FInally Done - or So I Thought - Ontario, CA

Since my late teenage and early twenties years- I...

Since my late teenage and early twenties years- I have had a tummy - even though all in all I was fairly slim. I had one miscarriage, and one full pregnancy term pregnancy. I gained weight and struggled for a couple while to lose it, but in general - I kept fairly slim. While I do not excercis regularly, I do eat helathily. I wore body teddies, which held me with my tummy shape under clothes. Last year - I was transitioning between jobs.. and for that reason I decided to go for liposuction. I did my general research and chose my surgeon - who explained that liposuction will not be enough in my case, and a tummy tuck is neeeded - but no muscle repair required as I don't have muscle separation or damage.
I was very concerned about the scar and its length - but it seemed that the results will outweigh the ugliness of the scar. The area around the belly button - remains red all around but I know the scar has closed . the central section in the scar remains swollena and a bit hard closer to the stitch line.

In addition - the cost of this surgery was much, much higher than what I had initially thought. I did more research and decided to go for it.
This weekend is 3 months since my surgery.
The surgeon and staff were wonderful. I was fairly swollen for the first few weeks. THe scar was awful looking and too long but I was hoping to finally have a flat front. There seemed to have been some complication with the scar concentrated in the C section.
In my visits - the surgeon was not too concerned, explained that area will take longer to heal and that eventually all be ok. For the first two days I took the medication for pain..but since there was no muscle repair -the pain I went through did not seem as high as I read from some of you. I was under the impression that in a couple of days I would be able to move around.. so I actually started to lead my normal life, but not with a straight back.
I was not wearing a binder or compression garment ( my OS did not feel the need for it ) - and had no drains either - due to the type of stitching used.
The scar looked ugly and a bit zigzag.. but also asymmetricaly - I was not balanced on the sides - just above the hipbone.. The first few weeks, and visits to the OS - my focus was on the scar healing. It was taking much longer than I read from some of you...nevertheless it was slowly progressing. At the two months mark - I was still fairly swollen..and frustrated beause in clothes - I still looked like I have a protruding tummy - but without the teddy. Again - was advised to be patient - and that the welling will go away.
I started using the silicone strips at the 7 week mark - just before I left on a trip. Amost three weeks now - but I honestly do not feel they make a difference.
When I last visited my OS - he said scar in the center will take a bit longer to disappear and to keep on with the silicone strips. He also said swelling might take a few more weeks to subside..and that the removal of the excess skin was as aggressive as possible. He explained that the operation is not about losing weight ( which I understand) and that he removed the excess skin, but that if there is fat in the abdomen - its removal is not part of the surgery..
First week after the surgery, I actually weighed more than I did before..but stabilized.
My weight has been the same throughout - not up or down. A little less than 2 lbs - was removed.
I still look the same around the tummy area with my clothes on, which is frustrating...except now I do not wear a teddy...and I gained an unsightly, long scar.
Some of the stitches started to pop-out - and I had the doctor remove a few of them.
This week - there are a few more pushing against the skin. And I am still with a tummy basically..I have seen so many before and after photos on several different sites including this one. Some patients started out a lot worse shape than me - whether in weight or shape or complication -but seem to have ended with a much flatter tummy almost immediately.

My doctor is patient in answering my questions, and explaining issues surrounding the surgery. I had no reason to question his judgement about the surgery and the procedures he did or did not take.

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I'm nearly 6 months and still very swollen 80% of the time,although nowhere near as much as when I first had the op. Like you, clothes still feel tight and my belly still sticks out. I really was very slim when I had the op and I feel that the enforced slow pace after the op may have contributed towards gaining just a couple of unnecessary pounds that seem to very much undermine the flat look we're looking for from this op. I'm seeing my doc this week as he says I'll need lipo to a fatty area that is left above my scar. Another anaesthetic! :-(
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I do see a difference in your shape :) looking good.
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Hey girl! I was swollen off and on until recently. I'm 4 1/2 months PO. Now. When was your surgery? I would give your self 5/6 months to heal and see what everything looks like before you make a final verdict of your outcome. I still swell with workouts and certain foods.
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I too can tell that you still have a lot of swelling. Patience is not always easy. It seems like you have confidence in your PS so a little time is what's needed... I'm sure. I can tell a difference also.
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I do see a difference and you do look very swollen. Perhaps you are doing too much? The scar seems to be healing nicely. I would focus on keeping up with healthy eating and lots if water. When you get the clear you should start exercising and focusing on a healthy you ;)) your tummy should look better by month 3, just try not to over do it. It's a big operation and you need a lot of down time. Keep us posted with new pics! Xx
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I have a question if you can help me out. I had a tummy tuck aug 5,2013 and my stomach is still pretty big especially up top. Can you tell me how long you were swollen. I can't imagine my stomach being completely flat based on how it looks now.
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Hello Sunshine0325 - We had the operation just a few days apart.. I can tell you that until two three weeks ago, I was swollen all around.. In the last week I notice a change in that the swelling seems to gradually be on the lower part.. The top part of my tummy is softer now - where it was hard as rock before.. I believe the swelling will keep on subsiding.. but like you, I am not sure I will be drum skin tight - if you know what I mean.. Let's keep each other posted.
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Lisalicious - thank you for your support. There is a difference ofcourse..and I have chosen the pre-op photos that really showed my worse case scenario :-) but I still have a pouch post op.. The scar took longer to heal, and the center part is likely to stay dark and take much longer to go. I have some scar tissue around the scar now.. but only in the center. There is no doubt that I started moving, and travelling, and leading normal life almost from the first week... and it was how I interpreted " lead a normal life" eventually through this site I realized that almost everyone reporting seems to have taken easy for two weeks or more... which I did not do... I was in high heels and out of the house within the first week - with bulky dressing /stitches etc.. The other thing in your comment is "it's a big operation" and although intellectually I knew that.. I do not believe I fully comprehended this until I experienced.. Given that the largest surgery I had was a root canal ( never even had my tonsils out) I had no concept of what a big operation will be like.! I am now at the three months mark, and am still a bit swollen.. and do not feel I have a flat stomack.. but am still holding onto the hope that it will subside some more..
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Yes please let's keep each other posted. Thanks for responding!!
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Would you be kind enough to share you doctor's name with me? I'm in Ontario too and am similar to you in some muscle seperation. Thanks
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Midnightsunshine - I will be glad to Inbox you the information. One of the reasons I have not posted a review for so long- is that I do like the surgeon and like his work ethics- and so far - I do not doubt his judgement. I do realize that having muscle repair would make things tighter - but after asking him a couple of times - he honestly did not feel a need for it.
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This is what I am afraid will happen. It's a lot of money and pain for you not to see a big difference. I hope it all works out for you!
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Chattanooga91 - It is a lot of money. and there is quite a bit of pain associated with it.. and more if you do muscle repair. Having said that... my case is not a classical example. Although the surgery cost much more than I had planned - I viewed it as an investment in myself ( I had the money aside to buy a diamond bracelet ! so you can appreciate the conflict !! :-) I believe I had realistic expectations ( not expecting miracles etc) but I did expect the recovery to be faster, and perhaps flatter than I currently have. I have been cautioned - and you read on this website as well - that you can still see improvement up to a year. Do not let my review dissuade you. Statistics show that 90% or so of patients who go through the process are more than satisfied. Good luck to you.
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