76 thoughts on “My Tummy Tuck

  1. Why do you think this wouldn’t be of interest to your regular readers? It’s interesting in itself and it’s interesting because it’s about you. One thing I wonder: is there a significant difference in the healing regimen if the surgery is done solely for “cosmetic” reasons, as opposed to your clearly serious hernia repair? (I dated someone for a while who sprung for a vanity-only tummy tuck.) Either way, the blow-by-blow is interesting and valuable. I’m glad the whole thing worked out and was worth it to you. Wow, you look awesome in that two-piece…

    • Well, it depends on how involved the tummy tuck is. Some involve just removing loose skin while others involve doing that and tightening the fascia. Was the belly button reconstructed? Is a hernia involved? I don’t think there is a one-size fits all abdominoplasty, it depends on the person’s set of circumstances. My friend had a less invasive one than I did, but the recovery still kicked her ass.

  2. Ok I am a regular reader and I consider this highly valuable because I’m in the process of hopefully getting a surgery like this done soon. I have a large hernia in my upper abdomen that needs to be removed and the dr wants to remove all the excess fat and skin in my lower belly at the same time so the hernia will heal properly.

      • Yes well that’s the main purpose is to fix the hernia. And she does feel she’ll need to use mesh. The problem we’re having though is I have state insurance and they’ll pay for the hernia repair but they don’t want to pay for the removal of the excess skin, claiming it’s cosmetic and not needed. But this isn’t true. If she doesn’t remove the excess skin, the weight of it will pull on the incision which won’t heal properly and she’d only have to go back in and fix it again.

        • Really? I didn’t know that. I like to quote Gwynneth Paltrow when it comes to these matters. It was something like A mommy makeover after childbirth isn’t cosmetic surgery. It’s reconstructive surgery. True that, Gwyn.

        • Yes but if I can’t change the insurance decision, I’ll either have to only get the hernia repaired or be stuck with a huge bill for the excess skin

        • Oh and then there’s option C, not have the surgery at all and just file for disability cause I can not work with this thing, I’ve had it for years and it causes numerous problems. The only work experience I have is food service and retail and both require standing and I can’t stand for lengths of time without the hernia flaring up.

  3. I found this really interesting and informative as well. I don’t have a need for it, at this time, but I like knowing these things are out there so I can direct friends who might. This was really detailed – and honestly – the kind of thing hospitals should give out on every medical procedure.

    • Thanks! Please pass it on. I agree, something like this should be necessary reading for anyone about to undergo the procedure. What shocks me is that I didn’t any information on the constipation part. It wasn’t a problem for me (because I was already aware) but another friend of mine who had a breast aug had real problems. She didn’t realize what was going on, by the time we talked about it, she hadn’t gone for almost four days! Poor thing.

  4. I once thought cosmetic surgery was silly. Of course I was a childless 20 something. Now I have 3 kids and I think it’s brilliant! My abs are shot and I’m not sure I will be able to resurrect them. Glad to read your experience. I think you are brave for sharing it. I forwarded your post to several girlfriends as we’ve all discussed this problem post prenancy.

    • It’s funny how stridently idealistic we were when we were young. There’s nothing like some real life experience to temper judgement, right? It was still hard to write about, though. Thank you so much for reading and sharing. Good luck!

  5. I never even knew what a tummy tuck was, and now I realize that they have a very important medical purpose. Thank you! I think this will help people be more supportive and less judgmental. So, going back to your dog fight ending experience “You’re a hero!”

    • You are SO KIND! I think the most judgmental person I have to deal with is my own self. It was a long process to be okay with the fact that my body had changed and that I wanted it back, both structurally and aesthetically. I had to let go of feeling like a failure and allow myself to do something for me, no matter what anyone else said. Thank you for reading.

  6. I love reading your blog…… it was so interesting. I think you are rocking that bikini. The thing that stands out for me in the picture of you in your bikini are your gorgeous legs. 🙂

    • Thanks JJ! I’ve always liked my legs. Accentuate the positive! I still think about you when I put something on and fidget with it. You once told me that if I have to mess with it, then I shouldn’t be wearing it. Great advice.

      • Wow that was good advice…although I don’t remember saying it (I will take the credit though) 🙂

        I remember when I was in my 20’s a friend of mine said that she never said anything bad about her physical appearance. She said if you don’t mention it you won’t draw attention to it and people probably wouldn’t even notice.

