40 yrs Old, 3 Kids, appendicitis, C-Secion & an infection. Waited 25 years for TT, MR, & Flanks. Santa Rosa, CA

2 Days before surgery

I am starting to get a little less nervous. I have been having a hard time getting use to that I am volunteering changing my body, the body God gave me. I am having a hard time thinking about how much I have wanted this since I was a kid and now the time is here. I having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror and thinking there are people that look worse than I do and need the surgery more than me. I noticed that I was drinking a little more wine since we made the appointment and I think it is getting better. A friend of mine got me a little high and I felt a lot better. You can't drink 3 days before so I am glad I was able to take the edge off.

4 Days Pre-Op

When I was 15 years I remember looking at my mom who had a ton of stretch marks and saggy skin. I was totally disgusted. I knew it wasn't her fault but as a teenager and very aware of how everyone looks including myself I was not happy knowing that it was hereditary. I never really thought I wanted kids and once I made that decision I told my husband that I wasn't going to have kids until he promised me we would get me a tummy tuck when I was done having babies. He promised me and well then after I had two kids I got a divorce and just couldn't afford it as a single mom.

Well over the next 18 years I had one more child, my last was a C-Section that ended in a full infection which left me to be healed from the inside out and an open wound. I had stretch marks on both sides and 4 inches over my stomach. I had gotten my 5' 10" body down to a size 4-6 (I am a natural 8/10) twice during that time and back up to 12/14. I researched and had 6 consultations and 2 with the same person over a 10 year period. One of those times a "boyfriend" offered to pay for it. I didn't want to owe him anything and I just couldn't imagine sitting still for 10-14 days.

When I met my wonderful husband 8 years ago I told him that a TT is what I wanted more than anything and that I hated my stomach. At the time I met him I was a 4-6. We were just dating and I was simply sharing my insecurity. He was so lovely and loved me for all of me but told me that when I turned 40 (i was 32) that he would get me a TT and a boob job! As the years went on, we got married, moved in and he started loving me even more. I never thought he was serious and when I turned 40 last December 31st I told him it, it's time...he joked and said, "After you turned 40, not when you were 40". At that time I didn't want to get my hopes up high so I let it go. Well 8 months later he said, let's do it! And here I am.

4 days Pre-Op and I am pretty nervous.

3 Day's Pre-Op Pictures

Clothes can cover what I hate so much. I would love to wear something a little form fitting once.

Surgery day! Pre/post op

I was super nervous about the whole thing. I had waited so long I finally was there in the waiting room I only occasional and stressed out before the surgery but as I waited in the room with the anesthesiologist I broke to tears. The anesthesiologist look like one of the members of ZZ Top with his beard he was super cool and I really love his bedside manner. What was going on as he could tell it was something on my face and what it was was a little emotion coming through. He asked me what I was worried about. I told them not so much the pain even though that worried me a little not so much the change in my body I want it for so long even a little but more importantly asking for help from other people. That bothered me through a surgery I had from a c-section that went wrong that bothered me my whole life and now I have to spend two weeks asking people to help me for the basic needs and getting out of a chair even. The surgery went fabulous I slept like a rock because I was under anesthesia and then they gave me good pain killers which just about knocked me out on and off throughout the day. I can't wait to take off the girdle so I can see what has gone on. I have 3 drains and they will be removed in 5 days. I will keep you all posted

Day 1 post op - almost 24 hours

So I slept as many hours as I normally do last night however I wasn't that comfortable. I sleep in a recliner chair and had to percocet that when I got home at 1:30 p.m. . Last night before I went to I just took a hit which really knocked me out and made me feel comfortable. Today I woke up at 4 because I had to use the bathroom and waited until 5 when my husband woke up. Went to the bathroom emptied my 3 drains and had a glass of water and some tea. Before I left for work at 6:30 I went to the bathroom again then took some ibuprofen and I'll my daily medicine and got high one more time. When I woke up at 9 from a phone call I was a little upset but I had to go to the bathroom anyways. This time my 18 year old daughter is taking care of me. We emptied the drains I had cough earlier so I had to take some pictures for the doctor because I was nervous about the muscle repair or the stitching coming undone. He said I was fine but I have an appointment on Monday he'll take a look at the muscle. I sure hope nothing happened to it wasn't a big, big cough but it was it cough none the least and I did feel the strain. Since you wanted to see I was able to take off the girdle and good confidence at least a little so I can send a picture to him. My doctor has taken texts and pictures yesterday when I was trying to get in the right position he wanted me and then again this morning when he wanted to see the incisions. I believe that his bedside manner and the fact that he so attentive is a wonderful asset.

2 days post op - bored and tired

I haven't taken my compression suit off all the way yet but I'm looking forward to doing that tomorrow. Letting my body just take a breather. Today what I felt is the stitches and everywhere that was cut into me is stinging a little bit not a lot but a little bit with movement. I have only taken two pain medication to sleep so that I could sleep sound so that I can recover faster. I stick with ibuprofen and a little marijuana throughout the day so that I don't have to recover from taking anything else. I think so far it kept me alert and aware and in a place that I am still present. The pain medications just kind of make you not feel any pain but a little loopy as well. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Day 4 post op

I can't believe it's already day 4. It feels like it was just yesterday not because of the pain because I'm doing the same thing I was doing the day I got home from surgery the day after a surgery and yesterday. I'm very swollen still wish I knew and I'm glad I did the research on real self to see that swelling was very normal. The doctor didn't we talk about how much or for how long but the people on real self did. I really want to see what it will look like without the swelling but I just have to be patient which is not a strong suit I have. I am feeling a little stronger but man do I sleep a lot. Its like everytime I get up to go to the bathroom or walk around I come back into my chair and get situated and I'm so exhausted I fall back asleep. It's okay because I know sleeping is how your body recovers. I took these pictures because I needed to get out of my compression suit and I figured I would share them so that you guys could see what's been done and how it looks so if you're looking to get it done you know that recovery is very hard. Not because of the pain but because of just the discomfort of the experience. I took the compression suit off a few minutes today because I feel like I'm just sleeping in jeans and I have lines all over me and pretty uncomfortable because of it. I put it back on after i sat down without it and then just stood back up so I may be was out of it for a couple of minutes.

Day 5 post op, new chair, no more drains, and pain relief

So I woke up today like any other day but yesterday I knew that I talk to my doctor and he said you want me to come in today to possibly take out my drain. That excited me I have three and I wanted to take out all three of them but didn't know what the status would be. My husband and I went in this morning at 9:30 a.m. and we were able to take out all three. It did not hurt a bit so those of you who are worried about removing the drains it doesn't hurt. The car ride bothered me but the drinks coming out did not. I also got this really cool velcro spank type of thing that goes around my midsection and sucks everything together. It feels so good to have on. It feels great to not have the dreams I feel almost human. He also took away the pads everywhere and just replaced some pads right where are the drain holes were. He told me I could shower tomorrow which I'm super excited about and that I should be keeping an eye on where my skin is and how loose it is and then I can decide on my own when I should start standing up more straight not to put any stretch on my stomach. I don't have very much strength and I'm still very very tired. That makes me very sad because I am a very high-energy person so because I'm so tired I get emotional. My husband bought a double recliner yesterday for him and I its electric it's a lot more form and in much better shape then the other one we had. I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday that I am going to see how everything else is coming along. At this point you're not supposed to push it but once the dreams come out and you get a new bank type of thing on you feel like you're a million bucks. That is until you stand up or shall I say hunched over like the Notre Dame hunchback. I also got these little pads that are like memory foam but a little bit firmer and he put those two behind my flank wear I had liposuction. My flanks were killing me and I thought it was my back muscles from hunching but it was really the liposuction. If you have liposuction and your back is sore or anywhere where the liposuction was these little pads better now inside my compression suit and my spank have really subsided all the pain I was having. I would ask my doctor if you were having any pain for some of these little pads.

Day 6 post op

Since I got the drains out and then the extra compression belly sucking velcro thing that goes over my compression suit I feel much better. This big velcro thing that goes around me feels like it hold everything in. Overall the most pain I've had has been in my flanks and in my right breast reduction. The stomach is very uncomfortable but I can't use the word painful because it just doesn't feel that way. I have to say up until today I wasn't feeling very confident about this whole surgery thing and especially about this recovery thing that's taking forever. I can't clean my house, I can't work, I can't go out and play , I can't where any cool clothes , the only thing I can do is sit in this recliner.

But today I have felt better. I notice I'm not sleeping as much throughout the day as well as getting some good sleep at night. I have not taken any percocet in 3 days now however I am drinking a little wine and using MJ before I go to sleep.

Some other great news was today with shower day! I was able to take a shower today with my doctor's blessing so my daughter brought in a chair because I can't stand for very long without being sore from the liposuction in my flanks. I washed my hair I washed my body and I felt clean. When I got out I had my daughter blow dry my hair and straighten it then I sat in a chair and put on mascara. Between that and the pictures I'm feeling like I turn the corner.

Day 7 post op

1 week ago today I had my tummy tuck surgery that included liposuction of my flanks and of my right breast as well as muscle repair. I have to say that the liposuction has caused me more pain recovering then the stomach. Today was my post op appointment and I had my tape replaced as well as new sets of instructions. He watched how high I could stand and gave me approval, he told me to start stretching my legs down while I'm laying down to engage my stomach muscles that are doing just fine. My doctor also told me to start massaging my flanks because that will help the soreness that I'm feeling all the time and that the bed is fine to sleep in in the fetal position or with pillows underneath. Told me also that I could carry a gallon milk, open doors for myself, lift my hands above my head, and start working towards standing up straight as long as its not stretching my lower abdomen. I've got a compression suit on and a Velcro stomach thing I can't even feel my skin. I'm going to go with what feels good as I stand up each time. Here are some pictures of my scar. I think it looks pretty good.

Day 9 post op, feeling better

I had to skip yesterday's post because I was in so much pain from either a rib out of place or shoulder blade pain. I couldn't go to a chiropractor or a masseuse so I pretty much had to muscle through it. I ended up taking two percocet so I could sleep last night which then led me to today sleeping in till almost 2 on and off. I'm kind of wide awake now and ready to ride a little blog on Rs. I woke up early at 6:30 this morning from not sleeping well and took a shower it seem to do well. I did not use a chair but I also didn't wash my hair so I wasn't in there nearly as long. I took a few more shots so I can show you what 3 6 & 9 days look like post op.

Day 14 post op and I'm going back to work

So yesterday I woke up and I was so in shock of my stomach. I could not believe it almost looked like I had a little bit of a six pack. I've never in my entire life had a six pack and at one point I worked out 3 days a week with a trainer and I was really small but I never had a six pack. I'm so grateful that all that extra saggy skin was taken away so that when I work hard I will achieve the results that was worth the work. By the time I got my camera and ran around the house I think I swelled up a little bit so this picture is in as good as what I saw first thing in the morning.

Today I have to go back to work. I'm blessed to have my own business and arrange my schedule as needed. I sit for a living so I don't have to worry about over extending myself. I went to my 2 week post op appointment yesterday and I can go for a long walk, take a bath, have sex, lift weights with my arms, but no dancing no twisting and no core. I'm kind of bummed because in two weeks I'm going to Vegas with my husband and we do East Coast Swing and I will not be able to do that. Hopefully the next trip that is plan to San Francisco the weekend after Thanksgiving I will be able to. We are not a couple that likes to sit still.

Everyday is better! Pictures from day 18 post op to 5 week.

I am feeling better every day. Sometimes I think I over exert myself and then my ab muscle is sore. So far my doctor told me no dancing, twisting and lifting. I can float in a pool or tub so that is good! I love the way my body looks in the morning before I have a chance to make it swollen. I am still wearing my suit (Miracle suit, which rocks!) and my elastic thing. I like it because when I don't have it on I feel like my guts are going to fall out. ;-) I notice that it really works for swelling too. The doctor told me to keep wearing it and that for halloween and swimming I could go without it for 4-6 hours. I really didn't like going without it after 2 or so. I ended up wearing it in my halloween costume too, which was fine because you couldn't see it.

I would say I feel great and really love what I see. I can't believe it still has swelling to go down. My doctor said 2-4 months and it should be most the way and that 9-12 months will be the final product. That makes this a very long journey but well worth it!

Just hit 8 Months after surgery

I have to say I absolutely love, love the outcome and to think I will not be completely healed until 1 year excites me. I am not going to lie, I still don't have a lot of feeling around 6 inch radius of my belly button. It was funny because my husband put a little water in my belly button when we were at the pool, I didn't notice until it rolled out on my side. I also can feel after sitting for a while that I really need to stretch like a tight muscle or something. I love the way it looks but salt and liquor are major no no's because you will swell still. Actually all diet is important. I can totally tell when I am eating clean and when I am not because of how it shows up.
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Marcus is an artist. I know people that regret not choosing him for their TT. From the date of the consultation to working with his staff to the actual day of surgery and follow up there isn't anything I can give him less then 5 stars. His bedside manner was why I chose him. I had gotten four other consultations from other surgeons in town that my friends have used including him. His bedside manner beat everyone else. He answered all my questions before the surgery and today is day 8 and he's continued to answer all my questions after both at my post op appointment and my annoying questions he gets via text every single day it seems like. The aftercare has been great the first week someone called from the office and I got a personal text from him as well. I think the time that I spent with me has gone well over what my expectations were just from the constant communication and the access to him. Other types of surgeries and doctors have never been like that I don't know if this is the norm or if it's just him but I felt very spoiled and like I was the only patient he had. One surgery day came I was able to deal with the fact that my body was going to change and the first person I had a chance to talk to you was the nurse and the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist was so calming and still interested in how I was feeling he gave me the utmost attention. When I woke up both the anesthesiologist and Dr Marcus were there to answer any questions I had as well as work with my husband who is in the waiting room and tell him what my aftercare would be like. My stomach is feeling pretty perfect based off of my 20 years of research, I'm swelling and sleep in a recliner but other than that the swelling keeps going down and I like what I'm seeing everyday. This scar looks good and overall I am very happy with how I look today I'm looking forward to a couple months from now. I would recommend Dr Marcus to anybody because I think not only will his service and his product is attention to detail beat anyone else around I think that his whole team is worth going to.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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