Tummy Tuck 4 Me, Transformation 4 My Husband, Too (new pics) - Phoenix, AZ

I am a 48 year old with three kids (big kids) I...

I am a 48 year old with three kids (big kids) I breastfed for a total of 10 years (think Attachment Parenting). I weigh approx. 138 and I am 5'6". My weight has fluctuated between 160 and 120 for the past 20 years. I work out almost daily. I walk, lift weights, do Pilates and Bikram Yoga (1.5 hrs at 105 degrees 40% humidity). In Jan/Feb I did 61 days of Bikram.

As my weight has stabilized and I've shaped up in other areas I am more bothered by my protruding stomach and low hanging pancake breasts.

The long and short of it is that all the AB work in the world will not give me flat abs or shrink the hanging tummy
skin. I can do pec exercises until I am blue in the face but my sagging breasts.

I am hoping to make my decision whether to schedule my surgery or accept myself as I am by this coming Monday. I would really appreciate any words of wisdom or advice you ladies can offer.

Thanks in advance for your help!

I've decided against a breast lift or mastopexy...

I've decided against a breast lift or mastopexy for now but did schedule my tummy tuck for 7:30 am on September 28, 2012. No nerves at this point but I'm sure they're coming and I'd appreciate any support you ladies can offer.

For a long time I thought that if I lost enough weight or worked my abs enough eventually my stomach would get flat again. Then I saw a few episodes of Dr. 90210 and saw women who had tummies like mine. I also found this site and realized my stomach wasn't going anywhere without surgery. Da-- that Dr. 90210 show!! I really was in a state of blissful ignorance before watching it.

Photos I've attached are of me at 130 pounds (I'm 5'6"). The skin on my stomach sags and my profile is still poofy despite much exercise. I can feel the diastasis. After surgery I hope my stomach will match the rest of my body and that a stronger core will make the exercise I do easier.

Did anyone watch OWN this morning? There was a...

Did anyone watch OWN this morning? There was a show on about the power of prayer in improving medical outcomes. Is there a prayer group on RealSelf? If not, does anyone want to start and participate in one with me?

Just learned my pre-op appointment is with a nurse...

Just learned my pre-op appointment is with a nurse and not my PS. I had assumed it would be w/ my PS. I have so many questions....where will my incision be, where will she do lipo, etc....that I requested a special appointment to get all my questions answered before my surgery date. I don't want any surprises on the day of my surgery.

Anyone else out there have there pre-op appt w/ a nurse rather than the surgeon?

Less than a month to go and my head is playing...

Less than a month to go and my head is playing games with me.

Tomorrow I meet again w/ my PS as I have a few more questions I need answered before my pre-op appt. (which is w/ a nurse not the doc). Want to avoid getting the wrong answer on the day of surgery!

Do most people do their pre-op with a nurse or their PS?

I admire Kate Goseelim showing her tummy on TV....

I admire Kate Goseelim showing her tummy on TV. Watch her here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOElghAVCI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I made it to the flat side! I am on Day 2 post op...

I made it to the flat side! I am on Day 2 post op and will post picture later today. Here are a few thoughts....

1. With God's help and the cheerful understanding pre-op nurses at Greenebaum Surgery Center in Scottsdale, AZ, the terror I expected before surgery melted away.

2. Pain after surgery was milder than expected. Worse than my 3 c-sections but very manageable with pain meds and muscle relaxant.

3. Low salt plant based eating (vegan) kept my swelling, bruising and their discomfort to a minimum so far.

4. Can honestly say that at Day 2 Post Op, even with swelling, incision and drains, I feel my stomach looks better than it did pre-op. So thankful to be rid of my saggy, wrinkled tummy skin. Hopeful that when swelling goes down I'll have a normal waist, belly button, etc. Haven't checked out my caboose yet!

5. Photo on its way!

Ok, just posted my Day 2 Post Op Photo. I am lying...

Ok, just posted my Day 2 Post Op Photo. I am lying down in the photo. Belly Button, drains and incision are not so pretty. Swelling is obvious but for now I like new tummy better then the "mushroom cloud" I used to call a stomach.

Relaxing at home in my bed (no hospital bed or rented chair). Pain reasonable. Swelling minimal (low and no salt fruit/veggie/legume/whole grain) eating. During two weeks pre-op especially vigilant re: salt but this is normally how I eat.

Getting up and walking frequently around house to avoid blood clots per doc. Have too much energy for my own good.

4 days Post Op and I feel pretty good despite...

4 days Post Op and I feel pretty good despite having no special chair or bed. I get up
hourly and take a shot once a day to avoid blood clots (I have increased risk according to my doc because I take bio-identical hormones).

Yesterday's nightmare was bowel impaction. Not mere constipation but something I thought only a doctor or E room could help. After 90 min it finally passed. Lesson learned....pain meds turn even veggie juice, apples, corn, oranges, bananas and peas into concrete. No salt, btw, to avoid the swell hell I've read about here.

Today's lesson....Dulcolax and prune juice cause the opposite problem. But to me loose bowels are better than the alternative.

