30 Yr Old Mother of 2, 95 Lb Weight Loss - Columbus, OH

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When I got pregnant with my eldest I really...

When I got pregnant with my eldest I really enjoyed food, a little too much! I saw my weight spike to 230 lbs and once I had my youngest I kicked my exercise and healthy eating in gear and lost 95 lbs. I am now 5'8 and 135 lbs, but no matter how hard I have worked in the gym I haven't been able to melt away the extra skin that sags below my underwear or hangs every time I bend over. I met with Dr. Donaldson (he also did my beast augmentation 2 years ago, perfection!) and he went over in detail what I could expect from the procedure. I have a long torso, my belly button sits high, and I don't have a lot of extra skin above my belly button so I will have a small scar above my TT scar where my old belly button use to be. I opted to have the little scar in order to keep the TT scar as low as it can go. I just don't have enough skin to pull down to remove my old belly button unfortunately. I'm ok with it though.

Post Op Day 2: I had my surgery yesterday and I'm doing pretty good. Standing and sitting was the most difficult tasks. The area under my ribs felt very bruised and tight, but as long as I didn't move too much I was ok. Today (Day 2) is better. I'm able to stand up a little straighter and once I get moving, things don't feel so tight. I feel a little burning from my drain every now and then, but other then that I'm better then I thought I would be!

Post Op Day 3

Today has been about the same as yesterday. I met 2 milestones though! I had my first shower, which I used a shoe string to hold up my drain, and I finally went #2! Using the restroom was pretty uncomfortable, I had tried everything in my power to not get constipated, but I believe I went overboard on the fiber. I learned after it was too late (from reading an article) that women should consume about 25 grams of fiber and men should consume 30 grams a day. I ate way more then that and became very gassy and clogged, I had to have my husband get me a suppository this morning which relieved my problem. I'm sure this is normally TMI but I'm telling this to hopefully keep others from making the same mistake I did! :-) Outside of my potty experience and emptying my drain (which sometimes stings), I really don't have any complaints. I did pay an extra $250 for a 24-36 hour pain numbing injection that I'm sure is really helping a lot too. I also am taking my pain medicine every 5.5 hours, as well as, Bromelain to help with swelling and bruising.

Follow-Up with PS Today!

Today I am officially 3 days post op. I decided last night to stop taking my pain medicine, so I have officially been off it for over 18 hours. I was a little scared at first, but I am happy to say that I have been ok with out it. Family has asked me how I feel, and the only description I can come up with is that I kind of feel like I have the flu. My body aches all over and I'm just really exhausted, but its not the "my body's been cut in two and I've been skinned" pain that I was expecting! :-) I met with my PS today for my follow-up appt and everything looks really good even with the swelling. I am very happy with my new belly button! My daughter used to tell me that my belly button was weird, I think she will approve of my new one once it heals! :-) I have a small incision below my new belly button, this is where my old belly button use to be, I am very happy too with how small the scar will be. Part of the old belly button incision is swollen in the picture, but part of it is flat, and based off the stitch I can already see that the scar will be minimal! Which brings me to my TT scar, it is sooo low! :-) If I pulled my pants down any lower in this picture my husband would have a fit because I would be giving the world a peep show! I was very nervous about my new belly button, my old belly button scar, and my TT scar, and I am so excited to say that things turned out better than I anticipated! I have been told that my drain can come out when it collects 20cc or less a day for 48 hours straight. I am currently collecting about 40-50cc a day, so I hope my body starts cooperating soon! I am still taking Bromelain every 6 hours to help with swelling and bruising (I don't know how everyone else looked with bruising, but I didn't really have any!) and I have now started taking Arnica to help with stiffness, swelling and pain. I'm very excited to see what the coming days and weeks bring!

Before and After Comparison:


My Head is Clear!

