Lipoedema (Painful Fat Syndrome) is an inherited fat disorder that  progressively gets worse with age and affects 11% of women. The fat deposition mainly in the thighs, legs and arms, continues throughout life. Lipoedema fat does not respond to diet or exercise. Medical awareness of lipoedema is very limited and hence it is not uncommon for Lipoedema patients to be misdiagnosed as obese and misdirected towards ie treatments. 
 
As of today Liposuction is the only method proven to safely remove the ' Lipoedema Fat'. However it is important to note that liposuction for  Lipoedema provides a form of control but not a definitive cure.
 

There is no simple blood test or scan to diagnose Lipoedema, so the diagnosis is made by history and physical examination.

  • HISTORY
  • Strong Family History of Lipoedema. Only females are affected.  You may inherit this from either side of your family.
  • The first sign of fat deposition in the thighs occur following the hormonal changes of puberty.
  • Pregnancy and menopause are two other periods where significant fat deposition and worsening of symptoms is noted.
  • It is a matter of great frustration and confusion that exercise or diet have no effect on reducing the fat in lipoedema.
  • Legs are enlarged bilaterally and symmetrically (arms can also be affected)
  • Waist is small in proportion to the thighs, buttocks and legs
  • Legs bruise easily 
  • Legs feel heavy at the end of the day
  • PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
  • Fat deposition is bilateral and symmetric
  • Fat deposits are seen in the thighs, legs with NO involvement of the feet
  • 30% of patients have arms and forearms involved with NO involvement of the hands
  • There appears a 'cuff' around the ankle and a round pad of fat just below the knees
  • Waist is small in proportion to the hips, thighs, buttocks and legs
  • Feet and hands are exempt and a 'cuff' or “bracelet” effect can appear just above the ankles and wrists.
  • Legs are painful to touch.
  • Legs are cold
  • Evidence of dilated veins and bruising is commonly seen
  • The fat is soft to touch, wobbly and cold
  • The skin is always involved in Lipoedema and skin has a cellulite appearance.

TREATMENT OF LIPOEDEMA

CONSERVATIVE TREATMENTS Low inflammation diet, Calorie controlled diet, low impact exercise such as walking, aqua aerobics and yoga, vibration plates,  MLD therapy, Endermologie, Customised Lipoedema Compression garments, Sequential Intermittent Pneumatic Compression devices.    

SURGICAL TREATMENT OF LIPOEDEMA  Liposuction is a surgical treatment to remove stubborn fat, limit disability and slow disease progression and reduce the risk of permanent lymphatic dysfunction.

Water Assisted Liposuction ( WAL Lipo or BODY JET)  is a precise and gentle technique where a high power water jet  separates and dislodges the fat cells  from the surrounding tissues with minimal damage to the lymphatics, while the suction simultaneously removes the fat that has been dislodged. 

The best results are seen in patients who are proactive and diligent with all conservative treatments methods before and after surgery.

Dr Somia has been successfully treating lipoedema patients since 2013.    To schedule a time to see Dr Somia please call us on 9387 2110 or send us an email via our contact page.

Please see our free information booklet here:   Lipoedema Guide

SUPPORT NETWORK: My patients find it helpful to be a part of the support groups such as LASS, which facilitates exchange of information that lot of patients find useful. The Lipedema Foundation ( USA) and the Fat Disorders Society are research organisations. For more information please see www.lass.org.au, www.lipedema.org and www.fatdisorders.org

Lipoedema

 

Book a consultation or call: 02 9387 2110