36 Year Old, 2 Daughters, No C-sections. Metairie, LA
I am 11 days from my tummy tuck surgery. I have...
10 days and counting!
I wanted the add a few more notes regarding my interaction with Dr. Mizgala's office that I didn't add before. Her office staff is amazing. After I left my consultation, I had a few more questions. I called and her office manager Patty is the best. She is extremely patient and very thorough. I was nervous,excited,anxious, etc and must have sounded like a crazy person the next three times I called over the course of the week. Each time, Hope and Patty were great! They treated me as I was the only patient that had to take care of that day. After I finally was reassured about everything, I promised to quit calling them like a mad woman..lol.
My in laws gave us a new recliner for me to sleep in as I read on RS that this is the best way to get comfortable. I am a stomach sleeper so this will be challenging. I had a terrible time sleeping when I was pregnant. My main worry is my 4 year old. She like to get in my lap a lot. I have been working with her to walk more and not carry her as much when we go to the store or walk into her daycare. My husband decided to take off of work the entire week of my surgery which is great! We work for the same company and we have a good bit of flexibility. I'm so glad he decided to take the whole week instead of the first few days. My 16 year old will be on Spring Break from school but I was worried about her really being helpful. She would probably be more aggravated with me than helpful..lol.
I will post an update tomorrow after pre-op. I'm super excited!
7 days until surgery!
So then it was my turn - Yaay! Well, let me take a step back. While I was excited, I was nervous about the sexy little paper panties that I had to put on for pictures. You know, the ones you hope they give you a couple pairs to model for your husband...lol..NOT! So, of course, that's the first thing we did! It was very private and very respectful. I did not feel uncomfortable with the lady taking them - she was great!
Then I met with with my PS' RN. She sat next to me and we covered the shopping list (I will talk about that later), all risks, and all post op care instructions. She was very thorough and covered ever topic in detail. She was not rushed and made me feel like I was the only person she had at the moment to take care of. We talked about detailed medical history and covered things to do prior to surgery as well.
My PS came in after and we covered everything in detail again. I loved the fact that my PS covered everything with me that the nurse had. It is like talking to a friend or sister rather than a doctor. I instantly clicked with Dr. Mizgala on my consultation.I knew I made the right choice after my consultation but this solidified my decision. She took her time to cover every detail. Her style is as if she is working on her own body. You can tell she takes pride in her work and truly cares for each patient. We aren't just a "job".
She personally reviews the pictures taken earlier and drew on them to show me what she will be doing. We talked in detail about the surgery. I felt extremely secure with her. This is major surgery on your body...you wil always have hesitation. However, Dr. Mizgala's style and knowledge are excellent. She does not recommend things that aren't going to work and she tells you her honest opinion. Our bodies are a true piece of art to her. I can't wait to see the outcome!
Ok so my shopping list. They give you a typed one so don't worry about bringing a notebook..lol. Now each doctor may be different but this is what my PS does. I will need Hibclenz to bath with 3 days prior to surgery and the morning ofsx, Q-tips and alcohol to clean belly button morning of sx, surgical dressings for site, peroxide to clean binder if blood gets on it, stool softener, and probiotic. The doctor will also give you prescriptions. They recommended to get them filled early so you have them.
I am going to end this update here. I will start a new one to talk about the prescriptions and the post op info. Hope this helps anyone reading it. This is my journal and story.
Make sure you have a good support person!
I was given a pain pill and muscle relaxer to take every 4 hours or so when needed. It was recommended that I take these for the first 3 days. I am getting Experal injection, which I am grateful for, however, PS said I should stay on top of pain with meds also. I hope to be off of these a few days after sx. My PS recommended me to take Colace while on these for constipation. I will be on an antibiotic which my PS instructed taking a probiotic while on these to prevent yeast infections and diarrhea. I have two type of prescription nausea pills as the pain pill may make me nauseous.
You will need your support person to keep all of this straight for you the first few days. You will be loopy the first day from anesthesia so I made a schedule for my husband. This way he knows what I should take morning, noon, and evening. I have to give myself an injection in my leg the two mornings after surgery for blood clots. I will be personally doing this as my husband is not needle friendly. The nurses at the outpatient center will show me specifics the morning of surgery.
After surgery, I'm being sent home with a catheter that my husband will have to remove the next morning - this is true love right here! The nurses at the outpatient surgery center will show him how to remove it. It's very simple from what I was told.
I will have a electric pump for my legs while I'm sleeping for clots and I will wear the compression stockings around the clock until I am back to my regular level of activity.
My PS office is supplying all binders and will give me them as I need them. They recommended me to not wash them so the Velcro does not lose strength. They said to use the peroxide to get rid of stains. I will wear this around the clock until told otherwise.
I can't stress this enough! If you are going to do the surgery, you have to have the support at home. You cannot do this alone. I figured I would need my husband he day of surgery and he could go to work the next day...I was wrong. I like to do everything myself but this time, I will need the help.
You also have to be mentally prepared to do this surgery. This is a big commitment and a lot of post op requirements involved. I will probably read my instructions 5 million times to make sure I have everything covered.
So here's to day 7 until surgery.I hate to wish the days away but am ready to start healing!
Big Day tomorrow
I made it to the Flatside!
So here is how the day went. I had to be at the surgery center for 7 am. I was brought in the back, changed into the surgical gown, tucked my hair into the blue shower cap, and put on my compression stockings.
The nurses at this surgery center were wonderful! I couldn't have asked for better care. They put my IV in my hand and started me on an antibiotic drip. (At my pre-op appointment I tested positive for Staph so I had to get a dose of antibiotics before surgery.)
Dr. Mizgala came in to mark me up. Now I need to do a side bar about her. She is wonderful! I don't have enough complimentary words to describe how wonderful she is. She looks you directly in the eyes when she is talking to you and truly listens to every word you say. So very respectful. You can tell she is listening to you. She was not rushed at all. And we joked and laughed. She does not have a superiority complex at all. It's as if you are talking with a sister or closest friend. Her bedside manner is top of the line. She was great talking to my husband. You can tell she truly loves what she does. I can't tell you how excited I am to see her work. Had I not kept the surgery a secret from work, I would shout her praises on rooftops and give her card out to everyone I meet...lol.
Anesthesiologist nurse came in ask the customary questions. I get nauseous with pain meds they give you at dentists so I asked for a nausea patch just in case. I then got something to "calm my nerves" and was rolled into surgery room. I remember moving to surgery table, putting my arms out, and that was it. I woke up in recovery.
So this morning I was scared to death of waking up in pain. That was my biggest fear. But now that I have been through it, I can tell you first hand, it is nowhere near what your mind makes it out to be. I was still a little out of it when I first woke up. I felt burning on my sides like a sunburn which was from the lipo. Again not to bad but uncomfortable. I could feel the tightness in my abs and pain wasn't too bad..probably about a 6. It's more of a sore feeling as if you just did a million crunches. No pain whatsoever at the incision site. I was extremely nauseous when I woke up even with the patch. I think it was from the anesthesia on an empty stomach. The nurse gave me phenergan and Demerol then proceeded to tell my husnand all of the post op instructions while I waited for it to kick in.
Everything you see on RS about staying on top of your pain meds is correct! I was uncomfortable from the pains in my sides and I have a super high tolerance for pain. It was not a crying pain but one where you keep wiggling around to get comfortable as if you are trying to walk it off..but can't walk lol
So I followed the advice from a few ladies who said to bring pillows for the ride home. OMG! I never noticed how bumpy the road is until now. Again not painful just uncomfortable.
I will tell you that climbing in and out of my Tahoe was hard. If you have a large SUV, try to borrow someone's smaller SUV the day of surgery. I never thought this would be difficult but it was.
I was hunched over about 60 degree and walking super slow. I can't stand up straight but as the evening approaches I am standing straight a little better. My legs feel a little weak so I do a lap or so in the living room then sit down. Getting up and down from recliner hurts...trying to not use ab muscles but when I do they let me know. My wonderful husband is helping me with getting up and down. You will need someone to help you.
I have a catheter which my husband will remove in the morning. I am staying on top of all my pain meds and muscle relaxers. I thought I wouldn't need them but they are keeping me comfortable. Except the Percocet has me hyper..lol..like I drank too much coffee..funny! I actually feel like I could walk circles around the house! It's crazy how I feel so good. I expected that tonight would be bad but it's not.
After surgery my PS came to see me. I asked about the muscle repair and she said she didn't have to do too much. All the ballet over the years (and I still teach and dance), helped with my muscle separation. It was nice to hear that my continuation of dancing, even now at 36, has paid off! I thought it was useless because my stomach was never getting flat. However we now know it was from muscle separation and loose skin.
I've added two pics and don't want to open my compression garment until tomorrow night when I take a shower. It is super comfortable and I feel like I could wear this thing for months.
So I feel like this is a super long post so I will end this now and post later tonight..I will probably be up.
Doctor just called
So the pain pills are making me hyper. I've been up about 3 times so far walking around but I definitely can't walk for long and am hunched over. No pain just soreness.
I will post pics tomorrow evening. I'll take my first bath and am super excited to see my results so far.
So far so good - Day 1 post op
I thought the catheter would be a pain but I'm glad I have it. Definitely talk to PS and ask if you can have one overnight also. I'm still hunched over at about 60 degrees when I walk and my lower back starts to hurt fairly quick when I walk around. I'm still a little weak from the anesthesia and hope to shake that off today. I'm drinking a ton of tea so this has saved me from pain to get up and go to the restroom.
The anesthesia has made me extremely thirsty. I even belch after taste of gas sometimes. I got tired of drinking water so my husband fixed me sugar free iced tea that we get from Walmart.
My husband has been wonderful. I feel bad because I am working him and I know he is exhausted. I need to do something nice for him when all of this is over...maybe a nice gift or something.
We will empty my drains in a few hours. They aren't filling up much and my husband has been milking them. I've been at 25 cc the last two times we emptied them. I hope this is a good sign. They aren't bothering me at all other than a minor pull when I get in or out of the recliner.
I have not opened my binder at all to peak. I'm really comfortable in it. I plan on taking a shower tonight so I will snap a few pics she we take it off. I'm excited to see it!
The only thing I'm not excelling at is the breathing thing (incentive barometer I believe it's called) they gave me to do 10 times every hour. It is to keep my lungs open to prevent pneumonia. You are supposed to suck air in on it and get to a certain spot. I forget to do the silly thing but it's hard because you feel your ab muscles that were just repaired. I usually wait until the pain meds kick in then do it on every commercial break..when I remember..lol
I will post pics later. I'm going to end this now since it's long! Talk to everyone later.
Day 1 post op pics
Here's to day 1...it only gets better from here!
Burn baby Burn - Day 2 post op
It's now 5 am. I was able to sit up in the recliner with no help and unplug my leg pumps as well with no help. My husband has been sleeping on the couch next to the recliner I am in so I did everything on my own to not disturb him. He needs to rest. My in laws had our 4 year old daughter for the last two nights and we will be picking her up from school today. I'm excited to get back to a little reality but nervous about getting her ready every morning and getting her to school. My 16 year old is off of school for spring break so she will be dropping off my youngest at school tomorrow. I worry that my 4 year old will be a handful. She is a momma girl and usually only wants me so this will be challenging over the next few weeks as I recover. I'm hoping I will be able to drive next week so I can drop her off. I will be off strong meds completely by tomorrow and even possibly today. Sorry, I went off on a tangent with my daughter. Back to my recovery...
I was able to get up out of the recliner with no help and am standing a little straighter today. I have no true pain just discomfort and burning sensation at my incision site. I had a dark mole on my upper torso that my PS removed for me. With the tightening of my skin, the spot is now by my belly button..it moved abut 2 inches. This is the only true pain I have...that little spot where the mole used to be...figures right. I put a surgical pad over it because the binder was making it worse.
Tonight I will post pics of my stomach on day 2 post op. Last night my sweet husband was taken back a little when we took off the compression garment and changed everything. He took the pics for me yesterday but I could tell something was wrong with him. He finally told me a few hours later..after I bugged him enough..lol. He said it was extremely hard to see his wife so bruised and beaten. It was very hard to see that and not be able to do anything. So ladies, heads up on this. Even though I prepared him by showing pics of how I might look, it hit him pretty hard to see me like this.
So now I need to be patient and heal properly. It's only day 2 and I can't wait to see what I look like after the swelling is completely gone.
Hope everyone has a great healing day today! Cheers!
Day 2 post op pics
Bath wore me out a little so I'm back in my recliner watching TV. I am feeling a little more like myself. It's only day 2 so I keep telling myself to be patient..lol
Day 3 post op
When I woke up this morning I was really sore and stiff so I took one pain pill. I didn't want to have to take anymore to because I haven't had a BM yet. My husband decided to stay home with me again today. I'm not standing completely upright yet but I'm close. I can move around fairly easy. Standing and sitting in the recliner has definitely improved.
We got my 4 year old daughter ready for school and I took a ride with them to drop her off. It was nice to get out of the house for a little bit. When I got back, I had to use the bathroom (BM) and it was not easy at all. Not painful but just very constipated so I did what I could.
I didn't take any pics today because everything looks the same - swollen. I'm ready to get back to normal life but know I have to be patient. I remember ready Kimmers Tummy Tuck Survival Guide. I'm glad she posted about all the emotions you will feel after surgery. So I know my worries are normal.
