33 Year Old Mother of 3 Breast lift with 275 and hybrid Tummy tuck - Columbus, OH

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I am 33 years old, and fitness wise, in the best...

I am 33 years old, and fitness wise, in the best shape of my life. I do CrossFit 4-5 days a week, and love it. After 3 kids though, my diastasis just won't come back together, and my boobs look sad and pathetic. I'm 5'5", 125#. I am scheduled to have a hybrid tummy tuck (b/c I don't have enough extra skin for full TT, but need the full muscle repair) with a hernia repair, breast lift with under the muscle ~250ml gel implants. I want my breasts to look "natural"....not too big! I have help set up for my kiddos (ages 7,5,2) for almost 2 weeks after surgery, and I really hope that will be enough! I am really terrified about how this recovery will go, more than I am worried about the post op pain. I don't want to ruin my surgery, but I know I will have to take care of my kiddos! But overall I am just EXCITED!! No more belly that looks 5 months prego! I can't wait to have a body that reflects all of my hard work accurately!


I'm uploading before pics. The first two are with me sucking in, the second two are my faux baby. I have had several people ask how far along I was :(

Love this community!

I have to say I am so impressed with the realself community and the support provided. I contacted my ps after seeing all the posts on here about getting extra support garments. They said that I will be provided with what I need after surgery an then they will let me know after that. I guess that saves me from stocking up on stuff I don't need. I am also thinking I will be able to avoid picking up my 2 year old to put her in her crib by putting a step stool next to it and having her climb in. My 5 and 7 year olds are able to pull her out so they should be able to help with that. Fear of neglecting her is my biggest stress right now. Also I am only telling people about my tt and not about breast Aug. Anyone else take this approach? I haven't even told my mom or mil who will be coming at 6 days post op to help me. Hopefully they will be natural enough that I won't ever have to explain! Yeah right lol.

counting down the days

Well, it's less than a month away, and I think everyday I feel differently about it. Today is pretty positive, and I feel I'm making the right decision. Other days I feel guilty for spending so much of my family's money to do something only for me. I'm sure there will be more guilt and worries as surgery gets closer, but for now, I am just trying to be prepared!

feeling "prepared"

So when do you feel "prepared"? When you have everything purchased on your list? When you stop feeling nervous (does that every happen?!), or when you are laying on the OR table and go to sleep? I'm thinking the latter will be the case for me. I have my wedge pillow, my neck pillow, my face wipes, my bed table, my zip up clothing..... My preop is next wednesday. I think that will help me feel more ready. When did everyone else feel "prepared"?! I just wish I could prepare my 2 year old for weeks of a mommy who can't pick her up :(

Pre-op day

Well, I had my pre-op appt today. It was a lot faster than I thought it would be (maybe 20 mins), and I only met with the nurse, but she was very thorough. They sent me home with the consents for mentor and sientra so that I can either choose one brand to go with, or sign both and let him decide on the day of. From my understanding they are essentially the same? Anyone have any input on this? I received prescriptions for phenergan, norco and valium. I am thinking I will start taking colace on my own a few days before. They said they will put me in a bra and binder on surgery day, and I will be out the door about a half hour after surgery in hopes that the car ride home will be comfortable. I guess that makes sense, but also makes me nervous. My husband will be taking me both ways, and I let him know today that he won't have to stay while I am in surgery, so hopefully that will give him some freedom for the morning. I also haven't officially picked out a size for my implants. I discussed with my doc during my initial consult what I want my final result to be, but he said he doesn't like to pick out a size before bc things may be different in the OR. I am hoping this can be discussed again on surgery day. I feel insane that it is still 2 weeks away and I am SO nervous! How am I going to feel as it gets closer?! I paid today, so I guess there's no turning back now!!

