I've been stalking the website since I booked my...
Like many of you ladies, I've needed my tummy repaired since I had my first child 15 years ago. I've had the umbilical hernia since I had my second child 10 years ago. Fast forward to 2011, I was the healthiest I've ever been with Insanity. I got remarried to my soulmate that year. I was living with my skin because I hadn't closed the baby shop yet. In 10/2011, I hurt my back herniating two disks and rupturing one to a bulge at work. I got pregnant with my 18 month old in 12/2011. The last couple years have been painful, but so rewarding.
By November 2013, I was still up 38 pounds from my wedding weight. I had back surgery 1/16/2014 to remove the bulge and I'm still in physical therapy. I found a healthy whole foods, non starvation diet and and 9 pounds from my goal today. The PS I chose advises to be within 10 pounds of your goal when you have surgery so I've scheduled. My nerve is not healed from my injury yet, but I figured it's best to heal at once.
I've chosen Dr. Behman in Walnut Creek to do my surgery.
Here's a couple quick pic's...
So Many Decisions
More info about my current size...
I'm 5' 10.5" and weigh 158 lbs. I plan to lose 10 more by 6/16/14, which is my surgery date. I've lost 5 since my initial consultation.
I measure 33" around the ribs but 39" around the bust (I do have implant.)
The smallest part of my waist is about 30" when I'm standing tall and flexing my muscles (not sucking it in though).
My hips measure about 39.5" but narrower around but butt as it indents now from deflation and I know it's going to get worse as I lose these last 10 pounds.
I'd like my waist smaller and my butt to round back out. If I get the LBL, is it going to just get smaller?
Also, there's about 3.5" between my bottom rib to the top of my hipbone. Can I reasonably anticipate my waist to shrink a couple inches?
The cuts have to be extended, as my flimsiest skin is my love handles. I do plan to leave my inner thighs alone for now.
Made Another Appointment
Will it be any easier if the incision isn't in back if I still can't sit on my my butt?
So... I e-mailed my PS a lot of questions I have. It looks like I am not going to get the results I want without going for the LBL. The laxity of my love handles and my "muffin top" is very bothersome to me. My doctor doesn't want to short change me by doing all of out communication in writing though so he's going to see me again in person next Tuesday, April 22nd. In this appointment, we will be looking a pictures of his patients that had only extended tummy tucks as well as patients that had lower body lifts with and without fat grafting. He will go over with me, on me, what results I can expects with either procedure I get as well as the recovery risks. I am so thankful that I chose a local doctor and have the ability to do this because if I had not, I would not be able to do this. It's amazing how many questions that have arisen since I booked the procedure, that I didn't have prior. I feel like it was a dream until I booked it. Now, it's the real deal.
My weight has been consistent. I've been walking, doing squats, lunges, push ups, and using dumb bells for toning and to try to stay healthy. As of today, I'm one day shy of two months until my surgery!
I've Made Up My Mind
I've lost a couple more pounds, and standing up my figure looks ok. The skin is horrible though when I sit, lean, or have ANY elastic around my waist.
I've attached current pics with additional weight loss and my stomach "flexed" as well as a picture in the shapewear that is my GOAL shape.
So Much Has Been Going On But...
I've been on Temporary Total Disability due to my work related back injury for over a year. The payments ran out and has left me beyond stressed about continuing to pay bills (from savings) and me needing to pay off the very expensive surgery that I meticulously planned based on when I will have the needed help and support. I'm trying to figure this out as surgery is 3.5 weeks away. It has to happen as scheduled, otherwise, I may not get the time and support for at least another year to year and a half. I'll write more after I get it figured out. Here's the pics for now...
I've been quite stressed as I have had confusion with my disability payments and have my pre op tomorrow. I have been living off my savings for the last month and have $14,800 due to the surgeon. I spoke to the adjuster with my disability and it should be straightened out by the end of the week, but my appointment is tomorrow. I'm honestly scared to pay that money out without a letter in my hand confirming that the claim and issues have been resolved. I may take a leap of faith tomorrow.
As for surgery prep... I met with my primary doctor for my back a few weeks ago. Dr. B wanted clearance from him to perform the surgery as I had a Discectomy in January (you can see the scar on my lower back) and still under his care for pain management and monitoring my physical therapy. My back doctor gave the green light since I'm having my hernia repaired and can cause more problems if it remains left alone AND the muscle repair can possible help out later. YAY! I had my physical with my general practitioner last Tuesday. All went well. I've been taking apple cider vinegar in addition to my weight loss. My doctor was very happy to see my blood pressure down to 112/72 from 139/80 in January. I know the vinegar has lowered it as that's the only major change. I have my appointment with the lab tomorrow morning and my pre op is the last appointment of the day tomorrow. Once the blood work is processed and sent to Dr. B, I'm good to go! So freaking exciting!!
