What is it?

Lipoedema is a chronic condition characterized by the abnormal accumulation of fat in specific areas of the body, typically the hips, buttocks, thighs, and sometimes the arms. It predominantly affects women and is believed to have a genetic component.

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Signs & symptoms

- Enlarged, disproportionate, and often painful lower body, including the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
- Tendency to bruise easily.
- Sensitivity to touch or pressure in the affected areas.
- Swelling and edema in the lower body, which can worsen with prolonged standing or sitting.
- "Column-like" or "band-like" appearance of the legs, with a distinct boundary at the ankles.
- The upper body typically remains unaffected, resulting in a disproportionate body shape.
- The skin may feel cool to the touch and may have a "spongy" or "rubbery" texture.


The diagnosis of lipoedema is usually made based on a combination of clinical symptoms and physical examination. There is no definitive test for lipoedema, but healthcare professionals may consider the following factors during the diagnostic process:

- Symmetrical enlargement of the lower body.
- Presence of disproportionate fat accumulation.
- Absence of swelling in the feet.
- Bruising tendency.
- Family history of lipoedema.


Management of lipoedema may include one or more of the followings:
- Conservative management: This may involve lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management. Low-impact exercises like swimming or water aerobics may be beneficial. Compression garments, such as compression stockings or compression leggings, can help reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD): MLD is a specialized massage technique that aims to improve lymphatic flow, reduce swelling, and provide pain relief.
- Surgical interventions: In advanced stages or cases where conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief, surgical options like liposuction or tumescent liposuction may be considered to remove excess fat and improve body contour. These procedures are typically performed by experienced surgeons with expertise in lipoedema management.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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