Gosh its been a while since I did an update on the blog; but not much has happened up until recently. (If you want more regular news from me, its best to follow me on Instagram @lymphosaurs_rex)
I recently went to Paris for “stage two” of my Lymphedema surgery plan and had a liposuction procedure (SAPL) with Dr Becker. The goal was to remove the fibrous tissue (mainly on the exterior side of my left left) that has accumulated over the years of living with LE. To the naked eye, it looks like nothing but a fat leg, but when you touched my leg it was kind of harder in some spots than others.
The procedure took about one hour and I was a day patient at the hospital (no overnight stay required). I never really had a huge amount of pain (stopped taking the pain killers around day 4) which it great (although a lot of people have a great deal of pain following a liposuction procedure- everyone is different). My leg is more tender than anything.
Following the surgery, I have been advised to wear bandages (tighter than how I usually wear them) for one month in total (24/7 ahhhhh!). It’s been 12 days since the operation, so I still have a few more weeks to go… Its challenging to say the least when it comes to dressing for the day, going to work, riding a scooter around, looking after two kids under 3 years old, running a household. I’m tired.
There is a lot of post-surgical swelling (my knee is so tight and swollen I can hardly bend it). The first week following surgery, I had SO much liquid in my groin and stomach, it was horrible, like wobbling Jelly on a plate. Luckily that subsided quickly! Now my leg is just mega hard everywhere, extremely swollen around my knee and bruised. Despite this, I can see its already smaller and taking shape. Once the post-surgery fluid build up has gone, it will be exciting to see the results. Now what I really need to do is wait a good year to let the lymph node transfer continue to work. Im still not even at the one year-post op mark for that! They say its a good 2 years to see some good results- patience!!!!
I truly believe that Lymphedema can be controlled and minimised with a combination of different surgical techniques (and proper compression garments). Since the condition itself is complicated, one should not expect a straight forward surgical solution. My story is still ongoing, but for now I have completed the second step towards controlling my leg. Lymph node transfer, I feel, is an ‘honest’ procedure, that has the best results for LE patients. It really works on restoring the lymphatic system to be able to work independently. Combine this with SAPL (to remove fibrotic tissue), and/or LVA to restore broken channels — is an excellent HOLISTIC approach to lymphedema surgery. I believe that THIS is the way forward for lymphatic surgery and can work for a LOT of cases. Don’t be fooled by doctors claiming to heal you and bring you back to “normal” in one hit, because this probably wont be the case. Unless surgery is done at a very early stage of LE (or even in children- Oh my GOSH have I seen some impressive LNT results in young children- they are literally cured. Literally. Long case studies have been done on them and its just amazing to know for anyone who has a small child living with LE).
My next blog is going to come soon- its regarding the organisation that recently launched called Chronically Motivated (www.chronicallymotivated.org) which is a Lymphedema Lifestyle platform. Check it out and follow us on Instagram.