47 Year Old Mom of Twins Ready for a Tummy Tuck - August 2016 - Raleigh, NC

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
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I am scheduled for a full TT with lipo and MR on...

I am scheduled for a full TT with lipo and MR on 8/8/2016. I interviewed 5 board-certified plastic surgeons and choose Dr. Pyle, based on his results, demeanor, reviews, and feedback from those I found on this website. I have had 3 appointments at Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery so far, and have been very pleased thus far. The staff are friendly, well-organized and I can tell that they strive for excellence. Of the 5 practices I visited, this one was by far the most organized and professional. I have been particularly impressed with Jessica, one of the coordinators, who has been patient, honest, very professional and informative while answering my many questions. I also love that Dr. Pyle seems truly passionate about his work--both motivated and energetic and his results seem very natural.

SO...about me. I am 47 years old, 5'6", and Mom to twin boys (age 12), who were full-term and delivered via c-section (my preference). They weighed 14 pounds total, and I gained 62 pounds in my pregnancy. I always carried my weight in my belly but after having twins, it has never looked the same! Plenty of fat, loose skin, and my previously cute belly button is simply a "line" now and shows no sign of having ever been circular. For years, I just thought this was something that I had to live with--a war zone representing the birth of my healthy full-term babies. I don't know exactly what it was that triggered me to look into this, but decided in Dec 2015 to start looking for a surgeon and see if I might want to "go for it". After seeing so many impressive before and after pics on this site, I was SOLD. I am taking some time off from my career right now, and want to go back in Jan, so it's a good time for me to get this done. I'm not crazy about being swollen in the summer, but here in NC it's miserable in August, so I might as well be cooped up in the AC all month, right? My kids start middle school 3 weeks after surgery, so hopefully I will be feeling good enough to manage the transition. And if not, I will be able to rest during the daytime when they return to school.

With just over 3 weeks to go, I was hoping to have lost more weight than I have, but that will not deter me from moving forward. My goal is to "clean up the loose skin" and be flatter and I intend to continue to eat well and exercise after surgery (when able) so this is just a step in my journey to get back to a healthier, more attractive body. I have been eating well and exercising A LOT, with some weight loss success but it has been MUCH slower and much more difficult than it ever was in the past!! I developed Type 1 diabetes as an adult (yes--not just kids get it--I was 45!) so insulin, which is a fat storage hormone, has made it difficult to lose weight, but I have been exercising and am in the best cardiovascular shape I have been in a while, and my HbA1C is 5.4%--which is excellent. So, all this to say that I have been working hard to get ready for this surgery and cannot believe how fast the time has gone!

I'm grateful to those who have chronicled their journey here, making it less mysterious to the rest of us, and I hope to blog here as much as I can, so hopefully it benefits others and helps illustrate another trip to the flat side.

OK, that's it for now...will work on posting BEFORE pictures but it won't be easy (ugh)...

The Dreaded "Before" Pictures

I had my pre-op appointment today and everything went well. It's starting to get really "real" and even though I am very excited, I am starting to get nervous about the pain and length of recovery. Because I am having lipo and need muscle repair, I know it will be more painful than if I was just having the straight up abdominoplasty. But, the extra time and patience will all be worth a more sculpted result (I hope). I took some "Before" pictures today. NOT FUN. But, hopefully I will look back in a few months and say, "Wow, I'm so happy that I did this!". I saw someone else wishing that they had taken before pics, so hopefully I'll be happy about them too at some point. Ugh.

3 More Days! Done with my To Do List.

It feels like this countdown has been going on forever (decided to do this in Jan 2016), and now it's just a few days away! Ahhhh! I'm mostly excited and a little nervous. I have been keeping myself busy and exercising a lot (gotta love those endorphins) and that is helping with the nerves. But, as so many others have said, all kinds of emotions come and go. I am a planner by nature so have enjoyed the planning of everything, but am just so ready to get this done. And then begins the hard part--recovery! Ha! Here are some things that I've done to prepare. Certainly, others prepare more or less, but this is how I roll.

-Rented walker & lift recliner for my downstairs so I can hang easily with family when I feel like it
-Set up recovery table near my bed with laptop, charger, magazines, TV remote, meds, medication checklist (so husband knows what to give me when and to keep track of it all); pillows; tray table.
-Made lists of how husband and kids can help around the house (a girl can dream!)
-Made list for husband of what to feed me and his "nursing responsibilities" (he will love this, ha!)
-I'm an adult-onset Type 1 diabetic (it's not just kids who get it) so have spent considerable time writing up instructions on how to mange blood sugar during surgery (hopefully I will be stable and anesthetist won't even need)
-Make a few meals and froze them for the family so dinner is easier for husband a few nights next week
-Bought all my supplies (I'll list those out too)
-Been exercising a lot and taking pre-surgical vitamins
-Cleaned house; took care of loose ends so won't be driving me crazy when I'm laying around recovering; had carpets cleaned; washed windows (I'm a nesting fool)
-Signed kids up for camp for next 2 weeks so I don't have to take care of anyone during the day except myself :-)
-Filled medications
-Got waxed so don't need to look at hairy legs during recovery
-Had pre-op appt with PCP (did routine tests) and pre-op appt with surgeon; paid the bill!
-Changed my CGM and insulin pump (diabetes-specific)
-Printed out list of emotions that TT'ers go through afterward to help as a reminder when I'm going through them
-Took my "BEFORE" pictures 2 weeks in advance
-Still to do this weekend: Go grocery shopping, get a pedicure, make breakfast foods so kids can reheat them before camp next week; start stool softeners; start Arnica; water plants; take my final pre-op measurements and weight.

Tomorrow is the Big Day / My List of Recovery Items

I have been managing the pre-surgery nerves pretty well (and thinking to myself, "wow, I am doing really well not being anxious at all") until today. Ugh. I tried to keep myself busy but didn't have much left to do. Time feels like it is inching along today. I'm hoping that things go very smoothly during the procedure and that the discomfort and pain is manageable. Oh, and that I love my results once I'm recovered ;-) I did fine post c-section but some say its a similar recovery and others swear that it's tougher. I guess I will find out soon enough!

As I was preparing, I read lots of blogs and lists of what people bought for recovery. I thought I would list what I have ready, although a lot of it I already had, and some I bought (and some I rented). And certainly, many people have done fine with less "stuff" but it just made me feel better getting these, even if I end up not using everything.

