Arm Lift with Lypo and Tummy Tuck - Saginaw, MI

I have lost 75 lbs and my arms have bothered me...

I have lost 75 lbs and my arms have bothered me for the last several years aling with my sagging belly. I was told the tummy tuck would be bery painful and not much on the arms. That is false. Tummy tuck has been sore but not excutiating. Pretty much like the c section except with drains. My arms is another story

First few post op days

Surgery went well and i arrived home with instructions to sleep with my head and legs elevated. I remember right after surgery my left arm was killing me. I kept telling the nurse that it hurt so bad and i felt that the bandage was too tight. I felt like nobody listened to me and when the doc came in i cried and told him and he loosened it for me. Felt much better but not 100%. He said that in surgery it is hard to judge how tight to make it because they cant judge how much swelling i will have. In the middle of the night i was crying because i could feel my heart beat jn my arm. It felt like i had a blood pressure cuff on for hours on end. They had given me strict instructions to keep the arm bandages on for 5-7 days. I could jot take the pain any longer and called the doctor friday night. He gave me the ok to remove the bandage and instructed me to take 800 mg of Motrin for the swelling. It helped but it took 2-3 days from my hand to reduce in size. Both arms felt so tight that if i pricked them with a pin they would burst. Especially my left arm.

The nerve pain was another story. I expected numbness for both incisions but my left arm the numbness extended from my elbow almost into my wrist. I could not set my arm down without a pillow and even then i would get shooting pain down and up my arm. Several days after surgery i spike to my brother who is a nurse and he told me i was experiencing nerve pain and he told me to take the Motrin every 4 hours and the pain medicine every 4 ( so i was taking something every 2 hours and then add Tylenol when taking the pain killer to see if that would help and it did but did not give great comfort.

1 week post op

The swelling in my left arm had subsided and i was not experiencing such excruciating pain. Arms still hurt And still nerve pain but they felt better then the initial surgery.

Tummy was doing well, had two drains in and showed no signs of being below 20 cc'ss in each drain in order to get them removed. I did have a hard time squeezing the fluid into the bulb the first few days and asked my brother the nurse if he had any of those iv strips that they use in the hospital, he didnt but told me to use a pen or a screwdriver. So i used a small screwdriver to be able to run it down the line and it worked like a charm. The tube was like a balloon. You def had to stretch it out to get it to work well. So i had a screwdriver in with my medical supplies. ????. One thing that i was not told was the amount of gauze, tape and bandages i would go through. In the first 2 weeks i spent approx $75 to keep the wounds clean. Def thought for the price, the hospital should send you home with a two week supply of what you will need.

After two nights i moved to the couch and slept with approx 12 different sized pillows to keep me comfortable and elevated. I needed assistance anytime i needed up because i could not use my abs at all and arms were out of the question. Hubby would get his arms behind me and push me until i could stand so it really kept him up for a good two weeks since i had to take mote medicine and use the bathroom in the middle of the night. So if you are having an arm lift and TT, make sure you will have the help.

2 weeks post op

Feeling about the same at this point. Now i had to have a friend take me for surgery because hubby had kids at home throughout the entire day and my son is autistic so it was easier to have him stay home rather then a friend.

So when i was discharged i guess i was told to call the office and make an appt to have the staples removed. I do not recall much of that post op conversation. Not blaming my friend at all because she may have told the hubby when we got home and you know how men handle directions. Haha. Plus i had called the office several times in this two week period to ask them questions and no one mentioned it. So day 14, i happen to call the office because i am in the docs city and figured i would check to see when i should be seeing him again. They told me i should if had them out 4 days prior so i zip over to the office and have the staples removed. It didnt hurt at all but i felt such relief. I could now bend my arm somewhat and it was amazing. The nurse did not want to remove the stitches in my arm pits for fear that they would open up and the doc was in surgery so we scheduled that for Monday. I was also hoping to get the drains out at this time as well. I was at about 30 cc's each side but i had been declining each day so the nurse and dic would check me out on monday.

18 days post op (11/07/16)

Went to the doc and got the sutures out in my arm pits. Boy was that excruciating. The Nurse said i should of had them out the week before because i was half healed and she had to tear thru my skin. They use a rather thick grade of suture as well so it basically felt like fire in my arm pits. Several expletives later both sides were done in about 5 minutes or so.

Nurse said my arms looked really good, said normal patients arm pits are very soupy and i had sat in a chair during the day and at night with a fan constantly blowing on them so i felt really good that my efforts were paying off.

I must also mention that i had decided to do the arm lift and TT becAuse i was having rotator cuff surgery. I was diligent about using the same time off of work to recover from both surgeries. 10/20 was the arm lift and TT and 10/27 was the rotator cuff surgery. I received the sign off and approval from both doctors because i did not want any problems. When i went in for the elective procedure the nurses had scared the crap out of me and urged me to push out the rotator cuff surgery because my body was going through immense trauma. Well the day after surgery i told the hubby and he said hell yes you are rescheduling it because he saw what kind of shape i was in. I mean i had no range of motion in my arms and no way could i straighten my arms above my head or out to the side without force and probably tearing my arms wide open. Rotator cuff surgery they manipulate your arm in varying degrees so i called my specialist 10/21 and talked to the nurse. She did not seem to happy to have to change the surgery but i did not really give a shit. So besides my extremely swollen left arm and nerve pain, this was truly my 2nd hurdle. You cant just change a surgery date out a few weeks with a specialist and the nurse said next date would be jn December. I was so upset becAuse i was so diligent to keep all parties involved of both procedures and it was now blowing up in my face. I asked the nurse if another patient could just swap with me? I said i would be ecstatic to find out i could have my surgery weeks earlier. So after a few days, it was rescheduled to 11/18. I still was not to happy with that date because i figured i just needed another week of recovery.

So with that background, we move back to 11/7 and sutures are out and doc says i can get 1 drain out of my abdomen. The right drain i was still producing a lot if fluid and they said if they took both out and i filled up, it would be unpleasant to put it back in. So i said well i am not a fan of unpleasantness. Lol. I was scared to have the drain out because my friend had a TT and she said the tube is really long and it feels weird. I am not a fan of needles so i always look away and sometimes when i would hold the tube and use my handy screwdriver to get the gunk down it would tug on my skin and i would get a little light headed. (They put a stitch into you and through the tube to hold it in place). So i was thinking because i had a reaction to that, that having them pull out thousands (a little exaggeration) of feet if tube from my abdomen, i would pass right out. So she cut the stitch, put the bulb and tube in the hazardous bag whilst i looked up and then she said ok. I said alright and i braced myself. She laughed because she was done. Lol. So your Tummy is quite numb, to day the least.

First input from the doctor (that i could remember, lol) was at this 18 day appt. he told me that he was overjoyed with my tummy. He said it wasnt that bad. Uh-huh, well i disagreed. After i turned 25 i gained and lost, gained and lost. Then i stayed around 180 lbs at 5'2. Then i was pregnant with twins so i did not gain a huge amount for two babies but my torso took a toll. I arrived on c section day weighing in at 212lbs and i was miserable. I am obviously short and my torso is not long at all. The littles just turned 5 and i got down to 145 by rating right and working out. I was able to maintain that for 2 years and then i hurt my rotator cuff so i have been dealing with limited activity for 1 1/2 years so i ended up gaining 20 lbs in that time. So no matter what i did i dripped the weight in my upper tummy but could not get rid of the flappy hanging fat from the belly button to my panty line. Only way to fix was removal of the skin with some lypo. So the doc pulled down the skin and up the skin from pubic area, gave me a new belly button and then extended the cut at my lower abdomen to the sides and removed the saddle bags for me. At this point the improvement was amazing. It wasnt even my own abdomen. Unbelievable what he did. And my stomach is rock hard. At this stage it showed swelling maybe on one side more then the other, but he told me it would take months initially and even up to a year to fully stop swelling because a TT is such a major plastic surgery. So he told me that i would probably be able to come back by the end of the week to get the other port out!!

Which made me just ecstatic. It didn't hurt, its just finagling the tubes in your clothing while wearing the abdominal binder and such was more of an annoyance for me then anything.

Then he gave me is speal on the arms on why he did them so tight. He said that if he didnt, initially they would look great while they were swollen but once swelling goes down, i would still have some skin hanging. Ok, enough said.

