I'm in my mid 20s, married, and active. I go to the gym regularly. I'd go for the healthier foods while my husband ate the good stuff and I still couldn't shake off the flab while he just continued looking great. It's like those Slimquick commercials! I've never been "big", just really soft. After going through some of my "fun years" feeling flabby, I decided to find a little help. I looked into Sonobello first but found some awful reviews of them online. I called for a quote anyway and was looking at almost $5000 for the areas I wanted to treat and that wasn't counting the surgical fee (or was it called an operation room fee?) which would bring it up even further. I searched for other places online and found American Lipo Centers advertising 50% off of their regular prices. I found this a bit too good to be true, so I called and spoke to a rep there who told me that the office is still pretty new to San Antonio and they were just running some promotions as a grand opening special. They were also reducing the special price even further for the first 10 ppl that called and mentioned the flier online that week. My rate quoted for the upper and lower abs and flanks was $2650 (which is the 50% off special) but went down to $1995 just for that week. I decided to do a little more research on the company first and after finding that they'd been around for a couple of years in other cities, I went ahead and did a consult. I met first with the nurse, Victoria, who explained the full procedure to me and looked at and felt my stomach area and flanks to see if I would benefit from the procedure. She answered most of my questions during her explanation of the surgery and answered any additional ones throughout the appointment. I felt like I was ok with the risks and benefits at that point and made an appointment to meet with the doctor after making a deposit (deposit is $500). I then met with the doctor a few days later. Dr. Hennessy was very nice and laid back and spent a good amount of time with me as I was nervous about having an actual surgical procedure. I asked him about his professional history and experience in these procedures and he said he has been a doctor for almost 20 years and has experience in many in-office procedures during his time in private practice but that he has over 2 years of experience in this specific procedure. He listened to my concerns such as I wanted to lose fat from my problem areas but I didn't want to lose my curves. He told me that an important part of this procedure is leaving fat where you want/need it and taking it from where you don't want it or need it in order to give the body a little contour and shape. I had a lot of questions but he answered all of them. He gave me my prescriptions and I booked my surgery date. The day of surgery, I was definitely a bit of a nervous wreck, but the nurse gave me the medications Dr. Hennessy prescribed before surgery and the nurse talked to me and reassured me. The Valium helped me feel more mellow and I was able to joke around even though I was so nervous when I first arrived. We took some before photos. Dr. Hennessy asked me what areas bothered me the most and he started drawing in those areas and showing me where he was going to be focusing. I agreed and it was time to give me the shots to numb the spots on my stomach area. I was really nervous about getting a poke in the stomach area but the nurse talked me through it and held my hand it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I felt the tiny poke and some stinging from the medication but it lasted about 3 seconds and then the spot was numb. He made cuts on those spots which I didn't feel since he gave me the numbing shot. Then he inserted a cannula or skinny metal tube and started giving me the tumescent fluid that was going to numb my abdomen area. It made my belly area feel full and puffy but I did start feeling numb within 10-15 minutes. He had to move to each area of the abdomen so by the time he was done, it had been like 30 minutes. I was definitely numb by then. This part was pretty comfortable and I didn't feel much except for a couple of times where I felt him poke into an area that wasn't numb yet, but the discomfort lasted just a moment and then it was gone. The doctor and nurse talked to me throughout the entire procedure and I felt very relaxed and it helped keep me distracted. They played music and I think I hummed along. We then moved on to the laser which I didn't feel at all. They were telling me the laser helps liquefy the fat and makes it easier to suction out the fat. Finally came the fun part: the suctioning of the fat. I actually said goodbye to it as it was coming out, LOL! (Thanks, Valium) I didn't feel pain during this, mostly just vibration. I had a couple of moments where I did feel some sharp discomfort and Dr. Hennessy moved away from that area and went at a different angle or gave me more tumescent fluid to numb the area a little more but this happened once or twice. It really went very smoothly. He even did some work on me standing. He had me look in the mirror and see if I was happy, and I was still puffy from the fluid but I could already see the difference! The procedure was over after about 3 hours and the nurse kindly helped me into my garment. I started squeezing out as much fluid as I could first and then we placed pads over my incisions and we put my garment on. I was still numb so this wasn't painful. I remained numb for about an hour after surgery and didn't start feeling sore until around that time. Even then the soreness was minimal. As the evening went on, I did get more sore and needed some help getting up out of a chair or off the couch. I took off my garment because I was leaking through my pads and I wanted to change them. That hurt a little since the garment is tight and you have to pull it off and on over your tender and swollen skin. I took this opportunity without my garment on to take photos so I could post them here. I was absolutely amazed because much of my swelling had already started going down and I looked down and my tummy was FLAT! I have NEVER been able to say that! Not through all those pilates and yoga and zumba and dieting! I just had those problem areas and Dr. Hennessy made them go away. My waist had more curve! I thought I looked amazing and I knew that this bit of discomfort was worth it! I put my garment and binder back on and I took my prescribed pain pills and slept through most of the night. I fell asleep on my back and woke up on my back, so when I wanted to turn over onto my side, I realized that was too sore and took another dose of pain pills. I was eventually able to turn over onto my side and sleep a little longer. When it was time to wake up, I wasn't too sore! I got myself out of bed without help and was able to free myself from the binder (YAY!) and would only need to wear the binder at night. Dr. Hennessy encouraged me to take a long walk the next day after surgery and drink plenty of water so that's exactly what I did. I headed to the mall and walked at least the 2 miles he asked me to walk. When I got home, I mostly kept walking around since I felt less sore this way. The soreness wasn't bad and I stopped taking the Norco pain pills and took only Tylenol for pain. One unexpected issue: I had sore arms too! I'm guessing that was from using my arms to push myself up off the bed or couch or chair instead of leaning forward and just getting up like one usually does. You really don't realize how much you use those ab muscles. That night, once it was 24 hrs after surgery, I was finally able to shower and I was no longer leaking. In fact, I stopped leaking at about the 20 hr mark. A couple of my incisions already looked like they were starting to close. I went to sleep and was able to sleep on both my sides and didn't wake up in the middle of the night with discomfort. I went right back to work after resting one day (I'm at a desk job) and felt pretty good! Just a little sore, but nothing bad at all and I just took extra strength Tylenol. Please see my pictures below and see the amazing difference I saw in just the first couple of days! I will keep updating as more time goes on and some of my swelling and tenderness and bruising goes down.
3 week photos (from around Mid July)
8 weeks post-op (and loving it!)
Dr. Hennessy was just awesome. He was detailed with me in our pre-op appointment, he listened to my concerns and my requests for where I wanted him to focus. He worked hard to make sure that I got the results that I wanted and luckily he was able to help me achieve those results. I can tell that this isn't just another job for him and that he loves being able to make a difference in how someone looks and feels about their body. He did a great job which you can see from my photos. He reminded me to call him if I had any questions or concerns and I actually did text him once to ask him a question. He was available for me and didn't make me feel like I was bugging him with my questions or concerns. His staff is awesome, too! They seem to really enjoy their job. I would like to do a little shaping to my thighs (just a little!) and I will definitely be going back to American Lipo Centers with Dr. Hennessy as soon as I'm done healing from this.