I am 29 with a healthy BMI and a healthy weight. ...
I am 29 with a healthy BMI and a healthy weight. I have always had excess stubborn fat on my lower abdomen and flanks. I have been going to the gym for the last couple of years and have put on a decent amount of muscle. As I am bodybuilding I don't want to do vast amounts of cardio and dieting as I want to put muscle on, but also get rid of the fat as well. I did try doing 40 mins cardio and dieting for a few months, but lost fat in all the wrong places - nothing seems to shift the lower stomach fat. I would have to diet severely to have an impact, but at the expense of losing my muscle gains at the gym. A real catch 22 situation. I had this belly fat since aged 18, after eating too much junk food and drinking at uni. It has stayed with me ever since, but hasn't grown as I am healthy now.
After looking online and discovering Vaser Hi Def I was instantly interested and made an appointment at The Private Clinic in Manchester in December 2015. I met with Geri who is lovely. All the staff are really friendly and easy to get hold of by phone and email as well. We talked about vaser Hi Def to the abdomen and flanks and also some work on my chest. She talked about a Fat Transfer (fat graft) to the chest to enhance it. I got costings with and without the fat transfer.
I then made an appointment with Dr. Grant Hamlet who talked through the procedure, examined me, showed be examples of recent work which looked great. We decided against the fat transfer, as I am doing quite well naturally and know my chest muscles will increase anyway at the gym. I did get a phone call on my way to Manchester (live 50 mins away) saying he is delayed in surgery and an hour delay. I was already on the way so went for a coffee to the fill time. Still had to wait more than an hour, but not bothered as obviously if I am in surgery I don't want the doctor rushing - these things happen and I know you need to be patient.
We decided on Vaser Hi Def to the abdomen, flanks and axillae for a price of £9500. This will hopefully give me a 6-pack, flaten my belly. I am so sicking of having to hold it in!!
I wanted the work done asap, but the earliest appointment was early March. Luckily I had a phone call from Geri a couple of days later saying they had a cancellation for 9th Feb, which is only a couple of weeks away. I said yes, and felt glad it could be done sooner than later.
I have been measured for my compression garments that I need to wear for 6 weeks after the procedure. Apparently there will be one drain on my lower back and two at the front. I have an appointment a couple of days after the procedure to remove those drains, for my follow-up and for some MLD massage. I might need more, but there is a mobile MLD lady that can travel to you that I may need to use. I've received my private prescription in the post for my antibiotics and pain relief. I have to take the antibiotics one day before procedure, and for five days in total. I received a copy of all the information, consent forms, anaesthesia information etc. via email and have read all that. Geri is very quick at responding with the questions I have.
My surgery is on the Tuesday, so I am off work the rest of the week. I originally had two weeks booked off after the procedure in March, but with it being bought forward I could only get that week off, so I am back at work the week after. I have managed to get another week off after that week though. I work part-time 4 hours a day at a desk job, so I don't think it will be a problem.
I didn't visit any other clinics for quotes - I read about Dr. Hamlet online so I was happy to go with him straight away.
Dr Grant Hamlet was very knowledgeable and I felt at east, considering some of the work he has done is on people with much more fat than I have so I am confident I will get the result I want.
If anyone has any questions at all please ask I am happy to help.
One day to go
Looking forward to having it done tomorrow. Started my antibiotics today. Going to get the train there and got a lift scheduled for afterwards.
Ok so I am up, had my breakfast just before 7.30pm as I am not allowed to eat 6 hours before and my appointment is at 1.30pm. Had my antibiotic this morning. Getting train about 11.30am.
