Hello Everyone, I've been obsessively looking at...
Bye facebook, hello Realself!
About 6.5 weeks to go!!
I live with my BF who says I don't need this and he thinks it's a waste of money. Men, they just don't get it. so now I am trying to line up my girlfriends who will help me through recovery as my BF will not be able to take time off from work. I also am not telling my family because I just don;t want to deal with their judgement and snarky comments. I hope I can keep this a secret and just tell them next year when I will be wearing bikinis that I've been "working out" wink wink.
I read about so many of the reviews here and I am so grateful for this online community. It has helped me a lot get more informed and prepared for this intense surgery. Everyone's experience is unique - recovery times is quick for some, and long for others. So while I am keeping this a secret from family and friends, I have all you lovely women who have been through this and are so generous and supportive. I am on this site so much it feels like an addiction :) I've seen so many before and after pics that they swim in my head even when I'am not looking at them.
Anyway, I will try to find the guts (pun intended) to take some before pics and post them soon.
Not too shabby covered up
Back view for the record
Oh, my stats - forgot to add
Weight: 120 lbs give or take 3-5 bs either way.
So basically, I have no shape - pretty straight.
Different strokes for different folks
Also, another thing that i really am happy about, my PS takes the drains out either on day 1 or day 2. I loved his comment when I expressed my concern he said, it,s safer to stick a syringe in every other day and pullout the excess fluid than to keep the tubes in because it is a huge pathway for bacteria to get into the body and an infection is way more serious than seromas or fluid build up (which has a very easy fix).
Then when I asked him about the fat grafts to my butt (I posed a question here about having that at the same time as TT) Several doctors said they wouldn't do it at the same time because "you're not supposed to sleep on your newly grafted fat" well, once again, My awesome PS just poo pooed that and said first, you can sit because you are not sitting on where the fat is injected, second, you can lay down and sleep in any position you like because no matter what, the fat survival rate will still 50-70% and it is mostly dependent on how your body heals, not whether you sit or sleep on it.
Anyway, I dig his philosophy - similar to mine. It's just interesting how even doctors have different beliefs :)
Ok, I forgot stuff
I am 52 (if you haven't figured that out yet), had 2 kids, both are over 21 now, son was 9.5 lbs at birth and daughter was 8.2 lbs so I was all tummy (my hips are kinda small) At the time of my first pregnancy, I was around 95 lbs (you might say I was one of the lucky ones who could pretty much eat anything in any quantity and not gain weight) Note the past tense. That all changed of course after pregnancy, starting with the 65 lb weight. since then, in order to maintain my weight, I had to run a minimum of 5-6 miles everyday. The lowest weight I got back to was about 110 but still had the flabby belly - that seemed to not change regardless of weight.
For years, I kept hoping if only i could loose more weight, exercise more, blah blah blah...I was also afraid of the surgery AND the scar. Not to mention hanging on to the hope that as I got older, I would also be wiser and less vain. Until menopause happened. uh huh, over the last year of hot flashes, drying skin and expanding belly fat (aka mid life crisis), I decided, no more killing myself with exercise, accept my vanity but not my belly, and be ok with the scar. luckily, thanks to my vanity, I am also in good health.
And so here I am, and I luckily found all of you on this site! So yes, RS is still my addiction, can't stop perving everyone's profiles, looked at hundreds (possibly thousands) of before and after pics and enjoy reading everyone's stories - all the ups and downs, the joys and tears of this process. It really has helped me to be more mentally prepared for my upcoming surgery (I still get those flashes of fear and doubt)
So thank you ladies! I have had side conversations with a couple of awesome ladies now and I really just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your intimate and emotional experiences. You ROCK!!!
Question for you ladies
1. Eh, optional if you have money to throw away,
2. If you like, it helps a lot so if you can afford it, highly recommend (which one recliner or wedge pillows)
3. Absolutely necessary for survival after TT surgery, you must get ....
Someday soon, I'll be doing yoga in a bra-top and low waisted yoga pants
I love all my TT and MM sisters here!
Anyhoo, here is a pic of me in my yoga attire, I am hoping one day to get rid of the t-shirt. I can't even bear to take a pic of me in the plank position, my tummy probably just barely touches the floor.
Slowly prepping my house for my recovery. Just moved the bedroom furniture in the spare room - this will be my recovery room. I want to get my brother to mount the TV on the wall, but he's so busy with his work... will see if I can beg for a weekend. Bought a bidet which I am also waiting for my bro so he can install, I tried doing it myself but unscrewing that connecting ring was too hard for me. Just started a cough a few days ago aargh!! I hope I am super well and healthy - I certainly do not want to get sick after surgery - not for the first month at least!
Beware of "doctoring google" and "astrotrufing" by doctors
Here are the URLs:
For California you can look up your doctor here: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/lookup.html
My List of Questions for Pre-Op Appt
1. What are your thoughts on IV Vit C? Can you order it for me?
2. How long to be hunched over?
3. Can I sleep on my side?
4. Will it hurt the stitches as I get in and out of bed?
5. Why or what causes dehiscence? Can it be prevented?
6. What should I be doing the 2 weeks prior to prepare my body as best as I can for this surgery? What shold I not eat, drink, etc..?
7. Caffeine – should I wean myself before? Can I drink it after?
8. Please walk me through the order in which you are going to perform the surgery. I am asking this again because I want more details and I have more questions at each step.
9. What areas will you do the regular lipo? Will you be doing the vaser lipo right after?
10. What percentage of your patients get seroma?
11. What are your thoughts on lymphatic drainage massage ?
12. How and where do you typically mark/make the incision? I plan to tell him exactly where I want mine and will draw it (I'll borrow his marking pen).
13. Where will you be inserting the lipo cannulas? Do I have options as to where to put the holes?
14. How many follow-up visits do I need? Will I be scheduling them now?
15. Compression Garments and binder – how long should I wear them?
16. How soon can I shower?
17. Do you use glue to glue back the skin to fascia?
18. I read about lipoabdominoplasty and that sounded like what you described you were going to do but you didn’t use that term (yes I know it’s a marketing term). Is that essentially what you typically do?
19. MR - do you use absorbable or permanent sutures or both?
20. Stitches or staples or glue on the outside?
21. When do you release the bb? before cutting the abs or after?
22. Garments = what are you providing and what will I need to buy?
23. Fat Grafts (BBL) – how and where do you inject the fat? Will this be right after the lipo and before TT?
24. How much fat do u think you will get out of me to graft?
25. I heard about some deaths associated with fat grafts - they said it was fat cells clogging the arteries – urban legend?
26. Face lipo - how much time will this take? (I am asking him because I want to do a wee bit of lipo under my chin to tighten the skin and want to know if we can add this on or schedule it separately as an office procedure.
27. What are your thoughts about drain free TTs?
28. When will my dressings/bandages to be removed?
29. When will my stitches be removed? Which ones?
30. Does your anesthesiologist monitor brain activity as well? How will you know if the patient is getting too little or too much anesthesia?
Past questions with answers:
1. What is the order of the surgery? lipo front, then lipo back, fat injections, Tummy tuck
2. Is it ok to sleep on the butt where the fat transfer is healing? Yes
3. What medications will I get/take? None apart from antibiotics on day of
4. When will pain pump be removed? Day 1 or 2 post op
5. When will drains be removed? Day 1 or 2 post op
6. When can I go back to work, do chores and exercise? For the TT, at 2 weeks, I should be 85% good, by 3 weeks 95% and can for sure go back to work. Lipo swelling and full healing takes 12 months.
7. Can you provide a patient reference who has had similar surgery (TT + lipo + fat grafting) – I used to do that but my patients who volunteered got too many phone calls and it was quite disruptive for them and so I stopped. I know that doctors that still do that these days typically pay them or give some compensation because it is work. I did not want to do that because then since you are paying them, they may feel obligated to give biased opinions.
8. Do I need to rent a recliner or buy anything for recovery? No
9. Do I need to buy any garments? No, all will be provided
10. What supplies do I need to buy? None, all will be provided
Pre-OP done! All paid for, they have my money now.
so here are some of the answers I can remember from my list above, I forgot to ask him a few!
1. Low Sodium one week before and a month after.
2. Cafeine ok
3. One drain, and pain pump, below incision on the side (not on mons)
4. No glue - he said it doesn't increase better results and it's expensive. Stanford docs don't use it as a practice.
5. CG wear about a month for the TT and 2 weeks for the arm lipo
6. Lipo cannulas 2 inserted the upper back and one lower back (I was only concerned about the holes in the back not front.
7. He provides all the garments.
8. He said I could do drain free TT but he prefers to do at least 2 days because of the lipo fluids he injects, those have to come out.
9. stitches are all internal with a few (maybe 4-5 knots on the outside. then glue and steri strips on top of incision wound.
10. He said no vertical scar!! yay! after lipo, my skin will be like rubber that he can pull down.
11. he uses permanent sutures for the MR - those are the same ones that orthopedic surgeons use to stitch ligaments together, or for heart surgery. He thinks he will have enough fat from just my back for the BBL.
12. Lymphatic massage is ok, doesn't really affect outcome but it helps patients feel better. Ok after 2 weeks.
15. He said seroma incidents is probably 5% more since he takes off drains in 2 days. but he prefers to aspirate the fluid if it happens than risk infection.
16. He said his last infection from TT occurred 24 years ago and it was minor.
I forgot to ask the rest!! DARN! But no worries he gave me his home phone number, his cell phone and his personal email account. He said call anytime with questions. Ha! Little does he know his phone will be buzzing. I'll try not to bug him more than 2-3 times before my surgery date :)
He also gave me all the prescriptions today:
Anti-itch and tingly - he said docs don't know how this particular med works but he prescribes it to lipo patients and they are a lot more comfortable
antibiotics to start day after surgery
He said have MOM or dulcolax and fleet in stock :)
I told him about my fear of dying and he was very kind and took my concern seriously. He eve said tha ta few years ago, when he had shoulder surgery, he had the same fears. He said I'll be fine, don't worry, I'm in good hands.
Topic for today - Arnica, which my PS said is a waste of money
Arnica montana has been used medicinally for centuries. Arnica is used in liniment and ointment preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises. Commercial Arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. According to The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, clinical trials "suggest benefits of arnica for osteoarthritis and reduction in postoperative swelling and pain." 
A study of wound-healing after surgery to treat varicose veins found no statistically significant proof of efficacy.
Arnica contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts of the plant are eaten, and contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation. If enough of the material is ingested, the toxin helenalin produces severe gastroenteritis, and internal bleeding of the digestive tract. Homeopathic preparations of Arnica 24X dilution or more are neither toxic nor effective as negligible amounts of Arnica remain.
Homeopathic preparations of Arnica are widely marketed and used. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has registered the product for sprains and bruising under the National Rules for Homoeopathic Products (2006). These rules allow claims of efficacy for these conditions to be made on the packaging in the absence of similar evidence to that required for conventional medicines under the Medicines Act 1968 and 1971. A systematic review of clinical trials showed that homeopathic Arnica was no more effective than a placebo. In some quarters, the fact that homeopathic Arnica has been the subject of published clinical trials at all has drawn criticism grounded on the allegation that the basic premise of the high dilutions used in homeopathy would be inherently flawed.
Cancelled 10/14 to be re- scheduled soon
Anyway, thought I'd drop a short note for now to let you guys know what's up. I'll be back and will plan and re-schedule my surgery date. Hugs and kisses to you all. Please don't forget to tell all your loved ones how much they mean to you - you never know when you will not have that opportunity anymore.
Not so sure anymore about this
I may have a new date and a revised game plan
S the new plan is to do only one side, no more flipping over. Do only TT and MR, Lipo to armpits in front, he said he can do my arms without flipping me over. I was thinking of doing a bit of vaser Lipo on my jawline and parts of the upper neck to tighten the skin. So after, I feel a lot less anxious, and I hope my recovery won't be so challenging. I heard Lipo recovery can take months and also, that is major trauma to a large area of my body. So I feel a lot better and less anxiety about this surgery now. I'm still having some doubts so I haven't pinned down a date yet. Also, this throws off my whole work schedule and vacation because I used the time off that I had blocked for this surgery to go home and bury my dad.
Anyway, I thought I'd update you all, I miss having our conversations but I'm starting to get caught up on everyone's profile again.
I also read mommyof2DR's review again and the second time around, I am just feeling sad for her that she regrets the whole surgery. I think perhaps she did not think about it or research as much as she needed to prior to surgery. I do pray that she will in time feel ok with her choice or find a good solution to her concerns.
Happy Friday everyone! Xoxo
So I have a new date, I just confirmed today
3 weeks to go!!
Hope you ladies who are way ahead of me are continuing to heal fast and enjoying your flat tummies!!
I just wanna say, I love my Doc!
2 more sleeps!!! It's almost here and I'm so nervous and excited
I also am planning on pooping a Valium tomorrow night so I get a good nights sleep.
1 more sleep!! Did any of you TTers have any thoughts of cancelling surgery the night before?
Hi everyone!! I made it!!!
So today is post op day 2, went to see doc to take off my face bandage as I had a wee bit of Lipo on my chin and neck. Feel much better today. It may feels weird to be so helpless. I will plan on taking the MOM to,or row as I cannot imagine trying to poop right now. Peeing in itself is a challenge. So the worst thing right now is my back. It hurts like a mofo.
Also they put this stuff in my hair that made it all matted and gross. Can't wait to shower tomorrow. Drains and pain pump,is supposed to come off tomorrow. Dr. Said everything went great - will try and take pics tomorrow.
Thank you dear sisters for your positive vibes - couldn't have done this without you .
Norco is my new best friend
Here comes Debbie downer
Day 1: miserable day, woke up feeling pain along incision. I was feeling tight, loopy, and in pain and freaked out about my bruises
Day 2: went to see doc to take off my chin strap as I had a bit of lipo done on my jawline. Doc took out stitches in chin cleaned out my incision and put on a new tape
Day 3: went back to doc to get drains and pain pump removed. Asked doc if it was ok for me to try walking upright as my back was killing me. He said sure, no problem.
Day 4: today, mad myself some breakfast an egg and toast with hot chocolate.
Btw, had 2 BMs yay! Taking half doses of MOM as the first one was explosive lol Sorry for the tmi
Clips up of BB
Showered yesterday and it felt amazing
Day 6 - third visit to Dr. C
He did say I was a pretty colorful person noting all my bruises but he said everything's fine and healing well. I've been walking pretty much 90% straight and asked him if I can sleep flat on the bed now and he said sure.
Had my first trip out of the house to the store with bf to buy more food supplies. I told doctor C that the hardest instructions he gave me was the low sodium diet. I am dreaming of salty fish fried rice every night.
My arms are not swollen anymore but they are a gorgeous purplish hue all the way to my fingers. I'm trying to take the norco in longer intervals. Today, it was 10 hours. My face however still looks like I had a tussle with a few short kids and lost.
Day 7 post op
Day 8 - bit concerned
Forgot to mention, went to target and Cosco today with my mom
Back from doc
I think my scar should have dipped down about an inch
Day 10 post op
Day 11 post op
All seems to be healing well except my forearms are still bruised and painful. Gonna try 3 advils tonight ( took 2 last night and no effect). Now that I'm more experienced , I am on the hunt for seamless t shirts to put under my binder. I hate the ridges on my skin from the seams of my garments.
Stitches coming out
Day 12- mission impossible: to find the perfect seamless shirts OR compression garments.
Day 13 -
Day 14 - two weeks!!
1. Lumps in armpits he sad that's normal since I had Lipo,in the are - will resolve in 4-6 weeks.
2. Belly button crease - doing a little experiment of pouting tape on it to see if that flattens out the crease and it seems to be working! Yay!
3. Binder - asked doc about being able to go without binder for a few hours and he said I can do whatever I want. It's there for swelling so he said if I swell, I can put it back on but regardless, everything will heal with or without binder. And I recall,there were a a few studies that showed no difference in outcomes with the us or non use of CGs.
So today, I decided, I'm gonna try my best to stop worrying about evey little tng, let my body heal and give myself time. I need to keep reminding myself final results take 6-12 months
Tis the season to be thankful
2. I am thankful for target, Ross, and Marshall's where I can buy cheap CGs, and cut them up and possibly destroy them to get just the right fit without feeling too guilty.
3. Thankful for no complications as yet.
4. Thankful that so far, no swell hell. My tummy swelling is pretty much the same today as it was day one. I know as I get more active it will swell,more but then, I will be thankful for being able to exercise more.
6. I'm thankful for the little things like being able to lay flat on my back in bed starting last night even of for a short time.
7. Last but not least, I'm thankful for all my RS comrades, my girls girlfriends, my ladies circle, my femme fatale friends - without you this process would have been AWFUL.
Ps. Not posting pics today because not much change. Maybe after Christmas...xoxo
Day 15 - slept without binder last night!
Anyway, my personal experiment ( with my doc's knowledge and approval) to go use the binder and arm compression CG less and less. I am hoping to not be wearing them in 2-3 weeks at all.
And a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!!!!
