The real self community helped me tremendously...
The real self community helped me tremendously during the pre and post-op stages so I want to write a review, though it has been a year since my first procedure. I also loved my doctor and want to promote her practice. Dr. Wooten of Wexford, Pa, has made my transformation journey a wonderful experience, and I am so grateful I chose her as my surgeon.
I have wanted a tummy tuck ever since my first pregnancy 26 years ago, although never seriously considered it until 2 years ago. I saw a billboard of a tummy tuck before and after photos and pretty much decided then and there to go for it. The next day I asked my husband what he thought of the idea, which he completely supported. I quickly realized, after finding and reading so many RS reviews that I would need lots of help with my younger children, so the best time for me to undergo surgery would be over my daughters Christmas break 2.5 months away. So I realized I needed to get moving pretty quickly to find a surgeon who could meet my needs and work within the tight timeframe.
And here are my infamous pre surgery belly photos. . .honestly after hiding my midsection for 20 odd years from everyone (remembering those days of reaching overhead in public and always being conscious as to whether my shirt was adequately hiding the gut!), it is amazing I am just putting it all out there!
I knew I preferred a female doctor, and I decided to make a consultation with Dr. Wooten after doing some web searching.
I was able to get an appointment pretty quickly, and from the moment I met her, I knew I could work with her. One of the nicest things at that consultation was the way she helped me feel better about myself that day. I have always been very self conscious about my body, but she told me I didn't look that bad, especially after having twins etc. I came loaded with questions, and she was very thorough in putting my mind at ease and explaining the process. After thinking about things for a couple of days I booked my surgery-- which was 2 months away.
I spent the next two months getting myself physically and mentally prepared for surgery.
Things that were helpful:
Reading RS, which gave me great pre and post-op ideas and realistic expectations
Exercising and dropping a few pounds
Eating healthier and drinking more fluids
Making plans for childcare
Freezing lots of vegetable soups in single servings
Liquid diet for the final 2 days
Taking a Klonopin the night before surgery (got Docs OK)
I have to say that the surgery and recovery was about what I expected. Luckily I have a pretty high pain tolerance and am very healthy, so the healing process went very smoothly.
I was actually most worried about my bowels, as I tend to have epic problems in that department! So before surgery I was well equipped with fiber, prune juice, suppositories etc. My surgery was on a Wednesday, and by Saturday evening I still hadn't gone even with trying suppositories. I decided to do an enema, which was incredibly unpleasant but worth it. Armed with my daily doses of fiber and prune juice, it did not have any troubles going the rest of my recovery!
Things I am happy I had for recovery. . .
Hospital bed- luckily I was able to borrow one. I slept in it for the first 3 weeks or so and hung out there every day. . . Getting out of my recliner was really difficult, so I am glad I had the adjustable bed. . .
Muscle relaxers- these were SO much more necessary for me than the pain meds. I had a lot of muscle spasms in my upper abs, especially when I took a shower.
Arnica gel- used often on my back lipo areas
My daily homemade cucumber water: 1/2 peeled cucumber, about 3/4 C fresh pineapple, 3 to 4 cups water, a couple of mint leaves and blend well for a couple of minutes. I sometimes add some lemon juice, spinach or Greens 8000 as well.
My husband, who held down the fort so I could recover at my own pace.
I know you are not supposed to ice after a TT or lipo, but I did find it helpful. . . I just was careful to watch the clock.
My doctor works at a hospital that offers a free overnight stay. I thought that was really nice to get the majority of the lipo draining out of the way before I came home. It was also a plus not having to empty drains for the first 24 hrs.
My belly button was pretty nasty for a long time, IMO. Very swollen inside- I had my doubts! Actually, Dr. Wooten made a slight modification at the 1 year mark. My bb is still one thing I am not thrilled with, but since my sons tell me someone my age does not belong in a bikini- I guess it is OK ;-)
1 month pics
One other thing that seemed to take longer for me than most was being able to stand up straight. I think it took over 3 weeks. On the flip side of that, I think it helped my scar heal better (less pull on it in the early phase)
Scar pic at around 10 weeks or so
I did use silicone strips for the first 4 months. . .12 hours on, 12 off
This was around the 10 week mark. . . Shhhhh don't tell my middle school son you saw me in this! He'd be mortified!!!
It is probably a good time to mention. . . I was very appreciative my doctor told me before surgery I would have to do my part after surgery in order to get and keep good results. She said that core work would be a must. At over a year out I am still trying to stick to a pretty aggressive exercise plan. If I gain even a couple of pounds the abs and especially the love handle areas do not look as good. Middle age. . . Blah!
8 month scar
I did have an area along the incision (to the left of center) that got small infections, until Dr. Wooten fished out some troublesome stitches. Otherwise my scar looks pretty good.
I will try to take a couple of current pics to add, but otherwise. . .that's all I've got for you ladies! Good luck on your journeys!
And finally. . . I love you Dr. Wooten! And nurse Helene is worth her weight in gold! Thanks for all you both have done for me!!! Spasibo!
16 months post op
Bringing things up to date. . .
Here are some current pictures. I am still incredibly pleased with my results and would certainly consider the surgery worth it.
I will have to warn ppl of some hidden, but substantial costs. . . Clothes! It is really hard to resist racking up the credit card bills when you think everything looks good on you! Such a great feeling!
I never noticed bf surgery that the skin inside my bb is so much darker. I tried it use OTC bleach cream, but it irritated the skin. I plan to ask the PS for a script for cream to try. . .