34 Y/o Mom of 3 with a Set of Twins Ready for TT with Muscle Repair, Hernia Repair and Lipo - Atlanta, GA

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Hi everyone, I've been stalking this website...

Hi everyone, I've been stalking this website every since I put down my deposit in January and it's really been helpful as prepare for this next journey. I have a 3.5 year old son and 10 month old twins (april 2015). I was so blessed to have a vaginal delivery with my kids because I was always fearful of a C-section. So it feels crazy that I've signed up for such a big surgery and recovery. I'm a podiatrist, so I perform surgery every week on feet but the thought of now being the patient is freaking me out. After my twins, I was left with an umbilical hernia and a rectus diastasis which has made loosing this belly really difficult. Truthfully, l think that if I didn't have the hernia I'd probably just push through work outs and strict diet and manage the diastasis. But the hernia forces me to wear compression garments every day or else it sticks out when I eat and it's painful by the end of day. In the last 3 months I became diligent to the gym and clean eating in hopes of having a better recovery. And also so my new snatched waist would match the rest of my body...slimming down the hips and building glutes. Well I'm less than 2 weeks from big day and getting pretty excited. I've purchased some supplements to start before surgery and trying to drink more water every day.

Pre-op today...no drains for me!!

Hi ladies, so I just came from my pre-op and I'm even more excited about this procedure next week. My surgeon says she now uses a new technique called "progressive stitching" which is less disruptive to the tissues and means no external drains!! And she's also using exparel for the pain control. She's going to do the lipo to the back and flanks first to hopefully minimize the length of the scar. Plus, I have a natural groove below my belly really low which she'll use for the incision so it'll be well hidden by underwear. She also said I shouldn't have the "hunched" over feeling so I won't need a walker or cane. I got prescriptions for my pain, nausea, and a muscle relaxant so I think I'll be pretty good to go. I've already started taken a Bromelian/tumeric supplement and my arnica tablets should be in the mail any day now. I'm ready to knock out these last few days of work and get this show started!! Only 6 days to go!!

Craving junk food

Did anyone else crave junk food just before their procedure? I've been doing pretty good with clean eating for the past 3 months which helped me lose 10lbs but the last few days have been rough. I guess in the back of mind I'm thinking it'll be "sucked away" with lipo so I indulged with a donut, brownie and an Auntie Annie's pretzel!! Oh my! But I tried to make up for it with spin class yesterday, lol. These next 2 days of work are gonna be super busy as I prepare to be off for 2 weeks. I think my husband is getting more excited than me, lol.

I'm in the flat side!!!

I can't believe it's finally complete! After months of research and preparation, I've made it to the flat side and I'm already excited about the results. Dr. Anderson used progressive stitching so I have these little indentions to keep the layers of tissue together but no drains!! She says the dimples will smooth out over time. The experal is great too! I feel no pain at the incision. My pain is all soreness in the back from lipo and some achiness at the top of my abdomen. Dr. A said my diastasis was much worse above the belly bottom than the below...like 4-5 finger widths!! I didn't realize it was that bad and now I'm even more satisfied with my decision. I'm staying overnight in spa suites and it's so worth the extra money. I can't imagine my husband trying to manage me on the first night and the 3 small kids. Plus I was able to keep my Foley catheter in longer not having to run to the bathroom immediately afterward.

One day post op

I just took a shower which felt really good. The nurse took some pics of me standing up. I have a good bit of swelling around the flanks but I'm loving the result already. I can stand up straight most of the time. I prefer sitting up straight in a chair, too

Day 2 getting better

Sleeping was quite the challenge. But since I kept waking up I was able to stay on schedule with the pain meds. Today I'm trying to stretch out the Percocet to 5 or 6 hours instead of every 4 hours to reduce the constipation risks. I also added BCAA powder to my water to hopefully help with healing sore muscles. I'm nervous how the pain will change when the experal wears off probably tomorrow. I altered my compression garments to better control the swelling and I use an ice pack 3-4 times a day. I'm still taking the bromelain tablets twice a day and the arnica 4 times a day.

The swelling is so intense

I tried to move around more today hoping that would help my swelling. I'm having major issues getting a good fit with my compression garments. One garment puts too much pressure on the incision, another doesn't go high enough on the back to compress those lipo areas, and another one does give enough compression. I'm so uncomfortable right now. I just got back home from being out with my husband and kids and the swelling pressure on my chest is crazy. It's getting better as a lay elevated but this is an awful feeling. Also I see now how the depressive side comes into play. To go from being an active person to almost bed ridden really messes with your head. I'm planning to call my doc tomorrow for possibly an earlier post op appt. I just want to make sure things are going as they should be.

