22 year-old Jessica (username: jemsplace), a cheerleader and gymnast with an athletic build, found that any extra weight she gained went straight to her thighs. Thoroughly frustrated with buying size 7-9 jeans that were too loose for her tiny size 3 waist, Jessica started researching the possibility of having a liposuction. Through her research online and visiting the Make Me Heal Message Boards, Jessica realized the vast improvements the plastic surgery field has made and found that liposuction seemed a relatively simple and safe procedure for her. Jessica researched her options for a plastic surgeon and was impressed by the honesty and skill of her plastic surgeon, Dr. Hall in
Jessica’s advice for anyone contemplating plastic surgery is:
“My final advice would be to make sure you do your research ahead of time, and make sure you look up your doctor as well. Verify his credentials and work history, just to be safe. After that, remember that a procedure like liposuction, or any other enhancement for that matter, needs to be something you do for yourself, not anyone else. The results will be worth it.”
Please join us below for an interview with Jessica:
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Jessica: I began to seriously look at options to enhance my body about a year ago. I had researched several doctors in the
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations (physical, emotional, social, etc.) behind your decision to have the procedure(s)?
Jessica: I had always been an athletic girl growing up, I participated in cheerleading and gymnastics for 6 years and track for 4 years. From the activities I was involved in, I built a muscular body, but as I got older I found whatever weight I put on liked to go right to my thighs. I always had a difficult time finding pants that fit nice, especially jeans. I started to get extremely frustrated in the last 3 years though because my waist was a 3, but I would have to buy jeans that were 7-9′s. Any pants I did buy were extremely big in the waist and very long, but still tight across my thighs. I also was self conscious when I would go out with my friends because I felt like I was larger than them, and they would always be exchanging clothes that they could all wear, and I couldn’t fit into them. I was tired of feeling like this and wanted to give myself a better proportioned body and boost my self esteem and confidence.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Jessica: It took me a little over a year to make my final decision to have liposuction, and it took some serious self persuasion. Before I started researching liposuction seriously, I had horrible perceptions of the procedure. I guess I was stuck on the characteristics of the surgery from years ago when it was a bit more dangerous and had a long recovery. I remember at one point in my past saying I would never have any sort of cosmetic surgery. I was able to get past those thoughts though because through my research I discovered the procedure had made exceptional improvements over the years, and now seemed pretty simple and safe. It also helped that I found the Make Me Heal site and was able to read real life experiences of other women and men who were experiencing the same thing I was considering to do.
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?
Jessica: I actually made my decision to have liposuction without telling any of my family or friends. I had considered telling some friends, but decided that I was making my choice for myself and I did not want the added stress of their critiques. I know if I told my mom she would be supportive as she has gone through two breast augmentations, but she is at a point in her life where she is dealing with bigger stresses in life and I did not feel it was an appropriate time to bring the subject up. I can see myself telling her in the future though. My dad though…I am not sure what his reaction would be. I think now that it is done and over he would give support, but if I told him before I had the procedure he would have done everything he could to change my mind.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Jessica: To research the liposuction procedure, I found the majority of my information online. I would come home from work and spend hours and hours finding websites on current techniques, looking at potential doctors, looking at doctor’s medical histories, and looking for real life stories of people who have experienced liposuction. I ultimately decided on the tumescent technique because I like that I would be awake during the procedure, and that the technique helped reduce bruising and recovery time. I was exceptionally impressed with Dr. Hall’s website because he provided a lot of information about the procedure, and made comparisons to the traditional technique. I found too that the information he provided was consistent with other sites, so he wasn’t trying to make false claims.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources such as the message boards, pictures library, doctor directory and doctor reviews, and any recovery and preparation products that you used.
Jessica: Oh my goodness, yes!! The Make Me Heal’s site was one of the best resources I could find on the web. The message boards were (and still are) excellent sources of information, since all the people participating have experienced the procedure themselves, so they know first hand what will happen. I was able to comfortably ask questions and received excellent support from all. The picture library was another great resource since I was able to look at real results of real people without having to worry if a doctor was touching up his results to look better or something like that. I also ordered the Vita Medica Pre and Post Op Vitamins, Bromelain and Arnica
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Jessica: I decided to have Dr. Hall do my procedure based on his informative webpage, and his excellent presence in person. I also had heard from some other people that he was an excellent doctor. I was impressed that Dr. Hall was very straight forward with me and I did not feel as if he was pressuring me to do anything I didn’t want to. He answered all my questions and did not just tell me things I wanted to hear. He was actually my one and only consultation.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor, incision placements, implant brand, anesthesia type, etc.
