29 Year Old Making Changes for the Best - Charleston, SC

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Hello Realself, I am a 29 year old with one...

Hello Realself,
I am a 29 year old with one beautiful baby girl, which will be turning one at the end of this month (July). A little bit about what lead up to me choosing to have surgery: Being a very active person and planning to someday compete in fitness competitions, I was used to going to the gym twice a day; morning cardio, afternoons lifting. I LOVE lifting weights! I enjoy the challenge and being able to out lift some of the guys in the gym. Plus I love to eat so working out is a must. (Nov 2011) Well, I ended up having my gallbladder removed (laparoscopicly) because it stopped functioning properly which would cause me to be in excruciating pain…three/four incisions later plus 6 weeks of not being able to lift and workout like I was use to I was back on track. A month later (Dec 2011) I was awakened from my sleep by abdominal pain, so once again a trip to the ER. Thinking it was just bad constipation (smh, not always the smartest tool in the box, I had used the bathroom that day) come to find out my appendix was on the verge of rupturing…so emergency surgery. This time although a laparoscopic removal was planned, I woke up with a vertical incision from my belly button all the way to my Vajayjay and because the appendix was so big it couldn’t be removed the less invasive way. After a scare “we have to biopsy your appendix it to make sure it did not have cancer in it.” And once again I was put down for more than 6 weeks. The only positive news was I had great abs lol. Anyways recovery was hard, long, and boring…I needed the gym. During my bed mandatory bed rests I had gained a weight I went from 145lbs to about 160. February I unexpectedly met the love of my life…he had an even worse scar down his stomach then me so I was never self-conscious with him. Four months later we were engaged and unexpectedly pregnant but we were both very happy about it. Four and a half months into the pregnancy we lost our little one, the biggest heart break for the both of us… our little Tristian (we just felt it was a boy). After waiting for my cycle to return to normal after my D&C (3rd surgery), my way through it was to have a little one. We agreed to try one more time; I knew I could not handle losing another one. Well we got pregnant again and every day I was so scared…I got an ultrasound almost every month. We successfully had our baby girl in July and she is the best thing that has ever happened. By the end of my pregnancy I was around 220lbs but worth it…some of the weight was due to me being scared to workout (I couldn’t lose her), she was apart of us...our blessing and I was willing to slow down to bring her into this world. I am now currently 170lbs and scheduled to have a mini tummy tuck with lipo to the flanks to remove the extra fat around my waist, I will have muscle repair (MR) if needed. From the doctors observation it seems I will only need MR below the bellybutton. He will also be moving my bellybutton and removing as much of the skin+vertical scar. Basically a full tummy tuck but a mini lol.

Pre op pictures- 18 days till surgery

Pre op photos: Lt side view, front view, and Rt side view...not very pretty but I'm a work in progress. Currently 173lbs

Morning gym

I look better in clothes :) short and thick but nice when everything is tucked.

11 Days until mini TT with lipo

So, I have 11 days left until my mini tummy tuck. I had my two week prior to surgery appointment. The doctor answered all my questions about the TT surgery, I feel very confident in his plans. I may still have a small T scar depending on how much he can remove. I did ask him about a future BL/BA (breast lift/breast augmentation for the newbies :) procedure his price quote was great but he performs his in two different procedures :( if I was able to take that kind of down time, I'd be all in. At this moment I'm leaning/falling more towards Dr. Freiman in Miami. I'm shooting for a Dec-Jan time frame. If anyone has any advice about him please feel free to leave information.

Day 2

Everything went smoothly want to get the hospital. Took a quick nap and woke up with my tummy tuck. At the moment everything is still a little numb. But for the most part it's not much different from my C-section. I was hunched over walking for maybe the first day and I would say am walking up right now. Does anyone know how long the numbing feeling last. Overall the outcome is excellent. I will be posting pictures tomorrow wants I get to take a shower.

Day 4

Ok so it's day four after my surgery and I'm up and about and feel normal, well besides the numbness above the belly button. Maybe the nurses were right but I take pain pretty well, I stopped all pain medications the second day and am now down to Motrin for the soreness. The drains are a pain but hopefully they'll be out at my follow up on Friday. Of course there's swelling but after watching a couple of YouTube tummy tuck procedures I completely understand why. My doctor was great, I was considering going to another doctore for a BL and BA but he did so well I may come back for him and suck up spending the extra money. Well here are some pics...swelling swelling swelling :(

Slow and steady

Can't complain my recovery has been smooth, left drain out on Friday hopefully the right one but Wednesday. I've accept swelling because I don't know how to just stay doing nothing but everyday looks better. Now as everything heals it itches like crazy but nothing a little Benadryl doesn't knock out. Last improvement on my life list is a BL & BA. Researching still...when I say research I mean profile stalking lol. Will post more pictures tomorrow or soon :)

Updated pictures as promised

I apologize ahead of time for the dirty mirror lol. This was shortly after waking but the swelling comes on fast because I don't know how to sit my butt down.

20 days later

So I'm doing well, starting back to work tomorrow...not looking forward to it. So the first drain got remove after about a week. The second one got removed around my two week mark. Shortly after I developed a seroma at my lower end, had about 30cc drained with a needle. It didn't hurt at all, I'm still a little numb so that helped. Of course by the pictures you can see the pouch (seroma) has returned. Doc tried to drain it yesterday but nothing came out...I'm slightly worried but I trust that he knows best so I'll go back and get it checked again next week. I just hope it goes away and doesn't ruin my results. I now wear a spanks, and two binders...trying to keep one at the lower end of my abdomen.


Well in my research I've read that if the garments still leave indentation there's still swelling...in my head I thought I was past the swelling stage. Again not the sharpest tool lol so I will see you guys again in 10 day for an update.

A late update :)

So progression is slow but steady, of course my swelling is more in the evening then in the morning because I work in an environment where I'm on my feet most of the day and demonstrating exercises.

Time flies when your chasing a little one

Sorry it's been a while, but here's an update. I am a day shy of being 8 weeks post op. The swelling is going down slowly but surely, we have our good days in our bad days...but all days are better then where I began :-) this was the first week I've done two a days in the gym (cardio in the AM and weights in the PM). Still not able to do sprints, my skin/abdomin is still sensitive to the impact. Either way it feels good to be back...I speak to very few people in the gym but I've had people stop me and ask how I got back down to where I am...lol if I know them then I tell them, there is absolutely no shame in what I've done. I'd do it again if need be. But anyways, here are my photos...I tried to crop out my bum but I couldn't cut it for some reason.
Mount Pleasant Plastic Surgeon

In the initial consult the doctor was very knowledgeable and answer any questions I had at the time. I trusted his options so I just showed him what I was working with and we went from there. His assistant is always reachable, when I had questions after my initial visit I was always able to get in touch with her...Even on the weekends. I work in the medical field myself so I knew ahead of time I wouldn't be speaking with the doctor every call. The clinic itself is clean and well put together, I had no problems with any of the staff they were all very courteous and respectful. I didn't feel like anyone was money hungry (trying to get me to do more procedures), honestly the entire process went very smoothly.

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