Time to get my body back :)

I am 52 and have been struggling with the dreaded...

I am 52 and have been struggling with the dreaded menopausal jello tummy for a few years now. No matter how much I work out, everything looks great except for my tummy and waist. Sooooo, I decided to take the plunge and get micro laser assisted liposuction at Sonobello. Procedure is soon, and I'm SO excited to get started :). I will post on my progress :)

Day 1 post op

Well, I'm Day 2, and everything is going fine so far :). I read the plethora of experiences out there regarding the surgery itself and pain levels, and they were all across the board, so I figured that mine will be what it's going to be and not worry too much about it :). The numbing part was really not a big deal at all (this was the part I was nervous about). It felt like getting shots at the dentist office. During the procedure, there were a few spots that were painful (7/10), but Dr Buzzas stopped and put more numbing agent in,, so it was completely tolerable, So much so, that I wouldn't hesitate to get it done on other areas. Tonight will be the first big test, in that I can take s shower. Wrestling with the compression gear should be interesting! haha I will post pictures soon :)

First Day post op reflections...

Pain levels will definitely vary per person, but regardless....take your medication on a regular schedule, even if it is a smaller dose. I've had 3 times now since last night where I slept really hard and went 2-3 hours past the time I could have had meds , and WHOA MOMMA that was a mistake! I haven't had to take the full dose, but when I've taken on time, I've been able to do the walking that they recommend post surgery no problem. Just a thought for ya :)

Day 3- Feels like I'm turning a bit of a corner :)

Slept really good last night, and able to go longer between pain meds. Showered last night, but taking the compression garment off and putting it back on was quite an undertaking, so I think that I might sponge bath it for a few more days :) Here are some pics that I took last night out of my brace :)

End of post op day 3

Able to use only Advil for the bulk of the day, but the pain med is calling my name tonight! Haha :). Pleased that I could do this much activity today, though. The love/hate relationship with the compression garment continues....while it is definitely not comfortable, I can't imagine being upright without it, and it's really making a difference on my swelling. I plan on wearing this or a step down version for as long as needed. Will post again at my 1 week follow up on Friday :)

Day 4- A pivotal healing day

I've been trying to be more active today and walking more- sweating like crazy in my compression garment, but the heat actually felt really good on my back! Thought that I would post day 4 pictures as things are really taking shape :) Friday is my post op for this stage, and Saturday, I'm finishing up with the final stage: my arms and armpit/upper bra rolls. So excited at the success of this transformation so far!

The Price of Overdoing....OUCH!

Well...this week marked the first official family vacation for the summer, but I figured that I would be resting a lot, and so it shouldn't impact my progress over much.... Everyday has brought a little bit more energy and less pain, and my body pretty much told me when it was time to stop. But today, the packing things up to leave and the 3 hour drive home pushed me over the edge.. The drive itself was a little uncomfortable, but I had my compression garment on, so I felt supported. Trying to get out of the car when we arrived home, however,...ooooh, not good! Sharp, nerve like jabs on my left side, extra swollen all over, and I couldn't fully stand up for several minutes. Okay body, I'm listening! I can feel that certain areas are hardened, so I'm starting some light massage on them and am going to schedule lymphatic massage after my 1 week follow up. Sigh.... a bit of a set back, but I can still envision the outcome - just gotta exercise common sense, accept the help being offered, and be more patient! :)

Get thee to lymphatic massage!

Day 6, now, with some doozy zingers and burning pain from my left waist. Oddly enough, this is the side that didn't bruise, and looks the most contoured. I have been doing some self massage with Arnica, but decided to have lymphatic massage today to get some of the swelling moving and hopefully get the pain down. Still sore, but I can move around with less sharp pain since the treatment, and my tummy doesn't look or feel as lumpy. I can just feel that this is really going to help get me through these next crucial weeks. If you are having a similar problem, get thee to lymphatic massage! Mind as well give your body every advantage when it's in the early stages of healing :)

One week down!

I had my one week post op recheck at the Portland, OR Sonobello office and I'm healing great! I still have a "lead apron" feel in my waist and abdomen, but the sharp zingers are much much less today! Down 5 lbs and 1 inch each on my waist and abdomen, and my second stage compression (without those pesky clasps and zippers!) got ordered today. I also had my pre op consult with Dr. Sobel, who will be contouring my upper arms and front/back armpit and outer shoulder blade area tomorrow. Time to get some sleep!

Some updated pics- still swollen at the end of week one, but making progress!

One more...

Padding the compression garment is the key!

At my one week appointment, I commented about how my most sore and swollen areas were where the garment rippled and the clasp part dug into my skin when I was either sitting or laying on my side. I was told that using some of the extra drainage pads to cushion those areas might help until my second stage garment arrived. I feel so stupid for not thinking of that, but WHAT A DIFFERENCE it made! I slept like a rock, no sharp side pains, and the swelling is down this am. For anyone reading this, if you are struggling with this, just pad up the brace in those tender spots- it makes a huge difference!!!

