Small-scale Liposuction to Revise Results of a Tummy Tuck - Foster City, CA

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I had a tummy tuck just about 22 months ago, in...

I had a tummy tuck just about 22 months ago, in November of 2012. When I maintain a very low weight, the results are fine. Unfortunately, as soon as I gain a little weight, a shelf of fat appears above my TT scar. I would expect this were I significantly overweight, but I am 5'8" and weigh under 132 pounds. At 127 pounds, the shelf is not there. So I have asked a local plastic surgeon to attempt to smooth out this shelf. He has recommended power-assisted liposuction, as it is such a small area and the amounts are small, and expects to remove somewhere between 100-200 cc's of fat. It should take about an hour.

I will also be having some scar revision done simultaneously, all of it in the office operating suite (ie. outpatient) which I will do a separate review for. That is also costing $1750 and should take another hour.

I waited approximately a month and a half for the consultation, which I had this morning at 9 a.m., but was able to get a surgery date of September 4, only nine days hence. This means it will be a scramble to get all of my prescriptions and blood tests, since I care for my three children full-time, but I was very excited to not have to wait two months or whatever for a date.

I hope I manage to get visible improvement from this but the doctor's verbiage was all very moderate. I think he thought he could improve the contour, but I don't know if he thinks he can make a significant change. We'll see, I guess!

Before Pics

Here are some pics so y'all can see the tiny amounts we're working with.

Tomorrow is the day! Plus Knees….

Tomorrow is it!  I have to be there at 7:30 a.m. and should be done by 11:30.  Why so long?  Probably it's gonna take an hour to prep me.  I decided in for a penny, in for a pound, and asked them to do my knees as well.  I'll show you guys a terrible picture of my knees.  It's an even smaller amount of fat than on my belly, but I'm hoping it'll make a difference.  He's charging $1500 for the knees.  My garment is gonna be super-sexy, y'all.  And heck'a expensive too, seriously.  At least $150!  I already have garments that don't cover my knees, but…blah.  I wish they'd just ordered me stockings so I could use my other garments.  I'll probably buy some stockings on my own.  Anyone ever used any and can recommend them?  

I am not very prepared.  I did make food for myself and the kids for two days--kind of.  I made sauce for the kids' lentil pasta (LOVE that stuff!) and hopefully hubby can figure out how to boil the pasta but if not, maybe I won't be too messed up to do it….  Hmm, I'll make another dish.  But otherwise, haven't done anything.  It's hard to take this seriously, because it's such tiny things, but I'll probably be crying tomorrow :D.

I ordered some sheet protectors but they haven't gotten here yet.  They're supposed to get here by 8 p.m. though.  I don't even know what I'm gonna wear yet.  I hope I still have the clothes I used after my mommy makeover.  I should go check.  Am I supposed to wear underwear?  I don't remember whether I did back then.

OMG, gonna stop writing now.  Please wish me luck :).

This is it!

We've done the photos, I've taken the meds, it's 9 minutes to 8 and just waiting for the doctor.  I don't think the meds have kicked in yet.


Really tired even though the procedure itself was fun.  They let me choose the Pandora playlist:).  I wish I could have watched him working, but I was lying on my back.  There was very little pain and it was all during the lidocaining.

The actual suction stuff was fun and not painful.  And it went very quickly.

In all, about 200cc's of fat were removed.  I can't remember whether it was half and half.  

Melissa, the super extremely sweet medical assistant gave me a ride home since I live so close.

I was already very swollen from the tumescent fluid so I have no idea how I look.

Falling asleep...

Post-Op Pics: The First

Don't mind the large wounds--those are the scar removal.  Also, I haven't taken the garment all the way off yet so no good knee shots.

Happy healing to everyone doing that right now! :)


Okay, same day but after a meal and a shower!

PO Day 2

After my second shower.  No bruising up top, lots at my knees!  I also have lots more pain with my knees, though it's more like severe soreness than actual pain.  I could be out and about if I weren't so tired!  I'm not sleeping well at all.  But that's my only complaint.  The swelling in my abs is already hard.  My knees are still soft and very swollen.  My nether bits are darkly discolored but hidden by the panties :).

Good luck to all whose procedures are coming up and happy healing to those who've had them!  Wonderful weekend to all :D.

