Looked better pre-lipo - Irvine, CA

Had lipo of inner and outer thighs (not much to...

Had lipo of inner and outer thighs (not much to remove there just some stubborn small pockets of fat that would not go away with exercise), also did flanks and abs (had a decent amount of fat on flanks and lower abs due to gaining around 22 lbs over the last year).

Height 5'-3"
Weight 2 weeks before lipo 152 lbs
Weight day of lipo 148 lbs
(started dieting 2 weeks pre-lipo and working out, weight started coming off)
Weight post lipo 158lbs
Weight today 144 lbs (2 weeks post lipo)

The procedure was done through water-jet and tumescent lipo, I believe there was a laser at the end to tighten the skin, so it was a combination.

The Doctor did not spend much time with me the day of, she took a whole 60 seconds to mark up my skin but did so more to appease me, I had been asking a lot of questions about exact areas (where they would start and end and if there would be feathering).

The procedure seemed to last forever, it was actually 4 hours. I was awake but very sleepy and I felt nothing for the most part, it wasn't until she got to my outer thighs that I really felt it on one leg only, seemed like she was digging in or something. I was really worried about pain because I have zero tolerance for pain so that part was okay.

Went home and felt nothing that evening, got up every hour to walk for 15 minutes through the night in my compression garment and reston foam with a stomach brace over it, I felt so bandaged I could barely move but I managed.

The pain hit the next day, it was pretty unbearable, I could not lift myself from a sitting or lying position, it felt as if someone was holding a flame to my skin (inner thighs, abs and flanks felt on fire). Went to my post op, took off the garment and cried as everything looked worst than when I went in (in terms of shape), it seemed my inner thighs were disfigured and dented all over with huge dents, ripples all over my stomach. My Doctor assured me I did not look like that on the table and this was normal and reminded I hadn't even been 24 hours post op. I went home, took a xanax and slept.

Day 2 pain was even worst, I had planned on working from home but it was too uncomfortable to sit.

Day 3, pain not getting better and I called in sick. Whoever said you can go back to work in 2 days was a liar (I thought). Either that or something went terribly wrong.

Day 4 starts getting better, I finally remove the garment and the bruising is awful, looked like I was beaten by a gang with steel baseball bats. While the pain was slightly better it was still an 8 on a scale of 1-10. I felt I made a huge mistake.

Day after day I stuck with the garment, massages the reston at night and still wearing the tight brace during the day to work.

Today is 2 weeks post op, the phot I uploaded was 12 days post op (two days ago). I have seen improvements daily, and I know I still am VERY swollen and have a long way to go, but I am relieved my body does not look as horrible as it did the firt day in terms of all of those massive dents on my thighs.

To be honest I can definitely tell my stomach although very swollen still is flatter and it looks as though it will shape well once the swelling subsides.

I can tell absolutely no difference in outer thighs or flanks. Seems to look exactly as they did when I went into the operating room.

My inner thighs looks ok, but when I don't use the foam there are some weird imperfections (I did not previously have), I am hoping this is still due to the healing process.

The pain is very much there, especially on inner thighs, I am about 80% and can function normally but sitting for prolonged periods and walking kills my inner thighs still, feels like the skin is being stretched from inside. Strange and weird feeling. The garment does not bother me as much as other people, it actually feels better when its all sucked in and held together by the garment.

I did not go through all this for nothing, so I will definitely continue the garment and make the sacrifice for as long as it takes. If that means three months to improve results so be it.

I don't have regrets yet, the jury is still out on whether my results will be significant. I hope so, this was not as easy as it had been explained to me (and I asked a lot of questions). Additionally I did not have a bad body to begin with so if this heals in a way that my body is deformed I will be incredibly depressed. But I am still in early stages and I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Also, I may be a slow healer.

The bruising is almost completely gone, I have religiously taken arnica and bromelain and I know it has made a huge difference. I have some odd lumps and roping in areas that were not suctioned which I'm a bit confused about, hopefully that resolves as well.

All in all I hope this helps anyone considering this, I will post updates as time passes. Sorry I did not have a pic taken before, but not much is different other than stomach.

Had my 5 Weeks post op visit today, Doctor Bernett...

Had my 5 Weeks post op visit today, Doctor Bernett said the ridge on my stomach and defects on inner thighs were "normal" uneven swelling and I would not see final results till after 6 months... Funny enough up to today she had always said 3 months, all the sudden it's 6 months.

They took my measurements and photos. Photos were taken by a different person, and different angles used and all taken from a far distance where as the pre-op were all close up and taken from top angle which of course makes the areas look bigger. This is a stupid trick and insulting, even with the very different images its easy to tell I looked better pre-op.

The ken dool effect (puffy area on lower stomach above pelvis) is really worrying me, it's very masculine and I did not have this before. I showed my Doc how this entire area was very hard and she tried telling me that was my muscle, that was absolutely NOT my muscle and either she thinks I am an idiot or she doesn't know what she is doing.

Measurements were incredibly off, I watched as she took them but when she wrote them down she subtracted on average three inches so on paper I appear to be way smaller. I didn't notice this until I got home, I re-measured using two different measuring tapes and her measurements are ridiculously off. For instance area below my bra at my smallest has never been thinner than 20" in circumference, yet she has 27-1/2". Even if I pulled and stretched a measuring tape to the max today I could not get less than 30". This is very upsetting and offensive. Not to mention unethical.

 

Updated on 3 February 2013:

Here is the update, I am 3 months and 1 week post lipo, still very swollen (I hope), still very numb and sore. I did go back to the Doctor and had them re-measure me since their measurements were so off at 1 month (from my real measurements). Again, the numbers were different (less than my actual measurement), then I asked to see the measuring tape and compared with mine which I took with me. Their measuring tape had longer/bigger inches therefore the measurements seemed a lot smaller, meaning my circumference would come out a lot smaller than they actually were. My measuring tape was purchased at a sewing store and I have compared to several others, it is accurate - theirs is not. VERY UNETHICAL! I have since lost 15 lbs on my own but still have a ridge on my stomach (right in the middle) as well as a huge deformity on my right thigh, huge indentation you can see from the front, back and sides. I will update with pictures when I get to a month. I did get vela shape (at another clinic), had 8 on my inner thighs, 8 on stomach and 4 on my outer thighs. Nothing has helped with swelling or smoothing. I am still wearing the garment, have actually purchased two sizes smaller. Working out daily and eating clean. I believe Athenix deformed my body.

Margherite J Bernett

I did a lot of research and wanted to make sure I chose a provider who was not only board certified but worked as a cosmetic surgeon only. I had seen a number of doctors who did not have a background in CS and recently got certified and started practicing. I wanted to make sure my Doc was seasoned in this field and that's why I chose her. Her bedside manners are AWESOME, her staff sucks. They all say something different in terms of providing direction for after-care, etc. There's no consistency and it seems they are not trained properly to speak about these procedures. I will post name once I get into a better phase of my healing. Too soon to tell at this point.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (10)

From my experience, I would say "What you see at 6 weeks is what you get!" And, to add, it looks almost better at 6 weeks because it's a little swollen so it's smoother and you are hoping and being told that you are swollen, which is true but its very minor, not enough to make a major difference. When it all settles down, you will see that what you thought was a swollen lump, is a just that...a lump! If you see that your flanks pop out but you think its just swollen, think again, it's not going to change. I have a dent, then the flank pops out, which I was told all along was just swollen. Its 9 months now. Bra fat was my #1 reason for getting this done! The doctor said I lost an inch. Oh really? Thank you so much!!?? Is anyone in their right mind going to pay $$$ just for an inch? That's an inch all the way around, not on each side! It's so embarrassing because I told all of my girlfriends and now It's like they feel sorry for me and just don't ask or make any comments! They don't even ask how its going with my results because they don't see any! I know one thing.....NO ONE will be asking me what the name of my doctor is!!!
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I am having problems with the same doctor at Athenix in Irvine. I went back at 5 months post asking for revisions. 7 pounds off. She said that she could see and feel the fat in all areas of concern and that she would make it right but wanted me to wait till the 8 month mark. I think this is so you will gain weight then they blame in all on you. So thats is what happended, I was 5 pounds up and she blamed the whole thing on my weight gain. Ahhh I was just there 12 weeks ago for revisions....nothing has changed. She said I would have to have the 5 pounds off to even consider. Not to mention they did way too many areas! The more areas done, the less taken out because they cannot take more than 7 pounds, so it all gets divided! They don't tell you that. And my stomach is worse than when I started with not one bit of fat taken out and a huge lump! I will see them next week so I will up date April 5th 2013. Beware unless you see all of us saying that they do the revision and take care of their clients. If not, its a not go and will do my best to keep up on the boards to help people not make the wrong decision.
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hello there. I had my upper/lower abdomen and hips done exactly 4 weeks ago. I did have those hard ridges too that seemed to be a muscle but they are not. they go away little by little. My right side of the lower abdomen looks different in that it is protruding more but that side hurt more when I had my 1st C-section done so I think that is due to that. My problem is that it seems that I still have some fat on my hips and though overall lipo was done correctly I love my tummy and sides the contour is not perfect because of that little extra right on the hips.
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Hi - Thank you for that! My ridge is soft which is scaring me, it feels like soft fat but my Doc insists that its swelling. I hope she is right. On Tuesday I will be at 6 weeks. Glad you're loving your contour, hopefully the same is true for you. I have read the body does not always react evenly in terms of swelling going down.
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If she messed up, she will fix the ridge right?
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Hi there, welcome and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I'm sorry you don't seem to be getting results you were expected. I have read that it can take up to 6 months for full results to show, I also think it depends on the individual and how quickly they heal, etc.

Have you spoken to your doctor about the measurments being off?

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Thanks, that's what my Doc is saying... It's just irritating that up to this point she said I would be at 85% at 1 month. If that's the case I have some defects, also bothers me I am now told I have to do VellaShape to get better results. I do not have free time and had not budgeted for that, I will have to figure it out. I did call the clinic about the measurements, that was so off it was offensive. I am going in tomorrow and they said they would re-meaure me. I refuse to allow them to put those measurements on my file because what they will do (I am sure) is say I gained weight 6 months down the line as to not take accountability for the error...
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Please do update us after your follow-up tomorrow and let us know how it goes and what your doctor says!

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Here is the update, I am 3 months and 1 week post lipo, still very swollen (I hope), still very numb and sore. I did go back to the Doctor and had them re-measure me since their measurements were so off at 1 month (from my real measurements). Again, the numbers were different (less than my actual measurement), then I asked to see the measuring tape and compared with mine which I took with me. Their measuring tape had longer/bigger inches therefore the measurements seemed a lot smaller, meaning my circumference would come out a lot smaller than they actually were. My measuring tape was purchased at a sewing store and I have compared to several others, it is accurate - theirs is not. VERY UNETHICAL! I have since lost 15 lbs on my own but still have a ridge on my stomach (right in the middle) as well as a huge deformity on my right thigh, huge indentation you can see from the front, back and sides. I will update with pictures when I get to a month. I did get vela shape (at another clinic), had 8 on my inner thighs, 8 on stomach and 4 on my outer thighs. Nothing has helped with swelling or smoothing. I am still wearing the garment, have actually purchased two sizes smaller. Working out daily and eating clean. I believe Athenix deformed my body.
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Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear you're still sore and swollen, I hope it gets better for you soon!

Were you able to speak with anyone about the indentation, ridge and thigh deformity? Were they able to shed any light on it or give any advice?

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