4 months POSTOP*** Had my Tummy Tuck on Feb 14th! Can't Believe It! - South Korea
- updated 1 year ago
I'm a 35 yr old mom of 5. I have four...
- 16 Feb 2012
I'm a 35 yr old mom of 5. I have four girls and one boy, ages 19, 15 (boy), 13, 8, and 2. Needless to say I started off a very young mom and married early at 19.. It has been a long, crazy, rough ride LOL but worth it as it has been (continuing to be) a blessing raising my children and just had my oldest go off to college last summer.
Unfortunately I'm not in a great marriage but trying my best to remain positive and be the best mom I can be. So anyway, I've never really had any serious weight issues but having 5 kids has done a serious number on my belly. I'm 5'6 and weigh about 160 which is ok, but normally I am 145-155 pre and post pregnancy so I will work on that ;) We are a military family and stationed overseas, so I went to my pcp on base and asked for a referreral to see a dr. at the surgical clinic about getting a tummy tuck. She told me there was no way they would do it because they were cutting down on the number of procedures they were doing, but nonetheless, she said she would still give me a referral.
I have to add that even though my stomach was never completely flat after having my first four, I was ok with it as it was no where near what it was after having my fifth child. And I still looked pretty good in my clothes without as much hanging belly and muffin top! I went to my appmt on Jan. 18 and was shocked when the Dr. said he could do it for me and could schedule as early as Feb. 14!!! I was shocked as I thought he was only going to "look" at me and see if I was a good candidate.
Now the interesting part was he told me that he was NOT a plastic surgeon but a general surgeon but that he has done many many tummy tucks over the years. He also told me he has had no deaths or serious complications, but one infection and that was resolved and the lady turned out to be just fine. He told me it was no pressure and that he could do it or I could go off base. So at this point I was conflicted and I just told myself that I would keep the appmt but if I didn't feel right about it then I could cancel and move on.
After that appmt I met a few ladies who had tummy tucks and their breast done at the military hospital and told them about my situation. They let me see their scars and told me their experiences, which were good. Some of them had surgery with him and others had surgery with other surgeons, but their results were good and no major complications. I do realize that sometimes things do happen and it really isn't always the fault of the dr. or even the patient sometimes. Of course I had many questions so I would call and leave tons of messages with the secretary and he would ALWAYS call me back within the hour and answer all my questions honestly. He did also say that some people may need some kind of small revision, maybe close to half. From doing my years of research I have read from many people's experiences who have needed minor revisions.
So at this point I commenced to getting everything in order for the big day. I also have to say that months back I changed my diet and started eating green leafy veggies daily and drinking more water and getting exercise in. Once we came overseas I gained about 15 pounds not really from overeating but the quality of my meals. I frequently skipped meals and would live off starbucks for a whole day believe it or not. I was so depressed... But I knew I had to somehow snap out it and get back on track, after all my kids need me to be 100% and quite frankly I wanted my life back. So I lost the 15 I gained and done a host of other things to help keep me on track.
I had my surgery on Feb. 14 and everything went pretty good. I stayed in the hospital about 2 nights which was a tremendous help. I thoughts I would be in so much unbearable pain and couldn't walk. But I guess it's true what so many ladies have said: It's nothing like you imagine it to be or not nearly as painful as you think it will be. I've been off pain meds since yesterday and even then it was mostly to help me sleep. I've been walking many times a day and going to the bathroom on my own. Also my Dr. had awesome bedside manners! I was taken great care of at the military hospital, it was a pleasant experience.
I still have my drains in but it's not that bad, just annoying lol but tolerable. And my drainage output is minimal, under 20 ml but not completely clear so hopefully these will come out within the next week! Even though I'm feeling fine I have been taking it easy and just sittin/sleepin in my recliner. I must admit it has been difficult to get comfortable but the recliner and lots of pillows help. For the most part I am upright with just a slight hunch so I am happy for that. But as I said I'm taking it slow as I realize at any moment during these early days that things could take a turn for the worse. I know this is super long but I really am thankful and happy I have this support forum. As my family members don't really know and not even most of my friends, just my kids and husband, my sister, and a few ladies stationed overseas here who has had the surgery too. Good luck to you ladies who will be having surgery soon and congratulations to all those who have made it to the flatlands! :-) I will post after pics soon as I'm still bandaged and bound up all tight. But I'll post a few yucky befores :/ And I guess I will be able to comment more on things once everything comes off and I see how it looks! Thanks again!
