Full TT W/hernia and MR and Implant Exchange - Houston, TX

I have been reading these for so long and am...

I have been reading these for so long and am finally writing my own. I am 26 years old and have two kids ages 6 and 3 months (yea I'm rushing it a little). Both of my babies were over 8 lbs and my 5'1 frame didn't tolerate the pregnancy well. I have had issues with my loose skin and separated muscles since my first pregnancy; however, knew I wanted another child and had to wait until after to make any changes. After my son was born this past April I am left with a hernia and severe diastasis. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband and the only problems we ever encounter are centered around my insecurities. I have lost all my baby weight minus about 5-6 lbs that refuses to budge and want to get things fixed before my little one becomes too active around the house. I am so excited while terrified at the same time for this surgery. I will finally be able to let my husband see me naked, or take my kids to the beach and pool with no stress. I am having a full tummy tuck with hernia/muscle repair and exchanging implants for larger saline implants to replace the volume lost breast feeding. My surgery is next Thursday the 19th (9 days to go!).

Pregnancy

Surgery day after tomorrow!

So I'm all ready for Thursday as far as supplies go. I've payed everything and arranged help from my husband and family so I guess everything is a go. The one thing I'm freaking out about is my kids. My son is only 3 months and he is always with me so I'm super worried that he won't be comforted by other people. Realistically how soon after surgery do y'all think I'll be able to hold my baby? (He weighs about 12 lbs currently) ...going to finish laundry, last min. cleaning and my last 2 days of exercise before the big day.

It's today!

Soo nervous! I'm going to miss my babies tonight and worry like crazy about my little man who has never been away from me for more than about an hour or two. Being a nurse really hurts before procedures because I know too much about each possible complication and continuously go over them in my head. I'm so glad my husband is here to help me survive my anxiety! I'll post pictures as soon as I can. Wish me luck!

1 day post op

So I made it!!! My surgery was scheduled for 1:30 yesterday and I went back at about noon from the waiting room. I started off just answering the same health history questions as always, got my IV started, and then hung out with my hubs until Dr. Gill came in to mark me up before surgery. I don't remember much after the markings. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me a "cocktail" which made the remaining time before survey pretty much a blur. Next thing I remember is waking up with my throat a little sore from the intubation and some pain in my tummy but really not too bad overall. I got to my hospital room where my parents brought me my babies to visit with for a little while. I remained on a PCA pump of dilaudid until the next morning when that was dc'd along with my catheter (thank God!) I wasn't doing well on the oral meds alone and they wouldn't let me have but one of the norco so I took an additional half of my own from the prescriptions I had filled and brought with me. I feel pretty good now the pain is there but it's tolerable. I haven't seen my tummy yet because he didn't want me to remove the CG just yet, I did get a glimpse of my belly button from bending the CG just enough to get a peak. I love it and what I CAN see of my tummy looks wonderful. My boobs are now my new favorite thing about myself lol. I went with saline above the muscle 600cc. I'll post some more after pics a little later when I'm able to take the CG off. Good news is that I'm able to get up and walk around by myself with no problem. All those squats I did leading up to this are certainly paying off since I can use my legs for everything now. I'll update more later. Can't wait to get home and see my babies!

Day 2 post op

I'm feeling better today and trying to accept that this will be a long journey. Some friends came over last night to watch movies and keep me and hubs company but I knocked out after a few min. Lol. I made it to 48 hrs so I just took a shower just now which didn't feel good during but feels much better now. My back is what hurts the most when I try to get up and move around. I think I'm having back pains from being so hunched over for so long. Once I can stand a little straighter and get these damn drains out everything will be great! I'm tired of my recliner so I'm hanging out on the couch until I can't tolerate it any longer. I can hold my baby but it hurts because he kicks and moves so much so I'm trying to talk and play with him from a few feet away. I've seen my belly now and very excited for the next few weeks to go by because it's going to look phenomenal when it's all healed. Sorry for the bad grammar/typos-->pain meds.

