I've always been a huge fitness and workout...
I've always been a huge fitness and workout fanatic. I was a coach for a popular fitness DVD company. I did fitness shows and competed in the bikini division. I still love to workout often. Unfortunately due to some family issues, the depression hit me hard. I was making poor food choices and wasn't working out regularly. In turn gained 40 pounds. I was almost disgusted with myself. I started to workout again and lose weight but it was much harder. I quickly learned that the saying that once you hit a certain age your metabolism changes and so do how you lose weight.
If we back up a bit, when I did my fitness shows, I took 6th place. I just missed the top 5. After the competition contestants are able to ask judges what and where they could make improvements. 2 of the 5 told me that my hips and thighs needed additional work. This played over and over in my head for years. So when I started to workout again and it was even harder to lose that fat and tone up in that area, I decided to look into various procedures. My first stop was cool sculpting. After tremendous research and several consults, I realized that the pricing would end up nearly as expensive as Smart Lipo. So I decided I would not do cool sculpting. Then I started looking into the various methods of Liposuction. I went on a total of 5 consults.
My first consult was in Chandler, which is a good 45 minutes from where I live. The doctor was very nice. At this time all I wanted was inner and outer thighs and inner knees, but wanted to at least get pricing on my abdomen, hips and waist. During the consult the doctor kept insisting that I get a Brazilian Butt Lift. Although I had already advised of wanting to compete again, the insistence of doing that was too much. I don't need a bigger butt, I'm actually trying to shrink it. He advised he would be doing laser assisted liposuction but would also have water assisted available if need be. It would be done in two procedures and under local anesthesia. Their cost was $16,500. (chin and arms were not in this quote)
My second, third and fourth consults all did their procedures at surgical centers. They all did regular liposuction but also had laser and water options available during their procedure if needed. They would use general anesthesia and their costs ranged from $10,000-$15,000. Oh and one of these doctors even "highly recommended" I get my breast augmentation (from 2002) redone. Which I am not just ready to do yet. When I do that, I will go back to my original Surgeon.
My 5th consult was with a doctor in an Old Town Scottsdale location. I actually found him from another Real Self'er. I called and made my appointment for a consult and it was for a week and a half later (most doctors consults were a month out). The week of my consult the office gal called and asked if I wanted to go in sooner, they had a consult cancellation. I jumped on it. At this point, I was ready to make a decision whether I would do this surgery or not. I went in for my consult and the office was amazing. The staff was just wonderful. I went in and they brought me to watch a video which was the doctor explaining the procedure as well as showing the tools and how the procedure worked. This doctor primarily uses Smart Lipo. He also specializes in Smart Lipo. He ONLY does liposuction procedures. He does not do every other plastic surgery option. This helped me view patients before/afters and also allow me to understand that he has done over 10,000 procedures and even on famous people. I met with the doctor and was able to point out my areas. At this time, it was inner, outer thighs and inner knees but I did ask him about my abdomen and waist area. He did pull my skin back (in various areas) so I could see what it could potentially look like after the procedure. He has a surgical center attached to his office so that would reduce some of the pricing because that's a big part of the other doctors fees. He answered all of my questions and talked with me for a good 45 minutes. Then I went and talked with the office gal who discussed cost and payment options. The cost would have been $8,000 (cash price, 9K if I financed). The surgery would be done in two phases (two sep days about a week apart). We also went over dates and how far out she was booking. I had one more consult so I advised her I was going to wait until after I went on that consult.
My 6th and final consult was with a doctor in Scottsdale. One of my best friends used this Doctor twice for liposuction, I had been referred to by several people and was also someone in which another "RealSelf'er" had used and highly recommended. He was a little more old school with his procedure. He used the regular old school liposuction procedure. I would be going to an out patient facility and he recommended me stay over night at least for 2 nights because of how many areas I wished to have done. Total (no chin or arms) would be $14,000.
I thought about everything. I went through everyone's paperwork and pamphlet's and documents they provided me. I slowly started narrowing it down.
The doctor I was most impressed with was consult 5. This is Dr. Hall with Infini Cosmetics. The fact that all Dr. Hall does is liposuction, had the biggest impact on my decision. Yes, price was a big part, BUT it was not the final decision maker. I was ready to make the deposit for both surgeries. The deposits are $1k to hold the dates. The balance is due the day of the surgery. I went in and made my deposit and set the first procedure for 08/29 and the second for 09/06.
