Category Archives: Tummy Tuck

{Update} 9 Months Post-Op

revisionIt’s hard to believe it’s already been 9 months since my surgery….time really flies as you’re trying to build up core strength again.

At today’s post-op visit, the surgeon said every looks great. My scar is finally starting to fade (although it still turns an awful purple color when I workout really hard), and he said that feeling will continue to return around my belly button as time goes on and that I’ll still see results until the 1 year mark.

Over the past few months, I have been very happy with my results from the procedure, however, the ends of my scar line have always bothered me. There is a slight puckering (mainly on the left side) that I am not thrilled with. The puckering is a result of where the drains were and are very common with tummy tucks. The surgeon said it is an easy fix, so I’ll be having a revision done in the next few weeks.

I’m not nervous about this at all. The procedure will only take about 45 minutes and is done in the office, with a little bit of local anesthesia. I can drive myself to and from the appointment and only need to take it easy for about 24 hours after it’s done. The other plus is that they use dissolvable stitches, so that’ll mean the post-op visit will just be to check my healing.

I apologize for the lack of updates on my post-op journey. After the initial few weeks, it was life as usual and I honestly didn’t think about it much. I definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin now. It’s nice to be able to look into the mirror and see the results of all the hard work I’ve done over the past 3 years.

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{ Fitness Friday }

Yeah, yeah, yeah….I know. It’s Saturday. This week has been a hectic one for me so this post is a day late. Sue me.

This week I conquered the new Phase 2 workouts, CST (Chest, Shoulders & Triceps) as well as, Back & Biceps. My arms have felt sore as hell all week from them, especially my triceps since Tony neglects to stretch the triceps BEFORE you begin the workout! I forgot all about that since it’s been a while since I’ve done P90X, but a mental note has been made and I’ll be sure to stretch them before I start the workout on Monday. Back & Biceps had me feeling a little weak. I don’t know if it is because my arms were already fatigued from work on Wednesday, if my biceps really are not as strong as I thought they were or a combination of both, but I felt defeated at the end when I couldn’t finish the last move, which I believe were called Strip-Set Curls.

Overall, this week felt pretty good and I know I have to really “bring it” this month so I can see more results. This week was just kinda shaky as I started it off not feeling well due to a slight cold and I was mentally not stoked to workout each night. Thankfully I have been doing this round with the hubs so we keep each other going.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter & Instagram might have noticed I haven’t been doing my plank challenge, and I didn’t reach my goal. Well, I started to feel like I tweaked my left shoulder and the scar from my surgery (which is still healing) started turning a very angry purple color, so I decided to back off and give my body a break. The P90X workouts I’m doing are hard enough on my still healing body, especially since my rest week workouts focused on my core. I’ve been doing shorter planks in the workouts, just not pushing to the point of injury!

As for nutrition, I messed up yesterday and forgot to eat lunch because I was busy trying to finish things at work. I should know better than to do this, but it happens. I ended up with an awful headache (which sucked) but I managed to live and get my workout done with it. The rest of the week was pretty good and I did have a “cheat day” last weekend. We went out for dinner and drinks with some friends. I had a burger, fries and a few beers and I enjoyed every bite of it! NomNomNom!

This weeks goals are to plan our dinners and prep them all in advanced to make my life easier. I planned everything out two weeks ago and had all of the ingredients on hand and it really helped. I want to take it a step further and have everything prepped and in bags, already measured out and labeled. I always do better when I’m organized and I’m at the point where nutrition trumps workouts, so this could really benefit me and help me reach my goals quicker.

I’d also like to find the time to run. I haven’t ran since the Walk With Joe 5K, two weeks ago. The weather has been perfect for running, but between me not being a morning workout person, work and it getting darker earlier, I’ve failed to do it. I know, that is a lot of excuses, but it’s all true.

As always, I welcome those of you who take the time to read my posts to share your week in fitness and your upcoming goals with me. I’d really love to hear what you have going on too!

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P90X: Day 1, Round 3.5

Yep…after a bunch of debating and procrastinating, I decided to give P90X another go.

I’ve been skeptical about what I should do for a workout routine since I am technically not cleared by my surgeon to do ab work yet. At first, I was going to hold off until my next appointment in a few weeks and then start Insanity if he gave me the all clear, but then I was talking with the hubs and he mentioned that he wanted to start P90X again since he fell off the wagon after getting sick during Phase 2.

