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Smart Lipo on Upper/lower Abs, Flanks - Atlanta, GA + inner/outer thighs/hips 6 weeks later!

Woo hoo! My treatment day is finally here - I am...

Woo hoo! My treatment day is finally here - I am going in tomorrow morning (5/13/11) at 6:30 a.m. I am going to have my upper and lower abs done and my flanks. I am also having my inner and outer thighs done in June in a separate procedure.

I have had this belly since I gave birth to my son 28 years ago and it is time for it TO GO! I am petite, but have never been able to get rid of the belly or muffin top no matter what type of exercising I do. And, I was born with big thighs. With the onset of menopause, it has only been getting worse...

I started looking into Smartlipo at the end of the summer last year. All the posters here have been a great help and I finally decided to just go for it. I am not looking forward to the recovery, but no pain, no gain, right?

I am 51 years old, 5'4", 123 pounds. I am going to post my measurements, too, because no one seems to do that and I have wondered how many inches people are actually losing. So, as of right now, my waist measures 29 inches and my belly/gut/muffin top is 35 inches at the widest part of my flabby tummy :)

I am attaching my "before" pictures - good Lord, maybe I should have opted to get the thighs reduced first, lol.

Day 1 - I am really surprised that I am doing so...

Day 1 - I am really surprised that I am doing so well today! I have not taken any of the RX pain medicine they sent home with me: I did take 600 mg of ibuprofen this morning (ibuprofen reduces inflammation, Tylenol does not).

I don't remember a lot of the actual surgery - they gave me great drugs! I do remember Dr. Okoro telling me each step during the procedure before he did it so I knew what to expect and being to told roll over occasionally. I was surprised that the anesthetic didn't hurt, it was just little needle pricks in each area that he numbed. I do remember some discomfort from the laser (or the suction?) around the upper abdomen where I didn't have as much fat to remove. They took out 1150cc of fat!

I leaked a lot yesterday and slept downstairs last night on the couch with lots of towels and one of those plastic-backed pads that you see in hospitals (you can get them at Walmart) under me. So far today, I am oozing a little but the drainage has mostly stopped.

Pain-wise, on a scale of 10-10, with 10 being the worst, I'd rate today about a 2-3 if I am just sitting on the couch and about a 6-7 when I get up or sit down (just for that couple of seconds, then it goes back to a 2-3 again.) It's really not as bad as I was expecting. People are right when they say it feels like you have worked out really hard and have sore muscles, except that the pain is really deep inside - it's almost more like a "pulling" feeling, like your insides are tight...I can't explain it any better than that.

Day 2 - OMG!!!! How do they expect you to crowbar...

Day 2 - OMG!!!! How do they expect you to crowbar yourself into this garment?? It takes hubby and I together to get me into it!

I LOVE what I am seeing so far! One weird thing - my lower abs are actually smaller than my upper abs right now. My waist today is 28 1/2 inches, the ex-muffin-top is now 34 1/2 inches (so 1/2 inch less for each measurement). I think this is AWESOME considering that I am swollen and my surgery was only two days ago!! My stomach looks like it used to when I was sucking in my gut only now I'm not holding it in :) I really don't have much bruising either, thanks to a great surgeon and the arnica/bromelain/tons of water I have been drinking.

Pain-wise, I am doing well! I haven't taken any ibuprofen or any other pain meds today. Pain when getting up or down is now about 4-5 on a scale of 1-10, and it just hurts for that couple of seconds that it takes to get up (or down). Other than that, no pain and just slightly tender when showering. I am starting to itch, though. Also, all of the incisions have healed over except the one at the bottom of my stomach. Maybe due to gravity?

Went grocery shopping, ran errands, did laundry today, all with no problem. But, now I am seriously dizzy and light-headed. I guess I overdid it - makes me wonder what it will be like at work tomorrow? Also, I am behind on my water quotient for today, so that may be part of it.

