Hysterectomy/Tummy Tuck Combo Two Surgeries in One

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I have three children, all C-section births and...

I have three children, all C-section births and had a partial hysterectomy in 1994. After my third child's birth in 1996, I weighed 268 lbs. Over the course of about a year, I lost 125 lbs. by making a permanent change in my eating habits and exercise. You can imagine what my lower abs looked like! Yes, the icky, nastiness you're left with after working so hard to change the shape of your body. About three years and countless bottles of Palmer’s later, I asked my gynecologist if it would be safe to have a tummy tuck. To my surprise, he told me absolutely not! Quote: "You have had four stomach surgeries and to even think about having an elected surgery is out of the question." Respecting my doctor and his opinion, knowing he is the ABSOLUTE BEST, I accepted my fate of wearing Spanx the rest of my life.

This past year, my 40th birthday brought me brought me the news that I needed a hysterectomy. My first question was, now that I HAVE to have another stomach surgery, can we do a tummy tuck at the same time? (I was half way joking...) To my surprise, he said absolutely!

I had my first consultation that very day with the only plastic surgeon my doctor would work with. He said I was a perfect candidate and would need a full tummy tuck. I had my surgery on December 18th and during the first four weeks I swore I would never, ever recommend the procedure to anyone, ever! This fifth week has begun to change my mind. My pain is lessening and I'm not feeling so helpless.

If it wasn't for this website and the numerous accounts posted, I think I would have quickly become the worst patient my PS ever had. This is why I decided to post my story. Usually, I am extremely guarded concerning my personal life, but I know there may be someone out there who will be in the same situation as I, (combined surgeries) and need the reassurance that everything will eventually be all right.

The first time I saw my full body reflection, I cried. I felt like Frankenstein and thought to myself what a horrible mistake I’ve made. How could what I saw ever appear normal? I looked totally out of proportion, with this stretched tight tummy and what I felt like were huge hips and thighs. I looked like a paper doll!

I will tell you now, 5 weeks after surgery, I still have quite a bit of swelling, but the difference in my tummy is just fabulous! I’m still on the fence whether it’s worth the pain…the worst I have ever experienced, but this morning I put on a dress jacket I haven’t worn in over 4 years and it buttoned right up. I weighed at the doctor’s office yesterday and since my surgery, I have lost 12 lbs.

My recovery time from the combined procedures is the same 6 weeks you would have with either surgery alone. The symptoms were a bit different; I had a lot of floating feelings when my binder was off that made me nauseous, which was from the hysterectomy. I developed a UTI that took two rounds of antibiotics to get rid of. I have lots of pressure in my lower abdomen and BM’s? Yeah, without Colace, would have been impossible. Just this week, I stopped taking it and had my first on my own! (Each little successful progression towards recovery is worth celebrating!) When I have swelling at the end of the day, it feels like my intestines are going to shoot out my belly button! I do know, and have faith that I will eventually heal completely and my body will feel “normal” again. Each day is a day closer to that time.

Update:  9 weeks post op today!Let's start...

Update:  9 weeks post op today!

Let's start with the positive stuff....my tummy looks better than it ever has before, in my entire life!  Even when I was twelve, it did not look as smooth and flat as what I have now.  I literally have the beginning of a six pack!  I credit it all to my surgeons.  Incredible doctors, both of them! 


Golden ticket question:  "If I need a revision for any reason, is that cost included with the initial procedure cost?"  This is your out.  I have read horror story after horror story and if this question had been asked, I am convinced a large percentage of the horror stories would not have happened.  This question holds your doctor accountable for what he does during surgery...he is agreeing to fix anything you may not be happy with, at no additional cost. 

"Please give me the most realistic idea of my final results."  

"What type of sutures and method of suturing do you use?"  This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the final scar.  

Okay, so how do I feel?  I am still exhausted and swollen at the end of the day.  I still have discomfort across my abdomen and numbness, especially around my new belly button.  Even though my doctor said I do not need my binder, I am married to it.  Just this week, I started going the whole day without it, but without fail, putting it on as soon as I get home.  I still have contraction-like pains, electrical shock pains and this horrible sticking feeling I can only describe as a "cock-a-burr under my skin" when I sit down sometimes.  All normal... 

I am slowly forgetting the severity of pain in exchange for this tummy that is so foreign to me.  So after nine weeks, is it worth it?  Yes, I am finally there!  It was worth it!!

Upon request

Both of my doctors gave realistic expectations of the final results and complications that could result from the combined surgeries.

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