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I went in today for them to remove my pain pump (I only got it for 2 days!) and I saw my tummy for the first time. It looks horrible. It isn't flat at all. Above my scar line is a huge ridge. I've seen other people's pictures of the first time they see their tummy and it's flat. Does that mean mine won't be flat??
Absolutely not, you are perfectly normal. We can't compare to each other, as this is a very personal recovery and no two are alike. For one thing, most people who are swollen badly are not posting pictures, unless they are posting to ask if this is swelling or not! The people who post early pics are the lucky ones who have not started much swelling yet, or who have a break from it (it comes and goes...).
No surgery is pretty in the early surgery. This surgery is the biggest, most invasive surgery a PS performs (well, a lbl is, but this is the front portion of an LBL, and this is where the most work is done).
You have to have patience as it is a long time for final results, and even if you have early "wow" moments that doesn't mean they stick. We swell for a very long time, and you are swelling right now.
Normal, I promise! I know for a month my stomach also looked red and mottled. Like the fingers get when in the water too long. It was weird! Didn't last of course. Picture your entire belly of skin has been lifted from the abdominal wall and replaced, in a different place to boot. Even a teeny tiny paper cut swells, even though it is too small for us to see the swelling with the naked eye. Imagine this surgery...
One thing you cannot do with this recovery is get upset with the ups and downs of recovery. It is basically three steps forward, one or two steps back for months. No matter how it looks on the outside though, you are continually improving and healing on the inside.
Oh, and that ridge? That is normal. It used to be a huge topic of conversation here when I was new. Called the "ledge." Not much talk about it anymore, but most of us have it. Along the scar line or above or below. It goes away gradually.
I took my binder off to try and have a shower (they told me to) and I am horrified by my results. My insision is really high up and I basically look cut in half. There is a massive ledge all around my middle and I look terrible. I had looked at tons of pictures in advance and I've never seen anyone look this bad. My husband tried to maintain a neutral expression but even he agrees that someone has gone terribly wrong here. I am not seeing the dr until Tuesday and I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him. I want to know why I look this bc I can guarantee that waiting is not going to improve anything at all. I have been wanting this surgery for years and I was so excited and now I think I have made the biggest mistake of my life.
I looked that way for three weeks after mine. I looked like a monster. It took a month to see some results and things went back and forth with swelling for a long time. Some people are more sensitive to swelling than others.
You can judge nothing after a few days and the women you are comparing yourself to are just plain lucky. It has nothing to do with your surgery or final results. It's your body responding how it responds.
BTW, massive weight loss patients usually have worse swelling than the average TTer.
Forum Moderator Summer 2011: ETT, armlift, thigh lift, BL/BAand a few revisions along the way..... A worthwhile journey takes time! Patience and humor are required.
I will agree swelling is a beotch. And, when I first took off my binder, I was like some one dropped the ball (but I was also high on oxy ). Now, I kind of love it...not 100% but its only been one week and three days. At this very moment, I am dealing with fluid retention and the scar still freaks me out but it seems to get better each day. Please just give it some time...things are starting to equal out. (SB) I think I want a boob job now
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