Tummy Tuck with Hip Liposuction - Plymouth, MN

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Hello! First off I want to say thank you for...

Hello! First off I want to say thank you for those of you who have written about your experience here on realself.com. It has been very helpful! I am a 5’9” 168 lb., 33 year old mother of 1 child who was born in 2010. I am only having 1 child due to various reasons, but my only took a toll on my tummy. Stretch marks and excess skin galore. It probably didn’t help that I was moderately overweight (190 lbs.) when I got pregnant and 225 lbs. when I checked in at the hospital to have my baby! In 2010, I lost my baby weight very quickly due to breastfeeding and got back to a smaller size then I had been pre-pregnancy (around 175 lbs.). In April 2011 I got married but shortly thereafter gained weight back and was back up to 190 lbs. again. My tummy was huge! In August of 2011 I made a pact with my husband, if I got to my goal weight (168 lbs. – the top of the BMI for my height for healthy weight – hey you have to start somewhere) and stayed there for 1 year, he would support me if I would choose to have a tummy tuck procedure. By following a healthy lifestyle, it took 3 months to hit my goal of 168 by November 2011. I maintained my healthy lifestyle and per our pact November 2012 scheduled my first surgery consult and surgery was scheduled for January 29. Well life happened, and I took a new job, needed to delay my surgery until I got things settled down. Plus I enjoy horseback riding, and didn’t want to be laid up in the summer.
I'm scheduled for a tummy tuck with hip liposuction on November 20th in 1 week with Ness Plastic surgery. My procedure is 1.5 hours away from my home in Plymouth, MN. I’m a planner by nature and have child care, etc. all lined up. I had done a lot of research on plastic surgeons and picked Dr. Ness out of many doctors. I have the support of my husband and my wonderful friends who are going to help me out to support me along the way in this journey. The most insightful things I’ve gained from on here is to not to under estimate the amount of pain you will be in and expect to be depressed from self-inducing yourself in the misery. I’m a little nervous, but all in all I’ve mentally prepared myself to be miserable afterwards and have been researching this for a long time. I’ll post pictures and updates when I can. Thanks for reading! I can’t believe in 1 week I will be under the knife!

Before photos

See my before photos. I've done a ton of strength training just have a little "overhang"


Surgery - Complete!!!! Onto healing

The surgery was on time today at 9 a.m. and I was sent to recovery 12:17 pm (according to my husband who spoke with Dr. Ness who stated everything went wonderful). Going under anethesia went well and the anesthesiologist and his team was great. Next thing I remember I was in recovery saying everything went well. I kept asking "is this normal to be this tired?." They gave me fetanol for pain and I kept zoinking out. Finally I stopped zoinking after 1/2 hour. Then I started feeling pain in my incision site while getting discharge instructions back in my room. I asked for not as much of the fetanol and felt fine enough to get dressed and discharged. We are staying at an extended stay hotel. I'm taking percocet for pain. Real hunched over. I have 1 drain tube. The compression garment makes me feel safe. I haven't slept a ton since I got her. Just zoning in and out. I hope I sleep well tonight. Post op tomorrow is at 12:45 and I'll be able to take peak of progress. Thanks for all the well wishes!

Made it through the first night.

Well I was able to make it through the first night. Staying at the hotel here is a little less comfortable at home but my wonderful husband propped me up with a bunch of pillows behind me and under my legs, gave me some more medicine and I was able to sleep from 10:30-6 a.m. Woke up with hands and feet swollen this morning. I definitely needed to get pain medicine in me, wow, going that long sleeping was hard. I can feel my sides more from the lipo now and my incision on the sides the most. My upper abs our sore, but that feels more like a muscle soreness like I did a lot of crunches and upper ab work. I'm now a hunched over Mama. My husband is 2 inches shorter than me and he joked "now your finally my old lady." Because I'm shorter than him while hunched over. It hurts to laugh by the way :). He's so patient and caring, don't know what I would do without him. I'll post updates when I can.

I can't wait to wear this shirt in a couple of weeks!

This is my favorite work out shirt that I am not comfortable wearing to the gym or zumba. Soon, real soon.

