SAPL surgery: So as some of you know, I am scheduled for... - LSN


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SAPL surgery

Snaomi profile image

So as some of you know, I am scheduled for my SAPL surgery at end of November. I've met a woman who had it done and I've read about others. Has anyone on this site ever had this surgery. I want to know more about your length of recover and the recover itself. I'm sort of feeling anxious.

13 Replies

SAPL (for those who don't recognise the term - Suction Assisted Protein Lipectomy)

I haven't met anyone personally who has had this particular procedure, but have treated several people who had liposuction for lymphoedema. Which limb(s) are being done Snaomi?

Snaomi profile image
Snaomi in reply to Lynora

Lynora, Entire left leg is to be done. Those that you have treated have they experienced never pain and if so did it finally go away? We're there complication unexpected?

Lynora profile image
Lynora in reply to Snaomi

Where are you having the surgery done? Can they put you in contact with previous patients?

Those I have seen post liposuction for lymph oedema (primary and secondary) coped very well. They were in hospital for 4/5 days then pain meds were prescribed for home care. Only negative was the 24hour compression for the first 6 weeks - but it was a small price to pay for life enhancing surgery.

Snaomi profile image
Snaomi in reply to Lynora

Lynora I have been in touch with one who has had the surgery. Yes will be in Hospital for few days. She said the stockings were the worst part and recovery was gnarly but so worth it. She said she had pin and needles for months. I assume that will eventually go away and can be managed with some medication. I hope.

Hope it all goes well honey xx

Well I have decided to postpone my SAPL surgery from end of NOVEMBER TO February. I just recently had to have anot her surgery and feel I need more time to recover before embarking another. I want to try and get in best shape possible before SAPL. Thanks to all of you for your responses. I'll keep you updated as I go.

Did you have the surgery? I also have Lymphedema in my left leg. I have a consultation with my surgeon coming up shortly and I am trying to obtain as much info as possible regarding SAPL. Where did you have your SAPL done? What was your experience? Thank you for any information you are willing to share.

Snaomi profile image
Snaomi in reply to j9sinclair

Also my surgery was and will be done by Dt. Granzow in southern California. He's awesome.

J9 Sinclair yes I had the left leg done and am very please with results. I am scheduled to do the right leg in October this year. I have even gone out and bought some pants that are mor form fitting so that when I get the right leg done I can start dressing smart again

Can't wait. Heads up though. You must and hear to after care as this is not a cure. Even in warm weather I wear my custom flat knit garments and replace them every few months. I walk pretty regularly and will be swimming come this week one again. Also even after a year I listen to what my body is telling me. If my legs feel tired or my body, i go and rest.

Thank you for the information. I have read many positive reviews of Dr. Granzow. If all goes well, I will have my procedure done at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC by Dr. Dayan. I am in NY, so logistically this will work out better for me.

Since I have had this since 2004, I have resigned myself to the fact that Lymphedema and all the care that is required is my “new normal”, as overwhelming as it can be. I excercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight and follow a clean eating, low inflammatory diet. I wear a compression thigh high stocking during the day and sleep in a Solaris Tribute garment at night. I understand and accept that this routine will not change. My goal is to have some heaviness and size reduction in my calf. That alone will improve the quality on my life tremendously!

Again, thank you for the information and best of luck with your next SAPL.

PS... I have also bought new pants in anticipation of my left leg fitting in them!🤗

Have you had a decrease in pain from the reduction in bulk?

Snaomi profile image
Snaomi in reply to j9sinclair

Yes I have.


I have had my first SAPL surgery with Dr. Chen at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Sept. of 2018, on my lower left leg. It takes me 3-1/2 hours to drive out there from Illinois.

I will be having my upper leg/thigh done on Feb. 28, 2019. I am hopeful after both procedures my lymph nodes will be less taxed and even regenerate some, which Ive read can happen.

Overall this procedure has reduced my leg quite a bit. It is not a cure and requires strict compliance on my part. I wrap, wear a garment, and use a pump and go to MLD therapy religiously on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It take A LOT of my time, but my health is all I have at the end of the day.

I still have nerve damage because he had to actually go in there and scrape the fibrosis out of my calf. I have had this condition for 30 years. He said a while longer and he wouldn't have done the surgery.

My insurance BCBS did not cover surgery and just portions of office visits and hospital costs. Overall I will have paid around $24,000 out of pocket for both surgeries. IMO that wasn't that bad. My leg is worth more than a shitty car.I am lucky as far as money goes, so I went for it, and I'm proud of having that courage.

I can fit into clothes and shoes better and my emotional state I've always had has improved somewhat, I am vain and have trouble accepting I can't ski or do things I used to so much enjoy.

The recovery was not so bad. I was in the hospital three days. The pain was bad initially but I got past that pretty quick. The stitches he put in are amazing, you can hardly tell he cut me open from my foot to my knee.

I would recommend Dr. Chen. He is straight forward and doesn't mince words. He'll tell you the reality whether you want to hear it or not.

I saw Dr. Graznow in California also. He was good but seemed to promise too much and suggested the lymph node transfer. I am skeptical about touching any good lymph nodes in my body. The logistics would have been terrible also.

Good luck, I hope I am of some help.


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