Vaser Lipo To Hips and Belly 3 months on.... The Good The Bad and The Ugly!!! NOW WITH PHOTOS!

I have hated my shape all my life. I work with...

I have hated my shape all my life. I work with people with eating disorders and I am very conflicted about doing this. I encourage people to accept themselves fully for who they are, to reject society's unrealistic notions of what is normal, to focus on health and fitness, not the pursuit of 'perfect' abs! And I feel like the world's biggest hypocrite because I am about to have Vaser Lipo. But the things is, I wish I COULD be happy with myself. I believe in the advice I give others. But the conditioning is too strong. I am 43. I have done ironman, I have run 8 ultra marathons. And I can never buy the finish line photos because I hate what I see. I hate shopping for clothes. I hate the beach. I am aware of the tyre round my belly and the fat on my thighs hundreds of times every day. Therapy has done as much as it can for me! It's now time to actually get rid of it. My husband says I will still hate my body because my self perception is distorted. But I don;t agree. I had a flat stomach once after severe food poisoning. I loved it!! I think if I do get good results it will transform my life, I think. But I feel so vain and guilty. I have not told anyone except my husband as I am so ashamed of doing this. I am assuming I can keep it a secret. Hope I am not underestimating the recovery phase as I am back to work next week, and back doing the schoolrun on Friday! I'll keep you posted.

Well it's done! I did upper & lower abs, with hips...

Well it's done! I did upper & lower abs, with hips scheduled for 3 weeks time. I am 130 lbs so could not have enough local anaesthetic to do all 4 areas in 1 go. The procedure was fine really. Very little pain but it just felt very weird. Lots of pressure as the fluid went in. The odd twinge, especially up near the ribs, but nothing major. I leaked A LOT! Thank goodness for this site! I got really worried till I put "messy" in the search box & found that was normal, in fact it was a good sign. So I am now 18 hours post op & the leaking has already slowed right down. Another great thing about this site was I read I needed massage afterwards. The docs never told me that! I asked about it when I showed up for the op, and they said I did need it. Bit annoyed as I can't find anyone to do it at such short notice, so I have visions of ending up lumpy.... So that is my job for the day. In terms of recovery, well it is definitely uncomfortable... But I'm not in agony or anything. Coping with just paracetamol. I ache in the abs area but no worse than after a major race. The incision sites sting quite a bit, but its not too bad. I feel more tired than I expected to. So I am glad I am not at work till Monday. Husband being very supportive, and so far kids have not noticed! So my secret is safe for now....

Ok day 2 post op..... Good news is a found a...

Ok day 2 post op.....
Good news is a found a massage therapist with experience in Vaser. But then when I got there she was chatting about her usual work which is massaging cancer patients with lymphoedema. How shallow did I feel!! I am struggling emotionally with what I have done (and am doing again) to myself. I have taken time off work but am working at home anyway because I don;t 'deserve' time off. My husband is trying to look after me, but I keep doing extra housework etc because I don't 'deserve' extra support because any soreness, stiffness is self inflicted. I keep reminding myself that some people spend their money on nice cars, a great holiday, a new kitchen. Others choose cosmetic surgery. I am not hurting anyone. I am not doing anything wrong. Sure it's unnecessary, but then so is a BMW or a trip to Barbados!! I am by no means rich, and this is years of savings. So basically I need to SHUT UP and stop stressing about it! Some-one please give me a cyber-slap!!
So, pain is ok, better than yesterday. Incision sites are a bit itchy, so I hope that means they are healing. The compression garment is uncomfortable but I'll keep it on for now. I have read on here that it is really for comfort and to minimise swelling, but won't make any real difference to the long term outcome as all the swelling goes away anyway in the end. So I might get rid of it sooner rather than later...
My stomach does look MUCH flatter. I can't see much swelling or bruising, but I am heavier than pre-op so I assume there is some fluid retention somewhere. I can't get over how much fat they sucked out - well over a litre! I looked at the jar afterwards. Years of ass-busting workouts just sat in a jar!! Very satisfying. My skin is loose so that looks pretty bad, but I am sure it will tighten up as the underlying structures heal. No more leaking. I have had reduced appetite since surgery. I think that is because the garment is so tight. Or maybe because I have had to stop training, SO I am focussing on eating good quality healthy food - protein to promote healing/recovery, fruit & veg to aid fluid loss etc.

