53 Years Old Finally Getting a Tummy Tuck After Cancelling Three Times! Vancouver, BC

Tomorrow at 11:00 am I am really going in to get...

Tomorrow at 11:00 am I am really going in to get that tummy tuck! I am 53 years old, 5' 4 1/2", about 160 lbs (was hoping to be 150 before this but it just didn't happen). I have one 18 year old child who was quite a big baby 9lbs,10oz and for some reason part of my stomach wall broke away in the last month of pregnancy and it is that flap that has been my biggest problem. I have actually always had a disproportionately large belly all my life but the sagging flap takes it to a new level for me especially now that I am losing elasticity. I am tired of always having to make sure the area is kept clean and dry so I don't get an infection and it is so gross when you do. Almost hard to imagine not having that problem anymore! Apparently my muscle wall has separated too so that will be getting fixed and is supposed to be the most uncomfortable part of healing and there will be whatever liposuction my surgeon feels is necessary around that area. I have tried to set myself up for recovery by going to stay with a friend for probably 4 weeks. She is retired but still very wonderful of her to take this time for me! I bought a used power lift chair, walker and raised toilet seat to help too so I will make sure to get up and walk around frequently. I am also staying overnight for one night - leave early morning on Saturday. It seems like such extensive surgery that it seems amazing to me that people can do it as day surgery. I am very lucky to have been healthy all my life - only been in hospital for one night before and that was to deliver my son. I hope I am a good patient! Just praying it all goes smoothly - just can't helps being nervous about it.

1 day post op

It's now 7:00pm and I am home after a night at the surgery centre. So glad I stayed the night as I felt nauseous every time I got up to pee so it was nice to have night nurses to take care of me and just generally make me feel safe and comfortable. Everyone is so lovely at the Cambie Surgery Centre too. Anyway I got home about 10:30
and it just feels like company, skyping and texting all day. Feeling quite sore on my tummy, especially when I have to get up but must be patient. No point in pics as I am all bound up and have two drains. Hope I sleep tonight. Glad I have this recliner chair!

Today is 4 weeks post op

Well I can't believe it has been 4 weeks already! I really didn't think I was going to be able to manage the long down time but it went much more quickly than I expected. I am sorry that I haven't posted anything both for my own record and for others. I really liked being able to see how others were doing as I prepared for this. Anyway, a synopsis as best as I can remember.

1. I paid extra to stay overnight after the surgery and would highly recommend it. In fact I think I would have liked to stay two nights or at least a little longer the next day rather than rushing out first thing in the morning. I had a fainting spell on my way back to the my bed on that night and had four nurses rushing to help me and get me back to my bed. I wouldn't have liked that to happen if I was at home with my friend trying to look after me. It was just nice knowing the nurses were there to get up with you all night and check your vitals too.

2. I took stool softeners for three days prior to the surgery and the Senokot S in the evening for the next two nights as well as eating prunes with my morning oatmeal. I never had any straining or issues with my BM.

3. Painkillers. I was given Emptec - think that is what it is called. It is basically Tylonol 3 without the caffeine. I didn't really find them all that effective so I more or less stopped taking them after the first 2 days. I just listened to some you tube pain meditation videos and found them good at getting me relaxed.

4. Back pain. I didn't suffer from this at all. I had a walker, a power lift recliner chair and a raised toilet seat to help and I highly recommend them. I also spent the weeks leading up to the surgery carrying a 30 lb pack if I went for a walk or even just doing things around the house. Probably carried it for at least an hour a day. Maybe crazy idea but I hate back pain and was concerned about all the people saying how it was often more uncomfortable than the tummy tuck pain.

5. Taking it easy. I had the luxury of being able to stay at a friends house for just over 3 weeks so I was away from all things at home that might get you doing too much too soon. My friend was amazing and I owe her big time. She made it possible to just relax and just look after myself - in fact she insisted on it!

6. Exercise. I was worried about not being able to be active for so long but haven't found it as difficult as I thought it would be because you just don't really feel like doing too much. I was good about getting up as much as possible the first week and walking around with my walker for 5 or 10 minutes at least every hour and the graduating to longer walks as I felt like it. I was always happy to get back to my comfortable recliner those first two weeks and I found in general that sitting upright wasn't very comfortable for long periods because the tight binder would really feel like it was digging into me.

7. Meltdowns. The second night - first night home after a night at the hospital - I had a meltdown as I was trying to get ready for bed. I couldn't deal with the burning and pulling sensations, I was over tired and I was starting to wonder why I did this to myself and how I would get through it. I started sobbing uncontrollably for probably an hour and scared my poor friend. I realized I had to get control of this and spent most of the night listening to various you tube medications, etc. and found myself just fine by morning. After that I had the occasional grumpy time when I got a bit overtired or over stimulated from too much company.

Swelling. Something else I was worried about getting so I have been making sure not to overdue it in the hopes that would help. I also read that lymphatic massage is helpful so I found a person and have seen her three times. I don't know if it would have made a difference but it made sense to me since the surgery destroys a lot of the regular lymphatic drainage on the tummy and the scar inhibits regular drainage too. So far I haven't developed a seroma and my swelling has felt quite manageable. I did have a couple of needle aspirations in the lower abdomen at two weeks and almost four weeks. The first was about 30cc and looked quite dark bloody and the second was a lot less - maybe 10cc or so and was a bit lighter. I must have some swelling still because I haven't really lost any weight yet. I weigh almost the same as when I went in for surgery and they apparently removed more than 5lbs of skin/fat! I have been eating quite well but getting a lot less exercise. Anyway, I know I need to wait at least 6 weeks and hopefully I start to see a bit of a downward trend then.

Numbness. Such a weird, disconnected feeling to be numb for so long and know it will be a long time before you get any sensation back and that it will probably never fully recover. Still worth it though! To know that I will never have to deal with that awful flap again is just incredible!
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

So far Dr. Lennox and Toni his receptionist have been great. Toni has never been impatient with me when I decided to cancel twice before. She is always just a cheery voice of encouragement. Dr. Lennox is easy to be comfortable around and I feel like he listens. He came recommended by my doctor. I will add more as I go through the procedure and recovery but I feel in safe, competent hands.

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 After care follow-up
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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