SmartLipo/Vaser: Recovering Nicely - Just Turned 40 and This is my Gift to Myself

I want to start by saying that I have researched...

I want to start by saying that I have researched the topic of SmartLipo and Vaser lipo until I was blue in the face. I've reasearched, planned and daydreamed for years.

I just turned 40 and this is my gift to myself.

I went to several consults to meet with the physicians I had narrowed my searches down to in Atlanta. After a time I had it narrowed to two physicians, both of whom are well known in this area and both of whom perform liposuction procedures for well known persons as well as for the "swan" makeovers here. That alone told me they knew what they were doing and would be high caliber. In the end I chose the one who is actually named as the first plastic surgeon to begin SmartLipo in the U.S. after trainin extensively with european doctors who had pioneered the method. She was more expensive, but after also haveing seen the horror stories and after scraping the majority of this money from a special savings account for this, I was certain that I would rather spend more money to assure the best results.

Areas to be treated: lower abs, hips, flanks, saddle bags, lower buttucks (my request was that she shape my butt to make it firmer, perkier, smoother as it was in the past without adding anything to it becuase my upper butt has plenty of muscle).

At my pre-op consult a week prior to the proceedure I was given prescriptions to have filled prior to the proceedure (as I needed to begin taking the Proteozyme Forte tablets 3x daily and had to begin the antibiotic the night before, and was even given a sleeping aid the night before). My instructions also included a huge list of "DO NOT TAKEs" for 2 weeks prior or 2 weeks after. The night before I had to shower completely with Hibiclens (even my hair!) and then do the same the mornin of (which happened to be THIS morning).

The surgery: I arrived at 8am scared out of my mind, of course. They took me back and handed me a robe and a teeny black ball wrapped in a band. These are your panties, I was told. Yep, those were way cute. Also they gave me a drug cocktail which I found to be VERY nice indeed. 2 valium and a klonipin - and THEN an intramuscular injection of something... something very strong that they said would make me feel drunk. I have to agree that I felt drunk.

Before pictures were next. Then the drawings with the black sharpie.

It's foggy after that, but I somehow got to the surgery room, so I guess that's where we went next.

I did feel the numbing injections in my stomach, but it didn't last long, and I knew I had to go through that to get to the next step. I don't remember feeling much of the tumescent fluid other than a few pokes that maybe went too deep at the base of my lower abs. I'm guessing where it was too close to bone is when I felt it. I did feel a lot of tightness after all the fluid was injected. Would have loved to have seen what that looked like.

When the doctor switched to the vaser I wasn't really sure until I felt the vibration. I felt that big time. I think (and this is an embarrassing didIreallysaythatwhenIwasdrunk moment) I said something about that giving new meaning to the word vibrator. Anyway, that felt interesting and actually ticked. From the inside, if you can imagine!

And then the sucking machine. I felt nothing and wasn't sure about whether or not they had switched to the suction, but I started seeing red and pink flowing through a tube and assumed....If I was told the exact amount that was removed I don't remember. I was sooooo out of it. But I do remember actually seeing the receptacles and there were half filled; white stuff was on top and seemed to be about 3 inches tall. I assume that was the fat.

Two assistants cleaned me up, put the maxi pads in place and wrapped me in a white mesh. They then put the compression garment on me. This bad boy looks like a spanx shorts jumper. It goes from my knees to my shoulders (with a very sexy hole for pottying LOL). My instructions are not to remove the compression garment for 24 hours for any reason. I will of course comply. I want and need this to turn out as best as possible.

I am sore. For sure. It does ache to turn or to stand up from a seated or lying position. I've been mostly lying on my couch with my feel elevated. I have gotten up a few times to potty and refill a drink - really just to move around some. I am of course DYING to see myself without this garment, but I must wait until tomorrow afternoon to shower.

I am 5 1/2 hours post op and no leaking has seeped through the maxi pads that were placed following surgery. Not sure what to think about that. I'd much rather stuff to seep out than stay in and make me more swollen that I have to be.

