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  1. I am 6wks post-op today! Update: - I relocated to Brisbane 2wks ago and my hubby started his new job. I found a physio here to continue with rehab. She told me I have no bum muscles! Fair enough. We've been working on my transversus abdominus, and glutes, and will build up to obliques and the rest of the core. The exercises are a bit boring and I'm not doing them as often as I should, but I am doing them. It's been harder to find the time though. - a week ago, my scab fell off my new designer belly button (lol) so I finally got to see what it looks like! It's good. I'm happy with it. - Looking back, I think the timing wasn't ideal! I've lifted the kids briefly a few times in the last week in snap decision/necessary moments since I haven't had hubby around. Not a good idea. I'm a little concerned that I might have caused some damaged. - overall, everything looks really good. But, I've def got stretch marks just above the pubic area incision in the very centre. I'm prone to them though (got them in puberty) and so I suppose it's to be expected. - I seem to have a lump in the same spot as the stretch marks. This is what I'm a little concerned about (have I popped a stitch? Caused a hernia? Or is it just some sort of localised swelling?). - I've still got swelling at the top of my thighs. It's reddish in colour, and sort of spotty/rashy looking. I hope it fades. - I got to stop wearing my compression garment today!!! I cannot tell you how happy I was! (I did a 10min count down to tearing it off last night and then wanted to burn it in a large bonfire, ahaha.) I have to say though that by the end of today though I was feeling weak/floppy/fatigued (like my muscles couldn't hold themselves upright anymore) in the stomach right above the incision/pubic area. I had to lie down and just rest while hubby put the kids to bed. - I had to cancel my 6wk surgeon appt, which would have been tomorrow. I'm trying to reschedule to 2wks time. Hopefully all is well. On an aside note, I've had to laugh at myself in the mirror a lot! I have a ridiculously sculpted stomach now--and it doesn't match my thick, wobbly thighs or anything else around it! I feel a bit like a person who's cheated a 6 pack after lazing about on the couch all her life! I can see why some ppl get addicted to plastic surgery, because when they get one thing done, suddenly the swinging wobbly chicken wing arms seem incongruent! The areas around it don't always 'fit'. I don't really mean that my body doesn't look 'right' because it really, really does. I'm more than happy. And no one else would see what I see! And I actually really like my body (and always have, even when I had a grey sagging dead looking belly button after #1 child and an entire sagging bum-looking stomach with umbilical hernia after #2!). I just think it's funny to look at this awesome stomach and laugh at myself!
  2. So, I hit 3 weeks post-op yesterday! General update: - the tape they put on the incision at my 2 wk check up keeps peeling a bit at the ends. A bit annoying, as I had to replace one last night much earlier than planned (supposed to be weekly) and--ewwww!-- some big chunks of scab pulled out of the incision as I pulled off the tape. - the pain really ramped up at 2.5wks 'til yesterday, with my nerve endings apparently having grown back. I had to lie down a bit more those days - nerves well and truly back on line! - I'm looking quite bruised and a bit puffy above the pubic area/at the bottom of my abdomen and just under the incision at the top of my thighs. I think I'm noticing it more since everything else has settled quite a bit. - apparently my squats/compound exercises are already back to normal and it's a bit unheard of. I'm not sure why I'm recovering so quickly. I've been told I have extra stretchy collagen (i.e., prolapsed urethra x 2 really early on in my 2 pregnancies, umbilical hernia from 1st PG, huge ab separation) - maybe that's helping me get more movement back and feel less tight than others? Because I wasn't exactly doing squat exercises before the op! And, for some reason, I've been able to squat quite well since about day 8. I just did it now and then, but tried to avoid it as I figured it probably wasn't something I should be doing. - my movements are all going pretty well, but if I overdo it, my upper stomach muscles clench and seize! I was walking yesterday and started walking fast for a few mins not thinking and felt my stomach muscles tighten like hell suddenly, and they stayed that way until I'd gotten back home (just went around the block to pick up dinner), even though I slowed my pace after it happened. Today I did some light sorting before the removalists come tomorrow, and after a fair bit of that, it happened again. I had to lie down and rest for quite a while. I'm going to have a big rest day tomorrow to make up for today and yesterday, just in case. (Most ppl wouldn't move house--nay, interstate!--after abdominal surgery... :/ We like to cram major life events together, so it seems!) - the osteo did an ultra sound on my pelvic floor yesterday, to see if I know how to engage it. Apart from exclaiming, "Don't you dare find a baby in there!" at him, it looks like I'm doing the exercises right, which is a relief, as I have never had any real idea how to do them and get confused by every professional explaining it differently/giving a different set of instructions. Couple o' tips for the future TTers: 1. If you don't like the sensation of a compression garment rubbing and snagging on short, stiff pubic hairs and dragging over scabs from the post-op drainage holes in your VJ, get a bikini wax (a Brazilian!) right before your operation! I did not and regret this, as you can't do anything about it. (Well, I did stuff a tissue under the garment band above my VJ. That helped.) It feels pretty yuck as those hairs start to get to a certain length. 2. If dry, hairy legs you can't reach/touch/do anything about bother you, get a leg wax before your op as well! I did not do this either and have been scowling at dry, chaffing knees for the past 2wks! I finally managed to shave them last night, but it wasn't easy.
  3. Day 17 - Ugh, it's so hot here - the compression garment feels disgusting today! Can't believe I have to have it on for another 3.5wks. We are moving to Brisbane in a week, which will make it all the worse--eek, the humidity! Update on the body. The last two days, I have found myself experiencing a bit more discomfort, almost pain. Apparently the nerve endings they severed across the stomach grow by by week three, so I'm probably getting some new pain due to that (the physio told me to expect it). The discomfort woke me at 5am this morning, which I haven't had since I was in hospital. I tried to do some of the exercises the physio gave me on Thurs and couldn't do them, ahaha! Think I'll give it another day or two and try again. Does anyone know if you can have a standard drink of alcohol at 2.5+wks post-surgery? I'm not on any medications. It's a long weekend here and would be nice! Especially in this heat...
  4. Day 16 - belly button is looking much less gross! I can now arch backwards a little. I can swing my hips a little (not forcing it, just noticed it was possible to dance a bit around the kitchen again!). Since Day 14, I no longer have to wear the compression garment to bed. That is WEIRD. I feel all soft and weak and floppy without it on. The first night, I lay on my back for 90% of the night (until I couldn't stand it anymore) and rolled onto my side. But being on my side felt odd without the garment, like my stomach could just flop out, lol! At least that's how it felt 2 nights ago. I'm far more used to it now and sleeping fine on my side. (And my stomach hasn't fallen out yet, so it must be all right. ) I asked the physio today about when/what I can lift. He said nothing--NOTHING until 6wks. I asked if a 2L bottle of milk was all right, as that was what I'd set my limit to, and I was getting in close, hugging it to me to lift and carry it. He said that was fine. He said absolutely no exercise until 6wks as well. But he also said I can drive now if I want. To be honest, I think I'll wait until I'm at 3wks. I wouldn't like to twist too much in the car or have to stamp on the brake and pull a bit too suddenly at my stomach muscles. Feeling good overall. Physio said, since I'm steaming along/progressing so well, that I have to make sure I don't overdo it and that I take the time to rest too. Happy to take that advice! Really great news, though - twice now I have carefully leaned into the car and clicked on the kids' seatbelts. Unlike normal, I had no lower back spasming! I didn't have to stop, mid-way, to stand up straight and stretch out and wait for the spasms to stop before I continued! This is a great sign, that the operation is going to reduce pain and make me functional again... Yay.
  5. Yep, my physio said today that swelling up to 9-12wks is pretty normal. He said many patients complain of a belly bump still after a TT before that time--but it's too early to see the 'true' results.
  6. Day 14! What's happened in the last five days? - completely upright walking, can hold my shoulders back and really get good posture. I can't bend backwards yet though. - can lying completely flat in bed without a pillow under my knees (I'd spend 10mins 'stretching' in bed before going to sleep: started with bent knees on my back, lower knees a little, breathed through it, waited a few minutes until it was comfortable, lowered knees further and so on, until I was flat or close to. I did that every night for the last few nights, and now I'm comfortable on my back.) - had my 1st post-op appt, just with nurses. They took out the sutures out of my reconstructed belly button. It looks a bit crusty and gross, actually. Nurses said to keep an eye on it and ensure I dry it properly. They think it's okay though, just worth watching. - I'm pretty used to the 'look' of the incision now. I will admit that the first time I showered post-op, I refused to look at myself in the mirror or down at myself. I was nauseous that day though, and wanted to wait to deal with the identity/change to my body when I was feeling closer to 100%! And when I did start looking, it was pretty confronting. It's a large area. The incision line looks pretty brutal. (part of the reason it looks brutal is you're swollen too, and there were still pen marks on me--I didn't realise this for a few days!) But your whole shape changes so it's hard to get used to/get your head around. By day 9 or 10, I think I was finally comfortable with the changes. On day 8 I think I took another look at the Before and After photos from the surgeon's website and was comforted to see the After photos, to remind myself of what the future held. Those photos are apparently taken at 6wks, which isn't far away at all! - I still get tight when I stand up after sitting for a while. But I've found I can stretch and breath through it and recover/get rid of the tight feeling quite quickly now. - I had another osteo appt today. He said I'm recovering a lot quicker than most. That's worth mentioning, in case your recovery is slower. I'm sure all bodies are different, so don't be dismayed. Disneyfan1 asked about costs! I paid: $9000 for surgeon. $3000 for anaesthetist. $500 excess for the hospital (I have private health insurance). $150 for an extra compression garment. There is a small Medicare rebate too, I think about $1200, if your GP writes a referral letter and recommends it for medical reasons. I think they just subtracted it off one of the above fees. Without private health insurance, it's about $20K I think. With private health insurance, it's about $12K out of pocket. Osteo and physio appts have been extra. All post-op appts at the plastic surgeon's office are free though (i.e., seeing the nurses or surgeon. Not the osteo or physio).
  7. I don't think osteo and physio rehab is common for this procedure (but I could be wrong!). I just know the physio said "we're the only ones doing a TT post op program so far as we know". They're trialling it and 2yrs on are hoping to publish some research on it. But I'm sure what they do or similar can be performed by any osteo or physio. If i were you, I'd shop around for a women's health specialist physio and osteo. I'd ask if they do post-op care and in particular for a TT and take it from there. The main treatments so far are: * getting you up a day after surgery for some sort of assisted walk (with nurses and walking frame) and doing it twice a day the next day and buildingup from there; * osteo massages to help the fascia (lining over the muscles) relax and loosen as it tightens with this surgery. They teach you how to do some of this for yourself at home as well; * walking backwards and sideways (helps stretch ouf the fascia as well); * special stretches help things feel less tight too: in shower once your muscles are warm, stepping one foot back slightly and raising the opposite arm above your head. Hold for a minute and breathe deeply. Good luck!
  8. I had my TT performed 9 days ago by Dr Alastair Taylor in Canberra. I'm so chuffed with his work, his small private hospital and staff, the level of care and attention, and the rehab program, that I'm recommending any other mums I know who've had the same ab separation problems! FYI, I had the surgery for abdominal separation (due to 2 pregnancies), pelvic instability and chronic lower back pain (due to the ab sep), and an umbilical hernia (due to my pregnancies as well). I didn't mind what I looked like. I just wanted to be pain-free and functional again! So, to my diary: It's major surgery, definitely worse than a caesar, and I've had two. And there are backward-forward steps, but lots more forward steps overall. Someone said to me it's intense at first but then the recovery is quick. I'd agree. Lots of pain and nausea in those first few days. There are times when it doesn't feel quick -- especially when you're lying in bed and you've been in the position for hours and hours and your bum is hurting! -- but looking back, by day 5-6 I was clearly significantly improved and walking pretty well. By day 7-8 I was off all painkillers, including panadol. I honestly think the rehab program they have has made SUCH a difference (osteo and physio treatments from day one). Day 1 - waking up from GA was weird (I've never had a general before), otherwise, it was okay. Nighttime was the hardest. Spending so long in the bed in a weird position (bed was in a V shape position), feeling pain and discomfort. The osteo had her first visit and gave me a very gentle stomach massage to help the fascia around my stomach muscles loosen more. All