Swelling, yes it happens
Oh and I wanted to add a few other notes I forgot to chronicle
1. Back hurt like the worst pain ever but it lasted only for 3 days. So on the 3rd day when doc took drain out, he said I could start trying to stand straighter and so that really helped
2. I am stated walking 5 days a go, a few minutes at a time. And yes my dear ladies, it does get easier.
3. I had a moment of panic yesterday when i was finding it hard to take deep breaths. I had all sorts of images (like pulmonary embolism, heart failure, etc) come to mind. I decided to continue with my mall shopping and told my bf that in case I passed ,he knew whatnot tell the medics. I almost asked him to take me to urgent care as i was feeling really bad. As it turned out, one big burp and I felt so much better. GAS ladies, it's can really f@@k you up. So I am trying all sorts of things to make sure I don't get this gas build up again. Like yoga poses, carbonated water and would you believe, eating solids! So now I'm good!
4. Went to the mall for a little stroll and also to get a taste of the Christmas spirit. It was such a nice little stroll
After 24 hours of not binder and eating salty food..
I do have those hard spots right above the incision and to the right of my bb. I am guessing all that is normal swelling. Can't wait to see my ps on the 31st when he gets back from vacation - need to have a professional,say my healing process is on schedule and normal.
Been slowly attempting some stretches and yoga poses as my muscles are all crying out from lack of use. Been doing the downward dog and that feels soooo good. I am want so badly to do some twists and side bends.
I'm enjoying my time off, having a great excuse to not do too much and hang out with family
Things tomdiscuss at my next appt that I'm concerned about:
1. Since he did lipo, I'm worried I might have that uneven dimply areas.
2. The ridgesgelf above my incision - I hope this is just swelling and that it will flatten out later.
3. The crease above my bb - I really hope it's because of the mr and the swollen muscles underneath and that this will flatten out in time. I tried putting tape on the skin and that seemed to make the skin better but the ridge is still there
4. Right side of Babis more swollen than left.
5. Lumpy areas. In armpits are still there
Happy healing and hope ya'll had a great Christmas.
Day 17 - I am having a tough time with CG, having some fear and doubts
Also, I have all sorts of compression garments and the full body marena ones, those that are like long panties that you pull up , or anything that's really tight, but I find it hard to keep any of them on for more than a few minutes. The only thing I am comfortable I are the tank tops that are body shaper types. I'm just gonna give up on the CGs , ill just use these tank tops and occasionally use the binder on top when I feel a bit more swollen.
Did anyone's pee stream angle change?
Pee stream also is now one nice stream whereas before, it was all,over the place (I think giving birth really does a number on our bodies) . Hope this wasn't TMI. :)
Day 18- a short shopping spree once again in search of that ever elusive CG
Now I'm catching up on everyone else here on RS and see how everyone's doing. I didn't take photos today as it pretty much looks the same still.
Day 19 - still bruised
Day 20 - almost 3 weeks!!
Day 21 - I made it to 3 weeks!
1. Been sleeping without any compression for the last 5 nights. I put the binder on at the end of the day when I feel really tight and swollen the take it off after a few minutes or an hour.
2. I can sleep on my sides - but im not a side sleeper so I do it to relieve my back right before I sleep. I stay on each side for an hour or so then l try to,lie flat. I can lie flat for a few minutes then the tightness starts to get more intense so I still have a pillow under my legs and one one each side if I feel,like folding them.
3. I look like I'm walking straight but I know I'm not 100% straight. The hardest part is moving after sitting. It takes a while for the tightness to,lose up so I can walk normally.
I see my ps tomorrow and will talk to him about my concerns. I'll note them in the pics here
A few more befores and afters
Day 22 post op - Doc appt, he said I'm good to play football
I had to loosen the band a short time later tho as I could feel the the pressure going upwards and my upper abs started to feel achey I need to not be achey tonight for the New Year's Eve party I'm going to.
Anyway, I love how confident my doc is with his surgical skills and stitching. He said there's nothing I can do at this point that will rip anything. I didn't post any pics as today looks pretty much the same as yesterday's. my next appointment is end of next week. I guess I'm going to plot an exercise routine that will work for me and let my body tell me the limits.
P.S. BBNM, how did you know LLB was gonna be posting soon?
Day 23 PO - too much in one day
Got a wee bit paranoid so I changed my profile name
On the TT front, pretty much the same except that I was able to lay flat on my back and sleep last night!! yay! It's funny though that standing up, my tummy feels a lot tighter than when lying down flat. I feel much better today after doing very little and not taking my walk yesterday. I may go for a longer walk today. Will try for 2 miles.
Day 25 POD - overdid it yesterday walking 3 miles
Well, last night I had a minor freak out. After my shower , I noted that my BB was red around it and bleeding a little. I swabbed hydrogen peroxide and the q-tip had a little blood. I probable used 5-6 of those until I gave up, they all had blood. I put antibiotic ointment and figured it would heal by tomorrow. This morning it looks less red and has dried blood inside. I guess that's a good sign. I emailed my ps last night cuz didn't think it was an emergency. Lets see what he says when he gets back to me. Gonna leave bb alone and take it easy today.
Day 26 post op- I think I will be very happy in 6 months
day 28 - 4 weeks!! Now back to work UGH!
When will this tight/ swollen feeling stop??!!!!
1. I'm not on any meds for over a week and starting week 2 , it was only half a norco at night and week 3, maybe only twice that week.. But right now, I'm so tempted to pop a pain pill.
2. Scar treatments started Christmas day when I took off the strips. I'm so thankful that the incision healed well with no complications.
3. Last night, I pulled out a stitch from my bb, which probably was the cause of my bleeding bb a few nights ago. No blood at all and bb looks completely healed.
4. Upper arms have that sore tingly feeling from the Lipo, underarms still tender and swollen and lumpy from the Lipo. I have full range of motion now from my shoulders. Lumpiness is slowly resolving, my lymph nodes are healing.
