5 Months and Sooo Happy! New Pics - Drainless TT with Diastasis Repair

There isn't much posted about drainless TTs, so I...

There isn't much posted about drainless TTs, so I wanted to add my perspective....

A little about me to start. 40 years old, three kids (12, 10 and 7 yrs old). Chinese-American, 5' 1'', trim build but not skinny. Always had a little pooch in the belly after puberty. I think my abdominal area was just weak in general, since I had double hernias detected at 11 years old and I never was very good at ab exercises and sit ups.

During my first pregnancy, I got very swollen and huge and as a result, my tummy was never the same. Horrible stretch marks, misshapen belly button and a jiggly mess. After the second and third kids, I felt like my belly was deformed. Even after losing a dress size or two, from a 6/8P to a 4P, my belly was still a problem. I'm an active, fit person. I want my body to operate better and not scare people when I'm in a bikini (LOL). I do bikram yoga, so was frustrated that my core was not where other parts of my body are, in terms of strength.

I learned about my PS's "painless, drainless TT" and quickly decided it was for me. No real hand-wringing. I was more worried about the scar (my PS said, "trade the current belly for a scar? yours to consider.") and the recovery time.

I flew in from out-of-state for the surgery on Aug 27. I'm now nearly 2 weeks post-op. FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE!!!

The surgery went well; scar to be low, went as planned but I was apparently very stretched out so there was quite a bit of repair to do. My PS took out a lot of skin and fat, too. No drains.

My PS administers pain blocks internally that last for the first 48 hours, so my pain was not bad at all. I used OTC Tylenol, and only 1 Celebrex on the morning of day 2. My PS tries hard not to prescribe narcotic pain killers, and as a result, I was not nauseous, feeling out of it, or constipated. I took the recommended dosages of the bromelain, arnica, and vitamins in the vitamin kit. I did not swell up, which was my big fear.

My doctor is very holistic and advocates a healthy diet and lifestyle, so I really tried to follow her instructions and suggestions. I got up frequently to move around; I used ice on my stomach; I've been wearing the compression garment faithfully (24/7); drank lots of water and fluid; ate lots of green veges and fiber., avoided sugar and sodium. I got back massages during the first week for my aching back. I drove on Day 5 post-op.

Flew on an airplane to go back home with my youngest son 7 days post-op. Went back to work in the office (I have a desk job) on Day 9. So far, every day is better and better. Barely took Tylenol today - Day 13. But I am still taking it easy, minimizing unnecessary walking and not lifting much.

Mobility is good and I'm excited to work on walking completely upright and a little faster as I start my second week.

The outcome is very noticeable: I have a waist now! With the compression garment on Day 9, I could button my pre-op pants and everything fits.

Recovery has gone so well so far that I can't really believe it. This is particularly because I've read many reviews where people have experienced a lot of pain and discomfort. Everyone is different. My pain in the first 3 days was at most a 6, but it occurred in short periods of time -- when I was getting up from a laying-down position or coughing (ouch!) or the strange tender feeling at the top of the ab area where the stitches start. But by the start of Day 3 post-op, it was no longer painful. It was uncomfortable, bu not painful.

So the big thing for me tomorrow will be to take the incision dressing off for good and starting to care for the scar and belly button. Wish me luck!

Updated on PO Day 18 - new pics. Finally tried on...

Updated on PO Day 18 - new pics. Finally tried on my bathing suit this morning. Yay.

After a whole weekend going from DC to Baltimore...

After a whole weekend going from DC to Baltimore to NY to VT to MA and then to Europe, I got my 3 kids and all the stuff back to my house in Europe. I picked them up from a sleepaway camp, didn't lift much, if anything, but spent a lot of time in the car and airports. I fly very frequently with my kids and for work and knew I would be tired and a bit swollen, so drank a lot and rested.

BUT, upon landing on Monday morning, I took a nap for 4 hours and then after very light housekeeping, a work phone call, a couple hours of socialization, I went back to bed for 11 hours!!!! I actually felt nauseous with a stomach thing, like I had perhaps eaten something bar during the social hour. So, after having been REALLY careful with my diet and hygiene and everything during the first 3 weeks of recovery, I succumbed to probably normal bacteria or stuff. So gals, be careful, rest, listen to your body and sleep when you can.

PS, in the overall recovery, I do think I turned a corner at 3 weeks PO. Got a spring in my step again, although not able to walk at my usual pace, still. After this week, I think I will start to go on walks.

I'm 4 weeks PO. A few new pics. Feeling...

I'm 4 weeks PO. A few new pics. Feeling considerably better than 2 weeks ago. Standing and walking straight. Got a real spring in my step again. Unfortunately, feel hungry and gotta watch that, since I'm not back to exercising yet. (With 3 kids, back to school, a FT job with international travel, who needs an exercise regime?? lol)

My swelling is quite uncomfortable with I've just eaten or had a lot of fluid. It's remarkable how much it can go down and then comes right back 1 hour after getting up in the morning.

