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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

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Old 06-08-2007, 01:07 AM   #1
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Talking My abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) experience!

I had an abdominoplasty ("tummy tuck") in 2006. I thought I'd share my experiences. First off, I went to a very, very good plastic surgeon. Very reputable. If you are EVER considering major surgery, please know who is going to be working with (well, on) you. It's essential.

My surgery went well. Was I in severe pain after the 4 hours of operation? Absolutely. Was I struggling to get out of bed for the next 2 weeks without wanting to cry? **** yes. Was "getting up to go the bathroom" pretty much the worst experience EVER?


I had "tubes" coming out of my upper pubic area to drain blood/liquids for 2 weeks. It was gross at first. I was hunched over when I walked. I had a full waist support wrap-around thing. The scars looked scary and I wasn't sure if they'd ever fade. The pain/discomfort lasted about 3 weeks, but lessened considerably in the 3rd week. I have a scar that spans above my pubic area hip-to-hip, and a small scar circling my "new" bellybutton. Over a year has passed... and honestly, the scars are nothing. They're there, but they aren't horrendous, the ones closer to my hips are barely visible, and I know it's weird... but I am actually proud of them!

I am so happy that I did it. I can wear pants now without that awkward bulge. It costed money, the recovery was very painful for a short period of time... but it was all worth it.

If anyone has any questions, ask away!
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:13 AM   #2
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How very interesting!! I hope to be able to do that someday. In fact, that's my goal a year from now. Can you tell me how long one can expect to be out of work? Also, about how much ($$) did it cost?
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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Hm I wonder if this will reply directly to your post or not (Mountainlvr).. I hit the little thing next to your post but nothing happened hah. Anyway, to answer your questions:

I was back to school in 2 and a half weeks. My doctor said people are usually out within 3. I had discomfort, but nothing that prevented me from learning or going throughout the day.. I just had to walk a little more slowly, and take breaks from sitting down for long periods of time. And, of course, take my pain killers as prescribed.

The price of the surgery will vary completely based on where you live. I'm in CT... the surgery cost about $5,000. I also got an additional small amount of lipo on the sides of my waist, which was an additional $2,000 I think... if you need or desire lipo, the surgeries can be done at the same time as long as the surgeon assesses the area and determines that it will be safe. If you want lipo on your sides or anywhere in that general region, it will cost more if you get a separate surgery. It could cost up to $1,000 more.

That is in CT, though. Different surgeons have different prices. If you're going to a high-profile plastic surgeon in New York City... well, you could be paying up to $20,000!

Do some research in your area and talk to several people, get some references if you can from hospitals and anywhere else. I had to wait 4 months for the surgery after my initial appointment and assessment. Sometimes you may have to wait longer, perhaps shorter, depending on the schedule of the surgeon.

Looking at different pictures online helped me out. They can either freak you out or get you excited! When/if you eventually get an appointment... ask every single question you have, no matter how small. You'll be paying big bucks for someone to change your body forever, you need to know what you're getting into.

Not all surgeons use the drains, for example. I had the two thin tubes coming from my pubic area... they attached to two little plastic pouches that the liquids drained in to. They had to be changed (emptied) regularly. My thoughts are that they were beneficial - I mean, where else does all that stuff go? Does it just float around inside you? Yikes.

But then again, I am no doctor.

Also to note: the placement of your scars may vary. Generally, everyone will have the "hip-to-hip" thing, and the small bellybutton scar - but some people who have a LOT of excess skin or other physical issues may have a vertical scar that goes up in the center, in addition to the others. If you're getting what is referred to as a "mini tuck" then the scar from "hip to hip" will be shorter and probably won't span your entire waist width.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:12 AM   #4
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Hi Socks!

Wow, terrific advice and thanks so much for sharing your experiences! It's so helpful to have people who have had surgery talk about what it was like for them.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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wow...thanks for the information. I am thinking i may need to get at least a mini-tummy tuck...at least , i'm hoping it will only be a mini one. Of course, I won't know until i get to goal but I definately will probably want to go have a consult with a doctor. Thank you for the information and if i can think of any actual questions, it is good to know you are willing to answer as much as you can. thank you!!!
April 28th BIRTHDAY GOAL- 150
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:26 PM   #6
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How many inches did you lose? Did you lose weight? I read about someone who lost 8 pounds just from the tummy tuck.
Goal 12/21/2007
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:16 PM   #7
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Socks, Thanks for the information. I am very interested in a tummy tuck (maybe will even need a lower body lift, I'm not sure how to know without seeing a surgeon.) Was it an overnight hospital stay? I am afraid I'll never get to goal without having some of this tummy skin removed.......

160 lbs lost!

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Old 06-09-2007, 12:16 PM   #8
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I recently saw some pics someone posted of the scars post-op at various stages but they haven't reached a year post op. Would you say your scars look like c-section scars? Are they low enough to wear a bikini?
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:46 PM   #9
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Speaking as one who had a tummy tuck exactly one year ago on Friday I say this:

No, not like c-section scars. Much longer. Low enough to wear most bikinis except for string bikinis.

I had an overnight hospital stay for my tt but most have an outpatient procedure. It depends on how comfortable your surgeon is with letting you go home the same day. I for one am glad that I was in the hospital: the bed helped me up and the nurses walked me 2 feet to the toliet. That is some goodness after the ordeal.

It is hard to tell if you actually lose weight from the tt unless the surgeon says they took such and such an amount out because you are so swollen for so long that any scale read is going to be erroneous.

Sorry to hijack your thread ordinarysocks but I just LOVE talking sugery with those who have had it and "get" what we go through. BTW: My experience reads almost exactly like yours only I was blessed enough to have drains for only 5 days. They suck and if you ask me are the worst part.

But, as you well know, it is soooo worth it!
Lost: 140ish lbs
Maintainence: 2 years

My "Happy" Weight:

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Old 06-17-2007, 05:32 PM   #10
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I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS on your tummy tuck! I soooo can't wait for mine...but I want another baby first...probably next year. I got pregnant after I'd lost all my excess weight (114 lbs) and have a lot of abdominal skin left. It did come in handy during my pregnancy...I was full term and still had skin to go. So...one more baby and then it's all coming OFF!

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Old 08-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #11
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Hi socks,
I also live in CT. Was wondering who you went to, what doc?
Thanks for all the great info!
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