I'm 35', 5'3", weighed 144 lbs on day of surgery, work out regularly and am physically fit, had 2 c-sections after gaining 60-80 lbs during pregnancies. I have wanted a tummy tuck since my first child was born 12 years ago. During both pregnancies, I ate whatever I wanted because I knew I could lose weight; however, no one warned me that while you can lose weight, your skin doesn't shrink!
So I had what I referred to as a "hang down belly." It was so bad I couldn't even see my privates when standing in front of the mirror. Aesthetically, the skin made me look like a weeble in jeans, and the only jeans that could accommodate my belly were what I call "mom jeans" (I.e., as opposite of Seven or other trendy jeans in every way!). However, the physical concerns I had with regard to the belly were more serious. For example, I love high-impact aerobics, but being that no one has invented a belly bra, I had to wear 4 pairs of undies to (unsuccessfully) support the skin because it bounces, and that hurts!! In addition, the area under the skin flap itched and it sweated, and let me just say that's neither hygienic nor sexy!
I had my consultation with the doctor I ended up choosing, who I chose after he was recommended to me by my ob/gyn (i figured she sees it all and would be a good authority on good work). I decided to get a little "breezeway" (inner thigh lipo) and the doctor offered to do a little contouring to my "high hips" area via lipo as well. I saw before and after pics of work he'd performed, and I could tell he is a perfectionist.
I had the surgery eight days ago, and I would have never imagined I could look this great. For the first time in my life, my bottom half is in proportion to my top half. No more size 6 top / size 10-12 bottom for me!
During the days leading up to surgery, I was sooooo nervous. Seriously my number one concern was just mere survival... I just wanted to wake up. I realize this way of thinking was kind of morbid and seriously over the top drama-wise, especially when you consider just driving a car is statistically more dangerous than surgery! But you normalize the risk of driving, and for me the perceived risk of surgery was scary to the mom in me. The nurses were all very sweet and reassuring, and they put on the compression knee-highs (sexy mama), hooked up the iv line, got something calming going in (versed) put on a motion sickness patch to aid the iv anti-nausea drug (I was petrified at the thought of vomiting after this surgery), and the next thing I knew, I was groggily looking up at the nurse after the surgery. Pain wise, at this point only my inner thighs were bothering me from the lipo. It was a burning sensation, but not too terrible. I eventually went to a recovery room and rested some more. Getting up the first time wasn't so bad. It was a little weird in the tummy area, kind of like extra gravity making things in your middle feel heavy. I found it strange, but not a big deal. I was shocked that sitting on the toilet did not bother my thighs after the lipo. I was texting friends by late afternoon.
I stayed overnight and was grateful for the nurses help getting me out of bed and checking my temperature, vitals, and so on. Everyone is different, but my stomach couldn't tolerate codeine so I went home with darvocet. A week later, I'm taking half a lortab and tolerating the pain, which is more bothersome at the end of the day.
Regarding the depression so many of the women here have mentioned, I didn't think I'd have any, but days 3 and 4 were down for me. I cried a lot, which wasn't super pleasant. The nurse said a lot of this is due to the effects of the anesthesia. Day 5 was a big improvement for me this way, and I am feeling pretty much back to normal. I try to remind myself what I've been through, which is major really, and I consider the fact that I am in some pain, am on narcotics (downers), can do little without help, and just had major surgery. Those are pretty legitimate reasons to not feel like yourself!!
My drains are still in. Not thrilled about that but I understand the doctor's concern about taking them out before a holiday weekend and not having anyone there at the office to help if I developed a seroma. I think I'm partly to blame for still having the two drains. At the hospital, the nurses showed me how to strip the tubing, and the pressure change that created in my belly just did not feel good! So I just didn't do it, shame on me. I'm doing it now, just making myself tolerate it, and I have no doubt they will come out in four days when I go back in. I still seem to need the pain medicine, especially by the end of the day. Oh, also I need the milk of magnesia. Thank you ladies who've suggested that. You will have to cough, you'll have to use your muscles to help stand and walk, but bearing down is seriously no fun!
The only "concern" I have at this point, and I use the term loosely, is my abs are very taut and though I am standing mostly upright, i look like I have very poor posture. I just can't seem to get up those couple last inches it takes to stand tall and proud. My doctor believes I should be able to stand straight, and I am hoping to do so asap!!
I'm trying to think of everything... I have 3 weeks of care. I am lucky to have this, as I do believe I need the help, especially with my 3yo.
My tummy and hips and thighs look amazing. I think I actually look better than I did before kids, which I guess I should for $8k!! I have lost 6 pounds since the surgery, and this is even with the bit of swelling i have. (I didn't think to ask how much poundage he removed.) I will post before and after pics when I figure out how to add fig leaves to the images for my privacy!
Thank you to everyone who reviewed the surgery here on Realself. I read everything you all wrote in the months before my surgery and in these days after, and and I kept so much that I read in these reviews close to me during this process. You ladies just don't know what a support your words have provided me!
I am absolutely thrilled that I had the courage to have this surgery. It really did take a lot of courage for me! It is amazing how the body heals; the amount of improvement and healing increases exponentially each day. When I am hurting or wondering why did I do this, the truth of this healing gives me hope and comfort.
I went on and on here, but bottom line is -- YES, so worth it!