48 Years Old, 5 Children Later......getting my Mini Tummy Tuck - Cincinnati, OH

Hi! I have wrestled with wanted to have this...

Hi! I have wrestled with wanted to have this procedure done for many years. I have worked tirelessly on exercising, and eating clean and healthy to keep myself in the best shape that I can....and I'm pretty much happy with how I look, except for this ring of extra skin/flab around my middle from having my children (1 of which was a c-section). I am nervous to have this done, mostly because my "problem" is not huge.

My before pictures

My before pictures

Hoping that a mini tummy tuck is all I need. That's what the dr told me.

Went for my 2 week pre op visit!

OH, I feel SO much better! I was stressing because I felt like I didn't ask enough questions at my consultation. And when the doctor told me all I needed was a mini.....after reading on here, I became pretty nervous that I wasn't getting enough done. But after my 2 week appt, and seeing the doctor again, he reassured me that all I needed was a mini, and he pulled around on my skin and showed me how tight things would be, I just feel excited now!! Only a couple more weeks until my surgery! I have my prescriptions that I can go ahead and get. And a store where I can go get fitted for my garment. I have paid my money, and set that up....now all I need to do is get all my Christmas shopping done! ha!

Mini tummy tuck tomorrow!

Well tomorrow is the big day!! I'm feeling very excited to finally be getting it done! And probably in the back of my mind a little nervous, hoping I really like the results. I tried to take a few more photos..... Sorry I'm not the best with the camera.

day 3, after my surgery!

Well, I have had my surgery, and really feel like I am through the worst! Still can't believe I have had this done! I have had great help from my husband, and girls. The worst part has to be, my hurting back, from living in the recliner.....and not being able to "go" to the bathroom. I backed off of my pain medicine last night, to try to get things moving....and have finally been able to go this morning, and feel so much better. I have a followup appointment today. I have been in my garment since the surgery....it will feel good to take this off, even if it's just for a short breather. The doctor had told us he took off close to 3 inches of skin! I am very excited to see under the bandages, but also nervous. Hoping it will live up to what I have envisioned in my mind for so many years. -I wasn't in much pain the first day home.....my husband said the doctor injected some sort of pain killer in my muscles, so it would sort of be numb that first day. And I think that really helped! I am ready to just relax and heal,.....and enjoy Christmas! I feel very thankful for where I'm at, and that all has been going ok....trying to keep up with drinking lots of water, taking short walks around, and eating good things! I will write again later. Thanks all!

day 4, after surgery

I had my followup dr checkup yesterday. he said everything looked wonderful. And they cleared me to shower. (I can take off the garment, for that, and then put it back on)....I thought I would be SO excited to have "permission" to do that....but am finding that I'm a little bit nervous of taking this garment off, of seeing everything.....and nervous that the shower experience will hurt! I saw what I could see from my vantage point.....part of my stomach, and peeked at my belly button. It has a pulled look to it. I knew it would (dr. said it would).....I am not sure how I feel about it. maybe once all the swelling is gone, and I'm wearing normal clothes, etc....I will like it....but right now I'm feeling a little sad/nervous that it is going to look different. That sounds silly as I write this. But I'm just scared, at how I will look. Hope it is at least better than I was. I also hope I don't put on weird weight in my butt/thigh area, because I've had the fat taken off my midsection. -Trying hard NOT to let my mind wander into "worry". I know by now, that I do this. My brain searches out for things to worry about. I feel it trying to creep in and take over my thoughts....and I'm trying to just put it away somewhere.

Maybe I will get up enough nerve to shower today. Maybe getting it over with, and seeing it, would be the best thing?? Tomorrow is Christmas eve, and so I know if I don't do it today, I MUST tomorrow! For we have a family gathering to go to. Hoping I feel pretty good tomorrow, being around a bunch of people. I have decided to just tell them I've had hernia surgery. (I didn't want to share all of my business with certain people). -I did actually have a mini tummy tuck, muscle repair, and he repaired a small hernia. -I will write again later! take care everyone.

