Tummy Tuck, Thigh Lift, Breast Lift- Oh My! (and a hernia repair and arm Lift Too) - Washington DC, DC
- updated 5 months ago
Tomorrow morning I am scheduled for my body lift....
- 1 May 2013
- 1 day pre
I had my surgery on Thurs morn. Took between 6-7...
- 4 May 2013
- 2 days post
Detailed report- Thurs. May 2nd- Surgery Day...
- 5 May 2013
- 3 days post
Arrived at hospital at 5:30 for 7:30 am surgery. I was taken to the pre-op prep area where I took off all m clothes and put on a hospital gown, cap and socks. A nurse came in and asked me questions about medicines I took, verified what procedures I was having and told me my surgeon and anesthesiologist would be coming to see me soon. Gabe, my boyfriend came back to see me and stayed with me when my surgeon, Dr. Ramineni and the anesthesiologist came in. Dr. Ramineni said the surgery would take a little longer since he had to repair the hernia and for some reason was not on the original order. He told me to stand up and began to mark my body with a marker he had in a sealed plastic bag in his briefcase as to where he was going to cut. He told me to hang tight and that I would see him soon. My anesthesiologist came in and I told him he was my new BFF. He asked why and I said that although I know the surgeon knows what he is doing and will make sure everything goes well, he was the most important to me since he was the one to make sure I didn't feel anything and would ensure that I would be brought back after surgery. he asked me if I wanted anything to take off the edge. I told him sure why not since I wasn't sure how I would feel once I was in the OR. I said my goodbye to Gabe and told him I would see him later as I was wheeled into the OR.
In the OR, I was told to take my gown off and I stood in the room as a nurse opened several wands with Betadine, or that antibacterial surgical dye they use and completely covered every inch of my body with it. When I mean every inch, I mean every inch. She must have used 15-20 of the wands with that dye on them to cover me. Once I was covered I laid down on the surgery tale and saw the anesthesiologist. The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist asking where he should stand. I woke up in the afternoon in the PACU unit. I remember it was about 4p when I woke up however I was in that unit until 7:30p when they found me a room to recover in. I was transferred to my room where my legs were placed in compression sleeves to massage my legs in order to prevent blood clots. I was given shots of heparin , and had my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature checked several times throughout the night. My arms were bandaged and I had 6 drains all around my abdomen. I also had a surgical bra on since I had a breast lift too. I also had a Foley, a type of cathater to take care of my bathroom needs. Since I didn't get a room until dinner had already been served, I was given a Healthy Choice frozen dinner to eat around 10p that night.
Fri- May 3rd- Day 1 After Surgery I was woken up...
- 5 May 2013
- 3 days post
I was woken up several times during the night to have my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature checked. My pain was monitored by a morphine pump that distributed meds every 10 minutes, My glucose was also checked since the nurse said my sugar level was elevated before surgery. My sugar levels were normal and steady each time they checked. My breakfast food was not the best hospital food I've ever had. I hardly ate anything. Since the night of surgery, I had been putting chapstick on my lips and sipping on ice water since my throat had been dry since they removed the tube they had inserted during surgery. I learned how to remove the fluid collected in the jp drains- the little grenades attached to my hospital gown via safety pins. Each one is numbered and the amount of fluid needs to be recorded to determine how much fluid id being released. I had several visitors throughout the day and felt well enough to walk around the unit floor. My legs no longer needed the compression garments but I was still given a heparin shot to thin my blood. In the afternoon, I was taken off the Morphine/Dilaudid drip and was given 2 Percocets every 4 hours. I didn't have any pain from the tummy tuck, thigh lift, brachioplasty or breast lift sites. The pain I did have came from the site of my hernia repair. It wasn't constant but it was sharp. As long as I remembered to take my pain killers before the pain really hit, I was ok. My catheter was removed to allow me to try to go to the bathroom. After 6 hrs. I still had not gone to the bathroom and an ultrasound was conducted on my bladder to see if there was a blockage or other reason as to why I hadn't peed yet. The foley was put back in and I would try to pee again on Sat.
Sat. 2nd day Post Op- May the 4th be with...
