No Drains, No Narcotics (1 Month PO - sharing new pics too)

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Currently, I am 3 days post-op for BA and...

Currently, I am 3 days post-op for BA and abdominoplasty. So far recovery seems to be as expected.

I am 5'9" and weigh 155 lbs. My activities vary from triathlon to water sports to good old weight training. This past spring/summer, with the help of my nutritionist, I went from 24% body fat to a little under 18%. But guess what remained? flabby stretch-marked stomach. And guess what shrunk away? Breast tissue just dissolved.

Although I've been wanting to do this procedure for years, I've never had surgery. More importantly, my body is so strong and healthy that I was afraid to compromise it in any way. Also, did I really want to trade one set of scars (stretch marks) for another one? But I just disliked how that flabby lower abdomen pushed up over my pants and I ended up with an inner tube around my belly, no matter what! Plus I wanted to "reinflate" my breasts back to a full C.

My PS and anesthesiologist have a great philosophy regarding pain control. First of all, my PS does not use drains. He uses quite a few sutures so as not to leave any pockets where a seroma might collect. I think the fear of having painful drains also held me back, so I was delighted to learn about his technique. Also the AS explained the IV sedation cocktail ( ketamine, propofol, and ?versed) and she uses no narcotics in the mix, which greatly reduces nausea.

Prior to surgery is where the magic happens, as far as preventative pain control, decreased bruising, and minimal swelling. At first I was skeptical about taking all these meds, since I don't take any at all. But I followed all of their advice and I'm happy to report that my discomfort has, at worst, been a 5/10. I also did not consume certain foods/beverages that can thin the blood (berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, wine, onions, green tea, etc) for 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Further, pain control lies in decreasing the inflammatory response and controlling muscle spasm. So I've been taking my Celebrex, Valium, norflex, sin-ecch and Tylenol, along with the ice packs. The Percocet is handy but I haven't touched one yet. Sleep has been great. In my own bed since we don't have a recliner. And my husband just pops up to help me to the bathroom.
And I have to say that the showers have been divine! I was able to shower 1day PO and it felt so great on my swollen breasts. My husband was right there with me, washing me.

Speaking of my husband, he's been wonderful....he arranged all my meds, set timers, made me the absolute best grilled cheese ever, was packing frozen pea bags all over me. Unfortunately, he had to go back to work on POD 2&3 so I was on my own. But I was pretty ok and peaceful.

I have been quite surprised that my abdomen has been relatively pain free, except for minor incisional pain. Oh and the one time I coughed. And minimal swelling, although there definitely is some. But no drains! I do realize if I develop a seroma he will have to evacuate it...with a needle.

I guess I'm more concerned at how swollen and ginormous my breasts are! We decided on 370cc textured shaped silicone implants. He likes placement mainly sub glandular but we decided that morning of surgery to go partial sub muscular. I imagine this is why my chest feels like I had the most intense chest workout of my life.

So these thing will drop, huh? I hope so because they're just so...jutting. My bra size has been a padded C, with minor ptosis that actually did NOT need a lift. What I wanted was a full C but right now they are huge! Oh and although it's a little boring to just lie around, I have to say all my over-use injuries from my training are disappearing. Yet another benefit!

Today is POD 4. And the first day I ventured out...

Today is POD 4. And the first day I ventured out of the house. Walking slowly through the supermarket was pretty refreshing. But at the same time time I had those thoughts creep in of " look how effortlessly that woman is moving" and " what the heck did I do to myself?". I will say I've been more upright. Oh! And my back was sooooo sore for the past couple of days...probably from hunching over.
Discomfort has been pretty minimal; the worst probably from my giant swollen breasts. I've finished up the Celebrex, sin-ecch, norflex, and have one more Valium if needed. The Vicodin remains untouched, partly because I don't feel the pain warrants it and partly because I've read some of your stories of nausea and constipation. So I'm sticking with the Tylenol and ice packs.
Husband continues to be super supportive...when he's home. I think he understands that for me to heal I need to be left alone. Did I mention he's part Border Collie? He has a strong herding instinct (doesnt nag, mind you) and for once I'm embracing that part of him.
So I've been reading about the different CG that people have been using. I've kept the same one on that my PS put on me and I think it's pretty comfortable. I did not, however, get a breast garment. I've been wearing my sport bras. I've have no drainage and swelling is there but not alarming, in both chest and belly areas.
Hope this helps you ladies who are up for know that talking to your PS and AS about preventative pain control is key.

