The following post from our forum is from a woman who is having a hard time trying to decide if she should combine a tummy tuck surgery with a mastectomy reconstruction surgery.
Date: 02/15/2012 Submitted by: KimNervous About Having A Tummy Tuck
I am almost 1 year status post a bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer. I am getting ready for my final reconstruction surgery and I have decided to also have a tummy tuck. I was never really scared about my mastectomy. I guess it was something I knew I had to do. I am really nervous about a tummy tuck. I heal really well. My scars from my surgeries look good and as a general rule I do not swell a lot. I keep reading about all of the swelling and how long it lasts. Is this the case for most people? I could understand a few weeks to a month but longer seems odd to me. How long before I can expect to wear my pre surgery clothes? Do most of you feel it was worth the pain and swelling? I just wanted to do something for myself. I have not had a flat stomach in years. I am 45 and I have had two children. I really want to have this done, but I am afraid that I might back out and regret it later. I know if I don’t do it now (I get a discount because it is a second surgery) that I will never do it. I guess I am looking for a little cheerleading. Did any of you feel embarrassed? I worry what people will think of me spending money on such a surgery?
Date: 02/15/2012 Submitted by: Tanner
I am not sure that I get why you are nervous about the tummy tuck and not so much the mastectomy reconstruction (maybe because you went through it already and know what to expect). The unknown is always scary.
Since you have to have the one operation it would seem to be the ideal time to have the other because you’re already there and under sedation (which to some is the scariest part of the surgery).
If you haven’t done so already, ask your surgeon if combining the tummy tuck with the mastectomy increases the risks and to what extent. He/she can probably give you the most peace of mind with regard to the medical risks and ramifications.
Since the choice to have surgery has been taken out of your hands, you don’t as difficult of a decision of whether or not to have surgery, just whether you want to spend a little more money and extend the operation. Most people have to decide to choose whether or not to undergo a totally optional operation (the tummy tuck), so if anything goes wrong or they are not happy with the results there is no one else to blame but themselves.
With regard to your specific questions.
I just updated the page “Tummy Tuck Swelling” and included all the swelling related comments from patients from the tummy tuck forum. You can read those if you are really concerned with swelling, but those were written by people who were concerned with or had problems and questions with their swelling. They are probably not the norm. Most of the swelling does go away in the first three to four weeks but you should probably count on swelling for a few months. To me, swelling was no big deal. It goes away when it goes away. I can’t tell you how long before you can wear your pre-surgery clothes. Depends on your clothes and your body healing ability.
IS IT WORTH THE PAIN & SWELLING?
For most people the answer would probably be YES. For me it was, but I didn’t have any pain. The only people who would say NO would be the ones who had complications or were dissatisfied with the results of the surgery. I can’t tell you what percentage they are but I would think it would be in the minority.
If you back out, you may indeed regret it. If you have given it all the research and thought having a tummy tuck deserves and you really want it,
backing out at the last minute will probably will keep you kicking yourself in the rear for the rest of your life and second guessing yourself.
Embarrassed of having a tummy tuck or of what people think of spending so much money. NO.
And if you are embarrassed, that only lasts a second or two compared with the results of the tummy tuck that will last the rest of your life. It’s a pretty good trade off. As to spending that much money on yourself, if all goes well it’s well worth every penny and besides you shouldn’t base you decision on what other people think.
Good luck in your decision and your surgery.