It’s been an eternity, I know! I’m so sorry for not having updated this blog in a long time but life has honestly gotten in the way, to the point where I’ve barely even thought about Lipedema! So. If there’s anything you’d like for me to post/share/write about please let me know in the comments below and I will try my absolute best to answer them. I only ask that you be a little patient as I seem to be constantly short on time. Thanks for your support, and please feel free to share you stories with not only me but others who read this page. Thanks!
Alright. So, if you’re new to the blog then I suggest you start from the bottom up since this is, quite literally, the third time I have gone through liposuction to treat my lipedema.
First of foremost, I suppose I should explain exactly why on earth I decided to go for round three. After all, this surgery is elective and most certainly is expensive too. Well, if I’m to be completely frank here, it’s entirely due to one reason and one reason only: vanity.
Having always had a very slim upper body, I’d always seen half of the “potential” of what my body could look like — down until my hips, of course. After I’d had the first two procedures with Dr Rapprich, I absolutely could have left everything there and continued on with life and enjoyed a body that was more or less in proportion. But, me being me, I felt like I wanted more. Perhaps it’s low self-esteem, I’m not sure, but it’s become apparent to me that I’m not one of those people who can just get “a little surgery” done, and think it’s enough. More later, if anyone’s interested?
So! Long story short, after I’d fully recovered from my second procedure with Dr Rapprich, I began examining myself in the mirror again and realised I wanted to have some fat removed from my waist to match my now slimmer hips. I emailed Dr Rapprich and asked him if he could recommend a surgeon who specialises in body-contouring, who is also familiar with Lipedema. Dr Rapprich recommended Dr Gerhard Sattler at Rosenpark Klinik, which was not too far away from where Dr Rapprich is based.
After saving up (and borrowing!) enough money, I finally made the trip to Darmstadt, Germany to have surgery with Dr Sattler. After our consultation, we determined that he would remove some fat from my hips, remove more from my buttocks and outer thigh and also the “padding” in between both knees, and then shave some off my upper and lower calves again.
I stayed at their clinic for one night, received a nutritious and delicious meal and comfortable accommodation and I would highly recommend staying there for the initial stages post-surgery. I found Dr Sattler, the nurses and anaesthesiologist to be extremely caring, kind and understanding during my procedure.
Well…I don’t think you’re all here for my words so I’ll just get straight down to the pictures. Here are some pictures of my before and after. The before image was taken immediately prior to my surgery with Dr Sattler and the after was taken two months after surgery.
And you know what, ladies? The craziest part is, is that my vanity has still got the better of me. I feel like my surgical journey isn’t quite finished yet. I’m looking into more options and I will keep you updated as my investigations progress. Until then, please continue to comment and get in touch with me — I answer everyone!
I am so so sorry for the lack of posts lately but last year was truely a busy one for me. I won’t bore you with the details, but please know that 2016 was one helluva busy year, and now, during the somewhat calm period of 2017 I am using this time to do an update on my progress since I know 2017 is going to be just as busy, if not more!
The last time I wrote was in 2015 to give some insight on my incision scars and how they’ve healed. Since then, I returned to Dr Rapprich for a second round of tumescent liposuction surgery to treat Lipedema. Please note that the following procedure occurred in August 2015.
So! First thing’s first — WHY did I go back for another round of surgery? Good question. Well, I suppose I really could have left my body the way it is, and I am by no means unappreciative of the results I had. However, when I first went for the consultation with Dr Rapprich, we both agreed that the safest first manoeuvre was to be conservative in how much fat was removed — better safe than sorry, right? And I’m sure I would have left things as they were, however, due to good fortune I found myself with enough money to be able to afford the surgery again. So it was a matter of choice — pay off some debt, go on a holiday and spoil myself a little or; have some more surgery performed to treat Lipedema?
Having grown up being very slim and skinny, life took a rather dramatic turn when Lipedema started to develop in my teens. In that most insecure and emotionally vulnerable period of my life I had suddenly become the skinny girl with a fat secret. I had to dress accordingly, hide my legs and really alter my life in a way so I could maintain my former identity of being skinny. This insecure has sadly never left me and I am still quietly worried about the imbalance between my upper and lower half.
So I booked myself in for another round of surgery with Dr Rapprich. Coincidentally, around the same time I received an email from someone who had discovered this blog (Hello N!). After a few email and Skype exchanges, we agreed that we could go to Frankfurt, live together, and have the surgery performed on the same day.
We hired an AirBnB in Frankfurt city for the week. What I found super funny was, just outside our apartment building in the middle of the city, was this statue of a woman with large Lipedema-looking legs!
