Turning 50 This Year and Giving Myself an Early Birthday Gift! - Columbia, SC

I have had such a rough year this year. In the...

I have had such a rough year this year. In the last 14 months I have gone through a divorce and lost both of my parents. I also turn 50 in September. I decided that I my breasts needed a lift and while in the consult, as almost an after thought, decided lets do the whole thing. I had only looked at before and after pics and had not really done the research into the TT procedure like I should have. After having a couple of weeks to review information on the internet, I am now a bundle of nerves. I don't think I have ever been as afraid of something before...maybe childbirth...but nothing else. I feel that my PS is doing everything he can to minimize the possibility of blood clots with using compression cuffs and 10 days of blood thinners. The day feels to be flying at me and I have so much yet to do. My nights are filled with dreams and my days of nerves. Hopefully I will be calmer the day of. I will try to post before photos soon for comparison. I know that I have been helped immensely by everyone's posts and want to give back by sharing my story. I don't know if I will be as brave and post after my surgery but you never know...

5 days till surgery

Ok I am not even closer to my surgery date. Although my PS gave me a folder of do's and don'ts before surgery I decided to call and see if there are anythings I might need prior to the day since the only ones on hand to help out are my 14 and 16 year old sons (who are not thrilled of their new roles of caretakers I might add). They informed me there was nothing I needed in the line of bandages and such but seemed alarmed that I was in the care of two teenagers. (Meeee toooo) They wanted to make sure that I received my shots everyday. I had assumed I would be the one to give them since my youngest son turns green at the sight of needles and I imagine would faint. I just don't think I can ask them to help out in that manner. If anyone has given themselves the shots could you let me know how bad it was? I figure I will be in pain how much worse can a shot be, right?

I decided to invest in a rental of a reclining lift chair even though I have a reclining sofa and chair. I just thought the added help to stand would be nice and it was only 148.00 for a month including tax, delivery, and pick up. I also want to get compression stockings although my PS said I didn't need them. My feeling is if you feel the need for daily shots then a couple of pair of socks for added assurance isn't going to hurt.

I am trying to locate a shower chair because a shower is like what a morning cup of coffee is to some people. It is going to literally kill me to not be able to take a shower. I am also wondering about investing in some waterless shampoo. Has anyone used any and does it work? My hair gets oily and well....yuck!

Everyday I go through this roller coaster of emotions. Fear, nervousness, excitement, hope, anticipation, and then back to fear again. I think the fear factor is the most prevalent. I wish that was not the case because this should be an exciting and happy time that I am able to do this. I have told everyone (even the bank teller when I got my money to pay) and every female has voiced the secret desire to either update the boobs or stomach or both.

I still am not very happy about the lack of information from the PS office. If you compared my relationship with my PS with an actual romantic relationship...he is greatly lacking in the foreplay area. I am hoping his technique makes up for it!

OMG

I noticed when my last post posted it stated I was four days away...holy s#%$

The nerves are REALLY setting in now!!!

I am one day ... less than one day from surgery. I am so nervous. My sons (ages 14 and 16) were my only helpers and the 16 year old decided to go to his dad's for a while. I think the surgery was a bit much for him. I am now scrambling to find some help for the first few days. Also the person who was loaning me a shower chair forgot to bring it to work with her and we both are scrambling to coordinate getting that to me. My reclining lift chair is being delivered today and I have started to set up my "nesting area". I decided to work today which may not have been the best decision. I feel I have forgotten so much but tried my best. I will write more later today I am sure. I had a break during a staff meeting and since this is all I could think about thought I would share my thoughts and fears with some like minded friends. Please say some prayers for me so I can find some peace before my storm.

4th day Post Op

I am sorry I have not posted in so long. I was VERY busy getting ready for my surgery and then the morning of I had a bit of a scare. I am a single mom of two teen boys who do not drive yet. A friend/ex gave me a ride to the surgery but got a phone call from his work at the last minute. Some how it all worked out because he ended up taking me anyway. My surgery went well (as far as I know) and lasted 9 hours. I thought that was an extremely long time for a TT, BL, and BA. The nurses told me he is a perfectionist and will put in several different size implants until he achieves the look he wants. I stayed overnight at the surgery center and slept reasonably well. However, I will say since the surgery I tend to sleep only 1 to 2 hours at a time. I have decided to go with this and I have phone alarms that now wake me every 2 hours to walk. I also stressed myself over giving shots but that ended up not being a big deal. Fatigue is a huge issue. I have little to no energy at the moment and typing this post is wearing me out. The last 24 hours I have had EXTREME gas and whole body muscle spasms. I bit my tongue more than once. I have had no appetite so am forcing crackers and water. Went in for my first post op check and was able to see the new body. I was sooo impressed with the scar etc. My boobs are sitting pretty high and are tight but know from all the info I have read that they will drop and soften up. I am very pleased with the TT. All my stretch marks are gone and my belly button looks good. They have me putting this burn paste on twice a day for healing. I also have to remove my compression garment once a day to wash while allowing my body time to breath from all the compression. Yesterday when they took it off for the first time it felt so weird. I then started growing hot and feeling like I was going to faint. She said that was normal and already had alcohol ready to wipe me down and put a fan blowing on me. It passed after about 10 minutes. I really hope that does not occur every time my CG comes off!!! The nurses response to my physiological response was to go with it. If I was going to faint then faint. I was lying down after all. WTH!? After I started feeling some better the doctor came in and checked out his work and seemed very pleased with himself....as was I. I think the scar is in a good spot and will heal nicely. I really can't see the ones on my boobs yet. Those babies are huge. The also took more photos again. I am very flat with just a little bruising. I have found the pain to be manageable if I take my pain meds as scheduled. Dr. Wasserman has prescribed Flexerel, Percocet, Tylenol. I have phenagren (sp) if needed for nausea. I have also been instructed to deep breath and cough hourly. The coughing was frustrating because it hurt so much but I was unable to cough deep enough to get up the phlegm stuck in there from surgery. My days have consisted of medications and walks. I walk about every 2 hours doing about 4 trips around the downstairs of my home ...which is not very large btw. Well I am going to say goodbye for now because I keep falling asleep typing. TTYS

Day Four Post Op

I am still only sleeping no more than 3 hours at a stretch and the coughing is not being productive. We cleaned my incisions and washed the compression garment this afternoon. It was not easy to get back on especially working around three drains. I swear that the stupid thing shrank a bit although we air dried it like directed. The nurse also asked for me not to use any bandages but just put the burn cream on right under the CG. The CG is so tight I can hardly breath much less cough. The areas of my body that hurt the worst are my lower back and butt. They ache, burn like fire, and are numb all at the same time. I actually cried today and wished I could call my mom. This is the first crisis I have lived through since her death in April. My sons have been such a help with adjusting pillows, etc. My "boyfriend" has done everything he cab for me and feels so helpless in the face of pain I am dealing with. I don't know what I am going to do once he leaves to go back home. My sons can not help me change my clothes etc. The days are going by very slowly and I am amazed at other posts that state time flew by because it has not. I will post more later.

Continuing to Heal

I wanted to post some pics of before and after but I really have not felt well enough to get many. Although the healing process is what I expected, it has been hard. I have also had some trouble with my lower air sacs of my lungs re-inflating after surgery. It is 9 days post op and I am moving better, standing taller, and am able to take care of the majority of my needs. I never needed assistance getting up and down thanks to my reclining lift chair. I worried about going to the bathroom once the catheter was removed but I had no problems there either. The pain I felt was more severe soreness and tightness than true pain. I never felt pain with my BL/BA. My breasts are a little tender under them today for the first time and the nipples are tingly. I have also had sharp pains from what I assume is nerves reconnecting. I am allowed to shower even though I still have all 3 drains. Taking a shower is an adventure in and of itself due to removing compression garments, hanging drains, etc. but I am clean now :) I am just now getting an appetite. I have lived on crackers since home in order to take my medications without getting sick. Sleeping has been done in the recliner chair. If I were to complain about any pain it would be my lower back and butt which have taken the brunt of sitting and laying in the chair. I walk every two hours (sometimes more frequently) and am now doing breathing exercises every hour. The one thing I worried about the most was giving myself blood thinning injections and was the one thing that was not a big deal. I hardly feel them at all and I had no trouble administering them to myself. My tummy continues to be hard as a rock and numb. I read other's description of this and thought I can handle that but it is a VERY uncomfortable feeling. I was wondering if anyone can give me a time schedule of when this feeling may start going away. My breasts have started to soften a bit but the tummy has had no change. That's it for now. I will try to write more later.

