When the cancellation of my health insurance arrived in January 2017, I didn't hesitate and called the LipoClinic for advice on the liposuction.
The LipoClinic in Mülheim an der Ruhr, near Essen, is very well known. Many know the chief physician Dr. Rear. But this has extremely long waiting times, which is why I embarked on a little experiment and made an appointment with the completely new and above all strange Dr. Witte accepted. Dr. Witte only started at the LipoClinic in March, was previously senior physician in plastic surgery in a large clinic and was now looking for new professional challenges.
So I got my consultation appointment in early June. The time up to then flew by, I was really happy, was diligently wearing my compression clothing - because that is a prerequisite for a consultation - I continued to go to lymphatic drainage twice a week for one hour and deal intensively with the different treatment methods for liposuction.
The first step - the consultation in the LipoClinic
The day came ... my mom and I - you should always take someone you can trust with you to such a conversation - drove the two hours to Mülheim and didn't really know what to expect. I only had a few pictures of Dr. Witte seen - a tall man, mid 40s with light hair and huge, stylish horn-rimmed glasses. There he stood in front of us and we liked him immediately! The clinic rooms are bright and modern, and the team is incredibly nice.
In the consultation, he explained to us, more likely to my mom, because I had already been so well informed through my hours of research how liposuction according to the WAL method works. How the fat reacts when the water jet hits the cells. It was very informative and he was completely trustworthy. The three of us were immediately on the same wavelength.
After 40 minutes of professional banter and my story of suffering, the first horror came.
"Please take off your underwear once, I have to take a closer look!" Uff, who likes to do that? You have to say that at the end of the second stage I was in transition to the third, weighed 118 kg by 170 cm and was of course deeply unhappy with my body, especially undressed. But he didn't let me feel that. On the contrary, he praised my beautiful waist, slender feet and hands. It didn't feel so strange anymore, all the fear was gone. Then wonderful pictures (pure sarcasm) were taken and the measurements were taken, because documentation is really the be-all and end-all for our disease, which has been poorly researched in some cases.
Dr. The aesthetic is very important to Witte. He is a plastic surgeon and wants to conjure up the best possible optics for us affected and still operate thoroughly. He asked me what I want most, what I expect from the operations. Well, that's easy. I wish to go to a normal clothing store, grab the biggest pair of pants and they should fit. That would make me overjoyed because at that point it was absolutely impossible with a size 52-54.
The dream of a normal size pants
At the end of our conversation it was clear that I would need four operations. Three on the legs (front and inside thighs, total lower legs, back and outside thighs, including buttocks) and one on the arms. It is important that the suction is really extensive and accurate, so that all bad lipedema cells are gone as well as possible. The costs ... as a self-payer, always the saddest part ... amount to 4995 euros per operation. So easily a fluffy 20 thousand euros for a medically necessary operation. Sad but true.
On the way back, my mom and I were just happy. Dr. Witte just asked us to think about everything, but we didn't have to. Because it was clear.
He's the doctor we trust. The one who should lend a hand and help me find a new, pain-free life.
That evening I wrote an email to the clinic asking for the surgery dates and suddenly everything became real.
August 8, 2017 - "The Day of the Beginning"
It should start there, with the front of the thighs. Relief surgery to relieve pressure on your knees and calves.
Before such an operation can be performed, an EKG and blood count must be done. Because liposuctions are a huge procedure for the body and you should prepare it well in advance in order to avoid bad circulatory problems as best as possible. Also, the tissue must be heavily prepared. Despite lymphatic drainage and compression clothing, my tissue was still very firm, so I went to lymphatic drainage four times a week for four weeks - that helped enormously.
My mom also accompanied me on the day of this first liposuction. She came to my apartment, braided my freshly washed hair into a wreath and we left early. My stomach was awake very early and suddenly I wasn't feeling well anymore. Even if I wasn't at all excited the days before, I was overwhelmed that day. I knew everything was going to change. My life will change. I will change.
Finally there, it's getting serious
When we arrived at the LipoClinic, we were immediately brought to my room. Since it was the summer vacation, there were only two patients there that day and so we both got a room all by ourselves. Which was really great in retrospect.
Dr. Witte came in, greeted us as warmly as he had two months earlier and from that moment on I was deeply relaxed. He drew out the places where he had to suck harder and left me colorfully in the surgical gown and with the surgical cap. Shortly afterwards it got exciting again, the anesthetist came in with his pile of needles ... and wanted to get to my bad veins. After four attempts, he finally made it, which is always an act.
We opted for local anesthesia, with which I would stay awake, because with my starting weight, strong anesthesia is always a risk.
And off we went ... into the operating room, slippers in the corner and walking to the operating table on sterile towels - and stop. Smock off. Please what?
There I stood, completely naked and was sprayed from top to bottom with what felt like three liters of disinfectant. Man, was that cold! Then I was allowed to sit on the table and after my field of vision was limited by a cloth at stomach level, there was the affectionately named "Don't give a shit" means, it feels like drinking five ouzos on ex. You are present, but not really able to say anything. A strange feeling, which fortunately disappears quickly - at least in the head, because the body remains calm.
Liposuction is an absolutely bloody affair
Dr. Witte anaesthetized the puncture sites again locally and then it started. The anesthetist repeatedly gave painkillers via drip as soon as I asked for them, or even grimacing painfully. Everything was absolutely bearable - it was actually really funny, because we sang together, talked about God and the world, poked fun at the Internet business and so the time flew by.
In the LipoClinic you can take your smartphone with you into the operating room and the nurses and the anesthetist always take “wonderful” photos of you. A beautiful memory.
"Wow, what a beautiful knee!" Witte. Um, knee? I?
The photo followed immediately and when I saw it, I immediately started to cry ... with joy, with relief, with disbelief that I was really taking this step. From then on, I laughed and cried at the same time - an incredible feeling.
After just under two hours, Dr. Witte satisfied with his work, he emphasized again and again how great I did, that I was so lively and that he could suck more with a clear conscience. Overall, he's proud from the thigh front, inside and the knee 9,2 liters of pure lipedema fat sucked - 36 packets of butter. Who can not understand my tears?
After the sisters forced me into my flat knitwear, we went to my mom in my room ... she looked at me and we cried together, it was so beautiful. It was done. The first step into a new life.