For a few years now it's been impossible to lose...
For a few years now it's been impossible to lose fat for me. I work out 4-5x a week, had a PT for a year. Lost some pounds but not the fat, esp upper abdomen. I'm determined to go into my 50 th year looking as fit as I feel, so I looked into smart lipo. I had my procedure yesterday. Sorry no pics yet, but I can already tell the change in my size, and how flat my upper and lower abs are. I will say, the upper abs, side area and back were easy. My upper abs, the fat was compacted, and very difficult for Dr. B to remove, but he knew how important that area was to me. He had to numb me up extra and he came at it from several angles, but he did get it flat! Thank Heavens. That's the area that is so uncomfortable for me, and no wonder now that I know how compacted/dense it was. No give to it! He took out 3300 cc total. He's gave me a bonus and did my whole back at no charge too. He's been obese, he does this for the right reasons, and he's good. It's 5:30 am right now, my procedure started yesterday at 2 pm. I slept some but at 4 am just couldn't get comfy anymore so I'm up now. I'll sleep during the day. Have to go back in at 2 for my one day post op. I did vomit right after surgery and then 3 more times, but I do know that vicodaine does that to me. Right now I feel ok, comfy as lomg as I'm resting, and im just using ibuprofen now. Doc said bed rest for today, and that's fine with me. I did take/ am taking arnica Montana to help with bruising, but he had to be pretty aggressive with that upper abdomen area, so I expect I will see bruising there, certainly.
I just wanted to post this since others postings have been so helpful and informational for me in making my decision. Prior to surgery I was 164; I lost 8 pounds between September and now in preparation for doing this. I will continue as soon as I can to work out and focus on losing another 15 is my ultimate goal. That would be 149, post healing and swelling. I'm 5'4".
I'm already very encouraged by what I see in the mirror with the cn on. So flat! During the procedure at one point I felt my tummy and felt the hipbone area and how there was that indentation and then flat across. I haven't felt that since childbirth 12 years ago! And the gal who was assisting at one point sai, oh you've got a tiny little belly button now! So, even though at this point I haven't really seen myself without the cg (they got me into that immediately) I have confidence in a good result as things heal up. Ok, I think I'll dose a bit now! I'll post pics when I have some.
A little over a week out
Wow. 3300 cc's out at 49 years old is a bit exhausting. However, I did manage to teach a class all this last weekend, both days, 9 AM to 6 PM. I won't kid you, I was tired at the end of it. Fortunately, I own my own business, so I have scheduled some much quieter days in between teaching days (like today). I am posting my 1 week photos below. I started self massage a few days ago and today I started using the roller pin as I'd read others saying. Wow. That works! I did it for 1/2 hour this morning and it was pretty amazing. I've gotten those roller-coaster bumps and at first, the roller pin wouldn't roll all the way up & down because they were so dramatic. By about the 12 minute mark, I could roll all the way up and then back down. By the 30 minute mark, my belly was dramatically flatter and more even, and I had to pee like crazy (I think it works the lymph tissues in there too). While it seems weird, I would recommend it for everyone who has this procedure. Many thanks to the folks who've mentioned it here in their reviews or I would never have thought of it!
I am so happy that I didn't get any loose/extra skin effect from this procedure. I didn't think I would because I bounced back so well from pregnancy, no stretch marks, etc. I do see I have one new stretch mark, below the bikini line, from this. I'm using Mederma (sp?) scar gel on the incisions and on that new stretch mark. I am also using lavender, roman chamomile essential oils in my massage oil twice a day, plus vitamin e. I'll post updated photos at the 2 week mark. I don't feel like there's enough day to day change to warrant daily pics. Next week's pics will reflect several days of roller-pinning twice a day, so that will be interesting.
