I'm NOT finally flat! Clearwater, Fl.

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So, I've been reading all of your fabulous posts...

So, I've been reading all of your fabulous posts for months. Now I start my journey in less than 48 hrs. Wheeehhhhhh. I'm sweating it. I know I'm a pain chicken. But I know I hate my dewlap. I'm 48, and unlike most of you, I have not had any kids. But I have a genetic skirt that may be the reason I don't have kids....lol. I have tried, but it can never be exercised away. I am not at my goal weight either, but have been at this steady weight for a long time. I'm 5'3 and 195 lbs. but I'm pretty active. I'm on my feet all day at work - and work 11 hr shifts. Hope 3 weeks is enough time to take, because I don't have much choice. I'm single, and have to get back to work. I'm having lipo and a bleapharoplasty too, and from what I'm reading, that's worse pain than the TT?
My goal is to look better in clothes and gain self confidence. I have always been overweight, but always fairly attractive despite the fat. I haven't had a romantic relationship in a long time and hope this gives me the confidence I need to find someone perfect. And since I have great attractive girlfriends that i hang with, ( and girls, we have a tendency to get wild and crazy on our girlz weekends) ill fit into the cougar profile instead of being the pretty but fat friend.
Well, I wish all of you brave women fabulous healing and more life in your lives!

Thanks for all your support. It's so great to be...

Thanks for all your support. It's so great to be on the flat side!

So i starting day 3 PO. Last night was tough! I...

So i starting day 3 PO. Last night was tough! I could hear and feel lots and lots of gas in my tummy and then the cramping started. I t came in waves every few min. All my muscles contracted which was terribly painful, followed by a calm. I actually called the nurse, she told me it was probably because I needed to have a BM. She was right . I felt much better after. BTW I was trying to prevent all that by starting gas-ex and stool softener 2 d prior to surgery. I don't know of I over did it? And the cramping and gas pains are back again now. This is definitely worse than the pain from the surgery. Other than that I'm feeling good, just pretty tired, and that's probably from the pain Meds.

Today is day 4 PO. My pain is very manageable, but...

Today is day 4 PO. My pain is very manageable, but though I was not nauseous on days 2 and 3 , boy am I nauseous today! Also still having gas pains from hell! And a headache. I feel pretty miserable. But at least getting up to go to the bathroom myself now. Mom has been awesome with all the help she's given me. Wish I felt better to talk to her since she came all this way, but I'm soooo grumpy.
On the good side I can finally tell how much flatter I am and am still glad I did this despite feeling so crappy.

I'm working on day 5 now. My nausea is practically...

I'm working on day 5 now. My nausea is practically gone and aside from diarrhea, I'm feeling great. Take my advice and don't over do the stool softeners! the cramping I was having day 3 and 4 felt like I was having labor contractions. It hurt much worse than the surgical pain!!! But, on the bright side I have minimal pain today, I'm up and walking around a bit. I stopped my Demerol last night. I'm sleeping well and I have posted my 1st pre op pix. I am very happy to have lost that pouch! I still need to loose weight, but this gives Me a huge new inventive. My problem has never been about what I eat, but about what I drink- namely beer. I have a new reason not to drink 2 or 3 each night after a long hard day of work.
I can't wait to see my incision after the drains are out! I'll post new ones then.
Happy healing girls!

Hello fellow TT's! I'm day 8 PO and am feeling...

Hello fellow TT's!
I'm day 8 PO and am feeling great.
I had a big let down today because I was hoping to get the last drain out, but I am still draining to much so I have to keep it in until Friday. Big Bummer. Especially because I still haven't been able to take a proper shower! But I'm washing the 4 corners, and my hair in the sink, and I feel scuzzy, but nothin I can do about it. In the mean time I'm not stopping to worry to much. After my parents left to go back home to Va. After being so awesome at helping me, my sister, her daughter/ husband/ and 2 young kids are here to visit Florida for me - and of course for SPRING BREAK! Not having kids of my own, and only a week PO, this is a bit challenging, but it's really pushing me to do more than I would have, probably more than I should, but I'm doing way better than I could have ever imagined I'd be doing this far out. Even with the drain still in!
I do get tired faster, and sore sooner, but were sight seeing, eating out, walking a lot and its going well.
I'll get the drain out Friday, then I'll post new pix. I can't wait to do some clothes shopping!

