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Jim G. 's Story

LipoSite's Visitors' Stories About Liposuction and Tummy Tuck

This section gives our visitors a chance to share their personal liposuction and body contouring stories with each other. I hope you will consider contributing YOUR story to us. If you would like to contribute your story, click here for details.

Here are the stories of our visitors. Many names have been changed for privacy. Where appropriate, there is additional detail so you can decide if you are interested. If we have photos of the visitor, they are incorporated or there will be link to our Visitors' Photo Gallery. Click on a name to read . . .

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Male Liposuction: Tumescent, Ultrasonic & Recovery from Liposuction Surgery

I am a 39 year-old male who has gone through two liposuction procedures. I had my first procedure done at the age of 37. While my weight was within the "normal" range and I was very physically active, I had a the typical "spare tire" around my middle. I was running 30-40 miles per week and lifting weights 5-6 days per week, watching my diet very closely, but just couldn't do it on my own. Genetically, my body was programmed to store fat around my middle. My wife was actually my inspiration for having lipo after a breast augmentation and some lipo on her hips and thighs. I was so impressed with her results and with the plastic surgeon we had researched and chosen that it got me thinking maybe this was the answer to my ab "problem".

Tumescent Liposuction

My first lipo was done in 1998. The plastic surgeon used the tumescent process and was able to extract nearly 2 liters of fat from my abs and flanks. He wanted to get more, but as typical for men, my fat was so fibrous, he couldn't get any more out. I had very little bruising and pain, but the itching during the following 6 weeks nearly drove me crazy. I would leave work early often during that time so I could go home and "scratch" my abs with a hand held massager for relief. It was the absolute worst part of the whole process.

I returned to the gym within a week of the surgery, albeit on a scaled down regimen. Stationary bike and elliptical trainer combined with weights was about the only thing I could do for about 3-4 weeks comfortably. It was 4-5 weeks before I could resume running as the impact and bouncing on my abs was too uncomfortable prior. Within 8 weeks post op, I could run without the compression garment comfortably. The numbness in my flanks took about 4-6 months to go away.

Evaluating the Results of Liposuction

While I was basically happy with the results of my liposuction, I was left with some pockets of fat around my belly button, flanks and the areas directly below my pectoral muscles. Because of the fibrous fat around my abs, the tumescent lipo just couldn't get these small areas out.

I had read on this site about the Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction and how successful many surgeons were in fat removal, especially in men's abdominals. I decided to go back to my plastic surgeon and inquire about having a touch up. I also needed to have some foot surgery done from all the years of running and hoped that I could do both procedures at the same time. Fortunately, my podiatrist and plastic surgeon had worked together and could do it again on me.

Ultrasonic Liposuction Touch-Up and a Difficult Recovery

In September of 2000, I had my foot fixed and my abs touched up. This time, the plastic surgeon was able to get all of the remaining fat off my abs and flanks which amounted to about 1 liter. My recovery this time would not be as easy.

I went into the OR with a bad cold. I should have postponed the surgery due to the cold, but because of the logistical nightmare of getting the two surgeons together in a hospital that would accept my insurance at the same time, I decided to "tough it out" and hide the extent of my cold.

Unfortunately what developed was pneumonia. It took several weeks to get over that one. The old joke of being afraid to die gave way to the fear of living was certainly true in my case. I would advise anyone going into surgery with a cold or other illness to be up-front with the surgeons and staff as to the extent of your illness. The inconvenience of rescheduling a surgery is minor compared to what can happen otherwise.

During my two week follow up visit with my plastic surgeon, he recommended I start getting lymphatic drainage massages to relieve the swelling and itching associated with the healing process. That suggestion was like receiving a message from God. I couldn't believe the difference between my first lipo and my touch up. The massages not only helped reduce the swelling, they virtually eliminated the horrible itching that I had experienced with my first lipo. I scheduled 3 per week for the first 6 weeks, cut it back to 2 per week for another 4 weeks and so forth until around my 12th week when I had my last massage. A good massage therapist should be considered vital to the success of your liposuction.

Comments on Male Liposuction from a Veteran

In summation, I would like to make several comments about liposuction and expectations: Liposuction is not for everyone. It is not an easy weight loss strategy.

It should not be considered in my opinion until one is at their "ideal" weight, or you will be disappointed with the final results. It is not a substitute for diet AND exercise. You will gain the fat back if you don't make it a lifelong commitment to watching what you eat and regular exercise.

Liposuction will not guarantee perfection. You cannot take a photo of someone else into a doctor and say "I want to look like her/him". Like all plastic surgeries, it will improve the way you look, but it's unreasonable to expect perfection.

I'm extremely happy with my final results. Results that diet and exercise weren't giving me and lipo alone couldn't either. For me liposuction was another part of my fitness program which includes an hour of cardio, followed by an hour of weight lifting per day, 5-6 days per week. Some would say I'm obsessive compulsive about it, but for the first time in my life, I'm actually comfortable taking off my shirt at a park, or wearing a bathing suit on a crowded beach/pool without feeling a little insecure. For me, the final test of success came one night when looking through a swimsuit catalogue with my wife. She was showing me suits she wanted us to buy for a vacation in Mexico. In looking at the men's suits, she commented "you could do this, your body looks better than most of the twenty something models in here". I have to admit, it wasn't just spousal affection that made her say it either.

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- Jim G.

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