I had liposuction done 3 years ago in Germany, and at that time, I did little research on liposuction itself and after browsing through some clinics, my choice fell on Dr. Sattler, Rosenpark clinic. The clinic was very popular especially after they had a reality show on TV and performed surgery on various celebrities and I trusted them blindly. I was at my ideal weight, in pretty good shape and exercized regularly, I just wanted the chiseled look of fitness models; the faster the better and liposuction was the ideal method. I had lipo on my upper and lower abdomen and inner and outer thighs. The end result was a disaster, leaving me with ugly and unsightly dents on my thighs, a very uneven, bumpy stomach and alot of scarring. My body looked better before any liposuction!! I was so depressed and unhappy. I had paid almost 8000eur for this horrendous outcome. When I complained to Dr. Sattler, he told me he could repair the damage but it would cost me another 5000eur. I declined and shopped around for a better alternative.
I had revision done a year later by Dr. Tork in Ahlen – ( just like Dr. Sattler above, - TV appearances with impressive results, performed lipo using Waterjet , (supposedly the best method of lipo becoz it is gentle and causes no scarring like the Ultrasound or Vaser) & 30 years experience! What could go wrong??) No improvement was the result – before and after were the same. He also did upper arm liposuction which was incomplete, lumpy and quelle surprise!! the whole area that he had lipod was scarred. I had such high hopes and was devastated by the outcome. I tried with sports, massages and Radiofrequency treatments to no avail, the lumpy look remained. PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE THE RADIOFREQUENCY HYPE. RF / CAVITATION WILL NOT IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF THE LUMPS OR IRREGULARITIES POST LIPO & WILL NOT TIGHTEN THE SKIN. DON`T WASTE YOUR MONEY.
I went back to the drawing board and started all over again. This time my research was more intensive and I avoided any doctors who give Kim Kardashian a run for her money with TV appearances. I stumbled upon Dr. Tjandra on youtube and was hooked. I watched all the videos and combed through the internet for reviews. What impressed me and convinced me were the videos – pre, intra and post surgery and his detailed, down to earth explanation of all the procedures. I sent him an email with pics detailing my ordeal and inquired whether he could repair the damage. Two days later received a reply from his office manager Jennifer who informed me that Dr. Tjandra had reviewed my pics and it would be a difficult case because the liposuction had been too aggressive and incomplete and I had alot of scar tissue underneath my skin. He could try and repair the damage by loosening and smoothening the scar tissue underneath and lipofiling via fat transfer the areas that had been overlipod. He could not guarantee the outocome which would depend on how extensive the scarring is and how much fat survived after the transfer. I had nothing to loose so I agreed to give it a try. Prior to booking a surgery date I had to do a complete blood panel and emailed him the results as well as some medical history. Surgery dates are only reserved when the blood test is normal. To secure the surgery slot you have to either pay a deposit or send them a copy of your E-ticket; I chose the latter.
First I had to decide which areas I wanted done since Dr. Tjandra performs surgery per section with a recuperation period of 3-6 mths in between.
? Upper Body – Arms, Armpits Shoulders Upper back
? Mid Area/Torso - Upper tummy, Lower tummy Waist Flanks Lower back
? Lower Body – Hips Buttocks, banana rolls and saddle bags Outer thighs Inner thighs Front of thighs Back of thighs knees
Since I live in Europe and it would have been a long and expensive flight to Medan, my initial contemplation was to hang out in Medan for 3-4 weeks and have everything done at once but he advised me against it and I am glad that I reconsidered because after the first session I was grateful for the recovery time in between and my wallet was also very thankful. Jennifer, the office manager, also sent me a list of the medication and garments that I would need to purchase and pre-& post surgery instructions. She also advised me on how to get through immigration without being hustled. I also read various blogs from patients who had already been to Medan to prepare me for my journey.
08/09 August: Flight & Arrival
Flight was long – 20 hours but uneventful. Immigration was a breeze and I spotted the driver Ronny holding a paper with my name on it waiting for me in the arrival hall. Friendly and spoke good english. The trip from the airport to the clinic took a bit more than an hour. Medan is rural, remote and humid, not much to see. The clinic is situated in one of the better areas in Medan and very well secured. I was ushered into a clean, neat reception area where I was asked to sign some of the forms and fill some personal information. The nurse also asked for my passport for scanning (doc will keep it until your departure). I was then shown upstairs to my room (I booked ensuite) which was also very clean and airconditioned. I took a shower and then went downstairs for my consultation. There were two other patients from the USA and we had a group consultation where he explained the procedure, risks …..the usual yada yada. His method is stoneage in comparison to vaser, ultrasound or waterjet. He only uses a syringe and while this is more time consuming compared to other methods, it is safer, less aggressive = no scarring/lumpy results and no unsightly incisions. My personal consultation was scheduled for the next day when I would be having my surgery.
10 August: Surgery
My consultation with Dr. Tjandra was at 11:00. Friendly, amusing and very frank. To say that he was devastated and shocked at the results of my lipo would be an understatement. We agreed that he would begin with the torso – front and back (not only front like the previous ps). He would loosen the scars on my abdomen/flanks and lipofill with fat transfer. Total cost of surgery including medication – pain killers, antibiotics and iron tablets- 6500eur( this is subsidized coz I allowed them to take my video and post on youtube) to be paid before surgery proceeds. You can pay in cash, credit card or bank transfer. I recommend cash or credit card coz internet is slow and sometimes down. I went back to my room, had lunch (surgery is under local and not general anaesthesia) and then took a shower with dettol and wore the disposable underwear and gown provided by the nurse. I loved this relaxed atmosphere – no hectic and only one patient per day I was called down at 13:00 for my surgery. Dr. Arthur inserted the IV tap and I was given two pills to take – painkiller and sedative. After 30 minutes I was taken to an adjacent room which was the operating room and the doctor took a pre-op video and marked the areas. Then I stood on a mat and the whole torso was cleaned with iodine. After that I lay down on the operating table and he injected the local anesthesia on all the sites to be lipod . The nurses had told me that the patient the day before had been screaming and crying throughout the procedure and I had braced myself for the worst experience of my life. I was awake during the whole procedure and the nurses were so sweet and held my hand throughout the procedure. The whole process was painless except for the flanks. There was so much scarring the procedure took 4 hours including fat transfer. I had to stand up several times for fine tuning. The nurses then cleaned me up, covered the puncture marks (yesss miniature puncture marks, not ugly incisions) and bandaged my torso. I was brought to the recovery room to have my vitals monitored and was given medication to reduce internal bleeding caused by the trauma during surgery. The nurse helped me back to my room and tucked me into bed. I was given antibiotics, painkillers and iron tablets to last the week. I passed on the iron tablets because they constipated me. Sleeping was uncomfortable because of the bandages and the abdominal band. The doctor checked on me twice that night, made sure the bandages were sitting tight and I was doing ok.
The post surgery pain was not too bad. There was swelling but minimal bruising. I received massages everyday from Nurse Yusma(massages were complimentary). Very painful at first but I got used to it after the first 2 days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was delivered to my room daily – breakfast was complimentary, lunch and dinner will be billed to you on the last day. The food was ok but next time I will take some instant noodles & something for my sweet tooth with me.
3 Days Post Surgery Results
The bandages were removed on the 3rd day and the results were already promising even with the swelling and bruises. I was advised to continue wearing the abdominal compression and avoid sports for the next 6 weeks. I was also advised to keep massaging the area with baby oil at home.
6 Weeks Post Surgery Results
I have been wearing the abdominal compression religiously for the past 6 weeks and I am very pleased with the results. The scars have really softened and I do not feel them anymore when I run my hands over my stomach. There is still some swelling esp. Around the belly burton but abdomen is flat and I finally have a waist and a lovely silhouette (#hourglass figure - Dr. Tjandra`s fave description). Unfortunately not all the fat survived and there is still some rippling on the abdomen, so I plan to do a second fat grafting in November when I do the revision lipo on the arms. Just like breast fat transfer I believe I will need 2-3 sessions before I achieve my desired result.
To be continued………………
(Will be posting pre, intra and post surgery photos in November after my arms liposuction)