Real Self is a great help regarding what to...
Real Self is a great help regarding what to expect and how it varies between each of us.
I want a tummy tuck that gets rid of extra skin, but leaves me with a belly button that looks fairly natural, a shapely figure, and trimmer thighs. I'm ready to look in the mirror and feel great about myself. I work out, and have for years, and my abdominal skin and muscles just act like nothing has changed since that first pregnancy back in 1985 - stretched out and bulging.
I've searched the web, interviewed a few doctors, and am ready to go with Dr. Frank Campanile in Denver Colorado. The condo is rented, and down payment made to the surgeon. Now there is time to amp up the exercise to be in top notch shape for the surgery, and make sure everything is on hand for post-surgery recovery period.
I had a hysterectomy 3 years ago that resulted in an open surgery to repair an accidental intestinal injury. It was a rough recovery. The first three days after the open bowel resection/hysterectomy was tough. Every day after was more 'normal' with healing every day. I hope for the same with the tummy tuck. And, probably like most, I hope for an uneventful recovery.
Pre-Op Measurements, Weight, and Pictures
These photos reinforce why this tummy tuck is going to be great. Dr. C does great work and I can't wait to be on the other side. Waiting is tense.
Documentation of the facts:
My pre-op measurements:
Bust across boobs: 38
Bust under boob: 34
Waist at belly button: 39
Weight 170 lbs (want to loose 10#) Ht 5'8"
EKG and Labs
I went to my PCP for a visit yesterday. His nurse was so excited for me when I told her about the upcoming TT. She had her own story to tell. My PCP, who is an interesting fellow, kind of kept looking at my belly from across the room with a quizzical look on his face. The nurse then did my EKG - and it was perfect - normal sinus rhythm with a healthy heart rate of 60. The doc wrote on the EKG report that I was healthy and should do fine with surgery. He also wrote some words of caution to my cosmetic surgeon - basically warning him to take good care of me. I know he means well.
So, now I am feeling pretty excited too. The time is moving so fast - December 17th will be here in no time!
Traveling for TT, air and condo booked
I'm traveling to Denver to have a CLASS TT with Dr. Campanile. This will be a combined lipo-abdominoplasty with sculpting and shaping. The procedure is typically drain-less.
It has taken some extra planning to get everything in place to have a surgery out of town. It was a flurry of activity for a while, but I'm feeling pretty prepared at this point. I've booked both my husband's and my flights. I had some free miles and the tickets only cost around $5-10 each. I found and rented a great condo in a suburb close to Denver. The condo was a really luck find because it has both a recliner and queen size hospital type adjustable bed. Plus, there is a chaise lounge in the living room. All of these comfort features are going to be nice in those first days of healing.
I'm planning to stay close to Denver for 4 weeks to be close to my surgeon and avoid air travel too close post op. I definitely do not want a DVT or PE. Now that most of the planning is out of the way, I am really starting to get pretty excited.
Adding on BL and possible Augmentation to my TT
I've decided to add on a breast augmentation, and my PS says I need a lift. So, surgery got moved up a day to December 16th.
Let the adventure begin
I'm fly out in the morning for a week long conference and then fly straight from there to Denver - where I'll have my surgery!
2 sets of bags packed. One for the business trip. The second for the surgery recovery. Over-sized supplies have been shipped forward to Colorado - like the great wedge and egg crate mattress pad to help make recovery comfy. Plus, the toilet riser and walker.
There is so much to think about getting this all organized - so as a little personal comfort, I upgraded my plane seats. Might as well get a little relaxation in.
It was a mix of emotions walking out of work today and realizing that I won't be back until late January.
My daughter left the most wonderful note - just to say goodbye and let me know she loves me.
Let the adventure begin
Getting nervous...11 days to go
I had a real sense of fear and nervousness today. I hadn't felt that kind of anxiety until today. At least not any that I wasn't able to calm myself.
I have a couple of confidants who are willing to be text buddies during the healing process. That will help. As will having all of you.
I am just feeling a little more anxious and need some encouragement.
Pain control planning
I don't see many of you talking about getting longer acting pain medications. Has anyone been prescribed oxycontin? It seems like it would work for those first few days better than every three hour dosing. A few have mentioned dilaudid. Does that cover pain better than the oxycodone?
Just wondering what 'works' best. Thanks for your help.
One week to go
I'm very nervous and excited at the same time. I'm trying to be a little more excited though because it is a healthier outlook. I have chosen a great surgeon that I trust. I'm looking forward to wearing that sexy red dress. :)
My husband and I meet in Denver on Friday - We will gather a few last minute supplies, stock the condo with food, have a pre-op with Dr. Campinile on Tuesday, then surgery next Wednesday. Time flies!!
Heading to Denver in the morning
Nothing major happening to update you on. The conference is over and now I'm heading to Denver tomorrow to get ready for the upcoming surgery. My hubby flies in to meet me. We only have a day and a half in the condo prior to surgery to prepare. And half of one of those days will be consumed by a pre-op doctor's visit. I'm planning to bring some old sheets and blankets from my Mom's house. She has lots to spare, and I don't want to mess up the rental property. My hubby is super great about taking care of me when I'm out of commission. He is already planning on doing some grocery shopping while I'm in surgery. Plus he is a great cook. He even wants to sit with me in the hospital overnight! I think it would be easier if he went back the rental to get a good nights sleep. It may be his last good rest for a couple days because he will then become my full time nurse. Anyway, he may not be able to be swayed.
The BL/BA has me a little worried. I see that most RS gals love it, but there can also be all kinds of problems. Love it / problems, pros / cons. Not sure. Anyway. My way stretched out boobs that breast fed three kids could benefit from a lift and some filling. I just want it to look natural - not overfilled and overdone (in other words not too large). I'm sure that having this discussion with my PS in a few days will resolve my questions.
6 days and counting.
Thanks for your support.
Arrived at Condo - 2 days pre-surgery
Hi RS friends. We just arrived at he rental condo. There was a BIG surprise. The bathroom is one/half floor away. It sits between the first and second floors. This has me a bit stressed. I'm hoping for the best - and it won't be too hard to climb half a flight of stairs several times a day immediately post-op.
I'm also trying to figure out the best way to squeeze in time for a bowel cleanse tomorrow. I have a pre-op doctor's appointment mid-day - leaving only a few hours later in the day. Maybe I should only take half a bottle of mag cit. What have others experienced? or have planned? I'm also planning to only drink liquids tomorrow.
I had purchased two compression garments before deciding to have the BL/BA and noticed tonight while unpacking that they both go up over the breast area. I'm not sure if these can be used? Does any one know? I am taking them in to the PS tomorrow to check.
Wow - can't believe surgery is coming already!
Time to go get comfy with my hubby and relax a bit.
Tomorrow is the day
RS friends, so much has changed in the last day. It is the day before surgery and everything is finally decided. The BL/BA is off due to the stairs in the condo. I will definitely need to be able to use my arms to get up and down that half-flight of stairs to the bathroom. That's ok, though since I was really back and forth on the pros and cons. Instead I have added some extra vaser lipo to inner thighs, plus also added lipo of the flanks and outer thighs.
My hubby and I drove several hours today (50 miles or so) through falling snow (6-12 inches of it). That and the upcoming surgery had my blood pressure up (140/95). It is never up, usually 120/80 or less.
The doctor provided several scripts. One was for xanax. That will calm my nerves and hopefully allow me to sleep.
The doc also added oxycontin for better pain control. The pharmacy refused to fill it without talking to the doc, and the office was closed. That's no problem, because I don't need it yet because I decided to stay in the hospital for 2 days.
The hospital offered a really discounted rate. This sounds ideal because there will be a hospital bed, nursing care, and IV medications. By day 3, I hope to have an easier time climbing the stairs in the condo and be ready to head 'home'.
