4 month postop - BBL to Improve Overall Shape! - Culver City, CA

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It's a few hours before my operation and I am so...

It's a few hours before my operation and I am so excited/nervous! I've been wanting this for a lonnng time - even before I knew this procedure existed! My main goal is for my boyish shape to have more curves - especially in the hips where I have these "indentations" which never go away even when I was much skinnier (before I weighed 100lbs, the indents made it look like a had lovehandles)!

They are going to be liposuctioning my upper arms, back, abdomen, and sides. I took some measurements and pictures this morning for references:
Left arm: 12.5 in
Right arm: 12.75 in
Waist: 30 in
Hips: (where the indentation is): 35.25 in
(I'm 5'2 125 lbs)

I'm going to upload some pictures I took this morning. Please keep me in your prayers and wish me luck!

Post-Op Day 1 - The morning after

It's done ya'll! I am so relieved. Dr Hughes, his staff, and the anesthesiologist were so helpful and supportive leading up to and following the procedure. Dr Hughes took out 1240cc of fat and transferred 900cc to my butt/hips (though these numbers could be slightly off as I was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia when they told me this).

After I got home, I felt awful. I was super nauseous, dizzy, swollen, in pain, and could barely move. Getting off the bed is so difficult, I am using my arms to drag my body off/on the bed but even that is very uncomfortable since I had my upper arms lipo'd on top of already having poor arm strength. But I'm trying to remain positive by looking at and reading all your wonderful experiences.

I sent an email to my doctor with some concerns that I had (its probably nothing but I'm a huge worry-wart) so hopefully he responds soon!

this is an emotional post

Last night, my boyfriend took a quick snapshot of my front when we were adjusting my foam pads. When I saw the picture, I burst into tears. Because in that picture was MY body. It was a body that, for the longest time, I thought could never be mine. My entire life, I tried to love the body I had through fitness and diet, through positive thinking and inspiration, but it was ultimately a source of great unhappiness and disappointment. My insecurities built over the years trying to find clothes and put together outfits that gave off the impression of a body that I didn’t actually have. On a few occasions, I threw caution to the wind and just wore that tight little number, and I would get comments from friends, relatives, or men pointing out my flaws as if I didn’t already know they were there (don’t worry I dropped those a-holes like hot potatoes).

Honestly, I’ve been a bit afraid to look at my body these last few days because I just didn’t want to be disappointed anymore. It’s a feeling I’ve often felt and I was scared to look into the mirror and see the same body pre-operation staring back at me. But it wasn’t. Even with the swelling and bruising, I can see the beginnings of the transformation and, despite having a long recovery ahead of me and the rollercoaster of emotions of the past few days, it is so worth it.

For those of you doubting whether you should get this procedure, because you’re wondering whether its vain, or because it’s a lot of money that could be used elsewhere, or because of what others think of you if they find out - what’s more important than nurturing, caring, and loving yourself? It’s something that everyone should do and I'm feeling very blessed that I’ve had the opportunity to pursue this dream to reality.

Arm Lipo Update - Post Op Day 5

Post Op: Day 1
Both arms were swollen and difficult to move but my right arm was much more so than my left. After I woke up from a nap, I realized I couldn't even move my fingers at all! I was so scared, I contacted my doctor. He assured me that swelling is normal and that it was okay to remove my arm compressions and to keep my arms elevated. The swelling should go down after doing this and to let him know if the swelling between the two arms are not the same. I did what he said. I walked around my apartment with my arms in the air for about an hour (taking breaks in between of course). When I laid down, I kept my arms at an incline and, sure enough, my swelling went down some and I could move my right hand again (though it was still slightly more swollen than the left).

While I was on the phone with him, I asked him whether it was okay to not have my arm compressions on (because in my aftercare instructions it said to only have them off when I showered) and he said it was and that he wasn't worried about fluid collection in my arms. I kept them off for a good part of the day until I tried crawling off the bed and suddenly my arm started to throb and hurt really badly. I hadn't realized that I had stitches at the bottom of my arms and it had dragged against the bed.

Post Op: Day 2
The wraps became really loose overnight because my forearms are a lot less swollen. It took me 45 minutes to rewrap them because I was still very weak and dizzy and you only have one hand to do the job! I rested my hand on the back of a dining chair and that helped a lot. Unfortunately, I think I wrapped it too tight and my arms swelled up a lot again after a few hours so I had to re-do it. This is going to take some practice.

Post Op: Day 3 & 4
I'm rewrapping my arm bandages about 3-4 times a day. I'm relying a lot on my arms for mobility and it gets all messed up when I'm sleeping too.

I noticed that although the swelling in my hand and forearms went down, my upper arm still looks the same? It still has some nasty looking bruises so I'm just going to believe that it's just swollen. I wish I took a picture of my arms when I was re-wrapping them. Next time I rewrap I will.

Post Op - Day 5 morning
I took a pic of my right arm when I rewrapped it this morning. I posted a before pic of it in a previous post...does it look the same? I dunno, it's still only day 5 post-op so I'm sure much more healing needs to be done (all my bruises are on the outside of my arm so you can't see it). Please tell me, those of you who have had arm lipo, what was your experience like?

1 Week Post-Op - done! And my 1 week check-up!

Post-Op Day 1: I've become a beached whale. Been stranded on my bed for most of today. Any movement takes an eternity and feels like a mistake. Everything is so swollen and sensitive that I wouldn't be surprised if my ass suddenly burst confetti popper style.

I talked to my doctor about some concerns I had with my extreme arm swelling and he assured me swelling is normal. I am somewhat relieved though it's disconcerting to see my right arm turn full-fledged hulk mode.

Also, I'm a little concerned this foam doesn't seem to wrap around my body quite right - it's bending a little in the center - and I think I see fluid pooling in my stomach... is it too soon to see this?

Post-Op Day 2: I woke up feeling a little better but by noon I've developed a huge migraine and a very phlegmy throat. My headache is aggravated by noise but I can't find my ear plugs so I plugged them with kleenex and it kinda helped. I cried a bit to release some emotion and that got my nose running so I plugged them with kleenex too. Crazy doesn't even begin to describe how I look right now. My phlegm worsened as the day progressed and at times became difficult to breathe without having a coughing fit but I researched on realself and saw that this is very common after a procedure like mine. My doctor happened to answer that question so I'm going to follow what he suggested in his post.

A new symptom arose concerning the fluid-feeling thing in my abdomen. When I lay down, I feel it squish and when I stand up, I feel it move down. I emailed my doctor and he told me to come in right away so I'm going there first thing tomorrow morning.

Post-Op Day 3:
Good news! My bf fixed my compression garment last night to be a lot more snug and that fluid-moving feeling is gone! So I don't have to go in today.

I stopped taking my pain medication because I think it was making me nauseous. I do have a prescription for nausea but I don't want to add more pills on top of the many other ones I have to take post-procedure. Also, the pain isn't as bad, more like a deep soreness. Except for my lower ribs and left inner-hip area. For some reason, these areas hurt much, much more.

Post-Op Day 6:
Things are progressing nicely! Headache and phlegm are gone. I'm eating more normal (and nutritious) food. I have a lot more energy and range of movement. Yesterday, I had my first bowel movement and my first shower and I am feeling good! I'm going to clean the house a bit (mostly pick things off the floor that I couldn't pick back up because I couldn't get low).

Arnika is pretty amazing - my bruising and swelling is really fast-forwarding through its lifecycle. I'm sure drinking lots lots of water and eating nutritiously also helps (peeing every 1-1.5 hours) as well as being upright throughout the day. I overheard the spa specialist (where I bought my arnika) tell the person in front of me (who was also buying it) that the pill version is much better than the ointment and a higher dosage than those found in the supermarket.

Post-Op Day 7:
I noticed last night that my fluid is back. Good thing I have my 1-week check-up today.

(After my 1-week check-up)
Yup, it was definitely fluid. And a lot of it had accumulated in my lower left abdomen (or it looked like a lot to me, I dunno). I was told that I wasn't putting the garment on correctly, except I was (or my bf was) but when I showed the nurse my garment, it had gotten all messed up when I crawled in and out of the car. The thing is that whenever I move (i.e. lay down, get up, go bathroom, walk, crawl), the foam&garment also moves and gets displaced. Also, I think the foam pieces were a bit too big to wrap around my frame and apply pressure evenly everywhere. So that was the only place the nurse had to drain.

To make things a better a fit and to apply more snug pressure on my lower abdomen, she cut one of my foams in half and folded the other. She showed my bf and I a new way to wrap myself and I definitely feel more comfortable. She also told me to limit any physical activities and avoid unnecessary bending over (so much for shaving my legs today).

Oh and as for my garments, I was given everything I needed from my surgeon's facilities. The abdomen garment I received is one-size-fits-all and when I asked whether I could buy another garment or foam, my nurse told me not to yet and that by buying something else could cause more problems. As for my arm compression garment, I was given the ones that are long, stretchy wraps. She said I could buy an arm compression garment that "you see bikers wear" since my arms were looking good. I found some on amazon with really good ratings and am going to give those a shot when they arrive in the mail.

Wish pics!

Attached some wish pics!! On myself, it's not about getting the biggest butt possible, but more so re-defining my body with soft, naturally full looking curves. One of the main reasons why I went with Dr Hughes because he can nail many different types of looks on various body types.

Almost a month post-op! Recap + Pics

Hi ladies, it's been awhile! I don't even know where to begin, the (almost) 4 weeks have been all over the place for me but I guess I'll just start off where I last posted.

2 Weeks Post-Op:

At 2 weeks, I had another follow-up appointment to make sure I didn't have any more liquid buildup. I went in very apprehensive because the area that had been drained the previous week still looked like it had liquid, I noticed some dimpling in one of my hips, AND I had hard, painful lumps on my sides. It turns out there wasn't any liquid and I was assured that the dimpling would go away when all the swelling went down. The nurse was genuinely surprised when she saw that I was only 2 weeks post-op (she initially wanted to see me next in Feb but when she saw that I just had surgery, she changed it to December). She mentioned I was healing very well and I think it's because most of my bruises had vanished at this point. For the lumpiness, she instructed my bf and I on how to perform daily 30min home massages (in addition to professional massages) to help the swelling go down and to soften the lumps and areas that had been lipo'd/fat injected. She asked whether I had brought in a second stage garment for her to look at but I didn't know I was supposed bring one so she showed me what to look for in a garment and said that whatever garment I buy should be an XS.

