Extended TT, Inner TL...The journey of recovery...

I am 56 years young and have finally decided that...

I am 56 years young and have finally decided that it is my turn to do something that I wanted to do for many years, no guilt, no going back. Just me and my journey for a better body.

Since I was 14 I have always been "chubby". Well chubby went to obese by time I was 20 then at 21 I had my only child and of course I had gain more weight. Back then there were some crazy diets, liquid protien, phen-phen you name it I was all about it. I did the yo-yo dance for years. My weight toped out at 305, yep, I was a little chubby for sure.

My late husband became ill and I it was my wake up call to better health. Took me 4 years of hard work to lose over 180 pounds. During this time he became better and was enjoying better heatlh. That was short lived and he died in 2000. Well, guess what??? yep I was on my way to becoming "chubby" again, but, not as bad and I got a handle on it quick. Lost the 50 pounds I had gained and have kept it off for more than 9 years. Kept telling myself it was ok to have a belly that sat on my lap, it was ok that my inner thighs felt like jelly rubbing together. I know ewww, but, it's true..

For the past two years I have been working my core, legs, upper body and while I have more definition in my calves and quads, there is still the turkey skin hanging between my inner thighs. My tummy looks like a Santa belly. No matter how many planks, what core work out I have done, all I have to show for it is a slight shadow of a hour glass shape, a fat pad laying right under my breasts and thick skin hanging on my hips. One morning while I was getting dressed I looked up and saw my body for the first time as it really is, a lot of skin, saggy skin and I just couldn't take it anymore. This is where my journey for the new body begins...

Thanks to this site and some very wise people who have been willing to share their experiences here and tips on what to look for in a PS, I was able to interview 7 different PS here in Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona. I knew exactly what to ask and what answers I was looking for. Finally I found the PS for me.

I went to my consulation and the office staff were wonderful. All my questions were answered honestly and thoughtfully. My visit lasted 2 hours and it seemed as though I was only there for a few minutes. He marked my body to show me what he would do, how he would do it and then he said to me "You ust promise that you will do everything I tell you or I won't be able to help you". Now that was something no other had said to me... Well I called the next day, gave my deposit and have my surgery date set August 11 2011 at 7:30 in the morning!!

After reading others journey on this site, I decided rather than just reading, I will share my journey with the hopes that there are others who might read and learn as well.

Today I am on a mini vacation in CA.I wanted a little time to sit on the beach and visualize how my journey will play out..

My preop visit is set for Thursday July 28. I will upload my before pictures once I return home.

Hi Desertlady55,

Thank you so much for explaining your journey.  This is what our site is all about, to share your experiences and vent about your struggles and let us see the new you!!

We are all looking forward to seeing your after photos and to experiences and to hear about your recovery!  Please keep us in the loop. :)

Kate & the RealSelf community

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Good for you:)  It's wonderful that you are doing this for yourself.  You deserve it after all the hard work you have put into getting healthy

We will all be here to help you celebrate your journey.  Enjoy your mini trip and just relax for a while. 

And hurray to you for researching 7 doctors.  I did the same thing and so glad that I put all the extra work into it.  Payed off well for me.

Keep us up to date.

 

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Ok, so I am back from my mini vaca and I am so...

Ok, so I am back from my mini vaca and I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend some quiet time and reflect. I returned with a renewed and stronger desire to begin this new "body changing" journey.

Today was my preop visit!!!!! I was feeling ok when I was on my way but by the time I walked through my PS office doors, I was feeling things I had not since I was a very youg woman. You that giddy, glding on air because you are doing something just for you and you know deep in your heart that you made the right choice. When I walked in I was greeted by Michelle, she was just as friendly as the first time I had walked through the doors. It was comforting to be welcomed so warmly. I need all the comfort I could get because reality was really setting in for me. I AM going to have a better body, flatter tummy and for once I will have a waist.

I was ok with everything until I had to have the before pictures taken, wow, what a mixed bag of feelings for me. It's hard enough for me to look at the saggy tummy skin and saggy turkey skin in my thighs not mention having someone who is so fit looking through the camera lens at my body. However, by the end od those pictures I was thinking "This is the last time I will have tummy and thighs looking as they do".

So all the instructions given, Rx written and droped off at the pharmacy. Now it's time to take each day, breathe deep and contniue to mark lists of to-dos.

I've read from many that they rented a hospital bed others have used a recliner. I am thinking of using a recliner.

I am making a grocery lists and thrying to think of make ahead meals for myself. Any suggestions? I have a small deep freeze that I can store things in as well.

Until the next time...

I  am very excited for you:)   I do remember that feeling of walking in for my pre-op.  I had a million butterflies in my tummy and was so excited. 

And yes the dreaded pictures were not fun.  But you will be glad to have them for after the surgery.  It's great fun to compare from month to month and watch the amazing changes that take place in your body.

Keep posting:)

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Ok, I took a deep breathe took some before...

ok, I took a deep breathe took some before picutres and am now trying to post. In 14 days from today these pictures will be obsolete. In some way it is hard to imagine not having to tuck my belly in, finding clothes that not only disguise the “ budda belly” but the turkey skin on the inner thighs as well. Then on the other hand, I can visualize how it might feel to be able to wear clothing that actually fits.
Teach, thank you for the heads up on sodium foods. I have added stool softner to my grocery list as well. Thank you so much the advice, I truly appreciate it.
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Hi desertlady,
I can so relate to how you felt being photographed. My PS and his PA have seen more than me than my boyfriend. ;) As I got into the operating room (walking), my gown was taken off, and my body was already marked. I had to stand on this little stage as my PS and PA painted (with a brush) iodine all over my naked fat body. Of course I turned to humor and asked did they help their wives baste the turkey on Thanksgiving. They were nice about it, but I was so ready to say goodbye to that belly!!!
You worked so hard to lose weight and keep it off, good for you! You are going to love the new you!Remember to stay away from foods with lots of sodium and also to get a stool softener.
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Iteach~ UGH! That had to be tough though I laughed at your turkey baster comment. I'll remember that one if I have to do this too.

One of my earliest memories was when I was 4 and going into an operating room to have my tonsils removed. I was embarrassed when they removed my gown and I was just in my underwear. I still remember the feelings it produced and that was 43 years ago!
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13 days and counting… My PS doesn’t want me...

