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My Recovery From A Tummy Tuck

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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!

Recovery from a tummy tuck

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.

Tummy Tuck Consult in Colorado

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.

Tummy Tuck surgical prep

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.

tummy tuck nightgown

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.

tummy tuck walker

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.

tummy tuck binder

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.

drainless tummy tuck healing

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…

before tummy tuck

…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.

2 weeks after tummy tuck

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.

Have any questions about a recovery from a tummy tuck? Drop them in the comments.

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Lucy

Saturday 13th of February 2021

How many weeks out did you start using the strips and have you used any oil for the scarring.

Laura

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

The strips were put on me at surgery. They stayed on about 3 weeks before coming off. Once the incision is fully healed, people often use silicone strips to help with the scar. Healing time varies but general rule is that once the scabs are gone you can start using a scar treatment (around 6 weeks)

Norma

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Hi. First of all congratulations ladies for living yourselves. I’m 2 weeks 3 days post op, I’m just a lil sad because I haven’t seen my stomach flat, I’m swollen and still see a pooch. I walk, I watch my salt intake, and drink water, my drains have already been removed, should I be concerned? I can’t find a sleeping position, that’s very frustrating. Am I the only one?

Laura

Monday 21st of December 2020

It can take a YEAR for the swelling and flatness to happen. Do not be discouraged. Your body just went through a huge trauma. It took WEEKS for me to find a comfortable sleeping position as well. Give it time.

Annelirs

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Hi Laura, I just had my tummy tuck 6 days ago. Had read your story prior to my surgery and it certainly helped! Thank you for sharing your story. I feel pretty much good, barely any pain so not taking any pain killers. How did your scar feel after a week? Mine feels like it’s a bit thicker/swollen.

Laura

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Hey!

yay! Congrats and welcome to the flatside! My incision was covered under steri tape for about 3 weeks. More than anything it burned and pulled here and there but I didn't touch it because I did not have any interest in a possible infection. I am now 4 months out and I definitely have some knots under my skin (cant see) where my stitches are dissolving. Feel free to shoot me an email and I will send you an updated picture. laura @ wegotthefunk .com

Deanna

Thursday 15th of October 2020

I Am scheduled for a tummy tuck nov 4. I am getting cold feet. I have never had a surgery. I don’t know how I will do with pain . I am 56 years old and very happily married. I am also having Lypo of my flanks and added to my bumm . So scared

Laura

Thursday 15th of October 2020

hi! you are going to do great. The pain is manageable and tolerable for sure. Just stay on top of your pain medications and make sure to have a support team.

Heather

Friday 14th of August 2020

I am so glad I read your posts. I had 3 c-sections and over the last few months, my back pain has been insane. I can’t stand for long periods of time, can’t bend over to do things and it’s even hard to sit. Until I found your post, I had no idea that these things could be related, though it makes total sense. The idea of another surgery scares me. But I’m not sure I can live with this back pain much longer.

Laura

Friday 14th of August 2020

Hi Heather! Today marks one month since I had surgery and I feel soooooo much better. I played on the floor with my kiddos the other day, the back pain is nothing. Talk with your doctor, a strong core that works together is key to supporting your back.

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