Smartlipo on Abdomen, Flanks, Hip Roll, Arms and Axilla - Huntersville, NC

Post-Op I'm 36 years old, mom of a 4 yr old....

Post-Op
I'm 36 years old, mom of a 4 yr old. Having lost around 40 lbs and trying to loose the remaining stubborn excess fat for over a year, I finally considered liposuction. My arms and stomach were my biggest concern as you will see from the pictures. It was super important to me that my doctor was board certified surgeon with ample experience and great reviews. I'm glad I did my research and selected Dr. Bharti as my surgeon. He is very knowledgeable, kind and a great listener. In fact, each staff member at the practice is truly professional and good at their craft. Dr. Bharti suggested using three different techniques for the best result (tumescent, power-assisted, and laser). Since the procedure would be quite aggressive and long, it would be done under general anesthesia and I would stay overnight in the clinic for post-operation observation and care. I knew as soon as I had my consultation with him that he would be my surgeon and I scheduled my surgery for 7/18/2016.

About three weeks before the surgery, I had my blood works done and was given an okay. I was given prescriptions to fill and bring with me on the day of surgery, basically - pain meds, antibiotics, something for nausea. I was on antibiotics two weeks prior to surgery. Also, this clinic provides 3 endermologie sessions prior to surgery and 3 lymphatic massage and 3 endermologie sessions after surgery.

Day Of Surgery
On the day of surgery, 7/18/16, my husband and I went to the clinic at 8am with an overnight travel bag - loose clothing, toiletries, etc. We met the board certified anesthesiologist who walked me over how the anesthesia will be administered. After that, my pre-op pictures were taken, once before the marking and then once after the marking. I again met Dr. Bharti who went over the procedure. Surprisingly enough, I was very calm :) I was taken to the operating room at around 9.30am and met the Dr. and his assistant. Once the IV was hooked, I drifted off to sleep and felt nothing...phew :) The operation lasted for over 3 hours and I woke up in the recovery room an hour after it. Around 10 lbs of fat was removed in surgery. I wasn't in much pain because of the anesthesia but could feel the tightness and swelling. I was monitored through the night and made to walk a little. I was hooked to a machine that suctioned out the fluids. I did have 2 drains that would stay in for 7-10 days. The following morning, my husband came to pick me up and I was discharged from the clinic with appointments to see Dr. Bharti in two days.

1 Week Post-Op
Once home (7/19/16), I did not get off the compression garments I was sent home in for 2 days. Sleeping or sitting in one spot for too long was painful. I did take the prescription pain meds for the next 5 days after surgery. I was more comfortable sleeping on a recliner with my legs raised and did that for atleast the first 4-5 days and then slowly ventured to the bed for a few hours each night. The first week was a bit awful..nothing unbearable, just constant dull pain, swelling, hardness and the usual that comes with an aggressive liposuction. I also had some pain in the calves. I definitely did not work the first week and took it easy. My husband was my rock as he took care of me and my little guy. I see major changes to my arms and some definition to my stomach although its quite swollen at this point. At my 1 week post op appointment (7/26/16) , one of my drains was removed.

Week 2 Post-Op
Second week wasn't much different in term of how I was feeling but I was moving more. My second drain was draining under 25 cc and so I got it removed on post-op day 10 (7/29/16). On 8/1/16 evening, I started feeling heaviness in my chest and I attributed it to the tight compression garment and binder and ignored it. The heaviness in my chest grew to a point where I was finding it tough to breath lying down so I went back to my recliner. I noticed that I was having difficulty in taking deep breaths, laughing or coughing but it wasn't bothering me a lot otherwise. Thank god, I was seeing Dr. Bharti the morning of 8/2/16 for my 2 week post-op visit and I mentioned my trouble with deep breathing and slight pain in my calves. I was told to go to the ER immediately as these 2 together were symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism (PE) which can be fatal. I thought that was a bit excessive since I wasn't in much pain and this condition is a rare instance. However, that evening, I did check myself into the ER, and to my shock, I indeed had PE....multiple small blood clots in my lungs!! I was given a blood thinner injection and had to stay overnight in the hospital to be monitored. Since my vitals were all good, I was prescribed to take blood thinners for 6 months and was discharged the next day. The chest pain dissipated with the injection as the blood clots were caught in the very early stages. This was truly the worst part of my liposuction journey as I totally did not consider myself at risk for this - I'm active, I work out, I eat healthy, I'm young and this happened to me! However, that's the risk we take with operations. I truly feel lucky and blessed that the condition was diagnosed really quickly and treated. If I wasn't seeing Dr. Bharti that same day, I might have ignored the pain which could have been fatal for me :( I urge you all to not ignore anything unusual during your recovery. (unusual pain, swelling, etc.). You can never be too safe!

Weed 3 Post-Op
I'm on blood thinners and I don't have any side effects. However, all my post-op endermologie and lymphatic massage sessions have been cancelled as I have to avoid any internal bruising or cuts while on blood thinner medications. I needed the massage since my axilla is very lumpy and hard. I'm bummed but safety first, I guess. However, I do my own massage with Organic Argan and Coconut oil and it seems to help. I still am quite swollen and several spots are numb and hard. I know it takes time to recuperate completely and I need to deal with it patiently. My upper arms (by my armpit) have scars from the darn compression sleeve I was wearing and its turned dark. I really do hope that the scar/bruise will lighten over time. My skin seems to sag a bit in my arms and lower abdomen and I'm massaging everyday hoping it will recoil naturally. It's getting better and Dr. Bharti thinks it will definitely improve. Dr. Bharti mentioned of some non-invasive method to tightwn the skin later on if it doesn't recoil well. I had a spot in the lower back which had a pocket of fluid (seroma) so Dr. Bharti very skillfully drained it with a needle. I hope for a smooth recovery from this point on! Patience, patience, patience is the mantra!!

Week 4 Post-Op
I've completed four weeks officially. Saw Dr. Bharti this week too and was told to start exercising (increase activity). So, I'll be hitting the gym. My arms and stomach are still sore so I've ordered compression shirts for the gym. It's been a tough post-op month. The pain and swelling I can handle...did not need the blood clot and seroma episodes thrown into the mix. There are times when I regret the decision to have undergone liposuction but I know this recovery phase will pass and I will hopefully have the results I was looking for.

Before Surgery Pictures

Added some pictures taken prior to surgery. I will post post-op pictures soon.
Charlotte 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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