Over 10% of women are affected by Lipedema. This is a condition that occurs when fatty deposits are distributed unevenly under the skin. These deposits generally settle in the lower half of the body either around the hips, thighs or buttocks. Even though it is only a cosmetic problem for many women, the condition can eventually cause physical pain along with other issues. It can also be mistaken for other health conditions like lymphedema or obesity.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are an extremely larger lower half than upper half of the body, and the legs can resemble columns. The legs may also be very tender to the touch and easily bruised. For example, a woman may notice that she wears a size 10 blouse, but she needs a size 18 pants.
Over time, the fatty deposits continue to grow and the lower part of the body becomes heavier. The fat cells can then travel up to the arms.
As the condition continues to progress, the fat cells begin to block the small vessels of the lymphatic system. The normal balance of bodily fluids help to protect the body against different infections. When these blockages prevent the lymph fluid from properly draining, a fluid build-up, or lymphedema, can occur.
If the condition is not treated with liposuction, it can lead to other medical issues like fibrosis, skin hardening in the legs and a delay in wound healing. Visit Lipedema.net for more information.
What Causes Lipedema?
Medical experts are not certain of the exact cause; however, doctors believe that female hormones play a key role. This is believed because the condition mainly affects women and it typically begins during puberty or pregnancy. It can also occur during menopause.
There is a theory that genes can also play a role in the condition. Many women in the same family can all suffer with the condition.
Even though there is currently not a cure for this medical condition, the best treatment by far, and the one that can help women see immediate results is liposuction. Tumescent liposuction and water assisted liposuction can help to remove the fat underneath the epidermis. A hollow tube is placed under the layer of skin to help suction the fat tissue away. Depending on how much abnormal fat is under the skin, the patient may need to undergo several sessions.
After the patient is given local anesthesia, the cannula, or tube, is introduced into the fatty tissue. This tissue is then irrigated and suctioned to loosen the cells from the body. Any fluid that remains is also removed.
The procedure is considered to be minimally invasive, and the patient is left with little swelling or bruising. Recovery is often very quick because there is not a lot of trauma done to the body.
Liposuction is optimal for lipedema patients who have been deemed to be in great physical shape. Patients who are not looking for liposuction as a weight loss aid are also considered good candidates for the procedure.