Power Assisted Lipo...aka PAL So Far So Good - South Bend, IN

I have added some more pictures at 12 weeks...

I have added some more pictures at 12 weeks post-op.  I still seek improvement in my figure and will continue putting in my time in the gym.  Whether you choose traditional liposuction with PAL, Vaser, or Smart Lipo, make sure you are choosing a qualified physician.  I am very satisfied with my results, I am certain that i could not have obtained these results by diet and exercise alone.  Good luck to those of you starting your journey here on this site.  It has been a great help to me in researching and choosing my procedure.  I hope you find the information and pictures i have posted helpful.

Some background: I am a 39 y.o. mom and...

Some background: I am a 39 y.o. mom and chiropractor. I am very active with working out in the gym 6 days a week for the past 20 years, I train martial arts and help teach martial arts to children as well as helping with woman's self defense classes.

I set a goal for my self to have lean abs and thighs by my 40th b-day, but I started to realize that my activities would not get rid of this kind of belly and thigh fat. So I started researching Lipo suction. I have spent the last 10 months researching all the different methods. Initially I was drawn to the Vaser and Smart techniques because of the idea of not going under a general anesthesia. The more I researched these 2 the more concerned I became about it's overall safety. First, the idea of being awake was nerve racking, the big concern was the risk of lidocaine poisoning and getting burned by the laser or ultrasound. I then turned my attention to PAL. I have read that some docs also do this under a local sedation, though my doc does not. I chose PAL and here is why:

I went to a consultation w/ doctor listed above and he and his staff explained to me the benefits of PAL over SMART and Vaser. My Dr indicated that he has serious concern with local sedation w/ use of lidocaine because of the high risk of poisoning. In addition his opinion is that optimum results cannot be achieved if the patient is awake as he is not able to be aggressive with the fat removal. The cannula with the PAL is larger and therefore more effective. Most importantly, the risk of burning skin and muscle tissue is eliminated. My Dr uses general anesthesia.

My procedure: I am having my abs, flanks and thighs treated. I scheduled my procedure, did all the pre-op stuff including taking Arnica Montana about 5 days pre-op. Surgery day: April 29: I was 1st on the schedule so I arrived at the doctors office at 5:30am, got prepped, and again listened to the nurses and surgical staff explain what I should expect. They informed me I would be given a catheter to go home with so I did not have to get up and down to pee. I was told I should feel like I had a nasty road rash all over. Briefly talked with my Dr, and had a consult with the anesthesiologist. It was time, I was taken to the OR where I was gooped up from breast to below the knee with Betadine?? had already been given the IV and a dose of Demerol via the IV. I was asked to get on the table and the next thing I know, I am back in the pre-op area and am finished with the procedure. The nursing staff informed me they removed 3 liters of fat and the abs area gave them a bit of a fight..which is why exercise was never going to get rid of this type of fat. I immediately felt sore and moving was difficult, my husband returned to pick me up and I was taken home to rest. Getting in and out of the car was a challenge for sure. I chose to sleep on a recliner as it was the most comfortable position to get my legs elevated. I was at the doctor's office from 5:30am-1:00pm

That night: Moving was pretty difficult, every time I moved it felt like my skin was detaching from the muscle. I was prescribed Percocet which I gladly took, it mostly helped me sleep and took the edge off. I continued to take the Arnica and also started on some Bromelain enzymes. I woke several times through the night cautiously got up to move around for the circulation but would quickly return to my resting position.

Next day Wednesday: Pretty darn sore. Worst thing is changing positions. Once I am up and moving I feel better. I went to my follow-up apt. and got my first glimpse of my results. Legs are pretty swollen, but I can tell that the abs and flanks have significant improvement. I had almost no drainage. I was quickly put back into the garment, maybe the worst part of the entire procedure. At this point I had only taken 3-4 pain pills. Grateful that this was my day off anyway.

Day 2 Friday: Well I had planned on working this day, but there was no way I could perform to the level I needed to so I took the day off. I rested, got up on occasion to get the blood circulating, even went to get a few groceries. I am taking full advantage of naps. I am very sore and again changing positions is the most difficult part. My son has been so helpful getting me pillows and blankets.

Day 3 Saturday: The soreness has improved significantly, but it's not gone. It is easier to get up and down. I went into work for a few hours and treated a couple of patients. Others at my work did not even notice that I was walking cautiously. I have not told anyone that I had lipo. I went to my sons baseball practice then came home for my first shower...yeah. It was nice to get out of the garment for 15 minutes, but I quickly put it back on. Moving around is becoming easier as the day goes on.

Day 4 Sunday: Had a more restful sleep, getting out of the recliner is becoming easier, walking up and down stairs is much easier. Pain has subsided significantly. I will be returning to work on Monday. Have some events to attend today which I see not problems. The garment is now the worst part of it all, I am itchy and it is just uncomfortable, but a necessity. I will plan on wearing it for the next 3 months.

Conclusion: Overall PAL was the best choice for me. It will be several months before I see the full results. If I progress as quickly as the past few days, then I will be back in the gym in the next 5 days or so and training martial arts too. I am glad I did this for myself. My husband was supportive, but claimed he liked my body the way it was. I am very muscular and was just frustrated with the spare tire and thick thighs. I did this for me. I will eventually reveal to my close friends that I had the procedure. I will post some pics soon. I want to wait until the markings have come off, then I will post pre-op and one week post-ops later this week. I have weekly follow-up appointments with my doc for a while.

Overall: I am very glad I did it, now to get back into training so I can tighten things up and get super lean.

I was not going to post an update or more pics so...

I was not going to post an update or more pics so soon until I had my husband take pictures to document my results starting in on the P90X workout. When I saw the pics, I did not realize how lean I was already. SO I thought I would post this and talk about what I do as far as exercise and nutrition to lend a helping hand to others. I first started working out about 20- years ago and have a tendency to be muscular especially my upper body which is partly due to my profession. I have NEVER trained to be a competitive body builder, exercise has always been about being healthy and ME liking the way I look. So yes it is all about me in this regard. Keep in mind the reason I had lipo was because I did not like the fat that hung over my jeans, I did not like to see fat when I bent over. I did not think I was a fat person, just that I had areas of fat that I was not comfortable.

Exercise: Many think I am compulsive about exercise, I admit it is likely true. I have been fairly consistent with working out since I joined my first gym at 19 y.o. (21 years ago.) I am the mother of a 6 y.o. son and am a professional person with my own business. Here is my current exercise regimen: Monday and Wednesday I do a morning group fitness class, usually Step or Kick Boxing, in the evenings I do a P90X workout; Tuesday and Thursday are big days for me, in the morning I do some sort of cardio machine, usually the elliptical, then I head to the dojo and train Okinawan Jiu Jitsu, on Tuesday evenings, I do a Body Pump class while on Thursday afternoons, I teach kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Thursday Evening I teach a group fitness class called Cardio Fight. (h yeah, Thursdays are my day off work); Fridays some sort of cardio machine and P90X workout; Saturday, I teach Cardio Fight in the morning and do P90X in the evening; Sunday P90X. I know this seems like a lot, but if I am tired I take some time off though I rarely take time off from the Martial Arts training or teaching and I really cannot take time off from the Cardio Fight class since I am the instructor. I do not follow the P90X verbatim and take a day off when needed. I should probably take more time off, but I have the drive to get my body to what I have dreamed of...I think I am close, I hope unless my mind tries to fool me.

Nutrition: I will start by saying, I HATE TO COOK!! I rarely cook. My husband prepares most of our meals and they tend to be quite simple. Chicken breasts on the grill or in the crock pot, sometimes pan fried chicken with olive oil, burgers, and some fish. Salads, rice, potatoes. To me food is mostly about fuel, though I do love food and am all for specialty cuisine, we only prepare some gourmet meal when we are really bored with out meals otherwise for me food is about energy. I have very good self control and most junk food does not tempt me. We so have junk in our house I have a 6 y.o. child and he is not deprived of being a child whatsoever. We have cookies, cheese-it, honey buns etc. Good thing is I dislike most of this stuff. So here is an idea of daily meals: Breakfast: Usually a protein drink (this is where I add all kinds of stuff like colostrum for muscle development and immune system, hemp seeds good for Omega FA and fiber, if after a workout, recovery mix) or I may eat some eggs or egg sandwich and some fruit. Lunch: is usually eaten out, examples Subway, I get a 6 inch double turkey loaded with veggies, foot long is too much bread, double meat gives me more protein. I also like to go to the local grocery store where I can get a piece of fish and some rice or a salad at the prepared foods section. Dinner is usually simple such as chicken and rice, salad, again I don't like to waste time preparing food. Extra meals: you know they say eat 6 meals a day this is where I add protein drinks and fruit, fiber one granola bars( the ones with dark chocolate help give you the idea of indulgence). In my house snacks are considered healthy and treats are junk food. I love summer as there is an abundance of melons around that are cut up in the fridge, these are snacks. Treats on occasion are things like ice cream or occasionally a patient brings in a sweet treat (my business is around a lot of Amish and other farmers so I often get offered pies, cakes etc) Again, I am grateful that I have good self control. My favorite splurge foods are still on the healthy side. The splurge that tops my list is my own homemade pico de gallo with blue corn chips, I would eat that over sweets any day.

Supplementation: I have to admit I am not real good about taking my multiple vitamin regularly. I mostly supplement with protein drinks some are straight whey protein while others are more a meal replacement protein such as Muscle Milk. Into my protein I add all kinds of stuff to make them taste good but that is also good for my body, colostrum, recovery mix for post-workout, flax or hemp seeds for the Omega FA, flax oil whatever else I decide to throw in. I also try to do cleanses frequently, especially colon and liver cleanses.

Finally and most important:

Liquid intake: specifically WATER. Water is the most important thing that we can ingest into our bodies. I drink 3-4 liters of straight water every day. Tea, Crystal Light, coffee is not water. This does not include the water that is added to my protein drinks. I rarely consume fruit juice, only when I am taking a cleanse and need to disguise the nasty flavor of the herbs. I only consume alcohol 4-5 times a year anymore. Mainly because my tolerance has declined since having my son and I have no real desire to feel like crap. When I do drink alcohol it is minimal 1-2 drinks and I stick with Rum and Cola (usually Diet Rite as it does not use aspartame.) Otherwise I never drink soda pop. I used to drink beer, my dad worked fro Anheuser Busch so we were beer drinkers, but in my eyes beer is liquid bread and bread is not ideal though I do love a quality fresh baked bread. I also do enjoy having a margarita or glass of wine with a friend, but these drinks are so high in sugar and I tend to feel swollen so I no longer drink them.

I hope this helps others in their quest for a better body, you can see from my pre-op pics to my current pics that lipo is only a tool, it is not the magic wand so when considering lipo, make sure you have all your other practices in place so you do not fail. Good luck

South Bend Plastic Surgeon

My Dr and his staff provided all the information I needed to be informed about my procedure. The Staff were all extremely helpful and told me exactly what to expect.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Comments (41)

