Liposuction for lipoedema

Liposuction is the best way to treat lipedema. There are other methods to temporarily ease the misery of having excess fat tissue in the legs and thigh, but nothing removes the amount of cells or gives the same level of relief as liposuction for lipedema.

Lipedema explained

Lipedema is a real medical condition that is often confused with lymphedema and obesity due to being categorised as a problem of having too much fat below the waist. It is a very different problem however, and in no way the fault of the individual; dieting and exercising won’t get rid of lipedema. Only liposuction can help.

Lipedema essentially means “fluid in fat”, and is known as a painful fat disorder. Lipedema causes excessive fat deposits on the legs, thighs and buttocks and upper arms.

Lipedema is almost exclusively limited to women, and usually appears around the time they experience their first period, during pregnancy or near to menopause.

Is lipedema like cellulite?

Essentially, the difference between cellulite and lipedema comes down to the definition of medical problems. Lipedema is a genuine medical condition, whereas cellulite is merely an undesirable physical affliction that can impact anyone.

There is a connection, in that lipedema sufferers can show signs of cellulite, but they are not the same. Around 90% of women have reported cellulite on their bodies, but only around 10% of women ever suffer lipedema.

The dimpled, lumpy appearance on the skin (typically around the thighs and buttocks) is a sign of cellulite, which is caused by fat deposits pushing through the connective tissue beneath the surface of the skin. It can appear whether you have spare fat on your body or not. Lipedema is a disorder characterized by enlarged legs, hips or buttocks and is generally symmetrical in appearance.

Telltale signs of lipedema

In extreme outlier cases, it can affect men, and can sometimes appear on the arms, causing “fat pads” to appear buffering the elbows and wrists. For the most part, lipedema appears in women only and is limited to legs, thighs and buttocks.

Although doctors first identified lipedema in the 1940s, it is still a little known condition. Given it was confused with obesity or lymphedema (which affects almost any part of the body and leaves an indent when pressed), health specialists often prescribed dieting and lifestyle changes, but sadly lipedema will not go away with exercise.

At the surgery we are often asked questions like ‘Can lipedema go away with exercise?’ or ‘Will dieting help cure lipedema?’ but unfortunately the answer is no. Over the decades the only treatment shown to have any impact is liposuction for lipedema.

Where fat can be lost through dieting in obese and overweight individuals, this is not possible for lipedema sufferers. Lipedema is the result of expanding fat cells that block vessels inside the body which contribute to returning fluid to the bloodstream. As a result, the drainage of lymph fluid is blocked, and no amount of dieting or lifestyle changes will make a difference.

What is liposuction?

Although the problems associated with lipedema are complex, the solution is straightforward. Liposuction for lipedema is the only way for sufferers to get rid of the fat deposits and regain control of their lives.

‘But how does liposuction work? Isn’t it just for celebrities?’ are also questions we often face! No, liposuction is for anyone who needs it! There are just as many myths about liposuction today, and at clinic we spend a large part of our time educating people about the benefits of liposuction and how the procedure has evolved over time.

Many people choose cosmetic surgery to make small changes to their appearance, to make themselves appear thinner, or to reduce signs of ageing.

Liposuction for lipedema is a little different to those kinds of procedures as it is less about altering the body shape of someone who has used diet and exercise to get to a point they cannot physically change their appearance any more. Liposuction is a personal choice, and we are here to listen and walk anyone who wants to know more about liposuction through the process.

How does liposuction work?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure whereby fat is sucked from specific parts of the body through tiny tubes. Liposuction can also shape problem areas of the body, hence why it is also called body contouring.

Removing the fatty cells permanently requires surgery, and liposuction will result in an immediate reduction in the size of the affected limbs.

Is liposuction permanent?

For the large majority of people, liposuction is permanent when used to help treat lipedema. There are a very small number of cases where the fat cells have returned, due to a genetic issue with the patient, but overwhelmingly once the surgery is performed the fatty cells are gone forever.

Due to lipedema’s pathology, when the fat is removed and the skin is improved, however, the underlying cause which triggered the accumulation of cells still exists in the body. Nonetheless, removing the visual signs of the disease and the accompanying fat deposits can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.

Are there different kinds of liposuction?

There are different kinds of liposuction, and the safest and most advanced form of the procedure is available at the Hunar Clinic. Thankfully, the days of general anaesthetic and overnight hospital stays are long gone.

Microcannular liposuction, known as the tumescent technique (or Microlipo), is a local anaesthetic procedure using tiny tubes that has a dramatic effect on lipedema. The procedure is so effective the individual is always out of the clinic just a few hours later. Medical journals indicate microlipo is overwhelmingly the best option when considering liposuction for lipedema due to its minimally invasive technique and its record of safety and results.

Dr Puneet Gupta is one of a select few doctors in the UK and Europe to offer both Vaserlipo and Microlipo’. He was trained extensively in the art of Microlipo by the American inventor of the procedure, Dr Jeffrey Klein, and has performed thousands of successful procedures.

Google ‘Dr Puneet Gupta’ and you’ll find an almost endless list of news articles written about his success in the field. Anyone researching liposuction for lipedema will soon see there’s the Hunar Clinic, and below them everyone else.

How does Microlipo work?

Microlipo is a pioneering fat removal procedure performed under local anaesthetic. It requires next to no recovery time and leaves no scarring. It is one of the safest and most advanced lipo techniques performed.

A mix of pain-reliever lidocaine and epinephrine, which shrinks blood vessels and minimizes bleeding, is first injected under the skin. This causes tissue to become very swollen and firm, or “tumescent”. It is then easier to separate the fat tissue from other tissue and remove it.

Tiny cannulas are then inserted into the body to suck out the swollen fat cells. The incision holes are so small once the excess fluid leaks out following surgery an absorbent bandage is applied for a short period. People are often amazed at the fact there is almost never any blood leakage from the surgery.

Liposuction recovery

One of the main advantages of Microlipo is the minimal recovery time. Most individuals are out and home again within a few hours, and going about their life again within a few days.

Open drainage minimises bruising as the incisions made are so small that they do not require suturing. As the residual solution drains out over 2-3 days, by not sealing the incisions it reduces bruising and swelling and hastens healing. Bruising is minimal as tumescent liposuction reduces the amount of blood left under the skin.

How many liposuction treatments do I need for lipedema?

That depends on each individual, and something the Hunar Clinic will discuss with you during the initial consultations. It will depend on how much fat there is to remove. As microlipo does not involve general anaesthesia there is less for the liver to metabolise and recovery times are much, much faster, meaning more surgeries can be done if necessary with very little risk involved.

Lipoedema, Microlipo

Guide To Microcannular Liposuction

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