As far as the recovery went, I don't believe I was one of the patients up and about quickly. I pretty much spent all day in bed and would maybe go out to the store or something once a day. I experienced a lot of tightness and very limited range of motion. Also, a pain in my lower back was normal, after being up and around for just a little bit. I was pretty sore all over, and it hurt to press or touch my bottom. At home, I laid on my stomach and sides. I was careful to try and spend equal time on each side...I don't know if this makes a difference or not.
When in the car, I reclined the front seat, and I had 2 pillows - one normal one that I laid, stomach down, on. And a small travel pillow to support my neck.
My drains came out at my first post op appointment, 6 days after. Dr. Buford checked the incision site and changed all of my tape. The incision was in my crease, and was covered one layer of gauze and clear tape. He taped over where the drains were and also added tape under each butt cheek (about 3 strips on each side). He saw every week, for 4 weeks to check for signs of infection, to change the tape and all incision sites. My stitches came out on the 2nd post op appointment, and the incision was closed. He always took time to answer questions and I never felt as if he was trying to rush...even though I knew he was busy. At each appointment, he was very pleased with the results.
I had minor bruising on my legs and stomach. Also, in the vaginal area, for the 1st week or so after surgery, I was sore and swollen. Dr. Buford warned me of this before the procedure; apparently it's common when having lipo in the stomach area. The bruises were gone by 2 weeks. The swelling overall (in my mid section) took about 4 weeks to dissipate.
I have been taking extra pre-cautions to stay off my bottom. I feared the tissue surrounding the implant would be compromised and the implants would shift if I started sitting too soon. After spending so much money and going through with the surgery, I didn't want to mess things up, trying to fast track my recovery. My implants started and remain very symmetrical since surgery.
I started sitting for short periods of time, at 6 weeks, on a boppy pillow. With the opening in the back, so there was extra support under my thighs and my bottom kind of sits in the hole. I am still carrying it around for sitting. At first it was uncomfortable; in the last few days, I am starting to feel more comfortable sitting.
I stayed on my pain meds for nearly a month, but for the final 2 weeks, was taking one a day. Sleeping remained difficult; I just was not comfortable and it was slightly painful to switch sides. I would also take a pill if I went out. In addition to general stiffness, I would get occasional sharp pains in my backside. Dr. Buford said this was normal as I was healing and nerves are regaining sensitivity.
I think all of the lipo I had also slowed down my recovery. I believe he took about a liter out of each side of me. I was very stiff and sore after surgery. Probably around 3 weeks, I could finally start stretching. After surgery, my stomach and sides/back felt really hard under my skin. Even now, 6 weeks out, when I rub my stomach, it feels very tight, but much better than before.
Dr. Buford is personally into physical fitness and nutrition. In the pre-op appointment he recommends protein drinks to aid in recovery. I took the advice and was making shakes twice a day. It was fast, easy, and made me feel good. Since I was mostly laying around, I was very careful about what I ate...I was barely burning 1000 calories a day. I only added the protein powder once a day. Here's the shake I would make:
1 Cup Low Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Frozen Fruit (strawberries, blackberries, peaches, blueberries...I would mix it up)
1 Whole Bannana
2-3 Ice Cubes.
1 1/2 Scoops Protein Powder.
So, I am 6 1/2 weeks out. I'm still not 100% but much better. I am staying off my bottom as much as possible and using the boppy when sitting. Last week, I want hiking. It was challenging; about 1 1/2 miles straight up-hill...and pretty steep. Halfway in, I felt that sharp pain in my lower back (center). It didn't concern me, and felt good to be active.
My implants are still really hard...more so, towards the top. When I'm not wearing anything, I can see the outline of the implant, but it could also be construed as muscle. The lower portion of the implant is much softer, but still firm. However, I can tell they are settling in more and more every week. At this point, I think they are a bit too firm, and I'm really hoping they soften up. Sometimes I wish I had some fat transferred, but go back and forth since there is so much more risk in terms of symmetry, recovery and then high likelihood of the results just disappearing with weight fluctuation.
As of today, I am measuring 27.25" waist and 37.5" hips - which is a ratio of .72 (waist divided by hip). This is very close to the optimum .70 and a huge improvement prior to surgery (.88)...lower is better. My goal is .70. I struggle keeping my waist slim...as when I gain even 2lbs, it goes straight to my mid section.
So far, so good - I'm happy with the results with only a few concerns that I'm hoping time will work out!