I'm day 11 PO. I'm still doing very well...

I'm day 11 PO. I'm still doing very well physically, and am being quite active as I've had company, by this I mean that Im walking around a lot. Getting in and out of the car, sitting and standing often, not resting much. may be the reason I am still draining quite a bit, so Unfortunately..... i didn't get the drain out on Friday, now I have to Wait till Monday. I was told by the nurse that it will have to come out Monday one way or the other because it just can't stay in any longer. That is good and bad. Yes, I want it out, but not at the expense of getting seromas that have to be drained with a needle. Has any experience with this? Any advice?
Thanks- and I hope all of you are feeling and healing

It's day 13 and I'm very depressed girls :(. I...

It's day 13 and I'm very depressed girls :(. I still was not able to get my drain out. Now If it needs to stay in, then it needs to stay in, but really - I haven't had a shower in 2 weeks, and I have out of town friends visiting me for several days starting tonight. I feel so grungy. There is a limit to how much baby wipes and washing your hair in the sink can do!
On the brighter side, I have not said anything about my bleapharoplasty aka eyelid tuck, so let me tell anyone who is considering it that it took years off of my face! And it didn't hurt at all. It was well worth the extra 2k to do it w my TT!
I'm also thankfully that I took 3 weeks off work because though I probably could have done it, I'd have been very tired and sore.
Happy healing ladies!

Hi every one! I'm about 2.5 weeks post op and...

Hi every one! I'm about 2.5 weeks post op and doing quite well. I FINALLY had my second drain removed Friday! I am so glad! And for me, thankfully neither hurt when they were removed. I will post new pix later today. I'm quite swollen, but mostly pain free.
I wanted to post a reply I made to someone a few minutes ago because it is part of my story I have not told yet because it was emotionally painful for me. I hope it helps others who are overweight and not yet made their decision on a surgeon.
I had my tummy tuck 2.5 weeks ago. I was 193 lbs the morning of sx. I'm 5'3. I have so far had a very good overall experience and am quite happy with the results. I saw 3 total P.S's. The first was when I didn't even know about TT'S and wanted lipo, Sh
e told me why I would not like lipo alone, and why TT would be life changing. Unfortunately when I googled her, there was some sketchy history, but I had the bug by then. The second PS told me I was to fat, that I had to loose 30 lbs, and recommended I look into a gastric bypass ( which I certainly would NOT qualify for). And I left in tears. I was only looking for a woman PS so I had not looked into the guy down the street- but on my way home in tears I stopped in that office and talked to them. They told me that the reason the one down the street wouldn't do it on someone my size is probably because she couldn't. And didn't want to admit she didn't have the experience and skill, so she made me feel like I was a hopeless case. I decided to put a down payment down that day with the 3rd PS probably more because I was so emotionally devastated by the female Dr. I put a $4K down payment down, then went home completely terrified that I made the wrong decision to pay them all that money with out having researched them first. Not smart, However, I did do my background check, and luckily overall I found he had a very good record. The reason I'm telling you this is because what I learned is that instead of looking for a female, I should have been looking for experience. First - obviously- someone who is board certified! But just as important is to find someone who does THIS SURGERY all the time. They may be better at noses or breasts but they may be to proud to admit that this surgery, or doing this surgery on someone who isn't 126 lbs may be beyond their ability or comfort zone. So do your research well. Choose an older surgeon with plenty of experience. They will not be cheep, but I don't think a surgery like this is something to price shop on. ( though I find the idea of going to the DOminican republic interesting because some seem quite experienced- I'd be to afraid, but many have had good experiences.). So, don't be discouraged, and don't try to convince someone to do it when they obviously don't feel like they will do someone with a higher BMI. If his nurse or receptionist said he won't even consider it, then there is a reason. Move on!! You will find someone with more skill and you will be so glad you did!

I was reading a post by a diabetic pre TT, and...

I was reading a post by a diabetic pre TT, and shared the following comment to her so I thought id re post it for those who haven't had their TT yet or are early post op.
My PS had me take some awesome supplements that helped me heal so fast and with almost no bruising. They were $, and I was so reluctant to get them, but they were worth every penny, and are highly recommended for diabetics having surgery. I bought mine online. They are by VitaMedica, and its the surgical support package. I figured what's another$100? And when I see my incision compared to others, I'm amazed. The only spot I had a scab was at the drain sites, and at 2.5 wks you can barley see a bruise - and I had lipo of upper abdomen and flanks.

Today I am 3 weeks PO. I started back to work...

Today I am 3 weeks PO. I started back to work yesterday. It wasn't to bad, a little incision pulling, nothing I couldn't handle, but I worked 11 hrs. On my feet most to the time, and when I got home I could feel a fluid wave under my skin. I was expecting a seroma since I was still draining a lot when they took the last tube out, so I was not surprised, but went in to have it drained, and after several attempts, opening my drain holes back up - he was unable to get much fluid out. I'm surprised, because I can feel it sloshing back and forth, so assumed it would come out easily. He didn't seem to concerned, said it will eventually reabsorb. Of course I have plenty of soft tissue swelling too - as we all do. Has anyone else had to deal with a seroma? How long before that starts to resorb? I know the rest of the swelling will take months and months. SIGH#%£|€^!
Also I had not yet told you all that I got cellulitis in the arm with the IV catheter. It's almost gone, but I am now getting vasculitis above the catheter site which can potentially be very dangerous. I'm on 3 antibiotics
, and seeing an infectious disease specialist on Thursday. I'm always so healthy I didn't expect these issues and hope and pray the vasculitis goes away with the abx.
Any one else have this problem?

Well I went to an infectious disease specialist...

Well I went to an infectious disease specialist yesterday and I officially have phlebitis ( infection of the vein) That the catheter was in. I hope it doesn't get worse. My cellulitis in the same arm is much better.
As far as the seroma, it's still sloshing around in my tummy. It feels just like a water bed. I can't WAIT for that to go away, but I don't think I want to get it drained again because my nicely healing pretty incision had to get opened at the drain holes, now I have larger openings and new bruising.
This is all pretty depressing, but when I look in the mirror I know why I did this, and am still glad I did it!

Day 25. My vasculitis seems to be about gone!...

Day 25.
My vasculitis seems to be about gone! My cellulitis is gone! But the seroma is bigger. It kinda feels like I have a goldfish bowl sloshing around when I walk. I went to the PS again to have it drained, but he couldn't get anything to come out again. SIGH!
BUT, I have an awesome tip for you all that helped me learn way more about seromas than my PS ever told me! And it can answer all your medical questions too!
Go to the top of the page to the " Ask a Doctor". Area. You can ask a question and get several various responses from PS's, or do a keyword search as I did and I found about 50 Dr. Responses to my question. It's such a great resource! Happy research ladies!

So... I'm officially 1 month PO. And today sucked...

