37 Years Old, Diastasis Recti, 4 Children, 5'7", 182 Lbs, BMI 28. Indiana, IN

I mainly want to correct my 4 finger width...

I mainly want to correct my 4 finger width diastasis recti and remove excess bulk from my abdomen. I am also considering liposuction of my upper thighs, and breast augmentation. My children are all under age 7. Cesarean x 4. Abdomen measures 39-40" widest part, whereas below breasts I measure 35".

Scheduled my surgery!!!

Had my second consult today. Went very well. I was more comfortable with this surgeon. Given the size of the diastasis, my main concern about the post-op period is shortness of breath since my bowels, stomach, and diaphragm will all be pushed up/back into place, which will push on my lungs. Surgeon doesn't foresee this causing issues with the surgery or immediate post op period, more like trouble with exertion/climbing stairs for a while. Tummy tuck will be done drainless (yay!) and breast augmentation will be modest. I am going ahead with inner thigh lipo as well. Surgery will be November 8 due to my work schedule, I am scheduling off work for three weeks to give myself enough time to recover. I'm so excited!!! My homework before preop appt is to print some breast augment wish list pics so he knows what I am wanting.

One month to go!

My surgery date is one month from today. I am both excited and nervous. My preop appointment is about 2 weeks before my surgery. My goal before then is to print some breast wish list pictures for my surgeon - he told me this would make it easier to give me what I wanted.
My surgeon requires full payment at the preop appointment, so I plan to go to the bank for the cashiers checks in a couple of weeks.
Still considering renting a hotel room for the night before surgery. My husband would rather get up early and drive, but I'm afraid if some unforeseen road delays occurred, we would be out a lot of money. The hospital is about 3 hours away.

Wish pic for breast augment

Finally found a wish pic that I like for breast augmentation. A little shocked that they are 500CC implants! But the before picture is similar to my current appearance, so I think this is the most realistic photo I have found that I like. I plan to print it for my surgeon. I have decided to go with saline - just didn't feel like I could commit to every 2 year breast MRIs with silicone to evaluate for silent rupture.

wish pic

My wish pic wouldn't load from my phone, so I'm going to try adding it again.
Also, went to the bank today to pick up the cashier's checks for my pre-op appointment, which is next week! Getting really anxious/nervous, hoping the pre-op appointment will help settle some of my nerves. I only scheduled 3 weeks off work, and I'm starting to worry that it may not be enough time. It is mainly a desk job, walking short distances throughout the day, so if all goes according to plan I should be fine.

More wish pics

Pre-op appointment is later this week. Trying to print wish pics for BA, but my printer isn't working. Will add them here for now...

One week to go!

This time next week I will be recovering from surgery in the hospital!!! Posting my before pictures for comparison later.

Surgery tomorrow

My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. I'm spending the night in a hotel since the hospital is so far from home. I am extremely nervous, but excited as well. I am hoping for a routine surgery and routine recovery. I am hoping that my breasts don't end up too big/fake looking. Also hoping it doesn't hurt as badly as I am expecting it to hurt. I am a wimp when it comes to pain.

Pre-op photos

Postop day 1

Surgery went well. The anesthesiologist placed a scopolamine patch in preop due to my history of nausea with general anesthesia, and it worked.
I didn't realize the surgery would take as long as it did. I think it was 5-6 hours. They put me to sleep on the gurney in the OR, with the plan to to roll me on my belly for the inner thigh liposuction first.
I am still in the hospital for now. My surgeon keeps TT patients overnight. I have a pain pump, and it works okay. The medicine makes me really drowsy.
I was allowed to eat as soon as I was awake and hungry, but my appetite is low. My husband has looked at my new belly, and said it is really flat. I had him take pictures of the breast augmentation, I want lots of pictures since this cost a fortune. Some people have a vacation photos, I'm going to have recovery photos!

Postop day 1 - midday

Still in the hospital. Surgery ended about 18 hours ago. Before I can go home, I must successfully urinate and make sure that oral pain medicine is going to work. Second attempt to urinate was a no go. Still on pain pump for now.

Postop Day 2

Had a more difficult day today. Spiked a fever of 102. Called surgeon, he wants me to use the spirometer more often. The fever came down after pain medicine, increasing deep breaths, and walking a little more (like 15 steps extra each time I'm up). Mainly walking to bathroom, I did make it to the kitchen earlier this afternoon. I think the increase in walking has also improved my soreness/stiffness.
I am hoping to shower this evening. It will be nice to take the strap off for 10 minutes.

