Just over a year ago, I committed to transforming...
Just over a year ago, I committed to transforming my health and body. While I achieved much success with body tone and weight loss, I always seem to carry a spare tire around my tummy. My BMI is higher based on total weight vs. height; however, I have high muscle tone in my legs and calves and most people would not say that I really look overweight.
Regardless, I decided to check out multiple options: tummy tuck, traditional lipo, and SmartLipo.
After a lot of debate, I have elected to go with SmartLipo on my Upper/Lower Abs and hips. Overall, I feel great about the procedure and that it will target my concerns; nevertheless, I am a bit concerned about extra/loose skin.
I don’t expect to be 100% perfect; I am looking to have a flat nice looking abdominal area and wouldn’t hate having some lose skin.
My surgeon advised that with my rapid weight gain/loss I do have permanent stretch marks and will most likely have some extra skin. Advising he cannot 100% predict what it will look like and basically gave me advice that I am 50/50 on the borderline of tummy tuck vs. SmartLipo, and that I could very likely reach my desired results (based on success with others of similar makeup). I am honestly torn and just looking to connect with and obtain advise from others pre/post op that have similar goals and post results and/or other medical professionals advice.
Yesterday was the big day! (3/25/14) Actual Procedure
I arrived for check-in at 2:15p, I was immediately taken to begin pre-op. I was given surgical attire to change into, re-measured to ensure their were no changes in weight, abdominal, waist, and hip measurements. I had retained some water and some minor adjustments were made for my aftercare garments. I was impressed that the team took the time to ensure the original measurements were correct and that no changes occurred so that I was tailored appropriately for the best possible comfort in aftercare garments. After this, I was given a combination of Xanax, Oxycodone, anti-nausea and antibiotics; as well as, an IV (not used, just a security precaution incase needed during an emergency). After about 20 minutes (the meds kicked-in!) I was taken into the operating room. Dr. Jones began injecting the numbing medication (OUCH!) that was probably the most painful part; it consisted of 6 actual injections that I could feel. Next, I was injected with the additional numbing / surgical fluid and experienced some discomfort; however, it was not really something that I would call painful. When I expressed to the Dr. Jones that area was uncomfortable he would move, and then go back after a few minutes. Lastly, the SmartLipo began and was truly the easiest part of the entire process; it was just a weird vibrating feeling like a handheld massager, which was followed by the TriSculpt. TriSculpt had a few minutes that felt like a rubber band snap, but was not painful at all. Anxiety was far worse because of what I expected; the procedure was much easier than what I really thought it would be, just some moments that were uncomfortable.
Night (Post-OP) – OUCH!!!
My procedure ended at around 6:15p and there was not really any pain post-op. As directed, I did continue to take pain meds every 4 hours. At around 11p, I was in a lot of pain, I felt like I could feel everything that was done. I am not sure if it was because of sleeping and not moving until 11p to go to the restroom or if it was just part of the process. I took some more pain medication, lay down, and was able to fall back asleep within 30 minutes. Throughout the night, I had a ton of drainage, mostly soaked up in the pads. My recommendation to anyone would be laydown towels everywhere because you will leak a water/blood fluid a lot. 11p was my most painful moment. I did experience some pain / swelling; however, it was not something that was unmanageable. Now (Day I Morning Post-Op) I am not really in any pain, just sore like I pushed it too far / overexerted myself at the gym. Despite the swelling I can see that my abdominal & hip area is much smaller than pre-SmartLipo. The entire Sono Bello team was amazing and I could not be happier. The aftercare garments are not that comfortable, make you sweat & itchy; however, not unbearable and I can fit into my regular clothing.
Pre-Op Photos & Incl. Almost 3L of Fat Removal
I didn't attach all the pre-op photos and wanted to share.
Just received a post-op call from DR. Jones. Feeling great! Was able to shower and see results despite swelling and a lot of brushing. All of which seems to be normal. Still on the pain meds and hope to start Advil today vs narcotics. A lot of draining too but contained in the pads. Up and walking at the park with my kiddos! YaY!!
