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Extended Tummy Tuck, No Drains :) - Stony Brook, NY

I'm 29, about 5'7", 122 lbs. After having three...

I'm 29, about 5'7", 122 lbs. After having three large babies I was able to lose all my pregnancy weight with exercise, but I was left with diastasis recti and large amounts of paper-thin loose skin on my stomach. So despite being reasonably fit amd very active I still felt I needed to make a change.


By having an extended tummy tuck I was able to also tackle the problem of extra skin sagging on my flanks.
Dr. Epstein was so nice and he listened to all of my concerns. He let me know that by doing an extended tummy tuck be would be able to also improve the appearance of my thighs when the excess flank skin was removed.

I am 8 days post op and the recovery has been great so far. He used a drug called Exparel which made pain pills almost unnecessary. It lasts for the first few days after surgery. I did take a few pills the first two days just because I was scared not to. But when i missed a dose, I didnt even notice til much later. So I stopped taking them on day two. I cant imagine how much worse the recovery wouldve been without this amazing drug.
Iwas so grateful to go home the day after surgery out drains or a cumbersome pain pump dangling out of my body. That would not have been pleasant.

Aside from a bit of normal swelling I feel great and I am so glad I decided to get my extended abdominoplasty.

About to post a few pre-op pics. I realluy...

about to post a few pre-op pics. I realluy should've taken higher resolution ones, it is so hard yo see the ridiculously bad quality of the skin on my stomach. It is seriously paper thin, and oh-so-wrinkled. even above my navel.
(when i was pregnant with my second child my stomach actually reached out to my knees. not kidding. it sucked. good times....)

After I lost all the baby weight I couldnt deal with all the saggy skin. Yoga is pretty embarassing when you are in plank amd your belly skin is hanging like five inches under you.
my 1 and 2 year old kids used to love to play "where is mommy's belly button?" which involved me lyjng down and them not being able to find it because it was hidden by so much extra skin and wrinkles lol

Been feeling much more mobile the last few days. ...

Been feeling much more mobile the last few days. i can sleep better at night without feeling like i will tear open when i move. And my husband has been getting uo in the night to help the little ones if they wake up crying. Lucky me :)
Still really swollen.
and what kind of sucks is that my skin is such bad quality it is still sort of wrinkly even with the swelling :'(
i am actually scared to see what i look like
when the swelling goes down.
i was expecting to wake up after surgery with no extra skin but maybe that was unrealistic?
I guess ill have to wait and see how it looks in a few months. if necessary i can try doing lits of weighted ab exercises and see if i can fill in whatever might be loose
with larger abs? anybody elae have this issue?
i will try to post after pics tonight if i can. It is a little depresing being soooo much wider than i was before surgery

Ok so I'm posting some "after" pics. I've been...

Ok so I'm posting some "after" pics. I've been kind of dragging my feet since I am still a bit wrinkled above my navel and I'm sort of hoping the final result will look a bit better. If not, the doctor said he could probably fix it once i'm healed. :/
I was kind of hoping I would be done with cosmetic surgery once and for all, but I guess only time will tell.

And i'm still glad I chose the doctor that I did. I just really think maybe my skin was not at all the typical patient's sort of situation. My skin is really thin from all the pregnancy stretching.and I was told that the near absence of fat beneath the skin made things a bit more tricky.

I still have the sticky stuff that keeps the wound closed at surgery, so I'm not really sure how the incision is looking, but at least it is very low and well placed. :)
Sorry for flashing a bit of butt crack in the rear shot; I pulled my shorts extra low so you could see the placement.

I am still quite swollen as you can see. I am wearing the same shorts as in the "Before" pics so you ladies could have a basis of comparison. But at least the skin does look much better than it did before. no more giant hanging blob of gross extra skin when I bend over, so that makes me happy... And my diastasis was fixed which was the main reason for considering surgery in the first place.
As a bonus the extra skin on my sides was pulled up as per my request and the doctor was able to give me a sort of thigh/butt lift at the same time as the abdominoplasty. As my husband points out, it's not so bad to have a few wierd looking stomach wrinkles when we more or less got a free butt lift/ outer thigh lift at the same time. lol Hooray!
I think my doc did a great job overall and I would still totally recommend him. It wasn't precisely what I had expected, but that's what life is all about : surprises. If everything in life went exactly as expected, things would be pretty boring. trying too look on the bright side :)
I'm hoping in a few months things will smooth out a bit.

happy healing everyone.