9 Feb 2016
Day of treatment
Back home in bed. Ill do proper update tomoz. Strapped up. Ate some fruit. Pain not too bad as just took painkilers. Hurts to sit up. My parners been amazing. Slept on way home. Was well out of it
My appointment was booked for 1.30pm on 9th Feb. I had planned to get the train to Manchester at 11.30am. I had a call before 11am asking if I could come in earlier. I said I can get an earlier train but they said I had to have someone accompany me. They asked what time I ate, and I said 7.30am as you can't eat 6 hours before. We agreed to leave it at the agreed time. I later found out from the Doctor that the morning appointment just hadn't turned up! I don't understand why you would pay all that money and not turn up, but as I had eaten we had to leave my appointment as it was. I was led to believe you only need someone to collect you and stay 24 hours after, but they insisted I had to have a chaperone take me. Was slightly annoyed as my partner had to rush work and leave a bit early to make it and take me. But never mind. Arrived just after 1pm, about 1.30pm I went downstairs into a room with a bed. Changed into my gown, plastic slipper things, hair net. I had to wear these horrible see-through net paper briefs, which you could see everything through lol! My two nurses were amazing, they then weighed me, took blood pressure, temperature etc. Then the anaesthetist visited me to discuss the sedation and to sign a consent form. Then Grant came in, signed consent form, and spent a good while drawing on me with an array of different coloured marker type pens. I had to tense up pretty much all the time which was hard as I kept running out of breath. You have to breathe in deeply, then breath out and tense up, whilst pushing down on his shoulders as hard as you can. He also took many photos from different angles. He told me my left side was a bit bigger and stronger than the right side, which is quite common.
Waited a bit longer, then went to the theatre room a bit later. Took gown off leaving my really sexy paper transparent undies on lol and laid on my front with hands above my head. Had a cannula in my left hand, ECG pads on my back, oxygen mask on. Nurse cleaned my back with a really really cold solution. Grant came in, and injected something in my back. I jolted a bit as I didn't expect it. In my head I thought that oh crap he's making an incision and I'm not sedated yet so I panicked lol as I felt wide aware and not sedated at all. Anyway I don't remember anything after that until waking up in the recovery room.
My partner had been called an hour before to pick me up, and arrived at 8.15pm. We left the clinic to go home at 9.45pm got home at 10.30pm. Apparently I was flailing my arms a lot, so they had to sedate me more than usual. I remember my partners talking to me and the nurse asking if I recognised the voice lol. I was really really drowsy. I ate half a sandwich but didn't feel like eating. I wasn't sick, but felt nauseous.
The nurse ran through changing drains and tablets to take, and changing dressings etc.
Was asleep on way back, woke a couple of times. Went straight up to bed, partner put towells and pads on bed and waterproof sheet. Luckily we already have a mattress protector. Ate this fruit pot with grapes and strawberries etc the clinic gave me in bed. I was sat up at first, had antibiotic. Woke up at 12am and 3am. Wasn't that tired, I think I got all my sleep during the surgery. Changed to being on my side then back to back again. At 3am I was starving so my partner made me a brew and toast. In morning, partner changed drains as they were nearly full.
At the moment I am on the sofa sat up. The back drain is now nearly full, last night it must not have drained properly with the way I was lying, so now it is draining quite a lot.
Grant gave me a prescription for Tramadol as he said they did a lot of work of me and I would be in more pain that normal.
In all honesty, yes it hurts! Not when you are still like sitting up or lying down, it is moving around that kills. Partner going to Boots to get tramadol soon. I've had a brew, trying to drink lots of water, had a bacon butty.
My left hand where cannula is really hurts and is bruised on the left side, I think that I flailed my arm and hit something hard as it really hurts and is raised - my fault though haha.
The drains look vile and like blood, and I am trying not to look at them, partner been great looking after me and doing everything.
I have felt quite queasy/nauseous at times as well. Drinking cold water and closing my eyes helps get rid of it.
The corset thing is tight! I didn't realise it would be down as far like a pair of shorts and over arms as well. I have bigger arms than most normal guys as been gym, and it is tight. It chafes in the fold of your arm as well, but hey.
Any questions please ask!
Grant and the rest of the team have been amazing. Really lovely and helpful. I felt in real safe hands. I'm a bit gutted I have no photo yet but Grant did show my partner a photo. As the vest is on I couldn't tell you I feel any different or slimmer yet.