I woke up this morning and felt so refreshed! I took 2 Tylenol last night to help with the aches and pains I was having in my joints and I think it helped me sleep for 6 hours straight! Prior to this I was waking up every hour during the night because I had been so uncomfortable, so that 6 hours straight felt amazing! I also noticed that getting off the couch was not as painful, and I am lot less stiff. My body did feel like it needed a big stretch! My hips, thighs, side of abs, back, everything wanted to stretch! I tried to stretch my legs at one point standing up and my mom thought I was falling over and tried to catch me lol. I also noticed that my swelling felt a lot less today. I was peeing almost every half hour yesterday, so it's no surprise, but I did weigh myself and I lost 4 of the 6 lbs I have gained in fluid weight. Not bad in one day :-). My underwear fits again too, that's a nice plus. I went #2 for the second time this morning!!! Yay for me! My stomach had been so bubbly yesterday and I had been pretty uncomfortable, so of course once I was done I had to tell the whole house! :-) I am able to walk up and down the stairs normally today, where yesterday I was still doing the double step on each step. Small victories! I took my second shower today, which still hasnt been as nice as my normal, pre surgery showers, but I get to take my binder off so thats exciting! My binder is too big so I had to cut 1/3 of the top off and then use an ace bandage to make it tighter (PS direction), its a pain in the butt and the edges dig into my sides! To add a little more comfort I have been putting on a fitted tank and then putting my binder on over it. It helps a little. My lower abdoman, between my belly button and TT incision, is still completely numb. I am a little anxious about what thats going to feel like when those nerves start to reattach... sounds sharp and painful. I just sneezed while typing this...holy crap! Looks like I need to get on taking my allergy medicine since spring is here, I don't want that to become a reoccurring problem! To end on a good note though... ! Today has definitely been my turning point! I don't know if its because I've been off pain medicine now for over 24 hours or its just my time, but my head feels clear, I feel like myself again (still easily exhausted though), and I can feel that my body has taken a turn towards recovery, which always feels good!

Slow and Steady

Yesterday I woke up and felt so good... maybe too good, because I pushed it too far and ignored the signs of my body. I noticed that around 4pm I started to feel funny. Just really light headed on and off, my abs were really starting to bother me, and my lower back on my right side by my hip was constantly on FIRE every time I stood up! I kept pushing it though, standing longer than I should have to talk to family in the kitchen, walking more than I should have to help with Easter planning, ect. I can't tell you when it happened, but I slowly started to feel pressure in my binder in my lower abdomen region by my TT scar. I finally looked at what was going on under my binder when I went to pee around 9pm, and I was very surprised to see what looked like a speed bump above my TT scar! Good lord I was bad and allowed myself to swell something terrible! So today is Easter. Happy Easter Everyone! This hasn't been the most eventful Easter, but I know it's for the best. Because of yesterday I know that I have to take it easier! I did not go through all of this to extend my healing time because I'm being a spaz! I also read yesterday that it can take12-18 months for all swelling to go away because your body has to rebuild its "draining" system in your abdomen. I'm trying to wrap my head around that. I wasn't really big before this surgery, my stomach was relatively flat, I just hated the saggy skin I had to tuck in to my underwear and pants when I would wear my skinny jeans lol. I'm still happy that I did this, I know it will be worth it, but being active and working out is such a huge part of my life, a big part of why I did this is so I could actually SEE some results of the ab work I do in the gym. Now, like I said, I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea that a lot of my swelling will look better in 6 months, but for the next 18 months I need to get accustomed to wearing a girdle (which I never had to do before) after a long day on my feet and after the gym, so I don't swell up like a marshmallow. I'm probably overreacting, I have a tendency to do that, yesterday just caught me off guard. Today has been better then last night. The swelling did go down over night. I still have felt light headed pretty much all day and my mom thinks I am not eating enough, so she had me drink a whey protein shake. I will probably continue to do this once a day since its an easy way to ensure a good amount of protein. It's hard to eat when your stomach feels bubbly all the time though! I don't know if the antibiotic is upsetting my stomach or what, but I'm just not that hungry! I do force myself to eat something though every 6 hours with my pills. I will be posting new pics on Tues since it will be my 1 week post op! I can't wait, it's my first TT anniversary lol! Happy healing everyone!

