44 Yr Old Mom, 5'4, 189 Lbs Ready for my Much Needed Tummy Tuck, Muscle and Hernia Repair!

Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
Sort by:
*Treatment results may vary

I am a 43 yr old mom. I am 5'4 and currently weigh...

I am a 43 yr old mom. I am 5'4 and currently weigh 189 lbs. I am very ready for my much needed surgeries! I am scheduled to have a tummy tuck with lipo and muscle and hernia repair on Friday August 21, 2015. I had my 2nd consult and have my surgery now paid in full. I'm not sure if I will need to go in for a 'pre op" or if just the packet they are supposed to send will be all I need. I will also be having other procedures done in stages later on. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I don't know why this surprised me, but I thought I would have nothing but pure excitement. I feel very comfortable with my PS and think he will do an awesome job!

I have read the supplies needed, etc, but would like to know from you guys what you actually needed and what things actually helped you. I am going to order a medical lift reclining chair soon to have for when I come home from surgery. How long do you think I will need it? Our bed is easy to get into, but the mattress is very cushy, so it will be hard to get up from without really straining my just repaired tummy muscles. I've also read about the toilet seat riser and/or the female urinal. My hubby thinks the female urinal is gross, so do you think the toilet seat riser would be okay? Or do I really need the female urinal for at least a couple of days? I don't want to be in constant pain trying to pee...so any help will be greatly appreciated! What do you guys think about needing a walker? How long were you slumped over and did the walker help? I have about 6 stairs to climb to go potty, so not sure if that will help me anyway. {I guess down the hall until I get to the stairs and then back}. Are there other things you wished you had but didn't? Any other useful tips would be much appreciated! I'm sorry if I'm asking the most repeated questions. Thanks so much for your help and support!

So many thoughts and questions running through my mind!

Hi, Guys! I don't have much to report. I'm just trying to get everything ready on the home front for surgery and my recovery. I have been worrying and thinking a lot. Maybe it's my way of working things out? I don't know, but it's driving me crazy! lol I thought I would post to see what you guys did in these situations. A disclaimer.... some might be TMI. :)

This one, I think I'm working out. I've been frustrated at trying to find a medical lift reclining chair to have after surgery. Apparently, they aren't as easy to find to rent as I thought. They do have them for sale, but who wants to buy something that you will only need temporarily? So, just feeling a bit frustrated. I do have a leather sofa with recliners built in and a recliner by itself, so I guess that isn't a big deal. I was just looking forward to having the "lift" to help me up. My hubby has done everything to convince me to just sleep in our bed, but I'm afraid he might hit my tummy or pull out my drains by accident. He even says that he will sleep on the sofa in our bedroom and I can have the bed all to myself for awhile. My PS wants me to sleep reclined after surgery, so I will do what he wants to get the best results.

How did you guys sleep after surgery? Did you do a reclined position? If so, how long before you got to sleep in your own bed? When in your own bed, did you have a certain type of pillow to stay reclined or just used a lot of pillows? Or were you able to sleep flat by the time you got to sleep in your own bed? Did your spouse accidentally hit your tummy or drains? Our bed is high, but not too high that I can't get in it easy. It's the getting out that I'm concerned with.

I've been wondering about the CG. After surgery, did you have a compression garment or were you just wrapped for awhile? How did you know what size to get? What about the second stage? Could you have taken a shower that day or the next? {Physically, I mean}

I am enjoying reading other people's reviews and have found some great suggestions. Did most of you wear a maxi dress and/or a maxi skirt/shirt to surgery? I've read some wore flip flops as they are easy to get on after surgery. I think I would want socks on to keep my feet warm though. I guess they will probably put on compression socks or something anyway.

Did anyone have their period on surgery day? I planned my tt surgery to be after my period, but afraid that with all the stress going on that it may be delayed. If so, I guess I should just reschedule even though I will lose my deposit. I don't know. Maybe I'm just worrying too much? I am just not sure what to do with that. My period was delayed for my 1st consultation, but about an hour before I went to the appointment..it started. I know..TMI, but I REALLY DON'T want it to happen on surgery day!

My surgery is also scheduled the day after we drop our youngest daughter off at college. So I'm feeling very emotional with that on top of the surgery. I'm planning my surgery and recovery while also planning my baby's "off to college" plans. I don't know why these things seem like they are so sudden, but I feel like it is flying by! Did anyone else feel that way? I had been so excited, but I still get these panicky feelings every once in awhile. I guess that is normal? Maybe it is more for the baby going to college than the surgery?

Sorry for rambling! Thank you to anyone who read this long post! Hope all of you tummy tuckers are healing well and to those who haven't had it yet... Good luck!

My first 'bump" in my PS journey road...

I got a call from my PS's office yesterday. Apparently, my specialist 'doesn't give medical clearances". UMM..WHAT?! I have gone over what my specialist said to us. Literally...word for word. We were told that my specialist would give me a medical clearance and that the PS's office could just call/send the paperwork. She even gave me all of my test results to give to him. I was totally thrown by getting a call yesterday saying they didn't get a medical clearance from my specialist.{She didn't deny it, they just couldn't get one from her in writing}. I had hoped I didn't have to go to my primary since I have seen the specialist every 3 months. The specialist's nurse said that the primary would possible be able to do the EKG at the office and then give the medical clearance. {The PS wants an EKG, so I have to have one}. The specialist's nurse told me {I went there in person as I had no phone service} that I 'am" cleared for surgery as I am stable, but that the primary had to give the medical clearance. I know I shouldn't have been upset, but I have paid for my surgery IN FULL already. I did that based on the conversation that I had with my specialist. Granted, I didn't get to talk to the specialist yesterday about why the nurse said she doesn't give medical clearances, but it looks like the nurse would have done it. We were also hit with NO cell service yesterday, so trying to call doctor's offices or talk on the phone was impossible. That was another upset as I realized how much we rely on cell phones. Scary when you don't have them. That's a whole other post. LOL

This morning my husband called and set up a primary care appointment for me for tomorrow afternoon before they close. He also said that they do EKG's at their office. So, maybe this will work out better. It just takes forever to get test results there and I really need to turn them in ASAP. So, we still may just schedule an EKG at my PS's office just so they have it right away. Sorry for venting! I'm just more stressed now. I REALLY thought this was settled as I need to focus on other things. If my specialist gives the OK for my surgery, I don't see why the primary care wouldn't. I guess I'm just so upset because I thought this was already settled and behind me. I think I just felt more comfortable with the specialist as I've seen them so often. Anyway...tomorrow I will know what I need to do. I am doing great health wise, blood test result wise, etc so there shouldn't be a reason that I don't get a medical clearance. It's just stressful. lol

Thanks for letting me vent! It just really threw me. It really shouldn't be a big deal, so I'll just relax and move forward. Thank you to all who have shown me support and encouragement! I really appreciate it! {{{BIG HUGS}}}

I have my written medical clearance for sure now!

I went to the primary care dr today. My PS's office sent over the medical release form and release for the EKG. My primary did the EKG in office and wrote my medical clearance to send to Dr. Smith. So excited to finally have this all completed for sure now! I have my written medical clearance actually completed :) It actually worked out with having to go to my primary as they could just do the EKG there and we had no waiting for results to be sent. So, now 'for sure" I have a written medical clearance and my EKG done with results. So, I'm cleared by two of my physicians now. I think they will fax the clearance tomorrow morning if they didn't get a chance today before the PS's office closed.

Now I'm planning all the things that I have to get completed before the week of my surgery. This weekend is going to be spent buying things for my daughter for her dorm and getting the things I need for my recovery. I'm excited, but I still haven't received my pre surgery packet from the PS yet. I guess it could come tomorrow. They didn't have the written medical clearance, so they were probably just waiting on that first. They seem very organized and have really helped me figure out what to do and when so far. I am just a worrier wondering if there will be things I need to get and don't want to wait until the last minute. I want to wait to buy things though until I know what my PS prefers.

I can't stop buying a lot of adorable panties. lol I am so ready to toss out my semi compression granny panties and find something more feminine! I ordered two more pink/lace pairs last night. I wonder if I should wait to purchase instead of buying in my current size? I just thought since everyone said to buy my size now in CGs that the same would be true for panties, right? I want something adorable to wear while I'm healing too. :) I am just really excited about all the feminine lacy panties. Some are down right adorable! Have any of you ladies gotten bitten by that bug? Maybe it's because I never even considered wearing 'sexy' panties while fat? Who knows? It is making me very happy though! I'm sure my hubby won't complain either. lol :)

Hoping all of you tummy tuckers are healing well and feeling great! For those about to have surgery, my thoughts are with you and can't wait to see your new body! I know I can't wait to see mine! :)

Friday is almost here! :)

I can't believe that Friday is getting closer! My new power recliner arrived yesterday. We ended up buying a new leather power recliner as there aren't any places around here to rent medical lift chairs. They don't rent them because they get dirty with people having surgery and can't clean them. {The explanation they gave us}. I was going to buy one, but it takes 6-8 weeks for delivery. So, my husband and I found a very comfortable recliner to use at a local furniture store. I am still not sure if having it in the livingroom is a great idea or moving it to our bedroom. I can see everyone here, but maybe I would want quiet for the first couple of days? If in bedroom, then I'm afraid I won't get up as much because the bathroom is right there. I have a blood clotting disorder, so I need to make sure I'm up walking when I can. Decisions! Decisions! lol

Sorry that I haven't been on for awhile. I have been fighting a horrible migraine. I just got home from my trip out of state. I went to my Neurologist to get Botox. I get the shots in my head and neck/shoulders. I usually sit just fine for them, but the migraine was really causing pain and tenderness this time. My Neurologist could actually tell where my pain was and on which side. {I just thought it radiated, so I wasn't sure. It just felt like all over} . I wasn't sure if the Botox really worked, but after going too long without the shots...I KNOW they work. lol I got myself into a horrible mess with the headaches and by the time I got there I was completely miserable. I don't usually ask for anything, but it was so bad that I just had to. I thought a steroid shot would work wonders so I asked for one. The Neurologist said they couldn't give me anything with the Botox shots, so I got a round of pills plus a pain medicine. Apparently, dr said they needed to go together to work. I ended up having a horrible time breathing with side effects. The steroid I was given causes all the side effects I had. I didn't get any print out of the side effects so I had no idea what was happening. I almost made an ER visit. I hate going to the ER, so when I do it means that something is really not right. I stopped the medicine that night. I drove back the next day, 7 hours, with a horrible migraine. So, yesterday was spent in bed trying to get my migraine under control. I still have one, but it is some better today. I'm hoping it will be gone in the next day or two. :) I definitely do not want this for surgery day!

TMI, but I finally started my period! I was almost a week late! I guess stress or whatever caused a delay. I was so worried thinking that I would be on it during my surgery and I just didn't want to be. I'm glad that is not going to be an issue. I do appreciate all of you ladies for sharing your experiences as I know that I won't be the only one wondering about this. Thanks for the answers we needed! {{{HUGS}}}

Tonight, I took my daughter out to get more things for her dorm and to see if I could find something to wear after surgery. I decided on yoga pants with a cotton top. I am just going to have my husband pull the shirt over my head. I have not found a button up shirt and don't like wearing those anyway. I do have some sun dresses here, but not sure I wanted to wear it the day of surgery. I want to make sure I'm comfortable when I'm done in case I'm feeling pretty miserable. I prefer pants to keep my thighs from rubbing together. I do worry because I chose pants without a drawstring, but I shouldn't be that huge of a difference in size right after surgery should I?

I am still needing to find a toilet seat riser as my toilet is very low. Does anyone have a link to the one they used? I would need one that would secure and not slip around. I've been looking for a new one on Amazon. Did any of you ladies get yours on there?

As the time is getting closer to my surgery I do have some anxieties that have popped up. I'm not sure if it is just worry or if I don't feel like I've gotten the answer to my questions about it. I know that I have asked, so not sure why the doubt. When I'm nervous I have a hard time understanding what is being said to me. I would like to know what your experience is with this. What did your PS say to you on the 'size" or how you would look after surgery? What were you expecting to look like after surgery? Did your surgery exceed your expectations or fall short? Sorry...just curious as to what everyone's experience of this was/is. What exactly did your PS say to you about the outcome he/she expected for you? Did they give you any clear expectations?

What panties did you use after surgery while recovering? I know some of you said 'granny panties". What do you think about the hipsters? Would they sit comfortable enough above the incision while not messing with the drain tube? I think the nurse said the drain tube will be in my hip. I was thinking that they would be cute, but since I've never worn them before I'm not sure. If my hanging tummy were gone I'm sure they wouldn't be annoying where they sit. I usually like my undies up high{granny panties} because of my tummy.

Okay..enough rambling and playing a thousand questions. lol Thank you to all my RS buddies for your support and encouragement! I appreciate all the advice and you sharing your knowledge with me and others! I hope that all of you guys that just got your surgery or are about to get it, do great and looking forward to your updates! Happy Healing Everyone! {{{{BIG HUGS}}}

Two More Days! :D

Well....Friday is almost here! Today was the last day that I had time to do all of my things to get ready for surgery and recovery. I have been stressing out and worrying a lot about my surgery. I think stress has caused my blood sugars to run high, so I hope now they will be back to normal. I know after we get my daughter settled into her dorm tomorrow that it should relieve some of the stress.

Dr. Smith's Nurse called me today to talk about Friday's preparations. They usually call the day before, but helped me out by calling today. {Tomorrow we are moving our daughter into her dorm, so we won't even be here}. I appreciate how very thoughtful and caring everyone there is. They truly are super sweet and helpful. :) I had a bit of a melt down on the phone with the nurse. I was really trying not to be upset, but I burst into tears unexpectedly. I hate doing that, so it was especially embarrassing that it wasn't expected. I have just been very nervous and unsure of what expectations that I was supposed to have on the 'after" me. I wanted to be realistic, but I needed to know what realistic was in my case. I have complete faith in Dr. Smith, but it was my body that I questioned. I wasn't sure what it could/would do. {If that makes sense}. The nurse offered for me to come in today to speak with Dr. Smith about my concerns and ask any questions that I might have. I took her up on it and we had a great discussion with Dr. Smith. He was so sweet and answered everything that I asked. He even showed me some things on me which I really liked as it helped to understand what was going to come off, stay, etc. I truly appreciate the time he took with my family and me today. I feel very excited for the surgery and feel like I have a greater understanding of what to expect. I get nervous and forget things, so I'm glad that he didn't mind repeating things to me. He really helped me feel great about doing this on Friday. I am truly excited again to be getting my tummy tuck and lipo with him in two days!

Good luck to everyone having surgery this week! I wish you well and a speedy recovery! I will try to post pictures after my surgery when I can. Wish me luck! Thanks again to all of my RS buddies for being such a great support! {{{BIG HUGS!!}}} and lots of healing sent your way! I look forward to catching up to you guys "on the flat side".

My first Week Post OP

I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to post any updates since my surgery. Surgery went great, but the pain after was excruciating. I was in the hospital for two days to try to get my pain under control. After coming home, it was slow going for me. I was barely moving and it hurt to even breathe. Before the pain was under control, I was really regretting getting the surgery.{I was in A LOT of pain}. There didn't seem to be a moment's peace and I didn't even care about my results. I can't believe that I felt that way, but I did. Now that I am feeling better, I am loving my results so far! Dr. Smith was so patient and kind even when I had my husband call, what seemed like constantly, about my pain before I was admitted to the hospital. So great doctor and husband! :)

My first post op was on Tuesday. I only had one drain in the hip, but it was to stay in for a little bit longer. He said everything was looking great and cleaned out my belly button. Dr. Smith had removed the tape for my bb while I was at the hospital. So not a lot we had to do that visit. I wish I had listened to the others who said to take a pain pill before Post Op Visit. I tried to take Ibuprofen instead. The car ride there a lone had put me in agony. I was hurting and cramping so much. I was a bit of a mess, but Kristi {his nurse} made me feel better with encouragement and just being her sweet self. It really meant a lot. Dr. Smith was also sweet and helpful. He really just wanted to help me as much as he could.

Today {Friday August 28, 2015} was my second Post Op Visit. I am one week Post Op. I had my drain removed from my hip. He told me to take a deep breath and slowly blow it out. It did really help with it not hurting. It just felt 'weird". I did have a pain before that. Maybe I had a stitch he removed? Other than that it wasn't bad. I took a pain pill before the car ride and visit which made a HUGE difference. That is my advice about the car rides and Post Op appointments. Take a pain pill for those.

During all the stuff going on with my pain etc, My hubby somehow found time to go out and buy me a walker, toilet seat riser, and a shower chair with back. ALL of which I need and have used a lot. Well, I only had my first shower last night {6 days PO}, but I can see that I will use it as much as I need. My family has been so patient and loving to me and I really am blessed.

This update has taken some hours to type as I hurt a lot and have to move around to find some comfort. I am still taking pain pills and alternating with Ibuprofen to try not to take so much pain meds. I feel that I owe a long update so that you guys aren't just hanging wondering what happened to me since before surgery.

Thanks for all of your concerns and support! It really meant a lot to come and see that you ladies not only checked on me that day, but have later on also. So this was for you and to say THANK YOU! I am hurting and need to end now. I will update tomorrow or so with before photos and some afters. I hope that the ladies that got surgeries on my day and after are all doing great and that the others are healing beautifully with no issues.

I look forward to catching up on you guys in the coming days. HUGS TO ALL OF YOU!!

Finally....My BEFORE and AFTER Photos. :)

Okay Ladies...Here are my overdue Before and some After Photos for you. The Before pictures were taken about 2 or 3 days before Surgery. {Except for the two where I am marked for surgery}. I posted some After photos also. They are during the first week.

I enjoyed my first shower so much! It felt great! It was on Day 6 with hip drain still in. My tape is still over my incision, so I haven't gotten to see it yet. Or get a picture of it. My bb tape is off and it started looking infected yesterday. My husband has been cleaning it for me and put a band-aid over it to keep the compression garment from rubbing on it. It is starting to look like a bb now. Hopefully we are on our way to a healed bb very soon!

I hope that my Before and After Photos can help other people with the same body shape to see what they can expect after TT surgery. Also what a great and skilled surgeon Dr. Steven J Smith is. I was a full tummy which I hadn't seen on here before. I weighed between 189/193 on surgery day. {I forgot to weigh that morning}.

I am very swollen and have been for awhile. It is a very tight feeling and it feels like a rock. I can't wait until this phase passes. I won't miss these intense muscle spasms! I definitely won't miss the pain. So just trying to focus on finally getting my tummy back! :)

Good luck to all of the ladies considering and about to have tummy tuck surgery! Happy Healing to all of us that have!

A couple of Before/After Side by Side Photos

Here are a couple of pictures of me side by side/Before & Afters. I think the 'after" photos are Post Op Day 3 or 4 and Post Op Day 7. I still can't stand up straight and I'm swollen, but hopefully you guys can still see the dramatic difference. I am leaning forward quite a bit in the pink panties one. I am so pleased by how flat I am. :D I think Dr. Smith is an amazing and skillful surgeon! He sure has given me my tummy back! I have more confidence and my new panties fit! No huge ugly tummy in the way! I am truly blessed!

2 Weeks Post Op

Today is 14 Days Post Op. Can you believe that 2 weeks has already passed? I was feeling a bit down that my healing seems to be going so slowly. I honestly thought that I would be so much further in the recovery process than I am now. I feel like I'm behind everyone else and that really makes me feel bad. I am so lucky to have you guys and an amazing supportive family. My PS and his staff are also amazing and very supportive as well. Dr. Smith made me feel better at my last post op visit on Wednesday. He told me that some people take longer to heal than others and that it OK. I was feeling like such a failure, so that really helped keep me positive. I am not sure what I expected to be able to do right now, but it definitely was much more than I actually am doing. It is so hard to walk any distance. I start cramping with muscle spasms and have shooting pains. I also get winded very easily. I was walking 3 miles a day and doing a Burlesque Dance DVD so I don't understand why I feel like I can barely move. It really seems like everything I do is such an effort. I still sleep in the recliner, love the toilet seat riser, use my walker for the longer walks, am so grateful for the shower chair, and use lots of pillows. Maybe I'm just old? lol Or Maybe it is the swelling?

Boy do I have swelling! It feels like a huge hard ball is trying to poke through my tummy. I have fire pulling by my incision and I could have sworn I hurt my pelvis bone. I mean...there was A LOT done to me, so I suppose it will take awhile to heal. lol Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to start to do my normal activities again? How did you do it? Did you feel exhausted all the time too? I am finally sleeping 3 or 4 hours straight at night which is GREAT news! I was so exhausted from not getting much sleep. I am so happy that sleep is now becoming easier and I didn't even have to take sleeping pills! :) Progress, right? :)
The pain medication actually works well now and I am going longer periods without having to take it. I definitely have a better, positive outlook since Dr. Smith talked to me about it being okay that I may take longer to heal than others. Now I am hoping to be doing A LOT by next week. I sure am going to aim to get out of the house at least.

I am posting pictures from yesterday [13 Days Post Op}, so that you can see the swelling taking place. I am HUGE and so very swollen! How long did this painful swelling last for you guys? What did you do to make it go away or ease up? I am drinking nothing but water since surgery and watching/cut out salt. So, I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. I know that I should walk more, but walking and riding in the car are torture for me. Literally, it kills my stomach. How do I get passed that so that I can move forward? ANY tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!

I am definitely ready for another garment though. I am not sure about Spanx as I have worn them before, but hated them. I have ordered the SPANX Higher Power High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Shaper (032). I am hoping that it is comfortable and doesn't squeeze me. Have you guys tried these? If so, what was your experience after tt surgery?

I am trying to find a garment that isn't too tight, or hot, or scratchy. I wish I could find one that feels like 'clothes". Like cotton or cotton lined. Smooth, soft, and easy on my very sore and swollen body!

I am about to get a Maidenform Flexees Women's Shapewear Wear Your Own Bra Singlet. I know they also have the Maidenform Flexees Romper, so not sure which one I will actually try. Still reading some reviews.

* I am also looking at the Maidenform Flexees Women's Shapewear Minimizing Hi-Waist Boyshort Has anyone tried this? What did you think?

I am looking for something comfortable enough to sleep in if I want. Any ideas?

I'm also looking at the actual surgical garments like :

Isavela Womens 2nd Stage Body Suit With Suspenders Mid Thigh Length


Marena Women's 1st Stage Compression Girdle.

I just want to make sure they are comfortable and worth the money before I buy them. Anyone use these? What are your honest opinions? Are they comfortable? What kind of fabric is it? Does it breathe? Do you sweat a lot in it?

Finally, what garments do YOU like to wear and why? I am a larger lady, so I would need something that doesn't roll, pinch, bind, etc. Do you have any that you can recommend that is not extra firm and would be comfortable for all day or night wear? I am needing to find something soon. I think I would do better with a shaper/garment than my abdomen wrap I have now. It is okay and does help hold me in.

My belly button is healing. It is still draining and my husband cleans it for me. What a great guy! I think he must love me! :) LOL
I almost threw up when Dr. Smith looked at it at my 3rd Post Op visit. lol I was embarrassed, but hopefully he didn't notice. :D I just can't stand to look at it. I guess that is why I don't mind that my surgical tape is still on my tummy tuck incision.

I am showering every day now and starting to get on our normal schedule which is good news. I am enjoying meeting all of you lovely ladies and sharing our journeys. Brightest Blessings and Happy Healing to all of you!
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Steven J Smith seems like a very intelligent and kind man. He seemed very thorough in his consultation with me. He did a lot of measurements and seemed to answer questions before I thought of them. I feel like Dr. Smith is an artist who can skillfully work his magic on his patients. I'm looking forward to seeing his vision for me. I love the results that he gave his previous patients from the photos that I've seen. He seems to do beautiful work on all shapes and sizes which is important to me. I think that helps to show a surgeon's actual abilities of what they can do. I will leave a more detailed review after my surgery and recovery.

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
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful