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Janie S. 's Story

LipoSite's Visitors' Stories About Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

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Marvel's at Her Flat Tummy Every Time She Showers

In my early thirties I decided to have children, 1st one at age 32, second one at 34. Before that I was 133 lbs, size 7-8, but genetically pear-shaped. I worked out, but not regularly. With child #1, I gained 30 lbs. and 12 stretch marks below the belly. . I lost a bit of the weight, but not a substantial amount. With child #2 I gained 25 more lbs. After delivery, I noticed that the stretch marks had tripled below the belly and on hips too. I dieted, did sit-ups, etc. to no avail. I couldn't get rid of that pouch. And now the skin sagged. My hips and thighs were monstrous, my pre-baby body was gone. I weighed between 180 and 182. Yikes! 50 lbs, my kids together didn't weigh 50 lbs.!

I started getting interested in Liposuction to see what it was. I checked all kinds of WEB sites by typing LIPOSUCTION, PLASTIC and COSMETIC SURGERY into search engines. I found a few surgeons in my state, and began a quest. Since I had read that this isn't a "weight reduction surgery", I knew going into this that I would need to continue to diet and increase my exercise to reduce weight and size. But those trouble spots were there when I weighed 133 lbs. So, I went to see if I was a good candidate for liposuction. I contacted 3 plastic surgeons. I did some research on them, checked credentials (all listed on LIPOsite), and went on my consults.

When I found my wonderful PS, Dr. James Vogel, he examined me and said I was a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck and Tumescent Liposuction. News to my ears, a tummy tuck. He said a 2 stage procedure of Tummy tuck with lipo on the hips 1st, then 4-6 months later aggressive lipo on I/O thighs, U/L abs, and touch-ups. He showed me some pictures of women that had a body similar to mine and some wonderful results with a TT and lipo. Wow, I thought, I want that. The total cost would be about $11,000, is it worth it? I talked to my husband, and he agreed that this would be something that I can do just for me. I scheduled my appointment and prepared. My PS suggested doings as many abdominal exercises as I could before the surgery to tighten up the abs. I bought an ab roller, and began crunching everyday first 50 then 100 a day. I took 1000 mg. Of Vitamin C and 500 mg. of iron everyday.

As I got closer to my surgery date, I bought my supplies, had my prescriptions pre-filled, stocked my house with Gatorade, pineapple juice, V8, fruit, vegetables, and took a stool softener. I counted down the days. The day of my surgery, we arrived at the Surgery Center at 6:30 am. I signed my paper work and they gave me a valium to calm my nerves. The anesthesiologist met with me to go over the epidural procedure. I practiced scrunching for positioning the epidural. They put an IV for sedation in, I don't remember them putting in the epidural. I woke up about 4 hours later, very woozy, and a bit nauseas, but not in pain, yet. I had dressing on my new naval and on top of the staples that were used to close my incision. I had an adjustable binder on that went around my abs and back. It had velcro along the side. It helped support my back and provided compression for my hips. It also eased any strain on my abs. I had drains on each hip that filled with bloody fluid. They showed my husband and me how to empty the drains, and gave us some post-op intructions. We drove home and I went to bed.

Getting up and down to go to the bathroom was the hard part. When I was standing, a sweat would take over my body, I would get dizzy, and feel nauseas. I couldn't stand up straight. My body was sore and achy. I slept with several pillows that supported every joint in my body. We borrowed a potty seat lift that made it easy to go to the bathroom. Sometimes the potty seat was the most comfortable place to sit. I used my baby stroller as a walker because of the unsteadiness. I had to record the amount of fluid that I removed from the drains on a piece of paper. I took my pain meds, nausea, meds, vitamins, and antibiotics faithfully. I drank 12 glasses of ice water every day and drank a lot of Gatorade and juice. I ate when I was hungry, which wasn't very often, but made sure to eat crackers or bread with meds.

I didn't get to shower until after my first post-op visit 4 days after surgery. They removed the dressing and said I could shower. I had bruises all around my hips and abs. I used arnica gel to promote healing 3 times a day. I treated my incisions with polysporin or bacitracin for 8 days. I had a long neck strap that was meant to hold an ID badge around my neck with my drains pinned to it when I showered to keep the drains from flying about.

My PS removed 1 drain at 12 days, and the second a week later. The amount of fluid had to be below 25 ccs a day. It was a bloody color all the way up to the last removal. The staples stayed in for 2 weeks. They were replaced by steri-strips for a few days, then nothing. When he removed the staples it didn't hurt, just a couple of them pinched here and there, the area was mostly numb, so I couldn't feel it. The same went with the drains. I could feel something move, but no pain.

When the incision scabs fell off, we put Epiderm Silicon Gel Strips on the scar to minimize the appearance and promote healing. It helped keep the scar soft. I was to use it for 12 weeks, 12 on, 12 off. My bruises were gone by the end of 2 weeks, but the soreness was still on my hips. I had some pain and discomfort in my abs By the 3rd week, I could stand up pretty straight. I was working and ready to resume many activities that I was told to stay away from, but to still keep it at a minimal. I put my feet up and rested a lot. Usually by the end of the day I swelled up. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. My stomach was flat and my hips didn't stick out, I had my first wow.

By 5 weeks I felt much better. I started dieting. I had lost 13 lbs. since pre-op. My PS told me that he removed 6 lbs. of skin from the tummy tuck. I wanted to loose more. I bought a glider, and began with 10 minutes in the morning every other day, and worked up to 30 minutes. I used hand weights for my arms the days in between.

BY 8 weeks, I had gone down 2 sizes, I was fitting into clothes that I could have never squeezed into, with room in the belly. I started to get excited about the second procedure, because the thighs were the only thing that were still big.

I am now at 15 weeks post op. I have no pain in the abs. My hips are nice and smooth, the left one needs a bit of a touch up (dog ear and a little assymmetry). My scar is very red, but soft. I have a few lumps that I am massaging regularly in the lower ab. I will still swell a bit when I over do it with strenuous activity. Around my period I swell the most. Would I do it again? Yes!. I marvel at my flat tummy every time I shower or put on clothes. I am glad to say good bye to those nasty stretch marks. I love the fact that my bra isn't chaffing me anymore because of all of that excess skin. I don't miss those bread box hips at all.

I am scheduled for round 2, aggressive lipo next week. I am glad that my PS did my surgery in 2 sessions instead of 1. Now he is doing the touch-ups with the second procedure, anything that I wasn't pleased about is being addressed now. It also was less of a risk to take out a large amount of fat in 1 session with the TT, than in 2. My PS did this for me, to ensure a great recovery and reduce the risk. I will provide exact measurements with pictures.

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- Janie S.

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