Hi everyone! I am a 27 year old mom of two amazing...
Hi everyone! I am a 27 year old mom of two amazing kids, they are 4 and 6 years old!
For the past two years I have dieted and exercised religiously; I typically follow a combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding and over the past two years have completely changed my body...I have leaned out and gained a lot of muscle but still have not been able to fix my lower abs so I finally decided it was time to do something so I could truly benefit from, and see all the hard work I have put into myself!
I live in a small town and was prepared to travel for a good plastic surgeon but I heard incredible reviews from a close local PS so I decided to schedule a consult with him first.
In March I had my first and only consult with Dr DeGreef. He was incredibly thorough...he explained everything in technical terms but then broke it down so I could understand, he was patient and never made me feel like I was rushed or like my questions were stupid. He took lots of notes and pictures as well. I simply told him I didn't like my stomach and wanted to fix it and upon examination he came up with/discovered everything I wanted to hear.
As it stands I have a small umbilical hernia, and I also have diastasis rectus from having kids. What he plans to do is make two tiny incisions around my belly button to fix the hernia and stitch my muscles back together. He will then pull my skin down, readjust my belly button, and remove the excess skin while utilizing as small an incision as possible, as low as possible. The two incisions around my belly button should be mostly hidden within my new belly button. This will all be done simply under local anesthetic, and no drains should be required. I was able to choose the option of being put under but it would have raised my cost from $1100 to approximately $3000 so I decided to just grin and bare the surgery and spare my wallet lol.
I loved how Dr DeGreef sympathized with my current state of stomach, and validated my emotions as well as was willing to perform all of the above whilst still just performing a "mini tuck".
My consult was in March but due to unfortunate circumstances I had to postpone till September 26th which is now only two days away!
Due to the "minimal" nature of my surgery no additional consults were required, so I'll just be seeing my surgeon day of at noon to go over everything once more and then the procedure will be performed right away! It's supposed to only take an hour at most.
I won't lie I feel a little unaware as to how everything will happen during/after, or what exactly it will entail or the recovery but my intuition is still telling me to go for it because of all the good reviews and how well my consult went.
That being said based on what I have read I've taken a week and a half off work, and also my kids will be with their dad for a full week instead of our usual 3/4 day rotating schedule.
I will be pretty much all alone after my surgery so I thoroughly cleaned the house and prepped a bunch of food so I won't have to cook after my surgery. I cut up a ton of fruit and made a veggie bacon quiche for breakfasts, broiled salmon and made up some Mason jar salads for lunches, and also cooked a pot of turkey pumpkin chili for dinner. I've stocked my bedside with water bottles, juice, and protein bars along with my multivitamins, omegas, and arnica tablets.
Fingers crossed I'll survive this alone Hahaha. On Monday morning (day of surgery) I'll take my before photos!
Augh my surgery is tomorrow! I can hardly believe it!!
Is it crazy I'm thinking of fixing my hair dye and giving myself a mani tonight? ???? I figure I won't be up for doing such things for a while so I kinda wanna be on it lol.....
Also got my period Saturday and I'm really hoping that doesn't affect anything, I absolutely can't have this canceled now that I'm so close!!! Has anyone else experienced this? I was certainly never given a warning so I'm assuming it should be okay.....fingers crossed! Augh how will I sleep tonight??
At the hospital!
26 Sep 2016
Day of treatment
Well here I sit and wait....apparently they are "way behind" but at least I'm here! Was definitely experiencing some anxiety but also excited....now that I've been waiting though I just want it over with but I have a feeling those feelings will come back when they call my name lol.
I figured I would use this time to upload some before pictures though! I can't believe I'm sharing these but it's so exciting to think that in a mere hour or two I won't have to be embarrassed of this anymore!
I had my surgery yesterday! Doctor was an hour and a half late but when I got called in he didn't make me feel rushed at all.
I was able to keep my pants on and just swapped my shirt for a gown which I pulled up to expose my abdomen on the operating table. He made a bunch of lines, then poked me with a ton of needles for the freezing and begun the surgery.
Luckily there was music playing and my surgeon was awesome at talking to me about other subjects and keeping me distracted, while checking in to be sure I was doing okay. Because I was laying flat I couldn't see anything which was perfect.
