I am a very active mother of 3. Needles to say...
24 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
I am a very active mother of 3. Needles to say those pregnancies had an impact in my body with significant weight gain and separation of my abdominal muscles. I lost significant weight, > 70 lbs with diet and lots of exercise. I felt great and felt I could take on the world. There was just one problem. My body did not exactly how hard I was working. I had a lot of lose skim around the abdomen, my doctor and I decided I would best served with a tummy tuck. I made sure that my weight was really stable and that I was truly in charge of my body, the we did a tummy tuck and breast lift in 2012, this was life changing. I am beyond over the moon with my results. This had changed my life and allow me to wear bikini as an adult for the first time ever and feel confident. Now it is time to focus on the lower body. I am planning liposuction of the inner thighs outer thighs, my hips, anterior thighs and lower back. I am going for much smoother hips, in line with the rest of my body as well as much thinner thighs and shapely rear end without fat injection, I chose a different surgeon this time, because what I needed was a genius sculptor. Someone who is known as the kin go liposuction (especially for women of color wanting to maximize their natural curves. He is located in Pasadena so this is very close to my house. We had several consultation visits and his team will spend all the time you need so that everyone had the same goals. Once I had decided on this surgeon I paid my deposit and had my lab work done and my preop clearance with my regular doctor. My date was then set for April 24 and I was very excited. I also continued to read the real self website nonstop, trying to get every piece of information I could in order to prepare for surgery. This site has been invaluable to me and that's why decided to put up a profile and share my experience. I took the advice of all the other posters who have gone before me and I feel I was very ready for the surgery once my surgery date came. Even the surgeon and his staff were impressed with how much preparation I had done.
Post Op Day #1
Well, so so happy to be on this side of the procedure. The procedure itself was just wonderful. My doctor uses tumescent liposuction. I arrived early and was happy to be the first case. Everyone was so so wonderful. pre-op pics done in the office. Not sure if I want to see those. They were the full Monty. Then the doctor came in and started my IV. I was surprised that he did this himself, but he stated that he had perfected a painless way to do this and he was right. I did not feel I thing. I have had a few IV's in the past all started by very experienced people and this was the best. The two OR techs brought me into the OR to get me ready. One used gloves to coat me in a warm Hibiclens solution (antiseptic). Then I laid down on the OR table and was covered with a sterile sheet and a blanket. My PS always works with an anesthesiologist and I am grateful for that. He does not do the procedure under general anesthesia but having an anesthesiologist in the room has many advantages. 1) the anesthesiologist was able to give me good iv sedation so that I did not feel or remember anything. This was especially good for the installment of the tumescent fluid, which I have heard from several ladies on this site can be painful. 2) the anesthesiologist is in the room and is wholly responsible for your vital signs, making sure your blood pressure is stable, that your heart rate is normal and that your breathing and oxygenation are all normal (I would say this is an important job) many PS will stay that they do not need this additional person and that the can do all of this themselves or keep you kind of awake so that they know your vitals are okay. Yes this is true, but again I am truly thankful to have someone focused on my important vitals. 3) if there is an emergency you have a well trained set of hands that can help to stabilize your vitals and make sure you stay safe. 4) having this person there lets my PS devote all of his attention to his art and getting me the results we agreed upon.
So, having said all of that. I remember lying down and saying hello to everyone again and then I woke up all cozy in the recovery room.
No significant pain.
The Highlights: they did not have to give me any narcotics (only propofol and toradol) so I did not have any nausea at all to deal with
They also were able to lighten the propofol enough to stand me up and turn me over several times, this allows for the best results. (again I do not remember this)
I had inner thighs, outer thighs, hips, lower back and anterior thighs and they were able to take of 3000 ML (3 liters) they said they were surprised they could get so much, but I was not. I know what I have been grabbing a hold of and wishing was gone all these years.
At home I have been resting, up a lot to go potty #1. This was good because it kept me moving all night. I had one on those devices that let women go standing up. Mine is called GO GIRL and I bought it on Amazon. I can not recommend this enough. It will save you. I had started fiber therapy and stool softeners a few days before surgery with each dinner so #2 was no big deal and came today as well .
I continue to have leaking but have set up enough pads and chucks and shower curtain liners to protect everything. I was able to pick up the Target brand of shower curtain liners at Target, for under 3 dollars each. That is a great buy. Good to have.
Pre op I also bought several dark color maxi dresses and that is what I wore to surgery and have been rotating them ever since. This has worked out well.
No pictures today. Just me in my garment. I am allowed to shower in my garment on Sunday and take it off for a shower on Tuesday. My first pre-op appt is on Tuesday.
