My Account of Tumescent Lipo While Wide Awake - Shelby Township, MI

Background: I am 32 year old with three children,...

Background: I am 32 year old with three children, one three years old and two eight month twins. Before getting pregnant with my first, I was very tiny weighing in at a whopping 101 pound. I'm 5'4". I gaines 89 pounds and lost all but 13 of them before I got pregnant with the twins. During that pregnancy, I gained another 73 pounds and lost ~43lb. I cannot seem to lose the last 30 pounds. I am holding steady at 143 or so.

I forgot to take before photos of surgery number one but the doctor did. On the 5th when I go back in for my second surgery, I will get copies and post.

With that being said, I guess I should also state that I am a person that believes that if you don't like something about yourself and you have the means to do something about it, then you shouldn't wait to make yourself feel happy. So, I got a breast augmentation back in 2008, right before getting pregnant with my first. With that, I got a VERY minimal amount of lipo to my saddlebags. I had a total of 25cc's pulled out on each side since I was only 101 pounds at the time. I bruised so badly with this surgery!!

My problem is that I have been cursed with the apple shape gene from my mother's side of the family! I have never liked my lower body no matter how much I weighed. So, because I was tiny at the time, my doctor (who is not my current doctor; the previous one retired) refused to do too much to me for the fear of creating a depression in the contour of my body!

So, here we are a few years later and I have the itch again to get some things taken care of. I did my research as I always do but this time I was a lot more careful in choosing a doctor since I now have three little guys that need me.

During all my surgeries, I have never taken well to anesthesia. So, my husband said that he would be all for this if I did NOT get knocked out during the procedure! For a person like me that has an extreme phobia of needles, this seemed impossible! But, I was willing to give it a try. I by-passed the first doctor since he didn't utilize the "open-drainage" technique. He also wanted to completely sedate me. Although this sounded great to me, it was unacceptable given the higher complication rate that goes along with general anesthesia.

9/13/12-My consult with Dr. sandler: Within minutes of meeting him, I knew that I was going to schedule. After making a deposit, I scheduled my surgery for a week and a half later. Finally, I had a date to look forward to! Hooray! The only "problem" with Dr. Sandler is that he wants to divide the surgeries into two seperate sessions that are a week or two apart. Okay, so that stinks, but he said that if I have too much tumescent fluid injected into me at one time, it could pose some serious health concerns. So, I will take his word for it and go in twice! BOO!! First surgery scheduled for the 24th and the second is scheduled for Oct the 5th.

9/23/12- I picked up my scripts from my pharmacy. One was hyrocodone and the other was Keflex, which is an antibiotic. I personally don't like painkillers and never took any after my surgeries or having my babies. The nausea followed by the hours of feeling like I'm on the verge of getting sick is enough to make me want to stay away! I have tried to eat with them, nothing helps! Also, started taking my Arnica Montana tabs three times a day. I dissolve three under my tongue, very easy!

9/24/12-Day of sugery number 1-Stomach and Flanks. I got to the surgical center and was feeling very comfortable.....until the lovely nurse called me back. Butterlies immediately!! Just knowing that I was going to be awake for the entire procedure makes my stomach turn! YIKES!! "I'm not sure I can do this" was all that was going through my head.

I was supposed to have a driver but I didn't, so they were unable to prescribe me the "happy" pill that would have made me somewhat oblivious to the butterflies that were trying their hardest to make me throw up. Oh yeah, didn't take a painkiller either like I probably should have. Hind-sight is 20/20, right? So, I went in cold turkey. The doctor was shocked, he said that I was doing this the "old-school" way with just keflex and tumescent lipo. Oh well, small price to pay to be completely safe for my little ones.

I didn't mention that if you don't get general anesthesia, the recovery time is significantly reduced. The post-op pain is also reduced and your body doesn't have to go through the hungover feeling that anesthesia gives you. However, there are a few cons to doing it this way as well, which I am about to tell you all about!

So, I go back to the room and take all but my underwear off. The doctor comes in and has me stand against the wall to take a few very disturbing before photos.

Then, he leaves and the nurse pokes me with a small needle in 4 different spots; two on my front lower stomach and two on my back hip area on both sides of my body.

The doctor lets me numb throughly and then comes back in, telling me that the worst was over. I hoped that he was telling me the truth, but he wasn't. I think that he was trying to make me feel more comfortable.

He and the nurse come in and she stands at the tumescent liquid machine so that he can tell her when to turn it on and off. He makes a tiny incision in the skin (which I didn't feel at all) and then pulls out the 10 inch metal tube thing that he will use to inject the numbing solution into me. I think that this was the most uncomfortable part. However, looking back, it wasn't all that bad either. What I felt was a stinging sensation as he slowly worked the needle across my stomach under the skin. I felt a brief second of "burning or stinging" followed immediately by the relief of the numbing tumescent liquid. Once the liquid took hold, I couldn't feel any more pain (I'm not sure that "pain" is the right word for it). What I could feel was this odd movement from beneath my skin and this "tugging" feeling as the vaccum needle moved in and out.

I am trying to be as descriptive as possible.....

