Becoming the Best Me in 2013 - Austin, TX
It has been a dream of mine to have liposuction...
- 28 Jan 2013
It has been a dream of mine to have liposuction for years now. I've always been an attractive guy (so I'm told), but have wrestled my entire life w my middle torso. No matter how much I dieted or exercised I never seemed to be able to truly make a dent in my spare tire. For years it has been the source of my lack of self-esteem and so I decided this year I would finally realize my dream of addressing my problem areas with liposuction. I heard many criticism from friends and family who just suggested that I should take the money and hire a trainer. Listen, the people who tell you this kind of stuff are usually the ones who have no idea what is it like to wrestle daily with finding a shirt that won't reveal a roll of fat in your midsection or they don't realize that you can't just pick up a pair of jeans and buy them based on size because they may not fit. To these blesssed individuals who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound and who seem to be genetically fit - they just don't get it.
I started my journey by making the decision that I was tired of taking care of everyone else, and in 2013 I was going to be selfish and make this year about ME. I swore to myself that I was going to feel completely comfortable in my clothes at least once before I died.
Step 1: The Research
I knew I needed liposuction but had no idea what it cost or where I should have it done.. I'm a nurse by profession, so the research and wading through the medically terminology was a bit easier for me. After reading of the risks of each type, estimated down time, and best results, I decided that tumescent liposuction sounded like it would be a good fit for me. I liked the fact that I wouldn't be placed under general anesthesia and run the risk of any number of complications that can arise from that. I researched several surgeons and spas in Austin, and I finally decided to consult w/ Sono Bello.
Step 2: The Consultation
I went in for my consultation and was pleasantly surprised at how professional, yet personable the office felt. Everyone in the office was extremey friendly and conversational. When I was called back for my one on one, I felt at ease with my consultant. I thought that I would be embarrassed to take off my shirt, but I wasn't. She not only pointed out the areas that could be improved by the procedure, but also commented on the fact that I had a great natural build and that my skin was in great condition so I should see optimal results should I choose to have the procedure. Pricing was done based on the BMI chart, and I knew I was in trouble. The BMI chart and I have never been friends. I'm 6'2 and at the time of the visit I was 266. I played soccer when I was younger and developed huge muscular calves which is where I hold a lot of my weight. She commented that she didn't see how I seemed to weigh that much, so I showed her my calves. Unfortunately, Sono Bello is pretty strict when it comes to pricing according to BMI, but she said she'd give me a discount. She told me the maximum amount of areas that they could do in 1 surgery was 4. I decided on upper and lower abs, love handles, and chest. They had advertised $1195 an area w/ a minimum of 3 areas, but because I registered as a high BMI, I was given the price of $1695 per area w/ a 4th area at a discount of $1195. After being quoted a total price of $6995 for everything I opted to have it done. To be honest w/ you, I had been thinking a figure of $10,000 in my head for years, so $6995 was a pleasant surprise.
Step 3: Personal Preparation
Excited that I was finally going to have my dream realized, I decided to make some changes and lose a little more weight before the procedure. I started a strict Atkins diet protocol and also heavily researched anything I could get my hands on having to do with tumesecent liposuction - including Real Self. I watched every youtube video available to familiarize myself with the procedure and readied my notebook with a bevy of questions to ask the surgeon.
Step 4: Meeting the Surgeon
When I met Dr Bekanich I was extremely nervous. There were so many things I wanted to know, but I didn't want to appear irrational or neurotic. One of the first things I showed her was a crease in my stomach that sort of makes an inverted V that I've had my whole life. I explained to her that this was one of the sources of my concerns and wanted to know realistically if it could be fixed with liposuction. Dr Bekanich let me know immediately that althuogh liposuction would decreasse the amount of the indentation, it would not become "pancake-flat" after the procedure. I appreciated her honesty, and felt that she was preparing me to have realistic expectations. She also told me that she felt that I needed more work done on my hips than my chest. She then showed me where the line of demarcation was between the waist and hips and once I realized how closely they were in proximity I asked to change the 4th area to my hips. I was glad she didn't come in and give me unrealistic promises, just to get me excited about having the procedure done. Her demeanor and responses were based on professional judgement and she didn't sugar coat anything to make it more palpable - this approach worked for me. What was shocking was when I asked her how many people maintain their results after the procedure - she told me "10%". She stated that people don't change their lifestyles and put the weight back on w/in the 6 months it takes before they get to see the final results. I decided then and there that I was deteremined NOT to be in the 90%. I wanted the best results and I'd do whatever it took to KEEP them. I don't know about other people, but for me $7000 was a huge investment.
Step 5: Making the Lifestyle Change
Determined to be one of the 10% of people who maintain their results I adopted a vegan lifestyle. I picked up the book The Engine 2 Diet and started following the plan. I decided that I was going to maximize my results and it all started with diet. I started eating more plant based foods and started juicing. 2.5 weeks later I was down to 248 pounds and ready to have my procedure!
Step 6: Tumescent liposuction
I arrived at the office 30 min before my procedure was scheduled. I was really anxious when I got there because I had never had anything like this done before. Even though I had done all the research and knew all about the procedure I couldn't help but wonder what if something went wrong with MY procedure. They finally took me back to the room adjoining the surgery suite and took my blood pressure: 144/92 and my pulse was 102. Dr Bekanich came int to talk to me and answer any remaining questions I might have. She then proceeded to mark me body up with a marker to indicate the areas that she would be concentrating on. Felicia, my nurse, came in and gave me 2 Norco's and 1 Xanax as well as my first dose of Azithromycin to combat infection. After about 15 minutes I was ready to go to the surgery suite and I was completely relaxed. Dr Bekanich asked me if I had a preference for music, and I told her whatever type of music she preferred since I wanted her to be enjoying herself so she could do her best work (smile). I laid on the table and was placed on a blood pressure cuff and a pulse oximetry for my finger to measure my pulse and oxygen. This time my blood pressure was 103/66 and my pulse was 73. I was ready to begin the procedure. They asked that I hold my hands above my head and wear dark goggles to protect my eyes from the laser. Dr Bekanich detailed every step of the procedure and let me know what was going to happen before she did it. She started off giving me local anesthetic to the various areas via a shot. Next she punched 8 holes (4 in front and 4 in back) for cannula access. Once the holes were made she told me I might experience a burning while the tumescent fluid was injected into me. I never felt anything. She commented that my fat wasn't very fibrous and that the more fibrous someone's fat is the more discomfort they generally feel since those fibers have to be ripped apart. Once I was filled with tumescent fluid she used the laser to melt the fat, and finally she liposucitioned. I only had one episode of pain throughout the entire procedure and it was during the liposuction. I believe she hit an area that was not completely anesthesized and it felt liek a dagger ripping through my abdomen. It was only for a short duration, but the pain was INTENSE. She immediately apologized and I had no further discomfort after that one area. When all was said and done she had removed 2300 cc of fat. Standing up immedately after the procedure I immedately felt less dense and sort of 'de-flated'. Felicia, my nurse, helped me get into my compression garment and then I was wheeled out to a consult room where I saw both Felicia and Dr Bekanich before leaving.
To be continued...