Full TT W/MR, Lipo and Fat Grafting on Both Breasts - Minneapolis, MN

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*Treatment results may vary

A little about myself before the surgery for...

A little about myself before the surgery for comparison reasons: 36 yrs old, 2 c-section births, 5'5, 123lbs, size 2 waist with horrific streatch marks , an innie belly button, complete seperation of my stomach muscles and a small yet unpleasant tummy flap above my 2 c-section scars.

Now to cut to the chase. I had my surgery on July 9th 2012 and went in with the expectation of getting rid of about 75% of my stretch marks because of the fact they are so high above my belly button. I also wanted a normal looking elly button and an athletic looking abs. I had a breast reduction 10 yrs ago and had a couple pockets tat formed underneath each breast which is why I needed the fat grafts. I went in with expecting a rough recovery as well which is what scared me more than the actual surgery. I have had my gall bladder removed and the c sections so I know how painful abdominal surgery is but assumed this would be even worse. I am very healthy person so I had that on my side but I do socially smoke and had smoked up until 9 days before the surgery which made me very nervous. My doctor hadn't asked if I smoked and only after coming across a review on realself did I start to realize the dangers of smoking before PS. I have not had any major complications from smoking but would not recommend smoking so close to the date of this type of surgery.

I used "Kimmers" review as my guide before and after the surgery. It has proven to be very truthful and very helpful so I suggest reading it. I was on Vicodin and took full doses the first 3 days and then went down to half doses the next 5 days before switching to extra strength tylenol as needed. I am on day 13 and am only taking tylenol later in the evening for pain as needed. I suggest renting a hospital bed and wheelchair. I failed on getting the bed because I didn't read about it until the 2nd day after surgery but it really would have been worth it and saved me a lot of pain. I did rent a wheelchair because walking long distances is impossible and makes you swell which then causes discomfort.

As far as my recovery goes I have followed the rules to the T by not doing anything except getting up to go pee every couple hours from day 1, sleeping, keeoing my body in the "V" shape, taking my meds on time and eating healthy and on a regular basis. I took Phillips Milk of Mag and I'm telling you that stuff is the shit! Don't waste time with stool softeners, fiber pills, etc. It's a waste of time and money. Start taking the MOM on day 2 or 3 and only take the recommended dose. DO NOT TAKE MORE!!! It kicks in within the day and I have had no issues or pain pooping at all. I took the MOM on day 3 after I started eating full solids because I knew I'd have to poo sooner or later. I only need a few doses for a couple days before I stopped using it because I am going regularly with no issues. I also am drinking approx 6-24 ounce water bottles per day along with liquid aloe and iced tea so I'm getting tons of liquid which helps regulate you. I use Herbal Life concentrated mango aloe because it tastes good and eases the tummy if it gets upset. One more thing I just thought of is the fact that I have always gotten very nauseous after surgery and thrown up. The surgical team was concerned by this because barfing after a TT is not a good thing. They put this 72 hour patch behind my ear and added 2 meds into my IV during surgery and I had absolutley zero issues with nausea which was truley amazing!!!! I didn't change my dressings at all and had my post op the following Monday after my surgery so a week later. I was running a low grade fever for 7 straight days which did spike to 101 a couple evenings otherwise it stayed at 99-100 the rest of the time. I felt fine and the dr's are not sure why I had the fever. Possible minor smoking complication. It is gone now. I am swollen on the lower portion of my belly right above the incision and also on my left side due to a "bleed" during my surgery. The PS said I had a heavy bleed during surgery (another possible minor smoking compication) I say minor because these things caused some alarm but were not serious like a seroma or my skin dying, probems waking up after surgery, etc. Anyways the bleed has caused a slower healing time and a lot more swelling and pain on the left side where the lipo was done. The PS said it's going to feel like I was kicked in the side by a powerhorse which is spot on. I also have a large, very hard, Red spot that is slowly working it's way down my side towards my leg. That is the bleed and is normal to be happening.

