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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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