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Lipedema Management

What is Lipedema?

Lipedema is a connective tissue disorder that causes abnormal fat build up in the legs, buttocks, arms and abdomen. It is most prevalent in women, and onset often occurs at times of hormone fluctuations such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause, or at times of trauma.  It is thought that estrogen is a major factor in the development of this. Gaining a diagnosis for lipedema is often very difficult, as it is often misdiagnosed as obesity, or lymphoedema. More research is being conducted into the causes and management of lipedema now as more women present with this condition so there is  more help becoming  available.

Signs that you may have Lipedema

There are a number of common signs and symptoms that can lead to a positive diagnosis for lipedema.

  1. Swelling in the legs, thighs, buttocks and sometimes the abdomen and arms.

  2. Both sides of the body are affected equally,

  3. Legs can appear column like, but the feet are not impacted

  4. Commonly a fatty deposit on the inside of the knee and the outside of the hips

  5. Often the lower body looks bigger, and out of proportion to the upper body.

  6. The affected area is sensitive or painful to touch

  7.  The skin appears uneven and dimpled

  8.  It can feel like rice, peas or walnuts under the skin where the fat deposits form lobules.

  9. You bruise easily

  10. You have painful joints

  11. You may have varicose or spider veins

  12. The affected areas may feel spongy, and skin is cool to the touch

  13. There may be a family history of the condition

  14. Symptoms may get worse with exercise, flying, hot weather or standing for too long

  15. You have tried many diets and exercise regimes but still cannot reduce the size of your legs.

How will it affect me?

Lipedema occurs in stages, which you may or may not progress through.  It can develop into lymphoedema over time due to the buildup of the adipose tissue affecting the ability of the lymphatic vessels to drain- this is referred to as lipo-lymphoedema.  

Lipedema can have a significant impact on your quality of life, your range of movement, your ability to exercise, and your self-esteem. It is important to seek out an accurate diagnosis for lipedema, as aside from lipoedema and lymphoedema, there are other reasons for tissue swelling.


Treatment for lipedema and how I can help you?

Treatment for lipedema is still limited but seeking help from a trained professional can help you manage your lipedema as effectively as is currently possible.


At Hands On Lymphatics, I can help you with finding a management regime to suit you by looking at:

  • Dietary consideration – maintaining a healthy weight helps to reduce the amount of non-lipidemic fat and may help to reduce inflammation

  • Compression Garments

  • Exercise – low impact exercise such as swimming helps to increase mobility and improve circulation

  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage – helps to improve mobility and move the fluids from the affected area

  • Pneumatic compression pump- has been proven to be most effective in improving mobility, pain levels and fluid retention

  • Liposuction – this technique removes the lipidemic fat from the affected areas. This is a surgical intervention and requires referral onto  a qualified Lipedema Surgeons.


At your Lymphoedema appointment we will:

  • Collect a health history review

  • Record Limb measurement

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage

  • Use of Low-Level Laser Therapy/Sequential Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Pump as necessary

  • Information on risk factors, self-massage and garments


Further Information

Lipoedema Management Prces

Please note that the allocated time for all therapies includes time for discussion of current issues, assessment, and table time.

Please note that lipopedema management appointments cannot be done in less than an hour.

  • 90 Minute Intake $130

  • 60 minute appointment $90

Depending on your private health fund and coverage you may be eligible to claim services under Extras.

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