New & unique soreness. Every day is an adventure
Sooo, yesterday went really well. I had energy like I haven't had in awhile, swelling was very under control. Focused on a lot of water (I alternate tart cherry juice and apple cider vinegar in my water to help decrease inflammation and retention). Then at the end of the day my back started to hurt like it hadn't before. I mean really it hurt bad, like something was wrong. My husband was worried, but I was pretty sure I was just fatigued, and it was a new "phase" of the healing process. So I just had to give up and go to bed. Listen to your body, right? I did sleep without my cg last night (even though I'm not supposed to yet) because I felt like it was adding to the discomfort across my low back. I got a full night's sleep for the first time since the surgery (I've been waking up around 4 am or so every night so far), so it must have been the right thing to do. When I woke up I was sleeping on my back. I ran my hands across my hip bones and lower belly and it was sooo nice and flat. I could even feel the definition of my hip bones and that's the first time I've had that since right after the surgery (before the swelling adventure began, LOL!). Today was a pretty good day. Saw several clients and so was in the office all day, still chugging down water like crazy. This evening I'm resting and taking it easy, since I have to teach all day tomorrow and Sunday again (but after that I get 2 weekends off, yay!). My 2 week exam is on Monday, I'll post updated pics at the 2 week mark. I have to say the degree of difference between the roller coaster hills is diminishing--in other words, things are leveling out, getting flatter. All in all, happy so far and encouraged. Oh, and I started weighing myself again yesterday morning I was 163.2 (Yay! Under my pre-surgery weight) and this morning I was 162.3 - almost a pound down in a day. Must be all the peeing. I'm also focused on a very vegetable based diet along with all the fluids because I know I can't work out yet and like others have said here, I want to make sure I don't gain any weight in this interim period before I can hit the gym again. I would like to lose another 15 or so pounds total, and I would LOVE to see that come off in the next 4-5 months in time for summer :-) I should also mention that I have these little zingy feelings in my lower belly and across the sides of my waist --MAN, is that a tender area or what? No massage today, I gave my body a day off. I think I'm still seeing the results of all my massaging efforts from the last 3 days and it's probably time to give my body a chance to just heal in peace. I'll probably get back to massage Sunday evening again. Good old rolling pin!
Well, I posted the pics first because I wanted to make sure they'd work. So...you can see there's less bruising, I'm still puffy and lumpy. I was lumpy BEFORE, just lumpy from fat, so at least I'm a much smaller lumpy and I've been able to wear clothes that I couldn't prior to the procedure. My husband scared me at one point before I had this done and said you're gonna end up with loose skin blah, blah, blah and that scared me and then I thought, WTH, I don't show my midriff NOW because of all the fat, so even if my tummy doesn't end up worthy of baring, I will STILL be so much happier in my clothes. So it's a total win. BUT, my skin does seem to be re-draping, as they say, quite nicely, I don't feel like there's looseness in my skin, just still lots of swelling and healing going on causing it to look uneven. I Know this will improve way more; I'm only just a tiny ways into this healing journey!
Up under my floating ribs, OUCH--STILL SORE!! How long does it take for that area to not be so darn tender? Must be the bones are bruised? I've been using arnica faithfully for a month now, 2 weeks before and now I'm also using an arnica cream. I think it helped the brushing but oh my the tender ribs.
HA! I'm just noticing I got the wrong pic above. So here's the side view. I'm happy with how he got my back. He went way up and did my bra roll and really re-contoured my back. Which I really like because, honey, I do NOT need a BBL, god did bless me in that area, and when the back contours nicely to the waist, that does look nice in clothes! All about dat bass, LOL! Now, if dat bass weren't so lumpy......
My dr wants me to start Velashape in the abdominal area and he says that will speed healing and help to ensure an even appearance as it heals. Does anyone have any experience with Velashape post smart lipo? I'm so afraid it will hurt and make me tender AGAIN for a day or two after, and frankly, I'm tired of being sore and tender. So if anyone has any experience with that I'd love to hear about it. I see the vela shape reviews on here but most of them are not for post-smart lipo, so I don't know whether or how to use those to decide on this treatment for this reason. He is giving me a very good rate on the vela shape though, so maybe I just try it and see. After all, I've already invested a lot here, well, I think it's a lot, and if this is good insurance for a great result??? (really, though, I am MOSTLY concerned that it will hurt!)
Other than that, energy remains good; still really ready for bed at bed time but now have slept all the way thru the night 3 nights in a row, I seem to have figured out how to keep the swelling under control during the day for the most part and I think now I just keep on keeping on!
Blessings to all!
Day 16 pix
Well, I sit here on Day 19, (Saturday) uploading a couple of pics I took on Day 16 before my first Vela Shape treatment. I will snap some more pics on Monday, which will be Week 3 anniversary. I went in Wed. for Vela Shape. I was very hesitant since that morning was the first morning that I didn't feel like I had bricks strapped to my belly--more like 1/4 bushel of gravel instead, which still sounds bad but is actually WAY more comfortable.
She did the VelaShape on the lowest setting to start with, and when that was very tolerable I OK'd her to go to a higher level. She couldn't do all my belly properly yet because of the incisions still being healing and scabbed over, so she did my back as well and included it in the same session (normally 2 areas = 2 sessions). It felt REALLY good on my back. She said there was a little bruising from the vela shape but I didn't really see it, must have been very superficial. I didn't find any negative after effects from the treatment, like bruising/burning or increased tenderness/soreness. She said it would take 4 - 5 sessions to really see the positive effects, and since she started off slowly (which I appreciate), I can understand that. I still am doing self massage/rolling pin, but I didn't for 48 hours after the Vela Shape to give it a chance to do its thing.
Now today is Saturday. Yesterday I started to have more zinging feelings, in my belly and then the "sunburn" feeling on the sides of my waist. Another adventure in the healing process. I hope it all means I'll start getting my sense of feeling back, although it has not actually bothered me to be numb in those areas. Which seems odd, but it's true.
Yesterday I weighed in at 159.8, so down yet more (water weight you know--still fluid in the tissues, I am still swollen, tho it's getting better) and my waist was down another inch--31 inches. I'm hoping/praying that by the time the healing is all done I will see my waist under 30 inches. I'd LOVE to see 27 inches again!
In the pics below you'll see the roller coaster effect again. I did not do the rolling pin the day before Vela because I wasn't sure how sore the Vela would make me and I didn't want to over work the tissues before hand. But I did the rolling pin yesterday morning, before weighing and measuring, and that evened out the bumps just like before.
In general I would say at this point I'm very happy. Thursday was the first day when I went about my daily business and actually FORGOT, for long stretches at a time, about my body. Everything is feeling much more comfortable now, even though I know I'm far from "healed." I kind of suspect that from here I'll start seeing more dramatic and consistent improvements--I will post pictures and we'll see, won't we? Whether that's going to be from the VelaShape or the natural progression of healing, though, I will never really be able to say. But I thought since I've invested so much in this, it seemed kind of silly to cheap out on something that could help to insure I get the best possible result, because that's what it's all about in the end, isn't it?
Dr office says they'll send me the before pix taken in the office but I'll have to remind them again next Wed. when I go in for VelaShape #2.
Blessings on your day! I hope this helps someone else!
For us ladies "of a certain age" - some observations and a hypothesis
OK, I'm sure we all are aware that hormones play a role in our weight management as we get older, as well as in our moods, energy levels, etc. I am almost 50 and have been showing symptoms of perimenopause for awhile, including this weight gain over the last 4 years. I had my smart lipo on January 5th, immediately after my period, which stopped the day before. Earlier this week, starting on Monday, I began having bouts of deep sadness, being easily irritated, and having violent dreams every night for 3 nights in a row. On Wednesday I decided this HAD to be hormonal because it didn't seem attached to anything happening in my life (everything's fine), so I decided to use my progesterone cream which has always fixed hormonal issues in the past (I was tested with estrogen dominance about 5 years ago, so have this cream). The progesterone wasn't fixing it and if anything it got worse, so yesterday I decided to use my ESTROGEN cream (which I have hardly ever used, being estrogen dominant and not low in estrogen based on my testing). I put on the estrogen cream and my mood brightened within an hour, everything felt great. OK! A little later in the day another little bout of sadness, applied more estrogen cream--voila! Feeling fine again, all is well with the world. So, before bed used progesterone and estrogen and took a melatonin. Best sleep I've had since surgery--even better than those nights when I said I finally slept through the night-- I mean DEEP, restful sleep and beautiful wonderful dreams toward the morning. BIG difference.
So, I had read a couple years ago in part of my own research on women's changing hormones in an attempt to do the right thing for myself, that ABDOMINAL FAT PRODUCES ESTROGEN. In fact, the reduction of estrogen production in the ovaries (and adrenals) is what triggers the body to start to put on more abdominal fat in an attempt to hold onto as much estrogen production as it can.
I basically had an estrogen factory removed all at once and within a week and a half, approximately, was experiencing pretty dramatic symptoms of low estrogen.
