6 Months Post Op--Long Distance Runner with Saddlebags and Banana Roll - Kansas City, MO

Hi, I'm 40 and a long distance runner and...


I'm 40 and a long distance runner and have saddlebags and stubborn banana roll on the back of my thighs. I run at least 20 miles a week and love running in Half Marathons and will complete my 13th half this weekend in KC. I've also ran 2 full marathons and a sprint Triathlon. I lift weights, swim and bike. All of these activites keep me in great shape but don't seem to remove or reshape my fat on my legs. I have finally decided to remove it permanently with Smart Lipo. I'm tired of working so very hard and not getting the sleek legs of a runner. I don't need to do this surgery for weight loss but for hereditary stubborn fat. I have visited with 4 different doctors before finally settling on a board certified plastic surgeon. All the doctors examined my problem areas and all said I was a classic candidate for Smart Lipo.

With all that said I am scheduled for surgery Nov. 3rd on my outer thigh and "banana roll" (fat at the back of my thighs under my butt). I'm excited and scared. I nervous for the oozing I've read about and the bruising (I bruise easily). Not very scared about the pain. If you have ever ran a full marathon then you understand major leg pain where you can't even lift your leg up a 6 inch step and have to walk downstairs backwards (it looks silly but makes it easier). If I can go through that, I can deal with the pain of this surgery. I'm also nervous for the lumps that some people seem to have. I haven't found any information post surgery about these lumps and how common they are and how long they stay. That is one question I will be asking the doctor about.

I will be very diligent about updating my procedure and healing process because I have found this website very helpful but I also haven't found very many reviews about the area's of treatment that I am doing. I hope my review will help anyone else considering Smart Lipo.

Hopefully I will receive the results that I want and will be rid of the saddlebags and banana roll forever!!

I will upload before and after pictures soon :)

Ok well I am now only 2 days away from my...

Ok well I am now only 2 days away from my procedure and I am getting very excited!
The nurse called today and moved my surgery from 4:00 to 11:30!! I'm glad I will have most of the night then to rest and recover.

To prepare I have bought Arnica pills and gel. Not sure how it works but since I have read so many other people using it I thought I would give it a try as well since I bruise very easily. I also bought 2 spanx and have stayed away from ibuprofen. Hopefully all this will help minimize my swelling and bruising.

I will post over the weekend how everything went.
Ive posted my before pictures (YUCK) and will post after pictures this weekend.

Hopefully in a couple days I will have the nice sleek legs I've always dreamed of.

WELLLL, Im 24 hours post op. Everything went...

WELLLL, Im 24 hours post op. Everything went really well.

The numbing part is the worst! Very uncomfortable but the actual procedure was totally painfree. The Dr and nurse were awesome! Made me feel totally comfortable and relaxed. The nurse started by taking before pictures and measurements and then gave me several shots to numb me up before they put in the numbing solution. I was there a total of 3 1/2 hours from walking in the door to leaving.

The ended up taking out 1 liter of fat!!!!! Thats just crazy! The car ride home made me feel a little sick but once I got home and ate I felt a lot better. In fact I felt great. Once I was done eating I went right in and started "milking" my legs. Now let me tell ya...that is gross!!! It really just shoots out of you. It made me feel a bit sick to my tummy and dizzy. My sweet wonderful husband has actually came into the shower and done the "milking" for me. He is awesome. He also has helped me get all the bandages back on and wraped back up. Several times during the "milking" I have to stop and lay on the bathroom floor. It really makes me feel weird.
I didnt sleep great. I can sleep on my back and tummy and right side fine but my left leg is really really sore. I am already very bruised but I excpected that. I am pretty sore today. Its not like a sore muscle soreness but more like someone punched me in my legs soreness. Milking the left leg hurst like hell but other than that Im not to bad. Sitting and standing are ok.

I will post after pictures in a day or so. Im still oozing pretty good and Im pretty lumpy but I think thats from the ace wrap that they put on me when I left and told me to keep it on until today. I just switched to wearing my spanx and it is way more comfortable. I still have maxi pads taped to the open holes because of the draining but it is getting better and will probably be able to switch to a smaller guaze pad later today.

Does anyone know..am I suppose to keep bandaids on the wounds until they scab over? I wasn't ever told what to do once the huge oozing is over.

Anyway..all is good and so far so good!!!

Day 3 post op. I am feel alot better. Not as sore...

Day 3 post op. I am feel alot better. Not as sore as the other 2 days. Yesterday I felt well enough to go out for breakfast and late in the day a movie. Came home and rested the rest of the night. I moved around pretty slowly. It is more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. Its not the same muscle soreness you get from a hard workout or a long run. Its different. I haven't taken any pain med since saturday night. Now just ibuprofen a couple times a day. Totally believe in the Arnica pills. My bruising is getting better everyday and I believe its from taking those pills.

Sleeping is tricky..trying to roll over and get comfy. I can't sleep on my sides because of my legs hurting but its not bad laying flat on my back or my tummy.

All of the holes are not oozing anymore except the 2 lowest ones on my legs. The right side is more than the left. Still have to wear big guaze pads but I don't have to change them as often.

I took a couple pictures the day after surgery of my bruising. I also took some day 2 post op and then again tonight.
The ones I took tonight are AWFUL. Im very swollen and lumpy. I'm sure its from riding in a car for 3 1/2 hours and its at the end of the day. UGH. Almost to embarrassed to post them. I have to remind myself that it is going to take alot of time. I do see one spot on my right hip that really sticks out and that concerns me. I'm not sure if the Dr missed a spot or if its just swelling. Guess we will wait and see. If he missed it he will fix it :)


1 week- I feel like my legs are 8 months pregnant....

1 week- I feel like my legs are 8 months pregnant..LOL. I am getting around much better but still have pain. Its more of an achy pain and if I'm up walking alot it starts to throb. I am able to sleep on my sides again, if I roll slowly into position. The bruising is waaaay better but I still have oozing on the bottom right hole. The very werid thing is that it turned from blood, to watery blood to now YELLOW!! WTH??!! I have no idea WHY its yellow and I have put a call into the doctor. It's not like and infection type of yellow..its bright yellow. I have half of a large maxi pad taped to it and I need to change it about 3 to 4 times in a 24 hour period and its tappering off and I see it getting less and less everyday but still...YELLOW?
I'm still pretty lumpy but thats to be expected. I have worn my spanx and a pair of capri under armour leggings religously. I have tried to stay hydrated and rest every moment I get.

Not sure how some people go right back to work after having this done. I am luck and work at home so I can sit and stand when ever I need too but I cant imagine going back to a desk job or a standing job right after having this done. I am 1 week out and just now am starting to feel a bit better.

No pictures this week because of no changes. This is a long process. It takes patience.

WEEK 2- Can't believe its already been 2 weeks...

WEEK 2- Can't believe its already been 2 weeks since my smart lipo. I'm feel better and better everyday. I am still tender to the touch but not as bad. I can sleep more comfortably on my sides now but if I am in that position for very long it starts to hurt. Also going down into a squat is next to impossible. That HURTS. The bruising is almost totally gone. The incisions are all scabbed up and are coming off and the yellow weird oozing stopped on day 9. I still have no idea what it was (the nurse never called me back). The swelling has also gotten better.

I had my husband start massaging me this last weekend. It actually felt really good. It was a good hurt I should say. I've heard to massage upward and to do it twice a day for 15mins each to help with the lumps and swelling.

I'm also still wearing my spanx all the time except in the shower of course. It hasnt really bothered me at all to wear it. I'm sure it will feel very strange when it comes time to wean out of it.

I plan on starting back to exercising this coming Monday. My doctor told me not to run for 4 weeks sooo I am sticking to that. I've hear other people have ran only a week after but I'm going to follow my doctors orders and just wait. I AM going to start swimming and lifting weights but mainly working upper body for the next couple weeks.

I have posted new week 2 pictures and I have to say they are looking pretty good. I can still see that I'm swollen but it is much better than last week. The lumps seem to be a tiny better too.

QUESTION..does anyone know anything about tanning after smart lipo? Is it ok? Going on a trip over Christmas Break and wondered if it was ok to tan before I go?

UNTIL next week...Bye

I forgot to add that I did take measurments before...

I forgot to add that I did take measurments before but I am waiting until 1 month to measure. I don't like to feel discouraged so I am waiting.

Today I'm at 1 month post surgery. Not much has...

Today I'm at 1 month post surgery. Not much has changed. I'm swollen of course but the pain is much better. I am still a tiny bit tender to the touch but it is improving. I quit wearing my spanx a couple day ago and I can tell in my 2 week picture and 1 month picture that the spanx were helping with my swelling. I feel like my 1 month picture looks worse than my 2 week but I know it's temporary. I did go buy new jeans today and I cried because the big bulge I usually have on the side of my legs were GONE! Felt like I had skinny legs. YEAAAA!!!

I started swimming and lifting again and it felt great. I can't run yet. It hurts the sides of my legs. If I hold them while I run they don't hurt but I sure look stupid..LOL. Think I will wait another week and try again.

I go to the doctor next week for my follow up and I can't wait to see what my measurements are and to ask him about that stupid bulge on the side of my right thigh. I really hate that spot and want it gone.

I will post a short blog next week after my apt.

Had to share my new jean's picture! For the first...

Had to share my new jean's picture! For the first time (since kids) I look GREAT in jeans!! No more pushing my saddlebag area in saying "these would look better if this wasnt here" AND actually getting a pair of jeans to fit right!! No more too tight in the legs to big in the waist or gap in the waist because I need to fit my thighs.

I had my follow up check up Dec 8th. All went...

I had my follow up check up Dec 8th. All went well. I asked about the weird squishy bulge on my right leg and the doctor said he was pretty sure it is just fluid accumulation. He told me to wear my spanx another 3 weeks and to put something in them on that bump as counter pressure. UGH. I dont mind the spanx on my legs where the pressure needs to be but I hate that they go up past my belly and push on my stomach. It gets uncomfortable. Im trying some other things first like an ace bangage and see if that will work and be more comfortable.

Also the bright yellow stuff I mentioned the first week was FAT!!! EEWWWWWW.

Anyway I am suppose to go back in another month. He also said that if the bulge for some reason didnt calm down after the 6 month mark we could touch it up but silly me I forgot to ask if that was included or if I will have to pay extra for that. I'm pretty hopefully it will eventually go down.

I also started running again!! I have to wear BOTH spanx because I need that support or else it jiggles and hurts. I'm sure in a couple more weeks I won't have to do that. I ran 4 miles the first time out. Not to bad for being 6 weeks off.

I am seeing alot of swelling going down and I am very very happy with my results!!! I bought a new dress this past weekend and LOVED how it fit!!!

I won't post again until 2 months. :)

2 Months- Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday...

2 Months- Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season.
Everything is going great! The sensitivity is ALOT better and so is the weird numbness. My swelling is improving slowly although I still have the lump on my right thigh. I was suppose to keep wearing my spanx but I just couldnt do it. I didnt see the point of it. I also tried other attempts and putting ace bangages, sports wraps and some water proof tape over the bump but all ended up hurting my leg. The tape actually left burn marks and a scar. Soooo I'm just going to see what time does to it. Hopefully it will just go away on its own.

I havent ran for a couple of weeks because of the holiday's and I went to Cancun the day after Christmas. Hopefully on my run tonight I dont have to wear the double up spanx.

Also I was worried on my vaca about sun exposure on my surgery areas. I had read that it could cause hyperpigmentation. The first day I applied alot of sunscreen and by the 3 day I was forgetting to apply it and nothing happened to my area's. I tan easily and the area tanned normally. Maybe fair skin people need to worry about it more.

I posted a new 2 month picture below. I was suprised to see more improvement..when you see yourself every day its hard to tell that the area is still changing but as you can see its getting better slowly.

Probably wont post again until my next appointment which I havent scheduled yet. I do have to say that even if I stayed just like this (minus the lump) I am very happy with my results. I wasnt going for perfection just improvement.

Hello!! Well its been 2 months since my last post...

Hello!! Well its been 2 months since my last post so I just thought I would do a small update.

I went for a "check up" last month on my 3 month post op. Everything went great and we talked about possibly doing my inner thighs this next winter. (I have to many races scheduled to do it now) He also said if I decide to do that then they would touch up that stupid pesky bump that WONT go away.
At this point I am not sure if I will do my inner thighs or not. It will cost me another $2000 to do them. I just dont know if its work the money. If I don't do it I need to find out if he will at least fix the bump.

As far as how I am feeling.....I feel FANTASTIC!!!! No weird numbness, or pain. The only time I feel any sort of weird feeling is after a run in the cold. Its soo strange. I will go run outside in the cold, and then come in and sit down and for a few seconds it hurts and feels like a pins and needles feeling and as quickly as I feel it, it goes away. I guess Im just still healing. Other than that I feel completely normal.

I am loving the way my pants fit and I cant wait to loose a few more pounds that I have seem to put on over the winter. I am in full training mode now and have 6 half marathons lined up starting in 2 weeks. So that should help.

Ive added a new collage today adding in 3 and 4 month post op pictures.

I wont probably post again until 6 months :)
BYE :)

Ok well here I am 6 months post surgery. I am...

Ok well here I am 6 months post surgery. I am feeling GREAT!! No pain, no numbness, nothing weird at all in my surgery areas. So good news for those of you reading this and wondering how someone feels 6 months down the road.

I have been running A LOT lately and got the best compliment of all 1 month ago during a half marathon. A lady who had been running behind me for awhile came up beside me and said to me " I have got to tell you, I've been running behind you for awhile and you have very nice legs" CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?? Then another lady heard her and said "I have been behind you too and I have to agree with her". THAT MADE ALL THE PAIN AND MONEY SPENT WORTH WHILE!!!!!! I looked at my friend I was running with who knew I had the surgery and she just smiled at me. AWWW What a moment!

So I guess if you ask me was it worth it....I would say 100% YES!!

BUT I do have a little bump on my right thigh that I would like to disappear and I would have liked more of my "banana roll" area smaller but my saddle bag area is great. I love that I can go into a store and buy pants and shorts and they fit. That was the main reason for the surgery. I am also contemplating getting my inner thighs done this winter but it's more of a money issue at this point.

I will post again at 1 year and let everyone know how I am doing.

To those of you who are thinking about it...as Nike says..."Just Do It"!!!

OH and there is a NEW picture...the one at the...

OH and there is a NEW picture...the one at the bottom with the 4 pictures side by side. That is Before and 6 Months After :)

It's been a year since my smart lipo and I am...

It's been a year since my smart lipo and I am happy with my decision. That being said I am going in for a touch up in 2 weeks. I still have the tiny lump on my right hip that I can't stand and felt that my "banana roll" area would have looked a bit better. My banana roll isn't horrible and it IS better than what it was I just felt I would be happier if I have it touched up.

I'm hoping the pain and drainage isn't what it was like before.

I will post new pictures and an update once everything is done.

Wish me luck!!!!
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

The staff has been very helpful in scheduling my procedure and trying to work me with their busy schedule and mine. They return phone calls promptly and are very professional. At this point I have only had a consult with the doctor but he seemed very professional and very knowledgeable about the procedure. I did have to wait almost an hour for my consult.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (48)

Sort by

I'm so pleased for you! I'm a tiny 96lb but had comparatively big saddlebags and banana rolls - I think all the fat in my entire body went there! I've had the same procedure and can already see a difference, second time round there. I know you had this procedure a while ago so tell me, did you gain fat in any weird areas? people talk about it popping up elsewhere, some say that's a myth. To be honest I could do with it elsewhere! How are your results, still great?
  • Reply
are you just having the small lump area removed? or the whole area underneath your bum too?
  • Reply
any new pics or updates?
  • Reply
Thanks for sharing your story and your pics! Looking good. I too had the same procedure and am the same age. My procedure was Oct. 27th and was told by my physician that 4 months will be the TRUE "show-all" point. I was told several times by the office staff that many are frustrated at the 2 month mark, so hang in there! I am very happy with my results and it is still changing every day.
I run as well and felt that the pain of the area jiggling was concerning to me that I may "disrupt" the healing so I opted for other cardio equipment. I am running now at the 2 month mark!
  • Reply
Wineylisa..Thanks for your comments! Do you have before and after pics up?

Thanks for sharing what your doctor said. Thats good to know. I know that some days I feel more swollen than others. It seems like if I workout or run I'm a bit more swollen but I guess that would make sense, right?!

I am now able to run without any spanx and very little pain. Its a tiny bit uncomfortable but by about the 1st mile its gone.

Good luck to you on your healing. Keep me updated..since our age and procedures are so close it will be fun to compare our healing process.
  • Reply

Awesome blog... I wish I would have read it before a few weeks ago lol. I would have know a bit more to expect. I had smart lipo on my outer thighs two weeks ago. I feel so close to you right now without being super weird LOL... I run atleast 5x week training for marathons at the gym doing crossfit 6 days a week and could NOT get rid of the saddlebags. nice to know a good expectation of what to expect at my two months. I also have a small little lump on my hip and was asking my Dr. about it and hoping that it would go away. We also shall see. AWESOME RESULTS!!!!! BTW.. I am looking forward to less pain and swelling... Congrats on the change and finally feeling better about you being a healthy you.
Look forward to the 6month visit post.
  • Reply
MilGal...congrats on the surgery!!! The first few weeks are hard. The pain, swelling and weird numb feeling DOES go away.

Its so hard when we all workout soo hard and still see the same body shape in the mirror. It has been very liberating to know that no matter how hard we work those areas won't go away with diet and exercise and only procedures like smartlipo is the only answer. It's not that we aren't working hard or trying.

As far as that lump I have...I think it may be going down very very slowly. I'm not noticing it as much. Either Im getting use to seeing it or its getting smaller..not real sure. HA

How are you feeling?? Don't rush to go workout..take your time to heal.
  • Reply
JenSue : What a great, descriptive, helpful explanation. Thank you SO much for those of us who want to but need more details to decide (worth the money, the pain, what to expect, how to organize the days or weeks after ...) REALLY brave and generous of you to share.
I'm glad that you're excited about your experience and nice to hear you're back swimming & running. You clearly Rock. (And it cheers me up to know: it's normal to work hard and still not have Heidi Klum's butt. Thought it was just my failure!)
My saddlebags (which I think is the bump on one side you're struggling with) haunt me - no matter how much weight I lose. Your review may have me convinced to just get rid of them and not feel guilty about it.
= Please let us know what your DR. does about your concerns. How they respond / customer service-satisfaction is definitely a concern for all of us I think.
take care, good luck in your next race!
  • Reply
Thanks Eastcoast!! I really wanted to be descriptive in my blog because when I was making this decision I felt it very confusing as to what to expect and what order.

Yes hereditary is a B***H!! I worked soo very hard and never once saw a difference in my backside and outer thighs. I finally decided I was tired of it and I am sooo very very glad I choose smartlipo. DON'T FEEL GUILTY!! You aren't taking a 'short cut'. My Dr told me I could loose 20lbs and I would look sickly and still have the saddlebags. There is no diet or excersise that will get rid of it. The only way is to do smart lipo.

Good Luck on your adventure and keep us all posted.

(BTW I ran last night with only 1 spanx on and very little pain :) Next race is the end of March!!)
  • Reply
hot hot hot! have you measured inches lost at all?
  • Reply
Hmmm... It will be interesting to find out. The jeans look great btw!
  • Reply
How about that spot he seemed to miss? Has it smoothed out at all?
  • Reply
Nope still there. It's really squishy..I have no idea if its a spot he missed or swelling. I do know I HATE IT! I can't wait to ask him about it.
  • Reply
jensu - you look GREAT! I am for sure now. I am just shoping doc's. Waiting to see if i click iwth one. Thanks for the info.
  • Reply
Thanks girlrunsc! I will be posting new pictures thursday since it will be 1 month post op! Cant believe its already been a month. Its a sloooow process of healing and I'm still swollen. Patience is key to this whole thing.

Keep me updated on your procedure and who you choose. I would love to know how everything goes with you.
  • Reply
Hi jensue! Hope you are feeling well. I had a second consult and trying to figure out a date. Have not convinced my hubby, so let me know if you are still doing well.
  • Reply
The doc told me the hyper pigmentation on my tummy could have been exacerbated by time I spent out by the pool the week after my procedure. I would wait as long as possible to start tanning. I totally hear ya on wanting to get some UV rays this time of year.
  • Reply
The bumps are bad on my bad side. I think I have empathy for men who get hit in the balls. I am not tender to the touch but a bump or flick, or if I rub against something it hurts!
  • Reply
I just noticed I missed this post....oops.

I hear ya on the tender part..its such a weird feeling of being numb and tender. I can't wait for that to go away too!
  • Reply
Bright yellow? That does seem odd. My tummy scanned up 30 hrs after surgery but my side did ooze puss and blood (this is the side that didnt get infected that I am talking about) for a couple weeks.
  • Reply
  • Reply
LaurieKay- ya yellow, it was weird!! It finally stopped last friday. Not sure what it was. The nurse never returned my call and since it's healing up I never bothered to call her back.
All mine are now scabbed up and some have even came off. I'm hoping to start swimming on monday. Im still soooooo swollen. I can't see any difference yet. Im still sore too.

I cant believe your "good" side oozed that long! Are you still sore at all? How are your lumps? Are you liking the results?
  • Reply
i am 14 days post op. i ran today (just under 3 miles interval style) and i'm not a runner. i'm a biker and lifter. i think it depends on how much you have removed and how well you are feeling over all. i had just under 1 liter removed, had not too much bruising, normal(?) swelling but constantly felt like my puncture holes were always going to rip open (mostly during the first week). i read elsewhere that another runner was running by day 8. by day 4 i went for a light stroll on the elpitical and felt ok (with a pre-percoset) and have been increasing ever since (moved from eliptical to bike then stepper). started doing only upper body weights (day 4), added one or 2 leg extensions/curls (day 7) and yesterday was my first all leg day workout and i was leg pressing 250 pounds again. i think it really depends on the person, what you were doing before, how your swelling is etc etc. i wore a compression garment too while running but just a tight spandex for the rest. good luck!
  • Reply
Hi! I have a scheduled marathon each month until March. I bet you will be suprised with how easy it will be to get your milage back. Just don't let the time bother you.

I have my consult next week. Have to talk my hubby into it. I have looked at a bunch of pictures of before and after, and it looks great.

I will let you know
  • Reply
OMG a 50 state marathoner!! Thats fantastic! AND Im so jealous..I would looove to do that.

I am being cautious with returning to running. My doctor told me 4 weeks so that is what I am doing. I have heard other people say its ok to jump back in in 2 weeks if you feel ok but I want really good results and am will to wait to get back into the swing of things. It stinks I will loose all my milage that I have gained and will have to start over on training but smartlipo is something I really really wanted to do so I am will to wait and take it easy for awhile.

Honestly..Im only 1 week post op and I dont even feel like running yet. My legs are still pretty sore and very swollen. I still have some oozing on the right leg too. I dont want to do any more trama to my body. It needs time to heal.

Have you had a consult yet with a Dr? Isnt it soo depressing that we work so hard and run so much and yet still have stubborn fat?! It just goes to show that no diet or exercise is going to change it. It takes something like smartlipo to finally have those sleek runners legs we try so hard to achieve. Good Luck on your next marathon!!! (when and where will it be?) Have you ran NYC? I think thats my next goal.
  • Reply