Day 22 Post-Op - Virginia Beach, VA

I have never really had a flat tummy, at least not...

I have never really had a flat tummy, at least not that I remember. I am married to a wonderful man, and I have two beautiful girls, ages four and six. My husband is in the Navy, and I am homeschooling my first grader.

So, for my body history...I am 4'11". We had a hard time getting pregnant in the beginning. I gained about 15 pounds from the emotional roller coaster of thinking/hoping to be pregnant every month (from 105ish to 120ish). Then I had the miscarriage, and gained an additional 20 pounds. Then, I got pregnant with my oldest daughter. So, I was 40ish pounds up when I got pregnant, then gained an additional 26. I nursed her and joined Weight Watchers, and lost baby weight plus 20. Then I got pregnant (1st month trying) with my youngest daughter. I gained 28, then lost it plus an additional 20 by nursing plus Weight Watchers and Atkins.

Anyway, I have a c-section scar, loose skin, saggy boobs and plenty of fat. I am apple-shaped and carry my weight in my middle. Even at 100 pounds, there is a muffin-top. I am NOT at 100 anymore. :( At 105, I wear a 3/4. At 112, I am at the top end of a 6 (what I weigh now). I gained 10 pounds this summer, and can't seem to take it off. I was so good in FL over Thanksgiving, eating no carbs and running, and it took a month to lose 1 pound. I got so frustrated that I basically gave up trying to lose weight beforehand. Why ruin Christmas for nothing, right? I am pretty depressed about my weight, and am at a loss as to which diet would actually work for me these days. I would like to fit back into my size 3/4 jeans before jeans season is over.

I am very alternative when it comes to health issues. A good friend and I were very active in Le Leache League together, and we nursed our babies for extended (2+ years) periods. We used to fantasize about getting our breasts lifted after we were done. Well, she went and did it last June, and I decided that I would too. When I saw her surgeon, we decided on the breast lift/augmentation and a tummy tuck. I was brought to tears (happy) thinking that I would finally not be worried about my belly fat anymore. I scheduled my surgery for January 16th. As time went on, my friend developed some complications from her breast surgery: double bubble and them falling onto her arms when she laid down. Also, I never really liked the shape of them, and I felt that her Benelli lift was not adequate, which is what he wanted to do to mine. He revised her, and she loves them now, but I went to another surgeon for a consult. He was recommended by a lady at church who used him for face surgery. He has no books of pictures of his work to look at, so I just have to trust that he is as good as his patients say he is. He is the plastic surgeon at the local medical school EVMS. He is in his 70's, and I like that he has 40+ years of experience doing these procedures. I scheduled surgery with him on January 2, and was given a military discount, along with a slow month (December) discount. They were full already, so she extended me the discount for January 2, too. :) So, I canceled my other surgery with the other surgeon.

I have had a heck of a time trying to find pictures of what breasts I want. I am petite, and have had larger (32D) breasts since I was finished growing. So, I am starting out with that, and would like to be as big as I was when nursing. I wore a 32F when nursing. Trying to figure out implant size has been challenging. I have been to the office twice to try on sizers. I am pretty sure that he is going to insert 450 cc high profile silicones. I finally found a picture to print, so we will see. I just have a fear of not going big enough, since the biggest regret of women getting implants is wishing they went bigger. The nurse said that I could go bigger than 450, but I don't know...

So, my surgery is in 5 days. I am supposed to start my period sometime soon. I wish I tracked that better. Sometimes I am clockwork at 28 days, and other months it is more. I will be staying in a hotel for 3 nights with nursing care afterwards. I need to buy some pads, I guess. I think I have some of those hospital ones from childbirth left. I usually use the Diva cup, but I am thinking that I won't be able to insert or remove it post-op. I will take it with me, just in case I can. I am hoping that I start soon, so I won't be dealing with my heavy day post-op.

My parents are coming up for New Years on Sunday. Dad is leaving sometime, and Mom is staying until the 13th. She will take my 4 year old to preschool and homeschool my first grader for me. She is an elementary guidance counselor, so she will enjoy being involved with her education.

I am sorry for being long winded earlier, and...

I am sorry for being long winded earlier, and about the upside down photos. I will try to edit them. I can't believe that I am actually going to do this. I have been gathering supplies and taking my pre-op vitamins. No alcohol tonight. I bought a walker, 3 zip-up compression/sports bras, my compression girdle, hoodies, elastic waist pants and zip front robes. I hope I have not forgotten anything. I hope that you ladies that just had your surgery are recovering smoothly. I hope that you ladies that are coming up this week are as relaxed as possible. I am sick with a cold, and am hoping it will subside some by Wednesday. No monthly cycle yet. Great. I am hoping that the nurse will let my husband come and visit during my 3 day stay. Anyway, I hope to update soon.

