Lipoedema – Pain Relief With Liposuction

With Liposuction, Lipoedema pains dropped from moderate to near none and relief persisted, on 8 year followup.lipoedema

Long-term benefit of liposuction in patients with lipoedema: a follow-up study after an average of 4 and 8 years
A. Baumgartner et al
British Journal of Dermatology 2016 in Press

  • Lipoedema/Lipedema is a genetic disorder that presents in adolescence, has hormonal ties , and is made worse with pregnancies and gynecologic surgery
  • 85 female patients

Stages in this study:

  • stage I lipoedema – (skin smooth; swell during day but can remit with leg elevation) -28%
  • stage II lipoedema (skin with endentations, lipomas, and possible eczema; swells with day and only partly  resolves with elevation) – 72%
  • stage III lipoedema (tissues hardened, swelling constant, overhanging skin and lipomas)- none –  because the 2% in original study could no longer be contacted

The initial study had 112 patients  – 12 patients one operation;, 29 patients twice, 28 patients three times, 23 patients four times, 12 patients five times, four patients six times and four patients seven times. A minimum of 1 month between procedures though it was up to a year was allowed.


  • Technique in original article was “liposuction was performed on legs, hips and arms under pure tumescent local anaesthesia (TLA) with blunt vibrating microcannulas of 3 and 4 mm in diameter (power-assisted liposuction)”
  • Surgery 2 hours on average
  • TLA involves pumping in large amounts of dilute lidocaine with epinephrine to freeze and swell up the tissues
  • This involves ” infiltration of large amounts of fluid (‘wet technique’) . They felt this, along  “with the use of blunt vibrating microcanulas of 3–4 mm in diameter (power- or water-assisted liposuction), no relevant tissue damage occurs”
  • Water jet infiltration was likely as  the “average amount of TLA solution infiltrated was 7707 mL”.
  • I noticed that arms were also done sometimes


liposuctionresultsComments: – Original study found  at least stage 2 seemed to benefit most. Though this was a German article, they still mentioned there were cost involved which makes me think this was not necessarily covered by insurers. One has to be prepared for fact it will take 2-3 procedures and maybe more if it is bad. Level of pain relief is gratifying.

Any comments on who is doing it here – particularly in Canada?


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