36 HOURS??!!!

Oh wow, 36 hours and I will be in the OR. Needless to say I am freaking out. Tomorrow will be a crazy packed day. I am going to try to get to the gym and the grocery store in the morning, and then I have a mandatory staff meeting at work all afternoon. We had company in town the end of last week, and then I took my kids to NY for a couple nights this week. There's def still a lot to get done around the house! I think my biggest worry is that my husband isn't going to be able to take care of it all. I'm not a neat freak, but I like to keep my house picked up and clean, and I don't think he truly realizes all I put into that. He will only be home with me for 6 days, and then his mother takes over, so hopefully it won't be a disaster when she gets here. I am thinking that at the end of the following weekend the house is a disaster, I will be calling around to find someone to clean it. I'm not going to lose my mind (or my marriage lol) stressing over a clean house. I'm starting to get excited about the surgery results. Still terrified of the pain, but ready for a flat tummy and boobs that don't look like sad puppy dog ears....eggs on hangers, tube socks, nanny goats...the list goes on. :) I think I may try to pick up a husband pillow tomorrow to add to my bed setup. I just fear the wedge pillow won't be enough. Anyway, enough rambling. I will try to post as many updates and pics as my foggy brain can muster post op.

Told a few friends!

I have to share that I was visiting with my highschool girlfriends in ny and I decided to tell them the full extent of my surgery ( that I am getting boobs too). It was so sweet bc they were all so excited for me. None of them hAve had any ps so it made me nervous on how they would react. I think they mostly understood bc before kids I had nice full boobs and now they are so sad and deflated. So to all you ladies afraid to share like I was...maybe don't be? 29 hours....but who is counting lololol.

Home and hurting :)

I knew that this would be painful but it this bad. I finally found tha sitting up more helps. I am on wedge with husband pillow. Literally any kind of movement hurts. I will update eventually on how the surgery went but keep falling apseep doing this. Thanks for th suppoet!

Surgery day.

I'll do my best to give you an accurate description. I arrived at the surgery center at 7:30 am. The nurse brought me back right away and had m change in to a gown, disposable undies, compression socks and grippy socks. While I was doing this she was going over discharge instructions with my hubby. The CRNA then started my IV and then I waited maybe 10 mins until the ps showed up. He marked my skin and we discussed again what size I wanted. After tha the nurse walked me back to the or to have me sit up for my epidural. Th CRNA said he put some happy juice in my IV. That is the last thing I remember before waking up in recovery. The pain was tolerable there but became more intense on the ride home. The first few hours at home were the worst I think bc I was laying too flat. I am hoping everyone's statements that it gets better everyday is true. So far today is a little bit better! I can shower tomorrow so I will get some pics then!

2 days post

Well I can definitely say I am feeling better. I cut all my rx drugs by half (Valium, norco, phenergan) so I am much less groggy. I have little to no pain if I am sitting still and moderate when I am up and walking. I still need help getting in and out of bed. I am truly shocked at how well I have been able to sleep sitting up bc I am a total belly/side sleeper. My husband has been great about tracking all my meds and even waking me up during the night to take them. I am really excited to see everything when I shower later today. I will def take pics. He wasn't 200% if he would do the lift, but he did, so I am excited to see that. On a side note, I have not had a bm since the day before surgery and I am taking extra fiber and colace. Suggestions? No regrets so far...let's hope it stays that way. Xoxo realself peeps!

Shower and pics

Well I took a shower which felt awesome! Getting the bra and binder back on was not fun began my husband and I arguing over the best way to do it. I ended up putting a Cami under it all so that I will have something clean against me every time. I think it all looks great. My incision is low and my boobs aren't too big so I am happy!! I do have some weird swelling midline just below my ribs. Not sure what that could be?? Anyway, I hope I am on the road to a speedy recovery!

