Unfortunately dieting and exercising will not reduce the fat involved in lipedema. A weight-loss diet and exercise may leave you thinner on the top, but not change the fat on your lower affected half.
Surgery for lipedema is also ineffective. Obese women with lipedema who undergo bariatric surgery lose fat mostly from above the waist. Liposuction might seem a reasonable solution, because it is designed to remove fat from beneath the skin. But experts warn that removing enough fat to improve the appearance of the legs would likely cause death.
Although there is no way to eliminate the excessive fat accumulation of lipedema, treatment called complete decongestive therapy can ease painful symptoms. Complete decongestive therapy involves:
Manual lymphatic drainage. A form of massage that uses gentle, rhythmic pumping movements to stimulate the flow of lymph around blocked areas to healthy vessels, where it can drain into the venous system. This helps relieve pain and prevent fibrosis.
Compression. The use of stretch bandages or custom-fitted panty hose, panties, and/or spandex shorts to increase tissue pressure in the swollen legs and decrease the reaccumulation of fluid.
Exercise. Helps reduce fluid buildup, increase mobility, and maintain or improve function.
Meticulous skin and nail care. Helps decrease the risk of wounds and infection.
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