52 TT with Lipo and Upper Arm Lipo; Want to Be Proportional and Look Better - Chattanooga, TN

I had my consultation, went back and forth on the...

I had my consultation, went back and forth on the lipo only vs lipo with tummy tuck. Dr. Deal was soo great about understanding my hesitancy to just jump into to the whole shebang. He was really patient, never rushed and really nice. I appreciate his approach as not only a physician but an artist that whose medium is the human body. Dr. Deal really had higher expectations for my procedure than I would allow myself! After talking to my husband who suggested it would probably be better to go through one recovery than two I opted for the tummy tuck with lipo. I am scheduled for Dec. 21, 2015 as I have that week and the following off work. Really nervous about being back in my classroom after surgery in that short of time but it is what it is. Really hoping I am one of those that bounces back quickly. I didn't want to wait til summer because of a conference I am required to attend as well as I am so hot natured that wearing a compression garment in the middle of summer would make me miserable and claustrophobic. Any advice or tricks to prepare so that it goes smoothly and/or for recovery would be really appreciated! Super excited, super nervous and I think I have an amazing doctor!

Reality Check

After a LOT of reading and some really nice responses here to my returning to work question and of course consulting with my surgeon's office I have realized that giving myself only two weeks to recover before going back to work was a gamble I couldn't afford. Any complications at all and I would have to call out of work and as a teacher I can't risk not being there for my students so I have rescheduled my TT/Lipo for the day after our school's graduation. I am totally bummed to have to wait so long and not looking forward to a warm weather recovery but I think the luxury of a 8 week recovery time will be worth it in the long run. In the mean time, I will try posting some before photos, keep on preparing and learning all I can to make my experience as informed and successful as possible!

Before photos while waiting on May

I figured I would upload my before photos, postponing til school is out has me a little bummed so I thought maybe this would help me feel like I am at least on my way to the goal!

Pre op completed

Had my preop blood work and ekg done, it felt a little unorganized but possible my stress over trying not to be late when there was tons of traffic was getting to me. Was a little nerve-wrecking when I had to remind them I needed printed pre op and post op instructions. I should be getting a call from the office and CNA the day before surgery to let me know what time to be there and go over any information they may need. I fluctuate between excited and scared which I assume is normal. Amazon fulfillment personnel have probably figured out what I am about to do with everything I ordered last night! So much to get ready! I need to do a total bed and bath organization this weekend so when all my things arrive I can have it ready to go and in place. I think so far the two things that have me really nervous is the thought of climbing a flight of stairs to get into my home after surgery and having to manage to get in the car and return to the office the next day which means again maneuvering a flight of stairs. I have ordered a shower seat, a step stool with a long handle to hold to get in and out of bed if the recliner doesn't work, thank goodness I have an adjustable bed as well, gauze, tape for the lipo wounds, an extra compression garment for when the one the doctor gives me is being washed, sports bras, yoga pants and leggings, front opening tunic and nightgowns, Bacitracin, scar cream and tape, Colace, Hibiclens, Lactobacillus acidophilus capsules, Arnica, Bromelain, waterproof mattress pad, Pepcid, and dry shampoo. I need to figure out the best way to handle the drains while I shower, I am guessing just tape them to my body? Less than a month to go! If I have forgotten or overlooked something that might be useful let me know!

1 day po

So first day was super sore, today a little better. Went back to doc today to make sure all wa looking good. He was very pleased and he did a very low incision. Tons of draining so definitely in vest in waterproof padding and wear items you done minds getting bloody drainage on. The things a am 100% glad I invested in was recliner, walker and neck travel pillow!

Later 1 day PO

Ok so now I am incredibly sore on my lipod areas. I am shaking and teeth chattering by the time I get back to the recliner. Definately not a fun day today, hoping tomorrow bings improvement!!

2 days po

Very sore still Especially my upper abdomen and back, hard to eat not from nausea but lack of appetite. Favorite items I am them ful for: lift recliner, walker and travel neck pillow. A little itchy. Lipo drain ports are barely leaking other than one or two. Family has been great, Dr. Deal and staff were wonderful day of surgery and day after. I am super swollen everywhere, hands feet legs etc. I go back in A week, hopefully drains come out then. Keep telling myself all this discomfort is worth it! I will updat
Photos when I am able!