Oh and by the way, I have a belly button! No...

Oh and by the way, I have a belly button! No longer a starfish pucker but a genuine smooth round belly button! Will post pics once I figure out if I can upload from iPad. And does it matter if one pic shows my hoo-ha?

PO Day #7. I got through Christmas eve...

PO Day #7. I got through Christmas eve festivities, which were low key. But it was the first time I told friends (other than my closest friends) that I had the procedure done. My husband gave me the best advice as I prepared to slowly saunter in and carefully lower my sore body into sitting position: OWN IT! He said own it from the beginning and be honest if people are curious. He said its no different than repairing a some disfiguring birthmark, and that is exactly how I viewed my tummy!
Christmas day was also low-key, although we did host brunch. My husband did most of the cooking, under my scrupulous direction.
Other than the Accolate that I take twice a day to prevent capsular contraction, I haven't been taking anything else except Tylenol maybe once a day. I definitely needed a hot pack on my sore back, from hunching over, and I'm still icing my breasts, which are still kinda porno in size.
Overall my abds, chest and back feel mostly muscle sore without any sharp pain except for one small area along the right side of the belly sutures- and only if I cough or laugh really hard.
Also, emotionally I've been ok! On POD 5 I had a moment where I was thinking " ok I'm all set with moving slow and being sore. I don't want this any more" but I fought through it.

How are others doing with the emotional side of such major surgery and the slow healing?

By the way I'm going back to work tomorrow!

The pics that i just uploaded were from the...

The pics that i just uploaded were from the morning prior to surgery and the post-op pics were from day 3.

So far doing well on POD 11. Went back to work on POD 8 but it was only for half a day. The worst part of that day was the terrible snow storm we were getting and the drive would have been difficult if it were not for my husband getting behind the wheel! I wasn't quite feeling ready for the sudden abdominal movements one has to make suddenly when skidding. Fortunately i was able to leave by noon and he drove me home - literally took an hour in what is typically a 35 minute drive.

Had my 1st PO visit with my PS on Friday the 28th. Everything is healing well. Thank goodness no seromas, hematomas, or infection. I was able to ditch the compression garment that they gave me and just wear my own CG's. By the way, bought a pair of compression boy shorts at Victoria's Secret and have been wearing those. Today wore a pair of Spanx tights underneath my cute Athleta skirt.

So what's uncomfortable? My skin is pretty sensitive as all of my severed nerves in my abdomen and breast area crazily attempt to reboot. I trust they will find their way and that the numbness and tingling and sensitivity will normalize. My breasts are still pretty sore, especially in the morning as i move from different positions. But i've been able to sleep on my side again....and snuggle with my husband! Also, the swelling in my belly progressively becomes worse as the day goes on. Ironically, i can't stand the CG by the end of the day so off that comes and there i lay, half naked sprawled on the couch.

I do find that if i drink more than 80 oz of water a day my swelling is better, which makes sense. Thank you, osmosis!

My belly soreness from all of the internal stitches is very improved. I actually had a major belly laugh with my son today!

Still have not touched the Percocet (accidentally said "vicodin" in earlier post). My current medications are Accolate twice a day, an occasional tylenol, and some wine :)

Not really missing working out, although, of course, there is snow to xc on and good waves to surf. But its all good....4 more weeks until i can do any torso-wrenching activities. And another week until i'm back in the gym.

If anyone has any questions for me about the drain-free procedure or pain control that was employed by my PS and Anesthesiologist, please ask.

So today is POD 14. My TT area has been swollen...

So today is POD 14. My TT area has been swollen every day; today seemed a little less. Keeping up with the 2-3 liters of water every day. Accolate continues, and I guess it will for another 2 months. Does anyone else take accolate preventativiely post breat aug surgery?

Breast swelling is still there but I think they're gently settling into place. Mornings are the worst when I roll over and first sit up. So sore!

And I'm still being kind and gentle to my abds and using the rolling-on-my-side-first to get from prone to sitting.

Out of the belly compression garment for good. Just rotating through the Victorias Secret boy short garment and a couple of spanx tights. Mostly wearing sports bra tops underneath baggy sweaters.

And going back to work has been tiring. I think it swells me up more than anything. Went back on the 27th and 28th for half days. Relaxed sat and sun then back full day 31st. Oh and went salsa dancing NYE! I kind of just marched but it was fun! Back to work again today. Much better in terms of tiredness.

Everything is going pretty well, just like my PS and his staff told me. I think having no drains may tend to swell me up but my healing process has been fast and relatively pain free. Will post some pics soon.

Love my new belly button!

POD 18 So today i decided was going to be my 1st...

POD 18
So today i decided was going to be my 1st day back to working out. Took a little while to decide what i was gonna do. Decided on the elliptical and not using the arm movement. I was also kind of self-conscious about showing my new physique, mainly my new baby sumo wrestlers, to the gym community. So i chose a pretty amazing top that showed plenty of "change" - why not just face it, eh?
So did about 35 minutes on the elliptical at a pretty easy pace. Although i was working hard enough (my last workout had been 20 days ago), i felt pretty good. But i was so in tune with any twinge from my surgery area, i was prepared to stop at any time.
I've continued to be comfortable and using occasional tylenol.
But the most amazing discomfort has been from my skin! Now i know that many superficial nerves were severed during the surgery, resulting in numbness. And i know that they're crazily trying to reboot. But i did not expect for my skin to be so sensitive - from the tops of my nipples to the the top of the tummy scar! And i keep getting "zingers" - electrical-like zaps that are minor but still make me pause.
Still taking the accolate twice a day to prevent contracture. Oh, and today i ordered some Invicible cream, for the scar. Anyone else use this before?
Back to work for my 1st full week days so far have been pretty tiring. Really needed this weekend to rest. My next PO check is next monday January 14. One of my questions is how much my implants weigh ( i got 370cc textured shaped silicone). Another is how much skin he removed and how much fat did he lipo out of my belly (i did not have lipo anywhere else). In my frontal pic, at the middle of the TT scar, you can see where my old belly button used to be. I'm amazed at how much was removed. And i'm so pleased with how well the implants are settling....the PS and his staff said to wait a full 4 weeks before i saw the final results. I'll be patient.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this...I know you all have lots going on in your lives too!

1 Month Post-op First off, I haven't sneezed in...

1 Month Post-op

First off, I haven't sneezed in 31 days! I know it's all in my head at this point, but I'm definitely still fighting it.

I feel like "wow! It's been a month!" Time sure has been crawling for me. But I'm taking it day by day, not wanting to take any chances on harming my investment.

The worst in these past couple of weeks has been my skin. Getting sensation back hasn't been fun. By the end of each day, I just wanna crawl out of my skin! But it does help to shed the clothes :)

I'm still swelling daily around the TT incision. I've only had a couple of non-swell days, which gives me a preview of the flatness that's to come....i just can't wait for it to become permanent flatness! The area in my lower abdomen feels like moss or a sponge. Usually i can feel my hip bones but right now pretty well-padded under swollen tissue.

On a great note, I've been back to the gym for the past 2 weeks, on the elliptical, and have gotten myself back up to an hour at a moderate-hard pace. And my PS cleared me on Monday for wt. lifting! So I've been able to add that on with light weights. Tomorrow I'm planning on hopping on my bike/trainer to see how gravity will affect me as i'm leaning over the handlebars. I'm still not doing any ab work, direct lifting with my pecs, or torso-wrenching activities, like snowboarding, skiing, or surfing. I'm being wicked patient with that, believe me!

One odd thing was that I got a massage on Monday night...first time on my belly in a month. And i couldn't sleep that night! Guess i was sore....I was pretty uncomfortable.

Back at work full on, and have been for 2 weeks now. Tiring but i don't have any minis I have to take care of, like some of you mom's out there do (mines all grown up!).

Oh! I went to VS to get measured for my new bra I was flat 36C and was aiming for full 36 C. I'm now a 36DD/38D! I have mixed feelings about this. Needless to say, my husband is awfully proud! I'm thinking i may have a little more swelling to combat, and my PS said on Monday that they haven't fully dropped yet.

Work in progress.....

Best to you all!
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