I had considerable weight loss over 20 years ago....
I had considerable weight loss over 20 years ago. At one point my total weight loss was 125 lbs. I also had a c section which cut my muscles. As a result, I had a tremendous amount of hanging skin and a belly button I havent seen for most of my life. No amount of tummy crunches would ever fix my flab apron ;) For several years I dreamed of having a tummy tuck and am beyond happy with the results!
In order to prep my body for optimal healing, I cut out processed foods and sugar (other than fruits) a few weeks prior to the procedure. I also upped my proteins and vitamin C. I researched smoothie and juicing recipes that helped promote wound healing, had anti inflammatory properties, offered natural pain relief and were high in protein. I made and froze approx 40 smoothies beforehand. I went through lots of fresh ginger, pineapple, turmeric root, kale, spinach, greek yogurt, celery, cucmbers, blueberries, bananas, flax, coconut water and milk etc. I had protein smoothies during the week leading up to surgery and mixed it up after surgery. Since I didnt have much of an appetite for at least a week after surgery, I ate 3 different smoothies daily and a small meal for dinner. The smoothies are very filling :) Anyhow, I believe the smoothies helped tremendously with my healing.
I purchased a raised toilet seat, which was the best investment ever! I highly recommend that for anyone who plans on having a tt. I also slept on an outdoor zero gravity chair with lots of blankets and pillows which was perfect, especially for elevating my legs!
As for surgery day and post op healing. .... A very important factor for me was having Exparol injected into my tummy before being stitched up. Exparol is a longer lasting anesthetic that helps keep the tummy numb for approx 3 days following the procedure. Anyhow, after my surgery and time in the recovery room I was free to leave, so I got dressed and walked out to the nurses station to go find my family. Im pretty sure the Exparol was working fairly well :) The nurses were floored at how well I was doing so soon afterwards! Oh, and the Dr removed almost 6 lbs of skin and fat! (no lipo though :) )
Day 1 post op was the worst day. I began to wonder if Exparol was even used. I woke up with my tummy on fire and the muscles felt like hell took residence in my abs, however I couldnt sit still so I ventured out to the grocery store with my friend :) It was a fairly short trip and I was easily winded, but I am happy I stayed active.
Day 2 post op was a million times better. I went shopping again with my friend who was caring for me and I also sat outside to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful weather. That was also the last day I needed pain meds. Oh, and I have been taking stairs since the day of the surgery. Each day gets easier !
I was back to driving on my 3rd day post op! By day 6 I had one of my 2 drains removed. The other drain is still in , and today marks my 12th day post op. I still walk a little hunched over and mornings are slower moving for me, however I am absolutely thrilled with my healing process! With all the research I did, I was expecting way more pain and discomfort with a lot less mobility,especially because I am not really in good shape, and have eaten fairly poorly this past year.
So.... I will post pics of before and after. The before pics were taken approx 1.5 weeks pre op and the after pics are 6 days post op. The first time I took off my binder at my 6 day follow up, I broke down. I finally have a beautiful shape and saw my belly button for the first time in over 20 years! There truly arent words to describe to joy I felt! I am still very swollen and am looking forward to the day that the swelling is gone, however Id happily live with my swollen body as is compared to what I had before ;)
I am so truly pleased with this decision I made and literally cannot stop smiling :)
I'd also like to add that I had many requests and questions and his nurse Sandy has been amazing and super helpful!
A few of you asked for smoothie recipes that I used. I also added in some links for healing foods that may be helpful. I stated that I started eating healthier and clean a few weeks prior to surgery, however I had my consult in June and surgery was in July. I certainly would have started a lot sooner if I had more time. Also, I have been using honey on wounds for several years. I included a link on the healing benefits of honey as well. My PS told me it was safe to use honey on my scar at the 10 day mark. Each person is different, so to be safe you should probably ask your PS when its safe to use.
*Disclaimer- my healing has been very fast and fairly easy. My PS told me not everybody heals as fast as I have nor are they active as quickly as I was. I do credit his technique for a majority of the ease of my healing , as well as the change in my diet. Protein is very important, so I ate plain hardboiled eggs, chicken breast, cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt with raw honey and grated ginger etc. leading up to the procedure.
Below are the links.
http://spinach4breakfast.com/turmeric-and-ginger-smoothie/ (this recipe is my favorite and I start off every day with it now).
Day 16 Post Op
Swell Hell is alive and in full blast! Some days I feel like I'm carrying an ocean in my belly and if I poke it waves will come crashing out and flood my house :) Regardless of the swelling, I am still very pleased with the results, especially because I know that the swelling will eventually subside :)
I still feel great! The double edged sword I am dealing with is the inability to sit still. I believe that is a contributing factor to how swollen I am, as well as the fact that I still have a drain in. Fluids are finally starting to decrease and get lighter in color, which is a good sign! My doc is taking out the drain this upcoming week regardless of the amount of output, since we are going on 2.5 weeks. Anyhow, doc prefers I continue to be active as long as i dont overdo it.
Day 19 Post Op
Doc visit went went well yesterday. I feel almost 100%. I am still draining a considerable amount of fluids so he decided to keep the drain in for another week and put me on an antibiotic to prevent infection at drain site. I promised doc I would calm down on being overly active and stay off my feet as much as possible. Im already going stir crazy :) Bed rest is the most daunting aspect of this journey! Haha. Im not one who enjoys sitting still, but I will follow the doctor's orders :)
I'm posting a few pics of me sitting down. I'm still in complete awe with the results! There are no more huge fat flap rolls hanging over! Amazing! ?
39 Days Post Op
Im still a little swollen, however I feel fantastic! I am still in awe of the magic Dr. Loewenstein worked. Between his technique (which made recovery quick and pleasant) and his artistry , I am extremely pleased :) Pics are before and after of me wearing the same pair of jeans ?