Now off to take the requisite shower with chlorhexidine and antibacterial soap. And, of course shave.
Thank you so much for you support. Will have hubby take photos for me, and I will post when up to it in a couple days.
Hi RS friends. I had no internet access here in the condo for a couple days and didn't feel up to writing while hospitalized. I did manage to get some early pictures that I will post later . Plus will post a few more from today.
The several days in the hospital were helpful. I ended up staying Anesthesia makes me very weak. I'm sure not everyone responds the same way. I couldn't push my feet down to lift my body up in the bed. Small things - but important because my hubby could not have moved me very easily at home by himself. Plus, in the hospital I was able to have the folly catheter for a few days. It was nice not to get up to the bathroom every 3 to 4 hours for the first few days.
I'm pretty itchy in the areas of lipo
Shower felt good - and makes me want a nap,
I'll posr oaater
First photo update - day 7 post op
Hello fellow RS friends. It has been challenging - at times. My emotions get the best of me - especially this morning when my binder was so tight that I was having difficulty breathing. I took a xanax and changed the garment to a Spanx brand - which has less compression. I can now breath! So no PE scare or anything. Just binder issues. Binders should not hurt, as mine was.
It is super important to stay on top of pain, antispasmotics, and laxatives. My hubby and I have a little daily med schedule that we use to make sure we are on time with everything. All the narcotics make for real constipation problems - so The laxative schedule is pretty intense and includes 200 mg stool softener twice a day, 2 bisacodyl twice a day, PEG once a day, and MOM once a day. If all that doesn't work - there are always glycerin enemas.
Discomfort is really minimal as long as pain medication is taken on schedule. It is only a few days in - if only we could speed through this early period of time to reap the rewards.
Hope all of you post TT are healing well, and getting some rest . Which is what I need to go do right now - nap.
Day 12 Update
Real Self Friends, I'm feeling pretty great for day 12 post op.
I'm still taking pain medications on schedule - although I can miss a few and tolerate it without problem. I'm working on substituting tylenol. Everything is healing. There is a bit of burning, nerve type zingers and stiffness. But all of that seems pretty normal since it is only day 12 - so I'm really happy with how good I feel.
I've found that my reaction to anesthesia is not a typical one. I get very weak - almost to the point of being unable to generate much 'strength'. For example - being unable to push up in the bed with one's legs. I've had general anesthesia twice and both times had a period of about 3 days of general weakness. I think it has to do with my specific genetics and the agents used for anesthesia. I'm telling this story because, my three days in the hospital may not have been necessary for most peope if this unusual reaction didn't occur.
The hospital care by nurses and IV medication was helpful - either way.
My appetitite has returned - that was a real turning point in feeling better. I'm feeling like eating a bit less than previously - this may be due to muscle tightening - no compaints there.
I'm heading out for a little jaunt with my hubby this morning and then a few guests will visit today and tomorrow. Just basic recovery - no complications, my doctor is a perfectionist, and I couldn't be happier.
I'll post measurements and pictures later.
2 Week Measurement comparisons
Area Baseline (12/15) 1 week 2 week Total change
Bust/boob 37 inches 38 in. 37 in. no change
Under boob 34 inches 35 in. 34 in. - 1 inch
Waist at BB 37 inches 35.5 in. 33.5 in -3.5 inches
Tummy 41 inches 42 in. 40 in. - 1 inch
Hips 43 inches 43 in 42 in. - 1 inch
Thighs 42.5 inches 42.5 in. 41 in. - 1.5 inches
Calf 14 inches 14.25 14 in. No change
Total change = lost 8 inches so far (still swollen)
I got stuck in a too small binder right after surgery. The nurses then had to come in to change me into a larger one - which I bore for several days before surrendering to SPANX. I have ordered an even larger size and a couple of versions of body suits and pants. I like the Marena brand for firmness. I am trying to be good and stay in the firm binder as long as possible each day - It leaves kind of crushed areas on my skin. I then revert to the looser SPANX for the remainder of the day. A new version of Marena high top capris should be here in a couple days - hopefully it will be the saving grace - tight enough and comfortable enough.
BB - red streak and visible stitch
I saw a visible suture yesterday morning, and by today there is new small red streak. My PS called in some antibiotics. Tomorrow, Monday morning early, I am calling the PS to see what the next steps will be. I am suspecting that he will want to remove the visible stitch. Hopefully this is a minor set back.
Almost 3 weeks
Wearing the tighter compression garments for the last week and then the BB got a little redder with streaks. Now I am concerned that the tightness of the garment might have caused reduced circulation and resulted in the streaks - The redness is being treated like infection - and it may be infection. I'm just wondering if wearing extremely tight garments can lead to this kind of thing. I went back to the spanx, started the antibiotics and my BB looks like it is healing today. So what was the cause garment or infection? I don't know how long I'll wait to put the tighter garment on. It helps with the flank lipo which is bumpy and uncomfortable - obviously needing compression. Any opinions would be welcome.
Early irregularities of TT scar
I'm posting today the scar progress to keep track of improvements over the next months.
My previous stomach surgery left a scar that had many irregularities in it and the scar smoothed and became a thin white line over time. My PS told me this scar will smooth out given time. I'm pretty sure that based on previous experience this will be the case. I want to post the scar here in case anyone else has similar experiences to share.
Belly button - update
I'm on day 6 of levaquin for the red streaks that decided to present in my belly button. It is difficult to tell whether this is just normal healing tissue or slightly infected. These pictures are after 6 days of meds.
There is a lot of talk about compression, and my experience has been different than others. I was originally given the stage 1 compression and wore it about a week and a half. Then my BB got kind of inflamed and possibly infected. Thus, I've been wearing Spanx since that time. The binder might be irritating to the BB and can limit circulation. My PS approved my change to Spanx. I try to use higher level compression periodically to improve how my flanks feel - because they are quite sore from the lipo. I just loosen the front around the BB.
Belly Button - Excision Today
Today I had 1 inch by 1/4 inch piece of necrotic tissue excised from below my belly button. This dead tissue was causing redness due to inflammation. The wound was luckily fairly superficial so the excision was not very deep. I now have to wet to dry pack the wound for 10-14 days, then when 1/4 of current size use antibiotic ointment and keep it covered until healed. It is possible that this was caused by swelling + tight compression = poor circulation and dead tissue.
The scarring should be minimal to none.
I'm happy to have this addressed in a meaningful manner and now be on the path to healing. It has been worrying me for several days.
4 week measurements
Measurements Before and After
Bust - 37 inches before, 36.5 after (-0.5 inch)
Waist (at belly button) 37 inches before, 33.5 after (-3.5 inches)
Tummy (at incision) 41 inches before, 40 after (-1 inch)
Hips 43 inches before, 41 inches after (-2 inches)
Thighs 42.5 inches before, 40.5 after (-2 inches)
Total inches lost at 4 weeks is 9 inches! Yeah!! Amazing ! Will post pictures over weekend.
I'm still swollen - so will repeat measurements in a month.
I'm finally traveling home for my final week of recovery before heading back to work. Thank goodness for FMLA and EST. Both covered my time away for this surgery, preserving my ETO!
Airplane travel after TT
Just an update on my experience with airplane travel after TT. I travels alone yesterday 4 weeks after my TT. I was early to the airport so couldn't check my bags for a few hours. I had my larger bag to tow around when going to the bathroom and getting water and food. That was a challenge with limited abdominal abilities. I took a backpack with a computer and wallet that was relatively light, but I crumped and was bent over to 80 degress by 3 pm. Thus, the helpful people at the airlines got me a 'wheelchair' to take me through security and to my flight gate. I probably 'could' have walked, but my abdomen was wiped out - with severe bending required to stay upright at all due to spasms.
Overdoing it can put us at risk for complications - so thank goodness for travel help.
The bumpy flight was a little tough on my post-surgery body. I also seemed more inclined to be nauseated from the landing.
