38 Years Old, 5'9" Tummy Tuck - 3 C-sections, PCOS, weight loss

Since I found out my husband is okay with this (I...

Since I found out my husband is okay with this (I never thought he would be), all I can think about is when I can get rid of the tummy skin that has held me back for years. My highest weight was 270 lbs, that was at the end of a pregnancy with a 10 lb, 11 oz baby. He was my third C-section. My skin stretched the most with him. Following his birth, over a few years, I was able to go from a tight size 16 to a size 6. I was 165 lbs as a 6. At that weight I was being called "tiny". I had no boobs and no butt. I was very insecure because I was always curvy before. I had lost the most weight on a diet I will not mention or promote here because I respect you all too much to intrigue you with it. I wouldn't do it again. Anyway, that would be my leanest weight. I had 20% body fat at that weight. I found out then that I have lots of hanging skin. My tummy looked like a nursing mama dog when I was in plank position. I was embarrassed about doing pilates, yoga or Body Pump in classes at the gym because I was thin but had this awful hanging belly. I had met my goal weight but was still miserable about my sagging belly skin. What was the point? So, I went back to the gym and ate well and started bodybuilding. I went up to 175 lbs and a size 8. I had a butt and muscles again. I liked it there. I stayed that size for about 2 years. I still would look in t the mirror during squats and see my belly resting on my thighs. I did lunges and it would hit my thighs. The bar would hit my tummy during deadlifts. I felt like a freak, thin but with an ugly belly. I have also started running and hate the way my underwear falls down under my tummy fold when I run. I am tired of adjusting my panties at the gym. What the heck?

I work out 5 or 6 days per week doing HIIT cardio and weight lifting. I sit at a desk 40 hours per week so I have to stay active at the gym. Anyway, the last year was stressful. I gained weight despite exercising faithfully. I also found out my thyroid medication was in need of adjustment. I have PCOS too and was starving and craving carbs all the time so I decided to go back on metformin to get my weight back down. It helps control blood sugar levels. I'm 188 lbs and in a size 10 or 12 now. I think I would be content in an 8 or 10 forever if I could just ditch this awful hanging belly. My size 8's fit right now if I hold up my belly. I am aiming for a full tummy tuck. I am trying to get back to 175 lbs before surgery because I am very fit at that weight.

First I want a tubal ligation but I am not sure of the cost. I have to wait until August 21 for a consultation. If the price is too high and I can't get it done ASAP, then hubby will have to get snipped. I would like to have 6 weeks in between tubal ligation and tummy tuck surgery. I am not a candidate for Essure. I want my tummy tuck in either October or November this year so I can heal up and get my gym routine going again by next summer. I am not telling anyone about the surgery and the cold months will allow me to wear clothes that will cover me up. I am so anxious to schedule my surgery but I have to consult with 2 docs in Utah first. I am checking out Dr Ralston and Dr Brzowski the last week of August. I wish I could go sooner. The wait is almost too much to handle.

Anyway, I am so happy to have found Real Self. I will connect on the calendar as soon as I schedule a date. I will have to post some pics later when I have time to take them. I am nervous about doing that but I appreciate that so many other people have done it and I know it helps. I will update later. I look forward to journaling my thoughts throughout the process.

The dreaded before pics

So here's the belly. I can kind of dress around it but that lower flap really sucks. Can't wait to fix this up and have that flab be gone.

What should I tell people?

Well, now I am thinking I need to schedule my tummy tuck in the last two weeks of December. I usually have no work to do during the last 2 weeks of December and the first 2 weeks of January so I won't have to worry about my work being covered by someone else. I was trying to avoid holiday times due to my older kids being around but I don't even know if they will be coming to my place. They spend time with their dad sometimes. They are 17 and 18. One lives on her own now and the other with their dad. I think they both would judge me for the surgery even though they praised my weight loss and are proud their mom is a fitness freak who eats healthy now. I was thinking I could say I was having hernia surgery. Are any of you in this same boat? I'm so confused about what to tell them. There is that issue and the idea that I would have to travel in possibly very snowy roads in December or January and I can't get up into my husbands giant truck after surgery. Lots to think about I suppose. That would give me a few months to work out and lose more weight and get as fit as possible before surgery though. The results would be way better than if I had an October tummy tuck. I should really be working right now, not on here. Oops!

