This weeks Wonder Wednesday question is: How did the tummy tuck surgery affect it? I thought it was only in the legs
“You can have Lipedema anywhere on the body that has fat.” – Dr Jaime Schwartz during my consult October of 2019
I had suspected that I had Lipedema in my stomach. I could feel and see the nodules very clearly. If I leaned forward my stomach ripped from all the nodules. But I too had been told that Lipedema was “a leg condition or lower trunk condition” when I first found out about it. It wasn’t till years later in my journey that I learned it was the reason my upper arms were GIANT compared to the rest of my arm. However, I couldn’t really find anything about it being in the stomach or breast. I remember sitting in the consult room waiting for Dr. Jaime and going back and forth in my mind on if I should mention it being in my stomach. I was so afraid to look foolish in front of him back then. Now I’m blunt as can be lol. Part way through the consult exam, Dr. Jaime asked if he could feel my stomach. After examining both of the “B belly” rolls, he turned to the nurse in the room with us and told her to feel. She got this shocked look and said “she has it in her stomach!” Dr. Jaime turned to me and said that I was the poster child for this condition that I had it everywhere possible. Lucky me… But I was so grateful that he noticed it and examined it without me saying anything. It put my mind at ease that I finally found a doctor that knew this condition and was going to believe me.
Originally we talked about my stomach being the last surgery that we would do. So when I was out in October 2020 for my thigh surgery and he mentioned doing the stomach next I had a moment of “wait we aren’t done yet”. Dr Jaime went on to explain that after speaking with Dr. Herbst and doing research they feel that removing the weight of the stomach off the thighs/groin that the lymph nodes in the groin should be able to flow better.
My stomach was starting to hinder some of my day to day activities. Especially following my thigh surgery. Once the thighs were greatly reduced they were no longer there to hold up the stomach. It was now hanging lower and pulling on my lower back. This stopped me from being able to walk long distances or stand for periods of time. I found myself holding my stomach as if I was pregnant and it needed support. I would also have skin irritation and break down under the belly “apron”.
On February 11th, we decided it was time to do the tummy tuck. And I’m so glad that we did. Afterwards, Dr Jaime Schwartz stated that I had no real tissue or fat in my stomach that it was almost all nodules. (You can view pictures and a video here if you are into the “gross” medical stuff) Dr. Jaime removed 3.5 feet of skin that weighed almost 20lbs. There was INSTANT pain relief on my lower back. Now that I’m 40 days post op I feel so much better. I have no more skin irritation. The back pain is gone. I move easier and quicker. And I’m borderline obsessed with being able to see my belly button.
I would 100% do it all over again even knowing that I would in fact develop a seroma that required wound packing and a vac. But more on that another time.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz's IG @DrJaimeSchwartz Total Lipedema Care IG: @TotalLipedemaCare If you have the symptoms of Lipedema or have already been diagnosed, call or email us today to schedule a complimentary consultation! 📩 firstname.lastname@example.org ☎️ 310-882-5454 📲(310) 870-3382 🌍 totallipedemacare.com