Lipedema is a life-changing disease that can greatly impact everyday life. Seeking out treatment is a big ordeal, and with each treatment option available there are certain risks that must be reviewed. Liposuction is typically a safe and effective procedure when performed by trained hands and additional precautions are followed. Current technology allows properly trained vascular, cosmetic plastic surgeons to remove the subcutaneous fat tissue safely and greatly reduce the impact lipedema has on your mobility as long as specialized surgical techniques are followed which limit injury to lymphatics. However, as with any surgical procedure, there is always a certain amount of risk involved. While most risks can be reduced, some are a one in a million chance. Recently, a woman in the United Kingdom experienced firsthand how difficult the most severe and rare risks can impact her life even further.
Jayney Nascimento, an English woman living in England, recently received liposuction treatment for lipedema. She had experienced the condition for 12 years and was self-conscious about how much bigger her legs were than the rest of her body. Like other individuals with lipedema, she sought out liposuction in the hope of being confident enough to wear a bathing suit again. The procedure went smoothly, and no complications were noted.
Jayney returned home immediately following her procedure to relax and recover from the procedure. After a few days, she began to experience coldness in her legs and excruciating pain. Since Jayney believed it was a side effect of the medication, she did not seek out her doctor until she was taken to the hospital by her daughter. Jayney ending up catching necrotizing fasciitis, a common bacterium that can cause serious but rare infections. This bug can spread in a few short hours and can be life threatening if not caught early enough. While Jayney is fortunate enough to not have to amputate her legs, she now has significant scarring all across her legs.
Why It’s Important
Making sure you have a highly trained physician should always be a top priority. Jayney’s condition may have been caused due to an unclean environment for her procedure, a significant injury to an important lymphatic structure or having a poorly trained physician complete the procedure. An individual with lipedema will have increased strain on their lymphatics and are at increased risk for lymphatic injury. Lipedema liposuction requires significant care to not injure lymphatics that only a highly trained individual should be trusted with. Make sure to ask your physician what their experience with lipedema liposuction is and what kind of side effects their patients have experienced in the past. Liposuction always has associated risks, but they can be reduced when you rely on the most trusted individuals in the field.
To read more about this story, please click here.