Maybe I need to not rush this

I maintained at about 170-175 for a long time but recently gained some weight and am closer to 190 now. I know my optimal weight is 175 and with my tummy skin fixed up I would love that weight. I am like 15 pounds above that. I talked with Dr Brzowski's staff today. Kelly was very helpful and informative. She really made me want to go with Dr Brzowski in one conversation. He has stellar credentials, almost enough to outshine my desire to get a second opinion and pay more. I know that I want the best possible tummy I can get. I want to reach the 170s before this surgery. I can do it, I just put up so many mental road blocks to progress. One of my stumbling blocks is that I hate my belly so much, I don't feel like being seen at the gym, especially since gaining about 15 pounds in the last year, despite being there 6 days a freaking week! I tell myself if the tummy were gone, I would easily lose more weight due to confidence. I just don't want to have the surgery and then get to 170 ish and want to try because my tummy is no longer tight. I think maybe I need to wait. This is a lot of money to spend if I don't do it the way I need to for an optimal result. I think I can drop 15 pounds by December. I know I can. Why do I have any doubt that I can? I was once 240 pounds after pregnancy, why in the hell would I not be able to lose it? Why would my mind hold me back?

Thanks for being here for me!

I am glad this site is here. I have really been struggling because all I seem to think about is this TT and when and how I am going to get it done. My husband is the only person I can talk to about it besides all of you. I have one close friend here but I don't want to just blah, blah, blah unload on her because she wants a tummy tuck too but has to wait quite a while to get one. I don't want her to get sick of me so I just come on this site and read your stories and admire everyone. I don't know how I would do this without you. Thank you so much for your caring concern, comments and advice! XOXOX

Clothing options following the tummy tuck

I was just shopping for button up shirts to wear after my TT. I have a long torso and tops are always too short and this makes me hunch over to hide my tummy roll. I was groaning in my mind about how none of these stupid shirts will cover my tummy roll because they are too short. That is when I realized that there won't be a tummy roll anymore pretty soon. I can't wait!!!!

Stupid hormones!

So, I'm on the Depo shot for PCOS. I just had a T3 thyroid added to my levothyroxine, and added metformin back in. I have continued with workouts, appetite is down, counting calories and avoiding sweets. I was 4 pounds down. Now I am 2 weeks away from the next Depo shot and have bloating, cramps, and am bitchy and angry. I don't get periods, just PMS symptoms 8 weeks after the shot. I have water weight fluctuations of up to 8 pounds regularly. This really makes it hard to stay motivated with a weight loss plan when I am up and down. I lost most of my weight a few years ago on HCG prescription injections. It was the only satisfying result I had in years. I have kept off 35 pounds of that loss. I will not starve myself and lose all that hair again and weaken myself before surgery and mentally I can't handle the thinking that goes with HCG dieting, so that is not an option now. I can obviously maintain 185 to 190 well. I measure 36 31 40.5. I really want to get to 175 before surgery. Feeling discouraged. Maybe pilates today instead of my usual 2-hour Saturday gym session. I need to calm down and be nice to myself. I got my credit card yesterday, the one I ordered for surgery. Whew. By next Friday, my consults will be over and a date will be scheduled. I'm feeling really vain and self-centered since I started planning surgery. I think I was happier before I started focusing on how much this tummy has to go soon. It was easier to deal with when I thought it would always be there. I'm also working more than I used to to prepare financially for the monthly payment we are about to take on. More work means neglecting my family more. I work from home so it is worse because I get grumpy when I'm interrupted. The long recovery is going to be hard on my family. I take care of everyone and do all the housework and cooking in addition to working. I'm worried I am going to over do it because I can't let the house fall apart. I'm a bit of an anxious control freak. I wish I could stop being afraid of recovery. The swelling and not fitting into my clothes is really something that sticks in my mind. I don't want to buy bigger clothes and don't like wearing dresses and skirts, especially in November and December. I hate wearing gym clothes when not at the gym. Sorry about the rambling worries and complaints. Nobody else understands or wants to know about these things. Tomorrow is my first consultation. It's about to get real! Hope you all have a blessed and lovely weekend!

