#ad *Please note this surgery was in collaboration with Bella Vou, and I was a model for them to create a case studies from.
For those of you who follow my gym and fitness challenge progress over on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m an avid fitness enthusiast. However, down to my genetics, metabolism and hernia (of which I had on my belly button), my abdomen is an area I’ve struggled to create a toned/athletic look in from fitness and diet alone.
I was unfamiliar with VASERLipo until Bella Vou, a renowned cosmetic clinic based in my hometown of Royal Tunbridge Wells reached out to offer a unique opportunity to be a case study and undergo the surgery, by one of Real Self’s Top 100 cosmetic surgeon’s Amir Nakhdjevani.
VASERLipo is an advanced body sculpting procedure that eliminates fat to gently reshape your body, making you look and feel your best. It’s an alternative to the harsh techniques of traditional liposuction, in the sense that it has the ability to target fat while leaving other important tissues intact.
After a few email exchanges with their Marketing Manager, in which the team assessed a few body images I shared, I was invited down to Bella Vou for a consultation with Amir.
During the consultation, Amir took a thorough look and feel around my abdominal and chest area to understand how much subcutaneous and visceral fats required thinning and shaping in order to reveal and enhance my abdominal and under chest area. Amir discussed in great detail how VASERLipo works, what to expect on the operation day, the importance of recovery and the desired and realistic outcome he would be looking to achieve.
I was also able to meet the lovely Noula, the Clinic Manager who had recently gone through the surgery herself at Bella Vou and was able to share her results as well as providing first-hand tips and advice ahead of the procedure.
I wanted to ensure I was fully prepped for the surgery and had everything I needed, as I knew post-op I would require downtime at home to relax, so I booked 10 days off work. To prepare for the surgery I did a big clothes shop where I purchased a selection of large and oversized, sweaters, t-shirts and jogging bottoms, comfortable slippers and underwear to wear over the compression foam and garments. I also did a big Ocado shop to ensure I was eating a balanced and low-fat diet in the days following my surgery.
The clinic kindly put me up in a local and luxury boutique hotel, a stone’s throw away from the clinic called One Warick Park – (Make sure to ask Bella Vou about their special £99 per night partner rates!).
I walked over to Bella Vou and arrived for 10am, and was greeted by Amir along with my aftercare MLD therapist, Nicola. After having a selection of ‘before’ photographs taken, Amir marked me out for surgery using a colour-coded sharpie system and I was dressed for theatre. I also met the anaesthetist who would be looking after me throughout the procedure for a pre-surgery assessment.
Once in theatre, Joy – the Operation Department Practitioner coated my body in an antibacterial solution, to avoid any risk of infection. I then laid on the surgery table where the team ensured I was comfortable before the anaesthetist hooked me up to a drip via my hand and nostrils and put me under twilight sedation.
Amir then made insertions and filled my fatty areas with a saline solution, containing local anaesthetic, this then numbed and expanded the fatty layer and contracted the blood vessels, reducing the risk of damage and bleeding.
Small incisions were then made on both my nipples, belly button, chest and pubic line and ultrasound waves were fired into the fatty layer to make tiny bubbles in the solution. The bubbles then expanded to nearly 2cm and acted as mini crowbars forcing the fat cells apart.
Next came the sculpting. With the fat cells now well and truly broken apart, they were carefully removed from my body to create my new shape. The surgery took around three hours, although it felt like 40 minutes – one hour! (thanks to the twilight sedation).
Once the surgery was over, I was hooked up to three drainage tubes to wear for the following 24 hours to ensure all the saline solution and any remaining melted fat had left my body, for the best possible chance of creating the maximum results.
Following the surgery, I was dressed in a compression foam and garment by the Bella Vou team. Worn correctly and this can be extremely beneficial to the reduction of swelling. The garments have to be worn for up to a month, day and night following surgery so it’s imperative to purchase two to three to ensure you always have a fresh one on rotation. I purchased mine from Amazon, from a company called LipoElastic. I’m 5’11 and went for a Medium. I’d highly recommend this brand as they are the leaders in this type of garment and after a few days, I got used to wearing the garments.
Luckily, as Bella Vou was in my hometown I was able to stay close to the clinic. It’s extremely important to do this as you require daily 60-minute drainage and lymphatic massages for a consecutive week to reduce swelling and release any remaining fluid from the body. MLD uses methods such as specifically tuned ultrasound energy to preserve connective tissue, which is clinically proven to enhance skin retraction and reduce blood loss.
The massages are performed at Bella Vou by the wonderful MLD certified (Manual lymphatic drainage) therapist, Nicola. MLD massage is included within Bella Vou’s aftercare, something not all clinics offer.
In terms of diet, the aftercare notes suggested I stuck to a healthy eating plan. I ate a lot of mashed up baked potatoes with either tuna or salmon, to build up my protein and on the night of the surgery, I drank Lucozade to start putting sugar and glucose back into my body. I’ll be sharing more of my post-VASERLipo diet and fitness regime in my next blog post.
Coming in the next two months… Watch this space for part two!
For more details on VASERLipo at Bella Vou or to book in for a consultation, please follow this link.