Looking for Tips - Philadelphia, PA

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Hi, I am turning 40 just b4 my surgery on 1/10. I...

Hi, I am turning 40 just b4 my surgery on 1/10. I decided 2 get a mm as I have no breasts left after nursing three kids for a total of 4.5 yrs and my belly has the wrinkly/saggy Mommy skin which, despite a lot of exercise and weigh-loss still seems to bulge a lot. I wanted the tt so I could stop feeling so self-concious. I wanted the ba because I went from a decent C cup to a v pushed up B (really there is nothing 2 push up anymore :-) and that also really hurt my self image.

I am suffering the usual nerves about the surgery & guilt @ spending that much on myself.

I was hoping to get some before & after tips. I have three boys - 7,4 &18m & a supportive husband.

I am almost a week pre-op now & getting v nervous....

I am almost a week pre-op now & getting v nervous. I found a great recliner for $60 @ a thrift store so I decided 2 get it. Got a ton of supplies & my prescriptions from CVS last weekend. I spoke 2 the office nurse & she said I wouldn't need another binder & they were expensive. I am torn as I imagine I will need 2u wash it before I will be able 2 downgrade 2 a Spanx type garment.
Petrified about injecting myself with the anti-coag drugs. I don't see much discussion about that on the MM community. Any tips?

My List: Meds - pain, nausea, anti-biotics,...

My List:
Meds - pain, nausea, anti-biotics, anti-coagulation shots, vitamins/bromelain/arnica from PS, stool softener, Milk of Mag
Med Supplies – gauze pads, enema, pill keeper (with four compartments for each day)
Misc – recliner (purchased one for $60 from a thrift store), walker (same thrift store-$6), trial subscription to Netflix (the first few days you prob won’t feel like reading, just zoning out with the TV), straws (if you have a BA, you won’t feel like raising your arms to drink), tons of books/mags, movies, larger than normal panties (I usually wear thongs but got some boy shorts, helps to keep drains etc covered)
Food – I eat pretty healthily anyway but I did stock up on protein and got some protein powder for shakes in case I couldn’t eat.

Day-1 Jan 9th
I started to spend the day in a flurry of cleaning, cooking & shopping but then I realized that this was the last day that I would be hanging out with my boys so I slowed down and played with them instead. I ended up staying up half the night, cleaning, packing, showering with the bar the hospital gave me, etc. I aIso gave myself an enema as advised by RS members, I knew the pain meds were going to bung me up. I went to bed about 2:00am and was up at 5:00am. I didn’t mind as I figured I would have been tossing and turning with nerves anyway. I was better being busy ?

Day of Op Jan 10th
My friend drove me to the hospital and we were there at 5:30am. By the time we checked in and my post-op prep was done, it was almost time to go to the theatre. I was soooo nervous but all the staff were great and my PS was also helping me to calm down. They had a nifty hospital gown that you could attach a hose that blew in warm air, which was nice. I rem being in the op theatre and getting asked the last few questions, but nothing after that until I came round in the recovery room. That was pretty sureal and blurry but don’t remember any pain or discomfort. I don’t rem being moved to my room, so I guess I was still pretty in and out.

The plan was for my husband to hang out with me after the op until he had to go get the kids, however I took so long to come round and actually get to my room, that he had to go get the boys first. Had I been asked first I would have thought “no way, I won’t be able for them”, but it turned out to be a good thing. I got to talk to them all, they got to ask questions and see me. I was on oxygen so that bothered my oldest to see tubes in my nose but I explained what they were for and he seemed ok. They biggest draw was my catheter bag (“is that really your pee?”)…. BOYS!

I was starving at dinner time and ate pretty well. I had two drains, one on each side, and I had the compression/massaging leg things on. The bottles for the drains were larger than I was expecting, I don’t know how anyone was able to go back to work and hide them under their clothes. I wasn’t in a huge amount of pain unless I moved around. I was on a pain pump which I could click every 8 mins. When I wanted to sleep I would click it 2 or 3 times and drift off. It was an abnormally long night. I kept thinking I had been asleep for ages and it would only be like 45 mins.. ?

Day+1 Jan 11th
I ate a decent breakfast. My PS came to check on me and change my dressings. I had a peep but was still to freaked out to look closely. Noticed the boobs of course but they didn’t scare me as being too huge and I did know they would shrink. I didn’t think they were way high either as I have heard some people comment on. I got 325 Saline in each, and ended up needing the lift. My PS was talking to me about my bb & a possible revision but I was not really paying attention. I did have bowel sounds and I was SO relieved as I had a bowel illias (sp?) after a hospitalization before and I was petrified that would reoccur. (FYI, my bowels had shut down and I had a tube down my throat which sucks out the bile from your stomach. I also needed a pic line so they could feed me intravenously….NOT NICE!).

They took my catheter out round 10:00am and I had until 1:00pm to pee or they would have to put it back in and send me home with it. I went once to the bathroom, but no luck. Getting up to go was scary but not overly painful. The muscle repair (I had diastasis recti, so I was stitched from sternum to pubic bone) was the sorest, the incision didn’t even figure.The second time I left the tap running and that did the trick ?

I ate my nasty hospital lunch and my hubbie came to get me. He got all the instructions re meds, shots, dressings etc. I put on my sweats and clogs (you want slip on shoes, nothing you have to fuss with, and make sure your tops open up the front, you won’t be able to put your arms up).

I was on oral meds now and off the pump so we timed them to kick in as I was leaving the hospital. It was still not a pleasant ride, but mercifully short. They gave me a sheet to hold over my tummy for the ride, but I recommend having your driver bring a pillow. Getting in the house and up the stairs was hard, but not as much as I thought it would be. What bothered me the most is that you are bent almost double while clinging onto your support person’s hand and that hurts your back. I asked my hubbie if he felt like he was bringing the dog for a walk and he said no his grandmother. NOTE: Don’t laugh… laughing hurts (as does coughing and sneezing).

I had set up the recliner in a corner in our bedroom, with a table and a power strip for the computer, phone, light etc. I had put on sheets and a comorter and four pillows, and I was ready to drop into the chair and snooze.

When the boys came back from school they were thrilled to have me home. My 18m old was annoyed that he couldn’t stay on my lap. I put a pillow over my tummy, but should have put one over my chest, as he managed to hit me when my hubbie wasn’t paying attention. OW!

I ate a small (for me) dinner and added my stool softner and MOM to the regimen. Had a pretty good night. Up and down to the toilet 3 or 4 times as I was drinking a lot of water. V important – you want to drink as much as you can to flush out the anethesia, stay well hydrated, and to help your bowels to move.

Day+2 Jan 12th
I spent the day watching movies, chatting to my husband (it’s rare to have uninterrupted conversations), and trying to get up every hour or so and move around. Needed help to get in and out of the recliner. Going to the toilet was not difficult and I didn’t see the need for a riser or anthing. Wiping… well that’s another matter…that takes a bit of ingenuity ?

My drain output was fairly low and becoming a pinky yellow. Changing the dressings was scary. I kinda felt like my stomach would just fall out if I took off my binder, so I was trying to get my husband to hurry up but he was trying not to hurt me. We ended up laughing about it.

No major pain. Despite not being a pill popper I listened to the advice of the wise women who said “stay on top of your pain meds”.

Day+3 Jan 13th
YAAAYYY, had a bm today. So happy. My hubbie did the poopy dance for me ? Scared but it wasn’t painful.

Really….!!! Did my period HAVE to occur this week??? Annoying, but not a big deal.

I also had a shower!! Wow, did that feel good. We put a plastic foldup chair in the bath and my husband washed me under the shower. I had a fabric belt around my neck and I pinned my drains to that. I also put on a belly band (a t-shirt like support thing that I wore during one of my pregnancies that went from my hips to under my chest), it didn’t give much support, but it covered the drain sites and gave the illusion of support (which was important to me). I had also heard about hubbies bumping drains and I wanted to keep them out of sight. BTW, my drains were sutured in place. I don’t rem that being mentioned by anyone as I had heard about them falling out. My breasts felt heavy and sore and I was glad to get back in a bra. I had my hubbie dry my torso first as I wanted my binder back on NOW. All in all, the shower was a scary and slightly painful experience but the feeling of being clean far outweighed anything else. It is tiring so don’t be surprised if you feel like a nap afterwards.

Day+4 Jan 14th
It’s Saturday so the kids were all home. I do recommend having your recliner in your bedroom. Although it is a little isolating, I was glad to be able to shut the door and get some sleep when I needed to. I also found the normal noise of the boys a tad overwhelming. I think when you are in pain/recovering you are hyper sensitive to your surroundings. At least I was anyway.

Oh, the anti-coag shots…. I hate needles and had been dreading them. I knew I couldn’t stick myself so my husband was doing it for me. It wasn’t that bad as the needle is tiny & he was getting pretty good after a few days.

