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33 Year Old Female, Upper and Lower Abs Smart Lipo - Palm Harbor, FL

**Note: I am a military wife living overseas and...

**Note: I am a military wife living overseas and am having this procedure done while visiting my parents next month. Fingers crossed everything goes according to plan!

About Me:
I'm 33, 5'5", and about 180 lbs. with my clothes/shoes on.

I am in good health, a non-smoker, and do not take any medication. I drink 2 glasses of wine a week on average and I'm not going to lie - the food is amazing over here in Italy, so I take full advantage of the local cuisine. I have not worked out consistently in about four years, mainly due to sleep deprivation. My son was up every 1.5 -3 hours for three years (no exaggeration) and my husband was deployed for more than half of it, so it was just me for a long time, living a sleepless hell.

Anyway, the sleep deprivation led to a weakened immune system and illness (bronchitis, strep - you name it), so I was pretty much always feeling bad until recently. I do, however, average 7k steps a day (fitbit), so I'm not a total slacker.

My son started sleeping through the night (yay!!!) two months ago and he'll start preschool when we return from our trip to the states. I feel pretty darn good now and am so happy to finally be in a position to work on myself.

I was asked by an old Italian lady on the beach if I was pregnant not too long ago and I'm not, nor do I plan on being pregnant ever again (hubby had a vasectomy so we should be good). With that said, I turned to Dr. T for help in hopes of jump starting my goal of reclaiming my body!

Over the weekend, I sent an email to Dr. T's office and was happily surprised when he answered within hours! He seemed very cordial and said that he'd be happy to do my (free) consult over the phone as long as he had pics and my stats to review beforehand. He gave me the office number and asked that I call during business hours to set up a time to chat.

I called yesterday and was given a consult for today. Steph, one of the ladies who works in the office, was super sweet and answered any questions I had during this time. She gave me the email address to send the pics to and we were set for a call with Dr. T for the following day.

I had the consult about an hour ago and am really comfortable with Dr. T's credentials and his staff has been great so far, so I decided to go for it! $1998 for both upper and lower abs is a great deal. He's never had any malpractice suits, has over 20 years experience as a doctor, and is a certified plastic surgeon. He said he's done over 1100 of these procedures in 4 years and no complications or infections. Sooo, I'm pretty stoked. Dr. T did warn me that the lip/extra skin on my tummy will tighten up, but I will need a tummy tuck for it to go away completely. I really like that he set realistic expectations up front. I do not want a TT at this time. I'm willing to try my luck with this and see where it gets me, you know? Oh, and I asked about swimming since I have a three year old and my parents have a pool. He said I should be good to swim in 2-3 days! Awesome! Also, I asked if I could fly since I am flying out 4 days later for a friend's wedding. He said he'd prefer I stay in town for 2 or so days, but I should definitely be good to go by day 4.

I paid today. All I need to do now is get the number for a local pharmacy and buy some spanx!

Procedure is set for September 15th @ 1PM!!!

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

I made the flight to the US with my three year old on the 5th and spent the week with family in VA. We drove down to FL yesterday and tomorrow is the big day!

I picked up my meds today (antibiotics and Tylenol with Codeine) and I have my compression garment ready to go!

Here's the run down for pre/post op instructions (I'm getting upper/lower abs - Smart Lipo Triplex) in case you're wondering;


Avoid Aspirin, Motrin Ibuprofen, Advil, Fish oil, Vitamin E , Omega 3 vitamins at least 1 week prior to surgery.
Pick up Prescriptions given to you (NOTE: do not take antibiotics until the morning of surgery)
Purchase compression garment (spanx.com / slimpressions.com Target-Assets), Bacitracin ointment, Sterile 4x4’s, ice packs or frozen peas.
Make transportation arrangements, if needed.


May eat a light breakfast.
Take prescribed antibiotic before coming to the office.
Bring pressure garment to office.
If you have any piercings in the areas where the surgery will be performed please remove them.
Please arrive on time as you will affect other patients surgery times.
Bring old loose fitting clothes to wear home.
Bring towel or old linen to sit on in car for ride home.


Apply ice every 2-3 hours for 20 minutes.
Adjust garment every 2-3 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids (at least 4 6-8 oz glasses)
Continue with prescriptions as ordered.
Apply bacitracin ointment and sterile gauze to incisions 2-3 x per day until incisions are closed (usually 48 hours) Change dressing as needed.
Drainage should cease within 6-10 hours.
Call answering service @ 727-786-6921 for fever over 101.5 or wound care questions.

I'll post pics as soon as I can tomorrow. The procedure is at 1pm!!!

2 Hours Post Op

What a great experience so far! I showed up to Dr. T's office a little early to fill out paperwork, was taken back on time and the procedure (Upper/ Lower Abs) took about an hour and twenty minutes from start to finish, including dressing.

It started off with two little shots of local anesthetic followed by pumping numbing fluids in the upper and lower ab areas. None of it hurt. It felt a little weird, but no pain whatsoever.

