Nipped & Tucked - My Tummy Tuck Journey - part 1
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
Tummy tuck, abdominoplasty, nip and tucks...... yes it’s cosmetic surgery, and somehow it is almost taboo in this country to admit to it! I would like to point out that all bodies are wonderful whatever their size, and whilst this decision is what was right for me, it may not be right for someone else, nor is it something anyone should feel pressure to have done. I am not implying that any body needs to be changed, I think all bodies are beautiful, and just as we have a right to love ourselves, we also have a right to change something should it be a source of discomfort or anxiety for us, anyone should feel comfortable to have any surgery they feel will enhance their lives. I would also like to note that I paid for my surgery, and this is an account of my experience and it is what I feel comfortable sharing.
What lead me to surgery I have two children, one born naturally and one delivered by C Section. They were both large for me, at 5’ 2” I am diminutive, but you know the old saying ‘small things, good packages’ etc! After having my first child, I worked out and got my flat tummy back and I was delighted to reach my pre pregnancy weight. I was definitely a little looser on my abdomen, but I had a beautiful son and it was worth it. When I had my daughter things didn’t bounce back quite as well, my lower abdomen hung slightly over my c section scar and was unsightly. I continued to gain weight after, and in 2014 I decided to lose about 2.5 stone. I noticed that I had loose skin and it was beginning to rub on clothing. Then about 2016 I noticed that I was developing a bulge above my belly button, and I felt it difficult to move from a laying position to upright. I actually felt like my muscles were useless, I exercised and whilst my whole body toned up, I was still fighting a losing battle with my abdomen. It was a source of anxiety for me. I asked my gp who said it was diastasis recti (separation of the muscles along the midline of the abdomen, typically as seen in women during and after pregnancy or (as a congenital anomaly) in newborn babies) this coupled with other issues encouraged her to refer me for Physio. I went on to try lots of different things, but ultimately I knew that I would need to accept that it was time to consider surgery. I met with Dr Salman in 2017 and he agreed that I had separation of my stomach muscles (diastaais recti) and I would benefit from a full abdominoplasty, where he would make a horizontal cut along my lower abdomen and remove the excess skin and he would stitch the muscles of the separation back together. I saw some images and left with lots of information. I was initially very anxious and decided to wait, in fact I went on to book and cancel my tummy tuck twice due to extreme anxiety. It wasn’t until this year that I felt mentally ready to move forward with my surgery. Chosing my surgeon Prior to meeting with Dr Salman, I had researched an excellent surgeon in the Czech Republic, and I had also looked into various surgeons in the Uk- I decided against traveling abroad as it was something my husband was just not happy with, he was extremely concerned with me making the decision to go abroad, so I decided against it. I then began my research in Ireland, and decided on Dr. Ahmed Salman in Auralia. He is a perfectionist and his before and after photos were excellent, subsequently it was the best decision I made because the team were amazing, and took impeccable care of me. Sr. Remy and Darwin the head staff nurses are amazing and the staff on reception Sam, Kadie and Nancy are always so helpful. I also have to highly commend Dr Shadab who is so caring and spends time listening and answering your questions. Dr. Salman is a very experienced and highly regarded surgeon, he is also very accommodating and approachable which I felt was so brilliant in a surgeon. He is especially experienced in abdominoplasty and I had the utmost confidence in him I was scheduled for 22nd of March and I was so ready! Prior to your surgery you will have your iron levels checked, your blood pressure checked and your weight taken. I met with the anesthesiologist and away I went. The surgery can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, my surgery took closer to the 3.5 hour mark due to my diastasis recti repair. What to expect During your operation you will have two drains placed on each side of your incison, the drains stop the accumulation of fluid that occurs naturally after your surgery. The drains are removed three days post op and are painless, you will have dissolvable stitches from hip to hip, you will also be wearing a compression garment. You will remain in this garment up to 6 weeks depending on your surgeons wishes. The garment must be worn 23 hours per day, and removed only for showering, in order to reduce swelling you must wear your binder as directed.
Lots of people ask what the pain level is like, and if I was able to walk. I was up and walking around that evening to use the bathroom, your pain levels are very well maintained. You need to actively manage your pain medication when you get home and ensure you take your pain meds at the correct time, and this will manage your pain very well. For me the first three days were the hardest, but you can move well and you are encouraged to move. Unfortunately I did develop a very small side effect and this is why I was so glad I made the decision to stay in Ireland. I had to go to the clinic a few times which would have been impossible out of the country. The care I received was literally first class, Dr Salman himself messaged me on a Sunday after my surgery! You can tell how deeply passionate he is about his work.
Life After I am currently four months post op, and I am so glad that I made this decision for me. I am more confident, my clothes fit better and I am just loving being back to my old self again. I also have better core function, which you can’t really put a price on. I was anxious about sharing my before and after photos, but I feel if I can empower someone else to make a decision that will help their health, be it mental or physical, then I’m happy to share. I do belive if you have a tummy like my before you should not feel that I am implying it is less than perfect, all bodies are beautiful, it is up to you if you want to change something about yourself. It is a decision that should be made ultimately by you, and essentially it comes down to how you feel! And as I said previously this was my decision. The below photos show my abdomen prior to surgery, and then at 10 weeks post op. I had 2.5 lbs of skin removed, and I had a six inch gap closed in my abdomen
My stomach is completely flat now, my core is restored and my diastsi recti is repaired, and I have proper support for my abdominal organs. I am so happy I chose this for myself, it has certainly been a long journey, but it is definitely worth it to me. This surgery is not a cure all, you still need to maintain a healthy weight after your surgery, and you will need to be close to your target weight for optimum results. You can contact Auralia for a free of charge consultation through their website www.auralia.ie The price for surgery varies between person, as it is dependent upon your needs, abdominoplasty surgery starts at approximately €8,200, but this will be discussed with you at your consultation. Auralia also offer finance through a company called Flexifi; Get A Quote
https://apply.flexifi.com/s/quote?toURL=Quote&src=0010Y00001Zb7XcQAJ To apply you need to be over 21 Years of Age, an Irish Citizen or Permanent Resident in Ireland and earn a Minimum of €21k per year.
Standard Fees, Terms & Conditions Apply. Subject to assessment. Minimum Purchase Over €1000. You must have a Credit / Debit Card & Photo ID and a Good Credit History. Finance provided by FlexiFi Europe Limited. As always I welcome any questions that you may have. So many women have reached out to me to ask questions and share their stories. I will have some further posts about things that I advise you to have on hand after your surgery, and good ways to prep for your surgery. So I’m breaking the taboo. I'm proud to hold up my hands and say I’ve been nipped and tucked and I admit to abdominoplasty, and yes I'm incredibly happy to have had the tummy tuck! I am proud of myself for making the decision to be proactive with my mental and physical health. Let’s make this acceptable, and allow women to do what is right for them and their bodies after babies or losing weight or any reason, we deserve to move forward with whatever decision we like! Change it, don’t change it, the most important thing is doing what it right for you, and being comfortable in your own body, because nobody else but you has to live in it!