Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lipedema Surgery Before And After

Tell Me More About Lipedema

Lipedema Treatment | Visage Clinic Toronto

The cause of lipedema is currently unknown. Exacerbations of lipedema occur typically during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. Some lipedema patients inherit this disorder from their family, while other patients develop this disorder after surgery or trauma. Lipedema patients have a difficult time managing the size of their affected areas even with exercise, weight loss, physical therapy or bariatric surgery. In short, unlike other fat, the pathologic fat in lipedema patients responds poorly to standard weight loss.

In lipedema patients, fat distributes differently than other, normal fat. Lipedema fatty accumulations often resemble tumors and can be quite painful to the touch. The fat mainly deposits on the insides of the legs and knees, causing pain when the legs touch and rub together. This causes the legs to be pushed further and further out during walking, causing eventual damage to the knees and ankles, with significant wear on the insides of the feet and shoes. Lipedema symptoms can worsen over time.

Am I Candidate For Lipedema Surgery

Patients with an abnormal accumulation of fat in specific areas of the body option such as calves, legs, thighs, hips, trunk, and arms might suffer from Lipedema. The sign and symptoms of lipedema include:

  • Symmetric enlargement of both legs bilaterally between the hips and ankles
  • A disproportion of legs in comparison to the knees, the disproportion of hips, stomach, or buttocks
  • Legs and thighs with easy bruising
  • Pain in the ankles, legs, buttocks, or thighs
  • The fat that accumulates and pushes over the knees
  • The fat accumulates over the legs and thighs even when there has been extreme weight loss in the upper body. This is especially true in post-bariatric surgery patients who have had a sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap-band.

What Type Of Lipo Is Best

There are claims that water-assisted liposuction and VASER-assisted liposuction are better for lipedema treatment than other types of liposuction. Unfortunately, the are no well done medical studies to show that this is true. Moreover, there is much misinformation on the internet about which technique is best. Dr. Gutowski has been treating lipedema patients since 2001 and has used traditional tumescent liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, VASER liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, water-assisted liposuction, and laser-assisted liposuction . Based on his experience with over 250 lipedema patients, he has found that power-assisted liposuction gives the best results. While the power may sound like it can cause more tissue damage, it is actually the opposite and is usually more gentle when done by an experienced plastic surgeon. The PAL technique uses a small liposuction tube which has small vibrations at the tip. This breaks up the fat cells but does not injure nerves, blood vessels, or lymphatic vessels. Since the vibrating tip breaks up the fat, the cannula can be moved in and out through the tissue more gently than with other techniques. Because PAL is more efficient, more fat can be removed in less time compared to other techniques, resulting in lower surgery costs. In fact, the only medical study that demonstrated good the long-term results after lipedema treatment used PAL for fat removal.

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Risks And Possible Complications

After each liposuction, patients develop bruises on the skin , swelling and pain in the treated areas. All of these three surgical side effects can vary from patient to patient and generally resolve completely within 3-4 weeks. The pain sensation is different for each patient, usually the symptoms after the operation are comparable to the pain after a severe bruise. The risks and possible complications after liposuction include inflammation, bleeding, which can lead to high blood loss, the development of thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, an allergic reaction to medication or cosmetic impairments due to the formation of dents and irregularities on the skin.

Before deciding on liposuction, you should weigh the benefits against the risks described above and possible complications. With a good selection of patients and in the hands of experienced surgeon, the complications described above occur extremely rarely. When making a decision, however, you should consider that any operation or medical treatment is associated with risks and these cannot be completely ruled out.

Life After Lipedema Surgery


As I sit here today, I find myself in a funny limbo in regards to living with my lipedema. The already-treated areas of my legs are doing great! No bruising, no swelling, and no sensitivity at all. In fact, my thighs even feel different to the touch the remaining fat is soft and fluffy something Ive never experienced before. The only fat Ive ever encountered has been dominated by my lipedema fat firm or tight, bulging, and sore.

But because Im mid-treatment overall, the remaining areas of my body are still very much experiencing the pain of lipedema. The tops of my legs are great, and the bottom of my legs are struggling. My arms and abdomen are progressing and gaining more fluid and lipedema fat. As I work out, I get excited to see small changes in my thighs and depressed seeing no changes in the other parts of my body. When I bump into something with my calf and I get a pang of pain, I get angry and then grateful when I realize I cant remember the last time I felt that in my thighs. Its so many mental and physical feelings and changes all at once!

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Meet Our Plastic Surgeons

Salameh Plastic Surgery Center is a plastic surgery center dedicated to effective, natural-looking results for every patient. As a double-board certified plastic surgeon and graduate of both Vanderbilt & Yale, Dr. Bernard Salameh combines both a passion for his field with innovative techniques to benefit his patients. With an integrative approach to every procedure, our plastic surgeons use modern plastic surgery best practices and years of experience to create customized treatment plans made to reach each patients goals while giving the most natural, anatomically proportional outcomes.Dr. Salim Saba is double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Saba trained at the top-rated plastic surgery programs at The University of California San Diego and The University of Texas Southwestern. He has previously honed his skills at several major hospitals in New York City, and he put his skills to charitable use working with a non-profit during his five-year tenure at the American University of Beirut. Dr. Sabas approach to plastic surgery is deeply patient-centered his philosophy can best be expressed by the statement hes most known for: I will regard and treat you in the operating room and thereafter, as I treat my family and closest friends.

How Can I Help You

As I move into my next three surgeries, Im sure Ill have more updates! But until then, what questions do you have about my lipedema journey or the general process for getting treatment? Leave a comment or contact Dr. Wright and his team, and wed be more than happy to put together more resources for you! Were all in this together!

All the best,

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Getting Ready For Lipedema Surgery

I arrived at promptly at 8:00am to sign my papers and pay my final payment before surgery. Once my payment went through I was brought to my private room to change out of my street clothes and into muslin-like, disposable shirt, panties and slippers.

Tip: Id recommend unpacking what you need and placing it within arm’s distance so that when you get back to your private room from surgery you have everything close to you.

I was led into a room that looked like something out of a sci fi movie – white, sterile, with a hospital bed in the middle. In the room was my amazing anaesthetist and a nurse. I sat on the edge of the operating bed and, while we waited for Dr. Nowicka to arrive, I had my measurements checked and was given a description of what was to come.

The surgeon will be coming shortly. Shes going to take pictures of you for your files and then well get you all set up for surgery.

Dr. Nowicka breezed in, looking fabulous. Gave me one of her big smiles and told me we were going to take before photos. I stood up against a wall, wearing my muslin outfit, and followed instructions to how to stand, how to hold my arms and where to place my feet.

Once photos were taken, I got back on to the operating bed and intravenous was done on my right arm and I was given an antibiotic, anti-nausea meds, then the anesthetic. The anaesthetist used the twilight technique, which would sedate me but allow me to be conscious so the doctor could instruct me to move my body as needed.

What Are The Symptoms Of Lipedema

Campaigners call for more help on the NHS for painful Lipoedema | ITV News

Symptoms of lipedema can include:

  • Symmetrical presence of excess fat on the legs and arms
  • Unusual skin dimpling and texture
  • Leg fat is not proportional to the rest of the body
  • Swelling of the body, usually in the legs
  • Larger skin folds at knee and elbow joints
  • Stabbing pain, joint pain, and pressure sensitivity
  • Difficulty with movement in the affected area
  • Unexplained skin bruising
  • Ankle pronation

Lipedema impacts the lymphatic system. This system is responsible for balancing and maintaining fluid levels around the body that, in turn, help fight infections. One of the most significant indicators of lipedema is a larger, more disproportionate lower body appearance. However, its more than just having a pear-shaped silhouette. In more severe cases, weighty tissue sags from anatomical features, hanging prominently from areas such as above the knee joint. These abnormal areas of fat can put tremendous strain on the rest of the body, causing chafing, bruising, and pain.

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Why Is So Little Known About Lipedema

Lipedema is frequently misdiagnosed. It is part of a family of medical conditions that are difficult for physicians to differentiate from obesity. Like many conditions, there is no single test that can confirm the presence of lipedema. Instead, doctors use a number of physical symptoms such as abnormal skin rippling and disproportionate accumulations of fat, particularly in the legs, to establish a diagnosis. Research is continuing to identify the unique biological markers for the disease, which could include both genetic and hormonal components.

Caras Lipedema Surgery Story

As Cara discusses in her advocacy work, lipedema impacts one in nine women. Thats the same statistic as breast cancer, yet theres no comparison with the amount of public education and funding breast cancer receives compared to lipedema.

Getting Diagnosed with Lipedema

Looking back, Cara thinks she started developing lipedema around eight or nine.

Cara had an injury to her left leg during her senior year of high school and developed lymphedema.

During her pregnancy with her son, she finally received a lymphedema diagnosis and treatment around eight years later.

But it didnt come easy she had to fight with her primary care physician. Cara shares, The PCP that I saw at the time told me that I was just fat, and I said, one leg fatter than the other.

Cara pushed for a referral to a lymphedema wrapping clinic, and when she went into the clinic, she was the worst they had ever seen. So, she immediately received treatment for lymphedema and started wearing compression garments.

Four years passed, and a physical therapist told her she also had lipedema when she went for a new compression wrap. At that moment, so many puzzle pieces started to come together, from having a pear-shaped body to her inability to lose weight.

While Cara believes she started developing lipedema before puberty, it wasnt until she was thirty that someone mentioned her condition. And it was at this time that she started sharing her story via Instagram.

Getting Lipedema Surgery

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Finding Out More About What To Expect

The best way to find out more about what to expect from lipedema surgery is to contact Artlipo. Our expert team can offer you advice and answer your questions. We can also arrange your consultation with our resident expert, Dr. Su. You can also view our gallery of lipedema surgery before and after shots. This should give you a good idea of the results you can expect to achieve after surgery.

