Teaching Hospital TT! Finally Done! - New York, NY

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Hello everyone. I have finally completed my tummy...

Hello everyone. I have finally completed my tummy tuck journey which started almost 1 year ago. I am a mom of 2. my height is 5"4 and my weight was around 170. i am one if those people with very skinny legs, no hips and very Busty! I decided to have my surgery done at Lenox Hill Hospital's teaching clinic. My first consult was with Dr. Kurkjian back in January 2013. The consult fee was $50 (which was to go towards the total cost of surgery. Dr. Kurkjian was a resident and we had a good vibe. i wanted him as my surgeon. He told me to lose 10 to 20 pounds and to come back. Fast forward to April. I had lost the 10 pounds and was psyched to schedule a date.... Only to have him apologize because he was booked straight through to the end of June; after which his rotation would be over and he would be leaving. I work for a school district and had it all planned out, surgery in June and use my summer vacation to heal. No luck there.
Not to worry he assured me, come back in August to see his colleague Dr. Constantine... He is great . He assured me....
Ok, so I get my appt for the beginning of August and I am excited again. Only to be called by Lenox Hill to tell me that everything was "different now" and they had to change my appt date. On top of that, I had to re-pay the consult fee and this time it is $75.
It this pony I am frustrated and pissed off. But I centered myself and swore that nothing would discourage me. I had suffered too long with this disfigured abdomen. My August appt comes. Guess what? Different doctor. Now it is Dr. Shola.... Ok so Dr. Shola is cool enough. We have a good vibe, I like what he is telling me , so fantastic!! I sit with the nurse and show her the weeks in December that I would like to use since school is out for holidays....
"Oh.... No no no " she says. Dr. Shola's rotation ends last day of September.

If i want Dr. Shola , It's September or nothing. Ok... So I guess my family life gets turned upside down and we go with September. At this point I have done so much research that I am reciting surgical terminology in my sleep. My surgeon and his attending both told
Me they would TRY to flatten my top belly area of localized fat, but no guarantees. My abdomen was a unique case in that I lost a lot of belly weight, but a stubborn fat pad remained just below my sternum In addition to that huge apron of hanging skin and fat that blocks the view of my vajayjay...
They said that I may still have a small pooch up top.
Surgery day!!! Turns out the procedure is actually taking place in the Manhattan Eye and Ear building ( a division of Lenox Hill and LIJ hospitals). Confusing . I was treated very well. After the surgery, I was wheeled across the street to sleep one night in a hotel with a private bedside nurse. This part is very expensive!!! But
worth it.
Today is day 6 post op.
what can I say? I am over the moon happy!
The PAIN: the first 4 days were painful but nothing unmanageable. I was given Percocet, Valium and 1 day of antibiotics. My nurse told
Me If i could manage with only taking the Valium with Tylenol, I would be better off doing that. I only ended up taking about 3 Percosets over the first 4 days.
So.... I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair (diastasis recti) and lipo of flanks and top abdomen. My incision goes hip to hip and I am pleased with how low it is. I sont even really feel the incision... its rhe ab muscles and where they did the lipo that hurts the most. When I remove my binder , I am shocked at how much they were able to achieve with be lipo. There is alot of swelling. Especially on my right side. My drains are only annoying if they snag on something. I hope to have them removed tomorrow (day7). I will try to get copies of my surgeons before pics and will post my after pics soon !
After your procedure:
Take it easy. Eat very well and sleep a lot ! accept help! Have a support system in place!! Today is day 6 and I drove a little bit ;( no drugs) but still can tell it is too soon for that.

Cost: approx $3700 for procedure (tummy tuck)
plus anesthesia fee .

1 night in hotel around $650 after taxes
Private nurse for 15 hours : $900( cash)

Here are a few pics

With compression garment off.

Day 12

I got my second drain out yesterday. my fluid output was at 37cc but the Dr wanted it at 30 or below. i asked her to remove it because we traveled very far to the office and my husband has limited days off to assist me. removal was a snap. i was scared to death for nothing because I didn't even feel it getting pulled out. Last night though, was a hard night trying to sleep. Sleeping in the recliner was the worst even after having both drains gone. I had it rented for 2 weeks and Rent a Center just took it back today. On a happier note, I have found that perfect meds amount. Today I took 3 ibuprofen (600 mgs). This was the magic number for me. Has me feeling almost NORMAL! Standing much straighter, and able to bend and turn much more that in previous days.
Steri- Strip: even on day 12, my steri strip is still 90% on. My doc said to leave it alone and let it fall off on its own. It looks ugly- it's purple and I am trying not to pick at it. But I am dying to see my incision/scar .
I am still swelling, although not as bad. Right side worse than left.
I really wish I was shaped differently (WITH hips) because the swelling keeps me with a squarish look I was attempting to correct with the flank lipo.
By the way, the flank areas that were lipo'd hurt pretty badly. That and the muscle repair are what hurt worst.

PAIN COMPARISON : I have had 2 children, one with NO DRUGS AT ALL.
Last year I had kidney stones.
In comparison, the Kidney stones were the worst, followed by the childbirth and the tummy tuck was third in terms of pain level.
In terms of recuperation, I would say it comes in second after Kidney stones ( I had surgery with complications) .
With the tummy tuck, you need to make sure you REST - even if your mess have you feeling comfortable. If you think everything is fine because your meds are working, you may tend to push yourself further than you should , complicating your recovery.
For example, today I felt great enough to go to TJ MAXX to shop for some new yoga clothes... It would have been a very dumb idea and I would have regretted it tomorrow with more swelling, possibly a seroma and or damage to my flesh reattaching to the muscle.

Take it easy.
Dr. Shola (resident) and Dr. Doft (attending)

Both doctors were informative and have an excellent bedside manner. Great job! I highly recommend having your procedure done at a teaching hospital! The savings is worth it!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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