Black & Blue & Bumpy: No Gain Without Pain

I just had Smart Lipo MPX performed on my upper...

I just had Smart Lipo MPX performed on my upper abs 4 days ago (June 3rd). I am a petite 5'2" and 110 lbs, but always had a bit of a belly. It was never noticeable with clothing on, but I hated the way it sagged and rolled when I sat. I was always insecure about my stomach as compared to the rest of my body. I work out avidly and have always maintained healthy eating habits. No matter what I did, the stubborn "muffin top" wouldn't fully go away. I started considering liposuction. However, I was looking for something not too invasive, with minimal healing time and consistent results. Traditional liposuction just seemed too traumatic and barbaric. The though of general anethesia also discouraged me.

So after a lot of research and mulling it over, I decided to do Smart Lipo. It seemed the perfect match for my body sculpting goals. So, I chose my surgeon, Dr. P, in NYC based on several reviews on this website. He is a very intelligent, accommodating, and sincere person. His staff are equally kind and considerate. His portfolio of before and after shots sealed the deal for me. The results on his previous patients were insanely good. No visible scarring and everything looked sleek and natural.

The $4,000 cost included everything from the anesthesia, surgery fees, medications, post-op visits, to the compression garment. The only other expense was my blood work which was about $250 additional. It was definitely an investment for me, but something I have wanted to do forever.

So, the actual procedure was quite tolerable. There wasn't any acute pain, just moments of discomfort. The application of tumescent lidocaine was probably the most unpleasant part. It stings and burns and jabs. But once you are numb, the rest of the procedure is smooth. I was definitely a bit loopy from the sedatives, but I remember seeing all the fat being sucked out and drained into this container. Kinda surreal. It took about 45 minutes from the time I laid down on the table to when they moved me into the recovery room. I didn't have much fat removed--about 300cc from my abs.

The first night was a blur because all I did was sleep from the drugs they pumped into me. I fully drained overnight, but they wrapped me up so well, nothing leaked out from the pads and dressings. I did feel some mild temderness and soreness, but nothing excruciating. People compare it to pulled muscles from a hard workout--and I'd agree with that. Second day out was pretty much the same. Third day was probably the worst. I started having a lot more swelling and inflammation of my abdominal area. It is tender to touch and I noticed a few lumps near my belly button area. I massaged them gently and they have gone down.

I also have a considerable amount of bruising which surprised the doctor on my post-op visit. I have very thin skin and tend to bruise easily. It looks really scary, but I have been taking Arnica tablets in the hopes that it will clear up soon. (I also was naughty--I had a few glasses of wine the day before surgery which is a no-no. Alcohol thins the blood and makes you more prone to bruising.) So I would caution anyone considering Smart Lipo to abstain from drinking for at least a week before and after the procedure. I don't see much of a difference in my body at this point. But then again, I was fairly petite to begin with and just wanted my "belly pooch" removed. I am trying to be patient and to see what happens once all the swelling and major healing is completed. I am a bit nervous that I put my body through all this trauma for nothing, but I will be optimistic. I just don't want to be worse off than I started or to have permanent scars. I will continue to update you with my progress...

It is now the evening of Day 4 post-op...starting...

It is now the evening of Day 4 post-op...starting to feel a little bit less tender, but still swollen. Bruising has improved, probably because I have been taking Arnica tablets religiously and drinking water. Was able to hit the treadmill for a very light 30 min workout without causing any stress to my body. I ditched the compression garment given to me by the doctor. I substituted it with a very very snug "Flexees" body shaper which actually holds everything in tighter and is less obtrusive. Tomorrow is Monday and the start of another long work week. I just hope this recovery gets exponentially better as the days come. I am trying to be patient...but I'd like to see some results other than swelling and bruising!

So today makes Day 5 of Post-Op recovery. The last...

So today makes Day 5 of Post-Op recovery. The last two days were really bad in terms of swelling and tenderness. I was really beginning to lose morale. I was nervous that I was going to suffer like this for days on end. But after reading up on some other forums, I discovered a natural supplement called BROMELAIN. It is an extract found in pineapples and is shown to reduce inflammation in joints and soft tissues, especially after trauma or surgery. I went to Vitamin Shoppe this morning and bought myself a bottle of 500mg capsules. It is recommended to take the pills on an empty stomach to enhance its anti-inflammatory properties. And I can truly say this has helped tremendously in controlling the swelling in my belly. I took about 3 tablets today and felt leagues better than I did 24 hours ago. I highly recommend this supplement along with lots of water to help flush the system. It has renewed my optimism. With a lot of the puffiness reduced today, I got a good preview of the sleek shape that my body will ultimately take on once I am fully healed. Thumbs up!

That is amazing. Would you mind showing pix? I am almost 100% on going ahead with the surgery with dr. P.. and we are about the same height/weight. I would love to know more about it. Also I am definitely going solo, meaning there will not be anyone to help me. Did you need help the first night?
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Also were you concerned that he is not a board certified plastic surgeon?
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Hi there. I just uploaded some photos to my posting, I hope you are able to view them. I am glad you are considering Dr. P to do your SmartLipo. I am definitely pleased with his services and how his staff has treated me. Even though you are going solo, I recommend you arrange for transportation to get you home. I was so doped up and sleepy from the meds they gave me, I had a hard time staying oriented. Please do not drive yourself home. Even though Dr. P is not a board certified plastic surgeon, he is, however, a board certified oculoplastics ophthalmologist. This is someone who deals with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the areas around the eyes. This type of surgery requires incredible skill because of the delicateness and fragility of the ocular area. If he is able to operate on someone's eyelids, then I am quite confident he can translate that precise skill onto the rest of the body. He treats his SmartLipo surgeries as part medicine, part art. His goal is to make sure the results are not only medically sound, but also to keep you looking natural. Good luck and I really hope you get the body you have always wanted!
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Day 10 Post-Op...It is incredible how much better...

Day 10 Post-Op...It is incredible how much better I feel today than I did a week ago. The bruising is mostly faded away to a few spots, and my incision sites are scabbing over but they are pretty much closed up. Still taking Arnica tablets and bromelain supplements about 3-4 times daily. I can't stress how much of a difference the bromelain enzyme has done for me. It was a life-saver when it came to reducing the swelling. I still get some bloating in the lower belly throughout the day. It usually depends on what I eat or if I have been very active. My doctor said that it is normal to see more bloating after exercising because the lymphatic system is still repairing so the fluids don't drain as quickly. I sure hope so because I don't like seeing rolls in my belly when I sit down! At my one week post-op visit to Dr. P, he said that my healing is moving along perfectly. I definitely agree...in the mornings when the inflammation is at its lowest, I can really see the definition and tautness in my abdominal area. He said I should look incredible by the one-month mark. Wooot! I was told I don't need to wear the compression garment 24 hours a day anymore, but I prefer to keep it on as much as possible to help with swelling. It also feels nice to have everything packed in tightly. I have been going to the gym and am almost back to my normal workout routine--about 45 min of cardio and some light weights. Sometimes I think how incredible the human body is and how quickly it can bounce back. I have realized after doing SmartLipo that patience is very important. The great changes take time to materialize. And so I wait...

Oh and I forgot to add...I do have a very small...

Oh and I forgot to add...I do have a very small "lump" on the underside of my belly button. It is not visible, but I can feel it when I run my hands along my stomach. It is about the size of a grape and is a bit hard and tender. I try to massage it gently which seems to help a little. I am not that concerned as I have read that these types of lumps and bumps will eventually be reabsorbed by the body.

Day 11 Post-Op Pics

Day 11 Post-Op Pics

I am VERY excited. I'm petite also. 5'0... 113lbs. I alway always had a pooch. WORSE than yours. I look post prego. And I never had kids. Literally 2 rolls when I sit down. Flabby and squishy stomach. Never been happy no matter how much I've worked out. I'm a "skinny fat" person. Look good in clothes but am terrified to wear a bikini in public. My stomach looks like a woman's 20 years older than me. :( I had a consultation and booked my procedure. Abdomen only. My doc is very cool. Said he would be happy to give me phone#'s to call his patients. He has good reviews too. No pressure at all to book. He took a lot of time to answer questions. I can't wait to do it!! You're petite. So I'm really glad you posted your experience and pics. Post op. THANK YOU! I feel confident that I will get the results that I want. My doc has done over 3000 procedures and had trained with the FDA approval team. So I am very confident about his credentials and experience. As mentioned on other peoples Smartlipo experience, I will buy Arnaca, Bromelain and at least 2 more compression garments... Body Magic and something similar to Spanx. I have a trip to Cabo in August and I can't wait to FINALLY feel comfortable in my own skin. :) My procedure is scheduled in July. So I have a good 3 - 4 weeks to heal as much as possible for Cabo. But my doc said during that time, try to wear spanx as much as possible... if it's too hot... then just wear my compression garment at night to sleep. He said no need to mess up my trip but he's confident I'll do just fine. YAY! Me too! I'm going to do my best to take care of myself and heal. I'll post pre-op pics in a few weeks. Thank you SO much for sharing your experience.
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Hi Beverly! Thank you so much for your kind post. It is very rewarding to know that my experience is helping others. It sounds like you will have a beautiful outcome--mostly because you are an ideal candidate for Smartlipo. Basically, you are a healthy, fit, petite female with a specific problem spot. I really wish you the best results and with a speedy recovery. By the time your vacation rolls around, you will be strutting yourself on the beach with the teeniest tiniest bikini. You will be smoking! Good luck and keep me updated. I'd love to hear how things turn out. And don't hesitate to ask any questions!
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Hi there, Any more lumps. I remeber you saying that there was one the size of a grape. Did it go away? How are the resulte now?
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Howdy all. I am just about 3 weeks post-op and my...

Howdy all. I am just about 3 weeks post-op and my body is about 90% healed. No more soreness, no bruising, or strange lumps. However, I do still have swelling which comes and goes depending on the time of day and what I have eaten. Otherwise, I can barely remember how rough the first few days of recovery was. Overall, I am happy I did this and have no regrets. However, I'm wondering if I may need to have a touch up down the road because it looks like I still have some fat which wasn't removed the first time. I am praying that it is just swelling and that I will have the completely flat abs I was hoping for (and paid $4K for). I do see a difference in that I don't have a gigantic muffin top spilling over my pants, but I do still have a significant roll when I sit or bend over. I can't tell if it's truly residual fat that wasn't removed, or just bloating. I will keep my fingers crossed that at the "magical 6 week post-op period" my body will suddenly morph into a beautiful washboard stomach...But in any case, I would much rather have a little leftover fat than having too much fat taken out--those are the horror stories you read about where the person is basically disfigured and permanently scarred. I'll take some more pics in the morning tomorrow when I'm not as puffy.

Exactly 3-weeks post-op! Here are some pics I took...

Exactly 3-weeks post-op! Here are some pics I took this morning...and you know, I was getting discouraged about my progress, but now looking at the before and afters, I am impressed!


Wow Star! You look fabulous. Are all the post op pics from three weeks or did you ad a few from earlier?
I had SLIM Lipo almost two weeks ago and your results are better than mine.
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Hi GymLover! Thanks so much for the compliments. Most of the photos are from one, two, and three weeks post-op. The earlier photos have more of the bruising and swelling. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much more improvement over the last few months. In fact, I think I am pretty much back to where I was before the surgery. I have been hitting the gym religiously and being very careful with my diet, but my stomach still looks kind of flabby. I will probably have the touch up in a few months when I can build up the confidence to go through the procedure again. But best of luck to you and I hope your results turn out beautifully.
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If you don't mind me asking, maybe the "flabby" is skin not fat?? But in your pics, I don't see any of that. I think your tummy looks great!
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Ok, so I'm back! Ten months after my first...

Ok, so I'm back! Ten months after my first procedure of Smart Lipo, I ended up going for a second treatment. I felt I needed to get rid of fat that wasn't removed on the first round. I was hesitant about whether or not to put my body through the long healing process, but I figured, I better do it since I paid the money and I didn't have the body I expected to. I had to pay an extra $800 for the second procedure to cover the surgical fees.

So, I went for Smart Lipo on my abdomen yesterday (April 6th), and the experience was pretty much the same as the first time. I really like Dr. P and trust him and his judgment completely. This time I was more diligent about abstaining from alcohol and started taking my Arnica tablets about a week prior to surgery to minimize bruising. The doc made 3 new incision sites so that he could sculpt and remove fat better. He ended up removing 400cc of fat this time--about 100 more than the first round. I knew that I still had fat after the first surgery!

I had a massive vasovagal response this morning when I went in for my one-day post op follow-up. It happened after I removed my compression garment and they were removing the dressings. I suddenly felt very lightheaded and nauseous. I started sweating and then really felt like I was going to faint. Luckily, I sat down and was able to let the moment pass. It happened about two more times while I was at the doctor's office but finally got better once I put the compression garment back on. So be very careful if you are removing your garment by yourself on day one. It is a very common reaction and is scary if you're alone.

I will post new pics soon. I am feeling very tender and swollen today. Hoping that time will work wonders quickly and that I can have my sexy abs ready for the summer. Cross your fingers!


So I am now on Day 4 of my post-op recovery....

So I am now on Day 4 of my post-op recovery. Everyday has been getting a bit better, but there is still a lot of swelling, tenderness, and discomfort. Symptoms seem to get worse as the day progresses. I have been taking Extra Strength Tylenol, bromelain, and arnica to help alleviate the pain. I am still wearing the compression garment, which is not fun, but definitely helps control the swelling. The bruising is starting to fade, so I am happy about that.

Pretty sure my tummy feels flatter despite all the swelling and bloating. I don't have a big roll anymore when I sit, so I am really hoping I to see a washboard stomach once I am all healed.

Will attempt a light workout at the gym tomorrow, but don't want to push myself. It's just hard not being as active when everything feels strained and uncomfortable.

Crossing my fingers that everything starts to feel normal again when I hit the one week mark.

Pictures to come...
An Opthamologist performing body contouring? That's quite different from his specialty.
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thanks for your judgement.
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So it is now approaching my 7 months since my...

So it is now approaching my 7 months since my second Smart Lipo procedure of the abs. It has been a real rollercoaster of regret, disappointment,anxiety, and frustration during these last few months. I realized that I was starting to gain weight and was gaining it rapidly in places that I was always very toned and lean. My arms (especially triceps), thighs, and buttocks got huge about 2-3 months post-op. Cellulite started forming on the back of my things. I weighed myself and almost fainted when I saw that I put on 8 pounds in a matter of weeks. I could no longer fit my pants and always felt bloated and disgusted with myself. I really couldn't understand how this could be happening even when I was quite strict about my diet and exercising the same amount as always. I became very depressed with the changes in my body and felt helpless. I definitely blame the lipo. Something changed after the second surgery. I have been doing some research and think that my lymphatic system may have been severely damaged from the surgery and is causing a lot of my symptoms. I recently started getting lymphatic drainage massages and I do think they are helping with the water retention. I also have had to hire a personal trainer to help me lose the extra weight I have put on. With a lot of hard work and focus, I am determined to get the body I want back so badly. I absolutely regret having this procedure and would give anything to turn back the clock and not do it. My stomach is relatively leaner than before the surgery, but it is by no means flat. All of this has wreaked havoc on my entire body and my mental state. Instead, I would have used the $5,000 towards a personal training regimine and nutritionist. I hope to have a more positive update for you the next time I check in.
I agree with Bristol_Girl. I think you look great in your photos. I had smart lipo done almost a year ago and while I am not perfect I am happy with the results. I lost my muffin top and because I have been working out more often, I have not gained weight, in fact, I have lost weight.
I bet you look great, we can be our own worst enemies.
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I'm a bit confused as to why you think that you gained weight as a result of smartlipo. You looked very small before the surgery anyway. You seem to be kind of young as well, so it is not unheard of that metabolism begins to slow at a certain age. For example I was 115 lbs up until I was about 21 and then began to gain weight quickly. I gained a total of 10 lbs in less than a year. My point being, I don't think it was the smartlipo that caused your weight gain.

However, I think your pictures look great. Can you post more updated pics so we can all see what you are talking about?
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thanks so much for your thorough discussion of the first and second surgery. a few years ago I had lipo done on my legs... then gained only about 10 pounds (over the following year). as a result, the extra weight went straight to my stomach and my arms. now that I have lost that 10 pounds, I still have a muffin top (which, before the first lipo, I never had.) I was considering smart lipo... seems like I should try more herbs and weight loss before anything else.
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Almost a year since my Smart Lipo touch up...and...

Almost a year since my Smart Lipo touch up...and still regretting it every minute. I hate what I have done to my body. Should have hired a personal trainer or nutritionist instead of wreaking havoc on my metabolism by having had the surgery. My clothes just don't fit well and I am still killing myself to lose the 8 pounds I have gained out of nowhere!!!!

Thanks for you posts. Thanks for sharing with us. We are all here for you. I have had 3 good days and then today. A horrible day. I sit down with my legs crossed and my legs are just pant material no definition of a leg anymore and absolutely no hips left. Just saggy pant material. argh... soo depressing.
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Thank you so much for not being lazy to describe the details and for getting back to the site with following up. It is very useful for estimation what can happen.
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Hi Lilmary,
My previous post was not aimed at you. In fact, thank you for showing concern and support. I am more upset at the people who come onto my page alluding to the fact that I have let myself go after having had the lipo. They insinuate that I don't exercise or let myself go, when in fact, it is quite the opposite. What I am describing is the fact that my body and/or metabolism has changed drastically after I had the procedure done. I have always been active and slim. Now I have to kill myself to keep myself from gaining weight. I exercise intensely EVERY DAY and eat extremely clean. The shape of my body is much different and not at all what I wanted or expected from "body contouring." These are all changes that have happened to me. I try to be honest and express this on my profile for others to understand my experience. But I get very frustrated when people come on and tell me I am causing the weight gain and fat redistribution to happen. My physiological changes are a DIRECT result of Smartlipo. While I don't know exactly what is wrong or what the exact cause is, I do know that my body has changed for the worst.

I do appreciate your kind words and hope the doctors give you hones answers. But I already know what their response will be. And it is only half the truth.
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I am adding some new pics to show the pretty...

I am adding some new pics to show the pretty obvious change in my physique just months after my second procedure. I think a picture is worth a thousand words sometimes...
You rates this as "not worth it"?? Why??
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Please read my entire review and you will understand why. Also...you should consider looking at the thread "Did You Gain Weight After Liposuction" here on Real Self. It will explain a lot of the unexpected and unpleasant changes that can happen to the body after liposuction (which of course the surgeons rarely discuss since they just want to take your money). Good luck.
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Thanks!
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New York Ophthalmologist

Helpful and kind staff. Doctor really takes time to answer your questions and to give you an honest opinion of whether or not your goals are realistic. Incredible portfolio of previous clients that reflect his skills. Most patients who went to Dr. P rave about his work.

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