I've wanted to have this procedure done for over 6...
I've wanted to have this procedure done for over 6 years. I'd gone to several consultations, but just couldn't go through with it due to the price. After doing some digging around I found an option with the Residents Clinic at Penn Medicine. John's Hopkins (Baltimore) and UPMC (Pittsburgh area) have these clinics as well.
My procedure, including pain pump, totals $4,900. I feel very comfortable and confident with the doctor who will be performing the procedure. I actually called today with a case of the pre op jitters and he called me back. His advice - make sure you bring your filled perscriptions along with you, find time to relax this coming week and arrive on Thursday in the good frame of mind.
The procedure will be performed at a world-renowned facility, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
I live a healthy life, I eat well, exercise, but due to bringing 2 amazing children into this world, I've been left with an ugly tummy. I have a husband who loves me regardless, but I want to be able to sit down and not worry about trying to hide my belly rolls.
I've you've wanted to do this, but can't quite afford it, I'd encourge you to look into a residents clinic. Be patient. These clinics don't function like a normal private practice where someone is waiting by the phone trying to get your business. They often have just one person scheduling patients and must work around the residents' rotation and schedule. Don't be afraid to call back, leave messages and ask a lot of questions.
1 week to go! I'm nervous and excited. I'll keep you posted and will share pictures soon.
Favorite skirt before pics
I'm excited to see how my favorite skirt will look after the procedure.
What I dislike the most.
I can't believe I'm sharing this. Kind of freeing in a way. This is what bothers me the most.
My doctor recommended spending the night in a hotel near the hospital since my TT isn't scheduled until 3pm. This is one of the things I'm not looking forward to. First night post op and I won't be in my own environment.
Anyone have suggestions on what to pack?
One day to go!
Tomorrow is the big day. Today is a bit busier than I'd like but such is life.
Getting in one last vigorous workout before surgery. Tomorrow I plan on doing some light cardio.
Need to pick up my meds, pick up my mom who will be taking care of me and the kids while I'm out of commission (so blessed to have such a great mom) and one final day of work.
Slept well last night :)
30 May 2013
Day of treatment
Thanks for all the well wishes. I'll post an update soon :)
Day 1 post op
Well everything went well. Took me a while to wake up from the anesthesia. My anesthesiologist gave me a patch & meds through the IV so I wouldn't get sick.
I'm happy to report it worked. No throwing up! Small bouts of nausea walking from bathroom back to bed but I was able to breath through it & it passed.
I have binder on & my incision is all bandaged up so I haven't really gotten a good look.
The pain pump is a god send and the combination of pain pills be prescribed are keeping me comfortable. No trouble sleeping either.
I'm very tight/sore right now, feels like I did 2000 crunches and the skin at my public area is really tight.
I've been walking around a little bit, mostly just to the bathroom.
Day 2 Post Op
Feeling good. Abs are beginning to loosen up. I can sit straight up and stand upright. Still walking in a slight hunched over position.
Removed the pain pump today since it was empty. The pain meds really knock me out. I sleep a lot, wake up, walk around for a little while then go back to sleep.
Lower belly and flanks are very swollen but I'm very pleased with how I look thus far.
Picture of pain pump
The blood isn't from inside the tube. It just leaked from the incision site and was trapped under the tape.
Bruised left flank from lipo
Good days and Bad days
Funny how I was expecting my abdominal muscles to be the pain I'd dread the most and in actuality my abs feel great.
What bothers me the most is the horrible swelling of my pubic area and the drains. I swear it is as swollen as a grapefruit.
My flanks are bruised and sore but it's completely manageable.
I spoke to my doctor today and I'm starting to wean myself from those wicked pain meds. So far extra strength Tylenol working.
One day at a time :)
The dreaded swelling
Well like most of the posts I've read, my swelling is so bad I'm bigger than before the tummy tuck. My doctor warned me about this as well, I just didn't want to believe it. Hoping this stage of the recovery process passes quickly.
Still in swell hell
Honestly, all I can say at this point is that I hate the swelling and I hate these drains. While the fat and the flabby skin rolls are gone, I'm bigger than when I started. I can't fit into anything I own unless it's a big flowy dress.
Wishing I could fast forward through this phase of the healing process. It's depressing. Normally if I'm feeling down or stressed, I'd workout and feel better, but I can't do that. :(
Follow up tomorrow
Well tomorrow will be 12 days post op. I have my follow up and hopefully drain removal with my surgeon. I have a laundry list of questions to ask him. Praying all goes well.
The good, the bad and the ugly
I'm in a good place today. Yesterday was my breaking point and honeslty, I'm glad I had it. I needed to cry, vent and just get over it.
I honestly did not prepare myself for the swelling. I thought I'm in great shape, I'm going to bounce right back and honestly -- I really did bounce right back. I only had 3-5 days of pain and limited movement. I've been able to move without pain, resume my normal activites, go for walks, sit by the pool, do things around the house, go shopping. Yes, I had to modifly, I got tired quickly but I was able to do all of those things and not just sit around or lay in bed all day.
From the very beginning, my surgeon encouraged me to be active.
The swelling was something that caught me by surprise. I'd go about my day, feeling really good and by about 5-6pm I'd be so swollen my skin felt as if it was going to rip. It's nothing I did wrong and nothing I could really do to prevent it. I've been doing everything right (drinking lots of water, eating right, going for walks, wearing my binder) The blood in my body just hasn't figured out how to get back to where it belongs yet. It needs more time and I need to be patient.
Patience has been difficult. I think it's becasue you live with this ugly stomach for so long, finally save the money and build in the time to have the surgery done and then you expect perfection right away. Perfection takes time and through the tears rolling down my face at my surgeon's office yesterday, he assured me that I'm almost there but the drains just can't come out yet. I'm just too swollen and by body is draining too much fluid.
Soooooo, after 13 days of dealing with these pain in the ass drains, I have 7 more to go. Yep, 20 days of drains. I cried and cried and vented to my friends. I got it out and now I know, I can do this, I am strong, my tummy will be perfect, but it will take time.
Even with the drains and being up 4 pounds since surgery, I can see a huge change. My workout pants are all too big. I can't wear my fitted clothes yet because my hips and lower abs are swollen but I can see changes. It's happening and everyday will get better. The day will come when nothing in my closet fits because I'm smaller :)
I'm grateful for this forum and being able to talk to people who are going through the same things. It isn't easy, but you can do it. It's a lot of change for your body to deal with.
My advice, find somone you can cry to if you need to. A good friend, your mom, someone who will just listen and encourage you and remind you that you're a strong woman.
So next Tuesday I pray my blood has figured out it's new path so I can be finished with these darn tubes and bulbs that stick out of the worst possible spot. LOL
After 20 drains those pesky drains have been removed. You'd think I'd be celebrating but I'm in horrible pain. I wish I could come on here and have only positive things to report but for me, this has been no picnic.
I have a popped stitch & a sharp stabbing pain about 2 inches above
my scar. It feels like a knife scratching and stabbing at my insides. I have nausea, headache and dizziness just to add to the discomfort. I cried to my husband and called my doctor.
Why did I do this to myself?
3 weeks post op infection
3 weeks today! In my mind I would have been cleared to workout. Instead I'm dealing with a popped stitch, burning/stabbing pain and an infection.
I'm on the mend. I don't feel like death anymore but I feel like I've been set back so many days. I'm back on the muscle relaxer to help with the nerve pain and I'm taking an antibiotic to get rid of the nasty infection that developed after the drain pull.
I've been praying for god to heal me. I feel bad not being able to help my kids, my husband is trying but it isn't the same. My home isn't clean, laundry is piled up, I can't function at work & had to miss 2 days this week.
This past weekend I was feeling great. I even saw a picture of myself & thought "wow, I look great" my waist looked so tiny I looked like a Barbie doll (big natural boobs, tiny waist and long legs).
Again I guess I just wasn't prepared for this recovery process. It's not easy.
One month post op.
Well it hasn't been an easy recovery for me but I'm finally on the mend. I developed a very serious infection and was terribly sick & in pain for a week.
My PS had to use a long syringe to remove fluid that had become infected. He cut two holes that I pack with gauze 3 times a day for a week to continue to flush out any remaining infected fluid. I've been on an antibiotic for 10 days now and continue with those meds for another 14 days. *sigh*
The good news is I'm finally healing. Praying for no more set backs.
I do love my PS. He's taken great care of me. Even though complications are discussed before surgery we rarely think about them until they happen. He's assured me that it was nothing I did wrong. I'm just one of those patients who have bad luck. Lol
I hope all of you who are close to your surgery date have a complication free experience. My advice - this is MAJOR surgery. Your body needs a lot of time to recover. If you think something isn't right, doesn't look right, feel right, hurts or is red, call your PS right away. Don't wait. They work for you and hopefully want the best for you.
One month photo
Wore my bikini for the first time. Still recovering from the infection and I have a decent amount of swelling but I wore or anyway. Please ignore my big boobs.
Loving that morning tummy
Don't you just love the way your tummy looks first thing in the morning.
When will it stay this way? Stupid swelling
Closing in on 8 weeks.
21 Jul 2013
2 months post
The other day after I got back from my bike ride I took my shirt off so I was just in my sports bra and shorts. I've always been jealous of the women who could work out like that. I never could because of my ugly belly.
I looked in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. I didn't critique myself or feel sad because no matter how much I had worked out or ate right I didn't look the way I thought I should. I looked at the woman in the sports bra and shorts and smiled. I saw the me I had wanted to see for so long.
It was a great feeling.
Scar close up
23 Jul 2013
2 months post
On Thursday I'll be 2 months post TT. This is how my scar looks. The arrow points to the spot where I had the infection. My PS had to open up two spots in that area & I had to pack the infection with gauze for a week.
According to my surgeon my belly button was healed by week one. It's weird having such a tight little belly button. I'm guessing over time it will loosen up.
The two "eye balls" in the pubic area are where the drains were located. I'm hoping that once the swelling is completely gone these will be less noticeable. I'm not growing a 70s bush to hide them. Noway!
Tummy Tuck 8 months later
It's been almost 8 months. I still swell, still experience numbness on certain days, can't do more than 25 sit ups or push ups before the strain on my ab muscles is too much to handle BUT... I look good. Hahahaha - the price of beauty.
Seriously, the recovery from the surgery is no joke. Be prepared for it. And the magically six month mark that your surgeon will tell you about may come and go and your belly still won't feel "normal".
I keep trying to convince myself that perhaps the way I feel is just going to have to be the new normal.
Am I happy I did this? I am. It beats the ugly skin and stretch marks, but I wasn't prepared for a lengthy recovery.