BACKGROUND - I’m 5’9”, 125-130lbs, 27 years old. All my fat collects around my middle, face, and upper arms and I’ve been fighting these doughy areas my whole life. When I lose weight, it comes from every area besides my problem spots. My limbs will get bony, my hips disappear, and my butt becomes literally flat. I went on a mission to achieve a flat tummy a few years ago and got down to 110lbs. By then my arms and legs were skeletal and disgusting, my pants were falling off my non-butt, and my family was really nagging me about how unhealthy I looked. Guess what, if you looked under my shirt, I still had tummy rolls and back fat. WTF? Getting this fat physically removed was pretty much the only way it was going anywhere. While I was at it, I figured I might as well get rid of the double-chin that runs in my family and has always bothered me when I see it in pictures. Laser lipo is supposed to be great for my kind of chin problem since it’s just fat, and my skin is healthy and doesn’t sag.
A week prior to my procedure, with my doctor’s consent, I started taking Bromelain, Quercetin, Amino Acids, Vitamin A, Zinc, antioxidants, and Arnica tablets. These supplements are recommended before and after surgery to promote healing, reduce swelling, maintain blood vessel integrity, etc. I took a lot my own “before” pictures, which turned out to be really helpful later on. Before the procedure, I was mainly worried about not being numbed enough and feeling things. I was worried about being bored, laying there for several hours. Someone else’s review mentioned that they were “traumatized” being conscious of the sucking noises and the cannula movement.
THE DAY! - The procedure itself was a breeze! Not bad at all! 6:30am, 30m before my appointment, I took my px’s as directed 1 valium, 2 oxycodone, and an anti-nausea patch behind the ear (scopolamine). By the time the doctor went to work, I was feeling pretty high/relaxed and floaty. The numbing injection was the most painful event that day. Each injection really burned as it went in, but the pain only lasts for about 20 seconds. I just held my breath and thought happy thoughts about my fat going away till it passed.
Stomach went first. Through 2 tiny holes, about 2” away from my belly button on either side, the Dr. used the first cannula to distribute the lidocaine tumescent fluid with lateral strokes all around under my skin. Next, he went in with a fat-suction cannula. It turns out that my fat is terribly fibrous, and there was a lot of resistance from the fibrous tissue. The Dr. really had to put a lot of effort into the strokes. Even though he had to be very aggressive, I didn’t feel it, or even think too much about it. I was still on cloud 9 for the most part. He double checked his work several times, going back in to grab some more fat, making sure it was totally smooth. He told me to take a look at my flat belly, and I was as impressed as I could be in my drug-addled state. Next came the laser cannula. He moved it around under my skin while the nurse aimed an infrared temperature gun at my skin to monitor its temperature. I could definitely feel the heat, but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
For my flanks and back, I had to lay on one side, then the other, and procedure was the same. I had 6 holes total. Two on each side of my bra line, two on either side of my back, closer to the waist, and the last two were down low by my hips. For the chin, there was one hole, right underneath my chin.
The nurse helped me into my spanx, placing maxi pads on the holes as she went. While A bandage was placed over my chin hole, and then a chin strap. I was glad that I had worn my husband’s giant hoodie to this procedure, because it was easy to put on and the hood covered this crazy head strap. The rest of the day I was drowsy from the meds, but still able to do housework and normal stuff. I was dying for a shower, but told to wait 24hrs. Some folks talk about getting woozy when they take of their compression garment for the first time. Not sure why, but I didn’t have this problem at all. Maybe it was that anti-motion sickness patch (scopolamine) that the Dr. prescribed. It’s effective for 3 days. I happy that I was able to maintain a bit of dignity and get undressed and redressed all by myself, no problem. The initial maxi pads that were put on at the doctor’s office were soaked through, and I changed them once, but I had no further leakage at all.
To get the best results, I continued taking the aforementioned vitamins and supplements. I also started massaging arnica gel on the areas to promote healing and reduce bruising. I made big pitchers of iced-tea using pomegranate green tea bags, and drank about a gallon of that a day. I usually eat healthy, but since the procedure, I’m fanatic. Protein, veggies, and fiber only. I read that a good diet is important to help metabolize any remaining fat. I stopped taking the pain medication after about 3 days because the constipation that comes with pain killers sucks.
THE RESULTS - I did not see any immediate results at all. In fact, I looked worse. Between the swelling and compression garment, I was not able to wear my regular clothes for at least a week. If you are considering going right back to work after this, I hope you have some “fat clothes” to get by in for a little while, or you may look like an overstuffed sausage.
Weeks 1 & 2 – The whole area that was treated on my abdomen was hard and stiff. It felt like a ¾” thick wooden wheel under my skin. It was a little tender, but I massaged arnica into it twice a day anyway. My husband massaged my back and flanks for me. My stomach looked the same as it did before the procedure, but with a giant, lumpy, bruised circle. I wore my chin compression garment for 1 week, and continue to wear my spanx. I didn’t feel like the spanx is holding me in enough, so I layered a some tighter, firmer shapewear over it. By the end of week 2, the measuring tape was telling me I’ve lost 3.5” around my waist at the belly button, which was my fattest part. Most of the Q&A stuff on this site tells you how you have to wait 1-4 months to see your results, but at the same time, there are so many people on here who post great pictures after just 1 week. My belly was still far from flat, so I was a little disappointed that the instant thing wasn’t happening for me. My Dr. said that fiberous tissue gets significantly more bruised and swollen and to keep up the gentle massage. I’m glad that I took a lot of “before” pictures, because it’s hard to notice the improvements in person. In pictures, I can see that my flanks show a great improvement!
Week 3 – My stomach is shrinking every day! I bought myself a smaller sized shapewear. This is the first week that I can wear my shapewear under my normal clothes and look good. For once in my life, I HAVE A WAIST. Now that the lower back fat is gone, I kind of look like I have a butt too!! My stomach is still extremely lumpy. Instead of one giant lump, it’s like a bunch of smaller, stiff lumps. These really are getting a little better every day. Ultimately, I don’t even care about the appearance of my stomach, since I would never show it in public anyway. As long as I look good in clothes, I’m a happy camper. I’m confident that the lumps will dissolve. It’s the end of week 3 and my waist @ my bellybutton is 9” smaller than before the procedure! For the chin, I can’t see much of a difference yet. When I look up, making the skin taught, I can see lots of little bumps, like little fat blobs under the skin. I’m assuming these are going to dissolve too. I have another appointment coming up, so I guess I’ll ask about that.a