Liposuction Disaster Saved By a Tummy Tuck

threezn7s on 6 Dec 2013 at 9:00am

after smart lipo

RealSelf member threezn7s, from sunny San Diego, celebrated her 44th birthday with liposuction. Gym time wasn't touching stubborn fat on her sides, stomach and "back boobs", and she underwent the laser-assisted treatment in 2007. 

Turns out, liposuction left the former bikini model in "horrific pain" with saggy skin and a "lumpy" stomach (see above for photos). Thousands of dollars later (and treatments like Thermage, Ultherapy, fat grafting and even a trip to the surgeon who fixed Tara Reid's botched lipo) -- she finally feels restored after a tummy tuck (TT). This is her journey. In her own words.

I tried anything and everything over the last 6 yrs 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 TT.  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. I still could not bring myself to pull the TT trigger.

Then, I ran into a good friend. She offered me a peek at her TT 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 developed tears of elation. I put on a bikini I bought six years ago, and removed the tags. I NEVER thought I'd see the day ... sad I waited so long. Wished I had done this five years ago.

[Around three weeks post-op], I did not 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 6 years of trying to correct the situation, and 2 full TT's later (with a 5 month recovery), I am finally happy. It's not the fault of the doctor that [my first TT 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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Comments (7)

Wow, so good that you are sharing this!!! Yu can safe a lot of girls from depression. Unfortunatelly botched lipo is ver common!
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What an ordeal! I had a few areas of discolouration (reddish) on my stomach from lipo but I managed to improve them with IPL sessions. Still, it kind of looks like cellulite and it's not very nice. I consider myself lucky not to have been left with dents - this seems to be quite a regular complication.
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Glad that she could get back into shape. People should understand the fact that not every body is suitable for cosmetic surgery. In this case though liposuction went bad but the tummy tuck saved her, but this may not happen in everyone's case. So before going for a cosmetic surgery make sure that first, you are consulting a reputed doctor and second, your body is fit for the job.
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Was the botched Lipo due to physician error or was patient not a good candidate for liposuction surgery???
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Wouldn't that be sort of the same thing? If the patient wasn't a good candidate, the doctor should never have performed the surgery in the first place! He would have failed in his duty to advise her!
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You are so right PhoenixRising...thank you for bringing that to my attention...don't know where my mind is sometimes....
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PDA, how gracious of you. My apologies for perhaps being a little too direct ... After a terribly botched lipo, and an even WORSE attempt at a so-called "revision", I'm a little touchy that many doctors don't simply advise a patient truthfully - even if it means that they lose out on profits at the time. Again, thank you for accepting my comment so graciously! :)
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