Q&A Lipedema

Lipedema is a chronic progressive disease that occurs mostly in women (affecting 17 million women in the United States, and more than 370 million women worldwide).  Lipedema is a condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of fatty tissue, and is often categorized by bilateral, symmetrical and circumferential fatty tissue excess, mainly in the hip region, upper and lower leg areas and commonly arms, with a combined tendency for leg swelling and pain.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of Lipedema?

A: The typical symptoms are a large lower half and column-like legs, which are often tender and bruise easily. As lipedema progresses, patients experience a series of symptoms including, discomfort, pain, heaviness and numbness. These symptoms get increasingly worse and begin to affect a person’s mobility and quality of life, causing decreased ability to move as easily, usually affecting the ability to exercise, too. At later stages, it can even put patients in a wheelchair, or possibly make them bedridden.

Q: Can men have Lipedema?

A: Yes, even though men may carry the gene it is rarely expressed clinically. Lipedema predominately affects women.

Q: What is Lipedema Surgery?

A: At The Roxbury Institute, Dr. David Amron utilizes an innovative lymphatic sparing liposuction treatment for lipedema patients. His approach is a highly specialized and technical method to achieve optimal body contouring results as well as optimal disease treatment and prevention. Surgical intervention by liposuction to remove the disproportionate fat storage tissue is the only recognized treatment that can truly alter the course of lipedema.

Q: Is Lipedema genetic?

A: While the cause of lipedema is unknown, there seems to always be a genetic component with the disease. Lipedema appears to follow an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern where the gene is passed from parent (mother or father) to child with a 50% chance of the child inheriting the disease.

Q: Is Lipedema a disease?

A: Yes, lipedema is a chronic progressive disease.

Q: What is Lipo-Lymphedema?

A: Lipo-lymphedema is a condition that can develop as lipedema progresses. Chronic inflammation to the rapidly replicating fat cells leads to fibrotic scar tissue buildup in the subcutaneous layer of the fat. This increases congestion and can eventually begin to permanently damage the lymphatic system resulting in lipo-lymphedema.

Q: What are the causes of Lipedema?

A: The cause of lipedema is not known but there is suspicion that female hormones are involved because the condition affects mostly women, and it often begins or worsens at puberty, during pregnancy, following gynecologic surgery, and around the time of menopause. The cause of Lipedema seems to point to a combination of leaky lymphatic vessels and capillaries causing swelling along with uncontrolled replication of the fat cells in the affected areas. Because this fat occurs by a different pathological process, it is usually resistant to diet and exercise as other fat tissue is.


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