Tummy Tuck with Hernia and Diastasis Repair with "fleur de lis" or inverted T incision - Fort Worth, TX

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I am coming close to realizing my dream of...

I am coming close to realizing my dream of repairing my stomach after the damage done by 3 pregnancies. My third did the most damage, leaving me with the diastasis recti and hernia on top of a C-section scar and the "hanging flap of shame".
I am coordinating with a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon for the complete repair. The diastasis and hernia have caused my lumbar disk issues to become worse and I am hoping this surgery will change my life in more ways than one!

Sorry, forgot details..

40 yr old, mother of 3. Looking forward to getting my belly under control and be able to wear clothing without hating how I look and feel.

10 days till surgery!

I'm still obsessing over before and after photos, dreaming of what might be.

I have ordered my leg support wedge and reacher/pick-up tool. Also have a trip planned to pick up a bed lounger and some extra pillows, plus most of the other suggested supplies. Here is my list:
Walker (checking Craigslist and thrift stores)
Shower chair (ditto above)
A new book
Laptop stand for in bed/on sofa use
Fresh fruits and veggies (closer to surgery date)

Already have:
Antibiotic ointment
Arnica cream
Elastic exercise band
Safety pins
Undershirts and tanks (to wear under binder) I've been wearing a binder for months now =/
stool softener
gauze pads
gel ice packs
cough drops
old towels and linens
Palmer's skin therapy oil
granny panties (hey, don't judge! they are from after c-section)

Waiting till my pre-op apt on Thursday to see what vitamins/supplements he recommends and pick up those this weekend.

I am packing a few small storage boxes with small items to keep my little ones entertained. Things like a new game, puzzles, books, and a few small toys. I want to put them under my bed and surprise them over the first week or so of my recovery. I will have my husband home for the first 5 days and my mother in law is coming to stay for several weeks (she usually does every Christmas) and she will try to help out as much as possible as well. She will be great at the cooking and cleaning and we'll see how she does with the kids ;)
I've got the closet organized and separated into labeled sections, as well as their drawers for socks and pajamas. Hoping this all goes smoothly! Getting excited, but also so very nervous...

I'm going to post a few pics from last night. I was laying in bed, wondering if I can dare hope that the blob will be gone and I'll get my body back.

Final pre-surgery consult today.

So, I had my pre-op appointment today.
Everything is good to go. Labs that were concerning with high white cell count were because of recent sinus infection and having a steroid shot and just being on antibiotics. yay!
Discussed details and found out that Dr. Rumalla us planning to not even reconstruct my belly button because of my umbilical and incisional hernias. He said it is too great off an infection risk and I don't need it anyway. LOL, he has a point, but it seems strange to me. Anyone else but have a belly button?
He also said that he would try to get me flat as possible, but to be realistic in my expectations. I agree, but it kinda makes me feel bad. He also said I needed to keep working on losing as much weight as possible to get the best results possible. Guess I need to starve myself. =/ I am barely eating 1100 calories a day as it is.
Just a little bummed about that, but I know he is speaking the truth. The pounds just aren't coming off =(
oh well, l ooking forward to being flatter, wearing clothes with more confidence, and not getting asked if I'm pregnant again! Just 7 more days..


sorry about all the typos on my last update. I was on my phone and forgot to proof read

Talked to my PS assistant again

I'm getting so nervous, but excited! Can't believe a little over 3 days till it's my turn! Eeeek!!
I called and spoke to my PS surgical nurse/assistant today about the concern with having no BB and she said that he meant it is unlikely they can save my BB since I have the previous incision around half of it plus the hernia. BUT she did say he does a great job reconstructing one and you can hardly tell the difference. I told her I don't want to look like an alien with none :D She said that I would be pleasantly surprised.
The closer it gets, the more things I see that need to be done! I STILL need to find a shower seat and wanted to find a walker. With my back issues, I'm sure I'll need it!
At least I have my Christmas shopping 98% complete. Just need to get my husband something. Maybe it can be the new me? LOL.. I'm hoping I'll have time to wrap beforehand, if not, I hope I can manage after.

Pre-op registration and work-up at hospital

I went today and pre-registered and got my EKG and labs done. Surgery is scheduled for 7am BUT they said I need to be there 5:30am!! Holy cow :/
Instructions are to shower and wash hair the night before (but not to shave the surgical area). No deodorants, lotion, perfume, hair products or make-up. No jewelry or nail polish. No contacts. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. But to drink lots of water the day before.
Wow. It's getting real now. I STILL need a walker and a shower chair :(

UTI =/ and final preparations

So I went for my annual today and I have a Urinary tract infection. Geeze... gave my high dose antibiotic to take for 3 days. today/tonight, tomorrow and finish up Friday.

I work a half day tomorrow and am going after I get off to get a walker and try to find a shower chair or maybe just a plastic stool/chair?
Need to get the Arnica tablets and antibiotic ointment. I can't believe it's almost time. BIEE and Faith35, surgery triplets :) this is so exciting but a bit scary too! Good luck to you both and let's keep each other updated.

Only nine hours to go...

Nine hours.... I can't believe it. I'm a wreck. Nervous, worried about my family coping, worried about pain, the recovery process and how it'll turn out... although I'm sure it will be worth it. I've been threatening for almost 2 years to just chop off the blob and letting the ER fix it. Just kidding! Well, mostly. Haha...
Anyway, picked up my walker ($4.99 thrift store score!), Arnica tablets, some healthy snacks: "cuties" (tangerines), raw carrots, celery, hummus, almonds (unsalted) and pistachios (unsalted). and coconut milk (my fave). Also ordered my laptop stand/fan (since my internal fan is failing) and a bed lounger support pillow. I have extra pillows, all my prescriptions, wound and scar care supplies, ice packs, pajama pants, boxer shorts, new books... I think I'm as ready as I'll get. Good luck and blessings to my surgery sisters in the morning!