Postop day 2

Got to remove the chest strap to shower. Holding a lot of fluid - 10# up from morning of surgery.

Postop Day 3

Sore and stiff today. Felt a little better this morning, so tried to start pain medicine taper. Stiffness increased drastically without the medicine so I increased again for now. Bruising is becoming much more apparent now.
Passing gas but no bowel movement yet. I've been taking Movantik to try to help with the opioid-induced constipation (got samples from my primary care doctor). May start Miralax tonight if still no BM.
Appetite is still suppressed. My surgeon wants me getting at least 60 g of protein per day to help with healing. I reached that goal yesterday and plan to work hard this afternoon to get enough today.
Oh, and my surgeon's office sent me flowers today!

Postop Day 4

I have been able to cut back slightly on the pain medicines. My inner thighs are very swollen/heavy feeling. I used a frozen bag of peas wrapped in a dishtowel earlier to try to help with the swelling and inflammation. My armpit soreness is easing a little. It seems like the tummy tuck has caused the least amount of problems so far in regards to pain. The main issue with the tummy tuck is that I still cannot stand up straight, so if I try to walk too far my lower back starts cramping.
My husband has to go back to work today, so now my family will be taking over childcare. One of the monsters threw up this morning. I'm really hoping he just ate too much junk food and is not actually coming down with something.

Postop Day 5

So. Much. Bruising... Trying to stay positive, but the bruising on my inner thighs is worsening each day, and now it feels like I have a firm but slightly numb sack hanging from each thigh. I have continued to space my pain medicines today, but I still slept a lot of the day.
My family has been very helpful keeping my monsters entertained. I did wear the abdominal binder briefly today - I went downstairs with the kids for a couple of hours. My surgeon told me I could climb stairs, but would need to take it one step at a time, which I did. He also advised use of the binder only with movement and only for comfort - it didn't seem to help that much with pain with movement today.
Breasts are still very boxy, which I was expecting after reading numerous reviews on this site prior to my surgery. I am wearing the band over my upper chest, taking it off only to take pictures and shower.
My follow up with my surgeon is Wednesday - not looking forward to that car ride, but I am hoping that he will remove the bandages so I can get a better look at my scars.

Postop Day 6

Pain is now improving, I have more of a tightness/pressure sensation for the most part. I still have trouble getting around without medicine. I've been in my chair most of the day.
Slept in my bed last night - I have an adjustable bed, so I did have the head of the bed raised quite a bit and foot of the bed raised as well. That seems to have helped the swelling in my thighs, though the bruising, of course, continues. I can get into bed by myself, but getting out of bed is more difficult unless I have help.

Postop Day 7 - It's been 1 week!

Feeling a little bit better each day now. Starting to get restless and frustrated that I can't do anything around the house without increasing my soreness or increasing my fatigue. Muscle spasms are the worst part at this point - my back still cramps up when I walk short distances. The last pain pill I took was last night, and the last muscle relaxer was this morning after I was up and about. The muscle relaxer makes me really sleepy, so I ended up taking a long nap mid-day.
My thighs seem to be a little less swollen today, which is a relief.
I have my one week postop appointment tomorrow. Not looking forward to that car ride (3 hours each way).

Blues

My mood is low this evening. Watching the monsters play, and not being able to participate... thinking of all the things I could do before the surgery that I still won't be able to do for a while now. Hopefully postop appt tomorrow will affirm that everything is on track regarding healing, and I will (slowly) be able to resume normal activity. Trying to remember my frame of mind when I scheduled the surgery and how unhappy I was with my appearance to remind me why I wanted to do this.

Postop Day 8

Saw my PS in follow up today. He removed all the clear tape over the belly button and long scars. He then cleaned my belly button - it smelled very gross after being full of dried blood and covered for 8 days! My belly is still really numb, so it just felt awkward when the tape was removed.
I have a small spot at the midline of my scar that he said may blister. He advised just monitoring that area, and keep it clean.
He recommended silicone tape for the scar - I bought 2 strips of it from his office for $40 + tax. I forgot to take a picture of it before I applied it. It is reusable - his assistant recommended cleaning it with mild shampoo and letting it dry every couple of days, and then reapplying it. She said that it will become less sticky with time, but these two strips should last me until my follow up appointment in approximately 1 month.
He also said that I can switch to wearing the band across my upper chest only at night, and leave it off during the day. Yay! I hate wearing this band, but I paid too much for this surgery to not heal correctly, so I have worn it faithfully for the past 8 days.
I took a pain pill before leaving for the appointment, since I knew we would be in the car for a long time today (over 6 hours total). I took a muscle relaxer just a little bit ago, I am hoping to be able to sleep better tonight. Still sleeping upright on my back for now. Last night I slept in the recliner so my husband could have the bed.
Mood is a little better today. I am really worried about the continuing fatigue. I can sit up for maybe 15 minutes and then I just feel wiped out again. I have read several reviews where people have felt better and tried to do too much, but that really hasn't been a problem since I feel like I can barely stay awake/vertical.
Looking at these pictures from this evening, I think my belly button is off center. But it was off center before my surgery too, so no big change there.

