Almost 40 and Have Accepted My Curves...just Want Them a Bit Smoother!!!

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I am almost 41. I feel really good about myself...

I am almost 41. I feel really good about myself and frequently receive compliments that I look much younger than 40. Growing up I was a gymnast and owned and showed horses. I was in incredible shape in my youth but have always hated excercising. I do better with excercise through daily and fun activities vs a gym. As time has gone by I have noticed my "family blessed" saddle bags have gotten more pronounced. In the past few years I have even noticed the right leg of my pants feel tighter no matter what pants I wear.
Around age 35 I started gaining weight slowly no matter how much working out I did. I fell into what I thought was depression. I went to therapists and even a psychiatrist. Around age 38 my hair started falling out and I started showing signs of hypothyroidism. This runs in my family. To make a long story short I ended up being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and since being medicated my world has turned around. No more being exhausted, depressed and no more weight gain. Unfortunately losing the weight is more difficult. I am OK with my weight but just want my curves smoothed out, especially on my thighs and knees. I have even surrendered to the cellulite!!!
I also have two beautiful girls ages 14 and 11 that left me with loose skin. Luckily my muscles stayed in tact so no need for a full tummy tuck.
I went to see Dr Vogel a year ago regarding a tummy tuck and lipo in my thighs and knees. I visited another PS but just felt so comfortable with Dr Vogel, his staff and office. Danielle, his patient coordinator, has especially made this an easy process. I feel like she's a friend even though I've only met with her a few times. Dr Vogel recommended a mini tuck without muscle tightening. He said if they tried to move the belly button I would be left with an inverted T scar and belly button scar where the old belly button was. I don't have enough loose skin to cut out the old skin around the belly button. I don't want any scars you can see over a bathing suit. So basically I am having loose skin removed with some lipo underneath. When he took photos of my thighs he asked if my right thigh was larger than my left. He said he could see it in the photos. I guess that's why my pants legs always feel so tight on the right. I've asked him to pay close attention to evening the size of my thighs.
It's been a year since I first met with Dr Vogel and a few more visits later I will be having my surgery tomorrow and I am really excited. I am not expecting perfect, just better. I went to tuck that tummy and got some great advice for how to prepare for surgery. I will add some before pics as soon as I figure out how to load them.

Pre Op Pictures

I am 5'4" and approximately 138 lbs.

Surgery Done

Love my doctor. He called me last night to touch base before my surgery day. Also got a call from the anethesiologist the night before. Great way to calm my nerves.
Had my dad take me in this AM at 8:30 and the whole arrival process was calming and easy. Nurse was amazing and Dr Vogel came in and went over my plan and marked me up really good. Had me bring my favorite bikini swimsuit so he could make sure the scar stayed below that line. I sure hope it did. My wait time was minimal and before I knew it I was out cold. Woke up and felt good. I actually was chatty. Great conversation with the nurses. At least it seemed so on my part. They probably had so idea what the hell I was talking about. I had no pain but was shaky. Not felling cold but just shaky.
Dr said my surgery went so well. He pulled down and removed approx 3 inch width of skin. Don't know what the scar looks like. Will see it in 2 days at the dressing change. Was surprised to find out I was going to have a drain. So far emptied it twice in a 6 hour time period. Once to the 20 mark line and the second time to the 25 line in the drain. Does that sound about normal??
Lipo went well according to Dr. He said my right side was more bruised. Probably because they worked harder to reduce the size since I've had trouble with that thigh being larger. Legs look swollen tonight. I'm not getting myself down though. Thanks to all the reviews on here I learned to give it time. It's a marathon not a sprint to looking better.
Only problem is that I get incredibly nauseous when I stand to go to the bathroom. Lying down is fine. Dr said to drink a lot to hydrate and take nausea pill. Going to try that. Only problem is the more water the more trips to bathroom. Sitting isn't so bad on toilet but getting up isn't pretty. Leaned back too far and felt the pain in belly. Won't do that again. I know the reviews with pictures on Realself helped me the most so I will post pics as soon as I get the binder open. Too scared to do that now. I will keep you posted.

Right Leg Larger than Left (Pre Op Photo)

The leg on the left which is actually my right leg is larger and uneven. Hope surgery will improve this.

Hydrocodone not my friend

I'm trying to keep up with the pain meds. I've had bad experiences in the past with getting behind in pain med that we couldn't get pain under control (bunionectomy years ago). I'm taking my pain med every six hours. Feel fine lying down but when I stand up I get dizzy and nauseous. Also whenever I take the medicine I can hear my pulse in my ears and I get a mild headache. Going to talk to PS tomorrow about changing med. Had my mom help me adjust my binder. Scar on right side looked good but just didn't want to look until doctor changes dressings. I will try and take pics tomorrow.

Worst Day Yet

So the first two days felt like smooth sailing considering the surgery. Today has been awful. I guess this is where the sadness sets in. Woke up at 5 am and my headache just continues to throb. It's so bad I had to take another nausea pill. Stopped the narcotic meds and only doing acetaminophen. Body doesn't hurt just swollen but the headache is unbearable. I couldn't stop crying and it was right when my daughter was leaving for school. I don't know why my head hurts and my body doesn't. I have been drinking lots of water. Been having to urinate constantly. Stomach is starting to have pains now but don't feel like I'm ready to have a BM. I sure hope this gets better, especially the headache.

Pics to Share

Visited the PS today and finally got the headache under control. Dr Vogel changed my dressings and I am so happy with the results so far. Still a lot of swelling but the scar looks great. It is very low and smooth. My brushing from lipo looks horrible but that is to be expected.

Wow, Scary!

I look like a truck ran over me. I am trying to be patient remembering what everyone said about swelling subsiding eventually. I was hoping weeks not months but by the look of me I feel it will be a long time before I realize the results. I tend to bruise easily but this is crazy. I got my second shower and put a folding chair in the shower to sit on. This allowed me to not feel like I was going to pass out. I don't have any pain but I am uncomfortable. My biggest frustration is the swelling. Looking at my before and afters I see no results but I'm confident they will be there eventually. Ice packs are helping on outer and inner thighs. I'm taking arnica pills but haven't started the cream yet. Was going to try it today but totally forgot as I was so focused on just getting the compression garment over my thighs. That was a workout in itself. Here are some current shots.

Before After Side by Side

Better Today

On my 2nd post op day I decided to weight myself to see how much fluid was building and I weighed 12 lbs more than my day of surgery. It didn't upset me. I expected this. Today I weighed myself again and was only 6 lbs more than my day of surgery. I guess that gives me hope the swelling might be subsiding. I am so terrified getting a shower because I'm afraid something will hurt without my CG on. It really is a security blanket. My only complaint is the feeling of the end of the drain tube on my left side. When I "milk" the tube it creates this suction/burning/stinging feeling on my left hip. My ps said it's the tube so I'm not worried. Hoping to get the tube out tomorrow or the next day but honestly will keep it in as long as needed to prevent swelling and fluid buildup.
I had my knees lipoed too but my CG only goes to above my knees. I ordered a new one that goes below the knee and even paid overnight shipping because I'm desperate to feel support around my knees. I go back to work in a week and I don't have a sit down job. I teach and I am on my feet all day. Did I mention I work with little kids too? The thought is making me sweat already. I know I will be so swollen at the end of my days there.
Well I'm off to my first outing. Going to watch my kiddo play soccer. Talk soon!

Day 11 PO

It continues to get better each day. I'm really happy with my tummy. It's still a bit swollen but basically looking pretty smooth and flat. No more rolls when I sit. I can't wait to wear shirts that are a bit more fitted again.
Not sure about the whole lipo on the legs. I measure them and they are the biggest they have ever been in my whole life. Please let this swelling start to subside so I can tell if the contouring worked. I am attaching some pics from day 8 and day 10. I tried to put some side by sides in but I apologize for the day 8 photos. They aren't very clear. I had to hide in my closet and take pics. I didn't want my daughters to see how bad the bruising is. I had to hang a sheet in the background to have some contrast since it was too dark in there.
My tummy incision doesn't hurt at all. The swelling is what feels the strangest. It doesn't hurt but has a strange uncomfortable feeling when I touch it. Some hard places are on my tummy too but they seem to soften more each day. I can definitely see where people say below the scar takes the longest to lose the swelling.
My legs don't seem any different to me but I guess I can see a minute difference in the before and afters.
I can get into my pre op pants but when I button them they put too much pressure on my tummy. I think sitting in them would be way too uncomfortable. I am rotating through 3 different pair of leggings. I love my SlimTone leggings. I got them at Bed Bath Beyond. They keep everything snug but are heavy enough to wear as a legging with a tunic that hangs over my rear. They fit well over my compression garment.

Day 10 PO

Here are pics from Post Op Day 10

Day 10 PO

Feeling Great!

I'm feeling so good. My scar is healing great and I love that my bikini covers it up. My bikinis are low cut too. I still have a bit of swelling in my lower belly, hips and lower back. I can see improvements in my inner thighs and maybe some on my outer. I feel I'm finally to the point I can change my rating from " not sure" to " worth it"!

13 Weeks Post Op

Well it's been 3 months since my surgery. I haven't posted in a while because I couldn't get accurate pictures. I started an excercise program as soon as the doctor cleared me. The excercise has helped me tone up but it also creates swelling and right after my tummy swells right above my scar and my thighs swell where I had the lipo. The doctor says this is normal and I figure excercise is good even if I get some swelling. I am very happy with my results but I'm still frustrated that my thighs aren't more even. I had them done to help get my right thigh the same size as the left. The doctor says that since my right one had more work it will have more swelling which will take longer to go down. I'm going to give it a full 6 months. Not sure if this is a result of my muscles versus fat. Time will tell. I haven't really lost much weight, maybe 4-5 pounds but my body fat has dropped 3-4 percent. This is a combo of the lipo, excercise and eating. After age 37 it seems a switch came on that told my body to never allow weight to come off. It used to be so easy to lose weight. I guess my focus should be on not being thinner but building muscle.
I'm posting 3 sets of pics. The ones in the blue bikini are from 29 days post op. The ones in the black bra and underpants are from 6 weeks post op and the ones in workout leggings and top are from 13 weeks post op.
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Dr Vogel's office is beautiful and inviting. His initial consultation was so thorough and informative. His staff is amazing. I just felt like this was the doctor and office that would fit me.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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