Things I Have Learned So Far:
1. You'd better have someone around to help you for the first several days or you'll never get back into your compression garment.

2. Absolutely stick to drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water (so if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 oz of water per day).

3. DON"T use maxi-pads with those little crisscross "quilted for better absorption"-type panels unless you want to look like you have applied waffles to your body. I thought getting the thick pads would be good for the oozing, but never thought about the impression they would make!

4. Move SLOWLY in the shower. Normal, regular movements will make you very dizzy and light-headed.

5. Beware of how you zip up the garment - on mine there is a "flap" under the zipper so you don't get a zipper imprint. I didn't realize mine had bunched up in a couple of spots and those are the places that are bruised.

Day 3 - I went to work today and worked the full...

Day 3 - I went to work today and worked the full day. The pain was tolerable - again mostly just when I stood or sat. BUT, I have been really light-headed and dizzy today - that was worse than the pain I've had so far. I went in to the Dr's office after work and they checked vitals (OK), checked to see if I was dehydrated (no) and if I am eating enough (yes). They came to the conclusion that my electrolytes are out of balance so I am chugging PowerAde along with my water quota now. I swear this compression garment has something to do with it - it is so tight that I feel like I can't draw a full breath. Ugh!

Day 4 - Still lightheaded but I feel wayyy better...

Day 4 - Still lightheaded but I feel wayyy better today as far as soreness. Now it seems more like a "tightness" when I bend down or get up. I am not seeing much difference in the mirror (I was really hoping to have a six-pack by now, lol), but what little bruising I had is disappearing (thanks to the arnica and drinking tons of water). Some of the incisions are still not healed over either so I am glopping on an antibiotic cream. Oh! Maybe they are still oozing because the gallons of water I am drinking are leaking out :)

Day 5- Pretty much the same as yesterday. I am...

Day 5- Pretty much the same as yesterday. I am moving around without much pain, just a "tightness" in my abdomen. I still hate the compression garment :) I stopped by Target this evening and got two Spanx-type camisoles to wear while I am out of the garment (which I only need to wear for 12 hours/day now, but am still wearing 24/7).

Day 7 - I had my 1 week post-op check today and...

Day 7 - I had my 1 week post-op check today and have lost 1.5 pounds and 1 inch off both my waist and my muffin top - yea me!

Today is the first day I have gone without the compression garment and, as much as I hate it, I am going to put it back on as soon as I finish this post! It's been off for about 10 hours and I am feeling wayyy bloated and sore even though I have been wearing a Spanx-type camisole. Rats! But, I guess I need to get used to it because the surgeon actually wants me to wear it as close to 24/7 as I can for 5 more weeks for best results. Ugh! Still gulping the water and taking the arnica - the bruising is mostly gone (although I feel bruised deep inside), but the swelling is starting to take over now...

OMG! This is the first time I have felt the...

OMG! This is the first time I have felt the "numbness-but-sensitivity" that everyone has been mentioning. I thought I would go nuts yesterday - I was so itchy in one spot but I couldn't "scratch" the itch! I could feel where it itched and could obviously scratch the skin, but it wouldn't penetrate through the numb skin to get deep enough in my tissues to relieve the itch. Arrghhhh! :)

Week 3 - The bruising is gone and I am starting to...

Week 3 - The bruising is gone and I am starting to (barely) see a change. I still have lots of swelling so I am not noticing a dramatic difference like some other posters. I still have some numb areas and some "bruised" tenderness if I push on an area. I am still drinking lots of water and still wearing the compression garment as much as possible. I have started back to exercising and yoga. So far, I have lost 2 pounds, but the tape measure says I have lost 1 1/2 inches from my waist and 4 inches from my muffin top, so I know there is progress even if it isn't dramatic yet!

Week 4 - not much to report. I have lost 5 inches...

