Lipoedema: presentation and management

Br J Community Nurs. 2010 Apr;15(4):S10-6. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2010.15.Sup3.47363.


Lipoedema is a distinct clinical condition characterized by bilateral, symmetrical enlargement of the buttocks and lower limbs owing to excess deposition of subcutaneous fat. It is found almost exclusively in women. The common features associated with this condition are 'column- shaped' legs with sparing of the feet, bruising, sensitivity to pressure, and orthostatic oedema. The progression to lipo-lymphoedema or morbid obesity is possible. Conservative measures used in the management of lymphoedema can prevent progression/limit the orthostatic oedema. Surgical procedures may also play a part in the management of lipoedema.

MeSH terms

  • Buttocks
  • Edema* / diagnosis
  • Edema* / physiopathology
  • Edema* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Lipectomy
  • Lipidoses* / diagnosis
  • Lipidoses* / physiopathology
  • Lipidoses* / therapy
  • Stockings, Compression