Ok so I feel much better than yesterday which was the first day after the surgery. Woke up just once in the night for the toilet (have a handy jug next to bed lol). Only comfy way for me to sleep is on my back. The Tramadol he prescribed has really helped with the pain and is much better than the codeine. Ok when I'm sitting still, does hurt sitting up or moving around but not as bad as yesterday. I'm going to stay sat upright most of the day. Fluid still draining off, did change all the bags yesterday and not as much coming through but they are still filling up a bit. Can't believe how much fluid comes out. It's a really dark red blood colour. The garmet is a bit uncomfy. It goes over your arms, and it is quite raw/sore on the crease on my arm opposite my elbow, so I have put plasters on the creases which has helped. Drains are coming out tomorrow. I had planned to drive, but I now have a lift which I think will be safer and better for me. I have my first MLD tomorrow as well and then can discuss how many MLDs need going forward etc.
Trying to drink lots of fluids, had toast for breakfast. Appetite coming back a bit but not massively hungry.
Really can't wait for a shower, feel really dirty and itching a bit now - not nice!
Day 2 Pics
Drains have already been changed, hope they don't fill right up as I only have one spare left they have me. The compression garment is really tight, haven't taken it off since 9th Feb.
Had a bad nights sleep last night. Woke up several times, felt cold but sweating all the same. Suspect my painkillers are having this effect, but I know to keep warm as they said it is normal to feel cold, and they did provide a foil blanket. Bad dreams too, which I think is the medication. Trying to drink lots and lots and going to the toilet a lot as well, but is always a dark colour. Not much draining out now. Getting them taken out today. It is now easier to move about and I can get myself up from a seating position without help as well. Feel sorry for my partner who is knackered, has been doing everything for me last few days and hasn't had great sleeps either.
I have felt like a turtle on his back who can only rock side to side and not get up lol.
Day 3 - Drains Out
Got a lift to the clinic. Saw the nurse who did wound check, removed the three dains, applied steri-strips to the drain wounds, and put dressings on. Also changed all other dressings.
Taking the back drain out and the front left drain didn't hurt or weep. The front right drain did hurt a bit, and was weeping fluid for a bit afterwards.
Apparently they will probably ooze fluid now for a day or two, so they have me lots of spare dressings to change.
Also took two photos, the first time I have seen the result. Lots of swelling and bruising which is to be expected.
Then I saw Joanna for my first MLD. It was very pleasant and I enjoyed it, didn't hurt one bit. Was finally a relief to take the pressure garment off for the first time in 3 days and get some air to my skin. Apparently the massages get more intense over time. I felt really sleepy afterwards which is normal I am told.
Joanna recommended I get Arnica Cream for the bruising, E45 Anti-Itch for my really really bad itching (still itching at time of writing this), and bio-oil as well. I went to Boots earlier and got these.
I am seeing Joanna tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday as well. I am not showering tonight, she said it was best to leave it until tomorrow night after the 2nd MLD. Already washed the bedding thinking I could shower tonight lol so never mind I will have to do it again tomorrow.
Got an appointment next week for wound check at the clinic again, by which time the wounds should have closed up. Got an appointment next month with Dr Hamlet for my followup.
I was told they removed 5 litres in total from me, and that most of the time was spent doing the defining work.
You can see in the pictures it is all swollen, so I am excited to see the improvements over the following weeks.
Slept ok last night. Still on codeine as still hurting with that initial get out of bed. Managed to drive ok for the MLD, although it is an hour away which is annoying as it takes 3 hours out of my day, and I am supposed to have 8 more to do! Apparently I am doing really well, wounds healing very well. Put some waterproof dressings on. Had first shower since Tuesday which was really good. My skin still feels numb to touch (like it isn't your skin), but I really smelt so felt much better afterwards. Waterproof dressings held up luckily. Whilst I was doing this put the garment on a 30 wash which it says to do and then on a low dryer setting. It still smells bad, like the sweet sickly fluid smell that leaks from you. Tomorrow it is going on a 40 wash with an extra washing capsule!! Put arnica cream on my bruises and bio-oil on my front. Hadn't noticed how red and sore my bum was. I think is from the awkward sitting on it all the time. It was severely itchy and I have been itching it as well. The E45 anti-itch cream worked wonders and not itching there anymore. Put a tight stretchy sports vest on before the compression garment so it is more comfy.
