Lipedema: A Clinical Challenge Revisited

Lipedema: A Clinical Challenge Revisited

Omaira M, Mehrotra A, Fankhauser MJ, Hrinczenko B, Dimitrov NV; 2015

Synopsis: This article describes various diagnostic methods for differentiating lipedema from other causes of swollen legs, including lymphedema and obesity.

Abstract: Lipedema is a disfiguring disorder with abnormal and progressive deposition of adipose tissue in the hips and lower extremities almost exclusively occurring in women. There is a hereditary tendency and a substantial variability in disease severity. Lipedema is often misdiagnosed as lymphedema or morbid obesity. The etiology and pathogenesis are not understood. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize physical and psychological morbidity. The diagnosis is usually made by history and clinical examination. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance can differentiate lipedema from other causes of edematous lower extremities. Lymphoscintigraphy may be helpful in cases which are associated with lymphedema (lipo-lymphedema). Management with manual lymphatic drainage and compression therapy are considered the most appropriate treatment. Use of conventional liposuction is controversial since it may further damage the lymphatic vessels. Newer techniques such as tumescent micro annular laser assisted liposuction and water jet-assisted liposuction have shown some promising results. Variety of other surgical procedures combined with manual lymphatic drainage and tailored post-surgical care are under investigation.

APA Citation: Omaira, M., Mehrotra, A., Fankhauser, M., Hrinczenko, B., & Dimitrov, N. (2015). Lipedema: A Clinical Challenge-revisited. BJMMR, 5(11), 1328-1337. http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/bjmmr/2015/13894

AMA Citation: Omaira M, Mehrotra A, Fankhauser M, Hrinczenko B, Dimitrov N. Lipedema: A Clinical Challenge-revisited. BJMMR. 2015;5(11):1328-1337. doi:10.9734/bjmmr/2015/13894.