For many patients, lipedema may be misdiagnosed as Lymphedema. For doctors unfamiliar with lipedema, these two disorders can look very similar. A misdiagnosis results in frustration for the patient who undergoes treatment for Lymphedema with poor results.
Lymphedema is swelling under the skin caused by fluid accumulation in the individual's lymphatic system. Typically, the swollen tissue will indent if you press it, but this isn't the case with lipedema. Lymphedema is usually unilateral while lipedema is virtually always bilateral. Lipedema patients may eventually develop Lymphedema, a condition known as Lipo-Lymphedema.
The diagnosis of lipedema is difficult if the physician is unfamiliar with this condition. Often, women are told that they are obese and should just lose weight to resolve the problem. It' s important for lipedema patients to understand that the fatty tissue accompanying this condition cannot be effectively decreased by diet or exercise, and the patient will tend to simply lose weight in the areas not affected by lipedema.
Dr. David Amron employs a comprehensive approach in diagnosing and treating his lipedema patients. He has a close working relationship with Dr. Karen Herbst, a world-renowned medical authority on fat disorders, such as lipedema. Drs. Amron and Herbst work to establish pre-and post-surgical protocols for lipedema patients and consult with each other to optimize patient care.
Dr. Amron employs a team of lipedema specialists, including trained MLD therapists and a nutritionist. MLD therapy, nutritional counseling, and hormonal evaluation are often recommended for the medical management for this disorder. The team works together to establish protocols and collaborate on studies among lipedema patients to not only advance therapies but to increase awareness, so that possibly one day, lipedema will be more recognized by health insurance companies in terms of coverage.