5 1/2 months post op and going back for revisions. New pics

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I am 41 years old and have an 18 year old leaving...

I am 41 years old and have an 18 year old leaving home soon. I have struggled with my weight for most of my life and at my absolute highest weighed in at 260. I'm 5'6 and over the past 8 months have lost about 45 pounds. My current weight is 196. I hope to be down to 185 by surgery day. I'm very active and over the past couple of years have really tried to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. I run, bike, swim, I even did an international distance triathlon last year and have plans for another one this summer right before my surgery. I also rock wall climb, box, do latin dance and hip hop and spin classes. I try to eat healthy most of the time. I have always felt though that for someone who is so active and fit my body just doesn't reflect who I truly am; most specifically my abs and midsection. After my son and years of sitting on the couch doing very little I have stretch marks on top of stretch marks and a hanging, ugly pooch that I have tried and tried to get rid of for years with absolutely no success.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted a tummy tuck but never had the nerve or the money to do it. Now I am finally ready to do this for myself so that my body on the outside will match how I see me on the inside and maybe I can finally look like a real athlete. Yesterday I scheduled my surgery and paid my deposit. I will be having a TT with Vaser lipo of my abs and flank area on June 14th. 6 weeks and counting!! I am so excited and nervous already. I did my homework and I consulted with 4 surgeons who came highly recommended to me. All were very different. The doctor I decided on is fabulous and I have complete faith in what he can do. I have seen his work first hand and it is beautiful. He is truly an artist and I know he will give me a fabulous result! He is one of the best in the field and I feel very safe in his hands. We clicked right away and he and his staff have been wonderful. June 14th can't get here soon enough for me! Finding this site has been such a blessing to me. I have spent hours reading other people's experiences and I have learned so much already about what to expect and how to prepare for what is to come. I'm very grateful to everyone here for sharing their stories to help the rest of us. Hopefully my story can help someone else too. I will post some before pictures tomorrow, but it's really late here and it's been a very long day. Time for bed now.

I got brave this morning and took some before...

I got brave this morning and took some before pictures. I am very good at camouflaging my midsection in pictures. Over the years I have become quite good at hiding it and figuring out exactly how to stand to minimize it in photos, so it was hard taking these pics and even harder posting them but here goes. I know that soon when I take a picture I wont need to figure out the best angle to hide my big belly. I can't wait to be able to post the after pics.

I had my pre-op appointment today. It went fine...

I had my pre-op appointment today. It went fine except that I am up 10 pounds from a month ago. I have been stress eating and have had family visiting from out of town for my son's high school graduation. That and the stress of waiting for my TT and worrying about whether or not I will have problems getting the FMLA to cover my time off is making me nuts. My exercise and eating habits have suffered to put it mildly! The pre-op, before pictures were hard to see. I just had to tell myself that I will never look that way agan. I can't wait to see my new body. I decided to go for it and get the lipo of my back as well as the lipoabdominoplasty and lipo of flanks. I am hoping for a better result by getting my back done as well. The only thing that worries me is that I am not sure how I will be able to sleep with both my back and my front hurting from surgery. I guess I am going to be very uncomfortable for a while. My PS said I probably wont like him very much for at least a week. LOL. But he assures me I will love my results.

I also found out today that my PS wants me to stop taking my Premarin the week before surgery. That will not be good. Hot flashes and mood swings here I come! My PS promises me that it will all be worth it in the end. I am gonna spend some time researching what natural remedies I can use for the probable hot flashes and crazy mood swings. Can anyone give suggestions for things to try to help reduce the nasty discomforts of not taking my Premarin? I had a full hysterectomy a year and a half ago, so there is nothing left to help prevent the worst post menopausal symptoms.

I can't believe I am down to only 12 days to surgery. It's coming fast but not fast enough for me.

Tomorrow I am going to take before bikini pics and post them for comparison after surgery.

I can't believe I am actually less than 1 week...

I can't believe I am actually less than 1 week from surgery. Monday 6/11/2012 is the big day. My mom is going to stay for a couple of days after surgery to make sure I am ok. The past couple of weeks have been very hectic and stressful. The 15 pounds I had hoped to lose pre surgery turned into a 10 gain. My stress level has been high for the past month and it peaked on Friday when my son told me he was going off to the Marine corp. On Monday! So it's been a whirlwind around here. He ended up not going and will be around for my surgery, which is a huge blessing. I have homework, work, family visiting and a dozen other stressors to deal with right up to surgrey. But I am trying to take care of myself and relax so that my stress level does not affect surgery or my recovery.

