Modified Abdominoplasty with Hernia Repair - Texas

Lost my bikini body in 1988 when I gave birth to...

Lost my bikini body in 1988 when I gave birth to an 11# bouncing baby boy and have been trying since then to get it back. My son was delivered by an emergency C-Section after 16 hours of hard labor without pain meds. I have since had numerous abdominal surgeries (cholecystectomy, myectomy, hysterectomy and a unilateral oopherectomy) and have nicknamed my stomach "Frankenbelly" due to the numerous scars, stretch marks and deformities.

Since my son is over 20 years old I cannot call it "baby fat" anymore and have spent the past year dieting and exercising away 70 lbs. Technically I am the same size I was pre-pregnancy, but I look nothing like that young naive girl that I once was! I am hoping that the hot little mama that used to wear the skimpiest of clothing is under all this loose skin just waiting get excavated and brought back to life!

I also have a 6.0 incisional hernia resulting from the unilateral oopherectomy which has become larger with the weight loss and has recently started causing a lot of pain, mostly when I sneeze, cough or laugh hard, but have also started to experience a lot of nausea and vomitting after eating full meals and have found myself snacking or eating much smaller meals to avoid this feeling.

Since the surgery is medically necessary it has taken a lot of the anxiety out of the picture for me.

10/10/11 - not quite 2 weeks post-op and feeling...

10/10/11 - not quite 2 weeks post-op and feeling great. The drains were removed last week @ 6 days post op and this greatly increased my ability to move around comfortably. The past week I have been getting around better with more frequency and am able to get up and out of bed without assistance. There is still swelling in the lower abdomen and pubic area which should decrease in the next few weeks. I have been able to wear most clothes very comfortably with the exception of tight jeans. While I am able to get them on and get them buttoned, the lower rise jeans rub my incision too much to make wearing them desirable.

The only discomfort that I have experienced has been the pulling of the internal mesh girdle. It causes slight discomfort in the groin and along my right hip, I know once I lose more weight this will cease and has let up greatly the past week.

I have not had serious pain since 2 days post op and noticed that once I became more ambulatory the pain subsided immensely. Still growing accustomed to seeing my stomach sans belly button! The hernia was over 3" in length and in close proximity to my belly button. The decision was made to not cut through the mesh to pull the belly button through until after the repair has had time to thoroughly heal. Hopefully I will have a belly button before next bikini season! In the interim it is nice not having that massive bump sticking up out of my abdomen and I still have to perform a double take when I walk past mirrors, I don't recognize myself!

I will have my husband help me take a 2 week post op photo to update my file.

Two weeks and 1 day post op and feeling great. ...

Two weeks and 1 day post op and feeling great. Went back to work yesterday and while I am not back to traveling for work yet, I am working extensive hours with no issue. I did make the mistake of trying to sleep on my side the night before last and gave up due to the pain from the stitches holding the internal mesh girdle in place. Even when I rolled onto my back the pain was still so bad that I wound up taking a pain pill to get comfortable enough to go to sleep...I won't try that again for another week or two!

Will post some updated pictures by this weekend.

Three weeks and one day post-op, I think I overdid...

Three weeks and one day post-op, I think I overdid myself earlier this week. I went out of town for work, traveled about 4 hours by car and within hours I started experiencing excrutiating pain. I was planning on staying overnight but the pain was so bad that I drove back home just so I could take enough pain medicine to make it go away! I was in so much pain that I was sick to my stomach and my husband had to lift me up to get into bed. The pain has gotten somewhat better although I am feeling a bit more of it tonight than I did last night...I guess it is my body telling me that I need to slow down and give it more time to recover.

I am 3.5 weeks post op and I guess I am officially...

I am 3.5 weeks post op and I guess I am officially in the swell hell phase. My lower abdomen and pubis are so swollen and uncomfortable. The swelling is straining the internal stitches of my internal mesh girdle and movement is feels like my muscles are being shredded! I did discover Arnica gel and it has been a godsend! How I ever lived without I will never know, I am just so happy that I have found out about it and have stashed tubes of it around my house. I also started using Mederma scar gel tonight. I am still using Bio Oil since I love using it all over, I just wanted something more on my incision to help smooth it out, etc. I had tried using the silicone strips but they wouldn't stay in place with my Spanx so I gave up on those for now. I go back to Dr Horndeski tomorrow for a follow-up...other than issues with swelling, I feel great and still think it was worth everything I have gone through!
Texas Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Horndeski and his staff are awesome, they have been such a pleasure to deal with from the start. Will definitely be using him for additional work (ultimate breast lift and thigh lift) in the future!

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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Oh so do you have drains in you right now! Well you hang in there and stay focused on the prize your flat tummy!
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I feel very fortunate that I have not experienced some of the issues that others have described in their posts, the worst for me has been the straining of the stitches on my internal mesh girdle...the pain can be excruciating! I just went to my doctor this morning and he is going to drain the fluid from my abdomen on Monday afternoon when my husband can be with me, just in case I am uncomfortable driving afterwards. He estimates that I have about 300 cc of fluid built up that my body is not reabsorbing and this is pulling at the mesh and putting strain on my stitches. Hopefully by Monday evening it will all be over and I will be more comfortable and skinnier!
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well looks like you are doing real well I have heard arnica is great! what would you say has been your most difficult thing now at post op..... oh please post pics of new tummy =)
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Hi Pasadena, I can relate to your BB situation, as I ended up with dog ears on either side of my incision and also have to wait 6 months for revision surgery to remove them. Like you, I don't mind, as I know this will be a simple office procedure and everything will look great in the end! I was 4 weeks this past Monday and can truly attest that this is a slow process!! I only just started sleeping on my sides again this week, and still sometimes find it a bit uncomfortable. I had a little emotional set back last week, just felt like it was taking so long to feel normal again -- still don't feel entirely normal, but seeing some light at the end of this tunnel! Swelling has finally gone down enough to wear my old clothes and some of them are even a little looser -- yippee! I hope you are continuing to feel better each day. : )
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Thanks Philly, it is good to know that what I am feeling is normal. I have had a tiny set-back this week that I think came from overdoing it and pushing myself too hard. I am feeling more pain the past couple days than I have since my first week post-op and it is all located along my right side, it feels like the internal girdle is pulling at the stitches and they are really tearing into the muscles along my side...this is enough to make me want to fast to lose more weight to make it comfortable! I have only lost about 2 pounds post-op and am still swollen in my lower abdomen and pubis but I know all of this will get better.
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2 weeks and 1 day post-op and feeling great! I have gone back to work and while I am not back to traveling, I am working extensive hours. I did make the mistake of trying to sleep on my side the night before last and never could get comfortable. The stitching from the internal mesh girdle was excrutiatingly uncomfortable, so much that when I rolled back onto my back my side was still throbbing. I wound up taking a pain pill just to get comfortable enough to sleep...didn't make the same mistake last night, I went back to sleeping on my back with my wedges under my upper body and lower legs. Will take and post some pictures by this weekend.
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Hi Pasadena -- sounds like you have been through the wringer! I, too, combined my TT with hernia and prolapse repair and was in surgery for nearly 6 hrs. But, I am sooo glad I did this -- and you will be too! When is your surgery? Those of us who have combined surgeries have a bit longer healing time -- I am finding I am about a week later than the others with bouncing back, but I'll take that! Just be patient and allow your body to heal at its own pace. And, keep us updated here! We want to know how you are doing!! Keeping good thoughts for you! : )
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Thanks PhillyMom. I am almost 2 weeks post op and feeling great. The hernia was bigger in reality than indicated in the CT Scan but Dr. Horndeski's technique for repair, reconstruction and removal of skin was a perfect solution for my situation. Since his ultimate TT technique calls for creating an internal mesh girdle to hold the reconstructed abdominal wall in place, it was a perfect solution for me to prevent any future hernias from all my abdominal surgeries. The only fall back that I am experiencing is the loss of my belly is not permanent but since the hernia was so severe and in such close proximity to my belly button, the decision was made to not cut through the mesh until after the abdominal muscles were thoroughly healed so that there was no risk of another hernia. This is something that he will be able to easily correct in the future and can probably be done in his office under a local anesthesia or with just numbing the abdomen. I am not too concerned about it since I understand the reasoning and after the phantom itching has stopped it will be even better. It hasn't been an issue it just looks funny to see my belly in the mirror and not have a belly button, like I'm spawned from a pod or something (maybe I watch too much sci fi)!

