starting to scab. So I guess I'll not wear any CG for the next couple of days to see if it will heal itself. If it looks worse tomorrow, I'll call the PS.
So other than that small issue, everything is pretty good. No pain ... had a couple of sneezing/coughing fits and that hurts like crazy. But no significant pain. I haven't had any pain meds of any type for several days. Swelling is worse in the evening but bearable. However, I can't fit into any of my work clothes unless I wear my CG because of all the swelling. That was really depressing. I don't want to buy new clothes so I'm hoping the swelling will start to subside soon.
NewMe & Bella - looks like things are going well! I'm so glad!
Hope everyone else is doing good and if I don't update again before the holiday's ... have a Happy Thanksgiving!! And take it easy!!
Just a little over 6 weeks PO. Went to the PS...
- 8 Dec 2011
- 2 months post
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