Thighs Vaser Micro-lipo with Fat Transfer to Breasts

A little background: I am a healthy 39 year old...

A little background:
I am a healthy 39 year old mother of 2: one biological and one adoptive kiddos. Perhaps because I am approaching 40 and because my special needs adoptive kid is finally settling down and doing much better (down to only 1 tantrum a day and a rare phone call from school to pick her up early), I've decided to start paying attention to myself. Is this a "mother" thing to feel guilty and justify to self and others that it's OK to treat yourself? I certainly do have mixed feelings for what I am about to do. My kids' educational camps and programs cost that much for just 1 summer but when it comes to myself - not so generous...Sorry, I digressed.
I've always had a small waist and thick thighs. Thighs is where I'd lose weight last. I never liked myself in shorts unless they were Bermuda coming down all the way to my knees. I always looked best in fitted shirts and A-line skirts that accentuate my curvy waist and cover my big thunder thighs. I really never thought I'd go the surgery route though. When I heard of coolsculpting, I researched and researched, and finally did it: twice on the inner thighs and once on the outer thighs. I really wanted it to work. I got better results on my outer thighs (you can read my other review), but my inner thighs developed unevenness and irregularities. And were STILL chunky. I've also done 8 sessions with a laser that promised to smooth out my thighs with ultrasound heat and suction. No luck there either. All this effort and money spent and Zero results.
Finally I am going the micro-lipo route to thin out my thighs. This is my last attempt. I sure hope it will work because it's the most expensive method. I have learned from the sales rep, however, that liposuction has come a long way in techniques and recovery time in the recent years. I wouldn't have to be under general anesthesia, puncture holes will be very small and heal fast and the overall recovery and results will be quicker than the old-school lipo. That perked my interest.
The other area of concern are my boobs. I am size B cup and the size isn't a problem. I just don't like the way they look after pregnancy and nursing. They are kind of droopier and deflated. I felt like I needed to do something about it but wasn't excited about implants. Then I read that you could do a fat transfer to breasts. Now, that, I thought, might be just what I need to fill them back up to pre-pregnancy condition. It also seems a more natural and durable way to go.
Originally when I got a quote and talked to a consultant, I requested a micro-lipo on my inner thighs. She said that there will not be enough fat from my inner thighs to do a fat transfer to breasts. I was a little disappointed. I read in their brochure that they do fat transfer to various body parts, including hands to make them look plump and youthful. Mine don't look bad at all, but I have veins showing and they are thinner and bonier than my sister's whose hands look plump and child-like. I figured if they have to suck fat out of me, they might as well do something good with it. People pay good money for fillers in the hands and fillers don't last nearly as long as your own tissue. I also wanted to make sure as I age my hands don't start looking older than my face for which I take really good care of.
The office required that I paid half of the procedure cost just to schedule a pre-op consultation with the doctor.
9/16/16 Pre-op consultation with nurse and doctor:
Today I had my consultation with the doctor. I was a little annoyed that even though I got to the office 10 minutes as they advised me before the appointment to do the paperwork, I didn't get invited to see the nurse until 15 minutes after my appointment started. They did explain they were down a person. I had to text my husband to pick up the kids from school because of the office delay. I was pleased with the nurse though. She seemed bright and knowledgeable. I liked the doctor even better. When she looked at my hands she said they didn't need any fat transfer and were fine as they were. She also said she used to work as a hands specialist and knows of good reasons against any fillers or fat transfers due to hands structure and possible complications. While a tad disappointed, I appreciated her honest advise against an unnecessary and costly procedure. Then we talked about my thighs and she noticed some fat pockets and irregularities that she felt optimistic she could correct. She suggested I'd add another area and have her do front part of the thighs to "deflate" them some more in addition to the inner knee to mid-thigh area. I told her that the sales rep didn't think there'll be enough fat from my thighs to re-fill my boobs. She disagreed, which made me happy. She said if I want a natural look, fat transfer is a better way to go than implants. She did warn me not to expect a big difference in size, which I am fine with. She went over my medical history and gave me additional information how to prepare for the procedure. I got several prescriptions and tons of pre-op and post op consents to sign. The consultation made me feel good about my choices and even excited.
I got a little annoyed when I stepped back out to the reception area when I found out that I had to pay the remaining balance before leaving the office. They sure what their money. I am sure this is their policy but I expected to pay the balance when they schedule my actual surgery. The person scheduling surgeries wasn't even available, yet they still wanted my money. I told them that I was hoping to open a new 0% for first 15 months intro interest credit card to finance this deal, but I didn't know how my discussion with the doctor would go and if we'd end up adding or removing certain services which would affect final cost of the procedure. In this case I've ended up adding services and giving them extra business. It's only reasonable that they'd be flexible with me, especially given the fact that the surgery couldn't even be scheduled yet. Finally after a couple of back and forths we settled on me paying an additional partial deposit and waiting to pay the rest when I get my new credit card. As soon as I got home I did an online application for the desired credit card. It should be coming in the mail in a week or so. Phew! The surgery didn't happen yet and I feel like I've been through a lot physically and emotionally.
I will post before and after pictures along my journey. Wish me luck!

Surgery prep

I finally got the actual surgery scheduled for October 24th. I am so excited and a bit sad that I have to wait a few weeks. Once I made up my mind to do it (and was required to pay the rest of the balance for the surgery already - office policy :(), I just want it done aready. I ended up adding an extra area - flanks - and got 3 free velashape sessions as a little bonus (had to ask for it, but was happy the manager gave me this little freebie). I also went to the local clinic and did all the required blood work and a mammogram. I filled my prescriptions. I am all ready. I told the office I am very excited and wish they had an earlier date for me. They said they'd call me if there's a cancellation. Otherwise I have to wait for 10/24.

The wait is so hard!

This week when I saw Athenix on my caller ID I got excited hoping they are calling to offer me an earlier surgery date. No luck. The front desk staff was calling to reschedule my velashape appointment as their technician is no longer available on weekends. I didn't remember I had velashape appointment. What a let down! The wait is so hard. I just want it over with already! Anyone is being impatient? Have you had any luck with having your appointment being moved up?

Just few days left until the day....

I've been on this website almost every day reading other people's stories. I am so grateful to all of you who take the time to share. So far I have inner thigh/knee area, anterior (front) thighs and flanks (love handles). The longer I wait the more I question what all I want done. Thighs are definitely my main focus, but you can do a few areas on the thighs to make them look slimmer. I've been wondering if I should add outer thighs too. Called Athenix to see if adding this area would give me further discount. The art of negotiation isn't my forte. They offered a tiny discount of $60 off which is hardly anything compared to the total cost, but also would give me 2 more free velashape massages. Well, that's something. Decisions ...decisions...I want to do this once and for all rather than wishing later than I should have done more. And I am not doing this again. I am talking myself into adding outer thighs or whatever the doctor recommends.

Getting anxious

So it's Friday and my procedure is on Monday at 1 pm. I wish it was first thing in the morning just to get over it. I planned a few things done the morning before I go in: work out (since I won't be able to for a few weeks after), see my chiropractor & acupuncturist (again, because I won't be able to lay on stomach due to fat transfer to breasts), and meet with my child's counselor (just got suspended from school for a day today which sucks). I have a pretty packed schedule before my procedure, but those are all good things. I've been anxiously waiting for the office to call me with the last minute instructions. I waited until 4:30 pm and called them myself asking the receptionist if it's normal that nobody contacted me and my procedure is on Monday. She assured me that someone else adding "it's busy here on Fridays, you know how it is". I don't know and I don't care. This procedure is a big deal to me. They didn't have a problem collecting my money pretty quickly. Why are they waiting until the 11th hour to call me? Agh. Finally, as my family sat down to eat dinner I got a phone call from the medical assistant. She quickly goes over the basic things I already knew and then casually adds that they expect me to be there early, like 10:30 am. I panic, of course, since my appointment wasn't until 1 pm and I have made other plans for the morning of the procedure. Do they think I don't have a life? Now had they called me offering an earlier time a few days ago, I'd jump on it, but I can't just cancel my chiropractor and counselor. What really torqued me is that they didn't ask me if I could come early, they just told me to come in early! I told her I couldn't at this point. She said something that their morning appointment would end early and they'd have to wait for me. Well, at this time in the game, I can't accommodate them. My frustration is heightened because I am also feeling nervous, worried and exited. Let's just hope no more announces like this happen and the actual doctor is professional and does a better job than the administrative staff.

Procedure is tomorrow!

I am very excited. Trying to get my supplies and medications ready and one spot. Took some before pictures.

It's done!

So my procedure was yesterday afternoon. I have to admit, I was nervous. It didn't help that I started my period that day. Ugh. The medical staff were all nice putting me at ease. They gave several pills and explained what was going to happen. I knew before that I would be awake but relaxed due to drugs they gave me and the numbing medicine. After taking the pills I started feeling "drunk". The doctor and the nurse gave me a sponge bath (even though I showered right before coming in as they instructed with special antibacterial soap). Then with their help crawled into a hospital bed; they put some mask on my face and ....I don't remember anything else until I woke up and had my garment was already on. So much for being awake and aware. The nurse said I did well. She asked if I was in pain and I said no. I was offered something to eat or drink and I said I didn't want anything. They helped up out of my bed and dress me in the stretch dark clothes I brought with me.

As a true mother I panicked when I was told my husband and the kids were already waiting for me. My 9 year old recently adopted child is very anxious. She had so much trauma in her previous life. I did not want her to see me wheeled out to the car in a chair and get worried and upset for me. When she gets stressed out she throws tantrums and becomes difficult to manage. I really didn't want her to do that the same evening. I felt fine and wanted to walk on my own to make myself look normal to my kids. Mama just had a "routine" doctor's appointment, that's all. The doctor would not let me walk on my own but she said she'd distract the kids with hot chocolate and some treats in another room while they wheel me out and settle me in the car. That was really smart and worked out well. I really felt fine because I still had medicine in my body. We only live 10 minutes away, so the drive was easy. I acted normal asking the kids how school was. When we arrived home I changed into dark pajamas and was able to walk around the house pretending it was just another normal evening. We even sat down to eat dinner all together, although I could eat very little. I event helped my kids make lunch for the next day.

Once the kids were put to bed, I went to the bathroom to inspect myself and take pictures. The pads they put over the incisions were getting soaked and bleeding through my garment. My husband was very helpful. At one point one of the incision points was leaking from my waist and running down my butt cheek, he wiped it up and said "I thought I wouldn't have to wipe your butt for at least another 30 years, but here I am :)) At least he had a sense of humor.

I took my medicine, covered my bed with puppy pads and went to sleep. I woke up around 5 am when I felt wet underneath me. I leaked through the pads, compression garment and pajamas and into the puppy bad. Grateful for the puppy pads or our bedding would be ruined. I changed on my own and put fresh puppy pads on my bed, took half a pain pill (didn't feel like I needed the whole doze), and went back to bed for a couple more hours.

This morning I got up despite my husband's protest and helped get the kids off to school. It hurts walking up and down the stairs and my legs feel stiff, but otherwise I don't feel too bad. I actually wanted to go back to work, but husband wouldn't let me. I have an easy desk job, so I am sure I would have managed. It's probably a good idea to stay home because I don't want to explain to my co-workers why I am walking funny. We'll see how the rest of today and tomorrow goes.

Day 2 recovery

I am achy when getting in and out of bed, sitting down in a chair or walking the stairs in my house, but otherwise pain is manageable. Leakage is slowing down, so I am using extra large band-aides now instead of pads. I am supposed to wait to take a shower tomorrow. I really like my new boobs. The doctor put only 400 cc in each and I know they will deflate some, hopefully not too much. If I remember right, she took 2 liters of fat from my thighs and flanks total. My legs are very bruised. I've been taking bromelain and arnica pills to reduce swelling and bruising. I don't have much of an appetite, which helps in making only healthy choices when I do eat. I weighed myself and found I gained a couple of pounds since surgery. I think it's normal due to swelling.

Day 3 swelling and bruising

Day 3

My knees and lower back are very swollen. I have my first Lymph Drainage Massage scheduled for tomorrow. Hope it will relieve some of the swelling. I am now only taking antibiotics and generic tylenol for pain, no narcotics. Walking is awkward because it's hard to bed my swollen knees. My boobs are just a tad sore but getting soft already, no longer engorged rock hard feeling.

Days 4, 5 &6

I had a manual lymph drainage massage on day 4 which made me feel better right away. However by evening and the next 2 days I've had more swelling. Even though I've been eating less than I normally do I am now 4 lbs heavier than the day of surgery. My knees and ankles look "fat" and now there's strange bruising on my ankles too which wasn't there before. It's very uncomfortable but I have faith it's all part of the recovery process and many other brave men and women had it worse then me. Everything is very tender and sensitive. I can't even start appreciating my "new" thighs yet. On the plus side my incisions are healing well. I am especially pleased at how small the puncture holes on my boobs are. Very pleased with that.
I am getting used to sleeping on my back. I've been meaning to train myself to sleep on my back even before the surgery because when I sleep on my side by morning I wake up with ugly indents in my face and deep grooves/wrinkles in my decolletage area that only go away with prolonged purposeful massage. Maybe this surgery experience will make a back- sleeper out of me for good. Tomorrow is my 7 day follow-up with the surgeon.

Days 4, 5 &6 legs

Day 7 more swelling

I had my first post-op appointment today. The surgeon took one look at my swollen and bruised ankles and offered a prescription for a water pill. I was also given foam pads for my inner thighs. The foam is adding bulk to my already awkward garment, but I trust they will give me better results. I only have one pair of pants that are wide enough to accommodate the foam. I guess I will be wearing a lot of skirts to hide my legs better. As the bruises are healing they are actually looking worse. Today was also my first day back to work. I usually take the stairs to my office for exercise, but not today. Walking has been stiff and very uncomfortable. One of my co-workers saw me walking to the printer and asked if I was alright. I tried to smile cheerfully and said I was just fine. She narrowed her eyes doubtfully and said that I've been walking slowly as if in pain. I guess unless I really try faking it (since I am keeping it pretty private) people still notice something's off with me. I do get more tired than normal. Can't wait for the swelling to go down. I can't even start appreciating the results yet because of all the swelling.

2 weeks improvements

Many improvements at the 14 day mark: swelling is way down (although there's still some on my lower back), bruising is healing ok, pain is minimal. I can now walk "normal" without making my co-workers pause and ask if I am alright. I am back to taking the stairs to my office. I've taken my son to jump on a trampoline last weekend to get some low impact exercise for both of us and noticed I got tired pretty easily still so had to sit down to rest many times.

I asked my husband today if he noticed any improvements and he only pointed to my boobs saying the same exact bra used to gape, but now they are bulging and he liked that. I asked him if he noticed anything else, like my legs. He didn't. Maybe he didn't pay attention to anything but boobs. Oh well, I feel like my thighs are slimmer. I also got a new swim suit and like how I filled it in both top and bottom.
I've had 2 lymph drainage massages so far and got a few more scheduled. I also massage myself with special oils every morning and evening. Some spots are still very sore and tender to touch, especially behind my knees. Overall, recovery is going well. Keeping my fingers crossed that my boobs don't go down in size too much in the upcoming weeks.

3 weeks update

Doing well for 3 weeks post op. The bruising is slowly disappearing, although I have a few blue/purple patches still left, they are fading. Incision spots on my legs are closing and healing nicely. There are a couple that are still a bit angry looking. I've been massaging special skin oils and Arnica cream twice a day into my thighs and flanks.

I've been completely off of all pain pills for at least a week. There are a few spots that are tights and tender. I haven't been to my gym yet. Planning a trip for a low impact yoga in a few days though. I have been doing walking and taking stairs daily every chance I get. However when I sprinted across the street today to avoid traffic I felt my thigh muscles getting very angry at me. I guess I will leave running only for saving my life occasions for now.

I have been careful at what and how much I eat. Despite a couple of parties I am still about 3 lbs down from 3 weeks ago. I've been taking Garcinia Cambogia from Costco for appetite suppression, arnica pellets, and a couple of other supplements to speed my recovery. I don't want to crash diet because I don't want to hurt the recovery, just being sensible is working for me.

My original compression garments got too loose, so I graduated to a smaller size. The smaller one was tight and uncomfortable for the first couple of days, but now I am totally used to it.
In the picture where I am fully clothed I have my compression garment on under regular clothes.

I bought another swim suit in preparation for my beach vacation in only 2 weeks. I just hope the last of the bruises go away by then. The top fits almost too snug due to my new chest size and the bottoms are perfect. It used to be reverse. I can't complain.

My boobs look nice and full, but am completely aware at 3 weeks post transfer it's too early to know what I will end up with long term, so I am conservatively optimistic. In the meantime my husband keeps making positive remarks about them.

4 weeks

My bruising is almost completely gone (except for a couple of patches). I massage various body oils and arnica cream twice a day. Overall the recovery is going well. I am now 4 lbs lighter since surgery day. For my thighs to look like they do now I would have had to loose more than 10 lbs before lipo, but then I would have also lost some fat in my chest and looked disproportionate.

Last weekend I finally went to the gym for a yoga class. I gave the instructor a disclaimer before the class started that I might not be able to do everything. He, like many instructors, said I can work at my own pace taking breaks when needed. It was a little awkward to do yoga with the compression garment under my exercise clothes. I was surprised that I could do almost every pose except for a few where I had to modify.

I also went for a velashape treatment. My post-op instructions that this kind of deep massage is recommended after week 5, so I was a bit early. The velashape tech worked on the front of my stomach (which wasn't lipoed), and then per my request did my flanks. My back felt partially numb so it did't hurt but it did feel hot. When I got home I discovered one of my flanks looked "rug burned". I put one of my oils on it for a couple of days and it went away. I am going back to see the vela tech in 3 days. This time I will have her do the back of my thighs instead.
My beach vacation is less than a week away, so I am doing everything possible to look bikini-ready :)

Creams/Oils

This is my arsenal of creams and oils I use daily (not all at once, of course, more like based on my mood since they smell and feel differently)

6.5 weeks

I had my second follow-up appointment with the doctor (at 1.5 months post procedure). I was sad to learn she is leaving the practice and a new surgeon will be starting soon. I told her I am pleased with my results and have no complains or complications. I questioned whether I need to come back for my 3 months follow-up appointment and see the new surgeon (she won't be with this practice any more by then). She agreed since I never met the new doctor and I don't have any complications I won't need to come back if I don't want to.

Last week I was on vacation in Hawaii. This was the first time ever I felt confident strolling around in a swim suit. I felt happy with my body overall, but particularly with my thighs. I always had a small stomach but after having done flanks my waist now looks model-like. I did not get tanned on the beach and I didn't care. I was very careful to slather lots of sunscreen over my whole body, especially protecting the lipo scars from UV rays to ensure they heal right and don't discolor.

I stopped wearing the compression garment after week 5 when I went to Hawaii. Now that I am back to cold wintry Oregon I am wearing compression tights during the day. I had ordered them on a specialty website. The black tights work with almost everything in cool weather: with skirts and dresses, for yoga or other workouts, and even under pants when I am especially chilly. I got two pairs so I could alternate them. They provide a lot of compression but less complicated than the garment. I highly recommend going this route if you want to continue compressing but sick and tired of the compression garment.

Breasts: I used to wear size B bra, but now I am in a C. The pictures don't show a big difference in size now that the swelling subsided and some of the fat died (sadly as expected, sigh). I really had hoped they'd stay as big as they got immediately post-op, but my surgeon told me to set realistic expectations for half a cup to 1 cup increase max. If I want more, I should wait a year and repeat the process, then more fat will survive. Since it's not cheap I am not sure I want to do again, at least not anytime soon. Overall, I am still pleased with how everything turned out.

I would consider doing fat transfer to face sometime in the future. Many people inject fillers for facial volume loss, but fillers need to be re-injected every 6 -12 months. Natural fat would plump up the face and last for years. Something to put on wish list...
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