I've reduced my pain pills by 1/2 (I cannot tolerate concrete) and all is well so far. Today is Tuesday. I go for my first post-op appt Thurs and maybe the drains will come out. Not sure if this makes me happy or sad or just scared.

Hope you all are doing well!

Today's Tip: Do not watch "Bravo's Top Chef" while...

Today's Tip: Do not watch "Bravo's Top Chef" while you are flat on your back (not literally) during recovery. Oh the cravings I've been having!!!

3 Things Happened Yesterday at 5 Days Op 1. My...

3 Things Happened Yesterday at 5 Days Op

1. My doc took my drains out. She distracted it me and it barely hurt at all;

2. I asked her if I was typical. She said I'm typical for fit and YOUNG patients. We heal well. But what hit me like a ton of bricks was YOUNG. Me young? I'm almost 50. Maybe she was just flattering me but I don't care. I've been on cloud 9 ever since.

3. Owner of my fav restaurant made fun of what he thought were my school girl knee socks yesterday. Nicely I told him they were not socks but compression garments I have to wear post surgery so I don't get blood clots. That shut him up. Maybe now he'll stop commenting on my clothes (this was not the first time).

4. Hope you all are preparing for surgery or recovering from surgery well!

11 Days Post Op I think and I feel great. Maybe...

11 Days Post Op I think and I feel great. Maybe too great 'cause I'm bored and I have too much energy for someone who gets to walk slowly at 21 days (docs orders).

Another issue is my appetite. I'm really hungry the past few days. Ugh! I don't want to gain a ton if weight eating and getting no exercise. How are you ladies handling the food/exercise issue? Do you guys just have better control than I do?

Ok ladies, here are my 12 Day Post Op Tummy Tuck...

Ok ladies, here are my 12 Day Post Op Tummy Tuck pics. I'm feeling really good about the visual progress but I am still in a good amount of pain especially in the lipo areas. Only have one more Vicodin. I'm almost 2 weeks post op, didn't have a big procedure...shouldn't I be off the pain meds by now? I feel weird about asking for more pain meds at this late date. What would you ladies do?

Hello all! Sorry I have not posted but my computer...

Hello all! Sorry I have not posted but my computer is not working and my husband took his computer on a trip. My pain is gone. I do still have numbness where I was lipo'd and around my incision but this is to be expected. The pics I have added are me at 5 weeks post op. My weight has been up and down 126-136 (current). I am back to walking but haven't gone back to Bikram Yoga yet. All in all I am glad I did this. I do worry about cleaning my belly button because it is so small. Ladies, please give me your opinion on my belly button.

Was having lunch at a vegetarian restaurant in...

Was having lunch at a vegetarian restaurant in Phoenix today and overheard a conversation about why women have tummy pooches. The verdict...undigested food!! I wanted to jump up and tell her that while a poor diet filled with meat and dairy isn't good tummy pooches come from having babies or loosing lots of weight. My vegan diet (www.drmcdougall.com) kept me fairly small but it did not repair my diastasis or shrink my hanging skin. Ok....I got that off my chest!

I'm headed to my PS office right now for my 8 week check up! Happy healing ladies!

Guess what ladies? I'm now officially a model ;-)!...

Guess what ladies? I'm now officially a model ;-)! My PS asked (at my 8 week post op appt) if she could post my pics on her web site and in her client book. I signed the consent giving her permission to use my pics. They will also send me copies and I plan to post them here.

Then after the appt. my husband tells me what's wrong with my butt. He says it's not flat it just extends too far down into my thighs making it look flat. I may be getting more lipo ladies. I think men should just shut up :-)!

Just caught a little of "16 and Pregnant". I was...

Just caught a little of "16 and Pregnant". I was thinking that one of the best deterrents to teen pregnancy might be pictures of us.

I'm 8 weeks post op on Friday. Today is the first...

I'm 8 weeks post op on Friday. Today is the first day I have been out of the house all day (7:15am - 7:00pm) running around and I am SO SORE! I guess I have a lot more healing to do internally. I can't wait to get home and lie down. Took 3 ibuprofen. Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!!

This past Friday (12/21) I was 12 weeks post op....

This past Friday (12/21) I was 12 weeks post op. I no longer wear my compression garment but I do wear Spanx (one with opening at crotch which you can close with hooks....best option for good hygiene) available at Nordstrom ($72) and a waist cincher I got at Dillards (can't recall price). I've been walking since week 6 for 15-30 minutes at a time but that's about it until this past week when I returned to Bikram Yoga (the fountain of youth).

I've been gaining weight this holiday season and it's kinda driving me crazy. Why? After I went through the pain period (when my Percocet ran out), I was so miserable (mostly from the lipo of my hips/tush) I got down to 126. I also think I was going through a mild pain med withdrawal. So I was at a great weight but I was miserable....in pain and depressed (pain med withdrawal). For comfort I started eating peanut butter, walnuts, oils, mashed sweet potatoes with butter (butter is my no-no) dark chocolate, a couple slices of pizza and a few pieces of turkey for the tryptophan. I was desperate to feel better and "lost my religion" in the eating department.