I've been trying to make sure I have everything I need for pre and post op. I need to find that list of necessities I have seen posted here and make sure I have it all. I stopped my Premarin 6 days ago as ordered by my PS and the hot flashes are crazy! I can't wait to get back on it after surgery.

I took pics today in some of the bikinis I have picked up to wear after surgery is all done. I wanted to have before pics to compare with after. These pics are awful, but I am sharing them for anyone who may have a belly similar to mine and wondering what they will look like after surgery. I plan to post after pics as soon as I am able to get up and get it done. I think seeing everyone else's pics has been the most helpful and interesting part of this site for me. That and all the info from those who are and have already gone through this. I hope my pics will be helpful to someone else here.

I can not believe tomorrow really is the big day! ...

I can not believe tomorrow really is the big day! The time flew by and I feel like I need more time to do everything I need to before surgery. The last few weeks have been stressful and hectic to say the least! Work, my family and school, plus getting ready for surgey has been really hard. But I am so ready to get this done and finally have the body I want. Any last minute advise from those who have already done this would be wonderful. Until now I have not had time to be nervous. Now I am getting a bit scared. I will try to post tomorrow before and after surgery and will get some pics up if I can. Good luck and happy healing to all you ladies having surgery with me tomorrow. See you in the Flatlands!

Waiting for check-in now at the surgery center. ...

Waiting for check-in now at the surgery center. Nervous but very excited. Hard to believe the day is finally here. I'm so excited. I can't wait to see how I look tonight! Praying for all the other ladies moving to the Flatlands today.

Post op day 2. I tried to post yesterday but was...

Post op day 2. I tried to post yesterday but was so groggy and I kept falling asleep. Eventually I gave up. So let me start from the beginning. When I got to the surgery center I was taken back to a room to sign the final paperwork and to give an imprint of my credit card. The woman said it was for just in case the surgery went longer than expected. She wasn't very friendly. Never smiled even once. Then I was taken back to the room I would wait and recover in. I got into a gown and had my vital signs taken and then gave a urine sample. I think that was to check for pregnancy. I told the nurse I'd had a hysterectomy but she said it was protocol and they still had to check it anyway. My mom and my friend who came with me were able to hang out with me in the room until they cam to take me for surgery. My surgery was supposed to start at 1230. I actually didn't go to surgery until almost 3pm. My doctor came in and marked me right before surgery and the anesthesiologist put in my IV. Then the nurse came and hung a bag of antibiotics and after that I was on my way to the OR suite. My surgery lasted 5 hours! I woke up back in my recovery room in extreme pain. From all I had read here I was expecting a lot of back pain, but the abdomen was by far the worst pain I have ever had in my life.

I have a pain pump in but I am still not sure it is working. The nurse who was my nurse when I woke up was in a rush to get me out. I think her shift was ending and she was acting like she just wanted to go. I felt very rushed. She got me up to go pee, gave me some ginger ale and some liquid tylenol. Then she helped me get dressed and before I knew it I was in a wheelchair and on my way home. The ride was bumpy and by the time we made it home the pain was even worse. I was surprised by how bad the pain was. I have had a C-section. a hysterectomy and a major open abdominal surgery, so I figured this surgery would be a piece of cake. I was wrong! This pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced. Thank God that now, on day 2 post op it is getting better. I've been taking pain meds and muscle relaxers around the clock, which has been making me very drowsy. But drowsy is better than extreme pain.

Yesterday I went to the PS office for my post op visit. He said I had a "phenomenal" amount of surgery done and the pain was to be expected and he reassured me that the pain pump was working. I am glad I got the pain pump because I can't imagine what I would have done without it. He said he took about 5 liters of fat from me and a large amount of skin. I was hoping to get to see the incision and my belly but my PS said he wont unwrap me until my next visit in a week, (next Tuesday). He said he got me very flat and promised me I will love the results. I can't wait to see how it looks. My mom and friend say they can definitely see the difference. I am very flat, I can see that even with all the swelling and bulky dressings on right now. I will try to take some pics and post them later in the week. I am already able to stand up straight. I didn't think that would happen for a while but my PS said that because of the way he sutures his patients are usually able to stand up straight quickly.

My pain meds are kicking in again and making me sleepy so I am going to cut this short and take another nap. Happy healing ladies!

So this morning I finally got to remove my cg and...

So this morning I finally got to remove my cg and take a shower. It was heavenly. It felt great to be out of the cg for a little while. I removed the pain pump today and hopefully my drains will come out on Tuesday at my 1 week follow up appointment. The drainage has been minimal so far today.

