50 is About Me! - Brunswick, VA

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Monday is my pre-op day. I'm scared, to be...

Monday is my pre-op day.
I'm scared, to be honest, which is why I'm here reading.
I'm 50 this year. I'm the Mother of 4 grown children. My life has been about my family but now that everyone is grown it's my time! My stomach has bothered me since the birth of my first child at the young age of 17. I was planning on it awhile back but always found a reason not too. I paid my deposit so that I wouldn't back out. I had to cancel last time due to a bad fall. My husband recently lost his job, there was my reason not to but I decided we'd survive with me doing this. I have another 20 years of enjoyment and I don't want this bulge. It wasn't this bad until 10 years ago.

My pre-op went well. While there I was talking to...

My pre-op went well. While there I was talking to the nurse she was very comforting. I had originally planned on mommy makeover but was worried about recovery, and cost. She explained that the tummy tuck is the most painful procedure and by doing both the breast discomfort is negligible. I discussed it with my husband. We decided to go ahead and do it. It's an additional $3000. But I won't have to take off another two weeks, go through the pain, and pay $5500. I'm sure I'll be in a great deal of pain but it will be worth it!

One more week to go! I've filled my prescriptions...

One more week to go! I've filled my prescriptions and purchased all of the items I'll need. I'm fortunate to have a bed that lifts. From everything thing I've read it looks like the first week will be spent there.

Tomorrow is it! My husband thinks I read to much....

Tomorrow is it! My husband thinks I read to much. I am worried. I'm afraid of the pain. I'm afraid the result won't be what I expect. I have had this pouch for so long it's hard to believe I will be rid of it. My mother was saying it's not too late to change your mind. But when I read the posts many are in pain for the first couple of days and then it steadily gets better, not too many with infections and most happy with their results. I don't want to have this roll sitting in my lap anymore.

Surgery was yesterday. Still in a great deal of pain.

Surgery was yesterday. Still in a great deal of pain.

I was extremely fortunate to have to be catherized...

I was extremely fortunate to have to be catherized and sent home with a bag. There is no way I could have made it to the bathroom. I'm hoping there will be improvements tomorrow. Part of the problem is not being able to eat. I drank a protein shake to try and get myself moving.

PO4. I wanted to post before I went to the...

PO4. I wanted to post before I went to the doctors, still feeling somewhat okay. I have the catheter in still. He said to take it out the next day. I couldn't move, there was no way I would be able to get to the bathroom. Still no bowel movement. I started with the senokot. I've also stayed on schedule with medicine. One pain pill every 3 hours or 2 every 4. I'm very thankful to have my sister here to take care of me. The appetite is not back either. I drink the low carb 30 grams of protein shakes.

I wish you all well. The doctors office said they would provide copies of the photos for me to post.

POD4: I have made it to the bathroom alone. I have...

POD4: I have made it to the bathroom alone. I have shuffled around the house for circulation and took a shower! Only think left is to have a BM and to get my hair washed. The bad spot around my belly button is very tender. And my remaining drain leaks quite a bit down my side. Overall I feel very well today. I'm taking it easy over the weekend. Took a 3 hour nap and sorting through photos on my laptop. I took a couple to post here.

POD5: I'm catching up from yesterday. I slept...

POD5: I'm catching up from yesterday. I slept quite a bit. Yesterday's big event was the BM. It wasn't too bad, until the third time. I think it took a lot out of me. One of the things that has bothered me is the itching from the garment. I found Dermoplast Pain relieving spray does wonders. I also take the colace with the pain meds to counter bowel problems. I'm steadily healing but very concerned with the ugly bumpy spot on my belly. I'm very scared as to what this really is and what is going to happen with it. I don't think it's going to be good.

POD7: Went to the doctors today. They removed my...

POD7: Went to the doctors today. They removed my second drain. Didn't even feel them take it out. All of the tape was removed and a couple of stitches. So I'm basically done! Except for the nasty spot. I'll post a photo later. The doctor said it looks like it will heal fine. I'm to put Silvadene on it and return next Wednesday. Hopefully it takes care of it. The overall result of my transformation is great! The breasts turned out perfect. I wouldn't even know I had anything done there unless I looked at them and saw the marks. I had absolutely no discomfort whatsoever. The TT was unbearable so if there is any other procedure you're considering go for it while you're getting the TT! I ended up with the full Mommy Makeover and love it. I felt like a Mack Truck ran over me but I am turning 50, the mother of 4, work long hours, out of shape....
The area between my rib cages, mid section is the only area that really hurts now. I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful husband and sister to take care of me. And am soooo thankful to have had a catheter.

