After stalking this site for years, I've finally...
After stalking this site for years, I've finally scheduled a tummy tuck. I was super excited and now I'm super scared. :/ I'm scared of the recovery and the fact they may not be able to get enough skin even though my surgeon says he can. By the way, I did extensive research on surgeons before selecting this one.
39 yo mom of one born via cesarean 19 years ago
5'3 124 lbs ( gained 30 lbs during pregnancy but have maintained weight since)
Athletic build, worked out for years, can achieve low body fat but like many other moms, I cannot tighten the area below my navel. I assume from cesarean.
I posted my stats in case there is anyone with similarities and will continue to journal my experience as I found many others incredibly helpful!
I will post before pics closer to the date.
Tummy tuck completed
Had my tummy tuck yesterday along with muscle repair and Lipo of hips and outer thighs. I actually had lots of pain throughout the night until my dr finally changed my pain meds and muscle relaxers then I slept well. I'm doing alright now. I took a quick peek and so far I think I'm going to be pleased. I'm excited to unwrap all off these bandages to get a better look but will wait until Saturday and post pics
Day 2 post op
Still in pain basically every 3 hrs when the meds wear off. Here is the best pic I could take so far.
Day 3 post op
I switched over to Percocet in the middle of the night and slept for 5 hrs. Wooohoooo I'm able to get up much better by myself to use the restroom and get around. I'm still completely hunched over though and the part that hurts the worst is my back. When I sit, I flex my back and pull my shoulder blades back and that actually feels really good. I have the best daughter in the world. Shes done everything from giving me shots in my legs to changing me to lifting me, the whole deal. She also has to miss NYE and I'm feel so guilty about it. I'm going to get her a special little gift for all of her work. She's such a sweetheart and never complained once.
Day 4 post op
Better today. Pain pump has been removed, I washed myself and my hair and feel so refreshed. I decided to not take muscle relaxer and will try to just take at night. I also started spacing out the pain meds further apart..trying to get to 5 hours. I still can't stand up straight or even close to straight. I feel alright but dang my lower back hurts the worst. Haha I am now bored since I'm not sleeping all day everyday. But I'm trying to make myself stay inside. All in all, I'm ok today.
Day 5 post op
Finally took shower. I used the pain pump bag to put the drains in and that worked just fine. I am swollen all over so I decided to not take any pics today as it's only discouraging me. On the bright side, I can basically get up and move all around by myself. I'm still hunched over though, so my lower back hurts quickly and easily. I stretched a little today, only did what my body felt it could do and it felt great. I've only taken pain med once and I needed it because I was uncomfortably swollen everywhere and I do mean everywhere from my upper belly down. Even my mons pubis and thighs were HUGE! My drains have been at or below 20ml the last few days so hoping those come out tomorrow.
One week post op!!
Today marks one week exactly. Just left the dr office and they were able to take out both drains!! Ahhhh I'm so happy to have those out. Although, they did not hurt me, they were just more of a nuisance. I also saw my belly button for the first time. I'm super swollen and will try and post some pics later. Also, I still cannot stand up straight and it's killing my lower back. Other than that, I'm doing alright.
One week post op pics
Super swollen from running errands but here are new pics which show belly button. Also my booty is super swollen and I wish it would stay that way hahaha
Day 8 post op
I feel like my errands I ran yesterday set me back. I've been in pain basically all day. My legs hurt to the touch and I'm completely hunched over. When did everyone else start to be able to stand up straighter? I feel like the binder is pulling me down and want to take it off but am scared to. I was also instructed to begin wearing full compression garment which covers mymput thighs yesterday since the drains were removed, but that caused severe swelling in my legs so I took that off also and now just back to wearing binder. Any thoughts on compression garments that will allow me to actUally move?
Day 9 post op
I tried stretching slowly and laying flat on the floor today and no way! I think he cut off too much skin. I say that hopefully jokingly but sure feels that way. I'm giving myself until the two week mark before I cry about it. Until then, I'm going to make a conscious effort to stand erect and maybe do some more laying on the floor as flat as I can to stretch...don't worry I put pillows around me as props and have my daughter helping me so I don't get stuck or ruin my incision line ;)
Day 10 Post Op
So yesterday out of frustration of not being able to stand, I made a concerted effort all day no matter how difficult. Today I woke up and noticed quite a difference in ability to stand straighter, while not completely upright, it's marketedly better this morning and so I thought I'd let you all know. I also wanted to point out that I have not really been all that terribly swollen in a few days. I DO swell and can't fit in my jeans but it's not so bad actually. I'm taking arnica, bromelain and mostly staying away from gluten because I've always had an intolerance to that sooo I'm thinking that's helping. Also I've been off pain meds for two days and just taking extra strength Tylenol twice a day and a muscle relaxer at night.
