My surgery is scheduled for March...
My surgery is scheduled for March 26th at Athenix in Pasadena, and I'm feeling a mix of excitement and sheer anxiety. I'm about 15lbs over my normal weight (165lbs at the moment) and though I work out often, my waist remains wide no matter how thin I've been in the past. It's frustrating.
My surgeon will be Dr. Kamran Azad and my consultation with him went fantastic. He was compassionate and really listened to what I wanted. The day before, I went to a Beverly Hills doctor who not only mentioned how "flat" my butt was (he recommended fat transfers and no, I didn't ask for his opinion), but he also grabbed the skin on MY WRIST and said "Look! There's fat here too. We can lipo that out as well." Yes folks, he wanted to lipo my forearms. What a nightmare.
I don't want to be a barbie. I don't want to be a Kardashian clone. I just want to be a better version of myself. I look forward to updating you guys on my journey! I really hope everything goes well.
Forgot to add what surgery I'm having!
I'll be getting micro body contouring (I believe it's similar to Smart Lipo) and will be awake during the procedure.
Pre-Op with Doctor This Morning
I met with Dr. Azad this morning because I had some additional questions. He is so kind and compassionate. I've been a nervous wreck these last few days about my surgery and he really helped soothe the anxiety.
We went over the areas again and he mentioned that it might take longer for my bra roll skin to tighten up than my flanks. I hope it's not TOO long! Haha. I've always had bra fat, even when I was 17 and weighed 140lbs so I imagine the fat is much more stubborn in that area. What did we women do in life to deserve bra fat, anyway? >:(
Before leaving, I purchased Arnika tablets w/ Bromelain for around 20 bucks, and I'm supposed to start taking the tablets a week before my surgery, and for one week after to help with the swelling/bruising. Ahhh!
Measurements, in case anyone wants to compare!
My starting pre-op measurements are 36-31-43. I wear a size 10 and I'm 5'7. I'm hoping to get my waist down to 29.
Some more pre-op pics with marks
So, my surgery is three days away and the excitement is slowly starting to kick in! I started taking my arnica pills on Monday and have my surgery outfit all set to go (black yoga pants and a black zipped hoodie). I wanted to post some pre-op pics with markers of where I'm getting the lipo done. I HATE my bra fat! It's so intense, geez. lol I'm hoping for the most improvement in that area, along with my flanks to wittle my waist down some. Ahhh!
Can't sleep clown will eat me (HOURS AFTER SURGERY)
My last review just ate itself. I'm not sure what happened. :/ Anyway, so I had my surgery yesterday at 2:30pm and it was one hell of an experience.
First of all, the nurses and Dr. Azad were fantastic. I can't compliment them enough for how great they treated me. I'm a pretty easygoing patient in general, and use sarcasm to hide immense pain so I tried that tactic until at some points I just couldn't take it anymore! lol The areas that hurt the most were the bra rolls and the back flanks. I can't really explain the feeling. One cool thing I remember was noticing my stomach expanding (just on one side) and then suddenly deflating as he sucked out the fat. I believe 3 liters total were taken out.
I had to ask him to stop a few times because the pain was unbearable and I think they gave me more sedatives to relax me. One of the nurses even held my hands lol I mean, mostly to restrain me since I kept positioning myself incorrectly but still, I thought that was nice of her.
In total, I was at the office for a whopping 6.5 hours! Prep took the longest, I thought. I had to wait a while to finally start my surgery. My memory's a bit fuzzy but I remember apologizing a lot during surgery and after surgery lol I also kept losing my train of thought and it was making the Dr. and nurses laugh. One nurse (Sophia) told me I was a really great patient and I was really funny. I wish I knew what the hell I was saying! LOL
Anyway, I randomly woke up at 4:30 and I walked a bit to kill time. I also ate around 11pm because I hadn't eaten since Friday. I hope tomorrow's a slighter better day! I'm dying to see how I look under this garment. ????
The only post-op pic I could take so far.
It hurts SO much to stand up after sitting down!! Mostly in my lower back and abdomen.
Dude...I am SO swollen. My post-op recovery is not going so hot, y'all. I'm in a lot of pain! ????
I've only taken two painkillers so far because I don't want to rely on them too much, so it hurts like hell to stand and sit down. However, my results two days later look INCREDIBLE. I had my post-op meeting with Dr. Azad and was able to see my body for the first time and I couldn't believe my eyes. I have a waist!! Ahh!!
My lower flanks are swollen so I think it'll go down as the days go by, but the difference is astounding.
3 days post-op...sweet merciful pain
The soreness! FML. Apparently I don't do well with pain, because I'm still a hot mess. My lower flanks looks much better today and less swollen, so my waist is looking much more normal than yesterday - my sister said I looked a bit "Nicki Minaj-ish" yesterday lol
Just some more post-op pics!
My abdomen and lower back is still quite swollen, and I look bigger sideways now than I did before. I know it's temporary, so no biggie. My focus is on the positive, and LOOK! NO BRA BULGE! Never thought I'd see the day.
Switched to a smaller garment
So, my garment was starting to feel loose in the waist, which was causing me a ton of pain when sitting down. I switched over to a size small and while it's quite tight, I definitely feel more "held in," so to speak. It also looks good under fitted clothes (pic).
My lower back is still quite swollen, so I look very square from my side. :( I hope it goes down sooner than later.
A couple of before and afters.
My back is killing me with this swelling. It's not so much that it's super painful now, but it makes me look extra boxy from the side so I don't want to wear anything fitted yet. :( I also have a FUPA (I KNOW y'all know what that means lolzzz) which is something I've also never had, so that's interesting.
For those who don't know what that is, it's basically the area riiiight above the pubic region being swollen.
Anyway, I ordered a stage 2 garment that will hopefully arrive this week because it's legless and has no zippers! I'm so sick of this garment digging into my thighs.
So much swelling yesterday!
Oh my goodness, the swelling was BAD yesterday. I was so puffy and it bummed me out.
I'm doing better today. It doesn't hurt as much to stand up from sitting/lying down. I can bend down to pick up stuff, too. lol I do have a little burn mark on my hip that I haven't noticed til the last few days. Perhaps an accident during surgery?
Bought a new garment (Maidenform)
The legs on the Marena garment were KILLING ME, as were the stupid side zippers. I ordered a stage 2 zipperless garment online but it may not come in for several days so I purchased an "in the meantime" garment at Macy's. The link to the garment is here: http://m.macys.com/shop/product/maidenform-firm-control-ultimate-instant-slimmer-open-bust-body-shaper-2656-?ID=376840&swatchColor=Black
I got it in a size Medium because it indicated it was for sizes 8-10, and I'm a solid 10 right now so it fits well, and a bit tight. It's not uncomfortable at all.
For those of you who are already 1-2 months in, is the garment SUPPOSED to be uncomfortable? My sister got lipo a long time ago and claims the garment is supposed to hurt and make it hard to breathe, because that's how you get the best results (didn't really work for her, if I can be honest lol). What are your guys' suggestions?
Finally found an inspiration wish pic!
I came across this model and loooove her figure. While I'm not plus size (she's a plus size model - Iskra Lawrence), her curves are exactly what I'm hoping to accomplish after smartlipo + continued exercise/diet. *crosses fingers*
My first wish pic! :)
I haven't posted a wish pic because I wanted to be realistic, and I also couldn't seem to find someone somewhat similar to my body or the body I'd like. Howeeever, I just came across this model named Iskra Lawrence and her curves are DEFINITELY my motivation! It is exactly how I want my waist to look in proportion to my hips and legs. I hope I can look somewhat similar once I heal and can work out the way I used to.
Jeans. These JEANS.
