I am a 24 year-old male who just had liposuction performed on my flanks, back, and a tiny area on my abdomen where I had a small fat pocket that made my stomach look rather asymmetrical. I am in good shape--I run, I work out, I eat relatively healthy (I'm a college student, so pizza and other junk-food does factor into the equation, as well!)
I had SmartLipo performed earlier this afternoon, and am writing my initial review (a) to show that (at least in some cases) you are able to function immediately after the surgery; and (b) out of pure boredome from laying in bed the past few hours. :)
I've been taking Arnica tablets for the past 4 days now (including today)--so we shall see if that has any affect on recovery (e.g. bruising, swelling).
I am terrified of needles and cannot stand the sight of blood or even the thought of a metal rod being stabbed into my body (I genuinely would describe this as a severe phobia)--so I will say up front, the psychology of it all was by far the toughest part for me going into it (as opposed to a fear of pain or even results)--they gave me 20mg of Valium before the procedure (upon my request).
Sure enough, being awake during the procedure was the toughest part--on account of the aforementioned psychological trauma/phobia. The pain from the needles used to numb the areas did pinch; but it was certainly minimal and only lasted a couple seconds. I was blindfolded the entire time (which I was initally sketchy about, but so very thankful for by the time it was all over). So on account of me not wanting to know what was being done to me, the second 'scariest' thing was not knowing what stage the doctor was at.
After administering the numbing solutioin, he injected the liquid to begin dissolving the fat--this was rather unpleasant; but again, not necessarily on account of the pain. It's just hard to conceptualize (at least for myself) that I'm having this metal rod constantly rammed through my body. It dis cause a very strange sensation--so just know you are not completely void of any feeling. The pain part, though, was very minimal.
After the solution had been injected, it was time for the suction--this part, my doctor said, was supposed to be pain free (the easy part). And in almost all parts of my body, it was--though there was still that very strange sensation from the cannula (which he used the smalles one, since I didn't have a whole lot to be sucked out anyway--in total, less than a liter was suctioned out). I will say, I did feel some pain during this part of the procedure--primarily on my love handles/flanks, whenever he was close to my rib cage. There were definitely some stabbing sensations, and it was ferry unpleasant. BUT, even this only lasted, literally, for seconds. I had a very sweet surgeon's assistant who held myhand throughout it all--I'd say this is where I may have been close to giving her a couple bruises on account of me squeezing so tightly (you may even request--or bring your own--a tension ball or something!).
Throughout the entire procedure I was completely coherent and able to move on my own accord from my side to my back to my stomach, etc. After everything was done--and my doctor did, in fact, to my surprise, use a couple of dissolvable sutures on my flanks--they bandaged me up and wrapped me in the surgical garment. They had a driver bring me home (and pick me up initially, which was a nice gesture, as I do not have family here); and I immediately went to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner, came home, ate, and then took a nap.
I've gotten up to walk around a couple times, but I am feeling groggy still from the Valium they gave me, as well as the two Tylenol with codiene they prescribed me. I am feeling a little discomfort, but it's absolutely not unbearable. I will say again, however, that I did not have a whole lot suctioned out--so I cannot say the pain in my case would be similar to someone who has a lot of fat to be removed.
I will upload pictures as soon as I transfer them to my computer--so far I have ones taken before my surgery and immediately upon getting home (so that I can show you guys what to expect bandage-wise). I will continue to post pictures as I progress, too, so we can observe the results together.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will do my very best to answer them or point you in the right direction.