first let me echo Dr.Wallach's comments. As usual he is spot on. secondly, I find that folks who should have had a trial of weight loss/exercise/lifestyle alteration often undergo lipo trying to kick start a healthy lifestyle. I'm ok with that but remember if your fat was evenly distributed the results are less obvious. that's why lipo works best for large localized deposits in otherwise fit people. this may not apply to you. either way 3800cc is still 3800cc. talk to your surgeon, what is their opinion?
Results may take 3-4 months to be appreciated. Factors also involve your preop shape and contour. If you were a good candidate with localized fat deposits then 3800cc of fat is a good amount and should improve the areas. I hope this info helps.
Disappointing Liposuction Results
I am not sure that anyone will be able to give you a satisfactory answer without more information: height, weight, BMI (body mass index), how long it has been since your surgery, and how many areas were treated. Removal of 3800 cc is reasonable and certainly should be noticeable in the long run if it was confined to a few areas, such as your hips, buttocks and thighs, and you are not significantly overweight. If you are less than 6 months out from your surgery, there may still be enough swelling to hide the final result. If you have exceeded that mark, you probably have your final result. However, this does not mean that your surgeon did a bad job. Liposuction is a body contouring, not a weight loss, procedure and the changes are measured in inches, not pounds. My advice would be to wait 6 months, get before and after measurements of your waist, hips, and thighs, compare before and after photos, and then determine if there has been noticeable improvement. If the answer is yes but you are still not satisfied, then diet and exercise is probably the solution. If the answer is no, go back to your surgeon and discuss your options.
Posting your before and after pictures would be very helpful. Also, you do not give a timeline of when you had your surgery, your pre-op BMI or weight. Without this information, it is impossible to give you an answer or recommendation. Additionally, 3800 cc would make a big difference in a thin person, but would be a drop in a bucket in an obese person. So, please give more details so we can give you more specific advice.
Poor lipo results may have several causes (and only ONE of them is bad surgery)!
Tracy, I am sorry your surgical experience was a bad one. I'm not going to say "plastic surgical experience" since it's not at all certain you had a REAL plastic surgeon operate on you! Please review what you mean by "board-certified." By WHAT board? Is your surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? (This is the ONLY American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) board that certifies plastic surgeons.) There is no "American Board of Cosmetic Surgery" in the ABMS; this is a self-designated "board" that certifies doctors of various ABMS specialties that wish to perform cosmetic surgery but do not have the complete training and credentials of American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)-certified plastic surgeons.
This doesn't necessarily mean these doctors are "BAD," but it DOES mean that they have not met the minimum training and testing requirements for ABPS certification, and therefore seek "certification" by this non-ABMS member "board." Confusing and misleading, isn't it?
And if they're unethical in their credentialing (implying they are "real" plastic surgeons when in fact they are dermatologists, family practitioners, or ENT doctors), then perhaps what he said he did for you in the operating room is questionable also. Ask for a copy of your operative report. If something sounds as if what was dictated is different from what you received, you can complain to your state's medical board and an investigation will be opened. Spurious accusations are NOT taken kindly, so don't make this claim or accusation unless you have something other than your "impressions" to back it up! Poor post-op results are not the same as malpractice or negligence! Lying about your credentials is another matter altogether.
Proper certification doesn't "guarantee" happy patients or best results every time, but lack of American Board of Plastic Surgery certification certainly means that a surgeon has NOT completed and met certain standards of training, knowledge, testing, and experience that ABPS-certified plastic surgeons have. Good surgeons can have poor results, bad surgeons or inadequately-trained, "bogus-boarded" surgeons can obtain good results, but if you had to take bets on the likelihood of successful outcome with a specific patient, who would YOU bet on?
Regardless of certification, your surgeon should have also discussed with you a re-do or revisional surgery policy: who is responsible for what, who pays, and how much is charged.
Your surgeon should also have a verified weight and fat analysis in your chart from the time of surgery. You should be able to stand on the same fat analysis scale and verify that you have not gained weight or fat percentage, as this is unfortunately one common way for patients to NOT see results, even after a good operation. If your weight is "slightly" down, and it is now 5 months since surgery (another question by you gives this information), you should have lost most of the "swelling" weight by now. 3800cc is over 8 pounds of fat aspirate, but some of this is fluid mixed with the fat. Still, you should be down 5-6 lbs. from your pre-op weight.
Finally, if your weight is indeed less, and if your post-operative photos show no improvement over your pre-operative photos, then you have every reason to expect some sort of consideration from your surgeon. Discuss this with him. At 5 months post-op there is likely to be little additional improvement in your surgical result, so waiting longer is not an appropriate request.
If you need to, see one or two ABPS-certified plastic surgeons for additional opinions; bring a copy of your pre-op photo if possible. Good luck and best wishes!
Poor results after liposuction
If you had 3800cc of aspirate removed from just your buttocks and thighs, chances are you will eventually see some degree of reduction in size. I tell my patients that they will not see their final result until maybe 6-8 months later, until the swelling resolves and the thickening of scar tissue in the subcutaneous tissues softens and shrinks. However, there are other factors such as skin tone that can affect what results you see. Oftentimes, the reason that a patient is disappointed is that their expectations were not realistic and either the surgeon did not take the time to makes sure that their expectations were in line with what could be delivered, or they did and the patient did not take it in.
I do not have enough information to comment exactly. How long after surgery are you. What did you look like before surgery and now? Pre and post-op photos would be nice. If you just had surgery, you have to give it several months for things to settle down.