Tummy Tuck, 34 Year Old, 2 Kids, Diastasis Recti. Miami, FL

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I am 34 years old with two children ages 2 and 4....

I am 34 years old with two children ages 2 and 4. I am 5'3 and 120 pounds. Unfortunatly I got a diastasis recti with my second child. This is my main reason for going through with surgery. The diastasis makes me bloat and feel full very easily. I do not feel comfortable wearing dresses anymore. I had two consultations, one in Vermont where I live and one with Dr. Hochstein in Miami. For many reasons, I did not feel comfortable with the surgeon in Vermont. I feel more comfortable going to someone that does this procedure more often. Dr. Hochstein office was clean, his staff was very friendly. Though he is very busy he made me feel like I was the only patient in his office during our visit. He was well mannered and answered all of my husband and I's questions. I am currently scheduled for a tummy tuck with muscle repair on 10/11/16. I am contemplating adding on a breast augmentation. According to Victoria secret I am a 32C, however I feel I am more of a large B. I know this is going to be an exciting and long journey! Reading the stories and seeing pictures on this website have been a blessing and a curse. I am pretty nervous for the recovery and any possible complications. I want a "nice" scar, I don't want dog ears, I want a nice belly button without any scaring, I don't want swell hell. All probably to much to ask for :) In the next 6 months I plan to get in better shape to hope for a faster recovery. Six months to go and counting down the days!

Breast aug

I've decided I'm adding on a breast augmentation...why not go for it! I feel confident being in the hands of the "boob God." I have 3+ months to go...getting excited!

Mammogram done!

Mammogram done and normal! Hard to believe I only have 5 weeks to go! Getting excited!

Pre op done!

Flew into florida last night. Had pre op today, basically signed my life away in a stack of forms. I had a list of questions for Dr.H and he answered them all without feeling rushed. He did not recommend an implant size for me but based on pictures I showed him he had me try on 330cc and 375cc. I chose 330cc he will add some since it will be under the muscle so will end up being about 385cc. Picking the size was the hardest part so far. Then they took pictures then I met with Amanda to go over surgery time, scripts, etc. She is amazing, so detailed and makes you feel very comfortable. I'll have to say I have been so nervous these last couple of weeks but after being in his office today I am less nervous and more excited! I started arnica capsules today. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow mid morning. Craziest thing I learned today was I can never do another push up in my life, in order to keep the implants from moving to a different position. What a bummer since I do pure barre class. Oh well!


These pictures remind me why I'm doing this...can't wait for a flat tummy and a non sagging belly button!


Made it, was so happy to wake up. I was in a lot of pain...felt like bricks on my chest and my stomach killed. The nurse gave me a Percocet and anti-nausea medicine. I guess I was in recovery for over an hour but it only felt like 10 minutes. They got me dressed quickly and off I went home. Once home I attempted to sit in a recliner but I found the bed with lots of pillows more comfortable. I basically slept on and off all day. I'm taking a half of a Percocet every 2-3 hours. I found the whole one al at once made me too dizzy. Inset my alarm for every 3 hours last night and my husband helped me get up and walk, empty the drain, and take the pain medicine. I even got up once all by myself to go to the bathroom, very impressed with my myself! Dr. h called last night to check in, which was nice. This morning I am super stiff. My stomach feels very very swollen. I am draining quite a bit from the lipo to the flanks. My husband is changing out the abd pads here and there. I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes at a time or I get really light headed and break into a cold sweat. I have zero appetite but have to eat for the medications. Overall it has not been as bad as I expected....but I recall reading today is usually the worst day. My boobs from what I can see look awesome! Ok back to bed :)

Breast aug

So far this has been the easiest part! I had a bit of tightness in my right side but otherwise they must be numb because I haven't had any pain. I'm also surprised I can move my arms around pretty freely. Which is good because I'm SO itchy from the Percocet!!

Little progress

Last night was pretty miserable. I slept well until midnight but then woke up with awful back pain, chills, and sweating. I felt feverish but luckily didn't have a fever. My husband flew back home early this morning as we have two kids (2 and 4 years old) so that was difficult saying goodbye. I just cannot find a comfortable position. I haven't had a bowel movement yet...taking colace and miralax. Have no appetite, bought some ensure otherwise eating some crackers here and there. My incision has been stinging in one section so we finally looked last night and it has been rubbing on the compression garment, the ABD pad had slipped, ouch. I'm not sure there is anything coming out of this lidocaine pump, hard to see if there is. I SO look forward to my follow up appt tomorrow with Dr. h to get these wraps and pain pump out. The drain is going to be with me a Bit longer. I desperately want a shower. I even more desperately want to sleep on my side. I know this will be a distant memory soon. Looking forward to days 5 and 6 when people say things start looking up!

Post op visit

Had my first post op visit today. The nurse came in and took the tape off my breasts (ouch) and the binder off my stomach which felt so good! Then I waited for what felt like forever. He took a quick glance and said it all looked great. Guess it was a surgery day for him so it was a quick visit. They left my drain and pain pump. The nurse put the binder back on and fit me with a surgical bra. I took a shower when I got back, and feel amazing now! I got a little too ambitious and dried my hair and now my right breast under my arm hurts, hopefully I didn't screw anything up! Wishing so much I would have gone a size bigger. They ended up looking smaller than I expected. Maybe when they drop and fluff they will look bigger? SO happy with my stomach!

Comparison picture

Pre pic versus post op day 3. Amazing results so far!


Not even sure what post op day I'm at?! 4 or 5...all the days are a blur! I'm feeling worlds better. Tapering off of the pain meds. Most of my pain is when I wake up in the morning and before bed, mostly at the drain site and overall stiffness. The drain hasn't been as much of a pain as I thought it would be but I'm ready for it to be out. Praying I don't have to go home with it. It's been less than 25cc for 24 hours the last two days so they should pull it tomorrow. The incision looks great, totally straight and thin until you get to the drain then not sure what happened, its more puckered and uneven there. Not to worried about it yet, he said it should heal flat. I stuffed ABD pads between the incision and this awfully uncomfortable binder. I bought a pair of "high power" spanx, not sure if I'll use those or purchase what his office sells. I finally had a bowel movement! I would recommend colace twice a day and miralax once a day starting right after the surgery, it worked well! I get spasms every once in awhile in my breasts otherwise I forget I even had them done, no pain. I didn't really receive any post op instructions for that part so I'm afraid to pick up anything or push/pull....I'll have to ask at my last post op visit tomorrow. Hoping he gives me more than 2 seconds of his time tomorrow. Still sleeping sitting up. Using walker here and there. Still hunched over but much more straighter than I was. It's been nice to recover without my 2 and 4 year old though I miss them and am looking forward to going home in 2 days. Saving some pain medicine for the flight home,
Will be a long day! I haven't had to deal with stairs yet, but I have stairs at home so I'm sure that will be slow going. Overall super happy I did this. Sure it's painful and you need to be mentally prepared to be waited on hand and foot (which has been tough for me as I am super independent) but it was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. Though I know I still have a long road ahead!

Last post op

Flying back to Vermont tomorrow so had my last post op with Dr. H today. I was so excited to get my drain pulled as it hadn't been draining the last two days...come to find out it was clogged! Ha soooo wasn't as lucky as I thought! I really don't mind the drain itself it's just the Velcro binder that's my worst enemy. They make you Velcro it SO tight and I have a short torso so it gets all bunchy. I look forward to the second stage garment once the drain is gone. Otherwise he said everything looks good. They showed me how to do the breast massages. Told me to take an aspirin before getting on the plane and to do calf stretches. That was about it. The staff was as friendly and helpful as always! Dr. H was quick but as always made sure to answer all my questions. I'm off of the pain meds and just taking Tylenol here and there. I'm getting used to sleeping sitting up surprisingly. I'm not using the walker anymore, but still walking pretty hunched. I went out to dinner tonight which was great and made me feel like a normal person again :) question I forgot to ask him today....did anyone have swelling between their breasts over the sternum? I just noticed this today, actually after I did the massage for the first time. The skin there feels tight and if I press down it is hollow. Hoping that's just part of the swelling and it goes away soon. Anyone else remember that??


Just have to say wheelchair assistance through the airport is awesome! Bypassed all the lines!

Back home

Swell hell stomach and Kankles....guess that's what you can expect after a day of travel. Was so excited to see my kids again after 9 very long days! Of course then the emotions set in of being completely useless around the house. Can't reach over my head, hurts to much to bend down to pick something up that they've dropped, can't stand for more than 5 minutes, still hunched, etc etc. thank god for my husband! I have one more week off of work so I'm going to try to rest up as much as I can and keep this binder tight to keep this swelling under control. Stepped on the scale and it was not a pretty number! After eating so minimally for days after surgery thought I was going to see an impressive number, ill blame it on the swelling and implants! ????

