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Shaughna Phillips reveals she had to ‘milk’ her legs after having liposuction for lymphedema

Shaughna Phillips has revealed she had to ‘milk’ her legs after having liposuction for her lymphoedema and opened up about her ex-boyfriend’s comments on her body.

The Love Island star, 28, said she was advised by her doctor to ‘leak’ fluid from her legs by ‘milking’ them when she recovered from liposuction, which is a fat-removal procedure used in plastic surgery.

Shaughna had liposuction to remove fat from her calves after being diagnosed with lymphoedema – a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues.

Surgery: Shaughna Phillips has revealed she had to ‘milk’ her legs after having liposuction for her lymphoedema and opened up about her ex-boyfriend’s comments on her body

Speaking about the unique recovery technique, Shaughna told Metro.co.uk’s podcast Smut Drop: ‘When you leave liposuction, your incisions are left open, because you need to still leak fluid, the more you leak the better. 

‘Let me tell you, my flat smelt like a hospital wing for a good while! So you have to kind of walk around and get your legs leaking, but he also told me that I needed to milk my leg.’

She added: ‘The last thing you want to do is even look at your leg, let alone touch it and milk it! No leg should be milked, ever!’ 

She said she looked like she had been ‘run over’ and that her legs were swollen for around nine months after the surgery.

'No leg should be milked!': The Love Island star, 28, said she was advised by her doctor to 'leak' fluid from her legs by 'milking' them when she recovered from having liposuction

‘No leg should be milked!’: The Love Island star, 28, said she was advised by her doctor to ‘leak’ fluid from her legs by ‘milking’ them when she recovered from having liposuction

Shaughna, who is an advocate for cosmetic surgery, said having liposuction on her calves was the most painful surgery she has ever had and said the prospect of potentially having to undergo it again fills her with ‘dread’.

WHAT IS LYMPHOEDEMA? 

Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues.

It usually develops in the arms or legs.

Lymphoedema affects up to 10 million people in the US and more than 200,000 in the UK. 

It occurs when the lymphatic system does not work properly.

The lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands that remove excess fluid and help fight infections.

As well as swelling, which is often worse during the day, other symptoms may include: 

  • An aching, heavy feeling
  • Difficulty moving
  • Repeated skin infections
  • Hard, tight skin
  • Wart-like growths
  • Fluid leaking from the skin
  • Folds developing in the skin

Lymphoedema can be inherited or occur as a result of infections, injuries or cancer treatment.

Around one in five women with breast cancer and half with vulval cancer develop lymphoedema. 

There is no cure. 

Treatment focuses on minimising fluid build up via compression stockings and a healthy lifestyle.

Source: NHS Choices 

Touching on how she has felt ‘self-conscious’ about her legs for years, Shaughna spoke about how an ex-boyfriend affected her body image.

The TV personality said she was in a ‘very unhealthy relationship’ and her ex-boyfriend told her she needed to ‘sort her legs out’ while she was underweight at nine-stone.

She explained: ‘I remember very, very vividly, I still remember it to this day, I was in a very, very unhealthy relationship. I was just thinking that the better I look, the better he will treat me. It didn’t happen. 

‘I remember I’ve got to nine stone on the scales, which was so underweight for my body shape, and I took a picture and sent it to my ex. 

‘I was like, “Oh my gosh, look” and he replied, saying, “Oh, that’s amazing. Now you just need to sort your legs out”. And I was like, how on earth? I can’t get any thinner. I couldn’t, I physically couldn’t.’

Shaughna went on to criticise people who comment on others’ appearances, adding: ‘I get we have free speech. But you have no right to comment on how I look, let’s just get that very clear.’

Elsewhere on the podcast, Shaughna admitted she felt like a weight was lifted off her shoulders when she found out she had lymphoedema.

‘When I found out that I had a condition, I felt an instant weight lifted off my shoulders, because it almost takes the – not the guilt but the blame – because I thought, well, that’s just, that’s what I’ve got,’ she said.

‘And, but in actual fact, no, I’ve actually got a condition has caused this. But then in turn, I also once I knew I had it, and I needed to have surgery in order to help it, I kind of felt like I was on a bit of a timer. 

‘And that the longer I wait, the worse it’s gonna get and every minute counts, and that that’s not necessarily true.’

She said she doesn’t know whether she would have felt more or less self-conscious about her legs if she knew about her condition before entering the Love Island villa in December 2020.

Body image: Touching on how she has felt self-conscious' about her legs for years, Shaughna spoke about how an ex-boyfriend told her to 'sort her legs out' when she was underweight

Body image: Touching on how she has felt self-conscious’ about her legs for years, Shaughna spoke about how an ex-boyfriend told her to ‘sort her legs out’ when she was underweight

Shaughna also revealed that people were messaging her Instagram account while she was on the ITV2 dating show saying they thought she had lymphoedema.

But she explained that her mother Tracey thought they were trying to troll her so never told her about the comments.

She said: ‘You know what’s funny that when I said when I was in Love Island, my Instagram was being inundated by women saying we think Shaughna’s has got lymphedema. 

‘And my poor mum thought they was trolling me. So she didn’t tell me. 

Speaking out: Shaughna revealed that people were messaging her Instagram account while she was on the ITV2 dating show in 2020 saying that they thought she had lymphoedema

Speaking out: Shaughna revealed that people were messaging her Instagram account while she was on the ITV2 dating show in 2020 saying that they thought she had lymphoedema 

‘And then when I came out, I stumbled across this message sign, I think you’ve got lymphedema, and I Googled it and I was like, “Oh my God”. Now I know, we shouldn’t self diagnose on the internet, trust me. 

‘But when I mean, I ticked every single symptom, every single, every single thing that was like a characterization of lymphedema I had, yeah, and it was just insane. 

‘When I look back at pictures, I honestly I don’t understand how no one thought, no, there’s something up here.

‘I was a size six top because I was punishing myself with eating and working out. I was size six top and a size 12 to 14 bottom. That’s just not normal to have such a difference. So I don’t know how alarm bells didn’t ring for anyone.’

'Vile':Her latest comments come after Shaughna slammed the popular heartrate challenge in Love Island, calling it 'the most vile thing' and claiming it is fixed

‘Vile’:Her latest comments come after Shaughna slammed the popular heartrate challenge in Love Island, calling it ‘the most vile thing’ and claiming it is fixed

Her latest comments come after Shaughna slammed the popular heartrate challenge in Love Island, calling it ‘the most vile thing’ and claiming it is fixed.

She took part in the winter series of the show in 2020 and got candid about her experience on the show, comparing it to going ‘to war’.

She took aim at one of the challenges, whereby Islanders have to dance for each other other while wearing heart monitors, to see who makes who’s heartrate increase the most.

Shaughna revealed that the sexy outfits that the contestants have to wear are chosen by the producers, and Islanders have no say.

She blasted the challenge as ‘the most vile thing ever’ and said she cried all day before it after learning about the skimpy outfit she had to wear. 

On blast: She took aim at one of the challenges, whereby Islanders have to dance for each other other while wearing heart monitors, to see who makes who's heartrate increase the most

On blast: She took aim at one of the challenges, whereby Islanders have to dance for each other other while wearing heart monitors, to see who makes who’s heartrate increase the most

Speaking on the Should I Delete That podcast, Shaughna confessed: ‘I cried from lunchtime to the minute I walked out [to dance].

‘I said to them [show producers], ‘I will go out naked in nipple tassels, as long as you give me trousers, tights, or thigh high boots. I will do whatever you want’.

‘And I was the only girl that had none of that. I said to them, ‘I might just walk. I can’t do this’.’

The reality star described the process as ‘so mean’ and detailed how she begged the bosses to let her switch outfits.

She said: ‘I was crying, I was going, ‘Please, you don’t understand. Please.’

Reality TV: She took part in the winter series of the show in 2020 and got candid about her experience on the show, comparing it to going 'to war'

Reality TV: She took part in the winter series of the show in 2020 and got candid about her experience on the show, comparing it to going ‘to war’ 

‘I was really struggling with swollen legs because [of] the different altitude over there [South Africa]. I was crying because I felt like rubbish, I was crying because I was embarrassed.’

Shaughna added that she believes the results of the challenge are ‘set up’ anyway, to suit the storylines in the villa.

She had found herself ditched by her partner Callum Jones for model Molly Smith in Casa Amour.

She explained: ‘I think it was set up. In the competition it said mine went up for Callum, and obviously it would’ve been a greater storyline that mine went for Callum and Callum’s didn’t go [up] for me, but I don’t think mine went for him. I’m sure mine went for someone else.

‘Even though I know, or I think it wasn’t true, the nation’s then watching me looking like a t**t. I just felt like a donut.’

Shaughna also got candid about ‘nearly fainting’ before entering the villa due to her extreme gym routine combined with eating so little.

She described getting ready to go into the villa as like ‘preparing for war’, saying: ‘I would literally go to the gym and nearly faint, so I had to start to eating more just to get to that point, so I was in a healthier situation when Love Island came about, but obviously when it did happen, it was then like all systems go.

‘I was going to the gym maybe five or six times a week. But now I’m in a position where when I go to the gym, I try to look at it as a treat for myself, like this is your time, just go and enjoy it, whereas back then it was like do or die.’

Struggles: Shaughna also got candid about 'nearly fainting' before entering the villa due to her extreme gym routine combined with eating so little

Struggles: Shaughna also got candid about ‘nearly fainting’ before entering the villa due to her extreme gym routine combined with eating so little 

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