I Have the Whole Map of the US on my Stomach - Carmel, IN

I decided to start my review because I have read...

I decided to start my review because I have read so many of yours and you all have really helped me. I have been wanting to get my stomach fixed since my first son was born 25 years ago. He was huge at 9 lbs 6 oz and I had a c-section so that pretty much tore me up. I already had a mess of stretch marks and loose skin and then I had two more babies, both were 9 lbs and now I have a whole map of the US, including all the rivers and streams, on my stomach. I work out at least 3 times a week, riding my bike, in the gym, yoga, pilates and nothing but a good surgeon is going to get rid of this mess.

I really struggled with the idea of spending so much money on what I thought was vanity but then I looked in my closet and thought, wait a minute, I have more than $6k in clothes, shoes, and coats that end up worn out or donated. Aren't clothes and shoes just another type of vanity so why am I balking at spending that much on my own body.

I also struggled with trading one version of Frankenstein for another. Not only do I have loose skin and stretch marks but I also have vitiligo so my skin issues are not going to be completely solved with surgery. Like everyone else I will be left with a scar and I just wasn't sure if a scar was going to be better than the stretch marks. But then I thought about getting rid of a bunch of loose skin, lose the muffin top, and most importantly feeling much better about myself.

So after a serious talk with myself I am willing to take the risk and have the surgery. Right now the part that scares me the most is the healing. It worries me that I won't heal properly, get an infection, have a would separation or something else that will make it tough to heal. Also, I am not a good patient. I will have a hard time laying around and letting my body rest. I'm gonna have to work on that.

I will keep everyone posted on my progress and eventually I will post pictures but I'm not ready for everyone to see that yet.

Good Luck Everyone!

39 more days

November 18th is going to be here before I know it. I decided to take off some extra weight that has been hanging around and have goal of loosing at least 12 pounds before surgery. So far I am down 9 so I think I will make the 12 and hopefully a little more. Ideally I would like to be around 145 by the time Dr. Turkle works her magic on me.

I have read lots of reviews and it seems like the better shape you are in before surgery the easier the recovery and healing. I work out three times a week and am thinking I may add another day each week of strength training for the month prior to surgery to make sure I am as fit as I can be.

I have been looking in the mirror and can't believe I will be rid of all this saggy, wrinkled skin in just a few short weeks. I am starting to get impatient an can't wait to get this done. I have been considering doing something with my breasts at the same time. I nursed three kids and am 53 years old so the girls are looking a little tired. But, I really don't want implants so while a lift would help I don't think the results would be dramatic enough to be worth the money, pain, or scars. I am going to talk to the doctor about options during my pre-op appointment and see what she says about it.

I am thinking I will take some before pictures in the next couple of days. I do want a record of the changes my body will go through, I just not sure I want to see what I really look like in a photo....ugh.

Well, good luck everyone!

One month to go

31 days from now I will be on the flat side and I am getting nervous. I think my next step is to take pictures to remind myself why I am doing this and then maybe I will have more courage.

I keep typing things an then deleting them because I think they sound stupid and weak. I just need to suck it up an go for it.

Some before pix

4 weeks lefts

So I am having serious second thoughts. Why am I doing this? No one but me will ever see the results and I have lived it it for 25 years. I'm going to be 54 in January, been divorced for 10 years and long past the point of being attractive to men so what is the point? It's a lot of risk and money so I can look in the mirror and "feel better about myself". I don't feel bad about myself now.

I don't have to make a final decision until Nov 4th and I am seriously thinking I am not going to do it.

Had a bad day

I reread my previous post and boy was I whiney. I was having a really bad day, hell bad week, and took it out here. I am 3 weeks out from my surgery. Three Fridays from right now I will be flat and probably pretty sleepy :). I talked to my kids last night about what it's going to take to help me the first couple of days and they are totally supportive. They range in age form 25 to 16 and so they can handle mom not doing everything around the house

I have my pre-op appointment on Friday Nov 4th and I plan on going shopping that day to pick up all my supplies. I just hope I don't forget anything. I am only taking 10 days off following surgery so I will go back the Monday after Thanksgiving. I have a desk job so I should be ok but the short time at home is making me a little nervous. Because this is voluntary, I can't take sick time or any kind of leave without loosing my job so between the holiday and 4 days of vacation I will be off work for a week. I hope that will be enough.

I am nervous, excited, happy, and a little scared. Wish me luck ladies!

Pre-op DONE!

So I went to the office yesterday, got all my pre-op instructions and paid for my surgery. This is REAL, folks! It still hasn't quite sunk in that I am going to do this. Still a little scared, I have to stop looking at pictures of ladies who have had a challenging outcome, they make my apprehension worse. I know it can happen and I wish the best for them but I need to keep a positive attitude.

Today I am going to for supplies: spanx, anti-constipation meds, bed wedges, and anything else I can think of. I have been making a list this morning and getting more excited. I am actually going to have a flat stomach again after 25 years of sagging mush!!!! WooHoo

I am going to post pics again the day of surgery with all the markings and probably day 1 post op. Everyone's photos and stories have helped me so much that I want to give back to those of you who are still deciding.

It's getting REAL!

Seven. More. Days

Friday November 18th is the big day and it's going to be life changing. Lots of emotions!
Excitement
Fear
Impatience
Excitement -- yea, I know, but I am really excited :)
Nervous -- mostly that my family will be willing and able to help me when I need it.

I have dealt with this saggy , wrinkled mess for 25 YEARS and it's going to be gone. Realty has not sunk in yet.

