Unfortunately, the industry for lipedema treatment is constantly brought into the media spotlight with numerous cases where treatment has been denied to patients in need. Lipedema is a difficult condition to diagnose and many patients have been mistakenly misdiagnosed. Los Angeles law firm Gianelli & Morris has been dealing with lipedema cases for years and recently filed a lawsuit in their California home city. The case is filed against Kaiser Foundation Health over a potential breach of contract where a patient was denied a surgical treatment needed for their lipedema.
The plaintiff involved in the case was seeking liposuction to reduce the impact of lipedema symptoms. Kaiser Foundation Health claimed to not have physicians on their recommended list that have experience with the procedure. Kaiser not only denied the requested treatment, but also any form of financial compensation for the patient to choose a qualified doctor.
Kaiser Foundation Health is one of many medical companies that do not see liposuction for lipedema as a qualified treatment to cover. Many of these firms see liposuction for lipedema as experimental treatment or one used for only cosmetic purposes. The lawsuit points out several studies completed at Stanford University Medical Center and other research institutions that identify the benefits liposuction for lipedema can offer. These studies also identify that liposuction for lipedema is completely safe and effective for patients.
The law firm of Gianelli & Morris has successfully represented past cases of patients being denied treatment for lipedema. Robert Gianelli is committed to making sure victims of lipedema receive the care they need. Details of this case have discovered that Kaiser referred the plaintiff to a physician who does not recognize lipedema for diagnosis. Hopefully, the results of the case from Gianelli & Morris will make it easier for patients to receive lipedema treatment.
Getting a proper diagnosis of lipedema can be difficult. There are not many physicians who not only recognize the disease but also can rule out confounding diagnoses such as lymphedema secondary to venous insufficiency with a Doppler venous ultrasound. People can look at pictures or Skype, but an expert diagnosis always requires a very thorough clinical exam. Only with a clinical exam of the patient can a properly trained doctor rule out other types of secondary lymphedema and other fat disorders. You should be suspicious of doctors who claim they can diagnose lipedema over Skype. The exam is always covered by medical insurance. The exam and diagnosis are important first steps in getting the proper treatment and they also help build a case if you decide to try to get insurance coverage for your lipedema treatment.
Lipedema treatment requires a team. All the published guidelines recommend treatment should start with compression garments and lymphedema therapy. If the non-surgical treatments such as compression and lymphedema therapy do not give adequate relief, patients should consider lymph sparing liposuction with an experienced surgeon who takes great care not injure the lymphatics. Done properly, this specialized type of liposuction can give relief and improve function and mechanics of the legs. The surgery can be expensive, and unfortunately, as the Kaiser case above illustrates, in some cases patients may have to use legal remedies to get their medical insurance company to cover the needed care.
For a proper diagnosis of lipedema and a level of care you can trust, contact the Laser Lipo and Veins Center. Dr. Wright and his experienced team are well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of lipedema and can provide the relief you seek.