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AirSculpt® Lipedema Treatment Dallas

Is It Lipedema or Just Fat? Understanding Lipedema and Its Stages

image of two legs with excessive fat, knees and inner thighs touching each other

Lipedema is a disorder that has affected over 370 million people worldwide. Most people diagnosed with this condition did not even know they had it in the first place, and like them, an entire life of pain, bruises, and discomfort made a lot more sense after the diagnosis. 

This disorder is basically unbeatable with just exercise and diet. Lipedema fat is different from regular fat, even if it seems the same from the outside. Lipedema is characterized by an irregular buildup of subcutaneous fat, usually in the upper and lower limbs.

It is important to mention the difference between obesity and lipedema-induced fat. Obesity is the result of being overweight, which can cause fat to develop in the legs. Lipedema is the disproportionate setting of fat in arms and legs, unrelated to body weight, often associated with prominent swelling, common pain, and a column-like look. Lipedema can appear in both thin and obese individuals alike.

Lipedema occurs almost always in women exclusively, but there are some cases of men diagnosed with Lipedema. This disorder worsens progressively, affecting patients not only on a physical level but also on self-esteem and personal levels.

As Lipedema evolves, patients will experience different symptoms that may affect their daily lives and routines. Even though Lipedema is widely misdiagnosed and sometimes even questioned, there is continuous research that helps the scientific community to continue to understand this disorder and how to treat it. 

Lipedema Signs and Symptoms

There are various signs and symptoms related to this condition, and not every patient will have all of them. Still, according to recent research, these are the most common symptoms:

  • Hypersensitivity to touch, pressure, or feel the affected area
  • Loss of skin elasticity or mobility
  • Pain in some areas upon touching or walking
  • General fatigue
  • Knee problems
  • Extreme swelling

As mentioned, Lipedema is a progressive condition, evolving as the patient ages. This disorder gets worse with time, going from minor pain and soreness to significant discomfort, heaviness, and numbness. These symptoms can change someone's life, decreasing their mobility and affecting their self-esteem and overall image of themselves. 

Lipedema Stages

This condition is usually diagnosed in different stages, each representing the severity level. The solution will vary depending on how advanced and pronounced the fat is.

The stages mainly describe how much Lipedema has affected the skin's texture and the tissue's structure. It is essential to mention that pain and soreness are not considered in the staging of Lipedema.

In some cases, even if the patient is diagnosed with Lipedema Stage 1, there can be extreme suffering, pain in the extremities, and difficulty walking or standing. This is why Lipedema is treated on a case-by-case basis, as every case is different.

The Four Stages of Lipedema:

  • Stage I: The patient's skin surface is smooth, and the subcutaneous fat tissue is enlarged. The patient may experience minor pain and bruising at this lipedema level.
  • Stage II: The patient's skin surface is uneven, and the fat structure is irregularly knotted, causing a dimpled look on the legs. There is more fat accumulation with this level of lipedema. 
  • Stage III: The patient's fat forms large lobes, usually around the thighs and knees. These folds of skin and fat can extend from the limbs, causing patients to lose balance and mobility, often leading to inflammation, reduced circulation, and discomfort. 
  • Stage IV: In severe cases of Lipedema, the patient's tissue is abnormally enlarged and displaced. 

Lipedema Types

Unlike the Lipedema Stages, the types of lipedema refer to the body areas affected by this condition. They are:

  • Type I: The fat under the skin is increased or more prominent in the entire area of the hips and buttocks.
  • Type II: The Lipedema fat has increased its reach, forming a fat layer around the knees and pelvis. 
  • Type III: Lipedema already expands from the knees to the ankles. 
  • Type IV: Lipedema also affects the arms, the entire legs, or even the wrists. 
  • Type V: Lipedema is primarily on the calves. 

Until recently, Lipedema was not a treatable procedure, but several ways to treat the condition have emerged. These approaches vary from less casual treatments like massage and exercise routines to more technological methods, like Lipedema liposuction or the AirSculpt® Lipedema Treatment

The AirSculpt® procedure removes fat and sculpts trouble areas to create a more pleasing and well-proportioned body shape. This is essential in treating Lipedema since the condition can produce column-like, progressive accumulations of leg fat down to the ankles, preventing proper lymphatic drainage.

AirSculpt® can help selectively target the fat cells responsible for blocking the lymphatic system. Our treatment allows for lymphatic drainage while also giving patients more balanced proportions. We typically treat the inner thighs, knees, calves, ankles (if necessary), and rear thighs to remove as much fat as possible and help the legs return to a size proportional to the upper body. Unlike traditional liposuction, we use no needles, scalpels, or stitches, and patients stay awake the entire time. 

Call our Dallas AirSculpt® office or any of our body contouring and fat removal specialists across the country to learn more and schedule a free consultation.


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