Lymphoedema Academy Of Australia Pty Ltd


See Also Dercum's Disease

lipoedemalipoedema ArmLipoedema Leg

Mrs B. Q’land, was diagnosed with Primary Lymphoedema at the age of 8 years old. Often a genetic condition. Mrs B now has Lipo - lymphoedema,a combination of Lipoedema and lymphoedema. Her feet are normal size and so is the waste and upper body. Also Mrs B has lipoedema in her upper arms, another symptom of Lipoedema. Liposuction would be highly recommended for this lady to give her some quality of life back. The Health System needs to look at this medical condition instead of blaming obesity from bad food choices all the time.



Mrs B’s daughter in her 20’s.

Here we have daughter following in mothers footsteps with swollen legs. This is not a diet problem, but a medical condition inherited mainly in women. Often starts around puberty in women or after having children.

Symptoms of Lipoedema

  • fatty enlargement of limbs (firstly legs, arms can develop later)
  • pain
  • predominantly women affected, if men then they have low testosterone or liver disease
  • bilateral and symmetric
  • sluggish lymph
  • can have pitting edema
  • vascular fragility and bruising
  • varicose veins
  • persistent enlargement of limb even after elevation
  • calorie restriction doesn’t affect size of limbs
  • swelling increases with heat
  • disproportion between upper and lower body
  • feet not involved in early stages
  • hyper mobility
  • low tissue resistance
  • hypothermia of skin


Lipoedema is a classically thought of as a congenital fatty enlargement of the legs all most exclusively seen in women by the third decade; two cases have been reported in men. According to an epidemiologic study by Földi E and Földi, lipedema affects 11% of the female population. Of women with lymphedema, estimates are that 15% or 8% to 17% have lipedema as well.

Lipedema was initially described by Allen and Hines in 1940; its etiology remains unknown and it remains under-diagnosed.

  1. Almost exclusive occurrence in women
  2. Bilateral and symmetrical manifestation with minimal involvement of the feet
  3. Minimal pitting edema; the Kaposi–Stemmer sign is negative
  4. Pain, tenderness on pressure
  5. Increased vascular fragility; easy bruising
  6. Persistent enlargement after elevation of the extremities or weight loss
  7. Arms are affected 30% of the time 
  8.  Hypothermia of the skin. 
  9. Swelling worsens with orthostasis in summer 
  10. Unaffected by caloric restriction 
  11. Telangiectasias

Liposuction - The Cure for Lipedema Fat: Liposuction at this time is the only method that we know of to remove the lipedema fat. Diet and exercise can reduce "normal" fat but the lipedema fat remains even after bariatric surgery. Surgical treatment of lipedema is available in Germany, the UK and elsewhere, usually using tumescent, or water jet assisted liposuction (WAL) lymph sparing liposuction to remove lipedema fat, under local anesthesia (not general). Research shows lymph sparing liposuction yields good long term results in reduction of lipedema pain and in stop- ping the progression of lipedema.

(Cornely et al., 2006; Schmeller et al., 2006; Warren et al., 2007; Rapprich et al., 2011, 2012). The need for conservative therapies such as MLD and compression is greatly reduced in almost all patients, and in some cases, conservative therapies can be eliminated, after lymph sparing liposuction.

Reference by Karen Herbst

Dr. Karen Herbst in America has done so much research and work in the area of Lipoedema for many years. It is a credit to her the amount of people she has been able to help. She has a very good website which is worth reading.