So, I'll probably update again sooner than later as my pro op is tomorrow and want to keep current on here with everything surgery related.
I'm going to post my sweet girl that I carried with a ruptured disk over a bulging disc. This sweet girl contributed to my hernia I now have as well.
19 Days and Counting...
I had my pre op yesterday. It relieved a lot of the nervousness that I've been feeling over the last week. One of my pre surgery instructions actually surprised me. One that stands out is NO vitamins or supplements beginning 10 days before surgery. I've read countless reviews of people taking cocktails of vitamins in preparation for surgery. That's another "thing" that shows how different the surgeons are. Dr. B is great at what he does so I'm definitely following the doctors orders. He's got ASPS "Patient's Choice Award" the last 5 years, he's an instructor of Plastic Surgery, and has rights in the 5 best hospitals in the area. My surgery is at a hospital as well, which adds to the cost, but I'm going to be operated on for 7-7.5 hours so I want it done where they have the equipment to handle business in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. I did get permission to continue my iron that has vitamin C for absorption, Folic Acid, B12, and copper. I had a picture of it and he approved it. He looked me in the eye and said, "Iron and Vitamin C are great for you. I will let you resume taking it, but NO OTHER SUPPLEMENTS (caps were said with stern face). They are not regulated by the FDA and I don't feel comfortable with you having any unknowns in your body with major surgery." Point taken.
I also got my prescription for my antibiotic along with instructions for taking it; three the night before, one when I get home from surgery, and then one every six hours until gone. I'm currently in pain management and on meds for my herniated disc in my back, so he wrote me a note for my pain management doctor so he can prescribe me something that's going to actually work. I have that appointment on the 6th of June. We agreed that if the PM doctor doesn't want to manage my pain post surgery, the Dr. B will write me a prescription for 10-350 Percocet. I find that also very responsible of Dr. B to send me to the man that's been dispensing the pain meds this far to assure that I have something strong enough to help me manage the pain after having built a bit of a tolerance to meds having had to live the last couple years with serious back issues.
I do have "knock-knees" as well. I was thinking I may want the fat in the inner knee lipo'd
The excitement is growing! Yesterday morning, I had another appointment with my GP to get my blood work done. My physical was last week so I just need my doctor to fax over the results and then I'm GOLDEN!!! I'm not too concerned about getting the green light as I've had three surgeries for miscellaneous reason in the past and my blood work has never been an issue, but there's always the shred of doubt since I want this surgery so bad AND I scheduled the date for the only time that works for my families schedule. If I have hiccups, it can spoil everything if I can't fix it quickly. I'm sure you other mommas to school aged children know how that works, right?
I had my pre op yesterday. It relieved a lot of the nervousness that I've been feeling over the last week. One of my pre surgery instructions actually surprised me. One that stands out is NO vitamins or supplements beginning 10 days before surgery. I've read countless reviews of people taking cocktails of vitamins in preparation for surgery. That's another "thing" that shows how different the surgeons are. Dr. B is great at what he does so I'm definitely following the doctors orders. He's got ASPS "Patient's Choice Award" the last 5 years, he's an instructor of Plastic Surgery, and has rights in the 5 best hospitals in the area. My surgery is at a hospital as well, which adds to the cost, but I'm going to be operated on for 7-7.5 hours so I want it done where they have the equipment to handle business in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. I did get permission to continue my iron that has vitamin C for absorption, Folic Acid, B12, and copper. I had a picture of it and he approved it. He looked me in the eye and said, "Iron and Vitamin C are great for you. I will let you resume taking it, but NO OTHER SUPPLEMENTS (caps were said with stern face). They are not regulated by the FDA and I don't feel comfortable with you having any unknowns with major surgery."
I have knock knees too. I was fancying the idea of having the fat lipo'd from the inner side to camouflage them. I mentioned it in the appointment and he shot it down immediately. He said that "it would significantly increase the risk of blood clots "and he's going to make sure I go home to my babies. Thank you Dr. B for putting my health before money!
Dr. B had a final exam on me in the appointment. He measured me for my compression garment and had some kind words for me. He said, "You already look good SoonHopefully. Your so tall that everything looks fine when you're standing and your waist is tiny. Many people would question why you're having surgery."
I replied, "And the I sit down and all the extra skin rolls up like a puppy."
We shared a laugh. He continued, "Exactly why I'm here. You do look good, especially for having 3 children. You know what that means for me right?"
