I have mild/moderate lipedema. What procedures are involved in the liposuction process to improve my condition?

Doctor Answers 3

Lipedema and Liposuction

The best treatment to permanently treat lipedema is liposuction and this can be done in a variety of ways.  Water assisted liposuction is very gentle and considered a gold standards approach, but what matters the most is the physician performing the procedure, and their familiarity with lipedema and the needs of lippy patients.  Best, Dr. Emer.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Treatment for lipedema

Lipedema is typically irreversible and does not respond to weight loss. 

However, avoiding obesity tends to be partially protective. 

Treatment options are liposuction and possible direct excision of skin and fat or a combination of both. Any type of liposuction can be used, though I would personally avoid the use of VASER or any form of laser liposuction in this particular condition. Liposuction can easily be done avoiding general anesthesia.

If this is a procedure you are interested in, then I suggest you consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. 

At times, it is helpful to get more than one opinion, especially in cases that are somewhat unusual or if the person does not have a great experience with lipedema.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D. 

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Treating lipidema with liposuction

Thank you for asking about your lipidema and liposuction.

  • Lipidema is a poorly understood rare condition, usually found in women and usually appearing by puberty.
  • Fat and fluid collect in the body, usually the legs.
  • It typically extends as unsightly fullness ankles to hips.
  • It worsens with obesity but is not caused by it and does not vanish with weight loss.
  • Liposuction - often in several stages - removes the fat, giving over-all improvement.
  • The liposuction can be done as an outpatient - with general anesthesia.
  • A supportive garment is worn for weeks afterwards to control swelling.
  • Most 'lipidema' liposuction photos are of people who may just be overweight, no suffering from lipidema.
  • In a way - it makes no difference. Liposuction improves contour for both groups.
  • One must be sure before liposuction that the problem is not from lymphatic obstruction or poor circulation - since liposuction may worsen these conditions.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.