I have all my stuff:
Medicine for nausea
Blood thinners
Cleansing solution for my incision site
Colase
Magnesium Citrate
Muscle Relaxer
Bed Wedge system -- I don't own a recliner
Bandages
Tape
Protein shakes
3 types of compression garments
And we pick up some heavy duty pain meds the day of surgery

I am ready, bring it on!

Tomorrow is The Day!

I have to be at the surgery center by 7 am, procedure starts at 9 am. I am just hours away!

Wish me luck ladies. I will keep you posted and have new pictures by tomorrow night.

Day 0

I did it! Arrived at the surgery center at 7 am and after changing, taking some meds, and getting marked up, I was wheeled back to surgery. The staff was great and made me feel very comfortable. I remember falling asleep and then I was waking up in recovery. I remember waking up about noon. So the surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

I was home by 1:30, I don't live farm from the center. My kids has bee fabulous, my oldest son drove me and my daughter has bee great, really spoiling me. I have been walking around the house whenever I am awake. The pain is tolerable, I honestly think the lipo hurts worse than the muscle repair or the TT incision.

I am drinking lots of water, don't have much of an appetite but have been drinking protein shakes to make sure I get protein I need to heal.

I haven't seen my stomach yet, but the doctor told me I might have a very small vertical incision because my old belly button sight would probably fall right above my horizontal incision. That made me sad but I won't know what it looks like until tomorrow when I shower. Yep, I get to shower on Day 1 post op YEA! At that time I will take pictures so we can all see how things look.

I am headed to sleep now, the pain meds are starting to take over.

Thanks to all the ladies who sent me wishes of good will, I really appeciate the support.

Post Op Day 1

Things are going ok today. Had a shower and it was going well until I got light headed and dizzy. Had to sit down for a few minutes and then it got better. I was able to take some pictures. The bruising on my sides is from Lipo. I honestly think that hurts worse than the TT incision. BTW the incision looks GREAT! Thin, straight, and low. I am already swelling a little and stomach feels weird, really hard and numb.

My daughter is fantastic and really taking care of me, I couldn't do this without her.

Day 2

Yesterday ended up being pretty tough. I had muscle spasms in my abdomen for several hours last night. That was incredibly painful and unexpected. I had been only taking 1/2 a pill every 4 hours for pain and had to up the dosage to a full pill. Between that and another medicine the doctor gave me for nerve pain, the spasms stopped and I feel much better this morning. I was able to get out of bed, make a pot of coffee and now I am relaxing and drinking a cup.

I haven't had a BM yet but I don't have much of an appetite either so I don't feel bloated or uncomfortable. I am taking a stool softener in the hope that I won't get constipated. If I haven't gone by Tuesday afternoon I have a bottle of magnesium citrate to drink.

I will take more pictures today and post them later

Binder Break

Not sure if I should but I am taking a binder break for a couple of hours. It got so tight that I just couldn't stand it anymore. I was still using the one from the doctor. I has two zippers, a velcro crotch and it was poking me in all the wrong places. I won't leave it off for very long but I need a break. I found out that it's way easier to move around with it off, go figure.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I am really tired of the velcro crotch and will put on a different one before bed but I had to get that thing off for a while.

Day 3

Not much change today, bruises are coming out and I am swelling

Week 1

This first week has seen slow and steady progress. My ability to get around, pain, and mood are all better. I am more mobile but it does make me tired and that scares me because I have to go back to work on Monday. I am only taking Tylenol now and am not going back to anything stronger. Constipation is better with the help of a bottle of magnesium citrate.

I am walking straighter but not fully upright. Between the swelling and the tightness of my stomach I am sure it will be another week before I am fully upright. Swelling, that is an issue no one fully prepares you for. I knew I would swell but OMG I have never experienced anything like this. My stomach is so hard and unyielding. It's weird and uncomfortable and my left side is more swollen than my right so I look lopsided.

My bruising is substantial. I bruise easily and my doctor has me on a blood thinner for the first 10 days so that makes it worse. I am every color in the rainbow right now and it is fading very slowly. I think most of it is from the lipo based on where it is but my stomach around my incision is bruised too.

Seroma

So today was eventful. I expected to be swollen but my stomach was to tight and hard and getting bigger every day that I decided to give the doctors office a ring and find out what they thought. Long story short, I went in and she pulled about 40cc of fluid off my lower abdomen right above my incision. The bad part is I wasn't nearly as numb as I had hoped. It helped a lot but I ended up spending the rest of the day sitting in a office chair and it feels like the fluid is back.

My TT was drainless so there isn't anyplace for the fluid to go except to be reabsorbed. I am hoping that after a night of sleep the swelling goes down. I really don't want to get another needle or two in the stomach.

Everything else is going ok, I went back to work on Monday. Like everyone else, I am still hunched over, the bruises from the lipo are fading but still there, and the entry points for the lipo are still sore. None of that is unusual so I think I am on track. The nice part is that when the swelling does go down, I am going to have a very nice shape, I already have a very curvy waistline and am really pleased with that.

2 weeks post op

Things that are going well, I have more energy, I am walking straighter, I have almost no pain, the incision seems to be healing well, my belly button is going to be cute. Things that are average, my stomach is numb and hard, I still have scabs on my incision, my stomach is really tight. Things that kinda suck, I have So. Much. Swelling. I can't wear any of my pants, I am still sleeping only on my back, I wake up with a really bad headache every night.

More Fluid

I went in for a check up today and the Dr pulled more fluid off my stomach. She only drained the left side and I don't have any feeling back on that side so it didn't hurt at all. She got about half as much as the first time. Then I ran a bunch of errands, got my hair cut and got some Christmas shopping done. I feel so much better today, it's such a relief to start feeling more like normal.

I still have swelling and that is part of the process. I just need to remember to be patient because I really think my results are going to be fabulous.
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

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