I am 5'2", 146 lbs, size 8. - SmartLipo - Buckhead, GA

Day of the surgery: I am 5'2", 146 lbs, size 8....

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.

1 DPO:
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!

2 DPO:
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...

5 days post smart lipo, 1 day post BA + Lift: I...

5 days post smart lipo, 1 day post BA + Lift:
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...

It is now 8 days past my Smart Lipo procedure. I am trying to
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 ├╝ber 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 went for my 1 week post -op appointment today. Doctor said everything is looking good! No bruising, but still LOTS of swelling! I tried on my pre-op jeans and I can't even get them over my hips :(.

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

6 weeks have passed since my Smartlipo procedure of arms, abdomen and flanks. Overall, I feel pretty good. Most of the soreness and swelling are gone. I'm back to my pre-op weight (I'd like to be lower, but not yet). I have lost 1.5 inches from each arm and 3 inches from my waist...I have a 29.5 inches waist now! I've lost one pant size.

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

Here is a pic almost 1 year post-op. Stomach is not as tight as I'd like but I'm trying to work on it through diet, exercise, compression garments and daily massage! Contemplated a TT but I'm not ready for that just yet.

Learn from My Mistakes

Live and learn, I guess. As I write this review, I am a more experienced consumer. SmartLipo was my first plastic surgery procedure. At my consultation, I only met with a Patient Coordinator (Christina), not the doctor. She was very nice and made feel extremely comfortable. She explained how I was the perfect candidate for SmartLipo procedure, due to the skin tightening aspect.", and because of the faster recovery (I was working at the time). Although SL was more expensive than traditional lipo, Christina is a sales person and is very good at her job.
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

Advice #3: KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF
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).

The procedure...
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

Fast forward 1 year post surgery. My original problem areas are still present. I have lumpy lipo below my bikini line which doesn't bother me too, too much because only my husband and I see it. The skin in my upper abdomen is much looser than my lower abdomen. Not so bad I feel disgusting, but enough I notice it every day. To the point, I was considering a tummy tuck and met with several P.S. about it. These P.S. Told me they would love to take my but I do not need a TT, and I should try less evasive options, such as lasers, etc. I remembered my 3 month post-op meeting with Dr. Larsen and his offer of running the laser over the area AGAIN (remember this word).

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.
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

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.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (18)

Sort by

You still look great. I am sure you can get it done with diet and exercise. Good luck.
  • Reply
Thank you :)! I'm hiring a trainer for extra motivation so we'll see :)! I looked at your pics, you look great too!!
  • Reply
You are just to kind. I will say that the last abdomen pic I posted did look terrible. The lighting made it look even worse. I think the massage and all is helping but I have decided that I will never have a smooth abdomen. I really do not know if the hardness will always be there or not but no more lipo for me. After care, twice daily massage, cg, and all the rest is not worth it.
  • Reply
How's it going now u r so far out?
  • Reply
My arms look good but some belly fat has returned.
  • Reply
Was it fat that was missed or something else? Sorry to hear that everything is not still amazing.
  • Reply
Overall I am mostly happy with the results. I will say I have my doubts about the effectiveness of the "SmartLipo" skin tightening. It's been almost a year after my surgery and although I did notice some skin tightening in the beginning, I think that was most likely attributed to the skin pulled tight due to swelling. My skin now has some laxness around and above the belly button. I am also not thrilled with my doctor's follow-up or willingness to address the concerns I have regarding skin tightening. As a part of the SmartLipo procedure, I was promised the laser would be used all over (isn't that the point of SmartLipo?); however I found out from the nurse the laser was only used below the belly button and not ABOVE (which is where I now find my problem areas to be). My arms turned out great. I love them!! I have lost some weight since the surgery, about 6 pounds. I now wear a size 4/6 (depending on the brand). I was a size 8/10 before surgery.
  • Reply
Do you think it's belly fat or loose skin? I have some loose skin (I think, according to Dr. L); although I've been told by another surgeon that it's fat that was missed.
  • Reply
I still wear a size 8/10 and have lost 8 pounds since surgery. I am only three months out. Did you do the lymphatic massages or anything? Thanks for the info. Did u go to local ps or chain company?
  • Reply
3 months might still be early. I went to a local PS, but I was swollen for months! I also had a BA done at the same time so that may have been why I was swollen for so long. I think my waist 3 months after surgery was 29.5" and now it's 27.5". I was told by a another doctor that if you continue to wear your compression garment (at least at night) until 6 months post-op, there is now research that you will have continued skin tightening/better results.
  • Reply
My waist is now 29" and can tell there is still swelling. I have three good CG and may buy another small and plan on wearing them through the six month Mark. I think my mistake was that I only wore the CG for 12 hours a day for about two weeks after about the one month Mark.
  • Reply
Hi. I am having smartlipo with Dr. Larsen this Fri on my arms and stomach. Were you really happy with the results in your arms? I am so scared of saggy skin!
  • Reply
How was your experience? Are you happy with the results?
  • Reply
It's just water weight! I gained 10lbs and it took 3 weeks and I can fit into my previous op jeans. Don't get discouraged.
  • Reply
Ohhhh, that makes me feel so much better! I was so upset when I couldn't fit in my jeans today! My waist is way smaller but clearly the water retention is sticking to my hips! Did you find anything that helped speed up the process-drinking more water, walking, etc?
  • Reply

Hi there, welcome and thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

Glad you're starting to see your results already. Did your doctor mention how long it would be before your final results would be showing?

Good luck with your surgery, please do keep us updated!

  • Reply
Hi Kirsty! Doctor said final results would probably be 3-6 months, but I should start seeing some good improvement over the next couple weeks. I was actually super impressed with my results about 3 days post-op but then I had by breast surgery and became swollen EVERYWHERE! Hopefully once the swelling goes down I'll be impressed again ;).
  • Reply

Yeah, your body will definitely need time to heal and recover before you get those final results. Hopefully you'll be pleased though, once all the swelling goes!

I'll definitely be keeping up with your progress!

  • Reply