Today I finally went through with something that I have been contemplating for 2 years now, moving forward with getting Smart Lipo.
Update to now: Last year I went to a consult for smart lipo on my upper and lower abs, flanks, and bra bulge (something I have been thinking about for years) but decided to wait and search around for another doctor after researching the doctor and finding out not only did they want $4700, but the doctor was a gynecologist, and not a board certified surgeon. Sigh.
It took me a year to work myself up to it, but I have finally found a doctor who is board certified as a surgeon, female (personal preference), and has a history of doing all types of surgery (reconstructive, plastic, and other). So I feel totally comfortable after meeting her that she is the right doctor for me.
Thus far, so far so good. Last week, At the consult I met with the nurse who assists with the surgeries and she was very nice and didn't pressure me. I was disappointed that I will only be able to have three areas done instead of four due to the size of the areas. BUT I felt reassured that the place wasn't just trying to suck money from me, and actually were consulting from a medical standpoint.
Today, I went into the pre-op appointment and met the surgeon, she was very friendly and asks me a lot of questions about if was a drinker, smoker, drug user, had any previous surgeries, tattoos, broken my bones before, and anything of the sort along with a detailed medical history.
She didn't rush so I felt she actually cared, and she also shared a little about herself and her family which made me feel comfortable and knock off the nerves.
The doctor agreed that I should only do my upper/lower abs (focus on these) and bra bulge. She also indicated that after this procedure, if I exercise and diet, and still want the flanks, I can come back at a later point and talk with her.
The pre-op took about 30 minutes, and during she checked to make sure I didn't have any hernias, had a good heart, and that my iron was up ( I am border line anemic). She also laid me on the table and felt and pinched my belly and then again standing up.
As of current, the doctor says I have good skin tone and elasticity, so everything should go fine.
I am extremely nervous about the actual procedure, but excited to do this and move forward and stop sitting around depressed about something I can't fix on my own after trying a gazillion diets and exercising to no end.
Thus far, my directive is no medications including no naproxen sodium (sucks b/c these are miracle workers for headaches), no crazy food binging, and lots and lots of water. Also, I have to fill a prescription for Loritab (pain), valium (anxiety), and an antibiotic before my surgery next Wed. No multivitamin either FYI.
I typically take Claritin for allergies as needed, but am going to try to not use this week.
I am going to post pre-pictures soon, wish me luck :)
Today I finally went through with something that I...
Today I finally went through with something that I have been contemplating for 2 years now, moving forward with getting Smart Lipo.
One more day until my surgery date. I am nervous,...
I have posted three before pictures and will post my before from the doctor's office as well.
I have been drinking lots of water and eating relatively healthy to make sure I follow my pre-guidelines.
Only one slip-up, I did have 1 alchoholic drink over the weekend, (whoops) but drinking lots of water to flush my system so I am constantly having to pee.
Night Before Surgery: Tuesday night, the day...
Tuesday night, the day before surgery, I made sure all my laundry was clean and my house was clean. I also made some hot and sour soup and went to the store to get recovery foods ( english muffins, strawberry cream cheese, ritz, fruit). I call these recovery foods because I knew I wouldn't want anything heavy on my stomach the first couple of days or weeks, and I was glad I bought these items because they have been easy on my stomach thus far. I also have been drinking a ton of water.
Day of Surgery: (As of Wednesday, didn't have time to post so I wrote it in journal).
My procedure was at 8:00 am and surprisingly I woke up on time, enough to shower with Dove sensitive skin ( I knew it would be my last shower for a few days) and to eat a sandwich ( a piece of bologna on two pieces of bread). My doctor told me to eat something starchy and light 1.5 prior to surgery because I am anemic, and it would reduce the chance of me fainting during or after the procedure.
Not sure if the sandwich was helpful because as soon as I go to the doctor's office, I had to use the bathroom, and it all came right out. I think because my stomach is always unsettled when I am nervous, "eliminating" my bowels as the doctor insisted was not hard.
While waiting, the nurse gave me a valium and a loritab to knock off the anxiety and for pain. I insisted tot he doctor that I wasn't scared, so I didn't need more valium, but to please make sure my procedure was as pain free as possible.
When it was time to go in and get ready, the first step was giving me the local anesthesia for numbing. This did not hurt, it just felt like when you go get a flu shot, where it stings a little at first. The whole time the doctor and nurse talked to me and played music I choose on Pandora so it was very relaxing.
2nd step was to fill me up with the tumescent fluid. This was not painful for me, just felt a little uncomfortable at first,and my stomach started to get hard and fill like someone was filling a waterbed in my tummy. The doctor used around 4 liters total of fluid to reduce as much pain as possible, and it worked.
I literally did not have any pain during the procedure expect for two spots in the middle of my tummy, it felt like someone was poking my with a pen really hard. When I told her I felt this sensation, the doctor moved to a different angle which relieved this.
The whole procedure for my abs and bra line lasted 3 hours, I was awake and comfortable the whole time, and I was able to move in different positions to make sure the doctor could get all the fat. She also gave me another Loritab about half way through to make sure I didn't start feeling pain.
After the procedure, I drained a lot when I stood up, and they put my compression garment on. It is super tight but actually feels good because 2 days out my abs and back are sore.
No pain on day or surgery until hours later at home, I felt my entire abs were sunburned. I took two pain pills and this knocked out the pain. Since I have been taking pain meds every 5-6 hours to stay on top of the pain.
Nothing to report but soreness. I feel sore all over but standing and walking helps. Laying flat feels terrible, but laying or sitting at a angle feels better. Still taking pain meds and even though the doctor said wait 24 hours and then remove garment to wash and take a shower, I decided not to remove garment and shower just yet because I am still draining everywhere so there's no point, and I'm swollen and tender and don't have the energy to remove this garment and put it back on. I just use baby wipes, a bathcloth, and soap to wash my self, and go in and out of sleep.
I am also using an abdominal support wrap over my garment to make sure my garment stays smooth and doesn't create wrinkles when i sleep.
Got up to measure my self today and I have lost 2 1/2 inches off my natural waist line and 2 1/2 inches off my lower abs, belly button area. Yipee! I am still swollen so I'm pleased so far.
Day 5 I am finally finish with my antibiotics......
I am finally finish with my antibiotics....yipee! And I am now successfully taking off my garment each day to shower and putting it back on, on my own. ( This was a task in itself)
The soreness has subsided a lot, to the point where I no longer need the prescription pain meds really but I am taking 1 a day to help with swelling. I changed my review from not sure to absolutely worth it because even with the swelling, my tummy is completely flat, no loose skin, and I tried on a fitted dress today and it looked awesome.
My next goal is to start walking on my treadmill to help getting back into routine.
My appetite has come back to normal, but I am still eating small portions, and mainly soup and light foods because its hard to get up and down off the toilet ( this is not painful, its just very uncomfortable). I am also still drinking a ton of water which i believe is helping me a lot, because the compression garment at times makes me feel dehydrated and out of breath.
Tomorrow is my follow-up appointment so I will post and post pics hopefully tomorrow.
Day-6 Just came from my first post-op and I am...
Just came from my first post-op and I am doing excellent. Even the doctor and nurse said I was looking good.
I am still swollen and tender some, but everything is going well.
The hardest part as of date right now is sitting down, partly because of the compression garment, and partly because sitting up straight just becomes uncomfortable for long periods because my back/ bra line is still swollen and healing.
So far, I have almost 3 inches off my natural waistline and another 3 inches off my lower abdomen, and my tummy is completely flat. I am excited because the results will keep on coming in, and I plan to to tone up my legs in the meantime.
Something I didn't think too much about is that now since my tummy is flat, my boobs (38 DD) feel heavier because my jelly belly is gone. A breast reduction is next on my list so I'm not too stressed about it, but after all my swelling goes down, its off to the bra store to get different bras that offer more support.
Day 8- Hot and Cold I am grateful that I knew...
I am grateful that I knew the swelling would increase the second week because it definitely has. I think it is partially because even though i am sitting at a desk, it is more comfortable laying down than sitting at a 90 degree angle for a prolonged time.
The other half is because up until now, i haven't used any heat or ice because i wanted to make sure i didn't bruise a lot ( I am going to cancun next week for work and didn't want to look beat up. lol.
But yesterday I started using a heating bad on both my abs and back, and then alternating with the frozen vegetables for ice. This helped a lot and the soreness is finally going away day after day. I am the most sore after sitting at work.
I have been washing the compression garment every other day and have got the taking off and on part down to a science.
It is easier for me to take it off up over my head and then put back on feet first.
Cannot wait to stop wearing this garment all day. --- it is really starting to irk me.
* heating pad instead of heating bad--- typed to fast.
Day 10- I am so sick of this compression...
This compression garment is starting to feel tighter and tighter and not stay in place. When I sit down, it feels like it is cutting off my circulation. I cannot wait until day 14 when I only have to wear it at night.
My swelling actually goes down more with just spraying the Arnica and not wearing the garment.
I am also starting to feel the hard scar tissue knots in certain places. They are not painful and the heating pad with the a handheld vibrating massager has been helping. I also found this chair massaging cushion at Bed Bath and Beyond that I am thinking about getting because I can't afford to constantly go a masseause so keeping the knots under control upfront is my best bet.
I also finally got all the markers off my body with peroxide, soap or rubbing alchohol weren't working
Day 23-Surviving the Holidays Sorry it has been...
Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. Here is an update about how I am doing.
Last week I went to Mexico for vacation, everything went well, and I was so excited to show off myself in a bikini with no stomach fat.
The only thing that I wasn't expecting was that the waves when getting in the ocean hurt when when they crashed against my stomach so I felt a big bruise on my left side which turned a little black and blue so I ended up wearing a cover- up for the last two days of my trip.
I am still wearing my compression garment at night only, and sometimes during the day depending on how much swelling I feel after a couple of hours. I want to make sure my stomach doesn't get any wrinkles or anything while my skin is still tightening.
If is difficult to tell whether my back will be completely flat or not because I can still feel hardened areas where the tissue damage is, and since I didn't get my flanks done yet , I may still have a little crease. But that's okay, because I plan to go back and get my flanks done soon which should even out the crease.
The holidays were not tough on me, my appetite has come back but no more than pre-surgery so I am able to go back to eating normally (which to me means trying to eat healthy and clean).
My weight has also gone back to my pre-op weight, even though as of current I have lost around 3 1/2 inches off my natural waist line and 3 inches off my lower waist. This is not too much of a concern for me because at least I know the swelling pounds (I gained about 6 pounds of water weight) has completely gone away. Now I can fit back into my old clothes, and the waist are much looser.
I can also tell the most difference when wearing tight dresses, and because of the way my ab area has flattened and back has flattened, I can now see more of my curves which is awesome for me and what i'm trying to accomplish.
I am much more confident already with myself and can't wait for the results to continue.
My next step is to get all the hard areas to subside, and to get over a flu-like cold I am currently dealing with. My cold is unrelated to the surgery but makes it hard because it hurts when i cough really hard. And by the way, I am still sleeping on my back for the most comfort and wearing an ab support binder at night.
P.S make sure your dog doesn't jump up on you if its more than 5 pounds, it hurts extremely bad.
Day 30- Happy new Year! New Body, New Me I am...
I am so excited that my results are continuing to come in. And I can't wait to go back to my 6 week appointment and get my official before and after photos.
I am going to keep this post short because I am going to write a big post next week.
How am I feeling?
-I am still sensitive in some areas, i can't feel it unless my bf attempts to hug me tightly or pick me up, or squeeze my sides. I hope this sensitivity goes away soon b/c its annoying
-I have been able to resume normal exercise activities without the compression garment.
- The bruising is finally starting to subside
- I am putting cocoa butter and neosporin over my incisions and they are healing fairly nicely, although I know the scar will take forever to fade.
-My butt looks more shapely and my shape is more refined.
-More hypersensitive during sexual intimacy
Things I'm still working on:
-hard areas under skin in some areas- using hand massager to iron them out
-can't wait till 4 weeks are up so i dont have to wear compresson anymore, its becoming irritating to sleep
- back is still not completely flat, but can feel hard spots where swelling is there
-definitely want a breast reduction even more now, breasts feel heavier
My results Thus far:
Weight: After swelling and bloat has completely gone, I have lost around 3.5-4 pounds
12/5 ( day of surgery): 46 1/2 lower abs (around belly button), 35 1/4 upper abs (around natural waistline),
12/6 44/ 1/4 lower, 33 1/4 upper
12/7 45 1/4 lower, 33 1/2 upper
12/8 42 1/2 lower, 34 upper
12/9 42 lower, 34 upper
12/10 44 1/2 lower, 33 1/4 upper
I stop measuring because of all the swelling and bloat
1/1/13 40 1/4 lower 32 upper
Total Inch loss so far: 6.25" lower, 3.25" upper
Posting new pics as I go.
Day 37-Being Prepared First, how I am...
First, how I am feeling?
Its right about that time of the month for me so I am bloating and craving sugars and carbs. Mmm...bread. Anywho, I know this is an awkward way to start off a post but its important because one thing to know if you are a female having smart lipo is that your period may be delayed, or fall out of whack due to the surgery.
For me, it has not changed except that because the swelling is just subsiding not long ago, I feel I am bloating a little more than usual. This makes my compression garment feel a little more snug than usual which makes it uncomfortable.
Now, change of subject...
