33yr Old Mama to 5...Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift with Augmentation! - Cincinnati, OH

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After my twins were born last year weighing...

After my twins were born last year weighing 7lbs5oz and 7lbs12oz (yeah!) I realized real quick that my body was completely wrecked. I started working out and eating clean but my stomach muscles were torn so far apart that I couldn't even physically do a sit up. I could feel my abs at the top but there was truly nothing I could palpate whatsoever under my belly button. So...I made the decision to have "mommy makeover"

First post got cut off

Not sure why, but my original post didn't include the majority of what I wrote. I'm still in the midst of the post anesthesia/Percocet/Phenergan stupor but I'll try again.

So, I had my "mommy makeover" on Monday which consisted of a full tummy tuck with lots of muscle repair, and breast lift with augmentation using 325cc Mentor high profile silicone implants. I won't actually get to see everything until my first post-op appointment Thursday when they remove the compression garment and all of the dressings. It's killing me to not know what's under all this but I can tell just by feeling that it's going to be a huge difference. My stomach is completely gone!!! I only have 1 drain which surprised me, why do some have more than others?

I hadn't really planned to post pics on here because...embarrassing! But I know how much it helped me to see similar body types go through the same thing as me. (I'm 5'6" and 160lbs, btw)

Right now I'm in some pain but nothing I can't handle. This pain pump and Percocet are my friends!

Will update again Thursday once I finally see the big reveal!

On-Q pain pump

My pain pump is draining...I sure am going to miss this thing! Feeling so much better today though and can actually get up on my own and walk to the bathroom hunchback style. My kids think it's hilarious that I'm walking around like a little old lady. :)

Post-op day 4

It's amazing what difference a few days can make in the way you feel! I'm so much more human than I was just 48 hours ago!

Had my first post-op appointment yesterday and got the pain pump removed and finally got to see everything. I am so pleased. I'm still pretty hunched over and the implants need to drop but I'm happy with how it all looks at this point. I just cannot get over my stomach...is this for real?!!

They said I'm doing great and I think a lot of it has to do with my amazing husband being so wonderful and helpful, and the fact that I've been eating super clean and healthy and drinking a TON of water! I'd guess probably close to 100oz a day. I just can't get enough! I keep 2-3 big bottles by me at night and whenever I wake up at all just to stir, go to the bathroom, take meds, etc, I chug some water. And all through the day I just drink, drink, drink like its my job.

I'm looking forward to getting my first shower today- yay! Oh, and I finally popped for the first time today too- yayyyy!!!

Will include some pics from yesterday's appointment. Happy healing!

How long were you hunched over?

My dr told my husband after surgery that he had quite a lot of work to do on the muscle repair- I believe it too. I'm still not able to stand up straight, but it's not to do with the tension on the incision, it's because my abs feel so tightly contracted. I can deep breath and try to relax as much as possible and it helps a little but I'm still not able to get upright.

How long did it take everyone else to stand upright?

Breast incision pics

Switching out to a different bra because the one I've got on right now is just too tight, you can see all the lines from it in the one pic. My dr's nurse asked me where I got my good bra (the one I'm going back to) because it's nicer than a lot of the ones she sees, and I'll pass it along to you all too- Zulily.com
You have to keep an eye out since their deals change every few days but I've seen them on there multiple times listed under "post-surgical wear" in the women's section. Price was very reasonable too.

I'm loving how my incisions look! I think he did a great job. Just can't wait for implants to drop now so I can see how they'll really look!

My very short list of absolute necessities

I know some people have a lot of fun with "prepping" and feel good to be overly ready for anything...I get it. But I found that I needed so much less than I heard was necessary. So here's my recommendations for the first week:
#1) WATER! Lots of it! Drink, drink, drink to flush your system of all the toxins, help with swelling, keep those tissues hydrated, and help avoid hard bowel movements.

#2) High protein/ low sodium diet (not pictured) - I see so much emphasis put on iron intake and yes, that's very important to help with anemia, but remember that your body needs PROTEIN for healing. I eat protein with every meal, snack on nuts, and add in a protein shake daily as well. I also did a lot of food prep ahead of time and froze multiple low sodium soups that I made with whole ingredients. Low sodium helps with swelling, as most know.

#3) Stool softeners! - I mean, does this need an explanation? ;)

#4) Dry shampoo and a peri bottle (the kind you use after having a baby) - I couldn't take a shower for a loooong 5 days after surgery and would've felt really gross had I not gotten myself at least cleaned up every day. My kids thought the dry shampoo was awesome and helped me use it, and the peri bottle was so perfect for rinsing off my lady parts after cleaning off with a soapy washcloth every day.

#5) Back support pillow- I have a recliner and two seats of our couch recline which is awesome, but this pillow allowed me to sit do many other places in my house...the bed, in my kids rooms to hang out and read to them at bedtime, different positions on the couch, etc.

So that's it. I know some people rave about walkers and female urinals and so on, but for me personally that would've been overkill.

I'm only a week out so obviously more may come up as things go, but I keep feeling better and better so I'm hoping the worst (which really wasn't that bad) is in the past!

I feel good, really good. No pain meds for days now and I'm honestly not even that tired and drained like I was expecting. I go back tomorrow and hopefully get this drain removed and cannot wait to be able to stand up straight!! That is my main hindrance right now and it's driving me bonkers!

Will update more tomorrow probably!

11dpo update and pics

11days post op and feeling really good! Had another appt yesterday and dr was running late in surgeries so I just saw his nurse Polly, who is wonderful and fully capable of making sure everything is going well. She decided to leave the drain in for now, which is fine. It's annoying but I'd rather deal with it than a seroma. And she removed all the stitches she could see in my belly button...couldn't feel a thing. She also gave me a band to wear to help get the implants to drop- the left one def has started but the right is still high up, you can see how they look lopsided in the picture because of it. No worries though, they'll fall into place soon enough.

Tummy feels really good now, I can laugh and cough well enough and even sneezed for the first time the other day and didn't fall apart. I'm glad it didn't happen any sooner though for sure! I love my incisions. There's still some definite bruising and swelling you can see but I think it's beautiful how he made it so perfectly straight and symmetrical on the sides where it comes up a little higher. I really think it's going to be great once it's healed.

I'm standing straight enough now that I felt comfortable going out in public for the first time yesterday! With a baggy shirt and my hair down you really couldn't tell my shoulders were still a little hunched. Went out to lunch and on a quick grocery trip with my husband before my appointment.

I started my period yesterday and after all the extra walking and the higher sodium intake from lunch than I've been used to, I was REALLY bloated and swollen last night. It was almost comical. I got on the scale for the first time expecting a ridiculously high #, but I was actually down a lb from the day of surgery. Either my scale is broken, lol, or it's just from all the muscle I had built up wasting away from not using it. I feel like that's pretty quick though, so who knows.

Next appt Tuesday with fingers crossed for the drain to be ready to come out!!

(Oh, this is kind of weird- look at that bruise in between and slightly under the breasts. It's from the coil of the pain pump catheter! Funny looking!)

The drain is STUCK in my body!

I knew it. I knew the ball was bound to drop at some point, everything was going much too well.

So I went in this morning for a follow up and to get this nasty drain out and the nurse pulled on it ... and then stopped and said she'd have the dr do it because it wasn't coming. Dr came back in and pulled on it for a minute but it was not budging. I have to go back Thursday to get it removed with local anesthetic because the scar tissue has grown around the dang thing.

I'm a little nervous about whether the extra trauma of getting it removed is going to put me at higher risk for tissue death/necrosis, but of course I didn't think to ask when I was there. I was in a little shock. Pretty sure he said it's the 2nd time in 21 years that he's had it happen...I'm so special. Ha!

So me and my drain are back home again for now. Ugh.

Drain is out!!

Went back in this morning, he numbed me up a little and made a small, maybe inch long, incision a little below the tt incision so he could go in and free up the drain which was caught on a stitch. Drain came out, stitched back up and out the door. I had dreamt up every horrific scenario possible the past couple days worrying about it, so the actual event was pretty anticlimactic. Glad it's over though! And so happy to be free of that drain!

Go back again in 2 weeks.

Thanks everyone for all the well wishes!

3 week (almost) update and pics

I can't believe I've made it this far! I remember thinking that by about 3 weeks out I should be feeling pretty human, and I am.

I'll tell you what though- that little inch long incision he had to make to get the drain out hurt worse than anything else so far. So weird. Feeling much better now though.

I've noticed more swelling since having the drain removed, but no "waving" or anything that makes me concerned about a seroma, probably just my body trying to absorb the extra fluid the drain had been taking care of. Plus the extra insult of the new little incision. Aaaaand I may have been slacking a little on the low sodium thing...I NEEDED some salt yesterday! Omg, potato chips never tasted so good. Oops.

Overall I'm really happy. I do question sometimes whether I like the high profile implant or wish he'd gone with a lower profile for more width, but it's still so early in the game to be worrying about end results. One day at a time.

I go back to work tomorrow, just a 4 hour shift, and then another 4 hours on Tuesday. Being PRN is great for the flexibility. I'll be off until the next Monday after that and then I'll be doing a few 8 hour shifts before going back to my regular 12s. I miss my job. It's been nice to have some time off to concentrate on my healing, but I love what I do and am anxious to get back.

So here's some pictures! :)

1 month update and what is wrong with RS?!

Anyone else's newsfeed totally screwed up on here? Peoples names are showing up different and updates are showing as being posted an hour ago when they were from 2 months ago, and things showing up multiple times. Love this site but it seems like it's always messed up.

Anyway, I'm a month out now! Yay! Saw the dr yesterday for a follow up, he clipped some spitting stitches under the areolas and said everything looks to be healed great. I can start working out again slowly and increase it steadily over the next few weeks. I did a slow 15 mins on the elliptical this morning and wanted to do more but am afraid of overdoing it so I stopped there.

He assured me that it was okay to shave around the incision and alright to use lotions, etc. I've been so high strung about any bacteria being anywhere near it that I've been hesitant, but I took the plunge today and finally shaved and used my coconut oil/Shea butter blend I make (hence the greased look in the pictures.) He said to massage the belly button to help with the redness.

I asked about the lack of side boob that I kind of wanted but he said he felt like they looked appropriate on my body and they may fill out a little more over time but I think this'll be the overall shape I'm left with. I'm good with it. I asked to see my before pics and it really is a huge difference! Why did I not take my own before boob pics? I'll see if I can get a pic from them to post next time I'm there.

So anyway, I'm super happy and feel great. Love the good Dr. Love his nurse. Go back in 6 weeks!

Compression garment woes

So, at my last appointment I asked how much longer I had to wear this awful thing...and I got a little sassy pants with him when he said until my next appointment SIX WEEKS from then. Something along the lines of "Are you kidding me?!!!!" fell out of my mouth. Kill me now.

So he says I can try a store bought type but that he wanted to be super tight still. I've now bought 3 different things and hate them all. Nothing gives me the compression I apparently DO need (I believe it now that I've gone a full day or two without it...guess the dr knows a little something) like the actual post surgical garment.

It's gotten too big now though! I guess since I'm now swelling as much lately (maybe?) and it just being stretched out. Thankfully I have a talented mother-in-law who can sew, and I was able to have her actually take it in for me! I told her I didn't care how it looked, just wanted it functional. I could grab handfuls of it and that's clearly not tight enough. So voila! Problem solved. The piece of fabric she cut off ended up being almost 4" wide and it feels so much better now! Yay!

I've been working out more too and that makes me feel good. I did 15 mins on the elliptical the first time but have done 30 mins the past few days. Only getting in 2 miles in that time so it's pretty slow. And I keep my hands on the stationary hand grips in the center instead of using my arms too, so it's mainly lower body. Just glad to be doing SOMETHING at this point.

No real changes physically I don't think. Just enjoying each baby step back to normalcy!

11 weeks PO!!

I just had to count back on the calendar to find out how many weeks out I am...funny how you think in days in the beginning, then weeks, and then you start feeling totally normal again and lose track completely.

Had a follow up with the good doc last week and all went well. My breasts are perfect as far as I'm concerned. I think they've either filled out more on the sides or I just care less about that because when I look at them now I feel like they're just right on my body. He gave me the go ahead to wear real bras so I went and got sized finally and came out with a few 34DDDs from VS, which of course are really DDs everywhere else.

