Tummy Tuck or What I Like to Call "Granny Makeover"
After age 60 the "stubborn belly fat" was here to...
Update on the Granny makeover
This procedure was actually more intense that I thought it would be. A large incision, at my waist line, about halfway under my armpits was started on each side. It went across my tummy in a downward slope to about 4 inches above my groin. Right now, at the 3 weeks mark, it unfortunately looks like something more suitable to the Frankenstein monster. I'm assuming, and hoping, that it will get smaller is size and be absorbed more. It is still sensitive. I have been applying Aquafor to the incision and covering it with a strip of gauze. I'm wearing (after the 1st week) a compression garment which is like a large band that connects with velcro. I wear this when I am at home, which turns out to be most of the time. We haven't done much in the way of going out due to the way I feel and the fact that my eyes (after eyelid surgery) still aren't completely healed. My surgery was scheduled for 10 a.m, a tummy tuck, brow lift, eyelid surgery and liposuction. I was told it would take about 6 hours. My husband was told to wait for a call to tell him I was in recovery and he could then come and see me. This is the only real complaint I have, he was never called. At about 7:30 he was frantic. He went to the clinic and pounded on the door. Finally someone came and told him I was still in surgery and they would call him. Again, at 9:15 he went to the clinic because he had no communication with them and he pounded on the door again. Finally he was admitted and shown into the recovery room, where I was. I had decided to stay overnight at the clinic and hire a private nurse. This was the best decision I made. Neither my husband nor I would have been able to handle the situation. My husband recommends that people spend two days and nights with a nurse. I guess I was a handful!
During the procedure, fat is removed, the stomach muscles are "quilted" with stitches, liposuction is performed, excess skin is removed and then you are put back together. Leads to a pain pack are stitched above the belly button. This pain medication is automatically delivered to the belly area for a week, you carry it in a fanny pack wherever you go. It worked well, even after the leads fell out 5 days into the week, the pain was not bad. Today marks 3 weeks since the surgery. During those weeks, the most pain I had came from the liposuction done to my flanks, above my belly button and my mons. My back was REALLY hurting. I couldn't sleep in bed,(I'm still sleeping in a recliner) bend, pick up anything off the floor; my range of motion was and still is affected. The back is better but not 100% yet. I was sent home with pain medication but when I came in for my post op appointment on Thursday, I was so loopy they determined I was over medicated so they put me on ibuprofen four times a day. That was the beginning of a very miserable week. The ibuprofen did nothing to alleviate the pain. On the Sunday following the surgery (I think) I asked for pain meds and received a prescription. I would take usually 1/2 pill, sometimes 1 if I was really uncomfortable till they were gone. Even so, on March 27th I called again and was given another prescription. Again, I am only taking 1/2 tablet every 4-5 hours during the day. It is enough to take the edge off and allow me to function more normally. Before taking pain meds I was in miserable shape and couldn't even go for a 10 minute walk without great discomfort. I didn't realize what a wuss I am. I'm beginning to wean myself off of them but I'm not completely pain free or comfortable. Now that most of the back pain is gone my incision bothers me more. The area above the belly button, under my ribs and below the incision is stiff and starting to "pull", it's very uncomfortable. Actually walking and moving around helps a great deal with the stiffness. The swelling has gone down everywhere but has not completely disappeared. I'm no longer bruised either. Note: with a tummy tuck, the danger of a blood clot increases, so you have to have a coumadin shot daily for 10 days. Neither my husband nor I could face doing this. I was able to go to the clinic during the week and get the shot. On the weekend, Marie Jackson the patient coordinator came all the way to our house to give me the shot. This was above and beyond and so appreciated by both of us. Now for a bit of uncomfortable news. If you are prone to constipation, like me, the pain meds and anesthesia will have a bad effect on you. The surgery was on Tuesday, by Saturday I was ready to explode. If you've ever been in this condition you know what I mean. I had been taking stool softeners and laxatives, eating fruit and drinking juice to no avail. Finally, on Sunday we called Marie and she arranged for a visiting nurse to come to the house and relieve this situation. It was not fun, but I was so miserable it had to be done. So this added to the cost of the procedure but it was worth every penny. Also, a small glass of warm prune juice will work wonders. I'm so glad I had the support of Marie during that first week especially, she was a life saver, she is so sweet and kind. I realize I'm rambling and this isn't very well organized. Sorry about that. Anyway, this afternoon is my 3 week check up. I have to be prepared to have some more uncomfortable and embarrassing photos taken. When you first walk in the door to a plastic surgery center for a consultation, you should throw your modesty out the door behind you. They are good about it though and do their best to be matter of fact and make me feel as comfortable as possible. By the way, I LOVE my new profile. The baby bump is gone and I've even lost weight, 12 pounds so far. Granted, my appetite hasn't been the best but I do eat and walk as much as I can handle. I think I look much better, less like a Granny and more like I used to when I was still in control of my tummy.
Doctor Hasen was thorough, matter of fact and answered all my questions. He looked at me like I was a canvas that he was about to complete. The consultation procedure was to me embarrassing and an eye opener at the same time. He was also complemented by my nurse practitioner and everyone else I came in contact with before the procedure. I consider myself lucky that I made the right choice. There are so many plastic surgeons in Naples it was hard for me to decide who to use.