the staff tell me that I'll be in the most pain that night when the local anaesthetic wears off, but I think it wears off by early evening - lots of pain. The night itself isn't too bad for me. I sleep for a few hours at a time and administer pain relief each time I wake. I'm okay. Day 2 - the nurses roll me onto my side to give me a different lying position. I try it for 15mins and can't take it, so they roll me back. I realise now that, in my case, my nausea was caused in part by pain, that I wasn't pressing the button often enough on the PCA (administering pain relief intravenously). I test it by pressing it twice close together about an hour before meals and then find I can actually eat food those times. Once I've learned this, I press the button more often, and the nausea (stays slightly) but becomes way more manageable - I can actually eat! The antibiotics were also causing it, but they gave me some meds for the nausea 30mins before ABs and that helped a bit too. I got up and walked with a walking frame this day. Very slow and very bent over, and only 20 steps or so, but it was good to be (somewhat) upright. Another osteo treatment - I'm a convert! I felt less tight in the stomach/sternum straight away. Day 3 was stand out great, walked without the frame, got to have a shower, felt little nausea. Day 4 (discharge day) - woke with a splitting headache that made me nauseous. Don't think I pressed the button enough for pain relief! Started vomiting quite a bit. It passed within a few hours and, when I got home, a 2hr nap helped immensely. The osteo also treated me in hospital (my neck and head for my headache, not just my stomach!). That helped a lot. Days 5 to 6 - at home, napped twice a day and slept through the night. First bowel movement. Wasn't fun! Hospital had me on coloxyl with senna each night and I continued this at home, but it was clear I needed something else, so I hit the prune juice. Days 7 to 8 - I see the osteo and feel great/less tight after his treatment. I am walking close to upright already (5 degrees off). He gives me some extra things to do to help stretch me out and reduce tightness (walking backwards and side-to-side, and some specific stretches). I am now having a bowel motion each day, but it's a bit firm and not large. I feel incredibly tight and bloated today, like I'm bursting out of my compression garment. I think I'm backed up, so I go from 1 glass of prune juice to 4 glasses a day. Success! Day 8 I have a bowel motion that is equivalent to 3 day's worth! (Ahaha, sorry for too much information) I feel back on track and instantly less distended and uncomfortable across the stomach. I'm no longer needing naps through the day. I'm resting in bed here and there for 10-15mins, but the extra sleeps aren't required. Day 9 - the sternum area is really tight still though. And I notice I have a pulled look from sternum to my new reconstructed belly button. I visit the physio and he says it's normal, and that his massage today will help as well as further exercises. I feel a lot better in that area after his treatment, and am glad that it was all normal! The scars all look good, although the left side ends in a slightly bumpy look. Apparently this is where the stitches end and thus is always the case. The physio/osteos use dry needling to try to disperse these clumped together cells, so we shall see how that goes. There is still a bit of swelling to go down though, and so lots of time before we shall see what the 'end' product looks like! So far no weeping. No fluid build up. No bleeding. Looking forward to my 2wk check up which is in 5 days.
  9. I had my tummy tuck 9 days ago. My surgeon was Dr Alastair Taylor, and I want to give a shout out to him and his team. They were brilliant! He has a small private hospital onsite which is new and state of the art. The staff were wonderful - some of them had the surgery themselves in the last 1-2yrs (performed by Dr Taylor too) for the same reasons as me (lower back pain, spasming muscles, no core strength, umbilical hernia). That was a bonus as they really understood and had great advice. The have also developed a tailor-made rehab program with an osteo and physio team. (The head osteo had Dr Taylor perform the TT on her 2 yrs ago and realised what rehabilitation would help/was required) Their program gets people up and walking earlier and has apparently slashed the time in hospital (to only 3 nights) as well as the overall recovery time (3wks, but 6wks is still recommended before exercise). The scar looks neat and tidy. I've had no real complications so far. The pain disappeared by day 7. I'm not even taking panadol anymore (since day 7/8. It's now the end of day 9). I'm a few degrees off being completely upright. Couldn't be happier! I'll post a brief diary in the TT post-op section. Check it out, if you're interested.
  10. Thank you! I somehow missed the replies and forgot to check back! And I've just had the surgery now, in Canberra after all! (we're moving in a few weeks)
  11. Brisbanites, help! I'm currently in Canberra and booked in for a TT here for early 2015 (with one of the best surgeons - I did lots of research!). BUT... it looks like we have to move to Brisbane before the surgery. I've tried researching Brisbane plastic surgeons for TTs and I just can't find any solid information on who is most commonly recommended for the procedure. Can anyone help me out? Also, if you have any idea on waiting times, that would be great to know as well! Thanks. After 2.5yrs of major ab separation since having kids, I'm done with this and need a body that works! The sooner, the better.
