Drs: Botched Skin Removal Surgery + Lymphedema Treatment

The Doctors: Lymphedema After Botched Plastic Surgery

Alicia shared her story on The Doctors, explaining that she first started gaining weight when she had her first child. Over a ten-year period, she got up to 267 pounds. She finally decided enough was enough and eventually lost 142 pounds in just on year. She was left with a lot of loose skin on her thighs and belly, so she saw a surgeon who said he could remove the skin. When she got out of surgery, they told her husband they had “pulled it too tight” and fat had protruded through the incision. The surgeon said he would take some skin off her stomach to “cover it” and make it heal faster, but it didn’t work.

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Within two days, both Alicia’s legs split open at the incisions. Her husband had just gotten back from Afghanistan, and said he had seen guys get blown up, but had never seen anything that bad because he could see his wife’s bone. Doctors eventually told Alicia’s husband that Alicia had five infections growing in her legs. After 35 days, the infection was finally gone, but she was diagnosed with lymphedema. Her legs feel so heavy that she can hardly walk and gets tired incredibly easy.

Drs: Botched Skin Removal Surgery + Lymphedema Treatment

Alicia turned to The Doctors for help after a botched skin removal surgery caused painful swelling and fluid build-up. (lwpkommunikacio / Flickr)

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The Doctors: Treatment Plan For Lymphedema

Alicia went to see Dr Jay Granzow, a board-certified plastic surgeon and lymphedema expert. Dr Jay explained that the swelling Alicia had, as well as the shape of her legs, was consistent with lymphedema on both sides. He wanted to perform a specific test to look for lymphedema in her legs, to give him a better idea of just how serious her condition was.

Dr Jay and Alicia joined the show, and Dr Jay explained that Alicia’s case was without a doubt a tough one. Lymphedema is a “complicated disease process” with no one-step simple solution. The good news was that Dr Jay put together a comprehensive treatment program that could help Alicia, beginning with an imaging study and then a course of treatment for her home therapist. He was also going to get Alicia better compression garments. He spoke with people with Jobst and Solaris, so they would give her those garments for free. Dr Jay would follow her progress and adjust the treatment as needed.

Milton, Alicia’s husband, said he would be elated to see his wife get her confidence back because she’s his “queen.”

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