After lots of thought, I decided to start P90X again. I’ve already been lifting using ChaLean Extreme and I’ve been doing lower body and some running here and there, so I figured why not?! I will just skip Ab Ripper X and listen to my body during the workouts.

Tonight was Day 1, which meant Chest and Back and I was very nervous going in. For those of you not familiar with the program, Chest and Back requires a lot of push-ups, and push-ups require core strength. I definitely paced myself for Round 1 and I made sure to really “Bring It” during the pull-up segments (I did pull downs and hubs used the pull-up bar). I felt some pulling and tightness in my core as I began to max out during push-ups, so I made sure to spend a little time in child’s pose at the end of each move.

Overall, I felt really great doing the workout. Push-ups are still a weakness of mine (unless they are of the wide variety) and my numbers were much lower than my last round, but I’m working things the best I can, and that means I’m doing laps around everyone one who is just sitting on the couch.

Tomorrow is PlyoX but I think I will be subbing with CardioX so I can see how my body feels about my starting P90X again.

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Post-Op Update

It’s been a little over 6 weeks since I had my surgery and I can’t believe how well I am healing!

A few weeks ago I was depressed, swollen and second guessing my decision to have the tummy tuck and abdominal repair. Today? I am on cloud nine and loving my results!

I have almost no restrictions on activities now. The only thing I am not allowed to do are any abdominal workouts until I hit the 5 month mark. I am currently on week three of my routine, and I opted to do ChaLEAN Extreme’s Push month, three times a week, to build up my arm strength again. I toyed with starting from month 1 of her program, but Push has always been my favorite so I figured why not?! I am definitely lifting lighter than I was pre-surgery, but I don’t mind at all and I’m sure I will  be back where I was in no time. The only parts I’ve had to skip are the push-ups since I feel too much of a pull in my core, and some of the single leg squats for the same stability reasons.

The other great thing is I no longer have to wear the compression garment and I have had zero swelling in the past two weeks. This really surprised because I read a lot of blogs and boards about tummy tucks and everyone struggled with swelling and still felt like they needed their compression garment at this point. I am by no means complaining, and hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself …that would however be my luck.

Over the past two weeks I have been filled with a new found sense of joy when it comes to my body. I no longer second guess what I am going to wear. I don’t stare at myself, nit picking the imperfections that only I would notice. It’s a feeling that is so foreign to me but feels so wonderful and rewarding. I love seeing what I truly accomplished over the past 3 years with my body. I worked damn hard to achieve this and I am FINALLY getting to see the true results.

Today, I tried on a bikini and after the initial shock and awe of seeing my very pale stomach exposed, I loved my reflection. It felt amazing to stand there in a two piece bathing suit and not want to cry my eyes out. As a matter of fact, I felt so comfortable and happy, I took this photo to share with everyone here.

Please pardon the pastiness of my complexion. If it ever stops raining here, I may be able to lay out in my yard and get a slight tan.

So…there you have it. My post-op update, the first time I have ever shared a photo of myself, in a bathing suit, for all of the internet to see, and my new found confidence, all rolled up into one neat little blog post.

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Three Weeks Post-Op

Today I had my 3 week post-op visit and things are going well!

This past week I have really started to become comfortable in my skin again. As the swelling goes down and I’m able to be more physical, I am feeling more like myself again. Today I even tried on a few of my bathing suits just to make sure the scar line is covered and you know what? I was actually happy to look at myself in the mirror in a bathing suit! Shocking right?! It is the first time in I don’t know….EVER…. that I can honestly say that. It was a great feeling to not feel like I had to cover something or fidget with things.

Another plus this week was that the skin glue and mesh tape they used to close my incision fell off, which meant I no longer had to use these giant gauze pads to cover the area. I also fit into a smaller size pair of jeans than I did last week. I am still not quite into my normal jeans, but I think within another week or two I’ll be there. As you can see, I am still quite swollen but my belly button is healing nicely. I would also like to point out that this is the first time I have ever shared a photo of my stomach. It’s not the most impressive photo (especially since I haven’t shared a before) but I’m very happy with things so far and know that things will only improve as time goes on.

At the appointment today, my incision was looked at and he said it is healing very nicely. I can downgrade the type of compression garment I wear to a “Spanx” like style. I think I will go shop for a new one tonight since I officially loathe the medical grade one I have been forced to wear for the past 3 weeks. He also said I can remove the garment at night now, if I am comfortable doing that…..uh….fuck yeah! There is nothing comfortable about a zipper jabbing you in your side as you try to have sweet dreams.

