Happy St. Patrick's Day *** 17 months post-Tummy Tuck and 4 months post-Scar revision

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I am in my 40s and I have 4 children...

I am in my 40s and I have 4 children. 5 ft 2 inches, 116 pounds. I exercise 6 days per week (tennis, jog, swim for 1 hour), yet cannot seem to lose stomach pooch and love handles. I want my stomach to match the rest of my somewhat athletic body. TT with MR (and maybe minor flank lipo) is scheduled for 10/19. Any advice would be appreciated.

After breast-feeding 4 kids ( I breast fed for 20...

After breast-feeding 4 kids ( I breast fed for 20 months with my last child), my breast are small and slightly droopy, but honestly, my breast don't bother me. I think that my small breast will "fit" my small frame and (hopefully) my trim abdomen area post-TT/MR. My husband likes my small breasts and is glad that I'm not fixated on having a whole-body makeover. He knows that it is only my abdomen that bothers me, thus, he is very supportive of me. He will take off one week of work to take care of me.

Honestly, I made the appt for the free consultation with the PS in early Sept to inquire about a mini-TT. In my mind, I was hoping that he would say that I didn't need any work done. Surprisingly, he said that I'm not a candidate for a mini-TT. I have too much redundant skin above the BB. He said that I would be happier with a standard TT with MR (and possibly some flank lipo). When he told me that, I thought in my head that this was way more risk than I wanted. I didn't think that I looked that bad!! I thought that I could live with my body. When I came home, I kept thinking about what he said. I took some pictures of myself in my bra and panties. I realized that I look much different in pictures than I do when I look in the mirror. I have a stomach pooch. I have a muffin top when I sit, and with clothes that pinch my waist. I have no waist at all, actually. I realized that I actually have a lot that could be improved. After a lot of thought, I placed my deposit on 9/17. Several days later, I discovered Real Self and have been reading other ladies' stories. I realized that we all have one thing in common: the dreaded stomach pooch. It wasn't just me that couldn't get rid of it with tons of exercise. It's nice to be in the company of other women who understand each other. There's so many women here who exercise just like me, but eventually resort to TT because it's the only way. I feel better knowing that. I don't want to think about my stomach for the rest of my life. I don't want to regret that I could have done something about it earlier in my life. If I'm going to do it, I want to have the rest of my life to enjoy it.

Does anybody have an opinion about whether I should get some minor flank lipo? Is it necessary for a good result? Are there anyone with my body shape that didn't have lipo and was satisfied ( or not satisfied) with their results? Even without flank lipo, is there a natural tendency for the waist and skin around the flank to tighten, just from the pulling and stretching of the abdominal skin during the TT and MR procedure? Does anybody know?

Just saw the PS and his nurse this morning. I...

Just saw the PS and his nurse this morning. I spent 40 minutes with the nurse, then 30 minutes with the PS. He answered my questions. He took pictures of me and he did some preliminary markings on my body to give me an idea of how low and how wide the incision will be. I also found out that he will lipo my flank areas (included in the price) to give me a nicer back and waist contour. I feel well informed.

I have second thoughts about the TT/MR/Lipo. I...

I have second thoughts about the TT/MR/Lipo. I need some advice. I saw my PS yesterday and paid the fee already. I posted my profile 2 days ago on Real Self and I've gotten comments that said I looked pretty good already. So now, I'm not sure if I need to have this all done. If I have Lipo only, it will be $5500, and it will fix the flank, and some stomach, but I will still have redundant stomach skin (stomach pooch, except it'll be droopier after lipo). But there's less risk, less surgery time, less potential complications, no drains to deal with, probably quicker recovery time and no hospital stay. ..............Or should I spend $9600 for TT/MR/flank lipo? I have a 1.5 - 2 cm diathesis to repair (so not huge). He plans to take off skin approximately 3 hand-size (about the same area as a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper) so no more stomach pooch with TT. And there will be lipo of the flank areas. The down side with TT/MR/Lipo is that there will be more risk, potentially more complications due to the length of surgery time, drains to deal with, slower recovery time, 1 overnight hospital stay. Should I spend $5500 to make me 70% happy, or should I spend $9600 to make me 95% happy??? The goal of the TT for me was NOT toI look good in a bikini (not sure if I would wear one). TT is more to get rid of my rolls when I wear clothes. With those goals in mind, what is your honest opinion of what procedure I should have? Thanks for your input.

In 48 hours, I'll be on my way to the hospital for...

