Changing Body...Happy in the End

I scheduled my surgery after months of research...

I scheduled my surgery after months of research and consideration. I am 5'2" and was 118lb's at the time of the surgery. My waist measured 29", hips (butt) at 33-34" and I am 34B or 32C. I have a small frame, longer legs but short waisted. People wouldn't typically guess me as size 2, when in fact, I was more of 4 to 6.

As far as results go, I was seeking the optimum .70 waist to butt ratio. 
My current ratio was .88 (much higher than the optimum), so without clothes, I looked "straight"...no curves. I wanted a defined waist and an accentuated butt. Many women seek to go as "large" as possible while many opt for the "I want to look natural"....I think this article provides insight to the middle ground.

While choosing a doctor, I called around and met with a few reputable surgeons here. The first issue was simply finding doctors who are experienced with butt implants. Denver is land locked, and a fitness haven for hikers, bikers, skiers...etc. I don't believe Butt Implants are in demand much in this area. I also called around to some doctors on Real Self and had a few phone/email consultations.

In the end, I decided to go with Dr. Gregory Buford, here in Denver. I knew he had a solid reputation for his work and also knew his business integrity was impeccable. During our consultation, it was also apparent he was prepared and had researched the procedure extensively. He's board certified and also been practicing for many years. During the consultation, we discussed my desired results and he took measurements (around waist, bust, butt...then measured each butt cheek, length & width).

We discussed the downfalls of BBL, and decided against it. However, to achieve the results I wanted, opted for lip around waist, back and flanks along with implants. My skin is still elastic...although I have stretch marks, I didn't want to go through a full tummy tuck.

Pre-op/Day of Surgery

Prior to the surgery, I took the pre-op instructions seriously. In the past, I ate, drank...and didn't really follow pre-op diet instructions and I believe it increased bruising and recovery time.

This time, I drank tons of water, held off on alcohol 3 days prior and took the arnica along with Vitamin C supplements.

During the pre-op appointment, Dr. Buford consulted with me again and he answered all of my follow up questions, reviewed my measurements and desired results in detail. He then went over different types of implants and indicated which ones he would be ordering. He ordered several sizers, so he could also fit me, at the time of surgery. I was really impressed by his patience and time he took with me. I had A LOT of questions. Never did he seem short, curt or lost patience. He really took the time to listen to my concerns and addressed each and every one of them.

The morning of the surgery, my husband and I arrived at the surgery center early. Everything was standard there, and they got an IV in me almost immediately. Dr. Buford stopped by and the Anesthesiologist administered a relaxer, just before heading into the operating room.

When I woke up, I wasn't in a lot of pain, but I couldn't really move around much. A nurse helped me into my garment, which was the worst part. I had the foam pads (3 total) for the lipo and the the garment over it. Apparently, the company shipped the wrong one to the DR. office....the one I was supposed to receive zips up the side; while the one I had, was just "pull up". It was really tight.

Dr. Buford's office took care of ordering the garment. They also sent me home with 2 foam "donuts" about 8" in diameter each. These were used during surgery, to rest my head/face. They sent them with me, to sit on when I'm going to the bathroom. Once I got home, I wrapped them in plastic wrap, to keep them clean. These helped tremendously!

I took my pain medicine (Percocet) and was still a little out of it from the surgery, so I wasn't in a ton of pain. I just was not able to move fast at all...I was really just able to "shuffle" around, in slow motion. On the drive home, we just reclined the front seat and I laid on my stomach.

At home, I had the couch set up already, with pillows and blankets, so I just stayed on my stomach and occasional side. Pain was probably 2-3 out of 10. I stayed on top of the pain medicine, I staggered them. So, if I took 1 at 10AM, I would take another at 11AM...then take them each 4 hours within each other. This way, as one wore off, I had another cycle, without going over dose. This worked really well for me.

I had drains. Dr. Buford had them coming out of my butt, and kept the lines really long; so they came up the top of my garment, and were pinned to my side. They didn't bother me at all. My husband changed them often...every 2-3 hours.

The next day, I moved around the house quite a bit. No stairs; but stayed on my feet for several hours. The pain was still about 2-3...with pain meds, completely manageable.

Going to the bathroom was fine, those donuts were great. I couldn't tell my shape...with the foam in my garment, I still looked straight...but I could definitely see increased projection in my butt.

Implant Placement: Subfascia (between the muscle)
Implant Size/Shape: 220cc/High Profile
Garment: Veronique #1653 Size Medium

I will be posting more, including pictures.

Some picture... more to follow

Here are a few picture.

Additional Pictures

More on Recovery

As far as the recovery went, I don't believe I was one of the patients up and about quickly. I pretty much spent all day in bed and would maybe go out to the store or something once a day. I experienced a lot of tightness and very limited range of motion. Also, a pain in my lower back was normal, after being up and around for just a little bit. I was pretty sore all over, and it hurt to press or touch my bottom. At home, I laid on my stomach and sides. I was careful to try and spend equal time on each side...I don't know if this makes a difference or not.

When in the car, I reclined the front seat, and I had 2 pillows - one normal one that I laid, stomach down, on. And a small travel pillow to support my neck.

My drains came out at my first post op appointment, 6 days after. Dr. Buford checked the incision site and changed all of my tape. The incision was in my crease, and was covered one layer of gauze and clear tape. He taped over where the drains were and also added tape under each butt cheek (about 3 strips on each side). He saw every week, for 4 weeks to check for signs of infection, to change the tape and all incision sites. My stitches came out on the 2nd post op appointment, and the incision was closed. He always took time to answer questions and I never felt as if he was trying to rush...even though I knew he was busy. At each appointment, he was very pleased with the results.

I had minor bruising on my legs and stomach. Also, in the vaginal area, for the 1st week or so after surgery, I was sore and swollen. Dr. Buford warned me of this before the procedure; apparently it's common when having lipo in the stomach area. The bruises were gone by 2 weeks. The swelling overall (in my mid section) took about 4 weeks to dissipate.

I have been taking extra pre-cautions to stay off my bottom. I feared the tissue surrounding the implant would be compromised and the implants would shift if I started sitting too soon. After spending so much money and going through with the surgery, I didn't want to mess things up, trying to fast track my recovery. My implants started and remain very symmetrical since surgery.

I started sitting for short periods of time, at 6 weeks, on a boppy pillow. With the opening in the back, so there was extra support under my thighs and my bottom kind of sits in the hole. I am still carrying it around for sitting. At first it was uncomfortable; in the last few days, I am starting to feel more comfortable sitting.

I stayed on my pain meds for nearly a month, but for the final 2 weeks, was taking one a day. Sleeping remained difficult; I just was not comfortable and it was slightly painful to switch sides. I would also take a pill if I went out. In addition to general stiffness, I would get occasional sharp pains in my backside. Dr. Buford said this was normal as I was healing and nerves are regaining sensitivity.

I think all of the lipo I had also slowed down my recovery. I believe he took about a liter out of each side of me. I was very stiff and sore after surgery. Probably around 3 weeks, I could finally start stretching. After surgery, my stomach and sides/back felt really hard under my skin. Even now, 6 weeks out, when I rub my stomach, it feels very tight, but much better than before.

Dr. Buford is personally into physical fitness and nutrition. In the pre-op appointment he recommends protein drinks to aid in recovery. I took the advice and was making shakes twice a day. It was fast, easy, and made me feel good. Since I was mostly laying around, I was very careful about what I ate...I was barely burning 1000 calories a day. I only added the protein powder once a day. Here's the shake I would make:

1 Cup Low Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Frozen Fruit (strawberries, blackberries, peaches, blueberries...I would mix it up)
1 Whole Bannana
2-3 Ice Cubes.
1 1/2 Scoops Protein Powder.

So, I am 6 1/2 weeks out. I'm still not 100% but much better. I am staying off my bottom as much as possible and using the boppy when sitting. Last week, I want hiking. It was challenging; about 1 1/2 miles straight up-hill...and pretty steep. Halfway in, I felt that sharp pain in my lower back (center). It didn't concern me, and felt good to be active.

