I have struggled with being overweight my entire...
I have struggled with being overweight my entire life. At 26 and several diets later (over 40lb. weight loss) I am able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, currently weighing between 130-133lbs, and have for over two years now. I hope to lose another 5-10lbs., but after several visits to my family doctor and two PS', I knew the only way to get my stomach where I wanted it to be was through a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck is something I've been wanting since I was 18. Initially I was told to hold off as my family physician feared I would want children. Though I did not want children at the time and still do not (never say never though), I held off. Finally, eight years later, and after months of browsing this site, I decided to visit another PS for a consultation. July 28th I met with the Dr. and knew instantly that it was the right fit. Luckily, within a week, I was able to book an opening that had just become available two weeks later due to a cancellation. My PS performs his TT's without drains, and I do not require any muscle repair. According to him, my stomach is as flat as can be and requires no lipo whatsoever. I am sincerely hoping this means my recovery will not be overly terrible. I have read countless reviews about variations of tummy tucks from the best to the worst to help prepare myself as best I can.
With all that said, tomorrow is the big day! Seeing as there do not appear to be too many cases similar to mine on here (no drains, no muscle repair, no lipo), I wanted to share my experience in hopes of providing some insight to others who are wanting to undergo something similar. I am not an overly superficial person, but truly feel that tomorrow is the first day of a new beginning for me. My physical appearance has always eaten away at my confidence, and now it is time to take control.
Day 1 Post Op - I Survived!
Tried to post an update last night but apparently it did not work! My surgery lasted two hours and went as well as it could according to my PS. The scariest part by far was the anesthetic, but maybe that's just me as this was my first surgery of any kind.
I was home within about 3 hours of the surgery being completed. Very slow to move around, but not too much pain luckily, and only at the sight of the incision. When I stand up I feel a bit of stretching throughout my stomach area but nothing bad at all. The worst part so far is that I am still feeling the effects of the anesthetic, so moving around makes me very dizzy. Sleeping last night wasn't terrible either, but I would recommend sleeping on anything that will prevent you from wanting to roll over on your side, which is generally far more comfortable!
When I woke up this morning the pain, specifically on one side was the worst it has been, but it went away fairly fast and was still tolerable. I have refrained from looking at my incision area (except to make sure there is no bleeding) because I do not want to get discouraged. With that said, I am quite swollen! Really hoping that will subside quickly.
When the anesthetic subsides and I have more energy I will post another update with pictures. The lack of energy is on par with all the other posts, it's hard to believe how the simplest things are so exhausting.
Good luck to anyone else who will be going under this week. Just remember, this time is for you. Let others take care of you! I cannot imagine how I would be managing now without the help of my dad who has been so supportive throughout this whole thing.
Day 2 - still no pictures, sorry!
Day two post op is now coming to an end, time for a quick update! Tomorrow will be my big reveal, when I can finally shower and take off my bandages which will give me a much better idea of how everything looks.
The pain was not bad at all today and I'm walking fairly quickly. If anything, I'm finding it more difficult to contain my nausea when I move quickly than the pain. I try to get up once every two hours, but do not go too far. Slowly but surely my appetite is coming back, though my energy is still fairly low.
Swelling....it's really hard to tell how swollen I am because of my bandages, so again tomorrow will give a better indication of that. Looks like there is quite a bit, Hopefully not though.
Until tomorrow...huge thank you to everyone who is posting their stories. When I feel as though I'm by myself on this journey, I'm reminded of all the strong women (and men) who are going through, or have gone through something similar.
The Big Reveal
Well today was the big day! I was able to take my bandages off and shower for the first time! Boy, was that exhausting. PS recommended taking my compression garment off while sitting or laying in bed in case I started to feel faint - definitely a good recommendation.
First impressions...there is definitely some swelling. Part of me thinks I have read a few too many bad reviews about poor swelling and am worried that my swelling is far worse than it actually is, but you'll see for yourself! The first thing I noticed though...I have a belly button! It isn't too pretty right now, but it is there and out of hiding! I'm super anxious for my first follow up appointment, Tuesday, to hear what the PS has to say. I'm still moving around pretty slow but the discomfort is decreasing, as is the frequency at which I'm taking my pain medication.
That's all for now. Will likely not take any more pictures until Tuesday. Easier said than done, but not looking every day makes it a bit easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Will still post updates on other things though as they arise. Also curious to read all the other reviews of those going under today.
Day 5 Post Op
Day 5 has come to an end. Not too much to update...My nausea seems to have subsided quite significantly over the last two days and today I was on my feet more than any other day. Success all around.
A few things I noticed today...I cannot seem to get comfortable in my compression garment! Feel it's either too tight or not tight enough, but just today! Also finding my abdomen a bit itchy but nothing that is unbearable. Lastly, the swelling! After my shower this morning I noticed the swelling seemed to be very bad around the incision. I have to actually run an errand tomorrow and feel as though without my CG I probably wouldn't be able to put on my yoga pants! Though everyone talks about swelling, it really didn't hit me until today. And Though I have maintained my weight for quite a while, I am starting to get nervous about putting on weight after surgery. Various friends of mine who had undergone other surgeries all said they lost weight after their operations as their appetites decreased. Well my appetite has been back to normal since yesterday! Not that I'm going crazy with overeating by any means, but I really wouldn't have complained about dropping a couple more pounds! And since I'm not exercising, I'm that much more concerned. Anyway, I'm hoping I'm just being dramatic since I have nothing else to do but think about how I want to be fully healed already. I mean, I knew I wouldn't come out of it right away with a flat tummy and a 6 pack, but a girl can dream, right? :)
First follow up appointment is Tuesday. Will post an update then.
1 Week Post Op
Today was my first appointment post op. PS says everything looks great and is healing as well as it possibly can! Back to sleeping in my own bed, and I can take my CG off at night. PS said it doesn't hurt to keep wearing it 24/7 so that is what I will do. Whatever I can do to reduce swelling as quick as possible is what ill do!
No pictures, but will update again in a few days. I'm moving around a bit quicker and the only time I ever feel much discomfort is getting up in the morning, but that is just from being immobile for so long. I mentioned to my doctor that I am moving around quite a bit but sometimes I feel I am overly cautious as far as movements go. He said that is the best way to continue to proceed until my next appointment. Definitely too soon to resume exercising - guess that was some serious wishful thinking on my part :)
My next appointment is scheduled for next Monday, at which point the sutures in my belly button will be removed. Otherwise, everything dissolves on its own. Something I had not mentioned before, the placement of my incision is something I am very happy with...it is nice and low! The one thing that stood out at my appointment today was how strange it felt, the numbness particularly, when they were checking the incision. Not a bad thing, just such a bizarre feeling that will take some getting used to.
The reviews here are amazing! Each day it is so encouraging to read the other stories and experiences that everyone is sharing.
One Last Thing
Sorry for the second update but this was the whole reason I even wanted to post today! Towards the end of my follow up, the PS had me stand up and look at everything in their mirror - only the good though. My incision was hidden and I did not look at the swelling. For the first time in my life I cried happy tears. Okay not really cried, but a tear or two rolled down my cheek. It felt amazing to look at myself and not want to throw something at the mirror in disgust or totally hate myself. I never thought I would ever experience that feeling. If you're thinking about going through with a TT and it is for the right reasons, then do it. You are worth it.
Day 9 - New Pictures
Good morning! I decided it was time for some new pictures. Otherwise, I don't have much to report. I am moving around quite a bit, and yesterday was the first time I had no discomfort at the site of my incision! However, I was experiencing a decent amount of discomfort in my lower left abdomen. I don't even know how to describe it but I did not care for it. I temporarily felt it again today, but luckily it only lasted a few minutes. Oh, also the Puckering around the incision seems to be decreasing slightly!
My only struggle right now is more of a mental one - the swelling!!! I fought so hard to get my weight down and then to look at myself in the mirror now and look the way I do is very disheartening. I know it is temporary, but I'm struggling this much at day 9, how will I survive month 1, 2, or 3?! At least in a couple of the pictures I feel I can see my hip bones peeking through slightly, but I don't even want to think about trying my jeans on right now. Think I would burst into tears if they didn't fit, which I'm worried they will not :( any suggestions for how to help the swelling go down any quicker?!
Will likely not take any more pictures til my follow up appointment. I'm trying to not look every day so that I can hopefully see slight improvement when I do actually look.
2 Week Post-Op Appointment
First things first...I wanted to share a little story. You have to pay to park at my PS' office. Anyway, I was walking towards the machine to pay and get my parking pass when a stranger stopped and gave me her pass since she had paid to park the whole day - what a kind gesture! It's nice to know that there are still good people out there - apart from all you Real Selfers of course :) anyway, on to the important stuff.
Okay, I'm at day 13 but had my 2 week follow up with my PS today. Again he said everything is progressing as well as can be. Sutures were removed from my bb and they removed the tape from my incision to check everything. Though there is still pleating, and will be for quite a while, my incision looks nice and thin! They covered it again with tape, and come this time next week I will remove it for the last time and start applying the scar/incision cream which they provided me with - I cannot wait! He also told me that I must stop wearing my CG at night and after next Monday I can stop wearing it all together. Should I feel that I am swelling quite a bit following that point then I can wear it when necessary. Next piece of good news I received was that in two weeks I can resume working out - amazing! Truthfully, it's been a nice break the last two weeks, but I'm ready to get back at it. Another thing, I have been cleared to resume sleeping on my sides!! Ahhh...what a sigh of relief. He said I can sleep on my stomach if I want, but I'm not much of a stomach sleeper anyway. With that said, just knowing I can is nice.
One thing I learned while browsing through countless reviews on here was that it is not uncommon to know the amount of skin removed from the procedure. So naturally I had to ask...half a pound. Have to be honest, when he said that my first thought was "wow, I just spent almost ten thousand dollars to have ONLY half a pound removed from me?!! Am I crazy?!" Anyway, yes I know it is all esthetic BUT I can confidently say I have no regrets and would spend that money again in a heartbeat. Another thing though...looked at everything again in the mirror at the PS' office. Ever been clothes shopping and experienced skinny and fat mirrors? Well they must have the best mirror ever because when I look at myself there I think "okay the swelling is not bad at alllll", then I get home and think the total opposite. My next appointment is scheduled for two weeks from now, at which point I will be 1 month post op aka one third of the way through swell hell! Well...hopefully.
I am going to wait until tomorrow to take my next set of pictures, and will post another update then. Happy Monday everyone!
2 weeks Post Op Photos
Just a quick update for some new photos. This morning I am officially two weeks post-op, and last night was the first night I slept with my compression garment.
Had the sutures in my bb removed yesterday so ignore the tape in the pictures, that will come off tomorrow, just to be safe. Still pretty swollen around my hips, especially on the left side, but it is what it is!
Almost 4 Weeks Post TT
I told myself I wasn't going to take any pictures until Tuesday, my official 4 week mark, but...I caved. This past Monday I took the tape off my incision for the last time and my CG off for good. It felt so liberating but almost scary at the same time. So, what have I noticed? My incision often feels like it's catching on clothing, but not in a painful way. My swelling seems to be slightly better, but I've had a really bad (well not great) week of eating so I'm hoping by Tuesday it will actually look better, and I still think the swelling is worse on the left than right. The sensation in my stomach has been starting to
Come back all week, and it is weird! Otherwise, I apply cream to my incision twice daily and have my one month follow up on Monday. Curious to hear my PS' take on my incision and how it's healing. Also, unless he says otherwise, I'm supposed to start working out again Tuesday! I cannot describe how excited I am for this...it's really been starting to take it's toll on me mentally and a big part of why my eating has been a little off track. Lastly, the pleating around my incision seems to have gone down quite a bit in the last week! There are still several small pleats, but before there were a couple very large ones that I couldn't stand, so it's nice to see some progress being made. There are some pictures attached to give you a better idea...
This should be it til the one month mark, can't believe it is almost here.
Officially 4 Weeks Post
So yesterday officially marked 4 weeks since my TT. After a very slow first two weeks, the last two weeks went by much quicker!
Saw my PS Monday - he said my incision looks great, which for now I cannot disagree. Also my swelling seems to keep going down, but it's definitely still there. Haven't had any discomfort in days and am sleeping on my stomach quite a bit. After a 4 week hiatus, I was finally able to work out for the first time yesterday...it felt amazing!! PS said I can pretty much do anything, just use my discretion and stop if I need a break. Luckily I went through the workout without any problems :) also, I didn't swell too bad afterwards! My workout consisted of all strength training though, no cardio yet.
So now it is just a matter of getting through the next 2 months of swelling! Oh and the pleating seems to keep getting better too. My next appointment isn't for another 6 weeks, but will update with pics before then.
6.5 Weeks Post Full TT
So I'm 2 days shy of 7 weeks having passed from my surgery. The last 3 weeks have flown by, and that was around the last time I did an update. So what's happened since then? Not a whole lot. Everything is progressing as it should be, at least it seems that way. I am now working out regularly 5-6 days a week doing pretty much everything except high intensity/impact cardio. I haven't started jogging yet, though I've been given clearance to do so, so that is my goal for this week...starting slow of course. This past week I started doing medium intensity cardio (I don't know what else to call it!) and it didn't feel too uncomfortable...I definitely was a bit more swollen than usual afterwards though.
Otherwise, it's crazy to think I'm already half way through swell hell. Which I think (hopefully) the worst is over with. Last night I put on a pair of jeans that were snug before surgery (though I still would have been comfortable enough to wear them out) - anyway, now they fit perfectly. Needless to say I'm happy I did that because when all you look at is your swelling all the time, your brain starts to play tricks on you. I was sure I was getting bigger! Apart from that, the only thing I really struggle with is my incision. Like the swelling, I find I have good days and bad. Some days I look at it and think that it's healing well...other days I just want it to be done already! But it's all part of the process, right. Still putting my cream (cicaplast by La Roche Posay) on twice daily. I've included a close-up picture to show progress on the incision...the pleating is still going down thank goodness.
Anyway, that's all for now. Still loving reading everyone else's stories...great motivation!
21 Oct 2014
2 months post
Well not much to share again. Saw my PS yesterday and everything is still good, no need for another follow up until the 6 month mark in February.
I ran for the first time a couple of weeks back and swelled up quite a bit, otherwise my swelling, while still there, is pretty tolerable. However, I am SO ready to hit the three month mark and see most of the swelling subside on a more permanent basis - here's hoping it actually does! My PS confirmed that I am still in fact pretty swollen around my lower abdomen/incision and it is not just my crazy imagination. Still working out regularly but eating hasn't been as great as usual. As happy as I am with the results, having this has really made me focus on other flaws even more, not always a good thing. Oh well, it is what it is. Have attached photos from a couple of different days to show the difference in swelling from day to day.