13 days and counting…
My PS doesn’t want me climbing stairs right after surgery. So I am trying to decide if I need a recliner or hospital bed. I have a two story home and of course my bedroom is upstairs. Downstairs there is a master bedroom that has been converted into a "tv room". I have a walk in shower on main floor as well. I have located both hospital bed and recliner rentals. I can’t decided which will be the best for me.
I already have a walker and a toilet stool extender(or riser which ever on calls it). I read that having to use legs without feeling like one is ripping thigh sutures can be hard and then there is that beautiful TT that I don’t want to disturb while it is healing. So I thought the toilet thing would be a good choice.
I will be staying two nights at the extended stay area of the outpatient facility that I will be having my surgery. My PS stated that I need the two night stay due to length of the surgery and also for pain control. This will also enable me to move about with nurses there to help me out.
So my fellow tummy tuckers/ Inner thigh lifters, what do you think hospital bed or recliner??
You guys are all AMaZINg! Wonderful insight and Strength beyond words! Yes we women rock! I'm doing my TT and lipoprotein on the 30 th and scared out of my mind. Two babies I still look 7 months pregnant and my hubby is mean about it but I hate it most! I'm so nervous and do the same thing... Freak before bed and jump up in the middle of the night freaking out! H and I have a month to go! Will I make it?
I'm in good Hands in Scottsdale... So desert lady I'm here if you need a hand! :-) we all gotta help each other... Great site!
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I have started listening to hypnosis relaxation tapes at night to try to help me too, but the deep breathing is the trick to it all :-) I have had a number of surgeries and this one just seems "different".....I guess since it is elective and not required you just keeping second guessing yourself LOL The end result will be worth it all though I know. This fat has got to go........
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Hi Desertlady55, I am 58 and have my date pretty close to yours, I am on 8/17 and I am extremely anxious and nervous. I keep having to remember to breath deep!! :-) You will do great and heres to a speedy recovery.
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Today I took my Rx to pharmacy to be filled. I...

Today I took my Rx to pharmacy to be filled. I decided on a lift chair recliner rather than a hospital bed and rented one. Then I went to Ross and purchased some yoga capri pants. Since I'm 5'1 capri are more like crop pants, at any rate, I figure they will be comfy for me to wear. I also purchased a cute maxisundress that buttons up the front.

My sister is coming tomorrow from Nebraska for a week. I am so thnakul! Even though it's sweltering here (110 here today)she wants to come out and visit before my surgery. So now I can drive her crazy with my nervous energy!

I belong to a fitness studio that also has ballet and ballroom. It's for adults, no children. I usually go four or five times a week and attend at least two hour long classes. While I was in a class today, I actually looked at my body in the mirror, something I rarely do. For the first time, I held my head high and smiled. Why? because I know in 12 days I will no longer have the hanging belly and swinging upper inner thighs!!! I know there will be pain and the recovery might not always be perfect, but, looking at the whole picture, I know the journey will be worth it.

Sounds like you are all set and ready to go.  

You will do just beautifully and we will all be here for you:)

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Yes, leata and houston, I am mowing and grazing like I'm storing up for the famine!!!! I know it's just nerves. But, I can't help it. I'm like you Houston, no weight gain. I have been doing a lot of "nesting" details...Laundry, I mean cleaning bathroom rugs, cleaning rags, my "babies" couch covers (I have four dogs, a Congo grey parrot and a cockatiel, then I am cleaning my birds cages, Oh and I keep two of little babies groomed and brushed! I'm motion out of control...lol... But the eating thing is just crazy...
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CAN WE SAY BUFFET!!?? I am eating like a horse, but am so full of energy from nerves that I usually work it off pretty fast with piddling in the yard and the house so I have not gained a ton of weight. Hopefully I won't, so far I have maintained my current weight of 168.
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11 more days...YIKES!!!! Last night I had my first...

11 more days...YIKES!!!! Last night I had my first real case of "nerves", cold sweat and all. I read a little more about medial inner thigh lifts afterwhich I could feel the nerves coming on. Spent until 3AM wondering and questioning if I was making a big mistake, what if the tension between the TT and medail inner thigh lift was going to be too great and the stress pulls the...well, I think you all can get the picture and the perfect storm I was creating in my own mind. Well I got up from my bed padded into the bathroom and looked in the mirror, then I was able to get a "reality check", it was then that I was able to see why I was going to have the surgery. It was then, that I realized I was trying to find a "reason" not to have my surgery. So, today I concentratd on my sisters arrival, we went to the pool and I said to myself, this will be the last summer that I hide in the water!

Anybody else ever feel as though they were trying find reasons not to move forward with their surgery??? I hope I am not the only one who felt this.

I am glad today is almost over...
Boy desertlady you seem to be alot more prepared than me....I just can not bring myself to exercise LOL it hurts. I know that it would probably help with my healing process, but I am a weeny! You are getting your little "nest" complete and seem ready to go and we will do great!!!!
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Oh Houston, I am a trying to get the nest ready. It just seems my list keeps getting longer!! If I don't go and excercise I will lose my mind right now, it really does help me to keep my nerves in check. I know it can be painful to exercise, I usually will feel it more the following morning. How is your nest coming along?
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9 more days until THE day. I have been working...

9 more days until THE day. I have been working with my little dogs so that they will be "gentle" when sitting next to my feet. I have one little pup that loves to sit on my feet or lay next to my chair and will bark when he wants to be picked up and placed my lap. Since there isn't going to be any lap to lay on for a while, I am teaching him and the other two to sit or sleep on the dog bed next to my chair. I rearranged the tv room so there is space for the rented lift chair and a bedside table etc. I placed the dog bed next to where the lift chair will be and have been encouraging them to use the dog bed. So far, so good...My sister has me so many questions about my surgery that I am beginning to feel like I could do an infomercial. She surprised me today when she said that she is proud of my decision to have the surgery and knows that I will feel and look so much better, that really lifted my spirits!

I hope all of you are doing well today!
(-: My nest is coming along nicely, I am trying to arrange all of the "necessities" close to where I will be so that I won't have to bug hubby constantly to hand me something.
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8 days until the new journey begins!!!! The days...

