Getting a New Tummy - Orlando, FL

I'm a small person, 5' 5" and 110...

I'm a small person, 5' 5" and 110 pounds - after having two huge babies (first born 8 lbs. 9 oz., 21" long and second 8 lbs. 13 oz., 23-1/2" long) and gaining 60 pounds each time, you can imagine why my stomach looked like it was alien and not human. My oldest just turned 10 and I turn 35 next week and after thinking about this nearly every day of my life I decided to get up the courage to get my stomach fixed.

I would really liked to have had the whole mommy makeover and had my girls put back in place too, but that was too much for my hubby to bear. He wasn't not supportive, but he just kept telling me that he liked me just the way I was. Problem was, I didn't and since my stomach was my biggest issue, I went for it.

I am two days post-op and really my biggest fear going into this was that the pain afterward was just going to be unbearable. I read so much online and watched so many videos on YouTube about how horrible the pain was, that two weeks prior I almost chickened out. I am so glad I didn't because aside from feeling like a truck hit me when I woke up from the procedure and struggling to get in my house and into the recliner, I haven't really had any pain.

I have taken some pain medication - definitely the first day, but really I feel great. My back definitely hurts from walking hunched over and I'm a tiny bit queasy, but all-in-all, not bad.

I took a shower today and got to see my tummy and it's amazing that all the extra skin and stretch marks are gone.

I definitely recommend this is you're considering it.

Quick update day 4 PO (my surgery was on 11/18/10)...

Quick update day 4 PO (my surgery was on 11/18/10) and all is still going very good. Only took two Tylenol today (one in the morning and one in the afternoon)...I don't have any pain, just a little uncomfortable in the binder. Definitely standing up more straight today...back gets very tired from walking.

I took my second shower today - by myself. I took a chair into the shower so I could sit in there for a good amount of time and wash my hair without busting myself apart :o).

Then, got out, dressed slowly and rested a bit. Dried my hair and straightened it with my flat iron, put on my contacts, make up and jewelry and the cutest thing that would cover up the drains.

I had ordered 7 pairs of tiny, tiny, lacey underwear from VS (been wearing granny panties for 10 years) and tried those on this afternoon - WOW! Amazing. I bet no one else one earth is as excited as I am about underwear.

Going tomorrow to my first check-up and if he takes out my drains I'll post pictures. The drains are just not that cute, not bothersome though...just not going to take a pic with them hanging out my sides.

That's it for now.

Went today for my second check up and both drains...

Went today for my second check up and both drains are now gone...yeah!

I'm 11 days PO and feel like a million bucks. Plenty of energy, up and out of the house, shopping, to the movies, dinner out with my family, etc.

I could not be more pleased with the results and how easy this whole thing has been....especially because in researching it online it seems most people have a harder time. I'm thinking because I'm in good shape and work out that my body has had an easier time healing. Although I'm not working out any time soon!

I've posted one picture - it's hard taking a picture of yourself! My left side is still pretty swollen and not as curvy as my right, but I'm not complaining since I can find my stomach on my body now!!!

Day 18, feeling completely back to normal and...

Day 18, feeling completely back to normal and ready to go back to work tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Four weeks PO today - I can't believe that...

Four weeks PO today - I can't believe that it's been 4 weeks. Time goes by SO fast!

I went back to work last Monday on day 19 PO and all went well. Then, this week I had to travel across the country, which I thought would be very taxing, but really all was good except for having to continue to ask people to put my carry on in the overhead bin for me. I can't stand not being able to pick stuff up myself.

I'm feeling really good - having a bit of tenderness in my upper abs, which I'm sort of worried about. I don't think that should be sore at this point.

All of my stitches are gone and I think my scar is healing up really well. Every day I just am so thankful that I can now find my stomach on my body when I look in the mirror. It's amazing and I can't believe I actually got up the courage to do it - so worth it!

Orlando Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Soto is a warm, friendly person who is confident in his work. He explained everything well and did such a good job that I really didn't have much, if any, pain. His office staff are extremely friendly and put you at ease immediately.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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That is so great that you were in the swing of things by week 3. You do sound like a busy mom, especially with international travel. I would love some if that, even if I have to work. I miss Euorpe so much, I would love to go back for a nice visit.
I am jealous that you will have a rockin' bikini bod for this summer. I am so desperate to have that but I will look forward to that next summer. Besides here in Orlando, we have such a long summer, I might be able to find a nice bikini and get a few wears out of it in September. I am almost like you, I think its been 9 years since I have worn a bikini. Still its been so long, I might feel naked. LOL
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Hi there

I'll see if I can get an updated picture up this weekend - I am doing great. I am actually back to working out; I take dance classes and started that back up a few weeks ago. I've also had some pretty major international travel for work that began around 7 weeks PO.

I'm a pretty busy mom between full time work, kids in multiple sports, volunteer work and working out and I've had no issues with energy levels or pain - and feel completely back to normal.

I'd say after week 3 it really didn't keep me from doing anything I wanted to do except exercise until recently when I started back up. Best part is that by summer I am going to be rockin' a bikini for the first time in 11 years!!!
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Hi there,
Just wondering how you are feeling now that you are 3 months out. Are you back to regular movement or are you still taking it easy? have any updated pictures, especially of your scar. I would love to see how it looks at 3 months.
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Look at you! Wonderful results! I hope everything is going well with your recovery!
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wow you look good.
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Thanks Trena!
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You look amazing!   The upper Ab soreness is normal.  Mine hurt for four will end.
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Kimmers, that makes me feel so much better that you had soreness's just under my rib cage and my doctor said that it could mean it's not healing properly and that it could bulge out if I didn't make the binder tighter.

Thing is I have the binder as tight as I can get it and my husband puts it on. It's actually so tight it's making lumps in the sides of my waste.

I'm so glad to know that maybe it's just part of the healing process. It's not that sore, but by the end of the day it does feel tender.

Thanks for sharing!
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Mine was sore as hell in the exact same spot for months.  I also had a little bit of a bulge there for about a month but my doc said it was fine and all part of the healing.  My trainer is  a master with muscle and healing also said it felt and looked fine. 

Now as far as the tightening the need to breath for god sakes.   I am not telling you to go against your doctors orders but...I never wore a binder past day three.  My doc does not really push them and told me to wear it if it made me feel better.  But I did not have to.   Now you can see from my pictures that I healed beautifully. 

What my doc did mandate was that I did not use or work my abs at all for six months.  Which makes sense when you think about it.  He explained it like this...he stitched the abs back together really tight and you shouldn't work them and fight against the stitching.  That would cause pulling and more soreness.  He was right!

The tissue in the abdomen is so tender and it just takes time for everything to settle and heal from the inside out.   We had some major surgery and the body just needs months to heal.  I am now 8 months post op and have not more pain anywhere...or swelling.  You will get there:)
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Congratulations on your results! Your tummy looks wonderful:) I am having a mommy makeover with Dr. s on 12/17/10, and your post helped alleviate some of my pre-op jitters. I am also worried about pain (and maneuvering around with the drains), so it is encouraging to hear that your pain was pretty minimal afterwards. I have been very impressed with Dr. S so far- he is very knowledgable, safety-conscious, and personable. Congrats again, and I hope you are able to post some more photos throughout the healing process:)
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Hi there,

Thanks! I am so pleased with how everything has gone - a few tips that really helped are to buy a plastic chair from Target or Lowes and put it in the shower - its very hard to shower without a chair. Then, get a few of those round elastic headbands that people use for working out and put it around your neck and pin the drains to it when you shower. That was the only time the drains were a bit of a problem. Other than that they really were a non-issue.

I'd also highly recommend a recliner - I bought one from Big Lots for $189 and it was so useful (don't know what the heck I'm going to do with it now though).

The whole thing really was so easy - don't let all the negative stuff online worry you. I had mine done on 11/18 and by 11/25 I was fully able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and decorate for Christmas. Just take your medicine as prescribed. I was completely off the pain meds within four days and was then just taking one Tylenol every four hours after that. By day 10 I didn't even need the Tylenol. By day 12 (just this past Wednesday) and all week I've been out shopping with my girlfriends and put to lunch, etc.

Let me know how you do - it's the best thing I've ever done for myself.
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Anon- you have recovered quickly. How old is your youngest? Did you put the recliner in your bedroom or in the family room? I already have a recliner, we are debating whether to leave it in the family room or put it in the bedroom.We are concerned about where I can get the best rest. My youngest will still come into my room and want attention. How come you showered wtih your drains still in? I know when I met with Dr. S he said I wouldn't be able to shower until they came out.
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Hi there,

My youngest actually turns 5 in a month and my oldest is 10. My oldest knew what was going on - in fact she told me a ton of times that she thought I should get my tummy fixed so she was very supportive and helpful. I didn't tell the youngest, my son, that I was even going to have anything done. I came home from my surgery and we told him I was "sick" and was going to have a bandaid on my tummy for a while. So, 4-1/2 weeks later he still calls it my "bandaid".

I would highly recommend putting the recliner in your room - I thought about putting it in the family room too so I could be in the middle of the action. I was really glad to have it in my room though. The first two days I pretty much stayed in there and it was nice and quiet and I could rest. They would come in and talk to me while I was awake. Plus, I slept in it overnight - I couldn't sleep in my bed until about day 8.

My PO instructions said I could shower one day PO, but I didn't shower until two days after the surgery. I got my first drain out on day 6 and my second out on day 13. So, I can't imagine not being able to shower for 13 days - yikes!

Are you having breast aug too? If so, I think you can shower with the drains but you have to wait a few more days. My printed PO instructions said something in there along those lines.

When are you scheduled?
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HI, I think we will plan on having the recliner in the room just so it is more restful. I am going to have a breast lift and Aug with a TT and lipo. I am scheduled for June 13th. I know it is a long way off. I was told during my consult with Dr.S that I wouldn't be able to shower until drains came out :(. My oldest is 7 and he knows that I am going in for muscle repair in my belly. My youngest is 2 (will be 3 at time of surgery) we will have to show him my boo boos or he won't remember and want to jump on me. He is a handful. My mom will be down to help with recovery and the kids. Ugh I can't imagine having to sleep in the recliner for 8 days. I know I can do it, I slept in the recliner for 4 months when my son was an infant. He had acid reflux and wouldn't sleep in his crib on his back. I just hate to think of that, I love my bed and sleeping on my side.
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I so wish I would have had a breast lift, but I just couldn't get my husband to agree on that. However, not that my tummy looks (dare I say, amazing) I feel much better about the girls. Although I think I'll have them done for my 38th or 40th birthday and he'll just have to deal with it.

Honestly you're so hunched over with the TT that the recliner is just a God send. You won't want to lay in your bed.

I also sleep on my side and have a very hard time falling asleep, but am now so used to sleeping on my back that I may just keep doing it because they say it keeps you from getting wrinkles on your face.

June is a long way off, but you will just be so happy you did this for yourself. It's a bit uncomfortable for the first 10 days, but I think my fast recovery really had to do with Dr. Soto being a great surgeon.

Keep me posted!
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I think Dr. S is an artist (based on all the before and after pictures I have seen). am trying hard not to think about the pain, tenderness or recovery right now. Its is so far off that I am just trying not to think at all. I feel like it is all I think about.:)
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I wouldn't spend 10 more seconds thinking about the pain or recovery - it was SO much easier than I made it out to be in my mind beforehand. I was so close to canceling because I had talked myself into how bad it was going to be.

And, I so wish I had gotten on this web site way beforehand to have the encouragement of others. I'm sure everyone's different, but I've told Dr. Soto a few times that this was way easier than having children - and I did not have a c-section (although I probably should - who lets a 102 lb woman have a 9 lb baby without a c-section these days anyway?). So, needless to say, I'd focus only on the positive and really, really keep all those thoughts about pain, recovery, etc. out of your head. You're going to look amazing - that's all I'd think about if I were you :o)
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Thanks for the encouraging words.
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You look fantastic!!
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You are doing wonderful!  Shower, make up and all.  Way to go girl..

I know what you mean about the underwear excitement.  Just wait until all of your swelling is gone.  I went totally nuts in VS at four months post op.  My hubby is loving all the sexy panties and bras now. 

He does all the laundry and is loving not having to fold the granny panties any longer :)  I think he actually enjoys doing my laundry now....he he!

Can't wait to see your pictures.
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Hi there,

I only met with two doctors - one was Dr. Matas, he's the VP of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the President of the Florida Society. He has a beautiful office and nice staff, was less expensive by about $1k, and you spend the night at his facility with a nurse. Lots of pros for sure, but he was cold and I just didn't like him.

But, my girlfriend is an ob/gyn and she highly recommended Dr. Soto. I went to see him and just really, really liked him. He's very warm and I felt more comfortable with him.

I think Dr. Soto did such a great job - my parents flew in to help me in addition to my hubby and all of them keep saying how they can't believe how great I'm doing. I really don't feel bad at all. The funny thing is I almost chickened out b/c of the horror stories online, but it's just not been that bad at all.

Best of luck with your decision. I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have. And, I'll post a photo in a few days - I'm going to wait until he sees me again before I take the binder off long enough to take a pic.
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Thanks, I am glad that you are doing so well. Its reassuring for those who haven't gone through with it yet. I meet with Dr. Soto today and I hope he is the clincher. I met with the other 3 yesterday and although I really liked one and felt confident that he would be the one- he is so expensive. I am hoping that Dr. S will fall in the middle price wise and I will just know that he is the one. I can't wait to see your before and after pictures. Did you have any Lipo? Well I hope you continue on such a great recovery. You are doing so well so far.
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How did the appt go with Dr. Soto today!
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He canceled the consult because an emergency arose. This is the third time he had to reschedule. I am a bit disappointed. However I still want to meet with him. I have heard raves and seen such great after pics that I still will meet with him. I scheduled the consult for next Tuesday but I have to take time off of work. :(
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Well that is disappointing :(   Hang on because he will be worth waiting for!
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