I'll start off with a little background on myself....
My current stats are 5'5 inches tall, 129 lbs. I plan on taking measurements next week after my two week pre op appointment.
When I first started thinking about actually doing this, I was going to make an appointment with Sono bello but decided to go into Athenix first. I was very impressed with Elle who I met with. I told her that the cost was a bit higher than I expected and I had to think about it. She was very nice, did not pressure me at all. In fact other than the standard emails from them now and then about specials, I didnt hear back from her. This was in July and in early September I emailed her and decided to go for it. The special that was running all summer (buy 3 areas get 1 free) had ended but she gave it to me anyway. The only draw back was that the only Friday appointment available was Nov. 8th.
Like I said my pre op appointment is next Friday the 25th. I will post pictures and more details then.
If anyone has advice or comments I would love to hear them! Especially from those who have gone to Athenix in Bellevue Wa.
New surgery date!
I was able to find a diagnostic place open on Saturdays and got my blood work done. My pre op with Dr. Bullis is Tuesday at 2. It will be my first time meeting with him and I look forward to hearing his opinion and asking a few questions. I definitely have more questions now that I found this site. I have been surprised at how little info I've found on the internet, I thought there would be a lot more reviews out there.
Anyway, I will go ahead and ad my before pics seeing how my pre op is tomorrow. I took these last night. I bloat out and by the end of the day my stomach is at least 1 in bigger. Also my period is about to start so more bloat from that. Hopefully once my fat layer is gone, bloating won't be so obvious!
More pre op pics-uploaded the wrong ones first time!
128.5 lbs in am, 130.5 lbs in pm
Waist at belly button 32 inches am-33 inches pm
Thighs at thickest spot-both 22.5 inches
Pre op with Dr. Bullis
First I met with a nurse who will be assisting with my before and after care and we went over just about everything. She took notes for Dr. Bullies to speak with me. After filling all the paperwork out she took my before shots. We had a good time laughing about the paper bra and thong..she said they pretty much don't fit any body style..I thought it was just my size B bust..lol
The whole appointment took about 1.5 hrs. Dr. Bullies came in the last 20-25 min. He was very nice and had a calming demeanor. He said I have great skin and my stretch marks on my lower abdominal area actual don't look that bad. He said they will still show some after but he doesn't expect it to look worse. Also I'm very happy that he is very confident he can make my c section shelf/pouch go nice n flat. He also made me happy when he said he plans on going through my belly button and one on each side below that c section scar! So my abs shouldn't have any new scars. Yeah! Plus he is going to contour my sides a bit more too as part of my tummy. Bonus!
We also discussed my inner thighs. I asked him if they could turn out wavy as I have read. He said with my firm skin, he does not expect that. I also do not have stretch marks on them so that helps with this area as well. He says he expects the inner thighs will loose the bulgy look and have nice shape to match my outer thighs.
Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good and excited to see the end results..if only I could fast forward 4-6 months! :)
I'm also going to post a close up pic of my stretch marks and c section shelf. I was wearing leggings today so there is quit a bit of pants wrinkles too lol.
So far so good!
When it was time to start adding the numbing fluid I was surprised that it did not hurt at all, didn't even feel that weird. The Dr. Started on my inner thighs first. Only a few minor pokes as he was tapering down lower on my leg.
The abs were very tender at times especially around my belly button and up by my ribs. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say 4 max but only for a few seconds.
For all the area he got out almost a liter, around 2 lbs of fat. The procedure took about 2 1/2 hours.
So far I'm not leaking through, happy about that too.
The only place that hurts a little right now is the belly button area, the same area that hurt some during the procedure. I think that's it and I'll update in 24 hours when I can shower and take off garment.
24 hours after surgery
I don't hurt if I'm sitting or laying down but getting up is challenging. Sitting on a hard toilet set isn't fun either but overall I'd say it's not too bad..yet anyway. I know that it can hurt the worst on day three. My last pain pill was at 1am and I started taking arnica and Tylenol. I think that's working for now.
My CG feels much better now that I was able to take all the pads out and shower. Getting it back on felt good on the thighs but not so good on my upper rib area but once it was zipped up I feel fine.
I pretty much look as I expected the first day, wrinkly and swollen.
Day 2 post op
At this point I'm feeling more mobile and can walk around with less of a waddle and more upright than yesterday. Dr. Wants me to start taking a 30 min stroll this morning and evening. I have to say that I am really glad I ended up with a wed appt. instead of a Friday. I can't imagine getting dressed up and going to work tomorrow. Two days recovery is doable but not the best in my opinion.
Out and about
My swelling is staying pretty consistent. Nothing too bad yet. My abdomen is still not showing any signs of bruising and my inner thighs look a little less red and angry than the day after.
I bought three different spanx today and will bring to my post op on we'd to see if the Dr. Thinks they are supportive enough. Some of my paperwork says you wear the stage 1 garment for two weeks and then switch to spanx but one paper says you can switch to spanx after 1 week. My CG doesn't bother me too bad except at the end of the day my upper ribs feel too compressed.
I'm really kicking myself for not buying a groupon they had the week before my surgery. It was $99 for three velashap treatments. I know I'm going to want to get as many massages as possible to ward off the lumps and bumps. That worries me quit a bit. I don't want to look lumpy!
Back to work
I was 128lbs this am so the swelling isn't too bad, at least in the am. I don't know if it's because I sat straight most of the day instead of reclined or laying on the couch but I have a indent or crease from my CG across my stomach. Maybe my CG is not as tight as it should be now. We'll see what the Dr says wed. Oh and today was last day for antibiotics (TG I hate them) and I only took Tylenol once. Still taking arnica 3 times a day and applying the gel once after I shower.
Post op appointment
My appointment went well. Dr. Says my incisions look great. FYI I never pay anything on them, not even band aids and they aren't even scabbed over. Just nice little pink lines. Just some advice there about after care.
I'm really glad I brought the spanx I bought because he says they aren't supportive enough and don't go down far enough on my thighs. I will be wearing my garment another 3 weeks and then switching to a stage 2 garment I found online. I was looking forward to having a smoother no zipper garment that is easier to remove but that's ok.. I just want the best outcome!
Also today I need to start massaging and in 4 weeks I get a complimentary vela shape massage.. Woohoo! I am hoping by then they will have another groupon for them and I can save big $. He recommended a total of 5 vela shapes.
Anyway, feeling good and loving that I didn't even have to suck my stomach in all day in my sweater dress!
Back to the gym and measurement update
So for the last 3 days or so I am 126 lbs in the am so I'm guessing that means I'm not swollen since he took out almost 2 lbs.
my stomach measured 31 inches and my thighs 21.5 so about an inch smaller on both areas compared to pre op.
Feeling really energetic and happy with my results so far!
Lumps and bumps!
I did buy a zipperless CG that is exactly what I have now(minus zipper) only I think I will look and feel even better when I don't have to worry about the puckering zipper. It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow and I can't wait.
In the last 2-3 days I have really noticed the ugly lumps and bumps and tight skin. I really hate massaging myself so I bought a hand held massager with heat last night and wow the difference it makes! By the end of the 15 minutes my skin looked softer, and I couldn't see or barely feel the lumps! I think it does a much better job than I was doing.
So the pictures I'm posting are from tonight right after work/dinner. Obviously the tights I wore today were a little too tight as they left a red mark around me. Plus I now have this weird new line above my belly button that wasn't there before. :( hopefully things smooth out soon cuz I look nasty! I am also hoping that the bad lighting isn't helping either and that I don't look that bad. On a positive note, my thighs don't touch anymore. :)
New CG and swelling!
Look at my ankles from wearing socks to work today! Wow, that's some serious swelling, obviously all over swelling occurring!
That ugly line looks better today, not gone but better so that's a relief.
Uncomfortable and swollen!
Fast forward a few days and bam! The last two days have been increasingly uncomfortable. I steadily gained water weight in a short few days and now I currently weigh 129.9. :( trying to tell myself it's just water and don't stress but it's hard. I've been going to the gym and using the elliptical for 30-35 min every other day. Last night was horrible. As soon as I got off the machine I could tell my legs were very swollen and so tight! It hurt to walk.
My whole body aches really, seems even worse where I don't have a CG on. I can tell all my tissue is just flooded with water. It's so weird that I would swell this bad after 3 weeks of barely swelling but I am hoping its hormones. I take my last bcp tonight and my period won't start till Sunday. I hope I get relief sooner than that! I was just finishing my period the day I had the surgery so this is my first cycle since traumatizing my body lol. Maybe that's why it's worse than ever? I mean I usually bloat a bit before but this is nuts!
On a positive note, I'm barely sore to the touch anymore when massaging, I don't itch and my clothes still fit despite the crazy swelling!
I am pretty lumpy again on my stomach, looks pretty bad in these pictures because I just got done massaging in the shower. Usually my skin tone is pretty even, no weird discolorations.
Mixed bag of feelings today..
Today I wore only spanx all day. By the end of the day I was very bloated. My thighs are sore and the right top of the cannula ridge has had a dull ache all day. I guess from not being so compressed?
I've been consistently using the elliptical three days a week about 30-35 minutes. I keep saying I will start my classes up but I haven't...maybe after my check up in two weeks.
So I'm not sure what to think about my swelling, lumps, ridges and if I should just let my body adjust to less support or keep my CG on 24/7 still. My Dr said I could switch to 12 hrs on and 12 hrs off now but after today testing with a less constricting garment I'm not feeling that is a good option.
I only massage once a day...maybe I should take breaks at work and do it? Do you all really massage 3 times a day like they suggest?
Anyway, I'm not going to post pics of my bare body as it looks pretty much the same. Here is a close up on my cannula scar and me in work out clothes tonight before the gym..
Finally cutting back on CG time!
I worked out wed night for the first time without spanx on...I think I will go back to wearing spanx for a while longer...felt a little sore without it.
I have been wearing my CG only during the day and after I meet with my Dr. Next week, I hope to ditch it all together. It doesn't bother me too bad but I do seem to get creases on my abs when I wear it. Oh and I don't talk about my inner thighs much but they definitely have less fat in them..have a little gap but they are a bit lumpy looking, my left seems bigger than the right. Sometimes they feel tight like when I stand up after sitting a while. They don't bother me at all when I work out.
Well I think that's it for now...it's funny because when I look in the mirror I look smaller and not so lumpy looking...but in the pictures I do...the lighting must pick up every little imperfection I guess.
Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! I made sure to wear my tightest CG so I didn't eat too much...not sure it worked. :)
6 week post op check up and velashape
So over the weekend I felt as if I was swelling quit a bit less so I decided to wear spanx to work instead of the CG...ended up being uncomfortable, sore and really swollen by the end of the day. After working out I promptly put my tight CG on. Felt so good and the swelling/water weight was back to normal the next am.
This afternoon I saw my Dr. They took pics and they printed them in black and white..of course I looked much better in their pics than mine..they didn't show the lumpiness of my stomach and the Dr said see how much skinnier you are...ya ya whatever what about the lumps and cannula ridges? He checks me out and says I still have a decent amount of swelling and inflammation. Also he explained how the lines I feel are there on purpose. He put them there for ab definition and when the swelling goes away it will look great....to keep massaging them so they don't build up scar tissue...again...I'm not so sure it will look good and I really hope he is right. He also gave me 3 more free velashape treatments. That will be a total of 7 treatments when done. He swears this will help keep scar tissue away and tighten the skin faster...
I also asked him the same question I posted on the q&a section about my weight...he said yes, he took out almost 2 lbs and I should be down 2 lbs...I said ok so does that mean I've gained weight then cuz I can't get below my pre op weight. He said yes, maybe... but it's still early and can also just be water weight...ugh!! Not what I want to hear.
So even though I swelled up like a balloon Monday with spanx on, he wants me to stop the CG all together...it "might" be causing the crease above my belly button. My body needs to learn how to get over this swelling on its own so I guess I might be suffering with feeling fat and uncomfortable for a while. :(
Anyhoo, here's a few pictures...the red pics are taken right after the velashape treatment and the others were the next am...
6 weeks post op picture update
8 week update
I continue to have velashape treatments, three so far. I do think they are helping but still not a 100% sure on that. The technician is awesome and has been doing my inner thighs from the back which hurts WAY less than when she does it from the front. She is also working on those ugly fat pockets below my butt for free which is nice. I still regret not going ahead with having that area done but if I continue to exercise they should go down a bit. When I weight 8-10 lbs less than I do now, they go away. But I don't like being that skinny so we will see.
Speaking of weight...other than my period week, I am consistently 128 lbs in the am..same as pre op weight. I'm not starving myself and eating a few goodies here and there so that's probably why my weight hasn't gone down. Although I am consistently working out 2-3 days a week again so I am hopefully it's also muscle weight. :) positive thinking right? Lol
I do have to say it's really hard to describe but my abs sometimes feel achy? So hard to find the right word for it but I assume it's scar tissue trying to form or something. Like it rubs against my ribs or something. Idk, that sounds nuts but it really is a sensation I've never has before so I have to assume its healing from the lipo.
Anyhoo, here's some pics..not much has changed. I bought some new winter white clothes and I have to say it feels good to wear them with confidence! :)
This kind of thing really stresses me out..makes me think this is my end result since I don't really feel bloated..
10 weeks post...Happy New Years Eve!!
So the last week or so has been interesting...I have been a little blue and not very motivated to exercise. Next year I vow to go someplace warm and sunny and just get away from it all. I live in Washington state and I'm pretty sure our weather is getting the best of me.
Anyway, on to a more positive note!! :)
Not a whole lot of changes..except that I have lost some muscle and gained fat due to lack of exercise and eating holiday sweets. I was able to avoid carbs like mashed potatoes and such but that darn fudge wouldn't leave me alone! ;) with that being said, I'm going to force myself to hit the gym this week and I've already been back on my healthy eating since Sunday. I was 127.6 lbs this am but need to be around 126 consistently to reflect the fat taken out. I would LOVE to be 125 or less in the am but with a lower fat % and more muscle tone. No joke my fat percent sits around 22-23%..way too high.
Ok, enough weight talk...I have decided that I love the way I look dressed...don't have to suck my tummy in at all but naked or in a swimsuit...not so much..but I am reminding myself and taking jade's advice that I'm still healing and will smooth out...be patient and stop obsessing over daily changes..
I had velashape last night and she was very aggressive with this treatment...I'm pretty bruised this am but I can tell those cannula lines feel a bit softer. I only have one more treatment and then I will need to either ask my Dr. To comp a few more treatments or buy more...if they don't let me use another groupon, I just can't justify paying $300 a pop...still not convinced they are a long term fix and are worth the cost.
Anyway, that's what's up with me! The pics I took today are in my daughters room. I think it's helpful to take pictures in different lighting.
Happy New Years!
3 month post op
I found a spanx tank top about a month ago that I wear often. I NEVER would have thought I'd wear spanx for any reason other than for this surgery but I can see that I will probably wear it a lot.
My weight has been pretty consistently at 126.6 lbs in the am. So I would say for sure that I haven't gained weight since the dr took about 2 lbs out. I don't feel super confident about my stomach. I think he left too much fat in the middle but well see what he says at my final appointment. It's important to me that I weigh this amount when I see him so he can't blame it on weight gain. When I sit down I have a small roll that pooches out and as you can see by these horrible pictures, it looks pretty ugly when I'm not standing up straight.
My inner thighs don't have that fat bubble so that's good but they aren't even as you can see from the pic too. I don't think he can fix that. It feels pretty soft so I don't think he can take more fat out. When I look at the pics from behind I regret not getting my banana roll/ back of thighs done....maybe later.
Anyway, I would say obviously I have less fat in the areas I had done so it was worth it overall. I would do it again even though I'm not 100% happy with what I see. Not going to feel super confident in a bikini. I'll post a pic of me in Hawaii last May and honestly I think I looked better in a bikini than I do now.
Dr. Bullis is great. He has a very calming demeanor, seems humble but confident about his skills, very honest about the type of results I should expect. He seems more concerned with how the big picture will look in the end rather than stick to the exact area you paid for. As example, he went out a bit further on my sides to add more of a contour and around back below my rear end to contour the thighs better. I would assume that area would have been considered extra. The office is nice, clean and modern. The staff is friendly and full of smiles. Not "stuck up" at all. I definitely recommend Dr. Bullis and the Athenix staff.