Has it been over a year already???

I am a 43 year old mother of three, ages 21, 18...

I am a 43 year old mother of three, ages 21, 18 & 12. Ever since my third child I have wanted a Tummy Tuck. I am 5ft. 4 and currently weigh 150. I do crossfit and I run but no matter what I still have this droopy baby pouff!!! I am the manager of the color department in a busy day spa/salon and work in front of lots of mirrors all day. I love love love my job and making people look and feel beautiful but if I catch a side glimpse of myself I feel miserable inside. Sometimes I get dressed for work and there are clothes all over when my husband gets home cause I hated the way my stomach looks in everything! I am happy with rest of my body. Had breast lift with implants 8 years ago. I know I'll never be cellulite free or perfect but this tummy has to go! It affects me way to much. The beauty business is tough, you can't be the older looking stylist with the big belly, image is a big part of my success so far and I feel I need to maintain myself a bit. So I'm finally doing this for me, full tuck and lipo in 5 days!!!!

I have some before pics in my phone but have no...

I have some before pics in my phone but have no idea how to load them. Any advice?

6-15-12, Well the nurse called today to confirm my...

6-15-12, Well the nurse called today to confirm my time for Tuesday! I have to report to the hospital at 7:30 am. It is about a half hour forty five min. from my house. I am such a major coffee addict Im trying to figure how I will survive without having any morning of sugery??? Ill prob. get a headache :( Tomorrow is my last day at the salon for 3 whole weeks. I am super booked so the day will fly by. Not being at the salon that long and having to move my clients around is one of the major stressors of this whole thing for me. I one of the lucky ones who LOVE my job. I have been there for 16 years and we are like a big family. I have clients that have been with me a long time. They knew me as a single Mom with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. They saw me get enganged to my super amazing husband, then married, then having my third child. My youngest is now 12 and I have been married 14 years! They really worry for me when they were told I was going to be out for 3 weeks for a "medical procedure" The ones Im really close to, who aren't judgemental I told the truth to. Everyone else, if they asked, I said a hernia repair. HATE lying, but not everyone gets this whole tummy tuck thing. I dont really care, only opinion that matters is mine and my husbands, and he just wants me to stop crying whenever I get dressed! Ok sorry to ramble on, but 4 days to go and I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!

Last day at work is done for three weeks!!!! OMG...

Last day at work is done for three weeks!!!! OMG this is really happening on Tuesday :o

6-17-12 Well I just got dressed for Fathers Day...

6-17-12 Well I just got dressed for Fathers Day dinner and I hope that is THE LAST time I have to get dressed for an occasion and hate the way I look in everything! Wanted to wear a cute maxi dress that I bought but I look 5 months pregnant in it :( Doesn't help that I am PMSing big time (due 2 days after surgey ugh) and I am bloated and stress eating. Wish I could have some wine to calm me down but PS said no alcohol before. Anyone else have their PS say that? I really can not wait to get rid of this droopy tummy, I am fine with having a scar, it is so much better then what I have now that's for sure. Can not wait to be on the healing side of all this, 2 more days!!!!!

Oh boy, do I have butterflies in my stomach!!!! So...

Oh boy, do I have butterflies in my stomach!!!! So much to do today, Ill be running all day and doing stuff tonight so the time should fly by. Today I shaved my legs and all my other parts for last time before surgery. They said not to do it tomorrow to not have risk of infection with an open cut or anything. I am taking my iron, dulcolax, and arnica on the regular. Drinking lots of water too. I have to get my eye brows waxed, get a rubber spacer to put in my nose piercing, it's only 6 weeks old and that sucker hurt so I dont want it to close up. I have to set up the bed in spare bedroom for my Mom who is coming post op day 2 and 3 when my hubby is working. I have to cut my 12 year olds hair since I wont be doing that again for a little bit, and double check all my supplies are there. Taking my nephew to his baseball game tonight and gonna soak up all the fresh air and sunshine I can cause who knows how long till I am sitting outside again! Then home to pack my hospital bag, and try to sleep. Not sure I will LOL I am leaving 6:30 am tomorrow to report to hospital 7th floor at 7:30 am. Scheduled for 9:30 am surgery. PS told me to bring a bikini bottom and he will mark my scar within that area. So excited for the tt and lipo and bracing myself to be positive and strong in the first few days after. Happy Monday everyone!!!!!

WOW it is here already!!! Yesterday I was so busy...

WOW it is here already!!! Yesterday I was so busy it was a blurr. Good I guess right? I am very excited, I am not scared, as I feel so comfortable with my surgeon, I am just anxious about the recovery. I know I can handle it but Im sure it wont be easy. All I have to do is look at my pictures above and think about how every day of my life this droopy tummy affects me and I am quickly reminded of why I am doing this. Cant wait to look down and see my girl parts instead of my gut :))) Ill be back on and update you all as soon as I can, Happy tt Tuesday!!!!!

Just read all your well wishes and it def. made me...

Just read all your well wishes and it def. made me smile. Well here is how today went. Everyone here at Wilmington Hospital is so so nice! Was put in bed in waiting area, the IV was started and then Dr. Chang came in full of smiles. I put on the bikini bottom io brought with me and he had me pull my fat tummy up over it and he marked where my scar is. He then used a red sharpie to mark where he would lipo and said if we were gonna do it, we were gonna make it worth it. I looked like a big red and black drawing lol. Went into OR, everyone do reassuring and nice and next thing ya know I was sleeping and felt like one minute later I was awake in diff. bed in diff. room. I was VERY GROGGY but my husband said he took out a crazy amount of fat, and that my three 9lb babies apparently seperated my abs bad. So unfortunately I have a big muscle repair and tons of lipo. Incision dosent hurt but rest of it does. I have a binder on and I can see that I am flat. I mean really flat :) I'll update more tomorrow. Good night.

Hi everyone, been sleeping ALOT yesterday and...

Hi everyone, been sleeping ALOT yesterday and today but wanted to give a quick update and say I hope all my fellow June Tummy stickers are doing good. Well I am so happy with how low and even my incision is from what I can see. Went back to Dr today and had dressings changed. My belly button is tiny and cute so far too. I won't lie and say its been easy cause I had a few rough moments trying to get up and down to bathroom yesterday. My poor husband was so afraid to hurt me :( today I can do it on my own but it still hurts. My right drain leaks a little and stings a bit, going back on Wed. Next week hope they come out then. The lipo def. hurts and is bla k and blue. He was very aggressive with it he said. Sore now but worth it later. I'll post pics over weekend, cant stand up that long yet with out being dizzy tired. My tummy is so FLAT I can't believe it's mine :)

Day 4 post op finds me still mostly in my bed. I...

Day 4 post op finds me still mostly in my bed. I did go downstairs yesterday at lunch, and again for dinner. Can't eat very much being slightly full makes my tummy uncomfortable. I get dizzy if I'm not laying down and I think that is the pain meds. Trying extra strength Tylenol to see if that helps. Right now I am so glad I took 3 weeks off from salon, I think I'm really gonna need it. Being patient with my body and all I just put it thru. This healing takes time. My girlfriend Suzanne is certified in Reiki, a healing energy performed on someone. She came yesterday and it was so relaxing. Today my friend Leigh is coming over to wash and Blowdry my hair is is slicked back in a pony, yuck! I def. have swelling a some pretty dark brushing from lipo. Tonight I'll have my hubby take some pics and post for you guys. I just haven't had the strength to stand and unwrap and do it yet. I think I'm gonna love my results just gotta get over this first hump. Tiny progress everyday :)

Day 5 post op finds me no longer in my room all...

Day 5 post op finds me no longer in my room all day. Getting up and down is getting easier. I'm very tired. Milk of Magnesia was my best friend this morning, lol took it last night since it had been 5 days without a BM :o 6am this morning it kicked in and made such a difference in my comfort ability. I did have a case if the blues yesterday, which I heard is normal. I was tired of being in pain, tired of being uncomfortable, feeling guilty watching my hubby run around like a crazy man keeping it all together. But my very best BFF stopped by last night and after our chat I felt better. Today was first day I felt I was turning the corner to getting well. Tomorrow I'm nervous cause I'll be home with just my 12 year old son. He is very sweet and helpful but I'll miss my hubby. Drains are really slowing down, praying they come out wed. I feel like I can't really check myself out untill I no longer have them hanging out of me. One good thing, my muscle repair is si tight it makes me full quicker. Eating on a regular schedule but sticking to real whole foids in very small portions! Haven't weighed yet either waiting for drains to be out!

