Women with tree-trunk legs caused by rare condition may get liposuction on NHS

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Women who suffer from 'tree-trunk' legs may soon be able to receive liposuction on the NHS.

Lipoedema causes abnormal amounts of fat to build up in certain areas of the body, mostly the hips, buttocks, and legs.

But some women also see problems in their upper arms and it causes problems with mobility and pain and poses a risk for infections.

The condition tends to develop in teenage years and gets worse over time.

In some cases, women's limbs grow so large and heavy that they need to use a wheelchair.

Liposuction involves a fine tube being inserted under the skin to break up and suck out fat tissue, writes MailOnline.

It's generally seen as a cosmetic procedure for people who want to lose weight fast, but each year, a small number of patients with severe cases of lipoedema are offred the procedure on the NHS on the basis of medical grounds.

Financial watchdogs are looking at whether it would be cost-effective to give it to younger patients to prevent more serious issues later on.

Emily Kearney, 32, was a slim size eight on top but a size 14 on the bottom before undergoing the surgery.

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Emily, from Wendover in Buckinghamshire, paid £20,000 for liposuction and hailed it as"life-changing".

The horse groomer has suffered from the condition throughout her life sn, but as a teen was told by doctors wrongly that it was only a weight issue.

In total, she has had four separate treatments and had 55lb, or 26 litres, of fat, removed.

Emily said: "I've spent my life in pain and feeling self-conscious".

"My legs had no shape – they just went straight up and down, like tree trunks, and I knew the condition was only getting worse."

She added: "I feel like a different person no. I'm not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination – I have loose skin and there are a few lumps and bumps – but the pain has gone and I can wear the clothes I want to."

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Specialist nurse Mary Warrilow, of the charity Lipoedema UK, said: "I've seen first-hand how transformative liposuction is – nothing else comes close.

"Patients live with pain and heaviness in the legs. Things we take for granted, such as getting down on the floor to play with children, or buying clothes to fit the larger areas of the body, can be impossible. "

Love Island's Shaughna Phillips underwent surgery last October to remove almost three litres of fat, costing her £6,000.

She opened up over receiving "nasty comments" about her legs and said they "heightened" her insecurity.

For more information visitlipoedema.co.ukandtalklipoedema.org

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