Onto the drains, stitches, dressings, showering: Okay so the drains were not bothersome to me. The tape holding them against my skin was worse than the actual drains. Mine drained very little liquid the entire time and only had to be changed once per day or less. I was super nervous about getting them out and nobody else seems to say anything about the actual removal process. I did not realize they were stitched in on each end of my main incision. Getting the stitches out was brutal because I was still really sore and the PA had to get her pointy and sharp tools out to yank and dig at them in order to cut them and loosen each drain. I was then told to take a deep breath and she started pulling hand over hand over hand over hand. All I felt was an intense burning sensation that stops as soon as they are out. Those SOB's are loooong!!! Good lord! I then had the steri-strips removed from my incision which was painless o the left side because I am still very numb but painful on the right because apparently my nerves are already coming back on that side. I found out the stitches in my breasts, incision and belly button will all dissolve which was music to my damn ears at that point!!!! I had to go back 2 days later to check on the bleed and am okay so I go back in a week for another check up.

The pain, oh lord, the pain: So I have always thought of myself as a tough cookie with a very high tolerance for pain but holy shitballs has this recovery kicked my ass! As I said earlier, I have followed the "recovery rules" to the T and I still can't believe how much you usen your stomach muscles! I swear even lifting my big toe requires the use of my stomach!!! It's crazy! I love my compression garment and feel very vulnerable without it on. I cut mine a couple inches all the way around the length because it would ride up and hurt my boobs. It just wraps all the way around me and doesn't have a crotch like some of the other reviewers have talked about. I have been told to use spanx or biker shorts but really don't see a need for them. I just wear my garment over the top of an extra long tank top and then fold the bottom of the tank up over the garment or pull the bottom portion of the tank down over the top of my yoga pants. It actually looks cute in my opinion. I will post pics to show what I mean. I went to sports authority and dicks sporting goods and got a sports bra, cute cotton shorts and a couple stretchy material tanks since I can't wear my regular clothes for a while. I have less pain with the garment on as well and anything that causes less pain sounds good to me! I move around like a senior citizen and tend to hold my hand tightly over my muscle repair because it has been the most painful part of this surgery and applying pressure on it (even more than what the garment provides) makes it hurt less when I am up and about. The wheelchair is a wonderful thing. I even went to see fireworks last night and was able to have a few beers while strolling around in the wheelchair. I didn't bloat from the beer at all but drank lots of water before and after. I am sore today from having to squat in the port potty but it probably did me soe good getting a little excersize in on my legs. I learned really fast how to distribute my weight to my legs and arms when doing anything.

Sleeping or the lack there of: Sleeping has sucked ass to be blunt! I started out in a recliner with pillows everywhere and my feet up. That lasted 1 night before I moved to my half circle shaped couch and used the oversized ottomen to put my feet up. I lasted here (where I am currently sitting and hang out during the day) for nights 2-5 and decided to make the trip up the 15 steps to my bedroom. OMG that was brutal! I have been sleeping in my bed from day 5 to now but noticed in the mornings I wake up with a tight chest and think its because I am laying a lot flatter than on the couch. It gets better after I sit up and walk around. My legs also get ver sore propped up so I have been spreading my legs apart and having each leg lay against pillows. I'm just so sore from sleeping on my back and it's becoming very frustrating. I nap during the day on the couch and sleep about 4-6 hours per night in my bed. I also use a decorative pillow (the little square couch decor type) to prop next to my head so when that annoying head bobbing thing happens when you are trying to fall asleep, the pillow catches it and keeps it in one spot. My neck also doesn't get sore since it has a head bobbing stopper, ha!

I am not a writer so my story is a bit back and...

I am not a writer so my story is a bit back and forth and was not proof read before publishing. My apologies.

I skipped the shower part so wanted to talk about that a bit. I was not allowed to shower until the drains were out, which was not until day 9. I had done my hair the morning of the surgery and it lasted about 5 to 6 days until I couldn't stand it so I hired a hair stylist to come to my house on day 8 and wash, dry, flat iron my naturally curly hair. I had started doing bird baths around day 5 and added more and more cleansing each day until I finally showered on day 10. I had a plastic folding chair in the shower and sat on that the first couple showers. I can now stand, shave my legs, style my own hair but need a nap afterwards because it's a lot of work.

One thing about the wheelchair that I have noticed is if you think you are strong enough to wheel yourself around, don't! My muscle repair hurt yesterday and today from wheeling myself around a very small amount of the time on Friday and Saturday evening. I was very tired allday yesterday after the weekend and I really didn't even do much that required energy. I still got sore and tired.

I added before photos to see how bad my stretch...

I added before photos to see how bad my stretch marks and flap was. My after aren't really pretty right now because of the damn bleed but my stomach is flat if I have a tight tank top on (minus the swollen areas) it's just hard to tell from the potos. I will keep posting pics as I heal.

Low grade fever: I'm not sure if I talked about...

Low grade fever: I'm not sure if I talked about this anywhere above but I had a low grade fever from days 4-11. It would typically stay around 99-100 but spiked to over 101 for a few hours a couple evenings causing me to have a sickly feeling before going back to 99-100. It went away around day 12 and has now come back on day 14. It is between 99-100 and I have that sickly feeling just like I did the 2 evenings it spiked to over 101. I have been taking vicodin and/or extra strength tylenol as well as been on the first dose of antibiotics right after the surgery and then started on another dose of a differemt antibiotic after my first PO appt when I was told I had an infection. (it turned out to be a bleed and not infection per my PS but I was told to finish the 2nd antibiotic the PA started me on) My PS and his PA have no idea what the fever is being caused from which worries me a bit now that it has come back.

I have slept most of the day with regards to being out and about for 2 hours this morning but I was in my wheelchair most of that time. I'm not sure why I feel sick and have a fever now but am worried and will be calling the clinic tomorrow. My next PO is not until Friday.

Update to fever: I had an appt with my FP doc...

Update to fever: I had an appt with my FP doc today and she ran blood work, urine test and chest x-ray. All normal as is the look and feel of my hematoma on my left side. She said hematoas can take weeks if not months to work there way back into the body and a lot of surgeons don't drain them because the fluid will keep building up and having to be drain so it's better to just let it slowly go awayb on it's own as long as it's not infected or getting worse, which mine is not. The fever is most likely from the hematoma and the infection that come's along with hematomas. I have been on cipro for a week and will continue with that for 3 more days. I feel better knowing I am okay and just need to be patient through this complication. I will update on Friday after my appt with my PS.

I have been calling my hematoma a "bleed" because I had no idea they were the same thing. My PS used the word bleed and not hematoma.

I had my appt with my PS on Friday and all is well...

I had my appt with my PS on Friday and all is well. Hematoma is healing good. I will add my 3 week PO pics shortly. I don't have to go back for 2 months now unless anything changes. The swelling from the hematoma will hopefully only take a few more weeks. I like the outcome of the rest of my surgery and am noticing the difference every week that goes by. I am looking flatter and flatter and am noticing the swelling going down. I have added more activities to my daily routine including driving now that I can wear my seatbelt. I use a pillow over my legs with the seatbelt over the top for longer car rides.

I am updating the price of the surgery ($6400) because there are lots of added costs that come along with this surgery like: prescription meds, OTC meds, bandages, wound creams, silicone creams and/or sheets, take out food, wheelchair (optional), loose fitting work out type clothing to wear for the 6 weeks after and beyond, extra compression garment (spanx, etc), lots of other things I am probably forgetting.

It's now been 4 weeks PO and I feel better and...

It's now been 4 weeks PO and I feel better and better every week. I still get tired at times and sore but I just rest. I even walked about 2 miles the other day with no issue's. I never would have believed that I'd feel this good 1 month after this surgery but I do.

My hematoma is going down more and more every week and I started using my silicone sheets on my scar on Monday as well as the silicone gel on my stretc marks. I'm hoping it all helps to minimize the appearance of everything. My incision actually looks pretty good and is fading pretty fast. The ends where the tubes were are the largest "lumpy" parts but the rest is flat and fading. My panties cover the scar for the most part though so whatever.

I am able to sleep on my right side now but not my left because of the hematoma. I'm also wearing my thong spanx and love them over the compression garment. I didn't think I would because of how tight they used to be on me before the surgery but man do they fit good now and are tight enough to compress my surgery areas w/out making me not be able to breathe. I plan on wearing the garments until I am fully recovered from my hematoma and my swelling from the surgery has gone away which probably won't be for months.

I wake up and am pretty flat but by the end of the day, especially if I was out doing stuff, I am swollen and sore. I'm looking forward to hitting the 6 week mark because I've been told and read that's when you feel like yourself again. It may take me longer because of the damn hematoma though. We shall see!

I haven't sent the link to this blog to anyone (except 1 friend) but have told a lot of people about it. I am kinda nervous because most people don't understand that a tummy tuck is a surgery that takes up to a year to see the final results so they may look at my pictures and think "wow, her results look bad" but really, they just keep getting better and better every week. I mean I can wear 1 tank top by itself now and my stomach is flat! I was not able to do that before. I'd wear 1 or 2 underneath every single shirt I'd wear over the top just to hide my stomach ripples and fat. I still can't fit into any of my pants or shorts which is frustrating but it's normal until the swelling goes away. I have already noticed though, that my shirts are all to big and I have gone down 1 to 2 sizes. I hope I still fit in my pants though. I was nervous after the first time I looked because I was so swollen and huge but I've seen my stomach getting flatter and flatter and know it's just going to keep getting better every week.

I'm going to add 4 week PO pics soon. The pics aren't showing the narration because of some website glitch but hopefully that will be fixed soon.

I never updated with the 4 wks PO pics. I waited...

I never updated with the 4 wks PO pics. I waited until 8 wks PO instead. The hematoma on my left side is still visible and soar at times but its looking better every week. My body is taking its new hour glass shape weekly as well. I can't wait for the hematoma to be gone so I can see the true results. I still get swollen if I do to much but not to bad. I wear my spanx garment during the day and the medical compression garment at bedtime. I don't mind wearing these and feel less swollen when I do so. I walk 3 miles per day but have yet to try any of my extreme ab workouts because I'm still sore and don't want to hurt myself. Maybe in another couple weeks or so. I have my energy back and no longer need to nap daily. I feel normal besides the occassional soreness on my sides where I had the lypo and near my hematoma. I have been using my silicone sheeting for about 1 month now and they do work quite well on my incision. I have been using the new skin scar gel on my old stretch marks but not sure if it has made a diff yet or if it ever will. I wish I could have gotten rid of them completely but beggers can't be choosers. My lower stomach below my incision is still hard and swollen so I'm hoping that continues to go down. I have a feeling its taking longer because of the hematoma. I'm still numb too. My bely button looks really good. That's all I got for now.

1 more thing is that I can wear all of my previous...

1 more thing is that I can wear all of my previous size 2 and size 4 pants but any shirts that were a large or medium are to big. I defiitely wear a small unless my boobs don't fit in the small and then I have to go up to a medium. My stomach gets a little irritated when I wear tight jeans and things from the rubbing but I fit very well into everything. I fit in the same size but they fit much better now. I wear tanks all the time now and have a flat tunny whereas before I would wear a tank with a shirt over it for sure to hide my belly.

It's 9 weeks today and I'm feeling better and...

It's 9 weeks today and I'm feeling better and better.

I can wear jeans for an extended amount of time now with no discomfort. I still enjoy my yoga pants since they are the most comfortable but I can wear tighter clothing here and there with no issues.

