Karen’s tummy tuck
Karen, 54, has lived in Cornwall for 15 years with her husband and their 3 children. Following a long career in the NHS/Public Health she now runs a thriving training company that delivers workplace health and public protection information.
Her favourite things to do involve family time, dog walks, friend time, cooking, yoga and cycling.
Here’s what Karen had to say…
“My son was 21 years old last year and I’ve blindly hoped that since his birth, all my healthy living and exercising would get rid of my C-section excess skin trauma… but it hasn’t! I’ve considered surgery for years but as I approached my 22nd year with a, what I considered to be anatomically incorrect shape, I started to look into my options.
“I have always felt that by bulge is was an ugly part of my body and was constantly fed up of wearing incorrect sizes in order to fit my bulging area. Clothes are not made to accommodate a bulge over the pubic bone.
“No amount of diet and exercise was going to change my C-section stretched and puckered skin that flapped over my pubic bone.
“I researched what surgery could do and who could do it. There was a video on the website of Mr MacQuillan and he talked about this being a common problem for women like me and I felt that he completely got it. So I contacted him and decided I would have a consultation with him directly before making my final decision.
“After that first meeting I was very sure that surgery was my best avenue and Mr MacQuillan was my preferred surgeon. My expectations were that following surgery and post-op care, I would have a flat stomach and large horizontal scar that would sit beneath my bikini line. This was fine with me!
“I was extremely nervous about my consultation with Anthony as I knew inevitably it would lead to my having to expose my C-section skin. However, he was extremely disarming and very kind and approachable. I left the consultation feeling heard, understood and confident that Anthony was going to meet all my expectations.
“Immediately after surgery, I was surprised as to how well I felt mentally. Staff prepared me before the surgery to expect to wake up in a curved position with the aid of the bed so I knew I would be unable to straighten up at first.
“I had a couple of drains either side of my pubic bone that were being monitored constantly by staff and was told they would be removed in 24 hours or so, all being well.
“It was a couple of hours before I felt I needed to pee and was repeated told I MUST NOT attempt to get off the bed without assistance. I heeded this advice! So when I needed to pee, I was very carefully moved into sitting position and helped to stand by staff then I shuffled to the en suite loo.
“There’s no getting around it, those first 24 hours can feel a little claustrophobic as the bodies instinct is to be able to straighten and move freely so you have to dig deep and focus on the fact that it’s only temporary and that you’re safe.
“I was naturally sore but pain medication kept the edge off and by the time I left, 2 days later, I was walking well and confident that I would be fine. It was really important to hear that I would naturally and gradually start to straighten up (instead of walking stooped over to protect the scar) but it absolutely happened over 2-3 weeks. And now, 4 months later, I’m completely back to normal with yoga and cycling.
Has surgery changed your life in any way?
“Going ahead with the surgery was absolutely the right thing for me to do at this time. Has it changed my life..? Yes, it has. My clothes fit!! I’ve got a flat stomach and profile. I can perform better yoga poses because there’s no bulge in the way.
“I went to Egypt and wore a bikini! I feel feminine and sexy. I dress differently now.
“Mentally, I feel better in my body which is very liberating.
What advice would you give others?
“Before surgery, like at least a month before, start preparing your skin with lots of massage and moisturiser/oils. I used Rio Rosa Mosqueta products for their scar healing properties as they are completely natural and have No nasties in them that some of the well-marketed scar oils have. I also ate very well and always kept hydrated.
“I had another stomach massage a couple of days before surgery just to loosen all the layers and lipids in preparation. Be as fit, well and supple as you can and absolutely get your head ready to need physical support for around 2 weeks post-op. I’d have been lost without my sister and husband helping me.
“But I firmly believe that being patient and accepting help really helped my healing process. NO SHORT CUTS! It’s completely worth the wait.”