Folks, I officially fit into a size 28 in jeans. I have been a 30/31 for quite a while so this feels ridiculously awesome! Swelling is down a bit now but it's been replaced by lots of hardness, so I feel like I have a six pack when it's really just lumps. :/
Also, I included a pic of the burn mark I have on my side. Anyone else get this? I'm sure it was from surgery, but is this going to leave a scar or should I be okay?
Picture didn't post!! :/
Here's the wish pic. sorryyyy
My lumps, my lovely lady lumps. -_-
So my abdomen is super hard and lumpy. :/ Normal part of the process, I know...but I hate how it looks! Ugh. I massage the lumps at night but it doesn't really seem to make a difference.
How long did you guys have the lumps and hardness? I miss my softness. lol
Picture of the lumps
So I tried to take some pictures of the lumpiness but you can only really see it from the side, and you can't see the hardness I feel all around my abdomen and back. The lumps here are on my lower abdomen but I also have like a hard layer of something right under my skin and I feel it in every area I had lipo! I keep reading that it's normal but ugh.
The ups and downs *thumbs down*
This rollercoaster is the worst, isn't it? I hate waking up and looking fabulous, then feeling like a bloated mess by the end of the day.
Anyway, I noticed this weird area on my tummy that looks like an extra pocket of fat and I'm wondering if it'll go away or not. It just looks like a line is going through it. I've noticed others on RS experiencing similar so I'm hoping it's temporary. I also noticed the middle of my abdomen is discolored but I have a feeling it's the last stage of bruising. It's a light yellowish color.
18 days later - post op
My back looks so different. I still can't believe I don't have back fat anymore.
I have my two week apptment today with my doctor and I hope all is going smoothly. I hate this hardness I'm experiencing. I envy those who stop wearing their garment early on and feel fine, because I feel so weird when I take mine off! :/
More pics for progress!
These are size 10 jeans. :)
I still have big hips and legs so my pants still generally fit, but I love how much has gone down in my waist.
On the downside, I'm noticing the discoloration a bit more and I hope it's temporary. My doctor said it's normal in many patients but if it still didn't go away by 6 weeks he'd prescribe some cream for it. Blah.
End of Week 3 post-op, new garment
I don't want to deal with the damn crotchless garment anymore. It is such a hassle. Today I went to Target and bought a cami with compression (it's a spanx brand called "love your assets") for $26 and I LOVE it. It still holds me in nice and tight but I no longer have to worry about constantly undoing my crotch hook to pee lol
I also bought a pair of size SIX denim shorts. WHAT THE HELL
My hips and legs are still the same size so I could not believe these shorts fit me. I am amazed. I can't wait to go back to the gym.
More before and after - 3 weeks post-op
Picture on the left is me in February of 2015, and the picture on the right was taken yesterday. In the old picture, I had just started working out and weighed around 158. After mostly weight lifting for nearly a year, I gained 10lbs (ugh) and now weigh around 165lbs...yet I look smaller now. Dang.
Is this discoloration? Leftover bruising? What's happening here
The area around my belly button is still a weird yellowish color, like leftover bruising except I never bruised in those areas, and my sides are somewhat darker than the rest of me. One doctor said it looked like hyperpigmentation and now I'm freaking out. :( I bought cocoa butter to see if it helps at all.
Am I overreacting?
Four weeks COMPLETE
Time has flown by! Recovery has been quite the rollercoaster, man.
So I've finally completed four weeks, and I went back to the gym yesterday and put in about an hour of work. I woke up ridiculously sore this morning so I know I did a good job.
Swelling has gone down a lot, and I feel like most of it is gone. Any residual swelling I feel at this point is mostly in my back, but it's not too bad. Waist-wise I have gone from 31/32 inches (31 when I don't eat, 32 when I eat lol) to 29/30. My goal was 29 but since it's so early in my recovery, I'm now hoping to go to a 27/28. My surgeon really did an amazing job with the contouring. No exercise in the world would have ever given me this shape!
The discoloration is getting a LITTLE better. It looks better in the abdomen but my flanks are still darker. I've been obsessively applying cocoa butter and once my 6 weeks hit, I get to do VelaShape treatments (my office gave me 3 treatments for free) and I think that will help with the hardness which still remains in my flanks. My abdomen has softened up some, too.
This week, I booked a trip to Cabo San Lucas for the first week of June and I REALLY hope I look better by then. My main concerns are my little incision scars (four or five of them look particularly obvious) and the darkness in my flanks.
My sister asked me the other day if I felt the surgery was worth it, or if I would have preferred to just work out and diet obsessively to try and slim down. I didn't do this to slim down. In fact, despite my 15 pound weight gain in the last few years, my workout routine is what made me want to do this. I felt so discouraged that my waist wasn't shrinking, until I realized my body would never be shaped the way I wanted unless I got surgery. I did this strictly for contouring and therefore will never regret doing it!
I attached some progress pics. First pic is right before surgery, second pic is about 1 week after, and third is today, four weeks post-op. I'll also post a picture of myself from 2009 when I weighed 20lbs less and still had no waist.
20lbs ago, 7 years ago
Just wanted to show you how I looked at 145lbs, to show how wide my waist has always been even at my thinnest. I can't wait to get my tan back! lol
Waist Trainer for Week 5/6
I've switched from the maidenform garment to a waister trainer + compression cami. The garment was starting to feel kind of loose around my waist and it seemed to be making my dark areas around my flanks worse (I think because of the creasing when I'd sit). I'm going to wear my compression cami instead but incorporate the waist trainer as often as possible too. I wore it last night and it REALLY helped smooth me out!
Anyway, just wanted to share another before and after. I can't believe my eyes!
End of week 5!
Time flies!! Next week will be my last week wearing my compression garment, FINALLY. I'll probably still wear my waist trainer when I sleep just for the hell of it, but I'm so glad I won't have to wear any compression garment during the day. The swelling has gone down a lot, thank goodness. Here's another progress picture. Pic on the left was taken last year in the midst of my working out like a maniac, and pic on the right is me as of this morning with the same pants.
I'm midway through week 6, aka the last week I need to wear any form of compression. I've been a little easier with it this last week because my swelling is gone and I feel like I need to get my body accustomed to the feeling without it. I ran for the first time yesterday at the gym and it felt great!! You feel a tingly feeling afterwards but no hinderance whatsoever. My flanks are still quite hard and my tummy has gotten softer in the last week, but I still have two hard areas directly in front that feel more prominent after I eat. I don't have much of a problem with it because I know it'll eventually go away.
I haaaate the three scars I have right below my belly button! They haven't lightened up as quickly as the others. :( I notice other ladies don't have as many incision sites as I do but I wonder if it's because of the amount of work I asked for. Oh, well.
Anyway, so far I feel more than pleased with my results. I know my journey's still early but I've never felt so confident in my clothes. Everything fits so much better. I have about a month left before I go to Cabo and I'm hoping to lose around 7-10 pounds. Don't know if I can do it, but I'm sure going to try! :)
Last day of 6 weeks COMPLETE!
Yay!! Six weeks are officially done as of today. I've only worn my waist trainer at night or at home and I'm feeling much more comfortable going out without it, except for that weird tingly/burning feeling everyone seems to feel. I bought a few swim pieces for my Cabo trip in a month, but I'm hoping to buy some black boy shorts that go a bit higher in case my scars are still super visible. As you can see in the pics, the three on the bottom front are really dark :( Overall though, I'm excited for my 6 week appointment on Monday because they're going to take progress pictures. I'm going to ask the office to provide me with copies so I can share them here. I feel a huge difference in the contour of my waist so I can't wait to see the official before and after.
7 weeks/51 days post-op
16 May 2016
2 months post
So my swelling has gone down almost completely, and now I notice my upper back is a bit bulky compared to the bra roll my surgeon removed. It looks a bit weird to me but since I'm still working on losing weight, I assume it will all even out as I shrink. Other than some slow skin retraction in certain areas and the hardness, I'm still super happy with everything. I heal so slowly...I don't know who to blame for that lol DNA? Haha. Also, I've been getting little rashy bumps on my flanks and it typically only happens at night. They itch like hell!! Is this part of healing or something?
I attached some photos from a month post-op to today.
Two more before and after pics! WOW.
16 May 2016
2 months post
These will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. I seriously had no idea just how shapeless my body was before surgery. My surgeon is a damn miracle worker.
60 days post-op
25 May 2016
2 months post
This healing phase is so long and drawn out. I'm healing relatively well, I think. The discoloration has gone away and I've lost a few pounds (which might have to do with the fact that I've been eating healthy and exercising like a madwoman) and my waist is definitely more defined and slimmer. You can see my ribcage!! I haven't seen my ribcage in years LOL
Anyway, my only two gripes are 1) the area above my belly button is still hard and you can't really see it until I eat. For some reason that's when the hardness sticks out more, and 2) I have hardness on my flanks that looks kind of lumpy. In my picture you can see what looks like a dent on my flank but if you touch it, it's hard. All part of the healing, I guess.
I leave to Cabo on June 5 and I was told by a tech at Athenix (the clinic I went to) to try out Oxygenetix foundation if I want to cover up my scars. It has really good reviews! It's waterproof for up to 90 mins and is also breathable and promotes healing. I'm not sure why my doctor never recommended this. You can go on Oxygenetix's website and see where they sell it near you. Amazon sells it, too, but you want to get color matched first to make sure you're getting the right shade. I'm planning on getting it next week, so I'll report back.
9.5 weeks post-op
Just wanted to post some fitting room pics! Since most of the swelling went down, I feel like I have thinner skin on my abdomen or something. It definitely needs to retract!
Yay to being able to wear crop tops, though!
Just got back from Cabo!!
10 Jun 2016
3 months post
Man, what a trip. I got back last night and had such a blast there. I took the oxygenetix concealer for my scars but ended up not needing it at all. I was really good about constantly using sunscreen in my abdomen area so my scars didn't darken at all. I felt comfortable in a bikini, even though my results are only about 2.5 months along. I'm going to Cartagena, Colombia in August and want to also check out the Dominican Republic next
month so as my progress continues I'll probably see more skin retraction and better healing. Overall though I'm still very satisfied!
Some before and afters + healing progress
15 Jun 2016
3 months post
Anyone else experiencing something like loose-ish skin on the abdomen after lipo/swelling? My skin isn't saggy but when I pinch my tummy, it's like...thin skin. The area around my belly button still hasn't retracted yet and I'm wondering if I can do anything about it aside from working out.
Anyway, I attached some before surgery pics (at my heaviest) and a couple of one month-post op comparison pics to show how my healing is looking now at almost 3 months.
When I weighed in right before surgery at the doctor's office, I was 172 (UGH). I'm now a steady 165. Here are my before measurements vs after:
pant size 10
pant size 8
My goal at this point is to get UNDER 160lbs, ideally to 150lbs. The weight loss has been steady and slow, but definitely progressive. I'd love to be a solid size 6. :) ahhhh *dreams*
Another before and after! Sorry, I'm obsessed lol
15 Jun 2016
3 months post
Same jeans! First pic taken last year in September, second taken today. Size 10 jeans :)
27 Jun 2016
3 months post
I'll post some up close pics tomorrow. So far, so good.
Couple of close up pics at 3 months
28 Jun 2016
3 months post
I just want to see how I look in 6 months already! My flanks still have that residual burning sensation. Can't wait for that to go away.
Bikini Pics (15 weeks post-op)
10 Jul 2016
4 months post
progress is slow! I'd like to lose another 10lbs (currently 9lbs down from pre-op weight).
Feeling a bit discouraged and not sure why!
22 Jul 2016
4 months post
I've been feeling so bloated and fat these last two weeks. :( Weight-wise I'm still lower than I was before surgery, but I guess I just wish the weight loss happened more quickly. I don't know. I've been looking at myself in the mirror and I feel like I still look big! I don't know if it's my mind playing tricks on me or what. I took pics today to compare with some old post-op pics and I do see quite a difference in healing, but...ugh! I just feel large. I have no clue what's going on with me. Blah.
My flanks still burn when I get up from lying down. I wonder when that'll go away? It doesn't bug me much but I hope it's not a lasting effect.
17 Aug 2016
5 months post
I just came back from my trip to Cartagena, Colombia and had a chance to get a decent tan AND wear lots of bathing suits. As far as my progress goes, I'm down about 12 pounds and my scars are looking less noticeable with the exception of the three below my belly button. I'm still really annoyed that incisions were made there.
My skin still burns on my sides. Anyone else seeing that? I'm wondering if it'll ever go away. The skin on my abdominal area is a bit loose so I'm hoping that keeps tightening. I'm also noticed my stomach looks weird after I eat. I don't know if it's just the skin needing to tighten or if it will always be that way, but I guess I'll have to ask my surgeon next month at the 6 month appointment.
I attached some photos!
5 months today!
26 Aug 2016
5 months post
Tomorrow's my birthday so I'll try and post some pictures from the weekend by Monday (to show how different I look compared to last year's celebration), but I just wanted to show a few progress pics. I hope you're all doing well with your healing!!
New Before/After - size 6 jeans
I usually buy my jeans at Ny&Co and last year, I bought size 10s. They barely fit around my waist. I had to pull them WAY up! Anyway, a couple of months ago, I bought size 8 jeans and was so happy.
Today, I was going to buy more size 8s but realized they were fitting a tad loose, so I tried on the size 6 and they fit!! Ahh!! Same type of jean from the same store, two sizes down. I posted a comparison a while back of how big the size 10 fit me so I'll be using the same old photo for this comparison. Yay!!
Comparison pics - sitting down
13 Sep 2016
6 months post
As requested, here are some comparison pics of me sitting down in the same undies from a week before surgery in March. My recent pic was taken down after I ate dinner. The little lumps you may notice is just thin skin. I also included pics of me sitting down while wearing pants. I hope it helps! :)
27 Sep 2016
6 months post
Well, we've reached the six month mark and I went to my follow up with my surgeon today. He said the results look great, and encouraged me to do more abdominal exercises to firm up the skin. He didn't think it was necessary to have to go back in and take more out and said my gradual weight loss and exercise will improve the look.
I thought I weighed SO much more pre-op, but my file says I weighed in at 170lbs the morning of my surgery, and now I'm at around 160-161. Blah. I want to lose weight faster! If I can just get to 150, I will be so unbelievably happy and will never complain about anything ever again lol
Anyway, thanks for reading ladies! I'm so glad I found this community. You all have been so supportive and lovely.
Pre-op/Post-op Photos from the surgeon's office!
14 Oct 2016
7 months post
Preop and 6 months postop. I was finally able to get copies. I should also point out that my postop pics were taken AFTER I had eaten (since we know our tummies can look different after we eat).
Nine months post-op! (pic)
24 Dec 2016
9 months post
I've lost around 11lbs since my surgery, and 16lbs since exactly a year ago! The progress has been so slow but so worthwhile. This side-by-side pic shows the progress, imo. On the left is a pic of me in March and on the right was taken a week or two ago.
Old measurements (approximate)
I hope you all have a happy holiday and I hope your recovery is going well!
one more before/after
1 Jan 2017
10 months post
new year's eve 2015 vs new year's eve 2016
25 Jan 2017
10 months post
Here are some current photos of my scars. I used a flash on my camera, fyi. As you can see, the three bottom scars are still the most visible.