I have also been cleared to go back to work and exercise again, which I am excited for. I have the green light for all cardio and anything upper body. The only thing I can’t do at this point are ab workouts. He said I have to wait until at least 6 months out  for those and to be honest, I’m totally ok with that. Tomorrow morning I think I will try to do some lifting. Obviously, I’ll be modifying the amount of weight I lift, so I can get a feel for what’s comfortable and what’s pushing it. It’s been weeks since I have done any exercise so I’m sure I’ll be lifting much lighter, regardless.

Other than that, I don’t have much else to report. I need to order the scar gel he recommends to help the scar line fade and as I type this blog, I am enjoying the freedom of NOT wearing that torturous compression garment.

Hopefully my blog will begin to shift back to my workouts now that I am able to get busy again. During this off time, I seem to have found a spark within myself again and I’m hoping it ignites into the inferno it once was.

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Two Weeks Post-Op and Putting a Plan Together

Yesterday marked two weeks since my surgery and I’m feeling good! I’m becoming more active each day and this week I’ll be easing my way back into work, which should be interesting.

My milestones over the past week have been three things I’ve longed for:

  • I can finally sleep on my side again.
  • I was able to fit into a pair of my jeans.
  • I no longer need to take Percocet, at all.

Sleeping on my side again has been wonderful. I am finally able to sleep for more 2 hours at a time, so I am feeling more rested these days. It’s a little difficult to get myself onto my side and rolling over is a bit of a challenge while I’m sleeping but not being stuck like a turtle on it’s back is simply blissful.

As for the jeans, I honestly didn’t think I would be able to fit into them yet, but I being my thick-headed self, had to try again. I was pleasantly surprised when I had no trouble getting the button to fasten and that truly made my day. In all honesty, these are not my normal size jeans. They are a pair that were too big on me, but I would wear to work because I didn’t care if they got ruined. I’m hoping in another week I’ll be able to fit into my normal size, but progress is progress, so I’ll take it and be happy.

Being off the Percocet feels great. I didn’t like how tired they made me feel. Napping all day was not very productive at all. About a week ago I weened down to needing them just at night, and at that point I was using them more for the sleep aspect than for pain because I was struggling with sleeping on my back so much. I am now just taking Tylenol as needed, which is really just before bed and I’m sure I’ll need some once I’m more active at work.

Being laid up for the past two weeks as been making me antsy to workout again. I know I’m going to have to take it slow once I’m cleared by my surgeon. I’m planning on getting back into walking the fitness trail and I’m hoping that lower body workouts will be OK. If I am able to do lower body stuff, I think I am going to restart Brazil Butt Lift. The workouts are pretty quick and all of the moves are very effective. I’d LOVE to be able to lift again so I can regain the shoulder/arm definition I have lost, but I’m pretty sure that it off the table for awhile since you need to stabilize your core to lift properly. Sigh.

I’ve been doing really well with my nutrition lately, too. I know how important vitamins and protein are to my recovery right now, so I’ve been very motivated.

Next week I have another post-op appointment with the surgeon, so I’m hoping we will be covering all of my new do’s and don’ts. I’m also hoping I will be given a “transition” garment, because I am officially hating the compression garment. My only fear is that transition one will suck even more and I’ll wish I was back in the first one. (Cause that’s my luck and how things usually work, right?)

Till next time…

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Movin’ and Grovin’

10 days post-op and I gotta say, I’m feeling good. I barely have that hunched over look anymore, my bruises from the lipo are fading (although those areas still hurt like a bitch!) and the drain holes are closing up. I still have the Steri-strips in my belly button and my incision still has the skin glue over it and I have to keep large, gauze like pads over it. Getting up and down from a sitting position is easier and getting out of bed is almost not a chore anymore. Granted, I’m super stiff in the morning because I’m still stuck sleeping on my back at night (which I hate), so getting up can be kinda funny if you were watch me.

Wednesday, I began getting stir-crazy in the house. I decided to get dressed and drive for the first time since Easter to the grocery store. (I know, I lead an exciting life). Getting dressed was a tad tricky since I’m still pretty swollen and none of my pants can button yet. I HATE wearing sweats outside of the house unless I’m headed to the fitness trail, but it was cool out, so a summer dress wasn’t an option and I couldn’t go outside pantless…meh.

I got behind the wheel of my truck and headed out. At first it felt weird and it wasn’t very comfortable to drive, but I adjusted quickly and it felt good to get some fresh air. I knew I couldn’t grab a lot of things at the store because I can’t lift much, so I just walked up and down a few aisles, grabbed a few items for dinner and headed home. I was out for less than hour and I felt exhausted. I decided to relax for a little while and woke up 3 hours later. Oops!

