40 yr old mom, liposuction- flanks & abdomen Lexington, KY

I have stalked this site on and off for a couple...

I have stalked this site on and off for a couple years now while doing my research, day dreaming of the perfect body and perhaps looking for some courage. My friend calls this site my support group! Hundreds of reviews and thousands of before and after pics later, I am writing my own review, beginning my own journey...today I am excited and somewhat nervous to announce that I have settled on a doctor, had my consultation, booked my surgery and paid my deposit... there's no going back... I am REALLY doing this! 4/18/2014 I will be having tumescent liposuction to the upper and lower abdomen and bilateral flanks to start, I will be having a breast lift a few months later after I have healed. My surgeon did not want to do them together. I will be posting before pics later, closer to my surgery date and I hope to be able to update this review weekly and continue to do so for a year, in my research I have found the reviews with updates and pics that document progress to be the most helpful. And so I begin....

Preop Visit 4/8/2014

Finally went for my preop visit yesterday and I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I was taken back to a conference room by a very friendly nurse who introduced herself as Brook. We sat and she went over all of my health history, discussed the actual procedure and how it will be preformed, what happens during and after, and went over pain medication. I have a codeine intolerance so she asked the Dr. if he could prescribe something for nausea to be taken with the pain meds and this was not a problem. I was also given a prescription for antibiotic's to begin the night before my surgery and an order for lab work. Brook then took my vitals and we moved on to an exam room where there are cameras set up and fluffy pink robes. I undressed and Brook took my before pictures. Don't worry about being modest, she made me feel very comfortable, she was very friendly and personable. I was actually very excited to take the pics as I know it is bringing me yet a tiny step closer to the end result!!! I will be going shopping soon to get some aftercare essentials, I will post what I get and hopefully get some BEFORE pics up as well. Also my Dr. doesn't recommend any of the arnica creams or pills I've heard so much about on this site. He didn't explicitly say not to take them but did recommend that his patients not take any herbs or vitamins or use creams at all unless he prescribes them, Brook did give me a list of meds, vitamins and herbs Not to take. Are everyone else's Dr.'s actually prescribing the arnica or is this something everyone is doing on their own?

Bad Labs... Freaking out!

The Dr. ordered a CBC and BMP which is standard before any procedure. I promptly had them done on Thursday, never gave it a second thought. The next day Brook calls from my surgeon's office to say that my labs were back and my WBC's were elevated! I am a nurse myself and of coarse I know what this means, but how could it be when I don't feel sic at all! I haven't been recently sick or treated for any illness... not so much as even a cold or allergy... nothing! Anyway, Brook say that we cant go thru with the surgery until my labs are normal. I ask if he could re- order the CBC to be drawn again Monday since there is only a 24hr turn around time for results and I could possibly still have surgery Friday. So now I've been home all weekend hoping and praying that the new results are ok. I've also started myself on some broad spectrum antibiotics just incase my body is fighting something off that I wasn't aware of. Please keep me in your prayers... I am stressed to the max and freaking out!

Finally posting pre-op pics

Finally posting some pre-op pics!

I did it...

