38 Years Old, 3 Pregnancies, 2 by C-Section

I am still in the planning phase but plan to get...

I am still in the planning phase but plan to get the surgery around March 1st, 2016. I am 5'5" and 185 lbs. my waist measures around 36" at the smallest part and 39" around the belly button. I don't have many stretch marks and hoping lipo would do the trick but it won't. I need muscle repair and skin removal. My Dr did not suggest lipo in any other areas aside from the flanks which is included in the tummy tuck procedure. He recommended me to lose more weight for better results so I started my journey on Monday to drop 15 lbs by March. I am super excited and really hope to have great results with the surgery.

2 More Months

Getting more excited. Only 2 months to go. I haven't lost any weight but haven't gained either. Holidays are over so back to focusing harder on the weight loss. Looking to get to at least 175 lbs. I have been running and weight training.

Changed Surgeons and Booked Surgery Date

I met with another surgeon and have decided to go with him. It was a very hard decision but I had to go with my gut on this one.

The reason I changed surgeons. Both seemed great and I have seen great reviews on both. One does a more aggressive skin lift but no upper abdomen lipo and the other is more conservative on the lifting of the skin but does upper abdomen lipo. I went with the surgeon that does the lipo because my biggest concern is the fullest in my upper abdomen

I hope I made the right decision as it was not an easy one.

2 Weeks To Go

Well I have to more weeks-from today. I check in for surgery at 6am and my surgery is at 7:30. Its gonna be an early morning as it is about 1 1/2 hours away. Oh well, I probably won't sleep much anyway.

I have a walker from when my sister had her surgery, just bought a recliner. I want to get a toilet seat riser. I pick up my meds at my pre-surgery appointment next week. I have lots of help between hubby, my sister and my kids. I took two full weeks off work and plan to telework half days for the following two weeks.

I didn't lose any weight but I have been exercising and trying to eat healthier. I will post all of my pre surgery stats the day before.

Feeling nervous but excited all at the same time.

1 Week Before Surgery

It's one week until my surgery. I bought this bathing suit since I loved it so much. I am really hoping that I will feel confident enough to wear it this summer.

Made Final Payment and Received Gifts From Surgeon

Well, I made my final payment yesterday. Shit is getting real now. I was pleasantly surprised when I made my final payment and picked up all of my pre-op "stuff", the surgeons office gave me complementary facial and botox for after my surgery. I was totally shocked and thought it was such a wonderful gift.

I picked up my meds and have all the supplies I think I will need. My next steps are to wait, clean up really good since I won't do that for awhile (kids and hubby just don't donit the same), and go grocery shopping. I am very lucky that I have my husband, sister and a teenage daughter to help while I am recovery.

I am renting a recliner.
Bought a toilet seat riser and walker.

I think those are must-haves after reading all the reviews.

Getting nervous and excited. Less than a week to the flat side (I hope).

On My Way to the Hospital

Today is the day. See you on the flat side (I hope).

Day 1 Update

Well so far so good. I had to check in at 6am, surgery at 7:30 am. Everyone at the hospital was great (Sibley Memorial Hospital). I woke up and the only pain I had was from my bladder. I had to pee so bad. The nurse gave me a bed pan, it took awhile but I was able to go.

Surgery about 3 hours, I think. I was released at 12:30 pm. Pain was about a 2 or 3 but I asked for pain meds before I left since I had a long drive home (about 1 1/2 hours). Got home still relatively pain free. Hubby helped me out of the car and up the porch. I have a power recliner, toilet seat riser, and walker. I have been able to get to the bathroom on my own and wipe as well (not sure if I can do that for #2 but we will see). Pain is still about a 3 when sitting but a 5 or so when I have to walk.

So far, all I really needed help with is getting out of the car and in the front door. I also need help putting the pillow under my knees.

I am certain tomorrow will be much worse but I am taking today for what its worth.

I haven't been hungry but forcing myself to get something down. I had a protein shake, greek yogurt and a few almonds so far today.

Not sure what the surgeon removed yet but he took pictures and will email them to me. Not sure if he will call tonight or tomorrow to check up on me.

Only one drain is draing but its draining a lot. It is positioned lower in the abdomen and the other is higher. I have drained 150 cc in the last 3 1/2 hours. I hope its normal but better out than in.

Epic Shower Fail

Well I thought I would shower today since my surgeon said it was okay. Took the binder off as it needed to be washed (full suit with hole opening at crotch-felt like it may have had overspray and rubbing on my skin). I felt immediately nauseous and decided the shower will have to wait. Got the binder off to wash and put a new one on. I couldn't get pics yet, maybe when I change back into the one my surgeon gave me.

1st Pictures

Here are the first pictures. Very rough but it is the day after surgery.

Pictures of What was Removed -not for the weak stomach

This is the fat and skin the surgeon removed. I am on day 3 and feeling a little beter than yesterday. Day 2 was certainly my worst so I hope it all gets easier from here.

Feeling a Little Better Today

Still walking hunched over which reall y hurts the back. I started using a heating pad yesterday and that seems to help quite a bit. Walking is imperative as it keeps you from getting too stiff. I try to get up at least every 2 hours and stay up for about 5 min even if I have to lean on my walker and just move my legs.

I managed to take a partial shower yesterday. I sat on a stool and washed my hair. I just let the water run over my body for about 5 min. I have clear wrap around my incision and no guage. I put the guage inside the garmet (full length from knees to over the shoulder). It isn't too bad but since it has an open crotch it feels tight around the opening and is a bit uncomfortable there and also causes the drain tube to press firmly on the pub area ( that just plain sucks). My pain sitting today is about a 2 and walking is about a 4. Still taking meds as prescribed even though I think I could wean off- just a little nervous as I don't want to feel the pain I had the day after. It was definitely the worst.

I think as long as I don't have complications, it should get better everyday now. My drainage is slowly a little:
Day 1: 245cc
Day 2: 165cc
Day 3: 155cc

I have two drains but only one drain is actually draining, nothing at all from the second one-wish I didn't have it. My follow up is Monday so I hope my drainage will be low enough to remove -they just suck.

Good Day Today

I got lots of sleep last night. I was mad at the alarm clock for going off because I was sleeping so well but knew I had to walk and take my meds. I rrally love my 3:30am dose because my percocet and valium match up and I get to take them at the same time. It gives me my much needed deep sleep for a couple of hours.

I have no pain sitting anymore -just a little uncomfortable. Walking pain has reduced to about a 3 and I think it is mostly just the tightness of the binder and not standing up straight. At this point, the worst pain is in the lower back when I am up (it can get to about a 7 or 8), but relieves itself when I sit.

I am moving a little faster today and can walk a little longer. I try to get up about every hour except for when I sleep, then it is just at med or bathroom time.

Still no BM. I took 2 TBS MOM yesterday along with my 3 doses of docolax. I am by myself today, my sister will come over around 3:30 so I wil take more MOM around 3:00 just in case I go and need help cleaning up.

The only nausea I have gotten so far was when I initially took off my garmet the day after.

I am keeping very careful records of my meds and eating. Not sure if I should change my diet or if what I am eating is good. Trying to mostly stick with proteins and less carbs.

I Know I post a lot of Updates but boredom has set in

I was feeling pretty great so I decided I wanted a shower. I was a little nervous since I am by myself today but I figured I could at least let the water run over me while I sat on the stool. Washed my hair and got some soap on e this time around. I noticed the clear dressing around my bb filled up with water so I called the office to make sure it was okay. The nirse instructed me to go ahead and remoce the plastic-like tape and wet surgical tape. I thought this was a great time to snap a picture of my new bb. I think it looks good but hope it rounds out after the swelling goes down.

I have been very happy with the quick responses from my surgeons office and the work he did, however I haven't talked to him since mu surgery. The hospital has called to check up on me but not him. I am not sure if that is normal but I would think he'd want to know how his patients are doing.

Feeling Really Good Today Except for the Drains

I hate drains. When I showered yesterday, I noticed the water in the bb so had to remove and dry that out. Then later I felt my panties and pants were wet. I noticed it was coming from where the drains were tapped. Water got in there too. So I had my sister pullboff the tape and guage. Even though the drain tubes are stitched in, Inthink the gauze was helping to hold it in place and keep it clean. Of course I don't have that kind of tape or gauze so we did the best we can to keep it covered and not move too much. Needless to say, it is really bothering now.

I feel like I could actually go out today but not with my drain situation. I see the surgeon in 2 days so hopefully they won't be an issue anymore. No more showers until they are gone. Sponge bathing will have to do.

I also decided I will space my pain meds out some today and only take half of what I have been and see how that goes.

Changed Garmets-Much More Comfortable

The garmet I got from the surgeon was irritating my pub area especially at the drain sites. I may go back to it once the drains are out but in the meantime I am using a set I bought from Amazon. It is a set of 3 garmets for postpartum. I am using 2 of them at the moment (not the hip one right now, it was just too much). It was only $20 and helps with back support and assists in standing a lottle straighter.

Had a Movement Today

OMG I finally went today. It was a huge struggle-and let me tell you it was real. That might have been the worst part of this journey so far, at least for those 30 min. Once done though, I felt almost like a new person. I have had such an increase in energy. I picked up a little around the house ( what I could reach without bending or straining). I really want to go for a walk but these drains are the enemy right now. The drainaige on the one is now pretty low so hopefully they will both come out tomorrow. I am wearing all 3 pieces of my garmet and feel nice and comfortable. I took my pain meds just to sleep yesterday and slept about 5 straight hours. Was a little sore when I woke up but once I got ip and moved around I felt better.

Weighed myself again (I know I shouldn't but it is a bad habit). I am down another 2 lbs.

Measurements are what they were the day of surgery:
Under bust: 37"
Small waist: 36"
Belly button: 39"
Hips: 43"

I hope I see a good reduction once the swelling goes down.

Pre-surgery weight: 194
Today's weight: 186

No new pics yet, nothing looks changed.

Still With One Drain

I had my first post op today. Dr said I looked great. He removed only one drain and said the other will need to stay until at least Friday, maybe Monday (sad face). The drain didn't hurt coming out. In fact, I took both a percocet and valium before my visit. The nirse told me to take a deep breath on the count of 3 and slowly let it out. I was so worked ip, I was sweating. Before I let out all of the air she said "ok, it's out". I didn't feel it-felt like a stitch being pulled out. I didnt look and actually questioned her "Are you lying? Is it really out?" She laughed and said "yes, it's out, I wouldn't lie." It was too funny. She taped ip the other tube to make it a bit more comfortable until it can come out. Dr said I had lots of bruising because he was aggressive with the lipo. I told him that I didn't care about the bruising, it will go away.

I also wanted to show him the garment I bought but he preferred I wear the one he provided to ensure uniform compression but said it was fine to alternate. He also said he wanted me to start working on standing up straight and even arch backward into a slight stretch as long as it wasn't painful. I am allowed to walk as long as I don't get my heart rate up too high. Fat burning zone is okay bit not cardio zone. I will start taking short 15 min walks tomorrow a fee times a day and slowly increase each week.

I will ppst new pics tomorrow after I shower. I am just too exhausted today adter Dr visit and some shopping.

More Pictures

Today was a good day. I slept in my bed last night rather than the recliner and use a wedge pillow and regular pillow. It felt like my stomach was "pulling " a lottle but the surgeon wants me to start stretching it out. I put my fitbit back on yesterday and am going to shoot for 5000 steps per day (slow and steady). I went for a 15 min walk this morking and made it about 2 blocks and back in that time (33 min pace). Getting there, I guess. My sister came over and we walked my niece to the park ( 1 block away), stayed about 30 min. I didn't do ich of course but tried to stand or walk as much as I could. Totally exhausted now and will be going down for a nap after this update. I took pictures of my garments and 1 week ab photos. I feel the swelling now. The bruising is getting slightly better. Each day is better than the previous.

Another Day Down

Well not much change. I only take valium before bed now just to help me relax and get a few hours of sleep. I usually take one around 9:30 and in bed around 10:00. I end up waking at around 2:00 am from a stiff back. I have no more pain, just tenderness and the sore back.

I am able to walk as long as I don't get my blood pressure up so I have been going on a few slow mini walks since Tuesday.

I am supposed to get my last drain out tomorrow but still putting out about 35-40 cc every 24 hours. I will call today to see if they will be able to pull it or if I have to wait until Monday.

I have been eating pretty clean since surgery. I have only had soda twice. I do drink one cup of coffee with flavored creamer each morning but other than that, it's water, one can of pineapple juice (for swelling), and daily protein shake. I have tried to limit carbs but still have them. I haven't had many cravings except for ice cream once (but didn't partake) and chocolate (we had a fondue night with dark chocolate melted with heavy cream drizzled over fruit). It gave me my fix.

The only thing that changed so far are my hips: 42"

Pre-surgery weight: 194 lbs
Today's weight: 183 lbs

I am really not sure how to tell what is swollen but pretty sure I still am since I am less than 2 weeks post op.

Going to enjoy another beautiful day in the sun today: 75F

No new pics as I don't really see a change except for a little less bruising.

Still Stuck with this Drain ????

Was supposed to get this second drain out today but still draining 35cc. I was really hoping to be drain free this weekend. Oh well, better out than in, I guess. Hoping Monday will be the day.

