Tummy Tuck, 40 Yrs Old - Miami, FL

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I decided to write my experience in hopes to help...

I decided to write my experience in hopes to help others as much as I was helped with theirs on this website. For the moment I wont be putting the PS name as I want to give an overall fair review and am still in the process. I had a TT with lipo to the flanks six days ago. After 2 csections I figure by what Ive read from other reviews that this should be a breeze.....NOT, definately not for me. My last csection was 12 years ago and maybe because I was still under 30 yrs old my body recovered very fast (3 days). This TT has kicked my bum. So I will begin my story:
After researching PSs for 3 years I got 2 consultations. Both quotes the same price. They offered $300 less in price if you didnt finance. I elected to finance with Care Credit at no interest for 12 ms and paid $1,000 cash. I elected my PS based on the reviews and results on this website and others. I also researched the license, complaints, experience, handling of patients reviews and concerns, etc. When I met the PS he was nice, informative, professional and didnt suggest I get another procedure done along with the TT ( non overselling made me like him more). Blood and urine work along with an EKG were done 2 wks prior to the procedure. I elected to have it done at the PS office for convienience and the price was minimal vs going to my primary. The day before surgery I received a call from the anesthesiologist who was very nice, informative and answered my questions. I had asked for early morning but got an afternoon appt (they call you the night before with the time). I will say this when I woke up I was shocked and how much pain I was in. I was still in the bed and honestly I don't even remember if I was dressed or the medical assistant help me dress afterwards. She gave me the pain medicine (oxycodone) after I was sitting in the wheelchair. However I did have a pain pump attached ( honestly I think was empty because I never saw a change in the cc's decreasing and when you shook it you couldnt hear liquid inside. On my post-op I did make the medical assistant aware of it). I had a binder on and once I was getting help from the wheelchair into the car the medical assistant made a comment that the binder was too big and went back to get more medical pads and stuff them in the back of the binder. I had a guess about reaction to the anesthesia because I was shaking uncontrollably especially my right hand which is where I had the IV. When we made it back home I couldn't even get into the recliner and felt like I was going to throw up. I took my nausea medicine and was fine. I slept 5 hours at night and feel a lot better once the pain medication kicked in.

2 days post op

Pictures take 2 days post op of my belly button and sides. Sorry I dont know how to flip the pictures around. I will say that when I saw my belly button I said "wow did he even move it" because it looked like my own . On day 2 it was tolerable pain so long as I took the pain pills every 5 hours. I have 2 small puncture wounds (one on each back cheek) which were draining ALOT the first day and partially the 2nd day. By the end of day 2 it had stopped draining. Going to the bathroom was tough (continues to be in the sense of manuvering around, binde, pads, cleaning, etc) and it took a while to urinate even though I had to go bad. By the way, going #2 is like a spiritual experience! I finally went yesterday (day 5) and WOW, the pain to pass it I can imagine is similar to child birth. I was scared I was going to rip but thankfully I didnt. Didnt know that I would be unable to clean myself from behind....duh. On day 2 had started the Keflex (antibiotic) and Arinca Forte (to help bruising). Noticed I was itching everywhere but didnt think much of it until it got worst by day 3. Seems I am allergic to one of the pills. My skin got a rash in different places but especially my face, neck, chest and upper arms. Now I have chapped/dry skin around my lips and most of lips my face. I had my post op on the 4th day. My PS said I had a rash and to stop the antiobiotic which I did (only had 1 day left to take). It makes me uncomfortable because I still have the drain and tonight is day 6 and I dont want to run the risk of an infection. I did follow up with PSs office and was told if he didnt prescribed another antibiotic is because I didnt need it. Since yesterday Im on Tylenol Extra Strength 500 mgs every 5 hours (moving it up to 4 hrs tonight). Im still completely exhausted and pain is at a 4/5, my back is totally killing me, sleep is sporadict (I never took the valium prescribed) and Im on my recliner, cant stand or walk straight so Im still using the walker. Im tryng to walk every one to two hours but its havoc on my back and legs. My feet and calves were slightly swollen day 2 thru 4. Now its my thights are swollen and go numb, ugh.

4 Day Post Op- Appt

Here are my 4th day photos. On this day went to see PS and got the pain pump removed and I didnt feel a thing. The drain will remain most likely until next week. The awefully big dirty binder was thrown away and I was given one that fit! Was told not to use the medical pads to let the stitches breathe and to take the binder off for a few minutes a day. Also was shown how to clean daily the drain my sliding down the hose to allow the build up to pass (I havent been able to do this on my own. My husband has done it). Was still walking with walker and on the pain pills. This day he saw my rash and advised to stop the antibiotics and if I was ready to switch to not use the pain pills I may switch to Tylenol which I did the next day.

6 Day Post Op - Swelling, Numbness, Pain

6 day was my worst day emotinally. Had my breakdown mentally and physically as well. Had seen no positive progress in my recovery. Hadnt slept, barely ate, couldnt move, etc. Had my first shower which my husband was 100% wonderful at helping me. First melt down was when he cleaned my drain. Wow my anxiety went into overdrive and I started crying. I was so scared he would tug the hose and the stitch would pop. Needless to say he did a great job. He noticed some bruising on my left upper leg and how swollen it was (alsothe skin was hot to the touch). I made a comment that it had been numbing since day 5 and slightly hurting. Then later in the afternoon my youngest child asks why did I have to do this right before Halloween and was I not planning on spending time with him = instant melt down. The guilt, remorse, regret all came up and I started crying and asking myself why I did this. Later in the day I kept feeling uncomfortable with my left leg and I took some pics and emailed my PSs office asking if there was anything I should be doing to prevent the swelling, etc. I got a phone call from the coordinator statimg my PS wanted me to go get and ultrasound asap to rule out a blood clot and that she had emailed me the script. Luckily I live very close to a hospital and they managed to give me the last appt. Attached is the pic of when I was getting the procedure done. Melt down #3, anxiety, crying, etc. Thank God they found nothing in each leg which I am beyond grateful for. Meltdown #4 when I got home and felt that the ultrasound was a wake up call of how much more I shouldve thought this thru and all the possible consequences. How that was Gods way of reminding me how precious life is. Needless to say I vowed to not have anything else done. If you look at my pics from day 4 you'll see I have buldges which from the 50,000 pics Ive seen could be permanent or tags. At this moment in time I'm not sure I would even fix it if they were imperfections. Honestly the possibility of a blood clot scared me to my core. Today, day 7 was my turn around day. I guess I had to hit rock bottom first.

7 Day Post Op Pictures

Today is actually day 9 post up for me but I am uploading the pictures I took on day 7.

9 Day Post Op Pictures -Still Swollen

Took these pictures yesterday afternoon. I dragged a plastic chair into the shower and slowly one leg at a time I started. I also had to wash my hair and that was a mission. Needless to say the binder got wet so I took it off and washed it by hand with the antibacterial soap. I sat still in a towel and bra while the binder dried in the dryer for 15 minutes. After the binder was back on and I put on a cotton sundress (I wish I wouldve thought about wearing a dress from day one) and fell asleep for 3 hours - I was exhausted! Today is the end of day 10 and Im now walking without a walker around my house. I ventured into my backyard for a few moments to take in nature and it felt so good. Im still hunched over, sleeping on the recliner, taking Tylenol, have my drain (still more than 25 ccs 24 hours), legs still swollen but not as much as yesterday. Tomorrow will be day 11 and I may be brave and venture outside to sit and give out Halloween candy. As Im sitting in my recliner I really wish I wouldve thought of purchasing a donut pillow to sit on. Ugh, can feel legs swelling up as rear end goes numb.

11 Day Post Op - Pictures & Turning Point for the Best

Day 11 is my lucky day as it has definately been the best day so far. About 3 hours after I woke up I suddenly felt "good". This is TMI but we all wonder about this topic so I feel I must share...I had my first real BM today, twice. Maybe it was that nature finally took its course because I was about 75% good. My back hasnt really hurt alot today. I ate two very small meals and still felt hungry. Oh and I actually had half a cup of coffee today! I put on the radio and hummed as I made my cooked first meal in 11 days. Im not walking/standing straight but I am definately more straight than ever. My left leg is still swollen. Today mostly noticed it in my ankle vs my whole leg. I put on yoga pants, a tshirt and most importantly finally did my makeup and hair and I actually felt normal. My husband and son commented that I looked thinner and with a small waist. Not sure about how much weight I may have lost but I feel it in my upper arms and under the chin areas. To my delight I saw at 10pm tonight (24 hours) that my drain was right under 25cc which means I can call PS office to ask for them to take it out. So excited. Also Im pushing the Tylenol now to every 5/6 hours. Here are todays pics from this morning and then in the afternoon when I got dressed.

