Tummy Tuck: StoriesWrite a Review
5 weeks post op. Couple new pics
- updated 2 months ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $12,000
- Lawrence Shaw, MD (Scottsdale, AZ)
Where to begin. I have been devouring all your...
- 23 Dec 2012
- 1 month pre
Where to begin. I have been devouring all your stories for the last two weeks and have really appreciated reading about everyone's journey, so thought it only fair to share mine. I am always looking for the "before belly" that looks like mine to give me some sort of insight to what I will look like! Maybe my journey will resonate with someone else.
I first had a consultation for a TT in 2008. I was interested in a breast lift, augmentation and a mini TT. My plastic surgeon said I wasn't a good candidate for a mini because I had too much skin above my belly button as well. My boobs were deflated and hung to my belly button and it was a no brainer getting the lift with augmentation. I wanted small perky boobs that looked natural for my body. The TT was another story. I couldn't quite wrap my mind around such an invasive procedure to fix a problem that wasn't "that bad." I delivered all 3 of my children vaginally, so no scars. I wasn't sure I wanted to trade the skin for the scar.
At my one year check up for the lift and augmentation, we discussed the TT again. Gave it lots of thought and passed again. 10K and quite frankly, i was afraid of the surgery and recovery.
Fast forward 2 years. I have been obsessing about getting my tummy fixed for the last 6 months. I think it is actually my love handles that bother me more than anything. Maybe it is the 40th birthday, don't know. I had a consult for cool sculpting for my muffin top on my back side. She felt I would see some improvement, but not a significant amount, as there is a lot of loose skin. Soooo, made an appointment with the doc for another consultation. Same answer, full TT with a little lipo in the flank area. This time I was ready.
I'm thin, 5'6, 110lbs, but feel like a blob with my belly hanging over my jeans. My husband thinks I'm crazy to put myself through this for what may only be minimal improvement. I think that is my biggest fear. I'm going to spend 12k of hubby's hard earned money, be laid up and not able to take care of my kids and not have significant results. I trust my surgeon, he is the best. He says I'm ideal, as I do need muscle repair and have stretchy skin that he will be able to excise. He says that I won't even need a vertical scar and he can do it low. I so anxious! Living in AZ, I could live in my bathing suit. Hoping for amazing bikini bod lol.
I had my pre-op already and am paid in full. Now I just need to talk myself off the shelf and be patient for my new tummy! I will update with some before pics.
These are my before photos. Doesn't look too bad...
- 27 Dec 2012
- 1 month pre
So, I've been calm, cool and collected....until...
- 9 Jan 2013
- 21 days pre
I've been trying to pin point what is giving me the most anxiety, the fear of the surgery (don't think so), fear of the recovery(very possible), fear that the results will fall short of my expectations(more likely) or the stress of trying to come up with excuses as to why I'm out of commission for so long(possible). So, I don't think it is the fear of the surgery. I've had surgery before and am quite comfortable that I will be in good hands. The fear of results, hum that definitely has me worried. I gained almost 80 lbs with my first baby and in the 40's with the others with 10 lb babies to boot. I don't have one stretch mark because apparently I have very stretchy skin. Not sure if that is a blessing or a curse....My whole body is stretchy, loose skin. I guess that is where my worry of results come in. Worried I will still have the hang over in the back because of the loose skin. Recovery, well I think I may be a whimp when it comes to pain, so I'm surely anxious about that phase. Coupled with the swelling that is bound to come, I'm sure I will look worse before I look better, so I will need to be mentally strong and keep my eye on the end result. Then the white lies that ensue the whole process. I really don't want to share this journey. I actually feel vain and self absorbed doing this, but really want to do it, so I am. I don't need anyone telling me "I'm nuts, look just fine, hide it well or (my favorite) going through a mid life crisis and making me have second thoughts. But the act of covering it up and dropping off the face of the earth for who knows how long is giving me a little distress.
I'm ready for it just to be done. Once it's done, it's done and it is what it is! Reading everyone's stories is really keeping me encouraged, so keep 'em coming!
Two days ago sheer panic, today complete...
- 12 Jan 2013
- 18 days pre
So, I've notice I developed a weird behavior. I can't keep my hands off my stomach. I'm always touching, pinching and general playing with it. It's kinda like when I was pregnant and I always had my hand on my belly waiting for a movement. Well, I'm not exactly sure what I'm expecting to happen, but I find it quite amusing.
