So Far So Good and SO WORTH IT! -Atlanta, GA

I decided to do smart lipo as a last resort. I...

I decided to do smart lipo as a last resort. I gained 30 pounds in one year after beginning anti-depressants for panic disorder around 2005. I was normally a very slim size 2/4. When I gained weight and filled out to a size 10/12 I wasn't too upset. In fact, I figured if I ate healthy and worked out that the weight would come off naturally. I much preferred being happy and feeling panic free! I hired a trainer and lost a few pounds. I even began dancing again which was a lifelong passion of mine. Fast forward to 2010 after my mother passed away, the weight became more of an issue. I decided yet again to commit myself to health. I joined a bootcamp/cross-fit group exercise regime which I did 3 x's a week, plus dance classes. I got in the best shape of my life! I learned to make healthy eating a part of my lifestyle. However, even after losing weight and gaining muscle the flabby pooch remained around my stomach. It wouldn't go away! I added other things to my regime, no sugar, clean eating. Still nothing. Some days it would take me 20 minutes to find clothes to "hide" the belly. When I wasn't wearing spanx to dance or workout I looked about 6 months pregnant. I had my thyroid tested and a myriad of other tests to rule out why this persisted. After all of that, I gave up fighting.

Then, I began researching smart lipo. I looked up board certified plastic surgeons. I searched for the best. I am now 3 days post-op and even after a day WITH swelling I was in shock that my belly was flat. I can only imagine how great it will look after 3 months.

Please keep in mind this is not a quick fix. It takes time to heal and to recover. I knew this going in. I also knew it wasn't a weight loss procedure and it sure as heck isn't a substitute for proper clean eating and fitness.

I'm glad I went the route I did. I know that now my body will more accurately reflect the hard work I put in prior to surgery.

Does it hurt? Yes, but the procedure itself wasn't bad. I vaguely remember any of it since the meds they give you make you very groggy and loopy. The nurses were wonderful and helpful. They eased my anxiety. I had my upper and lower abs done as well as my waist. Right now it feels like it does after I do v-ups with a 20 pound medicine ball. I'm used to that type of soreness. I'm also used to wearing spanx ALL the time which is similar to the compression garment. I'm quite pleased and happy I did it! I'm also very happy I did my research and got a very good surgeon! I will post more as my recovery progresses. I can't answer entirely about after care or responsiveness yet since it's only been a few days...I suspect it will be exceptional. :)

Day 4 and my 2nd full day without pain meds...and...

Day 4 and my 2nd full day without pain meds...and ouch!!!! Once I removed the garment to shower I saw why I had pain each time I moved. My easy-to-bruise skin was a nice lovely shade of yellow-green all over my upper & lower abs and sides. I expected it I'd bruise and was surprised it took this long to manifest. I'm still taking my arnica and I went to the store and picked up some pineapple. I've been trying to move around more and drink lots of water...just anything to help my body move the fluids out and to heal. My stomach still looks great albeit a little more swollen. However, I will be extremely glad when this phase is over! The antibiotics are making me feel run down which is a reaction I always have to any I ever take. I'm so ready to start working out again. If I weren't so bruised, I totally would. I did try doing a plank today with a few push ups....felt kind of good, but I worried I might make the swelling or bruising worse. Must have patience!

The pain and bruising were much less today. Either...

The pain and bruising were much less today. Either the bromelain in the pineapple really works or it's just the placebo effect. If it's the placebo effect, I'll humbly admire the awesome power of the human mind and be incredibly thankful for it! The incision areas have scabbed over and most are hardly visible. I only had four. I felt so swollen all over today despite drinking a lot of water, so I tried to walk every hour or so. I also did some research on lymphatic drainage exercises. They seemed almost too simple, but they also really seemed to help. What also really seemed to help was doing about 10 air squats at a slow speed. Getting the larger muscle groups moving seemed to also get the lymph fluid moving and made me feel better all over. I am starting to feel like a caged animal though...I have to work out and dance very soon. Ugh.

Day 11 I am pretty much OVER this compression...

Day 11
I am pretty much OVER this compression garment that makes me feel like a sausage. This thing is freaking TIGHT!!! I can tell when I swell because it gets so tight I can barely move or even breathe. My legs are swollen too by the end of the day. This is far worse than the procedure was because at least I couldn't remember the procedure! Waiting on my stage 2 garment to come in the mail because I hope it is way more comfortable than this. I've been having sharp pains on occasion when I bend over of if the compression garment pulls on my skin. Reminds me a lot of some of the ever so *fun* days I had in physical therapy after my knee surgery years ago. It's that same feels-like-scar-tissue pain. Basically, it feels like your skin pulling off the bone when you move. I've had way too many injuries if I can tell you the type of pain...like I know cartilage tearing pain versus scar tissue pain. Yes, I'm weird. I will say, it still looks crazy good even with swelling and bruising. Did I mention I still have the pen marks on me? It hurts too much to rub them off. Plus, touching my own skin when it's numb freaks me the heck out. I can't do it! lol Okay, I will get my old phone to get my before photos off of it. BTW, I wore a dress today that always used to show off my preggers-looking belly and it was so crazy seeing a flat stomach there. Wow.

I'm 3 weeks post-op. Hooray! Just started...

I'm 3 weeks post-op. Hooray! Just started massaging the area with a hand held massager for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Also, started wearing the stage 2 garments. I bought two additional ones since the first one ordered for me (a girdle type with no legs) rode up my rear end ALL. DAY. LONG. It was horrible. It's not exactly made for anyone with a back side or muscular thighs. Still getting some swelling on and off, but all the bruising is gone. I still have trouble wearing heels to work. I tried it one day and it hurt every time I walked because it jiggled my skin. I did go clothes shopping for the first time since the surgery and was so happy that there was NO muffin top and no jiggle-jaggly belly. :) Also, I finally got my some of my before photos off my old Android phone. Thank goodness I upgraded to an iPhone because that stupid thing would no longer load my saved photos. Upgraded belly and upgraded phone. lol

Ugh. I have hit the ropey, hard, lumpy mess I kept...

Ugh. I have hit the ropey, hard, lumpy mess I kept reading about. :/ I just keept trying to remind myself it's temporary and if I keep up with the daily massaging and staying active it will diminish. First night back to dance class and I forgot that hard-hitting professional level hip-hop dance uses soooo much core movement and strength.. No major complaints, but it made my skin itch like crazy. I'm assuming nerve endings are reawakening and blood is flowing to the area. Refrained from any jumping whatsoever and stuck to just one class. Still impressed that even with the lumpiness that has set in during healing how good it still looks. For the first time at the studio, I didn't feel humiliated about my belly fat. I didn't worry. I felt more confident. I looked like someone who works out as hard as I do. So grateful!
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
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Comments (8)

Hi AJN, I'm so thrilled to hear you went to sonobello because I think I've decided to do my tummy there afterall!!! At this point, it's just a matter of pricing. Like I said, I already do my venus freeze treatments there on my thighs which I cannot express enough how EXCITED I am about my results (i posted pics) but w/my abs, I prefer something permanent. I keep hearing about Dr. Welsh everywhere, and the funny thing is that another patient of Sonobello's told me she saw his wife there doing her venus treatments on her face which I thought was so, so cool and made me feel a bit relieved since I doubt a surg's wife would do something if it didn't work =/ Anyway, I'm having my consultation w/Vanessa today so I will definitely ask about Dr. Klein and looking at some of his patient's pics!!!! Thanks so, so much for sharing!!!! Wish me luck! :)
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That's great! Vanessa is really nice. You'll like her. I'm in my 5th week now and I'm starting to feel normal again. I've been wearing this crazy compression garment almost 24/7 and finally went without it or a few hours today. I think you'll be happy with your results and Dr. Klein does great work. I had my doubts last week as I was going through the lumpy/bumpy phase I keep reading about and I was super swollen. However, this week everything shrank. Just try to be patient after the surgery, since the results vary as you heal. I'm massaging everyday to work out the scar tissue that causes the lumpiness. I'll try and post a pic soon. I can see it, but it's probably not noticeable to anyone else. Good luck with your procedure! I'm so happy you're moving forward with everything. Now, I'm interested in the Venus treatments. Ha! Supposed to have some treatment done soon as part of my surgery and I can't remember if it's the Velashape or the Venus. Anyway, it's supposed to help the skin and the lumpiness.
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Hi AJN! Congrats on your fab results!!! Quick question...did you go see Dr. Klein at Sonobello Atlanta? Because I'm considering doing smartlipo on my waist since I already do Venus Freeze on my thighs there w/them, and I noticed that he also does it there... I guess he's in high demand. Anyway, any info you may have will help. Thanks!!
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Thanks! Yep, I did. Seriously, I had my doubts about Sono and figured I'd at least go for a consult and then go somewhere else for the surgery if I didn't feel "comfortable." Like I said, I had picked Klein and 2 others to get consults with if I didn't like what Sono had to say. I was pleasantly surprised and figured it was some serious fate that he happened to be there. He did a great job. But again, I did my research. A lot of it. I hear Dr. Welsh is also good and he works there, but that's just through what I heard the nurses saying. Always go with the board certified docs...ALWAYS.
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Also want to add, that they have been so nice to me since I had the procedure. They know me when I call or come in. That's pretty nice. Vanessa rocks and my two nurses were amazing. I wish I remembered their names. I was a basket case the day of the surgery - PANIC central and they made me laugh and were so comforting. Will never be able to thank them enough for that.
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Hi there, welcome and thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Congratulations on your weight loss, sounds like you really put a lot of hard work into it! I look forward to reading about your progress!

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Thanks! I really need to post some photos because even with the swelling, I'm really pleased with the outcome. I just have to find the horrible photos I took of my pregnant-looking belly.
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We'd love to see photos! I'm sure they're not horrible!

If you need any help uploading them, just give me a shout.

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