PO Day 3--take 2

Hello all!

In this video, y'all can see that the bruising has increased a great deal.  My knees are much worse, of course, since I'm not at all careful with them.  I sit in my tight garment with my knees bent, and the powernet digs in.  I also squat, stand on my knees, and get up and sit down many, many times per day.  I have too much stuff to do to baby them, so I really hope it doesn't affect my results.

My swelling has increased as well, especially in my torso, though I lost a little weight (it's hard to eat in this d**m garment!)  I think I still look great, though, so I'm happy.  It's a little lumpy but it feels purely like swelling to me and it's most obvious around the belly button.

I was supposed to get a call back from the office on Friday to schedule my follow-up appointment.  That call did not come, so I have no idea when I'll be in to see them.  From what I've seen on here, probably a week or so, but I don't really know.  They said I needed to wear this blasted foam for a week.  It's bloody and nasty and it sticks to me.  Okay, it's not that blood or that nasty, but it still sticks to me, even though I wear the clean side against my skin.

Also, I itch!  But there is no more pain, so that's good.  Some tenderness, some stinging (my scar revisions), some mild soreness (knees).  No complaints.  Actually, really grateful it was such a small revision or I would have needed help with my kids for sure--even more money!

That's all for now.  I expect that after not lying down at all today, I'll be more swollen tomorrow :D.

Happy healing to all, and I hope everyone had a super Sunday!


because I have no shame, and for your viewing pleasure. I think the foam adds a particularly nice touch.

PO Day 5, and a story.

Attached, you'll see some pictures of the lipo incisions, because the doc okayed me to remove the dressings.  You'll also see the CG I wore after my TT, because I decided to wash my new garments.  It is a size small, while the new is a medium.  It is extremely tight.  I wore it and did not sit down the entire time I wore it to make sure I wouldn't need the foam.  Once my other stuff was clean and dry (I tried it on air fluff, no heat) I put it back on immediately.  What a relief!

There's not much to say about how things are going, other than great!  I feel good, I have very little swelling left, and I don't know if that's permanent, but I feel hopeful.  There was less difference between the left and right sides today, too.  And I think my knees look great!  But I'm especially happy with the new shape of my breasts, since the revision.  No more boxiness!  So grateful!

So now, the story I promised.  It's the part I haven't had time to write yet--the actual day of surgery.

On the 4th, I got myself ready and ate two pieces of gluten-free bread (Food for Life Rice-Almond, Yum!) I never get to eat bread, so this was a real treat for me.  They said to eat something substantial before coming in, but everything I eat that's substantial gives me gas, and I really didn't want gas during the procedure.  So, the bread.  I don't know if I reacted to it.  I have some weird, extremely itchy break-outs, but that could be from anything so I don't know.  They feel like mosquito bites, kind of, but smaller, like itchy pimples.

Anyway, I fired up my music and walked to the Foster City Medical Pavilion.  I'd left myself a half an hour to get there and still be a little early.  It took ten minutes.  When I tried the doors they didn't open, so I stood outside and stretched for twenty minutes.  This may or may not have been a good idea, as I was hella sore the next day.  I did, however, feel great that I'd gotten one last workout in.  (It was serious stretching).

I went in at 7:30 on the dot and Melissa and I were alone there.  She is a tiny thing, cute and sweet as candy.  She took me back to one of the exam rooms and had me get into the super-stylish gown and hairnet or whatever I took a picture of on the day (see above).  Then she gave me meds.  I know one of them was the Keflex (antibiotic).  I definitely got one of the halcyons and a zofran.  I am guessing I also got a Roxycodone (which is the same thing as Percocet, basically, without the tylenol.  Just the narcotic part.)  Then we went to take pictures.

The picture-taking is not a big deal for me because I have no shame.  I think I lost it during the home-birth of my first daughter.  Anyway, I danced for the camera, then she had me put the gown back on and wait for the doctor.  And drink some water.  And at some point in all of this, she took me to pee.  While I waited for the doctor, I updated RealSelf and listened to my music.  Somewhere in the middle of that, I think I started singing.

