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I May Never Wear Jeans or a Bikini Again - Philadelphia

I think if I had really, truly known, what this...

I think if I had really, truly known, what this experience would be like, I would have thought twice. Or saved even more for a real tummy tuck.

I have had two kids, and my last baby weighed over 10lbs at birth, so my stomach had been really big with him. I lost the weight but still wanted a flat stomach. I wanted to be able to sit without a roll.

I was skeptical... how I would be wrinkle free (I knew stretch marks wouldn't really go away and was ok with that). But my Dr said I was a "perfect candidate" (who isn't...) and yes I would be in a bikini again this summer.

I had my Smart Lipo on my stomach April 19, 2012. The experience was awkward, and the recovery, especially the first few days was brutal. I don't care what anyone says, there's no way I could have immediately gone back to my normal duties a few days later.

My Dr must be super cautious because not only did I have to wear a compression garment, I had to wear 2 layers of foam on top of that, a layer or neoprene on top of that and then the binder holding it all together. FOR 3 WEEKS. I was only allowed to be out of it for about 20 minutes a day. I had to buy sweatpants and tshirts to hide the layers because I didn't want anyone but my husband to know what I did. I looked pregnant.

I looked pretty good when it was off. My stomach was even concave. But now I'm thinking that could have been from so much compression. At at time my only concern was my belly button. All that extra skin I was worried about had flattened out, but so much so that my belly button looked like either, Patrick Star from spongebob or the Danskin Symbol. It came out to five points. WTH?! Dr said with massage that would come out. It hasn't.

My concerns now are, my stomach is basically a big sheet of playdoh. If I wear jeans, or anything with a button really, it leaves a dent and mark in my stomach. If I wear stretch pants, I have to keep them loooowww to avoid that, but then I get loose skin wrinkling over that. Seat belts dent my stomach, if I sit and pants ride up, that makes a mark too.

There is NO WAY I can wear a bikini, there are so many wrinkles and random bumps from throughout the day.

Every single night, I have to "reset" my stomach. I have my husband wrap me back up in the 2 layers of foam, layer of neoprene and the binder. Just to freakin flatten it out again for the next day. It's SO frustrating!!! When I take it off in the morning it looks pretty good again, only to have my day and outfit "undo" it. I go to the gym and I try to take care of myself. I don't see how this will ever correct itself.

I am pretty upset. I hate to complain to my husband, because of the money he paid for it and he was also skeptical from the beginning too. Yes I lost 7 pounds, yes, I look pretty good dressed in clothes, but I don't know if it was worth it. :(

Dr. Daniel Francis, Monarch MedSpa

I am happy with the entire staff at Monarch MedSpa. They were all, and still are very friendly and helpful. I do however, feel like they just wanted to get me in the door by saying I would benefit from this procedure. I usually felt rushed with the Dr, but when I needed questions answered, he would call me immediately or text me, and that I appreciated.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (17)

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Hi Elsea. I also have the star belly button! I'm about 3 weeks post op. I'm concerned about my wrinkling. How do you look now? Your most recent pic looks great. Please give me (us) updates! :)
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Hi, just saw these posts. I had the same dr as well I believe. I had mine abs done july 19th. I am really sore and very very worried that I will never feel normal again. I was just wondering how you are progressing now? Any better? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Or is it an oncoming train? Thanks!
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Hi, I'm sorry, I was on vacation in August and then got busy with everyone starting school.

To answer your questions, my tingly, numb feeling in my belly finally went away. My stomach still gets "dents" when I wear certain things. For instance, I wore a lot of jumpers over the summer, and the elastic in the middle would go right across my belly button. I'd have an indentation there and then a lump on top and bottom. I am STILL wrapping myself up at night when I want to flatten myself out. But it's not often. And I do have scars and dark spots from the incisions. They haven't gone away. My belly button is still misshapen, but no longer like a starfish, now it more resembles a pout ---> (

So, how about you? I'd love to know how you're doing!
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You're welcome, anytime! And yes, I still do because I pretty much have to smooth out my stomach every night.
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Hi, I had the same dr. Very similar situation. Just wondering how you are now? Any improvement? I had my abs done on 7/19. Hoping to feel more normal soon!
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I will keep you posted every couple of days. Do you still sleep in the foam/binder? I can barely take another minute already. Thanks again for talking to me about this
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Hi. I had the same dr too. Just wondering how you are doing? I am
Hoping to feel normal again at some point. :(
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I felt that way too. When I'd take it off at night, I'd feel lightheaded and like I might pass out. I also felt funny in my stomach. That stopped in the 3rd week. That week I could take the stuff off is when I became unhappy. My last picture shows me the day I left the dr. My stomach hasn't looked that flat in weeks.

And I work out 4 days a week and generally eat healthy. I hate how he emphasized that the work and outcome was all on us. I personally feel that this surgery is mis-represented.

Anyway try not to worry, everything you're saying sounds normal. I'm anxious to see what you feel like in another two weeks.
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I'm sorry you're discouraged. Remember this is only my experience. It could very well be different for you.

My pain went away after about a week. I have no more pain, however, I am numb in most of my stomach. Still. It's sensitive to the touch as well. On June 19th it was two months. I'm going to hope everyone on this site is correct in saying I just need time to heal. Anywhere from 3-6-12 months is what I hear :-/

Let me know how you're doing. Did we end up having the same dr?
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Yes. I could tell by your post op instructions. Our situations are so similiar. My stomach looks flat now but I am bound like the michelin man. The jello feeling when the garment is off is my main concern now. It really freaks me out. Did you have that and when did it go away? I feel like my skin is not attached to the muscle or something, which it prob isn't yet. Hope this goes away. thx for your responses
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Hi. I emailed you earlier. I had smartlipo about a week ago. Can you tell me when the pain went away? Also, when were you able to get up and down on your own? I am so discouraged after reading your update. Please keep updating your progress. Hopefully your results will improve
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Thanks for the replies :)
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From what I understand, you are still swollen so anything pressed against your tummy will cause an indention. I am only one month out, and I get the same thing depending on what I wear. My Dr. said that it takes some people longer for the swelling to subside. I have a feeling that my tummy is going to take the entire six months to have zero swelling. He keeps telling me to have patience and eventually my clothes will no longer indent my belly.
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I'm am sorry your experience wasn't as pleasant as you would like. It seems you lacked elasticity in your skin pre-op; some docs utilize Tickle Lipo along w/ Smart Lipo to increase collagen & elasticity w/ in your skin. My doc will be using this during my procedure next Tuesday. I'm not sure if this would have helped your situation. Also, I've heard a procedure called Smoothshapes would help w/ your skin issues. I don't think you wasted your money; I think your results turned out pretty good. Most ppl who get a TT, also get lipo soon after. If you decided to get a TT, you will just be ahead of the game. Your stomach is pretty flat; hopeful things will improve and/or you find another option that will make you happy. Good luck & thanks for sharing your experience.
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Where are u going for tickle lipo I had mine yesterday
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I went to Laser Aesthetics Body & Wellness in Arlington, TN. off of HWY 64. Do you live in the Memphis area?
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How did your smart lipo go and how is your recovery so far?
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