I am a 36 year old stay at home Mom of 2 awesome...
I am a 36 year old stay at home Mom of 2 awesome kids ages 16 and 5. My pregnancies took quite a toll on my body. My first was nearly 2 weeks late and weighed 8lbs 6oz. My second was 12 days early and weighed 10.5lbs.
Shortly after her birth I had duodenal switch surgery to lose weight and heal what was then failing health. I started at 270lbs and now 3 years later fluctuate between 164-174lbs. My health has been restored but my body has not.
While I am no longer trapped in a "fat" body, I still feel trapped in my body now because of the amount of skin around my midsection. It hangs down and grazes the top of my thighs and creates so many issues. Back pain, itchiness, stinkiness, burning, etc. That's just the physical issues and not even touching on the mental and emotional issues which I believe are even harder to deal with.
That said, after many months of research and questions I have finally found my Plastic surgeon and have a date scheduled to remove my skin! I will be having a Fleur De Lis tummy tuck (possibly extended around the hips to the buttocks) and liposuction of the flanks. Dr. Nihjer and his staff were very welcoming and informative. I am excited to see what Dr. Nihjer can do for me!
These were taken in 2013 when I first started to get serious about removing the skin. As you can see I wasn't exaggerating. My kiddos and weight gain/loss did a number on me. I forgot to mention I have had numerous abdominal surgeries and both babies were born via C-section. In all honesty, my stomach has never looked "normal". I am beyond excited that in a few short weeks it will!
I forgot to mention I will be having much needed muscle repair as well. :)
Pre-Op tomorrow and today I am 2 weeks away from the BIG day!
Tomorrow afternoon is my pre-op appointment. I will be paying off my balance and asking questions. I have a list that keeps growing everyday! Even with the surgery date quite a bit away, I am starting to get anxious and have moments where if I think about it I get those roller coaster butterflies in my stomach and lose my breath. It probably doesn't help that I've spent the weekend watching episodes of "Botched" and reading all the "Not Worth It" reviews here. In my mind it is to prepare me for what could be the worst outcome but in retrospect might not have been the smartest thing to do so close to the big day!
Pre-op appt. went great yesterday!
Yesterday was my pre-op appt and final visit before my actual surgery. I also paid off my balance. It went very well and I was given so much information! Information about the anesthesia the medication, the pain pump, the drain, the catheter (yay!), the surgery itself, post-op etc. You name it, we talked about it! I took notes on everything and also got most of the information already printed out and placed in a folder ready to go. Received my 3 prescriptions which I will take to be filled tomorrow. (Anti-nausea meds, pain meds, and antibiotics)
Along with the Q&A session yesterday, they took Before and After photos. I honestly thought beforehand that I would cry about that as I would be putting my yucky body out there but it was not a problem. My nurse was awesome and very friendly and relatable. (Love you Latoya! Thank you for putting me at ease.) Dr. Nijher was fantastic as always. He seems very excited and confident about my end result being great. I think having a confident and personable surgeon coupled with a friendly staff is the key to a great practice. Well that and skill. ;)
Everything seems so much more "real" today. I am so excited that my dream of looking normal is so close to becoming a reality!!
It's getting closer...............
One week from today I will be on the flat side. Holy cow. That is all. LOL
Check in is in less than 12 hours. Whoa.
Tomorrow is the big day. I feel as if I have everything ready. Mostly just nervous about the pain. I know I am in good hands with Dr. Nijher and he will give me amazing results. I took a bunch of pictures and my measurements tonight that way whenever I am feeling emotional and depressed and thinking "Why did I do this?" I can look back and remember exactly why.
See you on the flat side!
12 Aug 2014
Day of treatment
As of about 1pm today I am officially on the flat side!
Super uncomfortable but that is to be expected. I will write an in-depth post when I am feeling more up to it.
For now though let me just say, I did it!
Not quite 24 hours post-op
I'm not in a lot of pain mainly just uncomfortable. Got to take out my foley catheter this morning which was great as that thing really hurt. Was also allowed to take off my binder and take a shower which gave me my first peek at my results. AMAZING. I am in shock over how different I look. The mounds of loose skin are GONE! My incision is super low and I am so excited to see my final results in a few months. Just hoping to get through recovery quickly. I miss my bed and lying on my side! LOL
My review so far is definitely positive and A+++. There is no doubt in my mind that I chose the best plastic surgeon for the job.
Pain has kicked in BUT........
Out of curiosity I got on the scale after my shower and Holy cow! 9 pounds GONE!!!
I realize I've never told my stats so here they are:
36 years old
5 feet 8 inches
Starting weight 174 pounds
Size 12/14 large to extra large tops
My goal weight has always been 155lbs and to wear single digit clothes. An 8 would be amazing but most importantly I'd like to finally have a normal bmi.
