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I went for a consultation with Dr. Epstein today...

I went for a consultation with Dr. Epstein today (11/1/13). I was very impressed with how kind and thorough he was. He took the time to educate me on the Vaser 4D Lipo Tummy Tuck. I went into the consultation with tummy tuck, breast lift with augmentation and lipo on back/flanks on my mind because another PS reccomended that. Dr. Epstein's recommendation was to perform the Vaser 4D lipo tummy tuck and Vaser 4D Lipo on back, flanks, arms and inner thighs. He also recommended a breast reduction and lift to be performed separately. I was very pleased with Dr. Epstein during the consultation process. My husband and I went home to discuss and I called Mary Ellen back later in the day to book the procedure. I will add before/after photos on a later date...procedure is scheduled for 12/11/13!

My journey started in 2005...

My journey started in 2005 when I was pregnant with my first child and again in 2008 while I was pregnant with my second child. Prior to pregnancy, I weighed 140lbs, gained 50 lbs with the first child and with the second, my weight peaked at 205lbs! I posted three pictures, one of me pregnant with my first and second child and another of me when I decided I needed to transform myself, at the time I weighed 170lbs and the pregnancy weight was not coming off on its own.

TT here I come...only 5 days left!

My TT and Lipo surgery is in 5 days! I'm so excited and nervous all at once. I know it is going to be painful afterwards, so I'm trying to stay positive and keep reminding myself that it will be all worth it in the end. I'm updating my before pics...

Bye Bye Tummy :-)

I can't believe the day has come! Tomorrow my bulging tummy will be gone! I am nervous and sooooo excited.. So by reading all the TT posts, I know there will be a period of time when I will feel down and question why I did this. So I decided that I had to take another round of tummy pics so I can look back at them when I'm feeling down...I am so happy I'm doing this. Wish me luck!

TODAY is the day!

I'm leaving my house shortly for surgery. The nurse said I'll be in surgery until about 4pm and then in recovery for 2 hours. I'll try to post an update tonight.

I'm Alive!

Yay, surgery is done! I don't have much energy to do very much. Dr Epstein used Experel to numb the tummy to limit the pain. So far it seems to be working great. The pain is tolerable and I haven't taken any pain meds. I have to change my garment and shower tomorrow so I'll snap some pics and post them tomorrow.

Wow, I didn't expect this..

I guess the Experel must be wearing off. It is very hard to get up from the recliner and to sit back down. Thank god for my husband helping me! It is very painful getting up and sitting down. I get sharp pains in my abdomen when walking. At 9pm I had to take Vicodin. Woke up to go pee with hubby's help and that was very hard to do after being idle in the recliner for 5 hours. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Before pics marked up b4 surgery

I haven't had the energy to try and take pics post surgery. I am supposed to change my garment and shower today buy I am in too much pain to even move. Hopefully I will feel better a little later to shower.

My PS is Awesome!

My PS and his office called me several times today, they are so wonderful. I was concerned about the pain I was having even when PS used Experel to numb the tummy. I was getting an unbearable sharp pain on left side when walking that would stop me in my tracks. I felt like I was in labor...LOL. PS made a house visit to see me and came with with one of his nurses. He gave me a local anesthetic and I'm able to move around now without the sharp pain. Now how many doctors make house calls these days??!! Great bedside manner and just plain awesome!

Feeling so much better than yesterday!

I'm feeling of much better than yesterday. I'm getting around in short intervals. I was finally able to make it upstairs to shot and change my CG. I snapped a few pics too! I'm liking it do far!!! I have a waistline again and am flat (and swollen). YAY!!! I'm so excited, this is so worth it! My old Belly button is not as far down as I had hoped, so I'll have to play around with hiding the scar.

Ouch!

I had my first bowl movement this morning....all I can say is ouch! Thank goodness I started to take Miralax 1 day post op. Ladies definitely take something to help you go! I should have taken it twice daily.

Some new photos from today...

I am a bit bruised on one side. I can't seem to stay in the shower long enough to take off the marker from PS. Feeling good today, moving around lots more. Kids getting a kick at daddy's jokes of me wearing his clothes. Making me chuckle too. He says that he always knew I wanted to get in his pants...lol!

Playing around...

Playing around with some photo apps (yeah, I'm getting bored)! Hubby is doing everything with kiddos. Well anywho, side by side comparison is amazing! Just hoping old BB scar will be minimized eventually. I can honestly say I've never had this shape EVER!

Post Op with PS

I had my first post op appointment with PS today. I had the drainless TT and all looks good, no accumulation of fluid. My incision line looks great and healing well. I do have bruising which I will be starting physical therapy on Saturday to assist with lymphatic drainage and ultrasound for the bruising. It is covered through insurance too! I do have a drain in my rear for the 4d laser Lipo I had on my flanks and back, that drain stays in for now. I'm excited for the physical therapy, I think it will be beneficial to healing quicker.

This may be TMI...but I'm sure I'm not the only one!

Why can't they make a first stage compression garment that you don't pee yourself! My CG has a large open hole in the private area making it easy to go to the bathroom but every time I go to the bathroom (which is a lot) the pee trickles and my CG still gets wet! Of course I'm not going to change out of it because that would be a chore in itself at this stage and I only have 2 of these garments so one is in wash while other is on my body. So I wipe the wet spots the best I can and hope I don't stink like pee!

I am more swollen today :(

Swelling on day 1 and 2 post op was bad. I couldn't even get back into my own pants after surgery! DH had to go home to get HIS sweatpants for me to wear. Of course he makes jokes about it saying things like "I always knew you wanted to get in my pants"! Lol...he did make me laugh. I have been so good at drinking lots and lots of water (12 cups a day) and yesterday I did even better, I drank 14 cups! My only problem was I did not go to the bathroom nearly as much yesterday as I have been the days prior. I feel so swollen! Ugh! So today I'm taking it easy with my feet up and drinking more water and I will cross my fingers I start making more frequent trips to the bathroom!

Today is a good day! New photos 7 days post op!

Each day does get better! Today I am moving around the house much easier without tiring too easily. I was able to do a few small tasks around the house, which is such a nice change from lounging all day! If all goes well the rest of today, I may venture out tomorrow for my daughters class holiday party (she's in kindergarten). My swelling seems to be going down, but my whole body is sore from the Lipo.

I have an holiday party on Saturday evening, I have to run out to buy Spanx which my PS recommended to wear. Any recommendations on type? I can't bear the thought of having to try them on in the dressing room. I will wait until Saturday and hopefully by then I will feel a little better.

Drainage

Yesterday my drainage was 60cc so got more time to go. PS removes drain when falls below 25cc. I was really hoping to get this drain out on Friday because I'm traveling for Xmas and PS will be on vacation. I really don't want this drain in for another 10 days...ugh.

Up & Around, My Progress and Other

Up and around...
It is so nice to be up and about around the house. It's a 3:30pm and this is the first time I sat with my feet up to take a break and relax. I stuffed, labeled, stamped and sealed my holiday cards, I paid bills, I made my own lunch and finished organizing the last part of the holiday gifts for my childrens teachers (class gift) to go to school tomorrow. So needless to say, I have energy and strength to do things around the house. I'm not terribly exhausted right now so I know I did not over do it.

Holiday party...yeah!
I am looking forward to our neighborhood holiday party on Saturday evening (I love parties that I don't host!). I just hope it is not too noticeable that I'm hunched over. Will be nice to get out of the house!

My progress...
My drainage yesterday was 35cc so looking good to get this drain out on Monday! My body is bruised, terribly sore and tender to the touch from Lipo. I think as my tummy heals, I feel more of the discomfort of the Lipo. I didn't feel it the first several days. My butt is sore from the fat injection too. I'm sitting on pillows to lighten the pressure. I am swollen in all the areas I had work on. I look forward to each morning when I take off the CG and binder to check out my new body and see how my body takes shape as the swelling subsides. Although it is exciting to see the progress each day, I wish it was instant!

Super excited....
Pre and post surgery, the thought of wearing a bikini bathing didnt even enter my mind. I don't know why, perhaps it is because I haven't worn one in over 10 years or because I had so much in my mid-section, I couldn't imagine that my tummy would actually be flat and I would have such a beautiful waistline. It wasn't even a forethought. So now that realit is sinking in...I'm SUPER excited that I WILL be wearing a bikini!!!

Swelling traveling south!

Wow, my swollen tummy is traveling south! The swelling in my upper torso is moving down and my lower abdomen feels like a water balloon filled to the max ready to burst! The swelling has even extended into my vajayjay area! So weird!

My drainage was 25cc yesterday! Looks like I will be getting this drain out on Monday! YAY!

So I need to buy a garment that i will be able to wear under my work clothes. My garment was sized up to fit over my big, bulky and uncomfortable, binder. I feel like I'm 8 months pregnant with it on and not to mention it makes my back sweat (it's a thickly padded corset that velcros in back). So I came across a profile on RS that purchased Faja MariaE and a separate ab board by Faja MariaE. So I'm going to give it try! Does anyone have other recommendations?

Pics 9 days post

Comparison pics

Information and pics of my compression garment and binder by Marena Comfort Wear

Some of my RF friends have asked questions about the CG and Abdominal Binder so sharing some information about it and pictures of mine which is specific to my procedure (4D Laser abdominoplasty and 4D Laser to other areas).

"An abdominal binder provides compression and support to both the upper and lower abdomen. It helps to improve blood circulation and oxygen levels at the operative site, increases healing and reduces swelling."
Source - http://www.livestrong.com/article/49252-abdominal-binder-used/

I also read that you can wear a Compression Garment OR Abdominal Binder, but I am wearing BOTH. Is anyone else wearing both?

Wow...what a great day yesterday! Paying for it today!

