Two Procedures Staged for Waist Hips and Lower Abs - Portland, OR

I am 44 5"7 188lbs. I had a stubborn apron of fat...

I am 44 5"7 188lbs. I had a stubborn apron of fat filled skin from weight loss. I wanted a tummy tuck but with so much fat still in the apron which weighs about 15 pounds I decided to have liposuction to remove it to leave me enough skin to make me a tummy tuck candidate. I live in Salem Oregon and had my 1st procedure August 28th Thursday and my second procedure 5 days later Wednesday September 4th. I had weight loss surgery a Roux n' Y way back in year 2000. I wanted to do this for myself. At this moment I have no idea if the 6,000.00 I spent was even worth it. I have scoured this site looking at before and after photos. I have NEVER seen a person with photos that were as hideous and bruised and swollen as mine. Since I had such a large area to do the dr. decided to do it in two procedures since he was limited to the amount of lidocaine he could safely inject into my system without poisoning me. He did lower abs, waist and hips. He began with the front half of me. When the procedure was done, I felt awesome...zero pain. It took 3 people to get me into the compression garment because it had hooks all up both sides and zippers. I was unprepared for the amount of blood and fluid that would drain from me. They said I would leak a pinkish fluid "tinged" with blood. Whoa... my apartment looked like a CSI crime scene. I read a lot of suggestions and put a shower curtain on my bed. I went through five towels and an old towel. Every time I sat on the toilet the seat was full of blood. If I stood up blood ran down my legs and left drops all over my carpet. I kept having to clean my carpet with soap and water. Grrrr! It was horrible and sore. But just sore. Now the pain meds wore off and I could really feel the extent of what I did to myself. I woke up at 3am vomiting. Like a dummy I forgot to take all the meds they gave me. I went right to sleep and didn't think of it. So I took my meds and forced myself to put something in my tummy. The next day when it came time to take the garment off for my shower I was shocked!!! My stomach looked like hanging raw meat that two dogs fought over. and my left side had a bulge. My little girl parts swelled about 3 times their normal size. I took off the garment and stepped in the shower I vomited immediately while standing and could not even shower I had to go lay back down. My left part apron of belly was hanging lower and looked like I had a piece just carved out of me. I was black and blue and even looked butchered. I cried and cried. All I could think was I spent this much money (I will be paying on this for 5 years) to look even uglier?!? My girlfriends all told me not to worry that my body had undergone a major trauma and results would be far far away. Not easy to tell someone who has their hopes to "do what so many dream of doing" just to be crushed. My hangy tummy stuck to my leg and felt like loose pudding. It was hot to the touch and I could barely stand to move. While lying on my back was the only time I felt comfortable. I couldn't even stand touching it to wash. I just walked out of the shower and laid back down before I fainted. all I could think was I am doing this to myself again in 3 days?!!! OMG I don't know if I can go through it again. Well my second appointment for them to do my backside waist and hips was two days ago. This one is by FAR easier than my belly. The doctor said that large bulge was fluid. Who would have known fluid could hurt that bad! He said they would drain me. He grabbed that piece of flesh and I almost leapt up to the ceiling. He said "yep fluid". I asked him if it was normal to be so bruised looking? He said well, in a case like yours yes. We removed a lot of fat 3.5 liters. He then clapped his hands and said follow me let's go remove some more. First thing he did was put a large needle and pulled out a large amount of fluid. He told me how much but I was already feeling loopy. He said now that should help. To be honest it did help most definitely. The area was hot to the touch and burned and was painful. now I can touch it and most importantly shower properly. Onto my back. My worry is this time I didn't drain!!!! I went through only one pad they put in my garment. No seepage and my garment bed nothing was soaked. I am now scared that I am a fluid hoarder. He told me he and his nurse will have to drain me when I go in in one week post op. I feel like I look pregnant and my belly is hard and numb. I can now put on my garment without crying. So YES IT WAS FLUID. my backside now feels very tight and full and ITCHES. The itchiness is what is driving me insane. The pain in my abdomen, while it still hurts is getting better since being drained. I still think he needs to drain more but I will bring that up to him when I see him Wednesday. These pictures are at 3 days op with the first procedure (which I am now 7 days post op from). I've been smart enough to stay away from the mirror this time. I will keep you all posted.

Worried about fluid retention. Is this fluid? Am I swollen? Am I just worrying unecessarily?

I am now four days post op from the back side of my waist hips. Today I feel FULL of something. I feel like a beach ball and all my trunk is hard and stiff to stand up right. My sides and lower waist are now hot too. No where near like that huge left side bulge on my tummy. I'm quite concerned this is fluid too because as I said in my earlier entry I never drained from my backside procedure. I cannot wait for Wednesday. My left side hangy tummy thing still is bulgier than the right side but since being drained no where near as sore. I think he may need to drain more from that area. I just don't know how to differentiate swelling from being blown up from fluid retention. I don't want to be a problem patient, but this is a lot of money I'm paying to be confused about my healing process. My surgeon did call to check on me Friday and asked how I was feeling. I told him I had no drainage. He said oh well, if you drain you drain, if you don't you don't. He didn't seem to concerned about it. Not that he wasn't concerned about me as a patient, but just that it was no big deal. Hmmm? Come on Wednesday! I'll keep ya posted and take new photos as I'm beginning to feel better everyday.

Second draining

I went to Portland on Wednesday to be drained. They were able to drain 3 liters of fluid from my rt. & lft. lower abs and my backside waist and hips. No wonder I was so uncomfortable. They had one of the directors there who had flown up from Arizona and he came in with my doctor to see me. I realize I'm not the average size girl who has lipo but each doctor looks at my tummy with amazement. Thank goodness I was still numb because my doctor used a turkey baster size syringe with a large needle to extract all that fluid while the other doctor squeezed and pushed my stomach. He told my doctor when will be the next time to see me because I will need to be aspirated a few more times. My doctor said I will be seeing patients Wednesday. The director told him "I don't want her to wait another week to be drained again". So I'm back again on Monday for the voodoo doll treatment hah! I felt instantly better once they drained me. The director told me there is a marked difference in the shrinkage of my skin once they drained that fluid. My healing is coming along. I have some yellowish bruising on my backside but my tummy is back to it's original coloring. I asked about the burning and itching (thank you vickyrose I ran out and bought Benadryl!) They said it's all common and should feel like a sunburn (one heckuva bad sunburn, I think). I weigh 198 today. I was 188 day of surgery. That has got to be fluid and swelling. I've worked too hard to get away from 200 lbs to see that scale leaning toward that number. I will go back to work Monday. I sure hope people aren't expecting to "see" a difference. I hate to have to explain why after lipo I look the same.

17 days post op from front lower abs hips and waist 11 post from backside waist and hips

Tomorrow I have my third draining scheduled for the seromas I have located in several areas of my body. I also have what looks to me like a burn on my right side of my lower tummy. Dr. didn't say much at all about the "discoloration". It was lighter in color and now is a lot darker. No pain just not "normal". I need for him to speak to me more when I ask questions. I seem to get a very short answer to my concerns. The draining is a painful process and it has only been 4 days since my last drain and I feel the pressure and swelling right back in that left side front tummy area. I am going to post new pictures because at this point, I've come to terms with the fact that "it is what it is". I don't know if this will be my permanent shape or if my shape will be similar to the first set of photos when my fat was like pudding. It is now hard and bulgy. I have bulges in other areas too and have no clue if this is swelling, seroma or just a now permanent deformity. I am swollen and "burn" first thing each and every morning. It feels better about two hours into the day. I go back to work tomorrow. They have me scheduled for my draining at 5pm. I'm grateful to have such an awesome boss. She is really working with me through this. They made this surgery sound so easy that I would only need 3 days off work. I had two procedures done in one week four days apart and only took one week off. What was I thinking?! I had to take a second week off. This liposuction surgery is no joke. Who came up with this unrealistic idea of being able to move around in 3 days. Sure you can move but you are in pain and it is progressively uncomfortable the more the numbness wears off, the swelling, the itching, the bee sting pains that come from no where and the BURN!
Pic #1 my tummy from above
Pic#2 my right side with that weird burn mark
Pic#3 my left side with fluid bulge.
Pic #4 decided angle of camera didn't show how big the fluid bulge was so I turned over some

six weeks post op

Well it is now six weeks and I'm going to take pictures every two weeks to monitor my body. sometimes it's hard to remember what we originally looked like making it harder to appreciate all the subtle and not so subtle changes. I believe I'm finally beginning to heal. I'm still in pain. I keep waking in the middle of the night feeling like something is biting my sides. I was told this is common and it's because the nerves are healing. When I get these feelings I cannot stand to have even my garment touching my skin. So I remove it and put it back on two hours later because I can barely tolerate being without it. My skin is hard and feels like I have pieces of brick all around my trunk. These are my latest photos

Pics at 6 weeks post op

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