Today was my very first look at my new body. I am very, very swollen and bruised but flat. No more hanging kangaroo pouch! Yay!!! My incision is super low and very thin. I can't wait to start scar therapy and see how it will fade and diminish. So far I am very happy with my results. The pain is much better today. Very tolerable. I am still taking my pain pill and muscle relaxant every 4 hours but I think today I will see if I can take them every 6 hours.

I know everyone including my PS warned me not to get on the scale because it would most likely be up but I just couldn't resist. My PS took 5 liters of fat out of me and a lot of hanging skin. I couldn't resist stepping on the scale to see where I was at. I was expecting to be up at least a few pounds due to all the swelling and fluid retention, but instead I am down 10 pounds from where I was at the day of my surgery!!! I am amazed. I can only image how much I will be down when all the fluid and swelling are gone. This just motivates me to get my diet right and really step up my exercise routine as soon as my PS gives me the go ahead.

Today is day 5 post op and I woke up feeling...

Today is day 5 post op and I woke up feeling pretty good. Finally had a BM which I was a little scared about. I was worried I would end up popping stitches or something but it was fine. Today the swelling is pretty bad. I was hoping by now it would start to subside. It's probably worse now than ever before. And I have noticed that on the left side of my belly the skin is a little lumpy, not smooth like on the right side. I am hoping it will even out as the swelling subsides. I will point it out to my PS on Tuesday and see what he thinks. It may need a bit of touch up lipo to correct.

One of the drains stopped working. It wont stay compressed after I empty it. It reinflates immediately and I think on that side it feels harder than on the other side. Hopefully I am not forming a seroma because the fluid isn't draining.

I am down 10 pounds from the day before surgery but I swear I think I look bigger! How long until all this swelling goes down? I look just as big as I did before surgery only without the awful kangaroo pouch on the front and with a lot of bruising.

As soon as I am able to get back to the gym I am gonna hit it hard and try to drop the last 30 pounds that need to go. I am sure that will make my results better. So far I am on the fence about the procedure. I am not 100% sure it was worth it. I have a lot more visible stretch marks than I thought I would. I will start scar therapy and see what I can find to help with the stretch marks as soon as my PS gives the me go ahead. I didn't go into surgery expecting to come out looking like a supermodel but I do hope the final result will be much better than it is right now. Has anyone else out there had similar experience? Anyone with second thoughts after it's done? Did everyone love their results immediately?

Yesterday was by far the worst day for me...

Yesterday was by far the worst day for me emotionally. I felt horrible and was seriously wondering why I did this to myself. If I could have taken it all back yesterday I probably would have. Today however I am feeling more like myself again and I am much less emotional than yesterday. The swelling is still terrible and I am still moving like a little old lady but the pain is much less than it's been and I am standing up straight which is a wonderful thing! I was able to take some more pictures and I am truly amazed at the change in me. I can not wait to see what I will look like in a couple of months when the majority of the swelling will be gone. I am much more swollen on the left side where the drain has stopped working than on the right. I hope I am not developing on seroma on that side. I will see my PS on Tuesday and hope that the drains can come out. I will probably feel more human when they are gone. Even with major swelling in the flanks, back and abdomen I can not believe the dramatic change in me. I have not been this flat in nearly 20 years. I'm amazed to see my panties laying flat against my abs.even with swelling some of my underwear is too big! I am so motivated to get back to the gym and step up my workouts. With toning I think I am not going to recognize myself. Finally I will have a body that I think matches how I truly am on the inside. That alone makes all of what I have gone through this past week worth it. I will post new pics later today. Thank you to everyone for the kind words and encouragement after my meltdown yesterday. You have no idea how much it meant to me. It's so comforting and reassuring knowing I am not going through this alone. Happy Healing to all of my fellow TTs!

Yesterday was my 1 week follow up visit with my PS...

