Lipedema is a loose connective tissue disease affecting the limbs of women, consisting of fatty tissue that is difficult to lose by diet, exercise, or bariatric surgery. Experts estimate that anywhere between 5% and 19% of women are affected by Lipedema, and 16 million women in the United States alone may have it. Unfortunately, the majority of those in the USA may be suffering from symptoms of Lipedema unknowingly, spending the majority of their life misdiagnosed and treated for other conditions instead.
Also referred to as Lipoedema in European countries, this disorder has a variety of symptoms, ranging from generally irritating to aggressively painful. Patients suffer from swollen, sensitive areas, unsightly, bulging and indented skin, and a disproportionately larger lower body. Prior to diagnosis, it’s not uncommon for women with Lipedema to spend decades trying various doctor-recommended diet and exercise plans without any meaningful results or positive changes to quality of life. So, how to reduce lipedema? While there are no comparable studies in the United States to-date, medical publications in Europe demonstrate that Lipedema reduction surgery improves quality of life for women affected by the disease. Additionally, research shows that reduction surgery is the only proven treatment method that serves to provide long-last results to curb progression.
The aim of this study was to collect data from women with lipedema in the USA who have undergone lipedema reduction surgery in the USA to determine if quality of life, pain, and other measures improved after lipedema reduction surgery. Find a summary below, or read the full study here.
Lipedema Reduction Surgery Survey Methods: What did they ask?
The study included a total of 148 women who answered a 166-item questionnaire after going through Lipedema reduction surgery in the United States. The survey asked women about their quality of life and pain levels, and how surgery may or may not have improved in the 3 months following their reduction surgery. Question topics included subjective questions about their body shape (and how they feel about it pre and post surgery), mobility and function of treatment areas, lifestyle, and how surgery affects each of these areas and topics.
Survey Results: What did they find?
Overall, 84% of patients reported an improved quality of life, 86% reported improved or reduction in pain levels, and weight loss occurred across patients in all stages of Lipedema progression by the time they were 3-months post-surgery. While some patients experienced complications, such as growth of loose connective tissue
Some patients experienced post-surgery complications such as the growth of loose connective tissue within and outside treated areas, tissue fibrosis, anemia, blood clots, and lymphedema.
Overall, this study and survey found that women with lipedema noticed significant benefits after lipedema reduction surgery in the USA. Prospective studies are needed to assess benefits and complications after lipedema reduction surgery in the USA to address the experienced complications. Click here and contact us now!
Herbst, Karen & Hansen, Emily & Salinas, Leopoldo & Wright, Thomas & Larson, Ethan & Schwartz, Jaime. (2021). Survey Outcomes of Lipedema Reduction Surgery in the United States. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open. 9. e3553. 10.1097/GOX.0000000000003553.