Started to try my bikram yoga poses again and so far, I can do the poses I want. I'm not looking forward to a super hot yoga studio room since I have no idea what that will do to my swelling, so I think it will be a few weeks before I do that!

And I started using the silicone strips two days ago. They go under my compression garments (I live in them), so no issues so far.

I've really been pleased with the progress!

9 weeks PO: Everyday it's better, although...

9 weeks PO:
Everyday it's better, although swelling on right side above my incision is a bit annoying. Week 8 was great -- I got two massages; one of them was a lymphatic drainage massage. All of the gentle moving of the fluid and laying down was great. After the two days of massages, my belly button swelling went away! I also ate healthy (lots of leafy greens, less starch and sugar, etc) and drank water lots. Week 9 - the swelling came back near my incision, as I'm sitting at my desk more. :( Also been trying to not wear my CGs as much, but honestly, I love them. Love the support and just hate the yanking of all of the spandex on the non-Veronique ones from my doctor (think Spanx-like ones) when I have to drink sooo much water!

Still using the silicone strips religiously. Am thinking I need to rub the scar more. I have Mederma but haven't taken the time to use it much. It looks great on the surface, but towards the middle under the skin, it feels hard. Is that the tissue underneath healing back together? How's everyone else's around this time PO?

Amazed at how quickly time has flown by and I don't always think about the procedure. Like sliding into my car quickly with my purse, coffee, keys in either hand and realizing that I'm doing it without having to slow down or be deliberate about moving my body. That said, I'm excited that at 9 weeks, there's still more "healing" to go and that other things should still get better. Yay. Happy healing everyone.

5 months almost to the day... A few thoughts to...

5 months almost to the day...
A few thoughts to share:
- Still attached to my CG
- My right side is still more swollen
- I'm back to full activities, including snowboarding (and I am a beginner, so bending over, falling down, getting up, hard work!)
- My first full backbend in Bikram Yoga was at 4.25 months. I really felt the difference during this last month in my muscle control and confidence in using, flexing, stretching, controlling, etc. my newly positioned stomach muscles.
- I am wearing a silicone strip (1) across the incision nearly 24 hours. My scar is very flat. Massaging the scar, too, once a day or so.
- Got new underwear from Victoria's Secret - cheekies. They are a lot more comfortable with the edges being flat. I had other panties that used to sit under my pooch, so now, they are right on and under my scar. Bye-bye old panties!
- I still need to drink more water and watch my salt.
Other than that -- I am very happy I did the procedure!

Happy healing, everyone!
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon

Her education, training and reputation first. What has won me over is her thoroughness and time spent with me, her nursing staff and her outlook on wellness. I now know a few other patients of Dr. Feng, and they all think she does amazing work and they had a wonderful experience with their surgeries. Dr. Feng is first-rate and worth it for me to travel to her.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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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Awesome you look great! I also had a drainless tt ;0). I'm almost 8 weeks out, still very sensitive everywhere but able to do more than before so that's an improvement! Just worried I'm still very swollen, will the swelling stretch my skin out again or will it tighten up? How did toes do? Did your skin snap back after the swelling left?? Thank u
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Yours not tore, sorry autocorrect lol
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Ggggrrrr toes
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You look beautiful! Glad to see you had a successful drainless TT. I too want to go drainless, and I also do Bikram so it's good to get an idea of when you got back into it. Congrats and happy healing!
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Thanks for continuing to update it seems many stop after a month or two! You look great!
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Thank you so much for posting all of this! I am having a drainless TT on February 5th, and I have not seen any other reviews on this procedure. I appreciate it!
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Hi! Drainless TT is less common. There are a couple other helpful reviews and comments - look up beautychick and soontobeflat user names. Good luck!
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BTW I think you will do excellent with the lipo! You will look even better!!
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You look awesome!!! Your belly reminds me so much of mine!! Had a little lipo of the flanks done abt 7 weeks ago! I really need to post new pics!! Happy healing!
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You look good :). If you dont mind I have a question, Are you going to wear your bikini out in public? I only ask because I too have streach marks and although they look 100 percent before than before, I am embarrassed to wear them out. But when I saw your picture its making me rethink because you dont look bad at all.
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Hi Cali! If you can believe, I used to wear my bikini (usually not in the US, but when I vacationed outside of the country) even with my flab and stretch marks. I think little children really thought it was a deformity!! Now, I am much for confident to wear my bikini everywhere. The stretch marks are just part of me. For bikram yoga, I wear a jog bra and yoga pants most of the time, so that I can see myself and my form better and since I'm proud of my strong body there, I vowed to be strong everywhere -- including when at poolside! Of course being a little tan helps as well as certain colors of swimwear, so I am selective about my bikinis. Good luck!
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I love your Self-confidence, your an inspiration :). I will be thinking of you this summer when I am out bathing suit shopping. Thanks
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Wow looking amazing! Namaste
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Gorgeous! Continue to feel well. :)
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Thank you for the update! You look fantastic, still, even during the holidays :). Continued happy healing, and we look forward to the next update!
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Your busy lifestyle sounds like mine - I'm almost 39, raising 2 active children, working full time, traveling, etc. I'm inspired that you were able to get back to your desk job in under 2 weeks. I just had my drainless TT yesterday so I'm in the super hunched over phase and praying that I bounce back quickly because I want to get back to my desk job by 2 weeks. I won't be traveling for a couple months so that is good. Which Veronique CG do you like? I would like to order one. Also, your stomach looks amazing - hope I get similar results!
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Hi Marykay! Good for you!!! Congratulations with your decision and with the surgery. I got the model #850. It happened to fit me very well, so I had no problem wearing it all the time and under clothes, at night, etc. At 5 months, I still wear a CG/body shaper at least 1/2 a day because I tend to swell with my diet, water/lack of water, sitting all the time, traveling, etc. I don't swell more with exercise, just really the lack of non-exercise. I saw a big difference in the swelling between 2-3 months and now at 5 months. Get sleep, stay as active as you can, but be sure to know your limits. Even though I was back at work, I was moving slowly, with very deliberate movements, like when opening doors at the office and getting into my car. I didn't mind people knowing I had surgery, so I didn't need to hide it. Good luck and happy healing!
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I'm attached to my Veronique too. I too just like the compressed feeling and the input it gives my trunk like you mentioned. Keeping the compression just makes sense to me. People who have had burns, I know not quite the same, wear compression garments for a very long time to aide in scar healing. I think I give the lymphatic massage a try. I have the same kind of swelling along the scar and more on the right and the firm/harness in the middle too. You look great by the way!
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Thanks. Looking back at my lymphatic massage, I think it really helped move the fluids around and start my body to get more comfortable (gently) with the new sensations after the surgery. I still love my various compression garments. I wear them probably 50-75% of the time, but not doing yoga. Starting to do more scar massage. I think it's time! :-) You look awesome, too!
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Wow, you look fabulous! How did find your PS, BTW?
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Hi - I found my PS through a friend who had had another procedure done. I liked her approach to health, diet, fitness and how clearly intelligent she is. I wanted a quick recovery time so went with drainless.
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momof3_dc- Thanks for you extensive advice belong. Really appreciate it. I know that you were a little scared about the scar when you were considering TT. All in all, would you say the benefits of the new body outweighs the new scar?? I'm kind of worried about the swelling afterwards. This is what I plan to do: My husband will be home with me from PO day 1 to PO day 9. So on those days, I plan to lay in bed and read, read, read. I will get up each hour to walk around the house so I don't get a blood clot. Maybe sit at the computer for a bit. At dinner time, will try to make dinner. I don't plan to do any house-cleaning. My husband will have to handle that. At the very most, I will fold laundry. When the kids come home, I will help them with homework. I'll try to go to bed by 10 PM each night. I won't be leaving the house for the first 9 days. No extended walks. That's about it for the first 9 days for me. When my husband goes back to work, I'll have to drive the kids around. While they're in school, I will rest as much as I can. I think you were very smart with your actions after TT. I will try to do the same. Questions for you: 1. Do you wear your CG 24/7? Even now at PO week 9? How long do you plan to wear CG 24/7? until month 3 or longer?? Take care and thanks.
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Hi momcathy! Sorry for the long wait but I've been on business travel. The outcome definitely outweighs the scar. The swelling I think is temporary. It's a matter of the body readjusting after a lot of work has been done....I wore my CG 24/7 for 8 weeks. My PS wants 6 standard. I wore a Veronique CG so for me, it was breathable, comfortable and convenient. (the open crotch and side zips were fantastic.) the CG happened to fit me very well do I was not uncomfortable and under most clothes I wore, you couldn't tell. I liked the support and feedback the CG gave me as to what my muscles were doing or not so I could work on the position of my core again - sitting up straight, pelvic tilts, sucking in my core etc. Still at 3 months, I'm wearing the CG most days and nights because I like the support. I've gone half days or full nights without wearing it but not 24 hours.
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Momcathy, for your recovery, it sounds okay and like you've thought it out. For week one, my experience was that I didn't feel tired doing things while doing them. But then, I'd feel sluggish and lie down on the sofa and without people around, I'd fall asleep. So obviously, I was tired! In the laundry, just dont lift. If in the kitchen, be gentle and deliberate with your movements. You will find yourself moving slower than usually, which is more than fine in your own home, but outside the home like in an office, the difference will be noticeable. Good luck- and keep up the planning!
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Thank you so much for the advice. 6 more days to go....... You take care also.
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