Smart lipo my experience San Francisco, CA

Sort by:
*Treatment results may vary

Why I did it: Hello all, I wanted to write this...

Why I did it:

Hello all, I wanted to write this review because so many of these reviews helped me prep and prepare for my procedure. Let me start off by saying I decided to try SMART lipo for myself and no one else. Anyone that would look at me would see a normal sized (115 lbs) 27 year old. However, when I look at myself I see someone who grew up being a competitive gymnast for 10 years and after quitting (when I was 11) has struggled with being able to keep that muscle after the teen years, college, and now as an adult! Now I know that it's impossible to keep the muscle tone of when I was younger, but as I have aged and been an avid gym go-er all my life I've always had areas on my arms and legs that for whatever reason I just can't sculpt.

So for this reason I decided to undergo SMART lipo on my under arms & outer thighs. My two "trouble" areas.

Day of:
My appointment was 9:30AM. It began with taking pictures and a small dosage of pain medicine and a muscle relaxer. When the doctor arrived he marked the areas that he would work on and asked me several times to point out what I disliked, making sure that the those were the areas that were properly marked. The procedure started with a few shots of numbing medicine followed by the translucent fluid that completely numbed each area. Note - these areas will swell - so don't be alarmed.

After I was all numbed up - it began. I couldn't feel much. The incisions and initial clearing of the path were the laser would go in felt like pressure only - no pain. I felt the laser a few times - felt like sharp popping... But after telling my doctor he quickly fixed the area and said that the laser may be transferring the pain. He then numbed the area a bit more and after that, I never felt it again.

The sound of the laser melting the fat reminded me of popping bubble wrap. As the laser heats the fat - it pops the fat cells. He did a few passes on different settings (one for superficial layer fat and another for deeper layer).

The suction part came after - which again I felt nothing. It felt more like a weird pressure than anything. I was mesmerized and kept watching the tube fill up with pink fluid (aka fat!). Overall he took out 1300 cc's - about 3lbs of fat from all areas combined.

Once both areas were finished, The doctor cleaned the areas and put one stitch in each incision. He also gave me a garment to wear (a vest w/ sleeves and a spank-like bottoms). He gave me a few pain pills to take home and I scheduled a visit for the next day to come in so they could clean me up & check the incisions.

Night of:
I felt a little sore - like I worked out at the gym super hard. I was pretty numb still and was nervous for the numbing to wear off in 6-7 hours while I was sleeping. I put a trash bag on my bed (even though the told me I shouldn't leak through my bandages). They also gave me puppy pee pads (ha-ha right?) to line my bed. I put those on top of the garbage bag.
I was pretty exhausted and fell asleep fast. I took a pain pill before I went to bed to help me get comfortable. A little toss and turning but overall, slept OK.

Day 1:
I woke up feeling very sore but surprised by how it was tolerable. I'm very swollen but that is to be expected. Most of the translucent fluid is still in my body and will metabolize over the next few days. Brusinging is minimal - but I expect that to get worse over the next few days (day 2-4 are to be the worst). I took 2 extra strength tyelenol upon waking to help manage the pain.

Follow up appointment: I got a new garment (a tighter one) and got cleaned up. The doctor looked at my brusing and was pleased and said I may not bruise that much (yay!). If I do bruise he mentioned to not be alarmed that is was a natural part of the process. Black to Blue to Yellow = healing! He prescribed me pain meds in case I needed them for the following days (but i hope to not need them). Before I left she scheduled my 1 week follow up appointment where I will get my stitches out. My doctor also adds in Ultrasound therapy for free (wow!) to help with healing. We may start that next week if bruising is minimal. That will help with scar tissue and aid in healing me faster.

I actually walked home (about 1.5 miles). Yeah i know - maybe kinda crazy, but that shows that the pain isn't' that bad. I got home and took half a pain pill and make sure to eat lunch. Trying to stay light (chicken salad - no dressing) and low sodium to help with swelling.

