Suppose you’re a teen or young woman who starts putting on fat, mainly in your legs. Doctors say you’re obese – but no matter how much you diet and exercise, you can’t lose the fat. After years of weight gain, pain, and swelling, you’re finally diagnosed with lipedema – a common but “enigmatic” disease of the peripheral fat. That’s the experience of women with lipedema surveyed in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
To gain insights into this misunderstood condition, Anna-Theresa Bauer, MD, of Technical University Munich, Germany, and colleagues, surveyed 209 women with lipedema who were treated with liposuction. Lipedema is a congenital disease, causing disproportionate accumulations of fat, most often in the legs.