Had my two week post op visit today. Seems...

Had my two week post op visit today. Seems everything looks good so far. I have to say I am amazed at how minimal my swelling is. I really did expect quite a bit more than I have.
I am standing mostly straight, but not completely. And my hip flexors are being to be stretched, but I dont want to tear anything so I think i will make them wait. lol
I am sort of disappointed by the unexpectedly horrendously poor quality of my skin. (Ugh I blame my kids for being giants at birth. )
But the doctor said that if i dont mind a vertical scar (which I dont mind at all, actually),he would be able to to a bit of a revision and sort of smooth out the skin there.
That is definitely something I will consider once I have healed. I know most people would freak out over a vertical scar, but my skin is just seriously that bad I think a scar would look better. lol. It's so bad that it even got more wrinkled above my navel after the surgery.
So please dont look at my after pics and think that my operation was done poorly... i know the doctor did everything he could during surgery. Everything else is looking good, including the fact that he was able to lift my thighs, which was a nice bonus :)
I am still really glad I chose Dr. Epstein. :)

And if I ever finally decide to get breast implants there is no question I will go to him for that as well.
Rumor has it that he is THE go-to guy for breast implants with a quick recovery method.

Oct 25. DAY 22 Post-Op. Had my 3 week follow up...

Oct 25. DAY 22 Post-Op.

Had my 3 week follow up appointment today. The special sticky tape they used to cover my incision at surgery was removed today. :)
I was outright shocked out of my mind to see how THIN and amazing my scar looks. It is darn near invisible. Like, way thinner than the "pencil-thin" scar I was expecting.
My husband joked that Dr. Epstein must have some sort of special futuristic Star Trek style tools. He was very impressed by how thin and well-placed it is.
I am excited to see how great it looks in 6-12 months. I generally heal a bit slowly but I'm sure it will be healed by then.

My next appointment is in 2 months. :) Maybe by then he will give me permission to start Insanity workouts for my cardio days :) And i am hoping to be able to resume my crazy ab workouts and weightlifting by that point too. But I am going to start slowly and carefully so I dont damage my results.

Everything seems to be healing very well. Much better than I expected.

Week 5 update well i'm alive after hurricane...

week 5 update

well i'm alive after hurricane sandy and have just gotten power back. with the lights working i can see that my scar is healing nicely. will post pics once i start exercising in earnest and i look a bit more normal

Approx 6 weeks dying to start weightlifting again...

approx 6 weeks
dying to start weightlifting again.
I wad told I could resume full activity at 8 weeks...
i hope i will actually feel ready by then. Ive been doing a little "light cardio" but wow I feel really lame going so easy.

So far the hardest part of recovery has been the waiting until I am able to start lifting.

About 3 montha post op. Finally able to do a few...

About 3 montha post op.
Finally able to do a few pullups without pain. Pushups are ok now too. still feeling numb along the area above my scar and occasionally feeling twinges of pain as perhaps the nerves are growing back a bit.
I am still terrified to Train abs properly so I am just being careful, and lifting weights and Will be doing Insanity for cardio.
skipping my regular abs workouts for a while longer.
Everything looks great except I may have a bit of swelling along my back above the scar. either that or I'm still just not lean enough and have to drop a little bit more bodyfat.

I will upload a picture of my back so you can see where I may be swollen/fat.
Only time will tell, I guess.
Stony Brook Plastic Surgeon

I had actually researched a number of doctors, but Dr. Epstein had the most impressive before and after picture gallery. He was very nice and willing to answer all my crazy questions. :) I couldnt help but feel confident that this was the doctor I would be able to trust.