1st consultation done!

I had my first consult today. It feels good to be told by a doctor that there is nothing I can do for my tummy but get surgery. He says he will remove all the skin from the belly button to the pubic area. Said at my current size he can give me a great result with a flat tummy. Said I don't need to lose weight. Said I could take or leave the lipo but it would definitely give a better result to sculpt the hip area. The other surgeon includes the lipo in the procedure. This one charges extra. It looks likes they will probably end up about the same price in the end. My gut didn't tell me "this is the one". He is qualified for sure but I can't wait for my other consult on Thurs. I was told my back looks fine, nothing needed. Awesome sauce! Friday I set a date. Now I want October. :)

Booked surgery October 17, 2014

Well, I picked the surgeon. He blew the other one away. I definitely feel safe with this one but he suggested things the other surgeon did not suggest. This makes me wonder if he has a better eye, is more confident in what he can do for me or maybe he just sees what he can offer and in the end I go for more than I had planned on. He is saying he wants to lipo my upper abdomen (other surgeon would not do that until after healed from tummy tuck). He is wanting to remove all the tummy skin up to above my belly button assuring no vertical scar (the other surgeon could not guarantee that I would have enough skin to not leave the old belly button hole, creating a vertical scar). He also says that he believes my flank area/hip area will be slouchy if he does not do an extended tuck. He says I am going to be FLAT and VERY TIGHT if we extend the scar. He also explained a full body lift to me as I have saggy butt and thigh skin too. I can't spend that much, not going to do that. Now, for the regular TT with lipo to hips, mons and upper abs (hey, if he says I won't be thick he does this, ok then, right?), this would be $8300. To do all that and remove my flank skin al the way around to my back side too, creating a longer scar, it will be $9300. Who doesn't want THE BEST RESULT? Right? What to do? I don't even know. I never considered I would be a candidate for an extended scar/extended tuck. Have any of you had one? I thought that was for people who remain obese or who had a big roll going around the back. I have a flat back. My curves look good from the back. No rolls on my back, no lump. He says the extended tuck will completely flatten and tighten my side hip contour. $1000 dollars and a bigger scar. The other guy didn't say I needed this. He didn't have a fancy monitor with a body to draw on either. He didn't give me options or prices. He didn't suggest anything. He just acted like" ok, you want a tummy tuck, I know what to do....call me to schedule one". He was nice but these two surgeons are night and day different. Ok so I am scheduled for 6:30 am on Friday October 17th. I paid the deposit. No looking back now. I just have to figure out whether to go extended or not. Opinions ya'll? Please? Thanks RS sisters! I freaking stoked!!!

42 days to go

I figured I should check in. I'm awful about keeping any kind of journal but this is such an exciting thing I am planning to do soon and I want to look back and remember what the hell I was thinking when I am sore and wondering what I have done. I am amazed that I am so close to having my tummy tuck. Since scheduling the surgery my eating habits have been on target. It is amazing how much willpower I have when I know I only have about 6 weeks to get as lean as possible. I have 9 pounds to go. I have been gradually dropping weight so I know if I just keep at it, I will get there. The sad thing is that my weight loss is always noticeable up top first. From the head down I am looking great. In the lower half, I do see a little bit of deflation in the lap roll so I guess it is coming off all over. I got a compliment from a gym buddy yesterday and my gym tops are getting looser so that's a good thing. I finally am feeling better about telling a few people about the surgery. I told her and our other friend at the gym and they both congratulated me as they looked me up and down to see what exactly I was talking about having cut off. Compression pants are FAB! The in-person support was nice. I am very happy and once I get to stand up straight after the surgery, I am going to hold my head up high and be proud of how much further I have come. I have to say that my love for my husband has increased since he has been so supportive of me doing this. It is a big surgery and an expensive one and through this, I am coming to see that he really would do anything just to see me happy. I love him so much!
Dr Brian Brzowski