So... I'm officially 1 month PO. And today sucked. Literally, not figuratively. I have been feeling sloshing in my belly since the last drain was removed. I feel a fluid wave or waterbed effect when walking. Dr H. tried 2x last week to drain it. But Couldn't, so today I went in for assessment. They recommended another procedure. To possibly place another drain. I was put in surgical gown,hat and foot wear. Put on the surgical table with my arms bound out at a 90* angle, warm blankets, surgical prep..a veil over my head so I couldn't see... And plan was to do this under a local lidocaine block, but to induce me if needed. Luckily, they didn't have to put me under, however, they inserted a suction device under my skin, swept around looking for the fluid pocket we all thought was there..... But no pocket was found, so they did not have to put a new drain in. Dr H. Thinks the fluid is all subcutaneous now, which is good. My body is resorbing it! This is good, because It should heal better than if it was a seroma..... But I am quite sore from the procedure, and he had to open my incision again at the drain holes. I'll have soreness and bruises, but yeah!! No drain!!!
Last bit o news, my cellulitis on the left side if my IV cath arm feels gone. The phlebitis in the IV arm feels gone, BUT last night a NEW area cropped up. Same arm. Left side, mid radius. I have another appt. with the infectious diseases specialist on Thursday.
So after all this both good and bad news, I will still leave you new bees with this message. This post op stuff sucks, but I still look in the mirror and smile.

So I didn't know how open he left my incision at...

So I didn't know how open he left my incision at first because it was bandaged. What a bummer! My incision was healing so great! The rest still looks awesome, even though it doesn't look like it in the new picture. All the excess white stuff is just dried silicone gel. I'm putting a butterfly bandage on that open part hoping it'll close more. The area is giving me a little pain at work, bit it's not to bad. And They let me go home early today because of it so at least I'm home giving it a rest!

Five weeks out! I went serious clothes shopping...

Five weeks out! I went serious clothes shopping for the first time. I need shorts, but hope I will someday be in a smaller size. I'm the same As pre op now. But surprisingly , I'm wearing a smaller top! I didn't have anything done up there, but I used to have to buy flowing tops to hide the belly buldge, now I look pretty good in fitted tops, so I can buy knits, and I would always look horrible in a sun dress, now I don't! I'm lovin this! I have a question for all you women with big girls. Where do you find bikini tops to fit? Why v
Can I find. Bra, but not A bikini top?

So as talented said, Seven is heaven. This week...

So as talented said, Seven is heaven. This week the swelling has come down quite a bit, and my weight and pants size have dropped. It feels wonderful! My second ( small) incision is healing - slowly. I am certainly still swollen, and still numb in the surgical area, but I finally feel like this week was a big change, and I'm lovin it!

My seroma was gone between weeks 5/6. Then it...

My seroma was gone between weeks 5/6. Then it changed into a more firm swelling that doesn't have that jiggly waterbed effect anymore. Glad that's over! But I Still have plenty of swelling which gets better and worse randomly. I know that will be life for the next 6 months or so.

So, for the first time in my entire life, I wore a...

So, for the first time in my entire life, I wore a bikini. ( well the top and shorts). But a real honest to God bikini, in front of a whole ton of people! And I wasn't even to terribly self conscious. I was actually feeling pretty good about myself. I don't think to many men were looking back at me. But I felt like a new chapter in my life just opened up. BTW. I was super swollen this morning, way more than I had been lately, but it was still an awesome day!

Week 8: today... Bad news girls, I had been so...

Week 8: today...
Bad news girls, I had been so happy lately with my progress, but starting yesterday I noticed the seroma type swelling returning. Let me clarify this. This swelling is different from what I would consider the " normal " post op TT swelling because this is the " waterbed " effect. You tap one area and get a fluid wave in the opposite side. I had this weeks 4/5, but when it resolved into a more typical firmer swelling I expected the issue to be over for good. But it's back. I have done nothing different, not even exercising as I recently promised I'd restart. I did however start my period today, so as you can guess, I hope to God that I can blame it all on that, but somehow that just is too convenient. I don't yet know what to make of this recent change, and haven't had a chance to call the PS, but will very soon. Any advice?

Week 9 - wish it was (more) fine.

Week 9 today. I'm more swollen than I have ever been since the surgery today. I do have a seroma again but I have not had the time in my busy life to go back to the PS to evaluate it, and the few spare times I have had, they have not had time for me. I am very frustrated today, but I still have my eyes on the prize. It's still worth the pain and money for me. Just wish I was on the other side already!

Swell hell

So the seroma has decided to go back into the tissues again I guess because the swelling has become much firmer, and no more fluid wave. That is good news I'm sure, but on the other hand I have never been this firm and swollen before! If I ever thought I was in swell hell before, I wasn't. So my question to all of you who Are farther out than 9 weeks, is this normal at all? To be swollen more than ever at 9 weeks? I hope so. I suppose I should ask the PS, but I seem to get better information from real self than from them.
Happy healing everyone!

Week 11

Well My swelling has continued to grow and grow, and wow is it firm! This is not how I intended to get rock hard abdomen.My swelling is almost as big as my presurgery self, and that is a lot! its higher than the pouch was, and bigger on the right than left. I assume that even this much swelling is normal??? I have been trying to get in to see my PS, but it has been a battle. They will only see me MON. and WED, which are the 2 days I really cant get off of work. and I was able to make an appt for the 26th,but thats 3 weeks away! so I will ask you guys if you think that this is typical? and hopefully not to worry, it will go away eventually? my worry is that since the swelling is so firm, that there will be a lot of scar tissue left over which will ruin my results. I know we all heal differently, I basically had a seroma for so long, that this is my body correcting that, which is good, but Id prefer sloshy to rocky. I was so happy with my results for a long time, even with the seroma, but I am NOT happy right now. NOT AT ALL. but In my medical opinion - for what thats worth,... it will go down eventually, but will I be left with scar tissue or loose sagging skin from it being all stretched out? I hope someone out there is having or had the same issue that can help me!

Looks even bigger in person!

It is hard as a rock


13 weeks

Sorry the pix is upside down, I took it lying in bed where you can really see how much the swelling is sticking up.
Please tell me that there are more of you who's swelling was this bad and it went back down! I'm so afraid I paied all this money and will be left with a mass of scar tissue.


Hi Girls. I have not posted anything in awhile. I was watching my tummy grow and grow, and knew this was not normal. Everyone talks about the swelling, but I figured that mine was different because it is so hard. SO ... after waiting the better part of a month to get a mon or wed off - my most impossible days to get off, because of Dr. Harrell's unwillingness to see me any other day ( or even before I went to work on those 2 days), he was pretty open jawed when he saw what I was trying to get in to see him about. He wasn't happy by what he saw, and sent me to get an ultrasound right away. I had to call to see what they found (they never call me), and they said they wanted to do surgery on Thursday (tomorrow!) That was YESTERDAY. Well, I was completely floored. not that I dont want this enormous mass that has grown back off of my body, but I was NOT expecting to have to have surgery again right now! I am moving in 3 weeks, I'm single, so I'm doing it all by myself, and have today to try to do it all before surgery tomorrow. I tried to get the PS to delay surgery until after I moved, but he would not let me, said its growing, it needs to come out now. SO after he wouldn't see me all month, now its got to come off 3 weeks before I move! not to mention my work is NOT HAPPY that I have to take a sudden extra week off! OMG.
now I'm so stressed. This new surgery wont be as easy as the original TT. Its not like taking off soft gooey easy fat, it will be rock hard fiberous scar tissue and so Im freaking out that I will have a ton of complications. As a surgeon myself (Im a veterinarian) I know this is not the same surgery at all. And at my pre op appt yesterday they took my new $1,500, but didnt even let me talk to Dr. Harrell himself. - wouldn't you think he would have wanted to assure me this was going to be ok???? OHHH Im so mad, but if I started with a new surgeon Id have to pay full price. not to mention I don't have any time to find someone else, or the money.
I need to officially change my status to "ITS NOT worth it" not for me anyway. I wish to God I'd never done this to myself, and for any of you reading this please send me some healing wishes, because I'm gonna need them.

