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Review
. 2015 Sep;14(3):262-7.
doi: 10.1177/1534734614554284. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

Lipedema: A Review of the Literature

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Review

Lipedema: A Review of the Literature

Jean-Phillip Okhovat et al. Int J Low Extrem Wounds. .

Abstract

Lipedema is a disorder of adipose tissue that primarily affects females and is often misdiagnosed as obesity or lymphedema. Relatively few studies have defined the precise pathogenesis, epidemiology, and management strategies for this disorder, yet the need to successfully identify this disorder as a unique entity has important implications for proper treatment. In this review, we sought to review and identify information in the existing literature with respect to the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and management strategies for lipedema. The current literature suggests that lipedema appears to be a clinical entity thought to be related to both genetic factors and fat distribution. While distinct from lymphedema and obesity, there are some existing treatments such as complex decongestive physiotherapy, liposuction, and laser-assisted lipolysis. Management of lipedema is complex and distinct from lymphedema. The role of newer randomized controlled studies to further explore the management of this clinical entity remains promising.

Keywords: fat leg; lipedema; lymphedema; obesity.

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