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Case Study
Mar 13
  • Roisin at our Lipoedema Awareness Photoshoot in April 2023

  • Roisin, pre-surgery

  • Roisin, pre-surgery

  • Roisin and Dr Lekich, 6 days post-surgery

  • Roisin, 6 days post-surgery

  • (L) Roisin pre-surgery (R) Roisin 3 months post-lower-leg-surgery

  • (L) Roisin pre-surgery (R) Roisin 3 months post-lower-leg-surgery

Lipoedema Surgery – Case 42

Meet Roisin, a 27-year-old patient from Geelong, who was fortunate to learn of Lipoedema during her teen years, as it ran in her family. The symptoms were recognisable in multiple generations, including both her mother and aunt, as well as her maternal grandmother based on photos.  

Roisin’s distinguishable symptoms were that of having bigger legs than anyone else she knew with a lot of surface cellulite. It progressed to eventually making just the act of walking difficult as her legs were heavy and sore to the touch.  

While she is currently seeing a GP who is aware of Lipoedema, the process to get there wasn’t simple. The first GP she saw suggested that nothing could be done at all, and while Roisin pushed on to enquire about surgery, her GP wasn’t aware of any surgical options for Lipoedema.  

She was eventually referred to another GP who had an interest in Lipoedema and ran a lymphoedema clinic. While Roisin did receive a formal diagnosis, this GP was unfortunately not accepting new patients. Looking for a new way forward once more, Roisin was recommended Lipoedema Surgical Solution on Facebook and decided to give it a go. 

Roisin reflects, “It was then when I sought the assistance from Dr Lekich’s team and got the diagnosis of stage 3 Lipoedema. It was very validating to know that I have suspected that I’ve had this for such a long time, and I actually do and it’s not my fault. But I guess it’s also really overwhelming at the same time to know that I can’t do anything, I can’t get rid of it unless I undertake surgery and do all these expensive things.” 

Prior to surgery Roisin had never attempted any other medical treatments, although she had toiled away with dieting and exercise for years and seen limited results. Prior to surgery Roisin undertook a conservative management plan including weekly MLD, wearing compression 16 hours a day, eating nutritionally, and is currently even looking to try a vibration plate. 

She enjoyed the benefits of MLD in particular saying, “the night after I have MLD I honestly feel like I can run a marathon. My legs feel so light, I literally can’t remember ever feeling like that before.” 

Taking away the heaviness in her legs was a massive gain to her lifestyle, as she had previously found herself straining to perform activities which others found normal. If her friends went on a bush hike, she knew she wouldn’t be able to participate, as walking was so much more difficult for her, and she wouldn’t be able to keep pace. 

The accumulated effects of Lipoedema eventually took a toll on Roisin’s mental health as well. She got self-conscious about people seeing her body and forced herself to wear pants as much as possible.  

“It has since improved but it’s something I sort of feel sad about in hindsight. I wish it didn’t affect me, but it definitely has.”  

Roisin is currently striving to complete her remaining surgeries and continues managing Lipoedema conservatively. She’s also endeavouring to raise awareness and advocate for women who can’t, such has her mother who had been dismissed by the medical community.  

In November 2023, utilising a protocol to manage underlying venous disease and a Lymph-Sparing technique, a total of 4.9L of Lipoedema fat was removed from Roisin’s lower legs by Dr Lekich. 

When asked what Roisin would like to say to women with Lipoedema, she said, “I would like them to know they are beautiful the way they are, but also that it’s so important to advocate for themselves and seek medical assistance. They should seek out other people with Lipoedema, like on Facebook support groups, because they’re not alone. Having that support from other people who are in the same boat is so important.” 

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