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Some of it too good to be true

Me: $6390 Marc: $3,000 3/4/09: Hi everyone! After...

Me: $6390 Marc: $3,000

3/4/09: Hi everyone! After reading just about every post on this site, it was finally my turn to take the plunge. As I sit here typing, it has been about 5 hours since my arms and abs were done. I will have the inner and outer thighs and banana roll done on Saturday. This is how it began for me:

It was late December and Fox 10 here in Phoenix did a piece on Smart Lipo. It caught my attention because I was so sick of the bat wings that had been growing in over the last two years. I Googled around for further information but didn’t go any further than that. A couple of weeks later I was listening to KEZ while getting ready for work and Lisa Briggs, the morning producer of the Beth & Bill show, did a little spot on {edited - provider information is located above the review} stating she just had Smart Lipo on her arms and she was ecstatic about her results. Wow, what a coincidence that she had done this just soon after my learning about this procedure!

I went back to Googling around for further information and found RealSelf as well as several videos of Drs performing the procedures. I then told my fiancé about it as I waved my “bat wings” at him! LOL Unknown to me, that night he stayed up reading all about Smart Lipo and the following morning stated he was going to call the place for a consultation because he was interested in getting rid of his jowls, chin, and neck fat. Five days later while I was at work, he went to the consultation and was immediately sold on the idea of going through with this.

My fiancé didn’t even give me the chance to “interview” other facilities because he really liked Ms. T., the aesthetician / sales person, so much that he signed us both right up without consulting with me! Unbelievable, huh? I wonder how many other men go to the consultation and then text their wives or girlfriends to tell them they’re doing this. Seriously, that’s exactly how I was told! I was at work at the time (a call center) waiting for the next inbound call when I received my fiancé’s one word text, “Done”… which meant he had signed the financial agreement and put the deposit down! He’s truly nuts! LOL So, you can see why I’ve been a little anxious about everything. One moment having my “bat wings” reduced was just a thought and then moments later, I find out I’m really going to lose them! He says I need to have my wings clipped so I don’t fly the coop! HA HA HA!! He’s just so terribly funny, isn’t he?!

I wasn’t too happy that I was signed up sight unseen. How odd is that?! My fiancé just told them my upper arms and thighs needed to be done and we’d get a package deal for the both of us totaling $6,000.00 for his jowls, chin, and neck and my upper arms and saddle bags. Anyway, being that I was at work when I received the news that this is what was going down, I called the facility and told them I still had to have my consultation and get a feel for the place. My consultation was set for that Saturday.

At my consultation on Saturday I introduced myself to Ms. T. as a “44 yr old 5 foot 3 inch 122 lb fat thin person.” Most would never consider me to be fat or even overweight, but not many have seen me in shorts or a bathing suit either. I’ve spent the last couple of summers here in Arizona in jeans and I’d like to wear shorts and not be so self conscious about how I look.

I have a long history of anxiety disorder and explained that though I don’t need to take meds any more, I still need a lot of reassurance and special attention when it comes to something like this because I knew the procedure was going to cause much anxiety and I feared the worst. I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis when I turned 40 just over 4 years ago. When I became hypothyroid, I gained 15 – 20 lbs that all seem to have taken up residency on the front of my thighs!! Ms. T. suggested that inner and outer thighs be done as well as my upper arms. I expressed my concern about the possibility of gaining weight elsewhere if my problem areas are reduced of fat cells. Will I get fat in my buttocks and abdomen? I have always had a flat stomach, even after giving birth to four children, and I didn’t want to suddenly grow a pooch!! Well, along with the inner and outer thighs, I suggested that I have my abdomen done as a preventative measure as well as the banana roll done. Banana roll?! I was laughing so hard when Ms. T. told me that’s what that part of your buttocks is called!! We decided that a man had to have come up with that one! LOL Pretty silly! Well, when all is said and done, it will be so wonderful not to feel the weight jiggling on the front of my thighs and arms anymore!

After the consultation, I felt more confident about what Ms. T. told me about the Dr. and facility, BUT I was little concerned that I had yet to meet the Dr. himself. I had done some research on the Dr. and felt confident about his background but I still felt that I should meet him prior to the procedure to get a feel for his personality as well as wanting him to see what he has to work with and get HIS opinion. Ms. T. was very accommodating and scheduled me to meet the Dr. a few days later.

Dr. P. looked me over and explained things clearly to me as well as reassured me that he is well qualified being that he does approximately 80 procedures monthly as well as train other Drs. in the Smart Lipo procedure. I did express some concerns, thanks to all of the posts I’ve read. I advised the Dr. that I do educate myself as much as possible before doing anything, especially something like this. I have never done any elective surgery and I wanted to be absolutely confident that what I was doing was the right thing for me and that I’ve found the right Dr. for the job. I was concerned with the fact that 5 areas were going to be done in one day and many members as well as physicians here have suggested 2-3 areas at one time is the safest way to go. I also had concerns about the lidocaine and epinephrine being that I am sensitive to many medications and I feared a chance of a bad reaction or worse, overdose. And lastly, 4-5 litres of fluid/fat are the max that should be removed and I swear my thighs could easily be 2 litres each! Well, Dr. P. assured me that first and foremost, he always puts the safety of his patients at the top of his list and uses the minimal amount of lidocaine, just enough to deaden any pain. He also asked me if I have had any dental work done, which I have had some fillings over the years. That lidocaine w/ epinephrine is the same anesthetic used for the Smart Lipo procedure. He also laughed stating that all of the areas to be done would not even amount to 2 litres of fluid/fat. Well, I was completely at ease by this point and anxious to have the procedures done.

In preparation over the last week I tried taking the Arnica Montana but unfortunately, I have a drug sensitivity to that stuff. I took three tablets under the tongue at work last week and a few minutes later felt that old familiar gripping feeling of anxiety. It only lasted a few minutes though. I took 4 tablets before jumping into the shower that night and as I was washing my hair I felt the panic coming on. My heart was racing and I had to rinse off fast and get the heck out of the shower, get dressed, and run out to the living room to tell my fiancé I was starting to have a panic attack. I was sure this was going to be a full blown attack and went hunting for my Klonopin which I haven’t needed to take since I took a plane back East two years ago! Well, I somehow managed to calm myself sans medication after about ten minutes. I Googled for more information on the Arnica Montana and did find that it can cause racing heart and heart irregularities so for those of you who have anxiety disorder and/or are sensitive to meds, I advise you to avoid Arnica Montana and resort to drinking Pine Apple juice or Coconut water. My fiancé is having no side effects at all from the Arnica.

Today, 3/4/09 @ 7:30 am was the big day! (It’s now about 6.5 hrs from when procedures were completed) I was so nervous! I packed a little bag with my prescriptions (valium, hydrocodone, and cephilexin), pj bottoms, button down shirt, Starbucks cup filled w/ pineapple juice, and a 32 oz bottle of G2 Gatorade. We drove from Chandler to Scottsdale and arrived at 7:30 am. Miss M. advised against taking the hydrocodone due to the fact that many people get nauseous from it. So, I took her advice and just took 5 mg of valium which made me feel more relaxed after about 10 minutes. I was escorted to a room where I changed into the little paper undies and strapless bra (how sexy!!) and posed for pictures. I had taken before pictures and measurements at home which I will post in the next few days. Ms. M. weighed me in at 124 lbs and took my measurements, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and heart rate. My blood pressure was normal but a bit higher than usual as well, my heart rate was up a bit…hmmm, wonder why?! LOL

Dr. P. arrived with his purple marker and started to circle all the areas he was going to be working on. While he was mapping the areas, I explained that I had been reading a lot about Smart Lipo and that patients and Drs alike suggested doing no more than three areas at a time. And being that I’m small, wouldn’t it be safer for me to do this in a couple of sessions vs. the one. Dr. P. suggested we see how things go and we can determine if he should break the procedures up as he goes along.

I had suggested breaking up the procedures into two different days to Ms. T. a week prior and her response to me via email was, “We will have to do an entire set-up for the second procedure which means purchasing a second laser thread for you. Remember, on Saturday when we discussed how helpful it was to do the procedure all at once.” I called her to find out what the cost was going to be and found that it would be an additional $1,500!! When I mentioned this to Dr. P and Ms. M, they both stated they wouldn’t add any additional cost to what I’ve already paid. What a relief it was to hear that!

I kissed my fiancé adios and off to the surgical room we went. Lying on my back Dr. P. started with my forearms injecting a shot of lidocaine in each arm and then piercing a small hole where he would insert the canula. The lidocaine shot only stung for a ½ second, much like at the dentist. The canula was inserted into my arms (only 1 hole for each arm just north of my elbow) and abs (3 holes) and I could feel light pressure of the tumescent fluid going in. There were some slight burning sensations as well. After a couple of minutes I began to shake uncontrollably. I thought I was having a panic attack because this is what used to happen years ago when I had a bad attack. I was totally freaking out even though I had taken 5 mgs of valium when I got there and another 2.5 mgs when I got on the table. Ms. L. and Dr. P. calmly told me that it was not a panic attack, it was a side effect of the epinephrine which everyone experiences and not to worry and to just relax as best as I could. The shaking eventually subsided after about 10 minutes and I began to relax a bit more. I was so panicked that I asked if we could please put off the thighs and banana roll for another day. Dr. P. and Ms. M. had a brief side discussion and both agreed that letting me split the procedures up was probably the best thing. PHEW!! What a relief, let me tell you!

The remaining time spent was sucking out the fluid and fat and doing the lasering and there was little to no pain. I did feel a little pinching and poking in the abs but nothing that I couldn’t handle. And when I let out a little grunt or groan, he’d move the canula in a different direction. I was told that working towards the middle of the abs towards the belly button does have more of the pinching feeling.

During the lasering, a little pair of glasses to block out the light were put over my eyes. The lasering probably lasted all of ten or so minutes. When the Dr. was done, the glasses were removed and the nurses sat me up and gently pressed on my lower abs to help draw out any remaining fluids prior to placing gauze bandages over the three holes. They did the same to my arms and then wrapped them tightly in ace bandages. I noticed the collection tank of the fluid and fat and was told that there was 1000 cc’s. I was then escorted to the bathroom where I got rid of those sexy paper underpants and bra and put my real underwear on. I needed assistance getting the bra clasps together because I couldn’t get my arms to do anything. LOL The compression garment that they had for me is one that goes around the waist from boobs down to lower abs and does this wrap around with Velcro. It was laid out on the table and I had to get back on the table and lay down on it so the nurses could wrap me up. The size small ended up being a bit too big but they did what they could to make it work. I had purchased an XS Spanx which I bought from Amazon and was expecting that the next day.

After I finished dressing, I met with Ms. A. to schedule a date to get the inner and outer thighs and banana roll done and confirmed once again that there would not be any added charges for breaking up the procedures. I decided I’d come back on 3/7/09 in the afternoon, just after my fiancé gets his neck done. With that, we made our way back home. On the way home, I made my fiancé pull off the freeway to find me a restroom because the bladder was now in overdrive. He figured he’d kill two birds with one stone so we stopped off at some fast-food place so he could eat and I could pee. Well, thanks to all of the reading I did before going through this that I saved myself from one hellacious panic attack! As I wiped myself I discovered that my entire pubic area had swelled up like a pillow from some remaining fluids. Yes, I was quite freaked out but luckily remembered other posters have described this same side effect. I ran out of the bathroom to tell my fiancé all about it and then went outside to call Ms. A. who calmly told me that this is what happens because of gravity and that I may be swollen there for a few weeks. My response, “So, I should stand on my head then?!” We both had a good laugh.

We made it home and I immediately went for the couch where I was able to lay on my stomach (hoping that any trapped fluids would seep out of those holes in my abs to reduce that swelling!) and I fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I awoke, I felt fine but still a little groggy. I went across the street to hang out with my neighbor for a little while.

3/24/09: What little bruising I had disappeared within days! Over the past 2.5 weeks I’ve been making sure the ace bandages are on my arms as I have discovered that leaving them off all day cause seromas to appear. Now that I’m wearing the bandages most of the time, I find that I am lump free!

Today was inner and outer thighs and banana roll day. I was incredibly nervous because I was fearing the uncontrollable shaking from the epi. This time instead of taking valium, I took 1 mg of Klonopin because I know that worked wonders on severe anxiety attacks that caused uncontrollable shaking. Guess what? The shaking was so minimal and I was so relieved. The legs had the worst pain of all, though tolerable. When I squealed that the pinching was too much, Dr. administered more of the tumescent fluid and then was able to continue the procedure which didn’t hurt. When it came time for the lasering, I was quite relaxed and thought I could probably nap through the rest of the procedure. I ended up asking for my cell phone and texted my co-worker and my husband to let them know I was almost done! My Dr found pretty funny that I was texting. I liked that the Dr and nurses had great sense of humor and we laughed a lot during the entire procedure. That made me feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed.

I have had no real pain medication at all. I did, however, take one aspirin for a headache and thought it would be a good idea to help prevent clots. I had knee surgery in Nov 2007 and Dec 2007 and my surgeon had me take aspirin for two days following the surgery to prevent any clots. He also had me doing foot flexes to keep the circulation in my legs going. I decided to follow that advice. I have also taken my vitamin K and C as well as drink cranwater. (1 part 100% cranberry juice that you can buy at Trader Joe’s and 7 parts water). The cranwater helps to flush fat and water out of your system. I’m peeing up a storm!

It’s now midnight and I’m sitting up in bed, needing to make that trip to the bathroom again, but that’s ok. I know that I’m flushing out all of this residual fat and fluids so I hope to keep the swelling to a minimum. I was told I could go home and take a shower without any soap and continue to work some of the remaining fluids out of my incisions. So, I did just that because by the time I got home, my bandages were quite saturated and the bloody fluid was dripping all over the travertine in my bathroom. So, I was better off standing in the shower to remove the bandages and then rinse off.

It was so nice to just stand in the shower to warm up a bit. I proceeded to gently work out the fluid for about 15 minutes until it seemed that it was very minimal dripping from the incisions. I patted off with an old towel that I didn’t care about getting blood all over. What I used for bandages were the Walgreens 4” x 4” sterile gauze pads 30 count and Walgreens sterile large bandages (12 count). I first opened the bandage and laid it on the counter and then opened the gauze pad which I folded in half one way and then folded in half the other way to form a thick square. It was the perfect size to place in the center of the bandage. I then applied a very tiny bit of Neosporin in the center of the pad and then applied the bandage gauze pad combination to the incision site. My little invention works PERFECTLY!! I cannot use the medical tape because I end up with red raised marks on my skin but these bandages do not cause any reaction at all. When the incisions stop draining, I will do as I now do with my arms and abs and that is us the Walgreens clear round bandages (60 count) and apply a dab of vitamin E to the little pad and apply to the incision site. I’m hoping the vitamin E will help the redness of the incision disappear.

When I got home today, I was a little tired but not so tired that I couldn’t make steamed zucchini with stewed tomatoes, onions, and Italian spices. The Dr stated I wasn’t to eat any carbs today to veggies were all I bought this morning in preparation for my meals after I returned home from the procedures. The zucchini was so yummy and I topped it with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese for flavor.

I rested with my feet up on a pillow on the couch most of the day with little intervals of walking around the house doing some laundry and dishes. Later in the evening I noticed I had to change two of the bandages on the upper left of my thigh and banana roll. The freaked a bit because one of them drained a lot of very dark blood! I went hunting around for the Dr’s phone number but it was nowhere to be found and oddly enough, I wasn’t given ANY paperwork when I checked out today!! I am very disappointed about that. BUT thank goodness my neighbor is an RN so I called her over and she checked out my drainage and took my blood pressure. BP was on the high side but that was caused by anxiety. She said the drainage was fine and she continued to apply pressure to the site stating that it looked good as it was clotting there. She suggested I take another Klonopin just to help me relax which would bring down the BP. I applied my new bandages to the two sites and all is well.

Walking around is just a tad painful but it just feel like someone punched me in a couple of places. LOL When I go to the bathroom, I have to almost do the squat thing as you would do when going in a public toilet. It’s really not too bad.

I know I have written a novel here but I wanted to give you as much detail as possible. I will try to get my pictures up in a day or two. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

It's been a few years since the procedures. I'm...

It's been a few years since the procedures. I'm still glad I did it but looking back, I would have found a more reputable facility and plastic surgeon. My husband's procedure was a complete waste of money. He was left with lumps under his chin that finally went away but left extra skin, so... he still has that double chin thing going on that he paid to have corrected in the first place! No one ever did a thing about it either.

When I read stories about Sono Bello Scottsdale, I see different Dr. names all of the time. My guess is, no one ever stays at these places. I know the entire staff was fired back in 2009 for being on their phones even during procedures. Get this, even Dr. Ian Parker was on his phone during my surgery! He even left the room to take phone calls! How insane is that? Not too professional. Even the office manager, Terri, who was listed as the Aesthetician somehow got the boot too. My guess is for her unhanded ways of selling.

My results were just ok and I am probably more pleased with how my arms turned out than anything else. My thighs seem to be the same as prior to the smart lipo but at least I don't have the chance of getting saddlebags, I suppose. I started out wearing a petite size 4-6 and I currently wear a petite size 4. I'm probably 10+ lbs less than I was and I haven't execised in a year either. LOL I did, however, get married to my very longtime fiance this year and I looked awesome in my strapless wedding gown. When I see those pictures I think how glad I was to have had my arms done! I was about 108 lbs on my wedding day (I'm 5' 3") and looked and felt totally awesome!!

Now, as far as the thighs go, I still don't wear shorts too much. I've power walked almost every day for at least a year soon after that smart lipo and I still didn't like how my thighs looked. Months after the lipo, I went back for a consult because of the complaint regarding the outcome of my thighs. The side by side pictures of before and after DID appear a little different, but nothing to really be happy about. They offered free visits for some veloshape but I didn't see any results from that. I am still disappointed that I didn't confront them about my results and here I am three years later, still angry that we spent a lot of money and we're only happy with my ONE area (arms). My husband got screwed for sure.

5 Years Later.... :(

I've been seeing the commercials lately for Sono Bello.... still advertising body contouring. They tick me off... so I googled them and found a plethora of negative reviews on the Bell Rd., Scottsdale, AZ location and I have to agree with every one of them!

OK... so, I'm just months away from the big 5-0 and I wonder if I'm heading towards the "change" in life or what, but give me a break! I've NEVER been a fat person, nor am I fat at this moment. Though I FEEL absolutely huge... for me. But I'm exactly the weight I was on weigh-in day prior to the Smart Lipo. OK... my life has been a little more sedentary than it was since I had been working out daily for a while up until 3 year ago. Long story... death in the family... family bs... no time for anything but lawyers and sociopaths... LOL

Long story short, I think I look exactly as I did prior to the Smart Lipo procedures!! I am not happy!! So, I am convinced that anything that comes easy just isn't worth it and won't be long term. I know if I head back to the gym and get back to my daily regimen, I'll feel better, tone back up, and lose the 10-15 lbs I gained since my wedding back in March 2012.

I would highly suggest that anyone thinking about spending too much money on this "non-invasive" procedure hold on tight to your money! And if you really really need to do this, go find a REAL certified plastic surgeon who specializes in just that... plastic surgery. Do your research! Avoid any high-pressure sales! No REAL plastic surgeon will pressure you into anything and they won't sick their office staff into pressuring you either.
Sono Bello: Dr. Ian Parker

Dr. is quite experienced and very accommodating with a great sense of humor. He listens to your concerns. He and his staff make sure you are always comfortable and keep you informed with everything that is going on. BUT he spends time on the phone WHILE performing surgery... or even leaves you in the room waiting while he chats on the phone outside the room.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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