I still am swelling at the end of the day if I have been on my feet a lot or if I have been really busy. I am wearing my spanx garment daily and the medical garment nightly. I feel comfortable in them both and will wear them until my swelling and hematoma is totally gone.

I am going to start doing my ab work outs this week so we will see how they go. I am walking 3.5 miles per day and have not had any issues with that. I still am sore on both sides that the lipo was done so I still sit once and awhile to chill out. I also still sleep with a pillow under my knees and/or between my legs for comfort. Sleeping on my side is fine but when I need to turn side to side it can be a bit painful or tender in the middle of the night.

I am buying all small or extra small shirts and have been purchasing clothing that I never would have even considered before my surgery. I've always dressed nice but was very good at hiding my tummy with specific styles of clothing. It rarely showed because I was very good at it. Now, I no longer have to even think about it. I also don't have to try everything on like I have had to the past 15 years! Never would I even consider purchasing clothing w/out first trying all the peices on! I can now grab off the rack and just buy it if I want. It's a very amazing feeling and big step for me.

I am still having a hard time explaing the proces to people though. People don't understand the severity of this type of surgery and the length of time it takes to recover, fully recover with final results. It takes many months to a full year and your body is changing weekly, changing for the better though! I notice a difference weekly and it still amazes me! Updated pics soon to come!

It's been awhile since my last post. I have some...

It's been awhile since my last post. I have some minor pain still on both sides that the lipo was done. It just feels like I have a large bruise when touched to hard. My scars look great. They are flat but still really Red. I developed 2 dog ears at each end of the incision that will be corrected in a few months. I know that's common so no big deal I guess. I've been using the scar scream on my stretch marks. I wish there still weren't so many though. I'm second guessing wearing a bikini in public which is disappointing. I wish there was something to do to hide them but I know there isn't. I'm curious as to why my dr couldn't remove more of them and will be asking him when I go in for my next check up in 3 months. I'm happy with the results though and love being able to wear fitted shirts. I have noticed that I don't get bloated anymore before my time of the month. I used to get super bloated and couldn't wear my regular clothes but I don't really anymore. Must be the muscle repair that helped to keep my tummy tighter even when it is bloated.

It's been almost 4 months and I'm noticing that I...

It's been almost 4 months and I'm noticing that I have love handles worse than ever......I never really had them before but now I feel like they stick out of every outfit I wear. I'm wondering if its because I had lipo on my sides and it now made my love handles stick out or something??? My lower stomach has been really bloated lately and I feel fat. I might just be having a bad week but its really bothering me. I'm not getting my period soon either so it's not that. I wonder if this is normal?

I added 4 month post op pics of the front. I don't...

I added 4 month post op pics of the front. I don't like the dude view because my butt is so flat that its hard to tell the front from the back! My tummy is pretty flat though. Still a bit swollen but not enough to show through clothes. Still bothered by my love handles. I work out daily but just need to give it more time I guess.

Just added 7 month PO pics. I will be going in...

Just added 7 month PO pics. I will be going in next week to have both of my small dog ears corrected. Im also getting a little lipo on my lower left ab because I have more fat build up on that side. I will not be put under for these procedures but will be given valium and they will numb each spot they tend to ork on. The dog ears are pretty common and my dr just needs to remove the skin on each end of my incision and smooth it out flat. I'm a bit nervous to be awake during all of this but want it corrected before my trip to Mexico. I bought some new suits ove the eekend that I'm excited to wear in Mexico. I still struggle with the small love handles that I have and may consider lipo on them if they don't go away from working out. I hate them and never had them or should I saym they weren't so noticable before my surgery. My PS said they are common because of my age and will be more noticable after a full TT because the skin on each side and the front has been removed/flattened. I wish I would have known this before the TT because I may have opted for a little lipo on each "love handle". They aren't the end of the world but they bother me when I'm wearing tight jeans. Other than that my lower abs are still numb in places and still a little hard. I still hate my stretch marks that my PS couldn't safely remove but that's just something I need to get over. When I'm fully covered I look awesome. Not gonna lie but when I'm in a bikini I feel uncomfortable because of the stretch marks. Everyone tells me I look good and to get over them but its hard for me. I went into my surgery thinking more would be removed. I knew they all wouldn't be because they were SO high up but I thought I'd have less than I ended up with. My PS said he couldn't safely remove anymore than he did. He removed a football size portion of my stomach so I understand. Just need to get over it. I will update again after my dog ears and mini lipo procedures are done next Monday. Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors but I'm in a hurry ;)

I had the dog ears and touch up lipo done...

