Tired of Holding in my Stomach - Alexandria, VA

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WHO AM I?: I am a 39 years old, never been...

I am a 39 years old, never been married, and have no children.  I workout 3-4 times a week, eat reasonably healthy (nobody's perfect), and do not have any major health issues.   The big day is scheduled for Friday, May 18, 2012 for Tumescent Liposuction of the Abdomen, Flanks, Upper and Lower back.  I could not be more excited at the prospect of having a smaller mid-section and how it will change my life.  My whole world is about to change....from the way I dress, to increasing my motivation at the gym!!  

I've never had a flat stomach.  Even when I was a kid I had this round little belly poking out from my shirts.  Through the years, no matter what size I was, my pouch was always there.

I originally looked into liposuction about 15+ years ago.  Back then, the doctor told me I was an excellent candidate because of the "spare tire" of stubborn  fat right below my belly button (thus my login name).  However, she suggested that I wait since I would probably get married and have kids, making the procedure a waisted effort.  Well...clearly that has not happened yet lol. Now over the past few years I have been able to add the cursed back fat to the list...making me feel like the hunch back of Notre Dame. 

As a result, I've become the ultimate expert on how to dress my body.  Sticking to A-line dresses, and wearing cute tops that are not designed to be tucked in...making sure the waist line of my pants sit at just the right spot, and eventually discovering the hiding properties of a good wrap dress.   Things I avoid: sheath style dresses, anything form fitting, and I couldn't tell you the last time I tucked in a shirt or wore a belt for fashion purposes. 

Seems like I've held in my stomach all of my life and I'm tired now. And as I write this, I wonder how many of you are nodding your head in agreement. 

I made sure they were all certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Checked for any malpractice suits, and looked on realself and other sites for complaints, comments, etc. I liked the first doctor I spoke to...but I knew I needed to get more opinions before making a big decision like this. So I actually visited 4 doctors overall.  One doctor in particular had a few negative remarks from last year (on realself and other sites).  

The other things I liked about my doctor? His staff was just as informed as he was. The nurse came in first, examined me and predicted exactly what he was going to tell me...she knew he would recommend tumescent with general anesthesia (so it wouldn't hurt during) and other details. Also, he does all of his procedures at INOVA. And, he requires medical approval for anesthesia from my PCP as well as certain tests (CBC, EKG, etc) before the procedure. I like that attention to my health.

I originally wanted laser or SMARTLipo due to its faster recovery time.  However, my doctor told me he could be "more aggressive" with Tumescent Liposuction and probably remove "a good 10lbs".  The prospect of this is amazing to me!!  Whereas with the laser (or SMARTLipo) he would only remove about 3-4 pounds.  Plus we talked about how i could go under general anesthesia, and wake up and it be 'done' versus having to be alert during the experience.  

In the end, it was reading multiple responses from the doctors on this site to questions about laser vs vaser vs tumescent, that convinced me.  The answer is always the same: "your results depend on the craftsman not the tool".  I just pray I don't end up eating these words later. 

I have found this site to be super helpful and plan "pay it forward" by posting my story. More details to come....Wish me luck!!

My procedure is in less than 12 hours and I can't...

My procedure is in less than 12 hours and I can't sleep!! I'm reading everything I can trying to prepare myself for what is to come. I keep reminding myself...it's a journey, not a destination.

Day 1 post op - saw my tummy for the first time...

Day 1 post op - saw my tummy for the first time after surgery. The big stomach is GONE. I cant believe it! I kept reaching down there to grab it but it's not there.  There is a lot of swelling but that is to be expected, plus some bruising as well.   The only pain is when I change positions (sitting to standing, etc).  The next step is to put me in a compression garment, but based on the swelling the doctor decided to wait a few days. Targeting Tuesday. 

Day 5 post op - went to the doctor yesterday for...

Day 5 post op - went to the doctor yesterday for my 2nd post op appointment. Did I mention that he took off ***8LBS*** during the procedure?? I still can't believe it!! 8LBS!! Anyway, since he took off so much he wanted to check on me again sooner rather than later to make sure I was doing ok. The nurse (Pat) was a real sweetheart...she gently changed my dressings and helped me into my compression garment, and answered my questions. I am to come back for another follow up in another week. Overall the doctor says I'm doing great, in fact he is surprised I'm moving around as well as I am. I couldn't be more thrilled with the results so far and can't wait until all of the swelling and bruising goes away.

My doctor does not supply the compression garment, but they do recommend websites for you to purchase your own. In the end I was ok with this as it allowed me to select the style and fabric I was most comfortable with. However, I do wish they would measure you so you have a better idea of what size to get, or at least have some sample garments at their office to try before you begin ordering and returning a bunch of stuff.

(Sigh) It seems that everyone that posts on these...

(Sigh) It seems that everyone that posts on these things is overly upbeat and positive, but I guess I am not feeling that way today. It's is a hot sunny day here and all I want to do is throw on a tank top and some shorts and run free from this garment but I can't. I also can't seem to go to the bathroom (#2) and its been a week now. I called the doctor today and I have permission to use a laxative to get some relief as the situation is probably causing more swelling and draining my energy.