First shower:
Took a shower on the first day too. Felt great to be clean. I showered with Dial soap because I want to make sure that I stay as clean as possible. If you wearing the gament a few days in a row - i think showering with dial at least helps to make sure that you're fighting any germs on your body. When I got out I put Anica cream all over my outer thighs and arms as it will help with swelling and bruising. It's been a few hours since I've showered and I feel less sore - perhaps the Anica cream really helped.

Tonight I plan on taking half a pain pill before I go to bed and tylenol in the AM. Trying to keep the pain pills minimal and using them for night comfort only.

Tips so far:
- Night of take a pain pill if you feel restless.
- Day 1: you'll be very swollen, try to not feel discouraged. Your body has gone though a lot!
- Drink PLENTY of water. It will help flush your system out. (I have a hard tie drinking water, so i add a little cranberry to mine for taste).
- Get as much rest as possible.

That's all for now. I'll update you all with my progress. Hoping this helps someone as all our reviews helped me.

Day 2 PO - Just call me swollen sally

Wow.. do I feel bloated! I feel great overall pain isn't that bad and only took half a pain pill today as I went back to work. I sit at a desk o I made sure to get up every half hour to walk around and shift my weight on my chair (as recommend by my doctor).

I would say the pain is about a 5 on a scale of 1-10 (mostly from the garment feeling very tight). Each shower I have taken I've continued to shower with dial to keep clean and smothered on Anica gel to help heal the bruising. I havent bruised really at all considering all the photos I have seen and my doctor mentioned I'll likely not have a lot of busing as most should be here today/ tomorrow.

I am very swollen thought and feel very uncomfortable in my garment My stomach seems to be full of fluid - which I can only assume that my body is in shock still and overwhelmed with the fluid from the numbing fluid and my body's own fluid that it's sending to help heal the treated areas.

I sure hope by tomorrow I feel less "full". I almost wonder if I should take a diuretic to help flush my system out - but I'm to afraid there is enough going on that is may do more harm than good.

Does anyone know of what I can do to help flush this water weight out faster?

Not for the weak stomach but here's 1300 ccs

The aftermath 1300 ccs

Buy this for bruising

Walgreens for about $10 however your doctor should give you samples

Legs progress 2 days po

Day 4

Not much has changed. I have really started to see the bruising go down since my heavy use of the Arnica Gel. I really believe it helps. I fit into my jeans (and by fit I mean smushed) today. It's discouraging to see them be so tight at the waist when they used to have so much room and I didnt even get the stomach done on my stomach. I can only assume this is still from the bloating and swelling. I pray that this at least goes away within 2 weeks!

I can tell a difference in my arms by this point even though they are still swollen. I can see a some definition in my legs through the swelling so I would very much like to fast forward to a month from now and see the difference.

Worst part so far.... This damn body suite. it's sure getting OLD and it's become harder (by day 4!) to be more creative in hiding it or finding outfits that mask it. Not to mention it's so tight!!!

Patience is a virtue....

Day 5 - The worst day so far.

Welp I feel discouraged. My jeans are so tight, nothing fits, I swear my face even looks swollen and this garment officially sucks.

1 more week of being a prisoner to this evil contraption - the garment. Maybe then, I will be in a better mood....

After reading all the reviews I know it's all going to get better with time, so trying to calm myself down and say to myself "a month from now you'll feel better... 5 months from now you'll be elated." - wish my mind would listen.

My first follow up appointment is Wed next week, I'll get stitches out and hopefully the green light for ultrasound therapy to speed up the recovery process. Fingers crossed!

I'll update you all after my visit - until then I will try to enjoy the weekend in my sweatpants.

1 Week PO - trying to stay positive!

Today was the first day that I've felt like I can see some results though the swelling. Having read a lot of the reviews on here it's helped me keep my head up when all I want to do is say "this sucks... nothing fits... and why did I do this?!"

I agree, the first week (and likely more weeks to come) will continue to be an emotional roller coaster. One day you will think you see some results, then next you may wake up sore and swollen, and another day the pants that fit yesterday won't fit today (or even and hour later).

I'm not a patient person, so this has been a good test for me. I have my follow up appointment with my doctor today and I am excited to hear how he thinks I am healing.

I will say bruising is starting to fade on my legs - more yellow tint now vs the black and blue from before which I know is a good sign. The bruising on my arms is almost 100% gone - but they are still very swollen (or at least I hope they are b/c they better get smaller!).

TIPS from week 1:

1.) Sleeping has gotten more comfortable and I would say as a tip - invest in a memory foam mattress cover. They 100% are helpful and make the world of difference while trying to get comfortable sleeping. they seem to absorb some of the pain and you wake up feeling less stiff. You can buy them on Amazon for much cheaper than a dept store - just be sure to look at the highly rated ones!

2.) Drink hot water and lemon before sleeping and upon waking up. Helps flush our your system.

3.) Buy a Neutrogena face scrubber at Walgreens for $20 ( it's like a cheap version of the Clairsonic) and massage your treatment areas when you shower ( 5 mins on each area). it will help flush out your system, help with swelling, and help with scar tissue/ healing. Each time I have done it, I've felt less soar and the swelling always seems to go down and STAY down after I shower.

Keep you guys updated. Hope these help someone out there!! Feel free to reach out with questions!

Outer thigh

1 week out

1 week po

Tick tock tick tock.... patiently waiting

Today marks 10 days (I believe) PO.. yesterday was the first day I went for my Vaser Shape treatment to help with recovery. I must say, initially I had my doubts that anything but time would help this process, but today I woke up feeling less sore and swollen. My doctor includes 2 Vaser Shape treatments with my procedure and says that they will help with speeding up the recovery. After 1, I think he may be on to something! I can't say that I SEE the results, but physically I do feel them.

On another note, I've started to notice that both my arms and legs are become harder and little knots under the skin are starting to form. My doctor mentioned yesterday that this is normal and over time these areas will get soft and eventually go away. The Vaser treatment did seem to help as they are noticeably smaller this am.

I also purchased a hand held massage device with a heating attachment (so it heats up as it massages you). Last night I massaged each area for 10-15 mins and this morning I would have to say my swelling looks to be a bit better, so I will continue to keep doing this at least once a day. I think that it will help with the scar tissue and hopefully keep the knots, lumps, and bumps from continuing to form.

Does anyone else feel like the days and weeks go by so much longer during recovery?! I feel like these have been the longest 10 days EVER!

Day 11 Update

Overall a lot of the same. I am seeing the swelling start to go down which is a relief. I encourage those of your going through the healing process to go out and purchase a good hand held massager. I got one at Walgreens that was about $34 and I use it nightly to massage any lumps I may feel under the skin. When I wake up in the am I feel less sore and they appear to be getting smaller.

I've also been able to graduate to a stage 2 garment and am much more comfortable. Bruising is really at a minimum at this point and I have my 2nd Vaser appointment Wednesday next week (yay!).

Haven't really been taking any Tylenol anymore either. Slowly improving!

Day 12 update

Today was my first day back at the gym. Took it easy still a little soar especially in arms so I just did light jogging and walking for 4 miles. Tried to do some sit-ups but still too sore so I didn't push it. Still not seeing a difference which is discouraging. Monday will be 2 weeks po.


Find some bumps forming under the skin on my arms. Anyone have a similar experience? Massaging this daily and have an appointment Wednesday with my doctor so he can take a look. Hoping these will disappear over time! I will post a photo. The one bump is right where incision was on my arm and is the only one that is really bothering me bc it's so noticeable!

Today is a good day!

I must be veering around the recovery corner (or at least i hope so!). Today I feel the best I've felt so far. I had my second Vaser Shape treatment last night and my doctor still thinks I need 1 more. I found out the the lump in my arm is normal (thank god!) and that it should decrease in size over the next few weeks. I look less swollen as well as I noticed my jeans fit a little better this AM and I dropped about 2 lbs of the 5 i've seemed to magically gain during this healing time.

I've been exercising over the past week or so very lightly. Walking to and from work (about 2 miles) or walking to the store (about 4 miles there and back). Living in the city makes some exercise necessary because it's how you get around.

I hope to start running again next week.

This evening I am going to get a hyrdocolonic to help flush my system. I am a big believer that it does your body good to have them once and a while. As awkward as they are - you feel a million times better after all is said and done. With all the extra fluid in my body and meds I've been taking it will be nice to hit the reset button.

I've also started to add lemon water with a hint of cayenne pepper into my day to day to help flush my system as well.

Anything I can do to be proactive and help my body heal, count me in!

Meh... today is more of the same.

Well back to normal swollen self. However, yesterday was fun when I did feel better. Hopefully more days like that are to some.

Thanks to some reply's on here I'm learning more and more this is all a patience game. I do think doctors should educate patients more on the "aftermath" and do a better job informing you of what a journey this will be.

My doctor said "2 weeks bruising will be gone and 4 weeks you'll see some results" that was about the extent of what I got. Reality is that YES - that is true... but I wish they showed day-by-day pictures like you can see here and really understand what it is that your body will go through.

I also wish you could edit your posts on here when you notice you've spelled something wrong! Rawr.

unless there is a way.. and I am not seeing it!

Today is a good day!

Feeling better today. Feel like my "detoxing" may be speeding up the recovery process and flushing out my system. Eating clean and drinking lots of water (with a hint of cayenne pepper & lemon) seems to be the trick!

Anyone notice "tummy" issues after smart lipo?

I've noticed the last two weeks my stomach has been very upset. No change in diet or anything like that. But seems like no matter what I eat / drink my stomach is cramping and making lots of trips to the ladies room (for lack of wanting to give to much detail). has anyone else experienced this?

I am wondering if it's just your body's reaction to getting all the extra fluid and left over "liquidized fat" that is left in your system...

Any insight?

Final vaser shape treatment today

Going in for my last vaser shape treatment today to help with the bumps. Starting to see swelling go down on my arms but no sign of any difference on my legs. Lots of bumps on my legs so a little worried. One more week and it will be a month post. Will post update photos then!

Starting to see results!

Over the weekend started to see swelling start to go down! (YAY!). I will take some photos tonight/ tomorrow to post update pics. Seeing it more in my legs vs arms. Still tender in some spots and have numbing feelings in certain places in my arms - but overall that is to be expected still at this stage.

I am also starting to go back to the gym this week and begin running again. Hopefully can do about 4 miles tonight.

Last Vaser Treatment - now just time needs to pass

I wen tfor my 1 month checkup with my doctor and he was happy with my results so far. He didnt take pictures and said that 2 months would be when he would do so. I need to take some so apologies for not having them in this update. Overall minimal results because swelling in going down. My doctor however, says he can see the change already in my arms and legs. (he doesnt look at them everyday so maybe that is why). he said I will continue to tighten and that overall my arms will take more time because they reacted with more swelling than he expected. Overall looking forward to another month of recovery.

On a side note: I also got Drysport while I was there. I regularly get botox injection in for forehead area once every 3-4 months but this time I was persuaded to try drysport. I must say I am a fan. You can see results much faster and it's said to last longer (and BONUS it's cheaper!).

Still bumps and swelling

Slow recovery anyone else still swollen and bumpy at this point!!

Minimal results so far

Still noting seeing much progress. :( wondering if this was all worth it.

Reaching my 2 month mark!

I have a doc appointment coming up this Saturday to talk about the results so far. I must say this far out I expected to see more results than what I have. I still feel swollen and some numbness around my arms are still evident. I have not been wearing my garment, so perhaps the doctor will tell me that I need to continue to wear it. I'm looking forward to seeing him and what he thinks of my progress, Will keep you all updated on what I hear!
Serenity MedSpa

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful