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LIPEDEMA: SYMPTOMS & STAGES

LIPEDEMA: SYMPTOMS & STAGES

Last updated on 22 August 2019, Thursday by Dr.Etöz Editorial Staff

Lipedema is a chronic fat tissue disease that affects mainly the legs and rarely the arms. Lipedema causes abnormal and asymmetrical swelling due to fat accumulation in the hips, thighs, and legs.

Lipedema Symptoms

Lipedema can be caused by some chronic diseases as well as hormonal disorders. The symptoms of lipedema can be listed as follows:

– Excessive lubrication of the legs and hips.

– Sometimes swelling can go down to the ankle, but the feet do not suffer from the disease.

– Protrusions occur due to excessive fat accumulation on the outer legs and the hip area.

– Generally seen in women, pain and bruising may occur.

The diagnosis of lipedema is made mostly by the complaints of the patient and the appearance of the legs. Diagnosis is more difficult in obese patients because fat tissue is already thickened. In lipedema patients, a widespread increase of fat tissue in the legs is observed by ultrasonography and magnetic resonance (MR).

Lipedema Stages

There are 4 stages of lipedema:

Stage 1:
In the first stage, the skin is still smooth and soft in the affected area. Edema may increase during the day but disappears with rest.


Stage 2:

In the second stage, tissue disorders start in the skin. The patient may feel nodules. Fat deposits are especially visible on the upper and lower legs ankles. Skin infections such as eczema may appear. The edema does not pass with rest.

Stage 3:
In the third stage, edema develops enough to disturb the patient. Excess fat blocks observe at this stage, especially in thigh and knees.


Stage 4:

The fourth stage is called lipo-lymphedema. Excessive masses of fat in the legs begin to sag over each other and edema is continuously observed.

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