What Am I Looking For In Lipedema Surgery Before And After Photos


If youve received a lipedema diagnosis, you may be considering surgical options. If so, you need to know what to expect of lipedema surgery before and after the procedure. One way to give yourself a better idea is to look at before and after photos. The best cosmetic surgeons will put images on their websites for prospective patients to see. However, how do you know what to look for in these images? Here, the Artlipo team gives you expert advice about what to look for when viewing these photos.

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What Is Lipedema Surgery

Doctors prescribe conservative therapies to many women diagnosed with lipedema. Yet, for many women, these are ineffective and intrusive. Having to wear compression garments routinely and having regular massage therapies can be hard work. This the reason many sufferers look for an alternative solution, and lipedema surgery is often it.

Yet, it surprises many women to discover that lipedema surgery is liposuction. While seen mainly as a cosmetic procedure, liposuction serves medical purposes, too. In the case of lipedema, lipo permanently removes the fat cells. This reduces the swelling, restores a more proportional appearance to the limbs, and reduces pain.

It is important, though, for anyone considering lipedema surgery to know what to expect.

Pain During And After Surgeries

Lipedema patients experience a significant amount of discomfort, pain and numbness prior to surgery, and are relieved to hear liposuction greatly improves their pain, or eliminates it completely. A vast majority of testimonials from Dr. Amronâs patients state the pain they endured prior to surgery is almost completely gone the following day, or within a week after surgery.

During the liposuction procedure, Dr. Amron uses Water-Assisted Liposuction to put the fluid into the fat to anesthetize it. His patients typically experience a slight discomfort and pinching feeling as the fluid is being placed into the fatty tissue. However, itâs a quick process to complete, so this period of discomfort only lasts for approximately 15-30 minutes.

During the extraction part of the surgery, most patients feel a slight pressure, but do not have any significant pain. After surgery, patients are given prescription pain medications. However, in Dr. Amronâs experience, only 10-15 percent of patients have needed to take them on the evening of their surgery.

Many of Dr. Amronâs lipedema patients experience little to no pain the day after surgery. However, the degree of discomfort in subsequent days is entirely dependent on the amount of bruising and swelling after surgery.

Patients tend to experience swelling after the surgery because many times itâs the lower part of the legs, like the calves and ankle areas, where swelling generally takes longer to subside.

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Before And After Photos What Should I See

Not every cosmetic surgeon has the same level of expertise when it comes to treating lipedema with liposuction. Therefore, its so important to do your research carefully before making a final decision. When you look at before and after images, you should be looking for a clear difference in size. It should be obvious the surgeon has removed the fat from the affected areas. The best cosmetic surgeons will also try to achieve as smooth a result as possible. Their ability to do this will depend on how far the patients conditions have progressed. Itll also depend on the elasticity of their skin. When looking at the photos, check to see what stage of lipedema the patient was at. Try to find a before photo that shows a patient with a similar appearance to you. That after shot should help to give you a clearer idea of how you will look after surgery.

Fully Trained And Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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For plastic surgery procedures, such as liposuction, why wouldnt you go to someone who has been fully trained and Board Certified in Plastic Surgery?

Only fully trained and Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery may display the special ASPS symbol:

Regardless of any claims or advertising, any doctors true Board Certification can easily be verified through the American Board of Medical Specialties .

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Lymphatic Sparing Liposuction And Manual Lipedema Extraction

This patient came to us in the early stages of her lipedema. She was beginning to develop signs of ankle cuffing and was experiencing increased inflammation and pain in her lower legs. Dr. Schwartz performed Lipedema Reduction Surgery on her calves and ankles to reset the lymphatic system, by removing the lipedematous fat. This was the first stage of her Lipedema Reduction surgery.

Ongoing Care After Treatment

Liposuction for lipedema isnt the end of the process. You cannot expect to have the surgery and require no additional maintenance. You must follow your surgeons advice both before and after surgery to guarantee the best possible outcome.

You may have thought liposuction would mean never wearing a compression garment again. But it is important to know you must wear one for a few weeks after surgery. This will help to guarantee the best result and a speedier recovery.

As part of conservative treatments for lipedema, you will have had to take care of your diet and exercise. This wont come to an end after lipo. Its important to maintain a healthy body weight to maintain a good result. This means avoiding gaining excess weight in the future, and diet and exercise play a key role in this.

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Whats The Difference Between Lymphedema And Lipedema

  • Patients with lymphedema of the legs have swelling that fluctuates.
  • Legs tend to be smaller in the morning and larger as the day progresses.
  • One leg is often more swollen than the other.
  • Lymphedema patients have a dysfunction of their lymphatic system that makes them more vulnerable to infection, or cellulitis, of the legs.
  • Lipedema patients have a normal lymphatic function.
  • Lymphedema does not typically cause tenderness of the legs.
  • It is possible to have both lymphedema and lipedema.
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