Great Belly Button – Chattanooga, TN
I wanted a tummy tuck because I was tired of...
14 days Post
I wish I'd started posting as I've been going thru recovery, but I'll try to recapture some of how it's been for me.
I got my TT on May 16th, a Thursday morning. 7 days later, I took myself off the diazepam and oxycodon regimen. 2 reasons why: I had never been more constipated in my entire life, and also because I needed to be able to drive one of my kiddos to a doc appt. Sorry about the constipation part. But do not be afraid to use a suppository when all else fails. Oh, and as a side note, I started my period a day after surgery. It was frustrating.
I did have one drain, and though I thought it was insanely strange to have a piece of tubing inside my belly skin, I was relieved because every time I emptied it and recorded the amount (usually 25 cc's) I just knew that fluid would have been filling me up if the drain wasn't there. That thing was removed the following Thursday after the surgery. Felt a burning sensation at the site, at first, but then it felt like a slithery worm was being removed, then it was done. I could not look. The day that it was to be removed is the day I took my first shower because I was scared of getting sick when I took of the binder (happened to me everytime after I got implants last summer). I was also not sure what to do with the drain while showering (ended up finding an elastic headband which I somehow was able to put my leg through, pulled it up my thigh and pinned the drain on it. Worked great. So, yeah, that first week I was irrational, anxious, hurting, and extremely filthy. Take a shower when the doc says you can. It won't hurt you even if you think it will. Just take a nausea pill about 15 minutes before you take off your binder so you don't get woozy, and try to make sure an adult is close by for the first couple of showers.
My first few driving outings I brought a cane with me, and I was glad to use it. It helped me remember to take it slow, and it made me feel like people who saw me walk so hunched would actually look less than twice. My kids hated it though.
The kids have been a huge help, and one of them has slept on the couch next to me the entire time. I'm still sleeping on the couch, partially upright, with my feet on an ottoman. I actually sleep really well like this, but the kids still have to help me get my legs onto the ottoman sometimes because i do not want to lean and twist or anything that might pull apart or aggravate the stitches. Wish I had a recliner for this!
This is something I was prepared for only because I had implants 350cc silicone Mentors put in last summer. Make sure you tell you doc that you want an extra binder. And if there is a choice, a black one and a nude one, so you won't have to worry about it showing through certain clothing, plus you'll always have a clean one to put on. It was an extra 100 bucks of well spent money.
I've read that for a TT, the average time for people to feel more like themselves is about 25 days. I can't back that up with references, but I will say that about every 3 days I notice a difference, an increase in recovery that I can actually feel and enjoy. I'm just at literally 2 weeks right now, so I'm hoping this healing curve continues to increase as noticeably as it has so far.
I know this is not a very fluid account of my story, but I've tried to include the highlights as I could remember them. I'll try to keep up more currently with how things continue to go for me.
Hi Ladies, 15 days after TT and...
I was supposed to see my surgeon today after work but had to reschedule for Monday since I couldn't get out of work on time. I feel kind of in a funk just because I'm tired of the way I'm having to walk to get around, but I know it should get better. I had asked my doctor if I was supposed to be trying to straighten up and he said no. It would happen on its own because he sewed me pretty tightly.
Right now I'm back on my couch, and I'm going to get to sleep early. I just have to heal from this.
Good morning, ladies!
My daughters are nearly teenagers and they've helped me through both my surgeries. They both have a really healthy body image, the way they view their bodies. I'm really glad, because I don't want to affect the way they think of themselves. I've been careful to explain to them that I gained 100 pounds when I was pregnant with the first (causing me to way 208 instead of 108) and a year later, even though I'd gone back to my 108lbs. I gained another 75 lbs with my second daughter pregnancy. I've told them that typically, this is not what happens when you get pregnant, and that I was young and had no idea. I just ate anything I felt like. My actions and lack of understanding of what a pregnant body required for nutrition is what contributed to my post pregnancy body damage. We've always been open, and they have joked over the years about how funny my belly was, and we could even make a face out of it and "make it talk". All the same, even though I have never liked my post preg body, it never stopped me from throwing on a bikini and walking down the beach with them. I tried not to act ashamed of myself, even though I felt ashamed. And that's just the truth. Here and there, my daughters have looked in the mirror and asked "will my breast be as big as your 'before' breasts"? I tell them there's a great chance, plus all females in my family are bigger than a "c", but if they aren't happy they can do what I did. Both of them are adamant that they do not want to go through surgery like I have. Anyway, I share this, because I think most of us are probably mothers and probably worry about stuff like this but don't really articulate it. It's something I think about with these kinds of surgeries, so I wanted to share it with you.
Moving on- I was able to wash my hair in the tub faucet yesterday very easily, because I didn't wake up in time for a shower. I was worried about bending like that, but it was fine!
Also, my boyfriend has helped me through both my surgeries, and yesterday evening he said to me that he hated that I chose to limit myself from things I enjoyed doing, but clarified that he liked the results, just meant he hated the process. I suppose I agree with that, then. Recovery happens, but it is uncomfortable at best. When he got a really good look at my incision on my belly, he was dismayed. This was about a week ago. He honestly though I had paid to be shredded, and he was really upset for me. I was prepared though, because I had been afraid I would think the same thing. I had taken 20 pictures-all different angles- of my belly before I went into surgery. I did not want my mind to lie to me and make me regret what was done! So I pulled those pics up on my phone and showed him. 5 minutes later he got up close again and looked at me, and he touched my tummy in different places, and told me yeah, I was right, and this was going to be exciting to watch heal up. I found my bikini bottoms and showed him that the line was hideable. Last time I had surgery, I wasn't as emotionally prepared for the outcome (my implants). But going through that taught me how my thinking would be. When I planned my TT, this time I went back to my doctor, simply for him to draw the incision and where the old belly button would come down to next to the incision, so I could get used to the idea. I didn't wash that line off for 3 days, and it helped me get a visual for what I would be seeing after the surgery. I think it was good for the doc, too. Like a rough draft. Because when I got out of surgery, he boasted that he was able to make the incision a few inches shorter, and get the old belly button down lower than what he's planned for.
I'll post more pics later today. I don't think there will be much of a difference from the last ones, but I guess that's part of it- the healing doesn't happen in a blink. Good luck to those of you in the planning process, and to those of you who are healing.
Happy Sunday, friends...
I'm really worried about standing up perfectly straight because I don't want any tension on my incision. I've seen people with wide scars and heard revision stories on here, and it is always the supposition that it was because of straightening too quickly.
Another thought that I have is that my result might change because last year when I my BA I also got smart lipo done on my stomach. I had wanted a TT, but the doc had said he thought I was too little. He wanted to do smart lipo, said it would be close to perfect. Well if you look at my before pics I posted, you'll see all the dents all over my belly and around my belly button. That was from the smart lipo. And when you look at my "sitting down" picture, you see that smart lipo does not at all do what a tummy tuck can do, and that smart lipo got me no where close to perfect. Hence the refund of $1700 this year, and the TT instead, this time. I will say, the prior doc did the most beautiful job on my breasts, but it was so disappointing to spend the whole year without still being able to feel good in a two piece plus think I'd wasted my money on the stomach which turned out so poorly. When I asked my TT doc what happened to me, when I showed him the dents in my belly, he said that I was so small that there was no room for error. At first he didn't seem to want to do the TT either. I just sat there and said I was so frustrated because mine was a texture issue more than a weight issue, and it was gross that I could put a whole hand in my stomach thru my belly button. He told me to do a crunch and he felt it too, so he decided a game plan and here I am. When they have a big hernia to sew up on you, it provides more skin to work with. That's why the other doc didn't want to sew up my hernia AND do smart lipo. He said there would be extra skin hanging because of that and the smart lipo would not be able to tighten up all if that skin.
I haven't met anybody else who's done smart lipo in person, but once I had started seeing my dents, I started researching it and I saw dents even on bigger girls. I didn't see those dents before I got my surgery last year, because I didn't know they could happen. I would not suggest smart lipo to anybody, personally. Or at least see if your doc has different sizes of those sticks they use to vacuum the fat out of your body. They aren't supposed to use a big one on someone with very little fat.
Anyway, when I first got my BA last year along with the smart lipo from the other doctor, it was a bad experience for me. As happy as I was to finally have breasts, that feeling was tainted by my hideous results and fear that previous doc had probably messed up everything. It has been an emotional roller coaster year for me. I stayed angry because I had spent the money, gone through pain, and still didn't look good enough to show myself off.
I almost forgot- my TT doc had asked me if I wanted lipo during the TT and I told him none at all. I would have liked the contoured "dent" above the new belly button that looks really youthful, but I was not willing at all to sacrifice all of my money and results for any accidental dents like the ones I got before.
I cannot wait until July or August to feel excellent in my own skin finally. I can say that so far I am thrilled.
I bought some silicone lotion from my doctor, and I get a little nervous putting onto the incision. He assured me that it is sealed to the point where I will not infect it by putting the lotion on. Not all the feeling has come back yet in the area between my new belly button and the middle of my incision. To the sides of my new BB and up to my sternum still feel hard and right. It is still uncomfortable to get in and out of my car, and it is hard to straighten up at all after sitting down for five minutes. The thing is, I know all of this will pass because it has no choice but to change as I heal. I am glad I finally got my tummy tuck!! I would encourage anyone unhappy with their tummy to do the same. I feel liked I have kicked nature in the rear-end and reclaimed my rightful self. Plastic surgery has been like a magic genie for me.
