Afraid to Be Excited, This Belly is Just Too Big!! - Huntington, WV

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I am 36 years old, 197 lbs, and I am scheduled to...

I am 36 years old, 197 lbs, and I am scheduled to have an extended tummy tuck with muscle repair, and heavy lipo in the hip, back and flanks on July 5th 2013. I have SEVEN children and a weight loss of 47 pounds that has left my belly demolished. I am very worried that my surgeon will not be able to rid me of this disgusting belly, even though he is confident that he can. It is so out of proportion with the rest of my body, and when I buy clothes to fit it, they hang off my butt and my legs. I can't wear panties because they just roll down under it. My children love to play with it, they act like there is about to be a death in the family. They have even named it.....FOOPA. The littlest guy hides underneath it like an umbrella. I have searched the internet looking for women similar to my situation and I can hardly find any. All the tummy tucks that I find are on women who already have a belly that I would love to have before they even go to surgery. Its frustrating because I do not know what to expect. My surgeon is estimating a removal of about 20 pounds of skin and fat. I just want this belly gone, and I do not want to wake up disappointed. Now that I am one week from surgery, the nerves have kicked in. I'm worried about being under for over 7 hours afraid I won't wake up, not sure if I will still have an overhang afterwards, will I go into surgical shock.....I don't know if its normal to worry like this, and be so excited at the same time. I would love to find other women who have struggled with a belly this size and are pleased with the outcome of their results. I have a tremendous amount of support from my family and friends, and I am a very luck lady to have such wonderful people in my life cheering me on and caring for me.


Well, I did it! And it is the best thing I have ever done for myself! The surgery went very well. My body has been completely transformed. When I woke up and felt down, I just started to cry tears of joy when I realized that belly was gone. The pain is excruciating. There are not words that can verbally prepare someone for what this feels like, but its a very different kind of pain that is unlike any other. The swelling from the lipo on my outer thighs is by far the worst pain. The second pain is from the muscle repair. The actual cut I do not feel at all. The first night, I had some kind of reaction to the pain meds in my IV. I think It was dilaudid. which caused my to rash up a little and itch like crazy. The area of lipo that he took from my hips had a huge amount of swelling, but if you have someone to massage that area, it moves all of the fluid around and makes it feel tremendously better. I haven't worn the compression that much, it makes the swelling on my thighs worse. My belly button looks fantastic. It really could not have went much better. The swelling by far is the worst enemy through the whole thing. The second night was the worst, the pain from the lipo area was unreal. I couldn't sit, I hated to stand, and the swelling was just making it itch so bad. I was very irritated and grouchy from exhaustion. After I took the compression off and laid in the bed, it felt so much better. The bruising is pretty bad today, but not as bad as I thought. Overall, it was definitely worth the pain and suffering Im going through. The incision was much larger than I thought it would be, it went nearly all the way around. My plastic surgeon was able to get it all, and I am very happy with my results, cant wait to see it after all the swelling is gone.

I'm a SEXY BEAST.......almost

When this swelling is gone, my body will be beyond what I ever dreamed it would be. Today by far has been the best day and a day where I have saw the most dramatic improvement. I only feel a little soreness when I go to get up and start initially moving around. Yesterday the swelling was tremendous in my belly, so I put on my compression and it literally squeezed it out, completely filling up the drain every hour or so. The swelling and itching in my outer thighs has improved a lot but still drives me crazy at night. The sensation of my skin in this area is like going to then dentist and the numbing starts to wear off on the lips. Today is my first doctors appointment. I am 5 days post op. I feel great, I am standing almost completely straight, the pain meds make me itch but I love them, and hopefully he will be removing some of the stitches out of my belly button. My drain will stay until at least two weeks post op which is fine with me because it really helps alleviate the pressure that builds up. My stitched area felt very tight yesterday, and I keep having these weird itches, but when I go to scratch there is nothing there. Sort of feels like something is crawling on me. I am down 17 pounds on the scale including all of this swelling. I wore a size 16 W jeans before surgery, and yesterday they fell completely off. I was able to easily slip into my daughters size 14 juniors jeans yesterday. I am so happy, this is by far the best thing I have ever done for myself!

