Drainless TT-February 5th-Tulsa, OK

I recently lost a large amount of weight over the...

I recently lost a large amount of weight over the past year, and even though I have never had a washboard flat stomach, over the past few years, it has gotten bad. I have considered this procedure for years, even when I was much smaller, and I have just decided that I have no reason not to go through with it right now. I hope to get that banging stomach and waistline that I see so many post-operative pictures of, so I can look great in clothing without muffintopping out. I feel great about this procedure. I wish I was doing it sooner, but with the holidays, and some things going on at work in January, the soonest I was able to schedule the surgery is February 5th. That gives me some time to lose a bit more weight, and get myself mentally prepared. My husband is taking off work to help care for me after surgery, so I am not too worried about overdoing anything during recovery.

I received a packet in the mail a few days ago...

I received a packet in the mail a few days ago that had very detailed instructions inside. I also had a pre op phone call with a nurse earlier this week to go over my current medications and other health history. I am pretty healthy, and even though I have high blood pressure that is very well controlled through diet/exercise/medication, I do not have to have any prescreen lab work. I am to the point right now that I am having a little bit of apprehension, mostly due to the fear of the pain, but when I think of the probable results, it helps to put my mind at ease. I have had some surgeries before, but never anything so extensive. I am planning on taking a week off work, and going back on the 13th.

I had my surgery today. I was in for...

I had my surgery today. I was in for approximately four hours. The staff members we all so kind and professional. The pain is incredible, though. It feels like I am wearing a really tight corset that I can't remove, and it is hard to breathe very deeply. I think the lipo tool insertion points are more painful than the TT incision at this point. I had a drainless procedure, so luckily no drain to have to fool around with.
Even though I am wearing Chux pads, ABD pads and gauze underneath my thick binder, I can still feel a hug difference, and I am so glad I did this. It's all downhill from here!

I had my first PO visit today. My pain is much...

I had my first PO visit today. My pain is much more controlled today, and I was able to shower after my visit. My PS is concerned that my belly button and abdominal skin are not getting adequate blood supply, so he is having my husband check for blanching pretty frequently. He thinks I may have had my binder on too tightly, so he is having me keep it off unless I am out of bed. I didn't even ask what would happen if the skin did not take we'll, and I don't even want to think about it!

Today is my PO day #5. I was able to sleep...

Today is my PO day #5. I was able to sleep through the whole night without taking any pain medication. When I woke up, the pain had subsided to more of a soreness, and it is definitely bearable. I took my pain medication, and as of right now, I am completely pain free for the first time since my surgery. The part on my abdomen that the doctor is concerned for regaining circulation is staying stable, and appears to be getting better. I am still really numb from the top of my breastbone, down past my incision, but I know that may stay that way for months, or even permanently. I plan to continue to take it easy, and I will do another update in a few days.

I got my sutures out at my follow up appointment...

I got my sutures out at my follow up appointment this afternoon! I had eight in my belly button, and two on my back from the lipo. The ones on my back were starting to pull and be uncomfortable, so I was glad to get those out. I still am having some trouble with an area under my belly button that is not getting enough blood flow. I plan to go back to work on Thursday. I am still having quite a bit of pain, but I am so tired of being off.

I went back to work today-whew! I am a nurse, but...

I went back to work today-whew! I am a nurse, but I was only able to do desk work. Still, it was lot of getting up and down. I went home and laid right down! On a different note, I weighed (even though I knew better I couldn't stop myself), and even being a swollen mess, I weigh ten lbs. less than I did before surgery. I need to ask my doctor how much skin they removed at my next appointment.

A portion of my incision has opened up, and has...

A portion of my incision has opened up, and has started draining purulent material. It's not draining a lot, but it's enough to have to wear a ABD pad over it. I saw my surgeon as soon as I noticed it had opened up, and he has changed my antibiotic. I am on my third dose, and while I am not seeing any improvement yet, I fully trust my surgeon's plan of treatment and I have faith that this will resolve quickly and I will be able to finish healing.

I still have a great deal of soreness, numbness and pain in my back and flank area, but I have been using Ben Gay with a roller applicator, and it feels like a massage when I am applying it, and seems to ease the back pain. Most of my incision and BB has fully healed, and the scab has fallen off, but the midline area where I had the MR and the swollen, infected area are still pretty painful.

That's all for now!

Today, I look like someone stuffed me in a...

Today, I look like someone stuffed me in a trashcan, and my skin was all squished out at the top around my waistline. I have a bigger muffintop than when I started! I took some pictures to post, but they are so bad, I am not putting them up. That, plus the infection I developed is sort of stressing me out. And I attempt to go back to work again tomorrow. And today is my birthday. That is all.

Had another followup with my surgeon today. He...

Had another followup with my surgeon today. He said that the infected area is responding well to the new antibiotic I started last Friday. The incision has opened up a little more, but the triangular area of redness is less red (more of a pink, now), and the blood flow is returning.

My surgeon said that now that my infection is breaking some, that as the infected material begins being expelled from my body, I will has a period where I don't feel well. Yay.
I am still having a considerable amount of pain from the infected areas of my incision, as well as the lipo areas on my back. The lipo was NO JOKE, but he scraped me down to the rib bones, and I am sure it will look awesome when the swelling is gone.

One more thing, as a life long stomach sleeper, I was saddened to know that it was impossible for me to lie on my stomach during all of this. I hate sleeping on my back and sides so much. I went and laid in bed a few minutes ago and was able to slip into a stomach sleeping position! Now that's improvement! So excited about that. Maybe things will turn out as I planned, just yet.

I was back at work all of last week. I was really...

I was back at work all of last week. I was really worn ou by Friday, but I made it through. At my last follow up appointment, my surgeon said that my infection is almost gone, and that my red spot on my stomach looks much better. There is still some hardness under my BB, but I can tell a difference. I have been really swollen today, especially in the fronts of my hips. These areas are really poking out, but my waistline is getting sort of in shape, so I guess I am still seeing results. I only have to go to weekly follow up appointments now, as opposed to twice a week.
I ordered some bikinis to wear when we go on vacation in May, so it should be interesting to see how those work out for me.

I had another follow up today with my surgeon. ...

I had another follow up today with my surgeon. The redness under my BB went away around the end of my last course of antibiotics, but has come back since I finished them up on Tuesday. He has placed me on another week of the antibiotic I was taking previously.
I feel like I am able to move faster now, but I am still having some painful twinges that really bother me. This is the second week I have been back to work, and even though I have had some rough times, I think that getting back into my routine has helped with the healing process. I am pretty exhausted when the day is done, but at least I can work now and have some human contact throughout the day.
I also asked how much was removed from my body after surgery, and 6 lbs. of skin was removed, and almost 5000 cc of fat from the lipo. I thought that was pretty fascinating.

I had another follow up today with my surgeon. ...

I had another follow up today with my surgeon. The redness under my BB went away around the end of my last course of antibiotics, but has come back since I finished them up on Tuesday. He has placed me on another week of the antibiotic I was taking previously.
I feel like I am able to move faster now, but I am still having some painful twinges that really bother me. This is the second week I have been back to work, and even though I have had some rough times, I think that getting back into my routine has helped with the healing process. I am pretty exhausted when the day is done, but at least I can work now and have some human contact throughout the day.
I also asked how much was removed from my body after surgery, and 6 lbs. of skin was removed, and almost 5000 cc of fat from the lipo. I thought that was pretty fascinating.

I had my surgery today to drain the reddened area...

I had my surgery today to drain the reddened area under my BB. The surgeon had thought it was an abscess, but it ended up being a 175cc seroma. There was no infection found, and I did not end up with an open wound that I would have had to pack.
I have two drains now, but that is so much better than having an open wound to mess with, so I am tickled to death with the drains.
When they were taking me into the recovery room, the nurses were singing me Van Halen songs. That's one of my favorite bands, so I had a very happy recovery!
My swelling is already so much better, and I am feeling flat right now for the first time since surgery. I am so happy, and I know it won't be long until recovery now!

I got my drains that were placed last Friday taken...

I got my drains that were placed last Friday taken out today. It was a great feeling! Even though I only had them for a few days, I felt like they were a huge hassle. My doctor thinks that everything is going as planned, and that I have made a turn for the better. I feel like I have been somewhat swollen this week, but not anywhere near as bad as before my second surgery. I have a hard, sort of sharp spot under one side of my BB, but I don't even care. I hope it softens up, but if not, I will just attribute it to scar tissue, and go from there. I am definitely in a better place this week!

POD 51 today. Had another FU with my PS-got some...

POD 51 today. Had another FU with my PS-got some great news! Yesterday, my seeping area where the drains were located finally started backing off on drainage. It has hardly drained in the last two days, and my last dose of my most recent antibiotic was Tuesday morning. My PS said everything looks great, and he wants to see me back in two weeks. For someone that has had at least one FU appointment a week since February 5th, this made me want to cry tears of joy. I thought things would never get better, and now my incision is almost completely healed up! I am so excited. Posting a pic of my incision today.

Well, I have still been dealing with the red,...

Well, I have still been dealing with the red, swollen area in the middle of my stomach. Turns out a condition called fat necrosis, where the fat inside a part of my scar liquifies and turns necrotic, and all I can really do about it is wait for it to resolve and then have revision surgery to get rid of the area when it gets to the point that it can be revised. The doctor said that it will basically be like a mini tummy tuck that excises the scar and brings the stomach together tighter. I wish I could have it right now-I am so tired of having this ugly, hard, red, painful scar in the middle of my abdomen.

One More Update...

Today is POD 130. I feel that even though I have had an unusually hard recovery period, I would not change the experience for the world. I feel much more confident of myself, more proud of my body, healthier, and overall happier and confident in my life. I have been told that I will probably need a revision in a few months, due to the hard, somewhat painful scar that the fat necrosis left once it drained, but that's OK.
Many people don't understand why I did this, or how I could be so pleased with the results, even after the pain and trouble I went through with it, but I think that a body altering experience like this is something that other people can really never understand unless they have been through it. This will be my last update, and I may start a new story when I do the revision, but for this experience, I am closing the book. Thanks to everyone for listening and being there-this blog was a hugely therapeutic outlet for the mixture of emotional and physical feelings I have had during this journey to a better me :) Good luck to everyone that chooses to go down this road in the future!
Tulsa Plastic Surgeon

I started going to this clinic for Botox and Juvederm injections a couple of years ago so this was the natural choice when I decided on this procedure. I have always had great experiences with the staff and the facility. This doctor does excellent work and has a professional demeanor.

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