3 days post op

Managed to get a shower today, no dizziness but definitely missed the binder holding everything tightly. VERY swollen every where from fingers to toes but I think I can still see some improvement. Draining from lipo ports has pretty much stopped but I'm keeping them moist and covered all the same, incision I can hardly tell is there and I am super impressed how low it is! So far the only time I felt like I was in so much pain and that I would drag someone down with me is when a friend called and purposefully made me laugh, I had a moment of if I have to suffer so do you. It passesd and my thoughts of ill will towards others went away. Lokng forward to some of the swelling taking an holiday and again items to survive: walker, toilet seat riser, and a lift recliner. I have ached and had moments of pain but so far no regrets, also very important good support network is really helpful. Adding my 3 day PO photos!

4 Days PO

Today has not been a good day. Sinus drainage has set in and that make me want to cough a lot and coughing is NOT my friend, actually I think it's my worst most bitter enemy at the moment. May family has been wonderful and I could not have managed without them so you ladies that do this on your own, you are all amazing wonder women and deserve your own super hero movie. I am really looking forward to the day when I wake up and have that realization of wow I feel pretty normal. Taking colace twice a day, but no progress in that dept. hasn't made me uncomfortable yet just anxious now that I know what coughing is like. Plus I don't think I am eating enough to create the need yet. I know I have tons of swelling and the desire to feel be normal again but trying to stay
Positive!

6 Days PO

Woke up this morning a little more clear headed. Past few days were rough with a cough that was making me crazy with discomfort, that seems to be letting up some this morning. I haven't posted any more photos because honestly I am just one big swollen body. Can't tell a difference on anything because even my fingers and toes are bigger from swelling. Drains are slowing down though and maybe will come out when I see the doc Tuesday. I am still very optimistic and I know all this will take lots of time but a little glimpse at the future would be incentive. I'm trying very hard to be a "brave little toaster" but I sure admire all you that are bored by day 3 and heading to the store to get out of the house I can't imagine that kind of energy right now. I am hopeful after my appointment Tuesday afternoon I will have a better idea of of what's happening. Thinking of all you guys and hoping for you super fast recoveries to the flat side!!!

1 week post op visit

Went in today for my 1 week post op. Dr. Deal was a little behind schedule today so I saw Dr. Gardner who was very nice, totally professionally and took plenty of time to make sure any questions or concerns were answered. I have to say again their whole staff has just been amazing. The swelling in my hands and feet has gone my belly is still very swollen but Dr. Gardner checked carefully for any complications and was not concerned and the consensus is despite having had a couple bowel movements a lot is still bloating because my system is still sluggish and of course the dreaded swell hell. On the plus side drains were removed as well as the tape off the incision and I was told to order my stage 2 garment and begin wearing it once it arrives! The lipo port drain sites are pretty much healed and my arms despite bruising are looking very good. Dr. Deal popped in just as I was getting dressed to apologize personally for running late but I told him I appreciated the apology and attention please don't worry I was unhappy with him because if it had been me on the operating table I would never have wanted him to rush to do something his colleague was capable of. He was so gracious he asked me to come back next week just so he could personally check on me himself rather than wait the standard 6 weeks. So I will see Dr. Deal for a quick check next week and then again in 6 weeks if no issue arise. I am still amazed how low my incision is and now am just awaiting the soreness and swelling to get better so I can see my results more clearly but I have a lot of faith in Dr. Deal and his skills so I know it will be worth the wait. So things I have learned to help others: again get the walker, I only use it now when I am extremely fatigued but it's a life saver, shower seat and detachable shower head, recliner for sure, lots of help if possible and if you are prone to a sluggish system such as myself take the colace but start the miralax right away post op as well. I bruise so easy it's not even funny and the arnica bromelain combo made a huge difference for me. There are a lot of meds to keep with so write times and types down as you take them. There are some great pre made charts you can print online. Stop the narcitocs as soon as you can stand to. To my surprise the worst pain I suffered was a post op migraine. You will ACHE something awful if you had lipo but Tylenol does help. Nap when you can but move around as much as you can as well even if it's just a lap around the room. A pillow to keep near in case you cough, hold it against your tummy when you do and if you develop a cough that creates fits of unending coughing see about getting a cough suppressant from your doc. It's a fine line between avoiding post op pneumonia and popped stitches and your doctor is the best one to make that call. Use you spirometer they give you to keep your lungs clear, I did but caught a viral cold that included a cough so I had to balance the two. Come here and journal when you can. You may not get a lot of responses but people do read and even if they don't you'll feel better for venting/sharing. Things you have leaned through your experience. Best part of my recovery...my three daughters and I discovered "Miss Fischers Murder Mysteries" on Netflix and had some great quality time binge watching it! I have gone on long enough this time, until my next update, I am sending you all brave, healing and happy thoughts!

Just for fun...

So just for fun I went back and read some of my drug and or exhausted induced updates, the typos, phrasing and comments all made so much more sense in my addled brain, and typing on a phone is way harder than computer when that's all the energy you have to hold in your hand! I am beginning to see a pattern in mine and everyone's updates as the we go from pre to just post op to recovery stages! I promise you everything typed sounded completely insightful and free of spelling/grammar errors. I feel like one of those old commercials for "this is your brain on drugs!"

Latest Photos and Rambling Thoughts

So 19 day PO, yesterday was meh, this morning I woke up feeling pretty good, I am finding that's how it is most days, every one of them is waking up to a surprise of will I feel all powerful and conquering or will I wake up wanting to just find a comfy position and never move again. Thankfully the all powerful days are beginning to outweigh the sloth days. I was given the go ahead on light cardio, so I am trying to keep up with that. Watch what I eat and oddly enough, not struggling with my "supersuit" (my The Incredibles reference because I was asking my husband early on when he washed it "Where is my Supersuit!") I do struggle with the arm compression from the upper arm lipo, not because it's painful to the lipo but because I am so broad shouldered the sleeves dig into my underarm. I think I may have permanent marks under one arm from it, I finally ordered a bra extender to attach at the back and that has seemed to help. The photo you see is after one night of not wearing the sleeves because they were cutting off my circulation while I slept. I am back to sleeping on my side with lots of pillows tucked here and there so that's been AMAZING. I feel like I am actually getting more than an hour sleep without waking up finally. I am still pretty swollen in my tummy and lower back so I see the most improvement when I look at myself from the front. I can finally fit in my pre-surgery pants and jeans again. I know that's not saying much to those that didn't swell a lot of it resolved quickly but it's a big deal to someone like me that swells and bruises at a glance. The big thing I noticed though was even though it's the same clothes the muffin top and bulge in front are gone plus if they were higher waisted pants the waist isn't as tight because I actually have a waist now! All have been tried on with my supersuit but yay for progress! I haven't tried on a lot of different tops yet without the compression sleeves but I noticed with the sleeves, jackets and blouses don't have the tight fit or bulges at the upper arm and don't pull as much and hang nicer. These are all my positives, I hope to see continued progress as the days move by. There are still challenges ahead, swelling of course, hoping the two painful lumps in my side go away with time and some gentle massaging, achy days and the itching! I some how missed the bit about itching with lipo, so I have been taking a claritin everyday and it seems to help. I still have fears of the incision opening up or getting infected but it healing nicely according to my PS, I had a pretty good tape blister that has taken some time to heal but is looking better as well. It was like a big blood blister just under the skin where the original post surgery tape was. Occasionally when I clean the incision I wipe a way a dissolved stitch but I am not spitting stitches so that's good. All in all things are definitely looking up as I look forward to getting more and more back to normal. I do miss normal but it's not even been three weeks yet so I think it's been definite progress and as the days go by I pray each one has some improvement in it, not just for me but for all of you out there that are recovering as well. It's tough on a body physically and emotionally and don't take the emotional part lightly! Make a plan for that as much as you do for all the physical stuff. I tried to be prepared for those days. I gave my kids some money and told them to make me a surprise bag and on the days I was struggling they would surprise me with some little trinket and explain why they chose it. We had movie nights and I had a collection of positive and humorous books to read even if it was only one chapter it helped me smile on those not so great days. The one thing I didn't plan for was boredom on the days I felt good but still couldn't get around a lot, adult coloring books actually were great, colored pencils and that and my brain was occupied creatively for long periods, took up a little online game playing (thanks to a suggestion from one of my fellow TT friends here) even on my phone helped keep my brain occupied when my body wasn't just ready to take on the world yet. SO, almost three weeks done, many more to go, now if I can just keep up with that extra supersuit and remember Edna says "no capes" even if we are all incredible!

3 Week Anniversary

Today marks three weeks since my surgery. Still pretty swollen but I celebrated and put on my pre op jeans and went to dinner with my husband, back home and my tummy is all swollen like a watermelon, I think I hear the same kind of sound when I thump it. Don't know if it was getting out, eating too much or a combination of both but I expect come morning the swelling will be lower per usual. All my fashion choices these days are based on how potentially swollen my tummy will get before I can get back home into my yoga pants and tshirt. Life completely revolves around my tummy these days. I admit I have been having a little jealousy when I read how quickly some bounce back, or swelling is minimal. At the moment I feel like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon but I know it's not forever and one day I will be writing how little the swelling affects me, but right this moment I wish there was a deflate button! Still a little itchy and numb in spots, discovered my sorest spots are where I have the lipo lumps that you are suppose to massage and go away over time but they are too painful to massage just yet. Good to know what is causing most of the soreness though. I am noticing some days I need a nap, some days I am bored out of my mind and restless and it's always a surprise which kind of day it will be when I wake up every morning. I am truly feeling Forest's saying of "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get." Everyday is different, I still live in fear of an infection or the incision opening up or something going wrong, hitting some kind of bump in the road. So far they have been needless fears but I do wonder at what point can I stop worrying?!? When is it safe to think ok nothing to worry about other than the annoying swelling? I am sure that will come in time. I think the not seeing my PS until the middle of July makes me nervous but he is just a phone call away if I need. Not much else to tell at this point, sleeping better so yay for that, standing in the shower these days rather than sitting, back is getting stronger every day and each day is a mixture of standing straight and being slightly hunched, don't need the toilet seat riser although I keep it just because the always changing soreness and tightness makes me nervous, if I am gonna get stuck in a position or someplace on the toilet is not the place I would choose. Oh the sodium intake thing, believe it, gave in the other day to a 5 guys burger and just a few fries after weeks of watching everything I eat, it was like my body went into salt shock and I swelled up so much! Willy Wonka's Violet has nothing on me in the swelling dept, blueberry schmuberry, I can out swell her any day! We have an extended family get together this coming weekend, that will be interesting, I haven't told anyone about my surgery other than my sister in law outside my immediate family so hopefully I will be less swollen, walking more consistently upright and less awkwardly in a week. Fingers crossed! That pretty much sums up things so far my friends, wishing all of you successful surgeries and speedy recoveries!

Everyday is Different!

Nothing major to report, took some more photos this morning because I felt like I could see a slight difference even though it had only been a few days since the last ones. Of course by the time I was done showering and getting ready I was all swollen again but it's nice to get a glimpse of some progress in the morning, even when I wake up I still have swelling since it's only been a little over 3 weeks PO but there is always a little boost when you see some progress no matter how small. I don't think I will ever be totally flat but we shall see. I will be ok if not, no muffin top and some optimism at actually curving in a little at the waist is pretty exciting for me. Hope everyone is doing well!

More photos

Sorry it post before I had all the photos up!

