TT/hernia and arms done 5/27-what do i need to do to prepare?

on 5/19/11 9:43 am
DS on 08/30/10 with

So I am having surgery May 27th....tummy tuck, hernia repair and brachio. I am reallly not sure what to expect for recovery and what I will need. I am unfortunatly gonna have to go to surgery by myself as I have nobody that can go with me.  What should I bring to the hospital?  Will I be up to playing on the computer or just leave it at home?  I will be in the hospital for 2 days and not much of a tv watcher and with nobody there with me, think I will get VERY bored.  However, I know I will be sleeping a lot. 

So, what should I have ready for at home? I am not sure what kind of clothes I will want.  I was just reading a post about the drains and it sounds like I will have some challenges there.  Were you able to wear your normal clothes?  Once you had your tt, did you go down in a pant size?

Any ideas for what to have ready or what to take with me is appreciated. 


NoMore B.
on 5/19/11 10:56 am

Do you live alone?  I will be honest, it's going to be rough for the first week if you're on your own.  Maybe if you were having just the tummy tuck, or just the arms done you might have an easier time, but having them both done together is challenging.

I had a LBL and arms done two weeks ago, and the issue you will have is that you cant use your arms for much, so getting in and out of bed or the couch will be a challenge.  You will also not be able to lift your arms over your head or stretch them out far to reach for things.

If you are going to be alone, here is my best advice.  Before you have your surgery, put anything and everything you might need on your countertops and vanity for easy reach.  Cups, plates, soap, clothes...everything.  You wont be able to reach up for anything for about a week - maybe more.

Do you have a recliner?  That will be the most comfortable place for you to rest and sleep.  As an alternate you could do a bed or couch but get yourself plenty of pillows to prop yourself with to get comfy.

What about a ride home?  You'll be on pain meds so you should have someone to drive you.

As far as clothes, you wont want anything tight.  I wore men's knit boxers like shorts around the house the first week, yoga pants after that.  At 2 weeks out now I still need something stretchy.

Shirts, since you wont be able to lift your arms over your head, you might want some old button down shirts to wear.  I wore old tank tops that I stepped into and pulled up, rather than over my head.  You will want to wear stuff you dont care about ruining, in case your scars or drains leak or ooze a bit.

I didnt bring anything with me to the hospital, but my iPhone, but hat's just me.  All I do is sleep in the hospital or watch some TV.  I would worry being alone having a laptop about it getting lost or stolen, but I know many bring one with them.
on 5/19/11 11:02 am
DS on 08/30/10 with
Thank you so much for the great advice. I do have a ride home, just nobody that can take 2 days off to come with me. I am concerned about being alone at home and I do have family close by that will stop by often and check on me.  My son is 13 so when he is home from school he can do a lot too.  I have been gong to goodwill looking for clothes but not real sure what I wanted or what size to get. Am I going to be swolllen and need a larger size or because I had the tt will I need a size smaller?  Just not sure, thanks again for all your advice.
NoMore B.
on 5/19/11 11:09 am
 OK good, you should be able to manage with a little bit of help.

As far as size, from what I see it depends on how much excess skin you have to remove.  People who have a TT at or near goal weight have less to remove and I think come home the same size, or bigger (for awhile, because of swelling).  People with more skin to remove I think drop a size right away.

For me, I went in at a size 8/10 and they removed 9 pounds of skin.  I can get into my 8's now and they are very baggy in the hips, but tight on my waist.  I'm still very swollen.  I would say your best bet is to bring something loose and comfy.  You wont want anything resting on your incisions, and you will also have to fit your drains in somehow.  They will probably be in your pubic area, and you will have to fit the tubes in your clothes.  The drains pin to your binder.  I found it was easier to wear a old bathrobe tie around my neck, and pin the drains to that.  You will figure out what works for you.

As far as going down a size after the swelling, my PS told me not to buy any clothes for 3 months because the swelling goes on for awhile and he said I will see changes over that amount of time, or even longer.  He said on average most people go down 1-2 sizes, but if you are thinner before surgery maybe not so much.

I'm amazed at how quickly I rebounded.  Even though the first days are rough, you do get better quickly.
on 5/19/11 11:18 am
DS on 08/30/10 with
I could only wish I was a size 8/10 going into surgery. I am a size 14 and some 16's now.  I do have a lot of excess skin to be removed. I am not doing this for wt loss anyway. I would be happy if I stayed where I am at right now, it is still much better than where I was. I am not going to go out and buy anything new though.
NoMore B.
on 5/19/11 11:22 am
 You will be amazed at how different your body looks with a flat tummy, regardless of size.  For what it's worth, the nurse at my surgeon's office had a TT and she said she started as a 14 and was a 10 after her TT.

But like I said, the flat tummy makes such a difference in how you look and how your clothes fit.  

Good luck with everything!
on 5/19/11 11:26 am
DS on 08/30/10 with
I am so excited to have a flat tummy.  I can't remember when I ever had one.  That would be great if   went down to a 10 but if not I'm ok with that too.

on 5/19/11 9:24 pm - Mineola, TX
I had my surgery last Friday.  I wouldn't take a computer.  I pushed my morphine button every chance I got and then soon after would fall asleep.  I also got up and walked every chance I got and then I'd sleep again after that, lol. 

I just got my drains out yesterday and I'm still only in gowns / dresses.  I tried some underwear yesterday but it was too tight on my tender incisions.  I also tried on a pair of my slacks and while my stomach is flat, they were still tight.  I know I'm swollen, and I'm also still wide.  One of my future surgeries may be the thigh / butt lift. 

I agree with putting things within reach and getting your bed ready.  My best position has been with two pillows under my knees and two or three under my head.  I didn't like my recliner and my incisions / trauma extend to my hips so I've not been able to get into the fetal position. 

Good luck to you - take your pain pills and sleep!!!  Every day gets a little better! 

Laina B.
250 / 160
9/9/03 Lap RNY
(Dr Charles Beall, Tyler TX - AWESOME!!!)
5/13/11 Cholecystectomy, extended abdominoplasty (anchor cut), and mastopexy
(Dr Charles Beall and Dr James Saar, Tyler TX - AWESOME!!!)
8/26/11 Abdominoplasty revision
(Dr James Saar, Tyler TX - AWESOME!!!)

on 5/19/11 10:40 pm
For clothing I would suggest dresses and gowns.  You will not want to put anything around your waiste for at least three weeks. 
I made some meals ahead of time and froze them so I wouldnt' have to worry about food... it helped ALOT
You will sleep a lot in the hospital, I dont' even remember much from being there so you probably wont get too lonely, and I am sure you will have a few visitors?
You will want a tshirt or something long to put under your binder so it doesn't go directly on your skin.
I suggest briefs for underwear, maybe even a size or so bigger than you wear now, you will have swelling, and depending on where your drains are you may not be able to wear regular panties.
I sat in front of the tv a lot when i got home until i was up and moving around better, i suggest finding something you would like to watch... even if it is netflix or something, because you probably wont have the concentration to read and will want a distraction!
good luck!
Rachel (txhotmomma)        
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