Hey ladies! After about of year of research and...
Hey ladies! After about of year of research and being on this site almost everyday, it is now my turn to have a tummy tuck operation :) I'm supper excited and nervous at the same time. Upon meeting with my surgeon, I decided to have a tummy tuck along with Lipo to tummy and hips (flanks/love handles). After my incision heals, I'll begin embrace scar therapy which is included in the price. Today I had my pre-op oppointment and its all sinking in now that this is really happening. I'll post my before pictures soon :)
I had many interviews with about 6-7 different plastic surgeons. After months of research I decided to go with Dr. Aldo Guerra in Scottsdale AZ. so far, Dr. Guerra and his staff have been amazing and I honestly feel that I made the right decision. Today they gave me all my prescriptions and gave me instructions on what to do to prepare myself for the big day. If you lovely ladies have any advise on what to expect or how to prepare for the surgery I would greatly appreciate it! :)
Also, I would like to thank you beautiful ladies for sharing your tummy tuck journeys. Your experiences and opinions really do mater and I can't thank you enough for sharing :) I can't wait to see what the future holds as I go through this journey as well :)
My before pictures
Before I got pregnant I use to have a flat stomach with a curvy figure. During my pregnancy I gained over 50 lbs and kept the weight in about a year after I had my daughter. It's been 7 years since then and I Can't wait to get rid of this extra skin and bloated pregnant look. Just one more month till I'll be on the flat side... Hopefully :)
Made it to the flat side! ????
14 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
Well'p I did it! This morning I had the tummy tuck procedure and now I'm back in the recovery room :). Surprisingly it didn't take too long to prep me. 1st they had me take a urin sample and then change into that lovely hospital gown that we all love lol before I came to the surgery center, dr Guerra and his staff advise me to go on a 2 day liquid diet and wash my self twice a day with a special anti bacterial wash. 4 hours upon arrival I applied a patch that goes behind the ear for nausea. I checked in at 6:30am and once I got dressed into the gown 3 people came and talked to me. Dr Guerra was the first to see me. He did his markings and reassured that today was gunna be a great day :) next, the nurse came in and went over all the paper work and gave me a brief run down as to what to expect when I go back to the surgery room. The last person that came and talked to me was the anesthesiologist. He also asked some question and explained to me what he was going to do when it came to the anesthesia part. Everyone was very nice which really calmed my nerves.
When it was time, the nurse walked me back to the room where the surgery was going to be performed. The room was hekka cold and the table they laid me on was very small. The nurse did her best to try to make me feel comfortable by putting a heated blanket over me and had me rest my head on this bomb neck pillow lol the anesthesiologist came and walked me step by step as to what he was doing. By the time he injected the "happy juice" I was out lol
The next thing I remember waking up feeling hekka tight. No pain, just lots of pressure. They took me back to the recover room and that's when the pain started to hit. I had to try my best to move from the surgical bed to the hospital bed and that's what killed me. I was in a lot of pain so they gave 2 volumes and a morphine shot. Took a couple minutes for it to kick in but then I was okay :)
I had the surgery this morning at 7:30a, (check in time was at 6:30a) it is now around 8:30p and so far everything is going really well :) they said around midnight they are going to try and make me walk. They wanted to wait because I have a catheter in and they wanted to make sure the anesthesia had completely worn off.
I'm so curious to see what my tummy looks like! Tomorrow morning Dr Guerra is going to stop by and remove the dressings to examin his work. I'm so excited! I bet he did an amazing job! :D
Wow!!! Dr Guerra did such an amazing job!
Dr Guerra came in this morning and checked up on me. For the first time he took off my binder and bandages just to make sure everything is okay. And oh my gosh, I'm just soeachkess of how well it turned out! I know I'm going to swell up more but from what I can see I am very happy with my results :D
A few pictures I've meant to post a few days ago
A few pictures that I meant to post earlier. Let's just say this recover period is rough! Been sleeping and resting most of the time and I can't stand the lower back pain. I can't wait to stand up straight again and sleep in my bed. I have one of those temperpedic beds so I think tonight I'll give it a try. I'll post a more detailed post in a few about how these two weeks have gone so far. Happy healing everyone!
The first 2 weeks of Recovery
2 weeks post-op and I am feeling a lot better :) I meant to update and write more during the first two weeks but I totally underestimated what this sugary was going to be like. I spent the night in the recovery center and then went home the next day. I knew it was going to be rough coming home but the pain was something I wasn't ready for.
My boyfriend and family have been super amazing! I stayed at my parents house for the first week and then came back to my house (with my daughter and boyfriend, he pretty much lives with me) about 5 days ago. My dads wife helped me a lot when it came to the food and taking care of my daughter. I couldn't shower for the first week and a few days because of the drain so my boyfriend gave me a sponge bath and my dads wife washed my hair. Part of my prescriptions was that I needed to get a shot on my upper quad area for the first 4 days after surgery. The shot was to help prevent blood clots, So my dads wife helped me with that as well. My boyfriend helped me a lot by keeping track of all my pain meds and wrote down the times of when I need to take them along with keeping up with my drain. I was soooo out of it for the first few days after surgery so I'm super grateful that they both did that for me.
If you are thinking about getting this procedure, MAKE SURE TO STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PAIN MEDS! SUPER IMPORTANT! one night, I told my boyfriend not to worry about giving me my pain meds during the night and that I would set an alarm to take them... boy was that a mistake! I accidentally slept through my alarm and woke up in the worst pain. it took about 15-20min for the meds to kick in after I took them so I had to sit there in the middle of the night with this burning painful feeling across my incision.
Before I went into surgery, my PS prescribed me a nausea patch that you put behind your ear a couple hours before surgery. He said that I could leave the patch on a few days after surgery to help with nausea as well. unfortunately, I have some really bad luck when it comes to feeling nauseous and the moment I removed that patch I threw up. oh my gosh.. that had to the be the worst part of this whole recovery process because the pain is unbearable. Think about it... if it hurts to laugh or even cough, imagine throwing up. I swear I thought all my stitches had busted open and I couldn't stop crying. my boyfriend was with me the whole time and reassured me that my stitches are fine and calmed me down. it was bad... so I pray that no one else gets nauseated and throw up like I did :(
Since I was on a lot of medications, one of the major side effects (besides being tiered/loopy) is constipation. oh my gosh, I couldn't go #2 for the longest... I tried, stool softeners, milk of magnesia, nothing seemed to work. by the time I had my first bowel moment, it was about a week after I had surgery. Yes ladies.. A WEEK! and that was only cuz I decided to use an enema. I couldn't go on my own till a few days ago so yes, the constipation is real so please make sure to have a high fiber diet during and before having the procedure... and keep an enema or two on hand in case you end up being in the same embarrassing moment that I was in.
After I made it through the first 5-6 days, things started to get a little better. I was still on heavy medication and was loopy/ tiered most of the time. However, I finally got up and out of my room and worked my way into the living room. it was nice being in the mist of things instead of staying cooped up in my room. It was hard for me to walk on my own cuz I got tiered pretty quick and had (actually still have) lower back pain. So I had a walker to kinda help me get around the house the first week. I don't use the walker anymore, but I still walk kinda slow after a while and get tiered when I'm up on my feet for awhile.
I think I pretty much covered everything that I missed during these past two weeks. I see Dr. Guerra Tomorrow to get my stitches and tape removed (yay!!) Im kinda excited to see whats been hiding under that tape so ill make sure to take some pictures and update more often :) Since about 2 days ago I've been feeling much better and walked up and down the stairs on my own (I live in a 2 story house) and cleaned up a bit. I even went outside and walked to my mail box and back. My daughter came with me just in case I got tiered (which I did) and she let me rest on her shoulder when I need to stop and take a breather lol she's such a sweet girl. My boyfriend went back to work yesterday and my daughter has been helping me around the house and taking care of our doggie. very grateful for my family and everything they have done for me :) happy healing to everyone! will post updated pics soon!
Top 5 items that I recommend that will help make recovery a little easier
Ok, so here are some items I highly recommend that will make recovery a little easier, especially for the first week or so.
1) if you have low toilets, you should definitely get a toilet seat raiser. I didn't have one at first and my boyfriend had to help me sit on the toilet and then help me get back up... talk about embarrassing and TMI lol! so yeah, gotta have that. 2) A walker. It was easier for me to get around the house and helped relieve a bit of the back pain. 3) a shower bench. Not sure what they are called but its a small bench that goes in the shower that you can sit on when you get tiered from standing for a long time. 4) Pillows. For the first week or 2 you will have to sleep in a recliner. So what I did was buy a couple cheep pillows, that I didn't mind getting blood on, to put on each side of me. Luckily I didn't have a problem with bleeding or anything like that which was good. Then I used the pillows I already had at home to prop my legs up and put behind my head. I got this advice from another Realself sister so thanks of the advice ;). 5) now this one may sound a little funny, but if you know what a moo moo is, get it! its a long gown that you can wear around the house. Kinda like a pajama dress but very lose and looks more appealing than a pajama/sleep wear. Dr. Guerra is known for his low incision technique so I honestly did not feel like wearing underwear or having something on my incision. So I just walked around the house in a moo moo and called it a day lol
Today makes it 2 weeks since my procedure and out of the items listed above I still use the toilet seat riser and shower bench. I think I graduated from everything else so if you decide to purchase these items make sure to either barrow them from someone or get them somewhere very cheep like goodwill or something. No need to spend more money on something your only going to use for a short amount of time right? If anyone has any questions or advice to share please feel free to do so :) hope this helps!
My appointment went great! :D
So today I saw my PS for my 2 week check up and so far I am on the right path to having the tummy I always wanted! (Which is back to how it use to be before I had my baby and gained over 50lbs). They removed the tape and more stitches from my Incision and belly button. Once everything was removed I couldn't be any more happier with my results so far! Dr. Guerra truly is an artist and an expert at what he does! now I know for sure that I chose the right surgeon. When removing the few stitches I had, I felt zero pain and my scar looks awesome! It's only week 2 and I'm pretty impressed with how things are going :)
Stage 2 compression garment
So I graduated to stage 2 of my compression yesterday, and my PS gave me this super sexy body suite thing that I have to wear every day for 3 months WITH the binder on top lol ( I was being sarcastic about the sexy part). Now ladies, my tummy may be a lot flatter now (thanks to Dr Guerra's amazing work) but my hips are still wide. Normally I wear size large in most clothes but the garment had to be an XL because I couldn't get it to fit over my hips lol it's okay though, we all invested a lot of money for this procedure so I don't mind doing what I need to do to keep everything nice and secure. The only bad part is that it's more so tight around my thighs than my tummy. My PS medical assistant said I could find another one without the compression around the legs, but to make 100% sure it's tight on the tummy. So I'm in search for another Guarment but have no idea what works and which ones are best! So I need your help, any advice???
Only 2 weeks and 3 days post-op and I'm loving my results!
Happy New Years everyone! Today I decided to actually get a little dressed up since my procedure (mainly just do my hair n make up, still wearing baggie clothes lol) and I couldn't help but notice how great every thing is looking. It's only been a little over two weeks and I'm just amazed with the transformation. Here's a little side by side comparison of how I was till now (today :)) wishing everyone a safe and happy New Years!
Standing straight,when to go back to work, and other updates
Hello realself fam! So sorry for not updating as often. Today makes it 3 weeks and 5 days since surgery. I'm standing up straight now (yayy!!) but after a while of being on my feet and walking around, I tend to hunch over slightly by the end of the day. It's nothing like how it was before so I'm okay with being hunched a little bit. I'm sleeping flat, in my bed, with one pillow propped under my legs. I started sleeping flat about 6-7 days ago which definitely helped a lot with standing up straight during the day. It was uncomfortable at first but your body gets use to it :)
I started embraced scar therapy treatment 3 days ago. (So I was 3 weeks and like 2 days) I really like how low my scar is and I saw my belly button which I absolutely love! I haven't seen my belly button in over 8 years and as of now it looks really good!
I still swell a lot, especially after I do something like grocery shopping or just cleaning around the house. By the end of the night I find myself loosing my binder lol all pics that I've posted were taken in the morning or before I start moving around a lot. I'll take a picture of how it looks at the end of the day so you can get an idea. Overall, my tummy is very flat and I couldn't be happier :)
I went back to work a few days ago. I'm a martial art instructor/program director so on my first day back I only worked 2 hours and stayed in the front office. My original plan was to go back to work after 2 weeks post op because I heard that's about the time u want to wait till going back, but there was just no way I could do that. At 2 weeks I was still hurting and couldn't walk straight. I went back to work when I was 3 weeks post op and still only worked a few hours and stayed in the front office. So, my honest opinion is that if you plan on having this surgery, wait at least 3 weeks or so before going back to work. And keep in mind that depending on what you do for work will determine how long u would want to wait. If all you do is sit at an office then u might be able to do 2 weeks. But if u have to be on your feet a little bit or need to move around a lot then 3-4 weeks for sure! I teach karate too but I haven't taught a class yet. I'll probably try teaching today since I know I can stand for a longer period of time and I have a lot of other black belts that can demonstrate moves since I can't. I'll let U know how it goes :)
I'm very curious as to when I can sleep on my side or tummy. I HATE sleeping on back and I wake up in the morning so stiff, it's annoying. I don't see my PS till next week so I'll ask him then.
Also, another thing that is kinda awkward but I think we should talk about it, is sex lol! I've read though at least 100 reviews on this site but no one seems to talk about it (which is awkward so I can understand) I think it would be a good idea if we all talked about the good and the bad so those who are thinking of the surgery can get a good idea of real life situations. Let's see... I've lived with my boyfriend for over 3 years now and since the surgery I have had no desire to have sex. I still don't have full range of motion and I don't know if it would be a good idea. I guess I'll keep u ladies posted on that lol any questions let me know :)
Embrace scar therapy
Started my embrace scar therapy treatment at 3 weeks and 2 days post op. I'm excited to see how it will look after I'm done with the treatment :D
So today make it five weeks exactly since My tummy tuck surgery. It definitely has its ups and downs but overall I feel like I'm getting a lot better. I'm standing up 100% straight with no problems. A few days ago I had another check up apt with my PS. I'm not sure what it is but it seem like he was having a pretty bad day and I felt kind of rushed :/ I was still packing my bellybutton like he told me to do, but when he saw me he was like "what's going on here?" And pointed at my belly button. I told him that I was still packing it like he told me to do and he said that I could've stopped last week... I didn't know that so I felt kinda awkward. Perhaps he did tell me to stop after a certain amount of time and I didn't hear him but who knows... Anyways, before I see my PS, I usually see the medical assistant first. She asked me if I had any questions for the doctor. There were two main things that were bothering me. The first one was that I felt a pinching sensation on the left side of my incision and noticed a small hole the size of a tip of a pen. It's so small, but it was enough to bother me whenever I wore my garment or pants. The second thing that was bothered me was that the lower part of my tummy and Pubic area poofs out and I'm not sure what to do about that. When the surgeon came in, I told him about the pinching feeling that I felt on my incision. At first he couldn't see it and I had to keep pointing to where it was at. It was pretty small but I was able to see it just fine. After a few moments he saw the hole and said that it looks like it was leftover debris from one of the sutures and that he'll try to get it out. He was able to get most of it out but I can still feel that pinching sensation a little bit. Hopefully that will go away soon.
As far as the poofiness goes on my lower abdomen and pubic area, he just told me to keep wearing my garment. The only problem with that is that the garment doesn't go over my pubic area and doesn't provide enough pressure on my lower abdomen. He didn't give me any other advice other than just to keep massaging it and wear the garment. Like I said before, I Felt pretty rushed at that appointment, and it felt as if something was bothering him that day. I'm not going to take it personal, but I could tell something was wrong.
But anyways, I was supposed to start my second treatment of embrace, however I had that small suture situation so I'm going to go back tomorrow to get the second application applied.
My PS told me that I was able to return back to the gym and do some light cardio. He also said I can sleep on my side and my stomach if I wanted to. I'm still feeling pretty uncomfortable and tight as heck so I'm going to wait on sleeping on my stomach. I tried sleeping on my side the other night and that seemed to be okay :) i'll just take it slow, and see what my body can do.
I'm going to be very honest, the last 2 weeks I've been feeling pretty depressed. I look in the mirror and I noticed that my tummy isn't as flat as it was when I first had the surgery. I'm swollen 90% of the time and my incision still feels uncomfortable. Not to mention it is still a pain in the butt to get in and out of bed every day. I really hope that my lower abdomen and pubic area goes down. My birthday is on Friday and I wanted to go to a nice dinner and wear a nice dress. But with the way my tummy has been looking lately, I'm starting to feel discouraged and don't like how poofy I am all the time. I'm just really hoping it's only swelling and nothing else. I'm going to try and work out next week because I feel very uncomfortable to do any aerobic exercises at this point. Im going to add some pictures of my tummy from my appointment a couple days ago. I honesty don't like it and I don't know how to make it better
I'm usually not a negative person, it just sucks because I spent a lot of money and time yet I feel like I'm going backwards. I'll just try to stay positive and hope for the best
6 weeks and a new awesome compression garment :D
Hello Realself fam! ok, so I know I've been pretty down the last couple weeks and I apologize for being so negative. week 4 and 5 definitely hit me hard emotionally. I thought to myself that I had this procedure a month ago yet I still felt like crap and my tummy was so puffy and bloated looking that I couldn't help but feel depressed. Non of my clothes fit and I just couldn't get comfortable. even for my birthday last week I couldn't fit into anything and had to wear sweats. My boyfriend took me out to dinner which was awesome, but I just wish I was able to wear something at least semi-cute. Yesterday I made it to the 6 week mark and everything started getting better (Thank God!) I guess I was going through a serious moment of "swell hell" but its starting to get better. I can sleep on my side with no problem and I FINALLY had sex for the first time in 5 weeks lol (this happen a few days before I hit the 6 week mark) I tried sleeping on my tummy but it was very uncomfortable... ill give it another week or two and then I'll try again.
Since my doctor cleared me for cardio exercise last week, I attempted to try a fitness class that my dad offers at our karate studio. I use to be the teacher for that class but since im kinda broken at the moment, I'm now the student and my dad teaches lol hes pushing 60 this year so the pace i slower than when I was teaching. don't get me wrong, he may be 60 but moves as if he was 40 lol if you want to get or stay in shape, martial arts is a great total body workout ;) anyways, since it was my first time working out since surgery, I had to go slow of course and modify almost every move. since I'm not allowed to lift over 10lbs, I used 3 lbs weights and that's about it. It felt soooo good to work out again, even though everything was modified I was really happy :) tomorrow I'm going to try a hip hop class that my gym offers. Since its mainly cardio, I'm sure ill be okay!
So as some of you may know, I've been having the hardest time trying to find a decent slip on compression garment. I received one from my PS but its so tight around my legs and not tight enough around my body. I have big hips which to me is a curse! My waist is 34'' but my hips are 43, butt 45, and thighs 43.... yeah, its a pain in the butt to find anything that fits me right, literally! The medical assistant at my PS office suggested that I go to target and try on some of the garments that they have there before spending all this money on a garment that probably wont fit me right. So I went and found the perfect compression garment! And the best part is that it was just under $35 (which is great for a good compression garment). its called Assets by spanx. Its so comfortable and feels great all over. I'll post pictures in a separate post. So if you have big hips and a small waist, and need good compression where it counts without feeling like your loosing circulation to your legs, I strongly recommend getting the assets brand by spanx. :)
Nothing new to report. I pretty much feel the same as last week. Took of embrace the other night so you guys can see what a 7 week scar looks like (at least what it looks like on me anyways, everyones body heals differently :)) I start my third embrace treatment later on today. happy healing!
11 week up date
27 Feb 2017
2 months post
Hey guys! sorry I haven't posted an up date in a while. Today makes it almost 11 weeks since surgery. I'm feeling pretty good but still feel tight. its still hard to sleep on my tummy without any problems, but I can do it if I go slow and don't move once I'm on my tummy lol I've been getting those lymphatic massages that was recommend by my PS and I absolutely love it! the person I found did a really good job and was able to help smooth all the lumpiness out. I went about 4 times so far and and I truly believe that it helped a lot :). The on-and-off swelling is really a pain in the butt! I mainly swell between my belly button and pubic area towards the middle and end of of the day. My hips and butt are finally starting to smooth out (it was swollen and felt lumpy for the longest!) and last week I was finally able to wear jean-like pants since surgery. on valentines day I decided to dress up and wear a dress. I was so amazed at how flat my tummy looked! like wowwww.... I seriously would've never thought twice wearing a slimming dress like this! I'll post picture in just a sec.
I'm still wearing my compression garment and binder around the clock. the only time I didn't wear my binder was on Valentines day (about 2 weeks ago) but it was only for a few hours. once I got home I quickly put it on.
I'm still unable to workout as hard as I use to. I'm doing light cardio about 3-4 times a week but nothing that includes jumping or bending over. I tried doing some weight lifting but wont do more than 10 lbs. If I workout too long or do to much, I start to feel a slight pain down the center of my stomach. I'm so afraid of undoing or hurting my self so I'm taking it VERY slow. unfortunately I haven't lost any weight since surgery but that's okay, I can tell that my tummy is a lot flatter and I'm very happy with my results so far :)
3 months and loving it!
22 Mar 2017
3 months post
Hey guys! I know I haven't updated in a while but I figured I would only update if something was to change. I finally reached the 3 month mark and as mentioned before, things are always getting better and easier. It still hurts to cough (not nearly like how it felt before.. oh my gosh I thought i was going to die during those first couple of months lol) but it's still uncomfortable... sneezing too! I still feel tight but not as bad. For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to sleep on my tummy because I strongly dislike sleeping on my back. It was uncomfortable at first but now I got it! I can sleep on both sides and tummy with little to no discomfort. my right side were I had the drain is still kinda numb and feels weird. I'm not sure how long it will take to get the feeling completely back, but it feels weird when I touch or wear pants around that area. speaking of pants, I still cant wear them lol my waist is small but my hips are still huge so finding a decent pair of pants or shorts that actually fits is a problem. Not to mention that I don't like wearing anything tight around my scar (still feels funny) So I decided to switch my wardrobe to dresses and I love it! I use to not be able to wear dresses because I didn't like how my body looked in them, but now I feel very confident and love how my body is shaped. who would've thought that a flat tummy would make such a difference!
I went in for my last embrace application apt last week and the medical assistant told me that I no longer need to wear my garments. I still wear them when I work out or if I know I'm going to be on my feet a lot that day, but for the most part I don't wear them. This just happened a few days ago so I'm still getting use to it.
Yes, I'm still swelling which is hekka annoying! Doctor said it could take up to a year for the swelling to completely stop. I usually swell towards the end of the day, but if I'm up on my feet early then the swelling will last all day (this is when ill just keep the compression garments on). the main part where I swell is between my belly button and pubic area.
Since I've started to become more active I've been experiencing this sharp pinching feeling towards the right upper part of my tummy, midway between my belly button and breast bone. I asked my PS about it and I guess that means I'm just over doing it. funny cuz in my opinion I'm still not doing much at all lol but considering my abs were repaired they still need a lot of time to heal. I can do little hops but no jumping, and I can jog but definitely cant run lol I don't do any core workouts (obviously) and I'm still only lifting about 10 lbs. I'm still doing karate but everything is modified. I cant kick above my waist and twisting my torso is out of the question. So I mainly teach than doing martial arts hard core like I use to. maybe when I reach the 6 month mark I should be back to normal, but who knows :)
I absolutely love my new body. I feel more confident than I ever had before. The only thing I regret about this surgery is that I wish I took better care of my belly button. I was using embrace for my tummy tuck scar, but I should've done some sort of scar therapy for my belly button too. Its still pretty red and dark so I'm starting to use some Bio-Oil on it at least every day (or when I remember lol) hopefully that will help it look normal again. It doesn't look bad, it just looks like its still healing which it probably is.
Im soooo happy that I decided to get this procedure. The last time I felt this confident of my body was probably never lol I love how curvy I look and I just cant get over how flat my tummy is! Dr Guerra gets 5 stars from me, and If your thinking about getting a tummy tuck it is definitely worth it :D