Diagnosis and management of lipoedema – a review paper

Małgorzata Szypłowska, Adrianna Gorecka, Adrian Kuś, Bartłomiej Zaremba, Michał Obel

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/JEHS.2020.10.09.059


Lipoedema is a chronic progressive disorder of adipose tissue leading to an enlargement of lower extremities. It is considered to be rare; however, the prevalence of the disease is underestimated because it is commonly misdiagnosed as obesity or lymphedema and the general awareness is poor. The etiology of the disorder is considered to be multifarious, including genetic inheritance, hormonal imbalance and microcirculation alterations. Diagnosis is mainly based on medical history and physical examination. Management of lipoedema is focused on reducing the symptoms, improving the quality of life and preventing further progression of the disease. The aim of this paper is to raise the awareness of the disease and provide appropriate clinical guidance for the assessment of lipoedema. We searched through the PubMed/MEDLINE database and took into consideration all of the results available as of 6September, 2020 and outlined the current evidence regarding lipoedema epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and management. Better understanding of lipoedema is crucial for establishing an early diagnosis and a proper treatment, which in turn will reduce the psychological and physical implications associated with the disease.


lipoedema; lymphoedema; lipolymphoedema

Full Text:



Child AH, Gordon KD, Sharpe P, et al. Lipedema: an inherited condition. Am J Med Genet A. 2010;152A(4):970-976. doi:10.1002/ajmg.a.33313

Schmeller W, Hueppe M, Meier-Vollrath I. Tumescent liposuction in lipoedema yields good long-term results. Br J Dermatol. 2012;166(1):161-168. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10566.x

Langendoen SI, Habbema L, Nijsten TE, Neumann HA. Lipoedema: from clinical presentation to therapy. A review of the literature. Br J Dermatol. 2009;161(5):980-986. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09413.x

Todd M. Diagnosis and management of lipoedema in the community. Br J Community Nurs. 2016;21(Suppl 10):S6-S12. doi:10.12968/bjcn.2016.21.Sup10.S6

Wold LE, Hines EA Jr, Allen EV. Lipedema of the legs; a syndrome characterized by fat legs and edema. Ann Intern Med. 1951;34(5):1243-1250. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-34-5-1243

Chen SG, Hsu SD, Chen TM, Wang H-J. Painful fat syndrome in a male patient. British Journal of Plastic Surgery. 2004;57(3):282-286. doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2003.12.020

Buso G, Depairon M, Tomson D, Raffoul W, Vettor R, Mazzolai L. Lipedema: A Call to Action!. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019;27(10):1567-1576. doi:10.1002/oby.22597

Siems W, Grune T, Voss P, Brenke R. Anti-fibrosclerotic effects of shock wave therapy in lipedema and cellulite. Biofactors. 2005;24(1-4):275-282. doi:10.1002/biof.5520240132

Boursier V, Pecking A, Vignes S. Analyse comparative de la lymphoscintigraphie au cours des lipoedèmes et des lymphoedèmes primitifs des membres inférieurs [Comparative analysis of lymphoscintigraphy between lipedema and lower limb lymphedema]. J Mal Vasc. 2004;29(5):257-261. doi:10.1016/s0398-0499(04)96770-4

Bräutigam P, Földi E, Schaiper I, Krause T, Vanscheidt W, Moser E. Analysis of lymphatic drainage in various forms of leg edema using two compartment lymphoscintigraphy. Lymphology. 1998;31(2):43-55.

Fife CE, Maus EA, Carter MJ. Lipedema: a frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood fatty deposition syndrome. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2010;23(2):81-94. doi:10.1097/01.ASW.0000363503.92360.91

Canning C, Bartholomew JR. Lipedema. Vasc Med. 2018;23(1):88-90. doi:10.1177/1358863X17739698

Hardy D, Williams A. Best practice guidelines for the management of lipoedema. Br J Community Nurs. 2017;22(Sup10):S44-S48. doi:10.12968/bjcn.2017.22.Sup10.S44

Shavit E, Wollina U, Alavi A. Lipoedema is not lymphoedema: A review of current literature. Int Wound J. 2018;15(6):921-928. doi:10.1111/iwj.12949

Hardy D, Williams A. Best practice guidelines for the management of lipoedema. Br J Community Nurs. 2017;22(Sup10):S44-S48. doi:10.12968/bjcn.2017.22.Sup10.S44

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Journal of Education, Health and Sport formerly Journal of Health Sciences

Declaration on the original version.

Editors indicates that the main version of the magazine is to issue a "electronic".

The journal has had 5 points in Ministry of Science and Higher Education parametric evaluation. § 8. 2) and § 12. 1. 2) 22.02.2019.

1223 Journal of Education, Health and Sport eISSN 2391-8306 7

ISSN 2391-8306 formerly ISSN: 1429-9623 / 2300-665X

Archives 2011 - 2014

PBN 2011 - 2014


POL-index 2011 - 2014


BASE 2011 - 2014




Indexed in Bases, Bazy indeksacyjne: ERIH Plus, Worldcat, PBN/POL-Index, ICI Journals Master List, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), ZBD, Ulrich's periodicals, Google Scholar, Polska Bibliografia Lekarska, EuroPub database, NLM Catalog Result - NCBI, BASE, Russian Sciences Index, Arianta.



US NLM = 101679844

101679844 - NLM Catalog Result - NCBI


Find a library that holds this journal: http://worldcat.org/issn/23918306


PBN Poland






Redaction, Publisher and Editorial Office

Publisher and Editorial Office
Department of Physical Culture,
Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management,
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
Address: Str. Lwowska 1, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

  Open Access ISSN 2391-8306 formerly ISSN: 1429-9623 / 2300-665X

The journal has been approved for inclusion in ERIH PLUS.

The ERIH PLUS listing of the journal is available at https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/erihplus/periodical/info?id=485984

Indexed in Index Copernicus Journals Master List.


ICV 2018 = 95.95 ICV 2017 = 91.30 ICV 2016 = 84.69 ICV 2015 = 93.34 ICV 2014 = 89.51 Standardized Value: 8.27 ICV 2013: 7.32 ICV 2012: 6.41 ICV 20115.48

RG Journal Impact: 0.18 *

*This value is calculated using ResearchGate data and is based on average citation counts from work published in this journal. The data used in the calculation may not be exhaustive.

RG Journal impact history

2020Available summer 2021
2018 / 20190.18

RG Journal impact over time

RG Journal impact

Indexed in Polish Scholarly Bibliography (PBN) (PBN Polska Bibliografia Naukowa) (https://pbn.nauka.gov.pl/journals/36616)

is a portal of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, collecting information on publications of Polish scientists and on Polish and foreign scholarly journals. Polish Scholarly Bibliograhpy is a part of POL-on - System of Information on Higher Education. It is operated by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, University of Warsaw.

Indexed in Russian Sciences Index Российский индекс научного цитирования (РИНЦ) http://elibrary.ru/contents.asp?titleid=37467

Indexed in Arianta Polish scientific and professional electronic journals Aneta Drabek i Arkadiusz Pulikowski


Partnerzy platformy czasopism