Lipedema is a condition that primarily affects women and is recognized by symptoms presenting as enlarged legs. Limb enlargement and swelling occurs as fat deposits cluster beneath the skin. It is a chronic disorder with no known complete cure that can also affect fat cells in the arms. For many who suffer from lipedema, eliminating pain associated with the condition is a top priority. While those who suffer from lipedema will often seek professional treatment options that focus on an interior approach, there are more conservative treatment options available that should be considered. A more topical approach to treatment may be right for patients who are not quite ready to undergo liposuction but want to find a way to curb symptoms with a mild, surface-level approach. Read about manual lymphatic drainage massage below:
Frequently referred to as MLD, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle technique designed to help the body naturally drain lymph fluid. While this is a process that the body does on its own, those who suffer from lipedema find that a little help via massage can go a long way towards more efficient lymph drainage therapy. When used in combination with strategic compression garments, many patients who try MLD see positive results.
MLD is performed by a certified therapist who lightly massages the patient’s affected areas using a gentle circular motion to help drain away excess fluid build-up. Recognized as a great first step in the fight against lipedema, MLD is useful in the reduction of swelling that accompanies this disorder. Patients who utilize MLD are often in the process of seeking a more drastic procedure to treat symptoms such as liposuction.
As with all procedures used to aid patients who are struggling with disease, not every candidate is qualified for every method. There are a certain numbers of symptoms a potential patient might be experiencing that would make Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage a poor treatment option. Individuals suffering from lymphatic infection or experiencing congestive heart failure would want to seek an alternative treatment method for their lipedema. Similarly, individuals who suffer with excessive pain as a result of lipedema will want to look at a treatment option such as liposuction to remove fat cells at the source.
The Lymphology Association of North America is the governing body responsible for setting and enforcing the guidelines in place for the training and certification of lymphatic massage therapists. As MLD grows in popularity among patients seeking conservative treatment options for their lipedema or lymphedema, many traditional massage therapists are seeking certification. The majority of those certified to perform MLD are also massage, physical and occupational therapists. Many doctors and nurses choose to become certified in MLD as a way to help patients with treatment in an office-setting.
While there is no cure for lipedema, MLD is a viable treatment option with success associated with alleviating some unpleasant symptoms. MLD, the regular use of compression garments, diet and exercise are all methods that have shown to help reduce swelling linked to lipedema, however, these approaches are not efficient at removing excess fat buildup. At this point in time, the most effective form of treatment for those suffering from lipedema continues to be liposuction. When performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon, liposuction successfully removes fat from troubled areas while eliminating painful symptoms.
The team at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center takes a comprehensive approach to care and new patients considering treatment are encouraged to call and set up an initial consultation at no cost. This preliminary meeting is essential for both the patient and attending physician as it allows questions and concerns to be addressed in a comfortable setting. Each treatment plan at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center is put into place with the individual in mind. To that point, a consultation allows for a trusting relationship to begin between patients and physicians as they work together to determine not only a diagnosis, but the best course of action in treating symptoms and conditions in a manner that ensures long-lasting results.
While many patients assume treatment options will be categorized as cosmetic, this isn’t generally the case. Many treatment plans are multi-functional and while they result in cosmetic improvements, they also treat underlying conditions that if left unattended, could result in greater medical complications. Liposuction associated with lipedema is regularly considered a therapeutic solution to a chronic condition. Patients interested in treatment options for lipedema, including manual lymphatic drainage massage should be sure to check with their insurance providers prior to treatment and see if the cost of care could potentially be covered.