I have used my silicone lotion twice. It kind of makes me nervous because I feel like I'm not waterproof yet. Don't want to get and infection or keep something from breathing. I do see improvements from even a couple of days ago, so I know everything is going to be fine. I'm exhausted from work today so going to upload some pics and write again tomorrow.
Moving a little better!
It's kinda' like Christmas everyday.
I made a lot of mistakes in my 20's because my esteem wasn't what it should have been. I just thought I was " lucky" if someone glanced by way. I truly thought my body was destroyed. Later on, even though I always hated what happened to my body, I cared less about who would like me, and more about the sheer wrongness of biology and the affect of childbearing on my self.
This is the way I think. And the whole past year, I loathed the appearance of my belly even more than ever, because what the previous doc had done had made it worse.
Now, everytime I see my new TT belly, I just get so elated. Since I couldn't wear a two-piece last summer even though I got my BA-which I love- now I have to find one. I tried to figure out what kind of bathing suit top would fit me, but had no luck the other day. I really feel like I got all these improvements at the same time, because I didn't really get to enjoy the full measure of it all last year. This is so exciting!
So I look forward to being frustrated about figuring out the sizes of my top and bottom, lol! I keep thinking, what if my scar travels, or doesn't smoother, and then I think-who cares! My tummy is smooth and tight, and I have a Belly Button that I think is beautiful! To any of my sisters out there who are considering doing this-just do it. My opinion is make the consultation, save your money, and go with it. The neatest thing about all of this is the pride and confidence that come back for me. I don't feel like there are two me's anymore, you know? Like the one who wears clothes and runs a tight ship and appears to have full confidence, and then the other one who gets naked and feels instantly "less than". The "less than" me who feels the need to explain why my stomach wrinkled the way it did, or who refuses to sit certain ways on the beach just so the rolls didn't lay a certain way. Ha! Forget those days! Good luck to you all, and happy healing!
Hard to believe 1 month out!
I've got both binders in the wash right now, and I'm going to sleep without a binder on tonight- maybe get a little extra blood flow and heal better? I just can't wait to get out if those CG's!!! I've got a peeling whelp on the inside of my left thigh from where they always roll up at the legs. So gross!! Anybody else have that happen?
I bought some of those silicone sticky strips to try. I cut them all in half and stuck them on, like the directions said. They are washable-and that are super sticky and gelatinous. Taking them off might be a little nerve-wracking.
Feeling really great about myself finally!!
Got to be a woman yesterday and didn't rupture anything.
On a side note, I've been reading up on butt implants since I'm not a candidate for the BBL. everything so far that I've read looks really scary about those.
Going without the CG for a couple of hours.
My insides are healing!
I forgot about exactly how unmotivated and tired I get when I have surgery- for about 6 months afterwards. Anesthesia, maybe?
So I'll post today's pics and here's what I think of them: I have an upper ridge. I have some weird pinches and gathers. It looks like my vertical (old belly button) is not sealing smoothly. My brand new BB looks scabby.
However- I also think in about 2 more months I really know what's going on with everything. Regardless of whether or not everything straightens up, I refuse to go under the knife again, because it takes me away from my kids. And I have a belly button. Finally. I wanted a belly button with all of my Heart!
Hmm. Accidentally removed part of a stitch.
RealSelf is awesome.
My first post TT swimsuit!!
"Back in the day"
No more anonymous!
Ok, aside from that, I've been working my butt off, 12 hour days past couple of days, mostly on my feet, so I'm sure that doesn't help. I otherwise feel pretty good. I'll be straight honest- I wish that I could just have a break from everything that I do now and just rest. It has been years since I was able to just quit smiling at people and just relax. Not a bad attitude, just physically and emotionally tired right now, and I know it'll pass. Love
Bio Oil was on sale at my Walgreens!
Precisely 8 weeks and 4 days.
Back in the binder.
9 weeks and 3 days out.
Pre-op: can the doc fix my belly because its UGLY?
Will the scar be placed low enough?
What is my new BB going to look like?
Post op: I have to do WHAT with these drains?!?
How low is my scar?
What does my BB look like?
Is the binder giving me a wrinkly tummy?
Do I have pleats and dog ears?
I want to stand up straight!!
Gah! I need a shower but it's so scary!!
Why can't I poop?
Am I gonna' fall apart at the seams if I get romantic??
Why doesn't my back have an arch anymore?
Should I have had them fix my arse too?? Where'd it go?!?
Damn-my scar seems high-no wait, this bathing suit hides it.
There's a big ole gap between my boobies. I thought they were pretty hot til I saw that lady's cleavage.
Should have gotten bigger implants. Maybe next time I'll do that plus get the arse fixed...
My scar looks lumpy.
I have a dog ear-will he fix it? Ok cool he'll fix it. Wait I forgot to make sure if he's charging, but it sounded free, ugh another bridge to cross.
Bio oil or scar sheets? What the hell is arnica, I have to get that. What the hell is bromelain, I have to get that. What the hell is steri-tape, do i need that? What the hell, my garment isn't the same as hers, will I heal right? Oh that gals doc didn't make her where a garment at all- so I'll be fine. What the hell is scar excision and revision-do have to do that?
Is my scar too high?
Will my scar turn white?
Will my scar travel up anymore?
Should I get my first tattoo to cover this beast of a scar?
Should I pierce my new BB while its still numb?
Should I get permalips or butt implants- no- gotta' focus-it's all about the TT right now...
Hmmm, I wonder what the scars from my implants look like-its been a year on those....
Taking pictures...posting...taking pictures...posting
Love you all, my surgery sisters!
Feel great today!
Aha! I was tired because I got dehydrated.
A little lumpy.
Fun with foundation- I had to try it!
Finally know my bra size!
Now- the TT- scar still looks the same I think. I've kept my binder on all weekend, day and night because it felt nice and it won't hurt anything. Here are some pics!
My back hurts
New pics 13 weeks I think
Here's a pic of my over worked back.
The first night I got here, I tried to swim and could not. My tummy muscle locked up kind of funny, and it felt really strange where my muscle repair is. The next day, I figured out I could doggy paddle, or swim with bigger strokes if turned to one of my sides.
My vertical scar is fully visible above my bottoms, but I just have to deal with it this year. Most looks go to the breasts and not the new belly, I've noticed, lol.
3 months po TT
I'm posting some pics. I walked into a surf shop, and found a beautiful bathing suit- yellow- and each piece was only $10! I was nervous about the bottoms coming up high enough to cover the incision because I tried them on over my other bathing suit bottoms -(scared of koochie germs) but when I got them home and cleaned them, they fit pretty perfectly. They'd look the best at about an inch below the scar, as most bottoms would, but I can still make them work without giving myself a damn camel toe and looking like the bottoms are on backwards, too. Just a couple of things I've noticed after all of this, lol- gotta find the humor in it.
Weird burning feeling on side
Healing, my sisters.
Anyway, 'nuff about my butt. :) I hope you all are doing great in your recoveries and that you are also finding things to be happy about as you recover.
Made a mistake in the prior post
Brighter light to see my scar
3 and a half months po
Also, I can feel stitches under my scar when I use the bio oil. I am starting to wonder if they will ever reabsorb. I see my ps on the 11th, so I'll learn more about that. My six months po anniversary will be mid November and I can't wait! I really hope the swelling does not exist by then.
Dr. Nease has mad skill: dog ear ninja
Pics of dog ear and wrinkles over time
Dog ear removal and scar in general
Don't use the bioCorneum- sorry!!!!
Finally not tired all the time!!
Anyway, I'll probably have some more tiring days after this, but I just wanted to share to let you all know that 4 months out, things are really normalizing!
Almost 6 months out
Dog ears and thick line of fat above incision scar
There is also more fat under the skin above the incision than under the skin below the incision. This causes a protrusion along the entire length of the scar above the scar. Nice little ridge that rests right over the top of any panties or swim suits I own. It's just wonderful. I swear to god- something has to be done about this scar, because I'll be damned if I have to give myself a camel toe every time I go to hide it. The actual scar would be bearable if the skin that comes together to make the scar line wasn't uneven.
Here's the thing though- if I have to get lipo to fix that, I've already been down that road once, and it is disfiguring. Last thing I want is more holes and gouges under my skin because of lipo.
Scar and stretch marks
One Year update
But I can wear a bikini and stay a good distance away from people while swimming, or get in the hot tub when it's dark, no problem.
Oh-yes- and I'm completely flat when I lay down to go to sleep at night. Standing up changes all that. Lower tummy just pooches right back out.
Belly button is a little dark, the vertical scar is just plain strange, the revisioned dog ear is still a dog ear, and there is a shelf above the incision. The upper shelf hangs over the top of full brief bikini bottoms quite nicely. I could cover it by pulling up the bottoms, but I've found that it is either shelf, or camel toe. Would an inch lower for the scar planning have been that much more difficult? The answer is "nope".
On a high note, there is no more pain, and I can fully stretch and move. No more swelling.
Would I do this again? Only after meeting about 5 different docs. But even then nobody really knows what is going to happen after you pay thousands and get knocked out to be cut on by the doctor you chose. Good luck.
Charming, but less than optimal outcome. My scar has a ledge because the fat was not evened out before I was sewn up. Dog ears. Horizontal scar is short- which is positive, but could have been lower even if it meant the t-scar was longer. Tension caused extreme and new stretch marks on fresh skin.