Year and a half and no regrets!

My motivation in doing this was to look as active...

My motivation in doing this was to look as active and fit as I feel. I have worked out faithfully for over 20 years, through two pregnancies, one which was a twin pregnancy. I could never get my pre-twin abdomen back despite being a group fitness instructor for 20+ years, a recreational triathlete, physical therapist assistant and overall active person.

My TT was one week ago today and I am already...

My TT was one week ago today and I am already feeling prettty good. I had a full TT with an inverted T incision. My PS said I had a 2 cm diastatis recti above the umbilicus and 4 cm below from my twin pregnancy. I could always feel that separation at my belly button with my fingers doing ab exercises but was surprised it was so much! She had to do the T incision because I didn't have as much skin above the belly button to stretch down. It is very small, maybe 3/4" and I still have some stretch marks below the BB anyway. I'm very pleased with the result so far at day 7.

Immediately upon waking in recovery I just felt a little stinging sensation in my abdomen, but nothing terrible. For the first two days post op I took 2 Lortab every 4-5 hours, by POD 3 I was stretching it out to every 5-5.5 hrs and weaning down to one Lortab. By POD 4 I was down to one Lortab every 12 hours and switching over to Aleve. Now POD 7 and only taking Aleve and/or Tylenol. I think using ice packs a lot helped with the discomfort a lot. Really being bloated from constipation and the back muscle aches from being bent over were worse than the surgical pain for me. On POD 5 I had one drain removed and the other will likely be removed in two days. I am getting around better each day and standing a little taller. I think my experience in physical therapy has helped guide me through my recovery. I also have followed my PS instructions to the letter. As instructed, on my surgery day I got up 5 times after getting home, and 7 times each day thereafter. My PS wanted me to wait on a shower for a few days more than usual as I would follow up at POD 5 because I had surgery close to the weekend and live one hour away from her office. Showering does take a lot out of you for sure. I used my grandmas shower bench which has come in really handy for showering, dressing, putting on makeup, etc. I also used her rolling walker for a few days to help out with the back strain from walking so bent over. It's also been helpful to carry things on with a simple plastic grocery sack. I took a walk for about a block today and am making sure to rest and continue icing as well. I'm trying to be very cautious not to overdo it, as this is my nature. I don't want to prolong my recovery and want to get back to exercising ASAP, but following my PS plan exactly.

A few things that have been so helpful for me: Shower bench, reacher and walker from grandma (Don't buy, try to borrow as you'll only use them for a very short time) the compression garment from my PS (great abdominal support and keeps the edema down), ice packs, recliner and wearing loose sun dresses which was an idea I got from someone on this site.

POD 8: Really feeling my energy coming back both...

POD 8: Really feeling my energy coming back both yesterday and today. Did some errands today including a trip to Wal-Mart. Who knew pushing a cart with a sticky wheel would be so taxing on the abs?! Going to go lay down and ice the belly before kiddos get home from school. I think I stayed out of the CG a little too long yesterday and notice a bit more swelling today. Tried to get into some of my jeans, no go, too much swelling. I'll keep to the sun dresses. Starting to miss working out. Planning to start more moderate walking speed and distance next week. For now I guess my trip around the Super WM and the errands will have to do. Still very pleased with the overall process and results so far. Not sorry I did this one bit.

I forgot to mention my stats on my original post. I am 5' 4" and 142 lbs pre-surgery. Not planning to weigh myself anytime soon. Maybe when I'm back at the gym. I gained 25 lbs with my first pregnancy and 50+ with my twins. I stopped weighing at the 200 lbs mark and then went into labor 10 weeks early. I also forgot to mention that I have a super supportive husband, kids and parents who have helped me out a ton!

POD 9: Had second drain removed today. No pain...

POD 9: Had second drain removed today. No pain either time, just a weird pulling sensation. Also last of the steri-strips removed. The one hour drive back and forth to PS office, plus a trip to Kohl's and TJ Maxx was enough for one day. Tried on a size 6 dress and not only did it fit, it was a little roomy through the belly! I've never worn a size 6! I've always had to go up in size to accomodate my belly. Swim suit shopping is going to be fun next summer. Now time to rest and ice the belly.

POD 10: Yea, I overdid it a little the past two...

POD 10: Yea, I overdid it a little the past two days. By last night I was pretty uncomfortable with a lot of stretch and muscle soreness in the lower abdomen. Took a while to get comfortable to sleep. Still only on Aleve or Tylenol though. Took it easy last night and watched a movie. I've watched more movies in the past 10 days than I have in the past 2 years! My husband who is super supportive warned me not to worry about the house that has been getting messier by the day. He and the boys will do a thorough cleaning today as well as get the yard work done. I can just order everyone around. I will take it easy and do some paperwork for my new job starting Oct 1. And of course lots of ice and another movie tonight.

After my little shopping trip yesterday I realized that shopping is going to be so fun. I have held off on buying much because I want to wait for the swelling to go down before I get too excited. I also realized that I may need new workout clothes too. Fun! I've always been self conscious if I jump around too much in the group fitness classes I teach that my belly will show along with all the ugly stretch marks. No more! I'm also wondering how to address questions I will surely get from my classes about why I've been out for 5-6 weeks. A few of my close gym friends know I've been wanting this for a long time and no worries there but to my students who struggle to keep working out lose weight and be healthy, I don't want to seem like a fraud to them.

PO 2 weeks: I'm feeling pretty good, up and...

PO 2 weeks: I'm feeling pretty good, up and walking around the house, shopping and walked 2 miles today. Was fairly swollen at the end of the day but resting now and icing the belly. If I ice one to two times a day and just sit down for a while it seems to control the swelling pretty well. Spending a few hours out of the CG and also in some spanx. I am noticing some persistent swelling at the ends of my incision. I guess this is the dog ears thing others have talked about. The areas are still bruised and do seem to go up and down with the rest of the swelling so I'm hoping they will flatten out. Not going to obsess over it yet. I also have this funny bump above my belly button but it is really bruised so thinking that will go down eventually. Still feeling happy with my results.

3 weeks PO: Feeling great again after overdoing...

3 weeks PO: Feeling great again after overdoing it a bit last week. Had quite a bit of swelling around the lower abdomen and all along my incision. Rested a lot over the weekend and doing much better now. I think realizing that I'm only a few weeks out and that I still need to take time to rest each day is the key. I walked on the treadmill at a very slow pace, 2.3 mph, 10 min on the recumbent bike no tension and some biceps and triceps with 10 lbs. Kinda seems wimpy to write that down but it was great for my mental health to go to the gym and feel as if I'd done a work out. Resting now with an ice pack on the belly even though I don't feel tired at all. Trying to learn from my mistakes. I've added new pics. I think I'm seeing some ab definition peeking through and waist seems to be getting smaller. Still have that bruising and lump above the BB and the swelling at the ends of the incision. Going to ask my PS on Friday if this is the dreaded dog ears or if I just need to be patient. Wondering if my incision should have been extended a bit more. She's the expert, I need to trust her and again be patient, right?!

One month PO: I went back to work at a new job...

One month PO: I went back to work at a new job this week that isn't too strenuous. I sit, stand and walk around with very minimal lifting. The first two days I was exhausted after I got home. Today my energy was better and I went to the gym after and did 40 min on the spin bike with little resistance and walked for 15 min. It felt really good. I'm still swelling at the end of the day and it mostly settles around my incision and pubic area. I like to wear my CG at night because I like the support and it does a great job of getting the swelling down by morning. I might look into the Veronique Stage II. The Wal-Mart spanx I bought does a pretty good job but the crotch part is a pain to pull open for toileting. I'm always worried I'm going to wet myself! I'm down a whole size in pants and jeans and have managed to maintain my pre-TT weight with no exercise. Really trying to keep the calories in check and also eat as clean as possible. Wearning my work clothes is great. I even tucked in my shirt which I never do!!! I think I'm starting to see some muscle definition peeking through and I love it. It was so great to be in my gym clothes and not be so self concious of my belly rolling over the top of my bike shorts. In fact, I reached up several times from habit to pull them up to cover my belly and to my belly! I guess this will take a little getting used to. Saw my PS on Friday and she ok'd the slicone strips and I think they are already working to flatten out my scar. She did take note of my right side emerging dog ears. I didn't even say anything. She says we will watch it and if it doesn't improve as my swelling continues to go down she will revise the incision in the office. I see her again in December for follow up. I'm so happy I did this and am feeling great! Hope everyone is healing well!

6 weeks PO: Swell hell Monday evening. Think I...

6 weeks PO: Swell hell Monday evening. Think I went too long on Sunday without any compression on. Back in the post-op CG to sleep since, spanx at work and a few hours in the eve without anything. I guess I really need the compression. And honestly I don't mind, even like the damn thing if you can imagine! Taught my weight lifting and spin class last night with spanx on. Went up to 10 lbs on the bar and 10 lbs dumbells for arms. Did more squats and lunges than last week, arms, very easy crunches and coached the class through the rest. Spin for an hour with flat to slight incline tension and out of the saddle a little. Felt so good not to have my knees beating up on my belly anymore in aero position!

Ran for 3/3/4 min and walked the rest for a mile. Other than some mild muscle and skin stretch sensations, no big deal. I think the endurance is not completely lost! Best belly jiggling!!!

I guess I'm staying attached to the CG and spanx for a while. I just seem to do better as far as the swelling goes so I'll just go with it! CG at night and spanx alternating without anything during day and working out. Hope the workout details arn't obnoxious. I know I would have been eating it up if someone had posted theirs ahead of me and my healing. Exercise is my drug! You runner/triathlete freaks understand right?!

Happy healing to all and best to those ready to come out on the flat side!

PO 7 weeks: Energy for everyday life is great. ...

PO 7 weeks: Energy for everyday life is great. Still swelling in my lower abdomen and around incision if no compression. Gets pretty hard and tight. Gradually ramping up the exercise and it feels good. Less tightness overall as my activity increases. The lower part of my T scar is pretty hard and kinda thick. Really think the silicone strips help and have been using the Scar Away silicone roller to massage it. My BB continues to draw inward as my swelling goes down. Although the dog ears don't show up in my pics, I think they are getting worse as the swelling goes down. My PS said she'll revise it if needed. I'm really happy with the whole thing. The recovery has not been bad at all, much better than I could have imagined. For kicks and giggles I thought I'd post a picture of me 6 months pregnant with twins, that's right six, not nine. Yes I got much bigger. No wonder I had a 4 cm diastasis! Happy healing and best to those waiting and getting ready to go flat!

PO 8+ weeks: Daily energy is totally back to...

PO 8+ weeks: Daily energy is totally back to normal and I'd say as far as spin class and weights go I'm at 85% pre-TT. The running is coming along slowly though. Although I'd planned to take a break from lots of endurance work and focus on strength post-TT and this is my usual routine after my race season is over, its going a little slower than I thought. After 10-12 min of running my lower abdomen gets so hard and tight and I have to stop and walk it out. Oh well I'll just keep at it and hopefully I'll be able to start putting the miles back on after the New Year. Got a Stage II Veronique and whoa is it tight! I alternate wearing it, spanx or nothing during the day depending on how much I'm on my feet and still wearing the Stage I to sleep in. I'm still getting that lower abdomen swelling that settles along my incision and it feels so tight at the end of the day so I'll just keep on with the compression and slowly wean off of it. BB is starting to pull in a bit and looking more normal depending on swelling. Going to try the marble trick and will post on how it goes.

It's been a while since I've been on but between...

It's been a while since I've been on but between work, the holidays, getting back to life and no big changes I thought it wasn't really worth it. I saw my PS two weeks ago and have scheduled my scar revision for the "dog ears." You really can't see them in any of the pics but they have continued to hang around even as the swelling has gone down. Speaking of the swelling...I still have some that settles in low and along my incision especially if I am on my feet most of the day. Exercising now seems to actually help move it and running especially now is helping to stretch my belly out. It is still so stinking tight in the middle from the belly button down.

As far as the exercise goes I'm doing everything I was doing before except still not going 100% at abs as far as reps and weight go. One thing that's been bugging me is that I've gained some weight. Between hitting the weights more, too many holiday treats and not being able to do the amount of cardio I was pre-surgery for 6 weeks, 8 really, I've packed on a good 9 lbs. I'm very frustrated but am getting back on track and my goal is to be back to pre-surgery weight of 142 lbs by Feb 11 when I get my scar revision.

I'm still very pleased with my results and happy I did this. There have definitely been some ups and downs that I didn't expect through this process but all in all, I would do it again. I'm still finding myselft tugging at my exercise tops to pull them down to cover up the belly out of habit. I think that habit will take a while to get out of. It is still strange sometimes to get a glimpse of myselft with a flat tummy, realize it's me and smile. Happy healing to all!

I've been so busy with a new job, family and just...

I've been so busy with a new job, family and just getting back to life. I had a down patch during the holidays. I had maintained my pre-TT weight up to the 6 weeks post and then started to gain when I couldn't get back to my usual routine of running, cycling and weights. I think I hit the weights too hard as well as the holiday treats! I started to wonder if I had done the right thing. Then as I was able to pick up on the running and had my dog ears taken care of at the end of February. I'm back to my usual routine now and the extra weight is coming off. I'm within 4-5 pounds of pre-TT weight and really starting to see some ab definition. I'm feeling really good with the exception of still having some minor swelling down around my T incision and still super tight in the same area. Every time I do abs I still get really sore, like out of proportion sore for what I do. Overall it's getting better and better. I just figured out yesterday that I could tolerate lying on my belly and am doing some stretching that way which helps a lot. I am still happy I did this but I think having a very clear idea that although you will improve dramatically, it may not be exactly the way you thought. For example, I now end up with fat depositing over my front hip bones very easily and have to watch this close. I don't get it down the middle so it can make for a muffin top in front really quick. I also think you have to realize that although you know you are trading off loose baggy skin and even a lot of stretch marks, you have a big scar. I felt like a patched up person for a while and had to come to terms with my new "Franken-belly." It is definitely not all roses. I'm in a really good place and seeing good results with hard work. One member got a lot of flack for posting her not so positive experience and I think its really important to think this through from every angle. Overall I'm really pleased and am off to go surf the web for some bikinis!

Almost a year and a half and no regrets!

Had a friend about to get her TT and told her about the site so I thought I should update. I'm very pleased with the final outcome. I'm in my shed-the-winter-weight mode and my results would look a little better if I were down about 5 lbs. My only regret is maybe not getting a little flank lipo or just keeping my weight better in check year round as I tend to get a muffin top over my hips and flank that I didn't have before. It's like there is no where for the fat to go in front. That is a small thing though and looking back at my pre-TT pictures makes me very happy with where I am at now. When I ride my bike, my knees no longer hit my belly, I no longer get sweat marks under my belly and hips and am more confident with how I look. My core is so much stronger and when I go to Cross Fit I get compliments on how strong my abs are when we are doing planks and toes to bar exercises. I still haven't found the guts to wear a bikini in public, maybe this summer!
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (84)

Sort by

Hey TT. Good to hear from you. I only log on once every three months too. I'm busy with kids, work, and home also. Anyways you look great!!! Those last 5 pounds are so hard. I also let myself go towards the end of 2013. Since the New Year, I've been in crazy exercise mode. I lost 5 pounds and now I'm at a plateau, so I've increased the frequency, duration, and intensity of my workouts. I'll take some new pics in a few weeks. I hope you update your profile when you reach your goal body/weight too. All the best to you.
  • Reply
Hi TT. Hope things are going well. Just wanted to ask you something. Have you found that after the TT you are more proned to lower extremity swelling? I have been exercising like crazy, and have noticed that I have ankle swelling at the end of the day. I think the lymphatic system has been disrrupted and that's why I'm seeing that. Just wondering if you're experiencing the same. All the best to you. I will post my 6 month pics in 2 weeks (April 19 will be exactly 6 months). Time flies.....
  • Reply
No lower extremity swelling but I will still get lower abdomen swelling if I don't watch my sodium. I also have had to cut back on caffeine, can only have it in the morning or I notice it. Are you still pretty tight? I mean, I'm not bent over tight but my lower ab skin around my T incision still feels very adhered down. I am religious with the massage and all the other skin has softened and has a normal feel to it. Best to you too and can't wait to see your updated pictures.
  • Reply
Sorry I didn't reply before. Just saw your comments today. Over the course of the 1st year, my abdominal skin got laxed. At the 1 year mark, I had my scar revised. When the T was removed, the PS removed skin and stitched the top and bottom flaps together. After the revision, I feel relatively tight again.
  • Reply
You look great! I can't wait until I am 6 months PO :)
  • Reply
Thanks so much. It gets a little better day by day.
  • Reply
  • Reply
I don't come to site very often anymore, but when I do, I always look for people who had their TT at about the same time as me. Time sure flies by. This week will be 5 months PO for me. I agree with everything you said (above) about how a TT can only do so much. You've got to protect your investment by continuing to eat healthy and working out. My wgt is about the same as pre-TT, but I've dropped down 1 pants size (2P to 0P). Doing a lot of cardio as always, but my goal for this year is to do more strength training, which I feel I was lacking before. I don't think I need to lose weight. I just need to tighten up my body. Your latest pictures look great. Glad to see you're doing well. I'll post next month, when I'm 6 months PO. Take care.
  • Reply
I wonder sometimes if I should have went ahead with a little lipo but overall I really am happy. I WILL get back to my pre-TT weight. Only a few pounds to go. I am really happy with the definition that's coming out in my abs and I went ahead and bought a bikini to celebrate! Looking forward to your 6 month pics!
  • Reply
When you say it will change your shape, do you mean the scar? I know i don't like my extra skin and wrinkly belly button but (sorry to say this) i look fantastic otherwise and dressed and not bending over not bad at all so changing my shape, or my physical condition for the worse just to look better in a bikini (i'm not sure about naked with the scar).... I'm so torn about this.
  • Reply
When I put on some weight after it went straight to my sides and flanks, nothing down the middle where I used to gain more evenly around my waist and hips. And at first due to the MR I thought my abs would never show again cause I was pulled so tight like a corset was on me. Things are starting to relax a bit now and abs are perking through. You really have to decide if the trade off with saggy stretched out skin for a scar is worth it. I'm definitely happy I did it but I didn't turn out exactly like I thought. But, I'm still hoping for some improvement. My PS says one year is usually the final result
  • Reply
Thanks for posting at your 6 months mark. I am 8 weeks PostOp and can't wait to get there. I have been able to sleep on my side at about 5 weeks and my on my stomach since about 6.5 weeks. I have not however started an exercise program as of yet. Please post some updated pics. You looked great at the 2 week PostOp mark; would love to see how far you have come.
  • Reply
The last 4 pics are new at 6 month mark
  • Reply
Completely understand what you mean about the fat depositing else where. Mine goes to my love handles so i have to be really careful that i don't over indulge too much. I'm still swelling too on left side. Glad to hear you are doing well xx
  • Reply
You look great! Dog ear is an easy fix. Are you gonna get that done in the office?
  • Reply
Yes, in the office. Have you had it done? I'm scheduled for Jan 28th. I've gained some weight and worried I won't get as good as a result. I may reschedule if I am not on the way back to pre-TT weight.
  • Reply
Looks great I totally don't see a dog ear in the pic that bulge looks like your hip bone but I know things can look different in person!
  • Reply
Thanks again! I agree, the pics don't really do the doggy ears justice. They are two little blobs over my hip bones. It's weird to feel too. The middle is flat and hard still and then I can pinch an inch or two over the hips. I go back and forth thinking maybe if I'd had lipo it wouldn't have done this, who knows?!
  • Reply
You look fantastic! X
  • Reply
Your results are so encouraging for someone like me 2 days PO!!! Look great!
  • Reply
I swear I replied to say thanks before but I think sometimes when I try on my phone it doesn't work. So thanks to you Mama and bags and shoes!! You two both look great as well. Happy healing!!!
  • Reply
Are you sure that bulge on your side is a dog ear & no just selling? I'm mean what makes you think it's a dog ear?
  • Reply
My PS noticed at my 2nd PO visit but wanted to watch it. They have persisted so she said she would revise. I know it's nearly impossible to tell but looking down on them from my point of view it looks like my hip bones stick way out. It will mean a bigger scar but I'm ok with that
  • Reply
I asked because I have that weird hump on my left hip. I always thought dog ears flaps on skin, not the bump thingy. It's not extremely pronounced and I can only see it from one angle. When I turn to the side and look back at my self I can see that ridge just above the incision line. I'll have to talk to my PS about it, I see Jan 4th. I'm not sure it is worth a longer scar on one side from me tho. But, thanks for opening my eyes....I really had no idea that what I had could be a dog ear.
  • Reply
Looking good......Happy Holidays to you TT !!!
  • Reply