Discouraged with results of TT! - Chicago, IL

I have been debating about writing this. But...

I have been debating about writing this. But since I've used this site to help prepare and ease my mind about doing this I wanted to help others.

I'm 5'3" and weighed 162 this morning. I have 2 kids and they were both by c-section. I've had this "apron" on my stomach since. My son was a very large baby at 9lbs 13oz so he stretched my belly to the max! I didn't even gain much weight with him, he was just a huge baby! Lol. My daughter was 7lbs exactly so she wasn't so bad. But again I was all belly during both pregnancies so it wrecked my stomach.

I had my consultation with Dr. G back in September and had my surgery today. Originally I wanted it done in November but I wouldn't have been able to downhill ski over Christmas. So I waited which was hard because I was anxious to get it done. So I had my surgery today and the pain is manageable. I had a quick peek in the garment and I think I'm going to like my results! I can't wait for my first appt with Dr. G so I can see it without the garment on.

Dr. G was great! I had a few issues like not being told I needed medical clearance for my asthma. But Dr. G was willing to meet me with the anesthesiologist to clear me but I was able to get into my doctor. It was great that he was going to take time out of his schedule to make sure I'm cleared. There were a few other issues which I brought to Dr. G's attention and he apologized and eased my mind. I'm really glad I chose Dr. G add my PS as he is great, he respond to ask my emails quickly and he treated me just as he would a family member.

Well this is getting long and I need to rest. I will update when I can. Good luck to everyone getting this done!

Before photos

Ok here are my nasty before photos. I haven't taken the binder off so I don't have after pics yet. I hope to get some today.

My PS is awesome!

He sent me flowers today. They are beautiful and unexpected. That was very nice of him.

After pics

I took a shower today so I was able to get some pics. I'm really swollen today and it's really uncomfortable. I stopped taking the pain pills yesterday as they were making me sick to my stomach. I'm only taking ibuprofen now and I've been ok. A little sore but not bad at all. I can wait to see the results after the swelling goes down.

pics

Sorry all pics didn't upload.

Is this normal?

I've had this burning sensation on the outside of my upper thighs ever since the surgery was done. This hurts worse than the pain in my stomach. It's hot to the touch but not red or anything and it's hard like it's swollen. Could this be from the lipo on my flanks? Not sure if anyone else had this same issue or if I should call the doctor.

Another good day

I had another good day today. Walking more upright which helps my back. I have pics but it's not letting me load them. I will try again later.

Pics from yesterday

More pics

Sorry didn't get them all with the last post. The swelling I'm having is so uncomfortable. Ugh. I can't wait for it to go down.

Post op appt

Well I had my post op appt on Monday. The doc said everything looks good. I asked how much he removed and it was 6 lbs! Wow!

I'm feeling better but I keep getting nauseous in the morning when I wake up. It's been like this the last 2 days. I can't function like this. I was suppose to go to work today but I couldn't since moving around made the nausea worse. I hope this goes away so I can move more. Did anyone else have this symptom?

I weighed myself for the first time since the sx and I'm down 8 lbs. Woo hoo.

Pics

Here are pics from tonight after my shower. I'm still really swollen but it's looking better everyday.

First day back to work

Just wanted to say my day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have a desk job so that made it easier. My back was a little sore by the end of the day but it was ok I didn't need to take anything for it. Walked to the train and to work and I felt good. Slower than usual but I expected that.

My incision may have an issue. I noticed the other night I had some bleeding under the paper tape on my incision. I asked the doc if I should do anything for it and he said no. After my shower tonight it looked wrong so my hubby took the tape off that spot and it was gross. There was a little pus so I got back in the shower to rinse it and gently wash it. I now have some gauze over it. I will check it in the morning and if its not better will call the doc. I hope it just closes on its own.

But that's about it. I will be relaxing this weekend so I have enough energy to work the whole next week.

