What is Lipedema?

Stage 3 Lipedema

What is Lipedema? Lipedema is a condition that occurs when fat is placed in irregular patterns under the skin. These patterns of fat are most likely to show up in the legs and buttocks. Over 10 percent of women have this condition. Men rarely suffer from these irregular fat placements in their thighs and buttocks.


For the majority of women who deal with this issue, the symptoms they are most likely to have include a lower half that is bigger than their top half, as well as legs that can easily bruise. If the condition worsens, the fat can travel from your lower half to your arms.

Some of the other symptoms that women often experience include the following:

1. Legs that are hypersensitive to touch
2. Knee issues, which could lead to problems with your gait
3. A reduction of skin elasticity
4. A “fat ring” around your ankles
5. Fatigue
6. Arms and legs have rubbery texture
7. Pockets of fat or fluid appear below the knee
8. Some deficiency of Vitamins D, B12 and iron
9. A lag in the healing of wounds
10. Development of tissue that resembles scars (fibrosis)

Note that not all women will experience all of these symptoms.

What Causes Lipedema?

Right now, medical experts do not know what causes this condition. Many of them think that your hormones could play an important role. This is due to the fact that lipedema largely affects women and occurs or worsens at either puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Women have also been known to get this condition after undergoing major gynecological procedures such as a surgery. Experts also believe that genetics could play a role as many women with this condition have female family members who dealt with this issue. Inflammatory problems could have a smaller part in this medical puzzle.

How Do You Treat This?

Unfortunately diet and exercise can not get rid of the lipedemic fat in your buttocks and thighs. Even though there are other treatment methods that may ease some of the symptoms, many doctors agree that having surgery to remove the lipedemic fat may be the best option.

Most people know that liposuction removes unwanted fat from a person’s problem areas. The same can be done for lipedemic fat. At the time of the surgery, the physician will make an incision where the fat is located, insert a hollow tube, and suction out the abnormal fat tissue. Depending on the amount of lipedemic tissue that needs to be removed, several liposuction sessions may need to be scheduled.

Marcia Byrd, MD

Top lipedema specialist in the United States and around the world, Marcia Byrd, MD of the Lipedema Surgery Center, focuses her practice on treating lipedema patients. earned a medical degree from the University of South Alabama Medical Center. Lipedema-specific liposuction is not widely practiced in the United States, so Dr. Byrd is one of the few U.S. and international physicians who is knowledgeable about this procedure. Dr. Byrd performs over 30 procedures per month in her Atlanta based surgery center in Roswell, GA. That’s over 10,000 lipedema procedures since she began performing lipedema surgical treatment.

If you live in Roswell, GA or surrounding areas such as Alpharetta, Canton, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs or Suwanee, and are interested in learning more about getting lipedema-specific liposuction, call or email us at our office. We at The Lipedema Liposuction Center will be happy to answer all of your questions and address any concern you may have.