This testimony is a journey of a patient’s suffering of lipedema from her teenage years until today. It depicts the evolution of this condition, despite a healthy lifestyle, up until her operations and meeting with Docteur Nicolas Zwillinger.
Could you introduce yourself ?
Hello, I am Aurore. I am 47 years old and I have had lipedema since the age of 17 years old, I think, which was more or less stabilized by a rather irreproachable hygiene of life:, not diet and exercise. Despite all my efforts, the lipedema has evolved.
What were your symptoms related to your lipedema?
My mother had lipedema associated with lymphœdema. She was always told that she was obese. Very early in my development of the condition, she took my symptoms seriously and recognized them – for me it started with pain. At first my legs looked normal, but it was the pain and the bruises all over my lower limbs that made me realize that something was wrong. My bruises could be 15 centimeters long and would appear without any contact, just like that!
Later on, at the age of 25, it evolved and my leg became what we call the “pole leg”, no calf and the evolution continued. With my professional life, where I took a lot of planes, it turned for the worst: large swelling on the lower parts of the body with pain. My upper body remained untouched.
When did you decide to consult a lipedema professional?
Quite recently. I didn’t know what lipedema was. I was always bluntly told that I had post legs without any further explanation. I was always told: “it’s your body type”, “you have to do more sport” but no! I was 47kg and that didn’t stop the dysmorphia between my upper and lower body. I later found on Instagram that there were other women affected by this disease as well. I continued my research, it’s been a year and a half now.
I saw a lot of opportunities for surgery abroad, but I was convinced. I hesitated. The first reason is because I would need post-operative care and follow-ups which are easier to do if they were local. Secondly, I discovered that there were surgeons in France. I decided this was my best option.
So I looked for surgeons in France and I came across Doctor Nicolas Zwillinger, then I read up about him. I decided on him and ended my search quest here. I eventually called and organized a video-consultation. After that it was pretty quick!
Following your consultation, an operation was scheduled for the end of 2021. Can you tell us how that first operation went?
I was very apprehensive about going to the clinic Étoile for this first procedure, on the ankles/calves and lower knees. I was delighted with the clinic, I was well taken care of. I was especially afraid of going under and of being nauseous coming out of it. In the end it went well but my return home was complicated. It was pretty bad for the first 15 days. I found the post-op horrible. One must be strong and be really sure they want this operation. You have to visualize the benefits to hold on.
Walking is part of recovery. Sometimes you have sensations of electric shocks and sometimes it feels like your legs are made of wood. The localized loss of sensitivity returns slowly over time.
Today we are a little more than 2 months after your first operation and we are back at the clinic for the liposuction of the upper part. How do you feel?
I have already gone through this so I know what to expect and am less afraid. I am also surrounded by the same team as during the first operation, so it is easier.
What advice would you give to patients affected by lipedema?
The surgery of liposuction WAL changes a lot of things in daily life and even if the post-operation part is not easy, I advise people to go for it. And if you prefer not to travel far to do it, in France we have a surgeon who treats this disease, with impressive results : Doctor Nicolas Zwillinger.
We thank this lipedema patient for sharing her experience with us. We invite you to consult the other testimonials on our website.