day 5 after surgery

Well, it's day 5! Christmas Eve! My first "outing" will be later today. Other than going to a dr appt. Today, I will be around family....we will see how that goes. Hopefully we can just say, I've had hernia surgery, and people will let it go at that. I am trying to limit my pain pills, because of the constipation. I have taken just one a day. And one at night. I may take one today, before we leave, just to help with pain and movement while we're out. I also get this severe hot, burning sensation when I'm up walking around. It's not near my scar....the nurse said she thinks it's from the drain tube that's inside me in there. If that's the case, I think once I get that taken out, I will feel worlds better! If my cc's are low enough they said I could come in this Friday and have it taken out....otherwise I have an appointment for next Monday. I want it out, but don't want it out too soon, if my stomach will fill up with fluid. So we will see.
I have been SO uncomfortable with constipation. Honestly, that has to be the worst part of surgery. I have been on 3 stool softeners a day, since surgery. Drinking lots of water, trying to eat fruits and vegetables (but then my stomach blows up)....have now tried taking a dulcolax, 1 pill at night, and it has finally made me go this morning! I also got some prune juice and had 2 small glasses of that yesterday. AND, I also had a glass of warm lemon water this morning...ha! You have to wait SO long to get results in this area, it makes you try many things! Anyway, day 5, it worked, and I feel much much better. I just hope it keeps working from this point on!
Does anyone have any tips too, for itching under this garment?!! Wow!! I feel SO itchy! I put some powder on after I showered yesterday, and got back in it. wondering if I wore some sort of t shirt under there, if that would help?
I am still sleeping in our living room, in the recliner mostly. My butt is sort of feeling numb. To be in that position all the time, is grueling! But my doctors were adamant NOT to lay on my stomach! Like, whatever you do, DONT do that! So, my poor bottom is paying the price! ha! Last night, I couldn't take it any more, and slept on the couch. My head was VERY propped up, and then a small pillow underneath my knees, to keep it curled some. That was a refreshing change. I don't think i"m ready for the bed yet. I know my body would naturally want to just roll over in there, because that's how I would normally sleep.

Every day I feel a little bit better. Every day I feel improvement. I don't look at my stomach area much right now. My mind is a mind of a worrier. I know this. And I know If I were to go examining it closely right now, I would start to worry. So, I am just covering it with my garment, and working on feeling better......and will concentrate more on what it's going to look like, later on down the road. (and it MAY look awesome, for where I'm at in my recovery. But I just don't know enough of what it's supposed to look like? All I see, is "how it used to look"....You really do just get used to your body. And you get used to it looking a certain way. Like this slight pull on my belly button now. It just doesn't look like "my" belly now. I hope I like it better, once the healing is done! -I will post again later. And will try to get my daughter to take some pictures. Have a great day everyone!

Day 5 after surgery pics

I tried to take a couple pictures today. The lighting is really bad in my room..... And I think I look way worse in pictures than in person, which keeps me from taking so many. Anyway, here is one of my scar and one with my garment on that I have to wear

Day 8, after surgery

what a long week! I have found this bearable, but very uncomfortable, very painful, at times. I am trying to keep myself off the pain pills as much as I can. I am now down to 1 a day and then 1 to start the night. Another thing I have found to really help with the pain, is ice packs! I didn't think that would do anything, but it has really made a difference. I have an appointment on Monday, to have the drain removed. (down to around 22-25 cc's in a 24 hour period). I am SO ready to have that out. I think it causes a lot of the discomfort. A fire hot/ burning sensation.
Yesterday, I felt terrible. But it was the day after Christmas, and I'm wondering if I was up too much on Christmas. So, yesterday, I just laid pretty much the entire day. Today, I feel a bit better. No pills so far. I do have one more Christmas to go to....but, I shouldn't have to be up doing things since it's at someone else's house.
I have also started drinking some of my veggie/fruit smoothies again. I put kale or swiss chard in it, along with some parsley....and then frozen pineapple (which is supposed to be great for swelling and inflammation in the body)....1/2 a frozen banana, and some pumpkin seeds. It's easy to digest, and all the foods have some great health benefits for the body.....not to mention, it aids in moving your bowels. :) I am also still on stool softeners., and drink lots of water.
I will post again after my doctor appointment on monday. -have a nice weekend!

one worry of mine, on day 8

I do have one worry....and it's that my area above my scar is puffy and raised. So if you feel it with your hand, it feels like the scar has a shelf above it. I HOPE SO BAD, this is just normal swelling. I was expecting it to be totally flat on both sides of the scar, top and bottom of it. I had a ridge of fat/skin like that over top of my c-section scar, which was one main reason why I had wanted this tummy tuck. Right now, I feel like it looks/feels like my c-section scar, except that it's twice as long!! Did anyone else experience swollen, puffy, raised skin above their scar line for a while??

