You guys asked some really good questions and had great comments so I wanted to address them in a blog for all to see - plus I remembered something else.
Dinnerland - I'm only about 5ft 3in tall....pretty short actually. I'm guessing that's why the charts say I should weigh in the 130s. By their accounts I'm still 30 lbs overweight. I have always carried a lot of muscle (big arms and legs) but right now I fit in size 7s...the goal is 5s. Why did your sister have a tuck? Did she lose a lot of weight? I've heard skin elasticity and stretch marks are hereditary but I don't know if there's any proof to that. I think everyone is different.
Band Babe (asked why you should get muscle repair) - In my experience nearly EVERY woman with hanging skin also has separated muscles (from pregnancy or stretching due to weight gain). I did not think I needed muscle repair. In fact, I assumed I wasn't getting it. Remember my surgeon saying my muscle tone was tight and unbelievable? My abs were hard as a rock under my hanging skin and in my upper abs. I figured - cut my skin off - easy peasy - done. She said, "No way - I'm in there, it's in the price, why would you not want your muscles as tight as they were before you had kids and gained weight? People work years doing exercises for tight muscles and I can do it with stitches." You are right though - I imagine the pain would be less but I will tell you I'm glad I did it. Still - two years out - when I so much as sneeze I can feel how tight my abs are - which is pretty fun. It's that whole "suck your gut in" thing that we all do. After a tummy tuck - you shouldn't have to really. And I don't. I used to walk around sucking my gut in constantly. Not now. In fact, when I engage my muscles there's not that big of a difference - because they are already sucked in. Does that make sense? If I walk around in a bikini I suck them in cuz I'm a woman (ha!) but every day - no more. I'm flat without doing that...my muscle control is greater there. But yes - stitches can create more chance for a problem. In the early days if you fall or something the stitches can come out and there can be a problem....which is why you aren't allowed to lift and such. My daughter was 2 when I did this and I didn't pick her up for weeks out of fear of busting the internal stitches and it was doctor's orders.
The thing I forgot to mention is the part about walking bent over like a little old lady. I didn't do this much because of me only having a mini. BUT many women walk hunched over for weeks - literally. And if you've had a c-sec you know how much even laughing hurts. Take that x20 for much longer - laughing, sneezing, coughing, moving, anything can bring you to tears after a tummy tuck. You use your abs for EVERYTHING. Be prepared for that. This is why even weeks out some people still are using Tylenol or prescription pain meds.
Oh and sex - in case any of you were wondering. This is different for everyone really. I cannot remember how long I waited but I know I was still in my garment. Some women can do it in a few days - carefully - others I've seen wait 6 to 8 weeks. Some surgeons give them a time limit (mine did not). I will say this - it can be a new and scary sensation. Think about it - all your muscles have been tightened so when you orgasm the sensation is definitely heightened. You feel your ab muscles contracting when you may not have before. It takes some getting used to but everyone figures it out.
Also - my surgeon was great but she wasn't great in the info department. I think it's not because she wasn't a good surgeon but because she did so many tummy tucks that she just forgot it's all new to the patient. I would not have known a single thing about seromas or swelling if not for the message board I belonged to. And the friend of mine who had hers one month later by my surgeon - I kid you not - called me almost daily because she was freaked out by swelling or pain or something - because she did no research. She regretted her surgery very quickly afterwards.
I highly recommend even if you're thinking of a tummy tuck - to join a message board - just as a reader and READ. If nothing else there is great info on how much people in your area paid and how they financed it if needed and such. I was a part of the board specifically for tummy tucks/abdominoplasty on the Make Me Heal website. Every woman on there had a tummy tuck of some kind and they all usually posted pictures. You'll see that 99% go through a regret period and even post partum depression at about 2 weeks out is very common. You'll see pictures of necrosis - which is when the skin literally dies and turns black and you have holes in your stomach - very very bad complication but happens more than you think (smoking is a trigger). You'll see some of the flattest stomachs ever and then you'll see more bumpy ones like me. You'll see woman of plus sizes in the 250 pound plus range that get a tummy tuck before they hit their goal weight and the results are amazing. It's a personal choice about when and many know they'll get another one later. You'll see many women going back in for their post op care getting lipo and the experiences of that. A few plastic surgeons even regularly comment on these boards and you can ask them questions directly. It's all VERY eye-opening and I think necessary. When I had a seroma I didn't have to call the doc or freak out - I knew what it was. My friend - she was freaking out....she did no research. Research kept me sane. Many of you lap banders already know this if you researched your lap bands.
Again, this is MAJOR surgery and a tough one. Literally - I'm nearly two years out and I can still swell and I can still hurt if I overdo my abs. It is no walk in the park. Your lymphatic system is thrown way out of whack and my metabolism was too. There were many more months I regretted this than I was happy with it. And it's always made worse mentally knowing you paid so much out of pocket for it. Today I am happy - I may never be flat as some but my hanging skin is gone. That was what I wanted and that's what she did. If you told me today I'd need another tummy tuck - I'm sorry but no - I wouldn't go through it again. I'd love lipo on my muffin tops but I'm not even sure that's worth it because lipo makes you swell really bad for a while. I'm not a big fan of patience so for me this was hard. I have a HIGH pain tolerance and this was harder than I ever imagined.
Now that I've scared you all to death - there you go. I just love you all and I'm trying to tell you all the things I'd have wanted someone to tell me before I went in. Have a good day lovies!
♥ Smooches & Hugs ♥
♪ Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be. ♪
♣ Everything always passes, and everything is already okay. Stay in the place where you can see that & nothing will resist you. ♣