Tummy Tuck

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I'm an athletic mom of 3 (5'9, 128 pounds) who has...

I'm an athletic mom of 3 (5'9, 128 pounds) who has had DR since my second child which was made worse after my third. The DR caused other complications, as it felt like my body was splitting at the midline: pubic & lower back pain. I only wanted surgery as a last resort, so I've tried physical therapy, Pilates, weight training, and the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (looooove btw! Def check it out if you are in to fitness!). Though I've become stronger and have ab muscles, I couldn't close the gap and finally consulted surgeons.

I had my surgery yesterday and am in pain. I thought the pain would be bad but I could shuffle around a bit, but any major movement is difficult and requires help. I bought a gigantic wedge pillow for my bed but there is no way I can swing my legs over to get on the bed, so I've been in my nursing chair since I got home. My butt is sore from sitting so much so I'm looking at having a donut cushion delivered today.

When I found out that TT also generally include liposuction to the flanks I opted to have a fat transfer to the breast as well, as mine are nonexistent. Unfortunately i was told after surgery I didn't have enough fat for the transfer! Clearly I should have indulged more over the holidays.

Day 2 pain but micro improvements

I think (hope?) I reached rock bottom yesterday morning when even 2 painkillers wouldn't make a dent in the pain. I called dr for help but heard nothing back. 3 hours later my husband called and I was given an additional prescription that finally made me relax a bit. Night 2 was slightly more comfortable but I'm still wondering why I did this to myself.

Did your PS call to check in on you?

Surgery on Wednesday and today is Friday. I had extreme pain yesterday and called into office but didn't get a call back. Thought for sure the office would call to check on me today before the weekend but haven't heard from them. Is this industry standard? No communication at all until first appointment 5 days later?

I'm including some weight training photos to show you how fitness didn't improve tummy.

First Peek at Results!

Yesterday I had my first follow up appointment. I was able to get both drains and the pain pump removed. The drains were hardly holding any discharge- the highest amount was 25 the day of the surgery, and the lowest was around 5. Dr Sowder does a quilting technique that really lowers the amount of fluid retention. I took a pain pill right before the appointment so the drain removal was painless. Though getting to and from the appointment was exhausting, for the first time I got excited about the possible results. Until now I really focused on the closed abs & less back & pubic discomfort, and thought a positive benefit would be not having to hide my pooch in my clothes. I never thought I looked *that* bad before the surgery, so I was never really focused on the appearance. After my first peek I finally thought "wow, this may actually look good!"

The Dr said some of my biggest gap was at the breastbone, which explains why I couldn't zip dresses after pregnancy even though my weight was the same and you could even see my ribs. She also said she was disappointed with the small amount of fat she could harvest for the transfer: it amount to about 70cc's per breast, or about 3 shot glasses in each boob. I'm not too fussed as this was a bonus anyway and I'm sure any amount added will help.

Hope this info helps! Please comment if I can answer any questions for you.

Buy a bed wedge pillow!

For the first 3-4 days I could barely move and spent all my time in my nursing chair. My buns were killing me so I got a donut pillow which really helped, but still not totally comfortable due to pressure spots. I finally moved to my bed when I could start swinging my legs to the side to get up and down without dying. This wedge has been a dream! It has two positions so you can sit more upright or turn it around for a lower incline and really comfy sleeping. This wedge with some pillows under my legs and occasional a small lumbar pillow has made me finally feel like I'm resting and recovering. It was expensive- around $100- which made me hesitate but well worth it. Look into it if you are having ab surgery too!

The diastasis recti gap

Looking through some old photos and found these- how crazy that my belly button would get sucked in during and type of sit up!?

10 day update- lots of swelling!

Obviously feeling better each day because I'm bored hanging out in bed. Goal today is to walk around house more- the problem yesterday is I got super hot and dizzy when I stood too long. Swelling is evident but not painful- it almost looks worse on lower back where I had the lipo. So much swelling you can't tell where my back ends and my behind begins! ???? Besides time and patience, and swelling & healing tips out there?

Recovery is sloooooow

I thought by 3 weeks out I would be back to normal, maybe just still taking a nap each day and not lifting my toddler. Not so. If I overdo it at all I get muscle spasms and an upset tummy and seem to take 2 steps back. I'm still not able to stand totally straight, and coughing or sneezing is a nightmare. Swelling is down slightly but given how long the recovery seems to be I'm not convinced it was worth the disruption to my life and my family's. I'm hoping in a few weeks when I feel stronger and back to normal I'll be glad I took the time out for the surgery.

Light exercise!!!

I walked 2 miles today and feel good! It was so nice to feel active again. I'm hoping by moving I'll loosen my tummy a bit so I can stand totally straight. I did notice a bit more swelling after walking but nothing major.

I also bought a stage 2 garment to try while I wash the giant cg. It's so nice to not have my legs covered, if only for a few hours!

4 weeks!

Definitely turned a corner recovery wise. Back to most my normal activities except for working out and lifting kids. Now it's just a waiting game to fully heal and reduce swelling.

6 weeks! All restrictions lifted!

I'm so, so happy to be at the 6 weeks mark! Back to officially lifting my toddler safely and working out. Swelling continues to go down- I don't sleep with any cg and only wear a lighter one during the day, unless I feel a little sore or more swollen, when I'll put on the giant one again. Had an awesome first workout back this morning- mostly legs, still avoiding ab work. I've missed those workout endorphins! New pics to follow!

7 weeks

Improving all the time! Still going gentle on the workouts, as stretching abs too much hurts, but able to do lots of lower body. Still hesitant to do push-ups or any jarring type movement. Swelling is mostly concentrated to incision line and feels firm- I wonder when this goes down? I do hope it's swelling and that area will get flatter! Am going to start belly button shaping this week.

7 week photos

Feeling great but swelling around BB

Back to almost my normal workout routine and generally feeling great, but I have swelling around belly button that bothers me. It messes up the lovely contour of my new tummy and makes me hesitant to wear jeans, as it makes the swelling worse. Anyone have anything like this?

I chose Dr Sowder because of her years of experience and I appreciated her no nonsense, stricter manner. Other PS said I could continue breast feeding even after the fat transfer, but Dr Sowder said it wasn't safe as bf'ing boobs are more vascular and bleed more easily. She insisted I stop nursing 3 months before surgery, so I stopped when my little guy turned 16 months. Honestly, he's my last baby and I would had a hard time ever pulling the plug, so the deadline made the decision easier. Plus we still have tons of snuggles without him biting me. ;) Back to Dr Sowder- her office is run efficiently and thoughtfully and her website/blogs are extremely helpful. I'm confident I chose an excellent surgeon.

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 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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