I am a 36 year old mother of one. I have been...
I am a 36 year old mother of one. I have been wanting a TT for years, and finally got the courage to do so. I had my daughter young and can't remember what my pre-stretched body looked like, as I didn't pay attention to that. I haven't had any additional children since then and think that it is time that I do this for me. I have had a couple of consults with other doctors (certified plastic surgeons of course), but I am very impressed with Dr. Cochran's consistency of his work (i.e. scar line, results, follow ups). I had become OBSESSED with looking up other's reviews and experiences over the past few months. Between YouTube and this site, I was able to feel more confident in my decision of having the procedure done. I hope this review helps someone else as you all have helped me. Forgive me for not posting this sooner. I have been very busy working and getting things together for a good, comfortable recovery.
So, I went to my consult a couple of weeks ago and met with Dr. Cochran and his staff. They were very welcoming and answered all of my questions thoroughly. He came in and explained exactly what he would do and stated that I was a good candidate for the procedure (TT and inner thigh lipo). He seemed pretty well educated in everything involved and that made me feel at ease. I was extremely nervous and had a higher than usual blood pressure reading. (I have been recently taking medication for blood pressure management, but I am sure I have the "white coat syndrome"... lol). He stated as long as it is properly managed, I will still be fine. I went ahead and booked my surgery for tomorrow, which was one of the available dates due to cancellations. I had an extended appointment and the nurse and the office manager completed all of my pre-op stuff while I was there.
I am nervous, but I have been praying and keeping busy in order to keep my mind off of things. By this time tomorrow, I will be on the FLAT SIDE. I appreciate this community and any information that you ladies think would be helpful. I have taken many of your supply lists and combined them for my care package.
I'll keep you updated!! Love and Peace to you all and happy healing to those of you who have gone through this already.
Day of treatment and Days 1 and 2...
Ok, ladies, I was kinda loopy the first day and have had a few visitors since surgery. My experience the day of treatment was much like other reviewers of this location. I arrived a little before 7am and sat in the car with my family. We were the first ones there (even beating the employees). I was a bit anxious, but I had been praying about this for as long as I can remember. My family prayed with me one more time, and I proceeded to walk in the office at 7:15. The nurse spoke with my family and stated that they could come back in about 3 hours. Of course, my mom stated that she would not be going ANYWHERE as long as her baby was in the operating room. Ha. Very sweet. I was instructed to undress and put the gown on. The nurse went over some caretaking information and assured me that she would do the same with my family. Then, she took pics and measurements and administered a shot (demerol...I think. ..may be spelling it wrong) but it was a pain reliever. Between the pics and shot, the surgeon came in to do his markings... see, told ya I was loopy. ..lol. Once in the OR, I remember getting the IV placed in my neck. It's not bad at all, and I hate needles. It's suppose to take you under and pull up out of sedation quicker. After that, mostly everything was a blur. I remember the nurses waking me and talking to me. I must've said some crazy stuff because they were laughing most of the time. The next thing I remember is getting in the car and then in my recliner. The recliner is definitely a key asset in recovery.
I have continuously taken the pain meds in order to stay ahead of the pain. The first day, the pain was maybe a 2 on the scale of 1-10 when sitting still. When I moved, I was extremely sore, so the pain would elevate to a 6 or 7. Day two was about the same except the soreness was intense. It felt like I had done 15,678 crunches every time I moved. I did not have ANY pain sitting still. I have been eating light as I have taken my meds. My mom has been an awesome nurse keeping up with my med times, drainage amounts, etc. My bestie is a registered nurse so, of course, she has also been a true Godsend as well. She has helped me keep these dressings clean and properly changed. My daughter has been great as well. I think she gets a kick out of feeding me. ..lol. .. so I let her sometimes. I'm blessed to have a great support system and can't count all of the calls, cards, flowers, visits, and prayers as I continue this healing journey.
Incision is healing nicely. I'll try to do some close ups later. Stomach is really tight. I'm still hunched over when walking. Using this mobile walker is a major help. A bit itchy as well... I think that is from the lipo areas.
One week update
Well. ..the last couple of days have been eventful. .. yesterday (day 6), I was pretty emotional. I have done well to stick to the "keep your eyes on the prize" motto, but yesterday was very trying for me. Firstly, I guess I have had an unrealistic expectation in regards to my healing process. I'm use to being super independent naturally, and this spills over into most aspects of my life. So, being almost totally dependent on others is a challenge. On top of that, I have developed blisters on my side from the tape on the gauze. Ugh!! On top off that, I started my cycle early due to the surgery (that was probably enough...lol). I just cried a bit that morning and at the doctor's office. The nurse was super nice and comforting as well as my mom of course. She hasn't really left my side in a week. That moment didn't last too long (thank God!).
So. ..on to my follow-up appt. Dr. C. said that that my incision was healing nicely and that I should try to walk straighter daily. He didn't take out my drain, as he wants the daily drainage to be less than 50 cc's two days in a row. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Although it is annoying, I'll keep it now to avoid issues later. He told me to just come when the numbers are low and they will remove it.
Today, I had a small issue with constipation. I had been having good BMs over the past few days. I have been drinking plenty of water and taking the stool softners daily. Yesterday, I didn't eat much and drink much water. Didn't feel up to it nor did I take my softeners until I went to bed. Boy, did I pay for it today. Soooo I would say eat well and stated super hydrated and take your stool softener!!
I will check in with you all in a couple of days. .. happy healing!
19 days Post OP
I haven't been on here in a while...please forgive the delay... I've been posting on Instagram (tummytuck_AfricanAmerican) for those that want to follow..serious followers only.
I'll try to remember where I left off... here goes. After the constipation issue, things got better in that area. I developed some blisters from the surgical tape (see pics). They were not painful. Just very annoying. I sneezed for the first time about 10 or 11 days PO... that was definitely the devil. ..OMG, it hurt so badly.
I had lots of swelling. ..especially in my lower half. I started taking the Arnica and after a couple of days, I could see the veins in my feet. I was going to the restroom every 2 hours all day long. I should have taken this a few days earlier, but I was on so many other meds. Oh well. They do help, and I'm still taking them.
I went to the PS to see the nurse to remove my drain at 13 days PO. The couple of days before removal, my drainage was about 25-30 cc's... she removed it and I could feel it lightly being pulled across my lower belly and was out so quickly. No pain!! Also, my belly button stitches were removed and it was painless as well. A big portion in my lower belly is still numb. I can feel touch but not as sensational.
I do have lipo lumps that are sore but I massage them a couple of times a day. I have read mixed reviews about the massages and if they work. Even the doctor's responses to the lipo lumps are mixed. I would be interested in knowing what has worked for you ladies.
I returned to work a couple of days ago. I mainly sit, but I had a coworker who was very helpful with getting my clients to my office. I'm still not standing up straight completely, but I am standing up a little better daily.
My scar is healing well so now I can wear other compression garments per my PS as long as they hold as well as the binder. I have been wearing some spanx that I could barely fit before surgery. I've ordered two additional garments. One has come, but I think it is too small. I'll get the other tomorrow. Debating whether to keep the smaller one and waiting until the swelling goes down or send it back. I'll see how the other one fits. .. I'll keep you all updated... happy healing. .. this definitely a process.
Update... 2.5 months PO
29 Mar 2016
2 months post
So much has happened since I last wrote an update weeks ago. I promise I will reply to everyone soon. Follow me on IG... @tummytuck_africanamerican. I update that more frequently.
After returning to work, I had to slowly work up to a full schedule. It was hard to stand straight for the first 4 weeks. By the 5th week, I was standing pretty straight but hunched over by the end of the day due to swelling. After my 6 week checkup, my PS said everything looked well and I could return to my normal activities. He told me I could exercise but to expect more swelling when I do and to ease into it and listen to my body. I still had some swelling in my lower abdomen above my incision, and he said it will go down in time. He also said that I could wear light compression if I chose to do so. I still wear my faja which had to be taken in in the waist. At this point, I have been told that I could go free during the day and compress at night or vice versa or both if I so choose according to my swelling. I sometimes do my double binders at night to cover my whole torso and upper hips.
So far, everything is healing pretty well and the swelling of my lower incision has gone down significantly. I am very happy with my results and it is the best decision I could have made regarding the excess skin issue. I am now working on my scar and using cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil, and coconut oil. I have also use the SCAR away strips for a few weeks but just started back yesterday. My scar is flat and thin on one side and a little dark and raised on the other. So I'm thinking that I need to go back to the strips more consistently.
I am still very tight and get swollen at night . I also am still sore in my areas that I had liposuction. I will post the recent photos as well. I don't go back to my PS for 3 months which will be in May for me.
12 weeks PO
Twelve weeks. Feeling fine. Swelling as usual and I have started back with more aggressive waist training... and I mean not going so long without anything on... Trying new silicone strips with more adhesive... the CVS brand. I still feel tight and numbness at the bottom of my tummy...
17 Apr 2016
3 months post
Some minor changes. Scar is thinner and flatter on one side. The other side is darker and raised still. Ready for it to flatten as well. I'm still using cocoa butter with vitamin E oil and coconut oil and alternating the Scar Away strips.
Tummy was freshly unwrapped so excuse the lines...lol...
Four months visit
15 May 2016
4 months post
Late post. I saw my PS last week. Everything went well for the most part. He was very pleased with my results but stated that my belly button was kind of thick. So, he asked that I hop on the table for some cortisone injections. I asked would they hurt because I'm a big baby and hate shots. He said I should still be mostly numb. He was right. I only felt a slight sting a couple of times, but nothing unbearable. I was later bandaged up due to blood drops from the shots. He spent more time with me this time answering all of my questions and concerns. He said if i needed to come back in a couple of months due to my scar turning dark and being raised in some areas, I could do so. As of now, that was my last required appointment. What will I do with myself...lol.
The nurse took after pictures and asked did I mind being placed in the office book. I told her that was fine, as I had already signed the consent forms prior to surgery. I had some swelling in the bottom half of my abdomen a couple of days prior so my after shots aren't as flat as I am normally..... you can look at my 3 month pics.
I'm extremely pleased overall! I will still keep posting on Instagram (@tummytuck_africanamerican) and answering any questions here.
Happy healing and decision making, ladies!