Time For A Tummy Tuck! - San Francisco, CA

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Pregnancy has definitely destroyed my abdomen! I'm...

Pregnancy has definitely destroyed my abdomen! I'm 34 years old and the mother of 2 beautiful boys (9 and 3 years old). My stomach has never been the same after the birth of my oldest! He was 10lbs 9oz and literally destroyed my ab walls. I knew that I wanted two children and decided to wait until I finished having kids to have the procedure done. I m fairly active and work out 4 days a week. Even with working out and healthy eating, I see little to no results to my abs. I finally came to the realization that my stomach is the best it will ever look without doing a cosmetic procedure!

About a year ago I started saving for the tummy tuck and 6 months ago I started the process of doings consults. I did a total of 4 consults with 3 of the top rated Surgeons in Northern California. While all of them were highly educated, had really good results and great reviews, I ultimately made my final decision with the Doctor I felt the most comfortable with. My deposit had been paid, my pre-op is in 3 weeks and my procedure is scheduled in 5 weeks.

Both of my children were delivered via C-section and I'm "hoping" my recovery from the TT will be similar. I'll be staying at the hospital (at the recommendation of my surgeon) for 1-night following the surgery, and my retired mother will be staying with me during the day for 2 weeks to help with my boys. My husband is super supportive and will be helping out at night. I only have 3 weeks off of work so I'm really hoping that the recovery is smooth.

The Countdown Begins....

Pre-op is done!! I went in last week and confirmed all the details, asked a ton of questions, filled my prescriptions, did my blood work and made my final payment. By this time next week I'll be recovering in my recliner!!!

Surgery is in 4 days and I can't believe how quick this rolled up. I've wanted this procedure for years and the fact that it's right around the corner makes me feel a host of emotions! Scared, nervous, anxious, uncomfortable....you name it I feel it!

I Did It!!

Yesterday I had my TT w/muscle repair and lipo of flanks! I arrived to the hospital yesterday morning, checked in, with my doctor / his team (2 nurses) and anesthesiologist. I was marked up and wheeled into the OR around 9am. I really don't remember too much after that. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room, sore and a little loopy. The entire procedure took about 3 hours and I was in recovery for about 45 minutes before I was moved to my room. I was in and out of sleep pretty much all day/night. Kind of difficult to find a comfortable position. The pain meds are working well, but to be honest most of my discomfort is coming from the lipo! I'd compare the TT / muscle repair similar to the pain I experienced with my c-sections. The Lipo pain is much worst than I expected which makes finding a comfortable spot to sleep in difficult (Even in a hospital bed with pillows).

I haven't eaten anything other than a couple crackers and broth in over 24 hours. I experienced nausea with the broth and the nurse administered an anti-nausea med In my IV which immediately kicked in. The nurses have helped me get up and walk around a few times which actually made me feel better.

My PS is coming to check on me this morning I can't wait to see what things look like as I haven't seen my tummy PO yet. I get released this morning and can't wait to get to my comfy recliner at home.

I've attached a couple before pics!

4 Week Update

Tomorrow makes 4 weeks since my TT, MR, Lipo of Flanks. So far I'm extremely happy with my results. The first week was brutal, week 2 was easier. I honestly didn't feel "real" relief until Week 3.

I started back to work 3-weeks post op. There's still a lot of swelling! I completely understand "swell hell" now. Mornings are fine, but by the evening there's a ton of swelling above my incision (below the belly button). I got my period last week which made the swelling even worst! I stopped wearing the compression garment during the day after week 3, but I still sleep in it at night. Next week I'm going to start wearing Spanx to work during the day to help with my posture. I'm cleared to start like workouts (cardio) next week for 30 minutes.

5 Week Update

Not too much has changed since my last update. Bloating is really bad and night!! I completely understand "swell hell". I started using Embrace scar treatment at the recommendation of my surgeon and I'm now on week 2 of the strips. Has anyone else used these? I'll post scar pictures at my week 6 update. I basically go to my surgeons office every 12 days and get new strips applied. They have a hefty price tag, so really hoping these things work!

Still sleeping in the recliner the majority of the time just because it's more comfortable, but I occasionally hop in the bed. It's still a little uncomfortable to sleep on my sides which is why I prefer the recliner.

Overall I'm still really happy with my results. I've slowly been more active and plan to kick my work outs up a bit starting next week. My doctor cleared me to work out for max 30 minutes of cardio. My first day back on the stationary bike and I thought I would die! But it's definitely starting to get more comfortable / easier.

4 Month Update

It's now been 4 months since my TT and I couldn't be happier with the results! I'm completely back to my work out routine and "normal" life. I do strength training (boot camp / HIIT style classes) 3 days a week and I do Spin 2 - 3 days a week. Also maintaining a healthy diet (which I was doing well before my procedure). My stomach is still really tight, which initially made me nervous about working out. At my last post op appt. Dr. B reassured me that I'm healing fine and had no restrictions with working out. Overall I have no pain, just a little discomfort when doing ab workouts. The only thing is that at the end of the day I still have a significant amount of swelling (especially after a work out). Mornings are always super flat. For Scar treatment I used Embrace for 8 weeks. The first couple applications I went to PS. After checking out the Embrace website I realized that it was substantially cheaper to order direct. They cost about $100 per box and you need 7 boxes to last the 8 weeks. I had a friend apply the strips for me and it was fairly easy. My skin has the tendency to keloid so for me the cost was well worth it. My doctor tells me that I'm still not 100% out of the red zone for developing a keloid, so I'm still massaging the scar daily (using bio oil) and applying a regular silicone tape every other day on the scar (get it from Amazon). I also just start using a skin lightening cream 2x a day on the scar. My PS gave me a prescription and it cost $40 a bottle. Aside from the darkness of the scar I'm really happy with how low and flat it is. Hoping that time and the cream will help it to fade more.
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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