Setting the Research Agenda for Lipedema

Steps Towards a Cure

A Online Course for Physicians & Providers

Review Materials Listed Below

Program Description
Learning Objectives
Target Audience
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


After completion of this online course, 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 & System Vice-Chair, Department of Surgery
Northwell Health System
Director, Reconstructive Oncology
Northwell Health Cancer Institute
Director, Strategic Initiatives, Western Region,
Northwell Health Surgical Service Line
Director, Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research and Treatment
Co-Director, The Lipedema Project
Lake Success, NY

Catherine Seo PhD

Catherine Seo, PhD
Co-Director, The Lipedema Project
Founder/Director,  Lipedema Simplified, LLC
Cambridge, MA and Lake Success, 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


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 online course, 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 – [email protected]

Copyright © 2015-2024 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.