BR- And a TT with MR- Healing well in FL

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I am literally counting down the days on my...

I am literally counting down the days on my bedroom calendar. I am 43 and have been thinking about this for 14 years (when my first pregnancy turned me from a 34DD to a 34KK) UGH! I had a second baby...and no deflation. Double UGH! I lost 25 pounds and went from a KK to a K. Not fair, really! It is really helpful to read the stories on this wonderful forum. I especially appreciate the women who are larger like me- really helps to see their before & after pics. I did buy 2 new tankini tops for the summer (but will wait on bras!). Tried them on and spilling out of them- can't wait until I can actually fit into them! Surgeon has suggested he will be able to make me an "easy D". I know from this site that size can't always be precise, and I will practice LOTS of patience and flexibility on that. For now, I will keep reading your stories!

I have decided to add to my surgery (since I will...

I have decided to add to my surgery (since I will save money doing it at the same time and will already have a recovery time) by getting a tummy tuck (with lipo at the flanks). I have had the saggy-baggy "flop" over at my lower belly above the C/S scar and want to lose it. Weight loss shrinks it but the skin is hopelessly stretched and saggy here. I feel a flop over start at the front of my hip bone all across to the other side. The Tummy Tuck incision will probably follow this ridge and go across my old C/S scar. I won't need to have the longer incision that some people get that goes from behind the hip to the other side. This will be purely a cosmetic procedure but it won't cost as much for the OR and anesthesia fees since my insurance is already paying for my overnight and I just have a facility fee copay. Now or never for me! My insurance portion for the BR will be about $1500. This additional stuff will add about $7K to the cost (but it would be much more if I did it separately).

I would like to add an update now that I am...

I would like to add an update now that I am post-op! The BR portion of my surgery has given me minimal trouble. The TT part about the same, but the MR is what is the KILLER! From the moment the nurse wanted me out of the bed to go potty my abdominal muscles started screaming. The worst was the getting out of bed and then maneuvering back into bed. If the person assisting me understood the need to give me back support, this was only mildly painful. If they did not, then this was agony. Be SURE to insist that the nursing staff give you full back support as you move about the bed.

My experience was that the worst of this whole thing was the anesthesia. I never threw up and actually was not ever close. But my head was killing me, I felt sort of dizzy/fuzzy/woozy, and kind of like after you have gone on a spinning ride at an amusement park. But this didn't go away until about 24 hrs AFTER I got out of surgery. UGH! They tried zofran (didn't help), they tried dilaudid (didn't help, and in fact may have made it worse after I woke back up), percocet just made me more sleepy. I think it just needed time, fluids, and getting up moving around. Truly this was the worst part. I think that since my surgery was so long (over 6 hours) it made it worse. I have had a shorter time under anesthesia before without any problem.

I am now POD#9 and feeling SO much better. Each day after Day #3 just got better. Each day I had less stiffness, less pain, more mobility, more energy, more appetite, etc.

Things that are hard in the first week: ups/downs position changes, dealing with the abdominal swelling, pooping, coughing (I had mucus that just about killed me trying to get out), keeping your strength up by eating b/c you won't have much of an appetite, and getting good sleep.

Getting a good night's rest is so important. UGH, the nights- I dreaded them! I never slept more than about 2.5 hrs straight and then would wake up restless and with bad back pain. I am a stomach sleeper and sleeping in my back was hard. I had to pee all the time as my bladder was coming back on line. And my back and hips really ached more than any of the surgery sites! I found a good combination was tylenol, muscle relaxer, and heat. Changing positions also was very helpful.

Last night (POD#8) I tried sleeping in my own bed with only pillows (no memory foam wedge) and only woke twice and then was able to get back to sleep. A good night's rest will help you feel so much better, so be sure to do what you can to ensure this! I also found that sitting in a comfortable chair on my back patio in the sunshine really helped revitalize me. I do live in Florida which is why this can happen in early March, but if you have a sunroom that could also be good. Somehow the sunshine just worked its healing magic on me. I get restless when I cannot be active and this helped.

My advice: The abdominal binder is very supportive- use it as long as you need it. Tylenol on a daily basis can keep the aches to a minimum. The heating pad is great- just DON'T SLEEP WITH IT ON! You can also use the microwave warmers or a hot water bottle- these will cool if you fall asleep so you can't burn yourself! Just remember some areas won't have normal feeling so you have to be sure you are not getting burned! Push your fluids- the last thing you need is a UTI, and your bladder will not be working right for a few days. For the BR- I find that the Genie bras and the Playtex full support/Simply Sized Wire-free bras are very supportive, soft and comfortable and will stretch with swelling and then still work after the swelling goes down. Found them at Target and Walmart. Also find that long pantiliners work great under the bra to dry up any oozing. Target brand regular pantiliners are short and nice & soft. Carefree Original Long Pantiliners are great for the under the breast incisions.

I don't know how the other women on this site can blog daily updates right after surgery. I was in no shape for that! But I hope to help anyone who is trying to understand what this will be like.

I will also post some before and after pics.

Update: POD #17 today: getting better every day....

Update: POD #17 today: getting better every day. Sleeping much better- still using a body pillow which really helps keep me positioned on my side. Rolling over takes waking up and being careful. I was back to work FT all last week and did fine- tired at the end of the day but managed it fine.

Bruising is settling down but I do have some new smaller bruises on my belly. Guess these are from too much movement- Oops!

All incisions are healing well. Still have a thin, yellowish drainage from the breast incisions, and have to cover with pads inside my bra. T-zones look good, no separation. New skin filling in nicely. Swelling at incisions is WAY down so this should hopefully get better soon. Breasts are still very firm but the outer edges have softened up some.

Using Bio-Oil on all incisions and Arnica gel and salve on the lipo hips areas and any bruises. Massaging the hips to try to help the areas soften up.

Belly always more swollen at the end of the day. I often put my binder back on when I get home but don't usually sleep with anything compressing. I found a great CG for daytime- HI-Waist Boyshort style by Maidenform (at Target). I also got some "wife beater" tank t-shirts on the recommendation of someone else on this site early on. I wear it UNDER my bra and get the mini-pads to stick to that, then put my bra on over. I got larger bras that accommodate for this (and the swelling) so it is very comfortable. It has been a good system and it keeps the bra cleaner. The 7-pack of t-shirts was very cheap.
Orlando Plastic Surgeon

Past patient recommendations, takes my insurance, excellent bedside manner, lots of experience

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