Home / News / Woman who thought she was curvy has six litres of fluid drained from her legs

Woman who thought she was curvy has six litres of fluid drained from her legs

Apr 27, 2023Apr 27, 2023

Alisa Vandercruyssen thought she was curvy but she was later diagnosed with lipoedema which is a rare condition that caused her to accumulate excessive fluid in her legs

A woman who believed she was curvy later discovered she had a rare condition which meant she needed six litres of fluid drained from her legs.

Alisa Vandercruyssen, 28, realised she had lipoedema, a condition that caused her to accumulate excessive fluid in her legs.

Despite living an active lifestyle, she noticed her legs, arms, and abdomen getting larger when she was just 17.

Despite seeking medical help multiple times, doctors assumed she had a weight issue and advised her to follow diet and exercise pamphlets.

Alisa followed a healthy diet, exercised regularly, and even tried weight loss drugs, but her limbs continued to grow, causing her pain.

She estimated that her condition caused her to gain around 50 pounds (3.5 stone).

After watching a YouTube video about a chronic condition called lipoedema, which is characterised by abnormal fat build-up, Alisa suspected she might have the same condition.

In November 2022, she received an official diagnosis confirming her suspicions.

Doctors informed Alisa that she would need six surgeries to remove the lipoedema nodules, and she has already undergone one of the surgeries.

Alisa, who works as an aesthetician in Royal Oak, Michigan, explained, "I'd always been active and pretty trim and then without any lifestyle changes I started to get bigger and bigger.

"Then I was on Ozempic, the highest dose, for six months and I did not lose weight. It looks just like fat so you get diagnosed with obesity all the time.

"I came across it on YouTube and brought it up to the doctor after watching a vlog about it. I questioned why I was relating to everything she was saying.

"I realised I had to have six to seven surgeries and I've had one so far where they removed 6.5 litres of nodules from my upper thighs."

Before her diagnosis, Alisa experienced constant pain due to her unidentified condition.

It made everyday activities, such as going to work, extremely challenging, and she described the sensation as being "trapped in a suit."

Despite her efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle and accept her appearance, Alisa saw no changes before her diagnosis.

"I was constantly cutting. I had a personal trainer and I looked at my before pictures and then looked at myself after six months and I looked worse.

"I had a strict diet too and I still couldn't get a hold on this. I was trying to cook lots of things. Lots of veggies, more protein than anything.

"I had a low carb diet, went to weight watchers, and a crazy diet from my personal trainer. I started to embrace it and thought 'I guess I'm this curvy girl, that's how I am going to be.'"

Alisa expressed relief when she received her diagnosis, but also felt a tinge of sadness, realizing she had spent too much time focusing on her looks instead of enjoying life to the fullest.

After being diagnosed, Alisa decided to undergo surgery to have the lipoedema nodules removed.

She travelled to a specialized centre called Lipedema Surgery Centre in Roswell, Georgia, for her first surgery, which cost her $8,000. However, her insurance will cover the remaining surgeries.

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