Time to Get This Fat Suit Off! Extended TT & Lipo-Finally updated pics at 4 months

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I'm 47 yrs old and have 3 awesome kids. Mine...

I'm 47 yrs old and have 3 awesome kids. Mine aren't babies. They are 23, 20 & 15. I've been wanting to do this since before I had my first kid! I've never had a flat tummy or been in a bikini. It still isn't my goal. I just want to be able to wear clothes comfortably w/out this horrid stomach getting in the way. I'm tired of trying to hide my stomach all the time. Whenever I sit down I put something over it. I live in tops that are too large to hide it but really there is no hiding a big ol' belly.

I gained 60 pounds w/ my first pregnancy but lost most of it. It was my 2nd one that did me in in all ways. I damaged my pelvis terribly pushing him out. It was a terrible experience and time in my life. You could hear it cracking while I was pushing and I was yelling that I was breaking! It is like the muscle separation we've gone through but this was a severe separation of the pubic bone. Took me 7 years before I found a doctor to help me recover.

5 years after my 2nd child I had my last baby. It was the worse year of my life since my pelvis was so messed up. I had to walk w/ a walker, canes or be in a wheelchair. Not fun but I was determined to get through it one way or the other. In the last few weeks of this pregnancy I gained 10 pounds in just amniotic fluid which stretched my stomach to major proportions! My sister has always said no stomach muscles could have survived that pregnancy.

After my daughter I was determined to get my life back. I took fen-phen and lost a bunch of weight. And then I gained a bunch of weight right back. I've tried WW and tons of other diets. I'm usually on one or just got done w/ one. That's been the story of my life. I've also tried a ton of exercise. For me that usually is 2 steps forward and 3 steps backward. My pelvis/hips don't care too much for a lot of exercise. I'm hoping w/ the TT & muscle repair it will help me out w/ back pain & alignment in my hips & lower back. Having the weight of the stomach pulls at my body so much. I see a massage therapist & chiropractor weekly and they are both in favor of the TT for that reason alone.

4 years ago I had a complete hysterectomy for endometriosis. It was taking over my life and I'd finally had enough. It was a rough surgery & a rough recovery especially w/ this huge stomach sitting on top of the incision. Being thrown into full blown menopause at the age of 43 was not a fun experience either! I have spent years trying to balance out my out of whack hormones. Now I just take estrogen to beat off the hot flashes. It helps most of the time.

And just this past year I've lost 60 pounds. I have gained some back but am not too worried about that. I'm 5'4.5" and 180. 5 new vacation pounds will be leaving soon. I'm working on eating pretty cleanly but not wanting to stress too much about it. I'm trying to exercise 30 min a day so I can be strong enough for the surgery. That does worry me!

I've been married for 24 years to my wonderful & supportive husband. He wants me to have this surgery as much as I want it. He knows how hard I've struggled to get my body & health back.

I have 4 weeks to go and am trying to be excited and not stress over spending so much on just me! We've got a kid in college that we pay for fully. We just helped pay for a wedding for my oldest son and then in Sept we are all flying to IN for a wedding in the family. I was going to skip the wedding in IN but my kids haven't seen their relatives for 10 years and I just decided it was worth the extra expense.

My pre-op appointment is today where I will pay in full for the surgery. Maybe that will ease my mind as it will just be a done deal then.

Thank you for all the support this site offers. I've lived on it like so many of you. And I will take and post pictures too. That has been invaluable for me!Updated on 21 Jul 2011:One of the reasons I picked my doctor was all the pics & explanations he had on his site, both internally & externally. It is full of information and I love to read & check it all out. Then when I met him he offered to let me watch him during surgery! Who does that? I was also allowed to speak to clients who were in the office for follow up care. I got to speak to them privately w/ out anyone in the room w/ me. I talked to 4 ladies all in various stages of recovery. He spent lots of time w/ me & I didn't feel rushed. He was easy to talk to and put me at ease.

I had my pre op yesterday and got to take the dreaded befores. Yikes! But they were very sweet about everything and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

A month to go!Updated on 24 Jul 2011:Today I was leaving a party I was doing. A little girl commented on the size of my belly. Not fun! I've been extra self conscious lately about my stomach. I gained some weight and it is all right there in the middle. I even wore a panty girdle to push it in more but doesn't really do much for me. Ugh. 3 weeks & 1 day. Can't wait!!Updated on 26 Jul 2011:Had my EKG last week which my dr wanted before surgery. It was all "textbook" normal. Works for me.

Then I got to take the dreaded before pics. UGH UGH UGH!!! I still have to take some and put them on here. Just so hard to do but I will do it as I love looking at other's before/afters.

3 weeks from today! Wow it really is going quickly. I have much to get done before the surgery including a 5 day business conference to attend. At least that part will be fun & take my mind off the surgery.

I bought some Arnica Montana ~ 200ck & Bromelain. Reading up on them to see when & just how best to take them. Anyone else have any suggestions? I also take Vit D & a strong probiotic everyday. Will be keeping that up during recovery too since we have to have antibiotics.

I'm not supposed to take Vit E, any fish oil or omega oils. No ibuprofen. Nothing that can thin your blood. I found some nice lists on a surgeon's site too that really helped.

I'm renting a hospital bed. Finally found a place nearby. Only $120 for a month. And we'll rent a walker from them too.

Just excited!!Updated on 27 Jul 2011:Ok attempting to put up my "befores" though I am so sickened thinking about anyone looking at them.Updated on 3 Aug 2011:2 more weeks to go. Time is flying by and I have so much more to do. I am self-employed and trying to get some loose ends tied up. And I have a business conference to attend for 5 days across the country. Not ready for that one yet either. It will all work out. At least the conference is a ton of fun w/ good friends too.

Ordered my hospital bed yesterday. I will be sleeping in my living room for a month. Happier to do that in a hospital bed than the couch. Got this 4 in waffle topper too for more comfort. Rented a walker. Got a toilet seat extender & handles. My mom lives w/ us and she is getting older so she can use these things when I'm recovered. They will help a lot.

Eating has not gone as planned. Life has been ever so stressful and sugar has been my friend. Am trying to clean that up. The last thing I need is to gain more weight!

I look down at my stomach and can't imagine it being gone. Really is this going to happen? I've wanted this for so long and here it is coming up and I just can't fathom it really coming true.Updated on 6 Aug 2011:10 days to go! Getting very excited about it all. Am sooooo tired of looking at this body! I am going into this thinking it can only get better. Not having the thought that a bikini will ever come my way. Would love to be even comfortable in a one piece. Want to be able to put on jeans and have them fit my legs & body w/out just fitting & digging into this stomach. It's like dressing an egg.

And I'm looking forward to not having this stomach to pull on my back & pelvis all the time. I love the idea of being able to workout and get strong again and actually see the results.

Right now I can not fathom the idea that I am about to change. I was looking for some underwear to recover in. I have briefs only. I see in pics everyone has on tiny little bikini's. Tiny & little have not been near this part of my body for 23 years! I couldn't buy anything and left the store. Not sure briefs will work though since I'll have drains.

And when you do have drains do they just hang down somewhere? My friend told me to wear a fanny pack & put them on there. That doesn't sound too great to me or very comfortable. I've seen what people do to shower w/ the thing around your neck. What else do people do w/ the drains. I hadn't thought of it til now.

I am trying to eat decent. I hear you on how easy it is to be stressed and just want to eat a lot. I didn't weigh for over a week and when I checked this morning I was down 1.5 pounds. That was nice to see. I really just want to be stable at this point. As long as I'm not gaining I'm good!Updated on 9 Aug 2011:One week to go for me! I can't believe it is almost here. It is going to fly by too since I leave for my conference at 6am and won't be back til Sun night at 10pm. Then off to San Diego Mon to spend the night for surgery the next day. I may not be able to check in or comment much but know I am thinking of all my tummy tuck sisters and praying you are healing and recovering well!

So much to do today to get ready! Been making a list of what I need so I'll be taking that w/ me today as I run errands.

I'm sure it is normal to feel like this just can't possibly be happening for me. I can not imagine not having this body. I pour over the other pics and think is it possible to look so different???

That is the hope I am clinging to.Updated on 9 Aug 2011:Well bummer! I just got a call from my PS and they asked if I could stay overnight next week when I have my TT. It would have to be in a hotel room. I'm bummed because where I live he comes in once a week and it is 1 bk from my home. I scheduled the surgery so that I could easily see him the next day in his office nearby. Now I have to decide on whether to stay another night in a hotel or go home the night of surgery and come back the next day. It is about 1 1/2 hours away depending on San Diego traffic.

Here's my dilemma. I sleep terribly as it is. I have a hard time getting comfortable at home to sleep let alone in a hotel setting after surgery. And this is after being gone for 5 days w/ only 1 night home and in a hotel the next night before surgery.

I have already hired a nurse to come in til 11am the next day.

So any suggestions or thoughts? Perhaps the car ride there and back wouldn't be as rough as an over night in a hotel. And I forgot to mention that I get car sick pretty easily.Updated on 18 Aug 2011:Had surgery Tuesday. Man I didnt think it would be so excruciating. My muscle repair was 6 inches wide. No wonder my back always hurt. I'm too drugged to write more. Happy to a be post op.Updated on 21 Aug 2011:I've been so darned out of it! Seriously how are some of you taking a single Tylenol & that's it?? I'm on percocet & Valium which didn't touch the spasms in my muscle repair until it they doubled the amount. It was like labor.. I had waves of severe tightening every 30 seconds. I didn't know how I'd make it through. I had a wonderful nurse in the hotel w/ us ( I highly recommend then ) too. I told my husband to call my mom RIGHT NOW and pray for me. She did. Just a horrible night.

It's been better since I'm home. I go from a hospital bed to a regular recliner to a lift recliner. I'm very uncomfortable. My muscles are so thight is it the binder or the fact that they had to repair a 6 inch gap.

Dr is thrilled w / his work. I'll see it on wed when I see him again. I adore Dr Pousti. He had to leave town Wed am which is why I couldn't see him in his Murrieta Ofc. He would
Not have left if I was in bad shape. Both my nurses said that is how he is.

So anyone else dying w/heartburn.? I have yet to have a BM though I'm taking stool softeners. I have. MOM too. I'll take any advice.

I'm cheering you all on too I just pass out before I can search much.Updated on 23 Aug 2011:Shit shit shit shit!!!! I'm not on e to really swear but I had a coughing attack and was practically in full panic mode. Ugh!! I go NO WHERE w/out cough drops and it just hit. My mom grabbed my bag & put one in my mouth as I drank some water. So scary!Updated on 26 Aug 2011:10 days PO. really already? It's been a rough week. I sleep a lot. I guess that's good since my body needs to heal. Very very sore back no matter what I do. My dr remarked that I was standi g too tall so I'm working on bending over more. I always use my walker so we took it down farther so I can bend more. He explained to me that the point of bending & keeping the tension off the scar isn't something you want to rush through. He said the skin at the bottom of the abdomen is in bad shape most of te time due to previous pregnancies & stretch marks. So then they take that skin & they to align it w/ equally not great skin & it can take awhile to adhere correctly. So we all try and stand up straight quickly when we should be working on bending over and letting that incision heal correctly & well.

Saw the scar w/out all the dressings on it this week. sawnthe changes that are taking place & that was exciting. He removed 4 liters from my back & even w/swelling you can see it. I'm starting to have a waist!!! Still have 4 drains but they don't bother me. I'm trying to be patient. Have I've waited 47 years what's a few more months :)Updated on 31 Aug 2011:Heading to the doctor today. Wondering if ny drains will be coming out. Htry have very little in thm each day. We she see. I'm a tad nervous that it will hurt. I have 4 and would love to be. Free of them. though they havent been that bad. I just would love to shower again..Updated on 5 Sep 2011:Thought I'd update since having some problems. Ever since I had the muscle repair I've had pretty bad hearburn. Guess that is what a 6" repair can do to you.

I've had lots of stomach & side pain. Not sure it's from taking too many meds or if I'm truly just in a lot of pain. I woke up unable to eat again due to the heartburn. We finally just called the doctor. he wants to get to the bottom of it today. That 's why I love him. Here it is a holiday weekend and he called me right back w / a new game plan. New meds. Something to coat my throat for the heartburn. Y hubby even had to call him back ti discuss what he ended up with. Yea so happy to finally think I'm going to start feel g better again!Updated on 7 Sep 2011:Hey got all 4 drains out today. Been pretty emotional alll day. Been a tough few days w/ pain & heart burn & not being able to eat..

So I went to get thte drains out. I was so nervous about it! The gave me numbing solutuion near ech drain which I brarely felt. Then I blew out while sheulled them nd it was fine. No pain! What a releief! Next week I get my back stitches out and she said it wi. Be just as easy.

Now it's time for me to get out of the house so my head can feel better too. Getting depressed staying in all th time so I have to turn that around.

I wouldnt trade my doctor. He has been just the best!Updated on 15 Sep 2011:Another update from me. Still lots of pain. Don't really understand how people take just Tylenol after a few days. I'm still struggling in pain many many days. I'm trying not to take the reallly hard stuff but I'm glad it's there when I need it.

I look at my befores though and am AMAZED at the difference! At least I can see where the pain comes from. He removed a lot and it needs time to heal. I just ordered a stage 2 compression garment from Marena Group. I hope it works out. I had on a spanx from before but the garment hurt my stomach so much I couldn't take it. It wasn't too tight it just hit my waist area which is just way too tender still.

Still have a lot of days where the tears over take me. My surgeon is terrific about it and still wants me walking and trying to do some of the things I enjoy again. I am trying. I have to fly out to a wedding next week which worries me since I don't feel ready for that yet. But you know worse case scenario ismi don't go and I can live through that if I have to.

I'm 4 weeks out. Would love to hear some stories about those of you who felt so much better at 5-6 weeks.Updated on 19 Sep 2011:5 weeks tomorrow. Hoping to turn that corner soon. Got my Marena garment & will have to return it. Legs were too big & no way could I get it on & off by myself. And I don't think I'm talented enough to pee out of the hole. Lol!

I have some seepage from my incision in the front. Called the dr who said it is normal and air it when I can & cover when I can't. I see him on Wed. So he can let me know if there is more that needs to be done.

This has been a long run. I'm no where near being "me" yet but it will happen. I am skipping the wedding and taking care of me. Praying I'm me again soon so I can get back to work.

Now to get those pics taken!Updated on 21 Sep 2011:Just got back from the doctor. I have been so depressed since my incision opened up & I'm missing the family wedding. Well my issue has been nutrition. I have not been eating or drinking so I haven't feed my body what it's needed to recover. He said now I am behind the 8 ball and we have to push the nutrition.

For the first time in my life I have ZERO appetite so I know he is correct. My mom pleads w/me to eat but I'm just not hungry in fact food repulses me. I don't drink any water or anything either. No wonder I am struggling and it's my own doing. Ugh! But now I am determined to get better & stronger. I'm on another antibiotic too. He said my next step would have been the hospital for dehydration.

So I'm sitting here drinking my protein shake for dinner and feeling grateful for the doctor I chose.Updated on 29 Sep 2011:Just had my 6th week PO check up yesterday. He still has me coming in weekly. I still have an open area that is weeping. It's gross but dr says it is healing and will just take a while. I have a yeast infection from the strong antibiotics I am on. Ugh. Tried taking some strong probiotics to head off the infection but it didn't work. Probably because I had just taken strong antibiotics after surgery.

Finally shaved the fur off my legs yesterday. My mom & I sat outside and did it. It wore me out for the day. I still can't drive yet. I do feel I am finally getting stronger. I'm grateful that I still have my mom taking care of me. This has been a long ride so far and can't wait til I really feel it was worth it. I am still not doing most of what I used to do. Not going out or shopping. Just walking around the block once or twice a day.

Hope you ladies are doing well.Updated on 29 Sep 2011:Took some after pics tonight but can't figure out how to put them on here using my iPad. Any help?Updated on 3 Oct 2011:It's late and I'm ready to go to sleep. Had a downer of a day. My upper abs hurt all day as well as my lower back. Ended up in tears tonight as I was just done not feeling good. My open wound is hurting too. Just not a fun day!

Trying to find the blessings to focus on them. This site is a blessing just connecting with others who understand. Thanks to those of you who check in. It's been a long 50 days!Updated on 4 Oct 2011:Just changed the bandage on my wound. I'm getting a little scared at what I'm seeing. It's looking so huge. Praying that it is healing & not growing. I see the doctor tomorrow so I'll know more. Just so frustrated. It will be a long time til this thing closes. Patience. I know I know. I'm just sick of it all right now.Updated on 6 Oct 2011:So just got back from the doctor yesterday. I am very relieved to have talked to him. My husband came with me and he freaked too when he saw the wound. He had never seen it as it was always dressed when he wasn't around. PS did say it was worse from last week. He cleaned it up and they changed how they do the cleaning now. It's a wet to dry dressing that packs the wound. Mine is large but superficial so it's not deep. He gave me 2 options. The new wet to dry dressing which I have to do twice a day and it will take at least 1-2 months to heal. It is not infected. Or he can take me back into surgery and close it w/a drain again. No thanks. I so can't stand that thought. And you risk sealing something into the wound that way. I also am not taped all the way around like I have been for almost 8 weeks. My skin is very tired of tape! No more tape for me. I also got to stop wearing this awful binder that I just hated! They said I could wear spanx or just do without. I choose no spanx! I could stand some comfort. I can also lose the walker and start walking more upright. He said that will take a few weeks to be able to do. One thing at a time. So I'm hugely relieved. It isn't over but at least I know where we are headed and how long to expect this to last.

I am loving no binder! It feels funky for sure after wearing it for almost 2 months. And forget any garment that is tight and has to be pulled up. Thats why I still had the binder on. I couldn't get anything else on w/out tugging over my incision and that open wound.

My first night w/ it felt very strange. I was afraid to turn over though I did. I am very sore this morning. Still debating on perhaps wearing it at night. It was just so nice to know when I was swollen yesterday esp before bed I didn't have the added hell of being in that thing. But having read that so many of you didn't ever wear them I think I'll be ok. Just need to get used to it.Updated on 7 Oct 2011:Well ended up butting my binder back on last night. Makes turning over easier during the night. I slept pretty good. I've kept it off during the day. For the first time I went out today w/out a binder or a walker and I lasted almost an hour before I wanted to go home. I know it will take a while to feel stronger & have less back pain. But at least I got out.

Now time for a nap!Updated on 10 Oct 2011:Rough day today. Can't seem to get out of pain so I just finally decided to take a vicodin and I'm icing my back. Thought I finally found a spanx garment that I could wear but even took that off today to see if that was the problem. I'm short waisted and it seemed to bunch up at my waist as it is a little too big. And my waist likes nothing touching it at the moment.

My wound does not like the tightness over it either. It stings a lot when I walk around but I am still trying to do some walking.

My back is still my biggest issue. I just can't sit comfortably for very long at all. Has anyone else had the incision all the way around? I'd love to know how long it has taken others to recover from the back. I still can't drive or work yet.

I know this will pass and someday I'll recover. Can't wait for that.Updated on 16 Oct 2011:Thought I'd update today since its been about a week. I had one of my sons come visit yesterday and my sister. Totally made my weekend to see them. I was thinking I hadn't seen my boys since I had surgery. They had all come but it was very soon afterwards and I don't remember at all! Those are some pretty strong drugs in the beginning!

Wound has opened about another inch. We kind of knew this area would open cause you could see the yellow thick stuff underneath it. By the way that isn't pus from an infection but it is something your body does in a wound. So still doing my wet to dry saline packing on the wound. It is the entire length of my bikini line. I may post pics so you can see what I'm talking about. It is about 7 in long and a good 1.5-2 in wide and perhaps 1-1.5 deep. We are seeing some improvement in it even though it grew a bit. I'm now praying that's thru growing bigger. I want to see it start shrinking. We've seen some we believe in the width of it. Hope so anyway. It is nearing the sides and I'm just going to believe it is now done growing! I still have stitches up both sides. Not sure when they come out. Rather sick of them after almost 9 weeks.

Still waiting for the scabs to fall off the incision right at the base of my spine. So sore back there but I can't really massage it w the darned scabs still on! Not going to pick them off either. Afraid of causing any harm that way.

Still dealing with sitting issues with my back. Went to movie yesterday w/ an ice pack for my back. Struggled through the whole thing. Not going to the movies again for a while. We avoid going out too due to my back issues. So no restaurants or anything. Just can't take it. At least we are saving money not eating out! lol.

I can't drive yet and am still not working. Luckily I am self employed so I can handle the not working part.

Emotions still run all over the place. It takes nothing to be in tears. I really try to focus on the positives to feel better. I have amazing support from my husband and mother (she lives with us). She takes care of me and I couldn't ask for anyone better!

My goal this next week is to see if I can walk more often. Hopefully our 100 degree days will be behind us.

It's not all bad. I do feel much better and that's something. Just hard knowing it could be another month before I'm more myself again. Just got to hang in there.Updated on 26 Oct 2011:I CAN SHOWER!!! I am so excited! I haven't had a shower in 10 weeks so I'm pretty happy to finally get the go ahead.

My wound is healing nicely w/ the saline packing we've been doing. It could take 2-3+ more weeks to close this way. He offered to stitch me up if I'd rather speed this up but I want nothing to do with that. There is a slight risk of infection that way and then I'd have to go through the wound opening up again and packing it. That would send me into a depression that I just couldn't handle. And I can't tell you how many times in my life I've had the weird medical issues so I'm not willing to gamble that I wouldn't get an infection.

Got all the rest of my stitches out today! So glad! Some hurt like crazy but at least they are now gone.

I'm still dealing with trying to be able to sit better. I am not driving yet either. Little by little I do believe it will get better. I'm walking more and more and that feels great too. Not working either.

Swelling has increased after the walking but I expected that. Overall the swelling has decreased. I still really limit my sodium levels and that has helped too.

I just have to say that I just totally love my doctor. His bedside manner is the best. I've dealt with a lot of depression and he personally calls all the time to see how I am emotionally. If I had a doctor who blew this off I know I'd be curled in a ball crying all the time in a deep depression. I do still cry at times but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am hoping to post new pics soon and will show you the wound too. Maybe it will help someone else out who has to deal with it too.

He told me today that my results will be wonderful. I'm not at all disappointed and he said it is only about 40% of the final result which keeps happening up to a year.Updated on 4 Nov 2011:Finally decided to try and add my wound pics. I wanted to add them in case someone else is dealing w/ an incision that opens up. Mine is large and scared me so much when it first happened. It drained for a few weeks first and then we went to the wet to dry method. You can see the progression of the healing. I wish I could have seen this when it happened as it was hard to believe the wound would close this way. And it got worse before it started to look better. After weeks of heavy depression it is finally lifting as I watch the healing happening. I no longer spend days crying for no reason. Still gets a bit tough to wait it out but I see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it is so much easier to be positive about it.

I know they are gross but sorry it is part of my story and taking the weekly pics has helped me so much. I think another 2-3 weeks and it will be closed.

No matter what the scar turns out to look like I will NOT be having a revision done. I could not take seeing this reopened after doing all of this. Look at all the stretch marks I still have. What's one more scar in this area. I don't care about it.

My doctor did say that I'm only seeing about 40% of my results so far and that this will not ruin the final result. I know I need to wait for 6-12 months for final results and I'm ok with that. Just waiting for my back to heal as rapidly as my front. Even that is slowly getting better.

When I finally take some nice pics I'll post them too. I love the result.

Sorry if I grossed anyone out!Updated on 9 Nov 2011:3 months down now. Just got back from the doctor and am very pleased. My wound is healing very well and should be closed in the next couple of weeks. He cleaned out a lot of the yellow stuff and that always speeds up the process.

I really really really appreciate my doctor and all he's done over the past 3 months. He always makes me feel better when I see him. I told him one of the reasons I've been able to take this extended recovery was because he's always been available by phone and weekly in the office to see me. He knew I was depressed and he didn't blow that off. He mentioned again today how close he was to hospitalizing me due to malnutrition but I followed everything he wanted me to do and I pulled through.

He also asked me today if I would write my story for him to use in his office. He said so many people would benefit from knowing that surgeries don't always go well but that healing does take place and my result will still be terrific. I am happy to do that for him and even happier that Real Self is here since I've been blogging it all along.

Feeling stronger. Walking is increasing and it feels nice. Even my back is feeling a bit better today. I realize that I have to heal at my own rate and I'm at peace with that. Slowly but surely I'll find myself again.

I'll update pics soon. I am trying to get some good ones. I'm not great at taking them myself.Updated on 18 Nov 2011:13 weeks post op. Still dealing w/ wound care. It is getting smaller and smaller so I'm happy about that. I have 3 stitches that are sticking out of my skin. They make me crazy. The doctors office said to leave them alone and they will resolve on their own. They don't hurt or anything and there is no redness so I'm trying to leave them alone.

I've been really increasing my exercise. That feels good. I'm walking about 2 miles now and trying to do that at least 3 times a week or more. I'm doing some weight work w/ my arms. Nothing strenuous but it feels good to do something!

I've found that I like to wear a tight compression tank top when I walk. Feels much better that way. And I wear a lighter compression tank most of the time. My skin has made me crazy since the TT. It is like hypersensitive to touch on my tummy above my belly button. Hate even the touch of soft clothing on it. But if I wear a compression tank top I don't have nearly the same issue. I found some cheap ones in the junior dept of Sears. BOGO brand and they were only $7.50 each and come in many colors. This is what I sleep in now too so they have been a great find.

Does anyone else have the supersensitive skin issues? I haven't seen this mentioned much.

My back is still my biggest issue to date. It is getting better I think. I am feeling more and more in many areas. My flanks still feel pretty numb but less sensitive when I touch them. Hard to explain the feeling. Painful numbness is the lower back & flanks. That's the best way to explain it. More of an irritation then pain really.

I do notice after I walk that my right side from my waist to my hip is swollen. That has been consistent from the beginning. Even my underwear feels tight on that side. I know it is all part of the healing process.

The more I do the more my stomach gets the "violent" stretches or spasms in it. I've seen a few people mention these. They can be brutal. It is like everything pushes against the muscle repair from the inside. I get them all night long since I've been uppping my exercise. Anytime I go to roll over or come out of a deep sleep my stomach spasms. I guess it just doesn't like that 6 inch repair that it has! Happens a lot when I go to stand up too. I've just learned to deal w/ it. I figure they will go away w/ time. When they happen I pull in my legs & suck in my stomach.

I'm still pretty good w/ eating which is so nice. Not dieting. Not gaining either. Just eat what I want and stop when I full. That's something I've always wanted to do w/ my food. Pretty happy to be listening to my body and seeing that it really does know what it wants. I do eat pretty well but if I want fries I have them. I just have a few and that satisfies me. Saying yes to anything I want has taken away the desire to eat like crazy. And I'm still really watching my sodium.

Still not driving. That will come soon. My back is getting better during car rides but I don't want to drive yet. I have a lot of help so I don't have to do this.If I had to I could drive. It would just be a bad experience so I'm choosing to give my body the time it needs. My mom lives w/ us so she does the driving and taking my daughter to & from school but that has always been her "job" as she puts it. I don't have little kids to deal w/. My only child still at home is a 10th grader.

Overall feeling better and stronger by the day. I still have the hospital bed in my living room. Tried to send it back on Monday til I realized I could not lay on our sofa. It hurt too much and I ended up in tears. Too hard and lots of pressure. I have to lay down at times during the day to relieve my back from sitting so we decided it was just as easy to just keep the bed another month. I have to say I felt like a failure having to keep it but it is what it is. I'm in good spirits. No more depression.

Will try and post some new pics today.Updated on 20 Nov 2011:Well I just wrote that I'm not depressed anymore and tonight I've done nothing but cry. Just so tired of my open incision, dressing changes, and not feeling great yet. Everything hurt today and I guess it just got to me.Updated on 23 Nov 2011:Updating my wound pics. I've now been doing this for a full 7 weeks now and it is still large. Ugh. Getting so sick of it but can do nothing but hang in there. My doc says it will look "caved in" for a while and then my body will fill out the area. I just want it closed.

I am praying it isn't another month!

I do need to update my other pics too. I just stink at taking pics and don't like any of them.Updated on 28 Nov 2011:15 weeks now! Can't believe it. So close to 4 months. I do notice the healing taking place. My back is doing better. I can sit for longer. The numbness is there but it isn't painful everywhere anymore. Very grateful for that. And I know it will keep improving even over the years as my nerves reconnect.

Little things I didn't expect are how my skin feels. My stomach hates to be touched so I try to keep compression on it. That made me break out and gave me a rash. I put Bio oil on it and that was not smart. It isn't supposed to be used on broken skin and I know why. It burns like crazy. The skin is hypersensitive and I sure hope that feeling leaves.

I'm also getting a fair amount of pain on my right upper stomach. I have to hold it in a lot especially when I am trying to lay down. There is no bump or anything that protrudes so I'm not sure what is up there. I didn't expect everything to feel so "touchy" after surgery. I guess I thought I'd heal and then feel pretty good. I didn't realize the healing process would take a while for that to happen.

I get lots of tightness and very uncomfortable feelings in my upper ab area. Like my muscles are attached to my rib cage and pulling down all the time especially when I take long walks. I still have to fight to stand up straight due to that. Last week I tried really stretching and since then I've had that pain in my upper right stomach. Probably just pulled something. I won't be doing it again.

I feel "sewn" together well because I have been. Yet I feel like he pushed in my fat and sewed it in there somewhere. I keep half expecting to see it pop back out from my incision. I know that sounds weird but my head can't get over the fact that my gut is gone. I have a little tummy but it is nothing I am ashamed of! Shoot I walk around naked a lot trying to change clothes and get comfy. I NEVER did that before the tuck. I didn't even liked to be naked alone.

I have to share this. I haven't been wearing a normal bra since surgery due to the swelling. I've been wearing an underwire the last few days and my boobs look huge in them. I was talking to my hubby and he finally said " I didn't hear a word you said cause I was staring at your boobs". I cracked up! He also said I was "killing him with hotness!" Makes all of this so much more worth it to hear that. Momentary pain to get long term gain.Updated on 6 Dec 2011:16 weeks today! My wound is closing up rapidly now. So happy about that!!! One side is a tiny hole that we stopped doing the wet to dry dressing on several days ago. It does drain a bit as my dr said it would but will soon be closed. The other side is getting smaller each time we do the changes. Soon we will stop the wet to dry there too. It feels like the home stretch with this wound and I couldn't be happier to see what is happening!

I'm also rapidly improving overall. I've been upping my walking a lot. I'm up to 3.5 miles each day and will be walking 5-6 days a week now. I want to add in weights too. I have not been able to walk like this since before my 2nd son was born in 1991. I am so excited by that change alone!!! When I tried walking in the past my pelvis was always a mess and I couldn't go far or very long. I usually had to go to a recumbent bike or an elliptical. Now I feel so free being able to walk. I know I'll just get stronger and be able to go farther. And this is due to having all that hanging skin removed that just pulled on my pelvis/back & my MR on the front. I could not have improved w/out this TT. Maybe now I can stop living at the chiropractor & massage therapist.

I've tried so often & so long to just get healthy. To get my body back after having my children but was so messed up from it all. I have worked hard to lose weight over and over again over the years but could not keep up the physical activity as I was in pain all the time.

I feel like I have a new lease on life!! I LOVE my body scars and all. I LOVE being able to move it again with out the pain. This is what I was hoping & praying for. It's just taken me 4 months to get where many of you were in 4-6 weeks. That's ok. I am still healing so the improvements will keep happening. Life is good.Updated on 15 Dec 2011:17 weeks post op. Still doing better and better all the time. The wound is still closing slowly but surely. I'm adding the newest wound photos too. Sorry about the hair in them! Nothing I can do about that. One is barely open. It does drain a little but I don't think it will make it too much longer open. The other will probably take a few weeks still.

Today I walked 5 miles!! I am so excited to be getting out so much and walking. Went to the health club on Mon cause it was raining and HATED it! I want to be outside. I live in SoCAL so we do get cold but nothing like the rest of the country is dealing with. And after being inside for so long forget it. I want out! I have friends who walk with me all the time and that really has been nice too.

Body is healing slowly too. I have a stitch or 2 that is trying to pop and causing some issues but no big deal there. My tummy is the most sore when I try and bend forward like to tie my shoes. It is still super sensitive so I wear some kind of compression top under whatever I am wearing still. I do hope that goes away soon. I hate that feeling. By night it is very irritated and I do swell up.

My abs have never been flat all the way down. I've got the big incision issue at the bottom so there is now a big ridge there. Dr says it will fill in eventually.

I do have somewhat of a tummy still. Perhaps it will flatten out. Really I don't care. I have come a long way and really do LOVE how my body looks. I've never been this confident before. Ever. My husband is a happy camper cause I love to be naked now :) We finally have a sex life again and it is wonderful. I'm not that flexible yet...lol...but I will be. And btw...I do believe orgasms are different now more intense. TMI but hey it is
what I'm experiencing!

And now he is working on himself starting in Jan. Wahoo!! He says he has a hot wife and if he doesn't work at it he'll never be able to keep up with me. I adore my hubby. He's the best. I'm thrilled to know he's going to work on himself. I want him healthy so he will be around for a long time. Our sons talked to him and said look how hard I'm working on me and that he should do the same. They are great kids!!

So life is good. I tried on clothes for the first time last week. I didn't buy any yet and can't deal with a waist band quite yet either. I was a 16W before surgery (18-20W at my highest 18 months ago. I can wear a 12 and possibly a 10 soon. It almost fit. I was a 10 when I met my hubby in 1985. And I'm still healing so who knows.Updated on 21 Dec 2011:18 weeks PO now. Pretty much the same. Closing up slowly. One side looks almost closed. The other side still has a few weeks to go I think.

Still improving every day. Still walking and enjoying it. Want to start weights soon.

Been baking for Christmas lately and eating too many sweets. Glad I am walking too. Not making cookies though as they are too much of a temptation.

Hope everyone is healing well!! Merry Christmas!

Dec 27th Update I have a nasty cold. Picked it...

Dec 27th Update

I have a nasty cold. Picked it up for Christmas. I knew it was coming since most of my company was sick and they all mess w/ my laptop. MY ABS HURT!!!! Tons of coughing/sneezing and it is wearing me out. Super bloated & swollen. Ugh. Looking forward to this going away. I just took a vicodin. Not for the pain but because it can stop coughing. Hope that works out and I can sleep.

I am grateful that it took til week 19 before I had to deal w/ a nasty cold. Can't imagine feeling this way with a fresh tummy tuck!

Other than that I had a great Christmas and have been feeling really good. Incision still closing. I leave for a business trip to TX on Jan 11th so praying I am well by then. It is business but lots of fun too and my hubby goes with me. I need to shop but am not feeling up to that at the moment.

Happy New Year!! 20 weeks Post Op. Feeling...

Happy New Year!! 20 weeks Post Op.

Feeling pretty good these days. Cough has almost gone now ~ thank goodness!

My incision is still not completely closed. I stopped the wet to dry dressings on New Year's Day. And I just stopped even putting a pad over it. It looks like it is scabbing over slowly and there is no drainage so that is fine by me. Saw the PS on Wed and he was happy w/ how it was going. I have a big indentation where the incision was bad. It is still swollen there and below it. Dr said it will all slowly go down still and I will see a lot of improvement there and that the indentation will gradually fill in too. I want nothing to do w/ scar revision so it is nice hearing how that will pan out. The area is still tender but I think that will get better too. It is rather nice not having a big pad in my pants all the time.

I've been really pushing myself to get back to normal. I've been wearing an underwire bra and no tank or anything on my stomach. Feels weird but I have to get my life back. I don't want to wear these crappy stretchy bras forever. Even though the commercials claim all this support they do NOT deliver. They are good for when I need a break but shirts don't fit unless I wear a normal bra.

I'm also wearing some new jeans that I bought. I still have to be careful of the waist band as it is still pretty tender. So nice to wear something that I feel amazing in! Bought a bunch of new clothes :) Size 12 and they are big but I'll take that for now.

Now that I've had my TT my boobs look HUGE! I'm a DD so they aren't small but I didn't realize how big there were. It is rather fun putting on clothes and liking the whole look in the mirror. My husband is loving it too :)
Still have to get the "old me" out of my head. I was used to wearing bigger shirts to hide me. Now I'm starting to let my shape show and that feels just amazing.

Still get swelling in the evening. Nothing like I did in the past. Pants & bra get uncomfortable after a while and the sensitivity on my abdominal skin increases. I know this will continue to improve over time.

I go to TX on Wed for my business trip. I can't wait to go and see my friends who I haven't seen since before my surgery.

Life is good and I'm so happy I had this done!

Hope you all are doing well too!

Been a while since I updated. I'm feeling pretty...

Been a while since I updated. I'm feeling pretty good. Life is getting more and more back to normal. Still swelling daily especially on the right side. Not horrendous or anything but just still noticeable. Underwire bras get uncomfortable in the evenings but I still wear them daily to get more and more used to it. Still get pain on the inside. More like nerve pain I think.One step at a time.

My wound is almost closed. I no longer pay attention to it very much because I don't have to pack it or dress it. I still have a ridge above the wound that is slowly going down. I know it will be fine in the future.

I feel good about myself. I feel sexy and beautiful!! That's a first for me and I'm enjoying it. It is nice to no longer feel like the biggest person in the room.

Best part is I'm still shrinking. Every 3-4 weeks I can feel a difference and sure enough I try on clothes and they are loose. Love it!

My skin is still having issues on my stomach so I haven't been able to wear my actual size yet. I go up a size so I can handle the "feeling" around my waist. That's getting better too. Someday I'll be able to actually shop & buy the right size. For now, I'm doing just fine.

My recent trip to TX was a total bust. I was sick w/in 6 hours of arriving. Got fever, chills, headache, bodyaches & it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so bummed but what can you do. I missed a lot of the conference but at least got to hang out w/ some great friends which was nice.

My daughter was just diagnosed w/ Celiac's Disease. That means she can no longer eat gluten(wheat, barley or rye). She also can't eat soy, dairy or eggs. It's been tough trying to figure everything out around here. My husband and I are getting tested too since we each have a gene for it that was passed on to her. I've joined her in not eating any of the things she can't have. It's a huge change cause gluten is in so many things as is soy. Hoping she feels better soon. I know since eliminating those items I do feel better.

OK that's it. Hope you all are feeling great too.

I've been meaning to write this for some time. My...

I've been meaning to write this for some time. My surgery was 1 year ago tomorrow. Can't believe the difference the year has made!! I had been looking into getting a tummy tuck done when I came upon Dr. Pousti's site on the internet. I was drawn to it because it was so thorough. You could see the operation up close and personal. Most of my questions were addressed somewhere on his patient site. I am a researcher by nature so I had been viewing plastic surgery sites for months. I never contacted a single doctor because I just didn't like what I saw or read. I even had a friend who referred me to someone for a different procedure but when I went to that doctor's site I was less than impressed. I got up the nerve and made an appointment to meet with Dr. Pousti about getting a tummy tuck.

He was just wonderful to talk to. He has a very gentle, kind nature that I wish more doctors would take as they talk to nervous patients! He didn't have that arrogant doctor attitude that is such a turn off for me. And he understands the extreme embarrassment that you feel showing someone your most hated body parts.

A bit of background on me. I was 47 at the time of surgery. I had lost 60 pounds but still had this huge hanging stomach that pulled on my pelvis all the time. I lived at the chiropractor & massage therapy. Every single week. I was always in pain as I had damaged my pelvis delivering my 2nd child 21 years before. I was unable to do much walking as my pelvis was always out of alignment and hurting. I was frustrated as I was trying so hard to get healthy and my body always held me back. Plus no matter how much weight I lost I still could not wear most clothes and would hid under bigger tops. Life was very frustrating and disappointing. I wanted more and knew surgery could change many things for me. I just had to get through it first.

First I'll say I was not someone looking to be a bikini model. That has never been a goal and still isn't. Also, scars weren't that much of an issue either as my body was covered in scars from childbirth. I was happily willing to trade a few more scars to get rid of my very hated flap hanging down!

Dr. Pousti suggested an extended tummy tuck. He said I could have a great outcome by cutting me all the way around and removing the excess from the front and back. He could sculpt it for a better result w/ lipo on my flanks & then doing the muscle repair. I trusted his judgement and quick frankly I had a lot of stuff to remove so that made sense to me.

That's what we went with. I was pretty nervous & scared the day of surgery. I'd always dreamed of having it done but that doesn't take away the fear of going through it too. I went down the night before to get marked and then surgery was bright and early the next day. I was staying that night in a nearby hotel and had hired a nurse to get through the night too at the doctor's urging. If Dr. Pousti recommended it then I did it.

Surgery went smoothly. I don't remember too much other than getting back to the hotel. I was very difficult to walk and I was not feeling great. I had labor like contractions that would not calm down for a hours and my nurse called the doctor and they doubled my valium. Once that was done I was in much better shape. I believe he removed 12 pounds of skin/fat, 4 liters of fat & did a 6 inch muscle repair.

My recovery was rough. I was very sick from the meds I was taking and had zero appetite for the first time in my life. I could eat nothing without feeling terrible heartburn & nausea. Dr. Pousti addressed every issue I had. He never blew off an issue I had or waited to respond to it. He called constantly to check on me. And I mean that. He would call until he talked to me even it it was a holiday weekend or if he had talked to my mother or husband. And throughout the week his staff would call just to see how I was.

I did have some complications. Due to my lack of eating (and most likely lack of nutrition) my incision started to come open in the front after about a month of so. I was getting very depressed too. Something that the doctor did discuss before the surgery as it was so common. He also took it seriously. I was a mess and crying a lot of the time. I wasn't able to get around well and now my incision was opening. They had to cut the stitches and let the fluid drain out. My entire bikini line opened after a few weeks. It looked huge and ugly. Dr. Pousti told me I was not far from needing to be hospitalized if I didn't pick up the eating/drinking so that I could recover. He laid out what he wanted me to eat ~ protein shakes and lots of them. That's just what I did. And other really good quality foods & a good vitamin too.

I never had an infection or a seroma. This was my body not being able to heal from lack of nutrition. Dr. Pousti offered me a few solutions on how to deal with the opening. We could pack it w/ wet to dry saline gauze changes a few times a day. That would take months for it to close. Or we could go back into surgery and he could reopen it and close it again. I opted for the first choice. I couldn't bear the thought of surgery again even if it was going to be much more minor. He told me to trust him and that my body would heal from the inside out and from the sides in toward the center. That's exactly what happened.

I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing at that point. I had many ups & downs emotionally and cried a lot. I saw him weekly and was never made to feel like I was a pain-in-the-butt patient. On the contrary they were all very welcoming & concerned over my welfare.

As I slowly recovered I started to push myself physically too so I could gain strength. I read others on the boards here recovering so well by 6 weeks when it would take me 6 months to get to the same spot.

By January I finally stopped having to do the wet to dry changes and over the next few weeks my incision closed completely. My body took a good 9 months to heal before I could stand most clothing touching it. I wore yoga pants forever. Dr. Pousti said it could take a year or even more to fully heal and again he is right on the money with his advice. I still feel the healing taking place even now. I stopped comparing myself to others as it didn't matter because my journey to healing was different and longer and that would just have to be ok.

I am now THRILLED with my new body! I have so much confidence in clothes and even naked. I don't hide anymore. I am free to be me! I'm not perfect by any means. Never was before either. But I'm whole again. I can move again. I can walk 5+ miles at a time with out any issues. I couldn't do a mile before surgery!!! I am still working on getting stronger. I have had to modify my movements as I'm healing. Probably because of so many pelvic issues for years. So I'm learning a new way to get fit & healthy and I know I will get there.

It has been a long year. I thought I was prepared for all I'd go through but you can't know how you'll end up healing. I can say I'm 100% positive I had the right doctor. He walked me through some of the worst days of my life and I'm grateful for that. He also changed my life by changing my body. Again how do you thank someone for that?? He has been wonderful to work with and his staff has been the best. Friendly & caring. Just what I wish all doctor's offices would be like.

So if you are thinking about having plastic surgery then I urge you to give Dr. Pousti a visit or a call. You could not be in better more capable hands!
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

I don't think you could be in better hands. Awesome doctor. Would not leave town until he knew I was ok. Oct 10,2011 update.: I wanted to update this now that I'm at 8 weeks PO. I have a rather larger opening in my incision. My doctor has been on it immediately. He has always shown concern & compassion to what I have been through. He reassures me that I will heal and that I will still have a fantastic result. And I believe him. He also calls me constantly to check on me - even on a Sunday and also a holiday. He doesn't just want know how my wound is doing or the pain level. He also asks how I'm doing emotionally. I could not ask for a better doctor and feel like I'm in the best hands.

Updated on 15 Aug 2012:
My review says it all. I think he's the best there is! Kind, compassionate & extremely talented doctor. I trusted him fully & he delivered!

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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