Lipedema is actually a hereditary fat disorder which often causes painful swelling in the lower portion of the body, usually in the legs and lower abdomen. It is caused by the buildup of fat and fluids in tissues located just below the skin.
Unfortunately, many people suffering from lipedema will appear to be overweight or obese, and are often mistakenly diagnosed as such. Additionally, this condition is often diagnosed as lymphedema; however, lymphedema will usually only affect one limb. Lipedema will affect both legs equally. Unlike lymphedema, lipedema does not affect the feet. In fact, many will experience a ring at the ankle where the swelling stops, this ring is described as looking like the cuff of Turkish pants that blouses out above and then narrow to a small cuff.
As previously stated, lipedema is hereditary, and often those suffering from this condition are often confused with obesity or “being fat”. Some suffers of lipedema also can get a secondary obesity; however, obesity is primarily an excess of the visceral abdominal fat, while lipedema is a disorder of the fat under the skin on arms and legs. The fat of lipedema is not responsive to weight loss often causing patients to become frustrated. There are several things that can be undertaken to control and often reduce the appearance of lipedema including:
Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center says, “In lipedema cases, it is very important that the correct diagnosis is made so the proper course of treatment can be implemented.” He also continues, “Lipedema, if left untreated can lead to other serious conditions, so it is imperative that diagnosis and treatment be made as early as possible. Treatment begins with the life style changes and can progress to liposuction for some affected individuals.” If you are concerned about lipedema, please contact us at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center today. Dr. Wright and his experienced team of professionals can diagnose your condition, along with providing the very best treatment for your individual case.