Lipo -Detailed Review Of Dr. Enrique Hanabergh - Miami, FL

Forget about the Dominican Republic, Vanity and...

Forget about the Dominican Republic, Vanity and Spectrum; go see Dr. Enrique Hanabergh.

Some background on myself:
24- years old, 5’6, 150 pounds with an aggravating tendency to store fat on the love handles and arms. I had had one previous surgery, a breast reduction/lift in January 2016 done in amazing, beautiful (and dirt-cheap) Miami. I’m from Southern California, about 30 miles outside of LA and had been expecting to pay Los Angeles prices for my breast reduction (I had been quoted 11-13k by three different doctors)… until I discovered this phenomenal little community here on Realself. Within a week of reading hundreds of reviews, I booked my flight to Florida and had my breast reduction done for half-price, leaving me with a surplus of hard-earned cash that was burning a hole in pocket.

So what’s a girl to do with leftover plastic surgery money?

Get some lipo, of course.


Deciding on a doctor was a much more lengthy process this time around.
I knew I that I definitely wanted to return to Florida for this procedure, since doctors who perform dramatic lipo are abundant and again, the cost cant be beat (unless you go to DR, but I’m not THAT down to save a buck). I began searching in late February and wanted to be scheduled ASAP so I’d be out of the post-op garment before I melted here in the California summer.

I was initially interested in Dr. Jonathan Fisher of Vanity and Dr. Mel Ortega of Spectrum.

It took multiple emails and phone calls just to start the consult process with Vanity. Consultants and receptionists were forever lagging and it literally took THREE WEEKS of slow responses before they finally told me that Fisher was booked solid until summer! Definitely a no-go, I was not about to spend June, July & August in a skin-tight faja.

Spectrum never even replied to my emails or the contact form I filled out on their website.

Looking back on it now, I thank god everyday that both Vanity & Spectrum were ridiculously incompetent communication-wise because it really turned me off to dirt-cheap surgery centers that are operating on who-knows-how-many patients a day. Just last month Omulepu (who worked at both Vanity & Spectrum) had his license restricted due to multiple girls having complications after he operated on them.

But anywaaaaays, I digress.

So back on the surgeon-hunt I went and by early March, I had Dr. Enrique Hanabergh’s Realself profile saved to my favorites bar.

He didn’t have a ton of reviews, but the reviews he did have were all 5-star. He didn’t have very many before and after photos on his website, but the few he did have showed some incredible work. He also had prices that matched Vanity & Spectrum’s specials, without the chop-shop feel.

I sent an email expressing my interest and the next day I had a response from Alejandra, Dr. Hanabergh’s coordinator. I asked a million questions and she answered them all at lightning-speed. She was very informative, suggested different options and even offered a video consultation with the doctor himself. Having a coordinator walk you through specific prices, different areas of lipo, and possible surgery dates is a tell-tale sign of a doctor/surgery center that isn’t going to treat you like another lucrative slab of meat to carve up.


Within a week of first reaching out, I had my surgery date set for just a month later, April 2nd.

I put down the deposit to lock in my surgery for 12 areas of lipo (entire torso: tummy, sides, mid & lower back) for $4,000. A couple days later, I decided I wanted to add in arms as well and Alejandra was able to get me an amazing deal. Sorry all, I wont be sharing the specific discount I got, Alejandra did me a solid and I don’t want to advertise a deal that she might not be capable of offering to others.

I wont bore you with the details leading up to my flight out to Miami, but if you all have any questions about pre-op requirements, bloodwork, vitamins, etc. feel free to message me. The only piece of advice I will shed here is to not do what I did and gain ten pounds because “its all going to get sucked out in couple weeks anyway”. Believe me girls, I had always held a relatively stable and healthy weight, but lipo-mentality definitely crept up on me and eating obscene amounts of cake and ice cream everyday quickly became a habit that I’m Still trying to break.

SURGERY DAY
Fast-forward to D-Day, Saturday April 2nd; I landed in Miami early in the morning and went straight to New Life. I was right on time for my 8:30am appointment and was taken back to an exam room right away. I took a pregnancy test, changed into the paper gown and compression socks and was told that the doctor was in surgery and would see me in an hour. I took a nap and before long the good doctor came in to mark me up.

Dr. Hanabergh was beyond sweet, warm and patient. He greeted me with a kiss on the cheek (is this normal in Florida? Idk, but I loved it) and instantly put me at ease. He asked me a little about myself like where I was from and who I’d be staying with after surgery. I showed him a few wish pictures, and when it came time to mark me up, he was really enthusiastic and confident that he could give me the exact look I was after.
The only area we didn’t quite agree on was the arms. I wanted him to lipo the hell out of my arms. I think I even might of said “suck them dry”. My arms don’t seem too bad when I’m out of clothes (or in a paper gown in that case) but they look huuuuge in short-sleeve shirts. So, because my arms didn’t look so disproportionate in the exam room, he did not recommend aggressive lipo for them. Dr. Hanabergh explained that the skin on the arms is delicate and aggressive lipo in that area could result in skin irregularities, so I agreed to lower my expectations just a bit and ultimately let him judge just how much to take. At the last second I asked about maybe adding in a little lipo under my chin. Hey, might as well get it all done at once, right? He said it was no problem, and agreed to go ahead and suction out the tiny bit of fat. (I actually JUST realized that he never charged for me this! Alejandra had my credit card info so I figured she would just bill me after surgery, but no one ever even mentioned it. Dr. Hanabergh, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!)

After the consult was over, he went back to prep for my surgery and I waited a little longer in the room before I was finally taken back into the operating room. Everyone was super nice and friendly, which made getting up onto that big metal table much less scary; I especially loved the anesthesiologist and his jokes. He shot me up with my much-anticipated drugs and I was out within a few seconds.

POST-OP
Waking up from surgery was hell. Complete hell.
Just two months before, I underwent my breast surgery, so I was expecting the uncontrollable shivering that follows being under general anesthesia, but the shaking that I experienced this time resembled that of a demon being exorcised from my body. On top of violent tremors and feeling ice –cold, I also felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’d been zipped into my faja before I’d woken up, so I didn’t realize that was what was causing the tight feeling in my abdomen and making it difficult for me to take deep breaths. I was crying and hyperventilating and acting a damn fool. The nurse tried to calm me down and reassure me that I wasn’t going to suffocate to death, but there was no convincing me and I continued on crying that I was on the verge of asphyxiation.


Funny anesthesiologist guy popped up out of nowhere and saved the day. “Oh, you’re having a hard time breathing? Okay, let me get an oxygen mask for you.” I have my doubts that any air was really coming through the mask, or that it was even hooked up to anything at all, but GOD BLESS YOU Mr. Anesthesiologist for indulging my dramatic ass.

I started feeling better after receiving my placebo-oxygen and I was helped into a wheelchair and off to the recovery house I went.

For those of you interested in my experience at Miami Escape recovery house, I will be writing a separate review for that later this week.

When I got to the house, I was able to get out of the car and walk to my bedroom without assistance or pain. I got into bed feeling a bit uncomfortable and nauseous, but soon fell asleep. When I woke up a couple hours later, I still wasn’t in any pain. I managed to get down some soup and Gatorade and went back to napping. Dr. Hanabergh called and texted to ask how I was doing; very nice of him. Later that night I had to get up out of bed to pee and that’s when I finally experienced some pain. Trying to get out of bed was excruciating. It felt like someone had beaten me in the stomach with a baseball bat; SO sore and stiff and achy. Even with someone helping me to get into a sitting position, it was exhausting. Once I was standing up the pain disappeared though. I had to use the bathroom every two hours that night and I could only walk to the toilet and back to my bed before I’d start feeling a little lightheaded and needed to lay down.

Day 1 post-op was much better. Still painful to get up, but once I was on my feet I could walk around without getting dizzy. I took half a pain pill every 3 or 4 hours and that was enough to make me more comfortable in the super-tight faja.

Day 2 I had my post-op appointment. I felt fine and good to go all morning- until I took my antibiotics on an empty stomach. I started feeling sick the second I got into the car to head over to New Life. The nausea got even worse when I finally got to the surgery center.
When I checked in at front desk, the receptionist said that the nurse would see me soon. I was disappointed that Dr. Hanabergh wouldn’t be seeing me for my post-op, but at that point all I wanted was to be in and out of the office ASAP so I could run down to the parking lot and throw up in privacy if needed.

