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Abdominoplasty aftermath - tips for coping with 11mo and 3yo

(15 Posts)
babyfedleaning Sun 02-Nov-14 10:25:28

I am having my diastasis recti repaired in a couple of days as I have an epigastric hernia 8 inches long. I am loathe to call it a tummy tuck, but essentially that's the operation I'll be having (an abdominoplasty with muscular repair). Its fairly major surgery and I'll have a hip to hip scar. Mum and DH are going to be taking turns caring for the children but I will be around at home like a spare part after two night in hospital.

I am just wondering if anyone has had an operation of this type with young children and what their experience of it was. I am expecting pain, and have been told I can't do heavy lifting for some time afterwards but what else can I expect. How can I alleviate the boredom and actually be of some use to my family. I expecting them to be fed up and me to be frustrated!!

babyfedleaning Sun 02-Nov-14 10:31:06

Or any kind of abdominal surgery for that matter?

Bslami Sun 02-Nov-14 10:34:48

Morning baby - I haven't had the op but I need it for the same reasons as you. I really hope you make a speedy recovery. Like you I think when I do have it done (I need another op either first or at the same time) it's going to be so frustrating knowing what needs to be done around the house/with the children etc & not being able to do it.

I hope it's successful and that you make speedy recovery. Well done for going forward & not putting it off any longer. Watching the thread with interestinterest.

swooosh Sun 02-Nov-14 10:35:10

Hi I work in theatre doing this surgery. I've also worked on the post op ward side of things. Patients seem to find it hard to stand up 'straight' afterwards as it's a very tight feeling. Leaning forward a little when you walk is the most comfortable position. Also holding on to the wound site when you cough/sneeze/walk seems to help.

I can't imagine you'll be wanting to do too much and rightly so, it is a big op! Hope it goes well.

Bslami Sun 02-Nov-14 10:35:50

Did you do any research about the surgeon?

AlpacaMyBags Sun 02-Nov-14 10:36:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bslami Sun 02-Nov-14 10:39:33

What age do people usually wait for their kids to reach?

MeganChips Sun 02-Nov-14 10:42:38

I had this when DCs were 6 and 3. The muscle repair is painful, I won't lie. More painful than the scar, it feels like you have done a billion sit ups! I did go back to work and resume normal function 2 weeks after surgery so it wasn't terrible though.

You will probably have to wear a surgical corset for 6 weeks afterwards, wear it tight, it does help.

You can expect swelling, it actually took over 6 months for mine to look normal and it's not unusual to feel a bit emotional. Make sure your expectations about the results are realistic even if you're doing it for health reasons rather than cosmetic.

I think you will probably be ok with your 11 month old after a couple of weeks but your 3 year old may have to wait a bit!

As for alleviating boredom, maybe catch up on some box sets or netflix series you've been wanting to watch? Lots of reading with DC or alone. Light exercise is fine like walking but be prepared for a slight increase in swelling if you do too much.

Batch cook in advance if you can and freeze it and good luck.

Eastpoint Sun 02-Nov-14 10:51:51

A friend of mine had it done and actually stated away for 9 days. She had a fair amount of pain but the results were very good.

babyfedleaning Sun 02-Nov-14 11:23:18

Thanks all. I was expecting 6 weeks recovery so 2 sounds better, although my youngest is pretty hefty at 10.5 kilos (91st centile!) so I think I will need lots of help having him lifted for me for a long while after.

Bslami I just had a referral from my GP. My surgeon works in NHS and private practice so I was able to get info from his own website and see his accreditations etc. He told me I will have to have it done sooner or later and things are getting pretty painful now so I opted for sooner. I waited til the winter months as DH is a farmer and it's quieter now / he can take lots of time off. I think it would probably be easier with two kids who can get themselves in and out of the car/ bed/ get dressed etc so if you have the option of that then maybe wait? I have one of these so will let you know! Also it depends how bad your pain is. I will let you know what happens.

babyfedleaning Sun 02-Nov-14 14:10:04

One more question - for those of you who had this, what did you wear immediately afterwards? All my clothes seem to have something uncomfortable where the scar will be.

MeganChips Sun 02-Nov-14 14:15:39

Leggings! Your corset will give you some protection though.

babyfedleaning Sun 02-Nov-14 20:15:52

Does the corset get provided or do I have to get my own, do you know?

MeganChips Mon 03-Nov-14 18:27:53

Mine was provided, ask in advance.

babyfedleaning Mon 10-Nov-14 13:37:34

Hi all. Just wanted to come back and fill you in on how things are going - I am currently 6 days post op and feeling great! Everything went well and I had brilliant care and pain relief. I was prettty sore until yesterday when suddenly the pain at my wound site and the muscle repair just stopped and now I just feel tight. I still can't stand up straight so my back is pretty uncomfortable and rolling over in bed is hard, but every day things get a lot easier. Coughing, laughing and blowing my nose hurt, so I try not to!

Contrary to comments above I have not had a surgical corset but had drains in for two days and as a result don't have much swelling. I am back in (loose fit waisted) trousers and walking around.

Can't lift anything much, especially not the DCs, so I would say to Bsalami (thank you for your PM) in particular that you really can't get this done until you know you have someone available to look after the DCs for you - and for plenty of time afterwards. You can't lift shopping bags let alone a child and things like pushing a car door shut and pressing a soap dispenser down use your core more than you might realise It would simply be impossible without help and you would probably do yourself a lot of damage in the process.

Mentally I feel so much happier already and am looking forward to trying on new clothes in time for Christmas! Will post some pics after I have stiches out in two days' time.

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