One Month Post-Op - on the Flat Side! Full TT W/lipo - Rockville, MD

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I've been a hardcore lurker, so now I am here to...

I've been a hardcore lurker, so now I am here to be brave and post pics.

Honestly, I don't know how some of you post pics and reviews during week one! I barely remember that week. I stayed on my pain meds and slept A LOT. My eyes couldn't even focus enough to read the TV menu, lol!

I started out in June of 2012 and set my surgery date. I interviewed doctors (I recommend researching online and then meeting your top 3 favorites in person). I picked the 3 that I thought had the most natural looking shapes and belly buttons in their before and after photos.

I also set a goal to lose weight before my procedure. After a lot of time at the gym, I was pleased to have lost 25 lbs before surgery. I had the mommy-flap of tummy skin that would not tighten up, no matter how many crunches I did. (Does your tummy hang low, does it wobble to-and-fro? Can you tie it in a knot? Can you Tie it in a bow?) And my big babies did a number on my abs - they had become quite separated.

I got so nervous and excited the couple of weeks before surgery!

The cool thing was that I had chosen Dr. Tattelbaum as my doctor. It was the best surgical experience I've ever had (and I have had 3 babies, been an egg donor, and had a tubal ligation). 

I did a lot of reading on the site and before I knew it, it was the big day! I went to the surgical center in soft button-front pj shirt and pants (comfy!). I had prepped the week before by eating light, adding lots of veggies, and taking fiber pills religiously.

Okay, so before I went in, they insisted on giving me instructions on how to care for my drain. I have anxiety issues, so this made me woozy, I won't lie. But I made it through and my husband held my hand :-)

When I went into the surgical room I was pleasantly surprised at how comfy the bed was! I loved the leg massagers that they use to keep you from getting clots, etc. The doctor and nurse told me jokes until I fell asleep - I loved that!

I woke up pleasantly, but just felt very tight. Like everyone else says, it feels like you did a million crunches. I was sore but fairly out of sorts. I remember them saying that I would need to use the restroom in order to leave - I had no issue doing this, but felt like I'd had too much to drink.... when they asked me to stand and go get on the toilet, I thought "are you kidding me??!!" ;-) But everything came out fine.

I think I slept most of the way home. Then week 1 was a blur. I was thankful for:
1. I had regularly worked my back muscles at the gym leading up to surgery. This helped SO much when I had to walk around bent over.
2. I have a massage chair. If you can get a massage tool, get one, and have your helper use it on your back.
3. Pain meds and valium. I don't remember much, but I think it's a good thing!
4. Having a supportive husband and helpful friends. When he was out, our friends pitched in and helped me. I'm sure I was probably fairly entertaining while medicated ;-)
5. The suggestion of adding mineral oil to my regimen of care products. I drank this three times a day in addition to taking fiber, and had no issues with getting "backed up"

Okay, so as I began to regain consciousness and begin functioning, the HARDEST thing for me was getting up in the morning. Getting out of bed is tricky, but waking up in the morning CONTINUES to be difficult. You wake up very stiff and it is hard to move. You have to take it slow. Now that I've returned to work, it is the bain of my existence! lol... but each day gets better.

As I started caring for my wounds on my own (which, surprisingly didn't make me squeamish) I felt utter and immense gratitude to my doctor. He did a full tummy tuck with lipo and lipo of the flanks/hips. My new shape is amazing! Even when swollen I couldn't believe how much better I look. I actually cried a few times, I was so happy. I had steri-strips and they just fell off as my incision healed, which was very fast by my standards.

One area of difficulty for me has been "how much is too much?" My surgery was 12/6, so I felt compelled to go to the store for last minute Christmas gifts. I didn't feel too bad and thought I was taking it easy enough, but my body took a little longer to heal. I caught a cold, which slowed healing, and I didn't get my drain out until week 3. By week 3 1/2 I developed a small seroma, which I just had treated the other day. It wasn't a big deal, 35ccs. I go in Tuesday to get a follow- up.

While I'm a little disappointed I can't yet exercise and still have to take it easy till the seroma heals, I am not disappointed in this procedure at all. It is life-changing in a very good way.

Happy New Year!

Had Drainage Session #2 today... Drove myself in...

Had Drainage Session #2 today... Drove myself in for the first time and walked upright! Yay! I forgot to ask doc how many cc's this time but to me it looked like he got out less than half of what we got last time. Doc says it doesn't look like he will need to revise (open it back up to get it to stick) thank goodness! This time I didn't even feel anything when he drained it. Have to go back in Friday if I see fluid building back up.

It's a bit of a pain to have to continue limiting my activities but I'm being good! Also a challenge because hubby has been "Mr. Mom" for such a long time and he is starting to need me to help more with the girls so he can go to work. This procedure is definitely a lifestyle changer!

Okay, so I am a little over 8 weeks PO now. The...

Okay, so I am a little over 8 weeks PO now. The seroma healed!! Feels great to get the "all clear" from the doc to go ahead and live my life again :-) Honestly, I think added compression (binder on top of CG almost 24/7) was the main thing that helped the healing. Not sure if sitting and doing nothing helped so much... but I wasn't gonna risk it. Did everything the doc said.

First trip back to the gym was both a good thing and a disappointing one.... felt great to get back out to the gym, felt great to exercise. Felt SO wimpy!! And the day after I am feeling quite sore too..., it's going to be a little while before I can get anywhere close to what I used to do. But again, it just felt good to be back. So I'm going to focus on that!
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon

Dr. T is the best. He doesn't rush you, he is kind and matter-of-fact, and very courteous. I am typically seen right away (the one time he was running behind he apologized profusely) and his staff are wonderful. I had a lot of fun candid discussions with his staff in McLean during pre-op appointments. Nothing bad to say - I've never had a doctor that was so attentive and professional. He has made me comfortable and confident throughout the process. His bedside manner is superb.

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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