3 days Pre-op (8/26)
I'm traveling this weekend so I made sure everything was ready to go before I get back on 8/28. I am so excited yet very nervous. There are a lot of thoughts or fears that go through my mind that scare me. The good thing is that this is done with local so I will be awake. Although that also scares me at the same time.
These are my pre-op photos 3 days pre.
Monday 8/29 at 8am was what time I needed to be at my surgery. I have everything ready to go. The office I chose has a gal they use who can drive you round trip. She knows how to handle everything. She's been working for Dr. Hall for several years so she knows exactly what to do when she gets you home. I live fairly far from the office (which is in Old Town Scottsdale) so the gal picked me up at 6:45. The traffic at times was horrible so we made it to the office about 7:35, which was perfect. I wore very baggy black sweats, an old bra and a cheap t-shirt and a very loose thin zip up sweat shirt. I even brought my warm cozy socks since they suggested it. Everything was from Walmart so it was all cheap stuff that could get ruined. The bra I wore there got soaked from the procedure so I threw it out and thankfully I brought an extra.
They got me ready by giving me my "cocktail" to help me get a bit woozy. I then went and did measurements and my before photos. Once back into the surgery room, Dr Hall came in and did his drawings. I was starting to feel dizzy and a bit tired, but I think my anxieties took over and wouldn't allow me to doze off at all. He got me ready and then I laid on the table and the next thing I knew, he was injecting the lidocaine all around my tummy. Yes it stung, but I have to say throughout the process, I had to have them inject more because I could feel it quite a bit. It was not the pressure I was feeling it was more along the line of a sharp pinch/pain. I had my abdomen, my waist, hips and then at the last minute (while in the surgery room), I added my chin. I felt like my abdomen took forever, but it really didn't. He had me turn on my sides (one by one) and then he went back over me and had a look at me and did a few more times in my abdomen area (because he's a perfectionist). Then he numbed my chin and did my chin, which took less than 5 minutes. At the very end, I was shaking so bad because I was cold and I was filled with the lidocaine. The nurse stood me up and because I was so shaky she had to have me hold her shoulder. I was already "draining" so she had to wipe me down before she helped bandage me and then put on my compression garment. She showed me exactly where to put the pads. I was sort of out of it and could hear my words slurring a bit since the "cocktail" kicked in. She helped me change my bra and throw the soaked one out. Then put on my sweats and flip flops. 30 minutes prior to me being done, Dr. Hall had them call the gal that does the medical rides and tell her I would be ready in 30 minutes. After I was done dressing, the nurse had me eat crackers and have some water to ensure I wouldn't throw up from all I had taken and the injections, especially with how badly I was shaking. Since I am having my inner and outer thighs and inner knees done next week, my compression garment goes from just below my knees to just under my boobs/bra. So with that being said, I bought an extra CG. I highly recommend it regardless if you have additional areas or not. I will explain why in my post surgery update. Pre-Op Day of photos won't upload, I'll try again shortly.
Photos on Pre-Op Day
These are the photos from my pre-op day taken at the Surgeon's office.
After surgery I went home and got in bed and passed out. I was just spent. I forgot to cancel my house cleaners and they were there when I got home. I had to ask them to do everything except my room. When I got in bed I realized I needed some gatorade (the office recommended at least 1). So I text my friend and asked her to grab them and also some tiny bandage squares for my chin. I added my chin very last minute so I didn't have the few items needed for it post op. My friend quickly came over (life saver) with some gatorade and some bandages.
I went back to sleep.
I slept for hours then got up to pee. I have a full CG on with just the crotch open because I am having my thighs and knees done next week. So going to the bathroom was odd. I felt like no matter how I sat I would end up with pee on me. Thankfully it didn't happen. :-)
I lifted my shirt and noticed how much I was soaking thru so I changed a few of the pads that were reachable. I didn't want to do too much right away. I got back in bed. I woke up had some fruit and water and meds and went back to bed. I slept a LOT for the first day.
I ended up waking up at 1:30am (Tuesday morning) and really felt dirty and needed to take a shower. Thankfully I was allowed to take a shower after 12 hours. At this time, it was about 14+ hours. So I started to undress my sweatshirt and shirt and sweatpants. My CG was pretty gross. This is where I am beyond thankful for the extra CG. Although the doctors office said you can put something else on while washing the CG, I knew that would not work for me. I am so particular about things that I knew I would want to wash the CG and make sure the stains were out and let it air dry (if you put in dryer it may shrink). I unwrapped, taking off all the layers of padding. I could not believe how my stomach looked. I was in shock. 14 hours Post Op and I was already seeing a great difference. I used Hibiclense when I got in the shower. I cleaned up and then redid all my padding and such under my 2nd garment. Once I was good, I then started to rinse out my 1st CG in the sink to get a lot of the reddish stains out. Then I washed it on delicate/gentle with an extra soak. I got back in bed and started to fall asleep. I woke up again about 6 and then hung up my 1st CG to air dry. I have to say, Having 2 CG's was a lifesaver. I have read a lot of reviews and people say they swell up a good deal while the CG is washing. I also hand rinsed my chin garment out and put that in the dryer on delicate. My photos are of 14 hours Post Op.
Post 4 days to 1 week post
Days 4 to one week were pretty decent. I didn't take pain killers at all, not even ibuprofen. I was sore and felt bruised but nothing more. I did start my 1 mile walks on day 2 and on days 4-8 I walked 2 to 3 miles each day. I stopped "leaking" on day 2. On Saturday, which was 5 days post, I went to dinner with friends. My Dr office said I could use a spanx CG instead of my full post op CG. So I went to Kohl's and purchased a maidenform CG. It was on sale plus I had a coupon so it worked out great. Since it was just for my waist, abdomen and hips, I purchased the one that looks like a one piece bathing suit but has the boobs uncovered so you can wear your own bra. It worked great. Although I did feel like I pushed myself a bit much. I was out for 5-830ish. After about 2 hours, I started to get sore. Once I got home and back in the full post op CG suit, I felt MUCH better.
1 week was Labor Day so I was ok. I didn't do much, so I felt ok.
Oh... here is something that is HUGE. It's not a pleasant convo but I'm going to be blunt and honest for those to plan ahead. The constipation from the medication and pain killers (even though I only took a few) was INSANE! It was so bad. I started taking dulcolax from 1 day pre-op. 2 pills each night. By Friday, which was 4 days post, 5 days of no poop, 10 laxatives in, and finally had to use a suppository. It was dreadful. By the time I finally was finally able to go (about 10pm Friday night), it was horrible. I actually went through about an hour of massive pains from the dulcolax I took Friday evening. It was almost like labor pains, not even kidding. This is the normal Dulcolax I was taking. Then about 10pm it was non stop. SO with all that being said I did a lot of research for my next surgery and found a better method! I went and got the WOMENS PINK DULCOLAX! It's for sensitive tummies. I will update with my next surgery but I will also tell you now, it was easy the second go round. No pain and no constipation. I cannot tell you enough how much I recommend the pink Dulcolax. Do not think you won't get constipated, it WILL happen. plan ahead!!!
Pre-Op for Second Surgery (I&O Thighs, Inner Knees and Arms)
9/6 was my surgery for my inner and outer thighs, inner knees, and arms.
I've attached my pre-op from my first surgery, and my pre-op from my second surgery (which is 8 days post from my abdomen, waist, and hips). You can see the drawings on me to know which for each surgery.
I was nervous because I knew what to expect. The nurse made the first lidocane stronger due to the fact that they had to up it during my first surgery. So this time they wanted to start out easy. The nurse took measurements for my 1 week post of my first surgery and also weighed me. She warned me that I could weigh more due to all the fluid they put in me. She said it's very common and almost always the case. She weighed me and I was down 5 lbs! I couldn't believe it and neither could the nurse. Then she measured my waist and I was down 6 inches. At one week, both the doctor and the nurse said they couldn't get over how fast I was progressing. They also noted that I had nearly zero bruises. Mind you, during week one, I went from slightly purple to yellow to no bruising. I did pay the office for the stronger arnica pills. Which I truly believe was what helped me with my bruising.
I have to say, the small incisions and injections of the lidocaine was nothing in the thighs, knees and arms... Even the surgery was a piece of cake compared to the abdomen, waist and hips. It was not only faster but I didn't feel a things. Only once did I feel it slightly so I had him inject more lidocaine. I don't even think it took him an hour. He did my thighs first then my arms and then went back and did some perfecting on my thighs. Which made me feel good that he wanted it to be perfect. I was a little out of it so I don't remember much after the surgery until I got home.
I used the medical driver the office uses, again. She is amazing. When we got home, she made sure my bed was covered and I had water, gatorade and all my meds next to me. I had blankets in my dryer and she grabbed them and put one on me and folded the other. She made sure I had pillows under my feet and also had my remotes (I don't sleep solidly on pain meds so if the tv is on I will wake up watch and doze right back to sleep). She was amazing. I couldn't thank her enough. She offered to stay if needed but I didn't need it. She will arrange to come back and help with bandages if need be, but I was ok and had a friend coming the next day to help.
***If you have your arms done, you WILL need help with your first bandage changing *** I will update more on this in my post op postings.
9 Days Post Abs, Waist Hips & 1 Day Post Thighs Knees and Arms
I was much more sore from arms, knees and thighs. I think it's because if you are a side sleeper you can't sleep on your side comfortably due to the arm and thigh incision sites. I am a stomach sleeper so after my abdomen I couldn't do that... had to side sleep and now I can't do that. So I back slept... not fun! I did take pain meds for 36 hours post on this surgery. It was more difficult for me to move around and get out of bed.
I kept my feet up after this surgery. What I forgot to mention in a prior post was that my legs started to swell like crazy on days 3-5 post after my first surgery. It was almost like pregnancy legs. I even had kankles!!! It was HORRIBLE. Yes I was drinking a lot of water, but it was all the meds and walking. So I started to put my legs up on day 4 and every single night since I have done that. I will continue this for at least 1 month post op. I do not like the sight or feel of swollen calfs OR KANKLES! Gross! I do recommend putting your legs up, no matter what part of your body you have surgery on. Between surgery and meds, it's needed.
I woke up 1 days post (surgery #2) and really needed to change the pads. I soaked right through my CG and my sweats. I had to wash everything. Thank goodness I had 2 CG! Again, I highly recommend two. I only purchased one arm CG. I brought a big trash bag into the bathroom for changing my pads/bandages. I took my body CG off and removed all my leg bandages and pads then I decided to remove and change my arm bandages. Once I took off the arm CG I knew I would need help getting it back on. I text one of my friends and she said she would be right over. Then she said give me 10 minutes. So I quickly got in the shower to rinse off with hibiclense. I love this stuff. It smells decent too. I was DEF super sore and numb/tingly feeling from the surgery. I got out and took a few quick pics then started to put my full body CG back on. The legs were easy to do, BUT my elbows were leaking so it was an adventure to prevent the dripping from my elbows while putting my full body CG on. By the time my friend got to my house, I was ready to put the arm bandages on and my arm CG. The arm CG is a pain in the butt and truth be told, it sucks! I can tolerate sweats and the full body CG that goes from abs/waist down to below my knees but the arm CG made me super hot... almost unbearable. Living in AZ doesn't help either. Plus it's harder to get away with jackets or long sleeves in the summer out here. Thank goodness my friend came over and helped. I would have never been able to do the arms by myself at 1 day post. It was no bueno!
I posted a photo of 9 days post on abs waist hips and 1 day post on thighs knees and arms (but you can't see my arms.
I started taking the pink women's dulcolax the evening of surgery and today (1 day post) I was able to go to the bathroom just fine. No pain, no cramping and easy flow. NO issues.
11 days post abs hips waist, 3 days post Thighs, knees and arms
Tonight I went to get a bite to eat with a friend. I was feeling much better and felt like I could put on some real clothes! I put on some stretch jeans over my full body CG. Oddly I was able and they were loose, even with the extra layer. I put a 3/4 sleeve top on and it used to fit snug and its super loose now. It covered my arm CG except I did let the little lace ends hang out from the sleeves. Needed a little bit of girly look to my outfit. We just went to a local bar & grill and had a turkey burger with a salad. No bun no fries no crap. Although the wings looked so yummy. I was good.
All week I kept my legs up, no swelling of the legs, calfs or ankles. Thank goodness.
Arms are sore but nothing major. I just feel bruised. My abs waist and hips are feeling great. Where I felt bruised on my back from that surgery, it's no longer feeling bruised.
I am starting to feel really good and the results are looking good. I'm still super swollen, I can see it and feel it, but I know I have a long way to go. I cannot wait to see my final results but this is really testing my patience.
I am beyond happy with my Surgeon. he's amazing. I almost didn't go to him for a consult but read and saw another girls posts and results and we chatted a bit via PM on real self and I went to see him. I have to say it was THE BEST decision ever going to Dr. Hall at Infini Cosmetics. I could not be any happier. He is such a perfectionist and super nice and made sure I was doing ok through out the entire process. The entire staff was amazing too. I highly recommend him.
I will continue to post updates and photos.