Ten Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
Prior to Lipedema Surgery
Leave nothing off the (operating) table with these top ten questions to ask your surgeon before your upcoming lipedema surgery.
Undergoing surgical intervention to treat your lipedema is one of the most important health decisions you’ll ever have to make. Prep your mind and prepare your body for your upcoming lipedema surgery by asking all the right questions and avoid surprises come surgery time. Here is a go-to “Q/A” checklist to refer to during your serious sit-down with your surgeon:
1. What should I expect the day of surgery?
You should arrange to have a close family member or trusted friend accompany you to your surgery since you’ll be incapacitated to operate a vehicle afterwards. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before, eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast, and stay hydrated. Consult with your doctor regarding medications or any other pre-op instructions.
2. What are the anticipated phases of my lipedema surgery?
Every surgery is going to be different because every lipedema patient’s journey is different. Your surgical treatment will be custom-tailored to meet your individual health needs. No two surgeries are alike. However, it usually takes two or more surgeries to complete MLE (manual lipedema extraction) on an entire leg. Most patients are required to undergo multiple surgeries for a successful outcome.
3. How long will recovery last and when can I expect to return to work?
You can expect to return to work within 2 weeks, but full recovery can take up to six weeks. You will be instructed to engage in some light, low intensity walking immediately following surgery to allow for proper drainage of fluids.
4. How many liters of fat will be removed during my lipedema surgery?
Depending on the stage and progression of your lipedema, as little as 6 liters and as much as 15 liters is expected to be removed during surgery.
5. How long am I expected to wear compression garments?
Be prepared to wear your compression garments for 24 hours for the first 2-3 weeks following surgery. After that, you will be instructed to wear your compression wear for up to 12 hours each day. Most lipedema patients regularly wear compression garments for the duration of their lives, even after multiple surgeries. Compression garments help prevent fluids from obstructing the susceptible lymphatic pathways. Getting used to continually wearing compression garments would be in the best interest of your health.
6. Will I have loose skin?
Again, every lipedema case is different and depends on your skin’s elasticity and the amount of fat that was extracted. Customarily, one should expect to have loose skin. However, Dr. Jaime Schwartz will cosmetically tighten the surrounding skin and tissues following a patient’s lipedema surgery as a natural method of compression.
7. Will the pain in my legs, hips, arms, thighs, and abdomen subside following surgery/MLE?
Great news! Most lipedema patients have reported a virtual vanishing of their pain immediately following surgery.
8. Is your surgeon board-certified?
Confirm your surgeon is board-certified and specializes in lipedema diagnosis, research, and treatment/management, such as Dr. Jaime Schwartz of Total Lipedema Care.
9. Do you use heat or energy-based devices during the extraction process? If so, what are the potential risks?
Many lipedema specialists use PAL (Power-assisted liposuction) during surgery to enhance the fat extraction process in terms of amount and time duration. PAL uses sonic-like vibrations for a quicker, more effective fat removal result. However, it can negatively impact a patient’s recovery process. Dr. Jaime Schwartz uses an innovative water-assisted technique proven to speed up recovery time with successful results.
10. Will my insurance cover the cost of the procedure(s)?
This is contingent on your specific insurance coverage plan, but don’t expect your insurance company to put out without putting up a fight! Lipedema surgery requires liposuction, which is universally classified as a cosmetic procedure and cosmetic procedures are almost never covered by insurance companies. However, if your lipedema is in the latter stages and poses a serious health risk to your lymphatic system, or other vital systems, you may have a case. Consult with your insurance carrier.
The dedicated, highly trained staff at Total Lipedema Care can help guide you through the surgical process and answer any additional questions/concerns you may have. Please be sure to contact the office to learn more.
To learn more, please contact our Beverly Hills, California office to schedule a consultation with any of our highly trained specialists.