Still in Progress, but Happy So Far - Petoskey, MI

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I am a 29 year old female, with two children. 10...

I am a 29 year old female, with two children. 10 yr old and just turned 1. I had gestational diabetes with my latest child, and gained about eighty lbs. I am engaged to be married june 1st, and my fiance is not the father of either of my children, and he has not seen me undressed yet... I was very self conscious about my stomach, and the stretch marks and loose skin... I also wasn't very happy with my breasts since I had nursed both of my babies.
My motivation was to get my body back before I got married, and to feel good about sharing myself with my husband, who had nothing to do with the negative affects pregnancy had on my body.

I am three days post op, and have some alone time to start this review, but I hope to continue to update it as I progress in recovery!

Yesterday I got one drain, a couple stitches and a...

Yesterday I got one drain, a couple stitches and a couple small staples out. none of it hurt, and could NOT believe the relief from the one drain being gone! and was even more shocked at how LONG the drain was. For some reason I thought the part of the drain tube that was inside me was only a few inches... nope. The thing went all the way up to my chin! The worst pain I have noticed since my operation is an occasional sharp, stabbing, cutting, burning sensation right a the bottom of my sternum. It was paralyzing, and confusing. I asked my doc about it and he felt the area and said everything was fine... well after the nurse took that one drain out it made sense to me! I think the top of the drain was occasionally putting pressure on the muscles up there an pinching or whatever. I am so glad to have that out! My back is killing me from being 'hunchback' and I am trying to stand straighter, I am sure it is mostly physiological at this point, but sometimes when I do stand up very straight it feels like that other drain right below my breasts pulls on something or the muscles pinch and so I have to hunch back over to relieve the pain. I have wanted to post a bunch of pictures of my recovery since I know before my surgery I wanted to see the progression of the healing from surgery on... but I realize why there is not a whole ton of those available... we are RECOVERING haha I have a couple though :)

I was initially very concerned with 'dog ears' the...

I was initially very concerned with 'dog ears' the day of my surgery... My incision looked like a shelf, and there were all sorts of ripples and dimples. I didn't have very many options of surgeons and also felt I was on a time crunch with my wedding coming up so soon. I was afraid maybe I had not been patient in getting the surgery done, and picked a bad doctor (since I only had one option in Petoskey, MI) but as my swelling went down, I immediately noticed it flattening out, and also asked my PS office about revisions. I did not know before hand if he did in office dog ear revisions for free or not... I was sooo relieved when I found out that he would take care of them in his office at no charge to me. However the nurse said he HARDLY EVER needs to because his patients don't get them. I really don't think I will need to, but the knowledge that it wouldn't be at a cost to me helped put me at peace anyway.

I had my surgery on Friday morning, and on Monday I spent a lot of time working myself up about different complications I could have... Like skin necrosis. I ended up driving myself to the office to make sure I didn't have any starting... it was dried blood not dead skin tissue ;) I also had a TON of swelling in the mons region that turned blackish purple near the drain sites... that scarred me since I definitely didn't want to get skin necrosis down there right before my honeymoon!! the bruising is already pretty much gone. what a relief.

Another interesting fact about my surgery... Originally I had scheduled the consult for only a tummy tuck. I knew I wanted both tummy and breast surgery but my fiancé was skeptical and uneasy about the tummy tuck to begin with. The only reason he even listened to me about the tummy tuck was because we both are very into physical activities... we both are runners and hikers and he is very into outdoor sports like mountain biking ect.. so I was explaining that I knew I had lost all my pregnancy weight, and that I was as 'toned' as I could be. After my daughter I had stretch marks but I did not have nearly as much skin elasticity as I did after my son. The extra loose skin made the shape of my stomach actually change, instead of just having stretch marks I had them, and a weird shaped belly button ect.. He understood that and could agree and offered to pay for the surgery for me. But he didn't want me to get breast implants for numerous personal reasons... A few days before my consult I brought up the breast augmentation too.. and after a little resistance he agreed to 'consider' it as an option. Yippee!!
So anyway... I had not even thought about the fact that I was still nursing my 11 month old son! it dawned on me the day before my consultation and I started researching the contradictions of nursing and breast implants... not much info.. but the stuff I did find was discouraging because most of it said that a woman should be completely dried of any milk for 6 months before considering having breast implants :(

so the day of my consult I told the doctor that I was nursing and he said he would like to see at least 3 months after weaning... another sad face... then I expressed my desire to have the surgery before my wedding... and that I could stop nursing immediately.. he said he would do it, but that the concern he would have is that the size of the implant might be compromised due to the original breast size not being completely known if there were to still be milk filling in my tissues. I stopped nursing he next day, and put cabbage leaves in my bra and did some other things to try and dry my milk up quick... I only had a couple weeks until the surgery and was scarred that I would end up getting mastitis and not be able to get the surgery in time for recovery before my wedding/ honeymoon! All went well though and I am so glad it did!!!

Today is one week after surgery. I feel great, and...

Today is one week after surgery. I feel great, and also today was my first day back to work. I am a baker, so I am on my feet all day, and lifting ect... it was interesting and I had to get a lot of silly help from my co-workers, and take a lot of extra time to do things one at a time instead of multiples, because they would have been too heavy for me. But I am home now, felt great to get out of the house, and am relaxing now :) took a bunch more pictures today after work, posting now :)

Oh, just realized I don't think I have even posted...

oh, just realized I don't think I have even posted what I had done...
I had severe diastasis recti. All the way to the top of my abdomen, and down. My PS did a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, and a breast augmentation with 400cc's in each breast. I didn't think we would go that big, but talking to my surgeon I told him that I know how common it is for women to wish they had gone just a little bit bigger... very very common. He told me that he listens to what his patients tell him, and then he takes it up just a notch, and they are always happy with the results. As you can see from my before photos I had slight asymmetry in my breasts, and honestly I was not sure if that was due to being so soon after nursing that maybe they both hadn't returned to their final size, or if that is how they would have stayed. I do not remember having any asymmetry after my first child, so I am very glad that my doctor put 400cc in each, and they are looking very perfectly symmetrical to me!
So, I had the muscle repair all the way up, I had the extra skin removed... including the skin around my belly button, so my doc cut a new one of those for me, and then pulled it all tight and sewed me back up. during my consult we had talked about possible lipo-suction around my 'love handles' or just above my hips. But as you can also see from my before pictures I was very thin before, so I really wasn't sure where he would lipo.. I asked him after my surgery and he said that no, I didn't actually have enough fat for a lipo-suction tool, but he did 'cut out' a very very small amount of fat. I feel like I can tell, maybe it is just that my muscles are tighter, so it pulled me in, but I feel like I have less back fat, and love handles than I did before... maybe it was just all the skin I had, and with the muscles not being together, it just hung out there... I know I had worked out as much as I could, and the love handles weren't going away on their own.
My doctor put one of those sutures that hold the skin to the muscle below on either side of my lower abdomen.. you can see the dimples on the after pictures. I wasn't sure what those were right after I came out of surgery, but figured it out, and am actually really glad he did. I agree with his reasoning.

400cc breast implants, under the muscle.
muscle repair from sternum to pubic area.
small amount of fat 'cut' out.
excess skin removed, and a 'new' belly button after pulling the skin down.

I'm loving it so far!!!

11 days PostOp! new pictures. got my second...

11 days PostOp!
new pictures.
got my second drain out today and it feels awesome. SOO glad to finally have it out, and not worry about it. Still some swelling, but feeling pretty darn good.

PO Day 12: noticing that my belly button is...

PO Day 12:
noticing that my belly button is looking 'smaller' and flatter today. I think it is from swelling, but I am going to possibly try the marble trick or something to make sure it keeps a nice shape. I feel really great, and am standing way more up right today than I have yet! woohoo!

NEW PICS! Today I felt like I was significantly...

Today I felt like I was significantly straighter standing, and for some reason felt less swollen right at my tummy tuck incision... I am hoping it is from using ScarGaurd for the past couple of days!! I am bleeding from my second drain site, a bandaid doesn't do the trick, and it fills up gauze pretty quickly too. I don't really understand why but I'll probably call my doctor and ask. It definitely seems worse the more I move around.. even walking... and I don't think I am doing too much. anyway, still loving my results.
I have had some emotional times, and not regrets about having the surgery, but I have had moments of 'dissapointment' about the tummy tuck. I still don't regret it because it looks way better than before and when I bend over or sit down it does not bunch up and hang all over the place... but sometimes I feel like the bellybutton is too close to my TT scar... or that the TT scar is too high... and I always really liked my hips... the bones... when I would sit and stuff I thought they were a sexy part of my body... (especially since there were no stretch marks!) but now I have these scars on them... and because I am so early in the healing process they are still raised and swollen and very unattractive. Some days I look at it and think dang I look great and I am so happy... other days (or times) I look and think agh that looks deformed and disfigured. But I am trying to remember that at least I wont have to be scared to bend over naked in front of my husband because of a nasty hanging bag of loose skin!! I have always been very happy with the breasts, and have had no 'recovery' to speak of there, so that has been great.
I really really really hope I am healed well by June 1st because I want to fit in my wedding dress, and I want to feel healed enough to not be bumpy and rippled at the incision... I think today I see huge improvements and I am glad that I am taking these pictures so that I can see the progression of things.
Petosky Plastic Surgeon

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 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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