Lipoedema

Definition: A chronically progressive, symmetrical accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissue with orthostatic (of, relating to, or caused by an upright posture) edema occurring most exclusively in women. Primarily the lower extremities are affected. It may occur in combination with the upper extremities. Lipoedema is characterised by tenderness and easy bruising.

Therapy: Because of the extreme symptoms , nearly all patients try some sort of dieting regimen. However this only helps treat obesity and reduce the circumference of the trunk. Since the fat deposits specific to Lipoedema cannot be “starved off” dieting may lead to an even greater discrepancy between the trunk and the extremities. Burning calories through physical exercise also does not lead  to the desired reduction of fat in the affected areas. Laxatives to potentially reduce the absorption of nutrition, and diuretics, to alleviate edema symptoms are not indicated.

The therapist starts MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) at the non-edematous trunk to create a suction effect then continues to edematous areas of the extremities. Compression with short stretch bandages combined with physical therapy serves to reduce and prevent swelling. During the edema reduction phase, therapy is performed daily. At the conclusion of this phase, flat knit pantyhose or compression stockings

Case Study: A patient presented on the 30/9/2016 with pre-clinical to stage 1 Lipoedema. She was complaining of heaviness of limbs and tightness of the skin in her legs. After preforming some tests I referred her to a doctor who verified the diagnosis of Lipoedema.

Pitting test

Step 1: We treated the patient with MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) which resulted in a reduction of pain on the skin and leg volume and an increase in urine out put with an overall increase in patient well being.

Step 2: Over the next week we would measure the limb volume…

preform MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) and then bandage to reduce the limb volume.

Step 3: Once the desired reduction had been achieved we measured the patient for a medical grade compression garment to; restrict increase of Lipoedema & increase the health of the limb by stimulating the vascular system and Lymphatic system to work more effectively.

The patient has now ordered a second pair of compression garments…..

Patient feedback: “ Finding Tony was a blessing! He provided me with so much knowledge and support about Lipedema and Lymphedema after going to many doctors who did not know what the swelling in my legs was. Although it was a shock at first and the measuring was quite a process I am so happy with the outcome. I now have all my measurements for future compression garment purchases which are made to fit my body type! The stockings are the perfect fit and feel like a second skin, they provide me with pain relief and also keep the swelling and fluid build up to a minimum. Apart from that, they give me piece of mind knowing that wearing them is preventing my legs from getting any larger. The time Tony put into my treatment and the order of the compression stockings was above and beyond. Although the outlay of expenses for treatment and time for measuring may be a shock, I assure you leaving yourself in pain and worry is much worse. Thankyou Tony for helping me when no one else knew what was going on…..”  

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