Day 6.....Im in love with my new body

My recovery is going exceptional. My swelling has gone down quite a bit this morning. The drain is starting to slow down in the amount I am collecting during the day. My thighs are still the most challenging part of the entire surgery. They sting and itch quite often and my butt and hips are very sore. The evenings seem to be much worse. When I sit in the same position for too long it causes them to swell. My abs are sore, you can feel a lot of squishy fluid across by belly by evening. When I put on the compression it helps to squeeze it out and then it feels better. I can lay in the bed now as long as I keep my knees bent. I went to my PS yesterday. He removed some of the stitches from both sides of the hips and some from the front. No belly button stitches were removed but the stitches he removed were painless. I felt nothing. The drain stays for a while. I don't mind it. Overall he said that I was doing perfect! I can never thank him enough for changing my life in such a dramatic way. Every single morning it looks better and better. My next appointment is going to be on Wed. He will then remove the rest of the belly button stitches and check the drain. I wanted to thank everyone for the comments. It is truly inspiring to me that so many people care and take the time to let me know. It feels good to know that I am helping other women who have issues to make good decisions and find peace in their surgery. I know that is what I searched for before I had mine. It was reading the success and problems of other women who so generously told their story that helped me make the decision to have mine. By far, this is the best thing that I could have ever done for myself.

another update pic


Today was a day I haven't seen in mother brought me a beautiful swimsuit as a gift for my surgery. She has taken such wonderful care of me and supported me through this whole scary yet exciting ordeal. I nearly cried when I could wear it and felt so proud of how I looked. My drain is still draining very well, my soreness is still there in the belly and lipo area but not bad. I'm off all pain meds and swelling is the worst thing I'm dealing with, which only gets irritating in the evening. I love my new body. I just can't get over how this feels.

Day 10.....Best Day in Years!!

Today was such a wonderful day. I went back to the lab (IM a research assistant) to see everyone today. I didn't tell anyone I was having surgery. They were shocked when I walked in. Lets just say that my changes are soooo dramatic and beautiful, they knew it wasn't weight watchers. I went to Dr. Spindel today, and he took out the stitches in my belly button, which by the way looks perfect, and the rest of the sutures from the incision line. I've been feeling wonderful, no pain meds, more energy than before not less, and the swelling is still the only minor problem I'm having. I'm not that sore anymore. My bruises are fading fast. I can stand completely upright. Last night I had some swelling in the mons pubis area, but figured out quickly the binder is the culprit. I've now switches to spanx shorts that come up to under the breast line. TOTAL relief and swelling went down fast. The drain stays. The color has changed to a dark plum wine color and slowed down alot. Getting about 75cc total for 24 hours. I happen to like my drain, I surely want all I can get out of my body. I love my updated pics!!!!!

Updated photos

Here are today's photos, day 10. Please forgive obvious typos in my previous review, I am updating on an iPhone and it kinda just puts words when you don't want them! I have emailed real self for corrections!! Lol

Day 13.... First pair of panties in 15 years!!!

Wow, I finally fit into panties and they don't roll off. Still swollen, still with my BFF, the drain :)
Dr. Michael Spindel

Dr. Spindel is not just a plastic surgeon. There is a true art in his work. This is a skill that can't be learned from a book, or the best of medical schools. It's something that some of these plastic surgeons are just born with. I am so thankful that I found him and chose him to do my surgery. My problems were so extensive, I truly didn't believe there was a doctor out there that could help me. He completely changed my life, and I will be forever thankful. He was always straight forward about what he could do for me, but never arrogant or discouraging. He was just a great, down to earth guy who wears a totally cool ear ring. He had a great sense of humor, and always paid attention and made sure I had all my questions answered to the best of his ability. His nurse MJ is the best. I always felt wonderful and well taken care of from the beginning of this journey. Anyone who has the great fortune of having this wonderful person involved in their body transformations will be forever thankful. My mother loved his work so much that she has had a consult with him for a breast reduction after years of fear of having it done. He truly possesses a gift.

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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