-Rented a lift recliner and walker (my back has been hurting from exercising so I'm a little concerned about how much more it will hurt once I'm hunched over post-procedure--agh!!--hopefully these will help)
-I had a pincher thingy that picks stuff up off the floor so you don't have to bend voer so I got that out
-I have been using surgery-grade vitamins (I'm a vitamin proponent) called Vitamedica Clinical Support Program (http://www.vitamedica.com/products/recovery-products/). I heard about them from some plastic surgeons on this site and like that they are formulated with surgery in mind (so no "off limits" vitamins are included, like fish oil Vitamin E and other blood thinners)
-I also started a product called SinEcch today that is clinical grade Arnica Montana, also formulated for surgery, which is supposed to aid the bruising and swelling from liposuction (I hear that can be worse than the actual tummy tuck). (http://www.alpinepharm.com)
-Arnica Montana topical gel
-Senna Time vegetable laxative (nice and gentle because who wants explosive cramping diarrhea!) to use to combat constipation
-Milk of Magnesia (in case the laxative isn't doing enough)
-The Rx meds my PS prescribed including stuff for pain, nausea and a muscle relaxant
-Comfy button front 2 piece jammies; robe; tank tops for under the garment
-Socks (some with grippy things on the bottom)
-Thermometer to check temperature first few days
-A bell to ring to get my husband's attention (I am going to have fun with this! ha!)
-Put laptop by bed with charger
-Lots of pillows
-Saved an old ear bud in case I need to use it to shape my belly button (some use marbles too)
-Tray for eating in bed/using laptop so no pressure on belly
-Magazines and reading material; my friend made me a list of good shows to binge watch on Netflix
-Neosporin, gauze pads, Mederma (not sure yet what I will need/use for belly button care but Mederma worked great on my sons facial scar)
-Hoping to use the Embrace system on my incision when the time comes but haven't purchased it yet (ouch--$$$)
-Lotion; bio oil for dry skin
-Heating bad for back pain (have been using this already since back has been hurting)
-Pads for padding garment or when period comes if not feeling like tampons
-Toliet seat lift (I remember after c-section if was a pain getting on and off toilet)
-Snacks that are easy on the tummy
-Big water bottle for bedside

I think that's it, or all I can think of. Guess I had better take my shower and try and get some rest. Gonna be an early morning. I'll check in when I'm able to.

First Day Post-Op

Well, I made it to the flat side. Went very well and thank goodness I was asleep for it all and can't remember anything! I am pretty sore (taking pain ends) but I think that's from the lipo. Even though I have a restrictive binder on, I think I can see feel a different. I had some blood marks under my boobs, on my garment, but those were where he went in to take out some bra line fat. My biggest headache right now is how tight the CG is, and how hard it is to unhook the crotch when I have to pee. There is NO way I would have been able to do this so far without my husband being home with me. Getting out of bed is the WORST (even though I have an adjustable) and then unhooking to garment crotch & having to rebook it afterward is exhausting. I almost wonder if it is TOO tight but this is what they sent me home in. Haven't seen anything but maybe try a shower tomorrow if I'm up to it. I have felt faint going to the bathroom so I suspect a shower is going to be rough. I asked and they removed 4 lb 8 oz of fat (not sure if that counts the old skin too or not). Well, I'm getting tired just writing this so gonna sign off now. Thanks for all the support vixens! My pain isn't too terrible but damn, I am very uncomfortable with this binder riding up my ass, being so tight. Bye for now.

48 Hours in

Well, my binder has been killing me. I keep telling myself that's how I'm going to have a nice hourglass shape. Just took my first shower which was indeed exhausting. I sat most of the time which was key & husband been stood on board to help if I got dizzy. Right now the binder is getting washed so I'm enjoying a pair of spanks instead. Best part of the shower was seeing the results--my belly button looks odd/folded but I'm gonna have faith that this will work itself out over the next several weeks. For all I am so glad I had the lipo & did the procedure. I can finally see the waist I had at my wedding. That's all for now, I suppose I need to eat and take more meds. Percocet is my friend.

Worst Part

So far the worst part has been getting out (and into bed). That was the biggest part of the c-section that i didn't like, although so far, I think this has been worse than the c-section. But then again, I was 12 years younger and had 2 babies to get up and around for back then! I have an adjustable bed but it's pretty high off the ground which makes it uncomfortable. I rented a chair for downstairs but have just wanted to be in my bedroom for now. I may venture downstairs tomorrow and try that out since it is easier to get out of. The garment is TIGHT, but it's doing what it's supposed to I think. Taking a shower today felt great--it's the little things. Haven't had an appetite, which is fine with me. I guess that's all I have to say for now, just thought I'd check in. I can see I'm going to bored after a while :-)

First look (48 hrs post-op)

I had lipo with the TT but also had some back/bra line fat removed. Here are before and after. I think it worked. Ignore my flat, unshapely ass. (-;

Day 4 PO

I have been resting most of the day but just had a potty break so thought I'd write briefly. The worst part is still getting in and out of bed, and going to the bathroom. I can unhook my garment but it takes both my husband and I to get it closed. I peeked underneath and my skin looks "quilted" and puffy, as they often describe with this technique (PTS--progressive tension sutures). I asked the RN about the fold above my BB and she said it will resolve over time and isn't uncommon. I am bored, little bit headachy (praying I don't get a migraine this week), tight and stiff. That about sums it up. Don't have much of an appetite but made myself eat a small salad with chicken at lunch and small Paleo cereal why almond milk at breakfast. And I'm taking my vitamins religiously. Starting to wonder how long it will be before I can stand up straight because it feels far off at this point. Glad that my kids are at camp all week and next week so it's very quiet around the house and easy to rest. Husband has been a trooper so far and doesn't go back to work until next Monday so I have more time with my "nurse" (he is not the nursing type--but is doing well). I had the drainless technique and am so glad that I did because I would not have wanted to deal with those on top of everything else. Hope you are all doing well!!

Day 4-5 PO

I don't know how I should be counting the days. I had my procedure Monday morning and today is Friday--so am I Day 4 or 5 post-op? Anyway, last night was a rough night. Did okay during the day but tired of the Percocet and wanted to try it without. Took last dose at 11am and then took Ibuprofen around 4pm. Well, husband ran son to ball practice and when he got home I was in tears from pain and being helpless. He reminded me that they caution about Day 4 being rough because the Exparel wears off, and that was probably the case. He helped me get my garment fastened back up (it's a 2 man job!) and got me a few things and I was down for the count. I had been feeling headachy and am prone to migraines so that's another reason I wanted off Percocet--It can cause rebound headaches. I did take 2 before bed to kill the pain and slept ok. Not like I used to, but good for my condition. I also don't like how the narcotics mess with your temperature and I get all sweaty sometimes and then cold. But, they do block pain well and that's the point here....

Today, I felt like migraine was coming so only took Naproxen Sodium and my migraine medicine. So far pain is manageable but it'd rather hurt without a migraine than not hurt with a migraine if that makes sense. Took another shower this morning, which felt good but is SO exhausting. How can I have gone from doing 60 mins of intense cardio everyday to not being able to catch my breath taking a shower (sitting!)? This new belly is kicking my ass! But I know, this too shall pass and am following the advice of all the wise women here before me that said to surrender to recovery and let yourself heal. Patience. Patience. Patience.

I'm still a little freaked about how my skin folds about my belly button but I sent another pic to the RN this morning and both she and my PS thought it looked fine and to keep doing what I am doing. So, hopefully it will unfold over time. Have I mentioned how flipping tight my binder is?! I still don't like it, but I have to admit, that I like it more than I did 3 days ago. It definitely has a nice shape and one that I have not seen in decades.

As far as food, I was hoping I wouldn't be very hungry because losing weight is hard these days and I worked my ass off to lose 20 pounds before surgery. Thankfully, I haven't had an appetite so have been eating like a bird and no crap. Wish I had more energy (I don't even feel like reading or watching TV) but I figure when I have sufficient rest and am far enough along, I will feel more energetic again.

As someone who had an uneventful c-section 12 years ago, I was curious how this would compare. I know it is different for different people but for me, I'm going to say that the TT has been a more difficult recovery so far. Maybe because I am 12 years older (although was in better shape this time I think) or because I don't have 2 precious newborns to hop out of bed for, but that is my assessment. Even though I'm not even a week in yet, I would still do this again because it is a treat to look down and not see that sad kangaroo pouch or extra skin and fat bouncing around. I cannot wait to see how my results unfold over time. I think it's going to be so worth it!

Well, I guess that's it for today. Hope you other TT'ers are hanging in there and doing well!

5 Days Post Op

What a difference a day makes. I felt a lot better today. Haven't taken Percocet since Thursday night and don't miss it. Only took Naproxen Sodium this morning with my Imitrex because I had a migraine. Still hunched over but my son commented that it wasn't as hunched over. So, I guess I only look about 70 years old now instead of 90. I was more awake today although can't do much without feeling tired and definitely don't want to overdo it. I ate a decent sized lunch and I think my body was happy to have something more substantive. I took a nice cap after lunch but have been up (awake) since then and more interactive (didn't want to talk to anyone the first several days). I have started "worrying" about the fold above my belly button-I guess I am feeling better now that I have some extra emotional energy to think about it--so tonight I took off the binder for a few minutes to look at it. In general, things look to be more evened out than a few days ago (they should--the binder is f-ing tight!). I also tried on some undies that I like, but never wore because of the loose skin/fat flap and that cheered me up. I have a ways to go but it sure is wonderful to have a flat stomach and no dreadful, embarrassing hanging pouch of sad loose useless skin! GONE! I am going to trust the surgeon on his advice for the flap (hopefully it will just smooth out over time). He seems very conscientious, and dedicated to his craft and I know he will take good care of me. I am REALLY pleased that he heard what I was saying. He did an excellent job sculpting my waist (I knew I had one under there) and using lipo to improve my look. He also listened to what I was saying about my scar. Many are doing really straight lines for low cut bikinis but then they curve up at the end, very close to the leg, and I wanted a more traditional rounded one (so I could wear a high legged undie if desired)--and that's exactly what he gave me. And I was really concerned about the incision being "asymmetrical" (because I am a tad OCD) and from what I can see (its covered with tape), he delivered. So the fact that he listened and got it and delivered, comforts me and I know that we will fix/get through whatever tweaks are needed down the road. It looks a little bunched up at the ends of the incisions but again, if those don't smooth out, I'm sure he can tweak those when the time comes. I will post some pics from my fashion show tonight. I needed a rest after taking the binder off and on (it takes both of us to get that sucker on). Whew. Here's hoping that I keep feeling better each day....

Bored. Day 6 PO. Blah.

I might as well post an update since I am bored stiff. Ha, stiff, is right. I'm still not totally upright but it's improving. And damn, my back aches. I got my period today--whoopie--5 days early--probably from the meds and stress, disruption, etc. DIdn't really need another thing to deal with down there but they are usually quick and uneventful for me, and I'm glad it wasn't last week. I had surgery on Monday and other than my friend visiting for a few minutes on Wed, I don't really remember anything until Thursday! I guess that's probably a good thing. I am getting really bored but when I try to do little things, I get tired or sore, so haven't done much at all. Husband took the twins to their soccer tournament so I've been home alone all afternoon bored out of my mind. I have several books, magazines and channels available to amuse me, but I'm usually a busy beaver so nothing sounds good to me, except for running around doing errands and Lord knows, that's not gonna happen. I folded like 3 pieces of laundry and was out of breath, so the family will be enjoying taking care of their own laundry for a bit longer. Has anyone got dressed yet? I haven't had a bra or underwear on in a week, let along gotten dressed. Living the life here in my slouchy socks, tank top under my compression garment torture device (okay, I might kind of like it...a little...) and pajama top. Undies on occasion. The tank top is long enough to come out the bottom of the garment which nicely protects my legs from getting chaffed from the garment. It's bound to be a trend. #fashionforward
I feel a little sad and lonely today, but I guess that is to be expected. Looking forward to Fall, when the weather is more hospitable (I HATE the NC summers) and I will also be feeling more like myself at that point, and hopefully exercising and getting back into shape. I feel so winded so easily, but I know I need to be patient. I could ramble on more but you get the point. Not much new today except a visit from Aunt Flo and confirmation that I am not quite ready for laundry folding. Carry on fellow tummy tuckers...

PS: I did do the unthinkable and weighed myself the other day (assuming I would be up from all the surgery fluid) but am actually down 3 pounds since the day before surgery so that's a nice surprise. I also measured my abdomen (with my binder on) and it is 3 inches smaller than pre-surgery so that tells you about how much extra skin is gone. I believe they took a total of about 4 pounds 8 ounces of skin/fat that day. Sorry if I have already written this elsewhere, cannot remember and I love me some data. TTYS

1 Week PO. Bored=Recurring theme.

Hi. Well, I've got Week 1 behind me. Gosh, I wish I was farther along but I'm sure I'm not the first to say that! I had a pretty good day given that I'm still recovering. Took a shower (with husband close by), dried my hair, fixed a small breakfast & lunch, listened to an audiobook, checked Facebook 2,546,993 times, washed my binder, took some pics of my impressive lipo bruises and (wait for it....) GOT DRESSED. Yes, real clothes, bra, underwear--the works! Ha. I also really wanted to walk (not a lot but just to get SOME exercise) so my husband took my walker outside for me and I walked a few hundred feet and back. I have my first post-op appt tomorrow so will ask about resuming some easy walking. I think I could use the endorphins. Anyway, I'm still really tight, not fully upright yet and sore, but it is my lower back that is hurting the most. Probably because I am still hunched over. I remembered about an hour ago that I have an Rx for a muscle relaxant (duh--totally forgot) so I will try it and see if it helps at all. I am growing concerned about the fold above my belly button but will discuss with ps tomorrow and am trying to stay positive and not freak until I hear what he has to say. I sure hope it resolves, because I am really pleased with the rest of my shape and incision. One person online said they had to have an incision in the center of their belly to fix it and that is not what I want to hear!! The ends of the incision are a little crinkled up--like there was a lot of skin to put together--but that is a fairly small thing and probably even fixable in the future--if it even needs fixing. I just really want the folded skin and belly button to sort themselves out! I'm wondering how long it took people to be able to walk pretty vigorously on a treadmill post-op. Also, how long before they slept on their sides, as I am a side/belly sleeper. So, I guess I will go post and ask those questions. That's about it for my 1 week update...nothing noteworthy and yes, I am BORED.

9 Days PO

I had my first post-op appointment yesterday. All looks good. I asked about the fold above my belly button and it will smooth out over time. There is a stitch under there holding it in place, so with the swelling on both sides of the stitch, it is creating that folded look. His advice was to stop looking at it every day and taking copious pictures and to just forget about it for a few months--such good advice but maybe not as easy to follow :-). I do plan to not obsess and just go about life as planned. It is very shallow and seems like it will smooth out, so I just need to be patient. I can start walking (running if I want, ha) and do things as I feel ready to. I'm still not standing straight up which is my primary point of discomfort at this time, so I think I am going to try and gently start to straighten out in bed, against a wall, etc. The back pain is a killer! I am taking the muscle relaxants but I could do so much more if I could just stand up straight and not have the constant back pain.