Tummy tuck and drains and what to expect

If you ate not aware of drains that they use for TT's then this info is helpful. Basically its a ling tube that they have in tour abdomen. Outside of the body they leave you with tube that is a couple feet long and there is a "bulb" at the end. The picture is one i found on google because apparently i did not take a picture if mine. ????I have no idea if the end marked A is how it looks but the B end is what my drains looked like. So there are numbers listed on the bulb to tell you how many Milliliters or cc's you are removing from your body. I would grab the tube as close to my body as possible and then i used a screwdriver to bend the tube over it and pulled it down to get all of the excess fluid into the bulb before i would empty the drains.

First several days the fluid was murder red and hubby had to do it for me because i could not work my painful arms very well and he about vomited. Lol. It was serious red and I would think if you are not in the medical field it can be quite alarming to see. So this red lasted a good 5 days and then it started to turn more pink. Many different shades of pink and that probably ladted another 4-5 days. Then it turned light yellow for a few days and then by day 14ish it was the color of ice tea. When i went to see the doc at 18 day post op it was going back to urine colored yellow. I had told the nurse all of the stages of colors and she assured me it was quite normal. So don't panic if the color changes

Another gross thing with the drains is you form blood like clots and those cannot move through the tube very well. So sometimes you have to run the "screwdriver" down several times to get it out.

There is a plug on the bulb that you can dispense the fluid into smaller measuring cups if the bulb becomes to messy inside to get a good reading. After the fluid is removed you squeeze the bulb and plug it to make a suction affect. Thats how the fluid can travel into the bulb.

I emptied the fluid each morning, afternoon and before bed. The first 5 days or so i removed the fluid every time i went to the bathroom because i feared that it would leak all over me and i was producing a lot. I measured the first couple of days but then really started keeping track around day 10 when i thought i may be getting close to the 20 cc's and i was not. Each morning i was almost already at the days limit but i just journaled it.

Twice i had those blood clot type boogers clogging up the tube and it can be tricky because you can only get so close to your body but once you can work them down you get a bit of pressure relief.

I had the first drain removed on a monday and the 2nd drain removed on thursday. I was concerned the 2nd port may have been clogged because i had gone down to only producing 2 cc of fluid for two days so the nurse flushed it it out and did not find any clogs. That process did not hurt at all, felt a little cold is all.

The only pain i really had with the drains is my right one was a little bigger because i think the stitch didn't hold well and twice i woke up wet so i had leaked through the gauze because the tube was probably clogged. I developed a burn on my skin below the drain so i kept putting vaseline in it and it eventually healed but that did hurt every time i got up and it took a good week to heal because the drain was still in. I was able to get it healed Nd then the drain cMe out and it continued to leak a bit so the burn came back. I am currently applying vaseline in it while it heals and the hole closes.

Week 3 post op and days after my sutures were removed (11/10/16)

TT is going well. Each day swelling is going down. Left drain hole is healing well, right drain was taken out today. Stomach is sore and if i turn to fast my tummy reminds me i still cant do that.

Arms in my opinion are not doing well. I had just been into the office 4 days prior to have sutures removed and my arms have opened. I show the nurse and i am extremely concerned and she said they look really good, nit infected and this is part of the healing process. At this point hubby is disgusted with my arms and so am i and i am feeling tremendous regret right now. I amped up the air flow to my arms hoping that if i can dry them out, the wounds will not be so open.

I also have the rotator cuff surgery scheduled for 11/18 so this to me is a big deal because i Am thinking the specialist will not do surgery if i have oozing wounds.

Nurse at plastic surgeons office says it should be fine and by Monday i had called specialist doctors nurse to tell her about my concern. I just wasn't seeing any improvement.

Rotator cuff surgery is on my right shoulder and of course its my right arm that is oozing more. Extremely concerned because now i have been off of work 3 weeks just from the elective surgery and my plan was 1 week for this surgery and 6 weeks for the rotator cuff and as of now i am adding 3 weeks to recovery.

I am also still taking Percocet because of my arm pain. I think the tummy tuck i could get by with the Motrin. By the docs standards i am taking a lower dose (1 every 4-6 hours and he said many people take 2-3 every 4-6 hours). So he gave me another script and i have had to occasionally add in another dose because my body is getting used to it.

4 weeks post op and day before Rotator cuff surgery (11/17/16)

Tummy is doing great, left drain is healed, right drain is still healing. Stomach is tight but i can get up from laying down (carefully). I am constantly rubbing my stomach because i cannot believe how flat it is.

