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By Roberto Caballero
First Posted 22:37:00 06/08/2009
When I turned 50, I thought of throwing a party for 50 friends. But it felt like work, which I didn’t want to do, especially not on my birthday. So I said: "Why don't I get lost somewhere in the world that I haven't been to?"
So South Africa became the destination of choice.
On my sixth decade, it was a journey into my body. The idea of body sculpting had always crossed my mind.
Then, one of my glam buddies who I tag as "PHD" or "panay higa sa doctor [always seeing a doctor]" gave me a call, asking if I could help this new dermasurgeon, Claudine Roura, who had just attended an intensive four-week training in Colombia, South America. Her specialization was Vaser High-definition Liposculpting, focused on men's bodies. Now that was something new.
Malou Laurel, the pied piper of the "Thank you, doctor" gang, introduced me to the petite and slim beauty, Claudine. She told me of her encounters with attractive Latino surgeons, nurses and even janitors at the training facility in Colombia.
Before I knew it, I was scheduled for a procedure, on April 3, to be exact. I insisted on paying the fee, which is equivalent to the price of a Rolex. Another Rolex or a trip to Russia wouldn’t remove my love handles, 37-in waistline and man-boobs developed through years of eating pâté, foie gras, truffles, roast duck and other indulgences.
Two years of working out at Fitness First Platinum with the aid of Robert Ordono, my personal trainer, had helped improve my body a lot. But there were muscles resistant to exercise, so I figured that if I could afford the technology, then why worry about being branded as too vain? At 60, nobody can make me quake in my shoes with a "Boo!"
During my pre-op orientation, it was explained that liposculpture is gentle on the body as the fat melts on contact. With Vaser, fat is dissolved while the surgeon moves like an orchestra conductor summoning beautiful music. And if babies are safe with prenatal scanning, I could feel safe with my adventure into liposculpture.
As soon as I checked into the hospital, Claudine, using a Pentel Pen, made sketches on my voluminous torso. Four hours later, I woke up in the hospital room, hungry but nauseous from anesthesia. I had to wear a bodysuit over sanitary pads that absorbed the drips of saline solution. No pain at all, and in fact, I was encouraged to stand and walk so the excess solution would drip off as it did in two days. The only discomfort was similar to sunburned skin reacting when touched.
I had post-op pictures taken, and was amazed to see the abs. Each time I look at myself in the mirror, I feel 20 years younger, and the scales tell me I'm 20 pounds lighter.
In the four-month recovery period, I had to undergo ultrasound and deep heat sessions, while the skin adhered to the new flesh surface. No exercise, but I had to change my eating habits. With the help of my nutrition coach at Fitness First, it was not a problem for me.
After the fourth month, one can resume "tolerable" exercise, according to Claudine. My gym buddies often ask about my amazing abs. My simple reply is: "Science and an artist named Dr. Claudine."
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