Setting the Research Agenda for Lipedema

Steps Towards a Cure

A CME Course for Physicians

Release date: March 1, 2016 – March 31, 2018

Review Materials Listed Below

Program Description
Credit Designation
CME Certificates
Learning Objectives
Target Audience
Peer Review
System Requirements
Contact Info


Lipedema is an under-recognized condition characterized by the accumulation of subcutaneous fat in bilateral lower extremities, typically accompanied by tenderness, edema and bruising. Physicians frequently misdiagnose patients as being obese or having lymphedema, leading to improper treatment and progression of symptoms.

Eventually lipedema can progress to lipolymphedema, where the progressive fat accumulation leads to lymphatic insufficiency. Exercise and weight loss tend to worsen the relative body disproportion, as the fat is lost preferentially from the trunk rather than the legs resulting in patient frustration and poor compliance.

This course reviews the diagnostic criteria, work up and differential diagnosis for patients with lipedema. Surgical and non-surgical treatment options are discussed. The physiology and pathophysiology of fat metabolism, lipedema research opportunities and obstacles to patient care are reviewed.

lipedema symptoms


The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai designates this online activity for a maximum of 5.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.   Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Once you have completed the 4 modules/15 presentations of the enduring materials online course, you will have the opportunity to complete a Post Test and Evaluation. Once they are submitted you will have access to download your CME certificate for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.


After completion of this CME activity, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:

Recognize clinical criteria for diagnosing lipedema.

Differentiate between lipedema, lymphedema and general obesity, as these conditions are distinct but may co-exist.

Understand the role of lymphoscintigraphy, magnetic resonance lymphangiography and indocyanine green fluorescent lymphangiography in differentiating lipedema
from lymphedema.

Describe surgical and non-surgical lipedema treatments, including: liposuction, manual lymphatic decompression, bandaging and compression garments and compare the limitations of each treatment modality.

Explain what is known about lipedema regarding etiology and disease progression.

Describe the stages of lipedema, including progression to lipolymphedema.

Assess the relationship of lipedema to venous, bariatric and orthopedic conditions including venous insufficiency, weight gain, and gait disturbances.

Examine the current understanding of inflammatory, genetic, metabolic and endocrine influences on fat deposition; the knowledge gaps in relation to lipedema; obstacles to patient care; and the potential opportunities for further research.


Mark Smith, MD, FACS
Professor, Department of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery, Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Director, The Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment
CoDirector, The Lipedema Project
New York, NY

Catherine Seo PhD

Catherine Seo, PhD
CoDirector, The Lipedema Project
Founder/Director,  Lipedema Simplified, LLC
Cambridge, MA and New York, NY

Professor Etelka Földi, MD
Physician-in-Chief of the Földi Clinic
Special Clinic for Lymphology
Hinterzarten, Germany

Matthew Carmody, MD
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Mount Auburn Hospital
Cambridge, MA

Jens Diedrichson, MD
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery
Florence Nightingale Hospital
Duesseldorf, Germany

Susan Fried PhD

Susan Fried, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Director, Boston Nutrition and Obesity Research Center
Boston, MA

Kimberly Gudzune, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Karen Herbst, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Program Director, Endocrinology/Diabetes Fellowship Program
University of Arizona, College of Medicine
Tucson, AZ

William Inabnet MD

William Inabnet, MD
Professor of Surgery
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
New York, NY

Guenter Klose, MLD/CDT, CI
Executive Director, Klose Training & Consulting, LLC
Lafayette, CO

Ruth Loos, PhD
Director of the Genetics of Obesity and Related
Metabolic Traits Program,
Charles R. Bronfman Institute of Personalized
Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Isreal
New York, NY

Gwen Randolph, PhD
Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
Washington University
St. Louis, MO

Stefan Rapprich MD

Stefan Rapprich, MD
Senior Consultant
Dermatologist and Dermatologic Surgeon
Specialist for Liposuction and Phlebologic Surgery
Partner at Hautmedizin Bad Soden
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Stanley Rockson, MD
Allan and Tina Neill Professor of
Lymphatic Research and Medicine
Stanford University, School of Medicine
Stanford, CA

Tilly Smidt

Tilly Smidt
Patient Advocate
Almere, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jennifer Svahn, MD, FACS
Attending, Department of Surgery
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
New York, NY


Primary Care Physicians, OB/GYNs, Vascular Surgeons, Bariatric Surgeons, Endocrinologists, Plastic Surgeons, Physical Therapists, Researchers, Geneticists, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Lymphedema Therapists, Obesity Medicine Specialists, Medical Students, Residents, Interns, and other interested healthcare professionals involved in the care and management of patients with lipedema, lymphedema, or other fat disorders.



