41 Year Old with 2 Kids, Who Has Always Battled Her Weight, Ready to Get This Inner Tube Removed and Have the Body of How I Feel

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*Treatment results may vary

Hello all, First I want to thank you all for...

Hello all,
First I want to thank you all for putting yourself out there so others can be inspired by you and your stories. I am very thankful that a site like this exists!

I have always battled my weight and never been thin. I was probably at my lowest adult weight at 170 lbs for my wedding 8 years ago. I have had two children since then, not big babies. I'm actually heavier now than when I delivered. A friend recently has a stomach surgery to lose weight and this made me start thinking about PS. I kidded the doctor during my c-section with my last child (didn't have a c-section with my 1st) if they could do a tummy tuck at the same time. I have always had the large inner tube around my waist and had a flat wide bottom. Even when I was in my teens I still had the pouch. Now I have gained weight and my pouch has grown, I have also gained weight in my upper abdomen.

After stalking this site and seeing other that were heavy but having PS work done, I decided to have a consult with the PS. I didn't know if he would tell me to lose 50 pounds and then come back or not. After meeting with him he thought even if I exercise there will still be that inner tube and skin (although smaller I'm sure) he thought a tummy tuck would help me achieve the look I want. I will also be having lipo on my hips, upper abdomen and back fat. I am so ready to get this inner tube to finally removed. I don't expect to be thin but hopes this motivates me to getting back in better shape and feel good.
Please don't contact me with criticism, until you have been in this position you don't know how it is to live with this extra "stomach". I used to exercise and be in better shape (never thin but more firm) than I am now, going to the gym and spin class. I have lost the motivation and time with two kids who are 3 and 5. I know I could lose weight and then do a "tummy tuck". I have decided to go this route. It's a personal decision and I am tired of having to wash and dry under my stomach. Buying pants to "fit" that extra part or buying bigger shirts just so it's not tight on my stomach.
I'm ready to be on the flat side with the rest of you! I hope my story can help others as you have all helped me! Best wishes to you all on a quick, uneventful recovery!

Getting closer to the big day...

I'm starting to dream about the procedure now. It's getting more real both excited and nervous.


So one week from today, I'll be complaining of the pain and nausea I'm sure:) Hopefully the pain will all pay off in the long run! I'm so excited and a little nervous. I've been "nesting" like I did when I was pregnant- making freezer meals so I can be ready for the family to fend for themselves for a short time. My dad will be coming to town to help with my children and give my husband a hand. I'm so lucky to have family that can help. I am enjoying seeing all the after photos and stories of all of you. I look forward to being able to share mine as well. Next Thursday, Nov 5th- tummy tuck, lipo of back, hips and upper abdomen! 7 more sleeps!

2 more days!!!!!

Only 2 days until my surgery! I can't wait and yet I feel like I should be doing more to get ready. I think I'm set though! It's just the waiting game now. Taking long, hot showers and doing what I won't be able to do for a few weeks. Enjoying seeing everyone's posts that has either recently undergone surgery or also counting down the days.
Say a prayer all goes well and I'll post again soon. hugs!

I made it!!!!

Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers. I was nervous this morning and after the sting of the IV, I thought to myself why am I putting myself through this?. Minimal marking from the MD because it was obvious what needed to go. Rolled to OR and in 2 minutes I was out.
Surgery lasted 3 hours as expected- two for tummy tuck and one for lipo. I am a light weight with anesthesia and even though I told them and got anti nausea mess, I still felt crappy:( two hours went quickly in recovery because I was so groggy. Saltines and ginger ale helped and I had to push myself to sit up, get dressed and out the door. Honestly once home, the anesthesia was wearing off and that made me feel 100 times better.
I have one drain as I knew I would. The doctor used the pain med Experel during the procedure, this lasts 48-72 hours and I've heard it's a God send. He uses it all the time now with the great feedback he's gotten from patients. I think it's going to be wonderful! No pain at tummy tuck site just some core stiffness and a little flank pain from the lipo.
I have an adjustable bed which is key unless you have recliners but this will be more comfortable for sleeping. I got up and sat at the table for dinner, now resting because I'm tired. It's time for a pain pill and stool softener;)
Doctor said he removed 8 pounds total- including 1 liter from back for lipo (back fat and hips) I can see I'm already bruising. And 3 more liters from lipo in front- upper abdominals, maybe hips and public area. This seems like a lot when I thought most was removed with the tummy tuck. The public area is something I saw in some photos don't think on this site. When they pull your stomach tight it makes your public area protrude more. Being heavy I probably already extra their so he took care of that;)
The PS's words were you're transformed!!!! Yeah!!! So happy! I know the next two days will probably be the toughest! Good luck to all those coming up soon!!! Sending positive thoughts and prayers and continued healing to those already done!!!

