The following post is personal, very personal about liposuction for lipedema on my butt. Not only am I sharing what it is like to go through tumescent liposuction for lipedema, but I’m sharing the pain, my body, and my experience as there is very little current experiences from women going through this out on the internet. I think it’s very important that if you’re considering surgery, you know what you’re in for.
Please feel free to share the link to my post, the only thing I ask is my blog to be given credit. Thank you, Petra.
butt because there’s chances of it becoming lumpy and the shape “falling”. As I told my husband, if you look at the shape of my ass, there’s not a whole lot to lose (well, spoilers…there’s about 7.6 liters to lose) and a whole lot of quality of life to gain. I’ll never have Jaylo’s ass, but that’s OK with me. As long as the “ass shelf”
That “ass shelf” makes my back hurt when I have to lay on my back (that’s one of the things that made the previous 3 liposuction surgeries agony, my back was hurting so bad by the end). I get bruises from where I sit. It makes riding my bike uncomfortable. Really, it just has to go.
Surgery day I weighed 122.5kg (270.06 lbs) and my stomach was 133.35cm (52.5 inches) while my hips measured in at 124.62cm (53 inches).
This is actually pretty interesting since somewhere along the line I gained .5 inch on my stomach (I’m going to guess from my weight lifting) and shaved off 3 inches from my hips (that’s defiantly weight lifting and a little bit of my thigh surgeries since he went up the sides a bit.
Normally the clinic staff operate like well oiled clock work. Everyone knows their place and their job so everything just falls in line. However, this time around they had lost the gal that did their ordering and organizing of compression gear and they had a nurse that had been out for a very long time due to a car accident back. She wasn’t back in the groove yet. The person that had replaced her was like a staff sergeant and kept everyone (including the doctor) in line.
Mind, this didn’t affect the surgery at all, but if this had been my first time I’d probably be wondering what the hell I just got myself into.
So the first issue was the compression suit that I was to wear after surgery. They had ordered one for me since they don’t keep my size (Marena 3XL) but the supplier hadn’t shipped it over yet. So the most experienced of the nurses (the only one I knew from previous surgeries) ran off to pick it up.
However, they were measuring me and remeasuring and were trying to come up with a contingency plan in case that mid-thigh girdle didn’t fit. It was almost comical since I was just sitting there reading stuff on my phone related to work. I’d just spread my legs or hold up my stomach when instructed.
Luckily, it all worked out and this girdle fits like a glove.
The Netherlands is going into a heat wave and yesterday was HOT. We left the hotel at 8am and it was already 22 out (71.6) and the humidity was already around 90%. Since Rotterdam is on the sea, that humidity was pretty oppressing and I arrived at the clinic soaked in sweat. I don’t do very well in heat, it’s amazing to think that I used to live in Florida and worked outdoors 16 hours a day!
So after all the acrobats of the measuring, I was really hot and dripping sweat, and when I got into the bed they put a sheet over me making me stay hot. Then the nurse takes my temperature and it comes up 37.5 Celsius. Of all days to start a major heat wave (it got up to 33 later that day), the day I was supposed to have my surgery.
The second time they took my temperature it came up 37.3 (99.1) and the 3rd time it came up 37.4 (99.3). That’s when they called the surgeon to see if he’d still do the surgery. Now, if you remember back in January I was sent home for a 37.4 temp but I also had a bad cough. I haven’t been sick for about 4 months, if not longer. I actually can’t really remember when I was last sick. That’s what I told the doctor and I told him I just don’t do well in the heat. It was already 22 out, the locker room that I got ready in was HOT and I’m under a friggen sheet. I think the temperature is simply from it being so ungodly hot and the little bit of airco they have in the recovery room just wasn’t cooling me down.
By this time I was absolutely resigned to having the surgery cancelled, but he made me swear I wasn’t actually sick and decided to go ahead and do it. He was a bit skeptical, but after 3 surgeries already he trusted that I wouldn’t try to do this while sick.
Like the last surgery, we just dispensed with the hospital gown and I went buck ass naked. The nurses dowsed me in the iodine alcohol mix which I swear they had put in the fridge, but it actually kind of felt good on my poor hot body.
Then, I had to get on the table and lay on my stomach. Now, there is a little issue with this. About 3 weeks ago I had a bit of an accident while out cycling and I managed to contuse the palm and side of my left hand (and sprain it, nothing got broken) so I had to get on the table with that hand. It hasn’t really been supporting my body weight so my getting on the table ended up with a huge, uncoordinated, and ungraceful flop.
They hook the cardio monitor thing up to my back, put the blood pressure cuff on me (have a nice bruise again) and the heart rate thingy on my finger. Then it was time for the doctor to come in and start infiltration.
This time around he only made 4 punctures. 2 on the upper part of my buttocks and 2 on the lower half. He was able to get everywhere he needed with the cannula from there.
Now, something I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about was how his infiltration goes. Here’s a whole post about it so it doesn’t get lost in the mess.
The infiltration was uncomfortable. Like with my right thigh, it burned quite a bit as he moved the cannula around and unlike my left thigh and calves, it never really seemed like the next area that he was going to fill up became numb. I can’t really say it hurt, it stung and there was discomfort, but at this point it didn’t really “hurt” so to speak.
Once he got my butt filled up and told me he’d be back after a cup of coffee (I swear the dutch are always on a coffee break) and he got ready to leave I asked if my butt looked as good as Jaylo’s while it was all filled up. That earned me a head shake and eye roll.
Usually he leaves the tumescent fluid in for around 30 minutes and there really isn’t a whole lot to do. I couldn’t really sleep while on my stomach and my back was starting to ache as per usual. Luckily since I had dry needling done the day before, it wasn’t as bad as when I have to lay on it. But, I really didn’t have anyone to talk to, no music, nothing except the heart rate monitor.
I may kept “playing” with it and set off the alarm to make the nurses come over. About the 4th time the nurse in the room figured out what I was doing, told me to knock it off, and sat there and talked to me to relieve the boredom.
And yes, I did try to get it to flat line and no, I wasn’t able to get it to go that far.
After about 30 minutes the doctor came back in and started the liposuction for lipedema on my butt. If you remember, in the post for my right thigh, I said it hurt. A LOT. I was wrong, it was like skipping through a poppy field on the way to the Emerald City compared to this liposuction. It hurt like a mofo.
The plan in the beginning was that my doctor would take some fat off the sides of my stomach so that would bring my weight down a little more for the eventual stomach surgery. It was well infiltrated, but he couldn’t even come close to my sides with the cannula. He tried about 6 times overall in different spots, but he almost had me hyperventilating and at least 2 of the times I was screaming “god fucking hell what are you doing to me?” and twitching all over the table.
At that point he knew he had officially hit my pain threshold and decided that was going to be it for the surgery. There was no way he’d be able to do the sides of my stomach with the local anesthesia and by this point he didn’t even want to try for my sake. I didn’t argue with him because I was done with a capital D.
He did get 7.6 liters in total off my butt and he was actually really disappointed he couldn’t get the 8 he was aiming for or a little more. But, we all agreed it wasn’t in my best interest and “almost 8” is just fine with me to be honest.
So with the legs, the nurses just throw your legs in a medical grade blue garbage bag, tape it up so it doesn’t come off, and sends you on your way. Unfortunately, with the butt liposuction they didn’t have this luxury. So they had to make this makeshift diaper contraption out of medical grad “puppy pads” in various sizes and different types of medical tape.
Once they got me diapered up, they gave me my hospital gown back and took me back to the recovery room for my broth, tea, and bites of food to refuel and re-energize myself. Funny enough, AFTER giving me hot soup and tea they took my temp again, and it was near 38 degrees and they were discussing with the doctor if they should send me to the hospital. About this time it was around 2pm, 33 outside and 100% humidity and the air conditioning was having a hard time keeping up.
As they were discussing sending me to the hospital, I mention all of this and the fact I just literally drank hot soup and hot tea. What did they think would happen to my temperature at that point?! I got some oh, rights, the doctor released me and sent me off to the locker room to get dressed so I could go back to my hotel.
Ever hear the story about the little dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike to stop a leak? Well, after getting out of the hospital bed and waddling over to the locker room (that’s the only way you could really walk in order to not upset the order of the diaper thing), something had come undone and I sprung a leak.
I put my hand on it while the nurse ran for tape to patch me up. However, whenever we got one spot patched up, a new leak started. It was really a fruitless en-devour and when the more experienced nurse walked in to see what was holding us up and muttered something under her breath and ran off. After a minute she came back with a whole armful of pads, and various tapes. They took the original contraption off and started making a new one.
I swear if there were tape trees, they killed a few taping those pads on me. I felt like the stay puff marshmallow man from the waste down to my thighs (they actually made “shorts” this time) but they got it all damned up and got me ready to go. Except I was standing in one hell of a puddle of bloody tumescent fluid. So they “walked” me out by drying my flip flops, foot, then I could step into it.
Luckily this contraption held up the 5 minutes to the hotel and up into the room, but just. I think if we had tried to drive the 1.5 hours home my car would be soaked with this fluid.
Now mind, the second I got into the hotel room I started taking tramidol. My sides, where he tried to take the fat off, was burning like hell and I paced back and forth madly trying to dull the pain. After about 30 minutes it dulled enough I could go lounge in bed.
A few things I’ve noticed so far…
- I can walk fairly normally
- I can sit just fine
- I can go pee just fine (including sitting on the toilet seat since it’s more on my thighs than my butt), especially since the girdle has an open crotch
- Its getting up, sitting down, or shifting that hurts
- Since he didn’t do my sides, I can sleep on my sides just fine
Overall, not too bad. I have some pictures of the hotel room after I got back and was pacing, but they’re pretty bloody looking (the murder trail as I like calling it) and don’t want to put them up here. To see the pictures, please click here. Don’t worry, you can safely go and read the post without seeing the pictures too. You MUST click on the “show” link to see the pictures!
So last month when the Pokemon Go craze hit, I went out and got myself a Fitbit Alta so I could track my miles walked since the Pokemon Go app didn’t do it “per session”. It just tracked it overall, and for eggs hatching, and even at that the app is pretty inaccurate since it only updates the GPS every minute or so. If you quickly turn a corner then again, it’s going to count the KM at an angle vs what you actually walked.
That’s why I got the Fitbit.
One of the nifty things about the Fitbit though is it will remind you to take 250 steps every hour. So from the time I got to the hotel, to the time I passed out, I was getting up every hour to get my 250 steps in. That was pretty handy.
But, it wasn’t enough to get all of the liquid out on surgery day like I was able to with my left thigh. Ah well, shit happens.