The Four Stages of Lipedema
What is Lipedema?
Lipedema is a chronic disorder of adipose tissue, or fat tissue, in the body which is often mistaken for lifestyle-induced obesity. While obesity is on the rise in general in the United States and around the world, and can often be controlled and counteracted by a combination of exercise and diet changes, lipedema does not respond adequately to these lifestyle changes. It predominantly affects women, can manifest after stressful events, and often can be triggered by hormonal shifts in the body, like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
The Four Stages of the Lipedema
There are four stages of the disorder that can be diagnosed by a medical professional:
- In the first stage, the skin remains mostly soft and pliable, but swelling occurs during the day. It is often sufficient to rest to reduce the swelling.
- The second stage brings indentations to the surface of the skin and hardening to the subcutaneous tissue below the surface. Skin infections may occur, and fatty deposits begin to form on the legs and around the ankles.
- The third stage sees fattier deposits form and grow, but the most problematic development is that rest no longer helps resolve the swelling. The fatty deposits become big enough that it starts to deform the arms and the legs.
- The final stage, stage four, is where quality of life is most negatively affected. In this stage, the condition is often called Lipo-Lymphedema, because the condition is now causing serious damage to the lymphatic system in addition to causing build up of adipose tissue and fatty deposits below the surface. The deposits of fat become large enough that mobility is severely impaired, and the quality of life suffers.
Because lipedema is not adequately treated by diet and lifestyle changes, if you think you might be suffering from lipedema it is important to contact a medical professional like Dr. Marcia Byrd at the Lipedema Liposuction Center located just north of Atlanta, Georgia. The earlier medical intervention begins the more effective the treatment can be. In fact if you have complete stage 4 lipedema, you not be able to have the WAL Liposuction.
Beginning treatments can range from special garments to compress the tissue and reduce swelling while helping the body to fight off the fatty accumulation. Surgical intervention has been found to be most effective using the Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction, or WAL. This exciting modern procedure gently removes the adipose tissue while protecting the lymphatic system below.
Dr. Marcia Byrd is known throughout the country and abroad as an expert in treating lipedema using the WAL Liposuction procedure. Dr. Marcia V. Byrd and the whole team at The Lipedema Liposuction Center in Roswell, Georgia are available to answer any questions you may have about this disorder. Request one of her Lipedema booklets by email or schedule an appointment by calling The Lipedema Liposuction Center at 770-587-1711.
Most of her patients she has treated for Lipedema have come from just about every state, and many from entirely across the country such as California, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. If you are traveling from far away, we have suggestions for your travel and your stay. Just request our information packet on traveling.
This article discusses medical and health topics, but it is not nor should it be considered to be medical advice. If you have a medical concern or question, please consult Dr. Marcia V. Byrd or a health care professional in your area.