I added some pre-op pics. Today I am FOUR days...
- 17 Feb 2012
Ok so I am 7 days post op today. These drains are...
- 20 Feb 2012
Been doing light cooking and washing (couldn't help myself and didn't have too much of a choice). Good thing is when the older kids are home they can wash and cook etc... Even though I've been doing a little, I have not been doing any lifting (husband and kids do that for me) . As I said I'm ready to get these drains out THEY NEED TO COME OUT!!!
When I get appmt I will update and post pics after all that which will hopefully be within the next few days.
I am 10 days post op now. I had my drains removed...
- 23 Feb 2012
So I finally had a chance to see how things were looking and Dr. said everything is healing very nicely and looking good. I was scared to look at first, I didn't know what I was about to see! But I have to say that I am happy so far, I really am satisfied. My scar is low, super low and I am glad for that as he told me it would be. However, the sides are a little higher than I would have liked but oh well, I'm not freaking out over that! I was mainly concerned with the bikini area scar and that being low. But still...
My belly button looks weird, lol, I know. But dr. said it is healing nicely and looks normal and have had no problems with it.
I am swollen, but that is to be expected. Overall, I am satisfied with the results. I didn't get lipo or anything so in the new pics you can see my back/fat/bra rolls LOL but maybe I will go for lipo later (like 6 mos. or so down the line). But again, I am happy, my husband and kids were like WOW its so flat, even with the swelling :).
Oh and the itching is getting to me. I think it is mainly where all the tape from the bandages were (which some of it is still there even after repeatedly scrubbing) and the incision tape as that seems to be the places where I itch the most. Painwise I am fine, been fine since I left the hospital. Still taking it easy though.
So I have to say that I HAVE NOT REGRETS. I feel so much better already and even tried on a few outfits lol. Still swelling but still look alot better and once it goes down it will be all good! Take care all, I will provide more updates soon.
Well I am 2 weeks post op today, YAY (I guess,...
- 28 Feb 2012
I'm still swelling of course but no suprise there. I guess its true for me too that I have swelling more so in the evening than in the earlier part of the day. I can always tell by the way my binder looks as I am always flat as a board in the morning when I get up and later on the day I'm a lil bigger. As I have said before, I will go for lipo about 6 mos. or so down the line to get rid of back fat and love handles and just to have a more contoured and defined waistline. But even right now I am still happy with the results for I know lipo alone could not have given me the results I have now and especially in the long term.
I put on some jeans today although I didn't wear them out, just wanted to see how things were looking lol. And to my suprise and yes even with the SWELLLING, there was no muffin top whatsoever, no extra hanging off or any of that. That felt good, REALLY GOOD to see that. Needless to say I am ready to go shopping for some really cute form fitting tops and well just clothes period LOL. I had gotten this victoria secret's coat for Christmas, the cutest thing, and I would never really wear the belt part because of my fat stomach it kept rolling upwards and looking "off". Well since I have had TT I have worn the belt and it stays in place lol! I know that seems silly and small, but honestly sometimes its small things like that sometimes that we notice that can just disappoint you and make you feel bad.
I am back to doing most household chores now such just still no heavy lifting and all that other stuff were not suppose to do until about 6 weeks + out. I did go grocery shopping today and it was ok, no problems, I did push a basket but it only had paper towels in it and a couple of other small household items. My husband pushed the big basket with EVERYTHING in it.
Oh yeah, I went to the beauty salon a couple of days ago to get my pedicure and hair fixed since being post op. It felt really gooooooooooood and made me feel even better! I have to say since having the TT I do want to keep myself up even better. Before my last pregnancy (5th child) I was in shape even though I still had a stomach but no where near what it was right before TT and wore heels everywhere and had an awesome wardrobe and looked pretty good. But after my last pregnancy which was very high risk AND the fact that my husband had stage 3 cancer (at the same time) along with other issues, everything just seemed to go downhill after that. So now I am pulling myself out of this slump and starting to see light again, even if it is slowly BUT definitely SURELY!
And as far as vitamins or supplements I am taking...I took arnica montana before surgery and that and bromelain afterwards. I am also taking my regular multivitamin and Vitamin C. I ate lots and lots of spinach before surgery and still afterwards as well as other green veggies. I know they are a MUST. I do drink lots of water too and it really does help with the swelling and to just flush everything out (well at least for me). Still working on improving other aspects of my diet, its not really bad but I do need to cut some sugar out of my diet, other than that I'm ok. I am taking daily short walks around my neighborhood as that is all I am allowed to do right now and I don't push it because I don't want to be set back in recovery.
I really thank all of you ladies on realself for support and kind words. It really helps to communicate with people who have been there done that (or about to) as far as TT and other plastic surgeries go. Take care :-)
Oh, I am adding a few pics as well.
Hello Ladies! Well I am 4 weeks/1month post op...
- 14 Mar 2012
First, I have extra pigment or hyperpigmentation around my incision line (will include pics). At first I didn't notice that much because of the steri-strips that were covering my incision. But when they all came off I noticed the color on my skin was darker where the strips were and basically in the same shape as the strips. So needless to say, I was bummed about that but good thing is that it is not permanent and will fade over time as it already has started to. I have also been using the silicone strips, and I must say they are crazy expensive but I think worth the money. It really does what it says. I've also been using the vitamin e oil therapy when I don't have my silicone strip on. Also in the beginning I felt the sides of my incision was a little high but not too much though. Well it appears as though it was dropped some, not sure how or why but it has a little for sure. But its really nothing that I sulk over and its not stopping me from wearing what I want and how I want to wear it.
I was psssss'd about not having my stage 2 compression garment I had ordered. Because I am overseas and have a military APO the company doesn't ship that garment to apo's. So the company I ordered from (makemeheal) told me they would have it shipped to their warehouse and then from there ship it to me. But now that I am a month post op I feel like it is pointless to even bother with it now and just get my money back once it finally gets here. From what I understand the binder and then the garments have the most benefit when they are used early on. So I feel like I should have had it and been wearing it between 2-3 weeks and ditched the binder. I understand that I am still early in recovery and still need something that compresses, however, I just don't think I am going to keep that particular one (its a design veronique/expensive!). I think I just need to do what some other ladies have done and just invest in a flexees, spanx, vedette or something along those lines and pay LESS. Also my dr. did tell me to ditch the abdominal binder and I can or cannot wear a stage 2, its up to me. I prefer too as probably most ladies as it does help with swelling and that tight feeling. But because I don't have the garment, I have been wearing the bulky abdominal binder since surgery :(. I do have a flexees garment that I wore pre-surgery but at first I was adamant about getting a stage 2 "medical grade" compression garment. So if any of you have any advice or opinions on that please talk to me about it.
Anyhow, I am still swelling, no suprise there haha... But one day I tried to go without my binder a whole day trying to be cute and oh goodness by the end of the day I was a mess, I had NEVER swollen up that big since I even had this surgery. I mean I usually get the whole extra swelling by the end of the day thing that starts later in the day (flat in the morning) but never that serious. But as I said its just a pain to wear the binder because it does or can show underneath thin, form fitting fabrics.
As far as my activity level, I have been continuing to walk and have gotten the ok to go back to gym and can do light weights and elliptical/treadmill (I have elliptical and light weights at home too).
I still want to get lipo on my back/bra rolls and you can see it in my pics, but otherwise I am still happy with the result I have thus far. And hoping that the discoloration fade in a relatively short time and not take forever.
I do go to clothing stores and try on clothes like ALL THE TIME!!! And take pictures! I love it, it has been years since I have done that and felt at ease and feel so dang good about how I look in clothes. NO muffin top, even with swelling its still nothing like before! I feel soooooooooo good about that.
I must say though this really is a very very slow and long process in terms of recovery. Sometimes I "forget" and have to put myself in check about the surgery and that I am still in recovery. I do look forward for the time to come when most of the swelling will be over but I understand it takes time (alot of time)... In the meantime though, I can fit in all my old jeans, even if some of them are a little tight around the thighs, I have plenty of room in the stomach area.
Oh and my diet, I am still continung to try and eat healthy and when I put them clothes on LOL and see the result, well that is motivation enough for me... Of course I still have those days (rare though) that I want baskin robbins or dunkin donuts lol But one thing, I have completely cut out sodas. Although that wasn't my weakness before, but still... I drink sooooooo much water, which is a good thing. But nothing else really but water all day long... Knock on wood, but that day still hasn't came for me where I felt like "man, I should not have done this, what have I done to myself". I don't know, but regardless of the minor nuisances I deal with, I am still happy I done this for myself.
As always, I am very thankful for this site and all you ladies. I truly enjoy reading your stories as they really do help others who are making a decision to have this surgery. And even once post-op it really helps to read others stories who are far out and get advice and share advice with those who had their surgeries around the same time. Take care and happy healing to all! :-)
Hello ladies, I am 6 weeks post op today! What a...
