Four Months post op, extended tummy tuck (hips) and lipo- doing great -Olympia, WA

Olympia Plastic Surgeon
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I had lipsuction of my thieghs and breast implants...

I had lipsuction of my thieghs and breast implants about two years ago. I wanted to have fat removed from my abdomen as well but it was suggested that I would not be satisfied with the results and that a tummy tuck would be the best option. Since I was having so much done at the time I opted to pass on the extra surgery and now I have decided it's time to complete my last item on the cosmetic wish list and have the tuck.

I was also concerned about how I'd feel regarding the scar it will leave but weighed the pro's and con's and finally made the decision to go for it! My husband is very supportive and I would not have felt as confident if it weren't for his encouragment. Of course he thinks I am fine the way I am, but wants me to be happy!

I will also be getting some lipo on my hips as I felt there was a bit of a "contour" issue from the previous surgery.

Alas, the dreaded pre surgery pictures. I had my...

Alas, the dreaded pre surgery pictures. I had my pre op appointment two days ago. I was given a boat load of percocet (a sure sign of what is to come) and some antibiotics, some type of suppository for nausea (would much prefer one that would be taken orally!) and stool softener. I was also given a walker to borrow until Ifelt able to walk without trouble.

My mother is coming tomorrow for the week, I am so glad I will have her and my loving husband here for me. Even though I have had surgeries before, this one is really starting to get in my head and keeps me up at night with anxiety.

Got all the Tday shopping done and house clean so the nesting is complete for now.

First day post op. Everything went well, I was in...

First day post op. Everything went well, I was in surgery for about five hours (but felt more like five min.) the trip home was about 45 min but felt longer since I was waiting to get a small bite to eat and then take my pain meds (and boy did I need them). I expected this surgery to be a rough recovery compared to my others, and that is true (although I am sure it always seems worse in the moment). I haven't been off my recliner chair other than to shuffle to the bathroom. I have two drain tubes on and I am wearing a compression garmet so I cannot see anything really- I feel that there is padding or gauze around where the incisions are. I have a extended incision (going around to the back on each side) as the doctor is pulling up some sag around my thieghs - basically a lower body lift. I also had the lipo on my hips and inner theighs but dont notice that too much with the soreness of the tummy. Will try to get pictures later but feel limited on my energy so this will be it for now.

Two days post op, doing really well this morning....

Two days post op, doing really well this morning. I had a decent day yesterday and was able to sit at the dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner. I seem to go through different phases of hurt, yesterday the back of my legs were very sore so it made it harder to get up and off the recliner and also very uncomfortable sitting on the toilet. I reduced my pain medicine from two every four hours to just one and since then my mind has been much more clear and I am less dizzy so I think that has certainly made the progress more noticiable.

Drain bags were constant yesterday and tapered off a lot last night. I am still producing a little but nothing like the first day and a half. The doctor called me at home this morning to see how I was doing and told me to get up and walk around a little at a time to keep my circulation going and a little stretching is good. My lower back is KILLING me from leaning forward so I have been having my husband rub it a few times a day.

Getting a sponge bath and washing my hair was a great thing also, but I am looking forward to a real shower. I hope after my appointment to see the doc on Monday the drain tubes will come out and I can take a real shower.

I can't see anything yet since it's all wrapped up under the garmet, I am anxious to see where the incisions are and how things look- I imagine I will get to see that after Monday as well, and will take pics when there is something to see!

All in all, I think I am doing great.

It is later evening now, day three.. my last...