I had the dog ears and touch up lipo done yesterday morning. I will walk you through my experience. Arrived and asked for a valium, waited for about 20-30 minutes for the valium to kick in, Dr came in and numbed the left and right side of my incision as well as my lower side of my stomach. This part required breathing and focusing on something other than the constant needle pokes. They were unpleasant but over fairly quickly. I then was given another 20 minutes or so for the numbness to kick in. My PS started by cutting the left dog ear and removing it and then came the lipo. I believe he went in through the left side of my incision where my dog ear was, he suctioned back and forth while pinching my belly together at each section he would suction. He pulled out the wand and emtied it of the fat and then went back in a 2nd time going back and forth. It didn't really hurt as much as it felt really strange. There was pressure here and there but nothing to bad. The whole thing only took less than 10 minutes. He then sewed up my left incision and moved onto the right dog ear. There were only 2 spots during the entire procedure where I could feel a little bit of what he was doing so he would stop and immediately numb that area and then proceed. I was sent home with pain meds and slept on my couch in an upward postion last night. I took my pain meds every 4 hrs yesterday and stopped as of this morning. It is painful, especially the first day and requires a couple days off work but its nothing compared to my actual TT. The lipo area is the only area that is really sore. I just move slowly and rest. I will update again after I'm healed. I will also post "after" pics on my profile. It wasn't the most pleasant experience but from the looks of it my stomach where he did the touch up lipo looks better as does my dog ears or lack there of. My stomach does get swollen though kind of like after I had my TT but it definitely looks flatter.

It's been about 4 weeks since I had my dog ears...

It's been about 4 weeks since I had my dog ears and touch up liposuction done and things healed quite nice. My lower stomach is definitely flatter but I think the right side could have used a little too since it's a tad bit bigger than the left side that he did the touch up lipo on. I will ask him about it after my trip to Mexico next week. I had a lot of swelling and bruising after the touch up lipo so I did low light laser treatments 2-3 times per week for 2 weeks to get rid of it all faster. It works great and I am still doing it 2x per week to help flatten my stomach. It's amazing how flat it is the morning after I've gone in for the laser treatments. I do that at my chiro's office for about 30 minutes each time. It is only $20 per treatment and really helps. I feel great about my TT and everything but still hate my stretch marks and love handles. I'm not sure I will ever be totally happy with my body but it sure was worth getting this all done, painful and a long journey, but worth it. I will post pics of me in my bikini next week.
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

I went to 3 different PS consults and went with my 2nd choice and not my 1st choice for 2 reasons: 1st because my #1 choices price w/out lipo was $8500. 2nd: he would have had to charge me more $ for the fat grafting which was done for free by my PS because his partner is the PS who did my original reduction and my PS felt bad and corrected it for free. He also did the lipo because it contours the body better after the TT which sounded good to me. My PS that did my breast reduction was on leave and couldn't do my surgery until September which is why I saw her partner and decided to go with him. I read reviews for all the PS and Dr. Lovaas was at 3/5 to 4/5 stars on most sites all due to his bedside manner. I agree it could be better but I didn't and still don't think bedside manner is a huge deal if the PS knows what they are doing and explains things to you. His background speaks for itself and he has been doing plastic surgery for many years. He also has a fine art degree from Yale and uses that to "sculpt the body" which makes sense and impressed me. I like him because he is straight to the point and doesn't screw around. I'd recommend him to others that don't care about the bedside manner.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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