5 weeks post op Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift /with Implants - Charlotte, NC

I am 43 years old and just lost 83 lbs this year....

I am 43 years old and just lost 83 lbs this year. This was all done on my own with healthy eating and portion control by weighing and measuring my food to stick to calorie count of no more than 1200 calories a day and some light exercise. I am 5'6 and weigh 145 lbs. I have been as big as a size 18/20 and bra size of 40G and my highest weight reached was 248 lbs but when i was at 228 when i decided it was time to change my life. I decided that whatever i weighed at the end of the year would be the weight i would maintain. My surgery is scheduled exactly one year to the date of my healthy life style change.
I have been married for 24 years and have a 21 year old son.. they have been very supportive of my decision for surgery.
Weight gain and loss have definitely taken a toll on my breast..right now i'm a saggy 36DD and size 8 pants. Although i look and feel good in clothes I know what i look like underneath and i feel i have worked so hard to get where i am that i deserve to treat myself so i can feel even better about myself. I think my boobs will still be a decent size after lift hopefully a perky 36D and looking forward to a flatter stomach. It was a tough decision as to weather or not i should get implants but 3 out of 4 PS said they did not feel i needed it :) They also said i really don't need liposuction . All 4 surgeons were very nice but i chose Dr Liszka because there was just something in each of the other surgeons that made me second guess them. I would definitely recommend consulting with a few PS if possible.
My pre -op is in 2 days on the 19th and my surgery on Jan 2, 2014...As excited as i am, i am equally nervous. I took a leave of absence from work for 18 days( i work in retail) and hope that my incisions and swelling have healed enough to feel comfortable going back in that time frame. The only kind of surgery i have ever had was getting all four wisdom teeth out at one time...so sometimes i think i'm nuts for electing to have surgery, LOL. I have been reading reviews on this site for a few months now and it has really been so helpful in figuring out what to expect and basically i know it's going to be painful and difficult but it does get better. I know i am rambling on on ...sorry but it definitely helps to get it out. I will post again after my pre- op on thursday.

Went for pre op today 12/19/13

All i can say is i'm not nearly as nervous as i thought i was going to be. The appointment was with the PS Nurse Leslie...and she was great. She really went over all the information so that we would know what to really expect the day of surgery and also recovery. My husband and i are calling it "FrankenBOOBY- BELLY" because of how swollen and boxy i will be for awhile...i find it easier to joke about it. I had to sign a bunch of papers that explain all the things that could happen but that didn't scare as much as i thought it would because of all the research I've already done. Got all my prescriptions filled(4) and bought a multivitamin and vitamin C because they wanted me to start taking that now to help build the immune system and promote better healing. Leslie took my before photos and i had my husband take them too so that i can post them today...Let's just say that the blue panty is not very forgiving, and you can certainly see why a breast lift is absolutely necessary!!!Oh and i can totally use a thigh lift my legs were so heavy and there is just so much loose skin but that's for another time. These pictures are really depressing but it what it is :( I am off for a week before surgery so i will have time to get the house in order and make sure i have everything i will need...all i can do now is count down the days and think positive thoughts :)

thinking again ...ugh!

So i woke up this morning and i'm only 1/2 lb away from my 85 lbs lost before surgery which is awesome but then i can't help think "are my boobs going to be big enough ?" I really think i will be 36D when done because i'm snug in 36dd and that is definitely a good size. For years i have suffered buying bras and i just want it to be right off the rack 36D but yet i can't help but think should i do a small implant but yet i really don't want implants....I guess i'm going to be driving this crazy train until Jan 2...god help me and my poor hubby :)

Making myself crazy...hopefully PS can get me in on Monday for secondary consult

So i have not been able to stop thinking about adding implants to my breast lift. I'm not looking to be huge but just a well filled out shape. At first i was so set against it because i felt like i worked so hard to get where i'm at with my weight that i should just have the excess saggy skin removed. I was 152 when i went for consult and now i'm 143 and will still probably lose a little more, i'm afraid i will be too small and not be happy.
But on the other hand(this is where i'm on the crazy train)
1.I don't want to look heavy
2. Would only want Silicone implant
3. Cost is a factor Hoping for no more than $1,500 but assuming more like $2,000. If more than that i think i will just stick with the lift and wear push up bras when needed.
Hopefully i can get in on Monday so he can reevaluate my breast since i've lost more weight since my consult...I really just need peace of mind one way or the other.
Oh and of course this really sucks because my surgery is Thursday...so i really need to be seen asap.
Oh and the good news is that i picked out my panties to wear for drawing my scar line on surgery day...yay!!!
Also I think i'm about 85% prepared for recovery just some fresh produce to buy and some cooking to do the day before surgery.

