I'm 5' 0", 116 lbs, 31 years old. I have three...
My c-section scar became hypertrophic (red/purple, raised, itchy and painful) about two months after my son was delivered. I lived with it for almost a year that way until my husband did some searching and found that silicone sheets could help. I've been using those for the past 5 months. Part of my scar is still raised, etc, but it's no longer so red and angry looking and much flatter than it was and it really doesn't bother me unless I take the silicone sheets off. Had I known they existed I would have bought some when it first started to become raised. I asked the OB about it early on, but she just said it would go away eventually but for now I'd just have to live with it. It's miles better than it was before, so I'm thankful for that. I'm concerned that if I have a tummy tuck I'll have a longer scar that will do the same thing. However, even if that's the case, I'll take that over my overhang. At least the scar could be treated, but the extra skin isn't going anywhere.
I initially considered also doing a breast augmentation and lift at the same time as the tummy tuck, but I've pretty much made up my mind to only have the tummy tuck right now and maybe in a few years have my breasts done if I want to. Although I'm not 100% satisfied with them because of some loss of volume after breastfeeding my babies, I'm not totally dissatisfied with them either. I was really only 50/50 on having them done in the first place. Part of me also wants to see how the tummy tuck heals first. Like I told my husband, I can handle having a scar that needs treatment if it becomes hypertrophic on my abdomen, but I don't know if I could handle them on my breasts. Also as far as recovery goes, I think it would be easier to recover from one at a time. Just thinking of not being able to use my stomach muscles and not being able use my arms/chest at the same time sounds like a very traumatic thing. How do you go from sitting to standing without being able to use your arms/chest OR abs? I also have small children that I need to care for, so the easier the recovery the better. It does mean spending around $2,000 more later because it would be cheaper to combine the surgeries, but life is full of tradeoffs I guess.
I have already consulted with two area surgeons. One about three weeks ago and one yesterday. I haven't decided if I'm going to post who I've consulted with or just list my doctor when the time comes. I have one more consultation next week (October 1st) before I'll chose which surgeon is right for me. I think choosing is going to be hard, honestly. I really like both of the surgeons I've consulted with so far.
Both surgeons recommended a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, no liposuction. They have both also said that we'd treat my incision as if it were hypertrophic starting around 3 weeks post op. They were both optimistic about the scar outcome. I guess we'll see what the third surgeon says. :)
No need to notify the patients when we have sticky notes!
I've decided who my doctor is going to be. I'm going with Dr. Brian Kent. We really liked his analytical approach and you could tell he was thinking the whole time. He also seemed to have a sense of humor which is great. My 16 month old was getting antsy at one point and he stopped what he was saying, waited for my husband to deal with the kiddo and then proceeded with what he was saying. Most doctors just keep talking while you can only half-listen. I liked the fact that he measured and re-measured and pushed and pulled on my stomach quite a bit. I felt like he told us everything we needed to know. He told us the risks, downtime, drew us pictures of what he'd do, etc. He was very informative. His before and after photos are awesome and he gets amazing reviews across many different ratings sites. I'm really excited about having him do my surgery. :)
Now I just have to figure out the when. The holidays are approaching and we're supposed to be making a thirteen hour car trip to my home state around Christmas. I'm still not sure if I'd want to do this before or after that. Of course it all depends on the doctor's schedule too.
I'll post pictures soon. Maybe tomorrow if I get a chance.
Waiting to schedule...
Scheduled surgery finally...
I guess I need to start gathering my supplies for after surgery...
Shopping and pictures
The nurse at my pre-op appointment (she doesn't work for him, this was at the hospital) advised me to wear a dress since it would be easiest for me to get into after surgery. I didn't have a dress I felt like was loose enough so I got a $20 one at target to wear. I think the t-shirt dress will be perfect since it's soft and not form-fitting. She also said to wear a very small pair of panties because otherwise when he marks me up I'll have to be nude from the waist down when he marks me up. She said he's a perfectionist and takes a good amount of time doing the markings so standing there without panties on the whole time is sort of "weird" for some people. I think I'll take her advice. Lol.
