11 months later - had revision surgery 9 days ago

My name is Karina and I'm a mom to 3 kids,...

My name is Karina and I'm a mom to 3 kids, ages 2, 6, and 8. I'm currently 5'7" and weigh 136 pounds. I have struggled with my weight for the last 10 years or so. Just a year ago I weighed about 200 pounds. My highest weight pregnant was with my 8 year old when I weighed 246 pounds on delivery day. When my youngest daughter was born 2 1/2 years ago, I weighed in at 237 pounds. Over the last year I have worked my butt off with diet and exercise and have gotten to my goal weight. I would like to be 135 (only a pound or so to go) but I've been fluctuating between 136-138 for the last 2 months. I am a frequent runner/walker and have found that my body is pretty comfortable maintaining at between 135-140. Having three large babies and a short torso has wreaked havoc on my midsection. My heaviest baby was 9 lb 8 oz and the lightest was 8 lb 10 oz. When I bend a little bit to the side, my ribcage literally hits my hip bone. So I really don't have much of a waist so my babies had nowhere to go bout outward. This caused a lot of stretch marks and tummy skin expansion. I've gotten to my goal weight now and even so, my tummy is not going away. I've got quite a bit of muscle separation and extra skin and tissue that I'm looking forward to getting removed with the tummy tuck. I have been begging my husband for a tummy tuck for years now and he finally relented. :) So here I go!!! No looking back now! My tummy tuck is scheduled for March 1 and I will be getting a full tummy tuck with muscle repair and liposuction of the hips and flanks. I am nervous as heck but I can't wait!

***Update*** I had to reschedule my tummy tuck for...

***Update*** I had to reschedule my tummy tuck for April 10. Lots of family drama involving an impromptu wedding in which I am a bridesmaid. Plus there is the bridal shower and the bachelorette party I am expected to be at. On top of that, my 2 year old is having a surgery on March 5 to have a Branchial Cleft Cyst removed from her clavicle area. AND, we just found out that my son was awarded a spot in an Honor Recital concert on March 1 (only 10 kids in the whole school get this honor). So it was just going to be too much I would have to miss to keep it in March.

8 days to go! I completely forgot what I was...

8 days to go! I completely forgot what I was supposed to do pre-op besides don't eat past midnight. My pre-op appointment was 2 months ago so I barely remember anything. As far as what I've done to prepare is this. I bought a stage 2 compression garment, purchased Bromelain and Arnica, as well as the silicone scar tape (for after 6 weeks post-op - I keloid like crazy).

What else do I need to prepare? Tonight I'm going to pick up a shower chair, a heating pad for my lower back. Also I already have one of those exercise bands to tie up the drains while I shower. As far as help with my kids, luckily my hubby and I both work from home so he will be with me all the time as he usually is. I also have an adjustable Tempur-Pedic bed which will be super nice and a nice little laptop lap desk so I can still work from my bed when I feel like it.

Does anyone know, do I need to eat super light the day before? I think I heard that somewhere.

Here goes nothing! Tomorrow morning! Tummy tuck...

Here goes nothing! Tomorrow morning! Tummy tuck or bust! Terrified out of my mind but ready to get it over with. Hope my recovery is as easy as possible as I don't do too well with pain in general. I will be sure to keep up on my meds and take them before I need them. Now if I can just sleep tonight I should be okay. :/

So today is the day. Murphy's law has struck. My...

So today is the day. Murphy's law has struck. My two older kids age 7 and 8 are home with a stomach bug throwing up today! I'm due at the PS at 9:30 (in an hour and a half) so my mom has to leave work to come take me and pick me up since my husband has to stay home and tend to the sick kids. Dear God I hope I don't get the same stomach bug while I'm recovering. :( What a day!

PO Day 1 - I made it through surgery yesterday. ...

PO Day 1 - I made it through surgery yesterday. Luckily my kids are done puking and so far neither my 2 year old, my husband, or I got the bug. Knock on wood. So yesterday when I arrived at the PS office (where they do surgery), I had my consult with the anesthesiologist and mentioned that I get nauseous and vomit from anesthesia. I had my gall bladder out in 2003 and I threw up a lot after recovery. She said she would give me some IV meds and some benadryl that would help with the nausea. Luckily I did not have any nausea but the benadryl made it so that I did not wake up for a LONG TIME after the surgery. No nausea. I ate some crackers and that was enough to keep me from feeling nauseous last night.

Pain-wise yesterday was not so bad. I slept a lot and didn't have too much pain. Today is a different story. This pain is SUPER REAL. I was taking 1 Percocet every 3 hours. I was setting my alarm overnight for every 3 hours. The doc said I can bump it up to 2 pills every 4 hours. The drains are in my vajay-jay area and man do they hurt!!! The drain holes hurt pretty bad. My incision stings too. I have a super short waist and this girdle is just too long for me. It is riding up and folding up along my incision. I can see the sides of my incision and luckily it is super low. I can tell. I don't have my first post op until Friday. So I'm gonna have to wait to see things until then. I just hate being in so much pain. My husband is being so great though. He's holding down the fort with the kids and the cooking and housework and taking such good care of me.

Today is Post Op day 6. I ran out of Percocet and...

Today is Post Op day 6. I ran out of Percocet and the PS office called me in some Vicodin instead. I don't like it as much. I'm still in a lot of pain so I feel like I still need some strong meds. Yesterday I tried using just Tylenol and did not feel the same amount of pain relief. My incision corners (the far right and left sides) are starting to bother me a bit and hurt. The drain holes are probably the most painful thing to me. Yesterday my husband and my family came into my room to watch AFV with me (as is our Sunday Night tradition) and that was a BAD idea!! Laughing is PAINFUL!! I had to read a magazine so I couldn't see the TV and not laugh. But just hearing my husband and kids laugh made me laugh to a certain extent. It was bittersweet. I have my PS appointment tomorrow and I'm hoping to have my drains out. I have less than 25 cc of fluid in the drains so I'm hoping he'll take them out tomorrow. I updated the pics today as well. Looking pretty good but I'm still pretty swollen.

Today is PO day 12. I'm happy with the way the...

Today is PO day 12. I'm happy with the way the scar is healing. Although I'm sitting here having a pity party because of how poorly the rest of me is healing. I'm so ridiculously swollen, even on days when I don't do anything besides rest. I went to church for the first time today. And I had to wear my "fat pants" and a baggy shirt because I'm so flipping swollen. I'm way fatter now than I was before the surgery. Pre-surgery I was fitting comfortably in all size 6 jeans and even had a couple of size 4's that fit. Today I had to bust out the old size 8's and I could barely button them up. By the time church was over the waist was digging into my tummy and I was in so much pain. This is really frustrating to me to be so fat post-surgery. I knew there would be swelling but for the love of God I didn't expect to have to break out my fat pants at almost 2 weeks post op. Aren't I supposed to have a flat tummy? Pre-surgery I was 136 pounds. Today I weighed in at 141. My PS told me that I should probably be about 4-6 pounds heavier than normal right now because of the swelling and boy was he right. I really really hate this. I just want to be able to wear my old jeans and not look FATTER when I leave the house in my old clothes. :(

One more thing - I got my drains out on day 7...

One more thing - I got my drains out on day 7 thank goodness. Good riddance. Still not standing straight yet today on PO day 12. :(

Today is PO Day 17. I have been so swollen and...

Today is PO Day 17. I have been so swollen and discouraged lately, that I started using these "Xpel" pills yesterday. They are a short-term diuretic pills. I started taking them to help control the swelling and start to shed some of the water I'm retaining from the swelling. I figured that if it worked, it would help me from becoming too discouraged at the fact that I can't really see real results from the TT. I will only be taking them for a few days just so I can get a glimpse of what I will look like after the swelling subsides. (They are ONLY for short term use up to 10 days). Anyway, I started taking them yesterday morning. I was still swollen yesterday as you can see from the pic with the black shirt and gray sweatpants. Then when I woke up this morning, while I'm still pretty swollen, the swelling was the lowest it's ever been post-surgery! Of course I had to immediately take a picture. (Pics with the white shirt and my favorite pair of gray sweatpants). It is quite a big difference as you can see! I feel so much better now knowing that I might actually get my flat tummy I've wanted after my swelling subsides. Yesterday I weighed 140.8 (about 5 pounds more than my pre-surgery weight of 136). This morning I weighed 139.4 which is about 1.5 pounds of water weight I lost overnight. While I know this is all water weight, it feels much better to see the 130's again post-surgery. I'm hoping to get down to my ideal weight for me of 130. Anyway, I'm in much better spirits today after seeing what just losing a bit of swelling will do for my waist line.

As I side note, I'm still undecided about my scar. As you can see, it's a bit puckered on both sides. My PS says it will smooth out over time, but I'm still not sure. Have any of you seen improvement in "puckering" over time?

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post op. I'm feeling...