So the doctor came in, and I'm pretty sure, because of the singing and the fact that I remember very little, that the meds had really kicked in.  He drew on me and I was so happy that he got all the parts we'd talked about.  I remember going to the operating studio and I remember them asking what song I wanted to start with on the Pandora and then I do not remember anything else, really.  Nothing important.  I remember singing, and I remember talking to them, but I don't remember what it was about.  I know we did the scar revisions first, but I don't remember how the anesthetic was delivered.  I'm guessing it was just needles but I don't remember feeling it.

It took a long time to finish those.  Probably a whole hour or maybe more.  It felt like ten minutes.  They said it took a long time, though.  After that, we started the lipo portion.  Some of that hurt, and I remember saying "Ow," and that they shouldn't worry, because sometimes things just hurt and you have to say 'ow' and it doesn't meant anything.  And while I agree with that, I'm mostly thinking, "Huh?".  I guess that what it means is that it hurt so much that I couldn't just stay quiet, but that I didn't really care.  I don't remember the pain at all anymore.  I just remember having a good time with my surgery buddies.  So bizarre.

Once we were done, Melissa took me to the bathroom again and I was super dizzy and could barely walk.  Then she helped me into the garment and foam.  It might have been the other way around.  I then got to wait a while longer, and then she helped me to her car and drove me home.  I slept most of the day after that.

Happy healing, and happy waiting everyone!  

PO Day 6

This vid shows my lipo incisions and my knee bruising, as well as the usual.  I also tried to make sure I breathed so you could see that, and tried to show the texture.

Feeling great today.  Still a little tender on my sides and very sore on my knees.

PO Day 9

Been excessively busy with my daughter, but things are progressing well in the revision front.  

PO Day 12

Yep, the swelling hasn't gone down yet.  I'm expecting 3 days, but it may just be the stage of healing I'm at.  It's kind of subtle because of how little he sucked out but I can't fit my pants right now.

The sad truth (AKA the reason I fast before going out.)

As promised to one of my RS sisters, a pre-food post-food comparison of my results.  The first of each pair is before my morning shower and the second is at 6:50 pm, after dinner but before dessert, cause now was when I had a chance.  In the evening pics, my waist is the same thickness as my butt.  In addition, I'm swollen right now, so I'm thicker in the morning than I usually am.  so the difference is usually even bigger.  It doesn't show that well in pics, so I'm adding a vid, too.


Today was my first day out of the compression garment (okayed by Dr. B).  I noticed by noon that my ankles were swollen.  I am so confused.  I had 200 cc's of lipo, to my ab/hip area and my knees.  I am swollen everywhere, even in my face, but it's particulat noticeable on my normally toothpick-like calves and ankles.  What gives??

I'm an idiot

But as usual, Bella got my head on right again.  I work here, you'd think I'd check the Q&A for answers to my questions and, sure enough, I did.  Swelling in the lower extremities post lipo is normal, especially after wearing compression garments.  So that's nice to know :D.  As for my face, who knows.  Maybe I'm just gaining weight.

19 days Post Op

OMG I hate doing updates sometimes! I just lost my whole update. Why don't I just write it in a text editor first and then copy it when I'm done? *grr*! I’m doing it this time, now.

I spend a lot of time reading other people's lipo reviews. When I look at their pictures, it's so obvious to me they're swelling. I look at their pictures from immediately after the surgery and I look at their current pictures and they're bigger, so it's swelling. Easy. I know, intellectually, that those fat cells can't come back, ergo it has to be swelling.

But oh how different when it's oneself! I know my own history of weight loss and weight gain. I can see the scale. I weigh 134, which is generally above my threshold for tolerance. I start dieting at 133. But I don’t know if it’s swelling or not. All I know is that I’m trying to maintain my weight and I’m failing, and that I look at myself in the mirror (or my vids) and see that I’m thicker. And I know that I’ve gained weight like this many times before. So it just feels awful. 

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. And I don’t have a good answer. In most of your cases, it’s just swelling. In my own case, I know some of it is swelling, (because the shelf is back,) but I don’t know how much. For those of you who had a lot of fat sucked out, just remember that fat can’t ever come back. But for me, I had 100cc’s taken out of my torso. That’s 3 ounces—less than a quarter pound. There is plenty of fat left there to grow, as far as I’m concerned. So it’s difficult for me to talk myself out of this ridiculous weight paranoia. But I’m going to keep trying. I will exercise when I can, and continue to eat as well as I can. And I’ll hope that I can manage to keep out of the doldrums of depression for a few months, until the swelling abates. At this point, I don’t know what else to do.