5. The hardness in my belly is getting smaller, it's now a triangular area from my bb as the apex to about a 5 inch base right along my incision.
This recovery is really a test of our patience!! Yes, every day it's a little better, some things continually get getter then you get swollen and tight at the end and it feels like you're starting over and never getting out of this cycle. I know in my head its just a matter of time...
Thanks for listening my dear TT sisters!! Xoxo
One month anniversary PS appointment
1. He said I shouldn't be looking this good at one month :) (It sounds like docs like to say that to their patients) but he was really happy with my progress. He said whatever i was doing, to keep doing it.
2. I asked him about exercise and he said I can do whatever i want. He said your muscles may hurt, but you can't hurt it at this point.
3. I told him about the piece of string I pulled out from my BB so he put on his glasses poked around and pulled out 2 pieces of string from my BB - that was so weird seeing him pull them and snip it. I was freaking out and told him to not cut it but pull the whole thing out and he said it will just break -apparently they are absorbable sutures. He said the BB is the most delicate part of the whole TT. They are fragile, and so they typically heal last.
4. I asked him some about allergic reactions to stitches and he said not the ones he uses, many years ago there were a few suture materials that caused allergic reactions. The ones he uses now never do.
5. I asked him about my lumpy armpit area and he said I could massage it but regardless, it will go away and he said usually 4 months. aaack1! this whole thign is a real test of patience.
All in all, he's very happy with my progress and I see him next month.3. Today is my fourth day back at work and each day, i seem more tired at the end of the day. I have not had any time to do any real exercise. I do walk around a lot and try to stand after sitting for over an hour.
Some other things :
1. I never had nausea after waking up from surgery. I think my anesthesiologist was awesome.
2. Never felt that dry throat thing or felt like coughing after surgery either. I did cough later but that was from chocking on food. I also sneezed a few times - boy did i see stars then.
3. Lost about 8-10 lbs since surgery (depending on time of day I weigh myself). Not good cuz I'm still swollen so that sounds like muscle mass disappearing! anyway, I can build those up soon enough.
4. Yesterday, I had brief encounter with the ken doll syndrome. It went away this morning and after work today, no sign of ken - yet!
5. My arms are still sore. and today, seems more swelling and soreness than yesterday. grrrrrr. when will this be over????
Hope all my TT sisters are healing well too! I cannot imagine going through this without all of you. Thank you all for being so generous, caring and supportive! xoxo
Forgot the pics
Oh hi Ken, when are you leaving?
33 days - GYM day!!!
15 min, 1 mile - elliptical
26 min, 1 mile - treadmill at 3% incline and 2.3 mph average
5 min - rowing machine
Weights - 8 lb dumbells on each hand, bicep, tricep and delts 3 sets of 10 reps each
Felt awesome after despite being swollen. Gonna try yoga tomorrow.
5 weeks today! - Did Bikram yoga yesterday
Short workouts today
Belly button became red after workout, I felt something pulling around that area, hard to tell cuz I'm still so numb there. If its still red tomorrow, gonna call PS.
Happy Monday!! Xoxo
37 days PO - BB trouble
BB is better.
Almost 6 weeks- not much change in appearance
Maybe I spoke too soon
Yesterday - walked 4 miles, today bikram yoga
Today went to bikram and tried to do more back bends. It's so frustrating. My yoga practice is so bad. My body is so stiff and tight, worst than the very first time i did yoga 15 years ago. I'm even embarrassed to go back to my regular yoga classes since I can barely do bikram. So my self assessment as of today is that cardio is sad, and flexibility is even sadder. I hope in time I can get back to where I was.
This whole recovery is indeed such a TEST of our patience!! I just want to feel normal again.
6 weeks post op today - hiked 4 miles again
Belly button tends to get red and swollen after I exercise but incisions look closed and healed.
TT scar got darker and I think it's starting to get thicker in the middle part. I've been trying to do more stretches and I all this activity and swelling is putting more tension. So today, I bought scar away silicon sheets and gonna try those. The kelo,cote and biocorneum is just too much effort 2 x / day and I have to wait for it to dry. Now that I'm back at work and trying to squeeze in time to workout, I know I need scar therapy that's simpler. So trying the strips. Lets see how that goes.
Still numb about a 1inch strip from sternum to belly button then from bb to incision it's a triangle of numbness. The hardness of this triangle seems to soften every time I exercise. I've found the worst thing is sitting for long periods of time. The other night, I sat for 4 hours - it was girls night out. I had shooting pains in my groin area and now my mons area feels sore. Weird. Still feels tight most of the time but I have periods of time now that I don't feel it.
I'm just bummed about how this TT and MR set me back in terms of flexibility . I feel like I'm made of stone and can hardly bend in any direction except forward. The side bends pull on my incisions by the hips and it feels like I'm gonna tear it apart. The backbends, forget it, just not there. So gonna focus on cardio and weights and slowly start the bends.
Happy healing everyone! I love all my TT sisters!
My finicky BB bled again
OK, BB is all dried up and looking fine again. grrrr
Then there's the first thing in the morning joy
7 weeks today - and I'm still not 100%
As you can see in my last pics, most of my tummy skin looks stained from all the bruising - still have faint streaks and spots that are purplish/brown. The area right below my bb is still hard and bruised. BB is still spitting stitches but thankfully, closes back up as soon as I pull or rub them out. They're kinda crumbly bits and pieces.
but I really can't complain much as I've not had any complications so far. Hope all my TT sisters are healing well too. Xoxo
Morning skinny in my work pants
Abs are achey and sore this morning- why? oh because I was foolish and tried to do real yoga
Also, while I don't purposely do crunches, I know I do them everytime i get in and out of bed (or reach over to turn off the night lamp. So anyway, i will back off a bit today and just do cardio and weights.
Sorry I forgot to post pics of my same outfit at end of day to show that the pants do get filled up (hence, no shopping for new pants for a while).
hope you ladies are all doing well.
Weight fluctuations - up and down, up and down...
On another note, I saw this picture and thought of you miss LLB
One hour, 4 miles (3.96 to be exact)
P.S. after my walk/ run yesterday, down 1 lb again this morning
More arm pics so that I can compare
I'm always hungry!!!
Got into my size 24 jeans!
2 month anniversary post op!!
- energy level back to normal and been able to keep to a fairly regular exercise schedule. My goal is 6 days of cardio (min 60 mins), 2-3 days of weights, maybe 1-2 days yoga.
- my swelling (which has not been bad at all) is slowly ..oh so slowly getting less. I also found that it doesn't matter anymore what I eat (ie salty food) or exercise, i still swell as soon as I get to work and by end of day, I'm up 2 lbs.
- I love the morning flatness. I hope this is what the "end" goal will look like.
- No muffin top while standing.
- scar is pretty much hidden in all my bikinis. so not been too worried about scar therapy as well. Been kinda lax and lazy about it.
- My BB stitches are inside and all healed.
- arm swelling is gone, armpit lumps gone.
The still in progress stuff and not so good stuff:
- TT scar is still a bit ropey in spots and not flat.
- my waist is still 28.5- 29 inches. Everything else seems to be getting smaller but my waist.
- Also there's a ridge above the TT scar.
- Skin and MR still feels very tight. I’m worried that I’ll never be able to do backbends or worse, I might get stretch marks trying.
- still have bruised and numb triangular area from BB to TT scar area
- It looks like the lipo is not even - right arm seems to have more fat than left, right of BB/waist area seems to have more fat, there's a dent in the skin right above my hip bone on the right side.
- I am noticing my back fat more!! been thinking about back/flank lipo now. ugh. never ending "touch ups"
- chin lipo - i call it a fail as there is no change to how I look now as I did pre-op
- arm lipo - arms are still numb but they feel thinner and hopefully, with weights, my guns will show more and look thinner.
- armpit lipo - I can feel that there's less fat there, and it looks great when I raise my arms, but I still get bra fat rolls.
The unexpected results:
- Pee stream angle, I pee like a dude now.
- got a hoochie lift :) love how it looks now.
- How I get so excited for my doctor’s appointments
- All my clothes fit – I don’t really have to buy new ones they just fit better. I was hoping for an excuse to buy a new wardrobe.
Overall, I am happy with the results. My belly button is actually what I am happiest about as it was my greatest fear - if it looked bad, then no matter where my scar was, I would not feel good in a bikini. As it turned out, it looks almost exactly the way it used to pre-TT and may look even better in 4 months and the scar is hidden inside.
Things that worked well for me:
- So happy that my PS took out my one drain (yes I only had one!) and pain pump on day 2 and was able to shower and feel normal quickly.
- PS said I could stand straight as soon as I wanted to so my back hurt only the first 2 days.
- CG and binders off at 3 weeks
- cleared for exercise with no limits after 1 month.
- Hiring a nurse to stay with me for the first 3 days and 2 nights was the best thing I did for post op, better than spending money on a recliner, toilet seat riser, or walker. After she left, I didn't need any of the other stuff.
- I installed a bidet instead of a toilet seat riser and made washing up after so easy.
This experience has been so positive mostly because of all my TT sistas!! A big kiss to all of you who made my recovery so amazingly good!
2 month Post OP appointment with PS yesterday, 2/10
1. All is good, he said i still have some swelling.
2. Re-confirmed no limits on my workouts - I specifically asked him if I can start doing planks, crunches, backbends, core work, etc. He said again "your muscles might hurt you, but you can't hurt them."
3. Asked if the tension would cause the scar to thicken and he gave said no. He acknowledged that there is some theory out there that it does but he doesn't think so.
4. Asked if all that stretching would give me stretch marks, he said no.
5. I told him I was getting lax about the scar therapy but he said to at least once a day put the silicone stuff (biocorneum or kelo cote). Apparently, this is the one thing he believes helps the scar heal well. so I'll get back on that bandwagon
6. I told him about my uneven arms, my concerns about the dent in my skin, the swelling on the right side of my BB, the rights side of my waist doesn't curve in the same way. he sort of waved his hands and said not to worry, that I have "a long way to go" still. so it sounds like these are issues that typically resolve themselves and it's too early to address them. He said basically, when the tight feeling goes away, then we can talk.
7. Next appt is in 2 months and doc quickly said that i can come in anytime before that if I want to.
On another note - I did a 2 hour yoga class last night and really tried to bend as far back as I could (not very far as muscles were stiff and tight), attempted the poses that engaged my abs a lot ( i had to back off some of them as abs did actually hurt). This morning, part of the ridge in my scar in the middle has flattened! Also, the whole scar area now moves, meaning it doesn't feel glued on and i can make it move separate from the muscles under (not sure how else to explain it).
also, my morning weight seems to be holding at around 115-115.6 lbs. Those last 5 lbs are gonna be a b---ch to lose.
Workouts - trending upward!
My advice to all you beautiful Women here- Please buy and read the book "Younger Next Year"
Younger Next Year for Women Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy-until You're 80 and Beyond (Paperback)
Author: Chris/ Lodge Crowley
I probably won't do it justice but the basic premise is that our bodies evolved over 3.5 billion years and if you take away the last 3000 years of modern society, which accounts for a very negligible amount of evolutionary history, we were designed to roam the savannahs and forests, always on the hunt for food. Remember there was no refrigeration so we could not store our food. Planting and agriculture was non-existent. Our DNA came from millions of years of our predecessors who walked and hunted 6-8 hours everyday. Our bodies are going crazy in our sedentary society. And by not moving at least 60 minutes vigorously everyday, our bodies BY DESIGN thinks it's winter and starts literally depressing our systems.
On hour a day ladies at least 6 days a week, it's not that big a commitment to make in exchange for STOPPING the aging process and becoming younger every year. and living the rest of your lives healthy, strong and happy.
Arm pics- got my pre op pics from PS
The full monty. Not bad for 52 ( I may remove pics later )
11 weeks Post Op - AShort Update and New Wish Pics
Tummy - still tight, still swell, scar is still red (and it seems gets redder and thicker after workouts). But decided not to worry about it. It's gonna be what it's gonna be. I have several scars all over my body and have never done any scar treatment. Some have stayed dark, some are almost invisible and one on my leg (which gets a lot of sun), which was dark, is starting to fade.
Arms - has numb areas and hurts when I squeeze the lipo'd areas (I can't do crow pose as putting my knees on the backs of my arms still hurt).
Workouts- The biggest change is that I'm pretty much back to the same activity level as I used to pre-op. I've had to back off the yoga classes (my abs above BB and to the right started to have sharp pains) so am running more. Yesterday, did a 5 mile walk/run, ran for 3.3 of those miles and got my heart rate up to 95% of max. Recovery rate is better at 22-24 BPM (the number of beats per minute your heart rate goes down in 60 seconds after you walk slow after running) it should be at least 20. If it's less than that, then it means you need to work up to a regular cardio schedule to get it there - no pushing or going gang busters until then. Doing leg presses and arm presses. No ab work yet until I can do yoga without my abs feeling like I tore up something.
I have been thinking of getting back and flank lipo as well as a facelift but gonna push those thoughts aside until I get my 6-pack. So here are my wish pics for my inspiration (and maybe yours) Happy healing ladies. xoxo :)
So, it did finally happen to me - Feelings of regret
There are so many imperfections and surgical consequences that earlier I just accepted easily - the uneven lipo (between my right and left waist and right and left arms), the dips and dents in the skin, how hard and numb parts of my belly are, the ridge above the scar line that is squiggly, the stained skin from all the bruising – yes it’s taking so long to go away… and on and on. I thought about all that and really felt deep pangs of regret. Why did I do this? Why was my vanity so great I felt I had to surgically fix stuff especially since I did not have any real weight issues?
Anyway, I’m feeling much better today but thought I’d share my few hours of anxiety and regret last night. For the newbies just reading this, know that this is a rollercoaster ride. Even when you are mentally prepared, sometimes the emotions can get the better of you. The good news is, there’s always tomorrow and more often than not, tomorrow is a better day.
Happy healing everyone.
A bit of inspiration for my BFFs here :)
Check her out, she's 77 yrs old, runs 10 miles everyday, works put at the gym for an almost 2 hours. She's amazing. I wanna look like her when I'm 77.
Thank you my dear RS girlfriends!!!
so as a quick update;
1. I am still trying to stick to my workout schedule of 6 days a week and slowly lengthening the running miles and the increasing the running speed. I can maintain 5 mph now on the treadmill easily for 2-3 miles straight. So far this month, I've not exercised for 5 days of the last 27 days.
2. I'm going to yoga only once a week just for the stretching and re-alignment my body craves.
3. I still feel tight and swollen after i get up from sitting. Actually as soon as I start moving in the morning until I get to bed.
4. No more sharp pains in the upper abs - but that's cuz I am doing very little yoga now.
5. I think I can now realistically aspire to getting 6-pack abs now that all that skin and fat has been removed so I am looking forward to that and making it my goal.
6. I was fretting about the weight that's slowly creeping up on me but I decided I'm just going to keep working out and controlling my diet more. I just over eat all the time!!
lots of hugs and kisses to all of you...and happy healing. We will all get there!
Almost 12 weeks
12 weeks today and a quick update
2. I still get the occasional sharp pain above and to the right of my BB - despite not doing any ab work anymore. So I'm thinking, I might as well go for it, meaning back to yoga :)
3. Swelling - still the same swelling but I am pretty much ignoring it and still trying to exercise harder every week.
4. Weight - has been creeping up but started an "egg" diet the other day (thanks to Ernestine Shephard who inspired me - see my earlier post and link on 2/26). Will let you know how that goes. Essentially, it's really just a high protein diet that I'm hoping will kill my appetite (which chemically is what it does). Last night, I was able to say no to my usual cadbury chocolate and almond late night snack.
5. Exercise - so far so good. I'm able to stick to the 6 days or more /week schedule and on occasion, I do the cardio part for longer (70-80 minutes). My plan when the weather gets better is to do a 6-mile run early in the morning and yoga and/or weights after work - everyday. I already have my route mapped out.
6. Emotions and attitude - I am going to roll with them as I know sometimes they come and go. As long as I don't allow myself to wallow in the dark side, I expect the emotional ride to be a bit bumpy ahead. Overall, I am happy, the scar does not bother me as much as I thought it would, and I am just withholding judgement on all the un-evenness until 6 months or more post op. Hoping that exercising the fat off me will help that.
Hope you all had a great weekend...happy healing everyone! xoxo
3 month anniversary today
1. BB scar is getting darker! I've been quite distressed the last few days as I've noticed my bb scar on one side starting to darken and thicken! The one thing I liked the most is changing. I'm hoping it will settle down.
2. Went to yoga twice last week and I'm able to do more Back bending and my abs didn't hurt as much.
3. 6 mile runs are becoming easier. Did today's in 1 hr and 26 mins. And heart rate takes longer to go up
4. Gained 3 lbs!! Grrrrr
5. When in the gym, I find myself hiding my scar, getting dressed with a towel around my waist. No more standing naked while I slather on lotion after my shower.