Week 4 - not much to report. I have lost 5 inches total off the muffin top, which is great, but I feel like I can't really see it yet, so I am glad I measured before the surgery. I haven't gained weight and haven't lost it, and I don't really have any noticeable difference in my pants like some other posters seem to. I do see a flatter stomach when I am sitting down, which is nice!

Week 5 - finally starting to see results! I have...

Week 5 - finally starting to see results! I have been really trying to do lymphatic massage on myself daily and I am slowly starting to see the swelling decrease, although I can still definitely see swollen areas...

I am on Week 6 now and still noticing swelling. It...

I am on Week 6 now and still noticing swelling. It comes and goes. I look great first thing in the morning and pregnant in the afternoon! I asked the Dr about it since so many people here seem to have NO swelling by the 6 week mark. He says that we all heal differently and it is normal to still have it, especially if I do anything strenuous. I am really happy with the results when I see myself first thing in the morning, though! Here are the pics, see for yourself...

I had my inner/outer thighs and hips done on...

I had my inner/outer thighs and hips done on Saturday (the 25th) so I am now on Day 3 from the 2nd surgery and in week 7 of the first one. I can say that I am starting to see more results in my abs now (finally) but figure that's because all the swelling migrated south to my thighs :). I was pretty sore on Day 1 (sat down realllyyyy slowly), went back to work yesterday (Day 2)and it was bearable, and was doing great today (day 3). I have hardly any pain today unless I bump my thighs. I'm bruised, though! On pain, no gain, right?

Week 1/Thighs - boy, am I bruised! I"m taking my...

Week 1/Thighs - boy, am I bruised! I"m taking my arnica faithfully, so I hope it goes away soon. I am not seeing results yet, in fact, I am about 1/4" bigger right now than before surgery, due to swelling.

I am now at 3.5 months for my upper and lower...

I am now at 3.5 months for my upper and lower abs/waist and just over 2 months for my inner/outer thighs and hips... I can see results, so I am happy, but not ecstatic like some people are (I was more excited at the beginning!). I can see that the "poochy" stomach is gone and that the thighs are smaller on top, but, seriously, my measurements are almost exactly the same as they were when I updated in week 4 after the procedure. Sorta thought I would have had more definitive results by now...I posted pictures, you be the judge!

So, I have changed my vote about whether Smartlipo...

So, I have changed my vote about whether Smartlipo was worth it from "Worth it" to "Undecided"... I am at 5 months for my upper/lower abs and waist and they haven't changed a bit - I am still wearing the same size pants, still have the same measurements (btw, my weight hasn't changed). I can visually see that the lower ab "pooch" is gone, so I am happy about that. Maybe I had higher expectations than I should have because one of the Dr.'s staff told me she had gone from a size 8 to a size 4 after her surgery. I was hoping for at least 1 change in pants size!

I am still numb along my waist and I can actually see that my incision areas are smaller than the surrounding skin(the skin is more indented or shrunken? Don't know how to describe it), so I am hoping this means I am still swollen. I had the abs/waist done in May and the thighs/hips done in June. My mom-in-law passed away 3 days after my second surgery and we flew to her funeral - the flight made me really swollen and they told me it would delay my results by a month or two. I am starting Smooth Shapes next week as they say it will help, but I am not holding my breath at this point...

I must say I LOVE my thighs! (They still measure the same, too - but I can see a big difference. They tell me that thigh results take the longest to see.) That surgery was definitely worth it.

I am adding new pictures. I took some today for...

I am adding new pictures. I took some today for the Smooth Shapes review I'll be doing (hoping that will get rid of the swelling/lumps/bumps/numbness that I still have...)

I meant to update sooner than this but the...

I meant to update sooner than this but the holidays got in the way! I finished the Smoothshapes treatments on my waist and abdomen just before Thanksgiving. I had 7 treatments plus 1 Velashape treatment. I am MUCH happier now! I thought I still looked pretty puffy 5 months after my Smartlipo surgery but the Smoothshapes definitely helped (see pictures below).

I lost 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my abdomen from doing the Smoothshapes treatment! I actually went out and bought my very first sweater dress and wore it over the holidays because I was so pleased with how I look now! (And I was told I looked hot so yippee for Smartlipo/Smoothshapes, lol).

I have my 6 month followup (actually it's been 8 months, though!)on Thursday. My waist is not as contoured on the right side as it is on the left and I still have an indentation around one incision on the left side, so I want to ask about touch ups.

Yay - gonna do a touch up on Thursday 3/3/12. I...

Yay - gonna do a touch up on Thursday 3/3/12. I still have a "bubble" on the lower left of my abdomen and I am a little bigger on the left side than the right at the waist (meaning my left side is not symmetrical with my right side). I also decided to do the bra roll while I am having the touch up since that area bugs me now that everything else is thinner. Even with that, I am suddenly having people ask me if I have lost weight (I haven't) so I am happy with the overall results!
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Okoro was very courteous, patiently answered all of my many questions, never rushed me, and never made me feel that anything I asked was silly. He drew circles all over me so I could see/approve the areas he was working on before I went into surgery. During the surgery, he told me what he was going to do before he did it, so I knew what to expect.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (65)

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Wow. Thanks for your indepth reply. I appreciate it but am really discouraged now. I graduate in one month and hoped to have a smaller waist by then. I also talked to a few people who have had it done and have flat stomachs and say they would do it again in a heart beat. I don't know what to think now. I guess I will look for those vela shape deals but right now just walking and sitting is uncomfortable I can't imagine getting a massage. It would hurt too badly right now. I hurt more than I did the first 3 days after when I took no pain meds at all.

I am short on time right this minute but would love to follow up and ask other questions as things arise. I will be in touch if that is OK.

Thanks again,
(BTW, did you look at my pics?)
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Coffeebean, I'm sorry to tell you, but you will NOT see the results you are looking for in one month. Last May (2011), I had my waist, abs, and outer thighs done. I did not see "good" results until about 3-4 months in, and final results at about 6 months. On February 2 of this year, I had my outer thighs and knees done (I have my 3 month checkup tomorrow), and I am still swelling, have lots of itching, and I'm still a little sore when pressure is applied in those areas (but I just started seeing results about 2 weeks ago). While I'm certain you will see fantastic results, unfortunately, you won't see them in a month's time. Also, I did the lymphatic massage about one week after my surgery for about 5 sessions, and because there is still soreness, the massage therapist is pretty gentle, but will get the job done. Good luck and be patient, my friend.
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Hi Coffeebean - yes, I saw your pics and I can see some changes in the "after" pictures already. Don't worry - you will get there, just not in a week or a month. I know what you mean about the massage - a lymphatic massage would definitely be better right now since the therapist can alter how much they push on your bruises. Velashape/Smoothshapes HURT LIKE HECK and I didn't have it done until maybe 5 months after surgery. Like Tenderbrown, I am going with the lymphatic massage this time and will start if on 5/21. In her pics, she looks similar to you and I before surgery and looks great now - it just takes time...Feel free to ask me anything if you have other questions!
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Hi there. I was happy to see your post. I posted mine under tumenescent lipo but see more posts here and more people my size. Actually, you and I are very similar in size and had the same areas done so I am curious about your experience. I think you look great in the last photos you posted at about 5 or 6 months out. I am going into day 7 tomorrow and am feeling very discouraged for the money I spent because I am not seeing any changes that warrant $6K. I am hoping there is far more swelling that I know. When I take the garment off I feel like I have a water balloon around my waist. Anyway, you do look great and it gives me hope. I would love to hear from you if you get this. I realize it has been awhile since you last posted.
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Hi Coffeebean! 7 days is wayyyyyyyy too early to see any changes - try around 4 - 9 months (I am 52, but my hubby also had it done (he's 45) and didn't notice much change until around 5 months)! When I had my first surgery, I could tell right away that the stomach "pouch" was gone, but I didn't see a whole lot of difference in anything else that had been done. You are wayyyy swollen right now (I know this because I just had a touch up on Thurs (5/3/12) and have lost all the ground I had gained, due to swelling. I measured myself before/after each procedure in the areas I had done and can tell you that they all shrank somewhat. I had the biggest change AFTER I did 7 sessions of Smoothshapes to help break up the scar tissue and get rid of the trapped water/fat in my upper/lower abs and waist. My Dr/surgery was through Sono Bello, like yours was and Sono Bello will try to sell you on their version of Smoothshapes (which is VelaShape) for $1,000 but I found a Groupon for the same thing, different name, for $400. That helped a LOT! That being said, I never shrank as much as I would have thought/hoped in most places given the sales pitch Sono Bello did. During the consult, the sales lady grabbed my waist and pulled it really flat and tight and said "That's how you will look afterward. I had it done and went from a size 8 to a size 4," so I was really excited and plunked down my money. But, I NEVER changed pants sizes AT ALL even after a year (but they did fit better)!!! Also, after just shy of a year later, when I sit down, my stomach looks like the Michelin Man's and never did before (though it is flat when standing, what's up with that?). When I asked the Dr about it at the touch-up consult, I was told that it was loose skin that likely would not tighten without a tummy tuck (ummm, there's NO WAY).
Even 1 year later, I find that I actually expand (swell) a good 2-3 inches from morning 'til night. I measured myself for a couple of weeks and kept records and that is how it turns out every time. That being said, the area where my "pouch" was had gone from 38" to 32.5" and my thighs (untreated with Smoothshapes) each went down about 1.5". That doesn't sound like a lot but the shape.contour is different so it looks like it changed more. Lately, people are asking me if I have lost weight, so I must look different ('cause I weigh exactly what I did a year ago pre-surgery).
BOTTOM LINE: look for a deal on Smoothshapes/Velashape/or something similar (I have a friend who just had her procedure on 3/3/12 and went through a series of 10 lymphatic massages and she looks awesome (age 50) that will help a lot. Also drink lots of water (1/2 your weight in ounces (so a 120# person should drink 60 oz/day to help flush everything out).
I hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck!
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Going in to for lipo tomorrow with Dr. Okoro - complete mid-section (front and back). Wish me luck!!
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Good luck! You'll do great, I am sure. Just remember to take your Arnica, drink LOTS of water, and wear your compression garment :)
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Ok. About two weeks before surgery i started arnica. Started smooth shapes about 2-3 weeks post surgery. Also started deep tissue massage. I went to a masseuse that specializes in post surgery massage therapy. NOT a spa (but I also went to another masseuse for the froo froo massages. . The difference is here is that the masseuse worke strictly in my surgery areas breaking down scar tissue and pockets of swelling. No weight loss but I sure do look different.
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when you go back to get a touch up do you have to pay for that? just woundering because i had sl done on my lower abs and my flack and im thinking i might have to havve a touch up but not sure because im very sore to touch so might not be at finish results
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Hi auntie k, how long ago did you have your surgery? They tell people they will have full results by 4 months but I have seen some Drs posting on here that they can take up to 9 months. Mine took that long, I think because I am 52. I STILL swell up by the end of the day! It helped a lot to have Smooth Shapes done and a friend who just went through SL has been having lymphatic massages that have really helped with her results (she is 50). Anyhow, I didn't have to pay for the touch up since I was also having the bra roll done. Not sure what (if any) the charge would be if I had only done the touch up...
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hi i had sl 2 months ago so im glad to know i still might not be at the end result. what is smooth shapes? I am 47 , i am soo sore on my sides, cant wait for that to go away! Did the touch up heart worse like some people say? thank you for answering me :)
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The hardness/numbness took about 4 months to go away and the swelling only totally went away after I did the Smoothshapes treatments 6 months after surgery. Good luck!
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Hi Robinette,Im glad it all worked for you. I had mine done inner/knee/anterior thighs done Nov 9/11, just wondering how long it took the swelling/hardness dissipate?
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Robinette, I was just wondering how much was removed from your hip/thigh area and do you know about how many inches you lost? Your pictures do look great!
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Hi Thinner1, it seems to me that they took about 1300 cc (I am not totally positive since that was about 4 months ago). I have not lost ANY inches in the hips or the thigh area although I can definitely see a difference in the photos - not sure if it's because I am still swollen? They told me that thigh results take the longest time of all the surgery places so I should shrink more, I hope...Thanks for your kind words about my pictures :)
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The lumpyness that you are experiencing is this something you can see and feel? Does it feel like knots? If the lumps do not go away would you still consider this procdure worth it? Just curious since your pic do look really nice.
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Thanks, HIG: It's funny - I think the pictures can look better than what I see with my eyes. Maybe the angle or how the light hits my abs? Anyhow, it feels like there is a hard, flat layer under the lumpy skin. If the lumps don't go away, I am on the fence as to whether it was worth it. I am thrilled that the saddlebags and stomach pouch are gone, but my stomach is more wrinkly than before and my waist measures a little larger than pre-surgery. I am mostly disappointed that I haven't decreased in size. I am a 5/6 and was really hoping to be a 4...
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For the lumps i used a rolling pin..I know if sounds wierd but I read someone else who did it so I tried it. I think it did help..I also go massages. I hope this helps you too
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Wow, I do see a difference with you hips/thighs. They look great! Overall, you look fantastic. I read what you said about the thighs taking longer to fully recover to see the final result. Maybe that's why they still have a bit of itching. Last night, I researched traditional lipo, and they use power-assisted lipo, which does require about a week of down time, but more fat can be suctioned vs. Smartlipo (although the procedures are very similarly performed). Honestly, I'd rather have general anesthesia, because I really didn't like being conscience during my procedure due to the pain & jabbing sensation I felt in the process. So, we'll see. At any rate, I'm glad to hear how satisfied you are with your overall results.
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Thanks! Maybe we are all too self-critical? I am happy but not ecstatic, you know? I really don't remember any of the surgery so I was happy with the pills and local anesthesia. Off to Smoothshapes, fingers crossed that it smooths the lumps :)
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Sorry you are unhappy with your results. I had my smart lip done on my lower abs and hips..I am so happy with results.I wish everyone could have the experience I had. The scar tissue and the feeling in my stomach and hips did take longer than I had thought it would to feel normal again . June 3rd was my surgery. I hope things workout for you
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Hi Hope01, Thanks for the good wishes! I am still numb on both sides of my waist, so I am hoping that I am still healing and will be one of those with really really late results :)
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Yeah, I still have rolls of fat/swelling. My pants actually seem tighter in the waist than before the surgery. My upper abs are OK, I seem to have more fat or swelling (whatever it is!) in the lower abs and waist. I will go in for my 6 mo checkup in Dec and am going to ask for a touch up if this doesn't resolve by then. Meanwhile, I am trying Smooth Shapes to see if that will help shrink things (supposedly, it will help reduce fat/cellulite and tighten skin). They keep telling me that I have scar tissue that needs to be broken down. Not sure how much of that I believe, but we'll see... Good luck with your touch up!
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Hi Robinette....I am having similar results with my abs...I was getting 2 abdominal massages a week to break up the the scar tissue which was happening at first but even the therapist said no change in the last month of getting them. I have many lumps and loose skin. I going to change my vote as well. My abs were very poochy prior to having this performed but at least they didn't look deformed like they do now.... :-(
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Hi Tex, So sorry that you are in the same boat. It's so frustrating! I haven't had the massages like you have had. You would think your healing would be great! I wonder now if Smooth Shapes will even help. I'll keep you posted...
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