Day 7 Post Op- Wow a week ago today I was changing...

Day 7 Post Op- Wow a week ago today I was changing into my hospital gown! What a week it has been. My pain threshold def. went up this week lol. I woke up today feeling a bit different. I went from having pain to feeling more tight and sore, like I did a million sit ups. I guess that is progress. I feel much perkier too thank God! Hardly anything coming out of my drains so I am sure they will come out tomorrow when I go see Dr. Chang. When I saw him 2 days post op he said, "You're not mad at me are you?" We both thought since I work out alot, (crossfit) and by way my stomach looked that I wouldn't need a big muscle repair. Well it was a huge seperation and I got 4 rows of stiches on that. He said he usually does 2. Also lipo was a lot more but he said he thought if your gonna do this then do it right and best you can. So needless to say I was NOT prepared for the pain. But everyday I have felt better and better. Nice to see my children care for and about me. They are 21,18,12. I always do so much for them and to see and feel the love come back at you when you need it is awesome. My husband is super man I swear! Love him to death. I'm blessed with a few great friends as well but it's amazing how you can see some people being judgemental or jealous. But oh we'll that's about them not me cause I certainly do not talk about this much to others. Like my friend Erin told me, she said you are gonna get a lot of compliments on how you look, your reply should be a shirt sweet thank you. No explanation, no justification, just thank you. Good advice. I'm sticking to it. Happy Tuesday everyone :)

Day 8 post op, Well today I woke up feeling a bit...

Day 8 post op, Well today I woke up feeling a bit frustrated, kinda close to tears really. I hate being this way because I try to live my life with grattitude. I strongly believe in the law of attraction and I know what I put out there comes back to me. Having the opportunity and financial ability to change something on my body that caused me distress every day of my life for 14 years now, is something I want to be grateful for, not whine about. So having said that I am going to vent just a little because I know this site is to give others an opportunity to review this whole process and see very real accounts of what it is REALLY like. I'm so fed up with these drains, not showering, sleeping on my back propped up, not laughing, not coughing, not sneezing, not cleaning my house, not wearing normal clothes and feeling pretty, not driving, it's end of June and my skin is white not its usual brown tan, I wanna snuggle my hubby, damn it I just want to feel normal again!!!!!!!! Ok there, I said it all. I am going back this morning to my PS for my second post op appt. and my drains have barely 10ml in them lately so I know they will come out. I dont care if it hurts I just want them off my body. I will post later as to how it all goes. Oh btw I got on the scale today, with garment and drains and I was down 9lbs :))

Day 8 post op. So my second post op appt. went...

Day 8 post op. So my second post op appt. went like this. On the way there my husbands phone rang like 3 times, work calling, they fall apart when he leaves it is a family business so it's not like he can say "hey Im taking Penelope for her tt post op" but this def raised the stress level. I was anxious and emotional (see above post). Everyone at Dr. Chang's office is so very nice and calming. He told me right away that he would pull one drain but leave the other. He said too often when both are pulled after first week, the patient is back the next week with a seroma and needs a needle in the tummy to drain fluid. The thought of a needle going into my oh so sensitive tummy made me nauseous, so I def. agreed we would leave one till Monday. I am healing well. He told me to massage my bruised lipo areas but not on the front tummy. just the flanks and inner thighs. I am still in first cg untill other drain comes out then I have to wear a more spanx like thing for a couple months. Right before the drain was pulled out I broke out in a clod sweat and the nurse said I looked pale. I got a cold compress on my head, held my hubbys hand and I have to say it was painless but very very strange. Like a long worm or something. I felt it up by my ribs!!! Hubby said it was like 18 inches long! But now Im not scared for other one come Monday. Dr. Chang said in about three weeks I should put a marble in my belly button and tape it at night to help shape my bb and help it to all tuck in nice and round and hide the scar. I can NOT wait to shower and shave my legs etc. I'm afraid to do this alone so hopefully tonight. Dr. Chang said he removed 3,000cc of fat which equals 6lbs of fat and about 2lb of skin. I am def. looking thinner all over, I think it is due to not being at the salon where there is always junk food, no red wine in 2 weeks, and small portions cause my tummy feels so tight. The scale says 144lbs. Morning of surgery I was 153. I NEVER wanna see the 150's again!!!!! I am 5ft 3 and small boned. my MOM is 4ft 11in. and weigh 90-100lbs most of her life, so 150 is quite overweight for me, as my before pics show. So overall feeling better. Thank you for the kind words and comments, they def. help me. Knowing other women are going thru the same thing as me is very comforting. Ill update pics again soon too :)

