Tummy tuck and flanks lipo done March 11, 2014

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I live very far far away so I will have to fly in...

I live very far far away so I will have to fly in to the states for this surgery. The flight will be around 22 hrs plus. I will have only 4 weeks max from the consulting time to recovery time since I must go home to care of my 3 little ones who are under 5 years old. I have to get a full time nanny to care of them while I will be away. I will be staying with a family member in the states for this, so pretty much I will be all by myself. I am more nervous about my children here than the surgery cuz I have read / researched a lot so I kind of know what I am getting into. Sometimes wondering if the nanny will be good to my children? just hope everything will be alright at home. If something happens, what would I do while having the surgery and so far away? is it worth it? I am fighting these questions in my mind every second. I even think of if I die, who will take care of my kids. hmmmm...be positive, right???? well I am trying to be a positive one here but just be frankly on the "might be problems".
I am scheduled on March 11. I will be flying a week prior to the surgery and recover about 2.5 or max 3 weeks. I just really cross my finger for the jetlag and exhaustion after the long flight. I talked to my dr's nurse and she said I just need 2 weeks for the post op then I will be okay to fly away!!! hmmm sounds easy but if complications happen, I will be screwed to change the ticket date...ahhhhahh....

Extended TT?

6more weeks but I can't lose weight. Actually I gained a few pounds. Haiz I might have an extended one. My dr hasn't examined me but look at the fat all over my flanks. I think so...anyone who has an extended one? Did it take longer to heal? The scar is freaking long to the back? Thanks thanks...many thanks!

Consultation and preparation for the big day

I didn't have much chance to update but here I am, just got mine done yesterday morning. I flew from overseas and didn't feel great after 22 hrs flight. I had a horrible jet lag plus I am just anxious and nervous about everything, well but just me - a non stop worrying person.
I relaxed a day after my arrival then came to see my dr for a consultation. A little bit shock cuz he gave me pretty bad news that my tommy won't look as flat cuz my muscle is so destroyed. He also showed me some preo pics which look like mine and after pics after 1, 2 and 3 months and I told him the results on those cases were not as flat, still protruding. He told me I would be very lucky to have one of these tummy afterwards. I was very upset by that. Actually i felt more disappointed than ever. Of course, would you? What is the purpose of this surgery? Flat? I had no choice since I have no time for a second opinion . I have to fly home to care for my children... Well I decided I had to go for that and still hope for the best.
The nurse was nice and caring. The dr was neither cold nor warm, he answered all my questions and gave me what I should expect and be realistic. So overall the consulting went well despite the fact I had to remind myself that the loose skin will be gone but some how i will still look like 2 or 3 months pregnant...but I am trying to be optimistic that I will try to exercise to look flat! Not sure it is going to work, just praying and praying!
After the consultation, I just relaxed my self. I went shopping like crazy cuz where live in Middle East they have a lot of high end clothes and some stores i love like banana republic, Nordstrom...are usually much higher than in the states. I shopped and read books before the big day. I didn't exercise at all, but for some reason I lost 5 pounds over a few days. I think I was lucky to get good genes to lose weight pretty easily at least for now. I am mid 30.
The day before surgery my best buddy came and will stay with me for the first week to take care of me so I feel really blessed. She is wonderful as always!