I went for my first ultrasound lymphatic drainage massage yesterday. It felt soooo good! They used ultrasound on my tummy before the massage which helps to reduce inflammation. The massage itself was gentle. I have lumpy spots below the surface of the skin from the Lipo and this helps break them down, speeds up the recovery and helps reduce bruising. I'm so glad my PS recommended it, I would have never thought to do this. Needless to say, I felt great the rest of the day!

I went to a holiday cocktail party last night. I wore spanx instead of my compression garment. It was a lot of standing which really got to me. I had to break away several times to sit on the sofa. Nobody at the cocktail party knew of my surgery so trying to hide my discomfort at times was difficult. Hiding my drain was not easy! I was so paranoid about it the whole night. I pinned it under my dress, but at times it would bulge outward so I was constantly adjusting it. Oh, I did get 3 compliments! One from hubby saying I looked hot. Two others at the party, funny they must be wondering what diet I was on! I was VERY swollen at nights end. I was so anxious to get back into my binder, compression garment and relieved to sit back in my recliner. Now I can truly tell why people continue to wear it afterwards.

I am completely exhausted today! I only got up from the recliner to go to the bathroom and to make something for lunch. It is now 4pm and I really do have to get myself up but I don't have the energy to.

My drainage was just below 25cc yesterday. I'm hopeful the drain will come out tomorrow. My drainage so far today has been minimal!

I have not returned to sleeping in my bed yet. My bed is high up so it will be a challenge to get in and out of it. For now, I'm staying put on the recliner!

Drains are coming out!!! YAY!!

My drainaged dropped to 15cc yesterday so my drains come out at today's post op appt!!

Post Op Appointment

My drain came out at my post op appointment! Ahhh, does it feel so good not to have that pesty drain tugging at my rear! I also had to go down a size in my vest and compression garment! This new one feels so much better, nice and snug!

Feeling Great!

I'm feeling so good with this new vest and compression garment. The smaller snug size is definitely making me feel more secure when moving around. I'm due to post updated pics, will try to snap a few and post later.

I traveled yesterday to visit family out of state for the holiday. I did good in the car for the 4 hour trip. Now I have to wrap presents that were shipped directly here. Luckily my mom is going to help!

13 days post pics

Starting to get flat and more curvy! I like the way my butt looks in the side profile pics

Comparison Pics - Before, 3, 7 & 13 days

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a busy day with opening toys for the kids and then dinner with family. I was on my feet a lot and really did not rest with my feet elevated at all. Needless to say, I woke up very swollen today! Not just in my tummy...my hands and feet were swollen too! I couldn't get my rings on. I can't wait to feel a normal again! I can't imagine if I had to return to work already. I don't know how some people do. I'm so thankful that I was able to take off 3 1/2 weeks. I return to work on January 6th which is my 40th birthday! I can't believe I will be 40 in another week but it am thankful to have had this surgery beforehand. It was the best Christmas and birthday gift ever!

Ahhh, another lymphatic drainage massage with ultrasound therapy!

Ahhh, it feels so great! I went for another lymphatic drainage massage with ultrasound therapy. I have still have lumpy spots along my sides/flanks and some on my tummy which are tender to the touch. These lumps are hard and beneath the skin surface so you can't see them in pictures. Massage therapist said this is very common with Lipo and it is essentially accumulation of fluid and scar tissue. The massage helps break it up and will aid in the recovery process. Those spots really bother me (they are achy) and it felt so great to have them rubbed out. I am heading back for more tomorrow and Monday since my coinsurance is only $6 until the start of the new year when my deductible kicks in again!

I had fun this morning getting ready! I didn't put on my vest and CG because I was heading straight for the massage. I wore a flexee compression tank with my favorate hipster undees (I always wore hipster styles but am excited to buy binkini styles soon with my new figure!). I did not tire from the shower at all and I finally was able to shave my legs!

I can't believe....

Hi RS ladies!

I can't believe it has bee 17 days since my surgery. I feel great but no where near 100%. My compression garment is a big help in making me feel comfortable. I've have spent short periods of time without it and I feel so much better (support) when I have it on. Even though I feel free with out it by wearing a Spanx type garment, it certainly does not give the same support as the medical grade CG and binder. I really don't know how I'm going to return to work wearing something else. I feel like I will swell right up. I may feel differently in another week, we shall see!

I had massage #3 today and the lumpy areas on my waist and flanks are starting to dissipate! It provides such relief! My bruising is benefiting from it too. So happy PS recommended this as part of my post op care. It is so worth it.

Happy healing to all!

The past few days have been...

The past few days have been uneventful! I have been tired and lazy. It seems like I should be able to do more than I am, but I get tired very easily. Having a hard time thinking that this time next week I'll be back to work. Not looking forward to that! I have a post op appointment tomorrow with PS...it's been 3 weeks! Time went fast..although it didn't seem to be in the beginning. Posting some comparison pics up to this point. Swelling is going down, I;m not as puffy but still have a ways to go. Thank goodness for this CG and vest. I swell right up when I don't have it on.

19 days comparison pics

16 days comparison pics - rear profile

Post Op Appointment Today! Dry Skin Brushing...Ahhhhh!

I had my 3 week post op appointment today. Healing is good! No accumulation of fluid in tummy (I had no drain TT). Steri strip was removed, I will post updated pics of scar tomorrow. I measured myselft about 10 days ago, my waist was 34" and hips 43". Today, the nurse measured me for a stage 2 garment and I was 31" waist and 42" hips! I can't believe my waist went down 3" in 10 days! I picked up the next size down in my stage 1 vest and CG as I will be wearing that at night vs the stage 2 CG during the day. I have my pre-surgery measurements somewhere, I have to find them. I'm pretty sure my waist was 38"!

I went for another ultrasound lymphatic drainage massage...ahhhh. Also, I started dry brushing my skin today. Feels so good! I have been dry brushing my skin for the past year or so. It helps detox your body, improve circulization, lymph drainage, etc.

Read more at these websites:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7955/why-you-should-start-dry-body-brushing-today.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/172135-how-to-correctly-dry-brush-your-body/

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my RS sisters!

I had a very lazy day yesterday! I need get myself moving today. I'm heading out to the supermarket and to get gas before we get hit with the snowstorm that is traveling across many states. I also have another massage scheduled later today. I always feel so good on the days of the massage. I wish it was earlier in the day so I would have energy to push me through what I gave to get done.

I've been trying to sleep on my side (not that easy) to alleviate pressure on my butt. I think my butt is flattening out from sitting (I had fat transfer to butt). I've been reading posts in the BBL section of RS and they are not allowed to sit for 4 to 6 weeks! Yikes! I really didn't have a choice, there would have been no way for me to do that with a TT. Now I think my results will not be stellar as the pics I have seen in the BBL section. I am bummed about that. I've bee trying really hard to stay off my butt the past few days but I'm feeling it in my tummy around the rib cage. I ordered a boppy pillow and stability disc to help cushion my bottom when sitting and trying to sit on my thighs by leaning forward. Not sure what I do now will help but giving it a try anyway!

I went down another size in CG and vest (so this is my 3rd size since sx). Feels so good to see myself shrinking and the tightness of the new CG feels so good!

Have a great day!!

Scar Treatment and Belly Button

The steri strip was removed from my incision line and belly button at my post op appointment earlier this week. I started scar treatment today and took a pic of what it looks like now. It is still tender to touch. I sneezed today and boy did that hurt. I like my new belly button, glad it is an inny!

I got around very good yesterday. I ended up getting my massage earlier due to the snow storm. I was out and about for 3+ hours. I did pretty well in the supermarket but as the cart filled up, it was hard to push it without using my abs! By the time I got home, I was wiped out so I left all the groceries in the car for hubby to unload when he got home. It was only 24 degrees so I didn't have to worry about anything spoiling! I went straight to the couch to lay down!

Scar Treatment and Massage Update

I'm using ScarGuard on my incision line and old BB to reduce appearance of scar. This was recommended to me by my PS. He also recommends Mederma. My PS also suggested I get laser treatment on my old BB. He performs in his office and he said my old BB will not be noticeable after laser treatment. I will probably start laser treatment after I have my next post op appt at the end of January.

Also, my PS recommends scar massage at least 4 times daily for 2-3 minutes each time by placing your fingers directly on the incision site firmly and moving in a circular fashion without lifting your fingers off the scar. I plan to use vitamin E oil to do the massage.

Hope this helps!

Back to Work Tomorrow AND it is my...

Well, sadly I am back to work tomorrow AND it is my 40th birthday {sigh}!! I am so glad I decided to take 3 weeks off as opposed to 2 weeks. There is so much of a difference in how I am able to get around between the two weeks as well as my energy level. So if you are debating to take 2 or 3 weeks for your surgery...definately go for 3 weeks if you can!

My new MariaE faja came in by USPS yesterday, talk about close call! I need this faja for work! I can't wear the CG from PS because it is too bulky with the vest (see my December 21 post at 10 days post op). I do love wearing the Marena CG now from PS since it is nice and snug and really keeps down the swelling. I'm sure I'll be dying to get back in my Marena CG tomorrow night after a long day at work!

First Day Back to Work...

First day back to work was good but my tummy was starting to hurt by early afternoon. I think from sitting on the desk chair using a stability disc to avoid putting prolonged pressure on my butt ( i had fat injection). I did get up to take a walk every 45 minutes as recommended by my physical therapist that does the lymph drainage massage. I was stiff upon getting up but tried to loosen up before attempting to walk so I would be hunched over or move like an old lady! I did work a shortened day from 9am to 3pm. I'm glad I did that! Everyone kept asking how my vacation was and if I went anywhere good. Lol! I only told one person at work who is near and dear to me. We've known each other fir over 15 years and worked together for over 10 years at two employers. She was so amazed of my small waistline. I will post an update and pics of my new Faja by MariaE. I'm so glad I bought the Faja instead of Spanx!

Faja by MariaE from Caribbeanshape.com

I wore my new MariaE Faja to work for my first day back to work yesterday. Talk about a serious butt lift! Hoping it shapes my booty nice and round...since sitting on my booty to recouperate from TT left a flat area in lower buttocks (I had fat transfer).

This faja took me forever to get into but I did it! It really holds everything in its place. It's a little too tight for me to fit in the abdominal board but I'm hoping after a week of wearing this baby that I will loose an inch or two and then can fit the ab board. That will be helpful in afternoon at work, which is when my tummy starts to hurt from swell hell! I should have bought this in black, it would have looked like leggings under dresses.
Happy healing RS sisters!

Swell Hell!

Day 3 back to work and my tummy is so swollen! Now I can honestly say I truly understand when RS sisters post about swell hell! No joke!

I was feeling the swell hell last night and I really thought that it would subside by the morning. Well, it did subside but not to the extent I thought it would. Needless to say swell hell is worse today and now I need to get myself home, put my feet up and REST!! I did not do a good job of taking care of me last night.

Swell Hell Day 4 of Returning to Work!

I woke up this morning just as swollen as I was last night. This is torture! So today I decided that I was going to work in my Marena CG and vest (which is bulky). This CG and vest is the only one that keeps the swelling down and controls the pressure from the constant up and down from my office seat. My only problem was finding business attire that I could fit over it that didn't make me look like the Pillsbury Doughboy!

Day 5 Back to Work

Today was soooo much better than the previous days! I'm so glad I wore the Marena CG and vest all day yesterday because it really paid off today! I slipped back into my MariaE Faja this morning and I was not nearly as swollen. I was able to get home at a decent time today and relax with my feet up.

It is hubby's birthday tomorrow. Since our birthdays are only 5 days apart, we usually go out to celebrate. We' re heading into NYC tomorrow for a broadway show. We live on Long Island so we just hop on the railroad to get to the city. It is still a bit of a commute, train ride is 1:20 each way. I had to venture into the city this past Wednesday for a client meeting, hopefully I won't swell up again like I did Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

I have to add more recent photos. My tummy was looking great tonight. I'll try to do by Sunday. Ta ta!

One Month Post Op!

So here I am a month later! This was swell hell week so I'm carrying extra fluid. My left side is more swollen than my right.

LOL!!! I'm AT WORK and just peed myself!

I can't believe I just peed myself! I'm at work and wearing a different CG today. It has a flap over the whoha. I'm so damn use to sitting and peeing in the CG that I didn't even think to remove the flap. So I start to pee and think, huh, why the heck is it coming out so slow and it still did not even dawn on me why until I wiped! LOL!

Night out on Saturday made me useless on Sunday!

So my big 40th birthday night out with hubby to the city for a nice dinner and broadway show rendered me useless on Sunday (and we only had one martini while waiting for our table)!! I literally slept all day Sunday and the through night to Monday morning only getting up to gp to bathroom and drink some water. When is my body going to adjust to doing normal things?? It is so annoying that you feel up to doing things but when you do, you certainly pay for it afterwards.

5 weeks post op and 2nd week back to work

I'll have to say that this week at work has been soooo much better than last week!!! Last week was pure swell hell and I finally feel like I'm shedding some of the extra fluid I was retaining from the 1st week swell hell back to work week! Plus, each night after work last week I went straight to the sofa to sleep. This week, I am able to help out with the kids homework and cook dinner. Definitely some progress of returning to a normal lifestyle!

Saturday evening was my 2nd attempt to sleep in my bed and it was a successful one!!! It only took a month! lol! The first time was around 14 days post op. it was too difficult to get in/out of because my bed is high off the ground so I settled for the sofa! So at that point, I moved from recliner to sofa. My range of motion is so much better now, making it easier to turn to change positions and push myself up with my arms to get up out of bed. I couldn't do those two essential moves to get up on my own and it wasn't like I could just roll off my bed, it was too big of a drop!

So I keep seeing posts of beautiful.....

So I keep seeing posts of beautiful pics of RS sisters trying on bikini bathing suits, panties and bras. I don't even own a bikini! And the closes pretty panty I own is a hipster with lace trim and it isn't even flattering! I think it looked better when I had the tummy! So I pulled out a tankini that I probably wore about 10 years ago! lol! It looks cute!

Lol...found these pics

I tried to see if I could find before pics of me in the black bathing suit I posted above, but couldn't find any. I think I owned that bathing suit before I owned a digital camera! lol! I did find these two that were taken in January 2013 while we were on vacation.

Sorry, I'm posting way too much today...

I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and had try on a dress that I bought back last May for a different wedding. Still fits, a little big on waist but can't really tell. It feels much better to wear this time around. I was so self conscious of my back fat before, but not anymore!

Compression Garment

I started wearing my MariaE Faja two weeks ago when I returned back to work. This is my daytime CG now. I am happy to report that after week one I was able to insert the ab board and after week another week passed, I am now on the second row of hooks! It is so nice to see this progression! I also had to downsize my Marena Comfort Wear CG and Binder which I wear in the evening and to sleep in. So in 5 weeks time, I went from a size 3XL to Large! I can't believe how swollen I was. I am normally a medium in just about everything I wear, I was baffled when my CG immediately post surgery was a 3X! I plan to continue wearing CG until at least 3 months and possibly longer. I have also been reading a lot of RS sisters doing waist training so I think I'm going to give it a try!

6 Weeks Update! Feeling normal...

PROGRESSION PHOTOS
I updated my progression photos, boy such differences week to week! My update compares before, 1-2-3-4 and 6 weeks.

EXERCISE
I started exercising this week and I feel like I'm holding onto fluid. I swear, anytime you change something up the body swells up, but in no way to the extent it did when I returned to work! So I'm hoping that some of the fluid will shed by weeks end once my body has become accustomed to excercising again. I didn't do anything to strenuous, just the elliptical at a slow pace and some light weights for armr/shoulders.

FEELING NORMAL
I'm feeling pretty good! I am just about doing everything I used to do, except heavy lifting. I leave the laundry baskets for hubby and anything else I feel is too heavy or requires bending down. I certainly don't want a hernia!

FIRST WEEKEND NOT WIPED
This past weekend at 5 1/2 weeks was the FIRST weekend that I did not get completely wiped out! I traveled out of state 4 hours by car, went to a wedding, wore heals, danced and I felt GOOD the next day. I was swollen, but I was not exhausted! So making progress to feeling normal, minus the swelling. I guess there is good reason behind why the standard is 6 weeks off after surgery, you really do feel better by the 6 week mark!

LIPO TO ARMS
I'm starting to see differences in my arms from the lipo. The arm recovery was long and painfully annoying. I could barely lift my arms to tie my hair back through 4 weeks post op. PS gave them definition, I can see it when I do arm exercises. Now I just need to tone them up so I can see the definition all the time! I didn't post any before/after pics of them, but I will soon.

LIPO TO INNER THIGHS UPDATE
There is a visible difference from the lipo to the inner thighs but not what I expected. I wish I was a little more educated in this as I would have preferred to do the whole inner leg from knee to thigh. There is only so much that can be removed from the inner thigh if you don't do the rest of the inner leg. I was hoping to have more of the jiggly fat removed, but now that I look at it, it wouldn't look right without doing the rest of the leg.

7 Weeks Post Op

MEASUREMENTS
Whoohoo! 7 weeks later and feeling great! I took my measurements this morning and my waist is down another inch! My waist measurements were as follows:
December 20 - 34"
December 31 - 31"
January 31 - 30"
My bust and hips have stayed the same at 39" and 42".

SWELLING
I do feel better from the swelling I had last week, but I am still swelling in my wrist, hands and fingers when I awake in the morning but it does go down back to normal by noon. I still have swelling in abdomen, but that is expected! I can tell you that the swelling is not as intense and my belly is getting softer.

POST OP APPOINTMENT
I had a post op appointment today and it went great! PS still would like me to continue wearing the medical grade CG at night, however, I graduated today from having to wear the vest (binder) under my CG at night! I bought a CG in a smaller size today from PS, I was a size 3X right after surgery and now I am a size M! PS gave me a steroid injection in the belly button to soften it up, I didn't even feel the needle! I have a dog ear on the right side of my incision and I scheduled an appointment to have that fixed in March. I will also start laser treatment on my scar in March. PS and I spoke of touching up the buttocks in the area the fat did not graft (my flat spot), luckily I still have enough fat elsewhere on my body that he can harvest! I will need to be fully healed before we go down that road. PS let me view his before/after photos of me and I can not even tell you how amazing his photos were. I signed a consent for him to publish my results on his website and he said he will provide me with the photos after my 3 month post op in March. I will be sure to share when I get them.

Real Friend

I just noticed I'm a real friend now!

10 Weeks Post Op

WOW, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN 10 WEEKS!
Each week does get so much better! Most of my swelling has subsided, but I still do get swelling in my lower abdominal area daily but it is nothing compared to the swelling in the earlier weeks.

NEXT POST OP
My next post op appointment is on March 4th. I will be having a 4-in-1 appointment for (1) post op follow up, (2) dog ear correction (my left hip), (3) laser treatment to lighten scar and (4) consultation for breast lift with implants for fullness.

STITCHES
I have some stitches that are spitting up, one on my belly button and another on my left hip. My belly button is hurting from it, you can see from the picture that it is red around my BB. The incision mark on my left hip has been irritated for a long time, I wish the stitch would just come out already! It gets better when I keep it covered with either a gauze pad or the silicone strips but it doesn't take much to get irritated again.

LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE
I am still getting massages. I was going twice a week from 2 weeks post op through 6 weeks, then reduced to once a week since then. I did skip last week and I definately felt more swollen and pain in my belly.

CLOTHING
I still don't understand how my clothes still fit me with all that was taken away from my mid section. I'm not complaining, I love the way I look, but it is so weird that I didn't drop a size. My clothes do fit much better, and my pants are a teeny bit big on the waist but with my full butt, I wouldn't be able to squeeze into a smaller size.

BATHING SUIT SHOPPING
Boy am I excited to go bathing suit shopping. As soon as tax season is over (yeah, I'm a CPA, hence my absence from RS :( , I'm heading straight to Blums for a bikini! I will be testing that bikini out in April when I get away to Myrtle Beach for a 5 day getaway!

Happy healing to all my TT RS sisters and good luck to those about to have surgery! Be well!

10 Week Progression Photos

Here are my progression photos with before, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 10 weeks. Front, Side and Rear.

Bikini Photos 11 Weeks

My first bikini purchase in over 10 years! Bought this bikini from Athleta. I love their clothing. One of my new favorite stores for casual and gym clothing, great summer dresses too!

12 Weeks Post Op

POST OP APPOINTMENT
I had an appointment today with PS. He took pictures and will burn them to a CD and give them to me at next appointment. I also had dog ear correction today, it wasn't too bad. I do have the steri strip over the incision line that was cut to correct the dog ear. The steri strip will stay on for 3 weeks. He did have to extend the incision line a little beyond the original line.

SWELLING
Not much has changed, although swelling has significantly improved, I still have swelling in lower abdomen. At times worst than others. I still wear a spanx type compression garment during the day and a marena medical grade compression garment in at night (as instructed by PS).

EXERCISE
I've been exercising since the 6 week mark, taking things slowly. I was finally able to kick it up a knotch and did some high intensity cardio (Turbo Fire by Chaleeen Johnson) and after doing that for just under a week, I really started to feel pain in my abdominals. I had to stop altogether. I haven't worked out for about 5 days now and my belly is feeling a lot better. I'm going to tone it down as I get back into it again. That really through me off track!

PEOPLE ARE NOTICING
People are starting to notice "that I lost weight". I've been getting compliements a few times a week for the past two weeks. My husband tells me when people stare, and today was one of those days! We had poetry day at school for our children and he was telling me the moms that were starting at me...lol! One of the moms did comment on my "skinnyness"...she I confided in and she asked who did you use and when I said Dr. Epstein, she whispered in my ear "I used him for my boobies"!

That's all for now, happy healing TT sisters! I hope to post before and after pics from PS next week.

Swell Hell.....again! Ugh...

Swell hell has returned. This sucks! I didn't think the dog ear correction was going to be anything much....I am proved wrong! It didn't seem bad yesterday, but this morning I had a very hard time putting my compression garment on! :(

Dog Ear Correction Pics

The swell hell toned itself down! Thank goodness. I am more swollen than usual which I blame on the dog ear correction.

HCG Diet - Day 1

Today is day 1 of the HCG diet and I'm so excited! I did this diet last year and lost 20lbs in 4 weeks (kept 10lbs of it off), so hoping I have similar results! I started the "load" or "phase 1" of the diet on Friday and today phase 2 beings. The load phase is taking the HCG hormone injection and eating normal. Phase 2 is today, which starts the diet. I will be eating a whopping 500 calories a day (very restrictive) for the next 4 weeks. Hungry? Nah. HCG reduces feelings of hunger, keeps you from loosing muscle and promotes more of a pure fat loss. This muscle allows for a stronger metabolism and helps people maintain their weight loss long after their diet is completed.

This diet was featured on Dr. Oz too, which I learned about after I did the diet last year. I've posted a link that you can copy/paste into your browser.
http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/5-controversial-solutions-your-biggest-complaints?video_id=1848081222001

Here are my stats:
Weight 153
Bust 39"
Waist 30"
Hip 42"
Thigh 24"
Arm 12"

Palomar Icon Laser for Scar Treatment - First Treatment

I went today for scar laser treatment at PS office. The photos are not pretty! This will clear up in a few days. I am setting up a separate review for this procedure under my profile. I was told it will take 4 treatments before noticing an improvement in the scar. I will be going for 6 to 8 treatments total. The treatments are monthly and cost $300/treatment.

It did hurt a little, in fact the first zap made my body jolt! I think mostly because I didn't know what to expect. After that it felt like an electric shock sensation, more senstive in certain areas (as she got down to scar above pubic area). She also lasered my old BB and my new BB. She said it will soften up my new BB and remove the darkness that I have. My scar is dark to begin with, so I think this will significantly improve it.

3 Month Post Op Photos from PS

Dr. Epstein provided me with my before/after pre and post op photos. I put them into a side by side collage. Wow!

HCG Diet Update

My stats from March 10th on day 1 of the diet:
Weight 153
Bust 39"
Waist 30"
Hip 42"
Thigh 24"
Arm 12"

My stats today, day 16 of the diet:
Weight 145 (lost 8lbs)
Bust 39" - (same)
Waist 29" (lost 1")
Hips 41.5" (lost 1/2")
Thigh 23" (lost 1")
Arm 12" (same)

The biggest difference is in my belly. I went down a whole inch on my waistline and my swelling has gone down significantly! Sadly, my butt went down too :( but I will be having a touch up on the booty in December!

4 Months Post Op!

I can't believe I'm at 4 months post op! I will be seeing PS on this upcoming Friday for another post op appointment.

