Full Tummy Tuck with a "Belly Button" Hernia Repair and a Small Groin Hernia Repair

Eight weeks ago, I had a full tummy tuck with a...

Eight weeks ago, I had a full tummy tuck with a "belly button" hernia repair and a a small groin hernia repair. With the tummy tuck, the doctor also repaired my abdomen muscles as they were separated during the birth of my children. I can now sit and stand upright. However, after sitting for long periods of time I have the tendency to hunch over. Anytime I wear button pants, my abs feel sore and tugged on. One side is definitely more sore then the other.

Before the surgery, I exercised 4-5 times a week doing strength training regularly and running 3-8 miles a week. I really feel like my abdomen can't handle any exercise yet. I am frequently swollen in my very lower ab and pubic area.

I decided to have a tummy tuck to flatten my wrinkled stomach after having two children. I do like the way I look better, but I am struggling with the recovery time. I am use to being very active and the limitations are tedious. I am slowly gaining weight as a result.

I think the doctor did a great job and my complications are few. The jury is still out on whether I think it is worth it. I think in the end I will be happy with it, but need another month or two to feel normal.

Is this a normal recovery? I know I am getting stronger, but how long will it take to get back to exercising. Would you consider this an extensive tummy tuck or average? From reading other questions, I feel like I should be well on the way to exercising more and much better.

Portland Plastic Surgeon

Very competent. My doctor's office is very responsive to questions and concerns I have.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Hi my name is rain. I am 7 weeks post op tummy tuck Lipo of the flanks muscle repair an hernia repair. my problem is I still look as if I'm 4 months pregnant while my sister who is a week and a half po tummy tuck w/o hernia repair is flatter than I am I'm getting very frustrated .is this normal
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Rain, Without seeing how you looked before the operation and how you look now, it's a little difficult to comment thoroughly. However, I would expect a fair amount of swelling even at 7 weeks. But you should share you concerns with the doctor who did your surgery. Recovery from a tummy tuck is a long process and you are still in the early phase when it comes to swelling. All the best, David B. Reath, MD
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Thank you Dr.Reath for your response.
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hi, my name is karina. on the 17 of october 2012 i had breast aug, tuck, muscle and hernia repair. it has been a hard recovery, i had no complications but like you im so fustrated and i also going thru all the feelings you went thru with recovery. i have lack of energy, i just feel like crab. i wonder how long did it really took you to completely recover n feel like your self again. im really hoping to hear from you, i need a little uplifting or a piece of the truth. thank you!
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Karina, you are very early in the recovery process and what you are feeling is totally normal! So not to worry. This is a long recovery process, but a sure one. So take heart. Just go one day at a time. Don't do more than you can on any given day. Your energy will improve. Things should pick up soon. David B. Reath, MD
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Thank you so much dr. Reath for taking the time to answer my question.
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I agree with David. It took me at least 3 months to start running again. You had a breast aug too. 3 weeks seems long, but in recovery time (with all you had done) it is not. I would have to say that it took a while to feel like a whole person. I felt like I was sliced in half. I think I felt whole about a year and half after the surgery. My further advice to you to make sure you are eating well and when you can, exercise. Your lymphatic system relies on body movement to operate, and with all the drugs and the surgical cut into the lymph system, it can get a little sluggish. So walking is important, at first. Exercise will help move some of the "junk" out, then you can regain some of your energy. Hoping for a speedy recovery!
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4 weeks out from full tummy tuck, abdominal lipo and hernia repair. Post myomectomy surgery and 2 c-sections. Belly button keeps coming open partially. MD says it will heal it just takes longer. Belly button was healing great with drains, once removed it became leaky and soft. Edges are black, but it was black before surgery. How long before complete healing of belly button? Should I go to dermatologist now or wait for complete healing?
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who was the the doctor?i am currently inthe process of searching for a doctor to do this procedure. thanks
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My doctor was {edited} through Kaiser Permanente's cosmetic department. You don't need to be a member to receive services. He has been listed as a Top Doctor in Portland Monthly's annual report which was reassuring. You can see additional comments under "erineichel's" comment. Good luck!

Edited by Sharon: We've added your doctor's details to the review. Thank you.
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Who was your doctor and were you satisfied with his service? Also, how long was the hospital stay?
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My doctor was {edited} through Kaiser Permanente's cosmetic department. You don't need to be a member to receive services. He has been listed as a Top Doctor in Portland Monthly's annual report which was reassuring. The procedure is an outpatient surgery. I came in the morning and was home by 6 or 7 that night. They do a really great job with pain management. I had a prescription which I only used the evening I returned and the next day. I had a pain pump that was inserted to the top layer of my skin that automatically "pumped" pain medication locally to my abs. I would say the first week was the hardest. I don't take many prescriptions and have never been through surgery, so everything was intense. I found myself calling the nurses a lot. They even gave me a low dosage of anti-anxiety pills which I didn't end up using. I ended up going into my first appointment early which was reassuring. They were very accommodating and caring without being "mushy." So, I would say that I thought their service was great.

Edited by Sharon: We've added your doctor's info to the review. Thanks!
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My story is very similar to yours. I am going on week 7. I had muscle repair from top to bottom and umbilical hernia repair. I feel like recovery is taking forever and I am very frustrated by not being able to exercise and still feeling weak and tired. I am also frustrated by my lower ab/pelvic area swelling. I am usually a very active person and very physically fit. This is starting to take a toll on me emotionally. I am trying to stay up-beat and positive but I am struggling with a little bit of depression. At any rate...hang in there and know you are not alone. Please keep me posted as you are a few weeks ahead of me in recovery. I would love to hear how you are doing.
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Hi Nancy, Well I am at almost 12 weeks and things are progressing well. For example, I didn't notice the "tightness" I feel in my middle abs until late this afternoon. I decided to give myself a break for a few more weeks before pushing myself to exercise more. I was able to run a 1/2 mile slowly last week and did some decent strength training this week. Eating well has helped the swelling, I think. I also decided to only wear loose sweat/yoga pants until things are better. I wore button pants for the 1st time in 3 weeks and barely noticed them. (they were fairly comfortable) For me, it took a long time to get to the level of fitness that I was at and I am still frustrated, but I am feeling almost normal. I guess when you dedicate so much time and effort to health, you want more then normal. I feel good and I am really liking the results! Good luck and let me know how you are doing too!
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You are actually doing fairly well with your recovery. Remember, you had more than just a tummy tuck, so it may take a little longer. Also, you worked out a great deal prior to your operation, and it will take a while to get back to this level of fitness. The good news is that you have a very good result, and once you are fully recovered, you will have better core strength than before since your muscles have been repaired. Don't expect to be working our consistently for another couple of months. And, you may not get rid of all your swelling for six months. And this would be considered normal. Do what you can in terms of low impact cardio excercise. This may only be walking on a treadmill, or riding a bike. Stop when you are fatigued, and don't expect to be able to do what you were doing prior to the operation just yet. And do some stretching. This will help. But above all, hang in there! All is well. While this recovery seems to be taking forever, once you are back at full strength, it won't seem to have taken so long.
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Dr Reath, I read your comments not too long after you posted them, but haven't been back to the site in a while. Sometimes just having a professional nod that things are ok/normal is just the right prescription. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and your support.
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Thanks for your kind remarks, Maxie. While I may do this operation on a weekly basis, this is a one and only experience for you. There will always be questions that you have about your recovery and how you are doing. The best thing is to ask these questions and get the answers, as you have done. RealSelf.com is a great vehicle for this. Hope your recovery continues well.
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I'm in day 10 of my recovery and your story sounds very similar to mine. If I am where you are at in week 8 I can imagine how frustrating it is to not get back to the activity level I was at. To gain weight would be the ultimate bummer! I'll have to check into weight watchers and stick to walks and free weights until my body catches up to my motivation! Good luck! ~Marissa (San Diego, CA)
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Marissa, Thanks for your comments. I haven't been back to this site in a while, but I do appreciate the support! I posted my updates down below. I hope you are doing well!
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