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.