Although it is a relatively widespread condition, not many doctors know how to treat lipedema effectively. Despite around 11% of women worldwide suffering from this condition, it remains poorly understood. There are several treatments for lipedema, but there is no cure yet. Most of the treatments that doctors today offer are conservative options. These treatments address only the symptoms, not the causes of the disease.

Nevertheless, there is an effective surgical option – liposuction. Liposuction addresses the cause of lipedema – the diseased fat cells. Therefore, it is the best treatment option for lipedema sufferers.

What Is Lipedema?

Lipedema is a progressive condition that remains poorly understood by medical professionals. The main sign of the condition is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the lower body. Sometimes, it also affects the upper arms. Lipedema is often painful and affects daily life by limiting mobility.

Usually, lipedema equally affects both the left and right sides of the body. As a result, sufferers tend to have column-like legs. In its early stages, sufferers usually have a narrower waist and small upper body but heavy legs. Over time, without treatment, the symptoms get worse. Often, the bottom, lower legs, and thighs are large, but the feet aren’t affected. If the upper arms show signs of lipedema, the hands aren’t affected.

Sufferers experience tenderness, heaviness, and pain in their affected limbs. They also often bruise easily. The skin also feels cool and soft and usually has dimpling with the texture of orange peel.

When lipedema gets worse, it causes joint problems and flat feet that make walking difficult. Sufferers also often feel depressed and anxious due to low self-esteem about their appearance.

Also Read: Do Doctors Know How to Treat Lipedema?

What Causes Lipedema?

As yet, experts don’t really understand what causes lipedema. They believe it could have genetic links and be related to hormones. That is because the condition usually only occurs in women. It also becomes apparent or worsens during times of hormonal changes; including puberty, menopause, and pregnancy.

Can Lipedema Be Relieved by Diet and Exercise?

Many women with lipedema receive an incorrect diagnosis from their doctors. Their doctors typically tell them that they’re merely obese. They recommend dieting and exercising more to eliminate the problem. Unfortunately, though, their efforts will inevitably fail. That is because lipedema fat isn’t the same as regular fat. It doesn’t respond in the same way to dieting and exercising. Therefore, sufferers who try to lose weight only find that the unaffected areas slim down.

Their affected limbs remain large. As a result, they often suffer from anxiety and depression as they don’t understand why they can’t improve their appearance. In fact, although there is a common belief that only obese women have lipedema, that isn’t true. Women who are underweight may also suffer from lipedema. These women have extremely thin upper bodies, but their lower limbs are disproportionately large.

Which Conservative Treatments Are Offered for Lipedema?

Many doctors advise conservative treatments for lipedema. There are several different conservative options available for lipedema sufferers to try. Special diets, manual lymphatic drainage massages, and wearing compression garments are all popular treatments. While these options may help, they only address the symptoms, not the cause of the disease.

Wearing compression garments helps to prevent excessive swelling and reduces pain. MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) promotes better lymph flow to reduce swelling and pain too. Meanwhile, adhering to special diets can reduce inflammation which can worsen lipedema symptoms. Doctors often recommend trying a combination of these therapies.

Although these treatments can help to bring some relief in the short-term, they aren’t a long-term solution. The condition continues to progress and worsen over time. That is why surgery is the best choice for treating lipedema.

Is Surgery the Best Treatment for Lipedema?

Surgery is the best way to treat lipedema since it addresses the cause, not the symptoms of the disease. Liposuction is the surgical treatment for lipedema. Essentially, lipo for lipedema is the same as liposuction for cosmetic purposes. It permanently removes the diseased fat cells. The surgeon makes tiny incisions in the affected areas and breaks the fat up and suctions it out with a cannula. The result is a more proportionate shape, as well as reduced pain and improved mobility.

Lipedema sufferers who have liposuction can experience long-term benefits. The disease will continue to progress, but the positive effects of the surgery will last for many years. Patients usually report a better quality of life after having liposuction surgery. They experience better self-esteem and higher self-confidence. Patients can also enjoy a more active lifestyle after lipo surgery as well.

It’s essential to find a specialist in lipedema who can diagnose and treat lipedema as early as possible. Evidence shows that getting early treatment produces the best outcomes for the patient.

Dr. Su at  ArtLipo is your top choice of lipedema expert. Get in touch today to learn more about how to treat lipedema with surgery.