Drainless Tummy Tuck at Last! - Fayetteville, AR

I'm 34 years old, mother of 4 aging from 15 down...

I'm 34 years old, mother of 4 aging from 15 down to 8. I've needed a TT since my second baby as my first pregnancy I gained so much weight then two months after giving birth and no time to shed the weight I found out I was expecting again. They are 11 months apart and boy did it take a toll on my 5'3 inch frame. I ballooned up to 190 lbs each pregnancy and it so many stretch marks I look like a map. I went on to have two more kids and now with my youngest being 8 years old its time to repair this body. Two years ago I did a consult for a TT but chickened out, I was so worried about how long it would take to recover and that massive scar that I did my breasts instead. I have to say I love my breasts now but still hate my stomach. I did lose all the weight (70+ lbs) and have been maintaining 115 for over two years now successfully and all I have is wrinkled loose skin that no amount of exercise will tighten up. So now is the time to bite the bullet and repair the damage. On my consult two years ago my PS told me I didn't need MR done which was exciting, how 4 huge pregnancies didn't seperate my muscle I have no idea but I'm psyched that its one less thing to recover from. I will have a full TT and lipo of the flanks done. In fact I go in at 2pm today for my final consult with him just to cover a few more questions, then my pre-op is Jan 26th and my surgery is already booked for Feb 3rd. I'm so excited! I'll update later today with what questions I asked etc and any other info he'll give me. I do know he specializes in the drainless tummy tuck which sold me on him to begin with. I've read so many blogs and reviews of other tummy tucks and the issues women have with those darn drains give me nightmares, so again, one less thing to worry about post op. I'll get some pre-op pics posted etc to for reference. I'm just happy to have somewhere to share my journey and recovery and can't wait for this to happen!

Consult Completed

So I had my consult today and now I'm even more excited! I also paid everything off in full so one less thing to worry about. 7300.00 for full TT with lipo to upper abs and flanks. He said it doesn't look like I need any MR but after he opens me up if I do he'll cinch me up but he won't know until surgery since he can't physically feel any separation. I'm hoping I don't need it but if I do I'll be glad he'll take care of it at no extra charge. Lets see what else did I ask him? Oh yeah, how low will the incision be? he drew a line with his finger right above my hairline, so it will be very low. I asked him about the belly button because I do not want a "tummy tuck obvious" belly button and he said not only does he shorten the belly button stalk but he does all the incisions inside the belly button so there won't be scars on the outside of it like you see with some and then since its a drainless surgery he does the progressive tension suturing which also pulls in the belly button so its nice and cute. Shower? within 2-3 days since I'll have no drains. Sleep on my back for 2 weeks (inclined) then I can move to side. I can drive within a week if I feel up to it. Sex as soon as I feel up to it. No working out for a minimum of 6 weeks. He will give me an abdominal binder and I'll wear it about a month. I have several piercings and tattoos and he said the incision will not effect my ribcage tattoos at all and I don't have to remove any piercings, he'll just cover in tape to protect them and me. Hmmm I think that is all I asked him but he said because of my weightloss etc I'm going to have fantastic results, I'm sooooo excited! 29 more days! pre-op is Jan 26th and I'll start my bromelian, arnica and vit C regimen then.

3 weeks to go!

I can't believe surgery is in 3 weeks from today... in 3 weeks I'll be in a gown, getting marked up or better yet already under the knife. I'm so excited and nervous. There isn't anything else for me to buy or do right now so I'm just working and waiting. I have 16 days off from work planned (that includes weekends etc) and I think that should be more than enough. I have a desk job so going back to work should be ok. Also, just geting my house in order so I don't have much maintenance to do during those 16 days too.
My preop is in 13 days and I'll get my prescriptions that day and fill them and all that good stuff and that will be all, nothing else for me to do. Just trying to fill my time right now so the days will pass faster.

14 days to go!

Just a quick update as I don't have much to say since I'm just in the waiting game now.. 14 days from today I'll be in surgery! 6 days and I'll have my preop and I'm just as excited for that. Just wish I could make these days fly by faster. I'll update again once I do my preop :)

Before photos

Here are just a few before's.. sigh.. I can't wait for all of that to be gone.

Pre Op completed!