I haven't experienced too much pain and definitely rate this better than any of my past abdominal surgeries. I haven't even had a need for any of the prescribed narcotics since about 2-3 days post op and have been managing fine with Tylenol. I am still experiencing swelling of the lower abdomen and pubis but know that this will subside in a couple more weeks. So far I rate the experience far better than expected and am glad that I opted for doing everything at the same time. I also cannot say enough wonderful things about Dr. Horndeski and his staff, they have been awesome and I definitely plan on having him perform my breast lift. I would have done it at the same time but since we knew my abdominal surgery was going to take about 5-6 hours he didn't want to risk me being under for the additional 4 hours. Thanks for sending good thoughts my way...I truly appreciate them!
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I am quite overweight, but I, like you, have had several surgeries on my belly - at least 3 to fix the big hernias (2) I have...due to the original gb surgery. Do I have to lose weight before surgery? A regular surgeon did all the surgeries, and I now think I need a specialist in repeat/large abdominal surgeries. How did you pick your doc? Does he specialize in in this type surgery?
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Los Cruces, Dr. Horndeski not only specializes in this type of surgery but he has pioneered new techniques for the abdominoplasty and breast lift. I like you had used a general surgeon or ob gyn for my past abdominal surgeries (depending on the nature of the surgery) but decided to pay more out of pocket to use Dr. Horndeski. He not only specializes in plastic surgery but he is a leading surgeon in the fields of reconstruction and micro-surgery. One of the things that I appreciated most about him is that not only is he a certified general surgeon and certified plastic surgeon but he was first an engineer before going to medical school. This training has enabled him to view situations and solutions using a different logic than just medicine alone and has also lead to his pioneering new techniques used for abdominoplasty and breast lift. I first heard of Dr. Horndeski in a local news report and then had a friend of mine who used to work for a retired local plastic surgeon remind me of his talents and capabilities. Since mine was more than just abdominoplasty I wanted to get an opinion from a doctor with experience in more than just plastic surgery. Once we talked on the phone (yes he personally does return all phone calls) and I went in to see him, everything just clicked and made so much sense. His technique was perfect for my situation; multiple abdominal surgeries, massive weight loss but still had more to lose, no plans to have additional children, etc. Please call his office and talk with him, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at his bedside manner and his candor. Keep me informed of your situation.
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Hello Pasadena3814
Dr. Horndeski answered a question I posted and the information he gave me made me feel he would be the one to do my work. I have had hernia repair and I think I need another one, so the fact that the DR specialize in this made me hopeful. Then I read your post and now I am excited. Do they help with financing? Is there any advice you can give? I am going to call him I just wanted a heads up on what to expect.
nervous,excited,scared,and hopeful all at once
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welcome and congrats on the wieght loss. keep us posted on your journey!
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Welcome to RealSelf!

Wow that was one big baby...OUCH!   Your poor tummy has been through the battle field and back.  

Congratulations on the weight loss; that's wonderful.   I am sure your doctor will fix you right up and you will get the pretty little tummy you have been wanting.

Keep us up to date on how you are doing.  I will be watching for your updates.  

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