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Just Had It Today ! - New York, NY

TODAY I had the procedure at 9am this morning,...

TODAY I had the procedure at 9am this morning, finished at 11:30am, went to work at 1pm (obligated) ambled home and took a nap at 3pm and am puttering around before I go back to work tomorrow. At 10pm, I'm feeling fine with a good dose of acetaminophen. However, I do recommend taking the day off from work.

From the beginning: I saw an article in Marie Claire about the Cellulaze procedure in February. Because I have a family medical background the process made complete sense. This will work. I immediately emailed my plastic surgeon who said I had been doing my homework and that yes, it had real promise. Last year he told me there was nothing on the market that he could endorse, so I was doubly enthused with this new information as he takes great care not to over-promise.

Me, being ultra-conservative - there are two things I hate - wasting money and looking "done". I have to mention that my confidence in my doctor (he's done my jawline tightening - so worth it - so grateful - and chubby knees) and our communicating on the same level is key here, otherwise I would have not been one of the first "cottage-cheese" tormented gals to push my way onto his calendar.

(Note: I had more dimples on my butt than on my thighs) Summer is coming up and I know from past procedures that these things take time/months to shape up and settle after the procedure so my goal is tennis skirts in May and some bikini time by July (I don't overpromise myself either).

I hear that results can be seen earlier, but make sure your doctor doesn't give you an overly optimistic timeline for the final fabulousness. As with all of my elective procedures, I see this as a long-term improvement. I want good work and a real timeline. Now, with the procedure itself, I had it under local anesthetic. I felt some needles initially and some pinching with the numbing procedure. I made a joke about leprechauns - and not wearing green that day. Joking is allowed during the procedure - it's how I deal. My doctor and the soothing assistant (thank you!) kept me clued in throughout what to expect next and how much time it would take. I'd say there was some nippy feeling here and there with the laser. Fortunately it was my second trip to the rodeo (previous inner-knee laser lipo). In fact I would say that this is a lot like laser lipo, but with less anesthesia needed.

When it was all done, I think it took a little more time than internet info indicates, but I also know I got all the areas tended to that I wanted. (Go big or go home?). Tonight I am in the "leaking the numbing fluids into the gauze pads phaze". If I had a live in boy-friend or husband, I would just keep this delightful vision "on the other side of the curtain". Not terribly glamorous. I see some bruising. Not surprised. My bruises typically go away in about 5 days. I plan to update with some pictures. Bottom line - I am absolutely sure from my research and basic medical understanding that this will be a big improvement on my "moderate" cellulite. If I reduce the dimpling by 90% I will be more than satisfied. Perfect is acceptable too, of course.

Do your research on the doctor - education, preferably fairly recent and ongoing. It's my understanding that Cellulaze, being new and education intensive, is being offered through the most respected, advanced doctors first.

I have just posted my 13 day picture and had my...

I have just posted my 13 day picture and had my follow-up on day 9. I think this is a good time to share what I know and have learned about aftercare. While I looked fine to go out in shorts (or a swimsuit) after nine days - I know from the tenderness that I am still healing underneath. I don't love the compression garment and during the most major swelling days 2-4 I REALLY didn't love it. Departing from what you normally read about Cellulaze, Dr. Levine asked ME to continue to wear the compression garment for two more weeks (2&3) and to do "no more than light aerobic activity" during that time. I don't know if the extra time has to do with my "maturity" (48 years and "bad-ass" in a good way). What I do know is that while I would love to toss these Spanx into the wind, Dr. Levine is maybe even MORE interested in a perfect outcome than I am. The precise moment I decided that he more than earns every penny (possibly deserves more IF I had it) is when I was lying on the table and was thinking.....really expected to contribute nothing more than staying calm, while he's using this small rod, customizing his approach (laser strokes) to each one of DOZENS of small (sharpie?)marked squares - *one at a time* - each square requiring concentration to cut strands and level fat to MATCH up with the smooth outcome of all of the other dozens of squares. That's up to two hours of very focused concentration - without a break - with that laser. I think I would rather try to paint a rocking chair with a Q-tip. So after all of that finessing, when he asks me to extend protocol of my aftercare so we can be sure to protect the work - I have to agree to the rightness of this.

I am four weeks out now and if I look...

I am four weeks out now and if I look "extremely" close (more close than anyone I know would look) I have the merest bit of broad-based swelling. Anyone but myself would not notice, but I do. I am quite the scrutinizer. I did my "clench the butt", pelvis forward movement, which always brought out my (too many to count) little craters and I could not make them appear. So I would say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, and from what I know it should be small improvements in the next four months. I have another appt. with Dr. Levine at the 6 week mark, which is one month after my last appointment. Questions I have about exercising are easily answered by emails to his office. The work I decided I had to do for myself was to tone up my muscles, which I created a handy dandy excel spread sheet with 11 low-movement toning exercises for me to do each day. Arms, shoulders (using weights), BUTT abdomen and a little bit of thigh work. I did no running in the last month. I should start that soon. My goal is to have the toning underneath combined with the cellulaze improvement to the overlying layer combine to make this a total WIN.

I will have my after pictures soon -- as I just...

I will have my after pictures soon -- as I just had my six week appointment on FRIDAY and had 'after' pix taken. I found out that Dr. Levine is having an informal "Open House Q&A" on laser procedures and Cellulaze this THURSDAY the 17th May.. (upper east side I believe the Q&A is at 6:30pm with socializing before that. It would be a very good opportunity for anyone in the New York area to get questions answered by an actual surgeon without the consult fee. They have them about once a month. To call and make sure I have the right info, it's www.plasticsandderm.com 212-988-1800. Jessie is the person there that told me. It's always at this type of party that I have wine and ask my most absurd questions, but it's great info !! (This is just as a tip because I don't think I have ever paid a consult fee in my life, thanks to my girlfriends.) So far, I have always gotten my information beforehand and knew what I wanted to do. Anyway, I went running for the first time on Saturday and will still probably have the "jigglies" for the first few days of running (as always, when I don't run for a month or two). I felt like putting my spanx on, but it was humid out. Everything looking NORMAL now and I have added a spray tan, so BONUS !!

This update is actually my reply to Laurel, who...

This update is actually my reply to Laurel, who asked about an update so I copied my answer below and added picture number four: Interestingly, I was just in Las Vegas (with my pretty spray tan) and looking it all over. I'd say I have about 5 pounds to lose and yet was pretty pleased with the look of myself in shorts. I'd definitely not be embarrased a swimsuit anymore. However it's really the BUTT that has improved dramatically. I can't make the craters appear like I used to when I would "tuck under" the butt (pose that is needed) for a more slenderizing posture. So that is GREAT !! The swelling is long gone after 10 weeks. Since I still need to lose a few pounds, my legs don't look *perfectly* muscular like that of a 20-year old swimmer. I have a fine layer of padding, but I can't see cottage cheese. Now I just need to start running again and lose the 5 and look more like a swimmer girl (seeing those Olympians, wow!) Anyway, I am happy enough to say that it is as I expected going in... Tremendously improved to the point of being pleased with my 40+ year old body and confident that at my fighting weight I have no reason to be critical of myself. The BUTT results alone were worth it.
New York Plastic Surgeon

My stars were given very thoughtfully. Wait times and Payment process are standard for doctors. Everything else is Five Stars. Communication and competence are everything in a Plastic Surgeon. Consultations are highly informative and I never feel pressured. My procedures have always included as many follow-ups as I wanted. Emails are always answered quickly. I am able to be myself and feel free to bring up any related questions and topics. I was referred to Dr. Levine by a friend 5 years ago for face-work. The natural, lasting results convinced me and I got exactly what results he described. Good energy. Most importantly, I strongly feel that Dr. Levine is ethically tethered to complete honesty.

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 After care follow-up
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
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (107)

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Any updates? I just had the procedure done by Dr. Levine last week and would love to hear how you feel about your results now.
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Hi All - I'm really sorry I couldn't update more...last few months I've been in the process of switching positions in a tight knit industry so I've had to "stick to my knitting" so to speak. Results for me were great after several months and still I'm feeling the skin become a little more thick on my butt - more "firm" is how I'd put it. It's six months out now and I guess I'm close to maximum on the collagen building. Definitely smoother. What I need is to exercise more to put the skin smoothing together with the muscle tautening. It's the work thing - I get distracted. Just the same, I jumped to volunteer to be one of Dr. Levine's first patients for the same Cynosure laser to target loose upper arms. That was done three weeks ago and I really have to update on that. It's called SideLaze and I don't think there is a category on RealSelf for it yet. In short - bruising for five days, no pain meds needed afterward - I will be looking for max results in 6 months with collagen rebuilding. Dr. Levine (Elie) also now does the procedure on face and one other area with the tiny laser that is much more targeted than the smart-lipo laser. The face is very interesting because it really does tighten without all the cutting, but I'm just not needing it that much yet after the surgical jawline tightening he did 6 years ago. I don't go out in the sun much at all and the results have stuck. Still, I guess you could say I'm a big fan of laser technology. So back to the butt area - I'm answering this at work and will have to exercise for a week and then I'll feel like looking at my butt. (I don't weigh myself either :) Good that you did the Cellulaze going into the winter months. Plenty of cover-up time for the improvement process to take place.
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Hi. Can i ask what the jaw tightenind procedure was that u had done? And also what laser is used on the face that tightens without cutting? Thanks. I cant make up my mind about cellulase yet - such mixed results.
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Hi - The jawline tightening was surgical. Cutting was involved and I had undereye bags removed at the same time. It's 7-8 years later and probably the best decision I ever made time and money wise. I was "starting" to get the "gobbler" and lower face laxity. I attended a family reunion two weeks later and no one was the wiser - I hadn't been home in 18 months. It still looks great. Because my family tends to age very well, I nipped my only potential problem in the bud before it became hugely obvious. I'm a big fan of surgical for great and lasting results and it's still the only facial surgery I have had. Dr. Levine uses a smart lipo laser for skin tightening without the serious cutting (tiny entrance cut about 3mm) but that came along years after my procedure. I had a friend try Ulthera and she didn't notice any results. Feel free to ask any other questions.
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Hi - The jawline tightening was surgical. Cutting was involved and I had undereye bags removed at the same time. It's 7-8 years later and probably the best decision I ever made time and money wise. I was "starting" to get the "gobbler" and lower face laxity. I attended a family reunion two weeks later and no one was the wiser - I hadn't been home in 18 months. It still looks great. Because my family tends to age very well, I nipped my only potential problem in the bud before it became hugely obvious. I'm a big fan of surgical for great and lasting results and it's still the only facial surgery I have had. Dr. Levine uses a smart lipo laser for skin tightening without the serious cutting (tiny entrance cut about 3mm) but that came along years after my procedure. I had a friend try Ulthera and she didn't notice any results. Feel free to ask any other questions.
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Yes, i agree about Ulthera, and so expensive so I don't think I'll waste my money on that. Regards neck lift - did you have the usual cut to the hairline and up in front of the ear and behind the ear? If so, does any scarring show now? And why did you have the laser lipo after wards if the jaw lift worked? Thanks for sharing.
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It went up to the ear, but honestly limited cutting such that most everything was hidden behind the ear. I'm not sure how it was done, but I had no visible stitches even immediately after. I think there are some stitches in the bottom of the earlobe but they were inside stitches and invisible. A hairstyle that covers the backs of the ears is good for 6 weeks (ponytail not best) Scarring never showed, even at the family reunion two weeks after, if I never told anyone, they never would have known. I had it on a Thursday or Friday, and was back at work Monday or Tuesday (can't remember) with a somewhat puffy face. But nothing horrifying. When laser lipo came along I had my upper and nner knees done, but my face didn't need anything.
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Hey NYTennis...I hope all is well n u received maximum results... Please update us....n if possible can u after pictures....thanx
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ok NY now help me out. Its been a few days over 1 week, my bruising looks better and am expecting the swelling for a few more weeks. I'm on the arnica and bomelain as well. However on my left rear thigh theres a spot the size of a squash that is very swollen. Almost looks like a tumor. Very Very numb, the doc put in a needle to see if it was fluid but there was none. Did u have anything like that or has anyone? Does anyone know if this is normal or what to do about it. I'm really starting to think this doc screwed me up worse.
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That makes me feel so much better about my swelling and bruising :)
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Thank you. I'm gratified to have friends out here. I have to say I never really doubted it because my doctor (Levine) has always told me all the details to expect on all three laser involved procedures I've had with him in the last 6 years. He has always explained that lasers create their own swelling pattern (the un-evenness) and that you just can't predict which areas will return to normal first ...and it's not always symmetrical and even what areas heal faster. And it's TRUE. With a good doctor you trust to tell it like it is, it's best to relax and not sweat it. It really helps reduce the worry if both patient and doctor are empathetic listeners and communicators in the pre-op reviews.
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Thanks for updating NYTennis! So happy for you, and you give the rest of us hope because the first few weeks there is so little (if any) change!
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So are we going to do that funny-goofy little "Cameron Diaz Booty Dance"? (Hilarious - you can YouTube search it). That should be the little celebration we all do :)
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Yay NY I'm so happy for you!!! I'm finally starting to see improvement on my booty too! Still swollen and bruised but I'm glad you're so much better at 10 weeks out
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Hi NYTennis! Like KrissyD, I am curious to know how you look after 2 months. Thank you!
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Hi all I need some help! Is it still normal to be swollen at the 3 week mark? My one side leg like saddle bag side of thigh is much more swollen than my other. I'm getting worried. I just want to know if it's normal to still see swelling. I do think my dimples are improving actually today but the slight bruising make the discoloration tough to tell and have a nice even look.

I'm taking bromelin and arnica. Let me know I'm going to dr D Thursday for my 4 weeks so I'm hoping this swelling goes down!

Any advice would be great.

I also think that the antibiotic Keflex really messed with me. My stomach has been crazy for 3 weeks :(
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Hi NYTennis! Now that you are over 2 months out since your procedure, can you give us an update? Is the soreness completely gone? How are your results?
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Hi - Sorry for the delay...I was out of town on business and away from my PC. Most doctors have payment plans through an outside party so you can pay by installments.
My doctor does.
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Can anybody tell me if I would have to pay for this procedure all at once? or can I do monthly payments?
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I'm in my 1 week post op as well, much of my bruising and swelling is going down I'm going for 1 post op apt now. I still see the 2 dimples on my butt that I hate ... They're going to do 2 smooth shape treatments on me. I'm waiting to go in to see what they say. I know 1 week is early but I really did this for just 2 dimples so they better go away. It's hard to tell with some bruising and swelling still but ugh! This better work. I wear the full garment and topifoam 24/7 and take lots of bromelin arnica vitamins and water. I use arica gel and vit e oil as well. I know it's early but i just need to know this works!

So maybe I should wait on smoothe shape? They said they give me 2 sessions and I know the OR nurse had it and looked amazing in 2 weeks!!!

I'll see what they say when I go in!

Gotta get more topifoam I love it!

Just need some encouragement
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Outstanding question ! I was trying to figure that out myself. It felt like the top layer was jiggly and didn't grab the rest of the usual "juggle". (I made up that word :) It's not like I'm ever FAT, but when I start running after a major holiday gobble-fest, or a multi-month layabout, I get the "juggle" when I run. This time it was the top layer jiggle was doing it's own thing - which would make sense, since there was some detaching of the attachments with the laser. Or maybe I'm over thinking it :) Everything looks fine and Dr. Levine says running no problem....and he's very conservative. This site is great, because everyone together probably covers every "oh my!" incident that these procedures naturally bring about.
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At almost 6 weeks post-procedure, I also feel that weird jiggle when I run or perform any other impact exercise. Even with a compression garment on, I still feel the jiggle. It eventually gets better over the course of my run/exercise, but it is a noticeable side effect for patients to expect. Interestingly, I don't feel it when I am doing strength training/weight lifting - it is only happening for me during impact exercise.
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how does your cellulite look 6 weeks out??
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Has anyone posted their own before and after photos? 1 month, 2 months post op?
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NYTennis, that was really nice of you to share that info about the event the office is having - very thoughtful of you to try to make sure others are aware. :)

So, when you say it felt jiggly when you ran, do you just mean because your muscles weren't as tight, or more because of something to do with the procedure? I'm a runner too, so am very curious to hear how that is going for you!

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