SAFELIPO THIGHS: 32 Yr Old Active Exercise Instructor Just Wanting Inner Thighs Not to Painfully Rub - Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
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After about 15 years of dealing with my thighs...

After about 15 years of dealing with my thighs painfully rubbing together when I walk and about a year of extensive research on fat reducing options (so grateful for this app), I have finally done it! At 6am this morning, I checked into the hospital to have SafeLipo on my thighs and inner knees. A little background...I am about to turn 33 in a little under a month. I have always been in shape, love to exercise, even teach classes at a local group exercise studio. I generally eat relatively well although since I've had to start watching my portions (until about 5 years ago, I could eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted without worrying about gaining weight), I sometimes go through phases where I have terrible cravings and give in. I love food more than anyone I know. Anyway! I would say my hatred and disgust for my legs began around 20 year old. I always liked them before that and had no issues with them; however, as I matured, my weight began being held in my legs. I've since stopped wearing shorts or short skirts or dresses because I don't like the way they look. My knees had (hopefully this is past tense now) fat surrounding them and my thighs touch even when my legs are spread apart (see before photos). Needless to say, when my feet are together, my inner thighs are so tightly pushed into each other it actually hurts. When I walk, they consistently rub against each other. Depending on the type of pants I'm wearing, this can range from annoying to downright painful. In the summer if I'm wearing a bathing suit, not only am I self conscious of my seemingly disproportionate legs (in comparison to the rest of my body), but walking is torturous. It's not long before I get (what I don't know how else to describe as) rugburn on my inner thighs - red, swollen, sometimes rashy rugburn. Ok, enough rationalizing this surgery. That's why I did it. When I first started doing my research, I was dead set on SmartLipo. After reading all the reviews, watching videos, and learning as much as I could on the procedure, it seemed like the best route for me. I scheduled a consultation with another (meaning not the one I ended up using) board certified plastic surgeon. I went into the consultation excited and prepared with a list of questions. During my consultation, the doctor quickly shot me down. He said that he would only be able to take a little fat out of my inner thighs but it would not make much difference. He also said he would never do the knees and that I would possible have saggier skin afterwards. I left the appointment in tears. I was so disappointed. I've seen so many amazing before and after photos of SmartLipo patients with similar issues as me and great results! What was wrong with me I thought. Why couldn't I get these same results? I decided to get a second opinion. I told myself that if I received a similarly disappointing assessment from another doctor that I would just forget about it completely and maybe try Cool Sculpting, although I really wanted something more dramatic. My second consultation was with a gentle, soft-spoken, and kind doctor named Dr. Totonchi in Westlake, Ohio. He seemed confident that he could help me; however, he did not perform SmartLipo. Initially, I thought to myself, "Oh crap." I at this point had been convinced that this was my only option. He then began describing to me the SafeLipo technique. It's not a special machine or anything, it's just a technique that was developed by a plastic surgeon several years ago to actually revise liposuction mistakes and deformities. SAFE is an acronym that stands for separation aspiration fat equalization. Quote from the SafeLipo website: "Unlike other forms of liposuction, SAFELipo first loosens, emulsifies and separates out the unwanted fat cells, gently removes them, then equalizes the remaining thin fat layer without generating heat, keeping valuable blood vessels, skin and other tissues from being damaged or destroyed." The doctor said that with this technique, he is able to improve the appearance of cellulite, which although not to apparent in my photos, I definitely have. I liked the idea of not damaging other tissues with heat too. I scheduled my surgery for December 23. I will describe my experience thus far in an update. Thank you for reading this short novel! I really wanted to do this after realizing there are hardly any SafeLipo reviews out there.

Day of Surgery and Day 1 Post Op

When I got to the hospital yesterday, at 6am, I checked in at the reception, showed my ID, signed a paper, and waited to be called back. They took me into a curtained-off area with a bed and asked me a bunch of standard questions. I was then told to provide a urine sample and take off everything to put on the gown, socks, and hair cap. I layed down on the bed and waited awhile. A nurse came in to give me an IV although I don't think anything was flowing at that point. Then the doctor came in to mark me. We agreed on removing fat from the inner thighs and around the knees but just using the smoothing technique on the outer thighs and backs of the thighs where I have some cellulite. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about the process. They then put something in the IV To relax me while they rolled me down the hall to the operating room. I remember feeling very relaxed but still coherent. They moved me from the bed to the metal table and that's the last thing I remember. I woke up in phase 1 of recovery feeling very cold and thirsty. I wasn't in too much pain. Just sore. I had a couple cuts on my lips inside my mouth which they said was from the tube probably. They got me some water, some more warm blankets, and removed my IV. After a short while, I was taken to phase 2 of recovery and moved to a chair. Getting off the bed to the chair was tough. I was a little surprised how sore I was. The nurse then helped me put my clothes on and the doctor came in to see how I was doing. He said he was a little surprised at how much fat he was able to remove - 900cc total...almost a liter!!! He said he was able to remove more from my knees than he anticipated. I am so anxious to see the final results but that won't be for months and months!! I have to be patient. Before I left, they gave me 2 percoset with some crackers. My mom then drove me home and picked up my percoset prescription. Something that I want to share with anyone considering this surgery or any surgery where you need to wear a compression garment: get a GoGirl!!!! The first time I tried to pee, it got on the garment. I was so upset because I have to wear it until Monday without taking it off...I can't even shower! I tried to wipe it and then dry it with my blow dryer but honestly, it is impossible to not get it all over you if you don't have a funnel thing. I wish I would've known this especially because after the surgery, I found I had to go to the bathroom so often. Anyway, the whole rest of the day I tried to rest but only got a couple hours of sleep total. For some reason, I am so wired. The percoset is supposed to make you groggy and drowsy but that is not happening with me at all. No nausea or vomiting though so that's good! I also think it's doing a pretty good job of managing the pain. I am taking one every 4 hours with a few pretzels. If I go a little over 4 hours, I can tell! I am also taking stool softeners but haven't gone to the bathroom yet. I also had some soup. I'm not that hungry yet. I'm starting to get a little tired now so I'll try to sleep. I'll keep you posted!

Day 2 Post Op

Feeling much more sore today than yesterday. I'm still taking my percoset every 4 hours. I've read that Day 3 is the worst so I'm trying to focus on the fact that this too shall pass :) I still haven't gone to the bathroom (besides peeing). I'll probably take some milk of magnesia tomorrow although I'm nervous about sitting on the toilet. I tried today and couldn't because it digs into the backs of my thighs and hurts too badly. Really can't wait until my follow up on Monday when they remove the garment and then I can shower afterwards!!! Starting to feel pretty gross. I think my mom is going to help me wash my hair in the sink tomorrow. Yea! Merry Christmas!!!

Day 5 Post Op

Ok today I'm starting to regret this procedure. I'm sure if the results are good, I will retract that statement, but right now, I am pretty miserable. The amount of pain and discomfort is so much more than I anticipated even reading review after review. Today was the worst yet. Since Day 1, every morning I get out of bed with more pain, stiffness, and swelling than the day before. Today I finally had my first post op appointment and they removed my garment for the first time as well as the bandages and the foam padding. It hurt. She said everything looked normal and then put the garment back on. That hurt way more. I came home and was so excited to shower for the first time in 5 days. After being in the shower a few minutes, I started feeling light headed. I felt like I was going to throw up and faint. I had to keep stepping out of the shower to put my hands on the toilet seat and catch my breath with my head down. One time I felt like I finally had to go to the bathroom (#2) which I still hadn't since before surgery 6 days ago. Sitting on the toilet for the first time was excruciating but once I finally sat down and tried to forget about the pain in the backs of my thighs, I actually went to the bathroom! Thank goodness. So then I got back in the shower and continued my couple minutes in, couple minutes out nonsense. Then I actually did throw up. Ugh. After that finished my shower as quickly as possible then had to throw a towel on and lay down on my bed. I thought I was going to pass out. My mom was here helping me and she said I looked really really pale. This makes me really not want to shower again for awhile :( After reading a few minutes, I stood up and my mom helped me put my second, clean compression garment on. It hurt again. I was able to snap a few quick pictures first to share. I'm bruised but no more than I expected to be. My little wounds look like they were stitched which makes me a little nervous. I've read that when the wounds are left open, you heal much more quickly. I know it's just Day 5, but I feel like other reviewers have not complained this much about pain and all these other ailments at this point. I can't walk normally at all. It feels like my thighs are weighted down with so much weight when I walk (like a penguin). I can't stay standing or walking more than a few minutes without feeling light headed and nauseous and need to lay down. I'm very stiff and can barely bend my knees. I just keep going for the day I wake up and feel slightly better than the previous day instead of slightly worse. As you will see in my pictures in comparison to my before pictures, my thighs are more swollen and larger than they were pre op. I know that is to be expected.

Day 6 Post Op

Ok on Tuesday Day 6 post op, I definitely can tell I'm finally STARTING to feel better instead of worse! Phew! Going from lying down to standing and from standing to sitting is still pretty painful but once I'm up for a few minutes, I start to feel like I can stand and walk more than before. I'm sure just getting all the pain meds and stuff out of my system more and more each day will help me with the nausea and light headedness too. I only took 2 Tylenol in the morning before doing some housework and getting ready. I know just unhook and unzip my garment halfway down to go to the bathroom since going through the tight hole is impossible for me. It still hurts pretty bad to sit on the toilet on the backs of my thighs but once I'm down, I'm deal with it ok. Today, on Day 7, I will attempt my second shower. I'll let you know how that goes!

12 Days Post Op

Finally starting to fell a little better. Still extremely sore, stiff, and bruised, but I'm forcing myself to walk around more. I was supposed to go back to work today but ended up just working from home again because I was so tired. I am including some updated pictures. Still not much of a difference since I'm still so swollen. I have my second post op appointment with the doctor in a week from today. The first appointment was with his nurse, not him since he was out of town.

Week 4 Post Op

Feeling much better. Still bruised surprisingly. I thought that would be gone by now. Still sore to the touch and still stiff. I can't bend my knees very well. I went back to my gym for the first time yesterday and took a Pound class (the kind of classes I teach). I definitely was swollen afterwards so I was glad I had my compression garment on. I still wear my stage 1 garment at all times only removing it to shower. I may try not wearing it for the first time this Friday night when I go to dinner with my friends. I'm sick of having a compressed/flat butt. I wanted to go to a yoga class on Monday but I tried doing child's pose and couldn't even get on my knees without being in pain so I probably won't do yoga for a bit longer yet. I think I see that my legs looks a little smaller. The most noticeable is on the outer thighs even though that wasn't my real area of concern. My inner thighs are still big to me. I hope they ate still swollen and that they go down more. My knees are also still pretty swollen and like I said, very stiff. At the end of class yesterday when we were stretching, I had a hard time bending my leg back to grab my ankle and do a quad stretch. I have been able to sleep on my sides foe the last week which is nice. Before that, I was sleeping on my back only because it hurt to be on my side. I'll continue to keep you posted!
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon

Gentle, professional, thorough, honest. Don't know my results yet, but I really like him!

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