1 yr 2.5 months post tummy tuck - Houston, TX

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I'm 5' 5", 130 lbs, 2 children both by C-section....

I'm 5' 5", 130 lbs, 2 children both by C-section. Same story as most. My first pregnancy gave me stretch marks and a really ugly stretch mark where my belly button piercing was. After my first baby I lost all the weight plus 10 lbs and my stretch marks were so light and my belly was flat. I can wear a bikini again right? Nope, because of my belly button a bikini was out. My second pregnancy I gained the exact amount of weight as the last, 47 lbs, but this time it was all in my belly not everywhere like the last one. I still have not got back down to 125 lbs and I could tell right away that I was never going to have a flat stomach again. That was 3 years ago.

I felt so happy and confident after my first child even with my stretch marks. I have never been confident. I was very happy. The second pregnancy was tough and I have struggled the last 3 years to just feel like myself again, mentally and physically. I finally gave in and got on wellbutrin and I am feeling normal again.

My husband backs me up 100% on this decision he has been telling me since last year that we can do this whenever I want. Just go for it. I have held off though and I'm glad I did because after a year and half of researching doctors I am positive I found the ONE. His tummy tucks looks natural with curves and a realistic looking bellybutton. I was really worried about having a long scar but I think he is going to put it so low that it wont even matter. Especially if it heals the way my last c-section did, its almost invisible.

Anyway, I'll put up my before pictures and in 11 days I'll be on the flat side, as they say. I'll try to update ASAP but I don't know when ill be able to get to the computer to put up pictures. ( so annoying that you cant post from a device!)

Also I just want to say thank you to the girls with the same doctor that have posted there pictures and experience on here. It has been a huge comfort and very reassuring. I'm actually for the first time excited, instead of nervous, scared and feeling guilty.

Oh and a few months ago a bartender (female) at a place we like to hang out, when we get a rare chance, asked if I had another bun in the oven. Yeah I'm ordering a drink but I'm pregnant!!!!! I had just lost 15 lbs too. :( Ugh spent the whole night holding my stomach in. Every time I feel like I shouldn't do this I think of that.

5 more days! I need to get off this website and...

5 more days! I need to get off this website and finish getting everything ready.

I tried to write an update earlier but it got...

I tried to write an update earlier but it got erased. Just got back from dinner and a movie with my husband. Taking advantage of my mom being here. He really wanted to spend time with me. I love him.
I am so emotional right now. I'm on the verge of crying. Scared, guilty, nervous, excited, ashamed, selfish, happy, sad, anxious. I'm all over the place. I took a Xanax with a sip of water to calm down. I am so thirsty right now I should have chugged some water before midnight but we were in the movie.
I have everything setup and ready to go. Recliner with a table next to it with bottles of water, a lamp and phone charger. I'll keep my meds there too. I've prepared meals, grocery shopped, laundry all done and house clean. Clothes laid out. I just need to go to sleep now so I can get up at 6 am, take a second shower with the special soap they give you, then get dressed and go. Have to be there by 7 am. We are only 15-30 mins away depending on traffic. That will be good for the ride home.
Well signing off, see you on the flat side.

Day one after surgery. Under my sternum really,...

Day one after surgery. Under my sternum really, really hurts. I don't think he got the exparel right there or something. Because the rest of my belly is fine. My incision on my left side hurts too, it a stinging burning pain. I am already thinking "what have I done?!" I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like it always going to hurt like this.
I'm not looking forward to the nurse charging my dressing tomorrow. The nurse that did it at the surgery center had no sympathy for the terrible pain she put me through when rolling me on my side. I know she is just doing her job but GD that f@&$ing hurt.
I got a quick peek and immediately laid my head back down. I just felt regretful. At the same time I know it will look different in few days. So I didn't want to really check it out yet. I guess I see it tomorrow. I'll have my mom take pics. I'll get the pics up as soon as I can. Which is not easy to do with laptop. The screen is broken so its plugged into separate monitor. Therefore I can't just put it in my LAP....sigh ill give more details later too when I'm not so drugged.

Quick update, the meds make me sleep. Yesterday...

Quick update, the meds make me sleep. Yesterday (day 2) I was completely regretting this. The pain under my sternum was excruciating. Every move would make the muscles tighten up and burn. I wasn't feeling anything in the rest of my abdomen just under my breasts and sternum. And sore on the flanks. I don't think the exparel was injected that far up. There was a bruise at the top of the plication. I am upset by my incision too. He said it would be low and flat but it curves a bit and goes much farther then hip to hip, it goes over the side of the hip too. I have a small vertical, hope that disappears. I wore the underwear I wanted to be marked in but he just pulled them down and made his markings. I'm sure things will look better in time and what's done is done so I just need to get over it. I want to post pics but can't quite get the strength to take them and load them up. My mom took a few on my phone . I have felt stronger today but severely swollen. The pressure on my sternum has eased up. It still feel strange but better. Had a bm after taking magnesium citrate, that worked in minutes! Lol drink it then go to the bathroom and wait. I had also been taking stool softener s from day 1.
Anyway girls Just keep on keeping on.
Tata for now.

Day 4 last night sucked. I woke up with a jerk,...

Day 4 last night sucked. I woke up with a jerk, you when you think your falling in your sleep and you whole body jerks you awake. That hurt and my pain meds had worn off. No one woke me to take them. I felt all alone like they were tired of helping me. That wasn't the case but I hate being taken care of. I thought I would enjoy not having to cook, clean, and take care of the kids. I was happy to just sit around on my iPad or read a magazine or watch a movie. That has not been the case so far because in order to not be in pain I have to take pain pills that make me sleep and really loopy. Haha. My hubby did come in the bathroom after I got up and helped me. Took meds and went back to sleep. Woke up ok, took a shower at about 8:30, that was hell! The back pain is starting now that I can walk with out support. I am crazy swollen I think I was moving around to much yesterday. Finished the shower, bandaged back up and got my butt back in the recliner. I hate how swollen i am. Hopefully tomorrow morning won't be as bad. I'll take pics tomorrow and post them i don't like taking off the binder.

Yesterday po day 4, I woke extremely swollen and...

Yesterday po day 4, I woke extremely swollen and kept getting bigger as the day went on. I finally called the doctor because it was so uncomfortable and there was so much pressure I thought my incision would open. He had me text him some pictures and he said it looked about average but would call in a script for a medrol dose pack (a steroid) and to start it tomorrow. I went ahead and started it that evening because my vertical incision started bleeding and I was so unbearably uncomfortable, my mom said it would reduce the swelling with in an hour. My hubby and mom got me wrapped back up as comfortably as they could, gave me a pain pill and Xanax so I could sleep and the steroid. They kept telling me it was going to be ok but I started crying anyway. I don't think there has been one moment since the surgery that I was happy I did this. I have regretted every minute of it.
Now its PO Day 5. I slept really well. I only woke up when my mom woke me to take a pain pill then went right back to sleep till 7 am. I am not crazy swollen anymore, just normal swelling. Taking a shower is so exhausting because of the strain on your back. Even when sitting in the chair in the shower kills me. So today has been better so far. I actually ate food today since my hubby was going crazy because I was only eating crackers, greek yogurt, and protein shakes. I am putting up some pics finally.

Yesterday was 1 week so I guess that makes today...

Yesterday was 1 week so I guess that makes today post op day 8. Was pretty flat this morning still swollen of course but flat. Weighed myself for the first time. 126 lbs so I have lost 4 lbs. I'm sure that's more from not eating much. I am getting my appetite back though.
I had my first post op appointment today. They took my drains out which hurt really bad. Not inside but the holes they pull them out of. Ouch! The Dr. said the incision looks really good and to come back in a week. That's about it. I feel really good. I'll take pictures tomorrow morning and try on some underwear to see what covers it.

The swelling is moving down, hopefully it starts...

The swelling is moving down, hopefully it starts moving out. :) I was 124.8 on the scale this morning. I like that. I don't see that line of definition down the middle that I can see in my Dr's other patients. I went with this Dr because he makes the abdomen look contoured and natural as apposed to flat as a board. Maybe I'm too swollen, hoping that's the case considering how freaking expensive this Dr is. I can stand straight but its still a little tight at the top so I do tend to hunch my shoulders over which makes my back hurt. My husband had to go to work today. This is my first day on my own with the kids. No big deal I feel fine. I'm not supposed to drive yet but I know I could if I needed to. I am so tired of being stuck in the house!!!

17 days PO- I feel really good. My abs don't hurt...

17 days PO- I feel really good. My abs don't hurt unless I cough or sneeze and when I laugh it feels tight. I feel sore on my ribs and my skin is sensitive in certain spots. The hip bones are where things rub the most and that hurts. I asked numerous times if it would be below my hip bones and he was positive it would be. Well it lies right on my hip bones and that's usually where the waist of my jeans hit, sigh. I'm complaining but I am happy. I love that my stomach is flat. The waist of my jeans sticks out now not my belly. My weight today was 123.8! It's like that last 5 lbs I couldn't get rid of was extra skin. So I am happy to be back to pre baby weight. I wear my size 5/6 jeans because of swelling and compression garment. The waist is loose but it's more comfortable. I know once the swelling goes down my 3/4's will look great. My husband thinks I look great already and he isn't bothered by the scars. He has made a couple comments about how he can see such a difference and looking better than before. Then he back peddles saying "I love how you looked before I'm not saying you looked bad bla bla bla" hahaha I had to tell him it's ok I know he loves me and thinks I'm beautiful either way. I tried on his favorite shirt I used to wear in my early 20's. it's really tight and shows my stomach a little. It looked good. That was cool he loved that. :) I don't think I'll actually wear it again but I'll hang on to it for him.
I am still hunched over when I first stand up it takes me a second to straighten up because of the tightness. The lipo made bumps and knots and its very sensitive. I massage the knots but I don't know if I'm doing it right. My lymphatic massage isn't till the 28th because they were all booked up. Anyway feeling good, taking it easy, and happy I did this.

I was 4 weeks post op on the 1st and it was my...

I was 4 weeks post op on the 1st and it was my Birthday. I went shopping and had fun trying things on and feeling so happy. No more searching for clothes that hide my fat stomach! I even tried on a bikini. Wow surprised how great it looked. To bad my big boobs don't fit in anything. But I'm used to that. Next year I'm getting a lift but I need to talk the hubby into it first ;)
Feeling good but have been swollen and sore after shopping and walking around the mall 2 days in a row. Oh well time to rest up. I think I might have a small seroma. I need to get it checked out. Happy healing.

11 weeks pictures

I haven't posted in awhile because I'm not very happy and I don't want to seem picky or ungrateful. I'm happy I can get dressed with out feeling fat in everything. I'm happy I feel good and haven't had any major complications.
That said I already feel some revising needs to be done. I dont usually make a big deal about things but when you pay $13,000 you want to get exactly what you paid for and for it to be perfect.
At my last appointment I pointed out what I thought was a small seroma on the right side just above the incision. I am pretty sure it had been there for 4 weeks at that time. I always kept compression on it but it never got smaller or bigger. He said its so small he wanted to leave it alone. Makes sense.
I also pointed out on my left at the end of the incision was hard and painful. And part of it was purple like a bruise. Really strange. He said I had scar tissue and to massage it. Ok no problem. I massage it at least twice a day. It hasn't changed much and it makes and indent which gives me a little love handle. Shouldn't have love handles after lipo on the flanks.
I also have a hard bump next to my belly button and just weird spots that look swollen. My belly just has all the bumps and lumps I don't know how to explain it. None of this is the Dr's fault of course. Nothing has really changed though since my appointment at 5 weeks.
My vertical incision, I was told, would be a centimeter long. It's more like 2 inches and there is still loose wrinkly skin that I feel can definitely be pulled down. I understand if he was trying to be conservative but I want that fixed.
The other thing is my belly button. It seemed like an innie at first but I don't know what the heck happened but its an outie now and part of the inside folds over it. Idk I keep the earplug in always but it doesn't go much farther in and as soon as its out for a few minutes it goes back to looking the same. I have kept it out the last few days. It hasn't closed or anything it just looks the same. I guess I can live with it. I'm obsessed with looking at belly buttons and there are so many different ones. Even some supermodels have outies. But he put the scar around the outside when I was made to believe it would be inside. The belly button was very important to me I really wanted that to be perfect.
I should be going back to the Dr. next week so I'm going to address all these things even if I don't want to. I feel like I will seem insulting or bitchy. I'm not very good at speaking up for myself and feel intimidated easily. But I want to get exactly what I paid for. I find my self still obsessing over what's wrong with my stomach.
On a super awesome happy note. My hubby just surprised me with a trip to Hawaii in October. I couldn't believe it and he said we are going to get married there, just the 2 of us. That is what I have wanted but was afraid of hurting our family's feelings. So i have been putting off having a wedding for 5 years now, haha. i think people have given up on asking when is the wedding. He said he talked to my parents and they are ok with it. :) I was so happy I cried.
We have been together 9 years and are married on our taxes but we never made it official with a wedding. This is like a dream come true. I want to rock a bikini so I hope the Doc will tweak things a bit so I can feel totally confident in it.

13 weeks

I had a follow up appointment today and I have been going over and over what I wanted to say because I'm not happy about some things. I am usually too nervous to speak up though. I am pretty happy with how things went.
First I told him my belly button had become an outie and he didn't like that either and said he wants to fix that. That it is still herniated, possibly I strained it. I said that the vertical is too long and he said if he had made it shorter the scar would have been higher and there wasn't enough skin to take off the old bellybutton. So I pinched the extra loose skin and said well there is extra now. He said even if he tried to take it off it would still raise the scar. I don't know, when I sit it wrinkles right there but he said it will fade in time. So I moved on to the lump under the bellybutton and he said that is just you but once I told him it didn't show up till 5 weeks he took a closer look but said he can't do anything about it and with time it may go away. Same for the area to the right of the vertical where I had a small seroma. it will go away in time. We will see. The lump and scar tissue that is causing an indent on my left hip he also said he can fix easily.
I also showed him how the vertical scar makes it look like a little butt, there is less tissue under the old bellybutton scar so its thinner. Once I pointed out that he was more open to doing something about it. So he said to come back in 3 months. I almost left it at that but I have been working up the courage to ask for what I want. So I asked if August would be to soon to fix the bellybutton because I really want to wear a bikini in Hawaii. He said no, not at all. (yay!) The nurse said he was all booked up but he told her to make it happen. How cool is that? So he wrote on my chart touch up, navel, left hip scar and possible vertical. It will be an in office procedure under local and the nurses said to take a Valium before if I wanted. I'm very happy that he is going to touch up a few things and agreed with me about most of the issues I was concerned about. I was expecting to hear "see you in 3 months, you look fine." I have been on the fence about this Dr. because people rave about his bedside manner but I wasn't happy about his bedside manner. He wasn't very talkative and just gave me quick, short answers to my questions. The only times he acted happy was when I brought my boys with me. He seemed to light up and really enjoyed talking to them. Haha so they are the key to good customer service. I guess he really likes kids. I swear he acts like a different person after he chats with them for a minute.
He also released me to do ab exercises.
August 9th I get "touched up" then 2 months later I go to Hawaii. I hope it heals nice enough in time to wear a bikini. I still may get some Derma blend to cover my scars.

23 weeks: touch up lipo and belly button revision

I haven't posted in a while things have been the same for the most part. No more swelling and I have been really happy with having a flat stomach. Since my dr told me he would revise my belly button and possibly the vertical incision, I haven't been obsessing over my belly. I've been excited for the upcoming revision and being happy with the results I have so far. It's so nice to wear my bathing suit and not worry about my big pooch.
Ok so Friday we dove up to Houston, my husband dropped me off in the front and I told him to pick me up when I'm done. He was freaking out thinking I would need a wheelchair afterwards or something, haha. After I assured him I would be fine he left.
When the dr came in we discussed what we were going to do. I realized that the scar on my left hip had actually released and wasn't indented anymore. So he decided not to touch that but to lipo a small spot on my flank. I was telling him that the scar in the middle and the vertical indents and makes a lump on each side of the vertical, makes the mons look puffy and makes a lump between the naval and vertical. As he was examining it the nurse said its only been 4 months. (No its been 5) but what ever, I didn't say anything. He said he wasn't going to do anything with the main scar since its still early. I said the main thing that bothers me is that the vertical hasn't heeled nicely and the 2 lumps on either side. Then we discussed the belly button. I said I would like it to go in and up more so there is more of a hood. He said that is exactly what he is planning to do. He decided to revise the vertical and lipo the 2 lumps.
Then he injected the numbing medicine into the areas which hurt around the naval and on the hip. He did the lipo first that felt weird and if I felt it at any point he would just numb it some more and continue. He had to do that in a couple of spots. He revised the vertical then the belly button. As he got deeper he had to do more numbing, ouch again. He finished up said he really like the way the belly button looked. He said i wont have any pain except in the naval. Told me the nurses would clean me up and said he would see me in a week. From the time I got to the office to the time I left was about an hour. I walked out just fine. The pain afterwards wasn't terrible but enough that I
stuck to hydrocodone every 4 hours. I was still in pain yesterday but today I feel fine. I'm just taking it easy. I really don't want it to be herniated again. I like the way things look so far. I can't wait to see how the vertical looks in a week. I'll post some photos from a few weeks ago and from today.

1 year and 2.5 months post op. Best thing I ever did!

It's been a little over a year and this has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. It's not perfect, there are a few tweaks that could be done. I just haven't got around to visiting the Dr. He is 4 hours away now. I lost 20 pounds which made a huge difference. I think my belly button looks great after he fixed it. I can still see the scar but it's white and not super noticeable. My verticle is better but still pink. Kind of blends into my stretch marks. I still think maybe a a half inch could be taken off but whatever. I wear bikinis now and I'm just loving life. Here are a few pics from my Mother's Day weekend with my mom, best friend, and her mom.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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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