35 Years Old, 2 Children, 5'2, Extended Tummy Tuck with Lipo to Flanks

After 2 in person consultations and 1 online/phone...

After 2 in person consultations and 1 online/phone consultation with a Dr. In Tijuana I opted to stay local. One doctor suggested tt with waist lipo and another one tt with flank lipo. I am going with the one with flanks since he said he usually removes fat from the waist when he performs the procedure.
I am around 142 lbs right now but would like to lose some weight if possible. My procedure is not until December so I hope I can get down to 135 lbs. My oldest child was 8.5 lbs when born and caused the more damage to my belly area. I even had a little flap at the end of my pregnancy with the youngest, who was only 6.5 lbs.
No one knows about my surgery other than my husband and I am not sure if I feel comfortable letting anyone know. I have anxiety so I think the whole world is watching and judging me lol. I am not sure how I will handle telling my children. I feel like I need to make a hernia up because it is embarrassing to me telling them I am getting a tummy tuck.

Before pictures

I finally took the courage to take some pics. I hate looking at my body. Even when I lost 15 pounds and got down to 128 lbs my belly looked like this. Having big babies on a small 5'2 body is no joke! Pregnancy was actually wonderful and I loved being pregnant and having a round belly and a healthy baby. But now that the babies are done and over, they left me like a deflated balloon, lol.
I have an apple shape so most of my weight gain goes to my middle area which fills my skin apron with fat! I look look like a human with a chicken body. My legs and arms are currently my skinniest feature.

My belly and legs last year at around 129-130 lbs

Apron still there.

Second consultation

I went for a second consultation today. This time I brought my husband along because he will be taking care of me and he better be informed too.
I was a little nervous and felt I just needed to talk to the Dr. again to get all my doubts cleared. I am glad I did as now I am 100% sure of my decision.
So some of the questions I asked are just how extensive the scar will be. What exactly was going to be liposuctioned. Who to call after hours. I even asked if there was an emergency and the light went out, if they had emergency procedures in place. I know I went to the extremes here but since I tend to get anxiety I really needed reassurance.

Weight gain

I was supposed to try to lose weight but I gained about 7lbs instead. My Dr. did not seemed concerned. I had my pre-op and filled my prescriptions. I am getting really anxious and thinking I might die and how selfish I am. The only ones that know about my surgery are my husband and my mom. I almost did not tell my mom but I felt it was only fair to my husband knowing he had and extra supporting person if he needed it. At work I requested days off with the excuse that I won't have childcare during my daughter's winter vacation from school.

I am in pain but made it out alive.

Gosh the insides hurt. The incision not so much as I was sent home with a pain pump. I have three drains.
They also gave me a pneumatic leg pressure thigis to help with my circulation and a device to suction into and raise little balls to help my lungs get oxygen and prevent pneumonia. It's like taking deep breaths except I can visually see it and have to work on raising all three balls. I also need to cough to clean my lungs out.

The anxiety is real!

I am in my second day post surgery. From what I read complications post surgery are the cause of deaths. I was very weak this morning and thought the worst and how selfish I am not thinking of my daughters. Who will take care of them if I am gone? I drank some apple juice and ate a little to raise my blood sugar, that helped. I just took my pain medication which makes me sleepy. I don't want to close my eyes. ????

Oozing from belly button?

I have no idea why my binder is soaking wet from the front. Well yes I do but where is the liquid coming from if eveything was stitched back together? I think it's the belly button.
I have three drains and a pain pump. I called my doctor's assistant because I stood up to walk to the restroom and then I started feeling my binder get wet. He said it was normal fluid from the lipo and the pain pump but he wants me going to get checked tomorrow rather than the 20th when my original post-op appointment was scheduled.
My husband got mad at me because I stood up without his help and thinks that I caused too much strain on the wound and the consequence is the oozing. I hope everything is normal like the assistant said.

Pain pump removed, new bandages and shower

Well today I went to the office a day earlier than my post-op appointment. The nurses changed my bandages and gave me a new binder and also let me keep the dirty one. The doctor happened to be there and he came in in the middle of me being a sea of tears freaking out over my soiled binder. He assured everything wad looking really good and that oozing at the drain sites is common at this stage of healing. He was firm with me which I needed because the nurses kept asking me if I was fine and that just made me cry (I am a crier). I got the ok to shower and to change my binder on my own and they taught me how to put it back on. I kept the fanny pack from the pain pump to hold my drain bombs.
I came home very excited to shower ehile my husband picked up our kids from daycare (they do not know I had surgery, only that my tummy hurts). I could take some pictures and despite the swelling, I look much smaller already! I pray that I heal quickly and smoothly and for my scarring to be minimal.

I am loving my results so far

I went in today for my post-op and the doctor removed 2 out of my 3 drains. Woohoo freedom. Too bad I will still have to carry the third for Christmas though.
Everything is looking great so far and I am very pleased at this stage of healing.
My mom took me to my post-op appointment and now that my skin apron is gone I had the courage to share with her my before pictures. Funny right? Because I posted them here for the internet to see. ???? I am glad I can share with my mom though. She and my husband are the only ones that now my secret.

Doing too much

I think I overdid it the past couple days with the holidays. My binder was either rubbing against my incision in my belly area or something else is happening. It hurts and it looks red. I have one drain left and I hate it. I pray that tomorrow and wednesday I wake up with less than 20ml so that the doc can remove it on Wednesday. I am keeping a close eye on my redness and putting some neosporin on it just in case. Hopefully the redness will go away. I hope it is not an infection! I have been trying to put myself off the Percocet and take only tylenol extra strength but I just can't deal with the pain. I think the drain has a lot to do with it because that is where it hurts the most and also whenever I have to have a bowel movement. I really hope my doctor removes the drain on my next appointment.

