30 Years Old, Petite, Stubborn Belly Fat

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My entire life, since I was a child, I've carried...

My entire life, since I was a child, I've carried my fat in my mid section. Picture tire around the waist / love handles. I'm 5'2, 115lbs, with scrawny arms/legs and a flat butt. So finally, I've made the decision to do the BBL procedure

I've booked my surgery with Dr. Truong in Chicago for June 13th. I'm not going to lie, while I am super comfortable with him and his skills, I am VERY nervous about not being able to sit for 6+ weeks and the incisions. How come no one talks about the incisions on RS? I'm very curious to see how they heal. The recovery also has me quite nervous as well. Does anyone have any tips that worked well for them?

I've made the decision to do this surgery privately - meaning I am not telling my roommate, friends or family about it. I'm sure they will notice a change in my body gradually, but I'm really hoping it's not noticeable that I've had surgery since I don't have a lot of fat to lose or to transfer to my buttocks.

I will post before/after pics the day following my surgery! In the mean time, here are my "Wish Pics"!

8 days to go...

The more I sit (literally) and think about the BBL procedure, the more it becomes clear to me the downtime will be very hard while trying to hide from family/friends.

I've also been thinking a lot about how if I choose BBL over SmartLipo and then lose weight, I'll likely lose that BBL fat transfer.

Originally I had looked into SmartLipo, as my mid-section is what I struggle with. I got a little derailed with the idea of more of a butt but having time to think it over has lead me to the decision of SmartLipo. I'm going the Dr. tomorrow to sign new paperwork!

Day of SmartLipo

Today was the day!! I walked into Dr. Truong's office and was greeted by his amazing staff. I was brought into the prep room where I undressed, met with the anesthesiologist (who made me feel incredibly safe and comfortable with the "twilight anesthetic" procedure), then met with the Dr for the markings and any last questions. Just a few moments later I was brought into the OR where I was sterilized and quickly sedated. After being asked why music I'd like to listen to, I remember NOTHING. 2 hours later I woke up, walked with the nurse (Katie) into the recovery room where I was given some food and water and time to let the drugs wear off. I soon realized I already had my compression garment on - SCORE!

Maria, one of the staff members, drove me home and stayed with me for 3 hours (she's the best!!). During that time she changed my dressings *multiple* times. My drainage was A LOT and i was so tender there was no way I could have done it myself. She also helped me to use the bathroom (number one). I was curious as to why I had to go so often, then she reminded me of the fluids I was given post op IV.

I did end up taking the pain meds because the three incision sites on my bikini line are VERY sore. But soon after it lessened and then I was able to do normal things like emptying the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, etc. I noticed the more I am up on my feet the more I drain. Which is fine with me! Beware, it's blood red in color so prepare yourself to remove white sheets, bath mats, etc.

Maria says tomorrow will be worse as far as pain and swelling but the draining should subside soon. She gave me her personal cell phone number in case I need her assistant again.

I'm going to switch garments for an hour tomorrow so I can wash the one I was sent home in. You won't believe how much of that drainage will get on it!

As far as the results.. it's hard to tell. I haven't seen myself out of the garment yet and the swelling is like something I've never seen before. I do know I had 1800 cc's removed (almost 2 liters). That's quite a lot for someone of my build!

I'll add photos as soon as the drainage stops.

Sore & Tender

Absolutely no drainage today! Still very very very tender to touch and sore. My discomfort is mostly just mild pain when moving from laying/sitting to standing - but once I'm standing, I feel NO pain and can go about normal daily activities. I honestly could have worked today but the pain pills make me drowsy.

In addition to taking the pain medication, I have also been taking Arnica tablets and Bromelian (both are supposed to help with swelling and soreness). I've also been applying the Arnica gel on my flank bruises.

Because I am still very swollen I'm not able to tell how flat my stomach is/will be or if my flanks are completely gone (FINGERS CROSSED THEY ARE GONE).

I still haven't taken the garment all the way off for a photo but I can shower tomorrow so will take pics then!

I also want to note that the compression garment I am wearing snaps in the crotch.. yesterday the drainage was so bad it actually got all the way down there. To prevent an infection (until I can wash the garment) I have been wearing a maxi pad. Highly suggested! Can't imagine getting a UTI on top of this.

Overall discomfort 5/10


It's been a few more days now and I am still feeling VERY sore, VERY numb, but mild pain. Still the hardest to go from laying/sitting to standing, it's almost like a tearing sensation. If it wasn't for the pulling right above my pubic region, the sit-to-stand wouldn't be bad at all! Let me just say, the swelling and numbness are NO JOKE. I was not prepared for this.

I stopped taking the pain medication on Friday and have been sleeping alright. Bowel movements were a little off the first few days but after stopping the pain medications they are back to normal.

My bruising has gone down significantly! Maybe b/c of the Bromelian and Arnica tabs?

I really wish the swelling would subside as it's realllllllllly uncomfortable. The numbness is pretty bothersome as well. The combination of the two is awful. I feel better with the compression garment on than off. My diet has been bleek. I haven't been eating much b/c I'm scared I will bloat and the swelling will NEVER go away. My fluid intake has been good though.

On Thursday, 2 days post op, I had dinner at my aunt's house and no one seemed to notice my movements were off or that I was in any pain. I saw them again on Sunday, and no one noticed again. Phew! (The hugs hello and goodbye were quite painful though)

I have my first post op visit this evening and will ask the nurse to take a quick after photo for you guys. Please let me know if you have any advice on how I can get this swelling down! I appreciate it :)


Today makes 1 week post op and I am still extremely swollen!!

When I sit down, I have a roll in my abdomen and my flanks are not the flat V shape (they still come out further than my hips). BUT I want to stay positive and patient, and hope that this is part of the swelling that will subside over the next couple months. I also have a pouch above my groin area that I don't remember being there before. Again, hoping its just swelling and not left over fat.

Yesterday, Dr. Truong said he was very aggressive during the procedure (as he had 1800 CCs to take, which is A LOT for my small frame). He told me not to worry about rippling but I may encounter some lumps or bumps along the way that will resolve on their own. He also said I will lose about 20% more than my current results. We did not take after photos since I am still very swollen and I don't believe it is an accurate representation of his work. If you'd like my before photos, please comment below and I will DM you.

p.s. While the compression garment doesn't bother me much (Spanx, not the surgical CG), I am dreading wearing jeans. I couldn't imagine that pressure on my lower abdomen now or anytime soon. I'm glad it's summer and I'm able to wear dresses.

p.s.s. Speaking of dresses - I tried on a fitted dress of mine yesterday and I'm still too swollen to wear it. The swollen pouch in the lower front abdomen is making me look 4 months pregnant. I've been massaging but no progress so far. I'll be YouTubing how to perform a Lymphatic Massage on myself this evening.

Any suggestions to help the swelling go down are appreciated!

Day 8

Stopped taking Tylenol today (even though I'm still in a bit of pain) so just on the Bromelian and Arnica now. Not sure if they are actually helping. Swelling hasn't gone down at all. Gets more uncomfortable as the day goes on, probably because I eat. Although I have only been eating chicken, pineapples, and bananas. I'd say the pain/discomfort is about a 4/10 now. A 6/10 when I first stand up.

So far I don't see results but I still can't tell how much of this is swelling or how much of this is leftover fat.

Trying to be patient. It's only Day 8 post op.


10 days post op -- I woke up today in NO PAIN (but still sore)!! Swelling has gone down significantly, although it is still most prominent in my lower abdomen and flanks. My entire mid section is rock hard. Doesn't look bad but as the day goes on the swelling and bloating become more uncomfortable and I begin to feel like I look pregnant. I know this is just part of the healing process so I'm not worried. I haven't gone for any massages yet but I have been massaging myself VERY lightly everyday with lotion after I shower.

Before photos attached! Will post after photos when the swelling goes down a bit more. Also, the incisions are healing nicely! Scabbed over now and will start applying anti scar cream just after the weekend.

Looking pregnant, but almost no pain

12 days post op and feeling great. The abdomen pain is completely gone. Flanks and lower back are still a bit sore. I'm still very numb everywhere.

Becoming a bit concerned with my lower abdomen. It comes out further than my upper abdomen and makes me look as though I am pregnant. I don't know if this is swelling or missed fat. From the side it's as though my stomach is on a angle like this / instead of flat like this | ... worried I may never be able to wear a fitted dress.

I realized today in the shower my belly button stitch is still in so I'll address this concern when I go to have it removed. Hopefully if it's missed fat he can do a revision this winter.

Tried on swimsuits today..

Going on a beach vacation with friends this weekend for the holiday so I spent the evening trying on swimsuits. My lower abdomen looks like I'm fat/pregnant. Not a drastic change in my flanks or bra roll either. Flanks still come out further than my hips (from a front view) and bra roll is faint, but present.

Lower abdomen + flanks still give me a muffin top. Not as much as I had before but I was (and still am) expecting that once the swelling goes down both will be washboard flat.

Also, the lower abdomen and flank incisions are higher than my bikini line so I'm not sure how I'll hide them. A one piece may be my only option - which may be suspicious as I've never worn one before.

I tried on some form fitting cotton dresses. Because of the abdomen, I cannot wear them yet. I truly look like I'm 3 months pregnant.

It's only been 2 weeks.. I need to remind myself to be patient.

Woke up flat

My stomach this morning was the flattest I've seen it since the surgery! Great sign. I've taken my compression garment off for the day to see how much I will swell (b/c I will be in a swimsuit most of this weekend).

Have I talked about my incisions much? The lower ab incisions have scabbed off and are hardly noticeable. I'm still planning to keep them covered bc I hear sunlight can effect how they heal.

I'm still taking Bromelian 2x per day (morning and night) as well as the Arnica tablets 3x per day. I really don't know if it helps but I'll keep taking it until the swelling and soreness are completely gone.

The soreness is so tolerable now I forget about it sometimes. I've become used to the numbness now too. Overall not in any discomfort! I'm going to try to wear jeans tonight!

3 weeks

I went in vacation this past weekend and was in a bikini most of the time.. It was VERY hard to hide the incisions. They are placed too high on my lower abdomen, too low on my mid back and too high above my buttocks.

I am still noticing that I am skinniest in the mornings and not as much once I've eaten or drank anything. I am really looking forward to the Dr. taking "after" photos so I can really see the change (and post here for you).

Swelling is minimal. A little numb in certain places but not uncomfortable at all. Stopped taking Bromelian and Arnica about a week ago.

Skinniest in the mornings

Love the way I look in the morning. My stomach is flat as a board. Except my flanks are still there a bit. I get bigger throughout the day and swell. Still a bit sore. Lumps come and go.
Chicago General Surgeon

Great bedside manner. Very knowledgeable. I feel comfortable with my procedure in his hands.

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