What's the same:
1. Swelling - it still happens
2. Tight, numb feeling still there
3. Scar looks the same, not getting any lighter.
Life is pretty much back to normal. Slowly gaining back strength and fitness level. I'm ignoring the swelling, tightness, and the scar. I'm just going to hope that it all goes away in a few more months. I Know for sure the swelling and tightness will. If scar doesn't, oh well, I'm prepared.
So I'm focusing on toning, eating well, getting a six pack. Trying to be less pre occupied and obsessed with my surgery results. (It's so hard!!) and stop thinking of more surgery to fix the other stuff I'm noticing more.
Hope all you ladies had a great weekend and continue to heal and look more fabulous by the day. Xoxo
16 weeks tomorrow
1. Sharp pain in MR slowly almost gone.
2. Attempting some crunches but they still hurt
3. Running 4 miles is now what I call a "short run" LOL
4. BB scar is red only after workout and I can see it is blending nicely with my skin.
5. Been massaging the hard spots and it seems to help loosen it up.
6. TT scar seems to be getting thicker I the middle, but flattening out and lightening only on the right side
7. Skin above BB is getting softer and looser
What's still the same
1. I still swell at end of day and after working out or over eating.
2. Scar pretty much looks the same. I'm taping it up now so we'll see how that goes. Im not stressing over it still since no one really sees it.
3. Weight gain holding at 3 lbs.
4. I still have a muffin top when I am wearing my tight workout clothes or jeans. Im pretty much flat only when standing up
5. Still waiting for the skin to re-drape but giving it the 12 month mark to really assess the results. Still have dents, pleats, stains.
Generally still happy though to get rid of that large chunk of flesh, I do look better in clothes without being thin.
For all you newbies, please do not freak out about anything during the first 3-6 months. Seriously, don't even try to get into your old jeans. I'm almost 4 months and while I can squeeze into my size 24 jeans, I cannot wear it comfortably and it give me a muffin top when I sit.
Here are a few pics as they say it all
4 month anniversary today! And was pleasantly surprised at my 4-month appt with PS yesterday.
Short story – I can’t say I am 100% since my MR still feels tight and occasionally hurts. I still can’t do core (not because I haven’t tried but because it hurts!) and can’t do back bends (tired but MR is too tight!!). I think doc is right, 100% healing happens at 12 months. So for you newbies, the word for this surgery is PATIENCE!! Things change very fast in the first month but then it starts to slow down to a crawl after that.
Tummy / TT Incision / Scar
Tummy/MR still feels super tight all the time it only feels loose and comfy right after a workout. Swells more after eating than exercise! I’m still flattest in the morning but the end of day swelling is minimal now. Skin still has that weird tingly sensation, and the numb triangular area starting from the BB to the incision is getting smaller but still numb. Been massaging the hard areas and that seems to help loosen up the scar tissue underneath.
Scar is flat and getting lighter on the right side. Flat but thicker and redder on the left, and raised, bumpy and thick in the middle (see my photos from last week). My PS pulled the skin as tight as he possibly could so standing up, I can feel the tension on the incision in the middle section. Which is funny because when I sit or wear tight pants, I still get a muffin top and I have folds. My explanation is that I still have a ways to go losing more fat all over my body and also that this is how the body is naturally. I am really ok with this. I am happy that at least when I’m upright, I don’t have all the flab hanging out and clothes fit and look much better.
Hypertrophic scar - I am thinking this how my skin heals naturally. I have several scars all over my body and those that are in low tension areas have healed flat, got white and almost disappear – and without any scar treatment. I have one on my back shoulder that is hypertrophic and darker – it gets a lot of movement from running and yoga so I am guessing my TT scar will look like that and hopefully over the years will lighten up or blend in more.
The scar has healed well and is blending in with my skin. Looks like my old BB. Asked Doc if it will get rounder and he touched it and said it’s still tight from the stitches but will loosen over time, so yes, it should relax and get rounder.
I tried on a particular dress that was really tight around the armpits and they now fit nice and comfy! Yay! Numbness from the lipo is mostly gone but there are still a few areas that feel tingly. I think I need to lose more weight, build more muscle to know if the fat removed made any difference. I think it has, my arms look and feel less bulky but not as much as I thought it would be. Doc took pics but I will get them next time.
No effect. It pretty much looks exactly the same as pre-op.
Gained 3 pounds since surgery and today, down 1 lb so hopefully on a downward trend. I am guessing since I’m back to eating my normal salty food and working out , this is the additional weight my body gets to settle at unless I lose more fat. So total weight loss since surgery is still 6-7 lbs. I hope to lose another 5-6 lbs.
Been working out like before except I still cannot do back bends like I used to. Been running 25-30 miles a week, yoga and weights another 2-3 times a week. Energy and daily life is 100% back to normal. That’s about the only thing back to normal.
A big hug to all my TT sisters, I could not have gone through this journey without you. Thank you all for your thoughtfulness, sincerity and honesty! I wish I could meet all of you in person. xoxo
My doc is awesome! So far have had 2 consults with him and he spent over an hour each time because I had so many questions. I've also emailed him so many times with more questions. He was very patient and candid with all his answers and it was clear his years of experience is the reason why he is known as one of the nation's top surgeons. His office is about 2 minutes away from Stanford hospital, he frequently teaches the med students, he has written several research journals on the topic, etc... Anyway you get my drift. I selected my PS based on reputation and meeting him and talking to him so far has helped my anxiety levels quite a bit. I was having a lot of anxiety about general anesthesia and the length of time I will be under so he asked his anesthesiologist to give me a call! I spoke with Dr. Bruce Halperin and he is also awesome. He's been with Stanford hospital since 1980s and is the anesthesiologist on call by special request everytime a president comes to the area. He was very patient and candid with me and when I asked him what he thought of Dr. Commons, he said let me just tell you this, when my mother needed an operation, he sent her to Dr. Commons (she was 70 at the time) . I can't think of a better recommendation than that.