Last drain and stitches out!

Woohoo! My last drain and stitches are finally out. I feel so much better already. Have been off the Percocet during the daytime and took one last night because I was feeling pain come back the tylenol was not helping. Yesterday I called the office because of the redness around my incision and because I was worried it was necrosis, they prescribed pills for infection just in case. Dr. looked at it today and he said that it was not infected and that the area is puffy because that is where fluid accumulates most and that everything is healing nicely. He said I should wear my garment one more week and can start wearing spanx for support after that. He also recommended to star scar therapy as soon as all the glue comes off and my last drain incision has closed (within a week). They sell the mederma at their office and a nurse applies it the first time.
Here's a picture of the area where it looks red. I am making sure my binder doesn't rub against it. Also the parts where it looks black is where the glue was applied which is apparently purple. I have to say also that due to my ethnicity (hispanic) I do not scar well and my scars are most of the time hyperpigmentated so I really need to start the scar therapy as soon as all the wounds have closed. Any recommendations?

Oh mylanta!

So much gas and pressure! I think this is the worst part of recovery for me! The gastrointestinal issues. If I am not constipated, I am bloated or with heartburn. I can't definitely eat the same as before. I hope this too shall pass (literally!)
What brings me most comfort is showering under the warm water. I never want to leave but then my back gets tired and back to bed I go. I managed last night to go off the Percocet even at night, yay! Having that last drain come out help lots! I startthe day straight but as it gets to night I am hunched over. I asked my doctor how much skin and fat was removed and he said that it was no more than 3 lbs because I am small and the fat is more voluminous than heavy. Anyway I weighed myself this morning and I am down 5 lbs! We'll see how I progress as I recover.

All that swelling!

Oh my gosh! I can't take the swelling. I've been wanting to take pics standing up to show my progress but I am just so swollen that I don't even try! Even my mons area is puffy! I promise I will take a picture standing up soon. I promise.
Tomorrow I will be calling the office to start my scar treatment. I currently have black thick scabs and very clear thin scabs.

Swollen belly

Swollen belly. My mons area (not pictured) also very very swollen!

Not ready for scar treatment yet, and lots of swelling

So I called the office today to have them show me how to apply the Embrace strips that they have at the office. It is a 30 minute drive and I did it! I was pretty excited about the scar thing but I was told my incision is not ready. There's still lots of scabs and I have to get rid of the glue. Since I was there, my Doctor also came in to check on me. I mentioned the swelling and he touched my areas of concerned and said it was normal.
At my previous appointment I had been given the OK to start using only spanx starting this week. However, due to my swelling, they recommended to continue using the surgery binder (wah!).
I am going back in 2 weeks to see the doctor and to hopefully start the treatment for scars finally. They would like to see a nice clean pink scar for me to start.
Today, I was supposed to go back to work if I wanted. My oldest child is still off school so I decided to take those days off and just relax at home. I am glad I am because at 16 days post op I am not ready to go back. The swelling and the back pain are the worst. They told me that they would like me to walk straight again now. I am trying but by the end of the day is just so difficult.
I have not taken any pain meds today! I did start taking Arnica pellets though! Maybe that is why the pain has subsided? I am sleeping on my back with just one pillow under my knees. I try to do the side sleeping but I feel things pulling inside when I do. I am still in our spare room/office because I have less legs and arms hitting me at night (our children like to join us in the middle of the night and they are crazy sleepers).
I am in a good mood though. Despite being swollen, I don't have rolls do that's cool.

Swelling pics

I finally took a pic. The swelling is unreal. Instead of progressing I feel like I am going backwards.

Picture update!

Wow! I am so happy today. What a difference 2 days make. I have extra swollen for the past couple days. I was very discouraged. I started wearing my binder from the doctors office again, this time over my incision as well. I was wearing it above because it was causing redness and circulation issues. I also went and checked my "lady" calendar and oh surprise I was in that stage where swelling is all time high for my cycle.
Anyway I woke up this morning and I am much more less swollen than yesterday. So here is a before and after picture. In my before picture I am totally relaxed and not sucking the belly in at all. I love my belly button, looks very natural. My incision line is also very clean and low. It might not seem so because my torso is so short though.

Going back to work and sleeping on my back

I went back to work on Monday. I have a desk job so it wasn't that bad. I am still very swollen! I get bloated easily so I have to. E careful with what I eat too.
Yesterday I was able to take switch head pillows (fat for a thin one) and sleep without the pillow under my knees finally! I also am able to sleep sideways now! Wohoo. I tried going back to my own bed but my dear children keep joining us and are too wiggly and I am still sore in some areas so I decided to keep sleeping in the spare room still. Everything is healing well though. Most of the scabs have finally fallen off so I am going to be starting Embrace scar treatment next week!

Embrace Scar Therapy

Had a follow up today with my doctor. He confirmed what I know, that I am still swollen. He also gave the ok to start scar therapy. The nurse applied it for me at the office. Since my scar is so long I had to get two boxes (one box has 3 strips and I used 4). We'll see how long they last on me (she said 3 weeks). I hope this helps because my scars usually turn dark and super noticeable.

Fat or forever swollen?

I am not in a good place, so warning and listen to me whine. I swell and a lot. Mornings are ok but still swollen. My pants don't fit so I have been using lots of dresses. I feel soreness in my muscles where the muscle plication happened. My flanks itch like crazy (from lipo). My scar is ugly. I am on my second application of Embrace but honestly I see no difference. It is still very brownish looking. I don't scar well so I am leaning that this scar healing thing is just a matter of genetics. I can't complain to my husband because his idea of helping me is reminding me how much we spent for me to have this done and if I am not happy than maybe I have other issues... maybe I should be more patient and stop comparing me to other realselfers who seem to be completely healed at 6 weeks.
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