I have been getting all of my vitamins and...

I have been getting all of my vitamins and homeopathic remedies together to take with me. I have a combo remedy for cosmetic procedures that I started today. I have some 200C arnica that I will start tomorrow before I leave home, along with 200C staphysagria that is for pain and tissue repair. Since these tiny tablets dissolve under my tongue, I am not worried about taking them beforehand. I am taking probiotics with me, along with ionic magnesium. Magnesium is great at making one have a bm. The only side effect of increased magnesium is loose stools. I just don't want to over-do it and end up going more than a couple times per day. I will definitely take it before bed tonight. I still have this cold, and last night I had a cough. Today I have not had cough issues, yet. My period started this morning, which means that tomorrow is my heavy day. Has anyone else dealt with a heavy period on surgery day? BTW, I tried to fix the pictures, but even after I uploaded them again, they were oriented the same ways. Sorry about that.

I had my surgery yesterday (Wednesday). I was in...

I had my surgery yesterday (Wednesday). I was in so much pain when I woke up. Then I.started crying because he didn't do my breast lift, he just placed the implants.

I have been in a hotel since I went I left the surgery center. I have 24 hour nursing care, which is nice. I have not thrown up, but I have seen stars and almost fainted. I will try to post a picture.

I have some catching up to do. I stayed in the...

I have some catching up to do. I stayed in the hotel with my nurse for 2 nights. I have been home for 2 nights. I fainted once while at the hotel. I have not fainted since. I have been trying to drink lots of water.

So, the doctor didn't do the lift because my skin was stretched already with the implants. I was upset at first, but am glad now. The skin is tight with all of the swelling. I have a history of getting stretch marks, and the last thing I want are long pink stretch marks on my new boobies.

I have not taken a shower yet. When I do, I will take pictures.

My biggest complaints have been back pain from lying down, headaches and not sleeping well. I can't take ibuprofen and acetaminophen isn't cutting it. Caffeine helps in the morning. The Resteril the doc gave me to sleep isn't strong enough to last more than a couple of hours. DH will call the PS today and try to get some relief.

I have pooped twice. The nurse at the hotel wasn't in a hurry because she didn't want me to have to use those abdominal muscles. I took my ionic magnesium Friday night and had an easy bm with no straining Saturday morning.

I hope all who had surgery this week are healing nicely. All of you with surgery
coming up this week, you will do great! It is all worth it. :)

So. I learned that we should NEVER take Imitrex...

So. I learned that we should NEVER take Imitrex while recovering. I was in more pain from that than when I woke up from anesthesia. I am so swollen now. The Demerol did not touch this pain.

Today is the first day that my hubby will be gone for a full day of work. My mom is here with me, though. I have been feeling pretty good today so far, other than the swelling.

Happy healing, Ladies!

I have not posted because I guess I didn't want to...

I have not posted because I guess I didn't want to acknowledge my negative thoughts and feelings. I researched breast implant sizes for months beforehand. I kept hearing everyone say that the biggest complaint afterwards was ladies wishing that they went bigger. So, I had this fear of not going big enough during the months right before surgery. Back during the summer when I had my first consult, I was afraid to go too big. I didn't want people to just see boobs when looking at me. I looked at thousands of boobs online and finally found a picture to take to the surgeon. He told me that he could make me look like the picture with 375 cc. I told him to go with 450 cc. Again, I was afraid to go too small. He gave me 425 cc hp implants, and I think that they are way too big. I should have trusted him. If you are in doubt, trust your surgeon. I am hoping that my boobs are super swollen and that they will shrink considerably. He plans on doing the breast lift in a few weeks after the swelling goes down.

I have lots of bruising from the Lovenox injections he had me taking for the past week. I took pictures today. I am not thrilled with my breasts. They are not the shape that I wanted, but I am praying that after the swelling goes down and after the lift, that they will be what I had hoped for. I am also still bruised and swollen all over my tummy.

Oh well, now I will just wait it out. I just hope that my experience helps someone else.

Back on Thursday I went to a post-op appointment....

Back on Thursday I went to a post-op appointment. They removed the lipo stitches and snipped other stitches, but left them in. They applied tape over the incisions. I had some swelling above my incision, so they folded up a surgical towel and put it underneath my CG. He showed me how to massage them. I am supposed to warm them up for 5 minutes, and then move the implant in the pocket in all directions. I go back on Monday to get all of my stitches removed. I will also call and see if I can get my compression garment altered tomorrow. It is too loose to be doing any good.

