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!

17 Comments

You look so awesome!  Thanks for posting updates and pics of your recovery.  How did you find out about the drainless tummy tuck?

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Hi Kate. Thanks! I found out about the drainless tummy tuck from a relative who had heard about my PS and her paper on painless (and drainless) tummy tucks. I think she had been doing the drainless tummy tucks for a while, but the combo of the pain blocks she administers really makes the experience great. I think there are a number of doctors who do it, but fewer in number than the ones who use drains for all TTs.
Ladies - thanks for the helpful comments. It's nice to find a group to keep us all motivated, positive and going. I agree that it's ever-changing. At 17 days PO, this morning, I was much less swollen. I'm going to up the water and avoid salt tomorrow.

ASKA - I've in my CG faithfully (my PS wants 6 weeks), so I have no idea how my belly rolls while sitting. It can't be as bad as before when I had a full belly and a half sitting with me on my lap!!! lol. I'm also able to roll half-way down into my bed and sleep flat so that's progress. My separation was a lot more than 2-3 cm, I think. Thanks for letting me know about the swelling post week 2.

I actually like my CG - security feeling and mine actually happens to fit me well. Can button pants and everything.

I started to feel my lower belly and it does feel harder, like Beautychick mentions. But, knowing that my old belly was soooo squishy and how it's not, I can live with that for now, as the fluids figure themselves out. :)

Happy week, everyone!
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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.

5 Comments

You look excellent!
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Check you out! You're looking awesome!!! I love your bikini too! I want it! My scar had to go up a tad higher since my legs are longer and my hips start so high so those bottoms would be perfect! What brand is your suit? LOL! ANyhow again - you look so great! Glad recovery continues to go so well!!! Congrats again!
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Hi! Thanks for the compliment. I bought my bikini last year - O'Neill (the surfing brand). I like the sporty, fun look. Wish I had longer legs though I'm not willing to do extreme surgery for that LOL. Best wishes on a continued good recovery to you, too! I think by next week, I'll be moving to the scar therapy, as my incision is nearly closed.

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.

5 Comments

You look excellent! Your result will turn out great! Wishing you great luck on your journey!
  • Reply
Thanks!
Hi ASKA. I'm planning to use mederma first for a week to a week 1/2 and then the silicone strips. It's what my PS recommends. How are the silicone strips helping?

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!

8 Comments

You look awesome!!! Wonderful results!!!
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CherylMN - Thanks so much. Everyday is a bit better! I started my scar therapy right at beginning of 5 weeks. I used mederma just once and started using the ScarFx silicone strips pretty much around the clock. At the end of the first week of using them, my PS said that my scar looked great. I wear them under my CG, which she wants me to wear for as long as possible and tight, tight, tight since I'm still swollen in the lower ab, so it's no problem to keep the scar strips on.
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You look great.. When did you start your scar therapy?
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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.

19 Comments

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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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!

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!

16 Comments

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
  • Reply
Yours not tore, sorry autocorrect lol
Ggggrrrr toes
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