Day 17 after surgery

Hi all. Sorry I haven't written in a while. I got my drain taken out this past Monday. And I have to say, for me, that was the absolute WORST pain, of this whole procedure! The doctor said, "yes, this is going to hurt".....and he held my hand, while a nurse pulled that out, and I'm telling you, I almost cried. It really really hurt. But, it was over quick. I am just SO glad that part is over. I have put neosporine and a bandaid over the hole....and it seems to being healing nicely.
I stopped taking my pain medicine at the 2 week mark. I was down to only taking one at night anyway, but figured I can get along without any now. I have found I'm not sleeping as well. Guess that pain pill helped me to sleep really good! ha! I am still sleeping on our couch, all propped up. I tried the bed several nights ago, and I was SO uncomfortable I just came back out to the couch. I think I will do better after I can be free of this garment! I am finding it very uncomfortable, and tight, and hard to bend and move with it. My doctor said I can take it off after 3 weeks from surgery. So that will be this Friday, and I can't wait!!!
This morning when I was getting my shower, I thought it looked like a lot of the swelling was down. Which was great to see! I know it's still really early to look for results.....but I can't wait for the day when it's totally flat! Ok, gotta go for now. I will try to write again soon, and post pictures.

Day 19, after surgery pictures

Here are my pictures, getting close to 3 weeks post surgery. I still have swelling, but it is going down. I still feel like I can feel a hump or bump above my scar which is not my favorite thing..... But am hoping that too will go away. Dr said it is just swelling and is normal. I only have two more days (3 counting today) of wearing this garment full time! I am counting the days!

Picture of my garment.

Between 3 and 4 weeks after surgery

Hi everyone. I had a minute, so thought I would write a small update. All is going good. My skin around my scar area, is healing nicely, but is also very tender....almost hurts, and its also numb at the same time. I have had LOTS of burning, mostly on the ends of my scar. And itching. I'm guessing that is just the healing process. I haven't done anything "bad", to myself. I am still not lifting anything over 10 pounds. I rest a lot. I eat good, drink a ton of water, and walk a lot.
There is still swelling above the scar line. I hate that, but....I am thinking I do notice a little improvement sometimes. One thing I have noticed especially at the end of the day.....is above my belly button, I seem to be getting a little hump of skin that sticks out over the top of my belly button. There is a hard knot there....wondering if it is where I had my hernia fixed. I won't lie, it scares me a little hoping that should I ever put a few pounds on, I hope my upper stomach, above the belly button, doesn't gather a bunch of fat! I am an exercising person......I'm trying not to freak. I am sure things will look better, once I can workout again. And I have a followup appt this Thursday with my doctor, so I will also ask him about it.
I am STILL sleeping on my couch! I have tried our bed a couple different times, and each time, I just can't do it! So I move back out. I think it's because the bed is so flat. And the couch has the back on it, where I can prop and lay my legs up next to it. I'm assuming some day I will sleep in the bed with my husband again, but I guess just not yet. ha.
I also think improvement at this stage, seems to be slow, BUT I do notice improvement in how I feel, or how much I can do each day. I will post again after my doctor appointment!

4 weeks after surgery

Well, I'm at 4 weeks today! wow! can't believe it's been that long already. last night was the first night back in our bed for me. It went ok, but turning from side to side, and trying to stretch, is still uncomfortable, and everything's still tender feeling.....and I can feel "pulling" sensation when laying down, so it's still not the best sleep ever, but it's getting better. I did finally put a pillow under my knees and just finished out the night on my back....and that seemed to work best. Progress! ha!
I had a doctor appointment yesterday. The doctor said I looked awesome for 4 weeks out, that all was normal. I had a question about a puffy/knot area that I get later in the day, above my belly button. He said he worked all the way around my belly button for my hernia, and so that's why I can feel the knot there....and the puffiness would either go away eventually, or would minimize.
I also asked him when I could do intense exercising....like kickbocking type workouts, or heavy weights....he said at 6 weeks, then I could do anything, just like I normally did. But not yet. (which I already knew I couldn't workout like that yet!!) I think I will start with walking on my treadmill. Not my idea of true exercising, but I feel like I should be getting back to doing something.
He also said I could now lift kids. Even some that are over 20 pounds. I won't be carrying them all over the place, but putting them in and out of cribs, etc.
And then he wants to see me again in 6 weeks from now. So I think it went great! One thing I forgot to ask him, was should I be putting something on my scar! Totally forgot to ask. So I think I will call them and ask that today.
I will try to post some 4 weeks pictures later today. I woke up this morning though, and looked pretty swollen all over my middle....I don't know why. If it's from something I ate, or if it's from sleeping?? But, anyway, I'm hoping that goes down after I'm up for awhile.
And I have one issue I'm not really sure of....I will talk about it on here, because this is where people are going through similar issues from these surgeries....but my pubic hair area hurts! It's so sensitive, that when I go to the bathroom, or am taking clothes off...when anything brushes against the hair area, it is very uncomfortable! I had thought it was originally from that garment, rubbing and pulling on everything because it was so tight, but I haven't had to be in that for over a week now, and it still feels "raw". I don't really know what would make the hair area so uncomfortable. Unless its because it's directly below the scar.....maybe the nerves were "involved" in the surgery?? Anyway, maybe some of you have had that too. I hope that goes away soon! It hurts to wear underwear, and I like underwear! ha!

5 weeks after surgery

I am at 5 weeks....and a couple days. My skin is still tender throughout the whole area, from below my belly button...but I can tell it's very slowly easing off. I am also still numb. And my scar will itch, but I can't really scratch it to get relief, because it's numb. ha. And it also kind of hurts when I try that. I'm guessing I still have some swelling, just because I'm only at 5 weeks, BUT, the scar line is getting flatter. One thing I have noticed is that later in the day, when I seem to "swell" more....I notice that I also look swollen in my upper trunk area. like above the belly button! I don't know if that's normal, and I get a little nervous that I will start putting on weight up there now! (should I gain). I try to keep myself from freaking out, and tell myself once I can seriously get back into my exercising, things will be and look better. Do any of you that have had mini tummy tucks notice your area above the belly button looking any bigger?
I have also started wearing my jeans again! It's a little uncomfortable, but my husband is probably thrilled to see me in something besides my soft black pajama pants! -and I don't wear them every day!
I am doing some working out. Currently I have done walking 2 miles on my treadmill. using the incline, to make me sweat more! And have done an arm and shoulders weight lifting tape. And lastly, I did a leg/butt tape. I modified some of the moves, when the abs were really involved. I just don't feel like I should go at it all the way just yet. But I really want to get my butt and legs working! I feel like this time off, has made me lose some of the muscle I had built up. And I'm 48. I think it's harder to build it back. My doctor told me at 6 weeks, I could go back to doing anything. And at that point, you do what your body feels like it's ready for. But at 6 weeks, he said I should be totally healed. I will probably resume my weight lifting, but will ease back up to where I was before my surgery, slowly.

Pictures at 5 and a half weeks

I have such a hard time taking pictures with good enough light. I guess my house is dark! I tried to get some decent pictures.

7 weeks after surgery

This has probably been the week where I can say I have turned a corner and don't feel so much "tenderness"/pain, soreness.....like I have been. I do still have some, but it is noticeably less. This past week, I did still have some knife like pains at the ends of my scar line. But it doesn't last super long. And I still have swelling. In fact, I would say, maybe more. At times. I don't know why....but I am not worrying about it. I think it's still supposed to be there...so, I'll wait. ha.
I am back to working out 5-6 times a week. But I don't really do the ab moves in any of my workouts. I think I should still wait for that. Mostly I am doing weights. And uphill walking on my treadmill. I have done a few cardio dvd's. And with my weights, I am back to square one. Meaning there's no way I can lift what I was lifting before the surgery. So I am just lifting really light weights to build myself back up.
I drink 9 cups of water religiously each day. I know that's good for swelling, among other things. And I'm trying to eat really clean. So it's feeling good to get back to normal! :) When the swelling goes down and is gone, I think I am going to really love my result!! It will be a strange feeling to wear my bathing suit this summer and not be so self conscious about my stomach! It's funny, I still "feel" like the roll of fat is still there....so I constantly look down, ready to pull my shirt out, to "hide" it, and find that it's not there! It's like ghost fat! lol! have a great day everyone!

2 months post surgery

almost 4 months post op.

Well, I haven't posted on here in a while. But, I feel like my stomach is developing a hump or something up high....right under my breasts. I just had a mini. The doctor assured me I didn't have enough loose skin to have a full.....but I don't understand what's going on. I don't know if this is considered swelling? I also feel like I still have swelling right above my scar as well. It just doesn't look really flat. And I thought it would. I go back to my doctor in May, so will discuss these concerns with him then. I am working out 5-6 days a week, and watch what I eat, drink plenty of water.....but just feel like my trunk area has gotten a bit "thicker" since the tummy tuck....minus the extra skin. Is this the tradeoff??!!! It doesn't look as bad in the morning....looks worse at night. I will put up a couple pictures....but it is morning, so it's not as bad right now.

