IT WAS SO WORTH taking the dive, FINALLY - Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation - Richmond, VA

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I am looking for information, experiences and...

I am looking for information, experiences and general knowledge on the mommy makeover. I believe I could spend all day on google reading and sometimes I amaze myself how much I can get into it.
Ok, a little about me....I am 37, 5'8 and about 160lbs. I am getting ready to have my mommy makeover that will consist of a breast augmentation, tummy tuck and lipo of the flanks. I have 3 children ages 21,18 and 12. I also lost 100lbs about 5 years ago and have maintained it with the exception of about 10 lbs that I picked up a couple of years ago. I also work out about 4-5 times per week by doing strength training, plyometrics/bootcamp, cardio and yoga. I am in the best shape of my life but I have some skin issues now from the 3 children and weight loss.
I just did my consultation for my surgery with Dr Zemmel and loved him! My date is technically not set so what I have listed is a prospective time frame. I am still working on the financial portion as I was a little shocked by the total cost, but somewhat expected it. I know you get what you pay for in the world of plastic surgery. This is no means something I want to "bargin shop" for.
I have been toying with the idea of actually going through with the breast augmentation since I am somewhat happy with what I have (34C).However I have the typical issue that comes with children and weight loss... the sock with the ball in it look... not a good look for me. I will have to say the at the very least, the sock is a short ankle sock, lol!
I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am getting the Tummy tuck. I was told by Dr Zemmel that I had great abdominal muscles and would not need the muscles tightened... great news! That will make for a shorter recovery time and much less pain. I would recommend to anyone that is considering this procedure, work on those abs because it will make a huge difference! Having better muscle tone in general will make things better all the way around.
All in all, I cant explain the excitment I have for getting rid of this lose, nasty skin. I will finally feel like I can wear things that show a little belly or that are very form fitting. I am also looking forward to not having the fat "love handles" hanging over the back of my pants. I always have to tug my jeans up over them everytime I bend over or sit. I really hate that!
Well, I will follow up as I know more details and I am always interested in any information that anyone else can provide. Until then, thoughts and prayers to all!

Ok I have the surgery scheduled! I tried to get a...

Ok I have the surgery scheduled! I tried to get a 2nd opinion at another location closer to home. Right away they wanted to charge me 120.00 for a consult! Then they proceeded to tell me that they would not work with any type of medical financing, which in my opinion is ridiculous! There are not many people who have 15k to throw around. So I already knew that Dr Zemmel was the right choice for me.
Now we are on the 1 month count down and I am so nervous!
I also had to quite smoking as of today... but that's ok because I was not much of a smoker and I want to heal perfectly! Besides I am a health conscience person other wos

Ok so I hit a button.... I was saying that I am a...

Ok so I hit a button.... I was saying that I am a health conscience person otherwise. This month is about focus focus focus... lots of good nutritious food like spinach, salad, brussel sprouts (fresh baked) lean proteins like chicken and pork. Maybe a little fish, not a huge fan. I have plans for a grilled sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat with hearty tomato soup for tomorrow night, yumm! I also will continue to indulge in my chocolate.
As for working out, 4 to 5 times a week for 1 hour at the gym... 2 days strength training, 1 day boot camp, 1 day cardio and 1 day toss up between interval training and yoga. On a side note, I have been working out for the last 6 years but for anyone who does not stay active, becoming active will make things so much better!
Well I will update later on as my pre-op is march 22nd. Oh boy!

Yesterday was wonderful! I had my pre-op at the...

Yesterday was wonderful! I had my pre-op at the hospital and they were amazing! I also meet with Dr Zemmel again and his warm bed side demeaner along with his thorough explaination of my surgical process, shows that he really has my interest at heart. I am feeling much less anxious!
Ok, so I found out that I will be administering lovenox to myself subQ (shot) 4 days after surgery... lol! My sweet boyfriend, who is going to be home with me the first 3 days, will not be able to handle this. He can take care of all the other details, but if it involves needles or blood, he's out cold. Thank god I have been in health care for over 10 years, and even though I am not a nurse, I have done enough/seen enough that I think we will all be quite fine.
For all those who are interested, these are the medications I will be on the week following surgery:
Lovenox - Blood thinner (to prevent DVT and clots)
Dilaudid - Narcotic for pain
Docusate - Stool softner for constipation (very common side effect of narcotics)
Valium - Muscle relaxer/sleep aid, can also be used for anxiety (I can take one the night before for the anxiety if needed)
Augmentin - Antibiotics to ward off potential infection
Phenergan Suppositories - Prevention of nausea (suppositories are soft bullet shaped pills to be inserted rectally. This allows absorption through the rectum when nausea and vomiting prevent taking the medication orally)

I will be spending the night in the hospital so I will receive IV antibiotics and pain medications.This will also allow for me to have total down-time for the first 24hrs. I will also be placed on a Q-pain pump when I discharge. This pain pump will deliever local anesthetic right to the abdominoplasty (TT) surgical sight. I will have this for about 2-3 days and from what I understand, this will make the post-op pain much more controlled and tolerable.

I will be sent home with a sports bra style garment for my breasts and a garment for my midsection. I am suppose to wear those continueously for 3 weeks. I will then have to purchase a spanks garment to wear on the midsection for another 3 weeks.

I w

I guess I either cut my post off or it cut me off...

I guess I either cut my post off or it cut me off because it was too long... lol
Well I was explaining that I will have 2 drains for the TT. Both of which I am responsible for measuring the output and draining every 8 hours. I have been givin a log to record on. I also have to "strip" the drains every 12 hrs. This simple means that I will need to pinch off the drain near the surgerical sight and run my pinched fingers down to the bulb to clear any blockages.

I will not be able to start working out again for 4-6 weeks, which I am sure is going to be difficult. I expect that I will lose some muscle, but I am glad that I have it to lose. I can always regain it. The main thing will be trying not to go stir crazy!

Ok, I think I got everything for now. If I have forgotten anything, I will add it later. I also would love to hear from some other people on here who may have some advice or experiences that they would like to share.

count down - 17 days until surgery!

So I am on the count down to the day! 5 more days...

So I am on the count down to the day! 5 more days before I take the dive! I am nervous and scared of the surgery, but I have faith in my doctor taking good care of me. I have also had some throw back from my boyfriend. He has been so insecure. I keep trying to reassure him, but he dosent seem to believe that I am really doing this just for me. I would never do anything this extreme if it was not something I wanted completely. The way I see it is, if he can't handle me making positive changes then I am going to continue forward. Its his choice to stand still. I have a lot of good friends (that happen to be nurses) that will help me out. I am going to stand strong and do what I think is best for me.... I will update again soon :)

Very scared!! With Thursday just around the...

Very scared!! With Thursday just around the corner, I am having a OMG moment today. Just not sure what to anticipate... if I research this subject anymore, I think I may go crazy. I guess some words of comfort would be nice now.

Well I am almost down to the wire... just a few...

Well I am almost down to the wire... just a few more days until surgery and sleep is not my friend right now. I did not realize the insomnia was going to kick my butt like this. I am even on Trazadone and it helps some, but by 2 or 3 in the morning, I am up and going. I will be welcoming the valium on wednesday night! That will most likely be my best night of sleep, lol!

Good morning! Its now 2 days to go and I am...

Good morning! Its now 2 days to go and I am feeling much more at ease as compaired to yesterday. I am not sure what had caused this shift in emotion but its like this overall feeling of calm and collectiveness. I believe that putting positive energy out and around me has helped... something like a internal meditation that you have going in your mind, if that makes sense.
I have also got all my medications filled and ready to go. That has helped to ease things a bit. Also to cover all my basis, I am very fortunate in the fact that I work for a health care company and I will have one of my nurses to come and check on me the following days after surgery. This gives me a sense of security as well. I am anticipating some anxiety to come back but I am really tring to just focus on positive thoughts and the sense of knowing everything is going to be just fine :)

Well its the day before surgery and i am feeling a...

Well its the day before surgery and i am feeling a bit more nervous. I have a lot to do today work wise, so i am anticipating staying busy. However, i know me well enough to know that there's no way i will not be completely mentally consumed. Again, positive thoughts and positive energy... I feel 100% that everything will be just fine!

Wow... just 4 hours until surgery! We just got on...

Wow... just 4 hours until surgery! We just got on the road as I live about 1 1/2 hours or so from the hospital. Arrival is at 6 and then surgery is due to begin at 8.
I am feeling pretty calm at this point, although I have to thank valium for that! I would imagine the anxiety will set in a little more once we arrive at the hospital. I just have this inner peace with everything and that has been such a reassurance with the overall feelings. I just know everything will go very well.

Well I am seriously sore and just now able to...

Well I am seriously sore and just now able to really type. I am pretty much in and out at any given moment. I will post more later

Day 1 post-op: my experience with my doctor and...

Day 1 post-op: my experience with my doctor and hospital staff have been very pleasant considering the circumstances. I have had a tremedous amount of pain and it has made for a difficult time trying to sleep and so forth. We had a time with getting my meds straight for pain. I found that dilaudid does nothing for me except make me extremly tired. Percocet has been a life saver! I found that has been the only thing to manage the pain. I will plan to follow up tomorrow when I am a bit more with it and in less pain.

Post-op day 2 - The pain is better today, but I am...

Post-op day 2 - The pain is better today, but I am still unable to really look at myself since I cannot stand up very well and I have tubes and drains everywhere. I also had one hell of a time with getting the pain meds straight. I found out the Dilaudid does not do much for me and I suffered quite extensively. I am now on percocet and that has made a world of difference. I hope to take some pictures in the next few days. I am just to sore to even do a whole lot right now. I seem to be sleeping more than anything right now.

I am feeling a little better this evening. Its all...

I am feeling a little better this evening. Its all about baby steps and each moment seems a bit better than the last. I hope to post some post-op pictures tomorrow. I have been to tired to do anymore than go pee and move from one location of the house to another. However, I just got up and made myself some water and went to my sons room to talk to him for a few minutes and that was a huge accomplishment. I look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.

I think I am going to finally feel up to posting...

I think I am going to finally feel up to posting some pictures today. This is post-op day 4 and I am starting a have a sense of normal again. I have not had a BM yet but I am working on that. I also detect a bit of jealously from my boyfriend as he seems to be less and less interested in how things are going with me. I am just thankful for my friends who truely love me and want what is best for me. In fact, it was was my nurse friend who gave me a sponge bath and rubbed my shoulders to help me feel better. I really believe that the mans sad little ego makes him think that somehow things have changed me, but truth be known, he is the inability to be happy with hijmself

My post-op appointment went wonderful! I just love...

My post-op appointment went wonderful! I just love Dr Zemmel, Emily and all the girls at the office! I found out I am healing perfect and had the Q pain pump removed. I am also in a much more comfortable sports type bra and corset type girdle. I can also take a shower now, which is a fabulous. I think I am now ready to take a few after pictures to compare the difference. I do still have my main drains in until at least Thursday but other wise I am very pleased with the results. I also have some more swelling that will need to go down, but I am on the downhill stretch and I could not bd happier. A special thank you to Dr Zemmel and all his team, along with my supportive boyfriend and friends! I could not have done any of this without all of you!

Dr. Zemmel, you ROCK! Everyday I am loving it...

Dr. Zemmel, you ROCK! Everyday I am loving it more and more!!!
I am feeling the best yet and I am even going to have lunch with a girlfriend today. I am a little anxious to start buying clothes, bras, bathing suits, ect... I can't wait to see what everything looks like :)
I feel very sexy!

Ok so a day of feeling really good has come back...

Ok so a day of feeling really good has come back to bite me because now my breasts HURT! I don't know if I was on my feet to much or what, but boy I am paying the price now. Has anyone else had this experience? I don't know if this has anything to do with the "dropping" process but I had put on a extra sports bra because they hurt so bad.

Well, I have not been on in a few days and I have...

Well, I have not been on in a few days and I have not been looking at the comments, so my apologies to those who have made comments or asked questions.
Alot of you may know that days have their ups and downs for sure. I have been somewhat in a mood of not wanting a lot of interaction because of my aggrevation with this god forsakin drain that I still have and this very tight binder. I guess I am so anxious to back to "me" again, that it just aggrevating to put on my jeans and not really be able button or wear them because they sit right on the drain... grrrrrr
I also found out that tightness on my breasts, wether it be a sports bra or too tight tank top HURTS. I am doing the breast massages now and that has also made them sore. It just makes you in a bad mood a lot, lol!
Ok so I am posting my 10 day post-op pics so there is a comparision to how things are progressing. Its hard for me to see, since I see myself all the time, but my boyfriend has been very positive about how things are looking.

Well I am a few days behind posting these 15 days...

Well I am a few days behind posting these 15 days post-op pictures since I am at day 17, but that just means I will be posting again in just a few days. I am trying to do pictures every 5 days so both myself and others can see how quickly the transition can be from bloated Frankenstien to "how you doing" sexy :)
I am not quite at "how you doing" yet, but I am working on it.
I am still wearing my binder 24/7 along with a spanx underneath for max compression. I do daily breast massage 3x per day. That middle of day breast massage is tough since I work. I do have the advantage of working out of my car, so I will do it at the oddest times.... sitting at a light, parking lot or even while in the restroom. I can only imagine what someone else sitting at the light beside me must be thinking, lol!
I have finally been able to wear my jeans again as the swelling has gone WAY down. And yes, I am wearing them over the binder, I just have to wear my jeans that have a looser waist. At least I feel semi cute with my jeans on.
I have also figured out the "ahh bra" is wonderful because its almost like the garment bra you get after surgery. You can get it at Target and it comes in colors like Nude and Black. It also has just a touch of padding at the nipple so that the world does not know when I am cold.
I will have to say I am so ready to start bra shopping because I feel like these bras are something a grandma would wear. I have these nice perky pretty breasts and I would like to put them in a sexy pretty bra. Victoria Secrets is in my very near future!
Something kinda weird to throw out there... my pubic area where the drains were, itch like no tomorrow. Not sure why that is? I have some itching at the incision site, but its the normal healing itchy feeling. Maybe the drain holes itch because its in the hair and that area does get a lot of friction with underwear, spanx and whatnot? Not sure... does anyone else have anything like this?
So pretty much over all, I'm feeling pretty good. I would say I am at about 85% of myself and really ready to start working out again. I was given the ok to start the treadmill this week, so tomorrow morning and I am going to the gym for the first time in almost 3 weeks. I can't wait! Wish me luck... I am sure I will have some good soreness trying to get back in the swing of things.

Feeling pretty good at 18 days post-op and getting...

Feeling pretty good at 18 days post-op and getting ready to go the gym for a walk on the treadmill or elipitical. Wish me luck because I am really going to have to work hard to build back up to were I was pre surgery. I will post pics at 20 days post-op.

Well ladies (and gentlemen if there are any...

Well ladies (and gentlemen if there are any reading) I am posting my 20 day post-op pics and the healing process seems to be going well. I am very happy with the breasts! The TT incision is healing pretty well with the exception of this one spot in the middle. I am not sure if pulled it somehow, or its just going to be a spot that takes a little longer. I talked with my PS and he said it will heal but may have a little wider scar.
I am offically out of my CG!!! SOOOOO happy. I am wearing the spanx now. I have tried 2 brands... Victoria Secrets has a version thats $35 and seems to work fairly well. Target has their version called Body Essance and I like these a little better. They are the same price but I think they have better compression. They are a little heavier so if your hot natured, you may want to shop around.
I am, over all, so happy with my results and I cannot wait until a little more time passes so I can get back into my grove with working out and having all my energy back. I have pushed myself to the point of exhaustion and that is no fun.
Word to the wise.... TAKE OFF AT LEAST 2 WEEKS FROM WORK! You will be a much happier, healthier healing person.

I am almost at one month post-op and will be...

I am almost at one month post-op and will be posting pictures soon. I am feeling very frustrated with my low energy levels. I was released to start some light cardio, and even tried that last week..... MISTAKE! I thought I was going to die by Thursday and even took Friday off work from exhaustion. I started back on Monday thinking that I was feeling great... well we are at Wednesday and the energy is draining away. In all fairness, I have a job were I am on my feet ALOT so I guess that takes its toll on me.
I have had some swelling in my lower abs and over all soreness. I am wearing the Spanx during the day. Right now during the afternoon, my lower stomach just feels weird. I have no feeling between my belly button and my incision, just in the middle. But god forbid I stretch or something, then I know everything is there!
I am praying to the workout gods that I will be getting some energy back soon so I can get back into the gym and resume some sense of normality.

I am sure this feeling will pass however i am in a...

I am sure this feeling will pass however i am in a state of regret. I do not have any support at 4 weeks post op. I am discovering that my boyfriend had it in his head that i should be "be over it" by now. He has decided to be angry with me for lack of attention and also because i don't have my energy back. I am just beside myself with regret that i could ever rely on him. i don't know what i am going to do except wait until i get my strength back and go from there. Hopefully my next post will be on a more positive note... Word to the wise, have a good support system before you do something like this.

I have posted 1 month post-op pictures. They are a...

I have posted 1 month post-op pictures. They are a few days late as Saturday was offically 1 month. I will plan to post monthly pictures as things progress.
Can anyone tell me what kind of bra to buy? I am really struggling with this.... and already wasted a bunch of money!

2 month follow up went well....Dr Zemmel, you rock!

Well its hard to believe its almost been 2 months! I had my 2 month post op and things could not had went better. This office is simply amazing in how well they have cared for me and made me feel like I am family. I was able to do a video testimony and that was so much fun! And.... because I did that, I get to have a free facial. How cool!
Well over all, I am feeling so much better these days! I am almost what I would call normal. I had a minor set back this week with a shoulder/neck issues that prohibited me from going to the gym, but I am going tomorrow to get my grove back :)
I have been cleared to start using Mederma and just started tonight.I got the once a day for 8 weeks stuff. We will see how that goes. I am also out of my spanx! Yeah! I hate anything that binds me and is hot. I think I will be so much more comfortable not having that thing riding up my butt all day.
I am truly happy with my results and my confidence is sky high! I love my new body!

2 months ( a few days over) post op and feeling so fine

Well I am very glad to get past this hump because I would say that (finally) I am back to me again! Hitting the gym.... check, Working hard.... check, Doing to family thing....check :) It seems to all be coming back into focus.
I started my mederma scar treatment about a week ago. It is a 8 week, once a day treatment. I am excited this is happening as I thought the middle part of my belly would never heal! I have pulled a few stiches out of that area that must have been trying to hang on. The PS told me this can cause a delay such as what I had.
I am also free of my spanx and this makes me VERY happy! I hated those stupid things, can we say wedgie!
I love how I can wear tube tops and very skimpy summer stuff with no bra! I found the nipple petals that just stick over your nipples at Kohls and they are wonderful! I am very self conscience of my nipples showing, so I always wear these if I am going braless.
Just a FYI, the petals are a one use only deal. They will not stick again once you have used them, but you get like 6 pair in a pack for about $6. The dollar tree also carries them, but they are not quite as good as the ones at Kohls.
Ok, well I am posting updated pics of the scars and how things look at this point. I would love feedback if you have anything to add!

Photos for 2 months post op

I have read a lot of good reviews about Dr Zemmel, his office and even the hospital that the procedure is done in. I had my consultation and he was so nice and easy to talk too. He explained the procedure and talk with me in great detail about my concerns. I also got to try some "boobs" to see what I would look like... it was very interesting! I am planning to have my procedure done by Dr Zemmel as I was very satisfied with my first impression. To add an update: Dr Zemmel and his staff continue to show exceptional professionalism with such warmth and real concern towards my needs and desires. I don't feel like just a patient, I feel like a part of the team. There is a true comfort in the treatment I am receiving from this office and that gives me valuable piece of mind! Additional Follow-up: The Post-op care has been excellent! I feel like my continued healing is very important to Dr. Zemmel and his Staff! I am a lifetime referral source for these guys! (hope your reading this Dr. Zemmel because I am already working on a few referrals for you as we speak!)

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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