Lipoedema, which only affects women, starts to develop at puberty. The condition is characterized by fat gathering on the buttocks, hips, legs, and sometimes, the arms. Both pairs of extremities are similarly affected. Lipoedema is very often mistaken for obesity or lymphoedema. The typical feature which distinguishes lipoedema from the latter two is a great asymmetry in the volume of fat between the affected parts and the rest of the body. The only effective therapy today with a long-lasting results is liposuction, which is able to remove piled up fat and reduce related symptoms such as pain, problems with walking etc.

The cause of lipoedema is not yet entirely clear. Experts are inclined to think that the main factors leading to development of the disease are hormonal changes. The condition only affects women. We know that heredity is involved in some cases because there are well documented cases of mothers and daughters with this condition. Lipoedema starts developing very slowly in the early teens. The affected women should avoid heat and long static strain, such as long standing or sitting. A noticeable worsening of the condition usually comes with pregnancy. Without medical intervention, lipoedema will progress, with no hope of cure through exercise or dieting alone.
Lipoedema causes excessive build-up of fat on buttocks, hips, thighs, calves and arms. Legs may be affected all the way from the buttocks down to the ankles, around which, fat creates cuff-like folds. Feet are not affected. Similarly, the same goes for arms and hands. Veins become very fragile and many bruises start to appear. Lymph circulation is disturbed and it leaks into surrounding tissues, where it brings about unpleasant sensations of pressure and tightness in the affected area. The more the disease develops, the more painful it is. The higher stages of the condition severely affect the patient´s mobility because of leg deformities that prevent the patients from walking. The affected tissues feel spongy, with hard lumps (very tough fat nodules).
Lipoedema is often misdiagnosed as: a) obesity, or b) lymphoedema.
a) With lipoedema, the body looks significantly asymmetrical, the massive volumes of the legs or arms are out of all proportion with the rest of the body.
b) With lipoedema, both legs are affected in the same way, in contrast to lymphoedema, where there is a big difference between them.
Phases in the development of lipoedema

Based on the affected body parts

1) Fat is piling up on the hips and buttocks.
2) Lipoedema is spreading down to the knees, where folds of fat may appear on the inner side.
3) Lipoedema affects the whole of the legs, from the buttocks down to the ankles. There is a distinct fold, or cuff, around each ankle.
4) Lipoedema affects the arms up to the wrist. The typical cuff is present.

Conservative treatment

This usually consists in wearing a compression garment, lymphatic drainage massages, and diet adjustment. The conservative treatment is usually the beginning of our fight with lipoedema and it has a favourable influence on the patient´s health and can even bring temporary relief. Nevertheless, none of the measures mentioned above can reduce the excessive volume of fat in affected areas, and without its removal the majority of the difficulties will persist. Therefore, on the recommendation of a doctor, it is best to resort to liposuction.

Body-jet – Water-assisted Liposuction

At GIA, we work with Body-jet, a water-assisted liposuction device which we chose for its special advantages. By using jets of water, we are able to separate the fat tissue very gently, leading to faster recovery for the patient. Generally speaking, water liposuction is not only one of the safest types of liposuction, it also gives the surgeon plenty of time to concentrate on the aesthetic result. Unlike other techniques, water-assisted liposuction requires only a small amount of tumescent fluid, avoiding bulging during removal of the excess fat tissue, thus allowing the surgeon constant control of the body-contour in the area of treatment.
Studies have shown that use of Body-jet significantly reduces pain during surgery. Not only is recovery more rapid, but any tendency to postoperative swelling is much reduced. Indeed, within a few days of the surgery, most of our patients find they no longer suffer the pain they experienced before the operation. Usually, there is no further need to wear compressive underwear, nor for lymphatic drainage massages. However, where lipo-lymphoedema has already developed, compressive underwear remains necessary even after surgery. Nevertheless, even in these cases, water-assisted liposuction brings significant relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

1-⁠⁠⁠Local or full anaesthesia?
We perform lipoedema surgeries with both local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia. The latter one predominates.

2-⁠⁠⁠How many litres of fat does the doctor remove per operation?
We usually remove 5 litres of pure fat. In some cases even 8 litres.

3-⁠⁠⁠Maximum weight of patient we can operate?
We are able to operate on patients up to 180 kg.

4-⁠⁠⁠ How does the doctor organise operations?
Areas are treated one by one. The order of the areas is based on the indication, but we take into account the patient's needs as well.

5 -⁠⁠⁠ How long do patients stay at the clinic?
The stay in the clinic is 24 hours.

6 -⁠⁠⁠How many days do they need to stay in the Czech Republic?
It depends on the extent of the operation and the client's recovery, but on average it is 3 days.

7 -⁠⁠⁠ Is there a hospital near the clinic in case of emergency?
In case of emergency we have a contract with a local hospital.

8 -⁠⁠⁠ Cost per Operation?
The price starts at 1.100 EUR for one area. The price includes the operation and one day in the clinic.

9 -⁠⁠⁠ How long have we been operating lipoedema?
Since 2016

10 -⁠ How far apart can be the operations?
The patient must be completely healed after the previous operation, which usually takes 3 - 6 months.


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