Lipo to abs and flanks by Dr Norkus in Lithuania, via Wellness Travels

After months of research, countless numbers of...

After months of research, countless numbers of consultations, and back and forth emails, I've finally picked a clinic for my liposuction.

I've been considering liposuction for years now. I guess a mix of financial strain and social pressure have been the two biggest reasons why I've put it off for so long. I'm 27 and haven't had any children, so more often than not, friends of mine have said my "kangaroo pouch" was nothing to feel self conscious about, that I was taking the "easy way out" and that it was a selfish thing to pay for vanity. I've pushed all those thoughts of negativity away, and will be concentrating on me - selfish or not!

I originally looked around London, meeting with well know clinics like MYA and the Private Clinic but always decided against them - the patient coordinators were always nice enough, but there was always an air of.... judgement. Which isn't what you want from someone who is supposed to take care of you from start to finish.

I considered leaving London and having the lipo in other cities (Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester) but again, never felt like I'd be at the forefront of their attention - I always felt like I'd be part of this huge liposuction machine, one person in and one person out. So I decided to look abroad and see if I could get the dame treatment, with zero judgement and more human touches.

I've decided to go with Wellness Travels who are based in Lithuania. Considering they're abroad, their communication has been better and faster than some of the UK clinics I've spoken with, which impressed me from the very start. My Skype consultation went really well and I'm booked in for liposuction to the upper and lower abdomen plus flanks.

As silly as it sounds, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I've had enough of people judging me and saying I'm taking the "easy way out", now that I've found a clinic that has really gone out of their to ease any of my worries, I know that this is the best route for me 100%.

Less than four weeks to go

There are less than four weeks until my operation.

My flights have been booked, contract has been received, and deposit paid. My time off work has been approved, and now all I have to do is wait.

There are a handful of things I'm looking forward to, but the below are at the very top of my list:

1.Not having to wear shapewear / suck in my stomach / feel self conscious about how I look in certain clothes
2.Being able to buy clothes that are more fitted, not needing to hide behind baggy and long jumpers
3.Being able to say "yes" to things like days out at the beach because I won't feel self conscious

I'm so incredibly excited about this because it's been a long birthing process, but I'm also really nervous. I'm going to a different country for a pretty serious bit of surgery on my own. I'll be heading back to a hotel to change dressings, get in and out of compression garments, and look after myself on my own.

I knew exactly what I was getting myself into but I am quite nervous - but if I can manage for a week by the time I get back to London it'll hopefully be a breeze! I think the thought of not being able to reach for someone if I'm feeling lightheaded, or not having someone who can run to a supermarket for food is what makes me feel anxious at the moment. I know my hotel has a supermarket below it so I plan on stocking up on a few basic things when I arrive.

If anyone has gone for surgery abroad on their own I'd love any tips or recommendations.

Three day countdown

I took my suitcase out of the wardrobe with the intention of measuring it, but ended up getting 90% of my packing done instead.

It was surprisingly easy to do, much easier than packing for a holiday. I have socks, tights, tops, jumpers and joggers. My toiletries bag is basically packed with toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner (if I can cope with washing my hair), dry shampoo (on days when I can’t cope with washing my hair), antiseptic and eczema cream (to tackle any itchiness), cocoa butter, old bed sheets and sanitary pads (to soak up excess drainage). The only things I need to buy are throat lozenges for the potential dry throat following anaesthesia.

I’ve checked into my flight and I’ve added the space for my checked-in bags, because the thought of lugging around my suitcase and struggling to lift my case in and out of the overhead cabin made me anxious.

All I have left to do is pick up my euros and print off my documents, then I’m all set :)

Day 3 Post-Op

I can't believe I'm on day three already. Today, I managed to get dressed and look somewhat human.

The past couple of days have gone by quite quickly and I couldn't be prouder of how I've coped on my own.

I had the best care at the clinic, Dr Norkus was absolutely lovely and reassuring. I remember waking up and hearing they had taken out a litre from my abs and 600cc from each flank. My nurse, Tamara, was a sweetheart and seemed impressed that I mastered things like going to the toilet and eating without assistance.

The pain was very little, even three days post op the pain is manageable. The only thing that has caused a great deal of discomfort was washing my hair in the shower, I've read about how tiring it is but I didn't expect to feel so lightheaded when I gave it a try.

I'm so happy with how my body looks already, even with the swelling. I can't tell if I feel physically lighter, but I can feel that my curves are more pronounced and that the pouch is non existent now. The compression garment is more like a waist cincher belt, so I'm planning on getting another one from Macom when I'm home to make sure I have more of a smooth outline. My back and sides still feel a bit numb but it's what I expected - nothing on this journey has taken me by surprise so far.

I'm really happy that I've gotten so much sleep, I feel like I'm doing really well recovery wise. My first post op check up is tomorrow at 1.30 and I'm expecting to hear that it's all on track.

One week post op!

I cannot believe I've made it to day 7. Was it really a week ago that I woke up in a clinic bed, dozy from anesthetic, with litres off my body? The time has gone by so quickly.

I flew back to the UK yesterday and it feels so wonderful to be back home. The flight itself was fine, though my only discomfort was my compression garment digging into my back. I'm glad I booked my return home six days after the operation, I don't know how well I would have coped on a two and a half hour flight in an uncomfortable plane chair.

I changed my bandages earlier today and had a proper look at how my incisions have been healing (I haven't had the chance to do so before as I've always been lying down when my doctors changed the bandages!) All six of my incisions have scabbed over, with scanning from five incisions falling off already, which gives me an idea of how minimal the scarring will eventually be.

My Arnica cream has been a godsend, I can see my bruising going down significantly. It's TMI but I've noticed new bruising on my lady parts and can only think it might be because of the compression garment OR the water retention - is this normal?

I'm back to work on Monday so have the whole weekend to lounge and get back into a routine.

Two weeks post op

I'm two weeks and three days post op.

I feel like I've looked really bloated this week. I haven't felt it, but I feel like I've looked it.

Settling back into work wasn't stressful in the slightest. Hiding the compression garment has been easier than I thought it'd be. I'm not sure if my colleagues think I look slimmer but I hope they can tell I'm happier.

I always knew the first month is bad for making judgements, which is why I'm not massively bummed out but I am aware that the edema in my stomach has settled in the areas that were flatter this time a week ago. My sides still feel a bit numb and most of the bruising is gone, apart from two bruises above each hip.

The incisions are almost fully healed, the one that took longest to close up was actually the first to properly scab and heal over. I've been using hydrocortisone cream to help the incisions heal over, which has worked wonders so I'm in two minds as to whether or not I need to buy Dermatix.

My Macom garment arrived yesterday and it's far more comfortable than the garment I was given at the clinic. I panicked when I first received it, thinking it was too small but it fits perfectly and I'm really happy with it. I think when I'm healed I'll even use it as shape wear.

My diet has been really good, with the odd challenge at work. I've only had one cup of coffee so far, my only mug of caffeine since the op, and I've been eating low carb (if not, no carb) meals.

I've taken a handful of progress pictures but I can see why women would feel short changed and insecure following their surgery at this stage.

I honestly can't wait to hit the four week mark so I can get into the gym and start working on reducing the outstanding swelling. I'm under no impression that my body will look better after a few gym sessions, but I am prepared to put in the hard graft and get my results. My silhouette face on looks much better, I just need to get the side profile as good as I know it can be.

One month post op

I'm four weeks and three days post op now.

I'm continually amazed at how strong the human body is, and am in awe at how strong my own body is. Four weeks ago I just about managed to wash my hair on my own, get dressed in my own, and had six very fresh incisions.

My incisions are healing very well, two of them are barely noticeable now, and I couldn't be happier with my results so far.

Some days I think I haven't made a lot of progress, but on a day like today, when I've put my comparison pics side by side, I have no words for how happy I am.
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