What is lipedema?

Lipedema is a chronic disease of the subcutaneous fatty tissue that is still largely unknown and often overlooked by doctors. It is partly hereditary, but its causes are not yet fully understood. 

Causes and symptoms of lipedema

Currently doctors and researchers assume that the causes are hormone-related. The female hormone oestrogen might cause fat cells in women to multiply and enlarge. In 85 percent of all cases, lipedema starts in puberty due to the hormonal changes and often gets worse during pregnancy.

Those affected show a strong tendency to bruising, which is caused by an increased fragility of the blood vessels. As a result, the permeability of the vessel walls increases and more lymph fluid enters the surrounding tissue. The excess fluid can no longer be transported by the healthy lymph vessel system, which leads to the development of a typical feeling of pressure and tension. The constant proliferation of fat cells is a cause for an oxygen deficiency in the tissue. As a result, an inflammatory process is set in motion, which leads to further tissue damage and pain.

So far, the scientific evidence for the occurrence of lipedema has only been provided for the legs and arms.Lipoedema has not yet been confirmed in the abdomen or other areas. In addition to the buttocks and hips, the legs and thighs are also most frequently affected by lipedema, adding up to 97 percent of the cases. In 31 percent of the cases, the arms also show typical symptoms of lipedema. According to our experience, even in a symptom-free state, the arms could have a predisposition toward lipedema. With the course of time they can develop a state requiring surgery. The manifestation of the disease in the arms is often less pronounced or only becomes apparent as he disease progresses.

Affected persons diagnosed during puberty often suffer considerably not only from the physical effects of lipedema, but also from psychological ones. Lipedema does not or hardly react to attempts of weight loss through sport, healthy nutrition or diet. This circumstance considerably increases the frustration of those affected.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Dr. Falk-Christian Heck first came into contact with a previously unknown disease – lipedema. The clinical picture of the affected women was met with neither acceptance nor understanding by the doctors. Even today, in many cases lipedema is still misdiagnosed as overweight or obesity (adiposity). The disease often remains undetected for a long time. Those affected suffer from shame, self-reproach and frustration.

As an experienced surgeon, Dr. Heck developed a completely new and sustainably effective surgical method, the lipedema surgery (lipo-decompression), which

  • stops the lipedema
  • is a pain-free surgery
  • eliminates the need for compression garments
  • improves the quality of life

These are still our goals today at the LipoClinic!


What does pain feel like with lipedema

Which doctor can diagnose lipedema?

Why is MLD so important for lipedema?

Flat-knitted compression garment for lipedema? Part 1

Flat-knitted compression garment for lipedema? Part 2

Flat-knitted or circular-knitted compression garments for lipedema?

Lipedema & Pregnancy

Lipedema & Sport

Costs of a lipedema liposuction

Since September 2019, health insurance companies have been covering the costs of medical liposuctions for very severe stage III cases. However, patients must meet certain requirements to obtain a coverage by the health insurance. Each patient is different and the treatment at the LipoClinic is individually tailored. The costs for a lipedema surgery therefore depends on the complexity of the surgery and the aftercare required.

We are here for you! You can gladly call us at +49 208 44475981 or contact us by filling out our contact form.

If you decide to proceed with the treatment at the LipoClinic, we kindly ask you to consider the following:

  • You need a flat-knitted custom-made compression garment in compression class 2. This can be prescribed by your phlebologist or family doctor.
  • For treatment, a diagnosis for lipedema must be provided in a written form by an external specialist for lipedema (e.g. a phlebologist or lymphologist)
  • For reasons of anaesthesia eligibility, your body weight should be below 130kg. If your weight is higher, we will be happy to advise you on alternative approaches.

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