Worth It - but Not a Simple Procedure for Me - Fairfax, VA

I got smart lipo exactly 22 days ago on my...

I got smart lipo exactly 22 days ago on my stomach, flanks and inner thighs. I decided to do this procedure after trying diets, gyms, personal trainers, etc. I was gaining muscle, but not losing the fat in my stomach and flanks (or any weight for that matter), plus my inner thighs were rubbing together when I walk which felt gross. My muscles were getting larger than I wanted, and the fat wasn't going anywhere which was really frustrating! I tried different kinds of workouts for that, but I am just one of those people who gains bulk easily. I admit, my diet isn't perfect, I could drink less wine :-). I don't consider myself overweight, I was about 160 and 5'6" at the time of the procedure (but as I said, I have a good amount of muscle). The problem was, form fitting clothing seemed to fit poorly because my belly was popping out, and I had those annoying side fats that stick out of the top of tight jeans (yuk!). I only wanted to go down from a size 8 to a size 6 so my clothes would fit again! Anyways, here is my review.

First, this is not a procedure for the faint hearted. The procedure (mine was 2 hours) itself was painful, both during the numbing part and during the fat sucking part. Especially when they got close to the rib cage, and my inner thighs. Not pain the entire time, but at points it was bad...especially when they suck out the part that is numb. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't a breeze either.

The first week was very painful. I have read a lot of reviews saying it was only painful for a couple of days, so maybe I am a wimp but, I found even the second week was full of swelling and pain and it was hard to keep a regular work and life schedule. I rested a lot, and didn't venture out much. The good news is, in general, it gets a little better every day. Very slowly. Some days are slight set backs, but that is usually end of the day swelling and not permanent. I would take a week off work if possible, especially if having multiple areas done.

Also, you have to deal with the fact that you will probably be larger the first week or two than you were pre-op due to swelling. Then the swelling gets hard and sometimes lumpy. Luckily, that is slowly going away and it doesn't seem like you need to do much to help it go away except wait. I didn't do any special massages or anything of the sort.

My doctor banned exercise for 3 weeks because it can make swelling worse, and to be honest, I wasn't up for it until now anyway. I applaud anyone who was at the gym before week 3! Personally, I want to get to results fast, so I refrained to ensure the swelling would go down as quickly as possible. My doctor said anything that raises your heart rate could increase swelling.

I absolutely hated the compression garment, and only wore it 24/7 for the first week. I found it so painful and difficult to pee, even when I got one with the slit in the crotch. My doctor said after the first week I didn't have to wear it because it would not make a difference in final results. So, I ditched it after 7 days, and only wore it maybe 3 more times on days when the swelling was bad, or when I wanted to dress up for something and not have a weird shape. I read reviews of people saying they are still wearing the garment 6 weeks later. I have no idea how anyone could like it! :-)

The second week I worried a lot because the swelling was going down unevenly, and it looked really strange...like I had a fat roll almost except it was completely hard. It wasn't attractive.

Today is the first day I can say, it is starting to look awesome! I am so happy. My stomach is flat, and the swelling is really minimized compared to before. The thighs are still settling, so I don't see much of a difference there yet, but I can see that it is still swelling, and I am hoping I see the difference when that subsides. The flanks look about the same, but they feel hard as well which means still swollen. So really, the stomach area is the first to fall into place, but it is very encouraging for the rest. I feel like if I continue the healthy eating (so far I have lost 5 pounds since the procedure, they removed 4.3 pounds of yuk) and now with exercise added, I think my results are going to be fantastic!

What everyone says here about being patient, that is the key. I am not a patient person, so that is difficult. Don't expect to look "good" for a while after the surgery. Your results directly post op will not last, you will swell up and look a mess. DEFINITELY DO NOT do this before a special event unless you have a few months to prepare.

I'll try to add some pics and more updates as this process continues.
Hi MariaVA! Thanks for the review. I am currently one day post op and unless I have past the point of my next scheduled pain pill, i.e. 4-6 hours since the last; sitting vertically or bending forward, the pain hasn't been as bad as I was expecting. I related to your post BIG TIME! I actually just posted one last night that hasn't gone thru the approval process yet talking about my experience with the pain during prep (numbing) and during procedures (so far had upper/lower abs and partial front flanks). While I was scheduled for 4 areas, only 2.5 could be completed because I had hit maximum and a little beyond the safety zone for the lidocaine. It was so painful. Coupled with the fact that some areas just would not numb completely no matter how much he put (upper left of naval). He also had wanted to do a wrap around of my flanks onto my back-side to make sure I got the results I was looking for (flanks have ALWAYS been a big issue with me - genetics). And since I had used up all the anesthetic, he couldn't go beyond a certain vertical line on my side. But boy, when he got close to that invisible line, I was sure to let him know!!! OUCH!! I am scheduled to go back for round 2 on Tuesday (first round was yesterday, Friday July 5, 2013), to complete the backside of flanks and inner thighs. I am SO scared of what the inner thighs are going to feel like. They seem so tender and full of nerves. UGH!!! And girl, I DEFINETLY know what you're saying about near the upper ribs. WHOA!!! It felt like I was being stabbed with a poker! Okay, maybe a little dramatic...but you know what Im saying. And after reading so many posts pre-op saying it was "uncomfortable", to say I was unprepared is the understatement of the year. I posted my first topic startin from day one post-op with some before pics and a pic of the "fat buckets" post op. I was very pleased with the look of them because unlike some posted on this site, mine were filled almost completely with fat, not fluid. I had 2600 ccs removed. I'll keep you and others posted of my progress with pics. I never got to see a post-op pic at the doc because as soon as I got off the table in the OR I went right into the compression garment. BUT, before he started the procedure he gently "pinched" all the blubber (sigh) from the top of my abs to the bottom. I could feel handfuls of it were being grabbed. AFTER it was completed he did the same thing to check that it was all even, and he could only pinch an inch or so from top to bottom. Additionally, he said that before the procedure he placed the incision inside of my belly button in the fat. When it was finished, the incision was laying flat on my abs. That all sounded pretty good to me!! :) One thing that worries me is that this morning I have practically zero leakage. Do you know if that's normal? I was expecting A LOT!!
I had no leakage at all. I think it depends on whether the doctor leaves the incisions open or closed. Apparently, some leave open to drain. Mine were stitched and I had literally zero leakage. So, either we are both normal, or we're both dried up :-)
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
3 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful?