It has been about 2 1/2 weeks since I had my tummy tuck surgery and I am finally feeling up to sharing about the initial experience and recovery from a tummy tuck as well as some results!
Prepping For Surgery
I had 15 days between my consult and my surgery to prepare and wrap my brain around the things were going to be changing drastically. I spent hours talking with people that had been through the experience before. I ordered all the things, had to have a COVID test because it is required before surgery and picked up prescriptions.
I am not someone that does well relinquishing control and in the current state of the world I am really struggling, but I knew I was going to need help and thankfully I had a team of amazing family and friends who were able to quarantine and take care of me but mostly take care of our kids while I recovered. You can read more about why I decided to have a tummy tuck here and no it was not just for vanity
Day of Surgery
The day of surgery I showered, and followed explicit directions not to eat and only drink the apple juice they prescribed and then I arrived at the surgery center. It was weird because with COVID no one can go in and wait with you. It is just me, awkwardly by myself, waiting to be cut open. The nurses were great and we had a good laugh when they gave me a pregnancy test only to realize that I had a hysterectomy 3 years prior.
They got me started on an IV, the anesthesiologist came in and spoke with me, my doctor came in and marked me up. I decided not to take a picture of that because I just felt like, I didn’t want to hate my old body and see it for the last time like that. Then it was back to surgery. I woke up groggy, was told I was their favorite patient they had had in a while and sent home a few hours later.
Recovery From a Tummy Tuck
I will be writing a whole post about what you need as far as home supplies to recover from a tummy tuck but for now, I just am going to share about how my personal recovery was. As you can see below, I was a wreck. I had 24 hour care for the first week of recovery and my children were either with my mother or aunt.
Did I need the care? Probably not, as I slept for a solid week but it was SO nice to have my friends and family there to help me up when I needed to pee or to grab a glass of water or medication for me. I lived in a nightgown and a dress for the first week and had compression socks on as well to avoid blood clots.
I slept in a recliner with a billion pillows and had a folding table next to me where I had a constant stock of saltine crackers, pineapple juice, protein drinks and medication. The doctors do want you to walk around periodically and I was SO thankful to have this loaned walker to move about without worrying about falling.
You also are in a binder for basically 24 hours a day, which honestly is both wonderful and awful at the same time. You can take it off for short periods but my doctor wants it on for a solid 4 weeks. I should state that I had what is called a drainless tummy tuck, so I did not have to deal with tubes and body liquids at all, and seems to actually be easier to recover from then what I have read from people who undergo the standard tummy tuck with drains.
How was the Pain?
I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance. My mom will tell you that I would cry wolf when I was a kid, but personally that was more for attention than for actual pain. I have had 2 c-sections and a laparoscopic total hysterectomy. Pain was manageable. Was it painful? YES! Is it manageable? Absolutely! I did also opt to have an extended pain numbing injection as I was told it greatly helps with recovery. I was standing straight up within a few days…many patients it takes weeks to do so.
You have a large, hip to hip incision and they also relocate your original belly button to a new area of skin, while sewing your abs together like a corset, repairing any hernias and cutting off skin. It hurts, you will need pain meds, but as long as you actually follow the doctors orders and rest and take those meds on a schedule, the pain is manageable. I would say for me personally it was on par with my c-section pain.
Tummy Tuck 2 Week Results
I took this photo the morning of surgery. I wear this swimsuit a lot. I love it, I feel like it is comfortable and I feel good in it. Yes, even when I had that mommy tummy. Morning of surgery I weighed 189 lbs…my heaviest weight since pregnancy. I am stating this because, tummy tuck surgery is NOT weight loss surgery and I came out of it only 6 lbs lighter…but the results…
…I took this picture today. My belly button is still healing, you can’t see the steri-strip covering my incision and my hair isn’t even brushed. It is clear that my body underwent a huge transformation and that my surgeon did an excellent job in keeping my curves looking natural but more importantly fixing my abdominal muscles. I still have stretch marks, my boobs have fed two children and are not perky, there’s my chubby thighs and the booty, but NONE of that even matters.
Because, the main reason this tummy tuck happened was because of my back and guess what hasn’t been in pain? I have had nearly zero pain from my back since the muscles and hernias were repaired. I feel amazing and am so happy with the results. My body is still very much healing and will be for a while, but that back pain is a memory. I am feeling happy, healthy and confident and will be wearing this swimsuit (from Venus Fashion) a lot. So there it is, there is me…it’s crazy to share, but if it helps someone, then there it is.