I figured I would stay posting weekly pics beginning Monday so I can see weekly changes.
Hope everyone has a great recovery day!
Day 4 post op
I'm uploading a quick pic I took right after my bath..sorry it's a little blurry
First Post Op today
Post op day 6 pics
Week 1 post op
I'm not taking any pain meds and finished my antibiotics. I don't have any pain other than the small pulls that I feel in my upper abs from the muscle tightening. I tried to sleep in bed last night but was a little uncomfortable. I will return to my recliner until the drains are removed then try the bed again.
Hope everyone is healing well! I will post an update next week!
Day 9 post op
2nd post op appt
I had my 2nd post op appointment today. I got my left drain out..which was the one bothering me the most. The left one is still draining at 45cc in a 24 hour period so my PS is hopeful to take it out by the end of the week.
My belly button has caused me much concern. Since post op day 2, I have put a special compound ointment that my PS gave me twice a day and covered it. She said it looked a little red but the belly button is the last to heal and takes the longest. She removed my stitches from my belly button and put silver sulfadine on it. She gave me a perscription for a pretty big jar. I put it on twice a day until I see her next Monday. I know you can use this same medicine for burns so this will come in handy also. She also gave me an antibiotics to take twice a day for the next 7 days.
My incision was closed with surgical superglue (Dermabond, I believe it's called) and there was tape over it. She removed the tape and applied Mepiform surgical scar tape over my incision. She gave me a big sheet of it in case some comes off. However, during my surgery she also removed a mole on my stomach. She put this same tape on that spot and the tape never came off. I take a bath/shower twice a day and the tape still was there so this stuff should hold pretty well.
Overall, I feel pretty good. I went back to work today so I feel like I am back to normal living except for the one drain..but I can live with it since it's not much longer. I still feel my muscle repair when I cough. If I overdo it by staying on my feet too long, I can also start to feel my muscle repair at the top of my abdomen. I go back to see my PS next Monday but will hopefully see her sooner to get the drain out..as long as it cooperates and slows down.
I hope everyone is continuing to do well!
Week 2 post op
I still have my compression garment butPS said that I will move to girdle type garment once this next drain comes out.
I still can't believe how fast time flies. I remember starting this blog about 2 weeks before surgery. I am so glad I did this. I still
Have been able to keep it a secret from work. No one suspects a thing. They think I had an outpatient back procedure. By the time they start to notice, they will just think I lost weight from diet and exercise. I had lost 25 pounds before the surgery. I dance (ballet, tap, and jazz - not stripper pole..lol..although I hear that is a great workout) so it's only a matter of time before my dancing ladies notice. Probably by the recital with our costumes on but that a few months away..maybe they will think I just dieted and workout extremely hard..lol!
No matter what, I did this surgery for me! I was so worried about what everyone thought prior to it. Now that it's done and I see how serious this surgery was considering blood clots and how meticulous recovery is with the scar and infections - I don't care who knows! I'm proud of how I recovered quickly from this surgery and how I followed instructions to the exact letter. My results show the hardwork I put in for this surgery....we should be proud! We were brave to do this!
Ok, I'm off my soap box..lol! Have a great week my beautiful TT friends!
My PS gave me her personal cellphone so I texted her a pic of my incision. Again, I really have a wonderful PS. I couldn't ask for anyone better. She immediately responded; told me to cut the scar tape in that section and put silver sulfadine on it. She asked about the drain and I told her about the problem. She told me to remove it and I did. It is crazy how long that tube is! I didn't feel a thing..I'm still numb in my incision. My PS and I have a conversation through text regarding everything and she was so wonderful. She reassured me that I didn't do anything wrong and this is a part of the healing process. She told me to text her a pic first thing tomorrow morning and told me her location for the weekend in case I needed to get to her so she can check me out. She is so gracious and giving. I'm very lucky to have someone care for me in this manner. I have never personally experienced a doctor who cares about their patients this much and goes this extra mile. If you are in the New Orleans area, you should definitely meet with her.
So my drain is finally out..even though it wasn't time, but we really has no choice. I'm super swollen tonight but that is usually the norm in the late evening.
I am washing both of my binders so they are clean. I don't have a binder on right now at all and feel so naked without them. I will continue to put the silver sulfadine on my belly button, incision irritation, and both drain holes then cover with gauze then my binder once they are clean. I'm worried about my incision. I hope it's just from my binder rubbing right there and it's not something more serious starting. I don't smoke and have been following all instructions so I'm at a loss why it's doing this. My PS said not to stress, it's just part of the healing process.
