To this date (September 2018), I've worked with over 400 lipedema patients; either pre-surgery to maintain as much as possible her quality of life; or post-surgery to achieve the best possible results, as well as speed up healing, and to control swelling, bruising.
Below you'll find a short description of a very complex fat disorder, which affects probably at least (officially)10%-11% of women in America, but is still markedly under-diagnosed in the US. We think it may be as much as 20%.
Lipedema (painful fat syndrome) is a chronic disease that occurs almost exclusively in females. It is characterized by bilateral, symmetrical fatty tissue excess, mainly in the hip region, upper and lower leg areas and combined with a tendency for leg swelling that worsens with standing.
If untreated, Lipedema can cause multiple health problems leading to mobility issues. The physical and emotional suffering of a woman suffering from Lipedema is often great because the disease is typically dismissed as simple obesity. Many patients have been on extreme diets, trying to loose weight, but even bariatric surgery will only result in fat loss primarily from the waist up. Lipedemic fat cannot be exercised or even starved away.
How often have you seen a woman who appears to be a size 8 or 10 from the waist up and a size 18 or more from the waist down with unusually large, column-like legs? Women who have this body profile more often than not are exhibiting classic early stage Lipedema. As Lipedema progresses, fat will increase in the lower body. Unfortunately, Lipedema patients tend to gain weight in the lipedemic areas, and can only lose it in the non-lipedemic areas.
This is the "typical" appearance, however, a woman may be looking petite with relatively "normal" proportions, but still have lipedema in her legs. The absence of definition in calves and ankles, paired with heaviness and pain, easy bruising and swelling could be a sign of lipedema.
There are different approaches to managing lipedema which include anti-inflammatory food choices/diets, compression garments or wrapping, liposuction, and MLD.
MLD can help with the inflammatory process, and of course is indispensable after liposuction surgery in order to heal.
I encourage you to do your own research, but for the sake of this intro page, I provide links to different sites which can help you get the knowledge that may lead to getting the help you need.
Lipedema explained: http://www.lipedema-simplified.org/
Dr. Jay Granzow - Manhattan Beach Plastic Surgery --- https://lymphedemasurgeon.com
Dr. David Amron - The Roxbury Institute, Beverly Hills --http://www.amronmd.com/procedures/surgical/lipedema/
PBS: Dr David Amron explains lipedema -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcXcT5rV0TM
Research: Dr. Karen Herbst: Endocrinologist - http://www.lipomadoc.org/
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