Almost Two Weeks Has Passed

I am 13 days post op and I will have to say that it has been tough. I did not think it would be a walk in the park but it has been tougher than expected. I have had some wonderful people to come to my aid getting me to my doctor appointments and helping to care for me. I took my last blood thinning shot last three days ago. I will have to say that the shots were kind of a comfort to me helping to keep clots away and now I don't have that any longer. I have had little discomfort with my BL/BA at all until yesterday. All of a sudden my breasts started tingling and burning like crazy. Just the touch of my bra was irritating. I suppose they are beginning to wake up after the surgery. I was told to touch them more with different textures that it was all normal. I am very happy with how perky and youthful they look and my boyfriend's eyes just light up so I know Dr. Wasserman did an awesome job. They aren't too big and they fit my frame perfectly. My stomach continues to be numb and just feels yucky when touched. I can't even describe how my abdomen feels...numb yet not. I also still have three drains. I am hoping one of them will be removed this week at my next post op appointment on Friday. Showering is an ordeal. Finding some way to hang the drains while not allowing the shower to spray directly on my front yet washing my body is a pain. Ugh. I dread shower time and it used to be that I couldn't start my day without one. I feel sooo impatient to have this all behind me. I was a little disappointed to find when I asked Terry (Dr. Wasserman's nurse) how long before the numbness goes away in my abdomen and she told me 3 months which is twice as long as the six weeks I was told before surgery. That is basically the whole summer. Well at least I have the time to heal.

Thankful for this site

I am physically the same as yesterday with super sensitive and achy breasts and a very numb abdomen. I have started walking on my treadmill rather than shuffling around my house. I hit the treadmill for around 5-10 minutes at a whopping .7 mph. My youngest son comes out to the garage and makes fun of me. I may be moving slow but I am moving and it feels good to be on my treadmill again. I also slept in my own bed this week. YAY!!! I missed my bed. I would shuffle to my bedroom door and look longingly at it and then shuffle back to my recliner. I count being able to sleep in my own bed and to get out with minimal pain and no assistance as a huge milestone. I am more in love with my results with each day. I think I am more excited about my breasts even though the TT is the biggest wow factor. I really never had great breasts. They were always on the small side and not really full. They are perfect now. Dr. Wasserman is an artistic genius. I am looking forward to bathing suit shopping for the first time since I was a teenager.

Another Day

Day 15 and its not one of my best. I search this site for everyone's experiences because I seem to be having a more difficult time. I have 3 drains where some had none. I had to give myself daily injections for the first 10 days to deter blood clots. My entire abdomen is numb and I HATE that feeling. Others are shopping and putting on real clothes and I am barely able to shower and get back into my pjs before exhaustion takes over. I realize I am a little older than most, but darn....

Sorry for the pity fest but although people keep saying time will fly my experience is it is dragging by while my summer vacation is zooming past. :(

