As if ladies didn’t already have a hard enough time managing their body image, there’s a condition that almost exclusively occurs in women and causes fat cells to excessively build up in the lower part of the body. Researchers have so far been unable to discover what causes Lipoedema, although a hormonal and genetic link is suspected.
It’s an incredibly frustrating condition because most nurses and doctors haven’t been trained to recognise its symptoms – making it all the more difficult to be properly diagnosed. Patients can be made to feel particularly at the end of their wits when being told that their excess fat is their ‘own fault’ – since dieting and exercise do absolutely nothing to reduce the build-up.
Worse still – there’s no cure.
Nevertheless, there is one treatment that effectively reduces excess fatty tissue: MicroLipo.
What is Lipoedema?
The longer Lipoedema is allowed to advance, the more visible its symptoms become. Most notably, fatty tissue will accrue in your legs and buttocks, but without affecting the feet. In less common cases the arms can also be affected, although once again, the hands are left unaffected.
The lower body will usually become disproportionally enlarged and will create a ‘band-like’ or ‘bracelet’ effect around the ankles, although both legs tend to grow to the same extent and at the same time.
Other symptoms experienced in the affected areas include bruising easily, being tender to the touch, feeling soft, cold or ‘doughy’, as well as having small broken veins under the skin.
Treating Lipoedema in the UK
Since being diagnosed can pose such a challenge to Lipoedema sufferers, starting to manage the condition is often delayed and the options are limited.
Regular, low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling are recommended to increase lymph drainage to help reduce fluid retention while a healthy diet will stop you from gaining weight, although please note that being overweight or obese isn’t directly linked to the condition. Maintaining a healthy diet will simply make the condition more manageable.
Wearing compression garments and having Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massages are also useful and effective ways of dealing with the condition on a long-term basis.
What can MicroLipo do for sufferers?
It’s important to understand off the bat that MicroLipo is not a cure for Lipoedema. However, it is currently the only way to successfully reduce the accumulated fatty tissue and the results can last at least 15 years if post-operative advice is adhered to.
Surgical Liposuction isn’t an option because it’s imperative to not cause any trauma to lymph vessels, as this could worsen the condition and lead to the development of one called Lipo-Lymphedema, which causes the body’s tissue to swell.
Our esteemed Dr Puneet Gupta is part of a handful of people in Europe able to perform MicroLipo, during which he uses micro-cannulas, no bigger than 0.3mm in diameter, to gently suck out the build-up.
Before that, the affected areas are injected with a tumescent liquid (a type of anaesthetic), which works to isolate fat cells so that they can easily be extracted afterwards. The incisions Dr Gupta makes in order to insert the cannulas are so small that they don’t require any subsequent stitches and the slow suction process dramatically limits any trauma to the surrounding tissue.
Several sessions may be required to treat all of the limbs effectively, but Dr Gupta has said that the tears of joy patients often experience following the treatment, give him the greatest job satisfaction.
The Private Clinic
Having been trained by, and having worked under Dr Jeffrey Klein – the inventor of MicroLipo – Dr Gupta can deliver the kind of results that very few can. The procedure may not present a cure, but the results can genuinely be life-changing. Dr Puneet Gupta is an expert in his field and you can expect to benefit from the full extent of his knowledge.