48, 3 Kids, Last One at 40 and Tummy Never Snapped Back - Bloomington, IL

Cost includes ps fees for tuck and lipo of hips,...

Cost includes ps fees for tuck and lipo of hips, flanks and Pubic mons, all post op follow up care, 2 compression garments, anesthesia, exparel, and OR and overnight stay in hospital. I am very active, work out 5 days a week, weights and cardio. In last 18 months I have lost 20+ pounds (155) and I feel muscles are firm and pooch has not changed. I decided to go for a consult with PS about lipo and tummy tuck. Dr Holt spent over an hour with me and explained everything and answered all of my questions. I decided that week to go through with it, and scheduled the surgery for the week before Christmas as would be best date for me as my 9 year old would be out of school for a few weeks, and college age sons would be on break to help me out. This gave me 3 months to prepare physically and emotionally for surgery. I followed the real self blogs faithfully for tips and ideas and felt very prepared because of this. I will follow up with posts and pictures as I progress. I'm not quite 3 weeks post op and still sore and not quite up to going into details yet, although process was flawless, had overnight stay at the hospital and went home next day. As far as procedures go, mine went better than expected. More details to follow.

Details Details Details.

OK- so feeling up to more details regarding my experience so far.
My "tuck and suck" was scheduled for 8am on Dec. 21. I had scheduled it back in September, so lots of time to research instead of worry. That did wonders. Here are things that I chose to help me on my journey- and ones I think are very worthy.
1. Exparel. I had read reviews on how this injection got many through the worst 3 days. I asked my surgeon about it and she said "if I can get it- she would use it" Their practice did not keep it in stock, and the hospitals in the area don't either, as it is very expensive to purchase as it has to be purchased in bulk- and just not used enough to justify the cost. After making many calls myself to area pharmacies, and hospitals, I found out all of this to be fact. My surgeon, Dr. Holt, had her nurse call me 2 days before procedure to tell me she found a vial, and if I purchase it, she would use it. Dr. Holt and her team went out of her way to get this for me, wasn't easy, and she had to purchase it from her competitor, which shows me her integrity and professionalism and genuine patient care. KUDOS to Dr. Paige Holt. Best money I spent. If it's available, spend the extra couple of hundred dollars- it makes the first 3-4 days so much easier. It cost me $325.

2. Ate the raw pineapple for 2-3 days before procedure. Read this tip on the blogs- thought I would try it. I bought a fresh pineapple at Sams Club, cut it up and ate it for 3 days. I had almost NO BRUISING- with lipo to hips, back and pubic mons area- just light bruising right under my arm pits on side. None on back or hips- NO bruising at all in pubic area where the drains were. My surgeon laughs because I keep telling her it's because I ate the pineapple. Who knows for sure- can't hurt right?

3. Purchased a walker online. A must have. I got a nice one for $28 on Amazon. Used it for the first 2 weeks post op. Takes all the pressure off of your back once you are up and moving around. I did a little shopping around- Walmart, Walgreens, CVW- order online- so much cheaper. Got mine on Cyber Monday- free shipping. LOL I think I will donate to Dr. Holt's practice now for those who may need it.

4. If you can and are allowed- spend the night at the hospital or surgery center recovery room.
I was supposed to have my procedure done at the surgery center and spend the night in their recovery suite, but was told I would be having surgery at the OSF Medical Center instead, and spending a 23 hour hold for observation afterwards. It was WONDERFUL. I was actually there until 4pm the next day. Adjustable hospital bed, morphine pain pump, catheter, around the clock nursing care and whatever I needed or wanted at my fingertips. Got up the first morning to stand, then to use walker with aid of nurse. I felt so good that I used restroom after catheter taken out and put on makeup and cleaned up waiting to be discharged. I can't imagine having had to go home right after surgery and do all this by myself. I really feel like this was a privilege. These nurses took such great care of me, called me the day after I got home to check on me also. Best care I have EVER had.

