Slim Lipo to Abdomen, Flanks and Lower Back - Boston

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*Treatment results may vary

I'm 5'6 and 135 lbs. No matter what my...

I'm 5'6 and 135 lbs. No matter what my weight has been (as low as 100 lbs, as high as 180) all of my weight goes to my mid section. I can remember being 10 years old and having friends suggest that I try doing situps to "get rid of my gut" despite being otherwise skinny. As an adult, I'm neurotic about working out, eating healthy but despite all of this, my spare tire just doesn't go away. I've never had children but have often been mistaken for being pregnant both in the form of outright questions and the little things- like when someone gives up there seat for you on the subway! People always say I'm so tiny- I wear a size 4 pant but having such a huge belly has always bothered me and restricted the kind of clothes I could wear (baggy black tops a must). Every day of my life I get upset about this. I've never been able to wear a bikini and to be honest, I don't think I ever would even if I could- I'm not looking to be perfect- I just want to be in the range of normal for someone of my height and weight. This has held me back for so many years from so many things- especially relationships. I just could not fathom the idea of letting someone see me naked- and so I've never really dated. I'm hoping maybe I'll feel more confident after this :-)

I had my consultation in June and scheduled my slim lipo for later this month. The doctor was great about setting expecations with me. She was honest and said that what I really needed was a full on tummy tuck because she is concerned that since I gained weight (and lost it) once before, my skin elasticity may be compromised and can't promise how well it will "bounce back". She said if I'm not ready to go down that road, she did feel that slim lipo could offer a 30-50% improvement. While I considered the full tummy tuck, I decided to go for the lesser procedure due to cost (it was about double the price); the scar, the recovery and the simple fact that if I one day to decide to have children (I'm 32), it does not seem to make sense to do the fully tummy tuck yet. Furthermore, it seems like if I have the lipo now of my entire mid section now, any future tummy tuck will be "less work"- i.e. mainly to address skin.

I'm a little nervous about the procedure- my preop is next week and I'm pretty sure I'm having general anesthesia (the surgery is expected to take about 5 hours!) In the end though, I figure I can't look any worse than I do now- even with no skin retraction :-)

I found everyone elses reviews and experiences so helpful to me, so I figured I'd document this in case it helps anyone else. I'll keep this updated as I go through my journey!

The deed is done! The staff, doctor and nurses...

The deed is done! The staff, doctor and nurses were just wonderful. I went in, got into my johnnie, they started my iv in a chair outside and that made me woozy and they walked me in to the OR @ 8:15. Hopped my up on the bed and the last thing I remember was a nice little mask and someone putting warm boots on my feet. Woke up in recovery at 11:45- that was hell. I have to say it was like the worst hangover ever- I had a terrible headache, I felt nauseous (and I'm not a puker) and everything was dizzy. All I wanted was water but I was asked to wait until my nausea subsided. I was wheeled to the car and driven home- I will say that getting into the car was painful as were bumps.

Got home and was so preoccupied with the nausea I decided not to take the narcotics that were prescribed, the pain from the surgery itself was bearable so I took extra strength tylenol. I'm a side/ stomach sleeper and this was not an option, so I dosed off for about an hour and I woke up feeling much better- no headache, fear of throwing up again. I was not tired at all but I was also in no condition to do anything requiring mobility. 3.2 liters removed! wahoo, the swelling is unreal- I mean, I was prepared for it and I read everyone else- but my biggest sweatpants aren't going over the swelling. Moving from sitting to standing, especially lying down to standing is the worst and 2 days later still is. The night of surgery a friend came over to supervise me and when I got up to to the bathroom,I realized that my black sweats were soaked with drainage (imagine how swolen you'd have to be to not feel that happening, thats me). I went to the bathroom and it was gushing from everywhere...this is not the kind of draining I was prepared for! I thought it would be managable but this was like niagra falls- and messy at that since I could not bend over to pick/ mop up. Friend went out to the store and bought me depends, which she lined with maxy pads, sad as it sounds this was the only way we could contain the draining- I just didn't realize it would be so much at once. I spent the next 24 hours in my lovely diaper, because now definatley nothing I owned was going over the swelling AND the diaper. HAHA, what a sight I was. Didn't get much sleep on night one, I just wasn't tired and I couldn't get comfortable.

Day 2: Woke up, sore, again only taking extra strength tylenol. Made coffee took my arnica, bromelain, vitaimins, antibiotic and had breakfast. After all this I sat down to read a book and suddenly had a racing heart beat and starting shaking like crazy. Temp was ok, didn't feel dizzy just really weird. Mom called the doctor and they got me in that morning. Took all my vitals and said that my heart rate was resting in the 80's right now (I'm normally at 65 or so) but temp was ok and this was all normaly after surgery. It was suggested (and I think this is probably fair) that perhaps I had a bit of an anxiety attack combined with the lidocaine still in my system. Went back home for the day, laid on the couch and didn't really move again. I was able to get some sleep because I figured out a way to get on my side. Slept from about 8pm-8am. Much needed. With all of the rangling around I tried to do to avoid disturbing my mid section, I really hurt my neck! I should have installed bars above my bed or done upper body strength training.

Day 3: Shower day. I feel more mobile today, it still hurts to go from sitting to standing and my heart rate still feels a little high (about 75) but I'm making progress. I'm still the size of a house, unable to wear pants because anything tight would just be too painful. I did get to see my first glance at the product however- and its pretty. Even swollen and bruised and extra skin, its little- and I know its going to get better! Everyone says that this is where you pass out- when you take the garmet off for the shower, right? So I take it off sitting down, feel fine. Get in the shower, take the shower head off, ease into it, feel ok. Shave, shampoo, start taking my bandages off (there are a lot). All ok- I don't get them all off. Step out of the shower and omg, I'm going to pass out! Just hit me like a ton of bricks, I managed to get a towel around me and collapse on the sofa. Here I was thinking I was doing so good...but i guess this is normal. Anyways, just writing this was exhausting so I need a nap now and will write more later. But I must say, I'm envious of all you ladies who got this done and were out and about the next day! I don't think I'll be going anywhere for a while, except bed.

Day 5: Left the house today on my own! Went for a...

Day 5: Left the house today on my own! Went for a mani/ pedi and was pretty tired after. I'm still sore, but improving every day. My swelling has come down a bit but I'm still 2lbs heavier then my going in weight and my waist size has actually increased. Clearly, it is all swelling so I'm not worried, but between the skin not bouncing back yet and swelling, well I envy you guys with the sexy one week pictures that shows results! I think its going to be a while. No regrets though, just slow progress. I still haven't been able to scrub all my surgical markings off yet because my stomach is still pretty tender.

Day 8: I am finally starting to sleep better (by...

Day 8: I am finally starting to sleep better (by no means perfect, I'm probably waking up once per hour rather than 5 times per hour). Getting into the car is still horrendous. I can go without extra strength tylenol now, if I forget a dose. The bruising and incisions are getting better, I think it will take at least a month for both to totally subside. I have begun walking on an incline at a 3.2 pace for 60 minutes per day. I feel like I need to do longer cardio stints to make up for not running or doing more intense activites. I can't imagine running would feel good yet. My biggest problem is swelling, I'm still too swolen for clothes although my weight is only up 2 lbs (I'm at 139.8, went in at 137). Its all still in my lower back and butt, my stomach swelling seems to have come down just a bit, but by no means am I flat- I'm not sure if I will be- the doctor was concerned about skin retraction given that I had gained weight once before. That's ok, my flanks are perfect- I never realized what a problem they were until they were gone. I have to say, I wish I had known about the clothes not fitting business, this is getting very inconvenient. I've been wearing dresses but that is not ideal seeing as how I can't wear nylons (and I'm bright white pale).

So I'm at the 2 week post op mark and things...

So I'm at the 2 week post op mark and things are getting better! I would say my bruising is 95% gone and I'm back to my preop weight and activity level. The swelling has gone down, but its sort of hard to tell now what is actually swelling and what might be leftover lumpiness. I love my new shape though I do have wrinkled skin around my belly button (I was warned about this, as I was a better candidate for a tummy tuck, but wasn't ready to go there). While the wrinkling is not attractive I can't honestly say that it would be any worse than a TT scar. Cons: I still don't fit into my regular size 4 pants and I can't explain why. I'm at my preop weight and I look better, but those bad boys aren't closing. And honestly, I'm still tender enough to know I shouldn't force the issue. I tried to run over the weekend but it just hurt to much- and I can't explain that either so I'll revisit running in one week. All other cardio activities are totally fine (eliptical, bike, walkign etc). I'm no longer in any discomfort really but I would describe my torso as feeling like a perpetual state of "pins and needles". I'll put some post op pictures up later in the week!

3 weeks post op: I'm really thrilled with...

3 weeks post op: I'm really thrilled with these results and its still early. I'm still about 5 lbs swollen and so not all of my regular jeans fit, but some do (mainly the ones that were looser to begin with). I would say the only residual effects of the surgery is still being unable to run- the swelling that is in my lower back is just such that it doesn't feel great. 3 week post op pictures posted! Starting velashape next month.

My 4 week update: Everything is coming along-...

My 4 week update: Everything is coming along- slowly. I'm still swollen but now at 134-135 lbs- so that is about 4 lbs from where I "should" be. On the best days I lose about 1/4 of a pound. The jeans I already owned are slowly starting to fit- every week they are a bit looser but if I was waiting for a day where I would wake up and they would all fit again- not so much. At week 4, the swelling in my lower back is what is keeping me from being able to run and I realized it was going to be like starting from scratch so I've started back at 2 minutes at 5mph pace- feel like a snail but its about all I can take- at least its something. Overall I'm still really happy with how I'm coming along and rarely wearing a compression garmet- really only at night.

Today is Week 5 and I'm at 133-134lbs- so...

Today is Week 5 and I'm at 133-134lbs- so still a little swollen probably about 2-3 lbs worth. Negatives: I still have some discomfort- particularly with jogging/ running- I'm no where near preop levels still. The incisions are continuing to heal but still very visable. I'm not seeing much skin improvement- in fact I'm well aware of stretch marks I never knew I had. Truly, they are more visible than before the surgery. Positives: The good news is that I finally had my "whoosh moment" over the weekend- all my old clothes not only started fitting, any that used to be even a little loose are now too big! I was previously a big 4/ small 6. Now I would say I'm a big 2/ small 4. I would be happy to stay that size so I don't have to buy a whole new wardrobe- even though shopping is much more fun! Overall, I'm still really really happy with my results and progress and wish I had done it sooner, but in case of anyone considering this- particularly if like me, you opted for lipo over a tummy tuck, I want to be honest about the downsides.

At 7 weeks, my swelling had pretty much completley...

At 7 weeks, my swelling had pretty much completley resolved and my weight settled at 132. I was finally able to run again without discomfort and really happy with my results. I will say, the skin is still wrinkly esp in the belly button area- I expected that this will get better with time, though probably never perfect. My package came with 2 velashape treatments so I did my first one on Friday. Guess what? I swelled up about 2lbs and the discomfort came back when I went running! The velashape treatment itself was a bit uncomfortable- more so on in my belly button area than my back. I did not notice any improvement whatsoever- but I'm not sure that is a fair statement to make given that typically, a person would expect to do 3-4 of these treatments in order to see results. Hopefully the reappearance of swelling is just temporary- I would be curious to know if anyone else experienced similiar?

10 week update. So, 2 velashape treatments- the...

10 week update. So, 2 velashape treatments- the second was horrendously painful and also made me swell up again. Fortunatley, I'm done with the velashape and the swelling is about 90% resolved- I still see some small pockets. My weight has settled and I've definatley gone down a pants size. Generally, everything that used to fit is now too big or not the same. I have really had to rethink everything- the jeans styles that used to be my favorite no longer fit right and the ones that used to look bad now fit good. I'm really, really happy with my results but hope that my wrinkling/ skin issues continue to get better- that is the only negative. I'll update this again at the 6 month mark and see how things are then.

6 month update. My weight has stabilized at 128...

6 month update. My weight has stabilized at 128 lbs and I'm officially a size 2. At 10 weeks I was really happy and I know that they say it would get better, but I didn't really think it would need to. It was only when I compared my 6 month pictures to my 10 weeks that I was like wow- the skin really has tightened and I can see the swelling has gone down. I cannot possibly overstate how happy I am to have gone through with this.

Updating photos now that a year has passed. I...

Updating photos now that a year has passed. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

4 years later...

I'm updating this review because 4 years later, I did end up getting a full tummy tuck (which I reviewed in the tummy tuck section). I don't regret the lipo as a first step, and at the time, I was really scared of a big surgery and the drains, pain pump etc and not ready to make the commitment. Since 2011, new drugs & technology has evolved and the process is a lot easier so I decided to try it. On December 11, I underwent a drainless tummy tuck with Exparel and I would say the recovery has been the same as (maybe even easier than) smart lipo. For those of you who were like me, a better candidate for tummy tuck, I would strongly encourage you to consider looking into these newer techniques.
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Very honest, professional, good credentials, convenient location.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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