48 Yo Mother of 2, Post Sleeve Gastrectomy, Combo Total Hysterectomy, Tummy Tuck. Houston, TX

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I am 4 days out from my procedure. I had to have...

I am 4 days out from my procedure. I had to have the hysterectomy due to endometriosis so I decided to have the TT. My GYN of 17 years suggested a plastic surgeon. I saw 2 and picked. I had an open incision hysterectomy due to scar tissue and adhesions from previous surgeries for endo.
The HYS scar is under the TT scar, so it does not show. My entire procedure only took 3 hours. I have 2 drains and a long horizontal scar low on my abdomen. I was initially a bit nervous, almost backed out due to watching a you tube video of a TT. It is an ugly procedure. DO NOT watch a video.
I am currently swollen and I cannot really tell how the final result will look.
I would advise that a combination surgery is fine as long as you are in fairly good shape to begin with. If you are very obese or have a lot of health conditions then you might think twice. So far, I am only taking Motrin for pain, which is more like soreness. I am using a power recliner which I am sleeping in also.
I have full time help right now with my kids and housework. I am hoping to drive short distances by 3 weeks.

Day 5 Post Op

Today I hit a low. I feel somewhat depressed, but not sure why. Being cooped up is not my thing. I am very active, a runner, and I miss it.
My stomach feels queasy, and not much of an appetite. I talked to a nurse on call. She said get gas X. Done.
I have been walking outside despite the cold and rain. I have been on an estrogen patch since surgery. I wonder if its working.??
I want these damn drains out, I want to be healed, I want my old life back.
Whaaa !!!!! Definitely not my best day.

Day 6 post op

Well, I had a good B.M. today that made my stomach feel better. And the weather was better and sunny. But, while I was outside walking, my dog got out and was attacked by another dog. Wow. I had to have somone drive me to an emergency vet hospital. My dog was bitten multiple times, shaking and completely traumatized. We got him fixed up and he is sedated now and resting.
This has been a Stressful day !
I overexerted myself and my J.P. drains started oozing blood.
The incision itches, too.
Needless to say, I am now in my recliner chair and I took a demerol pill.....,I just want to zone out and go to sleep now.

Post Op Day 10

Well, I saw both of my Drs yesterday. Dr. S. pulled my drains and fitted me with a support garment for my TT. I am possibly having a complication where my navel tissue looks odd and might die. He said if it happens, it will fix itself, and I am cleaning it 2x a day now. I still have some numbness around my navel which he said is normal.
I also had a drug reaction rash. Not sure which drug, so I cannot take anymore demerol, or motrin. Switched to naproxen.
I was so tired after those 5 hours of riding downtown and 2 drs. appointments that I slept 2 hours when I got home.
Theres still a lot of abdominal swelling. I don't know exactly how much tissue he removed, but I have lost 10 lbs. now...I have to go back next week to see Dr. Schusterman. He is a sweetheart!!!

Almost 2 weeks Post Op TT

Well, garment, while not tight, is too short in the rise, and drives me nuts because it rides up my rear end. The open crotch panel would be useful if I had male anatomy, but women cannot effectively urinate through a split panel unless it snaps and you can pull it out of the way completely. Otherwise, one ends up with urine on the crotch panel of the garment (Trust me on this. It's nearly impossible to use it. )
So, I went online to search for another Stage 1 garment with a snap or hook crotch. No such thing. They all jave split panels, so you have to remove the whole thing to go. (Adds time to your potty routine.)
My navel looks gross, but not infected. I am still cleaning it. What fun.
I noticed last night what looks like some possible superficial suture separation right in the middle of the horizontal TT suture. Prayin it doesn't progress, and will heal timely. I am increasing my vitamins and protein to promote proper wound healing. Another check up in 4 days.....But, overall, I am feeling well. No fever. Up and more active. Walking the full block once a day.
I am praying everything turns out O.K.

Post.Op Day #16

Had my check up today with my PS
My bb is dead. He removed all of the dead tissue in the office today, and there is just a hole there now. (Kinda scary.)
I am to do wet to dry packing 2x daily. It has to heal from the inside out.

Anyway, he said it will heal faster this way. I am worried about infection, but he said he doesn't think it will get infected as long as it stays open.
This is a true nuisance, and not what I wanted. I'm just following his instructions and praying for a good outcome.
I cried, but I am just going to have to suck it up and hope for the best. What really helps is his sweet and caring demeanor , and his reassurance. You don't always find a great surgeon who is able to offer emotional support. And I am grateful that I found Dr. S.

The good news is the scar is healing well and there is no separation of the edges. They took the tape off and I can see it all now.
And he said I can nix the garment that is crawling up my behind and driving me crazy. Off it goes. I might even burn it. Lol

So, the visit had it's ups and downs, and was emotional.
I go back next week, and I hope the bb will look better. Patience.

Post Op day #19

Almost 3 weeks out. I started driving again yesterday. That was great. I am not good at being dependent on other people, so this surgical recovery has definitely been an emotional challenge for me. Getting out on my own was great.
However, when I went shopping for a new compession garment (one that would not ride up), while walking around the mall, my abdominal numbness spread from my lower abdomen to my epigastric region, and I had a weird, uncomfortable "tugging"
sensation. It felt like the outside of my abdomen was being torn from the inside. Freaky. I know to expect some neuro symptoms as the nerves are waking back up, but this was totally unexpected and a bit concerning.

I found a garment at Macys, and I hope wearing it might help with this odd sensation. When I got home, and put my feet up, it stopped.

I didn't leave to go out until 5pm, and earlier yesterday, I was at an all time low.
I have not been eating well, (I've lost 10 lbs.), and I did not sleep well the night before. This surgery, along with other simultaneous family issues, has taken it's toll on me (both physically and mentally). My usual good judgment is compromised, and I feel unable to problem solve as well as I usually can.
As a result, I have made some interestingly and profoundly stupid decisions recently. Very unlike my usual self. I am sharing this so that you can prepare to have some emotional support lined up for yourself. Hopefully, you will do a better job with it than I have.

My PS says I just need to "relax"
Well, I use exercise to do that (running, cycling, elliptical, etc.) and massage. I haven't been able to do any of that sice surgery. (All my GYN has cleared me for is walking at this time.) I miss my gym buddies, too !!!
I cannot get a decent massage without lying on my stomach, which I cannot do. (I did one on my side - marginal)
If I could just break a good sweat to relieve some tension, I'd be a new person.

And there's the issue of this hole where my bb was. The tape is giving me contact dermatitis, even though I am using paper tape. I have been researching non-adhesive tape and where to get it. I have to do something today before my skin breaks open from the rash.
When I pack the wound, the hole feels deep, and I think it is going to take 4 to 6 weeks at a minimum to close. Even then, I might be faced with a bb revision if the result is not aesthetically pleasing.
The TT scar looks good, and no fever so far- so hallelujah for that!!
All in all, I am doing fair. I wish that I felt better emotionally, that I had my pre-surgery life back, and that this bb complication had not occurred.
But, I know that as time goes on, all of the wounds will eventually heal. I'm praying for that day to come sooner rather than later.
I will post my bb and tt scar so the inquiring minds who want to know can see it.

Post Op Day #20

So, today is January 31st, snd tomorrow I will be 3 wks post TAH/BSO & Abdominoplasty (TT)
I am OK physically, besides the bb wound I am nursing, I've tried different tapes and self clinging gauze wrap to keep the dressing on, due to my adhesive allergy. I haven't come up with a great solution yet. I'll let you know when I do. My poor skin is torn up :(

OTOH, my spirits were good today, and I put on my gym clothes and took a long walk .Probably 2 miles. My mind wants to run, but my body isn't quite there. Believe me, I had to fight the urge...But, it's amazing what a little sunshine can do. :)
I miss my long runs with my headphones. It's my favorite thing :)

It's only 5:30 pm now, & I'm already tired. (Probably the walk). Too early for bed. Too late to nap. I hate that !!

I've been getting up with the kids since I got home from surgery, but my sister was here, too. This week, my husband will be travelling and my sister is gone, so I'm on my own. (Good in some ways, challenging in others)

Just the thought of handling everything on my own (cooking, cleaning, lau(ndry, the kids....) seems like too much at 3 weeks out. I will set my priorities and do the best I can.
I am a somewhat compulsive cleaner, but I don't think I can meet those standards this week. Don't stop by :)

Tomorrow I see my GYN. I hope I get a star. lol.
Wednesday I see my P.S. and I hope he says this bb hole is looking better!
I hope I get another star. lol

I'll post then. No more gross pics today. Sorry.

3 Weeks Post Op

Today I saw my GYN. He did a GYN exam and said it's healing Perfect !!
I ? that word !!!
He also checked my Abdominoplasty scar. He said it's one of THE BEST tummy tucks he's ever seen. !! (And he is nearing retirement, so he's seen a lot) He said my scar is beautiful (Love that word????)

He said the bb dying is not very common, and they don't knpw why it happens, but he said it has no reflection on the surgeon's performance.
(And I obviously picked a highly skilled surgeon.)

So, overall, my GYN says I'm doing great, and he will see me again next week...
Wednesday I see my PS, so will update then.