I also decided to be brave and post some less than flattering pictures of myself. :-/. I'm so happy this will be gone in less than a week.
Getting so close!
I feel good in my clothes, but I can't wait to feel good in no clothes. Also I never realized how annoying it is to not have a full length mirror in my house until I starting trying to take these pictures. Lol.
I made it!
Post Op Day 2
I can't wait to see what's under the dressings. :) come on Tuesday, get here already. :)
Post-op Day 3
Hardly any fluid in my drains now. I'm really hoping that he'll take them out Tuesday. So ready to be able up take a shower. At least my husband is willing to wash my hair in the sink. :)
Post-op day 4 and more about surgery
So...I thought I'd tell you a bit more about surgery day since my brain is functioning better. I got up took my Celebrex (my ps prescribed for surgery) and showered with the hibiclens they gave me to use at my pre-op appointment. My MIL arrived so we prayed before we left and my husband and I got out the door. We checked in with admissions and waited about 15 mins and the nurse came to get me and bring me to the pre-op area. She was really super sweet. Very helpful and nice. Then she gave me a pregnancy test and told me to undress and I could leave my bra on and underwear if they were small enough (not granny panties, lol). I put on the gown and laid on the bed and they gave me a warm blanket, a nausea patch behind my ear, those leg compression cuffs that fill with air periodically and a pair of non-slip socks. They gave me lidocaine before putting my IV in. Boy does that make a difference. I didn't even feel it!
We went through a series of health questions with the anesthesiologist and my ps and it was time for the markups. My husband said something and Dr Kent said, just a minute let me finish this. The nurse said, yeah you can't interrupt his process (being sarcastic) haha. He said, "yes, if only I could work without being harassed." Lmbo. His sense of humor is very dry which I just find so funny. I told him I wanted a circle belly button (as opposed to oval) and he said he could do any shape I wanted. My husband said "oh, how about a square then." I said "better yet Hello Kitty." My husband said "We just gave him his next great idea" and the nurse said "pretty soon everyone will be coming in to get their belly button done." Dr Kent just stood there shaking his head like we were all nuts.
The next thing I knew I was being wheeled back to the operating room. The crew came in and one person said, "well we took a poll and you're too small for this operation." I said, "Hey laying down is one thing, standing or planking is another." :) She told me to breathe some oxygen from a mask and my medicine would come through the IV. I thought "goodbye csection/mommy apron" as they placed the mask on me. I remember looking at the lights and wondering when I'd be out. Next thing I remember a nurse asked me how the pain was and I held up two fingers. My husband got me dressed. He tried to put my dress on from the bottom up and I told him it no it goes over my head. I said "haven't you ever put a dress on before?" He said, "no actually I haven't." The nurse started giggling. I remember little of the 10 min ride home or being wheeled out of the hospital. Amazing how foggy my brain was. Surgery was a breeze though...just slept right through it...lol.
Post-op day 5 new pictures
Goodbye drains...7 days post-op
I actually cried earlier because my husband went back to work. I don't know why I cried about it, lol. Just feeling emotional I guess. First day taking care of the kiddos so feeling a bit more swollen in my lower abs.
Took a couple of pictures. I'll try to take a few more later today or tomorrow after a shower.
I got the okay from my PS to wear shapewear instead of the binder now that my drains are out. Man...I cannot express how much more comfortable I am now. I constantly had to readjust the binder because it would travel on me. At least the shapewear stays put and it's way softer to the touch. :)
Quick update...13 days PO.
I thought that my love handles got worse after my 3rd son, but now I think that the bulk in the front was pulling at my pants maybe? I think my love handle area looks so much better even without lipo.
Don't mind my crusty bb. Lol. I'm just letting it heal on it's own and not messing with it. Mostly letting the soapy water just run over it and rinsing it off.
I finally remembered at my appointment today to ask how much he removed. 1.5 pounds. It doesn't sound like much but that was all pretty much below the waist band of my pants. Everything is healing nicely. He wanted to check for a seroma today because my drains were taken out "early" at 7 days because they were both draining around 10 ml in 24 hours. He usually leaves them in 10 - 14 days. I wasn't having symptoms, but he just wanted to be cautious. He didn't see any issues with accumulated fluid. He said I can sleep in any position that's comfortable now, that's a relief to me. I am a stomach sleeper so getting off my back and onto my side at least is going to be great. I asked how delicate the muscle repair is because I'm always concerned I'm going to do something to pop a stitch. He said not to be too concerned with the stitches and then used a bunch of technical terms about double something or other permanent stitches. So I feel better about that. :) I have my next appointment in a month to check everything over again and do after photos. He said he'd give me a set of before and afters pictures then.
Just a few words of warning. DO believe what you read about eating salty foods. I ate Charlie's Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. OMG the swelling was terrible! Not worth it. Thankfully it was mostly gone by this morning. :) I think that's about it for now. Posting some new pictures. Enjoy!
I get to start scar therapy today. I got some silicone strips from my PS I will put on after I shower today to help my scar heal well. I had a hypertrophic scar with my c-section so I'm trying to avoid that happening again. It seems like c-section scars are prone to becoming hypertrophic and it probably wouldn't happen with the TT scar, but it can't hurt to use the strips. The "bunches" on my incision are starting to smooth out, especially on my right hip. My left hip has to catch up.
I still get some muscle spasms if I've had a busy day, but they're becoming less and less. Having less of those "baby in the womb" feelings too. Still swelling in the evenings, especially my lower abdomen and mons area. I think I'm sensing a theme here, lol. Ready to get the swelling over with but I'm trying to be patient...trying. ;)
I'm pretty much back to normal with regards to caring for the kids, doing laundry, running errands, etc. I still take time to rest though! It feels good not to be totally dependent on others. I still can't sleep on my stomach because it's uncomfortable. I can sleep on my sides though now without any pillows for support. Woo hoo!
I hope all is going well for the rest of you!
I'm feeling pretty good at this point. No ibuprofen unless I've had an extremely busy day and feel like I need it for swelling and the tenderness that comes with it. I'm able to get into more of my clothes now. Still wearing my CG during the day. I take it off at night. I actually woke up on my stomach this morning and I was soooo comfortable! :) My incision is smoothing out more. So happy about that. These scar sheets leave some lines on it though so hopefully you can see the improvement in the pictures. Guess who finally got a full length mirror. It's the little things sometimes. ;) The lighting is way different in these. I apologize, it's raining here this morning so the big window (it's frosted, don't worry, haha) doesn't have the natural light it usually does.
I think that's about it? I hope you all are healing well!
I've been using the silicone tape for 2 weeks now. Mederma on on belly button too. My scar is laying more flat this week but still has some pleating of the left side.
I have an appointment with my PS next week to do after pictures. He said he'd give me copies of both the before and after pics. I'm excited to see them! :) I think I'm going to ask how long the redness should last around my belly button. I should also be cleared for working out next week. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a bit scared. I don't want to swell up from doing to much, but I know I need to get back to it.
6 weeks today!
PS before and after pics
I couldn't ask for any better! He is very detail oriented. I really appreciated that he did measurements and pushed around on my tummy at the consult. You can really tell that he's very careful and well thought out with what he does. Even though it was just a consult, he was careful to perform a detailed physical exam before giving me his opinion. I had my surgery at St. John Hospital in Owasso. The nurses there just raved about him and we heard more than once that he is a perfectionist. So far his after care has been great. He called the day after surgery to make sure all was okay. Any questions I've had I just have to pick up the phone and talk to his assistant Mandy or if she can't answer my question she gets Dr. Kent right away. I've also been able to text Mandy and she gets back to me right away on small questions like when it's okay to take ibuprofen. I love that he has a sense of humor as well. He is a caring PS that is very purposeful and detailed in what he does. I'd recommend him for anyone considering surgery in the Tulsa area. He has privileges in Owasso, Claremore and Tulsa hospitals.