Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck with Umbilical Hernia Repair - Waconia, MN

I am 4'11" and 110 lbs. My children are 20 and 16...

I am 4'11" and 110 lbs. My children are 20 and 16. I turned 40 years old today. Following my pregnancies I was left with severe stretch marks that extended above my belly button. It is my goal to eliminate stretch marks and get into a bikini for the first time in my life. A vertical incision is the only way to go because of the severity of my strech marks.

Before Photo's - 27 days until surgery

Posting these photos is hard for me to do as I am sure it is for many people. There is very little info available about fleur di lis tummy tucks (verticle incision that will extend all the way up my abdomen to my bra line) so I wanted to be sure to share my journey. I am hoping I can look back at these photos some day with no regretts.

The Count Down Begins

The PS and the hospital have been paid and the count down is on. It may be a blessing that this is all happending so close to Christmas. The need to be prepared for the holidays so early has been a welcome distraction from the upcoming surgery.

On my way to the flat side!

My surgery is at 8:15 tomorrow a.m. (less than 9 hours away)!!! I have been too busy to be worried about what is to come. I can control and prepare my environment but I have to accept that I cannot control my outcome. I can only hope that the results meet my expectations.

As with most all of you out there, I have waited a very long time for this day to come. I honestly never thought that getting my tummy fixed would ever be in my future untill just a few short months ago when I found out that I needed a hysterectomy and hernia repair. Combining the surgeries has made it a more manageable expense. With that said, I really don't think that it has completely sunk in that I AM GETTING A TUMMY TUCK TOMORROW:)

I will post an update and new photos as soon as I am able.

Made it to the Fleur Di Lis flat side and could not be happier!!!

I has taken me a few days to feel up to sitting at the computer and posting an update. I want to start off by saying that I could not be happier. I still have some stretch marks in my lower abdomen but that was to be expected considering the severity of my stretch marks. I am very happy with my belly button as long as it stays healthy. I see the PS again on Thursday.

The biggest challenge that I had post-op was my tolerance to pain medication. I ending up staying in the hospital for a total of three nights. I started out receiving pain medication via an epidural. I was naucious no matter how much anti naucia medication that they gave me. They eventurally stopped the pain meds and used the epidural to numb the lower portion of my body. Once the pain meds cleared my system I felt much better. I was sent home with Ibuprophen (800 mg) and Tramadol (100 mg). The combination of these two have kept the pain at bay.

I am greatful for the lift chair that was lent to me by my mother in law! My family has been very supportive and have kept my family fed. My husband and son are very good caretakers.

Please ask me any questions that you may have regarding my procedure. I am excited to share!

Scar Reveal

I had my steri strips removed a couple of days ago and have finally seen my scar. I'll be honest...I was a bit surprised. Before the reveal I had a little voice in my head telling me that "your scar will not be very noticable.....". Deep down I knew that this was not the truth. It was still hard to see the scar for the first time. I know that it may become less red and noticable over time. While I am "not so patiently" waiting I have to remind myself of how happy I am with my results and learn to love my scar. I could not get to that point of happiness without it. My doctor has recommended that I keep them covered with medical grade paper tape. He said that studies have shown that scars heal thinner using this product.

Scars:
My bikini line scar is a bit more raised in certain areas that I had thought it would be based on a previous C section scar but I am ok with that. It is very low and is completely covered in any bikini bottom that I would be comfortable wearing. The lower portion of my verticly incision is very smooth and thin. The portion above my belly button is more raised. I have to assume that there is more tension on this part of the incision as it is nothing short of a miracle that my doctor was able to cut out as many of the stretch marks as he did. I am very happy with my belly button. It seems to be shrinking a bit since surgery but I am okay with that. I would much rarther have a tiny narrow belly button than an obvious round scar.

The "T-joint" at the base of my verticle incision is very smooth.

Stretch Marks:
As you can see in the pictures I still have a fair number of stretch marks. The camera seems to highlight them. The worst of them are in my lower abdomen and are covered by a bikini bottom. I am learning to own the rest of them. The ones in my upper abdomen near the verticle incision seem to create a "bump" in the scar. I hope this inproves over time... but if not I am okay with it if they don't.

Overall health:
I am feeling good. My husband and I actually went out with friends to ring in the new year. I was worried that I would not last all night or that I would be hurting the next day but that was not the case. I made it until midnight and did not have any increased discomfort the next day. I took it very easy on New Year's Day though - alot of couch time.

I am able to stand up straight but can not arch back at all because of tightness in my abs. I plan to return to work at four weeks post-op. That is coming up so fast! I will go back on Wednesday of next week. I thought a short week may be a good idea.

Headed back to work:(

I am headed back to work full-time tomorrow. A couple of weeks ago I thought that I might be ready to go back early. Now that the time has come I am worried that I am not ready. I feel like I have regressed recently.

New Pics - 33 days post op

My scar is healing nicely. The raised area in the upper portion of my Fleur Di Lis scar has gone away. It is all laying nice and flat. I continue to use the paper tape 98% of the time. When I take it off to change it I have left it off over night and put Bio-oil on my scars. I replace the tape in the morning. I change the tape every three to four days. I would like to change it more often but is not ready to come off any earlier. I still have to pull a bit to get it off even after four days. I am concernered that if I change it more often I will irritate the scar.

I had some pain in my lower abdomen today (felt like my bladder was very full even though it was not) and went into the doctor. They tested me for a bladder infection. The results were negative but they put me on an antibiotic for the next three days just in case.

Scar revealed to the world - not quite the fanfair that I was hoping for:)

I was in Mexico two weeks ago with my husband and another couple to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary (a little early - it is not until Apri). It was wonderful. I would reccomend Puerto Vallarta to anyone! I spent much of the vacation in a bikini. Leading up to the vacation I was very excited to show the world my new body; I had no intention of hiding my scar as I stated here many times. I was not prepared for all of the stares that I got. "What are they staring at......don't they know how much better I look!!!!" I say this in jest of course! I don't blame anyone for staring as I sure I did my fair share of staring at those around the pool for both positive and negative reasons.....this is human nature. I just need to get more accustomed to this. I have something about me that is different (not bad....just different) that people are going to look at. It is going to take some time to build up the confidence to not be bothered by this.
Dr Timothy Schaefer

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