Tummy Tuck - Long Beach, CA

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I always knew I was going to need a tummy after...

I always knew I was going to need a tummy after having children. In my case having child. I've had one, just one and she is wonderful, but pregnancy is something that I am perfectly fine never experiencing again. The stretchmarks came on so fast and furious they actually burned and were tender and severely itchy. I had to cover by pregnant belly with Calamine lotion to make it barely tolerable. I was so uncomfortably pregnant that after my daughter was taken via c-section due to her breech position I actually felt better, despite having been cut open and sewn back together. I have always been self conscious about my my body and especially my stomach, its just now I can't even remember what it looked like pre-pregnancy. Of course, my story goes deeper, much deeper, as I'm sure it does for most of us. And moving forward with this surgery represents so much more than just removing some extra skin. I am actually at a point of self acceptance and self love like I have never known before. In a way, I am sad to let go of this part of my body especially my c-section scar which my daughter asks to see every so often when I tell her the story of how she was born. But the opportunity has presented itself at a time in which I know it is now or never. After a 7 year marriage, my ex-husband left me when my daughter was 6 months old. Now 6 years later, I have completely rebuilt myself and my life. It's time for the final step.

The irony of it all is .... I effing hate SPANX!

I'm 5'5" and weigh 135. My boobs are a 36C and my stomach sticks out farther than my chest. I wear size 31 in jeans. Yes I can get on a 30 or even a 29, but refuse to have spill over. My tummy is seen by some as "not that bad" or problematic. I've been told that all I have to do to look good in a tight dress is wear a SPANX. But I would rather look like I'm smuggling a huge doughnut (this is how I see my belly) under my dress than wear those god awful constricting "undergarments". They suck! And now, after I have my TT in August, I will be living in SPANX 24/7 for 6 months, this is the part I fear most! I'm just envisioning myself sweltering in the late summer/early fall months in my oh so enticing girdles. Ugh! But the thought of being able to throw on a cute tight jersey dress without the SPANX next summer is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Pre-op tomorrow...

Pre-op appointment tomorrow. Gotta fork over the $ for the surgery. Two weeks away. This is crazy. Still doesn't seem like it is really going to happen. Also, my #1 crush is in town. Trying to fit in a rendezvous as it will be a LOOONG while before I will be seeing any action post surgery. :P Really, ladies that have been through this, how long before you actually feel like you can get *it* on?

1 day post-op

Surgery went smoothly, full tummy tuck with muscle repair and I had a small umbilical hernia that also needed fixing. Overall I think things are going well. I can get up and down on my own and go to the restroom unassisted. I coughed once and it felt like I got shanked in the gut. NO MORE COUGHING! That one is no joke.

10 DAYS POST - Keeping the drains in cuz they look cool

So I'm 10 days post op and healing well. Last time I was my doc was 5 days post op. At that point I was already putting out less than 15 cc per drain per 24 hour period, however, doc was about to leave town and isn't retiring until my 15th day post op. So we decided it best to just leave both drains in rather than risk any seroma issues. So here I am, 10 days PO and I'm putting out 10cc per drain per day, give or take. These things SUCK, literally and figuratively. I do have the option to go to the back-up doc, but I don't want some doc I don't know messing with my junk. Speaking of which, I have what I've seen another poster refer to as the "Ken Doll" swelling going on. I hope to god that goes away. The drains hurt when they get yanked inadvertently, but now the skin around the drain sites is toughening up so I hope those scars aren't lumpy and hard down the road.

I did not have the constipation issues, per se, that most tummy tuckers mention due to the pain killers. Basically I swigged half a bottle of the mag citrate the night before surgery. This resulted in a decent poop prior to going under. Post surgery I took a fiber/acidophilis combo supplement a few times a day. However, I did not go poop for 5 days. Which I guess sounds like constipation, but it wasn't like I was feeling stopped up, I just didn't have to go. So I guess day 4 I took 2 Senokot tablets and had a wonderful BM the next morning. No pain, no strain. :)

At my 5 day post op appointment doc took a few stiches out of my belly button and so far I am happy as can be with the way it looks. I think that is how I found my doc in the first place, by searching "best bellybutton" on this site.

My scar still has the same tape on that I came out of surgery with. I've showered daily since day 2 PO and the tape is holding strong, have not had any seepage, leakage or fresh blood. In fact my incision doesn't even seem to be the main source of tightness, it is actually my upper abdominals. I was also having what felt like Braxton-Hicks type contractions around days 5-8 PO.

So I've made it this far. I have managed to only cough twice since surgery and not sneeze at all. I go back to work in 4 days and will have to work wearing the drains for two days. That ought to be fun. Toodaloo....

Tape off, drains out, Yay!

Went back to work last Wednesday. Did ok, only issue was one of my drain sites became so tender it was bringing me to tears when it would get moved in ANY direction. I had one more day to work until going to have the drains removed. Barely made it. Any longer and I would have gone to an urgent care to get the left one out it hurt so badly. But, finally Thursday evening arrived and the drains came out! No issues, no pain, closed my eyes, felt a little tug and voila!, I felt human again. Doc removed tape from incision which to me looks fabulous. Also took all stitches out of my BB. He advised not to put anything on the incision and come back in a week. Friday I had the worst period cramps ever which I think we're not helped by having a tighter tummy and some additional swelling now that my drains are out. Now it's Saturday and feeling much better.Toodles!

Starting scar therapy

Saw doc yesterday for 3 week PO visit. He gave the ok to start scar therapy, only recommending silicone products. I skipped purchasing the biocornium for $150 and ordered some kelo-cote for $40 from amazon.com. In the mean time I've put Scar Away strips on my incision line that I had on hand and am rubbing Bio Oil into my belly button and the remaining stretch marks below it. Going back to doc in 3 weeks. Will try to update with preliminary scar pics soon.

Starting Scar Treatment

Cleared for exercise!

Doc says I can begin working out this weekend and to use my best judgement to not overdo it. He's also instructed me to wean off wearing the spanx. Using the kelo-cote religiously, not seeing dramatic results as of yet. I go back to see doc in two months.

Just a few scar pics for comparison

After three weeks using kelo-cote 2 times a day. A white raised ridge is forming down the center of the scar. Going to tape it tonight in hopes of it flattening out.

Am I swelling or gaining weight?

So I started working out again last week at my beloved barre classes. Feels so good and I am actually surprised at how much strength I have retained doing nothing for the past 8 weeks. Somehow I am now able to do full-on pushups (not the sissy kind my knees either). Perhaps from using my arms so much hoisting myself up and down to compensate for abdominal weakness? But, unfortunately I fear I have done too, much too soon. I've got some swelling going on, at least I hope it's swelling and PMS, because if not, then I'm gaining weight. I'm getting more and more sore and tender after each workout, so I'm going to back off, wear the spanx for a few days, drink water and take my turmeric. I'm just very happy with being able to keep up with my barre class. I also took a yoga class about three weeks ago. That went OK, I might possibly do a class over the weekend.

Going for laser treatment consult tomorrow

7 laser treatments?

I've lost count of the number of treatments so far. Around 7 I think.
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

So far my tummy tuck done by Dr. Esmailian looks great! I am two days post op and will continue to update my review and recovery, but at this point couldn't be happier. Aside from the aesthetic work, Dr. E and consultant Sam have been wonderful at putting me at ease and helping me feel confident that all was going to go well with the procedure. They are very warm and caring. Right now I'm super pleased!

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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