I'm sure most of you want to know what has happened since my LVA surgery. I had surgery in November of 2010. My lymphedema was in my left leg and I was pretty hampered by the largeness of my leg. Prof Campisi told me I had secondary lymphedema which was most likely brought on my multiple abdominal surgeries and the removal of one lymph node.
I had the surgery and followed prof's directions to the tee. Early morning pumping and evening pumping, up to three hours and day of pumping and swimming every day for the first 6 months and I wore two compression stockings for the first six months. The latter part being a major pain in the ass!
I would say that I was a very compliant patient though prof would tell you differently. That is a whole other can of worms that I don't need to open up!
Today my leg is 100 % better as far as mobility is concerned. I do everything I want to do (I'm very active) although I don't take unnecessary risks. Not long ago I wanted to do some paragliding but though better of it because I didn't want to land weird on my leg and maybe break it!
My leg is not 100% with regards to size. For me the size difference is very noticeable though most people say it is not. I still wear stockings (though only one and not two) on my one leg. I still use a flexitouch pump though I can certainly go without using it. I get a regular lymphatic massage. I don't eat, wheat, salt or dairy and definitely don't eat foods with additives. All of these things combined make a difference in the size of my leg.
I find that the biggest help with lymphedema is finding a brand of stocking that fits me the best. I'm a small boned person of average height. The flat knit stocking works the best with regards to longevity but I have not found a company that makes 'off the rack' flat knit stockings. Well I found one but their smallest size is still too big for me. This means that I either go custom (yikes so expensive) or Sigvarus, which wear out pretty fast.
I had a second surgery in 2013. It was a liposuction surgery. My leg at first improved with the liposuction surgery but then it went back to the way it was before. I think this particular surgery has different results for different people. I do have to say that my leg does have shape now where as before it looked like a fire log. :) I believe it now a surgery that can be combined with the first LVA surgery. I think this is up to prof and his son, Dr. Corrado Campisi and it depends on where you are traveling from.
In the USA we do have LVA but it is a different kind of surgery and one that is less invasive. I do not know if it is better or the same results, however at least there is an option for people who can't travel to Genoa, Italy.
I hope this answers questions. Feel free to email me for further questions. I'm happy to do what I can for people suffering from this disease.