Lipedema is a condition that causes excess fat to accumulate in the lower part of the body. Lipedema most often involves the buttocks, thighs and calves. The upper arms can also be affected. The condition does not affect the hands or feet. Lipedema is sometimes confused with lymphedema, but these are different conditions. However, lipedema can lead to lymphedema.
What Causes Lipedema?
The exact cause of lipedema is unknown. But the condition runs in families and may be inherited. The condition occurs almost exclusively in women, and usually starts or gets worse at the time of puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Because of this, there is likely a connection to hormones. Lipedema is not caused by obesity but more than half of patients with this condition are overweight or obese. Dieting can cause you to lose weight in your upper body without changing the areas affected by lipedema.
Symptoms of lipedema include:
. Fat build-up in buttocks, thighs, calves, and sometimes the upper arms. Diuretics, elevating your legs and support stockings do not help the affected areas. There is typically no swelling in feet, or hands unless the patient has chronic venous insufficiency or lymphedema.
. As the condition gets worse, lipedema can affect your ability to walk.
. Many patients with lipedema have emotional symptoms, such as being embarrassed, anxious and depressed as the lower part of their body grows larger.
. Over time, as more fat accumulates, it can block the lymphatic pathway. This causes a build-up of fluid called lymph. The condition is known as secondary lymphedema or lipo-lymphedema.
Many people with lipedema find it difficult and embarrassing to discuss their symptoms with their doctor, but as Lipedema is often a progressive condition it is important to obtain an early diagnosis so doctors and patients can work together to prevent symptoms getting any worse.
Symptoms are often mis-diagnosed for lymphoedema or obesity and if left undiagnosed lipedema can develop into lipo-lymphoedema.
A number of factors are taken into consideration when making a diagnosis of Lipedema:
. Disproportionately larger/fatter legs and hips compared to the upper body
. Swelling is symmetrical (both sides of the body are affected equally)
. Hands and feet are not affected
. Loose, floppy connective tissues around the knee joints
. Fat that looks like cellulite and feels soft
. Tenderness/pain and easy or spontaneous bruising to affected areas
. Skin of affected areas may be pale and cold
. Upper arms may also be disproportionately fatter
. Patients may report increased swelling in hot weather
About Iranian Surgery
Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best surgeons and specialists in Iran. The price of lipedema treatment in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined by an in-person assessment with the doctor.
For more information about the cost of lipedema treatment in Iran and to schedule an appointment in advance, you can contact Iranian Surgery consultants via WhatsApp number 0098 901 929 0946. This service is completely free.