Post op! Maryland

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I'm 45 years old and I've had four...

I'm 45 years old and I've had four surgeries on my abdomen. Two were with kids, one was because of scar tissue, for a tubal and one was for a hysterectomy. I cannot stand having all this extra skin and fat any longer.

My consultation appointment was today, July 9, 2010. I go back on August 2, 2010 for my pre-op appt. My surgery is scheduled for August 12, 2010. I will update after my pre-op with photos and then before the surgery and after the surgery when possible. I'm excited to get a "do-over" and nervous to go under anesthesia, again.

I talked at length with my doctor today as well as the patient care advocate and I have had all my questions and concerns answered. I feel that I made a great choice. This doctor was my second opinion. I had a consultation earlier this year for the same procedure.

I now have more time to write more about myself....

I now have more time to write more about myself. I'm 4'10" tall and I weigh about 139 or so. I've been working out for two years. I did a national weight loss program that rhymes with Penny Leg and I lost 20 pounds! It was amazing and awesome. I was about 120 pounds or so. Lovin' life. Then, I stopped working out and stopped eating their food. All the weight came back and guess where it landed, yup, my stomach. I still work out and I know that some of my weight is muscle, but, some of it is just fat. I have this extra hang down thing that is just disgusting to me. Luckily my husband loves me the way I am and he's SUPER supportive. He just wants me happy. I know that he will love the way I will look, almost like I looked on our honeymoon, but BETTER! ;) My doctor told me at my consult, that he would do the following and I should expect to be about 20 pounds lighter. He's doing the Bella Body Lift which is lipo and a full tummy tuck. He does the lipo from the bottom of my bra to the top of my butt and all the way around, hips, stomach.. Then, he will do a full tummy tuck. I will have awesome stomach muscles, which is great, since I've really had none since I was a teen. I'm doing this for ME! I've raised two beautiful daughters, been a military wife for 26 years, helping to raise a beautiful grand-daughter and finally, I get to choose to do something for ME! My last surgery was a nightmare, it was a hysterectomy that was an emergency hysterectomy. I had no choice in the matter, I just wanted to be out of pain, finally. A lot of women said that they've had a hysterectomy and a full tummy tuck done at the same time. After speaking with my doctor, I'm SO GLAD that I didn't do that, like I had a choice anyway. The military will not allow a civilian in to do that, so I couldn't have had it done regardless. I would have been miserable and I would have regretted getting them both done together. I tolerate pain pretty well and since I've been through the c-section scar thing x 4, I think I will be okay with the post-op. I only took one pain pill after my hysterectomy, then moved on to Tylenol and Motrin. My hubby has taken the entire week after my surgery off of work, he will take me to and from the surgery center and will be with me constantly from the 12th of August until the 23rd, when he goes back to work. Although, he may just be annoying and I will send him out to do something alone or with his friends. I've been with him a long time, so, I know my limits with having him around. Besides, he's been my "nurse" before and even though he wasn't there with the first baby, he's been there with the other surgeries and the other baby. He's wonderful and I know he will take great care of me. I'm very excited to get this done already! I want to be able to buy a new dress and have it zip up the back. I'm in a size 8 or so, depending on what the clothes are. The doctor said I will drop about 3 sizes, which is wicked awesome. :D I will upload photos after my pre-op on August 2nd. I have a lot of stretch marks and loose skin below my belly button and 4 surgery scars. He did tell me that I should have only one scar, that he's not revising anything and that the stretchmarks will not be an issue at all. I'm very comfortable with my doctor and I love that the surgery center is so private. I wouldn't go under the knife with anyone that I wasn't totally comfortable with. I would have regrets and spending all this money and regretting it, that's just not my cup of tea. TTFN!

My pre-op appointment was yesterday, August 2,...

My pre-op appointment was yesterday, August 2, 2010. Kim, who is an RN, helped me understand the things that I had questions with from the paperwork. She also handed me all my prescriptions. I'm getting those filled today. She will be with me the entire time, in the operating room and in the recovery room. It's nice to know that I will see her throughout the process. I also had my before photos taken. I will post those later today, I had Denise take them with my camera as well. I'm feeling good about the surgery, still nervous about actually going under anesthesia, but, besides that, doing okay. I know that the first few days are really going to be bad, so if they aren't, then I'm surprised! I have a female anesthesiologist and I will meet her the morning of my surgery. It's different this time, I realize that I get an entirely different experience. My surgery is at 8 a.m. and I show up at 7:30 a.m. So different from the military where you show up 2 hours early and wait an hour past your surgery time! So different! I have a book that they sent me home with and it tells me everything I need to know for a good surgery and a good recovery. I plan on going over it with my hubby this weekend, so he's prepared as well. It's nice to have it in black and white, just in case one of us doesn't remember what something is supposed to look like or what to do for an issue. I will also record my pre-op video today, hopefully, Angie, so look for that! I was reading in the book that the surgery center is accredited and there's special medical personnel in there after my surgery to respond to cardiac arrest and other situations. While that's comforting, I'm also a little more nervous after reading that! My youngest daughter is an EMT, so, I have an entirely different view of things!

