Two Weeks Post Op

It’s crazy to me that exactly two weeks ago today, I was on my way to Ruff Plastic Surgery to go under the knife (and by choice!). It feels like it was just yesterday in some ways, but then it also feels like ages ago. I think when things are really tough (like they were the first few days post op) each hour feels like a day and the time goes so slowly because you just want to press fast forward, but because you’re just focusing on getting through each obstacle that presents itself one at a time, overall the time passes pretty quickly. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to anyone outside my own head, but hey.

So overall, recovery is going REALLY well. I notice improvements almost each day, and this weekend marked the first time I was completely off painkillers of any form. I switched from narcotics to Tylenol after the first several days, but was taking Tylenol pretty religiously, with an occasional Vicodin here and there as needed since. Saturday, I woke up feeling pretty good, and decided to try to go without anything that day. I was a little sore, but nothing major, and I feel like allowing myself to be a little sore is actually a good thing because it reminds me I am still healing and need to take it easy. Sunday I felt a little more sore than Saturday randomly, but still managed not to take anything and am going to try to stay off going forward unless I really need them.

In terms of other changes from this past week:

  • The steristrips are now completely off the incision, so it’s no longer covered by anything. It is still pretty gnarly and scabby, so I will spare you photos until it’s less scary to look at.
  • I am walking completely upright now, which means my lower back is no longer in pain from walking hunched over – thank GOD. That sucked.
  • I am definitely feeling more energetic and less fatigued, which is another welcome change.
  • I am going back to work at the office today for the first time since surgery, though I did manage to work quite a bit from home last week.
  • Today is the first day I no longer have to wear the foam pads under my compression garment – another VERY welcome change. Those things were really hard to put in, but also made me feel really hot and stuffed like a sausage into the garment.

Speaking of the compression garment, I’ve gotten a lot of questions, so I had Matt take a picture of me in it yesterday so you can see what it looks like.

photo (3)

It goes all the way from just above my knees, over my torso, and up over my shoulders. It has at least two layers of material, and is designed to be very tight – think Spanx gone wild. The straps over my shoulders have eyelet hooks (like the back of a bra), and then the main closure is up the side (under my left arm) with eyelet hooks covered by a zipper. This garment used to be extremely tight (in fact, even a little hard to breathe in), but it’s actually loosened up quite a bit now, which I think is a combination of the swelling going down and it stretching out from me being in it. It’s actually not that bad, but it does make it challenging to get dressed in normal clothes (especially summer ones) because of both the top part going over my shoulders with the neckline, and it being down to my knees. I found a solution this weekend, where I unhooked the straps and tucked them into the garment just under my bra so that I could wear a maxi dress. You couldn’t even tell I had something on under it!

photo 1 (1)

I went out for lunch and a movie with my friend Erika on Saturday wearing that, and then after the movie (The Spectacular Now, which was AWESOME), I looked down and saw there was something on my dress.

photo 2 (4)

It took me a while, but then I realized it was the Neosporin I put in my belly button leaking through the compression garment and onto my dress! How nasty! Luckily, it happened during the latter half of our outing so I could go home and change (and stay in for the rest of the night as to not overdo it). I treated the stain last night and really hope it comes out because this is one of those dresses I loved but could never wear before because of how it clung to my body. Argh!

Here are some new progress pictures, which were taken yesterday (day 13 post op). (You can look at this post for before pics and earlier progress photos).

The front:

photo 4 (3)

The back:

photo 5 (4)

You’ll notice the bruising is almost completely gone on my back, which is a big change from last week. That weird triangular dent from my underwear up my back to the left of the middle is from where the foam pads were laying, and that vertical line to the right of it is the scar from my back surgery in 2006. It’s kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but the swelling is worse in my back than in my front.

Here’s a side by side of one week post op v. two weeks post op.

1 week v 2 week

Not sure you can tell too much of a difference between these photos (and I realize I definitely need to be more consistent about lightening/angle/undergarments), but my belly button is definitely healing, and I’m very glad to have a belly button that you can actually see!