Appetite is back to normal had, had a really good tea and enjoyed it. Was constipated since the surgery but went for the first time this morning.
Feel really good about it now. Day 1 and 2 were not good in all honesty. I can now drive, bend down to pick things up etc., will be fine for work on Monday.
Got another MLD in the morning.
I will post pics tomorrow if I can. Joanne told me today that the way it looks now isn't like the final result at all, and it is swollen at the moment which will go down over time.
Slept well last night didn't wake up in night. Needed codeine half hour before getting up as really hurts moving about. Slept partly on my side as well for the first time, but shifting onto your side kills! Had plenty of paracetamol, no more codeine so doing well there.
Had MLD at 10am this morning went well. Joanne said healing really well. Wounds closed, apart from back on and one in groin, so still dressings on for another day or so.
Gave garment a 40 wash with two capsules and fabric conditioner. Had a good shower, arnica for bruises, then bio-oil all over. Cut sleeves off garment today as really hurting my arms.
Where the cannula was there is a big vein all hard and sticking out, will mention at clinic appointment on Tue, not red so not worried so much just really really sore.
Really happy with progress, new pics attached. Looking well in a tight vest, without having to suck belly in! Always wanted that so I am made up.
Changing status to Worth It now, light at end of tunnel I am so pleased with results so far.
He reshaped my chest it looks much better, sticks out more in a top.
Back to work tomorrow!
Woke up feeling better, slept straight through last night. Codeine to help again. First day back at work, nightmare as trousers didn't fit!!! Zip wouldn't go up, due to wearing garment etc. Had to wear coat, and said at work I'm keeping it on lol. Had MLD again, 3 hours round-trip in total grr, have to go the clinic for a wound check tomorrow, then next MLD in 2 days as can't make the appointment tomorrow or the day after. Need to go buy some larger trousers hopefully tomorrow.
Painkillers have reduced, apart from the codeine this morning only had 2 paracetamol before MLD. Probably have some before sleep as well.
Garment having another wash, still some smell on it which is horrible. Going to have early night and relax.
Yesterday was fine, slept fine last two nights. Work is hard as I am sat upright and the garment really rubs underneath my arms and there are red marks there and it is sore. It is uncomfy at work but I am only there until 1pm. I am off next Tuesday for a week which is good. No MLD yesterday or today due to time constraints when Joanne is available. I have another booked for tomorrow. Sleeping a bit more on my side when I want it, again this stupid garment hurts and pulls under my arms. As you can see from my back picture I am very broad with a large back which doesn't help.
Still feeling really happy and positive. No seromas as far as I can see. It is swollen which is completely normal.
Yesterday I went to the clinic and saw a nurse who said wounds have healed, no dressing anymore and doing ok. She said that during surgery I was flailing my left hand round a lot and the drip came out of my hand so they had to put it back in. I have a few veins really hard and sore on my left hand, and the veins are a good few inches as well. No signs of infection, but need to keep an eye on it. She thinks it will go down over the next week or so, but it is still as sore as when I had it done.
My bum is really red and itchy, due to the compression garment, trying to put creams on. Accidentally knocked scab off my back drain lol so bled slightly, should be ok.
Will post another set of pics next week.
Had an MLD yesterday, quite swollen on left side. Overall he did a lot more work on that side and that is where most of the bruising is. Supposed to have another MLD today at 4pm, but traffic was awful I had to turn around. Took me over 30 mins to travel 1 mile, so would have arrived far too late. Going for one tomorrow, so will probably do an extra one next week. Have agreed for 8 MLDs in total, then my partner and me will do a lot of massaging as recommended. Have an appointment with Dr Hamlet on 2nd March for a follow-up. Really happy with progress. Exceptionally happy with how he has reshaped my chest and given it a proper shape. Looking forward to going back to the gym in a couple of weeks, although might start doing some biceps at home next week a I have weights here. Quite swollen which is perfectly normal. The garment really makes you have lots of indents on your skin as well but it is so tight it is to be expected.
Haven't tried my jeans on yet, I'm betting they don't fit lol...oh well.