Yesterday was my 1 week follow up visit with my PS. What a difference a week makes! I was still very uncomfortable yesterday and so swollen, but at least I was much more coherent this visit. The drain that had not been working for 3-4 days prior was pulled yesterday, thank God! I still have 1 drain in and it continues to put out about 75cc daily so it had to stay in, but hopefully it will come out Tuesday at my next visit. I told my PS I feel like he worked me over with a baseball bat and he laughed and said basically he did, only not with a bat but with a liposuction canula! He was very pleased with his work. LOL. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned. Everything is still so swollen and bruised, and hard to the touch, especially my back and flanks. I can not see a dramatic difference from before surgery. But apparently my PS can and he is happy. He said he is positive I will be also when all is said and done. He said I just have to be patient. According to him I had a massive amount of surgery, 5 hours to be exact, and he sucked out 5 liters of fat and removed 4.5 pounds of skin so I just have to give my body time to heal and recover and in a few months when things settle down I will be amazed at how it looks. He promised me that! LOL. I will say that I am very pleased with the incision so far. Pre surgery my PS promised it would be as low as possible. It's so low and thin I can wear absolutely any bikini or lingerie I want and the incision will be completely hidden. It will probably be nearly invisible after scar therapy. I can't wait to get the go ahead to work on reshaping my belly button. I do not love the look of that little slit. It doesn't look natural at all. I am going to have to find a marble soon!

Yesterday's office visit was my first since the day after surgery and I was surprisingly better. That is until I left the office and had my son drive me to Walmart. Normally I am up and down the isle at Wally World like nothing. I can browse for a couple of hours sometime and not even notice. I usually go after spending a couple of hours at the gym in the mornings. Yesterday I was pooped out after 20 minutes and had to turn the cart over to my son and have him pay while I headed back to the car to try to catch my breath. I was exhausted and my back was killing me. It was a little more than I bargained for, but overall I was happy for the chance to get out and stretch my legs.

This morning I woke up feeling amazing! I actually had energy and felt almost like my old self. A much slower, achy, swollen and stiff version of myself, but still better than I have felt since the day before surgery. I got up, dressed in workout clothes and went for a walk. It was already 85 degrees here by 10am but I was determined to get in some kind of exercise while I was feeling good. I was only able to walk a slow mile before I had to stop but it did feel good to be moving. My back was a bit achy and I was surprised by how tight and achy my hips were, considering that I had absolutely no work done to them, but overall it felt so good to be moving. I am used to running 5 miles through my neighborhood. It was odd to be exhausted after doing so little. But tomorrow I will try to go for longer. I may even get adventurous later this evening and walk again when it cools down some. I have a feeling it will be a while before I am back to running 5 miles, 3 days a week. I hope all of my June TT sisters are healing well and looking fabulous. Happy Healing ladies!

I am 12 days po today and feeling sooooo much...

I am 12 days po today and feeling sooooo much better! Thank God, because for a while there I was seriously wondering what the heck I was thinking to ever have this done to myself! But I have felt a lot better for the past 2-3 days. I'm driving again, and have actually done some shopping. I wake up and go for walks every morning now. I am up to about 2 miles at a leisurely pace. I can't wait to get back to working out again but for now the walks are enough and seem to really be helping the swelling come down. I have not needed any pain meds for the past couple of days. I do take a muscle relaxer at the end of the day if I need it because I notice my back is very stiff and sore and sometimes still pretty painful by the end of the day if I do too much. Once in a while I take ibuprofen for mild pain as well, but no more need for anything prescription strength anymore. At this point it's all just very sore and stiff mostly. Especially at the end of the day when I have done a lot.

I am still so swollen but as the swelling in my flanks and back start to subside a little bit I am really taking on a shape! An hourglass shape! My waist is starting to look so tiny in clothes! And the thing that I love most about that and that I am still shocked everytime I notice it is, the fact that I have absolutely no belly rolls whatsoever! I went and got a pedicure yesterday and sitting in the chair I realized there was no overhang. And no kangaroo pouch to get in the way. That is a first after nearly 20 years! I love my PS! Today when I dressed and took a few pics I also noticed something else I haven't seen in at least 20 years. A bit of muscle definition at the very top of my abs! Shocking!! I knew there had to be some in there somewhere. I workout a lot. And finally I am starting to feel that my body will actually be able to reflect that fact. So far I think I am down about 12-14 pounds from where I was the day of surgery and I am hopeful that when all the swelling finally goes away I may be down close to 20 pounds. I am hoping to be able to drop another 20-25 pounds at the gym and tone it all up with weight lifting. I am so very excited to see what I can sculpt my body into. This surgery was exactly the jumpstart I think I needed. Now I am well on my way and today very much feeling it was well worth it!

Not sure how it happened but this morning my 1 remaining drain fell out. I was not to excited and in fact even a little relieved. That thing was a pain in the butt! And it was really hurting anytime I moved. Just taking the cg off was enough to make it pinch me and it was feeling kinda raw. There had only been about 20cc of drainage from it the past 2 days so I know it was due to come out anyway at my next doctor's visit on Tuesday. Unless some issue arises over the weekend I will just watch it and let my PS know on Monday.

