Liposuction for lipoedema
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Liposuction for lipoedema is a definitive treatment for lipoedema, a lipodystrophy condition. Liposuction removes the excess fat tissue that occurs in the leg and thigh.
What does liposuction for lipoedema involve?
This involves high-volume liposuction with specific equipment and training relevant to the condition of lipoedema. It is quite different to standard liposuction approaches and beyond an operation under general anaesthesia, this requires three days in hospital and an ongoing commitment to wearing compression garments following surgery.
How should I prepare for the surgery?
The use of compression garments for a few months after surgery is important for this surgery to be successful. A commitment to wearing garments that are fitted by your lymphoedema practitioner is essential. New garments will be provided for you after surgery to fit the contour and size of your new normal limb volume.
How long is the recovery process?
This surgery requires staying in hospital for three days after the operation to manage new garment fitting and basic wound care. You are advised not to drive for a week or two after such an operation.
Specific risks and complications of liposuction for lipoedema
The risks of the surgery are similar to the risks of any limb liposuction surgery. There are small scars down the affected limb that are used as access for liposuction. These typically heal well and are of little cosmetic concern. Rarely scars can become lumpy, stretched, itchy or coloured. Use of compression garments is essential to prevent long-term re-accumulation of excess volume. Numbness of the skin overlying liposuction areas can persist for some weeks but this typically recovers to normal months after the surgery is complete.
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