Laser Lipo - The Journey Begins

I remember about 20 years ago when my then mother-in-law got liposuction done. I was in my late 20's myself and she was about the age I am now, in her 40's. I remember questioning her on why she wanted to get it done. After all, she wasn't fat. Sure she might have had a few extra pounds, but not worth going to get lipo done!

Now I find myself in her shoes. I look in the mirror and see the extra pounds that have collected around my midsection. Wearing certain clothes is no longer an option without the strongest set of Spanx possible to hold it all in. And Spanx, God love 'em, isn't a complete miracle. You can still ooze out of the top/bottom.

So I started the new year with wondering about the new laser lipo. I have a reunion Memorial Day weekend and figured I needed to look into it soon if I was going to be ready in time. (For more on my reasons, read this post.)

Shopping Around

I decided I would check out the two top clinics in Sacramento that offer it. I kept in mind that I was not going to get pressured into anything. After all, they will push for the sale like a car salesman by creating that sense of urgency - You need to sign up now because this price is only good for this month!

Clinic #1 was nice enough. I went to talk to the consultant about how the procedure takes place, what I can expect, etc. She had me lift my shirt and lower my jeans so she could look at what I needed done.

These clinics parcel off the human body like a beef-on-the-cow diagram. Here I am thinking that I just needed my abdomen done. Nope. It's considered four areas: upper abs, lower abs, waist, and hips. At this place it is about $1k per area, add the other fees, and I'm up to about $5k. They do offer a 12-month, 0% financing plan.

Clinic #2 was Physician's Skin and Weight Centers (PSWC). The visit started off the same way with my consultant, Lindsay. But there were differences that I noticed right away. First of all, Lindsay explained that I would be required to get a series of blood tests before my pre-op appointment. If the blood tests indicated any reason I should not be allowed to have the surgery, the contract would be canceled with no cost to me. I appreciated this thoroughness. It gave me a sense of comfort that they were taking the extra steps to look out for my welfare.

Second, Lindsay had had the procedure herself. She was personal testimony in the flesh, showing me the small port holes on herself and her before/after pictures. It is one thing to read testimonials in marketing materials and another to talk to someone in person. She was able to answer all questions. She was also so friendly and pleasant that I felt like I was talking to a girlfriend rather than a salesperson.

PSWC had a different chart and according to their system, I had three sections to work on. But they were more expensive by quite a bit. They do offer an 18-month, 0% financing plan though - extra Brownie points.

I weighed the two clinics in my mind and in the end decided that PSWC might cost more, but I felt much more comfortable with them. I liked the extra steps of having my blood tested, the pre-op appointment, and the 18-month financing plan. I also liked Lindsay and having talked to her about her own experience.

The Pre-op Appointment

Lindsay gave me a lab order with the blood tests I would need checked off. She explained that I could either go to an independent lab or try to get my health plan to do it. I was able to get my primary care doctor to order the labs and went in at no cost to me. If you go to an independent lab, expect to pay about $100. In the end I had about 20 pages of results since my lab prints out each result on a separate page. Nice thorough blood work!

I arrived at my pre-op with lab results in hand. Ranee was my nurse practitioner who met with me for an hour. She took the standard measurements of weight, body fat, temperature, and blood pressure. Then she did an EKG on me to measure my heart rate. Another detail that I appreciated. This gave me another sense of thoroughness.

Ranee then went over all the releases I needed to sign. These included being explained the procedure, the dangers, what I needed to do before and after, etc.

I left feeling nervous and a bit excited. Really my nerves are more about these posts because I'm exposing myself to the world here. Most people would do this quietly and only tell their few closest friends. Me, I'm writing about it and EVERYONE will know.

FCC Disclaimer: I was provided a substantial discount on the procedure in exchange for this series of articles.