Tumescent Liposuction Review With Cost, Pictures and Videos.
Stephanie Matto - My Experience with Tumescent Liposuction
Dr. Beth Collins in Guilford, CT
I am a 26-year-old woman, at about 125 lbs., and live an active and healthy lifestyle. My entire life I have struggled with an area of my body, that regardless of exercise and diet, just wouldn’t go away. I am quite short, at barely 5 feet and 1 inch tall, and while my legs are relatively thin, along with the rest of my body, I’ve always had a small spare tire on my stomach. My upper abdomen also has an accumulation of fat. Unfortunately, for someone my height, this little amount of fat made a huge difference when it came to my self-esteem. Clothes, and pants especially, were a challenge for me. Over the years, I found which clothes accentuated my body in the best way, and I tried to stick to a diet that was about 50% vegan. Still, I struggled with the issue, and I knew that at almost 27 years old, I’d either do something about it now, or continue to deal with the issue forever.
I did extensive research, and called every single doctor in New York City and Connecticut that I could find. I scheduled three consultations with doctors, all offering different procedures, and different insights. First, I considered CoolSculpting, but after reading that results took 3 months to appear, and that the procedure was only capable of 30% fat reduction in the treated area, I knew it wasn’t worth my money or time. I wanted something that would give me a little more bang for my buck. That is when I started to consider liposuction, and all the different variations of it that are available. Online, you will find doctors and websites boasting of new and improved liposuction techniques (Vaser, Ultrasonic, SmartLipo, etc.).
My final consultation was with Dr. Beth Collins in Guilford, Ct. My parents live in Connecticut, so I figured it would be a convenient place to have the surgery done. My mother would be able to assist me with my recovery, and drive me to and from my procedure. From the moment, I entered Dr. Beth Collins’ door, I felt at ease. She is a highly prestigious doctor, who quite frankly, knows her stuff. She told me about tumescent liposuction, and how it is basically the “Gold Standard” of all liposuction procedures. It is safe, has been around for decades, and has many other advantages over other forms of liposuction. By using the pure tumescent method, I would only need local anesthesia, which removes all risks associated with general anesthesia. Going “under the knife” with no general anesthesia worried me slightly, but she assured me I would feel no pain, only slight discomfort. She gave me realistic expectations of the procedure, and not once did I feel pressured by her. This is something I really appreciated, because previous doctors were a bit more aggressive.
On the day of the surgery I would take a valium and Percocet to aid me with anxiety, and to make the whole procedure as stress-free as possible. She told me that results would be almost immediate, but full results would take from 3-6 months to completely show. She examined my tummy and told me that I was a perfect candidate for the surgery, since I was not overweight, and had only a small layer of fat on my stomach. The areas that I was having done were my upper and lower abdomen. Another positive thing was that since the procedure was being done under local anesthesia, and only around 1.5L of fat were being removed, it would be an in-patient surgery. This essentially meant that it would cut hospital costs, and make the procedure quicker, easier, and less of a hassle. At the end of my consultation I was quoted $5,300.00. I agreed to the price, and set my pre-op date for about a month ahead.
After financing about half of the procedure and paying out of pocket for the rest, I was ready to begin my journey. My pre-op was just basically like my consultation but a lot more thorough. We talked in detail about the day of the procedure, and step-by-step what would happen. I was given a prescription for painkillers, valium, and for an anti-nausea medication. I was also given a pamphlet which had a plethora of information on how to prepare for the surgery, and tips on recovery. Everything was extremely helpful and put me at a great amount of ease. I honestly did not feel worried about the procedure at all, because I knew I was in the best hands.
On the day of my surgery I washed up, put on some old sweatpants and a sweater, and had my mother drive me to the office. I was taken to a room where I changed into my surgery clothing, and was instructed to take my valium and Percocet. They dimmed the lights for me, and I sat in a chair, read a magazine, and relaxed. About 20 minutes later I was taken to an adjacent room and told to lay on a chair/operating table. I’m not 100% sure what it was because at this point I was a little loopy from the drugs. I honestly was so surprised how calm I was. The doctor had the assistance of a nurse, and both were very good at making the entire procedure enjoyable. First, my abdomen was injected with tumescent fluid, which is a mix of lidocaine and epinephrine. This numbs the area, and helps fat cells contract, making them easier to suction out.
After the tumescent fluid has been injected, the doctor then went in through the very tiny incisions on my lower abdomen and belly button with a small cannula. This was honestly the weirdest part of the entire experience. You’re numb, but you feel the sensation of something inside your stomach, and it almost feels like a light scratch. I am extremely ticklish in this area, so the entire time I was trying my best not to laugh or twitch. One area that was particularly uncomfortable was my belly button. The numbing solution did not fully take effect in this area, so when the doctor went in to work on it, I felt slight pain, but nothing horrible. While having the procedure done, Dr. Beth Collins also did a small bit of work on my flanks as a bonus because it would help enhance the shape of my stomach even more. I appreciated this, and it made me feel like she really wanted the best possible results for me.
It was interesting to be awake and to see what was being done to my body. I felt really in control of the situation. The doctor kept asking me if I was in any pain, or if something felt uncomfortable. I remember at one point looking to my right and seeing all the fat and fluid being suctioned through a tube into a container.
After about an hour and a half, the procedure was done, and I got up from the table and walked back into the recovery room. I was bandaged up, and wrapped in a compression garment by the nurse. I felt a little dizzy, so the nurse brought me water and some nilla wafers. I didn’t have big breakfast so I think that was part of the reason I felt light-headed. I sat, drank some water, ate my wafers, and in about 20-30 minutes was feeling good enough to get up and go home.
On the car ride home I felt no pain at all. This is due to the medicine I took, and because of the tumescent fluid still having an effect on the treated area. This is one of the great advantages of tumescent liposuction. It is much less painful than if it were done under general anesthesia, and recovery time is also much quicker. When I got home I noticed some remaining fluid that had been inside of me was now leaking through my incisions, which is completely normal, and can persist up to 48 hours after surgery. I put some old towels down on my bed, put on old pajamas, and rested for the remainder of the day.
Pain kicked in later that evening, and I took my Percocet as directed which made a huge difference. I stopped draining fluid the following day, and my stomach began to majorly swell. Every time I stood up, I felt a weird pulling sensation in my stomach, and when I did walk around, I had to do it slowly because I felt very sore. It felt like I was punched in the stomach. It hurt, but it wasn’t terrible, and with the help of pain medication was very easy to manage. I did not shower for 48 hours, upon request of my surgeon, and on the 3rd day when I finally did wash up, I was able to see the amazing results already forming. My tummy was completely flat, something I had never seen in my life. I stood in front of the mirror in complete shock. I washed my incisions and body with a mild soap, and then returned to wearing my compression garment. After day 3, I began to improve at a much faster pace. I was now only taking Tylenol for pain, and I could go on short walks with my dog. I was still spending most of my day resting, and making sure to drink a ton of water to help with the swelling.
It is now day 10, and I can say that results are remarkable. It is mind blowing to me that the results will continue to improve over the next few months, because I already feel like they are so great. My tummy is flat, slightly sore, but swelling has gone done significantly. I am still wearing my compression garment almost 24 hours a day, but plan to wean myself off at the two-week mark by only wearing it 12 hours a day. The compression garment is helping with support, and just feels comfortable to have on. I have weighed myself, and still weigh around the same as I did before the surgery, but that is normal considering I still have some swelling. It is also important to note that this procedure is not intended for weight-loss. It is meant to sculpt the body to achieve a more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing shape.
I am incredibly pleased with the procedure, recovery, and results. It was 100% worth the money and it has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself. Even on day 10, clothes are fitting better, and I am feeling so much more confident. I would recommend this procedure to anyone who is looking to get rid of a problem area that is resistant to exercise or diet. I’d also recommend that you are already in decent shape, can maintain your weight and a healthy diet. This might seem like a quick-fix, but if you do choose to eat unhealthy and neglect your body after the surgery, you will gain the weight back in other areas of your body.
I would highly recommend Dr. Beth Collins. She is an artistic, comforting, professional surgeon who wants to give you the absolute best results possible. I feel like she really cared for me as a patient, and never tried to sell me on anything. She was informative and wonderful every step of the way. For anyone who is not in the Guilford, Ct area, I would recommend doing extensive research. I am at 10 days since my procedure, and as each day passes, I am becoming more and more pleased with my results! I am excited to get into a bikini this summer, and begin to fully love my body!