Postop day 8 compared to before

Postop Day 9

Overdid it today. I didn't take any pain medicine today, so I was able to drive. Drove 3 different times, including once to pick up the monsters from daycare. My PS said I could lift up to 30 pounds, I lifted the lightest monster and my abdomen really hurt afterward. No more of that for a while.
I think the best way to explain the sensation of getting up and about today - it feels like I am wearing someone else's skin, and it doesn't fit quite right. It is hard to lift my arms up all the way - my pecs are still spasming from the BA. The implants haven't dropped yet, so I feel like I have two big shields stuck on my chest that get in the way. And my abdominal skin is really tight, so moving at the waist produces this strange tugging sensation. My lower abdomen is still pretty numb, which adds to the weirdness of it all. The thighs are still slightly numb, though that seems to be getting better each day, and the swelling in my thighs seems to be decreasing as well.
I have a little over a week remaining off work, so hopefully at least some of this improves before then.

Postop Day 10

Woke up extremely sore this morning. Ended up taking Rx pain medicine, so I'm grounded to home for the day, which probably isn't a bad thing. I am a little more swollen as well, which I think is directly related to the overactivity yesterday.
I had bought some bras since I didn't figure my old ones would fit anymore. I bought way way too big. Thank goodness. I really didn't want a huge increase in size, and I don't think I'm going to end up too big. The implants are very slowly dropping. I wish there was some way to predict how they will look when they have "dropped and fluffed".

Postop Day 11

Recovery continues to drag along. I've restarted pain medicine and also the muscle relaxer to try to get some relief. Woke up this morning feeling sore/achy all over. Took some medicine, which knocked me out for most of the morning. Patience is not easy. Tried to lay back with my feet up most of today, hopefully will feel a little bit better tomorrow.

Postop Day 12

Still having more discomfort than I had a few days ago. Still taking pain medicine, I have another week or so before I plan to return to work, so I have some time to transition to OTC before then.
Still not anywhere near my normal level of activity, and I dread dropping things because then I will have to figure out how to pick them up without worsening the discomfort.
Still pretty swollen.
My breast implants continue to slowly drop, though my pecs are still swollen/inflamed. Picked up the youngest of the monsters and carried him briefly today - PS said I could lift up to 30 pounds, and he is just shy of that. Not sure I will attempt that again this next week. Looking back, I made that mistake 3 days ago... He's just so darn cute and sweet, and I hate to miss out on holding him, because I'm sure he isn't going to want that much longer.
Ordered some new clothes - a couple of the shirts came yesterday, and they are almost too big... I'm going to have to change my shopping, as I have been buying clothing that camouflages the stomach for the past several years. Now that my boobs are bigger, I think I am going to have to go more fitted so it doesn't look like my body is box shaped. Hmmm.

Postop Day 13

Hello dry skin! I went out to eat today and then did a little shopping (I'm going to need some bras that fit before I return to work). It was raining dry skin in the dressing room. I know, gross, right? I guess I haven't been scrubbing my stomach as much as I should - it just feels so weird to be cleaning a big part of your own stomach that you can't really feel.
My incision didn't appreciate the extra activity (and the wearing of normal clothes). It drained more today, and the left aspect and the middle appear to be opening a little. I may need to go to the pharmacy tomorrow and come up with some better bandaging - I have just been wearing the silicone strips I bought from the PS, but unfortunately that doesn't keep the drainage from my clothes.

Postop Day 14 - It's Been 2 Weeks!