I'm going on my second week. It will be this...

I'm going on my second week. It will be this Tuesday. Followup is Wednesday. Needless to say I will not be returning work as I planned. I'm still a bit concerned about my wound but I'm trying to stay optimistic. I've added a couple of photos. Overall I think the outcome will be great, just a diversion in there.

POD15: Today was my two week followup. I was very...

POD15: Today was my two week followup. I was very happy with Dr. Laughlin's reaction. He was very pleased with the way the wound is healing. The nurse was also very comforting. The wound is ugly but it doesn't really hurt. They both say it's more of annoyance, but not a problem. It will heal. Just like with any procedure there are always risks for things to happen. This just happens to be one of them. It's rare, but it happens. I'm a nonsmoker yet I ended up with necrosis. I'm very pleased with the way the practice is handling the situation. The silvadene is healing it, there is plenty of red and pink below the nasty part. I'll post some pictures.

For those of you that wind up necrosis don't worry! It will get better. The doctor said they may have to remove a triangle shape where the wound is but it will be absolutely fine. I go back in a week for a followup. In six months Dr. Laughlin will do repairs.

I have no regrets and am very happy with the results. Also, at 2 weeks I still can't quite stand straight up. I'm hoping at 3 weeks I'll be back to normal!

POD 20: I added a new picture to show the...

POD 20: I added a new picture to show the improvement of the wound. Yesterday I went to work for 3 hours, just enough time to get caught up in anticipation of returning today. I decided not to return today. But I did do well! I can almost stand straight. I know many post beautiful pictures of how well they look and I have the nasty wound picture but I want to share the experience of necrosis. I'm a non-smoker, healthy, and yet this happened. It's just one of those things. My doctor is great. He is very reassuring and makes me feel comfortable about the situation. The big picture is that I have a flat stomach. I knew I would have a few stretch marks remaining. So girls, if this happens to you don't worry, it's ugly, but it doesn't hurt. It will get better and can be repaired. I'll keep posting as it heals and into the repair which he says would be after 6 months. I'll take a bathing suit picture soon.

POD 23: I went to the doctor. He was great! I...

POD 23: I went to the doctor. He was great! I walked in, sat down, he came out and said to come on back. I showed him the wound area and he said it was doing great! That was it, in and out in 15 minutes. I go back in two weeks. The wound area is looking nice. The dark area will scab and fall off. The other area is healing over well. I'm very happy with my results. I went to work two days, used a cane. Once I can stand straight I'll be ecstatic!

Oh my, this was my first full(fool) week at work. ...

Oh my, this was my first full(fool) week at work. Big mistake. I could barely make it through the day. My day starts at 7am on the train, and return at 6pm via train. I should have taken off Wednesday. My wound is so sore. My CG gas created a raw spot. I have a nice desk job but as a commuter it's not working. I go back to the doctors on Wednesday.

Girls, take it slow. Listen to your body, don't over do it. I'm exhausted.

PO 5 weeks. I went for my check up today. It...

PO 5 weeks. I went for my check up today. It went very well. He said everything looks great and my wound is healing very well. He removed a few stray sutures and that was it! I return in 2 more weeks for my followup. He said the white area of the wound may have to be touched up. He's a very comforting doctor. Just hearing him say it's all looking good is great to me! I don't have a full size mirror so I don't know how I really look, other than the photos, which I can't get beyond my fat legs, that may be next. I know I'm not perfect, not trying to be, but I do want it all to heal well and be tight. So far so good!

I'm steadily moving along! I think I would feel...

I'm steadily moving along! I think I would feel perfectly back to normal if I didn't have the wound. Everything else is going well. I feel tightness in the upper abdomen at times and a bit of swelling here and there. But I do keep my feet up from the time I get home until the next morning. I'll continue to do this until I see no swelling. Just wanted to keep everyone posted on how the wound is healing and add reassurance that it will get better!

