Wednesday, March 1, 2017

tummy tuck: the procedure

As you all know, I had my tummy tuck done this past Monday. I'm on day three of recovery, and it's not quite as bad as I thought it would be. It's tough, yes, but I'm not writhing in pain and in tears 24/7. Although I will admit there were tears yesterday morning. More on that in my next post.

I had to be at the surgical center by 8:40 am Monday morning, and the procedure was scheduled for 9:40 am. Timing seems odd, but whatever. I couldn't eat anything after midnight the night before; however, I was allowed to have certain liquids up until 6:30 am Monday. Among those was water, black coffee or tea, a bunch of stuff I don't remember, and cola. I thought cola was really strange, but since I don't drink soda anymore, I didn't bother to ask why that would be allowed. I had a little water and that was it. I arrived with my bag in tow: both my compression garments (two different sizes--I let my surgeon pick which one she felt fit best), clean socks and underwear, pajama pants to wear home, my lanyard (drains attach to it when taking a shower), and my license and insurance card.

I was very proud of myself for not having to take the Valium my surgeon prescribed for anxiety, but once they called my name the tremors set in. I wasn't cold, but I was shivering anyway. The nurses said that's my fight-or-flight response kicking in. After I suited up in my purple gown, compression socks and booties, they had me give a urine sample and then weighed me (208 pounds). They took my medical history and all that good stuff, then I went back to the pre-op room. I sat in the recliner while they hooked up a hose the gown. Apparently it pumps in warm air. Very heavenly. They then piled on some warm blankets in order to bring my veins to the surface. Just like last time, they could run the catheter in my hand so they had to do the bend of my arm. They said the veins in my hands are small. And through it all, I was still shaking.  Eventually I calmed down, though. Bob came in and sat while my surgeon marked up my body. He said it looked like a road map with circles, solid lines, and dotted lines all over the place. Then it was showtime. Bob kissed me goodbye and I was taken to the OR.  It amazes me how small ORs can be. It's not like you see on the primetime shows, although maybe it depends on the procedure being done. It was cold, too. So, they had me lay down, the IV started...and then I woke up in recovery two minutes later (or so it seemed).

The procedure started at 9:40 am and I was woken up at 12:30 pm, so it was pretty quick. I really wasn't in any significant pain, which was nice. I was definitely in fear of waking up in excruciating pain. It was more like a stinging, burning feeling. It wasn't terrible. They gave me some IV pain meds, but when I felt they weren't working they gave me some toast (so buttery and delicious!) so I could take a dilaudid pill. That seemed to work better. I looked down to see that they had put the compression garment on me before I woke up, I had my two drains, which are in the pubic bone area, and there was a bunch of gauze tucked in all over.  I still had purple pen marks on me, but most were gone.  Then they started getting my clothes together, got me dressed and in a wheelchair, and I was out the door by 2:30 pm. It amazes me that things happen that fast, but that's life in the 21st century I guess.

The ride home wasn't bad. I was nervous because there seems to be an above-average amount of potholes in my town. I got into the house and into the recliner and relaxed the rest of the day. I wasn't feeling tired, so I did a lot of texting and Facebooking. But once I started on the pain meds, I got pretty groggy and I've been dozing a lot. I'll be in the middle of reading something on my phone or watching TV and I just doze off, which is unusual for me.  But I need the rest so I'm not complaining.

So, how many pounds of skin came off?  7.7 pounds. I was hoping for more, but felt it would be 5 to 8 pounds.  At least now I will have a greater range of motion, I won't have to tuck my skin into my pants, and won't have to rearrange it when I turn on my side in bed.  And it won't itch in the same damn spot anymore!


  1. Good for you Dawn! Thanks for sharing your experience. A tummy tuck is the most effective way to tighten your stomach area. Tummy tuck Manila