Saturday, March 18, 2017

tummy tuck "after" pictures

Here they are, what you've all been waiting for:  my "after" pictures. But first...

"Before" measurements: waist, 40"; hips, 48"; weight, 208 (morning of surgery).  The large hip measurement was largely due to my excess skin. 

"After" measurements:  waist 39.5"; hips, 44.5"; weight fluctuates between 200 and 203. So I lost about 3.5 inches of skin from my hip circumference and just a tad from my waist. This may change, though, since I'm still swelling; swelling can last for several months.  I'll take measurements again next month.

Here you go...

 

I had to crop this one a lot, because my scar is directly above the pubic area, which I obviously didn't want to put in the picture. My belly button looks so weird to me. But it's no longer frowning! The stitches were still in it at this point, which was a few days ago. The scar might look terrible, but the surgeon is very happy and says it's looking great. It will fade and soften over the next year. As you can see, I have some yellowing on the skin which is late-blooming bruising.


This was taken today. My stitches are out of my belly button. Apparently when you have real hips your underwear don't fall down. (That was a daily problem prior to surgery, no matter what style of underwear I wore. So annoying!)



I'm still swollen, but that should go away in a couple months.

So, how do I feel?  Physically, I feel pretty good. My skin still feels tight, but I don't have any pain. I'm sleeping in my bed again, although I'm still on my back, which I HATE; I'm a side sleeper. I've tried laying on my side, but I'm a chicken at the moment. I think I'm worried I'll mess something up inside, so I haven't done it.  I have more mobility. I'm still working on standing completely straight. It's a combo of tight muscles/skin and being afraid to stretch myself out; however, I'm upright enough that I'm no longer having back pain, which is a relief. I definitely have swelling, which makes me uncomfortable sometimes and limits me as to how long I can sit upright. I switch between the recliner, my computer desk and sitting up on the couch. I find that I have the most mobility in the morning, so I try to do whatever I need to do and then I relax the rest of the day. I still do some very light things around the house, but I try to stretch out in the recliner later in the day. And I get tired easily. I don't mean that I need a nap after taking a shower or throwing in a load of laundry, but I generally do need to sit down for a bit.  Mentally, I feel good. Way better than a couple weeks ago. But I still struggle with not being able to go back to daily like 100%, even though I've been cleared to do so. I know it takes time, but it's frustrating.

And here is a before and after so you can see how marks on the skin's surface get relocated due to the pulling down of the skin.


Before surgery, the freckle on the left and the laparoscopic surgery scar on the right were well above my belly button.


After surgery, they're below it. Kind of weird, huh?  (Note:  This picture was taken in the mirror so they're on opposite sides from the other picture.)

And how do I feel about my appearance?  I'm happy. There's some puckering along the incision, it's all scabby, and some of the purple marker is still there, but it's still very early and that might improve on its own. My belly button looks weird to me, but it's still healing, too. At first I felt like my thighs were suddenly HUGE and very saggy. But it's because my big ol' flabby belly was covering it before and now it's not, so my thighs are more obvious to me. And no one else sees the "huge" thighs; they comment on my skinny legs. I don't think anyone but me sees my "perceived" imperfections. True with all of us, yes?  And I think it's only natural to want to erase all signs of a lifetime of obesity and look like everyone else I considered "normal" when I was bigger, but at some point I need to accept myself as I am. For me personally, I don't want to go down the road of feeling like I need other work. It's just going to cost a ton of money I could be using for other things, and I'll never have perfection.  I just keep in mind that a lifetime of obesity is always going to be something I carry with me:  my insecurities, saggy skin in certain places, stretch marks that the tummy tuck didn't eliminate, etc. I just do the best I can with what I have. As long as I don't regain and I'm happy with me, that's what matters to me.

It's weird not having my flabby belly there.  It was with me for so long. Thinking back, I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't overweight. I find myself maneuvering in the ways that I did when I had my belly, such as squatting down with my knees pointed out in order to pick something up, or standing further away from the sink because I think my belly is still there.  I'm sure I'll adjust in time, though. I'm also thrilled that I can now see my feet, and I don't have to worry about finding shirts that are long enough to cover my belly roll and...other things.

13 comments:

  1. So is there just the one scar from hip to hip and the new belly button?

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    1. Yes. Some people have the upside down T but I'm not sure why. Maybe something to do with how much work needs to be done or maybe a different procedure.

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  2. I think this is my first comment, but just know that I have been following you're journey both on FB and you're blog. Amazing!

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  3. Incredible to see the pics, isn't it?

    I just want to throw in a shout out for my most comfortable underwears ever, the Vanity Fair Illuminations which I usually get from Macys. ;)

    Absolutely we all have our body parts that we are not a fan of. I don't love my arms. But I found ways to work around that, shrug cardigans, mesh tops, and sometimes I just say screw it and put them out there for the world to see, and the world does not end when I do that, so that is good to know. :)

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    1. Haha! I'm not into strapless or tank tops, so arms won't be a problem. They're really not bad anyway. Not as bad as some people who have lost a lot of weight. They sag but I can live with it.

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  4. I'm thrilled for you! Modern medicine is absolutely amazing. Keep up the great work taking care of yourself!

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  5. THats awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. I really learned a lot. Excessive bleeding, seroma, fat or umbilical necrosis, infection, slow healing, numbness, reaction to surgical sutures, thick scar formation, and skin loss are all possible complications tummy tuck.

    Tummy Tuck Philippines

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