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Comments (66)

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Congrats on your date! You're before me, so keep posting updates, especially any tips! I just posted some new before pics and I am more ready than ever for my date!
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I'm not a PS, but you don't look like you need a body lift. Go for the ex
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Damn iPad, as I was saying, go for the extended TT with the lipo. Your scar will be long so you may want to make it a consideration in your decision process. I'm 9.5 months out from my TT with lipo to the back and flanks. My PS said he would lipo up upper abdominal area and mons, but I don't think he did. I love my results and I believe you will too. Good luck!
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Omg!! Congrats on booking your surgery girlie!! I'm on October 21st, you're a few days before me!!! It's kinda crazy how similar your surgeon experiences were to mine! The first doctor I went to I didn't feel confident at all but the second doctor really made me feel good about the surgery and was so detailed! and that is so important I think. I debated getting an extended tummy tuck as well but I decided not to - I felt like it wasn't completely necessary and I was worried about how much more intense the healing process would be etc. but if he says it will give you a better result and you're okay with the scar and healing process why not! I'm so happy for you!! and us!! lol It's such an exciting feeling booking your surgery...October is going to come soo fast!! I need to put a list together of essentials. How is your weight loss coming?! Hope to keep in touch xo
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Also I decided not to opt for lipo.... I hope I don't regret that decision. I'm nervous!!!
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Hi tinselbear. I wish I could just be confident with my decision to go extended but I am not. I have seen so many reviews her with people larger than I am with more hip than I have who go standard and look incredible but I don't want regrets later. I'm glad our surgeries are so close. That's cool! We are the same height and close in weight. My weight loss is disappointing. I am stuck right now at 187. It is very hard for me to lose without going extremely low with calories especially since doing the HCG diet years ago. I think I am going to have to go low carb to do the weight loss at this point. I want to be 175 at surgery. Maybe I will be more precise about the diet knowing I have about 7 weeks left. I know the lighter I can get, the easier recovery will be for me. Low carb is probably best so I can keep my iron level up. I would get my leafy greens that way too. My husband is getting really irritated with me obsessing on this surgery. I wish I could focus on something else but the thought of getting this body to change finally is just very exciting and spending the money is scarey too, you know? We need to follow each other and stay in touch, for sure!
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Good day:-), you dont need a body lift, l was twice bigger than you and had a full TT with Muscle repair, and l feel and look good, read and educate yourself, look at pictures all around, that will give you the confidence for taking the righ procedure and dr. Good luck
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In my opinion,by the look of ur pics, u don't look like u would need a body lift. As far as having an extended/standard TT with lipo to the flanks should take care of any possible dog ears. I'm not sure why ur TT incision would have to go all the way around, to the sides yes, all the way around i don't think so. If ur butt is saggy do a BBL not a body lift if ur inner thighs are saggy with no fat of a thigh lift, if that's what u want. Sounds like he offered slot of different types of surgeries than what u initially went in for.... If ur not sure take ur pics plus bavk shots and write to the PS here in RS and let them tell u in their opinion what u would need, that would help out better in ur decision making. Congrats on setting a date!!! So excited!!!!!
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**sorry for misspelled words, on iPhone,small keyboard**
