Full Tummy Tuck / Muscle Repair with Lipo to Flanks, Inner Thighs and Inner Knees - Novi, MI

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I can't believe my tummy tuck is only 9 days away....

I can't believe my tummy tuck is only 9 days away. I'm scared to death but also extremely excited! I'm 44 and have had 4 kids, two were really big babies! I have severe diastasis that will be corrected as well. I've lost 30 lbs but even with working out several days a week, I haven't been able to get rid of all the belly fat. Not to mention the excess skin. I chose Star Plastic Surgery in Novi, MI for my procedure. I was impressed with the reviews and was impressed with Dr. Lambie when I had my consultation.

A little bit of bitter sweet.

My TT is now paid in full. One week to the big day!! I can't even believe that this is coming true for me. I could cry I'm so excited! I have a friend that really, truly needs a tummy tuck. She has lost over 100 lbs and looks fantastic! Except... for the apron of skin that she is left to suffer with. One day I had mentioned getting a tummy tuck, and she confided that she had thought about getting one too. She was the one that picked out Star Plastic Surgery and scheduled a consultation with Dr. Lambie. She asked me to go with her and it turned into a consultation for me too! We both wanted to get an idea of what we needed to achieve our goals. My friend just recently started a new job and has some other priorities, so her tummy tuck is on hold. I feel so fortunate that I was able to pull this off with getting it financed in a way to make it affordable. My friend is happy and excited for me... she's a great friend. So, why do I feel so lousy? Here I went with HER to HER consultation, but I'm the one getting the tummy tuck. I feel guilty about it and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Tomorrow is the big day!

I will post before pictures as soon as I can. My daughter took some before pictures in a public bathroom because our power has been out. Thankfully it just came back on tonight in time for my procedure tomorrow. After today I am even more impressed with Dr. Lambie and Star Plastic Surgery. The power is also out at the surgical center so they arranged for my surgery to be at the hospital, an overnight stay! They are covering the additional costs! I am very impressed. They could have rescheduled but realized that my husband had to request off of work and it would have been difficult to have to do so again. I am so extremely excited to be having this done and I can't even believe that tomorrow is the big day!

Here are my before pictures and measurements

Morning of surgery:

weight - 155
waist - 37.5"
hips - 41.5"
right thigh - 23.5"
left thigh - 23"
right knee - 15"
left knee - 15.5"

Days 3 & 4 Post Op

Well, it has now been 4 days since my procedure and this morning I had my first follow up appointment. Everything looks great and is going as expected. I'm not standing fully upright yet, but I know that will take several more days. I still need help getting in and out of our recliner, but part of that is I can't raise and lower the leg rest by myself. I've never had a major surgery like this before so I wasn't prepared for how dependent I would be on others. I am very grateful for all of the help I'm receiving from my husband and daughter. It is an absolute must to have someone with you 24/7 the first few days after surgery. There is no way I could have even gone to the bathroom on my own. Today I'm starting to feel more normal, a lot less pain. Every day has been getting better and better, but today there has been a big jump in the right direction regarding the level of pain. Things are tolerable! Last night I weighed myself and took measurements. So, here's the stats 3 days out:

weight - 153.4 (down 1.6 lbs)
waist - 37" (down 1/2 inch)
hips - 41" (down 1/2 inch)
right thigh - 23.5" (the same)
left thigh - 23" (the same)
right knee - 14.25" (down 3/4 inch)
left knee - 14.75" (down 3/4 inch)

I have to say that I am very excited about these measurements given the fact that I am very swollen all over!

Day 5 Post Op

No, I won't be updating every day. :) But I thought it would be a good idea to update more often in the beginning of recovery. I have a bit of swelling today and the bruising is really showing, but I am definitely standing more upright today! I think the incision looks really good... better than I expected. Happy, happy. Just can't wait for final result!

Day 10 Post Op & measurements

My back is starting to hurt not so much because I am really close to standing up all the way. I am doing stretches against the wall to help with loosening up. And, today I finally took a real shower. By "real" I mean standing up instead of sitting on a bucket in the tub using the hand sprayer! It felt so good to take a nice long, hot shower! I am still sleeping in the recliner at night, although I think I might attempt the bed pretty soon. I am still pretty swollen and the swelling is worse at night... I really can't wait for all of the swelling to go away. I'm really happy with how my incision and belly button looks. The Dr. did a great job. Here are my measurements at day 10:

weight: 149.4 (down 5.6 lbs.)
waist: 37" (down 1/2")
hips: 40" (down 1 1/2")
right thigh: 22 3/4" (down 3/4")
left thigh: 22 1/4" (down 3/4")
right knee: 14" (down 1")
left knee: 14.5" (down 1")

2 weeks update

I'm now up and around more than sitting in the recliner. I'm able to do some light housework and carry light loads of laundry up and down the stairs. I am still really tired. My stomach still feels really tight, just a little less tight from a couple days ago. I only have a few pairs of pants that I can wear, which keeps my wardrobe pretty limited. I really can't wait to go shopping for new pants, but I'm way to swollen to do so! I have no idea what size I'm going to wind up in. Before I was a 10/12 depending on how stretchy... I am hoping to wind up in an 8.

Here are my 2 week measurements:

weight - 147.4 (down 7.6 lbs.)
waist - 36" (down 1 1/2")
hips - 39" (down 2 1/2")
right thigh - 22.5" (down 1")
left thigh - 22" (down 1")
right knee - 14" (down 1")
left knee - 14.5" (down 1")

Supplements & Herbs

I take a lot of supplements and herbs, mostly for my thyroid. I have hypothyroidism and thyroid resistance, meaning that thyroid medication doesn't work all that great. I'm now taking Cytomel, which is straight T3 and it has been the best treatment yet. I have to take various supplements so that the thyroid medication can "get into the cells," so to speak. I had to stop most of my supplements 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. I have been pretty tired and all my finger nails chipped and broke off... but I know this is temporary. There is an enzyme & herb that I wanted to share with the rest of you that I feel will be beneficial to my recovery. The first is a proteolytic enzyme called "Serrapeptase." It is the enzyme that the silk worm uses to dissolve it's cocoon. Serrapeptase is a natural anti-inflammatory and slowly dissolves dead tissue (scar tissue, etc.) It is not recommend for those who have mesh for hernia, bladder sling, etc. Anyhow, I've taken Serrapeptase in the past for the osteoarthritis in my bad knee. It has really helped with the arthritis pain. Since taking Serrapeptase I have noticed that any cuts I get heal nicely. I started taking the Serrapeptase again the day after surgery. Typically I would take 1 a day, but right now I am taking 3 a day. I take the Doctor's Best "Best High Potency Serrapeptase 120,000 iu." Here is the link to Serrapeptase on Amazon... spend some time reading all the reviews. http://tinyurl.com/n48kvyt

The other supplement I think will help me heal is Silica from the herb Horsetail. I ordinarily take 1 tablet a day, but starting 2 weeks after surgery I am taking 2 tablets a day until my scar is completely healed. Why spend $100 on a Silicone band aid when you can take an herb that works from the inside / out and your whole body will benefit? Here is the link to the Silica I take: http://tinyurl.com/krlq2kx

I'm also looking into topical Silica that I can apply right to the scar, but I haven't tried any yet. I'll keep this thread updated. ;)

Two Weeks, 3 Days / Day 17 incision and belly button

Took some pictures tonight of my incision / scar and belly button. I'm really happy with the placement of both and how well the incision is healing. I have been very swollen the past few days and I can't wait for the swelling to settle down.

Normal Swelling or Seroma? 19 days post op

I feel really swollen. My waist is up 1/2". I'm wondering if I need to worry about a seroma. I don't see a ripple effect, but there is definite movement on the other side of my belly when I press. Let me know what you think! Thanks!!

Day 20 swelling / better video

Well here is a better video... I think it's a better angle.

3 weeks update

I am feeling very swollen. The swelling is worse since Saturday, when I had my last post op appointment so the Dr. is having me come back in today to check on things. Last Saturday my swelling wasn't bad enough for intervention but since it's gotten worse she might drain me today. I don't know if I "technically" have a seroma or not so today I will make sure to ask. Since Saturday, I have started to feel a bit tighter... like it's more effort to stand up all the way... so I definitely think something is up. My hip measurement is up 1/2" but it's hard to always measure in the same place, and I might just have some extra swelling right now too. I did buy a medical binder on Amazon and I'm going to start to wear it over my Marena bodysuit, which I think might help with the swelling. I'm going to have the Dr. help me today... show me how tight I should wear it. I'll update when I get home later. OH> I am really excited about my thighs!! They are definitely smaller. I don't have a "thigh gap" but don't want one anyhow... but my thighs do not rub together like they did before. I always hated when I would jog and my shorts would ride up and bunch up... always a constant battle. I'm looking forward to that not happening!

Here are the 3 week measurements:

weight - 147.2 (down 7.8 lbs.)
waist - 36" (down 1 1/2")
hips - 39.5" (up 1/2" from a week ago)
right thigh - 22" (down 1 1/2")
left thigh - 21.5" (down 1 1/2")
right knee - 14" (down 1")
left knee - 14.5" (down 1")

Great news! No seroma! Phew... relief...

Well, I just got back from my doctors and I do not have a seroma. I'm so relieved. She showed me how there is no actual "ripple." I had the drainless technique and with that there are sutures on the inside. The big skin flap is "quilted" in a way so that it is extremely rare for a seroma to form. No wonder she didn't poke all at my belly at the last appointment... there was no reason to. So, I am very relieved. I think part of the problem with my swelling is due to the hospital giving me too large of a bodysuit because they didn't have the right size. I was able to take it in but apparently not enough. I'm starting to wear an abdominal binder today and it is much, much tighter. I'm also supposed to start walking. I've been doing things around the house, but no real activity to speak of... so some walking might help with the swelling too. I've been drinking enough water, but maybe I'll increase that a bit too...

Belly Pic

I woke up this morning not as swollen... I'm sure that will change as the day goes on. But, I managed to take a belly pic! I'm pretty excited!!

Incision 22 days post op

I took these photos last night of my incision (right hip). I am starting tonight with the Retin-A cream, and then the Aquaphor in the morning. I'll be doing this daily...

End of day swelling.

I know this swelling is normal for 3 weeks post op... but when will this go away? It doesn't look too bad... but it feels like I'm about to give birth any day!! I feel so much fatter than I look. Sigh... Can't wait for all the swelling to go away... so I can wear jeans again!

Before & After side pics

Here is a before & after from the side.

3.5 weeks post of Side View

I really can't wait until I don't look pregnant anymore!

Scar treatment? Silicone sheet, Silica gel, or Retin A?

What is everyone using to treat your scar? The past few days I've been using this retinal cream that is supposed to have Retin A in it, but it is next to the last ingredient. I don't think it's going to help at all. Please share your experience. The silicone sheets are expensive. The silica gel is more economical and natural, but I wonder how well it works. Would love some feedback here although I plan on calling and asking the nurse. I completely forgot to ask the doctor today at my follow up! Ugh!

1 month update & measurements

I am feeling better and better, although sometimes I'm so swollen that I feel pregnant. I am still fitting in the same jeans as before surgery, so I really can't wait for all the swelling to go down so I can do some shopping for new pants. I've been sleeping in bed the past week and that is helping with the swelling. I still wake up whenever I need to roll over. This really just a patient waiting game!

Here are my 1 month measurements:

weight: 144.6 (down 10.4 lbs.)
waist: 34.5" (down 3")
hips: 38" (down 3")
right thigh: 22" (down 1 1/2")
left thigh: 21 1/2" (down 1 1/2")
right knee: 14" (down 1")
left knee: 14 1/2" (down 1")

New jeans... went down a size!

Well, I still have the swollen, pudgy belly but I did go down a size in jeans.... I went out and bought a size 8. these are stretchy jeans... but I did try on regular, very little stretch jeans in size 8 and they fit as well. Maybe I should hope to end up in a size 6 now. ;)

I look pregnant!

Yes, I am very swollen, but I also gained 5 lbs!! I live in the Midwest and right before Christmas we had an ice storm. We had no electricity or water for 5 days!! I ate a lot of pop tarts, and chips... and fast food... and whatever was offered to us. It doesn't take much for me to gain weight back. I will lose it... just have to be patient. But, it's frustrating!

Maybe a bikini some day... still have some work to do.

I've already lost a few lbs. from the weight a gained while our power is out. This picture is making me think that maybe perhaps someday I could wear a bikini... can't even imagine! I have not worn a bikini every in my entire life. In fact, I went about 20 years without even wearing a swim suit. I would love to be able to lose 20 more pounds. I don't know if that is possible... but it is worth a try. One of these days I will post my weight loss frustration story.

7 weeks post op

I am nearly 2 months post op and am really happy so far! I am still swollen but the upper part of my stomach is not as swollen, the bottom part still really swollen. At least I am finally seeing some progress where the swelling is concerned. So happy about that. I was starting to get worried. Of course I am excited about not having the big roll of fatty skin I had before, but I'm equally as thrilled with my thighs. I can't wait to start jogging in the spring and not have my shorts ride and bunch up between my legs! Things are going to be much more comfortable. I know I can't jog yet... last week at 6 weeks post op I tried doing a light jog on the treadmill and it really made me swell up bad. Maybe I'm a slow healer... sure does seem like it. There are still times where I feel little tugs inside my abdomen... I'm thinking I'm feeling stitches pulling. It feels very strange! I am also really glad that I had lipo of the flanks. Sure makes my figure look that much better. I can feel bumps and ridges on the right side. I am working on it with deep tissue massage every day. I will be asking the PS about it at my next appointment. Really hoping that it isn't permanent.
Dr. Diana Lambie

Dr. Lambie is the best. I have been very happy with everything. She is a skilled surgeon, does not rush you, and there are plenty of follow up appointments. Before surgery, she gives you her own personal cell phone number and you are encouraged to contact her if needed. She really cares and wants to help you look and feel your best... she really loves her job. I was so relieved after surgery to see my incision and belly button... everything was perfect.

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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