Post Op

So I was thinking I would be able to get pics of my tummy during my post op. Well they say you may get a little light headed when they unzip your binder garment. That was me. Whew was feeling a little faint so they did their thing and zipped it right up. I'll try again when I shower tomorrow or the next day. I was able to walk into the doctor's office so the doc was super impressed with that. I'm just sore and resting. It will get better each day!

2 days post op

Just resting and sore today. Back is starting to take the brunt of being hunched over. I had a headache but I think that was due to caffeine withdrawal. Hubby went to work today and daughter is at daycare. It feels good to be propped up in a chair and just zoning out watching TV. I'm making sure I'm getting up and walking and taking deep breaths of air. My drain is still draining fine. Basically, I'm just trying to keep my mind busy today.

3 days post op

Ok - check in here - woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Had a BM finally that made my stomach feel better. I was able to get by without percocet (just tylenol) until about 1 p.m. today and then I took just one. Have about 40 ml of drainage so far today. Just washed my hair and then showered. That felt good. Got everything reposotioned and zipped back up. I've been laying down with my back flatter and legs up higher when I lay down and sitting in a different chair and that has been better on my back.

4 days post op

So my night didn't go so well last night. My compression garment must have shifted up and I was uncomfortable and mildly chlostraphobic. I woke up at 3:30 with extreme discomfort - not pain, and this garment was digging into my chest and back. I figured I would wake my husband only if I couldn't get back to sleep. Fell back asleep until 6:30. When I woke up still uncofortable. Husband took apart my garment and pads and shifted everything down and did some trimming to readjust the pads (he is such a perfectionist). Anyhow, I had a piece of toast and laid back down to sleep for a couple of more hours and now I feel great! I have only been taking 1 percocet as needed. I'm still hunched over but not too bad. A good tip for this if it works for you is to sleep flat on your back if you can with just a pillow like you normally do and put pillows under your legs and then take them away little by little. I'm down to 2 pillows. Seems to straighten things out and give my back time to recover.

5 days post op

Update day 5. Back to being home by myself again today so its daytime television, housework (very, very slow and lots of sit down breaks in between), ipad & puppy snuggle time and actually reading a physical book.

My biggest complaints for today is pain on each sides of the incision and the drain opening. Second and most bothering is my compression garment and the padding underneath. My husband opened it up to air out (the padding sticks to my skin and doesn't flex with me) this morning and I got quite light headed again. He put bacitracin on my drain opening and my belly button as instructed with new gauze in these areas. I've read that some have used a cotton tank top underneath their compression garment. I'm going to see if I can do this.

Other than that, I've been taking tylenol every 4 hours during the day and celebrex twice daily so trying to stay off the percocet. It might still be needed at night, but we will see.

My drain had 50 ml worth of drainage in yesterday's 24 hour period and only 20 today so far. we'll see if drainage continues to go down and when I can get my drain out. With thanksgiving this week it might not be possible for a while. The only complaint I have about my drain is it hurts at its opening.

8 days post op

I'm adding pics from yesterday I will add detailed update tomorrow

Pics didn't upload try again

Update for days 5-9 Post Op

Day 6 - Post op - I was feeling really good this day. No percocet. Got up by myself, took the little one to daycare. Decided to make a trip to the craft store (1/2 hour drive one way) and coffee shop and back. Well that was fairly taxing. Worked on my homemade Christmas cards and then a picked little one up early because a friend brought her kids over for a play day. A little bit of a challenge and tiring day but overall things were good. I started hurting pretty bad in the evening after dinner time and needed more help with pain meds then. Drainage actually went down to 20 ml, I was hopeful I would get my drain out.

Day 7 - I was in a little more pain today and swollen. I just figured it was because of the day before. Hubby stayed home and brought daughter to daycare. I went with the husband to the gym and he worked out for an hour and I walked around the gym, sat down, and waited. It was good to get walking. Once again in the evening at dinner time I started hurting again. At this time, my incision area used to burn. Now I just felt like a big a$$ bruise everywhere. Drainage went up to 45 so my 1 drain was still stuck in there

Day 8 - Thanksgiving day. We decided to have a small family dinner at home here with the 3 of us. I was feeling quite miserable (1/2 body felt like a bruise). We took our daughter to the movie theater. I was so much more hunched over than the previous couple of days. Luckily - my patient coordinator texted me (on Thanksgiving and all how wonderful) to see how much my drainage was, still 40 ml for the past 24 hours yuck! I told her about my pain and the fact that I only had 3 percocet left. She said to take 2 and get some good sleep and then take another one if I woke up in pain at night and that is what I did. I probably slept 14 hours. Drainage was still at 40 ml

Day 9 - Post op - stayed home, felt better after all that sleep. Worked on my cards and project stuff with my daughter. Did some walking some. I had a follow-up with my PC and PS at 3:30. Husband drove me in. PS said everything was healing normally. They talked about the drain. As of 3:30 pm I only had 15 ml drainage. By the end of last night I had 30 ml. We talked about our game plan about getting the drain out.

10 days post op

So drain is still at 40 and it needs to be at 25 or less consistently in order for my PS to take it out. I really wanted this to happen before tomorrow because tomorrow I'm traveling to the West Coast for a training seminar for this week for my first week back at work. Now I won't get my drain out until Friday. I'm a little nervous about going on the four hour flight with my drain and dealing with the whole work week with my drain and being away from my ps. My patient coordinator is awesome and we text daily so it will be fine. She sent a backup prescription of antibiotics with me just in case. I've accepted the fact that I'll have the drain and I've picked out my business casual outfits accordingly. I won't move down to my next level of compression garment yet either because of the drain so that's a bummer. Good thing I'm a recovering heavy chick because I have some bigger outfits still hanging in my closet. Anyhow when I post my next update I'll be thousands of miles away from home so I'm hoping that things go well from work standpoint and from healing standpoint. I'll miss my family but I won't have the taxing chores of housework and taking care of our animals. I am woman hear me roar!

13 days post op

Wow! The last 3 days have flown by.

11 days post op:
The last time I updated I was flying to the West Coast for a training seminar. Sunday was my flight. I checked my bags, security was long (busiest travel day of the year, of course) line but only took around 35 minutes to get through. They had to do extra patting me down and testing because of my drain but the TSA was quite respectful of my privacy and I informed them in advance. I informed the flight attendents at the gate and they gave me priority boarding so I didn't get bumped around. The flight was difficult as I was in middle seat (on way home I have an aisle seat) and I had to pee alot because I made sure to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. When I landed I had to walk to get my bags, then figure out how the train worked. I took a train to downtown here and had to walk 2 blocks from the train station with my suitcase. That was a little taxing. After that I ate in the hotel lobby and went to sleep early! No pain though so much. My drain was my only BFF with me and it was at 40 still.

Day 12 post op
Woke up early (I'm on PST and used to CST) so went for a walk to find a walgreens. Ended up walking a total of 3 miles having a nice brisk stroll with just a sweatshirt on. Got me some supplies, etc. and back to the hotel, and got ready for class. Class was interesting being back, a little stiff getting up and moving around on breaks but for the most part hardly noticeable. Drain is starting to go down, was at 35

Day 13 Post op
Today was a good day! Got up early and went for a nice stroll in the bay here. Walked about 4 miles total. Felt really good. Went to my class and just got back from dinner with a person I met in class. Was a great day but I'm quite tired, so taking pain medicine and sleeping in tomorrow. My drain is finally down to about 28. Getting there. Hopefully be ready to get out on Friday.

Overall I'm still in this large compression garment and padding. I'm afraid to take it off out here by myself so I can shower completely. I don't think will be able to twist enough to get it back on. I asked for a handicapped room so I have a shower head to wash my hair, etc. and a seat in the shower. That's working pretty nice.

Anyhow, that is the update from the road from me. I'm happy to be out walking in good weather, its snowing at home so that is helping with my healing. Thanks for reading!

18 days post op

Well - I made it through my training seminar to the end of the week. Friday I took off to the airport. TSA was really respectful of my compression garment again. My child came running at me at the airport it was great! My patient coordinator met me at the office and took my drain out, yeah!

Saturday I was able to get into the next level compression garment. It is much more comfortable than the other one, but I got sore yesterday from the change, so I relaxed most of the day but hubby did bring me to a couple of stores to do some shopping so I could get some walking in. It was -15 below back in MN!

Today was a good day, but I think my body is swelling up some from the drain coming out. I feel like a balloon. Anyone else have this issue? Anyhow, I don't think its a seroma but it just feels very swollen all over.

I've been given permission to do more activity. Cardio at the gym and light weights but I need to make sure I listen to my body. I probably will go to the gym Tuesday/Wednesday. My next checkup with my PS is on January 3 where I'll get my scar minimizing kit.

I'll post pictures when I see a significant decrease in swelling - otherwise everything looks the same as they did. I am enjoying wearing my fitted shirts better already. I hope this is all worth it.

3 weeks post

I'm three weeks post op today. I went back to work full time on Monday. The swelling has caused me to be more hunched over at times and the sedentary computer work that I do makes me stiff. I think I have to try and walk some during lunch more but it's sooooo cold here! A couple of colleagues noticed I was hunched over but they think it's my back.

3 week continued

25 days post op

The last two days I may have FINALLY turned a corner. I hope things stay consistent. I barely notice the compression garment that I wear anymore. I have been able to get through an entire weekend without a poor me and pity party. My poor family hasn't been getting to enjoy all the holiday festivities with me as they normally would. Today baked cookies with my daughter all afternoon and yesterday went to her friends birthday parties and a dinner party. I still have issues with swelling but it seems to come on hard around 3-4 p.m. until bed time and then is better when I wake up again. I know your not suppose to focus on the weight but I can fluctuate 3-4 lbs in just a day. I weigh myself just to see how much water weight I'm carrying. At its lowest - I have been at 164. This is a weight that I haven't seen in at least 10 years. That is good to know since things are only going to get better. I'm planning to start light with my personal trainer on Tuesday back at the gym again. I'm excited to get some tips on how to keep progressing with my weight training safely. Anyhow just wanted to post a quick update!

1 month post op!

Wow! They say time flies but I'm glad this time has. I am doing ok this week. I am trying to stand up more at work during the day and walk around more. Keeping hydrated is the key. Hard to do sometimes. I am trying to eat healthy, more vitamin c, good fats, etc. I can't believe how much you can swell. I'm uploading new pics anyhow. My steri strips came off this morning so I can see my full scar. Its a little red in the pic. I am probably swollen an extra 2 lbs or so today so I'm looking a little bigger. My first strength training workout went great! I warmed up, stretched good for 20 minutes, then did 5 sets of 10 squats with weight in front (I love squats), and did shoulder presses with light weight with the bar. I didn't even get too sore. My husband says - "now its up to you to improve and make what you have done for yourself even better!" He's right and so supportive.

5 weeks & 5 days post op

Wow! Time flies. I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful holiday. Since my last post (a whole whopping 10 days ago :)), we had christmas and that was a busy time. Fully equipped with family drama and stress that consumes us this time of year, but this year, I was a little more stressed than normal. I ate too much and didnt take care of myself as well as I had been. So the last 3-4 days I have fealt swollen, lethargic and lazy. I wasn't drinking enough water, etc. Arctic cold weather in Minnesota don't help much either. Today while having issues focusing at work, I had enough. I googled massage therapists who did lymphatic massage. I came across a gentlemen who did massage therapy in a very professional set up out of his home. He was very knowledgable of my situation. He said my scar looked the best he'd seen! I felt amazing directly after, I could already feel the swelling go down. I'm not sure if it was in my head or not but I don't care, I feel great right now. I even snapped a pic right after because I felt so slim! I can't wait until this swelling phase is over! I hope the good days continue I'm ready to take care of myself, hydrate, eat right and get to the gym!

9 Weeks

Wow - 9 weeks tomorrow! I can't believe its been so long since I last updated my profile, I've been busy back to normal life. Holidays are over, no stress about that anymore. On Jan 3rd I had my 6 week checkup with Dr. Ness. He said I was healing great! I don't need to go back until 3 months post op. At that time he recommended to stay away from ab work until 8 weeks and ease into it, and also to ease into horseback riding. At that appointment I purchased the scar treatment he recommended. Oleeva scar shapes. I'll post a pic. I have to wear it for 8 weeks and its suppose to be all I need for my scar treatment.

Since I've last posted, I can do more and more week by week. I'm back weight lifting. Back to Zumba class but I can't do all the twists and jumps yet, I usually just do extra leg work. Ab work will take a little while. I got back on a horse a week ago last Saturday and I'm so excited! It is a world of difference to sit on a horse and not have to worry about having an overhang rubbing while riding. Definitely makes it all worth it just for that. I went out for a snowmobile ride, so excited! That was great also. I would say I'm 85-90% back to normal. Still deal with swelling day to day, which sucks, but overall, its been such a positive result I can definitely say it is worth it now. I still wear my compression garment but weaning off of it slowly. Mostly I am wearing it when swelling is bad, or I work out, horseback ride or snowmobile for the extra support right now. My patient coordinator said you would know when you don't feel like you need it anymore.

So thats all for now!

Loving jeans again!!

14 Week Review

Wow! Yesterday I celebrated the milestone of 14 weeks post op. This has been a horrible winter in Minnesota but I've been rather busy so this has gone by fast, with the holidays, business trips,etc. I picked up my new barrel horse yesterday to celebrate! He is my horse in the pics above.

Between week 10 and 11 I had the pleasure of going back to Sedona, AZ to visit family. My husband and I love hiking in the red rock mountains so we had plenty of time to do that. We went on a total of 4 long hikes with about 15 miles in 4 days. One of the toughest hikes was Bear Mountain, boy was that a workout! I'll upload the workout log from my fitness app, C-R-A-Z-Y! I also have a few photos! I definitely dealt with additional swelling but no major pain that week.

My photos are almost a month old, but there isn't much change, other than the extra layer of fat I'm forming because I haven't been able to go outside. I'll update pics of scar and photos soon

Overall feelings now:
Swelling still happens but not as noticable
No pain
Can't do a sit up or crunches that well yet. working on assisted situps with husband
Riding horse is fine, although I get pretty sore quickly
I seem to have a lot of muscle soreness all over a little more right now.
Still wearing my oleeva scar shape. .

Sedona Pics

See attached pics I referenced from my Sedona Trip above.

Sedona Pic Part 2

This was our bear mountain hike where I referenced my calories burned and the crazy elevation changes above. This was tough!

3 months 3 weeks

Here's my most recent picture of my scar and belly. I'm thinking this are looking good? I'm still swollen in the middle. I took some time off from working out in the last month, now I'm getting back into it again. I think it was good to take a break to heal a little more. I feel like I put on an extra layer of blubber everywhere but when I went to Zumba class yesterday I felt I could do 99% of the moves. That wasn't the case by end of January. Now I guess the forward progress is to to me. I'm setting some personal goals and moving on.
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

My first experience with Dr. Ness and his PC Michaela was in November 2012 and I was scheduled in January 2013 for surgery. I had to cancel because I changed jobs. I had researched Dr. Ness and his private practice was opened around 2011 but he had been practicing and well respected in his field for quite some time. When we had our consultation we just clicked. When he marked me for my surgery I admired his artistry. Pro's He requires no consultation fee which I think is great. If you live more in Central MN vs. Twin Cities You can have all of your consults/follow-up visits at St Cloud office The Surgery Center at West Health Michaela makes the experience. You can text her anytime day or night with questions. She responds back quickly. When you have your drain she checks in with you every day. She made herself available at 7 pm just to remove my drain after I got back from my CA trip. Follow ups are easy and a breeze Your post op compression garment and the next step garment are included in the price. Only thing you pay for afterward is your oleeva scar shape $100 Cons If your from out of town, you need to stay overnight in a hotel to have your 24 hour follow up. It's definitely not as comfortable but the Residence Inn close by has a kitchen and a little more like home. Dr. Ness wasn't there after surgery just the west health staff. Michaela checked in there after. You don't get a lot of time with him but he is good at the important part, surgery and a good result.

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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