Mommy Makeover for a Mom of 5, Plus Hysterectomy and Bladder Repair/sling - Nashville, TN

I am a RealSelf lurker and the reason I am finally...

I am a RealSelf lurker and the reason I am finally putting in my story is I want to help others in my same situation and I also want to recommend my doctor, Dr. Wendel. Here's my background--I am an almost 42 year old mom of 5 wonderful children that I delivered vaginally. I am very active and work out about 5-6 times a week. I am a size 2, and am 5'4" and 128 lbs. But I was shaped like a potato with toothpicks sticking out of it! My stomach area (no matter HOW much I worked out) was always bowed out. I did not have big rolls and my stomach skin was pretty decent for 5 pregnancies--but the muscles were so stretched out and it gave me a rounded appearance. My abdomen definitely did NOT fit the rest of my body, as I am very narrow hipped and pretty small otherwise. So as you can imagine, any time I looked at myself in the mirror, dressed or undressed, my eyes automatically were drawn to my abdomen. And sometimes if I had on a tight shirt, my "butt" on my abs would show. I called it that because you could see the separation and it looked like a butt crack on the front of my body! So I have wanted a MM for years, but was just waiting for a good time.
In the meantime, I was being told repeatedly by doctors that I needed to do something about my bladder (which leaked all the time and would never empty all the way) and my rectal prolapse. (not pleasant) I was told by a gyno that if I did not get it repaired, it could become an emergency situation and then I would not have a choice as to when to do this. So I decided to see if I could do everything at once. I first went to Dr. Wendel about the tummy tuck. He said I was an excellent candidate and he would love to help me improve my appearance. I asked about having a bladder sling at the same time and he recommended a doctor for me to visit. So then I went to the urologist who told me that I needed more than just a sling, I needed repair. So he recommended a gynecologist, and I visited him He told me that my uterus was "abnormally large" (I told him it had housed a bunch of people! haha) and that it needed to be removed. I also needed a anterior and posterior repair of the vaginal wall. Wow--that's a lot to have done. So I managed to get all 3 doctors to agree on a time and they all agreed that I could have it done at once. So I scheduled! Now I want to say I am VERY healthy with no underlying health concerns. I do not smoke and have normal BP, normal labs, etc. So I was an excellent candidate for this extensive surgery, but not everyone would be.
On October 30, I underwent an almost 7 hour surgery in which I had a robotic hysterectomy (left my tubes and ovaries), anterior and posterior wall repair, bladder sling, abdominoplasty with muscle repair (I had a 4 inch separation), breast lift and replacement of my old breast implants. I went from saline teardrops (which were heavy and I could feel them) to the new Sientra gummy bear silicone 400cc. I woke up after surgery and felt pretty good. I was very sleepy and I spent one night in the hospital. I had a catheter overnight and I had a little trouble emptying my bladder the next day. I had to use a self-catheter and that relieved it and after that it worked fine. I had an hour drive home which was kind of rough, but I made it safely home. My sweet husband and my mom took care of me. My dear mom stayed with us for 9 days and that made a HUGE difference. I could sleep and rest whenever I wanted and didn't have to worry about my kids. The first 7 days I moved around pretty slowly. I had some back pain from being hunched over and a lot of vaginal pressure--kind of like after an episiotomy. I really didn't have any breast discomfort or pain from my incisions. I slept in my bed from the beginning--I love my bed and that was my comfiest spot. I propped myself up on pillows and just slept on my back with my head and upper body elevated and pillows under my knees. I slept well from the very beginning--I'm sure the percoset helped with that, too. I also napped every afternoon for the first week--I truly believe all that rest is why I've recovered so well.
On my 7th day, my husband drove me back to Dr. Wendel (an hour away.) I got one drain removed and it didn't hurt, but it felt strange. He wanted to leave the other one in because he said he never pulls both at the same time. I was able to slowly walk around a furniture store afterwards with my hubby and also go to lunch. I was worn out by the time I got home and had to take a nap.
Fast forward to yesterday--13 days from surgery. I had my second follow up and when Dr. Wendel walked in the room he looked shocked. I was in jeans, boots and a cute top with hair and make up fixed! I felt amazing and when they pulled my second drain, I did not feel it at all. It was getting kind of sore so it felt so good to have it out! He took off all the tape from my incisions and he and his nurse both said my scars were amazing looking for 2 weeks. I got some new silicon scar gel from his office called Silagen. He used to use the silicon strips but he learned about this product last month at a large PS convention and he said he's sold on it. I apply it twice a day in a thin layer over my scars for 12 weeks. He wants me to wait one more week to start walking (basically to keep any fluid from building up because my drains are out) and to wear the binder for 2 more weeks. After that I am to go to a high waisted panty girdle ( I bought a few Maidenform ones at Target) and then I see him again in 6 weeks. Oh and my breasts look AMAZING!!!! They are so pretty (even with the new scars) and I love the feel of the implants. In fact, I can't feel them AT ALL which is such a welcome change from what I had before!
I am SO THRILLED with my results and the fact that I DID IT! I am no longer peeing on myself with any activity, all my inside parts are back where they are supposed to be, I have some killer boobs and a flat stomach!!!!! I am not trying to sound vain or boastful--I am just thrilled to death every time I look in the mirror. I breast fed children for over 4 years total (I counted it up) and I was pregnant or nursing for 10 years of my life. To sit here and look down at my legs and not see my "roll" is absolutely incredible.
I just want to thank all you RSers for all the sharing you have done. Your stories have given me the courage to go through with this surgery and change my life!!!!! I am going to try and attach some pictures.

Before pictures

After pics--14 days

Doing great!

I am continuing to recover well. I saw my urologist yesterday and he said I was his "rock star" patient and my bladder sling is functioning perfectly--that's been such a blessing to no longer have bladder problems!
I'm sleeping flat and on my side again--feels great. I do get a little swelled at night and sometimes need to just rest but otherwise I'm great!!! My only regret with this surgery is I didn't do it 5 years ago.

My 42nd birthday, 4 weeks today and Happy Thanksgiving!

Today makes 4 weeks from my surgery and I feel AMAZING!!!! I get to start wearing my stage 2 garments today although I haven't minded my binder at all. I have to say, having this surgery has been one of the BEST decisions of my life. I was mentally prepared for the downtime and pain, although the pain was well-managed by my meds. I have been very fortunate to not have much swelling and for that I am VERY thankful.
For those of you on the fence about this surgery--get yourself as healthy as possible and close to your goal weight and then DO IT!!!! Today is my 42nd birthday and I can wear my high school cheerleading uniform again thanks to my TT and the amazing Dr. JJ Wendel!!!

Back to 100% normal

I just wanted to update my review with some before and after pics. I am completely back to normal and this surgery has been life-changing! I am so thankful for the skill of Dr. Wendel and his staff. I'm back to my normal exercise level and I do not regret anything!

Dr. Wendel is the most-caring, kind, compassionate, incredible doctor you could ask for. I could literally shout his praises from the roof-tops. From his wonderfully decorated office that makes you feel so comfortable, to his amazing staff from the front desk to the RNs, everything is top notch and all about the patient. Dr. Wendel is a master at his craft, and he puts you at ease at what can be a very nerve-wracking time. I simply cannot recommend him and his staff enough--I am so thankful that he is my doctor.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
5 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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