At 58, Ronni is full of life and extremely confident. She is surprised everyday to discover her new slender and sexy silhouette in the mirror, thanks in part to a new plastic surgery procedure called SmartLipo, also known as laser liposuction. But Ronni hasn’t always felt like this.
After years of ups and downs with her body weight and shape, Ronni decided to give a try to the SmartLipo laser liposuction technique. Ronni was tired of trying to lose fat in those stubborn areas that never seem to improve despite daily workouts. When she found Make Me Heal, Ronni met patients on the Plastic Surgery Message Boards who encouraged her through her journey and found all the resources needed for the success of her surgery. Ronni’s phenomenal results speak for themselves.
See Ronni’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Photos Album.
In January 2007, Ronni traveled to Tijuana to have a laser assisted liposuction done on her abdomen, hips, inner thighs, buttocks and back. Ronni chose Dr. Maria Lopez mostly because she was recommended by Make Me Heal (through the Versalles Center) but especially because this doctor had been performing this procedure longer than any other U.S. doctors. Most doctors had just started doing it but Ronni wanted a doctor that had done quite a few procedures, knew perfectly how the Smartlipo worked and could combine the suction method along with the Smartlipo.
Ronni’s experience is a true success with almost no pain post-surgery and her…back to work within 2 days. Still, in May 2007, Ronni went for a revision to get a firmer, tighter and more sculpted body. Today, she wears proudly a size 4 (she was previously a size 8/6) and feels fabulous.
After having been twice under the knife, Ronni, now a liposuction’s expert was very happy to be interviewed by Make Me Heal. Since Ronni was amazed by how little she knew about the immediate recovery process and the way one’s bruised and swollen body looks right after the surgery, she would like to strongly recommend: “don’t forget your arnica gel and get some lymphatic massage to accelerate your healing process but most important…be realistic about your expectations!”.
Ronni’s experience can help many of us in our quest for beauty to remember that there’s no age limit to be happy and look fabulous!
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Ronni: I read an article in People magazine about smartlipo back in September. It really sounded like something that I could do that would help with my problem areas: the areas you work on by exercising but they never seem to get better. So I started researching through the internet. I found the Versalles Center on Make Me Heal and contacted them to find out more information.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?
Ronni: I just couldn’t lose the extra flab on my thighs and stomach and I just wanted to be able to put on a pair of jeans and not have that dreaded muffin top hanging over the top.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Ronni: After looking on the Make Me Heal site I contacted the Versalles Center and had several conversations with the patient coordinator Robin. I believe I spoke with her two or three times getting all the information I could. I have a very close friend who works in the medical field and I emailed her the information so she could check it out. She reassured me it was a good facility and the doctors were accredited. Being an impulsive person I booked an appointment for January. Because I really wanted this done, my decision was extremely easy for me to make. I felt very comfortable speaking with Robin and very comfortable with the doctor as she had been performing the procedure longer than any of the U.S. doctors.
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?
Ronni: I really only told a few people because this was something I wanted to do for myself and I really didn’t want anyone to try and talk me out of it.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Ronni: Since this is a relatively new procedure there really weren’t very many places that I could find information on the procedure. I started looking right after I read the article in People. I found very few doctors that were doing this. All in all I spent about two months searching for places in my area that did the procedure.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.
Ronni: I used the Make Me Heal post board to try and find physicians that were doing the procedure. As I stated above, the only place that I found on the board at that time was Versalles, which was the only one that I actually contacted. I used the Make Me Heal board to purchase a stage two garment after I had my revisions.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Ronni: I chose my doctor after several very long conversations with the patient coordinator. I think I contacted another doctor in an area not far from me and spoke to them about the procedure. They had just started doing it and I really wanted to go to a doctor that had done quite a few procedures and really knew about all the way the smartlipo worked. I also wanted a doctor that did the suction with this procedure.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?
Ronni: My doctor made all the decisions about the procedure. She did ask me what I wanted and what my expectations were. I did have a choice of anesthesia. Other than that I left my transformation in her hands as she was more than qualified to make the decisions. She discussed the different areas and gave me her input and I totally agreed with what she had in mind.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Ronni: I really didn’t do anything prior to my procedure. I tried to watch what I ate and of course kept up with my routine exercise program.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Ronni: The night before my procedure I was a bit anxious. Kind of excited and just wanting to get it done. When I got to the clinic I met with Robin and talked to her and started to relax a bit. After talking with the doctor I felt totally comfortable and ready to go. After I got all marked up by the doctor and had pictures taken I was ready to go! They gave me some medication and I started to really relax, but with a bit of nervousness and wanting to get going. I brought a friend with me and they took very good care of her while I was having my procedure done.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?
Ronni: After the procedure I was asleep until about 2 a.m. when I woke up very thirsty. Someone was there to bring me juice and water and then I went back to sleep for a few hours. We had to get back to the train station early in the morning so when I woke up I had help getting into my stage one garment, had some fruit and got instructions for post op care and we left for the train station. I was really surprised at how much leaking I had. I also didn’t realize how bruised you got from this. When I got home Robin called me to see how I was doing. I was sent home with various medications including pain pills, which I did not need. All in all the whole procedure was a breeze. The most difficult part was wearing the garment for two months. By the end of the two months I was ready to burn that thing!
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Ronni: The only pain I had was like a soreness of the muscles. It just felt like I over worked out at the gym. During the healing process I experience a lot of itching, which I was told is the collagen regenerating which would help to tighten up the loose skin. I also had a lot of swelling. I kept drinking lots of lemon water to help with that, but it took about two to three weeks for me to be able to see my ankle bones again.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?
Ronni: I think because I wanted to do this so badly that my healing went very quickly and I really didn’t experience much discomfort at all. I had the procedure on a Friday evening and was back to work on Monday. I was very anxious to get back to the gym and had to wait 10 days before I could get back. I did use the sauna to try and eliminate some of the swelling, I’m not too sure that helped much though.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Ronni: I really think the best advice I can give to anyone that wants to have this procedure is to be realistic about your expectations. This procedure really is fabulous, providing the surgeon knows how to use the laser. People need to know that it is more of a sculpting procedure than a fat removal procedure. Although it does get rid of a lot of fat it is not like the old lip procedures. You do not have the lumpy bumpy skin afterwards. Although going through the healing process you will see lumps and bumps but massage helps to eliminate them. Also they give you compression socks to wear during the procedure, keep them and wear them every day and night for at least two weeks, this really helps with the leg swelling. I learned this after I had my revisions. Since I had my procedure in January many more people have gotten smartlipo done and have shared their experiences and little tips through the posting boards. I did not know about the arnica gel or the lymphatic massage when I had this done the first time. But after reading many posts on the boards I used the arnica gel for the bruising (you can buy it at Make Me Heal), which helped to heal a lot faster the second time. I also had lymphatic massages which helped to get rid of the bruising and the swelling.
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?
Ronni: I didn’t take any time off from work either time I did this. I did tell my co-workers that I had it done. Everyone is amazed at how great I am looking.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Ronni: I am truly delighted with my results. I just can’t believe it is my body when I look at it in the mirror. I went from a size 6 to a 4 and am thrilled.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Ronni: I feel more empowered because I don’t worry about my clothes being too tight and I never have to worry about flabby fat hanging over my pants when I put them on. It is truly a great feeling.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Ronni: I think the only thing different that I would have done the first time is to stay at the clinic a bit longer and to have those massages and use the arnica gel right away.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
Ronni: Do your research. Check with actual people that have had this done and ask questions, as many as you need to ask to feel comfortable about committing to do this. Also be realistic. You have to be patient to allow for the complete healing of your body. You need to know that there are ups and downs with this procedure. One day you look fab, the next you are swollen. No one knows why this happens, but it does. Patience is the word to remember. You will constantly be changing and some of the changes that you go through are not great. But you have to keep your eyes on the prize. A firmer, tighter more sculpted body. It does happen.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Ronni: It is so great to be able to have a place to vent and gather information regarding the procedure, healing and how others are coping with the process. I am very thankful for the Make Me Heal board as I have met many great women and men there and have shared lots and lots of information.
See Ronni’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Photos Album.
Tags: celebrity, plastic, ronni, smartlipo, surgery