How A Patient Transformed Her Body

What would it take to feel comfortable in your own skin? For Christine Small of Kirtland Hills, it was about getting back to the way she used to feel before she hit her 40s.

“I was always thin and never worried about my weight,” says Christine. “Then I started gaining in my late 30s. It slowly escalated, and by age 40 I weighed 200 pounds. I was uncomfortable in my clothes, my knees and feet hurt and I couldn’t sleep. I was definitely uncomfortable in my own skin.”

Christine took matters into her own hands, started working out, changed her diet and lost the extra pounds. But that’s when the yo-yo effect started—the seemingly endless cycle of gaining and losing weight, which can affect both your mental and physical health.

“I was exhausted all the time and felt miserable,” says Christine. “I got to the point where I didn’t want to even see people and that just isn’t me. I’m a very social person. I needed to get off that roller coaster.”

As a preschool teacher, Christine spends her days with children. It was a comment out of the mouths of babes that gave her the motivation to make a permanent change.

“One of my students asked me if I had a baby in my belly,” says Christine. “That innocent question is what really pushed me to call Vanek Plastic Surgery.”

Christine’s husband was already a medical patient of Dr. Paul Vanek, a double-board certified plastic and general surgeon in Mentor. Christine had actually contacted Dr. Vanek 10 years earlier when she first considered a surgical procedure to help get her old body back.

“A ‘mommy makeover’ is for women who want to look like they did before they had children, if not better,” says Dr. Vanek.

“I offer it so that a woman can feel good about herself again. This can be as simple as skin care or injectables, or more significant procedures like liposuction, abdominoplasty and breast augmentation or reduction. I work closely with each patient and together we reach their ideal comfort zone.”

For Christine, that comfort zone included breast reduction, abdominoplasty, vaser liposelection of the arms, flank and upper stomach, and body contouring from the breasts to the hips.

“When I first saw Dr. Vanek in my early 40s, I thought I wasn’t ready to do the surgery,” says Christine.

“Now that I see the results, I wish I had done it 10 years ago. Dr. Vanek and his staff were incredible throughout the entire experience and they still are today, seven months after my surgery.”

To achieve the best results from her “mommy makeover,” Christine was advised by Dr. Vanek to lose some weight prior to surgery. But he didn’t leave Christine to lose that weight on her own. He placed her on the Beta HCG program, a calorie restrictive diet in conjunction with daily HCG injections. After only eight weeks, Christine was down 47 pounds and ready for her surgery.

“We monitored Christine throughout her weight loss and advised her on healthier eating. She was also able to get back into exercising before her surgery,” says Dr. Vanek. “Better physical condition leads to a better recovery.”

One procedure commonly requested by women like Christine is liposuction. Dr. Vanek was the first doctor in northeast Ohio to use Vaser Liposelection.

“Vaser allows me to be more selective and treat more areas of the body,” says Dr. Vanek. “Vaser spares injury to the collagen, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics, and with less blood loss, I can treat more areas in one session with much better results.”

Vaser uses ultrasonic waves that target only the fat cells. It breaks them up and separates them from other cells so they can be extracted through a tiny laser incision.

“I can do Vaser Liposelection on the face, neck, inner and outer thighs, and knees, along with more common areas like the abdomen, flank and back,” says Dr. Vanek. “Vaser also results in 53% more skin retraction, or tightening, than traditional liposuction.”

“I only wanted to do this once,” says Christine.

“Throughout my consultations, we discussed everything that bothered me and Dr. Vanek was extremely supportive. He laid out what procedures were safe to perform at one time, what fit into my budget and a recovery time that worked for my schedule.”

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