Through her testimony, a patient of Doctor Nicolas Zwillinger shares with us her experience as a dance teacher, affected by lipedema which has an impact on her professional and personal life.
When did you first notice lipedema in your lower limbs and what were your symptoms on a daily basis?
I realised that I had a problem when I was about 20 years old, but already as a teenager I saw dysmorphia, swelling, pain, heaviness and bruises regularly on my legs. Despite intensive sport in my youth, they were not slimmed down. I lost weight at the top but my legs remained fat. Hopeless!
Has lipedema been a handicap in your life, either personally or professionally?
Lipedema has always been a huge complex, I used to dress only in baggy trousers and sarouels… in short in camouflage mode!
In fact, I hid my problem so well that many people didn’t know about my situation. I’m not the type to complain, so some people were surprised to discover my legs before and now. Pregnancies didn’t make it worse, but at 32 I lost my mum and the lipedema got worse and worse.
But a year ago it was becoming a real handicap in my work as a dance teacher.
“This surgery saved me!”
Could you tell us about your operations (anaesthesia, course of your stay, sensations…) and your post-op?
The first operation was really scary, I didn’t know where I was going and luckily the team was there to answer all my questions. Thank you Charlotte!
All the tests I had before the operation reassured me too. I told myself that Dr Nicolas Zwillinger was serious and meticulous.
Afterwards, with the protocols, I prepared these operations to be at my best for the big day.
The first clinic wasn’t great but the staff were lovely, that was the main thing.
I was stressed because my legs are my work tool and I was afraid. But the surgeon really reassured me. The calf operation is still painful. Fortunately, the painkillers were there. When I had to put on the support stockings it was a real ordeal, but that’s all behind me now.
A lot of running on the first day but I walked right away. Not for long, but I walked. After a month and a half I was operational. But I still had some difficulties in my job.
On the other hand, the second operation at the Clinique Étoile was really great! The anaesthetist was very professional, he called me the next day and the day after to check if I was doing well. The operation on my thighs and hips was really much easier. Less anxiety because I knew what to expect. But it is a much less painful operation, I will say almost not painful, the only worry is the repeated discomfort as soon as you are in an upright position for 3 days.
But I was well supported by my family. Fortunately they were all there to help me during the two operations.
How long after your operation were you able to resume your ‘normal’ life?
After the 2nd operation I was able to resume my job in total autonomy after 4 weeks. But after 3 weeks I was fine.
What have your WAL liposuction operations changed in your daily life?
These operations have taken a lot of weight off my shoulders, today I have lost 10 kg in my legs. You can imagine 5 less water bottles on each leg. It’s amazing! I can finally wear dresses, skirts, boots. I can become feminine! I feel good in my skin, in my head. In my work I am lighter and more efficient. No more pain, no more bruises. My vein problems are getting better. I also had problems with my Achilles tendons, and with this weight reduction it’s the same, I have almost no tendonitis. In short, everything is improving.
“Many thanks to Dr Nicolas Zwillinger, to the whole team, to Charlotte”.
The only drawback is the cost of these operations, which is not covered by social security. We had to take out a loan over 5 years. It’s crazy when it’s a problem that would have put me in a wheelchair in the long term. It’s still unfair.
In any case, it’s a good thing that Doctor Nicolas Zwillinger is here to help us!
If you had any advice for people with this condition, what would it be?
I have already advised some people with lipoedema to take the plunge and have WAL liposuction. The pictures speak for themselves.
“It is a revolution! It changes your life. A rebirth. Thank you again!”
We would like to thank this patient for sharing her experience with WAL liposuction of the lower limbs. Relieved of her lipedema, she was able to return to her professional life with more ease.