Here’s What’s Behind the Rise in Lipedema Procedures

group of women showing their legs

Have you recently received a lipedema diagnosis? Whether it’s been confirmed or you simply suspect that you may have lipedema, you may have noticed that procedures to treat the condition have increased lately. That’s largely because we now understand more about the condition and are better able to identify and treat it. With that enhanced understanding comes a series of new lipedema procedures that can bring relief and self-confidence to anyone who experiences the condition. Today, we’re going to explain why lipedema diagnoses are on the rise and how Dr. Salameh can help.

An Improved Understanding

Plastic surgeons today understand more about lipedema thanks to years of research and study. Dr. Salameh and the expert staff at Salameh Plastic Surgery have the knowledge and experience to identify lipedema. Once you have a lipedema diagnosis, they can then present you with options to improve the condition as much as possible, such as plastic surgery procedures.

When you have lipedema, you experience an accumulation of fat in your lower body. Typically, the condition creates excess amounts of fat in your calves, thighs, and butt. Some patients will also see the effects of lipedema in their upper arms. Most patients are women, who are diagnosed with the condition much more often than men. Approximately 11% of all women may deal with lipedema in their lifetimes.

Although we don’t know the exact cause of lipedema, the medical community has several ideas. It’s likely that women’s hormones have a significant role in the development of the condition, which tends to occur at major hormonal milestones: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. It can also occur after a gynecologic surgery.

As researchers and medical professionals learn more about lipedema, they begin to understand how to diagnose it more quickly and treat it more effectively.

Lipedema vs. Obesity

It’s not uncommon to mistake lipedema for obesity. The confusion is understandable, as they present in similar ways, and some of the same procedures can be used to treat both conditions. For instance, liposuction is a possible lipedema procedure, and it’s also a sought-after procedure to trim down fat in certain body parts.

Once you delve into lipedema and how it presents, however, it’s easier to pinpoint the differences between it and obesity. Lipedema is categorized by excess fat, but it doesn’t usually extend past the lower body, unless it happens to present in the upper arms, as well. In obese individuals, fat cells are spread out all over the body, affecting the hips, stomach, breasts, and back, as well.

Your plastic surgeon can assess your issues to determine an effective treatment plan. It may be helpful to consult with a plastic surgeon after talking to a general practitioner or your personal care physician. Dr. Salameh would be delighted to work with you to come up with a helpful course of treatment.

Lipedema vs. Cellulite

Lipedema may also be mistaken for cellulite. That’s because they change the look and feel of the skin in similar ways. Like cellulite, lipedema can cause the skin to appear lumpy and uneven, with characteristic dimples of fat. They even occur in the same areas — the buttocks and thighs. Cellulite is a cosmetic issue whereas lipedema is a medical problem. It’s important to receive a qualified lipedema diagnosis, as the treatments for the conditions differ vastly.

Cellulite may resemble excess fat, but it actually involves the distribution of fat and the amount of collagen keeping it tethered. It can show up regardless of your weight. Topical creams, ointments, and lotions can be helpful in treating cellulite, but there are medical procedures that can make a difference, as well. You can talk to your plastic surgeon about laser procedures that target fat cells, precise tissue release, and other therapies. Laser treatments offer minimal downtime and recovery time, stimulating the body’s natural healing processes to improve many skin conditions with little discomfort.

An Increase in Procedures and Treatments

Lipedema is still something of a mystery, but we’ve nevertheless come a long way when it comes to lipedema procedures. Your plastic surgeon may suggest a lymphatic drainage massage, which involves manual massage that will allow lymph to flow more freely around any areas that are blocked. The lymph can then drain straight into your venous system the way it is meant to do, which can relieve pain associated with a condition.

Compression is another possible treatment. Your plastic surgeon may recommend compression shorts or tight-fitting spandex shorts that will target the tissue in your legs, increasing pressure and decreasing the risk of fluid buildup. Specially fitted pantyhose can fulfill the same function, as can compression socks, which are especially helpful for the ankles and calves.

Liposuction is a lipedema procedure that’s growing in popularity. It can remove fatty tissue and relieve pressure on the affected areas. Depending on the level of your lipedema, you may need to experience a few liposuction procedures.

Once you have a lipedema diagnosis, you can begin to take the necessary steps to treat the condition. Dr. Salameh has experience in treating lipedema through customized power-assisted liposuction (PAL), tumescent assisted liposuction (TAL), and safe liposuction using MicroAire. Get in touch with us today to discuss your options and change your life.

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