He gave me a new compression garment (yummy tummy) so I will rotate between that, which is a little looser) and the original which makes such a lovely shape. I will probably buy a Marena online with the easy access crotch because pulling it up and down gently over my tender tummy is a pain (and I want to have a few in circulation so I don't have to wash constantly). I did fine in the car ride and am ready to start driving myself around. It was good to get out--made me realize that I'm ready to do a little more now. Although, I still get very tired and the limited stamina is probably the one thing I was least prepared for. I know it will come with time. The lipo spots are ugly and tender but don't really bother me as much as I would have expected. I wonder how many months it will take for them to disappear? Glad we are headed into Fall (a girl can dream right? I hate this heat) so I have time for those to clear up. My incision looks to be healing nicely (just leaving it alone under the tape) and I don't notice it much so that's a good thing. I will probably break the bank and do the Embrace scar therapy when the incision is healed just to maximize the scar healing. (Diabetics tend not to heal as well, but I would argue that its all related to how tightly their blood sugar is controlled. Nonetheless, I'm a perfectionist and am going to do what I can to maximize my result.)

I have been a side and tummy sleeper all my life so was worried about having to sleep on my back but have done surprisingly well. I still miss it but back sleeping hasn't prevented me from being able to sleep THANK GOODNESS. I might try it in a few weeks (my side) when I am more used to this new belly and more loosened up. For now, the adjustable bed has been the BOMB. Well, I guess that's the 411 on how I'm doing at Day 9. Think I am moving in the right direction and grateful that the immediately recovery period was uneventful. It was brutal but will be but a distant memory before long. I will log in periodically to update how things are "unfolding" (bawahaha) but am going to try and start doing a little more...as my body allows. I would LOVE to walk gently on my treadmill but the damn hunched out back/pain is going to limit that. Maybe I can rig up my walker to lean on while I try and walk?! (kidding)

Oh, and I should mention that it was totally fun to throw on a dress yesterday that I otherwise love but rarely wore because of my pooch and have it fit great. Just one long flat torso and NO FAT SKIN ROLL getting in the way. It is worth it ladies!!!

Keep on resting and recovering fellow tummy tuckers....

11 Days PO

Not much new to report. Just thinking of a few random points I wanted to add in case they help someone else on their journey. I am still more tired than usual so taking it easy. Which is hard when you are used to being busy. I did take a shower by myself this morning, yay me. It's so weird to look down and have a flat stomach! Takes a little getting used to but not in a bad way. I also find that I am throwing on my casual dresses (easy on the waist) and feel good in them again. I have only tried on one pair of pants (summer capris) and they were big so I am really excited to go shopping. If only I had the stamina, ha! Realizing that nearly all the tops on my closet hang from the boobs to cover up the gut (loose fitting). Gonna have to do something about that.... :)

Right now, the biggest problem that I am having is that I cannot stand up straight. I have been trying to do so gently but there is a stitch toward the top of my belly (where the fold is that I don't like--but it will even out!) and every time I try to straighten out, it pulls there. So, I think that stitch is going to be my nemesis....but being patient and hoping that I can stand straight soon because it is holding me back from walking and doing more around the house.

Few random things I forgot to mention above:

-My TT was drainless. I read over and over again how aggravated women were/are by drains. So, I researched the drainless technique in the medical literature (I worked in research for yearst) and was surprised to learn that the drainless technique has no downside. Many surgeons just continue to use it because they were trained that way and it is their comfort zone. I liked that there was one less place I would have discomfort and also the potential for infection. And I really liked the strength behind progressive tension suture technique (google it) and that it also minimizes areas that can turn into seromas. There is data backing this technique up as having lower rates of seromas so don't let a surgeon tell you otherwise. Of course, if you want drains, they have their place, but they are not superior with regard to outcomes.

-I don't think I mentioned the toilet riser in my list of preparation items but it has been great. Wish I had one for my c-section years ago. Still using it--nice to not have to bend quite as much.

2 Weeks PO

Today is my 2 week mark. I have been taking it easy and resting a lot. Still not able to stand up straight which is difficult and frustrating. I feel a little better today so tried on some clothes and that was awesome. OMG. I don't need to wear loose tops anymore. I can tuck my shirts in. I don't think I realized just how much my wardrobe and clothing choices were impacted by my baby belly. Anyway, here are a few more pictures. Everything seems to be healing well--only complaint is the hunched over feeling and fold in the belly. But this too shall pass....

Still 2 Weeks PO

So, today I felt good enough to do something (as in something other than nap and lay in bed, ha) and took my kiddos to lunch and then a bounce place. I am sore after sitting on that hard bench for 90 minutes, but it felt good to be able to go out and do something "normal". Thankfully, I didn't know anyone and could walk around hunched over anonymously. But, it was good to do a "normal" activity. And damn, does anyone else get full fast now that their tummy is tight? I find it a nice bonus. I'm down another .5 pound this week (sorry, every one is different post-op I know) and thrilled to not be very hungry/and get full easily.

Day 18 PO

Today is Day 18 (?), I believe. Still moving along. It was the last week of my kids break (and first week alone with them and no help), so I probably did too much. I didn't go nuts, but between taking them for haircuts, open house, movies, and fun activities, I am tired. We are taking it easy today. I just got dressed, in fact :) I was exhausted after walking around their school Open House for 1.5 hours last night, but grateful I feel good enough to get out and about. I plan on taking it easy more next week when they are back in school.

I am STILL hunched over (damn middle stitch is tight, I can feel it) but I do think I am SLOWLY straightening out. I have felt a recurrent pain along my incision for a few days this week, so haven't pushed my standing up straight (just to be super cautious). The fact that my back is a little less sore leads me to believe that I am probably not quite as hunched over as I was. I would say that I have moved into a new stage where I feel random aches and pains. Some are sharper than others, but I think it's the nerve regeneration, as I remember this post C-section. My lipo spots are tender/sore to the touch, the bruises are fading. Lower abdomen is swollen (I hope it is swelling and not fat, LOL) and for the first time, I'm noticing the incision more this week. Little bit of itching on the ends, and then that recurrent pain in one particular spot. I can't see if anything is going on with that spot, because the tape is covering it. Husband tried to look, but didn't see anything. So, hopefully it's just a normal pain and not a stitch spitting out or something like that. I will call PS office next week if it continues or seems like it could be incision spot opening up. I ordered some Embrace silicone strips so they should arrive before it's time to start scar therapy.

I am finding that I am consistently feeling worse by the end of the day. I wake up feeling pretty good, but by after dinner, I am usually ready for my jammies and some mindless TV. I just feel more sore by then and less patient with the soreness. I take ibuprofen or Naproxen once in a while but not regularly. One of the scabs came out of my belly button so that seems to be healing fine. I'm still undecided about it--waiting for the folded skin above it to smooth out so I know what the top of the BB will look like. I think it will probably be fine. Not sure yet if I will do the 'ole marble or earbud in the belly button thing to shape it. The fold is still disappointing as it keeps me from seeing the "final product", but it does look like it is less deep than a week ago, so I will just stay patient. That is the hardest part--waiting months to see your final result. I do LOVE how flat I am and my shape. Clothes look SO much better now.

I am still able to sleep but miss sleeping on my sides. I tried laying on them and it was fine, but sore and felt weird, so not ready for that yet. THANK GOD for my adjustable bed--it has been a lifesaver for sleeping and making getting in/out easier. Overall, I think my recovery sounds pretty typical, from what I've read on this site, for what I had done and my age. I will post a picture from yesterday after my shower. I noticed that my tummy skin was very dry--flaking even--so put some moisturizing lotion on it. Still wearing compression garment 24/7. Kind of like it now, LOL.

That's it for today. Rock on ladies.

20 Days PO

I will be 3 weeks post-op tomorrow. I am growing very frustrated with being hunched over. This morning I tried laying completely flat on my bed, gradually lowering the (adjustable) bed until I was totally flat. While tight, most of my abdomen/belly felt fine. However, it feels like it is pulling (very tight) where the "fold line" above my bb is. I think there is a stitch there that is too tight. Really trying not to freak out but I hope it flattens over time (and the sooner the better) as the PS said it will. I feel like I could do so much more physically if I didn't feel that tightness where that stitch is--I'm sure that it is why I cannot stand fully upright yet. I took some pictures today since tomorrow I will be 3 weeks post-op. I also starting putting Arnica gel on my belly today and started taking some Bromelian supplements that I have had (but didn't feel like taking before now because I'm taking 6 vitamins a day already). Hopefully the gel and Bromelian will aid the swelling, which will in turn, aid the relaxing of the tightness where that top stitch is. My flanks are still sore when touched but the bruising is nearly gone. That's it for today.

3 Weeks PO

Keeping it short and sweet. Kids went back to school today (yay!) so I got up early with them, made breakfast, lunches, walked them to the bus stop, ran errands all over town, went out to lunch and even drove to the mall to try on some new clothes. Only bought one shirt but damn, the jeans looked good. Didn't do marathon shopping, but felt good to get up and buzz around all morning. Shopping is going really change--I found myself looking at all the loose, baggy tops and then stopping myself to say--you don't have to wear those anymore. Weird. Still hunched a bit but carrying on. Other than the tightness from the upper stitch and tenderness from lipo, feeling pretty good today. Over and out.

22 Days PO

I took a shower today--they are always delightful. I'm only taking 2-3 a week, just because I don't get dirty and it's easier not to, LOL. The edges of my incision tape were loose, so I peeled back just a couple of inches and from what I saw, the incision looks really good. Very thin and appears to be healing well. I called my PS about the tight stitch that is bothering me and am going in to see him on Thursday. They could have gotten me in today but the time conflicts with my kids getting home from school. I appreciated that they didn't ask any questions--just started trying to find an appt time for me. I have been reluctant to call, which is silly because they have been great thus far, so I feel better now that I did and that I'm going in. It looked a little shallower today after my shower so it truly may resolve on it's own (I hope) but I just need to have him look at it more closely, and discuss how it's irritating me and if it doesn't resolve on it's own, what Plan B is. I am also curious if it is a permanent stitch or dissolving one.

I am expecting my Embrace scar therapy to arrive tomorrow so hopefully I can have them remove the surgical tape at my appt (I'm chicken to do it) and put on the first set of scar therapy strips if the incision is fully closed (which it looks to be). I don't know if I will be able to see it well enough to put the strips on myself and I know my husband will get wigged out from the incision--medical stuff isn't his cup of tea. He's been wonderful so not gonna push my luck freaking him out with a (dried) bloody incision to clean and tape up, LOL.

I am feeling more like myself and getting more into my routine this week--I think Week 3 is a good week for starting to feel normal again. It's good timing having the kids back in school because I have time to rest during the day if I want to. I felt good yesterday but did take an hour nap in the afternoon. Did a fair amount of housework and was fine (other than hunched over a bit). I have been sleeping on my sides a little the past few days--they are sore (from the lipo) when I first turn on them, but it feels good to be in a favorite position after avoiding it for 3 weeks. Still loving the narrow waist and shape--glad I bit the bullet and went with the aggressive liposuction. So far that seems to be fine--I don't notice any lumps or weirdness about that so fingers crossed that it stays that way. I can feel most of my stomach (not as much as usual but I think there are still plenty of nerves untouched there) except right where the belly button and incision are. The scab has fallen out of my belly button and I cannot even see a scar in there--I have no idea how he "made it" but I like how similar it is to my original one and that it doesn't look fake or have a ring/scar around it. I will ask him about how the top of it will look once the fold flattens out because I am curious about that, but otherwise, I like it. Whew. It is more shallow than my original BB but I think that's because there isn't a mountain of fat behind it anymore, ha. I will ask him if I put a marble or earbud in it, will it go in a little deeper. That way, it will look more like the one I was born with. But overall, very happy with how natural it looks.

I had the recliner picked up a few days ago since I haven't been using it. I really only used it a few times because my bed has an adjustable frame and that was way more comfortable. I think if I had spent a lot of time in the recliner it really would have bothered my lower back and neck because of how it is contoured. That said, it was so cool and helpful that it automatically lifted so it made it easy getting in and out. If I had to do it over again, I would have skipped the recliner rental and just stuck with my adjustable bed, which has been a Godsend. I wasn't sure if I would be okay being in my room all the time (away from the living areas of the house) but really preferred the peace and quiet. I had a bell on my nightstand so when I rang it, my husband and kids came running to see what I needed. My kiddos were adorable about it--they got here in record time and then were fighting over who was going to get me what I needed. They know who makes their life comfortable :-) Anyway, about the recliner, Just noting what worked for me.

As of my shower today, the lipo bruises are pretty much gone. Getting easier to get in and out of the car too and I have a little move that I use to carefully roll out of bed. Overall, I think things are moving along well. Just a waiting game...glad to be in Week 3 now and not Week 1, LOL.

25 Days PO

Wow--it was weird to write that I'm 25 days PO! Some days it seemed like this has taken forever, and today I can't believe it's almost been a month! Feeling pretty good these days. I have been sleeping on my side more which makes me happy. Doing my usual activities (except exercise). Still don't have the stamina I did before surgery but it's much improved, even from a week ago.

I saw my PS yesterday and feel so much better. He is great. So glad I called and went in. I needed reassurance that the fold above my BB will smooth out. It will. I just need to be patient. There are dissolvable stitches below there and I am really swollen so that's why it's making that shape--it is swelling on each side of the stitch. It has flattened out some since a few weeks ago, so I know I'm moving in the right direction and that helps my worrying immensely. I asked what if it doesn't flatten out and he said that has never happened. He was so nice and patient and could tell I am worried about it but reassured me it will not be an issue. I have seen others with very pleated incision lines that completely flatten out over time (& never would have believed it without pics!), so I know there are a lot of changes still to come. He joked that if his work was judged based on 3 week results, he would be out of a job. So true! So while I'm feeling good, I need to remember that so much more healing and changes are to come.

I love my BB--cannot even find a scar, and it looks just like my original one, so I'm grateful it looks very natural. He said I could put something in it if I want, but I think a marble would make it too round (fake) looking. I may put something in it to make it deeper, like my original one, but that one was deeper because I had more fat behind it than I do now. I'll probably just leave it alone because I'm happy with it, and if it changes over time and I don't like it, then I'll intervene. One less thing to take care of.