- 26 Mar 2012
Ok, so as far my incision, it is very a very thin line now and healing wonderfully. That silicone strip (that cost me almost $50) really worked wonders in flattening it out, I believe hands down that is the best if not then at least in the top 3 products to use for healing scars super fast. Unfortunately, I am still dealing with the hyperpigmentation from those damn steristrips. smdh... I must say I do have a tendency to get hyperpigmentation, if I get a pimple (which is rare) and don't pick or anything awful like that, I will still get a dark mark in its place after it's all said and done. It sucks really really bad... So now I am still trying to find a good, REALLY GOOD, fade cream to help it fade. It has faded some but I want it completely gone. My incision doesn't bother me at all, it's just fine, but the dark color where the steristrips were is awful. So if any of you ladies have dealt with this particular issue then please give me some tips or something on what to use.
Now back to the swelling... I don't know why but week 5 for me was pretty bad. Seems like I swelled up really bad everyday that week, even in the morning I had noticed I wasn't as flat as I had previously been first thing in morning. But I kept a garment on all day/night. I am finally back in the gym now doing free weights and amped up my cardio workout. And ready to do some ab work now too. I need to work on my back/bra roll area. As I've mentioned before, I didn't get lipo so I still have the back/bra roll fat. I'm really looking to get lipo in those areas within the next 4-5 months and possibly a boob job too. And especially since I didn't have to pay for my tummy tuck. Speaking of boobs, I have noticed that my bra size decreased (not cup size) and now all my bras are too loose. I was a 38 D not I am a 36 D. Now I have to invest in some more bras which is a shame because I have many victoriasecrets t-shirt bras which I love. Oh well, I guess I should be glad though that area has gotten smaller.
I am still having a difficult finding a garment that works well for me. Right now I am using flexees. I had ordered a design veronique and it was way to big and I didn't want to exchange it because I really didn't like it anyway. So right now all that is available to me is the flexees, the waist cincher and the vest and I wear a medium in those and it still seems like the compression is just not that great. But I guess it will have to do until... I have been looking into the vedette shapewear garments. I would really like a thong garment because I have yet to find a garment where there is ZERO panty line.
All in all, I still feel good about my tummy tuck experience. But I must admit I am ready to be done with garments. I know it is a necessary part of recovery in the early months and possibly later ones too, but I do look forward to when I don't have to wear any garment (just my regular clothes) and look good and flat without it (no swelling).
I've added a few new pics, sorry some are not that clear as I had taken some with my ipad LOL
As always, a big thanks to the ladies on this site for all of your stories and support. Take care :)
8 weeks post op today!!! Can't believe it's been...
- 10 Apr 2012
I still have my good days and bad one as things pop up. Like this small knot/bulge in my stomach that I think may be scar tissue. Ugh... It's not really big or noticeable but still, just something else to deal with on top of swelling and hyperpigmentation... I've been massaging it though and it helps some.
There really is lot (good AND bad) that comes with this surgery. For that reason I'm glad I did a lot of research and had realistic expectations although you still never really know until afterwards. That being said, I am still glad I had it done and even though I complain of this and that I do. It regret having it done. Because no matter what, my stomach wasn't going anywhere and it really (as you all know) affected the clothes I wore and as much as I loved shopping I was just too depressed to do any real shopping because of it.
The scar itself has thinnethanksgiving a very faint line thanks to the silicone strip. And I don't have any stretch marks. But I did have mostly all (like 98%) of them only at the bottom of my stomach with only 2 or 3 small ones (literally) at the top. But honestly if I did have still have them I know I'd still be glad I had the surgery and that well, not everything is going to be perfect and my main goal is to have a flat tummy.
I'll be adding pics a lil later, for some reason I can't add them from my iPad.
Happy healing to all you ladies and many well wishes to those of you about to have surgery soon. I love this forum! It has helped me tremendously while going thru my TT journey.
Here are a few pics I took today actually. It...
- 13 Apr 2012
Speaking of garments, I actually bought several styles of flexees and have had to cut some of them and make adjustments. I detest having a thick panty line or the big boning that shows thru clothes. But I found a smooth one though that works fairly well (still had to cut it a little bit though). I had sent my design veronique garment back too.
I'm hating my back rolls, and will still probably get lipo sometime within the next few months maybe because I didn't get lipo during my TT. I'm not really bummed about it... For one, I didn't have to pay a penny for my TT (got it done at military hospital free). And I guess when I do go for lipo things will have settled some with my tummy tuck so hopefully I will get an even better result. I don't know, LOL... But its mainly my back/bra rolls that I want gone now.
Take care ladies!
Helloooo ladies!!! Well I am now 3 months postop....
- 16 May 2012
First off, I feel like my results have gotten better (gets better with time) however, I still have to say that the swelling plays tricks on your mind. There have been a few times that I thought I have gained weight and it was just bad swelling. And I would weigh myself and it would turn out that I had actually lost a couple of pounds. So the swelling can be tricky and a quite depressing at times. Sometimes it’s really bad and other times not bad at all. I do watch my salt intake most of the time and what I consume but have my moments where I have to have my comfort foods. I am continuing to work out at the gym which is actually good for me and helpful. I am doing some situps/crunches. And I was wondering if any of you ladies are doing those yet? I know some docs have said wait til at least 6 months or so and others sooner. My dr. said it was okay for me to go ahead and start doing them. The first time I tried it hurt and not the normal hurt so I stopped and waited it out a few weeks. It is good now and well I didn’t have extensive muscle repair (only my muscles at the top).
As far as my hyperpigmentation problem, well it is finally getting much much lighter. At first I was starting to think it was not ever really gonna go away. But it is, it’s just taking time for it to slowly fade away. At my last appmt I spoke to my dr. about it and he said yes its fading and it will fade away but it will take time. So I am feeling better about that. And my scar is still very thin, that expensive scar silicone strip really works wonders on flattening those scars out.
On another note I have developed a little scar tissue on the upper ride side of my stomach. It is very small but still… So I have been massaging it and it seems to have helped it break up. My dr. said it takes about 6 months or so for everything to settle so to give it some more time. And if it doesn’t budge or anything then I guess I will have to have minor surgery to remove it. But it doesn’t bother me and it isn’t noticeable either but it’s still there. Other than that, everything is working itself out nicely and continuing to flatten out. And working out and toning things up really makes the results better. So I am continuing to try and tone things up (all over).
I hope everyone is healing nicely and enjoying those flat tummies and those waiting to make it to the flat lands, hang in there and get ready!
Hello everyone! Well I am now 4 months postop and...
- 15 Jun 2012
I am noticing more and more that I have good days and bad days and WORSE days with swelling. My last cycle was the worst and I swear I had picked up like at least 5 pounds but in reality I didn’t, it really was a lot of water retention and really bad swelling. I did have bad cravings too… But once it was over I was surprised at how much my tummy (everything) went down. That was scary though! But at this point, I am satisfied. I have also come to terms with the fact that I am NEVER going to be as flat as some others. Sometimes we do compare ourselves, or at least our results with others. I have been guilty of comparing my results with others who were 10-20 pounds lighter than me. Even if we do compare with someone who is of similar shape and size, nevertheless, we are all still different and our results will vary based on not just our individual size but other factors as well.
My incision is still thin and mostly flat, which I am grateful for. I never had any problems with it from the beginning. It was just the hyperpigmentation that I have been complaining about. And it’s still there but has lightened up tremendously. So I hope that as the months go on it continues to fade away. I keep saying that I want to go back and get lipo on my back and bra roll and maybe flanks. I am sure I will eventually. It just feels so good to get up and be able to wear what I wouldn’t have worn before this surgery. Yes it is a lot that comes with it (a lot of unforeseen might I add) but I certainly do not regret it. I don’t think I have ever been at a point where I honestly regretted it. For one, I know there wasn’t anything I was ever going to be able to do about all that excess skin except to have it removed. And even though I am wearing my binder still every single night, I do not want to have to wear a garment all day everyday. I wear it sometimes during the day but I am pretty comfortable and flat now to the point that I don’t need it during the day. And I just watch my salt intake as I was before surgery and that helps too. Some days I can’t help myself and I swell bad, other days even with I eat certain things its still not that bad. But sometimes I will put it on after a salty meal and have some of my green tea and that helps to get me back to my previous state. So again, for all you ladies that haven’t had surgery yet there is good and bad and some unforeseen things that can happen. But as you can probably tell, MOST ladies are more so happy than not. And even some ladies who go through complication right after surgery do get past it and go on to enjoy their nice, flat tummies. It just takes time, this is something that just can’t be rushed. It is a process, a healing process. But there are things you can educate yourself on to make it easier on you and your body.
I’ll post a few pics that I have taken recently (within the last week). Happy healing to all of you ladies!