Amelia is an eighteen year old patient from New South Wales, who says she is lucky to have been diagnosed with Lipoedema so young, however, it was also very difficult for her. Bullied throughout school for her ‘thunder thighs’ and ‘chubby knees’, growing up, Amelia constantly compared her body to other girls and even developed eating disorders trying to change her body. She exercised for three hours every day in an attempt to change her appearance, despite her legs feeling sore and swollen afterwards. “I was so defeated” Amelia says.
After suffering from several fainting episodes at age fifteen, Amelia went to see a doctor for help, instead, she was told ‘You’re just overweight, your BMI is too high and that’s why you faint when you stand quickly’. “That was such a hard thing to hear at the age of fifteen” Amelia says.
Amelia says receiving her diagnosis felt like a big relief, knowing that her condition was not her fault, however, it was also challenging to know that her health and appearance was out of her control. “I regretted, and still regret everything I put my body through at such a young age.” Amelia says.
Amelia decided that surgery was her best option, due to how aggressive her condition was at such a young age. Following a period of conservative management, in August 2020, Amelia underwent her first Lipoedema-extraction surgery on her lower legs, utilising a lymph-sparing technique that ensures the fat does not return, 2.2 litres of diseased fat was extracted by Dr Lekich. In November of 2020, Amelia subsequently underwent her second surgery on her upper legs, resulting in 5.6 litres extracted by Dr Lekich.
Amelia says that looking back, she’s grateful she decided to opt for surgery and that although she still sometimes struggles mentally with her condition, she’s appreciative that Lipoedema is beginning to become more recognised.