I clearly remember in the 7th and 8th grade that I...
I clearly remember in the 7th and 8th grade that I had a "pooch" below my belly button and none of my girlfriends did. Throughout my 20's and 30's I constantly had cysts rupturing on my ovaries and very painful endometriosis. In 2002 I had a laparoscopic procedure that turned into a laparotomy as I had an endometrioma the size of a large grapefruit that ruptured and destroyed my right ovaries (which had to be removed). Much of my endometriosis was burned off during the surgical procedure as well. I was never able to have children as well after many years of trying and not being on birth control. During that time, I served in the military (I was a Navy corpsman trained to be a combat medic for the Marine Corps) and no matter how hard I worked out (and I usually ran 15 or more miles a week along with calisthenics- the pooch never went away. Over time, I just accepted that it was hormonal.
After many, many years I decided to research board certified cosmetic surgeons in Columbus and I kept coming across Dr. McMahan. His patients showed very good results and when I went to a consult he made me feel at ease and I loved that he did not try to push me into procedures I did not want (I did not want implants-just a breast lift).
His office is beautiful, the staff very professional, and he is everything you would look for in a board certified surgeon. He never rushed me, gave me time to ask questions and was compassionate and kind. He even called me at home after my surgery to see how I felt (how many doctors do that?!?). As an RN myself, there were absolutely NO red flags at any moment and I would trust his judgment and advice for any procedure. I am very happy with my tummy tuck and breast lift, and I will be seeing him every few months to get two of my tattoos laser removed.
Speaking of tattoo removal, I have had one session so far on a 22 year old tattoo I got while I was in the Navy (I was active duty for 9 years) and after just one treatment I am beyond pleased.
I also believe his prices are comparable to all of the other surgeons around-and he has won me over a patient for life. Thank you so much Dr. McMahan for giving me the body back I have dreamed of! I won't be posting pictures because being a nurse, I do not want my male coworkers seeing the images and I am afraid I may lose my job even though these pictures are truly for medical purposes only.
Just a few tips for those of you who will undergo a breast lift and/or tummy tuck: The breast lift has very minimal discomfort believe it or not. The strangest thing is a slight stinging feeling but I am amazed that there is hardly any pain associated with this procedure.
Now, the tummy tuck-I have to say the worst part is the mid/lower back pain believe it or not! And what has saved me (and my sanity) are ice packs! Expect to sleep in a recliner the first few nights but make sure you get up and move around quite a bit. Drink plenty of fluids and whatever you do do NOT rush into eating food again! It took me until day three to actually eat food. You really dont want to eat until you feel hunger, are passing gas and have a bowel movement. Mira-lax is a life saver! I took it twice a day starting the day before surgery and for about 5 days. Hey, I'd rather have looser bowel movements than be constipated (that's the nurse in me talking lol). And finally, take it easy and DON'T PUSH IT! I truly believe if you are in good shape and work out before the procedure, you will recover faster.
So three days after surgery Doc decided to remove three of my four Jackson-Pratt (those bulb type) drains. It did not hurt at all-just a weird feeling and they were out-so don't be afraid of getting your drains out because it honestly is no big deal. I am now 4 days post surgery and moving around well. I cant stand straight up yet, still don't really have an appetite but drinking protein shakes and eating pudding, jello, and had some chicken. I have had several soft bowel movements today (I am taking double miralax doses because I do not want to strain on the toilet). Overall, I think I am doing well and so glad I got the surgeries done. I go back Monday for the last drain removal and want to talk to Dr. McMahan about an old tattoo removal that is left on my stomach and when to start treating that (I want to make sure there is sufficient blood flow to that area before we laser the heck out of it).
18 days post-op update
So, I can almost stand up straight. I do notice after sitting for a period of time, when standing up the abdomen is pretty tight and takes a minute to relax again. I take that as the doc did a good job stitching the muscle wall again (or, that's how I am taking it). I still get tired towards the end of the day-but I go back to work in three days and have a feeling that first week is going to wipe me out (I am an assistant nurse manager).
Not that I am giving medical advice, but as a nurse I should stress that wound care is so important. For myself I take a shower daily using new towels and washcloths-while in the shower I pat at the tape with a washcloth soaked in soap and then pat it all dry when I get out. I leave the tape on until it starts to curl but about every 4-5 days I do replace all of the tape so I can see exactly what is going on underneath it. By doing this, I have caught two areas of concern that were oozing dark brown (but clear) discharge (one being a drain site on the right breast) but after some basic nursing care I cleared them up in two days. Always wash your hands before ever touching your wounds, and if something doesn't look like it is healing right-call your doctor asap. I have seen some horrid TT wounds on this site which has made me even more aware of good wound care.
I still have quite a lot of swelling in the abdomen above the suture line-but I know that my entire lymphatic system in the abdomen has been disrupted and has to regrow and re-route... this will take months. I guess I didn't realize that before the TT. Good thing I wear scrubs to work because the swelling is going to be a long process....
I go back in three weeks for my next f/u appt-at some point I may post some pics. Overall, this has all been worth it!