I was called back within a few minutes and surprise, surprise; Hanabergh was going to see me after all. I have a feeling that forcing post-op patients to see a nurse instead of their doctor is standard at New Life. Nurses who know nothing about your particular surgery experience give you a once-over so that the doctors are free to take new patient consultations ($$$) instead.

My point in sharing this suspicion is to further convey how great Dr. Hanabergh is. I was already set to see a nurse and hadn’t complained about it, but he took the time to see me himself anyway. I couldn’t even get a post-op consult with my breast reduction surgeon, and he ran his own private practice!

Anyways, the post-op appointment went well and was super quick since I was still focusing all my effort on not vomiting. He checked me out without the garment and told me to apply Neosporin three times a day to my incision sites to help them heal well. He cleared me to shower (finally!) and start getting massages.

Once I got back to the house my nausea eased up and I had my first massage. I’d most definitely recommend timing your Percocet schedule strategically so that you’re nice and drugged up just before the lymphatic drainage hell begins. Even after having washed down two full pain pills an hour before the massage I was still flinching and wincing through the entire 60 minutes on that table. BUT, I must say its true that you feel less swollen and stiff afterwards.

Heading to the shower after the massage was the first time I got a good look at myself without the garment. I got EXACTLY what I had asked for, an hourglass figure and completely flat stomach. Dr. Hanabergh gave me my wish body, and I’m sure its just going to get even better as swelling goes down.

Day 3 I had another massage, then finally headed back to California. The plane ride was a nightmare since my stomach was still super sore and being in a sitting position made my faja feel even tighter.

Day 4 and 5 I had to sit for long periods of time and it caused my stomach to swell up a ton. I also started feeling itchy around my incision sites.

I am now 6 days post-op and feeling better than I expected to. I have lots of energy and I’m walking around and running errands. Sitting is getting to be more comfortable, though it still feels like the faja is digging into my stomach. I’m still pretty tender on all my lipo areas with my abdomen being the most sensitive. My skin feels super gross. It’s loose on body, as if I’m wearing a Silence of the Lambs skin suit. Not fun. The itchies are also in full effect; I’m constantly fighting the urge to violently scratch around my incision sites.

Major swelling is still prevalent and my faja has yet to get a little looser, but at this point I’ve pretty much gotten used to feeling like a stuffed sausage. I probably look like one too with the bulky ace bandages on my arms and the chin strap squishing my cheeks up into my eyes.
Although I might resemble the Michelin man with all my compression garments on, I’m looking damn good without them. I have to admit that I check myself out multiple times a day in front of my full-length mirror to make sure the hourglass figure Hanabergh gave me is still there.
Even with all the swelling my stomach is still flatter than it ever has been and my back doesn’t have a single little dough roll.

As you all read earlier, I have some serious neuroticism when it comes to my arms. They Are noticeably smaller, though I’m not completely satisfied with them right at this moment. I know they’ll continue to shrink over the next few weeks, I’ll just have to wait and see exactly how much.

My chin right now looks just as it did before surgery, which I’m sure is a good sign that once swelling dies down there will be a big improvement.

I will continue to update you all on my recovery!

I'm heartbroken to report

that I went from being so incredibly ecstatic and in love with my results to feeling like I'm in a nightmare.

Post-op days 6 (Thursday) and 7 (Friday) I spent a lot of time (about 8 hours) sitting down. I'd get up every hour or so to walk around since my garment still felt uncomfortable and was constantly digging into my stomach.

Yesterday morning when I took off the garment to shower I noticed a huge horizontal crease in my stomach. It's about an inch above my belly button, where you normally get a crease after sitting down for a long period of time. You can see in the after photos I posted earlier this week that I had a bit of a dent in my stomach, but its become so much worse. Now its a deep depression that looks bruised and is super sore to the touch.

I immediately messaged Alejandra explaining the situation and sent her photos.

She said I needed an abdominal board.

I'm pretty upset. One week before surgery, I had specifically asked her if I needed to get an ab board, since I had read so much about them here on Realself. Virtually every liposuction review mentioned having to use an ab board to keep the stomach from forming irregularities from the garment.

She said the surgery center would give me one.

New Life didn't give me one, and honestly, I had pretty much forgotten about it until I was 3 days post-op. I was still in Miami at that point, and told Alejandra that I hadn't been given my ab board.

