I'm a 36 yo African American female. I am 5'8" tall and weigh 157lbs. I've wanted smart lipo for quite a while, but am a research junky and wanted to know as much about the procedure as I could before making a decision. My arms have always been a sensitive spot for me b/c they are the arms of my mom and grandmother. They are naturally thicker which has caused sooo many problems for me when buying new shirts...let's call them sausages. As for my stomach - I've always had a pooch, even when I was 125lbs, so getting SL was the best option for me. I didn't want to be down for a long period of time and wanted the tightening results w/ the use of a laser. Some of you have mentioned that there aren't alot of us in the Atlanta area and you're right. Even searching the internet for choices of doctors was becoming tiresome. Luckily it paid off and I found a great facility and dr.
My consultation w/ my doctor was great and reassured me that I'd chosen the best place for me. I was given a tour of the office (a true medical facility) and thoroughly went over my wants, needs and costs of the procedure.
I was lucky enough to have my procedure scheduled for July 1st. So, today is day 3 after my procedure and I wanted to share my experience. I hope that some of you find it helpful =)
Silly me was so nervous the morning of my procedure, I forgot to take pics at home of my pre-body. I will try to get some from the doc when I go in for my post check-up on Tuesday and will take some today so they can be posted.
I arrived that am at 11:30 and was immediately greeted by my dr. - he sat w/ us and chatted for a little while and gave some added reassurances about what was to come. A little while later I was taken to the back to get fitted for my compression garments, take meds and get prepped for pics. Yeah, being fitted for garments the day of may sound a little different from what most may experience, but it was b/c my garments were special ordered the week of so they could get the right types since I was getting abs and arms done. They wanted to make sure I'd have something comfy and w/o any zippers. Anyway, the nurse went over all my meds w/ me and had me take a Celebrex (anti-inflammatory)(oh and also took one of these the night before w/ my dinner) and a Halcion (sleep aid). All of my pics were taken next and then the dr. played tic-tac-toe all over my pooch and bat wings w/ a Sharpie. Teeth are pretty much chattering at this point b/c I know what's next...robe off and on the table.
~Before I move on, let me share that being awake for this was the ONE thing that had me questioning my decision from the moment I started reading about the procedure. Knowing that someone is poking and prodding my body while I'm wide awake just freaked me out every time I thought about it. The way I'd look afterwards is what pushed me to go for it.~
Now...back to being on the table =). My tummy was first, so I was soaped up and draped. Music from my dr's iPod was already playing so that was taking some of the edge off where the meds hadn't kicked in yet. I am not one to sugarcoat and really want for anyone that reads this to have the best description of my experience as possible. The so called 'bee sting' shots were first and as accurate as that may be, they did hurt. I even cringed in some places b/c the sting was a bit much. By this time I'm freaking out in my head b/c I know that the cuts are next...yikes! The first one was in my bellybutton and although I felt the pressure, I did not feel anything at all. The next one however I did (omg...it really hurt!) - apparently, the shot had not kicked in yet and I felt the sting of it for a while. I was a wuss and let a few tears flow b/c it really messed me up, but I really didn't feel the sting for long. He finished the other 3 incisions (total of 4 - 2 in bellybutton and the other 2 in lower bikini area) and had the nurse put the laser goggles on me. The lidocaine injections were next - there was pressure and some discomfort while it filled the areas he planned to melt fat in. After this, he started the laser and started to melt away all that pooch fat and then moved on to the suction. The only pain I had during all of this was when he worked close to my bellybutton and little zings from time to time when he would hit an area outside of where he planned to work or where the fat was minimal. My doc was fabulous the entire time. He talked to me and contantly checked on me to make sure I was ok throughout. He explained what he was doing through each step and answered any questions I had. He really took his time and continued to work the area until he was pleased w/ the amt of fat he was able to remove. After this, my arms were easy peasy. I felt like a pro by then and only cringed a few times while he worked them out...lol.
All done...whew - I made it!
I was in recovery for about an hour and then was driven home.
Day 1 -
I was really out of it for most of the day and didn't have much pain b/c I was still numb and drugged up. A drain was inserted into my stomach so there were a lot of bathroom runs into the night. I put my garment on as soon as I'd gotten home that day so that made going to the bathroom a whole lotta fun..yeah, not really =/. By nightfall I was ready for some meds (1 Keflex - antibiotic, 1 Halcion and 1 Tylenol 3 w/ codeine b/c I'm allergic to hydrocodone so doc was afraid to give me Vicodin) and had had a lot of drainage/bleeding mostly from my arms. The bleeding from my stomach was mostly around my bellybutton and even that didn't bleed or drain out like I've seen w/ a lot of other postings I've read. I guess that's due to the drain that was inserted - woohoo for the drain! I can only imagine how gross that would've been and oh lord the extra movement to clean it up..ughh. Anyway, I remember laying a towel down on my bed and putting a pillow next to me so I could lean against it while I slept. I recall struggling to roll over and get comfy on my arms throughout the night, but other memories of night one are pretty much gone from here...I was out.
Day 2 -
Time for a shower! Getting up was pretty rough on day 2 b/c some of the feeling starting coming back and my arms are now starting to bruise. I had some breakfast and took my meds - now meds include 1 Keflex, 1 Celebrex and 1 Tylenol 3. I guess the drugs kicked in quick b/c by the time I got in the shower I had started to feel really weird. The dizziness and nausea hit me like a ton of bricks all at once. I moved as quickly as I could to get out of the shower b/c I was going down fast. It took a while for it to pass and continued on and off throughout the rest of the day...horrible nausea. I tried to move around as much as I could and even got out of the house and ran a quick errand to get some bandages. Besides helping w/ the pain, the movement helped w/ the drainage too. I noticed that I didn't have to change the drain as many times on day 2. Bedtime was pretty difficult though. I only had 2 Halcion tablets so w/o one, resting was extremely difficult on night 2. I tossed and turned ~slowly of course~ all night and laying on my arms was the worst. Overall, day 2 was a good day...considering.
Day 3 -
Time to wash the garment! Even though I haven't had any staining issues w/ drainage, wearing the garment for 2 days is enough. Getting in/out of bed, sitting/standing and going to the bathroom is definitely easier today. Same routine - breakfast and meds (only Keflex and Celebrex today). The Tylenol was making me too sick the day before, so no more of that.
Overall, I made a great decision in getting smart lipo. My choice in doctors couldn't have been better - he's called me everyday since my procedure to personally check in to make sure I'm ok. The staff was very attentive and took great care of me. The pain has been very much worth the results I've already seen.
I can already see a difference in my abs, even with the swelling. The incisions aren't that visible and I can tell they are going to pretty much disappear when the sutures come out. I can't tell much w/ my arms yet b/c they are still very swollen and bruised, but I think that's only b/c I haven't had a garment to wear. A larger compression garment had to be ordered and shipped to my house. So, once I'm able to start wearing it, I'm sure I'll see a difference. Be sure to follow all instructions your dr. gives and have someone there to help for the first few days. Getting in/out of bed, the shower and that garment is enough to have you on the floor. If it wasn't for my little honee there, I would've been on the floor face down a few times. I'll add pics soon...thanks for reading.