32 Yr Old mom of 3 Regaining a Better Figure! - Philaelphia, PA

Who said African Americans don't get plastic...

Who said African Americans don't get plastic surgery? After having several beautiful children and repeated battles with weight gain and weight loss my stomach was left looking like a partially deflated balloon.

At the beginning of 2014 I starred off at a weight of 203 on my 5'5 frame. After diet and exercise I worked my weight down to 177 and saw results almost everywhere but my belly. After consulting with numerous doctors it was confirmed that my belly was so damaged by pregnancy that I would never get the flat waistline I wanted without surgical intervention. I was told that I'm healthy, leading a reformed lifestyle, and would make a great abdomnioplasty candidate; with that said, I decided to sign up for a date only a few weeks out! I'm presently in the process of securing financing for the surgery and trying to purchase a recliner to use once the surgery is complete. I'm very excited!

Less than 2 weeks left!

Friday, June 6th is quickly approaching and I'm getting very excited! The nervousness hasn't quite sat in yet but I think it will soon follow.

I thought I would be financing the surgery but that didn't work out as well as I expected so I've opted to pay all cash instead. Even though my surgeon's office has a "pay the balance 10 days prior to surgery" policy I appreciate them being so willing to work with me while I get the cash from investment accounts that are a lot less liquid. The compromise was that I could pay the balance a minimum of 2 days prior to surgery as long as I pay by certified check, which works just perfectly!

One of my best friends will be with me the day of the surgery to make sure I get home safely and am taken care of during those first critical nights. I feel very blessed to have such supportive people around me.

While waiting on the surgery I have continued to work out as I'd like to lose another 25 lbs before the year end. I've been training for a 5k (which I know will have to be placed on hold after the tummy tuck) and doing a lot of leg/arm toning exercise to get me closer to my goal. I'll update again as I get closer to my surgery.

New photos from 10 days out

New pre op photos

The eve before the eve of my surgery...

I can't believe this day has gotten here so quickly. Today I took my cashiers checks to the surgical coordinator, signed my final consent forms, took pre-op photos, and spoke with the doctor one final time. I received my prescriptions for my pain medication and antibiotics which I filled today. I've managed to accumulate a heavy list of supplies that I think will help me heal:
-zero gravity chair
-gauze
-depends
-paper tape
-yoga strap (I'll tie it around my neck and hook my drains to it when I shower)
-toilet seat raiser
-ice pack (L)
-heating pad
-Vitamins, Arnica, iron, colace
-Hibiclenz
-A long button-front gown to wear around the house
-Endless supply of Kellog's Protein shakes
-pillows and blankets galore

I think I'm all set! Tomorrow I just want to concentrate on making sure my apartment is spotless: washing all clothes and linens, cleaning the fridge/freezer, mopping, shampooing the carpet, and twiddling my thumbs until my Friday morning report time.

Wish me luck!

Today's the day!

I still haven't slept! In too excited, and nervous, and scared! I've been anxious and overly emotional all week.

My fridge is fully stocked and I'm so ready to get this over with so I can start the recovery process. In 5 hours I'll be checking into the hospital!

All done!

Checked in at 9 am and surgery was delayed until nearly 2 pm. I was awake by 4:30 and leaving an hour later.

I have a pain pump attached to me in a fanny pack (hello 80's!) so that makes everything tolerable. I'm eating a snack so I can take my meds and get some rest. I have no clue what the results look like!

The day afterward

I feel great when l lay down ( I was actually able to complete some school work today). But getting up from any low position is torture. I can stand pretty straight already. I have to do a dressing change later, I'm nervous to see the results.

Sneak peak at my results!

I went in and changed my dressings and there was only a few drops of blood on it! I seem to feel dizzy after standing for too long so I just changed it and lay back down. I can't believe I have a flat tummy!!

Back at the Hospital

This morning I woke up feeling very short of breath with a tightness in my chest. When I tried to do anything other than lay in the bed I got lightheaded and dizzy because I couldn't catch my breath. I started thinking about blood clots so now in in ER. I just had a CAT scan of my lungs and I'm awaiting the results. Hopefully it's nothing.

Back Home from the Hospital

Thankfully nothing was wrong! No blood clots, no collapsed lungs or anything like that. After running a blood test I was told my Hemo dropped to 9 and that very well could be causing the shortness of breath. I'm going to add another iron tab to my daily routine to see if I can get over this little hurdle quickly. Thank you all for your concern!

First shower!

I got up the energy to take a shower today. I sat on the edge of the bathtub and let the water hit me while I tried to soap up. Never realized how many an muscles you need to wash your behind until today. lol. I got a lovely fanny pack that held my medicated pain pump so I threw my drainage bulbs in there.

I also had to take out the pain pump from my thigh this evening since it's empty, super weird!

I still get really tired after doing things so I'm going to nap now.

Last Night with my Drains!

Tomorrow morning at 11 am I will finally be saying goodbye to my drains! I've been waiting on this day for a while! My recovery has gone a lot smoother since my hospital scare. I took my shower at 3 days post and it was very exhausting but it felt wonderful. I dealt with some serious constipation from the percocet and iron supplements I was taking. I ultimately had to back off of the iron and increase my colace to 2x per day and I had a bowel movement on day 6 which relieved my Doctor's office. On day 8 I actually went out to the grocery store with my daughter! I rode in one of those motorized carts and she handled the groceries (she's 11) but I didn't feel terrible after our outting. I'm looking forward to taking more pictures tomorrow once I have the drains removed. I have a total of 2 more days to rest because I return to work on Wednesday (12 days post), wish me luck everyone!

First post op appt

I had my first post op appt today since I was finally draining so little they could remove the drains. I was nervous about it hurting but I actually didn't even feel him sliding them out after he snipped the sutures! He peeled off my surgi-tape, asked how I was feeling, and said I could resume some light activities (walking, a little driving, etc.). Overall, I should just listen to when my body is telling me I'm doing too much by checking for excessive swelling, tiredness, etc.

Since I've lost so much weight this year, none of my clothes seem to fit me. I stopped to do some light shopping today and actually fit into a small in dresses (I'm 5'5 and about 165 presently)! I still want to lose another 15 lbs this year but I feel better already. Here are a few pics of me trying on clothes in my new body (I have my surgical binder on underneath).

Updating tummy photos

Starting point for my new body. I plan to lose another 20 lbs over the next 6 months. Also included an incision pic. Ordering a silicone belt today because this thing isn't pretty or flat.

Back to work and doing well

I went back to work at 2 weeks post so I've had a full week back in the saddle. My desk is fitted with ergonomic equipment so I feel pretty good most of the day. The only problem is that I get very tired during my commute home.

I have also started wearing a silicone belt, it supposedly will help with flattening and reducing the appearance of my surgical scar. I was able to purchase it from Amazon.com and since it was so large I was able to cut it in half and get two belts for the price of one. I have gotten a little lazy with wearing my surgical binder so there is substantial swelling in the pictures above. I am going to start back wearing it tonight and I will try to update next weekend with some pictures after I have worn the belt and don't have as much swelling at my hips.
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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