- 5 May 2013
- 3 days post
Gabe has been a godsend- coming to see me everyday and bringing me food since he sees that the food being given to me is unacceptable, lol. I received many flowers and balloons and had more visitors come to see me. This was to be my discharge day however since I was unable to pee, I was given the choice of staying or going home with a catheter which I did not want to do. My surgical doctor came to see me on Fri., his partner came on Sat. as well as other doctors from the plastic surgery dept. of the hospital. They removed my arm bandages and determined everything looked very good. Another bladder scan was determined but my bladder did not look full even though I had been sipping water since surgery. It was determined that I was probably very dehydrated before surgery which explained why I was not peeing- the fluid was being retained. My stomach sutures looked amazing as did my thigh sutures. My stomach felt hollow yet was distended due to the fluid and surgical trauma. I still had to wear my surgical bra since my breasts were recuperating from being lifted. My new nipples look amazing! I took many pictures so I could see what had changed in my body. I had read that many people get depressed after a body lift either because their expectations are different from what they expected or just regret. i had been on many websites that talked about it. Preparing myself for one month before surgery allowed me to accept the changes I was seeing- considering how drastic they were. I am very surprised I have not been depressed or regretful. During my gastric bypass surgery, I was upset for weeks after once I saw the incision. I think that I have finally come to grips with my body and am ok with the better trade off of scars than saggy skin.
Sun. May 5th- 3rd day Post Op Yay! at 12:30 am, I...
- 5 May 2013
- 3 days post
Yay! at 12:30 am, I finally peed! Wy the excitement? Because I can finally go home! peed once again at 6:45 am. Breakfast was once again inedible and thank you Gabe for bringing me eggs benedict from one of my favorite breakfast restaurants! Doctors came in to check my sutures and told me to expect drainage from my arms and that I did not need to wear compression garments. My first post-op appt is on Wed. and the drs said my drains may remain for 2 weeks. I'm still wearing a surgical bra. I can take a shower but not a bath. I was sent home with percocet and antibiotics. I sometimes feel as though I am pulling my sutures open but it's the tape from the pads covering my sutures that are sticky and pulling, I'm at home now and my dogs were very excited to see me. I have emptied my drains several times and maintain a log of how much fluid is removed from each drain to notify the dr at my post op appt. When the arm bandages were taken off, I was very itchy and was given Benadryl but I no longer need to take it. So far so good- pictures to come up soon!
Mon. May 6th- 4th day Post Op Today was an...
- 6 May 2013
- 4 days post
Today was an interesting day. I left home in the afternoon to tag along while errands were being run however I had an emotional meltdown at the grocery store. I'm not sued to people doing things for me and when it is done at their pace, it annoys me further. We went to the grocery store and I was in a motorized cart however not being able to pick up a gallon of milk or laundry detergent seemed to be too much for me. I cried in the aisle like I had just found out I lost a loved one. I know my abilities are limited but I think I am starting to go through the emotional phase of his journey. Hopefully, tomorrow is a better day.
Tues. May 7th- 5th day Post op Today was a good...
- 7 May 2013
- 5 days post
Today was a good day. No emotional mood swings today. Gabe, my boyfriend ran some errands and let me sleep for about 4-5 hours straight- probably the best sleep I had since the surgery. I'm down to only 1 Percocet every 4-6 hours and am still taking an antibiotic every 12 hrs while I have the drains in. I still empty the drains about 4 times a day, with most of the fluid coming from my midsection. The two drains near my breast are leaking fluid that is pretty clear. The swelling has subsided a lot. I'm still not standing completely straight since I feel that I am going to pop something even though I know I won't. My arms are still draining fluid so I wear a towel over my shoulders as a cape. I still sleep somewhat upright since I still need assistance getting out of bed. I can swing my legs over the side of the bed but I'm still stiff trying to raise my body off the bed. It feels like I did a lot of ab crunches. We watched a couple of movies and one was so funny, my stomach and abs hurt from laughing so much. I saw a couple of staples sticking out from the incision near my hip towards the end of the cut of my tummy tuck and feel like it pulls or gets caught in the fabric of the pants or shorts I wear. I washed my surgical bra and had a better chance to examine my breasts since the lift. My original scar from my gastric bypass surgery was very dark and thick and I expected all of my scars to resemble it. Not even close. I am so happy with how thin and light my scars are. My areolas were minimized and now look like pepperonis but the scarring is not readily visible unless I seriosuly inspect the areas. My nipples aren't exactly lined up evenly but I think that is mostly due to swelling since I can tell I am still swollen on the outside curves of my breasts. I am in love with how plump and firm they feel. My cleavage has changed a little however I think that it too has to do with the swelling. Tomorrow I see my surgeon for my first post-op appt. Hopefully I can get some of the drains removed. They are pinned to a tank top I wear via safety pins. My boyfriend Gabe lovingly calls Batgirl since I have what looks like a utility belts of drains, lol. I'm amazed how flat my stomach is even though my mons pubis, (the poofy area above the vagina), is still somewhat swollen. i still have 2 drains there. Another update tomorrow!
