Lipedema Treatment

Have you struggled with body weight that just won’t go away, no matter how much you exercise or watch your diet? Many women do not realize their weight in the arms and legs is the result of a little-known condition called “lipedema.” Learn more about this commonly misdiagnosed condition and how Scarpidis Aesthetics can help you with some of the best lipedema treatment NYC has to offer.

An estimated one out of nine women in the United States could be living with lipedema, yet it continues being one of the most poorly understood and frequently underdiagnosed conditions.

Lipedema is an adipose tissue disorder that typically affect the lower extremities and sometimes the arms. An easily observable symptom is a larger lower half that is disproportionate with the top half of the body. In some cases, the upper arms can be disproportionately heavier. For these reasons, lipedema is often mistaken for obesity. Beyond producing an unbalanced appearance, problematic symptoms include tenderness, easy bruising and sometimes pain.

Lipedema may also be confused with lymphedema where a blockage in the lymphatic system causes swelling in the arms and legs. A simple way of visually distinguishing the two is to observe the individual’s feet: the feet, ankles, wrist and hands are not affected by lipedema.

How is it Diagnosed?

Lipedema diagnosis can occur through physical examination rather than diagnostic tests. The clinical criteria for diagnosing the condition include fat distribution between hips and ankles, with no involvement of feet; fatty tissue on the tops of the feet; and sensitivity to pressure.

In the early stages of the condition, the upper part of the body may appear slender. With an advancement in lipedema, bulges of fatty tissues develop on the thigh areas above the knee and close to the groin. During later stages, small fatty tissues may also develop within the tissues.

Studies show that patients with stage 1 lipedema may experience low body temperature, fatigue, muscle aches, low back pain, nasal congestion, visible veins on legs, bloating and early satiety.

Stage 2 and 3 lipedema have been linked to unexplained weight gain and muscle weakness. Stage 3 patients have reported palpitations, frequent urination, hair loss, shortness of breath and numbness. With an increase in stage, burning pain, blood clots, obstructive sleep apnea and flu-like symptoms can be experienced.

Lipedema is often misdiagnosed

Many women living with this condition have been misdiagnosed, and are told they suffer from lymphedema – a condition in which fluids accumulate beneath the skin. Lipedema, also called “painful fat syndrome,” is a completely different chronic condition.

The disease may be dismissed as obesity, but has specific symptoms. If you have these symptoms, it is advised that you find a physician familiar with lipedema to evaluate you:

  • Abnormal swelling in legs and hips
  • Fatty ring around ankles
  • Fatty bulges on outside of thighs
  • Fatty bulges on upper arms
  • Feet are unaffected
  • A “tree-like,” disproportionate appearance to legs
  • Lumpiness and cellulite
  • Pain, tenderness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Prone to bruising
Julia - Chief Plasic Surgery Specialist

Ask Julia

Hi! My name is Julia. I am the Chief Plastic Surgery Specialist at Scarpidis Aesthetics. Feel free to ask me any questions, I'll be happy to help!

Ask now
Julia - Chief Plastic Surgery Specialist

Ask Julia


What causes lipedema?

Lipedema usually starts during puberty and progresses through the individual’s lifetime. The accumulation of fat can cause emotional anxiety, a reason why individuals are advised to pursue effective treatment and a weight management plan at the earliest.

It is important to acknowledge that lipedema is not a lifestyle disease, and therefore, cannot be blamed on the individual. The cause of lipedema is not known. A family history of the condition has been reported, so individuals could inherit it from their parents. It predominantly affects women; as it typically occurs at puberty, pregnancy or menopause, there is a possibility of hormones playing a role. The definitive cause is yet to be ascertained, so for now, the above mentioned potential causes are only suspected, not confirmed.

Lipedema has been reported in obese, thin and anorexic women as well as those with a healthy body weight. However, its impact on the body’s aesthetics is more pronounced on overweight women.

Treating Lipedema

At Scarpidis Aesthetics, we are sharing information about this under-diagnosed condition, and offer to help women who suffer from it to finally get relief.

While exercise and a healthy diet can be helpful during the early stages of the disease, liposuction is the preferred solution to address fat deposits and restore the appearance of affected extremities and return individuals to a more active and pleasurable lifestyle. There are several stages of the disease: mild, moderate, and advanced. If you have been diagnosed with lipedema, we have developed a treatment to help you live a happier, healthier life. The treatment involves the use of advanced tumescent liposuction. The area to be treated is numbed with local anesthetic so the experience is comfortable and without pain.

What exactly is liposuction?

Everyone seems to be getting a ‘lipo’ these days! Liposuction is possibly the most sought-after treatment to reshape areas of the body by removing excessive fat deposits and refining body contours. Most patients, in their quest for better health and enhanced appearance, prefer liposuction to treat a number of problem areas in one treatment.

According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery, liposuction is among the five most-performed cosmetic surgical procedures for women and men. Since the mid-nineties, there has been an estimated 134% increase in the number of liposuction procedures performed. Though it is not a treatment per se for obesity, it is an extremely popular choice to remedy the cosmetic concerns of this disorder, and any condition/disease where excessive fat must be addressed.

Liposuction was first introduced in 1982 by French surgeon Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz as a solution to remove excessive fat. It immediately captured the public’s imagination and entered the mainstream of plastic surgery for its efficacy and simplicity. Today, the procedure is used to treat the back, thighs, abdomen, chest area, calves, cheeks, upper arms, hips and buttocks. Lipo is performed either as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures such as tummy tuck, facelift or breast reduction.

Broadly speaking, the best candidates for liposuction are individuals with isolated areas of fat that are disproportionate to surrounding areas, that exercise and diet cannot solve. It is an excellent solution for lipedema treatment, and our NYC office is a trusted destination for this as well as a number of other cosmetic surgery procedures.

Lipo-sculpture at Scarpidis Aesthetics

How is lipo-sculpture different from liposuction? Well, liposuction describes a procedure involving the removal of a significant volume of fat. Liposculpture also removes accumulated fat deposits but spares the lymphatic tissue and shapes the remaining fat to mirror the underlying muscle to create a more attractive and athletic appearance where possible.

Scarpidis Aesthetics treats lipedema using advanced tumescent liposuction, which requires local anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia or intravenous sedatives. The epinephrine in the anesthesia solution causes capillary construction, so bleeding during and post surgery is minimal. Tumescent liposuction is an advanced technique from previous methods that use general anesthesia. It is far less painful, significantly shortens post-operative recovery time, and favoured for producing optimal cosmetic outcomes.

Our lipedema liposuction in NYC is not complicated to understand. A large volume of very diluted local anesthetic is injected into the treatment area. This causes the target area to swell and become firm (“tumescence”). The surgery takes anywhere between one to three hours. Post-surgery bruising is also minimal for two reasons. The blood loss is very less, with virtually no blood remaining beneath the skin to trigger bruising after the surgery. A large volume of blood-tinged anesthetic solution drains from the small incisions during the first 24-48 hours following the procedure. Once the drainage has halted, you only need to place absorbent pads over incision sites that continue to drain. As bruising and swelling is minimal, the healing process is greatly hastened.

After your lipo-sculpture at Scarpidis Aesthetics, you will be required to wear a compression garment for 10-14 days constantly, and then part-time for another 10-14 days. You will also be prescribed an antibiotic to take for five days following the procedure.

Lipo-sculpture is a no-hassle treatment option, allowing you to be up and about within an hour after the procedure. It is recommended that you embark on a one or two mile walking routine thereafter. As indicated earlier, there is little or no pain post-procedure, and at the most, you may need a few painkillers on the night after lipo-sculpture.

How the Procedure is Performed

Lipo-sculpture is a process that allows us to remove the accumulation of fat in the areas impacted by the condition via liposuction, while sparing the lymphatic tissue. Learn how Dr. Scarpidis delivers some of the top liposuction NYC has to offer.

To perform the procedure, a large volume of very diluted local anesthetic is injected into the area being treated, as well as a drug that shrinks capillaries. The area being treated becomes swollen and firm (tumescent) after it is anesthetized, eliminating the need for general or intravenous sedation. This process is safer for the patient overall, and avoids the various risks of other forms of liposuction. The surgery takes about one to three hours to perform.

Creating a Balanced Body

If you have been diagnosed with lipedema, you may have already run the gamut of treatments for another condition, or had it written off as simply being a result of obesity. This unfortunate situation has afflicted many women throughout New York and the country, who have lived with an undiagnosed chronic condition that has treatment options that work.

The removal of the accumulated fat deposits requires an eye for creating a balanced body appearance, and at Scarpidis Aesthetics, Dr. Scarpidis is proud to be known for his artistry and skill in body sculpting and contouring.

Recovery After Treatment

After the procedure is complete, excess fluid is drained, and the points of incision are left to further drain and heal naturally. You will be wearing a compression garment for ten to fourteen days, at all times, and then part time for the next ten to fourteen days. You will be prescribed an antibiotic to take for five days following the procedure.

Exercise Following Lipedema Treatment

Every patient is able to walk within an hour or so after treatment, and is encouraged to make a one to two mile walk part of their daily routine thereafter.

Pain Levels and Treatment

Most people who have the treatment experience little to no pain afterwards, and only a few need any painkillers that night.

When Will Your Results Be Fully Realized?

You can resume your full activities within two weeks, and prior to that, mild exercise is advised. The results of the procedure continue to improve as the days pass and swelling reduces, with the final cosmetic improvement evident in six to twelve months. After years of dealing with undiagnosed lipedema, these few months can be some of the most exciting since you developed this painful condition.

Scarpidis Aesthetics: A Cut Above

Dr. Scarpidis is a board certified plastic surgeon who brings great precision and artistry to his craft and is held in high regard in the scientific community for sharing his liposuction research at numerous plastic surgery conferences.

To achieve an aesthetically pleasing form, the plastic surgeon performing liposuction must sculpt a better shape on any area of the body, keeping balance, contours and proportion in mind. The goal of lipo-sculpture for lipedema treatment is not only to remove excess fat but also refine the patient’s shape. It is by no means a blanket procedure, rather, outcomes are dependent on the surgeon’s skill and ability to bring about an appreciable improvement in body contour.

Dr. Scarpidis has constantly astonished his patients with not just his surgical finesse and technical precision, but his overall approach, visible in the all aspects of the patient experience. His practice is dedicated to mastering new advances in plastic surgery and non-invasive treatments for various physical conditions. If this is your first encounter with liposuction or you have arrived at our page during the course of your research on lipedema treatment online and haven’t yet made up your mind about who you would wish to partner with, please note these points on surgeon selection:

  • Give due consideration to skills and experience by getting a sense of the number of liposuction procedures performed by the surgeon, including perusing the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of patients online or in a hard-copy portfolio during your in-person consultation.
  • Trust no one but a board certified board surgeon who has studied and practiced performing liposuction as part of his/her cosmetic surgery fellowship. You can also enjoy peace of mind knowing that your procedure will be performed at an accredited surgery center.
  • A cosmetic surgeon is a sculptor who has an innate or an acquired, well-honed sense of aesthetics to achieve the look desired by patients. He/She should be able to understand expectations and communicate potential outcomes in a concise and an unambiguous way.

Dr. Scarpidis is honest and transparent about the results that liposuction can achieve in your case. He will let you know if you’re an ideal candidate who can expect amazing results or if liposuction can offer limited success, and may recommend better-suited options. Feel free to discuss your concerns and ask questions – Dr. Scarpidis and his staff guide you patiently and enthusiastically throughout the process, from your first meeting to post-operative care.

Schedule a consultation

If you struggle with stubborn pockets of fat throughout your body that are unresponsive to diet and exercise, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scarpidis today to discuss SculpSure in New York at his luxurious private pratice. During your private meeting in his midtown office, he will carefully evaluate the extra volume that concerns you most, before offering personalized guidance as to whether or not SculpSure can achieve the slim and contoured body you desire.

Call us today: (212) 951-0505

Schedule now

BMI Calculator

What is your height?

ft in

What is your weight?


Your BMI is

Contact Us