Yesterday was my surgery day! I'm going to try to give a detailed description of how it all went.
We woke up at 4:45 AM. I got dressed in pajama pants and a zip-up sweatshirt which I wore over the Brava domes. We then drove out to the Arlington Heights office, which was about a 40 minute drive from downtown. We waited in the parking lot until 6:30 and then walked into Dr. Placik's office, which is on the 3rd floor of the Busse center of Northwest Community Hospital. As soon as we arrived in the office one of the nurses greeted me, very friendly and nice, and took us back to the same exam room that I was in for my pre-op appointment. I had to fill out a few forms with my information and medical history. Then she ran through my medications and had me take a bunch of pills with a small sip of water. Next I had to remove my clothes and put on a paper gown that opened in the front, knee-high socks, surgical booties, and a hair net (pictures below). We waited in the room for a while (my husband was in there with me, but my mom went out to the waiting room), maybe 10 minutes, until Dr. Placik came in!
Dr. Placik was quite impressed with my improvisation with the Brava domes and said he's never seen someone have to reinforce the domes like I had to. He was definitely happy with my expansion. He even mentioned that he was following my progress as I sent in weekly updates to his nurse Shari. Most people apparently do not use Brava as religiously as I did; he said I am one of his most compliant patients. He said the last person flew in from another state and had hardly used it at all, and he could tell because there was no bruising and the rims were not broken in at all, which I'm sure is very frustrating for him.
Then he had me take off the domes and started marking me up for surgery. We discussed all of my problem areas again. I was worried before that he would not be aggressive enough and just take out enough fat required for grafting, but he was very responsive to my suggestions. At the last appointment we agreed on liposuction of my flanks, lower abdomen, and inner thighs. This time however he suggested we also include my upper abdomen to help sculpt my stomach. He was concerned actually that he might not be able to harvest enough fat to inject 500 cc in each breast! I was really surprised because I could have sworn I gained a few pounds since January, but apparently not. He asked if we could also include my outer thighs, so of course I was like yes! Take out as much as you can! Lol. No seriously, I was like do whatever you have to do to get enough fat for grafting. He said I would have 7 incisions I believe. I also asked if he could create some cleavage and he said absolutely. So basically all of my worries about the liposuction were relieved at that time! Of course I didn't think at that time about all the pain that was going to be involved with the thigh liposuction, but oh well, it will be worth it.
Next after he marked me up he took a bunch of pictures from all sides, maybe 8 or so. Then that was it! He left the room and told me to put the Brava back on; I actually had to wear it into the OR. After a little while longer waiting it was time for me to go back. I was surprised that the OR was actually just across the hall from the exam room, but how convenient! I walked in and laid down on the OR table, at which time the anesthesiologist came in and put an IV in my left hand the first try. I was a little surprised that I did not meet the anesthesiologist beforehand as I had expected, but it wasn't a big deal I guess. Dr. Placik came in then and held my hand as I was put under anesthesia, which was really sweet, I really appreciated that. The anesthesiologist gave me some IV medications and put a mask over my face and next thing I knew I was totally out. I remember absolutely nothing about the surgery. The first time I recall returning to consciousness was in a recovery room sitting in a very uncomfortable chair. All I felt was severe pain everywhere. It was indescribable. I was shivering uncontrollably and moaning in pain, The worst part was in my thighs and hips, nothing else hurt besides my upper abdomen. Looking down, I noticed that I was dressed in a black compression garment that was fairly tight around my thighs and abdomen, and loose around the bra portion. Large pieces of foam were also inserted under the garment around the incisions. I remember Dr. Placik talking to me about how the surgery went but I was so out of it I hardly remember anything he said. And then apparently my husband almost passed out when he saw me!!!! He had to go sit down in the waiting room and eat some crackers and juice. I don't remember it happening but he said he couldn't bear the sight of me in such pain. I tried to get up but the pain my legs was so bad that I wasn't able to walk so they wheeled me out to the car in a wheelchair.
The car ride back to the hotel was probably one of the most painful experiences in my life. I really wanted to stretch out my legs but I couldn't. All I wanted to do was get back to the hotel room, but there was a lot of traffic, and I was really regretting staying downtown rather than somewhere in Arlington Heights. Every bump in the road hurt, and I was crying from the pain. I had NO idea that liposuction would hurt so bad. I of course expected some soreness but nothing like this. Then I realized that I had to pee REALLY bad but I was already in the car. The compression garment has a hole in the crotch and I was not wearing underwear so I finally had to stick the basin you would usually use for vomiting under me and I urinated into that. I had pretty good aim lol! I did get some urine on the car seat though, so it was a good thing we put a towel down under me. We had to dump the urine out the window LOL. I also got some urine inside of the compression garment, which I was really worried about, but the nurse we spoke to later said it wasn't a problem.
We finally got back to the hotel and they had a wheelchair there that we used to wheel me up to the room. Ahhh sweet relief to lay down in a king size comfy bed. The nurse called pretty shortly and said it was fine for me to take up to 3 Norco every 4 hours the first day if the pain is bad. So at first I took 3 Norco and that helped a lot. After that I started taking just 2. My shivering continued for about an hour even in bed with all the covers on, but this was apparently a common reaction from anesthesia. I took a valium, which relieved the shivering after a while. That night I didn't feel nauseous at all. I drank about 1 liter of gatorade as instructed by Dr. Placik (he actually wanted me to drink 2). The biggest lifesaver though was when my mom went out to buy me a sippy cup from Walgreens!! I cannot tell you how awesome the sippy cup is. I have a really hard time sitting up with all of the abdominal wall pain, so the only way I'm able to drink anything without spilling is with a toddler's sippy cup lol!!! I HIGHLY recommend it. The first thing I ate was a milano cookie my husband bought for me, it was SO good. Later on in the night I ate some chicken noodle soup and a chicken skewer. And finally my husband picked me up pinkberry chocolate hazelnut froyo which was the BEST.
To my surprise, Dr. Placik called my cell phone around 5 PM to check up on me. I really appreciated that and just further shows what a good, caring person he is. He told me about the surgery. I was in the OR for 5 hours and removed about 3L of fat, although some of it was just fluid so it could have been more like 2L of pure fat. While he was marking me up he didn't think he would be able to remove much fat from my abdomen because I looked pretty thin apparently (lol), but it turns out there was a lot in there, like 600 cc! He said he was really surprised and that I carried it well LOL. He also did lipo on my upper abdomen. He said there were a lot of "stubborn" fat pockets in that area that were very difficult to remove and that's why the surgery took longer. He had to make an extra incision below my breast crease to remove it all. He said he also sculpted my stomach along the rectus muscles to give the appearance of some muscular tone. I was really excited to hear this, especially when he said all the OR nurses were really jealous of my abs when he was done. He told my husband he was very proud of his work on my stomach. I'm SO happy that he really went above and beyond to give me a great result, because I'm sure it would have been so much easier to just suck out the fat needed for grafting and ignore the cosmetic result of the liposuction, which is what I was most afraid of. He took the most fat out of both of my sides/flanks, which is where most of my fat is. I think he removed 600 or 700 from each side! Wow. We didn't talk about this beforehand, but he let me know that after sculpting my stomach/sides I actually had some fatty deposits over my mons pubis, which no longer looked proportional, so he went ahead and removed fat there as well. Again, I feel like he went above and beyond and I'm so happy I chose Dr. Placik. He also performed liposuction over my outer and inner thighs, and removed about 200-250 cc in each area.
As far as my breasts, he injected 750 cc into my right breast and 650 cc into my left breast. He thought that from looking at my photos I had been sending in that my left breast was larger than my right, and that was definitely the case, although I had never noticed it before using Brava. I was thrilled!! He thought he might only get enough fat to inject 500 in each one before surgery, and I could barely believe it when he said 750!!! He thinks I will probably end up retaining about 350 cc. I saw his sheet which actually showed that he injected only 10 cc at a time, so he had a tally running for each breast, which shows just how meticulous he is. He said he also injected a lot on the medial aspect to create cleavage. I haven't really had a good look at them yet because I've been too tired/sore. I am planning on trying to put Brava on again tonight if I feel up to it, which would be about 30 hours out from surgery. Darlene recommends putting it back on within 48-72 hours and wearing it for 3 days.
Anyways I'm getting too tired to keep writing right now so will update more later.