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Liposuction for Lipoedema

Lipoedema is a chronic condition mainly characterised by disproportionately excess fat distribution in the lower limbs-- primarily in the hips, thighs, and lower legs

Liposuction for Lipoedema

1.         What is lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a chronic condition mainly characterised by disproportionately excess fat distribution in the lower limbs-- primarily in the hips, thighs, and lower legs. It may also affect the upper limbs (arms). In some patients this may lead to pain, lumpiness, swelling, and in severe complex cases, mobility issues. It is important to accurately diagnose lipoedema and to distinguish it from other conditions such as lymphoedema and lipo-lymphoedema to ensure appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

2.         Is this the same as lymphoedema?

This condition is not the same as lymphoedema; lymphoedema is characterised by lymphatic swelling due to lymphatic system dysfunction. This may often resulting from damage obstruction to the lymphatic system (e.g. following cancer treatment, or severe infection) or congenital conditions affecting lymphatic vessels or nodes.

Interestingly there is a hybrid condition known as lipo-lymphoedema: This condition combines features of both lipoedema and lymphoedema, where fat accumulation is accompanied by impaired lymphatic drainage, exacerbating swelling and tissue changes.

3.         How do I know if I have lipoedema?

Lipoedema is often under-recognised or misdiagnosed as obesity or general weight gain, leading to delayed diagnosis and inadequate management. A thorough evaluation and clinical assessment is important to establish a diagnosis. Some cases are very mild, and would be considered a variation of normal, and surgical treatment would not be indicated. In complex cases, Mr. Sadideen may request imaging to assess lymphatic function and guide treatment decisions effectively.  As weight gain and obesity exacerbate the appearances, Mr. Sadideen recommends weight optimisation and nutritional input to help improve outcomes.

4.         What would my consultation involve?

During the consultation process, Mr. Hazim Sadideen will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, including medical history review, physical examination, and imaging studies as needed. He will ask how this affects your life and daily activities. He will show you images of patients he has treated and manage your expectations with the kind of results that can be achieved with treatment. Photos will also be taken for your records.

Mr. Hazim Sadideen emphasies a multidisciplinary approach to lipoedema management, collaborating with specialists such as physiotherapists, nutritionists, and psychologists. Psychological support plays a crucial role in managing complex cases, addressing body image concerns, coping strategies, and enhancing overall well-being post-surgery.

5.         What are the indications for liposuction in lipoedema?

-Progressive pain and discomfort despite conservative management

-Impaired mobility and quality of life due to fat accumulation

- Progression of the disease affecting daily activities

-Appearance and confidence issues with enlargement and disproportionate waist and lower limbs

6.         How successful is liposuction in lipoedema?

Liposuction for lipoedema has shown promising results in reducing pain, swelling, and improving mobility and body contour. Success rates vary based on individual factors such as disease severity, case complexity, skin elasticity, patient compliance, and surgical technique. Post-operatively, compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, and lifestyle modifications are crucial to optimise surgical results. These can also be performed pre-operatively, and also are useful modalities for mild cases in patients who are not suitable for surgery. 

Disclaimer: This content is provided for information purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice.  

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