When It Comes to Wanting Liposuction, Stick to Your Guns
Before and afters
Liposuction isn’t just about weight loss. I’ve always been thin, I was a size 0 in high school, but I also always had trouble with this area on the bottom of my stomach. Even back in high school, it was flat, but not FLAT flat. Well, now I’m 53 and although I’ve only had one child, I still tend to gain weight around my abdomen. In fact, since the pregnancy, I’ve had this little extra pooch there, even more so than in the past.
I tried to get rid of it. I worked out and did all kinds of things and still could not get rid of it. This bugged me so much because I still like to wear two piece bathing suits and I’d get muffin tops whenever I put on jeans.
So, it’s safe to say I’d been considering liposuction for several years before I finally got. And boy am I glad I did.
Finding the Right Doctor
Finding a plastic surgeon for my liposuction procedure was a chore and a half. I consulted with a couple of doctors, one of whom came recommended by a friend who’d just gotten a tummy tuck, and they both tried to convince me that a tummy tuck was the way to go. This all despite the fact that tummy tucks are more expensive, more painful, and come with more downtime.
I wasn’t interested in being talked into a tummy tuck. I just didn’t think that was the direction I wanted to go, and I thought I’d be well-served with the lipo. So, I was grateful when another friend of mine told me about Dr. Jonathan Heistein. She assured me that Dr. Heistein wasn’t interested in convincing patients to do procedures they didn’t need - that he would do the least amount of work required to get the results I wanted.
That’s all I needed to hear. I scheduled a consultation.
Right away, I was impressed with his bedside manner. He and his staff were all really sweet and helpful. Unlike the other doctors I’d consulted with, Dr. Heistein didn’t make me feel rushed or like I was just a number walking through the door. Instead, I felt at home and taken care of.
He told me that I had great muscle tone and that I had good skin elasticity for someone my age. He did say he could easily do a tummy tuck and I would be happy with the results. But he didn’t push me. He did note that I would be just as happy with liposuction to take care of the unwanted fat on my abdomen and it would cost me less and come with les downtime.
Honestly, I have very little to say about the surgery, because it was so easy and painless. Dr. Heistein and his staff answered all of my questions. Honestly, I can’t say enough about the staff. Those ladies were so sweet and funny, and they put me right at ease when I was nervous before the event.
Dr. Heistein sent me home with pain meds and a list of things to expect, including some bruising, swelling, and numbness. He also gave me a compression garment and told me to wear it 24/7 to help keep the swelling down in the treatment area. I must have worn it for about 6 weeks. He told me everything I needed to know. I never felt like I was in limbo or not knowing what to expect.
I wasn’t in much pain when I first got home. It wasn’t until the second day that the discomfort really increased and I felt like I’d been beaten up. That continued for a couple days. After that, I started moving around and feeling better. I’d say it only took days to stop feeling sore, but it took about a month for swelling and bruising to completely disappear.
There was a lot of swelling and bruising, which makes sense because just going in there with the rob and stirring up those blood vessels. But it eventually got to be a bit much.
About a week or two after the surgical procedure, I went in for a follow-up with some major swelling and bruising below the waist. My legs and vagina were swollen and the bruising reached all the way to my kneecaps.
I showed Dr. Heistein and he wanted to be sure that it wasn’t a hematoma, so he drew some fluid from the area. It was clear, which was a good thing. Apparently I wasn’t quite wearing my compression garment well enough and the garment was pushing the swelling down. Dr. Heistein told me it would go away on its own, but it would take a while. He was right.
I just went in for my final follow-up and Dr. Heistein was amazed at how good it looked. My problem areas aren’t problem areas anymore thanks to cosmetic surgery. My stomach is almost totally flat. He and I both agreed that I could work out more, but that’s about it.
I have no regrets about this surgery. It cost me $4k and it was worth every penny. What’s more, If I ever decide to get another cosmetic procedure, I would definitely go to Dr. Heistein again and told him as much during my last follow-up.
Advice About Lipo vs. Tummy Tuck
Don’t let a doctor talk you into plastic surgery that you don’t need. If you’re fairly slim and you just have a little bit of excess fat around your stomach - no excess skin just hanging there - then you could be a good candidate for fat removal with liposuction surgery.