  12. Thanks, OrangeVegie. The pain has me in tears some days. It also makes me a less patient mum than I naturally am. Whenever I have 'a moment' with my toddler, I stop and think, 'Hang on... Yep. I'm in quite a bit of pain this afternoon.' There's a clear relationship between pain and mood (and toddler tantrums and delay tactics, lol!). Yes, family support is going to be key. Back home I will have my mum, a sibling or two, and my mother-in-law to help, as well as DH. I could also have that help for (possibly) as long as 5-6 wks, which would be brilliant! (Like the others have said, the binders are hot. And Brisbane will be hot and humid, but I suppose I'm used to that - it's the Canberra cold that is difficult!) If I were to recover here, I'd be lucky to have DH home for more than 3wks. The tricky thing though would be: where to have the op? If I had it in Canberra, it would make sense to stay put and not travel, in case of post-op complications and also for any follow-up appointment. I could get it done in Brisbane, but then, I'd have to travel up there to 'shop around' for a plastic surgeon and then for the pre-op appointments, and the flights are actually expensive and then there are the kids to think about (do I take them with me each time?). Thanks for the cost estimates too.
  13. Jaddles - wow, aren't scheduled fees a joke?! They do not relate even remotely to what surgeons charge. Thanks for all of that info! It's just what I needed. And thanks for referring mums with young bubs my way, to help me work out recovery in terms of daily tasks with little ones. Hellofeet - I read a lot of your post-op entries, and could relate to the slounched posture. I was wondering for about 6mths why not only my body shape seemed different after baby no.2, but why there was something else 'off' when I looked in the mirror. I've now pieced it together that I have developed terrible posture! I am more hunched over, my shoulders more rounded. I'm now trying to pull my shoulders back, lift my head up high and extend my neck, and stand straighter. It's HARD. I get what you, Jaddles, and PerkierLouise mean about the lipo. I hadn't considered it that way, but will now. If it will make the TT more seamless, than that makes sense. WhingingPom - I hadn't even thought of that! Nor had any medical professional... (I have been let down by quite a few so far, so no surprise there) But like the others have said, I imagine time on the waiting list would equal more pain for me, possibly a trickier time organising help/etc around the kids, and who knows what it would look like? I am after a functional improvement... but I'd rather not look like I was hacked up and patch-work quilted or slapped back together! Perkier Louise - thanks for your reply. I'd love to know how you go next week with picking up the kids! I really thought I wouldn't be able to do that until I was past the 6wk mark!?
  14. Hi all, I'm new to the forum and feeling a bit bewildered. My physio has recommended I see a surgeon about getting a tummy tuck. I've got 2 children. DS is 3 and DD is 1. My body is pretty much broken! I'm in chronic pain everyday. My diastasis recti was only really diagnosed 4mths ago, I'd say about 7.5mths too late - my daughter was already 9.5kg by then! And I was doing a (physio run) pilates class with crunches, hiking hills, and picking up the kids (in the wrong way) all day. My diastasis causes me to have severe pelvic instability (I'm 35 but I hobble a lot like I'm 60), lower back pain, pain in the pelvis and hip flexors (i.e., trouble stepping into pants), and muscles spasms/seizing. The past four weeks have also seen my pelvic floor give way -- yay, incontinence! I've been seeing a physio and a chiro for a few months, doing exercises, wearing even a maternity brace when the instability is quite bad, and am not getting much better. As my chiro said, we address one problem and another one pops up! I also have an umbilical hernia. Unfortunately, I live away from family (we moved to Canberra late last year) and so I wouldn't be able to get any help at home with the kids until Xmas, so the operation would have to wait until then. I'm sad to hear that a) the physio is starting to think I won't get better, I'll need major surgery, but most of all c) ...I'll have to wait until Xmas/beyond to feel better, argh! I'm also not overjoyed at the thought of being house bound/bed bound at Xmas, lol! I'm not even sure if I'd be able to book in a surgeon at that time. On the upside, at least there is an option/solution for my health problems. And removal of the hernia at the same time sounds good. Couple of questions: - is lipo a given with a TT? Or is it only if you request it? I'm really only looking for functional improvement. (And to be honest, the thought of lipo has always made me a bit squeamish, ahaha) - what are the risks? And when do TT 'go wrong'? - I know 6wks is the general recovery time, but I want to know what it will really be? How soon before I can pick up my youngest? She's a mummy's girl, and it will be hard (for the both of us!) to not have that option. - Also, I have PHI and hear some may be covered by Medicare. What are the likely amounts that will be covered? How much will the gap/s be?
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