Just Want to Be Body Confident - Manchester, GB

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After losing weight after having my child nearly...

After losing weight after having my child nearly 12 years ago and now at stable weight of 8 stone 9lb (give or take a few pounds), height 5ft 5ins, it seemed no matter what I did eating wise, exercise wise, nothing seemed to improve my chunky middle and what I call my sad face belly button. I just felt my weight and my upper body didn't match the appearance of my tummy area.

No matter what I did It would just result in me getting thinner everywhere else (too thin) with no improvement on my tummy area.

I have NEVER worn a bikini, despite the fact I am not a big girl, but always covered my tummy up thinking every tummy looked better than mine on holiday.

I finally decided to do something and had my first ever cosmetic procedure, a form of Lipo that also was suppose to tighten the skin. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me despite me following the aftercare to the dot and being told I was the ideal candidate. I knew something was not right, my tummy seemed to protrude even more than before and I seemed to have gained more loose skin and an even sadder looking belly button. I noticed my muffin top more when sat down, I could not wear my pre op underwear as it cut into me as a result of my protruding tummy and yet I was still the same weight, the swelling had passed so it wasn't that. What should of been an improvement and a happy occasion, left me in a dark place and hiding in baggy clothes hating my tummy even more.

I tried to forget about it and move on, but this was proving very difficult after looking in the mirror everyday and remembering my old body, having my clothes be a reminder that things were worst than before, feeling stupid that I had done this to myself, I came across Realself and started to do in dept research.
I went to two plastic surgeons
1: to find out what had happened to me, 2: How I could improve my appearance.
The first said that it should not of been carried out and the only way was a TT and I also needed a muscle repair, but the surgeon felt my appearance was ok and sent me home and said accept yourself (he normally fixes extreme botched bodies) so this is what I tried to do, but I think I saw him to soon after the Lipo procedure and as I said he was use to fixing extreme botched cases and I am not an extreme case.

After about four months of trying to accept it with no success I saw Dr Ross based in the UK. He was straight talking, and was keen to discuss the fact I needed a muscle repair, and discovered a small umbilical hernia. He said he could improve my appearance and sort out my sad face belly button, he was very thorough and showed me various photos of patients and the risks and the scars. He was honest with me and didn't sugar coat it , no sales pressure either. He said I didn't look that bad, but could see why I felt like I do.

I feel I am on a hamster wheel constantly going round and can't move forward with my life and my confidence, stuck in a rut basically.

I eat healthy, I go to the gym three times a week with high impact excerises, even hired a personal trainer. I deserve to be happy and confident.
My procedure is November and I am petrified and experiencing a wave of emotions, feeling selfish to my hubby and child, and thinking their are worse people than me, but, I know if I don't do it now, my feelings will never go away and I will just be delaying the procedure for no reason.

I hope you can relate to this. I just want to be happy with my body, I have not told anyone other than my hubby and another family member as I don't want to be judged, my child I have told I need a Hernia operation.
Is this guilt feeling normal?

Date of operation changed

Clinic phoned and asked if I wouldn't mind moving the operation to a day earlier (17th November), getting nearer.

Pre Op done and all paid ready for Tuesday.

Had my pre op, it went well other than my heart was racing, as I knew the blood test was coming (bad experiences with drawing blood in the past) it was a case of white coat syndrome!!!, so much so that they had to do an ECG to make sure that everything was ok with my heart, which it was. The nurses were great and I spoke to them about my fears about not waking up, they were fantastic and said everyone feels that way, I now feel alot more at ease. Roll on Tuesday!!!

One more sleep, then meeting my new tummy

Not long to go now, bag packed, house cleaned, ironing up to date. Operation tomorrow morning.

All done

Operation went very well, muscles tightened, hernia repaired and TT done, Dr Ross was able to carry out the TT without a vertical scar. He has been brilliant checking me throughout the day and popped to see me in the evening. In fact all the staff I have encountered have been fantastic. Coming round from the anaesthetic was fun, very very sleepy and trouble focusing, kept nodding off when trying eat something and also suffered from being sick. Not in any pain just discomfort. Trying to drink plenty of fluids so regular visits to the toilet which is getting easier.


Home now, feeling slightly sore but, nothing major. The only issue (which didn't have at hospital) was on the way home, my hubby had to do several toilet stops as got the over whelming feeling to wee all the time, like cystitis symptoms, I did go but, only trickles, after being in the car a few 5-10 minutes the same again. God knows what people thought with my white socks on and hunched over like an old lady.

