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So Ready for a New Tummy! - Subiaco, AU

Hi RealSelf ladies, I am a 31 year old from Perth...

Hi RealSelf ladies,

I am a 31 year old from Perth WA, on the countdown to my TT with Lipo and MR. This has been something I have needed for almost 13 years, since the birth of my daughter. Before pregnancy I was about 58kg and ballooned to 103kg, absolute monster. Since then I have managed to reduce my weight to between 60-65kgs, however still look terrible with the excess of skin and stretch marks.

I only know one person who has had a tummy tuck, a male friend who has referred me to the surgeon he used. So far I have had the initial appt, booked in for 17th Jan (the day after my 32nd Birthday) and am anxiously counting down the days. Unfortunately being the holiday season I am at a higher weight than I would like to be going in at and will try to drop a few more kg between now and then. It has been very encouraging reading all your stories so far.

Before photos

This is me today at 63.9kg, this is 4kg more than I would have liked to have weighed going into op, but picked the wrong time of year to be slim!

Pre Op Appointment done and dusted

Well Im just home from my pre op, it all went well, my PS is very straight forward and discussed realistic results. That my stretch marks above my belly button would remain and my tummy might not get SUPER tight. I think that when I compare pictures of my tummy with other RealSelf ladies who have a similar tummy, even when their are stretch marks left there, the over all result is still fantastic, Im no bikini model anyway!

I will be the first up on Friday 17th. 7am admission which is great, not much time to panic. I have quite an extreme and irrational fear of needles so I might have a pre op med to calm me, or an anaesthetic cream on my hand to numb before IV goes in. I might just use the Emla cream as if I have the med I need to wait an hour and I would prefer to get it over and done with before lunch! 3 hours is predicted time for TT with Lipo to flanks and Muscle Repair.

I am quite annoyed with the Anaesthetist who has increased their quoted price from $1500 to $2100 which us significant. I don't have Private Health and am paying all the cost myself, so to get an invoice $600 more than budgeted a week before op is very frustrating. I have asked if they will honour price quoted as it was meant to be valid for 3 months, its been two since getting quote!

So far my costs have been:

PS- $4770 (will get $790 rebate)
Theatre- $2380
Hospital- $2282 for 2 nights
Misc- $650 meds etc at hospital
Anaesthetist- $2100 (or $1500!!!)
Initial PS appt- $160 ($70 rebate)
Pre-op- $65 ($35 rebate)
Binder- $45

7 hours to go

I am amazed at how fast the time has flown by, I have 7 hours to go. Today it was my birthday and last day of work for three weeks. I made sure the house was scrubbed squeeky clean and any last minute shopping done. I really thought I would be a wreck at this stage but I am very ready and just feel quite calm and at ease with my decision. I did get my will written up during the week though, just in case, haha. I better get some sleep, please send some positive thoughts my way today, I can't wait to start taking my "after" photos :)

I survived!

Well its 1.00am day after my op, what a day it was. I was admitted at 7:00am, had a pre op med at 8:45am, there were still a few tears being wheeled into theatre but nursing staff have been amazing. Im not going to lie, when I woke up I was in a great deal of pain. The muscles in my tummy have been pulled very tight. I also woke up laying flat so organised my bed with knees up. I have meds pumped in through IV for pain. I have mostly been in and out of sleep, really only feeling a bit more awake and able to talk in the last 4 hours. Also as it has been hurting to cough a nurse noticed I sounded a bit fluidy so I have to use a breathing "contraption" that looks like a child toy, you have to make 3 coloured balls hover at the top with an in breath. I hope today the pain is a bit better, will keep you posted.

First peek

Under the binder

Fingers crossed I get to go home.

Ive had my catheter out and apparently have to be able to wee three times before I can go home. It's making me stress as Ive tried twice already to get up but just feel very dizzy and sick, low blood pressure maybe. I just don't want to stay in hospital, now Im just on oral tablets for pain Id rather be in my own house. Need to get mobile first. Its such a weird sensation. My pain is up without the IV drugs so thats annoying, and sleeping is becoming hard as Im not comphy in the hospital beds. Sorry for the winge, Im getting a bit "over it", and feeling silly as I chose to do it to myself.

Amazing the difference a few hours can make

Hi All, well it's Sunday evening and I can honestly say I feel like a different person than before. Today I have been up and out if bed by myself doing toilet trips and back. Ive gotten up and changed myself out of my hospital gown into pyjamas and had a small trip around the corridors. I am really glad for having stayed one more night in hospital to get comfortable in my new skin. I don't have any doubts or fears about how I will go tomorrow back at home. One of my drsins came out today which was gross. My daughter came to visit and was a great help brushing my hair and carrying my drain for me when I went to the toilet. I feel like the worst of it is now behind me. Also the swelling seems to be behind me, or on my behind! I had lipo of the flanks but the swelling and bruising seems to be on the hips! Thanks everyone for the advise and well wishes.

