Kimmi Katte


I’ve had a few people notice that I’m heading to Germany a bit too early for the Lipedema Congress. The reason for that is I’m having surgery on my legs while I’m there. It wasn’t planned that way initially, but that’s how it’s turned out!

My husband and I were chatting a few months back after I’d bought my Congress ticket and he asked, would it be ridiculous to consider a surgical procedure while you’re in Germany?

I dismissed it immediately, not for any reason other than while I have never ruled out surgery for my lipoedema and lymphoedema, it scares me. And I’m still scared.

With the complexities of Primary Lymphoedema (in my case I’ve been missing lymphatic vessels since I was born) and a prior case of septicaemia many years ago now, the thought of anybody coming anywhere near my legs with sharp objects gives me a lot of anxiety on top of my garden variety anxiety.

So I let it cook in my brain for a few weeks and here’s what simmered to the top.

  1. Thanks to what helps lymphoedema, I’ve been consistently and diligently applying many conservative measures in the management of my lipoedema since before I even knew I had it. If I’m not ready now after this many years of conservative management, I never will be!
  2. In my case, the fewer the surgeries I have the better because of the risk to my already compromised lymphatic system. Two surgeries over 6 months, with comprehensive in-patient hospital care, twice daily MLD while I’m in hospital, and access to excellent daily MLD when I’m discharged will work really well for me.
  3. I’ve saved a LOT of money over the last 6 years just by quitting alcohol – enough for all the expenses of this surgery in Germany in fact. I could consider surgery a lovely reward for this significant sacrifice and some other sacrifices I’ve made.
  4. Even though my legs are in good condition because of conservative management, I still have fibrotic tissue build up which I may never be able to eliminate no matter how hard I try, no matter how many gadgets I buy, no matter how many hours I put in.
  5. I’m getting older (aren’t we all?) and if everything goes well, this could give my legs a bit of a reset in winding the clock back for them to be more closely matched health-wise to the rest of my body. This would mean a better quality of life for my older years, and this is important to me.
  6. I’m going to Germany anyway, may as well take as much advantage while I’m there as I can!

My surgeon is Dr Mojtaba Ghods and my first surgery of two, takes place on September 7th, 2023 in Bad Belzig, south west of Berlin.

It’s a medical PAL (power assisted liposuction) lymph sparing surgery under general anaesthetic – fronts of legs first, then next year I’ll go back for backs of legs. Diseased fibrotic tissue will be removed carefully after years of lymphatic congestion with a procedure that is considerate of my rare health scenario (lipoedema – which is not rare – but is rare in combination with primary lymphoedema).

I’ll be in hospital for 5 days where they’ll take great care of me with twice daily MLD until my husband arrives the day before I’m discharged, then he’ll be on duty.

Of course my anxiety sits up in the middle of the night presenting me with all kinds of scenarios to have concern over. So I keep a notebook beside my bed and listen carefully so that I can find solutions the following day – I may be anxious, but at the end of the day I’m a solutions girl!

While I’m realistic, doing everything in my power to mitigate risk, and preparing for potential plan Z, I’m also loving spending time answering this question …  “what if everything went perfectly?”

Best case scenario is a swift recovery, an improvement in lymphatic function, reduction in swelling (once post operative swelling resolves), removal of as much diseased tissue as possible, improved gait, maybe a few days here and there without compression (if you haven’t worn compression every day for the last 15 years I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this makes me feel), and fabulous mobility in my older age. And there is also opportunity for lymphatic microsurgery here in Australia on the other side of these first two surgeries. Lots of things to put good thought energy into!

I’ve been carefully documenting everything up to this point and will continue to do so throughout the surgery and recovery process and this personal experience will add another layer of help and understanding I can offer my nutrition patients should they choose to undergo surgery for these conditions.


You might be wondering if I’ll be following my own surgical nutrition protocol, and yes, you bet I will! You’ve got to know I’ve checked the menu at the hospital already and am bringing supplies with me to bump some ratios that I know will be lacking, particularly protein! It’s the most vital macronutrient for healing following a major surgery and with blood loss even more so!

My main areas of personal preparation are around getting my bloods optimal (both for the inevitable blood loss and for recovery), softening the fibrotic tissue, taking extra great care of my skin, improving circulation, and I’ve created two lovely supplements regimes (one for pre surgery and one for post surgery). It’s been all degrees of fun and not-so-fun.

The not-so-fun part has been getting used to class 2 compression from toes to just under the boobs 23/7 – if I seemed especially irritable the last month or so, that’s the main reason! I’m used to it for my toes and to the knees, but before this my compression class has been much lighter for my lipoedema areas.

I imagine you will also be wondering about Shelby the Aussie Bulldog and how she’ll cope while we’re away for 5 weeks. We have her booked into a lovely pet resort and I’m sure with all the pats and cuddles they give out multiple times each day she won’t even miss us!

So I’ll probably be a bit quiet during the first week of September, and now you know why! Please send me good juju and positive thoughts while I try to muster them up for myself!

And if you’ve traveled your own surgical journey with lipoedema or lymphoedema and have any tips for me, please send them through! I’m open to suggestions and experience!