I wanted to post a review on here because I have relied on so many other reviews on RealSelf to decide to do this surgery, and I want people to be able to read my experience and make a smart decision as well.
I have been wanting Smart Lipo for 2 years now and have been considering/researching it for that amount of time.
I have decided to get Smart Lipo on my chin/neck and front bra rolls because these are two areas that were pudgy even when I was my lowest weight. I believe the neck/chin is a defining point on a persons body and a strong jaw line can really make you look like you weigh less. The front bra rolls are an area I want done so I can wear more clothes that show that area without feeling self conscience about it.
I am 22 years old, 5'8" and have had issues with weight over the past 4 years due to hypothyroidism. My normal weight is 155 pounds, but the thyroid shot me up to 206 very quickly and I have been struggling to get it down. Now that my thyroid is under control with Synthroid and eating right/exercising, I have lost 16 pounds and currently weigh 190. I feel confident getting Smart Lipo at this weight because as I said earlier, these two areas were bothering me even when I was 155 pounds. I am NOT getting any areas done that I can fix simply by losing weight. You shouldn't get Smart Lipo in replacement of losing weight.
So my surgery is scheduled for December 19, 2011 and I am very excited/nervous. I will continue to update as I go through this process. Pictures will be up right after the surgery. Thanks!Updated on 19 Dec 2011:So my surgery was this morning. I took my relaxing medication this morning, and on the way there, and when I got there... needless to say I was feeling very relaxed. When I got there I signed final consent forms and they led me to my room. I changed into a bra and underwear type outfit and got under some blankets. Then I got up to take before pictures and they marked me with a marker for where they wanted to take fat out. I laid down again and the procedure started (the bed I laid down on was heated and it was so nice!).
They started with my left bra roll first so I rolled to the side and had my arm up around my head. The doc then inserted the hole into the skin in he armpit that the laser and canal go through, this felt kind of like getting a body piercing like the bellybutton or the ear, not bad at all. The saline solution was inserted first which contained the anesthetic. This felt strange but didn't hurt. It was like a pulling sensation as he put the solution throughout all of the areas he was working on. When he was finished the whole are was swollen with fluid and the fat layer was lifted from the muscle/tissue area.
This procedure was repeated for my other bra roll and the chin/neck area until all were filled with solution. I was then let to rest for 30 minutes as the solution settled and the anesthetic sunk in. Most people say this part burns and then goes away but it didn't burn at all for me, just felt like cold fluid going under my skin.
They came back in and got right to work starting with the left bra roll. He used the laser a lot then would use the suction, then laser, then suction. This was repeated on the right arm and the neck/chin area. None of this hurt either, there would just be weird pulling or pushing feelings as the fat was melted through and sucked out.
Then before I knew it it was all done. They pushed some extra fluid out of the holes and started wrapping me up. I was all done!
I fell asleep most of the way home and when I got home I ate some food and then fell asleep for several hours. Now I am up and resting on the couch. Pain level is minimal and the compression garments aren't too annoying, the only thing that is bothering me is how the facial garment pushing my cheeks in so I look like a gerbil.
I have a check-up tomorrow and I have to wait to change garments until then, so I will update tomorrow!Updated on 20 Dec 2011:Today is the first day after my surgery. I went and had my garments removed and the areas checked. Everything looked good according to the doctor. When I left I came home and took a shower and put all of the garments back on. I could see a difference in my chin/neck and bra rolls. There is bruising and they are definitely still swollen, but all drainage has stopped, which is good. It's going to be hard to wait for full results to show up!
Well today marks week one after surgery! My...
Well today marks week one after surgery! My bruising is almost completely gone and pain is also pretty much gone. The only thing that hurts is if I move too fast or too much pressure is put on the areas. About 4 days after surgery I had the energy to stay up all day and go out. I stopped wearing my compression garment full time on my neck three days after surgery and now I wear it at night. The garment for the bra rolls I have to wear 24/7 for three weeks. Swelling has set in, which tries my patience for the results I want to see. I had a checkup a couple of days ago and they said everything is looking great. I asked them about the swelling and they said that I should expect swelling for about 4 weeks, its the body's natural process to swell the areas and drain, swell and drain. At about 4 weeks swelling should be very low and each week after that it will reduce more and more and I should expect skin tightening at about 6 weeks. They reassured me than the chin area would go up and everything will look how I want. I LOVE the staff at Beleza by the way, they are so comforting and understanding and helpful. Anyway, at my appointment they taught me how to massage my neck and bra roll areas properly to drain the lymph nodes which swell with fluid. When they are drained the fluid/liquid fat left in the areas is then released from the body via urine. I am massaging the areas three times a day to help release fluid all day long. I am more swollen in the morning and less at night. I can definitely tell a difference with how things look now compared to before the surgery when looking at the pictures below, and I trust that it's just going to keep getting better!
Something new started today. The swelling went way...