        So buy more bikinis and when people say,”Wow you look great!!!!” you smile and say, “Thank you” 🙂

  7. Kudos and thanks to you for sharing your experience. It was very interesting to read a first person account of the recovery process. I will be passing this along to a friend who has a major
    diastisis. One question for you – did you feel that your OB/midwife gave the diastisis serious consideration? I’ve heard several women say that they had to find out on their own why their stomachs bulged after every meal, at which point they had made the diastisis worse by doing the wrong
    abdominal exercises to try to correct the belly bulge. I find that alarming.

    • My OB had nothing to say about it. He looked at me kind of funny when I expressed concern about it. I think that’s the state of health care for women, we are expected to deal with unpleasant outcomes silently. Well it is not life-threatening I feel like it should be at least addressed in office. Thank you for reading and thanks for passing it on.

  8. Thank you for writing this. I’ve decided to do the tummy tuck that I’ve been wanting for the past 3 years. With all of the research that I’m doing, this is the first article that I’ve come across that is a personal account. Like you I’ve had two c-sections. For myself, I went back to my body without any problems, but I was 24 when I had my youngest. I didn’t experience stretch marks. However, over time I have developed a fat pouch above the c-section line and below my navel, and my stomach is now my nemesis. Reminding me every single day that no matter how great my face is doing, my body looks old. LOL. I will be 50 this year, and I hate my midriff. So, I’m getting it done. It’s my gift to myself. You’ve given great tips. I love the one about the soft cotton tank tops!!! And, the scar strips. Thanks again!!

    • Good for you! It sounds like you have done a lot of research and will be just fine. As long as you know what you are in for, you can be physically and emotionally prepared. It’s a long journey but one worth taking. I think the least we can get out of carrying and birthing two babies is a body we feel good about, right? Good luck and take care.

  9. I just found out recently that i actually had umbilical hernia. And i freaked out. I always wondered why my belly button popped out and my tummy never reduce in size deapite that i lost weight and did a lit of exercise. It is 4years post delivery now and i am now pregnant with the third one. This post is very helpful and i might consider looking for a surgeon after deliver huhuhu

    • Oh dear. Did you ever use a girdle after delivering? I didn’t wear a girdle after my first child was born but then (on someone’s advice) got a Wacoal panty girdle after my second one was born. While it didn’t help the diastasis heal (it was a remnant from the first pregnancy) I felt SOOOOO much better through my recovery from my second delivery. I wore it 24-7 for three months (as recommended) and I didn’t have that loose, sloppy feeling in my waist. I still needed the surgery but boy did it ever help with my pregnancy recovery.

      Good luck with your third pregnancy (YOU GO GIRL!) and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

      Thanks for reading!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know this post is old, but I hope you still see this reply because I had a few things I was wondering! I apologize in advice for how lengthy it is!

    Your scar, or rather lack of any one at all, looks amazing. Congrats on that and just know that you should be 100% comfortable in a bathing suit that shows off that section – it’s so faded now it does not at ALL look like a scar! I’m a male who underwent a tummy tuck surgery myself about 7 years ago due to having excess skin (that wasn’t even that bad and I would have probably grown a lot into since I was only 17 at that time). But the ugly scar that came after the surgery made me regret spending thousands of dollars (which were for a college fund at the time) on the procedure. Mentally, the scar ruined my self-confidence more than a little excess skin ever did. Eventually, I believe about a year and a half after having the surgery, I got a tattoo to cover the scar.

    Now I’m a male, and while I like the tattoo, I think its placement is a little weird. It’s to the point it still makes me self-conscious taking off my shirt and it’s so many years later from both the surgery and the tattoo. I’m debating getting laser tattoo removal procedures done, because I found out they’re not that expensive – probably $800 to $1,000 for a tattoo my size, not anywhere remotely near a tummy tuck – and that my tattoo being only black and grey is the easiest kind to remove. But I’m worried that if I do get it done, I’ll still be unhappy because the scar has not quite faded to the extent yours has, despite being an even older scar at 7 years.

