Getting a tummy tuck is something I have wanted to do ever since I had my daughter 17 years ago. My skin was always loose no matter what I did even though I only weighted 125 lbs. About four years ago I was in a bad horse accident that broke my sternum and almost all my ribs and a lot of other damage. One of the other things I noticed after I healed (was laid up for 9 months and gained weight from that) was that losing weight was SO hard and I stored all my fat now in my belly. Finally after I got married in June of 2011 I decided that before my 41st birthday I was going to go for a Tummy Tuck.
On December 15th I finally did it. I went to a few doctors and finally settled on the one that made me feel the most confident and he was board certified. I went in for a full Tummy tuck with lipo of my belly, flanks and thighs. I had met with my doctor 4 different times discussing the TT and he even showed me pictures of other TT he had done. He said he always puts the scar low enough so it can be hidden behind a low bathing suit. He told me I would have two drains that I would need to wear for a few days until they both were below 25cc before they could be removed. He took my measurements so he would know what size of compression garments to order for me and said he would see me at the hospital next Thursday. I left his office so optimist and hopeful. I remember reading somewhere (wish I had found this board first) that you should take a bathing suit bottom in that you would like to be able to wear afterwards. Of course with it being winter here all my summer stuff was packed away and I could not find the bottoms I was looking for. He had not requested me to bring anything in either so I thought “well he says he always makes the scar low” so it should be ok.
When I arrived at the hospital I filled out all the forms, they got me to put on a paper gown and gave me a little pill to help me to relax. I was pretty relaxed when the doctor came in to mark me up and I never thought to ask him to see the markings or to remind him to keep it super low (if I had read this board first I would have been insisting and reminding him like crazy) but he was the expert and knew what he was doing right.
I think he did a great job on my cut. Love the job on my flanks, thighs and belly button. I am so disappointed in how high he cut me though. My scar is only 2” below my belly bottom and way above my hips and underwear/bathing suit bottoms. Looking at other pictures on the board I see that their doctors had gone into their pubis are when cutting them. My doctor cut me above it. He said he followed the natural contours of my belly but that just wasn’t low enough at all.
I will try and recount what I remember of my Tummy Tuck surgery. My daughter drove me to the hospital that morning (she thought she would be able to stay with me but of course she wasn’t allowed to). After they gave me a pill to relax me they showed me to a curtained off room to wait for my doctor to come by. I was feeling pretty good when he did (I’m a lightweight) so it never occurred to me to ask to see where he had marked me up or to remind him that he said the scar would be low and that this was still true. I laid back down afterwards until the nurse came and got me to walk into the operating room. I remember thinking “wow this is the first time I have ever walked into one of these on my own two feet” (usually I’m take in after arriving by ambulance ?) I remember them putting an IV in me and the mask over my face and asking me to count backwards. I got to 97. When I came to I was in a double room with another lady who had had a breast job with the same doctor. He came in to see me afterwards and told me how many cc’s in skin and tissue he removed but I can’t remember the amount.
The drugs hit me hard as I slept through lunch and supper. Woke up only when the doctor checked me, told me to keep my compression garment and pants on (that’s when I realized I had a thick binder around my waist and long high waist compression pants on. They were so tight I had to wonder how he got them on me while I was un-conscious. I didn’t come to until the next morning when they got me up to walk to the bathroom. Holy smokes did that hurt. I was so sore and tight. Later that day my daughter arrived to pick me up and drive me home. (my husband was working). I live an hour and a half away from the hospital and my daughter’s car is not smooth going over bumps. It was a long rough ride home.
I got home took the pain meds the doctor prescribed, arranged my pillows all around me and passed out. I took the pills for the first 3 days but I didn’t like the way they made me feel so went down to Tylenol 3’s. The first two weeks my daughter (who’s pretty strong) or my husband had to help me in and out of bed each time I needed to use the bathroom or wanted up to walk around. The first time I saw my cut and belly button I thought “OMG what have I done?” plus my thighs were SO badly bruised from the lipo I could barely move. Sometimes I think they hurt more than the cut. I KNOW my back muscles did. Boy did they ache a lot. Thank goodness for heating pads. This is not a surgery I would recommend to anyone with a bad back...its hell on the back. It’s now been 5 weeks as of today. . (I had miscounted in last few posts). The only pain I am still experiencing is a burning/stinging sensation around my scar on the right side. I also have a bulge over my ride side that is very hard (if was empty would probably be a dog ear). Last time I saw my doctor he mentioned trying to drain some fluid from it if it didn’t go down. We’ll see tomorrow if he attempts that. (have I mentioned I hate needles ?)
Funny thing is I can rest on my right side for short periods (it feels weird when I do – almost like jelly sliding sideways). but I can’t on my left. The left side of my scar is so neat as is the rest of the scar but my right is kind of puckered (like he had to pull the pieces together to stitch them up). My belly bottom gets these weird pings through it and my skin is slightly tender and achy above the belly button. I’m guessing the nerves are starting to come back online now. Wish I could feel that under my belly button as I hate the numb feeling there. My bruising is all gone on my legs I have one picture that shows the bruising almost glowing a bright yellow it was so bad)but for some reason my left thigh is still numb – anyone else experience this from having lipo done? I am almost standing up straight now (95%), scar is looking really good, so is my belly button. I am still swollen, waiting for the flat as a board in the morning but swollen at nighttime to happen that I have read about. I have yet to see flat as a board, really want to see flat as a board. Lol. I am still wearing my binder and black compression pants (so double the compression on my belly I guess) except at bedtime when I only wear the loosened binder so it’s a bit more comfortable to sleep. I can’t wait until I can sleep on my side again. My back is getting sore from constantly sleeping on it. I am mostly a side sleeper. A left side sleeper lol isn’t it always that way.
As anyone who has read any of my posts lately I am very un-happy with how high my scar has turned out. It goes higher then my underwear and my bikini bottoms. Reading the doctor's boards seems like its going to migrate upwards even more. Thats scares me. It makes me look cut in half I think. Thanks to Bella83 who’s review I have read and who also doesn’t like her high scar I found some undwear that do cover high scars. She had found some underwear that covers her scar and had shown them in her pictures. As soon as I saw her pictures I was out checking every store for them and found some YEAH :-). That made me happier and it was so nice to view my belly with the scar hidden.
Tuesday I have an appt with my PS and I will be asking him about scar revision and/or lipo of my mons pubis and the major swelling and or leftover fat deposits there. If my scar hasn’t dropped and if If the swelling hasn’t gone down in my pubis in 6 months to a year will he do follow-up on it as part of my on-going patient care. I am hoping that he is going to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep a happy patient. I don’t know that I could afford to pay for this again, even if it was half the cost. Plus all the pain and healing again. I would have to really consider it. It was really hard getting the time off work for this as well. So that’s my experience to the best I can remember it. Ask me anything about my recovery or pictures and if I experienced it I will share it with you. Just can’t remember how/when everything happened at this stage. I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it goes at my PS on Tuesday.