lipedema treatment

Insightful Findings from the Swiss-German Lipedema Study

By February 29, 2024 June 22nd, 2024 No Comments
key findings from the swiss-german lipedema study

Insightful Findings from the Swiss-German Lipedema Study

Hi everyone, it’s Leslyn Keith again with another captivating Research Update. Today, I’m excited to share a remarkable study titled “New Insights on Lipedema: The Enigmatic Disease of the Peripheral Fat” by lead author Anna-Theresa Bauer, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in December 2019. This research, conducted by surgeons from Switzerland and Germany, offers valuable insights into lipedema, particularly in patients with stage 2 lipedema.

Study Overview: Focus on Stage 2 Lipedema

The study delved into the experiences of over 200 women with stage 2 lipedema, both before and after undergoing liposuction. On average, these women participated in the study one year post-surgery. Let’s see how their experiences align with what we know about lipedema.

Participant Demographics

The age range of respondents was quite broad, spanning from 20 to 68 years, with a median age of 38. The onset of lipedema symptoms varied, with most first noticing them at an average age of 16 years old.

Time to Diagnosis: A Concerning Gap

A striking aspect of the study was the prolonged time to diagnosis:

  • On average, it took 14 years for 43% of the women to be diagnosed.
  • One woman waited as long as 59 years for a diagnosis.

Comorbidities: Beyond Lipedema

The study also revealed a higher prevalence of certain conditions among women with lipedema compared to the general population:

  • 36% experienced hypothyroidism.
  • 23% battled depression.
  • 22% suffered from migraines.

In contrast, conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension were less common in these women than in those with obesity.

Surgical Interventions: A Path to Relief

On average, participants in this study underwent three surgeries for lipedema. Many reported significant improvements post-surgery, including:

  • Reduction in pain
  • Less swelling
  • Decreased tenderness
  • Less frequent bruising
  • Decreased frequency and intensity of migraines

Pain Relief: A Promising Outcome

Remarkably, although 81% of the women had severe pain before surgery, almost all of them (97%) experienced significant pain reduction afterward.

Concluding Thoughts

This study not only highlights the long wait for a diagnosis that many women with lipedema face, but also the frequency of other conditions they experience like hypothyroidism and depression. The potential positive outcomes post-liposuction emphasize the need for awareness and access to timely interventions in lipedema management.

Stay Informed and Proactive:

  1. Early Detection: Seek medical advice if you suspect lipedema symptoms.
  2. Comprehensive Care: Address comorbid conditions alongside lipedema treatment.
  3. Consider Non-surgical and Surgical Options: Discuss the potential benefits of non-invasive treatments as well as liposuction with your healthcare provider.

 Stay tuned for more research updates that help us better understand and manage lipedema. Don’t forget to subscribe to our daily Flash Briefings for more tips, tools, and research on managing lipedema. You can find us on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Alexa, or at

~Leslyn Keith, OTD, CLT-LANA
Board President, Director of Research | The Lipedema Project

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