Made it to the flat side!

Whew, I made it. I ended being admitted for overnight thought because the hernia was quite extensive. I'm ok with that, just wasn't prepared so extremely bored.
Also do but have my phone charger =/
my husband is home but I guess sleeping since he hadn't answered my calls or text.
My surgeon it's supposed to be in shortly to explain more.
I won't lie, I'm in some pain, but the onQ pump is helping a lot. Well update more when I can form more coherent thoughts =) Hope my surgery sisters are doing well!

complications :(

I was discharged around 4pm. Got settled into my recliner and started feeling nauseous. I took my nausea meds and promptly threw up. So scary and painful! I threw up several more times. =/ Tried taking my pain med ( thinking the pain was the cause) but threw that up as well. Called the hospital and they had me come back.Was admitted at around 8pm. They did x rays, blood tests and got an iv going. Dr. Rumalla was awesome and came by to see me, even though he was the cosmetic part of the team, stayed a while just explaining things and making me more comfortable. The ER doc decided to transfer me to a larger, better equipped hospital nearby.
So, I'm admitted there and they do more tests and xrays. Dr. Eaton's associate ( Eaton was my general surgeon for the hernia repair) came in and explained what he thought was going on. I had a very extensive hernia with sections of bowel that had adhesions and were trapped. He repaired all those. It looks like my bowel is now in shock and shut down. So, I have a GI tube draining my stomach and still am unable to eat or drink anything. Looks like I have another couple of days stuck in the hospital.

Bandage change and first view of scars

Since I'm stuck in the hospital my surgeon came in to see me and did the bandage changed. I'm still bloated and my abdomen is distended, but I'm excited by what I see so far. Also, I was correct the first time when he said I would not have a bb. Because of my scar placement it is too big of a risk to try to reconstruct at the same time as the surgery, but it can be done in a few months if I still feel like I need to have a belly button. As far as my intestinal issues, they feel like another day or two if support is all ii need, then my body will start to take back over.

forgot pic..

Home and On the road to recovery

I'm finally home and doing well. The main problem I'm having is getting myself on a schedule and taking my pain meds before my pain gets too bad. Hoping I can get that figured out soon because waking up in extreme pain is really unpleasant.
I still have some swelling but I am pleased with my results from what I can tell so far and look forward to see continued improvement. My vertical scar looks so much better than the previous one and the horizontal incision is so low! Here are anther couple of pics.

Taking the slow road

Recovery is slow, but steady. I went in yesterday and had one of my drains removed, the other will stay until at least Saturday (my next appointment). I am moving around better and getting out of the house more. Although dressing with the drains in place is....I'll just say challenging. I am sick of sponge baths and washing my hair in the kitchen sink, so I hope the other drain is out soon. Doc won't release me to shower until they are out.
I'm having a lot of skin surface pain, nerve endings I guess. The actually incisional pain is much better though. Still sleeping propped on pillows and can almost stand straight, but not quite. Still have quite a bit of swelling and fluid build up as well. But just taking it one day at a time. Pics were taken a few days ago, but they'll work for now. Will post more when I get the other drain out.

My surgeon is awesome. Scar reveal two weeks post op

Went in today and had last drain removed. Also removed the surgical tape and got my first real look at the scars. Better than I expected even with some swelling left, very thin lines and low horizontal scar! Wish I could have gotten rid of all the stretch marks, but I'm still impressed, there were a lot before.
Looking forward to my first real shower after the drain hole closes fully (should be tomorrow night) I'm moving and sleeping better and really only taking pain meds for my back, the pain is minimal from surgery at this point.

5 weeks post op

Everything is going pretty well. For the most part pain free, except for a few twinges here and there. I have an internal stitch in my lower incision that is trying to poke through that hurts, but I will get that checked at my next follow up.
I'm starting to get used to my new tummy. I'll be very glad when I don't have to wear the binder (doc says it will be a while yet). Believe it or not, I'm already thinking about a little lipo to my bra/backfat area. Haha. .
Here are a few new pics

photos didn't attach

New 5 week post op pics

Problem spot

The point where the two incisions meet is still a bit of a problem spot. Keeping a close eye on it...

my problem spot is getting better

The junction point is healing nicely now. I just have one spot where the internal stitch is trying to poke through that is rather annoying and sometimes painful. Still very happy with my results. Getting back to normal activities now as well.

9 weeks post op, day 2 of scarguard

I just wanted to post and say I am still feeling great about my surgery. I'm doing well and back to feeling pretty much "normal" again. The junction point is healing well and I'm basically back to normal activities. Dr. Rumalla still has me wear my binder when I'm lifting anything over 20lbs and while at work. He did point out that I should avoid all core focused workouts due to the extensive hernia repair.
I was using the silicone sheets (Scar Away) but with such a large scar, I only had 3 on at a time, on the outer areas. I switched to the brush on scarguard yesterday. I will go ahead and post the photos from today so I can track any progress made.

9 week post op pics, fleur de Lis scar

I always hit the wrong button from phone and submit too soon. .

Before and after, 3 months post op

Still healing. Using Scarguard now for about 2 weeks I think. Loving my results!

Coming up on 6 months post-op

Just thought I'd post some new pictures at almost 6 months post. I am still very satisfied with my results, although I am slightly concerned that my hernia repair is not holding. I have to follow up with the general surgeon about that though. These pics are with my stomach muscles tightened. When I relax, there is some bulging (need pics of that)

Dr. Rumalla and his staff are amazing. They have been wonderful through the entire process. I am so happy I found him and will definitely go to him with any future needs.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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