A 36-year-old New Jersey woman has started a series of surgeries to manage a chronic condition that caused her lower body and legs to swell as wide as 4 feet.
Katia Page was diagnosed with stage 5 lipedema in April 2014 after years of misdiagnoses, according to her blog. The syndrome is characterized by symmetric enlargement of the legs due to deposits of fat beneath the skin, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The often painful condition affects up to 11 percent of women. The underlying cause is unknown.
Page underwent liposuction to reduce the swelling of her legs, which started at 50 to 54 inches wide, Daily Mail reported. She will undergo 10 to 12 surgeries over three to four years, her doctor, Dr. David Greuner, told the Daily Mail.
Page, who is engaged to be married, first noticed her legs were swelling when she was seven years old, but it got worse when she was in her early 20s, she told the Daily Mail.
“It's the last stage and it's just drastic. Some days I'll be in so much pain that I can't really do anything,” she told the website. “It's bad when your calf is bigger than your waistline. One calf - not both - but one.”
Katia is appearing in 'My Legs Won’t Stop Growing' at 10pm ET on TLC (USA only) on Monday.