I have always been in decent shape, but the years have brought a little wiggle to my sides and belly that didn't seem to want to go away. I wasn't looking for a body builder physique, just something that would look good at the pool / beach. I was also noticing that my pant size was sneaking forward a few notches and was ideally looking to improve the way I look in clothes.
I have been going through a few different exercise / dieting programs with decent results - losing 20-30 pounds, but my handles remained so I considered the possibility of plastic surgery after meeting a surgeon at an unrelated event.
As I researched my options, I uncovered "cool sculpting" which seemed to be a in-expensive option, non-intrusive, fast recovery, with decent results. I set up a few consults and spoke to a surgeon about what he recommended.
Interestingly, while he did the cool sculpting, he did not recommend it for me for the following reasons:
- Cool sculpting will provide elimination of 15-25% of fat in a region - usually after a 60-90 day period.
- According to to the doctor, many people that do cool sculpting, end up doing it again -- now you're typically only going to get 15-25% of the remaining 75-85%.
- You're paying per application and with the multiple applications, the cost differential becomes less and less. Realistically, cool sculpting could have been more if there were 5-6 areas and you did it 2 (or even three times).
- While the recovery seemed easier with cool sculpting, the time to see the results was longer.
Instead, he recommended I consider Vaser Lipsosuction of my flanks & belly for the following reasons:
- I'd expect to see 75-80% remove of fat in the areas
- While it would be a slightly more painful (and intrusive) procedure and recovery, the results would be more noticeable faster
- He also felt I was just a better candidate for it. Cool sculpting is really best for people that want to do "something", but want to be back on their feet / the gym / etc. in 1-2 days.
After some consideration, I decided to go with the Vaser Lipo at a cost of $7200 - $5000 to the surgeon and $2200 to the location.
The procedure took ~3 hours and I was walking with a small amount of pain on the way home. First few days were "recovery days" that went relatively well as I kept the kept the compression bandages on.
Few thoughts on this:
- I took some pain medication, but not a lot. After 2-3 days, I've stopped taking it altogether.
- Not a lot of pain standing up or even lying down. Getting in and out of a bed, a chair, or a couch is a different story. Needed help to get up for the first few days (or rolled out of bed), but things have got much better.
- For those that don't know, lipo is not a weight reducer. If anything, after having lost the weight, even with the 6 pounds of fat that was removed, I weight 7 pounds more the day after surgery and I've continued my Paleoish diet. The doctor told me that this was expected and the water retention will go away.
- Minor "seepage" problems that were strange the first day, but stopped by the second.
- I was able to take the bandages off and shower on the second day. Personally, I thought the results were very noticeable already - not unrealistic, but noticeable.
- I do think it will eventually be worth the pain and cost.
I'll provide more updates once I have a chance to get some pictures online, but I wanted to capture some thoughts now and use this as a journal of sorts.