I did it! Newport Beach, CA

I've been going back and forth trying to decide if...

I've been going back and forth trying to decide if I should write a review. I finally decided to share my journey because I have learned so much from reading about other people's journey and I hope someone can take something away from mine. I also recognize how important the support will be during this process. I truly appreciate everyone being so open and honest about their process. So, a little about me. I'm 35 years old, 5'11", 165lbs and a mother of one. I'm scheduled to get a TT with muscle repair. My main goals are to get rid of my pooch and stretch marks. I know all of my stretch marks won't be gone but I'm hoping for improvement. I think I'm feeling all of the appropriate emotions right now; anxiety, excitement, nervousness and fear. I finished my shopping today and hopefully have everything I need. My best friend and son are going to be my caregivers for the foreseeable future. I took 2 weeks off of work.

Day of surger

So it's 9:00pm now and I got out of surgery 10 hours ago. I have two drains and pain pump. Also, I'm taking Valium and Percocet. My doctor requires an over night stay with a nurse if you have a TT or facelift. So I'm currently at a nearby hotel. I have a post op tomorrow at 8am and will be going home after. I don't have any pain right now but I'm sure one the meds stop I'll feel a lot more. I only felt dizzy once when I got up to use the restroom for the first time. I've gotten up 4-5 times since then and no dizziness. I wasnt nauseous because my doctor gave me something for that prior to surgery. I've been sleeping on and off throughout the day. So far, so good.

One day post op

Just had my day after post op and everything went well. Doctor says everything looks good. My next appt is Wednesday. I'll post pictures then because of now I'm not supposed to remove the binder. My pain level is between a 1 and 2. I'm still taking my pain pills every 6 hours.

Day 2 post op

Today has been a pretty good day. I slept pretty well last night. My tummy is a little sore but bearable. I'm able to get up without assistance to use the restroom and get something to eat from the kitchen. The most annoying part are the drains. They are a little uncomfortable. I'm still taking my meds but I think I'm going to wean off of them soon. My next appointment is Thursday and I'm excited and nervous to see my tummy and scar.

Scary scar

So I went to the doctor today for a follow up and this was the first time I saw my scar. Honestly, I was sad when I saw the way it looked. I feel like it's higher than my plastic surgeon and I discussed and it looked bumpy and scary. I'm hopeful it will improve with time but I am a little worried it won't.

First shower- 4 days post op

I had my pain pump removed today so I was able to shower. Best shower I've had in a long time. I thought it would be a challenge with the drains but it really wasn't. But it definitely took a lot of energy out of me and now I'm ready for a nap. Next doctor's appointment is Momday. I really hope the drains can come out on that day.

Crazy emotions - 5 days post op

So today I woke up feeling a little sad and depressed. As I stood naked looking at myself in the mirror before I showered, I started questioning if I should've gone through with the surgery. My body looks nothing like I hoped it would. My scar is too high and for some reason my belly button is way lower than it use to be. I tried on a pair of underwear and a bathing suit bottom and neither covered the scar. I started to cry. After I showered, I text the physicians assistant and she called me. She reassured me that all of the emotions I was feeling were 100% normal and that I am less than a week out of surgery so I shouldn't be overly concerned with aesthetics at this point and should focus on my recovery and health. After speaking to her I felt so so much better. So I'm going to do as I'm told and just focus on my health and recovery right now. :)

Look mom, no drains! 1 week post op

Got my drains removed today! Hands down the best feeling in the world. I feel so liberated! Haha. Doctor says I'm doing well. Told me my scar is healing well and just told me to continue to take it easy. No working out but I can walk or go on a small hike. I'm still not happy with how high my scar is, as it's not covered by my underwear or bikini. The doctor told me it would be covered by my underwear but it's not and had I know it wasn't going to be I don't think I would've gone through with the procedure. Oh well, I'm here now so I'm just going to be grateful that I'm healing well. Next appointment is in 2 weeks and will start scar therapy.

Seroma...

So Friday night I noticed a bump on my stomach just above my belly button that I hadn't noticed before. I touched it and it was squishy and not firm like the rest of my stomach. After I had my drains removed (4 days prior) I asked the doctor about seromas and she said that my stomach would have a bump/lump that would feel like a "boob" and that's exactly what it felt like. So I text my doctor that night and she asked that I send her a picture and confirmed that it looked like a seroma. She advised me to keep wearing my binder and come in the office on Monday to have it evaluated. So, I left work early (on my first day back none the less) and went to the doctor. She stuck a needle in the seroma and drained 35cc of fluid. Luckily, my stomach is still numb so I didn't feel it at all. The doctor asked me to come back on Friday to drain any additional fluid that may accumulate. The doctor says it's common for seromas to develop once drains are removed and you become more active. The doctor said the seroma is not harmful, especially since mine was relatively small. The doctor said she was surprised that I found it. So that's it for now, doing well here, just resting when I can and going for walks at the park to stay somewhat active.

3 week P/O appointment

I had my 3 week p/o today with the physicians assistant.

Seroma- Good news is my seroma is gone. I was told to keep an eye on that area and come to the office if it returns (which may happen as my activity increases).

Restrictions- I was told to wear binder or spanx until 8 week post op. I was given the OK to do "lower body exercises" such as squats, lunges, stair master, etc. I'm allowed to start jogging on the treadmill next week.

Scar- I started my scar therapy today. Dr. recommended and helped me apply embrace active scar defense. Dr. says I can wear up to 14 days before changing. Dr. recommend Biocorneum for the ends of the scar that the embrace doesn't cover. I like having the embrace on so far because it helps me feel like my scar is protected from clothing and such. My scar is dark around the incision but the actually incision is thin and healed really well. Dr. agrees that my scar probably won't lower enough to be covered by panty line but it is possible (so I'm remaining hopeful). Dr. says that even though the plastic surgeon made the incision well below my panty line, it's possible I didn't have enough skin to pull down and keep the incision low. As a result, my pubic hair line elevated approximately 1-2 inches to compensate. I spoke to the plastic surgeon last week and he feels it will lower and if not he said he will do a revision to lower the scar. I hope it lowers in its own because this process has been exhausting thus far. I was told aesthetics will be addressed at month 6 when I've had more time to heal.

Pain/swelling- Honestly, I really haven't had much pain throughout this process (except for coughing and sneezing the first 2 weeks). This is my second week back at work. Week one there was a lot of swelling but it was much better week 2.

I guess that's it for now. My next appointment is in 3 weeks.

6 week P/O appointment

I had my 6 week appointment two days ago.

Seroma - so my seroma didn't come back but I noticed a hard lump where it use to be. Phycisian's assistant (PA) wants me to get an ultrasound to see if there is fluid that may be under scar tissue or to see if it is just scar tissue that needs to be cut out (I hope that's not the case). PA said if it needs to be cut out the doctor will go through my belly button. PA told me to massage the lump a few times each day to help break up the scar tissue.

Spanx - PA told me to continue wearing spanx until week 8 or maybe longer depending on the results of my ultrasound. I stopped wearing my binder at week 4 except when I go to the gym.

Restrictions - I'm allowed to lift more than 10 pounds at the gym. Only restriction is no ab exercises, so no sit ups or planks. I've been going to the gym for about two weeks now. Doing mostly cardio (jogging and stair master), squats and walking lunges with body weight only, and some arm exercises.

Scar - the scar is healing well. I just finished my second round of embrace. I'm still not happy with how high the scar is but the doctor says we will address that at the 6 month mark when my body has had a chance to heal more.

Pain/swelling - not really any pain, only when I sneeze. Swelling isn't so bad, i get a little bit here and there toward the end of the day. I was given the OK to start sleeping on my stomach at week 6 and I've tried it but it feels uncomfortable. The lower part of my stomach is still numb.
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