TT/muscle Repair/lipo for 36yo, Mom of 3 Kids, 5'3 & 127lbs - Arlington Heights, IL
I am a 36yo mom of three. I finally realized no...
Before pictures upright & bent over
It's official! Scheduled for 3/24/15!!!
After today's consult with Dr. Placik it sounds like I have a 2inch diastis?? And just enough skin to yank down without a vertical incision, and some chunk to lipo off my flanks. I was very disappointed to find he does not use the exparel 72 hour injection, but a pain pump. (especially being I am allergic to most pain killers that most people are able to take after this procedure---gasp!) I just have to trust that he will find the best replacement pain killer possible to help me through this surgery. The thought of pain make me anxious, but the thought of full body hives post op makes me even more anxious. I know the exparel isn't a cure all, I just have been keeping track of every recovery story out there and the exparel seems to get most through the first three days better than a pain pump. the truth is though...I liked Dr. Placik and his staff way too much to let exparel be the deciding factor. His before & afters are spot on! Bedside manner was wonderful, confident yet NOT arrogant, staff was beyond helpful and accommodating, beautiful and clean office. SO...I have to trust the man knows how to handle my unique allergies and will find a way to manage my pain....minus the hives. (Deep breath)
Sorry for the lengthy ramble...I am just so excited and so nervous!!! But mostly excited :).
More before pics SITTING!
If you have ANY history of allergic reaction to meds GET YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY RECORDS checked!!!
So I am just going to say it...I REALLY miss my wine!
This is likely my pms talking...wait, no...its me ;)
Last night! Ahhh!
I made it FLAT SIDE!!!!
Dr. Placik was such a pleasant doctor to have! He just chit-chatted away with us as he drew all over me. He answered all my questions with great knowledge of his work. And gently held my hand as I fell asleep. Dr Placik has a wonderful bedside manner, and I felt completely at ease going into this. i can't wait to see his art work! Got a feeling it's going to be beautil! In a "franken-tummy" sort of way ;).
So here's my first day so far:
- zero pain thus far
( 0/10 at rest)
(3/10 getting out of chair)
(2/10 up walking,peeing)
-only one drain (emptied twice already)
-zero breathing restriction
-drank lots of water already
-peed three times
-mood is great!
-husband is being so sweet :)
-super happy to be on the flat side
I do realize I am probably I the "honeymoon" phase of this....but it's already better than I prepared myself for on day #1. So I am thrilled about that!
Pictures just before surgery!
Dr. Placik is so sweet! He called me last night just to check in and see how I was doing. He let me pick his brain on how the surgery went and never seemed rushed to get off the phone. He told me he ended up taking quite a bit of lard off my flanks (muffin top), which I am very grateful for. I have a feeling he did an amazing job on me! I can't wait to see it on Friday!
Day 2 and still okay
I am still so very happy I got the opportunity to do this! I can't wait to see my new tummy tomorrow:)
I am curious what they will have to say about my drains. I barely draining anything since yesterday. 2ml over night, and just barely anything in my drain all day. I hope it's not clogged or anything
Day 3 and feel amazing!
BUT!!!! I got to take a real shower and scrub my hair!!! Pumps in and all! Oh, it was lovely! Thank goodness for shower stools! My hubby just stood behind the curtain like the Great Oz waiting fo me to need him. But I did okay. Now I am snuggled up in my chair and we are going to have a family movie of Narnia :).
I did run my pain pill schedule to the nurse and she said I was on the low end of what I am taking! That kind of surprised me! But because i don't like all the sleepiness of norco all day I have only taken 1 before my hour drive to the doc office, and one before I showered. Around 10:30pm I will take 2 norco+ 1 Valium to sleep.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. And just know I am praying for each one of you too. Hugs! :)
Day 4 little more stiff/burning
So what's new:
-Had a bowel Movement yesterday that required some abs and was happy it didn't hurt, just took longer than usual.
-had another easy BM this morning that took zero effort. ( thank you stool softener 3 times a day, plus loads of buffered vitamin c which always makes me poop ;)
-now putting arnica gel on every chance I get to take off binder.
-tired of laying in chair because it puts pressure on my bruised back
-happy I can take full deep breadths! Never felt winded or anything like that.
