Liis is a 29-year-old active young woman who has been living in Switzerland, near Zurich, for 5 years and currently works as a compensation specialist in the human resources department. For a long time, Liis has wanted to pursue her hobbies – hiking, running and horseback riding. “It’s important to mention that I can only practice my hobbies thanks to liposuction.”
Since childhood with large legs
I wore S size shirts and XL pants. I have never dared to wear dresses and skirts because my legs were just so ugly, but at least I could cover them with jeans. In my youth, the doctors didn’t say anything about my legs, so I thought I was just fat, despite the fact that I ate well and was always very physically active. I worked out for years, went to the gym, paid large sums of money to nutritionists and also sought help from mesotherapy; I did everything that was possible, but no results appeared.
At the age of 26 I visited my friend, who is a beautician, in Estonia; she noticed that my legs had swelled bigger over time. Coincidentally, a lymphatic therapist worked in her next-door office, and my friend asked her to look at my legs for 5 minutes. According to the specialist, I had lipoedema, stage II. At that moment, I had no knowledge of what to do next, it was only said that diet, training and compression stockings could prevent it from getting worse, but the only treatment was liposuction.
It scared me
There have been many shows on television about how this fat is forcibly removed, so my first reaction to a possible surgery was a “NO”. Later, however, I began to do research – what is my future and what will happen when the problem worsens.
I started going to the gym more and counting calories, which brought me a sixpack on my stomach after 3 months, but my legs were still the same. Everyone will definitely understand that it takes away any motivation to exercise when you go to the gym 4 times a week for at least 1 hour, but there will be no change in the desired area. By that time, I had learned from my research that in the future I might have serious mobility problems if my joints could no longer support the weight. My journey from the first mention of liposuction to considering this surgery took over a year.
Diagnosis: lipoedema – abnormal accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous fat
Christinas Clinic was one of the few whose website mentioned the diagnosis of lipoedema, and as a result, I was able to do a great deal of research quickly from just one website. I corresponded with quite a few clinics, but Christinas Clinic’s answers were always professional and set realistic expectations. Since I live and work abroad, flexibility is crucial.
Fears and doubts
Already on the operating table in preparation for the first surgery, I still had great doubts. The Internet is full of horror stories about how the fat is starting to accumulate unevenly in other places, how skin stays hanging everywhere, and how scars are bigger than the surgery’s worth. In addition, since I weighed 96 kg, I was afraid of anaesthesia, pain, and to be honest, absolutely all the most terrible scenarios went through my head. Many Estonians have terrible prejudices about liposuction and the people who do it, and I also had my own fears – what do I say if someone asks?
The time prior to the surgery, consultations and new knowledge
Since I live abroad, my initial consultations were by e-mail, so my experience is definitely much different from the experience of others. I only saw the doctor and the whole team on the day of the surgery. I asked hundreds of questions before registering for the surgery, and although many of my questions were directly related to my fears, and although I probably asked the same question at least 4 times, I was always answered very patiently and from different perspectives.
Recovery has gone super well!
So far, I have had 2 surgeries, because it was not possible to perform such a large liposuction in one surgery. During the first surgery, 8 litres of fat were removed from the front, outside and inside areas of my legs. Of course, recovery from this was more difficult than from the previous surgery and it took more time, but I always compare it to a tonsil surgery, which was several times more difficult to tolerate. Yes, your legs are stiff at first and you cannot run right away, but if you keep active and follow the instructions that come from the clinic, the recovery is fast; after that there is much more strength than before. During the second surgery, fat was removed from behind the legs and ankles. A total of 12 litres of fat has been removed from my legs.
PS! This amount was removed thanks to the newer generation EVA SP6 liposuction device, which uses the “vibration + rotation” low frequency technique (Nutational Infrasonic Liposculpture or N.I.L.®) to remove fat.
I have not regretted my surgery for a minute
It has completely changed my life and only for the better, for example, all my pants have grown big and now it is much easier to find clothes than before. I get so many compliments; I dare to walk in shorts and I’m not ashamed to be in a bikini on the beach and I can do a lot more! I used to carry a bucket full of fat while walking – now I can run, I travel 30 km without my legs getting tired. For the first 28 years of my life, I covered my legs and avoided pictures of my lower body – it is all a thing of the past!
I am 100% satisfied with my experience and I would not change anything.
I looked at my pre-surgery pictures a few weeks ago and I did not think I was that big. I do not remember the difference now, but the dimensions and pictures do not lie.
What would you recommend to those people who would like to come to this surgery but have not yet dared to do so?
It is a diagnosis and it has a cure – it is not just laziness and bad habits! I understand that if someone has lived with lipoedema for 20+ years, it is difficult to understand that it can be different. My surgery was easy, the team always supported me and the recovery was shorter than I would have expected – why do you still doubt?
Attention! This is a healthcare service. Christinas Clinic is licensed by the Health Board, permit L04361 (CBF Medical OÜ). The operation is performed by dr Ants Viiklepp.