I have noticed that I don't have back pain anymore, so I think I am almost fully upright. When I asked him about the stitch holding me back, he said to stop babying it and push myself to walk straight and do more activity. So, back to my treadmill I go. YAY! I do feel hunched after I have been sitting, but am glad I don't have any back pain at this point. I am going to follow his advice and consciously start making myself stand up straight and not baby it. He said that should help with the tightness where those stitches are. I don't think I realized just how swollen I am. I mean, I can see it some, but because I am so much flatter than before the tuck, my belly still seems skinny to me, even though there is a lot of swelling. So, I'm excited that I will be even flatter when this is all said and done. The swelling is definitely toward the lower areas, which makes sense (it all floats downward) and in line with what he said would happen. Sides are still tender from the lipo but they say this will take a while to resolve, and really, I wouldn't trade the lipo in for anything. It definitely helped get my narrow waist/curves back. Haven't seen that since my wedding dress 19 years ago, LOL. Glad it's still there.

I got to see my incision scar at the appointment (I was too chicken to take the tape off at home) and am very pleased. I like to wear high legged bathing suits so didn't want the scar too close to my leg (yet not too high on belly either) and the location is just what I asked for. More importantly, it is flat and thin and I am so relieved. And symmetrical which is a big thing for me because I am a little OCD, and while it will fade and mostly be hidden, I think a really uneven scar would have freaked me out a little. Everyone has their thing...I was really worried about not liking my scar. SO, I'm very happy about location, thinness and shape. Whew. And I was very pleased with how well it is healing. Diabetics can suffer from delayed/poor wound healing but my theory that only poorly controlled diabetes suffer complications has held true. So, if you are a diabetic and considering surgery, take good care of yourself and get/keep that HbA1c in a nice tight range. You will recover just as well as a non-diabetic (assuming no other health challenges and no complications already).

He okay'd me starting my scar therapy so I applied my first treatment of the Embrace Scar Therapy strips last night. I like how well they support the incision (they are kind of like the shiny packing tape you use on mail packages but a little stretchier feeling). I will post a picture to show what they look like. They cost a fortune, but since the scar is a "thing" for me, I want to maximize the healing of it. My c-section scar from 12 years ago was very small and thin and white (barely perceptible) so I'm hopeful that over time this one will be too. Especially since it's much longer than the old c-section one was! But still worth it to me.

Ok, I think that's it for now. I am headachy today (unrelated to recovery) but plan to start walking on the treadmill as soon as I feel better. We will see if that affects anything (swelling, feeling better sooner, stamina, feeling less tight at upper stitch, etc.). Stay tuned...

In summary, I am content with my progress and while the fold is annoying, I'm going to trust that it will flatten out over time and just carry on. It would figure that I have something requiring patience, since I wasn't born with ANY....LOL. Given all the things that can go wrong, I am grateful where I'm at and realize that everyone's path is different and just glad I'm moving along uneventfully. May it continue! My 19th wedding anniversary is this weekend so I'm going to go try on some new dresses that I bought online and see how they look...can't wait to go shopping once I'm all healed. That will be FUN!

Have a great weekend ladies!

Fashion Show

I haven't bought any new clothes this year (except way too many pajamas for recovery, LOL) because I knew my size might change. I am still holding off until my results are closer to final. However, my anniversary is this weekend so I ordered a few dresses online to try on. Mostly out of curiously, since I used to love dresses and can't recall the last time I wore one (pre surgery) for fun. I don't know that I'll keep these (the retro one is fun but not my taste) but it felt great to like how I look in clothes again. It was actually pretty emotional. It brought back a flood of memories about what I used to wear and how flattering my figure was. I loved being pregnant and felt so fortunate to have twins naturally and carry them to term, but am just realizing the full extent of how those permanent changes to my body impacted me. Once I had the kids, it was full on survival mode and I didn't have the time or energy or desire really, to worry about my figure. I had a full time career, a home, a husband, 2 babies, 2 dogs, friends, husband in grad school while working full-time, etc. So, I let it go and ignored it largely. I tried to avoid pools, hot tubs, and sex with lights on! I figured it was the price you pay for having two healthy babies at once. And I would do my pregnancy all over again (well, not now that I have a tight new tummy, but you get me). I am so thankful that I had the courage (and I never really understood when people said that this was a "brave" move) and the support to do this for myself. I don't see it as selfish--I see it as a way to feel good about myself again. I was never a supermodel and never will be. I never wanted to be actually. I just want to feel good about my 47-year old body that has served me well, and now I am starting too again. I'm motivated to get back to exercising and tighten up my jello arms and my inner thighs. I don't want to look like I'm 20 again (but I would be okay with it if it magically happened), I just don't want to look down and be grossed out by my own stomach. And now I am not. I am content. And probably more motivated than I have been in a long long time to make this seasoned ole' body of mine as good as it can be, with said mileage.

Rock on ladies!

26 Days PO - Initiated Exercise

So, I did it! I exercised today. First time since surgery. I walked on my treadmill for 30 minutes. Not as fast or long as I usually do, but still a good little "back to it" workout. DIdn't want to overdo it. I usually walk at a steep incline for the cardio benefit (or run) but could only really feel my "stitch" tighten when at zero incline so I stayed with that, in an effort to loosen things up. My belly definitely felt tight all over but part of that is because the muscles are where they are supposed to be and because I'm only a few weeks out. I did feel pulling/tightness where the stitch is but carried on. Have a date night tonight so hopefully I won't regret this later. Felt good to get the blood pumping and to move again. I plan to keep easing back to where I was and eventually add in weights. None for now though. One step at a time. Happy weekend!

28 Days PO

Tomorrow is the 1 month anniversary of my surgery--wahoo! Yay for getting through the first month! Things are rolling along--I am feeling pretty good during the day. Today, I buzzed around all day and didn't even think about "trying to stand up straight" nor any back pain. So, I am definitely not hunched anymore, or mostly not hunched (I feel it when I get up after sitting a long time). The evenings, however, are a different story. I find that I start getting more sore or more annoyed with the soreness in the evenings. I have been going to bed a little earlier mainly because, by that time, I don't feel good and am grumpy. Have been sleeping well though, thankfully. And even sleeping on my sides--more and more. Last night (before bed), each end of my incision felt very itchy. Obviously, I didn't mess with it, but damn, I wanted to scratch it so bad! I'm guessing it's just part of the healing but I'll note that I don't have the Embrace strips on the ends because when I applied them, they weren't long enough. I have some shorter ones arriving Wednesday so I will put those on then, so 100% of the incision is covered, but it's interesting that the only part that itches is the part uncovered (I covered it with some Walgreen medical tape but it's light and flimsy). It could just be that the anchor stitches are there and there is some pleating where it comes together, I don't know. Not a major deal, but another one of those annoyances of the recovery process. The strips should help smooth out the pleating on the ends too, which I'm not real worried about because I have seen a lot of pics on RS where pleating evened out. I went out the other night and wore a shirt...AND tucked my shirt in. I forgot that I used to be able to do that...it's the little things :-) Oh, and I packed in a lot of food and was STUFFED but it's fair to say that if challenged, I can consume just as much food now as before the surgery. I might feel more stuffed but pigged out at my anniversary dinner. Back to smaller portion and only good choices tomorrow. Also back to the treadmill. Hope everyone had a nice long weekend!