1 Week!

Well I made it to a week! Yay! What a difference a week can make! Today I am able to stand up about 95% straight, the only thing that is keeping me from rolling my shoulders back and having the good posture that would put me at 100% is my drain. I can feel it in my abdomen and it stings when I try to stand up all the way. Getting up and down from sitting is still a little slow, just because my abs are still sore from the muscle repair. I don't have any pain anymore except when I try to move too quickly and pull something in my stomach, or if I sneeze or laugh. :-) I can take deep breaths and even flex my abs a little (while laying) and I don't have any discomfort anymore. My lower back pain has pretty much gone away in the last day since I've been forcing myself upright, that was awful! I never did use a heating pad or anything I just complained a lot and sat down every 5 secs to try to releive it. I don't recommend my strategy, I wasnt great about asking for help and probably suffered more than needed. :-) Even though I am feeling really good I do notice that mid day I do start to tire, and by early evening I'm starting to feel tightness in my binder from swelling. I am trying hard to stay put on the couch, but yesterday I officially lost all my help during the days for my kids and myself, and I find I am up a lot longer than I thought I'd have to be. I still feel like I need a big stretch! Its the worst when I wake up, but the muscles and tendons running from my ribs down to the inside of my hips are dying to stretch. I want so badly to sit in the butterfly pose and stretch my hips out, and lean to the side and stretch my obliques! I am happy with my progress so far though. It's been such a short period, but I can feel that the swelling has gone down quite a bit and things have smoothed out. My concerns right now are with my belly button, I'm worried its starting to close up and will end up looking like a "number 1". I'm also curious about this squishy part in my lower abdomen by my TT scar, it swells a good size at night and then when I push on it slightly it will fill about half my drain tube (about 5cc) with fluid. I'm curious if this is normal swelling, if its suppose to feel squishy and if my body will be able to take care of that fluid on its own once my drain is out. I'm just worried it will turn out to be a seroma once my drain is out. I am also nervous about how my scar will turn out. I have looked at some many amazing scars on here, ones that you can barely see! I know that my chances for that are slim because of how I heal (my body creates hypertrophic scars), but I am still anxious to see if maybe with the scar treatment my PS is going to do that maybe I have a shot at a nice scar too! A girl can hope right!?! To everyone going through a TT journey with me, it's so nice knowing I'm not alone in this! Happy healing!

Drain is Gone!

I am too excited! My drain was taken out yesterday! I officially hit 20cc of fluid a day for 48 hrs and was able to have it taken out! I was a little anxious about the process because the tube caused discomfort in my abdomen, but I am happy to say that it just felt "weird." The only pain (which wasn't much, only some stinging) that I experienced had to do with removing the stitch that was used to attach the drain to my skin. Im guessing the only reason the stitch stung as much as it did too is because I think I had ripped it a couple days ago. I started having this stinging feeling (like someone pulling your pubic hair out) near the drain hole and it started leaking a decent amount of fluid. Needless to say I was more than ready to have that drain out!!! :-) Being drain free is great! I can stand a little straighter since I don't have that pinching feeling below my skin now! I finally got a clear shot of my crotch and man it sure is swollen. I could tell it was with the drain but couldn't get a clear look at it with the tube in the way, I sure hope that clears up soon. Odd... But a couple hours after my drain was taken out I bled for a short period out of my vagina. I know they have nothing to do with each other, but strange it would happen. I'm not suppose to start my period for 3 weeks, I was actually finishing it when I had surgery, so I know it's not that. Just weird you know. Last night I finally slept back in bed. I am still sleeping at an angle with a pillow under my legs. I will continue to do this for at least the next 5 days (when I reach 2 weeks PO), and then I will slowly start to work on laying straight... Maybe. I am very nervous about "swell hell," I haven't experienced it yet, and am worried if I lay flat the fluid won't be able to make it to other lymphatic drainage areas as easily. I am still taking Bromelain twice a day, though I lowered the dose, and Arnica once a day. I was given a smaller binder yesterday as well, what a difference a fitted binder can make! I no longer have to mess with a big binder and an ace bandage, now I just have a nice thin binder! It's the small things that make you happy! :-) Happy healing to all!!! I will post new Day 10 pics tomorrow!

Day 10

Not too much to update here. I feel like I am pretty much back to normal. I am still taking it easy throughout the day. I am usually on my feet for a few hours at a time, and then off for an hour to try to off set any swelling I may be causing. I still get off the couch a little slower then normal, but I am using my arms and legs a lot less now. I'm still a little apprehensive about bending at my waist, my binder reminds me that I can't really do it, but at the same time I'm a little worried it might hurt or maybe my guts will fall out lol. I did finally shave the forest that had accumulated on my legs today in the shower. :-) I'm still sleeping upright and taking my homeopathic meds to control swelling, and will continue to do that for the next four days. I squeezed myself into a pair of jeans today with my binder and an undershirt. I felt like my lower abdomen was in a tourniquet. I guess I will stick to my sweats for a couple more weeks, cause that was not working. I keep stretching my top abs in the middle of the night while I'm sleeping. I wake up while I'm doing it and it hurts so bad! I'm worried that I am doing damage to the muscle repair in that area! I don't know why I am doing it or how to make myself stop! I think my belly button looks better today. I was worried it was closing up and today it looks like it has opened back up a little. My TT incision is very crusty looking because the glue is starting to peal away, I am very anxious to see what it looks like when its clean of glue and scabs. Fingers crossed that the glue has helped me not to form a hypertrophic scar (it was the first step)!!! 10 days down... My next big day will be 14, it seems like the first couple days went sooo slow and now the time is going by a lot faster! One day I will be like all these other women I keep reading about and I will be months out! Just got take one day at a time! Can't wait to see the results then!!!

2 Weeks!

Another week has gone. I still feel like I look the same as last week except some of the pinching near my incision on my right side has gone down, but my left still looks about the same. The amount of swelling I have is minimal, but its there and I am bigger (not by much) then before I had this procedure which is a little frustrating. My skin is so dry! I am still using antibacterial dial soap in the shower and it is doing some work on my skin! I look like a scaly snake! My incisions are still covered in the glue (and bloody scabs), but its starting to lift from my skin in places which is not helping the flaky look I have going on right now. I am able to completely stand up straight and lift my arms to wash my hair, but I can't stretch my arms above my head still too much pulling in my abs. I am still sleeping at an angle, but will start this week to move to laying flat. I know that I am able to lay on my side because I do it while on the couch, so it will be nice to sleep like that again! Sneezing is still pretty painful, not as bad as the first week, but it still stings something terrible! I am still waking up in the middle of the night mid stretch, but I have learned if I curl in a ball I can stop it from pulling my abs to the point I hurt them. I am dying to get back in the gym again! Even if I could just work on my arms and do some squats! I have the worst cellulite and sitting around isn't doing anything to get me bathing suit ready! I'm thinking about hitting the park trails this week for a leisurely stroll, but I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to do, but I'm going stir crazy! My weight is exactly the same as it was when I went into surgery, I don't know if that's good or bad. I would think I would have lost something, but with swelling and without working out maybe staying the same is a win for right now. :-/ My skin is extremely sensitive, like its been burned and is healing. Sometimes having clothes just lay on my stomach hurts! I know that this is the nerves reattaching, because I had similar issues when I had my chest done. The area around my incision down to my pubic bone gets pretty swollen the moment I wake up, this is the area I have the majority of issues. I am still taking Bromelain twice a day and I even drink some pineapple juice every once in awhile when I have a bad day with salt. Outside of the things I listed I am pretty much back to normal. I have my check up with my PS next week and am looking forward to hearing about scar treatment and what I should expect in coming weeks!!! I really appreciate everybody's stories and support in the RS community, it has made this journey so much easier! Happy healing to all my fellow TT patients!

Comparison Before vs. 15 days PO

Got curious and wanted to see a true comparison. I should have picked some better underwear that day lol, These are a pair of my workout underwear and now I'm stuck putting these on for every comparison... Great lol. :-)

3 Weeks

Another week in the books! This week my TT incision has definitely come alive! And OUCH! is all I can say! I don't know if I'm behind or what, because I have had little zaps of pain here and there, but a couple nights ago I woke up and I would have bet money that something was laying on my incision. I literally thought that my arm had fallen asleep and was laying on it, then when I felt both of my arms, I thought it was my husband's, but there was nothing there! My incision was on fire though, with so much heavy pressure bearing down on it, oh my gosh it hurt! I just laid there, in pain for seconds, minutes, I'm not sure, but slowly it eased. It did that a couple times again that night and has done it a few times since, but never as bad as that first time. Not sure what that is about. I can tell you that I have been sooo bad the last five days! We decided to take the kids on a little trip this weekend and I ate so bad! Cupcakes, Mexican, ice cream, Italian, Pizza, Bacon, popcorn... You name it, I probably ate it! I think I gained at least 5lbs, maybe closer to 8lbs, my stomach was so bloated from being full all the time and from swelling I'm sure, but when you're that stuffed with food, who can tell lol. I could tell that by the morning my binder wasnt as loose as it normally was, so I know I was doing damage with my salt intake (and calories). I'm not sure if the pain I'm feeling is nerve related or swelling related because I'm putting too much pressure on that area (that's we're all my swelling goes). By Sunday I hit a wall, I was standing in a store and literally felt like I was going to pass out. My husband looked at me and said I turned white and told me I needed to sit down. I could barely even hold my head up, and all i could focus on was the energy it was taking to move my chest to breathe. I was exhausted from running like a crazy person for 4 days on our litte "vacation." I ate like crap, never really rested, and was officially done. And now at my 3 week mark I can see that I am paying the price, not too bad, but I am a little more swollen in my lower abdomen then I was a week ago, and that shouldn't be the case. For me it just solidifies the key points that I need to continue to take it easy when I can and watch what I eat. This is just a small set back that can easily be turned around in a couple days once my body rids itself of all the salt I have consumed, and the fluid I have built up because I did too much. On a good note it barely hurts to sneeze now. Yay! I can sleep on my side, sweet relief! :-) Some of my scabs are falling off on my TT incision and my scar looks thin and flat! My fingers are crossed that they stay that way and will only continue to lighten up, but I would be ok even if they stayed pink as long as they aren't puffy like my BA scars! Overall I am very happy with my progress so far, tomorrow I see my PS and should get my stitch knots cut off (I remember that stinging a little with my BA so not looking forward to that :-/ ). I'm excited to hear what he thinks and to know about any next steps! Happy healing to all going through a similar journey!

4 Weeks and Going Strong!

I have made it! Wow what an experience this has been! I am so excited that I have made it to the 4 week mark! I have been cleared to not wear my CG, but I went to Kohls and bought two new items that I will continue to wear throughout the day and night for the next couple months to help keep my swelling minimal. I have also been told that I can slowly start back at the gym! I am allowed to do light cardio and light weights! Yay!!! At 6 weeks I can bump it up even more! Then at 8 weeks I should be cleared for all activity! So excited! Now that my top half is no longer saggy, its making the bottom half look even worse than before! lol I have got to get back to running and my leg routines ASAP! :-) All the glue and scabs fell off my incisions over the last couple days so I am heading to my PS office today to pick up the recovery gel that I am suppose to start using on my scars. I am not happy with my old belly button area right now. Once the scab fell off, I could see there is a lump above the scar, its the scar tissue from my old piercing, as well as, the piercing hole is still there and very visible. I didn't see this before because of the incision, glue and scab but now that it has fallen off I do not like it! I will talk to him about that today too when I pick up my gel. I still have some swelling by my pubic bone, up through the middle by my belly button, but its minimal. My measurements are exactly the same before I went into surgery, which I hope will change as months go by. Last weeks "bad week" with food and swelling can be chalked up to one excuse... I started my period lol. I blame it on that. lol I wrote my post on Tuesday and started my period on Wednesday night, eating everything in sight finally made sense to me :-). I am really happy I made this decision. I remember standing in the mirror grabbing all my stomach skin in the middle and then just watching it fall in disbelief that it could do that, and pulling my skin so tight towards my hips, so my belly button would flatten out and not be a wrinkled mess anymore... And now its reality! :-) I know I still have swelling, and in time that will get better, but after 4 weeks I couldn't be happier with what I see! And I know that this little belly button piercing hole will get cleared up and make me that more confident! I can't wait to get back into the gym and work on my arms and lower half so I can finally feel comfortable in a 2 piece this summer! Now I'm off to my PS to get my scar gel so I can finally start working on my scars!!! :-)

5 weeks and Patiently Waiting for Changes

So it's been 5 weeks and I am trying so hard to be patient as I wait for something to change! My stomach is still a little swollen down by my pubic bone and around my middle abs, but outside of that I am pretty flat. I'm just wondering when the rest of this will subside? I tried to workout last week... nothing hurt, but I quickly felt myself swelling down in my lower groin, and that swelling lasted for 2 days! I decided not to try that again last week, but I will try something again in a couple days and see how that goes. I am scheduled to see my PS on July 18, at which time he is going to remove my old belly button ring hole (thank goodness I don't have to look at that too much longer!). He wants to wait until the swelling has gone down before doing any other procedures on my stomach, I can understand that and am ok to wait. I have noticed that on my right hip, my TT scar has an excess piece of skin that sticks out in a point, that's not very cut either. :-( Grrr... I keep trying to rub it down when I'm applying my scar treatment gel, but I don't think it's doing anything. I will have to have him cut that off too during my revision in July if it doesn't get better, my hips are pointy enough I don't need any pointy skin adding to them. :-) Speaking of scar gel, I have been using mine for about a week now and I think my scar has become more red since starting. Is this normal? I would assume it is a little because of the amount of rubbing I am now doing to it morning and night, but I just want to make sure others have experienced the same thing. One other concern I have is with my skin when I bend over, it still collects in the middle and hangs. :-/ Don't get me wrong it's nowhere near what it used to do, but its still acting the same way, loose and saggy in the middle. Do you think this because of the swelling that's still present in that middle ab area? Or do you think my skin was not pulled tight enough to the sides? I am so nervous that its loose skin! I'm really hoping its just swelling! 5 weeks and I think I'm becoming more nervous about my results with each passing day! Trying to stay positive, I know everything will work out in time. It's already been 5 weeks, in another 5 weeks I will be just a few weeks away from my revision and hopefully putting some of these issues behind me! Happy healing to all you beauties out there!

