I had a traumatic pregnancy and delivery 18 years...
I had a traumatic pregnancy and delivery 18 years ago. Previously, I had been somewhat overweight for most of my teens and 20s. After my pregnancy, I lost 75 lbs and kept it off for 18 years. Unfortunately, the skin on my abdomen didn't retract and over the past 10 years, it got to the point where it didn't just fold over in the center. When I sat down, it folded over my lap from hip to hip. This caused horrible rashes in warm weather. After last summer, I decided that I really needed to repaid my abdomen.
I went to see one plastic surgeon who told me that he couldn't even consider surgery on me unless I lost at least 20 lbs. He also thought I needed to have my entire back liposuctioned. Note: I didn't have a problem with my back prior to that appointment. At that visit, my weight was a little up at 136 lbs. Unfortunately, I know myself very well and know that keeping my weight around 129-130 is as low as I can go without completely overhauling my life. More importantly, I actually think I had a pretty cute figure, my tummy not withstanding. I was mortified and deeply upset.
Fortunately, my brother is a surgeon and he asked the plastics nurses at the local hospitals who they would recommend and they said Dr. Z. So I saw Dr. Z who looked at me for only a couple of minutes and said, "Yes, I can fix that!" He also thought my weight was fine. (Mind you, I weighed 130 on that day.)
Yesterday (4/17), I went for my 2nd post op...
Yesterday (4/17), I went for my 2nd post op appointment. Unfortunately, Dr. Z found a good size hematoma on my abdomen. He used a large syringe to aspirate some lovely inky black blood. Then he had the nurses wrap me in a compression garment. Dr. Z doesn't like compression garments for the first two weeks post surgery because he doesn't want circulation to the incision to be compromised. He even objected to my bra being too tight! (But oh so cute.) I told him I am wearing a loose underwire free sports bra at home.
Today, 18 hours after wearing the compression garment, I feel like the swelling might be a touch improved. But when I compare tonight's pictures from 6 days ago, it's a bit disheartening. I looked better then than I do now! Mind you, the dents from the compression garment don't help. I will try to up load pics now. But not tonight's. I'll try again in a few days. And if those make me happy, I'll consider uploading today's sad ones. In a nutshell, I look 20-30% bigger than I did before surgery. I'm a swellaholic.
Things I forgot to mention before. I am 45,...
Things I forgot to mention before. I am 45, married to the love of my life. I am 5 ft 2.5 in. I weighed 129 the day of surgery.
Day 15 P.O. Two days ago, my PS found a good size hematoma on my abdomen. He aspirated some of it and sent me home in a binder with both of my drains in tact. Allow me to tell you, I can't live with this right drain for another hour. It's the drain or me. In two hours, only one of us is getting driven back home by Stud Muffin. I am prepared to negotiate the continued presence of the equally unloved but less despised left drain. But the right one ... has to GO.
He pulled my drains. Both of them. I love Z very...
He pulled my drains. Both of them. I love Z very very much. The first one was absolutely ready to go. Only 15 ccs yesterday. And it was exquisitely sore. I couldn't sleep at all last night. But the other one wasn't far behind on the pain level so he pulled that too. Interestingly, the second one hurt more on removal and I expected it to not hurt at all because the first one barely hurt. All in all, drain removal was not a big deal. And life without drains is a beautiful thing.
Photographs, weeks 3 - 9
12 Jun 2013
2 months post
I went for my 9 week follow up on Monday. I felt a stitch *pop* on the incision line the previous Thursday. Afterward, I had a little fluid in the area. It is mostly resolved now. My incision is healing very nicely but of course I forgot to take pictures of it. I haven't had as much swelling as other people have. My PS recommended 100 crunches a day. I am doing that and am back on the treadmill. I am not a runner but I do a fast walk 4.0-4.2 mph (my legs are short!). I still have a large numb area from just above my belly button to the incision line. I have one dog ear on my left hip but Dr. Z will fix this in September. He and his team have been terrific and I am very happy with the results.
Photographs Weeks 8 - 9
12 Jun 2013
2 months post
Apparently, I hit post update too soon on the last update and didn't include the most recent pictures.
Last but not least -- the BEFORE picture. Terrifying
12 Jun 2013
2 months post
I think we can all agree that Z is a miracle worker ...
NEW PICS! 5 months + Touch Up Surgery
The pictures accompanying this post were actually taken a month ago. This morning I went in for a few revisions post full (nearly extended if you look at my scars) tummy tuck. I had one tiny dog ear on the right side, more of a pucker really. I had a small crease on the left side. And I had a small fat pad just above the central portion of the abdominal scar. Based on what I have read in some of the other reviews, I am very, very glad I went to Dr. Z. A lot of other doctors might have blown off two of the three areas that I wanted tweaked. (Check the pictures.) It takes a plastic surgeon five minutes to excise and resew a small dog ear. It takes a lot longer to liposuction and then refill a crease before liposuctioning along the abdominal scar.
As always, Dr. Z's nurses were and are wonderful. Maggie was on duty today. She administered the local anesthesia (Lidocaine) and she did a phenomenal job. I had absolutely zero pain during the entire procedure from start to finish. Note: The Lidocaine itself does have a significant sting during injection. It lasts moments. And nothing else provides that level of comfort for local procedures.
Dr. Z took plenty of time with me. My appointment was at 9 am. I left with my husband sometime after 10:30 am. There was no charge for today's appointment. I continue to be thrilled with my choice of plastic surgeon. As an added bonus, I recently had a check up with my internist who said my results are amazing as are the results of his other Dr. Z patients.