That's all I got for now. Positive Mojo to those waiting and happy healing to those on the flat side.
So, I've been busy getting all my "stuff" ready. ...
- 13 Jan 2013
- 17 days pre
On the down side, I decided it was best to take my artificial nails off. Just think it will be easier to take care of drains and stuff without them, plus don't want the hassle of having to go get a fill if I'm not up to it. First time I've been without nails for almost 6 years! On the bright side, I am a much faster typer without them. I also decided I am going to lose the eyelash extensions before surgery. Not so sure they will baby them in the hospital like I do. Gonna miss those suckers.
Surgery was this morning. I had full tt, muscle...
- 30 Jan 2013
- Day of treatment
I had an amazing cocktail to prevent nausea......reglan, dexamethasone and zofran with scopolamine patch as well. Not a lick of nausea. Very grateful for that. I just got a muscle relaxer and am going for a stroll in about an hour. It will be my first time out of bed. I highly recommend the hospital stay. IV meds, catheter, hospital bed.....overall making the first couple days more bearable. As I sit here and type the drain site is getting more painful. Not unbearable, but certainly uncomfortable.
My doctor will be stopping in to see me tomorrow, I should get a better look then. My hubby talked to him after the surgery and he said it went very well and my results will be amazing. So excited to see it..
On another note, I am so proud and grateful for my daughter. She is only 10, but is so responsible and nurturing. She has totally stepped up at home to help hubby out without being asked. She has taken it upon herself to make the boys lunches for school and get their clothes ready for the morning. She even insisted on packing my bag for the hospital lol.
OK, I'm probably rambling in a drug induced stupor, so I will call it a night. Thank you for all your support. It is unbelievable how some kinds words and encouragement from complete strangers has been so helpful. Happy healing everyone!
The anesthesia has worn off and I've had more...
- 31 Jan 2013
- 1 day post
I got a peek this am when the doc came in. It looks great. My waist looks super small. I will get pics when I can. So excited. I can't wait to get a good look at it.
Today was a good day. Got up and around a lot....
- 31 Jan 2013
- 1 day post
I saw the doc this am, but forgot to ask him about how much muscle repair he had to do. I will try to remember that tomorrow am. I got a sneak peek of my belly button.....adorable. Can't wait to see it all! So glad it is done. Oh, I got my catheter out too. No problems going pee afterwards. I am sure this is a jumbled mess, as I haven't missed a pain pill yet lol.
Made it home. Set up camp in the corner of the...
- 1 Feb 2013
- 2 days post
3 days post op. I think today may have been the...
- 2 Feb 2013
- 3 days post
I am getting really excited about my results. I had lipo on my love handles, but the swelling is all the way over my butt.I know that will go away. It isn't possible to get bigger from lipo. I just need to be patient. My surgeon said my small vertical will be inside the area he marked me in. I honestly, couldn't believe it when I saw it. Even hubby who wasn't on board, says it is great.
Oh and I ITCH!!!
Last night was a little rough. I have so much gas...
- 3 Feb 2013
- 4 days post
Happy Healing everyone.
6 days post op. Wanted to do a little recap of my...
- 5 Feb 2013
- 6 days post
Day two, the itching started.Wow, I itched everywhere. I started getting benedryl, but still itched badly. Pain control was good and I got up and moving around with no problems. When I say moving around, I mean clinging to my IV tree for dear life and pushing it up and down the halls of the hospital.
Day Three, came home and took up camp on the couch. I started on a strict regimen of 2 percocet q 4 hours, soma q 8 hours and duricef q 12h. So long I kept on that schedule I was fine. I hurt, but nothing I couldn't handle. Besides the looniness made the experience a little more bearable. The swelling, WOW. I don't think the swelling was from the tt, but the lipo I had on my love handles. My doc said he was just doing light lipo and it wasn't a big deal. Well, I would hate to see what big deal lipo is.
