After over a year of contemplating this procedure,...
After over a year of contemplating this procedure, I finally did it yesterday (1/13/14). I'm not normally one to write such personal reviews like this but reading what others have posted here were so helpful to me in making my decision that I figured I should share my experience. I am 43 yrs old and very fit. I work out 5-6 days per week and eat well. I have nicely defined arms, abs and calves and am not overweight but any couple extra pounds that I have are all in my thighs. I've had cellulite on the outer sides of my thighs for probably 25 years! When I turned 40, it started to appear on the backs of my thighs and about a year and a half ago, it showed up on the front/inner thighs, along with some loose skin on the inners as well. I probably would have just lived with it if had stayed only on the outer thighs- I had already kind of come to terms with that- but when my entire thighs were covered in cellulite, I knew I had to do something.
Day of Procedure:
I got the sides done, a smaller area on the back of thighs just under my butt and the lower front (above the knees) and inner thighs done. They marked me up and then gave me three valium, which really helped calm my nerves. As many others have said, the numbing was the worst part. I have a low threshold for pain and it really hurt! However, it didn't take long which made it a little more bearable. The procedure itself was not too bad. I could feel it the entire time, but it didn't hurt. It was more like a pushing/pulling feeling. I could feel stinging/burning once or twice and when that happened they numbed me a little more. I think it took about 3 hours, maybe a little longer. Afterwards, they pushed some of the fluid out of me, put gauze pads on the incisions and put me into the compression garment. I felt okay, a little sore but not too bad. After I got home, I ate a small meal (I hadn't eaten all day). I started to feel a little pain a couple hours later so I took a vicodin and went upstairs to bed.
Day after procedure:
I woke up this morning in A LOT of pain. I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and felt very nauseous and dizzy. I actually fell forward when I was trying to go to the bathroom and banged my head on the shower door and now have a cut and a huge bump on my forehead! I think maybe I just got up and moved too quickly. Anyway, I took another vicodin and the pain has decreased but I still definitely feel it. The pain on my upper thighs is totally bearable - feels like it would after a heavy weight workout or a long training run, but I have really bad pain just above one of my knees. So bad that it hurts just to put weight on that one leg when I stand up or walk. Also, the swelling is WAY worse than I expected. My legs from the tops of my thighs to just above my knees are easily 5-6 times larger than normal. I have on loose sweats over my compression garment and you can still tell how huge my legs are. Other than my husband, no one knows I've done this and I'd really like to keep it that way but I don't see how I can go out of the house with swelling like this. I can't even imagine when I will be able to put "normal" clothes on. I don't know if I have any bruising yet because I can't take the compression garment off until tomorrow night when they said I could shower. I also don't have any of the numbness that others have experienced (yet). My biggest fear of doing this procedure (even more than it not working) was having a horrible and prolonged recovery. I'm hoping the swelling will go down considerably in the next few days so I'm trying not to panic yet.
I'm not filling out the doctor rating portion right now; I'm going to wait until I'm further along in the recovery and results stages but I will say that so far, they have been great. The doctor and his staff answered all my questions and made me feel very comfortable.
2 weeks out
So, I am 2 weeks post op now. Recovery seems to be going well. After the 1st week, the swelling went down quite a bit- thank goodness! Bruises are about 90% gone, which I am amazed about because pretty much my entire thighs were covered in red/purple bruises a week ago. I have been using arnica gel and tablets, but I have no idea if that really helped or not. What is weird though, is that I have developed a few very light random yellowish bruises (which is how I normally bruise) and a few purple ones on the lower part of my legs (calves, etc) where I did not get the cellulaze treatment. I'm assuming it has to somehow be related but not sure how/why. I still feel a bit sore when sitting for a long period of time and am continuing to take ibuprofen before I go to bed because my legs still tend to get sore at night when I sleep, but otherwise, no real pain. I get random spots of numbness that come and go and sometimes feel a stinging or tingling sensation. I am back to a modified work out schedule. I've been walking briskly on the treadmill, doing abs & upper body weights. This week I will add in the elliptical and try some lower body weights. I tried to run the other day and got that crazy sensation that others have posted about-- like your skin was detaching from your body-- so I anticipate holding off on running and other high impact exercises for another week or two. I am a little worried about how my incisions will look when all is said and done. I'm using cocoa butter lotion on them now and plan to get some mederma. We'll see. As for how my legs actually look at this point, it is really hard to say. The cellulite as a whole "seems" reduced, but I can definitely still see it in some places, just less pronounced maybe. I'm trying not to look too often and obsess over what I see or don't see in the mirror at this point since they say you don't really see full results until 6 months. However, I am not a patient person so playing this waiting game for another few months is going to be tough.
5 1/2 weeks post
So, I'm almost 6 weeks post procedure. Major bruising and swelling have been gone for a couple weeks. I have a tiny bit of underlying bruising on the backs of my legs but it is fading and probably not noticeable to anyone but me. I am still numb on some parts of my legs but really, I don't notice it all that much anymore except when I am putting pressure on those areas. I've kind of gotten used to the way it feels so it really isn't a big deal. I'm back to full workouts except for running. I can do other high impact things but for some reason running still feels weird. I am using mederma gel on my scars daily but they are still very noticeable. Not real thrilled about that but I'll trade them for the cellulite any day! I just pray that after all is said and done, I don't have BOTH! As for results, I see NONE yet! Still have cellulite, to the same degree. I know I still have half way to go before the 3 month mark, but I am definitely discouraged and becoming really concerned that this has not worked. I've seen very mixed reviews on this site regarding the timing of when people started to see results so I'm just not sure what to think at this point! I'd really love to hear from others on when they finally started seeing an improvement.