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Good Results, Not As Easy As They Market It...

September 9th update: So far I feel like my...

September 9th update:

So far I feel like my results and experience are consistent with what others say about SmartLipo.  I did research beforehand and tried to be prepared, but have definitely been caught off guard by how the marketed recovery time and actual recovery time are different.  I have no idea if my results will be worth it, too early to tell.  I'd say this for people considering the procedure...

1) Take a week off.  If you don't need it, you can always go back to work early.  But to NOT have the time off and need it really sucks.

2) Be prepared to go through a pretty lengthy ugly phase.  I have bumps, lumps, soreness, bruising and it seems like that's the norm (versus the few reviews I have read of people that look great right away). 

3)  I think the Arnica and Bromelein I have taken have helped.  I was black and blue the day after the procedure (I bruise easily) and within a week my bruises are almost completely healed. 

4) Massage.  It hurts.  But it seems to really help me even though I am so early in the process.  I am trying to find a good lymphatic drainage masseuse in Houston (if you know of one, let me know) because I hear that makes a big difference.  But I spend about an hour each night massaging and it although it feels like I am jabbing hot pokers into my belly, afterwards I feel more flexible, less sore, and less bumpy. 


Today I finally had a good day and it was entirely...

Today I finally had a good day and it was entirely because I wasn't feeling so sore (or as one member described it, feeling like I had rabid squirrels under my skin)!  I am rock hard, lumpy and still basically deformed ;) but not being in pain has been AWESOME!  I am now, finally, sore like I'd be after a good workout.  Good news too since I have an incredibly active job and with the hurricane Ike coming, I will be out doing tons of rescue work.  It's gonna be crazy!  But today I was able to REALLY massage hard since I wasn't in a lot of pain.  Just positively lightening not to have so much pain...

My measurements are still the same, my weight is going down a tiny bit each day.

That's the latest!


Well, i am right at the three week post-op mark...

well, i am right at the three week post-op mark.  nothing like a hurricane to distract me from SL.  ;)  I don't have power still, what a pain.

so the pain is decreasing and i FINALLY depuffed.  it looks like i have dropped about 5-6 pounds which is what they said they removed.  of course I am also not eating much and being incredibly active so hopefully the scale will keep dropping.

I am massaging each night and it always hurts a LOT when I start and by the end I feel ok.  I have hard bands of tissue (fluid?) under my skin and they are just so ugly. 

I am regaining sensation in my back (skin has been completely numb although underneath has been tight and painful for weeks).  I am still wearing my compression garment all day because I am way too sensitive to touch and it makes me feel more protected.  I haven't taken measurements but pants feel looser and I am finally back in my 8's.  Life is good and I just hope it continues to smooth out and look like a nice flat belly. 

 

 

I had SmartLipo done last Friday. I was never...

I had SmartLipo done last Friday. I was never interested in regular lipo because it seemed too invasive with too much recovery time. SmartLipo seemed like a great alternative. The doctor used SmartLipo, Vaser and suction on my upper and lower abs, flanks and chin. The procedure took almost 9 hours but a lot of that time was letting numbing solution take effect. It didn't hurt and I was very comfortable for almost all of it EXCEPT the initial injection to sedate me (felt like fire) and the numbing solution injections that went in my skin (stung more than I could possibly describe).

I think the results will be great. I can see a difference already. But I will also say that I have a lot of bruising and am REALLY sore. It's been 3 days since the procedure and my skin is super tender just to touch. It also hurts a lot when I get up and move around. I am supposed to start massaging the treated areas today to avoid scar tissue build up and, wow, it definitely takes some willpower to dig in and massage such tender areas!

It will be months before I know the final results. As I said, I think they will be great. At the same time, this definitely isn't as easy as they market it. I've followed all the directions to the T as far as no caffeine, alcohol, etc. and also supplemented with Arnica and Bromelein. Still, lots of bruising and tenderness.


