Dr Thomas Su Helps 40 Y/o with Too Many Curves - Tampa, FL

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I'm a 40 year old female with one child who has...

I'm a 40 year old female with one child who has had thick knees and love handles that I just couldn't get rid of despite years of exercise and a healthy diet. I've had these ever since my early 20's. I finally got the nerve up to try liposuction. I know that this isn't a weight loss program and I certainly can't change my bone structure, but I wanted to smooth out some of th extra pads of fat.

I finally got the nerve up to proceed with researching the procedure when I discovered that doctors were allowing and even preferring the procedure to be done awake. I have my reasons for not liking general anesthesia. I met Dr Thomas Su and his staff to review my problem areas. They have a nice clean office and made me feel comfortable - no feeling of being judged for my shape or my desire to change it. The lady I met with had lipo done in the past, so I really appreciated her honest input in how things are done and how most people feel at various stages through the procedure and healing process. There were a ton of before and after photos, many more than most offices. Dr Su took the time to show me what he could do; and, when I asked about additional areas, he was honest about ones that would make me look better verses really wouldn't help.

After making an appointment to have the procedure done, I was given a very helpful folder with things to do before and after my procedure. It was all very organized, scripts were called in to my pharmacy, pre procedure lab script was easy to handle too.

The day of the procedure -----

I went in dressed in scrubs and a t-shirt. They recommend dark baggy clothing which is a good idea as I have leaked through my bandages some and have some blood on my clothes. Also BAGGY clothes as the bandages do make clothes harder to get on. I would also recommend no elastic waistline. I could see where that may hurt.

After getting prepped/washed, I stood in front of a mirror with Dr Su as he marked up my body. We had not planned on him working on the back bra line area, but he said that he would smooth that area out as well. So he did some extra work with no added fee! Awesome!! The table I was worked on was heated .... loved it. I'm not normally bothered much by the lidocaine injections for numbing, but there were a few tender spots. It only hurt for a few seconds but the back where the bra strap typically hits was one of them and just under the buttocks. The instillation of the numbing solution was probably the most painful part of the procedure. There would be small "zingers" of pain that would go away once he left that area. He said that those were connective tissues that he was breaking up. I know that I have a lot of fibrous tissues to begin with and there were a few areas that I had a lot. Not everyone will have these areas or some may have more. Every body is different. So there was more discomfort in those areas. He was kind and took his time, would reposition and go in from a different direction if I was hurting. He added some additional lidocaine in the areas I needed it. So did it hurt? Of course, but it wasn't unbearable. The pain was short as he hit areas that were tender and I just told him when he hit those areas. He and my nurse were very calm and sweet. He did have me get up and he reviewed his work from all different angles many times during the procedure. I was really cool to see my body change. There was a spot on the back of my legs that had some cellulite (which they tell you up front that lipo does not remove), that he was able to greatly improve but he was honest up front about it.
When he was done with my one side he stopped to review his work and saw a little imperfection (maybe one tablespoon) that he fixed.

My husband was allowed back into the room (They would have allowed him to watch the whole procedure if he wanted) when I was done with one side.

I will say that I am tremendously ticklish, and that made my back bra line area probably more painful than it would be for someone not so ticklish. Even him just touching the area with his hands was uncomfortable ... but again not unbearable just a deep tickle.

I never felt hurried through the procedure, and the nurses were so nice. My compression garment isn't chafing me and is comfortable. Even with my garment and the padding on me, I can see a big difference in my outline. It's amazing. My first night post op pain was tolerable. I'm actually pain free while sitting in my recliner, and feel like I just started working out with soreness and not true pain when I get up. Once I've been up and moving, the soreness goes away. I think the transition from one positing sitting to moving and moving to sitting is the worse.

Unfortunately I'm a red head and pain meds just don't seem to work on me. I've used tylenol #3 in the past and it just made me sleepy without getting rid of the pain , and the norco #7.5 they prescribed doesn't make me sleepy (a bonus for daytime use) but it doesn't seem to change my perception of the pain either. I went from 9pm last night to 9 am this am without any pain pills and I don't feel any worse. Maybe if you are helped by pain pills you might do better with them. I just don't see a difference. I did however need some additional anti nausea pills (they offered to call in prior to the procedure and I said not to as I thought I had a big supply already at home). My husband called and the office called them in right away for me.

I don't have any after shots yet and I haven't uploaded my before shots yet. I'll try to figure that out later.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

POD #2

So it's post op day #2 and I'm feeling much better. Still sore in certain spots and feel some swelling, but even with the swelling I can still see my shape is so much better than it was before the lipo. I suppose if I had a sit down job that I could go to work today or tomorrow, but my job is quite active so I'm still off work. No pain pills since 2pm yesterday - not even tylenol.

POD #3

I tried on an old skirt that I had kept from 15 years ago.... it fit again! This was when I was at my thinnest. I tried on some new dresses I bought a year or so ago and thought to myself that they would look better if they were shorter! YAY! Still sore when I go from sitting to standing and vice versa. Once I'm in a position, whether sitting or moving, I'm comfortable with just some tylenol. I slept well the last two nights.

I'm looking forward to doing my abdomen in two weeks.

POD #4

Didn't sleep so well last night, my head was racing and I think that when I tossed and turned the pain woke me up. Thank goodness the doc prescribed some stronger pain meds just in case. One Percocet and I was comfortable - and back to sleeping in the recliner for now. Feeling much better today. The bruising isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe that's yet to come?

1 week post

Finally sleeping through the night, but not able to sleep lying flat yet. Although I'm still swollen, I can still see the smoothness of my sides. The soreness is slowly going away. I'm planning on having my upper and lower abdomen done next week and already have 9 days off work planned.

2 weeks post

Feeling much better after two weeks! I was able to work 4 12 hour shifts in a row as an ICU nurse. My shape looks great now and should continue to improve over the next few weeks and months. Definitely thrilled that I went through with this, and thrilled with my doctor choice.

I'll compare this procedure to the one I had two...

25 Jun 2015

  • 1 day post

I'll compare this procedure to the one I had two weeks ago on my bra line/waist/flanks/outer thigh/ and knees (procedure #1).

The abdominal lipo procedure itself was a lot easier than my first procedure. Less pain during the procedure, and he already knew that I don't respond well to lidocaine and thus needed more lidocaine than the average person. Therefore, he was better able to numb me up before starting. I still, however, had one resistant area that he was so kind and understanding and he was able to finally get it numbed.

I felt that the abdominal lipo was much, much easier than my first procedure. I did lots of crunches and heel lifts, and I did get up during the procedure to have him assess the smoothness of the lipo. I can definitely see where if I had been under general anesthesia that I would not have been able to get such great results. Each time I stood up (until the last time), you could see small areas that were hanging a little funny or had a little fat hiding. He taped up the areas he was worried about the skin reattaching smoothly and he applied my foam/compression garment himself. I'm going to my follow up visit in a few hours and I'll update again later.

I will say that the immediate post op pain with this procedure was sooooo much more than my first procedure. I was crying with pain. I'm a non-responder to codeine and it's derivatives (about 7-10% of the population does not respond due to lacking the enzyme to convert the medicine to an active form in the body). Dr Su made sure I had a different pain medication (straight morphine) for recovery. Since I never had it before, I started low and had to go up to 60 mg to go from a crying pain level to 7 out of 10. After a second dose of 60 mg (every 6 hours), the pain was down to 5/10, and finally after my third dose I am at 2/10. For those of you hurting after the procedure, please talk with your doctor. Yes these procedures hurt, but a different type of pain med may be required for you.

Eat lots of carbs before your procedure (if you're doing it awake). I had a hearty breakfast before my lipo and it definitely helped. I also found that taking zofran before my procedure made it easier on me as well. I was nauseated during the first half of my first procedure and took a zofran at my break. That made the second half of the procedure much easier. This time I just took it before and had no nausea at all. Zofran is a miracle drug in my book!

I have one more procedure down the road (my arms), and I'm so looking forward to enjoying my new "sports car" body. :-)

WoW! I have a cute butt now :-)

Dr Thomas Su has been wonderful - it took a little bit to get here. I started in June, had my outer and inner thighs done, my abdomen, and my arms. My last procedure was yesterday and here are before (at the very beginning) and after (today) photos.

1 1/2 years later ...

Wow, hard to believe it's been so long! Here's a list of my tips for those considering lipo....

Pre lipo:
1. I definitely prefer the no sedation lipo.
2. Arrange your living/sleeping space: pillows (lots of pillows for comfort), back scratcher, item picker upper, water jug, I think the recliner was the most comfortable place to be for day and night for a good week after surgery. A side table with all your needed items.
3. Loose, dark clothing for surgery and afterwards .... no elastic waistband if you're getting the abdomen done. Flip flops or shoes easy to slide on (or a helper there to help dress you)
4. Pillows for the ride home in the car
5. FOOD! The day of surgery, CARB OUT before surgery! And grab some carbs on your way home or have a sugary snack waiting for you. And this is coming from a low carb diet person.

Right after surgery:
1. Pain pills, nausea pill rx were given prior to the day of surgery. Have them readily available.
2. Expect to do nothing the day of surgery. Go home and rest.
3. My doctor's office provided disposable protective covers to keep blood off of stuff. Very useful.

The days after surgery:
1. Keep clothes from rubbing the incisions. Some incisions that rubbed on my clothes, bra strap, etc got more irritated and are still visible (although not bothersome). I used some silicone patches to help cover them until I developed a bit of an allergy to them. Even a band aid can help protect the incision site. At 1 1/2 years, most of my incisions are almost invisible. Some you can't even see. The ones that rubbed by clothes and my bra are still a bit red but improving.
2. I might have gone over board, but I used neosporin on my incisions. Kept them clean and free of infection.
3. The pain is less if you either keep moving or keep siting. Changing from sitting to moving or moving to sitting just plan hurts!
4. Take enough time off work - how much depends on what you do and what area was done. The abdomen was the slowest to heal in terms of pain level; the arms the quickest.

The cost varies from area to area and person to person. I think there is a differential based on the amount of work needed. Take advantage of the specials they offer and follow on facebook or just plain ask.

I love my new look and have been very happy with the results. Dr. Su and his team were amazing, and I'd still recommend them wholeheartedly!
Tampa Physician

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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