My implants are still really hard...more so, towards the top. When I'm not wearing anything, I can see the outline of the implant, but it could also be construed as muscle. The lower portion of the implant is much softer, but still firm. However, I can tell they are settling in more and more every week. At this point, I think they are a bit too firm, and I'm really hoping they soften up. Sometimes I wish I had some fat transferred, but go back and forth since there is so much more risk in terms of symmetry, recovery and then high likelihood of the results just disappearing with weight fluctuation.

As of today, I am measuring 27.25" waist and 37.5" hips - which is a ratio of .72 (waist divided by hip). This is very close to the optimum .70 and a huge improvement prior to surgery (.88)...lower is better. My goal is .70. I struggle keeping my waist slim...as when I gain even 2lbs, it goes straight to my mid section.

So far, so good - I'm happy with the results with only a few concerns that I'm hoping time will work out!

Pictures From 3Weeks Post

Itchy skin

I should also update that my skin would itch all over... like when I was pregnant and stretchmarks were developing. At first I would use cortizone cream but that didnt work very well. I switched to Zyrtec... When it starts I just take one and the itching goes away completely.. When I scratched I would get huge welts and it was maddening...

This started 2 weeks out... all over my back, stomach, sides and bottom. It still happens but much less.

Also for the first month a lot of my discomfort was general tightness on my bottom, I think as my skin adjusted to the implants.

What I Wonder About Post Surgery

Since my surgery I have gone through a range of feelings.. I am still very happy with the decision, investment and results. My only regret is that I did not do this when I was younger. I am 41, and have 3 kids.

At first I found myself wishing for the fat transfer, but I am now settled on being happy without it.. I thiink I would be constantly worried about changing results.Also, I tend to fluctuate about 10lbs back and forth, so weight gain and loss could drastically change results..

I still wonder if I should have gone under the muscle completely. I love my results, but since I have such little fat, I can feel the outline of the implant easily, when simply skimming thr surface of my bottom...
I am also worried about sagging after 5+ years, from the muscle pocket stretching. I keep reading about this, but have not seen evidence of it. Does anyone know about solid research in this regard?

My Doctor made a conscientious decision not to go under the muscle, as he weighed potential complications associated.The biggest being permanent damage to the sciatic nerve, which would cause long term pain that would most definitely effect everyday quality of life, with very limited options for remedy.

So, time will tell... but these are the biggest thoughts going through my mind right now....

So far in the last 2 weeks, my results have been improving day by day. In looking forward to the implants softening up and feeling more natural/part of my body.

Some Before Pics

Still Not Sitting Well... numbness and feeling implants

I am liking the way the implants are looking, but am still not sitting normal.. I tend to favor my weight forward, relying on my thighs.. Otherwise, when I sit "back" or lay down directly on my back, it feels as if the implants are pushing up (towards lower back).

I keep reading in other reviews how people are sitting and dont even notice their implants.. I am nearly 2 months out and they still feel like balloons when I lean back sitting.. Let me know if anyone else experiences this?

Settling In - Great Lipo Results - Don't forget to research this also!

I'm completely back to normal activities now, and the implants are feeling much better. They don't feel like "balloons" and I do not feel them, each and every time I sit down.

I can "feel" (not by touching...just am very aware) them when I lie straight on my back and when I'm propped up in bed...it seems like I feel them on the upper part, where I have less fat on my bum. It doesn't bother me, and it seems to be getting better, day by day. When I touch the upper portion, I can feel the outline still; the lower portion is very soft and natural feeling. Dr. Buford reassured me final results truly take 6-8 months, as tissue heals and settles around the implants. This process will help the upper portion.

The shape is great; completely symmetrical and and placed 'not too high' or 'not too low'. I'm very happy with the size and shape. The results are a big improvement from before, and my measurements (chest-waist-hips) are nearly ideal. My jeans, shorts, skirts are filled out...and work out clothes are a huge improvement! I don't believe my appearance is unnatural looking or that anyone would question if I had surgery...but maybe think, "I never noticed that before".

With the lipo, my waist is down over 2" and my hips/butt added 7".