Well I did it... The lab results worked out and Friday morning at 730 am I had my surgery. I am now 3 days post op. The first 48 hours were very painful, basically felt like I had been hit by a bus, if it werent for my boyfriend I don't think I could've made it on my own. Walking around was fine even right afterward, but it was excruciating getting up from a sitting or lying position. I felt as though I could feel the fluid that was put into me drain downward and it burned, my skin felt like it was pulling loose from my body downward and theres the weird numb feeling too, even now 3 days out i rub parts of me and it feels like ur face after youve been to the dentist. To get up and down I had to hold around his neck and have him lower me up and down. I have 4 sutured areas which leaked moderately the first 24 hrs but not much afterwards. The swelling and bruising was terrible as u will see from the pics but I expected as much. My LADY PARTS were swollen huge and black and blue all the way down both lips... ill spare u the pics of that! I used ice packs all over for the first 24hrs and off and on the next day which helped lots! FYI ice packs can be made using ziplock bags, rubbing alcohol, and water, push as much air out as possible and place flat in freezer, they stay frozen and pliable jus like store bought ones. I barley slept at all the first nite but without the ice I doubt I wouldve even closed my eyes. I was sent home in lipo foam with 2 binders overlapping each other. On day 2 my wonderful boyfriend went out and got me arnica gel, a heating pad and water pills. AHHH finally some relief! I removed the binder jus long enough to shower while he ran it thru the wash. In the meantime he rubbed the arnica gel into my bruises and rubbed some of the dented and uneven areas that I feel like the binder was causing. I was able to sleep ... Maybe not a peaceful full on sleep but I did sleep. On Sunday we removed the binders and repeated the process... WOW what a difference ... Idk if the arnica gel is magic or a combo of the heat, massaging, ice and gel ... But the bruising and swelling improved greatly was able to move around much better too! Which was very important to me as I had this surgery without my family knowing and I was expected to host a huge family gathering for Easter in a few hours! I managed to pull off the Easter celebration with a lil white lie about having a back injury and as long as I didn't lift anything heavy I was able to stoop, and sitting on the edges of furniture allowed me to get up and down without to much noticeable trouble. If you had told me on Saturday afternoon that I would be able to pull that off on Sunday I woulda bet the house it was a lie! So words of wisdom thus far ... Ice packs, heating pad, magic arnica gel, water pills, massage and most importantly atleast 1 support person! My BF even took me for a ride thru the country on the second day jus to get me out to make me feel better ... Heated seats are how we discovered the heating pad trick! He even had to lower me on and off the potty... so a support person is a definate must! I want to add that I had been taking lortab, phenegran, and an antibiotic the whole time and no amount of meds touched the pain. Also I don't know if it was the tightness of the binders but I haven't felt hunger in days jus extremely thristy! I didn't want to take pain meds on an empty stomach so I've been eating peanut butter crackers, sprite, V8 juice and water... Lots of water! Trying to keep my sodium down so I don't swell up even bigger! Tomorrow I go for my follow up appointment, I haven't bothered weighing myself as I know I am still really swollen. I am hoping he tells me how much fat was removed. As for the results ... Well I can see that my hips are smaller at first they were very uneven and dented from the binders but massaging them makes a huge difference! I feel like the skin on my abdomen is really loose. After standing for 5 mins with the binder off all the saggy lumps n ridges start to appear. I'm going to ask him if he thinks the skin will shrink back down and adhere to my body ... Cuz right now I feel like it's not really attached to me if the makes any sense at all?

First look ... 24 hrs post op

Second look ... 48 hours post op

All of the 24 and 48 hr pics are taken in the lying down position.

72 hrs post op

All 72 hr pics taken in the standing position. I feel like my hips are smaller and beginning to even out but I can't tell a lot about my abdomen. I still can't imagine what my new shape will be yet.

72hr post op

Post Op Follow Up

First I want to apologize for the previous lengthy post. I sometimes post from my phone so if the spelling and punctuation is off ... well its a lil hard to do in that lil box. Especially when one is under the influence of medication!
Now down to business, I went for my follow up visit yesterday and all the news was great! My PS seemed very surprised with my progress! He asked where all my bruises, swelling, lumps, bumps and dents from the binders had gone! He assumed I might need to be examined lying down but I was fine with standing, which also surprised him. He had brought in a colleague and had to explain to her that "normally" patients have those things especially with how aggressive he had been with my treatment. I am of coarse still really swelled and have some bruising which he explained would lessen over time. I asked about the laxity in my skin and my fear that it wouldn't shrink to fit my body but he assured me that it would. He explained that he had been very aggressive with my hips and lower back over my sacral hump, as mine was much larger than normal. He made 2 incisions on my lower back where he says he usually only makes one and explained that being the reason I am so swollen and sore in that area (I'll get beck to that in todays progress update). FYI... my incisions are all but invisible. He went on to ask about my Lady Parts, from gravity alone there would be swelling there but he said he had done some work on the top so that when I shrink down to my final results that it wouldn't stick out! I told him how huge and black and blue it was at first but it had subsided for the most part. He then removed my stitches and wants to see me again in a couple of weeks.
I want to talk a little about all the work he actually did. We had discussed the upper and lower abdomen and flanks. But what he actually did was upper and lower abs, flanks, then went all the way up past my bra roll in the back and did the entire top of my vagina in the front! Do I mind that he did this .. NO WAY!I don't know.. maybe that's all included in the same area but I see people on here paying for those areas separately. What it tells me is that I have a wonderful surgeon, that he is an artist and genuinely wants the best possible look.. result for his patients!
On my way out I ran into my 2 nurses who wanted to hug me, they kept telling me how adorable I was when waking up from the anesthesia, told me some of the things I said and did. They kept hugging me and genuinely expressed how much they actually enjoyed taking care of me! I also need to mention that I was almost 30 mins late to my appointment due to construction on the interstate , when I called the office totally frustrated to let them know their response was for me to calm down and relax, don't stress and take my time that it was fine and they understood! Is this really a physicians office or is DR. Schantz really an angel whose office is staffed with wonderful little fairies! Dr. Schantz is very personable and relatable, while still being a professional, even making jokes with my boyfriend. He's the kind of guy you meet and feel like you've already known him a while. Yes, I am totally in love with my PS and his staff!

