49 Years Old. 2 C-Sections. I Just Want to Get Rid of the Front Butt Look Before I'm 50 - Durham, NC

I have had 2 c-sections, 1984 and 1992. Back when...

I have had 2 c-sections, 1984 and 1992. Back when they stapled you up. I had an up & down staple line. Over the years, life's changes, the appearance is a "front butt" look to me. I just want a normal looking stomach before my 50th birthday Feb 2017. It is free to me at the VA Hospital. Excited.

I'm 3 weeks away from my Abdominoplasty (Tummy...

I'm 3 weeks away from my Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) & Lipo surgery. Having my Pre-op appointments today. Excited and nervous.My surgery is not until 6/27/2016. I'm just posting as I go along in this process and in my journey. I will write more as I get closer to the date and certainly afterwards

Pre-op Appointment

I learned so much today at my pre-op appointment
I've learned that the reason one is numb for months is that the doctors intentionally add numbing solution in your abdomen during the procedure to help with the pain or it would be way more excruciating. That's welcoming to know. Good information. ????????

6 Days Away from my Tummy Tuck W/ Lipo

I am 6 days away from my Tummy Tuck w/Lipo procedure. I am very excited about the surgery. I am most looking forward to having a normal looking stomach. I am asked over and over again why? why don't I just exercise. My answer, see the picture below that I uploaded. Require more than exercise & diet.

3 days away. Surgery 6/27

I am still very excited about my upcoming surgery. I was on vacation all this week, it felt great. I was able to relax, catch up on some reading (outside of college courses), play online games (Slingo and Words With Friends that I have not played in 2 years due to college courses). It felt great and relaxing. My surgery is on Mon 6/27 ......3 days.

I am 2 courses away from my Master degree. I will be on a 1-week summer break next week, which is great, that will be during my 1-week post surgery. Week 2, I will be back in class ONLINE (taking it slow, since I have just 2 classes left, I will be taking one class at a time). That can be my therapy. lol lol.

I asked my doctors about a shower chair, they said "no need, they want me naturally hunched over until I am able to stand when taking showers." I am really considering the need for a toilet seat lift. I need to inquire about that. Did anyone of you, who are post surgery have to use a toilet seat lift? Please comment.

What I am doing though is making a list, one for my husband and one for my best friend. They both will be there at the hospital. A list of family for my husband to call and a list of friends for my friend to call, to tell folks that I made it out of surgery, etc .... to give updates.

Today is the day, Monday 6/27/2016

I'm excited still. I'm ready! I have to report at hospital by 6am. I must be one of the first surgeries???? I will post once I am able to do it. You have my before pic. More to come. Melvina

Day 1 post Abdominoplasty

The surgery went well. My abdominal muscles were really separated. A wide gap apart (2 C-sections). NO Lipo, your BMI (here @ VA) has to be 30% or less. Mine was 34%, so no lipo. They said wound healing is slower if more than 30%.

I was one of first cases. Started at 0815. Approximately 3 hour surgery.
Minimal pain 4/10. I just take 1 oxycodone instead of 2. Possibly discharged today.

3rd shift nurse was heavenly. She was extremely helpful. Omg. She even rubbed my back every time I had to shift myself. That 2nd shift nurse .....uuugghhhh! Her bedside need some re-training????

2 days post surgery

I'm 2 days post surgery. I was expecting excruciating abdominal pain .... Bu I have no abdominal pain what-so-ever. My pain comes from low back pain from having to walk bent over and sitting/sleeping in a "beach chair" position. I'm not having to take the Oxycodone at all, just using Motrin 800mg for back pain.

I wonder why I'm not having abdominal pain? My abdomen is pretty numb though.

I don't think that I will be constipated, I feel rumbling going on and I'm letting out a lot of gas, so that's good.

My JP drains are draining like crazy, especially after I walk around the house (bathroom, kitchen, living room). Supposedly that will get less.

I was given the OK to shower, I did yesterday, it felt good. But I don't see me doing it every day, back pain and being bent over is a bit much.

I could use a back massage.

Hopefully I will have pics once I'm cleared to stand up more.

2 day post tummy tuck surgery

Still no abdominal pain. No complaints here. I can feel tingling sensations and itchy sensations under my stomach, but no pain. My back on the other hand, back spasms from walking bent over and sitting in a "beach chair " position. So still taking Motrin 800mg for that. JP drains draining like crazy. Follow up on Friday to see if they come out or stay in. No shower today. Activate back spasms as I'm bent over in the shower. Hard to bathe when back is in pain. Shower chair next go round.

Day 3 post tummy tuck surgery

Day 3 post tummy tuck surgery
Starting to feel tingling and itchy sensations under my skin but no abdominal pain. A lot of lower back pain /spasms is the pits (From walking bent over and sitting/sleeping upright in recliner). I'm just takin Motrin 800mg for that.

Dulcolax Pink worked great for me. Worked quickly, so not constipated.

Follow-up appointment on tomorrow, hopefully the JP drains come out. Hopefully my wound is ok. Hopefully I can start walking a little more upright. Maybe a pic tomorrow too.

4 day post op/ 1st follow up appointment

The follow up went well. The surgeon said the healing process is coming along nicely.
1) drains stay. Gotta go less than 20ml 2-3 days in a row before coming out. Taking out too early can end up in infection and worst problems later on.
2) I gotta stay hunched over, about 30 degrees (like someone using a walker). I was over-bending which didn't hurt, but cause of my low back pain.
3) Because I wasn't a candidate for Lipo (my surgeon only does it if your BMI is 30% or less, I was 34%) ..... I have options later down the road I'd need be.
4) No pain in abdomen.. ....... Thanks to the numbing solution they put in before closing up. Saves a lot of excruciating pain.

Follow up next Friday.

Day 5 post op 7/2/16

I feel good. No emotional roller coaster feelings. But it is stifling to go from being active every single day to having to rest, take it easy. It's claustrophobic to be in the house 99% of my time. My routine is the same, basically wake up, walk more around the house. I'm out of the recliner more frequently. I sit outside on patio to get fresh air. Today I slowly walked to the mailbox (a very short walk) for the first time. I take it slow. I rest in between for sure. I take naps.

I take my thyroid, BP, metformin, vit D3 medications. I take my blood sugars and blood pressures twice a week.

Mostly I'm resting. Lounging. Trying to stand straight up a little bit at a time.

I try not to snack, sitting around, taking it easy, makes you want to snack. I will have a small snack.

I'm thankful for not having abdominal pain. But lower back pain from being hunched over is REAL. I take Motrin 800 for it.

I posted a frame, side-by-side pic of before and 4 days post surgery. Let me know what y'all think.

Melvina

8 days post tummy tuch

I am so over walking hunched over and sitting/sleeping upright. Uugghhh when does that end? Bad for the lower back.

I'm so over keeping up with JP drains, sheesh, like shadows.

I'm so over a swollen abdomen, it feels more like air. How long does that last?

Are you supposed to wear the abdominal binder snug or tight?

It's been a very challenging first week. Definitely a learning experience

Day 8 - this morning

This morning after I showered, I peed a river. And while drying off I noticed that a lot of swelling had gone down for the very first time.
Also I was able to see my entire abdomen area including incision site all at once for the first time.

Here is an pic of today's view

Day 9 Post op

I felt good today. I was able to walk my dog, she is a toy Poodle this morning. We walked a very s.l.o.w walk, 1/2 mile.
In my subdivision. It felt good to enjoy the outside. I had a bottle of water. I did 2 loads of laundry, folded and put away. I took a Motrin 800, then I sat down for the rest of the day.

I'm not in any pain. I thank God for that solution the VA Hospital uses before they stitch you up. It has made all of the difference in the world. Now that some swelling has gone down, I can actually stand more up straight, resolves that lower back pain.

I am taking it extremely slow. One slow day at a time. Walking will be my only form of exercise for the next 2-3 months until cleared to do anything else.

Meeting people on realself has been a blessing. Very resourceful. I have told everyone about it including my plastic surgeon & team, they were impressed.

I enjoy sharing and reading everyone's journey. I feel blessed.

Day 11 Post Tummy Tuck

I had my 2nd follow-up appointment today.
Yyaahhh JP Drains are out! Woohoo. Lol
The stitches was removed from my belly button
(The belly button I have not seen in 30+ years).

I had to get antibiotic ointment to rub on my stomach and to put in the belly button area as those areas was dry, ashy.

I still have the surgical skin adhesive (skin Dermabond) on the incision......I guess eventually it will rub off or fall off after awhile. It's day 11, it's in place firmly).

I'm still swollen but about 75% of swelling is gone. My mid stomach is numb numb. Feels funny touching it, will take a minute to get used to.

Have to keep wearing binder 24/7. No problem.

I go back to work Aug 11th. With restrictions.
I plan to follow to the letter!!! No setbacks for me.

Day 14 Woohoo! 2 weeks posts surgery

My Plastic Surgeon said that the first 2 weeks are the most crucial towards healing, especially for the incision site and wound healing.

(1) What CAN I do? I can walk. It appears walking will be my go to exercise for 8-12 weeks. I am now walking 2 miles every morning without difficulty. This morning my pace was a little faster, so it was a brisk walk.

I can lay flat in bed if I want, but my Plastic Surgeon suggests that I still be slightly elevated. I tried, uncomfortable. So back to recliner, easier. I'm working on it every day though.

I can do normal home activities (except lift) as tolerated.
I have done laundry. It's been a great escape from cooking and cleaning ???? My husband's job lol.

I can drive as I have not been on pain medication after the 1st day. I have driven short distances, to the store, church. I visited a friend yesterday.

I can eat a regular diet, however, I have used this time to change my diet. High protein, very low carb, fresh veggies, fresh fruit. When I am feeling like something sweet, I don't deny myself, I indulge in a Weight Watcher dessert. It is what it is.

I can wear the abdominal binder for the entire 6-8 weeks!!
I'm getting used to it.

(2) What CAN'T I do? NO exercise outside of walking until 8 weeks. Here is how my Plastic Surgeon broke it down to me.
IF you have had abdominal muscle repair with your Abdominoplasty ..... It takes 6-8 weeks for the muscles to heal and be safe to handle light exercise. So for 8 weeks, walking is it!! NO Gym or home gym or home video workouts!!! NO abdominal work (NO sit-ups, crunches, no cross-fit, etc....) It was stressed NO sex for the entire 6-8 weeks, and even then nothing to upset my abdominal muscle repair. He suggested wait out the 8 weeks.

8 WEEKS: I can try stair master, or Elliptical machine, slow. Bicycle riding (I prefer gym as I don't want to chance falling off). I can do light upper body weights (under 20 pounds) for arms, back, shoulder strengthening).

12 - 16 WEEKS: I can slowly incorporate jogging, abdominal work, basic yoga as tolerated. NO lifting over 20 pounds.

16 WEEKS and beyond LISTEN CAREFULLY to my body, especially my abdominal area. IF it causes tingling, pain, etc STOP IT. Try another time frame. I plan to do just that!!!

I don't quite know what my incision looks like ????. It has that surgical skin dressing sealed on tight. Eventually it will peel off. When it does, I will ask for Silicon strips as I keloid very easily, so to keep scar flat.

The middle of my stomach is still numb!! That feels weird to touch.

Here is a 2 week photo update coming

2 WEEK photo post Tummy Tuck/ Muscle Repair

Here is the pic
2 weeks today 7/11/2016

Updated pic 2 -1/2 weeks

Updated pic

3 weeks today post tummy tuck w/muscle repair

Hello. No changes in pics since my last pic update.

I am 3 weeks post tummy tuck w/muscle repair today. I'm feeling good. I'm walking slowly outside 2-3 miles per day. I break it up to 1-1/2 miles in morning and 1-1/2 miles in evening just to get some exercise in every day. Like I said, it's a slow walk.

I'm out of work until August 12th. I return Monday August 15th. I enjoy being home, moving slow and resting. I appreciate this rest and recovery period. I spend my days walking, doing my school course work, catching up on daytime tv shows and a few online games .....and napping in between. I may wash a load of clothes and wash dishes .....maybe.

I am tired of the recliner though, causing stiff neck. I have tried to lay in bed, but I can't get comfortable (my bed is NOT remote operated) ???? So I'm still sleeping in the recliner with knees slightly bent; stretching them out feels like it initiate abdominal muscle spasms. Since I'm numb, it feels like a light, painless shuffling over my abdominal area. I assume it's a spasm. Looking forward to normal sleeping in my own bed.

I will wait until week 4 to take another pic and upload.

Week 3 post surgery

My surgical skin dressing (Derma Bond) finally peeled off on its on. It literally stuck to my binder and began to lift each time I took it off. So it's off. Feels freeing.

My incision is barely noticeable ......a thin line that blends in you hardly can see it. I was amazed because I keloid easily.

My incision had surgical glue to hold together, not stitches, and the surgical skin dressing tightly hold in place.

If I get a chance I will post a pic of it

My incision site since Surgical skin dressing come off

Here is a pic of my incision site
Barely noticeable

Week 4 post tummy tuck w/muscle repair

I'm feeling good. Doing ok. I'm still slowly walking, up to 5 miles per day. Half in early am, half in evening.

With week 3 & 4 I'm noticing muscle tightening in lower abdomen, around belly button area and below. It feels like quivering sometimes, at other times feels like tightening, possibly spasm like. Has any of you experience the same thing? Weird feeling.

I'm still in the recliner .....uugghhh ....... Hard to get a good night sleep. I'm so over the recliner. I have tried to lay in bed, it's more uncomfortable. How long before any of you were able to sleep in your bed again?

My next follow up August 12th. Then back to work on 15th, so not ready.

Hope to hear from you all.

6 Weeks Post Tummy Tuck w/Muscle Repair Surgery

Can you all believe it? 6 Weeks has passed by so quickly. It has been such a journey and learning experience.

I'm still walking, 5-6 miles per day. That's about it for now until cleared to do more.

I go for my 6 week follow-up on this Friday.

My abdomen looks the same. No change. I'm happy. I will not be flat as I did not have Lipo Suction .....I have to work on fat busting myself when cleared to fully exercise.. PICS uploaded.

My stomach is slightly numb still just around belly button area. I have PICS uploaded already.

Thank you all who have inspired me, rode with me on this journey, cheered me through, etc.
I will be on this site staying in touch.

11 weeks post Tummy Tuck surgery

I feel great! I love the work that was done on me, very pleased. I have a new looking stomach.

I have little numbness, very little around my belly button.

I go for my final follow up on 9/16.

I have been light jogging 1-2 miles, brisk walking
as much as I want. Light aerobics (Zumba) 3 days per week.

I'm out of my binder, use it when working out. I wear full Spanx when I work mon - fri.

It has been a great experience and pain free.

I will take an updated pic next week at 12 weeks.
Dr Earmann

Plastic Surgeon seemed knowledgeable and resourceful during pre-op

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