Day 3.... Much more energy today. Skin firming up,...

Day 3.... Much more energy today. Skin firming up, though a little more swelling now evident. But nothing much to be honest. Not much pain - no need for any pain relief. Had another massage which felt nice. Also getting used to the garment. All in all, feeling less like an invalid and more normal. So far all looking good!

Back at work now (day 5) and not had any problems....

Back at work now (day 5) and not had any problems. I keep looking down at my tummy in the shower and finding it hard to believe that spare tyre has gone! Just like that. I should have done this YEARS ago!! I feel better in my clothes, I feel totally different about my shape. No-one else has even noticed, but this was never about looking better for others. It was about feeling better about myself. I know that a spare tyre does not make me a 'bad'person but I hated it. Just really hated it. I am fit, healthy, athletic but it seemed to me that my body told a different story: a story of greed and laziness and loss of control. Now I look like I feel - sporty and fit. Worth it? OMG yes.

Day 6. First day back training. Just a short bike...

Day 6. First day back training. Just a short bike session. Felt fine actually, so that's good. I'll try a run next, but the idea of running in the corset is not appealing!! As for swimming......
I have this fear that one day I'll look down and see that tyre there again. It will just re-appear. I keep telling myself THE FAT IS GONE THEY SUCKED IT OUT - but I get genuinely anxious whenever I remove the corset. I guess I'll get used to my new shape and accept that it really is gone and WON'T COME BACK.

Well after my optimistic 'training felt great'...

Well after my optimistic 'training felt great' post I have been feeling awful. A few hours after training I fell asleep on the sofa - very unlike me - and then woke up the next day with a pounding headache, nausea and fatigue. That has carried on for 3 days now :-(
Not sure what the matter is. I don't seem to be properly ill - there's no fever or other obvious symptoms. I just feel totally wiped out. By the end of the day I feel light-headed and dizzy with fatigue. My legs feel heavy. I can hardly string a sentence together. I have no appetite. Not sure if this can be a reaction to surgery??? I had Vitamin B12 anaemia a few years ago, which felt a bit like this. Not diet related. Can surgery make people anaemic? I would ask my GP (family doctor) but he has no idea about my surgery! Hope to feel better soon. Not least because surgery number 2 is right around the corner.

Ok another couple of days have gone by. Feeling a...

Ok another couple of days have gone by. Feeling a bit better but a long way off normal. So not training and not sure when I will start. The pain is ok. The biggest problem is the compression garment. It is SOOOOO uncomfortable. I cannot WAIT to get rid of it. I had no info from the surgeon about how long to wear it for and what it even does. So I have browsed the site - especially the answers from doctors as I guess they should know what they are talking about! 2 different opinions emerge: 1 that they reduce swelling in the shorter term but make no difference to long term outcome as that really is down to the surgical skills. 2 that they improve long term outcome by reducing the chance of irregularities. So now I don't know what to think. If any docs are reading feel free to enlighten me! Both sets of docs however seem to be saying that 2-4 weeks is enough and that after that it really is just wearer preference.... I see some people wear them for months. You must have more comfortable ones than me!! I am binning mine at the earliest possible opportunity. In fact I am already having 'cheat' days where I take it off for a few hours....Such a relief to get out of it. The garment was made to measure by the clinic so I don't want to buy a different one. But I'll use it for the recommended time and no more.
10 days till surgery 2.... Can't wait till this is all over. Very pleased with the results so far, though. Will be brave and post pics when the clinic gives me copies. I never took any myself.

Well I am still feeling a bit groggy so I have...

Well I am still feeling a bit groggy so I have arranged a blood test. Luckily I did not have to see a doctor or anything - because i have a history of anaemia they just arranged a blood test without arguing about it! Not bad in this 'age of austerity'. I did phone the private clinic to try and speak to the surgeon. Spoke to whoever it is that answers the phone to say I was feeling very unwell and was worried about the next surgery. Was told he would call back but he didn't. Ho hum. Not particularly good aftercare for £6000!!! Hence my adjusted review scores. Are my expectations unrealistic? Or do others have access to their doctor/surgeon? Especially in Britain? Of course I can use the NHS, but I feel that private care should be fully private! I don't want my local tax funded service to have to pick up the costs of basic after-care....

Had just updated when I got a call from the clinic...

Had just updated when I got a call from the clinic. It was from the person who answered the original call - ie the receptionist/patient advisor/whoever. She said the doc has not responded to her email but she was 'sure there is nothing to worry about' and 'no need to reschedule surgery' and she doubts that how I am feeling is anything to do with surgery anyway as 'most people don't report fatigue - just soreness'. So don;t worry and come in as planned for round 2. To say this is NOT reassuring is an understatement. Even though I believe trained nurses patient advisers can do telephone consultations and make clinical judgements based on these scripts/protocols, she did not ask me ANYTHING that suggested she was taking how I am feeling remotely seriously or has any idea of what might be going on. Not impressed, but luckily I can access healthcare from my own usual doc - just don't think I should have to.

Feelings loads better. Hurray. Just in time for...

Feelings loads better. Hurray. Just in time for round 2....
The clinic did get back to me and has been very good at keeping in touch since. I have had bloods done, but I am sure I am fine. The surgeon said significant levels of fatigue were quite normal as the surgery was invasive. Which is not the message I got when I was researching it. So be warned people: Getting over this takes time.
The other important thing I think is to be careful about your expectations. While my surgeon downplayed recovery, he was very good at what he called 'managing my expectations'. Lipo was NOT going to give me a Claudia Schiffer body! Loose skin would remain an issue. It would be an improvement but I was not going to end up with washboard abs! And I accepted that. I had a HUGE hang-up about a spare roll of belly flab. That has gone and I am over the moon. To be honest, I still have a slightly protruding belly, and I have loose skin. And it is a little lumpy if I look closely though I imagine some of that will resolve over time. And I don't care! It was the roll of fat I hated. This procedure was not about perfection. It was about solving a problem that had made me miserable for decades. And it has worked. I love my new shape!

Had part 2 this morning - outer thigh and back of...

Had part 2 this morning - outer thigh and back of thigh - so called 'banana roll' for some reason! Procedure was less uncomfortable that last time. They took out about 1500 cc of fat. Hurray. I have not drained at all and my legs are very swollen - right down to the knee. So I hope that goes down soon. It was the opposite with the abdomen - it was very messy with all the draining but no swelling at all! Funny how it seems to vary so much. Tbh I'd rather be draining than swollen but not sure how I can make that happen! Any tips? I am drinking green tea, walking round for a few minutes every hour and I have MLD arranged for the weekend.

Also had the 3 week check of the abdomen. All looking like it is supposed to, apparently. Weird things was that the doc showed me the 'before' pics. And in my minds eye my tummy was at least twice the size it looked on the photos! I was scared to see the pics because I thought I would be enormous. But I was not really that big - not compared ot my mental image anyway. I don;t regret this for a second. I know I would NEVER have gained any body confidence without getting rid of the fat. Big thumbs up from me.

After care has been MUCH more thorough this time too. Got given info on the garment, the MLD, pain relief, infection control and out of hours numbers to call , including docs own mobile phone. Maybe the clinic reads the forum! Or maybe it was just an off day last time.

I will post pics when the doc sends them to me. But he wants to send me the whole lot in one batch when he takes the final set of 'after' pics.

Had the wound check today. All healing nicely....

Had the wound check today. All healing nicely. Very bruised, quite swollen so not sure how it will look in the end. But they took 1500cc of fat out, so it came from SOMEWHERE! So I should see a significant change, I hope. Doc said I'd see more difference on my thighs than my abdomen because that was I was most disproportionate. But my belly was my big bug-bear. So I am extremely aware of how different that looks. Whereas I look at the thighs and think 'well I don't really know what they looked like anyhow!" My internal image of the belly is still distorted - as in it still looks larger to me than it really is. But that's ok. I can see a big change and that's all I wanted.

It's been 10 days sine the thighs were done and...

It's been 10 days sine the thighs were done and about a month since the belly. From a pain/fatigue point of view I am fine. Beginning to worry about the long-term outcome though. The abdomen is much flatter but looks weird. Lumpy, with hard areas. I have told NO-ONE about this and never want anyone to know, so I really don;t want to end up looking unnatural. Any idea how long final healing is supposed to take?

As for thighs, I am surprised at how much fat still seems to be there. I thought more would have been removed. I am wearing all the same clothes, and none of them are any looser???

I am happy to be patient - but I also want to be realistic. When I went for my 3 weeks check I was told that after 3 weeks you'd be seeing 85% of the final outcome..... So is a flattish, lumpyish, hardish belly and slightly less fat thighs as good as it's gonna get?

So I am now almost 6 weeks post the abs and almost...

So I am now almost 6 weeks post the abs and almost 3 weeks post the hips.... I look better in clothes for sure. But my belly is still quite uneven. I have my follow-up on 15th January so I can ask then whether that will sort itself out or not. Today I took the kids to a water park and felt great in a swimsuit! So that was nice. I am back in training which is good too. I was getting too used to being lazy! I can swim and cycle but can't run yet. The legs still hurt too much when I run, although there is no pain with just walking. The hips are still tender to the touch too. Any idea when I am likely to be able to run again? I have already missed one race and cancelled another :-(
Happy New Year folks. Here's to a body-confident 2013!!!!

So here is a long overdue update... I think I have...

So here is a long overdue update... I think I have my final result. I was told that people are 95% there after 3 months and I haven't really seen much (if any) change since about 10 weeks post op. So here we are. What is my final(ish) verdict?
The Good: I look MUCH better in clothes. My stomach - which I HATED - is basically flat. My thighs are less out of proportion. Jeans fit better. I am wearing tight fitting clothes and feeling confident.
The Bad: The procedure was a LOT more invasive than I had been led to expect. I was told 2 days recovery! In fact it was weeks before I felt back to normal, and even longer to be able to train again. This is major surgery and it took a lot out of me.
The Ugly: My tummy is a bit uneven and there are a couple of creases. There is no doubt that when I am naked I look a bit odd. It does not look natural. At my review I was told that the outcome was 'very good' and that this uneven-ness was normal and that skin sometimes does crease. The surgeon said Vaser is an 'under-clothes procedure'. Now that is NOT something anyone had ever said to me before!! But that sums up how I feel, actually. Under clothes - even a swimsuit - it is all good. But bikinis are perhaps not the way to go!
I am not prepared to have any further surgery so this is now it. Overall I am happy, but it is not quite as straightforward nor as successful as I had expected it to be. Hope that helps anyone else considering this.
I will post pics as soon as the clinic sends them through.
Sally X

So it is a few weeks on now. Actually despite what...

So it is a few weeks on now. Actually despite what my Dr said, I am still seeing improvements. So that's good. But the main reason for updating is finally to get some pics posted! So this is pre-op and 10 weeks post op.
Hope you see a difference!! I still think my tummy looks weird but hey ho. It will do. Because NO MORE SURGERY!!
Melbourne Dermatologist

Annoyed about lack of info re massage, garment etc. But as far as the surgery went, Dr Cronin was fantastic. and so far outcome has been excellent which is the main thing.

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