I said, "That you need to do a great job?" with a big smile.
He agreed. "I have to do a great job to make you look amazing for this surgery to be worth your money and down time. I will do just that!"
THAT is why I chose Dr. B! He's real, honest, confident without being cocky AT all, and most importantly, he leaves his patients happy with their results.
Here's a link to his background for those researching a doctor in the SF Bay Area...
Sorry the last post repeated...
I forgot to post the vitamin too. I buy it from Vitamin Shoppe. It's their store brand.
And here's that link of Dr. B's Vitals profile...
He speaks 3 languages as well; Farsi, German, and Persian
Thirteen Days From Today
The last few days have been eventful in my home. We had been planning a family mini vacay to Anaheim to watch my husband and his band perform at the Extreme Auto Fest at the Angel's stadium. The plan was to leave midnight Friday morning. Wouldn't you know, the 1 year old woke up sick Wednesday afternoon after nap? That wasn't enough though, my husband's 13 year old "commuter" died (timing chain) on a country road 14 miles away from civilization. It took the tow truck FOUR HOURS to get to him so he didn't even get in from work until almost 10 pm. That left me awake and loading my CX-7 for myself and the three girls as well as packing everything on his list, but the type that needs to finalize his bags, especially since he was going to be performing for his largest audience yet (he's lead vocals).
My parents came to pick up our 4-legged daughter Thursday since I was kind of stuck. The let me know my sister, who'd been hospitalized for 12 days at that point for nasty infections in her right lower leg) is in jeopardy of losing her leg as the doctors had not been able to get her infection in control at that point, despite 4 different IV antibiotics and 2 surgeries to clean out dead flesh.
The news of my sister weighed heavy on me all weekend. My husband and his band were just amazing at their show. We woke and hit the road early so we can get home and see my sister. We did get back to town with enough time to go see her and I'm glad we did. My husband had Monday off as vacay day too. We had to cancel Disney. Monday had been set aside for my husband to study for his final in his apprenticeship that was tonight. We discovered yesterday morning that his school book was left in our hotel room 400 miles away so we addressed his transportation issue.
Well, the car isn't worth fixing. It's been having more problems with its age and it's imperative that he has a reliable car as he has 3 more years (out of 5) left of his apprenticeship. SOOO... Yesterday we went car shopping and we found a great sale at the Chevy dealership in addition to a salesman that's buddies with my uncle and ended up buying a fully loaded 2014 Silverado Crew Cab for under $35 grand. He's happy of course as that us what he's wanted for several years.
My sister finally took a turn in the right direction yesterday and it appears the doctors are FINALLY getting the infections under control. If you ladies do pray, she needs all that she can get and would appreciate if you'd say one for her. ;-)
Anyways, with all the life events, I haven't done anything towards surgery prep. I pray that the few days prior to surgery go a little smoother than the last few days have gone. The good thing is the last 5 days past so quickly. The bad part is that I don't feel prepared for surgery yet.
I wishing everyone happy healing and/or a smooth life leading up to surgery.
I found this cushion set that I'm considering buying. If anybody has suggestions that won't cost me $150-$200, PLEASE HELP?!?!
Surgery is 12 days away and my nerves are kicking in. My sister was going to be my ride to the hospital and she's not going to be out of the hospital. Doctor said 3 more weeks would be if everything starts going great and if her wounds heal slow (she's obese and that doesn't help) then she could be in there for 2 more months. O_o
Link to cushions...
In preparation for my big day, I've quit taking my multivitamin, tumeric, garlic, and Meloxicam. I decided that I'd do the 3-day fruit cleanse fast beginning Friday to rid myself of the bloat and the extra garbage in my body after letting loose for a few days to celebrate my Husband.
As for getting the house in order for surgery? I've still got a lot of work to do in that department. LOL!
Well, I'm off to celebrate once again. I'd still love some feedback on how you veterans found comfort sleeping without sabotaging your butt augmentation results? Also, WHERE do they sell bromelain? I'd love to add that to my post surgery supplements.
That's pretty much all that's new here. I'm trying to stay busy and off RealSelf right now as a mean to keep my nerves in check. I hope everyone is healing well or staying calm and focused if you've not had surgery yet. I booked 3 months early and that's a long time to overthink things.
Also, if someone can tell me a brick and mortar store that carries bromelain, I'd be forever greatful?
Less Than 8.5 HOURS!!
Let me start off by thanking y'all for the well wishes in the comments. The support here really is nothing short of amazing and makes me feel so much better to have so much support. I'd be lost without RealSelf and the amazing dolls that make it what it is.
