Meet Jillian, a sixty-two-year-old patient from Queensland. Jillian says she first noticed her legs were different during her teenage years. “I became self-conscious of my body and my ‘tree trunk’ legs” she says and was often called names for her appearance. She believes the condition runs in her family, and her daughter also now wears compression garments for Lipoedema. She was dismissed by doctors for years as simply being overweight.
After leaving school Jillian trained as a nurse and was around a size 10 at that time. After having children in her early twenties however, she gained weight rapidly and says that is when the ‘weight loss circus’ began. Jillian tried many different weight loss programs, and maintained an active lifestyle, mainly utilising CrossFit and walking. Despite this however, her legs remained swollen – particularly around the ankles, and she also started having knee and vein problems.
In 2020 Jillian’s doctor told her she may have Lipoedema, and Jillian says this is when her journey with Dr Lekich began. Dr Lekich treated Jillian’s venous issues first, to reduce the risk of bleeding and clotting post-surgery. Jillian then underwent Lipoedema-Extraction surgery, using a Lymph-Sparing technique developed in Germany by Doctor Heck. Dr Lekich was able to remove 5.3 Litres of diseased fat from Jillian’s lower legs, and six weeks later, removed 16 Litres from Jillian’s thighs. This diseased fat was unable to be dieted or exercised away.
“My legs look great and feel so much lighter” Jillian says. She found Dr Lekich and his team very supportive and helpful and is grateful to them for making the Lipoedema-Extraction surgery a possibility. Jillian has just purchased her first pair of long boots this Winter and has now begun to purchase a collection of dresses for Summer, this is something she previously didn’t have the confidence to do, wearing jeans and pants even in warm weather. Jillian says it has been a life changing journey for her.
Jillian’s photos were taken prior to her first surgery, and then six weeks post first surgery, before her second surgery.