Through the testimonial of Mrs K, share the journey of a patient: from the diagnosis to the complete surgical treatment of her lipedema, affecting her lower limbs.
Can you introduce yourself?
I am a 28 year old dentist who has been suffering from lipedema in my legs since my teenage years. Despite the small stage 1-2 diagnosed by an angiologist and Dr. Nicolas Zwillinger (which has only worsened in recent years, especially since the beginning of my professional activity), the functional and aesthetic damage was omnipresent and deliverance began when a diagnosis was made of this disease.
Could you share with us the discovery of your lipedema, through this article: testimonial of Mrs K?
It was randomly on youtube while watching Emmy’s video, like many French speakers I think because unfortunately France is behind in the awareness, prevention and management of this pathology.
What were your daily symptoms?
Already the imbalance of my figure between the upper and lower parts of my body, the appearance of daily haematomas for no good reason, the pain on simply feeling my legs which got worse at the end of the day, the cellulite aspect of the skin on my legs which was very marked from the age of 14 with very unsightly knees
Great difficulty in finding clothes in her size as the disproportion between the upper and lower body is so great.
How did you get to know Dr. Nicolas Zwillinger?
I was looking on the internet at random to see if there were any surgeons in France qualified to carry out this operation as I didn’t want to do it abroad
From the first consultation, the contact went well, I had the answers to my questions and I didn’t feel the need to look for another opinion. I felt confident. I do not regret this choice because thanks to him I can say today that I am free from a great suffering.
How did your first operation go?
The operation took place at the Etoile clinic clinic which I sincerely recommend, the team was top notch from the nurses to the care assistants, the anaesthetist was very available and very supportive in the postoperative period.
So the big day arrived, a lot of apprehension but we knew why we were there, I decided to have the operation under general anaesthetic but there was the possibility of choosing the spinal anaesthetic. I woke up feeling great, no nausea or unbearable pain, so I confirmed my desire to have this operation as an outpatient and decided to go home after checking my vitals and haemoglobin.
This is my only regret because the night was very difficult, burning sensations in the calf, dizziness, pain that did not go away with painkillers, etc. The night at the clinic would not have been too much.
Thanks to the availability of the doctors and my family (because yes, you need to be well surrounded before taking the plunge, it is far from being a harmless operation and depending on the case, the convalescence can be really difficult) I was able to get back to a deep sleep after a week and I was able to regain my mobility after 15 days, it’s really after the first manual lymphatic drainages that you feel a real release.
After one month I could already see a big change, the defined calves were something unthinkable a few years ago.
My work days can be very tiring, so I went back to work after a month, and I didn’t feel 100% recovered, but still the pain and heavy legs disappeared very quickly.
The only thing left is the swelling at the end of the day, this can last for a year post-op and I’m only 6 months in so I’m taking it easy.
The second operation has just been carried out.
How do you feel? How do you feel?
I am delighted because it is the last one for me. I was able to learn from my mistakes during the first operation, such as spending the first night in the clinic, avoiding tourniquets with badly positioned support stockings, starting MLDs (manual lymphatic drainage) as soon as possible. Do not wait for the pain to set in before taking painkillers, a balanced diet + hydration to regain strength as soon as possible and avoid being bloated/constipated.
This second operation is different, the pain is less important, no burning sensation, but extreme fatigue and dizziness probably due to the greater quantity of fat removed and blood lost.
I am currently at D+3 and I can already see a rough outline of the result, I can’t wait for 6 months/one year for the final result.
If you could give advice for people with lipedema or who think they have it, what would it be?
First of all, start with a diagnosis, this does not commit you to anything and allows you to really reconcile yourself with yourself, to stop blaming yourself for something that is not your fault
Then adapt a healthy lifestyle in accordance with this pathology
Unfortunately, there is no conservative treatment as effective as surgery, so based on my experience I can only encourage these women to go for it, while keeping in mind that it is far from harmless and that you have to prepare yourself psychologically as well as physically, and give yourself time to recover well.
In order to follow this patient’s advice, given through this article: Mrs K’s testimonial, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr Nicolas Zwillinger to make or confirm the diagnosis of lipoedema.