Day before 2nd surgery

2nd Surgery this morning

Thank you all for your support, prayers and wishes. I really feel them and it is so helpful. My surgery day started out horribly. My PS yelled at me before surgery, called me a control freak ( which I am soooo not) and basically blamed me for having to have this second surgery. I started to cry hysterically and they had to delay my surgery until I calmed down. I wanted to walk out so bad, but this surgery was $1500. A new surgeon would have charged full price. So I was stuck. I'm usually not so emotional, but all the stress I've had in the last 2 days packing my house, not knowing about this surgery till 2 days before, plus he told me that I might come out looking disfigured, all came bubbling out. It felt really nightmarish.
On the positive side I was told afterwards that the surgery went well. It maybe a bit more painful than the original TT, but it's tolerable. I was told that instead of the 1week off work I need 2-4. my work is gonna flip out. But I am happy enough to be forced to take extra healing time.
Well now I have to pray that the incision heals well and that the scar tissue doesn't come back again.
Btw. He still refuses to let me wear a CG. I wonder if it would have made a difference? But when I asked about it was when he started to yell at me this morning, so I won't be revisiting that suggestion again.
I hope all of you who are having issues with this surgery will heal fast. My prayers and thanks to everyone of you girls for being so supportive.

Day 2, 2nd surgery

Well I'm feeling pretty good - until I have to get up and pee anyway. I had my post op appointment today. My PS said he's been doing TT's for 30 years and has never seen anything like this before. He told me I must have sustained some
Injury to my stomach that I don't remember, and again that its my fault for not following directions (which I did!). He called me a control freak AGAIN. After I asked him to stop calling me that. But Thank God I didn't cry today. I'm just really blown away by his insensitivity and angry. But I am flat again for now anyway. I pray it will stay flat this time.

This sheds some light...

Thanks to Rubix for pointing this out to me!!!
Federal authorities raided the offices of a Palm Harbor plastic surgeon Tuesday morning, carting off nearly everything the doctor needs to operate.

Movers took operating tables, examine chairs, even breast implants.

The items will be auctioned off to satisfy a $150,000 judgment against Dr. Randall Harrell.

According to the federal complaint, the doctor changed an employee's pay structure, and when she quit, he interfered with her efforts to get another job.

"This is a single mother who was just trying to get a job, and she in fact didn't get the job because of his threat," said attorney Lensie Kofeod, who represented the woman.

Kofeod said she tried for four years to get Dr. Harrell to pay. When he still refused, federal authorities decided to get the money this way.

Even as his belongings were carried out, Dr. Harrell refused to pay, which would have stopped the raid. Instead, he called the police, but deputies didn't step in. When News Channel 8 gave him the opportunity to speak, he declined.

Kofeod said this type of scenario doesn't happen very often, and she hopes it sends a clear message to debtors that you can't run forever.

The items confiscated will be auctioned off. Once the $150,000 is collected, the remaining items would be returned to the surgery center.

Day 5 post op.

Went in for my recheck. I was pretty silent during this visit as I am so angry, but not as angry and sad as I am after the visit. I thought the area looked bad when I tried to see it when the nurse took off the bandages, and I asked her if it looked really weird, she made me lay back down and said it looked fine. I could kind of tell it wasn't fine, i could see a dished out area that looks hideous. that brief look at myself was confirmed when Dr. Harrell made the little brief comment " oh, that looks real good, your contour defect doesn't look to bad".
I was absolutely speechless. I'm sure all of you can image what my feelings are knowing I will be permanently disfigured.
I still have drains and bandages so pictures won't help today, but I'll post them when I can.

Today's pix

I know you can't see anything much because of the bandages, but I decided to post these so I can look back at them later.
Hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all your support girls. I'm so lucky to have all of you sending me healing vibes and prayers.
Happy healing to all of you!
Palm Harbor Plastic Surgeon

I did like this doctor at first. He wasn't warm, but he was was an experienced surgeon. But now that I have to have a second surgery, he wouldn't even talk to me at my pre-op visit, and though I was not to afraid about the first surgery, Im really afraid of this one because it is so different.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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