Big day has arrived

My surgery will be tomorrow morning. I didn't sleep at all. I emailed all my loved ones to tell the how much I miss and love them, especially my little children and husband. I emailed my oldest daughter's teacher to ask about how my daughter has been doing at school and reminded me her activities schedule and field trips...I emailed my nanny to remind her of caring the kids more and their after school activities...kind of weird that I told them over and over verbally and in writing but I am now thinking that there is a chance I would vanish and this is my will! Come on, be optimistic! Just me! butterflies r always in my tummy.
Yahoooo! I got myself ready at 5.30 am on 3/11. Remember no eating or drinking even chewing gums after midnight. We left the house promptly at 6.05 am. Got to the surgery center at 6.30 as supposedly, I signed some consent and other paperworks and waited about 10 min then a nurse took me in to do my vitals. She tested my urine to ensure I am not pregnant ( and so glad I wasn't, just kidding) then I changed to a hospital gown. She put an ivy on my arm and tried to talk to me in purpose of calming down cuz I was a little bit shaking and pale. The dr arrived. He was having a running nose so I kept asking him if he was well enough to perform the surgery. He said if he wasn't, he wouldn't be here. Well I was still worried and thinking if he was so weak and did poorly on me. He marked me but only the flanks. I asked him why not on my abdominal but he said he would do so why I was lying down and sleeping. He mentioned I was pretty skinny. I was 5.1 or about 5.2 and 105 pounds this morning ( I tried to maintain. 110 since my baby was 3 months) so he didn't do lipo much on my flanks or ab, just will remove loose skin or a little bit on the flank if possible.
The anesthetist and her nurse came and talked to me. Also they allowed my buddy and a couple of my friends came over and said hello to me, very Interesting that the anesthetist was my friend's neighbor. So I made a joke that I would be a VIP. Then I said goodbye to my friends then they rolled me into the op room. The anesthesia dr tried to talk to me since I kept asking her if I would wake up....then I woke up in a recovery room. My buddy and friends were there to listen to the nurse the instruction to care for me. She, my buddy seemed nervously cuz she will be the main one to hand me all medicines...they dressed me up in the PJ. Oh by the way, please wear PJ and flip flop.
I forgot to mention I rented a leather power recliner and walker. I read some reviews here and I totally agree this is a MUST!
I was completely surprised that I didn't have so so much pain as I thought, it was a little bit better than the csection. Just vert tight in the ab and sharp pain in the incision, but I am able to walk, of course in a hunching position. My mind was very sharp even tho with all medicines, what is wrong with me?
Well, speaking of that...I might want to dose off now... I will update later...
Happy healing and will post pics when I can take my binder off...

Things I remember now after awake fr med

If u r bad luck to have a cold including crazy continuos cough, running nose and sore body prior to the surgery. I was the one actually. I had a severe cold 1week before the surgery. I took night quil, extra strength Tylenol, not ibuprofen which is thin blood, cough drop, green and ginger tea and antibiotics to clear the mucous in the lungs. Luckily it was gone 2days prior to the surgery.
I rented a power leather recliner and simple walker which are my best friend now ( $200 for 2weeks including delivery and pickup fees)
Take all med prescribed by dr around the clock. Don't miss even a dose. Alarm and alarm for a reminder
Drink plenty of water and actually I like boost, protein shake and plain crackers
Wear PJ and huge grannies panties. I don't even wear bras hmmm my breasts r always flat anyway
I know nothing is really new here but just something you might be too nervous to forget so I wrote in this review.
Actually it is not easy to get up cuz the tummy is tight, but if I just lay on the recliner, I feel alright. So when I get up to urinate, I must use the walker plus a little extra help of my friend. Haven't done# 2yet and no gas just yet!
My butts hurt, not my back cuz I sit too long on the chair or might be the pressure fr the surgery? i am not sure and too early to tell since only one day post op anyway

Day 1 op pic with 2 drains

Day 1 op pic with 2 drains

Day 3 po

The oxycodone made me very nauseous and dizzy so I took it every 6 hrs instead of 4. I have eaten Thai food 2 times a day and protein shake boost 1time / day. I try to drink quite a bit aqua, like4-5 bottles...
I just changed gauzes around my incision and belly button. Oh. Lord! I stood up and almost fainted. I was a little mad cuz I still saw some extra skin a ove the incision right below the bb. Will it be straight out or loose skin stay there? Anyone pls tell me? I was so upset that I didn't take a pic, but next time I will.

Day 4 po

I didn't sleep much at all last night. I got so nauseous. I don't have much pain, just a little tight on my ab, but not much. I called my dr this morning and he asked me to take 1/2 oxycodone every 6 hrs and Benadryl to aid me sleep. I watched 3 movies today and napped 30 min.
I did ask my dr about loose skin above the incision and he said he couldn't do any tighter. If so, could cause opened wound. I have eaten Chinese and Thai food and anything else would make me throw up including cookies,
I updated a couple of pics. Did u see loose skin above the scar and below the bb? Not right or I am just too obsessed with it? Will it smooth out? Pls give advice

Day 6 po

I can stand straighter now. The very weird thing is that I don't have muscle spasm like other people described. I don't have much pain at all. I don't mean that I want it but just nervous there is something not done as supposed to be. Was my muscle repaired tight enough? Why don't I have much pain? Why I still walk like normal, just hunch a little bit.
I am kinda freaked out more and more now. Anyone pls calm me down with good reasons? Please? I sill have loose skin down there which annoys and drives me nuts and nuts!
Oh the Benadryl gave hallucination so I quit taking it today.
I will see him tomorrow hopefully the weather will be good so my appointment won't be cancelled. I have to ask him if he actually put my muscles back or not or even cut all loose skin as supposed to.
Not easy to find a caring and kind dr nowadays.

Day 4 po

Day 7 po

I still can't sleep and craving for Chinese and Thai food :) salty but I don't think I have much swelling yet. I will see my dr for the first time after the surgery. I hope he will remove my 2 drains. They don't bother me much but last night one of the lids was opened and red liquid is all over my recliner and clothes.
I can stay straight now but trying not to cuz I am afraid of erupting the sutures.
I will update what he says about my result, I am unhappy with it right now. No curve and still loose skin and puffy.

First appointment with dr after surgery

It went well. The dr seemed much nicer and had a lot of humors. He took out the drains, hurray. It didn't hurt but I could feel the tubes were sliding out, weird sensation then he used scissors to cut out about ten stitches on my bb that didn't hurt at all. He said I was healing well and my tummy was better than he expected cuz my ab muscles were so far away. I was the 3 rd patient who had that worst one during his 18, 19 years of experience! Ouch!!! So I have to be careful on carrying stuff. Fortunately only me here in the states. my kids r at home so I can rest! Hmmmm, not really I can't sleep at all. Shopping online all the time cuz I dream of tight clothes like I wore before having kids....happy healing my RS friends!
PS: any advice on going to the restroom for #2? I have taken stool softener 3 x day for 6 days but didn't do a thing yet. Poor me! Lolz thanks!

One more little thing...

I am off all medications today. I have a hard time to sleep so I take panadol pm ( EU brand like Tylenol pm in the states). Please wish me luck on the sleeping issue. Thanks and good night to all my RS friends!

Day 7- can u please tell me when we can stand straight?

I asked my dr when I can stand straight but he told me when my body was ready. I am not satisfied with the answer.
I read somewhere here saying that if we can stand up straight after a week or two meaning the dr wasn't aggressive of pulling all the skin down as much as possible.
Now I am only a week exactly fr the surgery and can stand pretty straight which makes me so nervous. Anyone has same experience? Thanks, friends!

Pics day 7

Improved in 2days

I was unable to get in / out easily without hurting the ab 2days ago, therefore my recliner was my buddy since day 1 po. I often raised the recliner all the way up to get out / in. But the leather hurt my lower back badly plus the hunching position.
I still try to hunch cuz I am afraid of tearing off the incision or muscle inside. Just the nerve thing. I might stand straighter but I am so chicken to attempt.
However 2days later at 9 days po, I am so happy that i can get in and out the bed so much easier. My lower back pain is still pretty sore so I use the heating pad which helps a little bit.
I swell more at night and the ab hurts toward the end of day so I have started taking Tylenol since last night.
Sneezing still hurts. Weird because it didn't much before.
Just wishing I could stand up straight without fears and swell hell is gone or at least reduced. ;)
Happy healing to all!

9 day pics- taken at night at the most swelling. Nothing changed so far!

13 days po

Tomorrow will be my 2wks po.
I went shopping last Saturday for almost 4hrs with a walker & I was so exhausted and swollen on my abs and flanks. I know I overdid it. I rested the rest of the evening.
My tummy hurts as I cough/ laugh or sneeze now. I can feel my muscle swollen inside and the flanks start swelling badly past few days.
I don't take any Tylenol pills any more cuz the pills can't make the swelling go down and doesn't hurt that bad in general.
I still hunch cuz I am still afraid of ripping off the sutures.
I have eaten 1 can of pineapple per day which I hope will help reduce the swelling.
I have eaten a lot of fattening food like pizzas, hamburgers...and junk food. I haven't weighed myself since the surgery. I will eat better so I wont destroy the result, hopefully!
The tape around my incision starts peeling off. The incision looks very dark.
Very annoying that I see some loose skin right around the incision and quite a bit as I sit down. I am not sure because I hunch or not.
I will call my nurse today cuz this loose skin really bothers me.
I took some pics this a.m, I don't see any difference since week 1. i hope it will get flatter week by week but apparently not happening yet. Still long way to go though.
Have a great week!

Complications? Ct scan today

My torso between my breasts & belly button ( the MR area) has hurt me badly and starts swelling and sticks out like a lemon. I tried to take pics but my camera is a bad old one so showed nothing!
I was freaked out and called my dr around 6 pm last night. He asked me to meet him right away, so I rushed to his office. He looked and said never happened before during his 20 years of experience, but he thinks the fluid / injury caused blood was built up then caused a big protruding bruised balloon, but again he is unsure what is going on...

He ordered an abdominal CT scan for me so I will do it today.

I am very freaked out now. So scared of the muscle repairs tore out since it was damaged badly.

I am praying!

The bump.

The pic doesn't show how big it is. It looks more scary and much bigger than in person. I couldn't get the correct angle to show its correct size. But the bruise and bump stick out. Hurts very bad and prevent me fr standing straighter.
I hope I will get a call fr my dr tonight or early tomorrow.
I am praying!

Seroma ( lumps) on muscle repair

I went to see my dr this morning. After his examination, he drained the bump / lump located right on my muscle repair. He said I looked fine and actually the bump got smaller than last week he saw me ( before the ct scan). That is good cuz my body absorbed some. Just hoping it won't come back.
He told me I could be off the garment and stand up straight but I told him I would feel comfy as hunching until another week or so
I should Rub body lotion and massage gently on the incision, belly and belly button
I am still praying for everything to be alright!

3 weeks po

Besides a bruise and lump on my muscle repair, I feel much better. I still can't straight up totally even tho my dr told me I could.
I usually wear my long tshirt underneath my cg then my normal clothes. This prevents itchy or allergic to the cg
I still have swelling around my tummy and of course this is normal until 6 to 12 months
I am allowed to take bromelain and turmeric pills
I sleep with 6 pillows underneath my head and knees
I walk around every 2 -3 hrs for about 30 min or I go shopping around 4-5 hrs without a walker.
My incision is very thick and dark. I start massaging it and my tummy with body lotion
I took photos today but hardly see any difference fr wk 1 and 2.
Happy healing!

1 month po

Yahooooo! 1 month already. I can stand up straight about 90% to 95% without fear but still hunch around the afternoon due to swelling. My hips are still very swollen and hurt sometimes due to the lipo. I have used Mederma scar gel and cocoa butter skin therapy oil on my tummy, belly button and incision which are very soothing. I rub them on about 2 to 3 times a day. I just ordered silicon strips scar away via amazon and will try them next week
I still sleep with some pillows around and haven't slept on my tummy yet.
My tummy and the area below belly button are bigger and more swollen toward the end of day. The area below bb hurts quite a bit if I am too active. For example, I went shopping about 5 hrs and walked slowly without a rest which caused more swelling and painful
I am coming to see my dr today cuz I found out there was a stitch thread still in my belly button then I will go to the airport to fly home
My dr said I could not lift or carry anything over 15 - 20 pounds until 2 months po
I really love the result and would not regret! I am coming home so really hope there will be no complications .
Happy healing, everyone!

incision stitch spitting out at almost 6 weeks.

I found 2 days ago there was a little stitch coming out from my incision. I cut it off and now that spot turns red. it doesn't hurt but I am worried that it will turn out an infection. I left the U.S last week and live in a country where doesn't have good and trustful doctors.
any one has experienced this? thanks

7 weeks po

I feel pretty much normal at 7 weeks po. I walk 1 hr a day and do routine house chores. My tummy doesn't hurt but just swells a lot at night. My incision spitted some stitches and was inflamed a couple of weeks ago. I first cut it off then I left it alone and rubbed bio oil on it. Now it is fine and healing nicely.
I feel really tight and uncomfortable after eating too much.
My muscle repair still hurts when I am too active or hold my 23 pound baby.
I kinda don't like my belly button cuz it looks too big and protruding. But honestly I am very happy with the result and would never regret this procedure.
I try to massage my tummy area 2 times a day and 2 minutes each.
Happy healing everyone!
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

I found him here in RS and started looking him up then pleased with all my researches on him. I emailed him a few times and told him about my overseas circumstances then he suggested 1month rest after the surgery before flying back home and can't pick up anything more than 15 - 20 pounds until 2month post op. Very nice that he responded very quickly and precise via email. I am very glad with dr Hall. He is the best dr. So Caring! He did come to his office around 7 pm to check on me cuz I was so nervous that I couldn't wait the next morning.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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