Todays Progress

I am still feeling pretty good but the pain and swelling today has seemed to be a little bit more than the day before. My vagina is swelled again and my lower back is jus killing me! That being said, I have also not followed my regime of arnica, water pill, massage, ibuprofen. I have only been taking the lortab at night and ibuprofen during the day since Sunday, 48 hrs after my surgery. If I can do without them then I don't like taking them, I only take them at night to help get to sleep as no position is comfortable or pain free right now, that along with the binders make sleeping hard. My BF keeps reminding me that it has only been 4 days and I should slow down and allow my body to rest. I suppose he is right but my world still has to spin, cheer practice, ball games, prom preparations, grand daughter to babysit ... so on with the show! I am going to slow down some though, I don't want to derail my recovery or results! My bruising has all but vanished, barley visible! I didn't take any pics today but plan to keep posting a couple at the end of each week to document my progress. This site has meant so much to me... before my surgery and now after and I want to give back some.

To Optimistic.., feeling hideous!

Maybe I have been to optimistic or maybe reality of what I have done and am facing is finally setting in? Somedays I think I am making progress then the next day a new problem arises! I have been active since post op day 2 ... And I get by jus fine until early evening then the swelling and tightness start... It's not so much as pain as an annoyance and realization that this is not something I am going to heal from quickly as I hoped! Yesterday marked 1 week and is also the day I noticed that my flanks and back were hard as rocks! I don't mean a lil hard.. I mean rigid and my lady parts were 5x the normal size! My BF spent an hour massaging the knots which did help tons! But when I rolled back over it seemed like everything he softened up in the back went to the front! It's like I have a band around my upper abdomen going from front to back and it is swelled out and hard as stone! I was so scared I immediately put my CG back on! I will say that the next morning I did feel much better more flexibility and I have a little more feeling there as before I was still numb in those areas. At this point I jus dont know if it was really worth it ... I don't see a huge change ... And knowing that ill have to deal with this swelling for weeks maybe months ... Ugh! It is a very freaking feeling to reach around and have no sensation to your own touch ... Only to feel rock hard lumps and knots ... Then look down to see skin that resembles play dough! Feeling hideous right now!
Lexington Plastic Surgeon

Was this review helpful?

Comments (5)

You're so lucky you didn't bruise too badly. I took arnica and it did nothing for me. My bruising is quite extensive and, while it is fading, it's going to be around for awhile. My swelling seems to have peaked at about two weeks post surgery. I've noticed significant improvement over the last two days.
  • Reply
Thank you for sharing. You look great for three days out. I kinda was the same way and then I started swelling really bad. Thanks for sharing. I am about 2 1/2 weeks out now and still pretty swollen. I hope your healing continues to go well!
  • Reply
Hi GIGI! Thanks for ur comment. I'm sorry ur not feeling so great ... Have u been eating low sodium and drinking lots of water? Also have u tried elevating ur arms as much as possible? I am a RN and although I have no experience in plastic surgery I am trying to apply what I know about the human body to my own recovery. I took a look at ur b4 pics... I think u had beautiful legs to begin with so I can't imagine that ud have a bad result! Do u have a good support system at home? My husband passed away when I was in my early 30's but I have been blessed with a wonderful BF to help me through this ... The first 2 days post op I cried WHY DID U LET ME DO THIS! He took it all in stride and kept reassuring me ... So I hope u have someone to help get u through! I will continue to follow ur story ... Looking forward to some after pics ... If I can do anything to help... Message me! Good luck!!!!
  • Reply
The swelling is still there, but the pain is getting better. Thank you for your reply. How is your healing going?
  • Reply
Sounds like you are ready to get YOU back, that is so great.  I'm looking forward to following your journey, please keep us posted with all your pre-op details and feelings!
  • Reply