Day of the surgery:
I am 5'2", 146 lbs, size 8. I carry most of my weight in my arms, breasts and abdomen. I had my SmartLipo procedure 2 days ago, on Thursday, April 17, 3013. I must say everyone was right! The numbing fluid is definitely the worst part of the procedure. It feels like someone us slashing you with butcher knives. Ouch. I can't even begin to describe the immense pain I felt.
I had both arms, waist all around and my mons area lipo'd. The arms weren't too bad. The Back wasn't awful. The front abs was painful because I had a lot of fibrous fat which is common in younger patients. This made the fat harder to come out and the numbing solution seemed to wear off towards the end. The absolute worst area was the mons. Oh my. I thought I was dying. I kept having the urge to grab the doctor and make it stop because it hurt so bad. Thankfully the nurse grabbed my hands to stop me. It was truly the worst pain I've ever felt in my life.
Today wasn't bad. I got lots of pain meds and I took them religiously. As a result, I slept most of the day. Much needed rest!
Today I started feeling the pain again! I took a shower for the first time and got a peak at my stomach-wow! It looks so flat and tiny!! My pubic area is super swollen. I can't check out my arms because I can't take off the compression garment. I did measure them for fun and have lost 2 inches in each arm-Woo-Hoo! They say the swelling really isn't completely gone until 4-6 months which stinks, but even so, I'm pretty happy with the results so far-swollen and all. I'll try to upload some pics soon.
On Monday, I am having another long awaited procedure-breast aug + lift. I'm trying to get lots of R&R for that surgery-I know I'll need my strength!! Updates to come...
Day of the surgery: I am 5'2", 146 lbs, size 8....
Day of the surgery:
5 days post smart lipo, 1 day post BA + Lift: I...
I can tell a big difference in the size of my arms!
My tummy is looking a lot more toned and fit too. There was a small lump/fluid deposit on my tummy but it's gone now.
It is now 8 days past my Smart Lipo procedure. I...
wean off the pain pills (percocets) but it's been really hard. I think it's because I had two procedures back-to-back (smart lipo then breast aug+lift) but I am still in a lot of pain. Late afternoon/evenings and early mornings are the worst. I feel best in the mid-afternoons and can get away with Tylenol only.
The swelling is still horrible. I weighed 146 pre-sugery. I gained a lot of weight during the procedure, which I am attributing to fluid retention and constipation...I am weighing in at 154!! So discouraging. I think I need to put away the scale for a while until the swelling goes down.
Speaking of constipation, I took 5 dulcolax pills, ate 2 Activia yogurts and 1 ex-lax and finally had my 1st BM after ONE WEEK. Ugh, the torture.
On a positive note, I could help myself from trying on a few outfits in my closet that were previously too small. In spite of the swelling, lipo garments, constipation...my clothes are fitting and they look so good! I felt über confident. Now only if I could take off these arm sleeves, I could rock some cute outfits next week...ahhhh...patience is a virtue. The next time I shower I will take some updated pics for you!!
I went for my 1 week post -op appointment today....
I am easing off the pain pills and hoping my digestive system gets back to normal soon. I'm almost positive that the extreme constipation is attributing to my massive swelling! I'm also +7 pounds on the scale :(.
6 weeks post-op
6 weeks post-op
I still have some soreness/tenderness when I touch my abdomen which makes me think the recovery is still not done yet. I also have some pain when I run and the skin "jiggles." My upper abdomen has some rippling/waviness. I am hoping this will continue to smooth out as my recovery continues.
Almost 1 year post-op
Learn from My Mistakes
ADVICE # 1: MEET THE DOCTOR and TAKE TIME TO THINK THINGS THROUGH. I truly believed and trusted her so much that I signed up for the procedure immediately due to the high pressure sales pitch ("This price is only good TODAY"). Keep in mind I had still not met the doctor when I signed up.
I met with Christina (not the doctor) a 2nd time before my pre-op appointment. This was to determine this size of my implants (I had decided to ALSO get a Breast lift and augmentation) with their office. Again she was very patient with me and helpful.
ADVICE # 2: TRUST YOUR INTUITION. I met with Dr. Larsen for the first time at my pre-op appointment and instantly felt uncomfortable. He was so different from Christina and treated me so flippantly, as if my situation was irrelevant to him. Here I am, in the nude, vulnerable and terrified about the procedure and he couldn't offer a smile or single word of encouragement. I wish I would've changed my mind then and there (or at least explored that option).
Learn from My Mistakes, Part #2
As soon as the doctor left, I asked Christina if he always acted like that. She replied, "His specialty is surgery, not patient relations." I'm sure my opinions were shared with the doctor.
During the consult, the doctor did confirm at Christina's urging that I was the "perfect candidate" for SmartLipo and my skin should retract nicely after the procedure due to the laser skin tightening (this is key & comes into play later).
ADVICE # 4: MAKE SURE YOU AND THE DOCTOR ARE ON THE SAME PAGE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
SmartLipo is no joke. You are in a twilight state of mind and it is not pain free. I specifically remember expressing my discomfort and my doctor rudely said "I can stop now and you'll be uneven. Is that what you want?!" If his goal was to make me shut up, it worked. I cried silently throughout the procedure. It hurt. A lot. I will equate it to a bikini wax but instead of short bursts of pain, it is a similar "bikini wax" pain that lasts several hours. There are several people in the room watching you experience the pain. Somehow this made it worse for me. Speaking of being on the se page...since I not only discussed the SmartLipo procedure (with the use of the laser) with Christina, Dr. Larsen and signed a consent authorizing the SmartLipo LASERbody procedure only to be done to me, I was under the impression, that is the procedure I was receiving during this time. I'll talk more about this later.
Advice #5: REALLY, DOC? GET THOSE PROMISES IN WRITING.
It's inevitable. Plastic Surgery is performed by a human. Things go wrong. Everyone's idea of beauty is different. You may not be 100% happy with the outcome. Your doctor may or may not agree your expectations are realistic...BUT if he does and he offers to fix ANYTHING, get it in writing.
In my situation (and I am focusing on my SL gripes only), I was unhappy with some slight rippling/bumpiness under my belly button. I also was unhappy with loose skin above my belly button. I expressed these concerns at my 3 month check-up. He agreed with me but said "let's give it 6 months or so" and "if those are still problem areas, we'll fix the area below the belly button and possibly run the laser over your abdomen again." Key word. AGAIN.
This sounded routine and I trusted him. I did not get this statement put in writing. Shame on me.
Fast Forward 1 Year Later - Learn From My Mistakes Part 3
I made an appointment with Dr. Larsen to discuss my concerns. I was able to get in with his nurse. She looked over, poked and prodded my upper abdomen, then read over Dr. Larsen's surgical notes, and says "I see we only used the laser on the lower abdomen." Waaaaaait. WHAT? I asked her why?? I paid for SmartLipo which touts laser tightening all over. I am hearing this news for the FIRST TIME. Why would he skip this area?
She goes on to tell me that if it really bothers me, I should get a tummy tuck. I told her I met with 3 other doctors who said my situation does not warrant this extreme of a TT treatment. I've never had children, no stretch marks, and have a very little amount of loose skin, mostly visible when sitting. I told her Dr. Larsen offered to use the laser over my skin again at my 3 month post-op appointment, and asked if she could please talk to him about this option.
Advice #6: UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS (and associated costs) IF YOU REQUIRE A REVISION.
She sends me an email 2 days later with a quote for almost $6,000 for a cellulaze "laser" treatment of the abdomen. I was floored. Not only did the doctor not perform the promised services but now he's not willing to try and make the issue right without a huge amount of money?? He did offer to fix the lumpy area in the lower abdomen for free with the $6,000 cellulaze treatment. Thanks...
ADVICE # 7: AN EXPENSIVE DOCTOR DOES NOT MEAN A BETTER DOCTOR. I am so hurt and disappointed in myself for choosing this doctor. I purposely chose a more expensive doctor hoping I would get the extra experience and attention that usually accompanies a higher price tag. It is clear to me now that he couldn't care less about my satisfaction or trying to make things right for me. All he cares about is money.
I am not being unreasonable. Had he performed the procedure as initially discussed (SL with laser), I would not question my results in the upper abdomen area. Unfortunately now, I'll never know if my results could've been better.
In my opinion, Dr. Larsen has done a good job recruiting a great staff who really know how to SELL procedures. I am not confident in his ability as a surgeon nor his ability to follow through on his promises. In my opinion, he only cares about making money, not about making his patients happy or ensuring they get a good result. It's sad, really. I am disappointed in myself for choosing Dr. Larsen as my first plastic surgeon. I encourage you to do your research and not be fooled by the sweet staff and promises made. Meet him first. Ask lots of questions. If he doesn't have time for you during the consult, you can only imagine how much time he will have for you later when you have concerns down the road.