Bethan's Tummy Tuck (Full)
What were the first steps you took towards having treatment?
I began to perform some internet searches on Tummy Tuck procedures, what it entails (including the risks and complications). I searched images of before and after pictures. Being at my perfect weight yet unable to get rid of my post caesarean overhang i hated my stomach. I had thought about having a tummy tuck for the last ten years since having my second daughter. My second cesarean had left me with an untidy horrible looking stomach. I was ready to start the journey. I decided to further research where in the UK it is undertaken (numerous hospitals). I looked at the following hospitals Spire, Transform, even looked at a turkish Hospital Longevita (but soon felt a definite no to going abroad). I then came across several companies that search and find best hospitals to have the procedure done for you which is when i came across medbelle. I took the first step and completed Medbelle’s online form which would enable me to receive a more in depth detail on surgeons and cost. This helped me to find the most suitable and reputable surgeon. Medbelle provided surgeons Names, medical background, locations and price. I knew if I was going to have this operation i’d prefer to be as close to home as possible. Medbelle was so simple and easy to use from the onset which made the whole process less stressful.
How was your first call with your patient care adviser?
My first call from Medbelle was a very positive one. An agreed time that suited me was arranged for Medbelle to call me. Speaking with Sarah at Medbelle put me at ease straight away. At this point, I felt extremely nervous and apprehensive (am I doing the right thing) but everything was explained to me in great detail. Sarah was very friendly which helped at the beginning of my journey. I liked the fact that I could liase with Sarah via Whats App as being busy in work I could arrange specific times we could talk. Also, any questions I had forgotten to ask I could just message her and she would always reply straight back. Information on the procedure also aftercare advice was also sent via email as a booklet to read, this was good.
How was your consultation?
I felt I could not have been more prepared for my first consultation with Prof I Whitaker. I already knew the pros and cons through own reading and Medbelle information provided. I was so keen to meet with Prof Whitaker to find out if I was suitable for the procedure. That evening of my consultation both my husband and I met Professor Whitaker who was very down to earth and again explained the whole procedure (even showing examples of how the operation is performed which was great to see). Prof I Whitaker said I would be the ideal candidate being a healthy BMI and he felt he would achieve the results I always wanted - no cesarean overhang no more. Our general feeling overall following the consultation just felt right.
The right surgeon, the right hospital and the right time for me to go for it.
Prof Whitaker took the time to answer any concerns I had.
How did you feel leading up to your treatment?
The pre-op assessment was simple, a visit the week before for a blood test and a swab MRSA test was done.
The treatment day I was admitted to my hospital room and had a more in-depth pre-op assessment with the nurse. I felt nervous yet so excited as I had been waiting a few months for the op day. Prof Whitaker visited that morning to confirm everything which again put me at ease. All theatre staff took good care of me, having chats with both the nurse and anesthetist before I went under relaxed me. Now that the day had come I couldn’t wait. The hospital Sancta Maria and all the staff were excellent, it felt like a hotel. Pre-surgery the nurses explained everything clearly post-surgery the nursing staff was fantastic giving me clear post-op advice and after-care both verbally and written to take home.
To be honest, I could have stayed there for a week to relax, the food was gorgeous. But however, I was sent home following a two-night stay which its always nice to get back home.
One week after treatment
Pain levels one week after the op were low - say 3/10. What I will say is the pain I have scored is down to back pain. I did not experience any pain at the incision site at all throughout my recovery.
The only difficulties I would say following the op is your change in posture and getting comfortable. Have at least 8 pillows to hand as you will need them all around you. It is advised you do not straighten up to prevent stress on the scar line. This did cause me to have some back discomfort but nothing too severe. Even after a week and even though I had some swelling I could already see the results.
The first week following the op I could have slept and slept, it does tire you but plenty of rest with plenty of tv and regular walks around the house helped me. Quite enjoyed having the husband running around after me. Be prepared week two I had started experiencing really deep itches to my stomach, not pain just itching. I guess this could be nerve endings and the healing process. This was experienced for roughly the 2nd and third-week post-op. Then it subsided. Another point is swelling you will have good and bad days the first month, some days I felt I was going to burst but trust me to wear a good compression garment. I paid about £70 for my compression garment but it has been the best money spent. 6 wks post swelling has completely gone.
One thing I didn’t like was the compression stockings, not the most comfortable things to wear but I did wear them as advised. The swelling was probably the most difficult to cope with. It seemed to worsen as the day went on. Ways I tackled this was with my compression garment and a light massage over my stomach.
One month after treatment
One month after the op I felt hundred times better.
To be honest I was back in work on light duties on my third post-op week. Mad I know, truthfully I think I pushed myself to soon and should’ve had 3 weeks off at least. One month on still walking with a very slight bend but feeling better. I felt back in the land of the living. Began light treadmill walks on week 4 post-op to ease me back gently into exercising. The stomach feels flatter and tighter, swelling improved. No pain or discomfort at all.
I felt excited to see the results a month. Scar looked extremely neat. I had been applying scar gel each morning with a bio-oil massage at night which seemed to help the redness of the scar line.
Two months after treatment
Feel amazing at two months post-op.
Stomach looks and feels great. No swelling. I felt fantastic wearing my Christmas frock this year. Looking from a side aspect I am used to seeing a small but noticeable belly bump/overhang. Now that has disappeared and I feel fantastic. Still, some slight numbness to my scar line but as the weeks pass the feelings are returning. But to be honest, after 2x caesareans my stomach has always been a bit numb. Absolutely no pain or discomfort felt at all at any point. And still wearing my compression garment throughout the day in work as it feels supportive and protective.
I haven’t reached the 6 month post op yet, I am currently on my 13th week post op. Back running and exercising. I feel great. I have no regrets at all. Well, I lie I wish I had done it 10 years ago. Still no pain or discomfort. 13 weeks on and i feel back to normal. I absolutely love feeling and looking at my firm stomach. I know its still early days and I am still recovering.
I am amazed how quickly I have recovered. Prof Whitaker has done an amazing job, anyone looking to have this procedure I strongly recommend him.