Going ok...

I am schelduled for a full TT with repair of...

I am schelduled for a full TT with repair of hernia and lipo of the flanks on October 28th, 2011. I have had two kids, my youngest is 3 1/2 years old. Last one was a c-section. I am 5'11" and 155 pounds. Not very large but tired of looking preganant all the time.

All the paperwork is now finalized, just waiting. ...

All the paperwork is now finalized, just waiting. I know that everything will go fine and that the 28th is just around the corner. I do my labs on the 24th. I am very confident in my surgeons abilities. He has been doing this for 17 years and I have saw hundreds of before and after pictures that he has done but I am still a little nervous, but I guess that's normal. Just hoping for a smooth and speedy recovery! This website has been so helpful for me. I am from a small southern town where plastic surgery is taboo so to say. I am glad that I have found a awesome support group to help encourage me!!

Ok so friday I started taking Chromagen Forte...

Ok so friday I started taking Chromagen Forte Caplets. My surgeon gave these high power iron tablets to me because after my c-section I became anemic and it took over 2 years of iron pills to bring my iron levels back up so hopefully taking these 2 times a day three weeks before my surgery and three months after will prevent that from happenning to me again. The only problem is iron pills wreck havoc on my tummy!! One day severally consipated, the next can't stop going. But I understand that it's for the best :) Two weeks from today will be my pre-op and lab work and two weeks from friday will be my actual surgery. My sister is getting married on the 22nd so bridal shower this saturday, wedding the saturday after then surgery the friday after so I know the time will fly by. I was schelduled for last friday the 7th but I have to be the maid of honor so I picked the 28th, which is best all around because I will have hubby, sister and both parents around to help with me and the kids all the weekend and week after to help with me not having to do anything but focus on myself and recovering.

Today makes exactly two weeks until my surgery. I...

Today makes exactly two weeks until my surgery. I am getting more and more excited! I have had quite a bit of surgeries before so I pretty much know what to expect pain and healing wise so that helps keep my nerves calm. My pre-op is monday the 24th. Will keep you guys updated and informed!

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

Ok so here we are today with only 10 days before...

Ok so here we are today with only 10 days before the actual surgery. I go to my pre-op in 6. SOOOO excited to finally get this done. However, I am 99% sure that I will be on my period at the time of surgery. My doctor said that it is fine it doens't complicate things but it will be annoying since I will have drains in and won't be able to shower for 8 days after. I can sponge bath but that never makes me feel clean the way a good old fashion shower does!! Will update again after my pre-op appointment because my sister is getting married saturday so I will be extremely busy from tommorrow until monday the day of my appointment!

Just got back from the wedding and it was...

Just got back from the wedding and it was amazing!! Just a quick update!!! My procedure has changed. Thursday night when I stood to get off the couch I had a horrible ripping pain across my right side and I noticed that my hernia tripled in size!! I called my PS friday to tell him what happenned and he says that he will have to do a customized TT because my adomen can't handle full normal Lipo Adominplasty because what he thinks happened is the entire wall around my umblical cord fell in which means the hernia is a very large piece of intestine poking through which means he is going to have to be more agressive with the muscles and less agressive with the skin and lipo. So I will find out for sure when I go to my pre-op monday. My surgery date will still be the same, next friday the 28th. If only that hernia would have held up for another week! I will update everyone monday evening to let you guys know what the plans are now!

Ok I go to my pre-op appointment in about 2 hours....

Ok I go to my pre-op appointment in about 2 hours. I will then find out if we can still do the FTT or if my hernia is just too bad and we have to do that alone. Hopefully everything will still be set for the FTT!!! I will update you guys tonight!

Ok surgery is in two days at 9:00. Went for my...

Ok surgery is in two days at 9:00. Went for my pre-op monday and learned that I won't be doing a full tummy tuck anymore due to the hernia. He said it is a good amount of large intestine poking through to the point that it is about to become strangulated. This happenned to my mom a couple of years ago and it was horrible! So now he will be cutting around my belly button and removing it then cutting through the muscles to push the intestines back in place then stiching the muscles back together. He believes that once the hernia is fixed that I really won't need a tummy tuck anymore because my skin is good and it mostly pokes out in the center of my belly and he is going to stich 3-5 inches of my muscles back together (as far as he can reach both ways with the incision). Once I heal, the scar should be almost unnoticeable because it will be inside my belly button. He said that tummy tuck is not a option right now because he only does lipo and tummy tuck and the lipo can't be done with all the worth for the hernia because it will be too much trama at one time. He doesn't do just tummy tucks because 85% of people don't like the results and come back for lipo which then leaves loose skin again. I will still keep everyone updated and a couple of days after my surgery I will post pics so if there is anymone out there that has a hernia, they can see how it looks to repair it.

Ok just a quick update because I am in horrible...

Ok just a quick update because I am in horrible pain!! The hernia was the worst my surgeon has saw in his combined years of practicing (17 years) and took over 2 1/2 hours to repair. He had to cut me a little straight up and down. The mucles were so seperated he said that he could stick a orange in and out the hole and still wouldn't touch the sides!!! Come to find out that is what my kangaroo pouch was and he tightened the hold 5" to close it so it took 5" off my waist. It was too much loose skin so he called my emergency contact, my mom, and asked if he could procede to remove the skin from the incision he already made and she gave the ok so now I already look faboulous although he says that I am really swollen!!! Now my problem with the hernia, muscle repair and skin was resolved through the small incision so I am excited that I won't have to have a TT anymore!!! Only problem is that I am at a SEVERE high risk for infection because he can't give me high power antibotics because I am allegic to penicillen and if it becomes infected, he will have to take away my belly button but I honestly wouldn't mind it. He said that when he opened it up he saw all these broken stiches and didn't know what was going on then realized that when I had my c-section, the removed my belly button from it's original location (I suspected this because it became extremely high after wards) and the cut the muscles too far up and tried to stitch them back without knowing what they were doing and also they used permanant stiches. My surgeon never uses permanant stiches (although many PS do) because he said it might take 10 years but your body will eventually "spit out" the stitches or rip them because they know it is a foreigh object. He gave me plenty of shots in my tummy to help with the pain. He gave me percocet, morphine, hydrocodine, and tons of other medicine but he says it will only help so much because of my intestines being exposed to air so long has tramatized them and I am at a high risk for absess and don't expect a BM for about two weeks. He is not open on saturdays or sundays but I will be there everyday including these days to change my bandages. He wants to personally do them his self, not even let the nurses do it. He was very upset that this was done to me and refused to even accept extra payment for additonal medicines, operating times, office visits etc. I truely love Dr.Culbertson because he really cares and everyone of his patients. I am also in this aweful binder and my back is killing me from walking hunched over because he tightned the muscles and pulled the skin. As soon as I am able to leave the bandages off I will take pictures to show everyone my results. He said to expect 3 full months for all swelling to go down and for me to be able to eat and breathe normally again because those simple things are hard to do now with the new tightness. I will update again on monday because I am having me a nice weekend with hubby catering to my every need and the kids are spending the weekend with my sister so I have plenty of time to take it easy. I'm not allowed to do house work or driving of ANY kind the first three weeks because he said that you may be almost healed and then a infection hits and believe it or not, that is the most common time to get infections and abcesses!!! Will let all of you ladies know how I am doing monday and thanks so much for all of your support and warm wishes through this hard time!! PS: Please overlook the spelling errors, the pain medicines are getting to me, LOL!

Ok I get my bandages off tommorrow and I will...

Ok I get my bandages off tommorrow and I will upload pics. This has been a very painful experience for me to say the LEAST. I am still very swollen but I can tell from the one stretch mark and two frinkles that I have where the skin has been pulled. The worst part is the back and calf pains from having to walk hunched over. No BM as of yet but have been passing alot of gas. I am glad that I went this route because I can't image the pain of all the other cuts and lipo from what I orginally had planned!! Well I am heading off to bed for now because all of the pain medicine is getting to me and will update you guys tommorrow!

I've been having LOTS of complications ladies so I...

I've been having LOTS of complications ladies so I will give a good update in a few days. Brief run down, I was doing fine until 4 days post op then didn't have a bowel movement and had to take magnesium citrate to go and come to find out I had a blockage in my intestines and had to go through a battering of tests and to be treated for severe dehydration to make sure nothing went wrong with my intestines during the surgery. Everything was fine but I almost ripped everything apart from all of the vomiting but luckly it held. Every inch of my intestines permantely hurt now because come to find out I was allergic to the magnesuim citrate! It will take about another week before it goes away! Today I am 8 days post op and still feel as if I am dying! I have taken a picture today and will upload it in a couple of days but I didn't get to take any pictures right after the surgery because I was in horrible pain. But the good news is that my PS stiched that 5" gap closed so now I have an unbelieveable tiny waist already although he says it will take 3-6 months for the swelling to finally subside to see the final result!!

30 Days Post Op- Well I am finally starting to see...

30 Days Post Op- Well I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Let me elaberate on what my surgery was. I was schelduled for a full TT with lipo. A week before my surgery, my hernia got very large. It was a hole that was 5" in diameter, or the size of a large grapefruit. My intestines became strangulated and I couldn't poop. So we had to fix the hernia because fixing it with a full TT and lipo was just too much trama for my stomach at one sitting. We decided to go ahead and tighten the muscles and remove the excess skin but I was warned by my surgeon that Umblicalplasty usual doesn't look cosmetically normal and I might not like it but I decided to go ahead and do it that way I wouldn't have to go back and do a TT later and have the hip to hip scar. In the photos I have uploaded, they were taken this morning and I am very swollen. When he pulled everything tight, it made a pocket of fat that you will see in the middle of my stomach which he says he can lipo out in Febuary and it will be flat once again. This has been a hard recovery but it was totally worth it. I am satisfied with my belly button although it is a little wrinkly looken but I am overall happy with everything.

I meant to add that when I went in for my surgery...

I meant to add that when I went in for my surgery I weighed 165. 8 days after from not eating I was 147, which I still am now. That's 18 lbs lost!!! Also finally all of my "plumbing" is working properly. One weird effect that I had from being put to see for 3 hours 10 minutes if heart burn!! OMG!!! I never had heart burn before in my life. Even after eating hot food or while I was preganant but now I DIE with it!! I take zantac twice a day and live for eating Tums but still no relief! Dr. said that it had to be from being put to sleep and hopefully it will resolve over a few months but might be permanant. I never heard of this happenning to anyone else before though but that's the only complaint for now and not being able to exercise. I can do light exercise in 2 more weeks for 9 months before I can do any ab exercise such as sit ups because the whole where my hernia was was so massive. So I'm tired of being flabby, lol!

Sorry ladies but I have deleted my photos when I...

Sorry ladies but I have deleted my photos when I saw them show up in the yahoo and google searches! Everything is still going ok over here though!
Dr. Gary Culberson

Dr. Culbertson is the absolute best!! He really cares about your feelings, thoughts and wishes. He will spend as much time talking to you as you like. He spent 3 hours with me on my pre-op alone!!! He has been in business for over 20 years and the staff from when you walk in to everybody you encounter really go above and beyond their duties to make you comfortable. It was worth every penny and more for his work. Would recommend anyone getting plastic OR general surgery to choose him!!

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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and what was the actual tax and hospital final charge and everything???? if you don't mind me asking
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so did the heartburn go away??
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Laura can you please call me, I am getting ready to have surgery done by the same doctor and would love to talk to you. Please call me at 843-206-9884. Also if anyone else has had a tummy tuck by Dr. Culbertson of Sumter, SC please feel free to give me a call. I reallly want to hear about what I should expect. Thanks for all the post Laura, they were very informational and helpful. I appreciate you! Call as soon as possible at anytime!
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I would love to hear how everything is now, I am to have my tt done by the same doctor as you had, I am so freaked out about staying over night with the two nurses in the doctors office, I kind of wish it was in a hospital, how did your go?
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please send me a email to my personal email or feel free to give me a call tommmorrow at 6:00 when I get home from work. 803-***-**** :)

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If you don't get this in time, you can call me any night at 6:00-8:00 and my name is Laura :)
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I am so glad you are doing better! Sorry you deleted your photos. I don't mind mine being in yahoo or google search - my face is not in them, so who would even know who it is?
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Hang in there!

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Thanks Kimmers!
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God bless and good luck!
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Thanks so much!
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I agree, your back is firm and you have beautiful skin. You will have amazing results! Can't wait to see...
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Good luck! I just had my surgery on 10/13. I also had a hernia. I am 6 days post op and feeling great! You will do just fine! You are going to love your new tummy!
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Laura, you are going to look amazing!!!!
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Thanks JoBibbi and good luck with your surgery!
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You will be so happy! Advice I can offer (I am 6 months post op) - be patient - it is major surgery. It will take almost a year before your body will fully heal. You will most likely swell for a few months afterward - that will pass. It is just your body's way of healing. Also take help. Don't feel bad for taking help. You need to rest & heal. You are a mom who always takes care of the family, it is okay to be taken care of. We are all here for you on this wonderful support site. The support on site has gotten me through all of my ups & downs & we truly understand everything you are going through!

Freezing meals ahead of time was great. It was so nice to pull a healthy soup/stuffed shells out of the freezer & simply heat it up.

Also, an important thing was to make sure you discuss with your surgeon scar placement, how you want your belly button to look, etc. I was so concerned about having a weird huge belly button that my PS & I spent 20 minutes at my first consult discussing it! I even brought in photos of ones I wanted & did not want!

The very best advice came from Kimmers Month by Month Recovery. I would check that each month to see what I could expect. It was very comforting to know that swelling was normal & will get better.

Good luck!! Can't wait to see your after photos & hear about your recovery.
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Thanks so much for your advice! I didn't think of freezing meals but now I am going to get started on that today! I will keep everybody up to date with every step!
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Hi laura,

My TT is 3 weeks after yours. So, I'm especially interested in following your journey. I'm 5'10 and weight 155 so, Im expecting are results will be somewhat similar.
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Wow we are almost exactly the same! I will defintly keep everybody up to date!!! I already told hubby that when I come home to get the camera ready lol!
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Thanks so much!! I will be sure to update regularly and post pics!!
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Perfect!

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Welcome Girlie!  

You are going to love having the flat tummy.  Hang in there, not much longer to go.  We will all be here to help you through so stay with us.  

I will be following your journey so keep up the posts and pictures.  

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Good luck on your surgery! I am looking forward to following your journey!
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