I feel like I got "lucky" with my lipo. I was so focused on my butt, that I didn't ask many questions or research lipo much. I now realize how skilled Dr. Buford is at this procedure as well. He took out a ton of fat, around my waist, flanks and back - my body was nearly "straight" through the middle. The results are GREAT so far!

Now, my mid section remains nearly fat free, no lumps and just minimal tightness when I stretch. It looks and feels like I have been doing ab work outs for the last 6 months, with tightness under the skin...in a good way :-) My skin is not loose looking or hanging anywhere. If anything, it's getting better week after week. My lower abs have stretch marks...For the first time in many years I see the skin getting tighter down there!

I don't have any marks or scars from incision sites. I'm excited to keep seeing the progress, as healing also takes time over the next several months.

This is my 2nd time with Lipo around my stomach. The first time, results were lumpy...and stayed lumpy...with little bubbles of fat, that stayed until I gained weight overall, years later. The first procedure was NOT done by Dr. Buford. I now know first hand how results can vary with Lipo..

Implants Settled...visible edges, can feel moving and burning pain

The pictures state a lot....

I'm seeking a revision for under the muscle. Any help is much appreciated. Implants are now visible under clothing and sitting in a bikini is out of the question. I'm crushed...not to mention constant pain on right side that's been getting worse...it's like a grade 4 to 5 constant burning. I'm thinking implant is moving as fascia is not enough to support it...
My Dr just suggested full removal and offered nothing else. 13k down the drain.... :-(

Jogging/running is nixed...

Well, I've officially eliminated running, or even light jogs. I can feel the implants "bounce"....it would be like jogging without a jog bra. The bouncing probably will contribute more towards sagging and stretching the fascia pocket that's holding the implant in place.

In addition...no more hiking...Unless I can solely go up...going downhill also stresses the fascia with the implant weight.

I have found a medical reference book, geared towards the medical community, that actually warns against gluteal implants placed in subfascia.
My results are officially textbook :-(

Sorry for the down attitude...but I'm making a point to post details to also help anyone considering this surgery with making an informed decision. I feel like Dr's downplay the online sharing community, as "they are the experts". They may have some expertise...but keep in mind, they are a business seeking to profit. Even high ethics standards does not negate their simple sales tactics of presenting "one way" or upsetting their own services and experience....

Turn around for the BETTER

Things have improved all around quite a bit. In the last 6 months, I have regained weight that I lost after my surgery and my implants have settled into place.

I no longer feel them moving or have any paid whatsoever. I am even back to running and exercising again, without discomfort! The implants look and feel great...my weight gained has helped "pad" any indication of the edges that I could see previously.

In the end, I lost 12Lbs after my surgery (I think recovery and summertime) and have since gained 8Lbs back. The liposuction results are still great, even though I gained back weight! In fact, I would deem Dr. Burford an expert in Lipo...he sculpted my waistline perfectly.

Now, that my implants look and feel good...I fill out clothes and am much more proportionate.

I'm super happy with the FINAL FINAL results.

PHEW!! I went through anxiety for a few months...but that was pretty much the "rock bottom" and then after December things really turned around. At 12 months, I would say I was very happy and at 15 months, am confident that I now am experiencing the final results. YEAH!!!
THANK YOU DR. BUFORD AND HIS PATIENT, CARING STAFFF!!
Denver Plastic Surgeon

If I could add stars for "Bedside Manner" AND "Aftercare Follow Up"...I would give 10++ stars! Dr. Burford turns out to be the most professional, patient and knowledgeable Doctor I've ever dealt with. My body went through a massive transformation from this surgery....swelling, then weightloss...and a year + later, I'm ecstatic with my results. Maybe since I'm a little older, so my recovery was more drawn out and extreme? But I went through a period when I was extremely upset and unhappy with the implants. After voicing my concerns, both straightforward and passive aggressively....Dr. Burford responded immediately. He spent more time addressing each concern and presented solutions as well as encouragement the entire time. He was always patient...even when I wasn't always rational. After my "unhappy" period of recovery, I gained some weight back and my results look great. I would absolutely recommend him again...warning ladies...this is a surgery that takes at least a year to achieve final results :-)

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
4 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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