High Volume Lipo African American Woman. Ellicott City, MD

I had high volume lipo suction roughly 16 weeks...

I had high volume lipo suction roughly 16 weeks ago and I am writing about my experience to hopefully help others who may be thinking about this surgery. I am an African American woman in my mid 30's with no children so I opted not to have a tummy tuck just yet (I may do one a few years from now). In addition my surgeon was realistic with me and felt my skin should have a high chance of bouncing back and it has. I will say I had been thinking about this surgery roughly 2 years prior to having it and now that I am at a good stage of my healing, I wished I would have done it sooner. This is one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

I live in MD so my surgeon is here (his name and info are below). I found him right here on Real Self and did a ton of research before I scheduled an appointment with him. I knew he was the surgeon for me when I had my consultation and he spent over an hour with me. He was not tying to sell me surgery but instead wanted to be sure I understood the full parameters of surgery and what kind of decision I was making. It wasn't until a follow up appointment that we actually discussed the details of the surgery and cost. I originally wanted laser lipo but decided against it when I learned the side effects. I opted to have traditional liposuction with high volume. The "high volume" means that instead of taking the normal 5 pounds of fat, the doctor takes more out, sometimes double. In my case the doctor took 8 liters which was equivalent to 2 gallons of fat (12 pounds). Most fat removed during lipo is measured in liters, but I just like to be real, so 12 pounds :). I did the surgery less for the weight loss and more for the body contouring and improving my overall vision of my body. If you want to do it for weight loss, then it may not be the surgery for you. Although I have lost 25 pounds since my surgery it is not because of the surgery alone. I continued moderate exercise and eating mostly protein post surgery. There is no guarantee that you will loss weight post surgery. I was fully aware of that going in and was ok with that.

The surgery itself was a 5 hour procedure. My surgeon completes all of his surgeries at a local hospital so I stayed overnight in the hospital post surgery. It was included in my overall cost of surgery and was a good idea even though I fought it tooth and nail. The pain afterward was minimal compared to what I was told it would be. I was just very sore. It felt like I worked out all day and then got hit a few times. I took Tylenol for the first 5 days and after that I took no medicine. To be fair I do have a high tolerance of pain so it may be different for you. The doctor does prescribe pain pills to manage the pain, but I did not use them. I had drains (2) and had them for 8 days after surgery. I will admit that was the worst part post surgery. Those drains were annoying and difficult to manage when showering. You also have to drink lots of fluids post surgery. Enough to make you urinate every 2 hours. The swelling is also a lot to manage. The swelling will happen from 6 months to a year after surgery. I still get stolen post work outs or long days at work. You will be extremely bruised and experience numbness for a long time. I was bruised for over 2 months and the numbness went away mostly after 2 and a half months however some spots are still sensitive. That will also last for up to 6 months or longer according to the doctor. You can tell that your body and nerves are settling to normal because you will itch like crazy and have these "zips" that feel like mini electric shocks. The itching is difficult because you can never seem to scratch well enough. I got so desperate one night that I used a hair brush! I am also experiencing internal scaring in my back which will naturally happen as your body heals itself. It will continue break down as you work out and heal.

You will need to wear a garment post surgery that is like a girdle. They are not bad at all. When you get out of surgery you will be in a phase 1 garment that is very tight and uncomfortable. I suffer from acid reflux so it was extra uncomfortable. After 5 days and my post op appointment I was switched to stage 2 garments that are much more comfortable. I also had foam padding in my back and stomach ( the areas I had lipo) that you insert underneath your garment. 16 weeks later I still wear them for comfort reasons only. Sometimes when I am driving and hitting bumps the pressure on my back is to uncomfortable, so the pads help. I was out of work for 2 weeks and the first day back was rough because I was resting a lot post surgery, so I was a bit groggy but by day 2 things were better. I could not carry my work bag because of the numbness and getting up and down was still hard due to the soreness, but it was bearable and didn't really bother me.

16 weeks later I still have good days and bad days. Some days I tire easily and others I am a ball of energy. I travel a lot for my job and I notice the days I travel lead to me having more bad days during the week. Even with everything I listed above, I would do the surgery all over again. I can fit into a size 6 now and before surgery I was in a size 10. I can now wear a bikini which is something I haven't worn in over 10 years. My boobs even look better due to the contouring although I am still considering a reduction. But the most important part of this entire decision is the way I feel about my body. My confidence has soared and I am happy. Everyone makes decisions about their lives that makes them happy, mine just happen to include cosmetic surgery. I am happy to answer any questions you have that I may not have covered and I wish you well in your decision.

Still Pleased 21 weeks later!

So it's been 21 weeks since my surgery and a month and a half since my last update. I have not taken my final pictures yet with the Doctor (I take them in March), but I am still seeing results. I am down to a size 6 in pants and a medium in a skirt. I have had the privilege to bless people with brand new clothes from my closet that I can't fit anymore and in turn go shopping for new ones :). I have also been able to fit what I call "goal" clothing which are items you buy in a smaller size to motivate you. My back is still numb and tight in some areas so I am starting deep tissue massages to try to help my body along with healing as suggested by my doctor. Wishing you lots of luck on your journey and encouraging you to do what invigorates happiness within. Take care!

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