I was maybe ten pounds over my normal weight; a...
I was maybe ten pounds over my normal weight; a work injury caused me to not be able to exercise for over a year and I gained a lot of belly and side fat. It bothered me a lot when my jeans began not to fit me. I researched Smart Lipo for a long time. I finally consulted with my doctor (who is actually my PCP) and he told me that I did not need it, but that if I decided to do it I would get great results.
The local anesthesia was not very painful and the rest of the procedure was pretty much painless. It was tumescent liposcuction with the use of a laser after the fat and fluid was removed. It went very well.
I was sore later, and two the second day out (today) as though I did a thousand crunches all in one day. I am wearing a compression garment for 3-6 days. Did not sleep great the first night but still had a valium, last night was better. I am walking around more today to keep the fluids moving and draining.
The incision sites seem to be closing up (the first day, one poured after, which I knew could happen and was not worried). Tomorrow should be even better.
I looked in the mirror tonight and felt excitement at how much better I felt that I looked without the pouch and bulging belly fat. Others would say I was crazy but I didn't do it for them did it for me and I feel already the results will be great. My Dr. was confident that the skin will tighten and I will look great.
All and all...not a bad experience. It is surgery though and I am sore, so one has to prepare. I could not work after this (I had it done two days ago, it is the weekend now), I would need probably at least these four days to recover and then some.
Sorry I do not have pictures of before. If I can get them I will post them, and the after!
Today is day 4. I am still sore. The incision...
Today is day 4. I am still sore. The incision sites on my sides feel like a bad sunburn if I move wrong or hit them on the chair or bed wrong. I am wearing the compression garment, taking short breaks here and there because it's uncomfortable. I am trying to walk and move around but everything has been snow and ice and rain so it's been hard to get out.
Definitely not a go-back-to-work right away thing. I tolerate pain pretty well and I just know I could not do any job part of full time: sitting at a desk, or standing (retail) or moving around, bending, reaching...forget it! Still swollen but I can have a vision of how things will look; which is great!
My Dr. said not to worry that my skin will tighten as having a sagging pouch was my biggest concern, but it will take 6 months to get full results. Right now there is a lip of sagging skin on the front. (cross fingers!)
After a year I noticed that the skin sagging...
After a year I noticed that the skin sagging around my lower abdomen had gotten really bad; I went back to my doctor and he said it didn't look bad. And had I gained weight. I wasn't sure what that had to do with it; but I HAD gained weight, in my arms, breasts, thighs, butt, neck, anywhere fat was not before. My diet had not changed; in fact I felt I needed to eat way less.
Now at a little past a year, I consulted a plastic surgeon and she said a mini tummy tuck would cost $6000.00. (plus hospital fees) Which I can't afford. And since getting the lipo I have read about fat redistribution (do not take this lightly at all...you will not fit in your old clothes; you will not like how the fat redistributes in an unnatural way). Others have complained about actually gaining weight. And they are pooh-poohed by the 'experts'.
However more study needs to be done on this. We really do not understand very much about fat, weight gain, weight loss, etc. I had this done because I gained fat around my middle due to a work injury that prevented me from my active lifestyle. But in retrospect, sadly (very sadly) I would not have done it; I would have gone through the pain of exercising (pain from my back injury) rather than go through this. Because this is a permanent deformity; the fat redistribution and the sag of skin.
I'm sorry to say it, because I really trust my doctor. But I just think not enough is known. Maybe a very young person would have better results; however the fat redistribution, I predict, would stay with that person her whole life.
Two years later
I feel very distressed pretty much every day about my body. I somehow weight exactly the same as the day I had the procedure. It doesn't matter if I try to eat less or exercise more. I have gotten in better condition since my back injury (an MRI showed no arthritis so I figured I will just work through the pain; I wish I had done that to begin with instead of lipo; although I was in a lot of pain).
My body has an odd shape to it and when I wear jeans I have to use a belt because my pants won't stay up due to a lack of shape/hip. But then the belt squeezes my empty skin and it sticks out in a weird way. It's like a balloon filled with water..gravity. Different than the dreaded muffin top that I had. Worse. I can see the fat in my back that I didn't have before.
My breasts are just a drag for me. I know some women want large breasts but I was happy with my small ones. Mine feel so heavy and they make me look out of proportion and fat actually because the extend my profile.
My arms are the same as my breasts. I am afraid that any bit of fat my body takes on will just inflate these areas more. And I wonder how large my breasts will get. (Remember, I eat the same, everything is pretty much the same except more exercise).
I know that some women are heavy set and it is a hard thing for them. I was always slender and this is a hard thing for me. How can removing fat make you feel fatter? I wonder if the only *fix* is more surgery... which seems obsessive.
I can say that along with many life changes, this has added an extra layer that I can't escape because I see my body and feel it every day.
The areas that were lipo'd have a strange feeling to them; not quite numb and not quite painful. On the edge of both. If my sides are pinched it does hurt.
It's sad. I'm sorry I made this mistake.
Photos of long term lipo results
These are my real *after* pics
Why did the doc who did a consultation for me ignore my concerns?
I had the opportunity to see a doctor for a consultation about lipo revision. He acted dumbfounded about my complaints and claimed that I looked great. My results were great and that everybody has rolls when they sit which is why they don't take photos of people sitting (a little bit of marketing trickery sneaking out there). I explained to him that my mid body is now like a water balloon, where empty skin just gets squeezed up and I can't go without wearing a belt because my pants will fall down otherwise (not from thinness but because all the loose skin just moves up). He claimed to never have heard of fat redistribution. Although his assistant said: oh yes, I've heard of that (she didn't say it in front of him though). The thing is, the physical feelings of this bother me every single day. When I look in the mirror I could cry. I just recently noticed how the skin just above my hips or the flesh there, feels spongy. I can just poke my finger straight down with no resistance. Oh the doctor said he would have loved to tell me he could do a tummy tuck, because he's a surgeon, he loves to operate (red flag in general) but I didn't have enough skin to do one. That skin in my photo is flabby skin, which is different than having fat. So apparently I have been ruined by lipo and there's nothing I can do about it? (Another doc looked at me and told me about tt procedure and the possible side effects; she didn't say it couldn't be done; however her consultation cost me $100, the one with the doc above was free; I found him RS).
I really truly hope that people, women especially begin to understand the long term effects of this procedure. I honestly think that if I had spent my money on a personal trainer to help me figure out ways to exercise with my back injury, if I had taken up dance, anything (!) I would have spent my money so much better and I would have been healthy and happy about my body.