Full Tummy Tuck Scheduled for March 10th - I Am Excited and Nervous!! - Cleveland, OH

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I am soon to be 50 and this is my present to...

I am soon to be 50 and this is my present to myself after having 4 children, putting two of them (so far) through college and paying for one wedding. I have lost 42 pounds over the past 3 or so years and have kept it off for over a year now. I run 4 miles and do this 4 times/wk so I feel I am in pretty good shape and at 5'1" and 110 lbs. I don't think losing anymore weight will rid me of my sagging belly skin.

My procedure is on Thursday and as it gets closer I get more nervous because I know there are risks with major surgery. I am hoping the recovery goes well and the pain is not too bad. This site has been extremely useful in helping me prepare and know what to expect. You are all wonderful women and I especially loved Kimmers' chronicals!! Wish me luck! I will try to post before and after pics!

One more day before surgery...I am going out to...

One more day before surgery...I am going out to dinner with my best girlfriends tomorrow night before my big day. I call tomorrow afternoon to find out the scheduled time for my surgery - and my hospital bed was delivered today. I had it set up in the family room so I can be in the middle of the action - not sure if that will be a good decision or a bad one :) I will have my youngest daughter take my before pics tomorrow night and get them posted.

Hi everyone! I am 6 days post-op and am feeling...

Hi everyone! I am 6 days post-op and am feeling pretty great. I stayed overnight in the hospital so they could monitor my pain and was glad I did so. I had the pain pump which definitely numbed up my entire stomach area and therefore didn't feel too much pain. I had a pain around my lower left lung area which was what bothered me the most the afternoon following the surgery. The took out the tube on that side for the pain pump just in case it was a contributing factor. I don't think it was, but rather I was just really sore in that area (almost bruised internally). I have been taking Percocet every 4-6 hours for pain and it has been pretty effective in helping me manage. I have been getting up and around since the day after the surgery and when I get up I try to mill around for an hour or so. I think this activity has helped. I am sooooo glad I rented a hospital bed - it is great being able to shift your positions and has made sleeping pretty good - sleeping on my back is the only option with the drainage tubes in. Those are a pain and am looking forward to getting those out - the fluid level has definitely decreased and I hope Friday they can come out. Today is the first time I have attempted a bowel movement and there was some discomfort with that! I have been taking the stool softener per the doc, and took my first dose of Milk of Magnesium this morning to help relieve this issue! My stomach muscles definitely feel 'tight' inside but there really isn't too much pain from the incisions...I walk slightly slumped over, but overall I don't think the pain and recovery has been as bad as it could have been. I actually cooked dinner on Monday night but was careful not to lift or stoop or generally overdo it. Everyday gets a little better - I took 2 weeks off work and will work from home for a few days so am hoping on the 28th I will be okay to go back to the office. There is definitely still a lot of swelling but from what I can tell so far, my tummy is definitely flatter!! Can't wait to see how the results progress...I will keep everyone posted!

Finally getting around to posting some...

Finally getting around to posting some before/after pics...

I am now 10 days post-op and things are...

I am now 10 days post-op and things are progressing pretty well. I still have some pain and discomfort and am down to just a few pain pills per day. I was still producing about 30 cc of fluid in my drains on Friday so I decided to wait until Monday to go have them removed - which is tomorrow - can't wait! They are a pain to deal with and the one side bothers me where it is inserted. Still much numbness in my general abdominal area. If I am up and around too much, my back definitely starts to hurt from the strain which reminds me to take a rest. Oh, and the bowels started working again pretty well after 2 days of Milk of Magnesia and I would say things are back to normal as of now. I am glad I still have this week off work to continue my recovery and still have some swelling.

I went back to work on 3/24 which was about 2-1/2...

I went back to work on 3/24 which was about 2-1/2 weeks post op. By the end of that first day back to work I noticed some new swelling right below my breastbone. It was almost like an egg of fluid. From day 1 I had much bruising and swelling only on my left side and I had noticed a hard ridge forming at 12 days post-op when I had my drains removed. Well, I waited about a week after this new 'egg' formed to see if it would go down on its own and when it didn't I decided to call my doc. He had me come in right away, which was yesterday, and he concluded I had a hematoma. While I was hoping this large ridge of blood/fluid was something that he could drain in the office, I was wrong. I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning (Wed) - he is going to make an incision on my left side and suction the blood out and irrigate the area. He will send me home with a drain which he estimates I will have for a week - ugh - back to that. I will have to undergo anesthesia again but the procedure should only take about an hour and I will come home. Not sure how the recovery will be from this, but hopefully it won't be bad. I will be glad to get rid of this swollen ridge and he said it shouldn't affect my final results. I don't this is common to get a hematoma, but it is one of the risks. I will post another update after this additional surgery.

I had surgery this morning to drain the hematoma I...

I had surgery this morning to drain the hematoma I developed and it looks like everything went fine. I was scheduled for 7:30 am this morning and was home shortly after noon. I have some pain at the new incision site - I haven't seen it yet but I think is 3-4 inches long on my side according to the doc. The yucky part is I have a new drain which I will likely have for week. The great thing is that my large ridge of swelling looks like it is gone! I expect some discomfort over the next few days but expect to be back at work on Monday. I see the doc in 1 week and hopefully the drain will come out then and I won't have any additional complications. He says this shouldn't affect my final results and I am really looking forward to see how I look without the swelling from the hematoma. I took a few pics last night and will post them shortly so you can see how protrusive this hematoma was! Otherwise, feeling pretty good and will post updates over the next several days to let you know how this progresses! Thanks to everyone for your continued support in my journey to a flat tummy!

Photo Update

Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Armand Lucas from the Cleveland Clinic was my doc - he was excellent from the beginning consultation through the surgery. He made me feel comfortable and took his time to explain the procedure to me in detail so I could understand.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 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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