• Lipedema Overview, Mark Smith MD, FACS
• Lipedema: Fat Disorders & Diagnosis, Karen Herbst, MD, PhD
• Keynote: Lipedema – What We Know & What We Need to Know, Professor Etelka Földi, MD


• Anti-Fat Bias, Kim Gudzune MD, MPH
• The Patient Experience, Tilly Smidt
• The Physician Advocate, Matthew Carmody, MD


• Clinical Considerations: Venous Insufficiency, Jennifer Svahn, MD, FACS
• Clinical Considerations: Bariatric & Weight Loss, William Inabnet, MD
• Treatment: Conservative (CDT), Guenter Klose, MLD/CDT
• Treatment: Surgical: Liposuction for Lipedema (LTA), Stefan Rapprich, MD
• Treatment: Surgical: Liposuction for Lipedema (WAL), Jens Diedrichson, MD


• Lymphatic System, Inflammation & Lipedema, Stanley Rockson, MD
• Research: Hormone/Endocrine/Lymphatics, Gwen Randolph, PhD
• Research: Fat Metabolism/Fat Deposition, Susan Fried, MD
• Research: Genetics, Ruth Loos, MD


Tomer Avraham, MD
Division of Plastic Surgery, Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY


It is the policy of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to ensure objectivity, balance, independence, transparency and scientific rigor in all CME-sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in the planning or implementation of sponsored activity are expected to disclose to the audience any relevant financial relationships and to assist in resolving any conflicts of interest that may arise from the relationship. Presenters must also make a meaningful disclosure to the audience of their discussions of unlabeled or unapproved drugs or devises. This information will be available as part of course materials.   Detailed disclosure will be made in the activity handout materials and print out is available at the CME desk during the conference.


LE&RN (click for website)

This CME is presented in collaboration with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network “LE&RN”
LE&RN’s Mission is to fight lymphatic disease and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy.


CAREstream AMERICA (click for website)

body-jet® ~ The gentle Water-jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) lipedema treatment to improve your quality of life!

SunMed Logo

SunMED Medical (click for website)

SunMED Medical Solutions is a national accredited provider of all types and brands of compression products. They handle all aspects of insurance verification, billing and delivery, and offer discounted private pay pricing as well. SunMED is committed to both patients and therapists alike.


Lymphedema Treatment Act (click for website)

The Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA) is a federal bill that aims to improve insurance coverage for the medically necessary, doctor-prescribed compression supplies that are the cornerstone of lymphedema and lipo-lymphedema (secondary lymphedema in advanced stage lipedema) treatment.


Solidea Medical (click for website)

Solidea Medical offers a unique compression garment solution for those managing conditions with edema (swelling).  Solidea Active Massage garments are designed to stimulate the superficial lymphatic system (similar to the principles of manual lymph drainage)  and help move fluid the way the body intended. Effective and easy to wear.


BiaCare (click for website)

BiaCare, meaning to care about life, provides high quality compression garments customized to help produce positive outcomes, and improve the quality of life.

Human Med logo

human med (click here for website)

Human med AG is an innovative medical technology company, headquartered in Germany.  The worldwide leading manufacturer of  Water-jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) equipment used for lipedema liposuction surgery.


Hardware/Software Requirements
To access this activity, users will need:

  1. A computer with an Internet connection.
  2. Internet Explorer 7.x or higher, Firefox 4.x or higher, Safari 2.x or higher, or any other W3C standards compliant browser.
  3. Adobe Flash Player and/or an HTML5 capable browser may be required for video or audio playback. (Click here for the player.)

This program requires opening a new window for viewing. If the program does not open when you click to view, you will need to disable the popup blocker in your Internet browser.


For Programmatic Information contact:
Catherine Seo, PhD –

For CME Related Information contact:
Kiersten Smith-Gaston –

Copyright © 2015 The Lipedema Project, a project of the Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & Treatment. All rights reserved. No part of this educational activity may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

About The Friedman Center

The Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research and Treatment at The Center for Advanced Medicine at Northwell Health in New York was founded in 2013. Its focus has been on offering solutions for patients with lymphedema, a debilitating condition that occurs in many patients after cancer treatment.

 The Friedman Center’s scope of care now includes treatment for lipedema, a condition that can also result in lymphedema. To that end, the Friedman Center has created the Lipedema Project, a comprehensive program to increase awareness and provide education, research and treatment for lipedema. The Friedman Center is proud to sponsor the lipedema documentary, The Disease They Call FAT, the 1st International Symposium on Lipedema, the Lipedema Think Tank, the Lipedema Solutions Forum for women with lipedema in April 2015 and this online CME eduring materials course  for physicians.