Excess and abnormal nodular fat typically tethered on the buttocks, hips, thighs, and lower legs. Lipedema fat is painful and can grow to such an extent that it inhibits mobility, called dysmobility. The excess lipedema fat can also increase the risk of developing obesity and metabolic disorders such as high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and diabetes. There is no treatment for lipedema except removing the fat by liposuction. The TREAT Program with generous funding by the Lipedema Foundation would like to better understand lipedema and find treatments in addition to liposuction. Liposuction, however, provides a means to obtain large amounts of lipedema tissue to study towards a cure. We have been very lucky to have two physicians with expertise in liposuction educate the TREAT team on how to perform lipousuction safely.
Dr. Josef Stutz, with expertise in water jet assisted liposuction for over 20 years traveled from Germany in December 2018 and provided guidance to Dr. Herbst on how to use the water jet safely to obtain samples for research while maintaining safety of the research participants. The TREAT team is beyond thankful for his expertise, time and collaboration.
Dr. Michael Schwartz from Pasadena, California has collaborated with the TREAT program providing samples from women with lipedema after their consent. He also traveled to Tucson to provide his expertise to Dr. Herbst in tumescent liposuction. He also provided a pump to infuse Klein solution into the fat tissue to provide analgesia prior to the liposuction procedure.