Lipedema is a chronic disease of the subcutaneous fatty tissue that is still largely unknown and often overlooked by doctors. It is partly hereditary, but its causes are not yet fully understood.


Causes and consequences of lipedema

Currently, doctors and researchers assume that the causes are hormone-related. The female hormone oestrogen causes the fat cells in women to multiply and enlarge. In 85 percent of all cases, the lipedema starts in puberty due to the hormonal changes and is often worsened during pregnancy.

Due to an increased fragility of the blood vessels, those affected show a strong tendency to bruising. The permeability of the vessel walls increases, so that more lymph fluid escapes into the surrounding tissue. The result is the typical feeling of tension that occurs when the increased amount of lymph fluid can no longer be transported away by a basically intact lymph vessel system. The continuous proliferation of fat cells leads to a lack of oxygen in the tissue, which in turn initiates an inflammatory process that leads to further tissue damage and pain.

Up to now, scientific evidence for the occurrence of lipedema has only been provided for the legs and arms. Lipoedema has not yet been detected on the abdomen or other areas. The legs of the patients, especially their thighs, are most frequently affected in 97 percent of cases. Lipedema can also occur on the buttocks and hips. The typical signs of lipedema are also observed on the arms of the patients in 31 percent of cases. However, the manifestation on the arms is often less pronounced or only becomes apparent with increasing age. Our experienced surgeons are able to detect the predisposition for lipedema even in a symptom-free state, which will also develop a condition requiring surgery in the further course of the disease.

In addition to the physical effects of the lipedema, those affected often suffer from considerable mental anguish. Especially women who already fall ill in puberty suffer greatly from the strain. Attempts to bring about an improvement through sport, healthy nutrition or diet remain fruitless. A circumstance that considerably increases the frustration of the affected women.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Dr. Falk-Christian Heck first came into contact with a previously unknown disease – lipedema. The clinical picture of the affected women was met with neither acceptance nor understanding by the doctors. Even today, in many cases lipedema is still misdiagnosed as overweight or obesity (adiposity). The disease often remains undetected for a long time. Those affected suffer from shame, self-reproach and frustration.

As an experienced surgeon, Dr. Heck developed a completely new and sustainably effective surgical method, the lipedema surgery (lipo-decompression), which

  • stops the lipedema
  • is a pain-free surgery
  • eliminates the need for compression garments
  • improves the quality of life

These are still our goals today at the LipoClinic Dr. Heck GmbH!

We are here for you! You can gladly call us at +49 208 44475981 or contact us by filling out our contact form.

If you decide to proceed with the treatment at the LipoClinic, we kindly ask you to consider the following:

  • You need a flat-knitted custom-made compression garment in compression class 2. This can be prescribed by your phlebologist or family doctor.
  • For treatment, a diagnosis for lipedema must be provided in a written form by an external specialist for lipedema (e.g. a phlebologist or lymphologist).
  • For reasons of anaesthesia eligibility, your body weight should be below 130kg. If your weight is higher, we will be happy to advise you on alternative approaches.

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