My incision is healing beautifully. It's very thin and already pretty light. I think with scar therapy it will be nearly invisible and because of where my PS placed it I can wear absolutely anything I like. Did I say I love my PS?? LOL.

I am posting 12 day po pics and did include a back shot for those who had been requesting to see how that is looking. I think as the swelling continues to come down in my flanks and back I will really be happy to have spent the extra money on the lipo there. At first I could not see any difference at all in the back but today I can definitely see the change. Well worth the extra expense for any of you who are undecided about back/flank lipo with your TT.

I hope everyone else is healing well and feeling great. Happy healing ladies!

Today was my 2 week post op visit. Yesterday was...

Today was my 2 week post op visit. Yesterday was actually 2 weeks but my post op visits started the day after surgery. So anyway, my PS was very pleased with how things are progressing and how I am looking. He even pulled out my before pictures to show me how far I have come. They are always difficult to look at. But at least I know I wont ever look like that again. He did an amazing job. He is happy with how the incision is healing and isn't over concerned with all the swelling. He said that the surgery interrupted the lymphatic drainage system in my abdominal/groin area and that is the reason that I am having so much swelling in the lower abdomen/pubic area. It's really bad. Also I have found that if I eat even small amounts of salt I immediately blow up like a puffer fish. I asked him how common this is and he said it's very common and that eventually it will lessen, but that from now on I really need to steer clear of most sodium. So no processed foods, nothing from a can or box basically and definitely no fast food. He said I don't need that garbage anyway. So from now on my diet will have to truly be clean. I've tried to eat mostly clean for years but now I have even more reason to keep it clean. I had dinner at my aunt's house yesterday. She is a great cook but very heavy handed with the salt. I knew when I was eating it what would happen. By the time dinner was over I was feeling so swollen and tight and having so much pain I wanted to cry. I had to take motrin and leave for home. It really is crazy how fast I blow up now.

He released me back to work in another week, (the 3 week mark), but unfortunately my job as a nurse does not have any light duty. My boss said I can not come back until I am able to lift 50 pounds on my own. So that means at least another 2 weeks off. This is both good and bad. I love having my summer to enjoy but someone has to pay the bills. I am just praying that I will be more than ready for back to work at the end of that extra 2 weeks.

I picked up some arnica montana from Whole Foods after my appointment today and I am hoping that it along with some gentle lymphatic drainage massage will help bring this swelling down. Also maybe it will help with that burning nerve pain I have been experiencing down the center of my abs where he lifted and pulled things down. My PS suggested I switch from ibuprofen to naproxen, which I did, but hopefully the arnica montana will help too.

Well that is all for today. Happy healing ladies!

I took week 2 po pics a couple of days ago and...

I took week 2 po pics a couple of days ago and finally put them together with my before pics. A couple of them show week 1 po as well. I am literally shocked at the difference from before to now. It's really incredible seeing the images side by side. I can't believe it's me. I am so excited to imagine what things will look like when the swelling is gone in a couple of months. I tried on my size 8 dream jeans yesterday and amazingly they fit! Not only do they fit but there is no muffin top in them either. When the swelling goes down they probably will be too big! I can't even imagine going into a store and being able to buy jeans in a size 6. That hasn't happpened since I was in high school! I also bought a new dress yesterday. It's short, strapless and black leather in a size large. It looked really small on the hanger and I figured there was no way it would fit now but at least I could get it and when the swelling was gone wear it out during my trip to Miami this winter. I was going to hang it in the closet without even trying it on. But guess what??? I decided to try it on and it fit!!!!! Not only does it fit but it has a tiny bit of room in it! When the swelling comes down it will be way too big. So now I have to decide if I want to keep the size large and wear it now or go back and get a medium so that I can wear it in Miami this winter. That is certainly a first for me. A size medium leather dress that I can fit. Wow! This surgery was worth every penny and all the pain. I am going for a lymphatic drainage massage today. I have been doing self lymphatic drainage massage at home and taking arnica montana and they seem to be helping with my swelling. Hopefully a professional massage will do even more. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Happy healing ladies!

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my surgery...

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my surgery. It feels like it has been longer. I am healing more and more each day and feeling a lot better. My energy is not back to 100% but it's so much better than it was.

My biggest concern right now is finding out what this lump is on my lower abdomen on the right just below my BB. I have an appointment to see my PS tomorrow so he can figure out what it is. I hope it's not a seroma. It does not hurt but it is red and hard and it's gotten bigger since I first noticed it almost a week ago. I am very anxious to see the PS and find out what it is. Aside from that everything else is good.

The swelling is down a bit more today but I am still so very swollen. I can't wait to see what it will look like when the swelling is finally gone and I can see my true results. My flank and lower back are coming along nicely but I am not so sure about my upper back. I think my PS should have taken more out. I was hoping for a perfectly smooth flat back with no bra rolls at all. I guess I will have to work them off at the gym the old fashioned way.

I've posted a few new pics.

So today I had an appointment with my PS to check...

So today I had an appointment with my PS to check out that reddened lump on my abdomen. He assured me it is just normal swelling from the TT and nothing to be at all worried about but I still wasn't sure I was buying it. I hadn't been there from the beginning so I was still concerned. He decided to stick a needle in to see if he could aspirate anything out, just to make me feel better. I was scared about the needle but it did not hurt at all. And of course nothing came out. He said I was thinking about it all to much and to just relax and trust him. I do trust him but I was glad he did what he did and that it turned out to be nothing to be worried about.

He is very happy with my progress and even he was impressed with my before and after pics. I showed him my most recent bikini pics. He said that in 3-6 months I will be amazed at what I will look like. I can't wait. He is fine with me walking on the treadmill and doing light weights but said no classes or serious workouts for at least 3-4 more weeks. I am itching to get back to the gym. I need to tone and work on the areas that my PS did not.

I woke up this morning and was a alot less swollen...

I woke up this morning and was a alot less swollen than I have been and decided to try on some more bikinis and take a few pics. I ended up having my very own little fashion photo shoot. Not a whole lot new to report. I did have a second lymphatic drainage massage on thursday. Maybe that is why I woke up today with less swelling. I added a few new pics here that I took this morning. I am completely blown away by the difference in my before pics, taken just a couple of months ago to my current pics. I know the results we just keep getting better and better and that is shocking to realize. I am really happy with how my results are coming along and think this is the best decision I have ever made for myself.

I'll be 4 weeks post op tomorrow. The time has...

I'll be 4 weeks post op tomorrow. The time has really flown by. I am so happy now with how my results are coming along. I look in the mirror and can't believe sometimes that it's my body. When I walk past mirrors or windows and catch my reflection now I usually have to do a double take. I don't even recognize myself most of the time! It is the strangest thing to go from a body that I had for nearly 19 years to almost overnight have a completely new and different one. It is taking some getting used to, but that is a good problem to have. My PS has promised me that this is only the beginning and by 3 months and especially 6 months, I will see amazing changes and improvements. I can't even imagine that! I am still quite swollen but it gets better every day. The soreness in my flank and back are also much improved. I have not taken pain meds or muscle relaxers for about 2 weeks now. I take an occasional naproxen but have not even needed that for a week. I was really disappointed with how many stretch marks I still had after surgery but as the weeks pass and the swelling subsides they are actually becoming much less noticable. They are hard to see at all from a distance and up close they are not that bad anymore. Hopefully with more time they will improve a lot and if I need to I can get derma blend body makeup and hide them when out in public in my bikini.

I have started to increase my workouts at the gym little by little. My PS wants me to wait a few more weeks before I go back to my full workout schedule and classes and I am ok with that, but I do miss my spin classes and dance classes and I have been itching to get back to rock wall climbing but that takes a lot of core strength and I know it's way too soon for that yet, but I am doing the treadmill and stairmaster at the gym and back to strength training with relatively light weights. I think this week I will start running on the treadmill again and see how that goes. I am really anxious to get back to full workouts and see if I can get the last 20-25 pounds off and improve on my results even more.

For anyone on the fence about this surgery, I say absolutely go for it! It is worth the cost and the pain without a doubt!

I bought 2 new bikinis, and posted new pics.

So yesterday was 4 weeks post op. The day started...

So yesterday was 4 weeks post op. The day started out fine, I took my measurements which I had not done since the morning of surgery right before leaving for the surgery center. I was pleased to see that my waist was down nearly 4 inches and my low waist, where my kangaroo pouch used to be was also down 4 inches.

I went for my morning walk planning to just walk 4 miles but when I hit the 2 mile mark I decided it was time to try running. I found I really missed running although it isn't my favorite thing to do. So I ran the last 2 miles. I had my cg on and it gives me a lot of support and nothing was moving in that thing. It was nice to be able to run and not have anything wiggling or jiggling all around. It actually felt fine except for a little sore feeling in my flanks area from the running and I always feel my abs contracting when I walk a long distance or do anything that involves the core muscles. They contract really, really tight like someone is cinching a really tight corset around my middle. It doesn't exactly hurt but it is a weird, kind of uncomfortable sort of feeling. Does anyone else ever have that sensation with walking or running?? Anyhoo, it was a good workout and I finished in 48 minutes. Not great but since I walked the first half, not terrible either. I need to get back on schedule training for my half marathon in October.