5. The pain meds I was prescribed were Hydrocodone, and Toradol, and Valium for muscle relaxer, which I only used at night. Used all 3 of these for the first 2 weeks. I had morphine pump at hospital overnight, but didn't use too much. The Exparel did it's job. I seriously felt better the first week I was home, than the second and now into the 3rd week- only taking ibuprofen during the day, and 1 hydrocodone (Narco) every 4 hours to get me through the night. The night is worse than the day for me, maybe because of inactivity?? Am able to drive and not feeling dizzy or light headed at all.
6. Used a lanyard to keep drains up. Wonderful tip I picked up on this blog also. I had 2 drains both in pubic mons area. First one removed after 7th day as well as stitches from belly button, second drain in for 14 days. Was easy to clip them to the lanyard around my neck- either over or under my shirt. Easy to take lanyard off and hang on bedside table at night, or stand next to the recliner while I was sitting there. Easy to shower- put drains in a zip lock bag. I thought this was a good tip. The nurse practitioner who removed my stitches and drains thought it was a great idea also.

Enough for now. I will post some pictures I took this morning- 20 days post op. First morning I slept in bed almost flat, even on my side for some of the time. Least amount of swelling I have woken up with yet, so I took photos. LOL

20 day post op pics

Here are a few new photos. Compression garments Doctor used were one that went from thighs to bustline with hooks and zippers on each side. I swell everyday, so I sit in recliner and ice down.

Just when you think your doing ok....

Went in for my first check up with PS last Friday- Jan. 8. She looked me over and every thing looked great. She told me to start using vitamin E and cocoa butter on incision, and to make a post op appointment in another 3 weeks. So I did for Feb. 3.
Sunday morning I woke up a little sore- and noticed a red area about the size of my fist right above my pubic scar area. Didn't think a lot about it, thought garment was rubbing a little. By Sunday night, was swollen and really red, and Monday morning, was oozing through garments and t-shirt. Called PS and emailed photos to her. She called in some antibiotics, and said to come see her in 48 hours. I saw her on Wednesday, Jan. 13. She said didn't look like an infection- opened up the incision area at red site and pushed on it with gauze- just bleeding, no infection or pus. She said may be fat necrosis from lipo suction area, and that is common. Keep taking antibiotics. The area looks much better and the oozing has stopped. Whew....just glad it was nothing more.
Dr. Holt is so great- listened to me cry and complain and told me to hang in there, that it's temporary. I really think the 3rd week has been worse than the first 2. Needed her pep-talk!!

For the BM problems-

I have to tell you what has worked the best for me when it comes to the BMs. I tried the milk of magnesia, magnesium citrate and the laxatives. My PS recommended the Dulcolax suppositories.
I tired them- and man...I'm sold!!! Instead of drinking the dreaded liquid or taking the pills, then waiting around for hours to go, and having to run back to the bathroom multiple times when the colon spasms start, the suppositories are so easy. Insert, then wait about 15 minutes and the urge to poop happens, and you go. No colon spasms, no running back to the toilet every 2 minutes. You go and your done. I guess that's my experience. Go once and done. I have used this 3 times so far and works this way each time. I have also been taking Colace twice a day since day of surgery, but that doesn't make me actually go, just softens it up a bit. Hope this helps someone with the BM problems.

Almost 4 weeks post op!

Can't believe how the first 4 weeks have flown by. I think I have officially turned the corner. Waking up with no swelling, but that doesn't last long. Scar is so thin and low I can't imagine it even being noticeable after a year. Depression is lifting, and I'm feeling better about the whole process. Put on my smallest size jeans today, the ones I never wore because waist was too tight, and waist was actually loose. That right there beats the sadness. I realize it's a marathon, but I feel like I've made it to the half way water station!! Can't wait for the next 4 weeks to fly by.

9 months today

Can't believe it's been 9 months since my "tuck n suck" . I thought I'd update on my progress. I'm pretty much back to my old self. Gym routine is finally back on track, that took a good 6 months. The only inconvenience I have is the numbness from my belly button down to my pubic hairline.
I wore the compression garments until middle of March.
question? Did anybody have a big weight gain after you stopped the cg? I did! Was down about 10 pounds, and gained 7 pounds in a week. I've been trying for months to get that weight off, but no luck.
I think my scar looks pretty good and very smooth. I use cocoa butter and Mederma.
Posting a few pics of where I'm at now. Feeling no regrets having this procedure done.

Before and After - 9 months

From this...to this, in 9 months.
Still swell at night, especially in the summer heat and humidity, but always gone by morning.
Bloomington Plastic Surgeon

Paige Holt, MD of Twin City Plastic Surgery is the most personable and professional plastic surgeon I had met. She met with me for over an hour during my consult and was so genuine. She performed my surgery and follow up has been great. Great staff and nurses. Top notch.

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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