Jessica: I did not have a role in deciding to use the tumescent technique other than the fact that that is the only procedure Dr. Hall uses. He does have some other equipment in his facility that he explained was if the tumescent technique wasn’t able to provide the ultimate results, but I went to Dr. Hall because it was the tumescent technique I was wanting.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Jessica: Preparation for surgery was something I took very seriously. After booking my appointment I had a lot to do! I had to arrange my time off at work, and also a ride to and from the doctor’s office. I ordered the Vita Medica Pre and Post Op Vitamins, Bromelain and Arnica from MMH, and began taking the vitamins two weeks before my procedure. I filled all my prescriptions about two weeks before my procedure as well, and was sure to get my blood work and physical done as well. A couple days before my surgery I went grocery shopping and bought enough food to get me through about two weeks. I made sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables, and avoided foods with too much sodium. I also bought a lot of liquids to stay hydrated. I bought some extra pads for when I would be leaking the first day or so, and extra pillows so I could prop my feet up. The day before surgery I paid all my bills, cleaned my house and did laundry. I also bought some magazines, and rented some movies so I wouldn’t get too bored while I was sitting around. I wanted to make sure I had everything done so there was nothing I had to do right after surgery except relax. I also took my own pre-op photos so I could track my progress.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Jessica: I was extremely excited the night before surgery. Once I was at the doctor’s office waiting, I started to become anxious since I had never had any kind of surgery before. I did my research, but still in a way did not know exactly what to expect. I was never fearful, just mostly excited. The nurses were extremely friendly and helpful before the procedure to get me ready and relaxed, I was feeling good as I was in the operating room.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process? Please discuss what side effects you experienced? What were the worse parts of the recovery? Did anyone help you during the recovery?
Jessica: During my recovery, I was by myself. Overall all process was very manageable. After I got home from surgery, I felt fine as I still was on some pain meds and had some anesthetic fluid still numbing my treated areas. I was kind of uncomfortable in my garment since I had all the padding to absorb the leakage, but I could deal with it. At about 2am I had to change my padding as it was full of fluid, and it was at this time I experienced extreme light headedness. I had to lay on the cold bathroom floor to get back to normal, but honestly this feeling was worse than any part of the actual procedure. After that I was fine, and the next day is when the soreness set in. I only had to take one pain killer the night of my surgery, and after that I only took Tylenol. I was able to lightly massage the treated area to push out any remaining fluid, and I stopped draining at about 36-48 hours. I was in no pain while sitting/laying, and it was just like an extreme soreness after an intense workout when I tried to stand up and walk. At the three day mark, I was only sore when getting up, but once walking around I was fine. I experienced mild-moderate swelling in my trunk area the first couple days, and then it was only mild until about day 7-8, then I had some real swelling in my lower legs and ankles, which lasted two days. Since then I have swelled off and on, but very mildly. All numbness I felt in my treated areas was gone at about 10 days, and I was able to stop wearing my garment at 11 days. The soreness dissipated around day 12 and now I only occasionally feel tight. I now wear some compression pantyhose which feel great. I started to develop the hard spots around day nine, but they don’t bother me and I have been massaging them. All my bruising has been fading nicely (I only bruised some in my inner thighs) and is just about gone at 15 days.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Jessica: During my recovery I never really experienced any pain, just some discomfort with the soreness like I explained in the previous question. There were a couple days that I did have a strange feeling like my skin was sticking to my treated area and it was not able to stretch like it should when standing, but that feeling did disappear. I think it was just part of the healing process.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects? Did you do any research (i.e. online, books, message boards, etc.) to make your recovery smoother?
Jessica: Just as I had done research before my surgery, I did research for the post-op effects. The MMH message boards were incredibly helpful, and I feel like I was well prepared. I have been lucky and have only felt positive about my procedure, as I know it is possible to feel some depression. I just feel blessed that I was able to do something to better my self image and that my results have been great.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Jessica: One thing to keep in mind is that all people have different recoveries. I have learned from my experience and others on MMH that many factors affect recovery, like genetics, the selected procedure, and amount removed for example. My tips for recovery would be to be patient, and know that there will be ups and downs before the final result will be seen.
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work? What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off? Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?
Jessica: For my procedure, I took three days off of work. My procedure was on a Thursday, so I took that day, Friday, and the following Monday off. I think it was the perfect amount of time to take it easy and I was ready to go back that Tuesday. My co-workers thought I was out of town for the weekend visiting family out of state. No one noticed my procedure when I got back, except I was walking very stiff, so I told them I had slipped on the ice and was really sore. I was lucky and able to fit into all my pre-clothes even in my garment. Once I got out of my garment and into some compression panty-hose around day 9, my boss did make a comment that I looked smaller. I was really happy to hear this, but didn’t tell him I had liposuction.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Jessica: I am really happy with my results so far, I can already see a visual difference and the tape measure is showing me excellent numbers as well. I can’t wait for a couple months out as it gets even better. So far I have lost two inches off of each thigh, and an inch and a half off my love handles. My clothes fit looser and I feel great.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Jessica: I am only a little over two weeks post op right now, so I can only imagine the impact this procedure will have on me in my future. So far though, I feel more confident, and I know this will reflect in all aspects of my life.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Jessica: No, I don’t feel that I would. I am happy with my decision to have liposuction, and in a way wish I would have done it sooner!
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
Jessica: My final advice would be to make sure you do your research ahead of time, and make sure you look up your doctor as well. Verify his credentials and work history, just to be safe. After that, remember that a procedure like liposuction, or any other enhancement for that matter, needs to be something you do for yourself, not anyone else. The results will be worth it.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Jessica: Yes, this site was outstanding. After I found the MMH boards, I was hooked. I was able to interact with so many experienced individuals and get great first hand knowledge from those who have experienced the same thing as me. I am so grateful for this site, and still visit it everyday.
Tags: Before and After Pictures, Liposuction, Plastic Surgery