A mother who had liposuction to remove fat from her swollen legs claims that she had left a gaping hole by a talking doctor.
Marie Allen, 42, has spent more than £ 25,000 on skin grafts to treat the wound so large that her flesh and muscles became visible – but she still cannot walk well.
The former nurse, from North Carolina, originally sought treatment for lip edema, a condition that causes fat deposits to form under the skin in her legs.
Because she did not want to go under the knife, she chose Vaser liposuction, a non-invasive form that sees fat cells blow away with the help of ultrasonic waves.
But Mrs. Allen claims she had third-degree burns on her left leg that became infected, became gangrenus, and made her skin “peel off like an onion.”
Marie Allen, 42, had liposuction to remove fat from her swollen legs. She suffers from lip edema, a condition that causes deposits of fat under the skin in her legs
The mother was left with a gaping hole by a ‘bungling doctor’ (left) who became infected and became gangrenous (right)
She claims that the gap was caused by burnt skin contracted during Vaser liposuction, a non-invasive form that sees fat cells blow away using ultrasound
Ms. Allen recalled her ordeal and said, “Four days after the procedure, I noticed that there was a slight blistering, so I made an appointment for a return.
“I wanted the operation because there didn’t seem to be many options to treat lip edema and it seemed like a viable solution.
“The surgeon told me he had 20 years of experience and he said I would walk again in a week or two.
“But when I came back for that return appointment, I was told that I had to wait a week before I could see the surgeon who did mine.
“But within that week my skin started peeling like an onion. In seven days the skin died and turned black. “
Mrs. Allen accused her surgeon of not prescribing her antibiotics or giving the correct aftercare.
Mrs. Allen accused her surgeon of not prescribing her antibiotics to prevent infections, or to give her proper aftercare
Within a week after the procedure, the skin of the former nurse rotted and turned black (shown on the right)
What is lip edema?
The condition causes an abnormal accumulation of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks and sometimes in the arm.
It usually affects women, although it is occasionally known that it affects men.
Symptoms include enlarged affected body parts that feel soft, easily bruise, have pain and have small broken veins under the skin.
Those with the condition can also get fluid retention in their legs, which can cause swelling.
Combined, these symptoms can then lead to reduced mobility and a bad mood.
Since then she has had to scrape away all dead skin and have left a large crater in her leg.
Mrs. Allen added: “The skin kept coming away until you could see my muscles. But the only thing the first clinic did was pack it up.
“I was not offered antibiotics and was just told that I had to keep an eye on it. Four days later I was in ER and received antibiotics because the pain had become too much.
“I saw other surgeons looking out to injure the hole, hoping it would heal faster.
“But before I knew it, I had home help because I couldn’t change the connection myself, and it was unbearable pain.
“When it turned out that the wound was not getting better, I was admitted and placed on an infusion.
“I finally had to have a complete skin transplant, but even now I can’t walk well on my ankle.”
Mrs. Allen claims that she had a “bad feeling” about getting the original procedure and wished she “had listened to her feelings.”
She added, “I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling, especially when the surgeon couldn’t show pictures that were similar to what I needed.
“He was good on paper, but performing liposuction on his lower leg is so risky. Now I have to wear compression hose all the time and my mobility and self-image have been dramatically affected.
‘Now I have to look for a different solution for my situation, with all these extra costs on top. It was heartbreaking. “
Lipoedema is a common disorder that affects up to 11 percent of women. It occurs almost exclusively in women.
The cause is unknown, but it is thought to be hereditary and related to changes in hormones as women age.