In 48 hours, I'll be on my way to the hospital for my TT/MR/ and minor lipo contouring of the flanks. I'm excited and nervous. I'd like to thank all the ladies on RealSelf who have given me support and advice these past few weeks, and during the upcoming weeks and months as I recover. Your advice and support have been priceless!!! I've never met any of you, but I feel like I know you after reading about your experiences during your TT journey. Soon, I'll be able to share in my recovery progress also. Please say a prayer for me, for my husband, and 4 children (who will have to temporarily fend for themselves over the next few weeks while I'm recovering). I wish you all the best. I will post about my progress when I'm able to.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and good wishes. I got my TT/MR/ and minor flank lipo yesterday at 1 PM. Procedure was finished by 4 PM. I spent the night at the hospital. Got discharged at 8 AM this morning. I'm walking hunched over, tummy is tight, but pain is manageable. I'm trying to alternate between Percocet and Tylenol every 6 hours, to minimize my chances of developing constipation. Also drinking prune juice whenever I can. I'll post some pictures when I am able to. Haven't taken a peek under my binder yet. It was nice to hear the anesthesiologist and OR nurse say good things about my PS. My OR nurse said that if she needed some work done, he's the PS that she would go to. My kids are still in the dark about what happened to me. They didn't even know that I spent the night at the hospital last night. They went to bed at 9 PM, and thought that I was late coming home from work. This morning, I came home by 8:30 AM. My husband told them I hurt my back while playing tennis this morning. They are buying that story for now. I'll keep you posted.

POD #1. Activity: Walked hunched over today. ...

POD #1. Activity: Walked hunched over today. Anything that required the abdominal muscles (getting in and out of bed, lifting head off the pillow) was kind of hard to do. Was able to get up, walk around, go to kitchen, go to bathroom by myself, use the computer, play the piano. Really tried to avoid blowing my nose, sneezing, or coughing (because it hurt the abdominal areas). No BM today but I haven't eaten that much in the past 24 hours. I don't feel constipated but I took 2 Dulcolax and drank a lot of prune juice to prevent future constipation. Able to sleep on my back and on my sides. The kids think that I hurt my back while playing tennis. I don't think they are suspicious at all. Haven't looked under the binder yet.
Pain: Not too bad. Only required 2 percocets and 4 Tylenol all day today.

POD #2. Activity: Felt much better after a good sleep overnight. Woke up, and could walk about 90-95% erect. Still, anything that required Abdominal muscles was tough, but better than day #1. Used a lot of my arms to help me get out of bed. I don't have a special recliner or hospital bed at home. Just my regular bed. Had several loose BM today (probably from dulcolax and prune juice yesterday), but that's okay. I don't feel constipated at all. Eating pumpkin flax seed cereal in the morning with Chia seeds (for increased fiber) has always been effective in regulating my bowels. Able to get up, do the dishes, clean the table, pick things up from bathroom, play the piano, clean the house a bit. I feel pretty decent today. Haven't really looked under the binder. Able to sleep on both sides, and on my back.
PAIN: Not too bad. Only needed 2 Tylenol all day today.

POD #3: Activity: Had a good night sleep. Walking about 95% erect. Getting easier to get in/out of bed, but still afraid to cough (hurt abdominal muscles). Doing all the activities as I did yesterday. Energy pretty good (stayed up to midnight to read last night). Had a normal BM this morning. I will continue to drink 1 glass prune juice per day, to make sure that I have a daily BM. I looked under the binder today. Looks pretty good so far. I knew that I wasn't going to look dramatically different right away, I'm content with what I see though . I'm just happy that the incision is low, not to wide, and NOT a happy face incision. I asked my PS to keep the incision horizontal which he did. I have some bruising of my flanks, but not too painful. All 4 kids went to school this morning. Husband has been great taking care of the kids, and taking care of me.
PAIN: I feel pretty good. I don't really think I need anything, but I went ahead and took Tylenol 500 mg anyways, since I'm only POD #3, and it probably will help me, especially if I walk a little more today.

Hope everyone is doing well with their healing.

Last Saturday, I came home from the hospital. I...

