My Smart Lipo Journey! - New York, NY

I am 41 years old. I was always a slim person...

I am 41 years old. I was always a slim person growing up. Even after I had my first two children I was still slim the weight came off without diet and exercise. But even when I was at my goal weight my stomach was never flat. Especially after the kids I had a little belly. Whenever I wore fitted clothes I would wear spanx so I would look good in my clothes. The minute I ate a little more my belly would pooch out . Or I would just have a little loose and jiggly skin. Then after my third and fourth child I had to really diet and exercise to lose the baby weight. Slowly my weight went up. I had to constantly watch my diet. Whenever I go on vacation or over the holidays and I indulge a little my weight goes up and it takes weeks to lose it again. The first place I gain is on my stomach. I have some love handles too but my stomach is the worst part. When I stood in front of the mirror, especially when I turned to the side I would see a little pregnant stomach . I would hold my hand in front to block the view of my lower belly bulge and I would feel that my figure looked good but with my stomach poaching out I looked fat and out of shape. One day while talking with a friend discussing our diet struggles I remarked , "I wish I can just slice off my stomach!," and we laughed. But it got me thinking and reminded me how I once saw in a doctors office a write up about smartlipo and some pictures. I had done a filler injection at the time for the deep hollows I had under my eyes. I had them corrected. So I called the office and asked for an appointment for a consultation. I went down a few days later and the doc examined me and said I'm a perfect candidate for the procedure. He told me I would come in , they would give me a pill to calm me down, then they would give me a few injections in my belly that would numb the area, similar to what a dentist gives you to numb the pain. Then they make four tiny incisions on four corners of your belly. He then inserts a long thin needle that is hollow in the center. It has a laser at the end. He pushes it under the upper layer of your skin and moves it back and forth until he lasered the entire area. Then he sucks out the melted fat. He said I wouldn't feel anything only the first injections that numb the area. Then I would go home, maybe feel a little sore but the next day I would feel much better and by Monday I would be back to normal.
He gave me a price of $4200.00. I showed him my love handles too but he said that's another area and it would cost me double. I wasn't ready to spend so much money. Even the 4200 was high. I didn't expect that price. I went home and called some other places but nobody wanted to give me prices on the phone. So I made another appointment for a consultation by another place. It was a fancier looking place and they were treating me very well. This second doctor said he would do my upper belly ,lower belly, and flanks. He wanted 7200. I didn't want to spend that much, and I was eager to have it done so I decided to go with the first person. I was having a family wedding three weeks later and wanted to have it done with before so I can look great at the wedding. They gave me an appointment for the following week. They told me that two weeks later I should hardly feel it, I should be long on my feet by then, maybe I would be slightly swollen. They gave me instructions , I needed to get some antibiotics to take a few days before the procedure. He wanted me to be in the office at 8:30 a.m. I live an hour away from the office. So I had to leave my house 7:30 in the morning. My best friend offered to come along with me for the procedure. I came in he asked me to take the pill that would make me a little sleepy and sort of dull the pain. He asked me to change in to my gown. I was nervous and shaky. He took some before photos then I lay down on the operating table. He smeared my body with iodine which is orange to kill bacteria. My friend was told to wait in the waiting room. He gave me the injections, they weren't too bad. Similar to the dentist. Then he made the incisions which I didn't feel at all. Then he inserted the cannula that has a laser at the end most of the time I didn't feel it but when he got to certain areas I jumped from pain so he simply added more numbing fluid. I found that next to my navel I was sensitive and also next to my hipbone. He had to add anesthetic quite a few times, whenever I complained. Towards the end I just wanted to be done with it so I bit might lips and just took the pain for a few seconds till he moved to another spot. We were chatting the entire time. He was telling me what he's doing. At one point he switched the long smooth needle for another one that looked like a drill. You know, when the long metal piece has such metal threads on it like a drill. It looked scary. He said I had some stubborn fat that was hard to get to. It hurt maybe a drop more when he used it. Later I saw those areas were heavily bruised. But I guess he had no choice if I wanted a flat stomach. After I was done I slowly got up. My stomach felt like a balloon from all the liquid he had injected in me. He put on a binder. I felt very dizzy. I lay down for about 15 min. Then he told me to get dressed and I walked down. I had a car service drive us home. I felt tired and weak but I was still numb so no pain. As soon as I got home I went to bed and stayed there. I ate in bed. Just soup, didn't have an appetite. Left my binder on just went to bathroom with my binder on. I put a plastic and an old large towel over my bed so when I drain it shouldn't get soiled. I took pain killers every few hours as prescribed. I had to sleep on my back since I felt so cumbersome like a bloated balloon . It was hard since I'm used to sleeping on my side. But I guess the meds made me drowsy so I slept. The next day I still felt weak and dizzy. I was in bed most of the day. I did go downstairs to cook dinner though. Later in the afternoon I was allowed to take a shower. I was terrified to remove my binder since it felt like a security blanket. As per instructions, I lay down when I opened it and stayed there a few minutes so as not to get too dz. by this time most of my draining had stopped. I was surprised how quickly it stopped. But I was feeling extremely sore. Getting up from bed, turning over, we're extremely painful. Sitting down on the toilet to pee was a major effort. I would have to support myself with one hand on the seat and slowly lower myself. Laughing and coughing was very painful. I went to take a shower and looked in the mirror. My stomach looked like it went through a war. It was blue and yellow and red and swollen. Especially the lower part of my belly right above the pubic bone was so swollen, I guess all the fluid flowed down into that area. I was nervous to go into the shower but it felt good. I had to be very careful because my stomach was super sensitive to the touch, similar to having a burn. If I accidentally leaned or bumped into something with my stomach it killed me. My binder was my security blanket it protected me from contact. Also it prevented my tummy from jiggling when I moved ,it kept it tight, so it hurt less when I moved or walked. In the evening I went down to dinner. Walking steps was a huge effort. I felt weak and dizzy. I felt like I had a major surgery. I quickly ate dinner and back to bed. I watched movies on my iPad all day and read about people's experiences with smartlipo. I was too weak to write my own review. But it really helped reading about others to see that what I was having was normal. I had no idea how hard the recovery would be. Had I known, I don't know if I would have done it. Although I'm glad I didn't know. Over the weekend I was in bed all day. I had my procedure done on Thursday morning. On Sunday I decided to take my daughter to a friends house down the block. I was walking extremely slow. If my stomach moved it was painful. I still felt dizzy. I really wanted to feel normal again. I decided to stop taking percosset because it was making me dizzy. I just took Motrin and Advil. I was still weak and in pain. If I didn't move I was fine but when I wanted to move around I couldn't. All day all I can think of was my stomach. The binder the doctor gave me was a straight wide band that wrapped around my stomach. The problem was that it kept on riding up above my thighs. So my lower part of my stomach which was very swollen was hanging out of the binder and it was painful to walk around . So I dug out an old girdle that I had that was very supportive and I put that on. I felt much more supported and was able to walk around much better. So that's what I did on Monday morning and I went downstairs. I was sick and tired of lying in bed and it was causing me backaches. I needed to do some things around the house. I felt much better but my stomach was still very swollen and sore. The next day my husband took me out to do some errands and I felt less weak but not all the way normal. I still thought about my pain a big part of the day. Sitting for a while was painful since I was very swollen and my binder would cut into me by my waist. I needed to get up every few minutes and walk around. Lying in bed was still the most comfortable. After a week I was doing everything but still thought about my pain every time I bent down or got up from bed. Two weeks after the procedure I had my nieces wedding. I put on a good girdle and wore a dress. My stomach looked quite good but I knew I was still very swollen. My waist was a little bigger than usual. From the swelling at my naval. I was worried if I would be able to dance. I took Advil before just in case. I ended up enjoying and dancing at the wedding. Sitting at the dinner meal I felt the soreness in my stomach. I was feeling quite normal but still thought about my stomach many times throughout the day, before bending or when going to the bathroom taking off my girdle..these things were uncomfortable. I still slept on my back which was not comfortable... This post is getting very long and I have to go I will continue later...

Here are my before and after pictures

About 3 weeks after my procedure I traveled to Europe. I felt quite ok but it still bothered me when sitting for long periods. I was able to sleep on my side but still wore spanx round the clock. Still very sore when touched! Also still quite swollen. My clothes are looser but my stomach not so flat...

I kept taking pictures throughout!

Every day I look in the mirror. And to keep me upbeat I compared to the earlier stage pictures to see my progress. The swelling was slowly improving but still a long way to go. I read about it and they say it can take three months to see the final results.

One month pst op

Still swollen, it feels sometimes hot to the touch, painful to the touch, some itching at times, still afraid to massage it even if I'm supposed to. It hurts to press on it or rub it. Still hanging in there.!

7 weeks post op

After six weeks I had my first reaction treatment. Included in the price of the smartlipo I got six reaction treatments which are supposed to dissolve the lumps of fat that are still there that were broken up originally with the laser but sort of congealed and needs to be broken up by the body. So this treatment speeds up the process and tightens the upper layer of skin. I was nervous about it, since its still very sore to the touch. It was a little uncomfortable at times and soothing at others but it was bearable. Afterwards I felt a bit sore for the next hour or so. The swelling got a little worse then better after a few days. Next time I went for the treatment was at 8 weeks and then soreness was much better so it didn't hurt at all. I'm scheduled for another treatment in a couple of days. But I'm ok with it. My swelling keeps getting better and my stomach flatter. My clothes fit me amazingly. I'm really seeing a difference and I know it will continue getting flatter because I can still feel soreness in certain areas so I know there's still inflammation and swelling there. I'm still wearing my spanx during the day, it feels more comfortable when I move around since it prevents my belly from jiggling around. After a tiring day my belly can still feel a little sore and I lie down on my bed to let it rest. I sleep without spanx. I walk or swim or do my elliptical every day. When I do jumping motions my stomach jingles and it can still hurt. It's a long healing process but I'm definitely seeing amazing results. And I know it will get even better . In the beginning I was really discouraged because of the pain and soreness and my stomach was still swollen. I was seeing results but only part of it and was beginning to doubt if it was worth all the suffering. That's when I found this site and read all I can about people's experiences and it really helped to see that it was normal and it this was the healing process. It just takes a long time. Even 6 months to a year to heal completely. So I decided to write about my experiences so people can benefit too. Hope this helps?

9 weeks po

In a bating suit
Dr. Allie Vafa

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

Yes, I totally understand your frustration. I didn't expect such a long recovery either. Everyone heals at a different rate. A few weeks I read a review a woman wrote how she was frustrated and all of a sudden at 2 months post op she started seeing a major difference. That gave me a lot of hope. And now I'm constantly seeing improvement, every week. I know it will get even better because I still feel lumps and soreness so I definitely know its still in the healing process. I will keep posting pictures, so keep your head up!!
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Thanks:)
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Seeing your 7-9 week post op pictures has really been reassuring. I was getting a little frustrated, though I know I need to be patient because results take time, now at 4 weeks post op because I'm back to looking like I did before my procedure, only with lumps. But your results look great now! More and more I'm reading how you really do need to wait longer to see true results.
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