Feeling okay today. Just get stiff and very soar when sitting or lying in once place too long. Trying to avoid narcotics (just slow you down so much) but have done okay with tylenol. I continue to take my antibiotics and arnica. My husband is making me pineapple protein smoothies each day. Not too hungry but I have a weak stomach so I have to eat something when I take meds. Okay, that is all for now. Wishing all the ladies who shared my week to have a speedy and complication free recovery.
Post op day #2
It is 1:00 am and can't get back to sleep so I took these pics and added them. I know how important the garment is, but it is a love hate relationship tonight.
Post Op Day #3
Today was a good day, tried to stay on schedule with my medications but I have not been eating enough to protect my stomach and I got nauseous and threw up late in the afternoon. Felt much better after that. Just a warning to make sure to eat something that really sticks in the stomach to take all your medications and vitamins and such. I think it was likely the vitamins that got me. Not too much pain. Went out today. Was able to wear my regular pants over my garment. I think that is a good sign because I can tell that I am really swollen (I feel like a tick) I am not looking for any results at this point. I learned that from reading all of the reviews here and the answers on the doctors Q&A. Anyway, just happy that the pants fit (they are made of a material with no stretch)
So spent about 2 hours out of the house at an event and then kept busy around the house. Today was the first day that I was allowed to shower. It was with the garment on so it was easy. It was gross how dirty with old blood and fluid that thing was. I just soaped up over the binder and rinsed off well. I used my blow dryer after to get things really dry. Boy did that all feel so good. Just happy to feel cleaner. I am so looking forward to getting out of this binder. Mostly because I currently have a stage one binder that comes to the knee. I hate it because I am 5'10 and it just constantly rides up to above the knee/mid thigh. Just so uncomfortable. I have compression socks from surgery that go just above the knee but again those keep rolling down. My next garment will be one that goes down way below the knee. That is the one I used after my tummy tuck. Even though I did not, and currently do not, need compression all the way up and down my body, I just found it was so much easier to wear the garment without any areas cutting in or moving around so much. It also has a high back so no digging in there either. When we have to wear the garments so long you just need to know what will work for you. The one I used for my tummy tuck in 2012 was so comfortable I wore it run a 1/2 marathon after the surgery. Just felt like it was holding everything together. Just looking forward to getting in that second stage one just like that to recover from this surgery.
The draining has just about stopped, only 2 sites leaking just a bit.
I started the Arnica gel today. Wow, that stuff feels great. I think it may really help. As soon as I put it on, the area feels better and some of the stiffness goes away. I will likely have to order more of this. I just rubbed it in through my garment. My garment is pretty porous. The only place that you could not rub something is would be the abdomen and I did not have anything done to my abs this time. I have also started some self massage and that seems to help with stiffness as well. I am hoping I will make some good progress tomorrow. I am tired of so much rest. I will also try and decrease some of my medication tomorrow. Less pain medication to give my stomach a break. Hope everyone else in my group is healing well and feeling good.
One rough day, now much much better
Okay so things have been going along fine, all of the usual things like "I hate my garment, " I have been reading and preparing so much on RealSelf that I was ready to be uncomfortable and I have had experience with wearing a garment post op from my TT a few years ago. So I had kind of promised myself not to complain about the garment, remember it is good for you etc. Well sorry but I just could not take it anymore. I had so much swelling on day #5 that it brought me to tears. NO feelings of regret but just pure misery. I mean there is no place to hide from your garment. Just another warning to just be prepared and be strong. It is annoying. Stage 1 garments are just not fun but I do appreciate their purpose. Make sure to follow your doctors instructions and forget all thoughts of just taking it off and running wild and free. (that would not feel to good either) Not sure what made me swell so much but the next day was much better and my pain was much better. Yesterday was my post first post op check. Everything is healing well. My PS said I did have more bruising than he expected and to get started with self massage to help that. Also to get one of those roller massage devices (like for myofascial massage that people use pre and post workout) and use it to massage my treated areas. Just using my hands on the device, not putting my body weight on top of it like you see at the gym. Also he said that I could do endomologie or vasershape or velashape in the future if I wanted to help with swelling or bruising but there is no immediate need. There is a woman here in Los Angeles that specializes in immediate (1-2 weeks) post op Endomologie for post op swelling and bruising so I may try that. I do have one hard spot due to swelling at my tummy tuck scar on the right hip but that will easily work itself away with massage and when the swelling goes down. He placed a piece of lipo foam over that area (just tucked into my garment) so that nothing will dig into that area. Now to the best news. They took me out of the stage 1 garment and I am on to the stage 2 garment. This one has a high back, tank top style (you still wear your own bra, but the straps of the garment are more like a tank top and not thin painful straps that can dig in. It also comes down below my knees. Thank goodness, so much more comfortable. The waist area has a built in corset with to levels for pulling thing in. This is a garment from Columbia commonly used in plastic surgery. I just have to say I feel like I am in heaven. It gives so much comfort and support and really fits my body so well. I feel like a new woman. No more zippers and such. I will post a picture of the package soon. I have lots of experience with Design Veronique from my tummy tuck. I think I ended up with about 4 different ones because I would wear them to work out and then different lengths and such. I loved those and was prepared to get a bunch more for this round of surgery. That DV is a great brand and I highly recommend them also, but this new one is pure heaven. I just think if you are looking for various garments then you have to check this Colombian one out. It gives tons of compression but also really enhances your figure. It does not just smash down all your results, but supports them. I felt like one of the BBL girls yesterday. Also fits great under clothes, no one would know. I even headed out to the mall after my post op appt and did some shopping.