Happy healing to my RealSelf sisters, and stay strong through the swelling. And when that doesn’t work, come to RealSelf and whine. Like me! :D

25 Days PO

So I'm over 3 weeks post-op now, at 132 pounds, and things are improving dramatically!  As you guys can see in the video, the jiggling is nearly gone.  The only fat I can pinch in any quantity is where I've never had anything removed (so on my flanks--I think that's called the flanks, and on my upper abs.)  The tummy tuck, even though I didn't get lipo at that time, removed some fat from the lower abs, and now I've had the lipo to correct the shelf, which is now completely non-existent in the front by my scar.  Suuuuper happy about this!  I do still swell during the course of the day, and especially when I exercise.  The exercise brings the swelling on right away, but it's no longer in my entire body, but mostly just from the abs and down, and only a little in my ankles and feet.

I'm attaching a little snip of a very ungraceful shot of me on the pole.  It's representative, because I'm never graceful.  But it shows how swollen I get now (just a little puffy) because this is after a 90-minute class that left me completely exhausted.  I'm still gigantic after a meal, but that was the same before, and it's because I eat gigantic meals.  So, yeah.  I have not eaten a real meal in this video, just a (very large) mango.

Over 4 weeks

I've lost track at this point.  I assume last Thursday was 4 weeks and it's Sunday now.  

I am back to swelling a very lot.  It's also between 90 and 100 degrees here every day lately.  I don't know if the two are related.  I'm also having allergies in a way I usually don't.  I took fexofenadine (sp?) last night (Allegra) and this morning my face was less puffy, so I'm guessing there are several things going on, but mostly I guess it's just healing.  Slow, slow healing :D.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Just lost another dad-gummed update *&@*&%!!

But the good thing about losing an update is that I can make it better this time.

I have my 6 week post-op appointment on Thursday, but because it's at 9 a.m., I won't have time to take video tomorrow.  So I did that today and I'll upload that after this goes through.

I've been pretty clear about my diet in my Mommy Makeover review, but not in this review.  So I'll go over it now, so that I can explain my current state.  

I'm vegan--so no animal products whatsoever (including honey).  I also eat no extracted oils or sweeteners (no olive oil, no sugar, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, no brown rice syrup, etc.)  This is not to say I eat no sweets, because I cook everything from scratch, so it's easy to sweeten things with dates or other fruit whenever I want.  I also don't drink juice unless it's part of a green smoothie or a blended salad.  The idea is that all the fiber is present in the foods we eat, to slow down the insulin response.  Occasionally I have done a green juice cleanse, which obviously removes fiber.  Two of my children are gluten-free (it's a test because of neuropsychological issues) and the third is mostly (by default).  My husband eats no wheat but is not strictly gluten-free.  He just avoids bread and stuff because it makes him gain weight.  I'm even stricter for myself, but will get more into that later.

So my family is on this diet for a few reasons.  First, because we've read research that it should be cancer-protective, as well as protective from other diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.  Second, because my husband has Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which is an inherited disease that eventually destroys the kidneys.  I do not have it, so our children each have a 50% chance of having it.  His mother is down to 50% function, and his mother's mother has been on dialysis for over 7 years.  High blood pressure affects the kidneys very negatively, and my husband is able to maintain a healthy blood pressure because of this diet.  PKD makes it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy blood pressure and his little brother (early 30s) is already on blood pressure medication just to maintain a blood pressure even higher than my husband's, because he eats a less healthy diet.  Medication is less effective in maintaining healthy kidney function than a naturally lower BP.  So that's a huge deal for us.  He also has to maintain a low protein diet because of the PKD, which is easy on this diet.  I eat more protein than he does because of my workouts, but not much.  It's still much less than most builders, and sometimes it's too little, so I have to be careful of that.

Another huge reason I'm on this diet is to control my acne.  I have terrible adult acne, which covers my face, back and chest, when I'm not careful.  That's the reason my diet has been the strictest in my family.  On this strict diet, I had very little acne compared to not being on the diet, but if I cut out all grains and serious starches (like sweet or white potatoes), I could keep my acne minimal.  None on the back or chest and only a little bit in the face.  I was convinced this was hormonal, because it disappeared while I was pregnant.  It could, however, also have been immune-system related.

