Tummy Tuck + Large Volume Lipo - 18 Feb 2011 - Pennsylvania

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Hello - I enjoy this website and feel it has...

Hello - I enjoy this website and feel it has helped me tremendously in the planning process. The experience and advice I've received here is invaluable to me. I'd appreciate your comments, your suggestions and especially your enouragement. I'm getting a bit nervous as the surgery date draws near. Only 5 days before "the big day"...

My surgery is extensive. I'll be under (twilight sedation, I believe) for approximately 4 hours on Friday morning. I am having a standard (full) tummy tuck and liposuction of the upper abdomen, lateral chest, lateral hips and the submentum (double-chin).

I've done all my research, I've selected the best surgeon, I've prepared for this day for two long years. I am ready. I am not afraid of surgery...I've had several. I'm not afraid of the anesthesia...I've been under twilight and general before with no ill effects. I'm not afraid of the recovery...been there, done that. My fear is different, although I doubt it is uncommon.

I've been having some trouble beliving I will see a real change after surgery. I am afraid I will go through this major expense and all of this pain for only a subtle change in appearance, i.e. one that is comparable to wearing Spanx.

Is anyone else having (or had if post-surgery) this? I'm sure I sound silly. The surgery I'm having is pretty extreme. Surely I will see some visible changes. I just can't stop the negative thoughts. Any advice?

I will post before pictures asap. I won't promise immediate after shots because I am going to be staying at a surgical facility overnight on Friday so I can be properly monitored. I can promise that I will update regularly and give you all of the gory (ha ha) details.

Wish me luck! Talk to you all very soon.

Hi all, Thanks everyone for your comments, you...

Hi all, Thanks everyone for your comments, you have really put my mind at ease. The surgery went very well yesterday. I am very thankful that I had a nurse to help me last night (the doctor provides 24 hour nursing + on call treatment at their surgical center). All in all, I am feeling ok.

I had a little nausea, so that was a challenge. They gave me 2 medications for that, plus some serious pain medication. Aside from feeling like I was shot in the gut (ha ha), I'm managing the pain okay.

I'm so sleepy all day today. I keep drifting in and out of it. That is kind of good because when I am sleeping, I'm not thinking about the pain. All of the literature said that the pain should ease up by the third or fourth day. I hope that is right. This may be the first time that I've ever looked forward to a Monday!

I don't have too many tips yet - right now I'm just focused on the drain. It is seeping a little bit on my clothes. My husband and I discovered that men's jockey shorts are ideal for stabilizing the drain. We just poke it though the flap in the front and clip the drain right to it.

Thank goodness for my wonderful husband. He has been so supportive and helpful. I would be in pretty rough shape if he wasn't around. My advice is to make sure you have a very good suport team. You will be heavily relying on them after your surgery. I'm so tired and thirsty now. Think I'll go lay down. I will be posting photos (hopefully tommorrow)

Ahh bliss!! I had a lovely shower at my post-op...

Ahh bliss!! I had a lovely shower at my post-op appointment today. It was wonderful. They removed the drain (very happy about that) and all outer bandages/foam sponges are gone! I got a little glimpse at my new torso and belly button before the binder was put back into place. Even with all of the bruising and swelling, there is a pronounced difference in my shape. Doctor said they removed almost 17 lbs of skin and fat during the operation. The entire staff was pleased with my progress. They told me that I was "a perfect patient"!! To note: if you've had or are preparing for this surgery, you may already know about this little "surprise". For everyone else, here it is: after a tummy tuck, your crotch gets so swollen. It can even turn purple! Nothing to be worried about, perfectly normal, just a little alarming.

I'm particularly happy right now because I've had my first post-op bowel movement and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I'll admit that I did take a laxative and a stool softener this morning to "grease the works" and that probably made the whole process better. I took a pillow with me to press against my belly during. This really works, try it!! I'm cutting down on the intense pain meds because they are making me a little constipated. Very grateful for them when I needed them, but I think I can get by with just some extra strength tylenol every other dose now.

My appetitite is not the greatest. I only want to eat water ice, italian ice, icees, slushes and popsicles. I'm still so thirsty from the anesthesia. I was advised to add some protein to my all sugar water diet :), so I had some chicken for lunch. It was delicious!

I have vitamin K cream to rub on my bruises. There is also a lot of vitamin K in peanut butter. Looks like the next couple of days will be dedicated to moisturizing my skin and eating my daughter's favorite lunch-time treat..pb&j.

I know I keep promising photos. I swear they are coming. I need my husband to help me crop and upload, I am afraid of the mess I will post if I don't get a little help with that.

I'm getting pretty tired, so I'll rest a bit now. Everyone have a great day!

I've finally added pictures. As you can see...

I've finally added pictures. As you can see from the before shots, I was not within 20lbs of my "ideal weight" prior to surgery. At a little over 5 feet 2 inches, I weighed approx. 195 lbs on 2-16-11. I understand there were/are risks to having this surgery at thie weight. However, realistically, I know I will not be losing a tremendous amount of weight after surgery, so redundant skin probably will not be an issue for me. I was not looking to become a size 4 overnight. I just wanted to fit comfortably into my current size 16 clothes - in other words, no muffin-top, no cinch marks on my belly when I undress.

The post op day 4 shots show a lot of swelling (and wow, check out the bruising). I'll keep adding more photos so you can track swell hell progress with me. Enjoy!

Posted some new pics. Feeling very, very good at...

Posted some new pics. Feeling very, very good at 16 days post op. I still have a lot of swelling, but really no pain. After a long day I have pulling and pressure at the main incision site, and have to take it easy. Tylenol is helpful. I'm using an antibacterial RX cream on the incisions. I am so itchy! Palmers lotion is the best (and the cheapest). My doctor still has me wearing the binder 24-7 and for that I am glad. The binder is annoying, but gives me extra confidence. Without it, I'm afraid I'd bend weird or lift something too quickly and cause some damage. The binder reminds me to take care.

Everyone is asking me what I've done. The changes are very noticable now. Most people ask me if I've lost weight. I can honestly tell them yes, about 15 lbs. A few of my closest friends and family know about the surgery. I'm not sure yet if I'll tell anyone else. It's not really a secret, I just don't want people to judge me. I know this sounds harsh, but cosmetic surgery isn't exactly common-place where I live. But, I always knew it would be right for me, and I am a big advocate of enhancing appearance to promote self-esteem. My biggest critics dye their hair, had braces on their teeth, wear make up and Spanx, so I take their opinions and comments in stride. And if ever they decide to have surgery themselves, I'll be right there, cheering them on.

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