    See, the tattoo doesn’t cover up the very edges of the scar, so I can see how much is there, and mine is definitely still there a bit, unlike yours which again is not noticeable at all. Seriously, even what is “noticeable” I would never guess would be a faded tummy tuck scar; it just looks like a natural part of your skin that is an ever-so-slightly darker color. Mine is worse than yours, but I suppose it’s hardly noticeable too, because I can’t recall a single person ever asking about the scar after seeing the tattoo (though nowadays if I’m asked why I got the tattoo there, I’m comfortable enough telling the honest story of how I got the scar). So this brings me to my first question: in your post, you said the margins of the scar are more noticeable, so is it possible that the portions of the scar covered up by the tattoo aren’t as bad as the edges of the scar (the only part I can still see)?

    My next question regards the scar strips you mentioned. I never used those; instead I used this stuff called ScarGuard the plastic surgeon recommended. I see on the box it says it works on old scars too. How long did you use the scar strips for, and do you have any experience using them, say, 3 years or so post-op? Just wondering if they actually work on old scars.

    Finally, is there anything else you used on the scar? I just recently started using cocoa butter now that I’m contemplating tattoo removal, as I’ve heard this stuff works well even on older scars as long as you use it for a long time. And honestly it seems to already be fading slightly and I JUST started doing it like a week ago. Any experience with cocoa butter or any other products? Perhaps you used ScarGuard at some point like me?

    I’d really love to get my scar faded as much as yours has. Knowing that we both had tummy tucks I see that it’s possible to be done, so I’m just looking for some pointers on healing the scar before I go and do something as bold as a tattoo removal procedure. I just want to feel normal with my shirt off again, and not feel like I’m being judged for a tattoo or a scar.

    Anyway, thanks so much for reading and for sharing your experience. 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know this post is old, but I hope you still see this reply because I had a few things I was wondering! I apologize in advice for how lengthy it is!

    Your scar, or rather lack of any one at all, looks amazing. Congrats on that and just know that you should be 100% comfortable in a bathing suit that shows off that section – it’s so faded now it does not at ALL look like a scar! I’m a male who underwent a tummy tuck surgery myself about 7 years ago due to having excess skin (that wasn’t even that bad and I would have probably grown a lot into since I was only 17 at that time). But the ugly scar that came after the surgery made me regret spending thousands of dollars (which were for a college fund at the time) on the procedure. Mentally, the scar ruined my self-confidence more than a little excess skin ever did. Eventually, I believe about a year and a half after having the surgery, I got a tattoo to cover the scar.

    Now I’m a male, and while I like the tattoo, I think its placement is a little weird. It’s to the point it still makes me self-conscious taking off my shirt and it’s so many years later from both the surgery and the tattoo. I’m debating getting laser tattoo removal procedures done, because I found out they’re not that expensive – probably $800 to $1,000 for a tattoo my size, not anywhere remotely near a tummy tuck – and that my tattoo being only black and grey is the easiest kind to remove. But I’m worried that if I do get it done, I’ll still be unhappy because the scar has not quite faded to the extent yours has, despite being an even older scar at 7 years.

    See, the tattoo doesn’t cover up the very edges of the scar, so I can see how much is there, and mine is definitely still there a bit, unlike yours which again is not noticeable at all. Seriously, even what is “noticeable” I would never guess would be a faded tummy tuck scar; it just looks like a natural part of your skin that is an ever-so-slightly darker color. Mine is worse than yours, but I suppose it’s hardly noticeable too, because I can’t recall a single person ever asking about the scar after seeing the tattoo (though nowadays if I’m asked why I got the tattoo there, I’m comfortable enough telling the honest story of how I got the scar). So this brings me to my first question: in your post, you said the margins of the scar are more noticeable, so is it possible that the portions of the scar covered up by the tattoo aren’t as bad as the edges of the scar (the only part I can still see)?

    My next question regards the scar strips you mentioned. I never used those; instead I used this stuff called ScarGuard the plastic surgeon recommended. I see on the box it says it works on old scars too. How long did you use the scar strips for, and do you have any experience using them, say, 3 years or so post-op? Just wondering if they actually work on old scars.

    Finally, is there anything else you used on the scar? I just recently started using cocoa butter now that I’m contemplating tattoo removal, as I’ve heard this stuff works well even on older scars as long as you use it for a long time. And honestly it seems to already be fading slightly and I JUST started doing it like a week ago. Any experience with cocoa butter or any other products? Perhaps you used ScarGuard at some point like me?