Post Op Day #23

Today is Feb 3rd. I saw my PS today
(Dr. Schusterman) for a check up.
The bb looks better. Nice and pink. Definitely with good circulation. I have to continue the dressing changes 2x daily.
(This is easy and only takes about 2 minutes.)
No infection. Yay!!!
My abdomen is still puffy down below the bb. Could take some time to resolve.
Forgot to find out if I should wear the compression garment I bought.??
(Seriously, I hate anything tight and restrictive.) I am into being comfortable.
Fussy clothes are not for me. :)

I think my scar looks good compared to others I've seen on here. I have fair skin, and I know it will fade, as my gastric sleeve scars did. I can't even find them.
Dr. S really cut me low, so even my shortest underwear cover up the scar :)

I love Dr. S. Some have posted that they don't feel a connection to him, but I do.
I think he is funny (as in humor) and probably one of the nicest people I've ever met. A true sweetheart ???
He is interested in what is best for you, I promise. And if you happen to have a complication, he will be there for you, and he will see it through.

I posted some updated pics. Just remember that I still have some healing to do.

I am doing better emotionally. I went to the gym tonight and walked 2 miles on the treadmill (really slow.) Took 40 minutes. It will probably help me sleep better. (Didn't exactly break a sweat)
Not being active is driving me nuts !!!
I can't wait to run again. It will be like a new beginning !!

Shopping !

Post Op day #25
Today is Friday, February 5th.
I forced myself to get out of the house today when what I really wanted to do was take a nap. I still have a hard time getting through the day without feeling tired.
I should have stayed on those iron pills..,,
I was anemic before surgery, but I quit taking the iron afer surgery, thinking I wouldn't need it due to no more heavy periods......Hallelujah!!

Anyway, my belly is still swollen. I think I look fat, and I had a miserable time trying on pants. Why I put myself through this, I have no idea, but I don't want to do this again anytime soon. So, I am wondering when I will have my flat belly???? I'm getting impatient!!!!
After all, that's the whole reason I had the TT !!!

On the positive side, I got in a lot of exercise walking. That definitely burned more calories than napping !
Before surgery, I always went to the gym during lunch. I am going to try to start doing that again next week, at least 3x a week.

Of course, my overly cautious, but awesome GYN will have to approve this, and I'm not sure he will...,,I am seeing him again on Monday.
Wish me luck :)

If you are preparing to have a TT, then get ready to put your life on hold for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Sorry, but that's the reality......You will definitely need to have some alternative ways to occupy your time :) Then again you could always write a blog on real self :)


Tummy Tuck 4 weeks out

Today is February 9th, Post Op day #29

It's amazing how much progress I've made in just 4 weeks. I had never been "cut open" before (everything was always laparoscopic until now), so I really had no idea what to expect during the recovery, except what I read and saw on here, which sounded terrible.
Anyway, compared to having a natural childbbirth and 20 plus years of suffering with endometriosis, this has been an absolute breeze!!
If I had known this, I surely would have done it sooner. I really tried to wait for a time that was not going to inconvenience my family (There isn't one.) I also had to wait for an opening in my husband's travel schedule, which is often erratic and unanounced.
Anyway, I worried more about what would happen to my kids if something bad happened to me more than I really worried about myself. (Welcome to the secret mother's club.)

I didn't make it to see my GYN yesterday. I was in a meeting all morning, and after lunch, my energy was gone. I ended up taking a nap.

OTOH, I did make it to the gym last night,. I am walking farther now (2.5 miles) and added a small incline to increase calorie burn. I felt a ton better after that, and I slept a lot better last night; However, there is not much high from walking like there is from running....I miss it....

In terms of housework, I am doing most of the daily stuff and keeping up.
My GYN said no vacuuming, mopping or lifting. So, I am trying to get my spoiled kids to help. (And my husband did some this weekend. I almost had to pinch myself. lol )

My husband did not support my decision to have the tummy tuck. He just wanted me to have the HYS aparoscopically and be done. Before my surgery, he was really annoyed and I couldn't figure out what his deal was. I remember feeling upset by his attitude, but then I told him my GYN said he could not do it laparoscopically due to safety concerns. So, after that, I just made up my mind to have the tt, and I told my husband that he wasn't going to stop me. That was pretty much the end of the discussion. But, I still don't understand why he wasn't more supportive, and maybe I never will. So, don't feel alone if this happens to you. Just make up your mind and stick to your guns. I think as women, we do so much for other people that we deserve to have a reward !!!

Also, do not expect other people to be able to keep up with everything you do as a mother. I am convinced that mom's have a special kind of crazy that keeps us motivated to get it all done. It's called LOVE.

I am seeing my PS tomorrow to discuss the bb. It looks maybe a little bit smaller than before, but I still think it will be a couple of weeks from closing. Then I will be able to tell if I am ok with the way it looks. I am still some swollen, but I read that can take up to 6 months to resolve.....None of this happes fast.

Still hanging in there !!

