Today is May 23. I'll be having the procedure on...
Today is May 23. I'll be having the procedure on June 3. I just started wanting all this since I turned 34 in March...pre-pre mid-life crisis? HahA. I'm 5'7" and 145 lbs. I don't have any before pics yet. Will get some and post ASAP. I have some dissymetry of my behind (a larger fat roll under one of my butt cheeks) and it has bothered me for many years. My hopes of getting rid of it were crushed during my 1st PS consultation when the doc said he couldn't remove it because my butt could fall. :'( Same with the 2nd opinion, so I decided to work on improving what I can to look as fabulous as possible while I'm still a little young. ;-) I don't expect any significant losses from the smart lipo. He may be able to get 100cc out of each arm/inner thigh and 25cc from under my chin, but my flanks should do really well and I'm thinking of adding my outer thighs as I believe he said he could do them in combo with the cellulaze (unusual?). I have another consult on Thursday to discuss adding that area for lipo and maybe adding some more squares of cellulaze (original estimate was for 36); I expect this may increase the price to closer to $10,000. I haven't received a lot of input from his office as far as compression garments (mainly to just buy Spanx or Target's brand), but I read and read until I found out about Marena Group and ordered Stage 1, Medium, from there. Hope they fit! I'm about to order my vitamins and supplements from Amazon. I have Bromelain, Arnica, Milk Thistle, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Grapefruit Seed Extract and Echinacea Root on the list. I also ordered the Comvita Medical Makuna Honey for wound healing/scaring. Open for any and all suggestions! Getting a little nervous about only taking lortab, valium and keflex the day of the procedure instead of GA. But, I can do this...I can do this!! Appreciate all everyone has shared!! Awesome site! :-)
Cellulaze and SmartLipo Today!! Yay!!!
3 Jun 2013
Day of treatment
I'm nervous but have confidence in Dr. Gray. I've tried to post pics and they won't upload for whatever reason...maybe these nasty cellulite pics will upload from my phone. Idk how they sell any clothes at NY&Co...the lighting is horrid. Will post more pics while recovering over the next few days. Oh, and no lipo on outer thighs...can't do it on same area as cellulaze. :-)
Trying to upload these again
Before Pics - Morning before procedure
Trying to upload these again
Two days after procedure
The bruising is much worse than it appears in these uploaded pics. I'll have a friend take some pics of me this weekend and post them. As far as the procedure itself, I was given valium, lortab, phenagran and an antibiotic. The procedure was very painful, especially the lipo of my arms. I will never do anything like this again without being under general anesthesia. On my left outer thigh, part of the area wasn't treated with Cellulaze that I thought would be treated so I am disappointed about that. I was charged an additional amount the day of the procedure to bring the treatment area up to 48 squares making the total $8,500. Some of the flank area that I thought would be treated with lipo wasn't treated. I have a follow up appointment next week and will discuss these areas with the doc at that time. I'm just not sure about the results of the lipo yet; I guess it's too soon to tell...trying to remain optimistic. Overall, I know I will see a huge improvement from the areas that were treated with Cellulaze, but I won't really know how much until I go back to the dreaded NY&Co dressing room in 3 or so months. :-) Been wearing the Marena compression garment, phase I non-stop...highly recommend it.
Marked off the day of the procedure - pics
Wish I had been marked off before taking the lortabs and valiums and in front of a mirror so I could see that the PS did not mark all of my posterior flanks! Not sure it would have mattered though. Disappointed I went through that much pain (literally cried when he did my upper arms) and only half of a pound of fat was removed from me...300 ml of fat and 300 ml of tumescent fluid. I had hoped for at least a couple of pounds between my abdomen and back flanks! I think maybe the Cellulaze took a long time and it was getting late in the day so he rushed to finish. I'm still trying to remain positive about the situation and allowing the PS the opportunity to rectify the situation. Everyone has bad days and everyone makes mistakes. I'm still excited about the potential results of the Cellulaze even though an area was missed. Overall, I am very thankful and feel blessed to be healthy and have the means to pursue self improvement. :-)
Marked off the day of the procedure - pics
Trying to upload these again
Marked off the day of the procedure - pics
Missed one. This is one of the most important ones! This shows the back/posterior flanks that I had hoped would be suctioned.
Advice on Compression Garment Selections
I struggled with compression garment selections since they were not provided by my PS's office. I want to share what I ended up using in case you find it useful. I got a Stage 1 garment from Marena Group in size Medium. It fit perfectly. It had a hook and eye closure up the side and then zipped so it was not super painful to take off/put on like the super tight spanx type products after the procedure. Here is a link to the product. Also, note the straps in the bra area can be fastened in the middle above the bow on the front to avoid putting pressure on the anterior axillary area (bra fat area) if you had work/lipo there. http://marenagroup.com/garmentstore/product/tabid/199/p-40-1st-stage-suit-with-suspenders-and-medium-legs.aspx. I also ordered this product in a Medium for my upper arm liposuction but I tried it on and it seemed too small and overall uncomfortable so I returned it. http://marenagroup.com/garmentstore/product/tabid/199/p-77-low-cut-female-vest.aspx. I ended up going with this arm shaper product from Amazon in a size Small. I found it somewhat uncomfortable also but I cut the sleeves off and just used them like sport sleeves for compression for the first few days/week. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0088OJWUY/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. For my chin lipo, I used this product from Marena in a size Small. It worked great. I probably could have used a Medium but it was adjustable velcro so it worked. http://marenagroup.com/garmentstore/product/tabid/199/p-62-surgical-chin-strap-with-no-neck-support.aspx.
Hope this info. helps! :-)
Five days after procedure - update on leg bruising due to Cellulaze - one treatment area missed
These pics are from 5 days after the procedure. I marked the spot on my left leg with eye liner that was missed. There was no pain, sensitivity, bruising, or swelling to the skin or underlying tissue in that area at all whatsoever. The PS still adamantly states the area was treated but I just don't believe that is possible without having seen or felt any signs of treatment in that area. From my initial NY&Co (worst lighting ever) cellulite pics, it is obvious that is an area of significant cellulite. I'm not wondering how much it will cost to have a PS go back in and treat even a small area. It was explained to me originally that the fixed costs including the cannula that delivers the laser energy are a lot, so I'm guessing it will be $2,000+ to have that small area treated. If anyone who reads this has any insight on the cost, please let me know. I may get a quote eventually (not that I am prepared at this point to throw any more money at this effort!).
It is now day 11 and most of the bruising on my legs is gone, as well as the pain. I plan on taking and posting updated pics this weekend.
Day 12 was the worst
I spoke too soon about most of the pain being gone. I woke up on Day 12 and felt as though I had a bad sunburn and someone kept slapping me on it. I read someone else's review and they described it that way and it is exactly correct. Day 13 (yesterday) was much better though. Today, I'm feeling odd sensations in just some places where I believe the numbness is starting to wear off.
I did not take any pics this weekend as planned but today or tomorrow, I WILL make time.
Cellulaze Cost - Price for Treatment of Small Area Missed - Just FYI
Through a lot of research/reading, I believe I determined what happened with my treatment area getting cut short. The explanation a doctor provides here: http://www.realself.com/forum/cost-cellulaze helped it make sense to me. The procedure requires fibers and the fibers must be loaded with the required number of joules to get the job done. I believe the doctor estimates before the procedure how many fibers will be needed and how many joules will be needed so he can load the fibers with that number of joules. In short, the surgeon must prepare for the procedure in advance by having the fibers on hand loaded with the necessary joules; no flying by the seat of pants! In my case, I believe the doctor underestimated and ran out before he completed the whole area. I believe he had only done a couple of prior Cellulaze cases (his wife and his assistant) as he did not have any before and after pics for me to view. It is a crying shame (literally...I've cried over it) that he won't admit this to me. But, as the doctor explains at this link http://www.realself.com/forum/cost-cellulaze , the start up costs alone for Cellulaze are $3,000. That would be admitting a $3,000 mistake as it will cost me that much at minimum to have another doc go back in and treat the missed area with Cellulaze. I feel much better now understanding that. When I went for my follow up, he stated he used 1.5 fibers on me and I didn't know what that meant; now, I do. Even with warning signs (like no before and after pics), I still went into the procedure with confidence in the surgeon. This leads me to believe that he can (and probably does) do good work when he is adequately prepared for it. As for my Smart Lipo areas not being given adequate treatment, he did not start on me until almost 2:00 pm, I believe the Cellulaze likely lasted 4 hours. By that point, it was 6:00 pm and he and his staff were ready to go home, I'm sure. I think he rushed through the lipo in the next 1 hour as I was leaving by 7:30 pm. I believe this was his Office Manager's fault (or whoever allowed so much work be scheduled in an afternoon) rather than his. I believe if not for his Officer Manager (AKA his wife!) calling the shots, he would be more focused on customer satisfaction. Instead of owning up to this though, he insisted all of the areas were treated and treated adequately. They were not and I am now healing but with the realistic expectation that I will not see results in all of the areas planned.
I advise anyone preparing for a Cellulaze procedure to ask for patient references, before and after pics, have the area drawn off in a trial run before the surgery and request pics of it, ask the surgeon how many fibers he plans on using and how many joules...be informed...act informed! That way, your experience will be better than mine.