    I’d really love to get my scar faded as much as yours has. Knowing that we both had tummy tucks I see that it’s possible to be done, so I’m just looking for some pointers on healing the scar before I go and do something as bold as a tattoo removal procedure. I just want to feel normal with my shirt off again, and not feel like I’m being judged for a tattoo or a scar.

    Anyway, thanks so much for reading and for sharing your experience. 🙂

    • Hi Chris:

      Wow, lots of questions. To start with, I used Mederma scar strips for 3 months post op, starting around 2 weeks after the surgery. I wore them day and night and they only came off in the shower. They were just silicone strips as far as I can tell, I don’t know if they are all that different from other brands. I didn’t use any creams or lotions and stopped using the strips after 3 months. The scar lightened a great deal after the three months were up. I did massage the area a little as it helps break up scar tissue.

      The margins are still (almost 7 years later) just a tiny bit darker than my surrounding skin but only extend about 1/8-1/4 inch past the scar itself. The most noticeable thing about it is 1) the line and 2) how there is a small indent where the scar is.

      Given that your scar is seven years old, I don’t know how much more you can do for it at this point. It is likely lighter than it was before you got the tattoo though. But will the tattoo removal be complete and will it cause more scaring?

      I can’t say how your treatment will go if you have the tattoo removed. I’ve seen varied results from tattoo removal. Did the skin raise at all where it was tattooed? In other words, did your tattoo scar? And will the removal scar you? Good questions for the person selling you the procedure.

      Good luck, I hope this help.

      • Hey Vivienne, thanks for the response. I meant to reply back when I saw it, but then got busy and was going to the next day and it’s turned into now haha.

        Thank you for the information on the scar strips. I bought some myself, though they are ScarAway Scar Strips and not Mederma, but they already seem to be working amazingly even on my really old scar! It definitely seems to have faded a little bit and I’ve been using them just under 2 weeks. So that’s pretty amazing. I forgot about them one night and it seemed to look worse the next day again though, so I thought that was kind of odd. I think I’ll just do what you did and keep them on all the time, not just at night. The problem is they come off a LOT. Like how did you get these to stay on, unless Mederma’s were better there? I’ll probably get some medical grade bandage thing or something to put over them to keep them on, as some reviews on Amazon suggested. The other thing is I work out 5 or 6 days every week, and I just worked out today and tried keeping them on and that did NOT work. I lost two and I couldn’t find them haha.

        Since the margins are slightly worse, I still really wonder how the rest of it looks. The tattoo is very faded and I can kind of stretch out the skin it’s on and see the scar underneath it a little bit. It looks like it’s definitely better there are but it’s also really hard to tell.

        The scar is so old, and that’s why I’m amazed that this is already working! But I’ve been using three things and I started the first over a month ago. First was cocoa better, next was the most highly reviewed scar product I could find on Amazon called Evanesce, and the third was these scar strips. Now I’m trying to combine them for the best results and it’s already working. I think it’s mostly the strips though as those seemed to just immediately press the scar deeper into the skin and make it less noticeable.

        As for the tattoo, the laser technology has improved a lot in the last ten years or so, and my tattoo is already faded and black and grey, the easiest colors to remove! So this is all good news for me, but I definitely have to meet with the people who do this stuff first and find out a bunch more information.

        Thanks for the help. I’ll let you know how my scar turns out, but it seems to already be going well. Even really old scars can be healed more!

        • The Mederma strips stayed on easily. I worked out every day, I replaced after working out and showering. I’m glad you are getting results. Stay with it.

  12. Wow really? Hmm, I may have to get some then.

    …and I can’t find them anywhere. Hah. Maybe they stopped making them? Well I can still get the bandage if I can’t find any. But if I can I’ll definitely start using them during the day and just use the ScarAway ones that don’t stay on so well at night.

  13. Do you remember how long you waited before beginning pole dancing after your tummy tuck? I’m about 9 weeks out and dying to start again. I tried to climb tonight and it didn’t feel great. The doctor has cleared me for everything except for ab work, which he says I can start next week.

    • I was t doing pole back then. I went to an aerobics class probably 6 weeks post op but I took it slow. I can’t imagine doing pole very soon after a TT. I recall it taking months for me to even do a crunch without feeling like I was “undoing” the work. Go slow. Stick to grounded moves, floorwork, and spins.

