28 Years Old, 2 Kids Via C-section, Extra Skin and Fat on Lower Abdomen Below BB -- Need Tummy Tuck W/ No Muscle Repair! - CA

I did it - I booked a mini tummy tuck for May 6th...

I did it - I booked a mini tummy tuck for May 6th - I actually booked it 3 weeks ago and I've been trying to find the time to sit down and start my post on here, but with a 4 year old little boy and 9 week old little girl finding 30 minutes of quiet time to sit here and write has been a challenge. But what better way to spend a Saturday night? :)

I am 5'3 and right now at a post-partum weight of 155lbs. With my son I gained nearly 50lbs (I was right at 200lbs on the day of my c-section,) and with my daughter (my latest pregnancy) I only gained 25lbs - I was 186 the day I delivered her. The weight came off much faster, and I am now 6lbs below my pre pregnancy weight. But my midsection just will.not.go.away.

At week 5 post partum I went and met with Dr. Alavi in San Diego at the recommendation of a friend of a friend. I told him that I had gone for a consult on a full TT years ago, but after researching the procedure and recovery time, didn't feel like it was the right option for me. And, even now - I don't want my muscles touched. I just want that pesky line of fat, and extra skin -- GONE. He agreed that I am a perfect candidate for a mini tuck with no muscle revision. During this initial consult I asked the doctor where a mini TT fell on the pain scale of 1-10 in comparison to that of a c-section. He rated the mini tt w/ no muscle repair at a 2-3 whereas a c-section he rated a 8-9. My first c-section was hellacious, so I am familiar with horrendous abdominal pain due to major surgery. I am hoping that this mini tuck really does stay on the lower end of the pain scale :)

I should mention that I had a breast augmentation in 2010 w/ silicone implants and so far, that was the best money I've ever spent and the procedure was a breeze. I am so excited to now have a gorgeous tummy to show off with the augmentation and finding the perfect bikini - after all these years of hiding in tankinis and spanx!

I'll update a few photos, and I'll be sure to check in and post as much as I can. From my research so far, it's nearly impossible to find other women who have had only a mini TT with no muscle revision, without having some kind of lipo, belly button restructure, etc. Obviously, my situation may change at my next pre-op appointment (scheduled for 4/29) so I'll be sure to update then!

So disgusted that I'm even posting these "before" pictures...but I know it will help me monitor my post-op progress.

Pre-Op Appt Today!

I have my pre-op appointment at noon today, and I'm so excited/nervous/i don't know what the emotion is!

I have my list of questions ready for the doctor - hope he's ready for that assault! Haha ... I need to get off youtube and stop watching these procedures; I'm totally psyching myself out.

I will be sure to update after my appointment today :)

well here we go...

I had my pre-op appointment today and now I am more nervous than ever. The doctor said he will be removing my csection scar but everything will still be hidden by a bathing suit or panties. No showering for 2 days after surgery and I will have drains for 3 to 5 days. I did opt to add lipo to the lower abdomen and sides...because I hate the thought if being put under again at a later date. I got all of my prescriptions today, and I will also have a post op appointment the day after surgery. I am scared to death but also so excited. Doctor said I could be back to driving as soon as 5 days after surgery and all of the sutures are internal to minimize scarring. He estimates I should be back to riding my horses within 4 weeks. They said to sleep in as much of a V position as possible so I have my snoogle pregnancy pillow ready to assist me. I hope I am over thinking this and truly planning for the worst. Tuesday will be here before we know it!!

More thoughts...

In other consultations I previously had for full tucks and mini tucks the doctors did suggest that I have lip done on my "love handles" and lower abdomen. I've always been terrified of lip though, after watching my friends recovery process (over 5 years ago). After meeting with Dr. Alavi yesterday, he said he would highly recommend the lipo procedure to get the instant, exact results I wanted and avoid a second procedure down the road. Dr. Alavi explained to me the procedure behind power liposuction and that the instrument they use for the lipo is as small as the tip of a pen and the recovery is minimal compared to what I saw my friend go through just five years ago. He said he had 5 lipo procedures scheduled yesterday afternoon alone, and all 5 patients were planning to go back to work on Friday. Now, the doc knows I'm in the medical field and can't be BSd about expectations, pain, and recovery time...

I've taken 5 years to actually decide to go through with the tummy tuck - so I was really surprised with myself when I decided on-the-spot to go through with the lipo. I figure since I'll already be down and in bed recovering from the tuck, might as well also recover from the lipo.

The doctor also gave me arnica montana which is a natural supplement used to help in healing and with bruising - I'm to start that on Sunday, and continue until gone (probably about a weeks worth). I'm super anxious about it all, but really looking forward to getting it done, having it behind me and on the path to recovery :)

Any one else have this power lipo procedure?

Wired

I am absolutely wired tonight -- just about 36 hours until my surgery. I have two children - a 4 year old little boy from a previous marriage, and a 3 month old little girl, with my husband (we have been married two years). I have 50/50 custody of my 4 year old little boy, and tonight I dropped him off to be with his dad (we exchange custody every Sunday evening). Tonight was hard for my little man for some reason - he just did NOT want to go with his dad, which got my emotions to skyrocket. Ever since I got home at 7pm from dropping him off I've just been in an emotional funk, and thinking non-stop about this darn surgery!

I just want to get through it, and be home on Tuesday afternoon in my bed (I don't even care if I'm in pain - at least I know I'l have made it through). Plus, I don't even expect Tuesday to be all that bad since I will have had the IV of pain meds during surgery.

I picked up a CG today from Walmart that a fellow TT'er suggested -and it also has an optional cooling layer to it (you can put it in the freezer and then layer it in later) - which might be good as healing progresses. I am also waiting to see if I should order the one from victoria's secret that so many others have also liked. It's just all a lot of unknowns right now.

So here it is 1030, and my daughter has been asleep for nearly two hours, same with my husband...and I'm just here being a worry a wart. Husband takes phenomenal care of me when I am recovering from surgery (I know, since I had a c-section with my daughter) and he is an absolute natural at handling the baby - so I am not worried about that aspect at all. I guess I am just worried about the outcome of the surgery - where my scar will be, what will healing be like, will i have massive swelling, etc etc.

Ugh, I need to go close my eyes and knock of this crazy talk! I will post some pre-op pics tomorrow.

here we go

Hubby is currently driving me to San Diego for the big day! I chatted with the anesthesiologist last night, and she answered a lot of my questions and put me at ease a bit. She said she's had csections and a tummy tuck and found over all the recovery for the tuck was easier. She also said I could take a Xanax this morning if I felt anxiety, so I did because I am a hot mess. Just the normal range of emotions: why did I sign I up for this? I have two kids that need me, what if something happens? What if I don't like the end results? I just need to quiet those voices in my head and focus on getting home after surgery and healing. I got my bed all set up for my return home --plenty of pillows, an old beach towel to catch any drainage, a step stool to get me up there and all my meds with bottles of water on the night stand. I'm not sure I could be any more prepared. We just dropped the baby off with my best friend...And hit the highway. I'll try to post this afternoon but no promises! Here goes nothing...

Day 1 Post-Op

Sorry I didn't post yesterday - we didn't get home until nearly 530 (I live about an hour-hour and a half from the surgeons office) and I was so out of it on pain killers and wanted nothing more than to crawl into my bed and pass out, and that's what I did.

The pain is totally manageable! I got home around 530, took a norco and slept until about 730. My husband brought me dinner in bed, and we watched some TV - I was dozing in and out until about 9 when we turned out the lights and called it a night. I was up to use the bathroom probably 4 times last night, from all the IV fluids they give you. But I was able to get myself up and to the bathroom and back in bed alone...didn't want to wake the hubby since he was already on baby duty with our 3 month old. This morning I woke up stiff (sleeping upright has never been my thing) and just really exhausted today from all the trauma to my body -but really I expected it to be way worse.