I'm typing with the help of two hydrocodone I popped about 30 minutes ago after I awoke. Otherwise I feel pretty ok. Just slow and sore and achy. I do hope the second day will be bearable, as I've read that many find the second day of recovery to be the best....

I will update throughout the week. I am off all week and latter half of week is a holiday. This was planned pretty well.

Update:  I am now 15 days post-op.What a...

Update:  I am now 15 days post-op.

What a difference!  I honestly felt like I had been hit by a truck for my first week and boy did I gobble up those pain pills!

But now I'm a new woman.  My abs feel fine, though I find myself needing to massage the hard lumps that come up from time to time - but they do go away after massage.  My hips and saddle bag areas are still very sore, so much so that I still am unable to sleep on my side, which really bites the big one.  But I keep reminding myself that it's all very worth it.

Because my hips are still so sore, arising to a standing position after having been seated for a while is still slow and painful.  But once I'm fully erect I can walk without a problem. 

Half the incisions are completedly healed and don't look as though they will scar.  The other half are teeny and still have very small scabs on them.  Hopefully they will heal as well as the others.  I am cleared to use ScarGuard in another 2 weeks or so which is supposed to help avoid visual scarring.

I would do this 1000 times over.  I am so pleased with my results.  My stomach is completely flat, and I'm 40 and have had 2 kids.  This will be the first summer that I will feel confident enough to wear a bikini without a shirt...

I will get 1 month post-op photos when I return to the doctor this month (in less than 2 weeks) and will upload both pre and post for your viewing pleasure LOL.

Marcia Byrd

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I been planning smart lipo at strax in ft lauderdale with doctor fisher does anyone know about him
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Hello, are you still happy with your procedure, who is your doctor?
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Hello Atlantamom, I am currently shopping around for the smartlipo procedure and have narrowed it down but i want to make sure I dont miss out...Are you still please with your results? And what surgeon performed your procedure?
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Hello AtlantaMom, What is the surgeon name who perfomred you procedure? and are you still please with the results?
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Hi Atlantamom. I have recently decided on smartlipo on my huge stomach. (I look 6 months pregnent). I turn 40 this summer and don't want to take it with me. I have lost 60lbs but my stomach has not moved. It just sticks out more. I have a consult with your doctor next Friday March 19,2010. I will keep you all posted.
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I hope you read my post. I am considering lipo and would like to know how you feel and what you think of your results at this date. From everything I've read it takes a few months to see the real results of the procedure. Are you happy with the final result? If you are not completely satisfied, what would you do different? Thank you for sharing of yourself.
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Hi, MaruParker. I am very happy so far, but I'm not yet at my final results. I do still have *some* lumpiness which comes and goes in my lower abs area. I do massage that area daily; the doctor assures me it is residual swelling and will dissipate in another month or two. That is really the only part I'm upset about thus far. I must say that the only parts of me that are still a tad tender are my saddlebag area and my waist. The waist is tender when something tight is worn that rubs. I do notice that I tend to be a bit swollen at night and the swelling dissipates in my sleep. I really do long for the day that the swelling is just gone and I'm completely back to normal... My procedure was 11/22, so I'm not even 2 months out yet. All in all I would say the recovery was quick based on what I've learned (that it can take upwards of 6 months for full recovery). Let me know if you have any more questions.
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Hi all. One full week after smart lipo ($4145 incl meds) on outer thighs. Spending my down time looking at my A$$ sans saddlebags in the mirror and taking After pictures!! My saddlebags are GONE, GONE, GONE!! Woo-hoo! Hydrocodone/Vicodin are eaten religiously. No drainage; don't know if thats good or bad. Swelling seems minimal. I still fit into my GAP long and lean jeans! I understand that it takes weeks for final results. Considering Smartlipo on outer thighs? Have at least one full week for down time and some good meds. IT IS SURGERY! It is not lunchtime lipo. Having a great friend to drive you there and home again makes her priceless! m
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Do you have the option to be asleep for the procedure? Or must you stay awake?
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Thanks, girls, for the posts. I have smart lipo for outer thighs next Wed (12/23/09) with a 11 day recover before I have to go back to work!
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Hi, I had Cool Lipo and Vasesr done two days ago. I'm a little concerned at how my stomach looks so far... it looks flat right when the garment comes off but after five minutes (while I shower) it starts to look pretty lump with divets in the lower part... did you have lumps the first day or two after? If so, have they smoothed out? Thanks so much for any advice...
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Yep still get the lumps. They will, however, massage out. From all that I've read and from what my doctor herself told me, this is perfectly normal. Not all the liquified fat can be suctioned out at that one time. What's left much slowly be absorbed by the body and flushed away. Just massage for as long and as hard as you can stand every day. You will know what you can handle. I recommend using a very slick lotion or better yet oil. That will allow your hands to glide over the loose and sore skin to allow for deeper massage. Keep it up. It does get better every day.
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Nice updates. I was like u; I decided to pay a bit more 4 the best results. Do you have any b4/after pics?
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I have "before," but will get "after" at my one month follow up which is on tuesday. I will post both asap. :-)
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Update: Today is the 4th day following surgery. I have to start by saying that this is definitely NOT a pain-free procedure. I consider myself to be very tolerant of pain. In fact, my first of two childbirths was completely natural. I had read that this was a relatively low pain procedure, and that most people return to work within a few days. I can tell you that there is NO WAY IN HELL that I could have returned to work and am thankful that I have another full day of recovery (tomorrow) before I have to return. That will be a full week. I also must say that I have had to rely on the blessedly plentiful pain medication I was given. I am positive that I could never have made it through this time without something stronger than Tylenol. But each morning as I painfully peel off the constricting compression garment (which I have quickly learned to hate) and see nothing where the fat pockets on my outer thighs were just a week ago - I can say that I would go through it all again... I'm not sure yet how my abdomen, flanks or hips will look after all the swelling subsides, but based on what I see thus far I am thrilled. I get to trash the foam pads tomorrow (yay) and will wear only the compression garment. I pray the Dr. will change the garment to something shorter and easier to hide underneath my clothing when I see her on Tuesay. I will update again soon.
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I had SmartLipo Friday, Nov 20. This is day 5 for me, and I am so pleased with the entire process! At 55, we had just had it with my tummy bulge. I had tried everything from smart diets, ReDux, crash diets, nothing did it, and since we live on a beach and winter out of the US in beach towns, I still ran around in my bikinis no matter what I looked like! After reading Carl Hiaasen's Skin Deep, I knew that regular Lipo wasn't for me. When I did some net surfing and found SmartLipo, we knew it was just a case of finding the right doctor, and hopefully at a price we'd be willing to pay. Did the homework, made an appointment, and met Dr. Darshan Shah and his staff in Malibu, California. After our initial consultation, it was simply a case of having the pre-op consultation, getting the medical OK (blood tests and EKG, remember, I am 55) and scheduling the surgery. WOW! Talk about a great experience and wonderful staff and facility! Beautologie has an office in Malibu, but has their surgery center in Bakersfield. Because Bakersfield is almost 3 hours from us, I was scheduled for 11am, and was to be there at 10, after stopping at their pharmacy first. Picked up the prescriptions, all put together in a nice box, with great instructions. Even though we had all the information that we could possibly need from the pre-op meeting, it was great to see it all reiterated. We arrived a bit early, but they immediately put on my wrist band and took me back to a lovely space with relaxing videos of the South Pacific. I removed everything except socks, which were recommended to keep my toes warm. Put on the normal "gown," and they brought my husband in to keep me company. Had an IV started, took an anti-nausea pill under the tongue from my box, and hung out for a while. A bag of antibiotic was added to the drip, and in came my Doctor, who used a marker to draw on my abdomen. In came the anesthesiologist who discussed with me the fine line of being completely out versus not aware. I simply put myself in her hands. They again informed us that the abdomen work would take 1 to 2 hours, and my husband would be back in as soon as I came out of the surgical suite. I wasn't nervous, just excited. My blood pressure wasn't even up! I hadn't had the valium the night before because I was unable to pick up my scripts before that morning. They started another drip to relax me, my sweetie left, I was rolled into the surgical suite, remember what the lights looks like, and that's all! My husband loved the luxurious waiting area with coffees, videos, snacks, and was also sent next door to a creamery for a fancy beverage on the house. Next thing I knew, I was awake, in another room with the door open to a sunny outdoors, and was being helped into my comfy, zip front shirt to head home. Sweetheart was called in right then, and only an hour had passed! When asked, they told me that I had had 2 liters removed, and all was good. My compression garment was in place, and I felt great! His orders were to feed me, (Smoothie, milk shake) feed me a pain killer, anti nausea, muscle relaxer and laxative, all from the box. He did, and I didn't even nap on the drive home. I had soup for dinner Friday night, took my pills on schedule, slept at a slight angle, and well. My husband had to work Saturday and Sunday, so I read, napped, took my pills and did just fine. Sunday morning we showered. Wow! Took off the compression garment, and I have a new body! Yes, swelling, some bruising, but what a difference! We took off the two little pieces of gauze, and there had been no drainage. Happily, the three incisions were perfectly placed: one in the little belly button scar I had from my tubal ligation, and the other 2 right where a bikini hits! Tiny, tiny cuts, he put a stitch in each one, just to be sure there would be no scarring! Monday, I felt so good that I quit taking any pills, and we went to two grocery stores. Probably shouldn't have, but wanted to! Tuesday morning, day 4, took another shower, shaved my legs, felt great! The coloration had changed. From laying down for 2 days, the bruising had wrapped around my sides. Not really bad, but quite colorful! Decided we wanted a turkey for tomorrow, so went to 2 more stores. Probably wasn't a terrific idea, I was a little sore in the afternoon and took 2 Tylenol, my first meds (except antibiotics) since Sunday. The swelling changed, likely due to my being vertical. It has gone down my thighs a little bit, and boy oh boy, my crotch!!! Ever seen a female rat in heat?? They swell up big. So have I, and turned purple! Actually took pictures, it is so colorful! Not painful, just wild looking. I remembered to use my bags of frozen peas last night, I have been bad about using them, just feel so good that I forget. Today, and hopefully through the weekend, I'll stay in. I have been really good about not doing anything except the two outings walking around, and have the support to do nothing. I have a couple of projects that need to be done before we leave the US in 10 days, but I hope to wait another week for them. Follow-up?? Doctor called me Sunday afternoon to see how things were. Through the entire process we were encouraged to call him directly, e-mail him and his staff. We did the first night, when it appeared that the compression garment (a stretchy band probably 16 inches wide velcro fastening girdle) had slid up. He immediately called and told us to just slide it down, no problem. Follow up call Tuesday from the surgical nurse checking on everything. She laughed at the rat in heat description. Because of the holiday tomorrow, my one week appointment will be Tuesday, actually day 11. Fine by me! I'm to wear the garment for a week, then it's up to me. It isn't at all uncomfortable, so I'll probably leave it on except for showers until I see them Tuesday. The first 2 nights I slept with lots of pillows at a bit of an angle, on the third went back to my side of the bed and was able to sleep on my side a little. Last night, night 5, I slept normally, both sides, not waking when rolling over, all fine. Over all??? So happy. Yes, I'm holding fluid, but still, you can see a difference, even with the garment on. Pain? Nope. Discomfort? Nope. Recommendations? Go to a doctor/group that has their own surgery center and staff. Elective plastic surgery is basically all they do and if they aren't the best, they won't last long! At the end of 6 months I will be presented with a before and after picture mounted side by side. They took my before pictures at the pre-op appointment, and because I asked, was given a copy when I left the surgery center. Such a difference already! If anyone is interested, I'll up date this every couple of days.
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Update This is the day after my procedure (and reading over what I typed yesterday made me giggle - full of typos - thanks to the drugs, I guess). Happily, I was able to shower this morning and remove that garment. I was nervous as heck removing it, but couldn't wait to get rid of the mesh that was twisted and itchy. I counted 10 incision marks and 3 were still draining. That of course made a big mess all over my bathroom, but no biggie. Only 2 very tiny bruised areas were evident. Pretty great. My abs were already noticeably flatter, and I was elated to see that the saddle bags were no more. Unfortunately, my hips and butt were too sore for me to really see any positive results. First I washed the incisions with hibiclens, then was able to wash the rest of me as well as my hair. What a glorious feeling! I dried my hair as my garment washed and dried. Putting it back on was a bit of an ordeal. My husband had to help. The thing begins at mid-calf and secures at the shoulders. Up both sides are BOTH hooks and zippers, with velcro hooks at the top; sort of like super spanx type overalls. The tricky part was placing and holding the 3 maxi pads over the still-leaking areas while he hooked and zipped part way, and then getting the sticky-backed pieces of foam in place (larger one over my abs and two smaller ones up my sides) and then finishing the hooking and zipping. Very sexy indeed... especially with the gaping hole for pottying. Pain: I've managed pretty well with half the prescribed pain medication. When sitting or lying still I feel no pain at all. When turning, getting up from a lying or sittin position, or sitting back down, I do feel pain. It isn't unbearable, but there is definitely pain. I also started running a low grade fever, which I completely expected, as my instructions booklet told me to expect that. For that, I am to take extra strength tylenol. Fever is no big deal unless it gets higher than 101. I have several more days of antibiotics to take (twice daily) as well as two different types of vitamins/herbs to aid with swelling and bruising. When I called the doctor's office today to make my follow-up appointment I asked the nurse how much fat was removed. I was way too out of it yesterday to ask... I was told they removed TWO LITERS! She said they were shocked to get that much, as my areas didn't seem that fatty. So I'm even more elated at that news and can't wait to see my final results. I was also told that the third day would be the worst, as all of the tumescent fluid will have absorbed or drained by then, so I would have no more internal numbing to help. I'll update again soon.
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Hello AtlantaMom, I'm considering smartlipo after having regular lipo 2 years ago with minimal results and tons of PAIN. I live near Atl. and I'm looking for a Dr. in that area. Can you please forward photos before and after. I need encouragment
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I see my doctor Tuesday afternoon for my one month follow up exam She will be taking my "after photos" at that time, which is what I was waiting for. I have my "before" that she took. Once I get those I will upload for your viewing pleasure. :-) I can assure you she is the doctor to see for this procedure. If you research Atlanta doctors you will find that she is actually the first doctor in the United States to perform SmartLipo, for which she obtained training in Europe. I can tell you that at nearly 4 weeks post-op I am thrilled. No, ecstatic. My only reminder of the procedure is the slight numbness on my hips and small amount of soreness still left in my (non) saddlebag area. I do also have a teeny amount of lumpiness in my lower abdomen area, but I massage and knead that several tims daily until it sppears and feels smooth; I can tell that it is almost fully resolved. From about day 10 on I was pretty much fine. Those first 3 days, though, I was in real pain; days 4-7 I was in a fair amount of pain, dramatically reduced from days 1-3; days 8-14 I just felt sore as though I were slightly bruised everywhere. Today is day 26 and I am fine other than what I mentioned above. You have to decide based upon all these honest (though may different) reviews of the procedure if this is what you are willing to undertake to get what you want for your body. It's a highly personal choice, recovery and results. Good luck to you.
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