This post is all about being prepared because I have received quite a few emails wanting to know what to be prepared for before and after the procedure. I am sooo excited that I am inspiring some of you to take the next step and planning your procedure, and also excited for those who say the procedure isn't for you and my updates have helped them get off the fence. It took me so long to make a decision, that making A decision is the most exciting and important step anyway can do :)
So here are my thoughts on what to be prepared for before the surgery......
I felt like my doctor told me a lot about what to be prepared for which made me feel at ease, but there are a few things that I experienced that may or may not happen to you:
I went through several emotions the week leading up to the actual procedure.
-One minute I felt overjoyed I was going through with the lipo,
-the next I was fearful of what if something went wrong,
-I felt ashamed at times that I was going to result to surgery to fix something that commercials and tv say can be fixed with a magic "pill",
-and then I felt like I just wanted to get it over with and frustration.
-I even felt regret that I spent this much money on myself for something unimportant to no one but me (I am the type of person that spends on other people before I think about me)
This emotional ride was something I was not prepared for, but I'm glad I overcame this and went ahead with the procedure.
Also, before the surgery, it is best that you clear your social calendar for at least a week or so. Although you may indeed be up and walking around in a day or so, you will fatigue, and may not feel like socializing for long periods of time, or being around smoke, alcohol, loud music, or sitting on uncomfortable furniture.
It may sound silly but first the first three weeks, getting all dressed up with full makeup and hair, and putting on party clothes was a challenge for me. Standing in certain ways too long, or sitting certain places too long, and being around crowded places where people can accidently bump into you was difficult because I was sore, uncomfortable, and extremely sensitive to touch. So it is best to avoid these situations if you can. Also, don't make my mistake and get in the ocean with crashing waves because the waves hurt very very much or get in a hard pressure hot-tub. (personal mistakes)
Other than that, follow your doctor's medical before the procedure to the T. I drank one glass of alcohol 8 days out, even though it didn't hurt anything, it was an extra fear that was unnecessary and preventable thinking the alcohol would affect me because the doctor said no alcohol.
What to know after smart lipo.....
This is where what to know will vary because everyone is not the same when it comes to recovery.
But for me....I still have several spots that feel lumpy under my skin on my 5th week out. They are barely noticeable from the outside, but still feel sensitive to the touch.
Also, I am still sensitive when doing crunches or similar positions, and picking me up or squeezing me when hugging is still out the question. I have to explain this to several of my friends because I'm a hugger and they found it odd that I didn't want them to hug me when I did see them.
I am still waiting on this sensitivity to go away because I just want to feel back to normal already.
Emotionally, I have gone back to normal and feel happy everyday I look in the mirror and know that my stomach is getting flatter.
One thing to note is that a trick I am using to keep my belly button formed and round is putting a chapstick top in my stomach and keeping it there, but I think it is only helping to an extent because my belly button is round but the sides are still very hard.
Last thing to be prepared for after the surgery is not being able to sleep on your stomach, not even at 5 weeks out. I am normally a stomach or back sleeper but have learned to sleep on my sides because since I got my abs and bra bulge done, both hurt.
Other than that, again, follow your doctor's post procedure orders to a T, they made my healing go faster than expected.
I did not measure myself today so no measurements to report but I do have my 6 week followup next week, so I can't wait to show you all the official doc photos.
Side Note: Be aware of what type of underwear and pants you put on after the surgery because anything I put over my stomach for long periods of time makes a temporary line and hurts later.
Thank you everyone for your support so far, and I hope you find something I've said helpful for you! I would love to hear about your procedures as well.
Day 42- Parting with Compression- My Security I...
I am excited and nervous today as I am two days out from my 6 week follow-up. I can't wait to get my official photos to show you all and to see for myself the big difference I have made these last 6 weeks. I will be posting photos as soon as I get them.
As I mentioned, I am also nervous as well. Well, maybe the right word would be anxious. After wearing this compression garment for practically the entire six weeks, above what was required by my doctor, I am nervous to depart with my love hate garment.
I know at first it was needed to protect the treated areas, and then needed for shaping, but now knowing that this week at the 6 week mark I am just now feeling about 90% back to normal, I want to still wear it as I get back on track exercise and eating wise.
Throughout this last 6 weeks, I haven't really been able to exercise back at my normal levels, partly because it was just uncomfortable, and the other part because of soreness, scar tissue internal lumps, and being fatigued easily.
But now I can feel my energy coming back and finally getting to the point where I am not focusing on the fact that I had lipo and start focusing on getting the rest of my body back in shape.
