I'm a 28 year old male in good health, but I...
I'm a 28 year old male in good health, but I couldn't seem to lose the spare tire at the lower abdomen. I've tried different exercises and even when combined with dieting, this seemed to be my problem area. I made an appointment for a consult and met with the registered nurse, Victoria. She was great...very informative and patient with me and answered my questions about the procedure. I understand that this is an actual surgical procedure, even if it's done while awake and with local anesthesia, and that it would come with risks and with a recovery time, so I had a lot of questions and concerns but she really helped put me at ease. They were running a promotion at the time for $1995 for the abdomen and flanks. This made me wonder why this was so cheap and I was a bit skeptical about the price, but they were running the promotion because they are a fairly new office in San Antonio (I looked up the company and they have offices in other cities and states that have been around for 2+ years) and they were offering a special for the first 10 (I think) people that made an appointment that week. Victoria told me a little bit more about Dr. Hennessy who is the doctor that does the procedures in this office. I couldn't find much info on him online but she told me about his background and that while this office was new in San Antonio, that he'd been doing these laser liposuction procedures for over 2 years and that he'd been a physician for about 20 years and was board certified. The nurse looked at my areas I wanted to work on and she said I was indeed a good candidate for the procedure. After going through the consult and after feeling like my questions had been answered, I paid a deposit of $500 and made my next appt to meet with Dr. Hennessy. I met with him a few days later and he took a medical history on me and looked at the area and also agreed that I'd be a good candidate and said that he'd be able to help me with my problem areas and give me a better shape. At that appointment I went ahead and paid the remainder of my balance and we set a surgery date for Friday the 13th (insert spooky music) and Victoria gave me my pre-op instructions and Dr. Hennessy gave me my prescriptions. I have insurance and my 3 meds cost $9 total. On the day of surgery, I showed up an hour early and nurse Victoria did some extra paperwork with me then took me back to the procedure room. She gave me my medications, took my weight, my vital signs, and had me change into these paper shorts then took my photos. She then had me rest on the table while Dr. Hennessy got ready to come in to see me. I didn’t feel nervous prior to my procedure but the Valium she gave me helped me just relax further and feel very at ease. Dr. Hennessy then came in and greeted me and started asked me what areas I wanted to focus on and started drawing on me with his marker. Victoria explained to me throughout the procedure what was happening and what was coming up next and prepared me for the injections that would numb me locally. I did feel the poke of the needle but it was so small and it really wasn’t bad at all. Once I got the injection, he cut small incisions on different spots on my abdomen (I didn’t feel it at all since the injections numbed the area). Then he started giving me the numbing fluid and I felt some burning here and there but it was not bad. I felt some moments where I felt the tube poking me but the discomfort lasted a second and was gone right away. This was not bad at all, it just took a while. Once I was numb, he started using the laser which didn’t hurt and went quickly. Then he started suctioning out the fat which I basically couldn’t feel other than vibration. When he did hit a spot that was tender, he stopped right away and started giving me more numbing fluid in that spot to help numb it further. Then he went back to suctioning and I no longer felt discomfort. We started the whole process again when it was time to do the flanks but that didn’t take very long since it’s a much smaller area. Dr. Hennessy then had me stand up so he could do some work on me while standing. It was really weird to be standing and having him suction out fat but pretty neat and it gave him the chance to make sure that everything looked symmetrical and smooth. Both Dr. Hennessy and Victoria talked to me the entire time during the procedure explaining what they were doing and then just making conversation and keeping my mind off of the procedure. It was a pretty pleasant experience and not nearly as bad as I thought “awake surgery” might be. At the end of the procedure, Victoria helped me clean up since I was already draining quite a bit and then put pads over my incisions and helped me into my compression garment. I actually felt pretty good right after surgery and was walking around without difficulty. My abdomen felt numb and that was also a weird feeling but also good since I wasn’t feeling pain at that time. I have included before pictures and I will be adding post-op pictures very soon as well as my experience for the first couple of days after my procedure.
3 days post op
I'd like to update with photos and some details a few days after surgery. The first few hours of surgery, I was pretty pain free. The numbing fluid they gave me hadn't worn off yet and I felt pretty normal for a little while. I took off my garment for a few minutes so that I could replace my pads on my incisions. Later that night, I started feeling sore but took the Vicodin that Dr. Hennessy prescribed for me and it helped. I slept with my binder and garment on as instructed and I went to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night really sore and feeling pretty miserable because Vicodin makes me itchy and anxious and sweaty though it doesn't do this to everyone. I took more of the pain medication anyway because it did help my pain. I was in and out of sleep all night and was pretty uncomfortable because I was too sore to sleep on my sides but hate sleeping on my back which is the only way I didn't have pain. That first night was rough. The next morning, I was still sore but noticed that if I stayed standing up and walking around, I felt fine. As soon as I sat down but got up and started walking around again, I had to endure a few minutes of pain before I'd feel better again. Stay up and moving around! It really helps. I took a 2 mile walk as suggested by Dr. Hennessy and felt a little sore but that's to be expected 1 day after this procedure. After a long day of walking, I took off the garment to wash it. That was a bit painful. I was swollen and tender and pulling that tight garment off was not fun. Putting it back on wasn't fun either but it only took a minute to remove and put back on and I had help for getting in and out of the garment. That night (which was the 2nd night after surgery), I still woke up a few times with soreness because it hurt to sleep on my sides still and I continued with the Vicodin pretty much every 4 hours. When I finally got out of bed, moving around on that 2nd day after surgery was even better than the 1st day. That night, I slept a lot better and then day 3 after surgery, I had almost no pain. Just soreness at certain moments (like when trying to bend over to get something). I had my procedure on a Friday, rested Saturday and Sunday, and could've gone back to work on Monday but I took Monday off because I didn't feel like I slept well enough those 2 first nights after surgery and wanted an extra day to rest. Right now, I have some firm areas when I press down on my belly (no lumpiness, just firmness) and I'm massaging the area the way Victoria showed me. I still have some swelling and I think my swelling actually increased a few days after surgery, but Dr. Hennessy tells me that this is normal and will continue to improve. He recommended that I cut down on my sodium intake and that I keep moving around as tolerated. Once I did that, I felt less swollen in my garment and I'm seeing improvement daily. Here are some pics of me 3 days post op.
10 Sep 2014
3 months post
I didn't intend on coming back to post any more updates but I got an email that someone left a comment on here for me so I logged back in and I figured that I might as well update. Since the surgery, I've dropped over 10 lbs and I've dropped a pant size. I look and feel great. I would attach pictures but my wife is showering and I suck at these things. All my phone pictures are coming out blurry. Maybe next time.