Almost 7 weeks post op - loving tummy more than ever Salisbury UK

I am writing this to remind myself how incredibly...

I am writing this to remind myself how incredibly lucky I am!
I had a full tummy tuck with MR on 1st March 2013, so am just over 4 weeks on the flat side.


I have spent my whole life overweight, losing a bit, gaining a bit, but last year, I finally got to around 140 lbs, down from a heaviest of 260 lbs, through a combination of exercise and weight watchers over 4 years.


However, although I was feeling incredibly positive about being a normal weight, I had this horrible hanging down tummy that served as a constant reminder of how miserable I had been for most of my life. I wanted that sad woman gone from me, so I could move on with the rest of my life.


My doctor was incredibly sympathetic, and I was fortunate enough to be accepted for surgery on the NHS, which meant I was placed on a waiting list, and almost a year later, I had my tummy tuck.


My surgeon has done an amazing job, but because of how the NHS works, I can't just phone her up if I have a question so everyone's experiences here on real self have been helping me through my recovery.


I am so happy with my new tummy and belly button. I look in the mirror and cannot believe that is me, and all physical traces of the sadness I carried around with me for nearly 40 years have actually gone.


However, I am starting to go stir crazy after 4 weeks with no exercise (I used to run about 25 miles a week and see a trainer pre-surgery) and no work (I have a 2 hour commute each way, so am not quite ready for that). I am actually talking aloud to myself now, and that way crazy lies!


So this review is to remind myself how lucky I am, how hard I worked for this, and how my whole life is waiting for me, just need to be patient for another week or so!

Was very excited at the weekend as finally six...

Was very excited at the weekend as finally six weeks post op, and so could go for a run. In fact, got carried away and did 3 miles Saturday and Sunday, despite the awful British weather. Swelling no worse than usual, and I can't wait until I can go further.

Still love the tummy, but the ends of the scar are really sore sometimes. Any one else get this? Am not sure how to treat scar and it's still a few weeks until I see my PS again, so any ideas gratefully received.

Went to a huge work expo this week and saw lots of people I hadn't seen in a long time who made me blush a lot with their compliments about how fabulous I was looking. To be honest, I had poured myself into my slinkiest dress in the brightest colour possible so everyone would notice me and my fab new shape. Turns out I am not so shy and retiring after all.

Also got my first bikini. I love it so much. Have no idea when I'll wear it, as it always rains in England and I never go on beach holidays, but I'm 40, and flat and thin for the first time in my entire life, so I am ruddy well going to have a bikini if I want one. Even if I only wear it to watch TV.

A dispute with a friend has made this week a bit stressful, so I have been turning to food a bit too much to comfort myself, which I really want to stop because as much as I love my tummy tuck, I don't want to have to have another one any time soon!

I have been trying to keep positive this week, but...

I have been trying to keep positive this week, but my swell hell has been making it really difficult. I look as if I am carrying around a watermelon, which is so not hot.

I don't know if it's just time of the month combining with increased exercise, but I just hope it goes soon. I'm pretty sure it's not a seroma as there are no waves of liquid and it's fairly even spread across my entire abdomen.

But yeah, I have the blues. Hopefully my upcoming weekend in Paris will chase those blues away! At least I'll be swollen eating crepes and drinking fine wine.

After forcing my friend to watch me repeatedly tap...

After forcing my friend to watch me repeatedly tap my tummy in Paris, I convinced myself I must have some sort of seroma so I finally got round to calling the hospital yesterday and got to see my surgeon today. Turns out I do have a seroma but nothing bad enough to need draining, thank goodness.

Then she dropped the bombshell that in her opinion, I should not be running or doing any exercise that involves 'jiggling' for another couple of months, because that's probably what has caused the severe level of trampoline tummy I have had permanently for the last week.

I'm afraid to say I actually had to hold back tears at this point. I adore running. It has made me happy to start again, albeit for shorter distances, and it helps keep me slim and sane, both things I struggle with in life.

But trying not to get too down about it. I will have to learn to stop stuffing my face, and to love cycling, and power walking, for a while at least. In a few months time, when my tummy is looking mighty fine, I'll be glad I did what I was told.

For the last 3 weeks I have been permanently...

For the last 3 weeks I have been permanently swollen, and it's really starting to mess with my head. It's uncomfortable and in clothes looks nearly as bad as it did before the tummy tuck. In fact, this week I have actually been regretting having the op for the first time. I've put on weight cos I've pretty much been banned by my surgeon from exercise, and keep eating cos I'm depressed.

It genuinely feels like it will never go down. Anyone else completely swollen week after week?
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Hey! I am 8 weeks post op and can completely sympathise with you! The swelling over the last two weeks has been a nightmare! And yes, it does mess with your head! Mine is that bad I can gain 5lbs in the space of 12 hours... and it really does hurt. I know it is a combination of swelling and the body healing - I only had muscle repair to the lower abs, but nevertheless, it is still a pain and yes, it gets me down too! I haven't returned to full exercise because I am so tired, do you feel the same? Hopefully things will get better over the next couple of weeks for both of us... chin up and all that xx
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Just wondering: Are you certain that the seroma you reported has gone away? My wife developed a seroma @ +4 weeks and her main symptoms were feeling very uncomfortable, especially with exercise and swelling that made her appear ~5 months pregnant. What happened after that is a story too long to post here but after each of the many ultrasound-guided drainings she would feel better for up to 7 days and the the chronic seroma would fill back up and she would feel really uncomfortable again. The swelling centered beneath the abdominal scar but spread out to ~15 cm and the swelling "rippled" like a wave as it was pressed on any edge. An abdominal ultrasound showed clearly that a pocket of fluid was beneath the skin. I am NOT saying you are swollen and in pain because of a seroma, but your description sounds like what we expierenced. Good Luck to you!
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This made me smile as I was convinced I had a seroma, surgeon not convinced anything serious so tried to drain in two areas and got hardly anything out!! I watched for waves and was sure I saw them but now think it was just tapping soooo hard I made the other side wobble! Pleased your doing well, I'm the same about the gym, I feel fatter although at Pre op weight and a fatter tummy!! Just going to have to wait I guess and like you watch my weight. Take care :)
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I meant "flatter tummy, LOL!
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A weekend in Paris should be just what the doctor ordered to chase those blues away...Enjoy and strut your stuff...
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You look great! Congrats on the massive weight loss! Iswelled quite a bit out to fourteen weeks or so...you are almost halfway there!
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Thanks for letting me know this. I am not patient at the best of times, but it's uplifting to know that the end is in sight!
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Hello!!!! Your updated pics you look lovely!!! Beautiful!!! Fabulous starts at 40!!!! ;-) You are quite the brave one, taking a run in that weather! England has been really dreary this past month how has the last week been? I'm still very sore on the inside (nothing like the first 2 wks ) as well the muscle spasms in my tummy upon getting up! You should plan a Holiday to Spain or somewhere warm!!!! You deserve it & you have ZERO stretch marks!! Keep in touch! xxxxxxxxxx
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Thank you so much. The bikini pics will go up as soon as swell hell ends. And there are still some stretch marks, trust me! At the moment, I'm even huge first thing in the morning, so I don't want to take any pics. But weather has meant running nicer, so maybe I've overdone that. Hope your muscle spasms die down soon. I still get some twinges, but apart from the swelling (did I mention that?) I still love it.
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WTG!!!! You look absolutely fabulous!!!! Great surgeon!!! Where is a picture of you in that bikini ;-) xxxx
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you look really good...and so well deserved...you have done an excellent job of losing weight...
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Thanks Sarav59. As have you. I checked out your review. Your tummy looks fabulous and your new shape is really wonderful.
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You look fab, also had mine on NHS for similar reasons, was 241 and Pre op 148. I stayed in 48 hrs but could have stayed longer. I have to say they were amazing and I still feel supported as can go straight back to the ward I was on via A&E or phone and then go straight to the plastics department. I'm having a dressing change at hospital on Fri so 10DPO and then see the surgeon again 8 weeks post op unless I need to sooner. Not sure if I have stitches to take out, guess i will find out in Friday!!! Take care. Xx
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Thanks Nennie. Bet you're excited about seeing what's under your dressings (I know I was).
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Hi Luckyginger, yes will be great, had a couple of short glimpses when the PS team came round in the mornings. Im at hospital Friday and ghe funny thing is I Know it's to check dressings (will be 9 DPO) but don't even know if I have stitches to take out or dissolvable ones?? Wow your exercising early, good for you!! My surgeon says no exercise till he's seen me at 8 weeks PO!! You do look great, I'm very happy for you. :)
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Congratulations Luckyginger, I am intrigued with how the British National Health Service cares for post-surgical patients. How often have you been evaluated by a surgeon after your surgery? If you had developed an incision infection or an abdominal seroma swelling, how would you have gotten "urgent care?" How are you dealing with your incision and stitch removal? What are your instructions on any compression garment and what are you told about increasing your activity? How will you treat your scar? I would think you would be cleared to walk reasonable distances.
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Hello Meyerjr, and thanks so much for the response. I spent 4 days in hospital after the op. I basically wasn't discharged until the drains could be removed, which a nurse did. There were no stitches that needed to be removed - I guess they were all dissolvable. During this time in hospital, my surgeon saw me twice, and ofherwis nurses took care of me. I'm very grateful that's how it works here as I think I underestimated how big an operation it is, even though everyone told me! I did get instructions on showering and leaving the tape on my incision and what to look out for before leaving. I had another post op with the surgeon on day 10. Unfortunately, my next one isn't until week 10, and there are lots of niggly questions such as how long to wear the binder, when can I have a bath, what shall I put on the scar etc, that I didn't think to ask beforehand and that I have had to look up on Real Self. And I had no idea how different a 'bit of swelling' could be from actual swell hell! However, if an emergency had occurred, I could see my family doctor, I could go to the emergency room and I do have phone numbers for the plastic surgery ward and outpatients clinic so I could easily arrange an urgent appointment with someone on the plastic surgery team at the hospital, although possibly not my actual surgeon. I would definitely be taken care of if something went wrong. So there is aftercare available, but not a lot of personal handholding by your actual surgeon, although I will probably see her twice more (at 10 weeks, and 6 months, when she will check if revisions are necessary). She is fantastic, and very thorough, but I didn't choose her. It was luck, although most of the surgeons on the NHS are excellent. I love the results of the surgery so much, and how much better I feel about the way I look that I would recommend it to anyone.
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