30* 5 Children Later - Greenville, SC

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I am 30. I have had MULTIPLE pregnancies. My...

I am 30. I have had MULTIPLE pregnancies. My heaviest weight was 254. I currently weigh 158. My body is covered in stretch marks, but my abdomen was awful. No part of my abdomen was left untouched by large, thick, and deep scars. I also had a large amount of hanging skin over the umbilical area and vaginal areas. I am currently not even two weeks out from surgery, but I am already pleased with Dr. McFadden. Regardless of what the final product may look like, when you look down and see the condition your body is in immediately after surgery (bruising, drains, pain, grossness lol), it tends to be overwhelming. I called Dr McFadden on a Saturday crying and quite upset. I am a registered nurse, but nurses, as patients, always seem to know too much but not enough. So, I knew I was ok, but that "what if..." kept creeping back into my thoughts. Anyhow, I called and left a message. He IMMEDIATELY called me back and VERY PATIENTLY calmed me down. If he didn't have my trust before, he definitely has it now. I will eventually post my full story with photos! Just thought I would put that out there! I am VERY hard to please, so take this for what it's worth!

Next day. Day 11

So, I woke up this morning soaked in drainage, freezing, and sick on my stomach. The patentcy of my drains has been compromised for the past couple days. Mornings seem to be the worst part of the day for me, normally filled with minor mealt downs to my husband, a run to the medicine cabinet, and tears. This morning the muscle spasms were causing me to vomit repeatedly. Right after one of these vomiting episodes, my phone rang! Guess who it was?!?!? MY SURGEON, Dr. McFadden. He asked how everything was going. I explained I was in drainage and muscle spasm hell. He reiterated the fact that drainage is good news and called me in some Valium and phenergan suppositories. Several hours later, I am feeling better than I have felt in two weeks! I ended up taking a large syringe and pulled a large blood clot from both of my drains. They are now working properly, THANK GOD! Maybe, things will start looking up from here! I honestly am sooo impressed with my surgeon! Without him being so understanding and supportive, I am sure I would be a bubbling puddle of tears for the remainder of my recovery. Dr McFadden and my husband have become my HEROS!

Day 20

So, my drains were removed on day 14. The rest of the sutures were removed around my navel as well. I was informed that there was necrotic tissue on my naval and that tissue was removed, so I ended up with a thumb print size hole that needed to heal from the inside out. I was asked to keep a marble in the opening to allow the scar tissue to heal with a concaved appearance, giving the illusion of a belly button. This is going well. The drainage, up until yesterday, was massive. I was literally using 3-4 maxi pads over my naval to soak it up. It has now all but stopped. My abdomen has increased greatly in size, but I am expecting that to shrink as my body continues to absorb fluid and heal. I will start to wear my contouring garment tomorrow. My biggest problem at the moment is NAUSEA. I have it constantly. It is even worse when I start having muscle spasms. I plan to discuss with my awesome surgeon tomorrow. Starting to feel like I am on the mend now...just wish this sickness would go away. More pictures to come after a few more weeks of healing.

Miserable Day 22

I am MISERABLE! I hate to be overly dramatic, but there is just no other word to describe my condition, at this stage. YESTERDAY, I had an appointment with my surgeon, an hour and a half away. The nausea and pain were so bad, I could not even muster the energy it took to withdraw myself from bed. So, I did what any reasonable, crappy patient would do. I lied. I called and said I had car trouble, and Then, I tried to fall asleep. I ended up laying in one spot, awake, too sick to move. Let me just add, Phenergan doesn't work for me and neither does ibuprofen, at this stage of recovery. My husband came home around 5 and was apparently alarmed by my condition. He called my Mama, who subsequently forced him to take me to the ER against my will. Oh how I LOVED the ER yesterday. I was rushed to the back, and given meds THAT WORKED for my pain and my nausea. I was given ice packs to place around my neck and blankets to cover my body, to help with the chills. The doctor and my husband spoke with my surgeon, who believe it or not, was not mad at me. An appointment was arranged for 3 pm today, so I will let you all know how that turns out. The root of the problem was fluid. The hole that was formerly known as my belly button is healing. As a matter of fact, it is healing faster than I would have hoped. This thin layer of new epithelial growth within my belly button hole is ultimately closing off the only outlet the continuous excess fluid had to escape my body. So, my abdomen grows in size, as it did yesterday. When this occurs, I can literally feel and hear the fluid move within my abdomen. While on all fours, leaning over a chuck pad, at the ER, I bravely lanced (using a sterilized needle) an opening through the epithelial film, and began to massage my abdomen starting at the pubic region and working up towards my breast bone. Fluid and air began to squirt from my belly button, a lot of fluid! This morning, I woke up sick, in pain, and in the overall same condition as yesterday. I honestly don't know how much longer I can do this!

Day 23

My appointment went well. I kinda got in a tiny bit of trouble for not following directions, imagine that, but the scolding wasn't too bad. I am now strictly following orders. There was good news. After my surgeon cleaned out my "umbilical hole" he saw that the very top of what is left of my belly button is still attached. I think the fragility of the point of attachment was a concern, but he said this was a very good thing. Maybe, he is planning to reattach it completely later on or maybe it will heal up around it?!?! Honestly, idk and don't care, at this point. To be frank, the constant nausea makes it hard to process ANY conversation. The impression I get is that my healing and overall outcome is much more important than my comfort level, at this stage. My poor husband is getting all the tears, the "I feel like I am going to puke"s, and the mean and quick comments. He is handling it like a trooper! I keep telling him I am sorry and I love him. I guess it is hard to watch your superhuman wife who keeps the house spotless, takes care of 5 children like a stepford mom, and works a full time job as a rewarded nurse, turn to mush. Did I tell you I am tired of feeling sick? I can deal with pain. I went back to work 6 days after having an emergency c-section 9 years ago. I got this... But I can't do Nausea! I am not eating, which is bad for wound healing, but I am down to 145-150, depending on fluid accumulation. I weighed 158 immediately after surgery. Trying to take my multivitamins, but they tend to induce nausea. Well, everything tends to induce nausea these days. I'm still pleased with my surgeon. He is very detail oriented as far as aesthetics. He is kind and understanding when I am being a drama queen. The outcome of my surgery, even now, is much more pleasing to the eyeshadow before surgery. Overall, I am just READY to heal and move on!

Who cares which day of recovery it is!

It's 3am. I'm sitting on my couch after puking in LOTS AND LOTS of pain and nausea. I did eat a meal today, which I haven't done in 3 days! Over this shit!!!! The tears and sense of helplessness are overwhelming!

Just a day or two shy of 4 weeks post op

I drove myself to the ER after my last post and found out that I had developed a staff infection with systemic symptoms. My Vital signs were dangerously low. My lowest BP was 64/42, but most were between 70-80/50-60. My temp was dropping too. I was showing symptoms of sepsis. My labs were all low except my white blood cell count which was high. I was severely dehydrated, as well. My surgeon recognized this and admitted me into the hospital and I was started on IV zofran for nausea, low dose Morphine for pain (which I got just a couple times because my BP was way too low for safe administration), and IV antibiotics. I am now pouring wound cleaning agents in my belly button and taking a long Q-tip, sticking it all the way in my belly button, and cleaning beneath the skin all around my abdomen. I am FINALLY FINDING RELIEF! My wound is clean and is now healing pretty fast. I woke up at 3am this morning, as well. This time, it was because I felt NORMAL for the first time. After my skin adheres back to my abdominal muscles, my surgeon says he will reattach my belly button, which will be an easy healing process. I FINALLY feel like I am on the mend, for real this time. No nausea!!! Just cleaned my house! Feeling good! My surgeon and my husband are both still my heroes!

8 weeks post op

I still have a hole where my belly button should be. It is still draining a lot of fluid, hardly any difference in amount from 8 weeks ago. I have starting taking flintstone vitamins (3 per day) and drinking 3 protein shakes a day to make up for not eating. I am still experiencing nausea and muscular pain. The swelling gets so bad after activity, that it makes me look about 6 months pregnant and is very uncomfortable. These episodes add to the nausea. I am treating pain with periodic Tramadol 50mg and I am treating the nausea with Zofran 4mg, 8mg at times. I have developed a seroma on the left side which is pulling on my incision and causing a great indentation. My vagina looks very "puffy." I still have lots of lax skin on the abdomen. I am still out of work. I have tried to go back three times, but just couldn't make it through a whole week. The swelling would get too bad and I would end up sick on my stomach and in pain. Keep in mind, I never missed work prior to surgery. So, just got off the phone with my surgeon. Revision surgery is scheduled for this Thursday! He will perform another full tummy tuck, removed the seroma, correct my umbilicus. Stitch down the flap, preventing dead space and hopefully speed healing, and use drains as well, considering the amount of fluid I produce. I am cautiously optimistic. Pray for a SPEEDY RECOVERY!

Finally healing

My initial surgery was 7/20/2016. After lots of complications, I went in for a revision on 9/30/2016. I am 7 weeks out from my revision, and I am doing much better! My umbilicus needed correction a third time, but I think it is doing much better now, as well. I still trust my surgeon and believe he has done a fabulous job dealing with me, my pestuous behavior, and my complications. I routinely text him on his personal cell phone and he has yet to cuss me out. Lol I attribute my complications to my already poor health, the fact that I refuse to rest and even in excruciating pain, I was trying to keep my house clean on day one, and most importantly to the fact that I am a smoker. I quit smoking for surgery but have had a few hiccups along the way on really bad days. I am posting an updated picture. You will see bruising in my upper left quadrant. That is actually a lump that developed. The bruising is from aspiration attempts. I had a CT scan done today (for my Crohns Disease) that will definitely tell us what it is, but I am sure TIME will allow it to correct itself. I get my stitches out from around my umbilicus tomorrow. Things are looking up. I went back to work on October 16th and am working up to 70 hours a week. I have started working out again. I will pick up my strict Crohns diet as soon as I am happy with my healing. Thanks for the prayers!
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Compassionate and understanding.

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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