If you’ve received a lipedema diagnosis recently, you are probably wondering about your lipedema treatment options. You may have received a surgical option. However, the idea of surgery can be worrying. If you’re anxious about this type of treatment, you may wonder whether this is an alternative. Here, we take a look at some of the other possibilities.
Conservative Lipedema Treatments
Many doctors will suggest conservative lipedema treatments first before recommending surgery. Conservative treatments include an array of different nonsurgical options. Usually, they are collectively known as comprehensive decongestive therapy or CDT. It combines manual lymph drainage (MLD), skin care, and the wearing of compression garments. CDT can also involve dietary measures and exercise.
MLD is a therapeutic way of stimulating lymphatic fluid movement in the body’s tissues. This gentle and rhythmic form of massage follows the path the lymph flows. It reduces swelling quickly. It also helps remove fluids, debris, waste products, and protein particles from the body’s lymphatic system.
Alongside MLD, regular massage techniques help break up the fibrotic areas in which the connective tissues have begun to harden. It reduces pain and increases mobility for lipedema patients. Doctors also recommend compression garments to manage lipedema conservatively. They don’t prevent fat from accumulating, but they help maintain the condition.
Other conservative options include the use of a pneumatic compression device. You wear this inflatable garment over the affected limbs. It is intermittently deflated and inflated to move lymphatic fluid and eliminate it. It helps to prevent the disease from progressing.
Although lipedema fat doesn’t respond to dieting, it is still a key component of conservative lipedema treatments. Those who have obesity and lipedema suffer from poorer mobility and more pain. Staying at a healthy body weight helps keep those symptoms controlled. Exercise is also important when it comes to maintaining your overall health. It won’t reduce lipedema fat, but it will help move lymphatic fluid through the system effectively.
Doctors also recommend some supplements to decrease swelling and boost the function of the immune system. Meanwhile, breathing exercises can help improve lymph fluid circulation, too.
What Does Surgical Intervention Involve?
Surgical treatment for lipedema is liposuction of the affected areas. This removes the affected fat cells. As a result, patients have reduced pain and improved mobility. It also helps to restore a more normal appearance to the affected limbs. Patients can, therefore, experience better self-esteem and greater self-confidence. While liposuction for lipedema doesn’t cure the condition, it provides long-lasting relief of the worst symptoms.
Should I Consider Surgery for Lipedema?
Choosing whether to have surgery for lipedema is a personal decision. Yet, it’s important to be aware of the benefits it can offer. Some sufferers prefer to choose conservative treatments. However, these can be time-consuming and intrusive in your life. Liposuction, on the other hand, helps sufferers to experience a longer-lasting reduction in their symptoms.
Lipedema is a progressive condition. This means that, over time, it will only get worse. Eventually, surgery becomes the best option for any patient. Yet, some sufferers prefer to consider liposuction at an earlier stage. Lipedema progresses through four different stages of development. Patients at all four stages can benefit from liposuction. Even those at the earliest stages of the disease can benefit from having this treatment.
The best way to determine the best course of action for you is to seek advice from a specialist. Here at Artistic Lipo and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Su is an expert in the field. A consultation with him can help you to determine the best lipedema treatment for you. Contact us today to learn more.
Dr. Hamwi is an aesthetic plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgical and non-invasive procedures. After completing residencies in both plastic surgery and general surgery as well as a fellowship at Harvard University, Dr. Hamwi then went on to pursue an aesthetic surgery fellowship at one of the country’s most competitive programs in Manhattan, New York. Less than one percent of plastic surgeons have completed such specialized training.