Recently, I started on birth control pills full-time to see if it might affect my acne.  Also to stop having my period.  After six weeks or so, I stopped having my period and it was totally worthwhile for that alone, so I continued, even though it had no effect on my acne.  It has now been six months, however, and it appears to have worked!  I can now eat starches without getting acne!!!!  I've tried several times during these months and it had not worked yet, but I guess it just took six months.  This is fantastic, and I'm so extraordinarily pleased! :D  There is only one negative to this, and it's weight gain.

Traditionally, I have always been about ten pounds heavier when I eat starches (often more, but never less.)  I have also always had a weight problem.  I was a chubby pre-teen and an overweight-to-obese teen.  I grew up in restaurants and adore food.  All kinds of food.  And I cook.  Very well.  So it's kind of hard to get away from.  But when I got on this diet for health's sake, I got down to a healthy weight.  Not my ideal weight, but a healthy weight.  To get to my ideal weight, I had to work out and eat less than I want.  So I always eat less than I want (but I want to eat constantly, so that's not strange.)  I was also a sedentary child, and never really worked out unless someone made me.  The army made me when I was in, but I broke all the time, because I grew up sedentary.  Once I got out, I went to a health check at my work, and they looked at me seriously and said, "You are overweight, and you need to start exercising."  My diet was pretty healthy then--not perfect, but better than average--but I never exercised.  I am 5'8" and I weighed 142 pounds.  A lot of people will look at that and say, that's a healthy weight.  But the health screener tested body fat and cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels and such.  It was not a healthy weight for me.  I was borderline obese and overfat.  Numbers can lie.  I am fine-boned and had no muscle.  

I took them seriously, and I started working out right away.  The next day :).  That was the start of my health transformation:  2002.

Anyway, a lot of stuff has happened since then, including three children and, now, my surgeries.  Oh yeah, and I'm knocking on 40.  I am not in the best shape of my life now, but I am the strongest I've been in real terms.  My ideal weight for looks is about 128 with this level of muscle.  I got up to 135 a week or so ago because of the starches, and dialed down the amount of food I was eating significantly, because I don't want to be 138 just because I'm eating starches again.  Normally at this level of restriction, I'd get into the low 120s (not a healthy weight for me) but because of the starches, I'm at 133 now.  I've stopped gaining weight but have not lost anything since the first day, so I've not lost anything in a week.  I'd like to get to 130, but that may be impossible with starches and, quite honestly, I'm not ready to give them up yet!  It's been so long, and I love oven fries and oatmeal.  

So, I'll see if I can get down to 130 slowly; otherwise, I'll probably resort to limiting my starches again and hope I can lose that way.  Currently, I eat two starches per day (during dinner, which is my only meal,) but I'll limit it to one first, and then to every other day if that doesn't work.  If it still doesn't work, I'll think of other compromises I'm willing to make.  Psychologically, it's impossible for me to live on one meal per day in the long-term, but without any childcare right now, working out more than I do now is not possible.  (Not that working out makes up for me eating too much--it totally does not.  But it might mitigate one starch per day.)  But right now, everything is up in the air.  We don't even know where we'll be living next spring and are seriously considering moving to Sweden, where my husband is from.  We cannot really afford to live here in the Bay Area any longer, without any childcare help (and we can't afford to use daycare.)

If we manage to move to Sweden next spring, everything will change (because the children will be in school, instead of homeschooled and with me 24 hours/day) and I may finally get to be the gym rat again that I so love to me.  Seriously, y'all, I love hangin' at the gym, LOL!  I love my pole fitness way more as exercise, but I just love being in a gym.  It doesn't even have to be a nice one!  If we move to Sweden, I'll try to get a job as, like, a towel-washer or something in a gym, though I'll likely have to go back to school to retrain as well.  I'll probably try to do a fitness-type of thing.  Nutrition or personal training, that sort of thing.  Then I can get that towel-washer job!

Okay, that was a crazy long update.


Today's vids

haven't been able to make the uploads work lately but I think I've figured it out.

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