I was running late for an appointment in the morning so I didn't get to take pics like I had planned. I wish I would have now because after my appointment I decided to stop and get some lunch. I haven't had real fast food in weeks and since I was feeling so good I thought I could chance it and have a little bit of Panda Express and I would be fine. Well let me tell you, that was a MAJOR mistake! I got the angus steak with mixed veggies and by the time I had finished it I was already getting uncomfortable. Within 30 minutes after finishing I was so swollen and tight and uncomfortable it was unreal. It was actually painful. I looked like I was about 4 months pregnant! I was miserable for the rest of the day. So so much for taking progress pics. All I could do was take my arnica and drink water and wait for the misery to end. It was so bad that I thought about taking a pain pill but decided to just ride it out. This morning I am feeling much better. No pain, but I am still more swollen than usual. So lesson learned, no salty fast food for me. I paid way too much money for a TT to walk around looking 4 months pregnant! Hopefully all the swelling will be down tomorrow and I can take my 4 week update pics.

Yesterday was 5 weeks post op for me. Today I saw...

Yesterday was 5 weeks post op for me. Today I saw my PS for a check up and he is very, very pleased with my progress. He said I am well ahead of the curve for healing and he is very impressed with my results so far. There is still a lot of swelling but it is getting better. I take my arnica faithfully and it really seems to help. Also I keep my incision covered with paper tape. My PS said whatever I am doing just keep doing it because it's working well and everything is looking great. I wore my size 10 skinny jeans from Express today and they were actually falling down! I need a size 8 but I know that as the swelling subsides they won't fit for very long. It's amazing to have that kind of problem! LOL. I am absolutely loving that! Also I was worried about how big my boobs are looking as the swelling diminished in my abdomen. The smaller my waist gets the larger my chest looks. I am currently a 36DD and my PS thinks that is what I will stay. I was hoping that as the swelling around my back goes down that I might settle down into a nice 34DD. But with diet and exercise maybe I can prove him wrong! Anyway he did tell me about the possibility of a reduction and lift but I just don't think I want to go that route. He said think about it and let him know if I decide to pursue it but that my proportions are actually very nice. He said that is what lingerie is made for. He actually didn't really try to encourage the reduction. I do love that he gave his honest opinion and I was impressed that his opinion didn't necessarily involve more surgery.

There are a couple of areas that my PS does feel will need to be addressed in a few months. The area on the left side of my abs that isn't smooth may need a little touch up lipo, as well as, I have a slight dog ear on the right side that may need a bit of lipo and small revision to make it better. My incision is low and thin but it is slightly uneven and he said he may want to revise it to even it out more. It's not that uneven and really doesn't bother me so I am fine if he doesn't do anything to the scar. It is actually healing very nicely I think. The one area that I am unhappy with is my back, just above and below my bra line on the right side. It still has some rolls, even though they are a lot less than before surgery. But my PS did say that in a few months when more swelling has had time to subside he may go back and do more lipo to get a better looking result. I am very happy with that. Overall I am so pleased with how things are looking. It really is more than I ever imagined it would be.

I did forget to ask him when it would be ok to get my BB pierced. I'm in no hurry so I will just ask him at my next follow up appointment which will be in 6 weeks at the end of August. For you ladies that got yours pierced after surgery, when did you get it done? How long did you wait?

I am going back to work on Friday and I am a little nervous because my job is very physically demanding and the shifts are 12.5 hours long. Lucky for me I only work 3 days a week and then I am off the other 4 days and can recover.

I was cleared to go back to full workouts but he said to listen to my body and no core/abdominal specific work just yet. I'm so excited to be able to go back to my classes. I really miss spin and hip hop and latin dance classes. I am very anxious to get the last 25 pounds off. I did ask my PS whether he was worried that losing 25 pounds would loosen my skin or cause a problem with the tummy tuck but he said it should be fine. I'm hoping it will make my results even better in the long run.

I will be taking pics for comparison tonight or tomorrow and I will post those tomorrow. I hope everyone is healing well and sending prayers and good wishes to those going for surgery in the coming weeks.

Just posting my week 5 po pics today. My incision...

Just posting my week 5 po pics today. My incision is healing nicely and comparing the pics side by side I can really see the swelling coming down. I am very pleased with my results so far and I think I have the best PS in the world. He really did an amazing job. And he is promising me that I am still very swollen and that in about 6 more weeks I will love him even more! I sure hope so. I am very happy to get back into the gym full force so I can drop the weight I need to and tone it all up.

I went shopping for some new jeans today. Found a...

I went shopping for some new jeans today. Found a pair I love in a size 8! They are a perfect fit right now with absolutely no muffin top or jelly roll sitting or standing. I am amazed at where things are at 5 1/2 weeks po! I went to the beach yesterday and actually felt pretty good in my bikini. It's priceless to be able to go out and actually feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. This surgery was absolutely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I am posting a couple of new pics.

I am 9 weeks post op today. Wow! Time really...

I am 9 weeks post op today. Wow! Time really flies. I haven't been on here to update in a month. It's been so busy for me lately. I have been back at work for 4 weeks now. I was worried with my very physically demanding job that I was going back too soon but I went back at just under 6 weeks and I did just fine. I was a little tired and slower than normal the first couple of weeks back but now I am back to my old self with no problems at all. As an ER nurse you have to be able to run, run, run all the time.

I am truly happy with my results. the more time passes the better it looks. The incision is healing beautifully with a very thin scar. I have been using paper tape over the incision since about week 2 or 3 and I think it works amazingly well. And it's way cheaper than silicon strips. I got 4 rolls of paper tape at Walgreens for $5. I plan to use the tape until I get to 12 weeks. After that I will stop using tape because there is no evidence based research that says it's helpful for scar healing beyond that point. After I stop using the tape I will just continue to massage with my bee magic balm and hope that it continues to heal well.

My belly button is completely healed now and looks pretty good. I wish it was rounder but it's a complete inny and will look very cute pierced I think. I plan to get it done after I see my PS in 2 weeks. I just want to get the ok from him to go ahead and do it.

I still have swelling in my flanks and my lower belly below my BB, but it has gone down tremendously from what it was and it continues to improve weekly. I am nearly flat now. I still have to deal with swell hell, especially after a long work weekend and at the end of the day. I started a juice fast 8 days ago and that has helped dramatically improve the swelling. I am going to try to fast for 3 weeks. 1 down, 2 to go! I am seeing such amazing results with juicing and I have so much energy that it is keeping me motived to continue as long as I can. The 7 pounds I've lost doesn't hurt either! LOL.

I do continue to have numbness to my flanks and lower abs and when I sleep without my CG I do wake feeling more numbness that if I wear it. I am still wearing it faithfully and I am one of those that loves my CG. I would much rather wear it than not. I even wear it for working out at the gym. I sleep with it on most of the time but do occasionally go without at night but for now I will continue to wear it. Sometimes I wear spanx instead but I like the support I get with the CG better.

The areas where I had lipo to my back are improving as well. I thought I would need my PS to go back over those areas but as the swelling goes away and I drop a few pounds it is looking much better. I am very curious to see what my PS thinks when he sees me in 2 weeks. The last time I saw him he said I looked amazing and he was very happy with my progress. As of today I am down about 15-16 pounds since my surgery and am very comfortable in a size 8. I have about 20 more pounds to lose and at that point I will reevaluate where I am at and decide if I want to get any touch up work done and if I need to lose any more weight.

I hope everyone out there is healing well and enjoying their results as much as I am enjoying mine. Happy healing ladies!

Time has really flown and it's hard to believe...

Time has really flown and it's hard to believe it's actually been over 5 months since my surgery! I've recovered well, but have gained 10 pounds since the surgery. I'm definitely not happy about that but I am getting back on track and I'm back to regular workouts and working on my eating habits. I ran a 5K Thanksgiving day turkey trot this morning and felt great.

I can definitely see the 10 pounds all over but I will say that it did not come back very much in the areas that got liposuctioned the first time around. I gained in my hips and butt and arms and I notice a small amount in my abs but I think I am the only one who really notices it there. Even with the extra 10 pounds I look dramatically different than pre-surgery and still have muscle definition in my abs! As far as I am concerned, that alone made this surgery worth every penny.

I will be going back for liposuction revision on my back and to have the extra bit of fat left behind at the areas where my incision ends touched up on Monday. I was never happy with my results in those areas and my PS, Dr. Iteld is going back to fix those areas for me. He waived his surgeon fees so I will only be responsible for the surgery center and anesthesia fees. Hopefully after this revision my back will be smooth and roll free.

I definitely would recommend this surgery to anyone who is undecided. It's been incredible for my self esteem and I have no regrets about doing it.
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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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