Felt so great Day I post-op that I over did it a bit. Swelling and pain was worse and kept me up most the night. Still doing / moving pretty good but going to take it easier today in hope of going off the pain meds. The garment is still uncomfortable / Itchy, but tolerable and as been on 24/7 with the binder. Happy that tomorrow is the last day of the binder.
Day III - Goodbye Binder!
So happy that I can take the binder off today! The spandex / body garment really isn't that bad and I feel pretty comfortable now. On the downside ... I have started to itch and I mean itchy like never in my life. The post op nurse checked in and said this is normal. I have also swollen to the worst yet (again can be normal). Still some pain but only needed meds to sleep. Overall doing great & so happy with what I see.
Week I - Post Op
All went well with my week-one post-op appointment; I couldn't have expected anything more from Sono team. I am still pretty swollen, sore, and itchy! All of which seems to be pretty normal stuff. As directed, I have started to massage the area and WOW... it's even more sore (not really pain, just sore like a sunburn or overworked muscle type feeling). Not too many lumps / hard spots, but OUCH when I am working on one. I am going to give the Lymphatic Massage a try this week. Also, really working to keep low sodium diet to keep/get this swelling down. Attached are some pics that show how much the bruising has improved; however, they don't show the true results because of the swelling ;-(
Week II into III Post-Op
Swelling is still the name of the game! I now also understand the hard/lumps that everyone is taking about. I experienced a few early on, but now they seem to have come together as large hard lumps! Massage, Massage, Massage has been my key to success, if it consistently focus on massaging (they suggest 5min, I do 20min) then I seem them go way down and a lot less swelling and/or tenderness. I am just using a hand held body massager and it has worked great. The area is tender, it seems to get less tender as I consistently massage; however, the first few times were painful. My largest concern and frustration is the swelling; I hear/read that by now it should have gone down considerably or be gone, but that has not been the case for me. I swell 2-3 inches daily (I take morning / night measurements). I have yet to see the swelling go down to the results that I seen immediately post op. I am hopeful that it will be down and stay down soon. Until then, I am doing the following… In the stage II garment nearly 24/7, massage nightly 20min, still taking Arnica (3x daily) and putting on Arnica cream (morning/night).
Week III into IV Post-Op
Despite the swelling, hard lumps, I am happy with what I am seeing. I am still the same size post-op that I was pre-op; however, my abdominal area looks very different (better). I just wish that the swelling would go down as it make me look bigger than I am. My stomach despite being protruded is flat vs. pushing out / hanging in a hump as it did before. I continue to massage, take arnica pills & cream, and exercise; I have been struggling with diet and having food cravings; I am just pushing hard to continue to eat healthy, stay positive, and exercise. The areas are tender (especially where the largest lumps are); however, there is really no surgical pain. Here is to hoping that the next few weeks will bring reduced swelling ;-)
Going into Week V
Really nothing new to share... Pictures look the same as the past two weeks, still working with swelling. I have started to see about 1/2in go down and stay down; however, I am still VERY swollen. I continue to massage, take arnica pills & cream, and exercise.
Just over 2mos post-op
27 May 2014
2 months post
Continue to improve week over week. Swelling is down consistently 2in from previous weeks; however, still have swelling ( especially in my upper abs ). No pain, skin seems to be responding well; it is only hard/lumps around my belly button. Also, still numb in spots. I have not been as consistent with massage and arnica; re-focusing to continue seeing good results.
Jeffrey A. Jones, MD was everything and more than I could’ve expected from a provider. He was extremely personable, caring, and strived to ensure that I had the best experience possible. I took the time to ensure that I felt informed, comfortable, and had a positive experience. I had a lot of anxiety about the entire procedure and he continued tor explain to me what to expect and throughout the entire procedure engaged me in conversation, checked on my pain levels, and adjusted everything to meet my needs. It is too early to truly see the results (Day I) post-op; however, from what I can see and what I have experienced is exactly in alignment with what he told me. I am very grateful for him and his entire team that was just as caring “excellent bedside manner” and informative as him.
My sincerest thanks go out to Dr. Jeffrey A. Jones & his entire team. They exceed all my expectations.
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars