33, Tired of Genetic "Ice Box" Shape- Liposuction to Waist, Flanks and Hips - Southlake, TX

I am preparing to have liposuction surgery on my...

I am preparing to have liposuction surgery on my flanks and hips and I would like to document my journey for you with details, measurements and photos to the best of my ability. After reading many reviews here on realself- I now know exactly what people are looking to see in reviews about liposuction. We are scared and anxious and want to see photos of people who look like us and document the experience in enough detail plus answer questions.
My procedure takes place on March 18th and will be done in a hospital and under general anesthesia. Many of the doctors that I visited while searching to find the "perfect place" told me they performed the surgery on site or right in their offices. Normally, I would not have a problem with this but I do have some medical issues in my past and I just feel more secure in a full hospital setting. For this reason, I opted against the "awake" liposuction with the local anesthesia. I know I am a baby when it comes to pain and recovery, so I am trying to do what may be the least stressful for me. I mean, I literally took a week to recover from the removal of my wisdom teeth. Good Lord.
I have been an athlete all my life and no stranger to working out and keeping fit. At one point, I was even a trainer and nutritionist. In January 2015, I had a seizure and was put on a very dangerous/ugly anti-seizure medications. One of the most "wonderful" side effects was that I gained 30 lbs in nearly 2 months. Because the weight gain was medically triggered, the doctor told me it would be harder to lose it and that I would most likely gain in odd places. That being said, I have acquired quite the "ice box" figure! Great. I am 33 years old and single, in good health and in the process of dating and trying to meet new people. Needless to say, this horrible body shape has caused depression, anxiety and lots of wine drinking! I tend to tone up well in my arms, back, chest, legs- even my stomach isn't normally too bad unless I have extra fat on me ( like now!). I don't feel that I need lipo on my stomach because I am 100% sure it can be flat with diet and exercise. However, the paddy area right above my bottom is a genetic nightmare that I have always faced. I nicknamed it " The shelf" when I was in college because I felt that the area looked as if someone had attached a shelf right above my bottom to set things on! Bleh. Even at my lowest weight, it's been a beast. You can see the shelf in tight tops, thin tops, body skimming dresses, swimwear and of course the dreaded Low Rise jeans! I am 5'8 tall and currently weigh 180 lbs- this is unacceptable and I am working on it( diet/exercise). I feel most comfortable around 155. Obviously liposuction will not have much affect on my weight, BUT the minimization of the hips and flanks region will take me a down a pants size or at the very least, make me look better in the current size that I wear. I was always one of those people who felt that weight loss surgery and liposuction was the " easy way out" but now that I personally have been subject to weight gain that seems to not want to budge- I am 100% on board. I will keep the review up to date as I go along. I feel currently very anxious about the pain of the recovery and the length of the recovery.

Height: 5'8
Weight: 180
Waist: 33 inches
Hips: 43 inches

Surgery is tommorow morning, Feeling edgy

I’ve been doing the usual “anxious person” behavior of reading and re-reading my pre and post-operative instructions. I am a real stickler for the rules so I just like to have everything organized ahead of time. I don’t like stress or surprises. I still can’t believe I am getting this done. I’ve always joked with my friends about the lipo procedure but never thought in a million years I would consider it. I forgot to mention in my first entry that I am using the Alphaeon Credit services to finance my procedure. I have an account with Carecredit but I don’t have enough of a credit line with them and they wouldn’t offer me an increase. My credit is not awesome, so I wasn’t too shocked. So make sure if you are looking to finance, don’t just look at Carecredit! Alphaeon is great as well, nice introductory specials, low monthly payments and I was able to get a generous credit line to cover my full bill without stress or worry.
I am just ready to have the “surgery” part of this over with and be at home recovering. I know I need to settle down and be patient, but its impossible. I am glad that my doctor scheduled me as fast as he did because there is no way I could have handled this type of anxiety for months on end. I have a vacation coming up in May, so we will see how I look by then! If I am not ready, I will just wear a one piece swimsuit and have drinks so I forget about it!
I will add some more full before photos that are pre-op , so we can get a full before and after photo. I need to stop looking at other people’s lipo reviews so much, because they vary so much from one person to the next- I feel like anything could happen. Of course, we shall hope for the best!

Night Before!! Nerves

I've got nerves. But I took these "before" photos and regained my courage I go in Tommorow at 7 am. I have all my prescriptions and recovery items ready Now I just wait and I can't even have wine ! Yikes Anyway In the photos you can see the "weird" and boxy butt shape and flanks area that I seek to correct Let's pray that the doctor can reshape this hot mess !

It's done ! Yeah ! I'm alive and well

Had a good experience today with my liposuction . Great doctor and great staff all day long. My experience was actually uneventful and flawless. These folks are the real deal / total professionals ! The cost was a little more than other plastic surgery specialist but I feel like it was worth the extra to have a sense of comfort and total confidence . I wasn't worried or anxious at all . The nurses and doctor at forest park medical were top notch. I made the right choice and thank the Lord for that.
Now as we move to recovery , I will see more and understand more about the results and if it was successful. My doctor, Dr.Vennemeyer, told me he was able to get a great contour and that I will love the final result . I believe him .
I have pain and nausea but if I take the meds , it's controlled . So I'm not in horrible pain like I was afraid of but its also just day 1- no telling what the next few days will hold ????
I took some photos / I've got on the compression garment and some foam under the garment so my shape appears distorted in the photos but it's not .

Pain today

Yikes , I'm in a lot of pain today . I'm taking the lyrica and pain pills . Trying to get comfortable
I'm still draining lots of fluids too
Going go be able to take my first shower here soon and thank goodness cause I stink and my poor garment is soaked through and through
I'm tired and in pain but I know it's temporary .

Took shower . Got a look under garment

Had my friend help me get to out of the garment and into a short shower. I feel tired and dizzy the whole time but I just tried to be strong . I wanted to get cleaned up more than anything . I was super stinky and yucky . The lyrica and Percocet plus eating a real amount of food , gave me the energy to make it .
I did it
I wasn't able to get full photos without the garment due to the pain but I did get one from the front . You can see results of what he did on my waist - hips are still puffy but I'm
Feeling good so far

Getting more mobile! New photos

Three days after and I'm still fighting with pain,stiffness and mobility
My doctor has called me many times and assured me it was all normal and that I'm fine
I just take the meds and try to keep getting up and moving and stretching.
The drainage has come to a stop so that's great . I still sleep and lay over the puppy pads to be on the safe side.
Day by day .
I wear the garment all day as instructed - it's pretty comfy
It's called Marena body suit .
I can finally adjust the body suit without passing out so I got some more progress photos to compare
The back and bottom are still swollen but we can see some changes happening !

Side by side update photo


Post op appt today

We will see what they say. I feel better each day but I do still have some pain and mobility issues . I prob need to eat more and drink more water . I'm bad at that when I'm hurting . I put on an old size 6 dress ( a bandage dress ) which I could never wear due to my bulging flanks and muffin area plus the "weird butt" shape I placed it on today , just to see, and ta -da ! It's a perfect fit I've worn size 10-12 for the last 16 months or so So zipping up A small size dressed like this is crazy , so soon after surgery I know I'm going to get smaller as swelling reduced but the immediate results are more than I expected He either does great work or he took a boat load of fat out. I'll find out today

Doctor says too much swelling on flanks !

He put me in a new binder garment that is not awesome
I'm to wear this one on top of my other bodysuit
He says I'm healing well and it looks good but he was concerned about the swelling and stiffness in the bottom and Lower back area
So he is telling me to me massage 2-3 times per day ( ouch!) and to lay on my belly with my butt up in the air
He said it would finally help breakthrough the swelling or let loose the last liquids ..
I have my next appt on next week Wednesday
He says I need to drink more water and eat more protein

Tired and uncomfortable

Binder garment is hurting and giving me acid reflux.
I took it off, I May do the extra binder during the day and just my regular garment at night. Two garments at once is seeming like a bit much ...

5 days post op

Doctor Says he feels like my back has more swelling at this stage than he would like so he has added another binding garment . ( bleh). So I'm drinking more water and have been working towards getting the first poop going as well . He wants me laying on my stomach now and not my back or bottom - so this is tough of course It's all aboht reducing swelling and getting out any drainage that he feels is secretly still lingering ! I've added some photos of me wearing the same outfit and same poses as Day before surgery . Not bad for day 5 and with still lots of back /lower back swelling per the doctor

6 days Post . Bruises so crazy !

Bruising in my back area and bottom are super wild. The swelling is a little crazy too. I've been massaging with the arnica gel and sleeping on my stomach . Still taking pain pills and the lyrica mostly at night . I've got more weird lines and bruises and marks on me now so I'm worried . I'll talk to the doctor at my next visit . I ordered the medical foam on Amazon so I can be sure that there is a protection between the compression garment and the skin . Doctor Says thy may help with the weird lines and dents. I sure hope so .

To make myself feel better , I tried on some clothes - which look better

Day 6 post op / photo

I took a new photo today in the same jeans from my original post before surgery .
Was a little painful to get the jeans on due to the flank tenderness I have now . Anyway, what a clear change . Wow

post showing deep bruising

lower back

pain pain pain!!! day 7 post op

yuck/ I'm still popping pills ( Lyrica and Percocet combo )
ok pain and bruising and swelling.
so I guess nothing's wrong or out of the ordinary .
I know my doctor probably thinks I'm a whiny nagging baby for calling him about every little thing . however, I reflect on how much I paid and I'm over it . he will answer my questions , no matter how stupid ! lol
today I got out of the house and I drove too. I was gone like 8 full hours , to force myself to walk , move , recover and be alive .
I got too excited , too soon .
I was swelling and uncomfy and wanting to go home about 4 Hours me to my " experiment "
I was at the mall and not far from home so not end of the world .
I was able to get some items from the mall that my figure seemed to look smoother and more normal than before . The "bump" above my butt is gone and no muffins are squeezing. that's pretty cool given how clearly swollen my bottom , hips and back are now. my back especially is the worst . I can tell now where the doctor did his work cause it's hurting now and burning and aching as it repairs. once again - this is Normal but I've felt upset about how I've been feeling
I went to the physical therapy place where I had a massage set up - a lymphatic massage and the doctor on duty reviewed my paperwork and looked at my body and turned me away ! he said no way - come back in one week .
I get it . he said he felt like I wasn't even close to ready to be getting a massage . I left and will try again next week
so now I'm doing my own massages per doctors orders twice per day
I take lyrica and Percocet twice per day as well or three ( If needed )
I feel like a loser , still having to take pills 7 days post op . other reviews that I follow , seem to scrap the pills pretty early on . of Course I would be the crazy wimp who can't cut it . the dog gave me a new binder for waist area and since then , the pain has seem to pop back up and rear its ugly head. my body shape also mushed and changes based on the garment . I don't wear the new binder much and I put medi foam in between my compression garment and the skin . The bruises and red marks , the regions of numbness And tenderness have exhausted me .
I feel like I have a belt of fire around my waist sometimes and the Meds are the only thing to help me make it . I just feel like I'm throwing in the Towel.
I have posted some photos order my current body status in regards for the bruising . looks like someone tried to kill me .

8 days later/ feeling improvement !

I feel better today I don't know if it's the pills or the arnica gel ? I've been doing massage with arnica gel 3 times per day right on the area that's hurting I just grit my teeth and dig in I wear the binder garment during the day for 5 hours and take a break and then wear it overnight I do wear my my compression garment though 24-7 as required I use the arnica gel for my massages and then I use an ice pack to the area each morning and each night . I like the ice pack! feels good and numbs Today I woke up and saw less bruising and feel less pain - so will keep doing my exact program each day and see what happens I feel like I want and need to work out but I'll stick to walking since I'm only 8 days out and not released yet for full blown workout I may try a Pilates class and just go easy with it . now that my midsection and hips look good - all I can focus on is how large my arms and legs look I am eager to get back to work on those I'll be patient .

9 days later: and i am ITCHING

Oh boy the itch !
Just when i thought I was out of the woods... Nope !
Now it's itchy -ville . Wow
I ate a big Easter meal and now am stuffed and swollen and bursting out of my skin ( but all my fault)
I feel huge and my skin is pulling and stretching
I am very uncomfortable
The pain in my back area is a mess and itching
I had to take off all the garments so I could get a good scratch in
Im going to put ointment to ease it
I have some preexisting stretch marks on my love handles area and I see that those marks are like technicolor now !
They are highlighted now and weird looking
Great . Just what I need !
I feel like a total mess and want to take a pill and go to sleep just to not be awake and dealing with all of this
I know this is all par for the course but it still sucks

This week more water , Low sodium and 24-7 garment wear . That's it

I got on the scale ( like a fool ) and my weight is higher and higher
I'm like the blueberry girl on Willy Wonka :(

10 Days post op - pain subsiding

So the pain is going down and the swelling and itching is happily taking up residence. My last few posts have been dedicated to the bruise/itch factor so I'll give that topic a rest !
Today was my first day before to work after having one full week off and let me tell you, I was not a happy camper . I was busy and it's a desk job, so it could have been worse. I basically thought I was prepared but was not. I packed my big bag of "stuff" and still suffered !
I wore pants and a shirt and a new compression garment ( yikes). I should have wore a loose dress or stretchy pants ( pajama jeans ) or yoga pants. My job dress code is rather lax. By noon, my new Garment was feeling tight and itchy and damp . Ugh . My pants were cutting my circulation so I had to unbutton and my shirt even began to feel like it was scratchy snd form fitting ( and it's not ). As it turns out, I was slowly swelling up like a hot air balloon every hour and didn't realize until it hit me. My feet seemed to double in size and I had to remove my shoes at my desk . It was awful. I had my Meds, ice pack and anti itch cream on deck but that only took the edge off plus I couldn't take my "good" Meds since I was at work!
I tried to keep busy but I was a hopeless case. By the end of the day? I was exhausted from surviving. My garment dug into my legs cause my thighs are big - my other garments also dig at the thigh but are made of better quality materials so I don't notice as much . Word to wise : do not cheap out on garments !
I've placed an order for another garment online that is similar quality to the original two that i was given by my doctor. I now have 4 garments to wear and swap out. The one I like least has zippers and snaps at side and the crotch opening is too small so it's very easy to splash pee on it. Just what I need , to walk hunched over AND smell like a nursing home. Bleh . Anyway I will get it all figured out and im lucky that I work from home 3 days per week so I can have all the stuff I need around the clock and work in my home office wearing only my garment like I prefer ( open crotch and all! Ha ). I'll be glad when this is over . I have second post op appointment with my doctor tomm and I hope he has some good info In regards to my hard, itchy, swollen back /flanks and to be sure im still on track for normal recovery ,
I'm still using Ice pack , arnica , lyrica and pain pills at night as needed.

A note about lipo recovery ..

My best friend had lipo 3-4 years ago. She said she was given only local and was awake during her procedure. She told me that if I had my surgery on a Friday , I would be back up and up moving by Monday. She also said the pain would feel like I was sore from a "very hard" workout and that I would be off pain pills with a few days and would "just" need Tylenol.
Let me tell you , none of these applied to me. Im at day 10 post op and can just now walk straight and upright. And even that goes away once I sit and get stiff again. I am definitely popping all meds as prescribed and the pain, itch and discomfort is messing with my mind and I'm having trouble getting a goods night sleep
I can't get comfy in my bed and I have a very comfy cozy and luxurious king size bed all to myself
The sudden pain of the skin hardening and stretching and burning is a huge deal that most don't mention or loosely mention. It can make you feel panicky and out of control if you aren't expecting it.
I feel I looked and felt better at Day 1 then I do now at Day 10- but everyone says that. It's true. I'm feeling those regretful thoughts and slight depression about my decision- but again this is also textbook after symptoms.
I desperately want to feel normal. Like yesterday.
Another part of this that doesn't get enough focus is the side effects of not being able to work out at full level. I was on a great fitness program fir three months before the surgery and I hate the feeling of having fallen off my routine . My mindset is very all or nothing when it comes to exercise so walking at the park or on a treadmill is not going to cut it. My body does not respond unless I'm literally busting my butt to burn calories. I feel like anything I eat sticks to me now because I'm not able to expend the energy properly. So while I love my "great" new waist and flanks region , it's tough to stare at these very out of shape legs and arms ( untreated areas. I'm 5'8 and very heavy weight wise and I just want the weight off or at least go be working towards shedding fat or mentally being on the routine. I think I'm going to start back attending fitness classes and just stand in back and do low impact moves. If I get too lazy and fall back into my old way of life - I can get lipo until I'm blue in the face and it won't matter . I feel tired and trapped within my own body. Sorry for long and late night rant but I can't sleep anyway .

SEROMA found at today's post op appt. I KNEW I wasn't going crazy

I went in to doctor and he said I had a seroma in the lower back area, which is one of the main areas where he did the lipo. So at least I know I am not crazy. He had to re open my incisions( I was numbed up well) and he was able to release tons and tons of "trapped" fluids. I mean it was splashing out every where. I can't believe all that was stuck in there all these days. Those fluids were causing my entire back to harden, and swell and to feel lots of pain. After 10 days or so of the fluid being trapped, the skin began to stretch and swell every day and itch( like how a pregnant woman's belly will itch). Already now I feel 100 times better and hopefully the fluids will continue to drain all day. The difference in the appearance of my lower back drastically changed after my fluid release process this morning. I am just so happy that my doctor makes me come in so often, so that way we can catch stuff like this. I just have to keep massaging the fluids out and wearing the compression garment AND the binder that I hate so much. Even as I type this I feel more fluids coming out! I never thought I would be so happy to see those nasty drainages again. Now I am like OK, bring on the puppy pads. #timetodrain. The skin felt so hard and itchy and I couldn't sit, stand or lay down- but I kept reading online that hardening and swelling was normal. Goes to show, that it doesn't hurt to get the doctor to take a look. I feel like I can now continue with a normal , regular recovery period. Instead of wandering around popping pills and scratching like a crack head. Now I have so much relief, a little less swelling already and I feel like I MIGHT just survive this thing.

13 Days Post Update

Had a set back due to seroma.
The doctor pulled out the fluid manually yesterday . As I said it was a lot . My weight dropped 5 lbs in just one day due to that . That's how bad it was
I continued to drain the rest of the day And during the night.
Today I was ok until ... The numbing agent wore off from the day before ( the doctor had to numb me up good so I could tolerate the pressing and prodding required to push out that fluid).
Anyway I was at work and around 2pm I felt like I was gonna die
Like the pain was almost similar to day 2 or 3 after surgery... Except I was at work .. Wow I had a panic attack , I couldn't take pain Meds cause my drive home is 30 miles .
I ended up leaving early and I even cried in my car. I have not cried once since the lipo
I made it home , took fast shower and popped the pain pill ( yes the pain pain pills)
I felt relief and laid down

I guess I'm doing ok now, feel more like normal recover mode
Will work from home tomorrow just in case any drama comes
I can tell the low back area def still has swelling but I have another follow up tomm with doctor ( yes another one !)
I'm gonna ask him if he doesn't mind trying to push more out? I know I'll be in pain again but heck at this point , I'm in pain so may as well have some purpose to it
My overall body shape looks good so far , I'm on track .
He did his job , I just have to power through .
I feel like at 4 weeks time I'll feel much better and literally go on with life.
I would like to mention again how much I love the Marena compression garment ( the one without the hooks and zipper , stage 2?).. Love it ! Hate the waist binder .
It's funny how I went from not being sure about lipo to now being like ok maybe I should get my abdomen done or thighs?
I know I can get fit again but now in the mirror ALL I see are thighs thighs thighs . Now that the midsection is tight , the other sketchy areas are being revealed. Time to get to work !
But seriously , I should have had him do the abdomen . He suggested it but the total cost would have been above my budget
Perhaps we will think about it in the future .... Perhaps

Updated photos included

2 Weeks. Wow: Lipo was a Great Decision.

Lipo has the been the best decision, let me tell you why:

I know I probably shouldn't post here EVERY day but it helps me clear my mind. With this sort of thing, where you don't have a lot of people who know, it's hard to clear your head. I finally broke down and told some close friends, primarily because they kept asking me to go out to party and it's not like me to turn down a social event. If I said "no" one more time, I believe they would have staged an intervention! They have been able to help me so much now that they know, and made life so much easier. One of my besties even came over and helped me wash gross nasty garments when I couldn't walk, and another brought me some of her old sheets/throw pillows so I could drain on them and not mess up my new bed. Additionally, I told my mom and sister because I have some problems in my medical history(neurological) and if something went wrong when I "went under" I needed them to be available quickly and be able to tell the hospital information. My mom has literally been an angel from heaven during this process. Even after putting in long hours at her job, she would come by to see me right away and put a hot meal on the stove, change my sheets out and she even vacuumed! I Bought her a very very nice thank you gift and plan to kiss her feet for the next 10 years. Last but not least, I told the guy I am dating ( for obvious reasons)- he took it rather well which now makes him a "keeper". He even helped me try to massage out my hard lumps and took out my trash on a number of occasions. Men can be really weird about this sort of thing, especially someone who you are just dating and aren't at that full comfort level with just yet. There are many others I did not tell because my close circle includes a lot of "Fitness buffs" and I just am not sure how they would take it or if they would judge. Also, I just moved back to Texas from Los Angeles- and they already feel like I am more superficial now. Anyway, it's still not the same as having other people who are in the same stage of the process or, even better, have been there-done that! As I stated in a prior post, my best friend had lipo years back but her healing process was so smooth and fast that it was almost like she didn't even have it done. Not that I hope other people have problems, but it helps to see other people who are not healing overnight and have actual bruises and fat swelling feet at work! LOL
The lipo recovery has really really shown me the value in my friends and family who I used to always complain about and gripe and be bratty. Now I am more appreciative for what I have, and I will always treat them with respect and dignity.

Oh gosh I can't believe I made it two weeks, and it has surely been something else.
I went in for another appointment with my doctor today and he did another fluid release( thank God). It went well since I already knew the drill from last time. He was still able to get ALOT of fluid out. This week my weight has dropped 7 lbs total and it was ALL fluids that were trapped and are now out. It's still coming out and he wants me to really try to push past the soreness and push more out by using a rolling pin to massage downward strokes.. ( hmmmm I don't know about all that!) .
My contour and shape is becoming very evident and the results are very good. I've looked at before and afters on the internet, and I feel like my own will be on par with or better than what I expected.
My entire body shape is different. To be able to change a feature about you that is genetic, a feature that you thought you just had to "Deal" with- it's insane.
I think I got so caught up in the pain and stress of the recovery that I failed to stop and realize that my results are really really good. Like spectacular.
Maybe its because the fluids are out, or whatever it is, but the realization just hit me. In just 2 weeks, I have a body that would have taken me years to obtain, if ever. I can't even imagine how it will look at the 1 month mark, or the 6 month mark.
I don't feel that great today physically, I have pain/fatigue/headache....but the wheels in my mind are churning full speed ahead.
This is a life changing procedure and its just hard to believe.

If you are on the fence or aren't sure, read my review and believe me, this is the REAL DEAL. Do it.I know they say to manage your expectations and you don't lose weight and you should try to be realistic, blah blah blah....but my results feel drastic and really sudden. I think I may have actually under shot my expectations.
I mentally prepared myself for the pain and stress of recovery- so I focused SO much on that part, that I didn't give as much concern to whether the surgery would actually produce good results.
I've had a bit of a rough time recovering but even with that, I don't feel regret or any more sad feelings. I place all the credit in the hands of the surgeon- He is one of the best, with years of proven results and accreditations. I'm always awestruck when I run into a very talented individual, and Dr. Vennemeyer is the master and so is his wife ( who is also a doctor, imagine that).
I made a comment earlier that I found his costs to be too expensive and that if I needed more work, I would go elsewhere. I would be foolish to do that. How could I try to go cheap on something so critical, especially after how great they have taken care of me?
Anyway, we shall see how the following two weeks goes... I pray that I can get back into the gym and do some more social activities with friends and family.

Past 2 weeks : something still not right

I joked before my surgery that I'm the type of person who always has some sort of extra drama or complication when it comes to medical stuff ... And to some degree , the comment is true. So as my review has catalogued you see ive had these issues with my lower back - primarily drainage /swelling/pain/itching
I've gone to the doctor twice to drain the area and I feel like it's slowly but surely getting better
However Friday , Saturday and today I've had pain and itch in the localized back area( again) and I feel like it's tight and puffy
At this stage , I'm sure I should be past this part of it
I had to take a pain pill this morning and I have to sleep a certain position or it's too much pressure on the area
I'm actually considering going to the emergency room
First I'm going to call my doctor and get his point of view
To have this much pain and discomfort at this point seems silly and it's not like I Even got a large series of areas done
My results look very good so it's ironic that I can't even enjoy that because I feel like I'm in pain the majority of the time

Doctor appt today

Doctor has asked me to come in to his office to put in a drain on the area
I'm scared and don't want a drain but options are limited at this stage

17 days post: making progress with draining !!

