My Journey of Taking my Body Back!....TT with MR, No Lipo (Surgery was 11/21/2013)

I started writing this journal offline. Then, I...

I started writing this journal offline. Then, I found this site! So, my first entry is lengthy to get the group caught up with my Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) experience.

Some Background....
I am 46 years old and had my first of three children 16 years ago. Some people (men and women) say what pregnancy does to a woman's body is a "badge of honor". This was NOT how I felt. I never felt that way. While I would of course NEVER trade my children and would NEVER the experience of having my children, I have always felt that what pregnancy did to my mid-line was a price I paid. At one point, my now ex-husband even asked will it always look like that?

For 16 years, I hated how my mid-line looked. I just could not get past how I looked and I continued to feel insecure. I knew I would NEVER take away from the experiences of my children growing up. I wanted them to enjoy summer camps, family vacations, team sports, etc....; things that cost money.
I remarried 4 1/2 years ago. My new husband has always been sensitive to how I felt about my mid-line and has been very supportive through the experience . He knew why I would turn away when changing. In October 2013, I brought the topic of an Abdominoplasty up again. He said if I really wanted it, I should get it. The timing was good financially. Given that we are going into winter, me being slower for a while would not be taking time from running the kids from activity to activity. I knew that my work would get busier with the new year, activities would start up, and then summer would begin. My husband and I frequently travel for work and we had a very small window that he could be home for 2 weeks to help me get back on my feet. If I didn't do it now, I would not have a window of opportunity until next winter. One more year of feeling this way. It was something I needed to do for myself. It was time to get my body back!

So, with that said, I discussed it with a friend who had other work done a couple of years ago. She was very happy with her doctor and referred to him as an "artist". That was a good place to start for me, so I scheduled the consultation.

Week of 11/4/2013....
My husband and I had the consultation with the doctor that our friend referred me to. I'm one of those people who ask TONS of questions. The doctor was very patient. He discussed my expectations, answered all of my questions, and showed before and after pictures of other patients. My husband and I decided to think about it for a couple of days before deciding. Given my friend's direct experience and other research I did on the doctor, I found for me consulting with only one surgeon was enough.
I do recommend though if you are considering any procedure to consult as many doctors as you need to give you assurance.

Week of 11/11/2013 .....
At the consultation appointment, my doctor said he recommended that I bring in a swimsuit or two so he could get an idea of where the incision could be hidden and to better understand what my expectations were. Well, I took that recommendation quite literally. At my pre-op appointment, I brought four swimsuits and underpants! I had two bikini bottoms, one pair of panties that I liked, and a one-piece swimsuit that I had a higher leg cut than the other pieces. I layered them over each other so he could see the intersecting lines. I wanted the most flexibility after the procedure to wear anything I wanted to wear. I figured if I'm going to do this, it will only be once and I'm going to ask for the world! I did feel a bit unusual when the doctor looked at his assistant and said this was a first! :) I felt more comfortable with him knowing my high expectations, but I was also okay with him telling me if my expectations were not realistic. I was not asking for my 22 year old body back. I only wanted to feel comfortable with myself. Luckily for me, he said he could make it work.

I scheduled my surgery for the doctor's first available opening, filled scripts, and bought high waisted panties so the elastic would go over the incision.

11/17/2013 (-4).....
Started stool softeners today, just to be extra prepared!

11/18/2013 (-3)......
Here are my before photos are linked.

I'll update the rest of the dates in my next post!

Dates 11/18/2013 (Go Date-3), including 11/21/2013 (Surgery day), and up to 12/2/2013 (Post-Op Day 12)

Here is the rest of my journal that I documented offline before finding this site. The remaining posts will be documented in "real" time. :)

11/18/2013 (3 days before surgery)....
I was never able to change my midline with diet or exercise. When I discussed it with my doctor, he agreed that diet or exercise would never resolve this for me.

