These last 10 years, April Larkin (member name: retiree54) has been thinking very seriously about having liposuction but she was frightened to go under the knife. Approaching her 55th birthday, she decided that it will be “now or never” to remove her self-described “huge Buddha belly”.
See April’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
April elected Dr. Groot from Alberta, Canada, to perform her Tumescent Liposuction – a doctor she had known for 15 years. With 4350 CC removed from the upper/lower abs and hips, April already lost a total of 12 inches and 6 lbs and knows that she’ll loose more within the next 3-6 months.
The choice of the procedure and the encouragements she truly needed, April received it when she found the Make Me Heal website. She was able to ask doctors and real patients on the Plastic Surgery Message Boards and watched hundreds of plastic surgery pictures from the online library.
In part because of her American Indian origins, April prefers to use natural treatments and Arnica Montana helped her greatly with the recovery. Having gone throug the journey, April now recommends to everyone who would consider Liposuction: “remember, we all heal and the benefits far outweigh the procedure. You do forget the pain and are just amazed with the results up to 6-12 months. Liposuction is safe now and changes your life dramatically for the better.”
Dr. Groot from Alberta, Canada performed April’s liposuction.
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
April: I first had the idea for liposuction around 10 years ago but at that time, it was not the right timing as I needed money and was kind of scared by the idea…
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?
April: I am 55 years young and thought now or never. I had retired from my job, saved the money and was truly disgusted with huge Buddha belly…I have exercised, eat pretty health, had a stable weight for a few years but held onto that Buddha belly.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
April: When I finally made the decision I phoned right away and made the appointment so I wouldn’t change my mind.
Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?
April: I truly respect my mate’s opinion so when he said why not you have wanted this for a long time I knew it was right and he said the procedures are so safe now. I was hesitant to tell my friends, as I didn’t want negative feedback. Also in case things didn’t turn out. I wasn’t working so that was not an issue, thank goodness.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
April: I googled everything I could think of to read…lots of testimonials on many sites, every kind of liposuction procedure and what was the newest and safest. But my real break through came when I came upon MMH website. I talked and talked with the forum and read about everyone’s results and before and after photos. Then I knew for sure I wanted it done now and I would have the support I needed.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.
April: I devoured everything I could think of with MMH resources. I looked at all the before and after photos. I read past posts of results and healing. I asked Dr Mani questions. I posted lots of messages. I used all of the recovery products and did not know of these before. My biggest friend was Arnica Gel, which I am sure, helped all my tremendous bruising to be gone in 2 weeks and also the arnica montana tablets. Then I moved onto EMU oil which I still use 5 months post op. There are tremendous healing qualities with this oil.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
April: I had 2 PS in our area that I knew were highly recommended and on the Board of College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada. This way they are certified Plastic Surgeons. I had only 1 consultation with each. But Dr Groot was the one I chose not for lower cost, but he did turn out to be lower, but because I had known him for about 15 years as I went to see him for consultations of my moles and dermatology issues. Now he only specializes in surgery.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?
April: Not really but the pre-ops and post-op instructions were so clear and many pages of what to expect that I realized after talking with Dr Groot I was in good hands. This was the first procedure I ever have done like this so I felt he was highly efficient and would know the best and it sure turned out that way. I had done lots of research to know exactly what he was explaining.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
April: This was an area that MMH site was truly a blessing. I had everything ready the day before surgery. Also I read on the site about not using any Advil or Aspirin or V-E that causes bleeding 2 weeks before surgery. My PS said that also. We bought a recliner chair for the first few weeks which isn’t necessary but I lived in that chair for 2 weeks. Good for elevation and easy to get in and out of. Then tons of lemons for water for elimination and fluid retention. Low sodium meals frozen so you can pop it in the micro or oven and is easy. The clinic provided a take me home bag with all my pads and tape and gauze pads for the incisions. I drained heavy for 3-4days. Also the before photos and after photos. This has been a lifesaver. To see the changes and document the inches and to know the procedure is dramatic. My husband was ready and he assisted me greatly. You can be quite concerned about the bruising and leaking with blood (not much blood just liquid) that is good to have a support system in place and for them to see photos on line that might happen to you also. I learned from the site all the post op symptoms that might occur and the healing process from tightness to lumps to swelling which kept me a lot calmer and when I was upset I wrote the forum and received genuine caring from all the members and MMH coordinators. After the surgery I purchased 3 garments from MMH on line. Moving into smaller sizes as healing progressed. It was amazing how fast delivery was as we live in Northern Canada and the friendly assistance. The quality was excellent.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
April: The night before surgery I was scared. Was I doing the right thing, was I too vain, was I going to die, would I turn out like a freak, would he do a good job and how painful would it be. I thought of all the years of wanting this and I was very happy I finally made the decision but true jitterbugs. But the next morning I was calm. There was no going back and the time was now. It was like a true peace came over and the office called and asked me to come in 2 hours earlier. Even better let’s go and I was excited. I took my garbage bags to cover the seats for leakage and a blanket in case I got cold. Also we live 1hour from home so we would have to stop at 20minutes and have me walk after surgery so not to develop blood clots.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?
April: It was harder for me. I read online some had a walk in the park. Out and about after 1 week and into exercise after 2 weeks. I was in my recliner for 11 days then I started to feel better. I couldn’t have massage, as I was too tender until about 3 ½ months. I did massage myself very carefully and stretched a lot with the tightness. Within 3 weeks my side tightness had left. I started riding my exercise bike after 3 weeks at home slowly.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss what side effects you experienced?
April: When I came home the PS asked me to have a shower at 4 hours and change the pads. Well I was frozen so there was no pain but I passed out in the shower and hubby was ready to pick me up and I got sick. I was told this might happen. So we were ready. Just the removal of the compression garment, rush of blood and then draining and weakness from surgery. I was leaking a lot for 4 days and I could not change my bandages as I was so bruised it freaked me. I couldn’t look. So Hubby did it all.
Make Me Heal: What were the worse parts of the recovery?
April: Of course my bruising but then the day after surgery my abs felt like they were falling out and all squishy. Like a bowl of jello and not attached. When I stood up it felt like everything was ripping not pain just ripping and tight. Then I got the abs of steel like a girdle around my waist. My first stage garment cut into my sides so much with the clasps and zippers but I made myself wear it for the full 2 weeks and I am happy I did. I only needed pain pills for the first 3-4days. Then of course lumps and tightness on my sides.
Make Me Heal: Did anyone help you during the recovery?
April: My dear hubby alone and of course MMH site I talked with every day.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
April: I had a lot of numbness on my lower abs and hips. So most of my discomfort was tightness and lumps. I also gained 16lbs fluid after surgery so swelled huge then after day 6 lost the fluid. It was the ripping and tearing feeling that scared me. Also getting in and out of the car was very hard.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?
April: I was very prepared and knew recovery would be a slower process.
Make Me Heal: Did you do any research to make your recovery smoother? What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
April: I learned a lot of tips on what to use, the healing process and support from MMH
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
April: I don’t know if people want to hear this but patience. Patience. Patience. It is not an overnight fix and don’t expect miraculous results immediately. Between swelling, lumps and roping it can get to be quite distressing. But then some people bounce right back depending on much fat you have removed. With minimal fat your recovery is a lot faster. But it is all worth it.
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work?
April: I am retired, yahoo!! No work.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
April: I am amazed, elated, happy, and joyful. Is that enough? I have lost 19.25 inches from my lipoed areas and down 2 sizes in clothes. Also I have a lot more energy and just so much happier.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
April: I have felt reborn. I feel like my abs are back to my 20’s. I still have wrinkles on my face. I have thighs that do touch but with my belly flatter I am happy. I will never be 20 and don’t expect perfection in the rest of my body but I just feel free of that heaviness and band around my middle. I can wear my clothes with pride and I walk and stand taller. My trainer has seen an incredible deal of improvement and motivation in my workouts and sees me as a new person who is stronger and prouder.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
April: No everything has taken its time in healing and truly I have learned patience.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
April: We all heal and the benefits far outweigh the procedure. You do forget and are just amazed with the results up to 6-12 months. It is safe now and changes your life dramatically for the better.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
April: Make Me Heal was my lifeline when I was scared or concerned or happy or elated. It has been so much fun to get positive feedback and truly caring people along my road of healing. Thank you.
See April’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Tags: celebrity, plastic, surgery