30yr Old with 3 Kids- Excess Skin and Muscle Seperation!
I am 29yrs old and have 3 kids. I gained my figure...
Postponing surgery so I can go out of state
Found my surgeon!
Less than 3mo from surgery
3 weeks from surgery!
The night before!
1 Day post-op
My surgery time was 7:30 am and they promptly took me back exactly at my appointment time. I had to give a urine sample (pregnancy test) and they got my IV started. The anesthesiologist came in and took my medical history and explained his part and what to expect. Not even 15min later Dr. Lawton came in and marked my stomach up and then about 20-30min later my nurse wheeled me into the Or. I remember having the oxygen mask put on and then waking up in recovery. Waking up was pretty painful, the anesthesiologist was awesome and got me on Morphine right away until I was more comfortable. At that point I was wheeled out to my aunt and taken home.
My mom has been taking great care of me and making sure to give me all my meds and make me go to the bathroom each hour. It was really hard to urinate the first day but I am having no problems going now. I have started to regain my appetite but I got too excited in the beginning and ate too much and ended up throwing up... OUCH. I went down to saltines and sprite and that has eased me back into food. Now I am slowly eating small portions and gauging how I feel.
I have three drains in for the next week that my mom emptys every few hours. I also had to go pick up some Silvedine cream for the wound. After a month post surgery I will start the scar gel. I just cannot express what a surreal feeling it is to FINALLY look down and know that the skin flap is GONE forever!! I will continue to post updates as I heal. I hear day 3 is the worst with pain and regret but I feel I may not experience that since I am fully mentally prepared for the stages of emotions through the process (thanks to this site!) Below are the pics I was able to snap between dressings.
Day 3 Post-op
I have taken my first shower (at Dr. Lawton's recommendation) and redressed my wound twice now. The biggest challenge for me at this point is forcing myself to rest and stay inactive while I heal. It goes against everything in me to sit around but my mom and husband are insisting that I give myself a break and stay in bed with short walks through the house to keep my blood flow moving.
Here is a recent picture of my abdomen wrapped up and the drains, which should hopefully come out at my next appointment on Wednesday. Again, I have not a regret in the world for having gone forward with this procedure.
Day 4 post-op
After reading up on here and talking to other family/friends that have undergone plastic surgery, I was expecting immense and excruciating pain on days 3 on. I went in yesterday to have my next day check where the nurse re-dressed my wound and gave me another prescription for silvedine cream and another prescription company also got ahold of me to inform me that my insurance also covered another six scar creams and gels that will be overnighted to me.
I was given the go ahead to take my first shower when I got home. Man did it feel good to wash my hair and body. I used a lanyard around my neck to clip my drains to and surprisingly, there was no burning when the water/soap ran over my scar. I was advised to use just a regular antibacterial bar of soap (I chose Dial). It was a lengthy process but well worth it.
We went ahead and bought an entire box of baggies, wrote out each time meds are due and pre portioned them in bags. I set alarms on my phone each time meds are due and that has helped my mom be able to get some extra sleep without having to come in and wake me every hour or so. Each time I take meds I also get up to use the restroom or walk once around the house to keep my blood flowing through my legs.
Here are is day 4 pic of the scar.
6 days post op
One week post-op!
30 Year Old with 3 Children, Damaged Ab Muscles and Excessive Skin
I travelled all the way to San Antonio, TX from Anchorage, AK just to have my abdominoplasty performed by Dr. Lawton. I happened to be in SA back in November and was able to have a consultation at which point I was so impressed with his work and our meeting that I put a deposit down on the spot for my surgery date. Realself.com was essential in helping me find the correct surgeon for me, especially being an out of town patient. All of his staff have been very friendly through the process. The only thing that I would like to address is the fact that I had to initiate all contact to their office myself. I had to call several times to see what labs I needed to have done in AK and when they were due plus when to to make my final surgery payment. Of course, this is an admin side of things and even considering the stress and frustration of feeling I was in charge of getting things taken care of, the overall experience and expertise of Dr. Lawton far overshadows any small inconveniences I may have experienced on the admin side. I HIGHLY recommend him and only being one week post-op I am already 1000x happier with my body than before my procedure. Thank you Dr. Lawton for all you have done.
First drain came out today!
2nd drain out!
Last drain removed!!
After talking to the nurse I found out my nauseua is due to lack of eating. I've always been more of a snacker and a very light eater. I now need to make sure I'm tracking my protein intake and being more conscientious about eating enough.
I finally got the ok to go off bed rest/house arrest. I am taking it VERY slowly, I was told if I overdo it and cause too much internal swelling with the drains out, they will have to do a manual fluid removal. We did a small Walmart trip after my appt and between those two things in on the couch resting again.
Scars seem to be healing really nicely and I'm very happy with how straight the line is. I still wish it could have been a tad lower but I also understand that due to the excessive amount of skin I had removed and the fact that the skin above my belly button was rumpled, made the scar placement where it is. I was told that over the next few months as swelling reduces it will settle a bit lower. I am sure after a year and a faded scar that it will be totally fine.
I literally did not have pain in my recovery. Though I will admit that I was sinking into a horrible dark place yesterday being on day 12 of bedrest. I am an overly active person that works out 6x a week and loves the outdoors. Being cooped up was cert wearing on my mental sanity.
So again, this is a procedure that I am a thousand times happy that I went through with, not a walk in the park but also not at all as bad as I expected.
One month post-op
First things first, to be honest I hit a massive wall and had a mental breakdown on day 10 post-op due to cabin fever. I had mentally and physically prepared myself for all other aspects but I wasn't prepared for what a mental toll it would take for me to be so sedentary for SO long. I went from working out 1.5-2hrs 6x week to recovery where I was getting winded walking around the house. Just remember, it's not forever and your body will thank you later for taking the time to heal properly!
At my last appt the Dr went over some of my concerns/questions. I was a bit worried about the scar placement, but he seems confident that once my swelling fully reduces it will flatten down and lower into the bikini line nicely. It makes sense, I have quite a bit of swelling between the incision and the belly button so it is pulling them closer together. As the swelling goes down I can see the scar lowering. Either way, it looks 1000x better than before the surgery. About 6mo post-op is when all swelling should be gone. I notice on the days I do more, the swelling gets worse and more noticeable than my slower days.
I go in for my last and final appt this friday. They will take my post-op pictures for my portfolio as well as give me all my printed recovery instructions since I won't be here to do anymore follow ups. Also, there were to stitches left in my belly button that got overlooked and need to be removed and oddly, a partial stitch in my incision that won't easily pull out. I'm hoping the nurse can pop them out without too much trouble or pain.
As far as recovery, we drove to FL and the trip wasn't too bad but while there I stayed out the entire day at the beach (in the shade) and walking around in the town and I massively overdid it. Big mistake. My entire abdomen swelled up and I ached for two days. I hobbled around the next day and got in bed from 7:30pm-7:30am and it brought the swelling back down. I now know to do about half of what I did that day. It's frustrating, but I certainly don't want to damage my healing due to impatience. One more month and I can start light cardio and by month 3 I should be able to slowly start back into my old routine (at a modified pace).
So that is my one month synopsis. I'm still surprised at just how little the pain was in my recovery and happy that I wake up to a flat tummy (after 6yrs of flabby skin).
2 month post op!
I am able to do most things again (cleaning, errands) but I'm listening closely to my body and backing off at the first sign of strain.
I went ahead and bought the Redefine regimen from Rodan & Field to help lighten and fade the scar. I've seen great results from other testimonials and with a 60 day money back guarantee, it's worth a shot. I included on picture but I feel like from further away my scar is still appears darker.
Not a whole lot going on, just a quick 2mo post op update.
6mo post op update!
Overall, I'm SO glad I had the surgery. I still have numbness in the middle area of my abdomen but it's slowly coming back. I am back to daily runs/workouts even doing HIIT classes again.
The feeling of my muscle repair alone is so nice. Having the diastasis recti fully repaired has made a huge difference. Not having the apron of skin digging into and over my belt line is also amazing. I lived for so long with my stomach damaged that it still feels surreal that it is corrected now.
My only complaint is the scar. It is still well above where I would have hoped. The large scar around my belly button is also bothersome. I would have preferred/thought the scarring would have been placed with more care and discretion in that people wouldn't be able to automatically see I had surgery. However, all things considered it is still so much better than pre-surgery so I am overall happy.
I am sitting right at 115lbs post surgery. I love my physique in clothes and am confidant enough to wear a two piece again.
Here's a picture I took tonight.
13mo post op!!
We took our first kid-free trip in 11yrs!! We went to Jamaica and literally spent a week on the beach. That is something I never would have done before the surgery. However, it also made me hyper aware of just how high my scar settled as I had to do constant checks that my bottoms were high enough to conceal it.
I've had enough of that and it's bothered me excelssively since 1wk post op- so I finally took the leap and did a tattoo cover up. I've been eyeing TT scar cover up tattoos for the past couple of months to decide what piece I wanted. I didn't want someing that just cut across my midline and was an obvious cover up. Fortunately, I had a large lily on my side already that my amazing artist was able to incorporate with a new piece and tie it all together. I love how it turned out even though it was 3hrs of torture to get it. All in all I would have preferred to have a low scar and no added tattoo work, but given my options I did the next best thing and I'm glad I can now go back to low cut bottoms of any type without my scar hanging out. Still have to deal with the belly button scar but thats pretty minuscule now that the focus will be on my artwork. I was fortunate enough to get in with the artist I wanted from back home while here in Texas for a visit too and went in and worked to achieve the exact piece that I wanted.
My physical fitness and abilities are back to pre-surgery! Sure, things feel different and I am vigilant in listenening closely to my body- but I did 5 races this year and all fell within seconds of my competitive times from pre-surgery last year when I was actually training to compete. I just wanted to know that I could complete half marathons and triathlons again, and much to my surprise realized that not only can I complete them, I can be competitive again.
I don't know that I will do any further updates as this whole journey is finally complete. My advice to anyone preparing for this road is:
Read through this site, find cases similar to yours and get an idea of what to expect.
Feel 100% sure with your surgeon and ASK lots of questions!! Specifically, scar placement and desired results.
Physically prepare! Recovery will be immensely easier if your are in have shape.
Do the surgery for yourself and NO one else.
Beat of luck to everyone out there!!