I've always had love handles. My weight was about...
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...
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
Two Weeks post-op
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
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.
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
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.
My Dr. was amazing, and is known to be one of the best in Houston. My wife's aunt and uncle are surgeons, and this surgeon seems to be the surgeon that Dr's use, which tells you something. I haven't seen her advertise anywhere online other than her website, so I feel a little weird putting her name out there. Im going to ask her at a follow up appointment if its ok for me to post her name. If it is, I will sing her praises from the rooftops.