Feel so much better in myself. My bruising isn't really hurting to the touch now, although it looks a real mess on left hand side, and still showing on left chest as well. Using arnica cream everyday followed by bio-oil all over the top part of my body which does help. No dry skin or anything apart from top of bum on back, but using a good moisturiser which helps. Wearing a small tight vest underneath garment as well all the time. It really does give you all idents and lines from the compression which you have to see past when looking at your results.
I know there is a long way to go, can't really see much definition at the moment due to the swelling which is normal. Not been two weeks yet, but it is true that you look different every day.
Got my last MLD on Tuesday, then I will start with the self-massage.
Washing the garment every other day at the moment, just using one capsule as it doesn't really like fabric conditioner, on a 40 wash, then a low dryer setting and it is holding up fine.
Had my 7th MLD this morning. This was different, I had to lie down in a big body suit thing, legs in and went up over chest. The machine then inflates from the bottom upwards in a wave to do drainage. Hard to explain, but it was quite good, didn't hurt, and afterwards all the swelling had disapeared it was amazing, as it didn't seem to push that hard. I have my final 8th MLD on Friday, between now and then I am going to start self-massage which I haven't done until yet.
Feel great, can move about, bend down fine. Not on any painkillers anymore. Follow-up on 2nd March, see when I can get rid of this garment. Joanne thinks it is normally remove the foam part 3 weeks, and remove the compression 6 weeks later but we will see what he says. Been sleeping on my side sometimes, still not comfy because the compression garment pulls on the top of my arm.
Things are great, virtually no pain or discomfort now. Had my last (8th) MLD today, I was in that jumpsuit thing again but at a higher pressure. Afterwards the definition was really high. Continuing with self massage. Appointment next Wed with Dr. Joanna said you will look totally different again next week which is exciting.
I think it may have helped with me going to the gym previously, for Dr Hamlet to get the right muscle shape especially around my chest as I have a half decent base to build with, and with me being a bit muscly to begin with it must be easier for him to know how to shape it rather than guessing.
Still using Arnica and bio-oil every day. Had quite a bad bruising on my chest as you will see in all the pictures. For the first time today it looks as though it is fading which is great, I was a bit worried it might be a vaser burn but I think it is just bruising.
Washing my garment every other day which is good as it tightens up again. It doesn't feel as tight overall now, I think because the swelling has gone down.
After my appointment with Dr Hamlet next week I am hoping I can take the foam part off sometimes, and then I can go back to the gym and feel the pump again. Admittedly I never really did any work on my abs at the gym but going to do ab work every night at home.
Managed to do some bicep curls and hammer curls yesterday, and even managed some push-ups which surprisingly was absolutely fine in the garment. The only thing that hurt was my left wrist which still isn't great. Quite a few veins on the hand and running up left arm are raised and hard. I did see my own GP a couple of days ago who said it will be ok, perhaps a bit of Phlebitis which will go. She reassured me I am not going to get one of those blood clots you hear about that goes to your heart and kills you.
Definitely due a night out soon. Usually go out every Saturday but stayed in since in the op, can't wait for a good party!
Day 22 - Follow up with Dr Hamlet
Had my first follow up appointment with Dr Hamlet this evening. Everything going well, no seromas or other issues. He advised me to wear my foam vest for one more week, then just the outer compression garment for two weeks, which will be 6 weeks in total of compression.
He took the same amount of photos as before the procedure. It consists of many, moving round in a circle by 45 degree increments. I said I had the MLD treatments but that it was a three hour round trip. Geri said I should have contacted them to source somewhere nearer. I wish I had thought of that, I just assumed they put me with the nearest as I know there aren't that many in the North.
Dr Hamlet recommended I have a couple more massages, not necessarily MLD but deep sports massage would do, so they will contact me tomorrow with hopefully someone very near to me!
My next appointment is on 12th May, which will be three months.
It's good I can see the definition already. They said it is normal to be all swollen now because the body is repairing itself as it is quite a trauma. They removed 5L from me and spent a lot of time doing the detail.
As you can see in the attached photos Dr Hamlet took today, I had vaser on the axillae (under armpits) which has made my chest a much better shape, and there is a V at side of my back as well.