It is later evening now, day three.. my last posting was early this morning and I wanted to add to the blog to say that tonight compared to last night is great progess. I am certainly still sore and walk hunched over, and I am also concerned that I haven't had a BM yet (taking stool softners so I will have it easy when it finally arrives).. Oh, I also started my period yesterday and boy was that a bummer!! I was glad I didn't get it before the surgery, but it's one more thing to tend to with the bathroom routine. My husband helped me in the bathroom the first day and I was too sore and drugged to be embarassed about that. By the way, on my first bathroom trip I didn't realize the garmet was slightly "off" from being pulled on when I was still at the office under anesthesia and the opening wasn't quite where it should be so I got the back of the opening a little wet.. be sure to open your legs a little wider and that it's placed correctly! LOL - My sweet husband got a soapy rag to wash it and blow dried it on me, so that I wouldn't have to sit on a urine soaked seat. (because there was no way it could be taken off at that point)

I said this earlier but I am really glad I decided to cut back on the pain killers because I think not having the "dizzy fog" makes the healing more noticable and I feel more normal. I was worried I wouldn't be able to handle the pain on day one but it's tolerable now. I think the thing that most bothers me right now is that I want to be able to do more than just sit and watch movies all day. My husband keeps reminding me that I have to take it easy. I stand at least every hour for a few min. and walk around the house. I might try to unzip the garmet tomorrow when I get my next sponge bath to see a little more of the results. All I got a peek of today was some bruising around the zippers and clasp of the garmet on my sides (and that is sore too).

Peeled down the sides of my garmet to wash and get...

Peeled down the sides of my garmet to wash and get a glimpse of my back and belly, noticed that the bruising on my back was a lot worse than I even thought. I am not sure if that is additional areas from liposuction or just where the blood has settled from sitting in the same position for so long... My belly button feels higher and it is pretty sore. I didn't pull the garmet down much further, just wanted to be sure everything was still wrapped well and the gauze in good shape. I imagine I will either get the dressings changed on Monday or the doc will remove it all and put back something that will be water proof and let me take a real shower.

So far today feels about the same as yesterday- I can get up and down with slight struggle and the most discomfort is from being bent over and the strain accross my lower back.

Got my hair washed, clean clothes on..finally had a BM. Will check back in later this evening to note any additonal milestones.

attached are pictures of my back and side.

Fifth day post op, my husband went back to work...

fifth day post op, my husband went back to work this afternoon and I am on my own for the first time (unless you count my sixteen year old son that is glued to his computer ready to assist me if I scream out for him) :-)

I am feeling pretty good today. I was so restless yesterday and decided to try to sleep on the bed last night by propping up a bunch of pillows at my head and another under my legs and by my feet. I didn't think it would be much harder on me than the recliner and felt so good to sit on, but I think it was a little soon because I woke a few times feeling very uncomfortable and this morning I had a terrible headache that I attibute to having my head propped in a bad direction.

I got my hair washed (with my husbands help) and was able to stand pretty straight the entire time required to dry it...and that was a first. I can tell I am making a little progress on the pain also because I am no longer looking at the clock to see if it is time for my next pain pill, in fact I think I missed taking my last on by two hours now.

Looking forward to tomorrow for my doctor appt. and to get the dressings changed an hopefully my drains out (that by the way are only producing a small amount by now). I hoped also to have release to go back to work and wanted to stop in for at least a few hours tomorrow. I sit at a desk and dont have to do much physical activity so I would think I will be alright, only thing is that I still get exhausted very easily and if I try to stand or walk much at all my lower back is in a lot of pain.

Had my post op appointment this morning and the...

Had my post op appointment this morning and the drain tubes were taken out. It burned a little when the doctor pulled the cord out but its a big relief to have them out. I also got a chance to see the scar around my belly and belly button for the first time. I was impressed with how flat everything looked already. The doctor did a great job on the scar, keeping it very symmetrical. I couldn't see the back side where it continues and my husband said it drops down to my butt cheeks. Doctor kept it below a bikini line so I am guessing after the sides come up to a point the scar curves back downwards around the back.

I am going to ask my husband to take a photo of it for me tomorrow morning when I finally get a REAL SHOWER. I was told I needed to be careful as I could get dizzy the first time or so in the shower with the garment off.

I was allowed to go to work today, I have a desk job and felt like I could get a few things done without pushing myself too much. I survived about six hours and was very impressed.. but I was really tierd by that time, fought the urge to nap there in my computer chair. I had my husband drop me off after the doc appointment and a coworker drove me home, I still am taking percocet so wasn't really sure driving was a great idea. Tonight I am going to try to take Tylenol PM instead of the prescription and I hope desperatly that it helps me stay comfortable and wake feeling ready to tackle a full work day.

My husband has been at work so it has forced me to be a little more independant- I make sure I dont lift, push or pull anything and the little periods of time I am up making myself something to eat or even Ironing my work clothes (ok, I made sure sure Iron and board were already put out waiting for me so just pressing a couple pair of pants!!) I am making more progress all the time. Biggest complaint still is the lower backache from walking hunched over and bieng exhausted all day from not sleeping much(hope I can lay flat soon cause the recliner is really getting to me).

Will try to get some pictures to post in the morning when I prepare for my shower.

One week- Post op. Hard to believe just a week ago...

One week- Post op. Hard to believe just a week ago today was the procedure. Time seems to have gone both quickly and slowly for me. I know that sounds crazy -it's hard to explain. I felt like I was in a time warp the first few days bieng a blurr and then the last few felt like they drug on forever, especially before I went back to work and was just sitting in front of the television feeling restless and uncomfortable counting down to the time for my next pill or wondering when I'd have a BM.

Well, as for today...I made it an entire day at work. I am proud of myself. It took me close to two hours to get ready this morning however, I just cannot get up and move quickly after my restless night on the couch- and then I needed to wake my poor husband to help me into the shower. Doctor was correct, I was dizzy and it was hard to stand in the shower very long, but it felt great to wash all over finally. My husband snapped a few pictures of me before we put the gauze, ointment, my compression garment and my clothes on (what a process). Oh by the way I was told I could put a tshirt or cotton tank on under the garment to rest against the insicions, makes it more comfortable plus it is much easier to wash the tshirt than the garment. I spent another long period of time trying to figure out what to wear that would not show the bulky undergear or straps but would still look professional, what an ordeal. My pants are all tight in the waist (from swelling mostly) and the opening in the bottom /crotch area can show outline in many of my thinner pants.

You can see from the pictures I still am hunched over. The front looks nice and flat, but when you see from the side you can tell how swollen my abdomen still is. Finally on the back side, my stitches look to be uneven (one higher than the other) but my husband assures me that my hip/buttock is very swollen on the left and it makes it appear that way.

I know it was difficult to achieve what I wanted without the extra long scar and in order to keep it all under a bikini height it had to go downwards at it shows.. I wonder if I will miss how my backside used to look or if these scars will fade enough to be virtually un-noticable? My comfort is in that the only people that will ever be seeing this (besides doctors) are me and my husband, and I think.. well, I know .. my husband will not be bothered by the appearance of scars.

I am still counting down the days until I can rest comfortable in my bed. I am a side sleeper so the recliner is far from ideal for me. From what I have read it will be about one more week. Another milestone to count down to.

Another full day at work, my co-workers all said I...

Another full day at work, my co-workers all said I looked like I was standing a little straighter. I still see the floor when I walk but I do think it is getting a little better.

I was able to shower on my own this morning but needed hubby to help me into the clothes. I feel as if I am most swollen later in the afternoon/evening, and I feel tight when I wake up - my best time of the day is shortly after I get going in the morning until mid afternoon.

I have another doc appointment on Monday (about five more days) not sure what happens with that other than a general check in. I am debating on if I want to order a second compression garment, and if so do I want another stage one (like I have now) or go for the stage two, which I am told is a little less bulky. I think at three weeks post op is when one would typically wear the stage two. I dont want to invest so much (they run about $80-$100) on something I know after this wont be used, but I also do not want to have to wear just this one 24-7 for the next 6 weeks or so.

I tried to climb into my bed for about an hour again this morning before the alarm went off, but once again it just didn't feel "right". My legs do not like me laying on them (I tried to be on my side like ol'times) they are still puffy feeling - what I remember to be most annoying from my previous lipo procedure. I also know this will last for quite some time. I know it will all be worth it.. I just have to hang in there.

10 Days post op- Got through a full work week now,...

10 Days post op- Got through a full work week now, and every day is better than the day before. I feel as if I am standing a little straighter every day also.

I got my appetite back and learned that eating until I am full is not the best idea since the bloating I feel afterwards really causes discomfort in the compression outfit. I know I have been told to eat a little at a time and that wasn't an issue before since I wasn't really hungry anyhow.

Took a few more photos this morning. The swelling on my left hip is still there but also getting better. The scars on the backside are definetly at different heights, and I believe the way each hip contours up and back down differ. I think from the front I really like how the left side rounds up and back down but then from the back view the right side looks better towards the end of the scar.

Either way I am not too worried. I put on some underwear and with an average pair I can hide it all.. with a skimpy pair just the right side scar shows a little above the string line. Once this fades some I think it will not even be something I really notice.

Ordered a stage two garment, should be here in a week, just about the time I will be ready to wear it. Attached are my day 10 photos.

Had my second post op appointment today. Doc said...

Had my second post op appointment today. Doc said the healing is looking great. Had some of the stitches snipped from the belly button and a couple from the front of the abdomen where some of the tape is starting to peel up.

Someone remind me to wear "cute" underwear to my doctor appoiments please.. they took another picture so to compare to my before (and the before I was hideous). Did I mention I have been wearing underwear on the outside of my garment even though it makes me look like a clown? I dont like the feeling of my "hoo hoo" hanging out of a hole and the underwear also help a lot with the outline of that cut-out showing in my pants. The doc said LOTS of people do the same, so I felt less awkard and phew.. had some underwear to wear for the after pic he took. I am SO pleased with the contour improvement.

Parts of my body are really stiff/firm (doc said like wood) and that is also normal. Can't wait until all the too firm areas soften a bit and so I can see more of this great new figure.

Also, doc said I can start trying to sleep on my bed WHOO HOO. Might have to get up and move halfway through the night first few tries again but will have my pillows propped and ready. It's my husbands birthday, what a nice gift for him to find I am back in our bed tonight when he gets home! :-)

Next appointment will be in another 10 days.

Getting close to three weeks post op, I am feeling...

Getting close to three weeks post op, I am feeling close to "normal" other than the late afternoon swelling that will start to pull me to lean forward by the end of the day. Reading other posts I see that the late day swelling will likely be around for another month or so.

My scars are healing very well. Most of my tape has started to peel up and I was told as this happens to gently pull it off. When I do this I get a better glimpse at the scar underneath.

I am sleeping in my bed at night and trying to not take the percocet during the day but if I dont take it at night I wake in the middle of the night in discomfort. I wonder how long before most people completly switch to just tylenol? I hoped to be there by now. I have to start my night's sleep by really propping up the pillows as if I am going to watch tv in bed. I tend to start to slip off to the side in my sleep since I am a side sleeper my tendency is to roll and after I do that I wake up to the pins and needles in my hips and legs. Also, I feeling very compressed from my garment and this tells me I am very swollen. It is still worth the battle as bieng in the bed helps me feel more rested, even with all the waking in the night.

I tried to go out this weekend and have a "normal" night, enjoyed some pizza and a few glasses of wine with my husband and some friends. Caution: as much as this went down well, I paid later in the night when as I described above, I began to swell.. but more than I had ever, with bloating and gas pains that reminded me I really need to watch what I eat. Digestion isn't friendly when you are limited on position all night while wearing a squeeze garment!

Took some more pictures, wearing a very low cut pair of underwear so that you can see how the scars are looking. Still very swollen on my upper hips and lower back but getting better all the time.

Getting close to one month post op. Had a doc appt...

Getting close to one month post op. Had a doc appt a few days ago and everything is healing great. Doc said I could start sleeping without the garment on, so I have done that the last few nights.. it feels so "odd" to not have it on (like my skin is going to fall off) I know that is just from the lipo. I was given some information about a adhesive pad that looks like gelthat I can order to put against the scars and would help diminish the scars. It's a bit pricey (more than 100 bucks) but if it works I think I will give it a try.

My appetite is huge and I wonder if that is from the healing and my body just telling me it needs nourishment? I tell msyelf that anyhow! LOL. I feel so guilty if I eat too much becuase I feel like it "disrespects" all the effort... also since I cannot go to the gym I am feeling so lazy. I asked if I could at least walk on the tread mill and doc said not yet. I feel pretty good and I know it is now that I would be apt to hurt myself because I think in my head I am back to normal, so I have to keep check on myself.

Going shopping today and might splurge on something cute to show off the new body (leggings and a sweater dress perhaps!) I am excited to begin enjoying the results. Got the stage two compression, it is less bulky in that it has no zippers and doesn't have the high back with suspenders but it's hard to pull on and the wide band at the top that keeps it up is a bit uncomfortable. I will be switching back and forth with whatever I am wearing because the original is certainly more comfortable for long periods of time. Will try to get my one month pictures up in a few days.

Posting my one month photos. I forgot to mention...

Posting my one month photos. I forgot to mention that I completley stopped taking any kind of pain medicine (even tylenol)since right about three weeks post op. I sleep without my compression every night now, still feels odd but it is getting better in small strides. I can't get comfortable laying flat just yet and my sides still hurt after a short time laying on them, so I roll all night long.

There are different types of pain I feel (few and far between) but these feel more like they come from deep inside my abdomen. I still have some swelling and it appears most in the evenings.

My appetite is huge and I am feeling extremely guilty when I enjoy all the holiday treats that seem to surround me. Last thing I want is to undo what I saved, worked, suffered and prayed to have for so long. I read online that the fat cells that have been removed will never come back, however if significant weight is gained (more than 10 pounds) after the surgery- the exisiting fat cells can get bigger and/or the fat will distribute to other areas of the body that did not have the lipo. This is similiar to what I had thought-- so be careful, you dont want to go much above your post surgery weight if you can help it as you will find it gaining in other places that didn't capture your fat distribution as much previously. I realized this to be true after my last lipo surgery- I have always gained my weight in my hips and thieghs first, but after fat was removed from my legs, I saw more on my stomach and arms. I do not want to sound obsessed with every part of my body or anything, I just wanted to warn anyone reading to be mindful and not treat a surgery such as this like a free pass!!

Hope everyone has a great Holiday season.. I will likely wait to post an update for two - four weeks from now.

Posting my six week photos. Still having to wear...

Posting my six week photos. Still having to wear compression execpt for when sleeping. Also still have swelling later in the evenings. I am noticing a little of my "rolls" appearing again under buttocks where last surgery (done by different doc) performed lipo on my legs and possibly took too much out in some areas. My current doc said it had some impact on the overall appearance and skin tone. I am very pleased with how well my skin repaired with this surgery- if you look at my before pics I had a LOT of dimples in my legs and it kept me from feeling comfortable in shorts and any type of bathing suit. I have another doc appt next week, perhaps I will be told I can start trying to go without the girldle a bit, and that is when I will finally be able to see what I really look like in my clothes.

It has been just over four months now, things have...

It has been just over four months now, things have been going well. I still notice some swelling from time to time, just near the insicion along the lower from of my abdomen- things were looking very smooth, however I have had a concern over the last few days over a lump that appeared along the left side of my stomach. If it does not go away in a few days I plan to check with the doc. I have read that there are some complications that could cause a lump like that- or it can be a fat necrosis (not even sure what that is but ..oh I hope not!!) , or else a seroma or something like I have read on this website.

Other than my bieng a worry wort about this new lump I have to say I am still very pleased with my results. I will post another update and a photo once I have confirmed this is something or nothing!?

Doctor is professional and responsive. Hard to get scheduled quickly due to being a busy office but you get devoted attention when there. Would Highly recommend Dr Reus.

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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