8 days until the new journey begins!!!! The days feel like I'm in the front car of a roller coaster, I can feel time going by so fast there is wind blowing my hair back!!!

Have had a nervous stomach for the past few days, have been taking antacids which have been a great help. Anyone else experience the "tummy jitters"? What have you done that helps???
Desert lady is that your coton in the picture? What a beauty! I'm a dog person too, I have two yorkies and a poodle mix. I also do yorkie rescues and like a crazy lady I'm getting a rescue in two weeks a little baby I think I can get a forever home b4 my TT. Ugh my plate is full!
Desert lady when is your date? Who is your surgeon!? Did you see Malek?
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Duh.. I'm so nervous I forgot to read your entire profile. Your surgery is right around the corner you are going to do great! Do you have anyone helping you? Your pups will know to stay awa from your belly they are smart as could be! I'm just in Scottsdale if you need anything ... :-)
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Yeppers that is my little Coton , Penelope. She is such a happy girl! I did consult with Malek, but, I choose Guerra instead, my preference really. For me, Dr G and office staffhave been just wonderful. I had a few bumps in the road as far as finaincaing a part of my suregery. But Dr G and staff helped me every step of the way. I trust him and know he will do a fabo job. I will be at the Greenbaum, where will your surgery be?
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7 days from today I will be on a new journey!!! I...

7 days from today I will be on a new journey!!! I am feeling pretty good about it today. Then again my sister is visiting from out of town and we are spending a few days in Flagstaff. Today went to the Grand Canyon and we had a wonderful time.

My lift chair will be delivered Monday, my Freshette arrived yesterday. Decided to get a stool extender with arms, have all my yoga pants and capris washed, folded and placed in a basket downstaires. I also have a small basket that holds gauge, sterile q-tips that I purchased from a home medical supply, xeroform, etc. That way all my supplies will be in one place.

I am hoping everyone is doing well...
Many blessings and good luck!
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thank you Jo,,,
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I didn't go to him for consult. You know there are tons of PS here in the valley I was getting myself crazy but the handful of people that suggested Malek were thrilled with the results. The office people are ok not super but he himself saw me three times and was very nice. I absolutely hate the idea of going under Anastasia! He has his own surgery center and a near by recovery place he is Anel about his staff. I'm up all night so nervous and I still
Have 25 more days to go. My husband who travels for a living will stay home the first week and do everything .. Watch me and my little kids. Haha! Let's see how he does. Then I have some very good friends and a babysitter that will help while he travels. My three pups will be at my side the entire recovery watching their mama heal and I have got to say they are the best medicine!!! Although I must start some sedatives this being up all night is a real pain!!! Who is helping you? Nice to know u are super close and we will probably be healing together! :-)
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2 More Days!!!! O my goodness, I cannot believe my...

2 More Days!!!! O my goodness, I cannot believe my surgery is just a matter of days.

My lift-chair rental was delivered today. Picked up all my Rx,ordered a toilet seat extender with rails and will be delivered Wed morning. Went to grocery yesterday and stocked up on sugarfree jello, pineapple juice and saltines. Today I made about 6 quarts of vegetable broth.

I groomed both of my dogs today so they won't be due for grooming for about 6 weeks. By then I am in hopes to be able to groom them.

I went to the studio and had a great workout. I was speaking with one of the instructors, when I told her that my nerves were on the rise, she was very quick to say that even though I might be a case of nerves, I have worked hard to get my body strong therefore, while recovery will take a while, my strength and conviction will help make my surgery even more successful. What a nice complement.

Until tomorrow...
you are going to look awesome
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thank you !!!! How goes your recovery?
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slow to me.. I have fluid pockets and i just need to wait for my body to absorb them I was told and they will see what next at the next apt in three weeks ... ohhhuummmm patience
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Tomorrow morning at 7:30 I will be in surgery!...

Tomorrow morning at 7:30 I will be in surgery! Have spent today getting last minute stuff done. Haircut, manicure, wax, yes, I waxed the vajayjay. Full brazillion for me. Since they were going to shave the area, I thought, no that wouldn't do, no itchy stubble for me.... My mind is going faster than asonic boom. Strange, I'm not really scared, just want to get on with my life. I'm going to close for now. Will check in when I get home, which will be sat. Thank you all that have sharef and offered words of encouragement...
Anyone know how our desert lady friend is doing?
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Hey Momin az, I am finally home. Had a few complications, but, I am now home. Gr Guerra saved my life. He is an amazing surgeon and a selfless human being.

The pain really isn't bad, I had a qpain pump and it the job. I have more muscle spasms though.

How are YOU doing? How is the anxiety???


How are you doing? How is the anxiety?
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Hi, I was so concerned that we didn't hear from you. I had a feeling you had some sort of complication. Glad to hear you are on the mend. I'm doing my nesting this weeks it's so hard because I have little kids that I know I'm going to be hit with obstacles! I'm doing the praying for god to make sure I come out of this ok. I'm very nervous and know the TT with Lipo is going to be hard.... Very hard on me. I've never had any type of surgery in my life so I'm going to be quite in for it!
Is there anything I can do for you? Like I said we all need to stick together I'm not far from you and make some mean Italian dishes!..
9 days and counting here! ;-)
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I am 8 days po. My sugery had a few complications....

I am 8 days po. My sugery had a few complications. After I was taken to my room from recovery the nurese made the usual checks. A few hours later she noted that I had a large hematoma (big buldge brusiing looking) off my right groin. So back to surgery I went. When I woke up again I was riding in an ambulance with my ps at my side. I was admitted to hospital that was right across the street. Because of both surgeries I had lost a lot of blood
d, the hematoma wsa 300cc, wow, thats a big one. Because fo the blood loss my blood pressure was in the toliet. So I was admitted to the ICU. My PS never left my side! I was discharghed from the yesterday, but, I am really tired right now. I will write more later. This I will say, the pain wasn't really bad and I off narcotic pain medication my day 3...

OK, I have to go close my eyes for now...I hope this finds everyone well
DesertLady, that sounds like it was pretty scarry, but thank goodness for wonderful PS's like yours. I am glad you are home and doing better....speedy healing to you!
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Hey Houston!! We survived and are doing welll. My pain has been between a 1-3, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now I now I am behind in the healing due to complications, but still, life is good.

