After much research and soul searching I have decided to start the Lipedema Removal Surgery process.
I researched quite a few surgeons and had consultations with two. I felt most comfortable with Dr. Hagerty at Premier Body & Laser in Spokane, Washington.
I watched this interesting interview he did with Sara Narramore, from Lipedema Sisters USA . I called made an appointment for a virtual consultation. I was sent several detailed forms to fill out, which I sent back with my latest lab reports. A few weeks later I had my complementary hour long Zoom consultation with Dr. Hagerty. He was very kind and thoughtful. He gave me detailed information on the options for surgery, the risks and realistic expectations.
I was diagnosed as Stage II, Types III & IV (legs, hips & arms + stomach). We talked recovery and his expectation that compression garments are worn 24/7 for 8 weeks following each surgery. Even when showering! This is to give the tissue and lymphatics proper healing. I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect of wearing compression 24/7 for 5 months, but now is the time! Lymphatic drainage massage is also required post-op.
I will need four surgeries:
Surgery 1 – Abdomen & Flanks. Liposuction surgery, (2) compression garments, all pre & post operative appointments & (4) lymphatic drainage massages. $5,500
Surgery 2 – Legs Stage I. Inner legs, outer hips, lower back & calf. Liposuction surgery, (2) compression garments, all pre & post operative appointments & (4) lymphatic drainage massages. $6,400
Surgery 3 – Legs Stage II. Outer legs, front of thigh & calf. Liposuction surgery, (2) compression garments, all pre & post operative appointments & (4) lymphatic drainage massages. $6,00
Surgery 4 – Arms. Wrist to shoulder. Liposuction surgery, (2) compression garments, all pre & post operative appointments & (4) lymphatic drainage massages. $5,400
So that is $23,700 + four trips from Minneapolis to Spokane, hotel, etc. The other clinic I spoke with was at least double that and recommended a tummy tuck. Frankly I’m afraid of the tummy tuck. I’m more comfortable with trying the liposuction and then if the skin needs to be removed later I can work towards that. Dr. Hagerty it is!
Alyssa McDonald, the Client Relations Director for Premier Body and Laser has been very thorough and kind, providing answers to my questions and providing all of the information I need. She is also helping me navigate my insurance. After calling Medica with the codes provided by Alyssa, I was told that these require a “manual review”. I’m lucky enough to be able to rearrange finances to pay out of pocket but I’m fighting to get insurance to pay for these treatments for a future with less pain and more mobility.
Surgery 1 is May 19th, 2021. My husband, Jeff, is going to travel with me and be there to help. My sister is travelling here to watch our three kids and two dogs. Now the planning and waiting begins!