Smart Lipo is Worth It

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I have my outer thighs done on 09-24-08. I also...

I have my outer thighs done on 09-24-08. I also have scheduled my arms on 09-30-08.

So, all together it is $5,350 ($3,000 for the first area, $1,800 for the second area, plus $500 (the arms require skin tightening, and it is a bit extra). There are not too many doctors in Colorado, I have checked 3 months ago, and nobody would do Smart Lipo at all. So, it is a pretty new procedure for the state. My doctor is very professional and charges the way less than some other doctors in Denver area. For instance, I called the other office for approximate pricing, and they said that it would be $8,500 for the same areas.

The procedure:
The surgery itself was not too bad, but I was not able to fall asleep during the procedure, just my curiosity, and I also wanted to be aware of what is going on. I'm overweight (height 5’5, weight 198lb, age 35). My normal weight is 175lb (well, it is normal for me) and I have never been skinny, but I gained some for the past 2 years. I have been working out a lot lately and eating healthy; my goal is, at least, get back to my previous weight. The areas I chose for the surgery wouldn't change easily, especially the arms.

After I passed 30th b-day, it has been very difficult to reduce the weight, and I always was unhappy with my arms, to the point that I won’t wear anything with no sleeve. On top of everything I quit smoking (3 months ago). If you smoke, and you want to do Smart Lipo, please please please quit prior the procedure!! At least, quit smoking temporary until you heal (your skin would not heal as well and as fast if you keep on smoking).

It is painful, and do not believe anybody who says that it can be done over lunch. I wouldn't recommend doing more than one area at a time, and the doctor I went to does not practice it either. It takes around 3 hours for one area. So I'm going to have my arms done next week on Tuesday.

The doctor sucked around 3 pounds of fat of me!!! I’ve set a record as my doctor said (well, never have I been a skinny girl )

The draining was not too bad either (just the day after surgery). Next day after surgery I went to work ( I work in the office, so I don't have to move much, and I did not have a bad draining either, only from one incision on one leg).

It hurt a bit when they numbed me and also when the doctor was doing my superficial fat. Afterwards, it is uncomfortable to lie down, and then getting up as well. It is hard to get in the car (if you have an SUV). It is all bearable, but a bit uncomfortable. The skin is numb and feels like it is not you. I almost have no bruising (see the pictures attached). Do not forget that you won’t be able to drive home after the procedure – arrange your ride). In my case, I was able to get up from the table, and walk on my own, and I was not dizzy at all. (I ate the full breakfast at 5 am!!!! To be able to fill ok after the surgery – it is a must).

I do not have any swelling! I even called the doctor’s office to find out when I’m supposed to start swelling. The nurse said if I’m not swelled by now then I won’t swell at all. I guess I’m lucky! I measured myself the morning before the surgery, and measured again the day after the surgery – 2 inches are gone from each thigh. I did not lose much on weight yet, but the improvement can be clearly seen on the pictures (they ears from my sides are gone) My doctor said that it is ok to walk. So I started walking next day after surgery, it was 30 minutes, today I will do an hour. No power walks though, just a regular walk. I also started to massage the areas with my fingers – very gently. I put Neosporin on my incision to make it heal sooner.

Now, on day 2 after surgery (09-26-08) I fell better, my right leg hurts more for some reason, no draining (just a little bit from one incision on the right leg). I also have a small dent on my right hip (size of a quarter). Remember, there are going to be irregularities (as my doc says), so do not expect it to be perfect. That dent fricks me out a bit, but I think it will get better as I intend to walk every day and massage the areas every day as well. It is also advised to get lymphatic massage later (my doc said after 3 weeks of the procedure would be fine). I’m allowed to go to the gym after 2 weeks (2 week restriction for the outer thighs and 1 week restriction for the arms).

My doctor prescribed me antibiotics Cephalexin 500 mg – 2 pills twice a day 40 pills (I intend to finish them all), pain killers – Vicodin or such –take one for pain every 4 hours – 40 pills ( I personally took only 3 pills, one before the surgery and then 2 at home), Triazolam ( for better sleep and depression) - 20 pills (I only took 1 before the surgery per my doctor), and also Celebrex – take 1 pills twice daily for 10 days (Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain or inflammation) – I will take all 20 pills. Beware that not too many insurance companies would pay for it.

Find out everything in advance so you have time to figure out if your insurance pays for it or you need to pay it on your own. In my case, there was no time left and I bought it for my own money ($93 for 20 pills!). Your doctor has to call your insurance and confirm that you need the drug. In case your insurance wouldn’t cover Celebrex – the best way to buy it would be on the Internet, it is as twice as cheaper then in any pharmacy (in my case – I did not know better at a time, and there was no time to think about it either). Your doctor should also give you some samples of Celebrex as well (mine gave me 12 pills). Also I got Arnica pills to help with swelling and bruising from my doctor.

Compression garment:
I also wear the compression stockings 24/7. My doctor gave me a script for them. Be aware that local store do not usually have compression garments with 20-30 compression on stock, and it takes some time to order – do it in beforehands. For some stores you need to make an appointment so they can take your measurements (ankle, calf, and thigh). In my case, I called more than 20 stores trying to find the hoses. They are costly as well. I got Mideven brand for $70, and I also ordered Jobst stockings from the net for $80 to have two pairs. It is advised to wear compression stockings for 2 weeks, so it would be handy to have a second pair.

I think that I covered all important points; I just want others to know more before the procedure that I did. If you have any questions, please e-mail me, I would be happy to help you.


Updated October 4, 2008

I added up some new pictures. The arms are much better now, but the drainage is more excessive then it was after the sadle back surgery. Other than that, I'm still happy with the results, but now I have a bit of swelling on my thighs, maybe I overwalked :), but sweling is a part of the process, so no worries. I started to massage my thihgs with a little massager i have at home, and planning to get some lymphatic massage next week.

Boulder OB/GYN

Excellent staff and service, experienced doctor.

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