4 month pictures

5 months post op - mini tummy tuck

I just had a followup visit yesterday with my doctor. I had 2 areas of concern. One, the swelling which seems to be mostly right above my scar, and in the center of my stomach. The ends are looking really good....he said to give it 2 more months, that yes there is still swelling there...and IF it doesn't go away after 2 more months, then he can do some sort of in office lipo to just get rid of a little more fat right there. No charge. The other area that was bothering me, is up high, right under my breasts in the center. I feel like I stick out there. And it gets worse in the evening, or after a meal. It does go away at times, so it's not there ALL the time, but I was worrying about that. He said (if I can remember this right).....it's where the rib cage meets up with the breast bone. And it is shaped differently in everyone. Some people have "dented" in ones. Others have straight ones, and some people's area there is sort of cupped out a little. He said I was one of those, and that it's just how my body is made.....and even if I would have gotten a full tummy tuck, he said it would still be there. There is a muscle right there.....he also said if it stuck out a lot, and bothered me, that I shouldn't work out my upper abs quite so much, making that muscle bigger. -I don't know if all that's right, I'm hoping it wasn't caused by the tummy tuck, or by me only having a mini.....but I'm going to try to just accept that, and move on. I am happy with my tummy tuck I have to say. My extra skin is gone. Yes, I still have some fat around the area, but I remember reading over and over, tummy tucks are NOT for weight loss. ha. And I do feel like I look much better than before the surgery. And yes I would definitely do it again. It has been one VERY LONG journey though! wow!!! Never have I had a surgery that takes so long to get over! I still have some pain, when I stretch, or workout hard, or do abs. I still have some numbness, and still have swelling. My scar still itches at times, almost in that painful way, because you can't really scratch it to get relief, because it's numb! ha! But also, I am 49 years old. Not saying I'm OLD, but probably age has something to do with how quickly you heal. I am in very good shape for being almost 50, I feel. ha. -well, that's it for my update! I will see the doctor again in 2 months! And will let you know if my swelling ever went down, or if he's going to try to fix that in his office with a little lipo! (little scary! I hope I don't feel that!!!). -happy summertime!! :)

7 months post op

Well, it's been 7 months since my mini tuck. I just had another followup appointment yesterday. I would say my main area of concern is that I still feel like there's a puffy/swollen area above the incision. The doctor agreed and we've been watching it....he said he does not think it's fluid, and he said he thinks it just needs more time. I do exercise 5-6 days a week. The doctor said, and I've read it elsewhere that IF you do exercise, you will have more swelling. I believe this is true....we went on vacation last month,, and I pretty much took a week off of working out, and I was very surprised at how much flatter my stomach seemed to get. Once I returned home, and got into my workouts again, the puffiness returned. -I asked the doctor if I should stop working out for a couple weeks or something, to help with this and he said no. He said I didn't have to stop or change anything I was doing, as it is not "hurting or damaging" anything. It's just that it can cause puffiness to last longer. I will eventually get there, but maybe it just takes longer if you're working out. I am scheduled to see him end of September again. So I'm just not going to worry about it much. I also do still have some pain, when I move in certain ways. He assured me that was normal. I have had several surgeries in my life. NONE of them have been like this tummy tuck. Where you feel it and still have pain, and even swelling 6-7 months out. I think it's normal for tummy tucks, but I just never knew they were so........major. Can't think of a good word! I am happy I got this surgery. I think I look much better, and feel a lot more confident. I didn't have any lipo done, so I still have areas that I try to work on with diet and exercise....but, overall this has been a good experience,..but it has been a long, long recovery road, to which I still feel that I'm not quite done with!

7 month pictures

Almost 9 months post op mini tuck

Here are some updated pictures. I'm at 9 months. Still have some swelling above my incision, but it may not be noticeable in pictures. I think I am still seeing improvements....takes lots of time, and exercise and eating healthy.

9 month post op pics

9 month scar pictures

11 months post op doctor appt.

Hello all. I had a follow up dr appt yesterday, with my plastic surgeon. We have been watching over the past months, some "swelling", or puffiness above my scar. It just wasn't/isn't perfectly flat. He waited this long, to make sure swelling would be gone. It's still there, and yesterday, he said we will schedule a revision, and he will tighten, or take out just a little bit more skin. It will be done in his office. And no charge! I am so happy that he has seen what I've been seeing all along, and agrees that it needs to be fixed! the revision isn't as long as my entire scar. Mostly the center area. I am scheduled to have this done a few days before Thanksgiving. So, after that, I will post some pictures and another update.
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon

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