Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair and Lipo of the Flanks - Hollywood, CA

I've always had a belly. At my thinnest, I had a...

I've always had a belly. At my thinnest, I had a belly and at my heaviest people asked if I was pregnant... I was able to lose about 45 lbs by eating healthier, being more active and eating less (my metabolism is so damn slow). While other parts of me slimmed down, my stomach has always made me look a lot bigger than I am and my skin never really bounced back in that area (my upper inner thighs and arms are similar- I wish I had better laxity). It's difficult to find clothing that fits right- I'm currently a medium- large but my stomach area usually bumps that up to an XL and when something fits in one area it doesn't in another. I have considered lipo but I knew that wouldn't address my stomach overhang. I finally booked with Dr. Bruno after seeing 6 surgeons total. I chose him because I liked the work he had done on others. My criteria was natural looking belly buttons (that was a big deal for me because I'd like to wear a bikini someday), good contouring (I want curves and more of a waist - I'm not that into the flat but also straight up and down look), symmetric and low incision lines, the best looking scar possible and last price. It was down to three (two I had personal recommendations for and they were pretty awesome as well) so I hope I made the right decision.... Honestly, I'm really nervous. I hope that I am not making a horrible mistake and that my results will be better than what I have going on currently. Current measurements: underbust: 35" waist (smallest part) : 34" stomach overhang thing 39" hips: 40.5"

Pre Op Pics

152-153 lbs 5'4" (just slightly under 5'5") medium-ish build. I wear 8-10s in bottoms (if they're low rise) and usually large in tops sometimes xl's to disguise the spare tire I have going on. Ugh, I do not like looking at these. Please excuse the dirty mirror.

9 days left...

Still nervous but trying to come to terms with it. I gained a little stress weight which I'm upset and uncomfortable about :( I'm going to continue with light exercise (walking) until the day before my sx to keep my body strong. I have been eating healthy, cut out caffeine entirely and lowered my sugar intake immensely, which feels terrible right now but I'm sure will feel much better in a few days (when my body detoxes). The flu is going around so I'm trying my hardest to stay healthy. I got my period a little earlier than I normally do, which is a great thing as I was worried it would come during sx time. I'll update again a few days before my sx with my current measurements and weight, as I want to have an accurate take on how much my body changes.

Well I'm alive!

Man, recovery has been rough. My p.s. did end up doing muscle repair and it's definitely painful. The random muscle spasms are the worst. Im surprised at how hunched over I am. Walking around is agony but its gotten a lot easier since day 1. I was so fortunate to have stayed at Serenity my first and second night because i almost fainted due to low blood pressure the first night. The nurses were so great and i learned enough from them to be able to feel confident coming home and having more care responsibilities. My p.s. unwrapped my garment and so far the tummy looks good but I want to reserve judgement for when I can actually take a better look. Scar seems low and bb looked deep. I'll post pictures when I feel up to taking them. I am still extremely weak and sleepy.

six days out

So the first five days were kind of hellish for me. I would get bouts of nausea, couldnt eat or drink due to pain, almost fainted a few times due to low blood pressure and had really painful muscle spasms/stomach cramps. I was super constipated due to the pain meds and everything I ate hurt a lot. I finally had to have an enema, tmi I know, but it solved the stomach issues and also the not being able to eat much issues. I was also super hunched over and tight. Swelling is still really terrible but pain is manageable and I don't feel terrible anymore. I got to take a better look at my incisions/bb and so far its looking good. There's still a lot of dried blood but my scar is super low and he seems to have hid my bb scar. So that's wonderful. Ill post more pictures when I have taken a real shower and the bits of blood are gone.

Measurements and Update

So before surgery, I was around 155 lbs and approx 35.5-34.5-41 (standing up). I haven't weighed myself since yesterday, and with constipation and swelling, I weighed about the same. My current measurements are 36-36-43 (sitting down but upright). And while I'm bigger than I was, due to swelling, my stomach is a lot flatter and goes in (instead of sticking out with rolls). Patience is difficult and I hope that I get more waist definition overall, but I know that it takes a long time for those kinds of results to show. In the meantime, I can be happy with the fact that my body looks more balanced after sx because my stomach doesn't stick out (so so happy about this).

Pain is virtually gone except in my lower back and when I cough, sneeze or laugh, otherwise I feel okay. I'm still extremely hunched over. Thank God, I've straightened up a lot and walking around the house with a walker is pretty easy at this point (yay).

My only real gripe is that I really want to wear a different c.g. because this one is lumpy and doesn't fit me right. It has two velcro strap adjustments (underbust and at hips) but not one at the waist so it does that weird "hole" thing at the waist because it's looser there. I want more waist support so the second I am given clearance I'm going to try on some support garments and wear those instead. The only issue I see in support garments is that they either seem like they are made for the waist mainly (and are likely to ride up) or give overall compression but are not very strong at the waist, when what I'm really looking for is all over compression (underbust, waist and hips) with extra waist compression. I wonder if you can layer shapewear for the added support? If anyone knows, pm me please.
Feeling very blessed. Happy healing to you all.

Got my drains out :)

So p.s. checked out everything said it looks good and took out my drains. I still have dried blood on my inciscion and in my bb but am really excited to no longer have drains hanging from my pubic area. Im still swollen and hunched over and back pain persists but its really not too terrible. I showered yesterday for the first time since sx and got a picture of my stomach which I will post. It looks good but definitely isnt flat flat. I assume thats due to my own muscular structure, swelling, as well as that I asked him to hide my bb scar as much as possible ( which he did). Overall doing pretty good. Got cleared to go cg shopping which I want to do asap. Hoping that things continue to go smoothly. Ill post more pictures when swelling goes down a bit more.