PS squeezed me in for 2:45 today...whew!!!

I am not one who usually worries about things but this has been weighing so heavily on mind. Even though i'm 85% sure my PS is going to say i will beautiful results without implants I feel it's really important that i see him for a secondary consult just to make sure we are on the same page as to what to realistically expect for my results. Although Leslie the PS Nurse was awesome on my pre op visit...I think if i would've have seen Dr. Liszka that day i would've have addressed any concerns at that point.
I am already so much more at ease just knowing that they are making time to see me to address my concerns :) I will update tonight with the final verdict, lol.

Today was like being on a roller coaster...

Let me start by saying i'm so happy i went in today for secondary consult...Dr. Liszka and staff are really so wonderful!!!
Ok so expressed my concerns about my volume because of weight loss and PS did agree i had lost volume since he last saw me in October. I asked him to show me where he thought my boobs would be and size...the placement is awesome I was really very excited however because of the lost volume he said i will probably end up only being a C cup( he even mentioned full B) well that seemed ridiculous to me at the moment so naturally i had to ask about his opinion on implants because i was really hoping to be a D cup.
Dr. said i would do great with implants to achieve the D cup i'm looking for and although he thinks i would do fine with saline i told him i would really only want silicone. He said he would use 250cc's under the muscle.
So now i'm so happy and giddy with joy and relief...my boobs are going to be amazing UNTIL i met with Sherry (office manager sweet as pie) and she told me the cost$$$$$$$$$$. It would be an additional $3840...for real...i asked her seriously? Apparently it's not just the cost of the silicone implants $2100 but the additional surgeon fee $935 and then the combined extra anesthesia & facility fee at $805. As ridiculous as that amount was I still thought about doing it even though i know i really can't afford it.I called the hubby on my way home and he confirmed it...:he said" that's ridiculous are they serious...i don't know how we can do it...do you just want to wait a little longer to have it done?" HELL NO ...i'm doing this now!!!
Naturally at this point i just want to bawl my eyes out... i literally felt so "DEFLATED"
It took me about an hour to wrap my head around this situation...I don't like to dwell on what i can't change...time to move on.
So now i have reasoned with myself that the reason i am having any type of surgery at all is because i was fat and now i'm not. I lost 84 lbs in one year on my own and now i'm smaller and just need to get rid of all the excess skin. The only reason i had big boobs is because it was all fat. So i will take my Perky C cup( i hope) and flat belly and be thrilled because i will look better than i ever have.
Now if by the time my husband comes home he has robbed a bank or something then i'm all in....hahahahahahaha!!!!
Thank you all for going through this with me :)

Back on the coaster for a short ride

So hubby called on his way home and said we will figure it out...My response probably not what he expected " oh come on i moved on and finally made peace with this and it's really just too much money " so for the last two hours i have been going back and forth because i truly convinced myself i didn't need the implants. Here is my issue i want the size D cup but there is a part of me that really doesn't want implants. So i did such good job talking myself out of it that i can't seem to talk myself back into it, lmfao!!!

Going with Silicone 250cc under the muscle ...amusement park in my head closed!!!

So i called PS office first thing this morning and told them i will just stick to my original plan. Then Sherry called me back and asked me if it was because of the sticker shock when she told me the cost ...i told at first it was was that i was ok with out them. She told me that Dr. Liskza could see how excited i was yesterday when we talked about the implants and doesn't want me to make a decision based on money...he just wants me to be happy with my results. At this point i just didn't know what to do so i called my hubby ..he said it's your body do whatever you want but you keep going back and forth and i don't want you to have any regrets. That was it no regrets ...once and done. At this point i had been on the roller coaster so many times i couldn't even think straight ...he called Sherry and they worked out the details.
Dr. Liskza and his staff are awesome!!!!

The final countdown...

I can't believe it...I am 19 hours out from arriving at surgery center(only 25 min away). My surgery is scheduled for 7:15-7:30 am..let's hope it goes as planned. The surgery is going to be about 5- 5.5 hours... TT w/MR , BL & BA. Aunt Flo arrived last night right on schedule but thankfully because of the BC pills i take it's hardly even there. They told me not worry it happens all the time. I'm just sitting here kind of not sure what to do with myself. I thought it would be nice to make a turkey breast and some sides so my husband will have some easy meals to eat the next few days...I will definitely eat the turkey but not all the other stuff, finishing off the laundry, getting my meds and everything i need for the morning ready... God i hope i'm ready for this...my plan is lots of rest, healthy foods & lots of water and taking all my meds. I don't have a recliner but have lots of pillows on hand to prop me up and for under my legs, non stick gauze and paper tape, baby wipes,tissues, stool softener , pads, chapstick, neck pillow, zip front sweatshirts, lounge pants, soft bras. bigger panties,saltines, ginger ale,medicine chart,heating pad for my back,thermometer. I know this is going to be really tough at first but it will get better...all you RS women have survived the pain and discomfort and so will I.
My hubby and i went out last night for dinner and movie. I imagine i won't feel up to date night for a while :(
Happy New Year!!!

Some random pics from the last couple of days

Just wanted to take pics at different angle so i can compare before and afters...wish i was bloated but oh well. Also pics to show how much weight i have lost before surgery.

meant to say wish i "wasn't " bloated...

I wish i wasn't bloated in pics for better comparison but i guess a hanging belly is a hanging belly, LOL

Expect everything you read to be true so you will be prepared

Surgery went really well...Dr. Liskza did a great job!!! I weighed 142.5 surgery morning and have been really swollen since then,it is very uncomfortable but so worth it. I had my first BM yesterday thank god because it was really making me cranky, lol, Definitely recommend buying a bottle of magnesium citrate it worked better than anything else for me.
My hubby helped me shower on Sunday and it was exhausting but did feel good. I have been taking all meds as prescribed and have stuck with only one pain pill at a time. I haven't really had much of an appetite but making sure i eat 3 times a day and drinking lots of water.

Also just want say i'm so happy i decided to go with the BA in addition to BL...even though i'm swollen they look like they will be perfect size for me...YAY!!!!! silicone 250cc in right breast and 225cc in left (was slightly bigger) for symmetry. The scar for TT looks really good too!
The pics i'm putting up are from right before shower.

The swelling and back pain are really bothering me

i have been getting up and moving around probably every 1.5 hours. i keep readjusting my binder because i'm just uncomfortable...any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

In the hospital ...

Well turns out the pain was not from my binder ... I have 3 blood clots... 2 in my right lung (excruciating ) and 1 in my leg( felt like a Charlie horse ) as of right now the only way to control the pain in the lung is with IV medication. Hoping to be home by Monday.
Yesterday was my one week post op visit which went well... Took off bandages and took out some stitches ... Everything looks to be healing nicely :)

PS came to see me today in hospital

Dr. Liszka came to check on me today... Said every thing looks good... No fluid build up under TT... So thankful because I'm on bed rest. I should be getting out in a couple of days ... I am going crazy just laying around!!'

finally home and back to working on my recovery

Released yesterday from hospital...yay! Sent me home on blood thinner for the next six months, still hard to believe this happened. My tummy tuck recovery has been set back a bit due to all the pain i was having from blood clot in lung and then from the back pain caused by hospital bed it has been almost impossible for me to not hunch when walking or even standing.
Today however i feel like a new woman...one pain pill and a good night sleep did wonders for me!!!
I probably did more than i should have but i was feeling so good and there is a lot of catching up to do. I am wearing my binder and a compression garment during the day but i think i will take off binder for sleeping.
The pics are from today after my shower ...12 days post op.
Happy Healing everyone!!!

If you haven't already heard of "Exparel"

If you haven't had your surgery yet be sure to ask about "Exparel" it's a numbing medication that last for up to 3 days after surgery...cost about $350. So worth it :) I had it for TT portion of surgery.

I'm feeling really good and hoping i'm not doing too much...will find out tomorrow at my next post op visit.

2 week post op visit today

Well after two weeks and feeling really good Doc said i can start light exercise...walking, treadmill and light weights...just don't over do it. I can also start using scar cream...I bought the one they sell in the office $85. I was going to use the silicone strips but decided not to because the receptionist was telling me you have to rinse them each time and let them dry, sometimes they move too...just don't feel like dealing with that. They snipped the rest of stitches. I am still swollen around my TT but he doesn't think its fluid build ...I'm going for another post op next week too just to make everything is ok. We had a busy day today...after doctor appt. we went to lunch, food shopping, Target, came home unloaded groceries and went out for Chinese(i get steamed shrimp, broccoli& brown rice with sauce on the side) and went to the movies. We were home early but i think it was a bit much...I couldn't stand up straight after movie :( Now it's time to call it a day...Happy Healing!!

3 week post op

So i went for my 3 week post op visit today and i'm feeling really good. Everything looks good but my old belly button scar is still healing. He said it could take a couple more weeks just keep doing what i'm doing keeping it covered with small nonstick gauze and bacitraycin. He wants to see me in two weeks instead of a month just to make sure belly button is healing. He also told me i can stop wearing my sports bra to bed but continue wearing a soft no wire bra during the day. I told him that i still have a hard time lifting my arms above my head because of implants but i've been doing arm stretches to work on that. I have been massaging my scars with Cortisilk scar lotion when i get out of shower and also bought Palmers cocoa butter w/vitamin E scar oil for at night to massage to scars. I feel like a lot of the swelling on my belly has gone down but not completely gone. Morning of surgery i weighed 142.8 and today i was 138 ...I am thrilled because bring to me a 90 lb weight loss. I have been lifting my 8 lb weights every couple of days just starting slow. Although i prefer to walk outside , it's just been too cold and i do not want tot get sick so i used my treadmill today. I did 25 minutes at 3.2mph...i didn't want to over do it since this was the first activity in quite sometime but it felt good to be moving again. I go back to work on Monday just 4 hours a day for the week as per my doctor from hospital because of the blood clots. I just can't wait to be back into my routine.
Happy Healing!!!

4 weeks post op

So as of 4 weeks my TT is healing nicely and old belly button scar is almost completely closed, hopefully by next weeks post op visit it will closed. My BL, BA scars are also healing nicely. I have been massaging the CortisilMDX lotion on daily after showering and then in the evening using the scar oil ...the oil is a lot expensive so i can use more for a longer massage. I feel like my boobs interfere with my upper body strength...it's hard to explain because i'm not sure if i feel the implants moving or if the muscle is still tender (implants placed under muscle) ...it just feels unusual. I just want that feeling to go away. My muscle repair is still tender and i still have some swelling but it's not terrible. I did go back to work just part time for this week, regular schedule next week. I'm glad i was able to ease into it because i do stand all day. In the morning when i get up my boobs feel heavy but that doesn't last long. I feel really good during the day but in the evening i get swollen and my boobs feel a bit sore. Sleeping is getting better but not great. I'm still slightly elevated and have to swing my legs over the edge to get up...i usually get up 1-2 times per night...ugh. Overall though i'm not really complaining just updating my recovery progress...i am so thrilled i did this and already love my results...no regrets. Happy Healing!

Having a really good day

Last week when i went food shopping(by myself) it really kicked my butt pushing the heavy cart around and then the loading and unloading of groceries ...i had to relax the rest of the day :( Today i'm feeling really good...went food shopping(myself, lol) did laundry, vacuumed the stairs and 4 couches my only complaint is my backs hurts a bit from leaning over to vacuum. My elliptical was delivered the other day but we have to put a lot of it together...ugh...hopefully get that done tomorrow. Happy Healing Everyone!!

5 weeks post op

Went on 2/6 for my 5 week post op appt. Old belly button is still about another week away from being completely healed. Boobs still a bit square(you can really see it in pics) Dr. Liszka said if we need to do a slight revision he can just do it in the office but we will wait at least until the 3 month mark to talk about it. I'm really not concerned about it. I don't have to go back now for 6 weeks. As far as exercise I can do just about anything i want at this point except for crunches...which i'm very sad about because i love them :( He said i have to wait until July...ugh!!! The muscle repair is not as restricting as it was but when i laugh(which i do quite often) i still have to hold my stomach and try to control myself but it really only makes me laugh even more LOL :) I asked about pull ups he said yes so as soon as i got home i tried to jump up on my pull up bar and thought i ripped my gut out...so modified pull ups it is...I guess you really just have to listen to your body. I'm slowly building my stamina on the elliptical adding a few minutes each time. I started my regular hours at work this week and it was rough the first couple of days but by the end of the week i was good. My boobs still feel heavy on the anchor part of the incision scars first thing in the morning and then in the evening. My anchor scars are very long so i think the discomfort will last for a while...oh well. I don't really have feeling in the nipples yet...which i'm kind of okay with because they were very sensitive sometimes. I am both a side sleeper and back sleeper and i'm starting to be able to sleep a little on my side but it doesn't last very long and i still elevate myself a little too. Belly still has some swelling and really depends on the day as to the degree of swelling again...oh well. I'm happy with how my scars are healing , every week i can see the difference. Anyone out there who is unsure about surgery I say go for it!!!! It is worth every $$$$$ and every bit of discomfort (which gets better everyday). Before surgery i was so self conscious of my belly and boobs...but now i have no problem walking around naked in front of my husband...i will drop my robe whenever he asks...LOL. I am so proud of how i look now. Between all the weight i lost on my own and TT,BL & BA I truly feel so good about myself and that feeling is Priceless!!!

6 weeks post op

So It was six weeks ago today I had my surgery and it all seems like a distant memory. My boobs are really beginning to feel natural to me but I do still have pressure pain on the anchor scar when I get up from sitting for a while and getting out of bed. Today was the first day I didn't cover the old belly button incision with tape and gauze... Seems to be closed but will probably wait a little before I start using the scar lotion on it. I haven't really been eating quite as healthy as I should be and I think that is affecting my swollen belly... No more M&M's and salty snacks for me!!! I did a couple of good workouts since last week... Just have to work on my stamina . We had a snow storm these past couple of days ... I did a little shoveling and felt ok ... Not sure if my belly is swollen from that or snacking all day. Anyway I think that's all I've got.... Happy Healing Ladies !!!

7 weeks post op

This past Saturday I really gave myself a great workout ... I felt really good afterwards. My belly tends to swell up around 3:30pm when I'm at work ... I'm starting to think it's telling me it's had enough and it's time to relax. I finally got my period a couple of days ago and OMG I'm so bloated... I didn't even bother to take any pics this week . I was back to eating really healthy again but today I binged... Couldn't seem to get enough sweet & salty snacks ... Now I'm mad at myself for giving in because I'm really trying to lose 5 lbs. Anyway nothing much else to say... Happy healing ladies !!!

8 weeks post op

This week has been good, I'm really trying to get back to a good routine. I had two really good workouts so far on Tues and Wed...even though i can't do any sort of crunch type workout for my stomach i'm trying to incorporate moves that engage the core but still being careful not to over do it. My stomach still has a little daily swelling and my muscle repair is still a bit tender. I've been busy at work this week with all the new spring apparel coming in so i've started wearing my garment again just for a little extra support. My boobs feel so much better...my only complaint is at night i tend to have some swelling and when that happens my incision lines feel sore ...it just makes me a little uncomfortable. Overall i have to say i'm feeling pretty good. Happy Healing ladies !!!
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

So far only met with him for consult but felt very comfortable.This was my third different PS consult so i was already pretty well informed but he was very informative making sure he covered everything. I will post more when i can. Went for secondary consult today and Dr. Liszka was really helpful and made me feel so comfortable . I know i chose the right doctor. Dr. Liskza is wonderful...came to see me twice while i was in the hospital to check on my recovery. I would highly recommend Dr.Liskza !!!!

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 Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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