Random Thoughts. List of Suggestions for Grtting Ready for TT

So today is my day 12 post-op. I took a 4 hour nap because I only slept 2 hours last night ( luckily I had this website to keep me entertained for a few hours). I was just reading some of the reviews and thought of posting a list of my suggestions of things to get to prepare yourself for your TT and the days after.
1) Wax 100% you private area (front and back) . I waxed for the first time 3 days before my surgery and I will tell you it was the best decision I could have ever made. The idea of having to shave down there when you're swollen and you can't clean your rear end after a BM is not appealing. I also got my menstraul day 4 post op...Definitely would recommend that you have this done.
2) Walker - at first the Wonder Woman in me was convinced I did not need a walker because I had survived two C-sections in my previous years without the need of one. However I did find one on Craigslist for $10 and my husband went and got it the day before my surgery. I cannot express to you how helpful this device that has been especially the first 5 days. I have used it especially in the bathroom to hold myself up and lean while trying to pass the first BM (you'll see what I mean, its like partially giving birth).
3) Donut or V pillow - this I would have loved to have gotten or known about before my surgery. My rear end still feels numb after sitting for long periods of time especially when you're trying to sleep in the recliner. I put regular pillows and I really wish that there was a hole in between the pillows for my rear end pictures think through because it would definitely be better.
4) Recliner - again the Wonder Woman in me did not feel the need for a recliner as she didn't have them for the past two C-sections. However, I got lucky that I have a recliner in my living room which I dragged into my bedroom. I propped a huge cushion in the back pillows on the side pulled the ottoman and put 3 pillows on top of that and put my legs up to sleep almost every night. The disadvantage is that my recliner is an actual rocker so it moves when I try to get out and in of it but my handy-dandy Walker I have been able to maneuver around
5) Travel Neck Pillow - I was lucky to have this readily available and have been using it ever since day one. As a matter of fact I just used it when I took my 4 hour nap.
6) Baby Wipes - these are used to wipe myself down 2 to 3 times a day. I also use them down there after using the bathroom. They definitely were my go-to for bath time and to feel refreshed days 1 through 3.
7) Antibacterial Soap - my PS had me bathe myself hours before the surgery with antibacterial soap. I used it for my first shower and going forward. I've also used it to hand wash the binder and wash my hands every single time I need to clean my drains.
8) Dry Shampoo - it took me 6 days to be able to wash my hair. It looked like an oily stringy hot mess. I did have some dry shampoo would I spray it on my roots also to refresh myself within the six days that I couldn't wash my hair.
9) Coconut Oil - I broke out in a rash which dried out my entire face neck and arm area. My PS thinks that it was from the antibiotics. I put coconut oil in all of these areas at least two to three times a day and it helped. My lips also became very chapped and I use them for that along with Vaseline.
10) Foods - 3 days before my surgery I kind of put myself on a low sodium no meat nothing heavy no junk food diet. I was dreading the first BM and figured the more soups and soft foods I had the easier it would be when it was my time. After my surgery I didn't have much of an appetite I did try to eat at least two to three spoonfuls throughout the day of certain foods. Jello, soups (I made a pot of chicken soup the morning of surgery - barely any salt because it creats more swelling), mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, fruit cups, all types of fruits especially berries or any other item thay is antioxidant, green tea, ice, plain pasta, oatmeal (not the 2 minute packages as it has too much sodium), yogurt. My husband did grill some chicken bteast (again with no salt he use other condiments and lemon) and I shredded it up and would put a little bit on the pasta with a little bit of avocado. I have not had red meat, fish nor pork since before my surgery. On day 4 I was so desperate to have a BM that I had some black beans because they're supposed to be high in fiber by the way it didn't work.
11) Stool Softner - I took this only twice. And only one pill each time no the directions to 2-3 pills a day. I was concerned it would kick in and give me horrible stomach pains which I didn't want to have on top of the pains I already had from surgery. However I think that if I would have taken it as directed it probably would have helped me have a smoother experience with the first two BMs.
12) Dresses - of course I didn't think of this until a few days after my surgery. I have a few summer cotton dresses some up to the knee and some long which are so much more easier than putting on sweatpants and yoga pants. I wish I would have known this from day one. And also it's kind of easier to hide the drain well with my dresses at least because they're not tight they're loose.
13) Shows to watch- for me I took the time to bingr watch some shows and movies. Im still doing all the seasons of Sex in the City. It's the best time because no one is going to tell you and not to watch your girly shows so that they can watch sports. So use it to your advantage and get all the girly movies and shows that you can think of.