4 week tt picture

Here is the picture from today. I think it looks pretty good. Although my scar looks like it's spreading out in some places.?
Is it time for a scar therapy product??

4 weeks tummy tuck PS visit

OK so I saw my PS today. He said everything is healing well, and to keep doing the packing and dressing changes to the bb. He said at least 4 more weeks for it to close :(
(I pretty much already knew that.) Anyway, it is responding well to the saline dressings, and it is a hurry up and wait game.

He said the abdominal swelling will not respond to a compression garment at this time; Apparently it only works in the beginning. I only wore mine for 1 week, and if you've read this blog, then you know that I absolutely HATED it, and I have thrown it out. Had it fit properly, I absolutely would have been compliant. Obviously if it doesn't fit right, you are not going to want to wear it. I have read that some PS offices measure you and then custom fit your garment. That sounds like an excellent idea, even if it costs a little bit more.

So, I am to return in one month, and hopefully then I will know more about how all of this is going to turn out. He said so far it looks "Perfect." Well, I am reserving judgment for when I'm all healed up. So far, though, I am happy with everything except my bb. I am still glad I picked Dr. Schusterman, even if he cracked a joke about me, "breaking his scale."
Don't worry, I have a whole month to come up with something vengeful. :)


Post Op Day #33
So I set my goal early in the week to exercise 3x this week. Well, I went 2x.
(Not nearly enough)
This time I walked 3.5 miles, at a little faster pace on baby incline. (2.5)
It was markedly easier this time.

But, still can't stretch out like I want to. (I'm afraid my suture might separate.)
And I am usually pretty tired after exercising since surgery.
So, somehow, I now have to find the energy to get dressed up and go to a party. I miss my friends, but besides the fact that I'm somewhat an introvert,
I am just not up to the social scene yet.
I'm sure this will come with time, and healing.
Meanwhile, they might have to do without me....I'm into a great book !!! (lol)
Hopefully, next week, I'll be able to make the gym 3x and I will keep getting stronger.
I still think it will be another week before my GYN releases me to full activity and another 3 before I would try running, even at a slow pace. (Due to the Abdominoplasty)
But, life is getting easier and better each day in terms of how much activity I can tolerate.

Allergic To Adhesive?

Today is February 15th. Post op day #35
5 weeks tt surgiversary.

Hi Ya'll,
I'm doing well. I feel great today!!
I walked 3.5 miles for the second time today at the gym, and I got to see some of my buds. (Interestingly, a lot of them are men. Most I've known from years of going there.) It's funny to tell them I had a HYS, They have no idea what to say. LOL
Well, they know something is up since I'm not running, so I just told them the truth. Who cares.

The only issue I'm having with the walking is that my stomach feels a little sore the next day. But WTH, NOT gonna stop now....

Still packing this damn bb. SICK of it !!!
Wish it would close already.

So, I'm allergic to adhesive, unfortunately. I tried every kind of tape: cloth, foam, paper, self sticking gauze.
I have enough crap to aid a foreign country!!!

Anyway, the one you should try is 3M low trauma tape. (Blue)
I'll post a picture. It does not tear up my skin. It's not cheap and not as sticky, so you need to use a little more, but it's totally better than a bad rash. It's about $8 a roll, but not much tape on a roll, so get several rolls. Also, you have to go to a medical supply to get sterile gauze and sterile q tips. (The long ones)
Normal saline is Rx, so if you need it, you have to get it called in, or settle for those small bottles you can get at medical supply or Walgreens. It's cheaper to get a big bottle called in.

So, if your bb dies, you know where to get your supplies. Prepare to spend a fortune....lol

Roller Coaster

February 17, PO Day #37

So, today I saw my GYN for my check up.
He did the exam, and said my internal incision is healed completely shut now, but he said that it only has about 20% strength, as does the tt incision. He says have to wait 2 more weeks for any type of hard work out.
20% doesn't soud very strong.
So, now I am more worried than I was about proceeding with running. He said the walking is OK.
I just want this to be over. I'm ready to go sit on the beach with a drink. Lol

Also, he gave me more estrogen because he doesn't think I have enough.
I feel like one day I'm up and I feel good, but the next day, I'm tired and not feeling optimal. What a roller coaster ride. It's probably the hormone thing.
I was not prepared to feel this way.
So, just be aware if you are going to have your HYS with your tt.
You might want to stock your mini bar. Lol


February 18, Post Op Day #38

Well, I have noticed a pattern. I have great days on the days I exercise. (walked 4 miles today.) :)
And I feel like crap on the days I don't exercise. :(
Hmmm........Seems like the exercise is the key.
(Exercise is the most underutilized non-pharmaceutical form of antidepressant out there. And I know it.)
Even though I'm not breaking a good sweat, moving my body is so much better than not.

I've grown accustomed to the working out, and the surgery did not change my need for it. (I think it increased my need for it. Doing normal things makes you feel normal.)
It's only made me feel crazy these last couple of weeks that I haven't been able to run.
I am not a person who likes boredom or being constrained.
I like to be out in the world. I like adventure and people.
You never know what a new day might hold!!!

Interestingly enough, I think the first two weeks after surgery are the easiest, since you are probably on some type of pain meds, you still feel the need to rest, and you are not ready for your old routine.

It's the weeks that follow, when you crave your usual activity level, but aren't physically healed, that drive you absolutely stark raving mad. (well it's done a pretty good number on me, anyway.)

I decided to wait a full 8 weeks before trying to engage in running, because I think that is best, (Based on what I've read.) It's a big deal to pay for the surgery and go through it, so it is necessary to make sacrifices for the end result.

This waiting is going to drive me to the brink, and I may not make it to 8 weeks, but I probably will. Once I make up my mind, I can show a great deal of restraint in waiting for what I want. I do think this is best for me, physically. Although, mentally I would like to break into a full run tonight and continue until I am physically unable to move anymore.... :)

I know that those of you who don't exercise regularly probably cannot identify with the craving that I have for the exercise. I cannot explain it to you. You would just have to be hooked in order to understand it. :)

Anyway, I have 3 more weeks to wait, and I sincerely hope that I can find the patience to wait. I don't want to mess up my chances for the best results I can possible get from my tt. (Those of you who are headed to the "flat" side will understand this.)

I Finally Gave In !!!

7 weeks post op TT (almost) Well, I wanted to make it to 8 full weeks post op before running, but there's just been waaayyy too much stress lately, so I gave in today. I didn't go full blast, but walked/ran 5 miles today. Maybe not as good as an all out sweat drenching, soul cleansing, mind numbing all out run, but I feel better. I started coming down with some icky illness today, probably due to not sweating out toxins and not enough strenuous exercise. I almost never get sick. So, today I just decided to go for it. I did pretty good. I ran half and walked half. Last week was bad, and this coming week has it's challenges. So, I'm still packing this bb, but the hole is getting smaller. Still some abdominal swelling, but less. I ordered the silicone scar strips. They should be here in about 3 to 5 days. I definitely think my abdominoplasty was worth every cent I paid for it. (But, can't figure out how to change my rating on here...) I just hope I don't end up with some Frankenstein bb !! I seriously don't get why my PS wouldn't do the lipo to my flanks...I asked a couple of times, but he said I wouldn't get much out of it. (I still wanted it...) Then I saw a whole bunch of pics he posted of other women he did TT plus lipo, and they look better than me. I seriously wanted to bawl my eyes out when I saw those pictures. Anyway, I'm trying not to eat very much. Sometimes I do OK, but some days it's not as easy. I don't think I'm eating more than 1400 calories a day. I don't see how I could possibly gain weight on that, but I'm convinced my metabolism is fried at this point. I'd like to throw my scale against the wall !!! Lol I am posting my 7 week pics for anyone who wants to see.

Finally 8 weeks out !!

I finally made it ! Tomorrow is my 2 month hysterectomy/tt surgiversary.
I feel great right now....On a serious endorphin high from the gym. I am still doing run/walk, but I made it 5.5 miles. I ran 3 of those, (not straight through)
I know that I pushed it today, especially with my speed, but it feels so good to sweat ! I am sure to be sore tomorrow.

I'm actually doing better than I ever expected to. I practically had zero pain from the procedures. (The PCA pump took care of it, but I never felt anything excruciating) I only took a few doses of Motrin when I got home and that was it.

My bb is not quite healed. The hole is so small now that pushing in the gauze was making it bleed. I figured out that if I use the stick end of the Q tip I can still pack it which is probably best. PS says I can quit packing it and just clean it with Hydrogen Peroxide, but that means shoving the Qtip in. So, I think I will just keep doing what I am doing. It's working.

I still have very little feeling in the space below my navel. I haven't had any sharp pains they said I would get when the feeling comes back. So, not sure this is normal.?

I haven't started the scar thrapy yet, but I will. It doesn't look like it has changed much, though. I have had a nightmare or two about the incision opening up, and forming a huge crater. I dont think that is very likely to happen at this point, though. (Hope not)

I can't tell you anything about the hysterectomy other than it didn't hurt one bit. And I wish I had done it a lot sooner. I was afraid it would screw up my sex life, but what really screws that up is when your husband is out of town all the time. (LOL)

The estrogen patch completely stopped all the hot flashes and sleeplessness I had, even though I wad still not menopausal when I had the surgery.
I never wanted to take hormones but I really don't have much of a choice unles I want to feel like crap. I think I feel great so they must be working!