So I did the roller and boy did I feel better. I really am feeling like myself. Much less swelling, seeing results. (I know they are mostly hidden under swelling) but I can tell all the parts that needed to be sucked away, have been. I will post some pictures soon. Don't really have any with me out of the garment yet, it just feels too weird without it. I will probably post out of garment pic next week when the bruises get better. Also got the all clear for a bit of light exercise so I am thinking I will do the treadmill (walking) or gentle elliptical tonight. I will let you all know how that goes. I also just want to say how much I love my PS and his staff. Judy the RN is the best and all of the staff really takes such good care of you. This is LAs best kept PS secret (not really a secret because they are plenty busy) but mostly by referrals, no need for them to advertise, their work and care keeps people coming back. Sorry for the long post. Have a beautiful day everyone.
This is my stage 2 that my PS gave me. They also use DV but said this brand may fit women of color a bit better. I am loving it.
I am now 10 days post op. Feeling okay. Most of the discomfort comes after sitting too long, then as soon as things get moving all the soreness goes away. I am back to work tomorrow so we will see how that goes. I will just try and keep moving. I am also hoping to get back into the gym (treadmill and eliptical to start) tomorrow. Also my gym has a class called gentle yoga and I feel like I could do that as well. I had a very busy day yesterday setting up for an outdoor party and although I could feel the swelling coming, I could also tell that more activity will be the key for me for a faster recovery. I slept well and woke up this morning feeling great. I am going in today for my first in a series of 5 endomologie treatments that are designed to help with swelling and bruising post op. This is the kind of treatment that people use to help smooth out lumps and and hard spots as well, but I have not noticed any of those. I do have the hard swelling ridge on my right hip, (right a above my old TT scar) but I have been using a piece of lipo foam in that area since my post op appt (5 days ago) and that area is going away. I will stop wearing the lipo foam today. (yeah)
I will let you guys know how the treatment feels and what impact it has on swelling and bruising.
Soon I will take more pictures. I really just hate seeing that bruising and so that is what is keeping me from more photos. Also I feel like I have a lot of swelling and so there is not much day to day change yet. I wake up feeling good and small and like there has been a big change, but go to bed feeling like a tight marshmallow sausage.
Okay so I had my first treatment today. This was for post op swelling and bruising, not the same hand piece or strength that they use for cellulite. It was really to get the circulation going and more in line with lymphatic massage. It felt great, nothing really painful, but tingles. Once I got up from the treatment (whole body with focus on my treated areas) I felt beyond great. No pain, no stiffness, really the best I have felt since surgery. It was amazing. The lady that I saw really knows what she is doing and works with lots of plastic surgeons in Los Angeles. She is extremely knowledgeable, very skilled and gives that extra TLC that we all need in this early recovery stage. The facility was beautiful and very private. She has seen it all as far as post op plastic surgery and is just a pro. I am so glad that I found her. If you are in Los Angeles you can check her out at Endomologie by Pamela Lee on the web. She has some amazing pictures of how this treatment helps with post op bruising and swelling. I am planning to go 2 times per week. I will update on how things look as far as the bruising, but I just felt so so good after the treatment. If I get hard spots or lumpiness then I plan to continue my treatments for that. Drinking tons of water to enhance the treatment and flush out whatever needs to flush out. I highly recommend this.
Okay, so today is the first day that I feel good, like back to normal. No pain, Normal energy. Did not take any pain meds for the last 3 days. I am post op day 20 today. I know some people feel so good so much sooner. Maybe it's my age, maybe because I did have a lot of fat removed or maybe it was the stomach flu that knocked me out Monday and Tuesday. Anyway so so happy right now. Things are shaping up. The bruising is so much less, almost gone. I have been sleeping without the garment for the last 2 nights. Planning to wear it during the day for at least 12 weeks. Did some light treadmill on Monday before I got sick and a short walk with the dog yesterday evening when I was feeling better. I am dying to get back in the gym and do some more vigorous workouts. I miss sweating. All the parts that I wanted gone are gone and my legs and hips are looking just as I hoped. I still don't like the look (bruising) and feel ( numbness/tingles) of my bare skin, but sleeping without the garment is helping with that.
Good to compare how much bulk is now gone with this before picture.