September 12, 2009
WARNING: this will be a long description of my journey through smart lipo AND I have uploaded a picture that may make someone feel queasy - so don't read if you don't want the REAL story and real pictures.
What I had done on September 11, 2009: upper and lower abdomen and flanks.
Time it took: 5 hours.
I will also update this journal periodically through the weeks and the months since I just had Smart Lipo yesterday and have no "after" pictures yet. I'm writing this long journal because I suspect there could be someone out there that will benefit from my 10 months of research. So here goes...
If it was written or if there was a video or if (best of all) there were before and after pictures - I read and watched it. I even set up daily Google Alerts to send me recent articles about liposuction, liposculpture, laser lipo, smart lipo, cool lipo, vaser lipo, Liposuction abroad, PAL lipo, Zerona and many more. Hopefully you can see that this was not a quick decision and one I researched VERY carefully before I did it. This Real Self forum was of some help, but I can tell you after doing so much research there's alot people on here who don't know what they don't know.
Hang in here with me. I will get to telling you my story from yesterday, but I think its important I set the stage for you.
One thing I read is that you MUST select your doctor carefully. I absolutely agree, but how do you do that? Some people thought it was simply by selecting a board certified plastic surgeon. Well I can tell you I would not in a million years go to the board certified plastic surgeon in our area. I've heard too many stories. OK, so if I go to one out of my area, how do I know who to select? Isn't it kind of like "buyer's beware"? And what if I go out of the country? Now THAT seems like a big risk just to save a few bucks. My final conclusion is it comes down to talking with other patients of that doctor who's been through the same procedure! And the only way to do that is to get the names and phone numbers of his/her real patients. If your doctor does not have lots and lots of written testimonials and also real phone numbers to call - RUN! I don't care what board certified him. Remember in every medical class there are the top students and the bottom students and they ALL have md after their names.
I'm sitting here writing this less than 12 hours after having my smart lipo done and I have NO PAIN. None. And I am not on any pain medicine. Not even tylenol. Yes I took pain medicine before going to bed last night and again 2 times during the night (just in case), but believe me I need nothing today. Read some of the other reviews on this website and you'll see many comments about horrible, high, tolerable, or simply uncomfortable pain. hmmm....I wondered how that could be? Did I have a high tolerance for pain? I don't think so, because I simply don't have any pain! Now do I want someone to punch me in the stomach or do 150 crunches - of course not.
Here's my theory. Now I don't have any hard evidence. No double blind study to prove what I'm going to say, but after 10 months and after spending 5 hours yesterday grilling my doc during the procedure, this is my conclusion.
There's smart lipo, cool lipo, vaser lipo, pal and more coming out every day. Each of these have a certain way of doing things. Smart lipo uses laser. Cool lipo uses ultrasound. Some machines have a higher frequency which allows the doc to do things quicker. My doc said ultrasound has the potential to burn. Ouch! Don't want that. Some docs use the higher frequency machines because they can get it done quicker and therefore more procedures during the day and of course make more money! My doc took 5 hours!!! That means he can only do 1 of these procedures every day. He uses the lower frequency smart lipo machine and takes his gentle time. He also told me that it's all in the hands. Some docs are too quick and simply don't have the right "feel". No certification is going to tell you that.
My doc also combined smart lipo with PAL (power assisted lipo). After he injected me with the numbing stuff that blew up my belly (more than it already was :>) he used the pal machine to suction out the fat. Actually it was kind of cool. Kind of like a gentle massage. Now I've read on other websites that pal can be rough. Don't know, but MAYBE it is the higher frequency kind of this again. Maybe it's all in the "hands" using it. All I can say it was no problem for me.
Another thing I read on this site was how much some people HATE the compression garment. Not me. I love it. Feels really nice. Now maybe if I had it done during the heat of a blistering summer I might feel differently, but it is kind of nice.
Here's one thing in all my research I didn't realize. The doc put 4,800 cc's of the numbing stuff in my belly. 350 cc's came out during the suctioning process. So that means there 4,450 still inside that has to get out somehow. The miracle body begins to absorb and get rid of it itself, but tons start to leak out of the 10 tiny incisions the doc made in my belly. We have towels, plastic bags on everything I sit on. My husband didn't sleep with me last night because he didn't want to get wet. (He did threaten to make me sleep in a tent outside.) We bought one of those big blue tarps and covered the entire bed for me to sleep on and just layed an old sheet on top of the tarp. With those 3 pain pills, I slept like a log! Another thing you need to know is that you MUST have someone to help you. You cannot get this compression garment (girdle :>)on by yourself. And you'll go through a bunch of maxi pads over all the holes. It looks hilarious! I've gone past menopause so it's a great way to use up what I had left over. And here's the funniest thing. The garment has a hole in the crotch so you can go pee without taking it all off (sorry, have to de-girdle for the other thing).
Now for THE most important thing. How many of these procedures has your doc done? Mine - bless his medical soul - was one of the first in the country to get on the smart lipo bandwagon and after 3 years of doing 4 a week has done more than most any other doc in the country. Maybe that's why I have NO PAIN. He's pretty experienced and I CAN tell you has very gentle hands. None of this jabbing in and out that you see on those plastic surgery television shows. He even has other docs from all over the country fly in and get training from him. (I told you this would be long. Thanks for hanging in there with me.)
But the REAL test is the results. You can see by the pictures I am not your toned, fit 30 year old who simply wanted her little pooch taken care of. And I am more than 25 pounds overweight. But!! For the past 2 years I have gone to a Crossfit gym a couple times a week. I can deadlift 220 pounds. A normal workout would be 150 pullups, 150 situps, 150 pushups (knees for me) and a mile run. (yes...I do have to crawl back to my car)
Ok. Ok. If I had faithfully stayed on the Zone diet, Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig for the rest of my life I could probably have dumped the extra pounds. So call me lazy. I wanted a quick start. So I took the Smart Lipo plunge after 10 months of research. Stayed tuned and see if my results warranted the cost.
Oh. That reminds me. Cost. Be VERY, VERY careful when you compare costs from this website or from doc to doc. My belly was bigger than little miss fit who gets it done and so cost a bit more. I also had upper and lower abdomen done along with the flanks. That's 4 sections in all. Price should be the last thing you compare. I don't think you are really comparing apples to apples. And if my doc cost the $6,800 and you can find one in timbuck2 for $5,000 wouldn't you really want the one who has the most experience with gentle hands and can give you the best results with no pain? hmmmm....seems to make sense to me.
Now for the gross picture I put online: my fat that was taken out. 1,200 cc's! Gone. never to fill up and spill over my jeans again. yipee! The bloody stuff you see at the bottom is that 350cc's I told you about of the numbing stuff.
Well, there you have it. Stay tuned. More to come in a week.