During the second week, I was really worried and paranoid about my butt. My butt had already decreased a lot in volume and I was scared that the de-swelling meant that it would get even smaller. I knew prior to getting the surgery that I would lose about 40% from the initial post-op size but it's already decreased so much so early on that I'm scared of what it will look like 6 weeks out. But the nurse assured me that my butt was going to stay and that, if anything, my waist would get smaller. Once I got my new garment, I worried about its tightness on my butt so I asked Dr Hughes and he told me to cut out the bottoms and that bottomless garments were also fine.

3 Weeks Post-Op:

The dimpling in my hip that I saw last week has become more pronounced. :( I really hope that's not there to stay. The hip indentations was honestly my primary concern for getting this and I've been painstakingly following the post-care instructions to a T. I'm literally either laying on my stomach or standing up. I've only sat down during the 10min car ride to my follow-up appointments. I also haven't been sleeping on my sides because I want all the hip fat to stay put! When I emailed my PS about it, he said that it was way too early to tell and to wait 6 months. I'm trying to be optimistic and patient but it's really hard and I can't help but focus on it. I feel like it's affecting my overall view of my outcome. Have any of you ladies (or men) experienced this too? Did it get better? I'm trying to not be upset because I know its still early but I can't help but feel discouraged.

Over 2 months now!

It’s been awhile ladies and I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I’ve gotten quite a few private messages asking for updates and I apologize for the delayed responses. Also, I wanted to thank all of you for all your support, ya’ll have been awesome. :) This may be a long, rambling post (as are most my of my posts), so here is my short-version update. I’m over 2 months post op and feeling much better (though still sore/bumpy/tight in various areas). Many asked whether I LOVED my results which I've avoided answering because its like been a bit of a love/hate relationship which I’ve been giving some time to settle. Basically, it’s complicated. :P

Coming from someone who’s had poor body image since what seems forever, yoyo-ing between conflicting emotions with anything-less-than-perfect results was pretty much bound to happen. And if you read my previous posts about the dimples and other things, you may have sensed the inner turmoil. It’s funny because I repeatedly set expectations with myself to be realistic about not expecting “perfect results.” But old habits definitely die hard because I would nitpick on the daily - despite the obvious improvement - and it was really stressing me out and having me question my decision. For sanity’s sake, I decided to stop analyzing/worrying over every little change and just (impatiently) wait 6 months to allow any changes/healing run its full course and THEN I’d decide whether I liked it.

Although it hasn’t been 6 months, I’ll still weigh in. I'm hesitant to call it true love (which sounds corny but I can’t think of a better phrase), but here’s how I know that I ultimately really like my results:

Before, looking at myself in the mirror was avoided at all costs but when it did happen, I could only find criticism. Now, even with the critic still alive and thriving, I can’t help but feel excited. There’s this sense of empowerment that I can change things about myself that I thought were permanent. I think I’ve already talked about this in a previous post, but I’ve kinda let myself go appearance-wise since I knew no matter how light/heavy my weight or how fit I was, I didn’t like my body. So I put on 10-15 pounds in recent years, which on my 5’2 frame makes a big difference. The re-distribution of fat on my body is really quite amazing since I weigh the same but the fat is more so in places I want them. I wear the same size pants as before, but I’ve taken them to the tailor to get the waist taken in a bit. I still eat everything I did before but I’ve also added a lot more nutritious food to accompany the not-so-healthy ones. And I started working out again. But what’s the craziest is that I look forward to working out. I don’t know what impact working out will have on my body (fingers crossed for that stubborn arm fat to go down!) but I have a lot more energy in my day-to-day living.

I think the procedure inadvertently jumpstarted me to live a healthier lifestyle and I’ve been feeling a lot better about myself. There’s been surprising struggles like re-learning what looks best on my different-but-not-dramatically-so frame (Clothing Struggle #1: what-the-heck I got a bbl but my butt is in the same pants as before. Clothing Struggle #2: why are all my tops not flattering anymore).

Anyways, that’s all for now. I never know what to write in my updates and I’m not sure if posts like this one are really actually helpful for others since I'm past the initial healing stage, so feel free to send me a message or suggestions and I hope I can help. I’m still going through my messages so please be patient and, if I don’t write an official update anytime soon, I hope you have a happy holiday and new year!

4 Month Update

Omg, I can't believe it's been 2 months since last time I posted. Time is flying by and I am happy to report that I am loving my curves! :) It's so nice to not have to worry about my hips and ass or fret over my shape!

I want to thank you for all your kind comments, I definitely needed time to get accustomed to my changes. I feel much more confident and it's kinda weird to read my previous posts because I sound super emotional (prolly bc I was lol, it is not easy!). But yeah, at the 4 month mark looking back on all the crazy, definitely worth it :)
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

More in-depth details coming!

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