Numerous questions, uncertainties and hopes on the subject Liposuction were told to me and I hope that I can answer most of your questions with the following lines.
Liposuction: Pre-OP - Of Despair, Money and Pain
How often have I sat in the car, on the couch, at the doctor's and just let the tears run. Desperate, hopeless that this state of my life will turn out for the better again after all. I trained, lost weight, wore the compression every day, did rehab, ... and now I've lost the battle. Almost impossible to see car or train journeys painlessly, let alone book a long flight. Sleepless nights drained my nerves. The cul-de-sac in which I found myself drained the last of my strength to keep my head up. So I know the hopelessness that makes you decide to have liposuctions performed. Even if these damned health insurance companies don't want to take them over. But the price of this way out goes well beyond the financial one.
We wanted to go to the USA for our honeymoon after our wedding. A flight that I looked forward to with growing concern. We should have got the lymph cuff in our luggage. And the compression, is it enough to just hand wash it for 4 weeks? How should I survive this if I couldn't sit in the car for half an hour? So my husband came up to me and made the difficult decision for me.
“We can always go on vacation. We should invest the money for our honeymoon in something better. "
The applications to my health insurance company were rejected and we were faced with a cost of around 14.000 euros for three liposuctions. What a responsibility lay on my shoulders at that moment. That was once a dream vacation in the USA and a new kitchen in my legs and arms. And what if it doesn't help? What if there are complications? What if it looks worse after that? Is it worth giving up our dream and accepting massive restrictions for a year just to pursue my hope for quality of life?
I'm glad he made this decision for me. I couldn't have had it when it would have been his honeymoon.
Four days after our wedding the time had come and I was asked for the first liposuction. An amount of approx. 4-5 liters (I can't remember that exactly) was sucked off in the front area of both legs. That was a good portion for my stature.
Plagued by terrible chills, I woke up between the injection of the tumescent solution and the suction. But the team of Practice clinic on the river shouldn't prove to be trustworthy, warm and caring for the last time that day. So I woke up after the procedure and, old Swede, that was tough. My pulse is always a bit critical during such procedures, but if you have liters of fluid injected into your legs, you have to go to the toilet very urgently. My husband on one arm and my sister on the other arm helped me to walk, which was a terribly uncomfortable feeling. Bloated, numb legs don't feel particularly comfortable. But the horror was yet to come.
The first few days at home were marked by pain that resembled severe muscle soreness and leaking holes in my legs. Licking alone isn't the worst, it's changing bandages and trying to lift the compression off the patches without them curling up again. Sleeping at night without being able to lie on your side. Having to wear the tights day and night for a month. And for me personally, as a very odor-sensitive person, the "stench" of the liquid that left my legs again. I couldn't stand this and it grossed me out.
The second liposuction went according to plan, because the clinic staff and I were already a well-rehearsed team. My husband was actively by my side for the first week at home. The dressing changes were already routine, I knew roughly what to expect and the only difference in pain was that the inside was suctioned off in the first liposuction and this time it was the outside. My hips hurt the most, with my knees bothering me the most after the first.
Take complications seriously
The third liposuction was supposed to be a special challenge because it was the arm's turn. You can probably imagine the restriction, but it passed surprisingly quickly. However, one evening I got terribly cold and kept freezing. I packed myself up with blankets, made myself a hot water bottle and still felt cold. After a while, I finally got the idea to take a fever. Jackpot: I had a high temperature. The antibiotic that was taken prophylactically was unable to ward off the infection and it was important to hurry. On the advice of my operating doctor, we drove to the emergency medical service and were prescribed a drug based on penicillin. It helped and I got well. However, I do not wish for this kind of adventure again.
All in all, the project worked out well, everything healed satisfactorily and I became 11,4 liters of lipedema fat lighter. You shouldn't expect the same number on the scales, but effectively it was maybe 3–4 kilos difference.
One month after each operation, I had to withdraw a lot and sport was out of the question. Because we did all liposuctions between one and a half months apart, my hunger for exercise grew infinitely. During the healing process, I tried to walk a lot, but I felt every shake in my legs all too clearly. So it took some time before I could lift weights or jog again. After about three months after the operation, I was slowly back to normal and the tissue regained some feeling, the swelling stopped and I was able to live a more carefree life.
Due to my everyday work at the desk, I hardly had any problems at work, except that climbing stairs was still a problem in the early weeks or I had to get up more often. But as soon as I was dry, I went back to my day's work.
Liposuction: Post-OP - Improvement, yes. Healing, no.
And so stand here today. Still wear my compression after months of abstinence noticing the tendency to accumulation and slight, rare pain and which immediately stopped. I would definitely not want to endanger my newly acquired state of health. Unfortunately, my familial lymphatic weakness cannot be denied and I feel better about continuing conservative therapy. I wish I could write to you that I was liberated. I would have thrown the compression stocking in the corner and danced away like an elf so easily. But the reality is far more sober.
Sure, I can drive again, I no longer feel restricted every day, I've lost ballast. The appearance of the surgery has not changed much on the arms, but it was worth it here too and the pain has decreased significantly. But the price and effort were high. So high that I pray I won't have to go through it again. It was worth it for me, but I cannot give you a clear recommendation for or against this step, because in the end the result depends heavily on your findings, the financial burden is considerable and the necessary strength is not always available. My husband and those around us have done a lot to maintain my courage after I've choked him in tears. And I will be eternally grateful to them for this, because their handling of my illness is not a matter of course.
There is no cure for lipedema. You can significantly improve the current situation, save a lot of pain and lead an easier life. However, lipedema will still be with us for a lifetime, even if it's only memories.