Arms another story. Still having oozing in both arms despite my vigorous drying out efforts. I go to the rotator cuff doctor to have them look at my arms to clear me from surgery and they deny me. They are concerned that i could get an infection. So i am so irritated at this point. I have now been off of work for 4 weeks and i haven't even had the surgery i really need. I am upset with myself fir being so vain and making this decision to finally do something for me and its backfired.

The rotator cuff doc is able to again swap me with another patient and the new date for surgery is 12/8/16. So i have 3 weeks to heal. At this point i am just doubtful its going to happen. I feel like it gets better each day but its a tiny tiny amount of improvement. I wake up every night with pillows under my arms with wet gunk. I cant stand to have them wrapped because then it just makes them ooze even more.

Fast forward to today 11/20 a last night I had a bday party to go to and really needed out of the house and ended up being miserable because i had to wear a sweatshirt and my arms were wrapped and so uncomfortable. I live in tank tops right now and i am ruining my clothes because of the nasty gunk that gets on them.

I think last night was too much because i slept a lot of today. Tummy actually hurt. I clearly am not used to sitting in garage chairs and have been very slow moving and taking the higher dose of pain killer.

The inly good note is hubby said arms finally look a little better but i am not sure. Picture below is from 11/17.
String like pieces are actually the inside sutures not worms. ????

I plan on taking an updated picture tomorrow to see if there is a difference in 4 days.

Arms still hurt - fire in my pits

Yesterday i ran out of Percocet and had to go pick up another script since i don't go to the doc until next week. They gave me Norco and i tried 1 pill, then 1 hr later took another, 1 hr later took another and nothing. So i am thinking that this medicine is def not as strong. Good news is, i haven't taken any during the day so i may try taking 2 before bed to see if that will help me sleep.
The cuts in my arm pits which are healed but really red and irritated have been burning today though. I have been taking 2 Benadryl every 2 hours to try to alleviate it. I have also been putting vaseline on it to keep it moist because it almost feels like its to dry and when i move my arm it rips in the crease. Its not ripping but that is the only way i can explain it, other then fire in my pits.

The open wounds are still healing. Will try to upload progress pics in a few days.

5 weeks post op on Arms and tummy

I took some pictures and compared my arms from last week and their is a slight improvement.

I should mention that other docs have told me that i do heal slowly so this process may be a little linger for me then someone else.

Tummy is doing ok, i have had some areas that have opened a little. I think its because hard scabs formed and they started coming up on the ends/got caught on gauze and i had to trim them. Right drain was quite a bit larger then the left and still has quite a bit if healing to do.

The nice thing is my doctor will do any repairs needed at no cost so if their is a skin tag or abnormal stitch, he will fix it for me.

Arms- still hurt and i am still numb. I still need pillows under my arms, especially my left one. Its sore at the elbow and i think its still a bit of nerve pain. I did do photos today and compared them with last weeks and their is a slight improvement but still a long way to go in order to be cleared for the next surgery. I am tired of the stickiness under my arms and tired of my shirts and pillow cases having dried crud on them. Its not pretty at all.

I have no idea what i am going to wear to thanksgiving tomorrow as i cannot stand to wrap my arms and the only thing that works right now our either tank tops or the arms cut off a shirt which is real classy. Lol

Gauze and essentials - prepare yourself with items.

I cannot believe the amount of money i have spent on tape, band aids, gauze, non stick gauze, wraps for my arms and large non stick pads. At this point i occasionally use the gauze wraps ( i clean them with dial soap and hang dry) so i reuse them as much as possible but i think i have used about 10-15 rolls.

The large non stick pads i could only find them in boxes with 10 and i went thru at least 5-6 boxes. I used several for each dressing change and then i used one that i wrapped over the top of the ab binder so the top would not cut into my breasts. I also attached the clips on the drains to the top of the binder and that non stick pad helped to not feel the plastic clips. Then i would take the excess tubes and tuck it under the binder. I had tried clipping the drains to my pants but it allowed the drains to hang in my crotch and it was very uncomfortable because i had to adjust them constantly.

Gauze pads and non stick gauze pads i am still using on my tummy. I have probably gone thru at least 5 packs of each. I also found that the paper tape works the best. Going to get my 2nd roll today.

