Upper/Lower Abs - Brooklyn, NY

I went to the consultation last week, I purchased...

I went to the consultation last week, I purchased a deal for one area (which I was going to use for my lower abs). Dr Voskin was very nice but he told me I need to do the upper as well or it would just look weird. He also told me to consider doing my sides (love handles) but I am pretty set on keeping them. I like them and they make my hips look bigger/waist look smaller, also for financial reasons. I work out a lot and walk about 10-15 miles a day, and I eat 3 healthy meals a day, but I can't lose the stubborn belly fat. I can see my obliques and feel hard ab muscles under the flab. I cannot wait to *hopefully* be able to see those Abs after the surgery. I agreed to both upper/lower abs and paid the deposit. I have a bloodwork appointment scheduled for August 2, and the lipo surgery schedule for August 12. I am super nervous when it comes to medical/surgery stuff (have only had my wisdom teeth extracted) so I'm trying to be prepared yet not overthink it. I'm posting here to document my experience from start to end. Thanks for reading!

Went for Bloodwork

I went for bloodwork yesterday. My appointment was at 4pm, I got there at 3:40, and was leaving by 4:05. I guess Tuesday afternoons are quieter. The tech was very nice and took a couple vials of blood from my arm. I paid the rest of my bill (I had paid the deposit last time, so now I'm fully paid). I had to give them a number for my local pharmacy to they could send the prescriptions there for pickup the day before surgery.

I am planning to cut down on alcohol and salt this week, and then cut out alcohol completely starting this weekend. I'm thinking that after the surgery I will to stick to a no-alcohol & minimal salt plan. I don't think that will be as hard as cutting out carbs...I'm in love with bread. :'-(

Before pics

Here are some more before pics. I have been thinking a lot about my decision, it's really intense reading all the reviews and stories from other ladies who are doing the same thing. I'm glad to be doing this because I have wanted to get rid of the tummy pooch ever since I was a kid. Seriously, like as a little kid I remember hating that I had a chubby belly and everyone telling me it was baby fat. But now I'm in my mid twenties and it's only often worse despite good diet and Ina of exercise.

Also thinking about how everyone's body is so vastly different and its like...even though you may not be happy with your body, what you have pre-surgery might be somebody else's post-surgery goal. So it's all about perspective and personal preference. Just some food for thought.

Last spring, around the same time I started lifting at the gym, I started taking a generic birth control and I gained 20 lbs. I know a lot of that was muscle and water weight but I did retain a lot of the belly and thigh flab after stopping the pill a few months ago. Anyway when I flex my abs I feel that I have reached a good point of fitness underneath the layer of belly fat. 1 week away. I'm so nervous and excited!

Any ladies going to Allure Clinic for lipo this month feel free to message me if you wanna be recovery buddies. ????

Procedure complete!

Just checking in, the procedure went smoothly and I was only there from 12-130pm. I am currently feeling a little tired and woozy from the Ativan so I may write more later, but right now I'm pretty comfortable and just relaxing for the rest of the day.

Some notes on my experience:

The Doctor (Dr Testa) and the nurse (Inna) were very nice and comforting. I felt like I could really trust them right away.

The insertion of the fluid is the absolute worst part! It pinches, stings, and feels like your skin is tightened to an uncomfortable point. It took about 10 min or so to fill me up, then I had to let it sit for a while to activate. During that wait time, the nurse wrapped in a towel and brought me some warm tea, which was really comforting and nice.

I felt insane with the fluid inside me, I looked months pregnant!

Dr Testa removed 500cc of fat. He said that was a great amount for someone my size (they said I was quite small) It was cool to watch all the gross fat come through the the tube, it was my entertainment for the time.

I did not feel the liposuction due to the numbing solution. There were a few points that were a little uncomfortable because he has to pinch the skin and fat to know the area. He was very kind and showed genuine concern for any signs of pain.

It was over pretty quickly! Inna wrapped me up (5 maxi pads+1 chuck pad+compression garment). As soon as I started moping a round I was leaking the fluid from the bottom hole under my belly button. It just kept coming out! I put an extra maxi pad in the front of my panties to catch any of those leaks.

I got some cucumber rolls for lunch and took a cab home. I'm ready for a nap!

Less pain than expected

I slept well last night. This is surprising to me! I guess because I only got upper/lower and nothing else removed the pain is focused on a pretty small area.

I got an ab-board from Amazon, it is amazing. It's keeping a nice firm compression on my abs and it prevents any creasing from the garment. I think it's due to the ab-board that I was able to sleep so well, I am not a back sleeper (actually I'm a stomach sleeper but thats out of the question) so I naturally rolled over to either of my sides and surprisingly wasn't too uncomfortable.

Last night, my husband ordered Indian food and i really wanted something good but everything is in a butter/cream based sauce or salted. So I ordered a "mango salad" which was super weird--it was just lettuce and mangos with some curry spice on top. It was good though, and since I'm staying away from salts/fat/carbs for now, it was the perfect option.

The nurse said I could wait till today to change the drainage pads, but I completey soaked though all pads by 11pm last night and was feeling wet and squishy inside the garment. I took off everything and rubbed Arnica cream on my stomach.

Oh.My.Gosh.

My stomach was completely flat. I know it was a bit swollen but it was totally FLAT. I've never in my life seen it like this, I almost cried tears of joy (But I think the Ativan was still working a little and preventing any intense emotional reaction). The fat is gone! I know it takes a few months to see the full results but I am beyond satisfied with my results at this time.

Day 2 pics

I took off the compression garment, wiped myself down with baby wipes, washed my hands and applied antibiotic ointment, and arnica cream (didn't massage too hard but did rub it in for a little bit).

I started to swell a bit more when the compression garment was off, so the pics are not the final result---However I am in love with the flatness and I can see a clear difference even with the swelling.
I can't wait to see what happens when the swelling is gone!

Day 4 notes

Some more notes on my healing:

-I have to walk around the neighborhood for my job (for about 2-5 hours a day). Pre surgery I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to be okay back at work on Monday (Friday surgery) since I don't have the option for taking time off. However I was walking around the day after surgery and each day since, I think I am recovering easy and able to be active because I only got upper/lower abs and not lipo combined with thighs, back, or hips. I had pretty short days today and yesterday which is nice because even though I am able to walk around NYC is like 100 degrees this week so I'm just sweating and dyin' in my compression garment walking around in this weather.

-Due to the walking and all the heat I think I'm experiencing increased swelling. I was not swollen at all the first day but I have been since the second day. I notice the most swelling after all the walking activity I have to do.

-To help with swelling and healing I am wearing the compression garment, taking bromelain, oral arnica, using arnica cream and doing mild self lymphatic massages (Google abdomen self lymphatic massage), and mostly doing a breathing exercise which is supposed to help lymphatic drainage. It's basically a "belly first" technique: take a deep breath--filling air into your belly first ending with your lungs; then use your ab muscles to to push the air out of your belly. This feels good-- Oxygen is good for healing and the movement is suppose help push fluid to internal drainage areas.

-I've been experiencing the weird itching & pins and needles feeling in the lipo'd area. It's not painful but feels prickly and annoying. It's not a constant feeling, just comes and goes. I know this has something to do with the little damaged nerves in the fat layer repairing themselves. So as annoying as it is I see it as a good sign.

-I'm posting a pic of me today to document the slight swelling (red after wearing a compression garment and and ab board all day, then doing a massage in the shower).

-I am currently bigger today than I was the morning after surgery, and to be completely honest---with the swelling my stomach looks about the same size as it was pre surgery (without the lower bulge). But at least I got to see how it looked BEFORE I swelled up so I know that I am happy with the amount of fat that was taken out and not questioning whether it was worth it. It definitely was!

-I can imagine, that for those women who are immediately very swollen after surgery, that they might not see the results they hoped for in the first few days/weeks, but its probably just due to swelling. So keep that compression garment on and don't lose hope!

P.s.: After I wrote everything above I received my new faja from Amazon. It was super tight and hard to get into but I managed to get it on. It feels good with the ab-board. Helped with swelling right away. I like this garment more than the medical one.

Swelling is going down

Still a little sore and swollen but I'm feeling great! The scars from the little incisions are almost fully healed and not too noticeable (one hole under belly button, and 1 above each rib=3 total)

I cheated and ate some chicken tenders yesterday. Probably high in sodium because I swelled up like crazy afterward. Worth it because they were delicious. I also had a mojito which didn't make me swell but did give me a headache since I stopped drinking (cold turkey) about 2 weeks ago.
Otherwise I've been eating salads, fish, quinoa, granola, and staying away from bread, alcohol, dairy, and sodium.

Feeling good

So progress is slowly but surely visible. I fell totally fine and no pain at all at this point, almost 2 weeks post surgery. I actually want to start working out and running but know I probably shouldn't. Everything makes me get swollen, sodium (trying to avoid as much as possible but it's everywhere), heat, walking around all day, standing, etc. the swelling is the worst part of all of this! When very swollen, it could seriously make you feel like you look worse than you did pre-surgery. The only tips I have for swelling (based on my personal experience) are:

-Massage! Focusing especially any lumpy areas.
-Stay far away from anything that may contain sodium, simple carbs, and alcohol.
-Drink an obscene amount of water. Like drink until you feel like you've had TOO MUCH water, then drink anther glass!!
I like to buy a large liter water bottle and refill several times a day.
-bromelain and arnica tablets are supposed to help, honestly I haven't been great about taking consistently but I do think they boost your recovery.
-Rest your body when you can. I'm super active and after biking around and walking for 5 hours (I have to for work), afterwards I feel like a big sore balloon. But when I wake up in the morning my body is slim and looks great, so I think rest is a huge factor.
-compression garment. Leave it on! I actually switched back to the medical ab binder, the faja was too tight around the crotch area and the shoulder straps, and started to get really uncomfortable to walk around it so much. I am now going to get a "waist only" type thing, like a trainer/cincher, so that I don't have to worry about the crotch or shoulder area not fitting properly. I always use an ab board, it really helps keep things flat and supports my healing stomach area.

Including some update photos, including some sitting, which I haven't seen many people post.

3 weeks

Went for a follow up with Dr Testa yesterday, he said all looked good! He said the swelling will continue to go down. Yay!

Also, I didn't mention it before and I know it's not completely relevant because "Lipo isn't a weight loss solution" but I lost 6lbs since surgery. I have pretty much stopped drinking alcohol (okay I had 1 or 2 cheat days with a glass of wine) and have cut back 98% on bread, fried stuff, and high sodium food. So it's probably more to do with the clean eating but I feel good.

Also, I ordered and started to use a latex waist trainer and something went wrong, I may have an allergy or something... I was out working and my skin started itching, then it started to burn and feel like a million little continuous stings all over my back ever time I moved. Hot, burning, stings in waves across my skin. So painful and weird. It definitely was the latex material and not related to the surgery because I didn't have anything done to my back. As soon as I switched to a non-latex waist trainer my skin felt fine again and it hasn't happened again. I got a latex-free mesh waist trainer and have been wearing it with my ab board. Much better!

4 weeks

I have officially reached the 4 week mark.
Swelling still sucks. It just appears when I take off the compression garment or consume even the slightest amount of sodium. It's mostly water retention. Not letting it phase me!

Checking your progress first thing in the morning is really helpful to keep a positive outlook on the healing. Your body is rested, well compressed (if you sleep with the garment) and had metabolized whatever you ate previously--so you can get a better idea of your results before you go on about your day and the swelling takes it toll.

Otherwise I feel good, I've been leaving the garment off for little periods of time, I'm currently a bit swollen but I'm posting a pic I took this morning when swelling was minimal.

I do think I've slimmed down a lot and while the lipo got rid of the hardest fat to lose, it mainly gave me a harsh realty check on my diet. Alcohol, especially beer and sweet cocktails, make me gain weight very rapidly, as well as other carbs. The sodium bloating was something I never noticed but am now aware of. Before surgery I actually never knew that's something that contributed to swelling and feeling bloated. Since cutting back on sodium I notice my skin is healthier and I feel better overall.

The swilling is tricky because it makes you look pudgy, even though there's no fat in the area. Apparently swelling doesn't go down for real for a few more months. Bleh! Meanwhile, I'm going to start intensifying my ab workout routine now and hopefully have a awesome stomach by next spring! :)

3 months post op

Update on my results, my conclusion is this: while the lipo got rid of the belly fat that seemed impossible to lose, I think my current success is credited to cutting back on calories, and eliminating alcohol and bread from my diet. I try not to consume more than 1000 calories a day and I am very very active. Ab workouts have been helping to define the muscle. I only lost 1lb of fat from the Lipo itself, but in the past 3 months I have used it as motivation to clean up my diet, so I feel it was totally worth it. Since august, I have lost 20lbs from healthy diet and exercise alone, my best advice is: don't expect lipo to substitute that.
Brooklyn Physician

Review for Allure Clinic (Dr Voskin + Dr Testa) I met with Dr Voskin for the consult. He seemed very nice and helpful. My schedule availability didn't fit his schedule so they assigned Dr Testa to my surgery. The nurses, assistants, and receptionist are all very nice and helpful as well. They are clearly a very busy office and do a good job of keeping up with their clients. They call the day before any appointments to confirm and they call the day after surgery to follow up. Dr Testa did my procedure, he was funny, polite, and very considerate. I had a very pleasant experience at Allure Clinic and would definitely return and recommend them.

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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