Do you have excess fat that you just can’t seem to lose, no matter what you do? It can be discouraging to do everything right and still see no results, but in some cases, it is nothing to do with your lifestyle, and instead due to a disease.

What is Lipedema?

Lipedema is a medical condition in which fat tissue builds up, usually in the legs but sometimes in the arms as well.

The primary symptom of lipedema is a buildup of fat in the legs and arms, and if you push on the fat, it often has a texture similar to peas or rice.

Additional symptoms of lipedema include:

  • pain
  • loose skin
  • swelling
  • easily bruising

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Most cases of lipedema occur in women, only rarely occurring in men. With its prominence in women, symptoms often start appearing around the time of significant hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

There is still much unknown about lipedema, including what causes it. However, researchers have found that 60% of those with lipedema also have a family member with it, so genetics may play a role in its development.

As lipedema progresses, the fat cells can block vessels in the lymphatic system, which is responsible for fluid balance in the body. When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, it cannot drain lymph fluid, causing it to build up, a condition called lymphedema.

There is, unfortunately, no cure for lipedema, but liposuction treatment is an option.


Liposuction is an effective treatment for lipedema and involves removing the lipedema fat while avoiding the lymphatic vessels. Whether your lipedema affects your arms and legs or causes cankles, liposuction can help to remove the excess fatty tissue. 

When undergoing liposuction at our clinic, Dr. Markelov will insert a cannula, a hollow instrument, under the skin. He will then use a powerful vacuum to break up the fatty tissue and remove it from the body.

Liposuction Recovery

Immediately following the procedure, Dr. Markelov will apply a compression garment, which puts pressure on the liposuctioned areas. You may feel some moderate discomfort a few hours after surgery as the local anesthesia starts to wear off, and some bruising may appear at the cannula incisions.

Between 3 to 5 days after surgery, you will go back to Dr. Markelov, and he will remove the compression garment and check the cannula incisions. Starting one week after liposuction, we typically advise you to perform gentle massages to move around accumulated fluid and smooth over the treated areas. This will help with decreasing swelling.

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Liposuction for Lipedema

If you are suffering from lipedema and would like to try liposuction treatment, Dr. Markelov is a double-board certified plastic surgeon specializing in lipedema treatment under local anesthesia.

Dr. Markelov also performs awake liposuction for lipedema, which requires no anesthesia and reduces potential surgery complications. He uses small skin incisions that can be closed with glue, not stitches, which leads to minimal downtime and a faster recovery for you.

Lipedema can put a tremendous strain on our happiness and quality of life, but liposuction can help. If you are interested in liposuction as a treatment for lipedema, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Markelov.