I am 2 weeks post op from a scar revision. The above image shows the healing of my scar at this stage (2 weeks post), and some of the redness is due to laser treatment.
I was incredibly hesitant to get it revised at only three months post op from my original abdominoplasty, but after much counsel from various professionals in my life, I decided to address it earlier. The decision to have surgery originally was hard enough to make; I didn’t want to sit with dissatisfaction when there were OPTIONS that could address my concerns with how my scar had healed.
Thankfully, my insides have felt really good from the beginning...no complications there. However, a combination of tension, suture irritation from my compression, sutures that had a hard time dissolving and had to be removed around six weeks post op, spreading and a couple of areas that popped a stitch... the incision was just not satisfactory after all I had been through. There were a VARIETY of factors combined that impacted this, and it’s frustrating when people think my surgeon or I fucked it up. Scar healing is a tough process, especially when combined with internal trauma, even with the best efforts to mitigate issues.
I guess what I wish more people knew is that plastic surgery has a ton of variables, and often, things don’t go as planned, even with the best of knowledge, surgeons, etc. So much of this process is out of our control and results are not instant. It can take months to get an idea of how things will end up. If you are interested in an abdominoplasty, boob job, nose job, etc please be mindful that results are not instantaneous. The end game is far away, so patience is the key player. For someone who had a lot of skin or fat removed, maybe results are more evident and exciting. For me, there was not much outside change as there was internal, which is way less sexy. Yes some skin was removed and my belly button looks different, but with swelling and the scar...it wasn’t assuring and it was and IS confusing.
When I decided to get the scar revised, it was an effort to give my body the best possible healing process, and we knew it had got off to a challenging start. I know the consequences of a shitty scar and what symptoms can be created from that, and I was NOT willing to accept that when I knew there was an option to fix it. Was it frustrating to have to take another step back? More time away from the kids? More time away from exercise and activity after I had just started getting back into it? UMM...YES. I hate this. I hate that my body hasn’t had it’s normal routine, strength and overall fitness. But I know that this isn’t forever, it’s just for now, and I have conquered this mental game over the past couple years and I can do this again.
Fitness is a luxury and I don’t take it for granted, which is why I miss it. But I am also not willing to rush it and set my body back. We’ve come too far, especially now.
To brief you on surgery: Jamie used different suture material and a different suture pattern to be safe. Tension and swelling was less since nothing was done internally. The day after surgery I was pretty uncomfortable, swollen and the incision area was painful. As the days went on I improved dramatically and felt much more independent.
I had surgery on a Tuesday and flew from Tucson (where Jamie lives) to Las Vegas on Saturday morning to see my mom and grandma for Mother's day. I went home to California on Sunday night (my husband drove me). That night we got home and found out Gunner, our dog had gone blind over the weekend. Our friend was with him and we were all just so upset. Monday we took him to the vet, that week he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and by Thursday, we had to say goodbye because his symptoms just took over. It was awful to see how fast this came on and we are still just spinning from this process and devastating loss.
The emotional stress of this “healing” period has been immense. Because I’ve been so upset emotionally, it’s been CRITICAL that I respect my body physically. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to sit, rest, lay down, ask for help, etc., even though life has been chaotic and filled with sadness.
WE DON’T ALWAYS HAVE IDEAL HEALING ENVIRONMENTS, and often those variables are outside of our control.
We do our best to help the process and just WAIT and HOPE that our body cooperates, despite the obstacles we may experience mentally, physically, or emotionally.
Many people will believe (and have told me) that I seem to be the worst case scenario. That may feel true at times... I’ve certainly walked the spectrum of diastasis recti, from oblivion, to obsession, to a hernia repair, second pregnancy, huge ass babies, 2 c-sections, decent levels of fitness despite a “significant” diastasis, and the eventual decision to get an abdominoplasty to address the distorted mesh and the subsequent 8cm diastasis, only to be followed up by a scar revision 3 months later. It SUCKS. However, I have never lost trust in my body. I have gradually learned how to navigate this and have gained a lot of perspective over what we consider “worst case” situations, decisions, messaging, and outcomes.
I am fucking privileged with immense knowledge, support, financial ability to have this surgery and a lifestyle that supports my process. PRIVILEGED. My “first world surgery” problems are not the worst-case scenario, ever, yet most who are on this path may believe so after following my journey.
Diastasis recti is not as problematic as you may think (or have been told), and surgery isn’t the worst case scenario either. You can be athletic with diastasis without having to breathe and move like a robot with a foundation of strategies, knowledge, and progression and I hope to have conveyed that well personally and with my work as a coach.
Rehab, surgery, and education on this topic is a privilege that many do not have access to, for a variety of reasons and why I have tried to share so much personally and professionally as a trustworthy resource, not just as a “fit mommy.” My personal experiences are NOT enough to provide guidance here, and I’m still working on connecting MANY considerations, with information and opinion changing often.
My personal experience is what helps me relate and be empathetic. My profession allows me to be critical, connect evidence to reality and then learn from others who compliment what I do so that I can pay it forward with solid guidance, not fluffy, fear mongering BS.
All of this leads to me being a human who is trying my best to advocate for my body and general information, and then help sort out the information and circumstances. Others will benefit from my sharing - I know this. As uncomfortable, embarrassing and frustrating as it all may feel, depending on the day, I know that nothing here is wasted. It’s a privilege to be this “worst case scenario” because I trust myself to know, be and do otherwise.
Keep scrolling to find my best free and paid resources for support on the topics mentioned in this post.
Are you pregnant and everyone has you convinced that “OMG diastasis” or “just listen to your body, do what you’ve always done!” Neither are ok or are enough info.