Lipedema Diagnosis and Treatment Updates

By December 16, 2021 No Comments

For today, I would like to tell you about an article written by Professor Wollina at the Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden in Germany. It was published in Dermatologic Therapy in 2019. The review article is titled “Lipedema—An update.” In this article, Prof. Wollina discusses some recent advances in lipedema diagnosis and treatment.


Here are some of the key points made in the article:

  • Lipedema has a negative impact on the psychological well-being and self-esteem of those with the disease.
  • Obese patients with lipedema are at risk for obesity-associated lymphedema and will benefit from weight reduction.
  • Even after successful bariatric surgery, it has been documented in patients that lipedema fat does not respond with the overall weight loss.
  • One study found the increased capillary fragility in women with lipedema that can result in easy bruising.
  • The pain in lipedema is a common complaint and can include spontaneous pain, pain on pressure, and the feeling of tension, heaviness, and burning.
  • The most severe impairments result from pain and reduced physical mobility. Dr. Wollina agrees with some other German clinicians that these are the major targets of treatment and not swelling.
  • The most frequent comorbidities or other co-occurring conditions with lipedema are obesity, cardiac disease, thyroid disease, and fibromyalgia. There is a relatively lower incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood cholesterol/triglyceride disturbance in women with lipedema compared to people who are obese.
  • The long-term outcomes of liposuction surgery for lipedema are mixed.  This may still be an option that can be considered for some women with lipedema.

Dr. Wollina urges further research to increase our understanding and awareness of lipedema. This will help in making an early diagnosis which will result in better treatment outcomes.

For more updates on this and other matters regarding lipedema, you may check out Lipedema Simplified’s Flash Briefings, our daily mini-podcast with tips, tools, and helpful research, and other resources pertaining to lipedema.