  14. How long did you wait after your surgery to do pole fitness classes again? I’m dying to start again but when I tried to climb tonight it felt weird. I’m about 10 weeks out right now and cleared by the doctor for pretty much everything. Thanks!

  15. Dr. Bancroft did my tummy tuck and it is the best thing I ever did for myself. I had triplets and had some loose skin on my abdomen. Your description of the procedure and the post op is on point. I only used the pain meds for 2 days though. I just took tylenol instead. I also had him remove my drains after 4 days I just couldn’t stand them anymore and I heal very quickly. It’s been two years since my procedure and my tummy is still very tight. If I could upload a picture I would.Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Only two days of meds? Hard core. Everyone is different. I wanted the drains out badly but my doctor talked me into leaving them because he said it would be very unpleasant to aspirate the fluids with a needle if it came to that. Either way, it’s just a few days. I’m so glad your procedure went well. As you can see from the comments, though, everyone has unique experiences. Research is so important, so is an understanding of the risks, the breadth of possible outcomes, and whether your surgeon will be in it with you in the long run to get you the best outcome possible, even if it means revisions.

  16. I had a tummy tuck and the scar was my least worry. Yes it is a surgery to take serious. My scar healed beautiful. My stomach however swells like I am 9 months pregnant. There is never a day without pain. I think it’s been over 2 years. I wear a garment everyday. I cannot go without it. It gives me some relief. Better than none. My stomach is bigger now than ever before with the pain, swelling and most of all , no feeling in the complete area at all. It is so painful and if you think having a stomach that is totally numb for over 5 years is worth it, then go for it. I’d rather have feelings in my stomach , and the tummy tuck did not work. I ask my doctor ( want mention his name ) what was causing this and what could be done to help the swelling. His answer was, he could do liposuction and told me it would be another $5000. I told him I didn’t have the money for that. Where is their liability when they botch a surgery up ? And then wants to charge me to fix what he messed up. No wonder people sue doctors. They don’t care after they get there money and they don’t tell you everything. I was never told I would have no feeling in my stomach. Do your home work. That’s my advice.

  17. That’s horrible! I can’t say my experience was like yours but anyone considering the procedure should keep in mind the whole gamut of possible outcomes. An important question to ask before agreeing to go with a doctor is how they will address poor outcomes. Mine guaranteed his work. If I wasn’t happy with something, he would attempt to fix it free of charge. Have you considered contact f the medical board or the BBB? That might get his attention.

  18. I had a tummy tuck and hernia repair with mesh after having my children. I regret it. My scar is ugly and the scar line bunches up a little at the sides. I wish I had just worked out.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. People need to be very informed about the possible outcomes. I hate my scar but there was no way around it. No amount of working out would be able to fix a hernia and stretched out fascia. It’s a trade off for sure.

        • Fascia does not respond to exercise, it’s not a muscle. The only way to tighten after pregnancy (if it doesn’t retain its own elasticity) is surgically. Hernias don’t repair themselves. The bunched up scar at the ends of the incision is common, it’s called “dog ear” and it’s a small fix. My surgeon repairs that free of charge. That said, it’s not like I’ll ever wear a bikini again so, but I appreciate not having my torso be so slack and with excess skin. Focus on the positive.

          I think it’s unfair that pregnancy does such a number on some women. I think that nature should incentivize pregnancy (or maybe not!) by rewarding mothers with bangin’ bods.

    • Knowledge is power and expectations are everything. Anyone going into major surgery such as this should be aware of the limitations and risks and be very prepared for the complex physical and emotional recovery.