1 Month PO

It has been 4 weeks today since TT. Not much to add today except that I am feeling much better energy wise and in general. I did take some pics last night (don't mind the bloating, I ate a lot and took these before bed) but I think my crease is flattening out. My belly button is also shallower than right after surgery, so I might stick something in there at some point, because I prefer it a little deeper (minor point but since I'm currently obsessed with this part of my body anyway...). It's crazy how much it looks like my "original" one. Maybe the shallowness is because less fat behind it but I like it. Anyway, I'm going to try and post a monthly picture as an update (or sooner if something comes up that would be good to see via picture).

I also wanted to mention that I had a few moments over the weekend where I actually WAS NOT THINKING ABOUT MY TUMMY TUCK! Can you imagine? Going for like 7.5 minutes straight without thinking about this? Well, it happened to me this weekend. Maybe "normal" life really will return one day ;-)

Last thing--not sure about it yet but will mention it--I was looking at my incision (with tape on) last night when changing my garment and noticed a small area that looked red, like blood. Not actively bleeding but not really dried blood either. I don't really want to take it off yet to see it close up because the tape hasn't worn out yet and costs a fortune. But I may take it off a few days earlier than planned just to make sure that red spot is not an opening or anything concerning. Hopefully not...but I will post/update if so.

Hope everyone is doing well!!

1 Month PO - Part II

So, tonight I took the Embrace strips off to see the incision and make sure the red spot wasn't blood from an opening, hole, etc. I followed the instructions for removal and it went fine, no issues. I used a mirror to look more closely down there and there doesn't seem to be any bad areas developing, nor a hole, etc....whew. I think the red spot was maybe some dried blood from before that stuck to the tape or something. IDK. Guess I'm just being extra cautious because I do not want to have any setbacks after making it through month one! The instructions say to let the incision be "free" for 12-24 hours, so I"m sleeping without another strip over it tonight (just my garment) and will apply new strips tomorrow. I noticed that the pleating on one end seems to be flattening already so that's good. It really does take time for things to settle down and even out I think. Later chicas.

1 Month Post-Op - Picture Update

Ok, so as you know, I removed my Embrace scar strips last night and things looked good (whew). I personally cannot imagine walking around without some kind of strip/tape on the incision for support, but that's just my feeling about it. Even though it is closed, it just makes me nervous not having something on it relieving tension. Anyway, I let it "breathe" overnight and applied new strips today after showering and inspecting the whole incision closely. All went well with the application. Then, since I had the garment off and was doing my TT maintenance, I decided to take a few 1 month photos to chart my journey. Here they are. I'm sorry there are so many but hope that they will be helpful to others contemplating or going through this journey. It's nice to see progress. Now I really need to cut back on the increased eating I have been doing the past week so I don't end up like my "before" picture. Ha--that's some motivation right there ;-)

5 Weeks PO

I am 5 weeks post-op today. Not much to report but wanted to check in. Will plan to do so weekly, unless something funky happens, and I'll post progress pictures monthly. I definitely feel like my daily stamina is back to normal, or very close. I am back to my daily routine and able to do what I was doing before surgery (which is why I'm not online as much). I'm not doing as much as I was pre-TT in terms of cardio, but I'm happy with my progress (doing 30 minutes of treadmill on most weekdays) and honestly, don't miss the running and how hard it was on my body. I will eventually increase the speed and incline, but just happy to be moving again. I have been listening to my body and resting or taking it easy when I need to. I have been sleeping on my side more often (which is my preferred position) and that feels great. My sides/area where I got lipo are less sensitive now and I haven't taken any NSAIDS (or things for soreness, pain, etc) in a few weeks. I can eat the amounts that I ate pre-surgery but feel much more full afterward now, which for me, is a bonus--I need to keep the food intake in check since I'm not going as hard at the gym. I'm wearing the Embrace strips and haven't had any issues with them. Very comfortable and easy to change. Belly button looks good, not much happening there. Swelling seems to be pretty much related to sodium & food intake, and doesn't really get to me--maybe because this new tummy is SO much prettier than the old one...even swollen! Well, that's all I can think of..feeling really good and pretty much back to normal at 5 weeks. By "normal", I mean in terms of my routine and activity and no pain--not "normal" in terms of tummy feeling tight, occasional swelling and the post-surgical sensation of my belly (gradually gaining more and more feeling in it), but all of that is normal for recovery and to be expected. Here's hoping the steady path to being fully healed (inside and out) continues!

5 Week PO - Pics

So...today I went to get in the shower and noticed that my waist felt narrower and stomach flatter. I also think there is a noticeable improvement in the crease above my bb, so decided to take pictures and post them for my 5 week update. My ps said that I would notice continued positive changes over time, and today was one of those days where I felt like...wow, I think it's flatter than it has been. I've seen other TT'ers post about this, but I don't think I really quite believed it until now. Very glad that I have held off going shopping as I think I might be down 2 (pant) sizes when it's all said and done. If not, that's okay but it will be interesting to see.

Very glad that the crease is flattening out...my doc said that it would but it's hard to be patient. Feeling relieved about that part. Thrilled with everything else. And that life is feeling normal again!

6 Weeks PO

Hello RS'ers!
I was 6 weeks post-TT yesterday and had my 6 week follow-up appointment with Dr. Pyle today. Everything is going great! At this point, he has cleared me to do all activities, no restrictions. I can even do core and ab exercises, but should start slowly. I won't start them right away because I'm not ready yet but he said it's okay to. My stamina is back, same as pre-surgery; the incision is healing nicely (getting redder which is part of the healing process--it gets darker before it gets lighter); I'm still using the Embrace strips and they have definitely flattened the incision which is a nice perk; one of the pleats on the end of the incision (by anchor stitch) is flat already; the crease above my belly button is flattening and nearly gone; and I love how natural my belly button looks. I am able to do everything I could do pre-surgery and the soreness I had on my hips and sides from the lipo has really decreased a lot the past 2 weeks. It's nice to buzz around and not think about having to sit carefully or feeling soreness. I am also standing up very straight with no pulling feeling where the "tight stitch" above my bb was (I think it's dissolved at this point). Dr. Pyle said I still have a fair amount of swelling, so it sounds like things are only going to get flatter/thinner with time--woohoo! I am really happy at the 6 week mark and grateful that recovery has gone so well!! For those diabetics out there, I had my latest Hba1c done yesterday, and I'm still at 5.4%--that of a NON-diabetic (thanks to my pump). I definitely think having tight control has helped my healing process, as did being in shape (exercising a lot) prior to surgery. He said I no longer have to wear the compression garment, but can if I want to. I am rather attached to it at this point (LOL) so will continue to wear it for now. Oh, and I'm sleeping on my sides without any soreness. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Pyle!! He is a great surgeon, the entire office and nursing staff are solid, and he is wonderful about follow-up too. OK, I think that's it for my 6-week update. I will post current pics below.