Nothing out of the ordinary to report, feeling better and better as time goes by. Still have numb belly and swelling but nothing major.

HCG Diet update:
Weight: 142 (lost 11 lbs) YAY!
Bust: 37" (lost 2")
Waist: 29" (lost 1")
Hips: 41" (lost 1")
Thigh: 22" (lost 2")
Arm: 12" (same...ugh, i even had lipo on these arms and they didn't budget an inch!)

My frame definately got smaller. I'm on the maintenance phase of the diet now but I do think I will repeat the diet again in June.

Happy healing RS sisters!
Stony Brook Plastic Surgeon

I chose Dr Epstein for 4D Vaser Lipo-abdominoplasty, Vaser Lipo to Flanks, Back, Arms and Inner Thighs with Fat Grafting to Buttocks, Hips and Outer Thighs. From my initial consultation to post surgery care, he has provided the utmost care and attention to me. He took the time to educate me during my consultation and answered all of my questions and concerns. I did not feel rushed during the consult but rather I felt very comfortable with him. He was very thorough which was a pleasant surprise from other plastic surgeon consults I had been on. The day of surgery I was nervous and Dr Epstein and his staff made me feel very comfortable. The surgery was long, about 7 hours and went well. I had a nurse, Arlene, stay with me overnight and that was a blessing! My 4D Vaser Lipo-abdominoplasty was drainless which was a huge plus. Dr Epstein's post operative follow up is exceptional. He phoned me several times a day to check on me. The Experel used to numb the tummy seemed to not be working on day 2 post op and I was in a lot of pain. Dr Epstein and Maryann came to my house!! He gave me a local anesthetic to ease my discomfort. He really went above and beyond and that makes him exceptional. I chose Dr Epstein because time he spent with me to educate me on the procedure and because he is cutting edge when it comes to technology offering 4D Vaser. I am ecstatic about my results. Dr Epstein is an exceptional doctor. He is caring, takes great pride in his sculpting abilities and is at the top of cutting edge technology. I highly recommend him. Please read through my journey on Real Self.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (504)

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looking great wowo congrats !!! were can i get this hcg diet from ? thank you many Blessings
  • Reply
Thank you! You would have to google it to find places in your area. It is a medically supervised diet. Another member told me they found a groupon for it too.
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You look amazing!!! And your journey has been one of the best I have read! So detailed and lots of pictures!! Thank you for sharing!
  • Reply
Thank you! I hope my journey will help others!
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How long do you stay on this diet?
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Up to 6 weeks on HCG then another 6 weeks on maintenance (no HCG taken on maintenance). Your body gets used to the HCG so not effective after 6 weeks. For me, most weight is lost in 4 weeks.
  • Reply
How do you keep yourself from gaining the weight back when you stop taking the hcg? Is it expensive?
  • Reply
Ironically, more people keep weight off after HCG diet than other traditional diets. There is a 6 week maintenance phase after the diet where you increase your food intake gradually. Your body becomes accustom to the reduced good intake so as you gradually increase food, you are quite full. Since you loose more body fat rather than muscle, you are able to sustain the weight loss. Research it online. It is quite interesting on how it works. As for cost, it is totally worth it! I paid $500 for 4 weeks. It is possible your primary care will prescribe. After I initially did the diet through another PS office, I ended up getting my primary care physician to prescribe. Much cheaper raft way BUT I learned a ton about the diet from the PS office. I have all the details of the diet and the maintenance phases.
  • Reply
Thank you so much! Very interesting!
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All sounds good! How tall are you? I hope you have continued success girl!
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I'm a shorty... 5'1" Loosing weight had been increasingly difficult being hypothyroid and getting older too!
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I'm in the club too, 5' 4"!!! I feel ya girl!
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Are you doing the hcg shots or drops?
  • Reply
shots! the drops don't get into the blood stream so not effective.
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Hey sexy girl, how are you? How is the hcg going, I'm researching docs in my area because I think I really want to give it a shot. Hope you're well sister!
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Hey girl! Sorry, I've been MIA! I just posted an update on HCG diet...lost 8lbs so far and swelling has gone done significantly! It is definately a great way to detox and shed water weight!
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Just had my consultation the other day. I too will have TT Vaser on ab and flanks. Fat transfer to butt. I am very much afraid of surgery have never had any. Your incision looks so sore and long. I am also 15 yrs older then you. Thanks for your blog its helpful. I will be doing this end of Aug
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You will be so happy! Vaser 4D is the best!
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Hi there , you look amazing ....can I ask how much your surgery cost
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Omg, incredible....u look amazing!
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Thank you!
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Those side by sides before and after are amazing. Huge transformation especially your back. Beautiful!!
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Thank you! I'm still in shock with the transformation of my back. I couldn't tell that it was that huge of a difference until I saw the picture!
  • Reply
Very cool! I hope I get pics like this too :)
  • Reply
I asked for them, so make you do too! He gave me the images on CD. I put them in the side by side collage.
  • Reply