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Pictures, pictures, PICTURES??? Hi. Thank you for sharing your feedback. But where r ur pictures?
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I live in the bay area and I am completely satisfied with my results
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who was your surgeon?
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Day 17.(lipo on whole knee area) 95% of my bruising is gone. Still swollen. I can only bend my knee half way. Still can't tell if I am happy with the results. Still very uncomfortable.
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Sorry, no info about Dr. McDonald. You might do a Google search for plastic surgeons, or doctors who specialize in SmartLipo in your geographical area. I did that when looking for a doctor - found 2 that appeared to be qualified then started researching their qualifications, whether (or not) they had complaints filed against them, etc. Once I was satisfied that they appeared legit I arranged interviews with the docs. Make a list of questions to ask, take a tour of their facility (including the surgical suite), note how close their office is to a hospital should you develop complications and need emergency treatment. Perhaps the best advice I can give is don't believe all you hear about SmartLipo being a "return to most normal activities by the next day" procedure - unless perhaps you are only having your chin/neck area done. I am in post-op week 11 after having my thighs (front, back, inside and outside) and upper arms done and while I've been working out and doing normal stuff since week 3 I'm still sore and have intermittent needle pains from nerves in the treated areas healing. Good luck in your quest for a qualified surgeon and please feel free to ask if you have any questions about the procedure, healing process and such.
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Has anyone been to Dr Michael Mcdonald? In kissimmee, Fl?? DO you recomment? Editor note: You must be contacted privately to receive the doctor information you have requested. Other users may contact you by clicking on your username.
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Tuesday 9/16 I will be 11 weeks post-op on my thighs and 10 weeks post-op on upper arms. I have lost 20+ lbs. and at least 2 sizes and the needle pains and incredible sensitivity are finally down to just the occasional twinge. The doctor removed 8,000 cc's from my thighs, which she said included somewhere around 13 lbs. of ugly fat and 1 lb. from each upper arm. I've worked out like a mad woman since week 3 including 4 miles on the treadmill at 4/mph on a 2% incline at least 4x a week, worked upper body with light weights daily and recently included full body conditioning and stability ball work, in addition to watching what I eat. I'm 56 (but in good physical condition) so my age may have hindered my healing process some, but I think I'm finally over the ugly stage - yeah! What I'm left with is the occasional isolated needle pain, some thigh soreness toward the end of the day, scar tissue on inner thighs that I'm scheduled to go in for Lipo-Ex on 9/24 to have worked on, skin discoloration in the scar tissue areas, visable patterns on my upper arms where the laser was used and some wrinkles above my knees. The doctor said the skin will continue to tighten in all treated areas and she is very pleased with my results. In spite of all advertised hype claiming "return to normal activities the next day" and "much less invasive than regular lipo" she never indicated I would recover quickly from SL. In fact, she stated several times that it would be several months before I would see the "final" results. Would I do it again? A month ago I probably would have said no due to the constant discomfort and other ugliness I experienced, not to mention the expense. However, after having tried numerous workouts, diets, creams and such for many years - none of which helped slim my thighs down - I am thrilled that I now have slim thighs and actually look good in jeans! The batwings are also gone and I feel comfortable wearing sleveless tops for the first time in years. So ...... I'm going to rate SL with an A, but would caution anyone who isn't prepared to endure varying degrees of discomfort and pain for up to 10 weeks post op, you may want to reconsider your options. {edit} offers Lipo-Ex, VelaShape and LipoDissolve as alternatives to SmartLipo. It is my understanding that while these procedures reduce the size of fat cells they don't remove them like SL does, so you must be much more diligent in your eating and exercise habits to maintain results from these procedures. Her website is {edit} should any of you wish to read up on these alternate procedures. Best of luck to any of you who elect to have a SmartLipo procedure done. I'm very happy with my results so far and now that I'm past the ain and ugliness I feel great! If you have any questions relative to my personal experience please ask. Editor note: Provider information has been edited out. If you would like to review your experience with a particular provider or clinic, please write your treatment review and enter the provider or clinic name in the field provided.
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Thanks for telling us about your experience. I know other RealSelf readers would love to hear more about your story - please consider writing a review so more visitors can benefit from hearing your story. Click here to write about your experience with SmartLipo.
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I live in Houston and I was wondering who you had your procedure with. I am in the process of having it done on my abs & inner thighs. I was told in 3 days I could resume work and 3 weeks was the time for total recovery. I don't want to go through the holidays feeling what you and others have expressed so now I'm reconsidering. Thanks for your reply. Editor note: You must be contacted privately to receive the information you requested. This requires free registration for an account.
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I just read a many reviews about recovery time and massage. I had my whole knee area done 13 days ago. Any one who is shocked with the recovery time, I understand completely. It is so frustrating! I only had 1/2 pound of fat total taken out, which isn't a ton and I am just so surprised about how LONG it takes to get back to normalcy. I have never gone this long without working out. But, I can't even walk fast yet. The strange thing to me is, my doctor NEVER mentioned anything to me about massage, however I have been massaging my legs after reading that it is helpful. I do feel better afterwards, but the process is not fun. Well, if it makes anyone feel better, my best friend had regular lipo done on 4 areas. lower Back, stomach, inner thigh and knees. She called me hysterically crying every day for probably 2 weeks. I am not kidding. She thought she was going to die. She said she would have NEVER done it if she knew it would be so bad. She was in great pain for 8 weeks and didn't feel somewhat "normal" for 3 months. She was pretty much disabled and could not work for 6 weeks. It has been 2 years now, and she looks great. She is 37 and has a beautiful body. MUCH better than before lipo. She now says it was worth the unbelievable pain, and would do it again if she had to because of her end results, that by the way have lasted and really shaped her figure. So, hang in there! I too, am on day 13 and I am very uncomfortable. But, nothing like my Best friend was. I feel confident that the end results will be worth it, and it will be for all you guys too!. ALL lipo is VERY invasive, and the body needs A LOT of time to look great. Just think about all those fat cells that are gone and can no longer "Swell" and make those areas fat! Yipee!
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Hi...I had SL done on Aug 28th on my abs and flanks and I have to agree that SL is marketed as a quick recovery procedure, but I found that I needed at least a week off. I was very nervous, but once the pain of the anaesthic being pumped into my body is over, it's wasn't bad at all. Now and again I felt the burn of the laser, at which point the doctor would pump in a bit more freezing. At the end of the procedure, the doctor told me he had sucked out 2lbs of fat (I'm 5' and 100 lbs pre-op). Day 2, I was REALLY swollen at my lower abs & quite worried that it was so BIG. At my follow up appt on day 5 I had lost half and inch on my upper abs, but gained 2" on my lower. Now at day 14, I see a bit of a a bit different, but not much...I weigh the same & feeling a bit discouraged that I have peaked at my progress.
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no massage yet - probably won't get to it until next week - i'll post afterwards!
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I haven't had a professional massage yet - just been mashing on the treated areas myself. Will look into the Lymphedema Institute in Houston. That may be a good thing to do even without having undergone SL. Lumps and ripples DO go away. Had my thighs done July 1st and they're looking pretty good now. Arms didn't have nearly as much lard removed and they pretty good too. You can still see where the laser was used under the skin, but the doctor says that will smooth out soon.
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I think I am going to try and start exercising soon. Right now Texas is in the middle of a hurricane frenzy so hopefully by the time it passes I'll feel good enough to at least walk on the treadmill. Before SL I was doing the elliptical several times a week. I definitely notice that when I massage I feel MUCH better. Today when I came home my belly was so hard and deformed looking! Is this what people mean when they say "bumps and roping"? Yikes! How long does it last? Also, any tips on heatrash? When I took off the compression garment today I had all these little red bumps on my midriff - I think it's heatrash. Thanks for the support and sharing common stories. It really helps. Oh, I found a good thing for those in the Houston area. There's a place here called the Lymphedema Institute (or something like that). They do Lymphatic Drainage Massage and all are registered massage therapists working under a doctor. The massages cost $20/area - so for my abs and flanks it will be $40 for a real massage!! I was blown away by how inexpensive it is and I feel so comfortable going to a pro and not some random masseuse. Plus they have four locations in the Houston area. I am planning on going next week - I am very excited!
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I was wondering if you did you're massage yet and if it helped? I am going next week and boy do I hope it helps! I am so lumpy and bumpy and ripply:(
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I went back to the gym and started walking on the treadmill in week 3 after having a full thigh job and upper arms done. However, walking is not nearly as strenuous as playing softball. My doctor, and one of the Real Self doctors, both said to get back into a exercise program as soon as it was comfortable to do so. The actual procedures are really not painful at all, but, based upon comments I've read on this site the healing process is different for everyone. I've read many comments from folks just a few days after surgery saying they feel great. Other than being swollen up like the Michelin Man I felt pretty good myself ....... until a number of days after the surgery. I think Luzan will agree that SL is definately not a procedure that you can have one day then return to "normal" activities the next day. My doctor told me that the thighs are the toughest and most painful area to do, so perhaps other areas of the body area less sensitive. I definately didn't have as mich discomfort with my upper arms as I did with my thighs and it's great not to have batwings anymore! Good luck with your procedure.
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I think it's different for everyone. It's been a week and a half since my procedure and it still hurts when I walk. If anybody or anything bumped into me it would KILL! So something like softball would be out of the question for me. Each day definitely gets better but who knows when sports would be an option. So, that's just my two cents maybe others will have additional thoughts....
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Hi guys, I love reading all these comments. It's making me better prepare myself for my surgery coming up this friday (sept 12). I imagined that the surgery would be a lot more painful than they say, but im hoping im not in too much pain. I play softball, how long do you think till I can play again? thanks again for all these comments.
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Every day is a little different and yet some things remain the same. This morning I woke up and my belly was so tight and sore I couldn't imagine touching it - let alone massaging it. I hate the idea of taking painkillers every day and I tried to massage without them, but it was futile. I just couldn't stand how much it hurt. It's a stinging, searing type of pain. Not fun. Still hurts when I walk and bend over, etc. I CAN'T believe it's advertised as a procedure where you can go right back to things in a day or two... or that it feels like "you worked out really hard". I'm sorry, I'm pretty active and I have never had post workout pain like this (unless you count strained or pulled muscles)! My measurements are no different. I'm trying to remind myself that it's only been a little over a week and they DID tell me it take months to see full results. I just hope it doesn't take months to be pain-free. Today is a pessimistic day. I am feeling annoyed that I wasn't better informed about the extent of recovery time and effort this would involve. I hope others keep posting updates - it keeps me hopeful!


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Still feeling the needle sharp pains and soreness in both my thighs and upper arms. I'm not sure why, but these feelings feem to intensify in the evening. I'm taking a pain killer when needed and the doctor suggested a B complex and Claritin. I've been massaging every chance I get since a couple of days after surgery, but still ended up with scar tissue on both inner thighs. I've lost another couple of pounds, so a total of 22 since surgery day. Post-op check up is on the 9th - will keep you posted.
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did you have the pains from the getgo or did they just start recently? just wondering if this is something i might have to look forward to... your post-op appointment is coming up soon - hopefully, they'll have good things to say. i can't imagine b complex would help with sharp pains though, that's weird. they told me to take benadryl or claritin for the itching. i haven't itched the past two nights which is nice, i finally got some good sleep. have you tried a professional massage? I have one scheduled and I am hoping it helps... I am also trying to figure out how to time it so i can take painkillers to help while I'm there but not make me a space case while I'm driving there and back! LOL what are you doing for working out? I'm so inspired by your weight loss. how soon after SL did you start working out? are you dieting also?
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The nerve pain (like hot needles being wiggled under my skin)and incredible soreness didn't start until around week 5 I think. Oddly, last night wasn't nearly as bad as it has been, so hopefully I'm getting past that phase. Haven't had much itching for sometime now either. Haven't had a professional massage yet. The only areas that I'm having trouble with are both inner thighs. Initially I had 3 fluid filled lumps on my left inner thigh. The largest near the top of my thigh was the size of 1/2 a small orange! The doctor aspirated the large one 2 weeks ago and got 7 cc's of dark blood out of it. Now I have an area of scar tissue where the large lump was followed by a line of scar tissue running toward my knee that's about the thickness of my middle finger. One of the PA's said they have "something" they can do to get rid of the scar tissue, so I'm hopeful that they'll take care of it on the 10th. Good luck with the painkiller thing .... hopefully you'll figure out a way to get to the massage therapist without mishap. My current workout schedule is 4 miles at between 3.8 and 4.0/mph on a treadmill set at a 2% incline. I was doing that prior to the surgery and resumed doing it 2 weeks after surgery. I also started some aerobic work at the Y using a stability ball and 4-5 lb hand weights. I'm not really dieting, but I've been trying to "eat right" for the last 2 years. I'm 5.2" and in 2005 weighed 183. Worked with a trainer twice a week for 2 years and lost 50 lbs., but got lazy and ate badly last winter and gained 20 lbs. Since the surgery I've lost the 20 again and am still loosing. I found that cutting out white foods like bread, rice, potatoes, etc., really helped. I eat a lot of chicken, salmon, turkey, salads and veggies. Don't eat much fruit and try to really limit sweets. And, as everyone in the health industry will preach, I drink close to 1 gallon of water a day. Sure hope you're feeling better and don't end up going through the discomfort I've experienced. Perhaps my age has something to do with it - I'm 56, but a young 56 - LOL.
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I had a simiar procedure Friday. I was under general anesthesia for abdonme, hips, and thighs. I am 5'5" and went from 143 to 147 pounds. Measurements have stayed the same. I am truly hoping for good results after all this expense and pain.
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Update 9/5/08 So today is the one week mark! My bruising is almost gone but I have some nasty burn marks from the laser. I am still very sore and the bumpiness is profound. When I get home from work I take some pain meds and just massage, massage, massage. I have a lymphatic drainage massage scheduled for next Tuesday. I switched to a smaller compression garment and started using some anti-scar cream (gosh, all this stuff just adds up financially). My measurements are no different. Still swollen and big. I sure wish I could see some results! I know they are there... somewhere. Still taking arnica and bromelein. That's the latest!
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Wow, congrats on the weight loss - that's awesome. I am looking forward to being able to exercise so I can get in better shape. But first I have to be able to walk around comfortably :) So, the staff say the sharp pains are normal and part of healing? It seems extreme, I hope it goes away soon for you. I can definitely relate to the sensitivity - I can't believe how tender I am. I thought SmartLipo was supposed to be a breezy procedure! I guess it is for some people according to what I've read... but not for us! Thanks for sharing your story, it really helps to hear from others especially those that have been to the same doctor.
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