The clinic is located in Bad Soden am Taunus, about a half an hour train ride from Frankfurt city (I can strongly recommend using public transport in Germany, it’s excellent!). It is a modern and new building that is clearly of a higher quality standard than a public hospital. The clinic itself is located near the entrance, it is small and quaint but also very modern and squeaky clean! I felt like I was in good hands.
Well, there’s really not that much I can say about the surgery that I haven’t already covered in my previous post. Things went very much in a similar fashion, the only difference being that this time I was also having my upper calves done. In total I had the following areas treated: lower calves, upper calves, outer thighs and buttocks.
The surgery went by so well that I literally walked out of the operating room and straight into the waiting area as I waited for my Lipedema buddy to go in for her surgery. Since it took some time, I was even able to walk down to the hospitals cafeteria and get myself some lunch — strange to think I had just had surgery! After lunch, I took a walk around the hospital and took some of the following pictures for your viewing pleasure:
And so, for the next 4 days my Lipedema buddy and I took care of each other, assisting each other in changes bandages and dressing, with blood-thinning injections (okay, so she only helped me with that since I can’t even look at needles!) and general day-to-day support post-liposuction surgery.
Thus concludes my SECOND procedure to treat lipedema with tumescent liposuction. This operation was conducted in August 2015, and to those who are interested, I will be doing my THIRD and hopefully FINAL procedure next month. I will be writing up a blog about that too.
Just a quick post to let you know I am currently writing an update about my most recent (2nd) liposuction surgery to treat Lipedema. At long last! Stay posted and watch this space!
Here is a link to Dr Rapprich’s clinic in Germany. Unfortunately the predominant language is German and there aren’t any subtitles, but you can see what the facility looks like, Dr Rapprich and some other tidbits. It makes for interesting viewing at least!
I thought I’d include some pictures of my incision scars. The first picture is sadly the only picture I took of my incision marks just above my foot. As you can see, they were much more red as opposed to the picture I took earlier this afternoon. A nice thing for me to notice was that is was actually difficult for me to locate some of my scars today as they had healed so well. I do heal rather quickly and well, so this may not be the same for you.
As a recap, I have 5 incision marks just above my foot; 1 on the inside and outside of each thigh; and 2 on my outer hips/buttocks.
The first picture was taken a few months after surgery (please excuse my unshaven legs!):
And here are the pictures of my scars taken today:
Hi again! Here comes a mega-late update, for which I am so sorry but once again life was successful at doing what it does. Anyway please refer to the following pictures. The picture to the left is a picture taken JUST before my surgery and the picture to the right was taken this afternoon.
UPDATE! I will be returning to Dr Rapprich to have additional surgery made to my upper calves and hips again. The appointment is scheduled in September this year so I really have to start saving again! Please feel free to ask me questions in the comments. I am also available to talk on Skype if you are so inclined.
Oh and by the way, should you happen to contact Dr Rapprich please feel free to tell him about my blog and whether or not it has been of any use to you! 🙂
First of all, I want to say how DREADFULLY sorry I am for not having updated this blog in so long! I don’t really have a “proper” excuse other than the realization that life doesn’t stop for you after you have surgery, it keeps going and whether you’re prepared or not you just have to go with it! Since the operation I’ve left my old job and started a new one which I have basically devoted the entirety of my time to!
Anyway, moving on. First things first: Ladies, do NOT get this surgery done in the midst of summer. That was my mistake and rest assured, I am making it my personal mission to ensure you don’t do the same! One thing I had not considered after having the liposuction was the after care. After-care which involved wearing those trendy full-leg pants with compression socks over the top for SIX FULL WEEKS NON-STOP. That meant the only time I was allowed to take them off was when I changed my bandages (which was twice a day for the first week, then once a day until the scabs had sealed shut…which was about 3 or 4 weeks!) or took a less-than-5-min-shower (until the scabs healed up). So, what does that mean? Well, that means no wearing shorts/shorter skirts, no swimming for what was for me – the entirety of summer here! I missed out on SO much and not to mention how incredibly hot and uncomfortable I was because I was wearing pants (to hide the compression garments) all the time and in scorching hot weather, that is NOT fun! SO- ladies, if you’re going to do this operation – DO IT IN WINTER WHEN YOU’RE WEARING WARMER CLOTHES AND YOU NEED TO BE WARM ANYWAY!
