My Liposuction Diary: Melissa L.
Six weeks ago, I had tumescent liposuction of my abs and flanks at Sonata Aesthetics. The experience was so much easier than I had ever anticipated. This is a great procedure for anyone with stubborn areas of fat that won’t budge, even with careful diet and exercise. Swimsuit season will be back before we know it… and this year I will be ready for it! Here is the nitty-gritty, day-by-day details of my experience for anyone considering this life-changing procedure!
I wasn’t nervous about the procedure itself… I knew I was in great hands with Dr. Janowski. He is very gentle and always concerned with patient comfort. I was more worried about finding the right time to slow down in a hectic schedule filled with kids, work and social events. I took two days off from work and kept the social schedule light for a few weeks in case my road to recovery was bumpy. In the end, this was plenty of time to get back on my feet. I had a big trip planned one-month post-procedure… my goal was to be feeling fantastic by then.
Wow! That was it? The procedure went super smooth and I was comfortable the whole time! Before the treatment, Krystyna, the wonderful Sonata Medical Assistant, gave me a sedative so I would feel relaxed and drowsy. She also hooked me up with the Pro-Nox machine, the individually controlled nitrous oxide delivery system which is helpful for a (self-proclaimed) ninny, like me. Tumescent liposuction uses a vey small cannula to minimize recovery time so the procedure takes some time…. I was in the office for 4 hours. I was only mildly aware of what was going on during this time. Dr. Janowski utilizes the tickle lipo technique. Most of the time, I felt a tickle or vibration sensation, but no pain. Tumescent fluid containing lidocaine, a powerful painkiller, is injected into the areas to be treated so I felt swollen and strange, but totally numb and relaxed. Dr. Janowski suctioned out 2.5 liters of fat. That was a lot of stubborn fat! Good riddance! Krystyna and the Doctor applied a tight bandage or dressing around my torso and helped me into my compression garment. Since I was still pretty out of it, my husband drove me home and put me right to bed. I slept the rest of the day.
Ouch! I am not going to lie… I was hurting the next morning. I took a heavy dose of Tylenol (the only painkiller I took during my recovery) and made myself move around. I was stiff, sore and leaking tumescent fluid all day. I showered and changed my dressing on day 2 also. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror… it wasn’t pretty… marked up from surgical pen the Dr. used during the procedure, leaking from the incision sites… but definitely and noticeably slimmer! I was so excited! Compression garment went right back on after the shower…. It helps to control swelling and squeeze out the rest of the tumescent fluid. In the early days, it also helps with comfort.
Pain was already diminishing! I was pretty regular with my Tylenol intake to keep the pain and swelling to a minimum. The leaking subsided and I felt pretty good! I tried on all my body-con clothes over my compression garment. Everything fit great! This was definitely easier than I could have ever imagined! I drove carpool and ran the kids to their afterschool activities. Was I really out of the woods?
NOPE! The swelling stage- My pain was totally controlled by Tylenol, except for the occasional sharp, burning sensation when standing, sitting or changing position. I was on the mend and back to work feeling fantastic until: I began to swell… and swell…. And swell! I felt bigger than ever. We had a cold, rainy few days in Denver and I couldn’t find a pair of pants that could zip. I worked a full week and even put in a 12-hour day at Broomfield Days. I wasn’t in pain- just swollen, miserable and cranky. This was the hardest part of the entire process for me.
Finally, the swelling began to subside! I had to go to the bathroom constantly, feeling lighter and better after each time! I no longer needed Tylenol during my 2nd week post-treatment. Swelling was up and down… mornings were much better than evenings… my compression garment helped control swelling although I was getting tired of wearing it. At the end of week 2, I went back to my beloved Zumba class. I took it easy and had a wonderful but light workout. I was a little sore and swollen after the class, but the exercise felt amazing. I was- for all practical purposes- back to my normal routine by the end of my second week of recovery.
At 15-days post-op, I stopped wearing my compression garment all the time. There are so many differing opinions on the necessity of compression following liposuction. Dr. Janowski advised me to wear it for a minimum of 48 hours after the leaking subsides, then for comfort after that. Some doctors recommend continued usage for 6 weeks and even up to 3 months. It was confusing! In the end, I listened to Dr. Janowski and my own body! I preferred to wear the compression garment during busy days to keep the swelling down, but at night or if I was laying low, I didn’t feel the need for it.
While the swelling was noticeably better by this point in my recovery, some areas began to feel hard as a rock. The hard areas were also more prominent and visible as other areas healed quicker. As some areas healed, my skin also began to look saggy and loose and I worried that this would be permanent.
I was finally fitting in my jeans at the one-month post procedure milestone! I packed my bags and jetted off to meet a friend in Nashville! The hard, lumpy, visible areas and skin laxity were improving bit-by-bit everyday. I felt fantastic! Unfortunately- the salty, fried, Southern foods set my recovery back a bit. My weakened lymphatic system didn’t like the onslaught of unhealthy living and swelled back up to week 3 levels. I felt pretty lousy after each night of overindulging. It was a fantastic trip and worth the suffering, but I was ready to head back to Colorado and get back on the mend!
Weeks 5 & 6:
Back to my normal healthy routine, my recovery has been back on track! There a are still a few hard areas of stubborn swelling which come and go depending the time of day and my level of activity. I am back to sweaty, cardio-packed dance classes with full abdominal range of motion. My audits, or the incision points where Dr. J. inserted the cannula, are getting lighter by the day. By spring break when I am lounging by a pool in a bikini, no one but me will know that the tiny scars are even there. I am excited to see the final results as those last areas of swelling settle down and my new permanent shape becomes more obvious everyday!
As for weight loss and clothing size, I am down a few pounds from my pre-procedure weight. Liposuction is not intended to be a weight loss method, but it is still a nice bonus to see the scale down a bit. My clothes all fit great. Final results are not expected until the 3-month mark, so potentially I could still drop down a size or two. All-in-all, when I look in the mirror, I am thrilled with the results. My waistline is more defined, the dreaded muffin-top is no more and my love handles are a thing of the past. I highly recommend tumescent liposuction from Sonata Aesthetics to anyone looking for a permanent way to get rid of stubborn areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. My problem area was definitely my tummy, but we also see fantastic results with arms and thighs!
*Results may vary from patient to patient