My Tummy Tuck

After the fitting of my gastric band, changing my lifestyle and joining a gym I lost a lot of weight. However, no matter how much exercise I did I found I could not lose the excess skin around my stomach.

I started researching having tummy tuck surgery and joined many Facebook groups so I could interact with other people who had previously had the operation. I received many recommendations for various cosmetic surgeons but the most popular choice was Mr Manu Sood who worked locally at the Spire Hartswood hospital in Brentwood, Essex.

I decided to book a consultation with him to discuss my requirements.

I met Mr Sood on Monday 23rd July and he confirmed I would be unable to lose the excess skin regardless of the amount of exercise done. He then explained the surgical procedure to remove it, how I would look once it was done, how long the recovery period would be and any potential problems which may arise. He also provided me with various website addresses, including his own, where I could research the procedure further. He concluded by saying that if I wanted to go ahead with the surgery I should call his secretary to request a costing to be sent out.

Within a week I decided to have the procedure done and contacted his secretary. Once I had the costing I called again to arrange the surgery at the Spire Hartswood Hospital. I needed three weeks off work and didn’t want it done too close to Christmas so I booked it for 31st October with a two night stay.

On the day I arrived at the hospital at 1pm in time for the operation in the afternoon. I was told the surgery would take approx. four hours. Prior to my surgery Mr Sood visited my room, made some markings on my tummy and asked me if I had any concerns or questions. I replied that I hadn’t and that I was excited to be having it done. At around 3pm I was taken to theatre for the surgery.

I awoke at approx. 8.30pm in the recovery room. Once I was back in my room I noticed my tummy was sore but this was to be expected after surgery and, on the whole, I felt surprisingly well. I had a catheter fitted so I didn’t need to worry about getting out of bed.

On the first night I didn’t get much sleep as my blood pressure was quite low and the nurses were monitoring it regularly. At around 10am the next morning they got me out of bed so that I could go to the toilet. It was difficult sitting up as you feel like you have no strength left in your tummy. I had to roll to my side then sit on the bed before getting up.

In the evening Mr Sood paid me a visit to confirm the surgery went fine and to check on me. He explained that he had removed around 5½ pounds of skin. He then undone my binder and showed me my scar which was dressed with tape and wadding.

I left hospital the following morning. I was able to get myself out of bed and dressed but I was very slow. I kept getting a burning sensation on my left side which was painful but if I moved into a different position it would usually go. I was told this was nerve endings. I had this discomfort for about a week before it stopped and I would say that was the worst I felt during my recovery. I had lots of other strange feelings and lesser pains in different parts of my tummy on different days but all were bearable.

On Sunday 11th November I noticed the skin around my left side scar starting to turn red. On Monday morning there was blood on the gauze with the wound starting to look sore and by the evening I started to get a bit of pain in my tummy. On Tuesday morning the wound was still bloody, the pain in my tummy was constant (but bearable) and by Tuesday night when I checked there was a greeny brown pus coming out of the wound. I had previously booked to see Mr Sood the next day so I dressed it the best I could.

When I saw Mr Sood the following day he said the leakage was liquid fat caused by infection to the wound. He proceded to cut open my stitches in two places to release the liquid. My wound on the left looked to be approximately 3 inches in length and the one in the middle of my Fleur De Lys was around an inch in diameter.

He prescribed strong antibiotics to clear the infection and I had to see the nurses every 2-3 days to change my dressings. I saw Mr Sood every two weeks after that so that he could check my wounds. Due to their appearance I wasn’t able to look at my wounds for around 4 weeks but I did get my mum or husband to photograph them when possible so that I could take a peek at them later. They did turn my stomach as I am not good with things like that.

Just before Christmas, whilst I was changing my wounds from home, I started to look and notice the changes. They had totally closed up by the first week in January. It seemed like a long time going through it, but looking back it was around 5 weeks in total. My scars healed with no further problems and are starting to fade already after only 10 weeks.

To say I am happy with my surgery is an understatement - even with the infection I would have it done again tomorrow. I am so happy with my results. I was 11 stone 2 pounds on the day of my surgery. I am now 10 stone 3 pounds. I notice my body changing shape around where the scar is just as Mr Sood promised it would.

I am so glad that I had the surgery. I feel like a new woman, love my body now and I have more confidence than ever. I am now considering my next procedure which will be my baggy neck and my face. I’m saving hard to get this done!

If anybody is thinking of having this procedure done with Mr Sood I fully recommend it. As I was told by his previous patients he is a perfectionist and really cares about you, both before and after surgery. My experience was a very happy one.