I've always had love handles. My weight was about...
I've always had love handles. My weight was about 205(Im 6'6") in high school, and I had love handles that I was self conscious about even then. In college my weight increased to 265 after a few years of not exercising, drinking beer, and eating like, well, a college student. Of course, at the weight, I had a belly, etc. I wasn't taking my shirt off unless I had a gun to my head. Towards the end of college, I got motivated, and got down to 230 lbs. Thats the weight Ive basically held since.
For my wedding two years ago, my wife and I dieted, and exercised like madmen. We ate six small meals a day, worked out twice a day, and in six months I got back down to my high school weight of 205. I was very lean, and more muscular than ever, but still ultimately not comfortable with my shirt off because I still had love handles. It just came down to genetics.
Ive since gained back to 235, and decided to at least talk to a surgeon. Im comfortable I can maintain this "weight" forever. I used the same surgeon my wife used for her breast augmentation ten years ago. The surgeon was amazing, and assured me that I was an ideal candidate, as it was obvious I wasn't using the surgery to lose weight, but to change my proportions.
My surgery was Friday, just over 48 hours ago, and I feel pretty darn good. I had tumescent lipo on my flanks and traditional on my abdomen. I had a nasty headache after my surgery that is just now mostly gone. My movement has been restricted by a Dale brand 12" wide compression garment. To be honest, that has been the hardest part of this. The garment makes it hard to eat a normal meal, and you feel just a little nauseous all the time because your abdomen is being compressed. Im not terribly comfortable, and I think work tomorrow will suck. But this has been much easier than I expected. At this point, the toughest part seems to be the idea of keeping this thing strapped to my body for six weeks. Thats pretty amazing, if you ask me. I took some before and after pics, after being 24 hours after surgery. Ill post those soon.
OK, we are at day 5 post surgery. Dressing around...
OK, we are at day 5 post surgery. Dressing around the thickness of the foam is proving aggravating. Today I finally found a pair of jeans that I can wear and look normal. Going to work is tough. Again, virtually no pain, but im terribly uncomfortable. The binder itches horribly. Ive read to wear it over a shirt, but I cant imagine doing that until after Im done with the foam.
The bruising is getting worse. There is almost none at all except for around the foam. The swelling started getting worse yesterday around midday. I noticed that it feels more like Im pushing out against the binder vs it pushing in. You can just feel yourself being more full as the day wears on. I usually unhook the binder for five minutes or so when I get home, then strap back on. Other than that and showers, its stayed on.
FYI, you cant get away with not mentioning something to co workers. As easy as Ive had it, my movement is affected significantly. Im telling everyone I threw my back out, and wearing a brace for now.
The post pics are from 24 hrs after surgery.
Bruising update pic
Basically a week in, took a pic this morning to show bruising. Garment is frustrating, itches horribly.
Two Weeks post-op
Bruising is getting lighter, and I only notice swelling on the edges of foam when I take the garment off.
Went in for my two week appointment today, Doc said everything looks great. Im very pleased so far. She obliterated my front and back, and made massive reductions in my love handles. I was a little disappointed about still seeing what I thought are "feminine" contours to my love handle area, but it improves everyday. She blew that off today and said it will improve as the swelling goes down.
Im free to do away with the foam at this point, and as much as I hated it, now I feel weird without it. Ill watch for creases, and use it again if I start seeing something I dont like(per her advice).
I started about a week ago sleeping with the foam and garment over a tshirt. I then tried putting on a short first during the day, and after the garment was on, cutting the shirt off a few inches above the garment, making what I call my "man slip". It cuts down on the itching significantly.
Almost three weeks
My bruising is gone, all the glue, etc. has come off my suture sites, etc. I feel pretty normal, similar to if I had pulled a muscle, every once in awhile Ill just feel tight, like I shouldn't move this way or that. As far as I can tell, most of the swelling is gone.
The first night of sleeping with the compression garment, but without the foam gave me a crease in my skin that made me worry. I took a pic, and the Dr said it was superficial, and nothing that could become permanent. She said my swelling( at the two week post op appt) was so improved, that it was up to me on what I wanted to wear, but obviously the longer I wore compression the better. I am wearing Spanx for men tank tops in the most aggressive version, zoned performance I think. It feels very similar to the compression garment. They are very tough to put on. I was wearing the velcro garment too tight and it bruised a rib. Im still strapping on the foam, and original compression garment at night, and will probably continue to do that through six weeks, spanx during the day, foam at night.
Im happy overall, and have already forgotten what it feels like to look at myself pre-op, so it helps to refer back to my before pics. I was starting to feel like maybe I wasnt that happy with it, but looked at my before pics while standing in front of the mirror, and had to laugh. Im thrilled.
I did not get what I hoped for, in that I still have a love handle contour. I really wanted a straight line from below my chest to my hips, but thats probably asking too much, and Im sure I will continue to improve. There is certainly some minimal swelling still there. Im very anxious to start exercising again. Im sure I could lift, etc., but it still feels weird when I jog, etc., so Im holding off a little longer.
Feel almost completely normal at this point. Jogged a bit the other day, and things didnt feel right, little bit of pain in all areas that were lipo'd. I hate running/jogging, so Im fine with that. Still doing spanx at day, compression with foam while I sleep. Ill probably continue the compression at night. Going to try going without spanx during the day, but its no trouble to wear it. I can see it being addictive, actually
I do notice that Im swollen at night when I take the spanx off. I look better in the morning vs night for sure. I guess that is the residual swelling that can stick around for up to six months.
Bottom line is that Im happy, but had higher expectations. They may have been unreasonable. You need to accept that this is still a crude procedure, and no one can guarantee exact results with contour, etc. What I have told several people is that if you have ever been happy with your body, dont do this. If its possible that you can look good through diet, do it.
5 month Post Op
25 Oct 2013
5 months post
Overall, Im happy that I had the surgery, but it wasn't perfect. I have a slight roll under my navel that can be seen in the six week pics. It appears they got a little too aggressive in that area, so it left a slight dent in my stomach. To be fair, I had an umbilical hernia a few years ago. I dont think that could have caused this, but you never know. Its very slight, and I doubt anyone else will ever question it,.but I see it every day.
I thought this surgery would be about how I look at the beach, etc., but it made a larger improvement in how I can dress than I imagined. I used to hate how my shirts would hug my side fat, but that is completely eliminated now.
If you want it, and can afford it, do it. But please understand this is still a pretty crude process, and no surgery will ever leave you with a 100% natural appearance.
Wow, it looks like Ive been lazy. Got an email thats its been a year so i took some pics. Ive obviously gained some weight back. But my contour is still light years better. I still feel great in clothes, but I have started jogging to try to get in better shape for summer. I still have the ridge in my lower abdomen. 99% of people wont notice, but the one time I was asked, I said it was left over from an umbilical hernia surgery.
Look, lipo isnt a wonder cure. Its a crude procedure. But Im very happy.