Day of treatment photo with binder

I'm thrilled I can see my hoo-ha just looking down and not my fat stomach!! It's been a long time- can't remember the last time! This is laying in my bed with my binder on but no rolls just flat!

Day 1

Good news is no incision pain at all!! That Experel is wonderful!!! More stiffness today when getting up and down. I've been taking my pain mess even though I'm a light weight and don't need much. My hips and back is tender, pain mess help and ice packs feel great. I took a sponge bath, and that felt great too. Tomorrow I'm going to try a shower when my husband can help with the binder. I have a large walk-in shower with a seat so that will be perfect. I'll post binder free photos then. I can't wait to see. Drainage has been moderate but I'm not worrying. Staying hydrated so this makes me get up to pee:) and move around. Thanks for all the love!!! This community is great. Oh also many of you have mentioned the doctors have called. PS gave me his cell for anything but he also called to check in last night which I thought was really nice. The office also called today too. Post op is Tuesday. Hope to get drain out. They said he will want amount down to 30ccs. They put it in my public area instead of the right side where he usually does because of all the lipo work. It's a little tender having it there so I'll be glad when it's out!!! Happy healing to all!!

The big reveal!!!

Slept from 9:30-5 and slept well. Took my pain pill and some saltines. Thought I would try a shower- wrong should have waited until afternoon. Once I got in the shower I felt like crap. Light- headed, had to lower my head to get the blood back. I'm running a low grade fever 100 and Doctor said to call if it was 100. He said I'm probably not clearing my lungs enough- more deep breathes and coughing. He suggested to keep an eye on it. So happy with the results- I wanted to peek so badly:)

Better day today- day 3

Got a real shower and washed my hair today:) it's nice to have a full shower seat and hand held shower. Unfortunate some of my gauze in my public area got wet. Now everything I'd covered in a plastic sheath so it as waterproof and I could get it wet but that gauze acted like a wick and got all the other gauze under the plastic wet:( I called the doctor but as a figured I needed to remove the wet gauze. So I pulled back the plastic and replaced gauze and tried to cover best I could again. I guess no full shower again until after Tuesday's post op appt.
Finally able to go number 2 too, can't say enough to start stool softeners day before surgery and apples or prunes. You don't want to get behind those pain pills!! No pain- thank God for the Experel!!
Each day is getting better. When I had the bandages off I was a little disappointed my incision was so far on my hips. He said he would go hip bone to hip bone but I'm guessing he went further so he could her better contour and no dog ears. There's a little pucker on the right side but I know that will all flatten ou and if it doesn't it's ok I won't have a roll of fat over it to hide it;) very swollen and ready for the long journey. I'm so happy!!!

Post op appt today

Ahhhh! Got my drain out today!!! What a relief!! All the bandaging off and lipo stitches on back from puncture wounds out. All looks good. Back to work half days tomorrow through end of week. (I work from home desk job). New clean binder feels good too! See the PS in another week. No pain meds during the day just to sleep comfortably;) PS was happy, still 6 months of swelling until I'm fully there!

What a difference a week makes!

Everyday gets better! Still get sore and tired of wearing the binder 24 hours a day. I look forward to my shower and time out of it. Just taking a break without it before bed. I felt like I'm crawling out of my skin and needed a break. A shower, pain pill, break from binder and bed will feel better. I'm a side-sleeper but my hips are tight and seem to pull so I end up on my back still. My groin area is also very tight and pulls when I'm on my side. My belly button was oozing, so I've been treating it with triple antibiotic ointment and tonight while dressing it after my shower found a couple fish line stitch pieces that were in there so that might have been what caused the oozing. I hope so. I also have a little separation at the public incision that I'm treating and might need a new stitch to secure it. I'll tell the PS at my next visit on Tuesday.
Trying to massage a little where I can. I'm rock hard in spots and ver swollen. I know I'm healing because I'm itchy :)
I tried on semi normal clothes for the first time- yoga pants and a fitted shirt without my binder- it's amazing to have less hips and a flat abdomen. I measured my points I had before surgery today too. 2 inches less in my upper abdomen and 5 inches at my hips / apron.
Back to work all day Monday. It was nice to have half days the end of this week. Good thing I work from home and can get up from my desk as needed.
Thank you all for the continued support. I hope my story helps someone too! Look forward to continued shrinking;)

2 week update

Hello all,
I love my results but I'm feeling a little disappointed. After reading other posts, I have discovered I don't just have swelling (that doesn't go away) I have a seroma, I'm very swollen and have the "waterbed" affect where my tummy moves in waves. I figured I just was swollen but since it was the weekend and the holiday coming up, I called the PS on Friday. I went in and after two unsuccessful needle sticks to attempt aspiration, he couldn't get any fluid out. This didn't hurt a bit as I'm still completely numb from surgery. I was bummed because I feel so bloated and really don't want to have the complications that I read about. I have started wearing my compression garment at night again, I was just wearing it during the day. I think my drains were removed too early, at 5 days I was still putting out 50+ ccs, but that's their practice. He said we will watch it and if it gets worse to let him know and we may need to put a drain back in:(
I didn't show him my incision on Friday when I was in because it was covered in scar tape and I had a dressing on the small opening in my public area. I wasn't really concerned with the opening thinking it was okay, but then again I started to search on here and see others who have had major issues. On Saturday when changed the dressing, the opening was worse and I could stick a q-tip in it so there was a hole there. I called the PS's cell and sent a photo and he said to keep a dressing on it and put antibiotic ointment and it should close. He said to keep in communication if things got worse but it could open more before it gets better. I see the pictures of incisions getting bigger and read the poor stories of incisions opening up. I started to think of the bad that could happen and how this could be a long haul and was getting bummed. I am washing the area with antibacterial soap twice a day and changing the dressing 3 times a day. Today it seems to be getting a little better (I say hopefully).
The office put scar tape on my incision at a week except for the opening. This scar tape stays on 2-3 weeks at a time. I changed my scar tape (it's only been a week) this morning because it was coming off in areas and I had put new pieces, I wanted to redo it. I also could see some slight purple under the tape and wanted to make sure I didn't have any other openings starting or any necrosis to worry about. You worry about what you can't see right? Others talk about purple and not getting circulation to the incision. Again the internet is a blessing and a curse:) I sent the photos to my PS and asked if I should be concerned, he said no they look normal which I was relieved.
So I'll continue what I'm doing and hopefully the swelling will absorb a little. I'm trying to up my protein intake and take a multivitamin to help with healing.
I continue to watch all of you and love the results you are seeing. Continuing to pray for those that have upcoming surgeries. It's really one day at a time. Before surgery you are worried about pain, being put under, then after about pain and the drains, meds, getting around. After a couple weeks then it's incision healing and swelling. Then I'm sure months it's swelling and contouring, etc. happy healing everyone! thanks as always for the support!

How do I spell relief???? D-R-A-I-N!!!!

Hello all,
Well I gave it a week with the holiday and all. After going in last week and the unsuccessful aspiration attempts, I said I would give it another week. I was still as swollen in the AM as I was in the PM (ok a little more in the PM) but too much in the AM and I still had a waterbed of fluid. As a concern of it not reabsorbing on it's own, I called Monday. Yesterday the PS saw me and decided to put a drain back in and within 10 min I had 125cc, I had a huge 100cc gush right away then 25 more within 5 more min. 40 more cc's by bedtime, another 20 this morning. I felt like the rubber band had been released from around my waist. What a difference! I'm so glad I pushed to not just let it go and be conservative. I trusted my gut and what my body was telling me. I feel so much better! So I'm hopeful now that my incision will heal (it's getting better and filling in) and having the drain in will also make my results better. This girl is only going through this once, no revisions in 6 months, and for the money spent I want to be happy with the results. I know I won't be thin, but I want curves and not a barrel belly look- that's not what I paid for. So now I'm so happy, I think I'm on the recovery road again! I'll leave the drain in until next week unless the drainage hasn't gotten low enough. Just of note the PS numbed me up and made a hole for the new drain and pushed the drain in, I could feel it but it didn't hurt, just a few twinges when he put the couple stitches to hold it in place. So now I get to do the fun shower with drain again but I'm ok with this rather than being so bloated and uncomfortable. Thanks for all the continued messages and support! I don't know what I would do without this site. I'm glad I searched and learned about the seromas and questioned it. My PS is awesome but sometimes we need to be our own advocate and push a little. Hope everyone else is having good recoveries and healing well! One month PO on Saturday- wow it's gone fast! hugs!

6 Week post TT and lipo check in

Wow~ the 6 weeks have gone fast and yet slow in some regards. I did have a set back at 3 weeks I had developed a seroma and was retaining the fluid. At 3 weeks we unsuccessfully attempting to aspirate the fluid with a needle. We gave it another week but it didn't improve so at 4 weeks post op, I had to have the drain put back in. I kept the drain in for 2 full weeks and it really helped, by the end of the two weeks I was down to draining about 10 cc. The little spot in my incision that wasn't healing is closed and the divot is starting to fill in. I am hopeful I am on the road to recovery. I know I still have swelling and I'm hoping with some better eating and some exercise I'll lose more weight and look even better. I can't complain and I'm so thankful I don't have the extra hanging apron. I love how my clothes fit and I don't see the bulge in my shirts. My pants are lose because I don't have the extra stomach (I'm still wearing comfy pants or my old jeans for now). I have changed from wearing my compression garment to the spanx the last couple days, I'll probably go back and forth. I feel a little more secure than I have in the past, so I haven't slept with anything garment the past couple nights. My PS suggested waiting to put on the scar tape until the drain site is healed and I see him again after the 1st, but I might put it on before that. Right now just putting on the bio oil. I hope the rest of you are doing well. We have a lot to be thankful for and we can wear some pretty Christmas clothes this year too! It is a journey, so one step at a time is definitely the motto for me! My PS suggested waiting to put on the scar tape until the drain site is healed and I see him again after the 1st, but I might put it on before that. Right now just putting on the bio oil.

6 weeks post of cont.

Forgot to mention, I still am sore, mostly from the lipo on my back and upper abdomen. By the end of the day the sore numbness sets in, kind of the itchy but I can't feel it thing- weird! No real pain and nothing really with the scar area. I do get little nerve zingers once in awhile which is more on the back from the lipo (we all know how gentle they do the lipo:) so I know why I have that. Overall so glad to not have to worry about drains when I shower. I still tend to think I need to wash under my stomach that is no longer there. happy healing!!!!

2 month post op update (surgery date November 5th)

2 month update
Sorry life has taken over and I haven’t updated lately. Unfortunately I didn’t win the Powerball lottery yesterday, so like most of you I’m right back to work today? I paid $20 to dream a bit of what I could spend my millions on!
Last week was my 2 month post op mark (November 5th for tummy tuck and Lipo of hips, upper abs and back). I would say I’m 80% of where I think my healing will be. I still get little nerve twinges now and then more in the lipo areas than the tummy tuck incision. I’m still swollen mostly in the evening but some days even in the morning too. I can tell my middle section is not 100% back to normal, feeling a little tight and stifft. I think again mostly from the lipo that was done. I have my check up with my PS last Tuesday and he felt everything looked good. He confirmed I am still swollen and reassured me it’s still 6 months before that really goes down and up to a year for it all to be where it will end up. I’m still wearing my Spanx all day and nothing at night. Once in awhile if I’m really swollen I’ll put on my old binder to help. I am wearing jeans but need to find some lower rise/less mom jeans because I don’t like when they rub on my new belly button. I haven’t found a cheap pair that I like and I’m not being many new ones now. My incision is all closed and I have been wearing the scar tape for as long as it will stay on and then I apply it again. I know it will fade and I’m not too worried about that. I haven’t really changed much in size or shape since post op. Only a little (meaning maybe an inch or two due to swelling), but I know I now have to do my part with diet and exercise. I am still at 200lb so I have 30-50 lbs to lose to be realistic of where I will be able to live and I know I will be much happier with my results. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss having my extra apron and I love how I have a flat stomach in clothes. I’m happy, just not happy with the barrel like abdominal area that I now need to fix. It’s a work in progress! I have been given the go ahead to really do any exercising, etc. Other than walking I haven’t made it to the gym, or done too much.
Hope the rest of you are doing well. I would love to see updates on other November surgery members. Happy Healing!

