How was it so cheap? Mount Sinai hospital offers...
Mount Sinai hospital offers liposuction of one section for 2800 (full stomach is one section, any pair is one section like both arms or both love handles). The caveat of this awesome deal is that the procedure is being done by students. Now, these students are certified doctors and surgeons who went back to school to be plastic surgeons. They need a live body to "practice" on. Scary, I know. Mt sinai charges 50 dollars for a consultation and if you get it done, you pay them another 800 for fees and what not, the other 2000 goes to the supervising experienced plastic surgeon.
What was the experience like?
The office where the liposuction takes place is nice and upscale, large and not crowded at all. My arrival time was 830am, and I was being prepped by 845. While I was being prepped, there were a lot of people in the room . The supervising surgeon, the two surgeons in training, a nurse practitioner, and two assistants. Other than the supervising surgeon, only one of the assistant seemed like she knew exactly what she was doing. Everyone else was learning and it felt like the lesson was the most important part of the day, not my concerns as a patient.
How was the actual surgery?
PAINFUL! But I am pretty sure that is normal. The apparatus used to suck out the fat is about a foot long, and the thickness if a skinny pen. The same apparatus is what sprays the anesthesia in the beginning. Before I was numb at all, the doctor has to take that long stick and push it all through my stomach fat while distributing the anesthesia. This lasted about 3 minutes (180 seconds) and it was truly excruciating, I cried my eyes out! After that, I was about 80% numb. Most of the procedure, I couldn't feel, but some places toward my sides were burning as the procedure went on and I seemed to get more sensitive toward the end.
Did the student doctors know what they were doing?
During the preparation they did not know where the incisions should go, which is a pretty standard thing in stomach liposuction. That scared me, so I asked them if this was their first time. They said no, but during the procedure, the supervising surgeon often told them "their strokes are too short" or they "are going too superficial" amongst other directions. At the end of every section, the supervising doctor went behind them and finished it up to make sure everything was right. When they were finished, the doctor told me that they removed 3 pounds of pure fat. This irritated me, because I weigh 193 and my sister (whose body is similar to mine) had her back done, removing 7 pounds of pure fat. I said out loud "I still look fat". The assistant responded with " you are swelling, and there is still a lot of tumescent fluid inside
How did you feel after?
Immediately after, the two assistants helped my put on the compression garment, and they gave me a little take home package. I was still numb from the anesthesia. I walked out of the office and to the parking deck two blocks away with no problem. I came home and slept for 4 hours. Woke up and walked around my house a little, starting to feel pain at this point but not too bad. Throughout the first day, I probably leaked about a pint of tumescent fluid/blood. I slept in my compression garment and will not take it off until tomorrow afternoon.
I have been taking codeine and I wake up every five hours, so I couldn't sleep through last night. I haven't taken my garment off yet. Pain on a scale from 0-10 is a 3. No pain at all if I'm standing. A little pain if I am sitting, and level 3 pain when I touch my stomach for a very like massage. I'm also on codeine right now. I think I am starting to swell as my garment feels tighter and my lower stomach looks rounder. I am not leaking tumescent fluid anymore. I will update pictures after my shower.
2nd day after surgery
2.5 months later
Firstly, I am going to be honest and say that I did not wear my garment half of the time- but doctors agree that a garment does not determine the results of your procedure. I also did not pay for the massages that I read about online (my doctor never suggested or mentioned them) but what I did do is buy a heated electric massager and massaged myself. I also have been consistently exercising and eating well.
So, why wasn't my procedure worth it?
I can see the 3 pound difference in my stomach region. But that is simply not enough for a surgical procedure. I am capable of losing weight on my own, I wanted this to give me a flat stomach. That did not happen at all. My picture from day 2 is a result of nonstop garment wear. My stomach tissue feels soft and floppy, and it easily takes shape of whatever I am wearing. (For example, tight jeans cut a deep horizontal divide in my lower stomach for hours). So, when I do wear my garment, it looks like my stomach is much smaller than my before picture, but after a day of no garment- I look very similar to the before picture. Some difference that one side of my stomach is a little flatter than the other. Not a huge difference, but still not even. (I noticed one of the students spending much more time in this one area) and it seems like my stomach is more rolly. It used to sit kind of round, now it folds on itself.
Ugh... Just look at the pics
Dr Katz is well known and has been in the beauty surgery field for a long time; though this is good, he spoke to everyone else about me as if I was not in the room and forgot to ask me if I had any questions or concerns. Katz was nice and confident, the Nurses and assistants were also very confident and knew what they were doing, but the fellows scared the hell out of me. They acted as if they had never done a liposuction procedure before. Didn't even know how to mark me or where the incisions should go, and when I asked them questions, they smiled and said "it's ok" as if they were not fluent English speakers and didn't know what I was asking.