One Day to Go...- Grand Rapids, MI

My first post, and just one day before my...

My first post, and just one day before my procedure. I am a 37 year old mom of twin boys. My sons are 2 1/2 years old. My boys are the most important things in my life. I was left with a lot of excess skin and stretched muscles after having my boys. I am about 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I have always been pretty happy with my body, but after having twins, I felt like I was left with something that wasn't a part of me. I have a flap of excess skin and fat that I really dislike. It is uncomfortable, and makes everything tight around my waist. My underwear gets caught underneath the flap and falls down inside my pants. It is so uncomfortable.

I used to be much more active, but the excess skin has made that VERY uncomfortable. It jiggles and burns. It gets itchy and irritated below the flap. So I decided to something about it before my boys got older. I want to be a more active mom with them. I also want to feel better about myself.
Right now the nerves are getting the best of me. My first "major" surgery was a c-section to have my boys. I have never gone under general anesthesia. I have a fairly high pain tolerance. I think I am just nervous about the unknown.
Thank goodness I found this website. Reading everyone's reviews and tips about tummy tucks really helps to put my mind at ease.
I will try to repost again soon after surgery. As they say...See you on the flat side:)

10 Days Post-Op & Thrilled! It has been 10 days...

10 Days Post-Op & Thrilled!
It has been 10 days since my tummy tuck with Lipo on the flanks. This is my first post since my TT. So I am going to try to put some information in order:

Recommendations before surgery:
I prepared about 4 weeks worth of food for myself and my family. I made sure the food was low sodium, and healthy. Just before surgery I stocked up on fresh fruit and salads. Another thing I bought was prune juice and Izze juice. Both low sodium, and the Izze have been very refreshing.
My PS gave me some pills to take for two weeks before and following my procedure. They were by VitaMedica. They were Clinical Support Morning & Evening, Bromelain with Quercetin, and Arnica. I truly believe that these medications had a large hand in my speedy recovery.
I rented a recliner from Rent-A-Center that has push button recline and sit up. This has been great and allowed me to get up and down without difficulty.

Post-Op (First 3 days):
The first couple of days are a blur. I was in pain, but nothing compared to what I expected. The worst pain was with the muscle repair and lipo on the flanks. But if I were able to sit still, it wasn't so bad. My family got their first cold that week, so I was starting to cough a bit. I made sure to have a pillow on my stomach to help brace the cough. My doctor said to not wait the first few days to feel the pain and then take the pain pills, but to have someone help me with the time when to take them. I made a spreadsheet before my surgery with medications, times, and quantities. It worked out very well.
One thing that I have seen in many reviews (& my doctor recommended) is to get up and walk around regularly after returning home. I made sure to get up several times a day and just walked up and down the hallway for 5-10 minutes. It sucked early on, but got better every time. So even if you don't feel like it, make sure you do it. I had my sister or husband nearby for if I felt light-headed, but that was never a problem.
Every day I drank two large glasses of prune juice with a lot of ice. This was to help with BM. I had my first BM the day after surgery and everything was fine. I stayed regular the whole time thanks to the prune juice.
My doctor gave me a couple prescriptions: a pain killer, and anti-nausea, ibuprofen, and a muscle relaxer. By the end of the first week, I was down to one pain pill a day, one ibuprofen, and an occasional muscle relaxer every couple of days for the occasional muscle spasms. The nausea only lasted the first three days and then I stopped taking the anti-nausea med. I truly cannot believe how good I am feeling.

Days 4-10: Every day gets a little better.
Every day gets a little better. It is now more odd sensations. I have had a lot of numbness on my tummy around my belly button and around the incision. The past couple of days have been weird. I am starting to get some sensation back. There is a lot of tingling & sensations that are starting.
Showering has been interesting. I have taken cadaver dissection courses without problem, but for some reason, every time I see myself with my incisions, it makes me woozie. So the first couple of showers, my husband was right beside the shower. They were quick, and then I washed my hair in the sink. Yesterday I was able to handle it a lot better. I took a longer shower and washed my hair. It felt great!
By day 5, I was up and around every morning, and able to eat breakfast with my husband and 2.5 year old twins. Before surgery, I would tell the boys not to touch mommy's belly because I had a "big owie". That has payed off. The boys are so gentle and come up and give me sweet and gentle hugs and kisses. They say they are going to make me feel better.
Day 7 I went in and had my drains removed. The first two days after surgery, the volume was about 30 cc. After that it dropped significantly. By day 6 I had about 12 cc. Drain removal wasn't too bad, but I was nervous, so I took a vicodin about 1 hour before. It was uncomfortable, but not painful.
I do have swelling, but it isn't too bad. I am still wearing my compression garment, but will try to move to spanx after 2 weeks. I have been able to walk pretty much upright from day one. I am more hunched in my upper back, and that has made my back a little sore. It has all been bearable, though.

I have to say that I have been pretty emotional, but in a good way. I have felt more comfortable recovering from my TT than I have felt in over 2 years. I don't have all the excess skin sitting on my lap. I can't tell you how much I loathed that flap of skin. My PS said that during surgery, he removed between 13-14" (top to bottom) of excess skin. I have felt like my abdomen is tighter, but not uncomfortably so. I am still pretty swollen, & know that it will take time for it to go away. I am just so happy to not have all that extra skin anymore.

I am so happy to be on the flat side :).
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon

I looked at two of the more well-known plastic surgeons in the area. Based off of meeting with both and talking to friends in the local health care industry, I chose Dr. Bengtson. I am VERY happy with my decision. Dr. Bengtson and his staff are amazing. I only met with Dr. Bengtson for my initial consult before surgery. That was all I needed. He made very clear what the surgery and recovery would entail. I felt very confident in my choice. My husband met Dr. Bengtson the day of surgery and was also very happy with my choice in surgeons. He said he felt much more confident after talking with him and knew I was in good hands. I am now 10 days post-op, and extremely happy with my decision to go with Dr. Bengtson. His staff has been amazing and have really made themselves available for any questions. I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. Bengtson.

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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