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Thanks so much for your feedback. Um thinking he was trying to give me every possible option. I do have lots of muscle in my butt and legs from lifting so a BBL would be a waste of money in my mind. I do have skin that hangs on my butt and thighs though as I am 85 pounds down from my highest weight. I have also gained and lost over 50 pounds multiple times. He was offering a circumferential tummy tuck/belt lipectomy to lift the skin all up. But yeah, I don't feel like what I thought a candidate for that looks like. With what he is doing, I'm going to lose enough inches to make me a fit into my 8s. I wear mostly 10 now. I'm tall so that seems small to me. Maybe I should take a pic pinching all the skin he is going to cut off. It looks way worse if I sit. I couldn't sleep last night. I can't believe it is happening. He did say with an extended incision I would not develop dog ears (nurse actually said that) and he said it would give me a smooth tight contour getting rid of the flank skin, basically no chance of a muffin top. I just wonder how far around the side he really will go. I will probably do the extended. I like the price of the standard though. This surgeon is top notch. He is in the top two in ratings on here for Utah and has served as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. I trust him. I maybe just thought my body was not in such bad shape. Obviously if I'm in this forum I knew help was needed though. Thank you again for supporting me and chiming in. You know how this feels!
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*I meant "I'm" not "Um". Um is a snotty way to start a response. Lol!
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I've heard body lifts are horrible to recover from, I don't know personally but I have heard that from people who have had them. Standard/extended the scar would go hip to hip. Mine will go hip to hip. Well whatever u decide I wish u the best! Good luck and May Prayers be with you!!
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Thank you! I appreciate the prayers too!
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Just reading your story and this made me laugh, lol! :)
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Look at you girl, said bye bye to that little belly, you going look like a barbie doll and lam no lying because you are skinny already, oh oh hot mama on the making. Good luck. Kisses
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Haha! Feeling the love! Thanks for the nice little boost triguena! You made me laugh. Tomorrow I pick a date. I'm sitting here feeling so nervous about committing to this. I just keep reminding myself of what next summer will feel like!
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OMG next summer will feel wonderfull, picture it jajaja, the nice dresses, short pants no belly, umhhhh jaaja sorry l always laugh, possitivism is the key, nook the day and keep us posted.
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Defiantly take your time with your consults. Better be safe than sorry, take your time, no rush
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Agreed. I'm being smart here. I don't want to feel like I am on an assembly line.
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same thoughts exactly, I didn't want to feel like that either.
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How exciting! Definitely go with your gut. And great news that with or without weightless you'll get great results. It's getting real now isn't it?
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Thanks you! Yes, it is so getting real. I am getting butterflies and it is all I think about. I am really going to have to get used to the idea of no gym for a few weeks though. That is going to be sooo hard. On the other hand, without my workouts, I have 2 more hours I can work at home to pay for the new body!
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Congrats on the consult. I had my final consult yesterday and set the date - 11/25/14. I'm also starting a core program this week to help my diastasis (Finger Measured: 2d-4.5d-1.5m) as much as possible prior to surgery (The Tummy Team). My doc said my weight was fine for surgery, but when I said I plan to be down 10-15 before then and another 15-20 after, he said my results would be fabulous. That's encouraging to hear! The amount of lipo I have of medial thighs, hips, and flanks will depend on where I am come surgery time. I'm hopeful to need as little as possible.
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Hi Christie! How exciting that you have a date set! Congratulations! Good luck on your weight loss plans too. I am still trying to lose 10 pounds because I am not thrilled with my thighs either. I won't lipo them though because I can see hanging skin on them and when I was lighter the hanging skin looked worse and the cellulite stayed (bummer). I might just get some lipo in the hip region. This surgeon said he would see if it was needed when he got in there and go from there. He seemed really nice. He didn't act like designing the belly button was that big of a deal. He didn't see much benefit to showing before and after pics because he has been doing this for 27 years. He didn't promise to not give me a puffy mons. I don't want to look like a Ken doll. I am anxious to see what Dr Brzowski is like but I have to wait until Thursday. I will follow you as we will be around the same time!
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The Ken Doll is one of the things that freaks me out the most!
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