5 weeks PO pictures....some residual swelling and scar looks more red than 2 weeks ago. Happy with results so far!!

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I have been reading story after story, and thought...

I have been reading story after story, and thought it was time to share mine since my surgery date is in 3 weeks!! I have been thin all of my life other than with 4 very large pregnancies, which left me with redundant skin on my belly. I am 5' 6" and weigh between 115-118 lbs. For years I have been thinking of a tummy tuck. When I was in my 30s, my body was livable and didn't bother me to the extent it does now. I am now in my 40s and with age and gravity, the redundant skin just seems to get worse and more saggy, bad/noticeable when I bend over. I am in pretty good shape through walking and yoga. My goal is to wear a shirt tucked in and not have the dreaded "muffin top". Three years ago, 2 different surgeons told me that if I went with a "mini" TT, I would not be happy and would end up with a hooded belly button. One of those same surgeons told me recently at a consult that he could do a "mini" TT with lipo but that I would be left with some wrinkled skin around the belly button. I made the decision to go forward with the full TT because I don't want to pay all that money, go through the surgery and recovery, and in the end not be happy with the results. I am nervous yet excited. Thanks to all the women who have shared their experiences through this.... it has made a world of difference. It has been encouraging and comforting to connect with other women regarding all the emotions that go along with having PS.
Of course any advice, comments, input, etc.. would be so appreciated :-)

I decided that I should probably write an update...

I decided that I should probably write an update on my TT review. I know how much the stories and photos helped me before my surgery so hopefully my documenting my experience could help someone else.
I had my TT on Monday, 12/10 at 11:45 a.m., was in the OR for 2 hours, in recovery maybe 30-45 minutes and then sent home. Once home, I immediately laid down and pretty much rested but got up and down several times throughout the evening. I told my family that I hurt my back and thus the need to be on my bed on a heating pad.
PO day 1 = walking about 90% erect, not much pain at all, just felt very, very tight, and also pretty tired. I think the fatigue was from the Valium that my surgeon gives post-operatively. I spent a good portion of the day on my bed, but again up and down frequently.
PO day 2 = Still walking about 90% erect, not a huge change from day 1 other than not quite so tired. Actually drove down to the corner store in the afternoon but came immediately back. Not much in the way of pain but still very, very tight. I actually made a simple, quick dinner for my family.... chicken and made a salad, in the kitchen for about 30 minutes. Lower back extremely sore this day due to abnormal gait and by evening I had to get in bed very early.
PO day 3 = Walking about 95% erect for most of the day until evening. I have found that the longer I am up and moving about, the more hunched I tend to become. Did laundry, picked up house, drove to the corner to get a coffee. Not really any pain, more just discomfort and tightness, like if I move wrong the stitches will break open.
Today is PO day 4 = so far so good, although don't think I'm walking quite as straight as yesterday. The incisions feel very dry and tight.

I took a shower on PO day 2. I never had drains. I am wearing a CG but nothing over the incisions, no steri-strips and it feels so exposed, like I want them covered. I like what I see so far. I feel very thick, which I know is due to the swelling, although I don't think I'm excessively swollen. I do feel tired today.
The biggest challenge for me so far is simply the fact that I was determined not to share this surgery with anyone other than my husband. Therefore, I have been trying to rest during the day and then when my kids are home in the late afternoon to evening, I am trying to be up a little more and acting like myself. I will update some pictures soon. I thought for sure my weight would be up with the swelling so I did not even weigh myself until today, not that it really matters, but to give an idea.... I was down 1 pound from the morning of surgery. I have not taken any measurements yet.

From all of the research I did beforehand, I honestly believe that the TT surgery is a very individualized surgery with many contributing factors, i.e. amount of work needing to be done, the patient's health status, the surgeon's technique, etc... I think there are so many variables that can make the recovery either easier or more difficult for some. To date, I feel very, very fortunate with my experience thus far. I'm leaning towards the rating of "worth it" but will hold off until the swelling goes down and I feel like my posture is 100% normal.

And a little more information for women who are on the thinner side.... I knew going into this that I would have a small vertical scar from my old belly button because there was not enough skin to pull all the way down.... I expected that the vertical scar would touch the long horizontal scar but in my case it does not; it is about halfway between my new belly button and the horizontal scar.... I am okay with it but was surprised and did not expect it to be that high, although I'm glad my surgeon did it that way rather than make the long incision higher.... my hip to hip incision is very, very low.

I am now PO day 6. I honestly cannot believe it...

I am now PO day 6. I honestly cannot believe it has been almost a week since my surgery!! For all you women who are Nervous-Nelly's like me, it is so, so worth it and honestly it is not that bad, at all. I know everyone is different but for me, I can't say as I've even really had any "pain", more just discomfort and tightness. Finding the hardest part of the recovery is making myself rest and not over-doing because I really do feel that good. I even went to the grocery store today but then thought "what the heck am I doing" and cut the shopping trip short, just grabbed a few items, went home and got back on my bed. The only pain I am having really is in my low back from an abnormal gait and not standing up straight. Anxious to see what the doctor says at my 1 week PO visit tomorrow. Good luck to all the girls going for surgery this week!

Tomorrow I will be exactly 2 weeks out from my TT...

Tomorrow I will be exactly 2 weeks out from my TT without MR. Today the swelling seems much better so far. I have updated a few pictures that were taken after being on my feet for 4 hours and just having eaten a huge lunch. Very happy with my results and to no longer have that extra skin. Soon I will take measurements....I did not do this for a weight issue, just extra skin and an extra butt located on my belly. LOL, Although I know the doctor did not take very much, I am still down 2 pounds since the morning of my surgery. My favorite thing is being able to bend over without seeing that hanging, loose skin!!! Yay. I'm anxious to see the final results, when the swelling is entirely gone. I have never been curvy at all. I was hoping with some lipo he could create a more hourglass figure but they would not do lipo on me, said with my size that it would make me disfigured. Even if this is my final result, I am so happy I had my TT. I actually like, even love my body now :-). I think my PS is one of a kind.... very gentle, has this down to a science with minimal discomfort, no drains, small, thin incisions, and fabulous results for his patients. Wish I had done this years ago!!!!

I just can't believe how much quicker the time has...

I just can't believe how much quicker the time has gone post surgery than prior to surgery. So I have been having some really weird sensations over the last few days. But today my belly feels like it is burnt. Under the skin it feels like someone put a hot iron on my stomach. That's the only way to explain it, like when you burn yourself. It doesn't seem constant and I definitely feel an improvement when I loosen up or take the CG off. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Maybe I am wearing my CG too tight? I'm hoping it's a good sign and that it just means everything in there is reconnecting and healing. Any thoughts? The swelling is still present but I think that might be getting better and I do feel fortunate that I haven't had the "swell hell". I'm anxious to go in for my next follow-up with the doctor, which is next week.

I am 5 weeks PO.... Feeling very bloated and still...

I am 5 weeks PO.... Feeling very bloated and still experiencing some minimal swelling by nighttime. The scar looked great last week but seem more red today for some reason. Wonder if that's a step in the healing process? Trying to decide what to use on the scar since my PS said I don't need to use anything. I really didn't think my waist had changed much in size since my TT but I measured this morning and indeed it has... what a pleasant surprise, it's almost 2 inches smaller!! Life is back to normal but I know I'm still healing. My incisions still feel tender if I wear fitted pants. I am assuming my easy breezy recovery was because I did not have the MR. So thankful my recovery has been uneventful to date and hope I continue to see subtle changes as I lose any residual swelling. I think I had created an imagine in my head that after the TT I would have a beautiful hourglass figure so that has been a little disappointing because I'm still kind of box-shaped. But certainly not complaining because the goal was to remove that redundant skin and mission accomplished :-).
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