Day 20 - Sunburn-like Pain
I woke up this morning with burning pain again (like sunburn). This was in the areas treated with Cellulaze and my upper arms treated with Smart Lipo. I think this may be associated with having consumed a few alcoholic beverages last night. I will avoid those in the future to see if it makes a difference as this pain is no fun at all.
I apologize for not posting updated pics yet. I took some myself but you couldn't tell much. I must have a friend take some for me. Must make time! I WILL. Eventually. No, soon!! Most all of my bruising is gone. I assume it may be because I wasn't treated as aggressively as some. I typically bruise VERY easily, so it surprises me. I'm still taking Bromelain and I take a multivitamin, B-12, iron and milk thistle supplement daily. My iron and B-12 are always borderline acceptable levels, so that's why I take those. Not sure if any of that helps the brusiing, but just in case... I am still swollen. Nothing is smaller. I can barely squeeze into some of my jeans. :( Thank God it's summer so I can dress lightly!! :)
21 Aug 2013
2 months post
I have been depressed about the procedures and the results. There has been a small amount of improvement to the areas that were treated with Cellulaze. The area that was missed for Cellulaze has shown no signs of improvement (of course). And, the lipo was a flop, in general. One of my arms is a little more toned but the arm he lipoed last (the one that I woke up during, in excruciating pain) looks just as flabby as before. I hate it. At least they were both the same before. There is absolutely no evidence of any lipo performed on my abdomen, flanks and inner thighs. In fact, because of the break I took from the gym, and because I have been depressed about the results and unmotived, I have not been working out as hard and have gained a few pounds. I look worse than before these procedures. It's horrible. I don't even feel like taking pictures of myself anymore, much less posting them. I can tell a small amount of fat was removed from under my chin; however, more was taken from the left side than the right side and it looks uneven, so I'm not happy with that result either. I'm not satisfied with any of it. Looking back, I had some concerns but tried my best to convince myself that I was just nervous and everything would be fine. I was wrong. If you're reading this, please think long and hard about your choice of doctors. If you don't have a good feeling about the doctor, his office manager, his staff, his experience, their advise (or lack thereof like in my experience, regarding the compression garments), etc., RUN, not walk away. These procedures are expensive, painful, and recovery is painful and time consuming. With that said, some people have excellent experiences and results. So, please don't let my reviews deter you from attempting to improve yourself to feel better about yourself and live life to the fullest. I am mostly healed and all that I lost was money, time and positive morale, and I gained some suffering and some lessons learned. It could have been worse. I thank God for my fortune. Best wishes.
Last Review, Supplement :-)
21 Aug 2013
2 months post
I forgot about the anterior axillary or bra fat region connecting the arm to the chest. I wasn't thinking about it because it has been the only area that has not caused me angish. I can't say that it was worth all the money that I ended up paying for all of it, but I do see a subtle difference and it looks as though I expected it would; if not for the unnecessary and extreme pain I experienced during that part of the procedure, I would say it was worth it. Would I do it again like that (awake with the area not sufficently numbed) to produce this result? Absolutely not. Maybe I will feel up to posting pics one day soon...
After months of sending letter after letter and trying to get this doc to give me a partial refund of $3,000 (which I considered more than fair considering I paid him $8,575), I filed a small claims court case against him which went to court this month. The judge refused to even hear my arguments or view my evidence (shut me down before I even had a chance to speak) because I did not have an “expert witness” present which he claimed was required to prove medical malpractice, standard of care. I thought it was a simple contract law case but maybe not? I don’t think I’m going to appeal. I didn’t expect to recover any of the monies; if I had of, I would have gotten an attorney. I sued him because of the principle of the matter. I couldn’t just do nothing and feel good about myself knowing that this “doctor” likely continues to take advantage of patients. I also filed a complaint with the state board of medical examiners and with the office of civil rights for HIPAA violation (took me 1 year to obtain my medical record and then my record contained fabricated documents). Not much came out of those actions either; however, it made me feel better to do something!! My advice to you…file similar complaints if you find yourself likewise harmed…it takes more than one person to make a difference! I have since found reviews/complaints from other patients alleging this doc and his wife/office staff treated them similarly (took their money, didn’t perform all of the services as agreed/paid, and didn’t answer phone calls, letters, etc. afterwards…check other websites too, such as the vitals(dot)com one and realize that some good reviews are likely fabricated, especially those lacking details). By the way, I have learned that this plastic surgeon is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which likely means he will be allowed to keep his business and “tools of the trade” but unsecured debts will be discharged. That means other people and businesses are losing money at the hands of David Joseph Gray also! It’s just not right/ethical!! Yet, he continues to “practice” unscathed. It is extremely important that you choose the right doctor for your procedures! Do your homework!!