My photos have disappeared. I figured it's time...

My photos have disappeared. I figured it's time to clear out some of the repetitive ones anyway.

PO 7 weeks. I went to the PS yesterday. He said...

PO 7 weeks. I went to the PS yesterday. He said everything is healing well. It was a very quick visit. He was not feeling well, bad cough, wearing a mask. He didn't want to do to much prodding or being close. I have a couple of stitches that are sticking out but figured they'd be fine for 2 weeks. I've posted new pictures.

8 Week update

I'm a little late posting. But all is going well. The wound is steadily healing. I'm really pleased with how it's all healing. I can move and function just like before the surgery. However, my legs don't match my body. Not sure if they need liposuction or a lift. My husband is worried it will never end, but I've always been unhappy with my legs which is why I had my knees done. Thoughts??

9 weeks! Pictures included

9 weeks po. Not much has changed. The wound continues to heal. I'm a bit concerned about the dog ear on the right side. It is noticeably larger. I hope it can be fixed when the front wound is corrected. When I went to the doctors he did give the option of having the top part removed from the wound and to pack it. He explained it would heal faster. I opted to stay with the silvadene. It's slow, but it works.

10 weeks... dog ears are hurting....

My wound continues to heal. The greatest problem I have is with my hips. I'm assuming it's dog ears. I have gone back to wearing my cg to keep the hip area compressed. The right side protrudes a little more than the left. I'm hoping it's just another stage of healing. I'm not too concerned with anything until I hit 3 months.

11 weeks - Feeling is really coming back

Not much new information. I go back next week for my wound check. It's steadily healing. I'm really curious as to how something like this is repaired. If the skin is pulled down the belly button will disappear. I feel like I have a pulled muscle on my left side. All I was doing was washing the chandelier crystals, slightly stretching up. I got my new zaggora pants. I wore them for 5 minutes and was sweating. But I didn't feel sweaty. I ordered a medium based on my size but I should have accounted for my fat legs. They are tight! But I'm hoping to slim down in 4 weeks. I'll post before and after as I try this out. I've posted a few update photos as well. I hope the pictures of the necrosis help others who end up with it. It's not pretty, but it does slowly improve. I'm sure my doctor will do a great job at making it look nice. He seems very confident and has really made me feel at ease over the ordeal. The worse part is I see everyone on here so normal and in great shape and I have this nasty blotch... Sheer jealousy!

3 Months -- Ugly photos included

I waited to post until I went to the doctors today. Well what I was avoiding happened today. He cut off the nasty white part on top and part of the inside. It didn't hurt, just don't watch :-) It was then packed with a pad soaked in saline water and then covered with the drive gauze. I don't have to go back for a full month! I also asked about my hip area. He said it still needs to settle and we can take care of any of the little things that are bothering me. Luckily the wound doesn't hurt. But laying on my side and after sitting for awhile my hip incision area does bother me. But everything is healing very well! I hope the rest of you are progressing well.

3 months continued - pictures from after doctors appointment

I couldn't get the pictures to upload before. So here they are now! Luckily my husband has a strong stomach and he packed it with gauze. The doctor says it will heal quickly now and really won't be noticeable and if it is he will take care of it. When I first went into this I was thinking about how much money it was. But in reality it is not that much when you look at the time spent taking care of the patients. The followup is for a year. They take care of imperfections as well. I'm extremely happy that I did this! And I'm glad I found a doctor that has taken such good care of me.

3.25 months and healing well

The necrosis is moving along. My husband had been packing it but I figured I need to do it at some point. The wound looked nasty before but having this big hole is so weird. It was intimidating. I can see the edges are healing over and it bled a little yesterday when the packing was removed. I believe that is a good thing. Means the blood supply is back and working. I'll post pictures tonight.

3.25 months pictures

Here are the pictures for this week. This binder is really cutting into me. I think I'll have to call and see if I can get a new one. It's a bit tattered.

3.5 month update

Not much new information. Just wanted to give an update on the wound. It's kind of depressing. I was hoping to be in good shape for my 50th birthday in July. It's not going to happen. This hole won't be healed by then. At least it doesn't hurt.

3.75 month update and pictures

Everything is moving along. But I'm becoming slightly depressed. I had no idea what this would end up looking like, how much care is involved and that it is taking forever to heal. I'm still optimistic that it will all be okay in the end. I have a great surgeon and he says so :-) But changing this gauze is disgusting. My skin is very irritated from the tape as well. I've tried various kinds but when it's on your skin for over a month there isn't much hope. So I turn fifty in two weeks and I have a wound that we have nicknamed "Helllooo". It looks like it has teeth and is saying hello like on Jerry Seinfeld. I still have no regrets for having this done. It's just one of those unfortunate things that happen.

4 months - Not much has changed (photos)

I feel great. My energy is back and I have no pains, in the belly any longer. The only sore spots are my hips. The wound area is steadily healing. It bleeds a bit but I'm assuming this good. Attached are a couple of photos. I'm also working on a slide show of necrosis. There's not a lot of info on it and just in case someone else experiences it.

4.25 months - Belly button damage (photos)

I really enjoyed my vacation. I love the water. So to protect helllooo I used the waterproof bandages. The went across the scar area to the belly button. The skin kind of came off with the bandage. I'm using neosporin on it. Notice how well helllooo is doing though!

4.5 months - Going well! (new photos)

I'm moving right along! I feel like my body is definitely where it is going to be. The wound is healing very well. The hole is closing quickly. The scar between the belly button and wound is a little messed up but it will heal. I have new bandages to keep it covered well. I had to change my appointment so I won't have any input from the doctor until Mid August. Just wanted to stop in and let you all see how it is progressing.

4.75 months - Almost there (new photos)

Not much new information. I'm moving along, almost healed. I go back to the doctors in two weeks. I'm anxious to hear what he thinks. I have an idea of what I'd like to have fixed. Also, the scar under the breast is irritated. Still happy though!

5 months - closed! (new photos)

Helllooo has left! I went to the doctors a couple of days ago. He said everything looks good. The wound has just a little pin hole in. I no longer use saline gauze. I can leave it open or cover it. I'm to massage the tissue with oil to soften it. I go back in two months. I wanted to talk to him about what I wanted to do but on the way there my husband had a wound on his finger. It needed stitches so he was in the room as well getting his finger stitched. Great place to have a sliced finger!

Six months today!

I didn't realize it was actually 6 months today! My entire world has turned upside down, haven't been online much. I wanted to drop in and give an update.
Important note, if you need glasses, wear them. I inadvertently picked up the incorrect spray can and sprayed my wound. It wasn't the saline, it was the powder. The wound became extremely angry. I have had a rash all around it, extending down to my legs. It itches and is swollen. It's steadily getting better. I go to the doctors next month and will see where we go from there. He says some opt to not have it repaired. I can't get beyond how ugly it is as a scar. I would also like the dog ears repaired.

Oh my....

Went to doctors today. Not my PS. I have been blessed with cellulitis.

9 month update

I survived the cellulitis. The antibiotics cleared it up quickly. I go back to the doctors in February to schedule my revision. The necrosis is completely healed. I still have a few little sore areas from the itching. My scar appears to be more red than before. The actual necrosis is ugly but it's just a scar. The most bothersome part is the dog ears which really are elephant ears. I told him that is the part that bothers me most. I could live with the necrosis scar, but the ears are so bulging. I'll post more photos soon.

10 months - revision appointment this week

Hi all. I've been missing quite a bit. My world turned upside down in early September. I'm finally back on track! I'm down 20 pounds and ready to go back and get the final pieces fixed. I don't know about the rest of you but the dog ears really bother me. They're ugly and actually hurt. I can deal with the nasty necrosis scar more so than I can the ears.

Dog Ear removal is complete!

I went to the doctors yesterday. I thought it was to discuss options on repairs. But we went ahead and did the dog ears. It was not bad at all. It was numbed up very well and then he cut out the area and stitched it up. I've attached some photos. I'm hoping it will look smooth. He took out as much as he could. He's a very personable doctor, really took the edge off of the procedure.
Annapolis Plastic Surgeon

Dr.laughlin was recommended by a friend. He is very knowledgeable and was confident. He didn't have to ask what I wanted. He looked at me and told me what I needed.

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
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