I had Laser Lipo done on my love handles (the...
I had Laser Lipo done on my love handles (the nurses called them "loves", which I think is endearing and made me hate them a little less) one week ago.
I am 5'4", 128 lbs, and work out almost every day. I have had stubborn fat on my sides right above my hip bones since I hit puberty, and no matter how hard I work out or religiously diet, they would never go away. I finally made the decision to do something about it, and here is what I experienced:
The initial consultation was pleasant and breezy- the woman told me I was "skinny fat" but a perfect candidate for the procedure. I was told I would have to wear a compression garment (like a very tight Spanx) for a few weeks and that would be it. Overall, I don't think I was told how extreme the procedure would be. I've never had any other surgery so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.
The day of the procedure, I went to the clinic and met with the doctor and two nurses. The doctor did a very thorough pre-op consultation where he marked me up and showed me where he would be making incisions so I knew where I may have scars. (He tried to make them in inconspicuous places, where my bikini/underwear would cover them). He showed me how my body (like everyone's!) was a bit lopsided and I had a bit more fat on my left side. After agreeing what my goals were, I was given a Valium and an antibiotic, and the nurses swabbed me all over with a disinfectant before I laid down on the operating table.
The nurses were amazing throughout the entire operation- one rubbed my shoulders and one grabbed me socks to keep my feet warm. We listened to my iPod from a stereo they had in the room and they all complimented my music choice, which, whether truthful or not, made me feel better!
The operation itself went like this: The doctor pumped me up with numbing fluid so much that I felt like a balloon. That was the most painful part. Next he lasered the fat to make it melt- I barely felt anything other than his hands moving around to get the "right" fat to melt. After that, he used a small cannula (which is the suction tube!) to suck out the melted fat. The only way to describe that feeling is "weird". I could feel when he got close to my rib or hip bones because the vibrations would shake through and it was almost tickling at some times. Once it was done, he put in 4 stitches (2 in the front near my hip bones, 2 in the back on my very lower back) and left 2 incisions open for drainage. I felt tired and a bit stiff, and overall he took out 255 mL from my left side and 250 from my right.
The nurses helped me up and squeezed me into the compression garment with zippered sides and put special pads (like maxi pads without a sticky back) over each incision to absorb drainage. They gave me a juice and we chat for a bit, then I was driven home to rest.
Since I had my operation early in the morning, the rest of my day was spent recuperating. The drainage pads soaked through three times, so I changed them every few hours but I was careful not to undo the compression garment all the way. Sleeping was really only possible due to the Vicoden.
Post-Op Day 1: I went back to work and wore baggier-than-usual clothes to cover the fact that the compression garment over the maxi-pads made me look like I was 10 lbs. heavier. I was stiff and my sides were sore to the touch, and getting in and out of cars was the worst. But I was able to get through the day on one extra-strength Tylenol.
Post-Op Day 2: I took off my compression garment for the first time on the evening of Day 2, and to be honest, I felt like a Jello Jiggler set free from its mold- I felt so wobbly without it! But I could actually see where the fat had been removed and although there was swelling, bruising, and line-marks from the garment, I could tell that there was an improvement. I showered carefully and put Neosporin on the incisions and packed myself back into the compression garment after washing it on the gentle cycle. I replaced the maxi-pad things with actual panty-liners, because I wasn't draining any more and I didn't want to look so puffy.
Over the next few days, I just took it easy and was very good about wearing the garment as much as humanly possible (literally every minute that it wasn't being washed/dried, which i did every other day) and using Neosporin on the incisions.
Week 1 Post-Op with clinic: I went in for my One Week Post-Op check up and the nurses were all impressed with my results. I still felt like a balloon because I can tell there is a lot of swelling still, but the bruising has gone down and I only have a few little ones left. The RN took my stitches out and they look like they're healing nicely. I'm going to continue to use Neosporin to prevent scarring (also, if you're in the sun be sure to use sunscreen!!) The best part was that the RN said I was ready for a tighter garment because the one with the zippered sides was starting to bunch when I sat down. (This means there is too much room in the garment and, if worn as often as you should, could cause ripples in your sides/stomach because the skin is trying to adhere to the muscle underneath and the constant pressure from a zipper-ripple could cause a permanent imprint!!) I had to buy another garment ($110 later....) without zippers on the sides. I couldn't fit into it that day (it's MUCH harder to get on since you just have to squeeze into it!) but yesterday morning I managed to get it on and it looks SO much better underneath clothes. The day after I got the new garment, I ate a big dinner and literally couldn't get out of it- it is THAT tight.
I went to my usual Pilates class on Post-Op day 7, and I modified a lot of the exercises that target the lower back and obliques and I did a lot of plank poses and arm exercises instead. I also have been walking on the treadmill and using the elliptical for cardio.
I'm now at Post-Op day 9, and I had told one friend at my office that I was having the procedure done. When I walked in this morning, her jaw dropped. Since I was wearing a slimmer garment, I had decided to wear a tighter-fitting shirt, and she said that she hadn't been able to see the results before but now it was an amazing difference.
I'm supposed to continue to wear the compression garment for 6 weeks (which is a lot, considering that summer is coming up!!) and I'm going to stick to it because the doctor and nurses all swear that it is the key to success. My biggest issue is that the garment is uncomfortable and that I can't work out as often or as hard as I'd like to, but I'm planning to hit the gym hard when I finally can! I'll keep updating as I see results, and I'll try to post befores/afters once I have them!