Lipoedema? Questions to PD Dr. Mathias Tremp
Lipedema is a common fat distribution disorder and affects about 10% of women. Typically, the legs are affected by a disproportionate accumulation of fatty tissue. There is often a feeling of tension and the fat accumulation does not change with weight loss. Stress or hormonal changes can increase the lipedema. In the advanced stages, pain and bruising are common. The treatment of lipedema is very effective and involves a holistic approach.
What is the cause of lipedema?
Although the lipedema was already described in 1940, very little is known today about the cause. Typically, the fatty tissue is painful and the patients are often psychologically very stressed by the lipedema. Triggers are stress or hormonal changes, and lipedema often begins in the 3rd decade of life.
Can lipoedema improve through weight loss?
Although overweight can increase the lipedema, the fat distribution disorder cannot be influenced compared to diet and weight loss. On the contrary, the stress of weight loss can increase the lipoedema.
How does the lipedema present itself?
Characteristic is an involvement of the legs and thus leads to a dysproportional body image. The arms can be affected up to 30%. This is in contrast to general overweight, where fat accumulation is proportional. Typically there is a pressure pain and a tendency to bruising due to the so-called "micoangiopathy" (= disease of the small blood vessels).
What is the difference between lipedema and lymphedema?
Typically, the feet and hands are not affected by lipedema. In the late stage of lipedema, lymphedema may also occur. The edema in lymphedema can be reduced by compression therapy, but less so in lipedema. Patients with lymphedema have less pain, but infections are more frequent.
How is the lipedema treated?
Non-surgical treatment includes compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, exercise therapy (Aquafit), skin care and nutritional advice. Drugs can have a complementary effect.
The surgical treatment of choice is the suction of the affected fatty tissue with the vibration technique (power-assisted liposuction, MicroAire PAL device).
This device is very effective and protects the lymph vessels. The liposuction reduces pain, improves the quality of life and improves the gait pattern.
What is the aftercare after liposuction?
Compression therapy after surgical treatment is very important, together with a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Does the health insurance pay for the treatment?
Unfortunately, it is still the case today that the health insurance hardly covers the treatment, although the treatment is more reconstructive than aesthetic. This can be checked individually, but the conditions for cost coverage are very strict.
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