WOW Post Op day 11 already!!!!! Well I think I...

WOW Post Op day 11 already!!!!! Well I think I finally turned the infamous corner I always hear about. I still have one drain in, that will come out Monday, and it is VERY annoying, but other then that I do feel really good. My lipo pain is starting to subside (that was worse part) my bruises are fading a little and I can get around much much better. I think today I will venture out to lunch and a little Walmart run with my daughter. She is 21 and has been SO amazingly helpful and supportive :) I am still napping once a day, which is funny because before the tt I NEVER nap, I run around like a crazy lady. Now I love my nap lol. My boss and co-workers have been so sweet with the texts and phone calls, we are like a family at the salon. I miss it so much. I love getting dressed up for work, doing my hair and make-up, just feeling pretty and making my clients feel the same way. I love my career and look forward to going back. Working in a salon I am surrounded by mirrors all day. At any moment I can see myself from every darn angle, all day long. Sometimes I would be foiling my client or putting a touch up on and I would glance in mirror to look at my client, and see my belly looking all puffy and big and it would make me sad and disstracted, so I just wouldn't look. I CAN NOT WAIT to glance and see a flat tummy!!!!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!!!! Ok so Ill post more pics after drain is out Monday. :)) Happy Healing everyone!

Post Op day 13 and Thank God I am DRAIN FREE!!!!!...

Post Op day 13 and Thank God I am DRAIN FREE!!!!! Here is a run down of my third post op appt. They trimmed down the stiches on my lipo sites, they were sticking up and itchy. My last drain was pulled out, once again pain free but very very strange feeling. No more neosporin on my bb just a band aid. I will start putting a marble in it at night to tuck it in. I now have this brown scar therapy tape over my incision. I am to remove it when I shower and was given a roll to replace after shower. Dr. Chang said my results were def. one of the better ones. My incision is nice and low and even. He said it is harder the more loose skin someone has, like after a major weight loss. Plus I had no stretch marks above my belly button so now there are none on my tummy :)) But a little red mole I had up by my ribs now sits below my bb, weird huh? So then the fun began. It took me and the nurse to get me all squeezed into my new compression garment. It goes from right up under my breasts to down to the top of my knee :( I had lipo on my upper abdomen, flanks, hips and inner thighs so this is the garment I must wear as much as possible for the next 4 weeks. It really does make me feel secure. Since my abs are healing from a MAJOR muscle repair I feel weak there. So the garment gives a secure steady feeling. This thing is hysterical though, hooks and zippers up both sides and is crotchless!!!! So funny my who-who (vajay jay) is like exposed and so is my bottom. You wear panties over it so it is easy to go to the bathroom, but man is it funny, had to moon my husband in the kitchen when kids were around corner, thought he was gonna die laughing. You have to laugh, this whole process isn't pretty. Surgery isn't pretty, healing takes time and is not fun. This leads me to my advice for anyone about to have a tummy tuck.
Such a cute saying isn't it??? Tummy Tuck....... yup just tuck all that ugly stuff off and give me a cute tummy. Sounds dreamy dosen't it????? Well it really is..........in about a few months after surgery that is. Everyone is always asking, "What do I need to have to get resdy for a tt?" Well I am going to tell you the number one thing you need, ready???? PATIENCE, yup you def. need patience. Patience for the pain to subside, patience to let someone else run your home and family for a while. Patience for the dizzy feeling when you stand up to go away. Patience to not have a shower or shave your legs for a while. Patience while you slowly, every week feel a little better and get a little more energy back. Patience to deal with 2 drains comming out of your body, holding back your sneezes, your coughs and your laughs (in my house that is not easy, we laugh alot). Patience for that really flat tummy cause swell hell will hit you sooner or later trust me. Patience to not snuggle up and wrap around your man for a while, this one sucks :( But if you mentally prepare yourself, stay positive, believe in your healing, look for the progress not what you can't do, if you have patience......WOW will you be happy you did this. It is truly life changing. After my Dr appt. today I went to Target and was going to buy a shirt. I realized that I will have to re-learn how to shop for my body. Every piece of clothing I have bought for 13 years has been selected to cover up and hide my ugly droopy baby belly. Well, it's gone :) My choices were so overwhelming to me, I left with nothing. Plus I was tired and needed a nap lol so I guess I need patience to go shopping once again too LOL Good luck and Happy Healing everyone :))

5 weeks already???? Really???? Hi everyone, hope...

5 weeks already???? Really???? Hi everyone, hope you all are healing well!!! So the last 3 weeks have been very exhausting and hectic and I must admit emotional. I went back to work at the 3 week mark and I was NOT ready. I have a job where I am on my feet, dressed up, running around, making people look and feel beautiful, and this requires me to be happy and cheerful and positive. Not so easy when your sore, and swollen and just plain tired. I would come home from work and just lay on the couch and rest. I'm pretty hyper and live a busy life so it was tough to do, but I listened to my body. I can happily say that this week I feel AMAZING :-) Last couple weeks I think I wasn't enjoying my incredible results because swell hell kicked in BIG TIME! I wasn't swollen really at all untill I went back to work. So when I went from a super flat tummy to one that looked puffy it kinda depressed me. Silly I know looking at my before pics. I was PMSing, swollen and exhausted, great combo right? This lead to a few days of stress eating, a few days of the blues, and just plain feeling down. Then one day I woke up and it was like the tight vice like feeling I had constantly had since surgey loosend up a little. I didnt feel so sore. I got my food back on track, drank more water, got naked and took a good look in the mirror, and all I can say is WOW This was def. one of the best things I have ever done for myself!!!! That big belly that upset me everyday is gone!!! I can wear anything I want and it fits and looks good. My confidence is way up and my hubby loves that I feel so good about myself! My clients are coming in and saying I look great and ask if I lost weight, lol. My co-workers who heard me complain about being swollen were like, Penelope you look so good, you just can't see it. I never wanna be that un-grateful for the opportunity to make such a great change for myself ever, ever again!!! It has all been so worth it :) Ill post some bikini pics this weekend, happy healing :-)

My last post was more of an emotional rant and I...

My last post was more of an emotional rant and I know you ladies want the facts and details of the tt not my drama lol so here it is. Tomorrow will be 6 weeks post op for me and I can say I am feeling great! Went to the shore with my husband and wore a bikini on the beach and boat and felt amazing! My energy levels have returned to almost normal, and I am not nearly as sore. Sneezing and coughing still feels weird. My incision is so super low and healing nicely. I am now using a scar therapy silicone creme twice a day called bioCorneum. It is a creme that dries as a silicone, with an spf of 30. My scar already looks less red and nice and flat. I am massaging my lipo areas with the Palmers Oil. Everyone is right when they talk about "Swell Hell" I def. swell up later in day and evening. You just have to ignore it and focus on long term resluts, not immediate. Yes you wake up with a flat tummy after sugery but the rest of you still looks the same. I can see that I need to step up my fitness and healthy eating to tone my legs and arms more. Before my tt my hanging belly made me feel unmotivated and hopeless as far as exercise and weight loss, but with that gone I am so much more excited to begin taking good care of my health again. I am begining a 90 day exercise challenge that fellow tummy tucker Cary9816 is offering thru Beach Body. I will be doing Turbo Fire and drinking Shakeology once a day. I am nervous about exercise due to my huge muscle repair but she has assured me that the plan lets you ease into it. She had amazing results with additional weightloss and fitness post tummy tuck and I plan to do the same! Ok that's all for now, hope you all are healing well and for those about to have surgery, Good Luck and that first week remember it gets better everyday and will all be worth it!!!!

Well fellow tummy tuckers I am now 10 weeks post...

Well fellow tummy tuckers I am now 10 weeks post op and feel the most normal I have felt in 10 weeks!!! Ok where to start, I can now move at my normal pace, lol. I am a fast person, walk fast, run up the stairs, move quickly thru the food store, the mall, at work etc. After my tt it was very frustrating to me that I was slow, that I had pains and tightness and swelling that slowed me down. I know it was normal part of healing but now that I zip around again it feels so good!!! I went to the shore with my family on vacation and I carried my own beach bag, walked on the beach, went out on the boat, loaded up my car when we left, ahhhhh to be me again, WAIT, not me again, the NEW ME :)) I no longer have that hanging pooch of a tummy holding me back. When I sat in a bikini on the pool deck playing cards with my family I wasnt constantly sucking in, re-positioning myself or wondering if anyone was staring at my stomach. When I dressed to go out at night, my choice of clothes wasnt based on what hid my tummy the best! So freeeeeeing :)
The numbness is now going away, getting feeling back more and more. I love my new belly button and can't wait to pierce it again. My scar is healing well and dosent even bother me at all. It is hidden under the tinyest panties and bathing suit bottoms. I put BioCornium silicone scar gel on it every day. My only issues still is of course the swelling, ecspecially my hips. I am an apple shaped girl with small hips but now they kinda stick out. I can feel that it is all fluid so I know it will go away. Also I get a hard swollen lump above my bb if I do way too much in a day. Dr. Chang said it is my body reminding me that I had MAJOR abdominal surgery and to slow down. I agree. He also said it will be 6 months before I see true results, that would be December. I never wear my compression garment any more, and I dont miss that thing at all!!!
I am mad at myself for the way I ate and drank on vacation. When I was in so much pain I swore, no matter what I would never eat all that yummy bad crap ever again. I dont want to ruin or not appreciate the fact that I was able to rid myself of a part of my body that caused me such bad feelings about myself. So Monday is my youngest son's first full week of school and I plan to resume exercise schedukle and clean eating again. I tried to workout at 6 weeks like some ladies on here have done but for me and my huge muscle repair, it was too soon. But now I feel ready.
My advice to anyone considering a tt, DO IT! You wont regret it, scary I know but it has changed me as a person so much. Check out my before and after pics for some inspiration :) To everyone who has had a tt recently, HANG IN THERE!!!! It gets sooooo much better. Just take it one day at a time.

Love my tummy, so worth it a year later!

I can't say enough how much all I went thru with my TT and MR and that it was SO worth it!!! Since my last update I struggled with my weight, big time! Before the TT I was very into crossfit and working out 4 times a week. My MR was so big that my healing took a lot longer. I could not do the type of strenuous exercise I was used to and I think I got depressed. The Tummy Tuck is not a magical, instant feel better about your entire self solution. Yes I LOVED my tummy but the rest of me was still the same and not being able to crossfit really hit me hard mentally. I had to find my new soul mate workout. Well, enter Turbo Fire by Chalene Johnson, and recently T25 by ShaunT. These at home workouts literally kicked my butt into gear! I love pressing play when it is convenient for me, and not having to go by a gym schedule! I lost the 20 something pounds I gained post surgery, and my abs are finally making an appearance. I love these beachbody workouts so much that I joined on as a coach to help others feel healthy and strong and also to get a discount on my favorite meal replacement shake, Shakeology! Private message me if I can help you find a workout that's best for you post TT, or for some motivation! I've been there ladies, I KNOW how hard it is, but it can be done! Ill update with some current pics soon :)
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon

Dr Chang has been so wonderful!!!! He talks to me like a sculptor who is a perfectionist! I trust him completely!!!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 7 others found this helpful