Another lazy day. Feeling like reading now so hitting the stack of books I had ready. The boys come in and out and hang out with me and play and talk. Using the walker to get to the bathroom and back and to do my little hikes up and down the hallway. It’s easier on my back and I also don’t have to bug my husband.

Sleeping okay at night. The recliner is a godsend. Could not imagine being in bed with pillows. I had to sleep fairly upright in my last pregnancy and I could never get comfortable.

Day +5 Jan 15th
Got in the car and went to the library with the boys. Bumps still hurt a bit, but it was great to be out and about. Didn’t go in though. I wanted to keep my operation to myself and only my husband, my boss and a couple of close friends were aware of it. I just feel like it’s no one’s business but my own. I am from Ireland and I didn’t want my family there to know. Their view of plastic surgery is pretty negative, as mine would have been in the past ? I was in good shape except for having no breasts from nursing three kids, saggy wrinkly skin from my bb down, and a pooch that no amount of exercise was going to shift. Most people would have told me that I looked great and what did I want to be getting ps for. However, they weren’t looking at me naked in a full length mirror ?

Didn’t take any pain meds since the morning, but took one at night to help me sleep. I honestly didn’t feel the need for them.

Had another shower. Less traumatic. Felt just as good afterwards. It’s amazing how great it feels to be clean.

Day +6 Jan 16th
Oh no….didn’t take my MOM for a day or so…& now I am constipated. DON’T let that happen to you. NOT PLEASANT. Finally got it all moving again by nighttime – water, MOM, fibre rich food, & stool softners. Boo hoo.

Drain output is getting really low under 10cc on each side. Getting around pretty well. I can reach the light switches now so I am starting to straighten up a bit. Not trying to though as I wasn’t sure at what stage I could try and wanted to see my ps first.

No pain meds again today. Went downstairs a few times. Ate lunch & dinner at the table with my family.

Day +7 Jan 17th
I had my one week appt today with my ps. My husband drove me over and when I walked in they all said straighten up! I hadn’t been sure when it was ok to do that so I was glad to be on to the next stage.

The nurse took off the tape and replaced it. She told me about massaging my impants and gave me arm excercises to do. She said that I could leave the binder off at night but to use it when I was up and around. I could also go and get some Spanx type garments. I had developed a reaction to the elastic in the bra they had put me in in the hospital so she gave me another much more comfortable one. BTW, the hospital bra was great as it had velcro loops that the drains attached to, so they hung just under my breasts and well out of the way. The nurse was surprised that I was off my pain meds and wanted to be sure that I wasn’t being a martyr. She said that I was doing extremely well for one week post-op.

Oh and the BIG news…. I GOT MY DRAINS OUT. Getting the sutures snipped was a bit painful but having them pulled out was not at all. Just very disconcerting and I kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to know how long they were or where they had been ?

Walking out of the office without those drains felt SO good. We headed to the mall and I got two support garments and two soft bras. I have to head back to work before the 4week bra shopping expedition so I needed something to get me past that. I bought a 34D….woohoo..! I think I will be settleing more like a generous C when all’s said and done, and that’s what I was post-kids. Trying on the support garments was tiring and hard to get into but with help from hubbie, I managed.

So now my smugness at doing so well has subsided as SWELL HELL (to steal a phrase from Kimmers25) has started. I am swollenright down to my v-jayjay. I know what Kim meant when she said her hoohoo looked like a baseball. OMG!

Day +8 Jan 18th
Still very swollen today. I had thought it might subside overnight but not much. I then started to freak in case it was fluid. I called my PS and set up an appt for the next day. They felt it may have been because I was out and about yesterday, and wanted me to give it one more day.

The cleaner came today. YES! I needed a cleaner during my last pregnancy and I gave her a call to come back for a few months. I love my husband and he has been FANTASTIC through all of this, but the house was starting to look pretty rough around the edges and it was really bugging me. If you can afford it, do it.

I rested more and kept my feet up as much as possible. I did drive to the library by myself to get some more books. I drove like an old lady but it was fine. My hubbie went back to work for most of the day today, and I felt ok being by myself. Did some gentle stretching to try to get upright. I find it easier to do that when I am sitting rather than standing. I also put some pillows down low behind me and lay back over them to try to stretch out my front.

Day +9 Jan 19th
Drove myself to the PS office. I got a cheer when I arrived from the staff as I was walking pretty straight up. My PS wasn’t 100% sure if it was fluid as it didn’t really feel like it but I was quite swollen and it didn’t seem to be subsiding. He had to get a needle and insert it into my stomach to check. I was nearly in tears when he told me what he had to do, but as my stomach was still very numb, I didn’t feel most of it. He didn’t find any fluid thankfully and it was just run of the mill swelling.

Pretty down this evening as I swear I am having stretch marks from the swelling. I had barely any from my pregnancies, dispite the loose skin, and none above my bb. I noticed a couple above my old bb (more about that later) and one coming up the right side of it. My husband said I was nuts and that my skin is not tight and under pressure like a pregnant belly. He said it was prob always there, but I am just seeing it now as the skin is tighter. They are silvery, which would imply that they are old and not new….maybe I just need to take a chill pill…….??

Day +10 Jan 20th
The swelling did seem to go down a bit overnight. I am wearing the support garments all the time, even at night. I still wasn’t ready to take them off and I am still peeing a lot at night time so getting up and down a lot. They are not easy to get in and out of but still so much more comfortable than the binder.

I bought the high-waisted (they come up under my boobs) ones with the shorty leg. However, I cut the legs up shorter. I had to wear support during my last pregnancy as I had a pelvic shear and I found them so much easier to get in and out of with shorter legs. I also thought they made a better line under your clothes.

Day +11 Jan 21st
We all went grocery shopping today. My husband pushed the cart once it started to fill up, but I did fine except for things on very high or very low shelves. I can bend down, but I don’t like to. It feels weird. We ended up hitting two stores and being out for nearly two hours. I was pretty wiped but again it is good to be out. My back still gets v sore as I am not 100% upright.

Had to drive an hour into the city to work to get my remote access sorted out(long story). I was nervous cos it was a longish drive and it had snowed so I was afraid of slipping. All went well though.

Moved back into my bed. Sleeping on my back with a pillow under my knees. It’s not ideal as I am a side sleeper, but I can’t seem to get comfortable on my side yet.

Day +14 Jan 24th
Two weeks today. Feeling sort of weird. I am back to work on Thursday (from home) but I really want to cocoon and shut myself away. I am delighted with my BA (and so is my hubbie, but it’s still hands off…). I as not as thrilled about my TT. I don’t think the scar is totally symetrical, but it’s hard to tell with the swelling. My new bb is an inny – yay for that as three times being turned inside out didn’ t do my old one any favors – but it looks kind of weird. I gues s it’s still early days but I hope it ends up looking better. My old bb is still visible just above my insicion and I am not happy about that. I do rem my PS saying something at the hospital about that, so I will ask on Thurs at my next appt.

Day+15 Jan 25th
Decided to stop moping and made an appointment for a facial today. I visited my accupuncturist (who also knew I was doing this) this morning and she was very excited for me. She didn’ t see my belly but thought my boobs looked great. She also said I looked like I lost 10lbs. I did lose a lb or two from not eating my usual amount of food, but I think the difference is because my waist is nipped in from the TT.

The facial was fabulous and just what I needed. I used a gift certificate so it didn’t even cost me anything. Have to watch the $$s now until I get this procedure paid off ?

Day +16 Jan 26th
Appt with my PS today. I got all the tape off and got instruction for massaging the incisions. We chatted about my old bb. As the skin was so thin around my old bb, if he had made it disappear I would have had a verical scar. Instead he sort ofpulled it together in a gather. That is why it’s so noticable. It should smooth out a lot, but when everything heals up we can discuss a small revision if necessary. Had a good look at the incison and I do think it is symmetrical now so feeling better about that too.

He said to continue to wear the support garments during the day, but that I can pretty much get back to normal activities but be sensible. If anything hurts, stop. I am allowed to pick my toddler up to put him in bed/high chair/car seat. If I am grocery shopping, just don’t overload the bags etc. I am not allowed to go back to the gym yet – no excercises that involve the chest or abs for another while and no crunches for 4 mnths. I will see him in four weeks time.

My husband will be thrilled if I can lift the wee one as he is still doing morning and evening drop off & pick up and has to be round on the days the boys are home to help at nap time and feeding time. It is starting to affect his work schedule, but he has been such a star for the past couple of weeks.

Back to work today. Luckily I am working from home. I have been wearing regular clothes but sticking to loosish tops (to hide the swelling) and leggings (for comfort).

I went for a long walk after dinner and actually worked up a sweat. It feels so good to move my body and I felt like I was walking almost naturally again. I am obviously walking slower than usual and my hips don’t move as smoothly as normal yet, but I had no pain. I did a few curls with mid-size weights and that also felt fine.

So that’s it for now….
I know I don’t have pics cos I stupidly didn’t take before ones – though I asked my PS for theirs. I was all set to take week 1 pics when I swelled up and was all fed up. I will take some pics soon & when I get my befores & I will post them all.
I know I still have a long road to full recovery ahead but I at least feel like I am on the mend and normal life is within reach. I hope this account will be informative for those of you out there that are considering a MM, and if anyone has any questions please shout.

This is a fabulous site and without it I would have been so lost. Thanks to everyone for their advice and words of encouragement. Mwah!

Week 3 Post Op I have been lifting my 30lb...

Week 3 Post Op
I have been lifting my 30lb toddler in and out of his cot, the car, the high chair and it’s working well so far. I modified it at first: high chair - I would have him climb onto a stool, then a reg chair, so it wasn’t a big lift into his chair (was waiting for him to figure out this method would get him up to places he shouldn’t be, but it didn’t happen :-)), car seat – I put my foot on the running board, put him on my knee, caught my breath and then lifted him into the seat, cot – used the chair and stool method.

If my husband was there, I preferred him to do it. It doesn’t hurt exactly but I am a bit nervous of doing damage to the muscle repair. Pretty much back to normal except I don’t like bending over too much. Prob more to do with the swelling than any true discomfort. I am grocery shopping etc. Still not doing deep cleaning yet… happy to let the cleaner come for another while.

I am def swollen from below my bb right down to below my incision, with the worst being down the center of my tummy and along the incision. It does seem worse in the evening. I find if I do too much or too little I swell a lot. I am back in the office this week and was able to wear my dress pants and just stuck to shirts/tops that were a little looser and longer. As I have mentioned I didn’t tell anyone about my surgery and the funny thing is…. NO ONE HAS NOTICED.

I am walking pretty briskly for over 30mins and doing some light weights and leg exercises. Trying to stretch as much as possible. I am completely upright now, but if I sit for a while and don’t pay attention to my posture, I will find that I have tightened up and need to stretch slowly to stand up straight. I keep concentrating on keeping my shoulders back and watching my posture.

Week 4 Post Op
I went out with some friends to a concert and had a couple of drinks. I wore jeans and loosish top. Got lots of compliments but I had spent time on my hair to detract from the lower half :-)
I got majorly swollen one night as I had done way too much that day. It was so bad (it was above my bb) and felt different than before (more squishy) that I was convinced I had a seroma. I was in tears, but my hubbie talked me down off the roof (as usual) and told me to give it until the morning and see what it was like then. It did go down a good bit but I wasn’t totally convinced until later that day. I had a nap and when I woke up, it looked much better.

Still doing some walking and gentle exercises. It doesn’t feel like enough tho and I can feel my muscles atrophying and the lbs slipping on. Oh well, it’s not for too much longer and it will be worth it in the end. I am not allowed to swim which surprised me.

I am massaging my scars 2-3 times a day. The PS nurse just said to use regular body lotion so I am using a combination of that and Vit E oil. It was weird touching the scars at first, but it has become much easier. My incision is looking pretty good except for a small patch on my right hip. It must have gotten irritated by my panties or something. It’s sore and annoying but I am not too worried about it at this stage. I am also massaging my breasts when I think of it. Having weird sensations with the boobs. I did hear it mentioned that it sometimes feels like engorgement (like when you are nursing) and that is true for me. The girls have been such a non-event pain-wise that I was surprised. They only bother me if one of the boys scores a direct hit (by mistake of course).

Went bra shopping!! My interim bra’s were a 34D but I thought I would settle at a C. I am still a 34D!! I don’t feel much bigger than what I was before kids or when I was stuffing my bras, but obviously I am. Bought 6 very pretty bras to get me started. My Hubbie wants to buy me a stock for Valentine’s day :-)
I am wearing my looser jeans but still sticking to slightly looser tops. Anyone that knows says you can’t notice the swelling, but I feel conscious of it. One morning this week I woke up really flat and stood in the bathroom for almost 5mins admiring my new shape :-) I finally feel like I can see what I will be like at the end of the road.

That’s it for now. Will post more after my 6week check up.
Abington Plastic Surgeon

Dr G was great. I had a hard time some days getting through to the office, but it was around the holidays and I put it down to that. Post-op contact has been great. I was annoyed at the payment process because it wasn't clear which plans were offered by the office versus available on the Chase website. Other than that my experience has been good and I would recommend Dr. G to friends.

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
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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