After that, Dr. T and his assistant, Jan, started with the laser. I was covered during this time so I couldn't see much (thank goodness!) and was relaxed with my hands behind my head. We were laughing and having a great time, so no pain then either!

After the laser (Smart Lipo Triplex), he started sucking out the fat/fluids. He took out 1600cc's and the rest, he said, would be absorbed and passed through my body.

Jan bandaged me up and helped me into my compression garment and I was good to go! My sister drove me to my parent's place where we're staying which is about an hour away.

I changed the bandages immediately upon arrival home because they were soaked. It was a little gross as I had some leakage, but I was able to do it myself without issue. I'm still numb in the ab areas.

I feel super bloated, but great overall! Post Op Follow-Up scheduled for the 29th at 1pm. Dr. T said I should see a difference as soon as tomorrow, once I'm done draining. Very excited.

I will take (bare) pics tomorrow once I'm able to take off the compression garment and shower. For now, it feels so good to have this thing on, sucking me in. Pretty sure it's going to be on for the long haul! Ice to help with the swelling is next on the agenda.

Day 1 - Post Op

I've been taking the Tylenol every 4 hours as I'm not a fan of pain. It's not painful, but really sore if that makes sense. I am up and moving around without issue. I am, however, glad my parents are taking care of my son so I can rest. I can see why they say some people are able to continue business as usual the next day, but I think I'm one of those that falls into the "needs to rest" category.

I feel very bloated still and my tummy was sensitive to touch, so I wasn't able to get off all the marker, but hey - the shower felt great! I am very happy with the results so far!

My stomach is flatter from the side view and the lip on my from section which he said would get better, but wouldn't go away with this procedure, has already improved!

My incisions stopped bleeding this morning and they are super small (2mm), so I'm using a band-aid at this point. I'm really not sure if I'm supposed to wear band aids, but I can't see where it'd hurt. The pads seem like overkill without any bleeding. Anyone know? I should have probably asked when they called to check in on me today.

I have to go dress shopping tomorrow for my friend's wedding this weekend in Pittsburgh, so wish me luck!!!!
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Tenenbaum and his staff have been very accommodating so far and I look forward to the big day!

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Comments (27)

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So, I never wore any pads at all, except the lipo foam.  The pads are for soaking up all that excess fluid you dump right after the procedure.  If you're not longer dumping fluid, bandaids should be fine :).  You look great!  It's gonna be exciting watching your results as they progress.  I think your after-care is very different from that prescribed by some of the others I sent you to look at (like FTA2014), so if you are interested in any of their methods, you should definitely talk them over with your own doctor before trying them.  Remember that your doctor's rules are what counts in terms of your surgery and what results your doctor will stand by :D.

Happy continued healing!
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YAY!! It's all over and now you can begin the healing :) Don't forget your pineapple juice for swelling.
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Thanks! Yes, good call with the pineapple juice!!!
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YW! :) Happy Healing!
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Congratulations!!!!!  It's wonderful to hear that you had a great experience, and I hope the pain doesn't kick in too badly when it does--if it does.  I never did feel a whole lot from my lipo :).  Rest up and relax, and we look forward to seeing your pics tomorrow!
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Thanks for the support! So far, so good! I just took my first Tylenol after icing the area down for a bit and am ready for a nice long nap.
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LOL!  I remember that.  I slept all day after I got home at like 1pm.  
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Prayers,sounds like you're all ready!! :)
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Wooooooo!  So excited for you, girl!  Can't wait to hear how it went!  Good luck, and happy healing to you--we'll see you on the other side :D.
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Very interested in your review, I just read FTA2014's (which led me here ;) and boy was that inspiring! lol I have researched torso lipo quite a bit, wondered what your doctor means by upper and lower abs? If I understand correctly, that would not include the sides of the waist? And def not the flank area. It usually saves $$ to have it done altogether, so just thought I'd mention that... Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your journey, it's so very helpful to me XO
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Hi! Thanks!!! My doc charges the same per area ($999) , so no savings/discounts by lumping stuff together as he's already super reasonably priced. Flanks are definitely not included in what I'm getting done :) I'm more interested in not looking preggers at this point. A lot of this (to me) is just a jump start a diet/exercise routine which I haven't done in like 4 years. I've signed up with the base dietician to help me along as I have a feeling keeping weight off is not going to be easy and I may need to relearn a few basics of meal planning and portion control. I've signed my son up for preschool for a few hours a day when we return so he can socialize and I can hit the gym close by. Trying my best to set myself up for success! I was thinking of other areas I might want done if this works out - arms and flanks come to mind! It'll have to wait until we move back, though, as I doubt we'll visit again next year. This will be my first time home in two years!
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Sounds like you have a great plan! Thanks so much for sharing your journey, I will enjoy watching your progress. RealSelf is such a wonderful resource for all of us in the decision making and motivation/support as we strive for our health (and beauty ;) goals... Best of luck! XO ps, I'm with you on the tummy tuck, not sure about all that recovery and scarring, rather have a little loose skin imo
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You got an Awesome deal on your abs lipo. :) I would have to pay 6k But i am doing cool sculpting first$1500 to try it&if not smart-lipo. Kinda like you,gonna try my luck then attempt more invasive if it i do not get the results i like. Hope you enjoy your Labor Day!
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I went back and forth about what I was willing to spend. I was seriously considering a tummy tuck until I saw the scars and read about the down time. I didn't know if I was mentally ready for that journey just yet. Then I came across this doctor. I figured why not try it out? $2k isn't enough for me to really be mad over if things don't work out exactly as planned (no one has complained that Dr. T made them look worse). I think Dr. T is just using a different business model than most with his prices....that's what I'm hoping for anyway! I can always get a TT later, right? I'm feeling like rolling the dice and see where it gets me. Good luck with the cool sculpting!! How many sessions did they recommend?
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I agree with you :). We can't fail,if we try! ;) Only those Fail who fail to try. I was recommended upper/lower 1 session for$150 those 2 areas. It takes an hour. I am NOT 100% sold on this freezing fat technique but since my surgeon had it personally done it,i want.
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BTW - I commented above first. I didn't see a reply button! ahaha Oops. I really appreciate you taking the time to point me in the right direction. I'm definitely hopeful and the information posted on here is invaluable!!!
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I hope you do get the desired result you want. :) We'll stay positive&have faith.
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Best of luck on your journey.
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Thank you! I was just looking at your review and your arms look fabulous! I think if all goes well, that will be next on my list. I saw that you had mixed emotions about it. How do you feel about them now?
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I like my arms,i think they are proportionate to my body size and no MORE jiggle or wiggle is always good! :) If you decide to do it try smart-lipo,it helps tighten and i know most doctor's say it's a gimmick but it worked for me. TGIF!!
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Thank you!
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Thank you for sharing about your non-sleepers! I'm glad that I'm not alone! I am praying that the long flight doesn't completely mess things up, too! As for the price, he charges $999 per area as far as I know. He has done over 1100 of these Smart Lipo procedures over the past 4 years, so I think he's definitely a busy guy. I am documenting my journey on this site to help others know what to expect, but also to help them see more of the doctor's work. 1100 Smart Lipo Triplex procedures and only a handful of mixed reviews is not as helpful as one would hope. I saw a few bad reviews saying he didn't take out enough, but only one posted before/after pics. I think a lot of this stuff is subjective, so I don't know what is "enough" without seeing pics. I've seen a number of posts where I thought the person looked great afterward and they were unhappy, so I'm just hoping this is the case with Dr. T. Plus, the odds are actually pretty good when you factor in the sheer number of these bad boys he's done. Only a few bad reviews and people with bad reviews are most likely to post after the fact. Hopefully, my pics will help folks along with the decision process when considering this doctor! Oh, and I asked him if he was okay with me documenting everything on here and he said that it wasn't a problem at all. He prefers that the actual procedure not be filmed, but anything else is good to go. I asked yesterday about the amount he was hoping to remove (great question, btw) because it seems like no one on here that had less than 1000cc removed is happy with their Smart Lipo results. Most folks with 2000+cc removed are ecstatic! I got a (prompt) response back saying it really depends on the person and not to worry. He said the procedure will take about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes which sounds like a reasonable time, right?? I actually have no idea, I just figure there's only so much you can do without overdoing it in each area. I'm going to check out FTA2014 and get more details about her procedure. I definitely want to make sure I'm asking all the right questions and if I see that it's not enough fat, I can speak up before it gets to the point of being disappointed, you know? I love that others are so open and sharing. It's so helpful!!!
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Hello and welcome to the community!!!!  

I'm sorry you've had to deal with a non-sleeper on your own :(.  My first was a non-sleeper but I had help and I almost went insane.  And then I had twins and even with help, I did go insane.  And I gained a bunch of weight, just like you, and I was sick aaaaaaall the time.  People don't realize how sleep deprivation and poor health go hand-in-hand!  So glad that's over for you now.  I hope that traveling doesn't mess with your son's sleeping.  We had some trouble when we were traveling with our girls.

Yes, that is an amazing price!  Did you get a military discount or something?  Wow!  I'm paying almost that much for microsculpting, not even smart lipo, where he expects to remove no more than 200 cc's (1 hour of his time)!  It does make a big difference where in the country you are, of course, but that's still a great price.  Did he say approximately how much he was planning on removing?

I know that FTA2014 (her review is here) was working with a lip there like you have, and her results are amazing.  Her doctor did aggressive lipo on her and just wow.  You should check her out :).  All the excess skin isn't gone, but it still looks fabulous!

I'm so happy to hear that your doctor is so reasonable and willing to work with your needs.  Super excited for you, and to see your results!!! 
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OMG - Thank you for the recommendation on FTA2014. Definitely gives me hope!!! She looks amazing!
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Yay!!! :D  So glad you went and found her :):):)  Hopefully you have time to read through her methodology and stuff--she was very thorough!
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