Did you have a pain pump?

My PS is really the best... Sending you healing wishes...
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I am so sorry that you had such a rough time so far. Keep your spirits up, the best is yet to come!!
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10 days post op: Well, I am almost standing tall!...

10 days post op: Well, I am almost standing tall! I still cannot get over sitting down and not seeing that roll laying on my lap. It's gone and so is the turkey sag between my inner thighs. This is truly amazing. My pain is a 1 -2 on a 1-10 scale. I am well controlled with Tylenol. To keep those pesky "stabbing" pains from muscle spasms,my ps gave me an Rx for Soma which has been a life saver for me.

The long garnment used for the inner thighs is a little uncomfortable at times, I don't worry when i need to urinate as I purchased a Freshette which has been a jewel to use and has saved me from "accidents".

My lipo areas are still bruised but no longer leak. I am in hopes to get some after pics done soon, I can't wait for you all to see this new tummy. This new journey is going to be fun!

Short fall for me right now is my appetite isn't the greatest. Any suggestions on increasing protien? I am so not looking to eat a load of red meat etc.

Still have one JP drain and is draining pretty good, so now sure if dr will pull it this Tuesday or not.

Time to rest now...hope everyone is having a great day...
Yes we did survive and are doing well!! Woo Hoo(-: I am so thankful to have a flat tummy I could jump with joy if it didn't hurt so bad. I did not have a pain pump since my surgery was done as outpatient. I have been taking my pain pills like clock work since I don't like pain. Once the pill starts wearing off that pain level goes to about 3-5. I am a weenie! I am posting new pics today....keep sipping that water and stay relaxed.
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I've been sipping water and pineapple juice. Oh no jumping for joy yet, that would just be too much, but, I am so excited that I can't help wanting to do the happy dance. I am sitting up in my chair and I am looking down and there is no "apron roll" laying on my thighs, it's just amazing.

Have been really good with the fluids, now, I just need to get on with the increase of protien, any suggestions?
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Try protein drinks, you can get power and mix with liquid of your choice, or ready to chill and drink. I'm not post surgery, but I use Total Soy power and add Soy milk, some frozen fruit and ice and make a smoothie out of. I get the powder at Sams. Good luck!
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11 days PO: Oh Happy day!!! I can almost stand...

11 days PO: Oh Happy day!!! I can almost stand completely up right. Last night first night I slept without waking up with a burning sensation on my tummy suture line. My inner thigh suture lines have given me absolutely no problem, even as far as pain goes. Oh, I can tell when I am not sitting correctly as they will pull a bit which uncomfortable. I can walk more than 40 feet and not feel short of breathe or have the tightness around my lungs!!!! Took a shower and was able to wash my hair myself, yeah me!!! Its baby steps along this road to recovery and that is the hardest for me to keep in mind. JP drain is still draining ? I am in hopes that my PS will soon remove it. I saw my Vajayjay this morning, wow, had to look twice to make sure it was on my body, no more double roll there…
Again, as soon as I can get pictures I will post. I am still wearing this black garment, kind of reminds me of a high top spanx with hooks and zippers, the crotch is missing so one can void without completely getting out of it. That’s where the Freshette has come in handy. Then there is the abdominal binder over that. There is a high heat index warning today, good thing I am staying in with all this extra wear…
Swelling isn’t bad, mostly at night but by morning it’s gone. Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and take medication for it, I am aware that my healing process is slower than most. Have been taking extra care at hand washing and even visitors, no one with colds, sneezes or sniffles. Sounds pretty stiff, but, I need to ensure that I will mend without anymore complications.
One of the lessons learned that I would pass on to anyone thinking of having TT or any kind of plastic surgery, please make sure the PS you are choosing is certified not only as a general surgeon but in plastic surgery, belongs toThe American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and /or The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Ensure they have admitting privileges to your local hospital. You never know what kind of complication may arise and how comforting it is to know that should something come about, your PS has the knowledge and experience to deal appropriately with it. Don’t look at the “bargain” price; it may cost you your life.
I know that anxiety and stress will run high the closer you get to your surgery date, but, just know the pain you may feel is temporary to the rewards that you are about to give yourself and we are worth it!
dear desert,
You story made me cry it was so moving. I'm 16 days po and maybe emotional today.... Thank you your story. Please keep posting. You are so brave. Brave to have moved on. Brave to have worked out so hard, brave to to be who you want to be. Much love and possitive thought going out to you.
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Thank you for such a touching post. We all are really brave to go after what we want. Think about it,these surgeries are not easy and it takes planning and so much more. Yet, we all move forward one foot at a time. ANd in the end we realize our dream(s)....
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Ah men
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12 days PO: Visit to my PS today, one drain...

12 days PO: Visit to my PS today, one drain remains, he said due to amount of drainage he would like to pull it out this Friday. The drain really doesn't bother me much. ALso I was given a stage 2 garment to wear. Its kind of like a calf length spanx only with more compression, so I will wear this and the tummy binder for awhile. Even though it's not my favorite to wear, I want my new tummy to heal and attach so that it will be beautiful. I know this sounds crazy, but, I did promise my PS that I would do everything he said to do.

I was really worn out when I returned from the PS. So I took a nap and woke up feeling a little bit better. I had read that during the recovery one would feel tired but, I have been wiped out after taking a shower and just doing regular morning stuff.

I learned a while back to be good to myself. Good thing I did because being kind and loving to me is really the best medicine I can give myself right now. I think recovery is much bigger than planning for the surgery. I mean if it weren't for some very loving people, who understand that I needed help with my basics needs. The upswing is everyday I am stronger and can stand a little bit straighter.

Speaking of being tired, time for me to rest.
Hi desertlady55, glad to hear you are resting and taking baby steps! Trust me, I am too...I really pushed today & overdid it. Not fun, take it SLOW, OUR BODIES ARE HEALING.
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Hi Houston9021, I pushed myself yesterday and today I am still paying for it. I felt so good yesterday when woke up, but had 2 dr appointments, and then tried to eat a little luch out, big mistake...Yes, WE WILL TAKE IT SLOW AND LET US HEAL!!!
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Good morning, hope you are continuing to gain strength every day. Remember, your baby steps with turn into giant steps! :)
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So yesterday I had the last of my drains removed,...

