So I just had liposuction. Not long after my last post a man who I hadn't met before, Dr Daiya Kishida, came in and marked me up like a topographic map. He was very kind, asked lots of questions and explained everything he was doing as he did it. I showed him before & after pictures from the Cosmos Clinic site that were similar to my body type & had the results I was looking for. We then discussed the exact shape I wanted, if we should continue the line of the 'dip' that happens just below my hip, or if I wanted a slight curve left for a more feminine line. I decided my waist to hip ratio was all the feminine lines I needed and so we decided to try and keep the hips as the widest point for a more 'athletic' look (or as I like to call it 'the every model on my pinterest board' look). I also ducked in to the bathroom just before the procedure & stamped the toilet seat with the marker from my thighs. Should have thought that through before I sat down but no-one seemed to care when I told them.
Due to the reaction from the Lorazepam the night before they decided not to sedate me for the procedure incase I reacted badly to that too, so I just had gas and was pretty lucid for the whole thing. I'll try to re-tell it as accurately as possible for those of you just as curious as I was but feel free to tap out for this next bit if you're happier not knowing the details.
They started by getting me on the gas and tried to get me breathing normally, I was aware of a tiny prick for what I assume was the local anaesthetic but it didn't hurt at all. The next step involved the 'vasering' part where they insert a rod that emits some sort of ultrasound to soften the fat. This bit was super weird - I could sort of feel the rod pushing through the fat cells. It wasn't a painful feeling, but I could definitely feel the hesitation of it as it pushed up against solid bits, and then those bits giving way as it mushed everything up. This was probably the 'worst' part of the procedure in that I was quite aware of the sensation and occasionally I could start to feel things, but the second I would say "ouch" (more as an alert that I could feel it as opposed to actual pain) they would stop & give me some more pain relief. It wasn't bad, I think I was curious enough to justify any slight pain and I doubt it would feel anything like that if i'd been under sedation like the other patients were.
The next part was the suction and I hardly felt any of this except a vague sensation of where on my body they were working. I remember watching the little clusters of orange fat cartwheeling up the tube and into the collection cup. It was so interesting and fascinatingly gross, occasionally I would look down as they were pumping, unable to feel a thing and trying to reconcile how violent this procedure looked in videos with how painless this part felt. I kept telling them how gross it was and they kept telling me to stop talking and to breathe the gas. This happened far more often than it should have.
For each section (right front inner thing, left front inner thigh etc) they started the process from scratch, so it was a constant rotation of local>vaser>suction>compare. I had assumed they might vaser everything, then suction everything, the way you would if you had some craft project that required several repeated actions, but each little section got special attention.
After this they stood me up very slowly and had a look at how the fat was sitting, they drew new marks on me and then lay me back down to adjust any irregularities. They did this twice I think which was reassuring, I remember there were at least 3 doctors having a look & discussing what, if anything, needed to be tweaked. The whole thing took around 2 hours I think, but the time sort of floated by, like dozing in the morning where you know time is passing but you don't care.
To be completely honest there were a couple of moments during the vaser part where it did hurt. I think it was my right inner thigh and i'm not sure why I felt that part and not others. It wasn't unbearable though, in fact I think the most uncomfortable thing was that I couldn't see what was happening and was very aware that there was a foreign object flailing around inside me that I had no control over. When I told them it actually hurt though, as opposed to my casual complaints of 'I can feel that' they were pretty quick to get me on some higher dose painkillers which worked very quickly. I also found if I closed my eyes and relaxed it wasn't so bad, there was something about seeing what the doctor was doing & my brain anticipating pain that heightened my senses. When I closed my eyes & just enjoyed the gas I actually had a marvellous time. I was disappointed when it finished!
GROSS BIT OVER NOW :D
So about 5 minutes into this whole thing I realised that it was Dr Kishida who was working on me, not Dr Ajaka. I thought it was weird that no one had mentioned that the doctor I had been liaising with up until this point would not actually be performing the procedure, but I didn't mind so much. Partly because of the gas I assume, but also because Dr Kishida had a very warm air about him and had specified before I started on the gas that he had a background in anaesthetics - something everyone was concerned about with my dodgy asthmatic, chest infected, allergy prone airways.
I do remember Dr Ajaka mentioning in our first meeting back in April that another doctor would be with him, but I assumed he would be doing most of the procedure with another doctor assisting. Instead Dr Ajaka took more of a supervisor roll, I remember him coming in to the room a lot, discussing how it was going with Dr Kishida and checking that I was OK. He was also one of the 3 doctors assessing how it all looked when they stood me up, so he was quite involved, I just don't remember him ever actually touching me.
When it was done one of the nurses took my now saline-drenched underwear off and put my compression garment on while I was still lying down. Genius idea. Not just because I was a level 10 space cadet after all that gas, but because it was a hell of a lot easier to get on than during my practice pre-op run when I was standing up. Also there was 1.1 litres less of me so that probably helped too. I've made a mental note to do all future undressing of the garment while lying down in the bath - easy to clean up & nowhere to fall over if I black out.
Because I wasn't sedated I felt really normal within about 10 minutes. I could walk around fine (the local was still working I think?) and I ended up calling my friend to come get me earlier because I was pretty bored just sitting up eating muesli bars & listening to Susan* snoring next to me. I had some panadine forte before I left and I wasn't dizzy or anything, just slow moving and a bit sore. It just felt like I'd done 100 squats...but to be honest i've never actually done 100 squats so that description is purely speculative. We booked in my post op massages for each saturday starting tomorrow so I don't miss any work and I headed home with my friend on a plastic drop sheet & 2 towels.
I'll discuss the process that is navigating my house & recovery later, at this point I just want to say how happy I am with the surgery. I was so impressed with how they looked after me and how professional, kind and funny all the staff were. From the allergic reaction and all the way through the procedure I felt totally safe and listened to which were my main concerns when trusting strangers with my body. The results look amazing, when I came out of theatre I went into the bathroom to have a look in the full length mirror & I was gobsmacked by how closely it resembled what I had always hoped my legs would look like. The nurse reminded me that they had already started to swell which concerned me a little bit, what I was looking at was exactly what I had asked for so it occurred to me that they may have taken too much. I don't think that's the case though, and they have since swollen even more so I'm pretty sure what I first saw was not far off how they are going to look. I was also warned by many people who had their thighs done that they hardly noticed a difference even after the swelling had gone down so that was also something I had in the back of my mind.
Overall I am so happy with every aspect of this process and am glad that I trusted my body was OK to go ahead with the procedure despite my cough and allergy. I really appreciated that Dr Ajaka took my 'gut feeling' seriously and could balance his medical knowledge with a patient's intuition, something he said was important to him.
I'm really excited to see what the next few weeks bring!
*obviously not her real name.