Really really happy I had this done and this is only at three weeks. I am really excited to see results over the next few months.
Day 22 - Update
Forgot to say my whole left side and left chest is more swollen than the right, which can be seen in the pictures at this stage. Did more work to that side, and that side was about 3 times as bruised as the right. This will all even out over the next few months.
They said you will change size again so don't buy too many new clothes yet in case.
Partner a bit gutted as I still have to wear this thing at night :(
Taken the foam vest off now, just wearing the outer compression garment. It's been four long weeks wearing the horrible thing. The outer garment feels much better and I have to wear this for another two weeks. Progress is good. A few times I have taken the foam off for a few hours and I find that just wearing the outer compression garment actually shows my lines and definition more for some strange reason. Particularly the line down the middle of your abs, it hardly shows with the foam vest but indents in much more with just the outer part.
Got a number for someone nearer for more massages but they haven't got back to me yet. Still doing self-massage once a day, my partner helps. Using bio-oil everyday still for the massages and putting all over my chest and back. Skin is good, no dry skin or anything, bruising pretty much gone although just slight bit on left side where more work was done originally.
First day back at the gym tomorrow - can't wait even though I know it will be hard going for a week or two.
I didn't go back to the gym last week, I thought I would prefer to start on a Monday and get a full week in. So today was my first day back and it was really good. No pain at all and didn't feel uncomfortable so I was pleasantly surprised. It was chest day today - it pumped up really well and looks so much better than before. I did some ab work at home later on as well which again was fine, didn't hurt one bit.
I also had a massage today with someone more local to me and it was good as well. Felt really relaxed and sleep after. It wasn't so much of an MLD this time, more an overall deeper massage which is what Dr Hamlet recommended. Still using bio-oil daily as well, and washing the outer garment each day now. I put it in the dryer which also makes it tighter which helps. It doesn't really feel that tight anymore which does slightly concern me, only because the bottom of my abs doesn't have as much definition as the top. But I'm not buying another one for the sake of another 1.5 weeks anyway. And I know that the swelling takes months to go down and will happen naturally in my body anyway.
Really really happy still, looking better everyday. So happy I am back at gym now to build on the good base I have.
Went to the gym for the 2nd time yesterday. Was really aching in the morning after the gym on Monday and really aching today. Not been going too hard at it, probably about 80% of normal, just to get my body used to it and my muscles.
My abs are really killing. I was hoping to do more ab work last night but no chance. Going to leave it a few days now and then try again - got to remember my body is still healing.
Can take all the compression off a week today, can't wait. Going out Saturday night so am going to take it off then which I am sure will be fine for a few hours.
Will post more pics over the next few weeks.
Everything still great, back to the gym full time now and able to lift as normal. When my abs are tight, the skin does feel really tight, a bit like a chinese burn on your arm but this is getting better over time as the skin settles. My skins has tightened really well, no hard bumps or seromas at all.
Didn't really do ab work before at gym, but doing ab work four times a week at home so hopefully build those muscles up a lot more.
I did go for one last massage last week which was ok. Doing some self-massage but not as much as I should probably really.
Feel totally back to normal, really healthy.
Looking back it was harder than I thought it was going to be. Those first few weeks were not great really, but it is 100% worth it!
3 Month Follow-up
12 May 2016
3 months post
Had my 3 month follow-up with Grant today. He was really pleased with the progress, as am I. I have been going to the gym regularly which has been great. No problems, sometimes a bit tight when I stretch but the skin will sort itself out over time.
I am retaining some water at the moment so he gave me a prescription to get rid of some of the water which is hiding a bit of the definition as you can see in the pictures.
I am going back in another 3 months for my final 6 month follow-up. Grant wants 6 months photos of me to put on his website which I said was fine - must be a good result if he wants to highlight it on his own site which makes me feel great!
I asked him why the lower part of my belly seems to stick out more, he said it is completely normal and I wouldn't have noticed it beforehand, and he got the same thing when he had it done. He said you will notice it more after a big meal, which is true. Getting used to holding my stomach in a lot more, which is good for the muscles and it looks better as well.