Lipedema is a condition that occurs when fat is unevenly distributed in an irregular manner beneath the skin, most often in the legs, arms, and buttocks.
Although for many patients it begins as a cosmetic concern, once it progresses, it can eventually cause pain and other symptoms. Lipedema is often mistaken for obesity or lymphedema, but it is a unique condition that requires treatment from a skilled, experienced surgeon. Over time lipedema fat can become hard and fibrous and scar tissue can form around the fat due to inflammation. If this happens veins and lymphatics can become restricted, which will cause pain. Although there is no cure for lipedema it can be treated. Lipedema can be very frustrating both physically and mentally, especially if it is undiagnosed. Beverly Hills, CA board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jaime S. Schwartz is a renowned plastic surgeon that treats lipedema, who regularly collaborates with Dr. Karen L. Herbst, a national expert on lipedema. He also regularly lectures on this topic.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz sees patients in all stages and types of lipedema who suspect something is wrong or “not right” with their health when diet and exercise are not helping – no matter the level of effort. If you have lipedema, you may feel like you can’t do anything for your situation. Dr. Jaime Schwartz is one of the few plastic surgeons that treats lipedema, and he wants his patients to feel normal and healthy.
The fat collection will not be distributed evenly on the buttocks. Lipedema will cause the fat to accumulate on the upper part of the buttocks only (known as the upper buttock shelf). If you have lipedema in the buttock area, you may wear a very large size in your midsection but a small in the upper body. This type of fat can make sitting rather uncomfortable and painful at all times.
While they share common characteristics, lipedema and lymphedema are not the same conditions.
There are many similarities and differences between these two conditions. Dr. Schwartz wants you to know that he will do what is necessary to provide you with a diagnosis that is appropriate for you.