47 Year Old, Mother of Three - Foster City, CA

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I struggled a long time over whether or not to get...

I struggled a long time over whether or not to get liposuction for my muffin top and stomach. My biggest issue is that I looked matronly in all dresses, and much older than my years. I had no aspirations to ever wearing a bikini again, but I did want to look better in my clothes. I am a 47 year old mother of three, and although I exercise, I have developed a “tire” of fat around my abdomen. I think it is mostly due to perimenopause, genetics, and being a few pounds overweight(I am 5’3” and weigh 125). After much researching, I decided Smartlipo was the way to go. I found Dr. Joel Beck, and felt reassured when I learned he has been using Smartlipo technology for many years and even trains other Plastic Surgeons to use the machine. I understood from him that Smartlipo Triplex is the latest enhancement of the machine/technology.
When I met with Dr. Beck, and some of his staff, I felt confident that they were the right fit for me. Quite frankly, disrobing in all my chubby glory was not fun, but it is necessary to see if I was a good candidate for the surgery. Dr. Beck thought I was, and even suggested that my behind would look a lot better if I had Smartlipo on my outer thighs. I didn’t consider this an upsell because I have ALWAYS hated my outer thighs, but when my spare tire appeared around my midriff, the thighs took a lower priority for me. He also said that my loose, jiggly skin around my abdomen would improve, however it would still be there. His assistant then took me in her office and explained the costs, procedure, scenario of events, and answered any other questions I had. I decided to have my flanks, outer thighs, upper and lower abdomen done. Because Smartlipo is done under local anesthesia (another reason why I wanted Smartlipo), there is only so much anesthesia that can be administered in one day for all the areas to be done-therefore you need to come in at two separate occasions. The first day I had my flanks and outer thighs, and a few days later I was scheduled to have my upper and lower abdomen done.
The surgery itself is quite easy. I was very anxious, but I was given an antianxiety pill before the procedure, and it REALLY does the trick. Dr. Beck then examines you again and marks you up in the areas he is going to work on. He even noticed that I had a couple deep dimples on my thighs, and thought he could lessen their appearance a bit with a feathering technique with the machine. (I have always had those dimples, even in my thinner, pre childbirth days). I was then led into the operating area, and before I knew it, Dr. Beck was doing his thing. I only felt minor discomfort a few times, and the time just flew by. I talked the whole time, and God knows what I said because truly I don’t remember a thing! After the procedure, the nurse helps you into a compression garment, you are given more instructions, and you are on your way home. (You need a ride to and from).
I drained quite a lot the first night. I was quite surprised by how much, but I was told this would happen. I made sure I slept with towels under me to protect the bed. I woke up very sore, but was able to continue with day to day life, albeit at a slower pace. I found getting up and down from sitting or on/off the bed very difficult. In the evenings I took the pain meds, which I loved because it really helped me sleep. As a side note, as much as the pain meds are great, try to get off of them a.s.a.p., as they really slow your digestive system, even if you are eating a high fiber diet. I was very bruised, but so excited to see no muffin top!! I had a girlish figure again (at least from the front view)!! I also became swollen, and gained about three pounds from all the fluid. Remember to drink tons of fluids to flush out the liquids from surgery!!
A week later, I had the upper and lower abs done. Normally, it wouldn’t be a week between the procedures, but I was very happy it was because I was very sore, and welcomed the extra days to heal. I couldn’t imagine putting on the compression garment after another procedure. (The compression garment is worn 24/7, except for when you bathe, and wash it.) The procedure itself went very smoothly, just like the prior one. This time, because it was on the abs, Dr. Beck likes his patients to wear a foam insert inside the compression garment, to decrease the likelihood of developing “wrinkles” on the abs while the skin is recovering. Ugh-not fun!!
I hardly had any drainage after the abs lipo, but I was super sore and uncomfortable, especially when having to take off/put back on the compression garment and foam insert. For me, it was the harder procedure. That said, I still went about my normal activities the next day. I also continued to drink lots of fluids and tried to walk as much as possible .
It has been two weeks since I got Smartlipo Triplex on my flanks and outer thighs, and one week since the upper and lower abdomen. I am still very sore on my abs, but most of the swelling and bruising has subsided. I am even two pounds lighter than pre-surgery. The areas I had lipo are very hard and kind of lumpy in spots, but when I am lying down, I try to massage the areas in a circular motion. I think this really helps, and the only thing I like about the foam is that it provides cushioning while I am gently massaging. When I remove the compression garment, I am thrilled with the results!! From what I understand, all my symptoms are par for the course, and will continue to improve. I have already seen the improvement in the lumpiness.
Today I am having my first postop appointment with Dr. Beck. I am praying that he will tell me that I can remove the foam. It is truly very uncomfortable and a real pain to put on with the compression garment. I can live with the compression garment, but the major takeaway is that I wished I had bought another compression garment as a spare. (Before I shower, I hand wash the garment, and then put in the dryer to dry). Although I have continued with my day to day life, I am very thankful I do not have a formal day job. This is surgery and you need to allow yourself time to heal. If you are thinking about Smartlipo, please allow yourself at least one to two weeks off.
These pictures are presurgery, and one week post upper/power abs, 2weeks post flanks/thighs.. All I can say is, so far, so good. I am very pleased(actually thrilled!) with the results, and every day the soreness is improving. I am so happy with my new shape and yes, Dr. Beck was right-my behind does look better!
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon

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
5 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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