Thighs, Knees, Flanks & Stomach - Waterloo, Ontario

I've wanted this for ages but held back due to the...

I've wanted this for ages but held back due to the cost. I actually consulted with Dr. Shenker back in 2009 about having my knees done, and intended to go through with it, but I ended up leaving my job and going back to school, so no money to pay for it.

I'm paying for this with the remnants of my student loan - definitely not something a financial guru would approve of, but I'll deal with it. I figure that I'd either have to spend time saving up for it or spend time paying it back...and I'd rather have the results DURING the time it takes me to pay it back, rather than look the same for the amount of time it would take me to save.

I'm 5'5", 140 lbs. I actually weigh about 20 lbs more than I did two years ago but pretty much the same - that's muscle weight for you!

Basically, I'm hoping that liposuction will give me the body contours that I've been longing for. I work out a lot but I've never had any success in slimming down to my "ideal shape", despite years of calorie counting/restriction etc. Also, when I lose weight the "natural" way, it always comes off my chest first - exactly where I don't want to lose it from!

I'm not nervous about the surgery - my only fear is that I will spend all of this money and not get the results I'm expecting.

I will update this post with before and after pictures.

**posting some dreadful BEFORE pictures**...

**posting some dreadful BEFORE pictures**

Well, the ones in the blue dress aren't that bad. I'm posting the pics of me in the jeans because those are my "goal" jeans, i.e. I'm hoping/thinking that after lipo I will be able to fit into them nicely. Once I get the surgery done and swelling goes down I will take more pics in the same jeans, and fingers crossed there will be a big difference!

Ugh....I'm still 99% sure I'm going to go through...

Ugh....I'm still 99% sure I'm going to go through with the lipo, but for some reason today I am having a huge panic attack about it. I've been reading articles about that stupid study that said the fat removed in liposuction would just come back elsewhere etc etc. I know that obv you have to maintain a normal eating/exercising lifestyle after lipo to avoid gaining weight (same as you would even without lipo) but I am suddenly terrified of my arms getting even fatter than they are now. I've always carried an odd amount of bulk in my arms and now I'm envisioning looking like a Pillsbury dough boy up there!

I'm also panicking about my normal leg cellulite getting would be awful to be smaller but have much worse looking skin...

Ughhhhhhh! I don't know why I'm suddenly freaking out today =( I'm feeling all defeatist and worried for some reason.

Still freaking out, but this girl's amazing blog...

Still freaking out, but this girl's amazing blog is making me feel better:

Surgery is next Thursday. I just made my second...

Surgery is next Thursday. I just made my second payment on my surgery (my credit card limit doesn't go high enough to cover it!).

For some reason the act of actually paying for this makes me feel more nervous/upset. I think I just feel embarrassed that I'm actually doing this. I like Dr. Shenker but I do find his staff just a little bit on the cool side, although I couldn't give any specific examples.

Anyway. Just nervous!

Holy crap! Doctor's office just called and my...

Holy crap! Doctor's office just called and my surgery is TOMORROW, not Thurs!!! Thank god they called to confirm =O! On the negative side, I haven't had a chance to go buy some prep stuff, but on the positive side, this reduces the amount of time I had to worry about it....!

DAMN! Just wrote a big long detailed review and...

DAMN! Just wrote a big long detailed review and then accidentally hit the back button on my browser.

Anyway, I made it through. Doctor took out 3000 ccs total - was at the clinic for about 5 hours. Waking up from surgery was pretty bad though - way more pain than I thought. Currently in bed lying on old beach towels. Pain is much better, but mainly because I am not moving!

Has anyone else had a standing prep? I haven't heard anyone mention it on here so I thought I'd give a quick description. The one I JUST WROTE was great, but as I said - stupid browser!

Basically, a standing prep involves standing basically naked in the OR while the nurses either spray you or swab you down with either iodine or an alcohol based solution. Mine was alcohol - it was bright pink! Generally speaking they will limit the amount of people in the room so you, as the patient, are as comfortable as possible. For me, there were only two nurses in the room. Needless to say, it's a bit embarrassing. One of the nurses, Ange, held my robe sort of bunched up behind me to cover my boobs and make me feel a little better, but obviously no underwear =S Once they're done you have to get onto the OR bed without touching it with your hands to keep the sheets sterile - basically just sitting down and swinging your legs up.

So anyway - if your doc tells you you're getting a standing prep, that's what it is! It's probably worth it to ask your doctor in advance of your surgery if that's what he's planning, as that way you'll at least be prepared.

Still in a fair bit of pain, however I don't find...

Still in a fair bit of pain, however I don't find it as bad at the bone pain I've had from previous foot surgeries. I've been taking Percocet regularly, as well as some Lyrica/ ibuprofen etc. Swelling is definitely increasing - my feet look like little sausages!

I haven't showered yet, as just the thought of taking off my garment and then getting it back on again practically makes me tear up in anticipatory pain! Maybe tomorrow.

How did the rest of you manage with massages? My doctor wants me to start self-massaging ASAP, and also book a lymphatic massage. Right now the thought of massaging myself, or having someone else do it, is AWFUL! My skin hurts way too much.

Ugh, so my recovery is being plagued by one little...

Ugh, so my recovery is being plagued by one little thing - I'm having a really hard time peeing! Basically it's like I just don't have anything in my bladder, but I definitely do. Sorry for the TMI, but after all this site is where we all go to get the nitty gritty of other people's experiences!

I'm really worried that I've got urinary retention and will end up needing a catheter (basically worried about the embarrassment/discomfort factor). I've told my doctor (who is really great - super attentive!) and he said to give it another 24 hours, but to keep checking in with him.

Finally got a bath today! It didn't go very well,...

Finally got a bath today! It didn't go very well, but at least now I feel clean and refreshed.

I was going to try having a shower this morning, so I took a Percocet about an hour before. My mum turned on the water but unfortunately I got really nauseous and light-headed and ended up throwing up before I could get in. I hadn't been taking the Percocet regularly but I've decided to stop taking it completely - I have a fairly high degree of pain but the Percocet is obviously too strong for my system. I'm going to stick to Lyrica/ibuprofen/tylenol.

Anyway, luckily my mum is a nurse and is used to all this stuff, so I ended up sitting in the tub (but didn't fill it, as the incisions shouldn't sit in water) while she washed my hair for me. By the end I was feeling okay enough to shave the bottom half of my legs - priorities, right? lol. She also washed my garment and sheets. I feel so much better now that I'm clean, but I really hate the process of getting the garment on and off!

Swelling is increasing - particularly noticeable in my stomach.

It's amazing how much surgery makes you appreciate just having your normal everyday body, slim or not! I can't wait to be back to no pain and no swelling and no limping around like I'm 84! =D

Just wanted to update specifically about my doctor...

Just wanted to update specifically about my doctor and experience at the clinic, for those in the area.

I am VERY happy that I chose Dr. Shenker. It's possible that he's a bit more expensive than some other surgeons, but I firmly believe he (and his clinic) was worth EVERY PENNY. I'd commented before, during one of my panic sessions, that I wished his reception staff was a little friendlier-sounding on the phone, but really that's a very minor complaint in comparison to the excellence of the care and concern that I have experienced overall. The three nurses that cared for me pre-op and post-op (I believe it was Linda, Ange and Emily) were incredibly sweet and made me as comfortable as possible. Dr. Nicholas, the aenaesthesiologist, is both highly competent and very comforting. Dr. Shenker, my PS, was just excellent in every way. I really feel like he is a surgeon who has the best interests of his patients at heart. The ideal plastic surgeon should be a perfectionist, and really engage in a dialogue with the patient about what is achievable/rational/desirable in their results and chosen procedures. I feel that Dr. Shenker does this admirably. He also communicated regularly with me post-surgery about how I was doing. The first night I missed his call and the call-back number wouldn't connect. Instead of just brushing it off and moving on to his next client, he then tried emailing me, Ange (one of the nurses) both emailed AND facebook messaged my mother, and they called all the other numbers associated with me. THAT is an example of true concern for your patients!

Also, his clinic is really amazing. It's located in a beautiful old house but it has been modernized tastefully and his surgery and recovery rooms are top-notch.

In sum, I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Shenker and the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic to any of you in the area who may be considering him.

Adding some pictures. I'm not going to call these...

Adding some pictures. I'm not going to call these "after" pictures yet, as I'm still only 9 days post-op. However, yesterday was the first day that I felt that parts of me really did look different. The place that I see it the most is actually in the front of my thighs - they are so much flatter and I think fit my pants better. (NB: I'm wearing 4 inch heels in the black jeans legs are actually really short - 28" inseam!)

When I feel like my swelling has really gone down (it's still pretty noticeable in my knees and stomach) I will post proper "after" pictures just wearing underwear, so you can see.

Progress photos (crappy quality, sorry!)

Added a couple photos just to update on progress. Sorry they're so small/blurry. When I'm closer to 2 months post-op I will take proper ones.
Waterloo Plastic Surgeon

Great doctor, beautiful clinic and nice staff. The night after my morning surgery they made sure to contact me to see if I was feeling okay or had any questions. Too early to tell results, but I feel good and I'm very happy I chose Dr. Shenker!

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I am 10 days post op and had Dr. Shenker as my PS. Am curious to know how you are doing? Swelling? Soreness? Did you get the results expected? I, like you, was impressed by Dr. Shenker and his team.
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Not sure how much you were swollen but when did you notice the swelling on your tummy go away? My tummy is really swollen n long will it take for it to be tightened n hard? Your last pics look great how many days has it been?
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Probably a least a month or more. Mine is still swollen, particularly my lower ab area. It's been three weeks. Generally speaking, the swelling doesn't just disappear. You'll probably notice it looking best first thing in the morning when you wake up, but after a day of activity/eating/working out it will be puffy again. Just give it time. The way I view it is - rationally, I KNOW that a lot of the fat in that area was removed. So even if I get discouraged when there's swelling and I can't see the change, I remind myself that the change is still there, it's just not visible YET. The best thing you can do is eat well, drink water and (once you feel up to it) exercise, and just not obsess about it. The results will eventually be visible, and every day that you eat well and exercise just gets you even farther =)
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Hi Poppy, I'm trying to find out how many liposuction incisions surgeons make. If you would be willing to let me know how many you had, I'd appreciate it. Best.
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Sure! As an FYI, my doctor told me to bring a style of underwear that I wear frequently, and he had me put them on as he was marking where my incisions would go. That way he was able to "hide" a lot of them. I think this is awesome - not all doctors do it so if you're having lower body stuff done definitely bring a pair of your underwear with you and ask them to try and place the incisions where they're hidden. I've got one right in my bellybutton, where you can't see it (this is important, as for some reason some docs put it above, where it can look a bit more obvious, depending on your skin tone). I have another solitary one basically at the top of my pubic area (sounds weird but I can't think how else to describe it! It's also covered by my underwear) I've got two on the outside of my hips, covered by my underwear. I have two lower down on my inner thighs, closer to my knees (i.e. one each side). I have two more in my groin area, in the crease where my leg meets my torso. I think that's it! So that would be...8 total.
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Hi Poppy! Thank you for your story and photos. I hope other people will share this sort of information. I asked on the doctors about incision sites a few times, and they seem to dance around the issue. I wish they would just share the information directly. I'd love to hear from a few other people about the number and location of their incisions. Be well!
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Jennifer, I really think it depends on the PS and the location of the fat cells and the amt needed to me sucked out.. Some doctors will inject fluids into the area to dilute and suck larger amts it really depends on what results you are looking for. When you see your doctor ask him for specific facts about what type of lipo he will be doing, also ultrasound lipo is used. Wish you much good luck and happiness getting your answers.. Angelface
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Damn Hun u look so damn good!! I just had surgery today n I feel great! Not really any pain. I did general after all. How quickly did u start taking ur pain meds? I don't feel like I need to because I don't feel any pain. Or do you think I should take it before I go to bed?