I think my chances to reach my goal are pretty good now!
Weight at 1 day post-op
165 pounds! Down 9lbs from yesterday morning!
Watch out World this girl is on her way to being the healthiest she can be!!!
Will I EVER be able to lay down in my own bed again?
In all honesty I consider myself tough. I won't go into details but I have been through enough physically and have always come out the other end. This surgery has really got me doubting my strength. I'm not in any pain anymore (the first 3 days were AWFUL on my back of all places) but I am very uncomfortable. All I want is to lie down in my soft cozy bed and not sleep in a recliner. At this stage in the game I don't know if that will ever be possible. The 3 times I have tried have pulled so hard at my tummy muscles that I was convinced I popped every suture on me. It has been a terrifying experience that feels somewhat like falling and then my tummy muscles jerk to pull me back up and oh boy does that NOT feel good. Anyone have experience with this? When were YOU able to sleep in your bed and how? It's too painful on my back and my coccyx to sleep with pillows under my head putting all my weight there. How does one ever get back into bed?
That's the bad. Here's the good. I haven't been on narcotic pain meds since Saturday morning. (4dpo) Tylenol now as needed. It is much easier to get up and down from a sitting position. Still need help getting from reclined position to sitting position. I have been having regular and frequent movements since Saturday night. (Yay stool softeners!) I cannot see much of my progress as I still have the strips on and 1 drain but they all look good and healthy. Fingers crossed! The scale this morning shows another loss this time of 3 pounds putting me at 12 pounds gone total!
At this early in the game I am having regrets. Mainly because I just want a real nights sleep and I want to get out of that stupid chair. LOL I am sure that when all is said and done, my results will be more than worth all this. Trying to stay positive!
Had my first post-op appt with Dr
Went really well. Got all the tape taken off and got to see my belly button for the first time. It's so tiny! Today was also my first time leaving my house since the surgery! No wonder I've been all down in the dumps huh? Everything went great and I am feeling 75% more like normal today. I got a real shower this morning and actually brushed my hair, put in my contact lenses, and put on real clothes! Still have a drain but I'm hopeful that I will be able to stop draining so much and be able to get it pulled next week at my follow up appt. I asked Dr. Nijher how much skin he removed and his face was priceless. Apparently it was ALOT! He took pictures so hopefully I can see them next week. He also said my muscles had a 6cm (mm?) separation! Good grief!
I have new instructions to apply Neosporin on my scars 2-3x's daily and clean my belly button with a q-tip daily. Remember I have a Fleur De Lis tummy tuck so I have both a vertical and a horizontal scar. The incisions are super thin though. I was very impressed. I'm also supposed to start using a rolling pin on my stomach (not the scars). Kind of freaked out about that and can't help but laugh (in my head as it hurts too much to do it for real LOL) at the thought of my husband rolling a rolling pin all over me. This ought to be interesting!
I promise to start taking pictures soon. With the tape on I didn't see a point.
Also down another 3 pounds!! That's 15 pounds in 8 days! Awesome!
Some pics from today
9 days post op
Felt amazing today and then
Woke up this morning feeling like my old self. Walked around the house more, made my own meals, got in and out of my chair by myself including putting the legrest up and down, and walked 95% straight. And then it happened. A sharp pain on the right middle of my muscle repair. It is bruised now and bulging a bit.
Please tell me I am overreacting and I just over did it. :(
Feeling sheepish after last post
Everything is fine. I must have just done a bit too much. They aren't kidding when they say this is an emotional roller coaster! Good grief!
Still have my one last drain but the output has diminished so much I'm sure it will be pulled at my next apt on Wednesday. Looking very much forward to that. Kind of tired of existing solely in cami's and underwear! LOL
I am still sleeping in the recliner which is no easy feat as I cannot put the leg of it up and down on my own. Basically if I am going to sleep it is like being locked down in a prison cell! I've tried my bed but even with pillows under my head and shoulders and knees I start to get a really painful burning pulling sensation in the skin inside my upper thighs that surround my vagina. The skin is incredibly taut there so I am guessing it still needs to stretch a bit? I will be asking my doctor about that.
My incisions look great. I'm applying Neosporin to them as directed by the doctors nurse. I'm also massaging my tummy itself and my bruises from lipo with Arnica gel. I can't see or feel any difference but it feels nice so I will continue. Belly button is healing nicely. Weird looking at this stage but that is to be expected. Swelling continues especially just above my vagina. I was one of the lucky ones who can now say she has the "Ken Doll" look going! Lots of swelling on my upper outer thighs as well. To be honest I blame my binder. I'm leaning towards thinking it is doing more harm than good but it sure does make my tummy muscles feel safe so I digress.