6 Weeks and Feeling GREAT!

Today I had a break through! I am so excited! I went to the gym and did my hip hop aerobic class full out without holding back, and felt amazing!!! I tried that class once at 4 weeks and once at 5 weeks and both times I had to modify moves and go slow because I could feel my body's limitations, but tonight I felt like the old me again! I did start to feel a little sore and tired in my abdominal region about 50 mins in, so I slowed it down, but I couldn't be more happy! I finally feel free from all limits! Back to me again! Yes! High five! :-) I did wear my CG to the gym, I figured the additional tension on my abs couldn't hurt sense I would be doing a lot of twisting and bending, and that it might keep my swelling under control. So far (4 hours later) I am not noticing any swelling from my working out. In week 4 I swelled immediately (5 mins into working out) like a stuffed sausage and it took 2 days to fix itself, and week 5 I swelled a little but it went down overnight. Both those weeks I wore a CG too, I just think I was pushing myself too soon maybe because tonight I don't seem to have an issue, minimal if any (besides the norm that's always there). The little flappy skin on my scar by my right hip is going down. I hope it fixes itself on its own, I don't want that cut too on top of my old belly button vertical scar revision. My TT scar is still really red and usually puffy in the morning, until I put the scar treatment gel on it, then it goes down a little. I have posted pics... Anyone out there around 6 weeks too? Do your scars look as red and swollen as mine? I'm thinking about trying those silicon strips, I've heard people mention them before. Any recommendations if I go that route. Should I? My stomach is numb to right above my new belly button straight down to my TT scar, I'm trying to get used to that "feeling." I think there's a contradiction in there somewhere. I wonder if any of those nerves will ever reattach? I will be posting 2 more weekly updates to 8 weeks, then moving on to monthly updates, I can't believe how fast the time has gone by already!

7 Weeks and a Little Swollen...

Not a whole lot to report this past week. I have noticed that the little stings that would happen when I would sneeze have officially vanished. Yay! That was one thing that was slightly lingering, not awful, just stung a little on my right side when I would sneeze. I moved out of state from Ohio to Maryland on Friday, for my husband's job. I have been busy lifting giant heavy boxes, painting, vacuuming , dusting, balancing on ladders, landscaping (even shoveling!), etc. My body is so sore and I'm only on Day 4 of what will probably take at least 4 weeks if not longer! I am lucky because my husband moved to Maryland a couple months before my kids and I did to start renovation and to unpack what he could (plus he had to work). My kids and I stayed with my parents, so my eldest could finish school and they could help me after my surgery. All this moving and manulabor has me pretty swollen, and it doesn't help that I started my period on Monday too! Ugh. Outside of the little bit of swelling everything is going smooth. I worked out twice last week with no issues. This week I doubt I will get to the gym because of everything with the new house. I'm excited to try out my new gym though! I am not feeling very confident with where my TT scar is in its healing. It's still pretty red, which I would be ok with, but what has me nervous is that it is feeling thicker and more swollen. I have decided that I am going to order ScarAway to see if it helps. I have read a bunch of TT reviews on here where women have used these silicon strips and seen success, so I'm going to give them a try. If anyone has any best practices or advice on scar treatment, swelling, or how to get sexy toned legs (my next conquest lol) I'm all ears! Happy healing!

8 Weeks Has Come and Gone!

I am a day late posting my update, yesterday was my anniversary (9 years :-) yay!) and I didn't get to it. I still took my pics yesterday so I have accuracy for my before and afters for the future. :-) This will be my last update that I do weekly, I am now going to start monthly updates and I can't believe I reached 2 months so quickly! I have experienced more swelling this week than I am used to, but with our move I have been picking up and carrying lots of heavy totes, boxes and shelves and I haven't been eating great. The swelling usually goes down within 24-48 hrs depending on how much I've done. I am still wearing a CG during the day for the most part, just to help support my abs and to push down any swelling I'm causing from all the manual labor. I haven't been to the gym in almost 2 weeks either, which isn't helping my weight or endurance level. This move (and our renovating) is kicking my butt! I hope to get to the gym this week, I know I have to make myself a priority too. Outside of my personal life :-) things seem to be slowly progressing. I noticed this week that the swelling directly above my incision has soften. The two areas that are connected by my TT scar used to FEEL like two different areas. I would push downward when applying soap or lotion and the upper skin was harder and fuller, and I would hit the "bump" of my TT scar and then move below it and it was soft and flat. I hope that makes sense... Lol. Now when I rub that area the upper and lower parts feel almost the same, like they are one. I still feel a little bruised in my middle abdomen where the muscle repair was done. It feels like "I had a good workout" type bruising when I rub it. It doesn't stop me from doing anything and unless I press on it I don't feel it. That same area, down to my TT incision (right above my pubic bone) is still the only area I see any swelling. I look flat for the most part, but I can see the difference when I look down. My scar is still red and puffy and there is now an area on the right that hurts every now and then. The scar seems to be thicker under the skin in that area, so I don't know if its the scar or I pulled something. My skin is still almost completely numb from my TT scar to above my new belly button. The numb area is about 2 inches above and to each side of my new belly button, and then directly down to above my TT scar (like a rectangle). It's taking some time to get used to, but I really hope I get some feeling back, even if the numb area just becomes smaller. I have read it can take up to a year for your nerves to completely heal, but for the majority of people they never do and they are numb from their belly buttons to their incision (like a triangle). I actually did not know this going into it, not that it would have changed my decision. Only time will tell I guess, but I'm not holding my breath, I'm not feeling anything in that area which suggests my nerves are alive. :-/ I'm looking forward to my revision on July 18 to take care of my old piercing holes, they are so ugly. The spot on the right side of my scar that stuck out (flap of skin near my hip), is getting smaller, but its still there. When I bend over I still have that loose skin in the middle, its in the same area that feels bruised and is still swollen so I'm hoping its just an area that is taking longer to heal and tighten up. My mom tells me that I obsess too much on the negative, so I try to remember how far I've come and what I looked like before. My stomach is tighter and I no longer have all that skin that I can grab when I'm laying down. My new belly button is small and smooth, no longer the droopy wrinkled hole my daughter said was "weird looking." :-) I know with my tighter skin I will finally be able to see my abs, once I get my butt back into my workout routine! Overall, with the help of my PS, I have accomplished what I wanted when I decided to do this! I am completely happy with my decision and after July 18 ;-) I know I will be happy with my appearance. :-) I look forward to reading everyone's journey and updates as I continue heal. I will be back in 4 weeks for my 3 month update! Happy healing all!!!

Comparison Pics-

Before, 3 days PO, 4 weeks PO, and 8 weeks PO.

Since my updates will be monthly moving forward I wanted to put some comparison pics up!

It's Been a little over 3 months...

It's been a little over 3 months now and I am 100% back to the old me! My abs are still sore, as if I have worked them out, and a little tender if I touch them, but nothing bad and it's honestly a reminder to hold my stomach in lol. The biggest change is that 2 weeks ago I had my vertical scar increased to remove the old belly button ring holes, and I had that pointy skin on my right hip removed, which made my TT scar about a half inch longer. Everything is healing beautifully and I am so much happier now that I don't have two piercing holes on my new stomach! Unfortunately with my new move to another state, I have not been as strict on my eating and exercise routine, thus causing me to gain about 8 lbs. :-( I have started eating better over the last week and am going to kick my butt in the gym to shed this extra weight and gain some muscle definition. It's time to get back on track! I have done some ab exercises at the gym and am pretty weak with any additional weight added. I can do simple sit ups and crunches though so I have stuck to that for the time being. I do still swell, especially right before and during my period and when I workout. I am not taking anything to help with that, if I workout, the swelling subsides within a couple days, and with my period, it's usually gone by the time it's over. What's left of my swelling is still in the spot right above the middle of my TT incision. It's just a little puffier than the rest. My numbing has decreased some over the last couple weeks, where before I wasn't noticing any change. The area that is numb is just getting smaller. I'm still numb above and to the sides of my new belly button and directly below it, all the way to my TT scar. To the right and left of my belly button has started to get a little more feeling, not a ton, but it has changed slightly. It has been an interesting journey over the last 3 months, but I would gladly do it again! To all those that are just now starting out, I hope this gives you peace of mind that everyday it gets a little easier! Hang in there and Happy healing! (On my pictures the horizontal lines near my ribs and above my underwear are from a sports bra and pants).