Drove for the first time today

I finally had to do a grocery run today. It was the first time I have driven since before the surgery. I am also sleeping in my own bed at this time. I sleep so much better. I can't wait until I can finally sleep on my side again. I am still pretty numb through the abdomen except for the occasional sharp pains. I don't mind the pain because it means connections are reforming. Go connections!!! I am suppose to be wearing my compression garment 12 hours a day starting today. I have not taken it off. I have one more drain that will be coming out Thursday. It will be so nice to not have to deal with drains any longer. At that point it will be much easier to go without the garment to which my drain stays attached. Today is also the first day that I felt up to doing any chores. Bending is much easier and I was told it was ok if I don't do too much of it. My lower back actually went out two days ago from sleeping funny (pillows behind my head and under my knees). That seems par for the course considering my tummy and breast stopped hurting on the same day. My back is a little better but still painful. I am looking forward to standing straight without all that pulling in the tummy. I think I need to get a spanx or something to wear when the binder is off. It won't provide the same support but it may help with that weird feeling I have when I don't wear anything. I think that is a little ironic that after a tummy tuck I am wearing clothing that is worn for contouring and which I never wore before. It is hard to feel attractive in 95 degree heat of the summer wearing multiple layers. Not to mention I waddle when I walk like I am 8 months pregnant!!! I am going to try to upload a pic today that I took a couple of days ago. Hope to post again soon.

One month today!

I will have to say after reading everyone's posts that time flies I was counting on that but my personal experience has been each day has been long and full of challenges. My last drain came out last week which was a "Yay" experience but in the same visit they gave me another compression garment that was sized one size too small on purpose. Oh my gosh people I feel like a sausage! The nurse said it was to get the last of the swelling down but I will have to say that my swelling has increased this week. I don't know if it is normal at the third/fourth week to swell more or not. I have been miserable. I feel like I am pregnant (even more so) and I waddle when I walk. I have also found that the more I swell the numbness increases which does give me hope that once the swelling decreases (anywhere from 3 months to 18 months) I will get my sensation back. As for my breasts, they look incredible and I am very satisfied. I still have a spot under each breast where the breast attaches to the body that is still irritated. I have started to use a hair dryer to attempt to dry it out a little in hopes of healing. My energy level is still low and I tire easily but I am definitely doing more. I am able to sit up using my stomach muscles (usually) and bend over to pick things up off of the floor. I am still tight but can now stretch without feeling like I am ripping stitches out. I was advised by my PS's nurse to begin stretching to elongate the muscles that have been sutured together. I am also finding that I unconsciously keep my stomach muscles tense and I have to focus on relaxing them. It is as if I am in a constant defensive mode. Since I am off for summer break I still have four more weeks until I have to be back to work so I am hoping I am in much better shape by then. Each week does show improvements and sometimes they are pretty significant. My heart goes out to women who have to be back at work in two weeks or so. I know I couldn't do it. However, that said, the nurse said that women who do tend to heal quicker and the swelling goes away faster so maybe it is actually a good thing. I think I am just a wus. LOL I am hoping to add photos of me in a bathing suit. I am not buying a skimpy one yet until I am fully healed and the swelling is gone so that may be next summer. My son saw me in the two piece I had and said he would be embarrassed to be seen with me....Bingo ladies we have a winner :)

16 months post op

I have not posted to this thread in quite awhile. It is over a year now and I will say it was rough going for some time, probably over a year. Although I still struggle with some swelling on occasion it is rare. I still feel a bit too tight but the flat tummy looks great. My breasts are a lil less perky than I would have liked but I was told by two doctors that this could happen if I did implants at the same time. I thought I would post a final picture. I have put on weight since the surgery sadly. I have never gotten back to the same level of workouts as I had been doing prior to my surgery. Good luck to all who are planning this procedure. It is not easy but the benefits you get with the right surgeon can make it all worth it.

29 months post Tummy Tuck

I wanted to write an update in hopes I could find some answers to my problem. I have no complaint about my surgery outcome in regards to how I look. My surgeon did an amazing job. The scar is minimal and the affect is great. My only concern, and I feel it is huge, is that at 2.5 years later I still feel super tight. It feels like there is a rope or belt wrapped too tightly around my waist. It has felt this way since my surgery and has not improved. I have spoken to my PS and he suggested I stretch my muscles which I do hoping it will help....it has not. He does not seem to take it very seriously. I am soooo uncomfortable in a sitting or standing position. If I lay down it is better but I can not lay down forever. After I eat it is even more intense. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem? Please help!!!
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

I would like to say that my PS spent a lot of time with me, but he did not. I was willing to give up a cozy bedside manner for good results. I got his name from a friend who also has a friend who is a nurse and apparently the nurses love him and use him for their boob jobs.

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