Abdominoplasty: One Week Post-Op
As I mentioned the last time I did a Weekly Run Down, I won’t be writing a WRD for a while; at least until I actually have something to “run down”.
While I am re-habbing, I want to document how it’s going and also talk about my timeline and how I see my near fitness future. Even if just for myself. And maybe someday someone finds my blog and can benefit from what I’m sharing. One thing I do know, it’s very rare to find athletes of all levels who have had abdominoplasty. In my opinion it still seems a bit of a taboo or seen as selfish or what “lazy” people do in order to get a body in which they are not willing to do the work. Maybe there’s some truth in these things, but who am I to judge? I can only judge myself.
The Days Before Surgery
The days leading up to surgery were a bit stressful if only just because I was nervous about what was going to happen. I spent way too much time watching videos of the procedure and of how general anesthesia works. I do and don’t recommend this at the same time – if you are like me you are curious and want to know and it’s IMPORTANT to know. However, by the time I’d seen about my 10th video about anesthesia I admit I was more nervous about that than the operation itself.
I got my hair coloured again and braided for surgery so I wouldn’t have to mess with my hair at the very least. Showering was going to be tricky as would washing my hair in the coming days.
Day of Surgery
On Friday morning (June 4th) I did get up early because I wanted to eat and I could not eat past 7am. I wanted food and I wanted coffee! My expected arrival at the clinic was 1pm.
I spent a few hours that morning just trying to figure out what I needed to pack as I was required to stay overnight. Of course after the fact I knew that I brought way too much with me, but luckily had the important things – loose clothes to go home in, long phone charger cable, and a few toiletries. But yeah I didn’t know what I was going to go home in so I brought a few options.
I had a wee little breakdown cry before Ron brought me to the clinic and basically told him I loved him and if anything at all happened to me he should just dispose of all my belongings (I am a “saver” of stuff, he is not). Which he basically scoffed at and told me to “shut up”.
Nothing to Worry About
Talk about efficiency. I arrived at 1pm, I was already undressed and in my operating gown, hairnet and socks within a few minutes. My stats were all checked shortly thereafter and then the surgeon came by to reiterate what we had discussed and he made a lovely drawing on me to show where the incisions were going to be made.
I was visibly nervous so at some point one of the nurses came in and gave me a mild sedative intravenously, which kicked in within milliseconds and kind of surprised me. Within another 5 minutes I was being wheeled into the operating room.
The Anesthesia and The Operation
I truly had it in my head that I would have a chatty anethesiologist trying to distract me from what was happening and that I would be expected to count backwards from 10. Well, that didn’t really happen.
I was told exactly what they were doing and the reason for it. The oxygen mask was a little claustrophobic, and I mentioned that to them. So they lifted the mask just a tiny bit, told me to take a very deep breath and…
That was it! I woke up in recovery with a lovely tight compression garment (think girdle) on.
The surgeon then stopped by shortly after I was awake and told me it went very well, very smooth and that they removed 1.106KG of skin, fat and tissue from my abdomen and I had a nice new belly button (hole) to boot.
The First Night
To be honest, I had very little pain, but I found out that they do use a pretty powerful long-lasting pain killer/numbing agent to help ease you into the situation rather than have you waking up in agony. The very worst the new situation was having a catheter. I did not expect that. And I had to have it in the whole night until the next morning before being discharged.
I ate something, I slept, I surfed, I walked around the room with the nurse a bit. No real issues.
Going Home and the First Week
Ron picked me up Saturday morning and got me all set up on the couch. Unfortunately later on in the day he had to go to a funeral (the kids’ grandma / their mom’s mom) but to be honest there was no real issue at all. Sure I was moving around slowly but that was fine, I had two drains I had to cart along with me while I moved.
I ate, I drank, I slept, it was all fine.
I had the drains in until Monday afternoon; the clinic phoned me to find out how much liquid I had in my drains and it was little enough that they could already be removed. When I went in they also checked the belly button and the incisions and said everything looked good. They also tightened up my garment and told me that had to stay on for the next 4 weeks 24/7 and 2 additional weeks minimally during the day (can sleep without it, if I want).
Sleeping is a bit challenging, but I’m doing the best I can. I have to stay in a bit of a beach chair position for 2 weeks. I also have had to stay hunched over a bit but since Saturday am allowed to try to straighten up a bit.
I’ve had no real pain at all. which is kind of bizarre to me. And I am walking a bit outside now, but not too much because it’s not good to do more just because you think you can.
No Photos To Share Right Now
I’m just going to spare y’all right now the photos because what I have is just too graphic for the blog. But I hope in the near future I can share with you some “before” photos and some “during” photos where I have actual clothes on. You’re welcome *wink*
Conclusion: Week 1 is a success
Next week I get my stitches out! I’m quite anxious (nervous? intrigued?) to see what the incision looks like. And for sure I’m curious about my belly button. I am equally glad about the new belly button as I am to have the skin, fat and tissue removed. My old belly button was a real dud – I completely ruined it by getting it pierced when I was 30 (it was always infected).
Next week (from day 10 or so) I can also try to bike a bit, however, they warn that this may not feel very good. So I may try, I just don’t know yet. Happy to just be able to walk a bit, you know?