Which leads me to my next hypothesis--I had better get me to a BHRT doctor (after giving this a couple more months to settle out, maybe?) because long term if my body continues to perceive low estrogen, won't it once again try to re-create that abdominal fat estrogen factory??? A Mayo study (recent--2013? google "mayo study low estrogen and weight gain") shows that low estrogen causes weight gain in us ladies at this time of life. And you can be both low estrogen AND estrogen dominant. Low estrogen refers to the absolute level of estrogen in the body, while estrogen dominance refers to the relative ratio of estrogen to the balancing hormones (progesterone primarily). And if you are told you're estrogen dominant and you keep trying to fix that by using your progesterone cream, but you are also low estrogen and don't know it--you'll only make your low estrogen worse.
So, I will be heading to a BHRT doctor to get this right (as opposed to my DIY method, LOL!). I have also asked my smart lipo doc about this and I'll let you know what feedback I get from him on this issue too.
So, if you're in my age category and have been experiencing what I have been -- an increase in abdominal fat that defies weight loss efforts over a few years, and then weird hormonal symptoms after the removal of that abdominal fat -- take care of your hormones so that your body doesn't replace all that nasty belly fat! At our age, it is NOT all about calories in vs. calories out. That still matters, but hormones play a huge role in what fat is allowed to be gotten rid of and where it gets stored and why.
Forgot to mention
I said above I used the progesterone cream and it didn't help, and if anything it got worse. What I forgot to mention is how it got worse. I woke up Friday morning crying, balling my eyes out. Not sure why even. No dreams attached to it that I can remember. Worried the heck out of my husband, and was very disconcerting. So that's what I mean -- the progesterone was not having the calming effect it had always had in the past and that's why I went looking for more answers and discovered the low estrogen connection.
3 weeks with pics
3 weeks today! Feeling much more comfortable, still getting the zingy feelings and the sunburn feeling, but those are fleeting, they only last a few seconds and are mostly in the evening when my body's saying it's had enough for the day. I am now sleeping without my cg (feels SOOO good to have it off in bed) and wearing it during the day because there is still swelling, and if I go without my cg when I'm up and about, it follows gravity and tends to settle in the lowest part of my abdomen and I certainly don't want that. Other than that, I'm getting my hormones tested in a couple of weeks (per my post earlier).
You can see in my pix why I don't take photos more than once a week. The progress is there, but it's not dramatic from day to day. I think the front shot now looks like I have a six pack (giggle--it's just swelling!) and I am down an inch around the waist and I think that really shows best in the side shot.
I organized my closet today and got rid of a bunch of clothes that are now too big and discovered a bunch of clothes that I now fit into, so for the next year or so, I don't need to buy clothes--I can just go "shopping" in my closet. It feels great!
I'm still doing massage daily and this Wednesday I go in for my 2nd VelaShape.
Good luck to everyone. As usual I hope my experience helps someone else, since reading others' helped me so much in my decision making.
3 and 1/2 weeks
No pics today, just an update. I had my 2nd vela shape on Wednesday. She was able to be a little more aggressive this time than last, and I bruised a little bit, but nothing major. She seems very good with this--continually monitoring the skin temperature and asking how I'm doing. At this point I am going to say I think it makes a difference. I'm down (this morning, 2 days later) another pound and another inch around my waist -- down to a 30" waist, y'all! It's looking better too, not AS lumpy, and softer (kind of mushy right now). I'm still wearing the cg a lot and there is still swelling/fluid retention but it's improving. Sometimes I sleep without my cg (feels so good to have the d*&m thing off), but then I miss the support and it feels good to get the d*&m thing back on, so it's kind of love/hate, LOL! I'm also still doing home massage, about 1/2 hour at least once a day, sometimes morning & evening if my schedule permits. It's a lot of time commitment but it's an investment. Yesterday evening I started to get really sore--after effects of the vela shape?? In any case, I took some ibuprofen, which I haven't taken any of that for days and days now. That took the edge off and I was OK comfortable the rest of the evening and slept well.
More violent dreams, however, every night. Last night I was a karate ninja and whooped several people's butts. Who knew? I am having my hormones tested in another week and 1/2 (you have to be at a specific point in your cycle) and we'll see what's going on. I suspect too little estrogen is letting my testosterone bleed through too much. Yesterday I was trying to pull something out of a laundry basket to put it in the washer, and it was stuck, and I had to pull harder, and I growled at it! Couldn't believe I actually growled at laundry. Then I laughed at myself. But yes, I'm a wee bit aggressive these days! Laundry better watch out!
I will have updated photos on Monday, for my 1 month anniversary! At this point, just keeping on keeping on!