I am 2 weeks out from my mommy makeover - tummy tuck, breast implants, and inner thigh liposuction. I think this may have been the longest 2 weeks of my life! I'm reading other reviews of people who (seemingly) breeze through recovery, and I am a little jealous. Just took a muscle relaxer to see if it helps enough, the Aleve I took earlier today was not as helpful as I had hoped.
My scar continues to look gross. I bought a bunch of new bandages today at the pharmacy - I plan to use the new stuff at least the next couple of days to protect my clothes!
Had a good cry this morning. This is the longest I have been off work outside of maternity leave, and I have gotten absolutely nothing done. Glad to have that out of my system. I'm usually don't cry, but I was just feeling so low. I looked up post-op depression here on RealSelf, and it's apparently not uncommon.

Postop Day 15

Spent the first half of today lying around doing nothing, which was great since I didn't really hurt. No movement = no pain.
Then had a family thing to go to, so I ended up taking some pain medicine to help with the movement/pain. I was basically standing upright after the meds kicked in, though still moving pretty slowly. Now that medicine has worn off, I am really sore.
My inner thigh numbness is almost gone, which is wonderful. My incision is draining more each day, which is no fun. Glad I bought all those bandages at the pharmacy yesterday. I put some thick/extra padding-type bandages on over the thinner/absorbent ones, and that seemed to help protect the incision from the friction from my pants. I will likely call my surgeon Monday if drainage continues to worsen, though I'm not sure there is much to be done except wait for the normal course of healing. Hoping my outcome/scar thickness will not be affected by all this.

Postop Day 16

My wound continues to worsen, it is now open a little less than 2 inches near the middle. I plan to call my PS tomorrow - fingers crossed that his office is open tomorrow or Saturday, as I have to return to work Monday. This was near the top of my list of dreaded complications with surgery. Not looking forward to the likely prolonged healing from this problem.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Postop Day 17

I called my surgeon this morning about my wound. I was able to send him a couple of pictures, and he is not overly worried about it at this point. He did call in a prescription for Silvadene cream, which I will apply twice daily. He also recommended I keep in close contact with his office if more concerns. He thinks part of the trouble with the wound is lack of enough protein in my diet - I did a really good job of getting extra protein the first few days after surgery, but then slacked off. He would also rather the wound be a little too wet as opposed to letting it dry out.
Energy-wise, I was up a little more today, but still ended up resting in the afternoon. Really starting to dread work, since I'm having trouble making it through the day even with minimal responsibility. My husband has been wonderful with managing the kids, but I worry he is starting to get impatient with the process.
I am also worried about the size of my breast implants - I'm afraid I went too big, which I was really hoping to avoid. I type this with a bag of frozen peas over my still very tight/swollen pec muscles, I realize it is too early to tell.

Postop Day 18

Today started out rough, but ended a little better.
My walking is still very slow compared to my baseline, and it is going to be very noticeable when I return to work Monday. My job is mainly seated but I do have to walk short distances frequently throughout the day, so I am going to get a lot of questions; guess I need to decide how much information to divulge now, so I will be prepared.
I haven't taken any prescription pain medicine today (yay!), so I have been leaning more on Aleve + Tylenol for pain relief. It doesn't work nearly as well (of course), but I really don't want to continue on the heavier-duty medicine - I'm going to have to suck it up and deal with the extra pain.
I called my PS again this morning to check on the wound, as the drainage is now more cloudy (but I started the Silvadene cream yesterday, so that is going to change the drainage too). He remains unconcerned - he offered an antibiotic but didn't really think I required it, and I would much rather not take an antibiotic if it isn't indicated. So staying the course for now. I have a little piece of thickened skin/drainage that I tugged on this evening - it is fairly firmly attached and I have a weak stomach, so I left it in place. Hopefully it will slough off in the next couple of days (preferable by sticking to the dressing so I don't have to touch it again). More sutures are becoming visible in both my belly button and along the open area of the longer wound. So yucky. But I'm starting to become more hopeful that it will heal well.
Took all 4 monsters to town by myself this evening. My oldest is a lot of help, and we only got out of the car at one store, so it worked out. And I wasn't totally exhausted when we got home (though of course I was more sore), so that is a plus.
Oh, and the past couple of nights I have applied ice packs to my swollen pec muscles (can't remember if I have commented on that in previous posts), and that does seem to be helping with the inflammation a little.

Progress Comparison Pictures

Changes are much less dramatic now, so compiled some collages to help see the progress.

Postop Day 19

I have postponed returning to work until Thursday. I plan to call the PS office first thing tomorrow morning to see if I can get an appointment. The midline of the wound continues to drain and the adherent piece is still there. I'm guessing (if I can get an appointment) that he will debride the wound. I hate to drive 3+ hours (one way) to have that done, but I would prefer he see it. If it requires more frequent specialty care, I will see if he agrees to local wound care to manage it.
I had a very emotional day again today. I think I was really stressed about returning to work when I am still struggling to get out of a chair normally. I did go in for a couple of hours this evening and cleaned up as much as I could so my coworkers won't want to kill me. :)

Postop Day 19

Called my PS office first thing this morning, and they were able to squeeze me in for a wound check. Surgeon debrided wound, which was a gross experience. I'm still pretty numb, but the tugging sensation plus hearing the scissors snip was a little nauseating. He also trimmed the sutures from my belly button, which is healing great.
Stopped by the pharmacy and got more wound coverings, I'm going to need them when I head back to work later this week.
I think the surgeon visit gave me some piece of mind about healing. Hoping I'll be able to ramp up my activity the next couple of days.

Postop Day 20

Mood much improved today. Took a walk today - still walking slightly stooped, which still causes back spasms. Not as bad as previous though.
My right implant is starting to drop and soften a little, the left remains a little higher.

Postop Day 21

Getting around a little better, but still pretty stiff, especially if I sit for a while. Back to work tomorrow.
Finally braved shaving my underarms today (where my incisions are from the breast augmentation), and discovered that my right armpit is almost totally numb. I knew I had significant numbness on my upper inner right arm already. Hoping the sensation there as well as along my abdomen and my upper and inner thighs comes back (and hopefully sooner rather than later). So many things that I wasn't fully prepared for prior to starting this process. And so many things that require patience, which is not my best quality.
Going back to the silicone strips for the right side of my incision, since it appears to be healing well. I applied a little silicone gel prior to applying the strip this evening to try to keep a little more moisture in that area. In the middle and on the left side, I put Vaseline and then a thicker bandage to provide better protection from friction from my pants. Eating as much protein as I can stand to try to help with the healing...

Postop Day 22

Work went okay today. Was more tired than usual. Still going to take daily pictures, but plan to cut back on posting them since not much changes each time.
I was going to switch to wet-to-dry dressings, but after looking online (dangerous, I know) I ordered some Mepilex and plan to start it when it arrives (thank goodness for Amazon). If that doesn't seem to help much, may ask for referral to wound care. Too bad there isn't a wound care magic wand. :)

Postop Day 23

Hello swelling! Yikes. I told my husband when I got home from work that I felt like a sausage in a casing that was too small. I thought it was just that my skin was irritated from my pants, but when I undressed my wound I realized how swollen I really was. Ugh. So now this to look forward to when I am up most of the day.
My wound seems to be forming new tissue at the base, which is good, but I'm frustrated by the slow progress. I am hoping the stuff I ordered will be more helpful for wound care, but may still consider asking for a wound care referral, since I really just don't know what I am doing regarding wounds. I plan to look more on the internet tonight to determine if there is something else I could be doing to help this along.
haven't chosen a surgeon yet

I have met with one surgeon so far, I have consults scheduled with 2 others. 1st surgeon, located about 30 minutes from my home: Abdominoplasty shouldn't be an issue; he does use drains; off work 1-2 weeks. Liposuction will help shape inner/outer thighs; he did not think flank liposuction would be needed. Recommended against a breast lift. Recommended larger breast implants to help with mild breast ptosis to bring nipples up to correct position. Smallest implants he had me try were 425 cc! I am already a full C (currently wearing 38C, I measure 35" under breasts but find 36D uncomfortable); I am a little worried about increasing my breast size that much. I ordered some Purlz breast sizers - when I wore them I filled out a 38D, and probably could have used a 38DD but didn't have one to try (I got rid of that size bra after I finished breastfeeding). 1st surgeon downsides: drains with abdominoplasty; got the impression during the consultation that he would likely place the largest implant I would agree to (didn't give the option of trying less than 425 cc). Upsides: highly recommended by a friend who had her breast augmentation done by him; close to home I have an appointment with surgeon #2 next week - he offers a drainless abdominoplasty. I am anxious to hear his opinion regarding recommended size of breast implants to achieve a good cosmetic outcome for me. I am afraid his opinion will also be that a larger implant will provide the best outcome. If a larger implant is necessary to correct my breasts, I am not sure if I will pursue the breast augmentation. Downside of this surgeon: his office is almost 3 hours away from my home. Upsides: drainless abdominoplasty. Highly recommended by a friend who travelled to have her drainless abdominoplasty done by him.

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