Write a review

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!!!!

Swollen on a Plane...

Well, I had a 2 hour flight today and was already feeling pretty swollen from running errands and playing with the kiddos (my son and 4 nieces and nephews) in preparation for my long weekend away. One of the areas around my incision sites started throbbing during take off, which was weird because I have had virtually no pain this week at all. It felt better once we were fully in the air. I had taken a pain pill beforehand just in case, so I think it would have been pretty intense had I not done that!

I made it to the hotel and immediately laid down for a nap! This is my first time alone in years and I wanted to start it off well rested!

Nothing up to this point has been terrible at all. I think I'm having a great recovery and my incision sites are healing nicely. I am, however, numb sometimes in my belly area. It feels so weird when part of it is numb!

No lumps that I can feel at this point. When would one start to notice them? Also, I can feel my skin tightening, especially on my upper ab area.

A little pity party...
I feel like the swelling is all my fault because I've been feeling so good that I continued business as usual starting Day 2 with being on my feet/up for 10-12 hours a day. I just have such a limited time in the US that I may be pushing my body.

I caught myself sleeping on my stomach last night. Does anyone know if this is a big deal? I am a tummy sleeper and have been trying to sleep on my back, but I guess my efforts failed last night. No issues, just wasn't sure if there was some unknown consequences that came along with that...or if maybe it was contributing to my overall swelling.

Here's a quick visual comparison. First thing in the morning, my belly looks flat, like the Day one post op pic, but I slowly get a little pucker back as the swelling sets in. Also, I have a giant red/black/blue mark under my font lip that appeared today. Is it normal for a bruise to appear a few days later? Sorry the lighting is different on the last pic, I was trying to get the giant bruise to where it looked like the bruise it is and not just a shadow. Overall, I think I am looking slimmer and am very happy with the results! I am seriously considering going back and getting my flanks done.

Holy Bruises!

Okay, so within a day or so after accidentally sleeping on my tummy, a crazy bruise appeared (pictured) on most of my lip/overhang area. It's seriously huge!

Since yesterday, I've developed blue/green bruises over a good bit of the treated area. Those kinds of bruises, I assume, are pretty normal.

Just a heads up to anyone who is following....it may be a coincidence, but I think sleeping on my belly and drinking alcohol at my friend's wedding events possibly made my bruising worse!

I've looked up some other cases and this sort of bruising can make seeing results take longer. I'm adjusting expectations accordingly!

The good news is that it's not permanent. Time to be patient and start taking a little better care of myself!

Post Op Day 13

Bruises are starting to fade, you guys were right! Thank you for the support!!! That second week was brutal for me and I was unnecessarily hard on myself. I called the doctor's office last week and sent in photos so the doctor could review and he said it was all normal, even the crazy big purple one!

I swell up like a large balloon during the day, at least it feels that way, and I'm not ready to wear anything other than yoga pants due to the swelling throughout the day. I have, however, dropped a few pounds without doing anything crazy. The day of the procedure, I weighed 183 with clothes/sneakers on. Yesterday afternoon, I was at 176 with clothes/sneakers on (mid-day).

My goal in all of this was to feel better about myself and jump start a new me. I turned the corner when that big purple bruise started to fade. Definitely feeling good about everything!

I am starting to see a difference in the side view and the fatty area around my lip/overhang is slowly shrinking, yay! That stupid lip is the only area with hard spots and bruises. I'm holding out hope there's more to come of this area over the next few months. I've read they are normal and I'm starting to massage them a couple of times a day.

As you can see, the big bruise is fading, but has moved up with what I can only assume is skin tightening. The other bruises are pretty much gone! I can't wait to get back to Italy and get into a normal workout routine!!!
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Tenenbaum and his staff have been very accommodating so far. I'll continue to update my review over the next few months, but I'm very happy so far with only a few minor (self imposed) hiccups along the way. I am already at the point of thinking this procedure was worth it!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (47)

Sort by

Looking really great!! You must be thrilled!?
  • Reply
WOW! You are looking Amazing :) Happy Sunday!
  • Reply
Thank you! Two weeks in and I'm pretty happy. Just waiting to get into a normal routine at this point. We'll be heading home this month, so not too much longer and I can concentrate on the new me! I asked the doctor today about getting my arms done next time I'm home (and my flanks) and it totally reminded me of you and your great results!!
  • Reply
So you want to do your arms and flanks? WOW! I love PS it's addicting and i wish i could do my whole body with no down time,lol. Never gonna happen. AWE thanks :)
  • Reply
Yes!!! I wish the same thing! I don't know when we'll be back in the US again (may be another two years), but I am all in for flanks and arms. I hate the way my arms look and would welcome any help I can get!!! Have a great night! Thanks again for the support!!!
  • Reply
You're young go for it now before arms get bad. I wish i had done mine sooner but i am glad it is over with now. Arm fat i shard to lose all you can do is tone and tan that always make me look better. When i am tan lol. Yw Sweet Dreams.
  • Reply
You are looking fabulous!  Keep up the healing and not being hard on yourself :).  What a beautiful transformation!!!  When are you going back to Italy?
  • Reply
We'll be heading back in a couple of weeks (this month). It's been a crazy trip. My mom had (unexpected) gallbladder surgery last week and my grandpa isn't doing so hot, so I'm glad I was able to spend some time with him. Trying to see everyone I can since we'll be in Italy for two more years! I cannot wait to see my husband....and sleep in my bed.....and get into a normal routine. Our next big trip isn't until Christmas, so that gives me a little bit of time to focus on myself before being tempted with more amazing food!!!
  • Reply
Yeah, sometimes it feels like holidays are getting closer and closer together, making the feast days waaaay too close, LOL!  Speedy recovery to your mother, and I hope your grandfather gets better.
  • Reply
The 6th day i was out drinking champagne at friends Birthday dinner and i was fine It caused some swelling but not bruising. Take vit c for bruising,it helps, Have a Good Night!
  • Reply
I think you are progressing :0). One night on yummy shouldn't effect your results,just try tostay on back from now on. I am not sure about your lip. Happy Continued Healing.
  • Reply
Thanks, Bella! A number of new bruises popped up over night. I'm black/blue/green all over my upper/lower abs. Sooooo weird that my body is just now starting to look beat up. Did this happen with you as well?
  • Reply
Yes. it was weird but normal. My 2nd day was No Bueno! barfing&nauseous from lidocaine they pump you up with. The antibiotics made me feel naseous for 1 week. The brusing will fade,no worries. I takes 2 weeks.
  • Reply
Tummy sorry for typo :/
  • Reply
Argh!  Just wrote an answer and lost it all, so here is the more succinct version.  ;)

First:  Here is what our doctors said about sleeping on your tummy after lipo. I bruised more on the side I slept on, like maybe the blood pooled there, but that could have been based on anything.

Second:  You may have worsened the swelling doing what you did, but seriously, the swelling will happen anyway.  Don't beat yourself up about it.  Lipo is hard on the body, and there is no avoiding the swelling.  You can keep it from getting awful, but you can't force it gone.  Your body has to heal.  

So for me, the bruising came a few days post-op and is slowly resolving itself.  I only have it on my knees now, 15 days post-op and it's nearly gone there.  I also found that the pain didn't start until about day 2 post-op, and that it went away for a while, then got a little worse when the numbness started wearing off.  But it comes and goes.

I wanted to say, I'd expect the swelling to worsen before it gets better.  Do what you can to minimize it, but don't let it mess with your head.  Know that your results will be at least as good as they were immediately post-op, and most likely better, since your doctor didn't suck out all the fluid.  I'm in the swelling stage (most of my body is swelling, despite only getting 200 cc's taken out!) and it is so hard to not freak out because I look puffy everywhere.  So try not to second-guess yourself.

Happy healing!  
  • Reply
Thank you! I have been eating out and boozing with friends this weekend, but we also hit the treadmill for an hour the past 3 days to offset things a bit. I'm sure that doesn't help the swelling, but it does make me feel better about being bad! I have a number of black/blue bruises that popped up over night. It's just so weird to me that my body is just now showing signs of trauma!!!
  • Reply
What is your experience with bruising ?
  • Reply
My knees bruised by day 2.  I got a bruise on my right side by my TT scar by day 3 or 4.  The side bruise resolved itself within a week, I think.  My knees are still a tiny bit bruised, but it's just tiny little red circles at this point, about 1cm each or smaller. :)  The bruise on my side I got after sleeping on that side.  I don't know if it's related.  But it looked like blood settled there.  With my knees, it looked like that only just under where the lipo was, so I think that part may have been the same thing.  It looked a lot like your belly bruising in the beginning, but I'm darker-skinned than you so it was less obvious.
  • Reply
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!
  • Reply
I am definitely asking about corsetting at my follow up. I think I may need to get a tighter compression garment, too. It felt tight days ago, but now I don't know...even though I am really swollen, I feel like it's loosening up??
  • Reply
It's very possible that, despite swelling, you are still smaller after dumping all the fluid.  It's also possible that your garment is stretching, depending on the brand.  I would definitely ask your doctor.  Some doctors are more keen on very tight garments during healing than others (others believe they mess with healing) so make sure you are doing what your doctor approves.  I would definitely run everything by your doctor before changing anything, unless it's in the post-op instructions, then you can follow them.
  • Reply
YAY!! It's all over and now you can begin the healing :) Don't forget your pineapple juice for swelling.
  • Reply
Thanks! Yes, good call with the pineapple juice!!!
  • Reply
YW! :) Happy Healing!
  • Reply
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!
  • Reply