I got a little drain put in my back incision so that the fluids could just keep coming out . In the last week the back incision has healed so fast that we couldn't keep the flow going
Now I have the drain , so I just try to massage fluid out on my own ( ouch !) every 3-4 hours per the doctors order
I have lyrica which is a med that helps with nerve pain and it's helping so much. I personally feel better and like I have some control over this situation . If I feel fluid building , I simply push it out and it comes out of the drain
I have my next doctor appt on weds so he can see how we are doing
I was able to go to a fitness class today and that made me feel good - like I'm slowly able to return to regular life !!!
No pain thanks to the drain . Lol

18 days post... Day 2 of the Drain Diaries !!

Well my pain and swelling is down so much with the "drain" .
I almost wish I had had it from the start but the doctor didn't realize i was such a fast healer .
There was no way to know that esp since I've never had surgery before !
I won't lie , I still have stiffness and pain and the lower back area will swell up if I'm not diligent about my massages .
The process of massaging out the fluids is painful and I dread it . I take some sort of pain pill or lyrica first , let it set in then I push - push - push! I may just do a shot of vodka like I do before a wax lol
Fluid flows out of the drain on its own thankfully mostly , but that doesn't get me off the hook ..
He placed the drain on Sunday and I've been soaking my pads every day so it's still flowing and I'm happy
I went to work today and got through a whole day without extreme swelling and discomfort
I wore my most trusted Marena compression garment and a flowy dress and open toe sandals
I drank lots of water and made sure to get up as often as possible
I just had one mishap ... I was just so happy that I felt better that I didn't remember to change out the surgi-pad under my drain . Basically fluids started flowing and soaked through the garment and my dress . My clothes and chair were soaked. It looked like I had peed my pants ( remember the drain is in the incision is located right above my buttcrack )
Fluids flow straight down my bottom and in between my legs and if not managed can get out of control fast !
My pad was soaked and by the time I felt the fluids it was too late
I had to just cover my bottom with my laptop bag on the way out and just hustle to the car
And of course the cute security guard was on duty that exact day . Of course , I'm sure he thought I was crazy
Anyway I made it
My overall feeling is improving and that's all we can hope for
I can't wait until this is a distant memory ...

I have follow up doctor appt tomm so we shall see what he says
Until then , the "drain diaries " continue ........

19 Days: compression garment heaven

so I've been a huge fan of Marena but it's very expensive
I got two that came with my surgery package ( a stage 1 and a stage 2).
Love the stage 2 right now
However I wanted to have more than 2 garments plus since I'm still draining I mess up a lot of garments and have to wash and change more .
I found a brand called Franato on Amazon.com
I love them too and the price is much better (Like $30-$40)
The material is perfect and the compression is great
Make sure to look at the sizing , they run big
So if you usually get a large- you'll want a medium in Franato
I feel like they are one size off ( down) from Marena .
I included some photos
I have two of these and am pleased with the quality
Since they are cheaper be sure to hang dry if you already don't do that
The crotch opening is big enough so that you can actually pee through it with some dignity !
My maiden form is a mess and I can't pee through it moreso than I could the eye of a needle !
Anyway just wanted to sing the praises of Franato as a lower prices option for a good solid daily garment that won't drive you batty or sink your bank.

I had a doctor appt and he said I'm doing well and we shall keep the drain in for one more week to be on the safe side
Fine with me, I feel better anyway
I went to a light workout today and was so pleased.
I'm getting back to normal and I can't believe it
The drain is the only thing reminding me of my slight handicap
I have to wear pads all the time and have messed up some clothes and sheets this week . So I can't get too excited yet .......

I'm going to STOP the workouts: Super Swollen!

I have been doing some pilates and spin class workouts here and there in the last week or so. Technically I shouldn't be but mentally feeling insane about not doing something yet still eating foods. I have been cleared to walk, obviously, so I should just be doing that but I feel bored on walks. Yesterday I went to a reformer pilates class so I could work on these arms and legs ( that now look like they belong to someone else). Within hours, my entire ballooned up ( yep just like they say!), and my stomach was distended as far as the eye could see, even in the garment. I had a huge pooch and per my tape measure, my waist was up about 2 inches and I knew better than to touch that scale. My feet and legs swelled again, and it was just like the old days. I read in the doctors' Q&A here on realself that Yoga and Pilates are actually the WORSE thing you can do in terms of the swelling. The doctor said that anything that causes you to elongate your back area ( like a bend, fold, crunch, plank) will for sure swell you.
They warn us not to work out until 6 weeks, and I see personally why. I guess I had to learn the hard way. I will walk on the treadmill and be bored and also just have to really watch what I eat to avoid the mental aspect of feeling food sitting on me and not being burned.
Also, to manage the drainage coming out of my penrose drain, I've taken to wearing an adult diaper. Annoying but it works. My doctor suggested it and he was right, I am no longer messing up my clothes, garments or sheets and I don't have to lay towels down in my car or on my office chair at work. The diaper takes care of everything. I did have to cut it with sister to create a "bikini cut", because the high back was too much for me to bear!
So I am swollen, wearing a diaper, draining from my rear end area, and I am hungry and can't work out.
Feeling like a mess today.

3 Weeks: FINALLY able to wear jeans

Been avoiding jeans because it hurt to pull anything around my midsection . So since I had things to do today , I decided to give it a try and wear my favorite pair. It worked out pretty good . They are about one size too big in waist but feel ok in the bottom and legs .
My shirt also fits much looser , nothing like it did before the surgery
I guess I'm still very shocked with the huge decrease in my waist yet I'm still a very normal size .
Maybe I didn't realize how large I really was in that area ?
I have to also keep remembering that the lipo did reshape and sculpt
So no matter if I'm large or small , my shape is nothing like the genetic figure I inherited from my mom ( the actual point of the liposuction )
I have a fraternal twin sister who has the body shape from my dads side of the family which is a fairly slim and straight/small shape with narrow hips and thin legs. I , of course , take from my moms side where everyone is heavier and has larger arms , thick bottoms and legs . Of course ! My athletic life spared me in my youth and low 20s but now it's do or die . I know exactly what I can look like If I'm not careful so I hope the lipo at least can give me some relief in terms of my base shape .
I'll be honest , the fact that I'm not Marrried and have no kids makes me focus on all this much more
If I was a busy wife and Mom, I would prob be in a diff mindset - but these the cards I was dealt, so here we go.
My birthday is in August , and I think that gives me enough time to contemplate if I want to go ahead and get the Abdomen and / or legs . Now that I know what to expect I feel like I wouldn't be against another procedure . Will revisit closer to that time
Anyway, I'm feeling good for 3 weeks but I'll admit I have a lot of stiffness and also some shooting nerve pains in my flanks . If I don't do the massages , I have fluid build up in my waist and hips . It hardens and feels painful and that's how I know it's time to massage !
The drain is of course a source of distress only because it's there , and it hurts plus fluids are still coming out and I've got my diapers ( which have been a life saver actually as much as I complain about them )

I've included some photos of my progress at 3 weeks .

The "box body" is gone thanks to lipo

I found THE photo that led me to choose lipo and to start to clean up diet . You can see how my figure was very square and boxy.
I found the same dress and took a photo . I think this truly embodies the exact change I asked the doctor for.
I've been " de-boxed" !!

Ibuprofen 800mg saving the Day!

Wow my back is still giving so much trouble but I know it's still early days
My doctor said its ok to take ibuprofen which I already have a prescription for from another doctor for another reason
The ibuprofen has been MAJOR
Like soooo freaking helpful
My back and sides are always feeling tender and sore especially right when I wake in the morning.
I feel so stiff and sometimes I feel like I'm walking like frankestein
I get my drain out on Wednesday but I notice that my pads are still getting pretty soaked by end of day .
Also my fluid build up in my back and sides is still pretty consistent and I have to do the massages and they hurt and makes me so tired- but I do them

I've also noticed some discoloration on my sides that wasn't there before the surgery
I put on a bikini and it does cover the incisions however the dark areas around my side are really apparent and it's weird
I read that African Americans do get hyperpigmentation after surgery
But usually due to burns or like the actual incision points
But this is different so I'm gonna ask the Doctor about it
Perhaps I can start massaging some cream into to help the skin but I just don't know the cause so it's hard to fix
I'll ask the Doctor .
It's just so noticeable and distracting
My skin has Always been my best feature , smooth and glowing
Now around my waist it's super yuck
I attached some photos of the area I am talking about

Increased pain , new coloration and swelling - Weeks later

I hesitate to post today because I hate to be a negative nelly. As I said before , my results have been outstanding. I wore an outfit today that would normally have made me feel like a stuffed turkey . Instead , I was getting comments all day about my weight loss! I almost felt kind of bad taking credit for the change . Anyway- the Same issues ( the drain ) and the fluid build up in my flanks and sides are there . The pain and tenderness is literally never ending Ibuprofen does help a lot and so so does lyrica for nerve pain and tingles The issue is that I'm feeling "new" types of pain and discomfort around me flanks and my whole bottom . I did not get anything done to my butt so I find it odd that this week my bottom is very sore ( like Deep into the muscle as if I've been doing workouts ). Of course the drain and the area of the drain is a nightmare . I can't touch it and can barely come near it . The only time I do is when I'm cleaning up in the area ( the drain is located directly above my butt crack line). So my waist and flanks are super hard and tender to the touch plus I can feel my mobility is limited just like the "early days". When I sleep, I feel pain in the right and left hip if I lay on either side . I can't sleep on my back be age the drain hurts being smashed into bed. I have to sleep face down which makes my back arch weird and then that causes my butt to squeeze . It's awful. I've started breaking down and taking my ambien again- it's the only way I can get to sleep . I spoke to the doctor , he feels that most of this is normal because im still Fairly fresh off surgery and he told me that once a drain is inserted there naturally will be some pain and discomfort in that area. I looked on the Internet and lots of lipo patients have hardened areas and swelling that can last for months. In reality I'm not even 1 month post and should be more realistic about the pains And perhaps if it's like 6 or 7 weeks and I'm not improved - I can worry My two concerns are that I was feeling better last week and then things took a weird turn as of this Sunday. I know for a fact ( based on my photos of this journey ) that the fluid build up was gone and now is back full force . Also, the coloration on my sides /hips has very suddenly become black and blue If this is just the typical bruising - why is it just now showing up ? Odd Anyway I feel constantly in pain and uncomfortable and I'm just tired Tonight I just cried when I got off the couch because I thought I was in the clear, I thought we had this in the bag. I've been taking so many pills that I don't even know who I am half the time . I have all my pain stuff ( no narcotics) and then my anti anxiety and now the ambien again ... I'm feeling hopeless and discouraged. I'm seeing the doctor Tommorow In the morning - I hope maybe once he sees everything in person , he may have a different perspective I'm also setting up an appt to see a general practitioner to get a look at my overall well being and vital signs. I'm trying to stay in faith and believe that this is truly normal and that I need to just heal and bite the bullet. Part of me , in my gut , feels like Something is off track I will update after my doctor appointment and thanks to all of you for your compassion and continued support Photos

Doctor installed Seroma Catheter today

He says this will provide suction directly to the seromas
If feels like an IV and I have two of them in the back
I feel a sense of exhaustion and discomfort from today
Hopefully Tommorow will be better
I can't wear the compression garment while these are in and I have to wear baggy clothes to cover them
Also be careful with showers and driving etc etc
I am still awestruck at this whole ordeal
I just want to crawl into a hole
I'm seriously unhappy about having these catheters but what else can I do.
I'll work from home the rest of the week so at least I don't have to have anxiety about driving and what to wear or something happening with the catheters
I have anxiety anyway - so now it's just through the roof

Seroma drains - feeling miserable .

Trying to stay positive
The new seroma catheter that has been installed has been causing me major anxiety
Like panic attacks at the highest level
I have Medication for that ( great - more pills ).
I have two seroma catheters installed and they are complete with fairly large needles that go deep inside and I have two in and they are in my lower back and upper buttock
I can feel the needles and feel fear and panic aboht moving , walking, and laying down
I worry about touching them , knocking them out of place , or causing it to hurt or infect .
I'm stressed to the max , I've have to cancel all my plans , my whole life is on hold once again . Just like the day 1 and 2 after surgery .
I will literally Lose my head until these things are out .
I keep reminding myself it's for a good cause and that this could be the final step
I can't feel relief because I'm not sure this will fix it
The other steps were suppose to fix it and they didn't - I have such little faith now and I wish I could just get with the program and trust the system
I'm hardly eating or moving, I don't leave my apartment , and can do a little partial bath /shower that does not Involve the insertion points
Since the drains are into my Lower , it is hard to reach them and Change the gauzes and put on the ointment
I don't have a lot of people available to help me so I'm trying to make do on my own
I never expected all of this so there was no way I could have prepared for this .
I am miserable and all I can do is try to drink water and eat what I can manage and I stay as still as possible
These drains require a great deal of maintenance and that makes it even harder because I can't just lay here and pop pills - I have to empty the bulbs and make sure the areas are clean etc
I took one of my old compression garments and I cut holes in both sides and I found that I could put it in and slide my bulbs outside the holes and clip onto my garment
For some reason , I feel just a tiny bit better than the garment on even though my doctor said I did not need to wear the garment while we go through this drains /catheter process.
Anyways I found some good tips on the Internet for how to live life normally with these catheters inside
I have cancelled my whole schedule with the exception of my moms birthday dinner tomm night . I'm going to wear a dress that's flows and secure the bulbs underneath . A lady on the Internet said she would wear a belt under the dress and attached the bulbs on the belt - obscuring it under the ruffles of the dress .
I'm grappling at straws here but I'll take what I can get
I go back to the doctor tomm ( Friday ) and I had a pipe dream that he may remove them but given my track record he will leave them in atleast for the weekend and prob come back Monday
Monday will be my 1 month mark and i foolishly expected to be good to go by now , but here we are
My mind is constantly distracted by this and as I said , my life outside my apartment is nonexistent
May is going to be a busy and important month for me and I need to be closer to healed by then - so ill keep hanging on and I still have several weeks before May , so I won't worry .
We will tackle each day as it comes
My spirit and energy is totally gone . I'm so far from the energetic perky person that I know myself to be
This experience is tearing me down day by day and I'm not sure how I'll be at the end of this . I feel like friends and family are thinking ok well this is what she gets for trying to do some plastic surgery when she could have just kept dieting and going to the gym . It's like this is my punishment .

Felt weak, went to the ER today

Woke up this morning and felt achy and weak- so I decided to drive myself to the local emergency room. I was going to go to Urgent Care ( to save money on copay) but I wasn't sure they would have the tools to do anything if it turned out something major was going on.
They checked everything and I was fine.
They did an ultrasound and of course saw the Seromas ( which we already knew about )
My temperature and blood pressure was fine, and my white blood cell count was fine.
They detected I was slightly anemic and dehydrated ( did I need to spend $125 co pay to find that?).
Anyway they checked all my vitals, and I was as healthy as a jaybird.
So I guess what we are looking at now is just plain old fashioned recovery.
The ER doctor said that some people don't take well to the catheter installation because its a foreign object in the body and can feel strange. So basically I just have to grin and bear this right now. There is nothing wrong with me other than this seroma situation, which we are currently dealing with.
I just keep taking the antibiotic, pain meds, and whatever else is necessary to survive until further notice.
I do see my PS today around 5 PM, so we will see what he says regarding the catheters.
I do not feel like he will want to take them out yet, so I have to get my mind prepared for at least another weekend with the catheters.
I Do feel a really weird unevenness back there now( in the flanks) and I know its because the catheters are sucking out fluid at random. So some areas are sore and painful to touch and others feel numb, and then others feel totally normal. I try to just avoid touching back there- at all.

I can't do this anymore

The Seroma JP drains are my worst night mate
I was ready for the liposuction surgery but not for this
Mentally and physically I'm exhausted
I have nothing left
I stay at home and just hide from society .
Doctor said one week and we can get the drains out- I am not sure I can't wait that long .
I may tear them out with my teeth before long.
The pain and discomfort is enough to cause me to lay still most of the day .!
I never expected this and could not prepare
Mentally I can't handle it - I've started taking my anxiety meds and Sleep meds again just to manage - I've worked months to get off of
Now I'm back To square one

I no longer think doing the liposuction was a good idea
I want to turn back time and have not done this .

Readjusted my drains and bandages- much more comfortable

I went in tonight to change out my bandages and clear tubes . I noticed one of my catheters stitches down there was a plastic piece that had twisted and was digging in to the skin. I had not noticed this before - it was definitely a big part of some of my pain. I wasn't able to twist it around but I did put a soft piece of bandage underneath to help protect the skin. This made a huge difference
I also went in and taped down some of the tube near the insertion site to top the tube from moving so much and causing pain.Ive already noticed a major change. I could have done these things before but was too tired and weak from pain to really go in and look . Today I just had to boss up and do it. So I fixed some of the issues causing me extra pain .
I'm so proud that I was able to just stick my chin up and do this .
( disclaimer - I had some wine first for courage !' )
So I'm feeling much improved and like the pain around the insertion sites is not so crazy anymore.
I feel much better and I'll take what I can get .
I have a Doctor appts tomm and maybe all get lucky and he will take them out .
There is not much fluid getting to the drains
The only issue is that I still see the fluid build up on the low back. Like that hump of fluid is very much still there.
Not sure why the fluids aren't coming from the back pocket ?
The drain bulbs should be much more full I think
Hopefully there is not clot in the tubes
I will check again And do the milking profess
I included some photos showing my current Situation

1 month Post Op: Two drains down , 1 to go !

1 month post op
Time flies when you're having "fun".
I never thought my whole mind, body, soul and resources could be consumed by one thing like this. Every day of the last month has been about the surgery and the recovery. I'm not a fool and I know surgery is serious and recovery takes up to a year for final results. Of course I've got my BFF hanging around ( aka the "Seroma ") so goodness knows what will happen.
I'm just praying we get to the bottom of this before May because I have a major assignment at work that I put off as long as I could in hopes that 6 weeks would be enough time to get past the worst of this recovery and I had a vacation to Jamaica ( may 9). Silly me thinking I would at least be in a place to do the vacation
I'm not giving up hope though , we still got 3 weeks and that may be just enough to get the situation under control.
I went to the doctor today and he took out two drains and then added another . He feels this new drain is in an area that really focuses in on that back pocket of fluid - but we will see.
I go back to him on Wednesday. Basically I live at the doctors office now , which is also a supreme hassle .
I'm lucky to have the flexibility and means to get back and forth over and over but that doesn't mean I like it - plus when I go im normally being poked and prodded with needles and similar . I know it's all towards the final goal but that doesn't mean I'm not tired.
I'm a serious athlete as well as serious career woman plus I like to hang out with my friends. All these restrictions have run their course.
I went to a date last night and thought I could be ok but on the drive home , I felt so much pain( from stress on the lower back and sore areas from previous drains )that I had to pull over and cry a little . I went home and took pain pill. Guess I'm not ready yet for that .
Even once the drains are finally out , I'm concerned about the skin quality of my flanks . The area looks "worked on"'if you get my drift . The incision points are well hidden and healed fine but now that I've had all this other activity to my lower back , the skin is showing the wear and tear and it's clear to see in a bikini .
Depending on how things go , I may have to do the one piece swimsuit for the vacation and perhaps try to do two piece later. Prior to surgery, my skin tone and quality back there was totally fine.
I had some stretch marks from weight gain and loss but those were faded and covered by swim bottoms. Now I've got a whole new situation going on. Maybe I can tan over it in the sun ?
I put on my favorite bikini to see if maybe I can make it work? Like once bandages and drains are out , of course
I have not worn this suit in ages due to my large flanks area hanging over the back , now I don't have that and it looks so much better
Hmm I wonder ..

The saga continues : the reverse recovery

So still I have pain and swelling in flanks
Same old , same old
I take the pain meds and ice it and that's seems to hold me over
I'm basically in pain 24-7, to some degree.
I found that wearing the compression garment does actually help alleviate some of the pressure in the back side/
So I cut a little hole in my garment ( another one) to accommodate the drain .
At this stage , after all the Drains and catheters and needles that have been in my lower back - it's no wonder it's all sore and crappy feeling .
I'm not hopeless or in despair but I'll tell you I've had about up to here with the whole thing.
I'm talking more meds and feeling not like myself but if it beats the pain , then so be it .
My mindset now is not about griping about the pain but trying to literally manage it so I can live life normally .
Really I'm not sure what more my doctor can actually do at this point
There teally isn't fluid build up , and there is nothing coming out of my drains.
However the back side of my back and bottom is painfully swollen up and discolored ( as a bonus)- it's lumpy too and hardened. I've read other reviews and a lot of others experience the Same so perhaps it's all apart of this big old giant recovery process .
I've been a little bitchy to my doctor because I'm just fed up , it's not his fault or anyone at the staff but I seem to be getting worse and not better in any capacity
Literally the back is just as swollen as weeks back .. It's like im going in reverse
I'm thinking of having another PS take a look at it , I know that's probably bad but I figure two heads are better than one. I'll try to last to 6 weeks before I start getting too crazy with it
I guess we will see .
I've lost 12 lbs and some of that is due to my loss of appetite due to the anxiety of ft recovery and the meds I'm taking. The very idea of most foods is repulsive , like I literally threw up a salad yesterday. A basic salad !
I'm swollen today too , my legs and arms and everything - I have been at home all day and not having any activity so I'm shocked to be swelling like this ?
I don't know . I have one drain in and I'm supposed to see my doctor but I cancelled my last appt because I was so disappointed in how we have hit this wall with my recovery. I have been at the doctors office 2-3 times per week for the last month. I need a break , so I'm taking one .
My BFF who had lipo years back told me she feels there is absolutely something wrong - but I told her that I can't imagine what it could be ? My labs are clear, blood is good , fluids are going down , ultrasound showed good on Lower back - no abcess or pockets
I'm at a loss .....

Introducing the NEW back hump!!

In the last few days, I've developed a new nice lovely mass/hump on the lower back. I've included a photo for your viewing pleasure
Now keep In mind this is new and it's only on one side .
I go to my doctor today so he can get a look at this little monster .
And , you guessed it , it does hurt ! My doctor gave me these nice little lidocaine patches that do numb the area so I think those work well.
I felt this coming on Tuesday and I knew Something felt off/ and then here she grows again.
it's like my body knows I'm so close to being great but it wants to fight me , it wants to go down swinging . Annoying.
It doesn't feel like fluid to me , just hard like a rock . Like the others.
I looked at my doctors other reviews and no one seems to have the same issue i am having so at least I know my doctor is a good one and I'm Just dealing with extra drama
I think what boils my blood is that I paid a lot more for my work than I would have at the discount doctors and I made such a fuss about how I needed quality work and didn't have time for some "groupon doctors " botched work! Lol now look at me . What a mess . I guess no matter how much or how little you pay , complications will happen
I added a photo of the quote I got from another doctor that I did not choose because I felt like I was a nameless face in a crowd/ but that price is low plus includes the abdomen .
I guess I knew that deep down but it's like $5400 and up is a crap load of money plus you add on all my Rx copays on all the new Meds and refills plus the extra pads and gauzes and products I've bought from pharmacy .
Anyways sorry just having a gripe session because I just bought 2 one piece swim suits online so I could keep my back and waist covered on my vacation . Makes me want to drop the F bomb.

Doctor stayed EXTRA late to get to the bottom of this

I don't know why I doubted him but my Dr and his wife came to my rescue again. I know that my doctor was in surgery all day today ( like 8 to 5) and upon hearing of my urgent needs/ pain , he requested I come in at like 6 pm to be seen- and on a Friday. He was there fresh as a daisy and so was his wife - not acting at like exhausted or irritated . I can be kind of ridiculous so I'm sure they were being extra nice.
Anyway, the pain was from an infection( suspected but waiting on culture to confirm ) , so they basically and to dig and search around my back and bottom to find the "pocket" of fluid that was at the root of this problem. It took some numbing and pushing and working. I wished I had taken my pain pill before but I wasn't thinking - it's not like I don't know how it goes, I've only been there 100 times .
Anyways Looks like we found the sketchy old pocket that was hiding ... hours later. I was so exhausted after , I can't even imagine how they must have felt. It took all I had to drive home after and go by the pharmacy for the new round of antibiotics and pills. All I can say is thank the Lord for my good health coverage on these prescriptions cause I have like 20 , not even kidding.
I haven't seen many other people on real self posting that their doctors saw them at night on a Friday and literally was there until 9 pm working on a problem - with full energy and a pleasant disposition.
The culture of my fluid is being sent off for testing and I will prob know in a week what the status is.
I haven't felt well this week and it would make sense if it were tied to an infection as many of you ladies repeatedly said to me ( thank you).
My appetite has been gone during the last week and my energy has been low and of course the pain has been on the edge of unbearable.
I'm hoping that we have truly found the problem and maybe I can start to live again? Maybe even go to Pilates one day again or the movie theatre ! Can't get my hopes up until more time passes but I'll be on standby and hope this back cooperates ....
The upside is I have lost 14 lbs since date of surgery, and that's without being able to workout . Guess it was a blessing in disguise that my appetite was cut a little short . I'm still a little weak and woozy but I hope in the next few days I'll start to feel a great improvement
Also the drains are OUT! Whew. And the infection would also explain why the drains on the left side ( near the pocket) were so painful but the drain in the right side was fine , like I didn't feel a thing.
I still have a few weeks before my vacation so that may be enough time to get my energy and health back in shape. If not , is a beach vacay so it's all about relaxing anyway - so I can still take it easy .
We will make it work
Will update again on my progress soon - of course .

Day by Day: painless and drainless

That's the goal
My pain levels have gone way down
Still not even close to normal yet because I still have this open hole where they are forcing open to let the "bad juices" flow.
Laying on my back is still very tough and tender areas do exist all over .
I haven't taken any pain mediation in a few days and that's like major !
I do find that too much activity hurts and wearing jeans hurts sometimes
The antibiotics hopefully are working .
Since they drained the abscess , I note a better contour to be back and hips , so we are closer to that goal result .
Been watching my diet closely because I know I can't work out , so trying to just keep it basic until further notice .
I ordered a one piece swim suit and it still looks nice , in fact I think it makes me look in better shape than a bikini
I may order a red one too !!

Antibiotics working , swelling and pain reducing

Today was the first day I felt like a normal person
I started improving over the weekend and even got out of the house and met friends and went to the movies
I've still got the gauze back there and the open drain hole ( he is forcing to remain open for bad fluids to seep ).
But he said we could prob be done with that on Wednesday .
I'm taking almost no pills and can move and sleep normally .
I wear my compression garment because it's so comfy , I'm glad I kept wearing it even with the drains in because at least it's some sense of comfort .
My body fighting that infection must have really been burning calories and I've lost 7-9 lbs in just the last 7 days .

Anyway , I'm getting closer to the 6 weeks mark and I think my doctor dies the before and after at that point , or was it 6 months ? Hmm
I guess I'll see , but I'm curious to look at the measurements comparison
In my mind , I can't fathom the changes being so "large", but you can't argue with black and white measurements. That's why I want to see them.
I just can't believe I'm on the tail end of this ordeal , each day has seemed equal to 100.
The experience the doctor and his team have given me has been like no other - I know they get paid a lot but I seriously felt like they cared about me as a person. Even when I got mad with him he stayed positive and patiently entertained my tantrum .If they didn't care , then they are darn good actors .
Realself has been a saving grace for me as it has for many others .
I'm on here 30 times per day looking at reviews !

Almost at 6 weeks Post op

6 weeks is right around the comer but for me I don't feel like it's the true 6 week mark because I've had a stunted experience . So I'm behind the curve.
I feel less pain each day , take my antibiotic twice per day ( not on any pain meds now except ibuprofen ), and I see the doctor three times per week( yeah I know ). I'm looking better and my weight is down about 20 lbs total as I said before .
I still have weird nerve pain feelings in my flanks and waist and some pain on the hips and my bottom. It just comes and goes.
I still have the open incision in the back that he has left open on purpose to drain the "bad fluids". So he is keeping that open as Long as possible , so I still have to deal with the blood and the gauzes and the crazy stuff . He basically has this little piece of "wick" material packaged into the hole and each time I visit him , he puts a smaller and smaller piece into the hole so that it heals in a manageable way. So we will see where This goes.
The darkening areas on my sides are super dark still but doctor says that should lighten In time.
I'm bored of dealing with but if this is what it takes , so be it .
I put up some status photos so you all can see my current situation .

*I'm looking into thigh work ( 6 months down the road ) - so if anyone has had lipo on thighs ( I'll be stalking your reviews !)

Not even the same person!

I went back to my beloved Pilates class today and it went well , actually
I wore my $100 pants that have been hanging in my closet untouched because I could not fit them and then I was on the workout hiatus!
Today I wore them and I can see why they cost $100- they make anyone look like a yoga star ! Love them
I modified a little here and there but I made it - and it was hard but fun
I hope tomm I don't pay for it but I was gonna go stir crazy if I didn't do something
I'm gonna drink lots of water now and put on my garment and relax
I had pain this morning but I took an ibuprofen And that did the trick
Everyone at my Pilates class barely recognized me .

Post surgery update! Flanks lipo takes time to heal !!

I'll keep it short Basically I'm feeling better ( still taking antibiotics). I will be getting the gauzes removed from my Lower back incision today and will be "free" from that point onward. For the last few weeks , ive been going to the doctor every other day for adjusting to the gauze. He packed that incision In order to control the healing process and force it to heal from the inside -out, therefore ensuring no trapped liquids or further Infection. I still feel swelling after a Long day . I still have some issue getting totally comfortable on the couch or the bed or sitting for a long period of time. Basically my healing process was stunted due to the infection so im behind the curve , as I said before. I feel more like at 5 weeks instead of nearly 8 ! The flanks are the kicker though and it will take time for those to get totally normal. I've been continuing to lose weight and work on fitness . No major workouts right now due to the swelling I saw after last weeks pilates. So I'm gonna take it easy for a while . My vacation is next week so I'm glad to be getting the gauze out today so I can seal up and be able to enjoy activities and have no giant bandage ruining the fun. The only two issues that also bother me are the skin color change on my flanks. I know it's not permanent but it will take time . I can't expose it to sun so that limits what I can wear in summer which defeats the purpose of the lipo in the first place. In time , I guess it will be ok . Second , my lower abdomen seems always puffy and bloated out - even more so now that my waist and back are slimmer . It looks like I have this large gut but my weight is the lowest it's been in years. It's so frustrating and I wish it would go away. I guess I was heavier than I realized at the start of all this . After the vacation , I can regroup and form a plan. For now, I'll just be glad I've lost 20 lbs and have a great new shape in time for my vacation.

Update! Incision not closed - will have to vacation with drain !

Doctor didn't feel comfortable letting the incision close naturally So I'm back in drain ville for my vacation next week and that means no ocean , and maybe pool if using full waterproof bandages ( which I've ordered ). This was what I dreaded most and here we are . 2 days away from the trip and I'm still taking meds and draining ! Oh no :( I know I'll have fun but maybe it's my fault for having the surgery so close to the date ? I was just sure after two months I would be ok Silly me . What a mess . One week in Jamaica and I can't actually get in the water ? And have to take meds. Also I have I keep covered as well, so instead of letting loose and having fun , I will be anxious about having this open incision in a foreign country . Oh boy

2 Months Post op!! Still pain in flanks

Hello everyone
I am back
Today is two months after my lipo.
I look pretty slim but due to my set backs , my healing is crawling !
Ouch .
My vacation was fun but I will admit I did have discomfort
I also had anxiety about getting in pool or ocean
I got blood work when I came back and I have no infections or other problems
That being said , I still have quite a lot of pain in my flanks / lower back.
I no longer have drains or packing or anything there and hoped I was home free . Not so fast !
I taking Celebrex and tramadol depending on how I feel
I also have Ice pack and icy hot - all that .
My doctor seems to be happy with where I am and how it looks
I feel like they ( my surgeon and primary doctor) think I am crazy and this is all in my head.i even asked another surgeon who said I could feel pain for like 6 months or more. Now I know how this works and recovery takes time but I am shocked that I am still not able to do high impact work out and if someone hugs me to hard - it hurts . A friend swatted me on the bottom and I nearly died it hurt so bad.
I'm happy to look good /better but I'm truly baffled that I am still in such discomfort after two months.
I got blood work and CT scan and everything shows totally normal just inflamed tissues in back area of course
I guess this is just the way it is .
Does anyone have any ideas or advice? I am a total loss .

