40 Years Old ~ Tummy Tuck W/ Muscle Repair~Kingsport TN

I've been wanting a tummy tuck for over 10 years!...

I've been wanting a tummy tuck for over 10 years! A 10 pound baby plus weight fluctuations have left me with a gut! I Had cosmetic surgery 10 years ago and requested a tummy tuck then but Dr thought I could get results with liposuction only. Nope, didn't happen. So for the next few years I yo yo'd with my weight and finally got serious 5 years ago and lost 70 pounds. I gave maintained it now with diet and exercise. So a few weeks ago I was trying on the dreaded 2 piece (ugh) and I looked at my husband and told him that there was no amount of walking I could do or salads I could eat to make my stomach go away. He told me to call the doctor and make an appointment for a consult. I was so excited!!! So I went yesterday to Dr Zickler for my consult. I'm happy to say I'm scheduled for July 12th for a tummy tuck with muscle repair! I'm a little apprehensive because I don't have a lot of time to recover from it till I have to go back to work (less than two weeks), but I have a desk job so hopefully I will be okay. So, I guess let the waiting begin for the big day!!

2 Weeks To Go

Had my pre op appointment today with Dr. Zickler. Surgery is scheduled for July 12th! He answered lots of questions for me which eased my mind quite a bit. One concern was the placement of my scar. Basically he told me the longer the incision the better result. I'm fine with long just don't want it to curve up to much. I'm a huge researcher (thanks Realself) so I feel like I'm quite prepared for what's to come. I hope anyway. I came home and tried on a swimsuit for before pics and it just confirms for me this decision. Can't wait to shop for clothes and not have to be concerned with how my gut will look or walking on the beach and trying to "suck" it in.

One Week and Counting...

So I have one week from today till my TT. I'm excited but also nervous. Each night when I go to sleep I always think how long will it be after my surgery before I can sleep comfortably again. But I know it's a small price to pay for a flat tummy. I've been making final preparations and going to do my final shopping this weekend and spending Sunday on the lake with family just to have that one last day of family time before the big day.

Lonely & Sort of Afraid

So TT is in 5 days. I'm excited but anxious. Probably very normal feelings for what I'm about to put myself through but I feel so alone in this. I don't have a large circle of friends and the ones I have can't relate to this experience therefore it's hard to talk to them about it or they have made it clear they don't want to talk about it. So, other than my precious husband and this site, I have no outlet for my emotions or feelings and it's hard. Anyone else experiencing this?

Tummy Tuck is DONE!!!

I can't believe that I am typing the words "my tummy tuck is done". 10 years I've been waiting and it's all over. Dr. Zickler told my husband I had quite a bit of loose skin and he got my muscles back nice and tight. Not really in any pain to speak of. He gave me exparel injections into my muscles. I'm having some discomfort at my drain sites but that is to be expected. Im just glad to be home in my bed..

One Day Post Op!

Well it's been a little over 24 hours since my surgery and so far so good! My doctor injected Exparel before he closed the incision so I've only taken 2 pain pills. Otherwise I've been taking Tylenol. I would highly recommend you get the injection. It was definitely worth the extra money. I got to take the bandages off today and take a shower. It felt so good. I was really nervous about seeing my belly for the first time. I made my husband look first. I cried when I saw it! I'm swollen which is to be expected but already WOW! I can't believe it's my belly. I'm loving my new belly button too. I'm amazed at how active I've been. Honestly the drains are the worst part. I go back for my post op appt on Tuesday so hopefully they come out along with the stitches.

3 Days Post Op!

3 days post op and I can't believe how well I am doing! Still no major pain; only taking Tylenol still. Sleeping is a challenge but I nap during the day so not too bad. My husband and I went out for lunch today. It was nice to get out of the house for a while. I'm walking almost upright which is great for my back. I have to go back to work on Thursday so I feel like I don't have any time to waste. Hang in there!

One Week Post Op: Too Many Concerns

I just got back from my one week PO appt for my full TT with MR. I went today thinking that external sutures and Drains would come out. The sweet nurse comes in and takes out sutures but not drains. Not alarmed yet. Dr. Zickler comes in. Looks me over and asks how did we do? So I addressed my concerns with having more fullness on one side versus the other. He immediately goes into me having revision surgery down the road. That's not going to happen. It is what it is. Then he looks at my belly button which has been crusty black from day one and started draining Sunday. So basically my belly button is dying. I had told him in my consult appointment that I had two belly button hernia surgeries when I was small and I mentioned that to him again today. Light bulb went off! Basically the surgeon that did those surgeries did not leave much "stalk" therefore he had very little to reattach my new opening to and the tissue is just yucky. It is still possible for it to heal on its own but there is s chance of me having to have a belly button revision surgery done. So now on to my drains. I had been below 25cc for 2 days now. Normally he takes them out on day 10-14. I told him I was miserable! So, he took them out but now I have to worry about a seroma forming. Yeah me! I asked the nurse at what point do I start to love it cause I'm not there yet. She looked shocked at my question. Right now, to me, I don't look any smaller in my clothes than I did before the surgery and I most definitely feel bigger.