Day 5 swelling

Not sure if you can appreciate the swelling in this pic. Sometimes I feel like my skin is going to pop. It gets better when I lay in a recliner position in the bed and drink tons of water. I've had a few leakage spots at the incision I think from when I had to cough. Dear God, coughing is pain like no other! I just wish I could fast forward to one month from now. I don't do well with patience as a patient lol.

1st post op visit

1st post op visit is complete! My concerns of excessive swelling was valid. She said I may have a seroma on the left side of the abdomen but she didn't see a need to drain it today. She wants to give my body time to absorb it naturally with the compression and check again next week to see if it's necessary. And it turns out that I'm allergic to the tergaderm (clear) tape because I'm starting to get a contact dermatitis around the belly button. I knew the area was itchy but I thought it was just from the swelling. That better explains the pain I was starting to feel in the midline.

I can tell the swelling is going down also by the scale! I'm almost back to me pre-surgery weight, which had gone up 6lbs. I think the improvement is from getting creative with compression and being able to rest more. It's much easier to lay around during the day when I don't have to care for the kids.

Pics of swelling

So the lower belly swelling still persists but I'm managing. I started wearing a waist trainer where I can change the compression. I make it tighter at the lower belly and looser around the belly button where I have the dermatitis. I used a little hydrocortisone cream on the irritated skin and it feels much better today. I also wear a tank under the corset since my skin is still sensitive. I think my belly button looks weird but doc says it'll settle in better over time.

Feeling better after going back to work

It's been a week since an update but I'm feeling much better. I did 3 days at work this past week and they were packed to the rim. The first day was tough but improved once I adjusted my compression garments. I bought the high waisted spanks panty from Target which is much more comfortable. At times I'll put the Velcro wrap on top of it when I know the swelling will increase after over doing it. I'm feeling stronger every day. I even carried both of my 20lbs twins down the stairs yesterday with no strain. I've been cleared to go back to the gym, too! The only abnormal issue I've had is some extensive oozing from one of the lower back lipo incisions 2 days ago. My belly and flank skin are pretty sensitive to touch as the feeling comes back. The lower belly swelling has really gone down and it's getting softer. Moving around more has really helped.

Back to the gym

I was so excited to finally get back to gym. Yesterday I kept it easy with 20 minutes on the stairmaster and a few floor exercises for the glutes. I feel like my hips and butts are getting flabby. I think it's just more pronounced now with a smaller waist. I exercised with a compression tank and my binder which was fairly comfortable. I felt a little swelling afterward but nothing too bad. I can definitely tell the overall swelling is getting better. We're going out of town to a wedding this weekend so I can't wait to get dressed up and wear real clothes. I've been wearing scrubs to work so haven't really done the jeans or real pants yet. And the scale is down 5lbs from my pre-surgery weight!! These pics are from the morning when I'm definitely the flattest.

Lymphatic massage

I went for a consultation with a lymphatic therapist which was so great. She showed me the best ways to massage the swelling areas mainly the left side which is still a little larger. She applied kinesiotaping to assist with lymphatic drainage. She also confirmed why exercise helps. The deep breathing when increasing the heart rate encourages the deep vessels to push out lymph fluid. I can tell that I feel better after a workout too.

Pics after a workout

Just wanted to add updated pics after exercising. The last post had a pic from yesterday.

5 weeks and feeling good

I've done 2 sessions of the lymphatic massage which really helped. The left sided abdominal swelling has evened out. Yesterday I asked her to focus on th right side flank. I think the way the binder was riding up and creasing caused some swelling at the flank which was actually a little tender to touch. She showed me the massage techniques and applied the kinesiotape. I have another binder being ordered which should hopefully not cause this problem. By the end of the day yesterday I could already notice a big difference. I've being working out about 3-4 days a week but still avoiding ab work. I even went back to dance rehearsal last night which reminded me that my core has a long way to go, lol. But I managed through not over doing it. I'm super happy with my results so far. I purchased a silicone tape for the scar and it's definitely lightening up.

4 month update

I haven't posted here in quite some time but this website helped me a lot during my surgery so I wanted to give an update. I'm now over 4 months out and doing great. I had an in office lipo touch up on the right flank because it wasn't as even as the left. Since about 2 weeks after that time I stopped wearing all compression. Mainly, because it's super hot in Atlanta and it was so uncomfortable. I finally realized that I can control the swelling best with regular exercise and drinking lots of water. I still swell some at the lower belly but there's no pain. I work 4 days a week but at my pre-surgery intensity. My scar is still a little thick but getting better. It helps if I apply a heating pad at night for about 30-45 minutes. I usually have no swelling the next morning and the scar is softer
Reston Plastic Surgeon

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