Lipedema Stage One is the earliest stage of lipedema’s progression. Many women don’t even realize they have lipedema at this point. The reason for this is that the symptoms and signs of lipedema are minimal. Women may find their bodies start to look more pear-shaped. They may notice their legs become more trunk-like. Alternatively, they may detect some fluid build-up in their legs. They may even realize their upper body is a couple of sizes smaller than their lower body.
However, these symptoms are similar to those associated with weight gain. Therefore, sufferers often think they need to shed a few pounds. It is often after dieting and exercising for some time that sufferers realize something more may be wrong. Due to the fact the symptoms of stage one lipedema are hard to spot, getting an early diagnosis is challenging. Thus, getting treatment at stage one is also tricky.
What Are the Signs of Stage One Lipedema?
At Stage One, the signs of lipedema are present, but they are usually mild. Sufferers, therefore, often believe they suffer from other conditions instead. The symptoms include:
- Column like legs
- Tenderness when touching the legs
- Swelling in the legs and ankles at the end of the day
- Easy bruising of the legs
- A larger lower body than the upper body, possibly by a couple of sizes
The signs of stage one lipedema may appear after times of hormonal fluctuation such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. If you spot the signs of stage one lipedema, you should seek medical advice from a specialist. They can give you an early diagnosis so you can start treatment immediately.
What Happens After an Early Diagnosis?
If you’re fortunate enough to get an early diagnosis, you can begin treatment. It’s imperative to get treatment as quickly as possible when you know you have lipedema. It is a progressive condition and so will only get worse with time. Even with treatment, lipedema worsens over the years. However, early treating helps slow its progress down and make it easier to live with.
What Happens if I Don’t Treat Stage One Lipedema?
Many women with lipedema don’t know they have the condition at this early stage. Therefore, they get no treatment. Their condition continues to progress and will eventually become Stage Two lipedema. The fat continues to accumulate in their lower body. Their legs become heavier. Their body starts to look more disproportionate. Larger lumps of fat begin to emerge on the legs. Bruising increases, and the legs become more painful and tender to the touch. Swelling in the legs will no longer reduce on elevation. They will remain swollen all the time. Self-confidence will probably start to go down due to worries about appearance. Anxiety and depression about the unpleasant lipedema symptoms are common.
Some women get a lipedema diagnosis when they reach Stage Two. Others do not. They don’t receive their diagnosis until they reach Stage Three or even Four. By that time, they are experiencing some severe issues. Not only do they experience more pain and more mobility problems, but they encounter more deformity in the limbs. It’s harder to treat lipedema at its later stages. Although surgery is possible, it requires more fat removal and a longer recovery time. For this reason, it’s best to seek an early diagnosis and begin treatment straight away.
My Doctor Recommends Conservative Treatment for Stage One Lipedema
Many doctors initially recommend conservative treatments for Stage One lipedema. These options include wearing compression garments, keeping legs elevated at night, having MLD (manual lymphatic drainage), exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet.
These treatments are helpful at the early stage of lipedema. However, it’s crucial to recognize you’re only treating the symptoms, not the cause. With conservative treatment, lipedema still progresses. Its progress is slower, but eventually, it becomes Stage Two.
Can I Have Surgery at Stage One?
It may sound extreme to opt for surgery if you have Stage One lipedema. Yet it’s the best course of action. Lipedema surgery acts on the cause of the condition and the symptoms. It involves liposuction to remove the fat permanently.
Surgery doesn’t cure lipedema as doctors don’t know how to cure the disease. However, it does restore the quality of life for the patient. It also relieves pain and the emotional issues that come with lipedema.
Patients who have surgery at Stage One enjoy better outcomes than those who have surgery at later stages. There is less accumulated fat to remove during the procedure. Therefore, recovery times are shorter and fewer surgeries are necessary. It may take a long time for the fat to return.
To find out more about surgery at lipedema Stage One, get in touch with Dr. Su at ArtLipo today. As an expert in lipedema liposuction, he can give you the advice you need.
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.