  19. I am currently on day 6 of my procedures and I’m feeling exactly what you described. Depressed, feeling like I made the biggest mistake of my life. I want to cough and go to the bathroom like normal. I want to get outta bed and stand up straight. It makes me want to cry. Noone told me about stool softeners and I’ve had a huge problem last 3 days with hemmroids and constipation that is making the entire process 10x worse cause I’m sore there now and don’t want to eat. I am turning 40 and had the diastasis recti issue and thought I would do something nice for myself by getting this done, and while I was out, get a few face procedures to make me look young. Big mistake. I swollen and feel disfigured everywhere. I feel like I want to run away where noone can see me or knows me. I try to remind myself it’s only day 6.. but right now I just wish I didn’t do it. I hope my story turns out as good as yours! Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh you poor thing. Tummy tucks are really brutal surgeries and the recovery is slow. You are in the worst possible phase and IT DOES GET BETTER. It gets a lot better. But that period when everything hurts, your body is bruised, swollen and mangled, you look and feel like you’ve been cut in half … it’s so tough. I can only guess how you found my blog, googling botched tummy tucks perhaps? You are going to be okay. Stay ahead of the pain, take the stool softeners (pay attention to the timing of any fiber supplements, though) and know that pretty soon you will be at the point where each day you will look and feel better. Feel free to comment as much as you like if you need support. I don’t regret mine AT ALL but I’m so glad it’s over and I felt deep regret one week out, believe me. Hang in there friend, you deserve to have your body back and it will come back, it’s just a long road (while you’re in it).

      • Hope it’s better than mine. Everything was ok at first then my stomach starting swelling everyday and still for 3 years . I am dealing with pain after 3 years and swelling. I still to this day have to wear a compression garment everyday. That is the only way I can deal with it. I went to my surgeon many times and he acted like nothing was wrong. I ask him what I should do about the swelling and he said all he could suggest was liposuction. I thought he would do it as a courtesy for messing my body up. I ask him what it would cost. He said $5000. I told him no way was I spending that much money to totally traumatize my body again and pay him $5000. . The least he could have done was offer some compensation. I should have sued him. I hope yours works out better than mine.

  20. Hi Viv

    I’m day 15 post TT/hernia repair/diastasis repair. I’m so happy to have read your blog – I too am active, athletic, had done all possible abdominal rehab but was assessed by an expert in diastasis rehab who said I was one of the unlucky 5% to require surgery.

    I know it gets better…its just living with the post op discomfort and restrictions every day is scary! While I prepared myself that these weeks are “only” two weeks of my whole life / six weeks of my whole life, it’s different when the surgery is done and you can’t rewind the clock!!

    So reading a blog like yours just helps. Thank you! And I’m DELIGHTED to see your fabulous abs in that bikini as I can’t find pictures anywhere else of someone who is post op and continued to exercise. Yay! There is hope that I may find myself with decent abs in the next year or so.

    And FYI – same feelings about cosmetic surgery in the past. And even the day before the surgery!! I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I had abdominoplasty. But I have also been told that without the hernia repair I would’ve encountered massive problems down the line. And hopefully my daily back pain will be relieved by the diastasis repair. And so (voices in my head)…let me just have that extra bit of skin cut off without judgement, please?

    Best wishes
    Michaela

    • Oof. Day 15 is still deep in the woods. It’s been 9 years since my surgery but I still remember the despair, the regret, the googling if tummy tucks in the middle of the night, worried that I’d made a huge mistake. Hang in there, it gets better. Soon you will be at the place where every day the swelling will be visibly less and you will keep getting smaller and smaller. You will lose that fearful and guarded feeling, that terror of sneezing, you’ll get back to exercise and you won’t have any regrets.

      You made a baby, maybe more. It’s your body, you have the right to feel good in your skin. It’s okay. After I got my TT I got my boobs done because they were shriveled up to nothing and I was sad every time I saw them. My only regret there is that I didn’t get them done as the same time as the TT. being a mom and having babies is all about sacrifice. Who says you can’t do something for yourself. Keep commenting if you need support. I’m here for you.

      • Hi again
        I re-read my post and see I had loads of time to think and lots more angst 15 days post op!

        Now 4 months post op and mostly happy. Just wondered if you had abdominal swelling by the end of the day around this time? I go to CrossFit 4x per week and avoid full plank positions (push ups/burpees done on knees etc) due to “pulling” with some burning in the midline and obviously the big abdominal stuff – BUT my plastic surgeon wasn’t helpful with post-op exercise parameters. “At six months you may do anything you want” is pretty much my guideline!

        So I’m not sure of what is too much and what is normal re. swelling.
        Any ideas of where you were 4 months post-op? Do you remember?!

