53 yr old, mom of 3. Day 1post Op

Hi, Ladies, I would like to solely blame having my...

Hi, Ladies, I would like to solely blame having my kids for the need for a tummy tuck, but I can't, it was a combination of twins, 6 pounds each and a single birth 9 pounds 3 oz plus recent menopause, a job that involves sitting at a computer for 9 hrs a day and lots of socializing, which equals a lot of wine ! lol. The pounds were creeping on all of a sudden since I entered menopause and I thoughts it's about time I make a life change and will do surgery to kick off the new me journey.

About a month ago I started thinking about a tummy tuck, so booked an appointment to see Dr. Lista in Mississauga. He had really good reviews plus he had performed breast reduction on a good friend of mine.

The consolation was very informative, he recommended the tummy tuck with Liposuction but there was no pressure at all to sign anything. Told me to take the forms home and review. The following day I decided to book before I changed my mind, they asked what date was good for me and we worked around this date. All booked for the surgery 2.5 weeks later.

Had to get a pre op physical from my GP, An ECG plus bloodwork. Paid $1000 deposit with the rest due prior to surgery.

I found the staff at the clinic very helpful and were available to answer my calls if I had questions. I had a pre op consult with my Coordinator at the clinic. They arrange for your post op meds to be delivered to the clinic for you to take home after surgery.

Yesterday I was at the clinic at 7am for my surgery. Compression socks put on, Pre surgery pills to take and a visit from the anesthesiologist. I explained to him that I have a history of bad nausea and a lot of throwing up after anesthesiology. He said, not to worry, he will give me anti nausea meds during surgery.
Dr. Lista then came in, drew markings on my body and took photos, I believe surgery started by around 8.30 am.

IV put in and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room ! The most amazing thing for me was that there was absolutely no nausea, just as the anesthesiologist promised. I was a bit woozy and my stomach felt tight. But having no nausea was amazing after my past experiences. I had padding and a binding garment on when I woke up and the pain pump was attached.

Dr. Lista does not use drains for the tummy tuck or the liposuction, that was a big bonus for me, less hasstle. I expected sutures where the liposuction was done, my hips area, but no sutures there. The nurse told me that Dr. Lista completes Liposuction while the skin is open for the tummy tuck from the inside, not outside. So no sutures, Yeah !

The recovery room had 4 beds and it was very busy, patients were attended to and as soon as they were put in a wheelchair to leave another patient was wheeled right in.

Dr. Lista insists that if you live more than 1 hr drive from the clinic you must stay in nearby hotel. Luckily enough I live not too far away, By 1.30pm I was in the car being driven home.

I went to bed for a few hours when I got home but felt well enough to walk around a bit and sat in the EZ Boy chair in the living room and ate lunch and later on ate a salad for dinner. Tried to drink lots of water.

I didn't feel any pain from the cut, but that was probably due to the pain pump that pumps in local anaesthetic to that site. However, I did have a feeling like I had been punched in the area below my mid chest area, a tightness. I am guessing that this is the area where the muscles were stitched together. It wasn't pain that couldn't be managed though and I had Percocet with the meds given to me.

Had an appointment at 9.20 am following day for the Pain Pump to be removed. Took no more that 10 minutes with the nurse for the post op dressing to be taken off, a pad put over the sutures and a garment that looks like a girdle put on. It goes from the top of my legs to just below my chest area and has a zipper up the side for easiness to put on. It's actually quite comfortable and cannot be seen under clothing. Have to wear the compression socks for 2 weeks 24 hrs a day and the compression garment for 6 weeks. Funnily enough the girdle provided by the clinic makes me feel more secure and that the area of the staples are protected.

I have been told that starting tomorrow, Day 2 Post Op, I can take a daily shower, wash my hair and to take a washcloth with a mild soap like Dove or Ivory and wash the suture site.

I ws also given a box of 9 needles that I am to inject into my leg 1 X per day to stop blood clotting. I hate needles but these are like Diabetic needles, very, very tiny.

After my appointment, my husband and I actually went out for breakfast ! I remember saying to him, I can't believe that less that 24 hrs earlier I was on an operating table and here I am eating breakfast in a restauran ! I then went for a Nap when I got home and decided to write this review to hopefully ease some people's worry about the pain.

I do not have a high pain tolerance, in fact I'm the type that hates even going to the dentist for my regular cleanings !

I'm not saying that the procedure is a breeze with no pain, there is pain but it's pain that can be managed. I expected much worse.

* Difficulties I have found - Bending down to pick something up, putting on any garment of clothing that involves bending e.g Socks, Underwear, PJ bottoms. Reaching up. Changing positions from standing to sitting and vice versa, It's good to have someone's arm to use as an anchor when doing the above.

* Things that have helped me - I found it painful getting on and off the toilet, I remembered that the nurse gave me a plastic deep bowl incase i threw up during the car ride home. This worked great, I was able to remain standing to pee and then just emptied it in the toilet.
- I found adding a pillow under my knees during sleeping helps.
- I found taking 1 Percocet every 6 hrs helpful.
- You will need someone there for you to help you.

So, I would really recommend Dr. Lista, he has completed hundreds of tummy tucks and Lipo, they have everything covered that you will need. Very professional, making me feel secure in my decision.

Good Luck ladies, no regrets !

Spoke to soon !

Hey ladies, think I spoke too soon. The numbing effect of the pain pump has worn off since my last posting. Feeling the cut now. Not as comfortable. Trying to hold off until bedtime to take my Percocet, feels better when I'm not moving.

Day 8 Post OP

Good Morning ladies,

Ready to update my experience after a week of what has been a roller coaster of pain and emotions. I'm hoping that some of my tips about what worked for me will help other women.

Have to say I am amazed by the women who undergo this procedure and have young children at home. I would not have been able to do it. Also amazed by the women who have the courage to go to another country that is not as well developed for the procedure, that takes courage.

My biggest mistake is that I thought I was going to have surgery on Wednesday and be back working on my computer on Monday ! NOT.
Feeling very over confident that I would bounce back quickly, as I have in the past. Having a TT ended that notion very quickly !

Mistake # 2 - Not realizing or acknowledging the enormity of the surgery and the effect on my whole body and mind.

Mistake # 3 - Thinking my pain tolerance was pretty good, then realizing it wasn't.

Dr. had provided me with a # of medications including Oxy Cotin, inflammatory meds, Arnica pills to help the bruising, stool softners and a medication that has to be self injected once per day for 10 days to prevent blood clotting.

Told to shower every day from day after surgery and lightly wash scar area with a mild soap like Dove or Ivory.

Compression garment only to be taken off to be washed and to shower. Keep on for 6 weeks

I understand that people react differently to pain, and maybe my age had something to do with it, but I found it very painful, far more painful than a Cesarean section after twins and far more pain than I have ever experienced. However, I have read on this site that some women have managed the pain very well, just wasn't my experience. Hated the side effects of the Oxy Cotin, leaves you feeling spaced out but had to take it.

Initially, couldn't get out of bed on my own to go the bathroom as the incision pain was a horrible burning pain, ended up having to sleep in the recliner for 6 nights as too difficult to get into an upright position when in bed. Had to go to the bathroom at least 3 X every night to pee, didn't make a difference if I didn't drink, it was the fluids from the surgery.

For the 1st 4 days I had to pee standing up as couldn't sit down on the toilet and get back up, that same burning pain at the incision site.

My back looked like I had been run over by a truck, black and blue all over, same for vagina area.

Day 5 Post Op, Back to clinic to get staples removed, a few steri strips were added. No dressing applied, No underwear allowed except for the compression garment. Most Steri strips came off in the shower the next day, was going to replace myself but nurse said not required. Felt a bit strange knowing there was nothing between the scar and the compression garment, wanted to put on a pair of panties but Dr. said no, as they can leave lines.

Told I can drive if I'm up to it, I was. Bit uncomfortable getting in and out of car but ok once seated. Drove to a relatives house that was more than an hour and a half drive away and visited with her, day 5 was a good day - Day 6 almost killed me, think I overdid Day 5 !

I am sleep deprived as cannot get comfortable. May take an over the counter sleeping pill tonight to see if that helps.

I am now in Day 8 post op, realizing I have come an awful long way in 8 days (even though it feels like 8 weeks, lol ) and want to share with you what helped me,

- You must have someone to help you around the clock for this first week, focus needs to be on yourself managing pain and recovering.

- Wish I had rented a hospital bed for the 1st week minimum, almost impossible to get out of a regular bed because very difficult to sit up. If no room for a hospital bed I would rent an electric recliner that raises you up to stand.

- If you don't have someone there 24/7 then rent a walker to help you maneuver.

- If you drop something its very painful to pick up, I used the BBQ Tongs to pick up stuff.

- Your appetite will be diminished for the first few days, buy some ready made nutritional supplement drinks as easy to help yourself to.

- If you have to Pee standing up then do it, a few days later you will be able to sit.

- Coughing or sneezing will be very painful. If you feel a cough coming on try to keep sipping water until the feeling goes, hold your stomach.

- Constipation is awful. I didn't go until Day 6 even though I was doubling the amount of stool softners recommended. Eventually I had to use a glycerine suppository to help me go. Now taking Prune juice, flax seed, Chia seed, hemp seed, greek yogurt, almond milk and fruits in a shake each day and this has worked wonders, problem solved.

I stopped the Oxy Cotin asap and tried to manage with Extra Strength Tylenol only, I've been able to do this since day 6, got mind clarity back and helped with the constipation.

Day 7 and 8 - Really bad back pain around hips area, Dr. recommended Arnica Gel, I use this with the heating pad. Heating pad while laying on the sofa has been a big help. Toward the afternoon my stomach gets uncomfortable with swelling, feels as tight as a drum, not sure what I can do about this.

On day 6 my pain was so bad that I realized I needed more help than prescription drugs to help me feel better, so I went to see a holistic nutritionist for help in rebuilding my body after the trauma in surgery. She is excellent, gave me a list of supplements that would help heal me, such as Zinc, Cold Water Fish Oils, Probiotics and other vitamins. She also specializes in reflexology and came to my home to provide a session to help me with the pain, very relaxing. I would definitely recommend the services of a nutritionist and would have gone to her even prior to surgery for information if I had known. Want to do whatever I can to help the healing process.

I am spending a week now with a family member in a very peaceful location, the great thing is that she loves to cook and has been preparing very healthy foods such as home made chicken soup, fresh fruits and veg, proteins etc. I feel that week 2 is being devoted to rebuilding my body.

I have been through the stages of wondering what the hell I have done to myself, wanting to kick myself for doing the TT, berating myself for doing this. Feeling stupid for willingly causing myself so much pain. feeling angry at the doctor for making me believe the pain would be minimal, prepared to have my old belly back instead of the pain, etc etc. These feelings came and went.

As of today, I don't know if I would have done a TT if I knew what I was going to experience. I don't believe you can prepare yourself for what you have never experienced. It has been hell for me, but then I realize I have come such a long way in just a little over 1 week. The worst has passed, I'm still recovering but at least now I can function a bit more, I have been able to complete work on my computer by adapting, I lay on the sofa with a pillow under my knees and a support under my back to keep me upright, I lay on the heating pad to help with the back pain and I've been able to work on some files to keep on top of work stuff. I am able to potter around the house doing some light tasks, still not really going out though, still living in fresh PJ's every day after my shower.

I am so thankful for the family around me that has supported me through this in all ways, even though they didn't want me to have the surgery. I needed them and continue to need them. Pull in all resources that can help you, professional and personal.

I am always on the move, always doing something and the biggest eye opener for me with regard to this whole experience has been the realization that I am not infallible, my mind cannot will my body to do what I want it to do, I have to be patient (very hard for me) my body will heal in it's own good time not when I decide. It has been very frustrating but a life lesson in itself !
I am such a Type A personality and this experience has took that need and expectation to be in control and thrown it out the window ! It's as though my body is saying, I will be ready when I'm ready, not when you are telling me to be. ARRGH. This definitely was not in my plan, Lol.

On a positive note, the surgeon did a great job, no infection, no drains, I would definately recommend him even though he's expensive and I still haven't seen him personally since pre op
( hoping to see him on my next follow up appt next week) I know it's going to look great when all is said and done ! I hope to reach the point of saying all that pain was worth it, just not sure at post op day 8 !

Have a great day and good luck ladies.

3 weeks post op

Hi Ladies,

Well its 3 weeks post op now.

When I look at before and after pics I'm amazed at what Dr. Lista has accomplished. I'm very pleased with the result and decided to be brave enough to post a photo !

I haven't took any pain killers for over a week but I am still quite uncomfortable, my stomach is as hard as a rock and I feel as though Iv'e been dealing with this for 3 months not 3 weeks ! I have an odd good day when I say to myself, OK, that's enough now, time to move on and get on with life, so I take my daily shower, fix my hair nice, put make up on and go out and conquer the world ! Then I pay for it afterwards. Crap.

Don't like the pressure garment but when it's been off for half an hour or so I realize I am actually more comfortable in it than not.

I phoned and asked for an appointment to see DR. Lista in person as I haven't seen him since before pre op. I just want to make sure my stomach discomfort is normal and nothing that needs to be drained etc.

Looking at booking a lymphatic massage, off to see my nutritionist now, I'll take all the help I can get.

Personally, although I don't feel 53, I do think my age contributed to the recovery process, something I never even though of prior to this.

I love how I look though even with all the swelling.

Have a great day Lades

Week 5

Week 5

Best week for feeling like there will be a day when I actually feel like myself again !
Going for lymphatic massages twice a week because they help and feel great.
Saw Dr. Lista, he said everything looks fabulous, started with the Mepaform for scar healing, next appointment in 4 months.
Dr. Lista did an amazing job, my scar is low, straight and is healing really well.
Dr. Lista's methods were a bit different than other experiences I have read, it was a drainless procedure, told to start showering daily starting 48 hrs after surgery and to gently wash incision with a mild soap and water, ok to drive 5 days after surgery. All worked well for me.
Was told I don't need compression garment after week 6 is reached as it has done its job however I will wear some sort of lighter compression garment because I actually feel better wearing it, feels more secure.
Anyway I am really happy with the results and would definitely recommend Dr Lista.
Good luck ladies in your journey.
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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
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