Distressed that your lower body is out of proportion to your upper body? Frustrated that however carefully you eat or how much you exercise, it never seems to make a difference to the size of your thighs or calves? Experiencing heavy, aching or even painful legs that are sensitive to the touch or easily bruise?
You are likely to be suffering from lipoedema, or lipedema in the US, which is a very common condition afflicting mainly women, although most sufferers are misdiagnosed or told to just lose weight. Sadly, this disorder of the adipose or fatty tissue, is resistant to diet or exercise.
This leaves many women embarrassed by the aesthetic appearance of their legs and experiencing pain and a lack of mobility that affects quality of life and prevents them enjoying many normal activities.
What stage lipoedema do I have?
Lipoedema almost exclusively affects women and typically presents during periods of hormonal fluctuation such as puberty, pregnancy or the menopause. It is a progressive condition so it will typically worsen over time.
The European Lymphology Society (ELS) has categorised 5 types of lipoedema, based the distribution of abnormal fat and, as a progressive condition, patients often find it typically worsens over time.
- Type I: an abnormal increase in fatty tissue on the buttocks and hips, often described as saddle bags.
- Type II: the lipoedema extends as far down as the knees and there is usually a formation of folds of fat around the inner side of the knee.
- Type III: patients find abnormal fat deposits extend all the way from the hips to the ankles.
- Type IV: both the arms and legs are affected.
- Type V: patients suffers from Lipo-lymphedema which is when the excess fat tissue puts too much pressure on the lymphatic system and this means an excess of congested fluid in the afflicted limbs.
However, research indicates that early intervention can halt the progression of this condition.
Which lipoedema liposuction treatment is most effective?
Non-surgical therapies are not able to reduce the bulk of the affected limbs but can manage the associated symptoms. They are also not likely to slow down the progression of lipoedema. They include compression garments and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) that gently stimulates lymphatic flow and thereby relieving any swelling or discomfort.
The only treatment that is able to reduce volume in the lower body or arms is liposuction. Dr Mooz uses Vaser and MicroLipo over traditional liposuction to treat lipoedema with highly effective results and less damage to the surrounding tissue.
First, a tumescent solution, composed of saline, local anaesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the target area which helps to dislodge the fat cells. During a MicroLipo procedure, Dr Mooz will use a specially designed microcannula to emulsify the fatty tissue before it is suctioned out. This means that although smaller amounts of fat can be addressed in one session, Dr Mooz will be able to remove the fat in a slower, more precise approach that results in a smoother finish and a quicker recover.
Vaser stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance and uses ultrasound waves to break up and liquefy the fat cells, so they are even easier to remove. Larger amounts of fatty tissue can be removed than through MicroLipo. Both procedures can be repeated safely.
For more advice on which type of liposuction is best for treating lipoedema, call 02033 256 533 to arrange a consultation with Dr Mooz.