On a good note, I am going for my first lymph massage tomorrow morning. Maybe that will help push some of the fluid? Not sure how that really works but seems a lot of TT patients do them.

Happy Friday TT sisters!

Finally Drainless

I finally got my second drain out today. It was really in there and long but honestly, I didn't really feel it come out. I do feel so much better without it. It felt weird getting dressed and not having to work around the drain. Dr said everything looks great and I can start "marble training" my belly button if I wish to. Once all the remaining glue comes off, I can start using scar creams/gels. I still have a little swelling aroun the incisions and in the upper abdomen. He told me to massage the upper abdomen as it has some knots that I can work out. I will post new pics tomorrow after my shower.

2 Week Update with Pics

So I wanted to give my 2 week update. I actually feel pretty good. Back to work, half days at home so I am happy for that. It allows me to slowly transition back full time but if I had to go back full time I think I could but would definitely be exhausted by the end of the day.

I think my swelling is minimal at this point but doc says it is definitely there. I have moderate "knots" in my upper torso-where the lipo was done. I am suppose to gently massage the area. I still have very minor bruising and tenderness especially in the upper torso. So far, I like what I see. The belly button will need some training but it's not that severe-yet. I think my scar looks pretty great, still have some glue and scabbing.

Measuremeants at 15 days post op
Under bust: 36"
Small waist: 36"
Belly button: 38"
Hips: 42"
Weight: 181

So not much change but it is changing and my outlook to get healthier and lose more weight is unbelievably high. I really can't start to exercise again.

My next update won't be until probably 4 weeks unless I have complications or some drastic change happens.

4 Weeks Post Op

Well today is 4 weeks post op. All in all, I feel really good. I have been cleared to do most exercises at a moderate level with no direct core exercises. I can do squats and lunges without any weights.

I was told to still wear my garment 24/7, getting real sick of it but the good news is that before surgery, I needed an extra large. Bought a large and it was a little lose so went with a medium-fits great.

I can wear my pre-surgery jeans but I am still a little tender so I only wore my high-waisted ones.

My weight is now at 178 so I am down about 16 pounds from surgery. Swelling is still there so not much difference in inches. The circumference around my bb is 37 so about 2 inches lost there. Can't wait til the swelling is all gone.

My incision is healing very well. Not too thrilled about the shape of my bb but my surgeon told me to massage the scars and the area around it as it is very swollen still and hard.

6 weeks post op

Well, I feel at about 80%. I have tenderness around the incision but able to wear jeans that don't hug too tight. I am having some major numbness from the belly button to the incision. Feels wierd but doesn't hurt.

I plan to start C25K today to slowing incorporate running back into my routine. Hoping to get full clearance on all exercises when I go back for my 8 weeks checkup.

Weight is down from 194 to 170
Under bust from 37 to 34.75
Natural waistline from 36 to 34.5
Around belly button from 39 to 37
Hips from 43 to 42

I am down over 20 lbs so I think I am still swollen. I would have guessed I would be down anout 4 inches on my waistline. I can't really tell what is fat and what is swelling. Time will tell, I guess.

Still happy, may have small revision

Well, I am almost 6 months post op. My current weight is 170 lbs so down 24 lbs since the day of surgery. My last visit, my surgeon had suggested a small revision for additional lipo and maybe a couple of small incisions to thin out the top half of my abdomen which is what my concern was mainly from the beginning. He also is concerned with the fullness on the ends of the incisions. Overall, I am happy with the results. I see Dr Brown next week to decide on what/if we are going to do anything.
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

I used the Chevy Chase, MD location. I felt very comfortable with Dr Brown since I stepped in his office. He was very professional and really listened to my concerns about what I wanted. His staff is great-shout out to his assistant Rachel. She always responds to me very quickly and if she doesn't know the answer to my questions, she always contacts me back right away. I am one week into my full tummy tuck. I am very swollen and bruised (duh- just had major lipo and surgery)-totally expected. I had my follow up at one week. Dr says I look great and the final results should be wonderful. I think he is right cause so far, I am already pleased even with all the swelling and bruising. It only gets better from here. The front desk staff are always nice. The atmosphere is great. Sometimes the wait can be long but that is almost at any Dr office. They really seem to care about your concerns rather than just making a buck. Kudos for that. The only thing I was not so happy with was that neither Dr Brown nor his staff called me over the next few days to check up on me. I think this is important but I guess if you have a problem, you can always call them (which I did for a few questions) and received immediate feedback. I had the surgery at Sibley Memorial Hospital (Johns Hopkins) and they did call the next day to see how things were going.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful