Star of last season's Love Island, Shaughna Phillips, has bravely opened up about getting liposuction on her legs, having been diagnosed with lipoedema. Last week, the reality show contestant posted a photo of her legs in bandages and her hospital room, along with the words 'surgery swag, I'm so high BTW', and has now confirmed the reason why she was undergoing a procedure.
"I have had liposuction on my lower legs, so my calves, because I was recently diagnosed with lipoedema, once I'd come out of the villa," she said during a Q&A with In The Style. The NHS website explains that the condition is long-term and that sufferers experience an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes in the arms. It adds that typically, the condition only affects women (but in rare cases it can also affect men).
"I've kind of always had an insecurity about my legs, but there were so many questions about if I'd ever been diagnosed with lipoedema [after coming out of Love Island], and I didn't even know what it was," Shaughna added. "So after some research and going to some doctors, I was finally diagnosed and then had my surgery on Wednesday. And I'm recovering, I'm doing really well. I've got make-up on today, I've brushed my hair today and, yeah, I'm just really looking forward to... the process of it."
Shaughna then continued to say, "It's not an overnight thing, I have to keep up with compression garments and things like that, but so far, so good."
The NHS says symptoms of lipoedema include: the thighs, bum, lower legs, and sometimes the arms becoming enlarged. "The feet and hands aren't affected, which creates a 'bracelet' effect or 'band-like' appearance just above the ankles and wrists," it adds, noting that unfortunately the condition can grow worse over time. Affected areas of the body may also feel 'doughy' or cold, bruise easily, feel tender and have tiny broken veins under the skin.
Currently, there hasn't been a huge amount of research into the condition but avoiding weight gain and liposuction, along with wearing compression garments, have been cited as helpful.
This certainly doesn't sound fun to deal with, so we applaud Shaughna's honesty in speaking out about lipoedema in order to raise awareness. Here's wishing her a super speedy recovery from surgery!
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