Day 4, more of the same. My butt is swollen probably twice its normal size. I am huge. I know it is just swelling and that it isn't possible that I got bigger from having a tt and lipo, so mentally, I'm not bothered by it. I know it will pass. Physically, it is down right uncomfortable. My skin is hot to the touch, tender and every time I move, it feels like there is hot burning pain ripping my skin. I have also started to have to pee non stop. Think it is the pressure on the bladder from the tight compression garment and all the gas bloating. Started to back off my pain meds.
Day 5, first post-op visit. My first really bad day. Got nauseated, think the lipo pain was relentless and overall, I think I was just over the whole thing. I think the reality of the whole recuperation just caught up with me and I was tired of feeling like crap. Took me the whole day to get comfortable after returning from the docs office. Good news at doc was everything looked great. Got tape changed on my incision and go back Wednesday. My swelling actually went down slightly in my butt.
Day 6, actually had a great nights sleep. I woke up and found myself halfway on my side. I wasn't woken up in a wave of pain, but actually comfortable. Got excited today was the turning point and I was going to feel great. Got up and felt light headed and not all that great after all. Parked myself on the couch and am feeling somewhat human. I haven't had my pain pills since last night, so I'm actually lucid, but am planning on taking one and taking a nap.
I will get around to taking some pics at some point.
I can't figure out why this pics are rotated and...
- 5 Feb 2013
- 6 days post
Post op 3 weeks and 4 days. Haven't been on here...
- 24 Feb 2013
- 25 days post
So, to back up a little, I got my drains out po day 9. What a difference that made. I didn't feel so isolated once they were out. I could make a quick appearance at the grocery or school pick up and no one was the wiser. I literally hid out in my house for the first 9 days, so it was nice to get out a little.
By week 2, I was feeling pretty good. Was still taking it easy, but able to do more. I was completely off the pain pills but still in terrible discomfort from the lipo, but the pills didn't help that. Overall, the lipo pain has been worse than the pain from the tt. I think it is because the pain pills work well on managing the tt pain, but don't work well on the nerve pain from the lipo.
Each day I feel better. The lipo pain is letting up and I have no real discomfort from the tt. My swelling has been managable. When I first got home, I was hugely swollen, but that was from the fluid used in the lipo. Once that subsided, I've had a good bloat going on, but nothing really uncomfortable. As the day goes on, I get swelling below my incision line and it gets hard, but is better by morning. And speaking of my incision, WOW. I've only seen it a couple times because it is still taped, but it is amazing. So thin. I start scar therapy at 4 weeks and am confident it will fade nicely.
Going into this, my greatest worry over the whole procedure was, is it worth trading the skin for the scar ? At this point I am saying yes! I know it is only going to get better and I am already pleased. I credit that to having a highly skilled surgeon. He is a miracle worker. At this point, my only concern is the lipo discomfort, but it has gotten better, so just hoping it continues to do so. I only had light lipo on my flanks, can't imagine aggressive lipo.
I will say, it is really important to have a good support system. My husband has totally picked up the slack and has given me the time I need to heal and get stronger. But, it did come at a price. My house has been a mess and I have had to let it go. I have cleaning ladies once a week, so it was clean, but messy. He was working so hard keeping everything afloat, that I simply had to look past the dirty dishes and junk everywhere. The kids were clean(kinda), fed and made it to school daily.....the important stuff.
I will add some photos later.
5 weeks already. My days are pretty much back to...
- 9 Mar 2013
- 2 months post
I started scar therapy last week. I am just using the mepitac tape. I like it because it offers protection to the incision site. I haven't worn my compression garment since my 4 week post op appointment. Maybe thats why my upper abs are little more sore.
The lipo pain is getting better by the day. The area is still sensitive to the touch, but it is minimal compared to where it started. My surgeon said I may want to consider a little lipo in the area above my belly button, as I seem to have a little fat there, but we need to see how everything heals up before making that kind of decision. Not sure I want to go there. It isn't bad, but is a tiny pouch if I sit and slouch over. One more reason to work on my posture.
Over all, I am so thrilled that I took the plunge and did this. No one else notices a thing. I disguised my muffin top quite well. It may be more evident come bathing suit season, but honestly, I don't spend much time in my bathing suit outside my back yard.
Venturing forward, I am looking forward to the residual pain being gone and seeing my final results.
My Doctor: Lawrence Shaw, MD
He is very highly regarded. I had a personal recommendation for my first procedure with him. I wouldn't even consider seeing another.