43 Year Old with 2 teenagers. Extended Tummy Tuck and Mons Repair Needed After losing over 130lbs. Atlanta, GA

I have been reviewing pictures for awhile. I...

I have been reviewing pictures for awhile. I decided to post today since I'm exactly 30 days away from surgery. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I've always been overweight. It will be nice to finally not have two stomachs, even after losing over 100 lbs. I am scheduled for tummy tuck with a mons repair.

Pre op pictures

Had lab work today

I had my pre op lab work done today to get clearance for surgery. I am less than 30 days away. I'm still excited but nervous as well.

Lab work

Well I got my lab work back for pre op...All is good except for my iron. I am at 8.8 and I have to be at 10 before surgery. I started on my iron pills today and will eat spinach and red meat like crazy. I love spinach but I don't eat alot of red meat. But I will do what I got to do to keep my surgery date!

Pre Op appt

I had my pre op appt today. My hemogoblin was 9.6. The requirement is at least 10 and surprisingly it had increased from 8.8 to 9.6 in 1 week. The surgery coordinator is confident that I will be at 10 or more with 2 more weeks. I signed all my papers and paid in full. I have to continue to take my iron of course. And follow up next Friday to have my finger pricked again just to make sure all is good. I won't know my surgery time until next week as well. I was so nervous filling out the paperwork. I will be so glad when the surgery day gets here and I'm back home recovering. 2 more weeks to go! Also I tool my pre op pictures today. I look terrible but I know it's only a few more weeks until TB is gone. TB is short for Two Bellies...lol

Getting Ready

I went to get a few supplies today. My doctor's office didn't require much for me to get and I'm fine with that. I did get all my meds filled today... $76 for 7 prescriptions. I've been focused on increasing my iron and I can tell it's working.

They will provide me with a binder but a plan to order another online for when it's time to go back to work.

Cleared for Surgery

I am officially cleared for surgery. Now my nervousness has kicked it and I have lost my appetite... Lol. I need to anyway. I've eaten so much red meat and green vegetables the past few weeks. I usually drink 2 protein shakes a day and eat 1 meal day. My surgery is in 6 days. I really don't have too much to do but wait on Tuesday. I don't know my arrival time yet but I am suppose to receive a call tomorrow from the doctor's office tomorrow.

Almost time

I am getting excited and I'm still nervous. I have a few days left until surgery day. I am so thankful my mother came from out of town today. She will be staying for a week to help me out. My teenager's will be here too but its nothing like having your mother to help take care of you. She brought me a walker and toilet raiser to borrow from when she had from knee surgery. I also rented a power recliner and had it delivered today so I can be all set for Tuesday. I will keep that for 3 weeks...one of the weeks will be free. I spent $53 total. My bed is too high up for me to even attempt to get in it. The recliner should be just fine for those few weeks.

2 more days

I took a picture of me sitting down. Although I weigh between 155 and 160 at 5'6 feet tall, I still feel huge. Everyone tells me I am thin, but I don't see it. The picture I see makes me think I am still 300 lbs.

Day before Surgery

I weighed myself this morning. The scale shows 158...not bad. But my pictures look like 158 plus another 100lbs. I am excited and nervous about tomorrow. I am curious to know how much this skin weighs. I shall see tomorrow!

Home from Surgery

I'm home....Thank God! We (my mother and BFF). We got to the surgery center at 12 noon and was home by 5:30. I'm in pain but only when I move to get comfortable. I have 2 drains and I draining pretty good. I am dehydrated. I have drank 2 bottles of water & ate graham crackers. I haven't been to the bathroom yet. Hopefully I go soon. I will post later. I am getting sleepy as I am typing this.

Post op Day 2

The pain hasn't been too bad. The exparel injection they did during surgery is working just fine. The walker helps me to get around to walk and using the toilet seat riser has helped as well. I took a sneak peek and TB is gone! (Too belly). I haven't like doing nothing but sleep. I hope to able to take a few pictures soon.

Still hanging in there

I finally had a BM today. I feel so much better. I am tired of the recliner, my back hurts, and I run out of energy so quick from doing my daily walks or just going to the bathroom. I have been upstairs in my room all week. I wasn't confortable walking back and forth upstairs.

I took my last pain pill last night. I still have more but I refuse to finish. Tylenol should now help out. I had been hallucinating with the Hydrocodone...lol

I know things will get better and I prepared myself for this part, but until you actually go through it, it's a whole different situation. My drains are slowing down. I hope to get them out on Monday. I really haven't peeked anything except for mons area due me just wearing gowns and no panties....it looks gorgeous..lol. all those years it was just layers of skin drooping. Now it is tight and the doctor did a wonderful job.

I can tell I'm still swollen. I wish I could have got some lipo but the doctor explained to me that it was all skin. Now I really believe it. Since my stomach was pulled down so tight and with the muscle repair, I can feel my ribs on my sides.

I am looking forward to my first post op appt on Monday.

1st Post op Appt

I had my first post op appt today. It felt good to get out of the house.

I feel like I am still fat but I know most it is alot of swelling. The surgery coordinator gave me a copy of my before pictures I took 2 weeks before surgery. After looking those pictures and me today, I really can't complain. The doctor assured me that the swelling will subside in 3 months. I saw my belly button for the first time. He did an excellent job. I was able to have 1 drain removed. It took less than 3 seconds to remove and it did not hurt. I may be able to get the other one removed in a few more days. My belly button was cleaned today too and the doctor removed the tape around my sutures. My incision line is very low, which I am happy about. He said I am healing well. I have to continue to wear my CG for 6 weeks. I go back next Monday to get the stitches removed from the belly button.

When I came home from the doctor, I took my first shower since surgery. It was manageable due to only having the one drain. I am so grateful for my 18 year daughter assisting me. Probably the last thing she could imagine having to do coming hone from college is to help her mother. She is keeping me encouraged and reminding me how far I've came from 300 plus pounds to 158 and now a tummy tuck for more emprovement. The doctor did not weigh the skin he removed but he showed me the length of how much and it was equivalent to a holding a newborn baby.

I am still walking bent over and per the doctor I need to continue to do so for another week. I am getting around a little quicker but still using the walker.

I will post pictures of my belly button. It's so cute..lol

9 days post op

I got my 2nd drain removed today. That was such a relief. It hurt just a little because it was longer and thicker than the right side. I was actually able to stand a little better. The nurse pulled my compression garment even tighter to help with some of the swelling. She said I should see a big difference in my waist as well.

My daughter took me to the mall. That was very tiring. Now I am ready for a nap. Things seem to be getting better slowly but surely. I am being as patient as possible and careful about everything I do to make sure no complications arise. I still have another week and a half before I return to work.

So I am going to post a picture of my belly button. It is healing good. But the main reason is to show the scar above it. This scar was previously longer and right below my breast. My PS pulled me down so tight, that same scar is now right below my below button. It looks like I may haven that flat tummy after all when this is over. Later, I will take a full body pic but it was just amazing to see how tight he pulled me down.

2nd Post op appt

I think today is my 13 post op day. I got my stitches removed from my belly button. Thank God I was still numb, he had to cut a little deeper to remove some skin around an open wound. He said it's not infected but to use saline solution to clean it and cover it up with gauze...which he did today.
We talked about my overall results over the next few months. Being that I am a bariactric patient and my highest weight was 321, my skin elasticity will not cause me to have a "flat" tummy. I knew more than likely I was not going to be extremely flat. I probably wouldn't have looked right. I have alot skin on my arms and thighs. I choose to concentrate on my stomach because of this issues with wearing clothes, etc. But who knows, once I am able to get back in the gym, I may lose more weight and tone up.
I have gained 5 lbs, which I am not happy about. It is all in my hips. The day of surgery I was 158. Today, I weigh 163. I am swollen in my hips because of this compression garment. He suggest I switch to something that will help the swelling in my thighs to go down.

My waist is smaller and I like that part but not the hips. Hopefully in due time, the swelling will go down. He suggests that I start walking more which is good with me, still no lifting of nothing more than a gallon of milk. I can start scar treatment. They sell Nova scar in the office but I wanted to way my options due to the cost. I picked up some scar away from Walmart and sone bio oil. I will post a picture later of my before in the office picture and what I look like after 2 weeks. I still have a ways to go, but I don't look nothing like I use to and therefore I can't complain and I should be thankful. Right now, it's about having patience and not compare myself to other people.

Now, I need to look for another CG...any excuse to shop..lol

Returned to work

I went back to work today. I took it slow, although I sit a desk. I have been use to laying around and napping throughout the day. It did feel good to get back to reality. I was only going to work 5 hours today but that turned into 9 hours. That was a big mistake. I was miserable by 7th hour and that I am home, it's worse. I am very swollen from my CG. I was uncomfortable all day trying to adjust it and keep it tight and in place.
Tomorrow I plan to wear a spanx garment. Another positive note about being back at work, no sitting around an snacking all day out of boredom.

I haven't uploaded many photos of me after surgery. Don't get me wrong, I do like my results. I don't love them yet and it could be from the emotional phase I am still going thru with the swelling. The PS said it would take 3 months for the swelling to go down; which is when I will take my 3 months post op pics at the office. I am hoping that I don't have a seroma but my stomach is a swollen and hard. I will monitor it. I do not go back for another post op visit until June 23rd. Hopefully more of the swelling will be gone down. I can say that I do love the fact that my incision is thin and low and that I can see my vaginal area again... all that skin is gone! I have started using bio oil to help with the scar.

I realize you can prepare as much as possible for surgery, but this one is on a different level.

