The following post is personal, very personal. 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.
Unlike the other 7 surgeries, which were on a Wednesday, the 8th liposuction procedure was scheduled on 2 October 2018. What made this one almost frantic is I had called the month before to see if I could get in this year since I’m trying to get the panniculectomy done early this year (2019). And, not only did they book me right away but I had a conference in Amsterdam early Sept, in Prague middle Sept and then a whiskey festival in London at the very end of September. In fact, I’d come back on a Sunday, go to my dutch client on Monday and then Tuesday have surgery.
Whew! Needless to say I’ve been pretty busy since my surgery which is why I didn’t get much of a update out right after like I did for the last 7. However, I remember it all clearly so I haven’t been too worried about posting this update.
It had almost been a year since my last liposuction (had my sides done Oct 2017) and there was not only a change in staff at the kliniek but in pre-op procedure as well.
- Had to start taking paracetamol (i.e. tylenol) the night before the surgery and the morning of when I got up. In the other 7 procedures they gave it to me as part of the pills I took before hand. This is apparently to get it into your system and paracetamol is known for enhancing all the other drugs.
- No more declofenac suppository. I got it in pill form this time. Can’t quite say I miss it.
- Didn’t get the barely there thong. Not sure if this was change in procedure or the nurse just forgot. Doesn’t matter since all they do is rip it off me in the operating room anyways.
Aside from the above, everything else was the same down to the fucking Julio Iglesias CD’s. I did offer to break them as my parting gift to the nurses but my surgeon rescued them before I got a chance.
The only other thing is my surgeon surprised me by deciding to do my back and touch up my sides. I thought it was only going to be the upper stomach. My back fat wasn’t a lot, didn’t hurt or bruise, but I was pretty happy he did it without my asking since it annoys me. It looked horrible in certain clothes and I couldn’t see any definition on my back muscles. So it was a pleasant surprise.
Like all other 7 surgeries, I got into the operation room and was stripped of my gown and feet covers and dowsed with cold very red antiseptic. They got me up on the table, which by 40 liters of fat lost and quite a bit of size, it wasn’t horrible getting up onto. They wrapped my legs in surgical paper (both to keep things sterile and for warmth) then it was time for induction of the local anesthesia.
I still hate this part. It was especially painful under my breast and on my ribs. My back actually wasn’t too bad.
About 30 minutes later the surgeon came in and started on my stomach which had peculated about 45 minutes or so. Like before it was pretty painful. The local didn’t help with the vibration and pain from hitting my ribs over and over (if you haven’t been able to tell, this is a super tender area on me regardless of liposuction). He even had to stop and refill some of the local in places since it hurt so freaking much. I’d give it about 8/10 pain wise. The one good thing though is if someplace was getting too painful he’d go someplace else and come back. So it was brief spurts of pain.
My sides were probably a 7/10 and didn’t last long since he had already done a full surgery on the year before. There were just some places he wasn’t happy with and since he didn’t expect to even come to the full 5 liters this surgery he wanted to do it. The pain wasn’t really from the liposuction, just the beating on my ribs.
My back was the least painful of the 3. There was 2 moments where it was about a 9/10 and that was where he got up to my shoulder blade which was near the end of the tumescent fluid. It was like someone had set that area on fire. I was able to hold out on both sides to let him get what I needed but FUCK. The rest of my back was maybe 4/10. It wasn’t bad at all.
Altogether he got about 3 liters of fat out of me which was surprising to me since I thought I had about 3 in my upper stomach alone.
Immediately post op was the same as the other 7 surgeries. To start with I was put in my old compression suit since with the remaining liquid and the swelling to come it was small enough. Then I had a smaller version that I was to wear once that started getting too loose (spoiler.. never wore it. I just switched to my wanna be spanx panties).
Like with all the other liposuctions, the nurses created a master piece of medical grade puppy pads, medical tape and garbage bags to try to keep me from springing leaks of hellish red fluid that would stain the shit out of my brand new car. I then walked to the bed, given my broth, crackers and tea and then had to wait for the surgeon to come and release me.
My husband then got me into the car and took me back to the hotel (I’m one of the few that doesn’t have to stay at the zorghotel the kliniek contracts with) and got me all sorted in bed. Then I slept and slept. I probably slept more after this surgery than I had out of all of them. He had to wake me to find out what I wanted to eat (we did pizza) otherwise I’d probably have slept through dinner.
Unlike other surgeries I didn’t wake up with the gnawing hunger. I just slept. And leaked everywhere. That didn’t go away!
As per usual I had the post op appointment the next day. I was pretty much in and out since everything was perfect! Not much to comment here.
Unfortunately since this operation was scheduled so quickly, and in the middle of my MLD therapist’s vacation, I didn’t get in exactly the next day. I just had my husband massage everything and then I was in at the end of the week which was fine.
Honestly, out of all 8 surgeries, this was one of the least exciting. I didn’t really bruise that badly, I never really hit the “peak pain period” on day 5 nor did I bloat like a dead beached whale. In fact, I swelled up some and the pain was maybe a 6/10 pretty consistently for about 4 weeks. Then the swelling started to go down again.
As of this post, it’s 3 months post op and my stomach is wrinkly. However, most of the hardness is gone now. There are some places on my side and back that are still kind of numb feeling but not in a painful way.
I started out at 123kg (271.2lbs) and as of today I’m 111kg (244lbs). I don’t know why I lost so much weight after this surgery vs. the others. I literally just went back on keto 3 days ago (my gut just can’t handle junk anymore) but have been eating normal food since March 2018 and still have been losing about a kilogram (2 lbs) every 2 weeks or so. It’s been pretty damned amazing, especially since my BMI is officially under 40 now (39.8).
One thing I was horrible at this surgery was taking measurements and pictures of the progress. I’m sorry about that, but I’ve been putting together a new business and just didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. However, I will post before and 3 month post op pics soon!