Day 11 Post Op
So I had Lipo on outer thighs and hips only...I've learned gentle massaging with lotion hurts so good. Here are new pics from after shopping today, minimal swelling. Still not standing upright too well. Also, yesterday and today my emotional roller coaster set in. I'm not a crier typically but I guess it got the best of me. I feel isolated and tired of not being able to do anything. Hope this passes quickly.
Day 15 Post Op
I was still unable to stand upright at my two week mark, so I decided to start taking my pain meds and muscle relaxers (in half doses) again to help me relax and get to the point of standing. It's definitely helping and I should have listened to my drs instructions to begin with and continue the meds. I'm just not a medicine person and prefer not to take them, but have learned that it probably was what delayed my healing and standing a bit.
Also, I had outer thigh Lipo (saddlebags) and noticed today that the skin in that area is wrinkled and dimpled. I pray to the good lord above this is only temporary. I had a very minimal amount of fat there so I can't imagine and sure hope that this is not the final result. I'm sure glad I said no to inner thigh Lipo though.
3 weeks Post Op Today
Had my 3 week check up yesterday...got belly button stitches out. My BB looks really lumpy but dr said it's swollen. Honestly I could care less about the BB it's fine, I'm more concerned with standing upright. I'm am still having issues with this although the dr said I'm tracking well. I PRAY I am standing up by end of week. This is SO annoying. Other than that, I got to see my scar for the first time since he removed the bandages and it looks straight and really thin so I am super pleased.
I am still swelling a lot, mostly around my incision line, lots of pressure. I hope that subsides significantly by end of week also. I'm also struggling with the compression garment and binder. It's just so uncomfortable at night when trying to sleep. I also broke the rules and bought my own compression garment at week one because the garment the surgeon gave me was way too tight. He said that was fine but to keep that binder on during the day. Which I was usually doing only throughout the evenings and overnight. Haha Nonetheless, he thinks I'm tracking well with healing and no concerns at this point. I will post a pic of incision line, keep in mind this was from last night and I was super swollen.
4 wpo tomorrow
I'll be 4 weeks op tomorrow and still hunched over although not as bad and still look and measuring larger than before surgery. I look 4 months prego. Grrrr I'm keeping in mind what what everyone has said about the healing process, it's just hard some days to handle this super long ordeal. Overall I feel much better and can do a lot more so long as this binder is on.
My Lipo spots on my outer thighs are just now starting feel better, where I can almost lay on my side now. Which is great news!
Also ladies if anyone ever tells you, you can return back to office within a week to 10 days after a tummy tuck, do NOT believe it!! I would say week 4 if no heavy lifting or long periods of standing or walking a long distance from parking lot to desk. Hahaha
I may post pics tomorrow morning for my 4 week update as I'll be less swollen.
4.5 week update
So Saturday marked a huge change for me. I was 4 weeks 3 days post op and could finally stand upright just about all day. Also my energy levels felt back to normal. Best day since surgery. Ahhh I still have swelling all around my incision and mons pubis but I've learned to adapt. Hahaha
Also, I've been doing circuit training since week 3. I use bands only with very controlled movements. I'm not doing any exercises that would impact any pulling or tugging on my abdomen. I'm mainly focusing on everything BUT that area. So no weights, bands only with 20-30 reps. Feels great to ease back into working out. I'm sick of sitting around.
Also, I've finally removed a few pillows from my bed at night and am trying to get back to sleeping normally. I can almost lay flat but it's just not comfy doing that all night, so still have one pillow under my knees.
Fellow post op or potential tummy tuck ladies- you can appreciate this pic. Sitting down with no wrinkled or hanging skin. Eek!! No one else I know would understand my excitement. ;)
6 weeks post op tomorrow
14 Feb 2017
2 months post
So I had no clue what the reference to swell hell really meant until today as I really have not been too swollen except around my incision line. I decided to basically stop wearing my binder three days ago (for most of the day) and felt great initially, but today (day 3, I did not wear at all or bring to work), I am SO swollen over my entire abdomen but I was stuck at work without my binder and so uncomfortable. Haha SO I'm back to following the Drs orders. I'm am supposed to wean myself out of the binder by reducing the number of hours I wear it each day, not all at once. Haha
I had outer thigh Lipo and have not worn the compression garments for about a week now. My outer thighs are still sore but I massage daily because it hurts so good.
Nevertheless I'm feeling great. I've been working out almost everyday, no running due Lipo area being sore, but lots of other exercises with light weights, bands or bodyweight and stretching (some yoga). Whatever feels comfortable. I'm not pushing myself in any way right now.
Also I forgot this update awhile ago...I've been back in my old jeans for about two weeks now. They are all actually big on me, which works out great because I can tuck the binder inside of them. :)
My belly button continues to change each week it seems and I'm starting to like it more. My scar is a deep purplish/red color as expected but looking nice and thin so far.
My abdomen from about my belly button down to my upper thighs is all pretty much still numb. Also expected. My cesarean left my incision line and lower belly numb for close to a year.
