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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!!!

18 Comments

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!
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

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;

PREOP

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.

DAY OF SURGERY:

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.


POSTOP

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 Comments

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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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.

6 Comments

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!!!
YW! :) Happy Healing!

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!!!!

1 Comments

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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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.

9 Comments

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.
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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?
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.

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!

2 Comments

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!
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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.

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!!!

9 Comments

Looking really great!! You must be thrilled!?
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WOW! You are looking Amazing :) Happy Sunday!
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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!!

3 Weeks Post Op

I read a doctor's post on here that said the majority of skin tightening occurs between months 1 & 3 (up to 59%!!). Needless to say, I'm very excited for the next few months.

I like the direction I'm headed in, but I find it hard not to be just a little impatient with things. I have just a few more days of craziness and then I will be able to crack down on my food intake. My sodium intake here is off the charts, but I keep telling myself to indulge while I can because pretty soon I won't have the comforts of home any more....greasy American and/or Soul food is hard to come by back where I'm headed and that's not necessarily bad thing!

So, attached is a before and after pic. The after pic is as of tonight, after being up and about for about 18 hours. A combination of bloated (I ate a ton of boiled peanuts today and washed them down with a coke!!) and swollen. Hard spots are starting to soften up a tiny bit, but are still there and sensitive to touch. I like posting the bloated/swollen pics because it's the "real" result as of right now. I start off the day pretty flat and then it eventually looks like this, which in my opinion, is much better than I started with.

I'm not sure the pic does it justice, but I can see my ab area looking a LOT flatter now and my lip/overhang area is still shrinking, but is slowly improving. It is definitely not as pronounced AND I'm able to cover it with my panties to hide it completely if I want which is huge for me. It was so big before that if I tried to tuck it into my panty, it would look really weird and the bulge was ridiculously unattractive. Not so much any more!

Probably won't post much for the next few weeks as I find my new normal which includes a trip to the dietician and monitoring of my food intake as soon as I get back. I did this to jump start a new me and that means some lifestyle changes are in order :)

Please keep me in your prayers. Hoping that an old dog can learn new tricks!!

3 Comments

Your pics didn't load:(.  If you're on an iPhone, the latest update should fix any upload issues.  Otherwise it may just have been a fluke.

Sounds fantastic that you'll be getting help with all these changes!!!
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Bummer! I think it may be a connection speed issue. My (i)phone is acting wonky and hasn't let me on wifi at my parent's place for the past week, so I've been using one of those prepaid SIM cards and posting off the network instead. If it doesn't upload this time, I'll post it in a few weeks with my next update :) Thanks for letting me know!!!!
Yes!!!! I love the direction this is headed in! I wish I would have had my flanks done to finish it off, but that and my arms will be next on my list for when we return. It'll give me some time to workout and make some dietary changes, too. It's slow going, don't get me wrong, but just the flatter look is so much better for my self esteem when I look in the mirror. I was so disgusted before that I noticed myself wearing frumpy looking clothes. I just found out about stitchfix and am going to try letting a personal stylist help me out.

Take Two - 3 Post Op Pic

It didn't post the first time for some reason. Very bloated looking due to being up for an extended period of time and eating crazy amounts of sodium, but still an improvement from before!

3 Comments

I can see your progress and it looks Great even with swelling and sodium :) Happy Monday!
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It worked!  Yay!  Definitely a huge improvement!  Even if you're perfectly clean with the sodium and everything, you will still be swelling.  Don't sweat it too much :).  Happy traveling!
Stitchfix is awesome. Make sure you're specific with your stylist and tell them what you liked and didn't like during the checkout process. You look great, stay encouraged!
Palm Harbor 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
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