Tally so far is closing in on $125-$150 which includes Motrin and 3 scripts of pain med at $10 a script.

My recommendation so you don't have to run to the store is buy 2/5 packs of gauze rolls, several packages of each: reg gauze and non stick gauze. At least 30 large non stick pads for your tummy. I did not use tape until i did not need the large pads any longer. I used the gauze rolls to keep the pads in place so i used them in tummy and arms.

Hope this info helps for you to plan ahead because i had no idea i would need all of these items.

Feeling more human

Last couple of days i have felt more human. Arms are on the mend, still open but they are slowly closing and getting smaller. My right arm had some swelling and it was causing some nerve pain. I have been pumping 800mg of Motrin every 4 hours and its helped.

I have several spots on my tummy that have opened up. Just keeping them clean. I also have been pushing the protein so i think that has helped with the healing.

Next doc appt is the 30th and i finally have some hope that my right arm will be healed in order to have the rotator cuff surgery on 12/8. Keep your fingers crossed that healing continues and hell, lets hope it speeds up!! Lol.

Hard to stay positive when so many other are healed by 3-4 weeks and i am going on 6. Ugh. Oh well, I'm one of a kind i guess. Lol

Almost 6 weeks post OP and regretting this whole thing

My arms are actually healing, slowly but surely. My TT has opened up in a few spots and I feel like every time I check them, the openings are larger. I go to toe doc tomorrow morning but I am so sick of this entire process. I would not be surprised if I need sutures put in again.
I'm regretting this entire thing I was doing for myself. I see pictures of other people at 6 weeks and incisions are closed and people are back to work and I don't feel like I am anywhere close to that. Its been exhausting and I am so tired of it.
Its clear I will need corrective surgery and I don't know if I could go thru this again.

Feeling very emotional :-(

5 weeks 5 days post op

Uploading pictures from today. Arms ate getting better. Belly has taken a tuen in the wring direction. Doc appt tomorrow.

Re-stitched at 6 weeks post op in tummy and arms

I had a post op appt on Wednesday and had a nervous breakdown in the doc office because of the state of the open wounds.

Doc said arms this happens 50% of the time (which is exactly what i have found with research) and he struggles with how much information to give to a patient. He told me my arms will be tight but may have some bumps in the road which is what he would classify this as, but i clearly had a different opinion. I told him that i think showing patients a good outcome and an outcome like i have experienced should be done. Just so patients are aware and don't freak out. Then maybe show my results after all healed because he is still expecting a good result.

As far as the tummy, he said the openings do happen from time to time when you do lipo with a tummy tuck but its normally week 2 or 3. Not this late in the game. He said that 6 week openings usually happen to smokers which i am not. Then he said he could do TT's let people recover and then do another lipo procedure but we don't live in a high income area and people are usually concerned with the out of pocket expense of two surgeries.

So with that said, I had to go back in the office and was restitched in 6 places on my belly and he stitched 2-3 spots in each arm. That was a pretty unpleasant experience. He just numbed it in the office and i was piked almost 100 times. 6-9 times per spot.

Such an odd sensation to be numb but then feeling the pulling of your skin. My hands were sweating the whole time and there were a few spots that he had to renumb so there was a lot of swearing for an hour. Lol

Then on my right in this one area i kept feeling pricks on my rib cage and it hurt. I stopped him and said why are you stitching so far up (no stitches whatsoever in this area). So he said that he is working near my hip and because the skin he was working in used to be at my ribs, thats why i am feeling it. Lol. He said my body hasn't recognized that my skin moved. That was completely weird!!!!

So he stitched me up and i am back on antibiotics and a higher dose of pain medicine. My Tummy hurts worse this time and now i am back to square one.

I have an appt next wed for him to look at the stitches in my arms and possibly remove them. I am scheduled to have the rotator cuff surgery next thurs so i must be healed. I also received a call today that after that appt i will need to go into the shoulder doc to have them look at my arms. Hoping they will be good to go this time! They have been healing much better. Using Colloidal Silver and after 24 hours of using i found a difference!! I inly have one spot that experiences some wetness.

New Tummy Tuck sutures will come out after 2 weeks. It appears to me that i have had 50% of the original incision restitched. ????
Dr. Beird

Still healing, Will provide review when healing completed.

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