She said that ab boards are only given to patients who undergo BBL, but if I wanted one, I could buy one from New Life.
Obviously, I wouldn't want an ab board if my coordinator is telling me that they're not used for lipo patients, but I definitley thought it was strange how just a week before she'd said I'd be given one after surgery.

And now, 4 days later, I'm being told I need to go get a board to fix this ugly, painful dent in my waist.

There aren't garment shops on every corner here in California like there are in Miami, so I had to express ship one from Amazon. All of yesterday and this morning I've spent trying to find a suitable alternative for an abdominal board to keep the crease from getting even deeper. I've tried towels, books and foam padding, but whatever object I try to stuff into my garment either makes the faja even more unbearably tight or does nothing to keep pressure off the crease. I even drove over an hour to a specialty shapewear store to try to find a faja that wouldn't dig into that part of my waist, but since garments are meant to mold to your body, every garment I tried on would bend to accommodate the depression, making it deeper.

I've literally spent all of yesterday and today obsessing over how I've ruined my results. I've given up trying to smooth out the crease myself and have just resigned myself to waiting until the ab board is delivered tomorrow night. I've been laying down all day today because I can't bear the thought of sitting and making the dent worse.

It really sucks that something so simple as a foam board could've prevented all of this misery. A foam board that I specifically asked about TWICE.

It also upset me even more that in my message to Alejandra, I was very obviously worried and even asked if my overall results would be affected by the crease.

She responded "Dr. Hanabergh says you need an ab board" and messaged me a photo of a board and recommended I use a dish towel in the meantime.

She didn't didn't really seem concerned about how terrified I was/am and didn't even answer my question as to whether the crease would be permanent.

Sigh, I will continue to keep you all updated.

I forgot to mention

that because of all of my attempts to smooth out the crease with books/towels/different fajas, my body has swelled up dramatically. All of the adjusting and trying to squeeze myself into different garments irritated the hell out of my torso and increased swelling ten-fold. The hourglass shape I had just a few days ago is almost gone and my stomach is no longer flat. You can tell from the photo I just uploaded (to show the dent) that my waistline is not as dramatic as it used to be. I'm crushed.

I definitely overreacted

Just a few hours after my last update yesterday, Alejandra messaged me.
As I detailed in my previous post, the short and (seemingly) unsympathetic conversation I had with Alejandra about the dent in my stomach left me feeling like she was blowing me off, but it turns out that it was all just a miscommunication.

I had initially reached out to her and explained the crease-situation as best I could, then told her I would send photos. She immediately recommended I get an ab board, but that she would also have Dr. Hanabergh take a look at my photos and get in touch with me.

This is where the mix-up occurred. I sent over the photos... but unknown to me, Alejandra never got them. So when Alejandra messaged me a little while later with just a photo of an ab board, I thought that was her (and Dr. Hanabergh's) response to my photos depicting the horrible crease in my stomach. I literally thought that was the end of the conversation, like "Okay Alicia, we read your messages and saw the photos, just get an ab board, bye."

In all reality, Alejandra had been waiting the whole time for my photos that never got delivered to the office phone she was using. So she had sent the first message recommended the ab board, waited a while for me to send the photos, but when she still hadn't gotten them, she messaged me again with the picture of the ab board and suggestion to use a towel in the meantime.

At about 7pm last night, she messaged me again and asked for the photos.
This is when I realized that they had never been delivered and her response earlier had been short because she was still waiting for them and obviously couldn't give me any instructions without clearly seeing what the issue was.

I feel pretty terrible for being such a brat yesterday. Alejandra has been nothing but super sweet this whole time and has consistently messaged me every couple days since surgery to ask how I'm doing. I should've known that she wouldn't leave me hanging, and there had to be a reason her response was so short the day before.

The whole "yes, you'll be given an ab board", then "no, you don't need one" situation is still an oversight I'm a little upset about, but I take back everything else I said about Alejandra and I's conversation yesterday afternoon, she's great for putting up with my melodramatic self.

So anyways, after realizing she hadn't gotten the photos, I sent them over in an email and Alejandra said she'd have Hanabergh look them over and call me in the morning.

Just then, as if all my prayers were being answered, the ab board was delivered early!

I put it under my garment and slept with it all night and I'm happy to say that the crease has already started to resolve! THANK GOD. Also, having to stuff the ab board into my already-tight faja provided some extra compression that literally squeezed the crazy swelling out of me. My flat stomach and small waist have made a comeback; I've never felt so relieved in my entire life.