Wed. May 8th- 6th day Post op Today I went to my...
- 8 May 2013
- 6 days post
Today I went to my first post op surgery appt. We had to head into DC and park in a garage about 2 blocks away from my surgeon's office. Although my energy level is pretty normal, walking from the garage to the office was a bit of a hike. I wasn't in any pain however I held my stomach for the whole walk. Everything seemed to vibrate or move. I didn't have a compression garment on my abdomen since my surgeon said it wasn't needed. Met with the surgeon and stripped in front of him, (as you can see I'm an exhibitionist now, lol) and he said everything looked great. The swelling is subsiding, the drains are collecting the right amount of fluid and everything is healing nicely. he removed two of my drains- the two connected near my breasts and underarms. He chose these two to remove because I have been documenting how much liquid is coming out of the drains and what color, (vibrant blood red or 'chicken stock clear'). The two drains removed were only letting out between 1-5cc's of fluid every 2-4 hrs when I cleared the drains. Removing the drains wasn't painful however felt like a noodle was coming out of my skin. My surgeon bandaged up the drain hole sites and said to expect fluid to come out as it healed. He asked how I was doing, if I had any questions, and whether or not I was consuming protein. Like a good patient, I showed him my shaker bottle with my protein shake in it. Gabe, my boyfriend also had a visit my surgeon since he too had gastric bypass surgery and had his first consult to discuss removal of his excess skin and stripping of his varicose veins. Super excited that he will soon go down the same path of reconstructive surgery as I have.
After our dr appt., we walked to the hospital we had our gastric bypass surgery at to visit Stacey, the head nurse of the bariatric unit at GW Hospital in DC. During our stay there recovering, she and her staff made sure to attend to all our needs. We had not sen her in some time and she was super excited to see us and how much weight we had lost. I had asked her if she had any compression garments I could have since although my surgeon said it wasn't necessary for me to wear a binder, I preferred it since I should have listened to my original surgeon the first time and worn it for 6 weeks straight instead of the 2 I did, which may have resulted in me getting a hernia through activity I shouldn't have been doing. Having a compression garment or binder after surgery makes everything feel nice and tidy, cushioned and shock absorbed. It's a little thicker and tighter than wearing a Spanx, but you get the idea. It holds everything in. I haven't had any real pain- I've been good taking 1 Percocet every 4-6hrs. The only pain I feel is a sting where my hernia was located. I'm still amazed I don't feel the pain that comes from being sliced open. Ive had more pain from a paper cut than these incisions. Stacey provided me with a binder that i plan on wearing for a couple of weeks to somewhat contour my stomach and provide me with a sleeker silhouette until my swelling and bloating subside. After our visit with Stacey, we walked to our gastric bypass surgeon's office to attend their weekly Wed. afternoon support group meeting where a lot of people- staff and patient wise- knew I was recovering from my body lift. (It's so convenient all my drs are within a 5 block radius, lol). Everyone was amazed that I wasn't in pain, that I was walking about and even more excited at the prospect that their own insurance could cover their surgery as mine did for me. After the meeting, we headed home where I took a nice nap in the car. I woke with a jolt as I realized Gabe accidentally braked too late and it the car in front of us. Let's just say my stomach and surgical area was not too happy. Luckily, the lady we hit was driving an old Ford Explorer, the one with a metal bumper meaning it's built like a tank. She said no worries and I was awake for the remaining car ride home.
The highlight of my day? After 20 minutes of sitting on the toilet, I was finally able to pass a bowel movement. Not since I had given birth to each of my 3 daughters or had my first poop after gastric bypass surgery was I ever so constipated and relieved to have cleansed my bowels....
Thurs. May 9th- 1 WEEK-7 day post op What's...
- 9 May 2013
- 7 days post
What's exciting about weight loss in general for me is the ability to wear what others are wearing not what designers think plus size women should be wearing because of our size. I spent my afternoon thinking of my weight loss journey thus far. When I weighed myself at my gastric bypass surgeon's office yesterday, I only lost 10 lbs. Luckily, I had already read enough on the surgery to know not to have high expectations right after surgery. My surgeon explained that I wouldn't see the weight drop off yet as I am still bloated and have a lot of fluid. So while at Barnes & Noble today, I went to the beauty section and started looking at books trying to determine what fashion style I have. Now I'm a t-shirt and sweats kind of gal but I did grow up in the 80s and 90s and was as fashionably challenged as the decades made us all. It's still very strange to me to think that in several months I will be able to wear clothes labeled large and size 8, 10 or 12 due to my weight loss surgery and excess skin removal. Last night, I decided to figure out what style I was by going to the website of my local mall and clicking on the websites belonging to stores that cater to women's clothing. You see, whenever I went to the mall to clothes shop I would go directly to the 1-2 stores that catered to plus size women or head to the plus size women dept. at the department stores. During Christmas, I hated going into bebe or any other store that catered to skinny women just because of how obvious it was that I had no need to be shopping there unless I was getting a gift card for someone else. So now, I'm living in old 2 and 3X size sweat pants while the drains are attached to me but I cannot wait to wear clothes that flatter my new figure. Looking at different style icons, I find myself loving Jennifer Aniston's everyday girl next door look and Victoria Beckham's glamorous look as well. Just thinking of wearing a tank top where my bat wings aren't flapping excites me. After Barnes & Noble we went to Old Navy to window shop and Gabe was finally able to wear size 38-40 jeans. he used to be a size 68. I was able to wear a Large tank top for the first time EVER. What really blew my mind was they had an XL bikini. Yes, even though I have a Frankenstein belly and enough scars to last me a lifetime, I decided to try it on. I'm going to wait until my swelling subsides and see if I can fit a L. But I don't care how many stitches are visible and what people say or stare at. If I can fit into a bikini, I will rock the hell out of it.
Today was a great day in that I took the time to enjoy myself, dream of the future me and wait for the next part of the adventures of my weight loss journey to come.
Fri. May 10th- 8 days post op Today I woke up...
- 10 May 2013
- 8 days post
Today I woke up with swelling in my thighs and between my legs. It's weird since it feels like when my thighs used to rub together and get raw from the friction. I can cross my legs even though I have these incisions and my thighs are swollen. You can feel the fluid build-up. I also noticed that the fluid from one of my drains- the one that is on my pubic mound under my tummy tuck scar is very dark red. Not sure what the difference means but I am not worried. The amount draining is still pretty much the same. My doctor told me to be concerned should the fluid be a green color or have a rank smell to it which it doesn't so no worries at this time. I just can't wait to take these drains out. Today we went to go see a movie and it was gorgeous out- 80 degree weather. I was tired of my uniform of long sleeve t shirts and sweatpants so I decided to wear a spring cotton dress to go out. I also decided to wear one of my bras rather than the surgical bra. Last night, I went braless to sleep and was amazed that my boobs didn't fall to the side or weigh a ton. One of my best friends had come over before I took a shower and I told her to feel them because I was so happy with how they turned out after my breast lift. So for our movie date, I wore a bra, boy short underwear and a dress. I put the bra on and was amazed that I no longer had back fat or fat rolls near my bra. In addition to that, my straps were very loose and my cups size seems to have gotten smaller. Now I've had big boobs all my life so losing a cup size or 2 doesn't faze me at all since I can now go braless if I so desire. I've been going commando under my sweatpants because of the incisions under my butt cheeks and I was afraid my underwear might be too tight while I had drains that would have to fit in them as well. My underwear was my old size so there was plenty of room for them to go above my incisions as well as hold my 4 remaining drains. My dress was short sleeve and part of my arm incisions could be visible. I didn't care that people might see the scars while I was healing The dress fit beautifully as I had my compression garment on underneath to hold my abdomen together and my silhouette and waist line is starting to look less bloated. It seems like my swelling is traveling downward as the swelling is no longer on my stomach under my bra line but now closer to my new belly button to my mid thighs. The drains poking out from under my dress looked like I was shoplifting clothing under my dress. Thank God I didn't have to awkwardly explain that no I wasn't stealing, I just had drains because I had surgery a week ago. I brought a sweater with me just in case it was cold in the theater but also to somewhat cover my stomach and drains in case people stared and wondered what I was hiding under my dress.