Post op day 9

Feeling great! Taking Tylenol with minimal pain. The swelling is real though. I am
Constantly swollen, worse by the end of the day. I'm still trying to mostly rest (catching up on lots of TV) but when the kids get home from school I'm up and about for a few hours. Took my first shower by myself today, even dried my hair. Wanted to do a trial run as I'm back to work on Tuesday. Went well, just took like 30 minutes longer than usual as I'm more slow and cautious these days. Still have my drain, it's draining about 30cc a day. I am ready for it to come out but then again I wouldn't mind hanging on to it a bit longer as I'm deathly afraid of getting a seroma esp being out of state from my doc. The only thing I'm not crazy about so far is my belly button, which was actually what I was most excited about. I know it's still very early in the game. As you can see in the picture it looks like there are arms or nubs growing out of it, which is really freaking me out! I pray that's just swelling that settles down and I have more of a hole. Anyone know? Especially those that had surgery with Dr. H...did yours change over the months? Overall still happy I did this. Basically 0 pain in my breasts with great range of motion of my arms. Incision doesn't hurt at all, though drain area is a bit sensitive. Stomach is definitely numb and feels 100 times better with the binder on even though that thing is my enemy. Most pain is my flanks where the lipo was done.

Day 12

Still feeling good. Not taking any pain meds. I have discomfort in the flanks if I press on them, feels bruised. Overall I just feel very stiff. I wake up standing about 70% straight and this improves over the day but certainly not standing 100% straight yet. My PS said I could sleep on my back at 10 days, I keep trying but it makes my incision feel tight, like it's stretching. So I'm sleeping with 3 pillow behind by back and one under my knees. I still have my drain, it's been draining 15-25cc the last couple of days, I assume it will come on Tuesday which will be my 2 week mark. My surgery was done in a different state so my primary care doc will have to pull it. My stomach is pretty numb, but I don't realize this unless I touch it. I'm still swollen and of course worry it's a seroma, may take a video of me pushing on my stomach to email to my PS to see what they think. It doesn't feel soft like fluid or create that wave, so probably just normal swelling. I have 2 sutures that are popping ("spitting") out the tiniest bit, so will also ask if they should stay, be trimmed, or pulled out. I'm sooooo sick of this compression garment so tight and uncomfortable. I look forward to spanx in a couple of days.
No real update on the breasts. They obviously still need to drop. I've been doing the massages as instructed. No pain there though!
Overall it's too early to judge if I'm super happy with the results, taking it one day at a time. I think once this swelling subsides and the drain is pulled I'll feel like a new person! I have two questionable areas; my belly button and my left side where the drain is is very choppy.
For now 2 more days of rest (as much rest as you can get with a 2 and 4 year old) then back to work!


Drain is out ???? I feel like a new person already! Stung coming out, as it becomes wider than the tube that sticks out. Cannot believe how long that thing is!!! My marena compression garment is being delivered on Wednesday, so just 2 more days of this binder. Next on the agenda is standing up straight and get rid of this swell hell! Back to work tomorrow. Fingers crossed for no seromas as my activities increase.

Past the 2 week mark!

I'm back to work full time. I'm a nurse practitioner so I'm up and down a lot. I'm still not standing up all the way so it's been a bit annoying explaining why to everyone, I'm about to just make a sign lol. I feel very very tight and stiff but I have no pain since being back to work. Last night I was able to sleep mostly flat. I had two pillows under my head and one under my knees. Prior to that I've been sleeping sitting totally upright in my bed, so that was a treat! I'm a side sleeper and cannot wait to get back to that....Dr. h said usually around 2 months that is comfortable. Some of the scabs are stating to fall off the tummy incision and where thats happened it looks great! This afternoon I began experiencing a stabbing burning pain in the center of my incision. I looked at it a few hours later and it had drained a couple drops of clear yellow fluid (I wear a gauze pad between the binder and the incision as I feel the binder is so rough on the incision) and that one part looks a bit red. PRAYING this isn't the start of an infection. I'm hoping the scab just got tugged at a little. I ordered the body suit (second stage compression garment) unfortunately in the wrong size,
So I'm still waiting for the right one to arrive. I'm SO over this binder. It leaves dents everywhere because it's not smooth and it constantly rides up and is all scrunched. My breasts are looking awesome!! I am feeling better about the size as the continue to settle. They are slightly itchy at times otherwise they have been the easiest part of this process! My belly button still looks so funky which really bums me out but they assure me it's just swollen and it will improve. I'll post pictures soon! Happy recovery to everyone!

Updated pics....2.5 weeks out

Awful lighting, but here are some updated pics!


I've been smelling this very foul smell for like 4 days and haven't been able to figure out where it's coming from. Anyway I told my husband and he figured out it's the steri strips under my right areola. The left ones do not smell at all. It's absolutely rancid! The steri strips on that side have some yellowing (pus?!) the other side just looks bloody. That side is slightly more tender than the other. No redness warmth, etc. obviously hard to see under the strips but wondering if there is an infection under there. Guess I'll have to page Dr. H to see what I should do. It's pretty tough being an out of town patient. I just want to be able to go to his office Monday :(


Amanda said the ridge is where the sutures haven't dissolved and that will be gone by 6-8 weeks, phew! There is still a yellow spot so I'm going to keep a close eye on it and make sure it isn't draining! As always I continue to be overly impressed with his office....Amanda responding to my email over the weekend and him leaving his cell phone number for his patients and answering so promptly and politely. Now I just need to take a deep breath :)

20 day pics

Cannot believe it's been 20 days!! I'm swollen tonight, walked about a mile trick
Or treating with the kids which is by the furthest I've gone! Regretted it after, was stiff and sore. Tummy incision is healing nicely. Areola is SO much better since removing steri strips!

Week 3, sudden discouragement

I officially overdid it walking with my kids trick or treating 2 days in a row. Last night we walked for about an hour and I could hardly get into bed my stomach and back were so stiff and painful. Yesterday the swelling really set in. Today my stomach is tight, stiff, and I have this hard ridge of swelling going across the incision. I sent a video of me pushing on my stomach to my PS office and they think it's just normal swelling, no seroma. I was just reading some posts that swell hell sets in around week 3. I was thinking that I was avoiding it (other than after my plane ride home). Feeling discouraged...hoping I just set myself back a few days and this will just resolve With rest and compression quickly. Made the mistake of trying on my old jeans this morning and couldn't even button them. Scale says I'm up 2-3 which is actually better than I expected. We are going to the Bahamas in 3 weeks so praying this gets better so I can wear my 2 piece I've been looking forward to wearing!


I found this on another real selfers profile and about died. All of these things are exactly how I feel! I'm beginning to wonder if I overdid it or if it's just this awful compression garment squeezing the life out of me!!!! I actually switched back to my binder to go out to dinner tonight and we know the love/hate relationship I have with that thing!

Anyway here is what I copied from someone....love it!

Funny comments by fans of the garments:
1. Shit Scooby this thing hurts.
2. I can’t breathe, is that normal? But I really need my air.
3. I feel like a sausage stuffed in a wet suit.
4. OMG I think I might die in this thing. Please don’t let them bury me in it.
5. It makes me feel all squishy inside.
6. Only 500 more weeks to go in the hell device..wee!
7. Really, what kind of person invented this thing? Not very nice.
8. Should it be so tight that my eyes are popping out of my head?
9. I forgot to pull the thingy down when I went to the bathroom and peed all over myself.
10. I am pretty sure I will have to jump off the roof to get in this thing.

And with that...I'm ordering yet a bigger size, third times a charm right?! And hoping I have a better night!

Almost 4 weeks!

This has been the quickest 4 weeks of my life! Things are much better since my last post. I ditched the compression garment which was a size too small and within hours my pain was gone and I could breathe again lol! My scab on my tummy is almost completely off! The incision has turned dark, but from what I've read it goes through some color changes. I have this somewhat hard ridge above/at the scar line. I googled this and it's called the healing ridge and is normal and should go away in a couple of weeks. Sleep is still not wonderful. I am NOT a back sleeper! I still feel I cannot sleep 100% flat, but one pillow under my head and one under my knees is ok. I usually wake up in the night uncomfortable so I end up sleeping sitting up then. I cannot wait to sleep on my side, I've tried and it's pretty uncomfortable...pressure on incision is sore and I feel like my implants are 100 pounds and shifting. I'm not totally walking straight yet either but each week this gets better....I'd say I'm 90% now. I wake up very flat but do have swelling by the end of the day...not too bad though! I can't fit into my jeans yet though not sure at this point I would even want to wear them, they would not feel great on the incision so leggings it is for a bit longer! I'm looooooving my BA. He did an amazing job. They are dropping nicely, look forward to them softening some. Now they are like water balloons ha I'm back to basically all my normal activities. Still avoiding lifting my hands over my head and picking up the kids. I went grocery shopping the other day then felt guilty for lifting the bags after! I'll post some updated pics later!

Bathing suit!

Haven't worn a two piece in 5 years...since before my daughter was born! This picture was taken at 3pm so not too bad for swelling! I tried to crop the incision picture to get it closer up. Scab is almost off. I have a small rippling on my left side, but it's super miner and should heal flat!

5 weeks

Hard to believe it will be 5 weeks on Tuesday! I am feeling great! I'm basically back to fully functioning. Now that I'm feeling so much more like myself I have to keep reminding myself not to over do it. I still get stiff after I've sat for more than like 15 minutes. When I sneeze or cough my abs kill! I'm still sleeping on my back, ugh. Boobs seem to slide too much to the side and become achy if I try to lay on my side so PS office said not yet! I have a few more scabs to fall off. We're going to the Bahamas in 1.5 weeks so I'm praying they come off this week so I can go in the water. Still not so sure about my belly button. Hasn't really changed much. Still hoping, I know it's early in the process as that takes the longest to heal. Super happy with my incision and breasts! I can't stop looking at my stomach under tight shirts...it's sooo flat! I have worn tunics for so long trying to hide it, not anymore! Wore jeans last night for the first time since surgery. It was a little uncomfortable, waist band rubbing on incision line but not bad. I'm so in love with this marena compression garment I don't think I'll ever take it off ha I'll post pictures tomorrow! Hope everyone's healing well!

5 week pics

6 weeks

Feeling great! Best decision I have ever made!!!

2 piece!

It's been YEARS since I dared to wear a 2 piece! Felt so good to wear one while on vacation. Got the green light to go into the water the day before we left. Scabs have all fallen off. I started using the biocorneum cream everywhere. Best news of the week is I can finally sleep on my side...oh to feel normal again! I haven't started working out again yet but it's on my agenda to get back into it in the next week or two. The line on my stomach is from spanx...I'm still living in compression...even wore my spanx under my cover up, over my bathing suit lol one of these days I will wean myself!

Before and after pics

I think I must be 8.5 weeks out. Feeling great. Did my first workout since surgery today (spin class). Sleeping on my side now which is glorious! Pants fit so well and I can wear tight shirts and don't think twice about it! I'm still wearing my compression garment. I'll think about weaning off it at 12 weeks. I switch between the medical one and spanx. Belly button is still ify. My husband thinks it looks like a totally normal outtie belly button. I had an innie for 35 years so I guess I just need to get used to it. The doc office still says it's swollen and will look different at 6 months so we will see. The only discomfort I have now is if I sneeze or try to sit straight up in bed, my abs hurt for a second. Or if one of my kids accidentally elbows me in my incision ha here are some before and after pics!

4+ months

It's been awhile since I've posted an update. Life has been back to normal and busy. I am so thrilled with my results. I have no discomfort anymore (except if I try to do a sit up or plank...forget it ha). My scar is pretty red still but I keep applying the biocorneum like they recommended and hope it will start fading soon. I really have no complaints! I have been doing four, hour long spinning classes a week and have not had any issues. I finally gave up my binder...for awhile I thought I may just live in it forever but tried going a day or two without it and realized it actually felt better without! My stomach is still very numb. I don't realize it unless someone touches it or sometimes certain pants rubbing against my waist feel odd otherwise I really don't notice it. I am soooo much happier with my belly button. Amanda told me it was swollen and would take up to 6 months to heal after 3 months I had basically given up hope then a couple weeks later I swear it changed over night! Yay! I'm looking forward to bathing suit season this summer...for now lots of snow in Vermont! I'll post pictures soon. For now I do have an updated belly button pic. First one is a few weeks post op, second one is from today.

Belly button

First pic is a couple weeks post op and second picture is 4 months post op! Really didn't change until the 3 month mark and they said it will continue to change until 6 months.

4 months post op pictures

Here are some updated pictures!


I think I'm starting to have abs for the first time ever!!! such a motivation to work out harder!
Miami Plastic Surgeon

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