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Case Study
Apr 16
  • Pre-Surgery (L) Post Second Surgery (R)

  • Pre-Surgery (L) Post Second Surgery (R)

  • Pre-Surgery (L) Post Second Surgery (R)

Lipoedema Surgery – Case 45

Meet this 30-year-old patient who first heard of her Lipoedema through a lucky coincidence. While seeing her gynaecologist for a birth control issue, her specialist was familiar with Lipoedema and noticed a build up of fluid around the patient’s ankles.

Guided by the doctor’s recommendation, the patient undertook independent research and started to gain a greater understanding of how the shape and feel of her body had morphed over time.

Upon reflection she said, “As I got into my late teens I had a job where I was on my feet all day. I used to experience a lot of pain in my lower legs and feet doing this, even standing on anti-fatigue mats, but I thought it was normal.

In my late teens, early twenties, the swelling each day varied so much that it gave me body dysmorphia. I had a typical Lipoedema body shape – small upper body, small waist but larger lower body.”

It was difficult for the patient to not feel blindsided by Lipoedema, as in her teen years her family pushed her to be thinner, eventually leading to an eating disorder. She quit playing sports as she felt too big to play, but still continued to exercise excessively, never able to lose the weight in her lower body.

“It’s only through a lot of self work that I have good self-esteem now, and a diagnosis in my late twenties has been very healing emotionally, after dealing with feelings of resentment and anger at the sheer waste of it all.”

Ultimately the patient swallowed the reality that she was stuck with an incurable disease, and went through a process of grief. Trying to manoeuvre her whole lifestyle around Lipoedema created a lot of ups and downs, and took time before she fully came to terms with it.

In 2022 the patient received a formal Lipoedema diagnosis from Lipoedema Surgical Solution as Stage 1 / early Stage 2, and started to seriously consider surgery as it became financially viable and was recommended by her MLD therapist.

She also found herself inspired by supporting her fiancé through a back surgery, and at their encouragement also encouraged the patient to get her Lipoedema surgically treated.

While she had already been pursuing conservative management, a personalised plan to bring her to surgical readiness was created. Managing any aspect of Lipoedema isn’t cheap, however she followed the guidelines for compression, MLD therapy, and a low carb diet as much as possible. She also kept active by going to the gym and walking her dog.

In April 2023, utilising a protocol to manage underlying venous disease and a Lymph-Sparing technique, a total of 3.2L of Lipoedema fat was removed from the patient’s lower legs by Dr Lekich.

Following this a further 4L were removed from her posterior upper legs in October, and 3.2L were removed in January 2024 from her anterior upper legs.

While her surgical journey has concluded, the patient feels extremely fortunate to have been diagnosed early, without any anxiety for mobility issues to stand in the way of appreciating a healthy and active life.

Looking back on the experience the patient said, “I was so grateful I had received a diagnosis and that all of my years of suffering through the symptoms weren’t my fault as I’d been led to believe. It’s a huge healing process for your body image too. I returned to my gynaecologist and thanked her, telling her how she’d changed my life for the better and we both had a cry. It was a really unforgettable, sweet moment.”

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