41 Yr Old- Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Breast Lift and Implants. Winter Park, FL

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews
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*Treatment results may vary

My motivation, like a lot of women on here, was...

My motivation, like a lot of women on here, was getting back my pre-pregnancy body. I've always been small in height/weight but large in the bust. Most thought I was crazy in wanting anything done, but no matter how many hours I spent in the gym (and trust me, I spend a minimum of 2+ hours a day in the gym), no matter how healthy my diet is, and no matter what focus I may give to my chest/abs, nothing really helped. Don't get me wrong, my abs, waist and chest were in good shape, but that didn't change the fact that I wasn't happy with the droop my breast were experiencing and the small "pouch" that just wouldn't go away. As for me, at the time of surgery I was 5'0 and approximately 119-120 lbs; my breast were around 38-C. I have only had one child, and he's grown so I didn't have to be concerned with small children, cooking dinner for a family, etc. I have never had any cosmetic surgery, so I went in all natural :)

My surgery was on Wednesday and today is Monday, so this will give you an idea of what I've experienced in the first 5 days following the surgery. My main focus here will be on the tummy tuck/lipo. I want to focus on these areas since I went in completely unsure of what to expect and most of the reviews I read on here were a bit scary to say the least. Honestly, it has been very uneventful and fairly pain free. In fact, I have been up and about for the past 2 days. Now don't get me wrong, I'm taking it easy and not running around cleaning the house or anything, but I can get up fairly easily and I haven't needed a pain pill since Saturday.

My doctor required an overnight stay in the surgery center following the surgery. These people were very generous with the pain meds! Every time I woke up from dozing they would inject some pain meds without me even asking. I woke up following the surgery experiencing very little pain, and was fairly comfortable throughout the entire evening; I attribute this to the staff never letting the pain start before they gave me meds. Quite frankly, this was probably a god send because it really set the tone for when I came home. Since I experienced very little pain the entire time right after surgery and even the next day (up until being released) I wasn't anxious or stressed about coming home and feeling pain. I know pain meds seem like a bad word in today's world, but if you wake up in pain and then have to deal with pain throughout your stay after the surgery, I feel it will just cause anxiety and stress about going home and being on your own. At one point in the evening while in the surgery center I was assisted in doing a couple of walks around the entire floor of the center. Don't worry; the staff assured me we would only walk as long as I felt I could do it so there wasn't any pressure on me to do a couple of laps, I just felt well enough to do it. A couple of words here: you will sleep a lot AND the worst part (still) is getting in/out of bed. Be prepared to have help getting up/down or in/out of bed. Since I had my breast done at the same time as the tummy, I couldn't use my arms to assist me in pushing up/off. If you're getting everything done like me, just know you will not be able to get yourself out of bed without assistance for a least a few days.

As for the results, my breast had a lift with a super small implant. I needed the small implant because a lift would have lifted them, but it wouldn't have added any volume. Because they are naturally large, the lack of volume after a lift would have been displeasing to me. My surgeon and I both agreed on the smallest implant just to add some volume since we both agreed that I didn't need to be "bigger". Honestly, I have not had any pain with my breast. They are bruised and swollen, but they surprisingly don't hurt. Quite frankly, they aren't very beautiful at the moment, but I have to say I can tell already that I will like the size/shape once they are settled. My tummy... well........ OMG! It is unbelievably flat and beautiful! I have some swelling (I had a little lipo around to the tummy/waist. For those considering a tummy tuck, just know that most of the super results you see online include some lipo. The fact is, you can't get that sculptured look in the tummy through just a tuck). The surgeon was ecstatic with the tummy when he saw it after the surgery. Thus far, I've had minimal swelling and some bruising, but nothing too bad. Now, the worse part is the drains. OMG, why doesn't anyone warn about these tiny terrors!!!! They are by far the WORST part of the surgery. First, they in a bad area. Second, no one tells you that as the bulbs fill up, the weigh down, which then just pulls and pulls on the drain site. Long story short, I am on the verge of removing them myself they are so irritating! Thank goodness tomorrow is my appointment to have them removed. I really wish people would have posted more info on the drains because I was completely worked up over stuff that ended up being non-issues, and completely unprepared for these tubes of hell.

So the point of my post is to say don't get worked up after reading all the posts about pain, etc. For me, the pain has been very little, I've had no complications, I'm walking around on my own and feeling pretty normal (still have to stoop over), and I already can see that the final results and going to be amazing.