8 Days PO; Infection!

So I started having severe pains last night in the area of my drain removal and woke up this morning running a fever and feeling horrible. Called the DR and went in this afternoon. I had a knot that had developed in the drain area so he asperated it for infection. Thankfully nothing came out but he went ahead and put me on a round on antibiotics. He also gave me a treatment for my belly button. dr Zickler was amazed at how well I was healing. Drain holes are already completely sealed and scar looking great. So, back to work tomorrow and Friday for 4 hours each day.

10 Days PO~More Belly Button Saga

So I have been to my surgeon 3 times this week. I went at 8 days for an infection at the drain removal site. Went back today because the swelling at the site was getting bigger. However when I came home and changed the dressing on my dead belly button ( read previous posts for details) it scared me. I was really wigged out! So I went to the dr. He reopened the now closed drain exit hole to make sure there was no build up of infection and there was none. Then came the belly button. Basically the top of my belly button stalk was dead so it had turned GROSS. So, he took out ALL my bb sutures, cleaned out all the yuck, and basically I'm starting all over from scratch. I have a hole in my belly. I have to pack it with Demex solution soaked gauze and keep it covered till I go back on Aug 4th where hopefull it will have healed and he can do revision surgery and retack it back. I am so sick and tired of worrying about this! I've truly not been able to really enjoy my shape. I'm swollen like I'm pregnant and I have a hole in my gut. I did go back to work yesterday. Worked half days. It wasn't bad. I'm just ready for complete healing. I want to get on with my life and be able to enjoy this new figure. I know it's there somewhere!! Anyone out there ever dealt with this type of belly button issues? If so, I would love to hear how it turned out.

Pictures of Progress 11 Days PO

Here are pics of me 11 days PO with TT with MR and of my belly button.

2 Weeks PO: Slowly But Surely

So 2 weeks PO with full TT and MR. Went back to the doctor today to have a recheck of my belly button and my infection site. Nurse said belly button is looking good! Swelling and soreness are improving at the infection site. So yeah me! Best news was when she told me my next appt. had been moved up to Monday so my revision surgery will be that day! Hopefully after Monday I will fully be on the mend with a cute innie belly button! My doctor is officially closing the practice on August 12th so I will hope for the best. I'm still swollen horribly but the nurse said it's all within normal limits. So, with each passing day comes new hope of finally seeing my stomach flat. Happy healing everyone!

17 Days PO- It's The Little Things

Until you experience a tummy tuck first hand it doesn't matter how much you research, how many people you talk to, or how many before and after pics you look at. It's takes an emotional strong person to go through this. I am a fixer by nature so it has almost driven me crazy cause I can't fix this! I can't fix the swollen belly, or the undone belly button, or the now oozing place in my incision where the infection is coming out. All I can do is wait, patiently. Wait for the swelling to go down, my belly button surgery on Monday, and the infection to go away. Tonight I noticed a change. I noticed my infection is starting to go away. The hard knot is not quite so big. I noticed my tiny waist that will be rockin a bikini once the swelling goes away and I remember that I only have 3 more days till I get a belly button(sounds weird to say). So, I'm thankful for little things. I know there will be more little things along this journey. I'm just hanging on for the ride! Happy healing everyone!

20 Days PO ~ Still No Belly Button

Hello All! Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since my full TT with MR and I still don't have a belly button. I went today for the revision but Dr Zickler said the stalk was still yucky. He trimmed more off so he's hoping he got all the yuckiness. I go back Wednesday morning for him to recheck and hopefully try it again. It wasn't really that much of a let down. I'm to the point of it will happen in its own due time. I did however have my infected drain finally open last night and empty. I was in the shower when I noticed it so I was pressing on all areas of my stomach to try and get as much out as as possible. My doctor said it should clear up fairly quickly now. One less thing to contend with. Happy healing everyone!

PO Day 22~ Finally! A Belly Button!????