Pre op arm and front/back bra roll pics

Today is round 2/2: Time to contour the arms! I haven't worn sleeveless tops in years because of all of the extra "spreadage" of my arms when they are down at my sides. Here are some before pics- I will update daily on this journey as well :)

Transformation complete!

So this morning was my arm, front bra and back bra roll procedure. I think that the fact I just went through this a week ago with my abdominals and flanks was a big plus, because I was pretty relaxed. Sara, my nurse, and Dr. Sobel at Portland Sonobello were awesome, and the procedure went really smoothly. It's now 5 hours from the procedure , and interestingly, I'm just sore in my armpits. Will post pictures and updates as the days progress ????

Day 2 post arm/bra roll procedure :)

Just as is was after my first procedure (abdominals/waist), each day brings something different. Today, I was fully expecting my upper body to be so sore that I would be moving my arms like a T-Rex, but aside from some soreness in my armpits, I pretty much could use my arms overhead, and do my usual household things without any problem. What I wasn't expecting was increased swelling in my whole torso again... Ups and downs.. But knowing how dramatic one week of healing time can be, I'm optimistic that by this time next week, I'll be showing nice progress once again :). Getting into second stage garments should help too!

Another silly revelation...

These compression garments take some maneuvering, but my silly revelation last night was that it is way more comfortable to wear the upper back/ arm vest UNDER the abdominal bodysuit one with the shoulder straps! My swelling is down again this morning, yippee ????

The back to work challenge!

Day 10 abdominal/waist and day 3 post arm and bra rolls :). The next big test was returning to work today ( I'm a physical therapist and on my feet most of the day). It also happened to be my long day (11 hours) Made it, but with some serious swelling in my abdominals where the garments met. I couldn't take anything stronger than Advil but I survived. Tonight, it's off my feet, change to the abdominal binder instead of the body one, and a pain pill to get things calmed down. I'm learning how important even compression is, because just laying down and switching to more even compression, the swelling already looks better. It was looking kind of scary, so I'm thankful! I can't wait for my second stage garment to arrive! It should be much more user friendly :) As for my arms, they are doing great - didn't hurt at all in spite of doing a lot of manual work today. Each day should get easier :)

Day 12 abdomen/waist, day 5 arms/bra rolls

Thought that I would post some updated pictures- the swelling seems to be more of an issue these past few days because of my return to work, but I can feel that the garments are getting less vice like :).

My second stage garment has arrived!

I've had a love/hate relationship with the compression garments, but know how necessary they are for a good outcome. Today, my battle with clasps and zippers is over, thanks to the arrival of my second stage garments :) No zippers, which from what I had read in other posts, means it's a little difficult to put on. Well.... were they ever right! It was a mother bear to get over my hips ( I was doing the kicking the legs out to the side while pulling up on the garment dance in the bathroom) but once it was on, it was, and still is, very comfy and it offers nice, even compression :). Between that and lymphatic massage, I should be looking and feeling less lumpy very soon ????

2week post abdominal lipo pics :)

The second stage garment doing its job- no bad compression spots!

First time back at the gym

Now 2 solid weeks post abdominals/flanks and 1 week post arms and feeling good enough to try working out. Kept it at about 50/60% of my normal and focused more on stretching, but it felt great. Had my own personal sauna going on with the compression garments! Haha Lymphatic massage tonight again to help that swelling move on outta there :)

Pulling out all the stops...

Well, made a decision today to bite the bullet and get an all in one compression garment (inclusive of built in bra and sleeves) mid thigh. For anyone doing both upper body/arms and abdominal/flanks, wrestling around with two separate garments is a royal pain in the buttocks. Padding helps, but I'm still getting indentations where the vest slips up/ cuts in. I also bought lipo foam to help give smoother compression to my abdominal region, and I'm signed up for lymphatic massage 2x week for the next three weeks. Seems like a lot, but I want to give my body every advantage to heal properly with the best result. From what I have read, the ultimate outcome would be the same at the 1 year mark, even if I didn't do anything extra, but adding all of these other things in will get me the results much sooner in my recovery. So, pulling out all the stops and we'll see if it proves to be true. I will update once I've had a chance to wear the new garment for a few days :)

The body is a fascinating thing

It's been an interesting journey so far, feeling all of the changes and stages of healing, the ups and downs... Today is day 9 post for my arms/bra roll procedure. It started out like a walk in the park- with only soreness in the armpits and very little bruising, and with full motion overhead. By day 7, I started to feel the tightness when I stretched overhead. Today, I felt more swollen and felt and saw "banding" of tissue in my armpit that has taken lots of rubbing tonight to feel remotely normal... It would be easy to get discouraged, but my PT self is reminding me that my body is just trying to deal with all of this early swelling. So for anyone reading this that started out feeling pretty great and but now is having days where everything suddenly feels tethered down, hang in there! The body is working overtime to set things straight ????

Banding/cording in armpit area

Just chronicling this for my own reflection later and to hopefully help someone else who is has had arm/ bra roll area liposuction. :). Starting at day 7 post op, I noticed that my overhead arm motion felt tight and restricted pulling off a shirt overhead, washing my hair, etc. I'd stretch in the shower and it would get better relatively quickly. At days 9 post op, a defined cord or band was forming in my armpit area (it looked and felt like a tendon) plus lumpy hard swelling in the armpit itself. My physical therapist mode kicked in and so I started self lymphatic massage at home 2x a day for about 10 minutes in addition to my 2x week ones at Massage Envy. I stretched by either laying down with the arm overhead, elbow bent or standing and sliding my arm up the door jam as far as I could go. No lies, it didn't feel pleasant, but within a minute or two, I could feel it gradually releasing. I know that scar tissue typically doesn't fill on lay down until 4-6 weeks post procedure, but this felt very scar tissue-ish, so I took no prisoners...lol. The mornings from post op day 7 were the worst, as my arms were down more at my sides when I was sleeping. This morning, post op day 12, the morning stiffness is less, but the area is achy. I've included a picture of what the banding looks like (it's actually better than yesterday) From all that I have read, it's par for the course, and it will go away. Again, I'm going for sooner than later so I'll let you know if all of the extra stuff is worth it :).

Updated arm/front and back roll pictures - now 13 days post op

Subtle changes happening as the swelling is going down. Banding still present, but arms don't feel as stiff today. Wearing my all in one compression garment (includes bra and arm sleeves with the full body, mid thigh) that just arrived yesterday. 20 (yes 20!) little hooks to clasp, which takes a little time, but it is surprisingly comfortable :). I feel like I have my superhero suit on - I'm Lipowoman! Lol

The Isavela full body compression garment with arms

Just wanted to give a two thumbs up to this garment. If you have had lipo in the arm/bra roll AND torso/ abdomen and are struggling with the two separate garments not playing nice with each other, this is a comfortable alternative. It is open crotch (more so than my original post op garment, which helps). True to size - my waist at my post op check was 31 inches and the recommended large sizing was spot on. A little squeezie on my arms, but I think that once the swelling goes down a bit more, it will be better :). Lipo foam is also a keeper! It's only as big as a sheet of paper, so keep that in mind if you are ordering for more than one area.

3 weeks post abdominal / waist lipo

Doing great - no pain in this area, and middle area by belly button is gradually getting less rock like. Can really start to see the contouring! Just had lymphatic massage, and my whole body feels lighter.....ahhhhhh... Can't say enough wonderful things about that! Down from 157 lb pre op weight (I'm 5 2 1/2) to 148.4 lb this morning :) Working to get down another 8 + lbs by my 3 month post op check.

The one month mark at last!

Here I am, 1 month post abdominals. I would say that swelling is about 65-70% down at this point. Went to the gym yesterday and did not wear my compression garment, with major unhappy swelling later that afternoon, so I've still got a ways to go. Happy with progress so far, though :)

Arm update - Almost 5 weeks post

Arms have made a nice turn around this week, with decreased lumpiness and banding. Can still tell that there is tightness and swelling, but I can envision the finish line :) In Vegas this week for fun - wore my compression garment on the short plane ride (2hrs) but still had some swelling...ugh I am going to try to wear something compressive when I can, but it's hot, so it might just have to be a more swollen few days...Still happy with progress, though!

Happy vacation happenings :)

In Vegas this week and bought some new smaller sized (8) shorts for the trip. Just put them on this morning, and I was thrilled to find that they are too big- whoohoo! Between losing my belly and waist with the surgery and working out, I'm down 2 sizes! I was a comfortable 10, really uncomfortable 8 in pants before the surgery, so doing the happy dance in Vegas today :).

The price of traveling...

Just returned from Vegas and 106 degree temperatures! Gave it a good try, but opted not to wear anything compressive during the majority of my stay because of the heat. Between that and the flight, I feel like someone pumped up my body and I'm S W O L L E N - ugh! Looking forward to resuming lymphatic massage Thursday and getting back on track :). Never thought I would be saying this, but it felt pretty wonderful to put the compression garment back on! Even at 6 weeks, I can feel that my body still has some healing to do. Time for another dose of patience :)

Major turnaround :) Now 8 weeks post abdomen/flanks and 7 weeks arms/bra rolls

It's so strange how you kind of get used to having residual swelling, hard lumps, and leftover numbness and then, seemingly overnight, you notice that the numbness is almost gone, and the hard lumps and banding are fading into the woodwork.... The past few weeks, I have had definite signs that the next notch of healing is happening: itchiness, little random zingers in my abdomen and triceps, and swelling getting more localized to around my belly button. The banding and lumpiness in my armpits is gone, and the ropey banding under my ribs is almost gone- yippee! And it's all happening right around the three month mark, just like they said it would. The body and its capacity to heal is truly a wonderful thing! I will post pictures on Saturday, when I'm officially 3 months post op :)

Okay... I can't count..haha

I obviously can't count :). Tomorrow, I will be 2 months post abdominals, not 3 :). But I'm coming right along! Just had a massage today, and we could both really tell that the unevenness is almost gone - really exciting! I will definitely take photos at the 3 month mark
Dr. Buzzas

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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