Last Saturday, I came home from the hospital. I can't believe it has already been one week. I feel pretty good. Before the surgery, I read a lot of comments on RealSelf and got an idea of what the recovery, scar, etc... would be like. Going into the surgery, I braced myself for the worse, but prayed for the best. I got my prayers answered because this past week, my recovery has been very smooth and uneventful. These are my MILESTONES this week:

1. Day 2: was walking 95 % erect. I have been walking 95-100% erect since them. (A little more hunched over at the end of the day, because tummy is a little tighter).
2. Day 3: Took my last pain pill (Tylenol). Since my discharge from the hospital, I only needed 2 Percocets, and about 8 Tylenols, all together.
3. Day 3: My husband washed my hair for the first time. I sponged bath my body daily.
4. Day 4: Able to wash dishes, clean table, minor cooking, play the piano, make lunch for the kids, sweep the floors, fold laundry.
5. Day 2-3: Sleeping on my back and my side. Getting easier to get out of bed. Still afraid to cough or sneeze (feels like my stitches will burst apart).
5. Day 2: Had my first BM after surgery on day 2. I have had a daily BM since then. I think it helps to be regular before surgery (I normally eat Pumpkin Flax seed cereal with Chia seeds each morning. Following the surgery, I preventatively took 2 Dulcolax, along with prune juice on Day 1 and 2. I have not needed any dulcolax or prune juice since day 2. Throughout this recovery, I never had a day of constipation which seemed to be a problem for many women. I think having a daily BM is very important in the recovery).
6. Day 7: I had my drains removed and BB stiches taken out.
7. Day 7: I drove myself (35 min each way ) to the doctor's office, even with my drains still in place. Drains were out for the ride home.
8. Day 8: I plan to take my first real whole-body shower tonight.
9. Day 8: Got cleared for long walks yesterday when I saw my PS. I walked about 2.5 miles this morning, leisurely paced.
10. So far, no real SWELL HELL that other ladies describe. I eat a low salt diet, a lot of veggies. Trying to eat some protein for recovery.
11. On day 1 and day 2, my energy level was about 70%. Since day 3, my energy level has been about 90 -100%. I feel like I could go back to work today if I had to (I'm in the health field and see patients all day. There is some sitting down on the job, but I also move around a lot to examine patients). I will not go back to work until day 14, so still have a week to rest at home. I've been waking up at 7:45 am each morning to get the kids ready for school. I usually don't take a nap during the day, although I rest in bed (horizontal), reading my novels. I have been sleeping about 11 pm to midnight each night.
12. Mentally, I feel really positive and happy. I knew not to have too much expectations with my body in the first few weeks, because it will take time to see the results due to the swelling. That's why I wasn't really interested in looking under the binder until day 3. The only thing that I was concerned about was the location of the incision. I requested: 1) Low incision, 2) Not too wide, and 3) not a happy face incision. The PS knew what I wanted and gave me exactly that.
13. For those who are curious about my weight: On the morning that I left for surgery, I was 115.4 pounds. Today I was 114.4 pounds. I know the numbers don't matter, but just thought I 'd throw it out there in case someone was wondering how much flesh was taken away, and how much fluid was pumped into during surgery.
14. Is it worth it?? YES, it is. I'm really happy that I did this. I'm listening to my PS's advice and not pushing myself. I hope the rest of my recovery will be smooth. I like what I see so far with my body. I celebrated my birthday this past week, so the surgery is a gift to myself. In addition, I think all moms deserve to get their body back.
15. The excuse to the kids: My 4 kids (ages 7 yrs to 14 yrs) have no clue what happened to me. They think that this past week, I've been walking a little stiff because I hurt my back. They never saw the drains. Now that the drains are out, and I'm wearing normal clothes again, they think that my "back" is all better!!! They think, "mom's back in business!!"

For those who haven't had the surgery and was wondering what to expect, just wanted to let you know how things went with me. I know everyone is different, this is just my experience. Remember, you won't be caught unawares if you PRAY for the best, but to EXPECT the worse.

I included some pictures from this morning (Post Op day 8: TT/Muscle Repair/Minor Flank Lipo)

Take care. All the best to everyone.

I'm PO day #10 today. I had my drains removed 3...

I'm PO day #10 today. I had my drains removed 3 days ago. I'm feeling well, walking upright, no pain at all, back to 95% of my normal self. Yesterday, I cooked lunch for my family, my parents, my brother and sister. My family is very close and we usually see each other on the weekends. Yesterday was the first time that I've seen them since I had my TT last week. No one even suspected that l had surgery 9 days earlier!!!

I have a question for you all: A lot of the ladies have talked about a SEROMA developing? How do you know you have a seroma? What are the symptoms of a seroma?

I'll post some new pictures in a few days of my body and scar. Take care.

I am PO day 21 (exactly 3 weeks). It was...

I am PO day 21 (exactly 3 weeks). It was uneventful between week 2 and week 3. I'm walking upright 100% of the time. I worked a full day yesterday with very little swelling. I even came home and walked another 30 minutes on the treadmill. I'm walking about 3 miles, 3-4 days of the week. So far I'm very happy with my TT, except yesterday, I noticed a little bit of yellow fluid oozing from 1 small area of my BB. I will probably make an appt with my PS on Monday to get it checked out. I also think that I'm a little fuller at the waist on the left side, compared to the right side. However, I will wait it out and see how things go in the next few weeks, as the swelling goes down further, and I start to exercise more. So far the kids and the rest of my family are clueless that I had the TT. Hope everyone is doing well.

Today is PO day 28. I can't believe 4 weeks have...

Today is PO day 28. I can't believe 4 weeks have flown by. I started back to work at PO day 14. The first week back, I had mild abdominal tightness at the end of the day. Not too bad, though. The second week back, I was fine even at the end of a full work day. On some days, I even walked on the treadmill for an additional 30 minutes in the evening. I'm a health care provider, so my job is not sedentary. I examine patients, and have to move from room to room. I feel like I've been back to 100% activity level since day 14 or so. I'm not doing any aerobic activities, but I take 4 mile walks (decent pace), about 4 times per week. Last week, my BB developed a contact allergic rash from the bacitracin ointment that I was using. I stopped the ointment and my rash is getting better, day by day.

I do see a difference with my body between week 3 and week 4, so I it's important to be patient with the final results. I think I had reasonable expectations going into the TT. If I have no additional improvements from this point on, I feel VERY PLEASED and VERY BLESSED with my TT experience and recovery.

I NEVER HAD SWELL HELL. I don't know why. I was expecting it but it never happened. I feel very fortunate for this. These are the reasons I attribute to not having Swell Hell:
1. I feel the most important reason why I had less swelling issues is that I had less done during the TT (less skin resected, less lipo); therefore, I likely had less trauma and less inflamation.
2. Walking and being active as soon as I was able to after the TT also helps . I think it helps to get back in the swing of things, and not be sedentary.
3. I look at the Sodium content of all the foods that I eat. If it's greater than 5-7%, I don't eat it. If I do eat it, it's just a small taste.
4. I wear my compression garment WITH the white binder (from the hospital) on the outside to keep my tummy areas snug. On days that I work, I just wear the CG. On days that I'm home, I wear both the CG and binder. I think that helps to keep the swelling down.

My husband and kids have been great. Thus far, my kids, and the rest of my family have no clue that I had a TT.

Please excuse all the lingerie pictures on PO day 28. I just bought some new lingerie and just had to take a pictures of myself. My whole life, I never felt sexy enough to wear matching bras and panties, the ones the Victoria Secret models wore. I just bought whatever was on sale. I don't even have a bikini. I've always been too shy to wear one. I've hidden myself all these years, and now I'm finally letting loose.

I hope everyone is healing well and enjoying their new bodies.

Today I am exactly 1 month PO!!! I was at a...

Today I am exactly 1 month PO!!! I was at a family gathering yesterday. I am happy with my results but still feel self-conscious and embarrassed to wear huggy tops that display my new waist and tummy. After trying on a couple of tops, I ended up wearing one of my usual loose tops. After so many years of wearing loose clothing to hide my body, it's so hard trying different clothing. No one even noticed that there were any changes to my body, because I was still hiding in my clothes. I have to find a way to get over my self-consciousness with huggy clothing. Once I accomplish that, then I will work on the bikini. So ladies, if you're waiting for bikini pictures, it may be a while. Is there anybody who has this problem??

I am now PO week 8. I can't believe how quickly...

I am now PO week 8. I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. I have been back to 99% for quite some time. Oftentimes, I forget that I had "abdominal" surgery just 8 weeks ago. I have started back on the treadmill since PO week 6. Everything is going well. Hope all is well with those who are recovering.

PO WEEK 8: For those of you who are trying to...

PO WEEK 8: For those of you who are trying to keep the TT from your family/children (for whatever your reasons are), I just wanted to tell you that it is totally possible. I have 4 children ages 8 years to 14 years. To this day, they still have no idea that I had the TT. They have not seen or heard anything to make them suspicious. During the first week, I was walking a little stiff and they attributed that to "mommy spraining her back". By PO day 8, I resumed 100% of my usual activities for them (doing errands for them, running around carpooling, etc......). Yesterday, my 11 year old saw me wearing my Spanx garment for the very first time. She asked me what I was wearing. I told her that I wear the Spanx under clothing to make me look smoother. I told her it's similar to the camis that I bought for her, that does the same function (for her). She felt that my explanation was reasonable and didn't think anything more of it. That's about as curious as my kids have been about me!!!!!! I've been back to "normal" for so long now, that I've past the point that they would be suspicious that "something happened to mommy".

I am now PO 3 months. I feel that I reached my...

I am now PO 3 months. I feel that I reached my final body dimensions at about PO 4 - 6 weeks. My waist is 27.5 inches, and it has it has been that way since PO 4 weeks. Before TT, I wore size 2P. Now, I wear size 0P. I don't think that my body will change much more with simply "passage of time after the surgery"; therefore, I have been back to exercising vigorously. Twice per week, I go to the gym for a prolong 2.5 hours exercise session : [ I take a Pump and Jump Class (Cardio and Toning) for 45 minutes, followed by running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by using the gym equipment for 15 minutes, followed by 40 minutes of swimming laps. ] Then 3 days per week, I run on the treadmill (at home) for about 45 minutes. I've also played tennis a few times. Each night before I go to sleep I spend about 20 minutes doing squats, leg lifts, planks, crunches, butt and inner thigh exercises. I've been doing this routine for about 3 weeks. I wear my CG when I exercise, and I've had no problems with swell hell, even on days that I exercise a lot. At the very most, I have a teeny bit of swelling in my lower abdomen in the evening.

My scar is pretty much the same as everyone else. I rub with Bio-Oil for about 5 -10 minutes at night. So far, I've been really pleased with my experience. For sure, I am back to 100% in every way. I hope everyone is doing well.

April 19. I can't believe today is exactly 6...

April 19. I can't believe today is exactly 6 months since I had the TT. I'm feeling great. I'm eating the healthiest that I've ever eaten in my life. I'm doing cardio about 6 days per week, and strength training about 4 times per week. I saw my PS 3 weeks ago for my PO 5 month visit. Before I even said anything, he took a look at my scar and suggested that I return at 1 year PO (Oct 2013), to have my scar revised. He will attempt to remove the vertical scar completely by removing more loose skin in the lower abdomen that has gotten laxed since the TT. He told me that the procedure should take about 1 -1.5 hours, and will be done in his procedure room. He said that I can drive myself to the revision and that I could go back to work the next day. It will be done under local anesthesia. I believe the revision will cost me $150 (for the use of the procedure room). I'm really pleased that he suggested this because I noticed that my left lower abdomen was fuller than my right side (which is flat). When everything is done, hopefully both sides will be symettrical.

Hope everyone is doing well.


It's been 1 year since I had my TT. At my 6 months appointment, my PS suggested that I come back for a revision (no additional fees) to remove about 2 inches by 6 inches of laxed skin in my lower abdomen. By doing that, he could get rid of the vertical scar (left from my original bellybutton) and he could also remove the 2 small dimples on my pubic area, left from the 2 drains (from the TT). Two days ago, I went in for the revision. I drove myself to the appointment. He injected local anesthesia all over my abdomen. The PS performed the following: 1) He removed about 2 inches (height) by 6 inches (width) of skin in my lower abdomen. You can see in the pictures that the vertical scar has been removed completely 2) He lipo'd a small fat pad above my BB 3) He enlarged my BB (the BB had gotten so small that I couldn't even use a Qtip to clean it). The anesthesia really hurt when he injected me, but the procedure wasn't too bad. It was strange to be awake for the procedure and hearing the sounds of skin being cut away. I drove myself home without difficulty. I went to work the next day. I've only needed a few Tylenols so far, but I think I have a high pain tolerance. I'll take it easy for the next 4 weeks, then start exercising again. Going through the pain for this revision reminded me not to take my results for granted. I've been pretty good with exercising (cardio and strength training) this past year. My diet was good most of the time, but there's room for improvements. After my 4 week recovery, I plan to start exercising and eating extremely clean again. Hope everyone is doing well. Let me know if you're interested in my post, otherwise I won't update. (I only go on this site every 3 months or so.)

16 months post-TT and 3 months post-scar revision

It's been 3 months since I had the scar revision. Gain some weight during Thanksgiving and Xmas, but I've been working out like crazy since the New Year. It's so important to continue exercising and eating healthy to maintain the benefits of the TT. Will post some new pictures soon. I'm very happy that I had the TT . No regrets at all.



17 months post-Tummy Tuck. 4 months post-Scar Revision.

I've been feeling great. Exercising a lot lately. I finally figured out what I need to do (with exercise and diet) in order to maintain my body. It's so important continuing to exercise, and eating healthy. My scar is still pretty noticeable, but I figured it would take a long time before it fades. Honestly, it doesn't bother me or my husband. I'm so glad that I got the tummy tuck. I waited until 8 years after my fourth child and I was already in my 40's at the time that I had the surgery, but I'm still so happy that I did it. I wear clothes and I feel so trim and small. Even before the tummy tuck, I was living a very full, and happy life. The tummy tuck was just icing on the cake!! Hope all is well with everyone.


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