-my itty-bitty boobies love not having a bra on for the past 4 days
-don't like that I look and feel so folded in half right at the belly button. Even when I stand flat against a wall it looks funny.
-can't wait to take another shower
-wish my compression garment wasn't so scratchy and irritating :(
-Happy to be four days in already!!!
Mons drain uncomfortable
Day 5 and so happy!
Day 6...I got my drain out!!!! Yay!
Day 7 & I have yet to have a bad day!
Now I realize it might just be one of the lucky ones. But I also know the ones who do best recovering from this kind of procedure are the ones that stay the most calm before and after. For anyone who actually knows me… I am not a naturally calm person, LOL! So that is why I am posting this… Because if I can do it, you can too!for all those out there who have yet to have your surgeries my biggest advice would be to bookmark those reviews that tend to stay positive. Really focus on those reviews and read them, and know that you can heal just as well. And for those other reviews where these women are truly having a hard time and suffering… Encourage them. Pray for them. But don't let it scare you!
Feel free to private message me anytime. I would be happy to share my journey with you :). Blessings
Lipo bruising a few days ago
Still can't believe it! Before & after just 8 days post op!
Right this moment Scars, swelling and all... I...feel...beautiful! I can't wait for that moment my husband gets to really be with me. To look at me. To touch me. And to really see for the first time, in a long time. It will be like the first time all over again. And THAT is something special.
Side view picture
Found my compression garment sweet spot!
However, now that I notice two weeks post op my Lipo swelling is going down, it is getting a bit looser. And I just feel ready for a softer smoother barrier between. So here is my perfect solution! I tried jersey cotton tank tops to go underneath it, but they always bunch/crinkle up funny. So I looked by the spanks type products at my local Meijer store, and found the perfect compression tank top!it's called the TummyTank. It has a regular cottony bust area, but smooth silky spanks type mid section! But not overly tight! which is good because I wear my breast binder compression garment over it for the contour compression! Then the TummyTank also has an additional cotton flare out piece we need the spanks midsection so it all stays smooth in length and throughout the day. So between my breasts binder/compression garment over my tummy tank… It's perfect and never painfully digging, creasing,or overly constrictive. I should also note that I shower every morning, followed by Arnica gel, followed by generous amounts of coconut oil all over my skin and hips. It has really eliminated the swelling, bruising, and overly tight skin feel! I will post some pictures so you can see how I put it altogether!
Two weeks post op (2 days ago)
Holy exhaustion! Oh, and I got my bellybutton stitches removed, yay!
On another note… I did get my bellybutton stitches out just yesterday! That was interesting. Didn't hurt, just odd having our pull long threads from what felt like deep in my bowels, LOL! She really had to work at it too! It seems a healed up all around it pretty quick. So… To put in earplugs in my belly button, or not? My plastic surgeon said I could start doing that in about a week, but it doesn't really change anything. I am so afraid of having an outie, or slightly outie! It's hard to even wait one week to start putting in the ear plug. I love the look of my bellybutton so far, aside from being raw from the stitches just coming out. But if it popped out anymore I would be really upset! Did you ladies start putting the ear plug-in right after the stitches came out? Or wait one week? I am anxious to just start doing it! Thoughts?
Turn your garments like these inside out!!! No seam!
Also… If you are having a hard time sleeping, Try the supplement 5HTP. You will sleep like a baby, have happy dreams, and awake refreshed and joyful! I have been taking it for years, but had to stop two weeks before into weeks after my surgery. Finally able to take my 5HTP (50mg) at bedtime again, and sleeping like a baby! Happy healing!
3 weeks today!!!
So what's new… Well as most of you know my first two weeks were a breeze. Days 15 through 21 have been a little more trying. Nothing painful! It's more full body muscle tension and stiffness :(. But that's nothing compared to the exhaustion that has set in! It's hard to explain. It's like hitting a wall! Like every movement and effort I make is the equivalent of doing it through thick mud. I can do it! No pain… But it just takes more time to build up the motivation and accomplish normal day-to-day tasks. My plastic surgeon warned me that it would happen around a week three and it will pass. So I'm just kind of riding the wave right now. And making sure I get most my work done before 2 PM, then give my self permission to put my feet up and relax for a few hours! On days I don't do this… I end up super cranky and easily irritated with my family. Not worth it!
Also… I don't seem to get quite the swelling that some people speak of, but I am definitely more swollen by evening! It would be no big deal without a compression garment. The most uncomfortable part about evening swelling is the spanx digging in to my tender flanks where I had lipo. Still no issues with my incision at all! Or even my muscle repair! It's the freaking Flank lipo areas that are the most tender. But I am so glad I did not skip on the Lipo! I know it's what my body type needed to pull it all together. I would have been disappointed with out it.
Well… I guess that's it for now. Will report back at my four-week milestone. But don't worry… I'm always stalking you! Lol! ;)
Gosh darn it! Pictures didn't show up!
3 week pics!!!
Personal question…about "it". (Grinning)
4 weeks today, a bit more swollen
But all that being said...Here are some highlights of week 3-4:
- I still "try" to get my feet up once a day by 2pm'ish, but no longer exhausted! Energy & stamina coming back!
-still dry brushing and slathering coconut oil on after my showers
-loving going for my daily walks, and up to a good speed now (averaging 7,000-10,000steps per day now)
-swell hell stage of healing in lower abdomen. No worries though! Just rolling with it :)
-over all discomfort from lipo significantly better days 21-28. :)
- First week since surgery, that I actually "forget" I just had major surgery :). Like life getting back to normal again
-moving, bending,stretching much more easily...range of motion about 90% back
- standing up nice and straight
-lipo lumpy, sore spots 90% gone
-last night was first night WITHOUT any special garments on for sleeping
-still more comfortable sleeping in zero gravity chair (poor hubby ;)
-today first day I went most the day without compression or spanx garment. Much more comfy without!
-OH! And I finally jumped my hubby (giggling)...oh, yeah!
Yup...I would say hitting week four is a major turning point in finally feeling normal again. Couldn't be happier with recovery this far. Very much looking forward to the swelling to fade away and reveal what's underneath it all :).
Week 4 pictures!
5 week update!!!
This past week has been a process of weaning myself of ANY type of compression garment, and I love it! After a while it started to feel like those compression garments were making me feel more bloated, swollen, sore, yet numb all at the same time! I just wanted to "feel" again! So I have gone a week of sleeping in just a cotton T-shirt and have woke less swollen than ever! Now I am beginning to go el'naked during the day as well! Well, sort of ;). There is something so blissful about just feeling the fabric of my cotton T-shirts brush against my tummy, sides, and back! Like my torso is becoming part of me again! Do I get swelling by evening, yes! But that seems to happen with or without the Spanx! So I figure why try to stuff myself into a bodysuit, when it feels so much better to be free! (Insert braveheart scene "freedom!!"). Now I might slip one on just around 2pm until I plop on the couch to watch survivor or something. So like 2pm-8pm i still wear my maidenform Spanx like garment.
So above are some morning pictures just after my walk today, before the swelling. BUT I realized not one of my photos has ever been taken in the evening "swell hell" hours. So I plan on snapping a few "fugly" pics tonight for you all to see that swelling happens to everyone!
Some highlights of this week:
*I am back in bed sleeping comfortably on my side! Finally!
*My husband still snores :(.
*I danced in front of the mirror in my bra and panties for a full half hour this morning! And not one jiggle!!! Who cares about the bloat, when there's no jiggling!
* Began doing daily full body stretching and some yoga in front of the mirror! IN MY PANTIES ONLY!!! Here is why...I feel by doing this, I am finally reconnecting to my body for the first time since the surgery. This is so important, because for me what is the point of a tummy tuck if I can't see it! To see my bare body in that mirror, to touch my tummy, to really FEEL my tummy, all while moving and stretching makes it more real! Almost an exercise of reuniting the mind, body, spirit. Ya know? ( cranking up some music during this helps!)
*Increasing daily walks and stretches is helping to increase my stamina that was lost during recovery.
*Increased exercise also means a little more sore. I am taking either aspirin or Tylenol once a day again. Just until I get over the post work out soreness stage of healing.
*I got my period! Late, but it felt so darn good to get it over with!
*no longer need midday rest as often. Going strong most days.
*Contemplating booking a few massage clients next week. I am a self employed massage therapist.Hmmm...should probably do a practice session and my hubby first ;).
Well, I guess that all. I pride to post some swelling pics later tonight :). Oh, just you wait!
You got Fugly, I got Fugly, we ALL got the Fugly-Wugly!
As you can see in comparison of morning lean and svelte pics..to last night's, looking Four months pregnant pics. Yeah...it kind of hurts a little. Not like pain, but it can get miserable when it's really stretched tight. Sometimes Tylenol worthy even. Last night before bed I had my hubby feel it and he was shocked how rock hard the swelling is! Insanely rock hard! No wonder it's uncomfortable! And a good thing I am not stretch mark prone. I have never had a stretch mark and don't want to start now! Lots of coconut oil all over is really helping keep my tummy supple. But you never know!
So I just wanted to show everyone that swelling does happen, and it happens to us all. But this is not our end result! It's a good lesson in practicing patience though! And just think, a year from now....it will all be just a memory. We will be the incredible shrinking tummies! And it's going to be awesome when it's done!
Help! My scar is so irritated!
Six weeks! Just a drop In the bucket ;)
Week 6 highlights:
-weight spiked from 123 to 125.8 pounds in past five days. I may, or may not have kicked my scale a few times for calling me fat names ;).
-More swelling/tenderness in upper muscle repair and lower abdomen. Even in the morning.
-still go without any compression garments from bedtime to 2pm the following day
-untaped ends of incision are healing much better! Center taped area still feels itchy and irritated under there.
-mowed 1/2 lawn on ancient riding lawn mower yesterday. Required lots of abs to steer around. Did fine.
-Power walking almost daily up to normal speed! Keeping up with hubby & dog.
-Six Flags amusement park all day, and even rode the spinning lobster! (Then proceeded to walk around all day not realizing my gel boob inserts gravitated to the center of my chest giving me a uniboob. I was wondering why my teenage daughter's new crush was staring at my chest. Turns out I'm not a M.I.L.F.) :(
-Cut off Jean shorts all week! No more stretchy capris!
-still sneaking back to my zero gravity chair, around midnight, a few nights per week when swelling is really bad.
-food poisoning over a week ago. And ever since lots of nausea & upset tummy daily still :(
-for every great day, there seems to follow a "meh" day. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the wine :D.
My new motto..."Just a drop in the bucket of a tummy tuck" :)
Six week pics
I love emu oil! Thank you skystorm!
7 weeks! "If it doesn't challenge you, It won't change you"
*Loving the Tuppler Elevator Abdominal Exercises!!! It's all about sucking in your bellybutton, and no more crunches or planks that make your abs bulge even more! Designed to close a diastase, so it's perfect to counteract the swell hell phase of recovery. Recommended by Skystorm & AmyS33. LOVE YOU LADIES!
*Obsession with Emu oil!!! Seriously. I would almost swear it is making my skin reattach, and calm my scar. I can't be sure, but I KNOW my skin is glowing like I am five years younger. Emu oil…Sheesh! Whodathunk.
*Ditched the paper tape for good, and use scar guard silicone sheets by day, emu oil by night = happy scar! No more itchy, puffy, red irritation. Score!
*Had my first massage client yesterday. This guy is huge too. Hour and a half of deep tissue, trigger point work, and stretching him out. I did cheat, and took a Norco before the session, and doubled my binder. It went great and I seem fine today. So I will keep on booking them from this point on! Momma's gotta make some money for my BA in the fall ;).
*Wake mostly flat, but swelling is insane by 3pm! I don't so much care how it looks…But it kind of hurts! Arnica gel + emu oil definitely seem to temporarily help discomfort, but does not prevent the swelling.
*Extreme Belly button pain this week. I think its from all the afternoon swelling. It feels like my belly button is going to get ripped out by the roots sometimes. If you look at my previous swelling pics (posted April 29th)…my tummy does something strange when I swell. I get a huge bulge in the upper MR, pulled tight at the belly button, then huge bulge in my lower belly. My tight belly button just refuses to allow a full barrel bloat to happen. Ugh! I must have a short BB stalk, or my ps did an awesome job of tacking it down. Probably a good thing in the end, but its really kind of painful now :(. Anyone else have BB pain?