4 weeks PS

So 4 weeks have passed, this one seems to have taken a lot longer to get through, probably because I have been dealing with lots of migraines this past week. Today is a good day though, I put on some jeans that I didn't think would fit loosely at all and had no trouble getting them buttoned so yay for progress. Last night I was itching like crazy! I couldn't stop scratching though my CG, finally took some Claritin and that helped a lot. I didn't realize how much lipo would make a person itch! I have noticed as the swelling goes away little by little that my boobs look bigger now, smaller waist gives the illusion of bigger boobs! I will have to get use to that. I have a wedding to attend on July 10, no idea what I am going to wear since I have no idea what the swelling situation will be then. I know I am a sweller, more than most so definitely have to keep an eye on everything I eat and how much. I get my hair colored tomorrow, finally! I am so looking forward to feeling like myself again so these gray roots need to go! Last night was the first night I slept and turning over from side to side wasn't like trying to unbeach a whale or a huge production that was great! I slept better than I had in a while. My family is ready for me to be back to "normal" but I am still taking it easy, especially the day before I know I will be out and about. I have sort of got into a one day "on" and one day "off" routine. I know I still have a long way to go, I will be SOOO glad when my life doesn't circulate around my tummy and swelling! I was thinking as soon as I recovered from this I would consider doing a neck and jowl lift but now I am thinking "ugh, more sleeping on my back." It may be a bit before I am ready to go through another round of recovery, but after this recovering from anything else might seem like a walk in the park. I haven't started scar therapy yet, the tape blister is finally completely gone but I have noticed if I do something to cause a lot of swelling I have one spot on my incision that if I do something to swell a lot (like eat too much sodium) it will weep just a tiny bit letting me know I have overdone it. Since I have that one little place that seems to want to leak on rare occasions I haven't done anything yet with scar therapy although I do have the gel and tape my PS gave me. Once I am sure that one spot isn't going to do anything strange I will start it, even without anything other than keeping it covered so the CG doesn't rub it it's looking pretty good, some of the puckers on the end are even smoothing out. So far so good I would say, still get sore in spots from time to time, hate the itching but thank goodness for Claritin, swelling, well despise that so much but it comes with the territory. All in all it's been going well, so I won't complain too much. Looking forward to seeing more and more recovery each week! To all my fellow tummy tuckers out there, chin up, it's tough but we are too and will get all the way to the flat side before we know it! Good luck and happy recovering!

Seeing Small Amounts of Improvement

30 Days PO and some days are better than others, mostly has to do with swelling, big surprise! Today I think I am starting to see a butt again from the side when I look in the mirror and the semblance of a waist both majorly good things! Incision is looking fine, belly button looks great. I taped the incision today for the first time with the tape my doc gave me. I hope this helps it continue to improve and heal nicely. Not sure I will ever have a totally flat tummy but no muffin top and saggy skin being gone is amazing! Still dealing with numbness and itchiness off and on, it seems to come and go along with the swelling. My lower back still gets sore if over do it but for the most part I feel pretty good, still super protective of the incision though, I don't want to do anything that will cause it to pull apart or open. This far is it should be pretty well healed and not do that but it's just one of those fears. Sleeping is going ok other than occasionally a sore spot on my side will rear it's ugly head, those knots sometimes don't hurt at all and occasionally ache like the dickens! I have some weddings to attend in July and August so I am praying for some rapid improvements in the swelling by then, I know I am gonna swell for a while but it would be nice not to look 4 month pregnant at the end of the day. 2 months pregnant would be better :-)

Slow and Steady...