This weekend, I've been able to accomplish all that I set out to! I have filled my pantry and refrigerator, purchased all of my supplies and set them up on my dresser and bathroom counter so they are easily accessed (besides my shower chair that's in place my walker that is at the top of the stairs waiting for me), had laundry caught up as of today for my whole household AND put away, and found time to get a recall taken care of on my car and go on a date with my husband Friday. Being busy like that is good for me to keep from stressing. Let me say that now it's all done, I'm feeling a calmness that's hiding my craziness that my thoughts bring.
I've ate my last meal, shaved my muff, taken my first heavy dose of antibiotics with some prebiotics, and taken a dose of Arnica Montana. I'm as ready now as I'll ever be ladies. I'm going try to get a few hours sleep if I can. If I can't, I'll probably be back on RS. Hehehe! I will update quickly tomorrow once I'm out of the OR and well.
Prayers to all the ladies also having surgery tomorrow. You will be in my heart tomorrow. I hope you ladies that are recovering are healing well and complication free and to the ladies that are still undecided...I hope you soon find the answers you're looking for so you can move to the next phase of your journey. Good night ladies. ;•*
I Made It
Well, while trying to figure this all out, Dr. B came in to see me. He gave me some last minute pointers and told me about surgery. He let me know that the surgery ended up taking 9 hours and 39 minutes. I guess the hernia was giving Dr. B trouble and ended up taking much longer to get it closed and secured. His bedside manners are impeccable. Despite everything going on with my transportation and the level of pain that I was experiencing, everything seemed like it was going to be ok while Dr. B was in the room.
Moving on. My husband arrived at about 8:30 pm. He came in and got my car keys to get my pillows out and send my cousin on his way. My hubby will pick my car up from his house today. Hubby came back in and comforted me emotionally, signed all the paper work, helped me to the bathroom (That was tough, especially in a crotchless girdle. I had to squat and straddle the toilet in order to not get the girdle dirty. OUCH! I did buy an oil funnel in an oblong shape and a splash guard and it works SOOO much better for me. I highly recommend buying one if you are going to be in a Faja type garment post surgery.) and helped the nurses dress me. He is such an amazing man. We finally got out of there around 9:30 pm.
The truck was an experience as well. He kneeled on all 4s to be my stool to get into the truck. Every bump was painful and I had to be in there for an hour to get home. He helped me get settled into our room as I couldn't do ANYTHING. Honestly, every single time I move any part of my body, my middle torso feels like it's on fire. Sometimes it's in front, sometimes it's in back, and sometimes it's all over it.
I couldn't use my new pillow set to sleep on. It doesn't all for my legs to bend enough at the hip. I ended up on my side last night. Laying on my incisions is very painful as well. I haven't slept longer than an hour at a time yet. I'm just way too uncomfortable right now.
On a positive note, both my 10 and 15 year old girls have been great. They are just waiting to help mommy out. My 15 year old made my protein shake (first meal since Sunday night) and my 10 year old has kept the 1 year old happy and entertained in addition to refilling my water cup. Aside from my mother, I'm truly blessed with such an amazing family that I've made for myself and am thanking my lucky stars for them.
That's my full update. I can't take the Faja off for a week under any circumstances. Next Tuesday will be my dressing change so hopefully I can post pics then.
To my sisters that also had surgery yesterday, I hope you girls a feeling better then me (dang hernia) today. May we all have beautiful end results and speedy recoveries.
Day 3 Post Op
Today, I getting a new sensation that I haven't yet experienced. I've been getting the feeling like something in crawling in my skin on my upper abs. Has anyone else experiences this? Are my nerves trying to connect again or is it lack of circulation and blood flow?
Day 5 PO (pics)
My back is really hurting me bad. I have ongoing back problems already, so all of this hunching and not straightening it out in 5 days just makes everything worse. I am using a walker and it definitely helps. I've gotten along with no seat rider for the toilet, but I'm using a funnel. I had my first BM yesterday as well as my second a couple hours later. The first one required a glycerine suppository to get it moving. The second BM was smooth and uneventful. They were both walker assisted since I got the BBL.
Speaking of BBL, I'm curious how that's going to turn out for me. I've sat on it to eat most days, just tried to muting the amount of time. I've slept on my side since day 1, which is challenging on it's own with all the cutting, sucking, and tucking that was done on me on Monday. The thing with side sleeping is that there's still weight on my butt. Let's all just pray that it's not too much weight.
I think it looks good now in the garment. I lost about 3.5-5" of full juicy butt tissue with the lift. Dr. B performed lipo in the flanks, lower back, and lower stomach (only on tissue that was being removed in order to not kill blood supply to "flap" skin. Once all the fat was settled and processed for transfer, there was a good 1,000 cc of donor fat for injection. He put 500 cc on each side. He says that it's normal to retain 75-80% of that. I'm very happy with the shape and all right now, but this is all with the garment on. I get a real peak on Tuesday.
I hope everyone is healing well. I do have a question to LBL ladies, were your upper outer hips and thighs numb after surgery?
Mine were. I've gained back a lot of feeling on the right side and I've got the crawling going on under my skin on the left side today, so I thinks the nerves are trying to mend.
Picture update (post op day 6)
I'm standing about 85-90% erect. I bend my knees as well se my lower back doesn't have to take the whole load.
Day 8 Update (full pics)
At the appointment, Leeanne (Dr. B's Medical Assistant) took off my garment right away. She took all the steri-strips off and unpacked my belly button and then I asked her to take photos of me as I'm documenting my recovery and this is my first time seeing everything. She happily agreed. The first thing I did is jump off the table and head straight to the full length mirror.
Positive things to note about my first view off all of my "work" that I just had done. My ass looks like that of a 20 year old that is blessed with some junk. It's too bad that it's going to go down a bit. My silhouette is also rocking. My mons looks like it did before kids and my cuts are nice and smooth. They are super low and perfectly shaped in front. Will be easy to hide under most types of panties and my scar in the back is placed just right to not make my butt too short or too long. I'm also liking my belly button so far. I guess I should note that the day of surgery, I had a talk with the doctor about it and let him know, as well as showed him pictures of oval belly buttons of a couple RS'ers that I liked. I expressed my preference for shape and the fact that I did *not* want a perfectly round one. It is my opinion that a tiny round belly button looks unnatural and is the most obvious sign of a recent tummy tuck. He was so funny. He assured me that her wouldn't give me a "tummy tuck" belly button and winked. LOL!
Not so nice initial observations. There's one very small spot a bit higher than the rest on my back/butt incision. My lower back and abdomen are both VERY swollen. The areas that are lipoed and were not removed surgically in back are the puffiest. It really takes from the side profile and doesn't help that at all, but today is only day 8, right. There's also still a lot of bruising in front where my tummy experienced the trauma from the hernia repair.
The great doctor came in to examine me after the quick photos Leeanne took of me with my iPhone. He asked of I've been losing weight, which I actually stepped on the scale this morning and am the same weight I was before surgery, so NO, you just did a good job in contouring me and lifting Dr. B. All of the incisions look good. He really checked out the swelling on my back and lower belly making sure there wasn't a seroma forming. He then saw my CG laying on the chair and confirmed that it provides the best compression on the sides and that's why my swelling has settled where it has. I guess a regular binder would have helped with this kind of swelling, but it's all in my tissue and time will resolve it. The CG I'm in is better for helping sculpt me. Please also note that my procedure was drainless and I fully believe that it made my recovery just a little more comfortable. Anyways, the they gave me a couple rolls of paper tape to start applying once the steri tape works itself off, but not before 1 more week. They gave me care instructions for the belly button after they cleaned it, applied more antibiotic ointment, and packed it with another ribbon thing soaked in more stuff and covered it back up with a waterproof bandage. I will leave all alone for another week. Come back in 3 weeks and call if I have any questions or concerns. All in all, it was a great appointment.
I'll posting the fully-Monty pictures. I don't have an app to edit stuff out so... Tell me what you all think?
Should I just buy a waist binder to wear over it?
Should I order a new on a size smaller? Any suggestions?
I Put On Clothes
I also called my PS surgeon's office regarding the lack of compression. They are ordering a medium for me and I'll bring them the size L I haven't used for them to return. So, they will do that footwork and pay shipping while I just switch it out at the office. I can't wait to get the new one. Hopefully, it will bring my swelling down!
Pics didn't post
Bikini 16 Days PO And ABS!!!!
10 Weeks PO
Here are some picture I took last Saturday morning in the mirror so you all can see my progress. My husband isn't comfortable taking photos for the Internet so this is the best I can do.
Overall, I think my surgery was a HUGE success. My stomach is flat. My love handles have been removed. My butt has been lifted and resembles a 22 year old, not a 36 year old woman with 3 children that once weighed over 210 pounds.
I love him so far. He's patient, calm, confident. He explained how to give me the body I desire and did not mention a single other flaw. His practice automatically carries CosmetAssure, which I think is very responsible. His staff and office are comfortable and professional. His prices are a little higher than some others in the area, but this is one area in my life that I don't think the decision should be based on pricing. This is my body and I will have to live with the outcome.