Here's a few things I did to make the surgery (and following the surgery) a smoother journey:
1) I don't smoke
2) I stopped drinking about 10 days prior to surgery (even a glass of wine with dinner)
3) I purchased several pairs of PJ gowns that snap down the front. TRUST ME... GET THESE. These have been life savers. You will not want anything that you have to pull over your head or that will rub against your stomach (like PJ pants). The only place I could find the gowns that snap down the front was Walmart (who knew!). They were only $8 each at Walmart, and worth every cent.
4) I put anything I thought I may need on the counters. For instance, my bathroom counter is currently covered with my bandages, brush, etc. My kitchen table has tons of bottles of water and Propel, etc on it. The key is to get anything that you may normally have to reach to get from either under/in a counter and get it into the open so you don't have to retrieve it or wait for someone to get it for you. Your doctor will want you walk around throughout the day and I love that I can grab my own bottle of water, energy bar, etc from the table as I'm doing my little walk as opposed to having to ask someone and then wait on them to get it. In the shower, make sure your soap, shampoo, etc are all where you can reach them without having to stoop or reach up for them. Again, just think about anything you will need for the next 10 days and make it easy to get to if you're the one who needs to access it.
5) Get a soft support bra that closes in the front. Again, I could not find these anywhere (or if I found them they were super expensive). Discovered them at Walmart by Fruit of the Loom for less than $8. You'll want something that fastens in the front so you don't have to reach back or stretch if you have a breast job like I did.
6) Get wet wipes (like baby wipes), toilet wipes, and face wipes. Showers are great, but trust me... they are very exhausting. I get tired very fast taking a shower. Have these little wipes so you can freshen up during the day without having to go through your whole routine.
7) Stock up on stuff that can be heated up very quickly. I'm not a junk food person, but there are times when you will suddenly be starving and you need something fast (especially if you need your medicine). I bought several of the little cup-of-soups because they can be heated up in 3 minutes or less and they give me something quick/hot if I need something fast. They aren't ideal for a normal diet, but they have saved me a couple of times.
8) I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS POINT ENOUGH... TELL YOUR DOCTOR WHAT MEDS MAKE YOU FEEL SICK. My doctor initially prescribed me a med that I get sick on every time I take it, no matter what (if I don't get sick I get severe nausea that lasts for hours). What he prescribed me seems to be the drug of choice by most doctors, but it simply would have made these past few days unbearable for me. When I went to the surgery center I mentioned to the nurses that I always get sick on the med they planned on giving me. The nurses and doctor were incredible. They immediately called in something that I don't get sick from, and the nurse even called the drug store and personally spoke with the pharmacist to let them know what was going on and asked them to rush it. The change in meds was a life saver for me. Seriously. I cannot imagine how miserable I would have been taking meds that would have made me sick or nauseous the entire recovery period. Again, there was nothing wrong with what they prescribed me initially, and every surgery I've had has followed with doctors using it so I know it is the norm, but it just is not for me. I cannot express how grateful I am that the nurses and doctors listened to me and took measures immediately to make sure I would be comfortable afterwards.

I'm sure I'll think of more things to recommend, and I'll update shortly. My first post-op appointment is tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to update that my drains have been removed. I do want to emphasize that everyone's body is different and everyone has different pain levels; my results are my results alone, but I hope they make things less scary for those who have read some horror stories.

Torture tubes removed!

Today was my first post-op visit. Thank goodness the doctor agreed to remove the torture tubes (drains) from my body. Words cannot describe just how happy I am to have them gone. So here's what I experienced during the removal (in case you don't know what to expect): they had me take a deep breath as they counted to 3, and upon reaching 3 I had to exhale. During the exhale they pulled the drain out (the same procedure for each side). There was no pain with the removal, it just felt a bit odd. Note that it does burn for a few seconds after; around the actual site where the drains come out of the body theres a slight burn after they come out. I think it's because the area is so sore and raw. The nurse and doctor said almost everyone experiences the slight burn, so apparently it is really normal. So it isn't painful at all and after they come out there is just a few seconds of a slight burn/sting.

I thought of a few more tips that I forgot to mention in my original post. I call these the 4 Ps:
P= pets. I had mine boarded. Although I have someone to help with the pets, I didn't want any distractions/disturbances during my recovery. This ended up being a great investment. I never had to worry about the dog needing walking and having to summon somone, the cats' litterbox needing cleaning, the crying for food in the morning, jumping on the bed to sleep, etc. Even if you have someone to help, the animals don't know you're recovering so they will still want to get in your lap, sleep with you, etc. Trust me, you don't want to be bothered by this.

P= period. Try to schedule your surgery right after your period so you won't have to worry about starting your period right before surgery or during your recovery. The last thing you will want to do is have to change a tampon or a pad with a huge incision running from hip to hip.

P= poop. Get some stool softener or gentle laxative. The pain meds will cause constipation (severe). Don't buy a laxative that will cause cramps, will make you have to suddenly go, etc. Just buy something really gentle and take it daily so by day 3 or so you'll be able to have a movement and it will be fairly "natural".

P= pee. Ok, NO ONE told me about this, and maybe it's because I'm the only one who has had this issue. For the first few days you're not going to be able to sit naturally or even comfortably on the toilet. You'll be on the edge, or you'll hover, etc. You'll get onto the toilet just enough to hit the hole with the least amount of pain possible being caused. Plus you have drain tubes in the way, and you will do almost anything to not have to move them around too much. So the issue is that you will have a lot of pee that may not hit the hole and may end up on the seat, on your legs, on the floor, etc. No one gave me a heads up about this. Keep some wipes nearby to clean up yourself, the seat, etc. And you may want to keep a little towel on the floor around the toilet in case any splashes towards the floor. After a few days you'll be able to sit normally on the toilet and these issues will go away, but this was something I had not planned for since none of the posts had mentioned it.

I'll update soon with any changes or more tips!

Feeling more sore and tender than before, started massages, lots of peeing

So over the past 4-5 days I have felt more sore and tender both in my tummy and breast than I did in the week following the surgery. It is like the nerves are starting to wake up. Surpringly the bulk of the soreness and tenderness is from the breast bone to the navel. In doing some research, this seems to be common. Everyone thinks that the incision line and down will be the area sore/tender, but according to some of my research, it is actually the area above the navel (to the breast bone) that tends to experience the soreness. The pain is very tolerable. I'm out and about, working, shopping, etc so it definitely hasn't stopped me, but it seems ever present. I'm almost embarassed to even bring it up considering I am barely past the two week mark and most people are still laid up in bed at this point.

I had my first lymphatic massage this week. It was very different from what I was expecting. It isn't really a massage; it is a series of light strokes/pumping motions across the body. It was more like someone just lightly brushing their fingers gently against me. One of the surgeon's I had a consult with does his lymphatic massages using a machine, but I've heard that is not a good method to use (especially since your body is going to be sore still during the massage). The surgeon I ended up going with uses a licensed therapist for the job, which I really liked. The experience was very relaxing, but not in the traditional sense of massages. Just picture laying on a massage table for 30-40 minutes with someone lightly brushing/pumping on various areas.

Ok, so here's a new part about peeing that no one warned me about. I went to the doctor (my general doctor) yesterday because I was afraid I was getting a bladder infection. The reason I thought this is because I was peeing constantly (no pain or anything, but peeing all day and getting up at least 4 times a night to pee). The doctor ran some test and said there wasn't any infection. I then mentioned to him that I was recovering from surgery so I wanted to make sure that there wasn't an infection. He then asked me about the surgery. When I finished telling him what I had done he explained that what I was experiencing was completely normal given how long the surgery took. Basically it works like this: you're receiving a ton of fluids during the surgery, then sleeping a lot after, and probably drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated. Well all of this fluid builds up in your body and finally it has to go somewhere. Basically for the day of surgery and for several days after I was just filling up with water. Now it's caught up with me and for a few days I will probably pee all day and night. He told me the medical name, but I can't recall. He said it is very common after a long surgery and the only thing to do is just pee it all out. Sure enough, after about 4 days of peeing non-stop everything is back to normal. I thought I should let others know about this since it is very likely that your surgeon won't think to bring it up. As common as it is, I don't think most surgeon's even think to discuss it as an after effect of surgery.

As for appearance, the breast are coming along great (very sore on the bottom half). They are softening and the swelling is definitely going down. Yes, they still look big but the bruising is almost gone and they look much more natural. The tummy looks fantastic still. I can't tell from looking at my tummy that the swelling is going down, but I can tell when I put my binder on. Each day the binder fastens even smaller than the day before. That's my basic way of measuring the swelling. No bruising or anything to report on the tummy. Regarding the incisions, the incisions on the breast and tummy look really good. I know it takes a long time for them to fade, but they look quite good to just be a couple of weeks in.

I'll continue to post updates, especially the "weird" tidbits that I'm noticing along the way. Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures soon. I'm going to see if I can get my before/after from my surgeon.

Incredible. See the above review for details. Simply, he did an incredible job, was very patient, answered all of my questions, went through all the pictures I brought in as examples, and immediately took steps to adjust my meds when I let him know of a potential for an adverse reaction.

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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