So I am heading towards 6 weeks post op and there hasn't been any huge AHA! improvements but little by little things are improving. I am keeping the scar taped with 3m Kind Removal silicone tape because Micropore paper tape gives me tape blisters and so far I a think it's working well. The mornings as we all know are when I look my best, just out of bed. Correction: when my belly looks best; messy hair, no makeup and sleepy isn't my best look overall. I sort of just stare at it in the mirror to remember it so when I am puffier later I can reflect back and think one day it will be that way ALL day. I have noticed what I eat and how much has a huge impact on the belly. I am reading sodium levels on packages constantly now and don't eat out much because of all the sodium in restaurant food, so I am probably loosing weight as well because I am overly cautious about making the belly swell more than it has to. Life is ALL about the swell these days! While I spend most of the day in yoga pants or leggings around the house I have been wearing my pre op jeans when I go out and they are loose, my pre op pants are a size to big but honestly I prefer the loose fit at the moment as I hate anything squeezing my belly. I think the hardest thing for me will be convincing myself I can actually tuck a shirt in now and not be super self conscious about it. I am sleeping better, the migraines have let up and that's a HUGE relief. I thought I would be taking Imitrex everyday for a while and that was depressing. I think the one thing I am realizing I miss at the moment is the full body stretch! I wake up and I want to just stretch my whole body and I am like oops no, just the legs just the arms, protect the belly! I would like to think I was as protective of my pregnancy belly when I was expecting my kids but TT belly gets more protection I think! I will try and take some new photos in the morning when I have beat the swell to the day starting. I did order some new 2nd stage garments to try. I wanted something with a built in bra because it's soooo hot all these layers and clothing on top is not fun. I also ordered a shapeeze tank style bra that focuses on smoothing the back as I still have some rolls along my bra line, not as bad as before but definitely still there. I will report back which if any work out, if not I am just gonna get the pantie style of my Marena one I have now and deal with adding a bra. and having all those straps. No leaps and bounds although I do have moments of things sneaking up on me, like sitting crosslegged on my bed and it hitting me "Hey look I can do this!" or trying on a dress that didn't fit before and it fitting now and being surprised by that. I haven't done a lot of clothes shopping yet, although my shoe collection has grown by leaps and bounds when I am home and bored, online shopping is like the best thing EVER! I am still wearing the arm compression garments as well since I had lipo of my upper arms, that garment probably bugs me way more than the body one does. There is just no way it's ever comfortable, but my doc wants me in both 24/7 for what will be 7.5 weeks by the time I see him. Hopefully it's helping. I did order a swimsuit finally, not a bikini, not that brave yet but it looks like one with see through mesh between the top and the bottom. I am looking for a bikini though, just need to find one that has a wide back on the top to hide the bra line rolls! I am thinking there may be more lipo in my future! Gee if I am thinking that I MUST be feeling better!

Photos Updated

Things keep on getting less and less swollen, this is just after I get up in the morning so by evening it will look like older photos, but everyday is a little better than the one before so by next summer, hopefully swelling as the day goes on will be a thing of the past!

Finally was able to add the back view...

For some reason the back photo wasn't loading got it now. I see improvement in my back most definitely, but with my bra on I really notice that fat roll at the back under arm area above the bra line. Wonder if that could be lipo'd away at a later date?

7 Weeks and Counting

So it's been 7 ish weeks now and things are definitely improving. Out and about more and for longer periods. Still swelling later in the day but most people don't see it as much as I feel it unless I was really bad and did too much salty food. I am really trying to be good about that and avoid, but for me it's hard. EVERYTHING has sodium that has the flavors I love! I do find that I don't need as much to fill me up food wise these days and I hate the swelling so I tend to go light on eating but the occasional restaurant meal does get in sometimes. The new PF Changs wok fired filet mignon was so worth it! For the most part I have been really good about watching what I eat and probably haven't been eating enough in reality as I have lost weight in addition to the surgery. I won't ever be a size 4 and I have the gymnast/swimmer shape, broad shoulders and back, smaller hips but my jeans and pants are 8's and I have waist! I haven't had a waist since before I had kids! I see my PS on the 18th, I am hoping he says I can ditch the arm compression during the day at least then. My tummy compression he could say I never have to wear again and I would still want it, I just feel better with it. I think because I haven't been released to strengthen the ab muscles it feels better to have the compression, once I can get some strength back in them then I will probably feel better about going without. I have switched up my compression for when I go out though. My Marena garment is what I wear at home and night but if I go out and am wearing something I need to be smoother in (no lumps under than arms and on the back) I have started wearing a Shapeez bra tank. I am gonna end up tossing my old bras for these things. I am in love with how smooth my back is, it supports me nicely in the tummy and is a great bra. I wore a tshirt the other day and my back never looked as smooth wearing any other kind of bra. Once I don't need tummy support I will switch to their short version. Bonus they have a sports bra version, push up and minimizer as well! Lol, I sound like an add for them but I really just like it so much and am excited I found something comfy that improves my appearance as well as supports me PO. Plus I hate body suits and fighting to use the rest room in them. Probably one reason I love my Marena so much for at home because of the cut out I don't have to deal with it. I start back to work Aug 1, that will be interesting to see how it goes and how tired I am by the end of the school day but hopefully it will go well. I wish the summer was longer, I am going to miss these days of feeling human again and not having to work. I will say I haven't had any complications and I can't imagine having to go back to work 2 weeks PO. You ladies that can do that are impressive! My hat is off to you. I am so glad I waited for my summer break to do this. I will update again once I see the PS and try to do some photos then as well. Happy recovering everyone!

One last thing today....

TT related, I have been using the 3m Kind Removal Silicone Tape and it's been working great. Not too expensive, doesn't cause me blisters or tear my skin like the micropore tape. I change it every 4 days and it does loosen in spots after a shower, usually where it overlaps onto itself but once I have compression back on it goes back to sticking in place. For me this has been the best choice for scar therapy.

2 Month Check Up

Saw my PS today, he was super happy with how I am coming along. He went ahead and scheduled me for a check up in two months with photos at that check up so I will be 4 months PO when he does my after photos. I think I will be ready for my close up by then. Still swelling of course in the late afternoon or after eating basically anything, but when I am not swollen everything looks great. Dr. Deal cleared me for lifting, exercise, pool, hot tub anything basically and told me to expect the pangs and aches of my nerve endings coming back to life and not to worry it was all normal. I have felt a pull in my belly button, the burning sensation, some itching and aching but nothing too terrible. Although I did have one evening that the pull in my belly button was pretty intense whenever I moved, along with what felt like a sciatic nerve acting up and it was all too much to be comfortable or sleep so I took half of one of my left over pain pills from surgery and that made a huge difference. Normally I would never do that but for some reason that was a day everything hurt and it just ached to move let alone have those two things causing sharp pain non stop. Today no pain from either. Go figure, recovery is an up and down thing. I will see people from work for the first time tomorrow, will be interesting if they notice any changes. Definitely nervous about starting back to work in August, hopefully my stamina will be completely back and I won't feel too much in aches and pains back on my feet all day. All in all things are looking great, Dr. Deal said would we evaluate the results at that 4 month appt to see if either he or I felt like there were any touch ups needed. So far I am not seeing anything that needs touching up but it's his name on the work as well so I want him to be as happy with the results as well so if he wants to touch anything up I will let him. To be honest I wasn't going to tell people about the surgery but Dr. Deal has done such an amazing job on me I want to let people know how great he is at what he does. I will try and get some updated photos soon. Happy Recovering everyone!

2 month PO photos

Huge difference from where I started when the swelling is down some. To be honest right after surgery I didn't think it would look like this, I was a little scared I would be just a little tighter but still round from all the swelling. By the end of the day I am still swollen and tight and want my yoga pants and to just lie down. The mornings are a different story, I want to try on ALL my clothes, feel like I can conquer the world and shop for more! I have bought two skirts now, I NEVER wore skirts because I had no waist before, it' s very exciting. My butt definitely looks bigger since my waist is smaller and I like it. I feel like I got a free BBL just from helping out my waist and tummy. Upper arms look better and I can say most of my shirts fit better as a result, I am very happy I included that. Completely out of arm compression now but I won't give up my tummy CG garment yet, it just makes me feel better, especially once the swelling starts during the day. I have found LITTLE meals work best to keep my from swelling. A few bites here and there throughout the day over sitting down to a full meal and of course watching out for the dreaded but oh so loved sodium. Anyway here are the latest photos, I go back in 2 months and Dr. Deal wants to shoot my after photos, I am gonna so obsess that day over what to wear and not eating so that look great for him! Life at 2 months is pretty normal now other than swelling and the odd days of aches and pains that show up while your nerves are waking back up. I think I definitely want to start working on my ab muscles now that I have been cleared for exercise and lifting. I feel like that will keep the dreaded pooch away. I hope all of you are doing well and having speedy recoveries!

Just Past 3 Months PO

Well it's just past the 3 month mark and I am into my 4th. I have a 4 month check up on the 27th. Things are going well and typical. Mornings I wake up looking like I wished I looked all day but by late afternoon I am puffy and swollen. Some days of course are better or worse than others in the swelling dept. Honestly I think I am the only one that really notices it because I can FEEL it and I do see swollen ankles and feet by the end of the day but for the most part I can't complain at all. Things I have noticed: I still wear some type of supportive garment most of the time, not as much during the day but at night most definitely it just feels better when I am swollen. I still have a numb area on the right side of my belly that I haven't got use to yet but I can feel the edges around the numb area starting to come alive to in time I am sure that are will shrink or come back completely. I need to start exercising more so I don't feel like a wasted thousands of dollars to get this done only to be lazy and undo it all. My butt looks way better from the side than it did before the surgery, my PS made sure to lipo my lower back to make it "pop" he called it. I purposefully wore lower cut undies in these attached photos so you could see how the scar is looking, I am pretty pleased, just needs to start fading. I don't tape it anymore because it's pretty flat but I do put bio oil on it. At my 4 month the decision will be made if I need any revisions or touch ups so far the only thing I may try to touch up is a very slight dog ear and maybe touch up the lipo on the bra line as I think one side might be smoother than the other. Even if I do nothing the difference from before and after to me is remarkable and Dr. Deal is seriously amazing at what he does. I am seriously considering scheduling a neck and jowl lift now to make my face feel as young as the rest of me does now. I hope everyone is doing well here and I will let you know what 4 months hold after I see the PS again. <3

5 Month Checkup Today

I went in today for my 5 month check up and it went very well. Doctor took "after" photos, checked my scar and we looked at the photos. He decided the scar needed some revision and that there needed to be a little lipo touch up on my bra line so when I have my facelift done in Dec with his partner he is going to come in first and do the lipo and scar revision. Hopefully I can bounce back from everything in the 2 weeks I have off. I am super happy with my results. I truly feel so much more confident and like my clothes fit better. I forgot to ask if he could email me his before and after so I will try to get an email off to the office and see if I can get copies for you guys. My upper arms look sooo much better! All in all, majorly happy with my results and I would so do this all again. I will keep you updated especially come December with scar revision and lipo touch up!

Arm Before and After Lipo for Rangatea

Rangatea, I had the exact same issues with my arms as you describe. Sleeves always fit me too tight and it drove me nuts which is why I did the arms. I should have done a photo in the exact same position but I didn't realize I was holding my arm differently until I uploaded so just so you know I still have some mildly saggy skin when I bend my arm because I didn't do a lift just the lipo, but not so much it bothers me and the skins hangs less than the fat did. Like I said perfection wasn't what I was looking for but improvement and my clothes fitting me how I wanted. I will wear short sleeves now and I wouldn't before and trust me even though I wasn't looking for perfection I am self conscious enough I wouldn't do short sleeves unless I felt confident and before the lipo I did not. I wore my compression sleeves longer than the doc suggested because I really wanted a good outcome and my arms were sore for over a month. I also had some lipo done to my braline and that helped with my shirts fitting better as well but honestly the arm lipo for me was worth every penny, I can wear shirts and jackets that I couldn't wear before. I hope this helps you and if you have any questions about my surgery just ask!
Chattanooga General Surgeon

I have met with both doctors at Southern Surgical arts and I can say Dr. Deal and Dr. Neese as well as the staff along with their current fellow for consultations; all were wonderful. I was never rushed or pushed into any decisions and everyone made sure that if I had any questions that time was taken to answer them. Both doctors were positive and realistic with what to expect as well as informative, kind and patient. I have scheduled my surgery and feel very confident in my choice to put myself in the hands of Southern Surgical Arts

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