Doctors recommend a treatment called complete decongestive therapy to help patients who are experiencing painful symptoms, explains WebMD. This therapy involves several procedures such as compression, manual lymphatic drainage, liposuction, and proper nail and skin care. Exercising and dieting do not help to reduce the fat associated with lipedema, but patients can use them to ease inflammation and reduce nonlipedema fat.
Compression involves the use of custom-fitted party or stretch bandages to exact pressure on the swollen legs, reducing the risk of fluid buildup, notes WebMD. Manual lymphatic drainage is a type of massage involving the use of rhythmic movements to improve the flow of lymph around the affected area to the venous system. Doctors also recommend exercises to enhance mobility, to reduce fluid buildup and to improve the functioning of the legs.
Patients should take proper care of their skin and nails to help lessen the risk of developing an infection and wounds, according to WebMD. In some cases, doctors recommend tumescent or water-assisted liposuction to minimize the fat involved in lipedema. During this procedure, the doctor places a hollow tube under the skin to suction out the fat. The number of required sessions depends on the amount of fat a patient has.