By Christabelle and Guest Blogger Caitybelle
If you are an avid reader of my blog, you will know I am not shy. I make friends just about everywhere. Even in the doctor’s office. Gotham Plastic Surgery is a long-time favorite of mine (if you don’t believe me, just search it on this blog!)…and on a trip to chat with Dr. Miller about the newest techniques in injectables, I made a new friend and now my guest blogger Caitlyn (affectionately called Caitybelle here at CBC). Her written documentary of her experience at Gotham and with plastic surgery needs no further introduction…when you are done reading, you will see why.
A REAL GIRL’S GUIDE TO LIPOSUCTION…what to REALLY expect
I never thought on a day that I was so nervous, I would meet someone who would make such an impact, nonetheless two. But it happened. I sat in the offices of Gotham Plastic Surgery on the day of my liposuction – alone. I had anticipated my friend joining me early enough to temper my anxiety a bit, but she was late. And I wanted to throw up. Making small talk with someone in the waiting room was the LAST thing on my list of “wants” for the moment. I wanted to leave. I wanted my mommy. I wanted to just be knocked out now, so I didn’t have to feel this nervous ball in my stomach.
I had heard the girl sitting in the chair across from me check in…she was a journalist. She smiled at me as if she just heard me say ‘I want my mommy’ in my head. I heard my own voice echo in the waiting room “You know what you should be writing about?” I said aloud. “This…this thing that no one told me about on the morning of…this horrible, want to poop my pants feeling…” She retorted with “So, why don’t you write it? And if it’s good, I will sponsor your post on my blog?”
As the universe shook a bit to the left and then the right…I agreed. Self-conscious, “hide-my-demons-Sally” (who by the way has never written anything more than a yelp review here and there) agreed to bare my soul in a “real life experience article” for the world to see. I started to think that perhaps they HAD drugged me already.
To be clear from the start…I am not rich. I am not a super model. I am not a celebrity. Though all three sound nice for a day or two, I do not aspire to be any of the above. I am your average 30 something year old who lives in NYC and aspires to just be able to keep up with the lifestyle the city hands you when you sign a lease here.
The decision to have liposuction was years in the making. And since I am somewhat anonymous here, I will tell you also that it is not to fit into skinny jeans and wear micro mini leather skirts when I go clubbing (bc the word clubbing to me means beating someone to a pulp). The decision was more about getting naked and not wanting to vomit all over my own mirror in disgust. This was about me…and feeling safe within my own shell. This was about me, liking me. Or at least wanting to entertain a friendship with me. I can hear every woman reading this nodding “yup, been there”. I did this for me. Something to help to make me feel, well, comfortable in my own meat suit.
Gotham’s Dr. Steinbrech, my new hero who performed this surgery on me that day, spoke clearly to me when I had my consultation. “It is important that your expectations are managed. You will be contoured more, but this is not a magic transformation surgery that will have you waking from the table ready to be a runway model”, he said. I remember nervously laughing and replying with some sort of witty comeback like “…omg, can you add 6 more inches to my leg length, too?”
Point being, Dr. Steinbrech was right – there were important factors that I needed to understand and commit to. I share them with you, because, as I read more and more about Liposuction on the internet, I realize more and more how people are really uneducated about the process. I am not a doctor, but I had the world’s most accomplished one work on me, so through osmosis (and good note taking, and fact checking with GPS), I share Dr. Steinbrech’s wisdom with you all:
• Final results can take up to ONE YEAR (yes, one year – not one week and not one month)
• This is S-U-R-G-E-R-Y (though aesthetic in nature, not to be confused with getting your nails done and cutting your hair)
• You will be out of commission for any regular activities for at least a week (more if you have multiple locations worked on). Your body went through being cut open, having materials removed (including tons of non-fat fluids), having a foreign object inserted and rubbed aggressively back and forth as part of the process. You do the math.
• You will be swollen. In my case, I was reminiscent of the stay-puff marshmallow man from Ghostbusters. Every one reacts differently – always assume for the worst. As an example, I prepared for my legs to be swollen. What I did not prepare for, was everything else to join suit. Even my face. Prepare mentally.
• You will need help. Don’t think you can do this alone. You should have a friend on-call for the first few days (even to just help you to remember to take your meds…after all, you do get pain killers…and they kill more than just pain).
• On the topic of pain killers, you won’t poop. Prepare for a poo-strike. And when I say prepare, I mean have stool softeners and other medications your doctor recommends prepped and ready before your surgery.
• DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF. Seriously. Don’t. You have been warned.
• The most important bullet of all – don’t expect an overnight transformation. At least with Dr. Steinbrech, this is about being more conservative in approach. No accredited doctor should ever put you at risk by aggressively removing too much from your body in one surgery. Liposuction is not the ANSWER to your overweight issues and body dysmorphic disorder. Liposuction is a tool to help contour the body and to help with stubborn fat deposit areas. Not an alternative to rectifying a lifetime of poor eating and zero exercise habits. Liposuction is again SURGERY…which means you should be going to a doctor with a license to do so (and a full staff and facility to back him up, like my team at Gotham Plastic Surgery in NYC). Liposuction for $500 as advertised on TV sometimes…enter at your own risk (but if you are going to go that route, perhaps just ask your mechanic to perform the procedure next time you get an oil change). Ok…don’t really do that. I was making a point that you are worth the money you spend to get a solid, licensed and experienced team working on you. This is your life. Period.
What liposuction will do:
• Remove stubborn fat pockets in various parts of your body
• Contour and alter your shape, giving it a more even and slender appearance
• Assist in making your clothing fit better
• Help to guide you on a better path of living, eating, exercising etc.
What liposuction won’t do:
• It won’t cure cancer. Ok that is a bit of sarcasm, but the point is, it is not a genie in a bottle; it also won’t turn back the clock of time, well not unless your Doctor is Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. Age has an important factor in liposuction when it comes to the elasticity of your skin,
• Know there are also limitations to how much a plastic surgeon can assist in your dreams of having a huge space in between your legs like Kate Moss, with just liposuction alone.
• Without assisted procedures like surgical lasering, skin removal, skin tightening, lifts etc., your cellulite will not disappear, nor will your stretch marks. There can be puckering, “wave effect” as Dr. Steinbrech called it and yes, still your favorite friend ‘cottage cheese’. Again, it’s a cannula wand – not a magical one from the land of Harry Potter.
Now that we are clear…join me on my journey with liposuction, Gotham Plastic Surgery and Dr. Steinbrech and read about all my experiences post-surgery (with photos – yikes!). What you will walk away with is a better understanding of the procedure and an instant desire to dial and get an appointment with Dr. Steinbrech. Yes, he is that good…stay tuned!
Below are my “Before” images…I hate to admit that I cringe looking at them, but I signed up for honesty and full disclosure, so here they are. Thanks in advance for being supportive of my journey.