Post op day 2 photos

Looks a little swollen especially on the hips. I think I may have had some decent hips underneath the weird skin I had going on before. I can wait for this to heal more and these drains to come out.

Post op day 2 photos

Day 4 post op

Today things are finally starting to improve. I took a shower AND shaved my legs, Didn't do the greatest job but hey it's still impressive. I can move around much better but am still pretty dependent on my pain meds and lots of help with the kiddos. My boobs have gone down some and I hope they will remain where they currently are in size from here on. The swelling in my tummy has actually gotten worse I think but from what I've read and been told by my ps that's normal. My drainage is very small now and I'm praying these drains will come out Friday (If I wind up having to keep them at least maybe they'll help with some of my swelling) I've gained 7 lbs since my surgery date! I'm hoping the weight is a combination of swelling/fluid retention and not having a bowel movement since last Wednesday. All in all things aren't too bad for day 4. I'll post more later it's time to return to my recliner :)

5 days post op

If I could stand up straight I feel like things would look a lot better. :)

Post op day five swelling

So I felt great today and did a lot more than I have been the past few days as far as getting up with the kids and cleaning up the house. Now I am regretting all of my activity because I am so swollen and miserable. It's hard to not do little things like the laundry piling up when you feel okay to do it. I'm starting to worry about how long it's going to take to feel like myself again. I was obsessed with exercising prior to this surgery and now I don't have a clue when I'll even be able to attempt it again. Hopefully I will gain some patience and listen to my body so that it has time to heal.

New CG! <3

7 days post op

So my pain had gotten better and now I feel like I'm moving backward. I keep getting shooting pains and muscle spasms. I have my 1 week appt. tom. And hopefully he'll take these drains out! The drains are super sore and the biggest pain in the a$s by far! My swelling is much worse today too. I think I'm in this middle healing phase that everything sucks lol for lack of better words. My back is killing me as well from walking around hunched over so much. My husband says I'm a walking complaint :) . On a good note, my boobs don't hurt and I love them ha that is all.

Drains out! Whoop!

So today was my one week follow up appt that I have been looking forward too. Got the green light that it was ok to have my drains taken out and then he went ahead and yanked them. It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined or have read on some reviews, thankfully. I watched the entire process and it really only took all of 5 min. with some mild discomfort during the actual pulling. I was ecstatic at first to not have those two balls filled with fluid hanging from me but then honesty felt like I was missing something when walking out of the office. I think I had grown acustom to those damn drains and liked playing with them all day in some sick way. I do feel much more normal now and don't have to worry about hiding my "balls" under my clothes lol. I have two wickedly awesome holes that are now covered with a maxi pad (that attaches ever so conveniently to the inside of my underwear) to catch the remaining drainage for the next few days. I feel pretty good today and am going to run some errands and go to dinner so let's hope I don't overdo it and blow up like a blimp later :).

Almost 2 weeks!

Still very swollen even though I'm almost two weeks po. I did get up and go to a doc appt, cook lunch and clean the kitchen, go to a friends house for the kids to swim and then go out to dinner today so that's probably why. I am so inpatient with this process. Today wasn't one of my better days. I am so tired of being sore and my clothes not fitting. Sometimes I feel like it's never going to end and then I read reviews from ppl complaining of swelling at 6 months po which is extremely discouraging. Hopefully I get over my negative nancy mood and pep up.

16 day pics

I feel wonderful! My last post was a day that I chose to wear jean shorts and as a result I was miserable by the afternoon. I feel like most if this process is trial and error and I'm okay with continuing to wear stretchy shorts if it means that I will feel good at the end of the day. I'm learning to respect my limits and still get the things done that I can't stand to neglect. I am able to do all of the normal housework that I had done before, not quite as quickly but it's getting done nonetheless. I feel almost back to normal at the house just spending time with the family but am quickly reminded that I'm still barely 2 weeks post op when we go out places. I go to the store, I play with my kids and I spend time with my husband with no problems at all-so I'm pretty happy about where I am. I do still SWELL; but, it's improving and seems to only be below the belly button now. I am still wearing the CG almost 24 hrs/day, it comes off for a maybe an hour total and I think that helps ALOT with the swelling. I even started tanning again and am much happier seeing as I have a serious addiction. I cover my belly button and incision while tanning and only use a standup bed since lying flat is still difficult for me. All in all I am ecstatic to be waking up to the belly I have instead of the old herniated mess I had before even if the recovery is long and tedious.

Not afraid of a bathing suit :)

For the first time in my life I was excited to try on a bathing suit and it felt great! It sounds so petty an superficial to some people but not being ashamed of what I look like without a ton of clothes to hide it is a wonderful feeling! I still have a lot of swelling and need to heal much more but so far I am very pleased with the results.

5 weeks post op

It's been a while since I've updated and in a way that's a great thing because it means that I'm doing fantastic! The better I feel the less I look for answers to my problems. I feel 100% back to my normal self as far as day to day activities with my kids and family and it is wonderful to be productive once again. I still wear my CG if I'm doing a lot of housework but I leave it off for a good majority of the day and just sleep in it at night. I do have swelling still as the day progresses but it really isn't too severe. At my last post op my ps said I'm still restricted from resuming my normal exercise routine because my muscles are not ready for that intensity so I'm just eating really clean and staying as active as possible. My incision actually looks better in person than in pictures with the exception of a little tucking that is still smoothing out on each hip. The only issue I'm still dealing with is that my right boob is much higher and tighter than my left to the degree that it is very noticeable. I've been massaging and hoping that my right boob matches up to my left in time. Overall I would do this whole thing again tomorrow to get the results that I have now and I will finally change my profile to worth it. My doctor is phenomenal and I even got flowers delivered to my house from his office as a thank you for being a patient.

4 months post op-finally updated

So it has officially been 4 months since my surgery as of yesterday and I finally decided to update my review because I remember reading them prior to my surgery date and wondering how long everything is REALLY going to take. So I am 100% back to normal in EVERY way--> I can exercise as much as I want and have no issues with pain or swelling, I can work 14 hour days as a nurse on my feet nonstop and still no issues or swelling- everything is fantastic! I know that there are some people that have swelling for a LONG time afterward; but, I wanted to point out that not everyone has that problem and you may not have to deal with issues from surgery for so long. That being said, the FULL recovery is intense and much harder than I expected but as of right now I never even think about it anymore. I work out in just a sports bra and don't have to freak out and hide my crazy looking skin, I can go swimming with my kids and just have fun without feeling self conscious and I can be with my husband and just be comfortable in my own skin, life is good! I couldn't be happier with my results and with the exception of developing a very minor capsule on one of my implants I have been complication free. I would do this surgery again tomorrow if it meant that I could feel as good as I do now. I remember being so embarrassed of my stomach and always hiding it, and I am finally "normal" at least somewhat. I haven't been perfect with diet an exercise I have been majorly slacking on exercise but I started a new job and have been working constantly (that my excuse for now anyway). I have maintained my diet and eat at least 85% paleo all of the time which got me back to my goal weight from my son who is now 6 months. So if you are concerned about your upcoming surgery- don't worry it is going to be the best thing you have ever done for yourself and your family because you will be a different person with a much better attitude when you feel good about yourself and stop hiding.
Houston Plastic Surgeon

I was referred to Dr. Gill from my obgyn that just delivered my baby boy so I knew I could trust him to be a good surgeon. Dr. Gill's PA and nursing staff are fantastic and the entire practice runs so smoothly. I am extremely impressed with my results and have had an easy recovery without complications. I am a nurse myself and like to pick apart any type of medical practice I visit; however, I couldn't in this instance because everything was managed to a T. If you are looking for an affordable plastic surgeon that is extremely talented, has great bedside manner and truly cares about his patient's outcomes Dr. Gill is an excellent choice!

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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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