Very Fit Mom of Two Gets Full Tummy Tuck and Abdominal Hernia Repair

I am a 40 year old mom of two. I have been very...

I am a 40 year old mom of two. I have been very fit and have exercised 3-6 days per week for the last 20 years. After my second pregnancy I realized that no matter how much I diet and exercise, the bulge in my belly would not disappear.

My problem was not loose skin or excess fat. I learned that I had diastasis recti. This is where your midline abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy and never come back together. I had a full tummy tuck and abdomianl hernia repair.

My Dr. stitched my abdominal muscles together from right below my breasts all the way down to my incision. I thought that because I was in excellent shape prior to surgery that I would have a quick and easy recovery. I was sadly mistaken.

Although, I had no major complications, I did have problems with my drains. My drains kept getting clogged and were not working well. At 10 days I felt great and went on a 3 hour shopping trip. That was a terrible mistake, I got so swollen that my doctor was really concerned about me.

My doctor is being very strict with me now and I am not able to start any form of exercise at least until I see her again at 7 weeks. This surgery has been a lot harder than I expected. I haven't really had much pain at all, but, it is the lack of physical activity and being able to do my everyday routine that is killing me! The most pain and discomfort I had was in the first 7 days.

The pain and discomfort I had was in my back from being hunched over and not from the abdomen. I am at 5 weeks post op and I am still very swollen in my lower abdomen/pubic area. I didn't expect recovery to take this long.

I am not 100% happy with the results at this point but I am pretty confident that I will be happy with the end result after the swelling is all gone.

7 Comments

wow, your story sounds exactly like mine with the being fit but that diastasis recti bulge & abdominal hernia. I am 4 weeks post op now & was wondering why i still have swelling, i thought it would be done by now. Last night i had an event & had a fitted dress & if i stood completely straight & flexed i swear it looked like a had half a penis on my pubic area from the swelling. i really hope it flattens out, how embarrassing. also after the party my whole abdomen looked swollen again & fuller. when do you think full final results can be expected. i also didnt get my period yet, its been 6 weeks, is it normal for this surgery to effect the period by delay?
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u look much more flat than i do and today is a month for me i swelled up again. i am working out lightly. i feel like my buns are bigger now. lol but i weight the same also havent lost lbs and ppl seem to have lost i dont know wut is going on
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I am almost 4 weeks post op and also find recovery to be much more difficult than I had hoped. I am petite, was also very fit, doing Pilates, lifting and running 3-5 days/week and it is SO HARD not to do anything, but yet my body is not ready. I am not sleeping well, which is the hardest part. I believe it will be longer than I had hoped until I can return to my regular routine. I am thinking it will be at least 3 months. However, I am very happy with the result. I had bad stretch marks and a 10cm diastasis and it looks completely different now!!
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Photo Update

3 Comments

oh wow thanks for the update, why were you not allowed to exercise for 12 weeks? i too am very thin & lean. i thought it was 6. & im at 5 & he said yesterday i can start walking on treadmill & squatting for my butt. i look forward to seeing your final results. did you have swelling in pubic area for long? like protruding?
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Twins Mom: My doctor wanted to be extra cautious with me because of all the swelling I was having. She was worried that too much activity would make the swelling worse. And YES, my swelling was mostly in my pelvic/pubic area below my incision, it was completely protruding. Stay positive! Hope this helps :)
Hi Twins Mom, Hang in there. I was so frustrated and borderline depressed about how long my recovery took and how bad my swelling was. I got even more swollen after the "after" photo I posted above. Honestly, my swelling only started getting better at about 14 weeks. Although my doctor kept telling me that I was doing great and that I was still very swollen, I was starting to think that the swollen look would be my final result. But, I am finally starting to see the results I was hoping for and I am sooo happy! My doctor also did tell me that if you are very lean, the swelling will show more. My swelling started going down after I was able to start exercising again. I was not cleared to exercise til about 12 weeks which was also very frustrating! I will try to post some updated photos soon to give you hope that things will get better. So again, hang in there!
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

She is a self proclaimed perfectionist. She is very down to earth and she does not sugar-coat things, she will tell it like it is. The staff is wonderful and the surgery center staff was amazing as well.

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