So yesterday I had the last of my drains removed, wasn't bad, it did sting a little but, it sure feels better not have "#1" to be pinned to my binder. When I was at the PS office yesterday, it was noticed that my "stage 2" garment was looking too big so he gave me a smaller one, So I started with with a XL and yesterday was given a Med. what a difference in the sizes. How great is that. I looked into the mirror at my self this evening and I still can't beleive it is me. I have been having difficulties uploading pic, I will keep trying to get them up loaded. My tummy still has some swelling but, I am just taking this day to day.

I still have some shortness of breath left over from being admitted to the hospital. I was told that it will get better but will take time to disapate from my lungs.

Last night I tried sleeping in my bed for the first time. Still had to prop up on pillows and a pillow umder my knees, but, I was in my own room in my own bed and I slept like a big dog!!

I am almost standing upright. My pain has been a 0 on a 1-10 scale, but, I still have spasms in my tummy area but it's getting better.

I hope this finds everyone in good spirits....
Desertlady, I just read your blog, it really is a journey you have been through (and still on), I am so glad you had such a great PS. Yes, you are so right about everything, Iam just so glad you are doing well! I would recommend getting EAS protein powder, I like the soy b/c it digests easily. I recently had a setback and am having to up my nutrition to help with wound healing. There are many articles online about surgery/wound healing and nutrition. One scoop of Protein powder and skim milk will give you about 28 grams of protein. I am doing this twice a day and now taking Vit. C supplements. I encourage you to make sure you are getting the proper vitamins and nutrients b/c it is ESSENTIAL to muscle/cell repair! Good luck to you!
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Thank you marinemom. PS has me taking Vit C, Vit A and bromlin now. I was encouraged to add 25-30 gr protien shakes twice a day. Thank you for the advice re EAS.
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Finally some pictures...I am sorry it took me so...

Finally some pictures...I am sorry it took me so long, but, moving around does have its limitations...
Today I am 20 days po and it is the first day I have actully felt well enough to put on some make-up. Then after I showered, did the make-up etc, I slept for about an hour!!
In the pic I have posted, I still have alot of swelling, but, as we all know, it's the nature of things and I am being very patient with it.
Even though I had complications after surgery, I am so happy I did this. I realize my recovery may be a little slower, but, I am so thankful for my PS for my beautiful new tummy and inner thighs that well, look human.
My nutrition is still not as good as it should be, but, each day I try and eat a little more. Thank you everyone for your much for advice on protien shakes, vitamins etc. I so appreciate you all for sharing.
I have a redden area right center of my monds where suture line is, PS said it will heal, I am keeping it covered with a sterile 3x3, I do clean it with hydrogen peroxide and then some antibiotic ointment. Someone told me to use vit A ointment, has anyone heard of or used that? How did it work.

I hope you all are doing well...
desertlady,
I've been following your journey...I'm glad to see you're doing well & you look awesome!
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I''m with you!! My recovery is (or still is) longer than I expected it to be. But I know I will be happy with my results--just a few weeks later than I visualized!!

Your pics look awesome!!
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Wow you look Amazing~
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22 days po: Well I finally left the confines of...

22 days po:

Well I finally left the confines of my house and into the hub of the general population. I actaully wore a little skirt and TUCKED in my top! OMGoodness, haven't done that since I was in grade school. I was so darn surprised that I just stood in front of the mirror and didn't even recognize me. As my journey continues so does the surprises that seem to be around every corner.

I had a friend come get and drive me since I am not really able to drive comfortably, actually, I don't have the clearence to drive yet. Anyway... I was able to get into and out of a car with no assistance but went a little slow. Not that I had alot of pain, but, oh the stinging that comes and goes and can take my breathe away. Well, off I went for a little outing. I even was able to sit for a little lunch, wasn't a clean plate award winner, I'll have a protien shake later, but, when I returned home, it was nap time...
Got up from the nap and Boom there it is...the swelling....oh well such as it goes...

I find myself garding my new tummy, when I was walking and anyone came a little too close to my personal space, I noticed I was protecting my tummy a little...

My shortness of breathe is so much better, today I can take a deep breath and no coughing! My garnments make me hot, then again its 110 outside so I guess I am going to be a little warm. But, I'm a wearing them, want to do the right thing...

While it was nice to be amoungst the general population, it sure feels good to be home...

Everyone enjoy your journey, it's a great ride!!!

You look absolutely fantastic!  And like a totally new woman.  Congratulations you should be very proud.

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Kimmers, I keep looking in the mirror and then looking at my before pictures, it still feels like I am living a dream! I can't beleive how I look. I will be posting new pics soon, some of the swelling has gone a bit and I have a waistline...Life is good!!!
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OMG, You look incredible!!!! I am so happy for you.  What a difference, you must feel like a million bucks because you look it. :)

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25 day PO: I can't beleive this new tummy. I...

25 day PO:

I can't beleive this new tummy. I still cannot beleive after all the years of wearing the best "cloaking" fashions, I don't have to anymore.
But I am also more aware of taking care of the new tummy and body inside as well as outside. I know that this gift to me came at a high price and I will not do anything to destory it. Right now I am concentrating on getting the protien intake up and keeping it up daily. I have protien shakes, but, I simply can't drink or eat anything in large amounts. So I am now just trying to do ensure that every three or four hours I do have at least 4 oz of a protien shake. This seems to be a little better for me. I tried Greek Yogurt and it is NOT for me. I have tried putting it my protien shake, adding a little fruit, omgoodness it just makes me want to hurl...

My ps gave me a "stage two" compression garnment to wear about 10 days ago. Well it is like a heavy duty spanx only high waisted. This thing comes all the way up to under my bra. I don't mind it but with our temps sitting at 110 it does make for a little warmth inside or outside the house. I found that if I take a cool gel from the freezer and place it in a soft thin cloth and then place it between the garnment and my back, well it does cool me off. Then there is the white binder that I wear over it. I did call and ask my ps about maybe wearing just one or the other. We comproimsed, I will the white one during half the day and when I sleep at night. Around 2-3 in the afternoon I will wear both until bedtime. He stated he preferred me to do this for at least the next four weeks. I figure, he has saved me from the hand of death, did an outstanding job on my tummy and thighs, the least I can do is follow he directions. Besides I did promise...

So yesterday I tested my limits of riding in a car. Took a tow hour drive up north to get out of the heat and enjoy some mountain coolness. My room mate drive and I just enjoyed the ride. Going up wasn't so bad, I even wore both compression garnments, I thought it might prevent some swelling due to the long ride. Once we arrived in Flagstaff, I found a bathroom and removed the spanx like garnment and kept the white binder on. I did well walking around downtown and doing some shopping. After a late lunch, headed back to Phoenix, I only rode with the white binder on. Big mistake, by the time we arrived home, my inner thighs were screaming and I was looking like a water balloon for sure. So, lesson learned, for now, either wear the spanx like garnment on long rides or no long rides for me, at least right now.

Good news, my shortness of breath gone!!! I can walk, talk and breathe deeply without any problems. Guess what fluid that was around my lungs has now left the building...Oh happy day! Nothing was worse than not being able to breathe, it was just aweful.

Today I am a little tired from all yesterday events so I will take it easy. Maybe just walk 1/2 mile instead of the 1 mile I have worked myself up to. I am just walking, no running yet. I really would like to get back to the studio I go belong and get a few good workouts, but, all in good time...

I hope you all are having a safe holiday...

Sending you all healthy healing good wishes...
desertlady, I love the greek yogurt, but my kids HATE it! I also found that a multigrain bagel with Simply Jiff pb will give you close to 20grams of protein. just a thought. I have tried to eat lower sodium/sugar pb and it has been an easy switch.
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marinemom, thank you for heads up on the multigrain bagel and Simply Jiff. i'll try it!
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Wow~ You should be so proud and SO happy~ you look amazing How are you feeling?
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PO 30 days!!! So 30 days ago today I said...

PO 30 days!!!

So 30 days ago today I said buh-bye to big belly over hang and turkey skinned inner thighs. Granted, I did have an unplanned 7 day stay in the hospital of which 2 1/2 were in the ICU, but, with that being said, I feel pretty good. I don’t even take Soma for the muscle spasms any more. I do continue to take my vit C and A and bromalin(spelling???).

I am walking almost completely 100% upright, I say almost because there are times during the end of the day, I feel the pull of tightness and to ease that I am not so upright. My inner thighs are healing nicely but still give me a little tug now and then to let me know it’s time to rest, sit down etc. I have been doing my daily walks of 1/2 mile. Yesterday I did try and push it to 1 mile but I quickly learned about an hour after that I am not there yet.

Each morning I wake up with this renewed energy level however, I can run out of that energy real easy if I am not careful. Still tire and will take naps as I need but not as long as I did initially.

My tummy scare is flat and more of tan color, no red raised for me. Which I can’t believe as when I have had surgeries in the past, I always had the red gnarly looking scar.

I am loving this new flat tummy of mine. I am not seeing the waist line definition that I saw the first week, but, my ps has assured me it’s there and will be more evident as time and healing process continues. I continue to wear my compression stage 2 garment and the white “tummy binder”. I can’t believe when I look down, that I see my feet! Yesterday I tried on a cute little skirt that I have had for some time, I bought it thinking “one day when I don’t have this apron of skin…” Guess what??? That day has arrived and I looked so nice in it that I cried tears of joy.

I am very careful with my diet, increasing my protein has been a little tricky for me but thanks to all of who have offered advice, I am doing well with it. I had labs drawn last week for my albumin, serum protein levels and hematocrit last week and will review with my PS on Tuesday.

Yep, this Tues I will see my PS for a check and I am hoping I will be cleared to get back into the swim pool so I can begin some water exercises…

Anyone have really dry skin form all this?? I do and am trying to find an excellent body crème that will moisturize, any suggestions???
Just got drains out and stitches. Dr said I have been overdoing it he can tell from the drains then I confessed that I had been grocery shopping mall kids school lunches etc! Strict rules to stay home and rest all the movement is bad for healing. So promises to stay home tomorrow! For sure! :-)
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Um Missy...you are supposed to be resting.  No Super Woman remember...

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Duh?!?! Are you crazy! You have to be still. That's why you don't like it yet :(
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33 d PO: Saw my PS today for a routine check....

33 d PO:

Saw my PS today for a routine check. All looks so good. My incisions are flat and already beginning to fade!. Didn't have any raised, red or thick incision. He discovered that I did have some swelling going on, recieved cortisone injection, not worry didn't feel a thing as I am still numb. I got the go ahead to return to some light fitness classes, but, to hold off on my ballet based fitnessed for at least the next 30 days. I can however, get back in the pool!!!wooowhooo, I love to swim.

PS stated that I need to keep in the compression garnments for 30 more days and then he'll begin to "wean" me out of them. I don't mind wearing them and really, I feel much better when I do.

Since I am having a few issues with my breathing I am going to see the pulmonologist that treated me in the hopsital. I don't it's a big issue, but, its enough that I feel I need to get it checked out. My ps felt that it would be a good idea as well.

I still cannot believe that the body in the mirror is mine. I am already planning on the "stage two", breast reductionwith implants and arms. Not going to go there yet, but, I am beginning to do my research on the procedures.

The good thing is I am using my current PS, he is the best, his practice is safe and I know for a fact this man will stay with me no matter what the outcome, besides he has been closley involved with my post hospital care and will plenty of background knowledge.

I still cannot stress enough to everyone on this site, please, please do your research, make sure your PS has all the proper credntails and most of all make sure he/she has hospital privlidges, you never know when something happens...

Happy healing everyone!!!
You guys think the really tight spanx help? I have a 1 yr old and a 4 yr old it's so hard to do I have help I'm not lifting them but it is just hard, the pups have been amazing!
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Stay low Mominaz...just stay low and do as little as you must...allow your body to heal itself....
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Wow that is the lowest scar I have ever seen. The good thing about having a lot of skin to remove is a really low scar. You must feel fantastic! You sure look beautiful.
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PO 36 day Even in the midst of "Swell Hell" I...

PO 36 day

Even in the midst of "Swell Hell" I am wearing a size 6!!!!!! Pre-surgery size 10...

Wooot,Woot ----- LIFE IS GOOD TODAY -------
My doctor told me after 3 wks that I could sleep on my side (it was not possible because the lipo was way too sore, it took about 5 wks for me but I still toss & turn alot from the pain) and that I could sleep out flat without propping up, that I needed to stretch out the tummy and to stand up straight.
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mominaz, I think I started sleeping (or attmepting to!) on my side around 4-5 weeks, although I admit, it still hurts a tiny bit from the lipo, I would say that whenver you can tolerate it is when you can do it. Having had the thigh lift, your recovery may be different. I have found the lipo to be the most uncomfortable part of all this!
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Mominaz glad you aren't in pain, I didn't have any real pain either, just soreness, esp. from the lipo, that is the worst part for me! Take care!
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PO 49 day I am finally able to sleep without...

PO 49 day

I am finally able to sleep without the wedge behind me. I have tried not using the bolster under my knees but I am just not quite there yet.

Last week I had to go see the pulmonologist (lung dr) as I was still having short of breath issues and was whizzing a lot, and, I do not have asthma. After a battery of tests which included another CAT-scan, she found I have a "small" collapse of my lower left lung. Well isn’t that just a fine howdy dowdy! There isn’t really any treatment per-sae. So its plenty of “deep belly” breathing and using the good ol incentive spirometer and slowly increase activity. I told the dr that it was the short of breath and whizzing after I was walking that brought me in. At any rate, I continue to keep my eyes on the “prize”, a full healthy recovery.
So last night I finally went into the dance/fitness studio that I have been going to for the past year. It was great to do a little Latin dance, I was able to do the full hour class. But on the way home I began to feel my tummy tighten up and a few hours later, gee, the tummy was looking pretty much like a water balloon. I sat with an ice pack to my tummy for about 30 minutes, kept my feet elevated and it seemed to help. This morning my bum is sore from dance but the swelling isn’t as great. I’m a little sore in my waist but al in all I feel great. I will go tomorrow and do another class. It is a slow process to get back into my world of dance and fitness. The day before my surgery I was in the studio for a few hours with hardly a sweat.
My plan is one hour class every other day for a week, then the following week a daily class for five days, by then I am in hopes that I can add an additional hour until I am back to my usual , 5- 6 days @ 2 -3 hour classes.
Still wearing compression garment. When I drive, I wear the white binder as well as it helps me with the discomfort. My PS has been very generous and has supplied all my CM, but I did break down and ordered a wonderful one from Makemeheal.com. I really like that site, it has just about everything anyone who has had TT or any kind of plastic surgery procedure. The prices are not to out of range either.
Every once in awhile I will get these twinges of dull to wake up types of sharp pain, but not getting them as often as I used to. The Lipo areas are still really tender to touch however.
SHOUT TO KIMMERS thank you for the suggestion re: Plamers skin therapy oil…I Love, love, love it!!!!!!!!
Happy healing everyone!!!!
Ladies, I found out the hard way too. I tell you, my ps told me it was important to keep my nutrition up, but I was too naive to think it really mattered, or that I could just add a little extra meat or something. Well, you HAVE to supplement it with protein powder type supplements. It's the only way to get concentrated usable, protein. I also started taking Vit. C. and a multivitamin. I was very scared when I realized my body needed more than I was giving it to heal. This is MAJOR surgery and the tissues and cells need EXTRA resources to pull from when healing.
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Marine I couldn't agree more. I let my nutrition slide (due to no hunger & feeling terrible) and now am struggling to close a wound. Thanks to you and a few others I have upped my protein tremendously. I also just bought a super multiple vitamin in liquid form by Source of Life. I believe it's their Gold Formula. Also a great Vit C. I already take Vit D & a great probiotic. Go to Vitamin Shoppe and ask questions. They are very knowledgeable and helpful. She has me taking a lower dose of Vit C (500 vs 1000) but I take it 3 times a day and it keeps it steady in my system so I'm actually getting more than if I took 1 of the higher doses.

Desert glad you took it easy. I'd watch doing planks. That's a whole lot of stress on yr tummy!
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Puggymom, yes, just keep up the nutritional supplements. It's almost impossible to get that much protein without them!
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PO 51 Days: Ok, who said going back into the...

PO 51 Days:
Ok, who said going back into the studio / gym would be “ok”??? I think those people have taken leave of their sense!!!!!! So Friday I took the day “off” from going to the studio, I felt good, just a little sore (see above). Well, yesterday I went in for an hour class of total body tone and strengthening. I was 15 minutes into it and perhaps 2 minutes into doing arms and I was ready to sit and cry like a baby. I know that I wasn’t going to be able to do as much as I did prior to my surgery, but, in the name of all that is holy, I didn’t except for me midsection to feel every little movement. However, I did forge ahead and made modifications as I was going along. The class instructor was great and helpful, but, at the end of the day, I wasn’t expecting the level of discomfort. When it was time do planks, well, my form was more like a bridge that parted and was waiting for the big boat to sail through! I looked in the mirror and was just horrified, but, I was simply unable to get in that perfect form as I used to be able. I am in hopes that with time I will be able to get back to my old form in these classes.
On the upswing, I did make myself a protein shake about 2 hours before so that I could keep that protein up. It really felt strange not to struggle with all the saggy skin that used to get in my way during my workouts.
After my self-induced torture, I went home and packed my tummy in ice for 20 minutes, showered and then took a 3 hour nap…

65 days PO I went to see my PO last Thursday...

65 days PO

I went to see my PO last Thursday for my 2 month check. I had my "official" after pictures taken. I continue to have swelling but all in all I am doing well. After the photos were taken, we looked at the before photos, I took his hand and thanked him for giving me my life back.

We discussed the long journey thru recovery that he and I have walked. I am still wearing my compression garment. I have tried to go without it a few times when I have had an event to attend and wanted to wear something other than long pants. At first I felt ok, but, half way through thte evening I was really uncomfortable. As soon as I was home, I jumped back into my garment.

I am slowly returning to the studio and am choosing wisely which fitness/ dance class I attend. I am not doing any planks or anything that stressful yet.

My scar is looking really nice, no redness or open areas. Even the scars on my inner thighs are looking wonderful. I keep using Plamers skin therapy oil, I love, love , love it!

