Lipedema Treatment – For Making Pathological Swelling Disappear

Lipedema can cause lots of suffering. This chronic, usually progressive dysfunction of the body’s fat distribution and the metabolism of fatcells is not only an aesthetic problem but also an illness. It can cause an uncomfortable feeling of tension and be painful to touch or to pressure. The biggest problem is its progressive development, so no one can predict the final condition in the future. It is a serious disease.

Our dermatologists at Rosenpark Klinik specialize in diagnosing lipedema and have many years of experience in treating this distressful disease.

What is the difference between lipedema and regular excess weight?

Only women suffer from lipedema. The illness is characterized by a disproportion between a slender upper body and very large legs and upper arms. Affected people wear pants that are often two or more sizes larger than their tops. This is the clear difference between lipedema and normal excess weight (obesity) or purely aesthetically bothersome body shapes, such as the so-called saddle bags.

With lipedema, the swelling can:

  • span from the iliac crest to the ankles

but can also only affect the

  • thighs or calves
  • upper arms or lower arms

The disease has three degrees of severity:

  • Stage 1: The skin surface is still relatively smooth (“orange peel skin”), with a thickened fat layer and finely knotted fat structure.
  • Stage 2: The skin surface is uneven (skin dimpling, “mattress phenomenon”) and has a rough knotted fat structure.
  • Stage 3: Large, deformed skin and fat flaps and swelling; the tissue is rough and hard to the touch.

In untreated patients, the problem slowly but continuously increases over the years. In the worst case, the lipedema can turn into lymphedema and elephantiasis. Treating the patient with liposuction is then no longer possible.

What relieves lipedema?

Surgical removal of fatty tissue has proven to work for permanent alleviation. At Rosenpark Clinic this is done through liposuction under tumescent local anesthesia. However, for successful treatment of lipedema, several procedures – between three to five – are always required.

Our more than 15 years of experience have shown that this operation brings about clear and permanent improvement in regard to body shape, symptoms, and quality of life.  When it is treated early on with liposuction, the lipedema’s illness symptomatology can be “healed”.

Lipedema is one the few medical indications for liposuction.

Rosenpark Klinik is a private clinic recognized in accordance with §30 of the Trade Regulation (Gewerbeordnung) and can provide you with an invoice according to the German Scale of Medical Fees (Gebührenordnung für Ärzte) (GOÄ). Please let us know before the surgery whether your health insurance company will reimburse the treatment costs in your individual case.

When will I be able to resume my regular activities?

As a rule, lipedema patients can generally resume their regular daily activities in five to seven days. The exterior healing is usually complete after four weeks – with little physical limitations during this time, except for a bodice we recommend to wear for four weeks. Maximum fat reduction results as well as tightening of the skin are expected four months after the liposuction.

You can find more information in our "Body shaping" information sheets, which you can request from us free of charge.

Are you interested in a no-obligation, personal consultation on surgical body contouring at Rosenpark Klinik? We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

Expert tip:

Dr. Oliver Weirich: “Lipedema is not an aesthetic problem but rather an illness that needs to be treated as quickly as possible in order to prevent the worst.”

What else you can do

  • After treatment, our cosmetic department will be glad to recommend a special skin care program in order to make the healing process as easy as possible.
  • We also recommend lymph drainage in order to enhance the effect and increase absorption of undesirable swelling in the first weeks after the treatment. We offer this procedure at our Rosenpark Studio.
  • You should also drink a lot of water in order to enhance metabolization during the woundhealing process.
  • For cellulite patients we recommend additional treatment with the gentle SmoothShapes® or Venus Legacy™ methods.