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This is probably too late, but yes I think you should =) Basically, the point of pain meds to stay ON TOP OF your pain, as versus letting it creep up on and then having to wait for them to work. This is particularly true when it comes to sleep - obviously you don't need to be alert or anything while you're sleeping, so it's best to take your pain meds and get a good night's rest, rather than getting woken up by your pain. I started taking my pain meds almost immediately and kept taking them until I felt okay (I had a pretty high level of pain). Not sure what you've been given, but as an FYI Tylenol 3s and Percocet (both common) are good for pain but can be a little hard on your stomach, and can cause constipation or nausea. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take them, just be aware and maybe up your fiber content a bit if you're on T3s! =)
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Sweetie, you are looking sooo good, your swelling issues seem to have disappeared. You are beautiful and indeed you are slim. Much Lv and hugs and how very fortunate you are to have your Mum there with you. Happiness to you... Angelface
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Thank you so much! I'm so glad your surgery went well - sending lots of positive thoughts for a good recovery your way!
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Thank you!!! I think I notice the biggest difference on the front of my legs and my stomach, so far. I'd actually forgotten that he had done the front of my thighs (and I was a teeny bit nervous when he told me because I'd heard somewhere or other than the front can be a bit iffy) but they look awesome! I can't wait for my swelling elsewhere to go down.
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The front of your legs look awesome and your tummy is looking great already!
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Thanks!! Are you still on the roller-coaster re: feeling good and then bad about results? I'm trying to reserve judgment on mine, especially as it's still so early. They say 3 months to see most of your results.
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I'm hapier now then last week. The same week of my surgery i also started the pill, and i stopped working out and i swear it all messed with my head somehow! Now everything is becoming ormal and I'm content with how I look. I have my 6 week follow up next week. will keep posted.
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Awww, yeah I imagine all that would screw with you a bit! Your results look great, so I'm glad to hear you're feeling good about them. I'm studying for a huge professional admission exam right now (1600ish pages of crap to get through) so I've basically been at home in my sweatpants this whole time, with the exception of getting out everyday to walk my dog. Because I haven't really been going anywhere, or even having to wear any non-stretchy pants (lol) I don't think too much about my results. That said, I haven't been to the gym in three weeks (i'm usually a really regular gym-goer too) so I've GOT to start again.
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It's been awhile since your lipo.. You sound down in the dumps. I know it's a bummer when you don't see the results you were hoping for. Just remember it takes months for all the swelling to go down. I wish you much luck On your exams and pick a day when you set up dressing up and getting out so you can see the improvements to your sexy you. God Bless and much happiness. Angelface
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So I am getting my abdomen and my arms done on a Thursday. I am going back to work on Saturday the same week. Do you think I will be okay? I cant afford to take more days off and my family doenst know I am getting lipo done so I rather work than be at home. How was the level of pain in the first few days?
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I really think your doctor will advise you to stay home one week after surgery. If you try and return 2 days post surgery you will be very uncomfortable and will swell and bruise slot, may even induce bleeding. You won't be able to take your pain medicine and drive or barely stand.. What kind of work do u do??? You could tell your family you have the flu, a little fib is worth your not collapsing at work or making your surgery more like torture.. Think about taking care of yourself and stay home so your healing happens. Good luck Angelfzce
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I work at a call centre so ill be sitting for 8 hours. My doctor said 2 to 3 days of rest should be fine.
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Sounds good, just please kick back when you can, and happy healing and much happiness with your new shape.. Angelface
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You might be okay given that you're sitting down... If you COULD possibly take the day off then I definitely would. I had my legs and stomach, instead of arms and stomach, but I definitely felt WAY too crappy and in pain to have worked at anything. However, everyone's healing and pain levels etc are different.
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My PS said to make sure I do a little walking. I'm curious, has it been too difficult? I go in on May 10th and I'm getting nervous about the pain.
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Mine said the same. I wouldn't have been able to the first three days, but now I can. It takes a few minutes to sort of "warm up" and get my body to stop complaining lol! I've been super busy with a project the past two days but tomorrow I'm going to try taking my dog out on one of our normal long walks and see how I feel. (Only problem is I am vain and don't want to leave the house yet because I am still v swollen and only fit into ugly sweats! Lol)
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