• Recognizing lipedema; the signs and symptoms

    Lipedema symptoms and signs are difficult to recognize and are often confused with obesity and cellulite.

How can you recognize Lipedema?

Lipedema complaints and symptoms are difficult to recognize. Lipedema is recognized mainly by excess fat and the abnormal distribution of fat. This fat distribution usually takes place from the hips and thighs. This creates a disproportion between the lower limbs and the upper body. Lipedema can cause both physical and emotional symptoms.

ReSculpt Clinic is the Lipedema expertise center in the Netherlands

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Recognizing lipedema

Recognizing lipedema is difficult and complex. If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, then your symptoms may fit the condition "lipedema.

  • Are your legs fat, but your waist and feet slim?
  • Does your skin feel lumpy and uneven?
  • Is touching your skin often sensitive or painful?
  • Do you bruise your legs easily?

Do I have lipedema?
The diagnosis of lip edema cannot be answered with certainty without the intervention of a specialist. ReSculpt Clinic specializes in the treatment of Lipedema allowing our doctors to diagnose lipedema in you.

Want more certainty? Then you can take our "do I have lipedema" test. This online test gives you clear answers and can help answer your question.
Take the online test "Do I Have Lipedema? →

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Lipedema complaints and symptoms

Lipedema complaints and symptoms are often difficult to recognize. It is a serious chronic condition involving abnormal fat growth and fat distribution.

This increase in fat volume usually occurs from the hips and thighs to the ankles. This creates a disproportion between the lower limbs and the upper body. Lipedema can cause both physical and emotional symptoms.

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How exactly do you recognize lip edema?

Lipedema is difficult to recognize and is often confused with obesity or Cellulite. With lipedema, the upper and lower body may differ by as much as two or three clothing sizes. Lipedema is a common condition among both men and women around the world. One in ten women experience Lipedema symptoms.

Many people suffering from lipedema notice that the touch of the skin is sensitive and quickly bruise. There is loss of strength in the arms and legs where they feel painfully heavy. Often lipedema is accompanied by obesity, decreased fitness and fatigue symptoms.

Lipedema complaints

  • Tired legs
  • Overweight
  • Pain on touch
  • Power loss
  • Quick bruising

What is the difference between Lipedema, Cellulite and Obesity?

There is often confusion about the difference between Lipedema, Cellulite and Obesity. But what exactly is the difference? And how do you recognize the differences?


Lipedema is a chronic condition in which there is improper fat cell buildup in the legs, thighs and buttocks. The onset of lipedema occurs around or after puberty and is a medical problem. The skin in lipedema looks like orange peel, similar to cellulite. The difference is that with lipedema, it feels painful when touched and bruising occurs quickly. This is not the case with cellulite. Lipedema needs multidisciplinary treatment.


Cellulite is an infection of the connective tissue caused by bacteria. So it is also a medical condition, but cellulite treatment is different from lipedema treatment. Both involve orange peel or pitting of the skin. The inflammation must be corrected by treatment from a medical specialist (or doctor).


Cellulite is a cosmetic condition. In cellulite, the connective tissue strands in the subcutaneous connective tissue are pulled down like little strings. This creates the "orange peel" appearance. Once fat volume increases, this lumpy structure can worsen. Cellulite is easy to treat.

Want more information about cellulite treatment? Then read on to our page Cellulite treatment with Cellfina, for long-lasting results.


The term obese is called when your BMI is greater than or equal to 30. Related terms for obesity are obese or overweight. The skin of the buttocks, thighs and legs resembles the skin in cellulite and lipedema. The difference between obesity and lipedema is that in obesity, the skin does not feel painful and fat distribution takes place all over the body. Obesity and lipedema do have in common that they are both chronic diseases. Both conditions require proper treatment and therapy for.

Want to know if you have Lipedema? Then take our online test and find out.

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What is lipedema?

In lipedema, swelling of subcutaneous fat tissue occurs, increasing its volume. Lipedema occurs only in women. The exact cause of this condition is still under investigation, but hereditary predisposition, hormonal balance, abnormalities of blood vessels and lymphatics at the level of fat cell complex and inflammation certainly play a role.

To properly answer the question, "Do I have lip edema?" a visit to one of the medical specialists at ReSculpt Clinic is necessary. The attending physician can then determine if your symptoms and physical characteristics fit lip edema.

Learn more on our information page about this condition. Read more about what is lipedema here →

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Lipedema cause - when does lipedema begin?

The cause of Lipedema has not yet been scientifically determined. The onset of Lipedema usually begins during or shortly after puberty. Some women develop symptoms around pregnancy or even as late as the onset of menopause.

Although lipedema is not currently considered a hereditary condition, the familial nature of the condition suggests that lipedema may demonstrate hereditary factors.

Want to know more about what causes the condition lipedema?
Then check out our page Lip edema cause →

Characteristics of Lipedema

Lipedema is another word for fat accumulation or fat swelling. People with Lipedema get swelling of legs, but it can also involve buttocks, arms and abdomen. A characteristic of lipedema is the symmetrical distribution of fat over your legs and/or arms, but your hands, feet, torso and face do not get fat.

The skin may look like orange peel and be painful or sensitive to touch, pressure or if you bump yourself. Lipedema also causes you to bruise more quickly and make legs feel heavy and tired.

Lymphedema and thick legs

Another reason for thick legs is lymphedema. This is a disorder of the lymphatic system and causes the accumulation of fluid and protein in the legs. This can also cause your legs to become thicker. This condition does not always occur on both legs, so it is not always symmetrical.

The doctors at ReSculpt Clinic can distinguish lipedema very well for you. By the way, lip edema always involves lymphedema at the microscopic level.

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Lower quality of life due to lipedema

People with this condition often have severe symptoms and experience a lower quality of life. This includes physical, emotional and social functioning. Lipedema is a chronic condition and can have a profound effect on the lives and mental health of people with this condition.

Quality of life can be affected by impaired physical function and associated conditions such as obesity and secondary lymphedema.

Want more information about what exactly Lipedema entails?
Then continue reading on the Lipedema information page →

Physical complaints in lipedema

Lipedema brings physical symptoms in addition to mental symptoms. Often it is an accumulation of factors. Lipedema in the legs causes a heavy feeling in the legs. Accumulation of fat on the inside of the knees changes the walking pattern, which can eventually cause knee problems.

The most common physical complaints in lipedema are:

  • Tired legs
  • Restriction in movement
  • Limbs feel heavy and swollen
  • Legs and/or arms are painful when touched, pressed or bumped
  • Bruising occurs quickly

Mental symptoms in lipedema

Lipedema has a huge effect on patients' lives both physically and mentally. Most mental symptoms in lipedema include:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Social disorders
  • Low libido

Do you recognize any of these symptoms and want to know if you have lipedema?
Then do the lip edema online self-test →

Importance of lipedema treatment

Do you suspect you have Lipedema symptoms? It is very important to know in time if you have Lipedema. Failure to treat Lipedema can lead to infections, delayed wound healing, movement restriction and lymphedema. However, problems such as:

Problems and complaints in lipedema

  • Obesity
  • Faster progression of lipedema
  • Development of scar-like tissue
  • Hardened skin in the legs
  • Decline in mental health

The medical specialists at ReSculpt Clinic; Dr. Hajo Bruining and Dr. Jonathan Kadouch both specialize in the field of Lipedema and can help you with this. Through their knowledge and expertise, they will guide you through the entire process.

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Treatments of Lipedema

ReSculpt Clinic is the Dutch center of expertise for fat treatments! Lipedema treatment is one of our spearheads.

We treat Lipedema by using tumescent liposuction to remove as much of the abnormal lipedema tissue as possible, while certainly considering the cosmetic picture.

Special Lipedema Treatment

With this special lip edema treatment, the volume is reduced, the pain symptoms of lip edema almost always disappear and your legs (and other locations affected by lip edema) fit your body better again. Literally more comfortable in your skin.

You can see how this is done in the following video.

Want more information about Lipedema treatment?
Then continue reading on the Lipedema page →

Frequently asked questions - Lipedema complaints and symptoms

Not everything is yet known about the exact cause of the condition lipedema. Several factors may influence it. Most likely, female hormones play a role because lip edema often develops during or just after puberty and only in women.

There are also factors at the level of small blood and lymphatic vessels in the affected lipedema adipose tissue. In addition, low-grade inflammation (low grade inflammation) plays a role.

Read more about the cause of lipedema here →

People suffering from lipedema often have more accumulation of fat on the thighs and lower legs, ankles and feet also differ in thickness. In addition, the touch of the skin is sensitive and you bruise more quickly. There is often loss of strength in the arms and legs. Also, the limbs feel painfully heavy.

Typically, with weight loss, you can easily see this in the face, breasts and torso, while the volume of the legs (and possibly arms) decreases little or not at all.

Do I have lipedema? Do the Lipedema self-test right away and get an instant result →

Lipedema is a disorder in the production of fatty tissue. It is a chronic disease that unfortunately does not cure itself. Lipedema needs a multidisciplinary approach.

This means that, for optimal results, several aspects of lipedema must be addressed. Liposuction under local anesthesia is one of them. Edema therapy and compression therapy have a very important role in the treatment of lipedema. In most cases, mist properly performed, it reduces pain and heaviness. Often the size of the tissue also decreases somewhat. This is due to improving fluid and lymph drainage, reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. It is likely that this therapy, if prolonged, will slow the worsening of lipedema.

A stable weight and diet applied to lipedema is important. A dietician can support you in this regard. You can also get a lot of information from our nutrition plan. Whatever volume is added to the lipedema tissue is difficult to remove. A low-carb diet is often advised nowadays.

Adequate edema therapy supports lymphatic tissue function, can reduce pain symptoms. It can also inhibit the progression of lipedema.

Find more information on the lipedema diet page →

Lipedema information and introductory consultation

Would you like more information about lipedema treatment and to know what your options are? Then make an appointment for a no-obligation consultation with one of our medical specialists.

Before the consultation, we take ample time to analyze whether your symptoms and construction belong to lipedema. In this conversation, we ask structured questions about your complaints and give you the necessary explanations about the conditions and what living rules are important. Together we determine the best way to treat lipedema for you.

To make an appointment, please contact ReSculpt Clinic by phone: 085 1305869 or through the contact form on our website.

Make an appointment now