What is Lipedema?
Lipedema is a disorder of adipose tissue that involves symmetrically enlarged legs, thighs or buttocks even though the rest of the body may be of normal weight – adipose tissue disorder that is believed to affect nearly 11% of adult women worldwide.
It usually develops in connection with major hormonal changes – such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause. The body’s fat cells increase in size at the onset of the disease and areas such as hips, thighs, buttocks and arms then increase in size.
The superficial smaller lymph vessels, blood vessels and nerves in the adipose tissue are affected by this and the patient gets symptoms in these areas in the form of pain, aches, sensory disturbances (ant crawls, tingling, etc.) and pain when touched.
Many patients also describe an increased tendency to easily get bruises as well as impaired lymph circulation, with swelling and stasis of, for example, feet, ankles and wrists.
Lipedema is most likely hereditary, but the gene is not yet defined.
Typical symptoms of Lipedema
The most common symptoms you’ll find are:
- The upper body is usually narrower than the lower body
- Bubbly, bumpy, soft adipose tissue (cellulite)
- On palpation, small, hard fat globules are found under the skin, which feel like grains of rice or frozen peas (all stages).
- The feet and hands are narrow
- Cold skin in affected areas due to poor blood circulation in the adipose tissue
- Often aches to severe pain at the slightest pressure
- Easy to get bruises
- Increased swelling during the day
- Lipoedema does not go away with dieting or exercise. Lipoedema areas may become smaller with diet and exercise, but the disproportionate body will always remain and the remaining fat cells will always be lipoedema cells.
These symptoms are present in almost all patients we have treated.
Pain, bruising and swelling occur in 100 per cent of cases. You get bruises without bumping into anything. You swell a lot and your legs become heavy, like lumps of lead. It usually never goes out at the foot but stops at the ankle. If you pull a finger over the shin, it usually hurts.
Treatments available for Lipedema
A treatment called complete decongestive therapy can ease painful symptoms. Complete decongestive therapy involves:
- Manual lymphatic drainage – A form of massage that uses gentle, rhythmic pumping movements to stimulate the flow of lymph around blocked areas to healthy vessels, where it can drain into the venous system. This helps relieve pain and prevent fibrosis.
- Compression – The use of stretch bandages or custom-fitted pantyhose, panties, or spandex shorts to increase tissue pressure in the swollen legs and lessen the odds of fluid building up again.
- Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) is the most effective technique to remove lipedema fat with great aesthetic and functional results. This means that number of surgeries required can be kept low. Other methods like Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL) are not as effective because the percentage of water in sucked aspirate is low due to the continuous water jet. The procedure uses a hollow tube that is placed under the skin to suction the fat tissue. Several sessions may be needed depending on the amount of abnormal fat.
- Exercise – helps to reduce fluid buildup, boost mobility, and maintain or improve how well your legs work.
- Thorough skin and nail care – helps lower the risk of wounds and infection if you have lipedema associated with swelling.
Dr. Sebastian Michel – German Lipedema Doctor in Dubai
Dr. Sebastian Michel – Medical Association of Berlin – completed his studies at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg with the Medical State Examination in 2008. Subsequently, he started his surgical career in the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at Biberach Hospital.
After completing his further training as a specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery at the University Clinic of Leipzig and the Armed Forces Hospital in Berlin. The accreditation as a specialist was granted after passing the examination at the Medical Association of Berlin, Germany.
Dr. Michel developed a special interest in body shaping procedures such as tightening operations and liposuctions and also regularly trained himself in aesthetic treatment with fillers, botulinum toxin, and PRP Therapy.
Other treatments you will find with Dr. Sebastian Michel as well are:
- Lipedema Surgery
- Body Shaping Procedures
- Tightening Operations with Renuvion & Surgical
- Postbariatric Surgery
- Breast Surgery
- Rejuvenation Procedures – Botox, Fillers & PRP-Therapy
Schedule your appointment today with Dr. Sebastian Michel to begin your Lipedema treatment journey.
Try our – Lipedema Self Assessment Test
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This test cannot replace a medical examination, advice, diagnosis or therapy recommendation.