I'm home today, no swelling, no complications. Mission accomplished.
My suggestion is - don't travel alone. Bring a companion to carry your things and use the wheel chair if needed.
Burning Sensations and Tightness at 5 weeks
5 weeks post op and up in the middle of the night trying to figure out if this burning sensation across the middle of my abdomen is a normal part of healing post tummy tuck. It has been going on for days. Every after noon the nerve pain starts. Apparently burning is a fairly common occurrence after TT. I'm not sure how long this will last. I'm considering massage either lymphatic or other gentle massage to help alleviate the sensation. I'm going to re-start my EmergenC that has high levels of B vitamins.
Does anyone have any tips for massage? I have heard of the paint roller - but couldn't find any details in how to use it. Are there any other special massage or binder techniques that will help this heal without residual nerve pain?
Burning (or itching) can be normal parts of healing after TT
Burning is normal when nerves are healing and actually a good sign that things are going well. From what I have read the opposing corner would be total numbness.
It just takes time, patience and a few tactics.
My burning is only occurring the area where the skin was liposuctioned during TT (my doctor combines lipo of the abdomen with TT). It is left and right of the BB in triangles. There is also the feeling of pulling on the sides of the skin around to my back - but that is just the tuck - and also a normal part of healing as the skin adjusts.
So what has helped it improve and be tolerable until healed:
Naproxen twice a day
Increasing my water consumption to about a gallon a day to flush out toxins related to healing
Compression 24 hours a day - to reduce swelling around those fragile healing nerves
Massage with bio-oil both morning and night to improve lymphatic drainage, and...
When it is out of control and distracting my attention - Tramadol (which treats nerve pain better than oxycodone or hydrocodone). It works pretty well and is much milder than other narcotic pain relievers.
Otherwise, I'm functioning more normally each day. I still fell uncomfortable bending - so I leave chores like unloading dishes to my husband. I can stand and cook or wash dishes comfortably. I shopped yesterday for an hour, went to lunch with a friend, and worked on taxes. It isn't my normal level of activity - by far - (maybe 30%) but is gradually returning to normal.
Today, I'll take the dogs for a walk.
6 - Week Post-op Update and Photos
I made it to 6 weeks post-op yesterday! I couldn't be happier that those first 6 weeks are over. They are the hardest. As anyone who has been through this knows, however, healing is no where near through. Week 6 - 8 are famous as being the worst swelling you may experience. Possibly this is due to increased activity? I'm not sure. But, I'm expecting swelling to go on for for around 6 months to a maximum of about a year. I know my swelling will be a little worse than someone who only had a tuck without the liposuction of the abdomen. The liposuction just adds more insult and takes longer to heal.
The scar is smoothing some. It is particularly apparent in the front. The right side is less creased than the left. I imagine the smoothing process is going to take months. Hopefully, in end, everything will smooth out nicely. My last abdominal scar certainly did. I'll keep you posted.
I feel about 35% of normal at this point - although that might be kinda stretching it. Maybe 30%. I have not yet been approved to go back to the gym or stretch. Pre-surgery I went to the gym 4 or 5 days a week for 80-90 minutes of cardio and weights; and I walked on the other days). I am very tight (as you can see from the photos I posted) and need to stretch this out with gentle daily stretching (but I'm still waiting for the okay to do so from my surgeon). I am working a full day, but boy am worn out by 6 pm. Every evening I turn into the proverbial couch potato! Thank goodness for a patient husband (who can also cook). :)
Pain - none to speak of. Discomfort, YES! I am having stretching, swelling, and burning. However, I found something like Ceremide that has a NSAID in it. It is called Voltaren gel (prescription only, but there are over the counter topical NSAIDS - like Aspercream). I rub it on 4 times a day (the rubbing helps reduce the swelling too). I also take naproxen twice a day.
I tried on my tightest pair of NYDJ (jeans) and a pair of shorts that haven't fit me for over 5 years. Guess what? The shorts fit and look great (my daughter reinforced my sentiment). The jeans fit and there is room to put my fist in the back. I posted a pic. I also tried on an old pair of jeans. I hated jeans because they always looked bad on me. Well those "go to" bad-looking jeans no longer fit - they are terribly baggy and look awful. Guess what? They are in the trash!!! I am so happy to look good in jeans again. Now how long has it been since I felt that way ;/ (years and years).
2 am Update
Just a mid-night update.
I am experiencing the expected swelling at this stage of my recovery, It is the end of the day swelling from sitting or standing for prolonged periods (usually at work). For me it began to show up around week 3 or 4 (when I started moving around more). My swelling can range from undetectable to uncomfortable. I only find it uncomfortable if there is tingling. It isn't painful, but is an odd sensation and difficult to describe. Occasionally, after a 10 hour work day, the swelling gets bad enough to keep me from being able to get comfortable and either wakes me or prevents me from falling asleep. It is a rare occurrence, and it is the case tonight. I am doing massage several times a day to help reduce swelling and re-sensitive the nerves. I also have a few twinges here and there, but again nothing I would really describe as pain - just irritating. I am only in week 6. I read that 'Depending on the amount of lipo you get done the swelling may last longer'. I had quite a bit of lipo with the TT/MR. Time is our friend on this journey.
I am feeling very positive about how the surgery is affecting my self-perception and self-confidence. All my clothes are loose in all the right places. Most of my wardrobe will have to be replaced. I haven't bought any clothes yet because most of the old clothes 'fit' and just hang a little baggy. Eventually I will enjoy the process of picking some new things. I am down 22 lbs since I made the decision to have a TT, 10 of those since surgery. I am continuing on WW to keep the loss. My BMI is down from 25.5 to 23.3. I look like I did over 20 years ago. Dr. Campanile is a great surgeon. I love how my tummy is healing as the folds flatten into a natural final look with super cute belly button.
I restarted a very gentle exercise regimen - About 30% of prior routine. I am walking about 30 minutes once or sometimes twice a day, and doing about 30 minutes of very basic beginner Yoga every other day. I'm still taking this easy because I just reached the 'approval' stage for exercise. I plan to head back to the gym between weeks 8 to 10 - based on how I'm feeling. Right now my major goals are to 1) be active, 2) heal well....and 3) get some sleep.
TT Update 8 weeks - The journey so far....
11 Feb 2016
2 months post
Well at 8 weeks post op I feel pretty good. I really like the physical results at this point. I had the tummy tuck, muscle repair, lipo of flanks, inner and outer thighs, and knees. This has made my lower half match my upper half which has always been smaller. I had the option of doing my breasts too, but am really glad I didn't. My husband was against it first off. Secondly, I didn't really want the scarring that would have been caused by the lift. And finally, the mommy makeover (TT and BL/BA) would have been a long surgery and many of the lower body issues would not have been addressed due to the length of surgery required.
I am super happy about being able to wear everything in my closet. Many of my pants are now too big. I'm saving a few extra bucks to pay for a new wardrobe. I'm not going to jump in and buy a bunch of stuff yet. I'm being a little more conservative since I just spent over $20,000 on surgery and travel expenses. Besides, I have read that clothing sizes are not really stable until three months or until swelling subsides.
I'm not exercising at the gym yet. Actually, I meant to start going to the gym again today, but I got into the shower before I remembered my plan to exercise and then felt like oh well too late. I am exercising outside almost every day. I started a walking routine around week five and now am able to walk two to three miles. I am also able to do gentle yoga. I always pay for the exercise with a little extra swelling, but I don't care because the fresh air is wonderful. I wish I could tolerate more. I am already dreaming up day trips to hike in the local hills.
Measurements - inches lost (since first measurement October 2015)
Waist at belly button: pre 39 and post 32.5 (6.5 inches lost)
Tummy: pre 42 and post 38 (4 inches lost)
Hips: pre 43 and post 41 (2 inches lost)
Thighs: pre 43 and post 40 (3 inches lost)
Wow!! I'm surprised to have lost more inches 15.5 inches lost since October and 12 since surgery!!