I had some nausea this morning - thought I wanted coffee, but my body definitely did not. I was able to eat a blueberry eggo waffle and a banana and kept it down just fine. We went to my first post-op appointment at 1030 and all I have to say is...WOW.

I never dreamed my stomach would look this good on day 1 after surgery. I'm still swollen (obviously) and I also had lipo to my flanks and abdomen. I will say that the lipo areas are what hurts the most. The doctor said everything looks fantastic (and I agree!) but due to the volume of fat and tissue removed I'll have to have my drains until next Tuesday. I'm ok with that - I rather have them and not need them, then need them and not have them.

We are now back from the doctor, and I'm having a bowl of soup and catching a nap. Somehow I also managed to get a cold and feels like ear infection, but since I'm already on a z-pak for post op antibiotics (I have a penicillin allergy) that should help resolve that issue, too.

I don't go back to the doctor until Tuesday -he said just to continue resting, walking around the house every few hours, and be diligent about my pain meds. So far, so good...and based on today's picture I am THRILLED I went through with the procedure :)

this flippin binder

At my post op appointment today the doctor looked me over and also gave me the foam board for my belly, then wrapped me back up in the binder. But when he wrapped me he moved the cg lower and so now it's rubbing on my drains...agony. I tolerated it for 5 hours but just had to undo the darn thing for a 5 minute break. I also let 5 hours go by between pain pills so I'm paying for that now. Need to get this under control so i can sleep tonight!

one day down

I'm all tucked into bed with 6 pillows, my favorite dog and an ice pack for my lower back. This is probably the most comfortable I've been all day. Falling behind on my pain meds earlier was a huge mistake, and I have to be more conscious of that. I ended up taking a zofran for nausea tonight too, as I couldn't shake the nausea from both the intense pain and large dose of meds. I also put an old sock on either side of my hips so that that cg isn't directly irritating the drains. That has helped a lot. Off to get some rest... tomorrow I get to shower!

day 2

Today is day 2 post op & I got to take a shower. Yay! I slept really well and woke up feeling great. An ice pack on my back last night really helped me to fall asleep. I did a few dishes this morning and fed the dogs - wanted to let hubby sleep a bit since he's been waiting on me hand and foot and caring for our daughter. Good man he is!

After I rested fora bit he got me in the shower and redressed. I needed to wash my hospital CG, so I'm using one from Wal-Mart that I bought but it's not tight enough. Hubby is going to pick up a smaller one for me later.

I've been battling nausea all morning and finally just succumbed to a bout of vomiting. Not fun with abdominal stitches and drains. I am chalking it up to the nasty post nasal drip i have and Crap I'm coughing up. I hope the antibiotic helps to address that soon too.

I will feel better once I get the tighter CG on. I'm starting to see a little more swelling than yesterday but I know that's normal.

For now I'm posted up in bed with one of my four dogs and my cat that won't leave me alone!

pic of CG

Here's the CG I'm using as back up when my hospital one is in the wash!

Need a break

Need a break from the compression garment... Noticed I had some extra swelling on the right side where it seemed the foam was smushing fluid. I called my doctor and they said it's normal, and if I want I can move the foam over so it's directly applying pressure to the area of concern and also directing the fluid towards the drain. I can notice a difference after just a few hours. Im starting to get a little stir crazy, and I have drains till Tuesday so I'm pretty much housebound until then. I haven't been able to nap at all today (probably why the day went by so slowly) so hopefully I'll get some good sleep tonight. I stayed up on my meds, but have next to no appetite... I ate a decent amount of pineapple as it helps with bruising, hydration and is a source of fiber. I miss holding my baby, but luckily she's a daddys girl too so doesnt seem like it's bothering her too much. Not much else to report, which I suppose is a good thing. Back to watching the NFL draft with hubby... Yay ;)

out of the house :-)

Talked hubby into taking me out for breakfast! I'm able to hide my drains in a large maxi dress I wore throughout my pregnancy. Feeling really good today! I'll be feeling like a new woman once these drains are out on Tuesday :)

Day 4 Post-Op

I woke up so uncomfortable this morning - I must be walking/sleeping right because my back muscles hurt so bad this morning, I had to take a pain pill at 630am and sleep until 8am just to be able to get out of bed. Good grief!!

Once I did that though, I felt much better. Got up, had breakfast, and got myself showered alone without help - each day is definitely getting better. No major swell-ups, just a few minor areas on the sides where the foam board ends and fluid gets pushed between that and my CG. Like I said before, Once my drains come out I'll be able to wrap my CG lower and tighter to help smooth those areas out - and eventually wear the control shorts to wrap everything up nice and tight.

I read online that once you're draining less than 25ccs of fluid in a 24 hour period, the drains can come out. I am at that stage, so I am going to call my doctor on Monday morning first thing and BEG for them to squeeze me in for a drain removal that day. Waiting until Tuesday afternoon just sounds like plain misery lol.

Anyone have feedback on what the drain removal feels like? Hopefully my doc will remove both sides at one time so it'll be quick and easy. Whatever- I just need to keep my eyes on the prize and think how good it'll feel to not have these "dingleberries" (as my husband affectionately calls them) to tote around any more :)

quick picture

Taking a quick CG break so snapped a pic. Really pleased with how everything looks and feels so far!

Doc called to check on me, and I complained about the drains. He said I'm right on target for healing if they're driving me crazy ;)

6 Days out

Hi all -- to all the mama's I've been talking to on here, I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day yesterday! I know I did (minus the drains, ha!)

So I am now 6 days post op, and I feel like today could be the day I could start to wean myself off the pain meds. The drains are really the most agony at the insertion point, and the drainage has really tapered off - less than 25cc per 24 hours. I'm not supposed to get them out until tomorrow afternoon, but I'm going to call this morning and see if they can squeeze me in for a removal. Probably not, but it's worth a try. Yes, I'm that uncomfortable.

Yesterday I took two naps -healing really is exhausting! I also sat by the pool a little bit with my daughter and watched my husband and son swim. Some vitamin D from the sun felt good, and so did the fresh air. Probably why I slept so well last night!

I had a little bit of swelling yesterday afternoon, but nothing too crazy. I also drank a ton of water yesterday (probably around 48-60oz) to help flush the water weight. I just can't wait until I can get these drains removed and start wearing better, more comfortable compression garments!

I go back to work a week from today after having nearly 4 months off for maternity leave. I work from home though doing a desk job, so I should be fine. All the more reason to get off the hard meds as soon as possible so I can think clearly! :)

YAY!

Called the doctor, and we discussed the minimal drainage output over the past 36 hours and he said he could squeeze me in at 1230 today to pull the drains. Thank goodness!!

New woman!

I got the drains out today...and I feel a MILLION times better!! The left drain site was always more irritable, and that side was much more difficult during removal, but after a quick 5 minute exercise of deep breaths and the doctor pulling the drains out, it's done. And I seriously feel a million times better.

I got a strict lecture from the doctor about the importance of wearing my CG as tight as possible all the time for the next to weeks - I'm allowed to take it off when I shower (obviously) and then for a 5 minute break in the morning and 5 minute break in the evening. He said it needs to be as tight as possible to ensure no further fluid accumulates - otherwise it has to be drained with a large needle (using scare tactics to make sure I adhere to the CG rules, lol).

I may have a bunch of tattoos, but I HATE needles so I will be wearing this CG faithfully! Now that the drains are out, the bottom of the CG is already much more comfortable.

Off to prep dinner... :)

8 Days post-op

Yesterday I had to listen to my body...I had all these great plans of straightening up the house, and going grocery shopping. I never left my bed. I woke up sore and swollen - so I took two tylenol, got my little boy ready for preschool carpool, and put myself back to bed. I literally laid in bed watching movies all day, and by the time my son got home at 5 I was feeling much better. I picked up just a little around the house, and then hubby brought home sushi for dinner - and I was back in bed by 7pm. It was perfect.

Today I feel great. My incision closer to my hips is sore and puffy, but not seroma-like. Its literally where the CG ends on my hips (the bottom of the CG) and I think thats pushing fluid down and causing it to collect. So, today I put on a pair of compression spanx panties that go over my hips, put my foam on, and then the CG - hoping this will be the solution to smoothing out those to areas. I had those areas when I had the drains, too. I felt well enough to drop my son off at school this morning and then go grocery shopping... I am tired, but have about 3.5 hours to rest now before I need to leave the house to pick him up so the timing was great.

I am completely off the pain meds, and just taking tylenol extra strength for pain, which is doing the job :) Happy to be on the flat side, although I know I still have quite a bit of recovery time ahead of me.

I've attached a pic from this morning.

Oh this binder....

Ok so I have a really short torso and I'm having a constant problem with the binder riding up and not staying where it needs to be. Plus it was irritating the skin under my boobs and on the hip bones. Today I wore a pair of spanx high waisted control panties but that was a pain every time I had to pee, so I switched to this strapless bodysuit that has a snap in the crotch which should make bathroom ordeals much more easier. I understand the importance of staying wrapped tightly to avoid seromas shoo I hope this helps so I can tolerate the binder another 10 days per doctor's orders!

12 Days Post Op - Time is Flying!

I can't believe I am nearly to the two week mark - every day really is better, which is I guess why time is flying so quickly. Have I mentioned I hate the binder? H-A-T-E. It's a strong word, but totally applicable here. I ended up buying a Maidenform Compression Tank Top, and wearing that most of the day with the foam under neath - and then I sleep in that too, but with the binder wrapped around me. I don't get too swollen during the day, and I'm much more comfortable that way. My hips are still a bit swollen, but today really feels like the first day that they are getting better.

Since I'm feeling better, I'm doing more throughout the day, so by bedtime I'm sore and ready for a pain pill, so I've been taking one to make sleeping more comfortable. Other than that, I haven't even been taking regular tylenol throughout the day.

As soon as the swelling in my hips go down, I will be so much happier and feel like this process is on its way to being over, although I know I need to make it to at least the 3 month mark (August 6th) to even be anywhere near the end of the healing period.

I still haven't weighed myself since surgery; and I really want to start doing the elliptical soon - but I have another week or two. Doc said I could start riding my horses again at 4 weeks, and I sure can't wait for that to roll around.

Attached is a pic from day 10 post op that I actually texted to my PS because I was concerned about my hips. But he called me back saying that it's all normal and everything looks great in his opinion - so that's good! I am thankful for a PS that is so communicative and happy to answer my questions/concerns, no matter how petty they turn out to be!

Woohoo, its Friday!

I hit the worst swell-hell this week, and it was totally self inflicted. Now that I am back on my feet, I'm also back in the kitchen. I made my hubby bbq pulled pork in the crock pot (one of my favorite dishes) and without thinking I had a small serving to myself - picture a balloon being inflated, and that was my stomach. The salt from the bbq sauce blew me up the next day. I had all kinds of swelling around my incision and across my abdomen in general. I took one quick look at myself, and quickly put my foam, compression top, and then binder back on and didn't look at myself again for two days because I was so disheartened about what I saw!

So, I was on a mission to flush flush flush. I ate clean for the following two days: lots of spinach, tomatoes, apples (with a tiny bit of peanut butter for added protein) and I drank water like you wouldn't believe. It totally helped! This morning I woke up totally flat, and I am even wearing leggings today with no support! Things are looking really, really good.

During the day I have been wearing the compression tank top with the foam, and then at night I sleep in the compression top, foam and binder. As of today, I ditched the foam because after 16 days of use it's getting pretty gross, and also big on me. I work from home and so I'm wearing my binder over a regular cami today since my compression tanks are in the wash.

I am really looking forward to getting back to working out. Ive been riding horses for over 20 years, so my thighs and butt are very musclar - but since they are so musclar once they start to lose a little tone, they just look big. Not flattering! I called the doctor today to see if I can start back to the gym, but they said I have to wait until week 4. For now, I can go on walks with the baby, but no hardcore work outs for 10 more days.

I'm totally off the pain meds, and I don't feel all that tender any more. I was having a burning sensation in the lipo spots, but that too has really died down. As I've said before each day just keeps getting better and better.

And now, I need to start shopping for a cute bikini for Vegas - 2 weeks from now we will be on the road to our little weekend get away and I can't wait!

Almost 4 weeks post op :)

It's been almost 10 days since I've posted (oops!) but with that said, things have been pretty smooth sailing here in the healing department!

I got through the swelling rough patch, and just flushed myself with lots of water. I also wore the compression tank top with the binder and that combination kept me nice and flat. I actually threw my surgical binder away today because it was starting to rip, and had pretty much lost its elasticity. Yesterday, I bought a waistnipper by Maidenform at Kohls. This one you step into, and pull up - it is SO comfortable. I did pull out the metal boning that would usually run on either side (down your flank/hip area) and now it is just a very comfortable, very supportive binder/compression garment. Love it. It's been so hot here, and having a Spanx bodysuit on, or even the spank that you wear as panties, was driving me nuts. So this seems to be a good alternative. I sleep it in, and then wear it whenever I am home for long periods of time. It has helped tremendously in keeping the swelling away, and as many others have stated - even though I a 4 weeks out, the continued support is very comfortable.

My scar is looking really good, and I bought some strips to minimize how the scar looks... called "Scar Away." I am going to put them on tonight before bed (this weekend was spent outside ...I didn't want them to loose adhesion from sweating/activity/etc).

I bought a new bikini for vegas, and tried it out in the back yard this weekend. I LOVE it. This is the first time, I think EVER, that I've taken a photo and absolutely loved how my stomach looks in it. And the best part is, I still have 2 more months until optimum healing begins to show through - so if I feel this great, and feel like I look as great as I feel now - I can only imagine a few months from now :)

I might have a dog ear on my left side - but I still have some minor swelling on each hip, so I'm not getting too stressed about it yet.

I've been back to full activity at home - kids, cleaning, working full time and the other night finally stepped back into those...ahem, wifely duties. Poor guy, it had been nearly a month! Haha -but feel totally fine. Today I also started back at the gym. I hate the gym - but I did 15 minutes level 1 on the elliptical, 10 minutes level 1 on the stairmaster, and 15 minutes level 5 on the stationary bike, and then I was just totally uninterested and left to go home. But, it's a start!!

Ive posted some recent pics :)

Done & Paid For

Here we are, 6.5 months after surgery and I am feeling great, looking better each day - and the best news, I just made the final payment on my surgery. Woo hoo!

Before I got the surgery I kept reading reviews and blogs from both patients and doctors that said you don't see optimum results until at least month 6, and then all the way through month 12. Immediately after surgery I felt that to be really discouraging, but now that I am at month 7 I totally see it. There was a sizable shift at month 6 in the way my body felt, and the way my clothes were fitting. Also at month 6 I started taking Spin class, and man did that ever help. It's a good core work out, without lifting weights, and since its cardio it helps burn those calories and shed fat without bulking up. I feel like that has really help hone in on showing the true results of my surgery.

I will say that I didn't lose as many pounds as I though I would with this surgery, but I'm still working on that. I am back in the 150s, and and I'd like to get down to 145. But, I definitely see the outline of my waist shrinking, shorts and jeans I haven't worn in years fit well or are loose - and you can actually see the bonus of the breast augmentation I had 4 years ago. Before, my waist was just as big as my bust so you couldn't really tell...but, now you can!

We had an awesome beach vacation a few weeks ago, and I had taken a few great pics. But, my phone decided to have a meltdown and I lost my pictures just two days ago. But here are some pics of me from the past week - shorts and a t-shirt, NO SPANX! And a short little mini dress - NO SPANX! Man, it feels soo good. Things can only get better from here!

I'll take some pictures of my scar in the next couple of days and post back!
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

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