If you are thinking about a tt or even a hys/tt then I think you should do it !
Just pick a good surgeon and you should be fine.

Belly Button Blues

9 weeks post tt/hys

My bb hole has moved sideways and to the left. Strange position. I am still packing it, which is a constant daily reminder of the surgery. SSDD!
It feels like the gauze tunnels just as far as it did weeks ago. Not sure I am making adequate progress even though My PS says it should go faster now. (??)

I am wearing the Newgel Plus silicone strips 24 hours except for running and showering. It stays on well, is comfortable and easy to use.
I like it.

Exercise is going fine. Running and cycling without problems. Just have to work on endurance and speed, to get back where I was before surgery.
Amazing how fast you lose it.

Feeling OK besides being tired some days and fighting a sore throat for about a month now. ? Allergies.

Surgery would be easier if you could just put life on hold so that was all you were dealing with, but 10 other things happen at the same time. Isn't that the way it always goes?? Hanging in there !!

Going Absolutely Berserk

10 weeks post tt/hys

This is my 10 wk update. Everything is fine except that I am so absolutely positively sick of packing my bb that I could SCREAM. I have been at this 2 1/2 months now. I just really need it to close.
It's just annoying !!

I read it would heal 50% faster if I kept doing the wet to dry dressings. Well, since it doesn't seem to be a lot different, I am tempted to just quit and leave it alone. I would still need a gauze dressing on the outside because it leaks and bleeds. It really is to the point of making me crazy. I was sitting here wondering if there is anything ( for humans) like miracle grow that would accelerate the tissue growth. ( Hey, if you have something, I will pay good money for it.) PM me. Lol

Just look at last week's pic. It's the same.

13 week update : Combo hysterectomy/ tt

Last Monday marked my 3 month surgiversary. Meant to post then.
My scar is fading with New Gel plus. The only negative on the New Gel is that the ends will ravel up over time and not stick as well. Other than that, it's great ! Be sure to remove it for showering and any activity that will make you sweat.

For a tt, order one package ( which has 2) of the curved silicone gel strips. You will need to use both of them to cover your whole scar. It will last 3 to 4 weeks if you keep it clean and take care of it. Save the backing so you can re-stick the strips to it when you are not wearing them. This will help keep it clean.

I am still packing my bb with gauze. I am sorry to report that it is still probably at least a month from closing, maybe longer. I think my wound is definitely taking a very long time to heal. I am not sure why. ??

I am able to run and cycle without problems now. I just started weightlifting with a trainer, but not approved for any core work yet. I am not sure when I will be approved for that. My trainer seems disappointed that he cannot torture me like that yet. :)

I am very happy with my tt results (besides the bb thing.) My scar is so nice and straight. No puckering at all.
I would still pick Dr. Schusterman, even knowing my bb died. He is truly a sweetheart and a great PS !!

My Sad Little bb

I called my PS to see if I can quit packing my bb with gauze. It is still open, but I think it is close to closing, and maybe pushing the gauze into it is just prolonging it's healing. Anyway, it doesn't matter because I am so totally done with this ! I told him that it's making me crazy, and I just want to stop. He said I can.

I am now scheduled for another bb checkup later this week if Houston is not part of the Gulf by then. Wish me luck.
Prepare the ARK.

BB Sequel

So, it's been about 2 weeks since I posted. Seems like when I quit packing my bb, it started closing in a hurry. I saw my PS last week (very briefly). He was /seemed in a huge hurry. He said I didn't need to do anything to my bb. I saw my GYN the next day for a different issue and he had some concerns about the bb that I didn't even think of. So now I have to go back and see the PS again to talk to him about it tomorrow. Also, I have a friend in medicine who had a different opinion than either doctor. I am very confused. Mostly I am just disappointed in myself for not knowing what questions to ask my PS. I have been so busy that I barely even had a chance to think about the last appointment before I had it. And then my PS was so fast at that visit, you'd have thought I had a contagious disease. I got the feeling that he was annoyed or mad at me but I have no idea why. It's just too hard to try to figure out all that crap. I just like it when people are straightforward and say what's on their mind. ( I do.) Wastes a lot less time and is more effective communication. Anyway, I am very tired of the bb thing and I hope it's good news tomorrow.

Good News!!!

(Try this again) I got good news at my PS visit today. He said that my bb is healing properly, that he doesn't think it will scar over, and even if it does, it would probably still look OK. But, he said we can wait and make a decision on it once it heals. ( Of course. That makes sense.) Today's visit was much less chaotic. The office manager (whom is very sweet) came in herself to make sure all of my questions were addressed. Dr.S is my favorite doctor. I just think he is a big sweetheart. I think the last visit was crazy due to some clinic changes. It had nothing to do with me. It was just timing. Anyway, this visit was so much better, and they went out of their way to make me feel special. ( Dr. S can undoubtedly be very charming....but really, that is his job.) I am very happy that I went to see him again this week, he was just a doll. I am considering some other procedures, but it will be a little bit before I can have another procedure. I have do more thinking what I want to do. (I have to overanalyze my analysis and then re-analyze my overanalysis.) lol I hope my bb is healed by next month when I return. Also, he said I can start abdominal exercises now, so I am very excited about that too!!

