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Smart Lipo Recovery: Day by Day Journal - Boulder, CO
- updated 2 years ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $5,900
- Dr. Schlosser (Boulder)
I had liposuction of the abs, flanks and...
- 7 May 2011
I had liposuction of the abs, flanks and "muffin top" area yesterday, Friday, May 6th and thought I'd chronicle my experience for others thinking of the procedure.
I'm 142lbs and pretty average weight. I go to the gym/do yoga 5-7 days a week and after trying for many months to get rid of my awful muffin top I finally gave up. Every time I'd wear jeans, as soon as I'd start to walk, a muffin top would form (and quite a significant one). I got to the point where I hated wearing pants even though i'm a size 7, simply because I really hated how the muffin top looked.
I spent about 2 months doing extensive research on what to do and decided on Smart Lipo. I had 6 consultations total and what cinched my decision was 1) how I felt about the doctor, and 2) the many positive smart lipo reviews written about him. I also contacted several patients directly via realself.com to ask for some personal feedback (and I'm really grateful for the responses).
In my pre-op appointment, I was advised to stop all herbal medications, multivitamins and fish oil (many of which have a tendency to increase bleeding). I don't smoke nor drink, but you are advised to do neither for the two weeks prior. I was also told which compression garment to order, and was given four prescriptions to fill (anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, pain reliever, and a sedative).
For a week prior to surgery, I have also been taking arnica montana (homeopathic remedy to reduce brusing and swelling).
Here is my day by day journal:
I was all ready for the surgery. Up until this point I had completely avoided even thinking about it. I figured I'd leave getting nervous until the last possible minute :-). I packed a bag with my compression garment and my 4 prescriptions. I was to begin the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory the night before surgery, which I did. All in all I felt pretty expectant.
As instructed, I had a nice big protein breakfast with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds. I arrived bright and early at 8am with my wonderful boyfriend who kept singing "bye-bye muffin tops, bye-bye muffin tops" which had me cracking up. Jennifer was the lady assisting with the surgery and welcomed me. She is just the best - awesome, awesome, awesome. Talk about someone putting my mind at ease. My blood pressure was taken and I put on a surgical gown. Jennifer did absolutely everything she could to make sure I was relaxed, comfortable, and ready. The doctor arrived and we got "down to business" immediately. He drew various markings on my abdomen and flanks while I was standing, so that he would know from where to remove what. then I went into the surgical room. Flanks were done first, followed by love handles/abdomen.
Oh my gosh. I was not prepared for the pain. I had just taken 2 halcion and 1 percocet and had hoped I woudn't feel much but jeeeeez, it was painful. There would be periods of nothing, followed by jabs that hurt. Within 5 mins I was sobbing like a baby. Wonderful, wonderful Jennifer kept reassuring me and making me feel at ease, she was a godsend. I don't remember much beyond that except for intermittent pain. I'm not sure if I whimpered and complained the entire time or just the beginning (hopefully the latter). I don't remember leaving and I don't remember getting home (my boyfriend later told me I was telling everyone I was just fine as I kept nodding off and swaying as I walked! he and Jennifer wheeled me to the car in a wheelchair). I don't remember getting crawling up the stairs and getting smothered in kisses by the dog, and I don't remember getting into bed.
5 hours later I woke up in bed, lying on surgical sheets. All together there were 6 very small incisions (I was actually very happy to see how small they were) 3 on the back and 3 on the front. I had on an adult diaper with 6 maxipads, one over each incision. Two of the maxipads were soaked through with leaking fluid (totally normal and expected), the others were minimally soaked. My boyfriend helped me get into the compression garment and put 6 new maxipads over the incisions. The incisions are purposely left open to allow for the necessary drainage, which helps drastically reduce post operative swelling from what I understand. I was starving, ate a wonderful dinner in bed, and changed the pads again. All in all, the pads were changed 5 times by midnight (drainage was quite reduced by then).
I went to sleep at midnight after taking meds and 1 percocet. I was not necessarily in "pain" but everything really, really ached. I slept on and off on my back. I didn't want to take the halcion as I really didn't like that weird amnesia feeling.
Well, I was shocked to actually feel pretty good! My hips and abdoment really ached though, and I needed help sitting up. But within minutes I was gently walking around and within an hour felt great! The bleeding had completely stopped during the night. I mean, I felt so good that I called the doctor to tell them how I was (as instructed) and asked if I could do a 5 mile walk with some friends. The answer, of course, was a resounding NO! It's really important to take it easy and do light, gentle walking. Overdoing it = major swelling. The compression garment feels good. Had a very quiet day. I was previously advised by my massage therapist to do some gentle bouncing on a large pilates ball (sit on the ball and do gentle pulses to stimulate the lymphatic flow). I did that for 15 mins, twice during the day.
I have to sit up/down and stand up/down carefully as everything is really sore. But I'm not in any pain and have taken no pain meds at all today. I have very, very little bruising which is a surprise (I don't know if that is due to the arnica montana but I'm very grateful as I usually bruise very easily). My abdomen feels rather numb and puffy under the compression garment, normal and to be expected.
So far, so good. The pain of the surgery seems like a long distant memory and it's only a day away! :-) I will continue to update daily with progress. I will also post pictures soon.
Day 2 ----- Day 2 is going very well. I really...
- 8 May 2011
Day 2 is going very well. I really feel great, and I'm waiting for all this swelling and bruising that a lot of people seem to get, but I don't really have a lot of it! Woohoo!!! Bruising is next to non existent. There is definitely some swelling, but not what I would call "a ton" of it. I was able to sleep on my sides a bit with the help of a big, soft and poofy cushion. I'm moving around a lot more, though taking it easy.
Everything is definitely very "tender" and I'm very "protective" of not letting our dog jostle me or getting bumped around my midsection.
I took my compression garment off for the first time to take a shower, and also took pics which I uploaded. The incisions look absolutely GREAT for just 2 days post op. Shockingly, I can already see signs of my new shape (I say that because many people don't see the results until the swelling subsides). But, I can see my shape has changed, it's smoother and curvier. My belly looks a bit strange (flat with boxy sides), but it's way too early to judge that with the swelling and tenderness. I'm also larger/more swollen on the right side, which is more sore and tender too. Hopefully that will become normalized :-)
I'm drinking tons of water and peeing lots (as the massage therapist recommended), and I'm gently pulsing on the pilates ball to stimulate my lymphatic system. I'm also continuing with the arnica montana twice a day for bruising and swelling.
Days 3/4/5 ---------- Nothing much to report...
- 12 May 2011
Nothing much to report except itching. Itch itch itch itch itch! I'm just gently stroking the compression garment which is enough to temporarily relieve it.
Still not much swelling and hardly any bruising. It is tender and sore (like you've worked out much too hard and your muscles are very sore). Some areas are "semi-numb" but that seems to be slowly getting better.
I went for a manual lymphatic drainage massage which was absolutely wonderful because the therapist also taught me how to do this myself. Every morning and every night I gently stimulate my lymph nodes and lightly massage the lipo areas towards the lymph nodes (t feels reeeeeally good!).
I've uploaded pictures of all the fat that was taken out!!! It's such a neat thing to watch during the procedure - seeing all that fat get suctioned out helps you get through it all. I was told approximately 5lbs of fat was removed - woohoo!!
Still drinking lots of water, pulsing on the pilates ball and taking it easy. Due to the high dosage of antibiotics, I'm also taking a probiotic called "saccharomyces boulardii+mos" which is resistant to being destroyed by antibiotics.
Day 6 ----- Well, today is a really exciting...
- 12 May 2011
Well, today is a really exciting day. I decided to try on a pair of pants that pre-op were tight on me and had a muffin top hanging over it. Well..... oh.. my.. god.. See the pic below. Bearing in mind I have some swelling, the pants are WAY too big! If I start walking they fall down!!!! And it's only gonna get better as the days go by.....! I'm so damn excited that I'm running around the house singing my head off, with my dog going nuts at my excitement :-) :-) :-)
I've been getting quite a lot of emails asking me...
- 12 May 2011
1-2 Weeks Before
1. Stop taking multivitamins and herbs. Some of these increase bleeding and others have not been studied enough to understand their effects on bleeding
2. Start taking arnica montana internally (I take the Boiron brand - 5 pellets in the morning and 5 in the evening). As it is a homeopathic, try not to have food/water 15 mins before and after taking these
3. Take 2,000mg Vitamin C daily
4. Don't drink alcohol, do drugs or smoke. Why do things which will slow your healing and potentially cause serious complications...
1. Wear your compression garment all the time (reduces swelling).
2. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in water daily (reduces swelling).
3. Don't eat high sodium foods.
4. Get a large pilates ball, sit on it and gently "pulse" 15 mins twice a day (this assists in stimulating your lymphatic system, increasing fluid drainage).
5. Eat very high quality protein. I drink "Plant Fusion Multi source Plant Protein" every day which I highly recommend (www.plantfusion.us available at Sunflower Market).
6. Fill your body with a ton of healthy foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, etc.).
7. As SOON as you can, have a lymphatic drainage massage - once you've had it done, you can then do it yourself daily. I do it twice a day.
8. When you are able, do some gentle stretches.
9. Do not overdo it, or you will swell. Take it easy with lots of rests throughout the day.
10. You will most likely be on a high dosage of antibiotics. Take a probiotic - I use "saccharomyces boulardii+mos" which populates the intestinal tract with benefical bacteria and is resistant to being destroyed by theantibiotcs.
11. MOST IMPORTANT: Throughout the day, visualize you body as you want it (find a picture if you want and make several photocopies, pasting it everywhere), and repeat an affirmation to match. My affirmation is "my body is now firm, slim, supple, and beautiful". The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. If you give it a quantified objective, it's amazing what it can accomplish. I CONSTANTLY visualize the image I want and silently repeat my affirmation.
Today I'm coming to realize that none of my pants...
- 13 May 2011
I went on the scales today and it shows me 2lbs lighter. Considering all I've been doing is sitting around with no physical activity I was worried i'd put on a ton of weight. Most people report little to no weight loss after having lipo which seems odd (perhaps because of the water from the swelling? something to ask at my post-op).
The areas worked on are still sore/tender to the touch. I'm still very protective of them being jostled. The massage therapist said I had more water retention on my flanks than abdomen (because of sitting and sleeping on my back, that's where it's pooling) so I'm trying to vary sitting and sleeping positions. Not much else to report. I'm *really* wanting to get back to a workout schedule - I'm feeling lazy and unfit not having any real physical activity.
8 Days ------ Soreness and stiffness is settling...
- 14 May 2011
Soreness and stiffness is settling it, and has been for the past day or two. It's similar to when you have have a really hard workout and everything is stiff and sore, leaving you feeling very inflexible. My back is aching the worst (flanks) but doc said this was completely normal and to be expected.
Other than that, very uneventful with no problems at all. I like it that way :-)
Well, this past week has been fine (3 weeks post...
- 26 May 2011
Both the lumps and hardness will begin to diminish in their own time. Everything is still very tender, although I can go back to all my other activities and I've eased back into a workout schedule. I do appear to have a seroma (a billowy, soft area about 2 inches by 2 inches) on my right flank. Doc said it should resolve within a week or two.
I don't have any restrictions and I have been told to wear the garment during the day only until week 3, which is today! I think I may continue it for just a few more days as it feels good. The area that was done definitely doesn't feel back to normal yet. It's still tender and a little numb, but no pain.
My Doctor: Join to view doctor's name
So far, so good. They did everything right. Appointment times were prompt, Lori at the front is just the sweetest person and incredibly helpful with scheduling me (I travel a lot and have a very messy schedule). Jennifer is the most absolutely wonderful person to assist in surgery - so sweet and kind and knowledgable. She is also a highly recommended aesthetician. Doctor was great, answered all of my questions and was very honest and straightforward about what to expect and how realistic my expectations should be. He is very "down to business" at surgery time (would be nice if he was a bit more sympathetic to my cries of woe, but I guess that's what Jennifer was there for :) ).