        Thanks again

        • I am so glad you are doing better and thanks for updating me! I never had any swelling at the end of the day, I think I was lucky. I’ve talked to people who have had swelling issues that lasted far longer than the initial healing period. I am familiar with that burning/pulling feeling, though. I was working out at that point but I was being really careful around my abs. My surgeon assured me that at three months I wasn’t going to “undo” the work but it felt that way. I’d say listen to your body, if it hurts, back off. f it REALLY hurts, talk to your doc.

          There are lots of other things you can do at the gym that don’t involve your abs too much. I’ve never done Crossfit but I know it is intense. I was doing aerobics with light weights, stair machine, etc. I got back into very ab intensive work later (I took up pole dance – holy ab workout Batman!) so it is in your future.

          Hang in there friend, it’s only a moment in time. I’m coming on 10 years post-op and I can assure you that what you do or don’t do for a month makes absolutely no difference. Try to keep everything in perspective.

  21. Thanks for posting this! I am approaching 3 weeks recovery post surgery, and am incredibly happy that I’ve done it. My belly button looks like a car crash at the moment, but I realise that this operation is only the first step on a long road to rehabilitation, and in the long term, happiness and most importantly health. Recovery is slow, and requiring lots of rest. I’m not the most patient of people, but I’m accepting the lesson and taking a day at a time. It’s providing an excellent opportunity to learn to live precisely in the present moment.

    You look great, by the way!

  22. This description of your tummy tuck was perfect. I am almost 4 weeks post-op and I experienced everything you did! I agree after 2 C-sections and a Laparoscopic Supercervical Hysterectomy (LSH), this is the hardest surgery I’ve had to recover from. Trying to stay positive daily.

    • Hang in there, you are getting really close. Week 5 was a milestone for me. I was able to stop wearing the compression garment (I was so excited for that!) but remember to go slow when it comes to stopping with the garment, it takes a little time to get used to not having it. Don’t leave home without it in your bag at for at least a week. Check in with me and let me know how you are doing.

  23. I am 17 days Post Op, Tummy Tuck, Lipo and Muscle Repair and reading your story has encouraged me to stop regretting what I did. My recovery is a tough one and I am still not comfortable. I’m hoping with each day comes a little bit more of improvement, Thank you for sharing your story, you look Beautiful 😊

    • 17 days is still very early. Hang in there and you will be back to feeling like yourself and looking even better. It is a suuuper long recovery and you have to be patient with yourself. I have no regrets about doing it but I sure as hell did during those first five weeks. I’m glad you found me and i could help.

    • Good luck with your consultation. Write down all your questions and get as specific answers as possible. Talk about what the doctor will do for you if you are unhappy with your procedure, some offer to do touch ups, scar repair, etc. It’s a very big deal and I’m glad you are spending time on the internet finding information. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any moral support.

  24. Hi Vivian,

    I want to thank you for sharing. It is exactly what I was looking to find. I’m having my surgery soon and it involves lypo as well. I’m hearing you say it was harder than the c section. ..I also had 2 and kind of felt this would be harder but not by much. It seems I must be wrong :/ I do not have a recliner Chair…perhaps I will buy one after reading this. Your very brave to share and I just wanted you to know it was helpful to me and I’ll likely read it 100 times before my surgery.

    Thank you

    • Hello Raissa:

      Recliners are very easy to find used at thrift stores like the Salvation Army. Don’t buy a new one, they are expensive and you probably won’t want to keep it afterwards (they are ugly and take up space). A friend of mine said that that she didn’t think the tummy tuck wasn’t that bad to recover from, so maybe you will feel the same way. Either way, it’s good to have realistic expectations and be pleasantly surprised. Please feel free to reach out to me during your process if you need any moral support.

  25. Pingback: Mo money mo problems (but with puke and shit) | Vivienne's Process of Elimination

  26. Hi! Thank you soooooo much for your honest post. I am 3 weeks 2 days post-op and I needed to read everything you wrote. Amazingly helpful. Thank you.

    • Hey! I remember how I felt at 3 weeks … not so great. And I remember Googling anything I could find on tummy tucks to give me a sense of whether what I was going through was “normal” or not. I am glad you found my post and I am glad that it helped. Hang in there girlfriend, it’s a tough road but really worth it. Once you hit that spot where the swelling starts to go down every day, you are out of the hardcore girdle, and you aren’t in pain all the time, you will look forward to each new day. Feel free to reach out if you need any support. –Vivienne

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