7 Weeks PO

Hi RS'ers! Nothing much to report. I woke up today and decided that I don't feel like wearing my CG today. What?! Not sure if I will abandon it yet, but this is new (that I don't feel like wearing it). My doc said no need to wear, but I can if I want. Today, I'm wearing regular undies--gosh, all of them fit without pulling them up over my fat pouch and then rolling back down over it! SO GLAD THAT IS GONE!!!! I was 7 weeks post-op on Monday, so here are a few current pics. I'm thrilled with Dr. Pyle's work and how everything turned out. I feel that it looks very natural and I will be comfortable wearing a 2-piece again. Mission accomplished. I never wanted to be a Supermodel, just wanted this 47-year old body to look decent in a bathing suit. As for my progress, I feel 100% back to normal. I'm doing everything I did pre-surgery, no soreness to speak of, sleeping on my side again, exercising (though not as much as I should be), still need to get back to weights (but that's not due to TT, just my routine is off), down 2 pants sizes, still wearing Embrace strips on my incision. ALL GOOD. Feels great to get on with life and not think about this constantly. It was a process, but one well worth it for me. Best of luck to everyone out there considering it!

More Before and After's

I was bored last night and cleaning out photos on my phone, which led to me making a few "before and after" collages. I can't believe the difference--so thankful to feel like my (pre-twins) self again.

Incision healing

Someone emailed me asking how my incision was healing. I have been wearing the Embrace scar therapy system (silicone strips with strong adhesive to keep tension off incision) since I was 3 weeks post-op. Everything I read about wound healing (in the plastic surgery literature) said that silicone yields the best result. I'm not sure if the cheaper silicone strips use the same medical grade ingredients as the Embrace, so I decided to use Embrace since that is the product that the favorable clinical trials were conducted on. It is costly though, so if you cannot afford it, I would try a silicone based product that is less expensive--it may be that they work just as well--but I wasn't going to do a half Embrace/half other product experiment on myself! They recommend wearing them for at least 8 weeks (changing them every 10 days or so). Thus far, I have noticed that the incision is flat and staying thin. It has worked especially well on the ends of my incision which were pleated from where all the skin was brought together. It seems to be helping to flatten those pleats out. The incision is still very red, which is expected. Wound healing articles indicate that the incision will probably get worse looking (at about 3 months) before it gets better. This is the natural process that wounds go through. So, patience is the name of the game...again! I have attached pics of my incision--not much change in the past few weeks but hopefully 6 months from now, there will be a marked difference. My c-section scar was white and hardly perceptive but I never paid much attention to it so I don't know how many years it took to get that way. I'm hoping that I am as lucky with this incision. The purple-y areas around the incision are common and will disappear with time. I put lotion and sometimes BioOil on my tummy to keep it moisturized, but when I experimented with these on scars on my legs (months before surgery), I didn't like the results. Thus the decision to do a silicone-based scar therapy. Genetics play a big part too they say. Well, that's about all I can say about scar therapy for now...stay tuned!!

8 Weeks PO

I woke up today and realized that 8 weeks ago, I was in surgery. It has gone by pretty fast. Thought I'd snap a few pics to mark the 8-week milestone. Cheers!

9 Weeks PO

I'm a few days late, but I did take a few pics on Monday, my "9 week anniversary". Doing well and feeling great. Sleeping on my side/belly, doing everything I could before surgery. Wearing my CG somedays, and other days not. Just depends if I feel like it or not. I don't really use it for support so much as I feel like it keeps my shape and reduces swelling. (Doc said it isn't doing anything for my shape at this point but wear it if I want to.) Still wearing the Embrace strips too. Will try and keep up the periodic updates.

Incision at 9 weeks PO

I tried to post from my phone this week and it didn't work, so am finally adding some pictures of my incision at 9 weeks. I am still wearing the Embrace strips but wanted to snap a few pics between changing them. I did get a rash on part of it (presumably from the strips) so left them off for a couple of days and it went away. Otherwise, they don't bother me at all and I like feeling like they provide "support". All is well.

10 Weeks PO

We are headed to FL next month for our annual Thanksgiving trip, so I ordered some 2-piece bathing suits to try on. I have not worn a 2-piece since I was about 28 years old--19 years ago! I am still critical of many parts of my body, and am working on getting rid of some flab/& adding definition, but I am really thrilled with my tummy results. Thank you Dr. Pyle!!

11 Weeks PO

Snapped a few pics the other day...I am 11 weeks out now and feeling great. I feel 100% back to normal. No regrets!

12 Weeks PO

I had my 3 month follow-up with Dr. Pyle today. Everything looks great. They took my first "after" photo so I am posting that and the before picture from his office. Nothing new to report. Go for it ladies!

Few more 12 week pics

I had a few minutes to snap some shots before showering so here is Week 12. The scar is going through the "angry" stage where it gets darker/more purple, but it is smooth now and healing well. The color is normal for this point in time and will lighten over time.

16 Weeks Post-Op

All is well. I over-ate this month and gained 5 pounds (!) so back to strict eating and exercising today, as I do NOT want to ever have a nasty belly again. I feel great, doing everything I did before surgery and more! It is SO nice to just put pants on and not have them tight in the abdomen or have to hide the bulge. I remember when the pooch would just hang over itself too--gosh, I HATED that. I was in FL last week and what a treat to wear a 2-piece again. (Don't mind my fading spray tan in the pics, LOL.) I could not be happier with my results and I just love my belly button. It wasn't even round after having the twins and now it looks like it did when I was a teenager. I haven't put anything on the incision in a while but now that I'm back from vacation & in a routine, I will start up with the Kelo-Cote again. Might do Embrace once more, not sure yet. I used it for 7 weeks and the incision is smooth so not sure I still need it. The color will fade in time--that's just up to genetics and Father time, I am told. Cheers!

20 Weeks PO

Well, I was 20 weeks this week and it seems like but a distant memory at this point. Woohoo! I am doing everything I could do before, except that my stomach is flat and tighter (not painful at all) and I wear 1-2 sizes smaller than I used to! My scar is still red, but very smooth and I expect once it fades, it will be minimally noticeable. I am thrilled with my results and would do it all over again! I love that he did the incision right where I wanted it, how thin it is, how even it is, and that my belly button looks REAL. I cannot recommend Dr. Pyle highly enough. He was wonderful throughout the process and his office has their act together. My advice to those considering it, is to determine if you are a good candidate, take GOOD care of yourself before, during and after, and be patient. It's not a fun recovery but if you have realistic expectations and do all that you can to have a positive experience, changes are very good that you will. Seek progress, not perfection. Thanks for all of your kind comments and for reading this. I hope it helps others on your journey to the flat side. I will try and check in every few months this first year so that you can see how my scar is progressing, etc. Oh, and I have gained weight over the holidays so if I don't look as flat as before, that is why! But I am getting back to exercise, smart eating, and will maybe even try an abdominal crunch in January!

6 Months Post-Op

Hey there! I have not been on this site in ages--so that shows you that the process/surgery is a distant memory at this point. I don't even think about the fact that I had a TT anymore--except when I see myself in the mirror and miss that horrid drooping extra skin and fat...NOT! I had my 6 month follow-up with Dr. Pyle today. No issues and no questions, I just wanted to tell him how happy I am with the results and for him to see how I am healing. The incision is still purple-y but starting to fade. My c-section scar (which is no more as it got removed during the surgery) was fully faded to a white color so I'm hopeful that this will eventually be as imperceptible as that was. As for Dr. Pyle and his practice, they all get 5 stars from this happy customer. I plan on getting a consult in the next year for a boob lift (no implants) and won't hesitate to have him do my surgery if I decide to go for it. Cheers!
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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