For the second night in row, I also prepared dinner. I love cooking and controlling the ingredients that go into my body. It’s also a big part of my daily routine so it felt good to have a little bit of normalcy back in my day.

Later that evening, I received a phone call from a  co-worker and then one from my new boss. As many of you know, I work at Cold Stone Creamery as a cake decorator. Our location also has a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory inside and I have been responsible for making all of our caramel apples. They have been having issues making the apples since I’ve been out on surgical leave. They had some questions and I was feeling restless again so I offered to go in for a bit, sit and guide them in the process. I know my husband wasn’t happy with this decision because he knows I’m a doer and he feared me trying to do too much and hurting myself, but I was good and listened to my body. As soon as I started feeling tired, I made sure they were OK and I headed home. I was sure I had over did it for the day and expected to begin swelling but I didn’t. I actually felt great and that made me happy.

Yesterday my husband was off from work and we ran a few errands, had lunch together and sorted through our son’s wardrobe to see what he needed for the summer. Today I’m trying my hand at some laundry. Don’t worry, I’m not lifting any baskets or anything, it was all already in there.

I find that I fatigue pretty quickly, but I’m happy that I am slowly easing back into my routine. I am still resting as needed and listening to my body. It’s actually been nice to take little naps here and there.

Oh…and in case you were wondering, I still have a love/hate relationship with my compression garment ;)

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One Week Post-Op

Yesterday marked the one week milestone of my surgery and my second post-op visit with the surgeon.

I’m happy to report that everything is going well. My swelling is beginning to go down and the compression garment and I have figured out how to be friends (for now).

At my appointment yesterday, I had my fingers crossed that they would be able to remove the drains, and thankfully they did. It is such a relief to no longer have those tubes coming out at my hips. I was always afraid of accidentally getting them caught on something and pulling them. I also feel like I could go out in public now without having to try and hide the grenade like bulbs that were pinned to me.

While at the appointment, I also had the stitches removed  from my belly button which was a weird feeling. I have no feeling in my belly button at this time, but a numb sensation in the area around it. It’s really freaky and I hope feeling returns sooner than later. The surgeon did mention that I may not have feeling between the belly button and the center of my incision for about a year. That completely freaked me out but I’m staying hopefully that that won’t be the case.

I’m allowed to walk and do small things around the house now. I have to go back to the surgeons office on May 1st for another follow up appointment, to make sure no fluid is collecting since the drains were removed.

I’ll be happy when more of the swelling goes down so I can fit into my clothes. It was a little disheartening when I tried to put a pair of shorts on yesterday and they wouldn’t button. I have to remember this was a major surgery and things take time to heal. Until the healing happens, I’ll have to hope for sundress weather or chilly days so I can wear sweatpants.

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First Post-Op Visit

I had my first post-op visit on Friday and it went pretty well.

I arrived for my appointment and the nurses where impressed by how easily I was able to get up and down from the waiting room chair. They went over my drain log, took my blood pressure and opened up my compression garment after laying me back with my knees up to prevent any pulling in my abdomen.

Having the garment opened was a weird feeling since it had been squeezing me to death since Monday. The surgeon noticed how tightly it was squeezing me and gave me permission to unzip the side and open the top hook if needed. While he was talking to me, he removed the catheters from the pain pump and I was able to look down to see my new stomach. It was very flat and the incision is very low which I’m thinking is a good thing. The drains were not removed since I still had a decent amount of fluid draining from me. I have another appointment on Monday to have the stitches removed from my belly button so they should come out then.

While the garment was open, I was showed how to change the dressing over the incision and drain site. I was also told that I could shower if I’d like to even though I still had the drains in. (If I could have, I would done a happy dance at this news) My husband and I were instructed on how to wash and dry the garment, I was given a new prescription for Percocet and we were on our way home.

After dinner, I decided I needed to shower! I hobbled my way to the bathroom, removed the compression garment and looked at my new stomach for the first time in the mirror. I had mixed feelings while doing this. I was amazed at how flat my stomach now was but the drains were kind of disturbing to look at. When I turned to the side I saw how bruised I was from the little bit of lipo he had to do to even out my flanks and I saw how swollen I was. I tried to shake it off and shower as quickly as I could. While in the shower I could feel my abdomen swelling and I knew I needed to finish up and lay down. I quickly made my way into my room, had my husband lay down some towels and I laid down to relieve the pressure and wait for the garment to finish drying. While laying there I could feel my stomach puffing up, I began to have chills and an aching pain across the whole surgical area. I started to panic that I did something wrong.

