Part 2 - Corrective Liposuction with BBL: Fat Transfer to Dents, Hips, Buttocks, and Gluteal Fold. - Dr. Mendieta Miami, FL

I had a very bad experience with liposuction...

I had a very bad experience with liposuction approximately 3 years ago that left me with with very obvious contour irregularities on my lower back, and ruined my feminine shape, leaving me with a squarish, boxy shaped body and a drooping butt due to liposuction of the banana roll area. I was 5'4" tall and weighed between 110 and 115 pounds at the time of my original surgery. In order to have enough harvestable fat to do a fat transfer I put on 22 pounds over the past few months, and weighed in at 137 yesterday before my corrective surgery.

I went into surgery yesterday at 10:30 AM so I am still in a lot of pain and very medicated! OMFG this hurts!!! Words cannot really describe it. My doctor did not put a garment on me due to circulation issues, I am supposed to start wearing one tomorrow. He liposuctioned my abdomen, back, lateral chest wall, and arms and added fat to the dents in my back as well as my buttocks, gluteal fold, and hips to reshape my body. I have a nurse taking care of me until tomorrow and I had her snap a few shots so that you can see how things are looking. I am incredibly swollen (especially because I haven't worn a garment) so I probably look bigger now than I did pre-surgery, but my shape is much improved. I am concerned with the crease at my waist and brought it up to my doctor who said that it should go away when the swelling goes down. I hope so! This is the area where the dents were before. I don't know how much the gluteal fold has been improved yet, it's really hard to tell at this point, so I'm trying to just wait and see how things progress rather than making any assumptions, I'm only ONE DAY out! In any case, I know that I do look better than before which is the goal of any surgery :) How much better is yet to be seen.

6 days out and thrilled with my results so far!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been a human slug for the past week but woke up today with a bit of energy and perk so I thought I'd write a post and take a few pics to show you how things are progressing. I've now been wearing the torture device known as a compression garment for the past two days and managed to peel it off of myself this morning, (with no small amount of pain) so that I could shower and examine myself and see if there has been any noticeable change. I feel like the garment has pushed the swelling out to the extremities. My stomach is quite a bit less round, my hands, feet, (and hoochie coochie coo as Doctor Mendieta likes to call it, lol) are all extremely swollen. Gross I know, but be aware that it'll probably happen to you too :) Beware the monster vag!

The crease on my waist that I was so worried about is almost gone, unless I arch my back in a certain way so I have no doubt that it'll be fine once the swelling has gone down. I am in love with the shape of my hips, I feel like a feminine woman again! I thought that I was forever doomed to looking like a dented, surgical box shape so to me this is just a miracle. I can't stop staring at it. Though it's hard to see from these early photos, especially with my bruised and mottled skin, my stomach is Sooooo smooth. I literally cannot see any irregularities where before it was covered in them. I almost cannot believe that this is real after everything I've been through. That I'll actually be able to wear a swimsuit again, or undress in front of a man without feeling shame is more than I could've hoped for. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU DR. MENDIETA!!! I am in physical hell and mental heaven right now! I am so glad that I didn't accept my bad results as so many told me to do. I feel like I've been given my life back back again! I cannot begin to describe how happy I am right now.

A few more pics..

I just had my last lymphatic massage, and had my massage therapist take a few more pics... I am still massively swollen but I can't believe how good things are looking!

Drains...

So I didn't get my drains out yet. There is still too much fluid coming out. I saw Dr. Mendieta on Thursday and he was really happy with the way everything is looking, but wants me to keep my drains in until I have less than 30 cc in a 24 hour period. He drained them at 9:00 AM Thursday, and I had 75 cc this morning. The fluid has gone from looking like blood to looking like murky chicken noodle soup with little fatty globlets and red noodles of tissue made by the cannula. SO nasty! Sorry for those of you who are easily grossed out :) I'm strangely fascinated...

I had a big day out yesterday… first my doctors appt, then to the grocery store to stock up on more fresh fruit and veggies. Crazy how much this minimal activity takes out of you. I was all spent from the activity as if I'd been seriously exerting myself. I've been using Uber as my means of transportation since I arrived in Miami, and I have to say it's great, so much better than a taxi service. Your phone pinpoints your location, and you usually have a car there in less than 5 minutes. It's just really funny because I always have to explain to the random guy who is picking me up why I am getting into the backseat face first and then laying down across his back seat with my face pressed to the cushion… The guy who took me from the grocery store back to my room barely spoke any English and seemed very perplexed by me,lol.