That's all I got for right now. The other things that I kept myself entertained with was doing my nails trying on different nail polishes being online watching talk shows that I never watched before and pretty much sleeping on and off throughout the day for a few minutes. I hope my suggestion list can maybe be useful to someone out there. Happy healing. Hugs

13 Day Post Op - Pictures, Drain Out!

I got my drain out, yayyyy. PS said my incision and bb looks good. He patted/pushed around the belly and told me to go back in a week. No cleaning the bb just leave it alone and itll clean itself out with showers. I can drive, yay again. Ok the drain being removed didnt hurt. The nurse told me to take s deep breath and pulled. I actually barely felt it (kind of like when you go to the dentist and they do work which you dont really feel but kinds do) . That thing is long - see the pic. I purchased a CG (Marena 2nd Stage) from the PS office size XS ( Im 4'11 126lbs) and its like a tighttttt spanx with straps and opening in the bottom (to go to the bathroom). I already had a Leonisa CG which is alot thicker and has side zippers but its down past my knees (I am short) so I got this one since its mid thigh and I will be alternating between the two. It feels wonderful to not have the drain and the binder which would roll up my bum. I actually had a normal meal at a local dikner after and it felt great (2 eggs, toast and coffee - gosh I really missed coffee plus it really has helped me have BMs). After I felt more hunched over, kind of like I was being pulled over/down from my BB by an invisible cord (maybe Im just full). Im back in my recliner and going to take an aftrrnoon nap.

