Surgery Date 5/9 - RE-surgery date 5/22. Hell, but still worth it!

I am 36 and have two children. My first left with...

I am 36 and have two children. My first left with me with stretch marks ALL over the bottom portion of my tummy. My second was 10 pounds, 3 ounces, and that really did me in. The stretch marks reached past my belly button after that one, and I developed a 'lump' above my belly button (so you can't even see it). I work out consistently and eat right, but there is no way to lose that loose skin (or the stretch marks!) I had my breasts enlarged in 2008 (also wrecked from my darling babies, lol), and I wanted to do the tummy tuck then, but thought the recovery would be too much. I am a confident woman, but my tummy is a HUGE insecurity for me. It was one thing when I was married, but being divorced now...uh, it's just not cool. I need to do this for ME and am so excited. My muscles are awesome, so I won't be having those tightened, just a normal tummy tuck. I am a BIG BABY when it comes to pain and pain pills make me sick, so this should be interesting!

Every time I change my clothes, I stare at my...

Every time I change my clothes, I stare at my tummy, and think "Ha! Almost done with you!" ;) 6 days!

Two days until surgery! Starting to freak a little...

Two days until surgery! Starting to freak a little. Having weird dreams and stressing a little about the pain, etc. I just need to keep in mind that it's all temporary. If it's hard, it won't be for long! Eye on the prize!

Surgery tomorrow morning! I am excited to be...

Surgery tomorrow morning! I am excited to be getting it done, but also feeling a little nervous! Just took my first Arnica pill to help with swelling and bruising. I am not looking forward to not having coffee in the morning :/ I get somewhat grumpy without food and especially without coffee. Lol. Surgery isn't until noon! I'll try to update with some pics on Thursday :)

Day 2 post op. Everything went great. MUCH less...

Day 2 post op. Everything went great. MUCH less pain than when I had my breasts done, thank goodness! Still quite sore, today is the worst so far. The drains are gross, not going to lie. I haven't really looked yet, I peaked down the top of the waist thing I am wrapped up in and saw my new belly button, looks good! Feels like I did 7 millions sit ups my belly is so tight. Changing the dressing for the first time tonight, will take a pic and post it later :)

Day 5 post op. Feeling MUCH better today. I would...

Day 5 post op. Feeling MUCH better today. I would say yesterday and the day before were the worst. Having no muscle work done, I have been able to get up and down with no help, so that has been a relief. I am hoping to get the drains out on Wednesday. Fingers crossed! Posted a new pic, I took it from above while laying down when my sister changed my dressing. Looks tight! I haven't had a chance to take off the wrap and look at it from the standing position. Will take another pic on Wed :)

Day 6 post-op. Either I was too optimistic on my...

Day 6 post-op. Either I was too optimistic on my idea of healing, or I took a couple steps back today for some reason. Today was by far the worst pain-wise. The incision site is killing me today. It isn't constant. I can walk around fine with no pain at all. It's mostly limited to the left side, and when I stand up, sit up, or lay down, it's like a sharp, stabbing, hot pain. It's like the incision is burning. That's the best way to explain it. Still draining about 30 cc in the right drain every 24 hours, so they moved the drain removal appt to Thursday. My issue now is that the Percocet makes me so sick, I can't take it as much as I need. I asked my doctor for something different and she said no! She seems to think the Tylenol is enough at this point. That didn't sit well with me. Tomorrow I think I will push the issue. Anyone else have this issue with this type of pain limited to one side?

Day 8 post op. Yesterday was the best day so far,...

Day 8 post op. Yesterday was the best day so far, today is somewhere between that and Tuesday, which was the worst day. Seems to be random. Getting my drains out tomorrow morning. Want to pick your brains on a couple things girls - how bad does getting the drains removed hurt? I want to be prepared. Also, if you used a silicone scar sheet, which one, and why? Thanks!!!

So I went downhill bad on Thursday, woke up with...

So I went downhill bad on Thursday, woke up with 101.5 fever in the middle of the night. They had me rush in first thing in the morning, and took the drains out (which hurt because they were infected), but it mostly just felt like someone was pulling my intestines out bit by bit (it's creepy!) The drains were not ready to come out- in fact the drainage in the left had increased 2.5x what it had been since surgery on Wednesday, so I am on STRICT rest orders, or all that fluid will accumulate in abdomen. They gave me antibiotics and I finally feel halfway normal this morning. Also gave me Nor Co, which doesn't give me a headache like the Percocet, thank goodness! So I FINALLY (10 days after surgery) have a pain pill I can actually tolerate.

Went in yesterday for some swelling and was rushed...

Went in yesterday for some swelling and was rushed into surgery. I had a small bleed in the left side, which turned to an infection inside me. The antibiotics were masking the fever. Worse, they had to leave me OPEN, so the wound can heal from the inside out. It's only 2 1/2 inches, but I have to change the dressings twice a day and shove wet gauze down in it. It doesn't feel great :/ This has been a nightmare, I'm not going to lie. I am having a very UN-NORMAL experience, unfortunately. I keep telling myself it will be worth it!!! It will be :)

Wound care is going well, it's painful, but it is...

Wound care is going well, it's painful, but it is what it is. I am SO thankful my sister is a nurse! Bless her heart for coming over twice a day to re-pack the wound. I am hoping it closes up soon! Heal, heal, heal! I posted a picture of the wound.

Day 24 post-op (original surgery) and Day 11...

Day 24 post-op (original surgery) and Day 11 post-op from re-surgery. FINALLY able to move around. The open wound is closing nicely with twice daily dressing changes, and should be closed soon. My doc says 2-3 weeks. I don't see how it could possibly take more than a week and a half based on the healing so far. We'll see whose right. Hopefully me :) I already see issues with the left side not looking like the right side due this open wound and it not being sutured down tightly, but I'll stay open minded until it heals completely. My doc has also assured me she will fix whatever is not right until I am happy :) This has been tough. I pretty much had bad luck with this, it was so NOT a textbook case. Posted some new pics too. Still worth it though!

34 days post-op original surgery, 21 days post-op...

34 days post-op original surgery, 21 days post-op re-surgery.
The open is would is almost closed! I'd say another two days, max. Amazing how fast the body can heal itself from the inside out.

Will be so nice to not have to do the dressing changes and just cover it. My tummy is softening up quite nicely and I am still in awe of how flat it is. Feeling back to normal finally!

Finally almost back to normal! The open wound is...

Finally almost back to normal! The open wound is scabbing over - took 30 days to get to this point, I am so relieved. I see my PS in early July. Need to find out what she plans to do to make the side that was left open look like the other side! It's not bad, but it's not equal by any means. I am just thankful for my health at this point :) Planning my tummy tattoo too!
Dr. Furnace

Second surgery I have had at Plastic Surgery Associates and they are wonderful in all ways!

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 After care follow-up
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 tmes
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So good to hear your done with the open wound. Man you went through some crap. But your tummy sure looks amazing! You are so flat! Congratulations!
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thanks so much Ana :)
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Thanks you guys : ) Yes, my sis is great!
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Feel better soon :)
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So sorry about your infection. That's awful what you are going through. Hope you heal up fast. Looks like your ps reacted quickly. Your sis sounds great! Good luck!
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Oh my heart goes out to you. I hope you are doing better now that you are on antibiotics. It will be worth it in the long run, hang in there.
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Thank you, I hope so, at this point, I am wondering :/
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Sorry to hear you have had such a rough time. Were you on antibiotics after the initial surgery? The drains coming out of me didn't even feel like anything, but my surgeon used very tiny drains so I was told, making them very easy to be taken out. Hope you will start improving now! I am using a silicone scar cream. It is very effective.
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Thanks. My drains were not tiny, but I think it hurt because of the infection. Found out I am allergic to the NorCo, so today has been hard. Feels like the flu x10. I am ready to feel normal again!
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Sorry, didn't answer your other question, I was on antibiotics after the initial surgery...
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u look great!!!u can see a huge difference it will only get better!!!
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Thanks!
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Thank you so much, that is encouraging to read. I was feeling a little blue yesterday, I just need to be patient. I guess I expected the worst pain to be early on, and I was VERY mistaken on that :/ Thanks for taking the time to write, made me feel better :) Glad to hear your recovery is going well!
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That stabbing pain is exactly what my c-section felt like afterwards for about two weeks. It was also far worse on the left side than on the right, and as long as I was sitting or standing I was okay, but trying to stand up was awful, and no pain meds could touch it. So, give it time. You will feel better soon. I am two weeks post-try my tuck today and feel really good, with the exception of a little back pain from still not being able to completely stand up straight. I have even started walking on my treadmill. Give your recovery a full two weeks. You will feel much better by then! Good luck!
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Thanks! I will post more pics soon :)
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Thank you for posting before and after photos. I'm concerned about the stretch marks above my bb too. You look great, and your stretch marks are all close to being below your bb. I hope my results are just as fabulous. Hope you heal quickly!
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Thanks :) It is SO worth it already! I can't wait to get the bandages off so I can take a really good look!
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my stomach looks like that upside down photo...I am in the process of seeking out surgeons for my tt...i really cant wait...your new belly looks awesome
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Can't wait to see your pics!! Healthy and happy healing.
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thank you so much!
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Saying a prayer for you and your surgeon
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Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice. I plan to take it easy for sure :)
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I am one week post-op and doing very well hardly any swelling and getting around well, except for back aches from still not being able to stand up completely straight. The first 2-3 days will be the hardest, but after that you should feel significant improvement. Good luck and most of all take it easy and listen to your body.
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