I just got the phone call from Hanabergh and I definitely had to eat some humble pie and admit that I'd overreacted about the crease. He explained to me that about only half of liposuction patients need an ab board,and the decision if its necessary is usually made a week after the surgery, when any irregularities that might form start becoming visible. I went back home just 3 days post-op, which was too early to detect any imperfections that might later arise on my stomach. Hanabergh said that from now on, he's going to have all out-of-town patients who have to leave before the 7-day mark use an ab board as a preventative measure. I can definitely own up to the fact that I'm largely to blame here for leaving Miami so soon after surgery, but it was nice of him to try to make me feel less embarrassed by saying that a an extra step could've been taken on the part of his team to prevent the crease complication.

Moral of the story: recovery will make you C-R-A-Z-Y. The dramatic changes in your body every few hours will have you acting like a lunatic. Recovery is no joke, its a constant rollercoaster ride of feeling high and ecstatic one day, to depressed and miserable the next.

Thank you girls for the sweet comments and messages last night! I'm so grateful for this little community and all of your encouragement, advice and prayers!

2 Weeks Post-Op

Since my last update, things have continued to get a little better.

I had my third massage on day 9 and at about day 10 and 11 most of my soreness, sensitivity and itchiness had decreased, but only to be replaced by hardness in my stomach and sides. I've been massaging myself like crazy and Ill be having 2 professional massages a week for the next month. Hardness aside, I feel 90% back to normal.

The crease has gotten much better with the ab board, but it hasn't gone away completely yet. It isn't too bad in the mornings, but towards the end of the day it becomes a little deeper and more apparent. I just messaged Alejandra asking whether it will eventually go away, and I'm waiting to hear back.

I posted some new photos as well comparing what I look like now to how I looked 6 days post-op. I really can't see much of difference between the two, but it's all good because at 6 Days I was already happy with my results. Still praying my arms get smaller, but thats just me being neurotic.

Will update you all again in a week!

4 Months Post-op

Officially a little over 4 months post-op today!
I feel terrible that I haven't had the time to give an update lately, but Im finally back and ready to let you know how recovery has been the last couple months.

SWELLING/PAIN/ITCHING
I feel like just about all swelling and discomfort was gone by the two month mark. I occasionally still get a bit of itchiness on my back though. I wore the ab board and faja 24/7 for the first 2 months, then only during the day for month 3, just as directed by Dr. Hanabergh. I had a total of 12 massages.

INCISIONS
I had a total of 8 incisions. 2 on the backs of my shoulders, 2 on my mid-back, 2 on my lower back and 2 on my lower stomach. They've all come a long way in the past few months. I was initially most worried about the two on my hips, as they were the ones that drained all that fluid the first week. Thief healed really well and right now they're completely flat, pink and about 3/4 of an inch in length. The pair of incisions on my mid-back are the ones I'm most concerned about. They look more like puncture wounds than thin scars. I've added a photo of these. I've been using biocornuem scar cream every day since the incisions closed. I'm going to wait a few more months and keep applying it and see if they improve before I visit a dermatologist here in L.A.

THE CREASE
I still have the motherf&*#748 crease! And its still very apparent. Its gotten a little better since I last posted, but it really worries me that I haven't seen any improvement in the last month. On top of that, the little irregularities in my stomach that I figured were normal at 6-weeks post op haven't gone away either. My stomach looks pretty gross in bright lighting.
I have not contacted Alejandra or Dr. H about it, because at this point, I figure that they'll just tell me its residual swelling and to wait a couple more months and see if it gets better.

I'm not denying that it could still be swelling. I guess time will tell if thats the case or if maybe my bumpy stomach is due to the lack of using an ab board the first week post-op or maybe even the result of uneven liposuction.

Overall, I'm happy with my results. I'm in love with the shape of my body, its the perfect hourglass. Recovery wasn't too terrible and I'm content with how my scars are progressing. I'm concerned about my stomach, but there's nothing I can do but wait and see if it gets better. I will update you all in a couple months, and I really hope I can say that my stomach looks normal.
I'm still glad I chose Dr. Hanabergh, he gave me what I wanted; lets just hope the crease and bumps resolve...
Aventura Plastic Surgeon

He's the best!

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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