Phlebologie 2019; 48(01): 47-56
DOI: 10.1055/a-0805-5497

Lipedema – Myths and Facts Part 4

Article in several languages: deutsch | English
Tobias Bertsch
1   Földiklinik Hinterzarten, Europäisches Zentrum für Lymphologie
Gabriele Erbacher
1   Földiklinik Hinterzarten, Europäisches Zentrum für Lymphologie
Nestor Torio-Padron
2   Praxisklinik für Plastische Chirurgie Freiburg
› Author Affiliations


Lipedema is associated with numerous myths. In this fourth part of our series of articles we will examine the value of liposuction in the treatment of lipedema. We discuss the common statement amongst doctors who offer this procedure, that “liposuction leads to comprehensive and long-term improvement of lipedema”. We have been able to show that there is a considerable gap between the often euphoric promises made by surgeons, and the current findings on liposuction. There are deficits in the quality and settings of many studies, deficits which lead to doubt with regards to these statements. There is a similar gap between the recommendations in the S1-guideline for lipedema and actual practise, as performed on obese lipedema patients. The “critical indication assessment” recommended in the guideline is often not adhered to in patients simultaneously presenting with obesity and lipedema. It can not be emphasised enough that liposuction is not a method to be used for treating obesity. Liposuction can however lead to an improvement in a patient’s lipedema, but the correct selection of patients according to medical criteria is the decisive factor for therapeutic success. Liposuction should thus be embedded in a unifying concept which encompasses psychosocial, nutritional and sports medicinal aspects.

Publication History

Received: 05 August 2018

Accepted: 09 August 2018

Article published online:
19 February 2019

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