As soon as the garment was dry, my husband brought it upstairs and we got it closed up around me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to line up with me laying down so there was a little pulling and discomfort in the process. I felt how tight the garment was as soon as it was closed up, so I knew how much I swelled in such a short period of time. I also began to run a low temp that started to freak me out but after taking some meds, it quickly went down and was gone by the morning.

Yesterday and today have been ok days. I’m still very swollen which has me a little frustrated, but I know it is going to take time to heal. I guess I’m hitting that stir-crazy point since I’m not one to just lay around doing nothing all day. I have watched more Netflix, movies and cooking shows in then past few days then I have in the past few months. The highlight of my day this past week is moving from the recliner in the living room to my bed for a change of scenery.

Tomorrow is my next post-op appointment and hopefully the drains will be coming out so I won’t have to deal with them anymore. It’s also supposed to be in the upper 80’s so I’m hoping to even sit outside in my yard for a little. I’m sure the fresh air will help my mood.

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No Turning Back Now

Monday was the big day! I woke up at 6am and I was full of excitement which was a relief because the night before, I was full of anxiety. I went over all of my “day of” instructions, dressed comfortably and tried not to think about how badly I wanted a cup of coffee. By 7am, hubs and I were off to the surgeons office. One of the things that I find pretty cool about these procedures now, is that many plastic surgeons have “surgical suites” within their office, so you don’t have to go the hospital.

When we arrived at the office we were greeted by the nurses and we were taken back to a prep room.  I once again had to wear the oh so sexy pink gown and horrific paper string bikini bottoms. This time they added some knee-high compression socks, teal non-skid slippers and a hair net thingy. (Yes, thingy is a word to me). I really should have had the hubs take a photo of me but I was starting to get nervous at this point. The nurse went over all of my consent forms again, placed a warming blanket over me and then hooked my up to an IV which wasn’t very comfy at all. Shortly after, the surgeon came in and I became his canvas. He had me stand up and he began marking my abdomen for symmetry and incision lines. When he was done doing his best Picasso impersonation on me, the anesthesiologist came in and went over what he would be doing. Before I knew it, I had to say goodbye to my husband and make my way into the surgical suite.

As we walked down the hall, I began to get nervous. The room looked very similar to a standard operating room but a little more cozy. They had me lay down on the table and I guess the anesthesiologist started the sedative because I felt woozy and out of it when I had to sit up so he could start the spinal block for the procedure. I don’t remember laying back down or anything, next thing I knew I was in a recovery room and in a lot of pain. It seems I was having muscle spasms due to the muscle repair that was done so they gave me a shot of demerol and it knocked me out a little longer. I can’t recall much of what happened while in recovery. I just know I was very uncomfortable from the muscle spasms and I was very groggy from the demerol. I don’t even recall being moved from the bed to the wheelchair. I just remember an awful muscle spasm at that time, getting nauseous and vomiting, which was the most painful thing I ever felt.

I was grateful to see my husband and happy to be on my way home. Getting in and out of my truck was not fun, but once I was home, he was able to give me a muscle relaxer and I was able to just pass out and rest. Monday is really just a blur since I had so many meds in my system and we didn’t get home until 6pm. Tuesday was a little better but trying to get up so I could use the bathroom was not an easy task. I remember thinking “Why did I do this?” many times throughout the day. It’s amazing how much you take your core strength for granted. Wednesday I was able to get up on my own and I didn’t need help in the bathroom anymore. I did however start to have issues with the compression garment. It seems I have “stranger rib anatomy” so the garment was bunching up and squeezing me under the rib cage. I was allowed to unzip the garment a little for some relief and they had me take two Percocet every 4 hours to help with pain relief.

Today I am pretty zombie-like from taking so many Percocets but I was able to get some good sleep last night. I even made it upstairs so I could change my sweatpants, tank top and wash up a bit.

Tomorrow is my first post-op appointment and the surgeon should be removing the two drains as well as the pain pump from me. I’m looking forward to this because 24 hours after they are removed, I’m allowed to shower. I think once I’m able to shower I’ll feel more human again. I’m also looking forward to this because the compression garment should come off briefly and I’ll be able to see what was actually done.

Sorry if this I’m rambling in this blog post or if it has typos or unfinished thoughts. I’m as high as a kite on pain meds right now but I wanted to give everyone some form of an update.

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