Phoned the hospital and they said I would be ok to take some cystitis powder. Finally get home and took some along with plenty of fluids, feeling better.

Has anyone experienced this?

Not feeling to good today

Yesterday was a good day, today woke up feeling sick, had a tiny bit of melon and that was it, couldn't stop being sick, the pain of my muscles pulling is awful, feel so down and still feel sick. I know we all go through this 'what the hell have I done' but I feel pretty sorry for myself today. Please tell me this sickness feel will pass, any advice as really can't face anything to eat. Feel like I taken a step back.

A better day today, hurray!!!!

Feeling a lot better today since the clinic told me to stop taking my antibiotics and ibuprofen as they wondered if this making me sick. The pain when being sick was awful.

My mobility is getting better and I have started to eat more than just water biscuits.

I am making sure that I walk around as much as possible as I seem to be getting trouble with ingestion, my posture is improving.

I can't wait to get my dressings removed on Thursday. I have to keep my compression garment on and dressing until Thursday when Dr Ross looks at them, not sure if they are wet, but, the compression garment is not wet. I can't wait for a shower as feel dirty even though I am washing what is not covered up and washing my hair, although my hubby would not make a good hairdresser, bless him.

I have hardly taken any paracetamol as not needed, just feels slightly sore and burning sensation.

I can't wait to be able to change my sleeping position as hate sleeping on my back with my head raised and my back is suffering.

Laughing is out of the question, which I discovered last night watching TV, the pain!!!!.

No pictures yet as I have no clue of the results.

Week since operation

Back to my normal diet, but, cut out fizzy drinks altogether and making sure I drink plenty of water. Managing to make dinner for the family, still sore but everyday it's getting better. My posture has improved but not fully upright yet. Only occasionally taking paracetamols now.

Sleeping is still not very good as still on my back and my legs raised as feel when slightly flat I feel it pulling slightly.

I will see my results on Thursday when I have my check up with Dr Ross, I just hope I've not pulled my stitches from being so sick early on in the week or stopping my antibiotics has effected my recovery. I'm not going to lie but I don't think I smell to fresh under the compression garment.

Getting sick of daytime TV and can't wait to go back to work (I know I'm mad), but, I know I have to go steady. Nervous about seeing the results Thursday.

Recovery has not been as bad as I thought but, I know it is still early days.

Follow up appointment

Had my follow up appointment today and for the first time saw my results. Dr Ross is happy with the results and I am over the moon.

I got quite emotional especially seeing my cute belly button as hated my sad face one.

He said I have very little bruising. I took Arnica to help with this. I am still swollen and have to keep my compression garment on for six weeks or wear spandex. My posture is not great and I am trying to correct this, but my tummy feels very heavy as if I am carrying weights on a belt around the middle. I was dreading looking as thought I would look like the bride of Frankenstein, but I was very surprised. Can't wait for a shower later.

I can't thank Dr Ross enough and I would not hesitate to recommend him to others. He is not local to my area and I travel over 2 hours to see him, but when you want the best you make that sacrifice. I had to contact them on two occasions when I got worried and they answered the phone straight away and reassured me.

More photos

Sleeping on side and driving.

I can now sleep on my side with a small pillow in between my legs and back in my normal bed instead of the spare room. Confident enough to drive now as made sure I could do a few emergency stops without any pulling or pain.

I am so conscious of putting weight on as the only excerise I am getting is a walk everyday down my street so going to have to walk a bit further I think, as before the TT I went to the gym doing high impact classes at least three times a week.

I'm making sure I do my excerises given to me by the hospital Physio. My concern is my posture I just can't seem to straighten up fully. I'm nearly there but not 100%, it just feels that I've got an elastic band stopping me from standing straight. Will I ever be straight.

When I'm in the shower I can't wait to put my compression garment back on as my tummy feels like it's pulling without it. Any advice. Xxx

Compression garment

Ordered another compression garment, as finding this one a lot more comfortable than others brought. Its crouch less so it means I don't keep pulling on my incisions everytime I need the toilet, and it's exactly the same as the one the hospital provided. It is America but the company has a website in the uk as well.

14 days since operation

My posture is 99.9% better, although like others have mentioned as the day goes on, especially the evening I am slightly bent over. Driving has been fine and no pain. Showering everyday making sure my incisions are completely dry afterwards by using a hairdryer on a low heat setting. I've noticed around my belly button it is slightly red so I have dabbed it with warm salt water and if it looks worst tonight I will contact the clinic with photos.

My incision is staring to feel itchy and dry so I have applied some E45 cream on, the purple glue on the incision has still not disappeared though despite showering everyday. One thing I have noticed is that when I take my compression garment off for a shower I can't wait to put this back on and I've noticed without it I walk bent over, have any of you experienced this?.

Accidentally ended up looking in the clothes section today whilst out shopping, tried on clothes that I would never of chosen before as they would not fit correctly, I felt fantastic looking in the mirror and brought them all, including shoes to match!!!!! Happy days.

Think I may have an infection in my belly button

Noticed that yesterday after showering that I had a few areas that looked slightly red around my belly button, today it has got worse, and is red around the whole area. It is also weeping and does not smell to fragrant either despite having a shower everyday.

I emailed the clinic with a photo and they have said it is normal, but, if it gets worse to take antibiotics for seven days.

I have noticed this evening it's seemed a deeper red in colour and the smell is stronger.

As I don't live local to the clinic I have contacted my doctor's surgery with an email from the clinic advising which antibiotics to request. Hopefully, I can collect my prescription tomorrow so I can take them before it gets worse.

1st day back at work, really swollen.

It was my first day back at work, and oh my gosh swell hell is putting it mildly.

I spent most of the day sat at my desk catching up with the two weeks off, but, made sure I walked around abit, but the office is not very big and I don't think
I've walk enough. I am suffering tonight and trying not to walk like an old granny again and I'm very windy.

I have definitely got an infection in my belly button, collected my prescription for antibiotics and started taking them tonight.

I feel a lot better at home as I made sure I walked on a regular basis but can't stay off forever.

I'm in a Bikini for the 1st time ever!!! But,worried about my different shape hips

I brought this bikini after I decided on having a TT and tonight decided to try it on. As you can see it covers my incision lovely. Something that's been bothering me (noticed it recently) is if you look at the photo my hips are very different one side to the other, one goes in more than the other. I'm standing straight nor Is the photo taken at funny angle, I don't think it's swelling either.

Should I contact the clinic, as only had a bit of lipo at the side where the end of incision was. Any one experienced this. Xx

Contacted Clinic told not to worry early days

This hip business was worrying me, so I emailed the surgeon with a photo, I can't fault the aftercare as Dr Ross replied within minutes of sending the email.

He has stated I'm still swollen and will take a while as still early days. However, if I'm worried I'm more than welcome to pop in to see him.

I going to wait to give the swelling time as I'm back for a checkup early January, and there's nothing that can be done so early in the process.

I've been advised to keep the compression garment on for 6 weeks which I will, as got another garments the same as the hospital one.

I know if it's not right Dr Ross will try and resolve the issue within reason, I'm not looking to have both hips the same as no one is symmetrical, but I'm hoping it will improve slightly so not to obvious. Xx

4 weeks today

It's been 4 weeks since my TT, muscle repair and umbilical hernia repair. Nothing much has changed from my last update other than all my scabs have gone from my TT scar and I'm now left with a thin red line below the Bikini line.

My infection on my belly button has cleared up now after taking antibiotics.

One major concern is my hips are still different in shape and you can see on my photos that one goes in more than the other, I noticed this early on and I can't see it's improved.

I'm really hoping it's swelling. I have contacted my surgeon with photos and he said it is swelling and not to worry, but l'm welcome to go back earlier for a checkup if worried. My next check up is early January so I'm going to wait to give the swelling chance. I suppose because it's not been as bad as thought you expect everything to have healed straight away.

My lower part of my tummy feels numb and very swollen and my part private (MONS) is really swollen and tight, I hope that goes down.

I'm still wearing my compression garment as advised by the clinic. I'm very conscious of not putting on loads of weight as I'm normally at high impact gym classes at least three times a week, and obviously it's too early to go back so my body is thinking it on a holiday at the minute and seems to be storing every bit of food eaten.

I'm standing up straight but feel a pulling sensation all the time, I suppose this is down to my tummy muscles being stitched together as they were more separated than the surgeon original thought, so I need to get use to that feeling. I sometimes experience a prickly sensation but not near any of my incisions or belly button.

I will miss my compression garment as we have become the best of friends and when I take it off for a shower, I can't wait to put it back on as I feel my tummy pulling down without it.

6 weeks tomorrow since operation

It will be six weeks tomorrow since my TT, hernia repair and muscle repair.

I am concerned with this swelling business as my lower tummy area still looks very swollen from my belly button downwards, my hips are still uneven so I don't think it's swelling.

I can stop wearing my compression garment as its 6 weeks but, I hate when I take it off for a shower, I guess I'll have to get use to the feeling of not wearing it.

I look an odd shape from the side like a sack of potatoes if you know what I mean.

Am I being to impatient with the swelling. Xxxx

7 week update.

It's now been 7 weeks since my operation and I've had my check up this week.

I'm still swollen on my lower part of my tummy and also my MONS is swollen, my hips are still different shape, although I know your body isn't symmetrical anyway, but, I have been reassured it could be swelling and until the 6 months mark has passed its best not to worry.

I have been told to make sure I massage my scar tissue by pressing firm on the scar line and pushing along it to break the scar tissue, not the nicest feeling, as my tummy feels numb, but not numb if that makes sense, but it has to be done.

I have purchased some scar gel tape to put on as well as the gel I already use.

I don't have to wear my compression garment anymore, but when it's not on I don't like the feeling, so I will perhaps just wear it at night when my swelling seems worse.

I went back to the gym this week, and the only thing I did struggle with was the plank position as felt my tummy pulling down, but, I presume it's the muscle repair I can feel, and I need to build up my strength. I've put on a few extra pounds over Christmas as not been back to gym until this week so hopefully once I'm back in my routine this will drop off.

My next check up will be in six months time, but any concerns I can go back at anytime.

Anyone thinking of having it done go for it, but you need to have patience with the swelling, and make sure you research your doctor well. Xx

12 weeks update

It's been around 12 weeks since my operation and my swelling has dramatically gone down especially in the area of my belly button downwards and my MONS, I started noticing this after 9 - 10 weeks, so those that are worried about swelling we heal at different stages.

Don't get me wrong I still swell depending on if I've sat at work all day or TOM. My core is getting stronger and sit up's, planks easier to do, this week I'm been getting sharp twinges in one particular place where I think my stomach muscles had the repair sometimes it does make me stop what i'm doing and think ouch!!!, but, I presume its healing.

I continue to massage scar gel on my scar every night to make sure I am breaking down the scar tissue. My tummy still feels slightly numb from my belly button downwards, but, the feeling is returning.

I love my new belly button and flat tummy with no over hang, but, I have a concern that my hips are uneven, which I have mentioned in previous posts, one goes in more than the other, and different heights, I accept no one has even bodies, but it is noticeable.

I go back for my six months check up early June and I did mention the wonky hips when I went for my previous check up, but was told not to worry and could be swelling.

I know I've picked the right surgeon but I can't help but worry, I really hope its swelling as its taken the shine off things, but in my mind I have that awful feeling its not swelling.

I think I will have to email my surgeon with my concerns as it is worrying me.

I will post some photos shortly.

Dare I say this, as I don't want to come across as I'm starting the cosmetic obsession, but, does anyone now feel that their tops of their legs and sides of legs stick out /flabby and their bum is fat?.

I've not lost weight as I was at stable weight before the operation and I'm still in the same clothes as before, but they just fit me better.

Almost six months since TT/Muscle Repair/Hernia repair

Here are my photos almost six months since my TT/muscle repair carried out by Dr Gary Ross in Manchester, England.

I'm delighted with the results and would not hesitate to recommend him.

Recovery for me has been fine and not as bad as I imagined. I would say the worst was just the first two weeks of frustration not being in my normal routine.

My scar is starting to go white very slowly, I'm making sure I massage the area either with Dermatix scar gel or Elizabeth Arden original eight hour cream. Not cheap but, worth it. I found the scar tape made me itchy.

I still feel numb in certain areas especially the lower middle idea (directly below my belly button) and I hate massaging that area, but I just get on with it.

I'm due a check up in June and I'm going to enquiry about lipo on the top half of my legs and bum area as well as mention that my hips are still slightly wonky (one goes in more than the other) but, like I've mentioned on past posts we are not all symmetrical and maybe before the operation I was like that but didn't notice it as much.

I've increased my gym sessions and started working out with weights, as well as working on my core area more.

Weight wise I'm the same as before operation and clothes size the same.

I'm not going to lie you have to be careful as any weight I use to put on went to my tummy area which made me think, heck must stop the eating!!!!. Now my tummy is flat so it's no longer my weight guide line. Any increase now seems to go on my boobs, and more so the tops of legs.

This operation is not a quick fix for weight loss. After the operation when well enough you need to still work at keeping healthy. I would say it's more like an investment with your body and to maintain that investment you still need to work at keeping healthy.

Best Wishes x
Dr Gary Ross

Dr Ross is straight talking, and realistic on the results. He is very thorough on consultations and his photos/results speak volumes. There is no sales talk or pressure. I can't fault the aftercare received from his staff. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a Tummy Tuck.

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
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