37 Years Old, Diastasis Recti, 4 Children, 5'7", 182 Lbs, BMI 28. Indiana, IN
I mainly want to correct my 4 finger width...
Scheduled my surgery!!!
One month to go!
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
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
One week to go!
Postop day 1
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
Postop Day 2
I am hoping to shower this evening. It will be nice to take the strap off for 10 minutes.
Postop day 2
Postop Day 3
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
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
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
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!
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).
Postop Day 8
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 9
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
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
Postop Day 12
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
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!
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
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
Postop Day 17
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
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
Postop Day 19
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
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
My right implant is starting to drop and soften a little, the left remains a little higher.
Postop Day 21
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
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
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.
Postop Day 24
Mepilex wound treatment hasn't yet come, so I went to the local pharmacy and bought one Duoderm to try ($11.25 for one patch!). I applied it this evening. I am going to try to go to once daily dressing changes. I applied the silicone strips that I got at my first post-op appointment to the areas that are healing well.
Compiled my wound pictures from the past 6 days, but the first pic was taken with a different camera (a cell phone) so it has different lighting and clarity. I had hoped to see a little more difference in 6 days, but I realize that is a big ask.
Postop Day 25
And swelling continues. Definitely worse at the end of the day when I have been up and moving.
Postop Day 26
My chest is still sore, especially along the lower sides. I wasn't expecting problems there (I expected my pecs to be sore), so I'm frustrated by that too. It seems like most reviews by BA patients are all wonderful by 3-4 weeks...well, tomorrow is 4 weeks and this still kind of sucks. I can't help but think I went too large on the size. My husband keeps preaching patience. He's been really supportive but I know he's sick of my whining.
Postop Day 27
Breasts continue to soften, right more so than left. Right has also dropped a bit more. Right underarm scar has flattened and is looking awesome. Left is still raised and I can feel the knot where the suture was tied. The sensation has come back to my inner right arm a little more.
Holes under my butt cheeks from the liposuction are finally almost healed. Still numb left upper thigh more than right. Still have swelling in my thighs (well, everywhere really); I'm starting to feel more hopeful that the worst is over. I think I'm going to have a really good result when I finally heal.
And my new exercise bike is now ready to ride. My husband assembled it while I was at work. Rode briefly this evening, but don't want to press my luck.
Packages continue to come in the mail for things I ordered when I was off work. One of my friends nailed it: an idle Momof4monsters = an expensive Momof4monsters. :)
Postop Day 28
My left implant is finally starting to drop and soften a little. Yay!
Feeling more edgy/snippy today. Hoping it was the result of too much caffeine.
Postop Day 29
I am starting to get excited about my results. My breasts are softening and dropping, the scar under my right armpit looks awesome (and I still have hope the left will fall in line, it is still raised and I can feel the knots of the suture at each end).
The opening on my left hip looks significantly better this evening. Wish I had gotten the Mepilex sooner. The midline lesion also looks better. The Endoderm should be available at the pharmacy tomorrow, and I'm not sure I'll need it for the hip. The Mepilex seems to be softening the scar in the areas where I have been using it, so I think I will use it across the scar soon.
The numbness is slowly retreating from outside to inside on my lower abdomen - I can feel more of the outer aspects of my lower abdomen. Thank goodness I still can't feel the midline - hopefully that numbness won't wear off until after the wound has healed.
Postop Day 30
Today was good. Told my husband tonight that I'm finally starting to get excited about what my result will ultimately be. This past month has been a very hard lesson in patience.
Postop Day 31
Swelling is much less this evening, but I took a nap with my feet up this afternoon, so that probably helped.
Postop Day 32
As progress slows, I am more forgetful about taking pictures. I continue to take wound pictures every time I remove the Mepilex, just because I can't see the wound very well.
Went shopping today, walked by a store and thought 'when this swelling is gone, I'll look good in clothes like that'. I'm starting to move into the stage of seeing my body more the way it is now instead of how it was before. I'm still amazed though when in the car and I look down and don't see a pregnant-looking belly. :)
Postop Day 34
Swelling continues. In the morning it isn't too bad, then as the day goes on I can feel my pants fitting tighter and tighter. Need to work on getting my feet up whenever I can, it really does help.
One month post-op appointment is tomorrow. Not looking forward to the drive. Not sure what will be addressed - my wound is still open so I don't figure they will take my official post-op pictures yet.
I realized this evening I haven't posted any pictures with cloths on. Definitely filling out the top I have - wish I had a pre-op picture in it, but I didn't have that much foresight.
Postop Day 35 (late)
Postop Day 36
Postop Day 38
Lost track of post-op day number...
Left breast is still higher than the right. I'm still waiting (and hoping) for it to drop.
Still a lot of swelling at the end of the day.
Dec 30, 2016
I am getting more excited about my results. My left breast has started to soften/drop more. I wore some tighter clothing today (my closet currently is an all-or-nothing situation: either skin tight or loose/baggy). I look better than I have in a long time, but I will be more comfortable wearing clothes that are a little more middle-ground in regards to tightness.
I had lost track of taking pictures for a bit - my camera was out of commission. I have it back now, and had my husband take some pictures with my phone as well.
8 Week Update
May attempt to do some shopping today. I don't really like to shop, but most of the clothes in my closet don't flatter this new shape.
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.