Saturday, March 27, 2010

Follow up to the tummy tuck post...

You guys asked some really good questions and had great comments so I wanted to address them in a blog for all to see - plus I remembered something else.

Dinnerland - I'm only about 5ft 3in tall....pretty short actually.  I'm guessing that's why the charts say I should weigh in the 130s.  By their accounts I'm still 30 lbs overweight.  I have always carried a lot of muscle (big arms and legs) but right now I fit in size 7s...the goal is 5s.  Why did your sister have a tuck?  Did she lose a lot of weight?  I've heard skin elasticity and stretch marks are hereditary but I don't know if there's any proof to that.  I think everyone is different.

Band Babe (asked why you should get muscle repair) - In my experience nearly EVERY woman with hanging skin also has separated muscles (from pregnancy or stretching due to weight gain).  I did not think I needed muscle repair.  In fact, I assumed I wasn't getting it.  Remember my surgeon saying my muscle tone was tight and unbelievable?  My abs were hard as a rock under my hanging skin and in my upper abs.  I figured - cut my skin off - easy peasy - done.  She said, "No way - I'm in there, it's in the price, why would you not want your muscles as tight as they were before you had kids and gained weight?  People work years doing exercises for tight muscles and I can do it with stitches."  You are right though - I imagine the pain would be less but I will tell you I'm glad I did it.  Still - two years out - when I so much as sneeze I can feel how tight my abs are - which is pretty fun.  It's that whole "suck your gut in" thing that we all do.  After a tummy tuck - you shouldn't have to really.  And I don't.  I used to walk around sucking my gut in constantly.  Not now.  In fact, when I engage my muscles there's not that big of a difference - because they are already sucked in.  Does that make sense? If I walk around in a bikini I suck them in cuz I'm a woman (ha!) but every day - no more.  I'm flat without doing that...my muscle control is greater there.  But yes - stitches can create more chance for a problem.  In the early days if you fall or something the stitches can come out and there can be a problem....which is why you aren't allowed to lift and such.  My daughter was 2 when I did this and I didn't pick her up for weeks out of fear of busting the internal stitches and it was doctor's orders.

The thing I forgot to mention is the part about walking bent over like a little old lady.  I didn't do this much because of me only having a mini.  BUT many women walk hunched over for weeks - literally.  And if you've had a c-sec you know how much even laughing hurts.  Take that x20 for much longer - laughing, sneezing, coughing, moving, anything can bring you to tears after a tummy tuck.  You use your abs for EVERYTHING.  Be prepared for that.  This is why even weeks out some people still are using Tylenol or prescription pain meds.

Oh and sex - in case any of you were wondering.  This is different for everyone really.  I cannot remember how long I waited but I know I was still in my garment.  Some women can do it in a few days - carefully - others I've seen wait 6 to 8 weeks.  Some surgeons give them a time limit (mine did not).  I will say this - it can be a new and scary sensation.  Think about it - all your muscles have been tightened so when you orgasm the sensation is definitely heightened.  You feel your ab muscles contracting when you may not have before.  It takes some getting used to but everyone figures it out.

Also - my surgeon was great but she wasn't great in the info department.  I think it's not because she wasn't a good surgeon but because she did so many tummy tucks that she just forgot it's all new to the patient.  I would not have known a single thing about seromas or swelling if not for the message board I belonged to.  And the friend of mine who had hers one month later by my surgeon - I kid you not - called me almost daily because she was freaked out by swelling or pain or something - because she did no research.  She regretted her surgery very quickly afterwards.

I highly recommend even if you're thinking of a tummy tuck - to join a message board - just as a reader and READ.  If nothing else there is great info on how much people in your area paid and how they financed it if needed and such.  I was a part of the board specifically for tummy tucks/abdominoplasty on the Make Me Heal website.  Every woman on there had a tummy tuck of some kind and they all usually posted pictures.  You'll see that 99% go through a regret period and even post partum depression at about 2 weeks out is very common.  You'll see pictures of necrosis - which is when the skin literally dies and turns black and you have holes in your stomach - very very bad complication but happens more than you think (smoking is a trigger).  You'll see some of the flattest stomachs ever and then you'll see more bumpy ones like me.  You'll see woman of plus sizes in the 250 pound plus range that get a tummy tuck before they hit their goal weight and the results are amazing.  It's a personal choice about when and many know they'll get another one later.  You'll see many women going back in for their post op care getting lipo and the experiences of that.   A few plastic surgeons even regularly comment on these boards and you can ask them questions directly.  It's all VERY eye-opening and I think necessary.  When I had a seroma I didn't have to call the doc or freak out - I knew what it was.  My friend - she was freaking out....she did no research.  Research kept me sane.  Many of you lap banders already know this if you researched your lap bands. 