My belly is flat as can be, but there is still some loose skin left over on the sides. He recognized it right away and said he wanted to fix that in the office with local anesthesia closer to 6 months out. My belly button is still really hyper pigmented, you can't see it as well in pics, but he said he could use a laser (???) to lighten it up in the future. No clue what all that entails. I've been taking my measurements all along and have officially gone down EIGHT inches in my waist since the day before surgery! It's crazy! I've gone down 2 pant sizes also from a 12 to an 8, and I bet I could squeeze into a 6 honestly but it'd be tight and I'm not about to be that uncomfortable!

I've been working out harder lately, even straight abs and it does still hurt at first but gets better as I go. Chest exercises just feel too weird so that's the one thing I don't really do.

So, I'll include some new pics. Next appt not until August and we'll figure out when to fix those sides then.

5 months post op

5 months out and feeling great. Overall very happy with my results though the sides will require some tweaking in the fall. I can't pinch any skin at all on the front of my belly, but there's quite a bit still on each side that he's going to fix. Thankfully that can be done in the office with local anesthetic so it's not a big surgery. Unfortunately they said I won't be able to exercise for a while afterwards and will have to wear compression again...both of which give me anxiety just to even think about! Just temporary though, I keep telling myself.

My left breast did start to bother me a little, I thought at first that maybe I just pulled my chest muscle because it felt sore a lot when I would lay down or would move a certain way, but it didn't get any better with rest. I also noticed a bubble at the bottom and to me it feels like the implant is sliding down, there's a weird little dip above it too so the breast does not look round and normal at the bottom. I tried to get a picture but I'm not sure I did it justice, my selfie skills are lacking. He said we'd keep an eye on it for now but he felt like it was more related to the scar and the crease.

He did do a steroid injection into my belly button because it's formed a hypertrophic scar. Not sure how long that should take to work but I haven't seen much difference yet at 5 days post. He said he may do another next time I come back also.

Go back in 3 months and that's probably when I'll have the revision done as well.

1 year!!

Hit the 1 year milestone! I'm really very happy with my results, I think the dr did an incredible job and I've worked so hard to get the most out of all this work by eating right and exercising every day.

I do have some discomfort in my left breast fairly often, especially if I go any length of time without a supportive bra. Dr thinks it will improve with a couple weeks of 800 mg ibuprofen bid, so fingers crossed there.

My belly button is still somewhat of an issue. It has flattened out considerably after the 2 steroid injections he's done, it's almost too thin now but he assures me it will fill back in. And he again mentioned using the vbeam laser for the coloring of that scar. I go back in May and I assume that's when he will do that.

My sides...I hate. I've read that it can be a common problem after tt surgery for those of us who've lost considerable amounts of weight and have loose skin in more than just the front part of the belly. So, no ones fault, just my dang body. Dr says I could be a candidate for coolsculpting, (not sure how I feel about that as I don't really know anyone who's had it done) or said that I could technically do a lateral thigh/butt lift if I really wanted to, in order to get rid of the skin, but that he didn't necessarily recommend that for me.

I did have a small revision in November of the dog ears at the end of my tt scar, which is why the sides look so much darker than the rest.

What a big difference a year makes!! So glad I went through with this. It seriously has been worth every penny.

15 months post op

Had another appointment this week, dr decided no laser for the bb scar. Wants me to use Curad strips instead. Bummed that after all this I'll still have another summer of no bikini because of that scar.

And still no official after pics...moderately offended but okay. I'll do my own because I think it's a pretty incredible difference. (Excuse the RS screen shot, I deleted the original pics off my phone)

Still some discomfort in the left breast. I've been eating a paleo diet for a couple months now though and have seen some improvement, not sure if it's related to that or just plain old time.

Asked again about my sides which I absolutely hate, and again he said lateral hip and thigh lift would be the only way to get rid of all the extra skin. I really don't feel like going through another big surgery though at this point.

He said to come back in the fall. I did not make another appointment though, going to see how this bb and the left breast do and go from there...
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon

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