The hardest part was when he had to cauterize everything, there were a few spots that really hurt, apparently on the muscle layer and one spot being a nerve ending. Definitely ended up swearing once and my hands were shaking by the end of it but Dr DeGreef made me keep talking through it which helped and I also focused on taking slow deep breaths. Either way the pain was short lived and I was out within an hour though definitely felt weak and shaky from the whole thing but felt rather good overall considering.
Dr DeGreef stitched me up with internal stitches which will all dissolve within two months. He applied steri strips and then a partially see through plastic bandage which is waterproof and I'm supposed to leave on for a minimum of 10 days but preferably till Oct 20th when I see him next.
Of which I found out this procedure entailed just the mini tuck and then I have to go back on Oct 20th where he will freeze the area around my belly button, and make two small circumferential incisions and repair my muscles and hernia then. He will not have to touch the tuck incision but will change my bandages then. Apparently that surgery will be super quick and for that I can go back to work the next day. I've been cleared to go back to work on Oct 5th as long as I take it really easy until then.
After my surgery I was instructed to go out and get an abdominal binder and picked up my prescription for percocet. I have to wear the binder for the next two weeks and then I can switch to spanx, but since I'll still be getting my hernia repaired I decided to order a Maria E Faja off amazon to give me more compression then just spanx.
Over all I've been doing good, not in too much pain but definitely recognizing the need to be in bed. Just getting up to the washroom or to microwave some food I start to feel overall very weak. My brain wants me to get up and do shit, I'm not used to this bed ridden stuff, but I know I have to take it easy.
Sleeping last night was alright but definitely propped up in bed surrounded by a billion pillows, it's hard not sleeping on my side!
Either way that's all for now, I'll update again in a few days :) Sharing some pictures of what I have for my bedroom setup! So grateful for all the bottles of water I have by my bed and I stole every cushion I have in the house lol.
OMG I never knew sitting in bed for so long could be this terrible, I am going stir crazy and I'm only 3 days post op?!? At 6 days post op I'll be getting my kids back and then at day 9 or 10 I'll be going back to work and I definitely feel I should be ready by then.
I'm already off my heavy pain meds; I took them day of but then day 2 in the morning I took one and felt so loopy and tired so I switched to extra strength ibuprofen every 6 hours or so and that's been good enough as I'm really not in that much pain surprisingly.
Spending most of my time in bed but went for a short walk each day which felt fine. Luckily I've had girlfriends visiting me in the evening for dinner which is the highlight of my days Hahaha.
I won't lie though with how easy of a recovery this is I'm terrified that the hernia repair on Oct 20th will knock me out but my doctor swears this is the worst part.
I am still wearing my brace 24/7 which is annoying as heck as well but I have a feeling it's really helping so I'll keep it on. I'm supposed to get my new faja compression garment today so we will see if that works any better.
Took some photos today, don't mind the various impression marks from my binder! Overall I'm really happy thus far, already got some sexy upper Ab definition and my lower abs are still swollen but I can see the potential! Scar is also nice and low as you can see the steri strips poking out from under the gauze pad. It will be awesome once my belly button is fixed but it already looks better just being stretched out.
23 days post op!!
Wow....I feel a mix of disbelief both that 23 days has already past so quickly but also that it's only been 23 days....
Let's back up a bit....got my kids 7 days post op which was great because I missed them dearly but it was definitely still a struggle to keep up with them and found I tired really easily.
At 10 days post op I went back to work.....made the mistake of not wearing my binder just a tight tank top and yoga pants over my incision and was so worn out and in so much pain at the 6 hour mark (I work in retail) that I wanted to cry lol. Luckily got sent home early and made sure to wear my binder the next day which made a significant difference.
I had ordered a full body faja compression garment but it was to small and had to be sent back..so by day 8 I was just wearing my binder at night with no pain, and no pain meds needed hence why I didn't think twice bout it for work.
By day 15 post I attempted work again without the binder because I was sick of it showing through my clothes and was able to survive the day without pain meds.
At 19 days post op I got annoyed by my bandages and finally removed them all and let me tell you it was a glorious moment! My surgeon did such an incredible job with my incision and it's healed so beautifully. I still put my own steri strips back on though because I could tell a difference in achiness without them on.
At 23 days post op now I only wear the binder at night still but I've skipped it a few nights due to uh...sleepovers ;) lol. I also just bought these spanx underwear that go up to just under my bra so I can wear those at work after my hernia repair which is in 2 days!! I'm so stoked to have everything done and see the complete final results!
I still don't have as much stamina and energy that I used too, and I'm definitely always super conscious of what movements I do so as to not put tension on my incision or else it really hurts still.
I have been back to the gym but I'm focusing on lighter weights and higher reps so I don't need to utilize my core as much and just burn out my targeted muscles. Also once again being conscious of my movements and my body and not pushing myself too hard but just trying to maintain and to give myself some peace of mind.
Because I did just have a mini tuck my results aren't overly phenomenal and I do still have a touch of excess skin when I'm sitting but in comparison it's phenomenal and I'm so happy. Ive also noticed Ive still been bliated from the surgery and now from my period so it'll be nice when thats gone lol. I just can't wait to see the complete results though but really have no clue what to expect! Fingers crossed it goes well.
So yesterday I had my hernia and muscle repair and OMG wow....now I know why we did two separate surgeries lol...
This surgery was done by making two half circle incisions above and below my belly button and then there were a tonnnnn of stitches done and lots and lots of tugging and pulling lol.
The procedure was done under local anesthetic so it wasn't "painful" persay but felt really strange....halfway through my legs started going tingly and I had to wiggle my toes to keep them feeling bearable. I definitely felt weak and shaky by the end of the procedure which took about 30 minutes in total....there's no way I could handled both procedures at the same time so I'm grateful it was broken up even though recovering twice is a bitch.
I was told to keep my binder on 24/7 till my checkup next week otherwise fluid can build up causing less than favourable results.
I wouldn't say this procedure is as painful as the tuck but I can't twist or anything of the such as it feels like the stitches are pulling. I also don't have the same full body fatigue as with the tuck and managed at work the next day just fine....although Im taking t3's every 3 hours. I'm also wearing both my binder with my spanx over top which really helps.
I have no clue what the area looks like at the moment and am hoping for pictures at my check up next week when the bandage gets changed! Fingers crossed it heals well ?
3 days post hernia repair
I must say I'm amazed by how quick I've bounced back from this latest surgery.....I'm only on day 3 but no longer need any pain meds of any sort.
I can tell my range of motion and activity level is still obviously limited but I'm doing quite well regardless.
Still wearing my binder 24/7 and plan to do so till I see my doctor on Thursday but oh man am I getting sick of it lol.
I did however remove my bandages today....they were so bloody and gross looking....I was afraid for what was underneath but turned out to be a lot better than I expected! Definitely a lot of bruising on my abdomen however along with swelling but the incision itself is healing very nicely. After having a shower however I rubbed coconut oil on my stomach and after I let it soak in I taped my incisions back up with paper tape that my doctor gave me and then put my binder back on, blah.
I am definitely a little concerned by all the puckering around my stomach but I trust my doctor and I'll have to see how it looks when it's fully healed. I can definitely feel the interior stitches however and he seems to have managed to stitch the muscles/tissue about a good inch and a half vertically above and below my belly button.....I'm honestly surprised my muscles aren't more exhausted due to this!
Anyway fingers crossed all continues to heal well!
13 days post hernia repair
Hi everyone! So I'm now 13 days post hernia repair and over a month post mini tummy tuck which is crazy lol.
I saw my doctor one week post and he wanted me to still wear my binder for one more week during the day (till 14 days post) but I could take it off at night.....however today at day 13 I called it quits lol. So sick of that thing! And FYI panty spanx show visible panty lines so even that wasn't optimal, blah! So happy to be freeeeee lol.
That being said I can't workout still till 6 weeks post so I got 4 more weeks to go....but I have been hitting up the exercise bike a few times a week otherwise I'd lose my sanity lol. Apparently if I over exert myself before I'm fully healed my ab muscles could tear open again and that would undo everryyything so I'm forcing myself to be good and not do anything that would put any form of strain on ab muscles.
I'm still quite bruised but every day my stomach is looking better! As for my tuck it almost feels a thing of the past. I could definitely see why one might go for a full tuck as my belly button is still kinda droopy but I'm so much happier than I was before, plus since I'm only 99% certain I don't want more kids it's probably for the best ;)