Lipedema is a condition seen in one out of every 10 women. In general, it can be expressed as fat accumulation in the lower part of the body. It differs from obesity in this respect. It may come out due to genetic predisposition, cortisone treatments, pregnancy, and lower extremity surgeries. For the treatment of this condition, first of all, it is necessary to make the right diagnosis and not be confused with obesity. Then, it can be treated using the specially developed liposuction technique.
Are you curious about liposuction for lipedema? You can find the most detailed guide on this subject in our article!
Table of Contents
What is Lipedema and Why Does It Happen?
Lipedema is a characteristic condition that causes excessive fat accumulation, mostly in the hips and legs. The fat cells that absorb excess water and expand cause excessive fat accumulation in the lower part of the body.
Lipedema is a concept that means fluid in fat. It is known as a painful fat disease. It causes excessive and abnormal fat accumulation in the legs, upper arms, hips, and thighs. The fact that it is seen as extreme fat accumulation may cause confusion with obesity. The main difference between obesity is that the fat accumulation is only in the lower part of the body.
The cause of this disease, which was first defined in 1940, has not been exactly determined. Genetic predisposition is considered to be the most important cause. While the condition is usually seen in women, it is almost never seen in men. In women; it is known that it is more common after pregnancy, menopause, and hormonal changes.
The symptoms worsen over time due to this condition. When the necessary treatments are not performed, the mobility of some patients is seriously reduced and their quality of life decreases significantly. Leg sensitivity, skin hypersensitivity, and poor mobility are the most adverse effects.
What Types of Symptoms Are There in General?
Lipedema is a condition that has different symptoms. Common ones are generally as follows:
- Excessive and abnormal fat accumulation in the thighs and lower legs
- Legs having the appearance of columns due to swelling
- Hypersensitivity in the affected areas
- A significant decrease in mobility due to fat accumulation
- Cuffs around ankles due to fat
- Inconsistencies between lower body and upper body
- Cellulite-like lumpy tissues
- Changes in the skin
- Fats that do not decrease despite diet and exercise
- Swelling that does not cause indentation when pressure is exerted
- Swelling that does not move despite raising the legs
- Easy bruising
- Small varicose clusters around the ankle
The presence of one or more of these symptoms is sufficient for the suspicion of lipedema.
How Is It Formed?
To understand lipedema, it is first necessary to understand the vascular system in the human body. Arteries in the circulatory system carry clean and oxygen-rich blood to the cells. Venous, on the other hand, carries this blood back to the heart and ensures the continuity of circulation. However, if the venous is insufficient to carry this blood alone, the lymphatic system comes into play.
The sudden growth of fat in people who are genetically predisposed to this disorder causes pressure on the lymph system. Thus, disruptions in circulation begin to occur. This leads to rapid edema formation in the related area. Easy chilling, bruising, and skin sensitivities arise. These stand out as an early sign of lipedema. However, not everyone with these symptoms will develop lipedema.
How is it Treated?
The main issue in its treatment is to remove the fat that exerts pressure on the lymph system and grows excessively. This procedure is effectively performed with liposuction. Vaser liposuction is the most effective treatment method. In this method, while the overgrown fat cells are removed, the lymphatics and veins are not damaged. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that it is much more preferred in lipedema treatment than traditional liposuction.
In traditional liposuction, no distinction is made between the vein, lymph, and adipose tissue. As a result, lymph damage may occur and additional issues may arise. This feature of Vaser liposuction is the reason why it is also called liposelection.
A special care plan is created for the postoperative period. After the operation, the excess fluid in the related area is removed. Then, the patient immediately wears a compression garment. It is recommended that patients wear this garment for 24 hours for 2 weeks. In the next 2 weeks, it must be worn for at least 12 hours.
Only 15-30 minutes after the operation, patients can stand up and walk. After the necessary checks, patients can leave the clinic with a companion and go home to rest. It is recommended that they stay calm during this period, drink 1 glass of water every hour and continue their normal diet.
It is recommended that patients who spend the first day resting walk at least 1 mile the following day. Thus, the removal of fluid accumulated in the muscles is accelerated.
When is Liposuction Used for Lipedema?
Experts state that the timing of liposuction for lipedema should be determined carefully. Before surgery, the patient must be correctly diagnosed and evaluated by a qualified doctor. The type and degree of lipedema are of great importance for the decision to be taken. A careful examination is required to detect swelling or secondary lymphedema.
The majority of patients have secondary swelling and lymphedema. For such patients, firstly compression, lymphedema treatment, and other conservative methods should be preferred. It is more appropriate to perform liposuction in patients without secondary swelling.
Physical evaluation of swelling before the surgical procedure is of great importance. Thus, the disorder can be treated using simpler methods instead of the surgical method, and the process becomes more comfortable for the patients.
As a result of conservative methods, the most persistent swellings and lymphedema will usually remain. After this stage, the option of liposuction can be considered.
What does the Eligibility of the Patient Depend on?
Although liposuction is generally a safe method, it has some minor risks such as bleeding and infection. Swelling in the related area after liposuction persists longer in patients with lipedema compared to other patients. The swelling worsens in the first month and may take 6 months to 1 year to fully heal. On the other hand, liposuction for lipedema gives the desired results in the majority of patients and provides recovery.
A single procedure is sufficient for patients with lipedema seen only in a certain area. However, more than one liposuction may be required for patients who have it in different regions. Multiple liposuctions must be separated or be in phases to be performed safely. The timing of the operation should be determined by considering the clinical stage of lipedema, the general condition of the patient, the amount of fat removed, and other factors.
What are Its Benefits?
Until recently, there was no complete cure for this condition. However, with the specially developed liposuction technique, problematic fat cells can now be permanently removed from the patient’s body. Thus, it is ensured that the negative effects of the condition are significantly eliminated. The positive effects of liposuction for lipedema can be listed as follows:
- Pain, sensitivity, and swelling lighten.
- Mobility is increased.
- Improvement is seen throughout the leg.
- Asymmetry in the legs is eliminated.
- It is ensured that the body appears symmetrical.
- Eliminates dependence on compression garments.
- Improves circulation in the legs.
Lipedema After Liposuction
Recovery time after surgery differs depending on the general condition of the person and the size of the procedure. In general, it can be stated that recovery takes a few months.
The area where liposuction is performed is of great importance in terms of recovery time. The lower legs are the area that is under the most pressure compared to the rest of the body. Therefore, the area with the longest recovery time is the lower legs.
Sticking to tightening with a compression garment is essential for the recovery process. Massage and similar treatments that positively affect lymph flow will significantly help recovery.
There are studies showing that the condition recurs in a very small part of the patients who are treated. It is thought that diet and other supportive measures after surgery reduce the risk of recurrence.
After the surgery, there is a positive change in the quality of life and mobility of the patients. Besides, swelling is significantly reduced. For the results to be permanent, a healthy diet and active lifestyle should be adopted.
Read Also: Does Liposuction Treat Lipedema Disease?
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about liposuction for lipedema and their answers are as follows.
What Happens If It is not Treated?
Although liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure, liposuction for lipedema does not fall into this category. Because this procedure is a medical necessity and, in some cases, it is even an obligation. When lipedema is not treated, fat accumulation in the lower limbs continues. It eventually spreads to the arms and upper body. As a result, swelling increases, mobility and quality of life decrease, and serious problems may occur in blood circulation and lymphatic circulation.
Does Diet Moderate This Condition?
It is not possible to moderate this condition or burn lipidemic fat with diet and exercise. This condition, which is seen in one out of every 10 women, is not unique to overweight people. It can also occur in thin women.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
Recovery time varies depending on the patient. Some patients can return to their normal routines in a short time, while others may take much longer to recover.
Is Lipedema Like Cellulite?
Cellulite and lipedema are completely different problems. It is a cosmetic problem, while lipedema is a medical condition. Cellulite can be seen in 90% of women, while lipedema is seen in only 10%.
Cellulite is the lumpy and dimpled appearance caused by fat deposits on the skin. It can be considered as an indicator of whether there is fat in the body. It’s just a cosmetic problem. Lipedema is a condition characterized by enlarged legs, hips, and thighs.
Schedule a Consultation
Liposuction for lipedema is a treatment developed for patients to get rid of this problem permanently and effectively. However, for this treatment to be applied successfully, the diagnosis must be made correctly and the evaluation must be done in the right way. Besides, care should be taken to protect the veins and lymphatics during the removal of fats. All this will only be possible with an experienced surgeon.
COSMETICIUM has experienced surgeons in the field of liposuction for lipedema. Our surgeons make an accurate and effective diagnosis with their expertise and prepare a tailor-made treatment plan for the patient. If you are also suffering from lipedema, you can contact us for detailed information and free online consultation.
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