Oh! And I have to tell you that I finally solved my belly button problem of it not forming correctly back to round with no creases around it. The solution is I needed a bigger top to place in my belly, so instead of a chap-stick top, I used the top of a glue stick solid (like you have in kindergarten) and cut it so it wasn't so long and it fit perfectly in my belly button area with my belly ring.
So points for me! My belly button is starting to form the right way now. ---So to conclude, tip: putting something round in your belly button during your time wearing the compression garment DOES work, you just have to make sure you have the right size to fit your belly button.
Talk to you in two days!
Update on Measurements:
1/1/13 (where I left off in last post) 40 1/4 lower 32 upper
1/15/13 40" lower, 32" upper
1/4 inch loss lower since 1/1/13.
Day 48- The Future Me, The New Me Yipee! I...
Yipee! I finally have my 6 week photos from the doctor and have posted it all for everyone to see. I can see a significant different in all areas done, and glad to have the official photos because my camera phone can only do so much. This process has been worth every penny and totally worth it. I am feeling great today, knowing I made the right decision and closer to the body that I want (I am still wanting to go get my flanks/ love handles done)
How am I feeling?
I finally took the plunge and departed from my compression garment, so I am now sleeping without it. And I think the sensitivity in my abs is gradually starting to go away. At my 6 week appointment, the nurse felt my stomach and said the hard spots are normal and will slowly go away, and impressed with my results. I also have been continuing to massage the hard areas which are helping.
I do not have any inch loss to report this week, as I'm transitioning on to a diet that will help me lose weight over the next 6 months. I am going to go back and get my flanks done in 6 months more than likely.
One thing I didn't plan for is I have a small keloid on my back that was trying to form, but it is leveling off so my next phase is keep putting cocoa butter on my incision sites to get rid of the scars.
Will update on my progress on the scar reduction and let the community know when I no longer feel the sensitivity in my ab or bra strap area.
Day 92- Funny How Life Changes I am finally at...
I am finally at the 12 week mark from my Smart Lipo so I thought it would be a good time to post. Sorry I didn't post in February, everything was fine as far as my procedure, but in my personal life I am going through a bad breakup after a long-term relationship so my mind has been all over the place.
Which leads me to my point of today's post. Keep your strength up, do not let outside factors make you go on a crazy eating binge, or prevent you from exercising because even after Lipo your body is still changing in small increments for up to 6 months.
Even though I've been going through a lot with this major life change, I did NOT emotional eat. (No Ben and Jerry's, Dreyer's or Bluebell for me). Instead I took the opportunity to ramp up my diet and exercise plan.
I have been eating mainly fruit, lots of spinach, salads, and lean protein, and currently trying to work myself up to be able to run two miles non-stop again.
And the results have helped me even more on my lipo journey.
I have lost 20 pounds total thus far from the day after my procedure to now.
And also, I have been using a cocoa butter stick on the incision sites so the small keloid on my back is flattened and all scars are slowly going away.
And FINALLY the soreness on my abs, etc has gone away.
So yes life changes- and life is funny- but change is good.
Day 132- 19 weeks out: Soft but...
Congratulations to myself! I am 19 weeks out from my procedure and boy has time flown by.
This update is a short and good one, just to let everyone know how's it going--life after lipo.
Last week I noticed that all of my hard spots underneath my skin (scar tissue) had finally gone away, leaving my stomach soft, but sexy :)
Now the goal for me is to focus more and more on toning my abs and also to schedule my 2nd procedure for my flanks ( due to volume, I could not get this done the first time)
I can see my body coming together day by day into more of what I want, and I am still so happy I made the leap and got the procedure done.
To update, my bra bulge area is not completely flat, I think because there is still a little bit of residual fat, or because of the crease to my flanks, but this is also something else I plan on addressing in my 2nd procedure.
Keep up the good work everyone who has followed me through this journey and ultimately decided to get their procedures done too!
Day 136- 19 Weeks Out: New photos I have had...
I have had several people ask me for new updated photos so I have some for your viewing.
As you can see, the small crease on my backview is something I am going to get addressed in my flanks procedure.
Also, my incision sites are very minor on the front, and are slowly going away with time.
My current measurements:
4/19/13: 40 lower, 32 upper
No inch loss since 1/15/13
Dr. Moldrem and her nurse Debbie and the perfect people for the medical profession. They are so kind and made the whole procedure easy and relaxing. They are very attentive to detail and I felt they really cared about me and giving me a good result. They were also honest and made sure I was a good candidate for the procedure and told me what to expect. I wish these two did more things, like fillers and obgyn because I would definitely be a long-term client.