If you have a disproportionate amount of fat in your legs and lower body, you might be suffering from lipedema. This medical condition can cause you to experience uncomfortable sensations in your legs, have difficulty walking, and develop other health problems. At Dr. Gutowski in Glenview, Illinois, we can improve this condition by using liposuction to remove fat from your legs and other areas of your body.
Can You Lose Lipedema Fat?
If you suffer from lipedema, you are likely to have large amounts of fat in your legs. These fat deposits may become larger and more noticeable over time. In addition, you might develop unwanted fat deposits in your arms and other areas of your body. Under some circumstances, you might be able to improve the condition of your legs by receiving massages, improving your diet, and going to physical therapy.
However, this fat is very resistant to lifestyle changes, and you might not be able to slim your legs on your own. Fortunately, we can improve your condition by providing you with liposuction and other cosmetic procedures. In general, you will need to receive at least two liposuction sessions to achieve dramatic improvements in your lower body. In addition, we may need to remove loose skin from your legs after you receive liposuction.
What Are the Symptoms of This Health Issue?
There are a number of signs that may indicate that you are suffering from this health issue.
Lower Body Fat
The most noticeable symptom of this disorder is the development of disproportionate fat deposits on your thighs, legs, and buttocks. If you suffer from this problem, the lower portion of your body is likely to be much larger than your abdomen, chest, and arms. You might struggle to find dresses and other articles of clothing that fit both parts of your body.
This problem can cause you to experience discomfort when you walk. In addition, your legs may become swollen, and you might develop bruises on this part of your body. You may also have varicose and spider veins on your legs and ankles.
What Is The Difference Between This Issue and Lymphedema?
Many healthcare providers do not know very much about this disorder. In fact, medical providers frequently misdiagnose or miss this problem. For example, your primary care doctor may not realize why you are struggling to lose fat in the lower part of your body with diet and exercise. In addition, doctors may struggle to distinguish between lymphedema and lipedema.
Lymphedema is a medical condition that causes one or more of your arms or legs to become swollen. If you have lymphedema, putting pressure onto the affected areas of your body may create an indention in your skin. In addition, lymphedema typically begins at your feet and moves up to affect the other tissues in your body. In contrast, lipedema usually begins at your thighs or buttocks and moves down to affect other parts of your body.
Why Have I Developed Unwanted Fat in the Lower Portion of My Body?
Although scientists do not fully understand the causes of this disorder, they believe that your gender, genetics, and other factors can increase your chance of developing this problem.
Women are much more likely to develop this issue. Some scientists believe that hormonal changes that women experience during puberty, pregnancy, and other life events can cause them to develop large amounts of fat in their legs and other parts of their body.
There is evidence that this issue runs in families. If your mother, grandmother, or other relative had large amounts of fat in her legs, you may be more likely to develop this issue.
How Will I Prepare for My Liposuction Procedure?
Before we remove your unwanted fat, you will need to have an initial consultation at our office in Glenview.
Your Initial Meeting
During this meeting, you’ll need to tell us about the areas of unwanted fat that are bothering you. In addition, you should be prepared to discuss any supplements, diet changes, and other methods that you have used to treat your unwanted fat. We will also need to know if any of these treatments improved your body.
In addition to discussing the treatments that you’ve used in the past, you should be prepared to talk about any negative symptoms that you are experiencing. In particular, we will need to know when the lower portion of your body started to become out of balance with the rest of your features. In addition, you should tell us if you have experienced tenderness, discomfort, or bruising in your legs, arms, and other parts of your body.
Getting Ready for Your Procedure
We will provide you with a detailed document that explains the steps that you need to take before your liposuction procedure. Although this list will be customized to fit your unique situation, you will usually need to have a physical with your primary care doctor about two to four weeks before your procedure. In addition, you should not use cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products for at least six weeks.
You will typically need to stop taking aspirin and blood-thinning medications two weeks before your procedure. In addition, you will usually need to stop taking supplements, vitamins, and other herbal medications at this time. You should also arrange for a good friend or relative to drive you to your appointment and bring you home after your procedure is complete.
Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
If you have large fat deposits in your lower body, you will probably be a good candidate for liposuction. That said, we will need to review your medical history and conduct some diagnostic tests before we schedule your procedure. For example, we can assess your health by performing blood tests. Under some circumstances, you might need to receive other diagnostic tests and be assessed by your primary care doctor.
What Type of Liposuction Should I Receive?
When you started researching procedures, you might have heard people say that VASER-assisted liposuction and water-assisted liposuction are the best ways to fix this issue. However, we believe that power-assisted liposuction, also known as PAL, is usually the best way to remove this type of fat.
Receiving Power-Assisted Liposuction
During a PAL liposuction session, we will use a small tube called a cannula to remove fat from your legs. The tip of the cannula will vibrate during this process. This vibration will break up your fat cells without harming your blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues.
An Efficient Techique
This specialized technique will allow us to remove your fat in a quicker, more efficient fashion. For example, PAL is better at removing larger quantities of fat than water-assisted liposuction. This efficient technique can decrease the cost of your procedure and create more noticeable improvements in your body.
What Will Happen During My Liposuction Session?
Depending on your circumstances, we may begin your liposuction procedure by injecting a local anesthetic into your treatment area. If we are removing a large amount of fat from the lower area of your body, we may work with an anesthesiologist during your procedure. The anesthesiologist can use sedation or general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during this process.
How Much Fat Will Be Removed From My Body?
Your health, the condition of your target area, and other factors will affect the amount of fat that we remove from your body. That said, in the state of Illinois, healthcare providers typically remove no more than five liters of fat and tumescent fluid during a single liposuction session.
During your procedure, we can use specialized techniques to reduce the amount of tumescent fluid that we remove from your body. These techniques will allow us to remove larger amounts of fat during each of your liposuction sessions. In addition, if we work with an anesthesiologist, we may be able to remove more fat during your procedure.
Will I Have a Long Recovery Period After I Receive Liposuction?
It will usually take about one month to fully recover from this type of liposuction. Although we will give you a customized set of after-care instructions, there are some general guidelines that can give you an idea of what to expect during your liposuction recovery period.
We will prescribe medication that you can use to stay comfortable during the initial part of your recovery period. You should follow all of our instructions and never take more than the prescribed dose of your medications. If you were prescribed narcotic medications, you must refrain from driving a car or drinking alcohol while you are taking these substances.
Eating Balanced Meals
We will usually advise you to gradually return to your usual diet. You should also try to stay hydrated and drink an adequate amount of water after your procedure.
Wearing a Garment
You’ll need to wear a compression garment for at least four weeks after you receive liposuction. Since we will customize this garment to fit your body, you’ll feel comfortable during this part of your recovery period.
Visiting Our Office
You’ll also need to visit our office for regular follow-up appointments. You will typically attend your first appointment during the initial week of your recovery period. You’ll need to continue making periodic visits to our office throughout the next 12 months.
You’ll usually be able to take a shower one or two days after you receive liposuction. However, you should not go swimming or take a bath for the next three weeks. If you have Steri-Strips or paper tape over your incisions, you should leave these items in place when you are showering. We will be able to remove these items during one of your follow-up meetings.
Beginning to Exercise
We will advise you to move your body. In particular, you will need to walk for at least five minutes every hour while you are awake. You can rest during your usual sleeping period.
However, you should not perform strenuous activities like lifting weights or attending a challenging exercise class for the next two weeks. We can help you design a suitable exercise plan during your follow-up appointments.
Improve Your Body
Lipedema fat is very difficult to correct by yourself. Even if you eat well and exercise frequently, you will struggle to achieve slimmer legs on your own. Fortunately, we can reduce your discomfort and improve your lower body by providing you with liposuction. To learn more about our liposuction techniques, contact us at Dr. Gutowski in Glenview, Illinois.