Hope everyone has a great night! I will post update tomorrow regarding my incision problem.
Update on incision
So I'm swollen this afternoon which is the norm but the past few days my skin has been sensitive to the touch. Could this be because everything is starting to "reconnect" on my abdomen and sensation is coming back? It's not uncomfortable just sensitive like I can feel each fiber of my binder against my skin..it's weird.
I hope when I see my PS on Monday she will move me to the next compression "Spanx" type garment and out of my compression binder. I like it but I'm ready for something that my skin can breathe a little in.
On a really good note, I am loving not having the drain! It was great to get dressed and walk out the door without having to "hide" my little attachment..lol
I also have been bad the past few days with my diet and really need to get it together. I weigh myself on Fridays and I gained .8 (not even a whole pound) but it will be more if I don't get back on track! And we all know I don't want to have to redo my surgery. This was a lot of work to get to this point and I don't want to backtrack..lol. I'm definitely more comfortable in my shirts now that I don't have the "pooch". I haven't gone down in jean size yet but my jeans are baggie. I just pull them up when I get up from my chair or walk. I said I would lose 5 more pounds then look into the next size down...or until my jeans won't stay up on my body. If anyone is curious, before I lost 25 pounds before surgery, I was a size 14 in Old Navy curvy boot cut jeans. After losing the 25 pounds on Weight Watchers, I went into a size 12 of the same style and brand of jeans. I had some Levi jeans and other brands that fit but were tight. Since surgery, I am still wearing my size 12 and thought about going down to the size 10 but told myself to lose another 5 pounds so I won't be disappointed if they don't fit yet. I will tell you that the size 12 is buttoning with my compression binder on so I am sure I am ok...but I need to motivate my butt to get back on track. Retail therapy is the way to do it.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! I will update with pics and Doctor appt info on Tuesday, my 3 week mark.
Week 3 post op follow up appointment
My incision is still irritated. I have been putting the silver sulfadine on it twice a day. My PS removed my scar tape to replace it and noticed a few other spots on my incision were irritated. We figured I am allergic to the scar tape. I can't wear band aids or anything like that because it irritates my skin but didn't even think about the scar tape. She gave me a scar cream, Regenacyn, to rub on my incision 3 times per day. Other than that, everything looked great! I see her next week for my 4 week follow up. I will post my week 3 post op pics tomorrow also..swelling is pretty much minimal but pics are better first thing in the morning!
Happy Healing everyone!!
Week 3 post op pics
She said my old Spanx was ok to wear and put me on a sulfur based antibiotic now in case this is Staph starting. My plan is to get my incision completely healed from the irritation, then put the compression binder back on that she gave me and have surgical pads as padding to my incision. I want to start using the scar cream she gave me so I hope to have this little bump in the road cleared up soon.
Hope everyone is healing well!
Week 4 (1 month) post op
Week 5 post op
2 month update
It took me a LONG time to make my plastic surgery consultation appointment. I always thought that I needed to lose more weight before. I feared that the PS would tell me to lose another 30 pounds then come back. So I decided that I would try SmartLipo or Coolsculpting first then do the TT later. I made the appointment but was told that if they had a cancellation for an earlier time they would call me. Well we have all heard hat before and never get the call. I was WRONG! They called me because they had a cancellation and asked me to come in the next day! I have NEVER had a doctor's office do that. Dr. Mizgala's office is so relaxing. You are walking into a spa atmosphere and not a doctor's office. The wait time was only 5 minutes and the office staff is super friendly. I immediately felt like Dr. Mizgala was a friend and not a doctor. We discussed family medical history and what I am interested in regarding my body before I even undressed. After our talk then came the moment of truth, I had to show her my body. Immediately she told me I was not a candidate for SmartLipo or Coolscultping. My stomach was loose skin and diastasis from having both of my daughters. I wanted a tummy tuck and expected to be told to loose weight and come back. No! She said that I would have great results from this! So needless to say, I paid my deposit and scheduled my surgery! Of course, after I spoke with my husband and reassured him I was not changing my boobs. From being pregnant, I went from a B cup to DD cup and he wants those to stay..lol... Dr. Mizgala is hands down the best doctor I have ever worked with. She is very hands on and personally calls you to follow up. She offers to make house calls to bring prescriptions if you need and will check you out anytime you think she needs to see your incision. So I am one week out and decided to document my surgery. I hope this will be inspiration for someone else like me. My pre-op is Monday. I had to do a physical and EKG this past Wednesday and hope the results will be in by Monday!