At two weeks, I believe my result will be...
At two weeks, I believe my result will be excellent. 50 year old active mom, after 2 c-sections, a hysterectomy and stubborn fat my stomach developed an apron. Since my stomach muscles had also separated, the only fix was a tummy tuck. Sagging breasts and upper arms to boot--I did all three at once. Having to be careful using arms, our recliner has been a life saver. I could not possibly lay in a bed and get out of it without pulling on arm incisions.
Doing all three at once was the right decision to avoid multiple surgeries. I knew recovery would be tough, and it is. I was back in the hospital one week post-op due to dizziness (passed out after shower) and shortness of breath. It was not a blood clot. My blood volume seemed low and I was low on iron. A day of iron and prune juice mixed with oj to counteract constipation alleviated the dizziness and overall exhaustion. Had a terrible headache too. Adding limited caffeine after 10days has alleviated that.
I was off pain meds in 5 days and now only take Tylenol a couple hours before bed to help me sleep. I have no breast pain, stomach pain is mild--only bad when I sneeze. Arms are the most annoying. The compression sleeves cross over the under arm scars. Hopefully my two week post op tomorrow will give me the ok to remove the arm compression or get some sport compression sleeves.
Another note--with only a bra, compression sleeves and stomach wrap, my hips have been very swollen and I've had rashes. A cold washcloth followed by Hydrocortisone cream has helped.
Two week status
I did not take before photos, but when I joked about my Buddha belly (complete with overflow muffin top), breasts that had to be rolled up and put in my bra, and goodbye arms (arms that keep waving after I've stopped)--I wasn't really kidding. While I am still bruised with a bride of Frankenstein look, you can see my self deprecating jokes are no longer valid.
At two weeks I can stand up straight and regretfully wash dishes. Restricted to lifting 10 pounds and still get tired easy. Arms remain the most restrictive to increasing activity. I ordered some arms sleeves today hoping they will work so I won't have a compression garment running across the underarm incision (ouch).
I didn't mention previously, I had a breast lift with lipo injection to put air into my deflated balloons. They are quite swollen now and the "pucker" at the sides is expected to dissipate.
Today's 4 week follow up made me feel great. I have one spot that has been a healing challenge on my hip--where there was a bunched nub of skin that fell off and has been itchy and angry for weeks. After a painful squeeze and clean out that is expected to heal nicely. The other side of hip has wrinkles that have clearly flattened out a great deal.
I'm allowed to reduce compression wear to 25% of the time and during exercise. Still 10 pound weight lifting limit, but will be unrestricted in two weeks. At 8 weeks I should be able to get back to freestyle swimming. Doctor said my swelling is down by about 50% and it's not yet time to buy new clothes. I'm blown away by how much smaller I am now--can't imagine what another 50% will look like.
Starting biocorneum gel and massaging scars. Will post again at 2 month mark and hope to remember to ask doc for before photos at that visit. Oh, and got cleared to use deodorant! Woo hoo!
5 weeks--so much better
Feeling human. Lots of swelling still for arms, stomach and breasts but it's all so much more comfortable now. Wrinkle is almost gone on one side of stomach and if I let the other side dry thoroughly after a shower it gets a scab and is much more comfortable. Still tender sides and nipples--forgettaboutit ! Super sensitive. Can comfortably rub silicone cream on scars now and they continue to improve.
I would never even let my husband see my stomach before surgery. These photos are after losing 20#. I swam a mile three times a week and still couldn't tighten up anything. I got these photos at my 8 week follow up and am sharing with you to hopefully help others. I am now down 29 pounds and hope to keep making progress. These before photos are a shock to me now.