A 28-year-old woman who thought she was just ‘curvy’ had more than 6 liters of fluid drained from her legs after she was diagnosed with a rare condition that made them grow.
Alisa Vandercruyssen was 17 when she first noticed that her legs, arms and abdomen were getting bigger even though she lived a healthy lifestyle.
Doctors gave her pamphlets for exercise and diet, assuming she had simply gained weight.
But despite following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, her legs and arms continued to grow and cause pain.
In November last year, she was finally diagnosed with lipoedema, a long-term condition of fat and connective tissue which builds up in hips, legs, bottom, and arms.
She was also told that she would need to undergo six surgeries to have the lipoedema nodules removed.
“I’d always been active and pretty trim and then without any lifestyle changes I started to get bigger and bigger,” she said.
“Then I was on Ozempic, the highest dose, for six months and I did not lose weight. It looks just like fat so you get diagnosed with obesity all the time,” Alisa continued.
After watching a video about the condition on YouTube, she told her doctor about it and asked why she was relating to everything the YouTuber was explaining.
“I realized I had to have six to seven surgeries and I’ve had one so far where they removed 6.5 litres of nodules from my upper thighs.”
After the first surgery, which cost her $8,000, she already felt a huge difference in her energy levels. The rest of the procedures will be covered by insurance.
“It’s called water assisted lipo-suction,” she continued. “They take a water hose and break down the nodules and then suck it out.
“It sits directly under the skin and it’s very easy to get to. They don’t have to go very deep and it took two to three hours.
“They took out 6.5 liters out of just my front upper thighs.”
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