Day 8 Upright Pic

So far so good :) Swelling is still intense ( one side looks more contoured than the other) but I can sort of tell what its going to look like fully healed. My incision still has tape on it but Im able to see some of my scar. When the tape falls off Ill do a close up of the scar.

BB healing and scar treatment

Met with my P.S. yesterday and began scar treatment. Using Embrace (in the center) for five weeks, Mepitac on the sides (and eventually center) and Biocornium on my bb scar. My Embrace strip actually came loose on the bottom after I showered yesterday (even though I covered up that area) so I'm a little disappointed with it's ability to hold up (they're supposed to last a week). It was applied in the office after my scar was wiped down with an alcohol swab. Hopefully my second application will be better. P.S. said my bb was healing well (I'll post pictures after this update) even though it's still leaking a yellow-pinkish fluid (not a lot just sort of consistently). I didn't know whether or not it was infected as it was sort of coated in this white film when I'd wake up in the morning but P.S. assured me it's looking fine. He also said it could take months for it to stop leaking. I cut a hole in the front of one of my cg's where my bb is to let it air out a little since cg's are made from synthetic materials that don't breathe much. I'm going to look into those mesh cg's. Check out chiklet3's blog: https://www.realself.com/review/pasadena-ca-mommy-makeover-8-4-14#comment-3642557 for the best video review on cg's (that I have seen on here). I have 4 cg's at this point- I like flexees by Maidenform and Cupid brand (Walmart). My current waist and hip measurements are 33.5" and 40". I'm still verryyy swollen and I look a little like a barrel from the side. It still hurts to stand totally upright but I liked that Embrace took the pressure off my scar (when it was on tight). I'm not going to be on here as much, but I'll update again at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year (unless something notable happens) so if I don't respond to messages/comments for a while etc. that's why. Happy Healing!

Picture Update (sorry for the bad quality)

1 Month Post- Op

Things are mostly back to normal. Swelling is terrible by the end of the day (photos are from the morning when I'm at my smallest). I'm extremely happy with results but I do hope my waist gets a bit smaller- maybe I'm just one of those people who has a wider waist? I've been cleared for light exercise but I haven't felt like I want to go to the gym yet (walking around and doing chores really tires me out). My bb is still leaking (not infected) and raw inside. BB scar is very purple and thick :( Incision scar is looking really good - it's flattened out a lot. Only annoying thing is I can still feel the dissolvable stitches on the ends which get irritated if something rubs against them. I'm using Embrace on the center of incision scar and Mepitac on the sides. I probably won't post/be on here unless something changes or until 3 months post op. Measurements are now bust: 35" waist: 31.5-33" and hips: 39.5"- 41" My weight ranges from 148-152 depending on swelling or if I've eaten a lot etc. Happy healing and God bless :)

2 Month Mark

Finally results are starting to get there! Sorry for gross mirror photos and hair (I've been really gentle about shaving and have avoiding waxing my bikini area near the scar). Weeks 5-7 were awful. I was so swollen that I was worried that my muscle repair came undone because my underbust area was so puffy. My entire pubic area was super puffy (like a ken doll) and swelling was so intense. I can definitely feel a difference in swelling in that it's much less intense. I still see a full roundness (curved) if I turn to my side (not straight or curved in like I hoped it would be) which sucks but I can also still feel swelling in that area. If I suck in my stomach there is a big difference :/ so hopefully after swelling goes down it'll look more like how it looks when my stomach is sucked in. I have an appointment with my surgeon soon so I can ask him about that. I also have some slight contouring issues around my hips they look slightly indented (however this might also be from swelling- as it's seems to have gotten better). My scars are looking so much better- I was worried they were getting worse because they got so purple and were very raised. I stopped using embrace around week 5 and switched to the mepitac which I'm still using. Overall I'm really happy so far. I hope my results continue to get better. I'll update again at 4-6 months. Happy healing everyone.

7 month update- Ups and Downs

Unfortunately due to health issues (not related to this surgery) and stress from work I haven't been as active as I'd like, I haven't eaten as well and I've gained weight. The incision scar is coming along nicely albeit a little thicker and more spread apart than I had wished (also due to my healing) and the only thing that worries me at this point is my belly button scar which looks and feels very thick and lumpy (I didn't heal as well as I had wished) but also doesn't look horrible - hopefully that'll go down with time. I haven't had steroid injections because I haven't gone back to my p.s. but maybe I'll book an appointment soon. Even with weight gain (8 lbs) and residual swelling (I'm probably 75% healed as far as swelling goes at this point), I can still tell that the contour I was given is really great and I'm pulled in pretty tightly. I did not have my upper and lower back lipoed, just my flanks so with weight gain I get bra area back fat. On the plus side, I fit into clothing much better and can actually wear tight fitting outfits without feeling self conscious of my gut. The area around my incision scar feels a little tight but I think that sensation will go away with time. Hopefully my health issues will resolve very soon and I can get back to a more active lifestyle. I'll post again after my one year mark. Overall I'm very happy with my results and I hope that my scars fade and flatten with time.

Pre-Op Pictures from the day of my surgery

My doctor sent me these a while back. This was me 8 lbs less looking heavier than I do now. So glad I don't have that pouch.
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

He's a great surgeon. He listened to what I wanted and delivered.

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
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful