Lipedema is a medical condition that is commonly misdiagnosed. For decades, patients (generally women) have gone undiagnosed but recent studies show that lipedema is more than just an issue with weight. New medical research points to other factors behind this disease and proactive specialists like Dr. Jaime Schwartz of Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills are constantly researching to find more answers while developing different treatment options to tackle this perplexing disorder.
Lipedema is a progressive disease that involves fluid-like fat buildup that in some cases can involve the development and growths of lipomas. Lipomas are soft-tissue tumors that are benign but can develop into larger growths. These fatty, slow-growing lumps typically appear just beneath the skin and are “doughy” in texture but rarely tender to the touch. Lipomas can be experienced in conjunction with patients who suffer from lipedema, which means getting the right diagnosis and treatment options an important part of taking your life back.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Total Lipedema Care (TLC) in Beverly Hills, CA. One of the country’s leading experts with this disease, Dr. Schwartz has helped countless patients, generally women, who suffer from this disorder and other factors such as lipomas. For women living with lipedema, lipomas can be part of the equation. Here is an in-depth look at lipomas and how specialists like Dr. Schwartz diagnose and treat their lipedema patients to live a better quality of life.
How is lipedema diagnosed?
Recent lipedema research, in the last decade, has shown that certain factors contribute to this disease. It is a progressive, genetic disorder that mainly seems to hinder only women. Lipedema characteristics seem to be correlated to a woman’s hormones and may coincide with puberty, premenopausal, or pregnancy. Women are often told they have a weight problem, but lipedema is not simply resolved with a lifestyle change. Fatty tissue also referred to as “fluid-fat” begins to accumulate in the lower extremities or upper arms. External factors like dietary changes and exercise are ineffective tools against lipedema. As the disorder progresses, the buildup can become painful, debilitating and, in some instances, life-threatening if left untreated.
Are lipomas a result of lipedema?
There are some common characteristics and correlated reasons for these two medical issues:
- Both are hereditary
- Both are commonly seen in only female family members
- Both are growths of fatty tissue accumulation
- Both can affect the same target areas such as the lower extremities or upper arms
Finding a lipedema specialist like Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a key factor in getting the right help and diagnosis. Dr. Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a skilled specialist with lipomas as well as lipedema, so he can determine if you have lipomas and give you further treatment help for either disorder.
Diagnosing a lipoma
Lipomas are a slow-growing accumulation of fat cells. These tumor-like growths are generally found just beneath the skin and are a rare genetic disorder that can involve the presence of lipomas throughout the body, also known as FML or familial multiple lipomatosis. FML is when patients are diagnosed with multiple lipomas. Lipomatosis can occur in more than one family member and can span several generations. Other characteristics of lipomas that specialists like Dr. Schwartz look for are:
- “Doughy” in texture or soft to the touch
- Generally small (less than 2 inches in diameter) but can become larger
- Typically found just beneath the skin’s surface
- Common areas for lipomas are neck, arms, chest, back, shoulders, stomach, and thighs
- If found deeper, can be painful if located on blood vessels, nerves, joints, or organs
- Can be a single lump or multiple benign growths
Lipoma treatment options
Lipomas are rarely a serious medical condition, but any lump or bump found on the body should be checked out by a medical professional. Every situation with both lipedema and lipomas is highly individualized for each patient. An expert like Dr. Schwartz can help determine the right course of action and necessary intervention to help patients not only feel better but look better. When lipomas are small and not painful, patients rarely need to consider any treatment options, but if patients feel self-conscious about their lipomas or they become larger even painful, then Dr. Schwartz can offer the following options:
- Surgical removal: surgically remove the lipoma
- Liposuction: lipomas located beneath the skin’s surface can be removed with this less invasive technique
Lipomas are generally easy to manage with the right intervention. Even removing them can enable patients to feel better about how their appearance. Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills was established by Dr. Jaime Schwartz as a place where patients can seek guidance, emotional support, get properly diagnosed, and find the right treatment options that work for them. Even though lipomas are rarely a medical concern, they can make patients feel uncomfortable about how they look. Women living with lipedema can also experience these lipoma growths, so seeking the right medical help is a step in the right direction.
Millions of women are affected by lipedema, and in some instances, deal with additional benign growths called lipomas. These noncancerous fatty tumors can be treated and managed. If you are concerned about lipomas or lipedema, then we invite you to contact Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a well-renowned plastic surgeon and lipedema specialist. You can improve your overall health and well-being by getting the right intervention, diagnosis, and treatment options, so we encourage you to call Total Lipedema Care today.