2 Week Post Op - No Drain, Pictures, Feeling 80%

I cannot believe 1 week ago today I got my TT with lipo to flanks/hips. I was so scared I even left a self video on my phone as my last will and testament jusy in case. I thought I wouldnt survive the first week especially the first 3 days. Physically and emotionally I was at my lowest. I would read up on the recovery stories online about women walking 2 blocks on their day 3, sitting straight on their day 3, drains being removed on their day 6, going to the mall at day 6, standing straight at dat 5, etc. Quite frankly I think it was such torture . Because I was comparing my recovery time to what I was reading online and I was wondering what was wrong with me . Was I too old, did I wait too long, am I too weak, what is wrong with me, etc. I guess I just failed to understand that everybody is different and we all have our own healing time frame and most importantly we should not compare each other. I remember all the back pain, fear to pull a stitch, lack of sleep, full exhaustion, etc. I cried a day before week 1 and regreted every decision I had made. Today, week 2, I'm happy with my decision. Was it worth my emotional breakdown and all the pain and worry - right now, I say yes. I am mobile, though still hunched over, I can walk at a regular pace - I even took out my trash cans this morning! I am 6 lbs lighter than 2 weeks ago (130 lbs vs 124 lbs this morning). I actually induldged in 3 chicken nuggets and a handful of fries last night. I can take a shower! I slept in my bed last night. Im down to Tylenol every 10 hours. My legs are not swollen . I can drive. And most importantly I feel "alive". So yesterday I got the Marena stage 2 CG from my PS office. I can tell you that I had it on for probably 10 hours and when it was time to go to bed it was really tight on my thighs. I actually think my eyes were starting to swell up. So I took it off and I tried the long CG which I had bought online. It was definitely more comfortable except it has like bra straps/clips on the sides all the way up and down. One of the straps actually was too near my incision line so it was kind of poking a little bit and I couldn't keep it on I took it off and I put back my black binder and felt so much better. I actually still have it on I will go back to the Marena CG after I take a shower today. Yesterday I was so excited because I put sweat pants on and I didn't have the indentation in my lower region area which was created by my "apron" before. Son looking forward to trying on my regular clothes and some other clothes that I stopped wearing years ago because the indentation was so visible. I also climbed into the bed not thinking that I should have been closer to an edge or near some sturdy furniture so that I can pull myself back up. I was down for the count for about 5 minutes trying to inch my way over to the edge of the bed and at the same time laughing at myself when my youngest son walk then at the right time. He helped me get up from the bed. I took some pictures this morning which I'm uploading maybe week three I'll do a side-by-side comparison and try to take the same pictures and I'll post them. I'm definitely still swollen in my belly area as well as under the incision towards my pubic area. I'm not in a lot of pain as I was last night on my belly area. I really do think it was because I ate too much and was full. I still have the lumps / bulges on the sides at the end of the incision. I'm really hoping that this is due to the swelling and from some of the reviews I've seen online it does minimize in time. My PS told me not to put any cream on the incision yet. We have to wait until I guess all the scabbing comes off. They look at it again next week and let me know if I can start it. I think my belly button looks awfully small it definitely has changed from when I first saw it on Day 2 I believe. I'm hoping that that's just because my belly is so swollen and because it's full of dry old blood which I can't clean as per the instructions of my PS. So I don't have any gauze or any tape on my incision area, again instruction from my PS. I guess every doctor is different because I've seen some stories on here where they have kind of like surgical tape on right after surgery. The first few days I did have the medical pads which were put on the day of surgery. And then I actually used 4 long overnight maxi pads across my incision just because I felt I needed the padding under the binder. So far I think my incision looks good. The hole from the drain this morning actually looks like it's already closed which I'm pretty surprised it would close that fast. I still have residue from the old surgical tape on my rear end I have no idea how I'm going to get it off. I may try some rubbing alcohol and see if that works. So once again I feel really good I'm very happy with my decision today. Hopefully I'll continue on this positive thinking plan going forward. Happy healing to everyone out there. Stay strong there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hugs. GAL.

15 Day Post Op - CG

Wanted to do a quick update based on the CG I got online. When I first tried to put this on 2 days ago I couldnt stand it because of the clips on the sides being too close to my incisions. However, I really loved how thick and firm the material is and was determined to make this work. Also, this brand us well known in South America for its underwear, bra and CG lines. So I decided to snip off the clips and voila! Feels great. Alot of support in the midsection and bum areas. The bra straps are adjustable. The only downside for me is that it's about 2 inches past the knee ( I'm short, I could snip off the lacee which would be about an inch but the zipper goes all the way down to the lace area). It looks pretty good under clothes you can't really tell you have anything on. I'm guessing that for the colder weather this CG is perfect . By the way, Im feeling good today.I slept 7 hours straight. Havent had Tylenol in 24 hours :) . Pain in lower back primarily when I woke up but it went away after a few minutes. Guess the body needs to stretch and get used to being up first thing in the morning . Feeling bloated in belly area only ( could be food related). How is everyone else doing?

18 Day post op - Pictures

Today is my 18th Day post op. Emotionally, mentally and somewhat physically I'm feeling good. I've been sleeping in my bed still with pillows under my knees and pillows on my lower back. As you can see from the pictures, I still have swelling and now I also have ripples mostly on the left side. My upper middle thigh area hurts when you rub it (almost like if it was a black and blue but it's not). I discovered on my right butt cheek close to the Lipo incision a round little lump / ball. From what I read online these are normal after lipo and can be dissolved with some massage. I definitely did not have this before. You will also see that I still have the lumps on each side which don't seem to have gone down. From my belly button down it's pretty numb more swelling on the left hand side then the right hand side. I looked up seromas and I don't think I have one because they say that when you tap the area on one end you will get like waves, which I don't have. Some of the scabs are coming off primarily under the belly button area and it kind of tingles / burns a little bit . From what I read I shouldnt put anything on them but I may try a tiny drop organic coconut oil because it gets pretty bad. Hopefully my PS will give me good news in 2 days when I go to see him. I'm still hunched over. The tightening gets worst late afternoon to evening. It feels like when you move your head up to look at the ceiling and then pucker your lips like if youre blowing a kiss. The tension/stretch in your neck is similar to what I feel from my belly area but more tighter. Im scared to try to push myself to straighten up more because I dont want to end up with a wide scar. So far from the tiny scabs that have come off the scar doesnt seem that bad. I've been bummed about the lumps/buldges on each side and now I have rippling and I feel even more bummed out. I noticed in the pics I took just now that I have it on both sides when Im sitting :( Again, I read online that this may go away..."may". On the bright side, I am down 9lbs since the surgery which makes me 121 lbs now. Yesterday I ventured out for the first time. I may have walked max 10 minutes (very slow and hunched) before I couldnt do it anymore. The tension was too much. Then I was so exhausted I slept the wholr ride back home (30 mins). Im going to start today doing 5 minute intervals of walking on my treadmill to get some exercise and mobility that will help me be able to walk longer. Has anyone else had a positive result with the coconut oil, rippling and lumps?