I will be posting new pictures soon!!!

Happy healing everyone.
incredible..!! you must be on top of the world and holding your head high !
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Ya know Cabin_my head is up higher and I even smile more, what a difference a little self love can do...
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I have to agree with Laura, your transformation is absolutely amazing. You must be over the moon with your results.
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Ok, I have finally uploaded the pic taken at my PS...

Ok, I have finally uploaded the pic taken at my PS office. He is going to take pic again at 6 months and then again in a year.

I did ask him about the swelling and he did say that it can take months for the swelling to go down. He suggested that I keep wearing my CG as much as possible.

So, at this point I am not rushing the finale results as it really won't do me any good, seems the healing process will go along as it seems fit.


I find in the evening when I am really in the land of swell hell, I recline with a frozen gel pack for about 30 minutes, it does seem to help with the swelling.


Every morning when I get out of bed and walk by the mirror, I can't believe the image reflecting is me. I am in such awe, my PS truly has gifted hands. Every day I am thankful to him and his staff.

Wishing you all good health and happy healing
wow!! fabulous results!! under one week for me to go
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You look great!!! I am wondering if you have any discomfort with your incision line kind of being where the underwear my lay against in the front?
I am thinking of booking my TT for Feb 2012 and am so nervous. I interviewed Dr. Aldo Guerra, Dr. Geoffrey Leber and Dr. Sumer Daiza. They are all very nice, totally qualified, certified, etc so I am having a really hard time selecting the doc. Did you see any of these other docs I mentioned.
I guess the good news is, I probably cant go wrong with any of these docs as they are all top ranked but I am so scared. I have two young children, aged 4 and 1 so this is going to be tough.
But, congrats to you..you look awesome!! :)
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Your results are amazing!!! Congrats!!
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I know its been awhile since I have posted on here...

I know its been awhile since I have posted on here. Time has really flown by for me in terms of my recovery.

I am now 4 months an d a few weeks post op from my surgery. Even with the emergency bleeding issues that I had, I wouldn't change a thing! Oh, I still have some swelling to deal with and by the end of the day I am still a little fatigued, but, I feel so much better about me.

I am back in the studio 5 days a week now. And I am finishing each class as strong as I can. Today was the first time that I was able to do a plank for 90 seconds without going down to my knees! I had made a goal that I would be able to hold a plank before the end of the year. Since my surgery, I have had to purchase s few smaller size workout pants. It was really an odd feeling to go and purchase a size smaller.

As far as my scar goes, it looks just as good as it did the day my pic were taken, it is beginning to lighten up now. My inner thogh scars look great and are not really noticeable unless I am really looking for them. At times when I am stretching on the ballet barre I can feel a pinch but other than that I full range of motion with no issues.

At first I noticed some "puckering" where my incisions ended behind my hip, but, just like my PS said, it is beginning to "let go" and smooth out.

I will be visiting my PS next month for another follow up, I am thinking now of having a breast reduction and maybe my inner arms (bat wings) taken off. Didn't think much about a breast reduction but now with my flat tummy the twins look way too large not to mention they don't stay put...lol... I will be talking to my PS about it and will then ponder. Then again the finance end plays into it as well.

I hope everyone will stay safe this New Year holiday and will have a happy 2012.
You look absolutely amazing. It's been awhile since you've posted so I hope that you are healed, well and happy!!
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You look amazing! I can imagine what you look like today..... Thanks for sharing and Congrats! This doctor has done a few people on this site and has gotten AWESOME reviews!
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Your results are absolutely AMAZING! I am SOOO excited to have chosen the same PS! I'm 3 weeks away from my mommy makeover and after continuing to see awesome before and after pictures like yours I just KNOW I've chosen the right doctor and am confident I will also have amazing results!!! Congrats to you, you must be sooo excited with your stunning new body! WOW WOW WOW!
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Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Dr G is a very kind man. He is very patient and makes you feel as though you are the only patient he has. His staff is just wonderful, the surgery scheduler, "Saint" Janet, is just that, a saint for people like me that will call numerous times and she always makes time to answer questions, her calm nature has been very reassuring for me! The staff is genuine, they are professional, supportive and seem to care about what is important to you, not to what they think is important. I know most PS will advertise they accept this or that finance company and really not care how those finance companies will treat the patient. Well, guess what, not at Dr G office. When I informed Saint Janet that I was going to use a medical finance company, she discussed with me why I should reconsider using certain companies. Together we worked a plan and at the end of the day, everything came into place. I am so very thankful that I have found Dr G, his office really cares; they will not turn you away, but, will work with you and listen and will help you realize your needs and dreams. Three hours after my TT and inner thigh lift, the nurse noted that I had a large hematoma in my right groin; Dr Guerra was called, after he examined me, he explained that he needed to go back into surgery and take out the hematoma. When I re-entered the surgery suite and was placed on the operating table, Dr Guerra took my hand and held it tight, he told me that he would not leave and would see me through. It took Dr Guerra 3 hours to carefully find the little bleeder. Since I had a few complications related to the anesthesia, Dr G had me directly admitted to the hospital in the ICU, where I was for two days, after which I was placed on a different floor and stayed for a week. During this whole time, Dr Guerra, visited me twice a day, always updating me on laboratory results etc... My family that lives out of state was worried; Dr G would calmly speak with them via telephone and reassures all that he would see me through this to the end. Dr Guerra never left me alone, during the evening the nurse would inform me that Dr G had telephoned for an update; even the nurses could not believe his wonderful, caring bedside manner. Now that I am home and recovering, Dr Guerra has had me come into the office quite often, to ensure I continue on a healthy recovery journey. He has been very generous in supplying my compression garments, never seen him without a smile on his face and a laugh to share. Each time I come into the office, he will ask about my daughter who lives 2500 miles from me. Dr Guerra always takes his time and will answer all questions. Since I did have a rough time of it, Dr Guerra has been an active partner with the specialist to ensure that I am being well cared for. When any of you are searching for a PS, please ask yourself, if the PS you are considering has hospital privileges, will the PS continue to follow you should anything happen, will the PS take the extra steps to ensure your safety; will the PS see you through any complication. Dr Guerra is the real deal... If you are looking in the Scottsdale / Phoenix area, please consider Dr Guerra.

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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