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Smart Lipo Was the Best Thing I Have Ever Done for Myself - 5'3", 165

I am 39 years old and for as long as I can...

I am 39 years old and for as long as I can remember, I have had a big stomach. I always looked pregnant, so spent my life wearing clothes 2 sizes too big to cover it up. If pants fit me in the waist, they were always too baggy in the legs and butt. Nobody could ever understand why I was so concerned with my weight because they always said "you are so tiny", but they could never see what was hiding under my big shirts. I have been on Weight Watchers for years and have always worked out pretty regularly (usually cardio dvd and walking), but nothing ever helped my stomach. When I found out about this procedure, I was of course skeptical and I also assumed that I would never be able to afford it.

I met with two different doctors. The first was a nice man, but I just was not comfortable with him...there was just something about him that I was was unsure of. I then met with this doctor and felt instantly at ease with him and knew right then that if I could make this happen, I wanted it to be him (his wife had performed several laser hair removal procedures on me and I felt the same way the first time I met her, so it made sense that her husband would be as nice and kind and she is).

Anyway, we had several issues with scheduling and financing and he jumped through all sorts of hoops to make this thing work for me. I was able to do mine on a 0% financing offer using my credit card and making some cuts to the monthly budget. It took over a month, but everything FINALLY fell into place and I had my procedure done 1 week ago today. I had my upper and lower stomach, my sides (love handles) and my lower back done. I had done a lot of research, so I was prepared. I started taking Arnica tablets about a week prior as directed faithfully. The day of, I put a shower curtain on top of my mattress and then some old sheets on top of that. I then layed two layers of towels on top of that. I started taking my antibiotic the night before and wore very loose sweats and a sweatshirt. I took a valium two hours before and had a light meal. I brought yogurt and a banana for a snack and stocked the fridge with G2 (drink lots of fluids and get something with electrolytes) before I left.

The procedure took about 4 hours and the most painful part was the injections of the anisthetic solution, but it certainly did not bring me to tears or anything and it did not last that long. They rest of it was pretty easy. A few times I felt it, so he would just move onto another area and give that area more time to get numb. I cannot stress enough how important it is to find the right doctor. They made me feel so at ease the whole time and it just made everything so much easier. It is pretty freaky after all the fluid has been injected into you, too...it is like you are a balloon that has been filled up with water. Towards the end, things get pretty fuzzy as I was given medication every hour or so and after 4 hours, I was pretty "happy".

My husband came to pick me up and I went home and went straight to bed. I remember getting up several times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and I had to change the towels as a lot of fluid had come out, but I did not need help or anything. My husband helped me take the garment off the next day and take a shower. I had bought a bag of Target brand maxi pads and medical tape, so we put those over the incisions after I showered and then put the garment back on. I slept a lot the next day and that day is pretty fuzzy, also.

By the following day, I was feeling pain, but it really was not bad at all. It is exactly how they say it is...just like I had overdone it with a workout. We took a walk that day and had no problem with that. The soreness lasted for a few more days, but it really was no problem...I went to a pool party on day four (could not get in the water, of course) and had a great time socializing. I took a week off of work, but I really could have gone back on the third or fourth day, but they were on a weekend and then Memorial Day was day 5. By day 5, my garments were no longer as snug as I felt they should be, so on day 6 (yesterday), I ran some errands and went to Kohl's to see if I could find a replacement. I found the perfect solution and I highly recommend it if you are not getting your legs done. They are called Flexees, firm control waist snippers. I got two large so I could have one to wear while the other was being washed and dried. They are wonderful. I got large and will go back in a couple of weeks and get two medium (you want them to be as tight as they can be, but still comfortable).

They removed 8.6 lbs. of fat from me and I could not be happier. My husband swears he can see the difference already and I think I can, but I am not sure. I am not expecting anything for at least the first three months as I know that is what is realistic, but I must admit that I just "feel" smaller...I am not sure how else to describe it, but I just feel slimmer. This was a dream come true for me and if you are considering doing this, please find the right doctor and have realistic expectations and I think you will also be thrilled. I am not expecting to look like a super model or to wear a bikini...I just want to buy clothes that fit and be able to wear shirts that don't hang off me. I think it is important to have a supportive family, but even if you don't have that, do it FOR YOU! You have one life to live...shouldn't you feel fabulous while you live it???

I cannot say enough about my doctor. If you are in the DFW area or even within a couple of hours driving distance, I highly recommend him. As of today, I have had not bruising or bumpiness and my incisions are tiny, but most importantly, he is honest and he really does care about his patients and that speaks volumes! So, was it worth it??? YES, YES, YES...it was worth every penny and then some!!! I will post photos ASAP.

*Note: I wrote 8.6 lbs. but my doctor clarified...

*Note: I wrote 8.6 lbs. but my doctor clarified that it equated to about 6 lbs., not 8.6 lbs. Sorry for the confusion. It has been two weeks and I had my post-op pics taken on Saturday. It is so hard to post pics like this of yourself online, but if it helps just one person, it is worth it. :-) I was still swollen when these were taken and the swelling is going down every day, so I am VERY pleased with the results so far! I know the changes can be hard to see in the photos, but it helps to look at my tattoo in the before and after pics, as well as the lines on my back. In any case, I have the exact same pair of jeans in a 14, 12 and 10. I wore the 14 before the surgery and this morning I comfortably (keep in mind I am still wearing my garment) put on the 10, so changes are definitely happening because even a compression garment could not suck in enough to take you down two sizes! :) I will post more photos when I get them taken again which will be the middle or end of July. Hope this helps!

Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks and it just gets...

Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks and it just gets better every day! It is so hard for me to look at those pics, but I am still glad that I posted them in the hopes that it will help some people. I feel much smaller than the last post-op pics I posted, so I am excited to get the next pics next month and post them again. I am still a little sore, but I only notice it when I try jogging, so I limit that and stick to walking. I resumed my normal workouts last week and jogging has been the only problem. I do the Slim in 6 dvd workout from BeachBody and I have been able to resume that without any problems. I have no lumps or bumps that I have noticed. I have been wearing my garments religiously. The only time I take them off is to shower. I definitely recommend getting two sets as I hand wash and dry them, so it is a must for me to have two sets. Let's see...what else. Oh, this is the best thing! I was wearing a size 14 the day of the surgery and last week those jeans literally fell off me when I tried putting them on and walking, so I tried the 12's in my closet and they were too big, too! I had a few 10's from YEARS ago and they fit, but I was forced to go shopping (gee darn...tee hee) and it has been so much fun trying on clothes! I am so thrilled to be wearing a size 10! I don't know if I will get any smaller, but even if I stay where I am right now, that is totally fine with me because I am thrilled with the new me! I will keep this post up to date and post more pics at the end of July...hope this helps someone!

It has been 4 weeks today and noticeable changes...

It has been 4 weeks today and noticeable changes have really stopped. I am sure there are still some changes happening, but I really have not seen any noticeable changes in the past week, so if there is anything happening, it is definitely on a small scale. My doctor did tell me that would happen, so I am not surprised or anything. Of course, I would love to get smaller, but as I said before, I am thrilled where I am right now! I stopped wearing my garments today (doctor said 4 weeks minimum) and I should probably keep wearing them, but it feels SO good to be free of them! Still no bumps or anything and I am still sore, especially in my back. The numbness started going away in my back last week, so I really wasn't sore there until that started happening. Not so sore that it disrupts my day or anything, but still sore, especially when excercising.

It has been about two months and unfortunately, I...

It has been about two months and unfortunately, I don't feel much has changed since my last post. My appointment was rescheduled to get more pics, so I will be going this Saturday and I am hoping I will see more results in pictures than what I see in the mirror every day. I am still numb in a lot of places and my back itches a lot, but there is really no pain. I really would like to have a second procedure done and take out more, as well as do my upper back, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon, unless I win the lottery.

I did want to say that I have met another wonderful "RealSelfer" through this post and she has had a pretty rough time of things, but she got a lot done in a short period of time. Between the two of us, I think we can agree that it is much better to break up the sessions if you are doing a lot of areas. Also, she had some laser burns, so it has been pretty rough going for her. The good thing is that she has had some pretty drastic results and looks great, but the reason I am writing this is because I don't want anyone to think that this is "lunch time lipo". I am sure for some people it is really easy and they go back to work the next day, but my guess is that is not the norm. If you are going to do this, you should plan well in advance and give yourself at least a week for recovery and hopefully your job will be flexible enough that if you are able to go back to work early, they will let you, but it would be far better to plan on being out a week and going back early than to plan on going back after one or two days and then needing a week.

Also, I would highly recommend getting reference from your doctor and talking to them about their procedure. If your doctor tells you this is "lunch time lipo" and/or is not anxious to turn over references to you, I have one word of advice...RUN! Will post more pics soon!

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari / Glow Salon and Med Spa

Honest, trustworthy and truly caring. Wonderful doctor!

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Archielee,
Congrats on taking the first step! It has been over a year and I am still happy I did it. I do want more, but times are tough and it is just not feasible right now, but I do plan on getting more done someday. I think the most important thing to ask for is references and then call them and talk to them. If the doctor is not willing to provide references, that would be a red flag to me. I don't know that there is too much you can ask that you won't find here. Ideally, you should see if you can find a good doctor that is willing to do a second procedure at no cost or a reasonable cost if you have a lot to take out. I had a lot and afterward we determined he could have taken more out, but it is my understanding that there is no way for a doctor to know that right up front...it is sort of like a guessing game and of course, it is much better to take out too little than to take out too much, so even thought I am a little disappointed in my results (just a little), I am still glad he was cautious. Oh, of course, makes sure your doctor is licensed. There are a few websites out there where you can see reviews of doctors, as well as sanctions against their licenses. Other than references and making sure he is licensed, I think the best thing you can do is research on here and read people story. Somewhere on here someone posted a checklist of stuff to get before you go and that was SOOO helpful! Get lots of bandaids and put a shower curtain under some old sheets on your bed and sleep on towels because for the first few nights you will have to change them out several times and you don't want to ruin good bedding. Also, I cannot stress enough to wear your garments. Best of luck and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
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The info has been wonderful and helpful. I go in for my talk as they say Wednesday. I am scared but I have been doing a little reseraching but my quetion to anyone what questions would i ask the docotor?
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MonkeysMomm,

Your post is the best that I have seen! Thank you so much for all th informative, necessary information. I am in Dallas and started looking around for Drs. I am interested in getting my arms along with upper, lower abs. I have read some reviews to spread the procedure and some to get it all done at once. What is your opinion on that? Also you pictures look so great!! I can't believe you hardly had any bruising post op. The pictures I have seen have been covered with bruises.

I would be very grateful if you could email the name of your doctor and contact info, along with the Dr.s you shopped around for.

How are things looking now? Any other changes? Thanks
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Hi, 8992anon, Realselfer,

I realized your comment was very informative and had very important information to know. Thank you!!
I am thinking of getting my arms done along with lower and upper ab.

I see that you had laser burns on my right arm even though the same settings were used for both arms and the burns have been very painful. Was that something normal to happen with the arm procedure?
Also, how did you treat your burns? My arms are the place I want to get most and I am trying to obtain as much info as possible, including if something goes wrong like a burn. Please help!!

Also, I see that you developed a compartment syndrome because all the fluid was collecting and not draining in my lower legs and my calves and feet looked like they were going to pop. Isn't it necessary to drain after? I have read that some Dr.s actually don't recommend that, which I find unusual because then where will al the fluid go?

I see that you were treated with steroids to try to get the swelling under control. Did you get injections by the plastic surgeon?

I am sorry to bombard you with so many questions but I saw that your post was so informative and was cruicial for me to ask you. If you can reply me back, that would be great. Also, could you email me the Dr. you went to for your procedures?

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Lewisville3,
I am so glad my post may help you make your decision. I am still thrilled with my results and I am actually just saving up money to have more done (upper back and a little more from abdomen). The results did not change after my final post. I am still wearing a size 10 and maintaining my weight. The problem now is my bra line. I still cannot wear fitted shirts because I am not comfortable with lovely "bra bulges". I also would like my tummy to be smaller.
My doctor is wonderful. I cannot say enough wonderful things about him. His name is Dr. Bukhari and the company name is Glow Med Spa in Irving on McArthur off George Bush tollway. Their number is 214-466-1970. I also met with Dr. Shalev at Horizon Aesthetics in Dallas. He was a very nice man and very informative, but I just felt much more comfortable with Dr. Bukhari.
I do not regret any part of my decision on doctors or the procedure and I still stand behind my posts title of it being the best thing I ever did for myself!
The one piece of advice I can give you is follow doctors orders! Wear your garments religiously and for as long as the doctor recommends! Invest in two garments so you can have one to wear while the other is being cleaned as you have to hang dry them.
Best of luck to you!
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No problem about the questions. I have to post my latest pics, because they are quite dramatic. I have lost 42 pounds and I also had a touch up.

OK... here we go... The burns look bad, but they healed almost immediately with the steroid. They were however, very painful until I saw the doc to get it treated. It is uncommon to have burns. I have no residual sings of buns on my arm.

The compartment syndrome can happen to anyone, but I had a lot of work done on my legs which is probably why it happened to me. The areas were permitted to drain, but the fluid was collecting in my legs instead of draining out the incisions and they should have. The steroids immediately helped that also.

The surgeon did an injection of Kenalog.

I am VERY happy with the outcome and would do it again. Having said that, a lot of the outcome is because I changed my lifestyle. I went on an eating plan that works well for me and I am not a freak about exercising, but I do get out about 3 times a week to exercise. The surgery helped to scupt and give me incentive to change. The lifestyle change made the pounds melt off. You CANNOT lose 42 pounds with smart lip. The amount of fat they take off with smart lipo is not great, but it is very targeted to those hated areas so you really feel better when you see the difference. I was a size 12 before and now I usually wear a size 6. I wore large tops before and now sometimes smalls are too big and sometimes smalls are just a little tight so I go to medium. I am wearing the clothes I used to wear 5 years ago and I feel much more heathy!

Hope this helps! Good luck and make sure you find a good doctor!
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HA! That is SUCH great news!!! I am SOOOO proud of you!!! Sorry for the lack of communication, but you know how it is...life just gets away from you. I am just so thrilled for you and Lewisville, 8992 is COMPLETELY correct in the weight loss thing...this really will not do much at all for weight loss.
WTG 8992...SENDING BIG HUGS YOUR WAY!
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I'm having the back bra area done in 2 days, kinda nervous...wish me luck!
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You will do great! I am jealous...I want to get my bra line done, too! Best of luck to you and make sure to share your story and post pics, if you are comfortable. :-)
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Hi All, I am the 'Realselfer" that MonkeysMommy2008 was referring to. I want everyone to know that things don't always go as planned with Smartlipo. Everyone's body reacts differently to it and it is NOT easy. I had 3 procedures done one week apart. I had abs and flanks done first, then thighs (which hurt the most), then arms. I have laser burns on my right arm even though the same settings were used for both arms and the burns have been very painful. I also developed a compartment syndrome because all the fluid was collecting and not draining in my lower legs and my calves and feet looked like they were going to pop. After trying a couple of things that did not work, I was treated with steroids to try to get the swelling under control. Also I am on day 4 after having my arms done and am STILL draining from my right arm. If you are thinking of this, I echo MonkeysMommy2008. Think it over carefully. If anything had been any more serious with me I could have been looking at a serious medical problem. So far I am lucky because I have had really good results, especially my abs. I honestly don't know if I would put my body through this all again. If you are having multiple procedures, be safe and have them at lease a couple of weeks apart to give your body needed time to recover. I am so thankful for MonkeysMommy2008 who has been so supportive and helpful through this whole process. Having support is very important. I also want to say that if you are planning this as a 'lunchtime' lipo... forget it. It is real surgery and you have real pain as you are recovering, especially from the thighs, since those are very large muscles. Don't try to go back to work the next day.... Most people need at least a few days to feel like they can function again. I could not have worked sooner 3 days post.
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Great comments, 8992 and of course, SO glad I could help. I am so glad you had such good results, but it is just a shame that you had to go through what you did to get there! As always, I am here if you need me! :-)
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wow 6lbs thats great! roughly do you how much CC's that is? because i had my 1week post op today and i remember to ask my doctor how much he removed and he said with all the parts roughly around 2000cc. btw how is your recovery going? i took your advice i brought the Arnica tabs & also the Arnica gel and 2 days later all the bruising is GONE! that thing is amazing! im still not as flat as i asumed i would be,but when i feel around my abbs and flanks its really hard so i know i am still swollen and my doc also confirmed today that there is A LOT of swelling still,he says that he waits 3mths post op to take after pictures..so im hoping as time goes on my belly will shrink,he gave me the "go ahead" to start working out..so i will probably start tomorrow =]
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Hi infamfousz...sorry, but once again, i did not receive an e-mail on your post, so i apologize that i have not responded before now! i don't know how many cc's that is, but i am going to e-mail my doc this morning and ask him as i have noticed a lot of posts mentioning that and now i am curious myself. my recovery is slow. i am still numb in quite a few places and still pretty sore, especially in my lower back. it is not enough that it bothers me a lot, but it does prohibit me from doing anything with extreme movement like jumping up and down, so i have yet to start running again and that is a bit depressing. i am ok to do my Slim in Six workout dvd and the eliptical (sp?), but nothing that takes more movement than that. i know what you mean about the Arnica tablets. i can't honestly say that it was that or just the fact that the surgery was done right or that i don't bruise easily, but whatever it was, i have to think that Arnica played a part in it, so i am so glad i spent the $8.00 and used it! i am definitely not flat and i don't believe i ever will be flat. i just don't think my body works that way, unfortunately. as i mentioned in previous posts, i only did this so that i could wear clothes that fit, so based on that and my results, i think it was 100% successful. of course, i would LOVE to have a flat stomach, but i just don't think it's in the cards and i am glad that i am realistic about it because it means that i am still thrilled with my results and i am not disappointed! how are you doing? i hope you will post some before and after pics (maybe you have, so i will check after i post this). just remember, the swelling lasts a long time, so don't be discouraged. keep wearing that compression garment...i think it is so worth it! i wore it continually for 4 weeks and now i put it on when i get home from work and wear it overnight. anyway, congratulations and keep us all posted! WTG!!! :-)
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Hi 8992anon...just got your e-mails today, so i sent a response...let me know if you don't get it. thanks!
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MonkeysMommy2008, thank uuuuuuuuuu sooooooo much for the info. I'm having my procedure done today & I really need as much info as I can get. I think I'm the one person you're thinking you might be able to reach. My Dr. wanted to do two sessions for me but reading from u now, I'm only going for one session to do my upper & lower Ab & the two flanks. I'm 5'8 weighing 240 lbs
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Hi efashy. I am SO sorry, but I just saw this post (for some reason, I don't get the e-mails on responses, even though I check the box to e-mail me, so I have to remember to login and check and I keep forgetting). Anyway, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO :) happy that my post helped you! Your message brought tears to my eyes saying that you are the one person I might be able to reach. Because of your post, it was TOTALLY worth posting my pics for the whole world to see, so THANK YOU for taking the time to post. Now, more importantly, HOW DID IT GO???
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can you email me the name of all the doctors you visited and your thoughts? considering having the proceedure done and looking for feedback. thanks!
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Thank you so much for your encouraging and candid posts. I have emailed you twice through RealSelf to get the name of your doctor since I live in Texas. I would be very grateful if you could email the name of your doctor and contact info. How are things looking now? Any other changes? Thanks!!!!
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Sorry...that was my mistake (my doctor told me what was removed immediately after surgery and I obviously mistyped it on my phone at that time). My doctor did clarify with me a few days after I wrote this and he had a chance to read it that what was removed equated to about 6 lbs., not 8.6 lbs. (I meant to come back and revise it but forgot until just now). Thank you for pointing it out!
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Great story. 8.6 pounds? WOW! Sounds like over 5 liters removed. Some concern with this under local anesthesia. Please inform us with more info. From MIAMI Dr. B
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I have been researching for possible smartlipo. What is wrong with removing 8.6 pounds? That seems like a wonderful amount for someone who is 165 pounds. She certainly seems happy and the pictures look good. You can really tell a difference. What is the problem with local anesthesia?
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Thanks, abc...I am DEFINITELY happy and it is REALLY nice to hear that you can see a difference in the pics. It is tough to judge when they are your own pics and even when you show them to family members, you are never really sure if they are being honest when they say that...they have to say that because they are your family, you know? :) Anyway, thanks again and I hope that doctor will take the time to answer your question.
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