S1 guidelines: Lipedema

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2017 Jul;15(7):758-767. doi: 10.1111/ddg.13036.


The present, revised guidelines on lipedema were developed under the auspices of and funded by the German Society of Phlebology (DGP). The recommendations are based on a systematic literature search and the consensus of eight medical societies and working groups. The guidelines contain recommendations with respect to diagnosis and management of lipedema. The diagnosis is established on the basis of medical history and clinical findings. Characteristically, there is a localized, symmetrical increase in subcutaneous adipose tissue in arms and legs that is in marked disproportion to the trunk. Other findings include edema, easy bruising, and increased tenderness. Further diagnostic tests are usually reserved for special cases that require additional workup. Lipedema is a chronic, progressive disorder marked by the individual variability and unpredictability of its clinical course. Treatment consists of four therapeutic mainstays that should be combined as necessary and address current clinical symptoms: complex physical therapy (manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise therapy, and skin care), liposuction and plastic surgery, diet, and physical activity, as well as psychotherapy if necessary. Surgical procedures are indicated if - despite thorough conservative treatment - symptoms persist, or if there is progression of clinical findings and/or symptoms. If present, morbid obesity should be therapeutically addressed prior to liposuction.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Compression Bandages
  • Diet Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy
  • Lipedema / diagnosis*
  • Lipedema / etiology
  • Lipedema / therapy*
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Psychotherapy
  • Skin Care