2days post op

My hips and Girly Bits are huge, but happy with what I see so far

Swollen!

Back in the comfort of my home

Well I got discharged yesterday so spent three nights in hospital. My last drain was removed as it wasn't draining much so that is fabulous.

Back at home I am under the nursing care of my daughter who is doing a great job helping to drag mum off the sofa to pee a million times a day. I was pretty confused with the amount of meds I came home with as ZERO instructions were given, I would recomend having a nurse write each med down and what time of day to take it. I litterally have a box of over 10 different things which is daunting, especially when many are the same drug with different name in a fast or slow release form and you could find what the nurses were calling the med in hospital will have a different name on the box. Just a bit of a tip there.

I do like being in my own house but find it really hard to not be running around doing things, I over did it yesterday with dinner, dishes, laundry, washing my hair in sink. I feel bad asking my daughter to do it all, she fixes my breakfast, then I tell her to sit down so I can fix hers, haha.

I think the BM situation is going to become a problem...

Took my binder off to wash today waiting for it to dry, I do prefer the feel of it on.

My child came faster, easier and with less pain than that BM

Enough said.

5 Days PO and I'm a puffy sausage

Today I really over estimated how good I felt. Cabin fever has well and truly set in and I was gagging to get out. Its been 35+ degrees all week in Perth so convinced my Mum to drive me to shopping centre for some airconditioned retail therapy (and needed supplies from Chemist). Well I was wrong, I managed a 15 min drive, 5 minutes of very slow walking around shop, 5 mins of sitting in Chemist for script and I was practically hanging off my Mum to help me back to car. We just went through drive thru for a healthy chicken salad lunch and I had to come home and sleep for 2 hours.

I am so swollen it is rediculous. I have had to take binder off and hope tomorrow it feels better .

I am showering with a hired shower chair, it has been brilliant to help with shaving legs etc. i did have a panic though on first shower, as my PS had asked nurses at hospital to change my belly button dressing to a water proof one on two occasions. I assumed this was done as a dressing change was performed, however after shower the dressing and all the gauze under was soaked.

I had a panic and took out wet gauze, dried out belly button as best as I could with hairdryer then put in new gauze and then covered with waterproof patch. Im really worried about infection now as I was told obviously to keep dry but I have my post op appt with PS in two days so will let her know then.

Im really excited to see what it all looks like underneath.

Does anyone have any tips to reduce swelling? I have been drinking lots of water, eating mainly meals of salad and taking Arnica drops twice daily. Would love to know what worked for others :)

6 days PO photos in "before" bikini

This morning I decided to jump into my "test" bikinis to compare before and 6 days PO.

I weighed myself and was 63.7kg so basically what I was before op.

The swelling of the hips has gone down significantly to what it was, not most swelling seems to be in the front, making me look like a brick sh!t house IMO. Can't wait for that to go down because I feel I look fatter than before op.

Im happy with front view, the lipo has really smoothed out my love handled so I feel more feminine, I have a short torso. And obviously Im loving that I dont have a roll of skin hanging over the top YAY!

Side by side comparisons

Pre op and 6 days post op.

One week post op today

Just had my first post op, had my dressing changed and area cleaned. PS happy with progress. I have a concern that I still have a crease of skin under my belly button. Nurse assured me once swelling goes down it should all smooth out, I really hope so. Significant stretch marks remain but this was expected.

10 days PO

So for the past week I have had the worst swelling. Skin so tight I thought I would pop. Last night to try to relieve myself I layed in front of tv and gave my tummy and sides a massage/rub down through my CG, just firm but not so it caused pain or discomfort and I mostly avoided over the incision. I don't know if it is due totally to this or if I just got a lucky break this morning, but I woke up with a huge difference to the swelling!!! Its not totally gone but it is such a relief and joy as I am starting to see some of my results and feel so much more comfortable! Before the massage I have been doing the usual, drinking lots of water daily, avoiding salt, taking Arnica, but it did not seem to make a difference, so now I am going to make a point of getting some daily massage time in.

Four and 2 days, not seeing what I expected.

Been really down and upset about my results. I have tried to be patient and wait, but I am thinking after this long I should be able to get an idea of my end results.

I still have a large pouch under my belly button that means I still cant wear fitted clothing or bikinis... And it is lopsided which is even worse. I am getting SO DEPRESSED over it. I went to see the nurse at hospital two days ago, she has recommended I stop wearing my binder and start to build my core up before I go for my 6 week post op appt with the surgeon in two weeks.

I feel just as disfigured as before and it is ruining my confidence. I know the surgeon will do rrvision if needed but I will still be out of pocket thousands in hospital and anaethetist fees.

Has anyone felt like this? The nurse said most of my swelling is gone at this stage.

Sorry to be a major downer, Ive resisted doing updated lately due to my negative view of my TT. I just wasn't prepared to still hate my tummy post op!
Australia Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (57)

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Hi! You are so early in your recovery Stacey, some people swell well into the second six months even. Everyone is so different. My left side even now at 3 months gets the bigger swelling when swelling is present. The body has to grow new blood vessels and lymphatic channels where they were cut between the skin and muscle and this takes time, time, time. Trully you look absolutely normal compared to what I've seen on here. In fact I've seen many many women with way worse swelling at one month. Honestly Stacey I can't understand why your nurse said to build your core up as I've heard the doctors on this site and other women's stories tell them to wait much longer than that. That nurse has no idea what she is talking about, blind Freddy can see that you are still swollen. It would be a miracle if you weren't put it that way. Maybe she was trying to make you feel better but its just not true. The Dr's on here on the Q and A answer your questions really quickly and they will tell you their honest opinions, probably several will. Might be worth a try for a free very experienced second opinion that will alleviate your stress. x
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I second @secretdiva... Everyone heals differently.. Just try to appreciate ur body's healing process... You just about 1 month, you shouldn't start worrying till ur 6 months.. Remember you had a major surgery and your body needs time to heal.. I just started taking walks myself and wearing my training corset.. Still gets swelling but not bothered.. Know it's all part of my healing process... So hang in there you'll still see ya desired results!!
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To tell you the truth I still have a lil hang like that but I know I way to early to judge and even put myself through that rollercoaster. Please don't put yourself down, just yet, give it time, keep waring your tape and cg. I'm two weeks ahead of you and can't even look at my results as the final road. Take care and happy healing
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Swelling can last up to 6 months, also, has your ps ruled out a seroma? I think you have good results, you just need more patience. This surgery takes a long timentonrecover and the first month is the freakiest one. It will get better. It also helps to talk to your doctor about your concerns, you should call her.
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Thanks for your reassurance. The nurse ruled out seroma at my last visit. I hope it is swelling, I am maybe over reacting, I just keep panicking! Thanks again for your comment :)
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Hi Stacey, yaye for you, you made it. It really does get better. I laughed when I read your post about the BM, great sense of humour. I found that staying on top of the BM's with suppositories helped to keep that horrible tight feeling to a minimum. I can't believe how hot its been here in Perth lately and really sumpathize with you having to wear a cg. When I got cabin fever we hired a wheelchair from the chemist for 10 dollars, it was fun to be wheeled around the shopping centre in the nice air conditioning too and have a gloria jeans and feel human again. Its a huge recovery this surgery that none of us were really prepared for. Hang in there and eat lots of protein too for your healing, very important.
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You look really good!!!
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Hi how are you doing? I also had my surgery the 17th and I have that little pouch underneath the belly button but she told me its swelling I hope so because before surgery I never had it I only had the loose saggy skin.
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Hi zulubella, I have the same problem, a pouch between belly button and scar. Was told it was the only place for the swelling to go! I had my op on 17 also. How r u besides the pouch?
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Hi Zulybella. I just had a look at your pics, you look amazing, I am certain in your case it is just swelling as your waist is tiny, I wish you a speedy recovery
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Nervous Shell, you look great!!! I wish my tummy looked like yours does already!!!
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I'm doing ok I'm only taking ibeprophen mayb very 8-10 hours and my lower back is very swollen I sent my surgeon a pic she said I'm accummulating fluid so she needs to take it out =/ she wants to see me this weekend. She said in The meanwhile have a little towel there to make pressure. So I'm not to excited about that. =(
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Thank you Stacey82! I appreciate your kind words. Happy healing for you aswell!
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Thanks stacey82, The last photos were taken in the morning before swelling takes hold! How's your sleeping going? I am up all night. Was prescribed sleeping tablets but they have not worked!! Oh well catching up on the Carrie diaries;)
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U look great! Happy healing
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Wow, there's such a big difference in your. Imprison pics already! Looking great!
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*comparison, bahaha! Not imprison!
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Amazing results!!
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Hahaha... I feel you on that bowel movement!!!
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Good luck on your recovery! With the first BM behind you, it's all uphill from here!
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happy healing and thank you for the updates. i wish you the best! i think you are looking great!!!
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You poor thing. The first BM is the worst.
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Congrats on this big move to a flatter you! Welcome to the flat side.
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Great to hear u r home. I understand that it is really hard to allow others to completely look after u, but I have come to a realisation that I have to just let go and I know that my carerers are happy to do Stuff for me. I only got 3 types of meds which makes it easy to track. Maybe u should ring ur doc and find out what meds u should be taking, how much and when...happy healing;)) u r looking good though!!
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