Time to Feel Better About the Way I Look - New Jersey

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I am 54 years old , 5'4", physically fit, and as...

I am 54 years old , 5'4", physically fit, and as one sales clerk at a clothing boutique told me, "false fat". She meant that each time she brought something for me to try on, she had to go back and get a smaller size. In all the pictures since i was in my twenties, i look pudgy and it was only becasue of the spare tire i had. It is hard to see that the rest of your body is slim when you have a spare tire.

So 12 days ago i had a tummy tuck and some lipo of my hips (spare tire)! I had been thinking about having this done for four years but i couldn't bring myself to have expensieve, elective surgery - until now. Honestly my biggest worry was not working out. I have never not worked out from more than a few days, never! I was very calm leading up to the surgery becasue i had spent so long considering the operation. I told five of my closest friends and they were all very supportive (I guess that spare tire was more obvious to them than to me!).

The surgery was long - 5 hours. The time under anethesia led to serious problems with nausea after the operation. I spent 24 hours in real distress due to the nausea - i took many drugs and IV fluids to relive the nausea but none worked. That was by far the worst part of the entire process. My surgeon was very supportive and talked to me several times throughtout the day. The nurses tried but were limited in what they could do. Finally the anesthesiologist recommended Benadryl (really) and that worked. Crazy but true.

I went home (after 24 hours) and felt much better just being out of the hospital. I felt "out of it" mentally and was told it had to do with all the anti-nausea drugs i was given (that didn't work anyway). That yucky feeling lasted for almost a week and then i felt back to normal - emotionaly My back hurt (from walking hunched over) but really no pain anywhere else. I took Tylenol a few times but only for the back pain - no other pain to speak of! The drains were taken out on day 3 post op and the rest of the stiches wre removed on day 4 post op. I feel great but my doctor does not want me to do any exercise other than walking - nothing to increase my heart rate - for 4 weeks. I have been doing my joga stretching except for those stretches that affect the abdominal muscles. I feel great physically and mentally.

3 weeks post op: I feel great. My clothes all...

3 weeks post op:
I feel great. My clothes all fit in the waist (it was small enough before and it hasn't changed) and look really great around the hips. I look like those people with great curves! I had the following post-op appointments with my surgeon - next day, three days, 4 days, one week, two weeks, and my next appointment is for 4 weeks post-op. No exercize until 4 week follow-up appt! (Some people have indicated that they are working out before 4 weeks but my surgeon said I am not allowed to do anything that raises my heart rate for 4 weeks.)

I walk slowly every day - sometimes for just 20 minutes and sometimes for 1 1/2 hours. However, after my last long walk, i felt a sharp pain very low in my abdomen (below the stiches) and when i applied pressure with my hand it goes away. My doc wants me to be careful. However, sitting seems to cause that same sharp pain and when i get up it goes away. Go figure! I occasionally feel pain when i do something new like throwing clothes into the hamper across the room. So, now i just try to do everything slowly to make sure it won't hurt. But really, there is so little pain when i am careful.

I will travel by plane for the first time (short distance) and that will be just over 4 weeks post-op. Five days after that i will go to Europe for ten days. My doctor has given me approval. The only thing i'm worried about is putting things in the overhead bins. I will have to get soemoen to do it for me and i will probably have to tell a little white lie (i hurt my shoulder) if i don't want to tell the whole world that i had cosmetic surgery! On the other hand, anyone around the world can read this so maybe i shouldn't worry about telling them. What would you say in a similar situation?

My incision is pretty good with a few areas that still have scabs. I think there is a plastic stich but it isn't bothering me so i'll wait one week for my next doctor visit. There is still swelling but not bad. Sensation in abdomen and on hips is coming back.

I switched to Spanks from the doctor's girdle yesterday (girdle only at night). Yipee! Two more weeks and then i'm done with all Spanks and girdles.

4 weeks post-op: OK, what i wrote last time...

4 weeks post-op:
OK, what i wrote last time sounded arrogant - about looking like the people with great curves. What i should have said is that after a life with a spare tire, how i look now is much more attractive in comparisson.

And, it is interesting who has noticed... Although i've been at work for the last three weeks, no one at work seems to have noticed. I guess since i'm wearing the same business clothes (those things that might have been tight before) it is not apparent to everyone. However, at a party yesterday, two people noticed. One pinpointed the change exactly and said, "You look great around the hips." The other one said, "You have lost weight, don't tell me that you haven't."

I still have only told five people (plus my immediate family) and it is a rather hard secret to keep since i am not the secretive type. What do the rest of you think about sharing that info?

4 weeks post-op continued: I assume that i still...

4 weeks post-op continued:
I assume that i still have swelling although i can only tell becuase of the lack of sensitivity (sort of like numbness). I have probably been using my abdominal muscles too much but i have not done it intentionally. It's just hard to ask my husband to carry every single thing so i've probably been carrying and lifting more than i should. However, tomorrow I will ask the Dr. what are the signs of too much use of abdominal muscles. I know you are not supposed to do situps and Pilates for at least 6-8 weeks. However, i hope Dr. lets me run and bike starting tomorrow (at least a little). Will let you ladies know.

4+ weeks post op: I had my 4 week follow up a...

4+ weeks post op:
I had my 4 week follow up a few days ago. The scar now looks "angry" as some people say. Dark red, a little puckered, almost no scabs anymore, and not yet smooth from above the scar to below the scar. I imagine that will take years to smooth out. The belly button looks a little red (Dr. says it looks good) and since it was stiched in a new place, I have to remember that it also had surgery LOL. I have feeling at the back of the BB which the Dr. says is very good. However, i still have some numbness at the BB and the abdomen just below the BB and some numbness where the lipo was done on my hips.

I have a small superficial venous thrombosis (Dr.says just to massage firmly) on my arm near where the IV was inserted, a small but sharp bruise on my lower back (Dr. says it was where they inserted the lipo tube and not to worry), the disolving stich came out a little and she cut that off. And, hurrah, I'm cleared for all exercise but Dr. said to start slowly.

I ran two s-l-o-w miles the next day, Eliptical machine for 25 minutes the following day and swam 10 laps this morning. The swimming really pulled on my lower abdomen - it was not painful but it felt tight and weird. I guess i'll see tomorrow how much i overdid it. Funny issue that i hadn't thought of - my swimsuit is cut high on the legs and actually sits above the top of my incision. It is not really noticable unless you are looking. I guess for a few months i might want to get a suit that is not cut so high. It feels great to be able to move around. The skin at the top of my legs looks a little odd from the liposuction but it's not noticably bruised so even if it doesn't look great, it is fine for me. (I have had stretch marks forever so that skin never looked great anyway.)

I had a business trip that required two short flights (Dr. had cleared me) - the flights were each a little over an hour. Absolutely no issues. I put heavy stuff under my seat and only light stuff in the overhead bin.

In a few days i have a long flight to Europe (for work, of course) so we'll see how that goes.

26 April 2012: 6 weeks post op: OK, I went on a...

26 April 2012: 6 weeks post op:
OK, I went on a business trip to Europe for nine days. Absolutely no problems with the walking, carrying, waiting in lines, or on the airplane.

I wore my compression garments every day and night. I stopped wearing all compression garments exactly at 6 weeks. What a relief!! I know some people like the feeling of security but i found them terribly uncomfortable in the upper torso.

This morning I went to the weight room at my regular gym for the first time in 6 weeks. I was a little surprised at the number of machines that I couldn't do because they use more abdominal strenght than I have recovered. I am pretty good with running (up to 60% of my pre-surgery) and biking and such but not a lot of the upperbody and quite a number of other machines that use the abdonminals. I have quite a lot of work to do there but i am nervous to do that very vigorously (or even a little vigorously). I'm not even doing any real situps yet! more work to do there.

4 months post op: I feel great, just great! I...

4 months post op:
I feel great, just great! I continue to lose fullness in the lipo areas. The TT is immediate but the lipo seems to take a while to fully reduce. It is so cool to realize it is me in the mirror. My clothes fit so much better, i can wear cute low cut jeans, i get compliments on the way i look. And, i am not a skinny Minny. My weight is a little over my pre-operation weight and i can tell that i have gained that weight in new places but i still LOOK much better. Before surgery i knew that no matter how much weight i lost i would never look this good. I don't want to waste any time with the 5 extra pounds i've added; i already wasted four years debating whether to have the surgery. So, i'm going to watch my weight - starting tomorrow. LOL.

Short Hills Plastic Surgeon

My doctor is so good and so is her office and her nurse! Everything was so easy.

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