I just have to keep reminding myself that it gets worse before it gets better. And although I am hot am miserable right now. It will all be worth it in the end.

Well, it's been a month since I have had my...

Well, it's been a month since I have had my upper/lower abs, upper/lower back, and flanks done...and I must say things are worlds apart than what they were when I first started. I still can't beleive my tummy is gone. It's almost as if expect to wake up and see it back again. Crazy!!! The other day I bought a belt to wear as an accessory LOL.. Sounds silly right?? It was a Small/XS (Sigh...getting choked up). I could not stop smiling...so I quietly explained to the sales lady that I had lost weight and she was just as excited as I was.

My skin is thankfully nowhere near as sensitive as it used to be. I remember when just the idea of using a sponge or washcloth on my skin in the shower brought tears to my eyes (I could only use my hands back then). Now things are much better and I can scrub away.

As for swelling - Just like other folks have said, some days I wake up and I am super tiny....other days, I am so swollen I feel like I have gone back in time. But I remind myself that its all part of the process and try not to get discouraged. Not to mention it's so hot out that when I am active I seem to blow up like a balloon. Either way I am excited to finally get back into the gym next week and get back into the old routine. I have been crazy active (lots of walking, etc.) but next week I am looking forward to more higher intensity stuff and possibly some weight training. Becuase of the swelling, Ihave stalled on posting pics. One day I look great, the other not so much. But I am going to bite the bullet I promise.

My other ongoing issue is constipation, but admittedly that was a challenge long before lipo as I travel a lot for my job. And yes, yes, I know...eat lots of fiber, drink water, blah, blah, blah.. Trust me when I say...that's another discussion group.

Garments - That''s been my latest challenge. I can't seem to find anything tight enough. My nurse told me to transition into spanx like stuff but nothing seems to have adequate coverage for the areas I had lipo-ed. And if it does, it's not tight enough. The one thing I found is a torsette thing by Maidenform, but it has a panty bottom. Only problem is I am 'gifted' in that area so its been tough to keep my booty in there andnot have horrible panty lines in all of my outfits LOL. Any ideas would be appreciated.

I have finally posted pictures!!! Like most of...

I have finally posted pictures!!! Like most of you, the swelling goes up and down so I want to take pics on 'a good day' LOL. But here you go. Please let me know your thoughts.

I just saw my Doctor for my One month checkpoint and he says I am healing beautifully :-) They also had me get on the scale and I have probably lost about 5 pounds, so still a little ways to go to clear the entire 8lbs they removed. I finally have clearance to start working out again (Woohoo!!) and already made plans to workout with a trainer next week. Any hard spots are to be expected (I mainly just have one block area on my stomach above my belly button). He says I can reduce wearing my garment to about 12 hours a day and doesnt want it so tight that I feel restricted. Of course I have become rather dependent on it so I will probably wear it more than that. I won't see him again for 3 months unless I have any issues.

I can't wait to get back into my workout routine, and see this new body move into its full potential. :-)

I finally went back to the gym yesterday amd today...

I finally went back to the gym yesterday amd today. It feels soooo good to workout again I can''t even explain!! I am on the elliptical sweating out all of that fluid that is still inside of (atleast that is what I am telling myself LOL). My doctor used closed incisions, so I didn't have the leaking experience that everyone else did. I have just tried really hard to watch my diet and salt intake so as not to gain any weight without working out over the past 5 weeks.

So I am in South Beach with a girlfriend this...

So I am in South Beach with a girlfriend this weekend. It is a Hot Mess times 5000 down here. Too many of us are entirely too confident with our bodies. Women of all sizes wearing bathing suits and dresses entirely too small squeezing their mid sections. Yet, almost two months out I'm too self conscious of my post procedure swelling to put on my two peice for fear of the sun making me swell up like a Hot Air BallIoon :-(

I have been working out pretty hard lately...and...

I have been working out pretty hard lately...and just recently started working out *without* a garment on. It felt weird at first, but definitely opens up my clothing options which feels good. I also can't help but notice that I am sweating profusely!!! My hair is soaking wet when I am finished..and I was never much of a sweater before. It's amazing to me.

I have been eating right, working out, but the scale is not budging!!! I know many people on here did SMARTLipo instead of Tumescent and saw instant weight loss. But my doctor took off 8lbs so I am hoping to see the weight come off eventually. I know I am smaller becuase my clothes fit totally differently and everyone says how small I am. I am just sad to see the scale stuck on the same darn number :-(
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

The doctor (and his team's) attention to your health is great. I honestly believe I made the right decision selecting Dr. Bitar for this procedure. I'm also glad I decided to go under general anesthesia and do all areas at once. This way I did not have to undergo multiple sessions or risk experiencing any pain during the procedure. Lastly, it allowed him to be more aggressive and safely remove as much fat as possible...in my case a whopping 8lbs!! The only complaint is that you might wait a while for your appointment. But thats pretty typical for any doctor nowadays. Apparently he is in high demand, as he was recently featured in the Top Doctors issue of the Washingtonian Magazine.

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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