Body Lift Done by Dr. Capella - Ramsey, NJ

I had a Lower Body Lift done on January 3rd by Dr....

I had a Lower Body Lift done on January 3rd by Dr. Joseph Capella, and so far, I am very happy! Even though I am only 2-days out from the surgery, the results are astonishing! First let me start off by telling you about my surgeon and his team:

Things like liposuction, or the medial thigh lift did not really apply to my body type, and he felt that I could do without those additional procedures. One other surgeon had recommended that I do the thigh lift, despite my thighs being relatively normal size. The cost for this surgery would have been an additional $3750 for this surgeon; and I dont think I needed it. I really appreciated Dr. Capella's honesty, and not looking to make as much money off his patients as possible.

After the surgery (performed at Hackensack Medical Plaza in a beautiful, pristine facility), I was in recovery for a few hours with a nurse who was tending to me and just one other patient. She was also wonderful.

CareOne Recovery
After the short time in recovery, the Ambulette came and whisked me away to CareOne in Paramus, NJ (a Nursing Facility). I received a lot of attention and care at CareOne, and the staff were incredible (joking with me as they took care of my drains, and checked my blood pressure etc).

I underestimated what the recovery would be like, at least initially :-) Having had c-sections for my pregnancies, and previous surgeries, I thought this surgery would be run-of-the mill, and I would be just fine. I ended up alternating Percocet and Tylenol w/Codeine every few hours to help manage the pain. As long as you expect that it's going to hurt, and be uncomfortable, then you should be OK. The worst part for me was the tightened muscles (Dr. Joe warned me that this part would hurt). It was like I had done a million sit-ups. I could barely move my abdomen. It felt like it would split open! Now that I am on day 2, I am starting to get some feeling back around the incision sites (which go all the way around your body... hence the term 360 degree body lift), and it hurts a bit, but is more uncomfortable than painful. As long as I take the pain medication every 4-6 hours, and drink a lot, and keep walking in short increments, I think this will help.

My New Body
Dr. Capella removed 7.5 pounds of fat and excess skin from my body. I was a size 10 (I had one pair of size 8 pants) before surgery. Since I am still swollen, and not wearing normal clothes, I have no idea what I will be once I return to wearing clothes. Maybe a size 8? Either way, my tummy is flat, my thighs are much smoother, and I am thrilled with what I see so far! And this is only 2-days post op!!!

This morning, I am one week out from surgery. I...

This morning, I am one week out from surgery. I have a couple things to report:

First, I had 2 of the pesky drains removed yesterday (was going to be today, but they needed to change my appt to accommodate a surgical client who added to her procedure... No prob for me!!!). Second, I spiked a fever. Obviously, #s 1 and 2 were related since I felt like a champ before having the drains removed.

Went into the office and saw Scott/Dr. C, who told me that I was doing great, walking around, and they were really impressed with my progress (not really hunched over at all... Which I attribute to my activity lever! Walk around people!!)

Scott gave me two shots of numbing medications on either side of my crotch area, so it would be "humane" as he called it, when he removed the two innermost drains. I don't know why they chose the inner ones, they just did. One deep breath, not a drop of pain later, and my two drains were out. The gentleman explained that I would have some oozing from the drain site, because they don't want to close up the wound with a stitch and risk an infection. Go buy some surgical pads from your local pharmacy, it will suck up all the oozy goodness (which I have changed about 4x so far).

3 hours after the appt, I started feeling icky. I had the chills, and I started to get warm. I also had discomfort around the drain site (which they said would be normal for a few days). I chalked it up to having had the 2 drains removed and watched a movie. Over the next 5-6 hours, I became lethargic, feverish, and even a little off in my thinking. I had hard time processing my thoughts. My temp was 102.4. We called Dr. C. He was calm and told me that if is not uncommon for people to have a feverish reaction to the removal of the drains. More research explained that the drains had become a part of the body, and in removing them, my body was responding as though there was a predator or enemy attacking it. Antibiotics, according to Dr. Joe were likely not needed, but he wanted me to call the office the following day, to make sure the fever was gone. In the meantime, take 2 extra strength Tylenol (separate from the pain pills). He was really nice about my late 10pm call...

