Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Help Correct Painful C-Section Scarring
If you’d asked me five years ago if I would ever get plastic surgery or liposuction, I would have said, “No way!” I’m a 48-year old mom with two little girls and a full time job. I have a lot on my plate, and I’m not the type to worry about my weight or having a “barbie body.”
However, my attitude about plastic and cosmetic surgery changed when I was referred to Dr. Neil Zemmel and his team to treat my chronic abdominal pain. Despite my reservations, I underwent rectus plication, umbilical translocation, and liposuction surgery, and I don’t regret a minute of it.
This all started after my second C-section 6 years ago. The scar tissue that built up after the surgery was both emotionally and physically painful. It looked like I had a spare tire hanging around my waist. The scars caused cramps, and I’d lost a lot of sensation below my navel.
I complained to my OB-GYN, and she referred me to Dr. Neil Zemmel. I was hesitant at first, but the pain was so bad that even picking up a laundry basket was causing me issues. I decided to go for it.
I can’t speak highly enough about the consultation process. I was feeling pretty insecure throughout the experience, but Dr. Zemmel and his team were extremely supportive and reassuring. They thought I was a good candidate for scar revision surgery and talked me through every step of the process. They even called me a few times before the surgery to check in and see how I was feeling.
They were also very upfront about the cost, walking me through all of the financial aspects, including what would and would not be covered by my insurance.
All I remember having to do to prepare for the surgery was not eat after 10pm the night before. Honestly, most of my preparation was mental. I definitely had the pre-surgery jitters.
I don’t remember the procedure itself. I was given general anesthesia, so I slept through the whole thing. However, I think it took about 4 hours or so. During this time, Dr. Zemmel tightened the skin around my abdomen (rectus plication), which included relocating my navel (umbilical translocation). It was like a tummy tuck that removed the excess skin from my scar.
He also performed liposuction on my hips and upper back to compensate for the other changes. Basically, the excess fat there wasn’t going to look right after the skin was removed, so it was a little bit of body contouring to keep everything in proportion.
When I woke up, I was in pain, which was natural. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have the usual nausea and vomiting that I get with anesthesia. I have the anesthesiologist to thank for that. He put a patch behind my ear to keep me from getting sick.
I spent just one night in the hospital before being sent home.
When I was first sent home, I was in pain. I had drainage tubes in me for about a week, which were uncomfortable. Even after the tools were removed, I still had difficulties with movement and discomfort.
I was also sent home with instructions. I had to care for the drainage tubes, including emptying them and measuring how many cc's of fluid they’d accumulated. I was also given strict instructions regarding pain management (with medication) and my activity level.
Over time, the pain decreased, and my mobility increased. However, it didn’t seem like it was happening fast enough for me. My two girls are 6 and 8, and they are chock full of energy. It’s hard to be recovering from surgery and trying to keep up at the same time. I pushed myself too hard and wound up back in Dr. Zemmel’s office just 3 or 4 weeks after the surgical procedure. I had some brand new pain on my left side.
He told me that I’d probably popped an internal stitch and instructed me to take it easy and apply ice to my left side 2-3 times a day. It worked like a charm!
After that, I was more careful to listen to my body and not push myself too hard. It’s now been a few months since the procedure, and I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% back to normal yet, but I have no complaints. I am able to do everything that I could do prior to the procedure and then some.
I am very satisfied with my results. I am no longer in pain. Before learning about this surgery, I didn’t honestly think it was possible to improve. I am happy to say that I was wrong.
In fact, I thought I went in with realistic expectations, but the new surgical scar looks better than I thought it could. After the scar started healing, I was given a compound cream, and it worked wonders. The new scarring is extremely light, and there is only a tiny bit of numbness around my navel.
All in all, I’d say this has been a big boost to my self-esteem and quality of life.
Insurance covered most of my surgery. Because the scarring was causing me chronic pain, insurance handled the rectus plication (tummy tightening) and umbilical translocation (naval readjustment). However, it didn’t cover the liposuction procedure.
I can’t recall what the overall cost of the procedure was. But I can say, that my responsibility came to about $5,600, mainly for the liposuction. It was worth every penny.
I am so thankful to Dr. Neil Zemmel and his team. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give them a perfect 10.
While they are clearly experienced and skilled at what they do, it was their bedside manner that stood out the most. Every single member of that team was caring, considerate, and patient. I never felt rushed to make hasty decisions about my health, and I always felt supported. I would absolutely recommend Dr. Neil Zemmel to anyone who wants a safe and caring experience and a skilled plastic surgeon.