What is Lipedema?
Lipedema is an under-diagnosed disease of the fat (adipose) cells. As the disease progresses, Lipedema deposits abnormal amounts of fat in the lower half of the body producing “column-like” legs and/or fat cuffs around the ankle. Meanwhile, the torso remains disproportionately smaller. In later stages of Lipedema, fat deposits may occur in the buttocks, torso and upper arms.
Do I Have Lipedema?
- Large stove-pipe shaped legs – Symmetric enlargement of both legs bilaterally between the hips and ankles
- A disproportion of legs in comparison to the knees, disproportion of hips, stomach or buttocks
- Fat cuffs around ankles
- Upper body much smaller that lower body
- Swollen legs that bruise easily
- Pain in the ankles, legs, buttocks, or thighs. Legs that are painful to touch
- Lumpy tissue that looks like cellulite
- Excess tissue gathered around knees and on inner thighs
- Fat size doesn’t reduce with diet or exercise
- Changes in skin
Contact Us Today!
A Lipedema Specialist Right Here in the U.S.
Byrd Lipedema Surgery Center is led by Dr. Marcia Byrd.
The Lipedema Surgery Center is located just outside of Atlanta in Roswell, GA. You will find that Dr. Byrd and all of her staff are caring individuals who are truly dedicated to treating patients who have this disorder, by giving them hope, and alleviating their pain emotionally and physically.
Dr. Byrd is a world-renowned lipedema specialist, who has dedicated much of her career to raising awareness for fat disorders (like lipedema) that are highly underdiagnosed and usually misdiagnosed as morbid obesity.
Proper diagnosis of lipedema is crucial for effective treatment and management of the condition. Marcia M. Byrd, M.D. is considered the top expert in the nation, Canada and abroad in diagnosing, treating, and management of women with lipedema.
Lipedema requires a clinical diagnosis, meaning that there is no standardized test such as blood work or imaging that can confirm the presence of lipedema.
Dr. Byrd will perform a physical exam, examine the affected areas, use her hands to feel if there is evidence of atypical texture in the affected areas. Lipedema tissue may have small, dense nodules, ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. These nodules are typically spheroidal, but clusters may give the sense of oblong or rod-like shapes. These features can be very diverse between patients in size, texture, and depth within the tissue.
She will complete the diagnosis by considering the patient history in the context of the physical exam.
Lymphatic Sparing Liposuction
The ideal surgery for lipedema is lymphatic sparing liposuction. It involves using specialized techniques to gently release pressure and congestion – preserving vital lymphatics while removing excess fat.
It’s important to select a surgeon with experience treating lipedema patients, such as Dr. Marcia Byrd. Many liposuction approaches are simply too aggressive for the condition. In fact, they can damage the lymphatic system and lead to additional complications. The two techniques Dr. Byrd performs most often include Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL) and Waster-assisted Liposuction (WAL).