As told by Tatjana van der Krabben of the Netherlands...
In the late summer of 2008 my dermatologist turned out to not only know about lipoedema, but also support liposuction as a treatment. It gave me the courage to proceed with it. After 2 years of searching online I found a doctor I liked, trusted and could afford.
In November 2010 I left for Germany as a nervous wreck. When we got there everything was double checked: the quality of the compression stockings I brought, materials to protect to car seat on the way home, medication, and a warning not to drive home myself. Next was a pre-op check: blood pressure (through the roof for the occasion) and my weight (they should never ask a lady such a thing). I was walked through the procedure again and we discussed the possibilities and limitations of the results and the amount to be taken out: about 4 litres.
First I got numbed superficially before they started infusing the tumescent solution. This is not pain-free until it takes effect, but manageable. After the infusion your legs look all puffy and pasty. The doctor pricked me repeatedly with a needle to double check the effect of the local anesthesia. When satisfied I was ready he made the first incision, put the suction device (cannula) in and started moving it back and forth. He moved from spot to spot, constantly checking the amounts taken out, my vitals and if the result was symmetrical. One assistant helped double checking everything. Along the way I started feeling cold and tired. It takes several hours to get this done. The inside of my legs was done all the way and the blob above my knees.
Afterwards I drank something, got hoisted into my stockings and was observed for a bit. With plenty of good advice we left again. All the little cuts were leaky, but thankfully it takes some time for the anesthesia to wear out. That didn’t happen until I was safely in bed at home. My husband had his work cut out for him, taking care of me and cleaning up a lot of mess. After 6 weeks there was a sigh of relief: the swelling was getting less. After 2 months I realized I definitely got up the stairs a lot better and after 6 months the final result was cosmetically quite appealing as well. For lipoedema legs, that is. I proceeded with my hips and abs 6 months later and another 6 months later the outside of my legs.
A lot is gone: over 10 liters of fat, a bit of weight, a lot of pain and a lot of the usual swelling. Now it’s up to me to keep it that way! To me it was well worth it. It was so beneficial I’m also getting my lippy arms done. I still dislike being wide awake during the procedure and hearing, seeing and feeling more than I care to. But the doctor and his assistants help me right through every single time.
Please click the link to read about the most recent trials of tumescent liposuction in lipoedema by
W. Schmeller, M. Hueppe* and I. Meier-Vollrath
Liposuction and feeling better because of it!