August 3, 2010: I've added four photos. You...

August 3, 2010: I've added four photos. You can see my scars from my previous surgeries and c-sections. And, yes, I have a lot of tattoos. Luckily they will not be touched by the surgery. I will however lose the rolls of fat under my bra line and my hips as well as my stomach.

August 15, 2010: I've been through it all and...

August 15, 2010: I've been through it all and now I can write about it! I feel pretty good today, better than yesterday for sure. I did vomit the first day home, even though I had a patch on for seasickness. I didn't know that I could have taken the pills they gave me as well. Oh well. I've finished all my anti-biotics and I never even touched the strong stuff, didn't need it. I really must have a high tolerance for pain. I'm sleeping in the recliner in our bedroom. My hubby has been a great support person, there for me all the time. :) I have my drains in still, but, the doc took off my dressings on Friday. I've showered twice, maybe tomorrow I will wash my hair, I don't know. My stomach has very limited swelling and it's the lowest cut I've ever had, lower than my c-section scars. I'm going to be so flat! I have some bruising on my thighs and hips, but, not a ton. They are fading already. Next up is taking out the drains, sometime this week, they are kind of a pain, not painful though.

August 19, 2010: Went to the PS today and had the...

August 19, 2010: Went to the PS today and had the RN take out my drains. Wow, that felt weird, but, it's great. Itchiness all over, so cocoa butter and Vitamin E. I'm wearing a t-shirt under my binder. I've been sleeping in the recliner since I got home last week, trying the bed tonight. :)

August 22, 2010: Day 10 photo is up. I need to get...

August 22, 2010: Day 10 photo is up. I need to get some really good side shots as well. I'm happy with how everything is healing. The swelling in my hips can start soon, thanks. :) Sleeping in our bed with about 4 pillows behind my back and one body pillow under my legs. I'm a princess for sure! Getting up and down is easier. Tomorrow I will tackle driving for the first time and going to the grocery store. Luckily there's baggers that will load my groceries and my daughter is here to help unload. I hope to cook tomorrow night, we'll see!

August 26, 2010: Two weeks ago I had my surgery!...

August 26, 2010: Two weeks ago I had my surgery! Tomorrow I get to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill. I really miss the gym! I cannot lift any weights, which is going to be really hard for me, but, I can at least go on the treadmill. I'm also at the two week mark for wearing my compression garment only during the day, hooray! I feel tons better today than I did yesterday. I slept really well last night, better than in the last two weeks, so that probably has something to do with it. I'm taking Extra Strength Tylenol when I have pain, but, really there's not much going on pain wise, still. I guess I'm very lucky and heal pretty easily. I will take photos tomorrow and upload them! I'm really happy with how my stomach looks. I do have some stretch marks, but, they are really light and I know will fade even more as time goes on.

September 5, 2010: I went to see my PS for a check...

September 5, 2010: I went to see my PS for a check up on September 1, 2010. He said that everything is healing really well and to massage my Vitamin E and Cocoa butter into my stomach to help get out the lumps and bumps. Also, he gave me the green light to everything aerobic after September 9th. I go back on October 8th to see him again. that will be at my 2 month point, 8 weeks. Oh and he said to wait another week for vacuuming/mopping, but, to tell my hubby another month! *LOL* I cannot wait to shop at VS and get some sexy stuff and to go to a store and buy some jeans. I just have been wearing pull on shorts! I've dropped 12 pounds and I have lost about 5" off of my stomach and about 2" off of my hips. I dropped a size in panties to a 5. I have a PILE of clothes to give to Goodwill. I wore something today to church that fit really loose, but, it was comfy. I believe I'm a size 6 right now, even with the swelling. So, I will probably end up as a 4, which is what my PS and I both thought. I'm feeling a lot better. I went to the gym three times last week, just walking on the treadmill. But, I've been increasing the speed that I've been walking, it's been helping a lot with my movement. I think it helps with my state of mind as well. Yoga is in my immediate future. There's a class starting the week of the 13th, which is perfect for me. Weekly classes are something I really like and I have been doing Yoga for years, just haven't been doing it recently. I want to stretch out really, really badly, but, I cannot, I have to wait. It's hard to wait!

I've been wearing a camisole that I purchased at Target for under $30. It's great, love it. Really love that I don't have to wear it again, unless I want to, after the 9th of September! My PS approved it. It's made by a company called Assets. They have leg ones as well. There's enough Lycra in it to keep everything tight. I've been instructed by my PS to only wear one during the day from week two-four, so I've been doing that. I've been sleeping in my bed since week two, still using pillows everywhere, but, it's getting easier. I picked up my grand-daughter the other day, just from the floor to my lap. She weighs 30 pounds. That's my limit, I found out. Everything else will have to be lifted by someone else.

I haven't been craving anything chocolate at all. I told my PS that he cut out my sweet tooth. Maybe it's a mind shift or something. Anyone else have that?

September 9, 2010: I'm exactly one month...

