Hi I have primary lymphoedema in my leg, I've had it for many years, has anyone had liposuction? I am considering it but really want a patient perspective? Many thanks x

35 Replies

  • Hi sorry to jump on your post but I also am interested in the outcomes of liposuction... I've just been told I'm not suitable for LVA surgery on my right arm and they want to do liposuction instead - I've had cellulitus a couple of times and very worried about infection and if the risk is worth it - struggling to find information or patients who have had this? Would really appreciate any advice

  • No problem, it's great to see what other people are going through, who did you see about LVA? Is yours primary? The risk of cellulitis is there but you can take antibiotics just in case it certainly would not do any harm

  • No mine is secondary from breast cancer surgery, I saw Ramin Shayan in Brighton Victoria about the LVA

  • I am recovering from this surgery. Just had it a month ago. My leg is definitely smaller. You will need someone to help you with your garments until you can do yourself. While I am still sore, nothing unmanageable. I'm very happy with results thus far.

  • Hi I'm glad to hear you are happy with your results I'm worried about infection had u had cellulitus at all before this surgery?

  • Yes I did a few times. They put me on antibiotics immediately after surgery as a precaution. No problem so far. It's been a month now

  • I'm considering having it done and I have a consultation in a couple of weeks. I have been told that Vaser Liposuction is best as it (hopefully) does not affect your lymphatic system!!!!!!!!!! I'm having 2 consultations at seperate clinics and depending on the surgeon's as to who I will go for. Would also love to know if anyone has had it done

  • I have had this done almost 7 weeks ago so please message me !to if you would like more information. I will say I had a boat load of question and concern. Nothing was near as bad as what my mind was conjuring up. All my best to you.


  • I have several clients (primary unilateral leg lymphoedema) who have had liposuction with Mr Munnoch at Ninewells. Very successful outcomes. Also, some years ago, met two BCRL patients who had liposuction - also successful outcome, but I don't know if they maintained loss of volume as I haven't seen either since 2008.

  • Thanks Lynora, that's very interesting, I have been told my leg will be very swollen post surgery due to fluid used as part of liposuction and bruising etc. I'm worried it will take ages to get back down even with hosiery and bandaging? Any thoughts?

  • Your leg will most likely be much smaller when you first have it done. Even with the swelling from surgery. Myself and several others that I've talked to we all commented on how small our legs were even with the wrapps.

  • Who is doing the surgery? Yes, there is some pretty spectacular bruising, and, depending on who is doing the surgery, you are usually in Farrow Wrap for a week or so, to help reduce the post-op swelling - then you will be put in new compression garments. There is usually no need for bandaging.

  • Thanks is it possible to private message you on this site? I really appreciate your comments and advice

  • Have sent you a PM

  • Hi lynora had u had any cellulitus in the past?

  • Hi Neska75 - I have had cellulitis (twice, 2002) following breast cancer treatment. I do not have lymphoedema, but am classed as 'at risk' as I had an axillary clearance. However, I'm in the business - as I am a lymphoedema therapist, based in Scotland.

    I have a contact currently based in Canberra, who is under the care of Dr Shayan, for potential LVA.

  • thank you for your response Lynora....I've read some surgeons won't do the surgery if u have had cellulitus in the last 6 months which I have so very concerned about infection - I was pretty upset at my appointment as I had my heart set on LVA so didn't really get to ask the questions I have now thought of.. Dr Shayan is going to be doing the liposuction, do u know if after liposuction you are a better candidate for LVA? When I had dye injected it didn't move from my hand so he couldn't find any pathways :( I wondered if the liposuction will change that?

  • Neska - have sent you a PM.

  • @DC33 hi there. Just had it a month ago assuming you are referring to Suction assisted protein lipectomy. If this is it I have put several post up since my surgery. But if you don't find, you can email me also at

    Would be happy to share my experience with you.

  • Hi I am having liposuction surgery this morning will keep posting as to my progress in a few days feeling a bit nervous but full of hope for a much lighter r leg regards Linda x

  • All the best Linda

  • Thank you Op now over and about to get first dressing changed wow !!!!that's it done and my leg looks amazing obviously bruised and a bit swollen but good x

  • Good luck Linda

  • I'm not sure but the lady who does my legs says it can come back worse after liposuction but I'm not a 100% on it x

  • Sorry I thought this was a place where other people could share their experiences concerns and knowledge . Not a place to be rude I'm sure you think you know everything however everyone's condition is different .I think you will find that another person has left a comment saying the same thing .if I wanted to read a negative comments I would look at Facebook

  • Comment deleted.

    However, I will qualify my earlier comment by saying that I work with post-liposuction patients, and in the past 20 years, have only seen one case of 'rebound' where the limb refilled, and that was primarily caused by non-compliance. The skill of the surgeons and the instruments that evolve to carry out this surgery are improving and changing all the time.

  • Statistics are showing positive results but obviously need to follow guidelines to maintain reduction.I have thought long and hard about procedure and carried out lots of my own research.For myself this procedure will give me such a positive life change and return my leg to pre lymphoedema size.without the op I could look forward to being stuck with my heavy big limb and probably more complications as I age. I have just had my first dressing changed today and wept tears of joy at the outcome.might not be a choice for everyone but for me it is a chance I am willing to take x

  • Hi Lindabell98 glad to hear you are doing well. I cried tears of joy when I saw my leg too. I am about 6 weeks out from surgery and every day gets better. Walk when you can but rest when you feel you need to. If leg starts to feel uncomfortably numb, get up and move around. That will help. Keep us posted on your recovery.

  • Hi, I have primary ymphoedema of leg and had few attack of cellulitis in the past. Im on penicillin for life. My specialist said that after liposuction in my case is a big risk of having infection ( even with preventing antibiotisc). He also said that after liposuction leg is getting bigger over time and compression 24/7 is necessary!

  • Compression with liposuction is a must or it will swell again. Plus you must do your SLD daily or every other day. Most doctors will try to make sure in advance that a person will be one to wear compression garments 23/7. Only taking garments off for shower and massage. If a person can't comply with that, they aren't consider a good candidate. The surgery is not a cure. Just reduces limbs. But long term success is good for those willing to comply and risk of cellulitis is greatly reduced.

  • Unless your NHS Specialist surgeon can guarantee you will have no infection from the invasiveness of using a foreign matter to expunge fluid and fat from a Lympo site I would say that the operation was not worth taking a chance on. You also have to bear in mind that it is also only a temporary solution as the problem lies in the lymph nodes and glands not the actual area the fluid builds up in. So remove it once and it will return asap. Sadly it could return with something far worse then lympodemia.

  • Some people with lymphoedema have ok lymph nodes and glands it is lymph vessels they don't have (or the vessel are so fine they don't work)

  • I find that the doctors working on a lymphedema patient is aware of the risks which is why they put you on. Antibiotics and theye take Many other precautions as this is not your normal liposuction. They use different canulas specially for sapl suction surgery. The benefits of the surgery far out weigh not having it. Less pain in legs. Instant drop in weight that is being lugged around daily. Which can cause back pain, upper next and back pain. It can reduce the amount of cellulitis that you have. I think if one can afford it and thier doctor deems they are healthy enough for surgery, I believe the benefits will out weigh the risks.

  • I have had lymphoedema of the left leg since the age of 15, nearly 30 years now, and a few years ago, after a course of private treatment my local trust allowed primaries the same Lymphoedema facilities as secondary's - thank goodness. I have been looking into having liposuction but seem to have run up against a brick wall in my quest to source an NHS consultant that does this in my area. I have had no luck with my GP and have struggled to contact my local Lymphoedema clinic staff. I wonder if anyone knows of any surgeons in the Kent area that I can research ?

    Many thanks in advance ☺

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