Day 2pics

Day 3

Happy Easter everyone! I sent my 3 kiddos and hubby off to church and to my brothers house for the day. So it is just me, the couch and my pain meds. I do feel like the pain is much better but still worthy if being treated. I am only taking 1 norco every 4 hours and 800mg ibuprofen every 8 hours. I love the way my boobs look but def have quite a bit of swelling in my stomach. I hate the drain but I can only imagine how much swelling I would have without it. Like many people have reported, my GI tract has stopped. I am taking colace, apricots, fiber supplements and lots of water. I haven't pooped since Wednesday. Any suggestions?? I know I will be miserable soon. I have never gone this long! I think the hardest part right now is sitting back and relaxing. We have been lucky enough to have friends bring 3 nights of dinners. My husband has been great with the kids and keeping all my meds on track. I am also taking arnica and bromalain. My follow up is on Wednesday, so hopefully my drain will come out then and I will feel further down the road to recovery. Happy healing everyone! :)

Lollipop lift

Love them!! Plus I still feel my nipples! ;oD

Pain relief vs poop

Sorry to be so vulgar, but this is the debate I had. Sadly I decided that I wanted to poop more than narcotics, so I stopped taking them yesterday. I am 5 days out now and still hurting quite a bit so we shall see how this goes. I didn't sleep very well last night either. My boobs and belly are super sore :( I will try to take a pic later.

Day 4 Postop

Well, nothing really new to report. I'm sure like many who are usually "on the go", I am reaching the point where sitting around the house is getting really old, really fast. I stopped taking norco yesterday b/c I hadn't had a BM since the day before surgery, so today I feel more sore and I'm wondering if I should just take one to stay comfortable. The ibuprofen and tylenol really aren't cutting it. I showered again and noticed more bruising on the sides of my breasts, and my stomach seems more swollen. I know we all have our up and down days, I guess today is just a down one for me. I feel like my husband is "over" taking care of me and the kids, where I am far from being able to do it all myself. I'm going to stop before I upset myself which won't help anything. I will try to add pics.

day 4 photos

I know no judgement of the result can be made at day 4 lol, but here you go. I think right about now my body hates me.

Followup appt

I had my follow up appt today and Dr. Houser was very happy with my progress and minimal drain output so he removed the drain (hooray!!!). He said that I still need to continue to take it easy so that I don't accumulate fluid or injur myself but he was happy. I feel so much better without the drain hanging from me although I still have pain and I am very slow moving. I got a refill on the Vicodin but only plan to use it another couple days. I have been taking one paired with a Tylenol and also ibuprofen. It seems to be a good combo. My biggest issue has been trying to sleep on my back which is not going well. I miss my stomach!! Sleeping on it, that is. I am so tired all the time. Nothing else new to report. I will post more pics soon. Just need to upload them.

1 week

Apparently a week is the magic amount of time to feel human. I took my last narcotics last night and have only taken ibuprofen and Tylenol. I know I posted days ago that I had stopped but that didn't last long. I called the doc today bc I was concerned about yellow discharge between the steristrips on my incision. The nurse said it is a part if the normal healing process and to only worry if there is increased tenderness/redness/fever. Hopefully none of that will come. Has anyone else had this? Happy healing friends!

Pics from Days 5, 6, 7, 8 :o)

Every day really does get better. A week ago I can honestly say I felt like I could hardly move and it was miserable. Today although I can't lift my kids and I move slow, I feel pretty good. I just got done with my shower and my daily "reveal" and I feel like everyday I see very distinct improvements, especially in swelling. The discharge I was concerned about yesterday has also decreased. My mother in law has been wonderful and helpful, without being smothering. I feel truly blessed to have a wonderful and supportive friends and family (even if they don't all know the full extent of what I had done lol).


Does anyone have experience with developing a seroma. I thought I might be developing one the past few days (it was present prior to drain removal but small and now it is larger). I am attaching a pic and it is in the upper right if you are looking at pic (my left). It is like a mini water bed. My main concern is do I need to call my doc on a weekend about it? I have an appt on wednesday (it is now saturday), and I don't want to be a bother if it can wait. Thanks in advance girls for your input. Other than that I feel great. Just sad to see that lump there growing :(

Suspected infection :o(

Well, I was happy this morning to see that the little (assumed) seroma on my belly hasn't gotten any bigger and may be a little smaller? I was sad though to see that the leakage from my TT incision was only getting ickier and stinkier, and the areas where it was coming from were getting more red. So, I finally put a call into my PS. I hated to do that on a Sunday, but I am more scared of an infection. I don't have a fever, but I am also taking tylenol and ibuprofen around the clock. He called back VERY quickly after I left a message with his relay service. He listened to my description and the first thing he instructed me to do was pull off my steristrips. I was scared to do it myself, but I did while he was on the phone, and ugh the smell was even worse while doing that. Several of the strips were just coated in pus. He decided to call in a prescription for clindamycin, so my husband will pick that up for me today. He also suggested that I be certain that my binder is down over my TT incision. I have a VERY long torso, and had been wearing it just above the incision with gauze over it, and that still left 4 inches of abdomen above the binder. So, now I have it down adding compression over the incision, with a full 6 inches uncovered up top. I don't really have any swelling up there (despite full muscle repair), so I guess that's fine. I follow up with my doc on Wednesday (already scheduled), but he said not to hesitate to come in tomorrow if I feel I need to be seen sooner. My boobs are still healing great. The contrast between their healing and my TT was definitely contributing to my concern bc I could see what good healing looks like. They are tender, but there is no fowl odor, discharge or redness. Anyway, sad day here I suppose. But I am really up and about as much as I can be, and starting to feel more human. I wonder how much that will improve with the infection treated?!

Just another day

I feel like past couple days have been very similar for me, but so far from my normal routine. My sitter who normally covers my 12 hr work shifts is helping me this week. Yesterday I ran a few errands and today I did the same. It is weird bc it is all stuff that I normally do with my 2 year old but I don't want to chance a tantrum and not being able to pick her up. It is really heartbreaking bc I feel like I am pushing her away. She calls for daddy the sat couple days when she wakes up. I know things will go back to normal eventually but I very ready. On the body front. My boobs feel awesome. They are sore underneath ( the bottom of the lollipop stick) but other than that they feel fantastic. My stomach is so far from normal. The swelling has def improved and there is no more nasty pus. It just feels numb and tingly and weird all day long. I know if the long run it will be normal but right now I just feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I hope all you Rs girls are recovering well!!

2 week follow-up appt

My camera/computer and I are fighting, so I wasn't able to upload any pics right now. My appt with Dr. Houser went well today. He took all the tape of of my breasts, and although they are still bruised, they look awesome! He noted that my abdomen does still have quite a bit of swelling, which he believes is bc he did a hybrid TT on me (mini skin removal with full muscle repair), and the lower skin (which is normally fully removed in full TT) is just working to regain its drainage paths. He said it will just take time, which is what I expected him to say. He said my incision looks great now, and he drained the small fluid pocket I had been worried about....looked like maybe 4ml of bloody fluid. I will follow up with him again next week d/t the swelling and he said from there it should be less frequent. Sad for me bc I love chatting with him, lol! He's a great guy.

As far as how I am feeling, I really feel great. I feel random little tickles/prickles under my skin that I guess is things just healing. I definitely feel the pull of my tighter muscles. Pain wise, I am still taking tylenol and ibuprofen around the clock, but I think I will be able to back off on that soon enough. I know I read it on someone else's review also, but there is definitely a big improvement each day, and each week. I still have almost 3 weeks until I have to go back to work, so that makes me happy. I have to sit through a 4 hour class at work tomorrow afternoon, but I think that should be OK. I am a labor and delivery nurse, so going back any sooner really wasn't an option. We all know how rowdy a laboring woman can be. :o)

I will try to post pics when my camera/computer become friends again.

13 days post

Steristrips free breasts. Shiny from post shower moisturizing. ;)

Oops photo 2

Lollipop healing

Feeling good

I have read that two weeks brings another bump in how you feel and I would agree with that. I am off all pain meds except for an occasional dose for back pain. I was off narcotics at one week. Everything is still tender but there is no ache/throb. My stomach muscles are very tight in the evening and I feel a very intense top to bottom pull. I am still swollen in my stomach, but it really is getting better everyday. I think the final result there will be awesome but the swelling is def still significant. I think my boobs are the perfect size. They still need to soften up some but they are awesome. I am a little worried that they will get in the way when I start back at CrossFit, but oh well!

Still itching along

I know itching is part of the healing process, but I could scratch my skin off around my incisions! I continue to feel better every day. The swelling continues and is definitely worse in the evening. I know it is normal but it sucks and makes it hard for me to be happy I did it. My husband keeps pointing out that at least my guts aren't hanging out anymore lol. I have been back to my normal busy routine (minus exercise), so I'm sure that doesn't help the swelling either. Thank you everyone for the kind words of support!

3 week followup

Nothing really new to report. I think I may have another fluid accumulation. My doc wants to keep an eye on it so I will go back again next week. He cut one end if my binder so that I could better adjust each level to fit. We will see how that goes. He did say that I could pick up my 24 lb daughter and do a little upper body exercise along with the walking he said I could start last week. He said no to swimming until 6 weeks. I overall feel awesome. The swelling sucks, but don't we all say that?! I will take some end of day pics tonight when I head to the shower.

Evening pics

Ahhh swell hell. Blah. Also I noticed every inch or so on my incision is a red spot. Is this stitches rejecting?

Swell hell and incision pics

Grrrr the pics

Just quick pics

I will post more at another time. Just want this mornings pics off my phone. I can just see my 2 yo showing them off to someone lol.

Feeling good

I ended up calling the doc on Thursday about my incision and spoke with one of the nurses. She said that the spots probably are from being irritated by underlying sutures but they should resolve without coming through. She said they are just a large size suture but they can take up to two months to fully dissolve. She said to call back if they get worse. Thankfully they have not. I am feeling pretty good. Yesterday was my eight year olds birthday and we went out to dinner and ice cream. Today is his party...at a bowling alley. I just have to remind myself that I can't bowl bc I love it! I have felt really good all week other than fatigue and back aches. I am not sleeping great but I am able to turn a little on my side now. The cuts my doc made on my binder made it almost unwearable due to bunching. Luckily I had a second one and will just wear it. I ordered a squeem and have some spanx ready to go for when he says I can move on from the binder. I am still swollen but I do feel like it has improved some. Of course not as fast as I've hoped. Thank you to all those who have provided tips and support. I really appreciate it! I hope you all are healing well! :)


I received my squeem in the mail today. Holy crap that thing is tight!! So much tighter than my binder and it felt so good! I will ask my ps if I can start wearing it when I go on Wednesday. I will be at 4 weeks then so I think I should have the OK to move on? I had a busy Mother's Day today with family. Busy weekend overall but really felt great. Still swollen. My parents were at my brothers house today and although everyone knows about my stomach, no one knows about my boobs, and no one seemed to notice and there were plenty of hugs going around. Happy Mother's Day to all if you Rs gals!!

Woohoo workout!!

My doc cleared me to workout today!! I normally workout at a CrossFit gym so I am just going to start at home and at the ymca for the first couple weeks so I don't over do it. I also think I will hold off on anything strictly core for a little bit just to be safe. The best part is that he cleared me to ditch the binder, so I am wearing spanx right now and about to meet friends for lunch. Hooray!!! I will follow up again with him in a month. He said my tt incision may spit those sutures but for now it looks ok.

Almost 5 weeks

Yesterday was my first day back to work. It was crazy busy and I survived. I wore my binder bc it is easily covered by scrubs and I just feel more comfortable. I have been working out since last week. Nothing crazy...either body weight and light weight exercises at home or elliptical and light weights at the gym. I have run some too and while it doesn't feel great, it isn't awful. I definitely have more swelling in the evening in days I workout. I wear spanx at the gym.

In the healing world, I have a spot underneath my right areola that is spitting a stitch. I was able to email a pic of it to my drs office and he confirmed it. They said I could come in if I want but it should resolve on its own. My tt incision is still irritated from underlying sutures but it hasn't gotten worse. I don't have any pain, other than some tenderness along the incisions and over my abdomen in general. My stomach is still very numb but is slowly improving. The bruising in my breasts is almost gone.

Overall I really feel back to normal. I can't wait to get back to CrossFit next week. I'm hoping the swelling will go down enough for me to feel comfortable in a bikini this summer!

My body hates sutures

I took these pics a couple nights ago and sent them to my drs office bc I was concerned that my breasts were going to start spitting all the sutures. They replied and said it was all a part of the healing process and sometimes incisions look worse before they look better. I want to feel normal again!!!!!

8 weeks

Wow, time has flown! I am back in the gym doing CrossFit and easing back into the heavy weights and ab work. I see the potential for how much I may improve with an intact core. I wore spanx during the day and squeem at night and on work days for the last 4 weeks. I definitely still have some swelling in my lower abdomen. My abs feel very sore like I did 1000s of sit-ups everyday. Too bad I can barely do one lol! My incisions have spit quite a few sutures but seem to be settling down now. My breasts are fantastic! They feel totally natural and I feel like the size is perfect. They are a 32dd or 34d. My stomach still has quite a bit of numbness which is annoying but does seem to be improving. I also still have an area of fluid under my skin that I am hoping my doc will take care of at my appt next week. It's the same spot where it was before. Even though he took some of the fluid off it never absorbed the rest of it. I think that's all... I really do feel like life is back to normal for me...just with fantastic boobs and a more flat stomach!! Happy healing Rs world!

Almost 4 months

Sorry it has been awhile! I will write more from computer but want to get pics off my phone!

The pics

Maybe they will upload this time...

Third time is the charm

Many apologies if this doesn't work again!

4 month update

It's hard to believe it has been 4 months since my surgery! The summer flew by, and my oldest 2 are back in school. I would say I feel 95% back to normal. I still have numbness in my midline, tenderness (or perhaps it's just that the numbness feels weird) along the 6 inches in the middle of my stomach (the ab muscle area). I still swell everyday, especially when I work out. I think at this point it is just something that I notice. If you look at the pic I just posted of my stomach, you can see that there is an area above my belly button that sticks out a bit. I had my follow up with my doc last week and he said that it isn't so much that that part sticks out, but that bc my diastasis was so separated, there is literally NO tissue below that area. He suggested that I have him do a fat transplant from a fatty area on my body to there. It will be done under local, and he is willing to do it for free for me. I scheduled it for the beginning of November, but we shall see if I do it. Honestly, although I love that I don't have a prego belly look anymore, that bump just looks gross to me and is all I see when I look in the mirror.

My boobs are doing great, I think! They have settled and are soft and not to big and I think feel really natural. I do still have some soreness underneath- I think where the implant is seated in my breast tissue, if that makes sense, and probably right up against scar tissue from my lift. It is very minor. They stopped spitting sutures very quickly and the scars are just pink now and fading.

As for exercise, I am back doing whatever I want. I think the biggest shock to me is that it is the breasts that have slowed down my progress in the gym. I can still only do 4 pushups in a row, and I feel like my boobs will explode while I'm doing them! I can do pullups now, but def not as many as I used to be able to do. My abs get sore VERY quickly, but I can do ab stuff now that I avoided with my diastasis (like situps, hollow rocks, toes to bar, etc). I did a plank hold for everything ab related before my surgery and for the first few weeks after. I have definitely found with my abs that the more I do, the better I feel. It's like they needed to relearn how to do things and get stretched back out.

I have no regrets ladies, and I am VERY happy with my results. I will let you all know what I decide about the "fat transplant" (don't know what else to call it lol). Has anyone had that done?? I guess I'll have to do some research on here!
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Dr Houser was awesome from the initial consult. He spent as much time as I needed to answer my questions. Surgery day was a breeze with his entire staff making me feel so comfortable. I can't imagine a better experience. So far my results are awesome! Can wait to see where I am in a few months!

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