19 Day Post Op - Walked in Heels ????

Cabin fever hit me and I needed to get out of the house. Got dressed and actually felt cute. I tried on my pumps (3 inches) and ironically enough I could stand up straighter vs when I wore flats...so I ventures off in my pumps and went food shopping. I used the shopping cart as my "walker" and pushed it with my forearms trying to look stylish vs hunched over ha ha ha ha. Ibmade it walking around for about and hour and a half. I got winded like twice towards the end. I measured myself today and only lost one inch on my waist (31 inches) and gained one inch on my hips (39 inches). In total Ive lost 7 lbs (today I was 123lbs but I was 121 lbs 2 days ago). I like the way I look with clothes on vs off right now. Especially wearing pants because no "apron" dent is showing.

4th Week Post Op - Pictures, Walking Straight

I can't believe it's been 4 weeks since I took the plunge and joined the flat side. I had my 4 week post-op appointment today and it went very well. I do have some swelling but luckily I do not have a seroma. Was cleared to start working out in 2 weeks ( which would be 6 weeks post op). Overall I feel good. A few days ago I noticed that I am walking perfectly straight and can do a lot of things that I couldn't do before. I still do feel a little bit run down in the evening and have some more swelling. I'm pretty happy with my belly button as well as the way the incision is turning out. Mostly all the scabbing has fallen off and the doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. I still have the lumps at the end of the incisions but was told again that they should go away on their own as well as the rippling. I've officially lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks (was 130 lbs pre op and today was 120 lbs). I do get full rather quickly so I have very small meals. Will have a follow-up post-op appointment two months. Overall I can say that I am very very happy with my decision as well as with my PS. I got the scar fade cream at my PS office (pic posted). I contacted the company before buying this cream as it is pricey - $130 USD for 1.73 fl oz. I wanted to make sure if I could order the cream from an online merchant ($88 USD) and was advised by the company that:
"Thank you for contacting us. Authentic bioCorneum is sold exclusively through authorized physicians and not through online channels. Products purchased through sites or online retailers may be diluted, expired or counterfeit. To ensure authentic product, please find a provider through the below link.". The cream is to be used twice a day. I will keep you posted on how well it works.

My PS is awesome :)

So I decided to finally reveal who my PS was - Dr Hochstein. If you have followed my journey from the start, you know that I opted to not state his name before because I wanted to give him a true fair review. I did not want it to reflect or be based on my healing time, my emotional roller-coaster and my expectations but solely on his work. As probably everyone else on this website has done before, I researched and read as many reviews as I could find from his prior patients. Some were excellent and some were meh. I found it interesting that some reviews were based on his personality versus his work. And I find that to be very unfair. I was in search for the best PS out there so that I can have the best results and experience. I don't think the reviews I read on him on being sarcastic, pompous, ect is fair. He has actually been the complete opposite. Has been very nice and professional from day one. And yes, he does smile. Again, I am very happy with my results and I am only on week 4. I am very happy with my belly button and my incision. My friends are already considering getting consultations with him. If you are considering him as your PS I recommend you go have a consultation (which is free) and honestly follow your instinct. I followed mine and I'm very happy and I did. Happy healing to all!
Leonard Hochstein

He was nice, informative, professional and didnt suggest I get another procedure done along with the TT ( didn't oversell which I found was a good quality).

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