I have a two week follow up appointment this morning where I will discuss scar treatment and get my first Medsculpt Massage, which is a lymphatic drainage massage that I am pretty sure is not going to be nearly as luxurious as it sounds. I’m going to ask questions about what limitations I have at this point, when I can start scar treatment (which I’m pretty sure is not until all the scabs along the incision are gone), and whether I need to get a new compression garment since this one feels on the loose side now.

I’m planning to do a Q&A Post soon to address the many questions I’ve received, so please let me know if there’s anything about the surgery you’re wondering. Nothing (respectful) is off limits, though if it’s too personal I may just email you the response rather than the post it on the blog.



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26 Comments on Two Weeks Post Op

  1. Rebecca Ginn
    August 12, 2013 at 10:29 am (12 months ago)

    I’m about to sound like a crazed stalker (but i promise i’m not):

    –I thought about you a lot this weekend and shared your blog with some family members. I am so excited for you and so thankful for you sharing this part of your journey. I am now as determined as ever to pursue the same surgery (even though my sister thinks i’m crazy). And hearing about your experience is really helpful. For instance, because I’m down here in Texas I’m thinking i should do the surgery in the winter because i DO NOT like to be hot and i don’t want to risk infection due to unnecessary perspiration!

    You’re so brave for putting yourself through this AND for sharing. So, again, thanks… it means a lot!

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 12, 2013 at 11:50 am (12 months ago)

      Hi Rebecca! Aww I appreciate you thinking of me! I can totally understand wanting to share this with your family if it’s a procedure you are seriously considering. And yes, winter is probably a much more ideal time to do something like this, but with my job, summer made more sense. And remember, if this is something you seriously want to do, you have to do it for YOU. People will always have negative things to say about everything, especially elective procedures, but I cannot tell you how happy I am. I don’t regret it for a second.

      Reply
  2. Kathy
    August 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm (12 months ago)

    You look great after just two weeks, and it’s wonderful that you’re able to get out and enjoy some summer weather. I have a question, something I’ve wondered about re: skin removal surgery: Do you or will you eventually weigh considerably less because of the surgery?

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm (12 months ago)

      Hi Kathy! Thank you! I’m very pleased with the results. I’ll definitely include this in my Q&A post because there’s a lot to say about it, but I did lose 10 lbs of skin/fat from the surgery itself, so that is a good amount of weight for someone with not a lot of extra. Also, they did muscle repair (so sewed my muscles together), so there is less room now for my stomach to expand so supposedly I’ll get fuller sooner, which could have an impact on weight loss. Another factor is I think now that I have a flat stomach and will actually see the results of weight loss/gain, I might be more motivated. Before, 5 lbs was barely noticeable and I was unhappy with my stomach no matter my weight, but now, 5 lbs is probably much more noticeable. Thanks for the good question!

      Reply
  3. Erin H
    August 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm (12 months ago)

    You look so GREAT!! It’s amazing how much a difference 2 weeks makes. Funny about the neosporin :)

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:58 am (12 months ago)

      Thanks Erin! I am super pleased with the results. It’s crazy to think where I was two weeks ago today – in the doctors office on the verge of passing out as they changed my compression garment and upped my painkillers – and now I’m sitting at my desk at work!

      Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:57 am (12 months ago)

      Haha i know. I have been now!

      Reply
  4. Jody
    August 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm (12 months ago)

    You look AMAZING!! I found your blog just a couple of wks ago and have really enjoyed and been inspired by your journey. I hope this isn’t too personal, but have you ever had any work done on your chest? I only ask because your boobs look pretty darn perky!

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:57 am (12 months ago)

      Hi Jody! Haha no – definitely have not had any work done on my boobs – they are just small and I’m wearing a good bra. ;) I went from a 42DD to a 36B during my weight loss.

      Reply
  5. Sharon
    August 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm (12 months ago)

    Beth, you look wonderful, even at this early stage of healing! Glad you’re feeling well. Gotta ask a question though…how do you pee or poop in that compression garment?

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:56 am (12 months ago)

      Haha good question. It’s actually totally open crotch – I am just standing in a way that you cannot tell ;). When I first got changed into that one, my mom actually cut the butt part so it was more open and there was no chance of… contamination. But now I’ve sewn it back up and usually take it off for #2 just in case.

      Reply
    • Ang
      August 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm (12 months ago)

      Glad to know I wasn’t the only one wondering that! lol!

      You do look great and I’m glad you are feeling so much better Beth!

      Reply
  6. Emily
    August 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm (12 months ago)

    Beth- I’ve been thinking about this surgery too, so I really appreciate you being brave enough to share this process. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:55 am (12 months ago)

      Hi Emily – thanks for your comment! If there’s any questions or you want to email me for more info, feel free. :)

      Reply
  7. nikkoferrous
    August 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm (12 months ago)

    Use Dawn dishwashing detergent to get the greasy Neosporin stain out – it takes grease out of everything!
    The change to your body shape is amazing! Your recovery seems to be going very quickly.

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:54 am (12 months ago)

      Thanks for the tip! I just used a stain stick but am letting it air dry. If it didn’t come out, i will definitely try Dawn!

      Reply
  8. Emily
    August 13, 2013 at 11:37 am (12 months ago)

    Hi Beth! You are looking great! I was just curious what happens to your belly button after this surgery. I know you had gauze (?) in it at the start and was just curious why. I assume it was oozy, but curious why.You mentioned you were doing a Q&A soon so just wanted to ask. :)

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 11:41 am (12 months ago)

      That’s a good question I’ll definitely include in the list – thank you! Long story short, they basically keep the belly button root in place, and then when the pull down the skin to tighten it, they cut a new hole in the skin and sew it back to the root – so it’s a new-ish belly button. That is my very non-medically educated description. ;)

      Reply
      • Emily
        August 13, 2013 at 11:52 am (12 months ago)

        Ohhhh okay that makes sense. I knew it had to be something more than just the belly button getting a bit stretched out.

        Reply
  9. John
    August 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm (12 months ago)

    Hey there! It’s John, your BioCorneum rep. First off you look great. Second, now that the steri strips are off, I assume Dr Ruff will be starting you on biocorneum to make sure the scars fade as best as possible. I’d like to offer you a complimentary 50g biocorneum. I’ll coordinate with Susy.

    Hope you’re feeling great!

    Reply
    • Beth
      August 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm (12 months ago)

      Hi John – I am feeling great, thank you! I really appreciate the offer for the complimentary biocorneum and will definitely take you up on that! I’ve used the product before on a scar on my arm and it worked wonders. Thank you so much!

      Reply
      • John
        August 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm (12 months ago)

        Great!

        Just grab one from your current stock and I will replace it soon. I should be down your way within the month but I would rather you have it sooner than later. Please let me know if there is anything else you need!

        Reply
  10. kendra
    August 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm (12 months ago)

    So exciting! You look fab. I have forty pounds to go and I’ll be ready for this too. Thank you for being so open!!!!

    Reply
  11. Alicia
    August 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm (12 months ago)

    I’m so happy for you! I can only hope that at two weeks post-op I feel as good as you seem to be! I am currently two days post-op and although I’m exhausted and in pain I got to see my tummy for the first time today and I am so excited!

    Reply
  12. Becky
    September 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm (11 months ago)

    Beth, I cannot believe how incredibly amazing you look. From following all of these posts it is like you’re healing in days not weeks! :) You are absolutely gorgeous and such an inspiration. I talked to my husband the other day and he and I agreed when I lost my 105 pounds (only 99.2 to go!) that I could do this surgery as well. When I got down to 165 in 2011 I was so unhappy with my body still because of the skin around my middle. Your before pictures are EXACTLY what my stomach looked like when I got down to 165 and that wasn’t my ultimate goal weight. So, when I get to my ultimate goal I want to do this.

    My question is: Does the doctor talk to you about what would happen if weight gain happened? Obviously you wouldn’t go through all of this just to get heavy again… BUT… it would be nice to know what they say about weight gain in the future and how it may affect you after a surgery like this.

    Thanks again for sharing your information and progress!

    Reply

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