İstanbul, Turkey, 01/13/2022 / Resat Aktas MD /
What is lipedema? How is it treated?
Lipedema is a disorder of fat distribution in the legs and / or arms. Lipedema, which severely reduces the comfort of daily life, it restricts the ability to move and if it is not treated, and in become almost impossible to move in more advanced cases.
The disease is often misdiagnosed or mistaken for obesity or lymphedema because symptoms are very similar. While exercise and diet are relatively beneficial in cases of initial lipedema, it is a very long and arduous process to respond to treatment in advanced level.
Fortunately, more and more physicians have noticed recently that lipedema should be evaluated separately from obesity, and lipedema surgery has begun to be added in the list of commonly performed operations, along with non-surgical treatment of lipedema.
Before we talk about lipedema treatment with Reşat Altuğ Aktaş, who performed his successful lipedema operations in Turkey, we want to answer questions such as what lipedema is, why it occurs, which phase there are…
What is Lipedema?
The lipedema, which is mentioned in the literature as adiposis dolorosa, is a painful fat accumulation and deformity disease that due to increase the adipose tissue and due to occur edema of that is often deposited in the arms and legs.
Lipedema patients who complain of abnormal deposition of fat and unaesthetic deformation in the legs consist of women. In case of lipoedema, which is tried to be explained by gaining weight or being inactive by people who do not have sufficient knowledge and experience, diet and exercise works if very strict rules are followed.
People whose lipedema does not go away despite weight loss need to look for other treatments. Malnutrition and excessive weight gain make lipedema progression faster, but not everyone who gains weight will develop lipedema.
The most important difference in lipedema is the edema of the adipose tissue, excessive difference in thickness between morning and evening, an increase in intra-tissue pressure due to the edema and the pressure on vessels and nerves as a result. This increase in pressure causes inexplicable pain in the legs, a deterioration in the structure of the capillary wall, and bruise even with the smallest trauma. The shape of the arms and legs, which show a unique increase in fat, also changes a lot cosmetically. Even after weight loss, tissues with lipedema shrink much more slowly than people without lipedema.
What are the reasons for lipedema?
Although there is no clear information about the cause of lipedema, clinical studies have shown that it occurs in women with a genetic predisposition due to an imbalance in levels of estrogen hormones.
We can say that people with a family genetic history of lipedema are at risk. Obesity and lipedema are often, but not always, simultaneous diseases. Lymphedema can accompany advanced cases of lipedema.
How is lipedema diagnosed?
Lipedema is diagnosed by a clinical examination in our country. We see that some doctor wo diagnosed it with ultrasound-guided by seeing the edema in the adipose tissue. However, our country is not yet at a sufficient level in this regard.
Our main difference in diagnosing lipedema is to rule out some distinctive features that distinguish it from lymphedema Despite weight loss the lack of decrease in the fat tissue in the legs as desired, the decrease in the edema in the legs and arms, lipedema-specific leg shape are the most important examination findings observed by the doctors in the diagnosis of lipedema.
It has been observed that diet such a food low in carbohydrates and yeast foods and regular exercise bring under control of lipoedema.
Symptoms of lipedema include:
- Disproportionate and symmetrical fat deposition in both legs and then in the arms
- Leg swelling
- Pain in the legs or pain / tenderness when pressed by hand
- Easy bruising
- Varicose veins in capillaries
- Unable to lose weight and edema despite diet and exercise
The stages of lipedema
Lipedema is usually neglected at the beginning. The diagnosis is usually made after stage 2.
In the initial stage, which we refer to as Stage 1, the edema is not yet severe, the deterioration of the adipose tissue can be seen on closer inspection, pain does not occur without manual pressure. The appearance of cellulite on the skin is not yet very clear. Fat accumulation can be found in the buttocks and hips or in low density from the groin to the ankle.
The appearance of cellulite on the legs with Stage 2 begins to be noticeable and the accumulations of fat become palpable when touched. Depending on the level of edema, pain or burning sensation may be seen in the legs. The accumulation of fat may extend from the buttocks, hips, inner knee or groin to the ankles.
In Stage 3 of the lipedema, fat accumulation in the upper legs starts to sag from the skin. Deformity is very apparent. Pain, walking difficulties and skin sensitivity make daily life difficult. There is cellulite and cracked in the skin. Usually the entire leg, buttocks, and arms are involved.
Stage 4 lipedema is mostly associated with obesity. Patients experience deformity, excessive accumulation of adipose tissue, difficulty in walking, unexplained pain, and bruising.
How to treat Lipedema?
Plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery specialist Op. Dr. Reşat Altuğ Aktaş talks about two types of approaches, surgical and non-surgical methods, in the treatment of lipedema. Aktaş adds that the method of treatment is determined according to the stage of the disease and explains these methods as follows:
- Non Surgical Lipedema Treatment
It is preferred in patients in the early stages of lipedema. Non-Surgical Lipedema Treatments; It consists of treatments such as massages, physiotherapy applications, wearing compression stockings and lymphatic drainage applications.
- Surgical Treatment – Liposuction
It is possible to benefit from surgical methods starting from the first stage of lipedema. Lipedema surgery has some technical differences compared to classic liposuction and it is a more special liposuction. The more permanent solution to lipedema is surgical treatment.
Successful Results in Lipedema Surgery in Turkey with MD Reşat Altuğ Aktaş …
Op. Dr. Reşat Altuğ Aktaş is one of the first name that come to mind when is talked about lipedema surgery in Turkey.
Through the lipedema treatment with Tumescent + PAL + laser / VASER liposuction under general anesthesia, Aktaş enables his patients to get rid of the heavy load on the legs and regain a pleasant physical appearance in a short time.
Dr. Aktaş, who creates a visible change with the lipedema operation, states that he prefers lipedema-specific liposuction in contrast to classic liposuction, as it enables maximum evacuation of the adipose tissue with low traumatic effect.
Op. Dr. Reset Altuğ Aktaş explains the points to be considered after Lipedema Surgery in Turkey …
Although lipedema doesn’t occur due to obesity or diet, an eating habit that nourishes fat cells triggers the formation of lipedema. What we apply in surgical treatment is the removal of the accumulated and compromised fat tissue. Therefore, post-liposuction comfort, eating unhealthy food with the thought that somehow my fat has been taken away is an attitude that should be avoided at all costs.
After the healing process is completed, it is important to prevent fat accumulation through manual therapy, exercise, and a healthy diet in order to prevent the recurrence of lipedema
Resat Aktas MD
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