Before deciding whether to have any surgery done, I discussed it with my regular doctor and a few ladies I knew who had undergone these procedures. My doctor recommended this website as a way to read about "the good, the bad, and the ugly". I read dozens of reviews on this website (rated "worth it" and "not worth it"), and they were very helpful in understanding both the technical and practical aspects of plastic surgery, including selecting a doctor, things to do to prepare ahead of time, what to expect in recovery, etc.
Like many others, I once had a decent, proportional shape (think classic glass Coke bottle), but lost it over time. In my case, following spinal surgery and a decade-plus of no ab workouts allowed (= Coke can). My trunk shape bothered me the most, but because I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to pain, I decided that if I was going to have surgery done, I would need to do everything at once.
I have always had "pendulous" breasts (even as a young teen), but after a 55lb gain/loss and 6mos of breast feeding my only child, they were pretty deflated. Add the effects of nearly twenty years of gravity, and the amount of suspension that was required on a daily basis had become pretty ridiculous. These four photos were taken the morning of surgery. Definitely not great looking.
Surgery day went well. The arrival and prep were quick and efficient-- the only delay was for a fire alarm that sounded just as the nurses were rolling me toward the OR. The procedures took about 4 hours total, and although I woke up feeling sore, it was manageable. Hubby took me home about 90 mins after waking up. (At the time, I felt like I was being rushed to leave, but everything has gone well, so that might have just been my perception at the time.)
I left with one drain at my right hip and a pain pump, and went home to my power lift recliner. The drain wasn't overly annoying, and I would strongly recommend both the pain pump and the recliner. (My hubby found the recliner for sale in the local newspaper's classified ads-- we bought it specifically for this surgery and will resell it once I'm recovered.) My doc covered all the bandages with large tape squares (about 6in squares), so if I had felt up to it, I could have showered right away. (I felt good enough to wash my own hair in the kitchen sink, but not good enough to climb a dozen stairs to get to the shower.)
I took the recommended 2 Percocet pills every 4 hours until my post op appointment, then transitioned to 1 pill every 4-5 hours, and now on day 3, I'm taking 1/2 pill every 5-6 hours. I plan to switch to over the counter pain medicine after my shower tonight. (No, I don't have a high pain tolerance-- I just really hate taking pain meds of any kind.)
I went to my first follow up yesterday, two days post op. The nurse removed the binder and all the tape squares and gauze. No pain with that (thanks probably to the pain pump), but hubby was a little grossed-out by all the bloody gauze. She removed the two pain pump leads (felt weird but didn't hurt). She gave me a mirror so that I could see the incisions-- I was very happy to see how low the TT incision is placed, and am happy with the first looks at my belly button and lifted boobs / reduced areolas. The doctor came in, looked at the incisions (he was very happy with the way they looked), and he clipped the stitch holding the drain tube and removed it. (That also felt weird, but didn't hurt, but I've read about very different experiences on this website. I was putting out