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 times
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Comments (29)

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Haven't been on for a while and wondering how you other exercising-TTers are doing now that you are a ways out. I'm at 3.5 months and doing everything previous to TT except full on ab work with weights and reps I used to. Running actually feels really good now because it stretches me out like nothing else. Hope you are back or close to your old routine. Would love to see pics!
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how was your first few days? i am just curious because you were a drainless tt. I am wondering how the recovery will be.
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it was kind of a blur, i just sat around alot to keep the abs from feeling like they were pulling. The exparel drug kept most of the severe pain away, but by no means was I super mobile.... i could sit in one position, so i had to forget about reaching up high or twisting or any stretching movements.... but the pain from sitting hunched over or slow walking was pretty minimal. the first few days was when i was most swollen, at that point it was hard to get my Spanx on since having to force them up was really taxing. both because my waist was huge and because i had limited upper body mobility and of course i couldnt be around the babies or they wouldve freaked out that i wasnt able to hold them.
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Yeah we'll mine is going to make me wait 3-6 months!!!! He is super cautious!
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that is good, i am not sure i will really be ready to do that much after only 8 weeks. my abs feel fairly tight and any stretching is sort of scary. i dont know how prepared i will be to lift with any real meaningful weight. acrobatic stuff especially will have to wait quite a bit longer. even thinking about backbends and handstands and such is terrifying right now lol. maybe i will take your doctor's advice! thanks :)
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Pictures?!
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soon :) im just waiting til the last remnants of the sticky stuff come off the surrounding skin. scrubbing really hard right next to my scar sort of scares me lol. dont want to tear myself open trying get clean haha
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I remeber seeing someone on here who had your similar trunk build. Long, lean, thin skin and really no fat under under it. She had a vertical scar I think for the same reason and it looked really good. I think she was from Utah? Not fair that some stretch and recoil and some don't! For whatever it's worth I still have lots of stretch marks too. I'm thinking if I get those abs underneath that have just been waiting to pop and a spray tan, I might, might wear a bikini some day. You look fab!
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aw you are sweet, thanks :) yea if i had known ahead of time that my skin was so bad i would have been like "dude, slice me open from top to bottom if you have to. just make the wrinkles go away" lol but he is a good doctor and didnt want to make that decision for me while i was unconscious. he pulled as much as the surrounding good quality skin would allow. he actually tried to minimize my scarring by not making a giant vertical scar. i guess im one of the strange few who dont care at all about visible scars. i am probably going to see what he can do once i heal. but im not crazy about the idea of extra down-time since my kids are so young.
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aw you are sweet, thanks :) yea if i had known ahead of time that my skin was so bad i would have been like "dude, slice me open from top to bottom if you have to. just make the wrinkles go away" lol but he is a good doctor and didnt want to make that decision for me while i was unconscious. he pulled as much as the surrounding good quality skin would allow. he actually tried to minimize my scarring by not making a giant vertical scar. i guess im one of the strange few who dont care at all about visible scars. i am probably going to see what he can do once i heal. but im not crazy about the idea of extra down-time since my kids are so young.
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I was right, her being from Utah stuck in my head since that's where I am. Her user name is mommyofsix
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thanks :)
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I'm so glad to hear about your recovery with exparel. I'm having that with my MM and I haven't heard any comments about recovery. I am more than happy to avoid a pain pump if that stuff works!
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yeah. it was great. no, it was amazing. i still felt tender around the incision, but just enough to know if i moved the wrong way. I can't imagine how terrible a pain pump would have been dangling ugh
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You look great and although it seems it may never go, the swelling gets better!!!
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Congrats one being done I still have two months. I'm sure even though right now everything might not be looking 100% how you want you did have a lot of loose skin and I'm sure it's looking sooo much better than your before! Give it time it seems everyone on here goes through these feelings!
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yea it is better than before, so i am so grateful for that. and my doctor was so nice, i dont blame him or anything... i just hope it looks bikini-worthy once i can get back to the gym. thanks for the words of encouragement :) when is your surgery? i hope it goes well! :) will follow your progress :)
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Mine is scheduled for Dec. 17th!!!!
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oh hooray! :)
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How are you doing? Where are your after pictures? :)
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ha im working on it :) probably will post later tonight. :) gotta get out my laptop to upload stuff and thats always hard with the kiddies around to bang on the keyboard haha. good times. doing ok tho. just swolllen ugh
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I'm with you. So frustrating to work out so hard but the skin and muscle separation just can't be exercised away. I know what you mean about the sagging belly during planks/pushups! I'm almost 6 weeks out and sooo looking forward to ramping up the exercise again. Happy healing to you!!!
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thanks so much! hope you can get back to your exercise without any unforseen problems :)
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The pictures are great!  Thank you for posting them:)

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Welcome to the community:)   

Happy you joined us and look forward to seeing those before and after pics:)

It sounds like you are doing wonderful and that's awesome.  

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