I can't believe I'm just 8 days away!!! My pre op was great, they don't do blood work etc so it was just going over all the pre and post op instructions. Got my rx's so I'll take them to be filled before the end of this week. I have a choice to use Exparel or not, that pain medicine I'm hearing so much about that you are pain free 96 hours after surgery.. but its an additional 400 bucks and I've drained my savings for this surgery already so not sure if I will get it or not, he said I can let him know the morning of surgery. Might have to get a loan for it. But lets see, no more aspirin or ibuprohen, start taking my arnica and bromelain 3 days before surgery and continue 2 weeks after. Start taking the stool softener two days before surgery. The day of surgery no food or liquid after midnight, wash that morning in dial soap and no makeup, deordorant etc the day of surgery. Wear items easy to remove and put back on, have a driver ready, bring my meds. They will put me in a binder 4-6 weeks after but I can switch to spanx (they told me to buy the 12 dollar walmart ones) to use 5-7 days after and just the surgical one at night. Hmmm I'm trying to think what else.. any revisions are free the first year after.. he thinks I'm going to get amazing results and he was so excited which made me even more excited. Sigh.. wish it was tomorrow lol So what do you all think, Exparel or not? worth 400 bucks or just use the rx's he gave me? I'm not sure what to do. Oh I have to be at the surgery center at 8:30 am but they'll call the day before to confirm the time.

5 days to go!

I'm just excited and wanted to post real quick. So yes I only have 5 days left but my bikinis I ordered came in the mail, well 2 out of 3 of them and they are so cute. I've never in my life been able to wear one, even when I was young and thin I was self conscious and just never wore one, last year I graduated to a monokini so it still hid my stomach but this year I get the real thing! Now of course I tried them on and it was not so cute right now but I can already picture it with the TT and Lipo to my hips etc, they are going to look so cute on me. Gives me something to really look forward to. I'll post pics after surgery and show you side by side the bikinis now with this stomach and the new pics with the new stomach :) Now can these 5 days please pass by faster??! lol

My stats

Thought I'd just update my stats to see what changes after surgery:
Height - 5'3
weight 118
Waist around belly button - 29
hips - 35
Thigh - 18

I am getting lipo to the upper abs and flanks so I added my thighs on there to see if it gets smaller after I heal.. I really hope to see my waist a little smaller, hips much smaller and maybe a bit off my thighs. My weight stays between 115-120 so I don't care if I lose any weight or not but some inches gone will be nice :)

Only one more Sleep until surgery!

Surgery is tomorrow morning, suppose to be there at 8:30, no eating or drinking after midnight tonight. I'm so excited! Over the weekend I kept looking in the mirror and pulling my skin up and flat etc to try to imagine what I'll look like lol I just have no idea, I don't even know what a normal belly button will look like on me again but I can't wait to find out. I'll try to update tomorrow if I'm not too drugged out. AGH! One more day!

3 hours, agh!

So I couldn't stay asleep, already up and showered and ready to face this day. It's 5:22 am right now, I have to leave around 6:45 to get there and then I go back around 8:30. So I'm just wearing my yoga pants, loose tank top and a front closing sports bra under. Easy to put back on after and then come home and crawl straight into bed. So ready! I'll Put my hair up in a sock bun (yes there is a sock in there so I didn't need any bobby pins lol) so again, easy to come home and crawl straight into bed. I just hope the next few days fly by. I'm so ready to just get my recovery under way. I took some last pics of my stomach and will do side by side comparisons as I heal.. can't wait! Here is my last pic on the loose skin side lol

Picture on surgery day

It wouldn't let me post this with my other update so here it is, me all ready to walk out the door for surgery :)

3 days post op

The medication keeps me very loopy so I couldn't type before today lol So the day of surgery I was taken back and was asked a lot of questions, they made sure I hadn't eaten or drank anything and got my iv started, then my PS came in and marked me up and I reminded him no one was to take my piercings out and he said he'd just tape them, no big deal. Talked to the anesthesiologist and then that was it, I walked across the hall to the surgery room which was COLD.. got up on the table and they covered me in the warmest blankets, it was nice. They put the mask on me and said to take 4 deep breaths and I only remember 2 and I was out. Woke up in recovery in a lot of pain, the nurse said they took out over 6 lbs! I couldn't believe it! seems like a lot on my already small body but hey, I'm not complaining at all.
Recovery is pretty fuzzy to me, I know they did give me my pain meds and then put me in the car and my mom drove me home. Oh the pain! It hurt so bad and I was thinking, if it's this bad right now I'll never make it through days 2 and 3. But I got home and passed out and when I woke it wasn't that excruciating and I've been on top of my meds every 4 hours.
So that has been my life so far, take my pills, walk around a few minutes then pass out for a few hours in bed again. But this morning I was allowed to take off my binder to shower so I got my first look and boy am I flat and tight! the binder was digging into me so it was kinda lumpy from it but still, soooo flat! now my belly button is another story, it kinda looks like raw hamburger meat.. I am praying it has a lot of healing still to do and will look very different in a couple weeks. So other than that I can't think of anything else.. still super sore and in pain and sometimes sooo hard to get out of bed but I keep telling myself just get through today, tomorrow will be easier.. and each day it is a bit better and come summer and wearing those bikinis all this pain etc will be wiped clear of my mind ;)

Marked up before surgery


I have them on both sides but they are really really ugly bruises, hope they start fading fast.

5 days post op with pics

Well here I am 5 days later. I'm starting to feel more human again and think I can start taking less medication starting tomorrow. I'm sleeping good (I'm constantly sleeping) and when I haven't been sleeping too long I'm walking upright but once I start swelling I go hunched over again. But its progress. My PS said I could switch to a spanx like binder going forward and just wear my surgical one at night and that thing was digging into me yesterday so I got up at 4am and showered etc and put on my black spanx, they are sweet nothings from walmart I believe but do the same thing.. well with a lot of tugging I got them on and they felt great, tons of control etc but then I needed to use the bathroom and couldn't get them off, they were so tight no matter how I tried it was killing me to pull them down, hurt so bad so I had to grab some scissors and cut those things off of me. Well thank goodness they were only 15 bucks.. but instant relief.. whew! Back in my surgical binder lol Lesson learned there ;) Also I took more pics, I don't really like my belly button at all, its hideous to me so I'm hoping it will change a lot in the coming weeks because if this is the final look then I want a full revision on it.. You ladies take a look and tell me what you think? So I still haven't been able to go #2 yet either, I've tried laxatives, a cleansing herbal pill, suppository, all to no avail. I'm hoping I get some relief soon, the strange thing is I can't feel my bowel muscle if I try to push.. so I don't even know if i'm pushing correctly, that's very strange for all that to be numb but it is. No problems peeing but can't do the other, yet. Also, my stretch marks.. so I had some above my belly button pre-surgery so I knew I'd still have some after surgery, but I didn't realize how high mine went up because I still have some above my belly button now, kinda deflated my bikini dreams but you know what, I'll probably still wear them, the marks are so old that a good spray tan will hide them and unless someone is very very close to me they won't be able to tell and if they are that close they need their face slapped anyway lol So we'll see.. that is my 5 day post op ramblings lol Still taking my meds every 4 hours, even through the night.. but tomorrow will just start taking less each day.

Day 5 - again lol

So I guess today is actually day 5, I was counting the day of surgery as day 1 but then realized I should be counting the day after, so I'm on day 5 today, officially lol So last night I had some serious swell hell. I now know why its called that, I honestly thought my incision would split I was soooo tight, kept my binder on and drank a ton of water, extra arnica and bromelain and slept it off.. woke up feeling so much better today. I'm also going to be out of my main meds today so that will be interesting.. no more percoset or flexeril, I have one bottle of lortabs that I'll switch to but going to try every 6 hours instead of 4 and slowly get off these things. I have my follow up visit this weds, the 11th and need to be able to drive myself, its an hour one way, just thinking about trying to get in and out of the car right now makes me cringe but I need to be there by weds. I have no one here to drive me. So today I'm feeling really good, I'm 100% upright today, just feel super tight but no pain at the moment, even walking feels good, like a good stretch does. But I'm trying to not overdo it.. don't want to be in swell hell again at 9pm tonight. I'm still not thrilled with my bb but I'm giving it time. I'm hoping it changes a lot through recovery and if not I'm sure my PS will fix but I'm optimistic that won't need to happen but right now you wouldn't catch me showing it off in a crop top or bikini that's for sure. So cross your fingers for me it's not done changing. Well I think that is all for today.. everyday is getting a little bit better, I'm feeling a little more human. Oh I also started taking a cleanse from GNC called Super Cleanse, should help get my body back into working order and also get some of these chemicals out of my system faster. So we'll see :)

Day 6 post op

So I took pics this morning but it pretty much looks like the same ones I've already posted so I won't add them, my stomach is still very swollen and hard, like a big round brick disc under the skin, still hating my bb and praying it changes as I heal because I really really don't want a revision but will definitely ask for one if its not looking better in a couple months. Got my binder on really tight today and hoping it helps with the swelling tonight
I'm now off all pain meds, only using tylenol, ibuprophen, arnica and bromelain and vit C, its already helped me be able to go to the bathroom and let me tell you even after days of using a stool softener, it did not help, I feel like I birthed a 9 lb baby as I tore and bled and it really hurt but was also instant relief and subsequent movements have been pain free so we always have to get through that first one I guess, sorry if TMI but its a reality of using pain meds lol .
Also I drove today for the first time, yep was feeling good enough to drive to town, got me a hamburger at sonic so I never had to get out of the car and came straight home, it felt strange getting in the car and out of the car but no pain and was comfortable while driving, no pain at all. I'm not feeling pain today actually, just that extreme fullness and tightness. I'm walking upright in the mornings and by evening I'm more hunched from the swelling pulling me down. I made dinner tonight as well, simple foods but still, its progress.
I weighed this morning, so on surgery day I was 118 and a couple days after I was 122 and this morning was 121 so maybe some swelling is subsiding? I don't know, I feel fat and ugly.. not trying to sound down but I think the emotional part of recovery is starting to kick in. My boyfriend (long distance) is sick so I haven't heard from him much and I just want some 1x1 attention, just to talk and chat I think, oh well.. hopefully the next week flies by. What are you all doing when you aren't sleeping? reading a good book? catching up on shows? Do tell :)

1 week post op at last

A whole week is finally past. So I'm feeling good today and emotional from just the rollercoaster of the week. As of day 6 I was pain med free and I think I'm dealing with some fallout from that, woke up with insomnia at 1am, couldn't sleep then I was being so critical of my results, made me cry, really pathetic I know. When I look and my before to now I've made such changes! I should be happy and I am for the most part, lets see I was 100% upright by day 6, that's huge for a tummy tuck, I'm pain free as well, just have extreme tightness from the swelling so I'm thankful for that, when I am sleeping I am sleeping really well. So yeah, my one criticism is my dang belly button. I just hate it. I know it will change as the weeks go by but I'm not optimistic it will change for the better. I see all these other ladies coming right out surgery with these cute little round or oval innies and then there is mine.. its not an innie, its not an outie, its not round or oval.. I don't even know what it is lol I mean yes, its not hideous but its strange, doesn't look natural to me. Maybe I just need someones opinion other my own. I do see my PS tomorrow for my first follow up and I will tell him how I feel but I already know he's going to go on and on how everything is so much better and to just give it time, yeah he's been my surgeon for years so I know what he'll say lol And I will give it a couple months but honestly if it doesn't look better by then I want it fixed by summer, before summer because my dream was to finally be able to wear a bikini for the first time in my life this summer and I still have stretch marks above my belly button which I'm actually not upset about at all, that wouldn't hold me back from a bikini this year but this darn belly button would. Am I being a big baby? Probably lol but again I'm just being honest and I also think I'm being realistic and emotional too. That's the phases of healing, I went through this after my BA too lol
But aside from that I am really please with my results this morning. My swelling is starting to subside, I'm just .6 lbs up from my presurgery weight and my thighs are still super swollen so that's telling me those 6 lbs they removed will show on the scale in the next few weeks, that is so exciting. My goal weight was always 115 and I may be smaller than that at the end of this from what they removed :) I'm still very bruised on each thigh/hip but it doesn't hurt, just looks bad but not painful at all. Stomach looked slimmer today but still rock hard. I'm wearing my binder 24/7 very tight, its helping for sure.
Well that's all I can think of for today, I'll post tomorrow after my post op, Im so curious what my PS will say. I have noticed the coloring nearing my incision (lower abs) are a little redish? is that due to circulation still needing to come back or something else? its all numb so it doesn't hurt or anything but it is different so I'll ask him about that as well. Here are my 1 week post op pics.

1 week post op pics

First post op visit

It went great! They couldn't believe I was off all meds and walking in like a normal person, no hunch at all, said my incision looked great, to keep the tape on two more weeks. Said I was still really swollen on my hips and abs and that was normal and will get better each week. Said I could go into spanx during the day and still wear the binder at night and this is the best part, I can sleep however I want! woo hoo!!! Maybe I'll finally get a good nights sleep tonight. Getting rid of the wedge and millon pillows and will see how just sleeping on my back feels. I'm typically a side sleeper so I might try it if my stomach allows.
I tell you though, i was so in shape before this surgery worked out 6 days a week and after my appt I went over to the mall to buy the spanx and boy was I winded! Just walking the mall took it out of me, not sore or tight or anything like that, just winded like I had ran a mile and I was just walking. So I've gotta get myself moving more each day now, need some stamina back. walking only of course, I will not exercise until I'm released at 6 weeks.
So my next appointment is in 3 weeks, they told me in two week to remove the tape from my incision so that ought to be fun lol I also bought some arnica cream today to start using on my bruises, they are so ugly, anything to help them fade faster, oh and my antibiotics gave me a nice yeast infection so got a 24 hour remedy for that.. gotta love being a woman sometimes lol but all in all a great appointment and greatt day. Oh and I asked about my belly button, she said this is definitely not my final results, just like with my breast augmentation they were up to my collar bones and square and it took several weeks for them to get in the right place, soften etc and she said the belly button works the same.. she said after that if I'm still not happy the revisions are in office and easy and we can discuss it with the doctor then, so I'm ok to wait a few weeks and see what happens with it. So there.. whew... I'm tired lol great day though and its my 35th bday, what a gift I have given myself. I'll post a pic of myself from this morning, I was pretty darn happy, I got up and colored my hair and got all pretty to go out, its been a great day. 8 days post op.

Pic of me getting ready for my doc appt

Bikini time!

Ok so I was feeling good at 5am today (I'm 9 days post op now) and wanted to see how I've changed from before surgery to now, in my befores I included this bikini pic, it wasn't so pretty. Well I had a couple and wanted to share. Now I'm still swollen and bruised but wow, what a difference!

one more bikni pic

this I only have afters of as it didn't get to me until after surgery, now I still have visible stretch marks etc but I really am not minding at all, I plan to wear all of these this year :)

2 weeks post op

Well now it feels like time is flying by, two weeks today. I've been at my boyfriends all weekend so that helped pass the time lol So lets see, as of this morning I was 115.6 lbs so the weight is still melting off even though I have been eating like crazy this v-day weekend lol lots of chocolate and wine for sure. I'm so excited to see where my weight levels out. I'm fully sleeping on my sides again, I just switch from side, to back to other side during the night and I'm sleeping really well. I'm becoming more active again. Not true exercise as I have another 4 weeks before I'm cleared for that but I have been walking so much more. Wearing my handy fitbit charge HR and everyday I have more and more steps. Still some soreness after a long day but no real pain anymore. I am going to retake my measurements tomorrow (I'm not home yet and don't have my tape measure here) so we'll see how those have changed and I'll post those tomorrow. Also one more week of wearing my incision tape then I can peel it off which I'll be so glad to do. Its been peeling up etc and I've been babying it trying to get it to stay for the full 3 weeks like my PS wants.
Well that is all I can think of right now, I'm about to pack my car and hit the road for 4 hours to get home. I'll update soon and here are my 2 week pics :)

2 week stats updated

So these were my stats right before surgery and I retook my measurements today
Height - 5'3
weight 118
Waist around belly button - 29
hips - 35
Thigh - 18

Weight - 115.6 down 2.4 lbs
Waist- 28 down an inch
Hips- 36 up an inch, swelling I'm assuming, they are still bruised
Thigh- 19 up an inch as well, swelling

So I kinda thought my hips and thighs were still swollen because my pants fit awesome in the waist but really tight in the hips and thigh area, so guess those will continue to go down over the next few weeks. I'm just happy to be shrinking and healing :)

Quick update

17 days post op and finally able to wear my jeans comfortably. So I tried these jeans on before surgery and again today, cant believe the difference. Size 3 fit fine before but even better now. I'm so excited at little changes like this.

3 weeks post op!

So here I am 21 days later and feeling really great. I have a spitting stitch in my belly button and its a little infected so I had an impromptu visit with my PS yesterday and he said my body will heal it so it didn't need to come out and gave me silvadene to use on it. So I'm hoping it's healed very soon. Also he removed my steristrips so I saw my incision for the first time and other than some scabbing it looks great! He wants me to keep it covered with 3M paper tape now as scar treatment. I'll include a pic. So I go back next Monday for him to check on my belly button again but other than that I'm doing well. I'm down to 113 lbs now and I'm not eating any differently so it has to be the 6.6 lbs he removed. 3 more weeks and I can workout again too. Can't wait!
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon

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