Overall, it was not too bad. More of a strange feeling than anything. Not too painful! All in all, Dr. Sandler pulled out 450cc out of my stomach and flank area, which is equivalent to 1 pound of fat. Real quickly, 1000cc equals 1 liter. 1 liter equals 2 pounds. So, 5 liters, which is what is determined by the FDA to be the "safe" amount of fat to be removed is equivalent to 10 pounds.

Am I looking forward to going back on the 5th, no! But, I am looking forward to having the over with and seeing the outcome.

I went home after, driving myself, feeling great! I ate as usual, since I was not nauseated from anesthesia. I felt no pain that night, but was extremely swollen. I still have not taken any pain meds, not even over the counter. So proud!!

Wanted to mention that on the night of surgery, do not be alarmed if you see a huge "roll" at the base of your groin area that was never there before. Gravity has worked its magic and seemed to have pulled all the residual liquid downward. Gross!!

9/25/12-The next day, I woke up and was still leaking out of two of the four holes, which was good. This meant less swelling in the longrun!! Woohoo!! Still no pain and no bruising. I contribute this solely to the Arnica Montana tabs that I have been taking religiously!! Highly recommend...no pain meds needed! Went shopping today, felt great! The doctor himself called me tonight to check on me.

9/26/12-This was the most painful of all the days, but still not bad. It is similiar to having done some crunches when out of shape. Just a little painful when I sit up or stand. I have myself wrapped so tightly that I am not feeling any of the pain that results from the movement of the skin. I have a full stage one suit on with a back brace on over that and then some spanx high waist shorts on over that. Sounds excessive, but trust me, it holds everything inm place. The back brace was so helpful but it kept riding up on me, so I put the spanx on over that and those hold the back brace in place. The back brace alone did not feel tight enough and so that's when I decided to incorporate the full body suit. Plus, the full suit does not shift or move at all!! No pain meds needed!!

Went to pick up my mom from the airport and found that the most painful thing of the recovery process is driving in all these garments! OUCH! Had to remove the back brace.

9/27/12-Swelling is slowly started to go down, still there though. No pain! No pain meds needed. These Arina tabs are truly magical!! No bruising either! WOW!

Today is very much the same thing. Looking back,...

Today is very much the same thing. Looking back, this was the best way that I could have chosen to have lipo. I have had minimal pain (I've had worse pain after working out) and no bruising. My best advice to others out there is to stay awake and take Arnica 30x (best price is on eBay).

Garments are a bother. They itch after you have been in them for so long, even after laundering. With each passing day, I am getting into them easier and the abdominal binder (I've been calling it a back brace) goes on tighter and tighter. It doesn't seem that I can ever get these garments on tight enough. So, I ordered another smaller size post surgical garment the other day.
Hi! Thank you so much for your detailed review! Congratulations on your first surgery and good luck on the next round! I'll be following your prgress. Best of luck to you!
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Since I was on here already, I decided that I...

Since I was on here already, I decided that I would update! Swelling has gone down significantly, except in my groin area! Weird! I had no lipo there but I guess that's where everything migrates to. Pain is nonexistent except for in that same area. I stopped taking the Arnica after the 3rd day post lipo. I think that it really helped! Next surgery is in two days! Woohoo!
Hi do you have any before and after pics? i just had a consult with dr. sandler today.
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Hi! Did you have regular liposuction or laser? Your recovery is what I'm hoping for! What are some tips for the pain, to avoid being drugged all week? I can't believe you were awake with no drugs at all- I'm not that brave. Mine is in 2 days, under GA but hoping to stick with Tylenol or Motrin but I have a prescription for Percocet & Xanax if I need it ( don't really like the way they make me feel). Thanks! I'd love to see photos when you post them!
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Hi ehisle, I had regular tumescent liposuction. This recovery has been so easy!! I can't even express to you how well it has gone for me. My mindset going into surgery was to recover fast and to take no pain meds. I have not had to even take over the counter meds, it's truly unbelievable! I knew that I had to take care of my three boys without any help from the moment I relieved the babysitter when I walked in the door, so, unfortunately, I did not have the luxury of "taking it easy". I think that if you go into it with this sort of mindset, it helps!! Take the Arnica 30x, you can get it at any natural food store or on the internet. I think that it helps with the swelling and bruising. Especially with the bruising!! I didn't bruise one bit! My previous surgeries without the Arnica, I was black and blue! Try to stay on your feet and off your back! I think this has helped my immensely with the swelling! It also seems as though you get more sore the more you lay around. It has also helped me to layer up my garments in order to get the tightest compression I could. This has not only helped me with the swelling, but it just feels better over all. It seems as though you and I are going through surgery on the same day. My second one for my thighs, knees, and arms is on Friday! Pictures are coming, tonight I am taking some before photos for the surgery on Friday. I hope all goes well for you! Good luck!!
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Muskegon Dermatologist

Dr, Sandler is a great doctor. He seems to be well educated and up to date of the safest and most effective techniques that are at his disposal to date. The prices and discounts that he offers are unmatched. I like that he knows how to keep a patient comfortable through this whole process while they are awake. Other doctors want to administer general anesthesia. I think that I have had such a wonderful, pain-free recovery because of the "open-drainage" and the no anesthesia approach that Dr. Sandler utilizes.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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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