First let me be completely honest for anyone...
First let me be completely honest for anyone contemplating this procedure: it hurts a lot. It is difficult to imagine the pain as well as recall it fully. The only thing close to it I remember is passing a kidney stone in the wilderness. So this is serious stuff, not to be headed off by denial or ignorance. Be informed as much as possible.
Having said that, I also state from the vantage point of day 6 that I already see changes in my abdomen that I like. Maybe I wasn't so crazy after all.
Things did not go well for me from the get-go. My anesthesiologist had to puncture me 7 times to get the IV line in, and said I had small veins. That's the last I recall until awakening in recovery and immediately needing to vomit. That continued for 3 days and was the worst of it. Also my ureter was swollen from the catheter and I could not empty completely or without pain. The pain along the incision was minimal and the meds controlled that well. On day 3 I was pretty alarmed and wanted a mulligan!
However, I am now over the nausea, UT inflammation and can say I am seeing progress. I look down at myself and definitely see much less abdominal mass.
My surgeon and assistants are top notch in my opinion and have done a very fine job. This is a medical miracle they have wrought. They anticipated and planned very well for the problems and have been right on top of them all. Pays to choose experienced people all the way.
My advice to those contemplating is:
1. Read reviews and real experiences to get some taste of what surgery entails. This forum has been a godsend!
2. Be prepared to understand and execute some rather complex instruction and plan to fully comply. Don't be oppositional-defiant on your meds or you will hurt more than you need to.
3. Don't go for the lowest bidder.
4. Plan to get some real round-the-clock help for a week. I still need meds (and food) every two hours and without my wonderful boyfriend I would be in despair.
I see past the swelling now that there lies a flat abdomen in my near future. It will be worth it, for many reasons, not just vanity. They have pulled off a miracle here!
The drains are a complete nuisance as well as that naughty little compression garment, but both are absolutely necessary for good results. I believe I have had very minimal bruising, and that is amazing in a fair skinned redhead.
I had my post-op exam yesterday and all is well. I...
I had my post-op exam yesterday and all is well. I will have the drains and zoot suit one more week. I am past the complications and now am dealing with issues normal to abdominal surgery.
The big surprise: I did not anticipate in the lower-mid backache that hits whenever I am on my feet. Dr said that was from my front being foreshortened so my back muscles are straining. As I walk more and more upright it will improve. I think maybe some massage would help at this point.
I am tapering off the codeine now and anticipating a rapid recovery from here on out. But still staying on the Milk of Magnesia (my new best friend).
HOORAY! Drains are OUT and I can...
HOORAY! Drains are OUT and I can move freely again.
Not exactly painless, the left one hurt like crazy for just a few seconds but then the right one did not hurt at all. I did feel a little light headed but okay.
Now the real healing can commence! I feel so liberated....went to the grocery store on the way back and am going to eat a real dinner tonight.
Dr said to wash the scar and navel and to wear the black compression suit for two more weeks. I guess that's okay.....compared to where I was yesterday, I am light years ahead today.
Tomorrow I want to drive. Will add a picture tomorrow, sans drains.
Just saw my doctor at 3 weeks post op and we...
Just saw my doctor at 3 weeks post op and we decided I can try (again) to go back to work next Monday, Jan 17, a full 4 weeks from the surgery. I was overly optimistic thinking I could go back at day 18, I tried and made it 2 days before I knew I was way over my head.
This last week I have seen great improvement in how I feel as well as my energy level. I still plan to take a nap at lunch (in my car) all next week.
So maybe it was just me, but at age 59 I think I needed to allow a little more time to heal. I am not 30 anymore and do not bounce back like I used to. All in all I am looking pretty good and really look forward to where I end up in 6 months or so. As it stands now, I still wonder if it was all worth it, but that is how it is with pain.....after time passes, the memory fades and we just remember the good. Otherwise, would any woman ever have more than one child? But I do think I'll pass on any breast lift or reduction!
Today Jan 17, 2011 I am back to work! This time I...
Today Jan 17, 2011 I am back to work! This time I feel like I can handle it. I have a lot more energy, less discomfort that when I tried back on Jan 4. First time I went back it was at 2.5 weeks post-op; this time it is fully 4 weeks post-op. What a huge difference - I really needed this much time, even for my easy desk job. Maybe because of my complications, maybe because of additional illness, or even perhaps my age was a factor (59)......but I seriously underestimated how long it would take to get back to minimal functioning with this type of surgery. It takes a lot out of one (not just the fat!)
Today is my 6 week mark from my Abdominoplasty and...
Today is my 6 week mark from my Abdominoplasty and extended lipo. I have to say that today has been grand.
First, I weighed myself this morning and I am continuing to lose......from 154 to 136! Two inches is gone from my waist and 1 inch from my hips. And today I got into my big girl slacks!
Also today was the first day I awoke with some of my old energy. My incision is uncovered now and still pink and raised somewhat, but no longer open anywhere nor uncomfortable. Pain is in the past now.
So I am reporting to anyone looking into this procedure: YES, it was worth it. I feel very good about this now. HOWEVER, I must caution you that this is not an easy recovery. I needed 6 full weeks to feel myself again. My recovery has been very hard at times, with a few setbacks and a lot of tears of frustration. It may go better for others, but be prepared for the worst, especially if you are almost 60 years old, like myself.
Still, I would do it again to have my body back. (Just eternally grateful that this is 'once and done' cuz I am not too sure that I would, knowing what I know now!)
Anything is bearable when it is behind you! Now for the fun part......shopping!
I will insert a last picture maybe this weekend
(PS My continued weight loss may be due to a factor I read about in Kevin Trudeau's book.....a mass of abdominal fat can slow your metabolism greatly. When that's removed, your body revs up a bit and begins to equalize the other fat deposits distributed around the rest of the body. Whatever, it seems to be a working theory for me because I am not seriously dieting, just eating healthy. I need to investigate this further.)
Well, I am at 12 weeks and feel like this journey...
Well, I am at 12 weeks and feel like this journey has been a success. My scar is healing nicely and all the troubles post-op have faded into dim memory. I love my flat abdomen and being able to tuck my shirts in again! I feel better and look better, so I guess I am ready to go into my old age next week, when I turn 60.
Good luck all!
Whoohoo! Just returned from Mazaltlan and ready...
Whoohoo! Just returned from Mazaltlan and ready to upload some pics. I left on this trip exactly at 4 months to the day from my TT and Lipo. Man, am I happy with my results. See for yourself......I need to tighten up a few places yet but am very close to a good figure for a 60 year old grandma. I seem just a bit top heavy to myself, but that is a matter of opinion, I am told. (Mainly my boyfriend likes my boobs the way they are)
Anyway, I feel like my doctor did an amazing job on me (too bad I didn't post any before pics) and I count this as $$ well spent. Even all the misery I went thru seems small for these results. Thank you Dr Sattler!