Many patients travel from around the world to see Board Certified Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. Jaime Schwartz for his expertise in body contouring procedures that he has developed such as Breast LipoLift® and Body LipoLift®. Some of these patients especially women can have disproportionately large thighs, calves, ankles, a buttock shelf as well as large arms that seem to extend to the wrist. Most of these women will tell you they have tried dieting their entire lives and some have even undergone gastric bypass to no avail. The main reason is that they have been misdiagnosed as obese and not properly diagnosed with Lipedema.
Lipedema, also referred to as painful fat syndrome, affects approximately 1 in 9 women in the United States with over 300 million worldwide. It is characterized by excessive fat deposits developing under the skin in irregular ways, typically around the hips, thighs, calves, and arms. While some patients and doctors may simply misdiagnosis this condition as obesity, lipedema is a disorder that is resistant to diet and exercise and progressively causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the areas that are affected
Symptoms of lipedema
Symptoms will vary widely depending on the patient and their stage , but some of the common signs are:
- Onset during puberty, pregnancy or menopause (hormonal changes)
- Both Legs Symmetrically Affected
- Column-like Legs
- Pain with movement, being touched or at rest
- Hypersensitivity to touch
- Fat that accumulates from the hips and buttocks to the knees or even down to the ankles.
- When around the ankles it can form a thickened “cuff”.
- Knees with fat pads above, below and inside
- The knee fat pads may stress the joints and cause pain or abnormal walking movements
- Fat accumulation in the upper arm that can be seen extending to the forearm
- Near the wrist the fat can “cuff” creating a thickened ring.
- Disproportionate Arm fat that hangs creating a “bat-wing” deformity
- Since lipedema has a connective tissue disorder component, joint hyper mobility can be seen.
- Skin has a spongy consistency that overtime loses elasticity
- Non-Pitting Edema that can become lipo-lymphedema
- However, pitting edema can occur while standing for long periods of time
- Easy Bruisability
- Negative Stemmer Sign. Stemmers sign is a thickened thickened skin fold at the base of the second toe or second finger that is characteristic for lymphedema. When this tissue cannot be lifted but can only be grasped as a lump of tissue it is positive.
- Lower Skin Temperature in the extremities
- Skin can be “rubbery”
- Has also been seen to begin or worsen following general anesthesia surgery
- Diets and other weight loss techniques are ineffective
Stages of lipedema
Stage 1 Lipedema
Swelling of the legs that improves with elevation and compression
Stage 2 Lipedema
Skin becomes more cobblestone-like
May feel lipomas
Swelling of the legs gets worse when standing and doesn’t resolve as easily
Stage 3 Lipedema
Tissue becomes hardened and fibrotic
Swelling usually present
Skin and fat accumulation that overhangs
Stage 4 Lipedema (Lipo-Lymphedema)
Fibrosclerosis with possible Elephantiasis
Swelling almost always present
Overhanging fat and skin
"A Pain-Free, Easy Decision leaving me Confident and Happy! - As a busy working wife and mom of 2 toddlers I was extremely nervous about taking the time to do what I had carefully considered for years....getting a mommy makeover! So, I opted for one piece of that makeover, a breast augmentation. Working in the healthcare industry and meeting many surgeons along the way challenged me to be quite selective. Meeting Dr. Schwartz and his staff made my..."- S. / RealSelf / Apr 29, 2018
"botox for vaginismus - I've been dealing with vaginismus since 2012, and I quite honestly didn't even know it was called that until this procedure with Dr. Schwartz was featured on Buzzfeed. My previous gynecologist had merely told me it was a muscle spasm and that I needed physical therapy (which helped but did not work). My good friend had known I was dealing with it and sent me the video as soon as she saw it. I..."- C. / RealSelf / Apr 17, 2018
"It's hard to balance science with sexy, Dr. Schwartz and his team are the experts at both. He's incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in his craft and it shows in his results. My entire experience, from pre-op planning, to the surgery, to the aftercare went as smoothly as I could have ever hoped. He and the whole team at The Roxbury Institute will ensure that you're healthy and happy throughout the entire process. I'm finally starting to like the skin I'm in and that's only due to Dr. Schwartz!"- A. / Healthgrades / Dec 03, 2017
"Incredible work - I had a labiaplasty done with Dr. Schwartz and it's been day and night for me. Ive had insecurities about my vagina since I can even remember; always kind of nervous to have new partners, not really wanting a lot of light in the bedroom. This has been so liberating and the results are amazing. I had very thick tissue which did cause my recovery to be really extended and quite painful, but that..."- K. / RealSelf / Apr 02, 2018
"I came to Dr. Schwartz for botox to treat vaginismus, and my experience was phenomenal. Vaginismus is pain during any kind of vaginal penetration. After 6 years of pain and frustration, there was finally a solution that could help me. A year after the procedure, I am now able to have painless sex, painless pap smears, and I can use tampons. Not to mention all of the staff was incredibly nice and helped calm my nerves during the experience. This procedure changed my life. Thank you, Dr. Schwartz!"- M. / Healthgrades / Mar 04, 2018
Noninvasive methods are generally used in conjunction with surgical intervention. Certain medication to reduce inflammation, a healthy diet, regular exercise, compression garments, breathing techniques, and other treatments that are designed to increase circulation, blood flow, and drainage in the lymphatic system can be used. Some popular methods include dry brushing, which involves passing a brush over the skin to help alleviate pressure, vibration devices, and pneumatic compression pumps, which both work to improve blood and lymphatic flow.
- Liposuction: SAFE Liposuction and WAL Liposuction
Lymphatic Sparing Liposuction Is the main treatment for lipedema. Dr. Schwartz utilizes specialized techniques to releases the pressure and congestion gently so as to spare lymphatics while debulking the lipedematous fat. One of Dr Schwartz’s preferred methods is SAFE lipo which stands for
Techniques such as this and others like Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL) allow Dr Schwartz to gently separate the fat to be removed so that all other structures such as nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics are left behind. Since it allows his more fragile lipedema patients to recover and heal better, he also employs this technique for all body contouring and liposuction patients he treats. Dr Schwartz believes in treating the worst areas first so that the congestion can be relieved and allow swelling in other areas to be relieved.
- Body LipoLift®: Extreme Lymphatic Sparing Surgical Thigh Lift, Arm Lift, Panniculectomy and Body Lift
Once liposuction has been completed to reduce the fat tissue, a surgical skin reduction may aid in decreasing the lipedematous fat to recur. Dr Schwartz has lectured on the fact that compression after surgery is a mainstay long term treatment. When Dr Schwartz tightens the area by removing the skin it can effectively create a similar effect to compression garments as well as allowing compression garments to fit more properly. Dr Schwartz has developed a 1 STAGE technique known as Body LipoLift® which utilizes liposuction and other techniques to SPARE even the DERMAL LYMPHATICS while removing and tightening the skin.
SCHWARTZ RAPID RECUPERATION™
Board Certified Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr Jaime Schwartz has developed protocols with “Gentle Anesthesia” so that most patients can go out to dinner the next night and return to work in a few days. These protocols and techniques allow for 1 stage lipedema fat reduction procedures and skin tightening at the same time to reduce the amount of surgeries and overall recovery.
Plan Your Procedure
Relieve Your Pain Today
Lipedema is treatable with the proper precision, protocols and procedures. Board Certified Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr Jaime Schwartz is one of the thought-leaders on safe Lipedema care.