Finaly Took the Plunge - Scottsdale, AZ

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I have contemplated lipo for years and finally...

I have contemplated lipo for years and finally decided to take the plunge March 15, 2013. Here is a recap of my experience thus far hoping it will help others who are on the fence.

About me: I’m 42 years old and have always carried by weight in my legs, butt and hips, however, I’m considered well proportioned with an athletic build. Once I turned 40, the pounds packed on and no amount of exercise and diet would help…so rather than run with scissors, I decided to give lipo a go and hope for the best. I have never given birth (daughter is adopted) and my skin seems to be healthy which I believe will help in the overall results. I’m 5’6” and prior to turning 40, my weight hovered around 140 pounds. The day of surgery, I weighed 161.5 pounds…ugh, where did those lbs come from???

Consultation: I met with a well known and respected doctor in Scottsdale, AZ and discussed attacking several areas including knees, outer thighs, stomach (upper and lower), flanks, back, and arms. Phew – that is a lot, but I figured I may as well go for the gusto while on the table. Some of the above areas were not that chubby, but the pricing seemed fair and my goal is to only have this done once. The cost for the above was $6,500 and included garments and all appointments. Meds were extra and with insurance came in around $20. We did discuss the inner thigh, but because my legs are muscular, he said I would never have that “line” between my legs like the skinny chicks do (greaaaaat), so he discouraged me from doing that area as there wasn’t a ton of fat to work with. I also pleaded with him to chop off my bubble butt, but he said “No way, women are paying 8K to have your butt.” Darn Kardashians! I do appreciate his honesty as it was clear he wasn’t out to get all of my mula. I was the one that talked him into doing my knees and my arms – he thought they were fine as well, but I wanted them GONE.

One thing I liked about this doctor is he did not charge extra for larger areas – i.e. the stomach covered the lower, upper and off to the sides. Years ago I had a consultation with a different doc and they charged the stomach as two areas, plus charged extra depending on the amount of fat removed.

Pre Op Appointment: Pretty straight forward with joyous pictures of my fatness and instructions for the day of the surgery and beyond.

Surgery: After being hooked to the IV, etc., the doctors (2 which surprised me) came in to draw on me like a chalk board….so here I am, stark naked in front of the 2 docs and my hubby while they are poking and drawing and commenting…UGH! No fun, but an obvious step and funny now that it’s behind me. They really listened to my concerns about my hips and knees. After saying bye to the hubby, 2 nurses, soaked me in surgery “juice” with popsicle looking sponges. Talk about freeeezing cold. The nurses were super sweet and let me ramble for distraction purposes while they filled me in on their personal experiences with lipo (nice to know they had been thru the procedure). Before I knew it, I was on the table and out (put totally under) for the near 2 hour surgery.

When I woke, I was super cold – shivering uncontrollably and 2 nurses were putting on bandages followed by the garment. I don’t recall feeling pain, but I was so fricken cold and I could not stop my teeth from chattering – no fun. I’m told the shivers were from the anesthesia and they went away in about 5 minutes…I think. Overall, this doctor and his staff were amazing. They had 6+ people working with me for the surgery and the facility was top notch.
First 24 Hours: I wasn’t in a ton of pain and ate some crackers on the way home. I got SUPER nauseous a few hours later when we walked back to the bedroom and thought I was going to lose it. I experienced that same feeling one other time in the middle of the night when walking to the bathroom. Having some cookies nearby to get my blood sugar back up helped a ton. I stayed on top of the pain meds and overall, felt much better than I would have thought. On the pain scale of 1 to 5 with 5 making one want to jump off the cliff, I haven’t been past a 3 (unless you count the trip to the docs office which I’ll explain next).

Days 2 and 3: As expected, I was swollen and looked like the Michelin man. My ankles were especially blown up and I could see bruising on my arms. The rest of the body was packed into the garment like a sausage (now a link vs brat). I really wasn’t that sore and could manage most things on my own. Gotta love the opening in the garment for going potty. Speaking of that and likely TMI, I didn’t have a BM until day two thanks to the help of Milk of Magnesia. They have you drink ½ gallon of water prior to noon each day to help with the swelling and I also started taking Arnica and Bromelain pills which may help with recovery (swelling and bruising). Not 100% sure if they work, but certainly can’t hurt.
Follow up appointment: The nurse removed the garment and although I was swollen all over, I could already see a difference in my mid section. She cleaned me up a bit which was not fun – tender, cold and the smell of surgery was icky. I quickly became nauseous (not something that happens to me often) and asked for crackers. She left me in the room and thank God I sat on the chair as I passed out and hit the floor! Crazy! All I recall was feeling like I was going to lose it and the next thing I know, I’m curled up in a ball on the floor and my head hurts. It felt like I was there for an hour and I recall wondering if they had asked me to take a nap. I had a huge raspberry with carpet indentations on my forehead. The doc came in, they checked me out, and I was fine. The removal of the garment with the other factors caused my blood pressure to drop. So – my biggest piece of advice thus far…make sure you are not left alone if you are feeling woozy.
I received a new garment including sexy looking sleeve garments that hook in the back like a bra. I will wear the new garment for 4 to 6 weeks (next appointment with doc is April 22) and the arm garments must remain on for 2 weeks.

Day Four: I’m feeling even better today. Limited pain and will likely go off prednisone and switch to Advil. I work out of the home so I’m back to the grind today. I’ll continue to note progress as the swelling goes down and will post pictures in a few weeks. Thus far, I have no regrets and feel everything was much easier than I would have thought. A couple things to note:
- They removed 5 lbs of fat (holy crap) – that does not include the tumescent fluid
- I had read somewhere that lipo patients should avoid coffee. Doctor said that was crazy and coffee is fine to drink (whew)
- I leaked a bit for the first few days, but as of Day 4 it has pretty much stopped
- Buy the smallest bag of Depends – I only used 6 or so and now have a ton left over
- Have some cookies nearby to help when you need a blood sugar boost
- I was able to shower after my first exam (3 days after surgery)
- Keep your legs elevated

Day 6: Are we there yet? I must admit, I am...

Day 6: Are we there yet? I must admit, I am already "over" these garments and ready to be done. Here is the latest:
- The swelling is going down. I weighed 10lbs (yikes) extra the day after surgery and I'm now back to my original weight (morning of surgery). Since they removed a sold 5 lbs of fat, I imagine the scale will adjust in my favor as time goes on. While I did lipo to lose inches (not lbs), it's a good gauge as to how much water I am retaining. I was concerned prior to surgery that I would be huge for a long time after lipo and therefore clothes would not fit, etc. I tried on my favorite (fat) jeans the other day and they fit like that's good I guess.
- The pain is manageable. The good news is I have very little discomfort in my arms and knees. My back and mid/belly are not so friendly. My back hurts the most...a mixture from the surgery and sleeping in odd positions. I had the hubby rub Biofreeze on my back this morning and it helped a TON. Take stock in the company now as I'll be buying a boatload. I didn't ask the doc if it was ok, but frankly can't imagine it would hurt as long as we stay away from the incisions. One thing, my back feels numb quite often (not from the Biofreeze) and it’s is making me cuckoo.
- Moving around like my 82 year old ma. Wow - picking things up off the floor is a chore as is getting into and out of bed. While a little easier than Day 3/4, I'm still tender and stiff.
- I suggest doing your shower in the morning vs evening as you're likely to be more swollen at night. The garment will be easier to put on and you’ll save depositing quarters into the swearing jar.
- Garment issues. I have a one piece garment that starts mid calf and turns into a bra type fit at the top. I have separate sleeves for each arm that need to be worn for 2 weeks. I keep running into an issue with the area they lipoed (is that a word?) under my arms as it's not covered by the garment and tends to bulge because the garment is tight. The doc said to watch out for this as it could end up looking worse than before surgery. I'm now wearing a separate strap that goes around my torso and Velcros in the's about 3" wide. I'm really uncomfortable with the garments today so taking a 30 minute breather with the bra straps down and the sleeves on, but unhooked.
- Other stuff... along with the discomfort of the garment/back pains, my other big beef relates to going to the bathroom. BM's are hard to come by and when they do, I fear the garment holes will not line up. Anyway, putting it out there to see if I'm the only crazy that worries about this.
- Positive thoughts - I have very little appetite and the leaking is really slowing down. Also, while the bruising is not pretty, it's no big deal as you're covered up with the garments.
I took some more pics this morning and will post soon...although, frankly, I didn't see a big difference in the before and after so may wait for more noticeable results.
Happy body vacuuming!

Day 11 and I feel human! I must admit, this past...

Day 11 and I feel human! I must admit, this past weekend (days 7, 8 and 9) I was starting to second guess lipo and hating the garment. Thank God I didn't run with scissors as yesterday was a really good day and today is even better. What helped? I'm equating the step forward to “movement and fresh air” as I finally got out of the house over the weekend - went shopping, ran errands, went to a class, etc. I’m not ready to run a marathon, but I actually feel like working out LIGHTLY with walks in the neighborhood.
Other stuff – the leaking stopped (around day 7) and the swelling is starting to go down. My hubby pointed out how much thinner my legs looked this morning and I can really see a difference around my knees. My mid section as a whole also feels much smaller and tops that were tight before now fit well and in some cases, loose. I took a bath for the first time yesterday (a bit earlier than recommended) and the daily showers also help soothe the body and mind. I’ve been stretching in the shower and feel that’s helping with mobility.
I’m also taking the Arnica and Bromelain pills plus applying the Arnica lotion to my arms and knees as they will be first to see daylight. The bruises are starting to fade, but I have a feeling the thigh bruises will be around for some time as they are BLUE.
From an eating standpoint, my appetite is minimal and I’m trying to stick to small meals. I’ve lost 4 lbs since surgery…but I’m concerned about muscle loss so will start lifting light weights and stretch more in the coming days.
The main area that bugs me is my lower back. It’s a bit swollen and sore to the touch. I don’t think they did much lipo there so image it’s from sitting/laying in odd positions. I continue to apply Biofreeze as it takes the bite off the pain. I’ll take pictures in a few days and post… far now, I’m still saying lipo is worth it. :)
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