Took a Bath finally- felt like my back "filled up" with water?

Anyone have similar experience? I don't have anymore open incisions or drains, so I went on and took a nice hot bath. When I got out of the bath, I felt like really heavy in my lower back and flanks. Almost as if my back was a sponge and it just soaked up all the water from the tub. Is this possible? I took another bath just to see if it was a fluke and sure enough the same feeling came. The whole area feels painful and swelled and bothered when I get out of the tub. I wonder if it is still too early for hot soaking baths? I was sure I would be in the clear by now. I will take it easy on the baths then until further notice. I really don't like that heavy feeling. I call it the "fanny pack"- because the area feels like I have a fanny back sitting back there. My doctor thinks I am healing fine and there are no problems. Of course I haven't talked to him yet about the bath tub thing. I feel like I have already been so dramatic about this process that every complaint I say to him now goes in one ear and out the other. Perhaps just a little more, is all that is needed. Also I asked my doctor how long I have to wait before I get another surgery. I want to get my abdomen done- via the awake surgery. he told me 6 months, at least. That seems like a really long stretch of time. I notice some other people on Real self who had lipo on multiple areas just within weeks of one another. Does 6 months seem reasonable? Or a little long? I would prefer to just go ahead and do it, especially if I do the awake and may not be as long recovery. I have a consult this week with another doctor, and I will see what he says.

2.5 month update : flanks, waist, hips Lipo

Almost at 3 month mark. Yeah! I've been vigilant about my diet but not so much exercise . To be honest I still feel some pain in my back and hips when I run or jump. Very random for this far along - but you know me, always drama. I've lost 25 lbs ( 8 from surgery) and my whole body shape is different now. I almost feel like it's obvious that i had work done ! It's not like a secret but I don't want to look "worked on". Part of it is my fault because my doctor did suggest circumferential lipo which would have produced a more even result. I just thought his price was way too high ( and I was right but that's the past). Anyway I'm feeling a little imbalanced in my final look but I know it takes time. My butt actually looks like it's been "done" because with the muffin top removed - you can actually just see the normal butt now . Several people have commented on my butt ESP when I wear tight dress or shorts. It's VERY perky and high. This is no problem but it looks almost fakish - if you get meaning. By and large , it looks superbly great no matter what I wear . The lipo combined with my weight loss has taken me from size 14-ish ( January ) to an 8 ( now). Each week my weight creeps lower and lower and I know i still have swelling in my flanks that will go down. The discolor on my flanks is a problem . I'm very disappointed in how dark that skin is now. Doctor says it may lighten and go away with time. Even my massage therapist was asking me what happened. It's awesome that it has been so successful and even with my troubled journey - I feel confident in doing it again. The reason I am "going under" again is to get an even look to my shape . My midsection and hips change is so drastic that it does not match the rest of body which is making me look worked on. I checked with two other plastic surgeons and they both told me there is no need to wait 6 months for new procedures which have no relation to the "problem" areas. My mindset in doing it now is that I'm already in the recover mode and my lifestyle is such that I can focus on these type of things without other obligations. The doctor I'm going with for my next work ( not scheduled yet but will be in next few months ), has a local surgery center ( not in a large hospital )which is Saving me $2000 of fees that I paid before. I did want to do the awake but he says he can get the best result with General . Like my first doctor , he believes the old school methods are more solid than new techniques with lasers. I'll go with it . He offered me an additional discount because I don't have much fat to remove - it will be more contouring at this point . I talked to him about my thighs and he said he could go in and do a little bit on the inner to lean them out without a major obvious thigh gap. I'll continue to work on weight loss but I do have continued concerns about the body imbalance which is essentially thin middle but large arms and legs - plus very noticeable loose lower abdomen .

Before and after photos of Back and Bottom!

Had some people asking how my butt looked before - lol Here we go . March and then June!

Feeling EXTREME soreness and pain in the Flanks. What is this?!

I've been dealing with pain in my lower back and flanks for a few months. As of late I have been getting weekly massages. I feel like maybe the new pain is due to the regular massages? I Can't be sure. I talked to the doctor about it and he is encouraging the massages, like many other doctors would. I feel like its a deep burning, tingling, stretching pain in the lower back muscles/tissues. It is the worst when I am laying down for a long time and then I suddenly have to stand up. It feels like the tissues under skin are a rubber band that is being stretched beyond its limits. I wonder if anyone has experienced this about 3 months later after their lipo? I am taking lyrica, ibuprofen, celebrex- you name it. I also do a heating pad as well . It hurts to lay flat on my back or to put extreme pressure on my lower back. I am not sure what path to take now. It has been a few weeks and the pain has not subsided.

Taking a break from massages for now

I had a massage yesterday and sure enough, the lower back is going crazy today. So easy solution: No more massages and lets monitor the area. I'm pretty sure I told my doctor on the last few visits about the massages and the soreness and the overall approach was that the massages are helpful and a little soreness is to be expected. ETC ETC. I called to set up an appt with the doctor because I felt the area had swelled up/looked puffy. And that was actually even before the massage. In fact, my massage therapist mentioned to me that the area appeared puffy versus firm ( as it usually is). I know its all just the healing process but I certainly have been getting the oddest responses from the doctor's office. Its probably best that I not reach out to them anymore over this and that I try to just leave the area alone and allow the healing to continue. I look better than ever so hopefully soon I can just enjoy the results, and hopefully by my bday I can get the lower ab done.

Back pain there but figure looks great !

Ah I'm torn ! Looking good but still in pain. My doctor is trying me on different med, a topical cream and some rounds of physical therapy .
I'm planning to get my abs done after summer so I hope this will resolve

Lidocaine patches help pain in flanks

My doctor prescribed the lidocaine patches for me and it helps a lot with the lower back pain and flanks without having to pop as many pills
You put them on and it takes like 20 min for them to kick In and it does provide some temporary relief
It's not perfect but I'll take it !

4 months( almost ) update - flanks, hips, waist lipo results

In March I had major lipo and my fair share of issues
Still in pain to this very day but the results are the reason we are all on this site
I found my day before lipo photos and did another side by side to show clear result so far .. Almost 4 months later.

Physical therapy is WORKING! Good bye pills

Hello everyone !
So I've been the one with the never ending back issues ( soft tissues on flanks and hips pain mostly)
My doctor suggested a course of physical therapy ( great , spending more and more money ).
I've been going two weeks now and am experiencing a huge change and relief
I believe it's working .
I can do high impact now like running or jumping. I don't take any pills except maybe an ibuprofen here or there .
I still have noticeable swelling in the area and pain to the touch but you have to really Jab at it .
Anyway , that's my update
And my abdomen is still bothering me and if I have a few days of bad Eating it shows up fast on abdomen . Yikes
I'm Saving for that lipo- I researched the 360 lipo and most surgeons all said its not in best form to get hips and waist done without also the abdomen and now I see why
It always looks like I have a gut but only because other areas are so trim.
Geesh, you can't win can you ?

Weight gain AFTER lipo and how that works !

I've gained 5 lbs. literally just 5. And that's due to my normal appetite returning now that I am not on 100 prescriptions .The impact is very odd. I knew I made the rookie mistake of not getting my Abs done but now I'm feeling the pressure.
If I gain even 1-2 lbs , I can see it right away in my stomach . In the top and the bottom . Also I have gained in my boobs . I am up one cup size . My boobs feel fatty and there is more mass in my back and upper arms. I am currently back to watching my diet more careful and exercising so hopefully it will even it out .
I just wanted to post and update to show some 5 lbs gain and how crazy it can be when the fatty stores are altered .
I am still saving for my ab lipo. At the very least I must get the Lower ab done . It's a monster and looks yuck in all my cute clothes.
My overall size is not bad ( size 6-8 ), my shape is better but the stomach and boobs are making me tops and dresses too tight and I've had to buy new bras .
I wouldn't the boobs if my stomach wasn't also a mess.
I've never had a wide back and I feel like a linebacker . ( nice)/
My inner thighs were an issue before and still are but only exercising can fix that .
I've Included a side by side compare photo so you can see the changes. No it's not drastic... but I do feel somewhat larger and uncomfortable than I was before .
The left photo is from July 4th and the right photo is September 14th ( two months apart).
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