Hope everyone is doing well and recovering quickly and painlessly!
Swollen all over
My first real after photo. Looking at it I'm not really seeing a huge amazing incredible difference. I'm going to cross my fingers and assume that it is just massive swelling. I promised myself I wouldn't take in any stock in my results until 3-6 months but well, yeah. Lol
I pulled my drain on my own last night. It had been putting out less than 10cc for 2 days and I know I should have waited for my doctor appt tomorrow and let them do it but once I started pulling on it I couldn't stop.
I just reread that and boy do I sound stupid! Lol
Everything seems okay. Hoping my doctor doesn't drop me as patient tomorrow when I tell him I pulled it. I blame the post surgery hormones!
Swelling, swelling, and a side of swelling
I completely understand the phrase "Swell hell" now. I am always swollen. Always. By 4pm it is so bad I have to walk hunched over again. The worst part is how it puts so much painful tension on my horizontal scar. (Remember I had a Fleur De Lis tuck) I also have the most fabulous "Ken doll" going on. The swelling and Ken doll sure make a girl feel extra pretty! LOL
I'm still sleeping in my recliner. I can lie down in the bed a for a little bit but then I start to get a burning/pulling sensation in my tummy. I am wearing a long length compression camisole all day and night with the exception of showers and scar oiling time. I've tried the long leg shapers and other garments but because of the horizontal scar I can't wear them as they pinch at the top of it. There are days where my tummy muscles need more support so I wear my binder as well.
Right out of surgery I had a huge purple lump at the very top of my horizontal scar in between my breasts. I was told ahead of time that I would have a dog ear there but the lump grew and my doctor aspirated it last week. It was a very "Pulp Fiction" moment seeing him come at my chest with this huge needle and syringe. LOL The dark purple coloring is gone as is the majority of the size but there is still a bit of a lump there. I'm not sure if it is still a bit of fluid or if it is just the dog ear. If you put a dab of pink lipstick on the tip of it, it would look like a third boob! LOL
Nothing else really new. Just taking it one swollen day at a time.
Just discovered a "blister" looking thing on the end of my incision on my right hip. What in the world is this and where did it come from? Should I call my Ps?
Belly button normal or not?
My belly button is still very sore and tender. Alot of times it feels as if the skin surrounding it is tearing/ripping. It is very bright pink/red along the outer and white/yellow inside. It always has yellowish gunk in it that I clean out with a q-tip. No smell that I can determine. Should it look like this at 3.2 weeks out still?
MAJOR milestone hit!
I'm sleeping in my bed! Yay! The quality of sleep is so much better too! I can sleep on my back or either side and have now had 2 nights of glorious sleep. Feels amazing!
I'm doing well. Went to the Dr. Nijher about my belly button and the "blister". All is well. No infection. Just spitting sutures. Annoying but nothing out of the ordinary.
Still swollen 24/7 but I have noticed it isn't quite as bad as it was. Or at least it isn't quite as painful which is a definite plus. I will be 4 weeks out tomorrow and I cannot believe it. In the beginning I remember reading other peoples stories and thinking I would NEVER get to 4 weeks! LOL
Next goal is to get to 6 weeks and then 8 and then 3 months and then 6 months. Looking forward to seeing what time will do for my results!
Still swollen Nothing new
Seriously. Nothing new at all.
Still sleeping in my bed which is so nice. Still wearing my shapewear garment 24/7 (unless showering). Still swollen like crazy. No pain to speak of outside of discomfort when I sneeze, cough, or laugh. I tire very quickly and find myself in bed nearly every night around 7.
Scars look darker than last week but I'm pretty sure that's normal. They are so precise it is crazy.
My "Ken Doll" is still in full effect. It grosses me out so bad so I try not to look at it. To be honest I try not to look at my tummy at all. I know if I do I will start to get upset because it isn't flat and what not. I know that it takes as long as a year to see the final results so I am trying so hard not to get caught in the early weeks of freaking out. I made that mistake yesterday and started obsessing over every little thing and comparing myself to Jabba the Hut. Not a good thing so I'm back to taking a step back and trying to be patient and logical. Easier said than done! :)
Had my biggest outing yesterday
Don't get all excited on me now. I didn't go to Disney World or anything like that! Lol
Went with my daughter to a birthday party and then major grocery shopping at the store. It was the first time since 2 days post op that my best friend saw me and she was so happy for me. That felt good as she and her family are the only ones outside of my own family who know I had surgery.
At the grocery store I had to take my daughter to the bathroom and I did something I never thought I'd do. I took a public bathroom selfie! LOL
You see yesterday was truly the first time I have gotten dressed up and gone out. I wore something I've always wanted to wear but never could. Jeans, a tank top, and a belt. For the first time I felt like maybe this had all been worth it.
I liked that feeling. I hope it stays. I'm pretty sure it will. :)
5 weeks today
Nothing new to report really. Still super swollen. Have to remind myself I have a more invasive type of tummy tuck so my results are not going to be like 90% of the ones here on RS. It's hard because I've never gotten to see a true "Flat" tummy yet. It is definitely flat in the sense that the extra hanging flesh is gone but it is still very rounded and distended looking due to the swelling. I figure It will be 25 months before the swelling is completely gone at this rate! LOL
6 weeks out today!
The swelling appears to be here to stay but I think I'm finally almost back to 100%. I'm still in my shapewear garments 24/7. I've been sleeping in my binder at night too. Trying any and everything to relieve some of the swelling. No luck yet but the extra compression feels good.
No real big changes. For a joke the other day I tried on my daughter's t-shirt. It fit. She is 5 years old. Her shirt FIT ME. :)
Belly button has pretty much closed up
I don't even know what to say about that. Lol
Seriously my belly button is nearly fully closed. There is a teeny tiny hole the size of a pin head but that's it. Not sure if it's die to the swelling which yes I am still dealing with or what but that's what is going on here. Not sure if I should wait until my Dr appt in 2 weeks or try to get in sooner to have it looked at.
Whenever I do go to see the Dr next, I'm going to ask him to grab like 50 syringes and just drain all of the swelling from my tummy. Honestly though I think if a needle punctured my stomach I would pop like a balloon. ;)
9wks 1 day post op
15 Oct 2014
2 months post
I keep meaning to update but now that I am 100% back in the land of the living it just kept getting away from me. All is well here. Still lots of swelling especially now that I am more active. The scars look great. I've been using bio-oil and 100% pure cocoa butter alternating between the two. Just saw my surgeon today and he agrees it looks good and I am now cleared for everything at my own discretion.
I will be going back in February for an in -office revision for my "3rd boob and my "ken doll". I honestly cannot wait. I think my results after that little revision are going to make me off the wall excited about my new body. It is such a strange new world for me right now with this body. I actually get compliments on my shape from men and women ALOT now. In fact (and yes I am going to brag on myself for a second here) I got a serious compliment on my body from a male CELEBRITY just 3 weeks ago! Never in a million years did I think I would ever be able to say anything like that! Crazy!
I meant to take a few pictures today when I was trying on clothes but ran out of time. Hopefully I will get some loaded soon. Reviews are a lot more fun with pictures. LOL
Took some pics today
28 Oct 2014
2 months post
One of them is a side view and WHOA! Now I can finally see what everyone else has been remarking about! The swelling has gone probably about 85% away and everything is really looking good! From the side the difference is AMAZING!
I truly have no complaints. I'm not a fan of my third boob and Ken doll area but I know those are temporary and will be fixed soon enough. I didn't drop any sizes which honestly shocked me. I thought for sure I would drop at least 2. Truth be told I am completely cool with it though. I look fantastic in my clothes now and even feel comfortable wearing things that are more form fitting!
I originally lost 15lbs right after surgery but I did regain some. Depending on the day I now hover between 160-165lbs. I'll take it! The best part though is my confidence. I actually have some now!
That feels better than anything!
11 weeks before and after
28 Oct 2014
2 months post
Photo collage showing my before and my after at 11 weeks post op.
The picture alone lets you know it was worth every cent, every fear, every pain, every torture garment. Worth everything.
Happy birthday! You have no belly button!
14 Nov 2014
3 months post
So today is my birthday...whoopdedo! LOL
It has not been a good one as I've been sick with the stomach flu for 3 days.
My belly button is gone. It has all but a tiny needlepoint hole closed up. :(
I'll be calling my PS on Monday but I have a feeling he will probably make me wait until my scheduled date in February to do anything about it. Big Bummer. I now of course feel as though I look like a freak.
Revision surgery rescheduled
14 Jan 2015
5 months post
My revision ( for my belly button, 3rd boob, and Ken doll) has been rescheduled for this month on the 28th! I am excited but getting anxious over the thought of being awake. Pretty nervous about the pain but it's all going to be worth it!
Belly button revision underway
Long story short went in this week to begin my belly button revision. My navel had completely closed up and the skin and umbilical stump had disintegrated.
The revision will have to be done in stages. This first part my doctor removed the skin that had grown over what should have been my belly button. He then sewed what was left of my stump down to my abdominal wall. Right now I have a big gaping hole on my stomach.
Not sure what the next part is or when. I need to heal from this part first.