Something new started today. The swelling went way down and all the sudden I have hard lumps in both the bra roll and neck areas everywhere. So I guess this means I am getting into stage two of the healing process. The majority of fluids have started to leave the areas, revealing the small hard pockets of crystallized fat or dead fat. I know that these are normal and expected from my doctor. They will take several more weeks for my body to break down and flush out and massaging them will help do that. The only thing bad about them is they hurt! Oh and P.S. I will post pics of the bra roll area after I take post pictures at Beleza, they are swollen and you can't tell much has happened and probably wont till the end so no point in posting weekly updates of them.
So I have made it to week two now. Swelling has...
So I have made it to week two now. Swelling has gone down a lot from last week (you can tell in the photos around my jowl area). The lumps are still present, but I massage twice a day for about 20 minutes on each area with a oil based lotion like coconut butter. The lumps seem to be much softer after massage and they get harder and a little sore towards the end of the day, this may be because usually the body gets a little swollen with fluid and stress of the days activities. Mentally, I have been handling everything pretty well. Smart Lipo has a mental healing process as much as a physical healing process. The brain wants to see results instantly and sometimes I constantly go back and forth telling myself, "just wait you KNOW it is going to turn out the way you want based on all of the other reviews you have read and everything your doctor has told you" and the other side of my brain goes, "this ISN'T getting any better and it is not going to improve much more", which I know isn't true, but the brain struggles regardless to accept that. So I called my nurse at Beleza and had her cheer me up and I let her know how I was feeling and she reassured me that everything is going to turn out great. I know it will, I mean look at my results so far... hell even if nothing improves anymore I look MUCH better and have already gained a lot of self confidence in my neck and bra roll areas! I was told by week three I should be much happier with how things are coming along so I'm excited for week three, but WAY more excited for week 6 when I will have a REALLY good idea of what this is going to turn out like. I made a collage of my process so far below in the photo section (makes it really easy to compare photos), I will continue to update my collage each week and add individual photos of my results thus far every week.
Week 3 has arrived. Lumpies are getting more soft...
Week 3 has arrived. Lumpies are getting more soft and subtle, swelling continues to slowly go down, I wear both bra roll and neck garments at night only now, aaaannnndddd yeah I don't know much else... supposedly in three more weeks I should have a good idea what my results will be, so I guess I am sort of half way there... went in for a lymphatic massage earlier this week and the therapist said there is still a lot of swelling to go down. I updated new pics and a collage, check them out!
Today makes week 4. I feel like there has finally...
Today makes week 4. I feel like there has finally been some improvement this week! I was swollen again earlier in the week but it has gone down a lot. Still have lumps that I am massaging, same ole same ole. I'm loving seeing myself in pictures, I don't have to stick my neck out anymore to make my double chin go away, it's amazing! New pics below, swelling underneath chin is starting to go away and neck line has lifted a bit.
Week 5 is here. Really nothing much has changed...
Week 5 is here. Really nothing much has changed since last week. Still have lumps that I am massaging, swelling still comes and goes, yada yada. Ummmmmmm its still improving, I went to Kirklands today and there were mirrors everywhere... everyone was probably like whats wrong with that chick because I couldn't help but look at my new neckline in the mirror. I just hope that the area right below my chin will keep going up.
For some reason the past two days I have been...
For some reason the past two days I have been really sore and a little more swollen under my chin. There are these two rod like lumps that start under my chin and go down my neck in opposite directions and they hurt REALLY bad. I can barely rub them, if I do its an awful burning sensation. They are hard with really soft tissue around them, they have been there for a while but haven't been present like this before. :(
UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SOOOOOOOO FRUSTRATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! Its week 6 now, the week that is SUPPOSED to be the best and give me a damn good idea of what I am supposed to look like. I swelled up again on Tuesday and these stupid rod like lumps are all thats left to still be healed in both my front bra rolls AND my neck. But they freaking hurt and I'm massaging them, they get softer but then like an hour later they are all hard again. UGH hopefully this is my last healing phase because I'm tired of hurting... Maybe I need to get a massager and use it on this these two rod like lumps... I uploaded a comparison from before to week 5 side by side... I didn't do week 6 compared to before because I look worse this week than last week, however I did post my week 6 full photos below.
Let me clarify because my last post was confusing,...
Let me clarify because my last post was confusing, my bra rolls are completely healed may have a tinge of swelling in them but lumps are GONE. All lumps in my neck are gone except for these two rod like lumps starting right under my chin and shooting down my neck for like 4 inches.
Yesterday made 8 weeks. The jawline on the sides...
Yesterday made 8 weeks. The jawline on the sides and my lower neck are looking REALLY awesome, I am loving the definition and the skin tightening has brought out the "hollow" underneath my cheekbone so I have a really nice defining cheek line now. The only thing I am still waiting on is right under my chin. I feel like its finally starting to heal there because the knots feel like they are starting to break down. I went in for a check up with my doctor and he agreed that the chin is still swollen and in healing. He said to give it another month and if it still isn't tucked up and flat like it should be we would do a small touch up, but it should flatten out because he took the fat out. So I have been aggressively massaging that area as many times a day as I can to get these last knots and pockets of fluid broken down.
Beleza's staff are very personable, informative, caring, understanding and helpful.
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