“I knew my legs were larger than they should be. They just didn’t match the rest of my body. No matter what I did, diet &exercise, nothing seemed to work.”
~Cherity, Stage 2 Lipedema

Lipedema Model

“Finding out I have lipedema was more of a relief, it wasn’t a scary thing at all. I knew what I had and all I had to do was figure out how to live with it.”
~Nicole, Stage 2 Lipedema


“An estimated 17M women in the US  struggle with lipedema, and most  don’t know it. Awareness,  education and research are top priorities.”
~Robin, Stage 1 Lipedema


The Lipedema Project, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to increasing awareness and providing education, research and treatment for lipedema through online and face-to-face programs and building community.

Lipedema is a disease involving abnormal fat deposition that can result in pain, immobility and lymphatic disturbances. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions and anti-fat bias prevalent in healthcare, it becomes critical that patients are correctly diagnosed and that resources are invested in understanding this disease and how it can be managed and treated. 

All proceeds to go to The Lipedema Project, Inc to further our mission in serving the lipedema community.

Check out our new offerings:

Lipedema Education


Ongoing Research


Community Resources


Get Involved! Join the Lipedema Project Community

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Dr. Mark Smith

Dr Mark L. Smith

Mark L. Smith, MD, FACS
CoDirector, The Lipedema Project at The Friedman Center

Dr. Mark L. Smith is System Vice-Chairman in the Department of Surgery and Director of Reconstructive Oncology for Northwell Health Cancer Institute at the Center for Advanced Medicine at Northwell Health in New York. Northwell Health, the largest integrated health system in New York State, includes 21 hospitals and is the 14th largest healthcare system in the United States.

Dr Smith is the Director of the Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research and Treatment at the Center for Advanced Medicine at Northwell Health. He is an expert in the field of cancer & lymphatic surgery and is double-fellowship trained in Microsurgery and Craniofacial Surgery. As an international volunteer for the past 2 decades, he has performed reconstructive surgery and taught local surgeons in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central America and South America.

Dr. Mark Smith, Executive Producer

Catherine Seo, PhD

Catherine Seo, PhD

Catherine Seo, PhD
CoDirector, The Lipedema Project at The Friedman Center

Catherine Seo, PhD is the producer and director of the documentary The Disease They Call FAT. When confronted with almost certain immobility and complications from misdiagnosed lipedema, she traveled the world interviewing other patients, doctors, surgeons and experts looking for answers. The documentary is this story.

Her research is focused on empowering women who experience the distortions of body image as represented in the media applying self-compassion and other meditation techniques. Catherine holds a doctorate in Media Psychology and is the Founder and Director of Lipedema Simplified, LLC.

Catherine Seo, Director & Producer

Life with Lipedema


“The numbness, the pins and needles, my legs are just not normal.”

~Amanda, Stage 2 Lipedema


“It just didn’t make any sense to me that I had lost so much weight, I was eating and exercising better than ever, and still my legs and hips didn’t change.”

~Lisa Marie, Stage 2 Lipedema


“People look at me and just say ‘lose weight.’  It’s not that simple. It’s not my fault.”

~Ivonne, Stage 3 Lipedema

About The Friedman Center

The Friedman Center for Lymphedema Research & 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.