Stats: I am a 42 year old female, 5"4, 150 lbs, who has never smoked and drinks very moderately. I lost about 40 lbs three years ago and have exercised 3-5x weekly consistently and eaten a balanced diet since then to keep the weight off. I wanted to remove fat on my lower abs, inner and outer thighs, and banana roll that wouldn't respond to exercise.
Pre-op: I researched my physician through ASPS and also the better business bureau to see if there had been any consumer complaints. I would recommend this for anyone considering this surgery. I would NEVER advise anyone to choose their surgeon based on discounts or "advertised low prices"....this is your health and your body, you are not buying a dishwasher! ASPS board certification isn't a guarantee, but an extra and important assurance of your doctor's competence.
Surgery: I had general anesthesia in a hospital. The process was organized and the staff were professional and caring. Everything had been explained to me prior by my doctor, so I knew exactly what to expect. I don't remember much about the surgery experience except the darn IV hurt going in! Post-op I was nauseous from the anesthesia, that subsided by the next morning.
Post op: The general soreness wasn't more that I expected...it was akin to a strenuous lower body workout after heavy weight training. The incision sites were sore and precluded a lot of my movement. I was (and still am) really swollen, which has been the biggest pain to deal with. I took painkillers round the clock for the first 24 hours after surgery, and intermittently with Tylenol for 48 hours after that. Sleeping has been the biggest problem because I can only lay in one position, which has been killing my back...last night was the first night I slept the night without a painkiller. It was the first night after I got my stitches out and my bandages removed.
One week post op: I'm still swollen and sore but it is getting better. I had my stitches and bandages removed yesterday which helped a lot...took my first shower today. I itch like crazy under my garment but knew this was to be expected. Also been constipated, which I also expected, and am trying to get, ahem...regular now. I looked in the mirror without my garment and LOVE the results...I know I'm still swollen and VERY bruised but I can see the shapeliness defined already.My doctor told me he removed 6 lbs of fat overall...and in two months I think I will be extremely pleased and will have gotten what I wanted.
Additional general hints: I found that it was much easier to pee standing over the toilet than to try to sit. Gross, but proved to be very helpful given that patients tend to pee frequently following surgery. It also alleviates the lightheadnedness patients experience from sitting/rising too quickly.
I would recommend people not try to plan or do much of anything for at least a week after surgery. I tried to go back to work 4 days post op and it was a nightmare. If you find you are doing better earlier, consider it a blessing, but I would reserve at least a week or 10 days.
I know there are differing opinions regarding the length of time the garments should be worn...all I can advise is to follow your doctor's recommendations. Mine says six weeks...so six weeks it is.
I knew this wasn't a weight management procedure and I knew it wouldn't cure my cellulite, which I have a lot of. I think though that if people enter into this with realistic expectations, an excellent surgeon, and plently of preparation and recovery time the results can be WELL worth it.