3 months: Before and After Comparison

The Battles 8 mo PO

I haven't been on here for awhile and honestly it's because I have been embarrassed.

I worked really hard to lose weight after I had my children, and still found myself not happy with what I saw in the mirror. I had my TT in April 2014 and thought that it would make me more content, but I continued to pick at myself (the swelling, my butt, my hips, my thighs). I started to feel helpless, like what's the point, no matter what surgery I have or how hard I workout I am never going to be happy with how I look.

I moved out of state for my husband's job in June 2014 and completely got off my workout rhythm. Without my exercise buddies and support system, I didn't see the fun in going to the gym and I always found other things more important to do. Slowly the weight has been coming back on, eating poorly and not going to the gym will do it every time. :-/ I am lucky that it has only been about 10 lbs., with the holidays it could have been much worse.

I am trying to get myself out of this funk. I signed up with a personal trainer recently. I did this knowing if I invested the money and made the appt it would force me back in the gym lol. I know that this will get me back into the rhythm of going and will get me more comfortable with this new gym.

I know that not too many people will be interested in this. I am more so writing it for the one person who, like me, may be feeling hopeless or embarrassed (like a failure), after surgery. I struggled, and still am, with the idea that I spent all this money on a procedure, and then gained weight, instead of it motivating me to get stronger and healthier. I am trying to turn it around though. One pound at a time. I am trying to get my mind healthy too (I have recently been diagnosed with some mental health disorders), and am seeing a therapist to work through some of my issues, one of those being body image. In the mean time I am trying to be realistic with my expectations.

I am still very happy with my procedures (TT and BA). I believe my TT scar is hypertrophic (red and very puffy), it was to be expected, my BA scars are/were (they flatten out and look more normal after 2-3 yrs). I am seeing my PS at the end of this month about my scar and we will see if anything can be done. I will battle my weight with eating properly and trying to build as much toned muscle as I can, that's all I can do right :-).

I hope that everyone is healing well, and if there is anyone out there like me, battling some weight gain or mental health issues after surgery, don't lose hope, I know things can seem dark and lonely sometimes, but you deserve to feel good about yourself, just try and make a plan and take one step at a time, together we will get there!

1 Year PO

I never posted my 1 year update! I went back and found a couple pictures from a few months ago (I was tracking my progress from the gym w/ pics) that were taken in April, which was my 1 year!

At 1 year I can say that I am very happy I had my TT. I wore a bikini this year, even with my stretch marks on my stomach, and felt completely confident! Every time I put on a shirt I never worry about it hugging my stomach too tight, or when I sit, having a roll on my lap. The confidence I have gained alone is worth it.

The setbacks I have experienced... -I am still completely numb from my belly button directly down (in about a strip 2 1/2" wide) to my TT scar.
-I do have a hypertrophic TT scar. My PS tried to correct it with a steroid injection and I had some reaction that caused part of the area to, almost collapse. It's hard to explain, but now the area is wavy and to fix it I would need fat injected in the areas that collapsed. My scar is so low, that I'm just leaving it alone for right now. I'm thinking of having more plastic surgery in the near future and if I do I will fix it then.
-I still swell right above my TT scar. This swelling can be minimal, or it can be awful looking like a speed bump. The awful times are usually a mix of a bad period with working out or eating something high in sodium. A bad period can make that area swell like nothing I had ever experience prior to the surgery, I don't know what that's about.

Other than those 3 things, it's been smooth sailing. Over the last 4 months I officially saw my abs again! It was beautiful and so exciting. It was completely by accident (I had just got out of the shower), and once I saw those 3 abs lol, of course I had to try to make them flex again so I could take a picture and send it to my parents, husband and best friend! That had been my #1 goal when I started this April of 2014. I don't know when it happened, but I was close enough to a year for it to count as a great milestone!

Good luck to all those thinking of a TT or getting ready to have theirs, and quick healing to those that are recovering!
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

I came back to Dr. Donaldson for my Tummy Tuck after he preformed an amazing job on my BA 2 years ago. Prior to my BA I met with a couple other PS, but Dr. Donaldson's attention to detail, professionalism, and friendly staff made my decision to stay with him very easy. I had read that he is a perfectionist, which I believe after my BA. Choosing a PS is a very difficult, stressful decision, but it doesn't have to be. Once you meet Dr. Donaldson and his nurse Bobbi, you will know you are in the right hands!

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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