3 and 4 month post op update *surgery date November 5 2015

Well not sure where the time has gone but this week it will be 4 months since my surgery. I feel good and I'm still glad I did it. I know I'm still healing, still have some numbness, swelling and tightness by the end of the day. I continue to wear some sort of spanx or compression garment for most of the day to help with the swelling. I don't have any pain. No real changes in the past two months, only because I haven't been doing my part of losing weight. The innertube and excess is gone, now I need to get my but in gear. Spring is coming soon hopefully so warmer weather will help me get out of my cave. I am loving the way I can put on a top and have it lay flat and not roll over my rolls:) Still not crazy on jeans, I haven't found the right fit. I have some that would fit great from pre-pregnancy weight if I would just lose the 5-10 pounds. My incision is completely healed and my scars are looking good. They are starting to lighten and get less red/purple and more grey/white. I continue to wear the scar tape for a couple weeks at a time until it falls off. Hope everyone else is healing well just wanted to check in:)

18 months post operation

Hello all,
I kind of checked out from here because I had my surgery and I was happy. I don't regret it and wish I had done it early but I probably have better results after having my kids. I don't have much change since I last checked in. I still have some scar tissue or possibly what was a pseudobursa that filled with fluid and became scar tissue. This is where I had fluid accumulate after my drains were out and I had to have them put back in and was able to drain a lot of fluid a second time. It is in the middle just above my scar and below my belly button- right where you don't want a pooch. I had let it go and asked my surgeon at 12 months and he thought it was normal. Unfortunately it has continued to bother me- almost like having a baby sit on your bladder, I feel fuller and uncomfortable at times. I can feel the tissue inside. I happened to be at the PS for a peel with the esthetician and decide to ask the PS again. He said he could do a little lipo in the office to take care of that, so I am going to have that done. I honestly have not done my part to work out and get the weight off that I would like. With two young kids, I never seem to have enough time and I need to make the time for me. I need to work to get rid of my big hips so my results look better too! :) My scar is very light and hardly noticeable. I am still happy and look forward to losing weight and feeling even better! Do it- you won't regret it!

scar photos at 18 months

Sorry I tried several times and couldn't get them to flip right side up.
So you'll have to look at them while standing on your head:) I have a slight indent just above my scar in the pubic area that didn't want to heal right away so now it's a little divot.
John Stratis, MD

Please read my whole review and you will see how positive my experience has been with Dr. Stratis. It started with scheduling an impromptu consultation just to see what a PS would say about someone who weighs 200 lbs like me wanting a tummy tuck. He and his staff made me very comfortable from day one. He assured me people in all different sizes (from the largest person to the fittest person) come to him wanting to change the way they look. Everyone has something that bothers them about their body. For me it was my "inner tube" of fat and extra fat on my abs and hips. Dr. Stratis felt I would benefit from the full abdominoplasty as well as lipo of my upper abdomen, back and hips. He likes to combine the two procedures to obtain the best results. I had told him I knew I would never expect to be thin but he agreed if with diet and exercise I would not get rid of the extra "innertube" I trusted his judgment knowing his experience. He's the expert in this field. Dr. Statis is also an artist which I believe allows him to try to "mold" you to as close as possible to perfect or at least keeping things in proportion:) After surgery I felt a little guilty calling my PS because of my questions and concerns came on the weekends. He assured me I wasn't bothering him at all and encouraged me to contact him anytime. He's a very down to earth guy and I feel very comfortable with him. I am very pleased with my results. He did an excellent job and I would recommend anyone who is thinking about surgery or in office procedures to call him.

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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