Had my 2 week post op today

The doc said everything is coming along great. He looked at the opening in my incision and thought it may be a stitch trying to push out. He opened it up a bit to see but didn't find a stitch. So I need to let it drain and to keep it covered. I don't need to put any ointment or anything else on it. I go back in 2 weeks for another check unless I have any issues before then. I also need to continue wearing the cg which is ok with me as I feel better with it on. I asked if I could vacuum and do light chores and he said yes.

After my shower I tightened the cg to the next set of hooks as the swelling wasn't getting much better. It now feels tight like it did right after my surgery. Hopefully this will help and the swelling will continue to go down.

I will try to post new pics tomorrow.

Swelling or fat?

Sorry I haven't posted much. I'm not sure about my results. At first I looked flatter but each day it seems like my stomach is pushing out more. Today when I went to the bathroom and unhooked my cg I looked down to a small pot belly. I don't understand it. When I hold in my abs it looks better but once I let go I look pregnant because it sticks out. Could this be caused by swelling? I will post pics tonight when sitting so you can give me your opinions. I'm so depressed right now. Ugh.

Pics

Here are pics from tonight. As you can see in the sitting positions when I stop holding in my abs I once again have a pot belly. I know it's still better than what I had previously but it's still discouraging.

Updated pics

Thought I would put some updated pics slowing the laxity of my abs when not holding them in. I am swollen from work and I just finished dinner which makes me feel bloated every time I eat. Ugh. I'm not very happy and I hope my results get better.

I emailed pics to my PS and he said the abdominal wall gets looser when sitting and wants to discuss it next week when I go see him. I only sent the pics of me sitting but it also protrudes when standing if I don't hold my abs in. I'm anxious to see what he has to say when I show him it also does it when standing.

Pants are getting looser!

Sorry I haven't updated much. I'm disappointed in the results and not much had changed. I did want to say that my work pants that fit me comfortably before are now to big! So the swelling must be going down. That makes me happy. Now I just wish my stomach wouldn't stick out! There has been no change there. Ugh.

Also I noticed a slight burning/pulling sensation in certain spots on my stomach. I wonder if it's the internal stitches dissolving since I had a no drain tt. It's uncomfortable but at least it's not painful. The only spot the hurts is the pulling on my right just below my incision by my pubic area. It also has that burning feeling too. It pulls when I walk and at night when I'm laying on my back, even though I still have 2 pillows under my knees. Anyone else experience this?

I will try to post pics tonight even though there haven't been changes.

Pics from tonight

I'm more swollen than usual tonight. I'm posting pics of holding my abs in and when I don't. It seems like my stomach protrudes more than the last set of pics. Not good. Ugh. I'm disappointed and sad. But even with my belly sticking out, my hubby told me I look really good and that made me feel better. And I do like that my clothes fit better and that some are already to big. I'm trying to think about the positives more. I will try to get pics this weekend of when I first get up in the morning as I do feel flatter then. It would be good to compare the morning pics to the evening ones.

Sorry forgot pics!

I forgot to say that the tape came off my belly button and it's so small! It looks strange to me. Lol

One month post op appt

I went to see my ps yesterday. I asked him about my stomach protruding when I don't hold in my abs. He felt around to see if the muscle repair is still holding and he said it is. He thinks my ab muscles are just weak which will make them loose and stick out so he told me in another month to start exercising them and that should help. I don't know if he's right since my abs were nice and tight and flat the first week after surgery and now they are not. I will try exercising them and see. If it doesn't work I'm going to see what he can do to fix it. This was why I had the surgery, so my pot belly would be tightened up and be flat. And of course getting the loose skin off which that part is great.

So I'm still discouraged but I'm going to do what I can to get my stomach flat. He cleared me for exercising and doing cardio so I will start there. Then in a month start working my abs. Keep your fingers crossed that this is all I need.

I do like that my clothes fit much better and I can wear more styles so at least there are some good things that came from this.

5 weeks post op

So tomorrow I will be 5 weeks post op. I took some pics yesterday (sorry the mirror is dirty and some pics are a little blurry). I noticed I have a bulge on the left side of my belly button. Not sure what it is. I looks worse for me when I'm looking down at it but I couldn't get that in a pic. But other than that I'm feeling good.
I have a few pains here and there once in awhile but nothing major. Most of the time it feels like pulling on the inside and I will get a pain then it goes away. So I'm thinking is just healing. On one side of my scar is really dark under the incision so I hope the goes away. I had a spot right in the front of my incision that keep leaking that finally closed up but now it scarred funny and looks bad. But once it fades I'm sure it will be fine.

My stomach still protrudes when not holding my abs in so I've been trying to work the transverse abdominals since that will help hold them in tight. It's just pulling my belly button in towards my spine when in sitting so nothing that will cause issues with my muscle repair. I hope this helps. I was thinking of ordering the Mutu 12 week program but I think I will try on my own first. I'm also going to start lifting light weights to tone up and do more cardio.

I'm glad I did this as I know I would have never gotten rid of all the skin on my stomach. I feel better in my clothes now. Even with the protruding belly when not holding my abs in is still so much better than how it was before so for that in happy.

Almost 6 weeks

Tomorrow I will be 6 weeks post op. I asked my ps how long I need to wear my cg and he said I don't need to use it anymore. So Saturday I didn't wear it at all but I didn't sleep good with it off so Sunday I only wore it to bed. I took it with me to work today just in case but I'm feeling good without it. I will continue wearing it when I sleep. If I notice I'm swelling then I will wear it more often.

My incision looks good even though it's still really dark. It's nice and thin. It comes up a little high on my sides and back but I'm ok with that.

My stomach still protrudes if I don't hold in my abs so I'm hoping at my next appt on 3/16 I will be cleared to start working them. The bulge on the left side by my belly button is still there so I'm going to show my ps that also when I go. I still have some spots on my belly that are tender but I'm assuming I'm still healing and eventually they will go away.

Other than that I feel really good. Been doing my cardio and I feel better now that I'm exercising. I will try to post updated pics soon.

New pics

Here are pics from tonight after not wearing my cg all day. I'm swollen which makes the bulge by my belly button stick out more. I also noticed that I have a bulge on the other side of my belly button. This one is tender to the touch like a bruise. Ugh. I can't wait to see my ps on 3/16 to ask him what these bulges are.

7 Weeks

Well there's not much change this week. All last week I only wore my cg at night to sleep and it felt good. The swelling the first day was a lot but after that it wasn't much different than if I was wearing it so that was good. For some reason yesterday I was really swollen. As soon as I got home from work I put on my cg and my feet up. I was still swollen this morning so I wore my cg to work. I hope it takes the swelling down. Not sure why I'm swelling so much again.

So other than that I nothing has changed. I'm anxiously waiting for my appt with my ps next week to discuss the bulges by my belly button and if I will need a revision. I will post an update after I talk to him.

2 month post op

I had my 2 month post op today. I asked the doc about the bulges by my belly button. He thinks it's pockets of fat. He said if they're still there at my 6 month appt he with lipo them thru my belly button in the office. I also asked about my stomach protruding and if I lose weight and strengthen them but it doesn't help, then what? He said that he's only seen this 1 time before and he offered to do a revision using mesh to hold the muscles but she didn't want that. So that's an option. He doesn't want to pull the abs any tighter as it can cause the sides to stretch. I hope losing weight and exercising takes care of it. My scar looks good and will eventually lighten. I need to keep wearing the tape for another 2-3 months. But he cleared me to do anything now. Especially to start doing ab work.

So I'm definitely going to try hard to get some more weight off so I can have the results I want. I still love that I can wear almost any shirt and it looks good. So for that I'm happy. Plus my hubby told me I look really good and that really helped me be positive.

Here are pics from tonight. I'm posting both - holding abs in and without holding my abs so I can see if there is a change after I start doing ab work. I also took some with a white tank as it helps me see the difference more. Sorry if there are duplicates, I'm posting from my phone and it's hard to tell which pic is which.

Ab exercises?

Sorry it's been awhile since I've updated. There hasn't been any change so nothing to really update on. I have been exercising and trying to work on my abs. My question is are there specific ab exercises I should be doing? I've read a lot and some say no crunches or anything the uses the obliques and others state otherwise. I just want to make sure I do whatever exercises necessary to flatten my stomach because I've heard some workouts make your stomach push out more. My PS sent me an article and it stated the "bicycle" ab exercise is good but when I tried, it felt like my stomach muscles were pushing out. I looked up ab workouts to help with diastasis but those exercisers didn't feel like it was strengthening my ab muscles. So any ideas?

Swelling!

Omg the swelling has been so bad tbhis week! I had tape over my incision and the swelling made it tear apart and at the spot that tore the ends were about an inch apart! Wth is causing me to swell so bad? I haven't done anything different this week. Today I am wearing my cg to see if that will help. I hope so because wearing it at night didn't do much. I was still swollen in the morning when I took it off. Ugh. Is this normal? I know the doc said I could swell for up to a year but I didn't think it would be this bad!

Nothing new but adding updated pics

I haven't posted updates because nothing has changed. I'm exercising but no more weight loss or change to my stomach sticking out when not holding it in. Ugh. But here are updated pics anyway. The bulge next to my belly button seems bigger and I now have an indent above my belly button. I wish I had something good to report but no such luck. So frustrating.

Bulge looks bigger!

I think the bulge by my belly button is larger. Could it be swelling? Plus it looks like below my bb is bulging. Plus there's that weird indent above my bb. In the pics it looks like I'm leaning back but I'm not. I'm sitting straight. I wonder if I should send these to my ps.

6 month appt

Went to my 6 month appt. The doc still thinks the bulges by my belly button are fat pockets. He said he can lipo those areas and a little on my lower abs but I have to pay a fee of $750 for the room and supplies. I scheduled it but still not sure if I should do it or not. What if it doesn't help. Now I'm out another $750! I meant to ask him about doing an ultrasound on that area since it's seems only my upper abs and sticking out so I emailed him later that night. He said he's 99% sure the muscle repair is still intact and an ultrasound my not be covered by insurance so it could be a large amount out of pocket. I wasn't expecting that reply since he told me previously he could do an ultrasound and never said there would be a fee. Same with the lipo, at my last appt he said if the bulges don't get better he would lipo them as an office procedure, again no mention of a fee. And the lipo he is going to do is in the office as I will be awake and he will just numb the area. So why the fee? I may go get a few second opinions from others surgeons and see what they say. I'm torn on what to do. I will try to post pics this weekend though nothing has changed.

Went to see another ps

I went to see another ps to get a second opinion yesterday. I showed him the bulges and how my stomach protrudes when not holding it in. He thinks my ps wasn't aggressive enough with the muscle repair in my upper abs. He said I would need to do a full tt over again to retighten the upper abs in order to be flat. He couldn't feel the stitches for the mr so he asked if the ps actually did the mr on the upper abs since that part sticks out even when holding my abs in. Of course since it is a full tt its full price, $9500 to fix this. He would do a little lipo on those bulges and my sides so I have some curves since I look like spongebob squarepants. Redo the mr and fix my bb to be an innie again. He's not removing any skin, just redraping it after the mr. Plus my ps used dissolving stitches for the mr, this guy uses permanent stitches. Maybe I need permanent stitches to hold it in place, idk. But I really don't want to pay for this again! Ugh!
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Dr. G is awesome. He's confident but not cocky, he takes his time and didn't make me feel rushed and he's very nice. He was the first doctor I had a consultation with. After meeting him I cancelled the consults with the other docs I had scheduled because he made me feel comfortable, he could give me the results I was looking for and he doesn't use drains. Dr. G has been great at responding to all my questions and concerns. I was discouraged with my results but I'm giving it time and staying positive since I now look so much better and clothes finally fit right!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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