I will, at this point be providing you guys with a 2 week update (when the other drains are out), a 4-week update, 2-month update, when the swelling has started to subside, and then a 6-month. This was you can see the progression. I will try to find some before pics for you too!

Two Weeks Later... So, I will start my update...

Two Weeks Later...

So, I will start my update by saying that my experience is NOT the norm, and even with all the difficulties, I still am happy that I did the surgery, and I am still pleased with my surgeon. Let me tell what has transpired...

10 days after the surgery, I woke up in the morning, feeling a pain in the calf of my left leg. I figured that I had maybe had a Charlie horse in the middle of the night, and I tried working it out that day. it was sore and tough, but I was able to put pressure on it. It just hurt. I had already had 2 of my drains removed, and I was doing well otherwise. Around this same time, I also began to notice that one of my drains was putting out more of a pus-like fluid than blood. Well, I knew this wasn't normal, so I called Dr. Capella and he scheduled me to come in on Monday (1/14) to have the drains removed (which would be 3 days earlier than normal). During my phone call, I should have mentioned my leg pain to Dr. C, but I didn't think to, since it was just a Charlie horse. I continued to walk on my leg, despite the pain, and after another day or so, I couldn't take it. Monday morning came and 6:30am I called Dr. Capella and said, "I probably should have mentioned this to you, but my leg is killing me." He told me to get to the hospital, as I might have developed a blood clot.

In the ER, they did testing and determined that I had developed a blood clot in my leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT) which had also spread to my lungs causing multiple pulmonary emboli (bilateral - in both lungs). I remained in the hospital from 1/14 until today 1/18 (just discharged this evening actually), and I am on blood thinners and antibiotics.

I will say though, Dr. Capella visited me in the hospital twice (and this is not his jurisdiction). He made an obscene number of phone calls to my treating physicians to ensure that they were including him in my treatment planning. When one of the doctors wasn't listening to me about pressing to hard on my belly, I told Dr. Capella, who spoke to this Dr., and magically, this Dr became the nicest of my treating physicians in the hospital.

Now that I am out, I am rehabbing myself. walking slowly, taking it easy, and starting from scratch. I still believe the surgery was worth it for me, and everytime I hear someone tell me how amazing I look (despite how swollen I am), I feel so good. I think the blood clot was an eye opener for me to slow down, and I intend to do so. :-) I wont be posting any pictures until I can get myself standing straight again, because I don't think it would benefit anyone to see where I'm at right now. So, maybe I will post some pics 1-month post-op.

I am just a couple days past my 1 month...

I am just a couple days past my 1 month anniversary from the surgery date :-) I have already noticed a difference in my clothes, appearance, and body shape. I was wearing a 10 before surgery, and while I am still in my 10s (since my lower abdomen, around the incision area, is still a bit swollen) they are loose. My top size went from Large to Medium (which is funny because I only had the lower body lift), but I am wearing tighter, form fitting tops and getting compliments EVERYWHERE I go! People can't get over how "skinny" I've become.

There is no doubt that I will wear a bikini this summer. Dr. C's work was done so meticulously that the incision line is already fading a bit, and the raised "pie-crust" cut is starting to smooth into my skin. Everything is well hidden under my panties.

I will take pics for you guys this afternoon... But at this point, I am more than happy (even with the complications of my blood clots and initial infection), I am thrilled with the results... And apparently it only gets better when the swelling goes down completely!!!

It's like I am 21 again :-)
Ramsey Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Joe When I decided to go with Dr. Capella, I had already researched other surgeons in the NYC/NJ metro area. Having been on other consultations, Dr. Capella was far more patient-oriented than some other doctors (particularly the New York City ones that I went to, and I went to a couple of them). He spent a good deal of time with me, answering my questions, and reviewing the surgery in detail. He showed me pictures of the lower body lift that were similar to my profile, so that I would get a visual of how I could conceptualize the outcome (since I am a highly visual person). I also had lapband surgery, and Dr. Capella was very thorough in explaining how he would lower the port and make sure that my port was secure (there was an interesting finding re: the port that I will mention later). One thing I really liked about Dr. Capella (when comparing him to the other surgeons) was that he didnt push for extraneous procedures unless he thought it would benefit the outcome of the lower body lift. Dr. Capella's Staff The staff working with Dr. Joe are exceptional. From the office staff like Kimberly, who seemed to recognize me when I called (even though I didnt call often), and was able to give me information about my surgery statistics on the day after the surgery; to Terri, who managed every single aspect of my surgery from the moment I walked in that door to the day of my surgery (she was a God-sent!!). Scott, his surgical assistant, was professional, kind, and fun to look at :-) It was nice to deal with such a great set of people during what would normally be an anxiety-provoking situation.

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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Comments (24)

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You look great! He is an artist. Like you I was so happy right after surgery! I can't wait to see when I'm completely healed!
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How are you feeling? I am scheduling my body lift,(tummy tuck and butt lift) and I am beginning to experience some nervousness.
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Hey Lizzy! I saw your other message too... Don't be too nervous (although some nervousness is expected). I feel great and the results were phenomenal. Even with the complications of the DVT and PEs, my body healed just fine and I am back to ship shop shape. No meds anymore and I look and feel great. I am down to a size 6, my tummy is flat, and the scars are fading... Be excited! You are about to embark on a great journey!
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Thank you for responding so put me at ease. Your personal journey has provided some insight to the unknown, meaning having courageous women such as your self and so many others share their personal experience. I am scheduled for Nov 7th., I hope all goes well and pray for the courage that you and so many others have exhibited through your postings. I would like to keep you posted, if that's okay. Once again, Thank you for responding :)
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Today is Mon and Thurs. Nov. 7th, body lift is scheduled. I have a mix bag of emotions going on. I wish this website had a chat room, I surely need someone to chat with.
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Are you having your body lift with Dr. Capella? I will be 4 weeks post op tomorrow. He did the works on me. Feel free to PM if you want to chat. Try to relax. I was terrified leading up to surgery, but it turned out to be a breeze and went extremely well.
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Hey is it going for you? I now know what you mean about pie crust I think. Although mine is not raised, it's a little wavy, just more of a squiggly line than stark straight in a lot of areas. I asked about this and was told it makes for a more aesthetic scar. Especially for those of us with a 360. I guess a straight line would jump right out visually. So I am excited to see how this turns out. For now I am still steri stripped and the lines underneath are thin but mostly dark (dried blood, minor stabbing?) even though I shower now. It's a challenge not to scrub. Do you have any pictures to share? Would love to hear about this part of your journey. How about you too LoLo...any new news?. How's it going?
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My lines seem to contour around my pubic area and in the place where my thighs meet my crotch (lol). The pie crust is gone mostly and has completely faded into flat skin. My body is no longer swollen and I am wearing size 6/8 on everything. Most of my jeans are size 6, and my tops are all medium. Before surgery I was a 10 on most things. I still have a section that seems to be continuously scabbing over (area where my butt cheeks come together), and I think this happens because i have gone back to working out and that is the one area that keeps moving (legs separate, body twists, etc), so the scan that forms keeps falling off quickly. I am definitely going to have a scar there because it won't heal like the rest of my body. Sounds like you are doing really well!! No pie crust already? It took a while for my incision to lay flat! That's a great sign. I will post a couple pics tonight. I bought my first bikini this past weekend :-) looks good.
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congrats you look great... when that swelling goes down your going to be itty-bitty... your surgeon did a great job... thanks so much for sharing your journey...
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Thanks for the update! You are a trooper with an infectious great attitude. I had my LBL this morning. Feeling pretty good, better than I had anticipated. I'm so glad it's going we'll for you.
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Serpent! You did it! I'm glad you're feeling well!! How much was removed? It's a big shock right? Just wait till the first week or two are done and use those meds! Congrats :-)
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Wow! I am glad you received the care you needed and are back on the healin path. Whew! Thank you for letting us know you made it safely through that part. Be well
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Hi there,how is it going for you? I hope you are well :)
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I hope that fever broke quickly after your call. That must have been a little scary. It's so wonderful to hear that you are up and around. I will definitely remember your 2:1 rest:activity plan. It really seems to be working out for you. We're you instructed to kind of lay low for a few days after drain removal, to avoid swelling? (more swelling I should say)
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nope, they never told me to change anything; and I definitely wasnt aware that I could spike a fever from the removal of the drains... but now we know! what I am trying to do now is get myself weaned off the Percocet completely, and only use the Tylenol Codeine at night. my body seems to want the Percocet (when I dont take it, I have sweats, aches, back pain, etc), it's almost like early withdrawal, which is funny, because I wasnt abusing it. So, now, I am just replacing it with extra strength Tylenol :-) not as much fun but I dont have pain with that either, so it does the job.
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I hope today has been more comfortable for you. I am throwing a thermometer into my pile of things to bring...which I suppose I should have thought of before this...thank you. Happy healing to you
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. Your review is very detailed and a great help to the rest of the community!

Happy healing and please do keep us updated with your progress!

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I am so happy for you! I found your post very encouraging! It's especially comforting knowing you are up and walking a bit. I know I will have to be too, but it sort of baffles me. This is actually my biggest concern. How do you even manage to get up? Do you need a helper? How are you sleeping, in a recliner or bed, perhaps on your head? Your positive outlook is wonderful. I have hit that space where I am slightly scared (probably pretty appropriate) but reading about how it goes for others helped a ton. So please continue to share your story with us. Sending lots of love and joy your way, blessings.
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Haha Serpent! No worries, you won't be sleeping on your head! In fact the pain medication goes a long way with getting me up and moving around. I struggled with doing TOO much, and when that happened, I started to feel more pain within a couple hours. But I'm talking that I was trying to do things like laundry and dishes, and cleaning the kitchen; all things that are no buenos during recovery :-) but you will be fine! As long as I try to rest (2 hours of rest, and 1 hour of being up and about) that seems to work for me! I am sleeping in a reclining chair with lots of pillows around me, so I'm extra comfy. I don't know how people do it with a bed lying flat. I would think that you need to be propped up a good amount with pillows. If you have or can get your hands on a recliner, do it!
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Thanks for responding! And for the great tips. I am renting a lift recliner for my hotel stay (2 weeks) and I have multiple recliners in place at home, including one in my bedroom, so that's good. I am most definitely a belly/side sleeper but i am trying to practice sleeping on my back so I can be a little more used to it. I'm looking forward to the time with my husband, we have many children, so it will be great to hang out alone with him...although he doesn't sit still so well. I have some strategies to break up the monotony for him staying right downtown (lots to do) & having a few visitors here & there.
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serpent, when is your surgery scheduled for? I am happy that you and you hubby will be able to do the recovery period without the kiddies! I assure you that you will WANT him to get out and leave you alone for a bit; so he can discover downtown for a while, and maybe even bring you back a treat!! watch some movies (even the price of a hotel movie rental STILL is a lot less than two people going out to the movies), and they usually have some good choices. Here's some ideas of things to throw in your bag if you havent already: Body lotion - while you cant put it on your wound sites, you CAN rub it on your legs, arms and other areas that are swollen and ITCHY!!! with the anesthesia and then the pain meds, you will feel itchy for a while. I tore up my legs scratching at them. The lubriderm skin therapy (even though it doesnt smell nice), did the trick and stopped the itching. Plus it forced my hubby to give my legs and feet a nice massage!!! Robes - you will have moments during recovery when you are super hot, an then you get really cold. Having a robe allows you to just peel off the one layer instead of changing what you are wearing. I had 2 robes, a super thin one, and a really thick plush one, both were really cheap from Walmart, and I am grateful for them! Slippers - just like the robes, you will have times when you feet might get hot and even sweaty. If you are wearing socks (and hubby is roaming the city) then it might be hard to pull em off! just bring a pair of slippers that are easy to slip on and off. Other random advice - after the surgery, you will be wearing a surgical binder for two weeks until they take out your drains. The binder does a couple things (reduces the swelling, keeps the drains attached, etc), but according to Dr. Capella and Scott, the only reason we even need to binder is for the first 48 hours, after that, you just need something to attach your drains to. Are you using Dr. Capella? If so, I recommend (at your first shower) cutting the binder into three parts. It is already segregated, so it is easy to cut. This will allow you to have thin strips of binder to attach the drains when you shower. You really dont want to be wearing a wet binder. Thats just yucky. At every shower, exchange the wet strip, for a dry one and reattach the drains. Voila, you will never have to deal with wearing a wet binder after the shower. You might have trouble pooping for a few days after, this is completely normal (though it felt crappy, pardon the pun). Take colace or some other stool softener, as soon as you are done with surgery. The pain meds make the constipation FAR worse, and you will need those pain meds. Therefore, you will desparately need the stool softener. In addition to the colace, I also had to take milk of magnesia to get me to have a BM. It took 5 days after surgery and I was very stuffed up. but it worked, and now I am regular. I hope Im not missing something!
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I'm so happy for you! Will you please continue to post updates on your recovery? I'm interested in the lower body lift and very interested in Dr. Capella. Will you brake down your cost? Or was it just one lump sum? I'm also interested in a thigh lift, as well as a breast lift. Thank you again for your advise. Good luck on your recovery.
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Sure thing Kaco! Dr. Joe charges by the time spent in the operating room, not by the number of procedures done. He can give you more information about this. His consultations are free, so if you are close enough, it might benefit you to talk to him and figure out the pricing. I don't know what it would cost you to do all three because I don't know how much time it would take in the operating room to perform those three procedures. For my body lift (and i had muscle tightening) my costs broke down to between $6,000 and $7000 for Dr. Capella's charge, and then there were charges that he had to pay other places (like the anesthesiologist, an operating room fee at Hackensack University Medical Center, the one night stay at the nursing facility, a fee for the technician to perform a venous Doppler the following morning to determine if I had blood clots in my legs... This would help ensure I was safe to move!) all these charges, when added to Dr. Joe's base ran me just under $10,000. Of course, there were prescriptions that needed to be filled for pain medication (that my insurance covered), but that's basically the cost for me. For you, it would be smart to check with him and see how much additional time those procedures would would take. Each hour will cost more money :-) but it is SO worth it!! I also think he might talk to you about splitting the surgeries and not doing too much at one time. I don't know. I could be talking out of my butt though :-) a lot if people do the body lift and medial thigh lift in the same surgery appt. I would be questioning the additon of the breast surgery with those. But I guess if people do a TOTAL body lift, and those are safe, then there should be nothing wrong with it! I have attached a pic of how I look today (5 days post op). I am feeling great, with only scattered episodes of pain. It's more discomfort than anything else. The hardest part is knowing my limitations and not taking on too much. I know it can't lift or exercise, but yet I am dying to clean house and do laundry (go figure). Good luck and keep me posted with your decision!!!!
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Wow! Thank you so much! I really think I'm gonna do this!!! I'm so tired of people asking when is the baby do! I'm so happy for you. Thank you again and I truly look forward to your updates.
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Lol Kaco! Some people have no social graces. They should be so embarrassed when you tell them that you aren't pregnant.
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