Liposuction Disaster Saved By a Tummy Tuck

Chako S. on 6 Dec 2013 at 5:00pm

after smart lipo
A RealSelf member from sunny San Diego celebrated her 44th birthday with liposuction. Gym time wasn't help to reduce the stubborn fat on her sides, stomach, and "back boobs," so she decided to try liposuction (81% Worth It Rating) back in 2007. 

Turns out, liposuction left the former bikini model in "horrific pain" with saggy skin and a "lumpy" stomach (see above). Thousands of dollars later — and a slew of contouring treatments like ThermageUltherapyfat grafting, and even a trip to the surgeon who fixed Tara Reid's liposuction) — she finally feels restored after a tummy tuck (96% Worth It Rating). Below is her journey in her own words.

I tried anything and everything over the last six years to fix my abdomen... nothing really worked, although some things provided a little relief. The dents, scars, ripples, and [overall] ugly appearance had made me completely self-conscious and depressed

after smartlipo photo
I was not interested in the hip-to-hip scar with a tummy tuck.  So, I tried to persuade several docs that the mini-tuck would work, but they all resoundingly said, "No, it won't work for you - the mini-tuck gives mini results." I consulted reviews on RealSelf, but could still not bring myself to pull the tummy tuck trigger.

RELATED: Tummy Tuck Surgery: Walk Through the Surgery Step By Step (GRAPHIC)

Then, I ran into a good friend. She offered me a peek at her tummy tuck scar and I agreed to consult with her doctor. He explained he would [place] my scar very low, and stated what he could not do, due to limitations of available skin. At the end, he held my hand and told me, "Most women think the outcome is worth the scar."  He went on to say he could help me feel whole again.

You know what? I believed him. On my way out, I booked my surgery for the following week.
after tummy tuck for botched liposuction photo
The surgery took three hours and I awoke with no complications or nausea. When I got to see my smooth tummy for the first time, I shed tears of elation. I put on a bikini I bought six years ago and even removed the tags. I never thought I'd see the day... and was sad I waited so long. Wished I had done this five years ago!

[Around three weeks post-op], I didn't rest as I should have and was up doing too much. My swelling was [increased] and I had to have a second seroma [a collection of fluid under the skin] drained

I had to undergo [complete] revision surgery at four months post-op for removal of thick scar tissue and to surgically close the large seroma pocket. I had more pain this time around.
after tummy tuck botched liposuction
Now, after six years of trying to correct the situation, and 2 full tummy tucks later (with a five-month recovery), I am finally happy. It's not the fault of the doctor that [my first tummy tuck surgery] did not work — my abdomen was so compromised by the liposuction. My tummy will never be perfect, but close to tolerable is my goal. 

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