Here are my measurements before surgery...
Waist at the most narrow area = 29”
Waist at the widest (just below the BB) = 35 3/4”
Hips at the bone = 38”
(Weirdly, I'm documenting so much on these posts, but I am not wanting to confess my weight. Funny how some women can be like that. I am a normal weight for someone 5'5" though.)


11/20/2013 (1 day before surgery)....
My last supper was a sushi at our favorite restaurant. Yum! I am feeling nervous and anxious, but excited!


11/21/2013 - Day of Surgery!......
The day of surgery. It was a long morning of waiting and thirst! The doctor had another patient before me that morning who needed more time than he planned, so my scheduled time ran later than planned. I asked the nurse and doctor several times if he had enough rest in between surgeries, if he had his lunch, and did he need a nap? I didn't want to be the patient at the end of a long day. He could take as much time as needed in order to be an "artist". :)

When the doctor saw me that afternoon, I had narrowed my selection of outfits to two. He marked his lines on me using various colors of makers.

Surgery went well. I woke with very little pain. I only remember the nurse say that my stomach was now "tight". I think I fell back asleep at that point.

The actual surgery took about 4 hours. I was discharged with two drain tubes and three prescriptions (Percocet for pain, valium to control muscle spasms, and something to control nausea).

I did let the doctor know I was okay with lipo if he felt I needed it, but he did not find it necessary. My issue was only loose skin and needing to reconnect the upper abdomen muscles that can separate with pregnancy.


11/22-25/2013 - Post-Op Days 2-5......
These days are a bit blurry. I slept a lot. I found it easier to sleep in a recliner we already have in our bedroom instead of the bed. This allowed me to stay in a bent position and not feel the need to turn on my side.

My husband was very helpful. (A saint really!) He woke me every 4 hours to give me water and more pain meds. He also slept on the living room sofa for a week so his snoring wouldn't wake me. We have an phone with an intercom so if I needed him, I could call him in the other room.

I stopped taking the Percocet on Day 4 due to the side effects (Let's just say that stool softeners do not stand a chance against Percocet).


11/26/2013 - Post-Op Day 6......
Day 6 was my first BM post-op. WOW! My husband said it sounded like I was calling moose! I can't image if I didn't take stool softeners!

I also had a weird bout of nausea. I was huddled on the floor in a ball. I was so worried that I was going to vomit! That feeling lasted for about 20 minutes and that was it. Weird.


11/27/2013 - Post-Op Day 7 – First Post-Op Appointment......
I had my first post-op today. Bandages came off, so I was able to see the incision for the first time. It wasn't as bad I had expected. I think pictured much worse in my head. I expected more yuck than there was. One drain tube was removed. I had add more fluid than I expected in the upper abs. That must have been due to the bandage since it disappeared about a day later. I only had one dime sized bruise near my BB. I was also very puffy in the south region from the fluid. The other drain tube will need stay until after Thanksgiving.

Since the bandages were off, it was very helpful for me to line Kotex pads along the front of my panties to add more padding along the incision. I found the stitches would get stuck in my panties, so the Kotex prevented that.

I expected my upper abs to be more sore than they were. They felt like they had a tough workout. That part of the pain was very manageable for me. On the other hand, since my core wasn't supporting much of my body, my lower back pain was wicked!

The best part of today was I got to shower! So much better than the sponge baths I had all week! I just hung the remaining drain tube pod from the shower handle and enjoyed the warmth!


11/28/2013 - Post-Op Day 8......
I can laugh now with minimal pain. Coughing is still horrible though. I haven't sneezed yet though. (I can't image what that would feel like!)

We spent the day with my brother-in-law and his family for Thanksgiving. While it was a wonderful party and dinner, it was very exhausting for me. We left shortly after dinner and I was asleep by 8:30 that night.


11/29/2013 - Post-Op Day 9.....
Most of the puffiness in the south region is almost gone.

I have attached pictures as of Day 9. While there is a long road to being full healed, I think it already looks much better that before the surgery! I think my BB already looks cute! I can't wait to see how it will look after it fully heals!


11/30/2013 - Post-Op Day 10 .....
My husband and I went to a local pub to watch the the SEC football games. I wore my "fat" jeans (you know, the ones you keep around for those extra 5 pounds).
Since I still have one drain tube and a sore incision, I'm guilty of wearing my jeans unzipped and unbuttoned under my baggy sweater. I definitely tired of sweatpants and baggy tshirts. :)


12/1/2013 - Post-Op Day 11.....
Had a bit of nausea this morning. Hum. I took the prescription for that and it seems to be helping.

I still have no feeling right now around BB in about a 6" diameter. Hopefully that will heal with time.

Here are my current measurements...
Waist at the most narrow = 29” (original was also 29”)
Waist at the widest (just below the BB) = 34” (original was 35 3/4”)
Hips at the bone = 36 3/4” (original was 38”) …. I don't know how that happened! Not that I'm complaining!
Weight = I lost 2 lbs.


12/1/2013 - Post Op Day 12....
Ew! I had my first sneeze this morning! Dang!

I had my second post-op appointment today. The last drain tube was removed! I feel so free! No more getting it caught on door knobs and stuck in bedding! No more emptying the pod! My doctor says I'm doing well. I started scar therapy. I'm using Aleo gel with lidocaine and menthol. It didn't feel too bad. I'll increase more pressure tomorrow.

PO 2 weeks....It's an ARG day

I'm 2 weeks PO today! I'm still happy with how things are looking. Scar Therapy 101 is underway. I'm just feeling off today though.

I'm flying solo for 2 weeks since my husband needed to return to work this week and travels a lot. (I knew when he needed to be back on the road when I scheduled my surgery date.) I also started back to work today. Since I work from home when I'm not traveling and I have a sitting job, starting back today was fine.

I'm on my feet a lot more than I was, ...cooking, etc since I'm solo.
I slept very uncomfortably last night. When I slept on either side, it felt like my upper abs were twisted. Obviously due to the MR, but I'm not sure what I did to make it angry. And, I'm puffier than I was in the south region. And I felt all hormonal and weepy when I took my shower tonight.

I did sweep the front porch today because I was feeling antsy. I had hoped some fresh air would help. I'm going to ease back on my antsy-ness and see if that helps. ARG!

Happy and Not Happy.... (PO 25)

I'm so happy with my new shape and new BB! We planning a trip soon to a warm beach and I'm looking forward to swimsuit shopping! Cute bikini here I come! My new BB wants to be seen!

What I'm not as happy with though is I'm still oozing on the sides of the incision. Is it normal to still ooze at PO 25? I was doing scar therapy 101 up to about 5 days ago. I stopped because the ends became VERY raw feeling and sore. I thought I was overdoing scar therapy so I thought I should give it a rest. I have my next post-op scheduled for Wednesday (in 2 days), so I'll find out more then.

I still have some puffiness in the upper abs and in the pubic area. It's still a bit sore to put pressure on the pubic area. And I'm still tired. I don't usually nap and I'm taking a short nap most days. That could be because it's been cold and rainy lately, so I don't know.

As you can see in the photos taken today, I have a lot of wrinkling on the sides. Is that normal? The doctor said, per my request, he did not take the scar upwards, so it caused that. Looks like I'll need to get those touched up eventually. But, since I can hide those under a new bikini (WOHO!), so my only real complaint is the oozing and rawness.

I'll try to post again in 2 days after I have my next post-op.

Bikini update :) at 6 1/2 weeks PO

We are going on a beach vacation in a few weeks, so I was out bikini shopping this weekend. Here are few pics of my new bikini at 6 1/2 weeks post-op! Drain tube scars are still visible. My new BB is still healing, but is looking cute, I think. I like how my new tummy makes my breasts look larger. I'm a C cup, but they look even fuller since the surgery! The other cool thing about my tummy tuck results is that before the surgery, I had slight back rolls (mini back boobs) that I could not get rid with diet and exercise. I did not have lipo, only the TT and MR. The skin removal with the TT allowed the back skin to flatten. My back looks much better because of my TT even though I had no surgery in that area! It's like getting a 3-for-1 deal! :) I forgot to take a pic of my back. I'll include that pic in my next update. :) Now, I just need a tan to get rid of my winter pasty color so I look the part on the beach!
Rome Plastic Surgeon

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 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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Comments (25)

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Was scheduling with this PS fairly easy? I'm hoping to schedule my consultation, and if I am comfortable with him, my surgery, as quickly as possible.
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Absolutely GORGEOUS! And great on the BONUS result on your back. Be proud girl, you deserve to. Happy New Year with your new tummy ;-)
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You look great! But I would call your doc and ask him about the oozing. It seems that's not unusual and i think it happens to many people but it could also be a sign of infection- best to be safe .
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Thanks! I asked about it at my POA. I'm healing normally. The oozing is normal. Unfortunately, that means I still can't take a real bath or enjoy the hot tub. Since the oozing means there's still an opening, it could get infected if I did. So, I'm stuck with showers for another month.
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Oh good! Glad it was nothing. I much prefer showers to baths :) so I'm ok with docs orders of no baths yet.
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Congrats, looking good!!!!
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Looking good. How often were you doing scar therapy? What were you using? I rub 2x a day but if I'm too aggressive in the morning my scar can be sensitive when I got to it at night. Then I just run it on and skip the massage.
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I'm trying to massage my scar about 5-6x per day. I'm just using aleo right now. It's soothing.
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You look great. How are you feeling. My day is next week!
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Wow wow , lookin great! I red somewhere about u not having to wear a garment/binder either. I didn't have to either how weird is tat!
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You look great!
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Looking great chic!!!!
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I am so glad you are doing well, I am sure this next two weeks on your own will be a little tougher but it can only go up from here right? Glad you are doing well!!
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Thanks. Today is better. Still some weird sensations and hip pain, but each day is better. :)
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The two weeks home alone with the kids had been slow but okay. My kids are teens so they helped. None can drive yet, so I still needed to play chauffeur. :)
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I had a few of those days but it does get better as you ease back into your old patterns. Looking good!
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You and I have the exact same measurements! I am 4 weeks out and still have the same measurements. I don't care though because I look so much better in my clothes!! And you look awesome!
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Thanks! I'm going out tomorrow for the first real time (not counting when I had to keep my pants unzipped under my sweater). I'm looking forward to looking "girly" and not in yoga pants!
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It's an easy fix in the clinic, that's what I'm told. I already warned my doc I didn't want them. He joked with me and said he didn't want them either. Such a cool PS. Just sat beside me on the chair and was sooooo easy to talk to. He said if by chance that happened, which only happened once with him, it's a matter of snipping and tucking and a couple stitches. Your scar is beautiful though.
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Excellent posts...you really captured the days after well, thank you. You are already looking great, bet your final results will be SUPER. Take care and continued good healing.
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You look great.
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When is your sx date? You're starting off with an awesome body - can't wait to see your results!
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Thanks! I much happier with it now though. :) My surgery date was 11/21/2013. I'm now on Post-op Day 12. I posted Day 9 photos just now.
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Wow! Other than the height difference, our measurements are almost identical. That's so exciting as I see you've lost a couple inches off your hips already! Your tummy is nice and flat. Looks like you may end up with a dog ear? Your scar is nice and straight n low. Just like I want mine. I'll be following ur progress to see how I'm going to look as ur 2 weeks ahead. Thanks for sharing!
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Thanks! I'm very happy with how flat my tummy is and now my BB looks already! I'm not happy with how the ends of the incision turned out. Hopefully, time and scar therapy will improve that. I may need to get the ends touched up eventually.
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