Tummy Tuck After Many Pregnancies Deep Stretch Marks Appendectomy Scar - Pittsburgh, PA

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Dr. Darren Smith did an amazing job and was...

Dr. Darren Smith did an amazing job and was wonderful! I can't believe he managed to get rid of every single stretch mark and scar. Nicest bedside manor I've ever come across, very sweet. Made me very comfortable. He exceeded my expectations 10 fold. So very happy! Dr Smith is the Administrative Chief Resident in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, under Dr. Gusenoff (who is also friendly).

Day 4 Post-op

Yesterday I had a spontaneous surprise cough that hurt so bad, it scared the life out of me. I was so afraid that I blew up all my internal muscle stitches. Hoping it's not that easy to do, and that I'm just fine. The only pain I have is where the drains go inside my body on my sides. Seems like they just pull constantly. I'm only producing 5-10 CCs on each side, per day. Normal? So I'm hoping my ps decides to remove them on Wed at my follow up appointment. Pain pill makes me whoozy and I seem to be able to stretch them out more now. The only fear I have is my internal stitches coming undine. And my butt is killing me from sitting on it so much. Haven't attempted the shower thing yet, just not ready. Using my daughters old stroller for back support to get to bathroom, my back hurts! I need to work on eating a ton of protein, but just not so hungry. So far no poop either. Someone should seriously develop a specialized post tummy tuck massage and come here and do it. That would be a gold-mine!

Day 5

Still no poop in sight. Drain sites burn, especially when standing up and walking, other than that no real pain now. Moved my binder down to give more support and it helped a little. Still taking Norco every 4/5 hours. My neck is killing me. I took someones advice on here and laid flat on my back on the couch with my legs up high on pillows and it fixed my back problems instantly, and tailbone pain. Getting better still not quite feeling "there" yet.

Day 6

So day 6 is going great! Did t need a pain pill or even a Tylenol today. Was a lot more mobile today and stand straighter. Still get tired more easily than usual. Drains are evil, and each drain have an output of less than 5 cc's. Still havnt showered, just sponge bathed. For some reason I just feel like I need to keep it dry and leave it alone for now. Incision is very tight, but looks very healthy. Still no poop even after Senekot, MOM, enema... I give.

Day 7

Poop, shower, and spanx! These drains are evil. Hope they come out Wed. Still less than 5 cc's per day.

Day 8! Drains are gone!

Had my follow up today and he removed my drains! I feel like a million bucks! After the appointment I went bikini shopping just for fun. Every pair of bottoms that I tried on, covered my scar! So blessed and thrilled!

Tummy Tuck Recovery...things I did right and epic fails:

Tummy Tuck Recovery...things I did right and epic fails:

Ways I rock:
-#1 I lucked out and found a plastic surgeon that is a skilled genius and also very comforting and kind. It made all the difference. Especially after seeing so many other patients with less than desirable results. Seriously he made part on my body look better that I didn't even realize were apart of the surgery. Excited!
-I researched other TT survivors and learned from them.
-I worked hard! I ate clean for 6 months, worked out hard, focused on back and leg exercises. Taught myself to run. Took up Pilates.
-took vitamins
-my basic diet:
Blueberries, strawberries, salmon, chicken breast, coconut oil, carrots, beans, almonds/walnuts, water only, pineapple, dark greens, red raspberries, watermelon, yogurt. Nothing processed. No alcohol.
-I do not smoke or drink or take any medications/drugs.
-I truly believe that a clean and low sodium diet made recovery so much easier! And being at my ideal weight.
-I put all of my children's outfits for two weeks into rubbermaid containers which made it a ton easier for grandma to dress them for school.
-hospital attire home was Victoria's Secret boyfriend sweatpants and my teenage son's zip up sweatshirt and flip flops. Perfect.
-bought two zip up muumuus (aka housecoats) from Walmart and they worked great. Bought cheap and glad because I ruined them with blood and peroxide.
-had a bag with Chapstick, bottled water, meds, pads for incision, heating pad for back, nail clippers, lotion, and sugar free cough drops...helped to avoid coughing.
-I expected the worst. It was way better than I expected.
-Spanx leggings...good idea!
-Benadryl for itching...awesome purchase.
- I did cartwheels and crazy backbends and stretches, the week before my surgery. I also went running the day before. It all made sitting on my ass for this recovery a lot easier to bare.
-I complained and got support from other TT survivors on Real Self and Instagram.
-I stopped taking the pain pills as soon as possible. Helps the bowels and I felt much more normal, not whoozy.
-I paid extra to stay overnight at the hospital. So worth it, even if for just psychological reasons.

Epic Fails:
-I assumed my family could take my place for two weeks. Ummm no. Despite cleaning the crap out of my house...it is now a mess. Caregivers forgot to make sure homework was done, laundry piled up, etc.
-didnt have a pillow handy to hold against my belly and coughed, thought death was imminent. Pain pain pain.
- didn't research proper ways to move around, get up, and exact position to lay in.
-didn't get a recliner. I set up shelter in three different chairs, a couch, and a bed all in one week. Trying to get comfy. Took 9 pillows to make it livable.
-I have never thrown up due to anesthesia, therefore assumed I wouldnt this time either. Wrong, and that was shocking and scared me. And hurt like hell.
-I got depressed because the first week sucked and thought this was going to be my life for the next six months. By day 8, everything was awesome. Once drains came out, I felt amazing.
- I thought every story that I read of other recent Tummy Tuckees...well, I thought I was better than them. They're wimps, they complain about their drains (what's the big deal), etc. Until I had my surgery. Expect the unexpected and you'll be fine.
-I didnt buy any cream for the insane itching cause by the Brazilian wax before surgery. Couldn't tell if the discomfort was from that, the moving up of my lady bits parts, or if I had a yeast infection from the antibiotics. Anti itch cream for your chuckie..have it handy.
-try not to schedule your surgery the week before or during your period...????
-I didn't pack a pillow to put pressure on my belly, for the ride home from the hospital in the car.

Day 10 Allergic to Dissolving Stitches

Neosporin should help soon and the redness is getting better.

Day 11 before and after views

Belly button healing nicely. Incision healing quickly, so I feel much more confident moving around. Not totally secure with sleeping on my sides yet, but I can't wait. The swelling gets me down some days, but I'm sure it gets better as time goes by. Taking bunches of before and after pics really help to remember how bad it looked before, and how much better it looks despite the swelling. Have moments of incision itchiness, but nothing a little Benadryl doesn't fix. Fixing one body part, dies however, bring other flaws to light lol. I see why plastic surgery can become addictive. Still best decision ever.

19 days post-op

All healed! Only discomfort is tightness above belly button, for about four inches. I keep brown tape on. The binder and I have decided we're better off seeing other people, but Spanx undies work great. Miss the gym :-( .This has really been life changing for me. Pre surgery pants size 8/10, post op 2/4. And just bought my first ever bikini. My scar is so thin, in person it's barely noticeable, but for some reason photos make it look worse. Lighting maybe. Plus I am pale as pale can be, need some sun! I cannot recommend this surgery enough. First 2/3 weeks just suck, not gonna lie. But ever so worth it! I guess the key is choosing an excellent surgeon and following his directions. Good luck to all!
New York Physician

Feel blessed to have had Dr. smith as a surgeon. My results are beyond my expectations. Low and thin scar, all stretch marks removed, cute belly button, and all saggy skin removed! He is very warm, attentive, and informative. Great communication! So thankful that he was my ps. Thank you!!! For those that have pm'd me, you can contact Dr Smith via email: Smithdm3 at upmc.edu

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
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 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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