Although lipoedema affects millions of women, it still doesn't seem to be a huge issue in the world. Lipoedema is often misunderstood and confused with obesity. Even with doctors, the clinical picture of lipoedema is still largely unknown and is often misdiagnosed.
Many lipoedema patients have been struggling with their disease for years, leaving a trail of numerous doctor consultations behind them. It often takes many years before women finally find us and get the help they need. Valuable years, in which you could have already started an adequate therapy to fight the progression of the disease. Here these patients are heard and will receive the required advise and treatment. Together with you as a team we will plan the further course of action and discuss the conservative and surgical options you have to improve your situation.
The Team maintains close contact with advice centers and self-help groups.
Also lipohypertrophy, a disproportionate increase of the fatty tissue due to a build-up (hypertrophy) of the subcutaneous fat tissue (e.g. "saddlebags") can be associated with an immense psychological distress. Lipohypertrophy cannot be reduced by diet and exercise, nor by lymphatic drainage and compression stockings. What may appear trivial to an outsider can be a huge problem for those affected. Psychological stress is an absolutely personal and individual condition and should not be judged by anyone from outside. We see it as our mission to make you feel comfortable in your own skin again. The team at the Hanse-Klinik takes your concerns as seriously as you.
Lipoedema is a disproportionate symmetrical increase of fat, affecting arms and legs with complaints such as pressure sensitivity, tightness, heaviness and tendency for swelling. The significant increase of subcutaneous fat tissue often occurs during puberty or after pregnancy but sometimes as late as during the second half of life. The cause is unknown, change of hormones and heredity might play a role. Finding out further causes is the subject of current research.
Additionally to an overall disproportioned shape there is the tendency to develope orthostatic oedemas causing swelling of the legs, especially after long periods of standing and warm climate. It leads to a feeling of heaviness and tightness. Furthermore it comes to touch and pressure sensitivity of the tissue.
The distinctive increase of fat tissue is a handicap when walking and promotes chafing of the skin up to a troubled gait pattern and the increase of the wear of joints.
Progress of symptoms
For many of those affected the symptoms deteriorate during the course of their lives. Conditions can worsen drastically, especially in case of weight gain. Stage I is described with a generally smooth skin surface without nodule formation within the subcutaneous tissue. In Stage II the skin has an irregular wavy surface with a nodular tissue structure. Stage III is characterized by distinctively distorting heavy lipid layers.
Complaints can be reduced by wearing compression hosiery. In case of additional orthostatic or lymph edema, manual lymphatic drainage is also indicated. In some cases a stay as an in-patient in a lymphological specialist clinic is required in order to perform a CDT. Also important is weight management for adipositas, fitness and sport, as well as physical therapy. But conservative therapy cannot eliminate the pathogenic increase of fatty tissue.
Since the introduction of liposuction it has become possible to remove the increased volume of subcutaneous fatty tissue. The development of techniques of local anesthesia (tumescent anesthesia) as well as suction techniques (vibration-assisted liposuction) using thin and minimally-invasive microprobes which are gentle on the lymphatic vessels, have reformed todays treatment of lipoedema. In this way not only your appearance and body proportions return to normal but it also means a huge improvement of physical and mental complaints.
Surgical treatment improves the patient’s life quality which is usually badly affected by lipoedema.