September 9, 2010: I'm exactly one month post-op. Wow, that's really sped by. I'm swelling a little in the mid-afternoon, but, nothing really unmanageable. I'm sleeping very soundly in my bed, still using two pillows and a body pillow for under my knees. My scar is totally clear and clean now...just has to heal. I've posted a photo at three weeks post-op and I will post another one at 6 weeks. I just posted a bunch of entries on my blog about my tummy tuck. You can read all the history here: It's anonymous, so, if you comment, please don't use my name, thanks! I may post a lot of the photos there, as this site will only let four be live at one time.

Just wanted to upload photos! :)

Just wanted to upload photos! :)

September 25, 2010 Hard to believe it's been...

September 25, 2010 Hard to believe it's been SIX weeks! I'm doing really well. I went back to the gym at week four, via my PS instructions to just walk on the treadmill. Last week I did a yoga class, haven't done one in a while. It was good, but, a few of the poses were too stretchy and I did modified versions. I couldn't get into the plank pose at all, maybe this week. I started running this week, just to see how I felt after the run and in the afternoon. I could feel all the swelling when I ran, so, I know that I'm not finished yet. :) I did okay time wise, just .50 miles, but I did it in 8 minutes, which brings my mile time to 16 minutes. I was at 12 minutes before the surgery. Not too bad! I also started to lift weights again and I got on the elliptical as well. I bought some jeans the other day and had them on last night for the first time on a date with my husband. They felt really good on me, been a while since I wore anything but gym clothes! I'm in a 6, but, I have a feeling I may end up a 4 or even a 2. Some of my shirts are getting loose in the back by my bra, since I had lipo there as well, I'm excited to see that. Slowly but surely my swelling is going down. I started using Mederma at week 5 and I can't really since any difference, yet. Maybe in a few more weeks. I did notice that my scar is getting thinner as it's healing, which makes me happy as I didn't want a thick one like I had before. I'm still using the Vitamin E cream and the Cocoa butter with Vitamin E and still massaging my belly, hips and back. I'm getting more and more energy back, this week my energy level was much higher than it has been in the past. I'm an active person, so this is a good thing for me. My next follow up appointment is on the 8th of October. Hopefully more swelling will be gone by then! My doctor did a great job with everything, it's just taking a long time to see the results, but I have faith in him. I wouldn't have hired him if I didn't!

October 11, 2010: I cannot believe it's been 8...

October 11, 2010: I cannot believe it's been 8 weeks since my tummy tuck surgery! I saw my PS on Friday and he said everything looks really great. I've been working out at the gym, back to running and doing the elliptical as well as weights. I feel pretty good most of the time, although yoga can be challenging at times. I posted a recent photo!

November 18, 2010 It's been THREE months...

November 18, 2010
It's been THREE months since my surgery. I still can see a little swelling after working out, I hope that this goes away in time. I'm sure it will.

I've been going to the gym at least 3-4 days a week, working on my crunches. I also weight lift, box and run as well as ride a bike and elliptical.

I have lost a total of 12 pounds, I hope to lose more as time goes on. I'm pretty happy with the size I am now, I cannot believe that I will lose more weight or inches, but, the doc says I will, so I will. I'm currently in a size 6 jean and I wear a small or extra small shirt and usually a small pant. It's amazing to think of how far I've come in 3 months. I do still have some bra roll fat that either is swollen or wasn't sucked out. I return to the doc in February and that will be addressed then.

Hubby and I are going on vacation early next year and I cannot wait to wear a bikini! It's been over 25 years since I've worn one!

Please check out my surgery blog here:

I updated my 3 month post-op image.

I updated my 3 month post-op image.

Just removed an image.

Just removed an image.

I recently went back for my 6 month checkup. I...

I recently went back for my 6 month checkup. I cannot believe it's been 6 months! My scars are healed pretty well and there's just one piece that's thick. My PS said that's just how I heal there. Which is true, since he cut out a thick scar in that area.

I also asked him about the rolls under my bra. I'm going to try a different bra style and size, to see if it makes a difference. I really don't see anything when I'm naked with my arms down, so, that makes me think it's my bra. He told me that it could be. Also, it could be the skin in that area is just thick.

I'm really happy with my new body! I've upped my gym time to 4-5 times a week. I'm taking a BELLY DANCING class, which, before, I never would have done! New clothes are showing up in the closet. I went from a size 10/12 to a 6. Everything has changed so much!

Wow, it's been a year since my last review. I'm...

Wow, it's been a year since my last review. I'm still in the same size, 6. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I haven't really noticed any changes except some of the swelling is finally going away. It's been 18 months. Hopefully this summer the rest will leave. I usually swell when I've been standing or walking too long. It's only noticeable to me, I can feel it.

We went to Mexico last November and I wore a bikini! It was awesome! I can't wait to go on our next vacation.

Still worth it? YES! I wouldn't change one thing!
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon

He listened to everything I asked, told me how he does the surgery and really answered all my questions. He was professional, but, also very nice and welcoming. I personally wouldn't go under the knife for any surgery with someone that I wasn't comfortable with. My doctor is the best!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 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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