Again, this is MAJOR surgery and a tough one.  Literally - I'm nearly two years out and I can still swell and I can still hurt if I overdo my abs.  It is no walk in the park.  Your lymphatic system is thrown way out of whack and my metabolism was too.  There were many more months I regretted this than I was happy with it.  And it's always made worse mentally knowing you paid so much out of pocket for it.  Today I am happy - I may never be flat as some but my hanging skin is gone.  That was what I wanted and that's what she did.  If you told me today I'd need another tummy tuck - I'm sorry but no - I wouldn't go through it again.  I'd love lipo on my muffin tops but I'm not even sure that's worth it because lipo makes you swell really bad for a while.  I'm not a big fan of patience so for me this was hard.  I have a HIGH pain tolerance and this was harder than I ever imagined.

Now that I've scared you all to death - there you go.  I just love you all and I'm trying to tell you all the things I'd have wanted someone to tell me before I went in.  Have a good day lovies!



♥ Smooches & Hugs ♥

♪ Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be. ♪

♣ Everything always passes, and everything is already okay. Stay in the place where you can see that & nothing will resist you. ♣

13 comments:

Carmen said...

I forgot to ask....is that a Playboy bunny on your tummy? :-)

Drazil said...

Carmen - look at you noticing all the details! Yup - playboy bunny - from tanning - that's how white I'd be without tanning. His eye is a mole I have on my tummy. You like?

Carmen said...

lol very cool!! me likey

Cheeseburger Girl said...

Thank you for this post. I'm waiting for a lap band surgery date at the moment. Seeing as how my stomach is more stretch mark than skin, I'm positive I'll have to have a tuck eventually. It's great to have an real experience story that isn't made into sunshine and bunnies on TV. Now I know it will be something I need to do when my husband is here rather than deployed.

Dinnerland said...

Hey girl-- I had a feeling you might be petite like moi.
I am 5'4, and actually built muscular too. I have had many a doctor say to me: "Is that your weight?"-- "really?"-- REALLY.
I carry it well. Whatever.
I look very good (can wear a bikini) at 155ish... so the charts are f-ed for me too.
I'm still interested to see what I might look like in the 130's and 120's-- stick with me for another year or two and we may find out!!

My sister had a perfect body BEFORE the tummy tuck, honestly. She weighed around 105 ish at 5 feet tall. She is a bbreast cancer surviver who had a double mastectomy, so she has her 'vanities' (if you will.) ANd she didn't like the extra skin she had from her pregnancies years ago. It didn't HANG but it just bunched in a way she didn't like. So that's the reason...

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for all your sweet comments on my blog...I really appreciate it :)

Girl Bandit said...

Thanks for all that info....it is a huge decision isn't it???

Debi said...

Great info, I am hoping to not have to do it, but it is nice to know what to expect if I do.

Butterfly said...

Great information1! Thanks for taking the time to share. :)

Julie, The Accidental Fat Chick said...

Wow! You're so full of good info. I hope I can be brave enough when the time comes... but really I think you've scared the crapola outta me, lol.

I have you a couple of awards on my blog tonight... go check em out Mama Pimp. :)

Shaggs said...

Two brilliant posts!! Love the pics (love the bunny - noticed that a while back how did u do that???) and I remember watching a tummy tuck doco when I was only a year out from 2nd c section and I cried with post traumatic stress and I consider myself pretty resislient and pain tolerant. I just dont know if I could do the tummy tuck???? I have had enough surgery now (only 4) to last a lifetime and I never want to go there again especially not gut surgeries - maybe boobies??? Would love to not wear a bra now that would be life changing! One other little thing - you keep talking of lumps and bumps etc but I just cant see them? You seem overly critical of your (what I consider) a perfect gorgeous body and I doubt I would have had the surgery to begin with but each to their own. Do you think you will ever be 100% happy with what you see? If I thought I'd look perfect I'd have surgery up the kazoo but I know for a fact I will always have stretch marks and scarring and if I'm not perfect naked I see no point in being perfect dressed (?? maybe? I dont know!)Anyhow - I think people are too quick to go for surgery (says she with the lapband - it was 20 years of obesity tho) and your account was real and balanced and definitely food for thought - thank you girl - loved it!

beautifulinsideandout said...

Oh. My. God.

First, thank you so much for youe extremely detailed and honest posts. As others have already said, the results are amazing! A tummy tuck has been on the back on my mind for a long time now, especially since the birth of my third child a few years ago. My Dr actually brought it up to me that he thought I would benefit and be a good candidate. I have a huge overhang and lots of extra skin now, I can only imagine what it may be like after anoth 50-70lbs weightloss. I also know I have next to no muscle tone. Your post is making me, for the first time, consider abdominal exercises.

I have to say, at the moment I am terrified though. I like to know it all, like you do, and have had 2 c-sections and am glad to know that it really isn't comparable...

Ok, need to digest this and look at it again in a year or so...

Mary said...

I had another ?! did you get your reduction at the same time as your tuck???