47 Year Old, Mother of Three - Foster City, CA

I struggled a long time over whether or not to get...

I struggled a long time over whether or not to get liposuction for my muffin top and stomach. My biggest issue is that I looked matronly in all dresses, and much older than my years. I had no aspirations to ever wearing a bikini again, but I did want to look better in my clothes. I am a 47 year old mother of three, and although I exercise, I have developed a “tire” of fat around my abdomen. I think it is mostly due to perimenopause, genetics, and being a few pounds overweight(I am 5’3” and weigh 125). After much researching, I decided Smartlipo was the way to go. I found Dr. Joel Beck, and felt reassured when I learned he has been using Smartlipo technology for many years and even trains other Plastic Surgeons to use the machine. I understood from him that Smartlipo Triplex is the latest enhancement of the machine/technology.
When I met with Dr. Beck, and some of his staff, I felt confident that they were the right fit for me. Quite frankly, disrobing in all my chubby glory was not fun, but it is necessary to see if I was a good candidate for the surgery. Dr. Beck thought I was, and even suggested that my behind would look a lot better if I had Smartlipo on my outer thighs. I didn’t consider this an upsell because I have ALWAYS hated my outer thighs, but when my spare tire appeared around my midriff, the thighs took a lower priority for me. He also said that my loose, jiggly skin around my abdomen would improve, however it would still be there. His assistant then took me in her office and explained the costs, procedure, scenario of events, and answered any other questions I had. I decided to have my flanks, outer thighs, upper and lower abdomen done. Because Smartlipo is done under local anesthesia (another reason why I wanted Smartlipo), there is only so much anesthesia that can be administered in one day for all the areas to be done-therefore you need to come in at two separate occasions. The first day I had my flanks and outer thighs, and a few days later I was scheduled to have my upper and lower abdomen done.
The surgery itself is quite easy. I was very anxious, but I was given an antianxiety pill before the procedure, and it REALLY does the trick. Dr. Beck then examines you again and marks you up in the areas he is going to work on. He even noticed that I had a couple deep dimples on my thighs, and thought he could lessen their appearance a bit with a feathering technique with the machine. (I have always had those dimples, even in my thinner, pre childbirth days). I was then led into the operating area, and before I knew it, Dr. Beck was doing his thing. I only felt minor discomfort a few times, and the time just flew by. I talked the whole time, and God knows what I said because truly I don’t remember a thing! After the procedure, the nurse helps you into a compression garment, you are given more instructions, and you are on your way home. (You need a ride to and from).
I drained quite a lot the first night. I was quite surprised by how much, but I was told this would happen. I made sure I slept with towels under me to protect the bed. I woke up very sore, but was able to continue with day to day life, albeit at a slower pace. I found getting up and down from sitting or on/off the bed very difficult. In the evenings I took the pain meds, which I loved because it really helped me sleep. As a side note, as much as the pain meds are great, try to get off of them a.s.a.p., as they really slow your digestive system, even if you are eating a high fiber diet. I was very bruised, but so excited to see no muffin top!! I had a girlish figure again (at least from the front view)!! I also became swollen, and gained about three pounds from all the fluid. Remember to drink tons of fluids to flush out the liquids from surgery!!
A week later, I had the upper and lower abs done. Normally, it wouldn’t be a week between the procedures, but I was very happy it was because I was very sore, and welcomed the extra days to heal. I couldn’t imagine putting on the compression garment after another procedure. (The compression garment is worn 24/7, except for when you bathe, and wash it.) The procedure itself went very smoothly, just like the prior one. This time, because it was on the abs, Dr. Beck likes his patients to wear a foam insert inside the compression garment, to decrease the likelihood of developing “wrinkles” on the abs while the skin is recovering. Ugh-not fun!!
I hardly had any drainage after the abs lipo, but I was super sore and uncomfortable, especially when having to take off/put back on the compression garment and foam insert. For me, it was the harder procedure. That said, I still went about my normal activities the next day. I also continued to drink lots of fluids and tried to walk as much as possible .
It has been two weeks since I got Smartlipo Triplex on my flanks and outer thighs, and one week since the upper and lower abdomen. I am still very sore on my abs, but most of the swelling and bruising has subsided. I am even two pounds lighter than pre-surgery. The areas I had lipo are very hard and kind of lumpy in spots, but when I am lying down, I try to massage the areas in a circular motion. I think this really helps, and the only thing I like about the foam is that it provides cushioning while I am gently massaging. When I remove the compression garment, I am thrilled with the results!! From what I understand, all my symptoms are par for the course, and will continue to improve. I have already seen the improvement in the lumpiness.
Today I am having my first postop appointment with Dr. Beck. I am praying that he will tell me that I can remove the foam. It is truly very uncomfortable and a real pain to put on with the compression garment. I can live with the compression garment, but the major takeaway is that I wished I had bought another compression garment as a spare. (Before I shower, I hand wash the garment, and then put in the dryer to dry). Although I have continued with my day to day life, I am very thankful I do not have a formal day job. This is surgery and you need to allow yourself time to heal. If you are thinking about Smartlipo, please allow yourself at least one to two weeks off.
These pictures are presurgery, and one week post upper/power abs, 2weeks post flanks/thighs.. All I can say is, so far, so good. I am very pleased(actually thrilled!) with the results, and every day the soreness is improving. I am so happy with my new shape and yes, Dr. Beck was right-my behind does look better!
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Congrats my fellow Bay Area RS Woman. You abs look so nice,flat with definition. I can't wait to get rid of my fat stomach. lol. i want my 4 pack back. It's been 2 years since it left me. ;(. Happy Healing and keep us updated with pics.
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Hi there how are you feeling these days and how are the lumps? Are you planning on posting any new pics? I started aggressive massaging around belly button and lower right area to hopefully reduce the lumps. It might just be swelling and I might take longer to heal in that area but since I didn't do a lot of massaging I'm wondering if that's why I have the lumps. It's not like tiny lumps but hard areas. It hurts when I massage so I take it as a good sign. Thinking of you and hoping you're well. I bet you look amazing!!!!
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I am SO happy to read that you had such a great experience because I am currently driving myself crazy deciding whether or not to go for the procedure on the exact same areas with Dr. Beck. Did you really feel no pain during the procedure? I have a pretty moderate pain tolerance but I'm terrified reading reviews about pain during the procedure. Something about Dr. Beck just really puts me at ease, though. Would you say you were up and walking very quickly after? We talked about a day between the flanks/outer thighs and then the upper and lower/abs. Personally, I wanted to get it all over with in the same week but am not sure how I would feel about that later on!
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I'm glad you found Dr. Beck. I am very happy I went to him. The surgery itself was the easy part. I truly did not feel pain, apart from a couple of sharp twangs. Honestly the hard part is the recovery. I didn't expect it to be this long, although every post says that it takes three months!! I am thrilled with the results but I still feel sore at times. Getting back to your question about the spacing between procedures, I don't know which is better. Mine ended up being a week apart due to mechanical issues with the machine. I personally was happy about it bc it allowed me to recover a bit, especially because the compression garment is so difficult to put on initially. I am happy to answer any more questions via this forum or even the phone if you have any. Best of luck,
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Hi there thanks for your post. Seems we had a similar experience with upper/lower abs. How are you doing now? I'm 20 days out and lumpy, still swollen. I'm happy but lumpy. So far... would love to hear how you're doing. You look great!
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Thank you! Each day I am better. I am still very sore, and I notice when I swim or walk, it helps a lot. I am also gettingymphatic Draunage Massage from an amazing therapist called Amy Pontzloff. She has helped with the "lumps". Heat and gentle massage helps. She said these all par for the course and eventually will go away. She recommended swimming and gentle stretches as well. It is a longer recovery than I imagined (I'm not sure why bc all the forums said 3-6 months!! I guess I thought it would be quicker bc I don't have any more visible bruising. I didn't realize all the internal recovery) That said, I am still really happy I had it done. It has also motivated me to continue to eat properly. I am down 5lbs and feel much better about myself. How are you doing? Are you experiencing similar things?
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Hi there yes I'm experiencing exactly the same as you. I had NO idea the healing would take so long as it's referred to as "lunchtime lipo" lol. I don't know if I was just naive or what! My swelling seems to be worse the past few days and I've got some pain. Par for the course and I take it as a good sign that my results will improve. My lumps are pretty big around the belly button and very noticeable. I massage with arnica when I can about 1x per day. I'm motivated one day and sometimes down the next. It's like a roller coaster but I know I had a great PS so I'm still glad I did it. Again, didn't realize the healing time at all. Patience.... :) looking forward to your posts and progress. I'll be thinking of ya!
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I have the most lumps around my belly button as well. I'll be thinking of you too!
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You look fantabulous!!!!  Fantastic result already.  Thank you for the pictures and for the thorough description.  Great to hear the honesty from the doctor.  I didn't realize Dr. Beck had moved to Foster City (I live here, too!) until another community member, princessln did her review.

Please keep us posted on how you progress and let us know what happened at your post-op :D.
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Thank you! Dr. Beck was pleased as well. He said I could remove the foam, but if I noticed any wrinkling to start wearing it again. I am not sure how long he has been in Foster City, but it is really convenient and very discreet. In my humble opinion, after my experience, and seeing pictures of some other procedures, I believe he is a very skilled surgeon with a fine eye for detail. He mentioned that he really enjoys face surgeries. Will post more pictures soon. :)
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I look forward to seeing more pics.  Are you considering facial surgeries?
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No- no plans at all. I'm not against it but I was only dissatisfied with my figure.
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Oh, okay :).  I thought you mentioned it because you were interested, LOL!  I know very little about face surgery stuff--I don't have any communities even remotely related.

I look forward to hearing how your healing progresses!
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