I have lost a total of 23 pounds since considering the tummy tuck surgery last fall. I was 176 pounds initially which was an all time high for me, except when I was pregnant. I now weigh 153 pounds. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall so this new weight is where I should be and plan to stay. I always stayed pretty thin between 150-160 until I hit my 40s. At that point, I was having migraines and the doctor started me on estrogen and I gained 4 pounds that never came off. Then, I broke my ankle and gained a few more. I exercised routinely but my body just seemed to hold on to that extra weight. I was having female problems, so I found a nurse practitioner that specialized in hormone imbalance. I found out that I am estrogen dominant. Basically I don't have any progesterone or testosterone and had tons of estrogen, the 'fat hormone'. I tried taking progesterone to balance it out, but I still couldn't loose weight. Anyway, in the weight area, I am very satisfied with the outcome of the TT.
I had some belly button healing issues early on. I had a white line with significant redness on the sides. I watched it for a while and then it started getting worse. It turned out to be a small wound healing problem that I had to have another minor incision to cure. I applied wet to dry dressing every 12 hours for two weeks. Then it required some minor babying with a Band-Aide and antibiotic cream. I like how my belly button looks now even though it still has some redness from the surgery. I'm hopeful that the redness clears up within a few months. It isn't like I have a bunch of short cut tops waiting to be worn in my closet and I don't own a bikini - so even if my belly button isn't perfect when healing is done, I will be happy with it.
I have the same ongoing issue with swelling that many experience. I get swelling every day, usually occurring late in the afternoon to evening. I treat it with a couple naproxen and by getting off my feet. I'm lucky my husband is willing to take care of everything. He tells me to go put my feet up when the swelling is bad and I'm grateful for his care and concern. I also have to put my feet up on a chair during the day at work in an effort to reduce the overall amount of swelling. I feel like the swelling is gradually improving because during week five it would hit me around 2 pm, and now in week eight it doesn't happen until after 5 or 6 pm.
I feel a lot more sexy and comfortable in my skin. Plus, the bonus vaginal lift caused by the tummy tuck seems to result in a better angle for love making. Who would have known of this unusual side effect? I'm not complaining.
The only down fall of this surgery for me, is the time that I have been unable to participate fully in an active life. I've never been patient and I guess this surgery isn't any different. That is why I'm planning my strategy to full recovery of my health - as I envision it. I want to maintain my new found weight loss and get back to higher levels of activity. I want to dance with my husband, ski the mountains, hike the hills, and thoroughly enjoy being healthy again.
I forgot to include something
11 Feb 2016
2 months post
I need to include a picture of my little snuggler, Oscar the toy poodle. He is such a joy, and is my constant companion. The story isn't complete without his little face in it.
9 weeks - exercise and swelling
19 Feb 2016
2 months post
I'm feeling back to my normal 'speed' when it comes to walking, work, and most general activities of living.
I have had less successful return to my full exercise routine. I gave it a try this week. I rode the stationary bike for three miles and went one mile on the eliptical machine and then stretched a bit. This amount of exercise is less than 50% of my usual routine. Pre-surgery I would ride 7+ miles and eliptical around 3-4 miles and add weight lifting each day.
At the end of the day after my modest ride on the bike, the swelling was pretty amazing. I had a couple spots that I thought bruised. My husband couldn't tell, but I definitely could. The lessons I learned are that 9 weeks after major surgery healing is still not done, and I need to take it easier for a little longer.
I'm still walking a couple miles a day, and getting to yoga once a week. My daily morning gym routine is not happening yet due to the resultant swelling. Although I will try again next week - just a little easier.
My journey may be a little different that others. My doctor uses a TON of stitches in the abdominal closing. Each of these must heal - Some of them give little twinges of pain, or cause a pull in the skin. I've learned to respect these stitches and listen to my body. I know full recovery will come. It will just take patience and avoidance of aggressive physical activity for a while longer to avoid doing damage to the healing process.
I still swell some everyday in the late evening. Usually, I put my feet up and take naproxen to relieve it. The swelling, once it arrives each evening, doesn't fully resolve until a complete nights rest. My swelling is getting less intense and less uncomfortable as time moves forward as long as I respect limits on my activity levels.
Almost 12 weeks (in 2 days) picture update
Not much to say - I'm recovering. But, I do want to post some photos.
17 Mar 2016
3 months post
I had a question about scar treatment that I thought deserved an individual post. My incision line and pleating was a little more dramatic than some. My bruising was also kind of intense. The incision and pleating have improved greatly over the past three months and the final couple of wrinkles continue to soften and smooth.
1. bio-oil apply twice daily and massage well (to areas approved by surgeon)
2. cocoa butter lotion once or twice daily in place of bio-oil (seems to work equally well)
3. silicone tape (I didn't start until 12 weeks when the incision was tightly sealed).
4. tincture of time (it takes a long while for the skin to re-stretch out)
And if all of the above fail to remove the wrinkles in good time, 9-12 months, the surgeon can be consulted to do a minor fix.
3.5 months photo update
Feeling well again, I hardly notice the TT, except some swelling that isn't uncomfortable, abs are still recovering, workouts are still on the incline back to normal. Overall - very good outcomes. I would do this again - and wish I could/would have done it sooner.
4 months update
15 Apr 2016
4 months post
Exercise - Just 4 months post op and feeling overall pretty good. I'm trying to get back on a weight lifting, TRX, aerobic, and walking regimen. I'm managing close to 10,000 steps a day walking, and lifting 2 or 3 times a week, plus doing cardio in the gym. I had to reset the whole workout regimen to a lower level - due to time out of the gym and physical sensitivities. The core has to be protected - and I expect that for the next 6-8 months. I cannot do sit ups or engage my core extensively with difficult core work like push-ups. But this will pass.
Pain wise - not much at all. A tug here or there, and caution twinges if I do too much.
Swelling - much better. My mons is finally down - meaning the lymphatic drainage patterns are finally improving. I still wear a compression garment 24/7- by choice. I feel more comfortable in it. I wear a very light one at night and a heavier one during the day. I had a lot of liposuction and frequently garments are worn longer for that, so it's probably ok and still of some benefit. I still use a bit of naproxen to help keep the swelling at bay.
Sleep - I still prop up my knees and ankles to allow any residual swelling to go down while I rest. I'm using the old "get your legs over the level of your heart" process. I sleep very comfortably and amble to turn side to side without any problems. Although sitting up out of bed using the core is still a touch and go process (to be expected)
Scar/incision and so on - all is doing well. I still have redness (expected). The pleating and pulling around my sides are stil in the process of relaxing and smoothing. I'm massaging and using softeners like bio-oil and silicone.
Weight/Measurements - definitely down (20# since November)!! Measurements - same as posted above. Lost around 15 inches. I had a work colleague and old friend fail to identify me from behind. When I turned around she commented that she hadn't recognized me because I'd lost a lot of weight that was really noticeable. ;)
Clothing - All of my pants are loose. I really need to go out and replace them all :)
I have gone down a size in shirts (from L to M), and am a solid 12 in pants. My daughter tells me my clothes are too baggy (all those years of wearing loose stuff to hide the extra baggage). Oh well - I guess a shopping trip is needed. :)
Photos - soon. I've been traveling and have more travels ahead, so haven't taken the time to update recently. There isn't a lot of physical change at this point visibly - but I will plan to post more photos soon (I know everyone likes photos).
Scar revision scheduled
December 13 will be the day for scar revision to help flatten the remaining pleat.
Pre-revision photo - 48 weeks
13 Nov 2016
11 months post
Revision scheduled for Dec. 13 for a revision of the side creases. In office, light sedation. Wish me luck