*Lipo areas seem to be in hypersensitive mode. Extremely tender and sensitive to anything brushing against my hip/flanks. However, doing some dry brush massage with my exfoliating shower gloves seems to help desensitize it a little. Followed by arnica and emu oil. Helps, but again…temporary. I'm guessing I'm just at that phase of recovery when nerves are reconnecting. Add the swelling and you got some sore flanks.
My inspirational quote of the week…"If it doesn't challenge you, It won't change you".
I will post some 7 week pics a little later.
7 week pics
My theory on swelling & how I have put a stop to mine the past 3 nights! No joke.
So the "string" implants require no actual bags or cc's of anything. Simply a purposefully irritating string, the size of a thick noodle, that is placed in the breast to cause so much irritation that your body starts building up fluid retention in the breast tissue!!! They were eventually outlawed, because women's breasts wouldn't stop growing! They got well beyond size O!!! Can you imagine!? Okay...so what is my connection? WE HAVE IRRITATING STRINGS TOO! Yes! Our muscle repair sutures! How many have us become aware of those irritating knots of suture repair under our skin? Especially when we cough, sneeze, twist, or even just run our fingers over it. Yup. I think it could have a similar affect as the "string" breast implants. Now...our tummies will obviously not keep growing the way those poor woman's boobs did. But it certainly could have a similar connection, I think. Swelling pooling from the initial trauma to the lymphatic system, exacerbated by irritating suture "strings", and an incision acting like a tourniquet, preventing all this swelling to go anywhere until we finally lay down and put our feet up!
Also...I have a second part to my swelling theory...
I really started swelling right around the time I stopped really babying myself. If you think about it...all of us likely loaded on the recommended supplements (vitamin C, B12, magnesium, bromelain, arnica orally, arnica gels, etc...), we drank our tons of water, rested lots/put our feet up often, watched our salt intake, wearing our compression garments. Then we started to feel better around week 4, and a lot of that special care we took of ourselves went right out the window! We might have even started working out! No wonder we are so swollen, lol! I have found that these last three days of beginning to load water, put my feet up from 2-3pm, taking my supplements again, and wearing my compression garment on/off all day, using my arnica gel, and emu oil all over...has brought me to minimal swelling in the evening for the first time in 3weeks. Did you hear me...I have had MINIMAL swelling for three nights now, just by changing a few things back to how I was doing it the first 4 weeks!
Now we can't do anything about that irritating muscle repair "strings" we have going on in our tummies. Our bodies just have to learn to like them. However...We might want to consider what might have been working when you weren't so swollen in the beginning. Like water, supplements, resting with feet up, not pushing so hard in workouts, maybe wearing our CG's on and off during day hours to help pump those fluids away (but not at night), etc...and then there is just good old time. I am 7 1/2 weeks...and feel like I have finally hit what feels like, normal! Will I swell more on some days? I'm sure I will. But this is most certainly the least swelling I have ever had, and if its by recreating how I took better care of myself the first 4 weeks? Well, then I am going to keep on doing that, and wanted to share it with all of you! Blessings!
-hit it hard on the waverunners for three days in a row, rough waters, and zero pain or discomfort getting pounded around.
- intimacy with my husband has been absolutely amazing! I feel so uninhibited and beautiful in front of them now. He even commented on the hollow space between us in various positions! He even commented on the hollow space between us in various positions! Not once has my belly got in the way or embarrassed me!
- I can officially cough and sneeze with zero discomfort in my muscle repair. It's like coughing before surgery!
- The impact of jogging still causes a little discomfort in my lipo flank area.
- upon rising my Lipo flank area is still tender. Almost like somebody is giving me an Indian burn on my sides as I get out of bed.
- this weeks swelling has still been at a minimum, in spite of getting my period even!
Here are some before and after side by sides. This surgery has seriously been life changing for me. It has exceeded my expectation completely.
Squat challenge begins!
Now, I did up it to 200 squats per day, along with alternating 100 counter push ups or 100 tricep dips per day. But the minimum is 100 squats Every single day!
I swear after only three days....I feel amazing! Soreness in all the right spots, but not to the point I skip my 100-200 the next day. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of consistency a month from now :).
3 month post surgery VIDEO
BEFORE tummy tuck videos
5 months post op & So HAPPY!
-My tender flanks from the lipo are finally no longer tender.
-scar is still pretty red (but flat). Doesn't bother me other than it peeks up at the center of my bikini bottoms. Being numb there makes it impossible to know if my scar is showing, because I have NO sensory feedback to tell wear my bikini bottoms are sitting. Oh, well…by next summer it will either be faded to white, or tattooed ;).
-sex life is awesome! I feel so confident in my skin & no longer cringe when he touches my belly or sides! I have zero rolls or jiggling!!! :D
-My belly is sexy and firm with great muscle definition, and I don't have to do ANY ab work at all for it.
-I am 6 pounds below my pre-surgery weight, by eating extremely clean low carb lifestyle combined with whatever Dr. Placik sucked out with his lipo-magic-wand. :D.
**(note: Your weight will go up and down for a while post surgery! At least it did for me before it came back down and stabilized just recently. Between the swelling, stress, humidity…I was all over the place for a while.)
-I do still get some tight swelling on some days, but it's minimal at this point. More noticeable around my period.
-Still hate that my "old" belly button piercing scar is there. My doctor chose not to remove it at the time of surgery for better healing. Its like a one inch vertical scar just above my TT scar. My doctor said I can have that removed in a few months in his office.
-I am still so glad my doctor does the lipo sculpting around the flanks along with his tummy tucks. He did an amazing job!
-Would I do this all over again? Heck yeah!
10 month TT pics! Loving life!!!
10 Month TT update
Best plastic surgeon ever! I was blessed to have stumbled upon Dr. Placik (and his amazing staff) through realself a few months ago, as I was in the "just considering it" stage of getting a tummy tuck. I had a few consults by other plastic surgeons, and my search ended with Dr. Placik! I was very impressed with all the numerous five star reviews (reading their TT journeys), and his before/after tummy tuck photos! He took the time to add descriptive captions to the photos as to what all was done to get the outcome. And he had many examples that were just my body type! His tummy tuck art work is amazing!!!! Just look at my befores and afters! And I am only 4 weeks post op (as 4/20/15), and it is only going to look better, and better as the swelling goes down! The incision line he made is just perfect! Very clean cut, and I never had any issues with it! The lipo he did on my flanks to give my body contour is the BEST I have seen! I have NEVER had a waist like this! This man doesn't just kinda know lipo...He is a master at it! He really has a vision in creating a very feminine figure when he does his tummy tucks! He doesn't just pull you flat and leave you with a boxy shape, as I have seen other doctors do. And my belly button is adorable!!! Very natural and youthful looking bellybutton :). I had only one drain in the mons area for just 6 days, and that was a none issue. And the pain pump he included in his tummy tucks worked amazingly well! (after all the comparison I read of pain pump vs exparel I was pleasantly surprised how great the pain pump worked!). The outcome of my tummy tuck, muscle repair, flank lipo has really exceeded my expectations. Who knew I had such a cute little body hiding under there after having three kids! In person...Dr. Placik is a master surgeon, but without all the ego. He is very approachable and easy to talk to. Regardless of the fact that he has a very busy practice, he really gives you his full attention when he is with you. Even my husband agreed, upon first meeting...he's a great guy. I loved that after my surgery, Dr. Placik went to go sit and chat with my hubby in the waiting room to explain all that was done, and reassure my hubby I was well :). Then he called and talked to me the night I got home from surgery to see how I was doing, and I kept him on the phone for a while! Never once did he seem rushed to get the call over with. His office is just beautiful, extremely clean, warm and inviting. Oh, and...Dr. Placik's staff can't be beat! Especially his nurses! They really take their time with you, are very reassuring, extremely knowledgable, and constantly reminding me to call if I have ANY questions. They even gave me their personal cell phone numbers to call and text after surgery! Which I used often, by sending pictures as things came up and they would call or text right back! Even weeks post op! They still get back to me like I am still a priority. That is worth its weight in gold! Because you can have a great doctor, but if his staff is crummy....meh. If you are considering this doctor or even just wondering about the procedure, read my journey, and feel free to private message me as well! That's exactly what I did before my surgery! I private messaged all Dr. Placik's tummy tuck reviews and got the chance to email, talk on the phone, and even meet one of them before my sugery! I would be happy to do the same for anyone out there that is still on the fence with this procedure! Blessings!