How Liposuction Can Help Manage Your Lipedema

Weight gain is rarely a welcome development unless it's a medical recommendation. If you find yourself gaining weight that's becoming apparent in certain parts of your body, you may opt to be proactive about the situation, beginning with an exercise plan that targets these specific parts of your body. However, there are some types of weight gain that won't respond to exercise, which many people affected by lipedema have discovered.

Fatty Tissues in the Legs

Lipedema results in an increase in fatty tissues under the skin and affects the legs. Its causes are not entirely understood but are thought to be genetic. Those affected by lipedema have no choice in the matter, and it's not a type of weight gain that can be reversed with exercise and diet. Over time, the legs become noticeably larger, with the skin developing small indentations (a similar appearance to cellulite) and generally looking uneven.

Possible Complications

While the condition doesn't pose a significant risk to a person's health, there can eventually be complications. The type of fat and its location means that lipedema doesn't result in an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease or associated complications. It can have a psychological effect, with many affected people experiencing depression as a result of these uncontrollable changes to their appearance. The physical changes to the legs can sometimes affect mobility, and some itchy, uncomfortable skin conditions may occur on the legs. 

Exercise and Lipedema

During exercise, fat cells are released into the bloodstream and travel to the muscles, which essentially burn them off. The composition of the fat cells associated with lipedema, along with their location under the skin, means that this type of fat is largely unresponsive to exercise, which itself becomes more challenging as the legs expand in size. Managing these fat cells involves a surgical solution.

Liposuction for Lipedema

Liposuction can be an extremely efficient form of treatment for lipedema. Tumescent liposuction is commonly used, and this involves the use of a local anesthetic that allows large amounts of subcutaneous fat to be suctioned out during a session. This method is perhaps more effective in the earlier stages of the condition when the skin still retains more elasticity. This means that the liposuction allows the restoration or normalization of the legs—restoring them to their pre-lipedema appearance. This restoration can be less pronounced in advanced cases, which can result in loose and sagging skin. As your lipedema is technically a chronic condition, the subcutaneous fat cells in your legs will redevelop over time, meaning you may need additional liposuction treatments in the future. 

Although liposuction is often a strictly cosmetic procedure, it has multiple medical applications. And since your lipedema is a medical condition, liposuction may be the most effective tool for keeping the physical changes associated with this condition at bay.

For more information, ask your doctor about liposuction