6 weeks Post-Op - Bye Bye Belly - Fort Worth, TX

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I have 2 kids 8 years apart. The last one was a...

I have 2 kids 8 years apart. The last one was a c-sect and of course left the scar which isn't bad BUT the flappy area over the scar isn't working for me. I carry my weight in the middle. I am 5'5" and 147 lbs. Stretch marks are above the belly button and down. The dr said that he can't remove them all but that it will certainly look better. My skin is also very loose below the belly button. I delayed the surgery to the end of summer because of work, son's camps, and 2 vacations(at the end of June and beginning of Aug). Strangely enough the beginning of the school year works better for our family..go figure! I've wanted since I had my first child. I'm scared but I just try to remind myself of that! :-)

I have 2 kids (11& 2) 8 years apart with the...

I have 2 kids (11& 2) 8 years apart with the last being a c-section. I've needed a tt since having my first child. I am nervous but I know that I would regret not getting this done and would always wonder... I am 34 and currently weigh 146 and 5'5". I carry my weight in the middle so my tummy has always stuck out and I have always had to hold it in! I am scheduled for Aug 31st. Although I'm glad that I have 3 months to prepare, I have 3 months to wait :(

Haha...I'm a dork... I didn't think that...

haha...I'm a dork... I didn't think that my "story" went through the first time so I wrote it again. Lol oh well :-)

I got my plastic surgeon/surgery packet in the...

I got my plastic surgeon/surgery packet in the mail today! Holy cow it was weird to pull out the first card that read..
Surgery Date: Wed, Aug 31st
Time:6:15 am

I can't believe that I'm doing this...not in a ridiculous way but in a "this is really happening" way :)

I am really confused about what compression...

I am really confused about what compression garment to get! It can't be too tight but it's got to be tight enough to help keep the swelling at bay!

We are going on a cruise with friends in 2.5 weeks! The other women going are 5'10" and have flat pancake tummies and will be in bikinis! :( they HAVE kids! The only consolation is that I have big boobs and they don't hehe! Ugh oh well, after Aug I will too! Next summer will be great and who knows maybe I'll be in a 2 piece (that happened once when I was 15!)

My emotions are ALL over the place with the thought of having the tummy tuck. I know this is normal per reading everybody's stories. I am very grateful for this site because I feel that I am not alone in this journey. Most people in my life do not know yet and I'm not sure when that will change :-/ huuuhhh sigh....

I switched doctors and it's for the best! I...

I switched doctors and it's for the best! I will be moving my date up just a couple of days to Aug 29th :)

How do I change the doctor that I used on here?! I...

How do I change the doctor that I used on here?! I don't see how to do that :(

Went today to pay the $500 deposit (it's...

Went today to pay the $500 deposit (it's applied to the surgery). I guess there's no going back unless I want to eat $500! 5 weeks from 7:30 this morning will be TT time :-/. I am so excited and so scared at the same time as so many of you have also stated about y'alls feelings. I bought a bikini top yesterday. They didn't have the matching bottoms in my size but as my husband says, we won't know what that will be yet. I have a tankini bottom that I put with it just to get an idea. It just seems so unthinkable that I could wear a bikini next summer! Although that isn't at all the reason I am putting myself and my family through this, it will be a nice by product of it ;)
I've had so many surgeries but I none of them were elective. I think that's one of several reasons I have worries about this... I imagine myself doing this a being very uncomfortable and I dread it BUT when I imagine myself not doing it I know that I would have such regret! So....come on 5 weeks :)
We leave next Fri for the beach, so that ought to be a nice distraction!

Nerves are playing havoc with me today. A month...

Nerves are playing havoc with me today. A month isn't very far. I will spend next week at the beach and it will distract me BUT...when I get back it will be 2 weeks till and I'm sure with my work schedule and my son starting school the 22nd those 2weeks will fly!!! I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing?

1 more day....wow...this I really happening!

1 more day....wow...this I really happening!

Today was the day! I have been sore sore sore BUT...

Today was the day! I have been sore sore sore BUT I don't think that my pain meds are that good sooo I will call in the morning to change dosing or something. I have a walker so that helps ALOT! I think that am already swelling but I just keep telling myself "of course you are, you just had surgery!".
Anyways, dr Gracia told my husband that he got me flat and everything looked good like I had asked for. Let's hope...I know this will be a work in progress for quite some time but I just tell myself it will be worth it!
In a few days I will write detailed summary of my first few days. That was always helpful to me from this site. Off to sleep now...I hope that it's for all nigh but I doubt it ;)

Post op day 1. This morning was bad! Almost passed...

Post op day 1. This morning was bad! Almost passed out but didn't thank the Lord! Day progressed from there. I was able to walk quite a bit but not for long periods of time but many short periods of time. I came home with a Foley catheter so I had to pull it out this morning myself. Wow that wasn't fun :-/. My 2 (almost 3 year old) daughter came home today around 2:30 and boy was she cranky. She does that when she's upset that I haven't been home (which is hardly ever). She was easy with me though and VERY curious about my drain bulbs. She wanted to give them a squeeze every so often. With the blood in them, she thinks I need a band-aide lol! My almost 12 yr old son is very cautious of me but being very sweet despite him not being a very compassionate person. Anxious for more healing tomorrow. Taking 2 hydrocodein every 5 hrs. The pain isn't completely gone with it but it dulls it to about a 3/4 out of 10 :-/. Anyways, like most of you have commented, I think it's from the Lipo but I don't care it will be so worth it ;-). I can't wait to watch my transformation over the next several months. Hope everyone else is doing well and for those of you waiting I hope this is encouraging :-)

Get a plastic tipped brissle brush! It has been my...

Get a plastic tipped brissle brush! It has been my best friend. Scratching through the garment and on my back and my thighs and arms has the brush has been so helpful :-)

Post-op day #2... This morning was really bad...

Post-op day #2... This morning was really bad again. I almost passed out again. So I had to have some sweet tea and animal crackers and a cold wet cloth to cool me off. I was white as a ghost, scary stuff! My swelling and bloating was AWFUL all morning till mid day! I filled a gallon sized zip lock with ice and put it on top of my garment. There's lots of padding between my skin and garment so it was safe. It gave some relief pretty quickly. I found a "take 2 GasX maximum strength with 2 hydrocodein" every 5 hr regimen that has worked for me thank goodness! I have finally starting actually passing gas. I had been burping but not the other. Through my haze of bloat hell I had remembered that tooting is VERY important for several reasons following a surgery. It means that the bowles(sp?) are alive again and the most obvious reason...freaking relief for the southern regions!!! I did have to release my garment for about 15 mins (slightly) on one side, zipped it back up for awhile and then the other side. That helped quite a bit too. Also I realized that the OR nurses put my garment on backwards! I'm hoping that there's some sort of methodical reason for this and that my doc will shed light on this tomorrow :-/.
I will report tomorrow :) I'm not seeing my profile in the lineup on this site so I hope that it is and people are reading it and that it's at all helpful!
Oh, husband shaved my legs for me today and I tossed the TED hose today! God bless him. :)

Day 3 Post-op... Did good this morning. Not...

Day 3 Post-op... Did good this morning. Not bloated, very little pain, slept a little better and napped when the kids were both at school today! All was well till my post-op appt. That went fine. I had 1 drain removed. My drains have put out very little fluid since day 1. The removal was strange but I was prepared for that...It didn't hurt! I went after the appt to my salon where I had one of the girls wash my hair since I can't take a real shower etc till next Wed! I will get the other drain removed on Tues and I have to wait 24 hrs to shower blahhh. When I came both kids were home by then and I was just spent! I felt very tired and cranky and then I started to swell. I wasn't surprised, having read others reviews on how swelling ebbs and flows, it was to be expected. So moral to this story is, not that I could help it or could've done things differently, I just did too much today and it WIPED ME OUT! I am encouraged by everyone being somewhat on the same page. I feel hopeful for better days having had a teaser of a good one today for much of it!
Oh, saw and photographed my new tummy today. It looked nice! My husband was quite impressed at the immediate improvement. My scar is long, longer than planned but who cares as long as it got the job done ;)
ADVICE... Fill a gallon ziplock with ice and let it rest on your stomach and move it around to different spots for a while. I have immediate relief from pain AND swelling and bloating with this! I have been trying to do this about 3 times a day!

I am going to try to load "afters" from the...

I am going to try to load "afters" from the doctor's office later or tomorrow

Day #4 Post-op... Not much change today. I was a...

Day #4 Post-op... Not much change today. I was a little emotional today. I tried to not let that get the best of me. Tired of the house, tired of the no showering, tired of NO BED and on and on...same gripes as others. I got a nice hot/cold gel pack from CVS that is large enough for my tummy. It goes in a sleeve and has little velcro straps that hook around me! Now this I love! It's the little things.... My tummy feels so strange and numb and I know this is normal but I hope it doesn't last forever :-/. Hope everyone is recovering well :)

Post-Op Day #5... I don't want to say "I've turned...

Post-Op Day #5... I don't want to say "I've turned a corner" but I maybe getting close to the "corner". This morning was rough (that's the only consistency with this whole process). But after 11:30/12 I have steadily felt better. I only took 1 pill at 2 and I will hold off till 7. I have had the WEIRDEST cravings! I swear for me this is similar to being pregnant except for when this "time" passes my tummy will look GREAT instead of wrecked! Craving for today was Buffalo Wild Wings boneless sweet & spicy yum yum! I ate 2 :( But it will make good snacks for the week :) Up till now I've not really had an appetite and what I have eaten has been pretty bland.
I still have 1 drain and it's putting out very little. Ready for it to be gone. Hopefully I haven't jinxed myself by writing this before bedtime. But so far today has not been too bad!

I did jinx myself but I'll just leave it at that :(

I did jinx myself but I'll just leave it at that :(

My advice for anyone is ICE your belly!!!! It...

My advice for anyone is ICE your belly!!!! It makes all the difference in the world. I have never really even cared too much about icing or heating injuries/ ailments. Something hurts take a motrin but for this, it really works. It was one of the top things on my doc's post op instructions and I was like whatever but my hubby made me about 3 days ago and man! What a difference. I do it 3-4 times a day :)

Post-op Day 6...things were a little easier today....

Post-op Day 6...things were a little easier today. Not much change other than my mind is more clear than in the past 5 days! Today I felt like myself just having an ailment and recovering from it instead of the past 5 days feeling out if it all across the board! Since I can't shower I washed my back and my legs and arms. My husband and 2 yr old daughter shaved my legs. Awwwww! Hoping to have an easy night best wishes to all! :)

Post-Op Day 7... Today was better. It was 68-70...

Post-Op Day 7... Today was better. It was 68-70 degrees this morning in Ft Worth and, compared to the 105 degrees than we've endured for the past 3 months, it was so wonderful. We sat outside this morning and that was the most time,obviously, that I've spent outside this past wk. I did me a world of good! I spent time in the car running a few errands (this was a first). We watch some movies as a family. I did swell this after noon and had to loosen the garment for about 30 min. Iced down about 4 times today. This evening swelling was better. I am NOT able to eat very much at a time so I get hungry ever 2 hrs...I don't like this part! Last drain comes out tomorrow yea! My goal for the next 2 days is to sleep in the bed...I've been on this damn sofa chair for 7 DAYS...blahhhh. Better days are to come though :)

Post-op Day 8....Completely drain free! The last...

Post-op Day 8....Completely drain free! The last one started to adhere to my skin so not a moment too soon! I have to wait till tomorrow evening to step in the shower...I'm so ready! I will try to sleep in my bed tomorrow night too :))) I'm having to go into work 2 days earlier than I thought. I will have to go in this Fri for 2 hrs and this Sat also for 2 hrs. Wish me luck but I feel ok about it...the show must go on :). Standing a straighter today too. On the mend!

Post-Op Day 10...Hello...Ok just listed some pics...

Post-Op Day 10...Hello...Ok just listed some pics from last night. Yesterday was good and bad. I'm doing more now and have more energy but when I took my garment off to shower for the 1st time following surgery, I almost passed out and had to zip up and try again later :( Well later came and I was able to do it, took some pics, and was ok. I was in TOTAL shock when I took off the garment. Not because of the sight of it but I felt strange without the garment's compression effect. It felt difficult to breathe...I'm not sure what to make of that. I did find it helpful, when I regrouped, to sit unzipped and get acclameted for a bit and that seem to help the transition from full compression to none so that I could shower. I got my new garment in this morning. Hoping that things go well with it.
I STARTED YESTERDAY!:( Suck City! Oh well...
I have to go into work for a little while tomorrow and Sat. I'm a hairdresser and there were some scheduling issues that couldn't be ironed out. I own the salon (it's small) and my clients are so casual with me so the ladies coming in are so understanding that I will only color and cut them on these 2 appts and not dry them so I don't have to be standing for a real long time on those 2 days. My Hubs is coming with me to help with the transition back to work, helping me figure out eating, drinking and organzing me while doing clients. This will be helpful since this was NOT EXPECTED to go back before Tue and he is nervous. What the hell, I'm nervous too :-/. Well that's all I have for today. Hope everyone is feeling well.
I do have 1 issue that I put on the August boards...my tum feels soft and unstructured like a baby's. My 2 year old daughter's tummy feels more firm than mine. Not sure what to make of this. I am confussed by this to say the least :-/.

Oh yeah, I sneezed today...omg!

Oh yeah, I sneezed today...omg!

Post-Op Day 13...Had a little bit of an emotional...

Post-Op Day 13...Had a little bit of an emotional day. We did go to church this morning which was nice. I had my "squish" pillow from Bed Bath & Beyond (in purple, been a life saver!) and my ice jell pad. Very nice. Not much swelling today until this evening and then by bed time..gone?! Up and down up and done :-/.

I have had somewhat of garment issues. I bought a Veronique garment online with hooks and eyes and zipper short leg open crotch in black. Well at first I hated it and was going to sen it back BUT I gave it 1 more chance and I know love it! Thank God. I hate to be unsettled about important stuff. It is a Stage 1 but I will give it another 2 weeks and then get the Stage 2. I did take pis of it and will post soon. I also went to Kohl's and got the Flexees Waistnipper corset thing. It is great. I use it for when I wash my Veronique. I try to sit outside in either am or pm. It is amazing how the warm sun can snap me out of a funk!

Tomorrow is 2 weeks post op. I can't believe it and even with all the inconveniences I am still so glad that I did it. I go Tues for my 2 week post op visit. So I'll post more after it ;). Hope everyone is well and happy!!

Wooo---life has been crazy for me now that I'm...

Wooo---life has been crazy for me now that I'm back to work and that hubby went back to work etc... I am 3 weeks out as of this Monday. I feel better every day. I sleep in bed now and I sleep on my back and switch to either side. It was scary at first but I have 1 squishy pillow between knees and 1 that I sort of wedge between my side/tummy and bed. I wouldn't call it GREAT sleep but at least it's in the bed. Hubby and I are "back to business" but only since yesterday. As I've mentioned before, I'm a hairdresser so last week was killer and by mid week I went home in tears. But things turned around and my endurance has slowly returned thank goodness! I'm very busy and stay booked so I have to hit the ground running :-/. I still ice my belly about 4 x's a day. I wear my Veronique compression garment and about mid day I put on my Fleexees Corset...that combo is a LIFE SAVER!!!!!

I will have my hubby put up pics of my garments and my 3 week pics tomorrow.

Like others, I swell in the afternoon but the doubling up on garments help.

I put up pics. The pictures are all taken in the...

I put up pics. The pictures are all taken in the evening. Just works out that way. I haven't seen my bare stomach in the morning yet lol! I shower at night so...I'm happy so far....

I am 6 wks today and am very happy. It is a...

I am 6 wks today and am very happy. It is a process..albeit a slow one but a process nonetheless. If you're reading this a take 1 piece of advice then hear this WEAR YOUR GARMENT! Medically I am released today from wearing unless I want to but my ps did say that for conturing purposes, he's seen better results on women who've worn them longer!
If you don't like yours then another one! Spend ALOT...with garments you get what you pay for! I have 2 surgical grade garments and 1 Flexees corset type that I use to double up on from like mid day at work till shower at night.
Next be patient, watch your food, drink water, kick carbination of any kind and rest when you can. Also, add Whey or Casein Protein in-between your meals (you know "5 meals a day" mentality).

Oh...I bought a pair of Miss Me bling'd out jeans last year that fit me up till surgery. They are sized like 30, 31, 32 etc... Well I wore a 32 (equivalent to 12) since they are low waisted that's what I wore to help reduce the gigantic muffin top!
I purchased a pair of 27s yesterday!!! I almost cried and I just still can't believe it! On Miss Me website the size for 27 equals a 4/6. That too just seems unthinkable!

Goodluck to you newbies and hang in there to us people who are on this journey for the next year. My doc did confirm that I still have swelling in the area I was worried.
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon

Dr Gracia is great. He is somewhat shy and can come off as akward. Look past all of that and you have a thoroughly direct doctor that is less concerned with being funny and charming and more concerned with getting the job done!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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