I got a belly button today!! Yeah!! Dr Zickler said it was much improved from Monday. So, he got me all fixed up! He basically turned the sides in on each side and sutured them down to the faschai. So now I wait and pray for healing. He said I had about a 50% chance that it would stay healthy and heal perfectly. I'm so hopeful. It really is cute. I really think this one is much better than the original one done the day of surgery. Happy Healing!

4 Weeks PO ~ Still On The Fence

4 weeks ago today I went into surgery for a TT with MR. I was extremely optimistic of the results. Like everyone I had hopes of a flatter tummy; something I had never had. These past 4 weeks have been trying for sure. The surgery was fine. No complaints there. I'm still dealing with belly button issues. The revision that he did last Wednesday came undone. My body just wasn't ready. My doctor was trying to speed the process along due to him closing up his practice. The one bit of good news is there is no sign of infection and the skin is wanting to turn in on its own. He promises it will heal fine, it's just going to take a little longer. Oh, and the swelling... OMGoodness!!! It will not go away!! By the time the evening rolls around I look 6 months pregnant. I keep thinking each week will bring better changes but I'm still waiting. So, I'm on the fence on my decision. I'm still not happy. It's been a rough mental and emotional road. I'm hoping 6 months from now I can look back on this journey and say it was worth it. Oh, how I hope!

4 Weeks PO TT

Feeling Accomplished, Oh Yeah and Pics

Had a pity party today.. So I decided to go walking after work. It was nice to clear my mind and feel like I was doing something healthy for my body. I made it 3.5 miles! Yeah me! Came home and thought I'd take a few pics.. I was pleasantly surprised with the swimsuit pic. Just wish the swelling would go far far away!!!!!

4 Weeks 1 Day PO with TT/MR-Dr Released

Yes, you read the title correctly. My tummy tuck with MR was on July 12th, I still have a hole where my belly button should be, and my Dr released me today. There was no offer of sending me to another doctor. He graciously gave me his cell phone number. Said I could text him pictures of my bb if I had concerns. Wow! Who does that??? I'm just lost right now. Said it should heal in 6-8 weeks. We'll see. Stay tuned....

A Positive Note.. Finally

So I'm almost 5 weeks PO and things are improving. I've noticed that I'm not as swollen in the morning which is nice. I officially quit wearing my CG and it feels so good! I've still been walking so I don't know if walking or no CG has contributed to the decrease in swelling. I went out on a limb today and ordered a couple of swimsuits for an upcoming beach trip. Normally I would have bought high wasted to try and cover as much gut as possible but today was different. I hope I don't have my hopes up too high. We'll see. There is no change with the BB. I dreamed about it twice last night. Guess I'm thinking about it too much. Happy Healing everyone!

6 Weeks PO ~ Better Every Day

Well, it's hard to believe that 6 weeks ago I was in surgery for a full TT with MR! I am thankful to be where I am today. It's been the slowest process (besides losing weight) but it's taught me patience. I am healing! My belly button has shrunk down considerably! Today I went from gauze and tape to a bandaid! I started wearing silicone strips on my scar last night. I'm anxious to see how they work. I also went and saw a new doctor yesterday;Dr. Sam Huddleston. I really liked him. He said I was healing fine but he's going to continue my care till the belly button is healed. I'm thankful. I'm honestly thinking that I am going to send my out of pocket expenses to my old Dr and ask for reimbursement. Still thinking about that. I've had days here lately that I've woken up flat and remained that way most of the day. I've also had really swollen days to. I'm hoping I see more flat days coming my way. I'm going to the beach next week and I have two new bikinis to show off! Anyway.. To those of you reading this that are new to this journey Hang On! It's not an easy ride but you will get through it. Have patience with your body. It has to heal! It's not overnight. Celebrate small victories along the way. Happy Healing!

6 Weeks PO~Bikini Pics

Bristol Plastic Surgeon

Having been a former patient of this office with a different doctor I knew what to expect with the staff. Extremely nice and helpful. I honestly can't say enough about them. Dr Zickler was very pleasant and fully explained the procedure to me. He answered all of my questions completely and thoroughly. I feel very comfortable with him in doing my surgery. I will add that I wish he had been more forthcoming with is actual date of when the practice was going to close. He always mentioned Labor Day so I thought I had till then. I personally don't think that giving a patient 5 weeks to recover from a tummy tuck is enough time let alone if that patient has any complications. If I had known that the time was going to be cut this close I might have made a different decision. Janet, his nurse, is just unbelievable. The most kindest soul; I truly will miss seeing her. Dr discharged me 4 weeks 1 day from my surgery. No offer to transfer me to another dr. I was given his cell phone number to text him pictures of my BB if I had issues. Wow!!!

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 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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