Hi everyone. I am 57 years young, two grown ups,...
Hi everyone. I am 57 years young, two grown ups, hysterectomy, and weight up and down like a yo yo and lack of exercise. Needless to say the saggy skin syndrome around my tummy was my worst enemy. I had thought of having a TT years' ago but always thought of others before me. In the last couple of years I have almost reached my ideal weight but, of course, trying to find clothes that would hide my lovely tummy was a complete waste of time, and girdles ...... not for me I'm afraid. I was really feeling despondent and knew that the only way to get rid of the excess skin was a TT. Even upping my usual 2-3 sessions of exercise wasn't shifting it, and I had to face the reality that there was only one way out. In 2011 I used to browse the internet and look at the results that a TT could produce - wow - that could be me! Further research found a PS who offered consultations at my local BMI (private) hospital - Mr. Paul E Banwell. I made an appointment to see him late 2011 and he was very thorough and explained everything to me. I would be a perfect candidate for a TT and muscle repair (something I hadn't thought about) so I went away feeling rather pleased that I had made the first step. The cost of the operation wasn't really a surprise but it did mean that I had to wait for a year before I could move forward. So I was booked in for January 2012 to have the procedure. All was going well, and I was starting to get very excited at the prospect of having a flat tummy - something I hadn't had since I was 19 and pre-kids! Having got myself prepared and geared up unfortunately the day before my operation we had snow in the South of England, which made travelling almost impossible in some areas and, yes, my operation was cancelled. Was I devastated - absolutely. I was walking around like a zombie and felt so let down and deprived. The only thing was to wait for the weather to clear up and select another date. Well, due to family issues and booked holidays my next date was 21st September 2013, and thankfully all OK this time.
I am now 2.5 weeks post op for TT and abdo muscle repair and I have to say that my journey so far has been amazing. From the time I went into hospital to the time of my 2 week post op check everything has gone very well and even Mr. Banwell was a little surprised at my progress. I have read that some people have experienced a lot of pain and discomfort, and others not so. As for me, I have had minimal pain and the majority of that is because I have moved awkwardly - not down to the actual surgery. I kept up the dose of painkillers at the same level for 1 week post op then reduced them to half, which I am still taking. My worst experience ..... the removal of the drains after 2 days, but the nursing staff were brilliant and knew exactly how to ensure pain was kept to a minimum. As the nurse said 'there is no easy way of doing it' but it was pretty quick and it was such a relief to have them removed and my tummy felt so much better.
On the advice of the hospital I invested in a very good girdle to wear when I came home, but to be honest it was near impossible to get it on straight away as the pressure against the scars was a bit too much. I asked the hospital if I could keep the one they gave me, which they agreed to, and I managed to get my new girdle on 2 weeks later. It was fun trying to lie on the bed doing up the hooks and eyes (didn't have the valcro variety) but I gave up in the end. The best way ..... do it up first, step into it and shimmy it up your legs - a bit tight but so much easier and no additional pressure on the tummy. It is very important to ensure you don't bend or stretch too much in the first couple of weeks, and I must admit that the girdle has reinforcing rods so it does help in that respect. At the moment I am having more discomfort from the girdle than anything and feel a little bit like a 'trussed up chicken', but it won't be for ever - just 8 weeks in total. I will be able to have a bath 3 weeks post op, and then start to massage the scars with Vitamin E oil - adding pressure around the wound sites, which will help the healing process.
With regard to sleeping, I found it difficult to sleep laying down in bed, so I devised a way of keeping in the same position that I was in in hospital by being propped up, with my knees bent over on a couple of pillows, and sleeping on the settee/couch. I thought it was going to be difficult but it is amazing how you get used to it, and during the first week you are pretty tired following the anaesthetic anyway.
It is very true that you get what you pay for and I would highly recommend finding a PS that has a good reputation for TT - even if they are a little bit more expensive - it is your body we are talking about, which is so precious. Mr. Banwell's testimonials were amazing and so were the reviews, and he lectures around the world on cosmetic procedures and he has a very high reputation.
There is so much I could say but the advice already posted on this website is brilliant and so helpful. However, I would say that everyone is an individual and the experiences that people go through are going to be different from one person to another. I think the best advice I can give is find a excellent PS, 'be prepared' for any eventuality, and bear in mind that the healing process can take quite a long time (depending upon the procedure) and you will need to be patient. You know your own body, however if you have done everything to help the healing process but still feel things aren't quite right then get in touch with your consultant, or the hospital. Don't wait and start worrying as that won't help your recovery.
Finally, would I have it done again ....... without hesitation. I wish I had done it sooner and saved myself so much heartache and despondency over the years. Whatever you decide good luck on your journey to a happier, healthier you.
Sorry for the delay
I now have the 'before' and 'after' pics and sorry it took so long. They aren't brilliant but I hope you can see the changes. I am now 5 weeks post op and it is amazing, even to me, to see the transformation. It still seems very surreal looking at my new tum. The lines you can see on the 'after' pic are due to my pressure garment, which I still have to wear for another three weeks (eight in all) so it isn't a true picture as yet but I can say my tummy is a smooth as a babys. I am still extremely happy with the results and I am busy rubbing Bio Oil into my tum and scar twice a day, which is certainly helping. Take care everyone.
9th week update
24 Nov 2013
2 months post
I have left it a little while for an update, purely because there was nothing much to report, to be honest. I am now at my 9th week and feeling great. The aerobics/toning exercises were commenced again last week and I find it so much easier to move about - I was really becoming a 'couch potato'. I am not an exercise freak, but try and do something 2-3 times a week if I can. The one big benefit is that I am starting to get some feeling again in the tops of my thighs, which were quite numb after the operation and I was feeling a bit despondent. Having read other info on the internet, one of the best exercises for numbness in the legs is sideways and backwards lifts (keeping the legs straight), and I must say that since doing these regularly the feeling is getting better. I am even starting to get feeling back on my tummy as well, but there is still a way to go. I have included a better 'before' picture that my consultant took, which doesn't need any explanation. I am off to see the consultant for my final check up tomorrow and I am sure all will be well. It is amazing that after 9 weeks I feel so much better in mind and spirit and seem to have gained a new confidence that I never thought possible. It was a joy to go and find some new jeans that fitted without having to push all the extra bits out of the way - I am sure you know what I mean.
Bye for now and I wish you all well.