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post op. I'm feeling pretty good now. Just dealing with a ton of swelling still. It seems like it's great first thing in the morning and I'm nice and flat. Then by noon I'm all swollen up again and by the evening, just forget about it. I'm fat. I'm still not wearing my pre-op jeans yet because of the swelling.

I went to see my PS last Friday, and I had a couple of concerns. 1 - my belly button, it looks like a triangle. He mentioned that while you are swollen, you can't always see the end result of what your BB will look like. He said it will relax further into your tummy and look different after completely healed. He does do revisions for no charge if necessary. 2 - My scar feels high like my vajayjay area is pulled up. He said yes, that is the case, and that is normal. He said that when the skin finally relaxes, the scar will drop down by about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch lower. That makes me feel better because right now my underwear barely cover it. 3 - When can I exercise? Unfortunately, he said he does not want me exercising yet. He said walking is fine but that's it. :( My thighs feel so flabby lately since I haven't been doing my regular 5-6 mile run/walk workouts. Oh well, I have to be patient.

On the other hand I'm starting to feel a lot better about things. It is finally starting to not hurt when I laugh. It still hurts when I sneeze but that's it. And I'm finally gaining a little more tummy control when I try to "suck in". Before when I tried to suck in, nothing happened. I had no control over my belly. Now I can kind of suck in a bit and I think that's a great sign on healing. Loving the idea of having a fairly flat tummy (at low swelling times). It can only get better, right? Also, my doctor gave me (free) a 6-8 week supply of "Hybrisil" scar treatment that he says works wonders. I've been using it twice a day and I'm hoping it really helps the scar heal nicely. So far, THUMBS UP!

Oh yeah! I tried on some bikinis the other day and they were not too shabby!!! I was swollen a bit as it was late afternoon but I bet when my swelling goes down and my scar lowers down a bit I might just be able to wear one!! I'm super excited about that!

I can't believe today is 6 weeks post op! So far...

I can't believe today is 6 weeks post op! So far my PS has only given me the green light on light impact cardio such as walking, elliptical, stationary bike. He said no running for now. :( So I've been doing my best at walking.

The swelling can still get pretty bad in the afternoon and evenings. I took some pics today, and mind you I was a little swollen after walking about 3-4 miles. My hip fat is really bothering me. My scar is looking okay. I did spit a stitch last week in the middle. Can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks brings!

So I'm going back for my 6 month appointment a...

So I'm going back for my 6 month appointment a little bit late, this Wednesday. (It will really be 7 months). I'm starting to get a little bit unhappy with my results. It seems like even though I'm not any heavier than I was at the time I had my TT, my side bulges are really prominent and it looks a bit ridiculous. I'm feeling like my doctor should have done an extended TT and pulled the incision more towards the back a little bit more to get rid of the extra side skin. I'm going to ask him for a revision. I'm really not happy with the way it looks. When I have clothes on that I can tuck my sides into, it looks fine. But when I'm naked or wearing a low-rise article of clothing, my sides look completely ridiculous. I had assumed originally that the side bulges were just swelling and that it would subside. But there is no longer swelling at 7 months and this is just plain loose skin and pudge. What does everyone think? I just added 2 pics.

I saw my PS today and he and I both agreed that...

I saw my PS today and he and I both agreed that the sides did not turn out as nice as they could have. I have a revision scheduled for March 14, 2013. He is going to pull the incision out a couple of inches on each side and remove some more skin, as well as do a little more lipo on the sides and upper and lower belly. Really hopeful this time!!!

Had my tummy tuck revised 3 days ago. My surgeon...

Had my tummy tuck revised 3 days ago. My surgeon pulled the incision out a few inches on each side to remove some more loose skin from the sides. He also revised some of the existing scar and aggressively lipo'd the entire hip/abdominal area. Recovery has been great from this surgery. I was in a lot of pain the first 2 days but finally was feeling so good I switched from the Percocet to regular Tylenol. I am feeling pretty swollen. None of my pants fit except my sweats, which is to be expected. The swelling stuck around for quite a while with my initial tummy tuck. Nearly 4 months until I could wear my regular jeans. Hope it doesn't take that long this time. My hopes are high for how the revision tuns out. I will keep everyone posted.

So I am in swell hell. Doc says swelling will...

So I am in swell hell. Doc says swelling will take 3 months to subside. My hips are hard and lumpy and sore. He said he was aggressively liposuctioning those so I'm sure that's why they're the worst pain/swelling wise. My "fat pants" won't even button. I'm gonna have to buy pants a size larger just to get through the next few months without wearing sweat pants every day. :(
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

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