Last night I went to Target and bought a few stretchy non-underwire regular bras. I am so tired of not really knowing what my new boobs look like under clothes because the compression bras flatten them out. I still think that they are big, but they aren't as obnoxious as I was thinking.

I decided to quit taking my Demerol last night. I didn't take one before bed. I have just been taking ibuprofen since. There just seems to be pressure on my breasts, now. I wonder if that ever goes away. I still get a little pain when I lift my arms. My TT incision doesn't bother me at all.

My mom left today. I drove her to the airport myself. Driving was a little uncomfortable. I didn't help with any of her bags. I actually wore jeans and a normal shirt today. I didn't notice people staring at me, so my boobs must not be that big. My loving husband took next week off to help me get back into the swing of things. A friend is bringing us dinner tomorrow. I suppose I am going to have to start cooking again sometime.

Happy healing to everyone! Happy waiting to everyone else.

I was wearing the soft Playtex and Hanes bras I...

I was wearing the soft Playtex and Hanes bras I bought at Target instead of my compression bras for a few days. I have been doing too much, and switched back to my compression bra to ease the pain. I babysat a 2 month old infant on Tuesday morning for 3 hours. DH was supposed to be helping me, but he was sick with a cold, and I didn't want to get the baby sick. Then, I drove myself and got my CG's taken in. Now, they are tight again. She said that I should come back next week and have them taken in again. I went home afterwards, and was in pain because I overdid it. On Wednesday I went to the grocery store with the family. I was in such pain afterwards that I had to take a Demerol. I also put my compression bra back on. Today I was having an intermittent pain in my right breast. I went in just to be safe to see the PS. He said it was tendon pain. He cleared me to wear regular bras again, and he said I could go free at night. I wonder how that will feel. DH will like it. ;) Don't misunderstand. He has not been deprived in any way. He has been helping me take showers since day 3 or 4. I surprised him by asking him if he wanted to have sex during our 2nd shower. For some reason I felt safer doing it in the shower. Since then we have done it both in the shower and in bed. I hope that's not TMI. I was wearing my CG during the times in bed. Okay, I guess that's enough for now.

Happy healing!

I am stir crazy, so I went back to church last...

I am stir crazy, so I went back to church last night for the first time. All went well, and we even went out to eat afterwards. I will admit that by 11 pm after finishing eating in the restaurant, I started feeling bad. It was a headache issue, not surgery issue. I came home, drank my magnesium, took my supplements and sleeping pill, and crashed.

The only pain that I can complain of from the last few days is sternum aching, lipo pain on upper half of stomach, and crease incision pain when my CG zipper hits it.

So, I never asked my PS about bras. Last time I saw him, he released me and said that I could do whatever I wanted, breast-wise. So, while I enjoyed the comfort of the soft, flexible Hanes and Playtex bras, I was not thrilled with the shape of my breasts in them. So, I tried on the 34DD bra that I was wearing before the MM. It is an underwire bra with molded cups that supported my saggy boobs, even though I did not fill out the top part of the cups anymore (I did at the end of nursing last baby). My new breasts are a little bigger than my bra, so the underwire don't sit on the creases. They hit a little below when sitting, and helps keep top of my CG off my incisions. My breasts are perfectly round in it. I did enjoy taking the bra off before bed, and I am really enjoying them being free. The more I go braless, the more they are growing on me. They are completely soft and I think that most of the swelling is gone. I am thinking about skipping the lift for now. They are so pretty without the scars...

My PS didn't cut my pectoral muscles to insert my implants. He created the pocket by moving and separating the muscle fibers and fascia. I think that technique has shortened my recovery time. Also, I take tons of supplements and homeopathic remedies. I ordered pre and post-op vitamins from makemeheal.com.

DH and I have been acting like teenagers. We've been doing it every day for awhile now. He loves the new girls, and frankly, I love the attention. Lingerie hides the CG well.

Yesterday I was 3 weeks post op. My post op...

Yesterday I was 3 weeks post op. My post op instructions say that I don't have to sleep in my CG anymore. Last night I tried it. I have mixed feelings. This morning it felt like I ripped open an incision, but I just pulled on the tape. I kind of feel unsafe with it off. My tape is beginning to curl. I cut the loose edges off after I shower. I will take more pics after all the tape is gone.

My boobs are really itchy all over. I have to be conscious of scratching. I created tiny sores from scratching them. Now, whenever they are itchy I rub coconut oil all over them. That seems to really help. I also rub it on my tummy after a shower. One time I rubbed my Shea butter cream on my girls instead. I was rewarded with breaking out on my cleavage. Nice.

I went to the chiropractor yesterday. Lying face down on the table was interesting. She gave me a pregnant belly pillow to put over tummy. That helped. Was just uncomfortable. I am hoping that the adjustment helps with my headaches.

