I am almost one month post op from having a tummy...
I am almost one month post op from having a tummy tuck with NO muscle repair. I have wanted my stretchy skin removed for many years. My last child was over 10 pounds and boy did that pregnancy do a number on my stomach. This child is now a 21 year old, college student. Lol! I am a petite woman and an avid long distant runner. Thin and athletic with extra stomach skin just doesn't look good. I haven't worn a bikini since my last pregnancy because of my prune stomach and all my a stretch marks that went above my belly button.
I have been on many consults for this procedure for the past 15 years and have always put it off with the fear of the pain and the scar. My mom past away last July from breast cancer and she always said, you only live once so do what ever you want to do in life. That's when I made my decision to seriously do this procedure. I finally decided to go with Dr. Tattelbaum in Rockville, Maryland. His work is amazing and his scars are very low and very thin. He told me at my consult that I did not have to have muscle repair and that he could pull just as much skin as he would with muscle repair. He also said the the recovery would be easier. So I set the date!
Had my surgery on New Year's Eve! What a way to bring in the new year. Went in at 8am and was getting all marked up in my tiniest panties I could find for him to keep the scar hidden, and was in surgery by 9am. I was very nervous but the staff was just amazing. Dr Tattelbaum is so kind and sincere. He has the best bedside manner that I've ever seen from a doctor. I was so worried about waking and and feeling nauseated from the anesthesia so they gave me a anti nausea patch behind my ear and gave me some anti nausea meds in my IV. It worked because I never once felt sick after waking up. They had me go to the bathroom to pee. If I didn't urinate, I would have had to go home with a catheter. Thank goodness I had no problem with that. My stomach felt extremely tight and I had one drain on my right hip. It was an hour and a half drive home and I actually stayed awake and ate crackers and drank water on the way home.
We don't have a recliner but we do have a lazy boy arm chair with an ottoman. My husband put lots of pillows behind me and that is where I slept and healed for the first 5 days of my recovery. On the evening of day 5, we did the same thing with the pillows, but in our bed. We also had some propped under my knees while in bed. It was so nice to finally be able to sleep in a real bed again. I took Percocet for the first 2 days (around the clock) even setting my alarm so I would wake up in the middle of the night to take it. By day 3 I switched to Tylenol with codein and by day 4 I was only taking extra strength Tylenol. I did take the muscle relaxer every night before bed for a week. The pain was tolerable as long as I kept up with my meds. The worse thing for me was the hunched over back pain and the drain. That drain was so annoying and hurt if bumped the wrong way. I ended up with a small hematoma and had to keep the drain in a few day longer then usual. It finally came out (thank goodness) but I still had to have a small procedure done by Dr Tattelbaum to remove the rest of the hematoma. I didn't need a local because my stomach was still so numb that I didn't feel anything. The procedure worked because the hematoma was completely gone before I left his office that day and never came back! Woohoo! Being able to take a shower was just AMAZING!!!!!!! The little things we take for granted when we aren't able to do it. Haha! My incision is is healing so good and so thin! I knew I couldn't go wrong by going with Dr Tattelbaum! He's a perfectionist in my eyes! I was standing up straight by the end of week 2 but I noticed that by the end of the night, I would start to slowly hunch over. Dr Tattelbaum said that I could wear spanx instead of the binder, but I still wear the binder at night at bedtime. He also said to use cocoa butter and vitamin E for the scar and to start massaging the scar. I have been doing that several times a day and my scar is healing so nicely! No openings or issues at all with my scar. It's getting lighter everyday and so thin!
There were a few times the first week of recovery that I would ask myself why I paid for all this pain. I didn't even want to look at my stomach right away like most women do. I wanted to wait until my first post op appointment. My hubby has been amazing through out this process. When I couldn't shower, he sponge bathed me and washed my hair for me. You really do need all the help you can get. Though I didn't get muscle repair done, this was NO cake walk. The tightness, numbness, backpain and worries that something could go wrong with the scar like the horror stories and pictures I've seen. This surgery is no joke. I look ar my stomach now and I can't believe it's mine! I still have stretch marks but Dr Tattelbaum got them all under my belly button. The stretch marks I do have left are so tight that I know that when I wear a bikini (woohoo!) and I'm out in the sun, it could possibly start to fade some with time. He couldn't get enough skin to completely get rid of all my old belly button scar, but it's low enough that it can be hidden in a bikini bottom. I have to say, I have the CUTEST new belly button! So natural looking! I'm very very happy I did this and really the only conplaint I have is that I should have done this years ago!
If you are thinking of doing this, I say GO FOR IT! You only live once! ;)
Not sure how to correct my typos to my review above. Will try to take a pic of my scar and add as soon as I can. :)
My scar at 4 weeks post op!
This is my scar today after running a mile and a half. Slowly trying to get my running strength back. Yesterday was exactly 4 weeks since my surgery. I'm happy with my healing progress and I know it will just get better from here. The scar is healing nicely and thin. You can see my old belly button scar. It is still low enough that it can be hidden in a low bikini bottom. I'm pretty much feeling 100 percent back to normal. Slowly but surely, I need to get back out there and start my half marathon training, after a month down for healing! Happy healing my fellow TT ladies! :)
Four months post-op!
22 Apr 2016
4 months post
I am 16 weeks post op and completely back to normal! I have been running for months now and back to running my normal pace that I was running before surgery. It's rare that I swell anymore and I haven't worn my binder since February, at around 6 weeks post op. I am doing more sit-ups and ab workouts too! Without the extra skin I had pre-op, I see the definition of my abs much faster! I still have a lot of stretch marks and I'm ok with that. I can still wear a bikini and hoping once I start tanning that the sun will fade some of my stretch marks. It's just SO nice having abs! Wow! I love my results! Here is a pic I took today after my 5 mile run! It's been a while since I've posted so I figured it's time for an update! For the ladies that are newly post-op, I promise it gets better. Hang in there. For those thinking of getting a TT, I say go for it! You only live once! It's not an easy recovery but it's SO worth it!
19 weeks post op!
11 May 2016
5 months post
Nothing has really changed since my last post at 16 weeks. I'm so happy with my results and now that the weather is warm, it's so nice to wear fitted tops without worrying about 'sucking' anything in! I don't swell at all and am running up to 20 miles a week! My abs look amazing! I am still putting vitamin E and coco butter during the day on my scar and a scar fading tape on at night for twelve hours (prescribed from my PS). Scar is looking very good and slowly fading. Just wanted to share a recent pic with a tightly fitted shirt and how awsome it feels! No muffin top at all! It's all worth it ladies! It will get better, I promise! Happy Healing! :)
Scar fading tape
12 May 2016
5 months post
For those that have sent me a message asking what kind of scar fading tape I'm using. Here is a pic of it. It's by prescription only and is working very well. It's 12 hours on and 12 hours off. It not only helps to fade but also helps to flatten any raised scars.
It's bikini time!
26 May 2016
5 months post
I am 21 weeks post op today! Bought my first bikini from Venus and oh my goodness, I could not be any happier! I haven't worn a bikini since I was a teenager! Having the stretchy prune stomach after my babies, was always an embarrassment. Now I walk around so proud of my belly! I still have stretch marks but I still feel amazing in my bikini! Wow! This surgery was SO worth every penny! I seriously should have done this years ago! I haven't had any complications, scar is healing so nicely and starting to fade and I haven't had swelling since around 6 weeks post op. I stopped wearing my binder at around the same time (6 weeks post op). Here are some pictures I took today! Excuse the tan marks from my running shorts LOL! But check out my amazing abs! Wow oh wow! Going away to the beach for Memorial weekend and can't wait to show off my new bikini! Happy Memorial Day weekend and happy healing my fellow TT'ers!
Going into month 6 pre-op
Yesterday was a follow up with Dr Tattelbaum. I go every 5-6 weeks. Everything looks great, my scar is low and healing well. No complications at all. This surgery was tough for the first few weeks. I think the worse part for me was the pain from being hunched over back pain and the annoying drain bothered me a lot. If I accidentally bumped or moved the drain the wrong way, it really hurt. I took fiber and ate a lot of veggies so I never had issues with constipation. By the end of week 2 I was standing up straight. I was running again by week 4 (slowly). Swelling ended for me around week 6 and that's about when I stopped wearing my binder. I also didn't get the 'ken doll' issues that some get. This surgery is not a cake walk, but if you have a great plastic surgeon then its tolerable and you will get through it. It doesn't feel like it for the first few weeks but as long as you eat lots of veggies and protein, drink lots of water and rest a lot - you will heal faster. I am so happy with my results and recommend Dr Tattelbaum to anyone looking for a wonderful plastic surgeon! He's a perfectionist and does amazing tummy tucks! I wish I had done this surgery sooner! Well worth it! Bikinis season is here and I've been showing off his work! Happy healing my fellow TT'ers!!
23 weeks post op pictures of scar....
Just wanted to update pics showing my scar at 23 weeks post op. It's healing so well and fading nicely with the Cordon tape that my plastic surgeon has me using. I've been using it for a couple months now. 12 hours on at night and 12 hour off during the day. Some days my scar can look darker then others but today it looks so much lighter to me. It may not look this light later today LOL but it's healing so nicely and sits very low. My plastic surgeon has us bring in the panties that we want to be marked in - the morning of surgery so I brought in my tiniest panties. My scar has not moved at all after healing like some say that scars can move. Mine still fit perfectly in the panties I was marked in. I know that it can take a year to see how faded a scar will be so I can't wait to see how this scar will look at a year post op. I can't say it enough but this surgery was worth every penny! :) For those that are just days post op, it does get better! Happy healing ladies!!
Low waist hip hugger jeans!
I would have never been able to wear jeans like this before. Now that my stomach is so flat, I have no more muffin top! So happy! Happy healing my fellow TT'ers! It does get better, I promise!
Seven Months Post Op
25 Jul 2016
7 months post
Hello fellow TTers! Just updating my progress at 7 months post op! I am so happy with my results, and love that I can wear a bikini again! As you can see with my tan, I spend a lot of time in them! LOL! I saw my PS last week and he says everything looks great and I've healed very well. The only place I still
have no feeling is around my belly button, but it doesn't bother me at all. Everywhere else I have gotten full feeling back. For those that have recently had surgery, just hang in there. I promise that it does get easier. For those that haven't had your TT yet, you won't regret getting one. Just remember to be patient and do everything your PS tells you to do for healing. For those who want to get a TT but may be afraid - I say GO FOR IT! You only live once. Just make sure you do A LOT of research and don't settle for a PS just because the price is low. You get what you pay for. If I could recommend one, I would highly recommend Dr. Tattelbaum in Rockville, MD. He's a perfectionist and has the best bedside manner. His scars are so very low too. He has you bring in the panties or swimsuit bottom that you want to be marked in and he keeps his scar within his markings. I can't say enough good things about him and his staff. Here is a pic I took of me today. Loving my abs!! Happy Healing!! :)
I've really been working on defining my ab muscles since I was given the OK to work out months ago. Loving my results! I'm at about 7 and a half months post op now. I haven't had one issue or one regret about having this surgery! It's not an easy surgery but it's worth! Happy Healing my fellow TT'ers!!
Approximately 9 months post op!
29 Aug 2016
8 months post
Nothing new but wanted to update my pic! About 9 months post op! Hope everyone is happy with their results as I am! Happy healing!