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Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2018 Dec;50(6):380-385. doi: 10.1055/a-0767-6842. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

[Lipedema - basics and current hypothesis of pathomechanism].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

Author information

Dreifaltigkeitskrankenhaus Wesseling, Abteilung für Plastische Chirurgie, Wesseling.
Malteser Krankenhaus Seliger Gerhard Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, Plastische Chirurgie.


in English, German

Lipoedema is a painful, chronic progressive disorder of adipose tissue, characterised by symmetrical swelling of the lower and/or upper limbs. Due to a lack of awareness, lipoedema is frequently misdiagnosed. However, accurate diagnosis and treatment are essential since they determine the patient's prognosis. There is no known causal therapy because the exact aetiology of the disease is not fully understood at this time. Familial aggregation is common, which suggests a genetic disorder. Since lipoedema is almost exclusively found in women and manifests around hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause), oestrogen is believed to play a decisive role in its pathogenesis. This review aims to summarise the symptoms and clinical features of lipoedema, its differential diagnosis, treatment options, and current theories on the pathogenesis of lipoedema.

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