That's all for this weeks update!! I'll post a pic tonight or tomorrow. Hope everyone is doing well. :)
PS If you are on the fence about purchasing the bodymax wedge, do it!! I did and it came in great use especially immediately after surgery. Then I started taking it apart and only using certain pieces. Worked out great.
8 weeks post op today!!
8 weeks post op and feeling great!! I am basically back to normal. I still swell but not to the point of where I don't fit in my clothes. I've had consistent swelling in my mons pubis area where I began to get concerned (ok freaked out) and made a dr's appt. To my delight, I woke up this morning and it was flat (for a few hours ha). This gave me hope that it's not permanent like I was starting to believe.
Lipo update on hips and outer thighs- both areas still swell and look lumpy at times. This is normal. Some periods throughout the day the spots look great and even, then I'm lumpy later. This too shall pass. It's the periods where I look even that let me know it'll turn out fine and not to panic. My point is, swelling due to the TT and/or liposuction is still normal at 8 weeks. My outer thighs still feel sore when I run though...so I'm not running yet.
Working out- I'm doing just about everything I did prior to my tummy tuck. This includes weights but on the lighter side and I'm still very careful and make sure to not stretch or pull abs yet as it's not comfy. I even did some crunches today. Whaaaat!? It was scary but I tried a few nice and slow and determined that I could get away with it. My abs do feel sore though and tight still, mainly right smack dab in the middle.
Belly button- this area amazingly continues to change. When I initially saw it I was not very pleased but didn't really care either. Haha I had several lumps, which have mostly all gone away and now I'm pleased with my bb.
Scar- my scar is healing nicely in my opinion. IIt's a deep dark reddish color, but will fade with time. I do have a spot right in the center that has a hard lump...I'm hoping that will soften. I had another hard area that has since softened so again I'm not worrying. I massage my incision and Lipo spots daily to help with that. It hurts so good. :)
Overall- very pleased with my decision!! I'll post pics later when I have a moment.
Happy healing ladies!!!
8 weeks post op - compression Garment and binder
One more thing on this topic...because I still swell, although it's minimal, I am continuing to wear either the binder or CG (the more comfortable one I purchased at Walmart). This compression is also helping my mons pubis area from becoming too full as well as my Lipo spots. I wear one of these items most of the day usually, but not when going to sleep. I notice if I do not have anything on at all, my stomach will get uncomfortably swollen during the day. So these help keep it down. If I have plans at night, I can get away without wearing anything so long as I've worn something throughout most of the day.
12 weeks post op yesterday to be exact
30 Mar 2017
3 months post
So yesterday marked 12 weeks po. I haven't noticed much more change since my week 8 update except that the middle part of my stomach is not as tight feeling as previously. Working out is back to normal. I feel comfortable doing everything except stomach exercises. I do them but just crunches. No laying on my stomach, it's just not comfortable for me personally. I still swell daily and I'm still occasionally wearing my comfortable compression Garment to help minimize this. My swelling has never been unbearable by the way.
I love my belly button. All of the lumps I saw immediately upon surgery have gone away. I now have a cute little innie.
I'm still numb around lower stomach which is normal and last up to a year. One odd thing, my upper thighs were both numb post surgery and my left upper thigh is still numb. I find that weird and hopefully comes back to normal. Also I have one super hard knot of scar tissue right in the middle of my stomach. Luckily you can't see it but sure can feel it. The dr said to massage as it may break up and dissolve, but I doubt it. If not, he can cut out next year if I prefer. It doesn't hurt and it's not visible so I'll prob leave it.
Outer thigh Lipo update...the soreness is mostly completely gone. Periodically if I lay on my side it'll feel sore. But nothing too bad. I do have some lightly wrinkled skin as a result. The dr said that may smooth out. I need to wait 4-6 months. It's not bad so I won't cry about it. I guess I'd rather have that then saddlebags. I think. Haha
Overall I'm still pleased and happy with my results. I will be happier when swelling is completely gone because sometimes I can't tell if I just gained weight or if it's swelling. Hahaha One moment I look lean the next I'm super puffy even my upper abs.
5 months and one week post op!
30 May 2017
5 months post
I feel back to normal! I can do all of my normal pre surgery workouts including various Ab exercises.
My lumps (assuming scar tissue) near the middle of my incision have also decreased dramatically in size to the point where it's no longer a concern.
I still swell but it's so minimal that it's hard to notice. My belly button has stopped changing and I'm happy with it.
The only thing that I'm not comfortable doing is laying on my stomach and pushing up as in cobra yoga pose. I can do it, just feels weird still.
Also I'm still numb or have numbing sensations from my belly button down. This is to be expected and doesn't bother me.
All in all I'm still so happy with the decision to have this surgery and the results and the recovery wasn't thaaaat bad. Just be prepared to be down the first 3 weeks forrrr sure!
Lastly, I have the backmax body wedge that I'm going to sell for $80 if anyone is interested. This came in great use the first 3 weeks. It's been covered and also has a removable washable cover as well.