I didn’t get into as much detail as I would have liked in my first post due to time constraints so I would like to go into a bit more detail of my experience so far and the reasons I decided to go ahead with the procedure in this update. I had the procedure done 6 ½ weeks ago. I heard about Dr. Schlesinger through a friend who raved about the great job and the wonderful experience she had with him. I jokingly said maybe I would get his information so I could look into lypo, and of course her first response was “you don’t need lypo”. This statement was true in the fact that I am 5’4” and 137lbs medium build, by no means is this overweight, however; I felt totally disgusted with my body image and had been thinking about lypo for several years already (though not real seriously). Just like most females, over the years I had been gradually gaining weight. I have always been a pretty health conscience eater and physically active. I eat lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, low fat dairy and whole grains, I drink water and milk. I have soda and fast food only very occasionally and almost no junk food at all. However, when I hit 30 I started having cravings for cake, to the point where I was even dreaming about it. For several years now I have tried to follow guidelines of “clean eating” but I was getting nowhere with it, I kept gaining weight and trying to plan out three healthy meals plus 2-3 healthy snacks every day was stressing me out. All I thought about was food and I was driving myself crazy. I finally gave in and scheduled a consultation after a day snorkeling with my husband. I forgot my swim shirt so I just had my husband spray my back down with sunscreen, that night I stood in front of the mirror, holding back tears of frustration and disgust, looking at sunburn spots on my back that were missed because of folds of fat. For me, the idea of getting liposuction felt like a personal failure, this meant I was giving up; I wasn’t strong enough to lose the weight on my own. Although I was still undecided, I made up a list of questions and went to see Dr. Schlesinger. For the consultation he brings in a chaperone, usually Ms Jenna, and goes over what procedure you are interested in. He asked me to get undressed in their little dressing room and put on a robe, I was a little surprised that he wanted me to take off all my clothes, I was expecting underclothing would stay on. However this was because he wanted a clear idea without the extra lines of clothes to see problem areas such as hips and upper back (bra line). I felt totally comfortable with him and I am not an exhibitionist in the least. He took pictures of my front, both sides and back then he took measurements. He was respectful and didn’t touch me in any manner that was unprofessional. We went over the pictures and he explained where he would take out excess fat. The Dr. explained that hormonal change and genetics were the likely culprits for the weight gain. When he said that I was not a fat person and it wouldn’t matter what I did, I would not lose the fat through normal means of diet and exercise I felt the proverbial weight lift off. I was decided; I had my stomach, upper, mid and lower back, hips and inner and outer thighs done. Dr. Schlesinger provided an estimate and I went over with Jenna to her office to schedule the prescreening and procedure dates. I paid a deposit, the bill is supposed to be paid before the procedure so this may push your timeline out further depending on how much the bill is and what you have in the bank. This can be paid by card or check. You are also expected to either leave a blank check or have one ready so the person picking you up after the procedure can give it to the anesthesiologist. At the prescreening appointment, Ms Jennifer takes a blood sample and goes over the rules, like no alcohol and no aspirin etc… Then you see Dr. Schlesinger and he goes over the procedure again with you and fills out your prescriptions which can be filled at any pharmacy. If you are prescribed Ferrous Gluconate (iron) it is most likely behind the counter, this is where I eventually found it. I could not find it in the isles nor can you get it in the dosage needed at a vitamin store. Make sure they are handing you the right kind before you purchase it. Next you see Ms Jenna to pay the remaining balance. On procedure day someone is to drop you off at the surgery center, they call the pick-up person when you are about ready to be released. They prep you for surgery by taking more blood and starting an IV. The anesthesiologist comes in to talk to you and explains what he is going to do. Dr. Schlesinger came in and marked out the areas he wanted to work on with a marker. When it was time they walked me into the surgery room and had me disrobe and lay on my stomach. The anesthesiologist said the next time I woke everything would be over, he was right, I don’t remember a thing until I was already sitting in the car halfway home talking to my husband and he had this weird look on his face. I asked him if we had already had this conversation before, he said yes about six times already. I went to see Dr. Schlesinger the next day for a follow up. He checked the incision points and took measurements again. There was a noticeable difference, especially in my waist it almost looked cartoonish it was so small compared to my rib cage and my hips (this is evening out as swelling in my ribs, back and hips decrease). During the first week of recovery I was quite painful especially on my sides, hips and thighs and I had a difficult time getting up from the bed and the couch. Reaching down to pick something up off the floor or tying shoes was a job in itself. Although the Dr. said he didn’t get too much bruising, I looked like I’d been used as a prize fighter’s punching bag. Everything was bruised, my sides, behind my ribs and legs were the worst. On the backs of my legs I ended up bruising all the way down to the backs of my knees. Everything tasted off to me; things I normally like didn’t even taste good. I’m assuming this was either from the anesthesia or the DMSO, a topical spray, or both. The Dr. will explain that for some people this spray stinks. I was lucky and couldn’t smell it, however; my poor husband could and it smelled like kimchi to him. He would spray me down and feel sick for the rest of the day, but he continued to do it for me. For some reason I felt queasy during and after a shower, twice I had to get out and prepare to be sick. I asked Jennifer about this but apparently I’m the only one who has brought up this symptom. Even now I still feel a little sick if I take a shower before eating and the remaining bruising on my sides and inner thighs becomes a bit more prominent. The Dr. will also explain that you will get a migraine and recommends drinking soda or coffee for the caffeine since you are not allowed any aspirin. I pretty much have a caffeine free diet and don’t normally drink soda or coffee so drinking enough of these things was difficult so I purchased generic “stay awake” pills which are pure caffeine. All I had to do was take one pill and it equaled one cup of coffee. I experienced only slight headaches which I headed off with the caffeine pills and I never had the horrible migraine the Dr. had predicted. You are also provided a compression garment which is to be worn all the time until the Dr. decides it is not needed anymore.
I had another check-up a week later and started ultrasound sessions. While ultrasound is not necessary it helps in the healing process. According to Dr. Schlesinger and Ms Jennifer without the ultrasound it could take up to a year to fully heal from this procedure. Depending on your procedure this can get quite pricey. It is $2 per minute and you should expect 5-15 minutes per area. Jennifer likes to schedule 2 sessions per week for the first 8 sessions or so. For lipo patients it is common for 10-12 sessions. These sessions are paid for with check or cash. Ultrasound is not included in the original quote. I have heard Dr. Schlesinger is the only one who offers this service at his clinic though I have not researched this myself. Also, according to Jennifer all these proceeds go to a charity funded by Dr. Schlesinger.
As you will notice I gave “wait time” only 3 stars. This is because if you go on a Thursday when the Dr. is in the place is like a zoo. I make my appointments for the morning and still by the time my appointment time rolls around there is already about an hour or more lag time. If I have an appointment with the Dr. and with ultrasound on the same day I now expect about 3 hours before I’m out of there, though they are trying to alleviate some of this by training another ultrasound tech.
I recently had my 6 week check-up and I wanted to share some stats: Waist started at 33” down to 26”, bellybutton from 37 down to 27, worst (just above hips) 36 down to 31 ½, hips 38 down to 35, thighs (both with feet together) 38 down to 34, thigh (individual) both started at 25 both down to 20. Since this is still only 6 weeks into recovery I am still expected to get smaller, especially in the hip region which is still noticeably swollen compared to everything else.