Smart Lipo Not As Painful As I Had Feared - Durham, NC

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I had thought about doing lipo and smartlipo for...

I had thought about doing lipo and smartlipo for quite some time. Did a lot of research over the last 8 mos. Met with 4 doctors, 3 were plastic surgeons. In meeting with different doctors, you will learn a lot about facts and marketing. I felt that the experienced doctors seemed to lean towards traditional lipo, and felt smart lipo was more hype or marketing. I got the feeling that doctors would encourage the process they were more comfortable performing (my personal opinion) vs. what was best for the results I was after. I did upper abs, lower abs, and flanks.

Three of the 4 doctors talked about including the mons pubis to ensure a more desirable silhoutte. I mentioned this to the fourth doctor, who proceeded to tell me it really wasn't needed, but could be done but would be excruciatingly painful. This doctor encouraged me to do regular lipo so I would not be awake, and he could be more aggressive with lipo -- he said it would be too painful under local (smart lipo), especially for the mons pubis. In some cases regular lipo may be the best option -- depends on what you're trying to achieve. Doctors can remove more liters of "fluid" with regular lipo vs. smart lipo --- that may determine if you should go with smart lipo or traditional lipo. The doctor I chose was experienced in both procedures. Together we discussed how to achieve the result I was after, and decided on smart lipo. I was comfortable with her and felt she was confident in her experience and skills, without being arrogant. She did not promise me the moon, but she was very clear on what I should and shouldn't expect. I understand the art of managing expectations -- under promise and over deliver. Sometimes in doing this, the doctor appeared unsure or unconfident (again, my personal opinion).

I asked my doctor to show me what she envisioned she could accomplish. I wanted to make sure we had the same expectations. I didn't want to wake up expecting to see "a picture of mountains", when my doctor was envisioning "a picture of the beach". We looked at different "after" pictures and she told me what she thought made a woman's body attractive, and I did the same. This was huge for me --- we had different ideas on some things. We were able to fine tune what we both wanted or expected to see to ensure the best "picture" was achieved.

I was a little nervous the day of the procedure, but not too stressed. I had the procedure on a Thursday, and was back at work on the following Monday. The cocktails of pills given to relax me made me sleep through almost all of the procedure. I woke up at the tail end of the procedure as she was working on the mons pubis. It was not bad, not fun, but not bad either. I was nervous because the one doctor said it was going to be excruciating. I felt pressure and a few sharp twinges of pain, but not unbearable.

I was bandaged up and zipped into a body compression garment. I took my pain pills and slept pretty good. There were no sutures so I drained from the 5 incision sites, but it wasn't overly excessive. I was warned that fluids will head south, so I expected swelling in the groin area. I had no idea it could swell that much! Didn't really hurt, but it was a bit shocking. Good thing I have a sense of humor!

Went in for first follow up the next day, Friday. Felt dizzy whenever I was standing, but felt fine when lying down. Doctor said to switch to Tylenol and see if that helped. I had a lymphatic massage (I think that's what it's called) --- this helped to express more fluid. Did not see any bruising 24 hrs. after the procedure.

My compression garment had a zipper on the side that bunched up as the day wore on. I read that some people found this to cause odd dents or ripples on their skin. I got another garment without a zipper and was happier with the fit. Able to shower today. Have to wear the garment 24/7 except for showering for next 3 weeks. Quit taking prescription pain meds and used Tylenol. Not really in pain, more sore -- like when you ache during the flu. Made sure I walked around every couple of hours.

Saturday showed some bruising on lower abs, just above the pubic line. Not much pain; just sore -- similar to soreness after a good workout. Have no trouble moving about. Did laundry and some housework with no issues. Took Tylenol at bedtime.

Sunday showed no new bruising. Went shopping and walked around for about 4 hours. The marker used is not coming off as fast I would like. Skin is tender if pressure is applied, so can't really scrub. Found that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works well without having to put pressure on the sore skin. Took Tylenol before bed.

Went to work on Monday. Had to remind myself to sit up straight and not slouch at the computer. Feel "normal" unless I moved too quickly or bent over when I shouldn't have.

Will update as the healing process continues.

1 Week after procedure. Feeling good -- little...

1 Week after procedure. Feeling good -- little sore if I move too quickly, but otherwise feel good.

On the 5th day, after procedure, did feel hardness on lower abs, just above pubic hair line. Looked like a hot dog and was rather firm.

Went in on the 8th day after procedure and doctor said it was normal and not to worry. It's now 2 weeks past procedure, and the hot dog is gone. I can feel little areas of "hardness" here and there, but they go away. Doctor said it was ok to massage area, so I have been on my own. I found a video on you tube on how to massage your abs, and have been doing it just before I go to sleep (while lying down).

Will update again in a couple of weeks.
Dr. Elisa Stein

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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