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TT, MR and Hernia Repair - Palo Alto, CA

I'm 36 with two kids age 4 and 1. I had a...

I'm 36 with two kids age 4 and 1. I had a c-section with my older daughter since she was breech, so there's a small scar already down below. I was able to get my tummy back after the first one, but with my second pregnancy, the muscle wall just didn't hold up. I've also had an umbilical hernia when I was young and it just gotten worse after all the pregnancies. Since the hernia is bothering me more and more each day, and the diastasis recti is not getting any prettier each day... I figured that I'll have to do something about it. Since my mother-in-law is here I figured I will have some help with the kids, so it's either now or never for the procedure. I originally set on interviewing 3 doctors only, but after all the meetings I was quite unsettled with the information they provide. They all have pros and cons and none of them give me the 100% confidence that I need. And I've gotten conflicting information from the last doctor where he does not want to do the hernia repair with the TT and MR procedure. So I checked with my OB for advice, and she told me her best friend just had a TT recently with this doctor and was very happy with the result. So I went and meet with him, and he explains everything in great details, as well as referring me to a general surgeon for the hernia repair, whom he partnered with for 15 years already. I then had a consultation with the general surgeon and was very comfortable with both so I quickly set a date for the surgery.

I'll add more details and photos later...

A bit more than a week to go

My pre-op appointment is next Monday! I'm a bit nervous now as it's so close. I'm starting to look more into recovery and things I need to prep for. Finding that a lot of people are getting a lift chair/recliner for sleeping. I'm starting to look into it and not sure what kind I should get. Feel so unprepared but not much time remaining for research. Probably will just get one from rent-a-center as it's the most economical solution. Hope it's going to be useful...

THE Day!

I survived! I don't even remember what was the last thing I did but just drifted off with the anesthesia. I've been sleeping mostly this afternoon and had a few pieces of Ice cubes and some jello. Not having the appetite to eat but need to have something so my stomach will not be so empty. Everybody from the nurse to the doctors have been wonderful and put me at ease. A pic of the marking before surgery. I still haven't seen my tummy yet so not sure how it looks now.

Back home and resting

I'm so glad I get to stay in the hospital for the first night. There's no way I could be moving and I know I'll be throwing up a lot on my ride home. The first night at the hospital was peaceful but also painful. Whenever I'm awake I pressed on the pain pump so I get a little dose of med. However they don't last too long and also makes you quite nauseous. I haven't been able to eat much after and threw up my jello as well. In the middle of the night my tummy started growling so I had to get up and ate some crackers. Mouth is super dry as well so make sure you have water for sipping all night long.

First night I was able to sleep quite a bit so that's been good. Doctor came the next morning to check on me and said everything looks nice and tight. I have been thinking that he put the binder on too tight, turns out it was actually my own tummy. I guess he did a good job at tightening it. I still have not remove the binder yet. I'll be taking a shower later today so will see what it really looks like.

I'm also glad that I have a wonderful mother-in-law helping out. Not only she's capable of taking care of the kids, and cooking for us, she's also a nurse so she's also very helpful at draining my drains twice a day. She's been taking care of me with every little thing. Bringing me yogurt for breakfast. Cut up fruits and place it on my bedside. And keep refilling my water bottle. My husband have been great too at taking over all the kids stuff. I'm grateful for having such a good support team post surgery.

One little tip for those light sleepers, put on ear plugs will help you sleep longer and deeper. Te meds are playing tricks in your brain so even though you are tired the sleep quality might not be so good hearing all the noise around. I have been sleeping very well with ear plug last night. Woke up once for pain meds and was as able to sleep for few hours stretch at a time.

The Floodgate opens

Since my surgery, the number one thing bothering me was the gas build up and pain associated with it. It's not pain that will go away with pain meds so it's was quite rough the few days back home. So two nights ago I had 45ml of MoM before bed and I woke up with a lot of gas coming out. That was a wonderful release and finally help settle my stomach a bit. But still signs of poop. So in the morning I had another 60ml of MoM and went back to bed. Woke up around noon and nothing but gas only. Finally my mother-in-law gave me some medication through the rectal area that will help release anything near about. Still nothing! So she helped me with my shower, and while I'm drying I had the urge so quickly sat at the toilet bowl. It was a good relieve. More to come later and my appetite finally came back afterwards. Advice to those who will be having a TT surgery, make sure you start your stool softener before your surgery to keep the system clean. No need to add more discomfort to the beat up belly already.

Standing up straight

Nope, still can't do it yet. Although I'm getting better but boy it sure hurts and it's so tight to try to stand up straight. I'm somewhat straight but it's nowhere close to being flexible. I can feel the tightness in front and it just won't let me stretch it out. It's starting to give my lower back a hard time even though I'm not standing a lot. I tried to walk more today after being able to release some of those poop and feel much better. It hurts to walk being straight up. But will keep trying. I'm also stopping my narcotic pain meds as it's giving my tummy a hard time. I'm taking ibuprofen only and of course it's not as strong, but manageable. My biggest issue now is that every time I eat, I'll be going immediately after like having a diahrea. I didn't know having those MoM will do that to me. But I'm glad that at least it's coming out, not staying in. Just wondering when it'll finally become normal again.

I'm not looking forward to the weekend as both my girls will be home. I wish I can play with them but I know I'll most likely be hiding to avoid my little one keep trying to climb on me. My older one is a sweetheart and she will sit next to me quietly and give me a super gentle hug. It's going to be tough just sitting there and not be able to do anything with the kids this weekend.

First post op appointment

It's a good appointment because my drains are out! It's weird though as to the process. I have not tried to imagine how the drains should come out as I know it's gotta be done, why bother to find out the details. My PS removed the sutures and he count to 3 while I take a deep breath, and VOILA, it's like he just did a magic trick with some tickling in my belly, the drains are out. Boy are those long drains inside... I've always known that it goes pretty high up but it's different when you actually see how long it is. And try to imagine them inside... anyway, now I've got two holes which creeps me out. Even though I know it's going to close up in a few days, it's still weird thinking that there are two holes there...

So the dressing along the main closure will not be out until next week. He did took the sutures out of my belly button, and looking to see if there's a sign of "life". Hopefully my belly button will survive and stayput. At this point all I can do is give it some TLC to keep it clean and wait for it to heal.

I'm still pooping like having a mild diarrhea, hopefully those will be settled in a couple days. Eating yogurt everyday to help it, and also drinking my Ensure to help the muscle heal. Otherwise I'm eating normal with a bit less than normal appetite still. I'm also trying to make sure I eat lots of fruits and veggies and drinking lots of water.

Still get tired after standing for awhile. Good that I have a desk job and working remotely this week. I hope I can stand up longer without feeling major back pain by end of this week.

Itching...

It's itching pretty badly around the incision area with the tape and all that, still have to wait till Tuesday before it'll be off. I've been recovering well so far. Standing up better and able to feel more normal. I've been taking less and less pain meds now. Only a few Advil before bed so I can sleep better. Will be going back to work on Tuesday. Just hope that I can get though the day without feeling too tired. The number one concern I have is my belly button healing. It's not pretty at this point and I'm just waiting for it to heal and see the final results. For the incision scar, I think I heal well with my csection scar so I'm not too worry. Plus I didn't plan on wearing things that are super low anyway... Just hope that things heal well.

Long overdue update

It's 2 months since my surgery and everything is going great. Almost forgot how tough it was the first few days post op! :) I'm enjoying the great result. Although the one imperfection I have now is that my belly button is gone! Zip, nada, nil, gone! It closes up and all I have is darker skins in that area that shapes like a belly button. I guess my hernia did take a toll on my BB and not much good skin left around so it decided to close it up. My PS said he can put a new BB in there in a few months when the scar is fully healed. I haven't decided what to do. Maybe it looks ok with just a scar... after all, the BB is quite useless. Will see how I feel in a couple months...

Even though I'm 2 months PO I'm still wearing my CG. I like to wear it during the day since the skin below my BB is still a bit numb and feels weird. I don't like the feeling of having my jeans rubbing against it or putting the indents to it directly. I don't wear it at home and while sleeping... but I do need to slowly wean off of it at some point.

On a side note, coughing is no longer hurting as much. I can still feel a tiny bit of heat inside but it's so subtle that I can barely notice it. It's good since I'm coughing like hell as I caught a cold and coughing my lungs out. I've also become quite obsessed to make sure my flat tummy stays flat. Sometimes when I'm bloated or swollen, or after a good meal, I feel like everything is going to be back to the way it was before. I'm scared that I'll gain a belly back and waste all this money for nothing... I'm watching how much I'm eating nowadays and making sure I don't over eat. My hernia doctor said no core exercise for a year. If I want to do any kind of "toning", yoga is the only one she allows, as it does not put a lot of pressure and stress to the wound. I can walk, jog, run, and do any kinds of cardio exercise, just not in the core... I've started doing more of the breathing exercise to tighten up the core muscle. Hopefully this will be good enough to maintain the nice flat tummy until I can do more toning exercise in the future.
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

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