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What may appear to an outsider as a trifle, for the person affected it can be a huge problem. Psychological stress is a highly individual feeling and should not be assessed or judged by anybody.

Our team at the Hanse-Klinik takes the matter as seriously as you. Our aim is to help you to feel healthy and more comfortable in your daily life with a well-proportioned body shape and an attractive appearance.

Many lipoedema patients have been struggling with this condition for many years and have numerous visits to doctors behind them. We have a sympathetic ear for your problems. Together with you we consider the further course of the therapy and discuss the ways in which we can improve the quality of your life.

We maintain close contact to counselling centres and self-help groups.


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.


Additionally to an overall disproportioned shape there is the tendency to develope orthostatic edemas 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.

Conservative therapy

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 physiological therapy. But conservative therapy cannot eliminate the pathogenic increase of fatty tissue.

Surgical treatment

Since the introduction of liposuction (fat removal) it has become possible to remove the increased volume of subcutaneous fatty tissue. The development of techniques of local anaesthesia (tumescent anaesthesia) as well as suction techniques (vibration-assisted liposuction) using thin and minimally-invasive microprobes have revolutionized the treatment of lipoedema. In this way not only your appearance and body proportions return to normal but there is also a marked improvement of physical and mental complaints.
Surgical treatment improves patient’s life quality which is usually badly affected by lipoedema.

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 distinct heavy lipid layers.

Publications (cover)

Publications 2020

Baumgartner, A. (2020), Book contribution „Liposuktion bei Lipödem“ in „Fallbuch Physiotherapie: Lymphologie“ von K. Waldvogel-Röcker, 1. Auflage 2020, Urban & Fischer, ISBN 978-3-437-45045-7 Baumgartner A., Hüppe M., Meier-Vollrath I., Schmeller W. (2020)
Improvements in patients with lipedema 4, 8 and 12 years after liposuction (Read here)
in „Phlebology“, published August 2020, DOI: 10.1177/0268355520949775
Baumgartner A. (2020)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten "Kompresjonsstrømper og lipødem: Et viktig hjelpemiddel" (Read here) in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 1 (2020)
Schmeller, W., Meier-Vollrath, I., Baumgartner, A. (2020)
"Pictograms: a new form of presentation in lymphology" (Read here)
in „Lymphologie in Forschung und Praxis“, 24 (1)2020: 16-18

Publications 2019

Baumgartner A. (2019)
Magazine Article in lymphatic self-help magazine "Wenn der Körper eine schwere Bürde trägt“ ("When the body carries a heavy burden") (Read here) in „Lymphselbsthilfe- DAS MAGAZIN DER LYMPHSELBSTHILFE E.V“, 2/2019: 19-21
Baumgartner A. (2019)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten p.18-19 „Lipødem og psyken" ("Lipoedema and the Psyche") (Read here) in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 3 (2019)
Baumgartner A. (2019)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten p.26-27 „Lipødem ombord: Råd for en enklere reise“ ("Lipoedema on board") (Read here)
in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 3 (2019)

Publications 2018

Baumgartner A. (2018)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten p.25 „Trening med en byrde“ ("Exercising with a burden") (Read here)
in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 2 (2018)
Baumgartner A. (2018)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten p.22-24 „Ti svar pa de vanligste sparsmal om lipödem“ ("Ten answers to the most frequent questions about lipoedema") (Read here)
in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 1 (2018)

Publications 2017

Baumgartner A. (2017)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lymfeposten p.27 „Lipodem og pubertet“ ("Lipoedema and puberty") (Read here)
in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 4 (2017)
Baumgartner A., Schmeller W. (2017)
Benigne asymmetrische Lipomatose Launois-Bensaude: Eine Kasuistik
Lymphologie in Forschung und Praxis 21 (2)2017: 2-3
Baumgartner A. (2017)
Magazine Article in the Norwegian Lympheposten p.22-24 "Lipødem– en tung byrde" (“Lipoedema- a heavy burden”) (Read here)
in „Lymfeposten – Norsk Lymfødem og Lipødemforbunds Medlemsblad“, Nr. 3 (2017)

Publications 2016

Frambach Y, Baumgartner A, Schmeller W (2016)
Lipödem – eine „schwere“ Diagnose? (Read here)
Vasomed 5/2016: 2-3

Publications 2015

Frambach Y, Baumgartner A, Schmeller W (2015)
Lipödem und Lebensqualität (Read here)
Vasomed 5/2015: 2-3
Baumgartner A, Hüppe M. Schmeller W (2015)
Long-term benefit of liposuction in patients with lipoedema: a follow-up study after an average of 4 and 8 years (Read here)
Brit J Dermatol 174: 1061-1067
Schmeller W, Baumgartner A, Frambach Y (2015)
Sekundäres Lymphödem unter dem Bild einer einseitigen Lipohypertrophie (non-pitting lymphedema). Eine Kasuistik (Read here)
LymphForsch 19 (2): 104-108
Baumgartner A, Hüppe M, Schmeller W (2015)
Wie lange profitieren Lipödempatientinnen von der Liposuktion? Eine Nachuntersuchung nach durchschnittlich vier und acht Jahren. (Read here)
LymphForsch 19 (1): 8-14

Publications 2002 - 2014

Schmeller W, Baumgartner A (2014)
Operative Aspekte bei Liposuktion des Lipödems: Zwölf Fragen – zwölf Antworten (Read here)
LymphForsch 18 (1): 6-12
Schmeller W, Baumgartner A (2013)
Benigne symmetrische Lipomatose Launois-Bensaude. Stellenwert der Liposuktion (Read here)
LymphForsch 17 (2): 83-87
Schmeller W, Hartwig D (2012)
Lipödem mit kongenitaler Analbuminämie (Read here)
LymphForsch 16 (2): 58-63
Schmeller W, Hueppe M, Meier-Vollrath I (2012)
Tumescent liposuction in lipoedema yields good long-term results (Read here)
Brit J Dermatol 166: 161-168
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2011)
Lipödem. Zertifizierte Fortbildung (Read here)
vasomed 23 (4): 183-190
Schmeller W, Hüppe M, Meier-Vollrath I (2010)
Langzeitveränderungen nach Liposuktion bei Lipödem (Read here)
LymphForsch 14 (2): 17-28
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2010)
Liposuktion beim Lipödem als kassenärztliche Leistung, Pro und Kontra unter Beachtung gesundheitsökonomischer Aspekte (Read here)
LymphForsch 14 (1): 9-13
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2009)
Lipödem und Liposuktion: Erfahrungen mit dem Medizinischen Dienst der Krankenkassen (MDK) (Read here)
LymphForsch 13 (2): 95-102
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2009)
Lipödem. Moderne Diagnostik und Therapie (Read here)
Gefässchirurgie 14; 516-522
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2008)
Schmerzen beim Lipödem. Versuch einer Annäherung. (Read here)
LymphForsch 12: 7-11
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2008)
Lipödem: Neuer Stellenwert der Physiotherapie durch Kombination konservativer und operativer Maßnahmen. (Read here)
pt Zeitschrift für Physiotherapeuten 60: 660-666
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2007)
Das Lipödem: neue Möglichkeiten der Therapie (Read here)
Schweiz Med Forum 7: 150-155
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2006)
Lymphgefäßschädigung durch Liposuktion? Eine immunhistologische Untersuchung. (Read here)
LymphForsch 10: 80-84
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2005)
Lipödem: Ein Update (Read here)
Lymphforsch 9: 10-20
 Meier-Vollrath I, Schneider W, Schmeller W (2005)
Lipödem: Verbesserte Lebensqualität durch Therapiekombination.
Dt. Ärzteblatt 102: A1061-A1067
Schmeller W, Meier-Vollrath I (2004)
Erfolgreiche Therapie der Lipödems mittels Liposuktion. (Read here)
Phlebologie 33: 23-29
Schmeller W. Meier-Vollrath I (2002)
Zum aktuellen Stand der Liposuktion (Read here)
Der Deutsche Dermatologe 9: 590-594


All you need to know about Lipoedema / publications of the Hanse-Klinik here


Hanse-Klinik GmbH
St.-Jürgen-Ring 66
23564 Lübeck

Phone: 0451 - 50 27 20
Telefax: 0451 - 50 27 219

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