Not Perfect Because No Surgery Is. But SO Worth It, and Very Happy I Did It

I had my upper and lower abdomen done on April 30...

I had my upper and lower abdomen done on April 30.  Since then (coming up on about  2 months) I have gone through several phases of satisfaction with SmartLipo, and have indeed used this website a lot to check if some of my results / symptoms were common.  In the end, I am already really happy with my results, and i can tell it's just going to get better until I'm fully healed.  I'll cover every part of my experience; please feel free to ask me any questions as I am now a big supporter of this procedure, given that the patient has the right expectations. 

- Why I did it: I am 23 and slender and athletic overall, but ever since my body changed around age 18 to be more womanly, I've had this stomach that wasn't VERY big, but was bigger than seemed proportional for me, and moreover it had what i swore was cellulite.  My stomach had dents / divets across it, particularly in the upper part and it looked very odd, and def pretty gross.  The doctore who ultimately did my SmartLipo said during me first visit that it actually wasn't cellulite, but was just an atypical way that my fat was presenting itself, and thus reducing the fat would help.  I did believe him since I hadn't seen anyone with my kind of stomach, and it didn't really match the pictures i'd seen of cellulite

- The surgery itself: Overall, a breeze.  I'd love to have a word better than "uncomfortable" to describe the procedure, but that's pretty much it.  Most of the time it feels like the doc is using a hairbrush to scrub the inside of your stomach.  Not really painful, and fully tolerable, but certainly unpleasant.  There were a few moments where I had actually pain, but nothing that I can't take or couldn't be understandable given it's surgery, without general anesthesia.  It was also pretty fast, like an hour and a half.

- Downtime:  I took painkillers for the first night, and I was back the very next day to work (I have an office job with some movement but not much).   They tell you it's like you did too many stomach crunches, and that's pretty accurate.  I didn't have any other kind of symptoms, except this pain and soreness, which was strongest when I got up from sitting--pretty much anytime you move your stomach you'll feel it, but it wasn't debilitating in the least.  I had four insertion points for the lasers, and those barely oozed at all, no problems there. 

- Recovery:  There were several phases.  At first, basically my stomach was like silly putty, and this lasted about 10 days.  The compression garments / pants / my hand---anything that would press against my stomach would leave a mark or dent, particularly if it was a long while.  When I got up from sleeping, and thus only had the compression garment pressing against my stomach for the past few hours, my stomach looked absolutely fantastic; so flat and smooth.  But that was way too early a stage to judge things; I wasn't at all healed yet, and i was in fact still numb inside.  Then came the bad phase--starting about day 10 or 12 my stomach started to congeal basically, and form really hard lumps of varying degrees. The whole abdomen could be seen as a lump, made up of a bunch of other lumps.  It was so bad to the touch, and you could definitely see the lumps visually too.  But thankfully, my doctor told me this was normal and would go away--it's essentially the scar tissue amasssing after the major trauma experienced in the stomach.  Sure enough, with patience after a couple of weeks the lumps pretty much have gone away--they're lingering in the lower abdomen, where they were hardest in the first place.  I know that they'll go away eventually

- Results / Overall:  Clearly, I'm very happy overall with SmartLipo.  Clothes look so very good on me now, and i can totally change my wardrobe to include shirts that actually are tight around the waist.  As far as my bare abdomen, the weird denty / dimply problem I had has gone down dramatically--it was definitely just caused by having a disprorportionately large deposit of abdomen fat. As this was the main reason I wanted to do SmartLipo, this alone would be enough to make me very happy with the results.The only things I don't like now about the appearance of my bare stomach: 1) the four dot scars that are pretty dark on my stomach--they're about the size of the ink dot of a sharpie (that's actually how they draw them before surgery), and they are conspicuous if someone looks at your stomach.  However I am using Mederma every day and that helps at least with the collagenization part of the scar; i'll start to use something else to fade it.  The other thing I don't like, and this is pretty significant I guess, is that there is some unevenness in my upper abs; the left side has a small pocket of fat that didn't get sucked out as much as the other side.  My doc said that if I was unhappy with anything he'd fix it free of charge (considered included in my $5,500 cost), and I definitely will at some point.  But I'm just not sure if I want to go through all that now during the summer, becuse it's not so bad that I couldn't just let it go for this season and get back to fix it during the fall / winter. 

So there you have it.  The amount I wrote reflects just how "worth it" I think SmartLipo is! 

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which doctor did you go to?
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i used a doctor in the metro atlanta area. I has been 7 months and I am not happy at all. my weight now is more then ever, I am not happy.
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I am so happy to hear you had great results. I'm currently looking for a SmartLipo doctor in New York. Could you please tell me who you used? Thank you so much and best of luck with continued positive results!
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I had my smart lipo on July 3rd 2008. I am waiting to see something!! I think I have but am not sure, I am very nervous, hoping that I haven't made a mistake, But, it hasn't been two weeks yet.My stomach is hard, Is that Normal? I got my back, love handles, and my upper and lower abs. I will let you all no after Thursday the 17th.
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I just wanted to thank you for your review. I think I have the same problem that you described about your stomach. I am 5'4 and weight a healthy weight, however, my stomach has a unflattering appearance. I too have dents, and what looks like dimples on my stomach, and am always too embarrassed to show my stomach for this reason. Before reading your review, I thought I was the only one who had this problem. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story, because you have given me hope that Smart Lipo might be able to fix my problem.
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I just read your review and i must thank you. I am 26 years old and i have the same exact problem that you described. I weigh 130lbs, and im 5'5"...Im not overweight and athletic, but my stomach always had the apperance of cellulite. Its been such an embarassment for the past 10 years of my life. I had mesotherapy a last year, which helped alittle, but so not worth it, not to mention the pain was horrible! I have been considering smart lipo, but i've been so worried that the appearanced will look more dimply and be a big mistake in the end. Would you be able to send me some before and after pics? It sounds like we have a very similar body type and it wouldn't really be a big help.
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I too, am thinking of having this procedure done in the Houston area. AV, where are you having yours done? I have mine scheduled at Houston Medical Spa which is now owned by Sona Med Spa. I too again, have changed my appt now 3 times. The last change was mainly due to the comments on this site. As of 2 weeks ago, the percentages for 'worth it' started dropping. I was scheduled for July 9th and now have changed it to August 27th. I also didn't want mess with my summer just in case something went wrong. Anyway, I am 5'6, 127lbs and will be 41 tomorrow. I had a baby 3.5 years ago and now have the annoying pouch. I'm really hoping this works because I wasted $1000 on Lipodissolve that didn't work and this is going to cost me $5500. AntsyPants, thank you for such a descriptive explanation. I hope that there will be more happy customers to come as well. SLA in Houston
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Hi sarthur, Happy BD! I have two kids (1 and 5), I am 37. I have it scheduled for July 17th with {edited} in Tomball. I had consultations with two different doctors. The first one was a plastic surgeon and he said that I nned a tummy tuck. I was not convinced that I need such a major procedure, and with two small kids, I do not have time for a long and painful recovery. The second doctor is not a plastic surgeon, however she was one of the first ones in Texas to start performing smart lipo. I feel that she has the experience to do what smart lipo promises to do - of course at this point I am only hoping that to be the case, we will see after July 17th. Which Sona Med Spa are you going to have it at - in Houston or in the Woodlands? Editor note: To make or request doctor recommendations, please visit our Doctor Recommendation Forums.
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I loved your review as well! I agree with you, that you have to have realistic expectations just like with any other procedure. They all have their pros and cons: tummy tuck - totally flat and perfect stomach but huge scar and maybe a funny looking belly botton. Regular lipo - similar results to smart lipo, but more painful recovery and going under general anesthesia. So in overall, if you were not born with perfect stomach or you had a couple of kids, it sounds like that smart lipo would be a reasonable solution. I have my procedure shceduled for July 17th in the Houston area. I have put a deposit down two weeks ago, and I am glad I did, otherwise I might have backed out of it a couple of times already - since I check this site regularly, I change my mind about what I would like to do based on the reviews here. So i was super happy to read yours - even though I am a little older (ok,a lot) than you are, and I have had two kids already, my stomach has the exact same problem that you just described - the cellulite looking dimpling, and considering that I am 5'2' and 116 pounds, I do have a disproportionably big and fatty stomach and a big muffin top around my waist - I have to be so careful with clothing to hide my problem areas. I know that more than likely my stomach is not going to be perfect looking but at least I am hoping that I will be able to dress normally again and maybe even be able to wear a tankini without hesitation (a bikini might be an overkill :-) but it would be nice) So thank you again for your reveiew! Of course if you have pictures I would love to see them as well!
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Thank you for your review. Can I ask you who your Dr in NY was? What meds did you get for the procedure? I would also love to see pictures.
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