Picture 4 months Full tt/tahbso/necrotic bb

This is my updated picture. My scar is way lighter. At first, I used Newgel plus. Then I went to Scar Away. I like the latter better. If sticks better. I think this scar will probably disappear over time. I have very fair skin, so that is in my favor. (I think).
My button is almost closed. I seriously never thought the day would come; But I do think it is scarring over. It really looks pretty good, honestly better than I imagined. Still have a ways to go before we see the final result. If you are having a tt, don't worry about your bb dying. It honestly hardly ever happens to anybody.
I have continued my exercise without any problems, but my abdominal muscles are way out of shape, and the core work hurts and will take some time. Crunches were no problem before surgery. I did some yesterday. I am sore today.
Even with the bb complication, I am still extremely happy with my tt result, and I am so glad I didn't back out or go for a mini. My gynecologist told me to stick to my decision, and I am so glad I talked to him about it. Even though the procedure "looks scary", it really wasn't bad for me. It didn't hurt much. Exparel is the bomb!! Get it !
If you want a good ps, then go see my friend, Dr. S. What a Sweetheart.

Exercising After Tummy Tuck

So I am about 4 months and 3 weeks post. My bb is completely closed but kind of scabby and purple looking. It might not look too bad in a couple of months.
I don't want to do anything else to it this summer, for sure. Have to see how it looks when it is completely healed. My ps said after 1 year because it would keep changing. Oh, joy....

On another note, I was cleared to start abdominal exercises at 4 months post. It's been challenging. I am working with a trainer. He has me doing sit ups and planks. (center and side). I am able to cycle longer now. My last ride I got back up to 20 miles. My legs don't get sore, but my core does. I have also been running on an incline on the treadmill the last 2 weeks. That made my thighs hurt really bad the day after. I could barely sit down!! I have been challenging myself with new things, and I am happy that I have stuck to this harder routine so far. (Even though some of my friends think I am crazy...lol)

One thing I have noticed is that I have some weird pain in the epigastric region that comes and goes. I noticed it today, and after my last ride. I think I mentioned it to my ps once before. I thought it might be an ulcer at first, but now I think it is musculoskeletal. I don't know how or if it's related to my tummy tuck. (?) When I get it, it is pretty bad, but it doesn't last a long time.

My cycling goal is 30 miles. Then maybe I can just try to get a little bit faster....
(even though 30 miles is just a baby ride as far as cycling goes.) Waah!!!

My knees are holding up (for now). I finally found a brace that actually helps lessen the pain. (It's a Mueller). And , yes, I spent a million dollars trying every kind they make before I found this one. It's just trial and error. I am consistent with icing my knees after exercise, and using the ultrasound on it. ( At the chiropractor). He lets me use it whenever I want.
Been going there 19 years now !!
Perks !!

All in all, I am holding up better than I thought I would, and making progress faster than I thought I would after surgery. If I can avoid getting injured
( like not falling off the damn bike) then I think I could reach my first goal by the end of the summer. Maybe before.
There is a lot going on this summer, so I will have to be double committed if I want to keep making progress.....

My next ps checkup is next week. We'll see what he says about the button and this weird pain. Oh, and this hard knot thingy behind my button. Feels like a rock!! I know. That's it. Yup. He sewed a rock into my button. lol

Bb Finally Healed !! Yay!!

I am a little over 5 months out.
My bb has been closed now for a few weeks. I think it gets a little bit better each day. I saw my ps yesterday. He said it looks "great"!! And considering how it might have turned out, it does. It is still kind of purple, but he said that will change. This bb looks way better than the one I had before surgery. It's smaller, not stretched out, and not nearly as deep. I am grateful for this outcome, and I don't think I will need a revision. It is a little bit flatter than maybe I wanted, but that is fine.
My scar is lightening up. I am using Scar Away. I hope that where the stretch marks turned pink ( He said they got irritated, but he was not sure why) that eventually that goes away. The photo looks funny due to my tan lines. I had the Scar Away on, so there is no tan underneath there. Sexy!! Lol
He made me ( Well, OK, he persuaded me to don the "ugly paper thong panties" and take the "after" photos for my file. How embarrassing. I would never make it as a swimsuit model. Lol.
Good thing God gave me some brains so I don't have to test that theory out....
Lol !!

And here's my rant: Why are those thong panties so ugly?? Why can't they make better looking ones or let you wear your own? There's got to be a zillion pairs of thongs in the world. Who'se gonna know it's you?? It's bad enough to have to pose practically nude for pictures, but those ugly paper thongs just make you feel creepy!! Eww!....(End rant.)

I don't have to return for 6 months.
By then, we will see the final result. And he will likely discharge me, and that will be the end of my tummy tuck journey....I will post that last picture so you can see it. Besides, I have to see it to the end; Can't leave y'all hanging. :))

5 months Scar Picture

So my tt scar picture didn't post the first time around. So, here it is.

6 month pictures

A few people from Houston have written to me and asked for updated pictures, so here they are. The scar is fading, even though I stopped applying scar sheets last month because the exercise and sweating made it difficult to keep them on. I kept them on about 12 weeks.
People have asked me other questions like am I happy with my results?
Yes, I am extremely happy with my results. Dr. Schusterman gave me the perfect tummy tuck !! He took time to answer all my questions before surgery, and he was there for me after surgery. And now my results look AWESOME.
And yes I would pick him again -- A thousand times over. I think you just need to schedule a consult and go meet him. If he's the right doctor for you, then things will just click and fall into place, and you will feel very comfortable. Sometimes it takes more than one consult to get all your questions answered, so don't be afraid to go more than once. It's a big decision!!

Dr. Schusterman is a little bit on the quiet side, but sometimes the quiet voice is the one you need to listen to.
As you get to know him, his personality comes through, and he is a special person with a big heart. But, more importantly, he has the skill and talent to get you the results you want.

If y'all want to know anything else, just message me. Thanks for letting me share my experience. Y'all have been great.

Tummy Tuck : Dr. Schusterman. 8 Months Update

Hi Real Selfers,

These past 2 months have flown by......I was so excited to receive my before/after pictures from Dr. Schusterman's office.....Many of you, especially those of you in the Houston area, have asked to see them, so I will post them for you.....
I want you to know that I continue to be absolutely overjoyed with my tummy tuck results !!! My scar is nice & straight. No puckering, ropiness, or "dog ears" at the ends. He cut me low, so I can wear a lower cut swimsuit bottom, & the scar doesn't show...Plus, the scar is very flat, & lately it has faded so much, that I can see it is on its way to disappearance...I wore Scar Away for about 2 months. Now I am just using Argan oil once a day.

I want you to know that I truly believe Dr. Schusterman is an exceptional plastic surgeon, both in terms of technical skill & compassion. I am a nurse, and I am extremely critical of doctors.....I can honestly say that Dr. Schusterman has met & exceeded my expectations with my tummy tuck. He has many years of experience, & I know he cares very deeply about his work & his patients....
(He is a little bit on the quiet side, so you might not pick up on this right away, But I have come to know him better since my surgery in January 2016, & I know that he is very dedicated.) If you are looking for a great plastic surgeon, then I highly recommend Dr. Schusterman. Your satisfaction will be his top priority, & he will make sure you are thrilled with your results.....I know I am.

Tummy Tuck 14 1/2 months out

Hi Realselfers,
It's been a little while since my last update.
I have to say that the year after surgery passed fairly quickly. There were some ups & downs, but I survived.
I never thought I would say this, but in hindsight, the Hys & tt were actually the easy parts of 2016!!
Now looking back, I am glad I had the procedure, and I am happy with my tt results. I am also feeling much better, overall, being rid of the endometriosis pain and monthly discomort. I would have both of these procedures 100x over (with the same surgeons, that is!!).
My bb turned out Ok after all. I do wish it had more depth when I lie flat, but at this point, I don't see myself having any further procedures. I am happy doing my exercise and not having to worry about any medical issues at this time!!

I will post some pics so you can see how much my scar has faded and what my healed bb looks like....

I hope my posts have helped some of you envision what this process would entail if you are considering a tummy tuck. The money is well worth it. And I, personally, would not let having the scar stop me. As long as you are OK with it then you will be fine.

Houston Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Schusterman is more on the quiet side, but he will listen to you and address all of your concerns. I saw him 4 times in consultation before I felt ready to have the procedure. I am not a person who rushes into long term decisions. He never lost his patience with me, and seemed genuinely interested in making me feel comfortable. He saw me every day in the hospital, even though he was not the lead physician. If I were you, I would do my research and have some questions ready for him, as he is not a doctor who will lead the conversation. But, he will have a very good answer for everything you ask. He is extremely intelligent and has a lot of experience with the procedure. I liked him a lot, and I hope I like my result just as much. My GYN said it's one of the best tummy tucks he's ever seen in the Houston area. He said my scar is "beautiful" and that Dr. Schusterman's technical skills are top notch. So, if you want the absolute best, then pick Dr. Schusterman. You will be happy you did.

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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