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Having calf reduction surgery tomorrow
Topic Rating: +301 (303 votes) 
June 21, 2015
10:18 pm
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katie murphy

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hi everyone!  I'm having my calf reduction surgery done tomorrow with doctor Park at the Oz clinic. I'm going to try and post every couple of days to keep an update of what the recovery is like. I'm a Caucasian female, 5'3, and have always had extremely disproportionate calves. 

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ames3j
June 22, 2015
7:58 am
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Jennifer V

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Good luck katie!  Let us know how it goes!

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynmo in the machinery of the night...

June 22, 2015
8:03 am
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katie murphy

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Thanks!  I'm heading off for my consultation in 2 hours. I'm nervous but so excited!  I've hated my calves since I was 14. 

June 22, 2015
4:25 pm
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GOOOD LUCK!! :) I'm really happy that you're getting this opportunity. :) 

June 23, 2015
4:17 pm
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katie murphy

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Ok, day 1 after surgery!  Last night was a loooong night. They have you stay overnight at the clinic to keep an eye on you. The pain was pretty bad, but once the really nice nurse adjusted my drip I was able to doze intermittently. Also, bring food with you to the clinic!  I didn't even think to do this. The nurse asked if I was hungry, and offered to go shopping for me. I gave her some money and she brought back some ridiculously yummy bread. 

The nurse has you up and walking (shuffling) to the bathroom around 8 hours after surgery. Then later on in the night, she has you start stretching. Painful, but super super necessary according to Dr. Park. You can't stretch too much. 

Today, they rewrapped my bandages and let me go back to the hotel. I was so happy because I was dying for a shower. I managed to pretty much soak the entire bathroom trying to wash my hair, but I didn't care. 

 

Things to to keep in mind - boredom is brutal - make certain to bring lots of books, iPod, iPad, whatever keeps you busy. I don't do well with downtime so this might not be so hard on other people.   Bruising and swelling is considerable - I have Fred flintstone feet right now - so make sure you bring loose slip on wedges. 

I'll update this as often as I can!  Feel free to ask me questions. 

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June 23, 2015
10:14 pm
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katie murphy

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I can see a huge difference in my calves already, even with the swelling. Dr park said I am (was) 38cm, and the ideal proportion for someone built like me is more like 33 cm. 

June 23, 2015
10:47 pm
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Continue with updates! I am glad you're seeing results already! :)

June 24, 2015
4:19 am
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Wow! Thank you for updating us! I wish you a speedy recovery! You can do it :D

June 24, 2015
7:35 am
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katie murphy

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Thank you for the support everyone!  I am trying to keep this up day to day because I couldn't find much written in English about the recovery period and I had so many questions!  

Day 2 after surgery - I always have to pee when I wake up in the morning, and I was afraid if I tried to stretch I would wet my pants, so I did a fun little scoot along the edge of the bed/old lady shuffle to the bathroom before trying to stretch. You are TIGHT and sore in the morning, wow!  But amazingly enough, I can already feel a difference from yesterday once I had stretched out in the tightness. The constant stretching definitely makes a difference. I just keep thinking of myself as the little mermaid (new legs) and how in the story it felt like every step she took it was like walking on pins and needles. When I was younger, I hated my legs so much I would have been willing to be in that kind of pain for beautiful legs. This is absolutely nothing pain wise compared to that, so I seriously can't complain. At this point, when I'm not moving them, it's pretty much just a dull ache. Definitely manageable. 

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June 24, 2015
4:42 pm
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Wow! I definitely remember reading the original little mermaid and that particular description stuck with me. I'm sorry that you have to deal with the pain, but it's only temporary, so there's that! Unfortunately, beauty is pain. Thanks for continually updating us. :)

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katie murphy
June 25, 2015
6:57 am
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Aria

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Are you on any pain killers or is that not allowed since it could be contraindicated with the procedure? 

June 25, 2015
9:56 am
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katie murphy

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The doctor gives you 3 pain pills, and then has you bring up Arnica Montana which is an natural pain reliever. He also gives you packets of pills to take 3 times daily that include antibiotics and anti inflammatories. To be honest, I was a bit worried about the pain aspect myself, so I brought some lortabs from home that I use when I have migraines. Once you get through the first 2 days, though, pain really isn't an issue. I've only taken 2 of the doctors pain pills and haven't touched the lortabs, and highly doubt I will. Today it's more a point of extreme muscle soreness and stiffness, like you took a new class at the gym and waaaay overdid it. (Am I the only person who walked into her first step aerobics class, thought that one step was for out of shape wimps and did the class with all 3 steps, then could barely walk the next 3 days?)

Day 3 after surgery - psychological torture. Every time I walked by a mirror (which is super frequent, as you have to stretch every 30 minutes), I would look at my calves. I started noticing that they didn't look symmetrical.  Then I noticed that they didn't match at ALL.  Okay, I though maybe this was just swelling and fluids, and started poking the inside of my calf to see if part of it felt mushier that the rest.  I didn't say a word to anyone, just sent pictures to my mom and my husband to see if it was just my imagination.  My mom wrote back wanting to know why my calves didn't match, and if that would change when the swelling went down.  One side of the inner calf was straight down, like a l.  The other side was shaped like an C.  At this point, I was really stressing out, and going through options in my head.  I didn't want to come back for a revision surgery, but maybe if he put the cut in a different place and I didn't mind the scarring, I could do it before I left, etc, etc.  I spent hours torturing myself before I though that maybe it had something to do with how I was wrapped, because two different nurses wrapped me.  Sure enough, when I unwrapped the bandages, my legs looked normal.  One nurse had wrapped her leg super tight, the other one didn't.  No, they aren't perfectly symmetrical, but only if you look closely, and that's fine with me.  Whew!  Went and smacked myself for being stupid, then rewrapped them and went back to stretching.  When I get home, I'll download the pictures, and you can see why I panicked, though. 

Anyway, last night I was well enough to walk downstairs to the hotel restaurant for a late lunch, and then down the block a short distance.  It's a slow and awkward walk, but a walk nontheless.  And having work done here is not at all out of place.  I've seen girls out and about who have had nose jobs and jaw surgery, just covered with the surgical masks.  I'm going to try to walk a bit more today.  I have a check up today with the doctor, so hopefully he is pleased with my progress.  I've started to itch - ARGH - but that's a good sign that my body is starting to heal.  

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June 25, 2015
2:21 pm
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Wow, what an update! I had the same mentality regarding pain following surgeries, but I think it's more of a discomfort rather than sheer pain. Just be sure to take the anti-inflammatories to prevent the possibility of infection. As for differential swelling, it's normal to feel stressed out since you can't see the results right away, but I'm glad it all worked out in the end. :D

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katie murphy
June 27, 2015
12:39 pm
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katie murphy

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Day 4

The checkup yesterday went really smoothly. I've been stretching a lot, so the nurses were really pleased with my progress. One nurse even clapped when I showed her that I could touch my toes. I was able to walk back and forth to the appointment, but slowly in my wedges. 

Today is also going well. I took a taxi to a shop near hong dae and shopped for a little while. After about an hour and a half, my legs started to really ache. I hadn't really walked around, mostly just browsed in a shop, but I knew it was time to go.  It felt really good to stretch when  I got back to the hotel. 

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June 27, 2015
12:44 pm
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katie murphy

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Day 5 after surgery. 

Today started out okay. Super tight in the morning, but I had expected that. I stretched, went down to the coffee shop and read for a bit. When I got back to the room I was hit with brutal cramps. I've read that sometimes people can have a problem with cramping on days 5 or 6, and wow is that an understatement. I'm so glad I saved a pain pill for today. Waiting for it to kick in, then planning on unwrapping and soaking my legs to a cool bath to help with the pain. Not certain what else to do except wait it out and take it easy. 

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June 27, 2015
6:48 pm
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Do you remember how much fat was removed?

June 27, 2015
8:59 pm
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No fat, I didn't have any to begin with there. (That was the problem!) I'm not certain exactly how much muscle was removed, but the goal was to reduce me about 5 cm so I'm guessing a pretty decent amount. I've read in other forums that girls that get a lot of muscle removed can have what is referred to as the 'dreaded spasms' around Day 5 - 7. It seems to pass after a day or two, so hopefully it will be the same in my case. All I know is that the cramps came out of nowhere and my legs were just throbbing. Putting them up, putting them down, walking on them, trying to stretch them out - anything you would normally do to release a bad leg cramp I tried. Eventually the pain pill kicked in.  I don't want to scare anyone, but please save a pain pill (dr park only gave me 3) or bring emergency ones from home with you just in case this happens to you.  I've been okay since the pill kicked in - I've stretched, stretched, and stretched some more. I even went for a brief walk to work them a bit. I thought rest might be the best idea, but apparently the worst thing you can do in this case is curl up in bed, as the muscles will just get tighter. Fingers crossed so hard that tomorrow I won't wake up with them again. 

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June 28, 2015
8:13 pm
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katie murphy

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Day 6 after surgery

Woke up tight but stretching helped.  Then around 2pm, the cramps started again. Argh.  Took pain pill, waited about an hour for the worst of the spasms to stop, then stretched and stretched. The pain made me nauseous, but around 2 hours later when the pain pill was really working I was fine.  I was even able to walk around for an hour or so in flats, with just constant stretching. I'll be talking to the doctor tomorrow about the pain. 

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June 28, 2015
11:49 pm
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Hopefully the pain goes away soon. Keep up with your stretching!

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katie murphy
July 1, 2015
12:28 pm
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Day 7 after surgery

Last night around midnight I woke up with a severe charley horse in my left calf. So I paced up and down inside my room for about 20 minutes trying to loosen the cramp. I was out of the doctors pain pills, but thank heavens I had a couple of lortabs with me so I took one. Eventually the cramp eased and the pain pill kicked in so I could sleep. 

Doctor appointment today was helpful. Dr Park said that I wasn't eating properly, and the lack of potassium was causing the cramps. He told me to start eating bananas and taking vitamins asap. Then he did the aspiration with the needle to remove excess blood and fluid - ouch ouch ouch!!  The Dr was surprised, he said it's unusual for the aspiration to hurt. My calves have always been really tight and sensitive, even before the surgery, so I wasn't surprised. On the plus side, he said I'm doing fantastic with the stretching, and I'm making great progress. He gave me a few more pain pills, then I left to buy bananas. 

 

The rest of the day was fine. I ate a banana and took my vitamins, and took it pretty easy the rest of the day. No more cramps thus far, yay!

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July 1, 2015
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Day 8

No cramps today either!  Yay!!!  Mornings are still really tough and I am super tight, but once I stretch out I'm fine. I'm walking in flats now. My legs seemed to ache even more in the wedges, and the doctor said its fine to switch to flats now. I went to myeongdong and walked around for a bit. I'm getting pretty good at knowing my limits - when my legs got too tired, I grabbed a taxi home to put my legs up. I unwrapped my bandages today and was stunned at how slender my calves looked today!  I didn't want to get my hopes too high - my goal for this surgery was just to look average and not disproportionate. But my legs were actually PRETTY!  I almost cried. Yes, they are still swollen (especially the right one), and I still have a long way to go, but it's better than I could have ever hoped for. 

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July 2, 2015
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Day 9 after surgery

Dr appointment again today. Dr park aspirated my legs again. He was very surprised at how much it hurt me, he said it usually doesn't hurt that much. I had to take deep breaths the entire time and try not to think about it. I have a high pain tolerance, so this is frustrating. He hasn't said anything about me doing it at home myself yet, and when I start to think about it I get panicky and teary. There is no way on earth I can do it myself - the pain isn't so much the problem as I am super squeamish - I can't handle seeing needles and blood, even on TV. I can't even watch stupid shows like greys anatomy or law and order without closing my eyes anytime there is a needle or any sort of wound involved. And although my husband has offered to do it for me, I'm not sure that he could handle doing something that puts me in a lot of pain. Well, I still have 2 more appointments and 2 aspirations left, so I'll cross that bridge when I have to.  The aspiration and massage left my legs really aching, so I took a pain pill and just rested the remainder of the day. 

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July 3, 2015
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katie murphy

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Day 10 after surgery

Great day - no problems. Was able to wall around quite a bit. Went to Insadong and wandered around for a couple of hours, even had a fish pedicure at Dr Fish - fun!  I tried not to let my legs go too far into the water, but my bandages still got wet. No big deal, I bought new bandages and changed them when I got back to the hotel.  My legs still got tight and tired, but stopping to stretch them frequently (especially bending over to touch my toes helps me) made all of the difference. 

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July 3, 2015
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katie murphy

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Day 11 after surgery

The doctor appointment wasn't as bad today. Dr Park said I am doing fantastic, and my recovery is going much more swiftly than most people's. I can walk normally, just more slowly. My legs still get tight and achy after walking for more than 30 minutes, but stretching constantly really helps. Aspiration still hurts, though. 

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July 3, 2015
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Wow! Congrats on your progress. :) It seems like you're recovering quickly! How long are you in Korea for? And how long does it generally take for a full recovery/normal walking for extended periods of time? :O

July 4, 2015
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I am recovering more quickly than most patients do, according to Doctor Park. There is another girl who had surgery a couple of days after I did that I am keeping in touch with, and she's having a much harder recovery than I am. Although she didn't have the cramps/spasms around day 5 and aspiration doesn't really hurt her at all, she can barely walk. Her swelling is far more severe than mine.  I'm in South Korea still for 3 more days, and one more doctor appointment. I go back to work waitressing a day after I get home, so I'll find out really fast what I can take. It seems to vary wildly from person to person how long it takes for the full recovery in terms of walking for an extended period of time pain free. Aesthetically, the doctor said it can take up to a year for the final result. 

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July 14, 2015
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3 weeks after surgery -

I've been home about 5 days now, and back to work for 3. The flight home was brutal - my feet swelled back to flintstone size again. I kept getting up every hour or so to stretch in the bathroom. 

The day before I left, Dr. Park aspirated me again, and said I would have to aspirate at home too. He tried to show me how, but it totally grossed me out and I couldn't watch. Luckily, my friend's mom taped her aspiration, and they sent the video to me. I just sent it on to my husband - I couldn't watch it. I'm really squeamish about blood and needles. Anyway, Dr park said I was doing incredibly good. He sent me home with a set of compression stockings, cotton bandages that I can wash and rewrap, and 5 needles. He wants me to aspirate once a week for a month. 

I Went back to work waitressing a couple of days ago. The first couple of days weren't super busy, and everyone just figured I was jet lagged and sore, and that's why I was constantly stretching in the back. Saturday was very busy, and by the end of the shift I was limping badly. My feet were killing me along with my legs - not certain if the feet were a side effect of the surgery or just coincidence. My feet are still numb in areas, especially on the outer tops of my feet. 

I was totally petrified about having my husband do the aspiration. I ended up asking some neighbors who are nurses to come over and do it/show my husband how to do it. Even though he had watched the video, he still had questions, and I had no interest in being a human pincushion while he figured it out. The nurses both said it's a really easy procedure, and my husband said he felt really comfortable doing it by himself next time. Now if only I was comfortable with it!!!! They pulled out 40ml in one leg, 35ml in the other. I thought that was an enormous amount, until I talked to my new friend - her mom pulled 80ml out of one of her legs the first time!  My legs felt really gross before the aspiration - I could poke them and they would wobble, kind of like a waterbed. You could tell there was a lot of fluid in there.  

I'll try to update every week or so with my progress. 

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July 23, 2015
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One month after surgery - about the same as last week. Aspiration pulled out 40ml in one leg, 30 in the other. I'm having a real problem with swelling - my legs are puffed up like sausages again. Dr Park says I'm not spending enough time elevating my legs. When I thought about it, I realized that I was really only putting my legs up when I went to bed. I need to try to take it easier when I'm not at work. I

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July 27, 2015
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5 weeks after surgery - turning point!

Legs were so badly swollen that I started taking anti inflammatories. Huge huge help. They are starting to feel and look much more normal now. The numbness is fading from the outsides of my feet slowly.  The mornings are getting easier - I can almost walk normally to the bathroom first thing in the morning now without stretching. The exciting part is the aspiration. My husband tried to do it today, and it went disastrously. Ridiculously painful, he tried twice on one leg and once on the other leg and only got 5ml out. By the end I was sobbing and begging him to stop. (I know, this doesn't sound very promising thus far). So we called some nurses who had previously aspirated me to come over and help. They came over and it turns out that my husband was doing it correctly, there was just no more fluid left. It hurt so badly because he kept trying when there was nothing left to take out. So no more aspirations!!!! Yay!!! 

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August 7, 2015
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Hi, i just registered to the forum. I am very interested in calf reduction surgery costs. Could anyone share that information with me? thank you very much 

August 7, 2015
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neda dojchinovska

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Also, i would like to thank Katie for most valuable and priceless  information. I am seriously considering this kind of surgery since i have hated my calves for my entire life. 

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katie murphy
August 12, 2015
9:35 pm
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But Katie, would you recommend oz clinic as a good clinic?

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katie murphy
August 14, 2015
4:55 pm
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Hi michie!  Yes, after my experience I would recommend the Oz clinic. Dr Park has been really consistent in keeping in touch with me - he emails weekly Neda, this surgery to check on my progress. That along with everything else has made all of the difference. Dr Park recommended massaging my legs from ankle to knee (almost like I'm milking them) daily, and it is helping me with the remaining swelling. My measurements are staying around a pretty consistent 35cm, which is still 2 cm bigger than dr park originally thought I would end up. I don't know whether I'll continue to get smaller, but even if I don't I'm pretty happy. Right now I look normal and average, which is what I always wished I was growing up. I'm actually surprised at the measurements, because they look so very much smaller than they did before surgery. (Maybe I'm not measuring them correctly somehow?) Dr park said I'm going to continue to have swelling for up to a year.  A lot of it is due to my job, since I'm a waitress. I've gone back to working out, but carefully. I still elevate my legs after work and at night. Dr park said the longer I continue to do that, the better the results. Same with wrapping my legs. The calves have an odd indentation in the back where the muscle was taken out, but dr park said in the next couple of months things will even out. 

Husband caught me trying on skirts in front of a full length mirror and giggling like a little kid. I've never worn a knee length skirt before - they looked ludicrous on me. But now they are soooooo cute!  I'm not super sexy or anything (but if my calves go down 2 more cm they might be!) but I'm so happy just to look average!  

My biggest regret is that I didn't have the surgery years ago. 

Neda, this surgery cost me around $7000, but keep in mind you have to add in hotel and transportation costs, etc. I think it is cheaper in Thailand, but after doing a lot of research I'm very happy I went with Dr park. I wanted to go to someone who was an expert at this surgery, and I feel that this was the right choice for me. 

 

I'm having very little stiffness in the mornings now, and stretching is a piece of cake. :)

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Jujubee, dnice
August 15, 2015
2:45 pm
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Mitchie

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I don't really know much about Thailand but I have heard it is cheaper but Koreans are better.

for the calf alone excluding hotels and transport cost, how much was it?

August 15, 2015
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The calf surgery alone was around $7000. 

August 21, 2015
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katie murphy said
The calf surgery alone was around $7000. 

do u have any idea the price of whole body liposuction

August 24, 2015
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katie murphy

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I'm sorry, I don't. I'm sure it varies widely depending on doctor and number of area treated. 

August 24, 2015
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Still doing better every week here. I'm still keeping my legs wrapped snugly at all times except when I am showering or having a massage. I'm measuring around 34 1/2 each leg. They both look really pretty and natural looking from the front. The backs are a little odd still - there is a large indentation in both calves in the middle - but Dr Park assured me that it is normal and will even out in the next couple of months. He wants me to continue wrapping, stretching, and elevating as long as possible to get the best results. 

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September 17, 2015
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Hello,

I am completely new to this forum. I can't thank you enough for all your posts! Please keep them coming : )

I have always had enormous calves~ nearly 16" although I am a normal sized 5' 7" woman.

Do you have photos that you could post as well? I live in California and am definitely considering traveling to Seoul for this procedure with the same surgeon.

I hope you are feeling great and loving your new legs~

: )Smile

P.S. Does anyone know how to change the time zone in settings?Cool

October 17, 2015
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Hello jujubee!  Sorry about the looong delay in between posts. I'm going to try to post pictures this weekend if possible. 

My recovery is still going well. I still wrap my legs constantly. I found that wrapping them very snugly during the day, then unwrapping them and massaging after work really helps. Re wrapping before bed I wrap them snugly but not as tight as I do during the day. I'm still having some odd issues with unevenness in the back in the left leg, but the right leg has almost completely evened out. Oddly enough, I have little to no scars. I think I'm an anomaly, because most girls seem to have more visible ones than I do. Maybe I just got lucky?

October 19, 2015
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Okay, here are my before pictures.  I lost around 30 lbs before the surgery so I would be all muscle, no fat at all.

<a href="http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_163941_zpsbhpw3v2e.jpg">http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_163941_zpsbhpw3v2e.jpg

<a href="http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_163956_zpsbj8l7zjz.jpg">http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_163956_zpsbj8l7zjz.jpg

<a href="http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_164036_zps44clm6tc.jpg">http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z201/justkatie179/20150615_164036_zps44clm6tc.jpg

October 26, 2015
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Sorry for the delay in follow up pictures - I am having a really hard time getting my phone pictures to download.  I'll have my husband take pictures with my regular camera soon and just post them instead.

November 3, 2015
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Ur legs look better. How long has it been since you had the surgery and will you still recommend oz clinic?

December 1, 2015
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katie murphy said
Sorry for the delay in follow up pictures - I am having a really hard time getting my phone pictures to download.  I'll have my husband take pictures with my regular camera soon and just post them instead.

Any new updates??I'm really curious how everything has developed for you.

January 19, 2016
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Sorry everyone for the horrible delay in my response!  I got crazy busy at work and forgot all about the forum.  Anyway, my legs have been healing up beautifully.  My only complaint is that I still have a bit of unevenness from the side view, but the front and the back view are lovely.  And it changes from day to day depending on how tightly I wrap them, so it might have a lot to do with the bandaging also.  I'm going to have a quick layover in March in Seoul, so I'll be able to have a post op visit with Dr. Park to get his opinion in person.  Pain wise, there isn't any.  I'm still a bit tight in the mornings, but nothing that a quick stretch doesn't get rid of.  And it feels wonderful when my legs are massaged - I still feel like nightly massaging really helps with the healing process.  When I'm not wearing the bandages, I have compression socks (I ordered them from Groupon) that I wear to go walking, etc.  I had the bandages off for most of the day when I was in Hawaii for a week around Christmas, but found that my legs ached more when they weren't bandaged.  Soooo, here are my 7 month post op pics everyone!

 

.....oc3tjx.jpg

.....ik39pf.jpg

May 3, 2016
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Hi Katie, this is nicole, i'm new to the forum and am thinking of getting calf reduction surgery at Dr Park's clinic in seoul but would like to ask a few more questions before making the final decision.

1. I am a very active and sporty person (which is probably the reason for my big calves) and i am worried that the surgery will affect my physical ability after. How has recovery been for you? Are you able to exercise as per normal without pain or swelling? This is perhaps my greatest concern as I do not want my physical capability to be limited because of this surgery. 

2. Was there any permanent nerve damage that you experienced? If so, is it bad?

3. Has your evenness gotten better? Are your calves smooth, bumpy or asymmetrical? I am particularly worried that my calves will look awkward and worst than before.

4. Has there been any regrowth of calf muscle since the surgery?

5. After the surgery, how many hours were you able to walk about to tour around seoul (I do not want to waste my time there staying only in the hotel).

6. I am very shy, and wish to keep the surgery as private as possible. Is Dr Park's clinic very crowded and are the nurses all very nice (or did you feel like they were gossiping about you etc).

7. How painful was the surgery? What kind of pain did you feel? Like sharp, throbbing, aching, swelling pain? Could you elaborate?

8. As i will keep my surgery a secret, when I go back home, i would have to do aspiration myself, is it difficult and painful to do? Is it manageable ?

 

I really hope you can answer these questions, as I have yet to find someone who has gone through this experience to ask and I really need more information before making this decision. 

Also, if possible, could you update your progress, and more photos. 

 

I truly appreciate it if you can answer and update! I will be very grateful!

 

Look forward to reading your reply.

Thank you,

Nicole 

December 2, 2016
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Thank you so much for all of these updates! Your legs look beautiful.

I'm really curious about your experience at Oz Clinic -

1) were the nurses helpful/nice?

2) what was the environment like? (did you feel everyone was competent/understanding/etc)

3) would you recommend the clinic, and do you have any complaints?

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