Diagnosing Lipedema—What A Lipedema Specialist Looks For

Women who are seeking out a definitive diagnosis of lipedema need to find a lipedema specialist. Lipedema is not a rare condition, but rarely does it get properly diagnosed. Often overlooked by most medical professionals as simply a lifestyle issue that needs to be taken care of, women are told often that their condition is an issue associated with being overweight. However, lipedema is actually a disease that is much more than just a weight issue and an experienced specialist can be an important ally in treating the disease and helping women maintain a good quality of life while living with it.

Founder of Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA, Dr. Jaime Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and lipedema specialist. Dr. Schwartz is highly recognized throughout the medical community for his perseverance with this disease and the goal of helping more women with a proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Schwartz has dedicated a portion of his private surgical practice to lipedema research and giving women treatment options to help fight this disease. Here is information on what a lipedema specialist, like Dr. Schwartz, looks for and how you can get help if you think you have the signs and symptoms of lipedema.

Get the right diagnosis

Lipedema specialists, like Dr. Schwartz, founder of Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, are determined to help women get a proper diagnosis and dispel the myth that lipedema is only a weight issue. Lipedema is a genetic disease that strikes mainly women and often times goes undiagnosed. For years, this painful disorder was overlooked as an issue of weight or unhealthy lifestyle choices, causing many women to be embarrassed and afraid to seek medical help. Today, lipedema is medically recognized as a genetic disease and not the patient's fault. It affects over 17 million women and specialists like Dr. Schwartz are working diligently to help women get the appropriate diagnosis so they can get the support and treatment help that they need.

Generational disorder

With more research being gathered on this progressive disorder, there seems to be a genetic link that lipedema is passed down through female family members. Older generations of aunts, grandmothers, and even mothers seem to show the same symptoms and characteristics of this painful disorder. The hallmark symptom of lipedema is the disproportionate body type of excessive fatty tissue settling in the lower extremities, especially the legs, which is a progressive "fatty fluid" buildup that is unresponsive to diet and exercise. This fatty tissue buildup is a common denominator among generations of women who have this disease. Lipedema specialists see a direct link with female family members who have struggled with the same lipedema-style characteristics passed down. As part of his initial consultation to help determine a definitive lipedema diagnosis, Dr. Schwartz will conduct a thorough medical and family background check for genetic similarities of the disease.

Looking at the lipedema stages

Female patients in the early stages of lipedema who decide to seek medical help from a non-lipedema specialist often get told to change their lifestyle. Women may then take drastic measures to lose weight or do extreme dieting to only get discouraged as the "fatty fluid" in their legs or hips is unresponsive. This can lead to a myriad of problems like depression or eating disorders as the disease gets progressively worse. A lipedema specialist like Dr. Schwartz at Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA is highly knowledgeable about the various stages of lipedema and the characteristics that define each of them. Even in the early stages, lipedema fat cells are quite different than cellulite. Dr. Schwartz will examine the target areas where the fatty deposits have settled to determine if the excessive buildup is typical for lipedema stages in order to give a patient the right diagnosis.

Physical traits of lipedema

Lipedema is a chronic disease that has certain characteristics that are universal to women struggling with this disorder. Dr. Schwartz recognizes and understands those physical traits at each stage. Lipedema is symmetrical, so women experience an excessive fluid-like buildup in both legs, not just one. Most common in the legs, hips, and upper buttocks, the excessive fatty fluid buildup stops at the ankles. Although rarely seen in the upper body, there are some cases in which a patient experiences lipedema symptoms in both arms. Women with lipedema are seen as extremely "pear-shape" in body type. As the disease goes into other stages, the fat buildup causes more swelling and further health issues. The symptomatic features of this disease are categorized into four stages and a lipedema specialist like Dr. Schwartz will know firsthand what to look for in each.

The stages of lipedema as evaluated by a specialist

Lipedema is a progressive disease and research shows that it evolves into 4 stages. In the early stage, a woman's skin may look the same, but her body has taken on a disproportionate look. Also swelling and some slight pain may occur in the lower extremities. As it goes into the middle stages of II and III, a patient's skin will begin to change with excessive fluid buildup. Dr. Schwartz will look for issues in skin texture, swelling, and duration along with the physical attributes of lipedema that define each stage. Dr. Schwartz will take into consideration the guidelines for each symptom exhibited to medically determine what a patient will need in terms of treatment options.

Finding a lipedema specialist is crucial to getting the right diagnosis in order for patients to get the right support and treatments needed to live with this disease. Dr. Jaime Schwartz and his professionally trained staff at Total Lipedema Care in Beverly Hills, CA will conduct an in-depth consultation with every patient to ensure an accurate diagnosis. A board-certified plastic surgeon and lipedema specialist, Dr. Schwartz and his staff offer lipedema patients a number of outlets once it is confirmed that they do have this disease, including nutritional guidance, emotional support, and even surgical treatment options. A lipedema specialist like Dr. Schwartz is key to helping women have a better quality of life when living with this disease. If you are concerned you might have lipedema, please contact Total Lipedema Care today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz.

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