6 Weeks Post Op

Holy crap! Where has the time gone? I know I’ve started every single update this way, but I cannot believe it was six weeks ago today that I headed to Ruff Plastic Surgery to get my procedure done. They say 6 weeks marks the end of the first stage of recovery, and I made it! I could not be happier with the results and though it sucked pretty bad for the first several days after surgery, and then emotionally for quite a bit longer than that, I am so happy with the results that I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Since my last update at 4 weeks post op, quite a few things have changed. Here are the highlights:

  • At 4 weeks I was given clearance to start running slowly, and I was really scared to think about what it was going to feel like to run again and how many steps back my body would have taken with the break from working out. The first time I went, I walked briskly for 15 minutes, then jogged very slowly for 20 minutes, then walked for another 10 to cool down. I didn’t wear my compression garment when running because I didn’t want to get it sweaty (plus at that point I was allowed to wear it just 12 hours/day), and it felt… awesome! My body was so much firmer than before and it felt so great to be running. The only part that felt kind of weird was the outside of my butt on either side, which seems random. The next day I was a little sore in the quads, but more from a haven’t-run-in-a-month way, rather than a just-had-major-surgery way. Since then, I’ve worked up to running 30-35 minutes straight, and have still been going pretty slowly for me. I’m averaging about 10-11 minute miles, and for a while there I was around the 8-9min mile mark pre-surgery. Still a ways to go, but I am so happy that it was such an easy transition back. As of today, all activity bans are lifted, so I can resume all activity with no restrictions.
  • At the 4 week mark, I was also given clearance to wear the garment for 12 hours a day instead of 24, though I wore it almost 24/7 until a few days ago. I was nervous I would have a lot of swelling and feel weird without it on, but I didn’t have any ill effects and love the freedom of not having to dress based on the cut of the garment!
  • Speaking of dressing, I went through my closet over the last couple weeks, and almost none of my clothes fit. Before surgery, I was a 10/12, and I wasn’t sure if my size would be effected or if my clothes would just fit better after surgery, but my size was cut almost in half. I got rid of everything in my closet than doesn’t fit, and was down to a pathetic amount of clothes, so I’ve done a bunch of shopping over the last couple of weeks. And, I got several skirts and a few pairs of pants, everything in a size… wait for it… 4 or 6! It is insane. When I went into the dressing room, I originally brought in size 6, 8, and 10 with me of most things because I had no idea what size to wear, and the 6s were too big for several of the items, which is crazy. All my tops are down to a small or x-small, depending on the cut, and I am so thrilled to be able to wear fitted clothing and not worry about extra stuff going on in the mid section. Woohoo!
  • I also started using a silicone gel sheet to treat the scar from NewGel+. They provided me with a strip complimentarily, and this is the one that I got (which is standard for tummy tucks). They are pretty pricey ($83.50 each unless you buy multiples), but I feel like this stage of the game is NOT the one to skimp on, so I am going to use my own money to buy additional strips. They last for 3-4 weeks depending on how well you take care of them, and it’s recommended you use them for 3-6 months for the best results. If you look at the before/after pictures on the site, the results are pretty incredible. The strip itself is VERY sticky, and you wear it for several hours at a time, the more the better, but its important to clean the area 2x a day to make sure you don’t have a bad skin reaction. I made the mistake of ignoring that suggestion and wore it for 24 hours straight when I was traveling to Woodstock. Once I realized I had overdone it, I took the strip off and looked to see that I had a minor irritation where the strip was, and ended up leaving it off for a few days and just using the BioCorneum, and it totally went away. I’m now back to wearing the strip almost all the time and haven’t had any adverse reactions. I am excited to see the scar fade and go down, but it’s honestly looking pretty awesome right now for this point during recovery (photos below). I’ll keep you guys posted on the progress as I continue to use the strip/gel.
  • Physically, I feel amazing. The only lasting effects I feel at this point (besides the whole body-cut-in-half scar) is sometimes a little tight in the stomach area, and my belly button is still healing. I have had almost zero swelling since the surgery, which I think is largely because Dr. Ruff is such an amazing surgeon. My primary care doctor had told me that I wouldn’t have a lot of swelling if I picked a talented surgeon, and I didn’t believe her because I had read so many horror stories about the swelling, but I think she may have been right. I feel very lucky! I do have a bit of swelling in my back that will continue to go down over time, but my stomach is, and has been, very flat since the surgery and has gotten better with time.

So before I show you the pictures, I want to share a funny story that definitely borders on inappropriate to tell the world but I’m going to anyway. I think I had mentioned this, but before surgery, there was one particular style of underwear I would almost exclusively wear, because it was cute and kept everything contained better than anything else. These underwear were size XL from Target and I had literally 15 pairs. I continued to wear these after surgery because they were all I had, and I wanted to wait to see more final results before purchasing too many items. Right after surgery, when I was still wearing those it was actually OK because I had the foam pads in and the compression garment, so they worked. Well, lately, not so much. I noticed they were pretty loose and knew I needed to buy some new undies, but I kept putting it off.

But then one day last week, I went to CVS to pick up a prescription after work, and I had been wearing my compression garment, said underwear, and then a skirt over everything. As I was walking to the back of the store, I felt something weird around my foot, and I looked down, and my underwear had literally fallen down AROUND MY ANKLES. I was mortified! I didn’t even look back because I didn’t (slash don’t) want to know if anyone saw, and I just pulled them up haphazardly and scurried back to the prescription counter and tried to pretend it didn’t happen. The next day I went to Target and bought new underwear in a size small. Guess we all need an “a-ha moment” on occasion.

SO, without further ado, here are some pictures from yesterday in a bikini bottom.

photo 2 (9)

Despite the stretch marks that remain, I am absolutely thrilled with the results.

Here’s a look at the scar from 6 weeks post op, which I think actually looks worse in the pictures than it does in real life.

Scar

Kind of crazy to look at, but it is hidden under even the lowest cut items, so no one sees it unless I want them to.

And here are some side by sides of the progress

1 v 2 v 3 v 4 v 6 weeks

This Wednesday, I have my 6 week follow up with Dr. Ruff, and we are going to make a little Q&A video so he can address some of your questions. Do you have any burning questions you are wondering about that you’d want a plastic surgeon to answer?



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19 Comments on 6 Weeks Post Op

  1. Kendra
    September 9, 2013 at 8:48 am (12 months ago)

    This is just wonderful! I am 51 pounds lost into my journey. I have about exactly as much weight to lose as you have done. I am planning on this same surgery after I reach goal, so I can’t wait for each update you post. I can’t believe how much your size went down- 4 to 6! OMG! That is just rockin! So exciting… so much to look forward to. You should be so proud of all the hard work you’ve done… Congrats!

    Reply
  2. Mari-Anne
    September 9, 2013 at 9:06 am (12 months ago)

    Thanks for sharing this. I lost 118lbs 6 years ago and have resisted having the small bit of skin I have leftover lifted and removed. My big fear are the pain and the drains. I get squicked easily. That would be my question. I’m also considering having the girls lifted because they took the worst hit. I got pretty lucky overall with skin issues.

    Congrats and you look amazing!

    Reply
  3. Jillian
    September 9, 2013 at 9:35 am (12 months ago)

    You look fantastic! I’m so happy for you!

    Reply
  4. Erin H
    September 9, 2013 at 9:37 am (12 months ago)

    OMG, I literally choked on my coffee! That underwear story is HILARIOUS!!!!!! I’m so glad you got properly fitting ones :-) Congrats on the NEW size!!! That must have made you feel so good. The results are amazing. I’m looking forward to the Q&A! I guess the only questions I have (which I know I could probably just Google) are: What is the dr’s rec for timing for this surgery. Like, after an 80-100 lb weight loss, how long should you wait before seriously looking into the surgery? Also, what about pregnancy- anything to consider if you plan to have a baby after the surgery?

    Thanks Beth, congrats again!!

    Reply
  5. Becky
    September 9, 2013 at 11:27 am (12 months ago)

    Oh! Pregnancy is a great question! What will that do to your scar/tummy after the baby is born?

    Should someone have a baby first and then consider the surgery? Or is it OK to have it and then plan having children?

    Reply
  6. Brenna
    September 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm (12 months ago)

    Congratulations of your great success – I have looked forward to your weekly updates. I am at the beginning of my weight loss journey with right around 110lbs to lose. Thank you for sharing your journey and funny stories along the way!

    Reply
  7. Kathy
    September 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm (12 months ago)

    I laughed out loud at your underwear story! Thank goodness you weren’t in a more crowded mall or something! I had something not as bad but similarly embarrassing happen to me years ago: I decided to try wearing those elastic-top hose that are supposed to cling to your thighs under a skirt. One morning, as I was walking to work in crowded downtown Seattle, I got a few alarmed looks but didn’t realize why—until I finally looked down at my legs and the hose were bagging loosely around my knees and ankles!! omg, I could’ve crawled into a hole!

    Reply
    • Beth
      September 10, 2013 at 9:22 am (12 months ago)

      OMG! That sounds terrible!! Hahaha makes me feel a little bit better about my sitch. ;)

      Reply
  8. Kristin
    September 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm (12 months ago)

    My question for him is about the pain from nerves growing back. Does this last a long time or go away after a couple months?

    Reply
  9. Danielle
    September 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm (12 months ago)

    You look awesome Beth! It must be so rewarding to see all the progress that you have made!

    My question, which is only curiosity, is the cost of the surgery. I know you have said you don’t want to discuss specifics, but maybe give out a range? I know that is even hard to do though so it can vary so greatly given the person.

    Reply
  10. Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene)
    September 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm (12 months ago)

    Okay I’m sure it was humiliating at the time, but that underwear story is awesome!

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Casarez
    September 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm (12 months ago)

    i am so incredibly excited for you and am so glad to hear that you have gone through without any complications!

    me next, Me Next, ME NEXT!!!

    Reply
  12. Joyce
    September 10, 2013 at 1:57 am (12 months ago)

    How many areas can be done at once? I have 200 lbs I’m tackling and am guessing would like to have all these areas “tightened”: Tummy and legs and breasts and arms and buttocks.

    And does surgeon rec doing anything during the weight loss to minimize need for skin reduction and/or make easier.

    I think you had mentioned exercise helping in some way. I’ve also heard eating lots of protein while losing weight helps tighten skin

    Thank you SO much. Your vulnerability is giving me an emotional boost toward my weight loss efforts. I think I was resistant to progressing because I wasn’t sure if I could deal with lots of loose skin. Seeing your journey with the surgery makes me more comfortable to do surgery.

    Reply
  13. Theodora
    September 10, 2013 at 9:49 am (12 months ago)

    girl, you look amazing!!

    Reply
  14. Jennifer
    September 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm (12 months ago)

    I think I just stared at the screen with my mouth open for a full minute after reading the underwear story! So funny! But you know what, if someone had seen you, you should’ve just said “I’ve lost 90 lbs. & clearly I need to buy new underwear!” Be proud! Such an amazing thing you’ve accomplished, but also to look so great after the surgery — you look amazing! I’ve been reading along as you’ve updated & it’s inspiring to hear what you’ve gone through. I’m just happy for you that you’re so happy!!

    Reply
  15. Dianna
    September 11, 2013 at 2:43 am (12 months ago)

    Wow, you really are looking good. I have only recently started my weight loss journey and it feels like I have a long long road ahead of me. Down 15lbs but still another 60 to go. Thanks for reminding me about the end goal.

    Reply
  16. Robin
    September 11, 2013 at 6:04 am (12 months ago)

    Wow! you are teeny tiny!!

    Reply
  17. Christine
    September 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm (12 months ago)

    1. You are smaller than I am and that’s crazy.
    2. I run 11 minute miles and I did not recently or ever have major surgery.

    Reply
  18. Lisa
    September 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm (11 months ago)

    I have to agree with some other posts, you look amazzzzzing and teeny tiny! Better than myself, who lost about 50 lbs. and never had surgery. I am considering lipo for my so called love handles.

    Reply

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