While walking from the parking garage to the theatre which is like 100 feet, my thigh swelling was starting to become annoying. It feels like I have been using the Thigh Master and my thighs are sore from working out. I lifted s leg to see how much skin is hanging and I am very happy with the results since I don't have as much loose skin as before. The incisions on my butt cheeks are starting to dry out which is making me feel like scratching the itch that is starting to take over every incision. My dr. said we would discuss what fading creams or ointments to use on my incisions on Wed. so only a couple more days to go while they continue to heal before I out something on them to combat the itch. The area in between my boobs is also starting to itch and that is annoying as well.
I have no restrictions that I can remember as to how far I can spread my legs but I can already sit "Indian style" on my couch.
Now, I just can't wait until Wed. when the drains come out and I can start getting an idea of what I'll look like wearing all different types of clothes!
Sat. May 11th- 9th Day Post Op Pretty good day...
- 13 May 2013
- 11 days post
Pretty good day today. Started cleaning up my house again and went out with friends to a bar/club, Amazed I could actually dance. I haven't bought any clothes to wear post op but my pre-surgery jeans were roomy enough to hold the drains in the front. I didn't take any painkillers today. Still a little stiff all over.
Sun. May 12- 10 days post op Happy Mother's Day...
- 13 May 2013
- 11 days post
Happy Mother's Day to all! My mother died last year so I went to visit her at the cemetery. I wish she had ben around to see the changes in my health and body as she was always on me- sometimes critically about my weight. I wish I could have shown her that I took control of my issues with food and am a better person because of it. i went to a BBQ today and saw people who I had told I was having surgery a couple of days before. They were super excited to see me and were surprised I was out and about. Range of motion gets better every day and the feeling of stitch ripping in my arms has diminished. Now I just feel real tight.
Thurs- May 16th- 2 weeks post op
- 16 May 2013
- 14 days post
Today is my 2 weeks post-op
I woke up with severe swelling in my vaginal area and thighs. The swelling I had in the beginning started under my breasts, then to my mid-section then hips and now it is centered on my pubic mound, vagina and inner thighs. I have ben placing ice packs every couple of hours to help minimize4 the swelling. I have also again been taking 2 Percs every couple of hours. the 2 drains that belong to my thighs are not leaking much fluid but the other 2 are still releasing between 20-60 cc's every couple of hours. If I am in a laying position, there is no pain however I feel very unproductive at home. If I try to sir or bend over, my entire vaginal section feels like its on fire. I am so looking forward to next Wed when these drains are taken out.
Mon. May 20th- 2 weeks +
- 20 May 2013
- 18 days post
Sat.- Thank God another friend is driving all of us to the wine festival. 2 Hours in, I regretted even coming. The drains seemed to be getting longer and tugged and pulled even though they were tucked in my jeans. When we got back home, I went to use the bathroom and a drain just came out. I had googled this and my dr said this was normal and I was so excited that finally they were coming out. The other drain that belonged to my thigh came out. I still had 2 drains when we attempted to have sex because i wanted it that bad . Percocet is the anti-Viagra.
Mon. May 20th- 2 weeks + Part 2
- 20 May 2013
- 18 days post
Bad moment of day: still draining, haven't pooped, butt crease hurts
Good moment of day: i went for a bra fitting at Victoria's Secret and can wear a 38C- wasn't that size since 7th grade. Bought some shirts at Old Navy- I can wear a womens Large now. Down from 3XL.
"after all, tomorrow is another day."- Scarlett O'Hara
6 1/2 weeks post op- time sure flies...
- 18 Jun 2013
- 1 month post
2 months after lift- 2 yrs after gb
- 10 Jul 2013
- 2 months post
I came in with a list of (seriously) 100 questions and he answered every one of them at my pre-op appt. He made recommendations as to where the sutures would go based on my age and personality- decided to hide the sutures rather than have them go down to my knees. Friendly, courteous and professional- I highly recommend anyone in the DC area interested in having my procedure speak with him first before seeking treatment elsewhere.