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You look great
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hi how is the P90X workout I want to do it but it is sooo expensive !! would you consider making me a copy LOL ??!! I want to do it soo baddd
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Maybe find a used copy for sale on craigslist?
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i looked ... no luck yet.
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Is PAL similar to tickle lipo?
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Hi sexyafter44. My understanding is that Tickle Lipo is a power-assisted device. The power devices are designed to make the work of the doctors easier. I have heard some doctors say they don't use PAL because they don't have as much control over their "artistry" when using a power tool. I've been told that using PAL it's akin to using an electric sewing machine instead of doing fine hand embroidery. Liposuction is not "artwork", however. It is surgery into your flesh and blood. It is a false notion, I would say, to think that flesh can be "sculpted". Flesh is flesh, not clay. The long-term outcomes of surgery into your flesh and blood have to do with biology, not art. The biology of fat is that if you remove fat cells in one area, the cells in other areas grow larger. The reality is that liposuction is not good for one's long-term physique or health. Smaller cells are healthier than larger cells. It's helpful to remember that doctors doing plastic surgery are actually salespeople performing expensive, non-essential surgery. It may be helpful to think that the OP of this review is not on here updating her photos years later; the photos that are shown do not show long-term results after untreated areas of her body may have increased in size. Hypertrophy. The photos also do not show that liposuction may increase insulin resistance, increase in visceral fat and other health issues. Liposuction is non-curative and dangerous. Rather than solving contour deformities, it can create more deformities as the rest of the body can grow larger after liposuction. Also, if you have loose skin, the skin may be grafted to the body, which is serious, incredibly painful, and irreversible, or you could be left with sacks of hanging skin. i am aware of several women who were permanently, physically disabled because of PAL. Their surgeons are referred to as "top" doctors. I hope this helps.
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Did you find that after the lipo of the abs that you could feel the tunnels from the cannula?
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To answer your question, yes and no. It is possible to feel tunneling with PAL, as it is so with conventional liposuction. Ideally, when performed in a uniformly distributed fashion, tunneling should not be experienced with liposuction, unless, of course, the surgeon is attempting to purposely create added definition, as would be the case in procedures aimed at emulating the rectus abdominus musculature, for example.
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Have you, yourself, had PAL liposuction on your abs? I've heard differently from those who have.
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I personally haven't. I was considering lipo and the PS I saw said suction assisted lipo is what he performs. After reading more and more about laser lipo and regular lipo, I'm scared to even do that! The irregularities I'm reading about and damage just doesn't seem worth it.
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Hi BatonRougeCutie. Yes, the more I see and learn, the worse that liposuction looks. I addressed the question above (about PAL liposuction on the abs) in response to the doctor who answered here. I guess I didn't make my point clearly: my point was that I would prefer to hear from women that have had the surgery instead of hearing from doctors who are trying to sell the surgery. I really would like to hear from this woman Ann who originally posted her photos in 2009. It's 2013 now, and I think it would be helpful to see updated photos.
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Got it. I agree!
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Hi. Thanks for your review, Ann. It looks like the last photos you posted are from 2009. Would you be willing to post current photos, 2013? Thank you.
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Wow, and thank you! You look great, $ well spent. Thanks too for the diet excersie "truths" I need to find the workout junkie within! I'm soooo tired ALL the time, reading your review makes me realize that I need to find the strength to push through to improve my quality of life. Thanks again.
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Did you do massages on your lipo'd areas to get rid of any lumpyness?
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Power-assisted liposuction or PAL remains the gold-standard treatment in my surgical practice, offering the greatest control and most consistent results, regardless of body habitus, out of any of the current modalities available on the market today, including laser lipoplasty.
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Ann in Indy, That is GREAT info!! I will also be taking Bromelain and Arnica - and you just gave me a great idea: take it at night, too! I have been prescribed a strong pain med, and will have that with me, too. Road rash. Yes, it does rather conjure up the BURNING sensation, totally understandable with that tissue separation going on. Yowch. I will be taking pictures. I have an album over at MakeMeHeal with my "befores" posted already! Maybe I can figure out how to post them here at RealSelf, too! Oh boy. I am in countdown mode...

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Schnookie, yes the pictures do not do the legs justice, they are much better than before, but I am also still working on them....I am sure I always will though. :)
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Schnookie, I am also going to get Vaser High Def lipo - this coming MONDAY! Yay! And also HELP! I am excited and nervous at once. I am only doing my abs, hips and flanks, but the surgeon tells me it should take about 5+ hours. Geez, a long time! I'm glad you say that you'd do it all over again, even knowing the discomfort level. Ah well. We have to do what we have to do! I am tired of working out hours a week and still having that midsection bulge pressing out over my pants. Question: what kind of pain did you have, where, and for how many days? Did you take major pain meds? Did you ice the area at all?
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I know you directed this at schnookie, but I will chime in on your questions. Note I did not have Vaser, I had Power assisted lipo. What kind of pain: the nurses on surgery morning said I would feel like I had a nasty dose of road rash. I would totally agree. I felt like someone took a metal scraper inside me and totally separated my skin from my muscle tissue...actually that is what happened. Imagine when you scrape your knee or leg and it starts to scab over and heal how it feels as the scab gets smaller and it feels like your skin is tightening. That is how you will feel. How Many Days: Honestly I felt these signs for about 10-12 days, but it improved dramatically after the first 4 days or so. Everything was ok until you had to move. lol. Actually if I stretch just the right way, I can still feel the remnants from the surgery (17 weeks post-op.) Pain meds: I was prescribed and willingly took percocet. I am a chiropractor and we tend to recommend natural alternatives, but I am also a realist and if I have a patient in excruciating pain, I always suggest they call their med doc and get something to ease their discomfort. I took them through the day and night for about 3 days, then only at night for another 4. It helped me to sleep because every time you move you feel the discomfort. Ice? I never iced, it is a lot of area to cover with ice and getting chilled was not tops on my list. I took enzymes to help with the inflammation. I took Bromelain on an empty stomach. I went through a full bottle in about 7 days, so I took several at a time and would take them when I woke in the middle of the night so I did it round the clock. Good luck with your surgery. I would not turn back. by what I have learned PAL is probably one of the best forms because it is more in line with the more aggressive lipo, but uses the power tip to help the doc. Vaser would have been my next choice and I do not think I would have chosen Smart. I know someone that recently had Smart Lipo, he does not look any different to me and he spent close to $10K.
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Ann in Indy, Thanks for keeping us all informed about not only the lipo, but the daily regimen you follow that will ensure you keep that totally AWESOME new shape! Your abs look absolutely fabulous. And given how much you'd worked out before, I can SO empathize with your decision to have this done. NOW you are looking like what you should look like given your active lifestyle. Congratulations!! You are an inspiration!
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You can really see the difference in your Abs. It's hard to see the difference in legs because of the pictures... It's good to see your swelling 1week post op because that's about where I am. Thanks for posting! I had vaser myself and it was pretty tiring. It was also pretty painful. It took 5hrs total to complete my process. I can't believe I'm saying this but if I knew what i know now I'd still do it! LOL It's such a barbaric thing to go through but I had had it with my midsection. Anyway, thank you for posting. Gives me hope and courage to get through this first month! UGH!
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Thank you for the kind responses. I think this site is great in helping women, and men to in making informed decision. Having feedback weather positive or negative on a procedure is good, it gives us more to think about and more questions to ask. When I was researching, I listed the order in which procedure I would choose 1) Power assisted Lipo 2) Vaser 3)Smart was last as I think the other 2 would give more optimum results. Feel free to ask me any questions.
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You ask a good question: I do not know whether Vaser "Hi Def Lipo" is just marketing coinage for Vaser lipo. And the company has a website at: www.vaser.com. They are very responsive when you ask a question (under the tab "Contact Us"). What attracted me to Vaser over SmartLipo is that Vaser's particular type of ultrasound does NOT burn the surrounding tissues, vessels or muscles. SmartLipo, in the wrong hands CAN result in burns because the cannula is super-heated. (does not use sonic pulses to blast fat) I am no doctor ... just an active 54-yr-old with bulging midsection that I hope to sculpt after this procedure.
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OMG! Ann in Indy, so that's YOU! You look absolutely a-mazing at the 12-week post. Aieeeyah. And what a change even from the pre to the 1-day post - even with the swelling! You must be so thrilled .... and now you look rock solid - way better than pre-op. So I can totally understand and relate to WHY we get these procedures done. I am 54, also work out 5-6 times a week (swim, jog, bike, targeted weight work), but found my mid-section getting uncomfortably bulgy. I will have Vaser Hi Def lipo end of August and post here. I hope to be as open, honest, descriptive AND positive about my outcome as you. This was a fabulous post - very informative. The kind of "horse's mouth" info all of us patients and candidates need to hear from folks on the other side. So, happy healing to you, and enjoy your new bod. Um, I bet hubby is pleased as punch, too, eh? ;-)
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