By Emel Gerdaneri • Medical review by Yener Demirtas, MD on July 12, 2023

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Lipedema reduction surgery employs a small, blunt cannula to reduce larger fat volumes across extensive areas effectively. Unlike standard cosmetic liposuction, this procedure is notably lengthier in duration.

Typically conducted on an outpatient basis, liposuction for lipedema treatment generally spans three to five hours. Given the nature of the condition, most individuals require multiple surgeries.

Consequently, healthcare providers usually recommend first addressing the body areas with the highest severity, prioritizing those causing the most discomfort. This strategic approach alleviates pressure on the body and enhances the effectiveness of the lymphatic and vascular systems.


The primary objective of this surgery is to extract as much fat and fibrous tissue as possible while minimizing harm to the lymphatic system. Several precautions are taken to mitigate the risk of lymphatic channel injury.

These measures encompass mapping venous and lymphatic structures, employing ultrasound guidance during liposuction to visualize the lymphatics, utilizing surgical techniques that align the cannula lengthwise rather than perpendicular, and generously applying tumescent infiltration.


The procedure commences with the injection of tumescent local anesthesia into the fatty tissue, serving to minimize pain and induce vasoconstriction in the treatment area, thus reducing bleeding.

Patients undergoing this anesthesia may experience a pinching sensation during the injection, while pressure, rather than pain, is felt during fat extraction.


For more considerable fat volume removal procedures, some healthcare providers opt for a combination of local and IV sedation or general anesthesia, rendering the patient unconscious throughout the surgery (note that these options may entail additional costs).

Various lymphatic-sparing liposuction techniques are employed to address lipedema:

1. Water-jet assisted liposuction (WAL) employs a fan-shaped saline jet to dislodge and remove fat simultaneously. Studies indicate that WAL causes less tissue trauma, reducing swelling bruising, and quicker recovery.

2. Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a cannula with a vibrating tip to break up fat cells, minimizing trauma to surrounding tissue.

3. VASER liposuction employs ultrasound waves to break down fat, proving effective in areas with dense fat deposits.

After fat removal, some surgeons may conduct a manual lipedema extraction akin to deep tissue massage, eliminating fibrotic nodules through small incisions.

Following liposuction, the fibrotic nodules may become more prominent. These thick and hardened nodules cannot be removed by suction alone. Their removal is essential to effectively treat lipedema, relieving pain, inflammation, and fibrosis and leaving behind smoother skin texture.

Lipedema, a chronic condition characterized by excessive fat accumulation, particularly in the lower extremities, often leads to leg swelling, fat legs, and painful cellulite. 

It is more common in women. It generally affects the legs and sometimes arms. You may feel pain and tenderness in the affected areas when lipedema happens.


Lipedema affects both sides of the body equally. It may cause knocked knees, flat feet, and joint problems, making walking hard. Your skin's texture looks like orange peel in the affected parts.

As a result of lipedema, you may experience bruises on the affected parts of your body. Lipedema is a problem that occurs when the lymphatic system doesn't work well. Mostly, edema and lymphoedema accompany lipedema.

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The price of a lipedema surgery in Turkey starts from $ 4500 US, which changes to the stages of the lipedema. As we mentioned before, lipedema is a condition that has different stages.

The more advanced it is, the more complicated the treatment. So, the price of lipedema treatment depends on the approach.


It may be a conservative treatment or consist of lipedema surgery. While there are various treatment options available for lipedema, some individuals may choose to seek lipedema treatment cost in Turkey for several reasons:

  • Turkey has a well-developed healthcare system with many highly qualified medical professionals and specialized clinics focusing on diagnosing and treating lipedema. In Turkey, many plastic surgeons have specialized only in lipedema surgery.

  • Turkish healthcare facilities often have access to state-of-the-art technology and advanced treatment options for lipedema. These may include minimally invasive procedures such as lymphatic sparing liposuction, considered one of the most effective treatments for lipedema.

  • Medical treatments in Turkey can be more cost-effective than in some Western countries, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking treatment for lipedema. The lower cost does not necessarily compromise the quality of care, as many Turkish medical facilities maintain high standards.

  • Turkey and İstanbul are popular medical tourism destinations due to their location, which is easily accessible from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This accessibility can make it convenient for international patients to travel to Turkey for lipedema treatment.

  • Some healthcare facilities in Turkey may offer holistic care approaches, combining medical treatments with complementary therapies such as physical therapy, nutrition counseling, and psychological support. This can enhance the overall treatment experience for individuals with lipedema.

  • Many medical facilities in Turkey offer high privacy and comfort, which can be particularly appealing to patients seeking lipedema treatment. Some clinics even provide recovery packages that include accommodations and post-operative care.

The exact cause of lipedema is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty or pregnancy, can trigger the onset or worsening of lipedema. It is also considered a familial component, as it often runs in families.

Individuals with lipedema typically have a disproportionate distribution of fat, with the lower body being significantly more significant than the upper body. The affected areas usually have a symmetrical appearance, with a characteristic "column-like" or "tree-trunk" shape.

Despite their overall size, the limbs may appear disproportionate to the rest of the body. Lipedema fat is often resistant to diet and exercise.

In addition to the physical changes, lipedema can cause other symptoms such as pain, tenderness, easy bruising, and sensitivity to touch. As the condition progresses, individuals may experience decreased mobility and an increased risk of developing secondary lymphedema.

Lipedema and cellulite are two distinct conditions that affect the appearance of the skin and underlying tissues, but they have different causes, characteristics, and treatments. Here are the critical differences between lipedema and cellulite:

Underlying Cause:

Lipedema: Lipedema is a chronic condition characterized by an abnormal fat accumulation, primarily in the lower extremities, such as the legs and buttocks. It is believed to be related to genetics and hormonal factors. Lipedema fat differs from regular fat and tends to resist diet and exercise.

Cellulite: Cellulite is a cosmetic issue caused by how fat cells are distributed beneath the skin. It occurs when fat cells push against the connective tissue, creating a dimpled or lumpy appearance on the skin's surface. Cellulite is common in men and women and can affect various body areas, including the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen.


Lipedema: Lipedema typically causes a symmetrical and disproportionate fat accumulation in the lower body, often giving the legs a "column-like" appearance. It does not usually present with the characteristic dimpling or cottage cheese-like texture in cellulite.

Cellulite: Cellulite appears as a dimpled or uneven texture on the skin's surface, resembling the texture of orange peel or cottage cheese. It can occur in people of all body types and sizes.


Lipedema: Lipedema is a progressive condition that tends to worsen over time. It can lead to pain, swelling, and increased sensitivity in the affected areas.

Cellulite: Cellulite may develop or worsen with age and changes in body composition, but it is generally not considered a progressive medical condition. It is more of a cosmetic concern.


Lipedema: Lipedema management often involves conservative measures like compression garments, lymphatic drainage massage, and exercise to improve circulation. In some cases, liposuction may be considered to remove excess fat.

Cellulite: Cellulite treatment primarily focuses on improving its appearance rather than eliminating it. Treatment options may include topical creams, radiofrequency, acoustic wave therapy, and specific surgical procedures like subcision and laser-assisted liposuction.

Lipedema and lymphedema are two medical conditions that primarily affect the lymphatic system and can cause swelling in the arms and legs. Still, they have distinct differences in their causes, symptoms, and treatment.


Cause: Lipedema is a genetic and primarily hormonal condition. It occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of fat cells in the subcutaneous tissue of the legs and sometimes the arms. It is more common in women and often noticeable during puberty or pregnancy.

Symptoms: Lipedema typically leads to the disproportionate and symmetrical enlargement of the lower limbs, often resembling the appearance of "tree trunk" legs. This swelling is due to the accumulation of fat cells and is usually painful or tender to the touch. Lipedema does not usually involve the feet, and the hands can also be affected in some cases.

Treatment: Conservative lipedema management often involves compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. In some cases, liposuction may be considered to remove excess fat cells.


Cause: Lymphedema is typically caused by damage or disruption to the lymphatic system. This damage can occur due to surgery (commonly in cancer-related lymph node removal), radiation therapy, infection, trauma, or congenital conditions. It can affect any body part but is most commonly seen in the arms or legs.

Symptoms: Lymphedema results from impaired lymphatic drainage and accumulating lymphatic fluid in the affected area. This causes swelling, which can be painless or mildly uncomfortable. Unlike lipedema, lymphedema often involves the hands and feet and may lead to skin changes, such as thickening and fibrosis.

Treatment: Lymphedema management includes techniques to promote lymphatic drainage, such as manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy (e.g., wearing compression garments), and exercises. Additionally, treatment may involve infection prevention, skin care, and, in some cases, surgical interventions like lymphatic venous anastomosis (LVA) or lymph node transfer.

Lipedema and lymphedema are distinct conditions with different underlying causes. Lipedema is primarily genetic and characterized by abnormal fat accumulation in the legs (and sometimes arms). At the same time, lymphedema is a condition resulting from damage to the lymphatic system, causing the accumulation of lymphatic fluid and often affecting the arms, legs, hands, and feet.

The treatment approaches for each condition differ based on their causes and symptoms. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan if you suspect you have either of these conditions.

The patient will wear a corset for three months. For one month, the patient will wear it 24 hours a day. She will wear it during the day for the following two months and take it off at night.

Compression is essential in the treatment of lipedema. Throughout your recovery and ideally beyond, compression garments will be integral. These garments reduce swelling and promote the smooth healing of your skin over the newly contoured areas.

Initially, they are typically worn around the clock for the first 2–3 weeks and afterward, for up to 12 hours daily, even after you have completed the recovery phase following your lipedema surgery.


While not obligatory, compression is crucial in preventing the blockage of vulnerable lymphatic pathways by fluids. Adopting consistently wearing compression garments is strongly advised for your overall health.

Patients can solve their needs in 4 to 5 days; if they are working, they can start work within 7 to 10 days. They may have difficulty putting on and taking off the corset, taking the toilet and shower, and may need a person's help.

Recovery time after liposuction with lipoedema treatment can range from a few weeks.

Patients may experience bruising, swelling, and discomfort, which can take some time to resolve.

Full results may not be visible until several months after the procedure.

Here are some pros and cons of treatment 


1. Significant Fat Reduction: Liposuction or other surgical techniques can substantially reduce fat volume.

2. Improved Quality of Life: Surgical treatments can alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance body image, leading to a better quality of life.

3. Long-Term Results: Surgery can provide more lasting results than conservative treatments.


1. Surgical Risks: All surgeries carry inherent risks such as infection, scarring, and anesthesia complications.

2. Cost: Surgical procedures can be expensive and not covered by insurance.

3. Recovery Time: Recovery from liposuction or other surgical procedures can be lengthy and may require significant downtime.

4. Potential for Complications: There is a risk of complications such as uneven fat removal, contour irregularities, or persistent swelling after surgery.

5. Not a Cure: Surgery may not cure lipedema, and patients may still require ongoing maintenance and lifestyle changes to manage the condition.


Patients need to arrive in Turkey one day before the lipedema surgery. Patients can return home on the 4th or 5th day, depending on their condition.

After the first appointment with the doctor, the doctor decides how advanced is your lipedema stage. Lipedema stages determine the treatment of lipedema. In the severe stages of lipedema, doctors need more intense approaches, including surgery.

Liposuction is a standard treatment option that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with the condition.

The duration of results can vary from person to person. Liposuction can provide long-lasting results, but individual outcomes may depend on genetics, lifestyle, post-surgery care, and maintenance adherence.

Individuals with lipedema need to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan and follow their recommendations for the best possible outcomes.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can help manage symptoms and potentially extend the longevity of treatment results. Treatment for lipedema can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the patient's specific needs.

Liposuction is the most effective treatment for lipedema. It can permanently remove the excess fat cells responsible for the condition. Results from liposuction can be long-lasting, but patients need to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise to prevent the recurrence of fat accumulation.

You can expect some reduction in symptoms:

Pain Relief:

Lipedema often causes pain, tenderness, and discomfort. Treatment can help alleviate these symptoms, improving quality of life and increasing mobility.

Decreased Swelling:

Treatment, especially liposuction, can reduce the abnormal fat deposits, which may result in reduced swelling and a more normal appearance.

Improved Mobility:

As the excess fat is removed or managed through treatment, you may experience improved mobility and the ability to engage in physical activities that were previously limited.

Contour Improvement:

Liposuction or other surgical interventions can lead to better body contours and a more proportionate appearance, particularly in the affected areas.

Maintenance Efforts:

After treatment, it's essential to continue with maintenance efforts, such as wearing compression garments and following a healthy lifestyle. These measures help prevent the recurrence or worsening of lipedema.

Long-Term Outcomes:

Lipedema is a chronic condition, and while treatment can provide significant relief, it may not cure the condition entirely. Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Emotional and Psychological Impact:

Many individuals with lipedema experience emotional and psychological challenges due to the physical appearance and discomfort associated with the condition. Successful treatment can lead to improved self-esteem and better overall emotional well-being.

Lifestyle Changes:

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is essential to support the long-term management of lipedema and prevent weight gain in non-affected areas.

If you have received a lipedema diagnosis and are in good health, you will likely be eligible for this surgical procedure.

A suitable candidate for lipedema treatment typically exhibits the following characteristics:

1. Diagnosis: The individual should have a confirmed lipedema diagnosis from a qualified healthcare Professional. Accurate diagnosis is crucial to distinguish lipedema from other conditions with similar symptoms.

2. Symptomatic manifestations: The person should experience physical symptoms related to lipedema, such as pain, tenderness, swelling, heaviness, and easy bruising in the affected areas. Lipedema can also lead to mobility issues and negatively impact overall well-being.

3. Psychological impact: Lipedema can have significant psychological and emotional effects on individuals due to body image concerns, low self-esteem, and the chronic nature of the condition. Candidates for treatment may also exhibit signs of depression or anxiety related to lipedema.

4. Failed conservative measures: Suitable candidates have typically attempted conservative management strategies without adequate symptom improvement.

Conservative measures may include compression garments, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), exercise, and a healthy diet. When these measures fail to provide sufficient relief, alternative treatment options may be considered.

5. Realistic expectations: Candidates should have realistic expectations regarding the outcomes of lipedema treatment. While treatments can help manage symptoms and slow disease progression, complete lipedema fat resolution is generally impossible.

Written on 08/10/2019


Last Update: 12/09/2023

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