June is on its way, and that means Lipedema Awareness Month is almost here! As such, at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center, we would like to give you some important information about this medical condition.
What is Lipedema?
Lipedema is a progressive medical disease that causes large disproportionate swollen fat deposits to occur, usually in the legs and arms. It is called disproportionate because the fat accumulation is greater in the affected arms or legs than it is in other parts of the body. Should lipedema be allowed to worsen it can cause the limbs to feel heavy and become painful. The limbs can also bruise more easily.
While the exact cause of this condition is not known, it is thought to be hereditary in nature. While it usually occurs in women, it can occasionally occur in men. Often hormones can play a role in the development of lipedema and may start as early as puberty. It should be noted that lipedema can happen in people of any size — from the extremely obese to those who are extremely thin.
Signs and Symptoms of Lipedema
In the early stages, this condition may have no signs or symptoms. Often, in its earliest stages it looks very similar to cellulite. As it progresses it can become more disproportionate and lumpier, and patients may feel pressure or a hypersensitivity to touch. The fat deposits can also affect mobility.
One of the most effective treatments for lipedema is combined decongestive therapy (CDT). The main part of CDT is manual lymphatic drainage, which entails a course of light massage using a pump and scoop motion toward the heart. This massage is often combined with compression wraps and garments, which will also reduce pressure and swelling.
The tumescent liposuction procedure can also be used to treat lipedema. This procedure will return balance to the proportion of the affected limbs, and it will also reduce and/or eliminate symptoms. After liposuction, patients will need to continue decongestive therapy to maintain results — however, to a lesser degree than as a primary therapy.
At Laser Lipo and Vein Center, Dr. Thomas Wright and his staff understand how uncomfortable this condition can be, as well as unattractive. If you are concerned about lipedema or need help with its symptoms, please give us a call. We are experienced and knowledgeable vein specialists and will help you alleviate those signs and symptoms, as well as returning your look back to a slimmer figure.