I'm missing home, missing my doggy babies most of all, but passing the time online, sleeping and watching marathon sessions of my favorite TV shows. I'm staying in a vacation rental condo, so I can cook a little, and brought an Apple TV with me which I plugged into the bedroom TV so I can pretty much watch whatever I want. I can't seem to make it through a chapter of a book, a new movie or show that I haven't seen without dozing off or forgetting what happened, as I'm still pretty drugged up, so I just re-watched all four seasons of Downton Abbey, and am now going to start on Mr. Selfridge. I like the shows that are soothing to fall asleep to, gotta love those crisp British accents right? No Breaking Bad or anything that could stress me out or give me crazy dreams.

Still have a week to go here in Miami so I'll be spending Christmas here as well. I wanted to err on the side of caution and just didn't want to chance making that long (7 hour) flight home too soon and compromising my results. This really is the best Christmas gift I could've hoped for so I'm sure my spirits will be high. I may schedule a few more lymphatic massages, they really are so helpful, and it's nice to have some company. The massage therapist (who works out of Mendieta's office), Esperanza, is quite funny and full of good energy, plus I am starting to puff up again which makes this garment seriously uncomfortable.

Garment woes!

My garment and I are having some serious issues. Yesterday evening, after that bit of exertion I began to swell up. By the middle of the night I was in excruciating pain, my garment felt like it was two sizes too small, my normally slim (even chicken-like) ankles turned to cankles, my legs to tree trunks, and even with pain meds, I couldn't sleep. So, unable to toss or turn, I forced myself to stay flailed out on the bed on my stomach, like some sort of bloated and dying beached whale-woman.

I ended up online researching the effects of liposuction on the lymphatic system, the benefits and reasoning behind the use of compression garments (otherwise known as sausage-casings-o-death), and then, of course, on real self where I checked in on the review of Callsmebabydoll, a girl who'd had some really beautiful BBL results from a doctor Dass in LA. I was so impressed by her results that I'd actually mentioned him as a possibility to Caterpillar, who is currently researching revision docs. Anyways, I was so saddened to hear that after months of beautiful, even, and smooth results, she had lost some of the fat grafts, and lost them in a way that has left her hips dented, asymmetrical, and in need of a revision, and one buttock significantly smaller than the other. Of course she is devastated, and I feel awful for her to have gone through all of that only to have those grafts just poof! disappear like a beautiful mirage.

Suddenly, on top of my physical discomfort, all of the elation I'd been feeling about having finally made it through the years of disfigurement was shaken, as I realized that if it could happen to her when she looked so perfect, it could still happen to me. Fat grafts are unpredictable, and though I look smooth and even now, what if my grafts don't survive? I had, like many weary travelers, thrown down my pack and danced my happy dance at the top of the mountain, only to realize that there may still be another peak to climb, a peak that I don't have the energy to reach. Though I am very positive about my results so far, and I know that this is only a possibility, not a certainty, for whatever reason, in that moment I just lost it.

I'm not normally a big cryer, but all of a sudden it all just fell apart, my physical pain seemed unbearable, my garment a boa constrictor that was squeezing the life blood from me, and I started bawling like a baby, or maybe more like some sort of wounded human-blowfish hybrid, hyperventilating and gasping for air while the sobs sent sharp spikes of pain through my spongy flesh. I had to get that damned garment off of me, and once it was off, I couldn't bring myself to put it back on. The garment lay on the floor in a crumpled heap; a slain monster, and I, finally beyond exhausted, fell asleep naked in a pool of my own sweat and tears.

When I woke early in the morning, lets just say I was a mess. I'd slept on my drain tubes and I had deep swirly impressions in the play-dough flesh of my lower abdomen and thighs. Angry red slits had replaced my eyes, and my baby cankles had matured into big mamma cankles overnight.

My only emotion at this point was anger at myself for having done this to myself, and a quiet resolve to try my best to undo the damage as much as humanly possible. I took two of my carefully rationed Percocets and one Ibuprofin 800, and let them do their thing before I even attempted to move. Half an hour later I was icing my face, mommy dearest style, and showering in cool water in an attempt to bring the swelling in my body down.

Getting that garment back on was an exercise in pure mind over matter, let me tell you, but I eventually succeeded, and exhausted, slept for a few more hours, this time iced, numbed, and encased in my seal suit like the good girl that I am.

When I woke up again I was looking a whole lot better, but my garment wasn't through with me yet, she was going to punish me for our quarrel the previous night like the vindictive bitch that she is. This was all I needed as I had a really big day ahead of me. The condo unit I'd been in since I'd arrived in Miami was only available until the 19th, and I'd had to reserve a second unit (in the same building) for the remainder of my stay, which meant packing everything up, moving, and unpacking. Not normally such a big deal, but being so easily fatigued and in pain, I knew it was going to be a push for me. I had also decided that I was going to go back to the doctors office before they closed for the weekend, and buy a garment that was one size too large, no matter what anyone said! The suspicion that these tight garments may have something to do with the loss of Callsmebabydoll's fat grafts, along with my physical misery had me determined.

So I made myself as presentable as is possible for me at the moment, jumped in an Uber (or should I say flopped,lol) and headed to Mendieta's office where I purchased another package of 5 lymphatic drainage massages, and a size LARGE garment. I didn't care if the measurements say I'm a medium, I bought the large and put it on right then and there. I could only laugh at the label inside that reads "Marena Comfort Wear"… The girl who helped me had also had the same surgery, and was very nice and sympathetic to my pain and hatred of my torture suit.

I have to say, I feel SO much better in the large. Now don't get any crazy ideas like I'm comfortable or anything like that, but it's definitely much more bearable. So my medium garment has been retired to my suitcase, perhaps we'll try again one day, but for now I'm glad to have that bitch off my back.

Grabbed another Uber, headed back to The Mutiny Condo Hotel, and was able to get everything packed and moved, though it took about every last ounce of energy I had. I was so happy to see that my new condo is a nice upgrade from the last one. I'm thrilled to have a large balcony that looks out over the water, and it's brighter and more open inside.

Esperanza came to give me a lymphatic massage around 6:00 PM and I felt at that moment that I could finally breath a sigh of relief. All of that stress and toil was behind me, and I could just relax and allow myself to be healed and taken care of. She was quite shocked at the amount of swelling I had going on, but, as always, had me laughing and feeling much better physically and emotionally by the time she was finished with me.

So I'm taking it super easy from here on out. No more errands of any kind, except of course, doctor visits. My new condo also has an iPod dock so I've been playing relaxing music and enjoying being out on my balcony, but mostly I've just been sleeping, sleeping, and… sleeping. Still crazy swollen, but hopefully with the help of my large garment and upcoming massages, the swelling will go down enough for me to fly home in a week.

Happiest holiday wishes to all of you, and thank you so very much for all of your kindness and support!

Marks from Compression Garment and foam panels

So here are a few pics of my body right after I take off my garment. This is the one that is supposedly one size too large. You can see that the foam panels leave massive rectangular impressions, though I believe they are better than the impression that a zipper would leave, and the side seams of the Marena suit leave horizontal (ish) lines across my hips... I am especially worried about the hip lines... I will hopefully see the doctor tomorrow (my drains are finally ready to come out, yay!) so I'll ask him what he thinks.

Changed foam panel to a vertical position, and put marble in belly button..

I think wearing the foam panel this way is a little better, and you can see how much better the belly button is when a marble helps it retain its shape.

The Lymphatic system and liposuction

Just thought I'd copy and paste a few basic things that I read about the lymphatic system and liposuction for anyone interested:

The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.

The lymphatic system, which is a subset of the circulatory system, has a number of functions, including the removal of interstitial fluid, the extracellular fluid that bathes most tissue. It also acts as a highway, transporting white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes into the bones, and antigen-presenting cells to the lymph nodes.

Lymphedema is the swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph, which may occur if the lymphatic system is damaged or has malformations. It usually affects limbs, though the face, neck and abdomen may also be affected. In an extreme state, called elephantiasis the edema progresses to the extent that the skin becomes thick with an appearance similar to the skin on elephant limbs

The surgical effect of liposuction on the lymphatics is unique in two respects. First, liposuction disrupts or destroys most lymphatic capillaries within the targeted adipose tissue. Second, lymphatic damage from liposuction is not permanent; lymphatic capillaries regenerate within a few weeks after being torn asunder by a liposuction cannula.

Damaged lymphatics are not able to transport excess interstitial fluid back to the blood. Lymphatic insufficiency can cause severe swelling and edema.

The abdomen tends to require more time than other areas for resolution of postliposuction edema. When the entire abdomen is treated by tumescent liposuction, a significant volume of drainage must be accommodated by the drainage ports along the inferior abdominal margin. Premature closure of slit incisions on the abdomen will entrap a considerable volume of blood-tinged anesthetic solution. The result is prolonged lower abdominal swelling and tenderness.

Progress report:

So nothing too eventful to report. Lots of sleeping, eating, and watching movies. I relocated my nest of blankets and pillows to the living room sofa where the DVD player is functioning. It's really more of a loveseat so it actually works out well, as my feet are propped up when I'm on my stomach so my ankle swelling is looking a lot better. I brought a bunch of my favorite movies, but somehow find myself very weepy during the sad scenes.

I watched "Gia" and cried my eyes out at the end. "As Good as it Gets" also made me blubber, although it's really not a sad movie… something strange is going on with my hormones, lol. I think I need to stick with comedies.

I did have my drains removed yesterday, but did not see the doctor. I slept in after a late night movie marathon, called when I woke up, and they had me come right over, but Dr. Mendieta was in surgery so the nurse did the procedure. I was expecting the drain removal to hurt but it was completely pain free. They are burrowed maybe about 5 or 6 inches beyond the incision so it is a strange sensation to feel the tubes slide out. I think if I'd watched it may have made me a bit queasy so I kept my eyes averted and all went smoothly. I'm happy that I had them as I really do feel they're an important part of controlling the fluid accumulation, but I sure am glad to see them go- I feel so free without them though I keep forgetting that they're no longer attached to me, and find myself reaching for them when I stand up. Phantom drain syndrome anyone? I have a bit of bleeding/drainage on the left side, and have had to wear a gauze pad so that I don't bleed through my garment and onto the sheets.

This morning I woke up in a lot of pain, I think mostly from the continued swelling, and had run out of pain medicine. I've gone through quite a bit of medication, so the doctor wanted to see me to make sure all was well. He was very happy with the way things are looking, but wants me to really try to ween myself from pain meds at this point. Thankfully he wrote me an RX for more Percocet, as well as a non-narcotic pain medicine (Neurontin 300 mg) and a Medrol pack to help with my swelling. I just want to make it home, and then I feel like I'll be ready to try to reduce my pain meds. I'm so glad I won't be dealing with the flight home unmedicated because I have a feeling that would've been pure misery.

Tonight was my last massage appt with Esperanza, and I think she's really helped my swelling go down. I'll miss my massages and her company, she's such a sweetheart. Two and a half more days and I get to go home, Yay!!! I can't wait.

Getting better all the time! Pictures 13 days post op.

My bruising is much better, drains are gone, and I am LOVING my shape... thought I'd snap a series of photos so you can see how things are looking.

The Wellbox (Home Endermologie Machine)

I was planning on having Endermogie treatments done as it really helps to soften up the fibrous tissue and enhance the results, but I think I'm going to buy "The Wellbox" instead. It's a home endermologie machine that is made by the same people who invented the technology. At $1200 it is spendy, but I just spent that amount on lymphatic drainage massages, and would probably easily spend that much or more on endermologie treatments at a medi-spa. This way I'll have the machine at home and will be able to give myself unlimited treatments indefinitely. Anyways I'll be the guinea pig on this one. Going to order it now and will start treatments when I get home. I'll let you all know what I think.

Home again...

Hello my real self friends. So sorry that I haven't posted an update since I got home. I seem to have picked up a cold/flu bug on the plane, and on top of running out of painkillers, I've been hit pretty strong, so I am just feeling incredibly weak and physically miserable. I think I may be feeling a little bit better today but am still nowhere near 100% Thankfully I picked up my dogs and went to the grocery store before this thing really took a hold of me, so I have my furry friends to keep me company and plenty of food and water. Trying to force myself to eat though my appetite is non-existent right now. No chicken noodle soup for me, I can't believe how much sodium that stuff has! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and best wishes for a happy new year. I'll post an update with photos as soon as I'm feeling a little better :)
Miami Plastic Surgeon

I've always found it odd that RealSelf doesn't ask patients to rate doctors on the only thing that really matters... SURGICAL RESULTS. I think most of us can forgive any sin if the doctor does an exceptional job on our surgery. How often do you hear a patient say, "Well, he screwed up my surgery, but he responded promptly to my emails"... I'm guessing not very often. Most of us spend very little time with our surgeons, therefore, I am going to forgo the ridiculous real self rating system and give him a 5 out of 5 based on the only thing that I care about and the one thing they don't ask you to rate; results. Dr. Mendieta, you are a genius with a cannula! On a side note, I found Dr. Mendieta to be very personable and friendly :)

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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