So, when I returned home I had to change every single bandage on my legs and feet. The wounds that needed cleaning were from the tiny insertion hole through which the tumescent liposuction was performed. I have 5 insertion holes per ankle, 2 on each inner thigh, 1 on each outer thigh and two on each buttocks. During the first week after the operation I was too sore to perform this on my own so my dear loving partner had to basically do everything for me – from pulling off my compression socks and pants, to taking off the bandages, cleaning the wounds, reapplying fresh bandages and putting the pants and socks back on – twice a day. So, if you’re considering this operation please make sure you will have someone to care for you. I don’t know what I would have done without my partner. By the end of week one I was able to help him along just fine and by the end of week 2 I was able to do it all by myself, although it was slightly uncomfortable.
For the next three weeks or so I walked with a limp which gradually subsided over time. At certain times if I tried to walk too fast it would sting but I was able to walk around and move so that was nice. Most of the swelling had gone down by week 4 after the operation and by the end of week 5 I was just wearing the compression socks, as pictured below. I was still unable to go swimming and I still had one or two bandaids on my ankles since the scabs hadn’t COMPLETELY healed yet but overall I was okay.
Now I am basically fully recovered (although Dr R says the final results won’t show until 12 months from the operation) and I am feeling fine. I look a little slimmer on the inner thighs but overall I can’t say the changes are especially drastic. I will post some before and after pictures (soon I promise) in the next blog post, but since so many of you have reached out to me I would prefer if you added your questions in the comments below so I know what I can write for you in my next post!
(apologies for my terrible underwear choices! :-))
Sorry for the long delay since my last update but there hasn’t been that much to say in retrospect but – I will definitely highlight some important things that I think any person considering this surgery to keep in mind.
The main thing I didn’t even consider when booking my plane tickets to Germany was when I should consider flying back. Initially when I booked them I booked the flights to arrive in Germany on Wednesday evening, have the operation on Thursday morning, and fly back early on Sunday morning. It didn’t even occur to me that there might be a problem flying home so soon after a medical procedure but everything was locked in, so I did what any other sane person would do…Google for answers!
I’ve found many conflicting recommendations online about what the best timeframe is for being on a plane again so soon after an operation (specifically liposuction) – the most common recommendation I found was “up to 10 days post-op”, so I was mildly concerned that I was flying home a mere 3 days after my own surgery! This is because I was at a higher risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). After speaking with Dr Rapprich and Dr Jung about whether or not it was okay to fly home on Sunday (mind you, I’d already purchased a train ticket just in case!) and they said that due to my personal circumstances it wouldn’t really be a problem to go on the plane because; I’m relatively young (30 years), in good health, will have compression pants and socks, and will inject blood thinning medication 2 hours before boarding the plane and also the night before (not to mention blood-thinning injections for another ten days post-op!).
So I would suggest to you ladies out there to please consider when it is good for you to travel back after your operation. Even travelling long distance in cars or trains is bad since you should keep moving as much as possible to prevent DVT so be sure to ask your doctor and discuss your situation.
Anyway, moving on to directly after the operation…myself and my partner moved to a hotel. I was under doctors orders to keep moving as much as possible, which was mildly uncomfortable since I was experiencing weird aches and pains. It was difficult to stand up, sit down, walk fast or make sudden movements so I would definitely recommend someone being by your side for at least three days after the procedure since you may require assistance. After leaving the hospital we were under instructions to change the bandages once a day, shower for no more than 5 minutes at a time and – the worst part, inject blood thinning medications into my stomach every evening. See below for the bruises left behind from blood-thinning injections! Ouchies 😦
I couldn’t really do anything other than spend my time in bed, getting up every half an hour or so and walking around, doing some calf-pumping exercises and then lying back down again. I wasn’t in especially much pain and I had no need to take pain-killers, I do have a high-pain tolerance so perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones but the only times I felt pain was when I was trying to sit down. Once I’d figured out a little system and angle, I’d manage to master the most effective way to move about.
On Saturday I was able to go for a walk for about 30 minutes which was much-needed since I felt cooped up indoors the whole time! Below are pictures from the night after my surgery in the hotel room (wheras the picture above is still from the hospital).
More updates coming soon!
Do you feel embarrassed by your “thunder thighs” or “cankles”? You’re not alone. But, it might be more than just a need to lose a few pounds. Answer some of the questions below to determine if you might be suffering from a medical condition called Lipedema that affects approximately 11% of the female population.
- Do you frequently experience pain in one or both legs that feels achy, pressing, pulling, hot, or restless?
- Do you have a larger, disproportionate bottom half and smaller waist, or pear shape?
- Do you bruise very easily?
- Do you ever experience a deep, throbbing pain down your chin for seemingly no reason?
- Does it hurt (like a painful stub of the toe) if someone leans an elbow into your leg, presses with their fingers, or you lightly bump into something?
- Do your legs or ankles seem to get more fatigued and swell up toward the later…
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