I"m finding it hard to get back on track and now I'm bouncing between 139 and 141. I'm gonna go easy on myself until Jan 1. After that I hope to get back to faithful McDougallng (see www.drmcdougall.com) and check out "The Starch Solution" on Amazon. The great thing about the way I eat is I can eat as much as I want....no deprivation!! I just have to avoid junk like fats, oils, nuts, processed foods, dairy, meat not every day but most days).

Let me add that the way I eat (see John McDougall, MD, Joel Furhman, MD, Engine 2 Diet, Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine - Neal Barnard, MD who hasa agreat book on reversing Type 2 diabetes...to name a few) brought my cholesterol from 198 to 124, my BP from 140/90+ to 108/70. My HA1C has gone down. All without meds.

More in a bit....

So enough of my lecture on food and my weight :-)!...

So enough of my lecture on food and my weight :-)! Don't mean to be pushy but I hope you guys might look into the MD's I mentioned above if you struggle with your weight or health issues (High BP, High Cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes, Constipation, Allergies, Asthma, Auto Immune Disease, Obesity, Gall Stones, Depression, Diverticulitis, etc). It truly is the best way to lose weight AND improve your health. You don't have to count calories and can eat as much as you want.

QUESTION: Can you guys see the belly button area swelling on my most recent photos? It only shows up in the most recent (10 wk) left side view photo. It worried me. I called my doc and they said it was normal. I expected generalized swelling but not swelling in one area making me look like I have a hernia.

What do you ladies think? Is this swelling normal? Did it happen to you or anyone you know here on RS?

I appreciate your help and wish you all Happy Holidays!! Happy continued healing, too!

Just posted another pic of me at 13 weeks in my...

Just posted another pic of me at 13 weeks in my Victoria's Secret push up bra. I never got a breast lift. For now I am letting VS do the work.

I still wear the compression garments I posted pics of but I feel very little if any pain now. I've actually find that the compression garments keep me warm and I like that because it is COLD in Arizona. Yesterday it was as low as 14 in Flagstaff which is an hour away from me. I woke up to snow this morn in Sedona and it's 30 something degrees.

I want to thank you ladies for all your support in 2012 and wish you all a happy and blessed New Year!

Went to the dentist this past Tuesday and he told...

Went to the dentist this past Tuesday and he told me I was looking younger. I said I'd lost weight. I didn't mention the TT but I am sure that's why I look younger...no more hanging, protruding, mommy tummy!

Have you ladies heard that, too? That you look younger.

Hi Ladies - Hope you are all recovering well....

Hi Ladies -

Hope you are all recovering well. FitChick45 and I were talking on here about the wonders of plant strong eating for overall good health and weight loss. I thought posting a picture of my husband might encourage her husband.

So, please see a new pic above of my husband and how eating plant strong has changed his physique. His boss told him he looks younger which a great thing to hear for a man who is 56.

I've lost 20 pounds in the past year and my husband has lost weight, too eating a plant strong diet. Plus, unlike low carb eating (which over taxes the kidneys, makes the body acidic, raises cholesterol and BP), plant strong eating makes you healthy on the outside AND inside. Dr. Atkins, the father of low carb dieting, was fat and died of heart disease.

My cholesterol used to be 198 and now it's 124. My BP used to run 140/90 and this morning it was 108/69. I wake each morining without an alarm clock and have plenty of energy during the day without ever needing caffeine.

For anyone reading this who is open to learning more about losing weight AND getting healthier may I suggest the following books and movie. You can also search YouTube for videos by the esteemed docs mentioned below.

1. "Forks Over Knives", a movie available on Netflix.
2. "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, the Jacob Gould Schumann Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. The NYT refers to "The China Study" as the grand prix of nutritional studies.
3. "Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes" by Neal Barnard, MD. He is the founding president of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine.
4. "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by Caldwell Esseltsyn, MD (Yale and Skull and Bones) of The Cleveland Clinic. This book infulenced former President Clinton to change his eating.
5. "The Starch Solution" by John McDougall, MD. At age 18, Dr. McDougall suffered a massive stroke which he attributed to his high animal product diet. I lost 20 pounds, changed my bp and bloodwork for the good and have tons of energy thanks to Dr. McDougall (see www.drmcdougall.com).

I pray that some of you reading this will take a look at the info above as I know you and your families will be blessed by it. I am grateful to you ladies for encouraging me and sharing your surgery stories. Thank you!

PS I am am almost 29 weeks post op. I will post...

PS I am am almost 29 weeks post op. I will post pics of myself soon. I need to shave so I don't scare you ladies to death or make you toss your lunch!

My only issue is that I have swelling underneath the skin in my upper belly button only. It's worse and visible through clothes after exercise. Docs nurse keeps telling me this is normal. What do you ladies think? Do any of you have localized swelling around your belly button or any other area months after surgery?
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

I was referred to Dr. Flint by my hormone doctor (internist), Angela Derosa, MD of Scottsdale, AZ.

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