I hope that you all are healing smoothly.

Those of you waiting for the big day, it's all worth it. :)

Bad Results

I had it all redone by a better surgeon in August, 2013. My tummy is flat, now. I had a full anchor breast lift.

Current pics

These were taken about 2 weeks ago. I've had an anchor lift and a 2nd complete TT with muscle repair. Surgeon is planning to do a benelli to round out breasts and to open and release my left capsule. It's a little tight and pulling implant up a bit. He is planning to fix dog ears. He is planning on lipo-ing back when fixing TT scar. Final decisions on touch-ups in a few weeks.
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Carraway is the PS for Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is an expert witness who testifies in botched plastic surgery trials. People come from out of town to have him fix other surgeon's work. He came highly recommended by some friends of mine who had used him for work they had done. He is older, and has 40+ years experience. In my opinion and in this field, that is a very positive attribute. I did not consider any surgeons that were younger than 60. I have been quite pleased with all decisions that he had liberty to make. ALL THE GOOD STUFF I WROTE ABOUT HIM IS CRAP! HAD IT ALL REVISED BY ANOTHER SURGEON. HAD ANOTHER COMPLETE TUMMY TUCK WITH MUSCLE REPAIR. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY WITH THIS SURGEON IF YOU'RE GETTING ANYTHING DONE BELOW THE CHIN. (4-28-14)

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
2 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (61)

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Wow! You look great. I can't imagine going through it twice. Yikes.
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Thanks for the pics u look really good and flat. I'm going to look into Dr. Merell , so thanks for sharing his name.
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Do u have any post op pics from your revision?
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Wow. .quite a story. Will you share pics and how you decided to have the revision. How much did that cost. Were your implants replaced?
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You had it all redone? What happened???? I am not 100% happy with my results, 1.5 years later, but age and cost say I am stuck!
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Who was your new surgeon?
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Dr. Craig Merrell in Suffolk, VA. He does amazing tummy tucks. No loose skin or tummy bulge, even when sitting down. It's perfectly flat. Before I had a definite over-the-scar-line bulge, even while standing. My belly button looks more natural now, although the scar is still pink. After the first one, it was a little round hole that looked unnatural to me.
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Please post some new pics! glad you're happier now.
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Sorry to hear about the headaches. It's interesting how every PS instructions are different. My tape was taken off at 7 days PO and replaced with glue (which I peeled off after a couple of days : / ). I get to take my CG off at 4 weeks PO (can't wait) although I fear swelling may get worse when that time comes. Glad to know someone else besides me uses coconut oil.... that stuff is good!
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The nurse removed the tape before removing my stitches, and then put a different tape back on. It makes me feel like it is my safety net, in case I make a wrong move. The tape helps prevent me from ripping open my incisions. I catch myself arching my back and stretching while lying in bed in the mornings. I love coconut oil! :)
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Ok my PC was going to put the tape back on (I feel the same way about that security) but didn't cause I have some contact dermatitis going on because of the tape. That aside my skin is just so sore and tender! I have never tried coconut oil. If I send hubby for it is it just in the same section as any other skin care/lotion?
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It is with the cooking oils. It may be with the organic and special diet foods in a regular grocery store. A health food store would have it for sure. I believe I have seen it at Walmart also. It is 100% coconut oil. Mine is organic. Mine is not extra virgin, only because my DH doesn't like the coconut flavor. The brand of mine is Spectrum, and I have one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. It is solid at room temperature. If you dip your finger in it and get some out, it will quickly melt in your hand, so that you can rub it in. It is antibacterial, so don't worry about breakouts. I have even rubbed it on my face before. Feel free to ask if you have more questions. :)
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Thank you my dear! Tomorrow is my first solo shopping day, so I will be coming to BC to run errands! Thanks, I would have been in totally in the wrong place. God forbid I would have asked DH to go for it!!!
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You are welcome. :) Happy Shopping!
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Looking great. The girls are gorgeous, totally natural looking.
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Thanks. :) I appreciate that.
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LOL...DH has been complaining about how deprived he is (two weeks, whoopty doo, get over it, buddy!) and he's not getting it anytime soon, at least not while my boobs hurt so much. LOL! How is your bruising? Any better?
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It's almost gone. I probably should post more pics now. It's been awhile.
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PS gave me no instructions whatsoever in this area. So we did it at 1.5 weeks PO.
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LOL. I think my instructions just when whenever I felt comfortable. ;)
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Holy cow, my PS told me 3 weeks! shhhhh do tell my DH ! :0)
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How r u doing lulu 56?
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My PS never mentioned it and I never asked. I mentioned waiting 6 weeks to DH and he called me a prude. LOL.
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