22 Days post op

This morning I noticed that I wasn't as swollen so I decided to take some pictures. I did not have any lipo...all the extra folds you will see is just skin. I had a lot. I went to work today and stayed for 8 hours and was swollen by the end of the day. I am going to the doctor tomorrow regarding a few concerns. My belly button is red like an infection is about to happen. Using the saline solution has not helped. Also I know I'm swollen but it a rock hard feeling. My PS will be out for 2 weeks so the nurse suggested I come in tomorrow. I am glad I called today. I am still in that phase of uncertainty. I am sure it will change. I think part of me knows I need more skin removed every where but the stomach was the most important for now due to the rashes and infections I was having. Hopefully I will find out what's going on with this super swelling below my belly button. Also I had a small open wound that came about 5 das ago. I have been using neosporin to help but it's time for the PS to view especially since I am going to check out my belly button issues.

Update on visit yesterday

I talked to the PS regarding my concern. He said my belly button is healing fine. He see 1 stitch lodged in there. He removed it. The small open wound is healing fine too. I was very swollen yesterday when I went. He gave me an injection of lidocaine & then used to a needle to see if I had any fluid. All was clear. Thank God I am still numb from surgery. I didn't feel anything.

Now I am learning that I'm flatter in the morning and swollen in the evenings especially since returning from work. He said I'm still swollen and he did alot of muscle repair. I will be so glad when my results show a little better. I am so ready to get back in the gym to finish the remaining job.

When I look at my before pictures, I have to be really thank for I do not look like that anymore. The PS reminded me again yesterday, he took off alot of skin..lol.

I still experience stiffness after sitting and I still can't sleep on my stomach and barely on my side. Sleeping on my back is not comfortable but I know it will get better. I will be patient so I can have flatter tummy in the end.

One month post op

So far I am still pleased with my results. I am still swollen but I look so much different from the morning of surgery on May 10th. I hope the swelling continues to decrease. A week after post op my surgeon reminded me the amount of skin he removed. Also I have still skin around my back and flank area. He said lipo would not have helped. Maybe in the future I can do something about that are but as for now, the most important part has been completed.

I look so much better in my clothes. I was 164 the day after surgery and now I am 157. I will be so happy when I get released to do some full exercises. Right now I am drinking my 2 protein shakes a day, drink plenty of water, eat fruit and then 1 meal a day.

7 week post op- Swelling

The swelling is real and I have hips now.. my 6 week post op last week went well. I am healing just fine but I am not okay with the added hips. I am up and down 2 or 3 lbs on the scale, depending on what I ate. The doctor assured me the swelling would be there for another 2 months. He removed alot of skin. I am thankful it's not hanging anymore but the swelling and extra hips has me kind of down.

Most of it could be due to the fact I've never had any hips and hopefully once the swelling goes down, I will fall in love with my new shape...small waist with hips...lol.

I was released from all restrictions. I still have some tenderness from the muscle repair. I plan to get back in the gym after the 4th of July holiday. Hopefully that will help me to shed some pounds. I am no long required to wear a binder. I am wearing waist trainers. Hopefully that will help with the swelling. I didn't wear it today, and I am really swollen. Please someone tell me, it will get better!

Good days and bad days

I am almost 3 months post op. I still deal with swelling from time to time. I am able to wear size 6 and 8 pants but only curvy now. I have not lost the 6 lbs I gained after surgery. It's in my hips. I wanted to get to 150 lbs but not sure if these hips and thighs will cooperate. I do need to start wearing a CG again. Hopefully that will help with reducing the swelling. I know I need more work done. This was discussed before my TT. The upper body lift will be round 2 hopefully next year. When I go back for my 3 month follow up, I will ask for a price quote.

I do like the way I look in clothes but I have a ways to go to get where I want to be. I need to get my exercise more in high gear. I do still have a little soreness from the MR. I can tell I'm sewed up tight on the inside. It's this skin that I'm still dealing with. I use to weigh 321 lbs and my lowest 153..all square wiTh skin. Now I'm 164 with a shape. Hopefully the upper body lift will be the completion of my journey.

Meanwhile, can anyone recommend a good compression garmet at this time frame...3 months post op?

A few pics over the past few weeks

4 months post op

I had been kinda down about my results mainly because I still have issues around my back folds with extra skin. when I went for my 3 month post op, the only way I could get rid of the skin folds is for them to be excised. we talked about my excess skin on my arms and I got my quote for an extended arm excision. I plan to get it down. it's nice to wear small shirts but my arms won't fit.

so today, I went to pick up a copy of the pictures I took pre op and at 3 months post op. I will no longer complain. He did a great job with my tummy tuck. I had alot of skin. I can not stop comparing myself to other people. after all, I use to weigh 321 pounds. Now I weigh 160 and I do not have all the stomach. I am a little flatter than the pics. I've can along way and I am pleased. I think once I get my arms done, I will be completely satisfied.

2 weeks pre op and 3 months post op taken in August

Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon

So far I am pleased with my choice after having my consultation with Dr. Ranier. His surgery coordinator was awesome as well.

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